An alternate Programme Guide by
The Eleventy-First Entry in the Charles Daniels Unauthorized
Programme Guide O' Hobbits
Serial 5M - Shagged'er -
After The Horny Nimoy, there was to have been one further story
for season 17 - a concluding six-parter entitled Shagged'er - but by
this point, things had simply just gone to hell. Union strikes have
been the cover story for over two decades, but it is time now for
the true story to be revealed. It all started in Cambridge on the
morning of October 15th. Secretly Tom Baker had arrived in Cambridge
the night before and therefore was ready to surprise the cast and
crew when he showed up bright and early, and only very slightly
drunk, with a long and tedious list of demands. Tom Baker had
decided to drop all the pretenses he'd been politely allowing and
just take over the show once and for all. He'd taken the script
to the serial and written in "a few good witty remarks in green pen".
The stunned on-lookers discovered a script that had been painted
almost entirely green with the strange and deranged ravings of a
main character who seemed to deny the name "The Doctor" and
insist instead of being addressed as "His High Lord Rasputin of
the Time Sphere".
Even people who know the story to this point, do not know the
true horrors of the days to come. Williams and Adams had made
a pact to burn down all the sets after the end of the season,
but now it was obvious that time was not a luxury they could
afford -- they began to burn down the set in the middle of takes,
hoping that they could off the insane Baker, and make it look
like a fluke, albeit constantly occuring, accident that all the
sets seemed to be so massively flammable that day.
But even darker secrets exist....and they will shortly be
revealed to all concerned at last.
The Plot (Original Douglas Adams version):
Shagged'er was envisaged as a Time Lord story without a Gallifreyan
or Boogalooian setting. The Doctor brings Romana to present-day
Earth to visit Professor Chronotis, an elderly Time Lord who has
left his dynamic luxury flat in Gallifrey and now lives a quiet
academic life at St Cedd's College in Cambridge. But in the shadows
a being is seeking the Doctor, a scientist called Agrajag who has a
device, in the form of a floating beach ball, with which he intends
to steal the Doctor's mind and thereby gain his long awaited revenge.
Throughout all of time and space, through infinite eternities,
the Doctor has been there to defeat Agrajag. The Doctor is
confronted by Agrajag who reminds him that he was the anonymous
Dustbin that the Doctor blew to bits in some half-remembered
previous Dustbin story, that HE was the second Cyberman to the
left who was brutually slaughtered on some half-forgotten world,
that HE was the ice cream salesman who the Doctor hit full on
with his classic automobile while fleeing dinosaurs in downtown
London...and so on and so on. In his defense the Doctor mentions
that "karma is a bitch".
Meanwhile Professor Chronotis admits to the Doctor that before
he left homeworld he forgot to return a library book. The Doctor
says that the Time Lords won't care if he takes out a simple little
book for a few aeons past the due date and assures him that it's
probably no big deal. The book turns out to be the key to the source
of all of the Time Lords' power. Also Chronotis realises that he's
misplaced it, lent it out to students, and lost it again on a number
of occassions. The ancient book haunts the mind and soul of all who
read it and turns them into lifeless strange time zombies (these
affects, incidentally, seem to be almost unnoticable in students).
As the sanity of all who read it are drained the power of the
Time Lords grows ever more vulnerable (in the RPG version
you simulate this by rolling against your Cthulhu sanity points).
Agrajag discovers this and somehow forms an objective to use his
silver beach ball on the book, whose unique mental powers he can
then exploit to project his own mind into every other creature in
the universe. The first being he tries to take over, obviously is
the Doctor, but he soon realises that the process only works on
virgins (those who have not had sexual relations with their own
species to be precise), and so as the Doctor clutches tightly to
Romana, the question looms, has he "Shagged'er"? Is the Doctor
safe from the evil of Agrajag?
I really don't know, because most of the script is just green
scribbles and little green smiley faces after this point.
The Plot (Tom Baker re-write):
His High Lord Rasputin of the Time Sphere and his sexy wife, Her
Highest Lady Romana of the Temporal Vortex, arrive in modern day
Cambridge and go to a lot of pubs. At one of these pubs Rasputin
encounters a time travelling cat named Splinx, and follows him
to "The Caves of the Outer Worlds". In the Outer Worlds, Rasputin
is a beloved hero, threathened only by the evil Directors. Rasputin
takes his place as the High Lord And Commander of Absolutely
Everything, and then eats a lot of Jammy Dodgers. All is not
as good as it seems however, Splinx has cruelly led Rasputin to
a universe with different physical laws -- laws which make the
process of fermentation impossible. In a twisted twilight zone
ending, Rasputin realises that although he is the king of the
universe, it is a universe without cheap booze -- his screams
angle at all directions through time and space. And then, cheaply,
it turns out to be a drug induced nightmare, and he wakes up in
a cheap and seedy motel room with Romana, because "After all,
children love a happy ending."
