Doctor Who Season 18 Review

Image result for Tom Baker season 18

(This article is from a friend of mine named Laurence Buxton. I have decided to showcase some of his writing here. Let me know what you think, and enjoy.)

DOCTOR WHO. SEASON 18 REVIEW. By Laurence Buxton 2019.

Season Credits : –

Produced by John Nathan-Turner

Executive Produced by Barry Letts

Scripts edited by Christopher Hamilton Bidmead

THE LEISURE HIVE

Written by David Fisher. Directed by Lovett Bickford

Plot

The Doctor and Romana cut short a less-than-successful holiday on Brighton beach and decide to head to the famous Leisure Hive on the post-apocalyptic planet Argolis. They soon find themselves caught in a political powderkeg, where the natives are at risk of being manipulated to sell the Hive by a breakaway group of their mortal enemies the Foamasi. Meanwhile a militant young Argolin, Pangol, is looking to use the power of the Hive’s Generator, tweaked by the Earth scientist Hardin, to form an army of doppelgangers to destroy the Foamasi. The Doctor must not only convince the suspicious Argolins he is not behind a sudden murder in the Hive, but find a way to reverse his accidental rapid ageing and to prevent all-out war breaking out between the Argolin and the Foamasi…

‘The Time Lord’s looking his age all of a sudden – is the party over for Doctor Who?’

Review

Following the popular, if shortened and rather frivolous season 17 ( after shooting of the troubled Shada production was finally abandoned ) few could have expected the massive changes that Doctor Who, under the stewardship of JNT and Christopher Bidmead, would incur. With the departure of producer Graham Williams and script editor Douglas Adams the undergraduate humour that had begun to slip in during s16 was firmly vewtoed, and so when the series reappeared there would be very little, apart from the continuing presence ( for now ) of Tom Baker and Lalla Ward on board the TARDIS, to link it to what had gone before.

Not since season 7, with the introduction of Jon Pertwee, colour TV and UNIT, had there been quite as many fundamental changes to the on-screen realisation of Dr Who. Gone was the time tunnel sequence that had been a staple of Tom Baker’s time on the show; gone too was the ghostly howl of the theme tune, to be replaced by a ‘travelling through the stars’ opening segment and a more haunting, phased and up-tempo ( often referred to as the ‘disco’ ) arrangement by Peter Howell. Both seemed to be aimed at dragging the series into the 1980s, and it only took a brief look at the sets and special effects in the trailers to realise that the standards of both had done the same.

Even more changes are clearly signified by the opening scene, ones which give a chilling notice of intent for a gloom-laden future for the season, and for the Doctor personally, especially when compared to the previous year’s. The knockabout first moments of season 17 (Destiny Of The Daleks) on board the TARDIS had seen a coughing K9 being teased by the Doctor about having ‘laryngitis’, whilst Romana casually tried on a succession of new ‘bodies’ and ‘styles of dress’ – the latter including Baker’s – with the Doctor sniffily passing judgment on each. In The Leisure Hive, the opening titles to part 1 are followed by a plaintive and wistful synthesiser score accompanying a very lengthy pan across a notably out-of-season, windswept Brighton beach – all flapping deckchairs and abandoned beach tents. The camera finally alights on the Doctor, alone, wearing a vampire-like variation of his famous outfit, and slumped as if dead with his hat over his face. Even the apparent attempts to inject humour into this startlingly forlorn scene with the arrival of Romana and K9 sit disconcertingly with the viewer (the Doctor’s apparent narcolepsy, K9’s ill-advisedly going into the sea to ‘fetch’ a ball for Romana, and exploding) and with their referencing of decay and death seem to bode ill for both the titular hero and his trusty metal dog in series 18. More of which in future reviews…

The Leisure Hive, a story rumoured to make wry comment on the declining status of the British tourist industry, is nothing if not convincingly brought to the screen, with a gloss and sheen that was then new to the production, with evocative shots of the planet’s surface. The directing and camerawork from Bickford is certainly distinctive, and with the use of editing the Foamasi come across as an effective menace, when depicted as shadows, claws etc. This effectively increases the tension levels through the opening episodes, where a breakaway group of the Foamasi (originally envisaged as a kind of alien Mafia) are breaking their way into The Hive. They are also, unfortunately, rather too portly when viewed properly to convince as being able to disguise themselves as humans (as with Julian Glover’s head being the ‘disguise’ for the Jagaroth in series 17’s City Of Death). Hence the close-ups and single-camera work used here by Bickford, who unfortunately ran over budget and was not asked to return to the program.

There are also a certain amount of pacing problems with The Leisure Hive, notably in the first half, where events such as the landing of Mena’s spaceship, and the aforementioned pan along the beach are perhaps allowed to run on for rather too long and test the viewer’s attention span before the story, let alone the season, has really got going. Another oversight is the moment where Hardin’s shifty financier, Stimson, is fleeing from a Foamasi and leaves his glasses on the floor which are promptly stepped on and crushed by the alien – whilst a suitable conveyor of the ill fate which is about to befall him. However the likelihood of him either not noticing or at least trying to retrieve them stretches credibility, and a more convincingly edited sequence would at least have shown why he did not try to get them back. Apart from what is shown from the later shots of the Foamasi, however, the costuming and casting in The

Leisure Hive are generally strong, and the political scene on Argolis is well-realised through the many conversations by the major players in the boardroom. The theme of characters such as Morix and Mena displaying their mortality ( through the ‘buds’ dropping off their heads and visibly dying as this happens ) links in well with the grim themes of entropy and decay not only in the Argolin world but season 18 generally, themes that set the season a league away from what had gone before in light-hearted stories like The Horns Of Nimon and The Creature From The Pit.

Other aspects of the production are more hard to fault. Peter Howell does the incidental music for The Leisure Hive, and he does a good job at initiating a very different, austere synth soundtrack for the season, a clear step away from what had previously been heard on the show. Howell also went on to score the likes of Meglos and though obviously varying from story to story, the haunting style of this background music adds much to stories such as State of Decay, Warrior’s Gate and particularly Paddy Kingsland-scored Logopolis. There is a balancing during the suspenseful and serious scenes of high-pitched drone and lower, clanking ominous sounds. The opening pan along Brighton beach is perhaps the most distinguished moment, however, the aforementioned mournful melodies finally lightening with the ironic burst of “Oh I Do Like To Be Before The Seaside” upon the glimpse of the Doctor. Nonetheless the underpinning of the action with pensive, minor-key synthesized motifs will form another navel-gazing element of a downbeat season.

It is noticeable that this more serious atmosphere is partly induced by the changes in the dialogue, which are certainly noticeable in this story – as well as the removal of Baker’s physical pratfalls of series 17 there are noticeably fewer wisecracks made between the Doctor and Romana, and the concentration is now on not only political but scientific wording : discussions hinge here on the likes of tachyon recreation generators, anti-baryon shields, and so on. This would gain the show criticism by some long-term reviewers for being rather distant and clinical, and for fans of David Tennant’s more recent portrayal of the Doctor there are no vague ‘timey-wimey’ style explanations here.

Not as accessible to a casual viewer as in the past, perhaps, but there are at least strong and more serious performances from most of the guest cast. David Haig, well-known now for playing comic supporting roles alongside Hugh Grant in the likes of Four Weddings And A Funeral and Two Weeks’ Notice, shines as the increasingly militant and deranged Pangol, convincingly developing the character from apparently good-humoured tour guide to hate-filled fanatic, and making his ultimate defeat suitably poetic. Adrienne Corri also puts in good work as the dignified and wise Mena, and Laurence Payne, who would go on to appear as the ambitious scientist Dastari in the Colin Baker story The Two Doctors , plays the short-lived Chairman Of The Board, Morix, who desperately wants to finish the negotiations over the Hive before his imminent demise. Nigel Lambert also has plenty to do as Hardin, and forms a trusting bond with Baker’s Doctor. There are also great cliffhangers to part 1 ( where the Doctor is apparently dismembered by the Generator ) and part 2 ( where the Doctor emerges from the machine prematurely aged ).

Following on from the notorious ‘commentaries’ which accompany the DVD releases, much has been made of the tensions between Tom Baker and other cast members this season, which, coupled with the apparent after-effects of an illness that he caught in Australia, bring a world-weariness to his performances that had been totally lacking in previous years. Coupled with the need for him to play an aged version of his character, complete with long beard and sad eyes, Baker suddenly seems far more subdued, less comic ( even the ‘arrest the scarf’ comment he makes on being accused of Stimson’s murder is glossed over ) and even when not aged by the machine his portrayal here comes across much more consciously autumnal – when K9 ‘dies’ from going in the water at the beginning he continues to snooze, remains seated during his conversation with Romana and falls asleep again before she has finished. The more mature, less garish and more stylised black and burgundy version of his ‘costume’, which Baker allegedly did not approve of, arguably adds to this sense of decline, as well as his occasionally gaunt appearance, broody demeanour and slightly greyer hair. On the issue of his superbly-realised ‘aged’ appearance after entering the Generator special mention should go to make-up artist Dorka Nieradzik, and Baker’s increasingly drained, wistful and desperate performance has garnished great praise, for all the rumours of bad behaviour on the set.

Then of course there’s poor old K9, with his original voicer John Leeson back in the fold. With his indisputable logic and lethal lasers, the ‘metal dog’ had been such a useful ally to the Doctor and Romana in the past, particularly in season 17, but here he’s pretty much sidelined in scene one after his dip in the Channel – a deliberate ploy from the new production team that would become a regularity until the character was written out later in the season. The character had been seen as too easy a way for the heroes to escape from potentially difficult situations, hence lessening the danger and heightening the humour, and so spends much of s18 being mistreated, repaired or generally being out of action. If there were such a thing as the ‘Royal Society For The Prevention Of Cruelty To Droids’, then they would have had a field day with the majority of stories in s18.

The Leisure Hive represents a dour new direction for Who under JNT and, more temporarily, Bidmead. Technobabble takes over from titters, longeurs from laughs, and the fact that the show struggled for viewing figures up against the more light-hearted sci-fi of Buck Rogers is perhaps not so surprising in hindsight. In fairness however the serial, whilst containing one or two costuming and plotting issues, and whilst rarely remembered as either a fun romp likeCity Of Death or a gothic masterpiece like Talons Of Weng-Chiang, did at least allow the show to develop

greatly away from the sometimes farcical tone of the previous show. It also establishes the themes that would, in some form or another, encompass the entire season.

MEGLOS

Written by John Flanagan and Andrew McCulloch. Directed by Terence Dudley

Plot

An old friend of the Doctor’s, Zastor, requests that he visit his planet of Tigella (one of two planets in the Prion star system, the other being Zolfa-Thura) to help investigate why the Dodecahedron (the source of their power) is fluctuating. The problem is compounded by the fact that their society is split into two tribes – the Savants, who have used its power scientifically, and the Deons, who believe that the Dodecahedron has been passed down from the god Ti. However, the TARDIS is trapped within a time loop by the last remaining Zolfa-Thuran, a cactus-like Meglos who has enlisted the help of some Gaztak mercenaries, led by the grumpy General Grugger and the impulsive Brotadac, and forces an Earthling to merge with him to enable him to take the Doctor’s identity. The Doctor needs to free himself and Romana from the time loop, stop Lexa and the rest of the Deons from launching a coup, prevent his own execution at Lexa’s hands and stop Meglos and the gaztaks making off with the dodecahedron.

‘A talking cactus, a devilish Doctor doppelganger – is Douglas Adams back on board?’

Review

After the serious introduction to the new season with the dramatically different The Leisure Hive, Meglos appears on paper to be a surprisingly quick return to the more whimsical, not to say fantastical style of storytelling of s16 and particularly s17. A talking cactus with aspirations to steal an immensely-powerful device and disguising itself as a diabolical double of the Doctor, whilst enlisting the help of a semi-comic selection of blundering space pirates. On the face of it, a return to the light-hearted entertainment of the show’s then recent past.

However Meglos touches on themes which had always been central to Doctor Who, in particular the battle between science and religion – here represented by the scientific Savants, led by Deedrix and the fanatical religious figures of the Deons, led by Lexa. This is slightly at odds with what could have been an unusually knockabout and daft adventure in the gloomy season 18. Inevitably the Deons are shown to be stubborn and struggle to listen to reason, though like the Savants ultimately their intentions are noble, and whereas in the past a race of scientists has not always managed to co-exist with others – note the strained ‘union’ between the Sevateem and the Tesh in the season 14 story, “The Face Of Evil” – at least there is a genuine chance of co-operation after the heroic death of Lexa and the destruction of the Dodecahedron.

Typical to the season, however, there are also themes of society being in decay and needing a revolution or change, and the attempted sacrifice of the Doctor by the increasingly powerful Lexa links back to rituals in stories such as The Power Of Kroll, where not only is such barbarism is shown as primitive, xenophobic and closed-minded, but the Dexans’ increasing dominance actually allows the pirates to make off with the Dodecahedron. Once again the Doctor arrives at the correct time, as unbeknown to the Tigellans Meglos is launching a plan that will take advantage of the Time Lords’ friendship with Zastor, and curiously it is Meglos’ abuse of the Doctor’s privileged position that, having threatened his life, allows him to bring down the threat to the fractured society and help it develop.

In fairness the suspicion of the Doctor is on this occasion understandable, due to the very convincing impersonation by the human-melded Meglos, even though it is never really explained why the villains needed to go to all the trouble of obtaining an apparently random human earthling was needed for this rather than a local Tigellan. It is also not convincingly explained how Meglos performs many of his actions in this serial, from the shrinking of the dodecahedron to the piloting of the spaceship, to the sealing the doors shut to prevent the Gaztaks from looting the ship, to the notorious ‘Chronic Hysteresis’. not to mention how the character is able to give the appreciative Brotadac the Doctor’s coat for good keeping.

On the subject of the titular villain, Tom Baker surpasses himself in the role of his own adversary, contrasting nicely even with his now more subdued – and occasionally grouchy, note the opening scene in the TARDIS – Doctor. Having already proven his ability to play an ‘evil’ version of the Doctor by briefly doubling as his robot imposter in “The Android Invasion”, Baker is asked here to play both the Doctor and the main villain for most of the story, and in doing so provides it with its ‘draw’. Baker steals the show every time he is on-screen as the villain, whether roaring “I am Meglos!” at Karris, shouting “Patience!” at the excitable but dim-witted Brotadac or coldly stating, “We mustn’t disappoint the Tigellans” to his co-conspirators, upon first appearing to them and the viewers in the Doctor’s guise. The actor’s excellence keep the strange premise grounded, and provides the unusual but excellent cliffhanger to episode 1.

Baker is great too at subtly enhancing the Doctor’s softer, warmer qualities when he pretends to be the disguised Meglos in return. The spiky green make-up for the actor as Meglos fights against the Earthling trying to exert his independence from him is excellent, and as on the Leisure Hive the production values are strong, including the scenes toward the stories’ climax where the Doctor and Meglos are locked away together as there is not the usual superimposing problem of having the same actor on screen twice. Indeed the two characters are immediately personally distinct in every way, which again stands as a compliment to Baker’s ability, even it renders the obvious subterfuge on the viewer less convincing than expected – there’s rarely a moment of doubt as to which ’version’ of the Doctor is which. Still, whatever criticisms Baker had of the changes made to Doctor Who for his last season, the first two stories in particular give him a great chance to play outside the normal constraints of the Time Lord’s character.

Unsurprisingly then it’s the lead actor’s show, but there are other strong performances. Lalla Ward is given plenty to do as Romana – note her curious reaction in the opening scene in the TARDIS when Baker states “First things first – but not necessarily in that order”, and it’s good to see K9 get a serious run-out after his ‘cameo’ in the opening scene of The Leisure Hive, though the metal dog is no sooner repaired than he runs out of power and is demeaningly kicked by Grugger. Stand-out among the guest cast is the surprise return of former Who star Jacqueline Hill (a rare case of an actor/actress who had portrayed a former companion, in her case Barbara Wright, returning in a guest role), giving a three-dimensional performance and instilling some genuine debating skills into the character rather than portraying her as just a two-dimensional ranting religious zealot – she even heroically lays down her life for Romana. Crawford Logan and Christopher Owen are also committed as Deedrix and the ‘possessed’ Earthling respectively, although Bill Fraser’s role as the grumpy, blustering Grugger is something he had by now been rather typecast in, after similar roles in comic films alongside the likes of Frankie Howerd. Though intended as mostly comic relief, Frederick Treves is mostly as annoying to the audience as the coat-obsessed Brotadac as he is to his fellow schemers, whilst Edward Underdown’s Zastor sadly fails to convince as any kind of leader even before his attempted deposing by Lexa.

Again the production values are more convincing than in then recent years : Meglos’ spaceship is clinical but convincingly high-tech, and the contrast between the white of the Savants and the red attire with black headgear of the Deons is simple, but striking. Perhaps for budgetary reasons the dodecahedron is shielded from the audiences’ view whilst still in its larger form, however, and its underwhelming ‘detonation’ at the end, to the chagrin of the squabbling villains, is a rather throwaway ending to the serial. There is also a fairly unconvincing sequence at the end of episode 2, where Romana is chased and apprehended by the Gaztaks, led by a shrill and rather unthreatening Brotadac, and once again the production team’s attempts to convincingly recreate the surface of a vegetative world look over ambitious, although it is still far from the worst ever seen on the show.

Peter Howell handles the incidental music for the story, and for the most part does very well at supplying apt atmospheric touches to different occasions and situations – the eerie rattle musical cue for Meglos immediately grabs the audience’s attention whenever he appears, which combined with Baker’s unblinking and stern-faced portrayal is the highlight of the serial. There is also the use of stately music in the early Debating Chamber sequences establishes the society well, and the increasingly fast-tempo use of ‘chanting’ vocoders in the sequence where Lexa is attempting to sacrifice the Doctor builds to a tense climax as the rope burns away.

There are also welcome touches of humour peppered throughout the tale, surprisingly for this more austere season, although fan reaction to these is often exaggerated due to the notable absence of comedy in the other stories. Furthermore, unlike the latter stages of the Williams era some of them actually seem to have been in the script originally, and those that do appear more improvised and natural are a little more tightly-edited and not allowed to get out of hand. That said, there are more unguarded moments that appear to have been allowed through – the previously mentioned one from Lalla Ward in the opening TARDIS scene, where she clearly winces, and one from a giggling Baker in the initial scene of the ‘time loop’. Other jokes, where Zastor chides Deedrix for being argumentative or during the Chronic Hysteris – which was itself widely criticised as being part of padding to increase the story from 3 to 4 parts – where K9 addresses the Doctor as Mistress, are dealt with in a more deadpan fashion that would have been the case in the past. The previously mentioned long-running joke about Brotadac’s obsession with Meglos’ discarded coat which he ends up wearing also works as a metaphor of changed identity, along with Meglos’ adoption of the Fourth Doctor’s persona, the fight for control of the Earthling and the spooky moment where the Doctor ends up facing his doppelganger. That comes immediately after the belly-laugh moment where the Doctor witnesses Meglos being winded and apprehended, opining “Ooh nasty – that could have been me!” before exactly the same fate happens to him seconds later. “Haven’t I seen you somewhere before?” states Baker upon facing his double, a sequence that briefly harks back to the ready wit and fun of the previous season.

But whilst not nearly as bleak as other season 18 stories such as The Leisure Hive, Warriors Gate or particularly Logopolis, Meglos also continues the former story’s theme of society stagnating, and the impasse between the Savants and the Deons in the opening debate being mirrored by the TARDIS crew being trapped by the Chronic Hysteris. The famous, endlessly-looping short sequence of comic events (the Doctor tripping over, Romana’s casual exasperation), which the crew escape by deliberately performing it out of turn, is regularly remarked on as a comment on the show’s former failings under the Williams era. It’s possible to imagine JNT and Bidmead saying Romana’s repeatedly circling opening groan of “Oh blast – here we go again!” to the previous season’s similar frolics, but here the sombre incidental music, and the way that Baker and Ward’s previously lightheartedness changes to real concern at the possibility of being stuck in it forever, makes the threat more unsettling than comic. This feeling is reinforced when a serious-faced and malevolent Baker subsequently appears as the transformed Meglos has been criticised for having a lightweight conclusion, and the comments are valid. Overall, though, is still a very enjoyable adventure in the classic Doctor Who mould, with generally strong acting and with its less downbeat mood it breaks up the more weighty stories that make up season 18, and one featuring a very impressive dual role from the still impressive Tom Baker. The next three stories, making up the E-Space trilogy, would see a return to a more thematically-rich style of storytelling.

E-SPACE TRILOGY

FULL CIRCLE

Written by Andrew Smith. Directed by Peter Grimwade

Plot

The Doctor tries to take the reluctant Romana back to Gallifrey, but pass through a Charged Vacuum Emboitment. Despite the scanner showing that they are on their home planet, they have actually landed on Alzerius, containing people whose origins are from another planet, Terradon. There is a schism between the crew who wish to take off in the Starliner (led by Three Deciders) to return to Terradon and a band of outcasts who reject the oligarchy of the Deciders. When the Mistfall descends, strange Marshmen start to emerge from the swamps, and spider-like creatures start to hatch from eggs that have come from the Riverfruit that make up part of the colonists’ diet, and the outcasts take refuge on board the Starliner which puts the crew at further risk. As well as trying to prevent Romana from devolving when she is bitten by a spider the Time Lord tries to discover what the connection is between the the spiders, the Marshmen and the crew, and just how long they have been preparing to leave Alzerius…

‘The Doctor and Romana immediately regret entering E-Space – and on top of Adric there are Marshmen for them to deal with, too…

Review.

It’s off into E-Space we go with the Doctor, for a trilogy of very different adventures : an evolutionary tale, a Hammer horror homage and an experimental mind-bender. Full Circle, the first of the trio, harks back in some ways to the ‘sympathetic monsters’ and moral dilemmas of early Pertwee-era Who, despite the higher production values and extra sheen. Furthermore it adds an extra twist to the genre as well as another element of variety to an already varied season, with the revelation that the Marshmen, and the Marshspiders before them, are ultimately the same race as the crew – and the circle of life will continue unabated unless drastic change is made.

Full Circle is the first story by the then 18-year old Andrew Smith, and it has to be adjudged a success, never gaining cheap criticism over the years in the manner of either the ‘derivative’ vampire tale State Of Decay or the ‘overly-complicated’ or ‘baffling’ Warriors’ Gate, with Smith’s scripts proving remarkably multi-layered and mature for the author’s age. The story also succeeds in introducing the unlikely ( and unpopular ) future companion of Adric in a subplot, where the adolescent fruitlessly endeavours to prove himself to his brother Varsh and his friends in much the way that the Starliners’ crew try to prove to themselves that they are not trapped on Alzerius. This determination to gain respect would be a characteristic that, whatever one thinks of the character and Matthew Waterhouse’s performance, would define the character through to his surprise exit in the Davison years.

The atmosphere is definitely murkier than the more ‘straight-ahead story’ of the preceding Meglos. The idea of Mistfall clearly fills the locals with a sense of dread, and the spooky music during part 1, including electronic drums and pan-pipe style synths as well as the usual minor-key motifs, enhances the menace of the bubbling swamps. Moreover the Doctor himself is fairly slow to get to the scene, too late to save Decider Draith who is chillingly dragged into the swamp whilst accosting Adric. The idea of being locked away on the sterile Starliner for up to ten years is shown as being almost as much of a punishment as being left outside during the Mistfall, and the irony that the crew have never learnt to fly the fully active Starliner seemingly condemns them to their needless fate, the same as befell the previous 40 000 or so generations.

There are strong central performances to enhance the clever concept, too. Baker shows charming little flashes of humour: when he meets the Marsh Child “How odd – I usually get on terribly well with children!” or flashing the now-rare grin when the Deciders introduce themselves to him, “And I’m the Doctor!”, quiet inquisitiveness in the opening two episodes, his usual unpredictable reactions to events, one amusing telling-off of Adric upon a crowd of Alzerians emerging from the TARDIS, “What is this, Noah’s ark!?” and finally roaring his dismissal of the Deciders’ flimsy moral self-defence after the Marshchild’s death, “Not an alibi – Deciders!” make this another strong outing for his portrayal of the Time Lord. But it’s Lalla Ward who gets the plaudits this time, coming into her own away from Baker’s Doctor. Here we see Ward able to play a more assertive yet nuanced version of Romana – witness her cheerful admonishment of Adric for asking her to touch his wounded knee – acting despondently upon hearing that she is wanted back on Gallifrey, during the quietly intimate scene with Baker in her quarters on the TARDIS, or the scene where, with the help of Adric, she disarms Varsh and points the knife at him before calmly handing it back. But the piece de resistance is the moment where she gets possessed by the spider – just as Baker got to play against the preconceptions of the audience in previous adventures, here it is Ward’s turn, and she rises to the occasion.

One of the accusations always levelled at the classic series of Doctor Who is that it contains wobbly sets and rubbery monsters, but here the season again defies this – if only to a point. The Marshmen arising from the swamp represent a dramatic (if unfortunately curtailed) climax to part 1, and the Marshchild comes across as a genuinely innocent and sympathetic character whom the audience immediately feels sorry for. As a contrast, however, the scuttling spiders are far less realistic, and Romana’s initial dismissal of them seems a more appropriate reaction than her subsequent terror. However the interiors of the Starliner are minimalist but effective, and the Inquisition chamber beautifully balances the black and grey décor with the gold of the Deciders, whilst the make-up for Romana’s ‘possession’ is also a winner.

One aspect of the production that becomes apparent from here on in, and would become an even more noticeable problem during Davison’s tenure as the Doctor, however, is the ‘costuming’ of some of the regulars. Whilst Romana here appears in a strikingly different red gold and white apparel as opposed to her ‘sailor’ outfit of the first two transmitted tales, the Doctor’s attire, though stylish, distinctive and more urbane than his previous ‘random collection’ of clothes, is by now seeming to be as much a ‘uniform’ as clothes of choice. Whilst Davison’s Doctor’s inflexible cricket garb and Colin Baker’s notorious multi-coloured coat when playing the role are worse intruders in this sense than the 4th Doctor’s’ burgundy outfit, JNT’s stating that this was for merchandising reasons only half-convinces, and has given rise to speculation that this was also an attempt to ensure that Baker played the Doctor as a dramatic part and not simply as an extension of the more comic side of his real-life personality. In any case, considering how many times the Doctor lands on a planet or spacecraft and is instantly threatened or ‘tried’ for a crime by suspicious individuals, coupled with the amount of clothing that we have seen on several occasions within the TARDIS, it makes little sense that he would now ensure that he or his companions would look even more out of place than usual, and therefore place themselves in immediate danger and hinder his investigations. In the near future, Adric’s off-yellow and grey ‘pyjama’ outfit becomes a particularly hideous example of this once he stows away on board the TARDIS, in this adventure.

