The Latest Doctor Who Short Finds the Doctor in a Moment of Quiet Mercy

From the most recent Doctor Who short.
From the most recent Doctor Who short.
Illustration: YouTube/BBC/Christopher Jones

“She asked me if I knew what mercy was.”

Doctor Who continues its lockdown life with a new YouTube short, this one designed as an epilogue to a villain from Doctor Who’s past. Set to follow from “Human Nature” and “The Family of Blood”, two episodes from David Tennant’s run as the Tenth Doctor, they share what ended up happening (or what will happen? Time, etc.) to a member of the Family of Blood. And it’s gorgeous.


This particular story, written by Paul Cornell and read by Lauren Wilson, is about Lucy Cartwright, the daughter of the family. In the original episodes, the Doctor doles out a sharp punishment for her role in her family’s cruelty: she’s trapped in every mirror, all at once, forever. But that apparently wasn’t the end of the story, or of the Doctor’s involvement in Lucy’s life.

This particular moment is what happens when Lucy meets another incarnation of the Doctor: the Thirteenth. It’s an electric encounter, and I won’t spoil anything more about it, except to say that I was genuinely moved.

The fantastic artwork in the short, by the by, is by Christopher Jones. And you can check out the Doctor Who: Lockdown channel for the rest of the show’s quarantine output.

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io9 Weekend Editor. Videogame writer at other places. Queer nerd girl.



Buried the lede there, Julie!

The Doctor, at some point, finally was or will be Ginger!

...but, seriously, great little short story. Especially since it doesn’t try to sugarcoat or excuse the crimes of the girl, doesn’t try to redeem her.

I mean, what’s the point of mercy, if you only give it to those you think deserve it?