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The Shattered Hourglass was the twelfth story of the tenth season of Big Finish Productions' Short Trips series. It featured the Tenth Doctor.

Publisher's summary[]

The Time Agency has been meddling with time ever since its inception. Of all the days in history, today is a day that will define the agency forever.

Today is the day of their greatest achievement. Today is the day they removed an entire galaxy from the timeline.

Today is the day the Doctor's shutting them down.


Time Marshal Helen Barnes watches from Time Command as the Time Agency monitors the Time Vortex, having just placed Galaxy L-10 in a time lock. She wonders if this is what it feels like to be a god and reflects on the aides around her. After she gives orders regarding the Vortisaurs and time roaches swarming the place in the continuum where L-10 used to be, one aide, Alison McLure, informs her she’s ordered an impact report on the removal of L-10 but Barnes angrily orders her to cancel that request.

An intruder alarm sounds, which Barnes believes is unprecedented in Time Command. She orders the outer and inner doors of Command to be sealed and rapid response dispatched. She hears a wiring noise, resulting in first the outer and then the inner doors opening. The Doctor strides in and confronts Barnes over what the Time Agency has just done, claiming that the process is not complete yet so L-10 could be restored. Barnes reminds him of his recent attempt to change history on Mars and insists they had to isolate L-10 for the good of the universe as one side in a war between solar systems was about to develop time travel to attempt to erase the other, quipping that it should “sound familiar”, blowing a hole in the universe in the process. The rapid response team finally arrives and she orders them to arrest the Doctor.

The Doctor escapes and Barnes heads to a room miles underground where she believes he is going. She finds him there as he claims to have traced the biggest temporal disturbance in the area here. Reluctantly she explains the device before him is the Hourglass, which the Time Agency built based on intelligence about a Time Lord weapon, the “galaxy eater”. The Hourglass greets the Doctor, claiming it is honoured to meet the last of the Time Lords. Barnes lets the Hourglass tell him about the prediction with 96% probability that the time travel experiments in L-10 would create a hole in the universe. He counters by having it reveal the 4% possibility of peace being established between the warring factions. Barnes refuses to listen and has him arrested again.

Barnes returns to Time Command but cannot escape the worry that the Doctor will escape and un-do her accomplishment. She discretely contacts the Hourglass and asks for the probability of him escaping and reversing the time lock. The Hourglass responds that there is a 99% probability of that occurring, to her horror. She has the Doctor brought to the Hourglass and orders it to place him in a time lock. In the minutes he has left, the Doctor petitions the Hourglass that he knows it does not really what to do this and insists he can help it. In a bright flash of light he disappears.

Back in Time Command sometime later, Barnes is informed the L-10 is returning to the timeline. She contacts the Hourglass but it refuses to follow her orders to stop. The Doctor reveals himself behind her, explaining that the weapon the Hourglass was based on had a conscience so he suspected the Hourglass would too and that it took him inside it’s core so he could grant it more autonomy. Furious, Barnes orders Alison to destroy the Hourglass to stop L-10 being unlocked. The Doctor persuades Alison to ignore Barnes’ orders, deciding to name L-10 after her in honour of her disobedience, and suggests he drop her off at the time travel experiments so she can stop the catastrophe and help achieve peace. Alison agrees and they walk off together, with him warning Barnes that the Hourglass will be uncooperative now. He speculates that one day the Agency may just disappear, as time always wins. Barnes retorts that time will come for him too, causing him to suddenly pause. As she delights in an unexpected blow, she notices him appearing to look at an unseen figure next to her. The Doctor whispers “not yet” and leaves.


  • Tenth Doctor
  • Time Marshal Helen Barnes
  • Alison McLure
  • Legh
  • Kanacanti
  • Dallas
  • Volts
  • Tartara
  • Lion
  • The Hourglass


Story notes[]

  • This story was released as a download only.
  • Although the cover depicts the Doctor with a brown suit, he's actually wearing his blue suit during this story.


External links[]