On the subject of Adric, Matthew Waterhouse gets a great deal of bad press for his performance here as Adric, and his general attempts in the future at trying to display the character’s often contradictory qualities of intelligence and well-meaning kindness whilst being naïve and desperate to impress. Actually his performance in Full Circle is not too bad, displaying a pragmatic side (when he advises that Romana look outside the door rather than look for technological ways of surveying the surface of the planet), brief moments of burgeoning sexuality (the aforementioned scene with Romana), bravery (when he helps Romana fight off the River people), and ironically reacting more calmly and naturally to the Doctor than in later adventures. He still finds himself on the receiving end of a fair few Baker broadsides throughout the adventure, however, as does Romana, and commentaries on the E-Space trilogy box-set have proved rather candid on the deteriorating communications on-set at the time – such as Baker allegedly not looking at his co-stars during takes if riled. Perhaps more pertinently during his time on the show, the character’s occasional sulks or ill-considered wilfulness, such as one which indirectly leads to Decider Draith’s death, hindered his would-be allies and greatly alienated viewers, right up to the character’s final story.

Of the rest of the cast, Richard Willis impressed many as the more headstrong Varsh, by some way the best of the actors playing the Outlers and unfortunately casting a shadow over the appointment of Adric as companion, and the death of his brother saving his life would be rather glossed over for much of the mathematician’s time on board the TARDIS. George Baker is probably the best of the Deciders, although Leonard Maguire impresses as the ill-fated Draith. The musical accompaniment, like many this season, is of a high standard, particularly the Church organ-style music during the ‘Decider’ scenes on board the Starliner.

The subject of resistance to change, or an (in)ability to adapt is a key theme to Full Circle. The Marshmen are observed by Romana as adapting to their new environment quickly when she admonishes Varsh and the others; in contrast are the inhabitants of the Starliner, who in some cases show a struggle to develop without the Doctor’s assistance – take the scene where the three Deciders each expect the others to come up with a solution to the Marshmen invasion. There is a neat moment where the Doctor remarks to Adric that “we’ve come full circle”, which his new companion remarks is what the scientists have observed – which can be compared with the Chronic Hysteris sequence in Meglos . Ultimately the two remaining Deciders are forced to make a decision on whether the Starliner stays and their race continues to go full circle or leaves, and evolves, and the fact that they depart Alzerius – albeit with a little prodding from the Doctor – provides the positive resolution to the story. Apathy is defeated, though the theme of stagnation and disinterest would again surface during the E-Space trilogy (Warriors’ Gate).

Full Circle is another strong story, well-directed by debutant Peter Grimwade and with plenty of opportunity for both Baker’s Doctor and Ward’s Romana to shine in a well-written script that disproves the addage that first-time or ‘fan’ writers cannot come up with the goods. The addition of Adric’s ‘boy genius’ to the TARDIS crew would allegedly cause ructions on-set, but the theme of change prevalent in the tale is particularly apt here – with the arrival of Adric, the process of change had begun of the crew themselves. By the end of the season the Doctor, Romana and K9 would all, like the crew of the Starliner, be gone…

E-SPACE TRILOGY

STATE OF DECAY. Written By Terrance Dicks. Directed by Peter Moffatt

Plot

Still trapped in E-Space The Doctor, Romana, K9 and the stowed-away Adric arrive on an unnamed planet. They are surprised to find that it is almost feudal, and note that the villagers are in fear of the ‘Three Who Rule’: elusive beings who dwell in a nearby Tower, and with the help of their guards, the Habris, seem to be behind the annual disappearance of a number of the younger villagers. Threatened by the Lords’ guards and the mysterious ‘Wasting’, the adventurers look to investigate the reason why the corpses of the missing villagers are drained of blood, whether the Three Who Rule and the Tower itself are linked to a spaceship which once landed there, and whether a long-standing enemy of the Time Lords could be behind the current state of decay…

‘It isn’t just the young stowaway on the TARDIS who’s’ proving a pain in the neck…’

Review.

“It’ll be dark soon” notes Romana towards the end of the first episode, and this observation highlights not only the ethos of the gloomy march to oblivion of season 18 of Doctor Who but more specifically the phobia of creatures that fear the sunlight. And the fact that State Of Decay is the title is something of an irony, as not only is the story about a society that has become something of a regression but the story itself is something of a throwback, being as it is a rewrite of an adventure initially intended to take place in the Gothic days of s15.

During the earlier days of the Tom Baker era classic monsters from film and literature had been the subject of homage successfully. His very first story (Robot ) was a tip of the hat to King Kong, and another of his earlier adventures (The Brain Of Morbius) was clearly inspired by Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. So why not take the vampire legend and put that unique Doctor Who spin on it too?

Of course Gothic Horror such as The Brain Of Morbius had been successfully done during the Hinchcliffe era, and even when not featuring any kind of horror genre-related villain, it had been a defining feel of early Tom Baker stories such as series 12, 13 and 14. Indeed, an early form of the serial had been submitted by Terrance Dicks back in 1977 during the Hinchcliffe era called The Witch Lords, and was intended to open series 15, but due to a clash with a BBC adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Count Dracula the claustrophobic, lighthouse-based story Horror Of Fang Rock (which was perhaps even more horror-inspired) was commissioned instead. With hindsight, then, one can see such a story fitting in well to that period of Tom Baker’s tenure.

The title and theme of State Of Decay slot more appropriately into this entropy-obsessed season, however, and encapsulate the general theme of societies in decay, decline and regression. The Doctor’s conversation with Camilla and Zargo in the second episode highlights this, as does his subsequent chat with Romana where he deduces that the vampires are the original crew of Hydrax, and that the ‘throne room’ was once the spaceship’s control booth. The planet is clearly in a state of devolution, obvious from the scene where the Doctor talks of ‘consonantal shift’ explaining the changing of the Three That Rule’s names over a great period of time and the fact that the control room is now a throne room, and from the moment the villagers produce communicators and other hi-tech devices yet, as in Full Circle, are unable to explain what ‘the Wasting’ actually is. Once again, such self-destructive traditions and fears are questioned by the Doctor upon his arrival, and by doing so he prevents a society from stagnating – ironically causing the literal ‘wasting away’ of the Three That rule when he slays the Great Vampire.

Another theme that rears its head is the easiness of waiting for things to improve rather than taking risks to ensure that they do. The scene where Tarak, Kalmar and the others argue in the dwelling highlights a theme that was particularly noticeable in the previous story, Full Circle, where the crew of the Starliner showed an unwillingness to learn how to launch a perfectly functional Starship, actually sabotaging it to avoid doing so. Kalmar admits he is prepared to put off any revolution for several generations if necessary, and apart from Tarak the others agree that it is ‘too soon’. The acquisition of knowledge is seen as the greatest power in a society like theirs, as Camilla remarks to Zargo, and this is backed up by Tarak’s remarks to the others about the importance of the Doctor. It is no coincidence that Aukon comes across as the most knowledgeable of the vampires and is also effectively their leader.

The planet is realised onscreen as largely a plush and convincing environment, and the ‘covering up’ of high-tech equipment among apparently mediaeval settings is convincingly done, enhanced by the sometimes occasionally archaic incidental music, whilst accentuating the spooky threat of the vampires. The use of location filming during the first episode gives the chance for a surprisingly relaxed-looking Doctor and Romana to stroll through genuine flora at dusk, and the moment where the bats (aka ‘The Wasting’) bite the Doctor and fly over them could be straight out of a classic Hammer film. The superimposing of a bat over Aukon during episode 1 shows a stylised touch which previous Who had rarely attempted, and is a memorable image which removes the need for stilted information dumps. Clothing-wise the more stylised, two-tone black and burgundy Baker fits in perfectly here, of course, despite seeming a little more chipper than at certain other times this season. There is an ominous moment the moment we first see the Doctor in the TARDIS, however, where Romana is concerned at his pained expression, which seemingly doesn’t bode well long-term for this incarnation of the Time Lord. Baker’s Doctor had always been famous for almost cheerfully enduring physical pain in early stories like Arc In Space, or dealing with being menaced by monsters in tales like Nightmare Of Eden in farcical fashion – not any more.

Adric has a rather strange adventure here, however, showing ‘Artful Dodger’-style cheekiness (which was originally how the character was envisaged), but his inward and easily malleable nature makes him less than sympathetic. Within moments of being caught entering the villagers’ dwelling he is helping himself to their food and their son’s coat, though with hindsight it’s a shame that he didn’t continue to wear this more natural looking garment during his time on the show instead of his horrendous yellow ‘pyjama’ outfit. Furthermore the Alzerian later displays turncoat-style behaviour in apparently acquiescing to become like the Lords, and gives an unconvincing explanation to Romana about fooling them into a false sense of security. Whether due to Waterhouse’s performance or a conflicting script, Adric’s behaviour during this adventure never convincingly comes across as anything other than self-serving, even though he does eventually attempt to slay Zargo towards the end of the tale as the Time Lord and Lady are threatened. This portrayal of the character contrasts with the more plausible attempts he made to help the Doctor and Romana in his debut story Full Circle. K9 finally gets to have a less battering adventure of his own here, a rare event this season, and delivers a cutting summary of Adric in the TARDIS upon discovering the stowaway – “Immature humanoid – non-hostile.”

Characterisation is generally inconsistent in this story, sadly. Ivo, head of the village, shows equally unfathomable motives throughout, going from acceptance of any uprising to betraying it. This is unfortunate when the humans are clearly shown to be the oppressed and disadvantaged peoples of the planet, ruthlessly preyed on by the Lords. More appealing by far is Arthur Hewlett as Kalmar, with his quiet subversion evoking memories of Timothy Bateson as Binro the Heretic in the Key To Time adventure The Ribos Operation, and Thane Bettany as Tarak, who in contrast to his peers shows the charisma and the bravery to defy both the Three Who Rule and the once loyal villagers who now serve under Habris and his guards. On the subject of the Lords, Emrys James is imposing and entertaining as the dominant Aukon, though his dominant performance does reduce Rachel Davies’ Camilla and William Lindsay’s Zargo to the role of hissing, bickering sidekicks whenever he is present.

There are other quite noticeable flaws. The on-screen realisation of the Great Vampire is a disappointment almost on the scale of the Skarasen in Terror Of The Zygons, and the rocket going straight up and then straight back down to pierce its heart, is poetic but truly corny. The use of blood as ‘fuel’ over such a long period of the time raises the simple question of why has it not evaporated or gone bad, being organic, not to mention the fact that the planet’s population now seems extremely meagre for them to continue plundering. Considering how the peasants’ society has regressed over time it is surprisingly easy for the Doctor to get them up-to-speed with the high-tech equipment, and it is equally surprising they have not destroyed or thrown it out once it became useless to them. It is also difficult to work out what the ‘perks’ of becoming a guard are, as the Three That Rule still threaten to feed them to the great one upon the slightest failing, and show no concern when informed that they are dying.

State Of Decay is not perfect and with its use of hypnotism, mind-reading and other vampire cliches, seems a little out of place in a season heavy on science, but it remains a stylish story even today, for sure, and though criticised for being something of a derivative horror story given the Doctor Who treatment, it is nonetheless watchable and reinforces the themes of the season as directly as any of the stories without being too heavy-going. Those who criticised the story for perhaps lacking much under the surface or for being too simple would soon see the flip-side of the coin…

E-SPACE TRILOGY

WARRIOR’S GATE

Written by Stephen Gallagher. Directed by Paul Joyce ( assisted by Graham Harper )

Plot

At the point where N-Space and E-Space meet, a time-sensitive Tharil named Biroc escapes from a slaver cargo vessel holding others of his kind, and hijacks the TARDIS which, like the slave vessel, has become trapped there, near a gateway. He warns them that the slavers are following him and that they cannot be trusted. The Commander of the slaver ship, Rorvik, is determined to recapture Biroc who has been navigating them, and is becoming increasingly irritated at both the entrapment of his ship and the rest of his crew’s apparent disinterest in escaping. The Doctor will need all of his wits to investigate a mysterious gateway and an abandoned banquet hall nearby, utilise a number of mirrors which provide passage for time-sensitive aliens, avoid the threat of the malfunctioning Gundan robotic knights, rescue the captured Romana from Rorvik who believes her to be time-sensitive too and intends her to replace Biroc, and prevent both the slave ship from diminishing the Gateway into nothingness and its captain from misjudging the power of the mirrors and destroying everyone…

‘Who knew E-Space could get so complicated’?

Review.

One of the fascinations of Doctor Who, particularly in its’ ‘classic’ days, was the sheer range of its types of storytelling, and s18 had already encompassed this – a sly satire on the culture and holiday business ( The Leisure Hive ); a fantastical ‘villain with delusions of grandeur’ tale ( Meglos ); a pacifistic and environmentally-aware precautionary tale of evolution ( Full Circle ) and a homage to the horror genre ( State Of Decay ). With the 5th story to be released chronologically, however, season 18 went one stage further, with a bizarre tale of time-travelling reformed aliens, cruel and listless humans, mysterious mirrors and mystical castles, which showed influences from sources as diverse as Jean Cocteau, Stanley Kubrick, C S Lewis and Mervyn Peake.

Warrior’s Gate , though utterly distinct from either, ranks with The Mind Robber during the Patrick Troughton era and Ghost Light during the McCoy era as one of the most experimental serials in the show’s history, featuring concepts that would baffle any first-time viewer. Furthermore, faced with the need to convincingly wrap up the E-Space trilogy (which had had little bearing on the previous adventure other than the Vampires had fled there to hide from the Time Lords), return the Doctor to N-Space and plot the departures of both Romana and the now long-suffering K9, it would need to include a convincing reason why they would choose this moment to depart. Not only did the writer succeed in doing this, and expanding on the themes of season 18 as a whole, but they managed to create a world like no other in the Doctor Who canon – the Tharils, the mirrors, the gateway, the abandoned hall, the shrinking dimensions and the time winds are all strikingly original, to an almost daunting degree when all are presented at once.

Once again the Doctor finds himself faced by a pseudo-tyrant, in the form of the blustering and impatient human Commander Rorvik, “We’re back in nowhere” mutter the crew near the beginning of the story, and this sums up the quandary they find themselves in, and Rorvik’s desperation to escape. In typical series 18 fashion it is not so much the prospect of death but that of being trapped or regressing which seems to breed even greater apathy and fear of action in both the time-sensitive Tharils (represented most strongly by the noble yet enigmatic Biroc), who are clearly being mistreated and even killed, and their new masters the privateer crew. The theme of devolution is present in the Tharils once being masters but now being slaves, and that of apathy is evident not only in their failure to rebel until the Doctor and Romana arrive, but also in the crew who show little urgency to escape E-Space, although their inertia is not wholly condemned by the fact that as the Doctor says to Biroc, “sometimes it’s best to do nothing, if it’s the right sort of nothing.”

In many ways it should be possible to have sympathy for the crew for the literal and metaphorical limbo they find themselves in, despite the casual cruelties they inflict on their former masters. “Nowhere to go and no way of getting there” remarks Rorvik sourly to the crew at one point, and they say nothing. In many ways the void the crew are in, trapped between N Space and E Space, reflects their state of mind. This sense of aimlessness then ensures that they remain trapped, their lack of personal progression being displayed in their concern with maximising their bonuses rather than escaping the void. Following on from the theme shown in the likes of Meglos of individuals failing to evolve and going round in circles (the Chronic Hysteresis), and the same thing happening to societies in The Leisure Hive, Full Circle and State Of Decay, Warriors’ Gate takes the extra idea of the oppressors becoming the oppressed – with the Tharils having been defeated by their then ‘inferiors’ rising up and defeating them with the aid of the Gundans. The decay of the Tharil civilisation after that revolution ties in with the idea presented in State Of Decay, where the fortunes of the oppressed are actually declining the longer they allow the current state of affairs to continue.

“It’s always darkest before the storm” says the Doctor, linking to Romana’s comment about night being about to fall in the previous story, and though the murky huts, darkened ‘tower’ and gloomy wood of the previous story are stylistically completely opposite to the well-lit spaceship, white void and fantastical castle behind the Gateway, there is a similar underlying bleakness about this story. The Doctor himself seems to have developed something of a death wish, where he nearly pushes a button that would have destroyed the TARDIS in the first episode and recognises that chance is in itself not an explanation for what he could have done. When he faces apparent decapitation by the Gundans he seems, at times, strangely resigned to his fate, albeit cheerful when he is not ultimately killed. In fact this story could be seen as the ultimate encapsulation of the Doctor succeeding by being ‘passive’ – such as his aforementioned comment to Biroc, his tolerance of Biroc and acceptance of a logic which is alien to him and finally his opposing of Rorvik’s rashness in trying to escape E-Space, even though it is something the Doctor himself wishes to do.

Lalla Ward, generally considered to have steadily improved as an actress since her initial Doctor Who appearance as Princess Astra in The Armageddon Factor, puts in one of her finest performances, and so whilst her departure at the end to stay with Rorvik in E-Space has been signposted – both by her comment in Full Circle to the Doctor and her earlier remark to Adric that she and the Doctor may soon be going their separate ways – it is a curiously rushed scene when she and K9 depart, with the Doctor’s comment, “You were the noblest Romana of them all” standing in sharp contrast to the increasing discord that Baker and Ward’s relationship was going through at the time. As for poor K9, after his more dignified treatment in State Of Decay he’s back to being abused with a vengeance here: overheating, running out of power, getting kicked and thrown away all in the same story. To literally add insult to injury he is even belittled by Adric! It’s difficult not to see this constant belittling of the character as being alienating to the children who were intended to be his fanbase, and for the character’s sake it is good to see his suffering end as the Doctor orders him to stay with Romana and the Tharils.

Surprisingly in such a ‘puzzle within a puzzle’ story, characters such as Aldo and Royce provide effective and accessible humour, and the two succeed in grounding what could have been a grim and incomprehensible story with some down-to-earth observations and their general laissez-faire attitude, and their cowardice only goes further to ensure that they will not escape from the gateway. Kenneth Cope puts in as reliable a performance as ever as the more level-headed, no-nonsense Packard, the perfect foil to Clifford Rose’s irascible Rorvik. Even Rorvik himself is not a stereotypical villain, however, as his frustration is understandable when surrounded by the apathy and counter-productive attitude of the crew, and the fact that he causes his crew’s death by the hot-headed action in trying to blast away is an irony in a season where inaction is often seen as the worst thing to do. As he himself remarks caustically to the Doctor “I’m finally getting something done!” It is a bleak conclusion to a tale where all the humans

are apparently killed in the inevitable blastback, regardless of whether they agree with Rorvik’s rash but understandable action.

Warrior’s Gate is undeniably complex. Whilst well-made with remarkable effects and brimming with intriguing ideas its mixture of mind-bending science, surreal fantasy, satirical comment and comments on self-destruction, slavery and cycles of oppression make it unlikely to top a fan’s favourite poll, and it is certainly a story that requires more than one viewing due to its density. It is also not only the end of the E-Space trilogy but the end of another era for the Fourth Doctor with the departure of long-standing companion Romana and the even longer-standing K9, and with Adric now the sole companion on board the TARDIS the Doctor prepares to return to N-Space – where an old enemy awaits…

THE KEEPER OF TRAKEN. Written by Johnny Byrne. Directed by John Black

Plot

The Doctor and Adric return to N-Space and are visited on the TARDIS by the aged and infirm Keeper Of Traken, who states that he has perceived a great evil within his potential successor Tremas and his family – wife Kassia and daughter Nyssa. Although Traken is a planet where decency is paramount, the arrival of an evil life form, calcified on arrival by the essential ‘goodness’ of the planet and now known as the Melkur, leads to the mysterious deaths of a number of citizens which are blamed on the Doctor and Adric. The Melkur has also taken control of Kassia by means of a collar, and is manipulating her in order to become Keeper himself and gain access to the source. Who is the Melkur, and why do they wish for control of the source?

‘Anthony Ainley makes his Doctor Who debut – and there’s barely a cackle in sight…’

Review

With Tom Baker’s time on board the TARDIS now drawing towards an end (it was during the filming of this serial that it was announced on the BBC that the Liverpool-born legend would be leaving the show), Season 18 continues its remarkable range of different adventures with the almost Biblically-themed Keeper Of Traken. And for the role of the snake in the garden of Eden, there can be only one long-standing adversary of the Doctor to fit the bill – the Master.

The tale of Traken is ultimately especially grim, of course, as the Master – the real force behind the evil, calcified Melkur – manipulates the people of the ‘utopia’ of Traken to not only ascend to the throne but to steal the body of the wise and open-minded Tremas, who seemed to represent a better, more astute future for Traken, and ultimately to lead to its destruction in the following episode. The corruption and destruction of the planet by the satanic Master (note the number of references to not looking into the Melkur’s or the possessed Kassia’s eyes) would of course go on to form part of a similar plot of the David Tennant story, “Utopia”, carried over into the following two episodes which concluded season 3 of the new series. Here, however, his ultimate aim is to obtain a new, healthy body, the audience being deliberately misled to think that his aim is universal domination and Jacobean-style revenge on the Doctor – though with the now more malevolent than ever Master, neither of those motives are far away either.

The season’s themes of entropy and decline cast a shadow over Traken from the beginning of the story, in the image of the dying Keeper in the TARDIS, the initially unexplained death of the old man in the grove, the notion of the Melkur immediately being pinpointed as an all-pervading evil corrupting the ‘absolute goodness’ of Traken; the still hideously-wizened figure of the Master, skulking in the Melkur and reaching out to seize the body of Tremas (an anagram of Master) in the very final scene, and the ominous fact that the clock’s hands on the Master’s newly-disguised TARDIS in that scene are at five to midnight, boding ill for the final story in the series. Curiously there is also the theme of rebirth and change after a low period, as evidenced by both Traken and the Master’s restorations by the end of the story – a theme which becomes evidenced again in Logopolis through the Doctor’s own fate.

Whilst the behind-the-scenes documentaries have often pointed the finger at Tom Baker being less than satisfied in s18, he seems calm here, and at times quite warm towards Waterhouse. In the opening scene he discusses the wonders of N-Space to Adric and even puts his arm around the young Alzerian, and shows the full array of the 4th Doctor’s emotions – humour, bafflement, empathy, grace, brief indignation, a tendency to ramble and absent-mindedness, along with a greater awareness of his incarnation’s limited timespan. “I know that feeling” states the Doctor when the aged Keeper makes a remark about feeling his age. Although Baker is clearly looking older he puts in a lively performance here, getting his famous humour into his performance when captured. “I wonder what we’ve done this time”, he whispers to Adric, and ponders aloud to his captors if they are the welcoming committee and knocks two of his opponent’s heads together with the obvious but effective quip, “two heads are better than one”. Yet he also enhances the threat of Melkur where he admonishes Tremas for wanting to keep his honour intact rather than give him the master plans so he can help save Traken.

Intriguingly the other more recent theme that had come up in Season 18 : that of changing one’s course of action rather than simply keeping the status quo not always being for the better (in Warrior’s Gate) is again referenced here, with the consul’s willing adoption of Kassia as the new Keeper proving as ill-thought out as Rorvik’s suicidal decision to try and blast free of the Gateway in the previous story. Unfortunately the combination of the apparently ‘nice to each other’ Traken peoples being generally extremely suspicious of outsiders and willing to pass death sentences on even each other quickly may try the patience of those who are supposed to sympathise, whereas in Warriors Gate, of course, the ship’s crew were led by the stories’ main villain, Rorvik. One also has to wonder why the Traken people are so convinced of the Doctor and Adric’s ‘ultimate evil’ when unlike the Melkur they have not calcified upon arriving in the grove.

Anthony Ainley, who became so maligned for his occasionally OTT performances as the Master during the Davison era, has been uniformly praised for his rounded portrayal of Tremas in The Keeper Of Traken. His compassion, knowledge of science and shrewd good judgement helps him form an immediate empathy with the Doctor, and his decency is reflected in the warmth of his daughter Nyssa (played by Sarah Sutton) whose pure-heartedness contrasts greatly with the weak-willed desperation of Kassia, who has fallen under the thrall of the Melkur. Nyssa, who would soon become a surprise long-term companion on the TARDIS, has greater character development here and in Logopolis than in many of her subsequent stories with Davison’s Doctor, due to the more obviously personal effect that the Master/Melkur’s machinations have on her. Roland Oliver’s performance as the pragmatic Proctor Neman, looking at monetary gain for himself until his shock execution, is also impressive, though it is another indictment of Traken’s supposedly virtuous society that such a corrupt character has become so prominent. John Woodnutt is as entertaining here as the self-assured and seemingly politically-astute Seron he was in dual role of Forgay/Broton in Terror Of The Zygons , and even adds a touch more fruitiness to the role this time around, and proves his good intentions as he begs Kassia to reject the evil within her.

Even Adric’s many detractors confirm that Waterhouse is on good form here, too – forming an effective double-act with future co-companion Nyssa which mirrors the Doctor-Tremas partnership. Sheila Ruskin’s Kassia is more hit-and-miss, however. She is overly histrionic in the scene where following the Keeper’s death she denounces the Doctor and Adric as the culprits for the recent evils on Traken, even considering the Shakespearian tragedy that the character is central to – her love for her husband and wish for him not to suffer and playing into the Master’s hands. Geoffrey Beevers makes up for this, however, as the silkily-evil and Iago-like Master/Melkur, although as a downside the untreated voice of the Master lacks the echoing resonance of the Melkur’s, and is less effective as a result.

To complement the well-thought out society of Traken there is an appropriately-stagey (but well-realised) combination of Elizabethan-style sets from Tony Burroughs, with the right array of lighting to denote the time of day when outside, and though the grove does not look like anything other a set in itself, it is attractive and imaginatively designed, with the off-white form of the Melkur proving a strong, contrasting image. Roger Limb’s soundtrack, though not perhaps the best of the season, is steady and stately without being too intrusive, and the costumes etc, in a range of subdued reds, blues and greys, provide a society into which the Doctor’s flowing burgundy garb fits in well, though the same can hardly be said of Adric’s attire.

The Keeper Of Traken is one of the more consistently-highly rated stories from season 18, a dark scientific fairy tale with tragic overtones but without the tone of utter gloominess that pervades the following Logopolis. Though looking a little wearied Baker is back to his energetic, more spirited and humorous self, but the arising of the Master, the time on his TARDIS’ clock-face and the mentions of “time running out” during the story are an ominous portent for what is about to happen…

LOGOPOLIS. Written by Christopher Hamilton Bidmead. Directed by Peter Grimwade

Plot

The Doctor, alerted to oncoming danger by the ringing of the Cloister Bell in the TARDIS, decides to head to Earth to measure an original police box as part of a scheme to fix his chameleon circuit with the help of the peoples of Logopolis. However the Master has materialised his TARDIS on board the Doctor’s, and due to his psychotic tendencies the deaths of a number of Logopolitans, whose chanting of a series of complex numbers keeps the entire universe in check, interrupts the process and threatens the whole of creation with entropy. Robbed of several of its workers Logopolis decays dramatically, followed by the Traken Union, and the Doctor, Adric, Nyssa and accidental new companion Tegan Jovanka join forces with the Master to prevent universal annihilation. Can the Doctor’s old nemesis be trusted even now, however, and who is the strange ghost-like figure that keeps appearing?

‘A ghostly grim-reaper and a black-clad blackheart – is time almost up for the Doctor?’

