Wherever I Am, I'm There
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Greater London
Doctor Who in 30 seconds
Now that my son has seen most of the Dalek episodes he thinks that he can make up his own 'Dr Who' story. I have to agree with him that it is fairly easy to do. There are a number of clichés that appear.
There is a comedy show that condenses the ‘Star Wars’ story called ‘Star Wars in 30 minutes’, this is my condensed ‘Dr Who’ adventure:
Someone will be surprised at how big the TARDIS is inside, or someone (usually not a policeman) will accidentally enter the TARDIS thinking that it’s a police box. The Doctor will give an unconvincing explanation of why it’s bigger inside.
At least one actor from 'East Enders' must have a small part, if not be the Doctor’s companion. A British comedian or comic actor will have a small role seriously overacted.
The Doctor meets or mentions meeting an important historical personage, or else the Doctor’s companion takes the place of that person, always at a critical juncture in history.
If the Doctor visits Gallifrey, he will gather together all the Time Lord artefacts that he has ever seen before, but he will also still need some vital new piece of equipment never before shown. The Daleks, Sontarans, or other villains will be trying to get hold of a Time Lord artefact to allow them to control Time. This piece of equipment is often distinctive for being named after a body part of its creator.
The greatest Time Lords were all deranged. It is very easy for a great Time Lord to escape from an anti-matter prison. Gallifreyan guards are always completely ineffectual due to ineptitude or inattentiveness, and unable to organise even a simple revolt against the Lord President. Most of these guards deserve to die, and you won’t be disappointed. This means that the Universe is full of renegade Time Lords bent of universal domination.
A Government Science Research centre or a Naval Base will be under siege by hostile aliens. If the budget is limited, then a lighthouse can replace the research station, and the aliens can be replaced by green beach balls, but for some reason it is always by the sea.
The Doctor and his companions will always be treated with extreme suspicion until the second episode of the story, when the other characters will finally begin to believe that they're not responsible for the unexplained deaths; not enemy spies; or not working with the hostile aliens, but just some innocent time travellers who unfortunately got lost, and blundered into a war zone.
The TARDIS will not function correctly. Either it cannot be steered, or it will cause a severe camera shake. If “reversing the polarity of the neutron flow” cannot solve the engineering problem, then the solution to the technical problem will come either from K-9, the use of the Sonic Screwdriver, or something else turned out of the Doctor's pockets. Usually an extensive rewiring of the TARDIS is necessary, but this is never completed. At a crucial point K-9’s batteries will need to be re-charged.
Although Time Lords can recognise each other, no matter how many regenerations have occurred since they last met; and humans also seem to easily understand the Doctor's change of appearance; the Daleks are unable to comprehend his transformation.
One exception to this rule is the Master. The Master always appears in a brilliant disguise, although the actor must look very similar despite his regeneration. His name will be an anagram, or a word game based on “The Master”, or on the name of the actor. The Master will be able to achieve things the Doctor has tried and failed for hundreds of years within a couple of minutes.
The Doctor will appear to betray his friends, or the Time Lords, but it is really only a trick. If the Doctor’s companion acts strangely then they are hypnotised, or else they have their mind controlled by the hostile aliens.
Keep your mind free of evil thoughts, otherwise alien mind parasites will feed upon them. Cybermen and other hostile aliens are fond of using mind control and will spare no opportunity to use it. However, you can regain the use of your mind by an electronic jamming signal.
All British Government politicians, civil servants and diplomats are corrupt, stupid or incompetent. They are incredibly easy to trick by sneaky aliens out to conquer the world. Cybermen will always be able to find some weak minded individual. They will then offer them wealth or power in exchange for sabotage, intelligence gathering, and as a front to disguise the fact the Cybermen are present. This individual will always be betrayed in the end. If emotions can be reintroduced into the minds of Cybermen they will become overwhelmed and go insane.
There will either be a Temporal Paradox, or a mention of a planet stuck inside a Time Loop! Sometimes it’s the Doctor himself in the Time Loop, Time Corridor, and parallel universe, E-Space or other similar threat to the whole fabric of Time itself.
While on Skaro, the Doctor will lose a Time key or some vital piece of the TARDIS that prevents him from leaving.
The space ship will always crash land on Earth, or the other planet or the asteroid that obviously looks like a model! The model will be scheduled for an explosion near the end of the final episode.
The descendants of the crew of an ancient space ship, known solely through legends, have degenerated into superstitious primitivism ruled either by a brutal, self-serving elite, or a super-computer. The larger the malfunctioning computer, which runs the entire world, the more crazy and more of megalomaniac it, will be. Blood sacrifices are commonplace on alien planets with low-tech cultures. All hi-tech worlds face a desolate future, usually as a result of some Nuclear Holocaust or other Weapons of Mass Destruction.
