This month’s episode of Into the Archives is a Christmas special featuring Brittany Shropshire of the In Hindsight Podcast! In this episode we discuss two delightful Doctor Who Christmas fics, “Strays” by multifanwho and “Home for Christmas” by RiversOfMars, both of which can be found on Ao3. Put your headphones on and get ready for wibbly wobbly cat-filled fun! Happy holidays and stay safe 😍
Talia Franks: Hello and welcome to Into the Archives. Today, I’m joined by a special guest Brittany Shropshire. Brittany is a social worker, proud cat mom, and co-host of the In Hindsight podcast, a weekly podcast in which she reviews and dissects her favorite childhood movies and TV shows with co-hosts, Andrea and Jazmin. Brit, it’s great having you on the show.
Brittany Shropshire: Thank you. I’m so excited to be here. Yeah, I’m super excited.
Talia Franks: Yeah. I’m very excited to have you on I am just excited to talk to you about, I mean, I’m just excited to talk to you cause I always like talking to you, but (Brittany and Talia laugh)
Talia Franks: I’m excited to talk to you
Brittany Shropshire: Same
Talia Franks: about fandom and fanfiction and Christmas
Brittany Shropshire: my favorites. (Brittany laughs)
Talia Franks: And we’re gonna be talking about Doctor Who today, which we both love. (Transition music)
Talia Franks: So, I mentioned in your little intro, you have a podcast.
Brittany Shropshire: Yes. I am very new to the podcast life. I, me and two of my best friends over the pandemic, we have watched a couple of different reaction videos of people reviewing things. And one day we were like, we should do this. And that was it. And then later, um, one of the, I think Andrea is the one who was like, we should make it a podcast.
Brittany Shropshire: And then I was like, sure, let’s go for it. So we just kind of hopped in, not really knowing that much about podcasting, but we wanted to start with nostalgic things. I think probably also because the current (Brittany laughs) life is just so challenging that it’s nice to kind of go back to nostalgic stuff from your childhood.
Brittany Shropshire: So we are doing Disney Channel Original Movies right now. We’re reviewing them and the episodes come out every Friday.
Talia Franks: Nice, nice. I think that’s the best way to start the podcast is you’re like, I’m interested in this thing. Let’s do this thing. Yeah,
Brittany Shropshire: I actually learned you’re one of the people I learned from too.
Talia Franks: Aww!
Brittany Shropshire: I don’t know if you knew that, but you know, I’ve looked at your podcasts, you have several, and then, you know, other people’s podcasts, just to kind of figure out how does, how does this work? How is this supposed to be cohesive? Like how do we’ll make intros and things flow and sound effects. So, you’re influential.
Brittany Shropshire: I didn’t know if you knew, but yeah.
Talia Franks: Thank you, I appreciate it.
Talia Franks: So I was wondering if you wanted to talk a little bit about your relationship with fandom, some of your relationships with what fandoms you’ve been a part of participated in your first fandom, current fandoms. I know you said interested in, the nostalgia of Disney Channel.
Talia Franks: What’s your general fandom experience at the moment?
Brittany Shropshire: Sure. So I think the first, I think really big fandom that was heavily involved in was Harry Potter. Started with the books as a kid, read all the books, tried to get, to like go to Borders for like the midnight book, party things I pre-ordered them online.
Brittany Shropshire: But, and then that was the first kind of foray into fanfiction for me. I’m also a nineties kid. So.
Brittany Shropshire: At one point I didn’t, there was not internet that I had. And then at one point we got a computer. So being able to go online and then discovering like forums and then fanfiction and staying up all the time, reading it as much as I could, until my grandma needed to use the phone for the, you know, we had the dial up.
Brittany Shropshire: I think that was really my first window into it, but my, but like me interacting with people, it was mostly either through forums or reading the fanfiction. I didn’t really have a huge group. I had a couple of friends that I would talk about Harry Potter with, but I didn’t have a huge group of people that I would discuss with until maybe probably like the last two books I would say.
Brittany Shropshire: And then maybe the last couple of movies and then the other fandom that I just thought of. I feel like this definitely counts though, was Nancy Drew computer games. There’s probably like 25 of them right now, but I used to play, starting from the first one that came out, um, with my cousins and I had, I think the first, oh my gosh, I had the first, I think 14 or 15 computer games.
Brittany Shropshire: And I actually was on a forum. It’s called her interactive. I don’t know if it even still exists, but that was the first that was me going on a forum. I would, you know, you would talk to people, you would get answers. If you got stuck at a certain point, people could give you clues. People could give you directions.
Brittany Shropshire: But I actually made my first like internet friends, I guess I want to say on that forum on Nancy Drew games. Like it was deep. Because there were so many games and sometimes you’d have different characters come from different games. And I also always, I love Nancy Drew books. So I had read, I don’t know, almost a hundred, probably more than that at that time.
Brittany Shropshire: So those are like the two from my childhood.
Talia Franks: I, you know I’ve, You know, me and Harry Potter, but I also loved Nancy Drew so much as a kid. I had all the Nancy Drew books I had so, so many Nancy Drew books, it was kind of ridiculous. It was Nancy Drew and Animorphs were the two,
Brittany Shropshire: Oh yeah I loved Animorphs too. Yeah. I had a lot of those books.
