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One Small Step... was the fourteenth short story in the Short Trips anthology Short Trips: Past Tense. It was written by Nicholas Briggs. It featured the Second Doctor, Jamie McCrimmon and Zoe Heriot.


A little boy is taking a bath. He is nervous that someone might come in, but then he hears a reassuring voice in the hallway.

The TARDIS crew is enjoying a rare holiday on the Isle of Wight. The beach is deserted, as most people are indoors watching the Moon landing of 1969.

Jamie and Zoe play in the sand and water. The Doctor decides to get an ice cream. On the way, he encounters the boy, and they talk. The boy is not interested in the moon landing. The Doctor thinks the boy should tell his parents where he is, and the boy heads for home. Suddenly he is hit by a car, and the Doctor sees that his legs are broken beyond repair.

The Doctor runs back to the TARDIS, shouting for Jamie and Zoe to come along. Zoe can tell something is terribly wrong.

The Doctor tells Jamie and Zoe what happened, and they spend several months trying to get back to the Isle of Wight in time for the Doctor to prevent the disaster. They finally make it back to four hours before the car accident. The Doctor very carefully makes sure not to do anything he did before, especially not going for ice cream. The three watch as the boy and his family head for the beach for a barbecue. Once the time of the accident has passed, they leave in the TARDIS.

The Doctor goes back one more time, to check on the boy as he takes his bath. The boy is reassured by the sound of the Doctor's voice.




  • One Small Step was later narrated by the author for audio and released as free content on the Big Finish Podcast on 9 January 2009, and rereleased on 20 June 2016.
  • The time travel seen in this story follows a very different set of rules than the TV show normally uses. Unlike other stories where the Doctor goes back in time, the Doctor seemingly has no trouble interfering in his own time stream, and even weirder, the Doctor doesn't meet his past self, with the effects of the Blinovitch Limitation Effect, but he instead seems to relive his past in a more "Donnie Darko" fashion.


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