Giant crabs, giant spiders, giant wasps, and other giant insects and bugs are even more common in the galaxy than are post-holocaust mutants.
Mutants always wear pieces of dirty, oily cloth wrapped around them in strips, they never steal or make proper clothes, but they do have modern weapons. Natives always wear furs and skins, even when they live in a desert with no wildlife. They insist on using bows and arrows although skilled in the use of modern weapons. Time Lords and people from the future only eat pills for nourishment, unless they are trying to make a good impression.
Beware of alien infested treacherous swamps, or Welsh slate quarries! These are the natural habitat of mutants, giant insects, bugs, maggots and slugs.
Their other natural habitat is the tunnel. There will be lots of running about in underground tunnels -- especially any sewers, railways, and gas drilling pipes or the Chislehurst Caves! If the budget is limited fake caves can be even be achieved using blue screen filming. Even if monster slowly shambles along in the tunnel, the monster is always right behind the victim when they encounter an obstacle. Mind that you don’t put you foot into anything that looks like a giant clam.
If the tunnels are actually a maze, it will be beneficial to solve the puzzle because an artefact or solution to all the problems lies at the end.
The Doctor’s shapely female companions wear skimpy costumes most unsuitable for running in the tunnels. Unless they have accidentally arrived in the Victorian or Edwardian period on Earth, when by a sheer coincidence they will be wearing a suitable period costume.
Beware of alien crystals of any kind! (Especially leave energy absorbing crystals well alone, and if they are blue as well – you’ve been warned!)
Beware of futuristic fun-fair attractions, clowns or circuses.
Beware of any scientists working in isolated houses! (Especially if they have deformed assistants, or secret locked rooms, or if they have disembodied live brains living in tanks.) Any scientists involved in experiments into Time Travel will die horrible deaths. That’s their fault for letting the experiment get out of control. Everyone in the universe looks human and speaks with a British accent, apart from evil or misguided scientists who always have a foreign accent, usually Germanic.
All alien civilisations have no more than a dozen individuals in total.
All ancient myths and legends concerning magic have a scientific explanation built upon prehistoric alien visitations, or on the effects of temporal disruptions.
Beware wise mystics that chant incantations or dance around in circles! These wise mystics will always have oriental-sounding names, as also do evil Galactic rulers.
Beware the aliens in the big green rubber costumes! (They are always evil.) Unless they are particularly hideous and grotesque, in which case they are only misunderstood noble and gentle creatures.
Beware the beautiful, kindly and benevolent aliens in gold! (They are really the evil big green rubber aliens in disguise!)
Beware of Robots! (Especially Androids, they are even more evil than aliens in big green rubber costumes.)
Most of all, beware the alien glove and sock puppets! (They are just too evil for words to describe!)
Reptilian aliens who ruled the planet before Man evolved come out of hibernation and want to reclaim their Earth. (They can be spotted by either have red light bulbs in their foreheads, or wearing string vests, and they use a pantomime horse as a secret weapon.) However, when Man hibernates in the future to escape a natural or man-made catastrophe, absolutely nothing evolves to take our place while we oversleep.
UNIT or other British soldiers will continue to attack the aliens with primitive weapons that obviously have little or no effect. Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart appears; sometimes more than once at the same time, sometimes he’s promoted to a Colonel or retired.
Meanwhile the Doctor’s companion is dying of a rare disease, radiation poisoning, or has been captured and is scheduled for extermination.
Leela will try to kill someone, and she will always want to blow the planet up!
If you shoot an arrow or throw a dagger at a Sontaran's probic vent, you will never ever miss.
Lifting the lid of a Dalek is an incredibly difficult procedure, yet a Dalek will never attack you while you try.
If hit by a Dalek death ray you must overact, shout "Aaaargh!” and throw yourself to the ground while waving your hands, before you are properly exterminated.
All alien plants are carnivorous; leave mysterious seedpods where you find them. (Beware any plants with flowers, as they are the most dangerous of all.)
Viruses can completely wipe out whole civilisations, or threaten the whole Galaxy, but a cure can probably be found by a single genius working in a small laboratory, with the help of the Doctor.
The Doctor will find the conveniently positioned chemical storage facility and release the gases or chemicals. Either these combine to make an enormous explosion, or else they are harmless to humanoids, but lethal to those humanoids dressed up in the big green rubber alien costumes.
The Doctor will exchange shapely female companions near the end of the story. If K-9 leaves there is always MkII in the box.
Especially in any 'Dalek' episode, a huge bomb will be involved in some way. This bomb will generally be constructed using slave labour, often with a countdown. It may be intended to destroy a planet, a domed city or sometimes just a large house, to change the future, or to wipe out an entire race. If not stopped, this bomb will generally explode in the final minutes of the story, but it will have an opposite effect to that intended.
And Davros and the Master will always escape at the end of the story.