Talia Franks: Yeah. I had so many Nancy Drew books. I had so many Animorphs books
Brittany Shropshire: The Animorph books stressed me out though. I was always worried. Will they be stuck?
Talia Franks: Yeah. They stressed me out so much, like to the point where I’ve blocked out most of what they were about, because like they gave me mad anxiety.
Brittany Shropshire: Same.
Talia Franks: I loved them, but I was so anxious.
Talia Franks: And then currently, what are you most interested in?
Brittany Shropshire: Right now I would say, I recently started reading Lord of the Rings just to see if I would like it, because I had watched all the movies in January because I was home and I wasn’t working. And I was like, why not? This seems like a great time to tackle, you know, three five hour movies.
Brittany Shropshire: And so, then I figured I’d just read the book. So I’m on the third book now, I’m almost done. I have one chapter left and I was surprised with how, how much I really like Lord of the Rings. Kid me for some reason was not interested, but adult me, I feel like this would have been perfect for kid me. So I’d say that’s one of them.
Brittany Shropshire: I think Marvel is another one that’s just really fun to get into because so many people watch it. And there’s so many different characters that you could find somebody to connect with. And, and being able to watch all the movies and all the TV shows and then, discuss with people is I think was the biggest for me is just, it being something that connects you to other people, more so than the actual thing itself.
Brittany Shropshire: So I love just to be able to have convos with people about these things like Marvel, Lord of the Rings, and then I’m going to also include Hallmark and Lifetime Christmas movies. Because it’s really a whole universe for Hallmark and for Lifetime. I mean, they, they come out with I don’t even know if it’s 70 movies a year for each channel.
Brittany Shropshire: But those are fun to watch and talk about with other people that love those things and say, oh, you remember this character from this movie. Okay. Now they’re in this movie. Or for example, Kelly Rowland, she had, one movie two years ago, then she had a sequel and then she had a third movie come out this year.
Brittany Shropshire: So just being invested in these characters lives is fun. And they’re so cheesy, but they make you warm and fuzzy at the same time. So I’d say those are probably my current fandoms.
Talia Franks: You left out Doctor Who.
Brittany Shropshire: Oh my gosh. How did I do that? And I just watched two episodes today. (Brittany laughs) Well, that shows, you know, Doctor Who was an interesting one for me, because I feel like I got into Doctor Who, because Andrea, one of my best friends, she introduced me to the Doctor Who.
Brittany Shropshire: To Martha. And then I went, I was in college, we were in college and I went back. This was like a, I think winter break or something. I went back to school and then I got my friend group interested in Doctor Who. So then it was just a group of six of us, always watching Doctor Who together. And that was it.
Brittany Shropshire: And I never had anybody else. I’d never met anybody else. Really, that was into Doctor Who outside of my little bitty friend group until, until coming to like the, the BGC slack and things like that. So I’m still relatively new in this like fandom space. I can’t believe I forgot it. (Brittany and Talia laugh)
Talia Franks: I don’t know either how you forgot it when we’re here to talk about Doctor Who
Brittany Shropshire: I’m like, do I even count then as a Doctor Who fan? (Brittany laughs)
Talia Franks: Yeah and we were talking about Doctor Who earlier today.
Brittany Shropshire: Wow.
Talia Franks: We were just talking in, the Slack is dead, it’s Discord now.
Brittany Shropshire: Oh, you’re so right. You see my brain?
Talia Franks: No, we were just talking about. Doctor Who earlier today about the latest Flux episodes. So although you’re not caught up yet. Hopefully you’ll be caught up by the time this episode comes out because Flux will be over by the time this episode comes out.
Brittany Shropshire: Yeah. I really have to catch up or else I might as well just wait until next season. I will have missed all the fun discussion and everything.
Talia Franks: Oh my gosh. But there’s going to be a long hiatus because there’s only three specials coming out next year. Yeah,
Brittany Shropshire: Ooo,
Talia Franks: There won’t be another full season until at least 2023.
Brittany Shropshire: Oh my gosh. That is too much. That’s why I forgot it then. Cause they take too long, you know? That’s why I left it out on accident. They make us suffer too much Lifetime doesn’t make us suffer this much.
Talia Franks: Yeah. But you should be excited about these fanfics because fanfic makes it all better. The show makes us suffer, but fanfic makes it better.
Brittany Shropshire: Yeah. I’m looking forward to it.
Talia Franks: Yeah. So let’s dive in. (Transition music)
Talia Franks: The fic that I want to talk about today is it’s, it’s actually a short little fic. It’s only a little over 20,000 words. It’s called Strays by multifanwho on AO3. Summary: Yasmin Khan and Joey Smith are two people, very alike. Both running from a past, both wanting more. And where else are two people who are lost in the world to converge, then we’re all strays go?
Brittany Shropshire: Oh, that’s cute. That is clever. I like that.
Talia Franks: It is a Thasmin Thirteenth Doctor/ Yasmin Khan fic. I love this fic so much.
Talia Franks: It’s got cats. It’s got Christmas. It’s got Thasmin it’s, (Talia sigh laughs) so it’s an all human AU. I mean, the Doctor’s, the only one who was a Time Lord, but anyway, so it takes place. I’m not actually sure where it takes place. I think it takes place in Sheffield, (Talia laughs while saying um) but, basically the frame is that it takes place at the Grace O’Brian cat shelter.
