|The Church of Football|
|Main setting:||London, 25 April 1936|
|Part of:||Short Trips: The Centenarian|
|Short Trips short stories|
|Log 384||Incongruous Details|
The Doctor takes Peri to a football match, but when she finds out he already knows the result, she storms off to the restroom. On the way, she collides with a man who is carrying a portfolio, and he drops several photographs. When Peri helps him pick them up, she glances at one of them, so he knocks her out.
When Peri comes to, she is handcuffed to a sink in the restroom. The man, John Scanlon, has put an out-of-order sign on the restroom. A knock is heard on the door, and Scanlon opens it to admit a man with whom he is doing business. The man won't let Scanlon harm Peri, and he wants Scanlon to meet with his "employers" in another room in the stadium.
They head out, with Peri in tow. On the way, they encounter the Doctor. The Doctor and the man stare at each other, then the Doctor falls in with them. When they arrive at a door, Scanlon enters first, to be faced by four men with guns: policemen.
The Doctor pulls Peri aside, and the man, who the Doctor reveals to be his old friend Edward Grainger, takes the portfolio from Scanlon and tries to arrest him. However, Scanlon temporarily blinds the occupants of the room with a flash bomb and makes his escape.
When everyone has recovered, Edward explains that his department has been tracking Scanlon, who is trying to destabilise England. He has photos of King Edward VIII and his mistress, the publication of which Edward fears will cause the fall of the royal family. The Doctor, knowing the future, is more concerned that Scanlon has the photos now, months before they would be made public.
The Doctor, Edward and Peri head back to the restroom. One of the stalls is vibrating, and Peri recognises that it is a time machine. When they enter it, they are confronted by Scanlon and dozens of valuable artefacts. Edward is distracted and wants to retrieve the artefacts and return them to their owners, but the Doctor tells him to focus on the photos. Scanlon arrives and tries to justify his actions. He is from two thousand years in the future, and Earth has a terrible enemy. The time ship belonged to the enemy, and Scanlon has come back to his past to alter Earth's future to ensure it will be ready for this enemy in his time. He feels he deserves a reward for his work, and that's why he stole the artefacts.
The Doctor has Edward and Peri leave the time ship, and he threatens Scanlon with Time Lord punishment if he continues to meddle with time.
Edward is angry that the Doctor has let Scanlon leave, but at least the scandal has been averted for now. Back in the TARDIS, Peri wonders what the difference is between Scanlon's and the Doctor's actions, and the Doctor replies that he fixes things.
- Some of the items stolen by Scanlon include gold urns, a Ming vase, Greek statues, an Egyptian sarcophagus, a Picasso, a Rembrandt and the Mona Lisa.
- Peri used to watch Upstairs, Downstairs.
- As a child, Peri saw the Who and AC/DC at Wembley Stadium and visited Kew Gardens..
- Peri doesn't like ABBA.
- The Doctor takes Peri to the FA Cup match between Sheffield United and Arsenal.
- Peri would rather not go to a cricket match.
- The Doctor misses his sonic screwdriver.
- The king and his mistress were photographed on the royal yacht, Britannia.
- The stories in Short Trips: The Centenarian revolve around Edward Grainger, a man who has met the Doctor more than a dozen times over the course of his life.