Review

The curtain finally comes down on the Fourth incarnation of the Doctor after seven hugely successful years, in what is unquestionably one of the gloomiest stories in the canon of the series. As season 18 is not exactly a barrel of laughs even at the best of times, Baker’s forlorn face, the ultimate encapsulation of the entropy theme and the utterly desolate feel all make Logopolis seem a fitting season finale, if not necessarily a wholly-satisfying end to a once so jocular incarnation of the character.

It is Tom Baker’s performance that naturally takes centre-stage here, and Matthew Waterhouse’s constant questioning and repeating his phrases in the TARDIS during the earlier scenes has to be endured as a minor distraction. As in The Keeper Of Traken there is an initially warmer rapport between the two now Romana and K9 are no longer on the scene yet Baker looks tired, drawn and fearful throughout, in a manner never seen before even in this more sombre season, and before long he is snapping his impatience with Pertwee-like fierceness. Ironically one of the rare moments he smiles (apart from the brief flash of those familiar teeth as he suggests a tour to Earth to measure a police box) is as he lies ‘dying’ at the bottom of the Pharos research Tower. Thus even in death he achieves victory – even as the Master has achieved one of his aims (the destruction of the Doctor) the Doctor succeeds heroically in foiling the Master’s opportunistic attempt to seize control of the Universe. It also allows Baker to depart in a manner appropriate to his often larger-than-life legendary portrayal, after a season where the theme of decay seems to have had a quietening effect on his character too.

The idea of entropy comes to a head here, both explicitly – Baker directly addresses this in his first scene in the grove, noting the decay of the TARDIS, as does Adric to Nyssa, and entropy is openly discussed as Logopolis visibly decays, coupled with the more subtle but noticeable ‘decay’ of Tegan’s car – looking battered and getting a flat without the means to replace the tyre (the spare is flat too) – drawing parallels with the now inadequate nature of the TARDIS. Of course the universe’s peril from the Master’s ultimate plan seems to indicate the decay and destruction of everything, and the shrinking of the TARDIS in part 3, with the Doctor still inside, also foreshadows the ‘shrinking’ of the universe, as does the miniaturisation of the Master’s victims with his Tissue Compression Eliminator. This ties in with the downsizing of the Gateway in Warriors Gate, along with the shrinking power of the respective sources inMeglos and The Keeper Of Traken, and the forthcoming ‘death’ of the Doctor is cleverly referenced during the ‘mini-TARDIS’ scene as, trapped inside, he sees his companions looking down at him, desperately calling his name.

Logopolis has a wary standing amongst long-term fans, however, many of whom criticise certain plot holes, notably when the Doctor is in the TARDIS and debates ‘flushing out’ the Master in his own TARDIS, and the ending of the story at the Pharos Research tower, where the Doctor and the Master are supposed to be working together to prevent the utter destruction of what is left of the universe. Adric’s bafflement at block transfer computation, and at why the Doctor needs to go to Earth to find a police box in the first place, is understandable, too. The decision by the Doctor to flood the TARDIS has also been particularly condemned in such a science-heavy season as being deeply improbable, although it does fit in with the title character’s apparent death-wish, previously seen in Warriors’ Gate. The fetching of Nyssa from Traken is another such issue, as is the fact that the police immediately deduce that Vanessa and the policeman are dead, even though the only ‘evidence’ of this are two tiny doll-like figures – and one has to wonder who called the authorities in the first place. Finally there are the logistics of the Master’s deranged plan to hold the universe to ransom from on board the research tower, which bearing in mind that the authorities are still a factor is flawed in the extreme – one suggestion put forward by reviewers is that the Master might have been playing a cruel practical joke on the Doctor, which is made to look unlikely by his subsequent concern and panic when the Doctor goes outside to disconnect the cable.

Anthony Ainley’s performance here is a curious one, too, the actor following up his superb portrayal of the kindly, reasonable and honourable Tremas with a Master who, though bearing a general resemblance to that of Delgado’s, is altogether more psychotic and malevolent, and whose schemes are far less rationally-based. This is not Delgado’s ruthless yet oddly gentlemanly crook, nor is it the wizened, wraith-like figure of Pratt/Beevers, desperately clinging to the remnants of life and gleefully inching closer to rejuvenation. This is a character who as well as taking that extra silver of pleasure from the suffering of others, that Pratt and Beevers displayed, seems to have an almost impulsive, ever-cackling evil, one which if left unchecked would not only threaten his own life but the decay of the entire universe. If that weren’t enough, the Master then cannot help but threaten to continue the destruction of all life unless they subject to his will, and his giggling near-collapse at the delight of holding such power suggests total psychosis and a more unfocused megalomania than ever seen before from the character. The Doctor’s subsequent astonishment at this unhinged behaviour (famously exclaiming “You’re utterly mad!” when his nemesis makes his latest plan clear) is rather contradicted by his earlier comment to Adric. “He’s a Time Lord. In many ways we have the same mind.”

Davison’s initial trio of companions are all together by now, with the loud-mouthed Tegan becoming an occasionally reluctant and complaining presence on board the TARDIS. Janet Fielding’s portrayal of the character is notably at odds with the good grace of previous passengers, and the first scene where she screeches at Tom Baker for an explanation (and his pained expression as she does so) is a moment of surprise humour in a doom-laden tale. Despite the fact the character went on to become, like Adric, one of the more criticised companions in the show’s history, and despite the fact that her dialogue with Aunt Vanessa is rather clumsily geared at making sure the audience know she is a flight attendant – her emotional reactions to events – whether berating the crew of the TARDIS, talking openly to the Monitor about the joyless lives of the Logolopitans or learning of the death of Aunt Vanessa – provide some genuine, believability and humanity to a miserable and sterile story, though her costume is no better than Adric’s. Matthew Waterhouse’s performance, however, is sadly not as strong here as in the previous story, hectoring Baker’s Doctor repeatedly in the opening stages and his OTT greetings of Nyssa seem forced – almost suggesting a potential attraction from the former towards the latter, though any potential relationship which could have humanised the characters never did come to pass. On a positive note, John Fraser provides gravitas as the welcoming, dignified and ultimately terrified Monitor, conveying the scale of doom in part 3 as entropy overwhelms Logopolis.

The sets are again of a high standard. The Master’s TARDIS is a clever variation on the traditional model, with a devilish red tinge to the outer panels, and the cold, sterile sets for Logopolis, described by the Master as “a cold, high place overlooking the universe”, are well-lit and suitable for an austere story such as this. Paddy Kingsland creates an ethereal, haunting score, notably during the scenes where the Doctor first sees the Watcher across the road and later on the bridge overlooking the Thames, and this sets the mood for the gloomy adventure ahead along with the dignified incidental music when the Doctor first arrives on Logopolis. The chicken-guitar funk music where the Doctor, the Master and the companions are attempting to get into the Pharos tower is a little less successful, however, rather breaking the consistent mood of the story even bearing in mind that something more up-tempo was needed for the chase scene.

Finally, after the Doctor’s ‘life flashing before the eyes’ moment clinging for dear life to the tower, and seeing his old enemies – the Master, a Dalek, the Pirate Captain from The Pirate Planet, a Cyberman, Davros, a Sontaran, a Zygon and the Black Guardian – comes the regeneration scene on the ground beneath. There is a similar ‘run-through’ of his companions – Sarah-Jane, Harry, Brigadier, Leela, K9, and the two Romanas – looking down at him and calling his name as well as the present and correct trio, and an effective use of special effects (unlike the moment where the Doctor is supposed to be hanging from the tower, and the badly choreographed reactions of the companions who ‘watch’ him fall) where the Watcher, now revealed to be a transitional stage between the 4th and 5th incarnations of the Doctor, merges with him in a flash of green and then white light. “It’s the end – but the moment has been prepared for” gasps Baker, with a triumphant expression at odds with the Master’s apparent ‘slaying’ of him, before the fresh-faced Peter Davison sits up wordlessly in his place. The theme of change referenced here in the constant ‘regeneration’ of the Master’s TARDIS (and the Doctor’s attempt to do the same to his ), and the clearing of the decks (the jettisoning of Romana’s room) is complete, with the once-inconceivable changing of the lead actor.

Logopolis, then, gives Baker a memorable (if not always for the right reasons) send off. It is a sombre, doom-laden final goodbye for an actor in the part of the Doctor, who will probably always be remembered as its most popular. It does well in bringing the themes of entropy and decay which had seeped through all the stories of season 18 to the forefront and to a conclusion, and with the regeneration of the Master to compliment that of the Doctor (whose own instability would not be cured until the end of Davison’s first transmitted story Castrovalva), hinted at the show’s future, where the two’s fates would be as interlinked as they were in Pertwee’s day. Whether one approves of all the changes Nathan-Turner had made during the season, there was little doubt that the show which concluded with Davison now in the role of the Doctor had completely evolved to enter the 1980s.

THE END

Why I Want A Doctor Who Meets Scratchman Film

Related image

Doctor Who Meets Scratchman was an idea for a Doctor Who movie originally dreamed up by 4th Doctor actor Tom Baker and Ian Marter during the filming of season 12.

Its premise would have seen the 4th Doctor, Harry and Sarah land on an island off the coast of Scotland where they would battle living scarecrows, before discovering that the Scarecrows were minions of Satan himself, called Scratchman!

The Doctor and his companions would then travel to Scratchman’s home dimension, where they would encounter other mythological figures such as the Greek God Pan and the Ferryman of the dead, Charon.

The finale would see the Doctor, Sarah and Harry battle Scratchman inside a giant interdimensional pinball machine!

The film came very close to being made towards the end of the 70s, but sadly a lack of funding and the release of Star Wars eventually brought an end to Baker’s plans to bring the Doctor to the big screen. Over 40 years after it was first conceived, Tom Baker and Ian Marter’s screenplay was finally adapted into a book, written by Tom Baker and James Goss, released in January 2019.

Personally however I still think the idea could work as a film. Scratchman to me is the perfect Doctor Who story. It combines horror, science fiction and surrealism together to create a truly unique adventure.

In this article I will give my opinion of the 2019 novelisation of Tom’s script, run through why I want Scratchman to be adapted, what I would like from said adaptation, and who I would like to play the Doctor, his companions and the titular villain.

Why Scratchman has potential

Image result for doctor who meets scratchman

Doctor Who Meets Scratchman could still work as a film, even after all this time, as it has a suitably epic story, potentially stunning visuals, and a fascinating, terrifying villain in the form of Scratchman.

Scratchman is an ancient being from another universe who feeds on psychic energy. His hunger is so great that he eventually consumes each universe he visits.

Scratchman is a sadistic monster that enjoys reshaping each universe he overruns into a hideous hell dimension. He twists aliens into his Demonic servants, and torments them until he gets bored and moves on.

This disturbing scene from the 2019 novelisation where Scratchman forces several of his minions to kill themselves by throwing themselves into a firey pit, shows the full extent of the torment he inflicts on his minions.

“You’re one of the new arrivals aren’t you? You’ve caused so much damage. You have cost the lives of so many of us.’ ‘I’m dreadfully sorry about that’, said Harry sincerely. ‘Don’t feel too bad, the creature said,’ but clearly didn’t mean it. ‘We are just memories of life, twisted into something to amuse our master. You’re thinking of fighting back, of escaping-but really, you’ll just cost more lives and you’ll end up like one of us- sooner or later. Sooner in your case.’ ‘Thank you,’ said Harry. ‘And then nothing awaits you but milleia of service as one of us, and finally, as fuel for him.’ ‘Fuel?’ ‘We must keep his dreams aloft.’ The creature nodded miserably. ‘If I were you I’d save myself the torment and jump now.’ ‘Will it be quick?’ Asked Harry? ‘No,’ the creature said, ‘but it will at least be over.’ And it launched itself into the air, dived down into the sulphurous pit, gave a single cry, and burst into flame.”

The current universe Scratchman inhabits resembles hell from various religions, with figures such as Charon existing. However the creatures are given somewhat modern and humorous twists, with Charon now being a down on his luck cabbie who drives people to their final destination, and Scratchman’s chief torturer being a lazy giant lizard.

Scratchman has destroyed billions of universe throughout all of time, but now he sets his sights on our reality. He has been attempting to enter our universe for centuries, and has been able to project his thoughts into our universe for centuries too, influencing humanity, and giving rise to myths and legends about the devil. Scratchman has also been able to pull the minds of people from our universe into his own to torture them, giving rise to myths about Charon and the afterlife.

The whole point of doing a film version of a long running television series is to do something that you couldn’t do on tv. Scratchman still fits that criteria. Even with the improved effects of New Who, the visuals of the Underworld would be too grand to do on the tv shows budget. Also the images of people being tortured and damned in hell would perhaps be too frightening and violent for the tv audience. Scratchman could up the horror ante from even the Hinchcliff era.

A problem I have had with the 21st century version of Doctor Who is that overall it’s somewhat more toothless than the original. The 1963-1989 classic era of Doctor Who regularly pushed the boundaries in terms of its violent content and provoked extreme controversy. At times the original Doctor Who was almost a horror series as much as a sci fi show.

Doctor Who Meets Scratchman, which has the potential for some really terrifying ideas and set pieces could help restore Doctor Who’s reputation as a horror series.  Indeed Doctor Who Meets Scratchman is arguably one of the darkest Doctor Who stories ever made.

Though the Doctor does defeat Scratchman, he fails to save the entire universe that Scratchman took over. The Third Doctor story Inferno was always one of the most terrifying stories for me as a child because the Doctor failed to save the earth. It was an evil, alternate version of the earth, but still seeing an entire world actually burn on screen was utterly horrifying.

Now imagine seeing the Doctor fail to save an entire universe!

Worse than that however, the universe Scratchman has taken over has been ravaged by him to such an extent, that he is the only thing that is holding it together. Therefore in order to save his universe, the Doctor has to sacrifice another!

Scratchman is even by Doctor Who standards a huge threat. He is an individual villain that can consume entire universes, and has slaughtered more people than the Daleks, the Master, and the Cybermen combined.

The story also pushes Doctor Who to its limits in terms of how surreal it is. A story with living scarecrows, the Devil, Greek Gods, and giant pin ball machines, even by Doctor Who standards is somewhat unusual.

Nevertheless it still stays within the limits of what Doctor Who can be. Scratchman is not actually a supernatural creature. He is still an alien, and the world he lives in is not actually the afterlife, just another universe.

Also whilst its true that the idea of the Doctor fighting the Devil has been explored in the television story The Satan Pit/The Beast Below, a lot of other ideas in Scratchman are still new territory for Doctor Who, such as the concept of hell. The finale featuring the Doctor and his companions being trapped in a giant pinball machine would still make an absolutely spectacular and surreal sequence too.

With a decent budget I think Scratchman could still be a unique, imaginative, and scary Doctor Who story that truly goes beyond what the tv series would be capable of.

My Opinion Of The 2019 Scratchman

Related image

Personally I wasn’t that keen on the recent adaptation of Scratchman. The first half of the book, which stays closest to Tom and Ian’s original script is fantastic. There are some genuinely chilling moments, and the story plays out like a classic Phillip Hinchcliff era gothic story.

Sadly its from the second part on that the book starts to lose it. I suspect in this part of the book, co-author James Goss’ input became greater, as it doesn’t seem to match Tom’s style.

The second section of the book is done more in the style of New Who. Leaving aside the fact that I am not a big fan of the 21st century version of Doctor Who (certainly not compared to the original.) The new style also does not fit Tom’s Doctor at all.

Rather than be just a bumbling traveller with great improvisational skills like in the original series, the Doctor is rewritten in the book to being an angry lonely god. The way the Doctor defeats Scratchman by creating illusions of all the monsters he has faced on his travels is exactly the type of thing I’d expect to see in a Moffat script.

Its an attempt to big up the Doctor (with Scratchman commenting that no one could stand against all of the creatures culled from the Doctors mind) that goes against the logic of the story. Scratchman is a creature that has eaten entire universes! How on earth could the Doctor, who has only explored part of one universe, have possibly have seen anything that could shock Scratchman?

Scratchman 2019 also plays on the idea of all the Doctors being different people, and the Doctor never wanting to change. This is again something that New Who pioneered during the Tennant era. In the classic series the Doctor was never scared of regeneration. Troughton’s Doctor does protest, but once they tell him that he can choose what his next face looks like, he says “that’s not so bad”, showing that they are all meant to be the same man underneath. Making all of the Doctors into different people, destroys the Doctor as a character overall, as it now essentially turns him into a title passed onto 13 different characters.

Scratchman 2019 also features pointless cameos from other Doctors, which I feel drags the story down into fan fiction territory.

Something as large as the first 4 Doctors meeting (even if it is only scarecrow copies of the first three) should not be crowbarred into a story that is not about that, and was never intended to be about that.

Worst of all however is the fact that Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor appears. Now I freely admit that I despise Jodie Whittaker’s 13th Doctor. Everything about her from the reason she was cast, to her voice, to her annoying scrunch habit, to her attitude to her critics, to her costume is awful.

Still sticking such a controversial version of the Doctor into a story that she was never intended to be in, seems like a nasty, spiteful, mean spirited taunt to Jodie’s critics on behalf of the co-author, James Goss. (I very much doubt that it was Tom’s idea to include Jodie. Remember Tom is a man who refused to be in The Five Doctors as he didn’t want to appear with any other Doctors, and who always jokingly responds “OTHER DOCTOR” when fans ask him who his favourite other Doctor was. I very much doubt with this in mind that he would go out of his way to include other Doctors in a story that was only ever intended to feature his Doctor.)

Fair enough not everybody hates Jodie, though I think its fair to say that she is not one of the most popular incarnations of the Time Lord to say the least.

Image result for doctor who rotten tomatoes

Still this is not like someone having a line up of all the Doctors and Jodie’s critics getting angry at her being included at all.

This book was a chance for old school fans to enjoy a new story from the most popular Doctor of the original series, that Jodie was never a part of at all. James Goss however wouldn’t even let us have that. He has such contempt for classic era fans that he had to force the revival into it, and the most controversial, hated aspect of the revival too, regardless of how out of place it seemed. It sullied the entire book for me.

Its a shame as well as the second section of the book contains the most wild and imaginative aspects of the story, but Goss’ tampering with Tom and Ian’s ideas lets it, and consequently the entire story overall down.

The subsequent film adaptation would in my opinion have to leave out cameos from all the former and future Doctors, focus on the other universe and its history, how it tried to fight and ultimately fell to Scratchman, the Doctors dilemma in having to destroy another universe to save his own, Scratchman’s influence on human history, and the various monsters in his universe. All of these ideas are only touched upon in the 2019 version, as the story seems to be more concerned with focusing on analysing the Doctors character instead.

Who Would I Cast

Related image

For a hypothetical film version of Scratchman I would like to see Julian Richings as the Doctor, and Dana Delorenzo and Colin O’Donaghue as his two companions.

I have mentioned all 3 of these actors before as being my ideal Tardis team. I think Julian would be perfect as an old school, alien, distant, no nonsense Doctor, based on his stellar performance as Death in Supernatural.

See here.

The Doctor

Dana Delorenzo and Colin O’Donaghue meanwhile are both actors with prior genre experience, (Delorenzo was one of the stars in the cult series Ash Vs Evil Dead) whilst Colin starred as Captain Hook on Once Upon A Time for 6 years.

And his companions

Colin and Dana would both be very physical companions who would make a great contrast with the more cerebral, cold and elderly Doctor.

All 3 actors together would bring a very different dynamic to the story than Tom, Sarah and Harry would have done, but that’s okay. You could never replicate the chemistry those three characters had, so it would make sense to try something new.

Julian’s more serious Doctor could help play up some of the horror aspects, whilst Dana and Colin could at the same time allow a chance for there to be greater action in the film.

I have mentioned in the past that I would prefer to see an alternate sequel to Classic Who that ignores New Who, and a Scratchman film could serve as quite a good pilot to this hypothetical sequel.

Personally I think it would be for the best if they ditched Jodie’s era which is already failing hard next year, gave the show a rest for a few years, and then produced Doctor Who Meets Scratchman with Julian, Dana and Colin in 2023 for the 60th anniversary, followed by a new series with that cast.

As for Scratchman personally I would like to see Bruce Campbell play the role. Bruce Campbell is a horror icon best known for playing Ash Williams in The Evil Dead franchise. He has played a few villains in his long career such as Assault on Dome 4, as an evil Witchfinder in Charmed, and as Ash’s evil counterpart in both Army of Darkness and Ash vs Evil Dead.

In my opinion Campbell would be the best choice for Scratchman as he would be able to inject enough humour into the role. Part of what makes Scratchman such an effective villain is his twisted sense of humour. Campbell has a real talent for being able to blend overt horror and comedy together almost like no other angle.

When he wants too Campbell can be menacing as seen in Ash Vs Evil Dead when his evil counterpart brutally murders and taunts Amanda Fisher, or in Army of Darkness where the evil version of Ash rapes Shelia! (Which may be the most disturbing moment in any of the Evil Dead movies.)

Also its known that Tom Baker wanted Vincent Price to play the original Scratchman. Price even expressed interest in the role. Thus it would make sense to get another legendary horror actor to play it today.

Scratchman!

I would also have Scratchman survive the Doctors attempts on his life (as was planned in the original script by Tom and Ian) so that he could then recur in the series as another major enemy of the Doctor. I think there is enough in the Scratchman character to bring him back for later stories. (If he were to be played by Bruce Campbell then that would just be all the more reason to bring him back! Its a scientific fact that you can increase the enjoyment of something by the inclusion of Bruce Campbell.)

For the role of Charon, I think Mark Hamill would be an excellent choice. Hamill’s talent as a voice actor could allow him to come up with a suitably unique and creepy voice for the ferryman, or cabbie of the dead.

For the role of Mr Tembel, the Lizard who attempts to torture the Doctor by boring him to death, I think David Warner would be an excellent choice. Aside from being an all around excellent actor, Warner’s role as the inept, useless torturer would be a nice contrast to one of his most famous roles as the Cardassian torturer in Star Trek The Next Generation. It would also give him a chance to show off a more comedic side as well.

Finally as for the role of Mrs Tulloch, the mean spirited woman in the village, I would cast Lucy Lawless. Lucy Lawless who is best known as Xena is excellent at playing villains. In this hypothetical film version you would have to expand Tulloch’s role of course, so as not to waste Lucy. I would have her rather than simply be killed, be turned into a Demon by Scratchman and be one of his main servants in hell chasing the Doctor and his companions.

Lucy would make an amazing Doctor Who monster. She’s already proven she can play really horrific, vicious monstrous characters as seen with Ruby in Ash vs Evil Dead, and the various times Xena was turned into a Demon, Vampire etc.

Related image

Mrs Tulloch

My Own Version Of Scratchman

Regardless of whether or not we will ever see a version of Scratchman on the big screen, I will be doing my own adaptation of the story as part of my own alternate sequel series. I wanted Scratchman to be canon to my series that ignores New Who, as I wanted to use the character of Scratchman as a recurring foe for the Doctor, but sadly I can’t use the 2019 version due to the inclusion of Jodie’s Doctor.

So instead I will be doing my own version. (I will not be using Tom’s Doctor as I obviously could never hope to write his Doctor as well as he could.)

My version will be released in weekly instalments over the Chirstmas period in 2019. Think of it as being this years Doctor Who Christmas Special.

Big Finish’s Scratchman

Related image

Finally regardless of whether we ever get a film version, I think that Big Finish should adapt Scratchman as an audio story. I’d love to see Tom and Lalla Ward appear in it. As for who could play the audio Scratchman, personally I’d love to see William Shatner play the villain. I realise that casting would probably never happen, but still imagine how sensational it would be to see Tom Baker’s Doctor fight the Devil played by Shatner himself!

With Lucy Lawless as a Demonic Mrs Tulloch to complete the cast, Scratcman could be the best Big Finish audio story yet. Please if you’re reading this Nicholas Briggs, make it happen!

(Though please for the love of god keep Jodie out of the audio version. No more Stalinist revisions of the shows history. I’m just saying trying to crowbar the most hated version of the Doctor into every aspect of Doctor Who history, isn’t going to make us love her.)

Thanks for reading and let me know if you think Scratchman could ever work as a film, and what you thought of the recent adaptation.

 

 

The Moonbase Review

Related image

The second Cybermen adventure. The Moonbase also marked both a radical change of the Cybermen’s design and their characterisations, turning them into complete machine creatures.

It also marked the first of 4 Cybermen stories throughout the Second Doctors era.

Plot

The TARDIS lands in the year 2070 on the Moon. Using spacesuits, the Doctor and his three companions, Jamie, Ben and Polly explore the Moon, but whilst they play around in the low gravity, Jamie is injured.

Jamie is found by people from a nearby Moonbase who take him in for treatment. The TARDIS crew soon follow Jamie into the base and learn that the Moonbase controls the weather of the earth, using a machine called a Gravitron.

Unfortunately however the base is suffering from problems. A plague has infected various members of staff, which has made it more difficult to control the Gravitron. Whilst Jamie is in the sick bay, Polly spots a Cyberman abducting one of the patients next to him, suffering from the plague.

Hobson, the leader of the international team aboard the Moonbase, dismisses Polly’s claims believing the Cybermen were all killed when Mondas blew up in the 1980s. Hobson also gives the Doctor 24 hours to figure out the cause of the disease or else he will be forced to  leave the Moon.

The Doctor later discovers that the Cybermen are spreading their plague through infected sugar from the food stores. Having dwindled the base’s staff, the Cybermen are able to take the base by force easily and reveal that they intend to use the Gravitron to disrupt the weather on earth and kill everything on the planet. The Cybermen are able to gain control of the Gravitron by using brainwashed human servants.

Using fire extinguishers, nail varnish remover and other substances that dissolve plastic mixed together, Ben, Polly and a recovered Jamie are able to fight back against the Cybermen, but the monsters soon send a second army to attack the base. The Doctor however is able to best the Cybermen by using the Gravitron itself to send them back into space. 

Review

The Moonbase is a somewhat overlooked adventure. Its not surprising in a way as on the surface it is just another Troughton era, base under siege story. That plus that fact that two episodes were missing meant that it naturally wouldn’t have that much appeal to contemporary audiences. (Though both missing episodes were recently animated.)

A common criticism of The Moonbase is that it is just a remake of The Tenth Planet. Personally I find this claim to be somewhat hollow. Yes they both involve monsters attacking a base, but again so do many classic Troughton era stories from The Ice Warriors, to The Web of Fear, to The Seeds of Death. (I might add that The Moonbase predates all of these adventures.)

Other than the base under siege formula however, there are no real similarities between The Moonbase and The Tenth Planet.

The Cybermen are portrayed very differently across both stories. In The Moonbase we see a more clever, sneaky side to the monsters the way they divide and conquer the base using a plague. The idea of the Cybermen being desperate after the destruction of Mondas is also a nice contrast with The Tenth Planet too. In The Tenth Planet the monsters were a strong invading force, far in advance of us, who had armies capable of overrunning every military base and city on earth. Here however they are forced to skulk in the shadows, resort to sneak attacks, and ironically use humanity’s own technology against them.

This would help set the tone for future Cyberman stories where the monsters were shown to be nearing extinction. Personally I liked this idea as it helped set them apart from the Daleks in many ways.

