Monday, February 1, 2010

10th Doctor - School Reunion (i)

Serial 203 – School’s Out!
An Alternate Program Guide by Ewen Campion Clarke
From An Entry In The EC Unauthorized Guide O' Reunions at Tepapawai

"YOA's Discontinuity Guides - Inaccurate But Caring."

Serial 203 – School’s Out! -

As Time Goddess Super Chav Rose zaps the main Dustbin Saucer, the Bastard says, "Fuck this!" and runs into his TARDIS, only for the strange and destructive vortex powers to start to dissolve him. Nevertheless the evil Time Lord sends his time machine to safety as the Dustbin army are wiped out completely, forever, definitely.

The disintegrating Bastard falls to the floor of his not-at-all-beloved TARDIS and is reborn anew: his skin darkening, his blurred and shimmering features melting like wax to transform into an exact replica of Giles from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

In any case, the regenerative vortex fades and the New, Improved, Quietly Intense Bastard sits bolt upright and promptly bangs his head on the edge of his TARDIS console and knocking him to the floor again.

"How undignified," he sighs. "Dying like that didn’t hurt nearly enough. There has to be an easier way to bring my order onto this chaotic universe than hanging out with Lavros-impersonators. Like some kind of cosmic coloring-in competition. Or sudoku. Ah. I think I’ve just had a truly momentous epiphany... And these trousers need changing."

As the Bastard’s TARDIS hurtles thought time, it has a near-collision with a police box hurtling the other way, which dovetails seamlessly into the el cheapo title sequence.

Parte the First

At the entrance to Tepapawai Boys High School, a freak rift forms in the fabric of the space time wash and allows K9 Mark II to arrive on Earth 2007, having escaped the destruction of the Dustbin fleet in 200,100 in perfect safety like so many recurring characters before him.

No sooner does K9 confirm his status than he is immediately smashed to pieces as a badly burnt space shuttle drops out of the sky on top of his little metal head. The hatch pops open and a spacesuited Sarah Jane Smith stumbles out, looking rather giddy from oxygen starvation. "Now THAT’S what I call a narrow escape!" she says directly to camera, resolving an abandoned Big Finish story arc.

Pausing only to reflect she’s somehow landed on top of an exact replica of the robot dog she had until recently, Sarah stumbles off to look for a phone to warn the world of the oncoming apocalypse or somesuch bollocks. I haven’t listened to the audios, I’ve no idea what needs tying up, do I?

Inside the school, however, Ms Fenn Partington is not in today after she won the lottery and abandoned New Zealand forever and their supply teacher is a spikey-haired spectacles Scottish bloke in a pinstripe suit. As he’s only three episodes into his first full season, he thus is not instantly identified by the public as the Doctor, all of whom have the strange idea it was still Tom Baker till last week.

The Doctor introduces himself as a science teacher Ian Chesterton and produces out a grubby relative dimensional stabilizer he brought her in a plastic bag. The Time Lord explain that his Time And Relative Dimension In Space machine is completely knackered and asks any of the students whether or not they know how to fix it.

A sea of bored and uninterested faces stare back at him.

Realizing he’s going to have to build up to TARDIS maintenance, he starts off a little simpler and asks them if they understand how magnets work but unfortunately only an ugly boy called Emil Bastabus can answer it. When the Doctor asks about measuring electrical power in a coil of water, Bastabus is again the only one to even raise his hand, let alone answer the question. Deciding to try his luck, the Doctor asks Bastabus about energy loss in damming systems, the definition of non-coding DNA and then the mathematical problem 65,983 times 5, all of which he answers correctly before the Doctor asks him how to fix the bloody dimensional stabilizer, which again he answers correctly.

"Reverse the polarity of the neutron flow! Of course, why didn’t I think of that," the Doctor marvels, but it seems that this question is too much for poor Bastabus, whose head explodes, showing the room in blood, gore and bits of brain.

There is a rather awkward pause followed by the bloodsoaked Doctor carrying the headless corpse of Bastabus to the part time school nurse and full time PE teacher Lesley Taungaroa.

"...and then his head just exploded! Pop, like that! He’s not so ugly to look at now, but I think maybe you should have a look at..."

The Doctor is cut short as Taungaroa snatches the corpse into her room and slams the door. Revolting munching and snarling noises can be heard, but before the Time Lord can investigate further, the lunch bell rings and he forgets all about it as he runs to the canteen.

