One Hundred And Forty-Second Entry in the YOA Unauthorized Programme Guide Finite Imagination Appendix O' Debbie Does Wonderland
6D - Fictional Hippopotamus -
"I'm convinced, Mark. It seems that we just fell through the looking-glass."
"Are you sure?"
"Either that or we have somehow slipped into an alternate universe. And be serious, which is more likely? I mean, really?"
The Doctor and Mark have come to Washington D.C., circa 2013, for a spot of
lunch and a look at the sights. What they find is something quite boring, so they do something else...
"I can do anything I desire. I can create buildings, I can make adult videos, I can pass laws, I can sell ice cream..."
"Yes, and I imagine, if you wanted to, you could make a chorus line of Dustbins wearing hula skirts and dancing the conga! Oh, come on man, don't you want to do that? I mean, what kind of god DOESN'T was a chorus line of Dustbins wearing hula skirts and dancing the conga? It defies all logic!"
The Doctor and Mark have been trapped by a being with tremendous power; a being strong enough to create his own universe; a being who has everything he could ever want... except sex with Jessica Alba; a being known only as... Albert!
"No, Doctor. You and your beautiful companion will stay with me... forever."
"You have got to be fucking kidding me."
Will the Doctor convince their captor to let them go? Or will the Time Lord and
his companion go insane from spiked drinks revealing their darkest fantasies, their innermost guilt, their secret fear, and their excuses for mind?
Most importantly - does anyone REALLY care?
After a complicated Mission: Impossible-style operation, the Doctor and Mark leave the drugged and unconscious body of Dara in the Louvre museum with a sign saying I HAVE DRUGS UP MY ASS AND WANT TO KILL YOU ALL.
Satisfied with a job well done, the two travelers decide to search for lunch. Unfortunately, the TARDIS arrives in Washington DC in the year 2013, where Mad Cow disease has lead to meat being outlawed. So when the Doctor asks for five hot dogs with mustard and pickle relish, he and Mark are targeted by the police.
The duo hide the Roosevelt Monument as the Doctor bitches that at least in Texas they know how to cook a decent steak. Mark idly wonders that, perhaps in some other dimension, an alternate universe exists where decent fast food can be bought without risking botulism.
The Doctor decides this is a damned cool idea and decides to find out. But rather than mess about with the TARDIS console, the Time Lord suggests they just run through a free-standing full-length dress mirror that happens to be nearby.
To Mark's complete disbelief, he and the Doctor find themselves on the other side of the mirror in an alternate reality, where android policemen are conducting Benny Hill chase sequences and everything is written in Russian.
Even worse, unknown to the Doctor and Mark, in this reality Red Dwarf USA was a complete success and Cliff Richard was shot by Ian Levine in 1987.
At the Washington Monument, the Doctor discovers a strange man called Albert who challenges the Doctor to a game of Connect Four while a mime artist called Alternative Carpark acts out infamous scenes of the original Star Trek episode, "Mudd's Bitches" before dressing up as a sheep.
As Alternative Carpark mimes out scenes from "The Cocaine Maneuver", "Operation-Masturbate", "Where No Man's Been Blown Before" and "Tomorrow Never Knows Yesterday... And Today", the Doctor easily beats Albert at the game.
Albert starts making a strange high-pitched whine and begs "mummy" not to "put knitting needles" through his ears over and over again.
Bored, the Doctor and Mark discover several beer cans marked "XXX CHARDONNAY NAPALM - DRINK ME FOR X-TRA CHROMOSOMES" and scull them dry. This leads to a voyage to Trip Out City, torturing the time travelers' consciousness: Mark faces again the incredibly stupid and moronic men and women under his command who slowly destroyed his soul with their unending ignorance; the Doctor confronts a torturous past which he thought would make a really good chat-up line when he went to Prydon University, long buried and forgotten after three consecutive Time Ladies threw their drinks in his face and kneed him in the bollocks.
