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Richard E Can't is a wanker

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Serial REG – I Scream "Boom-Shaka-Laka"!
Fifteenth Entry in the EC Unauthorized Program Guide O' Whitnail & Who


REG - I Scream "Boom-Shaka-Laka"! -

Part One

The planet Earth, in the year 2003. After countless eons of being attacked, invaded, probed and fondled by alien invaders, the peoples of Earth have finally decided to go on the offensive. Failing that, they plan to just plain offend. Now, an alien meteorite plunges through the sky and smashes into a quarry floor. Demonstrating the increased scope of this new adventure, the two inbred yokels watching this are from New Zealand. Tired of sheep but afraid of lice, the duo hurry over to this alien and prepare to abduct it, strip it naked, give it an anal probe and then release it back into the galactic community where its claims of what happened will lead to it being ridiculed forever. The disgustingly phallic alien lets out a discharge that stops the two fush'n'chup lovin' cousins frozen in mid-step. As their prey begins to sing Oasis hits at them, they scream in horror...

With its usual impeccable timing, the TARDIS pops into existence on a street corner, three weeks later, on the other side of the planet – making the previous tense five minutes seem like a total irrelevance and, frankly a waste of decent film and screen time. In fact, this little plot twist lead to countless viewers saying, in no uncertain terms, "Bugger THIS for a game of soldiers," and switching off. Sadly, had these sad, lonely people (the fans) simply acted like Joe Public and refused to move their bloated thumbs and change channel, and thus watched the rest of the story and learned that there actually was an albeit-tenuous link to this opening scene. Now, that's irony for you.

Back to the action. Out of the blue box of Rassilon staggers an alternative version of the latest incarnation of Doctor Who - pissed out of his head on anti-freeze and furious his Dracula outfit is no longer the height of fashion on the planet Luxury-Yacht 433. Shouting incoherently into the TARDIS that he's off to get wasted, the Time Lord totters towards the pub. Inside, he demands the finest wines known to humanity as he is a massive film director who is going to buy the whole town and convert it into a Starbucks if he's ignored. Sighing, he does admit he has no idea just exactly WHERE he is, but his money is just as good as anyone's - i.e.: non-existent, so just put it on a tab, bitch. The barmaid, Alison Chaney, refuses to give him any booze unless he tells her how he managed to get past the mysterious alien barrier that surrounds this sleepy town. The Doctor retorts that he did it 'with difficulty' but that there are far more interesting things to worry about like, say, getting him a drink already. Besides, he points out, if they're isolated from the rest of the outside world, they won't get any new beer supplies so they must empty the cellar before it gets sour. The winos side with the Doctor and so Alison is forced to watch as a bunch of dole-wasters and a pissed-off vampire-lookalike punish their evil livers and suck all the alcohol from the establishment simultaneously. Once the last barrel is dry, the Doctor tries to stand upright and asks her what her problem is - if he can get one pub to accept foiled alien invasions in lieu of payment, he might be able to walk the streets of Mutter's Spiral without fear of rampaging alien bartenders.

Alison explains that, three weeks ago, a meteor crashed, creating a weird barrier around the town and all the animals ran away. Just as she explains that any loud noise will attract their alien overlords and earn terrible revenge, the Doctor realizes there is no Fleetwood Mac on the jukebox and promptly announces the whole human race can go **** itself. He staggers out and decides to try and creep into the TARDIS from the wrong direction, but gets lost. After passing out on a pile of rubbish, he learns it is, in fact, a homeless lady with a bottle of methylated spirits. Normally, the Doctor would just mug her, but the old bitch wants to tell him her life story. Shoving her out of her cardboard box, the Doctor takes the bottle and begins to nod and say, "Lay it on me, baby" as she drones on an on about how aliens have ruined her life. She goes on to say she actually won the lottery and was about to collect it when the aliens attacked and she is, ironically, the richest woman in the western hemisphere. But, before the Doctor can torture the winning numbers out of her alcohol-ridden brain, an alien worm sings 'The Eagle Rock' and the bag lady melts into a puddle. Blind with shocked fury, the Doctor screams at the sky...

Alison vomits on a police box while a heavy-breathing shadowy figure sings 'Pretty Woman' in the background. Proving just how useless the local council is, a few drops of stomach acid eat through the pavement and the TARDIS plunges into the frothing lava below. Returning to her flat, Alison finds her boyfriend lying on the couch in a pile of his own effluence, pizza and beer cans. She tells him she almost managed to get a revolt going against their inhuman captors, which is a damn-sight better than what he's doing. Her boyfriend, Joe, retorts that if a man can't pull some cones and pass out in front of the telly in his own body waste, they might as well have let the monsters WIN! Alison correctly deduces he is talking crap and rolls him off the sofa and starts using him as a footstool. Just then, the Doctor bursts in - he hasn't got where he is today without being a proficient stalker, you know! - and demands to know if anyone knows the winning numbers of the lottery. Alison tells him they were 0, 0, 0, 0 and that the Doctor can now piss off. The Doctor thanks her and leaves, before re-entering the flat moments later announcing that those were LAST WEEK'S numbers and he suspects the barmaid is trying to hide something.

Alison refuses to reveal the true numbers until he listens to her tale of woe and alien torture, so the Doctor rolls his eyes, pulls up her boyfriend and begins to mime "The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad" in French. Meanwhile, Alison explains that, after isolating the village the aliens have been ruthlessly killing anyone having a happy sex-life. The surviving humans are mad with sexual frustration — it's a terrible choice, isn't it? The Doctor concedes that there is a genuine problem that he, morally, cannot stand by and let happen. However, he is VERY comfortable... Alison decides to end it all and fakes an orgasm. Joe is downcast as she sounds a lot happier than when they’re making out – but why would she fake them so badly in bed? This theological debate uses up all his brain-cells and he just dribbles for the next five episodes. Meanwhile, two phallic worms burst out of the floor and lunge at the Doctor, squealing "Under The Milky Way"!

Part Two

The Doctor screams like a girl at the monsters, which gives them pause for thought. Thus, the Time Lord releases a 10-ton weight he carries around for these sorts of emergencies and squashes the worms flat. When two more monsters appear, the Doctor’s quick-thinking saves himself and the humans. As a handy Bengal tiger eats the new monsters, the Doctor sets up a fertilizer bomb to blow the flat to smithereens. As the Doctor, Alison and Joe bask in the roaring glow, the locals arrive, wondering if continued sexual frustration finally leads to spontaneous human combustion. Realizing he’s just wiped out a good chunk of prime real estate and probably annoyed some hideous monsters, the Doctor runs for the TARDIS. Finding it missing, he decides he'll probably have to actually get off his arse and save the Earth once more. Ringing the WANK Helpline, the Doctor gets some rather disgusting wrong numbers before finally being put in touch with Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart.

Below the city, a bunch of the hideous Freudian creatures gather around the police box. Sharing an unspoken telepathetic bond, the aliens conspire to ring the TARDIS's doorbell and then run away. However, after the 7893rd time, the alien leader – Prima Donna Kebab – decides to push the envelope and then enters the TARDIS. Inside, the Bastard is waiting for it, desperate for a bit of company and, simultaneously, blind with fury after eight thousand practical jokes. Deciding to kill two birds with one stone, he seduces the alien worm and then kicks the living **** out of it, his oblique Martian curses bleeped out until it sounds like a truck backing up.

UNIT arrive and promptly begin to loot all the stores they can and begin shooting civilians and blaming the sudden prevalence of bullet holes on delayed shock from the aliens' attack. The Brigadier meets up with the Doctor and proudly relates they have 678 casualties to blame on the aliens - a full 678 casualties MORE than is officially needed for authorization to blow the **** out of passing extra-terrestrials. The Doctor is, frankly, dismissive of the Brigadier and only wants to get his TARDIS back so he can avoid the hideous sex-fest that will occur as the repressed villagers leave the invasion area. The Brigadier doesn't believe it for a moment, but promises he'll video-tape the whole thing if the Doctor helps them. The Doctor suggests they search the massive alien spacecraft sitting in the middle of an impact crater that used to be Luton. The Brigadier sets all his men onto it, commenting that there have been so many invasions of Earth, he only really notices space-wrecks by their ABSENCE nowadays. The Doctor vows that, if he gets the chance, he'll shove the whole wreck down Lethbridge-Stewart's throat and choke him to death with it. The Brigadier replies that it is just these little displays of charm that make the Time Lord so darn endearing.