Brittany Shropshire: Awww
Talia Franks: Yaz and Ryan and Joey, who is, Joey Smith is like the Doctor’s human name. So Grace is unfortunately dead in this fic, sorry.
Brittany Shropshire: Aw Man.
Talia Franks: Luckily Graham’s like barely in it, it’s mostly actually just Ryan, Yaz, Thirteen and Martha are the main characters in this fic.
Brittany Shropshire: Ooo, I get Martha.
Talia Franks: Yeah. I actually found this fic because I was specifically looking for fics that had both Thirteen and Martha in them, like I was doing a strategic search of Ao3 for fics that had both Thirteen and Martha as the main characters.
Brittany Shropshire: I love it. That’s my fave.
Talia Franks: Okay. So basically what happens is Ryan wing man’s real hard it’s
Brittany Shropshire: Oh,
Talia Franks: So Ryan runs this cat shelter
Brittany Shropshire: Of course,
Talia Franks: named after his grandmother. And it’s like in her honor, so like she started cat shelter. Ryan is like kind of the boss, but like barely like it’s a very flat team structure.
Talia Franks: So he and Yaz and Joey basically run it. With a bunch of volunteers. But they’re like the three paid employees. And so they’re all running this cat shelter together. It’s very nearly Christmas. Yaz and Ryan have been there the longest. So they’re like, Yaz was actually, there like, since Grace ran the cat shelter for a really long time.
Talia Franks: It’s not really specified when or how she died, but sometime after she died Joey was brought on. It’s been like an indeterminate amount of time, but definitely over a year because it’s been a year since Joey joined them all.
Talia Franks: And it’s mutual pining. So, kind of slow burn, except not because it’s only 20,000 words, (Brittany laughs) it’s a slow burn as it gets for 20,000 words.
Brittany Shropshire: A quick, slow burn.
Talia Franks: It’s a quick, slow burn. So basically what happens is Yaz and Joey sorta like dance around each other for awhile. So like, it’s from Yaz’s perspective.
Talia Franks: So she thinks that Joey’s not into her at all. And it like takes her a while to realize that she’s into Joey. Because there’s all this cause, it, she’s very much sort of like in denial about it.
Brittany Shropshire: Mhmm.
Talia Franks: And Ryan sort of keeps poking her towards towards the fact that she’s into her. And she’s just sorta not admitting to it.
Talia Franks: And the like thing is, is she’s trying to get to know her, like and, they end up and it’s kinda what happens is at one point she like goes over to her house and they like watch movies together. And then they like slowly start to like bond a little bit more.
Talia Franks: And there’s this Christmas party where basically. Joey and Martha who works at the veterinary practice that the cat shelter works with really closely.
Brittany Shropshire: Awww, Martha became a vet!
Talia Franks: Martha became a vet. Yeah. So Martha works at the vet veterinary practice that the cat shelter works with very closely. And so she and Joey are like close friends.
Talia Franks: And Yaz is a little bit jealous because she thinks that like Martha and Joey are a thing, because like at the Christmas party that they share, because the cat shelter was very small, the vet practice very small. So they have a joint Christmas party at a bowling alley. And Martha and Joey are very like buddy buddy, very cozy.
Talia Franks: And then they leave the party together early. And so Yaz makes a lot of assumptions. And the reality is that Martha was tired and wanted to go home early and Joey gave her a ride. But Yaz like basically the whole fic just keeps thinking that Martha and Joey are together. And at one point like Joey goes on a date with a mysterious person. You don’t know who it is, but and you never find out who it is, but Yaz assumes that it’s Martha. And it’s very but the funny thing is, is that eventually Yaz has to bring some cats to the vet. And just ends up talking with Martha about Christmas plans and asked if she’s going to be with Joey.
Talia Franks: And then Martha is like, no, we’re just friends. And then Yaz like pokes and is like, oh, I thought about the Christmas party or whatever. And then Martha was like, actually Joey was talking about you.
Brittany Shropshire: Oh, twist good. I love assumptions driving. It’s always an assumption, especially in a Christmas story.
Talia Franks: And then the other thing that happened is and like also the sheer amount of cats in this fic it’s
Brittany Shropshire: (Brittany gasps) Yay!
Talia Franks: Because, so they run this cat shelter,
Brittany Shropshire: Mhmm
Talia Franks: all sorts of like cat shenanigans like one of the things is so, like I said Joey invites Yaz to her apartment to watch movies. But specifically so that she can introduce you as to her cats.
Talia Franks: Cause she has three cats. Mhmm. Okay. And her three cats, they’re all black cats and her three cats are named Void, Cosmic, and Count Fangular
Brittany Shropshire: Count Fangular? (Brittany laughs)
Talia Franks: Known as Fang for short or just The Count.
Brittany Shropshire: Ahh
Talia Franks: Um And when Yaz asks her if there’s like something about black cats, her response is “if you’re not living like you would be tried for being a witch in the 1600s you’re not living properly.”
Brittany Shropshire: I feel like this is a very, it makes sense. This, this response makes sense.
Talia Franks: Like it very much tracks for the doctor, um
Brittany Shropshire: Yeah, absolutely.
Talia Franks: Also like at one point Najia, Yaz’s mom comes to bring Yaz lunch and says to Joey, like, why haven’t we met sooner, but also makes a comment, like why don’t her pants reach her ankles?
