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The Nuclear Option was the first short story in the Short Trips anthology Short Trips: 2040. It was written by Richard Salter. It featured the Seventh Doctor, Roz Forrester and Chris Cwej.


The Doctor, Roz and Chris are in Canada in the 21st century. When they arrived, the Doctor sent Roz and Chris off to enjoy themselves.

Later, the Doctor and Roz infiltrate a terrorist group that intends to destroy the Pickering nuclear power station. The Doctor gives Chris the task of bringing the police to the station in time to stop the terrorists.

The Doctor and Roz accompany the three terrorists to the power station. Yousef and Laura Collinson kill the two guards, and the five make their way into the station. There are six technicians at the controls, all of whom are killed by Yousef. Xin Chun begins working at the controls, with the Doctor's help, while Yousef and Laura search the station for other personnel. Roz's job is to plant explosives.

Meanwhile, Chris has begun to alternate between two timelines: one in which the power station exploded, and one in which it didn't. He goes to the police, but they think he's crazy. He talks with Joe Marquez, who begins to think that Chris is telling the truth about a terrorist attack on the power station. When Chris stops experiencing the explosion timeline, he figures he must have died in that timeline.

The power station is so old that the Doctor and Xin have to stop an emergency meltdown from occurring. When Yousef and Laura return, Roz and the Doctor leave so she can set the explosives. He tells her that Yousef doesn't trust him, so he has to be careful. He also tells Roz that Laura is actually a CIA agent who has no intention of letting the station be destroyed. Her job is to pretend to catch the terrorists in order to convince the Canadian government that they need America's protection.

Things come to a head when the police arrive. Yousef orders Laura to push the button that will detonate the explosives, but she finally admits that she can't. Yousef is about to kill her, but Roz knocks him out. Xin runs for the door but is stopped by the police. Chris, who has accompanied the police, greets Roz and the Doctor with relief. The three terrorists are taken away.




  • The Nuclear Option was originally made available for free on the Big Finish website, around two weeks before the full anthology was released.


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