In the school canteen the Doctor takes the chance to take the piss out of his companion Rose Tyler who – since they are marooned in New Zealand and short of cash – has been forced to become a dinner lady, piling plates full of food. Of course, the Doctor could have used the TARDIS computer to forge her degrees and stuff, but he thinks a bit of grunt work will help Rose get over her increasing snobby behavior.

Rose smiles at the Doctor sweetly and spits in his lunch... probably improve the flavor, but it’s the thought that counts.

The Doctor get his own back by dribbling tomato sauce all over his table – the perfect excuse to allow him to chat with Rose under the pretext of her cleaning the table. Or so he says.

"You will not believe the day I’ve been having," the Doctor sighs. "Boy in class this morning - got a knowledge way beyond planet Earth. Next minute, blam, he goes and explodes, right in front of me. I knew a girl who used to try that every time she had French, but she used pipe bombs and it was the 1960s... Anyway, anything odd happen to you?"

"One of the dinner ladies spontaneously combusted after spilling a huge barrel marked 'cooking oil'. Part from that? Nothing. Are you gonna finish those chips?"

The Doctor is deeply annoyed that, having signed up at what was reputed to be the worst school in the whole of New Zealand, there is a distinct lack of happy-slapping hoodies with ASBOs and ringtones. "It’s what stops the Kiwis being as dull as the rest of humanity, the knowledge that their warmest greetings can be a free drink or throwing furniture at you, sometimes simultaneously..."

The Doctor then notices that a sinister, slicked-back-haired figure is looming over the canteen from a black-and-white minstrel’s gallery, who looks astonishingly like Anthony Stewart-Head and indeed the character who he played in the pre-credit sequence: the Bastard. So it turns out the entire audience knows who the saturnine being is, but not the Doctor, who waves like a complete tool without any suspicion whatsoever.

Meanwhile, Head of Music Werner Hundertwaser announces that as Bastabus’ head has exploded, he has chosen the flamboyantly homosexual Gareth le Tissier to replace him in the not-at-all-ominously-named Advanced Sudoku Class...

The other members of the TARDIS crew are, at present, loitering at a cyber café: as Mickey was the only one of them to have gainful employment in his old life at Cardiff, he considers it only right that he do as little work as possible. However, his enjoyment of checking alien bondage websites is ruined as most of them have been closed down by the Touchwood Institute, who Mickey strongly suspects have the biggest extraterrestrial porn collection in existence.

Annoyed, he rings up Rose to complain as she is the only person in New Zealand he can ring even though the whole concept of internet pornography goes right over her head. Idly he notes that according to all the news there has been a ridiculous amount of UFO activity around Tepapawai, but no one is fussed as the place is something of a hotspot for lights in the sky, unexplained fires and domestic drama.

"Tell you what, though - three weeks ago, turns out all the kitchen staff were replaced. In fact, they were hired AT ALL since this is like the poorest school in the world. And this lot are weird – I think they might be freemasons," Rose mentions.

"Yeah, whatever Rose," Mickey shrugs, sending another obscene email to his lover Jackie Tyler, "I gotta take Arthur for the walk before he craps all over the coffee table again. Bye."

In a computer lab, Hundertwaser forces a room full of students to log on their workstations and start typing away at 3D hologram Sudoku puzzles as their leader looks on in needless menace.

At that moment, "Drastab from Guidance" - or the Bastard as I shall refer to him as it’s so bleeding obvious that it’s him it’s just not funny any more - meets Sarah loitering around reception in a second-hand NASA space suit. Thinking quickly, Sarah claims she is a journalist from The Kiwi Chronicle: Samantha J Shire!! (see, it’s not just renegade Time Lords who come up with godawful anagrams, you know...)

The Bastard escorts Sarah through the school, gleefully taking credit for all the improvements made to Tepapawai even though he’s supposed to be a guidance counselor and not actually the principal. They arrive at the school staff room where the Doctor is chatting with Utter Relief Teacher Mortimer Ellis Gormsby, who is pleased that the girls in his class are finally able to give the precise measurements of the walls of Troy... in cubits.

"That’s... not normal, is it?" asks the Doctor, cautiously.