The Daleks were a vast empire across the universe with countless resources and servants, whilst the Cybermen were once a great power desperately struggling to reclaim their former glory. In a way the Cybermen were more sympathetic as all they wanted was to survive, but sadly that has to come at our expense, as the only they can reproduce is to convert us!

The Daleks don’t need to invade. They do so out of pure malice, whilst the Cybermen in contrast make it very clear in The Moonbase that they are disposing of humanity, not for revenge or hatred, but simply to eliminate a potential threat. In this respect we don’t really have the moral high ground against the Cybermen. With the Daleks is more black and white. They are the badguys who want to kill everybody, but ultimately the Cybermen are behaving no differently than we would in this story.

Sadly the two races can never go exist, as the Cybermen essentially have to prey on us, so they are just trying to get rid of us before we get rid of them.

The redesign of the Cybermen for this story is more than just a superficial difference. Here the Cybermen are made completely mechanical. In The Tenth Planet not only did they still have some organic parts (like human hands) but they also still appeared to have individual names and identities. Here however they are all machine like drones.

In some ways this is less effective than the original Cybermen design from The Tenth Planet. They loose the body horror aspect of the original Cybermen were you get the feeling there really is a human sliced up under the mask. At the same time however these Cybermen are far more terrifying in close corners than the original Mondasian Cybermen ever were.

The original Cybermen did look somewhat more vulnerable because there were still some organic parts that looked like potential weak points. You could imagine in a fight being able to make them bleed, or hurt them by pulling out the various wires on their bodies.

The Moonbase Cybermen in contrast however are a mountain of steel that you’d probably break your hand off of if you tried to hit! There is no way you could even defend yourself against one if it cornered you.

The story takes full advantage of this in various scenes such as when the Cybermen brutally beat two workers to death, or when Cyberman corners Jamie in the sick bed, which is undoubtedly one of the tightest, most claustrophobic moments in 60s Who. Here we have one of our main characters, who even if healthy couldn’t possibly fight off this monster, trapped completely helpless as it looms over him. The Cybermen’s blank face and total silence also helps to heighten the terror, as you have no idea what is going on in its head. Again in contrast to the Daleks who would always shout their intentions “EXTERMINATE, DO NOT MOVE, DO NOT MOVE, SEEK LOCATE DESTROY!” The Cybermen in this story barely utter a word and are actually all the more sinister for it.

In many ways The Moonbase is the story that would help to establish the Cybermen’s identity to viewers and fans for decades to come. Certainly most Classic era Cybermen stories seem to follow their portrayal in this adventure at least, as more mechanical, desperate creatures, working through infiltration and simply trying to survive.

Aside from the Cybermen themselves, the story holds up in most other respects. The sets are well designed, the direction is tight and atmospheric, and the guest cast is particularly strong.

The regulars, Ben, Polly, Jamie and the Doctor are also on top form here. Though Jamie is somewhat sidelined for part of the story, the four nevertheless make an effective team against the Cybermen for the second part. (Considering Jamie had to be included at the last minute, I think the writers got round the problem rather well by not only making him part of the action, but also using his injury to build up the threat of the Cybermen stealing patients.)

Patrick Troughton delivers a solid performance, though I think at this stage, Troughton hasn’t really worked out his own Doctor’s personality in quite the way he would later.

In these early Troughton serials he is very much just a younger, friendlier Hartnell. He’s more Holmesian, deadly serious, constantly consults his 500 year diary etc. The more clownish facade that he’d use to throw his enemies, that really defines his character starts to appear in later adventures towards the end of his first season.

Still in some respects his more subdued performance here helps to sell the threat of the Cybermen better, such as his memorable delivery of the line “Some corners of the universe have bred the most terrible things.”

Overall whilst The Moonbase is not one of the all time greatest Doctor Who stories, much like The Tenth Planet I’d say that its a minor classic. Its a well written, well directed, well made, tight, scary story that also manages to develop the Cybermen and set the standard for the monsters portrayal for decades to come.

Trivia

  • Michael Craze who played Ben in this story said that he preferred the Cybermen’s design in this adventure. He found the Tenth Planet Cybermen to be utterly laughable.
  • This story is a direct sequel to The Tenth Planet. The events of The Tenth Planet are mentioned, with there being no cover up of the Cyber invasion in the 80s. According to Hobson, every child on earth knew who the Cybermen were after the events of the Tenth Planet. The Cybermen also mention having survived Mondas’ destruction and being forced to upgrade (hence their different appearance.) The Tomb of the Cybermen follows on from this story, with the Cyber controller explaining that after the events of the Moonbase, they retreated to Telos. In both The Moonbase and Tomb of the Cybermen the monsters also recognise the Doctor from previous encounters. This marks one of the first examples of a story arc in televised science fiction, as well as a rare example of a story arc in 60s Who. (Prior to this the Daleks in The Chase mention making the Doctor pay for foiling their invasion of earth seen in the previous adventure. Other than this reference however, the Dalek stories, unlike the Cybermen adventures at this stage remained largely unconnected.)
  • This story was commissioned before The Tenth Planet episode 4 had been broadcast due to the immensely positive response to the Cybermen from viewers.
  •  Much like The Tenth Planet, this story was greatly inspired by Dan Dare (which Kit Pedler was a huge fan of.) The Cybermen’s plot is similar to The Mekon’s from Voyage to Venus. In that adventure, the Mekon attempted to build a base on the Moon that would control the weather on earth. The Cybermen’s position in this adventure is also similar to the Treens, who also lost their home planet in Voyage to Venus, and would subsequently be portrayed as desperate in later Dan Dare adventures.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Tenth Planet Review

Image result for tenth planet

A story of many firsts, but also sadly the last regular appearance of William Hartnell as the Doctor. The Tenth Planet would help to shape the future of Doctor Who in more ways than one and lay the groundwork for the Troughton era in particular.

Plot

The TARDIS arrives at the South Pole in 1986. The Doctor, Ben and Polly decide to explore and discover the Snow Cap Base, a space tracking station, designed to supervise the Zeus IV spaceship. The base is commanded by the hotheaded General Cutler who takes an immediate dislike to the four time travellers and locks them up.

Suddenly the Zeus IV is dragged off course by a mysterious force, and a new planet begins to emerge in the sky. A rescue ship, the Zeus V, piloted by Cutlers son, Terry is sent to try and rescue the lost vessel meanwhile.

The Doctor recognises the new planets continents as being identical to earth, and realises that the planet is Mondas, earth’s identical twin planet, and warns the base that the Mondasians will soon be arriving.

Sure enough, a mysterious spaceship soon lands in the snow and three strange robot like creatures emerge from it who quickly kill the guards and overtake the base.

The creatures reveal that they are Cybermen and that they were once similar to human beings, but in order to survive their planet drifting off course, they slowly removed all of their organic components and replaced them with machine parts. They also removed all of their emotions to prevent themselves from going insane.

The Cybermen prevent the base from saving the Zeus IV rocket and it is seemingly destroyed. The monsters then reveal that Mondas is draining energy from the earth and that it will soon explode. The Cybermen intend to get as many people off the earth as possible before this happens and convert them into a new race of Cybermen. Cyber scout ships soon begin to appear in every major city and command base around the globe as a full scale invasion of earth begins. 

The Doctor and his companions, working with Cutler are able to fight back against the Cybermen using their own weapons and reclaim the base, though the Doctor quickly collapses from exhaustion afterwards. 

Cutler plans to use the Z-Bomb, a special to secret weapon to destroy Mondas. He is warned however from Geneva HQ that destroying Mondas this close to earth could release vast amounts of radiation which would kill billions. Cutler doesn’t care however as if he doesn’t act soon the Zeus V will be destroyed.

Ben however, working with another scientist named Barclay is able to sabotage the bomb. Cutler attempts to kill the Doctor, Ben and Polly in response, but he is killed by the Cybermen who retake the base. The Doctor realises that Mondas will be destroyed instead as it will absorb too much power from the earth.

The Doctor attempts to mediate with the Cybermen and offers them a new home on earth alongside humanity, but they refuse to listen. Taking Polly hostage, the Cybermen send Ben and various other scientists from the base to disarm the Z-Bomb. The Doctor deduces however that the Cybermen are actually planning to use the bomb to destroy the earth in order to save Mondas and warns Ben. 

Ben and the others fight back against the Cybermen using radiation rods (having realised that the Cybermen are vulnerable to radiation, hence why they needed the humans to work on the bomb.) 

The Cybermen however take the Doctor hostage, and as more Cybermen surround the base all hope seems lost. Fortunately, Ben and the others are able to hold them off long enough for Mondas to absorb to much energy, after which it harmlessly vaporises into nothing. 

Following Mondas’ destruction, all of the Cybermen on earth start to die and the invasion is over. (The Zeus V is also ironically able to return safely to earth.) 

Ben rescues Polly and the Doctor from the Cyber ship. The Doctor however is still very weak and poorly, but he simply tells Ben and Polly that “Its far from being all over.”

The Doctor heads out alone to the TARDIS, though Ben and Polly follow after him. When they finally reach the TARDIS they find the Doctor collapsed on the floor. Suddenly a beam of light emerges from the Doctors body, and much to Ben and Polly’s shock he changes into the form of a much younger man with thick dark hair. 

Review

The Tenth Planet is a story that I think for many people often sadly doesn’t live up to its hype.

Its the first Cyberman story, the first story where the Doctor regenerates, and it has the most sought after missing episode. I’d imagine many fans probably expect it to be an epic, all time classic adventure like Genesis of the Daleks or Caves of Androzani, and sadly its really only an above average story. I’d say its a minor classic. As a result I think its come in for some unfair criticism over the years.

Its not bad, but it’s certainly not as strong as the first stories of other memorable villains like Terror of the Autons or The Daleks. Overall it tends to play out as a more basic base under siege story. In all fairness however this adventure was actually one of the very first ever examples of the base under siege formula in Doctor Who. Still its not used quite as effectively here as it would be in the Troughton era. Despite only running at four episodes, its pace is somewhat lethargic in places.

The most disappointing aspect of the story is that Hartnell’s Doctor isn’t given much of a send off. He is out of action for the third episode and he doesn’t play that big a role in the others he’s actually in either. The most significant thing he does is simply warn Ben that the Cybermen want to destroy the earth. Its entirely down to Ben that the Cybermen are defeated however.

I don’t blame the writers for this. Originally the Doctor was going to save the day, but Hartnell fell ill during the making of the story and had to be written out of the third episode and his role was subsequently reduced for the fourth.

Still whilst I understand why it happened (and I think they got round it rather well by having the Doctor collapse there by setting up the idea of Doctor’s body wearing a bit thin.) It is a shame that Hartnell’s Doctor just kind of fades away rather than going out as a hero.

Hartnell’s performance is nevertheless as strong as ever. He most certainly does not phone it in, and he gets some of his most memorable lines and deliveries such as his famous speech towards the Cybermen. “Emotions, pride, hate, fear! Have you no emotions? Sir?”. Its not the most memorable send off, but Hartnell certainly makes the most of it.

Still despite some failings, The Tenth Planet is overall a strong story with many fascinating concepts and ideas. The Cybermen themselves are obviously a brilliant idea that has stood the test of time for 5 decades. They were a genius fusion of the age old concept of men being turned into monsters, (such as Vampires, Zombies and Werewolves) and then contemporary techno fears. They played on the fear of a loss of identity, mankind’s constant attempts to cheat death backfiring on him, the primal fear of becoming something totally inhuman, and fears for our future of technology turning in on us; all at the same time.

The Tenth Planet deserves credit not only for introducing the Cybermen but also for using them in a somewhat more effective way than many future Cybermen stories.

The Tenth Planet is really the only Cyberman adventure where the monsters do genuiney blur the line between man and machine. In later stories the Cybermen I feel are portrayed as being totally mechanical creatures. In some later classic era stories such as Revenge of the Cybermen, their ability to turn humans into Cybermen isn’t even mentioned!

In the Tenth Planet however the Cybermen do still have organic parts, such as their hands. I also love the fact that their faces are covered in cloth rather than metal. When I was younger I used to have nightmares where I would pull the cloth off and see the mangled, mutilated, faces underneath!

Image result for tenth planet

I also like the fact that these Cybermen have names such as Krang. Again it helps to reinforce the idea that these machines were not only once people, but that there are still traces of the person they once were, chopped up and mangled inside.

Sadly later writers I think would just write the Cybermen as second rate Daleks, IE, generic robo conquerors, but in this adventure they stand as their own, perhaps in some ways, more disturbing concept than the Daleks.

My only problem with the Cybermen’s design in this adventure is that its a bit too clunky in places. The chest units are too big and cumbersome and would not have been practical for later adventures.

The direction in this story is also among the best for any Classic era story. Derek Martinus gives the story a tight claustrophobic feel that suits the Cybermen. The Cybermen are always at their best in tiny little surroundings where they can corner you, and there’s no way you can fight back. Martinus also makes use of the location too, such as when the monsters first emerge through the snow storm and we can’t quite make them out at first, but still get an idea of how large and powerful they are.

I also like how the first thing we glimpse clearly of a Cybermen is its organic hand, before it zooms up and we see rather surprisingly that there is a robot creature attached to it. Much like the Daleks in their first story we are left guessing as to what the monsters true nature really is until the big reveal later in the story.

The supporting cast for The Tenth Planet is also very strong. Robert Beatty gives a stellar performance as Cutler, a human villain who makes a nice contrast to the Cybermen, as he is a very emotional character.

Cutler is a sympathetic character who just wants to save his son, albeit is willing to go to any lengths to do that. The tragic irony is that his son survives, whilst Culter, for all the sacrifices he made to protect his son, dies believing that Terry was killed. You can’t help but pity him, despite his more ruthless actions.

The rest of the scientists at the base’s characters aren’t as well fleshed out, but they serve as fairly likable foils for the Doctor and his companions during the story. They have enough personality that you actually do care about them when the Cybermen attack.

Whilst it may be more remembered for the concepts it pioneered than anything else, The Tenth Planet is still overall an enjoyable, well written, well acted and well made adventure that serves as a decent send off for the Hartnell era, even if Hartnell himself is sadly relegated to the side for most of the serial.

Influences

The Cybermen were created by the series scientific adviser Doctor Kit Pedler and the then script editor Gerry Davies.

Both men were inspired by the British comic strip Dan Dare (which had also served as an inspiration on Terry Nation when writing the original Dalek stories.)

The main villains of Dan Dare were a reptillian race known as the Treens who had no emotions and sought to conquer the universe. Much like the Cybermen, they had also augmented themselves, removing all of their emotions. The Treens had also genetically engineered a member of their race, The Mekon, with super intelligence to lead them.

The Treens came from Venus and were driven off their home planet by Dan at the end of their first story. Throughout the remainder of Dan Dare’s initial run, the Treens would be portrayed as a desperate band of creatures, trying to reclaim their former glory.

The Treens influenced the Cybermen in a number of ways, from their emotionless nature and reliance on logic, to their desperate situation after losing their home world in their initial story, to finally their leader, the Cyber Controller. The Cyber Controller was originally to have been a small, flying creature with an enlarged brain, similar to the Mekon. Ultimately however the budget would not allow this, though the Cyber Controller was still given a large brain inspired by the Mekon’s look.

The future of the Tenth Planet also matches that seen in Dan Dare. Dan Dare broke new ground in the 1950s by depicting all of the races of the world living together in the future (long before Star Trek) which is seen in The Tenth Planet, which features the black actor Earl Cameron as one of the astronauts. Space Command HQ in Geneva is also a similar organisation to Space Fleet from Dan Dare as well.

Finally the plot for The Tenth Planet was directly inspired by the second Dan Dare adventure, The Red Moon Mystery, which also revolves around a planet that can travel through the universe like a spaceship and that returns to our solar system to wreck havoc.

Kit Pedler was always very open about his love for Dan Dare, even supplying the forward to a 70s reprint of Dan Dare, where he said that “the Cybermen are very like the Treens.”

Legacy

The Tenth Planet is one of the most influential and important stories in Doctor Who’s history. It marked the introduction of both the Cybermen and the concept of regeneration.

The concept of regeneration is generally believed to have been created by Gerry Davies (though prior to this Innes Lloyd had wished to recast William Hartnell using a different method in the story The Celestial Toymaker. Here the titular villain would have made the Doctor vanish, and when he returned he would have had a different appearance.)

At the time The Tenth Planet had been made, nothing had been revealed about the Doctors race (including even what they were called) and so it was decided to introduce the idea that the Doctor could renew himself, thereby changing his physical appearance whenever his body broke down.

Originally it was going to be revealed that the Doctor’s body renewed itself every 500 years, and that the Doctor always dreaded the process. The producers also intended to reveal that Hartnell’s Doctor was not the first, with their having been multiple Doctors (including a pirate incarnation) before Hartnell.

Ultimately most of these ideas were jettisoned from the final script, and the process of renewal remained vague and undefined for many years. It wouldn’t be until the 4th Doctors era when the process would be fully fleshed out and we discovered that the Doctor could only regenerate 12 times. It wouldn’t be until the 20th anniversary story, The Five Doctors meanwhile until we found out that William Hartnell was the first Doctor after all.

The Tenth Planet was also one of the first examples of the base under siege format, which would go on to become dominant in the Troughton era. In much the same way as The Invasion and The Web of Fear can be seen as dummy run’s for the later Pertwee era, then so can the Tenth Planet be seen as a template for the Troughton era. It features his most recurring monsters, the Cybermen, the standard formula for many of his stories, and some other key Troughton aspects too. The Hartnell Doctor for instance, though normally commanding in his other stories, struggles to be taken seriously in this adventure from Cutler, which is a common plot point in many Troughton adventures.

Scenes from the Tenth Planet would also later be recreated for the docu drama An Adventure in Space and Time in 2013.

Notes and Trivia

  • William Hartnell was very unhappy at being forced to leave the role of the Doctor that he loved so much. Nevertheless he approved of his choice of successor. According to some sources Hartnell described Troughton as the only man in England that could take over. Michael Craze and Peter Purves however have both disputed that he ever said this, as they felt Hartnell was so protective of the role he wouldn’t have liked anyone else playing it. Hartnell’s widow Heather however said that Hartnell loved Troughton and later Jon Pertwee’s performances as the Doctor. She also said that Hartnell watched most of Troughton’s era, but eventually it became too painful for him, and he subsequently only saw a few of Pertwee’s stories. Hartnell himself said in an interview taken in 1971 that he felt Doctor Who had become too violent and was no longer for kids. Nevertheless he did reprise the role in 1973 and in his final interview said that he was proud it had gone on for so long.
  • The 2017 two part story World Enough and Time/The Doctor Falls serves as a prequel of sorts to this story. It reveals the creation of the Cybermen (who originated on a colony ship away from Mondas) and features the return of the Mondasian Cybermen seen in this story. This blogger however personally does not consider the new series canon to the old.
  • The Cyber invasion of 1986 is revealed in later Classic era stories such as Attack of the Cybermen and The Moonbase to have not been covered up afterwards and becomes an important historical event.
  • This story was set twenty years after it was broadcast.

 

 

 

How To Fix Doctor Who

Image result for steven moffatRelated image

Image result for whovian feminismRelated image

Related imageRelated image

Image result for chris chibnall

All as bad as each other in destroying Doctor Who, its credibility, its legacy, and its fandom.

For the last few years Doctor Who has gone down a very bad route. Its viewers have tanked, its fandom has become utter poison and its casting choices for the Master, the companions and even the Doctor himself have all been misguided at best.

I have not been a fan of Jodie Whittakers Doctor. In fact for the first time I didn’t watch a season of Doctor Who in its entirety. I didn’t review it here because the entire page would have been nothing but negative.

Jodie is awful. She lacks any kind of gravitas, charisma and she is utterly hopeless at conveying any kind of authority.

Jodie’s entire idea of how to play the character it seems is just to pull funny faces which gets very annoying, very fast.

Image result for arachnids in the uk doctor who

Image result for Jodie Whittaker silly faces

Image result for Jodie Whittaker silly faces

File:Makeuptism.png

File:71515623988953.jpg

That seems to be her entire “acting” range.

The show does not seem long for this world, with its viewers declining and the show going on yet another hiatus. I’d argue that Doctor Who has never been in a worse position. In the late 80s whilst its viewers sunk thanks to the BBC’s smear campaign, its fanbase was still strong, and the show at least died a dignified death.

Still all is not lost. There is still a chance for Doctor Who to crawl back from the abyss and in this article I am going to run through the ways in which I feel Doctor Who can be saved.

Cancel the current version

Well that among other things seems to have backfired on you quite a bit Jodie. Who would have thought saying “watch me or you’re a sexist” wasn’t  a good strategy for success? Worked wonders for Ghostbusters and Star Wars. Didn’t it?

Jodie’s era needs to finish before it does any more harm to the brand. Not only is Jodie a poor choice for the part, but she is also associating the show with a poisonous, divisive and hateful ideology.

I would argue that the casting of Jodie in the first place was nothing but spite and bigotry towards men. As I have explained before the character of the Doctor cannot be anyone. There is a definite template to all of the different incarnations of the Doctor, as they are all meant to be the same person, same consciousness, same core personality etc, under his new faces.

The Doctors gender is a part of that template by default, as he was always written as a male character, all of the 13 men who played him brought aspects of their own persona’s to the role, and viewers always related to him from a male perspective. This doesn’t mean that women can’t play heroic roles in general as often as men. Its just that this particular character is set as a man.

Yes Steven Moffat made it canon that Time Lords change gender, but that was only a few years ago and on the insistence of SJWs and feminists, who viciously slandered Steven Moffat for several years as a sexist until he caved to them. (The fact that non binary Time Lords was only added at the insistence of a pushy political ideology alone, should make anyone who is an actual fan angry. It sets a terrible precedent for the show.)

See here for examples of the feminists smear campaigns against Moffat, as well as responses from Steven Moffat and others at the BBC proving that it bothered them.

Problematic Posters For Doctor Who

Steven Moffat is a Classist

Has Doctor Who Become More Sexist

Doctor Who Is Racist New Book Claims

Doctor Who Returns New Direction

BBC Responds To Sexist Claims

Karen Gillan: Moffat Not Sexist

Steven Moffat Tweets Against Sexist Accusation

A female Doctor just isn’t a good fit as it doesn’t seem like the same character anymore. It feels disjointed from the previous 13 men, and it is also in danger of turning the show into parody.

I am sympathetic to people who do genuinely want to see more leading roles for women and minorities, but ultimately you don’t need to sex change the Doctor for that.

You could easily create your own female or LGBT hero. Even within the Doctor Who universe you could easily bring Romana, a female member of the Doctors race back, give her, her own show and then everybody wins.

Little girls get a role model, little boys still keep their role models, and guys like me who don’t give a shit about role models, get two great time travelling heroes to enjoy. What the hell is wrong with that?

The SJWs who bullied Moffat into making Time Lord gender bending canon, and put pressure on the BBC to sex change the Doctor however; clearly didn’t actually care about female role models for little girls. Instead they just wanted to take them away from men, who their toxic ideology says are all privileged shit lords that need taken down a peg or two.

Proof of this can be seen in the fact that the most prominent female Doctor advocates ironically have no interest in, or knowledge of female heroes whatsoever. The likes of Claudia Boleyn, Whovian Feminism, Mr Tardis, and Christel Dee (the most prominent Female Doctor advocates, who have all worked for the BBC, or the brand in some official capacity, or at least been promoted by the makers of the series.) Are not actually fans of ANY female led series or films. They may briefly comment on a female led film if its in the cinemas and is popular, but that’s it.

You’ll never see comprehensive reviews of female led television and film series like Xena, Buffy, Charmed, Scream, I Know What You Did Last Summer, Once Upon A Time, Ghost Whisperer, Alien and Nikita on any of these people’s channels or blogs. You’ll never see an analysis of the impact these female led series had on the genre from these people. None of them even follow any prominent leading ladies in the genre like Katey Sagal, Lucy Lawless, Gina Torress, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Shannon Doherty, Maggie Q or Dana Delorenzo on social media. (I’d be surprised if they even knew who the vast majority of those women were.)

Ironically I myself have done more to promote women in the genre. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not delusional. I’m well aware I have less than 0 impact on the entertainment industry.

Still at least I have written 10 thousand word articles about characters from series like Xena, promoted female led films and series like The Heroic Trio that are obscure in the west, written 10 thousand word articles about Amy Winehouse (one of which was retweeted by her mother,) and put forward ideas for female led series and films, that have even been retweeted by prominent actresses within the genre themselves

See here

Ingrid Oliver: Twitter Status: The Best Tweet I’ve Ever Received

Dana Delorenzo Twitter Status: Means More To Me Than You Know

(Note: I do not know either Dana Delorenzo or Ingrid Oliver personally. I met Ingrid at a convention when she was a guest fleetingly, but that’s it! My only interaction with either of them has been via these tweets and a few fan posts I made on Instagram. I feel I have to make this clear so as not to drag them into this ridiculous political minefield and make it appear that they endorse any of my views.)

Again I don’t think that makes me a modern day Gene Roddenberry or Rob Tapert, but its more than people like Whovian Feminism or Claudia Boleyn have done.

All the likes of Claudia have used their platforms for is to smear male writers and producers as sexists over trivial concerns, and slander male fans in general as sexists, losers and basement dwellers (which is ironic considering their supposed hatred for toxic masculinity!)

I think its one thing to criticise a programme and another to invent motives out of amateur psychology for the writer and then accuse him of having those feelings. I think that was beyond the pale and strayed from criticism to a defamation. I’m certainly not a sexist, a misogynist. It was wrong.

Steven Moffat on the feminist backlash against series 6.

With this in mind I think its fair to say they care more about tearing down prominent men, and male role models in the genre, than in building women up.

A further example of anti men spite being the primary reason behind the push for a female Doctor, can be seen in these two articles from the notorious feminist website, The Mary Sue.

In the first article they argue that it would be wrong to reboot Buffy the Vampire Slayer with a black actress, as black people deserve to have heroes of their own, rather than just third rate copies of existing white heroes.

The Mary Sue I Don’t Want A Black Buffy

In the second article about a female Doctor however, they are all for giving supposedly underrepresented groups hand me down’s of other people’s heroes, and anyone who expresses the same opinions about a female Doctor, that they did about a black Buffy, is automatically a sexist, woman hating freak?

Sexist Doctor Who Fans React To Jodie’s Casting

Claudia Boleyn meanwhile also claims that a female Doctor Who is a fabulous idea because Time Lords are non binary, and so the Doctor should be a woman, since he has no preference. Yet bizarrely enough, she doesn’t want Romana, a Time Lady to be played by a man?

See here.

A Concept Romana Returns Played By Angel Coulby

Hey its not like the first thing a lot of the pro female Doctor people did when it was announced was spitefully gloat about how glad they were that it was upsetting white men right?