Alison has managed to use her natural accoutrements to secure safe passage out of Lannet. In fact, she's so good at this sort of bribery, she's managed to get her boyfriend, Joe, out as well - under the guise of her hand luggage. However, the heavy-breathing shadowy figure who has been... well, shadowing her... refuses to let her leave. Crooning "Girls Just Want To Have Fun", it breaks into the truck, melts the soldier-cum-driver-cum-sad-git-in-the-red-T-shirt, captures Alison and carries her off into the night as only B-grade horror-flick monsters can. Joe is stunned that an alien monster hasn't found him at all attractive and sits in the wreckage, wondering if he should perhaps brush his teeth more than once every five years? Meanwhile, Alison is now in the underground cavern when Prima Donna Kebab begins to unpack a Sonytron-Automatic-Karioke Machine...

Part Three

The Doctor, Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, RSM Benton and a bunch of anonymous, useless troopers whose job description on a good day is 'cannon fodder', head down into the cave tunnels linking the crashed space-ship to the caverns below the isolated town. The team soon discovers a hidden stockade of weapons of mass destruction and decide not to get involved, leaving them where they are. Suddenly, a hideous blobby monster appears and begins to shuffle down the tunnel towards the intruders. The Doctor does not panic, but simply runs and hides, telling the Brigadier to just charge the monster and show no fear. As the Time Lord sits back and lights a cigarette, the soldiers follow the Doctor's dubious advice and charge, screaming, at the monster. It bursts into an up-tempo rendition of "Bittersweet Symphony" and the soldiers are reduced to tears. Determined to escape this fate, the Doctor dives inside the monster's gut. The UNIT men scream like little wussy babies and run away as the monster heads back down the tunnel, more Verve songs being muffled by the Time Lord in its gullet. As the gaunt character boasts later, "It felt SO good..."

The Bastard hears the phone in the TARDIS ring but, assuming it to be the alien monsters outside trying to get a laugh, refuses to answer. The Doctor's pathetic reel-to-reel answer machine whirrs into life, the usual message about nobody being in and "speak after the tone" muffled by the sounds of what appear to be half-a-dozen schoolgirls giggling, prompting the Doctor to regularly hiss, "For God’s sake, Serena! We've got all night - no, no, don't touch that..." As the Bastard says, he really should change the message as most of the phone calls they get are of the heavy breathing variety. This time, however, it is the Doctor, suggesting the Bastard get off his lily-white backside and set up something called "the BBC Sound Studio"...

The Doctor jumps out of the monster's mouth to find himself in an underground cavern full of slathering monsters and lava – like the last episode of "Buffy". And "The Time Machine". And "The Lord of the Rings". And "A View To Kill"... The Prima Donna Kebab introduces herself as the leader of an invasion force of the Boom-Shaka-Laka Federation, which boasts two thousand drones. The Doctor notes that one thousand, nine hundred and ninety-six of them are clearly in the next room, and asks the aliens what the hell they think they're doing under Lannet. Prima Donna Kebab replies that the Boom-Shaka-Laka are ancient creatures who achieved their evolutionary peak during the 1980s. Despite the constant nostalgia evenings, the universe has moved on and the monsters are tragically unfashionable with their mullets, white leisure suits, Goth make-up, Kraftwork T-shirts and love of all things Kyle Minogue. The Doctor suggests they just all commit suicide in the local black hole that oddly enough hangs at one end of the chamber, waiting for a cliffhanger.

Prima Donna Kebab suggests instead the Doctor hand over the secrets of the TARDIS to let them transfer the whole universe into 1983. The Doctor laughs uncontrollably and says he couldn't as he is "spaced". The Boom-Shaka-Laka lead in Alison and threaten to sing "Come On Baby, Light My Fire" at her if the Doctor does not submit. Terrified, the Doctor unlocks the TARDIS doors, drop-kicks the Bastard (who acts as the bouncer to the police box) and hands over a handy pamphlet called "How To Manipulate The Pattern Of History For Fun And Profit". He is then thrown out of the ship while two, slightly more geeky, Boom-Shaka-Laka study it. The Doctor rounds on Alison for not sacrificing herself for him – SHE was the one they wanted to kill, after all. The Doctor is filled with anguish at her blunt reply – two words, second one "off!" – and remarks that his tongue is like a greying yellow sock. As he whines that a trip to the countryside should have helped his regeneration but even in Lancashire he looks like he's on death's door, the Doctor slips on a banana peel and plunges into the black hole...
Part Four

As he plunges towards certain death, the Doctor decides to go out with a bang and begins to back prank call after prank call, moving through his phone book, until he finds a phone number for Big Finish. Dialing it, the Doctor gets a loud message that he and everything he stands for is non-canonical and thus, nothing that has happened has, is or will ever happen. Saying this sort of thing above a singularity (with the total authority of someone who got annoyed at twisted continuity in "The Lethal Assassin") has weird effects. Logic, sense and lateral plot development go out of the window and the last episode is completely ret-conned out of existence.

The Doctor finds himself in the TARDIS with the Bastard, but Alison at the mercy of the Boom-Shaka-Laka. The Doctor denies all accusations and decides to visit his friend, Danny. Meanwhile, Benton and the lads are trying to haul Joe out of the car wreck, the lardy git totally unable to understand why aliens don't find him irresistible. Suddenly, Joe's self-esteem, what there is of it, is boosted as Alison is carried out of a volcano by a Boom-Shaka-Laka, complaining that the black girl has no "rhythm". Joe immediately begins to sing every Bob Dylan song he can and the alien collapses onto the ground, writhing in agony. The Doctor arrives, pisses himself laughing at the sight of the tortured monster, and begins to empty helium balloons into the air. As The Time Lord realizes that his only chance of a date has buggered off to London, he tries to ring her and begs her to return to Lannet for some ebony-and-ivory action. Unfortunately, with supremely-advanced phone technology comes great responsibility and, as the Doctor has been fresh out of that for the last 513 years, it comes as no surprise he has unintentionally declared his love to the entire population of Lannet and thus, the rest of the credited cast members. As they rush back to the beleaguered town, each expecting a charming, romantic, candle-lit dinner for two, Alison finds herself beginning to mouth Yothu Yindi-style chants. She decides to ring the Doctor to tell him of this phenomenon, but can't bring herself to dial. She must have SOME standards left, after all. But her triumph is short-lived: to Joe's undisguised horror, his girlfriend is turning into a karioke machine before his very eyes...

The gathered crowds of frustrated villagers are gathered near the pub, annoyed that they have been unintentionally stood up by a randy Gallifreyan as Alison turns into a fancy jukebox. Now possessed by forces beyond the comprehension of simple mortals like you or I or the writer, they begin to sing, sing, SING! The TARDIS arrives for the Doctor's date as "Come Up And See Me, Make Me Smile" fills the air. In another one of those little coincidences, the entire UNIT force happens to be hiding in the TARDIS and begin to fire warning shots – over the kneecaps of the crowd. The Doctor deduces the source of the music as the sexy-looking karioke machine and plugs in some headphones. Thus saving the day, the Doctor is boasting how clever he is when the recorder solo from "California Dreaming" jolts through his head and he collapses... only to recover moments later, having provided half a second of dramatic tension.

After a frustratingly-missing scene, Alison is back to normal and the Doctor has worked out the Boom-Shaka-Laka's entire fricken' master plan. The aliens have performed completely similar and predictable invasions all over the planet – the same redneck towns and hillbilly inhabitants looking identical. (Damn it, they ARE identical! Haven't the producers heard of EXTRAS????) However, all of these are about to chant out the lyrics to "Baggy Trousers" by Madness, plunging the Earth back into the depths of the 1980s FOREVER! With the Boom-Shaka-Lakas back in fashion, nothing on Earth will be able to stop them. Just as the Brigadier and Alison can react to this news, the crowds begin to sing along the music intro to "Baggy Trousers", which segues nicely into a cliffhanger, if not the end music.

