Monday, November 2, 2009

7th Doctor - Colditz

Serial 7U - Coleslaw Cutaway
An Extract From The EC Unauthorized Guide O' Dicky Attenborough


Serial 7U - Coleslaw Cutaway

Part One

The TARDIS hits an ant eater in the Time Space Vortex, and although it subsequently materializes, the Doctor can't tell exactly where. However, on statistical probability he decides they are on Earth in the twentieth century, probably close to a gravel quarry.

Ace idly suggests the Doctor checks the scanner, but the Doctor insists that this will waste valuable time and they should run outside and hope that they don't immediately get shot by an irritated gang of Chinese youths.

The TARDIS stands in the courtyard of a castle decked with swastikas and a flashing neon sign saying WELCOME TO OFLAG 4-C. YOU'LL NEVER LEAVE. The Doctor admits that this is very familiar, and decides that they've obviously arrived in the middle of one those master plans he started and never got round to finishing.

Ace suggests they leave at once, or at least duck back into the TARDIS to get a program guide and some machine guns -- too late.

The sound of running footsteps echoes across the courtyard; floodlights slam on, blinding them; shouts ring out in German; the Doctor and Ace are surrounded by soldiers who claim the TARDIS as their own and take the duo prisoner.

Yes, it's just another Thursday evening on Doctor Who.

The Doctor brags that at least they didn't get shot the moment they stepped out of the TARDIS, and the German Leader Klutz accidentally shoots the Time Lord in the shoulder. Ace laughs mockingly and the Doctor tries to stay cheerful, at least they're not in the hands of Nazis like all the other times they visit Earth history.

Klutz apologizes for shooting the Doctor and introduces herself as Nazi soldier and they are in the infamous Colditz Castle, home for the most difficult, dangerous and most important of British prisoners, open on weekends from nine till one.

Klutz immediately takes Ace to one side and explains she never wanted to be a soldier, she wanted to be... a hairdresser! Hah, thought I was gonna say 'lumberjack', didn't you? Anyway, Ace's insolence and the jeers of the British prisoners have convinced Klutz that if anyone's suited to being a Nazi Commandant Bitch, it's Ace. Indeed, her refusal to give Klutz any respect and chatting casually to a passing market researcher convinces the German that Ace is just what Colditz needs to be a tight, fit prisoner of war camp.

Still not entirely believing she has managed to get the top job at Colditz after three minutes, Ace tests her authority and orders Klutz to strip for delousing, then juggle some cans of nitro-9 while dangling upside down from a rope ladder.

Klutz does so willingly and Ace decides she might as well take the job as seriously as she did her Iceworld waitressing – she thus decides to give her superiors a CD walkman and tell them they could win the war and rule the world with it. You know, for a laugh.

Another German called Hoffman Chaffer gives the Doctor a piggy-back to solitary confinement as an apology that his prisoner will have to wait for morning until the camp doctor can tend to his injury. The Doctor, loving the attention, claims he is growing faint and decides to play "Who Do You Think You Are Kidding Mr Hitler?" on the spoons he was hiding somewhere so secret no one was prepared to search.

Chaffer idly asks if the Doctor's mysterious materializing blue box is made out of Teak wood. The commandant of the prison camp is a bit of a DIY freak and is interested in stuff like that. The Doctor is under no illusions as to what will happen to him if he refuses to reveal the secrets of the TARDIS' woodgrain... but he does realise that Chaffer really is bored rigid and doesn't care.

Ace arrives in her spiffing new uniform and decides that the Doctor should not be treated with care - as far as she's concerned, the prisoners should be made to talk; compassion is out of line. And the prisoner's lack of respect will be solved tomorrow morning when Ace plans to recreate the sodomy scenes from Pulp Fiction.

The Doctor, baffled as to Ace's sudden infatuation with Nazism, tries to run for it by throwing his hat at her, but this fails rather miserably. Attacking a German officer is an offence punishable by death, but Ace decides not to shoot the Doctor... not this time. But now it appears he owes her a favor.