"Of course not. These jiggaboos are barely capable of counting their toes, but that’s hardly surprising giving your kanacka’s love for drink during gestation, not to mention the interbreeding. But when it comes to latrine digging, there’s none finer!"

"And, it’s ever since the new guidance counselor arrived?"

"Quit so. Drastab arrived three months ago after Steve Mudgeway disappeared in less-than-mysterious circumstances. Probably buried in a ditch somewhere, but then he wasn’t popular to start with. Then the rest of the staff got the flu. If I didn’t know better I’d say the rest of them had had their neural pathways restructured by some sort of alien intelligence with designs on humanity."

"...and you didn’t think to mention it?"

"Of course not. I remember a tour of duty in Milan when one of the head teachers was replaced by a brain-draining psychic vampire. The literacy levels shot through the roof. With that kind of education, it’s always easy to turn a blind eye to the blood-drained corpses behind the bike shed. We ARE talking about teaching, remember, Chesterton?"

Thankfully, at this moment the Bastard enters and introduces Sarah to them and David Tennant drops completely out of character and becomes a drooling fanboy ogling one of his childhood lust objects.

"Hello!" says Sarah politely.

"Oh, I should think so!" gabbles the grinning Doctor. "I’m Rasputin, but you can refer to me as 'His Raspness'."

"Rasputin? I used to have a friend who sometimes went by that name, but he was a total lunatic in a silly scarf and yet you look like you might be more of a physical danger so, uh, nice to meet you..."

"Nice to meet you! Yes! Very nice! More than nice - brilliant! Good for you. Oh, good for you, Sarah Jane Smith!" the spikey-haired Scot giggles like a non-functional retard as she runs away from him. "Can I get an autograph for my Genocide of the Dustbins DVD?" he calls after her, but tragically to no avail.

After a caption saying "AN EDIT LATER..." the school bell has rung and the students having buggered out of Tepapawai as fast as they can, leaving the school empty and dark but intact (for once).

"Mission: Impossible" music fills the air as Sarah, the Doctor, Rose, Mickey and Arthur individually break into the school and start creeping around before the latter finally bump into each other.

"All right, team. Oh jings, I hate people who say 'team'. Um... 'gang'. Um... 'comrades'. Uh... anyway, Rose, go to the kitchen and get a sample of that oil that caused the dinnerlady to explain. Mickey, go and check out the staff room. Arthur, have a nose around and don’t shit all over the place. It’s just wrong. Same goes for you, Mickey. I’m gonna look in the guidance counselor’s office. Be back here before it gets boring."

The quartet split up, though Mickey is slightly humiliated by the fact a 17th Century French horse seems to be more of an expert at infiltration and investigation than he is. Humiliated, but not really surprised though.

After about ten minutes of French farce and near-misses, Sarah stumbles across the TARDIS parked in the gym, and whirls around the see the creepy nutter in the Jarvis Cocker outfit right behind her.

"Ello, Princess," murmurs the Time Lord, sounding unsettlingly like Dirty Den from Eastenders.

"Oh shit, it’s YOU!" she whispers. "You look even worse than the last version... and just as Scottish!"

"Aw, come on, I’ve changed three times since then. More if you count certain Comic Relief specials. What do you think?"

"You look... odd."

"So do you."

"I got old. We can’t all go changing our faces... although you could lose the sideburns."

"Oi. I like the sideburns. Not sure about the teeth. What do you think of the teeth? I find them new and weird and I swear I can still taste the banana..."

"What exactly are you doing here?"

"A stupid ape I know totally screwed up the TARDIS and we crashed in the gym. We’re just pretty much just cruising before we get back all the adventures and conspiracies and monsters. What about you?"

"Same. Apart from the TARDIS bits. So, anyway, how did that whole Temporal Difference of Opinion thing with the Dustbins turn out?"

"Could’ve gone a BIT better..."

"I can’t believe it’s really you. I suppose you’ve got a new worryingly young peroxide blonde as your new assistant then?"


"OK, NOW I can believe it’s really you," Sarah observes as Rose bounces, all happy and puppyish out of the gloom saying she got the oil sample from the kitchens without even once catching fire and exploding. The Doctor pats her on the head and introduces her to Sarah Jane Smith.

"Who’s the old witch?" demands Rose.

"Hi, nice to meet you," lies Sarah with a smile so fake that even sweet naïve Rose can spot it. "Sarah Jane Smith. I used to travel with the Doctor back before the BBC dumbed everything down."

