Terrified of Vervoids
An alternate Programme Guide by
The One Hundred and Forty-Ninth Entry in the Charles Daniels
Unauthorized Programme Guide O' Badgering
M I S T R I A L O F A T I M E L O R D
Serial 7C1 - Terrified of Vervoids -
The Doctor begins to present his own surreal defense. The Doctor
plans to show the court an adventure from his future! As the Doctor
has found references to his future adventures in the Matrix, he
concludes that, in order to have ever had those adventures, he MUST
have been acquitted from this trial and left to go free on his merry
The Valeyard is outraged! The Doctor has blatantly broken all
the laws of time by peering into his own future! And EVEN WORSE,
this heavily undermines his prosecution case!
The court concedes to watch this future adventure of the time lord
(as long as it's under 6 episodes in length and has better cliffhangers
than the last round of evidence they were forced to sit through) --
The year is 2986, a hellish world of cheap intergalactic tourism
controlled by the vicious megacorporation - Atari. The Atari starliner
Hyperion III is on it's way from Earth to the planet Mogar, where it is
hoped the locals will embrace a new 3-D Holographic form of the video
Meanwhile, inside of the TARDIS, Mel is nagging the Doctor constantly
as he works out on a plastic exercise tricycle.
"Doctor. Now that you've lost a few stone, I thought I would sign
you into a computerized dating service!"
"Yes, and after checking and cross referencing 1,094,039 entries -
I've found the perfect person for you!"
"Really?" Uncertain. "Is he cute?"
"SHE's Very Intelligent actually."
"SHE?! SHE?!! Honestly Mel, how many times do I have to explain
this? I *AM* GAY! I am attracted to other members of my own sex!
I crave hot man-on-man action!"
"Oh Doctor! We'll sort out all of your little peccadilloes!"
In the courtroom the Doctor stops the playback and demands special
commendation considering that he didn't kill Mel violently then and
there. The court takes this into consideration, and the evidence
Inside the TARDIS the Doctor hears the distinctive cry of a distress
call - "OH MY GOD!! WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE!! THE WALL IS MOVING!!
THEY'RE COMING OUT OF THE WALLS!! OH GOD!!! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh---"
Mel races to the console room asking the Doctor where the crisis is -
"The starliner Axrios, in the Klevin Galaxy. Good thing we're going
to the Hyperion."
"Can we mount a better rescue operation from there, Doctor?"
"Rescue operation??! The crew of the Axrios have all died due to
a horrible Wirrn invasion. Now the Hyperion, there's a vessel with
some excellent canapes!"
The Doctor turns to the court and mentions that his future self has
a quite dry wit, and subtle humour....which is somewhat belied when
the TARDIS actually does land aboard the Hyperion and the Doctor
immediately starts sampling the appetizers.
Mel is annoyed at the Doctor enjoying a full meal, when just a handful
of light years away the people abroad the Axrios are themselves being
"Small creatures grow, only to be eaten by larger creatures, who are
themselves eaten by predators. It is the natural cycle of life. The
very essence of the cosmos, the great undeniable balance of
existence...be a dear and pass the mustard, would you Mel?"
The liner's stewardess, Janet, brings a cup of coffee to the Doctor
and asks if he knows how to pilot a transwarp galactic cruiser.
The Doctor concludes that this crew must also be in imminent peril
and so he explains calmly to Mel that he has had a premonition of evil
and in response, has decided to flee.
In the courtroom the Doctor addresses the jury, claiming that he has
provided them with evidence that in the future he no longer wishes
to get involved with primitive cultures, or in any way influence their
natural dress sense.
Before their escape, The Doctor and Mel are taken to the bridge to
explain their presence to Commodore Travers, and the Doctor recognizes
Travers from a previous encounter.
"Travers! We defeated the Yeti together in Tibet...but...wait...
that was a thousand years ago! Humans don't live that long! What's
happened? The Great Intelligence? Did Ann raise you from the dead
in some horrid dark ceremony of evil? Vampirism, old friend?"
"Nothing so exotic Doctor...just bad continuity."
"Ah! Same as always then. Fair enough."
Travers refuses to let the Doctor and his young companion leave
until they have explained what the Doctor was doing with an inactive
Yeti sphere, conspicuously (and badly) hidden in his left shoe.
Travers isn't willing to buy that old "I always keep that old thing
there! Blisters the heel like a bitch I can tell ya!" story again
Travers knows the Doctor won't break easy. He'll have to be devious,
cruel, inhuman, if he's ever to get the answers he needs from the
mysterious Doctor. To this end he tells Mel where the gymnasium
is and suggests that she could continue her exercise program with
the Doctor there, until he's willing to talk.
After approximately 5 seconds on the cross trainer, the Doctor
breaks down and admits to everything - he is the Great Intelligence,
he created the Cybermen, he ate the last chocolate digestive biscuit...
ANYTHING and EVERYTHING, he just wants it to stop.