"Ace? Are you out of your mind or what?!" the Doctor demands.

Ace, now high on power and racial hatred, has Chaffer report the capture of the TARDIS and her CD walkman to German High Command and call in the Gestapo to torture the Doctor. The Doctor points out that Ace can tell the Nazis everything he knows, but Ace has a lot of New Adventures angst to work out on the Time Lord's ass.

Morning dawns with sirens summoning the prisoners to roll call, and the Doctor meets up with Flying Officer Bill Gower and another prisoner Tim Wilkins, and the rest don't talk or do anything because the budget's rather tight for this story.

The Doctor insists that Ace is joining up with the Nazis because deep down she's a horrible insecure Time Lady with two worryingly similar yet immature personalities. The fact she's just running Colditz rather than fighting on the front lines suggests she's a coward!

Ace retorts that she's not the one about to be shot dead if he doesn't hand over the secrets of the TARDIS to the Third Reich – and after a few minutes, the Doctor realizes she's threatening him.

Just then, a scrawny looking man in a long brown coat, a pinstripe suit and a thick Cockney accent calling himself Johan Schmit bursts in insisting that his psychic passport allows him to interrogate the prisoner. However, Ace plays dumb and decides to have BOTH of them shot if the Doctor doesn't cooperate.

"Bollocks," Johan mutters.

Part Two

The Doctor tries to outstare Ace with some freaky Time Lord hypnosis – and Ace bitch-slaps him. Fresh out of ideas, the Doctor cracks and hands over the TARDIS key. Ace takes the Doctor, Johan and Chaffer to the TARDIS and opens it up.

Chaffer is stunned and Ace says, "OK, the place needs some carpets and the odd Swastika display, but I think it has some real potential, don't you? That bust of Napoleon looks dead good if we take all the question marks off."

Believing the size of the interior is down to the schnapps he was swigging earlier, Chaffer washes his hands. The other three wait impatiently for him to dry them and say something.

Ace is disappointed when Chaffer decides to simply report that the schnapps needs a little more lemon if hallucinations are to be avoided. When Ace says she's contemptuous for his lack of vision, Chaffer points out he's having a vision right now of a bigger-on-the-inside police box! He doesn't need any more of it!

Using this as a distraction, the Doctor deliberately locks his keys into the TARDIS, and thus prevents the Nazis from ever getting their grubby little protuberances on time technology.

The Doctor and Johan are thrown back with the other prisoners. They chat about the futility of escape, the Allies' certain victory over Germany, the odd way toast always lands butter side down and some of the more obvious plot flaws in The Great Escape.

Ace however, has a cunning plan, and reveals that the only food for the prisoners is... mashed turnip!! The Doctor screams hysterically, due to a deep-rooted fear of mashed root vegetables. Ace slaps the Doctor and intends to take him to his cell and... "discuss" the favor he owes her.

Furious, and not to mention disgusted, the Doctor threatens to give Ace "a jolly good smacked bottom". Despite Johan's protests, Ace treats this as an assault on her person, and acts accordingly.

The Doctor, however, took evening classes in 1944 German military law and since Ace's grasp of German customs is simply "Schnell! Schnell! Donner und blitzen, these Englanders fight like madmen!", easily wins the case and convinces the camp commandant to let him off. Indeed, as this case is so open and shut, Ace has wasted their time and is thus penalized for turning up for the court martial.

Ace lets loose with some vitriol that ends with her not only losing her job but ending up a prisoner forced to do domestic duties. Her hysterical screams she can win the war via the big blue phone box that's actually a time machine don't endear her to anyone, especially as Chaffer deduces she too is a morbid alcoholic.

With this matter dealt with, Johan uses his psychic paper – without which he'd be stranded in Nazi Germany with a British accent and no way of proving who he isn't. The Doctor meanwhile realizes that he didn't actually have a back-up plan for getting locked out of the TARDIS and is thus stuffed.