"Well, HE’S never mentioned you! Not once! EVER!"

"Jings, Rose, that was a bit below the belt..."

"Yep, she’s a real improvement on the last few," Sarah observes, "this one’s bra size is in an extra set of figures compared to her IQ."

"Ooh, get you, tiger!" snaps Rose.

"Are you even over the age of consent, blondie?"

"Shouldn’t you be in a nursing home, wrinkles?"

The Doctor watches on, privately glad that his companions are getting on so well and not getting all aggressive and alpha female like a certain Big Finish play would have done.

The moment is broken by the sound of Mickey wailing.

They run from the gym and out to find Mickey standing over the battered remains of K9, laughing uncontrollably. The Doctor and Rose are less than thrilled to see the return of their old back-stabbing enemy from the 2005 series, but the disco-like shape of K9 causes Mickey to collapse, screaming with laughter. "He’s a robot dog! You had A ROBOT DOG! Oh man, the DOCTOR had A ROBOT DOG! CALLED K9! How shameful is that, huh? How fucking shameful is THAT?!"

The Doctor and Sarah idly discuss the truly ignoble fate of her own K9 in the audios as they both take turns in kicking the damaged robot. Rose tries in vain to draw the attention back onto her cute blonde self, but to no avail.

"K9’s just what we need to analyze that oil sample!" the Doctor notes. "Mobile computer, laser-gun in his nose, doesn’t fall in love or get hypnotized and he also works as a portable toaster. I dunno why I don’t use him more often, it makes things a lot easier for everyone to get the metal mutt to do the work rather than me. Of course, he does tend to go evil and try to kill me... but it balances out. In the long run."

Scooping up the lifeless robot dog, the Doctor leads the others to the nearest milk bar – totally oblivious to the screeching, bat-like creatures flying past the moon above or the fact they are being watched from the roof of a local newsagent by the Bastard who is standing out in the open with a giant bat monster sitting right beside him. You know, the stupidity of the main characters can be really depressing sometimes.

In the milk bar, the Doctor sets to work repairing K9, but since K9 Mark II is built from Gallifreyan technology, its not actually composed of circuitry and computer chips that might easily be replaced, but actually a mess of coral pieces and an extractor fan, all held together with Venusian spearmint bubblegum.

Mickey meanwhile is ridiculously amused that Rose repeatedly dumped him to travel with an alien Time Lord and was so stupid she assumed that she was the only woman in his 900 plus years of life. As he and Arthur taunt Rose, she resolves to rise above such insults... by taking up bulimia as a hobby.

As Rose wolfs down plates of chips, the Doctor and Sarah chat about the good old times... curiously ONLY the good old times available on DVD at all good shops and retailers.

"I thought of you on Christmas Day. This Christmas just gone? Great big spaceship overhead - I thought, 'Oh, yeah. Bet he’s up there'. Course, the bit where the Prime Minister of Great Britain appeared on national television demanding you get your butt over there and defeat the aliens could have been a clue..."

"Did I do something wrong?" the Doctor asks suddenly. "Because you never came back for me. You just... dumped me. I mean, I was called back home and in those days humans weren’t allowed, but I waited for you. I missed you. I had to put up with homicidal knife wielding savages, haughty Time Ladies, alien fish girls, even something I can only refer to as Adric..."

"Oh, you didn’t need me!" Sarah mocks cheerfully. "You were getting on with your life."

"You WERE my life! And then you ran off with a severed alien hand to use as a novelty sex change! You know what the most difficult thing was? Coping with what happens next, and with what doesn’t happen next. I took you to the furthest reaches of the galaxy, I showed you supernovas, intergalactic battles and then you just left me! You were a radical fascist feminist turned fluffy seven year old girl in an Andy Pandy outfit! JINGS, WOMAN, HOW COULD ANYTHING COMPARE TO THAT?!?!"

"You could’ve come back for me if you were that bothered," Sarah points out in a huff.

"Oh yes. Guess so. Forget I ever mentioned it," the Doctor shrugs before slamming K9 in the side with a lump-hammer until the little robot dog clicks and whirs into life.

"Oh, fuck, not YOU again..." K9 chirps.

"He recognizes me!" the Doctor yells ecstatically.

