Serial 7C/F – The Soundman
An Alternate Programme Guide by Ewen Campion-Clarke
An Extract From The EC Unauthorized Programme Guide O' My Surfboard
Serial 7C/F – The Soundman -
The TARDIS materializes aboard a giant traffic jam of spaceships known simply as The Jam, a point in time and space often mistaken for a jam and honey retailer, but is instead a hang out for beatnik poets, coffee-addicts, punks, skinheads, Rastafarians and also the Galahs, a race of alien pink birds.
Upon leaving the TARDIS, the Doctor and Evelyn are confronted by More Decaff, a French exchange student who immediately begins to sing.
"To give style to one's character –
That is a grand
And rare art!
He who surveys all
That his nature presents
In its strength and
In its weaknesses
And then fashions it
Into an ingenious plan
Until everything appears
Artistic and rational..."
The Doctor punches the nauseating adolescent unconscious and storms off, muttering something about existential pig-swill. Evelyn apologizes, then changes her mind and beats Decaff with her cane before hurrying after the Doctor.
Annoyed, Decaff gets to his feet and drops into the nearest coffee bar to chat with jittery Nintendo, a Galah who is getting ready for a poetry slam. He is, in particular, worried about the fierce competition from "Haiku" Nasher, who has won the competition the last two years running. Apart from that, Nasher is also trade director of Galahs, and will probably raise income taxes if she loses...
The world of the Jam is so spectacular and multicultural that not even the Doctor's apparel gets a second glance – even when he heads into a local hippy stall and steals the cash register. The Time Lord explains that the Galahs are so mind-numbingly stupid they never actually understand the criminal mind and most police activity in the Jam is down to pure incompetence and accidents.
He neglects to mention, however, that while the Galahs cannot comprehend such evil thoughts, they do tend to get pathologically violent on the asses of the criminals they DO catch.
Back at the coffee bar, Nasher turns up fueled with melancholic pathos, explaining that the nursery where she works part time was invaded by the sickeningly evil demon, the Soundman. This provides her poetry with such hatred and passion that Nintendo abandons the idea of trying to compete right away and walks out.
The Galahs hunt down the Doctor and Evelyn as the latter berates for former for doing the stupidest thing he could do in this situation. The Doctor retorts that annoying the Galahs isn't THE stupidest thing he could do – it's not like he pretended to be their ancient and immortal enemy, the Soundman, is it?
Amused at the idea, he turns to Orchestrator Shelly and begins shouting that he IS the Sandman and the weaklings before him should start kissing their feathered arses goodbye.
The Galahs believe him and start twittering in horror. The Soundman is a mythic being that ruined the Galah's open-air rock festival and set fire to their forest planet, making them drifting wanderers forever more. Centuries have passed, and only the true Soundman will be known by his complete lack of fashion sense.
The Doctor is annoyed at their opinion, but he rather likes the idea of being mistaken for the epitome of pure evil and horror. That's his Goal of the Day achieved, then.
Elsewhere, Decaff tries to trick Nosher into revealing that, no, the devil didn't really burn the nursery down, really. However, he admits that he saw a badly-dressed being appear in a blaze of pure evil energy that just so happened to take the form of a police box. Nosher immediately decides to rope in the Doctor as a guest at the next poetry slam, ritualistically slaughter him and write an agonized stanza of doubt and self-loathing.
Evelyn is bewildered at the Doctor's gleeful torment of the Galahs, and sudden determination to kill the copy-cat pyromaniac who appears to be "muscling in on his act". There's only room in this galaxy for ONE lunatic badly-dressed arsonist with curly hair...
Just then, Nasher arrives and begins to recite her latest poem. The Doctor and Evelyn prudently retreat, and the Doctor destroys the
lock on his way out to delay pursuit. Unfortunately, running away
has put a substantial dent in his reputation as a fearsome monster which he has spent the last five minutes slaving over.
Nasher is stunned that the Soundman, the epitome of evil and carnage personified, ran for the hills at the sound of her poetry. Clearly he is not immortal, invulnerable and clearly has more taste than his outfit suggests. Shelly is horrified that by reciting stanzas of crap iambic pentameter is going to bring the wrath of the gods down on them. Well, not so much 'horrified' as 'desperately hoping'.
Shelly decides to order his deputy Brr-rad to hunt down and kill the Soundman. If he succeeds, the Soundman will probably drag Brr-rad's soul with him into the infernal pits of hell. If he fails, the Soundman will probably kill him in bloody vengeance. If he doesn't do it, Shelly will hand over his life in order to gain the demon's favor.
Brr-rad believes he has a better-than-even chance of survival and whistles merrily as he straps on his battle armor and Nasher points out she doubts even her poetic skills could capture the sheer bloody stupidity Brr-rad possesses.