Back in the courtroom the Doctor points out that he only cracked
and agreed to help the humans under the persuasion of torture.
Meanwhile back in the gym, the ship's alarm system has kicked into
action. The ship's loudspeaker announces the presence of an insane
psychokiller, taking out everyone in sight. Mel insists that this
is their time to act!
"Defeat one psychokiller and you've defeated them all, Mel. I'm
terribly bored with it. Still, have fun if you like. You can
investigate this one yourself."
The Doctor interrupts the events on screen again - insisting that
this is NOT what happened when he fabricated this evidence originally!
The Doctor is outraged that someone has tampered with his fabricated
The Valeyard insists that the Doctor is presenting a new companion
with no introduction to gloss over Peri's death, and the rather
embarrassing conversation he had in his first journey with Mel -
"Mel! Travel the stars with me! See times hence, times forth,
and some times never to be. We can explore a world of magic, mystery,
and wonder together."
"Is it safe?"
"Well...I had a girl get killed by a giant slug last week...but
other than that - it's like falling off a rock."
The Doctor looks toward the Valeyard with deep contempt.
Mel is attacked by phallic plant monsters.
The Valeyard attacks the Doctor, saying that there is always a
"phallic element" involved with the creatures he choses to defeat -
hinting that the Doctor suffers from feelings of inadequacy.
Back on the Hyperion...
The Doctor is enjoying a nice mango ice cream as all around him
people scream in terror, their contorted bodies being dragged on
deadly vines toward the digestive systems of carnivorous plants.
Travers begins to suspect trouble. He is sure that the Doctor is
guilty, bringing foul monsters onto his ship, but no other seasoned
investigators happen to be onboard. Reluctantly, Travers asks the
Doctor to investigate the matter.
The Doctor begins by asking Travers if he has encountered anything
strange on his trip to Mogar. Travers explains that it has been
a textbook journey - he was even able to shave 12 minutes off its
travel time by skirting closer to the hyperdimensional nexus of pure
evil - a dark and ancient universe filled with ancient and insane
"Just with that one minor course correction, I've changed the duration
from 3 years to 2 years, 364 Days, 23 Hours and 48 Minutes!"
The Doctor congratulates Travers on his keen navigation skills, and
prepares to follow other lines of inquiry, hoping that one of them
will provide some clue as to why mysterious events are plaguing the
The Doctor and Mel ponder their next move in this risk-filled game of
death while Janet hands out drinks to the passengers. The Doctor
tries to warn the passengers about approaching too closely to the
man-eating plants - but they insist he's overreacting. Annoyed that
these humans are too stupid to ever lift a finger to save themselves
from alien invasions, the Doctor begins to punch the passengers
violently in their stomachs.
The Doctor turns to the jury, looking decidedly thirsty.
In the courtroom, the Doctor takes a swig of dry cider as on the
screen the passengers recover from their pains.
Travers,not certain that the Doctor can really be counted on, contacts
a strange god-like entity from the hyperverse, known only as He Who
Can Not Be Trusted. HWCNBT suggests to Travers that the plant menace
will subject the passengers to a fate worse than death, and as a matter
of compassion, HWCNBT would rather just subsume their souls now, rather
than make them go through needless suffering. Travers considers
HWCNBT's argument, and finally agrees - provided that he starts with
coach and works his way up to first class.
Janet reports to the Doctor that they have run out of milk, so only
black tea and coffee are now available. The Doctor is shocked to the
core at this news, but pledges to valiantly go on --- at least until
the sugar runs out as well.
Mel approaches the Doctor, hoping he can identify the mysterious leaf,
but the Doctor just turns it over in his hands saying -
"Botany? That's more of Peri's field. She could have told us --
if she wasn't such a stupid bimbo and got herself killed! Damned
annoying how humans just die on you like that. Well, except for
Travers I guess...but that's just bad writing."
The Doctor tells Mel that he has been researching the legends of
Old Earth and has come across one example of a story which could
help them defeat the foliage menace. A dark legend of titans and
greed -- Jack and The Giant Beanstalk. The Doctor stands proudly
amidst the wreckage with an axe and a smile.
In the courtroom The Doctor faces the court with an expression of
The plant creatures, which have now formed a socialist commune and
freely elected to call themselves 'The Vervoids', are desperate to
stop the Doctor chopping them down.
They begin to argue loudly and viciously between themselves, worried
that any attack mounted to defend themselves, might, in same vague and
undefined way, be bad for the environment.
Meanwhile the Doctor is wandering around the ship carrying an axe
when a being of immense power shambles next to him and calmly asks
for directions to the cabin class section of the ship. The Doctor
gives clear and concise directions and bids the fellow passenger a
The Valeyard insists that this represented a callous disregard for
life! The Doctor has given a dark and ancient god complete directions
to his victims.
"It was just common courtesy!! How was I suppose to know that it
was He Who Can Not Be Trusted! The Old Ones don't necessarily invite
me around for dinner with their wife and children you know! I was
just helping a fellow passenger!"
