The Presuming Ed
Serial 103 – The Presuming Ed
An Alternate Program Guide by Ewen Campion Clarke
From An Entry In The EC Unauthorized Guide O' Butterscotch
"YOA's Discontinuity Guides – Inaccurate But Caring."
Serial 103 – The Presuming Ed -
A hippie-drug-dealer-cum-legal-student called Danny but answering to the name of Headhunter has started an aromatherapy unit in a grotty bedsit, using proscribed herbs and rare chemicals to soothe the worries of modern life.
His first client, Redpath, offers up his grandmother for the treatment – she suffers from arthritis and Headhunter knows just the thing to "loosen her joins". Hehe.
Unfortunately, Mrs. Peace has had a rather odd reaction and seems to have dropped dead half way through the therapy. Headhunter tries to convince Redpath that his gran is not dead but simply resting, perhaps pining for the fjords.
Redpath correctly guessed Headhunter is talking crap when suddenly the dead woman opens her eyes, reaches out and grabs her grandson by the throat. Headhunter watches on with a growing sense of detachment as the granny breaks her grandson's neck and goes on a rampage, belching ethereal blue vapor.
"Wow, man," Headhunter gasps, "that is something I must try."
Parte The First
The Doctor has set the TARDIS to travel to Naples, 7 October 1970 but the time machine strikes an eddy in the vortex – a billowing cloud of blue smoke that is absorbed into the time rotor when the Doctor uses the seldom-activated 'bong circuitry'.
The smoke floods the control room and when the TARDIS lands, the Doctor and Rose are lying on the floor, staring up at the ceiling and laughing insanely at each other.
Giggling, Rose is about to leave the TARDIS when the Doctor points out that her pink hoody and sports bra will cause chaos in the pattern of history itself. She must change immediately, into something more 'Barbarella-ish', for the sake of time's sanctity.
"Look, there's a wardrobe over there," the Doctor says, pointing to the interior door. "First left, second right, 3rd left, straight ahead, under the stairs, past the bins, and 5th door on the left."
Rose shrugs and heads off. After a few minutes wandering through the TARDIS corridors, and hears a moaning. She follows the sound and comes across a door that's slightly ajar. The moaning comes from the room.
Rose opens the door, and finds an ancient old woman in a black bomber jacket marked 'ACE!' sitting in a rocking chair, moaning.
"Is this the wardrobe?" Rose asks.
"Next door." the old woman croaks.
Back in the control room, the Doctor is fitting a hookah with a special gas-mask attachment to the TARDIS console. He looks up as Rose enters, wearing spiky leather bondage gear and her hair in a ponytail.
"Don't laugh – or I shall spank you!"
"You look beautiful," the Doctor gasps. "Considering."
"That you're not a natural blonde."
Rose hurries off, realizing she has neglected to wear clothes below the waist. Whatever that blue smoke was, it was powerful.
Back at the flat, Headhunter's partner in crime arrives. A strong, silent type with a three-foot afro, Presuming Ed listens calmly as Headhunter explains their new line of 'Caribbean Blue' hashish has created a homicidal zombie and let it loose on the streets of Cardiff.
Presuming Ed begins to laugh at this.
Headhunter laugh as well and they sit down for a nice cup of tea. They'll just go to the nearest theatre, the Windsheetodrome, where is being performed 'It All Happened On The 11.20 From Hainault To Redhill Via Horsham And Riegate, Calling At Carshalton Beeches, Malmesbury, Tooting Bec And Croydon West' by Neville Shunt, and wait for the zombie to turn up and catch her.
The main star of the play, Peter Marwood actually hung around with Headhunter and Presuming Ed and even rented the flat they now perform their dark, Satanic rituals within. Hell, it was the sixties, cut the guy some slack.
He is now sitting in his dressing room, brooding over his bad relationship with his friends and the fact he is now appearing in a load of rubbish about railway timetables.
The Doctor – now wearing a Jim Morrison jumper – and Rose – now wearing a bit more leather – emerge giddily from the TARDIS and stumble down the passage towards history over and done with before Rose was born and history the Doctor was too drunk to appreciate the first time.
Following a short hippie bloke in shades and a giant black guy with a booming laugh, the Doctor mugs an old man for his newspaper and gets Rose to read out the date so he can bask in the satisfaction of a job well done in getting them to Naples 1970.
"Doctor, I think you got the flight a bit wrong."