Part Five

With now under an episode to stop the Earth from being rewound to a point where break-dancing aliens can conquer all, the Doctor decides that he and the Bastard should retire to Milliways, the Restaurant At The End of the Universe. The Doctor plans to go there and get wrecked, then eat a pork pie and drop a couple of soamser fifties, then he'll just reset the randomizer. Although this means they'll miss out next Monday, they will, however, come up smiling the Tuesday before. When Alison politely points out that it might be more constructive to save the Earth from a fate worse than death, the Doctor tells the Brigadier to just bomb all the innocent people into the Stone Age – it's what they do every other time, aliens or not, isn't it? Alison protests that this is most inhumane thing she has ever heard. "INHUMANE?!" the Doctor roars, "How DARE you call me 'inhumane'! ...Inhuman, perhaps. Inhumane, never! Right – I'm going to save the Human Race! The Shaka-Laka-****ers will rue the day!" he proclaims, brandishing his sonic screwdriver.

The Doctor grabs Alison and they enter the TARDIS, and travel down to the underground cavern where the Prima Donna Kebab sits alone, watching the Discovery channel, believing it to be caterpillar pornography. The Doctor emerges from the police box with Alison by his side – the Bastard remaining in the TARDIS because, evil though he may be, STUPID he is not. When the Doctor strides up to beat the crap out of the overgrown pubic louse, he sees the damage that the Boom-Shaka-Laka are doing – their renditions of "Frosty the Snowman" ala the Jackson Five are blowing jet fighters out of the sky. With the conquest of Earth assured, and the fact twenty-five minutes are up, the Prima Donna Kebab prepares to execute the Doctor and Alison, thus providing a cliffhanger with which to end this episode.

Part Six

The reprise to episode six is so pathetic it defies belief, as does the new Doctor's approach to dealing with hideous, face-ripping-off, monsters from the foulest pits of damnation: "Would you like a drink, Miss Prima Donna Kebab? Look, I've a heart condition – I've a HEARTS condition. If you hit me, it's murder. The other one won't work and I'll regenerate into Arabella Weir! I don't know what my compan... ACQUAINTANCE has said to upset you, but it's nothing to do with me, is it? Oh, it is. Well, I suggest we all step into deep space and settle it, mighty alien overlord to pathetic, weak and vulnerable human. Is that the door behind you? AHAHH! OUT OF MY WAY!"

The War Chief of the Boom-Shaka-Lakas is unimpressed. However, it still decides to tie the Doctor and Alison against a pillar while Spandex and lycra begins to encircle the globe. The invasion is all but complete and the Doctor doesn't care – he's found some Fleetwood Mac and is deliriously happy. This dramatic twist of events doesn't quite explain just how the hell he managed to untie himself and Alison, and search the aliens' CD collection without the Prima Donna Kebab, who is sitting right beside them, from noticing. As the Doctor boasts about how cool the band is and how he has visited every parallel dimension when they got back together, Alison takes pity on us all and bitch-slaps him. Numerous times. The Doctor huffily announces that he was not going deranged with fear and panic but was instead coming up with an amazing plan, the likes of which he swears he will explain later.

The Doctor turns to the Prima Donna Kebab and begins to sing 'Oh, Well' at the top of his voice. The song proves the Doctor's point and the near-mystic energies in this ballad forces every single Boom-Shaka-Laka on the planet to disappear in a puff of logic. The Prima Donna Kebab prepares to bite the Doctor's head off, but slips on the banana peel, slips and falls back into the black hole. With the Madness song interrupted, it has left a lasting impression – "Funk" music has been banished from the realm of mortals.

As the Doctor and Alison return to the TARDIS, the biggest moral victory so far in Doctor Who under their belts, the writer twigs that another five minutes have to be padded out and so there are some gratuitous scenes of suddenly-resurrected Boom-Shaka-Laka appear and chase our heroes around the gave before some UNIT people appear and give the aliens both barrels. For some reason, the formerly-indestructible aliens fall down dead and the Doctor and Alison leave.

Aboard the ship, the Doctor pilots the craft to land on a grassy knoll where he plans to meet up with the Brigadier and boast that his latest bitch has yet to be drawn away from him. Meanwhile, the Bastard talks with Alison and begs her to stay. Not only will her presence help this Doctor recover from his traumatic origin and subsequent losses, a lithe barmaid in the TARDIS makes life for the Bastard so much easier – he can't stand the arrogant prick at the controls for much longer, but is unable to castrate the bastard with a pair of eyebrow tweezers at the Doctor has specifically programmed him not to.

The TARDIS materializes next to a trembling tent. The Doctor emerges and hears the voices of the Brigadier, Benton and Joe from within. As he lifts the tent flap to look inside, his eyes widen and he runs back into the TARDIS, begging for a bucket. As the police box begins to fade away, we hear Benton request: "Permission to howl, sir?"

Then, the internet connection gave way, thank Christ.

Books(s)/Other Related –
Doctor Who: The Boogie Outlaw (Canada Only)
The Boom-Shaka-Laka Medulla Oblongata Songbook
"'I Came, I Saw, I Yodeled' And Other Crap Invasion Plans That Failed To Conquer The Planet Earth" by Michael Grade

Fluffs – Richard E Grant seemed a bit inhumane in this story

When an awed Alison asks, "What are you?", the Doctor replies, "A sandwich machine. Sorry. I meant to say... a LOVING machine!! ...If you know what I mean!"

"Die, Doctor! DIE!" screams the Doctor halfway through episode 4 for no readily-apparent reason.

Goofs –
How does the Doctor know that there is a 10-ton weight in the ceiling of the flat when Alison and Joe, who claim to have built the apartment, were unaware of its existence?

Previous stories have firmly established that the Doctor is distinctly UNABLE to shove man-eating Bengal tigers into his pocket so he can unleash them on his enemies, and has been badly mauled on the numerous occasions he has tried. If he could do this, why wouldn’t he use it on EVERY single baddy??

While we’re on the subject, just after the Doctor screams, "Kill them, Simba! Eat their BRAY-YEEEEEEEEENS!" we stay on his deranged face for a full three minutes while, in the background you can hear the director screaming. We then cut to the amazingly-false two-dimensional cardboard-cut-out silhouette that jerkily glides across the set towards the two aliens. Now, HERE'S the goof – it is quite clearly the shape of Zebra, not a tiger! Jesus, just because both animals have stripes, the crew got them confused??? Give me strength!

Just before the bomb goes off, we see the Doctor, Alison and Joe running away from the flat. Then, we get a thirty second outtake from "Not The Nine O’clock News" of Rowan Atkinson sneezing violently. We cut back to show the flat is now a burning ruin. Over the scene, we can hear Rowan apologize to someone called "Lloyd" and beg for some tissues, rendering the dialogue of that scene inaudible.

I’m fairly certain that the Shaka-Laka's P.O.V should have cut away before we see it sliding off the set, leaving the studio altogether and then heading for the gents’ toilets via an illicit drug deal in the shadowy confines of the BBC canteen.

As the Doctor's message comes through on the answering machine, I swear you can hear someone's mobile go off and the Bastard whispering "Not now, Jeremy... Look, I'm working, all right? Of course I do, I just can't say it now, OK! Oh, don't be like that, muffin! Hello? Hello? Oh, rat's bollocks!"

Speaking of mobiles, as the Doctor plunges, upside down into a singularity, he pulls out the phone, fumbles and drops it. He then scowls at shouts in the direction of the black hole, "OI!" Then, a human hand appears, and passes the Doctor the mobile, which he takes saying, "If I see this in the finished episode, I'll take the bastard axe to the producer. Bastard. You'll all suffer. I'm going to be A STAR!!!!"

During the chaos as the world’s atmosphere begins to fall apart, John Levene can be made out shoving his way through the crowds of extras, heaving for the exit, a cigarette in his mouth as he says "Coming through, people". At first, you might think this is intentional, scripted even – but just how is Benton supposed to be striding through crowds simultaneously on twenty-six different parts of the planet? Is this something ANY UNIT officer can do? The Brigadier and Benton meet the TARDIS in New Zealand with no trouble, even though there is no reason for either of them to be there. Or is it just doubling-up on location? If so, then I guess it's STILL a blooper!

How come the Prima Donna Kebab Shaka-Laka can tie people to comfy chairs when there is no need for chairs, or rope in the caverns and she didn't even have arms to start with?

The title sequence is obviously Jon Pertwee's title sequence with the music done on a Jew's Harp. However, the titles have not been updated and each one shows Jon Pertwee's face, his logo, and call this story "Carnival of Munsters Episode Two".

