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Please Shut the Gate was the ninth short story in the Short Trips anthology Short Trips and Side Steps. It was written by Stephen Lock. It featured the Second Doctor, Jamie McCrimmon and Zoe Heriot.


A probe is on its way to Mars...

The Doctor, Jamie and Zoe have landed on Mars. Near the TARDIS, Jamie finds what's left of a campsite. The Doctor is outraged that someone has left such an anachronism on the planet. When Jamie finds a pipe in the tent, the Doctor is horrified to discover it is his own. He tells Jamie and Zoe that he once tried to take Ben Jackson and Polly Wright to the coronation of Queen Victoria but landed here instead. They set up a camp so they could see the Martian dawn, but the TARDIS nearly took off without them and they had to leave their camp behind.

When something begins to bombard the area near them, the Doctor realises there is something familiar about this time and place. He discovers that the Mars Polar Lander is about to land right where the TARDIS is now standing. They hurry to clean up the campsite but see the shadow of the lander. They try to make it to the TARDIS in time, but the probe lands on the TARDIS and then falls to the ground, damaged beyond repair.

Zoe can't help noting, with a giggle, that the scientists on Earth will ascribe the failure of the probe to human error.




  • In the real world, contact was lost with the Mars Polar Lander after it landed on Mars.


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