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Excerpts from the Staggering Stories Blog:


Staggering Stories Commentary #238: Doctor Who – The Timeless Children
by Staggering Stories Podcast
Mon, 22 Nov 2021 09:00

Summary: Adam J Purcell, Andy Simpkins and Keith Dunn sit down, matrixed, in front of 2020 Doctor Who episode ‘The Timeless Children’, and spout our usual nonsense! Tecteun has grabbed a child, the Cyberium is playing coy and the Doctor discovers her shocking past. But enough of their problems, please sit down with us to […]


Staggering Stories Podcast #380: The Dog and Wok
by Staggering Stories Podcast
Sun, 14 Nov 2021 09:00

Summary: Adam J Purcell, Andy Simpkins, Fake Keith, Jean Riddler, the Real Keith Dunn and Steven Clare review the new Doctor Who episodes The Halloween Apocalypse and War of the Sontarans, discuss their BFI visit to preview Doctor Who: Galaxy 4, find some general news, and a variety of other stuff, specifically: 00:00 – Intro […]


Staggering Stories Commentary #237: Doctor Who – Ascension of the Cybermen
by Staggering Stories Podcast
Mon, 08 Nov 2021 09:00

Summary: Adam J Purcell, Andy Simpkins and Keith Dunn sit down, boundaried, in front of 2020 Doctor Who episode ‘Ascension of the Cybermen’, and spout our usual nonsense! Brendan is having an odd life, Ashad has found some friends and the Doctor spies something familiar through a hole. But enough of their problems, please sit […]


Staggering Stories Podcast #379: Chimes of Midnight Mass
by Staggering Stories Podcast
Sun, 31 Oct 2021 09:00

Summary: Adam J Purcell, Andy Simpkins, Jean Riddler and Keith Dunn review Doctor Who: The Chimes of Midnight (Big Finish) and Netflix’s Midnight Mass, find some general news, and a variety of other stuff, specifically: 00:00 – Intro and theme tune. 01:09 — Welcome! 02:25 – News: 02:45 — Doctor Who: Series 13 timed and […]


Staggering Stories Commentary #236: Doctor Who – The Haunting of Villa Diodati
by Staggering Stories Podcast
Sun, 24 Oct 2021 08:00

Summary: Adam J Purcell, Andy Simpkins and Keith Dunn sit down, spooked, in front of 2020 Doctor Who episode ‘The Haunting of Villa Diodati’, and spout our usual nonsense! Graham needs the loo, Ryan gets a skeletal hand in the face and the Doctor gets hit upon. But enough of their problems, please sit down […]


Staggering Stories Podcast #378: What If… Dizzy Daleks
by Staggering Stories Podcast
Sun, 17 Oct 2021 08:00

Summary: Adam J Purcell, Andy Simpkins, Fake Keith, Jean Riddler, the Real Keith Dunn and Steven Clare review Doctor Who: The Evil of the Daleks and Marvel’s first season of What If…?, talk about media we’ve been consuming, find some general news, and a variety of other stuff, specifically: 00:00 – Intro and theme tune. […]

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Doctor Who: Happy Christmas

By Leslie McMurtry


“Happy Christmas!” shouted the Doctor as Rose opened the kitchen door. He skipped past and handed her a mug of something hot.

“What?”

He was halfway across the room before he turned around. “Happy Christmas!” he repeated.

“What is this?” Her head was already pounding from a sleepless night; she touched her forehead with her free hand and brought the mug to her nose. The Doctor was still running around the room like a rabbit on speed, and with disbelief Rose realized the entire room was trimmed with red ribbons, glowy balls, snowflakes, and holly sprigs. “Hot chocolate?” she asked.

“Yeah,” he replied. “Drink up and have a mince pie.” He shoved a plate of them under her nose.

She ducked to the side and set the mug on the table. He was grinning that grin, the slightly manic one that made his ears seem to stick out even more. “What about the sherry?” she asked, half-seriously.