Technobabble –
The Doctor can create a massive weapon of nuclear destruction with a bag of NorbensTM fertilizer ("From The Ground To You"), a plastic skull key ring and three towels. The Doctor defeats the Shaka-Laka by "reversing the atonality of the karioke flow".

Prima Donna Kebab: A simple toy?
Doctor: That's my sonic screwdriver you're talking about!
Prima Donna Kebab: It is hardly worth your humiliation.
Doctor: Oh. Pity.

Fashion Victims –
The Doctor's hideous Goth outfit with horrific echoes to the Time Lord's triceratops collars

Fashion Triumphs -
Alison's bra seems to be trying to emigrate every time she inhales

Links and References -
The Doctor compares being hung-over to having a Snotaran **** in your head. Just HOW this happened isn't clear, and I, for one, am not complaining. Since Doctor Root & The Enema Within, the REG Doctor has downloaded the Bastard's mind into an android for a laugh. It must striptease, do a cartwheel and vomit on the Doctor's order of "LUBRICATE!"

Untelevised Misadventures -
It is heavily implied that the last sixteen pretty girls the REG Doctor has tried to hook-up with have been seduced by the Brigadier using the mysterious "Melon Device".

Groovy DVD Extras -
A completely new end sequence to Episode Six. The Doctor turns directly into camera and says this entire adventure kinda reminds him of a song, "We're SO Screwed", which he proceeds to sing despite the protests and sobs from Alison and the Bastard. The credits then roll over the singing Doctor in upside-down, back-to-front Czechoslovakian.
Dialogue Disasters -

Bastard: A young woman again?
Doctor: Yes, again!
Bastard: On this point, your programming of my electronic brain is quite clear. I am not to give the girl your phone-number.
Doctor: So, why are you giving her yours instead?
Bastard: Guess, loser.

The new PC Doctor's attitude to New Zealanders in general - "Are you the same as all the other sheep?"

Alison: What will all those slaughtered funk musicians do now, Doctor?
Doctor: [shrugs] Decompose, probably.

The first words between the new Doctor and his new companion -
Doctor: Do you fancy a puff of my huffer?
Alison: That's a terrible chat-up line.
Doctor: Sarah Michelle-Gellar thought otherwise.

Brigadier: Doctor, I have some extremely distressing news.
Doctor: WE'RE OUT OF WINE??!?

Joe: Have you, uh, actually... Actually, you know... have you done it? You know... with a woman?
Doctor: So many answers to that, but no... no interest in giving them.

Dialogue Triumphs -

Prima Donna Kebab: Resistance is useless!
Doctor: [sneers] What ****er said that!?

Joe: What do you think you can do?
Doctor: Resist them, surprise them, abuse them roughly will marrows and salami... Oh, and maybe finally win the special Lotto jackpot!

Bastard: I am not fond of you.
Alison: Then why do you call me "Ali-baby"?
Bastard: I call everyone that.
Alison: OK, now you're creeping me out now.

Doctor: [proudly] Trust me, I know about fetishes - I'M THE DOCTOR!

Doctor: I'm a Time Lord... reduced to the state of a bum!
Bastard: [uninterested] Dear me, how tiresome.
Doctor: [sobs uncontrollably] I feel like a Snotaran's shat in my head!

The stunning first scene between the Ninth Doctor and Brigadier –
Doctor: [bitterly] How disgusting, Alistair. I seem to attract bondage freaks. They're either strapping me to leather couches, growling in Morse code or seducing my friends. Go and find someone else to play your filthy
games with!
Brigadier: Damn it, Doctor - you used to be cool!
Doctor: [worried] I'm still cool! Get the whipped cream, I'll prove it.

Doctor: In time, I hope you will come to accept my peccadilloes. Sometimes, it's all I can think about. Well, most times. Well, ALL the time, but that's enough of that.
Alison: Is that why you brought me here? So you could do this in front of me?
Doctor: Oh, no. That would be sheer vanity. I need you in a very biological sense. Hit me again, "George"!

Prima Donna Kebab: The singularity, when set like this, becomes a black hole. It crushes everything down to a mathematical point. Many lesser beings have fallen in accidentally. Maybe it's because we can't be bothered opening and closing it.
Doctor: "Accidentally"? ACCIDENTALLY! Those aren't accidents. They are throwing themselves into the black hole gladly. Throwing themselves into space to escape all the hideousness of it all!! [to Alison] Throw yourself into the black hole, darling! You haven't got a chance!

Doctor: Why have you invaded a tiny part of Lanchashire?
Prima Donna Kebab: Our ambitions stretch much further than that.
Doctor: [aghast] You mean, Nottinghamshire?
Prima Donna Kebab: Exactly!
Doctor: [horrified] Dear God, the horror! No, not that! OH, SWEET JESUS, NOOOO!
[A pause.]
Prima Donna Kebab: Are you being sarcastic?
Doctor: ... ...nope.

The Bastard summing up the Doctor's character in a single sentence:
"As always, you're screwing two things at once. Perhaps your most infuriatingly human trait."

UnQuotable Quote -

Bastard: Every day seems to present a new challenge to one's dignity. [Evil Bastard Chuckle] Oh, yeah. Sweet, sweet candy...

Viewer's Quotes –

"Oh, man, oh, man, oh, man! Richard E Grant IS the Doctor! There's going to be a whole new series about this character – Telos novellas, DWM strips, BBC Books! EMBRACE THE NINTH DOCTOR!"
- some poster at Outpost Gallifrey (2003)

"REG sucked at the Doctor. His singing was off-key, I can’t stretch myself to fit I Scream "Boom-Shaka-Laka!" into my narrow continuity, and everyone knows there isn't going to be another one. I decry this as distilled whippet **** and anyone who doesn't is a damn moron."
- the same poster at Outpost Gallifrey after he saw the story (2003)

"When I heard they were making a cartoon of Doctor Who, I knew that there would only be one enemy monster that Cosgrove Hall could possibly capture the grace and beauty of, yet still retain the horror and fear generated by such an ungodly nightmare. Yes, "Doctor Who Sings The Quirks A Lullaby" would have cemented Richard E Grant's place as the Doctor and spun-off an entire new series of the show. Did they listen to me? Did they ****." - the Creator of the Quirks (2003)

"The new webcast is called 'I Scream "Boom-Shaka-Laka"', but I'll be screaming something a bit more prosaic if I ever have to watch it."
- Tony Davenport, (2003)

"This has to be the most anodyne, pathetic, drawn-out wastes of space it has ever been my misfortune to come across. The phrase, "square to the point of deformity" has never been so aptly used. This entire mockery of Doctor Who shall be the final nail in the coffin. No, I haven't WATCHED the story, more sort of SET FIRE to people that have." - Dan Freeman (2004)

"I notice that the vastly-superior Shagged'er has gone from the BBC Cult Website the moment this crap turned up." - Douglas Adams, via Ouji Board (2098 – rather good, considering his previous experiences with deadlines)

"Did you know not a single slash fiction piece about this story has turned up? DOES THAT NOT SUGGEST SOMETHING? If only the Doctor had been crucified and dipped in beeswax, maybe then, THEN, this story could have been a winner." - Kate Orman (2004)

"This will be my final piece of Doctor Who fiction. Honest." - Laurence Miles (2003)

"Doctor Who Animated? ANIMATED!?! Look, buster, I know animation when I see it, I've seen a lot of animation and you, sir, are not animation!" - Andrew Beeblebrox (2004)

"Aw, he's getting wasted on lighter fluid, bless 'im!"
"Yes, he definitely takes after you, dear."
- the REG Doctor's parents, the Eighth Doctor and Charley, in “Schizo" (2003)

Psychotic Nostalgia –
"Man, this story has to be, without a doubt, the best expose of alien karioke experiments being carried out by Harley Street doctors. Yeah, man, it's time for the truth! I was so impressed, I began to sing "Innocent Eyes" by Delta Goodrem for 87 hours straight while I hung, upside down, from the ceiling in front of the distorting mirror of Ashgotoroth! You know what, it all suddenly became clear to me! Doctor Who was never cancelled! This is just one of the stories that has been made since 1989 that the MIB have frantically tried to hide from our sight! They say they're making it in 2005, but I know the truth. The REAL Doctor Who, with Ian Richardson as the Tenth Doctor, won't be let in for Season Forty-Two and they'll just get some big-eared, mop-haired freak to cover up the truth! OH, MY GOD! MY BRAIN JUST IMPLODED..."

