DOWNTIME

Sue: So what are you putting me through tonight?
Me: Tonight I’m going give you a taste of how desperate Doctor Who fans were in 1995.
Sue: A desperate Doctor Who fan. Sounds wonderful.
Me: So 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 FearThe Hand of Fear begins on the frozen wastes of Kastria.

Sue: Is this the planet of the anoraks?

A humanoid figure tracks a spaceship on a computer screen.

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

This cold opening, which features an asthmatic alien freezing its bollocks off, doesn’t do anything for Sue. She turns to me and frowns.

Sue: Neil?
Me: Yes, love?
Sue: What the ...

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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, which, as Sue is keen to point out, isn’t something you see every day. They come across a boot cupboard.

Sue: That’s where the Doctor keeps his very own chroma studio. Look at the lovely CSO.

Sue isn’t impressed with the Doctor’s housekeeping, either.

The Masque of MandragoraSue: ...

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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 ...

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79

THE BRAIN OF MORBIUS

Part One

The Brain of MorbiusSue: Who’s Robin Bland, then?
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. He told him to replace his credit with “a bland pseudonym” instead.
Sue: So it’s 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: No. I’ve decided to say “Terry ****ing Nation” from now on instead.

Trust me, it’s completely different.

A soldier is walking through a wood. His right arm is twitching erratically.

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 ...

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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 completely rewrite another bloke’s script at the last-minute; the only thing he kept was the title.
Sue: Oh, well if it’s Robert Holmes, it’s bound to be good. That’s excellent news. Unless it’s rubbish and he took his name off it because he was ashamed. Oh, why ...

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138

PLANET OF EVIL

Part One

Planet of EvilSue: Louis Marks. I hope this doesn’t “Lose Marks” too quickly. I don’t want to be burnt at the stake if it turns out to be rubbish.
Me: That’s a pun. We don’t do puns.
Sue: But seriously, that name rings a bell. Should I know who Louis Marks is?
Me: He ran a very profitable sideline selling toy Daleks.
Sue: Did he really?
Me: No. ...

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