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The World Beyond the Trees was the first story of the seventh season of Big Finish Productions' Short Trips series.

Unlike most Short Trips stories, this story was written in the style of a Companion Chronicle, with the main character recounting the events of the adventure into a tape recorder.

Publisher's summary[]

MedTech Chenka is alone. No Doctor. No TARDIS. No Molly O'Sullivan. But the strange environment she's stranded in is about to get even stranger, with Liv the only one who can help out. There's a message here, for her, and for someone very far away...


Liv talks to her father on a recording and recounts her adventures with the Doctor so far. She tells him about the Doctor and that they are 'close associates'. She tells him about Molly and that they are staying in the Baker Street house.

Liv talks about a dream in which she is in a Rose garden with the Doctor; he tells her they don't have long and he needs her to listen, he's made arrangements and crossed his own timeline but needs her help. He tells her to concentrate. He tells her to find the Damascus project but to do this she must 'find the fourth tree and knock four times'. A flock of dark birds then dive on the Doctor and Liv wakes up.

Liv walks into the kitchen and sees Molly in a trance-like state, she examines her and discovers that nothing is physically wrong with her. She checks all electronic devices and only sees or hears static. She leaves the house and notices that the condition has affected everyone but her. She decides to take a stroll through the city.

In Regent’s Park Liv observes that animals seem to be braver than usual and have come out into public areas while all the humans are asleep. Liv sees a young woman walking fast ahead of her, as if looking for something. She follows her and watches her silently however the woman eventually sees her. The woman runs away from Liv. Liv runs after her and eventually catches up.

Liv observes that she is no threat and introduces herself to the woman, the woman introduces herself back as Lilla. Liv asks if what caused this is alien and Lilla tells her that it is, and she is also an alien. Liv tells Lilla that she is from the future and Lilla theorizes that the this may be stopping the 'Listlesness' field' affecting her. Lilla tells Liv she must reach the Damascus project. The pair hear a sound that they identify as a transportation beam and Lilla tells Liv that the Milieu have found her. She asks Liv if she can trust her and gives her a psychic vision.

The vision shows her Lilla's life: she lived with her father as a single parent. He is a scientist who has created the 'listlessness device'. There is a political shift on the planet and the pair have to flee to Earth with their machine. They hide themselves in the population and try their best to blend in however the authorities learn of their presence. They steal the listlessness device from him. Her father grows ill and eventually dies in Lilla's arms. Aliens come looking for her and Lilla activates the Listlesness field as a form of distraction.

Lilla tells Liv she needs to get to the Damascus project to escape from Earth and her and Liv run to find it. They find the fourth tree and knock on it four times, this activates a lift where they were standing; they descend into the ground. They arrive in a concrete bunker and see sleeping soldiers, all wearing a mysterious insignia. They find a telephone on a plinth that starts ringing and Lilla answers it. She tells the caller that she was expecting him, or someone like him, and that the Damascus project was never hers in the project. She calls him the prime-minister and tells him she hopes this teaches him a lesson about taking what doesn't belong to him. She puts the phone down.

Lilla tells her that Liv cannot go through the next door as her father made sure 'it' was only for her. She says goodbye and thanks Liv. Liv thanks her back for the 'perspective'. Liv asks if Lilla ever got the chance to say a proper goodbye to her Dad. Lilla asks her the same question back and Liv says no; Lilla tells her that since she travels in time maybe one day she will get the chance to. Lilla walks through the green door and there is a flash of bright light. Liv walks through the door too and finds the room empty.

Liv returns to the surface, on the way finding people waking up. Liv theorises that the Damascus project possessed something that warped time and 'frayed it's edges'. On the surface she encounters a short alien with a weapon and he orders Liv to tell him where the girl is or it will hurt Liv. Liv asks if he is from the Milieu, he says yes, and she informs him he is too late. He teleports away.

Liv walks back to Baker street. Back at the street she tells Molly what happened. Later on, the pair listen to the official explanation for what happened by the government, and are amused by it.

Later that night, Liv dreamed of the Doctor again, back in the garden. He says nothing but smiles at her. She wakes up just before dawn and says she had a strong desire to speak to her father. She tells the recording she misses her father and that Lilla telling her she might get to say goodbye to her father one day stuck with her; she has the feeling she was right.




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