Serial 308 – Human Nature
An Alternate Program Guide by Ewen Campion Clarke
From An Entry In The EC Unauthorized Guide O' Wings O' Fire!!
"YOA's Discontinuity Guides - Inaccurate But Caring."
Serial 308 – Human Nature -
Aboard the TARDIS, the Doctor is idly looking up his own timeline on the computer to spot any recurring trends that may portent to some epic season finale. However, he is soon far more worried when he discovers a huge chunk of his life has been undone by the ferocious events of the Temporal Difference of Opinion – in short, all the NAs are decanonized!
"Jings, Martha!" he wails. "All of them – every last one gone, from that wormy thing to me and Benny getting it on during the Martian invasion of 1998! None of it happened any more!"
Fascinated by the idea that the Doctor could get it on with his companion, Martha asks the Time Lord if he could somehow live his adventures all over again? With her? Naked? In bed? With toys, if necessary?
The Doctor vows to do so, but it quickly occurs to him that the vast majority of adventures he had were, in actual fact, complete and utter crap. Indeed, the thirty-eighth one is first that actually even vaguely appeals to the spikey-haired Scottish Time Lord:
"Yeah, that time I turned myself human and lived in a secluded village until I did the nasty with a schoolteacher – after all, what else do humans do, eh?" the Doctor laughs. "Luckily, I don’t need to buy any dodgy gene-re-sequencer stuff from a street market this time! I’ve got that old Chameleon Arch in the attic..."
As Martha watches on, the Doctor presents her with a fob watch. "Now, take this watch. This watch, Martha Jones, is me, so my life kind of depends on it. Trust me, it’s a lot easier to work with than a cricket ball. I speak from experience," he explains as he puts on a helmet connected to the ceiling. "So I rewrite my biology and everything that makes me a Time Lord will go into the watch. We have a wacky three month vacation, I find my true soul mate and spend the rest of my life shagging with the best of them!"
"Is that what happened the first time you had this adventure?" asks Martha with a reasonable amount of caution.
"Jings, no. Bunch of weird ass aliens turned up and killed everyone until I turned back and blew the fuck out of their freaky family," the Doctor replies cheerfully. "Still, what are the odds of that happening TWICE? But this time it’s gonna be... well, if not fan-TAS-tic then very, very good indeed."
The Time Lord activates the control and starts screaming in agony, but his painful cries don’t quite drown out the maniacal laughter of Martha Jones as she rubs her hands with glee: "So you’ll be mine! ALL MINE! Once you’re human I’ll finally entwine you between my thighs!"
Martha suddenly wakes up in poky servants’ quarters and, finding no good-looking David Tennant lying in bed beside her, starts swearing very loudly and anachronistically as the title music starts.
ACT ONE – BEING HUMAN...ISH
Parte the First
Since the Doctor’s Chameleon Arch is a second-hand piece of total crap, the process has not turned the Time Lord into a perfect duplicate of screen celebrity Hugh Grant. It has merely transformed him into a perfectly ordinary human who LOOKS just like David Tennant, ACTS just like a Hugh Grant character and ANSWERS to the name John Smith – which the Arch software thought would be "nicely inconspicuous".
The only clue to his prior existence is his complete collection of New Adventures – all the way from 1992’s Timworm: Jenny’s Sis all the way to 2007’s Wooden Leg – and his annoying habit of bursting into anachronistic and very gay-sounding songs. Many a time John Smith walks the corridors singing Bananarama’s first hit or crooning ABBA hits while teaching lessons at the school that will one day become a regular set for the Sarah Jane Misadventures.
Meanwhile, poor Martha has to make do pretending to be his personal servant and enjoy 1913 bigotry, racism and abuse from the senior boys of the school. Since Martha is black AND a woman, they ignore her screams of "OH YEAH, YOU HONKY FUCKS?! WELL YOU’RE GONNA DIE IN THE TRENCHES PISSING YOUR PANTS AND IT WILL ALL BE FOR NOTHING!!!" which, for the sanctity of time and space is rather good news.
Like all Hugh Grant characters, John Smith must immediately fall in love with a girl and become a stuttering, gormless tit who grins like a nun with concussion and makes an embarrassing fool of himself at every opportunity – which is why, mere minutes after meeting the school matron, Nurse Joan Redfern, John Smith has managed to fall down six flights of stairs and had a large pile of books land on his head.
Soon Joan nurses a wound on the back of his head in his study, Martha rushing in to make sure he is not harmed and – more importantly – that no 1913 bitch is trying to steal her man. Concussed and ashamed, John Smith tries to rebuild his pathetic reputation by bragging about his amazing collection of paperback science fiction novels – and at least eleven of which have his face on the cover, but he prefers the ones with the hot white girl beside him rather than the ones with Martha.
Neither Joan nor John Smith notice Martha idly punch her fist straight through the wall to stop her screaming in despair to discover that even John Smith prefers Rose Tyler to her.
"You see, it’s all about this vibrant thrusting man in the reign of Queen Victoria who builds a police box bigger on the inside than the outside capable of travelling through time and space and Cardiff with gasmask zombies, Dustbins, the Moxx of Balloon, Autons, Madame du Pompadour riding Arthur the Horse naked through the streets of Splott!"
"...right," says Joan unenthusiastically.
In one of the school dormitories sit three boys, Baines, Hutchinson
and a younger boy named Latimer who is blond, blue-eyed, freckled and telepathic – so obviously he is cruelly abused and forced to act like a toast rack, hot crumpet burning his cheeks with shame. For want of some Ripping Yarn frippery, Baines decides to retrieve some concealed beer in the woods, and hurries out of the window. What could POSSIBLY go wrong?!
