An alternate Programme Guide by
The One Hundred and Fifty-Eighth Entry in the Charles Daniels
Unauthorized Programme Guide O' Vague Paranoia
Serial 7N - Battlefield: Earth -
Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart has long since retired, from
soldiering, from teaching, and even from that awkward short stint
as a gigolo. Lethbridge-Stewart assures his wife Doris that his
"earth saving days" are long past.
Doris has forced him to promise never to save the world again,
and to his credit he has kept up his part of the bargain.
Doris leaves Lethbridge-Stewart a shopping list on the refrigerator
and he collects it first thing in the morning. He glances it over
and smiles - it's all standard odds and ends, nothing he can't get
at the corner shop.
Throwing on his coat and hat, Lethbridge-Stewart walks down the
road to a tiny Co-Op. Once inside the Co-Op he has exited the
surroundings of his pleasant village and entered into a scene of
A group of Cybermen have snapped the cashier in half and started
several small fires. The Cyberleader is rummaging through the cash
register as his comrades loot whatever biscuits they can grab
With one fell swoop Lethbridge-Stewart deftly raises a mobile
phone to his ear and dials 999.
Within moments a group of swat police bust into the Co-Op and
start shooting, but to no avail, several policeman are taken
out in laser fire.
Lethbridge-Stewart taps a bobby on the shoulder and says -
"Might want to try gold mate. Just a tip."
Knowing that the police have the matter in hand, Lethbridge-Stewart
walks home, shaking his head - glad that at least he won't miss
his programmes now.
We join Lethbridge-Stewart, slouching lazy on leather couch, eating
Cheese 'n Onion crisps from a bag resting on his chest.
His attention is focused on the television, which is currently
showing the popular Day Time TV discussion programme Loose Women -
Lisa Rogers: The problem really is that when most people are
made redundant, they do try very hard to get back
into the workforce as soon as possible.
But studies show that Cybermen are more likely
to react badly to loosing their jobs, and MUCH MORE
likely to form anti-human gangs and go on world
Cyberlady: What human racist trash! I expected that sort of
attitude when I lived in New York. But the Cyber-race
has been a valuable, if small, part of earth
civilization since 1986!
Trisha Goddard: You mean the failed CYBERINVASION of 1986.
Cyberlady: Oh please! That was ages ago! No one should be
judged on what they did in the 80s!
You used to wear hoop earrings and Flojos!
Later that evening Lethbridge-Stewart, fast asleep on the couch,
is woken by Doris.
"Darling, have a good day?"
"Oh yes...yes...lots of reading. Got a little mentally exhausted,
took a short nap."
"With a packet of crisps on your chest?"
"Alright darling. OH! Did you get milk?"
"What? Oh, no. Cyberinvasion, darling. Ripped up the Co-Op.
They had to close down the roads."
"Really? Yes, I wondered what all those corpses were doing on
the path. The noise must have really distracted you from your
"Yes, yes, damn shame. Laser fire, so loud you know."
"You didn't get involved did you dear?"
"Just to call the police love."
"Good. I don't want to worry about you."
In the distant land of Cornwall, in the depths of the ancient and
mysterious Fenwick Trout Fishery a sword is calling for help.
I know that sounds a bit surreal and unlikely, but trust me.
A UNIT convoy has been stranded near Fenwick Trout Fishery by an
unexpectedly fierce fishstorm. The TARDIS materializes in response
to the sword's call for two reasons; One, the sword's distress
call is crossing even the boundaries which separate alternate
timelines and Two, the Doctor loves trout and hopes to be able
to catch tons of them as they are just falling from the sky.
The Doctor and Ace run out of the TARDIS with giant nets, but
are shocked and deeply annoyed to discover a UNIT convoy huddled
over a fire, eating all the fish!
The Doctor threatens the UNIT convoy to hand over a tribute of
piscine goodness, or else he will unleash time knights upon the
If you trust the Doctor the next event to occur was a complete
coincidence, as a strange and swirling sound penetrated the air
before revealing armoured knights who have travelled from an
The Doctor protests his innocence in regards to the materialization
of the knights, but is unceremoniously punched in the eye by the
new no-nonsense Brigadier Bambi.
"Brigadier BAMBI!?" Exclaims the Doctor.
