Serial 7C/B – The Inspector Of Lanyon Moor
The Inspector Of Lanyon Moor
An Alternate Programme Guide by Ewen Campion-Clarke
An Extract From The EC Unauthorized Programme Guide O' Déjà Vu
Serial 7C/B – The Inspector Of Lanyon Moor -
The TARDIS materializes in Cornwall at the tail end of the UNIT era, where the Doctor promptly throws decrepit history professor Evelyn Smythe out the door and tells her to clear off.
Evelyn responds with a long, drawn-out rant about how miserable it is to be old and how she deserves more respect from young whipper-snappers.
The Doctor, meanwhile, has got bored and wandered into the nearby fogou – a Celtic underground passage near a Stone Age burial chamber – and scribbles THE DOCTOR WAS HERE in felt tip.
Evelyn has wandered off and ends up at the Lanyon Moor Archaeological Institute, a small lean-to shed in the manor of Sir Archie Flintstone – a Cornish amalgam of famous cartoon characters.
The Institute consists of work experience kid Phillip Luddite, whacked-out conspiracy nut Inspector Morgan, and secret intelligence spook Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart (retired), who is determined to make sure the archaeologists don't stumble across the secret air base UNIT have constructed nearby.
It is then that Flintstone arrives with the Doctor caught on the spit – being treated with traditional Cornish hospitality – and the Time Lord recognizes the Brigadier and accidentally blabs about the whole secret service stuff.
This leaves the Brigadier so damn annoyed he's all for roasting the Doctor over a large fire himself.
Evelyn, meanwhile, in the mistaken assumption she's back at the university, wanders into Flintstone's library and starts lecturing the pot plants on Tudor swear words. It isn't until the next morning that she realizes her mistake when Flintstone kicks her out.
The Doctor is able to convince the Brigadier to let him live and, in return, he will track down the mysterious Grey Bugger of Lanyon Moor with a rolled-up newspaper and a ballpoint pen.
Said Grey Bugger appears on the moors and steals the possessions and clothes off a hiker called Nikki, who promptly drops dead of exposure.
Back at LMAI, the Doctor doesn't detect a damn thing.
Morgan suspects that the electrical disturbances that accompany the appearances of the Grey Bugger are somehow focussed through the local fogou.
The Doctor ridicules the suggestion, laughing out loud at the thought. He needs a glass of water and several minutes to compose himself before continuing.
Evelyn enters and complains loudly about her disgraceful treatment at the Flintstone place. No one listens, as Luddite has confirmed that a pebble at the fogou is alien in origin. The Doctor explains it's probably one of his skipping stones that he dropped while graffiti-ing the ancient burial site.
Morgan points out that the Grey Bugger has been sited in around the Flintstone household ever since, well, forever, and suggests they actually investigate there instead of wandering the moors with a rolled-up newspaper and a pen hoping for weird shit to happen.
Both the Doctor and the Brigadier pooh-pooh the idea. They are old hands at this sort of thing, and they dismiss the incidents of diabolic, shrieking winds, evidence of a curse and mysterious wild animals are simply circumstantial coincidence.
When Inspector Morgan announces there might be more to this than meets the eye, the Doctor loses his temper and shoves an alien rock down his throat. The Time Lord then realizes he needs at least three more stones to kill the Inspector and so heads back to the TARDIS to collect another.
Unfortunately, all the moors look alike and the TARDIS cannot be found – at least, for this episode.
Evelyn has wandered back to the Flintstone's house, still believing it to be her university and so breaks into what she assumes to be the canteen to get some food. Instead she finds a control room full of electronic equipment and computers. Archie Flintstone stands at the controls, laughing evilly and rubbing his hands with glee.
This doesn't interest her and she tries to leave.
Using pieces of wire, the Times crossword and some copper wire, the Doctor has lashed up an alien tracking unit. Unfortunately, it isn't detecting a damn thing.
Archie is practicing his speech where he reveals he is not merely a charming lord of the manor but a vicious madman who is the messiah heralding the dissolution of universal morality.
The LMAI is just a smoke screen, as Flintstone now has access to the elemental power of the Grey Bugger, and can now control everything anywhere on the entire planet.
Evelyn asks if he knows where the bathroom is, and Flintstone announces that he shall destroy her with his mighty alien powers. But it would be rude, and so first lets the senile octogenarian head for the ladies' room. Confused and thinking she is on a blind date, Evelyn climbs out the toilet window and escapes.
