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Keeping It Real was the twenty-third short story in the Short Trips anthology Short Trips: The Ghosts of Christmas. It was written by Joseph Lidster. It featured the Fifth Doctor and Tegan.


Responding to a distress call, Tegan and the Doctor land on Salient Point in the middle of a snow storm — only the snow is made of paper. The town is in the old English style. The townspeople go around wishing each other "joy" and singing Christmas carols.

They soon realise that nothing there is real, except for one man, Vivash O'Connell. The Doctor goes to inspect the village while Tegan talks to Vivash. Every time she tries to tell him nothing here is real, she is interrupted. She finds the Doctor inside a paper snowman, having been put there by the villagers when he tried to state that nothing here was real. The Doctor and Tegan learn that Vivash thinks they aren't real either.

Vivash tells them that he was on a colony ship that crashed on the planet. He was the only survivor. He programmed the food replicator to make Christmas every day, but since none of it is real, he is starving to death.

The Doctor and Tegan take him on board the TARDIS, where they have Christmas dinner.




  • This story is narrated by Tegan.