Bambi contacts UNIT control to inquire about the stranger who
calls himself the Doctor, and word gets to Lethbridge-Stewart, who
explains that he is too busy baking cake and cookies for a charity
function to get involved with "any of this planet saving business".
Meanwhile Ace has ditched the going-ons at Fenwick Trout Fishery
and made her way to a local pub called "The Knife And Crazed Maniac"
a place highly praised for its steak and ale pie.
Over a few pints of Carlsberg Ace has managed to chat up a gorgeous
local girl named Shou Yuing, who claims she is from the little known
Yangtze province of Bodmin. Shou Yuing and Ace share exciting and
romantic stories about explosives.
Meanwhile the time knights, which may or may not have been
carelessly unleashed by the Doctor, surround UNIT forces and
the Doctor himself. The Black Knight, Ancelyn, greets the Doctor
The Doctor tells the UNIT chaps that they are dealing with a unique
situation unlike any that has ever plagued mankind - a war from
another timeline is being fought on Earth.
"Oh! You mean like last summer with the King of Spain versus
the Brains From the Hyperion Collective!"
"Or three winters ago, back when we fought the Ant People of
"YES! Alright, well, maybe it isn't that unique. But it's still
fairly dangerous and surreal."
The leader of the Grey Knights, Mordred, also recognizes the Doctor
as Merlin, and the Doctor successfully frightens Mordred into
leaving by threatening to tell his mother that he's been
play-sword-fighting in a parallel dimension, AGAIN -- but admits to
UNIT that he hasn't the faintest idea who any of these people are.
The Doctor and the UNIT boys decide to get drunk. They leave
the battling time knights behind and go to the local.
Over a few dozen pints of Guinness the Doctor explains to anyone
can still understand him through all the slurring that the
timelines are being fractured.
Mordred, realizing that he's probably going to be in lots of
trouble when he gets home, decides to come clean now, hoping his
honesty will lessen his punishment. Mordred opens a demonic
gateway in a ruined church nearby, and rings his mother wondering
what BT charges for pan-dimensional calls.
Mordred's mother, the sorceress Morgaine, is none too pleased at
her son's dangerous hijinks; but she decides that now Mordred has
fractured all of creation, might as well take the opportunity and
try to dominate it anyway.
Morgaine steps into the new world from her own and telepathically
contacts the Doctor, ordering him to give up the fight. The Doctor,
filled with Dutch courage screams "BRING IT ON YOU SLAG!!"
Which makes everyone in the pub turn around and look at him with
The next morning, the Doctor wakes up alone in a field, clutching
his head and asking if someone could kindly switch off the sun.
Wandering about the field aimlessly with a massive headache the
Doctor stumbles against a giant boulder covered with cryptic runes.
Surprisingly the Doctor recognises the handwriting - HIS OWN -
and wonders outloud to himself how many times he's been drawn to
this very field while drunk beyond the point of insensibility...
as if this is a place of potent power, calling to him.
The Doctor has no memory of carving the runes but decodes their
meaning as "Oh GOD! THE PAIN! I'LL NEVER DRINK AGAIN!"
Nearby Ace is just waking up in a comfortable bed. At first she
is completely unaware of her surroundings as well, but looking to
her left she sees a sleeping Shou Yuing next to her. Shou Yuing
seems to have a small and comfortable flat with only a large bed,
a small kitchenette-area-cum-bomb factory, and a few shrines to
dark and archaic gods of immense power.
"My kind of girl." Says Ace to herself as she surveys the room
and walks to a nearby window. When Ace pulls back the window
she is greeted by the vision of a beautiful field, with some drunk
crazy guy wandering aimlessly about.
"Oh no! The Professor!"
Meanwhile Lethbridge-Stewart is setting up a stand filled with
delicious homebaked pies, cakes, and cookies, all for sale to
support his wife's favorite charity, a home for disadvantaged
alien monsters stranded on earth.
Lethbridge-Stewart talks with a customer about the irony of it all.
"Spend my whole life trying to kill them. Eradicate them from the
earth. And now here I am. Selling chocolate chip cookies and
apple pies so some Yeti can live on an estate in Tooting Bec.
The world changes. First the Soviets going soft...now this."