"It's not 1970 it's 1971."
"And it's not Naples."
"But on Earth? Close enough."
"DAMN IT! WILL I NEVER BE FREE OF THIS ACCURSED TOWN?!?!?"
As the first act of 'It All Happened On The 11.20 From Hainault To Redhill Via Horsham And Riegate, Calling At Carshalton Beeches, Malmesbury, Tooting Bec And Croydon West' begins with the apparent suicide of Sir Horace 28 minutes before he can catch his 10.15 train to Swanborough, there is thunderous applause from most - apart from the Mrs. Peace, who is sitting in the middle of the audience and staring blankly ahead, but people just generally write her off as a philistine.
The crowd listens, enraptured, as Marwood (playing Tony, son of the late Sir Horace) tries to give himself an alibi for murdering his father for his seat reservation when, suddenly, Mrs. Peace lets out an unearthly shriek and a gaseous blue phantom emerges from her body.
"God, everyone's a critic!" bitches Lady Partridge, believing Pearce to be the theatre reviewer for the local rag.
The Doctor, Headhunter, Rose and Presuming Ed enter just as Marwood gets the other actors to improvise a sudden exorcism into the strict narrative structure of the play.
The Doctor drunkenly stumbles on stage as the crowd panics and flees. As he asks Marwood how they've got hold of paintbox technology thirty years early, the spectre separates from Mrs. Peace's body, which collapses into the seat.
Headhunter and Presuming Ed promptly pick up her body and bundle it out of the theatre and Rose follows them for no apparent reason other than it's easier than changing direction.
The duo are understandably impressed at encountering the blonde dominatrix and offer a trip to their place. Rose is not certain, so Headhunter offers her a tab of Embalmer – two quid in the shops, but to Rose, absolutely free.
The Doctor traps the spectre in his sonic bong, explaining that the ghost was in fact a cloud of gas, and hurries out of the theatre to find out what's happened to "me bird".
Furious at being upstaged, Marwood follows him.
The Doctor realizes Rose has sodded off to an acid house party with two weirdoes and promptly begins to break into a battered jaguar with only one headlight working.
When Marwood protests that this is HIS car, the Doctor mugs him for the keys and drags him into the back seat in case some white slave trading needs to be done to return Rose to him.
It is only know that the Doctor realizes who he has beaten up -
"The Peter Marwood? Peter Marwood? You're brilliant, you are! Completely, 100% brilliant! I've seen 'em all: Nature Boy, Dealers, oh, and what's the other one, the one with the Irish yobbos? The Hanging Gale! That's it! Terrifying! The best negative ethnic stereotypes on screen! You're a genius!"
"What are you talking about?"
"Oh, right. You haven't made the jump to TV yet. But I've seen all of your stuff. I'm such a big fan! I'm not the biggest fan though, cause she was the one who made me watch them. I don't suppose you could do an autograph for her?"
"No, not on a piece of paper, Pete! She wants it tattooed! On her left buttock, right breast and on her forehead if at all possible. Make it out to Charley Pollard – though, ever since she got that singing job she likes to call herself Charlotte Church for some reason that escapes me completely at the moment..."
"But why does she like me so much?"
The Doctor grins psychotically. "You remind her of me."
"You're not a bit like me!"
"No. But I used to be."
Back at the bedsit, the totally wasted Rose is crashing out on the sofa as Headhunter and Presuming Ed start cooking some onions as the munchies descend on them.
Suddenly, Mr. Redpath and Mrs. Pearce are engulfed by clouds of blue smoke that return to life and lurch across the room towards her. They breathe evil blue smoke and drool unspeakable slobber as their gnarled hands move to break her soft tender neck...
Just when it looked like a potential cliffhanger was about to happen, the Doctor does his Shaft impression and kicks open the door to the apartment, saves Rose and kung-fu kicks the zombies out the window before jumping out the window after them with a sawn-off shotgun.
The zombies hastily explain they weren't gonna hurt Rose and they're actually quite decent beings if you, you know, met them socially. They are also completely screwed unless a dimensional rift to an evil universe in the master bedroom is not opened before midnight.
The Doctor tells the zombies to prove it and so they disappear in a puff of logic.
Rather let down by this anti-climax, the Doctor introduces himself to Headhunter and Presuming Ed. They already know Marwood and Headhunter compliments him for letting his hair grow long, allowing him to pick up signals from the cosmos through his follicles.
