The One Hundred and Twenty-Third Entry in the Charles Daniels Unauthorized Programme Guide O' Percy Serial 5X - The Visit - The Doctor - piloting the TARDIS whilst drunk, high, and Welsh - attempts to return Tegan to the Laytex Lair in 1981, but he forget to apply the breaks in time and over shoots his stopping distance by 315 years. The Doctor explains to his companions that in the TARDIS driving test on Gallifrey, overshooting by 100 years or failing to come to a complete stop at a warp inclusion is an automatic fail -- so he's delighted that he passed his pilot's license eons ago through clever maneuvering and bribery. The doors to the TARDIS open to England in 1666, at the time of the Great Plague. The Doctor, Tegan, Adric and Nyssa meet Richard Mace - Shakespeare's alcoholic grandson, a travelling thespian, and rent boy extraordinare - who tells them of a firey star that has fallen from the sky like a flaming arrow from hell. The Doctor asks Robert is he means a comet, and Robert replies "This flaming arrow from beyond the stars was no mere comment. Nay, by the look, and manner and shape of it, I reckon it be a Terileptil battlecruiser, Xavian Class." Before the Doctor can ask how Robert has come to be such an expert at recognising 17th century extra-terrestial spacecraft, he leads them to a secluded garden. The Doctor then is about to ask Robert how he came to know of such a secluded and quiet spot in the heart of London -- when the obvious answer occurs to him and, embarassed, he says nothing. The Doctor and his friends..well...travelling companions... find power packs in the secret garden and encounter an android dressed as the Grim Reaper. The Grim Reaper makes demonic gestures and our heroes are attacked by villagers whose minds seem to be under the influence of control bracelets. The Doctor becomes incredibly distraught by these developments, and wonders why this sort of thing always happens to him whenever he visits 17th Century London - And NO ONE ELSE??? The Doctor complains that you don't hear about mind controlling alien andriods in the works of Christopher Marlowe; John Milton never wrote "Paradise Lost to the Cybermen"; Halmet never had to fight off pan-dimensional robots from the planet Quiness from the 4th Universe! The Doctor is about to scream out against his rotten luck with historical settings until Robert Mace informs him that this sort of thing actually happens all the time - "Yeah, I remember a few years ago, Me and Sir Philip Sidney had to beat the crap out of a couple Martian punks." Tegan asks why she's never heard of how common place otherworldly menaces were in the late Renaissance to which Robert replies - "Well, it's all a bit commonplace. I mean who wants to write about flying saucers and creatures that shouldn't be? It's all a bit mundane. Nah, what people want to hear about these days is the good old fashion stuff - Royals cutting off each others heads and people making pacts with Lucifier, that sort of thing - keeps your mind off of things, you know?" After this, Adric and Tegan are, predictably, captured by the Android who had stood around politely waiting for a lull in the conversation. The competent members of the crew - the Doctor, Nyssa and Mace - escape. This assessment may seem harsh, but in reality, the andriod can only run about 2 miles an hour, so a brisk walk is really enough to achieve safety. After being captured, Adric and Tegan, predictably, meet the alien leader known as a Terileptil. The Terileptil that has captured them is a heartless murderer - infamous across the universe for his bloodthristy crimes and his cut throat approach to making tea. "Sit my captives, and drink tea with me." "What if we refuse?" "Then, you will die." "Alright then..well in that case...I'd love some tea." "Do you want biscuits?" "Ahh....Oh yes, please." "Excellent. Then...you may live." Over a nice cup of tea the Terileptil explains that he is one of three alien fugitives that escaped from Reggae, a prison planet deep in the Marley Zone. After the tea, biscuits, and a polite talk about who's recently died of plague in the village, Tegan is placed under the control of a pink plastic bracelet, but Adric escapes. When Adric finally reunites with the Doctor, Mace and Nyssa - they are all captured again - making all the Adric escape sequences even more pointless. Once in the lair of the Terileptil leader, the Doctor offers his assistance, all seems to go smoothly until the Doctor causally mentions that he actually prefers digestive biscuits to Jaffa Cakes - in an insane rage the Terileptil crushes the Doctor's sonic screw driver and breakdances on it's grave -- sadly dating this serial to a time when breakdancing aliens were considered hip. The Terileptil leader, (GOD