Johan escorts the Doctor out of Colditz and explains that Ace will be put in solitary and they'll never see her again. The Doctor believes that Ace is allowing this illusion of surrender so she can build up a supply of nitro-9 to blow up the castle and screw about with recorded history, laughing like a mad woman as she does so.

Indeed, Ace points out to Chaffer that officially, there is no record that either she, the Doctor or Johan ever existed. Using this logic, she points out that Chaffer that he might as well leave the cell unlocked – as she doesn’t exist, it won't stop her escaping. Chaffer finds this philosophical conundrum too much and goes off to get wasted on some homemade beetroot wine. Ace escape and decides to organize an escape... tonight!

Johan has his driver drop off him and the Doctor at the edge of a nearby forest, explaining that he's another means of transport waiting a mile and a half into the woods. The Doctor is starting to put the pieces together, and it all falls into place when they arrive at a clearing in the forest... where they find another police box!

Johan explains he's not actually part of the gestapo, but in fact a future incarnation of the Doctor himself!

"So where are your question marks?" the Seventh Doctor asks, baffled.

Part Three

Johan – or rather, the Tenth Doctor – explains he had just popped back to 1965 to pick up some Beatles albums and some LSD only to discover Britain had lost the second world war and was now a Nazi state. Apparently, the Nazis won because of Ace giving them superior technology, so the Tenth Doctor traveled back in time to fix the situation and just hope that no paradox-consuming vortex wraiths turn up because that would just be inappropriate.

It appears that the collision with the ant eater means that since the first scene of this play reality has been unrealized and a future that cannot be has replaced the past that never was – things are different when you don't have much future to look back on.

The Tenth Doctor goes cross-eyed trying to explain this and then suggests that if they let Ace die in a botched escape attempt tonight, they can put history back on the course. The Seventh Doctor admits he'd rather like to keep Ace alive, at least until he works out whether or not to dump her on Gallifrey, in France, make her Time's Vigelante or kill her with nitro-9 and a giant flea.

Klutz meanwhile has found herself back in her old job and is furious at Ace for this betrayal. As a revenge, she smashes Ace's CD Walkman against the wall and lists with a flip chart all the weak points in the prison that she must now stop prisoners escaping by. "It's just not fair," Klutz sobs, before tripping and falling out a window.

Ace returns to her job and stops an escape attempt by the British. It's all very predictable and done in every POW film you can imagine. It is stopped in an even more predictable, conventional fashion and frankly I still can't be arsed to listen to it, let alone transcribe it. The English try to escape and fail. That's the jist of it.

Let's move on with our lives, shall we?

The Tenth Doctor returns to the prison, armed with an air-rifle and some horn-rimmed spectacles. He is utterly sick to death of this explosive-loving, violently aggressive little Time Anarchist who can’t even made a decent pot of tea without dropping in a tab of acid!

The Tenth Doctor gleefully announces that the Seventh is spending the night stealing cars in Leipzig for kicks, and now his older self can finally get rid of this annoying, angst-ridden bitch.

Ace mocks the Tenth Doctor's geeky outfit, and gets the barrel of the rifle in her face and laughs like a madman. Ace has defied and humiliated him for the last time...

Part Four

At the last moment, Ace hits on the one name which can save her – Thatcher! The name startles the Tenth Doctor so much, he spins around, firing the gun randomly trying to hit the notorious prime minister who technically is still in high school.

As the Tenth Doctor finally regains his composure, he realizes that Ace has buggered off. Again. "Jings," he complains loudly.

The Seventh Doctor gets arrested joyriding in a stolen car and is sent to Colditz. There he mocks his future self - his very presence in his own past is altering events, in ways he can’t have anticipated; he may have erased his future timeline already. Furious, the Tenth Doctor reports that he knew the Seventh Doctor was going to say that.

