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A Good Life was the second short story in the Short Trips anthology Short Trips: Steel Skies. It was written by Matthew Griffiths. It featured the Eighth Doctor and Charley Pollard.


The TARDIS has landed on a hill in a beautiful place, surrounded by fields and meadows. The Doctor and Charley, recovering from a difficult adventure, decide to explore. They make their way through the fields, the Doctor pointing out flowers on the way. He thinks they are in Kent in the 16th century.

They reach a village and head for the pub. The Doctor points out that the pub has no name, but Charley is angry that he has to find a mystery to solve in this beautiful, peaceful place. In the pub, Jemima serves them cider. She asks them if they come from another village, or are they from space. As the Doctor spits out his cider in shock, Charley heads outside, wanting to avoid the Doctor's questioning of Jemima.

Charley sits quietly outside, and is soon joined by Bryn, whom she ignores. When the Doctor joins them, they strike up a conversation. Bryn convinces them to stay in the village overnight, and they have a good time with the villagers. Charley feels welcome here.

After she helps with the washing up, Charley finds the Doctor and a drunk Bryn in the middle of an argument. Charley thinks the Doctor is provoking Bryn, but the Doctor points out that there are no stars in the night sky. Charley, angry that the Doctor was right about something being wrong here, heads for bed.

The next morning, they approach Bryn again. He takes them to his hovercar, and they travel for several miles. They approach what Charley thinks is a huge white city, and she can't understand why they would have abandoned it. There are windows in the city walls, and when Charley looks through the windows, she sees stars. She suddenly realises what the Doctor already figured out — they are on a ship.

Bryn explains. They are on a colony ship. They were carrying a cargo of topsoil, which sprouted while the colonists were in cryo-sleep. When they awoke, they found a paradise. Some of the colonists continued on to find a colony planet, but some chose to stay on this ship. When one of them turns 18, Bryn takes him here to explain where they are and to give them a choice: stay on the ship or settle on Basla 19, a colony world.

On the way back to the village, the Doctor is silent. When they arrive at the TARDIS, he angrily tells Charley that none of it is real. Charley tells him the people are happy and that he is ruining it. The Doctor relents, and they stay for a holiday.



  • The colonists that choose to leave the ship settle on Basla 19.
  • The Doctor thinks that they are in 16th century Kent until the villagers speak of space travellers as though it is normal.
  • Bryn has a hovercar.


  • The stories in Short Trips: Steel Skies are divided into four sections dealing with different types of confinement. This story deals with flight, that is, "travellers who left their homes for far-away destinations".


  • Charley realises that she loves the Doctor, which is later confronted in AUDIO: Scherzo.
  • Charley still has a black eye and bruising. (AUDIO: Minuet in Hell)