It should come at absolutely NO SURPRISE, that when the BBC
got word of these developments Shagged'er was formally droppped
from the seventeenth season in December 1979, it having become
apparent that the situation was even more screwed up than usual,
even for Doctor Who. A note was even kindly written from the
Head of the BBC to the entire production crew to destroy any
footage that might remain of the affair, so the whole thing
could be denied officially.
Book(s)/Other Related - Doctor Who And the Afronauts (Canada Only)
Dirk Gently's Hollistic Detective Agency
Long, Dark Tea Time of the Soul
Fluffs - Tom Baker seemed damp for most of this story
Tough call here..is it a goof when Romana calls Rasputin
the Doctor in episode three or when she calls the Doctor
Rasputin in episode 4?
Then, to make it doubly stupid, Romana calls Agrajag by his
first name, despite having not heard it.
The Doctor/Rasputin mentions that Agrajag is experiencing
a bout of "karmatic relational overflow"
Links and References -
The Doctor reminds the audience of his marriage in Paris Sucks.
Untelevised Misadventures -
The Doctor mentions his close ties to Czar Nicholas
Rasputin causally mentions fighting the Breen on Strangulus IV
Dialogue Disasters -
Doctor: It is a book of immense power, even I tremble
Romana: It's just a Gallifrey nursery book.
I had it when I was a Time Tot.
Doctor: What do you think of the eye patch?
Romana: Rasputin didn't wear an eyepatch.
Doctor: Well yes he did! Because I AM RASPUTIN!
Dialogue Triumphs -
Doctor: When I was on the river I heard the strange babble of
inhuman voices, didn't you, Romana?
Romana: Yes, and I wish you'd stop talking to yourself.
Doctor: What library book did you bring to earth anyway?
Chronotis: Oh, ahhh...The Sacred and Worshipful Law of
Doctor: THE WHAT?!!? YOU BROUGHT THE SACRED AND WORSHIPFUL
LAW OF FELICITY KENDAL -TO EARTH-?!?!
Chronotis: Yes, yes, I know, silly of me. It's a stupidly
Doctor: I'm going to have to beat you old man.
True actors, never give up scene, no matter what, as this shows -
Romana: I say, there's a lot of smoke around...
Chronotis: Oh, probably undergraduates talking to each other,
I expect. I'm trying to have it banned.
Romana: No really, I think the set is on fire again!
Chronotis: Those crazy uni students. Anyway, about that
book of power. *cough* *splutter* Excuse me.
Romana: Look, Denis, we really better leave the set.
Chronotis: And waste all the studio time, them trying to
put this mess out..why I'd rather die of smoke
inhalation..Anyway, good lady Romana, what do
you make of this component here?
Tom Baker muses over his plan to control the BBC outright -
"It's a troublesome business, difficult to administer, and
as a broadcasting company it's worthless because nobody else
will have it."
Dialogue Oddities -
The Doctor: Romana, we have every reason to feel confident!
Tom Baker: So this is it, we're going to die.
Tom Baker Speaks!
"Shagged'er! SHAGGED'ER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes, the lost story.
It never happened like they said, it was all out of context you
know, I promise you, that whole story is a complete fabrication,
even the parts that are completely true with a full cast of
witnesses. No one saw that this was my shining moment, my chance
to take over, to make them all see that *I* WAS the Doctor. The
Doctor isn't the sort of naughty fellow who would follow a script
from point A to point B to point C. No. The Doctor would start
at point Q and end up back at point G before popping off to a
completely relaxing point somewhere between K and L, before
leaping wholeheartedly to point Y. It is the nature of the beast.
I had such a lovely time on Doctor Who, I remember those days,
somewhat, with great affection. I was a child's hero then, sure
in the times to come I would be a depressed, enraged, out of work
alcoholic maniac..but those were golden times. When I was a joyous,
well employed, alcoholic maniac. I can almost taste the fame, and
I think, yes I definitely CAN taste the whiskey..but that might
just be from last night. Does anyone fancy a Mai Tai?"
Rumors & Facts -
Even though all footage was ordered destroyed, dark humour
prevailed, and an edited, toned down version of the story was
eventually released on video in 1992 with Tom Baker providing a
narration to cover the missing scenes. From this video release
most fans note this is a very cheap looking story - which is
of course entirely understandable from the two facts we have
1) The entire set was made simply to be burned by Williams and Adams
2) It was often on fire just out of camera range
This story does feature the two main strengths of season 17 -
bad puns and dull comedy. Armed with these, Shagged'er was
guaranteed an instant classic status.
