Lepidoptery for Beginners was the twelfth short story in the Short Trips anthology Short Trips: Defining Patterns. It was written by John Dorney. It featured the Second Doctor, Jamie McCrimmon and Zoe Heriot.
The Doctor, Jamie and Zoe have been captured by Iolas Blue, who considers the Doctor his mortal enemy. Iolas has studied chaos theory and has determined how to predict future events by working backwards. He plans to rule the galaxy, and he has determined that only the Doctor stands in his way.
Iolas built a computer called the Predicticon, which helps him determine future events. Iolas is able to capture the Doctor and his friends and keep them from escaping because the Predicticon tells him exactly what is going to happen. The Doctor and his friends try several times to escape, but they are stopped every time by Iolas.
He finally places them in the room containing the Predicticon. Unknown to them, he puts oil on the floor; when they realise they are able to move freely, they attack him, only to slip on the oil.
Iolas spends a lot of time gloating and even tells the trio about events that he engineered just to prove he could control future events. When he finally arrives at the point where he kills the trio, nothing happens. The Predicticon informs him that it has engineered events so that the Doctor stop Iolas.
Iolas slips on the oil he had earlier poured on the floor, and through a series of events, the Doctor is unable to rescue him, so he and his friends leave in the TARDIS while both Iolas and the Predicticon are destroyed.
- Jamie prefers muffins to cake.
- Iolas loved butterflies as a child.
- Iolas mentions The Maltese Falcon.
- In October 2010, a reading of this story by Duncan Wisbey was released to main range subscribers whose subscriptions included The Cradle of the Snake and Project: Destiny. It was directed by Nicholas Briggs, with music and sound design by Robert Dunlop.
- On 30 September 2016, this story was made available for general release as part of the Short Trips Rarities range, with a new cover by Tom Saunders.