This entry features a risque cover from Finn Clark! The One Hundred and Thirty-Sixth Entry in the Charles Daniels Unauthorized Programme Guide O' Tropico Serial 6N - AFRONTIOS - The TARDIS is captured in a time tunnel and flung into the dizzying future. Before landing a time lord appears in the console room and explains to the Doctor that while he may be a renegade, on the run from political office, he has other higher duties to perform in service to Gallifrey. The time has come for the Doctor to be married. When he asked whom the time lords have chosen for him he is told that he is to be wed to a member of an enterprising species, a Tractator named Gravis. "Oh no! Not giant slugs, AGAIN!" The Doctor demands that he will not go through with the ceremony but the time lord disappears as they materialise on the planet Frontios. The planet is inhabited by the last survivors of the human race - refugees which settled here after the earth was destroyed in an incredibly complex game of Monopoly which went terribly wrong. Amoungst the last humans is the young Plantagenet, his mind destroyed by the guilt and horror of it all -- he was playing the thimble. The companions and Doctor meet the humans but are distressed to discover that they are now basically fast food snacks for a bunch of gastropods - the Tractators. The Doctor checks his pocket watch and discovers that it is the year 802,701 AD. On the surface of the planet the human race frolics happily until they are dragged underground and eaten by hideous subterranean monsters...this all sounds so familiar somehow, but the Doctor can't puzzle it out. Instead of solving the nagging doubt in the back of his mind, the Doctor focuses on the nagging doubt at the front of his mind. He knows perfectly well that time lord marriages aren't always arranged along lines of love -- but the number of times the time lords have tried to pawn him off on slugs, snakes, reptiles, and lawyers, has gotten him worried that they don't think much of him personally. Still the Doctor decides to skim through a marriage informational textbook still in the TARDIS from their last attempt - "Tractators. So the time lord council has chosen you to marry a Tractator? Well, don't rush to press the demat gun against your head just yet! While the Tractators might not be much to look at - by the late 799th century they control an astonishing 0.00003% of the galaxy! These large mollusc-like creatures have a variety of amusing gravity-wielding powers, which they have creatively employed to devastate many planets in the universe. Over the course of your long, and somewhat agreeable, marriage you'll be sure to see a series of fantastic ruins -- of some planets that were awe-inspiring in their beauty just moments before you arrived! Tractators are fairly relaxed compared to most other rampaging slugoid insectoids but still you might want to skip discussing the following sensitive issues with your partner - Politics, Religion, Ethics, Morals, Sports, Literature, Science, and Travel. You're partner will probably be able to discuss the following without any cultural sensitivities - Mating, Artillery, and French films." The Doctor is somewhat disappointed by this description but considers starting off his date by asking his opinions about Alphaville and Francois Truffaut. Tegan is deeply upset with the Doctor and he assures her he'll bring up the whole "By the way? Should we be eating human for dinner tonight? I'd like to maybe see you drop human out of your diet and try vegetarianism for awhile" issue. But the Doctor firmly tells her he will only mention it when it naturally comes up in the conversation - as that sort of immediate judgmental behaviour is certain doom on a first date. Turlough offers to help the Doctor, mentioning that he is perfectly happy to date the creature as well and distract it. The Doctor immediately turns down Turlough's offer to help and insists he must do this alone. When the Doctor arrives, Gravis has set out a special candle-lit table and put on some soft improvisational jazz on his base's hi-fi. Gravis explains to the Doctor that they chose to conquer this world because it had a magnetic core. They plan to use the humans to dig down to the core, hollow out the planet, thus turning the planet into a giant spaceship they can pilot around the universe. The Doctor thinks this all sounds horrifically cliche, and wishes he could meet an alien menace with a truly unique idea for once. The Doctor listens patiently as Gravis praises his own plan. As Gravis drones on and on about his work the Doctor notices the cut of meat he's eating is very bland and the only flavour he's getting is from the cheap red wine in box laid next to him on the table. Things seem desperate, when the waiter arrives wanting to know if their are any spices the diners would enjoy. The Doctor is shocked as Turlough is in the full waiters costume. The Doctor tries to say something, but it is too late. Turlough acts as if he's just fumbled a silver serving tray -- suspiciously filled with a mountain of salt on top. The serving tray lands in the lap of Gravis whom immediately begins to dissolve. Turlough grabs the Doctor and they run up to the surface as the Doctor complains - "You've just killed my bride to be! Or perhaps it was my groom to be! Or umm...both. In either and all cases, the time lords won't be pleased! I'll just have to start this whole mess all over again with some other unspeakable alien species.......... Thanks Turlough." Book(s)/Other Related - Doctor Who & The Sluggish Menace Rassilon's Guide To Alien Monsters And Marriage (How To Survive) How To Serve Man - The Ultimate Cookbook And of course...the infamous and grossly inaccurate TARGET novel - http://www.geocities.com/ironchefusa2002/green.htm Goofs - The chef prepares the human flesh in COMPLETELY the wrong way. No wonder there was no taste! Still, a little curry sauce and who would notice? Fashion Victims - Tegan braves the hostile alien environments of the galaxy clad only in a tight leather mini skirt and ripped t-shirt. Not that I'm complaining. But it is a good example of the classic "Space Bimbo Hooker" look that Doctor Who loved to capitalize on. Links and References - The Doctor mentions it's been ages since he's had human as the main course - preferring them of course as dessert toppings. (Serial 4C) Untelevised Misadventures - The Doctor mentions that the time lords have suggested a number of unsuitable marriage candidates to him, including - a cactus, a killer whale, a post box, and Fidel