Scene 14 – Alley
[The Doctor approaches a doorway, checks that it is empty, then moves on all the time humming the theme tune to The Pink Panther. Reaching the next doorway, he repeats the procedure, and it is also empty. Dear god this is tedious. And we’re already seventeen pages into the script. How ever shall I cope? Oh wait, look there’s something!
As the Doctor moves on down the rat-infested alleyway lit only by spluttering gas lamps, which I’m sure I completely failed to mention earlier when it could have been remotely relevant, we see a figure step from a doorway previously established to be empty. This is scary, spooky, supernatural shit and NOT, I repeat NOT a goof to be chronicled in The Discontinuity Guide. I’m watching you three. Anyway, this figure is wearing a black monk’s habit, and gnarled claws emerge from its sleeves, and it leaves those demmed wet footprints. Just in case it’s not clear this hideous hellish Da Vinci Code-esque (ooh, too soon?) monster has crawled out of the rainwater barrel seen earlier in the story. You know, the one where we last saw Mister Pickwick drowning in? Or did we?
It’s foreshadowing, I tell ’ee! FORESHADOWING!
Anyway, these stage directions are getting a bit intense, so I’ll cut to the action. The monster creeps up behind the Doctor and prods him in the back. Startled, the Time Lord spins round and cries out at the hooded monstrosity looming out the dark before him.]
PICKWICK: [vo] Looking for something, sir?
DOCTOR: Yeah... a piece of your ass!
[The Doctor kung-fu kicks the hooded being back against the wall, drives innumerable blows into the creature’s chest, grabs its hooded head and slams it down on his raised knee three times, before letting it fall to cobbled street and body-slamming it twice.]
PICKWICK: [vo] Arghh! Arghhh! Get off me you psycho bastard! Ah, the pain! THE SALTY PAIN!
[Curious, the Doctor kicks the hooded figure until his cowl is thrown back, revealing the familiar Charles Dickens character we saw at the beginning of the program, bleeding from the nose.]
DOCTOR: Ah, Mr. Picklewell.
PICKWICK: [moans in pain] Pickwick, actually, sir.
[The Doctor pulls at the gnarled claw, peeling them from Pickwick’s hands.]
DOCTOR: Do you get extra for dressing up? Or is it some sort of fetish? I suspect the former rather than the latter, eh, you silly twisted little fictional character you. Eh? Eh?
PICKWICK: From the repeated blows to my head, I sense a certain hostility, sir.
[The Doctor drives the flat of his palm into Pickwick’s chin, smashing his skull into the wall.]
DOCTOR: You’ll sense considerably more if you don’t tell me where the Valeyard is.
PICKWICK: [spitting blood] Please, sir! Show respect for the cloth!
DOCTOR: The cloth is safe. It’s you I intend to flatten! God, I’m a hard bastard!
[He takes a lump hammer from his pocket, kisses it for luck and slams it into Pickwick’s cheek. Blood gushes down his ruined face.]
PICKWICK: [sobbing in agony] Such aggression, sir... And me just a humble messenger!
DOCTOR: The ancient Greeks used to kill messengers who brought bad news.
PICKWICK: An unruly lot the Greeks, sir.
DOCTOR: But they do marvelous duty-free wine.
[Caption: THAT WAS YOUR EDUCATIONAL DOCTOR WHO MOMENT OF THE WEEK.]
PICKWICK: But fortunately the message I bring will placate and soothe, sir. Oh, my kidneys! Ah. The members of ZZ Top have granted you an appointment.
DOCTOR: You mean the Valeyard’s rather unconvincing alias?
PICKWICK: Assuming you will continue to assault me with a hammer if I prevaricate further... yes, sir, the very same one, sir.
[The Doctor releases him cheerfully.]
DOCTOR: Then lead on, Mister Pickwick. Lead on.
PICKWICK: At once, sir.
[Groaning, he starts to claw his way down the passage.]
PICKWICK: I’m afraid the journey is a long one, sir.
DOCTOR: Oh well, swings and roundabouts. After all, YOU’RE the one with the internal bleeding.
PICKWICK: [coughs up blood] Indeed sir. But before we start we must collect a friend of yours, sir.
DOCTOR: Sabalom Glitz?
PICKWICK: No, sir. Mr. Glitz is already with ZZ Top, sir.
DOCTOR: I think we’ve all seen through the Valeyard’s less-than-cunning alias, Pickwick.
PICKWICK: Then there’s no harm using it pointless then, is there sir?