That night Martha and Alice sit outside the local pub, Martha somewhat annoyed – i.e.: contemplating murder - at not being allowed inside with the men, and decides that she will finish her drink and leave this miserable backend of time and space FOREVER!
Alice sips her pint and mutters, "Bloody Suffragettes."
Suddenly Martha sees a bright green light in the sky, but Alice just assumes she’s gone crazy – but this time, Martha’s right! A vivid green light scans the surrounding area like a searchlight.
Joan runs up, spooked and rambling about some light in the woods when John Smith emerges from the pub and dismisses the phenomenon as "origami meteorites", changes the topic and escorts Joan back to school – which is about as close as you could get to third base back then without being married a year with a signed note from both parents.
"He’s just walking away!" Martha exclaims. "LIGHTS in the SKY and HE IS WALKING AWAY! Much as I love it when he walks away so I can cop a good look at that fine ass of his... BUT GIVE ME A BREAK HERE!!!"
In the woods, Baines is distracted from his work by an eerie green light descending from the skies. Being an upper-class twit with all the survival instincts of a chronically-depressed lemming on misery tablets, he wanders off towards said green light. So completely idiotic is Baines that he doesn’t notice he’s wandering into an empty field until he walks straight into an invisible wall... which rather stupidly glows at the touch. This retarded bit of camouflage nevertheless means the owners of the Almost-Invisible Spaceship don’t have to pay royalties to the Estate of Douglas Adams. Oh, what diabolical ingenuity!!
Somehow Baines manages to locate a gap in the surface and wanders inside, disappearing from view so when Martha and Alice arrive moments later, they find nothing and wearily return to the school. They have no idea that Baines is inside the non-visible structure, but frankly they wouldn’t have cared.
Inside the craft, Baines is surrounded strange throbbing alien machinery and patches of sickly green light. A strange distorted voice announces, "WE ARE THE FAMILY, THE ULTIMATE EVOLUTION OF THE GOABLINS! YOU THOUGHT THE GIANT BAT FORMS WERE BADASS, WELL WE’RE EVEN MORE HARDCORE! OH YES INDEEDY!"
"Why can’t I see you?" Baines asks meekly.
"...WHY THE HELL WOULD YOU WANT TO SEE US?"
"I want to know what you look like."
"OH THAT’S EASILY ANSWERED," the Family reply and then emerge from the dark to do something to Baines that makes him squeal like a pig for a good thirty-four seconds straight.
Thus, when Baines stumbles back to the school with a very odd, stiff-legged gait, deathly pale, a facial expression suggesting he’s had a very intense stroke and his hair sticking straight up it is obvious to a backwards three year old with the IQ of minus seven who has never actually watched any of this would know he’s possessed by an alien.
Of course, none of the other students at the school notice as they are more interested in playing Strip Captain Jack Naked and listening to a student called Nigel Verkoff rambling about the time he and Charley Pollard screwed in three separate timezones simultaneously. After all, it’s much more interesting than some wide-eyed, blank-faced git who refuses to bring beer and insists on being referred to as "Son of Mine" while sniffing furniture polish loudly.
Fuming, the next morning Martha cycles into the woods, arriving at an abandoned cottage in which stands the TARDIS. She steps inside to check the video diary the Doctor installed into the central monitor – and after 846 entries about Rose Tyler and how he misses her with the passion and desperation of a thousand Radiohead albums, he left a blog-post of instructions for when he recreates "Human Nature":
Things Not To Let Me Do
1: Commit suicide, if for some reason I want to.
2: Do physical harm to anyone, if you’re aware of it.
3: Eat human flesh, if you can.
4: Eat bananas. I hate pears, this Hugh Smith John Grant guy is a character I made up but I won’t know that, I’ll think I AM him and he might do something stupid like eat a banana. I don’t want to wake up from being human and taste that.
5: Leave the area, or you, behind.
6: Get involved in big sociopolitical events.
7: Hurt animals, especially owls.
8: Develop an addiction.
9: Anything impossible.
10: Mention Looms, the Other, Bernice Summerfield or anything else that might give Virgin Publishing grounds to sue my ass off.
The rest of the entry is just about the Doctor’s trip to Glastonbury and him trying to chill out, relax and make stupid noises. There’s absolutely no instructions about what to do about meteors, shooting stars, or snobby nurses trying to steal the love of her life.
It becomes obvious that the only chance in hell Martha has of getting John Smith out of Joan’s claws is to open the watch, triggering the reversal of the process and returning the Doctor to existence. Luckily, there’s a perception filter on the thing so John Smith won’t stupidly open by accident – mind you, he’s such a self-absorbed dickwad he’s unlikely to notice it anyway.
Speaking of self-absorbed dickwads, back at the school John Smith is getting a fair bit of extra cash by lending out New Adventures to school boys for cash. The vivid descriptions of Ace naked, oily and armed with machine guns is enough to drive the students wild with passion and pay any price the history teacher demands for such perverted naughtiness.
Latimer himself pops round for "Falls the Marrow" and, being even halfway intelligent, steals the fob watch off the mantelpiece with designs on either pawning it for cash or selling it back to the teacher at a gigantic profit.
Plus the fact it gives him hallucinations of Dustbins, Cybermen, Santas, Slitheen and werewolves gets his attention first.
But outside, Son of Mine senses a disturbance in the force, which is a welcome distraction as Nigel Verkoff bores everyone with his anecdotes of how he got lucky the previous night:
"...and I thought, 'Well, a farmer’s daughter, she knows the lay of the land!' And I don’t mind saying, the look she was giving me... I said, 'You’re quite the little minx and are those your nipples I can see at a distance of three metres?' Oh, THIS is what time travel is all about: going back in time and copping off with farm girls! So, if I don’t join you fro prep, gentlemen, you can guess where I’ll be: travelling back to the 21st Century to tell my pater my education is complete. Bloody hell, I hope I haven’t become my own ancestor again, that just gets icky..."
