Serial 108 – Shell Shock
An Alternate Program Guide by Ewen Campion Clarke
From An Entry In The EC Unauthorized Guide O' Ration Coupons
"YOA's Discontinuity Guides – Inaccurate But Caring."
Serial 108 – Shell Shock -
A mauve cylinder with the words 'Chase Me!' written on it hurtles through space and time with the TARDIS in hot pursuit. The Doctor is certain this runaway cylinder contains a vast amount of duty-free Malibu, as mauve is the universally recognized code for alcohol – bar the bizarre Tudor species, where mauve represents the most gross danger of the biological hazard-type nature.
In the belief that this cylinder is not a weapon of mass destruction, the Doctor hacks into the cylinder's flight computer and is following it. Rose, however, sees the Doctor messing about with the TARDIS laptop and thinks he is just trying to beat Destiny of the Doctors. Again.
The cylinder is thirty seconds from crashing into Earth, and the Doctor is determined to stop it at any cost.
Until he realizes that it now heading for the centre of Cardiff.
ACT ONE – THE BUMPY RIDE
Parte The First
The TARDIS materializes in an alleyway, and the Doctor and Rose emerge, unaware that they're being observed. I mean, you think after all this time they'd at least consider the possibility some ungodly monster is peering at them – it does every OTHER time they land.
But this time, the monster is not a Dommervoy. Or the Bastard. Or a Dustbin. And, before you ask, it's not a Cyberman, either.
It's a four-year-old boy in a gasmask, a little itsy-bitsy crybaby whining for his mother.
How pathetic is that?!
Anyway, the Doctor infodumps Rose that since the cylinder was jumping time tracks so erratically, it probably arrived three or four weeks earlier, so whatever alcohol the cylinder contained is probably off.
Rose assumes that the Doctor is going to scan the city for signs of alien technology, and is disappointed when he announces that as he is unlikely to be able to drink all that alcohol, he will now take up his ninth-life-long dream of becoming a drag act.
Hearing music and the sounds of a crowd behind a nearby door, the Doctor uses his sonic screwdriver to break in. Once in the smoky jazz lounge, he sucker-punches Vera Lynn and steals her dress, before taking the stage and begins to croon It Had To Be You.
The crowd burst out laughing, and the Doctor is crushed when he realizes that his gritty Northern complexion and lack of mascara mean he is the least convincing female impersonator since Tarzan ate Jane's lipstick and chatted up a gorilla.
Rose finds a young boy in a gas mask standing on a roof calling out for its mummy infinitely less creepy than the Doctor's sudden transvestitism and climbs onto the roof. She then decides to climb a rope to a barrage balloon, presumably in the belief the little crybaby has decided to climb five hundred feet up in the air.
Wouldn't you know it, but this is exactly the moment the balloon comes loose from its moorings, drifting away from the building just as an air raid begins.
Rose is left dangling precariously in mid-air, desperately clutching onto the rope as German planes hurtle through the air around her, wearing a great big Union Jack like a bull's-eye on her T-shirt.
It must be a Thursday. Never could get the hang of Thursdays.
The Doctor, dejected from his poor reception at the jazz lounge, returns to the TARDIS and, finding Rose gone, decides to dump her in 1941 and instead take a nearby cat as his companion.
However, the adventures of the Ninth Doctor and Splinx the cat are cut short when the phone in the TARDIS' exterior cubby-hole starts to ring. This should be impossible, since it's not a real phone.
A teenage girl arrives in the alley and warns the Doctor not to answer the phone – and this convinces the Doctor to answer the phone faster than a debate team comprising of really clever criminal psychologists.
The Doctor is taken aback when, instead of the presumed heavy breathing, all he gets is a child asking for its mummy.
"Sorry, wrong number. Why aren't you in school, anyway?" the Doctor demands and hangs up.
It strikes the Doctor that the city, being in the middle of the Blitz, is pretty much deserted and he can loot to his hearts' content. His first port of call is the ludicrously overweight Lloyd family home. After initially suspecting the farting, belching and rotund Arthur Lloyd is really a Slitheen in disguise, the Doctor enters the house and starts stealing everything not nailed down.
There he meets that creepy girl who has, together with her band of orphaned sociopathic kleptomaniacs, already claimed Cardiff as her patch and is already stealing the turkey.
They take an immediate liking to each other's callous attitudes.
Rose, meanwhile, is still dangling from the balloon. The wild-haired man in the frock coat holding onto another rope from the balloon proves no help at all – he does this sort of thing for fun and idly wonders if Rose might be interested in a barrage balloon race for the next raid.
As the Doctor and Nancy loot the streets of Cardiff, the former wonders what kind of godlike deity would have enough time on its hands to make prank phone calls on phones that don't even work.
The rest of the gang react oddly to the Time Lord's description of a mauve cylinder smelling like rubbing alcohol and suddenly a young child turns the alley corner, wearing a gas mask.
Nancy and her gang are terrified of this figure, much to the Doctor's complete and utter bewilderment. "Nancy, you are perpetrating a crime wave with underage accomplices in the middle of an air raid and you're scared of some wimpy little toddler in a gas mask?!"
Nancy tells the Doctor that he must not let this child touch him.
"Weird," the Doctor replies. "Usually, it's the other way round."
The boy's voice emerges from the stolen radio, telephone and clapping-monkey toy in the gang's loot bags and this proves so terrifying that Nancy and her orphans flee into the night.
The boy closes in on the Doctor before suddenly disappearing. The Doctor isn't at all surprised. I mean, a backward four-year-old with the IQ of minus seven isn't exactly something that terrifies him.
Rose finally falls off the rope and is caught by a tractor beam emanating from one of the searchlights sweeping across the city. Unfortunately, Rose's mobile interferes with the signal and she plummets out of the sky once more.
The spiky-haired Scotsman in plaid controlling the searchlight turns to the severed head of Pierce Brosnan in a jar and says, "Bugger."
