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The Doctor's Cross Word was the eighth short story in the Short Trips anthology Short Trips: Christmas Around the World. It was written by JJ Secker. It featured the Fourth Doctor.


The Doctor is in Israel at the end of the year, waiting to see the date change from 1 BC to AD 1. As he waits, a man approaches him. He introduces himself as Nayigeren. He is a Magus, but not one of the well-known ones. He is the "Fourth Wise Man", who the Doctor thought was a legend.

Nayigeren is trying to find the baby that the other Magi are seeking. The other three used the stars to find their way; Nayigeren prefers to calculate his destination using time. However, the Doctor explains to him that he is four years too late — the baby has already been born and left the area. Nayigeren is disappointed, but the Doctor sends him to where the baby's family now lives.

As the Doctor continues to wait, he notices stars vanishing and concludes that there is a space vacuole, or a hole in space. He takes the TARDIS to investigate.

On leaving the TARDIS, the Doctor is surrounded by darkness as well as some kind of force field that move arounds around with him. He hears the voice of the entity that has trapped him here. It intends to keep him here forever, and it plans to invade his mind by giving him a puzzle to solve.

As the Doctor solves riddle after riddle, the entity gains more knowledge of the Doctor. When the Doctor is finally trapped into going around in a circle, he remembers the Scorliocz creed and speaks aloud a word. The entity screams as the Doctor runs for the TARDIS and makes his escape.




  • Unlike many stories set in the DWU, this story asserts that there is no year 0 in between 1 BC and AD 1.


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