Read a new Doctor Who story starring Harry Houdini and a race of Space Cuckoos

If you can't wait until Christmas for your next Doctor Who fix, the BBC is running a new illustrated Doctor Who short story, Houdini and The Space Cuckoos, in which the Eleventh Doctor enlists the famed escape artist's help in defeating a race of giant, body-possessing birds.

Joseph Lidster, who has written many Doctor Who stories and audio dramas, writes this serialized adventure. After taking fan suggestions for a historical figure to team up with the Doctor, the Who team decided to enlist Harry Houdini and his specialized skill set:

But inside the safe, Harry Houdini, master of the impossible, was staring at something even he couldn't believe. Because, once the safe's door had been closed, the dark metal back wall of the safe had exploded into light. And beyond that light, a whole new world of metal and circles and machines and... a head! A man's head had popped through into the safe and before Harry could say a word, the man's head was talking. Not just talking, it was babbling. And underneath the head, a bow-tie was wobbling.

'Hello, Harry! I'm the Doctor and I'm a big fan!'

Every sentence this Doctor said seemed to end with an exclamation mark.

'Sorry for bursting in on you like this but I need your help! I'm about to save the world from aliens!'

Harry just stared at him.

‘I know, I know – it sounds crazy. Bunkum! The sort of thing you'd normally want to
investigate and expose. Well, come with me and I'll prove it to you. A real alien invasion – possession of the public – all in New York City! But I need your help Harry, because the problem with these aliens is that they're really good with locks. Excellent at imprisonment. Impossible to stop. But they've made one fatal error: they didn't count on the world's greatest escape artist being in town!'

Here are the PDFs of Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 of the story. We'll have to wait a bit for the conclusion, but hopefully this will tide you over for another couple of days.

Doctor Who Short Story: Houdini and The Space Cuckoos