The One Hundred and Forty-First Entry in the Charles Daniels Unauthorized Programme Guide O' Qbert Special Thanks to Chris Rednour for the first image in the final version. Special thanks to me for the second image. Serial 6T - Atari Of the Cybermen - Former Agent of the Dustbins, commander Lytton, has recruited three more followers into the service of his true master - Beep the Meep. Lytton explains to his recruits that Beep the Meep is merely the code name for a successful Italian diamond smuggler. He does this not only to mislead the humans, but also to avoid any personal embarrassment which might arise if they discovered that his true master was nothing more than some cat's furball. Meanwhile, in the TARDIS, the Doctor has been frantic with activity -- even attempting to repair the TARDIS' chameleon circuit which he finally admits to breaking himself by accident on one cold lonely night centuries before when he tried to force the TARDIS to take the form of Felicity Kendall. The Doctor promises to take Peri somewhere she can relax... and for some reason this means they arrive on Halley's Comet in the year 1985. When Peri insists that the last thing she wants to do is take a stroll and a picnic on a boiling iceball violently ejecting gas into the surrounding cosmos - the Doctor gets huffy and accuses Peri of being a killjoy. Eventually the Doctor is convinced that they should holiday somewhere with an atmosphere and begrudgingly flies the TARDIS to London. Unfortunately the Doctor hasn't tried to fly the TARDIS around like some crazy helicopter since he went to Luxor. The Doctor crash lands the TARDIS in a disused junkyard, Foreman's Yard, where the TARDIS decides to take on the form of the great pyramid of Giza -- which rather stands out in Coal Hill. Peri asks the Doctor exactly how the chameleon circuit works - "The TARDIS is a true marvel of temporal engineering. Within nanoseconds it scans the surrounding area, examines the planet's cultural aesthetics, builds a complex architectural matrix from an intergalactic standard template, carefully examines and cross references the data it's collected, and then chucks it all in the bin and takes whatever shape pleases it most. It's a mass achievement in free thought." "But totally useless as a camouflage?" "More or less." After hearing this explanation, Peri is worried about the Doctor's mental stability. The Doctor insists that he's all right -- but keeps calling Peri "Jamie" and asking her if it's Tuesday. Peri grasps the Doctor's arm and asks if they can't pop off to California or Mexico. The Doctor looks deeply into Peri's eyes and smiles - "So you can feel it too!! The foreboding. The fear. The sense... gnawing at the collective soul. You can feel the wrongness. The creepy, otherworldliness which surrounds us!" "No Doctor, it's just rainy and fucking cold in London. I want to go somewhere that isn't pissing down if you don't mind." Reluctantly the Doctor agrees to leave London with Peri and they return to the TARDIS. The Doctor begins to set a flight plan to LA when Peri insists that she'd rather brave the horrors of the time vortex than the Doctor's driving skills. The Doctor agrees and asks which street she'd like to arrive on in LA. Knowing that the Doctor is trying to show off she humours him and asks if they could land on top of the Hollywood sign. The Doctor sets the co-ordinates, smiles, and before they notice they have already landed. When they exit the TARDIS they discover they have travelled all of about 3 miles and the TARDIS has now taken the form of broken lamp post. The Doctor insists that this is NOT his fault when the two are unexpectedly attacked by insane policemen. Peri fly kicks one of the officers while the Doctor sucker punches the other - they escape the policemen and run into some nearby sewers - conveniently placed for an escape. The Doctor and Peri are unaware that the sewers are actually the secret base of the evil Cybermen. Wandering into these sewers would SURE to offer certain death - but luckily, Lytton and his new recruits entered the sewers five minutes previously - by some odd coincidence - thus they will prove to be the canaries. A Cyberman emerges from the shadows and molests three of the men with a specialized hydraulic valve. The scene is gruesome, but Lytton calculatingly joins forces with the Cybermen. The Doctor and Peri hear the squelching and screaming, and stumble across a body while rushing to investigate. Sewer workers -- and the two policemen which attacked our heroes -- are being molested by the Cybermen. Lytton talks his way out of the same procedure, explaining that he is an alien pimp who will gladly bring more victims to the Cybermen. The Cyber Leader accepts the logic of his argument and a floppy disk filled with pornographic text adventure games. Lytton is hired as a CyberAgent. On Telos, a work party of prisoners are playing a variety of silly games with a Cyberhelmet they found. They run along with the Cyberhead chanting and singing joyful songs, when one of them finally realises they could attempt to use the head as a prop in an escape attempt. On Earth, the Doctor has decided that discovering dead bodies in sewers isn't as fun as it once seemed, and decides that Peri and him should