The Fanboys of Tara
An alternate Programme Guide by
One Hundred and Third Entry in the Charles Daniels Unauthorized
Programme Guide O' Collectibles
Serial 5D - The Fanboys of Tara -
The power of the chicken drags the Doctor, Romana, and K-9 to
the most annoying sci-fi/comedy convention in the cosmos.
Romana finds one of the segments is a sad fan boy dressed as
John Cleese in the Silly Walks sketch. Before she can act on
this knowledge she is held captive by a fanboy in a cheap
cardboard robot costume.
The man inside of the cardboard robot costume is no one other
than the mysterious creator of the Quirks. Throughout time and
space he has plotted to seize the throne of comedic sci-fi fandom
from the rightful heir, John Cleese, and has mistaken Romana for
a fangirl dressed as an android duplicate of Romana as she appeared
at the end of serial 5C. So sad is this costume, that the devious
creator of the Quirks, believes that this may present the
opportunity for him to finally see a lady in her underwear!
The Doctor is meanwhile captured by a group of crazed fans
dressed as the inhabitants of the planet Vortis, who hope that
their protection of John Cleese will help the forgotten monsters of
the past reign anew. The Doctor is held at plastic light sabre
point inside of a shared budget suite, where he is forced to
repair an android costume and recite exciting passages from
Terrance Dicks Target Novelizations. Meanwhile the fan dressed
as John Cleese in the Silly Walks sketch acts as a decoy for
The Creator of the Quirks kidnaps John Cleese and has the
Doctor modify his cheap cardboard cut out robot suit so
that it will look regal enough for him to be crowned in.
The Creator of the Quirks also commissions a Quirk-style android
duplicate of Romana equipped with a lethal ray and something he
calls "Dutch Action Mouth". After spending considerable time with
this "enhanced" Romana device, he contrives for the Doctor to meet
K9, recognising that the real Romana didn't deflate in under
five seconds, realises that this is a trap. After much internal
debate K9 decides not to warn the Doctor, so he can travel alone
with Romana and no longer have to worry about the Doctor juggling
him about drunkenly to impress people.
The real Romana has meanwhile escaped from the strange hotel
room of he who designed the Quirks, and she rescues the Doctor
from the Android Duplicate of herself -- much to the disappointment
of the audience, who never get to see what exactly this "Dutch
Action Mouth" does.
In rage, The Creator destroys the Romana android and recaptures
the original Romana. Thus padding out the story for a fourth
The Doctor easily gains access to the hotel room by using K9 as
a battering ram. Rescuing Romana, the Doctor and K9 stab John
Cleese and the John Cleese look-a-like until they turn into
tumeric and corriander powder.
With this development the creator of the Quirks seems inevitably
poised to seize power. However the fanboys dressed as the
inhabitants of Vortis join forces with the fanboys dressed as
German Leather Freaks who in turn join the Cybermen and the Dustbins
and just about everyone else in fandom to STOP the Quirks rise
To the surpise of no one the Doctor engages The Creator of the
Quirks in a drinking contest. The Creator, realising that he has
been defeated, drunkenly slumps out of the convention and escapes
to fight another day.
Book(s)/Other Related - Doctor Who And The Quirky Convention
Doctor Mysterio La Roboto Cleese Extremo
Doctor Who Meets The Talking Penis(Canada Only)
Fluffs - Tom Baker seemed salty for most of this story
Tom Baker tries, largely without success, to look more
sober than the BBC cameraman that swaggers into the shot
repeatedly in episodes 2 and 3.
Fashion Victims - I once wore something that looked like the
Archimandrite's hat -- only not on my head.
(Editor Apologises For Providing Too Much Information)
Goofs - The Taran Fanboy Beast - how can I ever hope to describe THAT!?
Romana's restraints look far too easy to escape from - I NEVER
tie women up that haphazardly! They might escape!!!!
(Please see above editoral apology)
The Creator of the Quirks minions seem to include -- himself..
and a few cardboard boxes with different names written on them.