Their conversation is interrupted when Morgaine and Mordred appear
and begin to ravenously eat and tear apart the bakery goods.
"I knew I couldn't trust you monsters! I may not be able to
save the earth, but I'll damn well have order and respect at this
Elsewhere, in the field, Ace approaches the Doctor and grabs him,
trying to take him back to Shou Yuing's flat.
"Where have you been all night Ace?"
"Busy. Now come on. We've got to get you some place warm. I'll
make you some tea and make sure you get some sleep."
"Where are you going?"
"Shou Yuing's flat. It's just over there."
"You spent the night there?"
"You chatted up that chinese girl?? GOOD ON YA MATE!!" Exclaimed
the Doctor before passing out.
Ace dumps the Doctor's unconscious body on Shou's tiny couch and
looks up to see Shou Yuing sitting up in bed drinking a cup of tea.
"Hey. This nutter is a pal of mine. He wants to crash here for
"I tell you, I've travelled with the Professor for awhile now.
And something here is wrong, something about time. It's broken.
It's driving him insane, and he was only one stop off before
all this happened."
Ace tells Shou Yuing about her travels through time and space, and
how there is always something unexpected and unusual at each place
they visit. But without the Professor's help, she has no idea
what might be out of place in this peaceful part of Cornwall.
Shou Yuing listens carefully and then breezily comments
"Oh, well, it's probably nothing - but it COULD be the spaceship
beneath the lake."
Shou Yuing explains that her friends used to dive down to a
crashed alien saucer at the bottom of Fenwick Trout Fishery.
"Just something to do."
When the Doctor wakes up Ace and Shou pour copious amounts of
coffee down his throat and then push him roughly into the back of
Shou's Skoda Favorit.
When they reach the lake Ace and Shou dive down gracefully (after
weighting down the Doctor's pockets with heavy stones).
At the bottom of the lake the three discover that the spaceship's
defense mechanisms are all keyed to respond to the Doctor's
The Doctor explains to Ace and Shou that he will become Merlin
at some point in his future. The two girls laugh insanely and
assume that he is still somewhat intoxicated.
Inside the spaceship, the Doctor, Ace, and Shou find the sword
Excalibur, still sending out its distress call, and a note left
behind by King Arthur which calmly explains that he is currently
residing in another dimension frozen in suspended animation until
the time of England's greatest peril - but if you absolutely
positively need to contact him, he's reachable on his mobile.
Ace is chipper and says "Well, that's great Professor! Just
give him a ring and everything will soon be sorted out."
The Doctor looks gravely and darkly into the middle distance -
"I'm afraid not. I left his number in my other jacket."
Lethbridge-Stewart bursts into the control deck of the spacecraft
"Brigadier!" Yelps the Doctor in surprise.
"Just Alistar Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart now Doctor. I'm retired.
No more military action hero lifestyle for me."
"Really? But you've just burst into an alien spacecraft armed
with a pistol."
"Bring and Buy sell gone horribly wrong. No time to explain.
Had to find you."
"But how did you know you'd find me here?"
"Honestly Doctor. As soon as I saw the first signs of trouble
I thought 'Where could that irrating little man be?' Then it
seemed obvious. The old crashed spacecraft in the bottom of
Fenwick Trout Fishery!"
"Just like that?"
"Well, I did check out the local pubs first. Wasn't sure which
of you would be behind this mess."
Meanwhile, Morgaine and her son Mordred have complete domination
over the charity bake sale.
The Doctor and Brigadier assess the situation from the distance,
noticing the insanely high price mark ups that the evil duo has
imposed. The Doctor asks Ace and Shou to leave quietly as
transdimensional beings of unimaginable power simply can not be
trusted near pastry.
Ace and Shou Yuing pretend to leave but actually hide behind some
bushes so that they won't miss any blood shed.
The Brigadier reveals that he's been using the Doctor's old car
Bessie for joyrides on weekends, to lively up his retirement.
It could be useful to go back to his house and collect it, as
long as it doesn't get damaged - he needs it for a drag race next
Convinced, the Doctor walks up the Ace and Shou's hiding place
and gives them Excalibur, telling them to find some place safe,
draw a chalk circle on the ground, chant Beatles lyrics backwards,
and stay inside the circle with the sword.
