Old Flames was the second short story in the Short Trips anthology Short Trips. It was written by Paul Magrs. It featured the Fourth Doctor and Sarah Jane Smith. It also saw the debut of Iris Wildthyme, a character who would eventually become a pastiche of the Doctor and gain her own audio range.
The Doctor and Sarah are staying at the home of Rector Adams, who has rescued the Doctor from near-drowning. The rector has received an invitation to Lady Huntingdon's ball and invites the Doctor and Sarah to accompany him. The Doctor isn't interested and leaves for the TARDIS with Sarah. However, on the way, he discovers a double-decker bus in the woods and decides to attend the ball after all.
At the ball, the Doctor sees Iris Wildthyme and talks with her while Sarah dances with a young man named Turner. Turner's conversation leads Sarah to suspect he is not from this time, and he admits he travels with Iris.
The Doctor speaks with the hostess of the ball, Lady Huntingdon. She gives this ball annually to find suitors for her granddaughter Bella. Whoever marries Bella will inherit Lady Huntingdon's estate. Bella dances first with the Doctor and then with Turner.
At the end of the ball, the Doctor takes a drunk Iris home. She admits that her plan is for Turner to marry Bella and inherit the estate. The Doctor discovers that the double-decker bus is Iris' TARDIS. Meanwhile, Rector Adams leaves the ball without Sarah, who has decided to stay for a bit. She follows Bella and Turner as they sneak out into the garden.
The Doctor and Iris are attacked in her TARDIS by some large creature. They scare it away with some flares. Turner drives Sarah home, but en route they find the mauled body of the rector.
The next day, Iris, Turner, Sarah and the Doctor are dining at Lady Huntingdon's estate. Lady Huntingdon tells Iris that she will allow Turner to marry Bella, but she wants something in return - Iris' TARDIS. She admits to not being from this time and place. Meanwhile Bella tells Sarah that her grandmother is the one who killed the rector.
Angered by Iris' refusal to turn over her TARDIS, Lady Huntingdon attacks Iris. Bella transforms into a tiger to stop her grandmother, who also transforms and runs off to Iris' TARDIS. The Doctor and Iris reach the TARDIS but Iris is attacked by Lady Huntingdon. The Doctor finds a Time Lord message carrier in Iris' TARDIS and traps Lady Huntingdon in it.
Next morning, Iris has left in her TARDIS, leaving Turner behind. Bella agrees to marry him.
- Fourth Doctor
- Sarah Jane Smith
- Iris Wildthyme
- Captain Turner
- Bella Huntingdon
- Lady Huntingdon
- Rector Adams
- Sarah believes that the Doctor is more reckless than his previous incarnation.
- The Doctor reads Adams' copy of John Donne while he recuperates.
- This story marks the first appearance of Iris Wildthyme in any Doctor Who-related media. (A different version of Iris previously appeared in Paul Magrs' "Phoenix Court" novels.)
- An audio version of this story, read by Nicholas Courtney and Sophie Aldred, was included on the BBC Audiobooks MP3-CD Tales from the TARDIS Volume 1, and subsequent audio CD Tales from the TARDIS.
- Iris says of Sarah that "she's not the one I didn't get on with". This may be a reference to the Christmas which she spent with the Doctor's fifth incarnation and his companions Adric, Nyssa and Tegan Jovanka in the TARDIS. She was not fond of Tegan, later describing her as "that shrill Australian woman." (AUDIO: Excelis Dawns)
- Sarah recalls meeting the Exxilons. (TV: Death to the Daleks)
- The Doctor recalls Metebelis III (TV: The Green Death, TV: Planet of the Spiders) and the Time Lords sending him to Solos. (TV: The Mutants)
- Iris would recall this encounter with the Fourth Doctor and Sarah when she met the Doctor's third incarnation and Jo Grant in England in the 1970s. (PROSE: Verdigris)