In several scenes that are suppose to take place in different
parts of the world at entirely different times, Tom Baker
attempts to walk onto the set, only to be dragged off by
several pairs of hands.
Technobabble - "I've uploaded every single chess game ever played
anywhere in the universe into K-9!"
"Did you consult the Omni-Delta-Hyper-Information
Matrix or The Quasi-Neutron BurgleBrain of Signus V?"
"What? No, I just downloaded some shitty freeware thing
off of alt.binaries.geeks.chess!"
Links and References -
The Doctor mentions that he felt a lot more stable when people called
him Rasputin, and blames a random candlestick in the console room that
he can not remember how to transform himself into Russian madmen at
Untelevised Misadventures -
Not only did the Doctor see Capablanca play Alekhine at chess in
1927, but he later went on to challenge both the men to a game of
Connect Four which he describes as "Exhilarating! The most exciting
game of Connect Four in history!".
The Doctor also met Izaak Walton, author of the Compleat Angler
and describes their game of Connect Four as "Not quite, but close."
Several other comments made by the Doctor in this story hints there
was an entire missing era of the Doctor's life where he hunted out
the best and brightest of history and challenged them to endless games
of Connect Four, Candyland, and some unknown mysterious board game
from the future which he calls "Baby Oil Twister".
Dialogue Disasters -
Romana: What's that? Is it yours?
Creator: It's a Quirk, my favorite creation. Strong as a refrigator
box and swift as the wind.
Romana: Well, how does it go? What makes it work?
Creator: Good heavens, I don't know, my dear.
Romana: You don't?
Creator: I'm a writer! I let the BBC deal with the string, spit,
and shoe polish that hold these things together!
Dialogue Triumphs -
Doctor: Gosh, that takes me back. Or forward. That's the trouble
with liquor; you can never remember.
Doctor: [Speaking to Insane Fanboy] Would you mind not
reading Terrance Dicks' aloud? I'm trying to hear
what the panel is saying about the new Star Wars movie.
Doctor: I shall have to go alone of course. It's funny. They
always want you to go alone when you're walking into
the men's room. Have you noticed that?
Doctor: [Speaking of K9's efforts to cut through a wooden door
with his nose laser to free him from his speaking panel]
Do hurry up! A man dressed as a hamster is trying to kill
me with a blunt penknife.
Romana: Uh, Count, far be it from me to query this lady's competence
as a doctor, but this bitch is crazy!
[The final meeting and confrontation]
Creator: A writer does not fear death if he dies with an army of
Quirks at this side.
Romana: Creator of the Quirks - this is the Doctor. Doctor - this man
is a total loony.
Doctor: That's alright, for so am I! Prepare the contest of vodka!
Creator: Where are the drinking glasses?
Doctor: Bottles only today!
Dialogue Oddities -
The Doctor: Evil. I face it at every turn. Why must I never rest?
Who else is there to save creation?
Tom Baker: Right, I'll get the Quirk freak liquored up, then it's off
Viewers' Quotes -
"This story was unspeakably plagiaristic! The entire story had a
heavy reliance on one particular romantic novel of 1894 entitled
'Victorian Vixens In Velcro'! Needless to say I was disgusted by
this gross theivery! So much so that I could not force myself to
buy it from the local shoppe -- so I nicked it instead. That will
show them!" - Father James O' Maley (1989)
"While The Androids of Tara did have a lot going for it, it seemed to
have a ridiculously one-dimensional plot and relied much too heavily
on the Creator the Quirks trying to establish himself as the God of
fandom and to see Romana in her knickers. It's truly sad. I weep
at what could have been done with that premise -- especially about
the knickers." - Ronald Ashby (1980)
"I do not claim that The Fanboys of Tara has hidden depths. It isn't
multilayered or meaningful, and it isn't full of socio-political
commentary. It has no message and couldn't support a ream of in-depth
textual analyses as the series' classics do. But..I would like to say..
that...afterall, looking at the whole...it is...well, it's a bit
crap, innit?" - Tom Mono (1992)
"The story is like the common fair of english cuisine -- bland."
