DIY Sheep versus Doctor Who and everybody else


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‘Zagreus sits inside your head and eats you when you’re sleeping’: The Time Lord Boogey Man


This totally puts a different spin on the bad head gear/huge collared Time Lords. They want you to think that they are all a bunch of stuffy badly dressed effete intellectuals who sit around all day contemplating higher mathematics, but this little rhyme shows they are as fallible as the rest of us mere aliens.


Every culture has myths and fairy tales. And Zagreus shows that the Time Lords are no different (everyone remember the whole ‘above, between below’ thing with Rassilon’s tower – now that one was kinky). So they came up with this little ditty about Zagreus to scare their little ‘time tots’ or ‘loomlings’ (depending on which particular canon shoots your balls).


I love the idea of Zagreus as this boogey man Time Lord monster who hangs around until you nod off and then gobbles you up. I get this wonderful image of a little Doctor sitting cross legged on his bed, (I am thinking Paul McGann complete with frock coat, but sucking his thumb) wide eyed as his giant mechanical badger slash nanny scares him witless with this rhyme just before bedtime… ‘so little Theta if you don’t stop doing genetic experiments on the dog - and if you don’t leave Cousin Ergain’s goldfish alone -  Zagreus will come along and suck your brains out with a straw.’


Okay, perhaps the whole straw thing is my addition, but you must admit Zagreus just smacks of the monster under the bed.


How one can actually turn into a fictional fairytale character is a question that does puzzle me. But the idea isn’t actually that far fetched. There was that terrible Tim Allen movie where he mutates into Santa Claus – and that was meant to be a comedy. So I am going to take the Doctor’s rather strange resurrection with a grain of ‘suspension of disbelief’ and not worry about it too much. As later audios have shown it doesn’t seem to have done him any harm. In fact I think over at BF they all trying to pretend the whole thing never happened.  


Can we stuff any more fan wank into this story?


I have this horrible admission to make. I LOVE FAN WANK. Yes, yes, yes! In jokes, references to the Leisure Hive, self reverential humour that no one on earth could possibly get unless they have been to the 1987 Mondas Convention makes me Doctor Who horny in a very sick and pathetic way (and I wasn’t even born until 1988, but that doesn’t stop me). I would even marry Paul Cornell and have his little fan wank babies except for the fact that he wrote Scream of the Shalka and I just cannot forgive him for that just yet.


So why am I a fan wank wanky? Simply because it is funny. I adore taking the mickey out of Doctor Who and quite frankly fan wank is generally very amusing. And Zagreus is stuffed full of it. I was grinning from ear to ear as Sylvester McCoy and Colin Baker went head to head about the respective horribleness of their TV costumes and who had the most ignominious death. [And all I have to say about that is ‘Colin – you could have come back for the regeneration sequence eh. But no, you didn’t. You made Sylvester roll around the floor in a bad wig didn’t you. So there is no point in getting all narky about it now is there?’]


And then of course anyone who had anything to do with Doctor Who, down to that bloke who visited the set in 1984 to fix the dodgy toilet, was offered a job in the story and every character is voiced by someone incredibly famous to Doctor Who history. Although personally I couldn’t tell half of them from a bar of soap it is spesh isn’t it. I can just imagine all those luvvies getting together:


‘Owwww. I haven’t seen her since the Five Doctors. She’s getting on a bit init she? Wonder what’s she up to?’


(conspiratorial whisper): ‘Panto.’


(sigh): ‘Aren’t we all luv…. Aren’t we all.’


Some of the funniest are Bonnie Langford who plays a particularly nasty fairy (Tinkerbell’s revenge) and Sophie Aldred, who gets to play a…there is no good way to say this and I hope that her casting was not a comment on her acting ability or her career prospects… a dodo (Captain Dodo to be exact).


What if your car talked back?


I know what mine would be saying at the moment: Get the bloody brakes fixed you daft twonker or we are going to go right through the next intersection (edited to add – I did get the brakes fixed and everything’s tickety boo and rest assured – I am in no danger of a hideous and sudden demise).


