Happy Christmas, Doctor brings The Doctor and friends back to Killala and a reunion with Susan and Miche. This story was harder to write than it should have been, because real life kept interfering with it. But it was always meant to be quite episodic, with one thing following another. They arrive, The Doctor chats with elderly Mrs Whelan, who talks about the Christmas hamper, he gives them a trip of a lifetime around the world on the way to the Parish Hall. Then the dance, the trip to get the presents, delivering the hamper, The Doctor as Father Christmas. This was never meant to be an adventure. Significantly, The Doctor comments in Voyage of the Damned, the 2007 Christmas special, that his Christmases are always explosive. I wanted to give him a peaceful Christmas with friends, and nothing much happening, no crisis worse than the party Santa not turning up.



EXCEPT for the last bit. The Irish tradition of leaving a candle in the window to guide the Holy Family on their journey is, I think, a perfectly charming one, and there are a lot of short stories in Irish literature that play on that tradition. The most famous, is The Mother, by Patrick Pearse. This was my take on it. The idea of The Doctor being midwife in the stable caused a split in my regular readership. Most thought it was a lovely idea. A few felt it was blasphemous. Anyone who thinks that probably wouldn’t appreciate the comment by The Doctor in Voyage of The Damned ‘Long story, I should know. I got the last room’. It’s not blasphemous. It’s just a variation on the theme.


The Mother