The Doctor wears Valentino

A Doctor Who short story by Eliver

'Let's see. Italy-Italy-Italy… Yes! Italy!' the Doctor declared, fiddling with the levers and switches on the Tardis console. 'Two thousand and… something.'

With a satisfied smile, he listened as the Tardis groaned her way through space-and-time to reach her destination. Then, lost in thought, he ran his hands over his battered velvet coat.

'Time to retire, my old friend' he muttered with affection, poking a finger through a hole in the fabric inside his right pocket.

Hopefully, he would be in Milan just in time for the beginning of the Winter Sales season.


It was an unusually warm winter, even for Italy, and the January sky was clear blue, with thin streaks of white. In Milan, however, nobody seemed to care. The city buzzed with its usual frenetic business activity, and enjoying a beautiful morning was considered a waste of time. And money.

In Palestro Park, no one noticed the blooming trees, just as no one noticed an odd blue cabin materialising beside a large oak tree by the duck pond.

'Oh, my god!' Elisa whispered to herself, stopping abruptly to stare wide eyed at the life-size Tardis prop someone had built in Palestro Park. 'I totally love it!'

But what in hell was a Tardis prop doing there?

Maybe the BBC is doing some external shots for the new series! she thought.

Whatever the reason, Elisa couldn't help but stare. She had to have a picture of herself with that awesome-looking Tardis. So she looked around, in search of someone she could trust with her camera phone.

At last, she spotted a familiar face. Well, familiar wasn't the word she was looking for, but close enough. She felt like she knew him, but couldn't place him clearly. He was lean and tall, with short wavy black hair, soft blue eyes and a full mouth in a pale face.

He was wearing a dark coat, and had a long scarf around his neck. A striped scarf.

Ewwww… Where did he get that? She thought, cringing with aesthetic disgust.

But who was he? She knew she was terrible at recognizing people.

Was he a co-worker of hers? Nah. A TV journalist, maybe. No, not a chance.

'Well, whatever' she told herself, and joined him on the shore of the duck pond.

He was feeding the ducks with lazy gestures.

'Hey' she said. He turned to face her. His eyes were both kind and sharp. 'Could you please take a picture of me with that…'

The word Tardis stuck in her throat like a fish bone.

In her mind, a face and a name had suddenly clicked together. Paul McGann.

That was it! So the BBC was really filming something incognito! But why the Eighth Doctor and not Ten?

She realised she was still staring at him, caught in mid sentence, and blushed.

'I'm so… so sorry, sir' she stammered in English. 'I didn't mean to bother you, Mr McGann. I didn't realise it was you. I'll just be…'

The British actor looked slightly amused.

'Excuse me, miss. What did you just call me?' he inquired, very politely.

Oh, god. He was so British she could faint.

'Mr McGann' she repeated, in a small voice. 'You are Paul McGann, the actor, right? I mean, the Eighth Doctor, you know…'

At that, the man looked deeply puzzled.

'The Doctor?' he asked, frowning. 'You know about the Doctor?'

'Of course I know the Doctor!' she replied, feeling a little offended.

Ok, Doctor Who fans weren't that many in Italy, but they knew their Doctors and companions, just like any other fan would. And she was a true fan.

The man gave her a concerned look.

'Well, miss… What is your name?'


'Well, Elisa. I'm afraid I'm not who you think I am' he said, studying her.

'Yeah, right' she said, smiling. 'Don't worry, I won't tell the press.'

He dropped the last breadcrumbs in the water.

'I see you're not easily convinced' he said, crushing the small paper bag in his elegant hand. 'Follow me, then. Shops open in ten minutes and I wouldn't want to be late.'

She followed him without thinking. She'd be late for work, but she couldn't care less.

She was going shopping with the Eighth Doctor!