DOWNTIME

Sue: So what are you putting me through tonight?
Me: I’m going to give you a taste of just how desperate Doctor Who fans were in 1995.
Sue: A desperate Doctor Who fan. Sounds wonderful.
Me: I’m going to show you a fan film.
Sue: Haven’t I suffered enough?
Me: The fans grew tired of waiting for the BBC to bring Doctor Who back, so they did it themselves. Fans are like that.
Sue: But how could they afford it? ...

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65

THE FIVE DOCTORS

We watched the original broadcast version of The Five Doctors. Sadly, I couldn’t source an off-air copy with the Children in Need ticker running across the bottom of the screen. I hope this doesn’t invalidate the science at the heart of this experiment.

The Five DoctorsNicol: I’m not watching any William Hartnell with you. You can forget it.
Me: Be patient, Nicol.
Sue: Don’t worry, Nic. Neil’s promised me that ...

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150

K9 AND COMPANY

Sue: I’m really looking forward to this. I am so ready for Peter Davison.
Me: Ah… But before we get to that, we have to watch a Christmas special.
Sue: A Doctor Who Christmas special? From 1981?
Me: Well…
Sue: It had better not be some fan thing that doesn’t count. I can’t be bothered with that. It’s not that Shada thing that everyone keeps banging on about, is it? Has it got anything to do with Ian Levine?
Me: ...

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114

THE HAND OF FEAR

Part One

The Hand of FearOn the frozen wastes of Kastria…

Sue: Is this planet of the anoraks?

A humanoid figure is tracking a spaceship on a computer screen.

Sue: He’s playing the slowest game of Pong ever.

This cold opening (sorry), which mainly features an asthmatic alien freezing its bollocks off, doesn’t do anything for Sue.

Sue: Neil?
Me: Yes, love?
Sue: What the **** is going on?

A spaceship explodes and the galaxy ...

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60

THE MASQUE OF MANDRAGORA

Part One

Sue: New font. I don’t like it.
Me: It’s Cantoria Bold.
Sue: It’s Cantoria Boring.

The Doctor and Sarah are exploring the TARDIS when they stumble across its boot cupboard.

Sue: So that’s where the Doctor keeps his own chroma studio. Look at all that lovely CSO.

The Masque of MandragoraSue isn’t impressed with the Doctor’s housekeeping, either.

Sue: He could do with a part-time cleaner. Look at all the dust ...

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59

THE SEEDS OF DOOM

Part One

Sue: Robert Banks Stewart. Does he exist? I recognise the name.
Me: Yes, he exists. He wrote Terror of the Zygons.
Sue: I liked Terror of the Zygons.
Me: I know, but you try telling some of our readers that.

Two men are gathering samples from a glacier in Antarctica when one of them proclaims, “This isn’t ice!”

The Seeds of DoomSue: No, it’s polystyrene, love, but nine out ...

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79

THE BRAIN OF MORBIUS

Part One

The Brain of MorbiusSue: Who’s Robin Bland?
Me: Robin Bland doesn’t exist.
Sue: Not again! So what happened this time?
Me: Robert Holmes rewrote a Terrance Dicks script and Terry told him to take his name off it. He told him to replace his credit with a bland pseudonym.
Sue: So this is a bad one, then? Was Terry ashamed of it? Is it really bland?
Me: ...

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93

THE ANDROID INVASION

Part One

The Android InvasionSue: Oh no…
Me: Go on, then. Say your catchphrase.
Sue: Actually, I’ve decided to say “Terry ****ing Nation” from now on.

A soldier is walking through a wood, nursing a twitching arm.

Sue: Either he’s late for breakdancing practice or he’s an android.
Me: I think the clue is probably in the title.

The TARDIS arrives in the same wood.

Sue: I like the Doctor’s new coat.
Me: Oatmeal.
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119

PYRAMIDS OF MARS

Part One

Sue: Is there anything I should know about Stephen Harris? I don’t remember seeing his name before.
Me: Only that he doesn’t exist. It’s a pseudonym for Robert Holmes. He had to rewrite another bloke’s script at the last-minute. The only thing he kept was the title.
Sue: Well, if it’s Robert Holmes, it’s bound to be good. That’s excellent news. Unless it’s rubbish of course, and he took his name off because he was ashamed. Oh, why does ...

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138

PLANET OF EVIL

Part One

Planet of EvilSue: Louis Marks. I hope this doesn’t lose marks too quickly.
Me: That’s a pun. We don’t do puns, Sue.
Sue: But seriously, his name rings a bell. Should I know who Louis Marks is?
Me: He ran a profitable sideline selling toy Daleks.
Sue: Did he really?
Me: No. And to answer your original question, he wrote Planet of Giants and Day of the Daleks.
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