Headhunter offers to explain the situation over a Camberwell Carrot – an enormous joint requiring twelve papers and special grass grown in Mexico exactly two-thousand feet above sea level.
As the main cast get exceedingly high, Headhunter explains that he hasn't a clue why the dead are returning to life and he just wanted an excuse for a smoke.
The Doctor realizes that the bedsit was used by a strange alcoholic known as Withnail and is horrified – Withnail was, in fact, a fellow time traveling pisshead like himself who must have got so wasted one day he forgot about his time machine and lived in Cardiff for months before finally twigging and leaving for another universe entirely.
The Time Lord theorizes that Withnail's half-assed uses of "Necromancy Time Traveling For Dummies" has opened a rift through sub-space and uber-time and now things from the other side of the rift are trying to enter our universe.
Presuming Ed starts to play with a globe and chant deeply, scaring the hell out of Rose as he starts talking some creepy voodoo shit about the depressing future and Rose hanging around with metal dogs.
The Doctor announces that they must go to Withnail's bedroom with a pint of goat's blood and a lock from the front door and summon up the powers of darkness.
"Why?" asks Rose.
The Doctor frowns. "Oh. I didn't think of that. Let's do it anyway!"
Parte The Second
Marwood is reluctant to participate in anything so ridiculous, but the Doctor persuades him to join in by promising to get Rose to strip at the end of the ceremony.
With some prompting from the Doctor, Rose opens herself up to the others, and to Marwood's shock, suddenly the pentagram on the floor explodes into billowing clouds of blue gas.
The gas drifts down about the table -- and takes the form of three angelic, humanoid figures who identify themselves as the Gelth. They claim that they lost their corporeal forms when the Moxx of Baloon tore
the Universe apart in the Temporal Difference Of Opinion; the few that remain are dying, and they need to escape the time rift which the Doctor must stabilize.
The Gelth (who accidentally call themselves Geith) then vanish as Rose finally sobers up and is appalled by the fact she's let three total strangers (and one guy she knows very well but is undoubtedly the strangest) get her to dance for them.
The Doctor and the others hastily change the subject and decide to stabilize the time rift by rearranging the feng shui of the apartment Rose still thinks it's pointless, as gas beings didn't arrive on the Earth in 1971.
The Doctor informs her that time is in flux now, and the history Rose knows can be overwritten as easily as snapping one's fingers. He then informs her that she cannot rewrite a single line of history as it is absolutely impossible, just in case.
The Doctor activates his sonic bong and the Gelth/Geith/Gelf appear before them, thanking the Doctor effusively for his help. Chuffed, the Doctor opens up the power of the rift before Rose can point out that a bunch of homicidal wraiths that can't even remember their own names may not be the most trustworthy of alien races.
Suddenly, Presuming Ed opens his mouth and exhales hundreds of fiery, demonic gas beings. The corpses in the drawing room return to life and advance on the living as the alien gas beings prepare to conquer the entire fricken universe.
Marwood, now having been given the fear, flees for his life. Danny politely leaves by escaping down the drainpipe, leaving the Doctor and Rose to be killed by the aliens and provide new hosts for their power.
The Doctor, horrified, realizes he now knows who Presuming Ed is – Smelly Ed, the Eighth Doctor's gaseous companion who wandered off the day Rose ran over the Time Lord. Smelly Ed has escaped back in time and is now planning to annihilate the human race and take over the Earth.
Rose suggests the Doctor reveal his true identity to his former friend but, unsurprisingly, this makes the blue gas created even more determined to kill them. As they are backed into the corner, Rose points out they can hardly die before they meet for the first time, 34 years into the future.
The Doctor just crosses all his fingers and hopes that it's 'you can't rewrite history' this week...
"Oh God! I caused the fall of Troy! I pushed boxes at the Boston Tea Party! I sat through 'Black Scorpion 3: Sting With A Vengeance' and I'm going to die in a dungeon! In Cardiff!"
The advancing alien ghost freeze. "I'M SORRY? DID YOU JUST SAY THAT THIS IS CARDIFF?"
"Yes," the Doctor replies.
"OH," the ghosts mutter. "OH DEAR."
The two zombies collapse to the floor and the curling clouds of Smelly Ed and his army of death return to the rift. "I MEAN," Smelly Ed admits, "BEING DOOMED TO A NON-CORPOREAL EXISTENCE IN THE ETHER IS ONE THING, BUT CARDIFF? NO WAY."
