The Competent Foe

An alternate Programme Guide by Charles Daniels

The One Hundred and Fiftieth Entry in the Charles Daniels
Unauthorized Programme Guide O'Leading The Witness

 That's right!  150 of these weird little things!!  WOW!  Even thinking
optimistically -- that's 6 and one quarter days of my life, sitting
here at the keyboard, thinking up weird stuff in a dark room...without
the use of THAT'S what I've been doing wrong all this time!

 Anyway someone recently told me that if you compiled all these
entries, and took them to a bookbinder, and had the programme guide
as it stands now published into a hardback book - it would be 1,556
pages!  And if it was a paperpack, it would easily clock over 2,000!
 That's a pretty big project, one bite at a time.

 So, what I'm basically coming to is this ---  Anyone got a week I can
borrow?   I want all this time back in the end, y'know?

M I S T R I A L  O F  A  T I M E L O R D

Serial 7C2 - The Competent Foe -

Part Thirteen

 The Valeyard addresses the court of the time lords -

 "It is my contention that the Doctor has travelled the universe,
making the entire race of the time lords appear to the general
public as ill-manner buffoons.   The Doctor has done this, not just
by himself, but with other associates.

  A cursory glance at the Matrix datafiles shows that the Doctor has
travelled with barely dressed savages, ridiculous robot dogs, and...
yes...even Scotsmen.  But if that is not enough to chill you, then
one merely must look to his future associates -- A shape-shifting
penguin named Frobisher, a fish lady named Destrii, and if we are
to believe that the Doctor is a man of peace, with only good
intentions, then how can we explain his travels with A JUNIOR

 The Doctor and his degenerate associates have soiled the very
time continuum in which we live.  And, I dare the court to differ
with me, when I ask the Doctor why he never insisted that his female
companions put on some proper clothing!  Honestly, can his heart
truly be solely focused on saving the universe -- if he is happy to
take his companions to craggy, rocky, planets, wearing only leather
high heels, a mini-skirt, sleeveless top, and a purple feather boa?

 And isn't it suspicious, how he always seems to land these scantily
clad women on planets which are freezing cold???"

 The Valeyard nods to the court solemnly and the court is deathly
still.  A moment passes and then the Doctor begins his rebuttal -

 "My fellow time lords -- The Valeyard has fallen into my trap!
By mentioning my associates, and questioning my character - I am
now fully entitled to defend BOTH!

 And I will start with my most powerful and convincing character
witness.  Even though the Valeyard does not believe in my sincerity,
I have foreseen, through the matrix, a future in which time itself
will come to need a saviour -- And I present to you, Time's Champion...
better known to you as...THE DOCTOR!"

 A strange little man with a devious grin, a strange waddle, and a
bright red question mark umbrella enters the room.  The future Doctor
looks into the eyes of the 6th Doctor, his face a beam in smile,
he points his umbrella toward his previous self and shouts -


 The 6th Doctor, obviously shocked and taken aback replies desperately
to the court "I have no further questions for this witness!"

 The magistrate asks the Valeyard if he has any questions for the
witness and with a broad smile he says "At this time, we are happy
with the witness' testimony as it stands.  No questions."

 With that the magistrate declares that all evidence has been
presented.  Now all that is left is a brief, 30 second deliberation
over the various facts of the case and the strengths of the two
arguments, and then of course the Doctor's summary execution which
will be released to the public on VHS and Betamax.

 The Doctor protests that he has not finished with his character
witnesses and requests the court's patience.  When the court refuses
to hear any further evidence from the Doctor, the Doctor is doomed
for certain death.   With no other way out, the Doctor exploits a
convenient loophole in Gallifreyian law.

 "I object to my defense council!  My defense has been a sham! A
mockery! A side show of a defense by a disinterested individual with no
interest in my continued survival!"

 "But Doctor, you presented your own defense."

 "YES!  And now I'm to be executed!  What better evidence of
incompetence do you require??"

 The court deliberates briefly and concedes.  "The court is satisfied
that you are a clueless moron.  You will be appointed a public defender
for the remainder of this trial."

 The Time Lords present the Doctor's new defence lawyer to the court -
The Bastard!

 "Don't worry Doctor!  I've gotten myself off of so many counts of
genocide before this tribunal that it beggars belief.  Indeed, I'm
not even here completely voluntarily.  They've merely given me a leave
from my own trial taking place just down the hall!"

 The Doctor is deeply concerned, but the Bastard's defense strategy
is masterful!   The Bastard summons Glitz and Mel into the courtroom.
Questioning them he quickly discovers that the combined secrets of
the Time Lords were what Glitz sought on Ravolox.  The Doctor is deeply
frustrated that the Time Lords would hide their secrets on a random
planet easily accessible through major space lanes, but the Bastard
reveals that the "Secrets" were merely the identities of every Page 3
Girl until the year 4082.

