Turnabout is Fair Play (short story)

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Turnabout is Fair Play was the tenth short story in the Short Trips anthology Short Trips and Side Steps. It was written by Graeme Burk. It featured the Sixth Doctor and Peri Brown.


The Doctor and Peri are in the TARDIS console room when the console explodes. Peri wakes to find herself in the Doctor's body, and there is no trace of him (presumably in her body). The scanner shows only static, so Peri leaves the TARDIS.

She finds herself on a rocky planet named Volnex VI. She finds footsteps that look like hers, and follows them, hoping to find the Doctor. Four men, Volnexians, approach her. She notices their glassy-eyed stares. They think she's the Doctor, so they knock her out and take her away.

Peri finds herself in a cave. She is brought to her captor, the Javaman. He too thinks she's the Doctor. He tells her he is working on the Dorganator, a machine that emits theta-waves. He is controlling the Volnexians with his machine. He used the machine to bring the TARDIS to this planet. Peri tries to tell him she and the Doctor switched bodies, probably caused by his machine, but he tells her corporelectroscopy is impossible.

The Javaman wants the secrets of time travel from the Doctor, and, to get "his" cooperation, uses his machine on one of the Volnexians. He stops short of killing the man, and sends Peri back to the cave to consider his request.

In the cave, Peri tries to figure out a plan. She looks in the Doctor's pockets, finding a paper clip, a cigarette lighter, and a firecracker, among other things. She then notices that a poppy plant is growing in the cave.

Peri suggests to the Javaman that they have tea. As they talk, she distracts him long enough to put the dried seed pod in his tea. She then begins to fake the explanation of time travel. However, the drugged tea fails to affect the Javaman, and he sees through her gibberish. She goes for plan B, grabbing the firecracker. She lights it and throws it near the Javaman's throne, and runs for the cave mouth. She tells the Volnexians, who are now free from the machine's control, to run. The cave crumbles, and the Javaman is trapped inside.

Peri makes her way to the TARDIS, and suddenly finds herself in the TARDIS, back in her own body. A few minutes later, the Doctor strolls in. He explains that while she was unconscious he went to investigate. He sabotaged the Dorganator, though he admits Peri helped a little with the firecracker.




  • This story is narrated by Peri.