The Doctor waves sorrowfully as the rift vanishes.
The Doctor and Rose leave the groggy Presuming Ed back at the bedsit, stealing the supplies of Mexican marijuana just in case they happen to cause another gas invasion, and head back for the TARDIS.
As they return to the police box, Rose accuses the Doctor of conspiring to find situations involving aliens and large amounts of Class A drugs. The Doctor retorts that this is the third time in a row she has been trapped facing certain death and he's had to save her sorry ass – and if she keeps bitching he is more than prepared to return her back to her home time and place.
"Good!" Rose snaps and steps into the TARDIS.
The Doctor smacks his head and hurries inside just as Headhunter comes round the corner smoking a Camberwell Carrot. The TARDIS de-materializes, and Headhunter passes out.
Book(s)/Other Related -
Doctor Who Versus Peter Marwood
Doctor Who - Gelth Expectations
Doctor Who - Great Expirations (Canada Only)
The League Of Gentlemen Christmas Special
Doctor Mysterio ia Tale Duo Timestreams
Fluffs - Christopher Eccleston seemed Dickensian in this story.
"I'd rather not discuss it as it's the same to all of you," the Doctor responds to Rose's query to why a large amount of the female clothing has been tailored to the Doctor's measurements.
The Doctor claims that he's wearing the national dress of the planet Oxyveguramosa, a verdant stellar fragment in the Apus Constellation – but I saw a Jim Morrison jumper like that at the Newtown Festival. Are there Temporal Difference of Opinion refugees living in Newtown?!?
Marwood sings "If You Wanna Be My Lover" by the Spice Girls, and unless REG took some CDs with him, this is distinctly impossible.
Presuming Ed's dialogue is often audible.
There's a 1998 Ford Laser parked behind Marwood's 1969 Jaguar and an internet café next to the Windsheetodrome.
The 'corpse' of Sir Horace flees the stage when the old lady starts spewing blue energy. How unprofessional.
In the pantry scene, Rose's leather underwear is in shot before she appears, but it's clearly in the wrong place.
Fashion Victims -
The hat worn by the man sitting next to Mrs. Pearce. What a twonk.
The Doctor lies through his teeth, claiming he "reversed the polarity of the ganja flow" to defeat the Gelth when he did nothing of the kind.
Dialogue Disasters -
Rose: First of all you drug me, then you kidnap me – and don't think I didn't feel your hands having a quick wander, you dirty old man – then you send me in a room full of zombies and if that ain't enough, you swan off!!
Doctor: You never used to complain!
Marwood: Doctor, one question. Who are you?
Doctor: I and my friend are what you might call Evaders from Bars.
Marwood: You don't mean the amazingly witty and successful Big Finish play by Mark Gattis which happens to be on sale now for a shockingly reasonable 15 pounds 95 p?!
Doctor: The very same!
Doctor: I'm the Doctor.
Marwood: 'Doctor'? You look like one of those Doors-loving wankers!
Doctor: What is wrong with this jumper?!
The Doctor, on seeing Rose in her naughty gear –
"FanTAStic! Down, boy! Woof, woof!"
Dialogue Triumphs -
Doctor: Still, Pete, I thought you were a right tool in Queen of the Damned, though.
Marwood: I thought you said you were my fan.
Doctor: I am. If I wasn't, I probably would have knifed you for that performance. You were bloody awful.
Doctor: I love Medium. It's so experimental and intriguing.
Rose: I can't believe you just said that.
Doctor: It is!
Rose: Hah! Gimme Tru Calling any day.
Doctor: Gimme Tru any day. Ow!
Marwood: Oh, where?
Marwood: That's human egotism for you. Invade their planet, conquer their people, pervert their course of technological development and most of them won't notice. But if their latest celebrity has an affair out of wedlock, woe betide anyone trying to change the subject. And that prostitute just happens to be a good friend of mine – absolutely nothing happened!
UnQuotable Quote –
Presuming Ed: Harriramma. Hariramma.
Links and References -
The Doctor mentions causing the fall of Troy in The Piss-Takers. The gullible locals are given by way of an explanation the plot of Image of the Ken-Doll by the Doctor, just to confuse them. He also mentions being involved with Wong-Jin in Black Scorpion 3: Sting With A Vengeance, a reference to The Talents of Wong-Jin.