Trivia -
It was after watching this story together that Tom Baker and Hilary Duff finally agreed to tie the knot. The marriage was annulled six hours later when Hilary realized that the man she had married was not the Tom Baker who had been systematically sending her love letters and serenading her at night in Latin. She has now shacked-up full-time with Madame Tussurds' wax model of the Fourth Doctor and are expecting their first child in June.
Rumors & Facts -
In 2002, BBCi launched an all-new animated fantasy series that was broadcast over the internet and watched on a fantastic three occasions – two by people whose PC's jammed on the website, and another who had wandered off for lunch and come back in time to miss the entire adventure. The animated webcast was called The Boasts of Albion, about a sword-and-sorcery braggart who vainly tried impress his peers. The so-called animation was done by Cosgrove Hall – the god-like beings responsible for Danger Mouse and Count Duckula and, thus, every single TV show a fictional character on the BBC is allowed to watch before the plot kicks back into gear. James Gross, the producer of BBCi, had been tempted at animating a Doctor Who story for some time. His first effort, Beth Comes To Rhyme had static images of various characters doing sod all. This was improved in Meal Time where the various static images faded in and out of focus in time to the incidental music. The most recent work was the re-make of Douglas Adams aborted tale of anarchic set-burning, Shagged'er II: This Time It's Finished wherein static images of characters ice-skated around static sets with monotonous close-ups for often ill-placed dialogue. Gross decided that, in conjunction with the BBC, they would advance this method and screw up Doctor Who forever.

The BBC had been slowly but surely devastating the BBC books range - after first denying it from doing absolutely anything interesting, it wiped out Gallifrey and became obsessed with Sapphire & Steel-type plot twists that required a Grade A certificate in continuity to open the book. Then, they reduced the book production from once a month to one every five seconds on a blue moon in Afghanistan. The evil masterminds then tackled the DWM comic strip – after a teasing glimpse of homosexual naughtiness, it sent the solo eighth Doctor who cared where, facing vague, unmemorable threat after another with no companion or even a clue. With Big Finish, the BBC bastards had a field day. They created ludicrous gaps in the lives of the Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Doctors, giving them all new companions, pointless story arcs and then made every single episode non-linear, forcing you to buy two CDs to understand the content of just one. A Lithuanian prostitute forced Nick Briggs to shatter his Dustbin War Story series in the cradle, and then, a master stroke!

Doctor Who fans regularly bitched about what crap they lumbered with and pretended that, if THEY had been in charge, things would be so much more different. So, Big Finish did just that, and released the Unsoiled range of audio dramas: "Arse Morality", with Geoffrey Bayldon as a Doctor who refused to leave Gallifrey and spent eternity staring at Madonna's backside; "Empathy for the Weevil", with David Warner missing the UNIT era and finding a fetishist cave of dildos being manipulated by the Bastard's beard; "Full Frontally ****ed", with David Collings as a nice, clean-cut Doctor who never told lies or seduced his assistant and was shot dead half way through the first minute, to be recast as Ian Levine in a Blob-style plot as the Doctor Who fan rolled over hapless innocents; "He Dresses In Women's Clothing And Hangs Around In Bars", which was a musical production of the Lumberjack song by Monty Python; "Headline" about a guy who was forced to write endless script for a crap TV show called Doctor Who while being haunted by a creature that existed in photographs and starred Sir Derek Jacobi as Rob Shearman; and "Revile", with Arabella Wier doing sod all but farting for sixty minutes, then having a nap.

The fans realized that, no matter what reality, Doctor Who could never live up to their high expectations and turned desperately to the Eighth Doctor Big Finish stories – only to endure the bowl-shattering insanity of Zig-Zag-Gay-Ass and the fifteen hour weirdness that was Schizo. Then, the BBC sprung its trap.

It keel-hauled Paul Cornell into tapping out a generic Pertwee story called "My Wife Likes Ice Cream", which they then renamed "Project Catflap" and handed the finished product over to Gross. The crucial element that this would be an "all-new" adventure for an "all-new" Doctor. Rather than do something even remotely sensible like handing over the role from Paul McGann to his successor, "Project Catflap" would begin four hundred years into the Ninth Doctor's life and see him resolving unseen and undefined horrors to become truly the Doctor for the last three minutes of the animated series, which would then have absolutely no sequels, prequels or mentions again in any kind. This final nail through the heart of Doctor Who was planned to utterly annihilate the show's fandom – giving them something to pin all their remaining hopes and dreams, failing to live up to it, and then buggering off while the scarf-clad wankers sobbed uncontrollably.

In order to make sure that there was no chance this so-called official incarnation could never make another outing, the BBC cast derranged hermit and violent alcoholic Richard E Grant as the Doctor. An actor of his caliber would never deign to play the role twice and, convinced of being spied on by alien saucer people, refused to let the BBC use his likeness on any book covers or in the DWM comic strip. When given the brief to play a character with a stiff upper lip, a keen sense of humor and a way with ladies of any species, Grant was terrified – his remit was only for bitter, grieving drunks who did sod all while their mates actually went and made something with their lives. He was also going through a strange gothic phase and insisted that the Doctor should be very pale, have large teeth and refer to himself as "The Count Formally Known As Drakhoola". Fearful of casting another deranged sociopath as the Doctor, Grant was pumped full of morphine, strapped to a chair and electrocuted until he had recited the whole script three times over.

For no other reason that to annoy the fans and confuse the public, Cornell decided to pad out an episode by having the Boom-Shaka-Laka breaking into the TARDIS. They would then be repelled by a character that Cornell thought up off the top of his head – the TARDIS Bouncer, played by Peter Davison in a cricket jumper. When Davison announced publicly he would rather lick Greg Dyke's scrotum than appear in Doctor Who again, a hasty re-write was made to ruin the remaining character of the Bastard. Sir Derek Jacobi was cast as he was still under sedation after his Unsoiled play "Headline".

On the priviso the story featured a mass of continuing characters played by such big-star names no one with two brain cells to rub together would even try and make another series, the BBC gave "I Scream, 'Boom-Shaka-Laka'!" the green light. The animation reverted to the original pattern set down by Beth Comes to Rhyme, and had the character's jaws sag open and then close, allowing a bare minimum of dialogue to be played out. Paul Cornell was paid for his trouble by writing a Liberal book of right-on ****e which could be sold to gullible anoraks as a novelization of the story, while both Rob Shearman and Gay Russell stretched credulity and their own sanity to breaking point trying to fit 'Shaka-Laka' into continuity. Their end result – that the REG Doctor is the Eighth Doctor and Charley's illegitimate love child being manipulated by Nicholas Briggs – does not warrant further discussion.

"I Scream 'Boom-Shaka-Laka'!" did everything it had to, and wiped out half the fan population in a fortnight. Nobody wanted it, nobody needed it and everybody wished they didn't care so much. Opinion forums that had been stretched to breaking point by blind speculation shut down to lack of use. A few bitching letters were sent to DWM, but they all followed the same pattern. It seemed like the Doctor had finally been forsaken by his fans and was free to escape this earthly realm forever.

And THAT was then they announced they were making a new series...

To close this entry, the Ninth Doctor's excised musical number--

"We're SO screwed, we're SO screwed
We're SO screwed, we're SO screwed, yeah!

Nothing to do
To save my life
Call the wife in
Nothing to say
But what's the date?
Who's invaded?
Nothing to do
For Doctor Who
If you've got nothing to say
Then it's okay

We're SO screwed, we're SO screwed
We're SO screwed, we're SO screwed, yeah!

Coming down to Earth
Don't wanna go
Heading for Rome
I dial the phone
For the Crown
Everybody knows aliens're invading
They're everywhere, they're all-pervading
Everyone is in their thrall
I say, just come one, just come all

After a while
I start to smile
As the Shaka-Laka rule
Then I decide to
Take the fight
Wipe out the sluggy fool
But nothing will change
It's still the same
You don't care what I say
And it ain't okay!