Despite having no proof whatsoever, the Doctor announces that the mysterious Grey Bugger is, in fact Greybuggernon, one of a race of vicious aliens who can regulate their mental activity through the use of psychoactive minerals found in their part of the galaxy and also enjoy cinema hotdogs.
The Brigadier reveals he knew this already and the Greybuggernon has a pottery thermonuclear device conveniently located in Athens, Greece. Inspector Morgan announces that Luddite's hitherto-unmentioned mother, Joyce Grenfell and her performing poodles Buster and Keaton, has just gone to Greece on a holiday.
"Coincidence? I think not!" Morgan announces.
However, both the Brigadier and the Doctor confirm that it IS just a coincidence and refuse to mobilize UNIT without evidence that the Greybuggeron is about to explodes out of the fogou and begins to wipe out all life on Earth.
The new watchwords of UNIT are apparently, "No time wasters, please."
Morgan is troubled when the Grey Bugger appears out of the shadows and slashes apart several extraneous characters, clutching the pottery thermonuclear device, but the Doctor insists there is nothing to worry about. I mean, after eighteen thousand years of torment, it's unlikely that the Greybuggeron is going to waste his time on petty revenge, is he? Is he?
The Inspector realizes that the alien rocks the Doctor has been trying to force down his throat are repelling the horrible Greybuggeron power, but the Doctor and the Brigadier are more troubled by the fact the TV has cut out in the middle of Eastenders.
The Doctor decides to check the aerial while the Brigadier stays behind to monitor the TV reception. Morgan storms out in order to warn innocent passers-by that the hideous Celtic demon is on the prowl.
Mrs. Grenfell arrives with her dogs and cheerfully asks what's happening. The Greybuggeron possesses her poodles and they leap on her and tear her apart. The Doctor could easily rescue her, but he's busy – and she really should train her dogs NOT to turn on her and eat her.
Luddite has caught Evelyn and drags her back to the Flintstone manor, where the Greybuggeron appears. Flintstone walks up to the demonic creature and tells it in no uncertain terms that from now on, the Greybuggeron is his bitch and better get used to idea.
Evelyn only survives by wandering past, asking for directions to study hall 3 and distracting the Grey Bugger from slaughtering them all instantly. It then slaughters the two bad guys and wanders off.
The Doctor and the Brigadier have got the TV working again and insist that Inspector Morgan need not worry himself with such weird concepts about alien monsters as old as history itself.
The Greybuggeron, Skank-reda, reappears and explains that he and his wife, Skrying-Pan, were forced to land on the planet Earth in primeval times and change a tire. When Skrying-Pan realized that the spare tire was flat, she sent him to get a new one.
Now, after 30 million years, Skank-reda has the replacement tire!
Unfortunately, Skrying-Pan has got bored and hitched a lift home. Seriously pissed off, Skank-reda suddenly announces he will use his pottery thermonuclear device to destroy the whole planet.
The Brigadier reminds the Greybuggeron that he is ON the planet and thus it's pretty damned stupid of him to blow it up.
Skank-reda agrees, apologizes for the trouble, and heads back to his space-ship, resigned to spend the next few ice ages in singles bars.
The Inspector frantically insists that they must agree – the Grey Bugger really WAS a hideous alien monster, and he was right.
The Doctor shakes his head, insisting it was just a mass hallucination brought on by panic. Refusing to let Morgan say another word, the Doctor, the Brigadier and Evelyn head off for the pub for a late supper, having nearly destroyed the world once more.
Just like old times.
Book(s)/Other Related –
Doctor Who And The Inspector Who's A Bore
Fan Wish Fulfillments, Vol. 6 – Doctor Who
Og-Ugg – Iron Age Detective Versus The Big Grey Bugger
The Brigadier tells the Doctor that his mother in law is called Sally, yet the Doctor finds this out for the 'first time' again in his seventh incarnation (Battlefield: Earth). Now, OK, admittedly 55 years have passed for the Doctor and he can't be expected to remember the names of every mother-in-law mentioned to him and he HAS had his brain wiped, washed and sparkled clean but GOD DAMN IT, it still bugs me.
The Doctor carries a meta-dimensional rheostat in his pocket, which is ironic as it is of absolutely no use to him in this story.
Links and References -
The Doctor continually bitches about the events from The Maid Marian Conspiracy, particularly Evelyn's ruining of a perfectly good relationship with the Sheriff of Nottingham.
Untelevised Misadventures -
The Doctor has been barred from visited the Parthenon in Athens in his previous five bodies – and that was BEFORE it was finished!