"Oh, DO SHUT UP!" Son of Mine snaps and stalks off into the gents, where he rolls his eyes back and glows bright green in a way that doesn’t attract the attention of the other boys using the facilities in any way. They’re obviously used to alien telepathic communications taking place in private school lavatories... mind you, it’s quite tame compared to the filthy stuff some people get up to in them...
Anyway, Son of Mine reports back to the ship that a source has been detected. "There is a trace, but somehow scattered. The scent is confused. That bloody Doctor fights like a coward. If that makes sense. Nevertheless, we’d best arm ourselves. Activate the soldiers and set to 'Singing Detective Mode'!"
The Dennis Potter reference proves lethally accurate as – at this VERY MOMENT - a portly, middle-aged man is striding down a lane when he sees a ragged scarecrow in the field opposite waving at him. Like any normal person he immediately falls to the ground in a fetal position, clutching his head and screaming for his mummy until the scarecrow and numerous others capture him.
At that moment, a little girl walks into view holding a bright red balloon in hand. She waves at the scarecrows, who wave back. Like any incredibly creepy and probably-already-possessed-by-pure-evil person, she laughs: "You’re funny! But you should really be scaring crows, so you stay there and don’t follow me!"
The scarecrows exchange blank looks and then kidnap her as well.
"Well, this just plain sucks!" she notes.
Parte the Second
Back at the school, lesson continue apace – reading, writing, arithmetic, and rapid-machine-gun fire at the first year students. Such is the trauma of this that Latimer, who is one of the targets, has acid flashbacks... or rather, flashforwards... to fighting in a maze of barbed wire, mud and stock sound effects.
Latimer’s screams of "THE TIME IS NOW!" put Hutchison off and has the young boy taken off to be beaten and John Smith doesn’t so much as lift a finger to stop it. "It’s part of growing up," he explains to Latimer between the screams. "It’s everyday cat-eat-dog survival of the fittest, the making of a man. One day, YOU’LL be School Bully, and then you can beat who you want. You’ve got that to look forward to!"
"Would... that... help?" howls Latimer as he’s nailed to the wall.
"It might do. Or you could always burn their houses down?" John Smith suggests, ignoring Son of Mine who is running around sniffing everything in his path. Joan eventually arrives, upset by thought of her husband who was killed in war, and tells John Smith off for encouraging such homicidal tendencies in young boys.
"But, darling Joan, if we didn’t keep thrashing these boys to within an inch of their lives for you to heal... then you would be out of a job!"
Unable to fault this logic, together they walk through the local town,
discussing the idea of war, a premonition John Smith appears to find in
his dreams and also described in detail in the pile of New Adventures he keeps beside his bed. John Smith laughs it off as some emo-goth depressive speculative fiction by teenage boys not getting enough sex - "Especially that Mad Larry Miles!" – and the chances of a shadow of war engulfing the entire world is ridiculously unlikely.
"It’s about as unlikely," John Smith concludes, "as that piano over there, the one being hauled up to the top window, falling onto that woman with her pram!"
"You mean that woman and the pram unaware she is directly underneath the piano held aloft by the breaking rope?"
"That’s the one!" John Smith nods. "Now, as I was saying, mankind doesn’t need warfare and bloodshed to prove itself - everyday life can provide honour and valour..."
"That rope really IS about the snap!"
"Hmm? Yes, anyway, let’s hope that from now on this country can find its heroes in smaller places, in the most ordinary of deeds..."
Realizing that John Smith isn’t going to do a damn thing, Joan snatched a cricket ball from a nearby boy – pausing only to berate him for not being at school - and throws it at some nearby scaffolding, pushing the poles aside, upsetting a plank of wood on which lays a brick. The brick launches into the air and upturns a milk urn, which falls in front of the pram, preventing it from moving further into the space where the piano falls.
"Wow!" John Smith marvels. "It’s like playing Mousetrap! Nurse Redfern, might I invite you to the village dance this evening? As my guest? And possibly more than friendship? I’m very open-minded!"
Soon they are walking through the fields together, discussing the character of the Doctor – and how John Smith is somewhat falling short of being a similar likable, pro-active, witty and sexy equal to him. John Smith admits he sometimes likes to fantasize about beautiful blonde girls with big teeth hiding in fireplaces... and then coughs very, very loudly and then changes the subject:
"Oh look! That scarecrow’s all askew!" he wails and runs over to correct it on its perch. "So, um, where did you learn to bowl like that?"
"Gallifrey," Joan replies.
"Oh yes, I went to art college there, I did life drawings in seven-dimensional oils and canvases! Perhaps I could draw you naked astride a bull elephant waving a continental sausage?"
"Would you?" asks Joan, touched.
"I’d be honoured!" John Smith assures her.
The two skip away, unaware of the scarecrow very creepily turning its straw-filled head to watch them go. Why? Mainly to remind us we watch this damn show for the nightmare-fueled monster carnage, not sub-Richard Curtis drivel. And yes, I write that without having seen Richard Curtis’ Eleventh Doctor story, BUT THE RULE STILL APPLIES!
One cross-fade later and John Smith is sketching the naked Joan as she hangs upside down from the ceiling, covered in Maple Syrup and twirling a hula hoop.
"Oh, goodness!" Joan gasps when she sees the finished sketch, "You’ve made me far too beautiful! Do I really look like that?"