The Tenth Doctor explains that he is not changing history but fulfilling a destiny he's already lived through. And he's going to shoot Ace at the earliest opportunity...

Ace meanwhile has got her kicks by publicly accusing the weakest, meekest and most helpless and puny of the prisoners of betraying the Allies to save his own skin. The very angry very prisoners turn on the terrified wimp and beat him near to death. Ace laughs that this is exactly what people who betray their own sides deserve, and then wonders if this philosophy might just be asking for some really bad karma, before shrugging and whistling 'Springtime for Hitler'.

The Tenth Doctor is horrified to discover that his psychic passport, you know, the one without which he'd be stranded helpless in Nazi Germany, has been nicked!

The Seventh Doctor warns his future self that Time is against him now and the Tenth Doctor rolls his eyes and reminds his younger self that he said the exact same thing three regenerations ago – it was crap then and it's crap now.

Just then, Klutz bursts in and arrests absolutely everyone. She's as mad as Himmler and she's just not going to take it any more! She's sick and tired of the prison, tired of guarding prisoners but above all, tired of stupid time paradoxes that change the outcome of World War II!

"Jings," the Tenth Doctor mutters, the memory this entire incident having slipped his mind. He and his past self are arrested for treason unbecoming a haddock and taken to the cells.

Just then, the Tenth Doctor remembers what happens next and explains that any minute Ace will turn up, swear a lot and finally leave in the TARDIS with her Doctor, leaving behind the remains of her CD walkman. The Nazi scientists will use it to develop laser technology, and use lasers to refine uranium and win the atomic race. The TARDIS had absolutely fuck all to do with history being changed!

Everyone nods and agrees this is rather a clever plot twist...

...whereupon the Tenth Doctor snatches Klutz's pistol, lets off a round of machine gun fire and escapes in the car he stole three lifetimes ago earlier today. Screw this for a game of soldiers, he's off to enjoy that ABBA concert with Rose Tyler!

The Doctor reveals to Ace that this was, in fact, one of his abandoned master plans after all. Just one he hasn't thought of yet, and one that doesn't so much save the created universe, but make historians' brains implode like jelly.

Snatching up the remnants of Ace's walkman, the Doctor and Ace head for the TARDIS after agreeing to let Ace use her nitro-9 to blow up Colditz castle. Via way of apology to the gathered cast, the Doctor hands out a few free tubs of complimentary coleslaw.

After a few moments of bafflement following this, Klutz shoots Chaffer in the shoulder and tries to take out Ace and the Doctor but, being a complete klutz, ends up ripped in two.

What? You want more detail? Sicko. I bet you watch gore flicks.

OK, trying to stop her enemies from escaping, Klutz shoots at the Doctor and Ace, and hits the TARDIS console -- causing the ship to dematerialize while she's still stuck in the doors, half in and half out of the TARDIS.

Seeing Klutz get torn in half has shaken Ace to the core. With laughter. "What a geek!" she mocks.

The Doctor points out that not only is Ace technically responsible for history being sucked up its own arse, she got an innocent man beaten to death, nearly caused the Nazis to win the war by losing future technology in the past and generally acted like a snooty bitch to her own grandfather in two, count them, TWO time frames!

Ace needs some time off, and she needs to grow up - and she'll start by telling the Doctor to stop calling her Ace. From now on, it'll be Frumpy "Hotlips" Toadshagger.

The Doctor rolls his eyes. "God, first flirting with Nazi ideology then wanting to change your name by deed poll just to be 'cool'. David Bowie was just the same! You're really pathetic, you know that?!"

Book(s)/Other Related - Doctor Who - Ace Must Die
Bodice-Ripping Yarns
Achtung! And Other Words Of Warning.

Fluffs - Sylvester McCoy seemed a little camp in this story
"I'm not following your script, Klutz, I'm following my own."