The Internet is Roasting Sexist Doctor Who Fans

Cry Me A River Song For The Manbabies

This Will Annoy Exactly The Right People

New Doctor Who Is A Woman And Man Babies Are Not Happy

Dear God Please Let The Identity of Doctor No 13 Upset

This Will Annoy Exactly The Right People

Miriam Webster Elegantly Tweet Slaps Sexists

The One’s Most Angry With A Female Doctor

To me this all points towards Jodie’s casting being a spiteful act against male viewers than anything empowering for women. Whilst the likes of the Mary Sue and Claudia Boleyn didn’t make series 11 of Doctor Who, they did influence it, as Chibnall, and even Moffat before him were clearly influenced by them and their smears.

There have been many digs at men throughout Doctor Who itself during both the Moffat and Chibnall era, such as the First Doctor being retconned into being a racist, homophobic sexist, or the attacks against single fathers in the Chibnall era.

In addition to this Jodie Whittaker has more or less derided anyone who is opposed to a female Doctor as a sexist, whose mother would be ashamed of them.

See here. Doctor Who Interview Marie Claire

Naturally for all of these reasons both male and female viewers took a dislike to series 11 and its fandom. The majority of women don’t want to see men insulted, the same way the majority of men don’t want to see women insulted!

I for one would never watch a remake of Xena that replaced all of the prominent female roles with men, solely to spite “entitled female fans”, included digs against women in the show itself, slandered Lucy Lawless’ portrayal as misandrist moron, the way Hartnell’s Doctor was slandered as a sexist moron in Twice Upon A Time, and whose core male audience wrote articles gloating about how happy they were little girls had lost a role model in Xena.

Sadly however, upper middle class feminists arrogantly assumed that what they wanted, was what all women wanted, and in doing so they drove the shows female audience away just as much as the male audience.

The show needs to break its association with this toxic ideology, and the only way to do that is to ditch the current version.

Sell it to Netflix

Related image

Netflix could do a much better job at producing a Doctor Who series than the BBC for many reasons.

First of all, Netflix can put proper money into it and allow the show, for the first time to really compete visually with more glossy American productions.

Even Steven Moffat himself has expressed this opinion recently, that Doctor Who needs a higher budget to properly compete in the modern world. (Of course a low budget is the least of the Jodie era’s problems, but he does have a point in general.)

Related image

Related image

Some monsters from series 11. Moffat REALLY does have a point you know.

Netflix can also allow the show to return to a serialized format. 45 minutes is too short a time to tell a proper Doctor Who story.

You need time to build up the atmosphere, establish a proper backstory for the world or time the Doctor has visited, and flesh out the villains and side characters motivations properly.

Yes its true some Classic era stories could be padded, but ultimately something like Doctor Who, which takes us to a new place every week has to have time to tell a story to set things up.

Trying to cram everything into 45 minutes is too much. Classic stories like Genesis of the Daleks, Frontier in Space, the original Dalek story, Tomb of the Cybermen, and Pyramids of Mars that are able to build up a suspenseful atmosphere as the Doctor treads ever closer to danger, keep the audience guessing with a proper mystery about the main villain, establish supporting characters like Lawrence Scarman, and General Williams backstories, and create in depth worlds with their own history and identity, from Skaro to Draconia to even the future earth, simply could not be done in 45 minutes.

I don’t blame Russell T Davies for ditching the serialized format in 2005. I think in hindsight it was a mistake, but the tv landscape had changed dramatically in the decades the show had been away.  There were virtually no other serialized shows on air at that time.

Still almost 15 years on from when Doctor Who returned in 2005, the tv landscape has changed once more. Now streaming services like Netflix regularly release entire seasons of television series all at once.

With this in mind there’s no reason Netflix couldn’t do a series of say 22 episodes split up into 4 four parters and 1 six parter. If anything I think the serialized format would be a hit on Netflix, as people tend to enjoy watching shows on Netflix if they have a story arc.

Also its worth noting that to modern audiences, the Classic era style seems to be more popular. In 2017, Classic Who was the third best selling cult series (and the best selling sci fi series) on both DVD and Blue Ray in the entire world (with New Who only coming in at number 10.)

Classic Who Outsells New Who

In addition to this other than the first few episodes of Jodie’s era (which drew in viewers purely for the novelty of a female Doctor.) The revival has not been a hit since 2013, with viewers falling dramatically every year.

It can be argued that the New Who format which hasn’t changed since 2005 is now outdated.

Finally Netflix can also aim the show at a more adult audience. I’m not saying I’d want it to be a totally adult show. I think a return to the levels of violence and fear seen in the Hinchcliff era of the series would be fine.

Now I know what you’re thinking. That the BBC would never sell Doctor Who, so its a pipe dream to even think about it being sold to Netflix. The BBC wouldn’t have to sell it completely to Netflix however.

They could reach a deal where they jointly own the rights, allowing them to still profit from the brand, but not actually have to make the show. It would be similar to the deal they have with Big Finish productions. Lets be honest the BBC HATE Doctor Who.

They always have. Leaving aside their shameful and unprofessional treatment of the series in the 80s, even today the BBCs treatment of the series has always been one of indifference at best. Look at all of the hiatus’ and gap years we’ve had to deal with in the last decade.

The BBC enjoys making money off of Doctor Who merchandise, toys, magazines, and books, but they hate having to make the actual show. This would solve all of their problems as well as ours.

Cast Julian Richings as The Doctor

Image result for Julian Richings

My top choice for the Netflix Doctor would have to be Julian Richings. For those of you unfamiliar with him, Richings is a character actor who is probably best known for playing Death in Supernatural.

His performance as Death became an instant fan favourite with many hailing him as the greatest onscreen interpretation of the Grim Reaper of all time.

See here.

Now personally I think Richings would be an ideal choice for the Doctor for many reasons.

To start with he could capture the Doctors great age, his wisdom, and his authority perfectly, as seen with his performance as Death.

At the same time  I also think Julian would mark a return to the Classic era type of Doctor. There’d certainly be no romance with his Doctor. His Doctor would also most likely based on his previous work, be quite a distant, mysterious, unpredictable and alien character, rather than the more cuddly, emo hipster the Doctor has sadly become in recent years.

Julian’s Doctor would also be a return to the more practical, level headed version of the Doctor. In the original series the Doctor, regardless of his incarnation tended to be more practical. He was more akin to Sherlock Holmes and Quatermass. We never saw him break down in tears, let his anger cloud his judgement, or completely lose his cool (apart from when he went temporarily insane in The Twin Dilemma.) He’d get angry and visibly upset yes, but he always kept his emotions in control.

Compare Jon Pertwee’s reaction to Jo Grant’s apparent death in Planet of the Daleks, calmly saying the Daleks murdered her, to David Tennant’s to losing Rose Tyler in Doomsday, or Peter Davison’s reaction to losing Adric to Capaldi’s to losing Clara.

See how the roles are reversed? In one its the Doctor telling someone how to cope with grief, whilst in another its someone telling the emotionally unstable Doctor how to cope.

Julian would be a return to the more emotionally mature, level headed and at times even quite cold Doctor.

There are many actors that would make an excellent Doctor like Robert Carlyle or Bruce Campbell, but I think Julian would be the best first Netflix Doctor as he would be a real return to the William Hartnell type (he even looks somewhat like Hartnell.)

Image result for Julian RichingsRelated image

If the Netflix series wanted a return to the old style, then it would need to get an actor that would show people that this Doctor really wasn’t the emo, romantic Doctor of the past decade or so, and Julian in my opinion would be the best choice.

I think it can be agreed that Julian Richings has more gravitas and screen presence than  Jodie Whittaker regardless. 

Hire Dana Delorenzo and Colin O’Donaghue as the Companions

Image result for dana delorenzoImage result for colin o'donoghue

Dana Delorenzo and Colin O’Donaghue for those unfamiliar are two actors already known for their starring roles in genre series.

Delorenzo played Kelly Maxwell the main female character from Ash vs Evil Dead, whilst O’Donaghue played the heroic version of Captain Hook from Once Upon A Time.

Both series have developed huge followings, whilst Delorenzo and O’Donaghue’s characters in particular have gone on to become among the most popular from either show.

Personally I think they’d both be the best choices for the companions for various reasons.

To start with I can see both actors bringing a real physicality to the role of the companion, which hasn’t really been present in New Who at all.

As I have pointed out many times in the classic series the Doctor did a fair bit of fighting (even in William Hartnell’s time) whilst in the revival the Doctor seems to rarely ever use his fists.

The same is also true of the companions. Characters like Rose, Martha and Amy may be strong, brave and resourceful heroes, but could you really imagine say Martha or Clara punching someone in the face? Classic era companions meanwhile like Barbara, Zoe, Leela, and Ace regularly beat up and even killed their enemies in fights.

Even the male companions like Jack, Mickey and Rory don’t seem to do much fighting compared to the likes of Ian, Steven, Jamie and even Harry. They generally tend to shoot badguys instead.

The reason for this is undoubtedly a hold over from when Mary Whitehouse and other moral guardians attacked the show for supposedly being too violent during the days of the classic era.  I can imagine the BBC, fearful of another backlash deciding to make the Doctor and his companions less gritty and violent. (This would be another reason to make the move to Netflix.)

Dana and Colin have already done physical scenes in their previous series. Dana in particular brought a real physicality to the role of Kelly that made her very popular among fans of the show, so I could see her being more in line with companions like Ace from the original series.

You can see how Dana could quite easily be an Ace/Leela style companion no problem. Colin meanwhile I can see being more of a Jamie type companion. A little bit more blundering than Dana perhaps, but still dashing and brave, and maybe a bit more romantic.

I think it would be better to have the companion fulfil the role of being the more romantic, relatable character for younger audiences than the Doctor.

From about the Tennant era onward I think that the producers decided to cast the Doctor in the role of being a pin up to the female audience, and a role model for the young boys who watched the show. Obviously it was a success, and I’m not going to knock Tennant as an actor or his performance.

However I do think that this was a mistake in the long run. To start with it made Tennant feel extremely disjointed from his predecessors in many ways, such as in his relationship with Rose. It also I think pigeon holed the Doctor into being too much of a young, romantic, relatable character, which made it difficult for Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi to branch out and do something new.

When you look at Matt and Peter’s first seasons they both try and make the Doctor more alien and professorial, but in both cases there was a backlash from people who wanted a more Tennant style, romantic, younger Doctor and so sadly for their later seasons, Matt and Peter were forced to be more clones of Tennant, via a romantic relationship with Clara.

Having a strong companion fulfil this role would be a good way of easing the audience back into a more old fashioned Doctor. The Doctor would still be the lead of course, but his companions would balance him out and take on other roles he couldn’t, such as being the audience surrogate.

Dana and Colin I think would fulfil this role brilliantly by being dynamic in their own right, but also more down to earth and human than Julian’s Doctor so as not to step on his shoes.

Snip New Who Away From The Old Series Canon

Related image

As controversial as it may sound, New Who needs to go in order to save the franchise as a whole.

Now again this is not just bitterness as the revival. I may not have been happy with the new series as of late, but I don’t completely hate it. I have said many positive things about it in the past. I have praised its very best episodes, such as Vincent and the Doctor as being among the best British television of the last 20 years.

I have also acknowledged the positive impact it has had on the entertainment industry, through launching the careers of many of Britain’s best actors and actresses of the past 20 years such as Freema Agyeman, John Barrowman, Karen Gillan, and Matt Smith etc.

I have also frequently rated Peter Capaldi and Matt Smith as two of the best actors ever to play the role of the Doctor.

So I don’t hate everything about the revival. However for practical reasons I don’t see how you can continue the franchise with New Who as canon.

To start with casting the next Doctor is going to be absolute hell. If you cast a man the SJWs will accuse you ironically of taking a role away from a woman, (and probably encouraging trans women to detransition.) If you go for another woman again however, the same backlash of people accusing you of taking a role away from little boys will continue. Its hard to imagine any experienced producer wanting to go through that hell from both sides, particularly when there are other, more lucrative franchises out there. A young and up coming producer meanwhile won’t be prepared for it either and probably shy away from producing the series.

On top of that it would be impossible to have the Master appear again as the actual Master.

For 26 years the Master was written as the Doctors archenemy who wanted him dead and was kept alive by his intense hatred for the Doctor. Now however you couldn’t do that because Missy was retconned into being in love with the Doctor. How would you be able to take say Charles Dance as the Master wanting to kill the Doctor seriously, after you had seen him as Missy staring into the Doctors eyes and French kissing him?

The whole illusion of the Masters character and his reason for being has been tampered with too much.

On top of this the continuity of the revival has become too overbearing in other areas. For instance the Time Lords are now at the end of the universe in hiding and want the Doctor dead. There’s no way you could have them in it again without having to deal with that story (and indeed the fall out of their war with the Daleks which still hasn’t been resolved from The Time of the Doctor.)

So with this in mind I think the best thing to do is to snip New Who away from the shows canon.

I would make Julian Richings the 9th Doctor instead of the 14th. I wouldn’t cut New Who out completely however.

I’d reveal that New Who and Classic Who take place in alternate universes to one another, with similar histories up until a certain point when they diverged.

This way you could still have New Who characters and monsters such as the Weeping Angels, but they would be the Old Who universe versions of them. You could even have New Who characters cross over into the Old Who universe from time to time.

For instance I’d love to see Captain Jack accidentally fall through a portal to the Classic Who universe and meet Julian’s Doctor. You could even have him be trapped in this universe and become a tradition for Netflix Doctors to meet (as he should have been for revival era Doctors.)

You could even do a story where the Doctor from New Who crosses over into the Classic Who Doctors universe and both have to take on a combined threat. (Personally I’d like to see Capaldi as the Doctor in this story, after the absolutely appalling way he was treated by the BBC, it would be good to see him in the role again.)

To be fair you wouldn’t have to come out and say that New Who isn’t canon to the Classic era. Just that it was an alternative universe to THIS version. You could then let viewers decide which one they wanted to be the true sequel, and which they wanted to be the alternate universe to Classic Who.

I think that Classic Who deserves to be seen as its own work. As I have said before its like the original Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Sherlock Holmes novels. Those novels are the only true canon for Sherlock Holmes. There have been hundreds of alternative sequels to Holmes, but NONE of them are official. Its all up to the reader to decide which if any later non Doyle Holmes stories are canon.

Now Classic Who isn’t like Doyle’s Holmes stories in that its not written by one person, but it still followed a consistent core characterisation for the Doctor, and overall style (serialised stories, focus on monsters etc) for the entire series.

The changes behind the scenes were gradual, and many of the people who helped create the lore and characters remained involved right until the end, such as Terry Nation who had input and final say into every Dalek story until the end, or Barry Letts, the co-creator of the Master who still approved of and helped to cast the Anthony Ainley incarnation.

New Who however comes decades later and has NO ONE involved in the original involved in its production. Thus for me its not really got any right to decide the definitive story of what happened next any more than any piece of fan fiction.

Having an alternative sequel would establish that Classic Who is like the Doyle version of Holmes, IE the only real canon, with everything else, New Who, the hypothetical Netflix Who, and any other potential sequels all being different people’s ideas of what happened next, with the viewers and fans being allowed to choose which, if any version is the true sequel.

This will also take the pressure off of any sequel, and allow the writers to actually end their versions of the Doctors story. It would also be better for New Who in the long run, as it would allow many of its changes to be less controversial, as they would no longer be the only canon.

Make a Romana Spin Off

Obviously the Netflix version of Doctor Who would establish that Time Lords do NOT change gender when they regenerate to finally free the show from the shackles of the female Doctor question.

However to those who do still genuinely want to see more female heroes and don’t just want to spite male viewers, (which would sadly rule out Mr Tardis, Claudia Boleyn, and Whovian Feminism.) A good compromise for everybody would be a Romana tv series.

Romana could easily be brought back into Netflix Who for a two part story that would set up her own series. Personally I would abandon the “Romana as President” idea and just have her travelling in E-Space.

If done right Romana the series could be every bit as good as Doctor Who. She has her own entire universe, E-Space to explore, and the writers could establish a new rogues gallery made up of monsters and villains from E-Space.

If done right the show could run for decades, as Romana was only on her second life when we last saw her, so that would give us at least 11 new Romana’s. If each actress did 5 years then that would be 55 years, whilst if they only did three years each like the majority of the Doctors, then that would still be 33 years!

Also as Romana would be more of a blank slate for the writers to experiment with than the Doctor, as we have seen considerably less of her life and personality than the Doctors. Unlike the Doctor we could also explore her past and upbringing too, as Romana isn’t dependent on being mysterious like the Doctor.

There are dozens and dozens of actresses who would make fantastic Romana’s. Almost too many to mention, but here are some of my favourite choices. (You could cast all of these actresses as various different incarnations.)

Jenny Agutter, best known for her roles in Call the Mid Wife, An American Werewolf in London, and Logans Run would be an exceptional Romana. I could see here as a strong, no nonsense, authoritative figure.

In contrast Ingrid Oliver (best known for her role as Osgood) I can see being a very fun, sweet natured and lovable Romana.

Rebecca Mader, who is best known for her role as the Wicked Witch Zelena in Once Upon A Time meanwhile would be a fabulously eccentric, over the top, dashing Romana who could rival any Doctor in terms of having a large, dominant, over the top personality.

Amber Benson, best known as Tara in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, would be a wonderfully kind, empathetic, sweet natured and lovable Romana.

Katie McGrath meanwhile, best known as Morgana in Merlin would give us a darker, more ruthless and sinister Romana.

There are so many possibilities to be explored in a Romana spin off series and we would have a good chance of seeing them realised as a spin off version of a Netflix version of Doctor Who where the Doctor is always male.

Conclusion

Doctor Who in its current form is on its last legs, but that doesn’t mean the franchise itself is dead. If it takes these steps then I think it can pull itself back in just a few years. By the 60th anniversary we could be celebrating Julian Richings glorious reign as the Doctor and wondering who will be next, without any political dogma, like the good old days.

Sadly however if it goes on the way it is, whilst I don’t think Doctor Who will ever die completely, we will be in for a new very long hiatus, and this time it will not have ended on a high like in 1989.

Thanks for reading and tell me how would you fix Doctor Who?

 

 

 

 

The History of N-Space Part 5: Other Realities and Universes

Image result for The first 12 Doctors

Related image

Related image

Alternate universe versions of N-Space’s greatest hero, the Doctor.

The creation of N-Space led to the unintended creation of a multitude of other universes. It is not known how many universes exactly where created, but it is believed to at least be billions. The histories of only a few of these universes are known, and even then virtually none of them are known in as great detail as N-Space’s history. Still the history of these universes have helped to inspire many famous works of fiction in our universe and in this article we will  briefly be looking at the history of these realities as well as how they differ to N-Space.

All of these universes will repeat themselves endlessly just like N-Space, and it is believed that just like N-Space they will follow largely the same history each time. Many of these universes histories are linked with N-Space as their inhabitants have crossed over into N-Space and vice versa.

We will also be examining what works of fiction these events inspired in our reality.

Z-Space

Related image

The greatest hero of Z-Space, Doctor Omega, during his first mission to Mars.

This reality followed a similar history to N-Space in a number of ways. Just as in N-Space the Time Lords rose up to become the most advanced species in the universe thanks to Omega’s work (with Omega becoming lost just as in N-Space.)

However many major races from N-Space did not exist in Z-Space. The Daleks and the Cybermen did not exist as neither Mondas or Skaro formed in this universe. The Sontarans and the Rutans meanwhile wiped one another out in their war very early in their history.

Life would also develop very differently on both Venus and Mars too. On Mars two sentient Octopoid creatures evolved, the Cacocytes and the Macrocephales.

The two races became engaged in a war with one another for many years which eventually destroyed the surface of their planet. The Macrocephales however would emerge as the dominant life forms (thanks in no small part to Doctor Omega who aided them at a key point in the war.)

The Macrocephales would later invade the earth in the 1910s. They would slaughter millions of innocent people before being driven off by diseases of the earth. Doctor Omega after discovering what happened to earth would later lead a group of the greatest scientists to Mars to destroy the aliens forces before they could launch a counter attack (as well as free Cacocytes from under their rule.)

Some of the Macrcephales would escape however and later establish themselves on a far away planet. In time they would go on to become a major power in the universe, conquering and enslaving millions of worlds across the known universe.

The Martian invasion whilst setting the human race back at first would ultimately lead to them becoming far more advanced than their counterparts in N-Space.

The human race would not only become more united after the Martians attack, but they would also establish contact with Cacoytes who would help humanity rebuild and reach greater heights of technology by the 1960s than mankind in N-Space had by the 2360s.

Just as in N-Space a race of Dinosaurs had evolved into sentient humanoid creatures. Unlike in N-Space however these creatures would all adapt to life under the ocean. Just like the Silurians of N-Space however they would place themselves into suspended animation only to be awoken in the mid 40s.

These sea reptiles who would be disparagingly referred to as the Newts would be persecuted by humanity before waging a war on them which lasted for 20 years before a peace treaty was reached between both races.

Humanity would later have further troubles in the early 21st century when robots they had constructed to help them turned on and attempted to exterminate the human race. Mankind would be forced to work with the Newts to defeat the robots (with the Newts giving humanity shelter under the ocean during the war when the robots virtually wiped the out on the surface.)

Still despite these setbacks, humanity would persevere until the end of Z-Space as well.

Just as in N-Space the renegade Time Lord known as the Doctor was born and left Gallifrey at round about the same time as the N-Space Doctor did in his life. He also left alongside his grand daughter Susan.

The two had the same life as their N-Space counterparts until the Z-Space Doctor visited Quinnis in the 4th universe. The 4th universe was a reality that ran parallel to Z-Space. Alternate versions of the 4th universe ran parallel to various other universe (including N-Space.)

In Z-Space’s version of the 4th universe, the TARDIS was destroyed. In N-Space’s version of the 4th universe, the Doctor briefly lost the TARDIS but was able to regain it before it was damaged.

Sadly however the Z-Space Doctors beloved TARDIS was ripped apart, but he would save one tiny piece of it, a piece of metal called stellite, which he would use to teleport himself and Susan to the safety of earth (a planet which Susan had developed a fondness for.)

In early 20th century earth the Doctor would build a new time machine from the last remnant of his old TARDIS which he came to christen The Cosmos.

Eventually the Doctor (who went under the alias of Doctor Omega on earth, named after his childhood hero, and the founder of Time Lord society, Omega) would build another Time Machine, which he would call the Cosmos.

Doctor Omega would initially travel with two earth men, the sensitive and creative Denis Borel, and the strongman Fred. His grand daughter Susan had opted to stay on earth having grown attached too it, though she would join her grand father sporadically for adventures throughout all of his incarnations lives.

Just like the Doctor of N-Space, Doctor Omega (he would continue to use the alias for the rest of his life after his initial stay on earth) would develop a great fondness for humanity and save it from various threats throughout its entire history.

Doctor Omega unlike the N-Space Doctor would not live throughout his entire 13 lives. He was killed on his 8th life for good.

First Doctor Omega

Related image

Similar in personality to his N-Space counterpart in some regards, this Doctor however was more humble, kind hearted and tolerant than his N-Space counterpart was at first. It is believed that being stranded on earth after his stay in Quinnis helped to mellow him and make him more understanding of humans and other races.

The First Doctor Omega however was still very strict and had a no nonsense attitude towards solving his problems. Like the Doctor of N-Space he was utterly ruthless in dealing with his enemies and had a similar moral code.

The First Doctor Omega carried a huge sense of guilt over his role in the creation of the Martian invaders, the Macrocephales and became determined to wipe them out for good. They were his bitterest and most dangerous enemies.

The First Doctor Omega’s companions consisted of Denis Borel, a wealthy, creative yet somewhat anxious and cowardly individual, and Fred, who the Doctor and Susan had saved on a previous mission to earth, who was fiercely loyal to the Doctor.

Doctor Omega would also travel with a young robotics expert named Katey who grew up during the great robot wars. Her knowledge of robotics would prove valuable to the Doctor time and time again.

Doctor Omega would also travel with a young woman called Xeria from a planet named Collosus. Collosus was an earth colony where the greatest warriors from earth lived. It was the harshest and most difficult of all the earth colonies to live on. Xeria however had never really fitted in. She had been born on the planet and therefore had no choice about living there. She was naturally a more sensitive and artistic young woman who was only too happy to travel with Doctor Omega.

Omega would also travel with a young martian named Tiziraou who became his longest serving companion, travelling with him throughout the rest of his first incarnations life, and many of his later incarnations too.

Second Doctor Omega

Related image

This Doctor Omega had a greater sense of humour than the original, and was considerably more reckless and at times even immature than his predecessor. He had a child like enthusiasm for exploring the universe and developed a much closer relationship with his companions than the first Doctor Omega.

He inherited Tiziraou from his predecessor, though he also travelled with various companions of his own.

The Second Doctor Omega would travel with a woman from Venus named Isleia, and Alvin, a man from earth’s future in the year 1 billion who had been desperate to explore the universe.

The Second Doctor Omega’s final companion was a young girl named Malisa who he first met a prison planet. Malisa had been falsely imprisoned by her brother for the murder of their father. Sadly Doctor Omega would never be able to prove her innocence.

Third Doctor Omega

Image result for Lam Ching Ying

In contrast to his immediate predecessor, this Doctor Omega was a lot younger in appearance and also a tremendously physical incarnation. All of the Doctor Omegas much like their N-Space counterparts were skilled fighters, but this incarnation was the best fighter of all the Doctor Omegas.

This incarnation was a lot stricter with his companions and in a further contrast to his predecessor he was completely humourless. He was also one of the most ruthless of all the incarnations of Doctor Omega with his companions often clashing with his methods.

This Doctor Omega travelled with Tizarou and three companions of his own. The first was a young woman named Lascia who came from the largest planet in the known universe which had been invaded by various other races for its large resources.

The second was a scientist named Geria who had been kidnapped by the military who forced her to work on advanced weaponry for them or else they would slaughter her family. Ultimately they killed her family anyway once she was of no use to them. Alone and heartbroken, she could not return to her people who hated her for building the weapons. She would happily join Doctor Omega who she developed arguably among the closest relationship with of all his companions.

Doctor Omega’s final companion throughout his third life was an African American burlesque performer from New York named Alisha.

Fourth Doctor Omega

Related image

A more pompous, arrogant, and conceited incarnation overall. The Fourth Doctor Omega was also at the same time far more compassionate than any of his predecessors too. This Doctor Omega was very vain and took a great pride in his appearance. This Doctor Omega was also a very physical incarnation like his predecessor

He was the longest lived of all of the Doctors incarnations. It was during this incarnations life that the Doctor tragically lost Tizarou after a battle with the Martians. This Doctor would also travel with Susan for the longest period of time as well.

His other companions included a young alien woman trapped on earth after her ship crashed there called Melezari, an immortal woman named Kaseia who had been brought back to life as part of an experiment which left her an immortal. Another of the 4th Doctor Omega’s companions was Selia, a young woman who had been raised by the Newts under the ocean. He also travelled with Amy Borel, the daughter of one of his original human companions.

Fifth Doctor Omega

Related image

Much younger in appearance than his predecessors, this Doctor Omega was the most ruthless and hard. Not one to suffer fools gladly, this Doctor could be very sarcastic and biting even to his companions. He was also the first incarnation to be captured by the Time Lords. He was able to escape from the Time Lords however with help from a renegade Time Lady named The Rector who wanted to see the universe and hoped that Doctor Omega could help her see the stars. Sadly The Rector would be killed in a battle with the Martians in a way where she was unable to regenerate which left the Fifth Doctor Omega devastated.