DAMN IT?! Couldn't they give this guy a fucking name?!?! Do you know how long to takes to type 'Terileptil Leader'? Screw it, I'm calling him Larry from now on!) Larry informs the Doctor of his plan to unleash an army of plague carrying rats that will wipe out the population, leaving it free for them to inhabit. The Doctor starts to launch into an extremely predictable speech, you know the one - "BUT THE LIVES OF COUNTLESS MILLIONS PEOPLE! You can't just kill sentient beings! I mean even some of the really stupid ones are very cute! Think of the implications..." But luckily the Doctor is cut short in his repetitive moralistic dialog by the sound of an approaching M1 Tank. Larry and the Doctor are both shocked and surprised. Larry by the highly anachronistic presence of a 20th century armoured vehicle, and the Doctor by the presence of the Brigadier. A heated debate breaks out... "Brigadier!! What are you doing here??" "Official UNIT Business!" "UNIT BUSINESS? UNIT won't even be formed for another 300 years! And YOU! You definitely haven't even been born yet!" "Stand aside!" "You're breaking all the laws of time!" "Well I was sort of counting on UNIT dating being sort of rough and undefined.." "IT'S NOT THIS UNDEFINED!" "Well, it is now! Men, I want sniper positions on those Abbeys! If there are any peasants standing about give them M-16s and be on the look out for dragons!" "Brigadier, please, listen to me!" "DOCTOR! Are these Terileptil chaps immune to bullets?" "Well, I guess not! But that's hardly the point! LOOK!" "MEN! Chap with the scythe, 18 Million rounds RAPID!" The Doctor, Tegan, Nyssa, Adric and Mace stan in amazement as UNIT tanks, helicopters, and special brigade units not only take out the secret base of the Terileptils but are also directly responsible for the Great Fire of London.... Book(s)/Other Related - Dr Who & The Complete Lack of Continuity The Adventures of Robert Mace: Male Prostitute Zaxxon: Revenge of Space Warrior by Sir Francis Bacon Fluffs - Peter Davison seemed out of time for most of this story Goofs - The Grim Reaper android wears a Man United scarf Fashion Victims - The Grim Reaper android wears a Man United scarf Technobabble - Robert: Aye, it be terraxon energy me reckons! Doctor: I say Robert, I'm not sure I follow you. Robert: AHH! They don't teach you quasi-stellar mechanics in that little Time Lord sissy school of yours eh? I'll tell you where I got my doctorate in Quantum Theory - in the streets! In the gutters! Hard knocks is how I found out about temporal warp implosions! What's this? Well fuck me! It's a Quartram Neutron Wrangler! I ain't seen one of these sense the summer of 1653! Links and References - Robert Mace pokes fun at the revelation revealed in the last story "Ah! So you used to date the Mara as well did ya Doc? Wow, that's a goddess of fear that's been around a lot! Know what I'm saying?" Untelevised Misadventures - The Doctor mentions that he once drank tea with a Terileptil who politely offered him an After Eight mint before he invaded a species of peaceful butterfly people. Groovy DVD Extras - A touching five minute featurette about the tragic and untimely loss of everyone's favorite companion -- the sonic screwdriver. With music by Queen. Dialogue Disasters - Doctor: Pray tell wandering minstrel. What doth thou clepe these visitors from the heavens? Robert: What do you mean? The Terileptils? I don't know if they have names -- They're so ugly I'd be hard pressed to tell them apart if they did! Dialogue Triumphs - Larry: Where is this Doctor from? Tegan: Some place ancient, mysterious, he's never told us. Although he talks a lot about... er... Scunthorpe. I think that's where he comes from. Larry: So you're telling me an being of unimaginable power, with a hold over the laws of space and time, hails from Scunthorpe? Tegan: YES! Larry: ...in North Lincolnshire? Tegan: Why not? Larry: SO HE WAS LYING!! He told me he was from Guildford! Doctor: How do you feel now? Tegan: Bitchy! Doctor: Don't know why I bother to ask really. Tegan: What?! Doctor: Oh nothing. Just the wind. The rather embarrassing sequence - Doctor: PLEASE Robert! Travel with me in my magical blue box. See with me the wonders of the court of Kublai Khan, the mysteries of ancients, and worlds as of yet unknown to all men! Robert: Don't get me wrong, you're a nice guy. But if you think I'm going to go off in that antique type 40 TARDIS with a faulty navigation system and a faulty mercury fluid link, then you've got another thing coming. I may be a grossly drunk actor who makes ends meet by charging old men for anonymous sexual acts -- but I do have my standards. Viewer Quotes - "You know, overall this is a pretty good story. But it's a good story with some weakness to