In the end, the hallucinogenic freak-out fades leaving Mark ever so slightly psychopathic and the Doctor with the realization that claiming to have a dark, tormenting past may not work on Time Ladies, but are bound to score with easy Earth chicks!
Meanwhile, Albert has covered himself in papier-mâché, and the shaken duo initially mistake him for an enormous, slumbering red Hippopotamus.
Albert announces that he is the most dangerous criminal in all history, sentenced to live in an alternate universe to pay for his crimes. He also possesses a device with which he can create his own illusionary world, but no female company, and thus makes the Doctor and Mark wear ginger wigs and gingham dresses to look, in Albert's words, "real purty".
The TARDIS crew pretend they have heard of Albert's many crimes that have made him infamous throughout creation... but they can't keep a straight face and demand to know why, if Albert was so damn evil, was he allowed to live as a God in an entire artificial universe with absolutely everything under his control?
Albert cannot answer and changes the subject by discussing the weather, before demanding that the Doctor and Mark stay in this reality to keep him company and spend all day and all night for the rest of time praising him for his creativity and generally godlike badass qualities.
The Doctor and Mark agree to have a tea party and start subjecting Albert to the horrific torture of continuity-based angst trivia until the false universe
Vanishes and Albert starts jibbering.
The Doctor offers to take Albert with them in the TARDIS out of his private universe where every fantasy is played out for him. Unsurprisingly, Albert elects to remain behind in his own world and tells the Doctor to "piss off".
The Doctor tells Albert he is a total freak and unable to get any female contact after his pathetic, infantile and distinctly homo-erotic exiles, and he and Mark leave, attempting again to find lunch.
To their dismay, they wake up in the TARDIS to discover the whole thing was a dream and Dara is still in the time machine with them.
Books/Other Related Material-
Doctor Who & the White Rabbit
Doctor Who - The Hippopotamus Oath (Canada Only)
Salad Daze: Peri's Adventures in Wonderland
Links and References -
The Doctor's LSD nightmare sees him: watching the deaths of Adric and Peri; being put on trial for being a very naughty boy by the Time Lords; trying to kill Bill Gates; watching the Bastard burn on the planet Sarn; fighting Commander Lytton and Beep the Meep; playing golf with Snotarans; defeating a Cyberman invasion; helping Frodo destroy the Ring; and camping with Sharaz Jek.
At the end of this, the Doctor babbles "Was I dreaming? Was it real? Is it canon? Is it not?" over and over again until he ends up gurgling with a Scottish accent and falls over.
Untelevised Misadventures -
A prior attempt to abandon Dara lead to the Doctor accidentally allowing the TARDIS to take off without either himself or Mark aboard, marooning them in the alternate universe of Exo-Space at the mercy of the Bastard. Luckily, a former companion of the Doctor, a robot known only as "Bender", was on hand to save their sorry meaty butts.
Dialogue Train Wrecks
Doctor: "If forty mugs with forty mouths held meetings for forty years, do you suppose," the Walnut said, "that they could make things clear?" "Not bloody likely," said the Cauliflower.
Albert: And if you go chasing rabbits
And you know you're gonna fall
Tell them a hookah-smoking caterpillar
Has given you the call
Call Alice, when she's ten feet tall!!
Mark: When men on the chessboard
Get up and tell you where to go
And you've just had some kind of mushroom
And your mind is moving slow
Go ask Alice, I'll think she'll know
Doctor: When logic and proportion
Have fallen sorely dead
And the white knight is talking backwards
And the red queen's off her head
Doctor: What the door mouse said!
Mark: Which was?
Doctor: Feed your head!
All: FEEED YOUR HEAAAAAAAAAD!
Doctor: A person cannot be tempted by something he doesn't want. But hell, give it to him any way. You can't take it with you, can you?
Albert: I am... I was... Albert Ynotz.
Doctor: Get away.
Mark: God's name is "Albert"?
Albert: No doubt you have heard of me.
Mark: Not really.