Groovy DVD Extras -
Ian Holm doing his Pigsy/Gollum voice while reciting William Allingham's chilling poem Fear of Circus Midgets.
As mortal terror goes, this rates somewhere ABOVE being trapped in a darkened room with someone carrying a switched-on chainsaw whispering 'Come out, come out, little pigs' and just BELOW waking up in bed naked with Margaret Thatcher.
Dialogue Disasters -
The immensely crap cliffhanger to episode two, where the Doctor and the Brigadier struggle to fix the TV aerial -
Doctor: Brigadier, what's that sound?
Brigadier: It's happening again. Hold steady. I'll have to work quickly or we may be immensely screwed!
Doctor: I can't concentrate, Brigadier...
Brigadier: Hold on, Doctor! Hold steady!
Doctor: I can't...
Brigadier: You must! It's all that opium you put on your corn flakes, Doctor, I warned you! WAKE UP, MAN!
Doctor: Wait a minute! I think it's fixed.
Brigadier: Yes! You're right! And it's still the add break!
Morgan: WHY DOESN'T ANYONE LISTEN TO ME?!?!?
Doctor: Brigadier... There's quite a history of things going bump in the night about here.
Brigadier: Yes, Doctor, that'll be because the upstairs light bulb's gone again. These lazy fools never get round to basic home maintenance.
Flintstone: There's nothing like a good 'yomp' before breakfast. Still, that's enough about my prodigiously over-active sex life, down to business. Nothing's going to get between me and my whore licks!
Doctor: A man after my own hearts.
Brigadier: He means 'Horlicks', you nutter.
Doctor: Oh. Shame.
Doctor: Hello, listeners! It's me, Doctor Who, here. Now, what you might be hearing may SOUND like derivative, unoriginal crap, but I urge you - under whatever circumstances, don't switch off! It gets better! Honestly!
Brigadier: There he is - he's out! Always knew something was queer about him! Look, he's coming up the back path, the filthy pervert! That's the Doctor, all right...
The extremely long, long, LONG drawn-out ending...
Brigadier: One thing hasn't changed, Doctor; we still make a good team when it comes to beating the shit out of alien freaks!
(The end credit theme music begins, and ends with an off-the-record type noise almost immediately)
Evelyn: You mean you two know each other?
Doctor: Yes, Evelyn, we do! Damn it you senile old bat I have explained that on no less than seven separate occasions!
(The music begins, but is cut off.)
Evelyn: Have you, Johnny? Well, you can tell me about it inside. Perhaps the Marshall or whoever he is here could use his influence to get the inn to make us some food?
(Another false start)
Doctor: Sounds good. A spot of tea would go over well.
(Another false start)
Evelyn: Well, I'd like some hot chocolate.
Doctor: Well, I'd like to drown you in a bucket of marzipan, Evelyn. We can't always get what we want, can we??
(This time it just starts and continues over the characters' bitching)
Dialogue Triumphs -
Doctor: Round the craggy mountain, through the wooded glen; we daren't go a wandering for fear of little men.
Doctor: Because it's a damn fool thing to do, that's why? They may be short, but that just puts them at castration level!!
Flintstone: My plans will finally come to fruition...
Evelyn: Ah, so it's got something to do with fruit!
Brigadier: Well, Doctor, what have you found? Irrefutable evidence of
imps and goblins?
Doctor: No, better! I've found the remote control!
Flintstone: My will shall be the whole of the law!
Doctor: And what is your will?
Flintstone: Ah. Knew I forgot something.
Luddite: You mean to tell me my mother has made a Faustian pact with an evil pixie from outer space... That is SO cool!
Foreshadowing to The Jazzocize Machine?
Doctor: As my old flat mate used to say, "you can go a long way with talent, but you'll never get anywhere without a dead haddock".
Evelyn: And what's that supposed to mean?
Doctor: No idea. The guy's a bit crackers, to be honest.
Viewer Quotes -
"Inspector is simplistic, silly and cliched. And Hamlet is about a man who can't make up his mind whether or not to kill his uncle."
- Nigel Verkoff's "How To Bluff Your Way In Doctor Who and Shakespeare For Year 12 English Students" (unpublished)
"There's no psychology - just the near-endless creaking as stale plots are slowly uncorked. It would just be nice if, just for once, the evil villain actually turned out not to be ridiculous, pointless, or depressingly impractical around energy weapons. It would also be absolutely splendid if rather than instantly dispatching his hapless minions, he made good on his promises. It would be nice to see subtle, interesting shades of evil, character and plot, rather than just trapping the Doctor and companion in a windswept house full of gibbering aliens and ranting maniacs. Right, that does it, I'm writing my own damn stories from now on."