it. Maybe the main problem is Matthew Waterhouse's irritating petulant delivery of much of his dialog. Or actually maybe it's Matthew Waterhouse's inability to show any convincing emotion. But, to be fair, I think it is probably a combination of different factors that bring the show down, such as...ummm.. Okay, I'll admit it, it's JUST Matthew Waterhouse." - Matthew Waterhouse's Mother (1982) "And on that world that is clept Reggae be all manner of odd men, with foul stature and foul minds. The men there perform acts against all nature - such as imbibing tea by means of a straw or eating biscuits starting from all directions. And still though they believe in the one true god, and kill Saracens when they encounter them - for they be good men of the Christian faith, even if they have no Christian names, and are wont to commit genocide." - The Intergalactic Travels of Sir John Mandeville "The sequences simply oozed with...something. It's good to know the actors were REALLY enjoying themselves." - Charles Daniels (2003) Psychotic Nostalgia - "The 17th century man! Now that's what I call awesome! Back then decapitation was seen as a royal service -- as long as they were foriegn or poor. Man, I want to be pirate!" Peter Davison Speaks! "It was really difficult to establish the character of the Doctor. I was just dressed up in a Question Mark jumper and thrown in front of a camera. So I was finding my way around the part and went back to my roots as an actor - I just wandered around blandly and hoped someone more interesting was in the scene. I had a very non-commital attitude toward everything, and no idea how things would turn out or what was going to happen. I'm not sure I even bothered to do anything but cold read my lines. This might sound like a very bad technique for an actor to use when trying to make a first impression in a part, but I found this approach invaluable. Because if you can be sleepy, and boring, and totally disinterested in life, for the first 6 or 7 weeks - that one day when the lightbulb suddenly flicks on and you GET IT, then everyone is BLOWN AWAY by the fact that you've suddenly started ACTING. It doesn't even matter how bad the acting is or how inappropriate to the part it is. The director and cast and fellow crew are just so thrilled that you're finally giving a damn and bringing emotion into the dialog that they'll go along with anything. This is just the sort of thing they don't teach you in drama school." Rumors & Facts - When Christopher Bidmead was searching for new writers for Doctor Who, the name 'Eric Saward' was repeatedly recommended by Eric Saward himself, who had been dropping by the studio on a daily basis for 3 years trying to get comissioned. After three years of aggressively bringing up the name 'Eric Saward' in business meetings he wasn't invited to, after religiously writing post cards to the Doctor Who production office reading - "Ever hear of this Eric Saward guy? He's a pretty good writer. Sincerely, Eric Saward.", to his great surprise Eric Saward was approached to develop a story idea for the programme. Eric Saward simultaneously impressed and disappointed everyone with his script "The Invasion Of The Plague Men". Disappointed because the name of the script made everyone cringe, but impressed because the script, unlike the previous ten thousand submitted to the Doctor Who offices by random fans, was actually USABLE! Saward explained that he stole the idea from a former girlfriend, who had been studying the Great Fire of London and observed a curious lack of aliens and mechanized infantry that would have made the history books more gripping. Satan-Turner asked Saward to choose any title for his story other than "The Invasion Of The Plague Men", as it was "too colorful, even for ME, John Satan-Turner." Saward loved his original title and decided to offer "The Visit" as an alternative to convince Satan-Turner that colorful titles were better than simple boring ones. This act backfired for Saward however when John Satan-Turner congratulated him for his "obvious cleverness" stating "This is brilliant Eric! After the audience sees a title like "The Visit" their expectations will be so low that anything we put on will look like War of the Worlds!" One addition made by Satan-Turner to the story was the destruction of the Doctor's sonic screwdriver. Satan-Turner believed that the popularity of the sonic screwdriver had grown so much that it threatened to overshadow the Doctor himself. And in fact Satan-Turner had pitched a pilot to the BBC called "Sonic and Company" which would have followed the adventures of the Sonic Screwdriver. After this pilot concept was rejected John Satan-Turner decided to have it destroyed in a fit of revenge.
Cover by Finn Clark