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A Rose by Any Other Name was the sixteenth and final short story in the Short Trips anthology Short Trips: Life Science. It was written by Jim Mortimore. It featured the Seventh Doctor and Ace.


Ace and the Doctor visit a planet where the inhabitants have devolved into primitives. The Doctor has a plan to save this former civilisation.

He takes Ace to Earth, far in her future. By this time, humans rely on intelligent clothing to perform life's basic tasks for them, such as grooming, and make decisions for them, such as daily diet and whom to marry.

Ace accidentally causes a car crash. As she tries to help, the Doctor takes the suit that has been thrown out of the car. He and Ace give it to a young man whom they call Fern.

For the next fifty years, the suit takes care of Fern as the rest of humanity dies out. Fern shows little interest in anything, but he and the suit have a task given to them by the Doctor — gather up all the discarded suits and put them in one building.

One day, fifty years later, as Fern takes a walk, he is attacked by a bear, but the suit protects him from the bear and heals his injuries. The suit then "takes" Fern to Burger King, where Ace and the Doctor are waiting. The excitement is too much for Fern, and he dies of a heart attack. The Doctor and Ace bury the suit with him. They then take the collected suits to the planet of primitives, thereby saving both species.




  • This story is partly narrated by the suit and partly told from the third person point of view.
  • A version of the story was self-published by the author in the anthologies The Book of Shadows and The Sun in the Bone House.


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