- J.K. Rowling (1997)
"I hate Colin Baker. I hate audio stories. I hate decrepit old bats as regular characters. I hate cliché-ridden, traditional messes of stories with hoary old stereotypes that went grey before Nigel Hawthorne did. Oddly enough, I didn't like this story."
- Curiously Predictable Sci-Fi Reviews (2000)
"When I found out I'd left my copy of The Inspector Of Lanyon Moor on the bus, I was horrified. Luckily, I have a copy of Terror of the Bygones, so nothing is truly lost." - Dave Restal (2001)
"A year after their first release, I wonder if Big Finish shows any signs of flagging. The Inspector of Lanyon Moor answered me with a resounding, 'You betcha.'"
- Andrew Beeblebrox (2000)
Psychotic Nostalgia -
"Rural Conwall, foggy moors, creepy old manors, goblins, savage dogs... What a way to reinforce the stereotypical view of Cornwall. For the love of God, there is nothing – absolutely NOTHING – interesting about Cornwall! I'm sorry, but it's true."
Colin Baker Speaks!
"My never getting to meet the Brig properly is as much a tragedy as if I had never got to fight the Dustbins. Which I didn't, really, if you think about it. They just sat in the background while Lavros and I hurled insults at each other. Anyway, this is the first proper meeting of the Sixth Doctor and the Brigadier battling dark forces on an eerie moor. It's an adventure worthy of the moment. It's a very clever and literate story – but also very exciting. It's just the sort of adventure I wish my Doctor could have had on television, especially as it appears every other Doctor has had it beforehand."
Nicholas Courtney Speaks!
"It's lovely to be working on a story with Colin Baker – we've become firm friends through conventions and the like over the years, and it started our professional mud-wrestling career. I suggested something similar happen in this story, but mud-wrestling doesn't work too well on audio, apparently. Anyway, thanks to Big Finish, I've now appeared with all the Doctors. Well, bar Paul McGann. And Rowan Atkinson. Or Trevor Martin. Well, er, that's about it. Anyone want to hear an amusing anecdote about an eye-patch?"
Maggie Stables Speaks!
"The thing about Evelyn is that she's full of awe, because that's what dementia brings – perpetual surprise. Who are you again, dear?"
Rumors & Facts –
The Inspector of Lanyon Moor is a very relaxing listening experience, as it is possible for said listener to predict the plot with no effort at all. What happens next, what people are going to say and which
not-so-surprising twist is to be done next is as predictable as the sun rising tomorrow.
Inspector goes beyond occasional homage and pastiche to become shamelessly derivative – The Doctor arrives at an unconvincing archaeological expedition where a suspicious member of the gentry with a dusty library is involved with an alien is trapped in Earth's prehistory. Heck, that could be any story – Terror of the Bygones, I'm Dreamin', Paris Sucks, Nightclub of the Dustbins, The Crones of Blood, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder of the Dustbins, The Wine Peddler...
It could be ANY story, just not a particularly GOOD one.
With Big Finish audio stories up and running, producers Gay Russell and Jason Haigh-Ellory had but one thing on their mind: Tom Baker.
Truly, if they could get the Fourth Doctor to turn to audio it would be a coup unsurpassed since 1977, when he appeared in Exploitation Earth: The Time McCine and Doctor Who Versus The Fishy Bastards.
The same coup was achieved when Tom Baker's viewing comments of a satirical sketch show were hastily added to Extremely Little Britain.
When asked whether or not he would be prepared to appear in Big Finish, Tom Baker replied it would conditional on the stories he appeared in having the running theme of the Doctor getting phone numbers from the sexiest women in time and space.
It quickly became clear that this wasn't a plot suggestion, but Baker was simply cruising for chicks by proxy.
Russell commissioned three possible Fourth Doctor and Sarah-Jane Smith stories – the extremely wacky Pandora's Naughty Bits by Rob Shearman, the drug-induced My Last Duck Egg by Paul Margrs, and the ludicrously traditional For Fear of Circus Midgets by Nicholas Pegg.
Tom Baker considered My Last Duck Egg a clear-rip off of a novel he had yet to write, Pandora's Naughty Bits just not naughty enough and refused to participate in For Fear of Circus Midgets as some of his best friends were circus midgets and really quite nice chaps.