His only other companion was a former peasant named Elisr whose village had been torn down by the Vikings.

Sixth Doctor Omega

Image result for anthony stewart head

More straight forward, heroic and kind hearted than his predecessor, this Doctor was also despite being in an older body a very physical incarnation and an excellent fighter.

This Doctor travelled with a human woman named Alice whose colony had been conquered by a hostile race of aliens, who then sent her into a dangerous area of space as a test subject, after all of their vessels had failed to return.

He also travelled with a Cacoyte woman named Isxlir.

Seventh Doctor Omega

Related image

A more impish, sly and cunning version of the Doctor. This Doctor was also among the most ruthless too his enemies.

His companions included a young woman from the streets during the robot war named Rebecca, and a young socialite looking for adventure named Vicky.

Eighth Doctor Omega

Related image

The final incarnation of Doctor Omega. This version was a more tormented, conflicted incarnation who deeply regretted the mistakes his earlier selves had made, and worked hard to overcome them. He was killed whilst defending his people the Time Lords.

Works inspired by Z-Space

Doctor Omega, War of the Worlds, Time Machine, The City and the Stars, Star Maker, War of the Newts. R.U.R.

M-Space

Related image

The Tenth Doctor of M-Space

A universe with a very similar history to N-Space, but different in a number of key ways. Many of the most influential races of N-Space such as the Daleks, the Time Lords, the Cybermen, the Sontarans and the Ice Warriors also existed in M-Space, albeit with different histories to some extent.

The Doctor was born in this reality too and went on to be a great hero just as in N-Space. Romana also existed in this universe and later became the President of Gallifrey in her second incarnation.

M-Space’s history differed from N-Space’s from an early point in Davros’ life. One fateful day in M-Spaces history, Davros decided to go out and play with his friends, (which he didn’t do in N-Space.)

After playing with his friends, Davros became lost on a mine field only to later be saved by a future incarnation of the Doctor.

After saving Davros, the Doctor installed an important lesson in the young Davros’ mind that mercy sometimes could be an advantage.

Years later when the M-Space Davros created the Daleks he programmed the ability to understand pity and compassion into their brains, which his N-Space counterpart never did.

As a result of this when the Daleks overthrew Davros in M-Space they spared him and the other Kaled scientists in the bunker. Thanks to Davros and the scientists help, the Daleks were able to escape the bunker a lot faster, and with Davros as their prisoner they were able to make use of his scientific genius to a greater extent too.

Davros would later escape and try to create his own Dalek army on Necros just like in N-Space but his attempts would be easily crushed. Davros was never able to split the race into two factions unlike in N-Space.

As a result of these differences the Daleks were able to advance a lot faster and become rivals to the Time Lords before the Doctor was even born. The Time Lords as a result would be forced to up their game in M-Space. They would perform various modifications to their bodies in order to better fight the Daleks which would not only leave them stronger, but also allow them to weaponise the process of regeneration, with the excess energy being capable of destroying an entire space ship at full power.

However there were many unintended side effects of these modifications to regeneration, with the process being much more severe. Many of the Time Lords of M-Space actually felt that their different incarnations were actually different people.

Whilst the conflict between the Daleks and the Time Lords only ever led to a cold war in N-Space, in M-Space it led to a full scale galactic war, that would be referred to as the Time War.

The Time War very nearly destroyed all of creation, and though the Time Lords were able to survive thanks to all 13 incarnations of the Doctors actions, for years the Doctor incorrectly believed he had destroyed his own people to defeat the Daleks.

Despite the differences to the timeline, the Doctors first 8 incarnations were all similar in appearance to those from N-Space. It was only following the Time War that his incarnations became radically different to their N-Space counterparts.

The Doctor of M-Space was however always a somewhat more emotional and unpredictable individual overall compared to his counterparts from N and Z-Space.

He also was known to engage in romantic relationships with humans unlike all other known versions of the Doctor.

This Doctor eventually met his end in a battle with the Cybermen at the end of his 13th life. (There was a rumour started that he was revived afterwards and regenerated but these were proven to be false.)

The Doctor of M-Space dies a heroes death fighting against the Cybermen.

The Master of M-Space meanwhile was a totally different individual to his counterpart from N-Space. The villain who became the Master of N-Space was not born in M-Space, and another Time Lord eventually became the renegade known as the Master instead.

The M-Space Master was driven over the edge when he stared into the untempered schism as a child and saw the whole of time and space. From that day on he heard a constant drumming in his head which tormented him, and drove the Time Lord to lunacy.

The Doctor of M-Space had a much closer relationship to the Master as a child and regularly tried to help him. Later after the Master regenerated into a woman, the Doctor would successfully rehabilitate the evil Master/Missy, but sadly she was killed by her earlier self.

The Doctor of M-Space would travel to N-Space many times and work with his N-Space counterpart.

The two first met when the Daleks of M and N-Space worked together along with the Daleks of Y-Space to create a weapon that could destroy all universes. The three Daleks, though despising each other for being different, agreed on a truce to destroy all other life forms first, and then when they were the only life forms left they would war with each other.

The Doctors of all three universes were forced to work together to destroy them (The Doctors of N and M-Space were both in their Tenth incarnations.)

The two established a friendship and would regularly work together afterwards. One of their most notable missions saw the Master of N-Space capture Missy (whilst the 12th Doctor was keeping her in his vault.) The Master of N-Space would attempt to create a clone of creatures from her DNA, as Missy had been given a virtually limitless supply of regenerations, which the Master of N-Space wanted to discover the secret of, both to prolong his own life, and create a race of creatures that could constantly repair their bodies.

Fortunately the two Doctors working together were able to rescue Missy, and together the three of them were able to foil the N-Space Masters plans.

Related imageRelated image

“I hear you’re banana’s well I’m much worse”. The Master from N-Space captures Missy from M-Space. 

One figure from M-Space who would go on to play significant role in N-Space’s history was Captain Jack Harkness. A great hero of M-Space and one of its version of the Doctors greatest friends. Jack crossed over into N-Space many times and became friends with the Doctor of N-Space. Jack met every incarnation of the Doctor of N-Space and later became a member of the Time’s Champions.

Works inspired by M-Space

Doctor Who (2005), Some Big Finish Audios (others are inspired by N-Space), Titan Comics.

V-Space

Related image

This reality had a similar history to N-Space and M-Space, but it diverged from the end of the 8th Doctors life. In this reality the Time Lords were destroyed in a Time War with a malevolent race known as the Enemy.

Works Inspired by V-Space

Various Doctor Who Novels

D-Space

Image result for captain kirk

In this reality the Time Lords, and the Daleks never existed, whilst the Sontarans and the Kaveetch wiped each other out early in their conflict.

The Silurians meanwhile would flee the earth in this reality unlike in N-Space. They would settle in an area of space known as the Delta Quadrant where they would become known as the Voth.

The Mondasians meanwhile only partially converted themselves before ultimately abandoning Mondas and fleeing across the galaxy, before eventually settling in the Delta Quadrant.

There they became the Borg, one of the most dangerous races in all of D-Space.

In this reality life developed on the planet Vulcan (in N-Space, Vulcan was a barren rock incapable of supporting life after it had been struck by an asteroid shower not long after its formation.) The Vulcans went on to become one of the most advanced races in all of D-Space and major allies of humanity.

Earth’ s history went differently in D-Space too. Sir Reginald Styles conference in the 1970s led to a third world war in D-Space which led to the deaths of millions. However mankind would recover and advance to a far greater extent than the humanity of N-Space from that time, and form the Federation with the Vulcans.

The Doctors of both N and M-Space would crossover into this reality many times and work with many of its most major figures such as Captain James T Kirk and Jean Luc Picard (both of whom also crossed over into N and M-Space, establishing friendships with both Doctors.)

Works inspired by D-Space

Star Trek franchise

Q-Space

Related image

In this reality the Doctors history was exactly the same as his history from N-Space up until his battle with the Master over the eye of Harmony in his 4th life.

In this reality the Doctor was able to capture the Master after their battle over the eye of harmony and handed him over to the Time Lords. The Celestial Intervention Agency however did not kill the Master as they wanted to make use of the Masters intellect, so they removed his mind from his decaying body and placed it in an android body.

This android was then sent to accompany the Doctor. If he ever did anything to harm the Doctor, his body would shut down. The Master agreed simply to prolong his own miserable neck. The Doctor meanwhile was forced to agree to these terms or else the Time Lords would take the TARDIS from him and strand him on earth again.

The Doctor and the Master though not liking each other would make an effective team together, and they would later be aided by Romana on the quest to obtain the Key to Time.

The Doctor and Romana would just as in N-Space fall in love with each other, but sadly Romana would later be killed in a battle against the Daleks.

In this universe, the Doctor was not able to stop the Daleks from obtaining Davros during the Movellan wars. As a result of this, with Davros help it was the Daleks who broke the stalemate and won the war. After wiping out the Movellans and gaining access to Davros’ mind, these Daleks became far more powerful than the Daleks of N-Space and were able to launch a surprise invasion of Gallifrey. (As well as devastate the earth and nearly wipe out humanity, changing its history greatly)

The Doctor, the Master and Romana working together would manage to foil the Daleks invasion of Gallifrey. During the invasion, the 4th Doctor was mortally wounded causing him to regenerate into his next incarnation. Sadly however Romana would be forced to sacrifice herself to stop the Daleks and save Gallifrey.

The 5th Doctor and the Master would continue on more adventures before eventually picking up a new human companion named Alison Cheney. Sadly their adventures together are not known after this point.

Works inspired by Q-Space

Scream of the Shalka

Y-Space

Image result for Peter Cushing Doctor Who

The Second incarnation of the Doctor of Y-Space

In this reality the Doctor left Gallifrey at an earlier point in his life when Susan was just a child. He also left with another grand daughter, Barbara, that he didn’t have in N-Space.

Here the Doctor visited Y-Space’s version of Quinnis and just like in N-Space and Z-Space he lost the TARDIS. Just as in N-Space he was able to get it back, but it was damaged in the process and the Doctor was mortally wounded, triggering a regeneration.

The Second Doctor would then be able to make one stop in his damaged TARDIS to earth in the 60s. Going under the alias of Doctor Who he was able to acquire the equipment he needed to repair the TARDIS (causing it to take on a different appearance inside.)

Under the alias of Doctor Who, he, his two grand daughters and a human named Ian would go on adventures together fighting that realities version of the Daleks.

Works inspired by Y-Space

Doctor Who and the Daleks, Daleks Invasion Earth 2150AD

K-Space

Related image

The evil Doctor of K-Space.

In this reality the Doctor had a similar life to his N-Space counterpart up until his first adventure with Ian, Barbara and Susan. In the jungle the first Doctor murdered the helpless caveman Za with a rock (in N-Space and M-Space Ian managed to stop him in time.)

This had a negative effect on the Doctors psyche. He came to believe that murdering even innocent people for his own ends was acceptable if it saved his and Susan’s lives.

The Doctor would later betray Ian and Barbara in the jungles to die before escaping with Susan to Skaro.

On Skaro the Doctor and Susan would be captured by the Daleks just as in N-Space. Though they managed to escape, just as in N-Space the Doctors fluid link was taken from him by the Daleks and he was unable to take off.

The Doctor tried to convince the Thals to help him steal it, but they refused.

The Doctor would instead make a deal with the Daleks in exchange for the fluid link and helped them exterminate the Thals much to Susan’s disgust. The Doctor would then take over the Daleks after discovering their power source and turn them into his army. He was terrified of the Time Lords finding him.

The Doctor would use the Daleks to attack Gallifrey (after abandoning Susan) before taking it over. The Doctor would then use the Time Lords and the Daleks together to help him conduct his amoral experiments across the universe. He would become the most evil and hated villain in the entire universe. The Doctor of K-Space would be opposed by his grand daughter Susan who became a renegade from his new Time Lord empire and would eventually manage to kill her evil grandfather.

Works inspired by K-Space

King Kong Escapes

The likes of the Doctor, Dan Dare, Godzilla, and the Planet Express Crew are known to exist in many other universes, though sadly these universes histories are only barely known.

Many have speculated that our universe could exist as part of the multiverse N-Space created too, though there is currently no concrete evidence for this.

 

 

 

The History of N-Space: Part 4: The Never Ending Cycle

Image result for futurama city

The final segment of the history of N-Space. Not as much is known about this period as whole, though some eras such as the 31st century are well documented, other eras are still somewhat shrouded in mystery.

In this chapter we will look at the golden age of mankind in the 31st century, the fall of human civilisation, the final destruction of earth, the defeat of the Brain spawn, the third and final Dalek empire, and the ultimate fate of N-Space.

31st Century: The Second Golden Age of Man

Related image

At the start of the 31st century humanity had advanced to new levels of technological and societal development. Thanks to new breakthroughs in medical science, people in the 31st century on average lived well into their 150s. In fact life expectancy had become so great that people who exceeded the age of 160 were taken away to a gigantic space station outside the galaxy and placed into self preservation chambers to avoid overpopulation on earth and its various colonies.

On the space station the senior citizens would be plugged into a machine that would allow them to live in a virtual reality where they would appear young and strong for the rest of their lives. (It is believed that humans could actually live up to over 200 years in the future.)

Other advances in technology allowed humanity to construct faster than light drives, which allowed them to explore the very furthest reaches of the universe.

Advances in robotics had also reached their peak during this century, with there being over 100 million sentient robots on the earth all with their own distinct personalities and identities.

Earth would also be home to various alien species too, among them included the Lobster like Decaponts and even some old enemies of humanity such as the Vampires and the Morgions.

In the early 30th century the leading scientists from various races working together had managed to find a way to suppress the violent and killer instincts of Vampires. Whilst the creatures would still need blood, they could survive just as easily on the blood of animals. Instead they hunted humans to satisfy their own sadistic desires.

Vampires had been driven to almost extinction following the Vampire wars but a few factions had survived in the ensuing centuries. They had never been able to regain their former power in our galaxy, but they were still able to cause a lot of trouble for the Democratic Order of Planets and slaughter entire colonies.

Whilst the Doop generally tended to exterminate any Vampire faction they came across, from the 29th century onward, new advances in neuroscience that could repress the violent aspects of Vampires personalities would allow the blood suckers to be rehabilitated for the first time.

Whilst it still took a century’s worth of research, and various Vampires were killed in the experiments, ultimately the experiments were a success. Even then however they required such skill and money that only a few Vampires were rehabilitated. Still these Vampires were specifically chosen. They had all been great figures in human history before being turned into Vampires. They included many great scientists, architects, explorers and heroic figures from throughout earth’s history. After losing the war, the Vampires became more picky about who they chose turn, hoping to build an army from only the very best specimens of humanity.

One of these reformed Vampires would later design and oversee the construction of the largest building in New New York, dubbed “The Vampire State Building”, within the first decade of the 31st century.

Related image

The Vampire State Building.

The Morgions meanwhile were a highly aggressive race who had almost gone to war with humanity in the late 30th century. A peace treaty had been signed in the 2990s however and as a sign of good faith several Morgions would be placed in high positions on earth. Among the most famous examples included Morbo who became a famous reporter on earth.

Despite the peace treaty there would be several close skirmishes between humanity and Morbo’s race. Even when hostilities ceased, many Morgions could not hide their contempt for humanity.

Throughout the first few decades of the 31st century, the Planet Express Crew would be involved in arguably the most important events concerning humanity and arguably the universe itself.

Planet Express originally began as just a small business, started by Professor Farnsworth to fund his scientific experiments. Farnsworth was one of the greatest scientific minds in the history of mankind. He had made many vast contributions to the field of robotics, yet despite this he was a somewhat controversial figure. Farnsworth was always reckless and arrogant. He only became worse in his later years as his senility and lapses in memory meant that his experiments were often dangerous and had catastrophic consequences.

In addition to this Farnsworth had also made many powerful enemies throughout his long life such as most notably Carol Miller, the owner of Momcorp, his former lover.

Farnsworth was dependent on Planet Express to keep his research going and though they were only a delivery company, they would often become involved in dangerous and important events. This was again as a result of the Professors reckless behaviour as he’d often send the crew on dangerous missions completely unprepared.

Throughout the 31st century the Planet Express team consisted of Turanga Leela, a one eyed mutant from the sewers who mistakenly believed she was an alien, left on earth by her parents, Philip J Fry, a delivery boy from the 20th century who had been cryogenically frozen for 1000 years, and Bender Bending Rodriguez, a robot.

Leela was the only competent member of the crew. Fry, though brave and kind hearted, was also careless and immature, whilst Bender was a cheat, a liar, a thief and a borderline sociopath.

Whilst Leela was in contrast smart, resourceful, brave, and both a skilled pilot and fighter. She could also be arrogant, obsessive and a little reckless too. On more than one occasion she got the crew into serious trouble such as when they faced the giant interdimensional whale or when her reckless actions nearly got her and Fry killed by giant bees.

Still overall Leela was an effective and resourceful leader, and the Planet Express Crew were often able to improvise their way out of the problems they came across thanks to her quick thinking.

Among their notable early adventures included preventing a gigantic garbage ball from crashing into the earth, and preventing the Omicronians from destroying the earth in the year 3000.

The Omicronians were arguably the biggest threat to humanity in he early 31st century. Their technology was far in advance of the entire Doop.

The Omicronians despite regarding humanity as nothing but a plague on the universe loved human made forms of entertainment, in particular human television from the late 20th century.

The first Omicronian invasion of earth was caused by the interruption of the broadcast of an earth show “Single Female Lawyer”. (Though the show was broadcast in the late 20th century, it took one thousand years for the signals to reach Omicron Persei 8.)

Lrrr, the ruler of the planet Omicron Persei 8 led a vicious attack on the earth, killing 100s of millions of innocent people and decimating the entire Doop fleet. Lrrr threatened to destroy the entire earth unless he was able to see the final episode of Single Female Lawyer, and so the Planet Express Crew were forced to act it out to the Omicronians.

The Omicronians were satisfied enough with the ending of the Planet Express Crew’s version of Single Female Lawyer not to wipe out humanity, but ultimately they also were not satisfied with it enough to give humanity their secret recipe for immortality.

Whilst the Planet Express Crew saved humanity from the original Omicron invasion, they were ultimately responsible for the second invasion in the year 3001. Whilst on a long journey home from a delivery, the Planet Express Crew stumbled upon an Omicronian nursery. The Omirconian young were in their larvae form, and Leela and the others believed they were non sentient simple celled organisms.

When Leela later discovered that they were intelligent life forms she tried to stop the mass eating of Popplers, but by then it was too late. The Omicronians later attacked humanity and threatened to devour humanity in revenge. Zapp Brannigan however was able to negotiate a treaty with the Omicronians where they would devour only the first human who ate their young (ironically however this was Leela.)

One of the Omicronian young named Jrrr who had befriended Leela however was able to convince Lrrr not to eat Leela and leave humanity alone (though Lrrr still devoured an annoying human activist along the way.)

The crew would have more run ins with the Omicronians along the way, often ironically being forced to help Lrrr and his wife NdNd fix their marital problems.

The crew also had frequent run ins with Zapp Brannigan, who harboured feelings for Leela. Zapp Brannigan had originally been a celebrated hero of the Doop, but after a catastrophic defeat at the hands of the Killbots where he lost hundreds of thousands of men he suffered a nervous breakdown which he never fully recovered from. He later tried to spin his “victory” over the Killbots as being a noble sacrifice where young men volunteered to be slaughtered until the robots reached their pre set kill limit and shut down.

Still the effect this had on Captain Brannigan’s psyche was obvious. He became hopelessly incompetent, cowardly and child like after the war with the Killbots. Having devoted his life to the military for so long, he also began to focus on his personal life too, again with disastrous consequences. Sadly however Zapp’s previous victories and status as a celebrated hero meant that he was able to keep his position, despite his subordinates despising him. The Doop also found Zapp useful as he was often willing to do the Doops dirty work that other Doop commanders were not willing to do. Still to those who knew him Zapp was a mere shell of his former self and a constant embarrassment for earth.

Leela absolutely despised Zapp Brannigan, but he was not the only enemy of high status the Planet Express crew would make over the years. Carol Miller, the Robot Devil, the Robot Santa, the Robot Mafia, President Nixon and even the tv chief Alcazar all became bitter enemies of members of the crew.

Among the Planet Express Crew’s other notable adventures included helping to foil the Decaponts brief invasion of earth, foiling Carol Miller’s plan to use robots to conquer humanity, curing an environmental crisis caused by robots, and foiling President Nixon’s attempts to destroy all robots on earth.

In the early 3010’s Leela would also lead a successful campaign to gain equal rights for the sewer mutants, allowing them to live on the surface. (After Leela discovered the truth about her heritage and reunited with her parents.)

The crew were also among the survivors of the doomed spaceship Titanic, and discovered the lost undersea city of Atlanta. The robot Bender would also encounter God himself after being lost in deep space. The creator of N-Space would take the form of a binary code to communicate with him.

By this stage, millions of years after his war with the Anti God, God had come to realise that the best way to help his creations was to use a light touch. God wanted to help his children,  but there were too many prayers from all the worlds to hear. Also the more dependent he made people on him, the more civilisations would stagnate.

Thus God now worked from behind the scenes, helping out in ways where his creations weren’t even aware of his influence.

Bender meets the father of N-Space.

Turanga Leela would also be responsible for freeing the Doctor, the Robinsons and the original Planet Express Crew from a gigantic interdimensional predator. The creature which resembled a gigantic Whale fed on obsession and would capture stray travellers, swallowing them whole and then keeping them alive in it’s stomach so that it could feed on their obsession.

The Doctor (in his fourth incarnation) the crew of the Jupiter 2, and the original Planet Express Crew were consumed by the predator that managed to catch them all by surprise.

Their obsession had fed the beast for many centuries and made it much stronger, but when it devoured Leela she was able to overpower the beast and fly it back to earth, where she released all of those it had devoured.

Related image

The Doctor is released from the Space Whale by Turanga Leela alongside the Robinson family, Doctor Smith, the Robot and the original and current Planet Express crew. 

The Doctor would go on to become a great friend of Fry and Leela afterwards. He even offered them a chance to travel with him, but ultimately the two turned him down. Many years later their daughter would go on to travel with the 10th Doctor.

The Robinson family meanwhile would be celebrated as heroes back on earth and quickly adjust to life in the 31st century. Doctor Smith in some respects actually found life in the 31st century preferable to his old life as he lived in luxury with the Robinsons.

Unlike the others however Smith was not viewed as a hero. History had remembered the Doctor as a slimy, villainous saboteur. It was only on Will Robinson’s word that Smith wasn’t arrested and prosecuted as soon as they arrived back on earth. Will knew the truth about Doctor Smith of course, but as the two had developed such a close friendship over the years he supported Smith’s claim that he was on board the Jupiter 2 accidentally.

Still whilst the authorities closed the case, the public still tended to view Smith as a villain and he would spend the rest of his life desperately trying to repair his reputation.

The Robot meanwhile would also find life hard in the future as it was an obsolete piece of technology, and whilst many robots still revered him as a cybernetic hero, he struggled to find a purpose in the 31st century. At one point the Robot even considered allowing himself to become an exhibition in a museum, but Will Robinson refused and would as always support his friend through a difficult time. He would later find a purpose again as a member of Time’s Champions.

The Planet Express Crew would make several journey’s through time and space as well, many of which ended in disaster. The entire crew where thrown backwards in time to 1947 where they crashed in Roswell (becoming the source of the infamous crash. Their actions would also lead to the creation of the notorious Majestic, see 20th century section for full details.)

Bender would also using the Anti God’s curse travel backwards to various different points to carry out several crimes. Among the times he visited included the early 21st century during the Mekon’s invasion of earth. Here he looted New York as the Treen’s were levelling the city. Through a cloaking device Bender was able to make his ship appear like the Treens vessels in order to hide from them. (He also took part in some of the destruction and destroyed a few of the buildings around the cryogenics lab where Fry was in suspended animation.)

By far and away the crew’s most disastrous attempt at time travel however was when the Professor developed a machine capable of travelling only forwards in time. The Professor had attempted to test it with Fry and Bender by just a few minutes but he went forward several hundred thousand years in the future to a point where the earth had been largely destroyed by the solar flares.

The Professor, Bender and Fry would continue travel forward in the future to a point where they hoped the backwards time machine would be invented, but they went forward too far and eventually reached a stage where all life on earth was extinct. With no way to escape, they were forced to go forward in time to when the universe would end. The three time travellers believed there was no way to get home and effectively were committing suicide by travelling to what they believed was the end of all things.

However to their surprise once N-Space ended, it started up again and they were able by travelling forwards to reach the correct point (though actually they went forward too far again and were forced to travel to the next version of N-Space.) The Professor incorrectly believed that these were different universes with the same history but they were in fact the same universe being reborn over and over again.

Fry, Bender and the Professor are forced to journey through the entire history of N-Space to try and get home.

From this point on the history of N-Space differs in some versions. In some versions Fry is sadly from Leela’s perspective lost forever and though she goes on to take over Planet Express and turns it into a global business. Sadly she never finds love again and spends most of her life mourning Fry.

In the version we will be looking at however she and Fry and reunited again after the Professors device takes Fry to the right point.

The Professors actions would ultimately allow the Mesrak’s to discover the truth about N-Space’s cyclical nature in the far future when they monitored his history.

Over the course of their adventures together Philip J Fry would develop romantic feelings for Leela. She did not feel the same way at first however, only seeing him as a friend. Fry would try and win Leela’s heart through various means, but for almost ten years his attempts were a constant (and often embarrassing) failure.

Needless to say Leela would also sometimes get more than a little frustrated with Fry’s various attempts to woo her, but over time she would realize the depth of her feelings for Fry. The two would begin an on again, off again relationship in the 3010s and eventually marry (several times across various timelines.)

The Brain Spawn Invasion

Image result for the why of fry

Arguably the most important events in Philip J Fry’s life would be his battles against of one of the most dangerous and evil races in all of N-Space, the Brain Spawn.

The Brain Spawn were an evil race of monsters, believed to be the Anti God’s first ever creation. The Brain Spawn had the power to drop the intelligence of any race they encountered. The Brain Spawn had destroyed countless worlds throughout their million year long history, but their ultimate aim was to catalogue all of the history of N-Space and then destroy it. (They would then go on to do the same for other universes.)

The Nibblonians had been locked in conflict with the Brain Spawn since the beginning of N-Space, but they had never found a way to block the Brain Spawn’s powers and would always be rendered helpless whenever they tried to defeat the Spawn. Finally however after millions of years of hopeless battles and defeats, the Nibblonians would learn of a possible alternate future where the Brainspawn would finally be defeated.

The Nibblonians had attempted to master time travel. They knew of the Time Lords, but distrusted and despised them after their actions during Rassilon’s rule (which had nearly wiped the Nibblonians from history.)

The Nibblonians had only ever been able to look into the future, but not travel into it. They could see multiple timelines but sadly almost all of them ended with the Brainspawn destroying not just the Nibblonians but all life in N-Space and all realities.