The Temporal Difference of Opinion and its instigator, the Moxx of Baloon, are mentioned yet again and Smelly Ed makes his second appearance after the pre-credit sequence to Ruse.
Untelevised Misadventures -
The whole REG-is-the-bastard-son-of-the-Eighth-Doctor-and-Charley-Pollard arc is nicked from Big Finish. Go there if you're confused.
Charley Pollard is now living in contemporary Cardiff under the name Charlotte Church, making regular appearances in The Sopranos.
K9 Conspiracy –
In this episode, Presuming Ed gets high and says that he, like Rose, has seen some seriously weird crap – including 'a goddamned robot dog'.
Subtext? WHAT Subtext? -
It's made clear that when the Gelth possesses Mrs. Pearce and returns her to life, she's damn well not going to let death stop her seeing 'It All Happened On The 11.20 From Hainault To Redhill Via Horsham And Riegate, Calling At Carshalton Beeches, Malmesbury, Tooting Bec And Croydon West', which shows the Gelth aren't in control. As to why she broke her grandson's neck, well, maybe she just hated him?
Thus, the Gelth changing from pitiable angels into sinister demons comes from Presuming Ed's foul imagination. And, as the Doctor regularly shoots his mouth off about the Temporal Difference of Opinion and old companions (especially when stoned), their whole claim to be Smelly Ed and refugees might be a pile of crap.
So, are the Gelth trying to conquer humanity off their own bat or is it the evil of Presuming Ed? The fact the aliens flee when realizing they are in Cardiff suggests... both.
Er, come back later. I'm thinking about this.
Groovy DVD Extras –
The entirety of 'Withnail an I', finally allowing you to enjoy not only The Presuming Ed but also the Big Finish dramas Zig-Zag-Gay-Ass, Schizo and The Best Wife plus aborted pilot I Scream Boom-Shaka-Laka!
Psychotic Nostalgia –
"You'd be surprised how often the dead come back to life. The number of times I've buried a coffin out the back as they batter on the inside, screaming for release... But they're evil gas aliens! Show them no pity! Wanna see my scar?"
Viewer Quotes -
"You see, kids? Anyone who comes round here saying they're refugees from a war and bloody immigrants in general are alien ghosts who want to rape your livestock and steal your children! Doctor Who said so!"
- David Blunkett (2005)
"There are clear problems with this tale. For one, the Doctor is completely useless in this story - he does nothing but bring about the deaths of two people and fill the world with zombies and it is only the fact Cardiff is such a shit hole that saves the day."
- Swansea Tourism Board (2006)
"Rose dressed in red leather and spikes and the revelation Charlotte Church is India Fisher in disguise! This is Sprained Wrist television, this is! I might mention that also running on BBC at the moment is the drama Fingersmith, a silly bit of hokum with the seemingly obligatory scenes where two girls lez it up with each other. I just wanted to mention that. Thanks." – Nigel Verkoff (2005)
"Damn it! Everything's been prettified, tidied up. Just look at the first shot when Rose steps out onto the oh-so-virginal snow - that street is beautiful. It shouldn't be. The people on those streets would be thin, malnourished shivering waifs, not rosy-cheeked types wrapped up snug and warm. Where are the street-urchins, thieving to stop themselves starving to death? Where's the horse shit? Where's the rubbish, the grime, and the slopped out content of chamber pots? Well?"
- Gritty Realism Monthly (July 2006)
"More Withnail and bloody I being passed off instead of real Doctor Who. Is no one capable of original thought anymore?!"
- Dave Restal (2005)
"I'm loving Rose more and more!!!!!!! And think that they shouldn't bother regenerating the Doctor... Just give Rose her own show!!!!!!"
- Billie Piper's Agent (2005)
"Eccleston! YOOOOOOOOOOOOUUUUU... QUITTER!!! Where the FUCK do you get off refusing to appear in season two! Fear of type-casting – fear of commitment, you sad, insignificant piece of crap! FINE! Off to the builder's site you useless SHIT! GOOD RIDDANCE! I HOPE YOU GET BOWEL CANCER! And RTD, if you so much as THINK as casting David Tennant I will shove barbed wire down your throat, pull it out your arse and run it back and forth through you LIKE DENTAL FLOSS! Go for a black actor or face the consequences!"
- a completely impartial news report on behalf of eyeofsaurus.com.uk
Christopher Eccleston Speaks!