[The Doctor places his foot on Pickwick’s back and slams it down. Pickwick screams.]
DOCTOR: Will you stop calling me "sir"?!
PICKWICK: [moaning] Of course, sir... I think my spleen has ruptured... No, sir, the young person... we have to collect... is a Miss Melanie.... Bush, sir.
DOCTOR: Who? Oh her. Right. She’s here then?
PICKWICK: Followed you... into the Matrix, sir... Such a foolish thing to do...
DOCTOR: Sounds like what she’d do. And where is she, simple expository device?
[Suddenly, he picks up a grotty orange box and hurls it at Pickwick’s head. It shattered into planks and he collapses in a pool of blood.]
DOCTOR: Answer quicker! We’re wasting valuable screen time!
[Pickwick indicates the door at the end of the passage with a shaking, blood-splattered hand.]
PICKWICK: [through broken teeth] Thoo... thure... thuh....
[The Doctor moves towards the door then pauses.]
DOCTOR: After you.
[Pickwick smiles through the blood, broken bones and matted hair.]
PICKWICK: You... lack thtwust... thuh... thith ith no twthick...
[The Doctor takes a beer bottle from his pocket and smashes it against the wall. Bent double, Pickwick scrambles over to the door, hauls it open with sharp, painful cries and falls over.]
PICKWICK: Fol... low me... thuh...
DOCTOR: Much better. But you’re still calling me sir, aren’t you?
[He jabs the broken beer bottle into Pickwick’s chest in a completely pointless and gratuitous bit of violence that the BBC made very clear if they ever saw the like of ever again they would cancel the show and sack all involved – however, the author has cunningly quit already. As we dwell on this truly machiavellian selfishness, Pickwick lets out a blood-choked scream.]
Scene 14 – the Valeyard’s TARDIS
[Glitz has found an ironing bored and is doing some laundry. The Valeyard is still mucking about with the control console. On the screen, the Doctor can be seen repeatedly kicking Pickwick as he crawls through the doorway.]
VALEYARD: At last. Everything is prepared! All is ready! Come over here, Sabalom Glitz!
[Sighing, Glitz crosses over to join the Valeyard by the scanner.]
VALEYARD: Now you will see the power of the most perfect geometrical shape.
GLITZ: Can’t wait.
[The Doctor enters the building and door slams shut. Cackling evilly, the Valeyard pulls down a lever. Immediately, a spinning circle forms over the image of the closed door. Glitz rolls his eyes.]
GLITZ: You’ve just switched on the screensaver again!
VALEYARD: No, no, no. Not this time. It’s completely different, what I’ve done is...
GLITZ: [bored] Whatever.
[Glitz jabs the hot flat-side of the iron against the Valeyard’s head. Steam spews out from the contact point. Glitz returns to the ironing board as the Valeyard slowly sinks to his knees, mouth open in a silent scream and the pattern of the iron branded into his cheek. I do hope you enjoy this mindless violence, cause there’s plenty more on the horizon. As the Valeyard slowly collapses, the image on the screen changes and we see the Doctor following Pickwick down a gloomy tunnel.]
Scene 15 – Tunnel
[A sewer-like structure, dimly-lit and with a definite curve to the wall. It is lit by totally random patches of light which tend to turn up on British television. The Doctor strides into view as Pickwick weakly hauls himself along the floor, leaving a trail of blood.]
PICKWICK: I don’th... think I cun... lasth muchth furthuh... thuh...
DOCTOR: Oh, brighten up, Pickwick. This place is depressing enough!
PICKWICK: I’m thurprithed... you don’th... recognize it... thuh...
[Frowning, the Doctor steps on Pickwick’s remaining hand, crushing it.]
DOCTOR: Should I?
PICKWICK: [howling] Oh yeth thuh! It growth on youth, thuh!
[A voice booms down the tunnel. An irritatingly familiar one too.]
MEL: [oov] Doctor! Oh, Doctor, help me! Doctor! Please! What’s happened? Doctor! Doctor! Please help me! Doctor! Doctor, I’m in trouble! Doctor! Come quickly! Doctor! Help me, Doctor, Doctor, me! Help!
[A pause. The Doctor looks around.]
DOCTOR: Did you hear something?
DOCTOR: No? Oh well, must be me imagining things. It almost sounded like Mel. Which makes sense, in a way, since you told me we were coming here to meet her, so finding her here should hardly be an actual surprise. I don’t even know why I’m surprised. It’s foolish to even be taken aback. Hmm? Mister Pickwick? Do you have a suitable obsequious one liner for that? Hmm?
