Three Steps to the Left was a Brief Encounter short story published in Doctor Who Magazine 198. It was a pseudo-historical story that revolved around the actual event of Skylab's unceremonious 1979 return to Earth.

Summary[edit | edit source]

Paul Forbes is in trouble. Foolishly, he has chosen to drive across the Gibson Desert on an ill-advised summer trip between Darwin and Alice Springs. His Land Rover doesn't like it. After it overheats near Barrow Creek, he is forced to stop in the blazing sun in the hopes that his engine will somehow cool down.

In the distance, what he assumes is a mirage forms before his eyes. Why, though, is it in the form of a British police box? A man pops out of the box and asks him to move three steps to the left. A baffled Forbes complies — just in time to avoid being struck by a chunk of falling Skylab.

The man pops back inside the police box, muttering something about someone named Ace who hates it when he does this sort of thing because she thinks he's just showing off.

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