Jodie Whittaker’s TARDIS team gets stuck in isolation in new Doctor Who story

Told from the perspective of Mandip Gill’s Yaz, The Shadow Passes is written by former series writer Paul Cornell

Jodie Whittaker and Mandip Gill in Doctor Who (BBC)

What would the Doctor do in quarantine or lockdown? That’s the question posited by a new Doctor Who short story released online this week, which sees Jodie Whittaker’s time-traveller and her companions trapped in an underground shelter for three weeks – in a clear mirror to the situation most of the world is currently stuck in.


Written by Paul Cornell (who penned Father’s Day, The Family of Blood and Human Nature alongside many Doctor Who novels and pieces of spin-off material), the new story follows in the footsteps of previous online tales from writers like Russell T Davies, Steven Moffat, Chris Chibnall and Pete McTighe.

It tells of an adventure gone wrong when a “Death Moon” on the planet Calapia forces the TARDIS team to shelter with the indigenous population.

You can read a short extract from the story, which is narrated by Mandip Gill’s character Yaz, below:

The Calapian who’d opened the door of the shelter when they’d knocked on it had been shocked to find there were still tourists who didn’t know about the Death Moon that passed over the planet every 64 years. They had quickly ushered the Doctor and friends inside and had assigned them a room. They’d asked if they had any hats and had seemed pleasantly surprised when they hadn’t. Hat storage alone, they’d said, was taking up a whole corridor down here.

‘How long’s it going to be? I mean, this is a moon, that’ll come and go in a night, yeah?’ Ryan had asked.

The Calapian had looked awkward on all six of its faces. Then it had told them they would be down here for three of their Earth weeks. There were only minutes before the passage would begin. They had had no hope of getting back to the TARDIS. 

‘Brilliant,’ the Doctor had said, a word which had been completely at odds with the sort of words Yaz had been about to utter. It hadn’t matched the looks on the faces of Graham and Ryan either. ‘Three weeks of indoor games! Result!’

You can read the rest of the story online here, but rest assured it’s a fairly poignant, warm-hearted tale of the Doctor getting her companions through a difficult period of isolation, with a few clever references to Cornell’s own episodes thrown in.

And of course, it’s not long before Graham, Ryan and Yaz are also doing their bit to help out their hosts, while Yaz learns a little bit more about the Doctor’s view of herself.

In other words it’s yet more perfect Doctor Who distraction during this long, strange period of lockdown and pandemic. Fingers crossed the production team can keep this material coming.


Doctor Who returns to BBC One in late 2020/ early 2021. Want something to watch today? Check out our TV Guide