Lighthouse Cutaway

An alternate Programme Guide by Charles Daniels

Ninety-Fourth Entry in the Charles Daniels Unauthorized Programme Guide
O' Clockwork Orange

Serial 4V - Lighthouse Cutaway  -

  The TARDIS materializes at the turn of the century next to a
lighthouse.  The Doctor rambles on for twenty four minutes about
the beauty and purity of lighthouses and their keepers, until
finally they walk inside of the Lighthouse itself, thus providing
the thrilling first cliffhanger, which is resolved the next week
with them finding nothing out of the ordinary inside the lighthouse.
  Inside of the lighthouse three men are watching a gripping three
part mini-series about keepers of a lighthouse who have just observed
a mysterious streak of light come down from the sky and impact with
the ocean.  The Doctor and Leela are invited to join in watching
this fantastic BBC programme, and not long after an eerie fog rises
and the electrical engineer is killed.  After the gripping death
throes and twelve minute speech made by the dying man of the value
of the brave men and women who operate the lighthouses of Britain,
part one of the mini-series is finally concluded.
  The Doctor and Leela are suspected of being employees of the BBC
and therefore the three lighthouse employees are terribly worried
that the next installment, following the next day at 6.45 after the
cricket results, will be spoiled for them by these insiders.
  The Doctor convinces them that the BBC knows toss all about the
programmes they make and that they are perfectly safe.  After
a day of intense paranoia, the second thrilling installment is
transmitted.  The lighthouse keepers, having previously seen the
unknown object from the heavens, are visited upon by a Professor
Quatermass who concludes that the lighthouse is under siege by
strange alien forms who feed upon electricity.  Quatermass realizes
that the alien has taken the form of one of the lighthouse keepers
as for once the lighthouse is working within the specified requirements -
leading him to believe an advanced alien intelligence is amoungst them.
The alien reveals itself to be a Ru-tan, a blob-like race which is
at war with the Snotaran Empire.  The conclusion to the second segment
sees the horrific blob bearing ever closer to a terrified Quatermass.
  The Doctor meanwhile is INCREDIBLY confused and pissed off.  How
does the BBC know about the Ru-tans and the Snotarans?  Why do the
exploits of this mysterious Quatermass seem to echo so closely the
mood and events of his own adventures with UNIT?
   Looking into these mysteries the Doctor discovers that several
portions of his life have been cheaply plagiarised from older source
material and that ultimately he himself is merely a fictional character
in a much maligned children's show on BBC1.
   Taking this information incredibly well the Doctor decides to
tune into the final gripping chapter of this adventure to see
what he should do if ever placed in this identical situation.
At 6.50 the next evening the third segment begins and Quatermass
narrowly escapes certain death with the use of a crude laser cannon
which is later employed by the surviving lighthouse keepers to destroy
the Ru-tan mothership as well.
    The Doctor begins to make a note of this and plans to watch the
next exciting serial which will pit Quatermass against a super virus
from outerspace, when the youngest of the lighthouse keepers rushes
into the room claiming to have seen a falling star.  The Doctor,
now dutifully informed decides to skip all this nasty business with
people being killed, and just constructs a super laser cannon from
some bits of mirror on hand and goes outside to the beach to blow
the whole area to pieces.  The crisis is entirely avoided.

Book(s)/Other Related - Doctor Who The Quatermass Experiment
                        Doctor Mysterio El Quatermassiveo Plagiariso
                        I Hate Doctor Who By Nigel Kneale

Fluffs - Tom Baker seemed Andrew Keir for most of this story
         Louise Jameson just nearly avoids bursting out laughing
         at a monster on the telly that she was suppose to respect
         and fear just weeks before on Doctor Who!

Fashion Victims - Tom Baker temporarily tries on a neon bright
                  scarf and paints his nails silver

Fashion Triumphs - Leela in chainmail bra for no apparent reason

Goofs - Tom Baker is temporarily confused and refers to himself
        as Quatermass and the chap on telly as Doctor Who

Technobabble - The Doctor says the strong proud structure of the
               thrusting tower that is the Lighthouse reminds him
               that he accidentally left his astro-erectifier in
               the TARDIS.

Links and References -
The Doctor says the most pornographic book he's ever seen is
E. G. Jerome's Lighthouses, Lightships, and Buoys, but this
totally contradicts the 2nd Doctor's high acclaim of his
various volumes of Victorian age erotica

Untelevised Misadventures -
The Doctor and UNIT once accidentally met up with another
top secret division of the government and Professor Quatermass
during a rather nasty alien invasion, unable to decide who's
jurisdiction the invasion was under, the two men flipped for

Dialogue Disasters -

Leela: You will do as the Doctor instructs, or I will cut out
       your heart.
Doctor: That threat won't work against them, they're BBC executives.