[No reply. He looks down. He is alone.]
DOCTOR: Mister Pickwick. Don’t make me have to look for you. I’ll get violent!
MEL: [oov] Forget him, Doctor! Doctor! Help me! Doctor! Quickly! Doctor!
DOCTOR: I haven’t even met her yet and she’s already annoying me like a skin disease.
[Echoing footsteps are heard running. The Doctor stares into the gloom, before turning turns to find Mel is standing right behind him. He flinches.]
MEL: We must get out of here!
DOCTOR: Are you all right, Melanie?
MEL: [nods] For the moment. But there’s something dreadful down here I can sense it.
DOCTOR: Let us go.
[He turns to retrace his steps.]
MEL: The door is this way.
DOCTOR: But I came from this direction.
[The Doctor moves off.]
MEL: There isn’t a door in that direction.
[The Doctor comes to an abrupt stop.]
DOCTOR: There must be. I just came through it! Come and look!
[Mel joins the Doctor and they move off.]
MEL: I’m frightened, Doctor.
DOCTOR: There’s no need to be, Melanie. We’ll soon be out of here.
MEL: [shaking her head] I think I’ve been going round in circles.
MEL: You know – round things.
DOCTOR: I know what circles are, you microcephalic apostate! How do you KNOW you’ve been going round in circles? If you CAN go ‘round in round things’ as you describe.
MEL: Look at the wall.
[She points at a jagged scar on the wall which curiously enough forms the words JST SUX!!]
MEL: See that? I’ve passed that. Three times.
DOCTOR: I know you’re a genius with an IQ in the two hundreds, but are you certain, Melanie?
MEL: Of course I am!
DOCTOR: [shakes his head] But surely if you’d been perambulating in an annular fashion, you would have passed not only your entrance but mine.
MEL: I haven’t passed any entrance. Therefore I can’t have been progressing in an orbital fashion. Oh no?
DOCTOR: Well, if you think you were – explain.
MEL: I don’t know.
DOCTOR: If you don’t know, HOW pray tell can you know you’ve been cruising in a cyclical manner?
MEL: I told you, you chubby cretin: the markings on the wall! I’ve passed them three times.
DOCTOR: If you’d passed them three times, you would also have passed the entrances – yes?
DOCTOR: I don’t understand. Why are you saying ‘no’?
MEL: I don’t know.
DOCTOR: You don’t know why you’re saying ‘no’?
MEL: No! I mean "yes, I do know why I’m saying ‘no’". I’m saying ‘no’ because I don’t know why I’ve passed the markings three times, and yet haven’t passed the entrances!
[The Doctor shakes his head as if to clear it.]
DOCTOR: We’re getting very long-winded. I thought Saward was writing this, not Pip’n’Jane!
MEL: [worried] I know. The dialogue is positively orbital.
DOCTOR: Mmm. All right. Let’s assume, for the sake of argument, that you have passed this way before...
DOCTOR: So HOW could you have done that without encountering the entrance?
MEL: You’ve just said that.
DOCTOR: If it’s worth saying once, it’s worth a circulatory restatement.
MEL: Then I don’t know.
MEL: I don’t know why I’ve passed the entrances without seeing them. I can only assume that they’ve been moved.
DOCTOR: As in transportation?
MEL: No – as in hidden! Disguised, maybe?
DOCTOR: Who would do that, Melanie?
MEL: I don’t know. [sudden thought] Unless someone wants us to think we’re not orbiting this circulation of a circumference in a peripatetic mode.
DOCTOR: [amazed] Did you say all that, Melanie? It would’ve ruptured my larynx if I had done that. What’s happening? It’s as though we’re becoming obsessed by circumambulation. Added to which a degree of circumloquacious circumvolution has edged into our vocabulary...
MEL: Not to mention circular tautology.
DOCTOR: What a terrible thought! Trapped like mice in an exercise wheel forever, doomed to run around and around and around and get nowhere. Like a script editor asleep and not getting off his arse to do a damn thing no matter what the situation. A script editor that probably couldn’t even finish an episode single handed and so, logically would...
MEL: [interrupts] What are we going to do? We’re being conditioned to accept, in every respect, the world of the circle. The most complete shape contained in a single line! Also the perfect trap! No beginning. No end. Complete in itself... Let’s go round the corridor one more time.
DOCTOR: Whatever for?