  The Valeyard, clearly unnerved, requests a recess, but The Bastard
gleefully reveals his true identity - The Valeyard is THE DOCTOR!
He is a Doctor from the deep future who enjoys walks in nature, romance
on the beach, and is comprised of spite and evil.  The Valeyard seeks
the Doctor's lives, companions, and kitty cat lapel buttons, all for

 Then the Bastard reveals the culmination of his plans.  Instead of
killing the Doctor outright, he demands a more traditional time lord
trial, those once held by the founding time kings. The Bastard demands
that the Doctor is placed into a tacky computational matrix and made to
fight for his freedom in battles against scarcely believable cliche
monsters and random fictional characters from the novels of Charles

 The court replies "Bastard, you have requested the oldest, and
most noble trial ever devised in the history of our time lord race.
Through ancient tradition, and considering the resulting video sales,
we accept.  However, we warn you Doctor.  Few people have faced
Mister Pickwick and survived!"

 The Valeyard flees from the courtroom, but escapes seems impossible.
Just then, the future Doctor saunters up and causally gives the
Valeyard a harmonic key, which will allow him access to the Matrix.
As the Valeyard runs off toward the computational chambers, the
whimsical man tips his hat, adjusts his scarf, and disappears into
the shadows.

 Meanwhile, the Doctor is prepared for his new trial inside the
Matrix.  The Doctor is warned by the mysterious Keeper of the Matrix
that he is about to enter a virtual reality - constructed of Victorian
cliches and dark omens.   As if to prove the Keepers point, the first
thing the Doctor is aware of inside the Matrix is the unmistakably
gothic noises of disembodied voices singing children's songs and laughing
madly in the background.

 The Doctor however refuses to enter this land alone, and drags along
Glitz with him.  Within moments they are surrounded by the music of
a distant funfare, as a man with a knife approaches them -- the deadly
Mister Pickwick!

 In the most stunning cliffhanger of the season, The Doctor's face
contorts wildly -- and he braces himself for a sneeze.

Episode 14

 Surviving the pressures of a truly rigourous sneeze, the Doctor is
ready for action.

 However, to his intense surprise, Mister Pickwick asks the Doctor
if he'd like to go to the beach and have a fun day out in the sun.
Glitz agrees to this immediately - but the Doctor senses a trap.

 Seven sandcastles and three raspberry swirl ice creams later however
the Doctor is proven wrong.  Apparently Mister Pickwick is a charming
fellow who enjoys vacationing in Blackpool.

 Playfully Glitz buries the Doctor in the sand, but the Doctor rises
back up from the sand without a mark on him, reminding Glitz that they're
in a virtual reality and nothing is as it seems.

 Just as they are beginning to truly enjoy themselves, the Valeyard
shows up on the beach and throws a volleyball harshly against the
Doctor's face.

 The Doctor cries in anguish and asks the Valeyard how he could
possibly do something so cruel.  Laughing, the Valeyard explains
that now he has disposed of his moral side, he is free to act on his
base desires!!

 The Doctor questions the sanity of the Valeyard, pointing out that
inside of and with access to the Matrix there is literally nothing
the Valeyard cannot achieve -- so isn't it a bit stupid to just
throw a ball into his face?

 Embarrassed, The Valeyard vanishes.

  In the courtroom, Mel demands that the Time Lords retrieve the
athletic equipment from the Matrix before the Doctor can do any
further damage to it with his face, but the Inquisitor and Keeper
totally ignore her.

 The Doctor and Glitz are served fried chicken by The Bastard,
whose TARDIS takes the form of a beach hut.

  The Bastard thrills and laughs at the Time Lords -- being so stupid
as to actually give them a lovely beach holiday.

 Later that afternoon, after a good swim and collecting some sea
shells, anarchy erupts on Gallifrey, the corrupt High Council is deposed,
and the Bastard prepares to step in to fill the power vacuum.

 From the safety of the Matrix the Bastard rules over Gallifrey with
an iron fist.

   As a thank you for being so amusing over the centuries the Bastard
frees the Doctor from the Matrix, exonerates him of all crimes,
and allows him to travel freely through time and space once more.

 The Doctor however is still troubled by the events of the trial.
He is disturbed to see how he acted during his future adventures
in time. The Bastard explains that most of what he saw was the truth
in order to make the lies more convincing.

 He assures the Doctor that Peri, however, is still alive, and in fact
married Sil and lived happily ever after.

 "MARRIED SIL!?!!  You expect me to believe that!  She's dead isn't

 "Hmmm...yes, I'm afraid so Doctor.  I did try to ease your conscience.
Still, I must say, I am somewhat pleased you didn't fall for such an
obviously stupid story."

 The Doctor begins to return to the TARDIS, when to his annoyance
he is joined by Mel.

 "No, Mel!  You can't go in the TARDIS with me.  I'm afraid we
haven't met yet!"

 "You mean you haven't met me!  But I've met you!  And I'm suppose
to travel with you now, for the first time."

 "What are you gibbering about?"