Pegg cunningly offered him the script again, now entitled For Fear of Little Green Men and, after confirming it was not about Irish midgets, Tom Baker agreed to read it.
He then returned to Big Finish, happy to record this very same script as long as not a single word was changed.
However, this script was not For Fear of Little Green Men by Nicholas Pegg, but rather "Rasputin Talks To Badgers" by Tom Baker.
"RASPUTIN TALKS TO BADGERS"
His Holiness Tom Baker The First
And Jerrold, His Holiness' Talking Cabbage
(NOTE: All theme music is to be replaced by Ra-Ra-Rasputin by Boney M)
His High Lord Rasputin of the Time Sphere and his sexy girlfriend, Her Highest Lady Sarah-Jane Smith of the Temporal Vortex, arrive in modern day Cornwall, but not in walking distance of any pubs whatsoever.
Convinced evil is afoot, Rasputin and Sarah run off, hallucinating about imps and goblins as they suffer the DTs. They are rescued by members of the local UNIT research base designed specifically to find out why there are no pubs around.
Rasputin undergoes a terrifying psychic assault as the last drop of alcohol leaves his body, and the second episode begins with Rasputin now realizing he can speak to any animal anytime.
Rasputin returns to the moor, asking passing cestrals if they know any decent Cornish speak-easies, but to no avail. Together with Sarah, Rasputin puts a colander on his head to divine the remaining pubs on the Earth – some malevolent force is erasing them from history. Already people are starting to talk eccentrically about Chekov and tea instead of offering His Raspness some beer.
At this point, Dr. Leamington-Smith's pet badger, Alfred, enters and explains that an alien monster sleeps beneath the moors, and has now awoken, spreading its tentacles of sobriety and is destroying pub after pub after pub after pub...
Rasputin thanks the badger profusely and goes to London to meet Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, who explains all the pubs are being transported to a medium-sized Japanese fishing trawler.
Using his special underwater radios, Rasputin and the Brigadier order some Blue Whales to beat the crap out of the fishermen and spread the pubs throughout the world. Rasputin then goes to the alien monster and gives it a pint of Guinness. They are not best friends.
Finally, Rasputin declines an invitation by Leamington-Smith to deliver a lecture about Cornish fogous at the next archaeological symposium because, simply, he has no fucking idea what a fogou is. Leaving UNIT to coordinate the re-planting of pubs everywhere, Rasputin and Sarah get wasted and start driving under the influence in Bessie.
At this point, Gay Russell told Baker to fuck off and die. In that order.
Finding the original "For Fear of Circus Midgets", Russell discovered the script was a word-for-word copy of the TV serial The Hand of Fuck. Pegg revealed he was quite capable of writing his own material and just wanted the fun of making that particular story all over again.
In order to make it look even remotely different, Russell decided to remove the roles of the Doctor and the companion, de-emphasize the extremely kinky alien menace from a sexual predator to a boring house-husband, and make the extremely expensive five-second cameo from Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart into a relatively cheap four-episode presence. He then turned his attention to the title of the story.
Since the basic plot of For Fear of Circus Midgets was now so horribly different from the new one, Pegg suggested they scrap For Fear of Little Men and save it for 'later'. Possible with some red wine.
The new story was entitled Terror of the Circus Midgets, but this was changed as it was already too close to Terror of the Bygones. Then, it was dubbed Revenge of the Fondue, then Return of the Greybuggeron.
Desperately trying not to link the story with the Fourth Doctor era, Russell decided the story would now feature the Sixth Doctor and Evelyn – and anyone who complained that the Fourth Doctor wasn't in it could be fobbed off with the excuse they had misread which Baker was appearing in the story, now dubbed Inspector Morse Code.
By the time recording had begun, the story had gone from being called Spirits of the Fondue, The God of the Fondue, Inspector of the Fondue before they realized fondue at no point played any part in the plot.
The title then changed from Inspector of the Moor, Moor's The Pity, The Ghosts of Bulimia, The Inspector of 'Long-John' Moore's Inside Leg Measurement, Super Celebrity Slaughterhouse Seven, and finally The Inspector of Lanyon Moor.
Since nearly all their work had gone into thinking up titles for the story, very little had gone into casting or production. Pegg was forced to both write and direct the story simultaneously, while Susan Jameson was forced to appear as the guest cast. Originally thrown out of recording Ornery in Space because she just wasn't a natural blonde like Katy Manning, Jameson considered playing all the characters bar the Doctor, Evelyn and the Brigadier (and thus getting all the pay checks) suitable reward for her earlier humiliation.