"Um... no. That’s actually a Slitheen."
With this rather awkward revelation made, John Smith tries to rebuild the conversation by snogging Joan rotten – completely and utterly unaware that Martha is watching them through the peep holes she cut into the portrait on the far wall.
Her screams of "YOU UTTER ASSHOLE!" are not heard. "You do all this to fall in love with a human woman AND IT WASN’T ME?!?!" she shrieks, then snatches up a pair of very sharp scissors and advances slowly towards the door... but it’s locked, so she can’t mindlessly kill them.
On to slightly less disturbing scenes as Alice is attacked and gang-banged by scarecrows in a truly horrific recreation of the Second Doctor’s death scene in the pages of Mighty Midget TV Comic 21. She is then dragged inside their invisible spaceship where the Family of Blood give a polite explanation that they need someone to infiltrate the school and her body is perfect for the matriarch of the family.
"Just shut up! Stop talking! Cease and desist! There’s a good girl!" Son of Mine rants like Phil Jupitus as green smoke engulfs the pudgy girl, leaving her with an expression of unbridled alien lust....
As Martha has a crafty fag outside the newsagent, she is approached by a giant rubber question-mark with legs. "Excuse me," it asks, "but it’s Marrrrtha, isn’t it? Marrrrtha Jones?"
"Have we met?" asks Martha
"Hah! Goodness, Marrrtha, the answerrrrr’s both yes and no. Let me see, this would be the time when, ah, you’rrre trrrravelling with my Tenth Incarrrrnation?"
Martha’s jaw drops. "Doctor? Is that you in that giant question mark?"
"Yes! The Seventh, actually! He’s rrrripped my idea off!"
"So... errrrr.... have you seen my futurrrre self?" asks the Question Mark hopefully. "For perrrrfectly innocent rreasons, honestly! We don’t want to feast on his Time Lorrrrd biodata at all!"
"Hang about, don’t you have a companion?"
"Um. Yes. This is my frrriend, Ace!" says the Question Mark, indicating a lumbering scarecrow with a baseball bat and bomber jacket shouting random phrases like "WICKED!", "BILGE BAG!" and "CALL ME McSHANE YOU MANIPULATIVE SCOTTISH BASTARD!!!"
"Ah, makes me nostalgic forrr the mid-nineties," the Question Mark says awkwardly. "So, maybe you could tell us wherrrre the Doctor is so we can, um, helpfully avoid him and triggerrrrrring a hideous time parrrradox? Perrrrchance?"
Martha runs away.
"I knew she’d twig!" complains Father of Mine, tugging off his foam question mark outfit. "And you," he complains to the scarecrow, "you weren’t half as embarrassing to be credible."
"Oh, shut up!"
Martha flees to her quarters to chat with Alice, but something about the woman seems slightly different. Is the way she stares at Martha with cold dead eyes? Is it her strange and unnatural sniff? Is it the fact Alice is having two lumps of gravy in her tea instead of the usual one? Is it the way she offers sardine jam and mutton vindaloo for dinner?
But when Alice draws out a freaky alien gun – or rather a disgusting green slug that ejaculates lethal CGI energy, at any rate – Martha begins to realize the fellow blue collar worker is not herself. Then she gets back to running for her life.
She bursts into John Smith’s room to find him and Joan HOLDING HANDS! Furious, John Smith yells at Martha that he’s warned her about this and will now be forced to put her in the stocks and hurl rancid tomatoes at her for three hours!
"WHERE THE FUCK IS THE FOB WATCH?!" screams Martha, grabbing his head between her hands and shaking it.
"I can’t see what concern it is of yours, you daft jiggaboo!" opines Joan as she tries to get Martha to stop throttling her boyfriend.
"It’s just like in the book, Doctor!" Martha screams. "Some seriously annoying bodysnatcher aliens have turned up! God, people will be trying to make sense of this canon debate for years! NOW WHERE IS THE WATCH?"
"Oh, I see!" says John Smith kindly. "Cultural differences, Joan. You see, Martha, I understand this must be confusing for such a backward Negro like yourself, but a BOOK is what we call A STORY. It’s not real. Now, I know it’s a big concept, but you should be congratulated for being able to read even a few words, I really am impressed."
He pats her on the head.
"Now run along and eat some fried chicken, my darling darkie girl."
Unfortunately, at this point the BBC’s Selective Viewer Input Corrector kicked in – a censorship device from the Home Office, it cuts picture and sound in any household it is considered broadcast material is considered completely unacceptable. Typically, mine was chosen to be blacked out and so all I got was five minutes of a test card with the caption "NORMAL SEX AND VIOLENCE WILL BE RESUMED AS SOON AS POSSIBLE" before seeing Martha striding out of John Smith’s smashed-up and burning rooms, leaving the battered and bloody owner to scream he’s dismissing her from his service.
With that unpleasantness out of the way, John Smith and Joan head for the village hall, as the former muses he’s so damn intoxicating it’s no wonder mere servants become infatuated with him and go crazy. Joan then takes John Smith’s arm in public, which basically means he is DEFINITELY getting lucky tonight.
Martha runs into the hall after them, drop-kicking the one-legged beggar out the front when he bitches that darkies like her use the staff entrance. "I AM NOT – IN – THE MOOD!" she roars, snapping his crutches and beats him over the head with them.
Bursting into the hall, she runs over to where Joan is sitting, waiting for John Smith to return with some drinks, and then grabs her by the neck. "He’s different from any other man you’ve ever met, RIGHT?!" she screams at the woman she throttles. "And sometimes he says these strange things, like people and places you’ve never heard of, RIGHT?! And when you look in his eyes you know there’s something else in there, hidden away in the dark, RIGHT?!?! AM I MAKING MYSELF CLEAR??"
