Serial FIX – A Hitch With Snotarans
A Hitch With Snotarans
An Alternate Programme Guide by Ewen Campion-Clarke
An Extract From The EC Unauthorized Programme Guide O' Conflicts of Interest
Serial FIX – A Hitch With Snotarans -
Having been completely abandoned by his companions Peri, Sil and Frobisher, the Doctor is left alone piloting the TARDIS and marveling at his own brilliance. For companionship, he starts inviting pretty much anyone he meets to join him aboard the time machine, if only to give them a lift to another point in space and time.
Due to this policy, the Doctor is now accompanied by three Snotaran storm troopers called John, Satan and Turner. The Doctor agrees to take them to the heart of RU-tan Restaurant Circuit and let them strike a massive blow in the culinary war between the two species – in return for them giving him a life time supply of pizza, the delicacy of the potato-headed warriors of death.
The Doctor is further dispirited when the Snotarans decide they hate him with a burning passion and decide to die rather than spend any more time with him. Hastily building a ridiculously powerful weapon called a Vitrox Bomb out of the used pizza boxes, the Snotarans plan to commit suicide by detonating the bomb and destroying the TARDIS and everything in it in one big special effect.
The Doctor pleads with his hitchhikers to consider all the good things in life and give him a chance to show them the wonders of time and space, but the Snotarans make farty noises and tell him to piss off. Scowling, the Doctor storms out, telling them to blow themselves up for all he cares – the Vitrox bomb isn’t powerful enough to damage anything beyond Turlough’s bedroom where they are currently based.
"You’d need a huge power source for the explosion to even reach the console room," the Doctor gloats. "So what are you going to do, huh? Tap the TARDIS’s main power cable to pep your little bomb up a bit?"
The Snotarans think this is a pretty good idea and, pausing only to bite his fist and smack his head, the Doctor races to the console room and tries to shut down the power before they can manage it.
The Doctor runs around the console, frantically shoving things to the off-position in the desperate hope one of them might be relevant, when suddenly a panel marked 'EMERGENCY MATTER TRANSPORTER' starts flashing. A random object out of time and space has been sucked across the timelines to manifest itself in the console room!
"Now what foul evil have I brought aboard the TARDIS?" the Doctor wails as he hides under the console.
By the door, Tegan Jovanka appears – older, bitterer, and with a truly awful hairdo that makes her look uglier than ever.
"Oh. THAT sort of foul evil," the Doctor sighs, still hiding.
"The TARDIS?! What’s going on? WHAT THE FUCK AM I DOING HERE?!?" Tegan starts screaming a lot, demanding to know what the hell is going on and who is Ronald-McDonald-rip-off trying to hide under the console. Finally the Doctor emerges from hiding and reveals himself.
"Hello, Tegan!" he says, still keeping away from her. "It’s me! The Doctor! I’ve done that regenerating thing that I do!"
"Well, that’s nice for you, but it’s not much of an improvement!"
"Have you looked in the mirror lately?!" the Doctor retorts. "Now you don’t have Adric or Turlough, do you take your frustrations out on your hair? Or do you piss off your stylists as much as everyone else? What is that, the 'I Just Got The Hell Out Of Bed' look?"
"Look you walking fashion violation," Tegan snarls, "why the hell are you trying to mess my life up? I was finally free of you, just sitting down to die from my fatal brain tumor, and I find myself here! Is that SANE, I ask you?!"
"Of course it’s not sane, you mouthy Antipodean bint! No one in their right mind would ever meet you of their own free will. It’s my mistake – I pressed the wrong button!"
"The story of your life!"
"The story of yours will be even shorter, stripper girl! There are three Snotarans aboard! All I can be sure of, so far, since I happened to be there at the time and suggested it to them at length, is that the Snotarans have Vitrox Bomb with them and they want to detonate it and destroy us all..."
"They want to blow the TARDIS up?"
"That would be a fair assumption. Since I just TOLD YOU!!!"
"By the way, what ARE Sontarans?"
"SNOTARANS, not Sontarans! As for who they are, next to Dustbins and Cybermen, the most popular recurring monsters in this series."
"Sorry I asked!" lies Tegan.
"The point IS, Jovanka, unless you want to be blown into sloppy green bits, I need your help to operate all the switches on the console as I instruct you at length. Then we can cut off all the main sources of power, the bomb won’t go off and they’ll have to come back here to find out what’s happened."
