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The Three Paths was the fourteenth and final short story in the Short Trips anthology Short Trips: Farewells. It was written by Ian Potter. It featured the First Doctor.


Everyone has a purpose and everyone has a meaning to life, but what is the Doctor's purpose? Ever since he left his homeworld of Gallifrey, the Doctor has been drifting through Time. But now, it's time to face what he has become, because today, the Doctor returns home to face his past... and his present... and possibly his future.




  • This story contains a short flashback to a previous meeting of the Doctor with his mentor at the age of thirty.
  • At the end of The Smugglers, the Doctor states that the TARDIS has landed in "the coldest place in the world." In 1966, this was intended to be Antarctica to lead into The Tenth Planet. The Three Paths effectively retcons this by having the TARDIS land in several snowy locations after the events of The Smugglers, this time arriving in the mountains on Gallifrey. As such, it creates more narrative breathing space for stories featuring Ben and Polly as companions of the First Doctor before his regeneration. Before The Three Paths was published, Food for Thought, Ten Little Aliens and Five Card Draw had already depicted further adventures of the First Doctor, Ben and Polly than the TV series had originally accommodated for.
  • Ben and Polly do not accompany the Doctor in this story; they remain in the TARDIS, sleeping.


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