leg it back to the TARDIS and maybe investigate something different for a change -- something like...Disneyland. When they arrive at the TARDIS they discover the Cybermen are there, waiting for them. The Doctor warns the Cybermen that he could kill them all with the subtlest pressure from his thumb -- not surprisingly they don't believe him. MORE not surprisingly, they decide to tell the Doctor their entire plan. The Cybermen explain to the Doctor that they plan to insure the destruction of the human race in 1985, therefore assuring the success of their 1986 invasion of the earth - which previously had lead to the destruction of their homeworld. The Cybermen plan to turn Halley's Comet into a mega-bomb, and force it to impact with the earth. They will do all of this utilizing the power of their CyberControl Computer. The Doctor is skeptical. He knows that Cybertechnology isn't actually all that far in advance of human technology in all areas. He asks to personally inspect the CyberControl Computer. The Cybermen immediately agree and begin to brag about their accomplishments. It turns out the CyberControl Computer is, in actuality, an Atari 800xl! "AN ATARI 800 XL!!! You MUST be joking!" "On the contrary Doctor. The Atari 800xl has 64k of onboard memory and a clockspeed of One-Point-Seven-Nine Megahertz!" "And you plan to use this to re-direct Halley's Comet, which you've somehow made into a superbomb, into 1985 earth, so your 1986 invasion will now succeed??" "Precisely." The Doctor is appalled. He reminds the Cybermen that the humans of 1985 are capable of space flight and have nuclear technology - and could therefore divert the comet at the last possible moment. He immediately suggests to the Cybermen that they travel back in time to 1910, a time when the human race has no space technology and when Halley's Comet actually made a closer approach to earth! This way it will take less energy to redirect the comet at a totally hapless human race and will WIPE out all human civilization - "Giving the earth 76 years to recover! How is the CyberBattle Fleet going to cope with an Earth which has just been hit by a comet less than a year ago! THINK ABOUT IT!" Peri is appalled that the Doctor is giving the Cybermen new and better ideas. The Doctor huffily explains - "I'm going to fix and enhance their plans! I've spent 700 years saving the universe. Wasted all those centuries defeating half-arsed invasions! This time will be different! This time I'm going to overcome an actually COMPETENT attack -- even if I have to hand it to them!" When the Cybermen explain that their time travel technology is not functioning properly, it was by luck that they arrived safely in 1985, and therefore they can't risk another trip in the machine to actually follow his excellent advice - the Doctor goes into a rage and forces all of the Cybermen and their allies into the TARDIS, offering them a free ride to 1910. Aboard the TARDIS the Cyberfleet, Lytton, Doctor and Peri are travelling back through the decades -- when the other shoe drops. The Cybermen, deeply embarrassed, admit that their plan won't work anyway -- they forgot to pack the comet diverting equipment and left it behind on the prison planet Telos. They thank the Doctor for all his trouble and begin to apologise but the Doctor is as red as a demon - "FINE!! FINE! We'll stop off on Telos!! I'm not letting you out of this so easy Cyberleader!" Everyone seems reluctant until The Doctor threatens to destroy the TARDIS unless the Cyber Leader agrees to collect the equipment off of Telos. Lytton approaches the Doctor and tells him that the Cybermen haven't developed their own theories of Time travel; they simply won the ship in a heated game of poker from one of the Doctor's future selves. When the Doctor asks Lytton why he is revealing this - Lytton knees him violently in the groin --- so a rather odd exchange overall. The TARDIS (in the form of a wall with a mural painting depicting the bloody and final death of Adric - a scene which, for some reason, is deeply enjoyed by Cybermen Artists) materializes in the prisons of Telos -- a logical place to store comet diverting technology. The Doctor notices that Lytton is acting strangely and realizes that he knows more about what's going on than he's saying. As the Cybermen are distracted, loading heavy equipment into the TARDIS, Lytton slips away and opens up a nearby locked cell. Out of the cell emerges a cute little creature, which Peri instinctively wants to hug.
