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The Avant Guardian was the fourth short story in the Short Trips anthology Short Trips: Time Signature. It was written by Eddie Robson. It featured the Second Doctor, Jamie McCrimmon and Zoe Heriot.


Flora Millrace has been using her job as composer at a television station to detect disturbances in time. She uses the scores from television programmes to pinpoint the location of these time bubbles, then she takes her equipment to the site and eliminates them.

One evening, she detects a disturbance in a family's home. She sets up the equipment and eliminates the disturbance, but to her surprise, not only does a man appear out of the disturbance, it is someone she knows — the Doctor.

After they leave, she explains what she's been doing, and the Doctor tells her that when he was "working" on his TARDIS, he and his companions, Jamie and Zoe, were ejected from the TARDIS. Presumably, Jamie, Zoe and the TARDIS are also trapped in time bubbles.

While the Doctor helps Flora detect and eliminate more time bubbles, a man named Arthur, who works with Flora, records some of Flora's music, then he and his partner Turis alter the music and attach it to television programmes airing opposite to the ones for which Flora writes.

Some time later, Flora and the Doctor find a bubble floating above Hammersmith Pier. When they eliminate it, the TARDIS appears and falls into the water. The HADS safely brings the TARDIS to shore. Soon, they find another bubble with Zoe in it and rescue her.

Arthur and Turis run their programme, which interferes with Flora's. As a result, energy from the Time Vortex has entered into the time bubbles. They play a message on television stating that they have several bombs that they will detonate if Earth's governments don't give them free use of its energy sources. One bomb is detonated to show they mean business, and fifty people are killed.

Meanwhile, the Doctor, Flora and Zoe are working on a way to get Flora's music back on the air. They route the time energy through the TARDIS, safely removing it from the time bubbles. Flora's music draws the bubbles to the TARDIS, and Jamie is freed from his bubble.

Arthur and Turis, their plans ruined, decide to leave, but a man dressed in grey approaches them and kills them.

Four days later, Jamie is found by his friends. Flora tells the Doctor she will stay here for now. As the Doctor and his friends leave, she records the sounds of the TARDIS as it dematerialises.





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