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TARDIS Index File

Truth or Consequences (short story)

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Truth or Consequences
Doctor: The Doctor
Featuring: One-eyed reader
Key crew
Lead writer: Steven Moffat
Other writers: Catherine Tregenna, Mark Gatiss, Sarah Dollard, Peter Harness, Toby Whithouse and Jamie Mathieson
Read by: Moffat, Tregenna, Gatiss, Dollard, Harness, Whithouse and Mathieson
Release details
Platform: Facebook, YouTube
Release date: 13 January 2016
Full video
Creating A Story With Series 9 Writers - Doctor Who02:00

Creating A Story With Series 9 Writers - Doctor Who

You may wish to consult Truth or Consequences for other, similarly-named pages.

On 13 January 2016, the Doctor Who Facebook page released a video where "the writing team of Series 9 play a game of Truth or Consequences." It was subsequently released to YouTube, as well.

Aside from "lead writer" Steven Moffat, each writer contributed one passage to the narrative, with only the previous passage for reference. In other words, Mark Gatiss had no idea what anybody had written prior to Catherine Tregenna's segment, and so on. Steven Moffat both opened and closed the story, and thus was the only writer to have contributed two distinct passages to this exercise.

At the end of the video, viewers are encouraged to carry on the story in the comments, with the words "Over To You", leading to many fan-made continuations.

Synopsis Edit

A phone call brings the Doctor to an unusual restaurant...

Text Edit

Steven Moffat (1) Edit

The creature disguised as words fired its deadly ray at the unsuspecting reader out of this full stop.

Catherine Tregenna (2) Edit

The one-eyed reader, hellbent on revenge, knew it was time to call the TARDIS. Words ran out in the darkness.

Mark Gatiss (3) Edit

And the TARDIS listened. Listened so hard that the Doctor could hear it thinking, deciding between hope and glory, nirvana or oblivion. "We've arrived."

Sarah Dollard (4) Edit

The moment the Doctor put his hand to the door it was caught by a gust of wind, and blew back in on him, bringing with it the stench of death.

Peter Harness (5) Edit

In the room beyond, a table was set for dinner: candles, cut glass, and decayed dusty food, mouldy and rotten. The Doctor sat himself down at the head of the table, and called expectantly into the darkness.

Toby Whithouse (6) Edit

"Hello! Can I speak to the manager? I want to make a complaint." Silence stretched in the air. Then came a shuffling of feet as the waiter appeared. Or at least, his clothes did. There was no body inside them, just a shell of cloth hanging about an empty fame of air.

Jamie Mathieson (7) Edit

Determined not to be fazed, I made my complaint. The ghost waiter clicked his heels and left. I then realised that the skin on my soup had a belly button.

Steven Moffat (8) Edit

I thought for a moment what the Doctor would do in this situation, and then realised something: the belly button was mine. I ate it.

Characters Edit

References Edit

to be added

Story notes Edit

  • Due to the inherently ridiculous nature of the story's construction, it is riddled with inconsistencies; the piece switches from third-person to first-person narrative partway through, and the role of protagonist switches, without explanation, from the Doctor to an unidentified individual who refers to the Doctor as a separate entity.
  • Before beginning to read, Steven Moffat says of the story as written, "This is a weird story; this is really quite disgusting."
  • He also states that "this is the world's shortest Doctor Who story." The piece totals 237 words.
  • The opening line bears a strong resemblance to the microfiction piece published by Moffat on twitter in 2012: "The worm became an idea, which hid itself in words, until it could climb, devouring all, through the eye of the reader of this tweet."[1]

Ratings Edit

Footnotes Edit

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