Albert: You must have.
Doctor: Ynotz? Where have I heard that name before? Weren't you involved in
the... er... something or other?
Mark: The planetary counterfeit scandal of Senex Five?
Doctor: Yes, that's right!
Albert: That wasn't me.
Doctor: Oh. Who was it then?
Albert: Albert YOTZ. I'm Albert Ynotz! Ynotz with an 'N'!
Mark: ...still not helping.
Albert: You must have read about me at the Academy!
Doctor: Heh. Like we actually did any reading at the Academy. No, it was experimenting with household pharmaceuticals and hot steamy sex sessions in the girl's dorm.
Mark: Yeah, same with me. I once banged this Draconian chick.
Doctor: No! Really?
Mark: Yep. They called me The Dragon Master - their sex lives at MY command!
Doctor: We fricken rock!
(They exchange groovy handsigns.)
Albert: AHEM! I am Albert Ynotz. I was sentenced to live in this parallel dimension for two hundred years. My only means of entertainment was this helmet, which allows me to create imaginary worlds... universes... all subject to my will. Once my sentence was complete, I was free to leave. Instead, I decided to stay, having found that my reality was the only one I could live with anymore.
Doctor: Oh. THAT Albert Ynotz.
Mark: Well, er, now we know your entry in Who's Who, can we go now?
Albert: No! You must ruminate about my fate further!
Doctor: Oh all right then. Er... the ultimate choice. To have a world, a world all your own, the only price being your freedom...
Albert: I've been here so long, I no longer think of myself as a person any
more, but as an entity.
Mark: An entity... called "Albert".
Both: You're a loony!!
Doctor: Why should we obey you?
Albert: I don't have to answer that. I run the place.
Mark: Of course you have to answer it.
Doctor: Because you don't run the place. We do.
Albert: *You* do?
Mark: Yes, we are the voting public.
Doctor: And we didn't vote for you!
Mark: So you don't run the place, we do.
Doctor: And we don't have to obey you.
Albert: So then why am I running the place?
Doctor: Damn. I was kind of hoping he'd vanish in a puff of logic at this point.
Mark: Doctor... what do you think Dara's doing now?
Doctor: "Now"? Well, time is relative, Mark. If I knew when "now" was, I might be able to tell you. But if I was able to hazard a guess, I reckon she'd be making a right nuisance of herself and bitching to everyone about how hot she thought she was.
Mark: What sort of historical period did we ditch her in?
Doctor: 2013. Quite an interesting year.
Mark: Interesting? You mean there were a lot of wars?
Doctor: The odd six or seven.
Mark: Poverty or deprivation?
Doctor: Well, she IS in France. Yes, 2013... If I remember rightly, the Disney Company's just released another in a string of feature films about Pope John-Paul II; FOX, they just axed the most popular program on television "Holy Shit, There's Dinosaurs"... er, everybody hates the President and there's a wonderful four-inch sex toy inside every box of Fruity-Tooty Crunch Cereal. Part from that, it's nothing like her home time and place. The culture shock should rip her little bimbo brain RIGHT DOWN THE MIDDLE!!
Mark: (Steeples fingers) Excellent.
Doctor: God, don't you have any current newspapers? Hmmm "Tomorrow's Times - The Git Was Lying", "Hobo Herald - Oh My Giddy Aunt, etc, Inside: More Pages With Text On Them", "The Running Gag - Thirteen Week Exclusive; Chat Up Lines of The One They Call Doctor by Anonymous Wildebeest"... Very interesting indeed. Yawn. Wait a minute! That's me! How did you know that?!
Albert: Your own mind told me. Yes, everything you know I know. Your deepest, darkest secrets, Doctor.
Doctor: You mean, the fact the signature theme music tune ISN'T the ominous drumming of the un-tempered time vortex but really the mating call of the Fairbreasted Stalling of Gallifrey?!
Albert: Uh. No. I meant your romantic past which is...
