The Switching was the seventh short story in the Short Trips anthology Short Trips: Zodiac. It was written by Simon Guerrier. It featured the Third Doctor, Jo Grant, Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, the Master and Captain Mike Yates.
The Doctor wakes up in a strange place. He seems to be in a cell. He finds a device constructed out of spare parts and a bunch of library books in the cell. He speaks out loud and notices his voice sounds funny. He starts to rub his chin and realises he has a beard. He uses a shiny book cover as a mirror, and sees that he is in the Master's body.
Meanwhile, the Master wakes in the Doctor's laboratory. He searches for the TARDIS key but can't find it. Jo comes in and scolds him for his rudeness towards Mike Yates. He admits he may have been rude. He asks Jo if she knows where his TARDIS key is, to which she replies that it is around his neck. After she leaves, he enters the TARDIS, and is surprised at its condition. It appears that the Doctor has taken parts of it apart to try to fix it. He tries to work the controls but since he is in the Doctor's body, and the Time Lords have locked the TARDIS controls from the Doctor, he can't use them.
The Doctor lures his guards into his room and attacks them, but is eventually restrained and locked up again. The Master, acting as the Doctor, goes to see the Brigadier and asks that he have the Master removed to a place where there is a view. The Brigadier tells him about the "Master"'s attempted escape. The Master heads back to the laboratory but is stopped by a soldier and then Sergeant Benton. Benton seems suspicious of him at first, but lets him go.
The Master has realised his escape plan won't work. He knows he will be back in his cell soon. He thinks about leaving a trap in the Doctor's laboratory, but decides not leaving one will confound the Doctor.
Back in his own body, the Master apologises to the guards "he" hurt in his escape attempt. He is later transferred to another facility on the coast.
Mike visits Jo in her room. They discuss the Doctor, who has been acting strangely all day. He has seemed angry at everyone, calling them "blind". Mike tells Jo that before the Doctor became so angry he apologised to him. She is thrilled.
- Third Doctor
- Jo Grant
- Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart
- The Master
- Captain Mike Yates
- Sergeant John Benton
- The Master drinks his tea black, surprising the Brigardier, who knows the Doctor takes milk and sugar.
- The Doctor has been using the time rotor casing of the TARDIS as a waste bin.
- The stories in Short Trips: Zodiac are inspired by the signs of the zodiac. This story's theme is Libra.
- A reading of the story by Duncan Wisbey was released free to subscribers whose subscription included Legend of the Cybermen in June 2010.
- On 29 September 2017, this story was made available for general release as part of the Short Trips Rarities range, with a new cover by Tom Saunders.
- Mike asks Jo out on a date. (TV: The Curse of Peladon)
- While in the Doctor's body, the Master changes the internal configuration of his TARDIS. (TV: The Time Monster)
- After being returned to his own body, the Master borrows a book on the Magna Carta from the Fortress Island prison library. (TV: The King's Demons)
- In his last incarnation, the Master would twice attempt to steal the Doctor's body in order to gain access to his remaining regenerations. (AUDIO: The Two Masters, TV: Doctor Who)