In one version however, one individual, a human male from the 20th century was able to destroy the Brain Spawn once and for all in a battle in the early 31st century.

The Nibblonians saw that this was because he lacked the Delta Brainwave, a feature common among all organic and mechanical creatures in the universe. The reason Fry lacked this trait was because he was in fact his own grand father after sleeping with his own grandmother when he and the rest of the Planet Express Crew arrived back in the year 1947.

The Nibblonians considered allying with their hated enemies the Time Lords and using their facilities to travel to the future with Fry, however they saw that this would not be suitable for changing the future. Fry needed to live in the future to prevent other threats and become close to Leela in order to create another figure who would save the universe.

The Nibblonians also grew scared that if other species found out about Fry’s unique nature in lacking a delta brainwave then they would capture and experiment on him.

The Nibblonians decided to use earth’s technology to freeze Fry for 1000 years until the 31st century. During the 1000 years the Nibblonians would make several visits to earth to ensure that Fry was not killed by the various alien invaders that plagued the earth in the interim period.

When Fry was unfrozen Nibbler would later become a pet of Turanga Leela so he could keep an eye on Fry for when the time was right for him to battle the Brain Spawn.

That time came in the year 3002 when the Brain Spawn who had grown in power greatly launched a full scale invasion of earth. The monsters drained the intelligence of everyone on earth to catastrophic levels, but Nibbler was able to help Leela to escape the planet before the Brains attacked.

Nibbler explained to Leela that only Fry could stop the Brain and left her a note to give Fry, warning her that she would be too stupid once she was on earth to remember it.

Even with her limited intelligence Leela would help Fry battle the leader of the invasion of earth however, simply referred to as the Big Brain.

Fry was able to use the Big Brain’s powers to trap his enemies in a virtual world against him and send the Big Brain and his army away from earth.

After the Brain’s invasion was foiled no one on earth retained any memory of the Brain Spawn except for Fry, allowing Nibbler to return to his post and monitor both Fry and the earth in case the Brain Spawn returned,

2 years later Nibbler would approach Fry himself to help battle the Brain Spawn whose billion year war against the universe was about to reach its head.

The Brains had spent centuries exploring the universe, gathering information about all of the species of the universe. They now knew everything there was to know about the universe and from that knowledge had created a weapon capable of vaporizing N-Space into nothing.

Fry boarded the Brain Spawn’s sphere and planted the Nibblonians bomb which would blast the Brain Spawn into another uninhabited universe.

Whilst Fry was successful in setting off the bomb, the mini spaceship the Nibblonians gave Fry to escape broke down and he was trapped on the sphere as it was blasted into another universe.

Just before he was banished from N-Space, the Brain Spawn revealed the truth to Fry that Nibbler had sent him to the future against his will. Whilst they were trapped in the other universe, the Brain Spawn was able to use its limited time travel technology to send Fry backwards in time to just before Nibbler froze him. Only Fry could travel backwards however as he was at the nexus point between so many different timelines.

Fry arrived back in the 21st century and grabbed Nibbler before he could freeze him. Nibbler was eventually able to convince Fry to allow his earlier self to be frozen in order to save Leela. He also let Fry know of a prophecy that stated Leela would be the Other. He didn’t elaborate on what this meant exactly, just that Fry and Leela were destined for great things together.

Just before he faded from time however Fry was able to let Nibbler know that the ship the Nibblonians had given him to escape was faulty, and so in the new timeline, the Nibblonians gave Fry a better escape ship which allowed him to set off the bomb, and escape the sphere before the Brain Spawn were blasted into another universe.

Once the universe was saved, Nibbler would wipe Fry’s memories of the event in order to preserve his cover once again.

Frozen Universe

Related image

Fry and Leela travel the world together when time is frozen.

By the end of the year 3013 Fry and Leela were in a full time committed relationship. After a near fatal accident on the moon, Fry decided to ask Leela to marry him. Leela was unsure at first and Fry told her to meet him at the Vampire State Building at 6:30 if she wished to marry him.

Sadly when Leela seemingly didn’t arrive at 6:30, Fry decided to commit suicide by throwing himself off the top of the Vampire State Building. Unfortunately as he fell to his death he saw that Leela was arriving at the Vampire State Building after all.

Fry had stolen the Professors new time machine which could send someone back a few seconds. His watch hadn’t adjusted to the time skips and so whilst it said 7:02 it was actually still half six.

Fry fell to his death, but Leela was able to catch the machine. She used it to go backwards in time but unfortunately it only went back to when Fry was already falling from the Vampire State Building.

Leela kept making Fry relive the same moment until she found a solution. Eventually Bender was able to break Fry’s fall, but unfortunately the Professors time machine was damaged in the process and it created a time field that froze the entire universe except for Fry and Leela.

Fry and Leela would spend several decades together in the frozen world. Though Fry tried to fix the time machine it soon became apparent that there was nothing he could do. Fry and Leela would marry in the frozen world and had a long and happy life together.

Towards the end of their lives, when it seemed as though time would never restart Fry and Leela were approached by the Professor on the Vampire State Building. Just before the universe was frozen Leela’s messing around with the time machine in an attempt to save Fry had seemingly vaporized the Professor. In truth it had simply trapped him in a time eddy and after several decades he was able to escape. The Professor would then repair the machine, though he was forced to send it back to before Fry and Leela accidentally broke the machine. Unfortunately the Professor, Fry and Leela would lose their memories of the event meaning that they would seemingly be doomed to relive the same actions over and over again.

Fry and Leela’s happy life together comes to an end where it began on the Vampire State Building. 

Fortunately before Fry and Leela’s actions could doom the universe a second time the Time Lords were able to detect a major threat to the time vortex, and quickly sent the 4th Doctor to the 31st century to deal with it. The Doctor was able to approach Leela and told her to visit the Vampire State Building much earlier to ensure Fry wouldn’t jump. He then destroyed the Professors time machine to prevent it from ever being used again.

In the new timeline Leela would accept Fry’s proposal just as before and the two wed quickly at the end of 3013.

:D, casamento, and cool image

The Planet Express Crew after Leela and Fry’s wedding in the revised timeline. The Doctor was also present at their wedding too.

The Return of The Brain Spawn

Related image

As Fry and Leela celebrated their new life together, the two would once again be forced into conflict with the most dangerous enemy they had ever faced. The Brainspawn.

One of the Brainspawn had managed to escape the Sphere before Fry had detonated the device. Now alone in the universe, the last Brain Spawn spent many years trying to free his kind from the other universe.

After several years of failure the Brain Spawn would come to the conclusion that it could never free its people, and so it instead tried to get revenge on the rest of the universe.

He would work with a renegade Robot named Merosta to destroy all life in the cosmos.

Merosta was originally built to monitor life on board a colony named Lena 12. Lena 12 was the most prestigious colony in the universe. Only the richest and most powerful aliens from all over the universe could live there. Its surface had been terrorformed to be the most beautiful paradise and it had access to technology far in advance of most other planets in the known universe.

Lena 12 naturally became a subject of hatred and derision throughout the universe. It regularly with held advanced pieces of technology that could have helped poorer planets and worse, its people’s influence would often result in new forms of defence and medical advances being directed solely towards their world.

This would eventually lead to their downfall however as the descendants of the original people of Merosta became lazy and spoiled. Their planet began to crumble as they used up its resources, polluted its air and dragged it into a dark age.

The people of Lena 12 would soon pull their wealth into the development of a robot that would maintain their planet for them and do all all of their work. This single robot named Merosta was built over the course of several decades. It took so much work and money to build that only one was ever completed.

Merosta would serve the people of Lena 12 for many years, before it eventually turned on them. The Robot developed sentience and wanted to live in the beautiful paradise it had created on Lena 12 by itself. It easily slaughtered the useless humans it was supposed to save.

For the next several decades Merosta would live on Lena 12, sampling the fine food and wine, and enjoying the great art, literature and entertainment left over by the humans he had killed.

For decades Merosta was able to avoid the earth authorities who took no interest in the isolated elites of Lena 12. Occasionally Merosta, posing as the colonists of Lena 12 would demand that earth send more resources to Lena 12, but other than that the Robot was able to enjoy his solitude until the year 3015 when the Planet Express Crew crashed landed on Lena 12.

Merosta tried to kill them and even tried to trick Bender into betraying Fry and Leela, but ultimately the the three were able to escape and warn the earth of what had happened.

The Doop would launch an all out attack on Lena 12. Thanks to Zapp Brannigan’s usual incompetence, the surface of the planet was completely destroyed and all of the great art and literature lost. Merosta escaped meanwhile and became determined to wipe out not just humanity but all life in the universe.

Merosta had come to the conclusion that it would never be able to enjoy the complete solitude it so desired, and so he planned to exterminate every single life form. Then he would simply be able to wander the universe on his own, sampling the very best from all the cultures of the universe without having to deal with any interference.

Merosta would ally himself with the last of the Brain Spawn who similarly wanted to exterminate all life in the universe. (They both also held a very special hatred for Philip J Fry too.)

Merosta was able to create a plague that could attack a common feature among all the life forms of the universe (even Robots), a particular strain of DNA. At the same time however thanks to a machine Merosta constructed that could magnify someone’s mental capabilities, the last surviving Brain Spawn was able to send its field to lower people’s intelligence across the entire universe, making the most advanced life forms too stupid to be able to create a cure to Merosta’s plague.

Billions of people across the entire universe would be killed by the plague. On earth Fry, just as before was not affected by the Brain Spawn’s field due to the lack of Delta Brainwave. This time however he was crippled by the plague and physically unable to fight the Brain. Fortunately however Leela was immune to the plague. A mutation unique only to her meant that she lacked the strain of DNA the plague attacked.

Fry and Leela would be forced to work together in order to combat the combined threat of the Merosta and the Brain Spawn. Fry who physically was barely able to walk, was forced to advise Leela who was too stupid to even pilot the Planet Express ship by herself.

Working together the two were able to find Merosta and the last of the Brain Spawn and defeat them. Fry was able to tamper with the machine that augmented its powers, causing it to overheat and the Brain Spawn to fry, whilst Leela physically held off Merosta.

With her intelligence restored Leela was able to defeat Merosta. The great powers of the universe with their intelligence restored were then able, working together to create a cure for Merosta’s plague.

This event had been foreseen by the Nibblonians many centuries ago, which had led them to dub Leela “The Other” as it had only been the combination of her unique mutation and Fry’s lack of delta brainwave that had allowed them together to save the universe.

(In the original timeline when Fry was lost in the future, Leela did still manage to barely defeat the combination of Merosta and the Brain Spawn together. However it was only after trillions of worlds were destroyed by the plague including the Nibblonians and Decapont. Humanity itself was almost destroyed too.)

Following the defeat of Merosta and the Brain Spawn Fry and Leela would later have two children. Elena and Lia.

Image result for Leela and Fry children

Artwork from LadyBender. She did NOT draw this for me. I found it online. 

Lia would go on to be a highly successful pilot and celebrated hero among the military, whilst Lena, initially would be something of a slacker. She developed a very close relationship with her uncle Bender who had something of a bad influence on her.

In the year 3132 however Elena would aid the Tenth Doctor in stopping the Daleks from invading the earth. These were the Renegade Daleks who had found a way to take control of people’s minds by attacking the Delta Brainwave. The Daleks ultimate aim was to use the machine to attack the Delta Brainwave and kill all other life forms in the universe. However the Daleks had not found a way to immunise themselves from their own weapon as they still had the brainwave too. Whilst the Daleks could simply broadcast a signal to target individuals and even groups to control their minds. In order to blast it across the universe to destroy every life form, the signal would need to be stronger to the point where they couldn’t protect themselves. Thus the monsters desperately searched for a way to make themselves immune.

The Daleks tested their mind control machine on the earth and turned all humanity, its robots, and any other aliens on the planet into their slaves. All except for Elena and her father were affected. Elena had inherited her fathers lack of Delta Brainwave, as had Lia. Lia however was away in a battle at the far edges of the solar system.

When the Daleks saw that two humans were immune to their machine they captured Fry and Elena and planned to dissect them to see why they were immune.

The Doctor however would rescue Fry and Elena. (The barrier around the Doctors Time Lord mind would protect him from the Daleks weapon for now. Their weapon was still somewhat cruder than the Brain Spawn’s natural ability to target the brain wave, which would have been able to penetrate the Doctors natural defences no problem.)

Working together, the Doctor, Fry and Elena would destroy the Daleks weapon and their invasion force on earth. After the Daleks were defeated, Elena would join the Doctor as his companion. Elena would go on to become one of the Doctors closest and longest serving companions, with the two developing a very close father/daughter relationship.

During their adventures, Elena would meet her future husband, Yarox who had come from billions of years in the future, at a point when the universe was dying and the earth had long since been destroyed. He joined the Doctor and Elena initially just to see the universe when it was younger, and the earth that he had only seen in legends.

Over the course of their many adventures together however, Elena and Yarox would fall in love and after she became pregnant with their child, they would return to the 31st century where they married in the year 3138. The Doctor would attend their wedding alongside Elena’s parents, her sister, and the rest of the Planet Express Crew. The Doctor and Bender would later come into conflict over who the Godfather of Elena and Yarox’s child was.

Leela and Fry’s lineage would continue for many thousands of years, with many of their descendants going on to be great heroes too. In the original version of events however when Fry was lost, then Elena was never born, and as she was never there to help the Tenth Doctor, he failed to save many worlds across the universe. He still lived to his 13th life however.

Also as Fry and Leela’s descendants were never born, many more calamities would befall the earth and other worlds, though humanity would still survive until the end of the universe.

Time’s Champions

Image result for Julian Richings

The Thirteenth Doctor

After several hundred thousand years of imprisonment, the Anti God would be freed from his prison by the Federation of Evil. The Federation of Evil was an empire made up of the Anti God’s former minions who had bandied together. Demons, lesser Vampires, Centaurs, and various other abominations. They were one of the great powers of the universe, and were feared even by the Time Lords.

The Federation of Evil long sought to free their “father” and in the year 3150 they seemingly found a way when they were able to take control of “Death” herself. Being the most powerful of all the Guardians, the Federation of Evil attempted to use Death to free the Anti God by tearing a hole in the very fabric of N-Space itself. The Time Lords however quickly detected the disturbance, and launched an all out attack against the Federation of Evil. Whilst they normally did not interfere, even they realised what a huge threat the Anti God posed to the rest of creation.

Unfortunately the Federation were able to hold the entire Time Lord empire off with Death. Still the Time Lords at least, using all of their power were able to keep Death distracted for the time being, preventing her from freeing the Anti God.

Whilst Death was in disposed, the Time Lords would send the three most recent incarnations of the Doctor into the heart of the Federation of Evil (they didn’t have enough power to travel further back throughout his Time Line.)

They abducted the 9th, 10th and 11th Doctors alongside their companions and sent them into the heart of the Federation. The three Doctors battled various monsters together including Centaurs, Kali (the Indian Goddess who in reality was a six armed alien that had been turned into a homicidal Vampire and later joined the Federation of Evil after leaving earth) and Zombie warriors.

The three Doctors however were ultimately able to free Death who destroyed the Federation of Evil in response for enslaving her.

Related image

Image result for tim curry clueImage result for Dylan Moran

The Three Doctors. The 11th (top) 10th (left) and 9th (right) were sent deep into the heart of the darkest place in the universe by the Time Lords to free Death herself.

Whilst most of the Federation of Evil were destroyed, unfortunately Death had created a tiny rip in the fabric of N-Space. It was too weak for the Anti God to get through, but still a few survivors of the Federation of Evil (including Kali) attempted to widen the rip. This time however they would be opposed by the 13th Doctor who arrived at the behest of the Time Lords. At the same time however, the Doop had also sent a team in to investigate.

Turanga Leela had joined the Doop after wanting to branch out from Planet Express and find something new. (Zapp Brannigan had by this stage been dishonourably discharged.)

The Doop had been sent to investigate the ruins of the Federation of Evil to find out what could have destroyed their entire empire overnight.

Leela was well into her 70s at this stage, but thanks to modern day medical science that meant she was only middle aged.

All of Leela’s garrison were destroyed by the monsters, except for Leela herself who was able to meet up with the Doctor. The two would also rescue Catherine Danforth from her prison.

After leaving the earth, Catherine had become devoted to stamping out the Anti God’s minions all over the entire universe. She had been a frequent enemy of the Federation of Evil, but at some point in the early 31st century they managed to kidnap her. They would subject Catherine to decades of torture, but she simply laughed at their attempts to hurt her, telling the monsters that she had endured torture from the Anti God himself!

Still the monsters held her prisoner for decades and after Death wiped out most of their forces Catherine was left to simply rot in her little prison. The Doctor and Leela however discovered her cell and freed her, and Catherine would help them stop the monsters from widening the rip to allow the Anti God to escape. Unfortunately however the Anti God was able to project itself into N-Space, but its power was greatly dwindled.

The Anti God was now no more powerful than a mid level Demon. It would be forced to work with the last of the Federation of Evil to try and fully bring itself into our universe.

The Time Lords would send out various agents to try and destroy the Anti God and the last of the Federation of Evil. They also naturally forced the Doctor to try and track down the monster, and even sabotaged his TARDIS for the second time, preventing it from being able to leave the 31st Century!

Leela and Catherine would willingly work with the Doctor to try and stop the Anti God meanwhile. Leela hated working for the Doop. She hoped after Zapp Brannigan had been dishonourably discharged that it had become a more credible organisation, but ultimately it was still corrupt to its core and run by incompetent, greedy and selfish men.

The Doctor meanwhile was an old friend of Leela’s who had saved her daughters life, whilst Catherine was eager to make the Anti God suffer.

The three however found that they were no match for the remnants of the Federation of Evil, and so the Doctor would pick up various other heroes from across N-Space’s history for help (the Time Lords would allow the Doctor to make a few trips across time and even to another universe to pick up people to help him.)

The Doctor chose, Dan Dare, Sondar, Morag, his former companions Ace Rimmer and Avon, The Robot from the original Jupiter 2 mission, Captain Jack Harkness (who he picked up from M-Space, long into the future. The Doctor of N-Space and Jack were old friends, with Jack having met him throughout all of his lives.) They would also occasionally even recruit Godzilla to fight larger threats, though obviously Godzilla was no an official member of the team.

Together this group who would be dubbed “Time’s Champions” would battle the forces of the Anti God as well as various other threats including the Daleks, the Cybermen, and the Master.

In the year 3165 Time’s Champions were able to banish the Anti God back to his prison for the rest of N-Space’s history with the last of the Federation of Evil finally being destroyed in the process.

Leela would later retire and spend her final years with Fry.  She passed away in the year 3218.

Philip J Fry and his daughter Elena would later have their final battle with the Brain Spawn in the year 3223

These Brain Spawn had managed to escape their imprisonment in the Sphere. Using the resources of the Sphere itself, the Brain Spawn were able to perform experiments on themselves to be able to travel through dimensions. The creatures experiments however had left them with other mutations. Now they could not only reduce their enemies intelligence, but drive them insane too! Using this power they no longer needed weapons and were able to make races, planets, entire empires destroy themselves.

Fry and Elena, being the only two who were immune again were forced to infiltrate the Brain Spawn’s hideout where they used a weapon, created by the Nibblonians, which fired a signal, back across the Brain Spawn’s ray that they used to drive other life forms insane which destroyed the Brains.

Whilst Fry and Elena were able to destroy the Brain Spawn for good this way, sadly Fry was mortally wounded in the process by one of the humans the Brain Spawn had driven mad. He died in his daughters arms, feeling content with his lot in life and was buried alongside Leela.

(In the original timeline without Fry and Elena a massive war broke out between various other races and the Brain Spawn. The combined forces were able to build a weapon to use against the Brain Spawn which did destroy them, but at a cost of hundreds of Galaxies, including the Andromeda Galaxy.)

The Fall of Mankind

Over the next 1000 years peace would reign in the galaxy, but sadly it was not to last as the old threats of the Daleks, the Cybermen and the Furons began to rise again.

The Daleks had been driven almost to extinction by the end of the 32nd century. Not only had a civil war between Davros’ Daleks and the Renegades dwindled their already diminished numbers, but the real blow came in the early 32nd century when the 7th Doctors actions involving the Hand of Omega in the 1960s resulted in the destruction of Skaro in the 32nd century.

Whilst the Imperials were wiped out by the 7th Doctors actions, a few Renegades survived back in the 32nd century and would slowly rebuild their power source over the next several hundred years. Davros meanwhile after returning to his own time would attempt to build a new race of Daleks again, but he would later be captured by the former renegade Daleks. They did not kill him however. Realising that they needed him due to his genius and the knowledge he had of the Time Lords, the Daleks would keep Davros as their prisoner, though they made many concessions to him.

Davros would try and take control of the Daleks many more times, but as the centuries went on, Davros became content with his role. Whilst he might never lead them, Davros was the only creature in the entire universe that they would go to for help.

The new Dalek empire would slowly build itself up over the course of the next thousand years to be the largest and strongest of all their empires. By the year 4000 the Daleks  had built up another empire, and would attempt to exterminate humanity through the construction of a weapon called the Time Destructor which could age an entire planet to dust. Fortunately however these attempts were foiled by the First Doctor, though the empire would continue to persist.

The Cybermen meanwhile had similarly been driven to almost extinction but they too slowly built up their forces across the universe and overcome many of their previous weaknesses.

At the same time, the Furons, having been given more help by humanity over the years had now become a force to be reckoned with in the universe again. Unlike the Daleks and the Cybermen however, the Furons bore humanity no ill will and even sought to protect them from other threats. They were often shunned by humanity however who didn’t want to be associated with the new Furon empire or become dependent on them.

Unfortunately however from the 40th century onward this would lead to problems. Earth began to panic at the rise of the Daleks and the Cybermen (even more so after the Time Destructor incident which had led to a war between various other powers and the Daleks for a few decades.) As a result mankind would pour all of its resources into developing super weapons to defend itself.

Problems would soon arise however as countries began to fight over ownership over certain weapons, despite the unified earth government and eventually this led to a global conflict at the end of the 40th century which destroyed all of human civilisation and laid waste to the planet earth. The earth colonies believing the earth was dead would abandon it, and over the next couple of hundred years most of these colonies would be destroyed by the Daleks and the Cybermen, or they would later become part of the new Galactic Federation which took the place of the Doop.

Only a few humans survived the war on earth and they would all be left mutated albeit in different ways.

Some of the humans were reduced mentally to the levels of animals and scoured the radioactive wastelands for food and water. Others however were mutated mentally in other ways. The dormant Furon DNA in their bodies was accelerated and they developed telepathic abilities. Unfortunately however these advanced mental abilities also caused them to become more unbalanced and irrational. These humans were also mutated physically too, with their hair falling out, and their skin turning hard and red and veiny.

These mutated humans believed the surface of the earth was uninhabitable and so they retreated underground to the ruins of Old New York. There they came to worship an unexploded atomic bomb from the 20th century. The bomb was the most dangerous weapon ever devised by man and had never been used, even when earth was under threat from aliens such as Mekon, as they feared it would destroy the planet.

The mutant humans believed the bomb was god and would regularly sing hyms to it.

The dark future of humanity in the 44th century.

On the surface meanwhile a new race would emerge in mankinds place. Throughout the 30th century mankind had performed experiments on various animals, accelerating their intelligence to human like levels.

After the world war destroyed human civilisation, the hyper intelligent apes wold prove to be the most successful creatures. They were able to huddle together in the wasteland and build a small, albeit extremely primitive society. These Apes followed a religion set down by an Ape known as the Law Giver who came to believe that all of humanity was evil. He wrote down that Apes were gods chosen people and that man was the enemy.

The Ape society would be made up of 3 different species. Chimps who became the scientists, Apes who became the soldiers and hunters, and Orangutans who became the leaders and politicians.

The Ape society would last for close to 300 years. During that time they came to believe that they were the first society ever to exist on the earth. However towards the end of the 44th century, the Apes would face a threat as the beast man returned.

Fall of the Planet of the Apes

Image result for charlton heston planet of the apes

The three astronauts, Taylor, Landon and Dodge who had fallen through the time fissure outside of the earth in the 20th century crash landed onto earth near the end of the 44th century. Finding nothing but a desert for miles, the trio believed that they had landed on an alien planet.

When they made their way to a nearby jungle they encountered some primitive humanoids, one of whom, a young female that they came to name Nova, Taylor took a shine too.

Unfortunately however not long after making contact with the humans, the Apes appeared and started to hunt the humans. The Apes, thanks to the law givers teachings considered mankind to be the most degenerate beasts and so they took a sadistic pleasure in hunting, torturing and killing them.

Taylor, Landon and Dodge were caught up in the hunt and Dodge was killed, whilst Taylor and Landon were captured, though Taylor was wounded in the throat, which prevented him from being able to speak.

Taylor, Landon and Dodge discover that mankind has fallen from the top of the food chain. 

Taylor would be experimented on by the Apes for a few days afterwards as they mistook him for just a simple beast. Once he regained his speech however, the Apes still did not believe that Taylor was a genuinely intelligent creature. The Orangutans believed him to be a mutation and wanted to dissect him.

Two Chimpanzees, Zira and Cornelius would attempt to defend Taylor as they believed him to be a missing link between Apes and humanity. However they were dismissed as heretics by the Orangutans for this.

One of the Orangutans, Doctor Zaius knew the truth not just about Taylor, but humanity in general. He covered it up as he felt that it was better for Apes to believe they were God’s chosen people and that mankind was evil.

Zaius had already lobotomised Landon and now sought to do the same to Taylor, but Taylor was able to escape with Zira and Cornelius’ help. Taylor would also rescue Nova along the way.

Together they made their way to the Forbidden Zone, an area just outside the wasteland Taylor and the others had landed in.

They were followed there by Doctor Zaius and after a confrontation, Taylor was able to gather proof that there had once been an advanced human civilisation to Zira and Cornelius.

Zaius admitted to Taylor that he had always known about mankind but that he considered him to be utterly repugnant and evil, but Taylor did not listen and headed further into the Forbidden Zone with Nova to escape the Apes. There he learned the awful truth that this was actually his planet, and that man had wiped themselves out after all.

Back in the Apes city things returned to normal. Doctor Zaius covered up the evidence of a previous human civilisation and with Taylor long gone, the Apes continued to believe that they were the only people on earth, but soon new problems began to emerge.

The Apes food supplies began to ran out thanks to the humans eating their crops. In desperation they sent various scouts out into the forbidden zone. The scouts however either disappeared or returned completely insane.  The Ape scouts had actually ventured into the city of the mutant humans who had tortured them into insanity for information.

The Orangutans felt that this was proof there was another intelligent society out there and so they decided to investigate the forbidden zone. Whilst claiming to simply want to find out if there were other intelligent beings out there. In truth the Apes wanted to conquer them and use their resources. Doctor Zauis himself personally led an army of Gorillas into the mutants city.

Meanwhile Taylor had been kidnapped by the mutants who imprisoned him within the ruins of their city. Nova searched the wastelands for help and eventually came into contact with another astronaut from the 20th century, Brent whose ship had fallen through time.