MEL: We may still find the entrance.
DOCTOR: But, Melanie, you’ve already been round three times.
MEL: Then one more circuit for luck.
MEL: Why not? We’ve nothing else to do.
DOCTOR: So your idea for an exciting season finale is for us to go round and round until we collapse?
MEL: Or escape. You’re a pass-master at escaping! Alas, but how do you find a gap in the most perfect shape ever created? Especially when your mind is being conditioned to thinks in circles? I don’t understand...
DOCTOR: I do. And suddenly very clearly. This is Bonnie Langford’s audition piece. That sanctimonious hypocritical bastard has cut and paste the bloody thing to pad out the whole episode, the lazy, lazy scumbag! Why else would I be calling you ‘Melanie’ rather than ‘Mel’? Hmm? He didn’t even bother to fix that – as usual, the git! Script editing my arse!
[Mel runs ahead. Her voice is echoing and re-echoing mechanically.]
MEL: Come on, Doctor.
DOCTOR: You go on. I want to indulge in something even vaguely original for the rest of the season.
MEL: [oov] Doctor! Oh, Doctor, help me! Doctor! Please! Doctor, I’m in trouble! Doctor! Come quickly! Doctor! Help me, Doctor, Doctor, me! Help!
DOCTOR: I think this is where I came in.
[Mel slowly fades as she moves further away. Then, she is gone.]
PICKWICK: [oov] Dear oh me, sir. You’re proving far too clever for the author, sir.
[The Doctor turns around and finds Pickwick standing behind him. As ever with such poor attention to detail, his mortal injuries have been completely forgotten and he is in the very best of health and not wearing a monk’s habit.]
DOCTOR: Where am I?
PICKWICK: In the used paperwork file for Season 23, sir. Hence the dark, smelly tunnel full of arguing companions and absolutely no point. Thought that would confuse you good and proper.
DOCTOR: It almost did. Pickwick?
PICKWICK: Yes, sir?
[The Doctor suddenly lunges at Pickwick and starts to throttle him. Screaming insanely, Pickwick tries to fight him off and flees down the tunnel. The Doctor snarls, foaming at the mouth and charges after Pickwick, clawing at the air before him.]
DOCTOR: Little pigs! Little pigs! Come out, come out, where ever you are!
Scene 16 – Alley
[At the other end of the alleyway, there is a dense, swirling fog. Pickwick runs from it, now dressed in the monk’s habit again. The Doctor lunges out of the mist and rugby-tackles Pickwick, slamming him against the wall. Pickwick cries out.]
DOCTOR: You have got to be kidding me! We’re back to where we started! YOU CALL THIS EPIC?!?
PICKWICK: You’d better wait here, sir. I should think ZZ Top will want to have a word with you.
DOCTOR: Oh, so you can’t just take me straight to him and hurry up the plot?
PICKWICK: Me, sir? Oh no, sir.
DOCTOR: Are you sure? Or do I have to let some fresh air into that racid little skull of yours...
[The Doctor grabs at Pickwick’s robe and suddenly finds he is holding an empty garment.]
PICKWICK: [vo] I told you, sir, I’m just a humble plot device.
[The Doctor lets the robe fall to the ground.]
DOCTOR: WHAT plot?
[He looks around through the mist. There is a wall blocking the way he came. He turns around and sees another has appeared, boxing him in.]
DOCTOR: Oh, brilliant! Trap me in a cell for the whole story! VERY FUCKING ORIGINAL! YOU HAVEN’T DONE THAT TO ME IN EVERY SINGLE FUCKING STORY SINCE 1984, HAVE YOU, ERIC YOU UTTER, UTTER WANKER?!?
Scene 17 – the Valeyard’s TARDIS
[On the screen, we see the Doctor start to pace up and down before snatching up all the props he can find and smashing them violently until he is trashing the whole set like a rock star in a hotel room. We pan across to see the Valeyard and Glitz are sitting at a table under a multicolored light fitting, playing cards. The Valeyard (still with the burn on his cheek) wears a bright green eye visor as Glitz deals. Both are smoking cigars.]
GLITZ: [puffs on cigar] That was a bit of a waste of time, wasn’t it?
VALEYARD: That was the POINT, you useless gofer.
GLITZ: He got out of it quickly, didn’t he? Either your ‘perfect shape’ theory’s wrong, or his control is getting stronger.
VALEYARD: Your deal.
GLITZ: Or maybe the script is just turning into an incredibly transparent bit of spite on the path of the author.
