Serial 202 – The Nun in the Lift-Shaft (or How I Learned to Stop Worrying About Clockwork Robots And Fuck Mdme Du Pompadour)
An Alternate Program Guide by Ewen Campion Clarke
From An Entry In The EC Unauthorized Guide O' Fires In Girl Places
"YOA's Discontinuity Guides - Inaccurate But Caring."
Serial 202 – The Nun in the Lift-Shaft (or How I Learned to Stop Worrying About Clockwork Robots And Fuck Mdme Du Pompadour) -
On a key-shaped spaceship deep in space (for in truth were the spaceship anywhere else it would feel rather gratuitous) one of the observation crew is taken by surprise when an Brie storm erupts nearby.
Of course if they hadn’t been all screwing each other and snorting various forms of mind-altering substances, they might have noticed sooner, but what do you expect from the 51st Century incarnation of the Touchwood Institute?
Anyway, lots of screaming and shouting and computer panels overloading in showers of sparks and the ship rocking and the slow sinking realization that there’s no nearby traffic to receive their mayday and that all concerned are left to their horrible, horrible fate...
The drifting cloud of liquid cheese slams into the ship and drifts off on its merry way, presumably to cause further chaos in Cybermen-related audio spin-offs, leaving the only survivor of the entire crew (Hotlips Smythe) lying under the naked corpses wondering what in the name of Magic Chin’s plastic surgery bill happened.
A loud ticking echoes around the command deck as a shadowed figure approaches the last survivor who, slow on the uptake as ever, realizes it is not there to help her moments after she is being dissected...
Parte The First
At Rose’s suggestion, she and the Doctor return to Earth in January 2007 and kidnap Mickey, intending to dump him on some random derelict spaceship two and a half galaxies away, three thousand years in the future. Chloroforming him, the time travelers drag him into the TARDIS and set it in motion, and in moments the police box fades into existence on an abandoned, wire-strewn flight deck that is not dissimilar to something you’d find out of Blake’s 7’s incredibly cheap 1981 episodes.
Mickey, slightly off his face from the drug, stumbles around the decaying computer banks, marveling at how unrealistic and tacky everything looks. The Doctor sighs at the state of the cowboy-botched patchwork that holds them together, musing that this décor is typical of the decadent, backward, hedonistic 51st Century that can produce individuals like Magnificent Bastard, Bi-Al and Captain Jack.
Rose wants to make sure Mickey is as miserable as possible and wants to be sure that the ship is abandoned while her ex-boyfriend and now common law father boggles at the Dagmar Star Cluster and makes baby noises. The Doctor searches through the tangle of wires and components as he reveals, "Now that’s odd, look at that. All the warp engines are going... full capacity! There’s enough power running through this ship to punch a hole in the universe... and yet the ship remains stationary. They must have left the handbrake on," he concludes.
The Doctor uses his amazing Time Lord senses to tell that no one has breathed the air aboard this ship for a year, before realizing he can smell a roast chicken and Mickey instantly gets the munchies. Yet, if there are no traces of life aboard, who or what is making the barbecue? The trio ponder on this for a moment before they decide they don’t really care, but would like to eat the free food anyway.
Before they can continue a door slides open before them, in a moment of pointless ominous spookiness, to reveal an 18th Century mantelpiece with a roaring fire. The Doctor inspects it and considers a yuppie piece of objets d’art common in the era where time travel was discovered and instantly used as a method of getting jiggy with the castmembers of BayWatch before they hit the big time.
Rose notes that this fireplace is built into the outer hull of the ship so the fact you can see another room beyond it is impossible. The Doctor immediately assumes that this is some kind of hideous pan-reality breach that will suck people through it to their doom at Time’s End.
"...or it could just be trick of the light," the Doctor concedes.
Explaining to his two companions that he is going to conduct a regulation fire check, the Doctor crawls through the fireplace and emerges, very singed, into a Parisian bedroom where a nubile 19-year-old girl in a negligee is startled at his presence.
