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TARDIS Index File

Nanomorphosis (short story)

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RealWorld
Nanomorphosis
Doctor: Fourth Doctor
Companion(s): Sarah, Harry
Main setting: Prague, 24th century
Key crew
Writer: Stephen Dedman
Release details
Part of: Short Trips: Destination Prague
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Short Trips short stories
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Nanomorphosis was the ninth short story in the Short Trips anthology Short Trips: Destination Prague. It was written by Stephen Dedman. It featured the Fourth Doctor, Sarah Jane Smith and Harry Sullivan.

Summary Edit

The Doctor, Harry and Sarah materialise inside a museum full of torture devices. They learn they are in Prague in the 24th century. They are horrified to find a real dead body on one of the devices. A police officer named Rychtar approaches them and identifies the body as Professor Hrabal. He takes the trio in for questioning, asking them if they would consent to a psychoprobe. The Doctor refuses.

While imprisoned, the Doctor explains to his companions that in the 24th century, most of Prague, including Rychtar, are nanomorph robots. This allows people and things to appear anywhere in the city at any time. The only humans living in the city are mostly students.

Rychtar appears and releases the trio, having confirmed that Hrabal was murdered by robots. The Doctor and his friends are still under suspicion, but Rychtar wants their help in solving the murder. Suspects for the crime include any students whom Hrabal had turned down for a position.

While Harry does an autopsy on Hrabal, Rychtar takes the Doctor and Sarah to the home of Bedrich Polak, who was recently given a job by Hrabal. He is not home but there is a huge insect in his place. The Doctor confirms that this insect is indeed Polak. Polak is still sentient but can't communicate verbally. The Doctor begins to suspect that the crimes have been suggested by the works of Franz Kafka.

Sarah fetches Harry, and on their way back to the Doctor a large statue of Kafka begins chasing them. It follows them to Polak's home but the group escape it. As they head for the museum, Polak sees a woman painting a nearby scene and grabs her paint. He begins to write a name, "JOSEF K", but he is killed by a large building that steps on him.

The Doctor explains that the murderer knows something about Kafka — the torture device, the type of bug, the statues — are all related to Kafka or his works. There are six students named Josef K as suspects, two of whom, Josef Kriz and Josef Kohout, applied for the same job as Polak. A chance remark by Sarah about dancing gives the Doctor an idea.

He sets up a dance and invites the six suspects. As the two main suspects begin to dance, the Doctor realises that Kohout, as a biologist, would be the only one to recognise the now-extinct species of bug that Polak had become. Kohout hears this and tries to escape but is caught by the nanomorph police.

Characters Edit

References Edit

Notes Edit

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Continuity Edit

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