VALEYARD: Shut up.
GLITZ: You know, it’s a good thing all this is happening outside reality or else all this fourth-wall breaking would really get gratuitous wouldn’t it?
VALEYARD: Be silent!
GLITZ: Shouting at me won’t help.
[He drives his cigar into the Valeyard’s undamaged cheek. He screams loudly in pain.]
VALEYARD: Argh! You spiteful little scumbag, Glitz! Mocking my mind-control-powers when it’s obvious that someone was HELPING the Doctor out of that recycled script extract!
GLITZ: Didn’t look like it to me. Looked like he worked it out on his own.
VALEYARD: What a pile of crap! There is a conspiracy here! Somewhere!
GLITZ: Yeah, I used to think like that. Until I discovered failures had a lot to do with my own incompetence.
[Screaming, the Valeyard rocks back his chair and repeatedly bangs his head against the wall.]
GLITZ: You know, if you want to return even fleetingly to the overarching storyline, then maybe you ought to actually get off your arse and do something about the Doctor.
VALEYARD: [clutching his face] Why do fools always state the obvious?
GLITZ: So that they can get things in the open and size em up. Something super brains don’t do very often.
VALEYARD: Believe it or not, the question was rhetorical.
GLITZ: Oh, so fools state the obvious, but geniuses ask pointless questions? Speaking of pointless questions, don’t you think that after 98 bloody days of this season, maybe some kind of plot development could be in order?
VALEYARD: I will kill the Doctor!
GLITZ: Go on then.
VALEYARD: But not yet.
GLITZ: [sighs] For fuck’s sake.
VALEYARD: If the contract with the High Council proves bona fide, I will kill him.
GLITZ: But what if it don’t?
VALEYARD: Then everything dies.
[Glitz is genuinely stunned.]
GLTTZ: Eh? I am genuinely stunned!
GLITZ: I mean I understand the disappointment when a caper falls apart...
VALEYARD: I am not engaged in a caper.
[He petulantly slams his disk against the table, only succeeding in knocking his glass of whisky into his lab. The Valeyard swears and snatches a towel to dry his pants.]
GLITZ: Cal1 it whatever you like.
VALEYARD: [drying himself off] I am trying to RULE THE UNIVERSE!
GLITZ: Oh, a radical departure from the norm there. But still, EVERYTHING? Bit excessive, innit?
VALEYARD: I work on a level far beyond your puny comprehension.
GLITZ: But you’ve gotta understand that even in criminal circles there are rules. You can’t go round committing genocide and expect to continue earning an honest living as a crook. The public won’t put up with it!
VALEYARD: Who cares? The series is going to be axed anyway!
GLITZ: You’ve got to have a better reason than that.
VALEYARD: Look, if I hadn’t already made it clear sixteen scenes ago, I need the Doctor’s remaining lives. Without them I shall die. And if I am denied them –
GLITZ: You’ll destroy the universe.
GLITZ: Oh, what a unique motivation. Never seen that one before in a Holmes script. How exactly are you, a jumped up little nobody with dubious characterization, destroy the entirety of creation?
VALEYARD: Do you know what a Time Vent is?
GLITZ: No, and I’ve got a horrible feeling no one else does, either. Anyway, it’s far too extreme to come up with a plan to wipe out the entire universe halfway through the last episode with absolutely no prior hint whatsoever!
VALEYARD: All they have to do is give me what I want.
GLITZ: What, the BBC or the Time Lords?
VALEYARD: Either will do me.
GLITZ: None of them are famous for giving people’s lives away.
VALEYARD: Then they’ll have to start now... if there is to be another day!
GLITZ: Look, new rule. Every time you steal a bit of dialogue I do this.
[He drives the cigar butt into the Valeyard’s eye for a good fifteen seconds of hissing, sickening crackling bacon noise. The Valeyard moans throughout.]
[The Valeyard whimpers in agreement.]
GLITZ: Right. [starts to deal cards] Aces high, jacks wide...
Scene 18 – Trial Room
[The scene is much the same as before, since the author couldn’t be bothered to think of anything new. The Inquisitor is sitting at her desk, watching an executive toy of bouncing marbles on string with mounting psychosis. Mel is bound and gagged in the corner.]
INQUISITOR: What is going on? Why is nothing happening?
KIPPER: [quietly] Please, madam. We must maintain a certain decorum and dignity. We’re respected thespians of the acting profession, you know...