The Doctor and the Brigadier rush back to the Lethbridge-Stewart
home. Once there the Brigadier is terrified. Doris is having
her mother over for tea. If Doris catches him carrying a revolver
whilst fiddling with the car, she'll immediately know he's back to
old tricks, and even worse, he'll have to spend all afternoon and
evening with his mother-in-law.
As they walk into the garage the Doctor loudly bangs his head
on the door. Doris comes rushing out to see her husband and a
strange Scotsman doing something odd to Alistar's vintage car.
"Darling. Who is this?"
"Oh, Hello Doris! This is my old work chum, The Doctor. I've
told you about him. His crazy antics."
Sternly "And WHY aren't you at the bake sale darling?"
"Aliens dear. Whole place ripped apart by aliens."
"Oh I see. And you and your friend...trying to battle the evil
aliens are we?"
"Course not love. Thought we'd go out for a spot of golf."
"Alright then darling. Be home before too late. And don't
forget to take Sally out for a walk when you get home."
"Oh Alistar," started the Doctor. "You have a dog named Sally
"No Doctor. She meant my mother law."
Climbing into Bessie, The Brigadier explains he has an extremely
fun and violent plan to save the day -- for old time's sake.
The Doctor explains that he would much rather defeat the menace
through sheer voice projection and force of will. The Brigadier
is deeply disappointed by this, but is elated when he discovers
that the attack on the bake sale was simply a decoy to lure
attention away from the The Knife and Crazed Maniac.
Back at the pub, Ace and Shou Yuing huddle within the chalk circle
as darkness falls outside its borders, and begin snapping and
shouting racial epithets at each other to pass the time.
Morgaine arrives in person to collect the sword but is unable to
pass through the chalk circle's psychic barrier.
Therefore, she summons Dave, a hideous blue-skinned demon.
The Doctor threatens to kill Morgaine unless she leaves his
friends alone, but Morgaine knows he's bluffing.
The Brigadier, however, has a gun, and he isn't bluffing.
Morgaine orders Ace and Shou Yuing to hand over Excalibur, or she
will release Dave from her control -- and once free, he will most
likely do something particularly naughty.
Ace is annoyed at waiting for something bad to happen all the time.
"Damn it! If something bad is going to happen, might as well be
now. I'm sick of this crap."
Ace hands Excalibur over to Morgaine.
Morgaine laughs insanely, fueled by deep and malevolent powers.
Ace is surprised and pleased when the Doctor admits that he'd
probably have done just the same thing -- for a laugh.
The vortex tunnel to Morgaine's hideout is still open, and the
Doctor and the Brigadier leap through to confront the witch and
The Doctor tries to talk sensibly to Morgaine as the Brigadier
sneaks up behind her and easily takes the sword from her hands.
Morgaine threatens to release Dave, who guiltily admits that he
deliberately left the tunnel open so the Doctor could follow them
and seize Excalibur, so that Morgaine would be forced to release
him and he could devour the world -- he always tries to think a few
steps ahead in this sort of thing.
The Doctor feels sure that Morgaine is just bluffing and is quite
surprised when she releases Dave, who breaks his bonds and begins
swelling with power.
The Doctor insists that there is a clever, non-violent and, if he
has his say, pun-packed way to deal with this dilemma.
The Brigadier, however, knocks the Doctor out and then levels
his gun at the head of Dave the Demon.
The Brigadier carries the prone body of the Doctor out of the
ruins with the help of Ace and Shou Yuing.
"WOW Brigadier! You totally blew that demon's head clear off
his shoulders! AWESOME!"
Cleared of the ruins the Doctor recovers and explains that during
his spell of being unconscious, he remembered King Arthur's mobile
The Doctor frantically dials and to everyone's surprise a phone
rings in the Brigadier's coat.
"Of course! To return at England's greatest moment of peril!"
Exclaimed the Doctor.
"What's that? Why are you calling me silly man? I'm only five
feet from you."
The Doctor gave a wicked smile and said "My apologies liege."
Later, the Doctor, Ace, and Shou Yuing enjoy a relaxing evening
recounting their adventures as Lethbridge-Stewart bakes them
cookies and brews hot tea.