Goofs –
Klutz is constantly referred to as an officer, yet her Feldwebel uniform consists of a giant canary costume.
Some landmines are obscured by the background effects.
Upon arriving in the courtyard, the Doctor and Ace are shouted at in Welsh, not German.
There is no logical way German scientists - no matter how clever they thought they were - could possibly use a laser to speed up the development of nuclear technology. Ace's CD walkman is made of 1990s (not to mention broken!) components that would have completely baffled them - how would they even know what it was, let alone get it to work? Besides, they're GERMAN! Have you ever been in one of their cars?!?
When this story is compared to Nightclub of the Dustbins, Carnival of Munsters, Pyramids of Cards, The Mutant Phrase and The Chess of Fenric, it actually looks rather crap.

Fashion Victims – Klutz's uniform.

Technobabble –
The sanctity of time is held together by a mysterious force known as The Enclyclo Effect, which means that any attempt to alter pre-destined events on Earth prior to the broadcast date of a particular story of Doctor Who are completely and irrevocably IMPOSSIBLE!

Links and References -
Ace is determined to get revenge for humiliations she suffers in 'Dragonbreath', 'Silly Nemesis', 'The Chess of Fenric' and 'The Fishmonger'.

Untelevised Misadventures -
The Tenth Doctor explains he got the alias of Johan Schmidt during a kinky sex session with "the Pollard sisters".

Groovy DVD Extras -
Every single time Tom Baker whistled 'Colonel Bogey' in Doctor Who, edited together and remixed by Outpost Gallifrey members who seriously have far too much time on their hands.

Dialogue Disasters -

Klutz: I am Commander Klutz and on behalf of German Riech I welcome you to your new home, Oflag 4C – or, as it may be more familiar to Britischers – The Snotaran Expellament! Sorry, Colditz Castle. Got my production codes mixed up a bit there.
(Accidentally breaks her shoulder)

Seventh Doctor: I shan't let you win you know! Oh? You think you're in control do you with me locked away and handcuffed and my TARDIS key confiscated and a loaded gun at my head? Well think again, cause I'm the Doctor don't you know!
Tenth Doctor: And so am I. Jings, weren't you paying attention?

Ace: Put your hand here. Now here.
Tenth Doctor: You're my granddaughter!
Ace: Impossible - isn't it?
Tenth Doctor: I'm sure this is VERY naughty.

Seventh Doctor: I believe I can hear your Chrunchie Bar crumbling.
Tenth Doctor: Oh, Jings! I was saving that for after dinner!

Klutz: Kill them! Kill them all! Take them outside! Shoot them! Burn the bodies! Bring me the ashes on a plate with a glass of white wine! Then shoot the glass! Shoot the knives! Shoot the forks! SHOOT EVERYTHING!
Gestapo # 2: There's no need to take it out on the cutlery.
(Klutz falls over, somersaults, smashes through a wall before a safe drops on her head, knocking her through the floor into a sewage treamtment farm.)
Klutz: Did I mention how much I hate my life?

Dialogue Triumphs -

Ace: If you don't know where we are, I can't be walking into one of your big master plans, can I?
Doctor: Look, it was a late night, I got drunk, had a vision of the ancient Time Lord God of Motivational Speaking and when I recovered from the hangover I forgot all about this Time Champion crap... How many times do I have to apologize?!

Ace: Right! Hand em over?
Flying Office Gower: Hand over what?
Ace: What about the ropes and the escape kits? And the chapel tunnel? What about that?
Flying Office Gower: You seem quite well informed.
Ace: I've played the board game. Oh, yeah, you can hand that over as well.
Flying Office Gower: Very well, you Nazi bitch, but after the war is over you will be called to account!
Ace: Hah! I'm an alien who isn't born yet – let's see you get that through a court of law!
Flying Office Gower: Damn Hun, they think of everything!

