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The Road To... was the serialised backup story of Doctor Who: The Road to the Thirteenth Doctor published in 2018 as a prequel to Doctor Who: The Thirteenth Doctor.

The story, told through three separate narratives, depicts the Doctor's encounter with the same mysterious portal with a hand reaching out of it in their Tenth, Eleventh, and Twelfth incarnations, preluding the Thirteenth Doctor's encounter with it in A New Beginning.


Part one[]

On the SS Madame de Pompadour in the 51st century, the Tenth Doctor has returned from a party in 18th century France where he is irritated to find that his human companions Rose Tyler and Mickey Smith have yet again wandered off, confiding his frustrations with Arthur the horse. His attention, however, is soon drawn to a rip in time, distinct from the time windows on the ship. From the rip, a humanoid hand is seen to emerge from a figure who asks for the Doctor to "grab on" as they "can't hold..." before quickly shattering as the rip closes. Bewildered by what has just occurred, the Doctor determines it to be "not good" but notes that it is something which needs to wait as he hears from a distance that his companions are at the mercy of the Clockwork Droids, promptly rushing off to rescue them.

Part two[]

During the Year of the Slow Invasion, when the Eleventh Doctor is bored and try to kill time by doing anything, he is put in contact with the portal but doesn't notice it as it appears in his back. The portal soon disappears like the last time and the Doctor continues his life as if nothing happened.

Part three[]

On the Mondasian Colony Ship, during the events of World Enough and Time, The Twelfth Doctor, Missy and Nardole take the elevator to join Bill and save her, but this portal reappears and the Doctor remembers it from the SS Madame de Pompadour. After scanning it with his screwdriver, he asks Missy if she wants to save Bill or the person that wants to reach them with the portal. Missy answers that she wants to save Bill as she is the one that is afraid of her. The Doctor stores his screwdriver back inside of his pocket and they go to save Bill. The portal will wait.



  • The Tenth Doctor wears his tie on his head.
  • The Eleventh Doctor paints the Ponds' wooden garden fence, fixes their car, mows their lawn, and vacuums their floor.
  • The Eleventh Doctor kicks a football.
  • The Ponds' back garden has a bird feeder.
  • Missy remarks that there's something about lifts "that just makes you want to pull out the ribs of those around you one by one", which she refers to as an "arts and crafts project".
  • The Twelfth Doctor remembers seeing the hand reaching through a portal on another ship where time was "out of sorts". Ironically, the same incarnation of the Doctor is not able to remember the spaceship in Deep Breath, 3 series earlier.