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 Velvet Dark was the eighth short story in the Short Trips anthology Short Trips: Farewells. It was written by Stewart Sheargold. It featured the Fifth Doctor, Tegan and Turlough.


The Doctor, Tegan and Turlough attend the Master's funeral on Earth, then they go to the nursing home at which he spent the last few days of his life.

At the nursing home, the Doctor and Turlough search through the Master's room while Tegan looks for tea. She comes across Laura, a nurse, who is crying. Tegan comforts her, but Laura explains that she had been searching for a missing patient whom she has just found in the boiler room — dead shrunk to doll-size. Tegan, suspecting who is to blame, accompanies Laura to the boiler room.

In the front hallway, a coffin shimmers into view, accompanied by a loud groaning noise; the building then shimmers as well.

Meanwhile, the Doctor and Turlough question some of the patients. The Doctor notes the television program that is playing — all the actors have the Master's face.

The Doctor sends Turlough to find Tegan while he goes in search of Mr Tase, the head of the nursing home. Turlough finds Tegan in the morgue, still alive but crying over Laura, who was shrunk by the Master.

The Doctor discovers, as he suspected, that "Mr Tase" is the Master. His body is burnt and he demands the Doctor's help. Tegan and Turlough are brought to the office by hypnotically-controlled patients. To ensure the Doctor's cooperation, the Master shrinks Turlough, though he changed the setting of the Tissue Compression Eliminator and Turlough is still alive.

The nursing home, which is the Master's TARDIS, materialises outside a castle, and the Master brings his captives inside. There, they find that this body of the Master is just an extension of the Master, used by the real Master who has lost all bodily form. He blames the Time Lords and plans to steal one of the Doctor's lives.

He hypnotises Tegan, who connects the Doctor to the Master's machine and, at his command, stabs the Doctor. Part of the apparatus includes twelve mirrors. As the machine begins to take the Doctor's life, he screams at such an octave that the mirrors shatter.

Later, with Tegan un-hypnotised and Turlough returned to normal size, he explains to his companions that he thinks the Master knew this scheme wouldn't work. They return the nursing home to where it belongs, while the Doctor decides what to do with the Master.



  • Tegan reflects that Nyssa believed her father was still alive, struggling against the Master in his body.
  • Turlough has "orange" hair and wears a Russian fur coat. He's unfamiliar with the custom and throwing dirt on a grave.
  • The Master uses the alias "Mr Tase," an obvious anagram of "Master."
  • The Tissue Compression Eliminator has a setting that lets it miniaturise victims without killing them. Turlough is miniaturised and kept in a snuffbox.
  • The Time Lords stripped the Master of his body, but through sheer will he maintained a hold on himself, now existing as darkness. They exiled him to a planet and tried to reprogram his TARDIS, but it broke away and found him.
  • Although the Master cannot enter his TARDIS, it created a construct like a Watcher, which he can manipulate and partially possess.
  • The Master's TARDIS can only jump to Earth. It can materialize around an object, absorbing it, and controlling everything within.
  • After being hypnotised, the Master dresses Tegan in a gown based on his velvet costume.
  • The Master plans to steal one of the Doctor's regenerations by stabbing one of his hearts. The regeneration travels between 12 mirrors, one of each for the Master's past selves so that it reaches him as he is now, additionally sacrificing humans who are burned by the regeneration energy.
  • When the Doctor shatters the mirrors, the dark shapes within attack the Master, all of them fighting for the regeneration before it flies back to the Doctor.
  • After the "darkness" Master merges with the Watcher, he appears as his decayed self, before stealing a bit from each of his past selves to regain his "Tremas" appearance. The Doctor suspects that the Master knew his regeneration would "reject" him.


to be added