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Old Boys was the fifteenth short story in the Short Trips anthology Short Trips: The Centenarian. It was written by Steve Parsons and Andrew Stirling-Brown. It featured the Sixth Doctor, Peri Brown, Melanie Bush and Evelyn Smythe.


In 1986, Edward Grainger meets some old colleagues from his intelligence days, and each of them has a story to tell.

Guy Oliver tells of a time when he worked in surveillance in Hong Kong in 1975. A strange woman and man entered the computer room, and the woman began playing a game on it. The man explained that his friend Mel was forced to play a game against the Rainbow, an intergalactic gaming cartel. At stake was the 20th century — if Mel lost, the cartel would take Earth out of time and sell its technological development. With her friend's help, Mel not only defeated the cartel but sent their identities to the authorities.

When Guy describes the man's coat and hair, Angus McCloud thinks he met the same man.

Angus tells his story next. Recently he was visiting his grandson Toby, who was producing an exercise video. It was an advertisement for a meal bar called Sure-to-Slim. Several young women performed exercises, including one girl named "Perry" who seemed nervous and was constantly checking her watch. The girls were told to eat the bar on camera, and at this point Perry was terrified. Suddenly the police burst through, accompanied by a man in a colourful jacket. He gave everyone a pill to take and shone a light on a meal bar, revealing a blue worm inside. The man said the worms were part of an invasion plan by telepathic aliens, and the pill would inhibit their telepathy.

Sir Warwick Montfort thinks he has met the same man, only it was in 1957. He was assigned to find a suspected mole in the department. Having very little success, he was threatened with losing his job if he couldn't produce results. He got a break when a message came to the cypher room, and he decoded it himself. He took a cruise liner, expecting to apprehend the suspect. On board, however, he was watched by an older lady. When he introduced himself, she said her name was Smythe, she had a message for him and she had to prevent him making a terrible mistake. She took him to her friend, and they explained that he had decoded the message incorrectly and they had "come back" to prevent him making a mistake.

Warwick apologises to Edward, who he had thought was the mole. Edward had been on board the cruise liner, but not as a double agent. He had been spending time with his mistress.



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  • The stories in Short Trips: The Centenarian revolve around Edward Grainger, a man who has met the Doctor more than a dozen times over the course of his life.
  • This story is told in the form of a letter written by Edward to his mistress Samantha.


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