Spoilers are precisely defined here. Rules vary by the story's medium. Info from television stories can't be added here until after the top or bottom of the hour, British time, closest to the end credits roll on BBC One. Therefore, fans in the Americas who are sensitive to spoilers should avoid Tardis on Sundays until they've seen the episode.



Stop the Pigeon was the fifth short story in the Short Trips anthology Short Trips. It was written by Mike Tucker and Robert Perry. It featured the Seventh Doctor, Ace, and the Master, although it contradicted his previous appearance in First Frontier, being still infected from the Cheetah Planet.


The Seventh Doctor and Ace learn of a property in Croydon where a tree just vanished into thin air and decide to investigate. They soon discover Joe Dakin, an unwilling time traveller who has been forced to transcend the dimensions by some exterior force. The one responsible soon reveals itself, a biomechanical Virgoan space probe in the form of a pigeon that has been sent to repair temporal glitches and anomalies yet was invaded by a Krynoid influence while on Melandra IV, the battle for control being amplified across any surrounding machinery and vegetation. The probe transports Ace and Joe eighty years into the future where they discover the Master has been sucking the elderly dry, using their life-force to sustain himself and stave off the curse of the Cheetah World. His stock never fades as he fools people into handing over their loved ones with the promise that they will be rejuvenated. He merely uses the Virgoan probe to send hypnotised innocents back in time to collect the elderly when they were infants, thus keeping the illusion alive. The plan falls through when the battle is amplified across the retirement home causing all the machinery and vegetation to tear each other apart and leaving the entire facility nothing but rubble. The Doctor is left to clean up the mess as the Master escapes yet again.



  • Joe works for a company called Innovations Unlimited.
  • The pigeon had recently made a trip to Melandra IV, which was under the grip of a major Krynoid infestation, being immediately infected.
  • The pigeon is a Virgoan: ship, probe, and pilot all in one.
  • The Doctor thinks of the Virgoans as the temporal equivalent of "cowboy builders."
  • The Master uses the alias Dr. Howard Chithros, and appears on the cover of Time magazine.
  • In 2067, it's normal for babies to be fed nutrients via tubes, the equivalent of mother's milk.
  • Time anchors utilize tachyon fields.


  • The title of the story is a reference to "Stop That Pigeon", the theme song to the 1960s cartoon series Dastardly & Muttley in Their Flying Machines.
  • An audiobook reading of the story, read by Sophie Aldred, appeared on the BBC sampler Tales from the TARDIS: Volume One.
  • The Master being somewhere other than America in 1957 after the Cheetah Planet contradicts his own statements in the novel First Frontier about escaping with a Kitling.
  • The pigeon tells Joe he should read "Platt," possibly an in-joke reference to Marc Platt.
  • August 15, 2067 will be a Monday.


  • The Virgoan probe becomes infected with a Krynoid. (TV: The Seeds of Doom)
  • The Master is still infected with the cheetah virus, although another account claims after leaving the planet he was immediately cured and given a new regeneration cycle by the Tzun. (PROSE: First Frontier)
  • The Doctor and Ace will encounter the Master again, still infected with the cheetah virus. (PROSE: Prime Time)