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Hidden Talent was the fourteenth short story in the Short Trips anthology Short Trips: Companions. It was written by Andrew Spokes. It featured the Third Doctor and Jo Grant.


Jo Grant is a contestant on the television show Make a Star. She and the Doctor are undercover investigating the disappearances of the contestants who have been voted off.

Jo tries to get information from her roommate, Lucy Wilkins. However, Lucy is more interested in becoming famous, and brushes off Jo's inquiries, eventually wondering if Jo and her "father" are with the police. Jo sees that Lucy has a doll of one of the former contestants, and Lucy tells her that the dolls are mass-produced when someone leaves the show.

After the next day's rehearsal, Jo talks with Chris Summers, the favourite to win the show. Jo is interested when he says it feels like the producers want him to win.

Jo and the Doctor meet up and try to break into the office of the producer. They are stopped when the show's host, Bob Leezley, appears. They tell him they want to discuss Jo's contract and then leave. After they leave, Leezley seems to listen to something in his earpiece.

After dress rehearsal, Jo and the Doctor break into the producer's office and discover — the Master. He spends some time gloating, and the Doctor realises that the "dolls" of former contestants are actually victims of the Tissue Compression Eliminator. The Master has two men take them away, after confiscating the Doctor's sonic screwdriver.

Tied up and locked in, the Doctor and Jo discuss matters. She mentions her song for the finale, which the Doctor knows has not been written yet in this time, and he realises the Master is trying to unravel the timeline by releasing songs that don't exist yet.

The next day, they hear Chris' screaming fans outside their door, and come up with a plan. They lure the girls in with promises of Chris being here. The Doctor uses their screams, as well as the radio transmitter he had given Jo, to break the mirror. When the girls run off, disappointed that Chris isn't here, the Doctor and Jo free themselves with broken bits of mirror.

Jo and the Doctor split up — Jo goes to the show and the Doctor has "a few things to sort out." He then visits the Master in his office. The Master is watching the show, and they watch together as Chris wins. The Master gloats that he has won, but the Doctor points out that they both, as Time Lords, should be able to feel the timeline being changed, but they feel nothing. The Doctor explains that he had the Brigadier prevent the program from airing. The Doctor is distracted when Jo appears, and the Master uses the opportunity to escape in his TARDIS, which had been disguised as a cabinet.



  • The Doctor, while discussing memories with Jo, mentions Jamie and Zoe.
  • In the finale, Jo sings the song "Fame".
  • The Master thinks the Doctor should have recognised that the show's name, Make a Star, is an anagram for "aka Master".
  • The Doctor promises to come to Jo's rescue in his TARDIS or Bessie, whichever is faster.
  • The Doctor travelled to the early 1980s and was disgusted by legwarmers and snoods. He also tells Jo he would never wear colourfully garish clothes.


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