And this brings me to ‘the old girl’:


Well that was a bit of a misnomer wasn’t it? Unless there is something about Nicholas Courtney I don’t know, the TARDIS is a boy. And quite a cranky one at that. This has to be one of the cleverest ideas to come out of Zagreus: Apologies, but I am listening to Cole Porter…. It’s delightful, it’s delicious, it’s a delovely idea to make the TARDIS a character and give it a voice. She, he, it is the Doctor’s oldest friend and quite frankly I think it is time that it got to speak its mind. Perhaps it was having a nice nap and didn’t particularly want to be nicked from Gallifrey and be made to gallivant around the universe willy nilly, getting into all sorts of trouble


I have always enjoyed the gradual evolution of the TARDIS from a mere machine to a sentient being of some sort. It is like something we never speak of. No one has ever come right out and stated exactly what a TARDIS is, but throughout the series, the audios and the books the idea just kept getting built on until we had Compassion actually evolving into a TARDIS and the idea that TARDISes mate. Although just how a police telephone box has sex is a question I do not want contemplate.


And then – in this story – we have the Doc’s TARDIS taking the guise of the Brig and wandering around complaining that he is not all that chuffed that the Doctor wrapped him around an exploding time ship and how come he wasn’t consulted about it first because that sort of thing just was not included in his contract. What is next: TARDIS unions?


Paul McGann – spooky man!


This isn’t meant to be mean, but Paul McGann really does a good crazy man. It is good that he is short and sweet in real life because he can do insane crazy weirdo lunging at you guy a bit too well. And in Zagreus he spends quite a lot of time lunging insanely around the TARDIS chatting to… sigh – how do I put this without giving too much away:


DOCTOR: Ship? Ship? It has to be here. The answers have to be in a library.

MYSTERY VOICE: Murgle burgle offle waffle.

DOCTOR: Hello? I can barely hear you. Split personality, getting angry. Accent becoming more pronounced. Why can't I see you?

MYSTERY VOICE: Oggle waffle dressserg. metallic teeth begin to grind.

DOCTOR: Who's there? Why don't I know who you are? Tell me or the frustration might make me overact a bit.

MYSTERY VOICE: Muffle gurgle traggle bruffff.. seek a truth they never find.

DOCTOR: I can just about hear you old man. Your voice seems familiar. Do I know you?

MYSTERY VOICE: I cross the void beyond the mind.

DOCTOR: I am in a bit of a state. I am going to have to take a deap breath and finish the entire line with it. I might have been watching that Anthony Hopkins' master class tape again. I think I might be losing my mind. Am I going mad?

MYSTERY VOICE: Find the light that glows so darkly in the night. Haruuun haruuuun haeruuuun.

DOCTOR: Stop it please. The noise is hurting me. But then again I do look gorgeous when I am in pain – or so my fans say.

MYSTERY VOICE: Within, outside, behind.

DOCTOR: That is no better. I may have to sayeverywordreallyreallyfastuntilIeventuallyhaveabreakthroughandlaughhappily .

MYSTERY VOICE: Who knows you say, but are you right?

DOCTOR: But who are you?

MYSTERY VOICE: I am the Doctor!

DOCTOR: I think it is only fair to point out that you are in fact confusing me and I am a sex symbol.

MYSTERY VOICE: Eternal wisdom is my guide.

DOCTOR: Perhaps I am mad. I am hearing strange disembodied voices talking nonsense.

MYSTERY VOICE: Empty space that circles time. Haruuun haruuun haruuuun.


And personally I thought it was rather tasteless


Just what are Colin, Peter and Sylvester doing in this audio?


Allow me to elucidate:


* There is a very bad dude who melts the Doc’s TARDIS (the non Nicholas Courtney bit of it) down into molten slag.


* This understandably sends the Doc a little mad and he starts to think he is a nursery rhyme character. Then, as you do, he makes a big nasty pointy sword out of his melted down TARDIS.


* However, as this is an anniversary special Big Finish gets all the living Doctor Who actors they can either blackmail or kidnap – Sylvester, Colin and Peter – who gang up and basically tell Paul’s Eighth Doc to stop fannying about with all this sword business and get on with some proper Doctorish type stuff…. because even though he may think he is the Time Lord boogey man he is actually the Doctor and the Doctor ‘never, ever GIVES UP’.


Well I thought it was sweet. Sometimes you just have to be reminded of who you are.