Joan agrees this is so, on the condition Martha stops strangling her.
"It doesn’t even MATTER what you think, you uppity cow!!" the sex-starved medical student is shouting.
"Oh, now really, Martha," John Smith tuts. "This stalking business is getting out of hand. I must insist that you leave and seek professional therapy. Or at least some sort of male prostitute."
Martha lets out an angry noise and zaps him with sonic screwdriver, but amazingly enough it does NOT have the magical ability to undo Chameleon Arch technology, and all she manages to do is to get his bow-tie to spin around amusingly.
"You’re NOT John Smith! You’re NOT Hugh Grant! You’re called the Doctor! THE Doctor!" she shrieks, rather foolishly in hindsight as she knows literally anyone in the room could be a bodysnatching alien eavesdropping on her temper tantrum.
And, what do you know, there just happens to be one!
Soon the Family of Blood gatecrash the party, storming the venue and shooting anyone who disobeys their orders for silence – including David Bamber for some reason. Daughter of Mine, being a right gossip, quickly spills the plot-related beans to her kith and kin.
"You took human form?" boggles Son of Mine. "With a simple, thick and dull human brain as well? How derivative! You’re no good like this, endless 90s remakes! WE NEED A TIME LORD, NOT AN EMO HUGH GRANT!! CHANGE BACK YOU SINGLE-HEARTED WANKER!!"
Parents of Mine instantly grab Martha and Joan and point their freaky guns to the back of their head in the hope this will intimidate the Doctor to change back into a Time Lord – but, alas, this otherwise damn fine cunning plan just doesn’t work, as John Smith hasn’t a single clue what the fuck these nutters are on about.
"Have you enjoyed it, Doctor? Being human? Has it taught you wonderful things? Are you better? Richer? Wiser? Ready for a more mature readership and fanbase? Then let’s see you answer this, white boy: Which one of them do you want us to kill? Maid or Matron?" Son of Mine offers Joan Smith the easily-quotable ultimatum, "Your friend or your lover - your choice!"
"I count as both!" Martha screams, rolling her eyes. "And you haven’t even done the squishy business with Joan yet! Pick me! PICK ME!"
"She’s REALLY not helping," John Smith complains.
ACT TWO – THE STRAWMAN ARGUMENT!
At the last moment, Latimer distracts the Family of Blood with a hilarious ventriloquism act involving his hand, a sock, and momentarily opening the fob watch.
In a stunning display of martial arts and kung fu, Martha drop-kicks Mother of Mine, back-hands Son of Mine, rabbit-punches Father of Mine and steals his funky alien weaponry!
"That is one bad-ass nig-nog!" John Smith marvels.
Parte the Third
John Smith, screaming hysterically, flees the hall along with the rest of the guests, leaving Martha alone to confront the Family of Blood – all of whom are disturbingly turned on by the situation.
"Oh, the maid is full of fire!" says Son of Mine seductively and massaging a nipple under his shirt front.
"I should have taken her form, consumed her for her body!" agrees Mother of Mine lustily, "Much more fun. So much spirit and so little embarrassing body hair..."
"She’s almost sexy, this one!" Father of Mine agrees.
"Not quite as good as Rose Tyler though," Daughter of Mine notes.
Martha. Goes. INSANE.
Seriously, comparing her to Rose Tyler is never a good move and when she’s got a loaded gun aimed between your eyes, well... there are other ways you can die in agony, but there are NONE more certain.
When Martha finally stops shooting, the town hall and most of the village green has been atomized and the terrified Family of Blood watches as Martha runs off into the night, screaming abuse at that "peroxide whore with the big teeth" who forever haunts her sex life.
Deeply shaken the Family head for the pub for a quick drink and murder of a publican to steady their nerves and marvel that their silly, hot and easily-damaged bodies weren’t vaporized by Martha Jones, the medical student of death, and wonder what to do next.
Meanwhile, Martha returns to the school where, pretty much shitting himself in terror, John Smith raises the alarm for the students to take up arms and lay down their tiny child lives to save his life.
Pretty much shitting himself in terror, John Smith raises the alarm for the students to take up arms and lay down their tiny child lives to save his life. "This school teaches us to stand together and use students as canon fodder! Cadets trained to defend the King, all his properties and most important of all, ME!" he shouts as he rings a bell frantically. "TAKE ARMS! ENEMY AT THE DOOR! THIS IS NOT A DRILL!!"
It’s charming scenes like this that make you glad the annoying wanker will be wiped from the reality by the end of the story and we can get back to proper Doctor Who next week.
John Smith warns the Headmaster of the oncoming danger, much to the embarrassment of the head as he was caught with his trousers down "devising an excellent and endless series of punishments for each and every one of those juicy ripe young catamites".
After taking a moment to dry-wretch, and another moment to convince the Headmaster he REALLY doesn’t want "a word in private with Baby Oil Twister", John Smith convinces his superior that a student, a farmer and a fat cleaning lady are going on a rampage slaughtering people on Welsh soil and they’re coming right here, right now!
The Headmaster and Mr. "My Face Is A Bulls-Eye" Philips emerge to confront what appear to be to two junkie stroke victims and a bunch of groupies dressed as scarecrows. The Headmaster’s initial assumption – that a kinky sex game between Baines and the cleaning woman has gone horribly, horribly wrong – is quickly undermined by Son of Mine’s frankly worrying creepy-ass-mofo act.
"Headmaster sir! Good evening, sir! Do you like my strawmen, sir? I made them myself, sir! I’m ever so good at science, sir! My strawman army, sir! Ever so good, sir! Have you come to give me a caning, sir?