- Cookery And Sci-Fi Review Magazine (1981)
Psychotic Nostalgia -
"I am the ultimate fanboy!! Wanna see my tattoo with the Cybermen
versus the Borg?!"
Tom Baker Speaks!
"A quirky installment from the adventure of a life time!!!!!
I've been arrested in Holland for adventures less disgusting than
this one!" - Tom Baker from the record "The Key To Chicken" (1979)
"Yes..I thought this serial was an excellent chance to meet the fans
of mine, that I had collected, myself, being the Doctor. For the most
part I liked them -- they bought my drinks. I always like people who
buy me drinks. Of course, I met the children too. The children
couldn't go to the bar and buy my drinks. I didn't like them so much."
- Tom Baker exclusive
Rumors & Facts -
In February 1978, it was realised that two more writers would have
to be blackmailed, conned, humiliated, and therefore brought fully
into the fray of the Doctor Who production team. These two writers
were needed to draft the fourth and fifth slots of season 16. The
pathetic bastard originally approached to pen Serial 5D was Teddy
Lewis, who had scripted such masterpiece cinema as 'Attack of The
Slut Cars' and the cult classic 'Get Harder'.
Script editor Marc Antony had suggested Lewis write a Doctor Who
story in which the Doctor discovers the truth about exactly why men
seem to prefer blondes. However, the initial drafts needed a variety
of changes to be airable in any timeslot. Also, Lewis was going
through a variety of personal problems at the time, including
separation from his penis and a bout of alcoholism. Antony
ultimately decided to use BBC funds to shoot the script, then steal
the negatives so he could show the production at wild parties round
Antony begged Sherlock Holmes to hurriedly prepare a replacement
story. Holmes was already familiar with Season Sixteen's Key To Chicken
arc, having written The Ribald Operation whilst blindfolded in front
of an antique typewriter with no functioning 'f' key. Holmes began
work on The Death Of Death, commissioned on May 26th. On the same
day, Antony commissioned The Fanboys Of Zenda from David Fisher, who
had just completed the world's largest collection of ceramic ducks.
Fisher's adventure was heavily plagarised from the 1894 novel
'Victorian Vixens In Velcro'.
The director assigned to Serial 5D was Michael Hayes, a BBC veteran
whose work included offing various political and corporate rivals
of the BBC. Hayes quickly became dismayed by Holmes' script, as he
felt that some of its technical demands would cause him to get off his
damn ass and direct. Williams decided to switch the fourth and fifth
stories around, meaning that The Fanboys Of Zenda would be transmitted
fourth and The Death Of Death would be slotted against documentary
footage of monkeys sleeping on their competitor's channel -- thus
insuring lower ratings for a serial which they estimated to be as
thrilling as dental surgery opera. As a result, this would mark a
serious reduction in the amount of time and effort the crew would
have to spend digging up dirt and threatening professionals to work
for the programme.
Fisher's scripts appear to have gone by a number of different
titles over the course of their development, including The Fanboys
Of Zend, The Prisoner Of Fan Geeks, and The Seeds Of Chicken.
Fisher's scripts are a clear lift from the 1894 novel, following
basically the same plotline and including many analogous characters:
The Creator of the Quirks for The Dominator of the Maidens, Random
Mistress for Antoinette de Lust, Porthosarendulamvoshunnm for Steve
The Nightwatchman, Fritz the Ditz for Fritz von Lusterbaden, and
Stella The Jive Talking Chimp for Frank The English Bobbie.
The Doctor and Romana essentially share the role of the
book's hero, Rudolf The Hermaphrodite.
The filming days for this story were plagued by several mishaps,
especially concerning recording around the food kitty. First, on the
24th of July, Tom Baker "inadvertently" took 24 quid from the
collection jar that was suppose to buy supplies for nachos and spent
the entire amount on a silly sombrero he saw for sale at a dealer's
Unusually, the credits for the serial were recorded over shots
of the cast and crew kicking K-9 senseless.