"Affirmative," K9 sighs miserably. "What is you want, Master?"

"Analyze THIS!" the Doctor commands, throwing a sample of the oil over the head of K9. "Good boy."

"Is that IT?!" boggles K9. "Isn’t there a chemistry set or something?"

"Well, I suppose, but to be in the right frame of mind to use it, I’d have to smash you to pieces with a baseball bat..."

"All right, all right! Analyzing! Look. It’s Goablin Oil. No doubt about it. Goablin Oil. Can I go now?"

The Doctor and Sarah exchange looks and agree that they are all, in all possible senses, completely and utterly screwed. "Think of how bad things could possibly be, and add another suitcase full of bad," mumbles the Time Lord as he hides under a table.

"The Goablins are a composite race, a physical amalgam of the races they’ve completely buggered into submission. They cherry-pick the people they mercilessly annihilate! Bits of Scartigs, bits of Radites, bits of Kurugs, bits of Dovans, Zandans, Kling Lords, Craytons, Craxons, Vatheks, Vogans, Klims, whatever!" Sarah explains.

"So this is bad, is it?" works out Rose with her usual perspicacity.

"Pretty bad," the Doctor agrees. "Do the words 'slouching towards Bethlehem' ring a bell? Despair, torment, terror? Evil is at work at Tepapawai! I haven’t read the Book of Revelations lately, but if I was searching for adjectives, I’d probably start there and continue via the post-apocalyptic bits of Night of the Comet..."

"They won’t stop until we’re all dead!" Sarah agrees.

"Well, there’s clearly only two options," Mickey says with gusto, leaping astride Arthur. "Either we take these ugly alien freaks on and give them the exact same treatment we gave the Sychophants and the Slitheen and the Nestle Conscious... or we run like ninjas on fire. So I ask you now – who wants to run?"

As the Bastard and the Goablin watch on, Sarah, Mickey, K9 and Arthur flee the milk bar, followed by the Doctor and Rose. "How many of us have there been, travelling with you?" asks Rose as they flee.

"Does it matter?"

"Might! Am I the latest in a long line?"

"Course you are? Remember Presuming Ed? The Brigadier? Aaron? Captain Jack? Jings, Rose, we’re really going to have to work on your long-term memory..."

"You just leave us behind! Is that what you’re going to do to me?"

"Course not!" the Doctor says cheerfully. "You and me together forever! Well, not forever. I mean, I don’t age, I regenerate while you’ll decay and wither and die, just like Madame de Pompadour – assuming you don’t get ripped limb from limb by a Goablin on a killing spree."

"Wow!" gasps Rose, totally reassured.

Suddenly, the Goablin swoops down on the Doctor, Rose, K9, Sarah, Arthur and Mickey, screeching evilly at the perfect key to segue right into the cliffhanger music...

Parte the Second

The Goablin hurtles straight at the group, but at the last moment notices the strange stains on K9, screams in terror and swoops away towards the moon, leaving the group unsettled and Arthur having shat on the road once more in terror.

"THAT was a goblin?!" gasps Rose. "It’s scared of a robot dog! How freaking pathetic is that?"

Nevertheless, the run-and-keep-running course of action is still supported as a good idea and the group wait patiently for dawn to rise so they can sneak into Tepapawai with the schoolchildren acting as unwitting human shields while they reach the TARDIS. In order to increase their chances, the Doctor suggests they split up and mingle with the milling children.

"Rose and Sarah, you go via the Maths Room, Mickey and Arthur and K9 you can stay outside and provide a distraction allowing the rest of the group to escape with their lives. And I’ll run straight there as fast as I can while still only a fraction of the soul-destroying terror I feel at the very thought of Goablins. Still, on the bright side, at least it’s not the Trods..."

The Doctor then lets out an embarrassing wail and hurls himself straight into the gym, only to find "Drastab" already there, leaning against the TARDIS and waiting for the Doctor to turn up.

Confronted by the slick-haired, bearded man with the air of quiet menace who is obviously the leader of the Goablins without actually being a Goablin himself and also expecting the Doctor’s behavior, the Tenth Doctor uses his amazing powers of Time Lord genius and realizes he is looking at his most arch of enemies... the BASTARD!

"Like the new face," the Doctor says after an embarrassing pause.

"I wish the feeling was mutual."