"Yeah, Mark Gatiss wrote this one, didn't he? I was with him on The League of Gentlemen, when he made me dress in a hat, long scarf and coat and answer to the name 'Doctor'. It's only now, much later, that I get why he suddenly announced, 'Ooh, you look like Doctor Who,' before he grabbed me by the throat and shook me saying, 'You bastard, that part's mine! I'm watching you, buster!' Lovely bloke, though."
Russell T Davies Speaks!
"The Presuming Ed was the first script I didn't write. You can tell the pilot isn't at the controls, can't you?"
The Doctor's catchphrase of "FanTAStic!" was picked up when he got sick of having to explain his previous one ('And Tiny Tim, who did not die') to particularly thick sky-jellyfish who don't pay attention.
Rumors & Facts -
Mark Gatiss had already made contributions to Doctor Who as both a writer and an actor prior to scripting The Presuming Ed in early 2004. Gatiss had first made a name for himself writing for Doctor Who: The New Adventures series, including Nightshade and St Almo's Fire. He continued his affiliation with BBC Books' Past Doctors range, penning The Petrolheads and Blast Of Gardening.
Gatiss contributed scripts to Big Finish's series of Doctor Who audio plays as well, his credits including Evaders From Bars (which was pointlessly name checked in The Presuming Ed). Gatiss also tackled a number of roles in the Big Finish audios, including that of the Bastard in the Doctor Who Unsoiled play Sympathy For The Weevil.
Furthermore, Gatiss both co-wrote and acted in a series of comedy sketches for BBC2's Doctor Who Night in 1999 -- including playing the Doctor, accompanied by an annoying floating pink cloud referred to as Edward.
The Presuming Ed started life as a New Adventure for the Seventh Doctor, Ace and Bernice. However, due to the lack of drug use, gratuitous non-consensual sex with farmyard animals and Madonna songs, it was rejected.
It was similarly rejected as a Big Finish adventure for the Sixth Doctor, Peri and Sil due to the overabundance of drug use, gratuitous non-consensual sex with farmyard animals and Madonna songs.
When Gatiss' aborted Doctor Who 2000 idea (which would have been a Year Zero-style re-imagination to piss off fans) fell through due to the sporadic inclusion of drug use, gratuitous non-consensual sex with farmyard animals and Madonna songs, Gatiss made it quite clear in an interview to Doctor Who Magazine that nothing in the universe could save the series now.
The very next issue had the banner DOCTOR WHO RETURNS TO TV!!!
Executive producer Russell T Davies took pity on him and let him write an episode - specifically "The Amazing New Adventures of Doctor Who: the Last of the Time Lords from The Journeys of Rose Tyler Being a Fantastical Tale of a Young Earth Wanderer and Interplanetary Explorer within The Environs of A Gentleman's TARDIS Part Three: Act One - The Young Miss Tyler Enjoys Recreational Drugs With Complete Strangers Thirty-four Years Before She Was Even Born."
Gatiss handed over a third of his Presuming Ed BF submission under the new title "The Strange And Incredible Affair Of The Mischievous Moxx Of Baloon," a Yuletide tale of devilry and mischief featuring the esteemed maestro of the written word Mister Mark Gatiss. Not only did this story firmly stamp the series onto the end of the Eighth Doctor's Big Finish adventures with references to Charley and the REG Doctor, it also drained out any remaining plot potential from Withnail & I.
When RTD, however, caught Gatiss paying a large amount of money into Christopher Eccleston's bank account so he would leave at the end of this first series and allow Gatiss to be the Tenth Doctor, he was furious.
He demanded a number of completely pointless rewrites to the story and demanded that the gassy companion Smelly Ed be revealed to be an evil alien overlord working for the Moxx of Baloon. Also, instead of the Doctor talking and trying to understand the zombies when he comes face to face with them, the Time Lord was now to fly-kick their heads off and made a joke about moisturizing.
Gatiss did so with his trademark smiling optimism and removed the subplot where Marwood, crippled with the fear, started lighting his own farts and killing out the peaceful Gelth, who in turn declared war on the human race. He also added a lot of digs about Cardiff being the back of beyond – which were kept in despite the curious decision to film in Swansea for A Message From The Fog.
