|Printed in:||DWM 169|
|An Incident Concerning the Continual Bombardment of the Phobos Colony||Untitled (DWM 171)|
On an overcast day, on a mid-winter evening, at the turn of the millenia, a man is feeling bitter as he locks up the soon-to-be-closed observatory at Greenwich where he has worked as a research scientist since the 1960s. Walking home, he is befriended by a strange little man who confides in him that the King will have it open again soon and reflects on the passing of time. They chat further as the little man walks him back to the village, both taking shelter under his umbrella from the rain. The little man, who seems somehow familiar, explains that while his friend Ace was shopping for a pair of Doc Martens he had decided to call on an old friend who happened to be out at the time.
Before they go their separate ways, the little man is asked if they've met before. With a smile, he says "Perhaps — when you were a teacher", and walks off, leaving the man to go home to his wife. A short while later, seated by an open fire, his wife Barbara hands over a present that was left for him earlier in the day by a strange man. Inside is a Coal Hill School tie — a reminder of his first teaching job and the strange events that had first brought the two of them together.
- Seventh Doctor (identity not disclosed)
- Ian Chesterton (unnamed narrator)
- Barbara Wright (referred to only as 'Barbara')
- Ace is accompanying the Doctor on his current travels.
- London is the best place to buy Doc Martens boots.
- At some point, the monarch will be male. (Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart makes a reference to "the King" in TV: Battlefield, but this may have been just a figure of speech.)
- Barbara and Ian live in Greenwich.
- This story is told in the first person, and while the narrator's name is never given, it is implied that the story is told by Ian Chesterton, a former teacher at Coal Hill School who left with fellow teacher Barbara Wright, whom he eventually married.
- As in most other stories depicting or describing Ian and Barbara's lives after they left the TARDIS in 1965 (TV: The Chase), they appear noticeably older, contradicting the rumour that they had not aged since the 1960s, as related by Sarah Jane Smith to Clyde Langer and Rani Chandra. (TV: Death of the Doctor)
- The First Doctor destroyed Ian's Coal Hill School tie in an acid pool on Vortis. (TV: The Web Planet)