The Doctor wonders which is more impressive – the hole in time and space he just climbed through shaped like a fireplace, or the breasts of the girl in front of him and finally settles for the breasts. It’s then he notices an ominous ticking noise emerging from beneath the girl, Reinette’s bed. "Oooh, some sort of clockwork marital aide, am I right?" the Doctor grins cheekily and dives under the bed to stares at the dark space beneath.
"Do your parents know about this stash of Voltaire and Beaumarchais under your bed, young lady?" the Doctor complains before he is attacked by a metal arm and he reels back. He then sees a figure in full authentic dress standing behind Reinette, wearing a curly wig and a creepy BAFTA-shaped mask over their face.
"You’ve been scanning her brain!" the Doctor exclaims for no apparent reason, horrified and incredulous. "What, you’ve crossed two galaxies and thousands of years just to scan a teenager’s brain? What could there be in a girl’s mind worth blowing a hole in the universe? I mean, I might have understood hiding in her underwear drawer or something, but this is just creepy."
"I... AM... THE TURK..." says the figure in a flat, perfunctory voice like a rusty mechanism barely used. "I DO... WHAT... I WANT..."
"The Turk?!" exclaims the Doctor, even more surprised. "The clockwork man invented by Wolfgang von Kempelen of Vienna in 1770, and became highly popular because it appeared to be able to play chess against a human opponent?"
"THE SAME... ONLY THIS TIME... WITHOUT A CHESS-PLAYING DWARF HIDDEN INSIDE MY CHEST... I AM A TRUE... CLOCKWORK MAN!"
The Doctor raises the sonic screwdriver. "OK, I’m sick to death of you ticky-tocky bastards. I’ve got a laser pointer and I’m not afraid to use it! If I shine it in your eyes you might get myopia in a couple of years, so TALK!"
"SOD THIS... FOR A GAME... OF CLOCKWORK SOLDIERS..." booms the Turk and a chainsaw extends from its arm and it charges straight at the Doctor who realizes that you really shouldn’t bring a screwdriver to a chainsaw fight and runs for his life.
"It’s okay, Reinette, you’re having a nightmare, that’s all. Just a nightmare, Reinette, don’t worry about it! All be over in a minute!" he shouts as he ducks and weaves. "Everyone has nightmares. Even monsters from under the bed have nightmares, don’t you, monster? And you know what monsters have nightmares about? ME! HAHAHAHA!"
The Doctor grabs the Turk and flings him into the fireplace and dives after him... to find that on the other side of the fireplace, Rose has snatched up a huge, gun-like fire extinguisher and used it to freeze the Turk in place. This clearly ignores the safety instructions that it should NOT be used to cool drinks, provide Christmas decorations or defeat insane homicidal clockwork droids.
Seeing that his companions have it under control, the Doctor immediately retreats through the fireplace back into the bedroom without saying a word. Immediately he is confronted by Reinette who snogs him rotten. "Well, you seem to be flesh and blood, at any rate, but this is absurd," she complains when she finally comes up for air. "Reason tells me you cannot be real!"
The Doctor stares at her awestruck. "Uh, well, you never want to listen to reason..."
"My education does not allow that I could be alone in a room with a man," Reinette explains as she rips the Doctor’s clothes off. "You are, in consequence, clearly a dream!"
As Reinette rips apart the period frock she was wearing, a prop from the major motion picture The Horniness of King George, the Doctor asks meekly, "And what sort of dreams does an educated girl like you have?"
"My education has been entirely within the confines of a convent. My dreams, in consequence, have not," Reinette retorts and then the hardcore, no-holds-barred screwing begins in deadly earnest.
Back on the ship, Rose and Mickey stand by the fireplace as the sound of lustful bonking can be heard. Rose idly wonders what the noises might be, causing Mickey to roll his eyes and abandon his attempts to remove her bra without her noticing. Suddenly the Turk comes to life, lets out a peal of mechanical laughter and jerkily marches off into the ship.
Watching Rose locking and loading her massive phallic fire extinguisher, Mickey suddenly feels inadequate. Well, more so than he usually does and grabs his own fire extinguisher off the wall, puts on a posh accent as he rolls down the corridor after the Turk like some kind of commando wannabe, followed by Rose who enjoys nothing more than Mickey’s pathetic attempts to assert his masculinity.
