DW: A Matter Of Time

The Doctor enters the TARDIS carrying a white envelope.  He shakes it, sniffs at the seal, and even holds it up to his ear as if it might have an audible chronometric signature.

Finally he tears open the envelope and unfolds the single-page letter held within.  He reads it aloud.

“Dear Doctor,

I am an artist struggling with procrastination.  Every time I finish one task it seems that I have just minutes to spare before moving on to the next one because I put it off too long.

I am writing to ask if you know a technique that will help me to overcome this weakness.

Yours sincerely,

Hmm, what’s that say?”

The Doctor puts on his glasses and tries to read the signature but to no avail.

“Right, well I assume you’ve been trying the Pomodoro Technique.”

He holds up three red pomodoro timers and winds them to twenty minutes.

“Now then, I’m going to put this one in my pocket for later, and the other two I’m going to lob over each shoulder.”

The two pomodoros sail over opposite sides of the TARDIS console, bounce and skitter to a stop.  The Doctor walks over to the one that he threw to the left and then looks at the console.

“Ah yes, of course!”

He inspects the controls with his eyebrows scrunched up.

“Now then, I’m going to have the TARDIS plot a course to the time when you complete your first task, while it’s doing that I’m going to run off and get a cuppa.”

The TARDIS console lights up as the Doctor disappears off to the kitchen, warning lights blinking.

As the Doctor finally returns, sipping from a china teacup on a saucer, the TARDIS starts to shake and alarms start to blare.

“What?!  I was only gone a few minutes!”

He checks the pomodoro timer in his pocket.  Ten minutes remain on the timer.

He pushes controls, sparks flying as the TARDIS complains bitterly about their current predicament.

“This doesn’t make any sense!”

The Doctor runs to the TARDIS door and flings it open, his eyes opening wide with comprehension.  “Oh, right.”

“So, little problem.  I had the TARDIS unwittingly fly to well, never.  It’s not a point in space and time as much as it is a big hole where things fall through and are never seen again.”

He pauses to take a gulp from his cup but then spits it out.  “Ugh.  See it’s started already.  That cup of tea never had time to brew, it’s just hot water now.”

“How to escape a big hole of never… hmm.  Good question.  Little bit pressed for time.”

He checks the pomodoro again.  Five minutes are all that is left.

“Also, all this exposition seems to be eating up what little time the TARDIS and I have left so, without here’s what I need you to do.”

The Doctor picks up a pen and a letter pad and starts scribbling furiously.

“Dear Procrastinating Artist,

Time is always against you, even when it seems like it isn’t.  Putting off that task moves it progressively closer to the precipice of never being completed.  And the more you have to do, the more that they all tend to gather on that knife edge.

You may think that going to put the kettle on to make a cup of tea is a harmless, easy task that won’t push anything over into never but five, ten, twenty minutes, all that time is precious.

Even the best of us need a bit of time off now and then.  To read good books, contemplate the great wonder of existence, and just rest our weary eyes.

This is not that time though.  This is a time for a phrase of great power and wisdom and consolation to the soul in times of need.


The Doctor.”

Just then there is a knocking at the door.  Four knocks, evenly spaced.  The Doctor takes his letter, hurriedly folds it and stuffs it in an envelope as he runs over to answer it.

His frown at the unexpected interruption turns to delight as he sees a postman outside the door, just floating there.

“Er, I’m here to pick up a letter?” the postman says uncertainly.

“Of course you are!” the Doctor exclaims, handing over his envelope.

The TARDIS stops shaking and the blackness outside swirls and is gradually replaced by the familiar time vortex.

“Right then.  Back to work,” the Doctor says as he closes the door and walks back to the console.  Just then, the three pomodoros trill the end of the twenty minutes.

“Yes yes, with seconds to spare, I know,” he mutters.