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.



The Earwig Archipelago was the ninth short story in the Short Trips anthology Short Trips: Time Signature. It was written by Matthew Sweet. It featured the Sixth Doctor.


Ettyn Rraxhimi is the speaker at a dinner party in the capital city of the Democratic Republic. Among those in attendance are Isaac, who is having an affair with Ettyn's wife Mila, and the Sixth Doctor. Unknown to the humans, a crew of earwigs are also in attendance, recording the dinner party for the programme Land of the Eagles. Shogsten Vumm is the boom operator.

After the speech, the Doctor and Isaac are doing the washing up. The Doctor was bored with the political speech and lectures Isaac. Isaac, bored in his turn, leaves the Doctor alone. As Vumm watches, the Doctor is attacked by several earwigs. He falls to the floor and hits his head. While he lies unconscious, Vumm, on an impulse, crawls into his ear and takes a nap.

When Vumm awakes, he notices that the Doctor is aware something is in his ear. The Doctor finds Vumm's tapes and listens to them, then heads to the home of the old king to warn him that he's been bugged. The Doctor is thrown out on the street.

At a café, the Doctor is approached by Eska Vastule, the director of the programme and Vumm's boss. Vastule confesses to respect that the Doctor has got this far and asks him for a programme pitch. Vumm, knowing that Isaac may be executed, tells the Doctor that pitching an idea to Vastule may be the only way to save Isaac.

After Vastule, impressed by the Doctor's pitch, leaves, Vumm and the Doctor become acquainted. Vumm provides the Doctor with information on Isaac; it looks like both Isaac and Mila may have been executed. The Doctor confronts Ettyn, but Vumm learns little more because he has been caught by his people and is imprisoned for two years. When he is freed, he visits his father, who is a fan of a new programme — the one that the Doctor had pitched to Vastule.




  • This story is narrated by Vumm from his prison cell.