An alternate Programme Guide by
Twelfth Entry in the Charles Daniels Unauthorized Programme Guide O' Columns
Serial M - The Woman -
1. The Ralph Naders 3. Funspiracy
2. All Toads Love to Harm 4. Disco Inferno
After a real 'cliffhanger' the TARDIS crew try to compose themselves.
The Doctor has been piloting the TARDIS drunk again and landed them
incorrectly on a ledge before flipping end over end towards a valley
below. A strange Ralph Nader beams into the TARDIS and preaches to
them at length about his safety report for operating temporal vehicles.
After all taking a copy of his report he beams out as mysteriously
as he appeared.
The Doctor and companions walk out of the TARDIS to see where they
are. They appear to be on Earth, just outside of Rome in AD 64.
After a few moments of walking about they happen onto a Roman villa.
The Doctor breaks into the villa and discovers to his delight that
the occupant is off fighting in the Garlic Wars. He then quickly
decides that they should be squatters and abuse the household as
obscenely as possible. Using an expensive Egyptian vase as a
drinking glass filled with wine the Doctor get the idea that he and
Vicki should go to Rome and see if anyone even richer is off
fighting the Garlic Wars. Slowly he forms the scheme to go from
house to house in a big party tour of Italy. Ian and Barbara want
to stay in the villa and shag however so they seperate into two parties.
The Doctor and Vicki leave allowing Ian and Barbara to get piss drunk
and do the nasty near some pornographic frescos and lithographs.
However it does not all come out well as Ian and Barbara are captured
by a group of thugs with similar plans as the Doctor had. Ian is
sold as a galley slave and cooks horrible food aboard a slave ship.
Barbara is sold to the court of emperor Nero and takes on the gig
of a wacky stand up comedian. The Doctor is mistaken for Naughtius
Maximus, celebrated porn star and enemy of Nero, and it taken to the
Emperor's Palace; but it is quickly obvious he isn't a porn star when
he can't have sex to the tacky disco music that is piped into the
Ian cooks food so bad the entire ship becomes ill and crashed onto
a rocky shore. Ian feels proud to have escaped but that is somewhat
overshadowed by the fact he was honestly trying to cook something tasty
for once. Ian then finds himself in Rome where he is a hunted man,
in desperation he climbs unto some steps and begins to scream about
the future with other soothsayers. He is then mistaken for a prophet
and then for the messiah himself as he is observed lighting a cigarette
for one of his followers with a disposable fire lighter. Ian is
captured by Roman soldiers after preaching peace and tolerance while
beating up some merchants selling the 1st century equivalent of
key chains and t-shirts to unexpecting tourist in his name.
At the palace Ian encounters Barbara who decides that as a cover she
will mock Ian in her comedy act until she figures out an escape plan.
The Doctor meanwhile is looking for some papers to roll a joint in.
Using the first available papers he lights up, unaware that he has
used, and is burning, Nero's rejected plans for his perfect city.
Seeing his plans go up in smoke Nero is inspired into a plan to
commit arson and start "The Great Fire of Rome". As the walls
burn Barbara and Ian see their opportunity, as due the Doctor
and Vicki, to escape back to the villa. At the villa they party
for several days, the Doctor steals everything of importance and lots
of neat looking worthless items as well, and never once do the Doctor
or Vicki give enough of a damn about Ian and Barbara to listen to them
or realise that they've had their own misadventures in Rome.
Book(s)/Other Related - Doctor Who & The Woman
TARDIS Safety And You: Blood On The Vortex
Naughtius Maximus: Caligula's Home Movies
Fluffs - Hartnell seemed confused for most of this story
"There's a difference between resting and being sort of..
shag drunk crazy, I would suppose!"
William Hartnell keeps tripping and back tracking and skipping
over his lines, including keeping Michael Peake waiting for
his cue until he goes for it anyway, and then interrupting
and slapping him. Hartnell tells a guard to "stick it where
the sun don't shine you bastard."
"That, your excellency, would be an impossibisssity..not to
mention damned difficult."
"AD 64??? We're in AD 64?? My dear, 64 years After Dinosaurs!"
Fashion Victims - Hartnell insisted on wearing the more "open"
tunic in the orgy hall, which is somewhat bad
but maybe better overall as the black dot inserted
over his image covers up more than enough.
Goofs - Ian and Barbara keep food in the handy mini-fridge of the
villa while watching reruns of 'Up Pompeii' on TV.
Nero pays his arsonists in 2p pieces.
Nero's sword isn't the right shape and he wouldn't shove it
just into anything like that.
Technobabble - Nero speaks of "reversing the gears of the aqueduct flow".
Dialogue Disasters -
NERO: Close your eyes and Nero will give you a big surprise!
BARBARA: I'm a stand up comedian, not an intern.
NERO speaking of the Doctor's performance the previous night:
"He's all right, but not that good."
Dialogue Triumphs -
IAN: I've got a friend who specializes in illegal drugs. He dives
in and usually finds a contact.
NERO: So..you are a Woman!
IAN: No, I'm a ROMAN!
NERO: Centuwion! Thwow him to the fwloor!
CENTURION: Yes, he did sir.
COMMONER: He made fire emerge from his hand!
IAN: Oi? No I have this fire lighter you see and..
SLAVE: A firemaker! The device which brings forth the light of god!
IAN: What are you on about? It's not even a zippo.
Rumors & Facts -
After a series of scary, disgusting, and disturbing adventures it was
felt something light hearted was needed. The comedy mind of Tennis Fork
was put to use as a script writer for this story. The director
Chris Barrie often showed up drunk and confused as he had yet to get
his big break on Red Dwarf and would be stuck directing random Who
stories and appearing as various historical figures on shows like
The Young Ones and Blackadder.
There is the rumor that The Woman doesn't live up to it's reputation
of being a comedy however the production value of this story itself
is humorous. There is much confusion over the comedy because of the
more terrifying parts of the story, such as when the TARDIS crew
are strapped down and made to watch horrific time machine accidents
while Ralph Nader provides cryptic narration with loads of bad puns,
or when Ian serves his latest dish to the sickened crew of the slave
vessel and they all die of cholera.
The name of the story itself has long been speculated upon.
Most people believe it to be a reference to how Nero constantly refers
to Ian as a "Woman citizen".
There are also rumors that this was shown as a wacky comedy film
in Ireland under the name "The Life Of Ian" however any such film
would obviously be banned in Ireland.
This story caused great controversy because Ian's role seemed to
be suggesting he was a lot like a comical Jesus. However this was
easily explained away by looking at the original scripts in which
Ian's lines are in fact taken up by Jesus Christ who was hastily
written out as all evidence showed he would have been dead by AD 64.
A last minute change to the script was made in which a crucifixion
scene was dropped and a new funnier song and dance number was written
in called "Those Wacky Roman Emperors".
This story was not well received throughout England and a viewer at
the time commented "I've never used my television for target practice
before, but the temptation was too great. Usually the BBC is great,
well worth the price of the TV licence, but this time, was the exception."
Another viewer said..
"Well, me and my mates always say the quality of the BBC programming
is well worth the price of the licence, but this was the one excpetion
to it's otherwise outstanding public service."
These comments led to an investigation of the BBC Public Reaction Poll
takers as they were found to use the phrase "I have always believed the
BBC is well worth the cost of the TV licence" when indeed the exact
quote of the surveyed person was "OI?! Who in the hell are you?? Ahh
The BBC! I don't want to talk to you bastards!"