Spoilers are precisely defined here. Rules vary by the story's medium. Info from television stories can't be added here until after the top or bottom of the hour, British time, closest to the end credits roll on BBC One. Therefore, fans in the Americas who are sensitive to spoilers should avoid Tardis on Sundays until they've seen the episode.



Illumination was the nineteenth short story in the Short Trips anthology Short Trips: Christmas Around the World. It was written by David Bailey. It featured the Eighth Doctor and Izzy Sinclair.


The Doctor and Izzy arrive in Sweden at Christmas time in the 11th century only to find themselves captured by hunters. To the Doctor's confusion, these hunters don't usually hunt humans.

The Doctor and Izzy are brought to the hunters' camp and imprisoned in a tent with another man, whom the Doctor identifies as Adam of Bremen and treats quite rudely. He later explains to Izzy that Adam is one of the Christians of this time that published reports of pagans, detailing horrible things they had done. The Doctor accuses Adam of not properly researching his facts, but Adam tells him the hunters have been killing their women and children as sacrifices.

During the day, the trio are penned up in the reindeer pens, and at night they are brought back to their tent. When the hunters examine Adam one day, the Doctor sees something shiny on Adam's neck. He works out that there is a noxmycota present — an alien fungus that is trying to take over the hunters and spread throughout the Earth. The hunters have been placing their prisoners in the reindeer pen so they could also catch the fungus from the reindeer.

The Doctor reasons that the fungus will grow uncontrollably during the long night, and he and Izzy must start a fire to kill the fungus. After escaping, they build a fire. The Doctor is attacked and knocked unconscious by the hunters, but Izzy uses her cigarette lighter to frighten them away.

As the fungus dies out, the Doctor tries to explain to Adam that the hunters don't usually sacrifice their own people; they were under the influence of the fungus. Adam should understand this as he had tried to kill the Doctor while also under the fungus' influence. Adam disagrees and takes off, leaving the Doctor frustrated.



  • Noxmycota is a luminous fungus from Vyre that arrived to Earth on a meteorite.
  • The Doctor mentions Stan Lee.


to be added