Séance, or Smoking is Highly Addictive, Don't Start was the fifth short story in the Short Trips anthology Short Trips: Defining Patterns. It was written by John Davies. It featured the Seventh Doctor and Ace.


When Tim Leicester was a child, he and several friends participated in a séance with a ouija board. One of his friends, Andrew, became scared and ran off. He was hit by a car and killed.

Twenty-five years later, several of Tim's co-workers want to participate in a séance and convince Tim to join them. He doesn't want to but his friend Steve convinces him to act as designated driver.

At the séance, Tim is sceptical of the medium, but memories of his childhood immediately change his mood. The ouija board spells out the name of Neil Hilton, who is present, and who Tim learns was one of the children participating in the original séance.

As the séance continues, a loud growling is heard and a huge mass can be seen appearing in a corner. A man steps out and greets everyone cheerfully.

The man, called the Doctor, and his friend Ace ease everyone's fears, including the medium's. The Doctor invites Neil into the TARDIS, and Neil becomes a time-traveller.

Tim learns all this later by reading Neil's blog. Weirdly, the blog then disappears. After reading the blog, Tim realises that he's been living in that awful past moment and resolves to give up smoking and start living his life.

In the TARDIS, the Doctor and Ace note on a readout that Tim's date of death has changed to several years later than it originally was.




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