"And what are we supposed to do when these suicide bombers get here?"
The Doctor’s face falls and he paces up and down for a few minutes, mulling the options over. "Well," he says at great length. "Well... as usual.. I shall... er... improvise... and quite probably shout at you... and blame you... for any and everything that goes wrong. Clear?"
"You’re just as bad as the last two," Tegan says, finally close enough to kick the Doctor repeatedly in the groin.
The Doctor accidentally hits a control and all the lights go out, leaving them in the dark. "YOU WON’T TAKE ME TO HELL, VALEYARD!!" the Doctor screams at the top of his voice. "Oh, wait. It’s just the lights switching off. Forget that embarrassing admission. All power is isolated!"
"No, you’ve switched off the lights, nothing else is shut down. Are the Snotarans as afraid of the dark as you are?"
The Doctor grabs her by the throat. "I’ve stored all of this up, you know," he screams in her face. "ALL OF IT! And while celery boy may only have FANTASIZED about snapping your puny mammalian neck, I’M QUITE PREPARED TO GO THROUGH WITH IT!"
Tegan chokes and starts to go blue, while making noises that suggest strangling her to death isn’t going to stop the suicidal Snotarans blowing up the TARDIS and killing them all.
"Good point," the Doctor concedes, letting her collapse to the floor, gasping for breath. "If only someone would come and help us," the Doctor continues. "Someone of great courage. Vast intellect. An incredible perspicacity. Someone, in fact, not unlike myself."
Struck by sudden inspiration, the Doctor starts typing furiously at the one working BBC Micro built into the console. "Of course! It’s obvious! We need ME to save us, so I’ll just clone myself! All I need to do is get the TARDIS computer to reproduce my biodata to the last decimal base! May the power of my Jamaican Vanilla incense compel you!! I AM THE PUNT POLE IN THE GONDOLA OF LIFE!!!"
Before Tegan can complain about the Doctor meddling with the forces of nature, the TARDIS lurches violently as a diabolic peach-coloured acid wash fills the chamber, manifesting into a third intelligence!
It is a small dark-haired, 8-year old boy dressed as the Doctor.
The Doctor stares at him for a full minute. "I must have forgotten to carry the three. Oh well. Mini-Clone, I need your help."
"Help? HELP? HELP?!!?" the clone retorts. "You’re a TIME LORD! If you can’t help yourself then what CAN you do?"
"Uh, those Snotarans are going to blow us all up any minute," Tegan points out.
Sighing, the clone orders Tegan to fetch him a soap box so he can reach the console. Tegan repeats this three times incredulously in what the writer clearly thinks is funny, confusing "witty running gags" with "mindless repetition because I just don’t give a shit".
Now able to operate the controls of the TARDIS, the clone announces that – for the sake of clarity – he will rename himself "Gareth Fin-tim-lin-bin-whin-bim-lim-bus-stop-F’tang-F’tang-Olé-Buscuit-Barell Bong Zzzzzzzzzzzzz Telescope Umbrella Stand Wednesday Stoat Gobbler Raw Vegetable Feather-Stone Mason Frampton-Fruit-Bat Tiger-Draws If I Could Walk That Way Jenkins" or "Gareth Jenkins" for short.
Gareth Jenkins broods over the console for a moment and realizes the obvious solution to their problems: "Switch on the disconbooberator bivalve-thrusting module!"
"Doctor, come off it!" snaps Tegan. "There’s no such thing."
The Doctor rolls his eyes and presses the button as Gareth shakes his head and mutters something about stupid girls. It appears that this single switch has not only disarmed the Vitrox bomb but reconfigured the entire console into a Snotaran death machine!
"There’s a single switch that does all that?" says Tegan, unconvinced. "Why the hell didn’t you press it hours ago?"
"I don’t know how this bloody thing works, do I?" screams the Doctor defensively, and gives her the back of his hand for good measure.
At that moment the internal door is blasted off its hinges and reduced to matchwood as the Snotarans mince camply into the control room with their smoking rheon carbines. The Doctor is aghast: "It wasn’t even LOCKED for fuck’s sake!"
The clone strides up to the looming Snotarans and introduces himself as Gareth Jenkins – and immediately all the Snotarans puts their hands on their hips and lean forward to peer myopically at the boy. Christ, they make this hard to take seriously.