The Doctor happily makes his way into the bowels of the starcruiser
and hacks the Vervoids into a million jillion pieces.
Having saved the day, the Doctor and Mel depart from the ship, as
Travers thanks the Doctor for his help and asks him not to come back.
In the courtroom the Doctor and the Valeyard discuss the events
seen in evidence.
"So you saved the lives of the remaining humans on the Hyperion III."
"Yes! Without me, they would have all died."
"And you eliminated the Vervoid menace?"
"All of them?"
"Yes, sadly, I had to hack them all into teeny tiny weeny weeny
pieces - and then bake them up in a quiche. Delicious!"
"Members of the Court! You have heard the confession from the
Doctor's own mouth! I am left with no alternative but to charge
him with......BEING A VERY NAUGHTY BOY!"
"A very naughty boy!?!!?"
"YES!! Oh..wait....I meant GENOCIDE!! Sorry about that!"
The Doctor stares at the camera with a look of deep panic!
Book(s)/Other Related -
Genocide For Dummies
Plants - Nature's Little Bastards
Licking the Enemy, The Compleat Alien Menace Cookbook
The Vervoids wear trainers
Some of them have West Country accents.
All of them are overly phallic.
Links and References -
The Doctor has met Travers on seemingly countless occasions -
fighting of Yeti, Tellytubbies, Dark Gods, and Boy Bands.
Untelevised Misadventures -
Mel has apparently been torturing the Doctor with exercise throughout
their last several adventures. The Doctor obviously MET Mel at
some point...and ummm....there are just a lot of missing adventures
with Mel, so I haven't really looked into what those are.
Groovy DVD Extras -
The Doctor meets his own archnemesis - Richard Simmons - in a scene
deemed too gruesome for television. "Sweatin' To The Oldies In Time"
Dialogue Disasters -
Mel: Doctor! The people of the Axrios! They've been pulverised into
fragments and sent floating into space. Now maybe you think I'm
a bit sentimental, but in my book, that's murder.
Travers: On the previous occasion that the Doctor's path crossed mine,
I found myself involved in a web of mayhem and intrigue.
A Web of Fear you might say.
Dialogue Triumphs -
Mel: Oh Doctor! You can't be serious about this silly little
gay phase you're going through. Time to CHEER UP and have
a proper relationship, with a real woman.
Doctor: Fuck off.
Mel: But it's not like you've ever really HAD a boyfriend, is it?
Doctor: What do you mean?! What about Grant! Grant Markham!
Mel: Oh Doctor! That doesn't count as a serious relationship.
He was 800 years younger than you. That was doomed to fail.
Anyway...didn't he leave you for your arch-nemesis the
Bastard or something?
Doctor: Fuck off!
Viewer Quotes -
"This story stands out as a shining example of the special effects
philosophy of Doctor Who -- stick a guy in a plant suit and hope that
no one notices." - Chris Gower (1993)
"People have rushed to say that Boonie Langford was horrible in every
scene; That she was miscast, jarring, stupid, and insufferable -- her
critics have not been so kind." - David Grumbly (1999)
"I was very annoyed by this story. Killer plants, Dark Gods, evil
portents of doom -- good enough. But this story, sort of teases
and tortures the viewer, saying proudly "See, the Doctor went off
and had all these awesome and amazing adventures with his younger
lover Grant. They had a romance across time and space, until it
was all tragically dashed by the Doctor's greatest foe - The Bastard.
BUT, you don't get to see any of that. Nope. You just get Mel."
- Charles Daniels (2004)
Psychotic Nostalgia -
"I was exercised once....or was I exorcised? Can't recall which.
But it tasted kinda' minty."
Colin Baker Speaks!
"This story was a valiant attempt. At what, I don't know.
But you could see them both - JST and Saward, out there...attempting.
It was actually quite painful."
Rumors & Facts -
Saward and JST needed a new companion for the series. They wanted
to re-capture the vitriol and hatred between the 6th Doctor and Peri
that had been so fantastically unpopular the season before.
Saward and JST felt that they should assure that the characters they
created would never willingly, or logically, stay in a room together
for longer than five seconds. And so they composed a list of
everything they hated about humanity and this was used as the template
for the character of Melanie Bush.
Saward believed that the series should end with the Doctor leaving
Mel to freeze to death on an asteroid filled with Cybermen.
JST and Saward looked for months to find the perfect actress to
portray Mel. JST eventually chose Bonnie Langford because he believed
that she could scream in the key of F. This would provide a perfect
segue into the closing theme music.
Through the end of 1985 and the start of 1986, Bidmead worked on
an adventure entitled "Placebo". Finally, however, Saward decided to
abandon the story, telling Bidmead he felt Placebo lacked sufficient
substance and had had no effect on him.
JST handed the commission for a replacement script to Pip and Jane
and Saward responded by leaving Doctor Who. Saward blabbed all the
dirty laundry of his tenure to anyone that would listen...in this
case, Starburst Magazine and a confused goat.