Brittany Shropshire: (Brittany laughs) It was like a very. I mean, she’s like, that’s a mom question,
Talia Franks: Very much a mom question, but also it’s very Joey’s very much the Doctor. Even as a human like the, this author very much captured the, the Doctor’s essence, even in making her human the other, like this, this fic also just contains so many great nods one of the.
Talia Franks: One of the great things too, is that at one point there’s a bunch of cats who are found like abandoned some poor little kittens. And so Joey has to like in an emergency, go get them. And so she asks Yaz to go feed her cats for her. And so Yaz has to like, get the spare key and Yaz trying to open Joey’s front door.
Talia Franks: Like by herself is really difficult. Where it’s like really stuck, it’s really hard to open. But then later when Joey opens the door herself to her, to the, to the house herself, it just swings open really easily. Kind of like how the TARDIS is really hard for other people to open without permission.
Brittany Shropshire: Yeah.
Talia Franks: But the Doctor can open it very easily. And like when. Like when the apartment gets described it like definitely sounds like TARDIS vibes. Um
Brittany Shropshire: It’s bigger on the inside.
Talia Franks: Yeah. Like I think it, I think actually, like it’s described as like how the apartment feels like, oh, like it it’s it looks like it’s much bigger on the inside than like it like it, then it appeared from the outside.
Talia Franks: And it’s just Yeah, it’s just, like I said, there’s just so many little nods. At one point Yaz has to go pick up this cat that is like an hour away because the owner of the cat um, was an old man who died and he left the cat to the shelter in his will so that he could be sure that the cat would go to a good home.
Talia Franks: And the vet that was closest, took custody of the cat before it could go to the shelter. The vet at that practice was Donna Noble.
Brittany Shropshire: Oh, Donna she’s my other favorite
Talia Franks: Yeah so Donna was also a vet. So
Brittany Shropshire: I love it.
Talia Franks: Yeah
Brittany Shropshire: I can see that.
Talia Franks: Yeah, so that was also cute. And yeah, I just had a lot of fun with this fic.
Talia Franks: Also, when Yaz goes to Joey’s apartment to to feed the cats, there’s like a big, a big noise upstairs because books fall down and Yaz thinks that like someone’s broken in. So she goes upstairs and finds all the books that have fallen down. And so she picks up all her books and puts them back up.
Talia Franks: And then she notices that like one of them’s a romance novel. And then she does the thing where she goes and buys the book so that they can have read the same book.
Brittany Shropshire: Oh yeah. I love what then happens in stories, which is like just the classic.
Talia Franks: And it’s just it has so many of it has so many of these like little tropes that I love.
Talia Franks: And also Ryan is just, like I said, wing manning so hard. He’s trying so hard to get them to realize that they like each other. And he’s even trying to get Yaz’s mum in on it. But Yaz is just like shutting him down, being like, no, you’re wrong. But then eventually, like the tension just builds as it gets closer and closer to Christmas, they end up getting like closer and closer.
Talia Franks: And then what happens is basically it slips out that Joey went to prison once because she punched someone and like basically punched them out and they got a broken shoulder. She like went to prison for an 18 month sentence. Mhmm. And then Yaz is like, “that doesn’t change my opinion of you. If anything, it makes me think of you for the better, because I wouldn’t trade you for being reliable and dull.” And so then after that, like basically that’s like the point at which they become Joey is like, oh you know, you’re not gonna judge me or whatever.
Talia Franks: And so then they end up just being a lot a lot closer. And then they there’s all these sort of like cute moments. Christmas gets closer. Like the tension is building, like there’s like more and more moments between them. Suddenly Christmas Eve. Yaz gets the book
Brittany Shropshire: Mhmm
Talia Franks: she ordered. She like, suddenly has all these sort of doubts. She’s like, oh, I was being ridiculous. She’s like I was overthinking things. And then it’s Christmas. Yaz goes in because Yaz is Muslim, she doesn’t celebrate Christmas. So she’s of course I’m going to be the one to go in on Christmas. But then surprisingly Joey is there cause Joey doesn’t really like Christmas.
Talia Franks: So she decided to go in as well. And then so they like have a moment where Yaz opens up about how she tried to run away from home but she really only made it as far as the train station before Grace was there.
Talia Franks: And like basically was there to be like a, Grace was there for her as you know, an older adult who like offered her a place.
Brittany Shropshire: Oh, Grace
Talia Franks: place at the cat shelter. And so that’s sort of where she ended up finding her purpose. And I mean, so at this point she’s like saying that, you know, the reason that I’m here is that this is like my safe place.
Talia Franks: This is where I’m hiding. This is the reason I’m here is because this is where I hide. It’s like the safe place for me and in my work. And then they get caught beneath some mistletoe
Brittany Shropshire: As it is a Christmas story. It would not be right without mistletoe.
Talia Franks: Yeah.
Brittany Shropshire: I like this she, the cat shelter is her safe place where she hides kind of like cats hide in a safe place.
Talia Franks: They didn’t the thing is though they didn’t actually kiss with the mistletoe. It’s just like they like, so they get caught between the mistletoe and then it’s like the it’s just this, this barely they get competent in the mistletoe and then it almost happens. And then, it doesn’t because they’re like, oh, mistletoe is toxic to cats. It shouldn’t like,
Brittany Shropshire: Oh.
Talia Franks: But then they end up just playing with the cats and like having a fun Christmas time. Although they do make the, the, they do poke fun at the fact that who decided that the cats were Christian, what if they’re Jewish?