Book(s)/Other Related -
Doctor Who & And The Early Retirement of Death
Nicholas Courtney Sings!
"Ace And Shou Yuing Take A Hot Shower Complete With Bath Salts",(An
Erotic Adventure in Time and Space)
- Posted by Gimli on rec.arts.science-friction
Links and References -
Not only does the Doctor still carry Liz Shaw's old UNIT pass, but
he sometimes wears her boots.
Many of the Doctor's old foes - Yeti, Cybermen, and even Quirks -
appear on posters at the Brigadier's bake sale, all apparently
needing housing assistance.
Untelevised Misadventures -
There are countless hints that we've missed a lot of the background
story behind what has shaped the future of earth.
Obviously something happened that forced the Brigadier to retire
and make Doris so paranoid about him taking up world saving as
a personal hobby.
Also are we to assume that after each invasion of earth some aliens
are always left behind and then choose or are forced to try to make
an honest living in England? Or is something more sinister at
This story establishes that the Brigadier and King Arthur are
indeed the same person; So was there a particular crisis that
made him reincarnate into earth's 20th century (this one perhaps)
or have the alien invasions of the last 30 years collectively
accounted for the time of England's greatest peril?
What I'm driving at here is -- damn it! Someone please please
give me a commission to write a Brigadier spin-off series! PLEASE!
I'll call it UNIT 2099 and it will be awesome! I'll even release
it in manga first so I can capture the otaku market!!!!
Groovy DVD Extras -
3 more minutes of Lethbridge-Stewart turning the other cheek as -
Ice Warriors mug a pedestrian on his way to the Co-Op; Snotarans
rig a horse race that he had 5 pounds riding on; and the best of
all, Dustbins washing the Brigadier's windows out of the blue and
then demanding payment.
Dialogue Disasters -
Doctor: The Brigadier is suppose to die in bed.
Ace: Peacefully in his sleep? Not bad for an old soldier
Doctor: Something like that. I found him in that hotel in
Amsterdam. Heart Attack. Smile on his face.
Ace: (Shivers) Wasn't that terrible? To see him like that?
Doctor: I see through time Ace. I can always see him as he
was - young, vibrant, on the top of the world - and not
chained up to a four poster bed with silk sheets.
(Pushing away a punk rock fan)
Lethbridge-Stewart: My blood and thunder days are long past.
Punk Rock Fan: AWW MAN! Blood and Thunder were the best!
Shou Yuing: Can someone tell me what on earth is going on?
Doctor: SHOU! Can't you feel the evil from before the
beginning of time?!? The Earth is at the centre
of a war that doesn't even belong to this dimension!
Shou Yuing (unimpressed): Okay. Who's this jack off?
Dave the Demon: Ah...little man. What do you want of me?
Lethbridge-Stewart: Get off my world!
Dave the Demon: Pitiful. Can this world do no better than
you as their champion? I mean...get a load
of that moustache!
Doctor: Exotic alien swords are easy to come by...Aces are rare.
Doctor: Well, you're definitely not in the Argos catalogue.
Dialogue Triumphs -
Doctor: Maybe, I spent most of the middle ages hung over.
Anything could have happened.
(In the Lethbridge-Stewart's kitchen two old friends share a
touching moment, as the Doctor helps the Brigadier cut out
the gingerbread men)
Brigadier: Maybe I'm a bit old fashioned Doctor; an old greyhound
set in his ways - but doesn't it bother you to see
your girlfriend (embarrassed cough) so closely involved
with another woman?
Doctor: What's that Brigadier? My girlfriend? You mean Ace?
Oh, she's not my girlfriend.
Brigadier: I see. I just thought after all that business with
the Autons. You two looked...well WERE...very close.
Doctor: Just saving the world. Nothing more.
I could never remember...do you put the eyes on the
gingerbread men BEFORE or AFTER baking?
Brigadier: After. And don't go giving them silly umbrellas either.
These are proper gingerbreadmen. Gingerbread officers.
In full formal wear. The tightest ship of regimented
biscuit gentlemen ever to grace England's shores.
Doctor: Aye, Aye sir. But I'm still giving this one an eyepatch.
Brigadier: Quite. (Gazing into the livingroom where Ace and Shou
Yuing share a glass of wine).