INQUISITOR: Blast decorum and dignity! We have intruders running around the Matrix causing who knows how much havoc and absolutely NOTHING televisual is happening, whatsoever! They could show a test card for five hours and be more interesting! A courtroom drama without the defendant or the prosecutor! Why hell are people supposed to actually watch this?
BASTARD: [oov] You have a right to be concerned, madam.
[Everyone in the room turns towards the door, where the Bastard poses like something out of a menswear catalogue. He beams at them.]
BASTARD: Never have I had such an attentive audience.
INQUISITOR: That shows you how bored we are.
BASTARD: [sniffs] No need to be so harsh, you Oxo-cube selling slag!
KIPPER: [concerned] Has the Valeyard done anything to the Matrix? Ideally something irreparable?
BASTARD: Not yet, I’m afraid.
INQUISITOR: So absolutely nothing has happened then?
BASTARD: Sorry. He hasn’t learned that his contract with the High Council has been revoked. When he does he might actually get up and do something, but I wouldn’t like to swear to it.
INQUISITOR: How did you know that? [quickly] We’ve only just learned that ourselves!
KIPPER: Did we?
[She elbows him.]
KIPPER: Er, yes, yes. We did.
BASTARD: I happen to be listening.
INQUISITOR: Then you will also know that the contract was highly illegal! Not just your normal illegal, but HIGHLY illegal!
BASTARD: Someone should tell the Valeyard. I bet he’d be horrified to learn that. Oh wait, he won’t, because he’s has reached the end of his lives and is, amazingly enough, dying. He’ll probably get quite violent when he discovers that.
INQUISITOR: It should never have been drawn up, let alone lodged in the Matrix!
KIPPER: The Laws of Time are sacrosanct! Surely he must understand that! Exception can be made for no-one! Especially when it doesn’t make the slightest bit of sense – how the hell can he kill his past self and inherit his unused incarnations! It defies all logic!
BASTARD: Oh dear. Good thing it’s been revoked then. Except he’s now doomed.
INQUISITOR: It comes to us all. Especially now it’s the final episode.
BASTARD: Platitudes are a poor substitute for argument, my dear Inquisitor. But then with this script, we should expect no better. By the way, did I mention the person those platitudes are aimed at has the power to destroy the universe?
[The court members react with appropriate horror.]
FRENCH: That’s the most cliched thing I have ever heard in my entire life!
SAUNDERS: And we were in The Brothers!
INQUISITOR: I’m sorry, I refuse to believe that the Valeyard can program a VCR, let alone be capable of destroying the entirety of creation.
BASTARD: Oh, but he is. Didn’t I tell you earlier? I have located the Valeyard’s base.
KIPPER: Which is?
BASTARD: His TARDIS. Yes, he has parked his TARDIS inside the Matrix. [pained] Is there no end to his blasphemy?
KIPPER: ...give me strength. We could have told YOU that!
INQUISITOR: In fact, we DID tell you that!
BASTARD: So you did. That explains how I found it during the cut-and-paste but in scene 15! Well, it seems he has been very particular as to where he has located his control room.
INQUISITOR: Tell us.
BASTARD: It has been constructed next to the front door!
INQUISITOR: OK, execute him, somebody. This stopped being funny long ago.
[French and Saunders raise their stasers. The Bastard immediately holds his hands up.]
BASTARD: OK! OK! OK! He has a Time Vent in his control room!
[The court gasp again.]
SAUNDERS: ...what’s a Time Vent?
FRENCH: You know, I haven’t the faintest idea.
BASTARD: As far as I can ascertain, it is precisely his intention to open it.
KIPPER: It’s a bluff. He doesn’t mean it. He won’t open it.
BASTARD: Um, did you hear what I just said, my dear Kipper? He’s going to OPEN it. That’s why it is there! I discovered this all off-screen and even though I am in incorrigible liar, you’ll all believe what I say is the absolute gospel truth.
[Mel finally manages to remove her gag.]
MEL: What’s he talking about?
INQUISITOR: Not now, child! Grown ups are talking!
MEL: Please! The Doctor’s in the Matrix!
INQUISITOR: Yes, thank you for that, young woman. We know that.
MEL: I would like to know what danger he’s in!
INQUISITOR: The same danger as us all. Satisfied?
MEL: Not really, no.
SAUNDERS: I’d like to know what it is, too.
FRENCH: Yes, I mean it’s very hard to emote with anything so utterly huge as the destruction of the universe, especially when it’s been plucked out of nowhere like that. No foreshadowing, no build-up, nothing. And on top of that, you don’t explain it.