Finally, the exhausted and semi-naked Doctor climbs out through the fireplace wondering who that fit blonde was who just stole his new incarnation’s virginity in such a way. Finally the penny drops.
"No... no, no, no, no, no way, Reinette Poisson?! Later Madame Etoiles? Later still mistress of Louis the Fifteenth, uncrowned Queen of France? Actress, artist, musician, dancer, courtesan, gardener? I’m the Doctor. AND I JUST FUCKED MADAME DE POMPADOUR!"
The Doctor finally realizes that his friends have wondered off, as well as his mortal enemy and no one is there to hear how gut-crunchingly hardcore fantastic he is. The Doctor sets off down the corridor looking for someone to brag to...
...and bumps into a large white horse. Well, actually it just LOOKS white, it’s actually grey. And it’s called Arthur. And he just wandered in through an open doorway that lead to the courts of Versailles which just happen to look exactly like a stately home in Cardiff.
On the lawn, Reinette is exploring her sexuality with her friend Catherine when a shabby figure runs into view screaming, "Doctor! Doctor! It’s me, Captain Jack! Save me, please!"
"Sorry, I’ve already got too many companions as it is," the Doctor says, slamming the door in Captain Jack’s face. "I just accepted Arthur the Horse’s pledge, even though I’m more of a mechanical dog man myself. OK, Arthur. Ground rules. Rule one, no wandering off. Rule two, do exactly as I say and rule three, let me do all the show-jumping."
Turning the corner, the Doctor and Arthur not only find large hunks of human flesh patching up holes in the corridor and the ground steaming with old blood, but also Rose and Mickey finding a two-way mirror displaying another room in the court of Versailles.
"Ooh, have I missed anything?" asks the Doctor excitedly and quickly checking a TV Guide of period French BBC costume drama works out that they are looking at the King of France who will choose Reinette/Madame de Pompadour as his live-in lover cause the real Queen’s frigid and, being all French and disgusting, this is socially acceptable.
"These portals are all over the place. On every deck. Gateways to history. But not just any old history, REINETTE’S history. Time Windows deliberately arranged along the life of one particular woman. A spaceship from the fifty-first century stalking a woman from the eighteenth. HAH! It’s funny because it’s true..."
They look on as Reinette enters and begins to talk to King Louis XV, who exits the room leaving Reinette alone with another woman who turns, revealing herself to be the Turk in drag!
The Doctor takes Mickey’s fire extinguisher and pushes the mirror
aside, entering the room. "Hello, Reinette. Hasn’t time flown? You don’t look a day older, you’re still borderline jailbait, which really works for me..."
"Fireplace man, what are you doing here?!" exclaims Reinette. "How came you from that there mirror?"
"No time to chat, we’ve got Certain Death issues," the Doctor explains, and then freezes the Turk who in turn increases its temperature to melt the ice, learning and adapting in a freaky Borg-type manner.
"What are you doing in here?" demands Reinette.
"FOLLOWING MY LOVE!" booms the Turk. "THE TIME TRAVELLERS... THEY CAME FOR ME... REPAIR DRONES FROM A SPACESHIP SUFFERING 82% SYSTEMS FAILURE... THEY NEEDED PARTS TO REPAIR THE DAMAGE... SO THEY USED THE BODIES OF THE CREW AS REPLACEMENTS!"
"I’m definitely sure that’s covered by one of Asimov’s laws," Mickey protests. "Why weren’t they programmed to leave the crew alone?"
"Mickey, if YOU were programming repair drones, would you put 'gut the crew and use them for spare parts' on the Don’t List or just assume that that was a given?" the Doctor retorts. "That’s what happened here. 51st Century arrogance, payback guaranteed. But what do the repair droids actually want with the Turk?"
"I AM THE FIRST EVER CLOCKWORK ROBOT. THEY ARE ALSO CLOCKWORK ROBOTS. THEY NEED MY GENIUS TO LEAD THEM!"
"Clockwork! Of course, perfect energy storage – no power-lines, no batteries, keeps right on going when the lights go out, I bet you’ve even got some automatic winder that slots into an amusing orifice, enough to drive anyone to kill all humans. Jings, seriously, it’s nice to meet robots who are clockwork for a REASON rather than it just looks a bit cool..."
