a real world point of view
|What I Did on My Christmas Holidays by Sally Sparrow|
|Main setting:||Devon, 2005|
|Printed in:||Doctor Who Annual 2006|
|Doctor Who annual|
|Pitter-Patter||Down the Rabbit Hole|
- You may be looking for the piece of Christmas homework.
What I Did on My Christmas Holidays by Sally Sparrow was a short story by Steven Moffat. It was the fourth story published in the 2006 Doctor Who Annual. It was later adapted as the TV episode Blink, again by Moffat. It is also available online via the BBC's Doctor Who website.
Sally Sparrow is a child who is contacted by the Ninth Doctor after he gets stuck at her mum's party after the TARDIS burps. The Doctor proceeds to write messages under Sally's wallpaper in her room and send her a video containing messages to Sally from Sally's mum's party.
Twelve-year-old Sally Sparrow is assigned to write the story of her Christmas holidays for her English homework. While staying with her aunt in Devon, she starts to pick at the peeling wallpaper in her guest room, and finds a message specifically written to her, asking for help -- and yet dated Christmas Eve 1985, eight years before she was born. In a box of photographs, she finds a picture of that year's Christmas party, in which a man is holding up a sign asking her for help. Further instructions are written under the wallpaper, and Sally follows them and thinks up a random number, which she finds carved into the bark of the furthest tree in the garden. Thus convinced this is really happening, Sally follows the instructions behind the wallpaper and tracks down a videotape in which the man, the Doctor, speaks directly to her, explaining that his time machine 'burped' and leapt ahead twenty years in time, leaving him stranded in 1985. He can communicate with Sally because he’s reading the story she’s going to write for her Christmas homework, which he claims was given to him by a beautiful female spy who saved his life some time in the future. As Sally watches, the Doctor’s TARDIS materialises on the screen behind him -- and Sally’s future self, two hours older, steps out, having followed the instructions on the video and piloted the TARDIS back to the Doctor. Sally writes up the story for her homework, after which she will go out to the shed where the TARDIS is waiting; she is inspired now that she knows what her future holds, for the Doctor has told her that the beautiful female spy from the future was named Sally Sparrow.
- Ninth Doctor
- Sally Sparrow
- Sally Sparrow's Aunt
- Uncle Hugh
- Mary Phillips
- Mrs Medford
- Miss Telfer
to be added
- This story was later adapted into the TV story Blink. The character remains named Sally Sparrow. Steven Moffat changed the character into an adult as he decreed that children did not like to watch other children acting. The same premise of communication across time using pre-recorded messages also remains, as does the idea of the Doctor separated from the TARDIS.
- It is the first and, to date, only piece of Doctor Who short fiction to be adapted as an episode (a New Adventures novel and a Big Finish audio drama have also been adapted for TV).
- This is the only officially licensed Ninth Doctor story in which the Doctor is not depicted as travelling with Rose Tyler.
- Placing this story in established canon is challenging. The Ninth Doctor is travelling without a companion, yet TV: Rose has the Doctor meeting Rose Tyler for the first time, with dialogue regarding his appearance implying this is not long after his most recent regeneration. While it's still possible this story takes place before the events of Rose, it's also possible that, just as GAME: Attack of the Graske takes place while Rose is briefly on her own, this story takes place during an interval in which the Doctor, for reasons not mentioned, is similarly temporarily separated from Rose Tyler.