Doctor: THE PAST! I'VE SCORED SINCE THEN!!
Albert: Yes, but that virginity still a part OF you, no matter how much you've tried to deny it. Or hide it.
Doctor: Why do you revisit this to me? Are you turned on by this or something?
Albert: A moment of inward reflection? Oh, I had to look long and deep to find this embarrassing first date, you know. You buried so far beneath even you had begun to believe it was a terrible nightmare, a story that you heard long ago that happened to someone else. You'd believe ANYTHING as long as that bit of history was dead and buried.
Doctor: You can't know. I made sure...
Albert: You made sure of what, Doctor? That the local chemist denied everything? That no one else would find out? But I did! This façade you cover yourself in masks the real you, the acne-coated fifty year old teenager who fancied higher anthropoids called Felicity Kendall! But you can't keep it hidden forever. You know that, don't you?
Doctor: We have all done things in the past that we regret.
Albert: Regret?! Is that what you would call it?! Do you honestly think that makes acceptable restitution for getting your date's pubic hair dyed green, handcuffing her to goat and super-gluing her to her perigosto stick?!
Doctor: It's all I can offer. Anyway, I bought off her parents.
Albert: But there is more, Doctor! You who took must now give!
Doctor: What are you on about? I cannot undo what I have done! But I can make up lots of crap about my dark history and the chicks are driven wild by my enigma! Actually, I should really get back into the habit of telling people about it again, it never fails...
"This play, next to Empire of the Dustbins Strike Back!, has got to be the best play by SCAD, not to mention my personal favorite. All in all a really fantastic story. Really good stuff chaps. Oh how I love you. Anyway, Fictional Hippopotamus was one of the more interesting plays, more or less a two hander between the Doctor and Mark, we are able to get something of an interesting look at their back stories, and it begins the Doctor's character becoming somewhat darker. Quite like Scherzo, actually. Wait a minute, these bastards have totally ripped me off! FUCKING PIECE OF SHIT!!" - Rob Shearman (2004)
"Fictional Hippopotamus is an important story. In adventures to come with Jeff Coburn we are given tidbits of the Doctor's past, of which we can assume that it's a past that the Doctor is ashamed of and guilty of, which makes the Doctor's character darker, more mysterious which was the best move for Jeff's Doctor, because it's a persona that suits his Doctor. Plus, it totally works with getting chicks. I myself pretend to be a war criminal and had to fight the ladies off... before the police arrested me and took me to stand trial before the UN. So dark pasts really should be taken in moderation, otherwise you start giving people the wrong idea." - David Hicks (2005)
"This story is dull, boring and just plain rotten. It was the low point of the season, it never quite clicked. And the hippopotamus was rubbish!"
- Hippo Fanciers Weekly (1997)
"The story line is a fairly good one, since it's so unoriginal and overused every single possible series ever has done it to the point it holds no identity of its own. So this particular story from the SCADs is a special one, because it is a vacuum when it comes to new and exciting ideas."
- Pete Wallbank (1999)
"Dara's not in this one! Oooh, ECSTASY! She never appears! OOH! NIRVANA! They
even abandon her in France in the last episode! LET JOY BE UNCONFINED!!!" - Ewen Campion-Clarke (2007)
"Alice Through the Looking Glass fans would find this story rather derivative, while anyone else will think it's just plain crap. The Doctor's disturbing hot dog lust is over the top, but admittedly very funny for us real processed meat fetishists. The story suffers terribly from the minimalist interpretation given; it seems almost that this was something done at the last minute. Which it was. So that makes complete sense. Due credit is given to the writer for coming up with what's here, but that writer is Lewis Carroll and he's been plagiarized like a cheap hooker. David Segal gives a great performance as the tortured Albert, a pathetic loser who refuses to leave his own fantasy world. The scene at the end where the Doctor tries to convince Albert to leave and fails is worthy of an award, if only for the wonderful idea of Segal being trapped in another dimension and leaving the rest of us alone. So, apart from being a totally predictable, dramatic copout stopgap story filled with continuity angst with a completely random plot, Fictional Hippopotamus is without doubt... er... a story starring Jeff Coburn. This fact cannot be argued with."