People running round, under a spell
It's about time the sword did fell
Aliens implanted in their skulls
They're going to screw up the air
But I guess that's fair

Somebody needs to save the world
I'm glad that you called
But frankly, I say
I'll call it a day
You'll have to save yourselves

If you can't survive
You won't be revived
You didn't care what I say
It wasn't okay

We're SO screwed, we're SO screwed
We're SO screwed, we're SO screwed, yeah!"
If you have come this far into this web site you must know that there are surprises all over for those who take the time...
Now we present a lovely story about four lovely young university students.
Rick stumbled into the confines of his room and stared in shock. His bed was back where he had left it, in the corner of his room against the wall that connected it to Neil's quarters. There was no sign that the floor had recently collapsed - or of its impossible flipping across the house.

Confused, Rick turned and stepped out into the landing.

And grew pale.

Filling up most of the space was a dusty, armored, anti-tank gun. It was positioned in such a way it blocked access to both flights of stairs and the bathroom. Vyvyan was adjusting some controls out of view, a crazed look in his eye as he adjusted another handle.

'Vyvyan!' Rick shouted, fighting to keep the panic out of his voice. 'Where did you get that howitzer?!' he demanded, preying that this topic of conversation would give him a chance to escape.

'Found it,' Vyvyan offered with an evasive shrug.

'Well, you can just about bloomin' well put it back this instant, young man!' Rick retorted.

'I will, I will,' Vyvyan promised viciously. 'Just as soon as I've blown you to pieces!'

Rick swallowed. He was a tough customer but not even he could stand up to an anti-tank gun blast! And Vyvyan, who was usually one to maim rather than kill, was struggling to aim the barrel at him. Vyvyan was trying to kill him! Rick realized at that moment that just because the outward symptoms of Vyvyan's hangover were gone didn't mean the chemicals were still out of his system. He would have to play this very carefully - the bastard could do anything. He could ---

Rick realized that Vyvyan had fired and dived for the cover of the doorway to the punk's bedroom.

The blast scraped past him, swallowing up the landing window and vanishing into the swirling dark mist beyond. Rick struck the floor gasping for breath, and heard a clanking noise as the barrel was re-aligned. The self-styled anarchist looked up to see Vyvyan re-loading the howitzer.

There was no trace of sanity in those dilated pupils.

# # #

It could have been anywhere. The sky was thick with coiling grey-black clouds, the land below diffused in a pale blue twilight. Mist and fog curled over the long, reedy grass that was occasionally interrupted by gnarled, skeletal trees moist with condensation but boasting no foliage.

Three emaciated figures were sitting on a fallen tree, their simple clothes in shades of brown from countless stains, skins grubby and unwashed. One of them, larger and hairier than the others, looked around him, bored as he always was on a Sunday. The mist meant that he could only see a few feet in any direction, but still inspiration struck.

A misplaced look of cunning formed on his vacant face and the peasant turned to his fellow. 'I bet,' he grunted smugly, 'in one second... both of my legs will fall off!'

It took a full three seconds for the others to react. The scrawniest and hungriest-looking of the pair leant forward and growled, 'All right! You're on!'

The remaining farmer nodded and pointed at the large man's leg, encased in yellowing tights. 'One!' he counted, eyes narrow with suspicion.

The peasant leant back, lifting his legs from the moist ground. He kicked out both of them and waited for the splash as the useless limbs crashed into swampy surface beneath him.

But they didn't.

The other two laughed loudly and held out their dirty, callused hands for payment.

'That's the third sack of potatoes I've already lost today!' the loser complained miserably, on the verge of tears as he slammed down the meager currency into the waiting hands of his companions.

Suddenly, there was the heavy sound of hoof beats squelching in mud. The trio turned to face the banks of mist directly behind them. A dark shape swirled into view, finally piercing the fog to reveal the horse carrying Sir Boring Old Fart, the local knight. He slowed to a halt beside the peasants, allowing them to see two slender shapes - one predominately grey, the other blue - draped over the back of Sir Boring Old Fart's saddle. The long hair of both figures showed them to be female.

'Hey, everyone!' called the knight cheerfully, 'there's a 20th Century pad back there, and they're giving away free damsels! Here, have one,' he said generously, and flapped out with his right hand behind him. The grey shape was flipped off the horse and plummeted into a bare patch of earth. A patch which seemed to be nothing but muddy water as the "damsel" sunk up to its elbows in the muck.

With a wave, Sir Boring Old Fart rode off into the mist and in moments was gone.

The peasants turned to look at the muddy shape struggling to sit up.

The hippie knight had definitely kept the looker.

# # #

Neil was jolted back from the opening theme of Dallas by a sudden wave of ice-cold mud that instantly enveloped his body. Twisting around, he cracked open his eyes to see nothing but grey mists. What had happened? Where was he? As ever, he felt a sinking depression as the answers came back.

The hippie knight - hah! Breadhead knight more like! - had kidnapped him and Rick's pretend girlfriend, rode out of the house and then thrown him in the mud. Neil ripped himself out of the bog and found himself in a mist-strewn field, facing three small grubby men looking at him in a mixture of disgust and disappointment.

'Excuse me,' Neil croaked as he focussed on the trio, 'but can you tell me what happened to the rest of the street?' he asked hopefully.

They stared at him, not understanding a word.

Neil scraped most of the mud out of his hair and ears, wincing as he heard a shrill, building howl just on the edge of his senses. Was it tinitus? Had he finally been hit once to often?

The noise got louder and Neil had the briefest impression of something hurtling through the fog towards the silent trio moment before the explosion hurled him back into the mud. The blast of heat seemed to dry out the mud into crumbly sand that slid off him, and he looked up to see a small heap of burning charcoal where once had been three people.

The explosion had also cleared some of the mist.

Oh, how Neil wish it hadn't.

# # #

Rick pressed himself into the corner of the far wall, but Vyvyan had re-positioned and re-aimed the howitzer. He had no way out this time. Rick licked his lips, feeling suddenly very cold. It was time to cut his losses - virginity or not, he wasn't prepared to get blown to pieces for anyone. With the possible exception of Felicity Kendall, obviously. 'Oh, no!' he gasped, suddenly realized the anti-tank gun was now fully loaded.

'Vyvyan!' he screamed. 'No!'

Vyvyan grinned and hissed, moving to pull the firing lever.

'Please!' Rick howled. 'You were right and I was wrong! I am a virgin!' At that moment, he would have said anything if it would stop Vyvyan from pulling the trigger and ending his life.

'Not for long, matey,' Vyvyan growled demonically.

He pulled the trigger.

The shattering blast took out the rest of the window and also a chunk of the wall. More mist blew into the landing under pressure and, cursing, Vyvyan moved to reload the howitzer for one, final blast. He cast a glance at the huddled shape on the floor, wracked with deep, loud sobs.

And laughed.

# # #

Peasants, men and women and all equally unhygienic, were rushing out of a round, clay-built hut sitting in the corner of the field, surrounded by a small patch of cultivated land and firewood. The peasants, upon seeing the burnt remnants of their three companions and a long-haired stranger nearby, had leapt to the wrong conclusion and were immediately arming themselves with whatever they could lay their hands on - pitch forks, scythes, stick and, in one cash, a bright white cartoonish bone.

Neil began to back away, praying for the mists to return and cover his retreat. This was just typical! Rick or Vyvyan never got kidnapped by hypocritical knights and sold to peasants who promptly just exploded for no reason and left the blame pointing at them! And where was he? What had happened to the town - it had been there when he'd been rudely awoken this morning...

Neil realized that the leader was shouting at him as they approached. 'Look, sorry about your relatives...'

'He's a sorcerer!' shouted one of the peasants, and others joined in. Was it his imagination, or could he hear that whistling noise again?

'No, I was just wondering where the bus stop had gone!' Neil protested.

The peasants slowed their advance and exchanged a few cautious glances. Neil suspected that they had no idea what a bus stop actually was, so Neil helpfully added, 'The one that was where that hut is...'

He pointed to the hut, and the peasants turned to follow his lead. As their gaze rested on their dwelling place, said dwelling place was suddenly ripped apart by a blinding red-yellow explosion that instantly consumed the hut and everything around it, creating a plume of smoke that filled any gaps in the fog.

The peasants turned to look at Neil, then back at the burning remains of their home.

Neil turned and ran for his life.

After a few moments of blinding stumbling through the mists, he saw the familiar silhouette of his house sitting incongruously in the next field, surrounded on all sides by leafless black trees. Sulphurous light spilled from the windows and ruined doorway.