"Um, why are you stalking that French bint rather than conquering the universe?" asks Rose not unreasonably.
"BECAUSE I LOVER HER!" screams the Turk. "AND IF THEY WANT ME TO HELP THEM DEFEAT THE SCOURGE OF ORGANIC INEFFICIENCY FROM THE SPACEWAYS, THEY’RE GOING TO LET ME BRING ALONG MY GIRLFRIEND!"
"Don’t I get a say in this?" asks Reinette.
"HEH. HOW QUAINT. BUT I MUST AWAY," continues the Turk. "USING THESE TIME WINDOWS WE SHALL FIND A MOMENT WHERE SHE FANCIES ME, AND THEN THE DAWN OF THE AGE OF MACHINES WILL OCCUR! UNTIL THEM, STAY HOT BABE!"
The Turk laughs evilly and runs out of the room and the Doctor absent-mindedly sends Mickey, Rose and Arthur after the killer clockwork man. However, this is nothing more than a clever bluff to be alone with Reinette once more.
The Doctor links his mind with hers to get all the juicy details of her sex life with Catherine, however his mind is still soft from regenerative trauma so his mental firewall isn’t up and basically Reinette is able to read his mind easier than solving a Sudoku.
The Doctor reels back realizing she now knows all his incredibly dirty secrets, like the role he played in the very formation of Time Lord society, the crimes he committed during the Temporal Difference of Opinion, what his evil son gets up to behind his back and not to mention the REAL reason why Christopher Eccleston quit!
"Doctor... Doctor Who?" muses Reinette. "It’s more than just the title of the TV series, isn't it?"
"What did you see?" demands the Doctor. "And more importantly will it stand up in court?!"
"That there comes a time, Time Lord, when every lonely little boy must learn how to dance," says Reinette.
And then they start shagging again.
Meanwhile, Mickey, Rose and Arthur are wandering down one of the ships corridors when the Turk appears at the end of the passageway. Cranking up a control on his chest plate marked "CAMP" to 11, the mechanical man makes a flamboyant gesture and screams, "THIS TIME, I DID NOT COME HERE... ALONE!!!"
Rose, Mickey and Arthur stare at him, unimpressed and thus totally taken by surprise when a bunch of clockwork-filled glass androids ambush them, plunge needle-like extensions into their prisoner’s necks and pump them full of horse tranquilizers. While this is reasonable for Arthur, it’s probably overkill for the two humans who manage to mumble how "totally tubular" the experience is before they pass out.
And while his companions are in mortal danger, the Doctor is far too busy playing Hide The Banana with one of the most accomplished French women who ever lived before the invention of the internet...
Parte the Second
Back on the ship, Arthur, Rose and Mickey have been stripped naked strapped to cold metal operating tables. Since the Turk is off trying to seduce Madame de Pompadour again, the clockwork men have been standing around not doing much for the last five hours. Rose is idiotically hopeful that the Doctor will instantly turn up and save them, but after four hours and fifty-nine minutes agrees with Mickey that maybe he won’t.
The Turk arrives and, in a bitch of a mood, orders them to chop up the two humans and use their intestines for fuse wire, their hearts for oil pumps and their eyeballs for novelty furry dice.
"Well... you... you might wanna think about that. You really, really might because... me and Mickey... we didn’t come here alone, oh no! And trust me - you wouldn’t wanna mess with our designated driver!" bluffs Rose like mad as the clockwork men rev up their chainsaws. "Ever heard of the Zarbi? Remember them? They had a name for our friend. They had myths about him, and a name. They called him the Oncoming Storm! You scared yet? Huh?"
In the distance, there is a loud banging and the sound of someone singing drunkenly.
"Dr Who is gonna fix it, Dr Who will put it right
As I move across the galaxy at twice the speed of light!
Back into the future the TARDIS travels time
With my beautiful assistant and my trusty mate K9!"
The Doctor staggers into the room, dancing with an imaginary partner, wearing a pair of sunglasses and a tie around his head. And as everyone watches on in bemusement, he strolls around the Clockwork Robots, still singing and waving a goblet of wine. Ignoring the demands from all and sundry to know what the hell he’s been up to for the last five hours, the absolutely buzzing Doctor continues to sing.