Brittany Shropshire: Oh, the cats.
Talia Franks: But then the thing is, is that despite the fact that they don’t kiss underneath the mistletoe, which like would have been the stereotype,
Brittany Shropshire: Mhmm
Talia Franks: It’s like the playing with the cats in the, in the bonding that like just, it brings them together and it’s really cute. Um, yeah, so Yaz kisses her cheek. And then Joey says finally, then they actually start kissing and that’s great.
Talia Franks: And then it’s, cats! And then there’s an implied sex scene and then they cuddle in bed with cats. Then that’s the end of the fic.
Brittany Shropshire: Oh, Christmas cats.
Talia Franks: Yep. We’ve got Christmas. It’s got cats.
Brittany Shropshire: And we had cameos. We had Martha and Donna.
Talia Franks: It’s got Christmas, cats and cameos the three C’s.
Brittany Shropshire: Yes.
Talia Franks: Yeah.
Brittany Shropshire: It’s what more could you ask for really?
Talia Franks: What more could you ask for?
Talia Franks: But yeah, so that is, that is Strays.
Brittany Shropshire: I love the nod to the TARDIS. That was clever.
Talia Franks: Yeah. And also the, the end author’s note is, oh, to sit in bed, titties out with four cats and a dumb gay.
Brittany Shropshire: That sounds painful to me. But maybe the Doctor’s cats are like more chill than my own cat.
Talia Franks: Yeah. Yeah. That also sounds painful to me. My cat was not chill. Well, one of my cats was chill, one of my cats would have been chill. My other cat was wylin.
Brittany Shropshire: Yeah.
Talia Franks: My cat, when I was growing up, one of them was named Cricket and he was a crotchety bastard.
Brittany Shropshire: Oh, Cricket, that’s a really cute name for a cat.
Talia Franks: And then my other cat was Sir Buddykins Meatball Head Spot The Third.
Brittany Shropshire: Oh, my goodness. Wait, say that one more time.
Talia Franks: Sir Buddykins Meatball Head Spot the Third.
Brittany Shropshire: That is, a distinguished name.
Talia Franks: I was four when I named him. (Brittany laughs)
Brittany Shropshire: That was my next question. I mean, it’s better than the, when I adopted my cat, I renamed her Minerva, but her name was Meowsers and then I’m like, I cannot be say Meowsers every time, like just the name didn’t feel right
Talia Franks: No, that’s not. I rebuke it.
Brittany Shropshire: Yeah.
Brittany Shropshire: Meowsers (Brittany makes negative noises)
Talia Franks: Yeah, no. So I forgot to mention the fourth cat that the Doctor that Joey adopts is named Venus.
Brittany Shropshire: Is it also a black cat?
Talia Franks: It’s a black and white cat.
Brittany Shropshire: Aww. Cats!
Talia Franks: Yeah. So many cats. Um. I love it.
Talia Franks: Yeah, this is a great fic. There’s a bunch of stuff that I didn’t mention because if I told you the whole fic, then that would ruin actually reading the fic
Brittany Shropshire: I know right? Now, I’m going to have to go read it now to catch everything else.
Talia Franks: Yeah, no, there’s there’s stuff. I didn’t mention dream sequences, more Ryan wing manning.
Brittany Shropshire: That fact that Ryan
Talia Franks: moments,
Brittany Shropshire: the idea of Ryan having this cat shelter is just so adorable to me. It warms my heart just to think about that.
Talia Franks: Yeah, no. This fic is honestly so much fun. I’ve read it like three times. Um. It’s yeah, like I had it. One of the things is you can download Ao3 fics as epubs. So I will often with my favorite fics, download them as epubs, upload them to Google Play Books
Brittany Shropshire: Mhmm
Talia Franks: and make the Google Play Books app, read them aloud to me.
Talia Franks: So last night (Brittany makes a noise of interest) I made it read it aloud to me as I was falling asleep.
Brittany Shropshire: The bedtime story,
Talia Franks: bedtime story.
Brittany Shropshire: So cozy,
Talia Franks: It was so cozy! This is such a cozy fic, honestly.
Talia Franks: Like it literally opens with Joey picking up a lost stray cat.
Brittany Shropshire: Yeah. What is more cozy and adorable than that at Christmas time?
Talia Franks: So I was gonna, so for the second fic, I was usually when I do two fics, I keep the second fic as like a patreon exclusive, but in the spirit of Christmas, I will have both fics available to the public. So,
Brittany Shropshire: it is at Christmas Miracle.
Talia Franks: A Chrismas Miracle. But yeah. I wanted to tell you about this is uh fic very wibbly wobbly.
Brittany Shropshire: Oh, okay. We’re in for a ride
Talia Franks: We’re in for a ride. It is the Thirteenth Doctor and River Song, the Eleventh Doctor and River Song, the Twelfth Doctor and River Song, and the Tenth Doctor and River Song. It features Thirteenth Doctor, River Song, Yaz, Ryan, Twelfth Doctor, Eleventh Doctor, Tenth Doctor, Amy, Rory, Bill, Donna, Clara, Me, and
Brittany Shropshire: Wait you?
Talia Franks: Me like Ashildr.
Brittany Shropshire: Oh. Oh. Okay. Okay.
Talia Franks: And…. a bunch of killer Santas
Brittany Shropshire: What?