As Rose tumbles out of the sky, it looks like she's doomed. Good. I've gone right off the flirty bint. And her hair done up like that just emphasizes those Janet Street-Porter teeth of hers. Ugh.
But Rose doesn't die, and instead smashes straight into an invisible spaceship moored next to Big Ben – though why the hell Big Ben is in the middle of Cardiff, I have absolutely no idea - and lands in the lap of Captain Jack Sparrow. Sprarrow is a dreadlocked young man whose American flight outfit consists of his casual clothes and a badge saying "HI! I'M JACK, AN AMERICAN VOLUNTEER IN THE RAF'S 133 SQUADRON" and has the sobriety and self-control of Keith Richards. As he is now.
Rose automatically begins to flirt with Jack and he, being a enlightened 51st century guy, offers to shag her on "the balcony" of his ship as Glen Miller's "Moonlight Serenade" plays and the Germans bomb the crap out of Wales.
The Doctor follows Nancy to her shelter in an abandoned railway engine, and demands to know why she's frightened by the child in the gas mask. He brags that he wasn't scared and, for some unfathomable reason, suspects that this mystery is related to the crash of the mauve cylinder.
Nancy finally admits that the cylinder fell on the other side of Cardiff and is now being guarded by UNIT as that particular piece of continuity still hasn't been sorted out.
To the Time Lord's surprise, Nancy also tells him that if he wants to find out what’s going on, he’ll have to speak to "the Doctor".
"Hmmm. This Doctor, does he look a bit like Worzel Gummidge dressed as Jimmi Hendrix?"
"More like Cassonova dressed as Liberace."
Elsewhere, the spiky-haired Scotsman starts swearing loudly...
Parte The Second
Leaving the Face of Bond and an as-yet-undisclosed other to deal with this mess, the Scotsman runs into a police box in the corner of the room which promptly disappears with a wheezing, groaning sound.
Meanwhile, Jack - known affectionately as 'the worst Time Agent ever seen' - assures Rose that they are perfectly safe and then illuminates Big Ben just to show he can. He explains that a Tudor booze canister lies in the heart of Cardiff and unless he gets a hefty reward from Rose and the Doctor (who he believes to be other, more professional Time Agents), he will let the Welsh get totally blasted on this illegal alien hootch.
The Doctor sets off to check out the crash site, but as Nancy had told him, the cylinder is under a tarpaulin, behind a fence, guarded by UNIT soldiers, behind a moat, a stretch of marshland, a tribe of Welsh cannibals, a fire-breathing dragon and turnstile.
Nancy again advises him to speak to the Doctor in the nearby hospital, assuming that he doesn't just explain everything later. As she sets off to collect more goods from the Lloyds' house, the Doctor asks her one last question.
In response, Nancy slaps him very, VERY hard.
The Doctor sympathizes for Nancy's reluctance, but admits that he's impressed by her strength, the same stalwart spirit that enabled the British to make a stand against Hitler and stop the German advance in its tracks.
"1941. Right now, not very far from here, the German war machine is rolling up the map of Europe. Country after country, falling like dominoes. Nothing can stop it. Nothing. Until one tiny, damp little island says 'No! No, not here!'"
"What cloying, inaccurate crap!"
"European countries aren't dropping like dominoes – they've already fallen apart from Greece and the Soviet Union. The Germans aren't being scared off by British resistance, they were concentrating on the East already for strategic reasons."
"Are they? What about the whole mouse-in-front-of-a-lion stuff?!"
"We're just fighting to pad out the conflict long enough for the Americans to join the war! Besides, there are plenty of people who sympathize with Hitler. We don't mind Nazism, in fact we're right behind the fascists in the Spanish Civil War! And you think this is some bastion of anti-Nazi sentiment?!"
"Well, Nancy, it is possible I may have exaggerated. I mean, I admit it – my entire knowledge of World War II comes solely from the title sequence of Dad's Army. Anyway, what's the use of a national myth if you can't perpetuate it?!"
He and Nancy go their separate ways... unaware that the empty child is here and is following Nancy. Because a four-year-old boy in a gas mask screaming for his mummy at the top of his voice during 1941 Cardiff is easy to miss, isn't it?
The Doctor finds himself at Albion Hospital and is rather surprised because the last time he visited it, it was in London. In 2005. As he is here relating to a crashed spaceship, the Doctor announces if he finds a pig in a spacesuit in this hospital, he's leaving now.
Breaking open the padlocked gates with his sonic screwdriver, the Doctor finds wards full of lifeless bodies, one to a bed, all wearing gas masks.
He then meets the one living inhabitant of the hospital, the Other Ninth Doctor – a man with long brown hair, a velvet jacket and rubbery features. The Doctor recognizes this man as a half-arsed clone he created in the Temporal Difference of Opinion as stunt-double. Unfortunately, the cloned Eighth Doctor accidentally brutally cut his head off shaving and regenerated into a form resembling Rowan Atkinson.
"So, mate, how ya been?" the real Ninth Doctor asks.
"Oh, fortune vomits on my question mark eiderdown yet again. I got engaged to this cracking blond girl called Emma Bunting – but then I got zapped by a Zectronic Beam Controller, ended up changing five times in as many minutes and ended up looking like a woman."
"Didn't last then?"
"Manifestly not. Sadly. Well, I tried to tell Emma that I was still the man who fell in love with her, but she nicked my sonic screwdriver and I haven't seen her since. I teamed up with the Face of Bond and have been trying to make a quick buck ever since."
"You think that'll keep the fans happy?"
"Hope so. On with the plot."
The Other Ninth Doctor, or OND as I shall now refer to him, explains that the mauve canister has caused all of this. All the victims contracted a kind of drunken plague from the cylinder – symptoms include drunkenness, loss of coordination, Oedipus complex, loss of appetite and the bizarre sexual fetish of putting on gas masks and asking each other if they are their mummy.
"They're not dead," OND explains. "Just hungover."
OND kicks aside a trash and his "patients" react to the noise, sitting up as if in alarm.