Meanwhile, the Doctor and Evelyn are separated in the myriad maze of identical corridors and the weary history professor comes across the battered police box and dives inside. There she is shocked to encounter....
Yes, swinging sixties secretary and definer of Carnaby Street fashions. In the weirdness of Season 6B, the Second Doctor and Jamie picked her up after Zoe and Victoria refused, point blank, to continue travelling with them. Polly would have refused as well, after the Doctor ruined her time with the Feckless Ones, but after losing Ben Jackson at an LSD hookah party in 1968, she pretty much hopes travelling in the TARDIS is the only way to find him again.
Polly recently stole the TARDIS and abandoned the Doctor and Jamie to the evil Kraal plants on the planet Obsidian, sick of endless Time Lord missions and ludicrously carnivorous vegetation. Together with Evelyn, she sets the time machine in motion once more to search for the boytoy she carelessly misplaced while high on opium.
The Doctor, meanwhile, has bumped into Nintendo and his overbearing presence has already caused the weak-bladdered Galah to wet itself. Nintendo explains he's been researching the legend of the Soundman for centuries and now appears to have been appointed the demon's manager by the Soundman himself. Nintendo was to get it a platform at the poetry slam, but Nasher's Soundman-based poetry has, ironically, robbed him of that option and Nintendo is pissing himself in terror.
Nasher herself is startled to find more of the sets... sorry, the Jam have mysteriously burnt to the ground, despite the fact the Doctor was nowhere near them. Rather than think logically or anything radical like that, Nasher just puts this down to the evil Soundman and wonders just how Brr-rad is getting on.
Nintendo finally faints into his own bodily fluids as Brr-rad appears and charges at the Doctor, armed with a battering-ram-sized toothbrush.
At the last second, the TARDIS reappears above him and crushes him. Polly's navigation skills not only prove she is a worse pilot than the Doctor, but that she's also a natural blonde. As she and Evelyn emerge from the time machine, shamefaced, the REAL Soundman appears.
With long curly hair, a brown stripy suit and a voice so dull it could absorb a nuclear blast, the Soundman begins a boring monologue about how depressing it is to be constantly assumed to be evil. His horrible voice makes the noise-sensitive Galahs collapse in agony and only Nasher is immune by her recital of her own poetry.
The horrified Doctor, Evelyn and Polly flee in the Second Doctor's TARDIS, as the genuine demon begins to ravage the Jam and everything within it, thoroughly pissed off that the Galahs could mistake someone as demented as the Doctor as pure evil.
Polly suggests the Doctor use his amazing Time-Lord technology to fight the Soundman and save the Jam. The Doctor tells Polly to go and put the kettle on and stop distracting his far-superior mind from coming up with a solution.
The Doctor instead decides to just hang around in the TARDIS until the blood and the screaming and the death and pain the horrible salty pain stops and its safe to emerge.
The trio emerge from the TARDIS and find the Jam ankle-deep in blood and boiled corpses, as the Soundman himself stands in the corner, in a pentangle of baby organs, complaining about how he never actually got around to telling a girl he liked her.
The Soundman hopes the Doctor has learnt his lesson, and, lying through his teeth, the Doctor agrees and sends Polly back to the Second Doctor and Jamie in her TARDIS, explaining Ben is actually now working as a hired assassin on Androzani Major.
He and Evelyn then retreat to their own time machine and flee the Jam with all haste. The Doctor hopes that this marks a new era for the Galahs, one in which peace, prosperity and love flourish. Evelyn reminds the Doctor that the only thing the Galahs can do now is decompose and the Doctor snaps –
"You just HAVE to bring the mood down, don't you?!?"
Book(s)/Other Related -
Doctor Who – Similarity of the Devil
Doctor Mysterio ia Persona ov Sound
Lopez, Wright And Centre; Anneke Wills' autobiography
The interior of the Second Doctor's TARDIS is someone's living room. Either that or the Doctor reconfigured the interior so the scanner is a television set, the console an occasional table and the dynomorphic generator a free-standing lamp.
Isn't it a bit weird that there is only one beatnik poet in the entire Jam? Come to that, the entire population of this space colony amounts to five individuals not including the titular Soundman!!
Galahs are regularly exposed to "Daddy-O's Radiation".
Links and References -
Polly and the Doctor refer to the events of The Feckless Ones, The Wank Games and The Even Doctors more time than is strictly comfortable in a four-episode story.
Untelevised Misadventures -
More pathetic fan rationalization reveals that the Second Doctor was nothing more than the Time Lord's bitch, sent hither and tither and yon fixing easily-solved situations with bizarre collections of his companions. Thank you *so* very much, Doctor Who Annual 1969.
Groovy DVD Extras -
A one-page comic strip entitled 'Weapons-Grade Lime Bitters Save Doctor Who's Sorry Ass And Go On To Conquer The Entire Multiverse', showing the final defeat of the Soundman and revelation that the Doctor is, in fact, half Lime Bitter. This is treated as absolutely canonical by a surprising amount of fans.
