DOCTOR WHO AND AN UNRULY CHILD
Beyond the door it was a bleak and rocky plain, not a McDonald's in sight.
Rimmed by distant mountains one could hike forever across the snow capped
peaks and never reach a ski resort. A broad sluggish river ran through the
centre of the plain. The river was clear and completely free of beer
cans and motorboats. In fact the river was fringed by an impenetrable
forest. Someone from London may have recognised the forest was covered
in an obscure type of plant named "trees", but probably not. There
were caves in the foothills of the mountains, well mountains as far
as England is concerned, and it was here that the Commune made their home.
Best of all my cut 'n paste feature was working and I was getting paid by
The plain was scoured by winds which made a constant, low moaning sound,
sort of like the audience of Kenny G concert. It was a grim and forbidding
scene, which is in every way identical to a Kenny G concert.
The Doctor sniffed something triumphantly and said, "I've got no more
time to argue with you, loser boy. Susan, I'm going off to get wasted."
He strode out into the plain as drunkenly and woozily as if it was the
junk yard in Tossers Lane, and vanished behind the TARDIS.
"Be careful, grandfather! Always know your dealer!" called Susan.
"Let's stay inside and look at Susan," said Barbara. Susan turned red
with embarrassment and ran outside. Barbara quickly stepped outside to
Ian moved toward the door and winced. "Ouch!"
Susan came back in to see him. "What is it, Mr Chesterton?"
"Oh nothing, I just thought that if I screamed in pain and faked a head
injury you might rush up to comfort me."
"Come on, lean on me." Offered Susan.
Ian put his hand on her shoulder, and walked stiffly through the door.
It closed behind him.
Coarse sand crunched beneath his feet, and he shivered against Susan's
body in the wind. The air was cold, but Ian felt rather warm and he liked
the effects the arctic gusts were having on Susan. The air was also
incredibly clear, and in the distance, the forest, river, and mountains
stood out in the distance in sharp-edged detail. Ian could have easily
seen them had he just bothered to glance up.
"Having fun?" Barbara asked mischieviously.
Ian nodded his head in vast agreement. "There must be some rational
explanation for all this - there MUST be!"
In his heart, Ian knew that only one explanation was possible. Everything
the Doctor, that old weirdo, had told him was the truth. With those first
steps outside the TARDIS Ian began to blame everything he saw on the LSD
coffee he'd enjoyed that day.
The Doctor popped into sight from behind the TARDIS, looking distinctly
peeved. "You're still clutching onto my nude granddaughter?! Why hasn't she
changed?" Shaking his head the Doctor marched off, disappearing behind
a strangely out of place Volkswagen Beetle. Ian gazing after him in
The Doctor walked on for some way, as he forgot that Volkswagens were
actual vehicles, brooding over the erratic malfunctioning of the TARDIS.
Recollecting who he was and what he was doing, he came to a sudden halt
and started to hum Pink Floyd tunes as he found he was in a kind of
sheltered enclosure between two great rocks. Deciding that this spot
would be a good hide out, the Doctor fished out his long plastic pipe,
a small leather bound notebook, a mirror, and a razor blade.
Picking up a rock he began smoking it with great care.
Soon he was quite absorbed in his hobby - and quite unaware of the
savage, skin-clad figure, watching him from behind the wall of rocks
like some deranged sociopath at a Frank Zappa concert.
The Doctor's companions meanwhile didn't give a toss for the old coot.
It was rather stupid and short sighted of them to let the only person
who could possibly pilot the TARDIS out of their sight for even a moment
but then the Doctor doesn't always associate with the brightest of
individuals. Whilst preparing to play a rousing game of beach blanket
bingo with Ian and Susan, Barbara came across the skull of some large
animal half-buried in the sand, and she and Susan began digging it free
with their hands. "What do you think it could be, Ian?"
Ian helped them to clear the sand from around the skull. "I don't know.
No horns or antlers. Could be a horse or a deer - could be anything.
I think The Doctor would like to study this, perhaps make a bong out
of it." Ian looked back at the TARDIS, standing blue and square and
incongruous, but undeniably THERE in the sandy plain. A second hand
obsolete time vessel piloted by a weirdo and a naked time lady. "Incredible.
A police box in the middle of nowhere, that can travel ANYWHERE in
time and space! It just doesn't make sense!"
Barbara snapped "For god's sake Ian! Stop reusing material from previous
chapters!! It's so annoying! It's a time machine shaped like a police box.
Get over it!"
Susan glanced back at the TARDIS. "Ohh my! Trapped in the form of a
POLICE BOX! How crypto-fascist! This is totally representative of the
current state of affairs of the official oppression of the masses and
the watchful eye of big brother amongst the youth and working classes!
Ian looked shocked at her, "What's wrong?"