"I do that whenever I get bored. They're funnier when they're doing conga lines. But the plague is highly infectious. Touch any of their flesh and the next thing you know you're like them."
"So, er, shouldn't you be wearing gloves?"
"Ah. I think the phrase rhymes with 'clucking bell'."
So saying, the OND suddenly starts doing the funky chicken, puts on a gas mask, asks the Face of Bond if he is his mummy and passes out.
Definitely a Thursday, then.
At that moment, Rose and Jack stagger in, breathlessly adjusting their clothes. Rose explains the relevant plot details to the Doctor, who decides to tie Jack to a chair and shines a bright light in his face until he confesses.
After a sufficient amount of padding has passed, Jack sings like a tweetie pie and reveals he's just an extremely drunk con-man who regularly hurls mauve cylinders at time machines and tries to spin a yarn about alien hootch before running off with money.
"When I saw the phone box, I thought it was Bill and Ted. They're normally good for a few thousand credits and some biscuits."
"What about the Tudor booze canister?"
"Doc, it's fake. A mock-Tudor booze canister, if you will."
Rose wonders just what alien liquor, real or fake, can have to do with a hospital full of pissed idiots in gas masks. The Doctor explains that their DNA has been re-written by an idiot.
"Not... Mickey?!" Rose gasps.
"I hope not. It'll probably just be Lavros, or the Bastard or someone like that."
Nancy is cracking open the Lloyds' safe when the empty child lurches out of the shadows towards her. Nancy hides under the table. This doesn't really work.
The episode is winding up, so suddenly all the patients in the ward at Albion Hospital all sit bolt upright and get out of bed, calling for mummy. The Doctor warns Rose and Jack not to let the patients touch them, but the zombies surround them, backing them up against a wall.
What a bunch of wimps.
"I know what's happening here, but believe me, I had nothing to do with it. The gasmask plague, though, yeah, that's down to me."
"I'll tell you what's happening. You forgot to set your alarm clock. It's Shrove Tuesday!"
"OK, that door should hold it for a bit."
"A door?! The wall didn't stop it."
"Oh, I didn't think about that."
"Halt! Don't move! Don't ambulate! Cease and desist! FREEZE, damn it!"
"Rose! Get the fire extinguisher! I'm on fire!!"
"You've got the moves? Show me the moves. The world doesn't end because the Doctor prances."
"Batten down the hatches!"
"Just do it – or that alcohol is taken in the hands of a hysterical four year old, looking for his mummy – and nothing in the world can stop a violet alcoholic who can't handle his booze!"
...Shell Shock. Still...
ACT TWO – THE DOCTOR'S BANANAS
With nothing else to lose, the Doctor steps forward and addresses the gas-masked zombies and tells them: "I AM A GOD OF THE FOURTH! AND YOU LOT CAN JUST PISS OFF BACK HOME!"
To his relief, they bow their heads sadly and return to their beds.
"Fancy that – some webcasts ARE canon after all!"
Parte The Third
Once the immediate crisis passes, Jack regains some of his swagger and announces that if the people of 1941 can't hold their liquor, it's not his fault and he's getting the hell out of here.
The empty child wanders off home, sadly, and Nancy is caught by the Lloyds when the all-clear sounds. Arthur realizes that Nancy has been looting their house but Nancy uses a craft mixture of psychology and latent homophobia to not only escape, but also get the loot and a torch, wire cutters and a musical toilet paper holder.
What a girl. I wish she was the new companion. Sigh.
The Doctor takes Rose and Jack to room 101, boring the hell out of the others about the time he blew up the 51st-century factories and replaced them with banana groves due to the Time Lord's strange banana fixation – an idea which has fueled many a slashy fanfic.
Room 101 is a room. Uh, where the empty child spent a few days before going on a rampage. The Doctor manages to make this amazing logical deduction that the little kid in the gas mask is somehow connected to the hospital-full of people in gas masks. Wow.
The empty child arrives, prepared to crash out and sleep off the booze, but instead starts asking the three time travelers if they are his mummy. Shock horror.
Jack points his gun at the child, only to discover that he's now holding a banana and that the Doctor has the gun. The Doctor disintegrates a hole in the wall, and as soon as he, Rose and Jack have leapt through, Jack grabs back his gun and reintegrates the wall. Why they didn't dis-re-integrate the empty child, I don't know.
The other gas mask zombies lurch towards them. Very slowly.
Luckily, a trapdoor in the floor opens at that precise moment and the trio are saved. They end up in the ward below and flee into an empty office – that is, an office that's empty rather than a freaky gas mask-wearing room asking for its mummy.
Jack decides this is getting too silly and vanishes when the Doctor points the banana at him.
"Oh yeah! I lurve bananas! Bananas are good!"
Nancy returns to an abandoned house and disbands her gang of underage thieves – she's determined to break into the bomb site and nick something, anything, in the hope that the empty child will leave them alone. And also for some cash.
Jack has used his emergency teleport to return to his ship, but it's going to take some time for him to bypass its security codes and rescue Rose as well. He contacts them by using his omni-comni-domni-bromni-link, which allows him to speak through anything with a speaker grille - just like the child.
"Doesn't seem so creepy now, does it?" the Doctor muses, before demanding that he get rescued along with Rose or else.
The Doctor does not believe Jack will rescue them. Maybe it's just the fact that the guy's a self-proclaimed criminal who dragged them here in the first place and insulted their clothes, got Rose wasted, tried to shoot a four-year-old child AND dissed the sonic screwdriver before vanishing in a puff of boredom, but the Doctor just doesn't trust him.
Rose claims that Jack is a lot like the Doctor, except that he does not have a strange banana fetish. The Doctor is put out by Rose's assumption that he fetishes fresh fruit, and just then they are both teleported up to Jack's ship before the conversation can go any further. Thankfully.
There, the Doctor hastily changes the conversation and makes the floating nanogenes aboard the ship spell out the words JACK IS A WANKER and announces that the time ship is stolen from the Tudor people as well. He then accuses of Jack of copy-catting the Time Lord's MO.