Tenth Doctor: You can't just dismiss fan continuity theories! They're more fragile than you could ever imagine. For some of those poor bastards, the definitive history and development of the Cybermen is all they've got. Take that away, and there's nothing left!
Seventh Doctor: All right. But I still say 'Return of the Cybermen' occurs AFTER 'Earthshag'!
Tenth Doctor: Jings and rubbish! It's the other way round, obviously! How come the Cybermen have a recording of Tom Baker then, with a caption saying 'courtesy of BBC TV's Doctor Who: Return of the Cybermen'? Huh?
Seventh Doctor: One off typing error!
(note: this scene goes on for a while, and still no decision is made)

Ace: Oh no, bally Hitler chap’s gone and won the war! Who created that time paradox then? Nazi scum, Toffy Brits, daring escapes and oh no, it's 1965 and bally Hitler chap’s gone and won the war AGAIN!
Doctor: You're taking the piss, aren't you?

Doctor: This is your choice, your responsibility. Your decision to shoot us. In our backs, in cold blood, one by one. I don't think you will.
Ace: Guess again, loser!

The cliffhanger to episode three -
Ace: You're not gonna kill me!
Tenth Doctor: Yes I will! I'll pull the trigger! End a life!
Ace: Gott in Himmel!
Tenth Doctor: Gott it in one!

UnQuotable Quote -
Chaffer: Operator! Get me the police! The number? Nein, nein, nein!

Viewer Quotes -

"Everything in and about Colditz Castle is portrayed accurately and well in every important historical respect. Ah, who am I kidding? Bwahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahah!" - Andrew Beeblebrox after inhaling too much helium (2001)

"As Nazi Germany is a setting that has been well trod before by the series in other media, Coleslaw Cutaway, it could be argued, starts off on its back foot. Unfortunately, it's back foot is also a club foot. I think that's how it goes. This story sucks and no mistake." - Tim the Tomorrow People Computer (2001)

"I have a confession to make. Since I was a little boy I have always been fascinated by secret passages, hideaways, dark dusty places. My favourite book was a Rupert the Bear story where our hero was trapped with Bill Badger in a Department Store overnight! They found secret passages galore, moving from one dusty area to another, in their search for a way out. It's a repressed sexual fetish. I'm aware of this." - Nigel Verkoff (2001)

"There are some gaping flaws in Coleslaw Cutaway. For example... er... this'll be a bit long to quote. How about we list the good bits. Damn. Now it's too short. Er... Oh yeah, Tennant's pretty good, but he's far too much of a fanboy to ever play the Doctor in real life." - Russell T Davies (2002)

"I couldn't turn the damn thing off! I tried repeatedly! I pressed pause, I pressed stop, I switched off the power, I unplugged the freaking thing and threw it in the canal... It kept on playing! I eventually had to call in a priest! The power of Christ compels my CD player! I DO NOT WISH TO LISTEN TO THIS SHITE!" – Dave Restal (2003)

"If Sylvester McCoy is the Seventh Doctor, and David Tennant is the Tenth Doctor, who is the mysterious Camp Doctor? Colin Baker? Jon Pertwee? I wonder if this is another BF story arc?" - Julian Clary (2005)

Psychotic Nostalgia -
"I went back in time and tried to kill Hitler as a baby. But when I was a baby I couldn't walk, talk, focus my eyes or control my own digestive system so Hitler got off scott free. Next time, I'll go back in time when HITLER is the baby. As long as the Dommervoy don't turn up. Or the reapers. Or the MIB. Wanna see my scar?"

Sylvester McCoy Speaks!
"The writers of Big Finish are so imaginative, I can only wonder what cocktail of mind-expanding chemicals they use! And I like the struggle that goes on within the Doctor – trying not to play the spoons but, at the same time, how do you defend something without using the violence of spoon-playing? My Doctor always said that bubblegum music is a human weakness not a human strength! And that's nowhere clear than in the Colditz story. Pity they had to cut that bit where I played Duetschland Uber Alles on the spoons. That was amazing."