The story has an unique and interesting history behind it. Due to a
lack of budget, no new or talented writers could be found, so they
gave Douglas Adams full scripting responsibility. Adams first wrote
a two part story in which the Doctor fought an All Sorts monster
based largely on Bertie Basset. This was rejected as too degrading
even for Tom Baker. Then Adams decided to focus on making the
sets extremely flammable so he developed a new concept, given the
working title Sunburst, which would examine how spontaneous
combustion was dealt with in Time Lord society.
The script was due in it's final form on June 29th, but Adams
apparently did not begin work on Sunburst until July, and hastily
finished the first draft in six hours. One requirement imposed on
Adams we that he in no way shape or form ever mention Gallifrey,
because everyone was scared he would muck up Time Lord society
forever with a silly story about why their collars are so
ridiculously huge. Surprisingly this was not an unfounded fear
as some years earlier Adams had submitted a script called
"The Truth Behind The Triceratops Time Lords", which dealt with
the exact same issue. This demand backfired when Adams decided
that if he couldn't mention Gallifrey, he would make the homeworld
of the Time Lord race his home town of Cambridge instead.
Sunburst was to establish that the Time Lords had lived in
Cambridge for some 40 million years, and that Rassilon was just
an amazingly great uni student.
By September 17th, the story has been completely re-written again
and plagarized loosely from Life, The Universe, And Everything.
The title was changed to Shagged'er on the assistance of Tom Baker.
Once filming started, there was a riot on the set, and luckily a
massive labour strike also started (which made for a good cover
story). Tom Baker was insistent that he control every aspect
of the show. One strange result of this occurred on the 18th when
Baker and Roberts -- who had retired to a pub, given that they now
essentially had the day off -- had a heated argument. Baker
insisted that the St John's Choristers be included as part of a
chase scene - a chase scene does not appear in either version of the
scripts however! Baker got his way and the chase scene was shot
with the choir. Baker was made an honorary fellow of St John's
College in return. Why this happened, or HOW, is just one of
those twisted little mysteries.
Having had enough of Tom Baker, Williams and Adams left in disgust.
Williams, hating Doctor Who with violent passion, would not leave
the show until he made sure that control was given to the person
of his choice - John Satan-Turner.
The story, Shagged'er became infamous as the incompleted
masterpiece of season seventeen. But then, those who knew
better, knew the darker truth. During the production, beings
of questionable motives, some say pure evil, other suggest
just very very odd blokes indeed, arrived. They were named
the Xyrios. The Xyrios forced the cast and crew to complete
Shagged'er, but what version of the script they recorded in
full is unknown. The Xyrios were often asked why they wanted
this story to be completed, but always, they would grin in
that ineffable Xyriosian way and smack the questioner with
a large rubber chicken. What these beings did with the footage,
perhaps we will never know, but there are those who insist to
this day that they had seen a complete version of Shagged'er
at seedy conventions in the mid-80s.
Canada was left in a pickle as it had promised it's readers
six complete series 17 novelizations. In a desperate, and
many say, needless bid to comply with this promise, they
commissioned Derek Ridley to write a suitable season 17 style
adventure novelization -- and what the Canadian populace got
was the incredibly rare and very much denied "Doctor Who and
the Afronauts", the back cover blurb read as follows -
"Once upon a time, in the days of the Funkapus, specially designed
Afronauts were created, capable of funkatizing galaxies...
These abilities were later repossessed, and placed among the secrets
of the pyramids, until a more proper attitude towards this most
sacred phenomenon (Cloned Funk) could be acquired."
Sadly, I have NEVER been able to track down this book...and I'm
not sure if I want to.
But now, the Season 17 wrap up.
Season Seventeen taught us a lot. It taught us all about the
dangers of substance abuse, the ease with which experienced
professional writers fall into the trap of bad puns and cliche
monsters. It showed us that when you really got down to it --
you shouldn't be trusting Tom Baker.
I guess every season offers one story that touches the viewer
in a special and unique way. For me, that story was the first.
Paris Sucks reminds me of my own romantic trip to Paris those many
summers ago. I don't remember what I was doing, or who I was
doing it with, but it only cost me 300 francs, and that's the
kind of magic can last a lifetime, especially if you forget
to apply the ointment.
I think everyone would agree that the forces that crafted season
seventeen are unlikely to ever again be seen in television, and
I for one am deeply grateful for that.