Another thing you can help me with Doctor. Since you're
not involved, I hope you don't mind me asking.
If you two ever find yourself back in the 60s again...
be friend and put in a good word for me with Ace.
Doctor: But Brigadier, you're a married man!
Brigadier: I wasn't in the 60s.
Brigadier (Gunning down a demon): I'm too old for this shit!
Viewer Quotes -
"This is pretty much Doctor who meets Krull, and whenever ANYTHING
meets Krull, it isn't pretty. No one needs a quirky blend of sci-fi
and popular mythology THAT bad. Please, just leave the wacky
trans-dimensional swords and hokey gateways to hell dimensions
alone." - Gary Wiltham, "The Dungeon Master Chronicles" Issue 188
"I'm just writing this letter in response to Gary Wiltham, who was
featured a few months ago unfairly bashing Doctor Who. I used
Battefield: Earth as the basis for a Doctor Who GURPS game at
my local rpg club "The Dragon Stalkers of Wisconsin", and everyone
really loved it. And we all are experts at fantasy worlds. I
have been GMing every weekend since 1982, and this was easily the
most popular game I have ever done, next to my totally awesome
Mork & Mindy rpg which actually got written about in THIS VERY
MAGAZINE!" - Billy Brown, "The Dungeon Master Chronicles" Issue 190
"Is it true that Jean Marsh, who plays Morgaine, used to be married
to Jon Pertwee before she left him? If so she must be the stupidest
woman in the world. I've give anything to sleep with Jon Perwee.
I not gay though."
- Jeff Downie, embarrassing personal e-mail I promised to
release if he ever wronged me (October 13th, 1998)
"I think this story illustrates a very important lesson. If you
are going to tempt the wraith of god, by indulging in a sinful
sexual encounter with someone of the same gender -- you better do
it with someone really hot." - Father James O'Maley (1989)
Sylvester McCoy Speaks!
"One of the things that struck me the most strange at the time
was the conventions. I got the job on Monday and then on Tuesday
I was at this convention in Dorset being told how crap my Doctor
was! By Thursday I was in Atlanta and had the very definite
impression that fans were out for blood.
Of course as time goes on, I get used to them and they get used
to me. I survive their little assassination attempts and smile
and they respect my wily escapes.
It's a strange love-hate relationship -- but they buy my videos!"
Rumors & Facts -
As a season opener and farewell tale for the Brigadier this story
has few flaws and delivers strong and engaging dialogue.
I know that I am in the distinct minority of the 1/10th of 1% of
human beings who actually enjoy this story, and therefore I can
not possibly delve too deeply into the details behind the scenes
as this would seriously undermine my position.
If you want to spend lots of money buying some official publication
detailing exactly why this story is crap, go ahead, see if I care.
But if you are brave, and willing to overlook all evidence to
the contrary you can join me in my fun and happy land of denial
and enjoy this story as one of the true classics of Doctor Who.
Like most stories of it's era this one also offers further
insight into the character and philosophies of the Doctor -
Brigadier: So Ace, she's a little more...liberated...than many of
your other female companions. I take it she's a
Doctor: Honestly Brigadier. Why must you humans always think
of sexuality in such binary terms? On or off. Right
or Left. Straight or Gay.
Brigadier: Oh! So she's bi-sexual. I get it.
Doctor: Primary colours.
Brigadier: What's that?
Doctor: All you can see are three colours Brigadier.
Gay, Straight, Bi. Red, Blue, Yellow.
The higher evolved beings of the cosmos have gone
long beyond such limited palettes. They can paint
in all the colours of the rainbow and into the
ultra-violet. Where I come from Brigadier, we have
sex in colours that don't even exist.
Brigadier: Interesting. Still, we've got to kill that demon chap.
And in closing I'd like to comment that Gary Wiltham was indeed
a total wanker and I was so happy when they finally cancelled his
column in Issue #222 "Do Men Just Watch Barbarella for Cleavage?".
Gary Wiltham was a force that was really bring down the whole
of the Dungeon Master Chronicles. He never provided any useful
insight during his entire run in the magazine, except of course
for the alternate magic casting rules for the Lore Elves, that
was pretty great. Thanks Gary!