Jack realises that the Doctor doesn't trust him, but admits to Rose that the Doctor might have good reason; the Time Agency took two years of Jack's memories away from him while he was still an Agent himself, and he has no idea what he did in that missing time.
"Of course, it might not have been the Time Agency. Maybe it was just one too many Ossbossan Soul-Killers. Either way, I was stuffed."
Elsewhere, Nancy easily breaks into the bomb site, and is just as easily captured by some anachronistic UNIT troops and locked up next to a wasted soldier named Jenkins who admits he has a curious craving for putting on a gasmask and crying for his mummy.
Proving herself far more intelligent than any UNIT officer, Nancy is not surprised that the empty child virus is present in her jailer. Though her grunting, "Yeah, am I your mummy, get on with it" in an unimpressed fashion does kill any possible tension in the scene.
The Doctor, Rose and Jack arrive at the crash site, and Rose offers to distract the guard on duty; however, Jack recognizes him as Algy and Jack sets off to 'distract' Algy himself, and the Doctor explains that the people of the 51st century are a bit more flexible when it comes to... well, screwing just about anything that moves.
"But yet there is still so much intolerance over bananas, Rose. Sometimes I wonder if there is any hope for the future," the Doctor weeps and that Enya crooning begins in the background.
However, when Jack greets Algy, it becomes apparent that Algy now has the brain power of a concussed four-year-old asking for its mummy. I would say Jack would have to be incredibly moronic not to connect this behavior with the empty child, but maybe underage head injuries are his major turn-on and he thinks Algy is just playing along.
Algy puts on a gas mask and starts to wander in search of his mummy.
The Doctor and Rose rush forward, but the Doctor now knows that the infection has gone airborne, and it could strike at any time. There could be only hours before the entire human race is affected.
"Humanity will be completely pissed! And not in the American sense!"
Parte the Fourth
Just in case you'd forgotten (and, frankly, I wouldn't blame you if you had), there is an air raid on and thanks to Jack's piloting skills the Tudor canister is directly under the bombing run.
The Doctor decides if he's going to be turned into a gas-mask-wearing drunk for the rest of eternity, he's going to get drunk one last time. He is distracted at the last moment by the noise of singing from the nearby shed and decides to investigate, banana at the ready.
There he finds the terrified Nancy singing 'My Way' with the gas-masked Jenkins as the virus makes him want to karioke.
The Doctor frees her and takes her to the cylinder, idly wondering if she might want to travel with him through time and space in a police box because, frankly, the latest girl just isn't working out.
Jack punches in the release code and the cylinder opens to reveal...
...it's empty! All the alien hootch has been drunk!
On top of this calamity, all the gas-masked zombies in the hospital detect the fumes of alcohol and rise from their beds, marching towards the crash site for more liquor.
Rose orders the Doctor to, for once, tell them what he knows about the situation rather than wait for everyone else to figure it out and insult them for not thinking faster.
The Doctor grouchily explains that the 'plague' are just nanogenes from Jack's stolen Tudor space ship that got completely wasted on the alcohol fumes and have been mindlessly re-writing DNA of humans after they woke up, hungover on the corpse of a gas-mask wearing child.
"They were so plastered they could barely tell flesh from rubber and thought Jamie's internal injuries were supposed to be like that. When they finally sobered up they realized their mistake and, instead of doing the sensible thing like changing him back to normal they instead are turning every living thing on this planet into a gas-mask monster. But do not despair – I have a plan!"
The Doctor decides to spend his last few minutes watching Series 7 of Red Dwarf on a portable DVD player. He explains that, as the first episode "Tikka to Ride" held the clue as how to restore history last week when Rose saved her dad from his death, surely the last episode "Nanarchy" should help them out now.
Guess what? It does!
Jack swears loudly and teleports himself to safety.
Nancy breaks down in tears as the zombies approach and reveals she is, in fact, Jamie's mother. For reasons that aren't gone into here, she pretended to be his sister. Guess it seemed like a good idea at the time, and I bet Nancy gets more blokes if they DON'T know she's got a kid, so fair enough.
Nancy suggests that if she reveals this to Jamie they might stop the endless "Are you my mummy?" shite and save the day.
"No!" the Doctor roars. "I thought up something else first. And I'm the Time Lord here, so shut up! I'll just reprogram the nanogenes with one of these..."
He produces a timid lab rat from his pocket.
"...and one of these!"
In his other hand is a banana.
Rose begins to weep with embarrassment.
"Everyone knows that human DNA is fundamentally just the DNA of a rat mixed with the DNA of a banana! Time to save the day!"
Just then, a large bomb drops out of the sky and is teleported away at the last moment by Captain Jack in his ship. As the Doctor shouts loudly that HE was going to be the one to save the day for once, Jack flicks him the V sign and powers off into space.
The Doctor shrugs and zaps the zombies who sober up, take off their gas masks and wonder why the hell that they're all gathered in a disused railway station. The OND takes command and the Doctor and Rose sod off in the TARDIS as the former lists the amazing abilities of bananas and how they really aren't appreciated enough in society.
As the scotsman returns to make a bundle of cash selling on the nanogenes to the third-solar-system planets with the aid of OND and the Face of Bond, Nancy is free to once more hang around singles bars while Jamie wanders around during an air-raid learning the tricks of the trade from his fellow urchins.
Aboard the TARDIS, the Doctor feels rather put out. True, he has resolved anything but there were no fantastic explosions or horrible gorey deaths. Bit of a wasted night, all in all.
Rose asks after Captain Jack and the Doctor is confident that the smug bastard is alive and well. Not even he would be stupid enough to take the bomb inside his ship, and even if he has he's obviously aware that the tractor beam and teleport can get him out of danger.
It's not like he's just twigged that the ship is about to blow and has decides to drown his sorrows or anything like that, is it? Is it?
