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"Chinese whispers" was a colloquialism for a phenomenon of oral communication. As the First Doctor once tried to explain to James, Hebron and Daniel, a story could get very confused as it was told and retold. If, to give the Doctor's example, a man told two other men that he had three oxen and a box that travels through space, a person several steps away from the original two men might say that the original man had ten oxen and a box that travelled in time. (PROSE: Byzantium!) The Tenth Doctor compared the history of the planet Messaline to the game. (TV: The Doctor's Daughter)