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You may wish to consult Nothing at the End of the Lane (disambiguation) for other, similarly-named pages.

Nothing at the End of the Lane was the fourth short story in the Short Trips anthology Short Trips and Side Steps. It was written by Daniel O'Mahony. It featured the First Doctor, Barbara Wright, Ian Chesterton and Susan Foreman.


Part One: The Valiant Woman[]

Barbara Wright has been having attacks for over a year; she calls them "episodes". She sees things, and feels pain and other sensations vividly. Sometimes she passes out.

Barbara is on the bus on her way to Coal Hill School. She has an attack while on the bus. When she gets to school, she talks with the science teacher, Ian Chesterton.

Barbara's last class of the day, next door to Ian's science class, has been studying the Corn Laws. When one student, Susan Foreman, turns in her paper containing decimal currency, Barbara snaps at her. Barbara sees Susan after class, apologises, and discusses the possibility of home tuition for Susan. Susan is alarmed at the prospect, saying her grandfather doesn't like strangers, and runs from the room.

The deputy headmaster, Mr Kint, gives Barbara Susan's address, but wants Barbara to keep the school informed of her "initiatives" in future. Barbara goes to the address, but finds it to be a scrapyard. She finds a lot of junk, then sees a London police box. When she puts her hand on it, it is vibrating.

Part Two: The Watchers on the Walls[]

Barbara is acting as stand-in Phys. mistress when she has another attack. She passes out. Mr Kint talks to her, with Ian present, telling her that he won't inform the governors about her attack. He also tells her she should mix more with the staff and gives her the rest of the afternoon off. She invites Ian to dinner the next night.

At dinner they discuss many things, including the headmaster, Barbara's predecessor, science and history, and the new Bomb.

That night, Barbara has another attack. She hears voices from her television, saying things like, "Please...you must take us back...you must", "a series of adventures in time and relative dimension in space" and "One day, you will get back...Yes, one day". She spends the rest of her sleepless night kneeling next to the television, which hadn't been plugged in.

Late the following week in class, Susan asks to borrow a book on the French Revolution. On the way to get it, she runs into Ian, who is just as curious about Susan as she is.

Part Three: The Only Living Thing[]

Susan is in the classroom listening to music. Barbara and Ian enter, and Barbara gives Susan the book. Ian offers Susan a ride home, but she likes the fog. Barbara and Ian drive to the scrapyard. Susan arrives and enters the yard. Barbara and Ian get out of the car and enter the yard. Ian loses his torch, and Barbara finds a large, padlocked metal box. There is a thump from inside the box.

An old man shows up and questions the teachers, who explain that they are looking for Susan. When the old man is uncooperative, Ian mentions getting the police. The man attacks Ian with a cane. Barbara tries to stop him, and he hits her.

Ian, Susan and the Doctor carry Barbara into the TARDIS. They have rescued her from an unsympathetic intelligence that tried to absorb her. Three weeks later, Barbara is fit again. Suddenly, Barbara realises that the alien presence is still here, still alive. She tries to tell Ian and the Doctor...

Barbara thinks Ian is dead. She has found a key, and opens the large box. Susan's dead body is inside. Opening the box attracted the old man's attention, and he tries to attack Barbara again. She finds a spear and kills the old man. Ian is not dead, but is hurt. Barbara is going for help. She sees a police box and steps towards it.


Dream sequence[]



  • This story is split into three parts.