The Doctor sighs very loudly and Rose pouts until he sets the controls to take the TARDIS for Jack's ship.
Jack has indeed discovers that the bomb is about to explode and thanks to its shoddy German construction won't even stay frozen in a stasis field. He decides to start drinking martinis with too much vermouth in the hope he will get so pissed he will wake up in a bar somewhere two years later with no idea how he escaped. I mean, it worked last time.
Anyway, before he can try this, the Doctor clobbers him unconscious and drags him aboard the TARDIS. The Doctor justifies this GBH to Rose as a way of preventing the 'it's-bigger-on-the-inside' conversation.
The Doctor sets the TARDIS in motion and as Jack's ship explodes, the Doctor insists Rose not flirt with such a camp character.
"Who are you calling camp?!" Jack demands, waking up.
"You, Jack! You see, this is you: Eeny-meeny-decca-meanie-oo-wop-bop-a-leeny-atchie-katchie-Liberace-I-love-you!" the Doctor squeaks as he prances around the TARDIS console acting effeminately.
Rose and Jack are bemused, but grateful at least he's not doing anything with a banana.
Book(s)/Other Related -
Doctor Who – The Doctor Prances
Doctor Who And The Bed-Wetting-Inducing Terror
Zombie Monthly – Doctor Who Series One special
Sci-Fi Banana Fetish: Putting on the Blitz
Roots – I'm not sure if it's Marxism in action or a west-end musical
Fluffs – Christopher Eccleston seemed a bit war-torn in this story.
"You can wait for inspiration till the cows come home. Just what is it about procrastination that attracts beef, anyway?"
"Oh, dear god that is DISGUSTING!" screams John Barrowman when the Doctor shows him the banana. I guess they left it in for the passion.
OK, first off the TARDIS telephone has 'British Telecom' written on it. It also falls over when Rose steps out of it in the first scene.
Confusion between Cardiff and England aside, no one puts up the blackouts during an air raid and, indeed, there seem to be 2005 double-decker red buses driving around.
The sounds of the air raids are clearly being made by a drunken sound assistant – hence the phrases "Pow!" "Ka-zap!" "Die in bed, you English pig-dog!" "Splat!" and "Of COURSE I'm fit to drive!!" punctuating the gunfire and explosions.
The Doctor abandons his dreams of being Danny la Rue far too quickly for it to be remotely credible.
The Doctor's sonic screwdriver is replaced with a set of nostril-hair clippers for most of this story.
Why does Nancy try to escape the house through the chimney when there are two perfectly good doors at the front and back?
If Jamie's communication powers can use anything with a speaker grill, then how does he affect the typewriter and clapping monkey? Are typewriters and clapping monkeys inherently possessed of evil power? Is Steven Moffat perhaps trying to tell us something?
One of the zombie can be seen smoking a cigarette during the mass exodus of the hospital.
Jack's ship has two lighting technicians playing dice in the corner.
The trains in the railway station/bomb site are clearly Thomas the Tank Engine extras.
Fashion Victims –
Rose's Union Jack shirt makes her look either like Tim Brooke-Taylor or Stupid Ape Spice. Maybe both.
Captain Jack can "reverse the trajectory of the sexual orientation flow seemingly at will!"
Dialogue Disasters -
Doctor: Right you lot, lots to do - beat the Germans, save the world and don’t forget the welfare state!
OND: You have NO idea what you're talking about, do you?
Rose: I know you don't believe it now but this isn't the end of the world. I was born around here. I'm a Londoner from fifty years in the future. They don't come here, Nancy. They never come here... The Oasis tour never happens. Trust me on that.
Doctor: Don't drop the banana.
Jack: Why not?
Doctor: Good source of potassium. And a banana can be a very dangerous weapon in the right hands, you know. Very hard to get the stains out of clothes!
Rose: Just admit it, Doctor – you've got a fetish!
Rose: Can we go and rescue Jack now?
Doctor: Rose, I'm busy resonating concrete.
Rose: Oh, there's always SOME excuse isn't there? "Rose, I'm busy resonating concrete". "Rose, I'm busy reversing the polarity of the neutron flow". "Rose, I'm busy washing my hair". I'M SICK OF IT, DOCTOR! There's only so many crap excuses for not doing stuff because you can't be arsed a girl can take!
Doctor: I like bananas. Bananas are good.
Rose: AND SHUT THE HELL UP ABOUT THOSE FUCKING BANANAS!!
Dialogue Triumphs -
Doctor: There's never a policeman when you need one.
Rose: A policeman can't help us!
Doctor: No, but I'm sure he could sacrifice himself nobly while we run for our miserable lives in the opposite direction.
Doctor: I'm really glad that worked. Those would have been terrible last words.
Rose: Oh, what would you want your last words to be?
Doctor: Something like this: "Rose, I... love... BANANAS!"
Doctor: It's got the power of a god, and I just sent it to its room. Oh yeah. Who's your daddy? Who's your daddy? I'M YOUR DADDY!
Child: Are you my mummy?
Doctor: No, fool I'm your daddy – uh-oh.
Rose: Why is it always the great looking ones who are gay?
Doctor: I'm making an effort not to be insulted. I failed.
(The Doctor bitch-slaps Rose.)
Doctor: HOW DARE YOU!! Why do you fancy him, anyway?!
Rose: He flosses. Bloke-wise that's up there with saving my life.
Doctor: I save your life every day.
Rose: Do you floss?
Doctor: Hey, I save your life EVERY day!!
Doctor: I've traveled with a lot of people, but you're setting new records for terminal bimbo airheadedness.
Rose: What about that bomb?'
Doctor: Taken care of it.
Doctor: Bananas. Is there anything they can't do??
Old Woman: My leg's grown back. How do you explain that, then?
Other Ninth Doctor: I'll explain that... later.
Doctor: The barman says that all the booze is gone, and who am I to argue with the barman?
Rose: Usually the first in line.
UnQuotable Quote –
Jack: They stayed in touch. Can't say that about most bananas.