Talia Franks: And Elves.
Brittany Shropshire: This is, a whole party. I am appreciative that it stopped at Rose.
Talia Franks: Rose is not there. Don’t worry.
Brittany Shropshire: Yeah. Yeah.
Talia Franks: I made sure to not include any, there are a bunch of fics that. I was like, oh, this would good would be good fics. No, I can’t tell them to Brit because no. (Brittany laughs) No Rose fics. No Rose fics for Britania.
Brittany Shropshire: You know me,
Talia Franks: I actually do have some really good fics that feature Rose, but I did not think you would appreciate them.
Talia Franks: Anyway, this fic is called “Home for Christmas” by RiversOfMars.
Talia Franks: Summary: Christmas is around the corner and since 2020 has been stressful for everyone, the Doctor is determined to make it a special Christmas for the fam. It’s never just a simple Christmas with the Doctor though. Particularly not when a trip to the Doctor’s favorite Christmas world results in a chance meeting with the woman she has long presumed dead.
Brittany Shropshire: Ooh. dun dun dun!
Talia Franks: Yeah. So basically the Doctor decides to take uh, the fam, to this Christmas planet and is like, Hey, let’s go to this Christmas planet. I’ve had fun on this Christmas planet before.
Brittany Shropshire: I need to go there. Well, maybe I don’t. I need to hear the story first.
Talia Franks: You should hear the story first before you
Brittany Shropshire: Okay
Talia Franks: decide to visit this Christmas planet.
Brittany Shropshire: Okay. Okay.
Talia Franks: And so. She’s basically like I’ve been to this Christmas planet before. It’s a lot of fun. I’ve gone there with different companions. I don’t remember what happened very well, but I remember I had a good time.
Brittany Shropshire: Just like the Doctor to say, this will be fun.
Brittany Shropshire: It’s
Talia Franks: just like the Doctor to say this will,
Talia Franks: I don’t remember it well, but this will be fun! Okay, Doctor. Well, so she shows up on the Christmas planet and who else is there, but River.
Brittany Shropshire: (Brittany gasps) Wow.
Talia Franks: And not only is this River. This is River after the library.
Brittany Shropshire: Oh.
Talia Franks: And River doesn’t know how she escaped the library.
Brittany Shropshire: Okay. That was also my thought. How did, how did River get on the Christmas planet?
Talia Franks: Yeah, but basically River is running around on the Christmas planet. She’s running away from an elf because she pissed off the elf. And so the Doctor in the fam run after her and she’s like, why are you following me? And then she’s in the, Doctor’s like just investigating just, well you looked like you needed help, what are you running from? What are you looking for? And then the Doctor is just about to reveal herself because River says she’s looking for her husband. The Doctor is just about to reveal herself as being the Doctor when, who shows up, but Twelve and Bill.
Brittany Shropshire: Okay. Now where did they come from?
Talia Franks: Yeah. And so then of course, River runs after Twelve and gives them a big old kiss. Cause she’s this is my husband and Twelve is like the fuck you’re supposed to be dead. (Talia laughs while saying um) And. Thirteen is I should not be here when this guy is here, what is going on? I’m
Brittany Shropshire: Right.
Talia Franks: And then Eleven and Amy and Rory show up and Amy and Roy are like, “River!” And then River is “mom and dad” And then (Brittany starts laughing) Twelve is like, “shit.”
Brittany Shropshire: this is bizarre.
Talia Franks: And then Thirteen is like, we need to go, I don’t know what’s going on, but we need to go. And then Eleven stops them and is like, who are you? And then Thirteen is like, no one of consequence. And then they book it. But they hide behind some barrels and still watch. And then Ten and Donna show up and then Thirteen is like, okay, something is going on.
Talia Franks: But they’re basically like, just not, they’re not looking around.
Brittany Shropshire: They’re not like they’re not about to
Talia Franks: look into Thirteen is not about to dip her toes into this mess she’s just scouting about about and, and what happens is basically the Twelfth Doctor does a scan for Time Lords or Doctors, whatever, and he finds 14 people on the planet with two hearts.
Brittany Shropshire: Whoa.
Talia Franks: 14 Doctors. And basically what happens is the The Doctor decides to send, so basically the Eleven, Ten, and Twelve decided to split up, go with their own companions.
Talia Franks: And each of them expects River to go with them, River’s like I just need a moment.
Brittany Shropshire: Yeah. Understandably so.
Talia Franks: And so Thirteen sends, each of her companions to go follow one of, one of the Doctors and then she goes and hangs out with River and like just sort of talks to her. Still not revealing that she’s the Doctor.
Brittany Shropshire: Hmm. Okay.
Talia Franks: But anyway, so Graham goes after Twelve. Yaz, I think goes after Eleven and Ryan goes after Ten. I don’t know that may be what happens. I don’t remember exactly. It might be that Ryan and Yaz are switched. But that’s basically what I think I’m forgetting which companions go after which companions, but basically they, all, each companion goes after a different set of Doctors and companions.
Talia Franks: And, but eventually they find out that none of the Sonics, the Sonic doesn’t work on anything, like none of their Sonics
Brittany Shropshire: Man
Talia Franks: work on anything.