SAUNDERS: Yes, you might as well have said he’s going to destroy the universe with a packet of Cornflakes for all the sense it makes.
KIPPER: All right. I will explain this once and only once since, as has already been established, the central premise is INCREDIBLY dodgy. If the Valeyard does open the Time Vent then an erratic surge of time will enter our stabalised continuum. The effect will be devastating! Like mixing matter and anti-matter! Oil and water! Drinking orange juice right after brushing your teeth. I have calculated, based on a visit to that part of the set earlier on, that if the Vent were open for more than seventy-two seconds, the time continuum would be irrevocably damaged!
INQUISITOR: And thus the universe will be destroyed.
INQUISITOR: End. Of. Story!!
MEL: Then you must stop the Valeyard!
INQUISITOR: That could prove very difficult, child. With a plan as batshit random and insane as that, it beggars belief that we could stop it. We would have to move against him with great care, but that would slow the pace even more! We’ve need another six episodes!
KIPPER: Anyway, the Valeyard’s hardly going to use it until he finds out his contract has been withdrawn.
BASTARD: Well, that gives us [glances at watch] about another two minutes then.
INQUISITOR: There may still be time to return it.
BASTARD: Yes, as I said. Two minutes and counting. But, if you do return the contract – at least, that’s what I assumed you were talking about – then it will cost the Doctor his life. And all the others.
BASTARD: Yes! Honestly, my dear Miss Bush. Pay attention.
KIPPER: It would also create an unacceptable precedent. Everyone will be signing off their future lives to extend their existence. This could destroy the fabric of lifekind... not to mention be very, very confusing.
INQUISITOR: You’re not thinking, Kipper.
KIPPER: I am too thinking! You want a piece of me, Darkel? Bring it on!
INQUISITOR: If the Valeyard opens the Vent, there will no longer be precedents. In fact there will no longer be anything at all!
BASTARD: After one minute twelve seconds.
INQUISITOR: Bloody pedant! I was trying to build up some tension... god knows this story needs it!
BASTARD: Whoops. My bad. Fifty-nine seconds till the Valeyard twigs. Fifty-eight. Fifty-seven.
Scene 19 – the Valeyard’s TARDIS
[The Valeyard is now down to his question mark underpants. Glitz has only lost his shoulder pad. In the corner of the screen is an inset shot of the Bastard counting down to zero. A ticking clock graphic shows there is fifty-five seconds and falling.]
[The Valeyard glares at him and then throws a card onto the table, and deals himself two more. Glitz collects the card, thinks, then throws some chips into the middle.]
GLITZ: Two gloves.
VALEYARD: Raise you a pair of socks. I call. [shows cards] Three kings, Sabalom! Three wise men bearing gifts! Said gifts being, of course, your gloves!
GLITZ: Not so hasty, Mr. Lawyer! Full house. Aces over sevens.
[The Valeyard splutters in shock as Glitz takes his socks and adds it to the pile of clothes.]
GLITZ: Might as well check that contract of yours now, eh?
VALEYARD: You cheated!
GLITZ: Nonsense! With skill like mine, I’ve no need to cheat...
VALEYARD: Dustbin dung! You fucking well cheated and you know it!
GLITZ: See here, Valet-Parking Yard! I’ll not be spoken to thusly by anyone! As if your baseless allegations weren’t bad enough...
VALEYARD: Baseless allegations? Ha! You COULDN’T have gotten that hand by drawing one card! You must have cheated!
GLITZ: Why say you, sir?
VALEYARD: Because, I dealt you the three of diamonds, the six of hearts, the ten of clubs...
VALEYARD: DAMN!! Fine! I’ll do that then. God, I hate everyone! I hope it IS gone, just so I get to blow you all up!
[The Valeyard gets up, storms over to the console and fiddles with some switches. A light flashes. The Bastard’s countdown reaches zero and the inset fades. The Valeyard starts to chuckle, then giggle, until he’s laughing uncontrollably. Soon he is bent double, shrieking with mirth. He stumbles back to the table and falls to his knees, guffawing.]
GLITZ: Something amusing you?
VALEYARD: [through tears of laughter] It’s gone!
GLITZ: What has? All semblance of sticking to the source material?
VALEYARD: No, no, no! [sniggers] It’s the contract?
GLITZ: [grins] What about it?
VALEYARD: [panting] It’s... been... revoked!
[He and Glitz laugh muchly at this, getting more and more hysterical.]