Links and References -
Rose mentions the Doctor stalking her for her whole life. As you do.
Jack reveals he was the one who rescued a Dustbin from the Temporal Difference of Opinion and sold it to JR Ewing.
Untelevised Misadventures -
This is apparently the third time Big Ben has been the centre of alien shenanigans – this story, Aliases of London, and the novel The Streetwise Man.
The Eighth Doctor seems to spend some time in 1941 racing barrage balloons during air raids.
The Doctor once visited the weapons factories of Vilengard in the 51st Century destroyed it and replaced it with a banana grove run by a fellow traveler named C'Rizz. The Doctor names lab rats after C'Rizz for some reason and takes great pleasure in killing them.
K9 Conspiracy –
Nancy comments on the size of the Doctor's ears and nose, saying his silhouette reminds her of a robot dog. What a bitch.
Captain Jack says the Doctor looks 'like Inspector Rex', the American version of which was known as K911.
There is a copy of "K9 and The Time Trap" in Jack's spaceship.
The bomb ridden is labeled "Big K9".
One of the toys the urchins steal is a Denys Fisher K9 model.
Any bit of dialogue from this story, played backwards announces: "Hey look at me, I'm fucking K9! A big bad robot dog mother, at that!"
Subtext? WHAT Subtext? -
The idea that Captain Jack is a Time Agent from the 51st century is slightly problematic, in that it makes an obvious link to "The Talents of Wong-Jing", in which 51st-century criminal Magnificent Bastard speaks of his belief that he is being pursued by Time Agents due to his plagiarizing of films that have yet to be written under his disguise as talentless hack Wong-Jing in 1976 Hong Kong.
However, in the context of The Talents of Wong-Jing, this idea forms part of Bastard's increasingly paranoid fantasy, as he attempts to delude himself, against all logic, that the Black Scorpion film trilogy was successful, the debilitating afflictions he suffered creatively during the time experiment are reversible, and that he is regarded as enough of a dangerous threat to the film industry in the future that they would send agents to hunt him down like the dog he is.
Whereas, as the Doctor informs him, the truth the megalomaniac film director cannot face is that his epic 'Expert at Fishing for Big Crocodiles' was a critical and cinematic failure, worse even than the hardcore porn sequel to Titanic – Titanic II: The Titanic Go Down.
It is also made clear in the story Bastard was the first man of his era to travel in time, which means that he would have no idea what any future temporal police would be named. Heck, they might even be named the Temporal Police like that 1970s TV Action comic strip The Temporal Police, where Jon Pertwee is arrested during filming of Season 11 to prevent his decline and fall into Worzel Gummidge.
If there is, in fact a temporal organization called Time Agents in the 51st century dedicated to stopping cross-era movie plagiarisation, then it must POSTdate Bastard, and thus suggests either a massive coincidence or unusual powers of foreknowledge on Bastard's part.
And, as anyone who has seen Wong Jing's My Neighbors Are Phantoms knows, Bastard has very little intellectual capacity whatsoever.
Groovy DVD Extras –
The laughter track. Nancy's every appearance is coupled by so much applause you'd think she was the fricken Fronz or something.
Also scenes cut from The Doctor's Bananas due to its horrific nature -
Child: Are you my mummy?
Doctor: Yes. Come and sit on my knee. Bouncy-bouncy.
Psychotic Nostalgia –
"In my childhood, I often used to wander the streets in my Mickey Mouse gas mask, calling for my mother. However, at least I was smart enough to wise up and keep her severed head with me at all times... Oh, fuck, I left it on the bus! Excuse me..."
Viewer Quotes -
"It was how the episode switched tone so invisibly that reminded me of Buffy during at its peak; how one scene can scare the hell out of you and next can warm your heart and the next a gobsmacking visual stomach-flop. Plus the fact it revolves around a sexy blonde fighting monsters. Pity Rose is a such a silly bint in this one. But there was that bit where Nancy, surrounded by zombies and bomb explosions curses the war and their eventual downfall and Rose unexpectedly gives a touch of hope to Nancy. I found that very touching. Why didn't they snog?" - Nigel Verkoff (2005)
"It was a humbling thing to view." - Andrew Beeblebrox, on Rose's arse (2005)
"The Autons and Dustbins were not as scary as they once were, the corpses in The Presuming Ed were counter-pointed by some ridiculous characters, the Bastard was crap, the Dommervoy got on my nerves. These stories left me disappointed, bored, pissed off and depressed. In fact, I think I hate this show and everyone in it! Why don't you go off somewhere and die in a ditch, Doctor Who? I HATE YOU!!"
- Michael Grade's true feelings resurface (2005)
"Lethal kids in gas masks saying "mummy" is shit-scary. And fair's fair, it is. Gas masks are intrinsically frightening. But I wasn't scared by this story. Oh no. What do you think I am? A wuss? What was that?! Oh my god, oh my god, it's at the front door! ARRGGHH! Oh, no, wait. Just my imagination. Sorry. Er, you're not gonna quote me on that, are you?" – Dave "Scaredy-Cat" Restal (2005)
"This wonderful story is probably the most memorable of the series so far. This doesn't mean it's actually very good, though. I'm getting heartily sick of praising the series to the high heavens, and this is a welcome relief. Sharon. SHAR-RRRONNNN!" - Ozzy Osbourne (2005)
"Sex and violence. I love children's television." - Random Press Gang Quote (1993)
Billie Piper Speaks!
"I thought it was ridiculous that we got a panorama shot of London in the scene with Rose hanging from the barrage balloon, and there was no sign of the London Eye. I mean, come on! I've seen the thing in real life and it's pretty difficult to miss, I can tell you!"
Christopher Eccleston Speaks!
Jack Barrowman Speaks!
"As Billy Joel once sang – 'Captain Jack will fuck you hard tonight'! Or was it 'fly you high tonight'? Well, either suits me."
Russell T Davies Speaks!