Dialogue Disasters -
Some bizarre product placement -
Decaff: We should have brought a six pack for the poetry slam.
Decaff: These bastards are drinking Cointreau. Cointreau has nothing on Weapons-Grade Lime Bitters, which is scientifically proven to perfect sexual performance AND is environmentally friendly on most planets in this sector.
Nintendo: Not to mention sold at a very reasonable price.
Decaff: Yes, Nintendo, you're right. The competition has nothing on Weapons-Grade Lime Bitters when it comes to price. For only two dollar-pounds, a single can of this unique elixir can be yours right away. Weapons-Grade Lime Bitters improves the endocrine system and resists baldness.
Nintendo: Weapons-Grade Lime Bitters, brought to you by Shitsu Tonka. Isn't it time YOU quenched that thirst?
Evelyn: Steady as she goes and pay attention to the clutch.
Polly: Hey, are you driving this TARDIS or am I?
Nasher: Alas, the time is coming when Man will no longer give birth to the Dancing Star!
Doctor: Oh, really. How interesting.
Nasher: You cannot begin to understand!
Doctor: Looks like.
Nasher: For you, the Music of the Spheres will always be a dull, scraping noise, forever! You will hear only this for a time, then... NOTHING! NOTHING AT ALL!
Evelyn: Oh, give it a rest, arsehole.
Dialogue Triumphs -
The Soundman: I have the strange habit of enjoying other people's disappointment. So, if I don't live up to your expectations... good.
Polly: I had hoped I was still good for a spot of bedtime reading material.
Doctor: Ben thought so, when he handed out those photos... (Polly looks shocked) Ah. Said that out loud, didn't I?
Evelyn to the Doctor:
"A fashion crime scene? I sometimes think that's what you are!"
Brr-rad: Show us your best side, Pol!
Polly: Trust me - I haven't got one.
Doctor: That's not what Ben told me... OK. Shutting up now.
Evelyn: Oi! What are you looking at, mole features?
Nasher: So, you seek to mock me? To mock my terrible power? [evil laughter] You will call me Derek, the crucified one!
Evelyn: [turns away] Later, bitch.
Polly: We can't always reap what we sew, but in the end it's what we sew that matters. Trouble is, Ben was the one that was good at sewing. I just kept pricking myself and, after the third trip to hospital for extensive blood loss, well... tailoring was out of the question, really.
Polly: Doctor, what's Nasher talking about?
Doctor: What's wrong, Polly? Are you scared? Don't let her get to you. She only goes to poetry slams because she can't talk to boys.
The Soundman: I choose to start the story... ... ...now.
Viewer Quotes -
"This story is a load of crap! The Doctor and Evelyn survive a confrontation with the Devil? He should have taken Evelyn's soul there and then and saved some time! I mean, you should NEVER turn your back on Satan. I learned from that simple mistake. Oooooh."
- Father James O'Malley (2002)
"You know, there's this candy-colored clown they call the Sandman. He will tiptoe through your room every night, just to sprinkle some star dust and to whisper, 'Go to sleep. Everything is all right'. The Soundman, on the other hand, is an evil alien demon who will rip your eyeballs out and use your optic nerve as dental floss as soon as look at you. Pretty important not to get those two mixed up, that."
- Flacco (1992)
"Obfuscating speaking, The Soundman was an excellent book. Eh? What do you mean, 'it's an audio story'? You taking the piss? The Soundman ISN'T Volume Four in the Second Saga of Bob M Stanitch's White Noise Dodecalogy? It's Doctor Who??!? No, not that shit, please..."
- Barry Crocker (2004)
"The Sixth Doctor was perceived as quite nasty and violent on TV - but I never really subscribed wholly to that notion. Apart from his initial story, and his second story, and his third, and his fourth, and his fifth, and his sixth... Basically, apart from every single TV story he was in, this Doctor was no nastier than all the others. I think. I kind of tuned out whenever Polly wasn't involved. What a babe! What a babe!"
- Nigel Verkoff (2004)
Psychotic Nostalgia -
"You know, I'd swear that the evil immortal being in this story is really the SANDman and not the SOUNDman, but I don't think it would stand up with court. What with all the judges being giant lobsters in humanoid form and all."
Colin Baker Speaks!
"I went to Australia with Anneke in 2001. In fact, a year ago today, we climbed up Sydney Harbour Bridge together just to escape the fans from the convention. That was special and Anneke is too. What a babe..."
Anneke Wills Speaks!
"Well, um, I have been asked to do this before. I think. Must have forgot. Guess so. Geee-whizz. This is the first time I've ever acted with Colin Baker before. It's a bit like Uranium-235... too much of it in the same room and you could get an uncontrolled explosion! At least that's what Colin said when I forgot my jumper and walked in topless. Before everyone just started chanting 'What a babe'. Weird, huh?"
