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To Kill a Nandi Bear was the fifteenth short story in the Short Trips anthology Short Trips: Past Tense. It was written by Paul Williams. It featured the Fourth Doctor, Sarah Jane Smith and Harry Sullivan.


The TARDIS materialises in Nyasaland, later to be known as Malawi. The Doctor, Sarah and Harry exit. They find a dead body, which Harry begins to examine. A group of Africas approaches, armed with spears. The first man, the chief, identifies the dead man as Mposi. A second man, the shaman, thinks Mposi was killed by a duba, also known as a Nandi bear, and also thinks that the Doctor and his friends summoned the duba to kill Mposi. The chief, a fair man, takes up Harry's offer that they get rid of the duba. Sarah will remain in the village while the Doctor and Harry hunt the duba. The chief gives them one day.

Before leaving to hunt the duba, Harry and the Doctor are fed in the chief's hut. Harry thinks the chief should tell his people that the duba is not real, but the chief replies that the shaman has much power in the tribe.

Sarah, meanwhile, is waited on in another hut by a girl, who she learns is the daughter of Mposi.

The Doctor retrieves Sarah, and tells the tribe that he needs to perform his magic to rid them of the duba. The Doctor begins to chant; a strange creature appears, and the Doctor follows it. Sarah and the tribe follow. The Doctor herds the creature towards the TARDIS, and the creature opens the door with a key. The Doctor calls the creature evil, and tells the tribe he and Sarah must shut the creature in the box. The TARDIS dematerialises.

Inside the TARDIS, Harry has removed the Bigfoot costume that he had worn. The Doctor is unhappy that they had to deceive the tribe, setting back their progress. Sarah notes that the chief must have known that the Harry duba was false.

The chief admits to his tribe that he knew the creature was the third stranger. Urged on by the shaman, the tribe attacks and kills the chief. After they leave, a duba approaches the dead body.



  • As they are in Africa, Harry hopes to see lions.
  • The Doctor tells his companions that they are in what will be Nyasaland in four hundred years, that they know of as Malawi.
  • The Doctor notes that some people think "duba" is another name for hyena.