"The threats of time and outer space I’ll always keep in line
I’ll put the nasties in their place throughout the realms of time
The why and where and how and when, the back, beyond and through
The what and if and maybe will depend on Doctor Who..."
The Turk steps forward. "DESTROY THAT..."
"Sorry! Not finished!" screams the Doctor.
"OH. HOW MUCH LONGER?" asks the Turk.
"Two minutes at most."
"I’M NOT PUTTING UP WITH THIS!" snaps the Turk and he and all the Clockwork Robots march off into the depths of the space ship. At first Mickey and Rose believe this was a brilliant psychological ploy on the part of the Doctor but it rapidly becomes obvious that he is genuine pissed out of his mind as he continues singing and dancing.
At that moment they finally notice the two-way mirror opposite the TARDIS through which they can see the Clockwork Robots storming the the main hall of the Palace of Versailles and the Turk has captured Reinette in a last desperate bid to make her go out with him.
The Doctor tries to shove the Time Window open but the Clockwork Men have – in a rare moment of competence – sealed the window shut. Mickey suggests they smash through the window, but the Doctor explains it is too strong, they would need a truck. Or a horse...
In the ballroom Reinette is calling for calm, reminding them they
are in Versailles and they are French – and the various court nobles whisper amongst themselves that they hadn’t actually forgotten and who the hell does Madam du Pompadour think she is?
Reinette turns to the Queen and curtsies, complimenting her on her beauty and idly comparing the King’s sexual technique. By now pretty much everyone is convinced the tart’s lost it, especially when she starts ranting to the Turk that she does not fancy him, has never fancied them and how can she ever respect a lover who has nightmares about David Tennant of all people?
A rhythmic beating begins to ring out and suddenly, the Doctor smashes through the giant mirror at the top of the hall, somersaulting arse over tit through the Time Window and landing in a heap on the floor. "You know..." the concussed Time Lord mumbles as he staggers to his feet, "galloping-wise, there are good times... and bad times... for a horse to stop. That bastard’s off to the knacker’s yard when I get back. Madame de Pompadour! You look younger every day!"
"Actually, Doctor," Reinette complains, "I’M Madame de Pompadour. That’s author and philosopher Francois de Voltaire."
"So it is!" the Doctor marvels, slapping himself on the back of the neck. "BARCELONA! Uh oh." The Doctor looks back at the broken mirror and sees only a brick wall behind it. "I knew I was forgetting something. Jings. Talk about seven years bad luck. Try three thousand... Did I mention to Mickey and Rose the TARDIS can get them home?"
On the ship, Mickey bitches that the Doctor is only one who can fly the TARDIS and they have no way of getting back while Rose stares into space quietly weeping.
"Course I did," the Doctor consoles himself. "Didn’t I? Either way it looks like I’ve severed the link and trapped us all here in Versailles. Might have been able to carry that one off if I’d arrived on a grey stallion being all dashing and romantic..."
Unable to rationalize such hormone driven stupidity, the robots deactivate, with the Turk himself finally falling backwards, causing clockwork to smash over the floor and guests to whisper amongst each other that they could have SWORN it was a dwarf in fancy dress.
"Jings," the Doctor sighs amidst the destruction. "Still, I’ve got a run-through-a-Time-Window beautiful French tart dressed to the nines and with cleavage that could start a war. Not all bad, eh?"
On the ship Mickey and Rose suggests they make a suicide pact rather than starve to death in deep space. Rose agrees, but not to the naked Greco-Roman wrestling bit before the death, which pisses Mickey off so much he storms off and doesn’t return for five and a half hours, ironically keeping them both alive until the plot is resolved.
Back in Versailles, the Doctor and Reinette are sprawled in her bed (as is King Louis XV, judging by the third pair of feet), idly discussing the fact that the Time Lord can never return to his old life of travelling amongst the stars and will have to settle with incredible sex with her instead. "I mean, I honestly didn’t think it would turn out like this," the Doctor explains. "But I’m not complaining..."