The story's title shifted randomly from A Message From The Fog to Steam! to Poltergelth to Gas Light to The Ghost of Christmas That Never Was to The Ghouls to Whatever Happened To Charley Pollard? Finally, RTD relented and allowed its original title, The Presuming Ed, to be used.
Filming for the second block began in early September, and concluded around the end of October and its broadcast – boosted after a figure resembling Rob Shearman beat Pope Jean Paul II to death in his bed – was totally screwed over as people thought that the story of zombies, racial hatred and drug use was unsuitable for family audiences. Mainly, this was because there was no part where Headhunter gave a recipe for making a Camberwell Carrot for the viewers at home.
Nevertheless, this tale of sex, drugs, rock and roll, railway timetables, murder, aliens, zombies and groping insensible blondes somehow managed to beat the Royal Wedding in the ratings – continuing the trend since 1981 where more people tuned into watch The Webber's Gate rather than Charles and Di's wedding.
Ha! In your face, Windsors!
"...£2 million worth of improvements done to Big Ben as a UFO reverse parks in Central London..."
"What is it then? An invasion?"
"Funny way to invade – putting the world on red alert."
"How do you mean? Funny-haha or funny-strange?"
"By God I'll put this country under martial law if I have to. Benton! Put the UK under martial law – at the double! And lay on a jeep and pose for some photos while you're at it!"
"Defense plan alpha!"
"What, you mean stand around and do nothing?"
"OK, defense plan beta!"
"What, you mean wander around and do nothing?"
"Let the Prime Minister be kidnapped by two terrorist in an old car?!"
"Plan epsilon, then?"
"What, you mean take total orders from a nutter in a police box?"
"That's the one! Come on! Move!"
...Alias of London...
BONUS! DOCTOR WHO AUDITIONS!
RTD was not so completely deranged when he cast Christopher "This Is Me Swanning Off!" Eccleston as the Ninth Doctor. A dozen other artistes were considered for the role and their audition tapes are transcribed here to show you the alternatives that made Chris Eccleston seem like such a sensible choice.
Upon discovering that Eccleston was in favor of stepping down in favor of Mark Gatiss during the recording of The Presuming Ed, RTD challenged Gatiss to prove he was a decent Doctor. Gatiss ripped off his every day clothes to reveal he had been wearing his Lewis Carrol Doctor Who Night outfit for the last few years. The smell wafting off said outfit provided the visual effects of the Gelth.
This final scene for the story was recorded as an audition which RTD watched 0.0003 seconds of before calling Gatiss a shit actor and telling him not to get ideas above his station – Hack City.
Extract from "Doctor Who – The Tale Of The Last Christmas" Episode 2:
(Setting: The TARDIS control room. The Doctor [Mark Gattis] and Rose [Billie Piper] are present. The time rotor is at rest.)
Doctor: I thought you were sleeping.
Doctor: What's the matter?
Rose: Oh, I *don't* know! Can't POSSIBLY imagine!
Doctor: Oh, well, go back to bed then and stop bothering me.
Rose: Sure. You CAN'T worry about individuals! The universe is a bigger picture. That is crap and you know it! That 'bigger picture' nearly took over my world!
Doctor: Look, I can't save everyone!
Rose: Maybe you should just start with one.
Doctor: Hey, that's an idea! (Clears throat, embarrassed) Look, the Gelth were manipulating us. Making us open the rift. Smoke dope. Drink tequila. Make you do pole dancing...
Rose: Are you going to blame the Gelth EVERY time you screw up?
(A long pause.)
Doctor: (Taken aback) You – you think that'd work?
Rose: No it won't! You nearly got me killed!
Doctor: I told you it was dangerous. Calm down.
Rose: No you didn't!
Doctor: Details, details...
Rose: You told me it would be perverse!
Doctor: And it is...
Rose: BEFORE you kidnapped me!
Doctor: Rose, calm down.
Rose: And I will not calm down!
Rose: NO! You know, Clive was right – you bring death and destruction everywhere. You let Joan Collins die, you let the Gelth attack. How can I trust that it won't be me? What if I get in the way of your 'bigger picture'?
Doctor: If you don't like it, then maybe you should just go home...
(The Doctor feels her arse and she roundhouse kicks him, punches him in the gut, twice in the face and ends with Rose getting the Doctor in a strangle-hold, banging his head against the console.)
Doctor: (Concussed) OooOOooh. Feisty!
(He loses consciousness as Rose continues to bash him.)
(Roll end credits)