Talia Franks: The food. Basically Bill has some almonds, like some burnt almonds that basically like they remove, like her ability to like have proper thinking. So basically she just she just can’t stop thinking about Christmas and she’s just oh look at all this Chris. And she like, literally forgets all the context for what they’re doing,
Brittany Shropshire: mhmm
Talia Franks: why they’re there. And she’s just totally like one track mind. All she can think about is Christmas and think about, it’s oh, pretty snow.
Talia Franks: I was like, oh, like Christmas, Christmas, Christmas, all she can think about.
Brittany Shropshire: That sounds pretty familiar. I can relate,
Talia Franks: but like they’re in the middle of a crisis. Like she should be thinking about things other than Christmas, but she entirely loses focus and like basically becomes like a child. And she like forgets she’s she forgets who she is, why she’s there she one track mind, nothing but Christmas.
Talia Franks: So they’re like, okay, we can’t eat the food. But anyway, eventually then. Like the Thirteenth, they’re like, okay. Like they say to Thirteen Doctor, okay, but really who are you? And then she’s actually though I am also the Doctor. And then none of the other Doctors believe her. They’re all
Brittany Shropshire: Oh yeah
Talia Franks: And they’re all very dismissive. They laugh at her. They’re like, you’re not the Doctor. And then they’re like, we scanned for the Doctors. And there were 14 people with two hearts. If we’re all here, then that means like River has two hearts. So you can’t be the Doctor. But she’s no, I am the Doctor. Like you have to believe me. And anyway, but they don’t believe her that she’s the Doctor, but eventually they like reluctantly team up.
Talia Franks: But before they do reluctantly team up, basically someone starts playing Christmas music. I forget what song. I think it’s Merry Christmas Everyone. But they start playing Christmas music and basically everyone starts having a snowball fight starts like doing all, like everyone starts being like Bill and having a one-track Christmas mind, lose all sense of focus.
Talia Franks: And the only person who can still focus is the Doctor. The Thirteenth Doctor, that’s not very.
Brittany Shropshire: Okay. I was going to say,
Talia Franks: who like basically destroys the perception filter. Like she’s the only one who like keeps focus enough to destroy the perception filter that’s keeping them trapped in this Christmas world.
Talia Franks: And they eventually discover a big Manor house that wasn’t there before. And they decide to go into the house. It’s obviously a trap because the door was unlocked. (Talia laughs) They just like Swan on in and so they go into this place, it’s obviously a trap and then who’s waiting for them.
Talia Franks: But Madam Kovarian.
Brittany Shropshire: Oh, oh, I didn’t expect that.
Talia Franks: Yeah. It’s Madam Kovarian’s waiting for them. And she reveals, and they realize that the reason that only 14 people, two hearts showed up is because River is not River.
Brittany Shropshire: (Brittany gasps) Whoa!
Talia Franks: She was never retrieved from the library. She was never like brought back to life because she is a flesh avatar.
Talia Franks: Madam Kovarian only has one trick, there’s only one trick, she makes people into flesh avatars, and she uploaded River’s consciousness from the library into a flesh avatar. And that how River is alive.
Brittany Shropshire: Whoa.
Talia Franks: And so her threat and so the reason that there’s only Doctors Ten through Thirteen is because she has Doctors one through nine and the War Doctor, all trapped in stasis, they’re all like trapped, and so she already defeated those Doctors. And so she’s okay, uh, the way I’m going to defeat you is that if you don’t go willingly into those cubes, then I’m going to kill River by putting her consciousness back into her dead body.
Brittany Shropshire: Wow.
Talia Franks: Yeah.
Brittany Shropshire: This took a turn
Talia Franks: because they had retrieved her dead body from the library.
Talia Franks: But so what happened is the Doctor, the Thirteenth Doctor, so all the Doctors were basically like, Nope. Go ahead and kill River. I don’t care. So, but that’s what, like what she said and Madam Kovarian was like, I’ll do it. And the Thirteen was like, go ahead.
Talia Franks: So she did it was the Thirteenth Doctor was like, what you don’t know is you must have picked her up for right after she died. Like you have time travel. The only time you could have retrieved her body is right after she died. But she’s a Time Lord, like she’s time when energy, which means like when Time Lords die, like even if they have no regeneration stuff, they’re still barely dead.
Talia Franks: So what she does because of the whole timeless children, things, she realizes she actually has infinite regenerations. So what she does is she gives some of that regeneration energy back to River
Brittany Shropshire: mhmm
Talia Franks: and River isn’t dead.
Brittany Shropshire: Oh,
Talia Franks: like she like she heals her.
Brittany Shropshire: Okay,
Talia Franks: because she’s able to like, cause just like how in let’s kill Hitler, which is a mess of an episode.
Talia Franks: River is able to give her regeneration energy to the Doctor so he can regenerate, the Doctor is able to give her regeneration energy to River so that she can regenerate when she wasn’t supposed to.
Brittany Shropshire: Oh, okay. Okay.
Talia Franks: Keeps her face because she does or whatever. Anyway. And then while Madam Kovarian was distracted by this Ten through Twelve disappeared and Thirteen was like, Well, while you were distracted, one of me will have thought to disable the sonics not working. Another one of me will have thought to free all of the other mes. And another one of me will have thought to go retrieve the TARDISes because, wouldn’t you know, we’re all the same person, we can coordinate. And then, so all the silence basically flee.