Leela's tribe must believe in reincarnation -
"Enjoy your death, come again."

Dialogue Triumphs -

Doctor:  The localised condition of planetary atmospheric
         condensation caused a malfunction in the visual
         orientation circuits.
Leela: What does that mean?
Doctor: You know, I haven't got the slightest clue!

Doctor: We must have got lost in the fog.
Leela: Fog?
Doctor: Yes, the misty material you couldn't see through.
        Surely even on your primitive planet you had stage
        hands piping in the stuff to provide a more mysterious
        atmosphere and to allow cheap justifications for getting
        lost and stumbling into an adventure.

Lord Palmerdale: Are you in charge here?
The Doctor: No, I'd like to be, but unfortunately I'm full of ideas
            of how to make things better and they don't seem to like
            that sort of thing in authority.

Doctor: The chameleon factor... sometimes called lycanthropy.
Leela: What is that?
Doctor: How should I know? Quatermass just said it on the telly.

Doctor: Leela, I've made a terrible mistake.
Leela: You didn't over inflate it again, did you?
Doctor: Well, yes, but I'm not talking about that at the moment.
        You see I thought I'd locked the enemy out of the TARDIS.
Leela: Yes?
Doctor: Instead I've locked it in, and locked us out!
Leela: That's terrible!  What will we do?
Doctor: Do you have a coat hanger by any chance?

"Aye, though we hunted high and low, and hunted everywhere, of the
magazine's fate we found no trace, in any time, in any place."
 - The Doctor hunts for his copy of The Radio Times, "Lighthouse Cutaway"

Dialogue Oddities -

The Doctor: Ru-tans, invading even the dramas of modern man.

Tom Baker: Blobby little bastards aren't they?  They look even
           fatter on TV, it ads an extra 30 pounds to blobs you know.

Viewers' Quotes -

"So, let me get this straight.  The Doctor arrives at a lighthouse,
watches a science fiction programme on the BBC, then uses the
useful knowledge given by the BBC to save the world when an
identical invasion actually occurs?  You know there's two
possibilities here - either that is INCREDIBLY educational
television, or, as I believe, it's an INCREDIBLE load of bollocks!
What a bunch of neo-artistic crap!  Luckily, we see tits. Thanks Leela."
                      - Father James O' Maley (1977)

"I thought there was rather too much talk about the lighthouse.
Also the Doctor's speeches were far too long and praised the
lighthouse workers far too much - he at one point said, if I
recall correctly, "God bless those who work as Lighthouse Keepers.
The Lighthouse Keepers Keep Britain A Free Nation, and anyone
who says otherwise is a communist toadie who should be shot on sight
then taken about the city centres and eaten by rabid dogs".  I'm
not sure where they were going with that one."
       - Howard Jones (Shortly before his execution at the
                       hands of the British Lighthose Association)

"Good clean moral fun.  I wish everyone had been killed.
Nevertheless, on the whole a excellent story."
                          - Sir Edmund Chapman (1977)

Psychotic Nostalgia -
"Ever get that feeling that the lighthouses are watching you?
Not the city, or the town, or the oceans, or the beaches, but
you, just YOU?  Ever think that those lights could all be
pointed right at you?  Looking into your house?  Following you
to work?  Ever think the whole world is just secretly watching
you?  If so, than wow, you must be insane - because they're

Tom Baker Speaks!
"I recall that we shot this at a lighthouse.  I believe we
did.  Perhaps we merely shot this inside of a miniature but
then we'd have to be incredibly tiny to do that wouldn't we?
I don't really follow optics or illusion, so I wouldn't know.
Still, one thing I think must be said about this story was
that it was quite fun to shoot because all I had to do was
sit around and watch bad films.  There was lots of alcohol
trading hands as we watched the telly and I really did get
to know all those other actors, there's Colin who was
miserably unhappy with reception the entire time.  I thought
we should do a lot more stories like this where the Doctor
was just watching some really exciting serial on the television
and then just had one or two minutes of action to do something
clever and save the world.  You know the Doctor didn't have
to put all that time into saving the world, he could have
just fixed up every problem in a jiffy if he wanted.  With
the power of the TARDIS he could go back and solve the problem
before it ever occured, but he didn't because...well...I don't
know...come to think of it, he's wasted all that time.
Silly bastard."

Rumors & Facts -

 One of the promises made to Louise Jameson was that she no
longer be required to wear brown contact lenses as Leela.
Consequently, Dicks included a scene toward the end of
Lighthouse Cutaway in which Leela's eyes undergo
"radical laser cannon surgery", changing them from brown to
Jameson's natural blue.
 Also of note, Lighthouse Cutaway featured the first on-screen
appearance of the Ru-tans, who had been mentioned as the Snotarans'
adversaries in The Slime Warrior, but whom were described in a
way that made them sound far too expensive to actually show on
the programmed until someone came along with a glow in the dark
sleeping bag and a string.