Sophie Aldred Speaks!
"I'm very happy with what Big Finish have done with the character of Ace. I think it's a really good idea making her a complete psychotic Nazi-fetishing mass-murderer. It gives me something different to do, which is nice, because I'm always worried that the character of Ace will grow stale, you know? Like a fine cheese. People have really latched onto her, judging by the amount of erotic fan mail that gets sent to me. It's not to Sophie Aldred, it's to Ace. Fans are weird. I hope they all suffer renal failure."

David Tennant Speaks! (2001)
"After playing an insane artist who believes his phone box is a time machine in Randall and Hopkirk (Diseased) and a charming man who believes he is an alien with two hearts and the ability to transform his physical appearance in The Bill, I think I might be able to pull off playing the Doctor. I'm a bit of a fan. In the sense I had a shrine to Tom Baker and told my careers officer I wanted to grow up to be a Time Lord myself or, failing that, pretend to be one for cash and groupies. Obviously I appreciate Shakespeare and everything else, but my nucleus is based in long scarves and telephone boxes. Could I do it for real? Probably not. The producers explained that if I, a fan, got to play Doctor Who for real it would set a dangerous precedent and Nick Briggs would be out of their control forever..."

David Tennant Speaks! (2006)
"Hah! You idiots believed whatever I told you! HAHA!"

Trivia -
David Tennant's Cockney Tenth Doctor was not accurate foresight on behalf of Big Finish. It was just a freaky coincidence, really.

Rumors & Facts -
By May 2001, not even Gay Russell producer of Big Finish could pretend that there was any more character development to be done to Ace. Her nine television stories had expanded her character more than the last thirteen companions added together, turning from angsty, pyromaniacal teenager to the reincarnation of Susan Foreman.

The New Adventures quickly used the remaining potential of the character and spent the best part of four years writing a completely different character called Lady Dorotheé McShane, Time Vigilante and French Madam with iron legs.

What's more, BBV's suspiciously-familiar-sounding Misadventures in Time and Space starring the Professor and Ace also put her in the three remaining situations Ace had yet to experience: blindness, cryogenic suspension and clog-dancing.

After this it was no surprise that DWM immediately chosen to blow up Ace in the comic strip than waste its precious time trying to do something more interesting with a character that had been around longer than the Tom Baker era.

Desperate for Ace to 'grow up', Big Finish initially considered aging her to a seventy-year-old spinster with no bladder control and the tendency to projectile vomit at Nazis, a sort of Little Britain Ace, if you will, but this was abandoned as Grown Up Ace could easily be mistaken for Sixth Doctor companion octogenarian Evelyn Smythe in poor disco lighting.

More meetings passed and finally the idea was suggested of just ditching Ace in favor of her proper replacement Kate Tollinger, as outlined in the original Season 27. Unfortunately, Julia Sawalha refused to participate in Doctor Who before after and during her appearance as companion Emma Bunting in Doctor Who And The Curse of Fatal Death.

A bizarre side effect of this meant that the next two stories to feature Ace now had the name crossed out with 'New Name' added on top. In a moment of brilliance unsurpassed since the development of penicillin, Russell had the answer – they would simply change the name of the character! No one had done that before! Except BBV when contractual obligations forced them to rename Ace as Alice. Or when the New Adventures changed her name to Dorotheé. Or when... forget it.

Thus, after much soul-searching, it was decided that the Doctor would refer to Ace by her surname for some reason that seemed like a good idea at the time. Unfortunately, no one was sure what her name was. Was it Gale? McShane? McGreggor? Pallister? Bush? Mayhem? Smith? Jones? Sorryidonthaveasurname?

Finally, it was decided that the Doctor would refer to Ace as 'McShane' to piss her off. If people assumed that Ace's surname was not McShane, this just added layers to the characterization of the Doctor.