Talia Franks: Like the Doctors are all free. They basically like effectively, like just are able to escort all the Doctors to the different TARDISes and like they all escape. But then Ten, Donna, Amy, Rory Eleven, Twelve, Bill, Thirteen, Yaz, Ryan, and Graham all have. Cause this is because this is actually genuinely a Christmas planet.
Talia Franks: Oh, and I forgot Clara and Me are there too. I don’t know why I forgot that anyway, but so anyway, all of them. Oh wait no, sorry. And then Madam Kovarian gets taken by the War Doctor to Stormcage. Thirteen pretends that she sent her off to a horrible like prison, Hell planet or whatever. But they just sent her to Stormcage.
Talia Franks: Like she just sent her to a regular prison, not a Hell planet, but she pretends that she was sending her to a Hell planet just to freak her out. Anyway, but then so the extended fam all have a like big Christmas dinner together. To like bond and like it’s really heartwarming and nice to all have them all hang out and have this big family moment.
Brittany Shropshire: Is it like all the Doctors combined?
Talia Franks: Ten, Eleven, Twelve, Thirteen, And all of their companions.
Brittany Shropshire: Oh, okay.
Talia Franks: Big Christmas dinner together. It’s really cute. That sounds cute. And then River and Thirteen, Are like space wives and River joins the fam to go traveling together.
Brittany Shropshire: Oh. I miss River
Talia Franks: Yeah and it’s really cute. Oh, and River and Ten have a like sort of reconciliation moment where Ten apologizes for not recognizing what River was to him when she died. And it’s like really sweet and really sad.
Brittany Shropshire: Feels.
Talia Franks: It’s like this whole fic just hits you in the feels. And also the hilarious thing about this fic is that my co-host for Wibbly Wobbly, Lucia, hates River. So like the whole time that this fic was hitting me in the feels and I was loving this fic, I was thinking Hmm. Lucia hates Rivers so much.
Talia Franks: She would hate this fic.
Brittany Shropshire: Oh man. (Brittany laughs)
Talia Franks: Yeah,
Brittany Shropshire: I love River.
Talia Franks: But yeah, no, but this is really, this is a really great fic. That’s really cute. Yeah. Space wives. River loves all her spouses equally.
Brittany Shropshire: I like that this one it was different than the last one, but it was still Christmasy and had feels, but they were just like different kinds.
Talia Franks: Yeah.
Brittany Shropshire: It was like intense. And I’m like, what’s going on? Why are all these people showing up?
Talia Franks: Yeah, no, and there’s like a whole, like I said, bunch more that happens. But yeah, they, they free the Christmas planet of Madam Kovarian’s, evil, evil influence. It’s back to being a happy Christmas planet.
Brittany Shropshire: Yay. As it should be leave it to the Doctor to be like, this is a very fun, happy planet. I’m going to take you to nothing bad will happen and then bad things happen.
Talia Franks: Merry Christmas.
Brittany Shropshire: Thank you. This was fun.
Brittany Shropshire: I’m excited to read these.
Talia Franks: Thank you for joining me for my holiday episode, my final Into the Archives episode of 2021.
Brittany Shropshire: Thank you for having me.
Talia Franks: It’s so funny that I’m having Christmas episode because I’m not Christian, but I feel like Christmas is a non-denominational holiday at this point.
Brittany Shropshire: Well, in America it’s the whole commercial thing, but there’s, there’s so many aspects of Christmas.
Talia Franks: Where can, what is your online presence like? Where can people find you? Where should, where should people go looking
Brittany Shropshire: Okay.
Talia Franks: If they want to look you up, if they want to find you on the interwebs, if they want to find your podcast, what are
Brittany Shropshire: If they want to call me, beep me, if they want to reach me, (Talia and Brittany laugh)
Talia Franks: You
Brittany Shropshire: So
Talia Franks: probably shouldn’t hand out your cell phone number. (Brittany laughs)
Brittany Shropshire: You are right. This is wise advice. See, this is why, you know, you’re one of my podcast inspirations. So we are on Instagram at In_Hindsight_Pod. And so we post there every Friday when the new episode comes out. And then throughout the week, we’ll post like something about the episode that just came out or something fun or nostalgic.
Brittany Shropshire: We have an email that’s [email protected] If you wanna send us suggestions, but you can also send us suggestions on Instagram, or if you look up In Hindsight on anywhere that podcasts are, Spotify, Apple, Google Podcasts. On our Instagram, we have a link to our linktr.ee that tells you all the other places you could find this on the podcast. And that’s where we are!
Talia Franks: Great. Thank you again for joining me. It was so fun.
Brittany Shropshire: Thank you.
Talia Franks: Happy holidays!
Brittany Shropshire: You too. Happy holidays!
Talia Franks: You’ve been listening to Into the Archives: A Fanfiction Podcast from Talia Franks. You can find us on Twitter and Instagram at @ArchivesPod. Join the party. Send me your favorite fanfics and fanfiction memes. You can also send us an email at [email protected] or visit our website intothearchivespod.com.
Talia Franks: And if you’re sick of me pretending I’m not just the one person behind this podcast, you can find me, Talia Franks, at @Talia_Franks on Twitter and Instagram. I’d also love to have your support on Patreon, where you can find me at patreon.com/taliafranks, and find extended cuts of Into the Archives episodes and more. If you have a moment, I’d appreciate a review on Apple Podcasts or another podcatcher site. Have a good night and try not to stay up too late reading fanfic. Do as I say. Not as I do.