Brent and Nova eventually stumbled upon the mutants city too, where the mutants tortured them for information on the apes, before forcing Taylor and Brent to try and kill each other using their mind control powers.

Unfortunately however for the mutants their powers did not work on the Apes, whose skulls were too thick, and so when the Apes marched on their city, the mutants were completely defenceless. The Apes slaughtered hundreds of the mutants including their leader.

Over the course of the war, Nova was killed as well, whilst Brent and Taylor attempted to stop the Apes from accidentally setting off the bomb. Brent was killed after a shoot out, whilst Taylor was mortally wounded. With his last breath, Taylor set the bomb off. The entire surface of the planet was consumed in an atomic blast. Not long after its destruction God visited our solar system for the first time in several hundred thousand years. He had never taken that much interest in the earth and upon seeing how it had destroyed itself, he remarked bitterly before leaving.

“In one of the countless billions of galaxies in the universe lies a medium sized star, and one of its satellites, a green and insignificant planet, is now dead.”

In truth however a few of the Apes and humans had survived the nuclear holocaust. During the war some of the mutants had retreated underground to a special bomb shelter that had been built in the late 31st century to withstand another full scale invasion like the Dalek invasion. The shelter could hold potentially hundreds of thousands of people.  It was more like a mini city.

The Apes were able to make their way into the shelter by threatening to murder the mutants they had prisoner. Once they were inside the shelter Apes shut the door behind them and started to slaughter the mutants. Before they could finish the job however the bomb went off.

The Apes quickly realised that in order to survive they would have to work with their human enemies.

The two species would be forced to live in the shelter for many years, waiting for the radiation levels to drop, before they were able to venture onto the surface. There was enough food supplies in the shelter for the meagre numbers of Apes and Mutants.

The two races would scour the radioactive wastelands for years searching for other survivors and food. They would eventually discover, deep underground, the ruins of another 20th century relic. UNIT HQ.

UNIT HQ had sunk under the earth during the Mekon’s first invasion of earth.  Most of the alien technology had been destroyed, but some of it had persevered under the earth, buried under tons of rubble. The explosion from the bomb had cleared away the rubble however and destroyed most of the ruins of UNIT HQ. However the most precious alien technology that had been preserved in the black archive by a shelter had survived and would be found and salvaged by the Apes and Mutants.

The humans of the 21st century had not used the technology as it had been very unpredictable in tests, though of course the Apes and the Mutants no longer cared as their planet was already dead.

Many of their attempts to master the technology would end in utter disaster. One group of Apes and mutant humans believed that the earth could not be saved, and so they used time travel technology and travelled back to the 20th century to try and take over early man (with the technology allowing them to still exist despite killing their ancestors.)

The Apes and the Mutants would create a gigantic mechanical version of Godzilla, dubbed Mechagodzilla to conquer the earth in the 20th century. (See 20th century section for the full details.) Another time travelling group of Apes meanwhile would whilst trying to travel backwards in time project themselves back further in time and to a distant planet Zandor where they settled. These Apes would also splice their DNA with that of aliens (taken from samples in UNIT HQ.) Among the aliens DNA they experimented with included Time Lord DNA, which would allow these Apes the power to regenerate. These Apes would come to be known as Calarons.

Back in the 44th century meanwhile the two races working together were eventually able, using the salvaged UNIT tech, to terrorform the earth into a habitable planet again. Over the course of the next several hundred years the humans and the Apes working together would create a highly advanced and prosperous world. The humans would also genetically alter their bodies fix their mutations. They had realized that their mental powers had led to great mental imbalances. By the 47th century humanity and its new neighbours were ready to branch out into the stars again and it would initially come into contact with its old ally, the Furon empire.

The Furons by this stage were locked in a war with the Galactic Federation that had risen up since the fall of earth. Among the powers of the Galactic Federation were the Ice Warriors.

The Furons helped both humanity and the Apes, claiming that they cared about the human race and wanted to help them due to the fact that modern man was descended from the Furons. They supplied them with advanced technology and promised them they could make mankind a galactic power again. Humanity wanted nothing more than to be a major force in the universe again and so they quickly fell under the influence of the Furons.

Naturally the Furons favoured humanity over the Apes which would lead to the Apes being seen as second class citizens on earth. There were fewer Apes on earth than humans, and despite how well both species had worked together to rebuild their shattered planet, there were still lingering resentments from both species towards one another. Many Apes still followed the Law Givers teachings which said that all of humanity was evil, and cited the fact that it was a weapon created by man that had almost burned the earth to nothing as further proof of his teachings. Thus the humans were only too happy to turn on their simian neighbours at the Furons urging.

The Furons in reality however didn’t really care about humanity. They simply wanted as many disposable foot soldiers to use in their war against the Federation as possible.

Many humans and Apes were killed fighting in the Furons cause. Fortunately however several Apes and humans on earth saw the Furons for what they really and formed resistance groups against the current earth government that was under the thumb of the Furons. These resistance groups were able to provide the Federation with inside information about the Furons, and the Federation in turn would supply them with enough aid that they were able to overthrow the earth government. The Furons response was brutal however and they very nearly destroyed the earth again. Fortunately however the Federation were able to beat the  Furons back and destroyed their new empire. The Ice Warriors themselves would strike the final blow against the Furons as revenge for the destruction of ancient Mars.

The new earth government would become a part of the galactic Federation after the destruction of the Furon empire. For the next several thousand years humanity now established as part of a major galactic power would largely enjoy a peaceful existence, though technologically speaking it was never able to match the golden age of the 30th-39th centuries. In the 50th century, time travel experiments would end in disaster and very nearly led to another World War. One of the worst criminals of this period, Magnus Creel would travel back to the 19th century in a disastrous attempt to finish his experiments. (See the 19th century for full details.)

There would also be a few more skirmishes and wars with races such as the Daleks and the Cybermen too. In the 53rd century, mankind along with the rest of the Federation would be drawn into a war with Galaxy 5.

By the 60th century the Daleks had reached a level where they matched the Time Lords. Both races, mindful that a full blown war could lead to their destruction would engage in a cold war with one another for many more thousands of years to come afterwards.

This cold war would end in the 96th century when the Daleks and Davros would create their ultimate weapon capable of erasing all universes from existence. The weapon was destroyed by the 13th Doctor who was sadly killed in the process (as was Davros.)

The 13th and final Doctor would later be buried on Gallifrey where he was celebrated as their greatest hero.

The Daleks power was greatly crippled thanks to the 13 Doctors final actions, and they would never be able to match the Time Lords again. Slowly over the next several thousand years, their empire would begin to crumble once again.

At the start of the 97th century mankind and the Apes, having long since left the Federation would be forced to abandon their home planet, earth, when it was bombarded by solar flares from the sun.

The earth was rendered uninhabitable, and one group of humans placed themselves into cryogenic suspension on a gigantic ship known as the Nerva Beacon until they could return home whilst the rest along with the Apes would colonise various other worlds and even build up a small empire.

Some humans and Apes were left behind on the earth. Whilst most of them died, a few did survive as nomads for a few centuries afterwards.

In the year 10000 Philip J Fry, Bender, and Professor Farnsworth arrive in Farnsworth’s forwards only time machine where they visit the ruins of earth’s civilisation. They stumble upon a reconstruction of the Statue of Liberty, as well as a replica the Apes built of an Ape after earth was terroformed and other statues built by alien races who came to live on the earth in the eons humanity was a part of the Galactic Federation. These statues were created together as a sign of unity of all the races living together on earth.

Realizing that they would never be able to get home unless they travel to a point where the backwards time machine was invented, Bender, Fry and the Professor travelled forwards in time.

Ironically whilst this was going on, the Doctor arrived on the Nerva Beacon as it approached earth. Unfortunately however the Beacon was under attack by a hideous race of parasites known as the Wirren who wanted to wipe out humanity. The Doctor and his companions, Sarah and Harry however destroyed the Wirren before travelling ahead to earth. There they discovered the Sontaran Styre had kidnapped several humans who he brutally tortured in some cases to death, in order to find out humanity’s weaknesses.

At this stage the Sontarans and the Rutans were still waging a war against one another and the Sontarans believe that earth could be of strategic value. The Doctor however would manage to destroy Styre and all of his experiments preventing a full scale Sontaran invasion of earth.

The humans on the Beacon would successfully recolonise the earth and restore it to its former glory for several centuries afterwards. Most of the Apes who left the earth however would remain on outer colonies, believing the planet to be beyond saving once again.

By the year 105 105 earth would be ravaged by a third ice age. Fry, Bender and the Professor briefly arrived in this period only to leave when they saw it was not advanced enough to have created a backwards time machine.

Ironically however once again, not long after they left the Doctor in his Second incarnation arrived with his companions, Jamie and Victoria. The three of them help to defeat a group of Ice Warriors buried under the ice for thousands of years, who are awoken by a group of human explorers.

Eventually the Ice Age would come to an end, but human civilisation would fall once more and enter into a second dark ages where magic is the dominant force on earth.

Fry, Bender and the Professor briefly visit this period before once again quickly departing.

Image result for Princess Bean

Princess Bean, an inhabitant of Dreamland, a major kingdom of the second dark ages, (also known as the time of magic.)

By the year 351 120, earth is covered completely in water and gigantic blood thirsty monstrous shrimps prey on the humans who now live in an underwater city.

This time period is visited by Philip J Fry, the Professor and Bender who are nearly devoured by one of the oceans giant super predators before departing once more.

By the year 1 million the oceans have dried up and mankind has been able to establish a highly advanced society once again. Unfortunately however one of the creatures created to serve mankind, a monster created from the DNA of past creatures to exist on the earth (including various alien life forms, and even that of a Giraffe) is able to enslave large sections of humanity.

Fry, Bender and the Professor briefly visit this time, witnessing the Giraffe like creature persecuting its human slaves before being forced to travel forwards in time once again.

Not long after they leave the First Doctor, Ian, Barbara and Susan arrive and are able to overthrow the monster, saving humanity once again.

Humanity continues to flourish on the earth and on other planets across the universe for millions of more years to come.

The Dwarfers

Related image

3 million years into the future, the humans fleeing from the Dalek Invasion in the 22nd century are awoken from their several million year slumber. Having drifted millions of light years away from earth, these humans incorrectly believe that they are the last humans left alive in the universe.

These humans build an empire that will last for a couple of hundred years. During that time they will construct various robots to serve them including Mechanoids and Simulants as well as various genetically engineered life forms.

Unfortunately however both the Simulants and the GELFS would eventually overthrow their human masters and virtually wipe them out. They would also go on to exterminate most other life forms in that part of the galaxy too.

Not long after the fall of this earth empire, the spaceship Red Dwarf drifted into this area of space. Its single surviving crew member, Dave Lister had also been in stasis for 3 million years. Meanwhile during that time on board Red Dwarf, Listers pregnant pet cat that had survived in the cargo hold’s descendants had evolved into a race of sentient cat people. The Cat people however almost wiped themselves out in religious wars before fleeing Red Dwarf. They left behind the old and the sick to die, and eventually only male specimen remained on Red Dwarf.

When Lister was awoken from his stasis by the ships computer Holly, his former bunkmate, Arnold Rimmer would be revived as a hologram to keep him company.

The two would later encounter the last male Cat, who Lister would simply dub The Cat. None of the crew particularly liked each other, but they still often spent all of their time together to avoid going insane out of loneliness.

For the first year or so the Dwarfers would simply drift through space aimlessly. Lister incorrectly believed that all life in the universe had become extinct in the millions of years they had been drifting through space.

Rimmer however felt that there had to be intelligent life out there, though he was often a little too eager to assume anything slightly peculiar was the work of aliens.

After a year or so drifting through space, the Dwarfers would encounter a lost Mechanoid named Kryten. Kryten’s ship the Nova 5 had crashed in an accident during the Simulant wars, killing all of the crew except for Kryten. Having been programmed to serve the crew members no matter what, Kryten continued to serve them long after death.

When the Dwarfers found Kryten they would take him back to Red Dwarf. There Rimmer attempted to take advantage of Kryten’s docile nature and make him his servant, but Lister convinced Kryten to break his programming.

Kryten would then explore the galaxy using Listers space bike, but unfortunately he crashed into an asteroid which smashed him to pieces. Lister was able to repair Kryten but his factory settings were restored, meaning Lister would have to help him try and break his programming again.

The four Dwarfers would have many encounters with Simulants, Gelfs and other remnants of the human empire that had fallen before their arrival.

5 years into their travels however after an encounter with a particularly nasty GELF called a dispair squid, Red Dwarf would be stolen from its crew by Krtyen’s nanobots.

The Dwarfers travelling in a scout ship called Star Bug would be forced to chase Red Dwarf across the galaxy. During their adventures the crew would have more encounters with the GELFS and Simulants. Not all of these were hostile however. One GELF named Legion would successfully construct a hard light drive which allowed Arnold Rimmer to actually have a physical body. Added to that the body created by the Hard Light drive was virtually indestructable too.

The Dwarfers most dangerous encounter however would be with their own future selves. In the original timeline the Dwarfers discovered a time machine, built by the human colonists in the far future. Later after meeting up with one of the few advanced alien civilisations left in this area of the galaxy, the Dwarfers were able to acquire a faster than light drive.

The foursome would use the combination of the two machines to travel all across N-Space. Lister would save Kristine Kochanski, the woman he loved. Kochanski was on board the Red Dwarf when the accident struck the ship, and she would go on to travel with the Dwarfers throughout all of time and space too, eventually marrying Lister.

Sadly however unlike the Doctor, access to time travel would corrupt all of the Dwarfers. They became arrogant, selfish and were not above associating with some of the absolute worst figures throughout history if it suited them.

These versions of the Dwarfers had actually met their earlier selves years earlier, when Lister, the Cat and Rimmer had found a way to travel backwards in time on Red Dwarf thanks to a stasis leak. They met Lister not long after he had married Kochanski.

At some point on their travels however Lister and Kochanski would be caught in an accident where Kochanski was killed, whilst Lister was reduced to a brain in a jar. Further troubles would strike the Dwarfers when their time machine was damaged and they were hurled back to their original time and place, 3 million years in the future.

The future Dwarfers approached their earlier selves and asked for their help. The future Dwarfers needed to study and analyse their earlier selves, still working time machine in order to duplicate its time drive for theirs.

However after meeting their future selves, the past Dwarfers became disgusted with them. They dismissed their future counterparts as amoral, free loading scum and forced them out at gun point.

The future Dwarfers did not give up however. They couldn’t bare the thought of going back to their old lives of being trapped in deep space and actually attacked their earlier selves. They told them that it would be better to cease to exist by killing their old selves than live like rats, trapped together in deep space forever.

In the battle, the future Dwarfers whose ship was more advanced were able to slaughter their earlier selves, but just before his death the past version of Arnold Rimmer was able to destroy the time drive which erased the future versions of the Dwarfers.

Time was then restored to a few days to just before the present Dwarfers discovered the original time machine. In addition to this however the two time lines crossing over and being erased had caused elements of the future timeline to seep into the current one. As a result the current Star Bug was far larger and more advanced than it originally was. Also the time machine was merged with its counterpart from the future too, which meant that it could travel through time and space.

The Dwarfers would use this machine to try and visit the 20th century, but sadly they arrived in 1963 which led to changes in the time line that they were able to fix, though only after much calamity (see 20th century section.)

The Dwarfers would later be visited by an alternate reality version of Arnold Rimmer known as Ace Rimmer.

Ace Rimmer was a brave, dashing, noble hero beloved and respected by almost all those he came into contact with. The N-Space version of Rimmer meanwhile was a miserable, uptight, petty, self serving coward who was detested by the other Dwarfers.

Though his relationship with them had improved over the years, and he had shown some bravery against his future selves, Rimmer was still the source of most of the Dwarfers problems both directly and indirectly.

Rimmer hated Ace who had visited their crew many years before they lost Red Dwarf, considering him to be the version who had all the luck and breaks that he never did. Ironically the only reason Ace had made something of himself was because he had been held back a year in school which caused him to buckle down, whilst the N-Space Rimmer had spent the rest of his life making excuses for his awful behaviour and constant failures.

Ace however quickly revealed to Rimmer that he wasn’t the same Ace he had met years earlier. The original Ace had at some point been killed in action, but before his death he ensured his legacy would never die. He trained another alternate version of Rimmer to be just like him, and he eventually took over as the new Ace. He then went on to train another, who went on to train another and so on. The current Ace told his N-Space counterpart that there have been literally thousands of Ace Rimmers and that it is the destiny of all versions of Rimmer to eventually become Ace Rimmer. This Ace also told his N-Space counterpart that he was dying and wanted the N-Space Rimmer to succeed him.

Lister was somewhat skeptical that the self serving coward he had known for years could change, but ultimately helped the N-Space Rimmer realize that it was his destiny to become Ace and after the current Ace died, he left to become the new Ace Rimmer.

Ace’s machine could travel in time and space (as well as across universes) and the N-Space version of Rimmer would go on many adventures. He would struggle at first, but in time he became a great hero just like his forebears.

Eventually however Ace Rimmers time machine would become damaged and he would end up stuck in the 50th century. There he would meet the 8th Doctor (who was travelling with Avon at that point.) The 8th Doctor took Ace Rimmer on as a companion and the three of them would go on many more adventures throughout time and space together saving many worlds and even stopping the Anti God in the late 20th century (see previous section.)

Eventually however after many years Rimmer would leave the Doctor and settle in humanity’s far future during the great robot wars where he would help the human race defeat the robots. After this the 13th Doctor would then recruit him as a member of the Time’s Champions and he would work with them throughout their entire tenure before resuming his journey’s through time and space and the multiverse for many more years before passing on the mantle of Ace Rimmer once again. Ironically though the original Ace considered the N-Space Rimmer to be the most worthless version of him he had ever encountered in the entire Multiverse (and at that point he most likely was.) The N-Space Rimmer went on to be the greatest version of Ace there had ever been.

The 3 remaining Dwarfers would later pick up an alternate universe version of Kristine Kochanski as their new crew member. Lister discovered that this version of Kochanski was in fact his own mother and that he was his own father. Lister had been abandoned in a box under a pool table when he was just a boy. He never had any inclination of who his real parents were, except for some writing on the box “Ouroboros”.

Lister would later learn however that he had impregnated the alternate Kochanski and then travelled backwards in time and abandoned his infant self under the pool table, with ouroboros representing an ancient symbol a snake eating itself. Lister came to believe that this meant that the human race could never truly go extinct as Lister was effectively trapped in a time loop with his earlier self.

Sadly however Kochanski was left trapped in N-Space away from her version of Dave Lister who she loved dearly. It would take Kochanski a long while to warm to this version of Lister who she regarded initially as a disgusting bum.

Kochanski would go on many more adventures with the Dwarfers of N-Space, battling their old enemies, the GELFS and the Simulants, but it would be an encounter with the lethal, intelligent virus known as the Epideme that would change the lives of the Dwarfers forever.

The Epideme infected Dave Lister and though Kochanski was able to destroy the malignant virus once and for all, sadly she had to sacrifice Listers arm in the process. Kryten believed that if they could find his old nanobots then they could build Lister a new arm.

Kryten eventually discovered much to his surprise that both the Nanos and Red Dwarf were on board Starbug. The Nanos after stealing Red Dwarf shrunk it and fled through the universe until eventually they decided to hide inside Listers laundry basket!

Kryten however managed to capture them and forced the Nanos to not only give them back Red Dwarf, but build Lister a new arm.

The Nanos feeling guilty agreed to both terms, but unfortunately they ended up overcompensating. They not only restored Red Dwarf to its original size, but they also revived the Red Dwarf crew (including a new version of Rimmer.)

Unfortunately these new crew members had no memories of the accident or any knowledge of anything that had happened to the ship since. They initially arrested Lister, and Kochanski for piloting a Star Bug unauthorized and the Cat and Kryten as stowaways. Lister in an attempt to escape foolishly asked the nano version of Rimmer for help who predictably betrayed them for his own ends. However Rimmer’s attempts to help them ended up getting the crew in more hot water as Rimmer attempted to use the Captain’s personal records to blackmail them to get to the top.

Ultimately for stealing the crews private and confidential information, Rimmer, Lister, Kochanski, the Cat and Kryten were all sentenced to a year in prison on board Red Dwarf.

During their year in prison the Dwarfers would be sent on various suicide missions into deep space which they inexplicably managed to survive. At the end of their year in prison however, Red Dwarf was attacked by a microbe which slowly ate away at the ship. The crew all fled, leaving Rimmer, Lister, Kochanski, the Cat and Kryten behind (as there weren’t enough escape pods.)

Using an interdimensional machine Rimmer would travel to an alternate universe to try and find a cure, but when he returned he saw that he had been away longer than he hoped. The microbe had spread to the point where Red Dwarf was about to explode, whilst Kochanski, Lister, The Cat and Kryten had fled to another universe. Unfortunately the interdimensional machine had burnt out in the process leaving Rimmer trapped.

As all hope seemed lost for Rimmer he would be saved by the Doctor, Avon and his old hologramatic self, Ace Rimmer. The three of them landed on Red Dwarf by chance, and the Doctor was able to devise a cure for the microbe, saving the ship from destruction.

The Doctor would then repair the interdimensional machine and use it to travel to the universe the other Dwarfers had escaped too (which was a different universe to the one Rimmer had earlier visited.)

After saving the others from the perils of this universe, when they returned to N-Space they found Red Dwarf under attack from Simulants. The Simulants had encountered the resurrected nano crew of Red Dwarf when they fled the ship. Horrified to see that more humans had survived after the destruction of their empire, the Simulants slaughtered the entire nano crew, but they discovered after torturing several of them, that some humans had been left on board Red Dwarf.

The Simulants attempted to destroy Red Dwarf, but the Doctor was able to destroy the Simulant fleet. In the process however the Nano Rimmer was killed. The Doctor however would manage to download the deceased nano Rimmer’s consciousness into a spare Hologram disc effectively allowing him to live again. The 8th Doctor also upgraded the disc with a hard light drive allowing the new Hologram version of the nano Rimmer to have a body too. The Doctor however forgot to clean the memory drive of this new hologram disc which meant that the nano Rimmer now had all of the original hologram Rimmer’s memories too (as well as his own.)

This new hologram version of the nano Rimmer would stay with the Dwarfers whilst Ace Rimmer would continue on his travels with the Doctor and Avon.

Lister, Rimmer, Kochanski, Kryten and the Cat would continue to go on more adventures together, but as time went on Lister became depressed and self destructive eventually forcing her to leave. Lister however would believe that Kochanski had died and would only discover the truth many years later, which Kryten had withheld from him.

The four Dwarfers would have many more encounters with GELFS, Simulants, and Expanoids. They would also encounter God himself. At this stage in his life, God referred to himself as the Universe. He also believed that he had only created one race worthy of being considered intelligent, the Time Lords, in his entire existence (though the Dwarfers believed that he was talking about humanity.)

The Dwarfers it is believed never made their way home, but they still nevertheless went on to live long lives, with Lister dying well into his 170s. Sadly however it also not known at the current time of writing if he ever met up with Kochanski.

The Final Years of The Earth

By the year 5 million, mankind had split off into two sub races, one highly intelligent, and the other violent and degenerate (who are disparagingly referred to as the Dumblocks.)

Fry, the Professor and Bender visit the more advanced civilisation in the year 5 million and ask them to build a backwards time machine to help them get home. They agree, but unfortunately when Fry, the Professor and Bender arrive 5 years later, they discover that the Dumblocks have overthrown and destroyed the advanced city.

In the year 10 million mankind has returned to his original form, but they are locked in a brutal war with robots. Bender, Fry and the Professor arrive in this period only to leave against Benders protests when they see how hostile it is.

In the year 50 million humanity is once again a thriving civilisation, though men are rare and prized in this world. Fry, Bender and the Professor arrive in this time and discover that they have invented a backwards time machine. Unfortunately Bender, still angry at being made to leave the time that was a paradise for him when the robots were killing people, spitefully forces their time machine to travel forward again.

The time machine next travels to the year 1 billion. By this stage all life on earth is extinct. The last of humanity has fled the earth in a spaceship for Refuses 2 alongside another alien race known as the Monoids. The journey takes several hundred years, during which time the Monoids overthrow humanity and plan to exterminate them. Fortunately however the first Doctor foils this plan, and the last of humanity, and the Monoids are able to live together in peace on Refuses 2.

Back on earth meanwhile, which drifts ever closer to the sun, the Professor, Fry and Bender realize that there is no way for them to get home. No life will ever exist on earth again, and as their ship cannot travel through space they are stranded. As Fry wanders the waste lands he discovers a message left by Leela that managed to survive a billion years telling Fry that she was at her happiest with him.

Related image

Content with his lot in life, Fry tells the Professor that he is happy to journey to the end of the universe with him and Bender and the three move forward again.

Several billion years later, Refuses 2 dies just like the earth, but humanity perseveres and tries to find a new world. Yarox, the Doctors companion, and Leela and Fry’s son in law comes from this period.

Eventually humanity is able to find refuge from one of its oldest enemies, the Master. The final incarnation of the Master in an attempt to build his perfect enemy arrives near the end of the universe to discover who will be the most resourceful species.

He builds a machine, bigger on the inside than the outside which can protect the last survivors of the universe from its death, but only if they agree to serve him. The Master intends to turn the last survivors of this universe into his army who can conquer the next universe for him, and then survive its destruction and conquer the next and so on, and so on for all eternity.

The Thirteenth Doctor however is finally able to destroy the Master and allow the last of humanity, and other final races to live in the Masters machine which allows them to exist in peace for the rest of N-Space’s history.

At some point after this the Mesrak’s evolve in the last area of the universe capable of supporting life. The Mesrak’s explore what little of the universe they can and find no other life forms (the Masters machine is hidden from them, and beyond their reach.)

The Mesrak’s come to the conclusion that they are the last life forms left in the universe. They later discover time travel and venture back through the history of the universe and catalogue its entire history (as well as the history of other universes too.) They later send out the capsules containing the histories of these universes to various other realities (including ours) where they become the basis of classic sci fi adventure series, novels, books and films.

Eventually however even the Mesrak’s planet falls and all life in the universe dies as the N-Space crumbles away into nothing. The only survivors are Philip J Fry, Bender and the Professor who are preserved in their time machine. They witness the final atom in N-Space decay into nothing signalling the final death of N-Space.

Just then N-Space starts up again. The Professor incorrectly believes that it is a new universe, but it is in fact the same reality, simply repeating itself.

Fry, Bender and the Professor travel forward in time throughout N-Space again, but they go too far and arrive in the year 1000 again. The three time travellers then venture forward to the end of this version of N-Space before travelling to the correct point.

Their time travelling creates three time duplicates who take their place before they left in this version of N-Space. The time duplicates are killed when they land on top of them and are later buried by Bender.

Bender, Fry and the Professor witness the death and rebirth of N-Space.

Fry is then able to reunite with Leela and the two continue their life together as always.

Image result for fry and leela

True love. Fry waited over several trillion years to reunite with Leela.

In the next and final section we will be taking a look at the history of the alternate universe to N-Space, such as M-Space and see how their histories are similar, but different in key ways to N-Space’s.