- The Jeffrey Coburn Handbook (2000)
Jeffrey Coburn Speaks!
"I absolutely loved this story. There was such a Wonderland-esq feel to it all. Since we were in fact just copying every single line. And the exchange between the Doctor and Albert at the end was quite haunting. Some absolutely fine acting by David who played Albert, the sad pathetic loser with no friends and no life. It really played to his strengths as an actor. If indeed he has any.
I can't remember if I read any of the Alice stories when I was younger. My childhood is a complete mystery to me, beyond the memory of playing with some copper sulfate with my highly hazardous chemistry set in my crib. Oh, I know what my parents told me, but anything before the age of ten, I pretty much have to take someone's word on it because I just don't remember. That's what I'm supposed to tell the police if they ask.
What I *can* remember of my childhood was pretty bleak though. I once had a pet rabbit named Flopsy. Hardly original, I know, but what do you want from an eight-year old? Anyway, one day she broke her neck trying to get out of her cage. So my parents took my pet that I loved very much... and ate her for dinner! THE SELFISH BASTARDS!
Needless to say, I don't eat rabbit anymore. Hamster sandwiches, maybe, but never rabbit. Some things are just too painful."
Peter Hinchman Speaks!
"Fictional Hippopotamus was definitely a fun and very bizarre story. But at that point, I did know I was going to leave the show. I made it quite clear that when Mark Tryhard became a regular, I would have gathered enough dirt on the producers to blackmail my way out after two seasons. I wanted to be a VERY temporary companion. In fact, I wouldn't have minded if I'd left before the regeneration. Ultimately, I would have been happy not to be in it at all. You all suck."
Rumours, Slander, and Libel
1996 would prove a crucial year for Doctor Who and everything around it, even something as far flung, isolated and dull as the Superiority Complex Audio Dramas. As the rest of the world eagerly awaited the TV movie "Dr Root & The Enema Within" which Paul McGann publicly stated was in no way canonical, and Jon Pertwee was unavailable for comment as he was dead, SCAD producer Douglas Phillips had drawn up a chart of New Year's Resolutions for the audio series...
1. Make SCADs more popular and official than 1996 TV movie with shiny Pertwee logo and visuals and proper actors and special effects
2. Finally finish epic "JST-Hating Retcon of the Dustbins" planned for production ever since 1989
3. Allow Peter Hinchman to quit and also get back those compromising photographs he has of the production team
4. No stories to be written, directed or produced by David Segal
5. For a five-story series to be completed INSIDE two years
Tackling the first of these, Phillips decided that the title sequence, credits and music needed to be updated. Rather than using the Peter Howell version which had been abandoned in 1985 and was thus eleven years out of date, they would use the Dominic Glynn version used once only in 1986 and ergo a mere ten years out of date. Thus, the SCADS would be once more cutting edge and no longer pretending it was 1981 and Tom Baker hadn't quite left yet.
To accompany the music, a slightly less embarrassing photo of Jeff Coburn was used in the title sequence. However, it was misplaced and so the dramatic zoom into the Time Lord's eyes instead was a dramatic zoom on his right cheek. The logo itself was chosen on the grounds no one else would be likely to use it ever even if they'd had their brains removed by terrorists.
The idea was to kick off Coburn's new series with a brain-bursting blockbuster epic with the Dustbins, the same brain-bursting blockbuster epic with the Dustbins that was supposed to round off his first season and the same brain-bursting blockbuster epic with the Dustbins which had been in production hell since before the BBC cancelled Doctor Who in 1989.
Unfortunately the brain-bursting blockbuster epic with the Dustbins was still not ready so a new story had to be commissioned right away. Script Editor Raymond Dugong worked out with an abacus and a pencil that the twenty-one episode season could only allow a two-episode story to be made and decided that the best bet for it was "Ghost Ship of Saigon" by Thomas Himinez.