GLITZ: Haahahah! Can’t have!
VALEYARD: It has!
GLITZ: You sure you looked in the right place?
VALEYARD: Of course I am!
[They laugh uncontrollably for a few moments before finally regaining the power of speech.]
GLITZ: So... are you going to destroy the universe then?
VALEYARD: [giggling] I think I shall, yes!
[Still laughing, they get up and cross to the console.]
GLITZ: You’re taking this super villain stuff much too far!
VALEYARD: Probably, yes!
GLITZ: You, you don’t want to go round opening Time Vents!
VALEYARD: [gasping for breath] Are you afraid of death?
GLITZ: Of course I am!
VALEYARD: Now you know how I feel!
[They almost collapse in a fresh fit of laughter.]
GLITZ: But, no... no, seriously, seriously... hahahah.... it isn’t right you should go around knocking everyone off because, hoo-hoo, because you’ve got the, heh, hump about dying!
VALEYARD: I’ve got the power haven’t I? The whole right and wrong this is... redundant!
GLITZ: Look. Look. [sniggers] Just... negotiate with the Time Lords. Tell em, tell em what you want.
VALEYARD: [trying to keep talking through the laughter] THEY... ALREADY... KNOW!!
[They laugh for another thirty seconds.]
GLITZ: You... you can’t know for certain!
VALEYARD: Yes I can!
[Glitz completely cracks up. The Valeyard flips a switch and the scanner opens to show the Bastard.]
VALEYARD: Cause... THAT... is who told them!
[They laugh loudly as the Valeyard starts operating controls which give off dangerous-sounding beeps. The lights dim and turn blood-red. Glitz’s hilarity starts to fade.]
GLITZ: Uh... heh... you’re not going to do anything silly now, are you?
VALEYARD: No, no, god bless you, no. Just priming the explosive bolts!
[Laughing, he presses a red button and charges blow around the fridge.]
VALEYARD: [chuckles] Ex-NASA you know! All that is necessary now is for me to ease the door open!
[The Valeyard looks at Glitz, who looks terrified. Then they both fail to keep a straight face and fall to the floor, shrieking with laughter.]
Scene 20 – Trial Room
[The Bastard turns to address the court.]
BASTARD: Well, that’s us pretty much knackered then, isn’t it?
FRENCH: [convulsing with mortal terror] What the hell are we going to do?!?
SAUNDERS: Maybe we can buy us some time if we give him what he wants?
MEL: You can’t sacrifice the Doctor!
FRENCH: Hey, sacrifice the Doctor! That might work!
MEL: But you can’t!
INQUISITOR: Well, what do you want us to do, carrot top? Allow the Valeyard to destroy the universe?
MEL: Oooh. That WOULD be a bit naughty, I suppose. But think of the long term implications?
INQUISITOR: Of NOT destroying the universe?
MEL: Of giving into his blackmail! If you give into his demands now, he’ll just return with even more outrageous demands!
INQUISITOR: Well, probably. But he can still destroy the universe here, which is the important bit.
KIPPER: Maybe we could destroy the Valeyard and his TARDIS?
BASTARD: He’s already thought of that, you archetypal philistine! Doing that would only open the Time Vent!
KIPPER: Dagnabbit! Can we send in troops?
INQUISITOR: ...what troops?
KIPPER: GAH! He’s thought of everything!
INQUISITOR: We’ll just have to placate him by hunting the Doctor down and killing him like a dog.
MEL: That will be more likely to destroy the Valeyard too, since there isn’t a contract any more.
[Everyone stares at her.]
BASTARD: You don’t think retroactively killing the Valeyard before he can destroy the universe a wise move then?
MEL: Well. No. And it would cause a great deal of time disturbance.
INQUISITOR: Would it destroy the universe? A clue: no. Therefore this plan has merit. Unlike your brain.
KIPPER: Yes. We don’t need ANOTHER renegade Time Lord around the place causing havoc. And we’d experience the same hiccup in time if the High Council had originally fulfilled their old contract, anyway. This is a plan with no drawbacks, people!
BASTARD: And how exactly are you bunch of geriatric academic old farts going to kill the Doctor, then? To want him dead is one thing, to achieve it is another. So that’s two things. Two things. And you’re crap at both of them. What are you gonna do?
KIPPER: Perhaps the Bastard might take an offer.
BASTARD: [laughing evilly] Get on your knees and beg me first!
MEL: How utterly EVIL!
ALL: SHUT UP!!