Balloon Debate was the sixteenth short story in the Short Trips anthology Short Trips: Companions. It was written by Simon A. Forward. It featured Sarah Jane Smith and K9 Mark III.


The various companions the Doctor has known have all been brought together onto a collapsing TARDIS for their protection. K9 reveals that he can only support six of them surviving, and they each say their piece to democratically decide who lives after a suggestion by Mel. Adric dies in an accident. After a long series of debates (though Mel is not allowed to speak due to her positive attitude), the votes are tallied, and most of them die. In the aftermath, K9 reveals too much time has passed, and only two can survive. Another vote is held. The final survivors, Sarah and Victoria, are once again faced with a choice. K9 shoots Victoria, revealing her to be a disguised Kamelion. It's then revealed that this has all been a story Sarah has been writing in order to break her writer's block.