The story to feature the growing up of Ace was "Doctor Who Gets Banged Up" by Steve Lyons, with his revolutionary, never-been-told before story of the Doctor getting imprisoned for a crime he didn't commit and then trying to escape. He was also forced to reformat the companion of Ace into Grown Up Ace, much as he was forced to reformat the companion of Ace into Melanie Bush in his previous story, The Fans of Vulcan.

In order to give DWGBU a certain spark of even more unbelievable originality, Lyons decided that Ugly Immature Ace would be written out in a story putting her up against the Nazis! And the Doctor would be captured by the Nazis who would use superior technology, changing the outcome of World War II! NO ONE had done THAT before!!!

So amazed at his own creative genius, Lyons didn't hear Terrance Dicks' sinister approach before nutting him unconscious and leaving him at the mercy of countless NA authors. This scene was accidentally recorded and crudely added into the narrative. Try and spot it.

Originally the plot had the accidental changing of history lead into a huge, unwieldy mess about timelines collapsing, the evolution of the Time Lords and countless alternate realities. Russell put a stamp on this as not only was it shockingly cliché and just asking for another gang-lynching by respected NA authors, it would probably cost a fair bit to make and Russell wanted takeaway for dinner that night.

Now on an intravenous drip and with a hundred and seventeen separate bone fractures, severe concussion and a bizarre desire to shove pencils up his nose and shout the word 'Wibble!' at an annoyingly loud volume, Lyons suggested that this plot strand not occur in the story but merely be described vividly by some one who had seen it, someone like an evil version of the Doctor with a beard and tissue-shrinking doohicky – surely a character never used before in Doctor Who!

Since the previous seventh Doctor story Bust Reading had prominently featured the Bastard, Russell was loathe to bring him back, especially as he had only just got the smell of wet fish out of the studio.

Taking this on board, Lyons replaced the evil bearded Time Lord with a different Time Lord from Gallifrey, sent to change history who just so happened to have a personal history with the Doctor and was called Vansell – definitely a novel idea!

Russell finally snapped and ridiculed Lyons for not being able to come up with a single original idea in his entire misbegotten life. Besides, the Doctor would recognize Vansell immediately and start making fun of the younger Time Lord, forcing him to drop his trousers, bend over and act like a toast rack – a plot thread substantially used later in the Eighth Doctor story Nowhere-Land.

Lyons suggested instead of Vansell a future incarnation of the Doctor could appear, and suggested Paul McGann certain that no actor of his calibre would ever have willingly played the part before.

Instead, Russell recalled a scene in The Reservation of the Scourge, an NA BF SS adventure where a future incarnation of the Doctor was portrayed as a Scott David Tennant. With a crafty leer, Russell rehired Tennnant to play the Doctor, but the actor was unable to consciously perform a Scottish accent around Sylvester McCoy and eventually tried a lisping Cockney that hung around like the smell of wet fish.

For the first – and last – time, sound design and incidental music were handled by Toby the vengeful and murderous ghost of an unborn baby. However, Toby was more a mass-murdering psychopath than a sound engineer and found Russell's schedule far too time consuming, repeatedly getting baffled at Russell's editing done via séance.

Lyons damned the music as horrible, terrible and a bit off, and was immediately flung across his room and his eyeballs ripped from their sockets and put back in the wrong way round.

Desperately, Russell turned to Sylvester McCoy to provide some music with his spoons. This saved enough money for Lyons to provide a map of Colditz castle and add it to the CD booklet so if any BF subscriber happens to get caught in a time storm and sucked back to 1944 Colditz, they'll know how to escape. However, the cost of drawing the escape route meant the cover was simply the one to The Fishmonger with the words changed and swastikas hand-scribbled over the edges.

It had been hoped that David Tennant's future Doctor could become a recurring villain who was less like a sea lion than the Bastard, but after actually LISTENING to the story – and the crap German accents Russell insisted were used so as not to offend anyone – Lyons and Russell dropped the idea immediately.

A mere five years later, David Tennant's Doctor was television canon and Big Finish was royally screwed.

It's a funny old world, innit?

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