He stuffed a pie in his mouth. “Mmmff, later.”

She stared at him, waiting for the punch-line. Instead, he kept grinning at her. “Doctor . . . what’s going on?”

He shrugged. “It’s Christmas somewhere, isn’t it?”

She raised her eyebrow. Was he completely cracked? “Yeah . . . so?”

He looked hurt. “Don’ like Christmas, Rose? You seemed okay when you were around Charles Dickens.”

“Is not that,” she snapped. “I . . . just . . .” Despite herself, she picked up a mince pie and started poking at it. “I didn’t know you celebrated Christmas.”

“Peace on Earth an’ good will to all? ‘Course,” he said. “They have midwinter celebrations on practically every planet. I jus’ like Christmas ‘cos you get crackers.” As proof, he held up a red foil one. “Go on,” he said. Rose smiled and took an end. They pulled. “Snap!” shouted the Doctor, laughing uproariously. He stopped short of putting on the hat. Rose sat down.

“I’m just surprised,” she said, “because I thought all that commercialism stuff would put you right off.”

“Oh, it does.”

Rose took a second look and realized there was nary a Father Christmas to be seen. “I see, no Coca-Cola-invented Santas for you.”

He frowned. “What do you mean?”

She shrugged. “I heard on the radio once-Coca Cola inventing Santa Claus and all that.”

“Not true,” said the Doctor gravely. “He was around long before that.” Rose rolled her eyes. “It’s true! St Nicholas was Bishop of Myra about 1500 years before Coca Cola ever showed up.”

“Who?”

“St Nicholas,” the Doctor said, seriously. “Born into a wealthy family in Asia Minor, became a monk. Punched someone out for disagreeing with him on definitions of divinity.”

“No way!”

The Doctor nodded vigorously. “Then he was imprisoned and tortured. As a bishop he was very generous. That’s where the whole thing started.”

Rose nodded sagely. “So a saint becomes legend.”

“The fur-trimmed coat an’ elves an’ stuff comes later. ‘Sinter Klaas,’ the Dutch call him. And the Dutch bring him with them to New Amsterdam.”

Rose cocked her head. “Then Coca-Cola comes in.”

The Doctor nodded. Then he smiled, askance. “But didja ever stop to think about it?”

She picked up another mince pie. “What?”

“How one person can get around the entire Earth in eight hours?”

She laughed. “Doctor-you’re not trying to tell me that Santa Claus is real?”

He appeared not to have heard. “I mean, it would help if one had a mastery of time . . . wouldn’t it?”

She stared. “Hold on-are you saying that Father Christmas is a time traveller?”

He grinned. “ ‘D make sense, wouldn’t it?”

She stood up excitedly. “But-you said-you said that you were . . . the last. The last of the Time Lords. You’re not sayin’ that-”

He looked suddenly pensive. “No. He was a Time Lord.” He looked past her. “But he wasn’t me.”

Rose suddenly felt chilled. “Doctor . . .” she said awkwardly.

“Up for Christmas pudding?” he asked suddenly, rubbing his hands together.

She couldn’t decide if he was lying, or joking, or being deranged. Or nostalgic. “I thought you didn’t do domestic,” she said quietly.

“ ‘S not me,” he said. “ ‘S the TARDIS.”

“Yeah, right,” said Rose.

“Honest!” He got out of the chair.

Rose looked up. “Umm, Doctor-” she blushed, “-is that what I think it is?”

He glanced up and glanced back down. “Bit of holly?”

She touched her front teeth with her tongue. “Looks like mistletoe to me.”

He looked up again. “Nah.”

She looked up again. It was definitely mistletoe. She stared at the Doctor, who was looking uncomfortably elsewhere. She smiled benignly. “Okay, I’ll have some pudding on one condition.”

He grinned uncertainly. “Yes?”

“You dig out a bottle of sherry.”

He nodded. “Okay. Deal.”