Any hope Neil had gained from the sight disappeared as he realized the peasants were right behind him.

# # #

Rick and Vyvyan trudged down the stairs onto the first landing, the former sniffling and trying to casually dry his red-rimmed eyes. His final breakdown into tears had prompted enough amusement from Vyvyan to put aside the howitzer and Rick had used all his formidable powers of diplomacy and persuasion.

He peered down at all the loose change in his hand and made a final calculation. 'There you go, Vyvyan,' he said, voice tight and dry after his recent shouts and sobs. 'There's the 59 pence compensation for disagreeing with you,' he said, emptying the shrapnel into the punk's outstretched hand.

Rick looked down at the sign he was now wearing - a piece of cardboard on threadbare string that hung around his neck. Scratched onto it in felt-tip, in large, easy-to-read letters were the words I AM A VIRGIN. 'Yes, I'll have the T-shirt printed first thing tomorrow morning,' Rick promised meekly, inwardly consoling himself that at least he was alive.

Then he staggered and nearly fell as Vyvyan's hammer connected with the base of his skull.

Rick turned and saw it wasn't a hammer but in fact some kind of medieval mace. How had he got hold of that thing? Still, he refused to get into more trouble - although Vyvyan seemed sober, there was definitely no telling what he could do.

Biting back the curse, Rick turned and looked around. The place was in even more of a wreck than before - the inner door was now lying at his feet, a large crack in the central window pane, muddy footprints were everywhere and what was that he could smell? Horsepoo? What had Neil been eating? Come to think of it, where was Neil? Both he and Helen were missing, and Mike was peering anxiously through the curtains.

The answer came as a silhouette ran out of the grey fog into the hallway. It was Neil - and he looked worse than ever. Mud was spattered across most of his body, and he stank of horse business and gunpowder. 'Guys! Guys!' he moaned, turning to pick up the inner door and throw it against the gap in the wall. 'Barricade the doors! Lock all the windows! Pretend to be invisible!' he wailed, placing the rickety chair against the door to improve his pathetic barrier. 'I've just committed a bit of a... faux-pas.'

Already, angry noises and shouts could be heard from all sides of the house.

'Neil, have you upset the neighbors?' demanded Mike.

'No, no, Mike,' Neil replied absently, rushing over to the windows to see how best to fortify them. 'I've blown them up.'

Clearly Vyvyan's blasts had found a target, Rick considered, feeling suddenly giddy as he remembered that, yet again, he had almost been killed today. 'Blimey,' he exclaimed weakly, 'who said Sunday was a day of rest?'

Vyvyan looked up from the sofa into which he had slumped. 'God did,' he supplied, pointing to Rick.

Rick nodded, snapping his fingers and pointing back at Vyvyan. 'That's right! I knew it was someone Tory.'

'I knew I shouldn't have touched that magpie,' Neil grimaced, gnawing at his fingertips.

Rick rolled his eyes. 'Oh, God, Neil,' he complained, 'you're so superstitious. Anyone would think we were living in the Middle Ages!'

Mike look up from the window again. 'I don't want to worry anyone - but we are.'

'What?' exclaimed Vyvyan and Rick as one, and they joined Mike and Neil beside the television and peered out through the curtains. There was no denying it - something very strange had happened. Hillocks and skeletal trees, enshrouded in the thick grey fog had replaced the suburban streets and town. Short, manic little silhouettes were raging through the mists towards them.

'Oh no,' growled Vyvyan as he stared at the vista. 'It seems as though, mysteriously, the whole house has gone through some sort of time-warp.' He rolled his eyes in despair, as if this situation was most boring, predictable and cliched disaster imaginable.

Rick peered between the shoulders of the punk and hippie, clapping his hands in delight. 'God, isn't it all simply enchanting,' he crowed happily. 'It's like one of those wonderful drawings by Brughel with lots of working-class people thrashing about the place with pitch-forks!' he observed, miming such a pitch-fork-thrashing movement with his empty hands.

'Yeah, they look really angry, don't they?' Neil observed gloomily.

Rick, carried along by what was probably delayed shock, turned away from the window, the shouts and the sounds of breaking glass and wandered over to the kitchen. 'Oh, just think!' he enthused. 'No nuclear power, no pollution, no electrical cables ruining the landscape...'

Rick trailed off.

A thought had occurred.

He turned to face the others. The thought had occurred to them as well.

' telly,' they gasped in unison.

'Oh, no,' Neil wailed in torment. 'I'll die if I miss Scooby-Doo!'

Vyvyan nodded, aghast. 'Too bloody right, Neil. Everybody panic!' he ordered at a shout.

They panicked.
'When you said "panic",' Neil said miserably, 'I didn't think you meant, "hang me"!'

His criticism summed up the situation. While he had begun to fret on the spot, Mike, Rick and Vyvyan had leapt into what seemed to be an extremely well rehearsed plan of attack. Mike, for his part, had crossed to the sofa, picked up the pillow that earlier that day Helen had tried to smother him with, and tucked it into the corner of the couch. He then sat down comfortably, positioning himself in front of the television.

Vyvyan had scooped up a coil of rope and thrown it up into the air. One end had looped around an exposed beam, revealed during the chaos of the day, and tied one end around his right hand.

Rick had snatched the rickety chair from holding up the front door and placed it directly beneath the swinging end of the rope, which Neil recognized as a hangman's noose moments before they'd turned on him. 'Neil, stick your head through here,' he was told by Vyvyan. 'Right, stand on this,' Rick ordered.

Now, Neil was standing on the wobbling chair, the noose tied tight around his neck, his own long coarse hair scratching against the thin skin of his neck. Vyvyan was sitting on the opposite side of the sofa to Mike, holding the noose taunt while Rick stood beside the TV. 'Test the TV, Rick,' Vyvyan ordered.

'Right,' Rick agreed enthusiastically, pointing to the punk as if to emphasize his point. Rick snapped down the switch and dived onto the couch in the space between Vyvyan and Mike. The ghostly reflection of the house melted away as the set warmed up. Immediately, a set of plummy, Liverpudlian tones began to boom out from the speaker as shapes sharpened out of the illuminating screen.

Exactly why or how the television was working none of them knew. Perhaps, somehow, the house was still connected to the mains and supplies in the far future and thus it was working normally. Perhaps television as an industry had been around a lot longer than anyone had really admitted. Perhaps it was all a freakily convenient coincidence. But the lads had long ago learnt to ignore such paradoxes.

The screen showed a bald, rotund man in a leather jacket, shot from the (very large) waist up. He was clearly part of the widespread Balowski family, but his articulate voice and apparent sanity suggested he was one of the more distant, lucid members. Behind him was a black background, on which was painted in arty, italic print the words DID YE SEE?

'...hotting up in the battle between TV stations for higher ratings,' the man was saying.

'You're very lucky, Neil,' Vyvyan grunted. It was part of the house charter that, in the lack of other entertainment, it was perfectly acceptable to murder a member of the household whose last name began with 'P' in order to stave off boredom. They had not told Neil this in order to keep the atmosphere relaxed.

Neil opened his mouth to reply when suddenly Vyvyan flicked his wrist and kicked out with his foot. The rickety chair toppled over and the hippie plummeted to the floor. However, the noose was no longer held tight, and so Neil escaped with only a few bruises, but his impact blotted out what the bald man was saying, something about ITV's lineup.

'...because the BBC came up with Strip Sex Snooker Darts on Ice, with Torvill and Dean. Of course, ITV came back with Roland the Rat's TV AM Public Executions.' Behind the man, the DID YE SEE? background began to rise up out of sight. '"Yeah, cut his head off, yeah!"' the man said in a drawn-out Roland the Rat impression. 'But now,' he said with sudden urgency, pointing dramatically out of the screen, 'we have--'

Suddenly, the screen was filled by a beautiful buxom wench wearing a pale pink dress and one of those curious hats that sprouted from her ears and hair, curling around the back. She was French, or perhaps German, at the very least foreign, and English was her second language. 'Jester Balowski's Medieval Torture Hour!' she shouted joyfully.

