The Thousand Years of Christmas was the sixth short story in the Short Trips anthology Short Trips: The History of Christmas. It was written by Simon Bucher-Jones, and featured the Third Doctor and Jo Grant.
The Doctor has managed to get the TARDIS to take him and Jo to Estringokl, where he hopes to show Jo the festival of Planetfall. However, they are faced with a blizzard and an ice-covered planet. The Doctor feels that something is calling him, so he ventures outside, after donning weather-appropriate clothing.
Suddenly, he is hit by a memory of his previous self, decorating the giant tree that stands amid the frozen township. He realises that the Time Lords allowed him to come here because of a promise that he made — he once found a frozen robot on this planet whose job was to decorate the tree each Christmas. But the robot could no longer function, and he made a promise to come back each year to decorate the tree.
He heads back to the TARDIS to tell Jo about the tree, and he takes the TARDIS to the next ten Christmases. The first four, he does the job alone, but Jo convinces him to let her help after that.
On the eleventh Christmas, the sun flares, and the people awaken. The Doctor and Jo sneak away.
A legend exists in Estringokl Town about the Christmas tree, which was supposed to live for a thousand years, but an astronomical calamity caused the planet to freeze. The people were put in cryonic suspension, but the robots created to tend the tree soon died. The legend stated that during the entire time the townspeople were frozen, the tree was somehow decorated each year.
- The Doctor thinks of his companions Susan, Vicki and Steven.
- He remembers Steven's panda and Vicki's name for the Chumbleys.
to be added
- One Christmas, the Doctor visits the planet while on the run from the Time Lords. (TV: The War Games)