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One Step Forward, Two Steps Back single work   short story   science fiction  
Issue Details: First known date: 2008... 2008 One Step Forward, Two Steps Back
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'The Second Doctor and Jamie are enjoying the Atkyan Peace Festival known as Yelyahj. This festival celebrates the Atkyans survival from a plague that killed many of their race one thousand years earlier. Jamie in particular seems very attracted to a young woman called Soji whose parents are providing somewhere for the time travellers to stay. The next morning, however, they wake up in a harsh and militaristic world where their hosts view them with hostility. The Doctor is enrolled as a scientist in a weapons facility and Jamie is conscripted into the army. The Doctor suspects that time is in flux and that somehow only he and Jamie have any memory of the alternative time stream. One thousand years earlier the Fifth Doctor and Turlough manufacture the cure for the plague, but it has a side effect - transforming the peaceful Atkyans into an aggressive and warlike people. The Doctor then manages to come up with a stabilising agent that removes this dreadful side-effect and departs the planet, congratulating himself on his work. The Second Doctor and Jamie now find themselves alone in a giant museum. It tells them that the entire race was wiped out by the Doctor's cure which halved their life expectancy for each generation. The Doctor realises that this must be a reference to a future incarnation of his. Jamie wonders why this future version of the Doctor has not got any memory of the fate of the people he was trying to save. The Doctor replies that once the time stream has settled the memories - and a giant headache - will come flooding back. The memories return to the Fifth Doctor and he tells Turlough what they have done. Turlough asks if they can go back in time to undo their mistakes but the Doctor tells him that time has crystallized already. As a consolation Turlough reminds the Doctor that the Atkyans would have died anyway, or (in the alternative version) become a deeply unpleasant race.'

Source: (

Sighted: 9/6/11

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y separately published work icon Defining Patterns : A Short-Story Anthology Ian Farrington (editor), Maidenhead : Big Finish Productions , 2008 Z1780506 2008 anthology short story science fiction

    'The known universe is home to countless trillions of lives, all interweaving with each other and affecting the line of history. When someone makes a decision, no matter how significant or seemingly irrelevant, they cause unknown effects throughout the ages ...

    Perhaps other, unreachable, factors at are play too: does the universe have a destiny? Are we all predetermined to follow a particular path? Do we reap what we sow or is it a case of what will be will be? Are coincidences really just that, or do we miss their deeper meanings?

    Everywhere he looks, the Doctor sees the same patterns - the same events, decisions and actions cropping up again and again. Look at the bigger picture, however, and maybe - just maybe - you'll see how the universe works. How the universe lives...

    But, as the Doctor and his companions discover, are these patterns really there? Or do we, by the very nature of seeing them, define them?'

    Source: ( Sighted: 20/5/11

    Maidenhead : Big Finish Productions , 2008
Last amended 4 Aug 2011 14:49:44