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 Republican's Story was the twelfth short story in the Short Trips anthology Short Trips: Repercussions. It was written by Andy Russell. It featured the Fourth Doctor and Sarah Jane Smith.


Sarah and the Doctor find themselves in London in 1666. They observe a procession of people who bury victims of the Black Death. Sarah comforts a grieving woman. She wants the Doctor to do something, but he says things must take their course.

In the White Hart, a man named William Rokeby speaks to the crowd. He incites them against Charles II. In the crowd is an apparent beggar, who is actually Sir Richard Stoneman-Merritt of His Majesty's Intelligence Service. He leaves the pub, and recruits Sergeant George Mullens. They make their plans to arrest the papist conspirators in the White Hart.

The Doctor and Sarah wander the streets. Sarah isn't feeling too well, and the Doctor indulges in some name-dropping. They are observed by Stoneman-Merritt and Mullens, who leave them alone as they are after Rokeby. The Doctor decides Sarah needs some vitamin C and tries to buy oranges from an orange seller. She sees blood on Sarah's sleeve, and, horrified, refuses to sell to them. Suddenly, the Doctor notices that London is on fire.

Stoneman-Merritt and Mullens enter the White Hart and a battle ensues. The Doctor suddenly enters the pub and informs all within that the city is on fire. Both sides follow his commands and work together attempting to stop the fire. Rokeby and Sarah save a Huguenot woman and her child, and Sarah collapses. Stoneman-Merritt announces she has the plague. Mullens thinks the Doctor started the fire, and orders the men to drive the Doctor and Sarah into the fire, but Stoneman-Merritt stops them. Rokeby and the Doctor take Sarah away to the TARDIS.

Stoneman-Merritt leaves to report on events, and Mullens orders the men to come with him to hunt down Rokeby and the Doctor. In the TARDIS, the Doctor has given Sarah a tablet of tetracycline. Rokeby grabs the bottle, takes a tablet, and leaves the TARDIS. He is accosted by Stoneman-Merritt and the two men fight. Part of a burning building collapses on Stoneman-Merritt, killing him. Rokeby runs off, and the Doctor and a cured Sarah head for the TARDIS.

Rokeby has gone home, to be met by his daughter's nursemaid, Florrie Dawson, who informs him that Polly-Anne is near death. Rokeby gives her a tablet, and she immediately feels better.

The Doctor removes Rokeby and Polly-Anne from their time, to preserve the Web of Time, and takes them to the time vortex.



  • The Doctor tells Sarah that he met Charles II prior to his becoming king. At the time, he was on the run from the Roundheads and the Doctor helped him to hide in an old oak tree.
  • Sarah's native time is given as 1976.


  • Each story in Short Trips: Repercussions includes a character or characters being taken out of their time by the Doctor to avoid harm to the Web of Time. In this story, it is William Rokeby and his daughter.