"It's suppose to change shape." She said matter-of-factly. "I don't know
why it hasn't done it this time."
"It's suppose to WHAT?!"
"Change it's shape! This isn't so hard to follow you know!? It's a
Broken shape shifting time machine. It's been a mini, a food van,
a bag of soggy crisps, and a Roman Emperor, just to name a few. It
should be a boulder or probably something a bit strange and out of
place like...well that Volkswagen over there would be a good example."
"You mean the ship disguises itself wherever it goes?" said Barbara.
"Well, it's suppose to, but the little chameleon circuit doohicky in
time must be faultier than your grading system, Miss Wright." Susan
stood up. "I wonder if this skull really will help grandfather...Where's
he off to? I hate it when he wanders off. Last time he wandered off
he spent three weeks insisting he was a little oriental woman named Xiong."
She turned slowly in a circle, shading her eyes with her hand as her
school teachers looked up and gasped at the momentous view. "Grandfather!"
she called. "Where are you, Grandfather?"
There was no reply.
Barbara looked over at Ian. "You're very quiet."
"Humbled is the word. I wish I would have remembered to bring the popcorn
along from the car..." Ian said distantly. "I wish I understood what's
going on, but I like it anyway."
"I don't understand it any more than you do," said Barbara. "The inside
of the ship, suddenly finding Susan naked...finding ourselves here...
not to mention most the things Dr Foreman says."
"That's not his name. Who is he? Doctor who? Perhaps if we could
find out who he is, we'd have a clue to all this. And what about
Fuzzy? Does he seem like sock royalty to you? I always figured
the royal socks would be checkered or plaid."
"You may have a point, but it's happened, Ian. We've just got to
accept it. Now sit back and oggle Susan some more."
"It's almost impossible to accept. I mean, I can see we're here, I
can see all of Susan..yet this is like some psychedelic dream on the
mystery machine." Ian shrugged helplessly.
Susan said, "I can't see him!! I can't see grandfather anywhere."
"He can't be far away, judging by the way he was staggering and see sawing
around. He probably just passed out drunk in the sand." said Barbara trying
to be reassuring.
"I feel strange, just now...as if we're being watched." Susan muttered.
"Well YOU'RE being watched that's for sure!" Chuckled Ian.
Susan raised her voice. "Grandfather? Where are you? Don't make me count
to 100 again! This game you like to play can be so childish!"
The Doctor sat cross legged on the ground surrounded by a litter of his
possessions, examining a moss-covered peeble with absorbed attention
as he chuckled and laughed wildly. Fishing in his pocket he produced
a tiny little portable television set with built in VCR. Finding a
tape labelled "Important BBC Junked Material" the Doctor absent mindedly
tossed it in the machine and began to record some of his favorite soaps
From his hiding place in the rocks, Kevin watched the activities of
the weirdo with fascination. He leaned forward curiously as the creature
produced little black rectangles and circular canisters and threw
them on a fire to warm himself. The weirdo fumbled with one of the
objects - and Kevin saw a MIRACLE! Again! He knew that he really had
to cut down on the mushrooms.
Grasping his stone-headed axe, he rose and padded silently towards his prey.
"Grandfather!" called Susan again. "Biological Grandfather!"
From somewhere in the distance there came a cry of pain, a yell of
triumph, and then lots of silly cartoon noises like a 16 Ton weight
being dropped on a coyote's head from three miles up and then a weird
accordion sound as he walked away.
"It came from over that way," said Ian. "Come on!" They ran toward the
odd sounds of "Zoink!", "Ka-Pow!", and "Ker-Splat!".
It didn't take long for them to find the rocky enclosure. In fact if
any of them had gotten up and actually looked for the Doctor as soon as
they noticed him missing they could have easily found this place and
avoided the entire ordeal. It somehow didn't help that they seemed to
have the combined intelligence of a seedless grape. The Doctor's old
sock puppet lay on the ground. Beside it, was his special pipe, and
his notebook. Of the Doctor himself there was no sign.
"Grandfather!" Screamed Susan predictably. "What's happened?"
"Don't Panic, Susan." said Ian sharply. It was the first useful or
sensible thing anyone had said all day.
Susan began scrambling up the side of the nearest boulder. It so happens
that in Susan's culture the phrase 'Don't Panic, Susan' roughly translates
as 'And Now you see we are those who are doomed to die, so lots of needless
screaming and climbing up boulders is just the thing, of course twisting
your ankle isn't a bad idea either.' It was for this reason that Susan
continued to panic. "I must find him! Maybe I can see him from up here!"
"Look, Ian." whispered Barbara. She pointed at the sock puppet laying
at their feet. Ian of course was too busy already looking at a nude
Susan trying to climb a giant rock. Barbara had to tug at his shirt and
slap him several times before he looked down and saw the sock puppet.