The plot would have seen the Doctor, Mark and Dara arriving on the SS Chimera and becoming stranded aboard the deserted derelict vessel. Over the course of the story, the TARDIS crew would go insane from cabin fever, panic and supernatural forces respectively and plot to kill each other in a psychological thriller. Then some alien representatives of the Saigon Palace II restaurant chain would arrive for some shoot-em-up action and the story would end.
Unfortunately the script and all notes for "Ghost Ship of Saigon" were lost in a computer crash. Specifically when Phillips picked up Himinez' hard drive, smashed it with a twelve-pound lump hammer and threw it into a canal screaming, "ENOUGH OF THE GOD DAMNED SAIGON! WE'RE SICK TO DEATH OF IT!!"
At short notice, a new writer was approached to tackle the two part slot to begin the series. Sarah G Hadley, an amateur photographer and cannibal, offered her services in return for Phillips saving her from the hellish wastelands of evil and pure chaos beyond the boundaries of the known universe.
Phillips muttered "Yeah, whatever," and told her the basic requirements. It was then it struck the production team that they had yet to get rid of Mark Tryhard and thus had a useless extra companion to find a plot for in the cramped two parter. Rather than write him out as always, Phillips pointed out that the guy was leaving the series in the very next story and so they should work him to death while they still had a chance.
Hadley however, did not get that internal memo and thus the script was written to feature the Doctor and Dara. When Dugong tried to explain the error, she rewrote the entire story into a four-part special edition.
Giving up, Dugong threw her out a window and rewrote the entire thing himself, leaving it a two-part story with the Doctor and Mark finding a strange illogical and contemptibly stupid being known as Hadley. He later changed the name of Hadley to Albert, just in case the stupid bint worked it out.
Ultimately, a story about a single deranged criminal imprisoned in a fantasy land of his own making and threatened by the arrival of the TARDIS crew was so clearly a blur of The Sexual Toymaker, The Mind Shagger, The Tree Doctors, Dragonbreath that reviewers dubbed it "agonizing" and went to bed early.
On the bright side, it wasn't word-for-word outright plagiarism from those stories, so it was an improvement on the David Segal era.
Production was completed on the story rapidly, with the LSD hallucinogenic nightmare of part two achieved by feeding an interview with Chip Jamison through a ring modulator set to "11". Apparently the soul-destroying terror displayed by Peter Hinchman and Jeff Coburn during this sequence was entirely genuine.
With Fictional Hippopotamus complete, work began YET AGAIN on "JNT-Hating Retcon of the Dustbins" with the intention of completing it sometime this century. Meanwhile, the Paul McGann movie, while spectacularly failing to revive Doctor Who, DID cause a wealth of merchandise, spin off novels, comic strips and audio books, and loads and loads and loads of fan fiction trying to make sense of it all - and the downfall of the SCADs would surely have begun if they weren't already at rock bottom.
With prospective writers wanting to run away and watch the film, Phillips and Dugong were forced to block the exits to try and hold them back. Thus, they were not in a receptive mood when Hadley vociferously complained about the handling of the story.
Dugong pointed out that she had approved the final version of the script, but Hadley jumped up and down and screamed that they would not make Fictional Hippopotamus available to public. Phillips pointed out rightly that the story was barely available to those who had made it, let alone those who hadn't, but this still did not placate Hadley, who continued to demand her name be taken off the finished product. She was ignored.
Hadley spent the rest of the 90s demanding she be allowed to rewrite and rerecord the story but each time was blocked. Finally, she tried to sell the idea to Big Finish. Big Finish were interested and thus mugged her, stealing the Alice In Wonderland concept for their fiftieth anniversary extravaganza "Ultimate Buggeration of The Entire Universe" starring every Doctor still alive (and the odd one that wasn't) "Zig-Zag-Gay-Ass".