Would you like that, sir? I bet you would you dirty old man, sir!"
"Keep a civil tongue, boy!" the Headmaster snaps. "You know full well I prefer receiving to giving!"
"No, sir. You, sir - You! - will send us Mr. John Smith. That's all we
want, sir, Mr. John Smith and whatever he’s done with his Time Lord mojo. Then we’d be very happy to leave you alone, sir, or maybe give you a right good flogging, sir! For WE ARE THE FAMILY OF BLOOD!"
"Actually, we’re the Featheringtone-Bloods," Mother of Mine chips in, "we married into money a while back, but we’ve gone native and decided to indulge in mass murder down in Cornwall."
"Yes, sir! Deaths, sir! And they were good, sir!" Son of Mine rants, warning that war is coming. "In foreign fields, war of the whole wide world, with all your boys falling down in the mud. Do you think they will thank the man who taught them it was glorious?"
"Top ho!" says the Headmaster cheerfully. "I’ll be looking forward to that, no fear! Oh, to be back in South Africa, using my dead mates as sandbags, fighting for King and Country and crumpet with the butt of my rifle against savages armed with grass and pieces of fruit..."
"Oh really?" sighs Son of Mine, bored, and disintegrates Mr. Philips before he can get any dialogue. "Run along, headmaster. Run back to the school, and send us Mr. Smith!"
Wetting himself with terror, the Headmaster runs back inside and orders the boys to prepare for battle. "If we have to make a fight of it, then make a fight we shall. By which I mean YOU will build a barricade within the courtyards, fortify the entrances, build your defenses and, in the name of the King, you shall stand against them while I run for my miserable life as far as this spanked legs of mine will allow!"
It’s at this point Latimer bolts. Smart boy.
Ironically, he takes with him the very watch that Martha is now ransacking John Smith’s office for as Joan Redfern tries to understand her boyfriend is not only an immortal alien with two hearts, he is apparently obsessively in love with Martha Jones and the moment the watch is opened, the Doctor will prove in a graphic sex scene.
But Joan cannot bring herself to believe a "coloured skivvy" like Martha could become a doctor of medicine. Martha retorts by listing the bones of the hand and then using said hand to smack Joan stupid while screaming, "Carpal bones, proximal row! Scaphoid! Lunate! Triquetrum! Pisiform! Distal row! Trapezium! Trapezoid! Capitate! Hamate! Metecarpal bones extending in three! Distinct! Phalanges! Proximal! Middle! Distal! DO! YOU! GET! THE! FUCKING! PICTURE?!?!?"
With Father of Mine having found the TARDIS and more strawmen being animated every second, the Family decide to bring war to England a year early. Inside the school, since it’s clearly in the middle of a life-or-death emergency, the battered-and-bruised Joan decides to grab John Smith and demands he tell her all about Nottingham, his home address, his first love, and his claims to have played the drums for Pink Floyd.
Unable to reveal more than encyclopaedic facts of his childhood, John Smith whimpers, screaming "I WON’T BE TESTED, YOU BITCH!" and runs off swearing that all the women in his life seem to prefer some romantic lost prince of the Doctor to his jutting sideburns.
At this point, the Family of Blood FINALLY realize they actually need a fob watch, with Son of Mine boggling that everything the Doctor is being concealed away in the hands of an irritatingly precocious schoolboy – the irony’s so thick it could clog an artery.
The scarecrows advance on the school, battering on the barred gates. The boys await the command to attack and Smith too raises a rifle to pop a cap in some straw-filled ass. "You cowardly bastard!" Martha jeers at him. "They’re just boys and you’re just using them as human shields! You’ve got to fall back..."
"I am NOT THE DOCTOR!" John Smith roars at her. "I AM ZIG-ZAG-GAY-ASS!!!" He blinks. "Sorry, no idea why I said that. Just seemed the right thing to say..."
"Fine! You’re not the Doctor, you’re John Smith, you still shouldn’t be such an asshole! I’m begging you, don’t do this! It’s such a turn-off!" Martha protests.
"In your stories, the Doctor fights, does he? The great conscientious objector who dodges the draft every chance he gets? Well, ISN’T THIS HIM, MARTHA? He didn’t survive the Time Wars by worrying about civilian casualties! Now shut your mouth, you peasant!
Martha lets loose with language that not even I am brave enough to transcribe. But, as this IS 1913 and she IS not only a woman, but a black woman AND a servant, means the Headmaster can order her flogged for her insolence and thus she is taken away to be shot once the invading army has been dealt with.
"Makes you feel proud to be British," John Smith sniffs as Martha is dragged out of sight.
At that moment, the scarecrows stop pissing about and simply smash their way through the gate. Being a complete cowardly asshole, the Doctor hides while the boys open fire, mowing down the army of strawmen in carnage that is perfectly accompanied by Madonna’s single "Hung Up" in the background. For some reason.
Finally, all the scarecrows lie in puddles of their own straw guts, the Family send in the next wave: a creepy little girl. Alas, just as their foot soldiers turned out to be complete crap against the might of 20th century artillery fire, the most demonic and disturbing of the clan is no match for the Headmaster, who is a bit of a child molester in his spare time and immediately comes on to Sister of Mine.
"You child, come out of the way and sit on my lap!" the Headmaster orders, offering the little girl some sweets – despite Martha’s protests that this is just out and out sick. "I’ve seen many strange sights this night but there is no cause on God’s earth that would allow me to see this child in the field of battle and NOT get ridiculously aroused, sah!" he rants. "She’s a girl, no more than, what, twelve years old? Just my type! Come, my darling! Bouncy-bouncy!"