Lytton admits that's he's been working for Beep the Meep all along. And on Beep the Meep's behalf he intends to steal the TARDIS from the future. The Doctor becomes deeply annoyed. He desperately wants to help the Cybermen set up a worthwhile invasion of earth circa 1910. However, the presence of the infamous criminal, Beep the Meep, has thrown a wrench into this as Beep the Meep desperately wants to take revenge on the Cybermen. The Doctor finally gets Lytton and Beep the Meep to agree to a free trip back to 1985, where he can drop them off -- allowing them to take possession of the future TARDIS, and STILL allow him to use his current TARDIS to take the Cybermen back to 1910. At this point, even the Doctor becomes confused and has to write out on the plan on a piece of scrap paper. The Doctor returns to the TARDIS, sets the co-ordinates to earth in 1985, and explains his plans to everyone. Once everyone is agreed the Doctor smiles and the TARDIS sets off. A few seconds later, Beep the Meep wipes out a classic Kill-O-Zap gun and mows down the Cybermen in salivating revenge. The Doctor is horrified! This completely ruins his plans!! The Cybermen, now dead, can not hope to wipe out the human race in the early 20th century! His dreams of defeating a competent menace seem crushed. As the Doctor lays in the fetal position and cries in frustration, he feels the sharp business end of a Kill-O-Zap Ray Gun pressed into his back. A brief smile crosses his face. After landing on Earth, Beep the Meep forces the Doctor and Peri off the TARDIS. Once they leave, the doors slam shut behind them and the TARDIS dematerializes. "DOCTOR!! The Cute Little Creature HAS STOLEN THE TARDIS! WE'RE STRANDED!!" The Doctor laughs slightly, and then gets a serious look on his face. The two venture into the streets of London, time passes. Some hours later the Doctor and Peri find themselves in the now abandoned Cyberlair, deep in the sewers. Behind a wall of rats and old condoms, they find a conspicuous, blue, metropolitan police box. "Beep the Meep has a TARDIS with a working chameleon circuit... but at least we have this one." Book(s)/Other Related - Doctor Who - Revenge of the Starbeast Bleep The Meep - When Cute Monsters Swear Low Rider Magazine - Scantily Clad Women Laying on Time Machines Issue Goofs - How did Beep the Meep end up on Telos? Why does he hate the Cybermen? And why is he so damned cute??? Fashion Victims - Beep the Meep's robotic mobility device looks rather like an infant's high chair Links and References - Lytton, the infamous double agent, is back (last seen in Erection of the Dustbins) this time offering his assistance to the Cybermen and kneeing the Doctor in the groinal area. Untelevised Misadventures - The Doctor mentions that he testified before the Wrarth Justice Council to ask for a state of perpetual imprisonment for Beep the Meep. The Council apparently showed some leniency and only gave him 627 years - one year for each count of genocide. "It was of course his first offence!" Explains the Doctor. Groovy DVD Extras - Seamless branching DVD!! Watch the version with it's classical 1985 special effects OR turn on the special CGI sequences and enjoy the new computer enhanced Beep the Meep! Also chose between the original 1985 incidental music or sounds of scratches against a blackboard as Colin Baker reads actual fan mail from BELGIUM! I choose the latter option EVERYTIME! Dialogue Disasters - --- Doctor: The TARDIS, when drunk, is capable of many amazing things. Not unlike myself. --- Peri: What is that terrible smell? Lytton: Death. Peri: What do you mean, death? Lytton: The sour, rank odour of death is unmistakable. Doctor: Umm..actually, it's just my aftershave lotion. Sorry. ---- Dialogue Triumphs - ---- Peri (Pulling down a bra strap slowly down her shoulder): Hey, Doctor. You've been working on the TARDIS for a long time now. How about working on something else for awhile? Doctor: Hmm? Oh yes! After I finish work on the chameleon circuit I plan to work on the thermostat..sorry for any discomfort. Peri (slowly lifts her top completely off): I'm just so very hot Doctor. Doctor: What? YES! Like I said, I'll get to it just after I fuse this trans-chameleonic relay!! Only a moment. Peri (sighs): DAMMIT DOCTOR! I've been trying to get your attention all damned afternoon! Put down those tools and let's get to it! Doctor: YES! I'll get to it! Like I said.....now where did I put that soldering iron? Peri: DOCTOR! I'm half naked here! Why are you ignoring me? It's like you're not even interested! Doctor: Oh please Peri! Isn't it obvious? The overly colorful coat, the kitty cat lapel buttons?? -- I'M GAY! Peri: Gay? Well, why didn't you mention this before? Doctor: I wasn't aware of it before. Peri: How long have you known about this Doctor? Doctor: I'd like to say since childhood. But honestly, since about 6 o'clock this morning, after breakfast. Peri: But then how can you be so sure? Doctor: Regeneration does strange things to a man Peri - and now I want to. ------------------------------------------------------------ Viewer Quotes - "I don't know what they were thinking! The Star Beast comic serial only ever won one award to the best of my knowledge - Most Flammable." - Darren McCairns (1994) "This is really a pathetic outing for a classic enemy. I remember back when I was a kid, the Cybermen were TERRIFYING! They rogerred poor Billy Hartnell to death and gave Patrick a hell of a time! And now...they are just a bunch of bumbling losers who..let's face it, need the help of specialized hydraulic equipment to perform the most basic of sexual acts." - Andrew Daniels, Cyberfetish Monthly (1985) "What's amazing is that not only did they tackle SO MUCH continuity - The Cyberinvasions of 1986, the Lytton mission, the Beep the Meep imprisonment, the TARDIS chameleon circuit - but that they got it WRONG on EVERY COUNT! I mean, by blind chance you'd think they'd get one right!" - Thomas York (1999) "I still tear up whenever I see Beep the Meep in this