New to Doctor Who or returning after a break? Check out our guides designed to help you find your way!



The Lying Old Witch in the Wardrobe was the seventh short story in the Short Trips anthology Short Trips: Companions. It was written by Mark Michalowski. It featured the Fourth Doctor and Romana I.

Thematic and conceptual elements such as the Doctor's TARDIS appearing in human form and reflecting about her relationship with the Doctor would coincidentally reappear in TV: The Doctor's Wife.


Romana is in the TARDIS wardrobe room. She has just met the TARDIS wardrobe mistress, Iraj, who she learns is a shape shifter. Iraj wants to play a joke on the Doctor.

Romana has no patience for this right now. She can feel that a regeneration is near. Although most Time Lord regenerations occur when the Time Lord body is damaged beyond repair, sometimes subtle damages build up. Romana thinks this is what happened to her, with the chronodyne's influence starting the process.

Iraj takes the form of Princess Astra, to Romana's horror. Iraj goes to the control room to see the Doctor. She comes back to complain to Romana that he barely noticed her. She tries three more forms; when Romana loses patience with her, she freezes Romana in place. She then joins the Doctor in Astra's form, wearing an outfit in the same style as the Doctor's.

Romana, frozen in place, is unable to tell how much time has passed. Iraj finally returns to tell Romana about an adventure she and the Doctor had with Davros and the Daleks. She again grumbles that the Doctor barely noticed her. Romana finally realises that Iraj is a manifestation of the TARDIS. She manages to convince Iraj that the Doctor cares for her. Iraj apologises, and offers to help Romana through her regeneration.

When Romana finally regenerates, she is shocked to discover herself in Astra's form.



  • Romana has not yet learned how to stop her hearts.
  • Romana has heard rumours that some Time Lords can regenerate to order, choosing their new forms, but she cannot do it yet.
  • Romana wonders how K9 negotiates the step at the TARDIS door.