Thankfully at this point Sister of Mine reaches into her coat, pulls out a gun and reduces the dirty old man to dust in what can only make this story LESS scary.
Sighing with relief, John Smith addresses his students as Son and Mother of Mine enter. "Boys, you will put down your guns and retreat in an orderly fashion back through the school..."
"Yippe-kai-ae, mofo!" Son of Mine laughs and fires his gun into the air, killing two low-flying crows and a fruit bat.
"Change of plan!" John Smith screams to the schoolboys. "LEG IT!"
Parte the Fourth
As all the screaming and panicking boys retreat, Mother of Mine muses that, "Private schools think they’re so advanced but their students scatter like rats. If this had been a public school, there’d be much more carnage."
"Yeah, whatever," Son of Mine notes. "ONWARDS!!!"
The scarecrows stop lying around playing possum and are reanimated, but by that time all the boys are evacuating the school in the tried and trusted manner of running like fuck out the garage door, running across country to Market Cross Station and hopefully not dying.
It quickly transpires that John Smith was counting on this, so all the children would draw the fire of the scarecrows while he and his bitches sneak out the front. Father of Mine has dragged the TARDIS up the drive and challenges the Doctor to come out of hiding and die like a man.
Alas, the cunning plan fails as today the Doctor IS a man and very cowardly man at that and no way is he risking his neck for a weird blue box with windows the wrong size, even IF it’s exactly part of the dreams he’s been having for three long months.
"I’m John Smith, that’s all I want to be, John Smith, with his life and his job and his smoking hot girlfriend!" the human sobs, wetting himself as they flee down a country lane. "Oh, why can’t I be John Smith? Isn’t he a good man?"
"No, he’s a cowardly sexist racist bully with stupid hair! You’re just a bad Hugh Grant impression," Martha snaps, kicking him in the bollocks. "WE – NEED – THE – DOCTOR!"
The fugitives sneak off as the Family of Blood stand around the TARDIS, patiently waiting for the Time Lord to try and use his mighty alien powers to reclaim his ship. "Doctor? Doooooooctor? Come home, Doctor! Come and claim your prize. Out you come, Doctor, there’s a good boy! Come to the Family! Time to end it now!" they all shout out camply into the night.
But after a couple of hours it’s becoming clear he’s buggered off and left them looking stupid.
Like the rabid sociopaths they are, the Family of Blood have a wonderful sense of humor and laugh uproarishly at this good old wheeze from the Oncoming Storm.
Still chuckling, they return to their invisible spaceship and then decide to fire their neutron blasters at the village and carpet bomb the fields of Cardiff back to the stone age. "Y’all Welsh ready fo dis?!" mocks Son of Mine, before opening fire. "This’ll do it, this’ll flush him out! SUPER-DUPER FUN TIME!!!"
Meanwhile, our closest approximation to "heroes" are hiding in a cottage and shaking with fear. John Smith utterly refuses to take any blame for this and insists it’s all Martha’s fault. "You’re supposed to be the companion? If you can’t fend off an alien invasion, what the hell DO you do? Why would anyone need you, you black trollop?!"
Finally, Latimer pops by and announces he’s decided to hand over the watch to John Smith, assuming that the noble human will give himself up to the Family of Blood.
"Sod that," John Smith cackles, snatching the watch. "I’ll hand this over to them, then they can leave and I can stay as I am! They want the Doctor? Well, they can have him!"
"People are dying out there! If they get that watch they’ll live forever, conquer and breed and put the whole universe to war?"
"Not my problem," John Smith laughs at Latimer. "You think that argument could possibly make me change my mind?
"But, you’re supposed to sacrifice yourself and become wonderful! Like fire and ice and rage like night and the storm in the heart of the sun, ancient and forever, burning at the centre of time until you can see the turn of the universe!" screams Martha, waving Smith’s homemade copy of the New Adventure at him. "HAVEN’T YOU BEEN PAYING *ANY* FUCKING ATTENTION TONIGHT?!"
"Your point BEING, nigger girl?" John Smith boggles.
Martha Jones loses it at this point.
Some time later, the Family of Blood have had so much fun blasting Welshmen into dust, fusing said dust into glass and then shattering them all over again, they’ve completely forgotten about the Time Lord fob watch business as John Smith runs in, battered bruised and begging for protection from that "Negro Succubus from Hell!"
"Just stop that crazy bitch," John Smith weeps, tripping and headbutting various controls in some weird Norman Wisdom style homage. "That’s all I’m asking! I’ll do ANYTHING you want! JUST KEEP THAT COLOURED PSYCHO AWAY FROM ME!!!"
The Family watch as he stumbles around their ship in paroxysms of despair. "I can’t even PRETEND to understand! Not for a second! I’M INNOCENT IN ALL THIS! It’s not like I had any control over this! OH, DAME FORTUNE DEALS HER CARDS LIKE SOME MISSISSIPPI BOAT WHORE!!!"
The Family exchange looks and note the Doctor didn’t just make himself human, he made himself a retard... assuming there’s any difference. But then it finally strikes them that John Smith is WEARING THE DOCTOR’S GROOVY BRAINY SPECS!!!
Yes, in that scuffle, the watch was opened and the odious little jerk John Smith was annihilated, allowing the true majesty and regional accent of the Doctor to once more manifest!
No longer a human, the Time Lord drops his act and reveals that his pratfalls weren’t for nothing, he has activated a self-destruct sequence. Yes, it turns out this mighty cosmos-threatening danger can be defeated by flipping some random levers. Oh, the lack of humility.
The Doctor flees the ship and, after realizing how monumentally fucked they are, the Family soon follow. A giant explosion throws them to the ground as their ship turns from non-visible to non-existent. The Family look up into the night sky, as the Doctor stands over them, and cracks his knuckles in a sinister manner.
