a real world point of view
|The Ruins of Heaven|
|Main setting:||Heaven, Sheol|
|Key crew __NOFACTBOX__|
|Part of:||Short Trips: Steel Skies|
|Short Trips short stories|
|Doing Time||Cold War|
Following a tour group, the Doctor and Peri arrive on Heaven, located on the planet Sheol in the Ramshorn Spiral. As the party makes its way through the highly-commercialised afterlife, the Doctor becomes increasingly angry at the inaccurate commentary given by the guide, St Albans; annoyed by his loud and opinionated comments, St Albans hands her group over to the Doctor and promptly storms off.
Leaving the Doctor to give his own guide to the local sights, an exasperated Peri wanders off on her own; finding a local market, she decides to make up with the Doctor by getting his watch repaired; however, she soon becomes overwhelmed by the brash and tacky tourist trap, and when she learns that even the angels are merely actors with anti-gravity devices she decides to return to the TARDIS. But on the way she is attacked by a hoard of bloodthirsty cherubs, called putti, and falls to her death into a dark, disused warehouse.
As a ghost she encounters a fallen angel named Yy, imprisoned inside a filthy cage; he tells her that Sheol really was the original location of Heaven, but when it was discovered and turned into a tourist attraction the heavenly host left to start a new Heaven; Yy was charged with announcing this to all of creation, but he became corrupted by commercialism and sold his wings for a cheeseburger.
Learning that only the dead can see angels, Peri realises that the putti deliberately sent her to help; she convinces Yy to complete his work, and is restored her to life by the putti. Helping Yy into a wheelchair, Peri and the angel rush through the crowds of astonished tourists; Yy finally closes the Gates of Heaven, earning him his closure and allowing him to begin his search for the new Heaven.
After Peri is reunited with the Doctor, she finds that the watch she holds has now been mysteriously mended; the Doctor is delighted, and in return gives her a fake halo as a present.
- The stories in Short Trips: Steel Skies are divided into four sections dealing with different types of confinement. This story deals with incarceration, that is, "punishment and imprisonment".
- This story was reprinted in Short Trips: Re:Collections.
- Peri has been feeling guilty that the Doctor gave one of his lives for her. (TV: The Caves of Androzani)
- Yy mentions several prayers that Peri has made recently: on Androzani, (TV: The Caves of Androzani) on N'Tia (PROSE: Light at the End of the Tunnel) and here on Sheol.
- The Doctor broke his watch on Necros. (TV: Revelation of the Daleks)