 Sir Edmund Chapman of the BBC Drama Department was the force behind
much of this story.  Chapman had apparently become aware that "This
silly Doctor Who programme features some strange fellow who travels
to alien exotic worlds and the such," and insisted to the Doctor
Who production stuff that - "Although a certain degenerate section
of the younger generation may find such things acceptable, it is
the BBC's job to produce moral and wholesome programming.  Therefore
I insist that any such silly nonsense about alien worlds be shelved
for the opening story of the 15th season which MUST take place in a

 As Sir Edmund Chapman put it himself he was "very keen on lighthouses"
and felt that they had been "unrepresented in the whole area of this
silly science fiction nonsense".

 Lighthouse Cutaway maintains the appalling low standard established
by Doctor Who over the course of it's run.  The well-written
Quatermass scripts are taken full advantage of and the isolated
nature of the story's setting is very effective in establishing
that there simply is nothing better to do than sit around and watch
telly.  One can't go to the shops, or the cinema, and being stuck
on a craggy island there is no distraction from the serial.
The scenes that take place on the television in this serial are
eerie and atmospheric.  The clever use of smoke and lighting effects
do however betray Doctor Who's rather uninspired use of these
same resources.
Sadly the scenes that take place on our television are mostly
the Doctor drinking cans of lager in the flickering glow, Leela
watching and trying not to laugh at props that have been used
in Doctor Who as well, and random rounds of people going off for
beer runs.

 Ironically Lighthouse Cutaway succeeds because of, rather than
in spite of, the overuse of stock footage. If any story proves
that Doctor Who has no need of any kind budget whatsoever in
order to succeed, it is this one.

 Sherlock Holmes had been Doctor Who's script editor for legal reasons,
and although he had been afforded release from parole much earlier than
would usually be the case, he was still itching to finish his work
in public service which had attached him to the Doctor Who project
in the first place.

 Originally planning to leave Doctor Who in a jail break along with
producer Philip Pinchcliffe, Holmes finally agreed to remain for
another six months to ease the arrival of new criminals.
Sherlock was on the look out for replacements and talked with
his old cellmate, Dicks, about possibly returning to Doctor Who.
Dicks declined this offer, but did agree to several other offers
which were all very disgusting.

 Dicks devised a story called Five Millions Years To Yorkshire.
However, after Dicks had already completed the first draft,
Sir Edmund Chapman of the BBC Drama Department instructed them to
abandon the story, fearing that it might contain "anti-lighthouse
sentiments".  Despite the extremely short notice, Dicks agreed to
go along with the extremely bizarre replacement ideas inflicted
by Sir Chapman.  At first it was thought that there was no way his
tale could be actually put into production.  After some research
Dicks decided to drop his re-revised script which stole many plot
elements from Quatermass serials, and to directly steal an entire
Quatermass story wholesale.  This meant that only a few linking
sequences with the Doctor, Leela, and a few extras need be shot
and that the production would be finished in time for the season
premiere.  Dick's decided to steal a very badly produced Quatermass
serial, which luckily featured absolutely no "anti-lighthouse
propaganda" and which also had been tightly controlled by Sir
Edmund Chapman, insuring that it was indeed disgustingly
"pro-lighthouse" in nature.

 Originally called The Lighthouse Of Light, Dicks' scripts went
through a number of title changes because the first title was
so crap.  The name was changed to "The Lighthouse Of Craggy Island"
and "The Lighthouse Of A Thousand Screaming Damned Souls", before
finally settling on the more simple "Lighthouse Cutaway".  The
Doctor and companion just watching TV for the vast majority of
the serial was considered a significant cut away from the main
plot and Sir Edmund Chapman had threathened to kill them all
if the word "Lighthouse" did not appear in the finished title.

The director brought on board for Serial 4V was Paddy Russell,
who had last worked on Sir Edmund's car the previous summer.
Russell was immediately aware that Lighthouse Cutaway would
present a number of production difficulties. Not only did this
mean a seamless blend of television characters watching a
television and the audience seeing the same tv programme but
also Sir Edmund Chapman himself made a series of bizarre demands
to Mr. Russell.  First Russell was compelled to encourage the
actors to ad lib lines which were ridiculously praiseful of
lighthouses, then he somehow had to make it clear to the audience
that the alien invasion was in no way the lighthouse's fault.
That the lighthouse was an innocent victim of the invasion
and that in the real world lighthouses operate night and day
without encouraging the murder and subjugation of the human race.
This was accomplished by having The Doctor explain this at length
during otherwise dramatically gripping scenes.

 To make matters worse, they were all miserably wrong.  Only
months later the news would hit the stands - lighthouses all
over the planet WERE in cahoots with fierce alien overlords,
using their powerful lamps as beacons for the cruel invasion
of us all.