"Gareth... Jenkins?!" Group Marshall Satan whispers, banging his head repeatedly with his Perspex cane. "Yes, I have HEARD of YOU!!!"
"Hardly!" the Doctor protests. "He’s not even four minutes old!"
"His name is known to us!" Commander Turner booms and laughs in a pantomime fashion. "His name is known in our future history!"
"You know your own future?" asks Tegan, baffled.
"Well, all right, YOUR future," General John concedes. "In the year you would term 2009, a Snotaran Fleet attacked the pathetic planet Earth. The leader of the Earth defense force that defeated us was called..."
"GARETH JENKINS!" everyone says at once, nodding in unison. Seriously, are they taking the piss or what?!
"Is this true?" Tegan asks for the benefit of those – if any – still watching this audio-visual agony.
"I’m afraid so," the clone replies. "I always liked that name, but it was kind of stupid using it when facing Snotarans from beyond 2009, now I look back on things in the cold light of day..."
"Kill him now and our future invasion is assured!" Group Marshall Satan growls, fleetingly returning to the plot for a brief moment.
"Yeah," Commander Turner agrees. "Just like in Terminator!"
"The name’s just a coincidence!" the clone wails.
"We can’t afford to take the chance!" General John shouts.
The clone whimpers. "Doctor! Do something!"
"Oh, come crawling back, have you?" the Doctor sneers. "Just like all the rest." He stabs a control on the console and white gas spews out from the console pedestal, causing the three Snotarans to convulse.
"DIE, JOHN, SATAN, TURNER!" the Doctor laughs. "DIE!!!"
Bright green vomit spews out of their mouths as the twitching aliens writhe in agony, convulsing and deflating like balloons until their rotting, steaming uniforms are all that’s left.
"May your foulness rot in hell, JST!" the Doctor spits on the corpses.
...is it me, or is there some kind of subtext involved here?
The trio grin at the brutal murder they have committed in cold blood and shake each other’s hands in self-congratulation.
Suddenly the scanner opens to show the face of a strange young/old man with a shock of white hair, a cigar and a strange high-pitched gurgling laugh. Frowning, the Doctor closes the scanner.
The doors swing open and strange shambolic figure scuttles in, kisses Tegan’s hand – but not the Doctor’s, much to his annoyance – and offers the clone a Jim’ll Fix It Badge.
None of the TARDIS crew have ANY idea who this nutter is and so, since he did such a good job on killing the Snotarans (and because they won’t being needing it any more what with them being DEAD!!) the Doctor awards himself a fully-functional Betelgeuse Blackstar Crystalline Mezon Gun Rifle as a souvenir of the experience.
And uses it to blow Jimmy Saville OBE to pieces.
Book(s)/Other Related -
Doctor Who In A Fix With Tegan Jovanka
Doctor Who: The Sequel
Snotarans: Conduct Unbecoming A Children’s TV Presenter
Fluffs – "You have been well and truly fucked... sorry, FIXED!"
There is no incidental music, per se, but for some reason Paul Young’s "Every Time You Go Away" is playing on a perpetual loop in the background for the whole episode.
"Deactivate the TARDIS' lateral balance plane elevation cones! Disconnect the relay bypass drones! And the hydraulic rams! And operates the rendel solenoid! Set the coaxial stabilisers, charge the astral inducers, prime the mandrel condensers and co-ordinate the vespian transmogrifier ratchet override flangesimulator!!!"
"You’re SURE you’re not just making this all up?"
"To be honest? No."
Links and References -
Amazingly enough, the throwaway reference to a Snotaran invasion in 2009 became the basis of a special two-part extravaganza "The Snotaran Strategy", some twenty-three years after we got told the ending. Thanks a fucking bunch, RTD.
Untelevised Misadventures -
The Doctor desperately returns Tegan to Heathrow Airport on 23 February 1985, despite her protests she was whisked away to the TARDIS from Brisbane 22 September 2007 where she had a job, a boyfriend and a brain tumor. Annoyed, the Doctor leaves her to freeze to death in an abandoned burger van outside Heathrow in the middle of a blizzard. This act of mindless Tegan-hate is fully chronicled in "She’s Leaving Home" by Samantha 'Tegan must DIE!' Barker in a BF short story anthology.
Groovy DVD Extras -
The entirety of The Even Doctors. I know. Amazing. What a choice!
