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Interesting Times was the twelfth short story in the Short Trips anthology Short Trips: Christmas Around the World. It was written by Eddie Robson. It featured the Third Doctor and Sarah Jane Smith.


The Doctor and Sarah have arrived in Saigon during the Vietnam War in 1969. Sarah is excited at the prospect of meeting some of her journalistic heroes, so she heads for the Continental Palace Hotel, where she knows many of them are staying. The Doctor, meanwhile heads out for a bite to eat.

At the hotel, she is blocked by American military personnel. She is informed by Holland that the journalists have sealed off two floors. One of the journalists runs outside, and Sarah recognises him as Charles Stanford. Holland puts him in the back seat, where he seems to be trying to get away from something. It is Sarah who notices that he's trying to not hear something. He calms down during a Christmas programme on the radio, but becomes agitated when the news comes on. She turns off the radio.

Meanwhile, the Doctor, sitting at a cafe, reads about a "storm" that destroyed three houses. He is suspicious of the circumstances, so he gets himself admitted to the presence of Colonel Glenn and offers his services in finding the alien that he knows must have crashed into the houses. He inspects the wreckage of the alien ship, and when a disturbance is reported at the Continental Palace, suggests they head there.

The Doctor and Sarah team up. The Doctor understands that the alien has some kind of sensitivity to news reports and has conditioned the journalists in the hotel to protect itself. The journalists are also afraid of the news broadcasts. The Doctor and Sarah use a radio playing the news to get past several journalists in the hotel and find the alien. The Doctor explains to Sarah that the alien is sensitive to the flow of history, including the news reports.

The Doctor prepares to take the alien with him, so he can return it home. However, one of the journalists, Martin Jackson, is compelled to shoot and kill the alien. He is unable to understand why he did it.




  • Pope Paul VI is mistakenly referred to as "Pope Paul IV".


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