Reniette idly wonders if there is another Time Window by which the Doctor can return and it strikes the spikey-haired Scot that he had never, EVER even THOUGHT about it and, indeed realizes that there are all sorts of mirrors and tapestries he can get back to the ship, especially as his sonic screwdriver has a setting specifically for reactivating such portals (setting 5242 million for you sad anoraks).
The Doctor is deeply relieved at this as he was worried he’d have to start paying Reinette for sex. Not that he finds that morally repugnant, he’s just totally broke. But, on second thoughts, while he hates the slow path of life he DOES enjoy all the sex...
"Let us see if the King’s courtesan does not have one surprise for the Lord of Time!" Reinette says, and a good three hours later they stop shagging long enough for the Doctor to ask her to be his new companion and, thankfully, put some pants on.
"Madame de Pompadour!" he grins as he dashes through the fireplace, "still wanna see those stars? Give me two minutes. Pack a bag! Go to the window. Pick a star. Any star and we’re there. Or maybe Cardiff. We’ll have to see how it goes."
Leaving Reinette breathless with anticipation, or maybe just breathless from all the sex, the Doctor runs back to the TARDIS where he rejoins Rose, demanding to know where that "ugly equine son of a mare" has got to and Rose explains he bolted and went in the TARDIS.
"And when she says 'went in the TARDIS'," Mickey adds, emerging from the police box with a shovel, "she MEANS 'went in the TARDIS'."
The Doctor stares at Mickey. "Right. That does it. We’re dropping him off in a field somewhere, OK? Next field we find. Which only leaves the question of what to do about the horse..."
Before either Mickey or Rose can ask WHY the Doctor is only wearing what appears to be Reinette’s underwear, the Time Lord runs back through the fireplace and discovers that in the five minutes he was gone, Reinette has dropped dead of tuberculosis. This is, understandably, something of a passion killer.
Pausing only to collect his old clothes and steal most of the paperwork on Reinette’s desk on the off chance she happens to have written him a letter or something, the Doctor walks away and soon he is back beside the TARDIS, where he solemnly takes the shovel from Mickey and smashes the fireplace to pieces, closing the Time Windows once and for all.
"Feeling better?" asks Rose after this orgy of destruction.
"Much," the Doctor grins and ushers her and Mickey into the TARDIS.
Finally alone for the first time in the episode, the Doctor flips through the stationary he nicked to see if Reinette left him a message:
"'Milk... eggs... toilet paper... girl goods...' it’s just a shopping list! What’s this one? 'Be not alarmed, madam, on receiving this letter, by the apprehension of its containing any sentiments or renewal of those offers which were last night so disgusting to you...' Not for me, either. Ahah, this looks more like it. Ahem. 'My Dear Doctor, you stood me up, you bastard. You really suck, you know that? Good luck with that blonde urchin, you prick. Warmest hopes you burn in hell, Reinette. P.S. Eccleston was way better.'"
Throwing down the letters in fury, the Doctor mutters something about 'ungrateful palsied harridans' before entering the TARDIS which then depart, revealing the name of the ship: the SS MADAME DE POMPADOUR. This is because in the 51st Century any self-respecting warp ship is named after a whore, like the SS Heidi Fleiss, the SS Xaviera Hollander or the SS Paris Hilton. It’s a totally random coincidence now I come to think of it, and probably doesn’t merit a place in this synopsis.
Um, the end.
"Good morning, class! I’m Ian Chesterton, but you can call me Dr Who! Are you all sitting comfortably? Tough! HAHA!"
"May I introduce Sarah Jane Smith since she’s using an incredibly obvious pseudonym?"
"Welcome to every man’s worst nightmare!"
"Since when were YOU a man, Mickey?"
"I fancied you."
"Where you from? The Dark Ages? Or even worse, the 70s?"
"ANYWAY, moving on..."
"What was he called? Fido? Pluto? No, wait, it was KAAAAYNIIIINNNNE!!!"
"The time has come my brethren. Today we shall complete the Sudoku puzzle."
"Is that what you’re going to do to me?"
"Whatever feels natural."
"You seem to be something new. Are you actually going to get off your arse and save the day in this regeneration?"
"You’re just DYING to kiss me."