"What I do to YOU lot," he vows, "will be the stuff of fan fiction!"
Baines recounts what happened next because otherwise this bewildering art nuveau montage of surrealist imagery wouldn’t make a blind bit of sense to us poor couch potatoes.
"He never raised his voice, that was the kinky thing. The fury of the Time Lord. What a turn-on And then we discovered why, why this Doctor; who had flirted with Gods and demons, why he had run away from us and hidden.
"He was being lazy.
"Seriously. You do not want to mess with this when he’s properly motivated. He’s a bloody nightmare. No simple reversing the polarity of the neutron flow or throwing a handy atom bomb into your cargo hold, this guy can get positively DISTURBING.
"He wrapped my father in unbreakable rubber bands forged in the heart of a dwarf star and bought for two and six at a corner shop. Then he threw him down a coal mine used as reservoir for sewage treatment farms.
"He tricked my mother into the event horizon of a collapsing galaxy. Not sure how he managed that. Maybe he pointed over her shoulder and said, "Ooo! Look at THAT!" before drop-kicking her out of the TARDIS, but any way, she’s trapped there forever.
"He still visits my sister; once a year, every year. I wonder if one day he might forgive her? He trapped her inside a mirror. Every mirror. No idea how the fuck he managed it, but he did. If ever you look at your reflection and see something move behind you, just for a second, that’s her. That’s always her. Christ, how pretentious can you get? Doesn’t ever pull that stunt with the Dustbins, does he?
"As for me, I was suspended in time, and the Doctor put me to work standing over the fields of England as their protector. Dressed as a scarecrow. Talk about taking the piss. Now little girls from Roysten Vasey run up to me on weekends and beat the unliving shit out of me.
"We wanted to live forever, so the Doctor made sure that we did.
And after leaving Baines, now a scarecrow, the Doctor dusts his hands, congratulates himself for a good night’s work, and wanders back to the abandoned cottage to ask Joan to take him out to breakfast. Hey, he DID just save the entire course of civilization throughout the universe without breaking sweat – is it SO wrong to want some pancakes afterwards? IS IT?!
"I know, I know, I came here on a whim and lots and lots of people have died as a direct consequence. Well, take it from me as a God of the Fourth and Lord of Time: sometimes, shit just happens. It’s not that I planned for this, is it? Jings, I just wanted a holiday."
"Unfortunately, there was a single flaw in the Doctor’s strategy," Joan points out. "It was bollocks."
"I suppose you’re expecting me to offer to change myself back into that total gibbering geek, then? Well, I’ve love to but... actually, no, I wouldn’t love to. Yeah, maybe that makes Johnny boy the braver of the two, but I’m alive and he’s not. So who’s the real loser her?"
Joan does not reply.
"Aw, come on," the Doctor protests. "All I did was change! Hmmm. That worked with the last girlfriend. Oh, jings, Joan, you and me, in that TARDIS – good things are going to happen!"
"That is not my name, Doctor," Joan replies, turning around to reveal... she is ALSO holding a fob watch! And now she resembles a completely different woman. "Joan Redfern was a disguise... I am really THE RANI! The Family of Blood was actually after me the whole time, which is why I hid in this time and place."
The Doctor stares at her. "Get. The fuck. Out." he gasps. "SERIOUSLY?"
"I know. Freaky coincidence, huh?"
There is a long pause.
The Doctor clears his throat. "Jings, this is really kind of awkward. I best be off. Time to move on. Molto Bene!" He hurries out of the cottage, then runs back inside a moment later. "And let’s just never talk about this again, OK?" he adds, before running off again.
At the TARDIS, the Doctor unsurprisingly finds that Martha is waiting for him. She would like to take the opportunity to discuss her previous declarations of wanting bonk the Time Lord in all four dimensions, but the Doctor is far too interested in taking a cold shower in liquid oxygen and burning the clothes he’s in.
"Some couplings are just WRONG, even for me," the Doctor says as he runs inside the time machine. "Oh, and thanks for repeatedly saving my life, Martha Jones, I owe you one!"
And, once again, Martha is able to delude herself she has a chance at a long term sexual relationship with the lead, and she happily skips off, leaving young Latimer on a Welsh hillside with a useless fob watch and cursed with the knowledge that the entire world is going to be plunged into total war. TWICE.
But Latimer is able to fight his fate and, the next year when the archduke of Austria is shot, triggering a domino effect of the first world war, Latimer is able to escape the Big Push on thirteen separate occasions while all his fellow students-turned-soldiers are slaughtered in the muddy fields of battle.
A mere 90 years later, Latimer is freakily still alive due to low cunning AND hanging around freaky alien time pieces. There’s a Sapphire & Steel episode somewhere that will explain all that, I’m sure.
Anyway, Latimer is sitting in a wheelchair at a memorial service for... I dunno, somebody relevant... when he sees, in the distance, the Doctor and Martha arrive – rather rubbing in the whole "they shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old; age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn" part of the service as the jammy gits have access to a time machine and decrepit Latimer hasn’t.
The moment the service is over, the Doctor and Martha mug Latimer, beat him up and hide his body in the bushes. The Doctor snatches the fob watch and returns to the TARDIS with Martha, shouting "MINE, I think you’ll find, Tim-Timothy-Timber!" at the top of his voice.
You know, it’s not actually as good as the book was.
"Don’t blink. Don’t wink. Don’t arch a quizzical eye brow. Don’t furrow your forehead. Don’t nod sagely. Don’t even twitch. And don’t blink. All statues are evil and out to get you. Good luck."