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Piecemeal was the fourteenth short story in the Short Trips anthology Short Trips: Snapshots. It was written by James Swallow. It featured the Fifth Doctor and Turlough.


The ship Pride of Sheboygan has recently suffered a disaster; however, the surviving crew has lost the last year of their memories. As technician Saya Rohar notes in her reports, only the ship's doctor and his assistant Turlough retain their memories.

As the crew try to regain their memories, the doctor orders the ship to head for Soloto. Some of the crew, including technician Cumil, are suspicious of the doctor's orders and begin to investigate. Cumil discovers that an alien specimen escaped during the disaster (although none of the crew remember even taking on any alien specimens).

When Saya confronts the doctor, she realises from his reaction that he has known about the escaped specimen all along. The doctor is afraid of Cumil finding the alien, and they search for him. Cumil is attacked by the alien and loses more of his memory. He doesn't even remember shipping out.

The doctor finally explains to Saya and the rest of the crew. The escaped alien is a Memeovore, a species that feeds on memory. The crew is angry, and Zella and Keet threaten the doctor and Turlough with weapons. While the doctor speaks, Turlough fiddles with some controls near the hatch. The doctor tries to explain that the Memeovore is peaceful, but the crew wants to space it. The doctor apologises as Turlough lets the alien into the mess hall. Saya barely escapes but not unscathed.

The entire crew (except Saya) have had a portion of their memories wiped again. Saya, recovering from her injuries, receives an explanation from the Doctor, who, she learns, is not really a part of the crew, and neither is Turlough. The crew doesn't remember that their mission was to capture alien life forms for experimentation. The Doctor allowed the Memeovore to wipe their memories of their mission. He intends to take the Memeovore to Soloto, where it can live in peace.

On learning this, Saya willingly gathers the entire crew to have their memories erased one last time. Their damaged ship is eventually rescued by another ship.




  • This story is told through incident reports and Saya's diary.


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