"A lot of people think that Rose is fickle in this story. Fickle? Bit of a slag more like. Which, admittedly, makes her a realistic teenager of the 21st Century thought not much of a role model or even likable. Already some viewers are claiming to see the Doctor on his own and switching off when Rose appears. More proof, if it be needed, that I'm the only guy qualified to make this show."
This story reveals the Doctor shaves with the sonic screwdriver on setting 1347X. Very badly. When Jack points out Time Lords do not grow beards outside of regeneration, the Doctor hastily claims he knows that and pointlessly scrapes his face every morning to prove just how tough a Northern bastard he really is. 'I'm dead hard, me.'
Rumors & Facts –
The only writer besides executive producer Russell T Davies who was allocated a two-part story for Doctor Who's first season back on the air was Steven Moffat.
This was because Whistledown, a redneck evil devil-possessed scarecrow tale from the pen of J.K. Rowling was rejected by RTD due to a lack of a strong enough role for the Moxx of Baloon. The remaining episode was given to Moffat in lieu of a birthday present.
Moffat was largely known for comedy, writing such series as Coupling, Joking Apart and Press Gang – all of which being award-winning, quotable and available-on-DVD series getting him such acclaim as a writer, the lucky bastard.
Still, he is a Doctor Who fan, so I guess he's suffered enough.
For a Who fan, though, he's a remarkably modest one. The amount of Moffat-related Who merchandise can be counted on one hand and leave three fingers (or two fingers and a thumb) spare.
In 1999, he scripted the Comedy Relief spoof The Curse Of Fatal Death starring Rowan Atkinson, which was immediately seized as canon for up to three months before Big Finish began production.
Moffat also contributed to Virgin Publishing's Decalog 3: Consequences And Repercussions anthology. His story was entitled Continuity Errors and it is justly named – the story of the last three pages has nothing to do with the events on the first sixteen, with the Seventh Doctor and Bernice being regularly changed to "Spike and Susan", "Jeff and Frazz" and the bizarre "Bloke and Chick".
Rather than come up with a decent title for the story as a whole, Moffat decided to try and screw up the lives of fandom even more than the first Dustbin story by making sure that there is no official name for his story. While the episodes are clearly The Bumpy Ride and The Doctor's Bananas, the overall story is known variously as
The Ripper Scams Gone Really Bad
Casualties of War Rise of the Tudors The Doctor Can't Dance
Rules of Engagement
The One That Scares The Crap Out Of Everyone
From Mouths of Babes: "MUMMY!! ARE YOU MY MUMMY!!!?!???"
The One That Really Scares The Crap Out Of Everyone
The Weird Zombie Child of Fatal Death... And FEAR!!
The Judgement of Wife
The Annoying Kid
and that's just by Christopher Eccleston!
Even the titles of the two episodes are up for grabs according to just about every reference work currently online! The titles themselves are listed across the globe as
The Enemy Without / Escape to Danger
The One With the Dark Army / The One Where The Doctor Poses
Trench Warfare / A Field of Dreams
D if for... / Deviancy
First Time / Last Time
Exit Wound / Over The Top
Vagrants and Rogues / Time and Tide
I Am the Doctor / You Will Obey Me
And that leaves out some of the bloody stupid titles like
The Spiradon Surprise
More Than Crows Uncivil War Will They Or Won't They
One Man's Story
Passage to Cardiff
Tears for Gethsemane Baloon Liz Shaw - Who The Hell Invited Her?
Plus the fact there was a rumor that the story titles of the season had been completely re-formatted at the last moment.
1: The Doctor Discovered
2: The Doctor Dallies
3: The Doctor Dithers
4: The Doctor Delves
5: The Doctor Detonates
6: The Doctor Dustbinized
7: The Doctor Diverted
8: The Doctor Defied
9: The Doctor Disquieted
10: The Doctor Dances
11: The Doctor Dines
12: The Doctor Denominates
13: The Doctor Dies
It is ironic that the only official working title for Moffat's story was "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 Eight: Act One - The Young Miss Tyler Encounters Captain Jack Sparrow Driving A Time Machine While Under The Influence Of Cheap Andromedan Cocaine".
However, after a gang of rabid Who fans attacked him at an Australian Doctor Who convention (and, before you ask, I have a cast iron alibi – ask Cameron J Mason!), Moffat announced that an overall title of the story was Shell Shock. And that's official – lest we send the boys round, Moffat, so watch it.
Moffat's original pitch to the production office was a two 25-minute story entitled The Doctor Accidentally Cops Off. This would involve the Doctor accidentally breaking the TARDIS telepathic circuits and thus projecting his thoughts into other people's minds, like Mel Gibson in What Women Want, only in reverse. The rest of the plot would feature Jack being locked in the toilet, leaving Rose to deal with an oncoming Dustbin army.
RTD was, to put it mildly, unimpressed.
He instead graciously allowed Moffat to write "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 Eight: Act One - The Young Miss Tyler Encounters Captain Jack Sparrow Driving A Time Machine While Under The Influence Of Cheap Andromedan Cocaine".
Apart from the characters of Captain Jack, Nancy, her gang, the Face of Bond, the Rowan Atkinson Doctor, the Blitz setting, the catchphrase "Are you my mummy?", the return of Lavros and the transvestitism, Moffat was totally free to write about whatever he wanted.
Tragically, the scenes with the Doctor camping it up in the TARDIS control room that concluded the story proved too long and huge amounts of material had to be removed from the narrative -
A scene where a child's music box starts calling for it's mummy.
Jack's explanation of the Tudor: "The Tudor were the deadliest attack force ever to come out of the Shadow Quadrant until one of it's gun platforms went nova, shattering the fleet across the universe. Stupid foreign instruction manuals. Anyway, it's now known as 'the Tudor Nova' by lots of heartless shits in advertising".
The Doctor blames this on C'Rizz as well.
When Jack tells Rose about his missing two years he also adds that he is wanted for war crimes in seven solar systems but doesn't know why but it might have something to do with the cinnamon-flavored bath salts and the Emperor of Gabrielldes' inflatable woman Plastic Peg might have something to do with it.