story. He looks so young, so vibrant. He's at the top of his game in this story, before he ruined his career in that incident with the MP and the Dutch prostitute." - Zimbo Jimmy Electric (2002) "It's very sad how this story really marks the end of Beep the Meep's career. He was one of the great, promising, Meep actors of an era, and now he's only remembered on eBay as an "Uncommon" in the Doctor Who Collectible card game." - Charles Daniels (2003) Psychotic Nostalgia - "Beep the Meep is my spiritual adviser. He says my karma is SO GOOD now that the next three drifters I take out won't count against me. Want some tea?" Colin Baker Speaks! "The problem with Peri is that the writers were under the severe mental delusion that they were producing scripts with perfectly authentic American english. So you'd get lines like - "How many kilometers to the Chemist? Don't let's be late as I need some condoms and gardening tools before the wild indians attack my flat." And poor Nicola had no way of knowing what she was saying, or what it meant, or if an American would say things that way. I'm pretty sure she was learning American english from re-runs of Dukes of Hazzard." Rumors & Facts - The opening story for this season was originally "The Opera of Doom" featuring the Bastard, Omigod, Romana, Borusa, Rassilon, K-9, Leela, and for some reason - The Quirks. The Opera of Doom got very far along the production process even though behind the scenes the story was criticized openly due to it's inherent stupidity, needless complexity, and impossible logistical demands. Remarkably, the producer seemed to overlook these concerns and the fact that it would be the ultimate continuity-masturbation story ever produced only made JST love it more. However, just before the arrangements were finalized, JST became obsessed with the Styx song "Mr. Roboto" and insisted that a Doctor Who story, involving the Cybermen, be written based loosely on it's lyrics. Eric Saward, a shameless fan of the Cybermen joined forces with unofficial fan adviser Ian Levine, and set out to produce another story, buried in fanwank, that would connect plot threads from Room of the Cybermen, The Evasion, The Tense Planet, and the often forgotten Doctor Who Annual Short Story - "The Cyberladies". The script they crafted had the working title "The Cybermen Planet Evasion of Time". In this first draft the Cybermen are fleeing from a planet sized comet which has been chasing their starship across the galaxy for decades. JST informed Saward that he could not be credited for the serial as it was improper for a Script Editor to commission himself for the story, and that they couldn't possibly credit Ian Levine because they needed to retain some plausible deniability. As a result, Saward turned to an ex-girlfriend, whom he was still on good terms with, a friendly Dutch girl named Anna Soutendijk, whom he trusted implicitly and whom charged by the hour. "It was great! He came over, and asked me to write a Doctor Who script for money. I was really surprised, Most guys just want a blow job! It was the easiest 2 and a half hours of my life." Years later, the scandal that would emerge during a routine BBC investigation of these events would lead to public inquiry, political turmoil, and the eventual destruction of Beep the Meep's acting career. The fact that the script was written, by all accounts, in roughly 250 minutes by a woman who apparently had never seen Doctor Who and whom in fact spoke little English at the time, might account for much that happens in this story. Ian Levine and Eric Saward undoubtedly explained their concept to Anna, and may have let her read the "The Cybermen Planet Evasion of Time" before sitting her down at a typewriter, but there is no direct evidence of this. Anna's draft obviously went through script editing and review. The most notable changes being insisted upon by JST. JST was worried that the story which tried to glue together Room of the Cybermen, the Evasion, The Tense Planet, and Mr. Roboto by the Styx -- simply didn't include enough continuity or homage to the history of the show as he would have liked. To this end he insisted that the script be altered to include Lytton as a double agent, this time for the Cybermen, and also advance the story arc of the Beep the Meep character. Also if at all possible, Saward and Levine should pay special attention to the passage - "I'm not a robot without emotions - I'm not what you see I've come to help you with your problems, so we can be free I'm not a hero, I'm not a saviour, forget what you know I'm just a man whose circumstances went beyond his control" As it held special meaning for him. The question has to be asked: what the hell were they thinking?! One has to wonder what motivated John Satan-Turner and Saward to commission such a story - a season opener featuring the return of the Cybermen, the return of Lytton, the return of an obscure comic book villain, a TARDIS with a strange chameleon circuit, a homosexual Doctor, all somehow magically linked to Halley's Comet! And all of this to be scripted by a part-time hooker who openly bragged that she had finished her final-and-only draft in less than a lazy afternoon. Is there any wonder that this is my favorite story of all time?!