Castro. Apparently he was forced into dates with these as well. Groovy DVD Extras - The extended "Tegan bitching at the Doctor" sequence, deemed too scary for television in 1984. New Periodic Section: To often people focus on quotes that are especially memorable, or which retain their charm and wit out of context. Almost always the hard working lines of dialogue which establish the plot or move the action along are left by the wayside, so I present for the first time, the first - "UnQuotable Quote"! UnQuotable Quote - Doctor: No. The one to the left Tegan. Dialogue Disasters - --- Turlough: Doctor, I can date Gravis with you. Doctor: A risk shared is a risk doubled. ---- Doctor: Sometimes it's easier to look for the way in and then work backwards. Tegan: Oh please! This isn't rocket science! You're just trying to undo my bra! I mean, you're suppose to be a lord of time and space, and you haven't even mastered a simple hook yet! ---- (The Doctor, still fiddling) Tegan: This is ridiculous - I was horny half-an-hour ago. You're taking forever! We should just give up if you ask me! Doctor: No one is, Tegan, so shush. ---- (The Doctor caught by the authorities whilst desperately trying to remove Tegan's bra, in a public place) Policeman: Oi! Doctor: It's all right officer...umm..she's..ahh...AN ANDROID! Yes! Just ahh..trying to reach her service hatch. Policeman: It's broken down on you sir? Not the best quality? Doctor: I got it cheap because the walk's not quite right - and then there's the accent of course. Policeman: Damned streetwalking androids. Used to be a guy would go on the beat and catch some old fashion flesh trade. Neighborhood's gone right down the tubes with these techno-perverts. ---- The Doctor mentions to Tegan that he wanted to take Gravis along because time lords like to keep Tractators as hood ornaments Tegan: We can't go dragging around the universe with a dormant Gravis on the console! ---- Dialogue Triumphs - ---- Tegan: You can't marry the Doctor off to some slug! I LOVE HIM! Time Lord: Love? Doctor: The exchange of two fantasies. Time Lord: Ah. ---- Doctor: PEOPLE OF FRONTIOS! I have come to invade and kill you all, with this lethal and horrifying....Blue Box.... umm...yes, just joking. Forget I said anything. --- Garvis: Your interest in me a sham. Just a fiction invented by your fellow time lords. Doctor: Officially, I'm here quite... unofficially. ---- Refugee: Our computers are design with full tempro-logical feedback. They foresee the future and avoid all statistical anomalies. Each one has a completely autonomous and self-aware intelligence-driven database - each containing the collected knowledge of the entire universe. They were built to be completely failure proof. Doctor: Then why didn't they foresee landing on a planet filled with man-eating Tractators? Refugee: They failed. ---- Turlough: Look Doctor, this is all perfectly sensible and easy.. Doctor: OH YEAH! Well if you're so damned smart, YOU GET THIS DAMNED BRA OFF HER THEN! ------------------------------------------------------------ Viewer Quotes - "This was Peter Davison's finest moment in the role. He really showed off the unease and discomfort in dating a horrifically repulsive creature. It really reminds me of the dates I've had recently." - GothGirl1972, alt.binaries.pictures.erotica.godzilla (1994) "The Doctor's constant worrying about upsetting the time lords seems totally strange when you consider he's just recently thrown hot scalding tea at a government official, has hijacked the Death Zone, and has been on the run for several hundred years now. It seems totally without explanation. The only worry I have, is in some dark, sick part of my mind -- I'm worried the Doctor WAS really into the idea of marrying that slug thing." - Charles Daniels (2004) "I think this was by far Kamelion's strongest story. I know he doesn't APPEAR in it whatsoever. But I like to imagine that he's shapeshifted into various props in the background. When I watch this adventure I like to just pretend that Kamelion is there, lurking. He's the coathanger one moment, then a water jug, then a small desk. He's the master of disguise. And I like the story better that way." - Zarniwoop, alt.tv.sci-fi.weirdfans (1993) Psychotic Nostalgia - "Well conceived, well written, well acted, well executed. Executed? Oh! That reminds me! Can you leave now? I need to go into the basement. I sure hope the soundproofing is as good as they said in the catalogue. The last 15 brands sure weren't." Peter Davison Speaks! "I was really nervous about this story. Most the stories I saw were a little weak. Needed a bit of a boost to the plot or the concept. And I think when those sorts of scripts came along actors just embellished what they good - try to add a little flavour and hope for the best. When went through this story however, I noticed immediately how the companions and guest characters and even the monsters were well handled. I think realised that the Doctor was going to have to match the energy and vibrant quality of everyone around him. Most of the time, I could sort of stand around - give a weak smile, and slip effortlessly from scene to scene. It was my style if you like. But in this story I really had to drink some coffee, get some rest, and try to remember the lessons I'd learned from my early days in dutch pornography. It is strange how many eerie similarities Doctor Who actually shares with illegal Dutch pornography of the 70s. More than just blind coincidence would allow for I'd imagine." Rumors & Facts - There is a long standing rumor that this story was originally intended to feature Richard Hurndall in a black and white retrospective story remembered by Peter Davison's Doctor after hitting his head on the TARDIS control console. This idea is completely silly, as the Doctor would NEVER be clumsy enough to injure himself by falling head first onto the TARDIS console. However, Eric Saward DID fall head first onto the TARDIS console during rehearsals one day and struck upon the idea of a story in which the Doctor fought giant head lice. Exactly why he thought of this concept is unknown of course, but he immediately contacted Christopher Bidmead and asked him to write the story as he recovered in hospital. Bidmead was uncertain but eventually finished off a plot meeting those incredibly loose and strange specifications. Bidmead later spun off the Tractators into their own Australian soap opera.
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"TARGET NOVELIZATION OF AFRONTIOS!"
Cover By: Finn Clark