Dialogue Disasters -
The Doctor on Gareth Jenkins:
"I shall call you... Mini-Me!"
Tegan: It’s monstrous!
Gareth Jenkins: It’s revolting!
Doctor: It’s... Jimmy Saville OBE!
Dialogue Triumphs -
Jimmy Saville: Now then, do you think the good Doctor, that you could materialize this badge over his bonce, without disappearing his bonce with your amazing powers?
Doctor: Don’t patronize ME, you arsehole!
Doctor: Tegan. I may choke before I finish this sentence, but...
Doctor: I need you, Tegan. I need your help. Only you can save my sorry ass and I beg you to do so out of your duty to your fellow life forms.
Tegan: Oh well, all right then.
Doctor: Thank goodness.
Tegan: Of course I will. You know me, Doctor. All charm. All heart.
Doctor: All mouth.
(Tegan knees him in the bollocks.)
Doctor: [very squeaky] And with lightning reflexes.
Viewer Quotes -
"I dunno about you lot, but Jim Ruined It For Me."
- Ewen Campion-Clarke (1992)
"Eight minutes and forty-six seconds of pure unadulterated pleasure!"
- Jethro Walrustitty (1985)
"Pah! A real Snotaran Warrior would have demanded squatter’s rights long before this!" - Field Major Stern Skunt (4137)
"A Hitch With Snotarans is a very complex and far-reaching story, in which the abilities of the TARDIS are tested to the full. The episode is really held together by Gareth Jenkins, who plays himself. He is so important to the plot that the build-up to his appearance is carefully crafted, and his apparent woodenness in the face of first the Doctor and then the Snotarans is merely a mask for his real intentions. It is obvious that he could have held the story together on his own. The inclusion of another Doctor in guise of Colin Baker and the gratuitous use of Tegan are totally superfluous. Over all, this is one of the better sixth Doctor stories!"
- Doctor Who – The Handbook – The Gareth Jenkins Doctor (pg 134)
Psychotic Nostalgia -
"I don’t need Jimmy Saville to get my hands on fully functional rheon carbines. Has no one ever wondered how they put the little Ms on the M&Ms? Well, now you know!"
Colin Baker Speaks!
"I particularly remember that the little boy, Gareth Jenkins, had learned his lines perfectly, the pallid little swot. I had no time to learn mine and Eric Saward the bastard filled the whole script full of technical mumbo jumbo I had to repeat, and he actually wrote the complicated script all over the TARDIS console! He seemed to think I was as clueless as Jon Pertwee. Of course I enjoyed working with Janet Fielding again, fucking around in the nicest possible sense. I didn’t see much of Jimmy Saville, thankfully, because what we you see is what you get. I wonder where he is now..."
Rumors & Facts –
Before filming could begin on Season 23’s The Nightmare Care-Bear Fair, Colin Baker found himself kidnapped from an American convention, forced at gunpoint to don his Doctor costume and brought before the sinister Jimmy Saville OBE, who fed off the emotions off those unlucky enough to be caught up his long-running BBC Saturday evening family show "Jim’ll Fix It". Saville took a delight in engaging in Faustian pacts with innocent bystanders, making their dreams come true in such a way they wished they’d never asked.
Many unwitting viewers had written to the show’s host asking to getting involved in Doctor Who and one had not been arranged during John Satan-Turner’s tenure on the program as he was unwilling to engage in such basic cruelty. Most children wanted to travel in the TARDIS and sexually interfere with strange alien women with long green hair and six breasts, but one particular letter and incriminating photograph sent from Milton Keynes caught the attention of Igor, the producer.
"Dear Jim, I like Dr. Who very much because I have eaten raw marsh minnows like Sil and not died from bowel cancer like all the other kids. My superior digestive tract and TARDIS tent made by my Nan mean I have earned the chance to go inside Doctor Who for a proper invention. Do it or I’ll rip your bollocks off. Yours in contempt, Gareth Jenkins (Age 8, IQ 217, Inside Leg Measurement 6 ½ inches."
Having selected the unlucky victim, director Mortimer Marcus contacted the Doctor Who production office and was told to get fucked. Thus, "Jim’ll Fix It" took matters into their own hands and kidnapped Colin Baker, Eric Saward and the entire TARDIS control room to make a mini-episode, while Clinton Greyn, Graham Cole and Tim Raynham were also press-ganged into work on the grounds they were still stick in the monster costumes from The Even Doctors earlier that year.
