The Pest of Paternoster Row was a short story published in Doctor Who The Official Annual 2016.

Summary[edit | edit source]

In Paternoster Row, the Paternoster Gang (Vastra, Jenny and Strax) are confused by a strange scratching noise - until it takes the form of a Graske!

Synopsis[edit | edit source]

Vastra, along with the others, are all very confused by a scratching noise which seems to be coming from the walls. Strax suggests the total destruction of the entire property, however Vastra believes that's a little far fetched and instead suggests finding out what it is. Strax goes ahead with the suggestion - using his sonic lorgnette to examine the walls.

Strax determines that there are definite signs of life form, describing it as a minature humanoid with tentacles attached to its head. He also finds snare-cable technology. Vastra immediately recognises the creature as a Graske, when a red outline appears on the wall in the shape of a large mouse hole. Vastra and Jenny take cover but Strax confronts the tiny beast, taunting it by saying its laser cannot harm him. The Graske instead runs directly to Strax and bites his right ankle. Strax shakes the Graske off, to which it runs back inside the hole and out of sight. Strax inspected the walls again, however there were no signs of the Graske any more. Jenny says cheerfully that now it's gone there is no need to worry and goes to prepare a pot of Earl Grey.

That night, the Graske leaves its hiding spot and moves through the house and arrives at Vastra's bedroom. It stood at the end of the bed and aimed its snare-cable gun. However a voice warns the Graske about those actions - that voice was of Vastra. The Graske turns around and is met with the faces of the Paternoster Gang. Strax mocks the Graske's tactics, and tells it that it should surrender and prepare for interrogation and obliteration. However Jenny leaps between Strax and the Graske, telling them to let him go due to him only being small and harmless. Strax argues that there could be many more, to which Vastra agrees mentioning that they conquer worlds by swapping people with their own kind but disguised. Vastra adds that Jenny already knew that - to which Jenny's face scowls and her eyes glowed green. Jenny's body was engulfed in light and changed shape, into yet another Graske. Vastra grabs the 'Jenny' Graske demmanding the whereabouts of Jenny. It replies that she's in limbo, and that there's no way back. Vastra doesn't believe the Graske, and orders Strax to deal with them. Strax lifts the snare-cable gun (which he acquired from the Graske) and fires at the Graskes. He yells in triumph as they disappear in a flash of bright light and a confused Jenny appears where they were.

Vastra is concerned, but Jenny tells her not be worry so much in the Orchid House. Strax pours tea and tells her that she's even weaker than usual - and that she should drink her 'noxious leaf infusion' and to not argue. Jenny asks them how they knew that Graske had taken her place, and asks whether it was her spotting the green eyes. Strax says that it would've been too much of an obvious sign and instead believes that Vastra realised when she was ready to let the Graske run free through the streets of London. Vastra smiles, and says it was more obvious than that - and that it was actually when she offered to make the tea without being asked.

References[edit | edit source]

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Notes[edit | edit source]

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Continuity[edit | edit source]

  • When Jenny suggests that the noise could be hens in the skirting board, Vastra states that it is more likely to be a giant rat that crawled up from the sewers. (TV: The Talons of Weng-Chiang)
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