The image cut to that of the studio audience. As Neil righted himself he could see it was a typical 20th century BBC studio, the sort of thing Dicky & Deano would appear in. The audience too appeared surprisingly average - men, women, all adults, most Caucasian and wearing synthetic clothing. They were all cheering and applauding as Jester Balowski ran down the steps between aisles and towards the stage. He was identical to the man who had just introduced the program, almost a clone except he was dressed as a court jester, the dark blues and bright oranges of his pointed headdress given an authentic medieval layer of grime, a feral grin of yellowing, crooked teeth. 'Yeah!' the Balowski shouted. 'Medieval torture!'

Jester ran onto the set, which had a painted backdrop of dusk settling on a cemetery, in front of which stood plastic molded arches of stone dungeons. Between curious decorations comprising of three human skulls and peacock feathers were whips, chains, and racks. The foreign 'princess' stood demurely to one side. Jester leapt onto the stage, spinning around to face the audience and the camera. 'And our first victim tonight is - Gwendolyn?!' He had left such a short pause in between words, for a split second the lads wondered if the princess herself was about to be put to the rack.

Similar thoughts had occurred to the princess herself; she was looking pale and worried. 'Our first victim tonight,' Gwendolyn said quickly, struggling to pronounce each word correctly, 'is Spasspecker the Dull!'

The audience, barely calmed from Jester's entrance, went wild once more. Another man was charging towards the stage like Jester before him, and was waving his arms around him in a mixture of delight and attention seeking. He was dirty, grubby and wearing earth-coloured robes, and his wide, pale blue eyes spoke greatly of natural stupidity. Unlike the audience (or, indeed, the entire program), Spasspecker the Dull was right out the barren wastelands outside the house in the Dark Ages.

'Come on down! Spasspecker, come here! Whoo hoo!' Jester Balowski enthused as the peasant finally reached him and the applause began to die down. Effortlessly, he gently twisted the awestruck Spasspecker into position to face the camera, his voice immediately thickening into a twisted, patronizing tone. 'First in for medieval torture?' he asked in a common-sounding accent.

Spasspecker, still apparently dazzled by the lights and cameras, nodded mutely.

'First question,' Jester said brightly. 'Are you nervous, Spasspecker?'

The peasant thought about it for a while, his ruddy face suddenly grave. 'A little, Jester, yes,' he drawled.

The host gave a machine-gun burst of cheerful laughter. 'And apparently, apparently, you're married with one lovely daughter?' he asked, lacing his words with a kind of approval.

'That's right, Jester,' Spasspecker agreed, relieved that the questions were playing to his strengths - general knowledge about his own immediate household. 'Gwenneth.'

'Gwenneth,' Jester repeated playfully. 'That's right. But unfortunately, she can't be with us tonight, can she?'

'No,' Spasspecker agreed, shaking his head, but Jester Balowski's 'No' was far louder and drowned out his voice. 'No, because she's not very lovely at the moment? No,' he continued, blotting out the peasant's confirmation. 'No, because she's got the plague at the moment, doesn't she?'

'Yes,' Spasspecker said with a weak chuckle.

'And her face is one enormous bag of pus!' The Jester was now screaming at the audience, taking a sadistic pleasure in every badly pronounced syllable.

'That's right, Jester,' Spasspecker announced, sounding more confident. 'As a matter of fact, there is quite a funny story attached to that. Because she wanted to come along tonight,' he sniggered, the punch line obviously too good for him to keep a straight face, 'but her arms fell off!'

There was laughter and applause, some of it from Jester Balowski, but it didn't reach his eyes. 'I hope you're ready,' he cut in, 'so, actually, pay attention, because we'll be right back after this break.'

Spasspecker nodded sagely and stared at the camera, and thus was taken totally by surprise as the Jester snatched his right arm and wrenched it down onto his raised knee. There was a sickening crack of such intensity that even Vyvyan winced. Spasspecker's eyes bulged out of his skull and his mouth swung open and closed, making a pained gasping noise.

Jester Balowski roughly drew the peasant closer to him in what would have been a comradely embrace if it weren't for the pained grunts Spasspecker made, and bruises forming under the Jester's fingers. 'Now, would you like to be tortured?' Jester asked happily.

Despite the increasing pain, the peasant managed to croak out the affirmative. Twice.

'Would you like some live scampi in your britches?' Jester offered.

'That'd be nice,' Spasspecker wheezed, triggering cheers from the audience.

'Or would you like to have your eyes sucked out by a goat and replaced with some hot toffee apples?' Balowski suggested, making scooping motions with his free, meaty hand. The audience cheered even louder and the Jester snapped, all bohemia gone: 'Well, it's completely bloody irrelevant anyway!' he snarled. 'Tell us, Spasspecker,' he asked, suddenly curious, 'exactly what was your crime?'

Spasspecker swallowed before answering. 'Whistling on a Tuesday, Jester,' he admitted quietly.

There was a moment of total silence.

The audience began to boo. 'You bastard,' the Jester spat, revolted, before returning to business. 'We've got for you, later on, Pro-Celebrity Torture!'

The picture changed to the part of the set to the right of Jester and Spasspecker. Flanked by two gorgeous handmaidens in similar princess outfits to Gwendolyn was an enormous figure holding a black card. With silver patterns coiling around the edges, in delicate white letters were the words TOBY GRUNTSPLATTER. The man's face was completely hidden by a black leather hood, revealing only his eyes and mouth, his muscular body almost contained by a black leather jacket, freeing his huge arms before they disappeared into matching fingerless gloves. The audience sheered at his sheer presence, because he did not move or react to anything around him, let alone his beautiful female companions.

'In which, today,' Jester continued, 'Toby Gruntsplatter, pain-giver for the court of King Edward the
Optical Illusion will be torturing a team comprised of Dennis Waterman's Show Business Eleven!

The audience cheered and the image changed to the opposite side of the studio. An old, bearded man in a black robe, hood pulled up over his balding head, clutched excitedly at a similar sign to Gruntsplatter, but this one was marked DENNIS WATERMAN'S SHOWBIZ XI. He was also flanked by two figures, who the lads instantly identified.

'Including Sir Geoffrey Chaucer,' Jester continued.

The old man let go of the sign with one hand and waved the free appendage at the audience. A cheer.

'Sir Boring Old Fart...'

The self-styled hippie knight leant against the set and raised a gloved hand with the karma sign. Another cheer was heard, but Sir did not react.

'...and Helen, the completely mad murderess!' Jester concluding, pronouncing 'completely' in such a way that it rhymed with 'slightly'. Rick's pretend girlfriend was busy brushing her hair, face blank and clearly not in the least concerned she was about to be tortured to death live on national television.

Rick's heart went out for her, and then he stopped and frowned. "Murderess?" Helen was the nutter they'd been hearing about? He felt a sudden surge of hope. She was a nutcase - her word meant nothing! If Rick said that he'd scored with her, she couldn't prove otherwise. And she was a psychotic murderer! Well, the Friends of Stalin society were going to get an earful of this when he got back. If he got b---

There was the sound of breaking glass and a strange sensation ran through the top of Rick's scalp and suddenly a slim yellow arrow thudded into the control panel in the side of the television. Helen's blank features vanished from the TV screen as the device was suddenly and violently switched off. Rick looked around, hands creeping to his head to find his hair had been roughly parted down the middle...

That arrow had just missed skewering his skull!

With the TV now off, he could hear the angry shouts, the banging and thudding and breaking glass. ''Oh, no!' he exclaimed, rising to see shadowy figures at every door and window. 'The whole house has been surrounded by angry medieval peasants!' he wailed.

Mike swallowed, realizing it was time to face the music. 'They think we're witches, and they're going to burn us!' he explained for Rick and Vyvyan's benefit - it hadn't taken much to work out, after all.

'We're completely trapped,' Vyvyan summarized practically. 'The outlook is bleak!'

Neil was on the verge of hyperventilating. 'What're we going to do?' he moaned.

Vyvyan looked around him as the inner door and back door finally gave way.

He sighed. 'Oh, who cares?' he groaned and slumped back down on the sofa.

'Yeah,' Mike agreed dismissively and pulled a pack of playing cards from his pocket. Fighting off the peasants would be a long, uncomfortable chore and they'd probably lose. At least this way he could legitimately claim to be "a cool person" as they were dragged to the bonfire.

Following Mike's lead, Rick and Neil also sat down and they began to play a game of Fish.

The medieval, maggot-ridden peasants swarmed through the house...