In order to make sure that Gareth Jenkins would be soul-crushing disappointed by the experience, Saville ensured that neither Nicola Bryant or Nabil Shaban were involved as they were most popular part of the show itself. Eric Saward wrote around this, setting the story in the far future, where the Sixth Doctor is abandoned by all his companions – even that crazy penguin dude from the comic strips – and left a pointless, listless has been.
This was, of course, extremely enjoyable for Saward, who despised Colin Baker and, indeed, everything to do with Doctor Who. He named the gormless Snotarans after JST, and brought back the character of Tegan just so he could have abuse hurled at her and also decided to give the character an inoperable brain tumor. In fairness to Saward, no one actually expected this mini-episode to ever reach the screens, let along be considered officially canonical.
Tragically, it was, and Big Finish shaped its entire continuity for the Sixth Doctor around this eight-and-a-bit-minute sketch, which also made the comic strips completely canonical and eerily foreshadowed the events of Mistrial of a Time Lord.
Saward was later forced to emigrate when the American Gareth Jenkins Appreciation Society declared a jihad on him in their quest to destroy every last trace that this mini-episode ever existed. Only one copy was kept by Saville himself, and then, for maximum nastiness, released it onto youtube.
This finally proved that, despite rumors to the contrary, the young Gareth Jenkins in this broadcast IS the same Gareth Jenkins working as a composer, audio engineer and actor for Big Finish. Despite the fact he’d really rather us not know.
HAH! Tough luck, buster!!
Ultimately, this mouldy bun of Doctor Who’s bread bin of mythology would be forgotten by all but the most hardcore of fans – and the Gareth Jenkins Appreciation Society – as it was at this time that "Cancel Doctor Who" was crossed off the To Do List by Michael Grade.
In response, Ian Levine fought back with the most bizarrely hideous charity song ever! True, it was an absolute balls-up fiasco with a pathetic and bad and stupid awful high-energy song trying to tell the history of Doctor Who history that almost ruined Levine financially, morally and intellectually... but it worked!
The logic was, that if somebody somewhere thought famine in Africa was a worthy reason to get a load of pop stars together to record a charity single, then surely the BBC putting Doctor Who back by eighteen months DEFINITELY was! Levine was certain that if anything could blackmail the BBC into reversing the decision, it would be six minutes of the most extraordinary ill-advised creation of the history of pop. Air-punching, catchy and joyous it wasn’t. Unstoppably evil beggaring the belief of the nation’s record buyers it was. Colin Baker himself said that he was the sort of person to break records as horrible as this one, while Radio 1 banned the song because it was "too atrocious to foul the airwaves of Britain with".
Needless to say, the BBC immediately commissioned a new series rather than risk a follow up album. Thank God they did. Sweet Zombie Jesus, this is some bad shit and no mistake!
"Doctor In Distress!" by Who Gives A Flying Fuck?
It was a cold wet night in November
22 years ago
There was a police box in a junkyard
We didn’t know where it would go
An old man took two teachers
Into time and space
Started off a legend
That no other would want to replace
DOCTOR IN DISTRESS!
LET’S ALL ANSWER HIS SOS!
DOCTOR IN DISTRESS!
BRING HIM BACK WE WON’T TAKE LESS!
There were evil metal creatures
Who tried to exterminate
Inside each of their casings
Was a bubbling lump of hate
We met cybernetic humans
With no feelings at all
Vendors of ice cream who
Stood over seven feet tall
DOCTOR IN DISTRESS!
LET’S ALL ANSWER HIS SOS!
DOCTOR IN DISTRESS!
BRING HIM BACK WE WON’T TAKE LESS!
Bring him back now
We won't take less
If we stop his travels
He’ll be in a mess
The galaxy will fall
To evil once more
With nightmarish monsters
Fighting a war
We learnt to accept six Doctors
With companions at their side
When they were faced with danger
They didn't run they didn't hide
There was the Brigadier and the Bastard
And a canine computer
Each screaming girl just hoped
That a Teletubby wouldn't shoot her
DOCTOR IN DISTRESS!
LET’S ALL ANSWER HIS SOS!
DOCTOR IN DISTRESS!
BRING HIM BACK WE WON’T TAKE LESS!