"So, you’ve decided to shack up with Goablins now? Bit of a come down from the New Dustbin Empire and the Moxx of Balloon, isn’t it?"

"Ahem. Did THEY have wings? Goablins have had them for nearly ten generations, now, ever since they went ten rounds with the Devil Birds of Orgo and made a million widows in one day, just imagine. And what have YOU been up to since your latest bestial tart absorbed the time vortex? I always thought that pikey drama teacher body of yours wouldn’t last long. It was so pretentious, so self-consciously hip and full of wannabe gravitas, so frightened of change and... chaos!"

"And now there’s me. So, uh, what’s the evil masterplan this time?"

The Bastard laughs. "You’ve got absolute no idea, do you?"

"That’s why I’m asking, dumbass."

"Well, show me how clever YOU are, weasel feature. Work it out, bitch!"

"Oh I will!"

"Go on then!"

"I shall!"

"Fine with me!"

"Yeah, and if I don’t like it... then you are fucked, boy!"

The evil Time Lord considers. "Fascinating. Your last self was reactive to the point of indolence. You seem to be even MORE arrogant than before. Didn’t you learn anything from getting the Earth carpet bombed, all your allies exterminated and losing your ninth body?"

"Not. A. Thing. And if you think some confident evil psychology is going to make me worried I’ve gotten too full of pride and that’s going to lead to my downfall, I’ll have you know I’ve had a ONE HUNDRED PER CENT SUCCESS RATE! Apart from Reinette. And Joan Collins. And the Grinch. And that business with the Sycophants. Jings... OK. I’ve screwed up EVERY SINGLE TIME! And I’m STILL confident!"

"Would you declare war on us, Doctor?"

"I’m so sexy, now," the Doctor sighs, "I used to have so much gravitas... You get one chance to explain your entire plan and let me solve it in an uncontrived and non-cliched manner. THAT was it."

The Bastard watches as the Doctor shoves his hands in his pockets and stalks off towards the girl’s changing room. "But we’re not even enemies this time, Doctor. Soon... you will embrace me."

"Not gay in this body, I’m afraid."


"Mmmm. Don’t bet on it."

"Well, anyway," the Bastard calls after him, "the next time we meet, you will join with me. I promise you that. You’ll love it. Seriously! No bullshit! How do you feel about autonomous godhood? Does that sound tempting? Huh?’re still a tosser, no matter what body you’re wearing," the Bastard mutters darkly once he’s alone.

A quick check on the rest of the regular cast: Mickey sits atop Arthur bitching about his miserable life until K9 shuts down with boredom; and in the computer room, Sarah and Rose exchange bitchy Sex in the City lines before the REAL reason for their bickering is revealed:

Unresolved Sexual Tension.

Finally, something gives – metaphorically speaking – and the two suddenly embrace each other and start kissing passionately and tearing each other’s clothes off...

...just as the Doctor bursts in to tell them all there’s been a change of plan and they’re going to destroy the alien monsters. He spots his two companions making out and stares at them for a long moment.

"It can wait," he mutters as he sits down for a better look.

Meanwhile, the Bastard enters the staff-room where Mr. Morton and Mrs. O’Flahherty munch on the remains of Education Review Office school inspector, Marion Patterson while Taungaroa wolfs down processed rats with lashings of Bastabus. "The time has come to initiate the final phase," the Bastard murmurs with impressive understatement. "We shall become gods. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon! And for the rest of our lives!"

Outside in the playground the tannoy sounds and all of the pupils are told to return to classes, and all staff are to convene in the staff room. Mr. Gormsby watches on in approval as the students obediently accept that break time has finished early and don’t start a firebomb riot in retaliation – but he is far from pleased when all the staff members bar him (even the Maori ones like Hohepa and Hakanui) are changing, abandoning their disguises and reverting to their true form to fly about the school.

Old Gormsby is even more disturbed when he discovers all the pupils file into classrooms and all start doing internet Sudoku programs without question as the Bastard uses his tissue compression doohickey to compress the matter of the school gates, locking Tepapawai out from the outside world (much to the relief of the local populace).

Inside the main computer room, Rose and Sarah have finally collapsed exhausted and sweaty and as the Suduko problems are being displayed on the disused monitors, which distracts the Doctor from his copulating companions. In annoyance, he tries to switch them off with his sonic screwdriver but discovers to his fury that the Bastard has used Deadlock Seals (TM Patent Applied For), the One Thing the sonic screwdriver cannot muck about with.