Ian picked it up and examined it. "Well, at least he's not wearing this
"Maybe he saw something interesting," suggest Barbara uneasily. "Perhaps
he just rushed off to investigate."
Ian lifted the sock to Barbara's face. "Dropping this?? No the Doctor
wouldn't leave King Fuzzy behind."
"What do you think happened, then?"
"Well, I suppose he could have gotten into a fight with Fuzzy, got excited
and just ran off." said Ian slowly. "On the other hand...maybe he put
another sock puppet on and Fuzzy got jealous. Maybe someone saw him playing
with sock puppets and took him away. The yell we heard didn't sound like one
of excitement..but then, he IS a weirdo."
Susan jumped down from her rock, Ian nearly fainted. "I can't see anything.
There's not a sign of him anywhere." She looked at Ian and Barbara wondering
why their eyes were bugging out and their jaws were open. "Something's
happened to him, I know it has. We've got to find him."
Her tone was close to hysteria, and Barbara said. "Calm down, Susan, it
won't help to panic. Why not just lay down awhile with Ian and me?"
Susan wasn't listening. She stooped down and picked up the notebook.
"He left his notes!"
"He seems to have left quite a few things lying about," said Ian "Sock,
pipe, note book, mirror, razor blade..."
"He may have just laid them all down and gone off somewhere," suggested
Barbara, more to console Susan and try to get her to consent to going back
to more fun and games than because she believed it herself.
Susan shook her head vigorously, again Ian and Barbara froze. "No, no, no!
Grandfather would have never left his notebook, it's vital to him. It's
got the key codes to some of the martial aides aboard the ship, notes about
the places we've been kicked out of, all his rejected letters to Penthouse.
He simply wouldn't go off and leave it. Please, we must go and look for
him. Something's happened, I know it has."
"We'll find him," said Barbara soothingly. "He won't be far away. He
couldn't walk more than three feet in a straight line judging by some of
the stuff he left behind."
"What did you see on the other side of the rocks, Susan?" asked Ian.
"Just a line of trees. I think it was the beginning of a forest. There
was a sort of gap between them, it looked like a path. I'm not sure if
I want to follow it though. There could be lions, and tigers, and bears."
"Oh my. Well, if there's danger, I'm SURE that's where he is. We'll
try there first." Ian shoved the Doctor's possessions in his pockets.
This stuff would be EXCELLENT black mail material. This was their ticket
back home for sure. Ian straightened up, and led the way around the boulder.
Inside the deluxe cave, six bedroom, three bath, with optional pantry,
Hur watched anxiously as Dave laboured vainly with getting the TV to
do anything at all. Beside him the burly, grey-bearded figure of Tim,
Hur's father, watched Dave's efforts with a sceptical eye. "Kevin says
that in the land he comes from, he was a chief, and often got the telly
to tune in lots of illegal scrambled channels."
"Kevin is a lying plonker!"
"Kevin says that he drove far from his own lands in an Austin, and he
has forgotten how to turn on the television. He says that soon, Radio
Times Subscription Salesman, the man in cheap tie, will remind him how
it is done, and he will give television to all of us."
"All of Kevin's tribe were out of work Mimes with no talent and no brains!"
said Dave furiously. "If he had not found us, he would have died of boredom
from their act too!"
"What else did Kevin say? Does Kevin have a free night this week?" asked
"He says that the man in cheap tie will only tell the secret of the
television to the leader."
"I am leader," grunted Dave. "The man in cheap tie will tell me."
He stared moodily at the blank black screen. "I am the son of the chief,
the great programmer. Even though he did not show me how to turn on
the boob tube, how to change it's many channels, I shall discover the
secret for myself." Dave smote himself on the chest with one huge fist.
"Kevin came here, I didn't mess with the guy, I let him forget the entire
mime business, and now he's being a real bastard and taking advantage of
the whole deal!" Dave's voice rose to an angry roar. "Must I spill blood
to make the people bow to me? 'Cause hey, you know I'll do it."
Excited shouts came from outside the cave. "It's Kevin! Kevin's coming!"
"Kevin brings us kill and coca-cola!"
(Ever since Coca-Cola invested in the first human time travel experiment the
Cola Wars had gotten bloody and timeless. Entire worlds were altered and
changed to rain Coke, or Pepsi, or other popular fizzy drinks since the moment
of their creation. The infamously popular 22nd Century soft drink "SKUG"
once destroyed an entire civilization just to corner the market in ancient
Egypt. The command phrase "Drink SKUG!" was as popular in ancient Egypt as
was the Book of The Dead. Indeed in many 21st century archaeological
findings it was discovered that the jury of gods in the Egyptian afterlife
asked, amongst other questions, what the best Cola in the Cosmos was. If
they did not answer "SKUG" they would be fed to a pack of hungry wolf hounds.