Rumors & Facts -
The Soundman has one of the best villains Doctor Who has ever created. Considering the show is nearly 40 years old and its list of memorable baddies include Q-Tip, Moby, Xanxia, Bertie Basset... that is not really any sort of praise at all, really, come to think of it.
Simon A Forward was a man with a mission – to work out the botched continuity of 1969 Doctor Who annual comic strip "Freedom By Fire". As missions go, this rated more towards the "I have too much time on my hands" end of the scale rather than the "I am on a mission from God" end, but Forward tackled it with such zeal no one has been brave enough to challenge it. Bar me, of course, but he won't read this. Will he?
Forward's problem was that the comic strip (which clearly portrayed the Second Doctor, Jamie and Victoria setting fire to things) referred to the Doctor's female companion as 'Polly'. Other, saner individuals might have put this down as a typographical error and got on with their miserable lies, but Forward finally managed to track down the author of the stories – no mean feat considering they had been hiding in witness protection since 1970 and hadn't even used their real names on their work at the time.
The author explained that this WASN'T a typo, or in fact a story with the Second Doctor/Ben/Polly/Jamie combination with Ben stuck in the TARDIS with a rather nasty dose of the clap, but instead a story set in the continuity nightmare between The Wank Games and Head From Ace.
Upon explaining this, the author pulled out a shotgun, blew away Forward's knee cap and fled for Milwaukee in mortal terror.
Forward was unworried about the grievous bodily harm inflicted upon him and immediately set out to spread this news to those that cared. He has yet to succeed. His debut BBC novel, Spliff was merely the story of the Fourth Doctor telling this information to Leela while rolling homemade joints and received all the critical acclaim it deserved.
Forward decided to submit a revised draft of Spliff as a possible Big Finish story, but was horrified to learn that Jacqueline Raynor had misunderstood the information and promptly smoked the proposal in the mistaken belief she was helping M15 dispose of evidence.
Gay Russell then appeared to Forward in a dream, urging him to submit a proposal for the Sixth Doctor story Excelsior Gets High. Forward duly wrote a story where the Sixth Doctor pretending to be the devil in order to seduce Raven.
The real Gay Russell had no idea about his appearance in Forward's dreams and was thus confused when a story-outline hit his desk for a story that had been recorded and released a year previously. Russell idly suggested Forward re-work Excelsior Gets High into a story of its own, maybe involving French existentialists holding an illegal orgy behind the Paris Ossuary during the occupation of 1945.
The new storyline is exclusively reproduced here:
"THE LIBERATION OF FRANCE IS AT HAND"
by Simon A. Forward
The TARDIS has brought the Sixth Doctor and Evelyn to the Café Des Poetes. They quickly get drunk and discuss the political situation, based on the tenth-hand rumors in the underground newspaper Combat. After considering Hitler's options now that the Allies have landed in Normandy and the Americans have taken Chartres. Despite the fact she is a history professor and probably lived through it, Evelyn confidently predicts the Nazis will defeat their enemies and re-conquer France in the next three minutes.
The Doctor and Evelyn are soon thrown out of the café and are troubled by a curious rumbling noise from a nearby manhole. As it sounds like a party, the wasted time travelers climb down into the depths of the sewers and wander into the Paris Ossuary and into a dungeon filled with partying existentialists acting in a variety of naughty and creepy ways. After listening to a scary poetry recital, the Doctor and Evelyn watch as Jean-Paul Satre performs a transvestite cabaret for five minutes and then get bored.
Wandering outside for a cigarette, the Doctor begins to tell Evelyn of the time he escaped exile to work and became the Time Lord's pansy, travelling around with Jamie and Polly for the remaining three episodes.
Oddly enough, a surprising amount of the original storyline was preserved, with only the change of location, characters and adding of the Polly and Soundman subplots being any notable deviations. Originally, it was hoped that Decaff would have a girlfriend called Roshamon in order to give the impression that the 'alternative' communities actually consisted of more than one. This was ultimately abandoned for budget reasons.
Before recording began, Gay Russell began screaming that he hated old companions and thus decided that Anneke Wills should instead play the Galahs, and with her voice synthesized and altered such a degree that no one recognized her voice. Realizing that now no one would believe Big Finish had actually GOT Anneke Wills, Jason Haigh-Ellery decided to plaster her all over the cover care of Miss Tracey's Sci-Fi Fakery and give her higher billing than Colin Baker.
Russell got cold feet and decided to re-write the story so, instead of Polly appearing in a completely gratuitous flashback, she was now in most of the story. This pleased Forward immensely, as it proved without doubt the continuity back story "Freedom By Fire".
That guy seriously needs to get out more.