With no option, the Doctor is forced to actually try to decipher the code and work out what the hell the Bastard is up to this week. Soon he is staring in horror: "No... no, they can’t be... The Sudoku Paradigm! THEY’RE TRYING TO CRACK THE SUDOKU PARADIGM!"

Sarah and Rose are understandably unimpressed.

"It’s the most ridiculous dues ex machine known to Man or God! The universal theory that if you do enough Sudoku problems at the exact same point in space and time reality will crack and you will be given control of the building blocks of the universe! Time and space and matter, yours to control!"

In realization, the Doctor comes up with a strange and incoherent theory that the Goablins have changed their DNA so many time they have become allergic to their own precious bodily fluids – hence the Goablin retreating from the oil-stained K9 – and have been using said fluids in the food, literally pissing in the gravy for some reason which isn’t actually explained. All I know is that it will be a cold day in hell before I try canteen food again!

The Bastard enters smugly. "Think of it, Doctor – the one method of total universal domination absolutely no one else in all of history has actually put to the test! Dustbins, Cybermen, Snotarans, it never even OCCURRED to them to try it! But I and the Goablins will try it! And with the Paradigm solved, reality becomes clay in our hands. We can shape the universe and improve it!"

"Oh yeah? The whole of creation with the face of Anthony Stewart-Head? Call me old fashioned, but I like things as they are."

"You’re not thinking, Doctor," the Bastard reproaches him. "Think of the changes that could be made if this power was used for GOOD! By someone... like YOU! The Paradigm gives us power, but YOU could give us badass streetwise wisdom. Become a God at my side! Imagine what you could do - think of the civilizations you could save. Think of the civilizations you could destroy! Perganon, Assinta... We could even bring back the Time Lords and make them less sexually-repressed prudes! You could even keep your companions having girl-on-girl action throughout eternity! Young, fresh, never withering or aging or dying! How sexually frustrated you must be, Doctor. JOIN US!!"

The Doctor has a faraway look in his eyes.

"No!" urges Sarah desperately. "The universe HAS to move forward! Bas things HAVE to happen! Civilizations HAVE to fall! Ant and Dec MUST stay on the air! Pain and loss - they define us as much as happiness or love. Whether it’s a world, or a relationship... everything has its time. And everything ends."

Everyone stares at her.

"Oh, for God’s sake, it’s fucking SUDOKU! It’s not ACTUALLY going to work, is it?"

The Doctor nods. "Yeah, who are we kidding?" he asks the Bastard before picking up a chair and hurling it through the screen displaying the code, which smashes oh-so-symbolically as the Doctor, Rose and Sarah run off into the school.

"Well," sighs the Bastard after they’re gone. "THAT didn’t work."

Meanwhile, Mr. Gormsby spots Mickey, Arthur and K9 on the other side of the front gates and orders him to stop lollygagging about and do something positive. Mickey frantically asks K9 for advice.

"We need to get inside the school! Do you have like, I dunno, a lock picking device?"

"We are on a horse."

"Maybe a drill attachment?"

"We are on a horse."

"Fat lot of good, you are!"

"We are on a horse."

"Wait a second... we’re on a horse!"

In a truly impressive sequence that would have been wasted in a Steven Moffat episode, Mickey gallops Arthur towards the gates, before jumping clear over the gates and landing beside Gormsby. If there’s another show that has its plot rely on an unemployed mechanic and a robot dog riding a French stallion into a New Zealand secondary school, then, quite frankly, I’d like to see it.

The Doctor, Sarah and Rose arrive but the Goablins swoop in to follow. All looks doomed until, rolling his eyes, Gormsby lets off the fire alarm – a high-pitched bell that deafens the sensitive ears of the bat creatures and allows K9 plenty of time to shoot them dead. Mostly.

Letting out a rather creepy screech as he rips out the wires, the Bastard summons yet more Goablins to enter the fray, and everyone finds themselves trapped in the canteen kitchen. Everyone IMPORTANT, that is, as Mickey ends up in the computer room where the students are all transfixed and solving Sudoko puzzles.