This is why it is ironic that a late 21st century archaeologist founded SKUG
Cola Corp. with the foreknowledge that his company would ultimately be
successful and take over ancient egypt. You can read more stories like this
in "The Book Of Extremely Dubious Business Practices - YOU Could Be Assured
A Pre-Destined Fortune!")
Dave snatched up his giant deformed clay vase he made for his mother when
he was eight and ran from the cave, Tim and Hur close behind him.
Outside they saw Kevin, surrounded by a crowd of excited and loony Commune
members. He bore some strange weirdo across his shoulders and, as they
watched, he juggled him expertly much to the old weirdo's dismay. Juggling
the old weirdo like a master performer he finally flung him up into the
air and held his arms out wide on either side of his body so it would
not be possible to catch him. The Commune laughed with merriment as the
old weirdo fell down on a flat-topped rock outside the cave. Kevin took a bow.
Curiously the Commune gathered around, jabbering with laughter and
Dave shoved his way through the crowd and looked down at the unconscious
figure on the stone. "This is a strange weirdo. Why do you bring it
here Kevin? Is it good to eat? Are we to throw fruit at it and mock
it and make it dance like the crazed buffalo we give our special herbs to
for a laugh late on Saturday nights?"
Kevin glared challengingly at him, his face alight with triumph "Is Dave,
son the great programmer, afraid of an old weirdo?"
"No, Dave fears nothing! NO FEAR! Fear? HA! I don't even know the
MEANING of the WORD "Fear"." said Dave as he posed as macho as he could
whilst hiding behind a rock and prodding the old man's body with a pointed
"When will Dave get that TV to work? I mean we're going to miss the whole
season if you don't hurry up."
"When the man in cheap tie decides it."
Kevin laughed. "The Radio Times Subscription Salesman is for strong men!
Men who can make the man in cheap tie obey their will." He pointed
dramatically at the weirdo on the rock. "The man in cheap tie has sent
this creature as a sign of his favour. This old one in silly clothes
can make telly come out of his fingers and into any small box he touches."
There was an awe stricken murmur from the Commune.
"I have seen it!" shouted Kevin. "He is full of telly inside! I saw
him watching Holly Oaks and Days Of Our Lives. His is a magical creature!
Smoke comes from his mouth!"
"As lies come out of yours," sneered Dave. He leaned forward and poked
the body with his finger. "It is only an old man, wearing stupid clothes."
The Doctor groaned suddenly, and Dave leaped back.
Kevin was quick to seize the advantage. "Dave is scared shitless of the
creature! Kevin was not afraid! A strange blue tree came, over the hills
and far away, and the creature was in it. Dave would have run like a rabbit
who was late for an appointment if he'd have seen it, but I am a good voyeur
so I watched and followed!"
With an angry roar Dave leaped for Kevin.
Kevin dodged aside the leapt upon the rock doing an elaborate tap dance
as he said, "Hear me!"
"Let him speak!" shouted Tim, and Dave drew back.
And so Kevin began to sing -
"I saw this weirdo creature make telly come out of the air,
So good he didn't even notice a strange young lady with no underwear.
I remembered that the commune needed a set to tune and switch,
So I picked up a rock, and decided to knock, out the son of bitch!
You will all die of boredom with no telly if you wait for Dave,
So, I, Kevin, should be your true leader and Dave should be a slave!
And if you make me your chief today the fall season will blow you away,
And remember that as your leader, I'll never strrraaaaaaayyyyyyyyyy!"
There was a roar of approval.
"Why do you listen to Kevin's lies?" shouted Dave.
Tim said, "Dave has many good skins. Perhaps he has forgotten what the
cold is like! Perhaps he likes the cold! Perhaps he is like an American
tourist always wanting extra ice in his coca-cola!"
"Tomorrow I will kill many bears for the commune." Shouted Dave. "You shall
all have warm skins. Then I shall go the the coca-cola company and trade
for many lakes of coca-cola for the people to drink!"
"I think tomorrow you will still be here, rubbing your hands on rubber
buttons and holding them against the screen and asking the man in cheap tie
to send you telly - and the bears will stay warm in their own skins!"
There was a shout of mocking laughter.
"What I say I will do, I will do! No bear will ever again steal a picnic
basket from our Commune!" said Dave.
"Hear me!" Screamed Kevin again. "I say that the great programmer is dead!
I knew the telly repairman, I was friends with the telly repairman, and YOU,
Dave, are no telly repairman! All you can do is stare at your reflection
in the screen. Not even a test pattern! But, I, Kevin, will make the
telly work - and I shall be leader!"
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