Fast return switch

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A fast return switch, fast return button (AUDIO: The Sonomancer [+]Loading...["The Sonomancer (audio story)"]) or fast return lever was a component of a TARDIS that returned the vessel either back through time or to a previous location in space and time.

The Doctor's TARDIS[[edit]]

After leaving Skaro, the First Doctor used his TARDIS' fast return switch in an attempt to return Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright to 1963. However, the spring in the switch became stuck. This would have caused the ship to go back in time to the creation of a solar system. As this would have resulted in its destruction, the TARDIS crashed itself and attempted to warn its crew of the danger, eventually succeeding. (TV: The Edge of Destruction [+]Loading...["The Edge of Destruction (TV story)"])

Later, Susan used the fast return switch to return to Salem Village in 1692 and prevent the witch trials from occurring. Afterwards, the Doctor disconnected the switch. (PROSE: The Witch Hunters [+]Loading...["The Witch Hunters (novel)"])

After the Master tricked the Doctor into giving him the TARDIS key and deceived Ian and Barbara into leading him to the ship, Ian and Barbara were able to overpower the Master as he attempted to steer the modified TARDIS, then used the fast return switch to take the TARDIS back to Destination and reunite with the Doctor and Susan, albeit a couple of years after their departure due to the Master's temporal manipulation experiments. (AUDIO: The Destination Wars [+]Loading...["The Destination Wars (audio story)"])

A further attempt to use the fast return trip to arrive back on 20th century Earth brought the Doctor, Ian, Barbara and Susan back to Skaro, 50 cycles after the time of their last arrival. The switch "expired" in a sudden explosion midway. (AUDIO: Return to Skaro [+]Loading...["Return to Skaro (audio story)"])

The First Doctor once used the fast return switch to return a young boy named Robert to 1965, exploiting the fact that the TARDIS' last few trips had occurred while the ship was linked to the boy's own time machine. (PROSE: The Little Drummer Boy [+]Loading...["The Little Drummer Boy (short story)"])

The Twelfth Doctor mused that the First Doctor would be able to find his way back to Antarctica in 1986 as long as he remembered where the fast return switch was. (PROSE: Twice Upon a Time [+]Loading...["Twice Upon a Time (novelisation)"])

The Second Doctor used the fast return switch to bring King Gavin XXIII and King Conrad together from doppelganger worlds. (PROSE: Twin Piques [+]Loading...["Twin Piques (short story)"])

The Second Doctor used the fast return switch to prevent his TARDIS's collision with the First Doctor's, restoring the timeline by ensuring that the First Doctor, Steven Taylor and Katarina landed on Kembel. (AUDIO: Daughter of the Gods [+]Loading...["Daughter of the Gods (audio story)"])

The Fifth Doctor used the fast return switch to return to Iota 7. (AUDIO: Empire of the Racnoss [+]Loading...["Empire of the Racnoss (audio story)"])

In 1483, Peri Brown and Erimem, who were stranded in that year, received a letter from the Fifth Doctor advising them to use the fast return switch to get back to 1485. When they did so, the TARDIS disappeared. (AUDIO: The Kingmaker [+]Loading...["The Kingmaker (audio story)"])

In January 101 BC, the Sixth Doctor used the fast return switch to return to October 101 BC when he believed he had unintentionally prevented the birth of Julius Caesar. (AUDIO: 100 BC [+]Loading...["100 BC (audio story)"])

The Sixth Doctor used the fast return switch to return Axos into the explosion it was caught in inside the time loop to stop its escape to feast on the energy of the Earth. (AUDIO: The Feast of Axos [+]Loading...["The Feast of Axos (audio story)"])

Jack Harkness used the fast return switch to return to save the memoriad after the Sixth Doctor employed him to save the people there. (AUDIO: Piece of Mind [+]Loading...["Piece of Mind (audio story)"])

Charley used the fast return switch to return to 305 and rescue the Eighth Doctor after he was lost in the past intercepting the Nimon pod on its way to Earth; this return trip also resulted in the Doctor's foe Sebastian Grayle being killed by his own past self, who was disgusted and horrified at what he had become in that future. (AUDIO: Seasons of Fear [+]Loading...["Seasons of Fear (audio story)"])

Later, Charley used the fast return switch to fly the TARDIS back into the path of time torpedoes. (AUDIO: Neverland [+]Loading...["Neverland (audio story)"])

River Song taught Helen Sinclair to use the fast return switch to summon the TARDIS and aid in the Eighth Doctor's escape. (AUDIO: The Sonomancer [+]Loading...["The Sonomancer (audio story)"])

The Eleventh Doctor used the fast return lever in an attempt to get back to London, 17 October 1814 and retrieve Amy Pond. It brought him and Rory instead to Los Angeles, California, circa 33,000 BC, where they encountered a tar pit, a mammoth and a sabre-toothed tiger. (COMIC: The Doctor and the Nurse [+]Loading...["The Doctor and the Nurse (comic story)"])

When the Eleventh Doctor fought the Shroud, Clara Oswald used the fast return switch to draw the Shroud to Venofax, the last planet the TARDIS had visited, where the planet's avocado-tainted sea significantly weakened the Shroud. (PROSE: Shroud of Sorrow [+]Loading...["Shroud of Sorrow (novel)"])

After being embroiled in the 2323 Dalek invasion of Earth, which saw him visit a simulated version of Skaro, the Fourteenth Doctor found that a psychoplasmic copy of the Jules Rimet Trophy, which had been left on the control console during a fake 1966 Dalek invasion of Earth, had melted over the fast return switch, hoping that it would not take him back to Skaro. (COMIC: Liberation of the Daleks [+]Loading...["Liberation of the Daleks (comic story)"]) Nevertheless, the Doctor next found himself diverted to Skaro during the Thousand Year War, where he unwittingly influenced the genesis of the Daleks before making a hasty exit. (TV: Destination: Skaro [+]Loading...["Destination: Skaro (TV story)"])


The Eighth Doctor and River Song used the fast return switch in the Clocksmith's TARDIS, taking them from the ruins of the Science Museum in 2016 to the Tower of London in 1538. (AUDIO: The Doomsday Chronometer [+]Loading...["The Doomsday Chronometer (audio story)"])

The Krulius ship also had a fast return switch. When Rani was teleported to the ship, she managed to escape back to Earth by using the switch. (COMIC: Return of the Krulius [+]Loading...["Return of the Krulius (comic story)"])

The First Doctor built in a Fast Return Switch into Doom's vortex manipulator to prevent the temporal anomaly that had doomed her to die. (PROSE: Out of Time [+]Loading...["Out of Time (short story)"])