Finally, Mickey trips over a bundle of wires connecting the computers to the plug socket. Thanks to the shoddy electrics and second-hand network of Tepapawai, the computer overload and the pupils snap out of their daze, realize no teachers are present and immediately jig class. Marveling at the usefulness of his own slapstick, Mickey immediately skips school with the rest of them.

In the kitchens, the Doctor tries to open a vat of oil as it will be the perfect... if highly-flammable... weapon to destroy the Gaoblins before they unleash their pure evil upon the Earth. Or solve the Sudoku problems, whichever comes first.

However, this new Bastard isn’t a complete idiot and used those handy-dandy Deadlock Seals (TM Patent Applied For) and thus the vats cannot be opened. Thus, the Doctor decides it’s time that K9 earned his keep and made amends for trying to conquer the universe last year. The Doctor puts K9 right inside the vat and tells him to shoot it when the Bastard and the Goablins turn up.

"Master, I will be trapped inside..."

"Jings, well, you’ll just have to move bloody quickly then, won’t you?"

"Master, my energy levels are too low to achieve required velocity. You’re condemning me to death, asshole!"

"Think of it as me saving you from Mickey!"

"...That is correct. This can only be an improvement."

The Doctor places his hand briefly on K9’s head. "You’re the last robot dog left... Goodbye, old friend."

"Goodbye Master."

"You’re nothing but a hound dog."


Everyone else legs it as the evil villains finally turn up, lead by the oh-so-evil Bastard from Guidance. He looks down to see K-9 sitting beside the vat. "You feeling lucky, dog?" sneers the Bastard.

K9 fires his nose-laser and the vat bursts, spraying the Goablins with the oil. This causes the aliens to collapse, writhing in agony, and also totally ruins the Bastard’s smart suit.

The evil Time Lord barely has time for a witty one-liner before his allies spontaneously combust, igniting the released oil and causing a thermal chain reaction... look, to cut to the chase, Tepapawai blows up and now-worthless enrollment forms rain down from the sky.

Some time later, the TARDIS stands in the demolished ruins of Tepapawai Boy’s School as the Doctor tries to get the time machine working once again using all the stuff he’s been systematically nicking from class rooms, supplies stores and even students themselves. Sarah drops by for a cup of tea and see how messy the time machine has gotten without her stabilizing presence, but even she is stunned at the evil Farscape desktop theme he’s been using today.

"Um," the Doctor mumbles as he and Arthur fiddle with the computer, "we’re about to head off, but... you could come with us. And be with Rose. And all the kinkyness implied therein."

Rose looks at her, smiling expectantly. Sarah Jane looks from happy face to happy face. And shakes her head. "No... I can’t do this anymore. Besides, I've got a much bigger adventure ahead! Time I stopped trying to get spin offs based around robot dogs and found a life of my own!"

"You’re... dumping me?!" Rose is aghast.

"Yup, she did the same thing to me too," the Doctor sighs.

"Well, I’d better go," says Sarah awkwardly before taking Rose aside and giving her a long, sophisticated kiss as the Doctor and Mickey watch on in naked lustful awe.

"Can’t I come with you?" Rose weeps.

"No. Some things are worth getting your heart broken for. Find me... if you can, one day. Find me."

And with that, she runs out.

As the police box disappears Sarah walks off towards a new life...

Moments later the TARDIS reappears and the Doctor sticks his head out the door. "Oh, by the way, did you want a brand new K9 to replace the one I heartlessly blew up?"

"NO!" Sarah shouts over her shoulder.

"Fair enough," the Doctor agrees and ducks back inside. The TARDIS takes off again this time stays gone as Sarah strides into the sunset and a successful CBBC spin-off series...

Next Time...
"So this is Irth? Rose, can’t you even SPELL?!"
"An alternative to our world is the same but everything’s a bit different?"
"Yes, Mickey. We’ve all watched Sliders."
"All those rumors about adapting Big Finish stories – it’s been going on for months!"
"What are they all doing? Are they mime artists?"
"Mimes with bluetooths? I doubt it."
"The prototype has passed every test sir... except for the 'not enslaving humanity and conquering the universe' bit."
"I’ve seen this happen before. Well, 'seen' might be the wrong word, it WAS on audio..."
"What are they?"
"The ultimate contraceptive – a skin of metal and a body that will never get saggy or bruised from S&M games!"
"It’s the CYBS!!!"
...Silver Finish...

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