A tense, nerve-wracking sequence where the Doctor, Rose and Jack take refuge in the store room and find jars with body parts that have also been transformed, gas masks in jars that try and get out and a lab rat asking for its mummy. The Doctor dubs this rat C'Rizz II.
When Nancy is captured by the guards Algy grabs her around the chest from behind and realises she is not as young as she seems. He leaves his hands there for longer than is strictly necessary as well.
On Jack's ship, the Doctor plays with the nanogenes and gets them to do the dance number from Flubber. The Doctor also says that as a youngster he learned to manipulate subatomic beings – and managed to turn the dresses of girls at Prydon Academy transparent whenever they bent over. Jack pulls out a gun and demands the Doctor teach him this particular trick.
In order to pad out there episode there was a fifteen minute subplot where the Doctor and Nancy try to sabotage a beer can only to realize that the Tudor cannister is two metres to the right.
There is also a line of dialogue where the Doctor announces that not even the deadly Dustbins are as pant-wettingly terrifying as an asthmatic pre-schooler in a gasmask having a panic attack.
Rose just stares at him.
Ironically, after burning the above material to cook some kronkburgers, RTD realized the episode was running short and pistol-whipped Moffat into both writing a filler scene and signing on for writing another episode.
Moffat was extremely coy about this filler scene. Apparently it features two non-regulars talking amiably for a while before wandering off. I think it's the scene between Nancy and Arthur Lloyd and it required remarkably few blows to the head for Moffat to confirm this.
Um, I understand. I wasn't there. Honest.
Chosen to direct the story was a director. No idea who it was, but they probably directed other TV shows. Statistically speaking, The Bill, Holby City and Sea Of Souls are the top contenders.
Work on Shell Shock stopped around the middle of December 2004 for the annual Christmas party, before recommencing circa early February 2005. Man, that was one hell of a party – especially as it was entire contained by that warehouse in Newport.
Two locations used earlier in the season were revisited in the vain hope the crew might have left their keys there: Headlands National Children's Home in Penarth, the Cardiff Royal Infirmary and Ms. Selway's Home For Wayward Girls where Paul McGann just happened to be visiting. In return for silence on this matter, he made a brief cameo as the Eighth Doctor dangling from a barrage balloon.
Joining the Doctor Who cast with this story was John Barrowman, playing new companion Captain Jack Sparrow. Barrowman, who was conceived in Scotland but raised in Illinois, had starred in a number of West End musicals as spear-carrier and stunt codpiece.
In 1998, he was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Theatre Award in the category of Best Actor in a Musical for The Fix but did not win it as he was not the John Barrowman who actually performed in The Fix. That was another guy altogether.
On television, Barrowman had starred in two short-lived nighttime soap operas in the US: Central Park West South North East and Titanious Tit-Mongers and breeds rats in his spare time.
Viewers were reportedly 'giving a crap' about the open omnisexuality of Jack – a prerequisite that had normally been just the Doctor. I myself have absolutely no problem with Jack's sexuality.
It's the fact the Doctor's companions are now named after the main characters in Titanic that disturbs me.
"And I was having such a nice day..."
"According to intelligence, the target is Brigadier-General Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart, former UNIT commander turned naughty."
"This nuclear power station right in the heart of Cardiff city will bring jobs for all. Mainly because the mortality rate is worryingly high and turnover is faster than anywhere else in Europe."
"And the station just so happens to be right on top of the rift. Ain't that a bitch?"
"If this power station went into meltdown, this entire planet would go pthhhhhhhhhh! Like a Slitheen after a plate of Mexican re-fried beans!"
"Aw, go on then, Rose! People'll start thinking I'm gay!"
"It's the rift – the rift's opening. The whole city's about to disappear. Time and space are ripping apart! Never mind the planet – it's gonna rip open Cardiff!"
"AT LAST! I AM FREEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!"
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.
One such artiste was Rebecca McCarthy, a fifteen year old Australian actress famous for her "combat guerilla/space hooker" Una in Parallax. She's been in other things, but none as memorable as Una. Oh yeah. Sweet, sweet candy...
Uh, anyway, RTD was fairly certain he could carry off not only a regeneration mid-way through the story but also reduce the Doctor to a teenage girl younger than Rose Tyler.
Unfortunately, Jack Barrowman could not be trusted and McCarthy's parents were quickly bought off with redundant Ninth Doctor action figures. The McCarthy Doctor is no more.
Extract from "Doctor Who – The Fibremen of Sprong" Episode 4:
(Setting: The TARDIS control room. Rose [Billie Piper] and Jack [John Barrowman] are present. A hideous blob hisses on the floor.)
Jack: I think the Doctor's dead.
Rose: Oh, why did he have to tackle the Moxx of Balhoon? Why? He must have known it was suicide! Nothing can stop that be-he-moth!
(Suddenly the blob bubbles, boils and reconstitutes into a new Doctor [Rebecca McCarthy]. She wears a checkered shirt with the sleeves ripped off, black rugby shorts, and a construction helmet; and is chewing gum. Man, she looks hot.)
Jack: Doctor, is that you?
Doctor: You bet. Wait till the boys find out about my signing on for this. So, yeah, you know, there I was one minute, and them Wham! Next minute here I am with you. Is it fate or what? I mean what other explanation can there be?
Rose: It's science fiction, Doctor. We don't have to explain anything if we don't want to.
Jack: Doctor, Doctor! It's the Fibremen of Sprong – the Moxx's unearthly henchmen! They're attacking the TARDIS!
Rose: How could they break through the force field?
Doctor: Well, was it turned on?
(Jack and Rose look embarrassed)
Rose: You've got to repair the TARDIS, Doctor!
Doctor: Oh, sweet as! What's the problem?
Jack: It's knackered.
(The Doctor pulls out a huge bunch of wires)
Doctor: Ahh... Got a manual?