 "Well, from what you will explain to me when we first meet, or when
I first meet you anyway, you had just stopped travelling with me....
hmm..this time stuff is tricky, but try to follow me Doctor!"

 The Doctor replied only with an exasperated sigh.

 "I'm going to travel with you for awhile, and then you'll drop me off.
And then soon after that, you'll meet me for the first time. And we'll
have lots more adventures together.  Adventures I've already had with
you, but which are still far in your future!"

 "But...but...that means you'll know all about me!  From all the time
we've travelled together!  You'll know my future!  And I'll know
nothing about you!"

 "YES!!  But when we first meet, you'll know everything about me, and
I'll know nothing about you.  So it will all be fair in the end!"

 "But wait!  You know my future!  What if you let something slip!?
The consequences to time could be unimaginable!  You must NEVER tell
me about my future, and our adventures together....except....."


 "Why don't you tell me about this Grant Markham chap.  Is he cute?"

 The Doctor spied Mel with a devilish smirk of curiousity.  And the
two new old friends disappeared into the TARDIS together, on the way
to a series of new adventures........

Book(s)/Other Related -
Doctor Who & The Charles Dickens OF DEATH!
Doctor Who - Adventures in Time, Space, And Fried Chicken
Doctor Who Beach Blanket Boogaloo

Goofs -
Colin Baker is apparently unsure when the cliffhanger for episode 13
is, and so he randomly gurns every few moments desperate not to miss
his cue.

Links and References -
Links to past, present and future abound in this confusing mess.
Most notably the Bastard talks a length about an adventure in which
he and Doctor fought off psychic whale people aided only by David
Bowie (is this a future or past adventure??????)

Untelevised Misadventures -
The 6th Doctor briefly mentions the time he aided the Brigadier in
an invasion of Kent.  "There were no aliens you see.  We just got
drunk and all the UNIT boys decided to invade Kent!  We had a hard
time explaining that one to Geneva!"

Groovy DVD Extras -
The "safety ending" which featured what could only be described as
"disturbing" evidence that Peri DID in fact marry Sil, and they
lived happily, and had sex quite a lot just to prove how happy and
hotly in love they were --- this was not aired as it proved too
frightening for adults.

Dialogue Disasters -


The Bastard: In all the time I have known you Doctor, there has been
             one constant - an overwhelming love of fried chicken!


Mel: The Bastard has taken over the planet?  How utterly evil!


Valeyard: There's nothing you can do to prevent the catharsis of
          spurious morality!

Dialogue Triumphs -


Doctor: I'm nothing to sneeze at Mister Pickwick!


Viewer Quotes -

"I've always been confused about who The Competent Foe is.  This story
seems to be about three master manipulators working against and for each
other.  First the Valeyard holds this elaborate trial in some vague
attempt to capture the Doctor's life force -- but he is undone within
seconds by the appearance of the I'm sure the Competent Foe
of the title isn't the Valeyard.

 Then, of course, we turn to the Doctor's oldest foe, The Bastard.  The
Bastard does succeed on getting himself removed from his own trial,
quickly disrupts the Doctor's trial, takes control the of courtroom,
the Matrix, and from there Gallifrey ITSELF.  But I don't think The
Bastard is the Competent Foe either.  He was obviously just capitalizing
on things that were happening around him, already set in motion by some
dark and sinister force...but, who is that force, The Valeyard?  A man
who uses his god like abilities to throw volleyballs in people faces and
vanishes in embarrassment?

 The only other person left is the 7th Doctor.  It was the 7th Doctor
who's testimony assured the 6th Doctor's character assassination.  It was
the 7th Doctor who provided the Valeyard with access to the Matrix -- the
place where he would ultimately be humiliated.

 Where did the 7th Doctor get the key to the Matrix?  What was his plan?
It's all very mysterious.  I am left to wonder if the whole thing was
nothing more than some elaborate show to place The Bastard in power over
Gallifrey!  So there!  My theory is that the 7th Doctor is the Competent
Foe...if not the ultimate one!
'Romana!  I've got a Jelly Baby in my trousers.'"
      - Charles Daniels, Usenet Posting, rec.arts.drwho (1998)

"There are a lot of fan theories out there trying to explain this story.
Trying to make the irrational, rational.  Trying to basically take a pile
of shit and pretending that if you looked at it from a slightly different
way, at a different angle with better lighting, then it would be a
masterpiece.  Take for instance the recent post by Charles Daniels.  I am
sure Charles has spent a lot of time watching this story, crafting pet
theories around it, to satisfy his ego and make himself feel brilliant.
But an audience shouldn't be expected to read ANYTHING AT ALL INTO A
It should be damned obvious who's evil and who's good and who's competent.
End of story!"  - Raxxon, Usenet Posting, rec.arts.drwho (1998)

"Dear Raxxon.  I am merely trying to give my interpretation of the clues,
hints, and weird stuff in the story -- and trying to make some sense of
the adventure.  I know everyone has a different idea about what this
serial meant or didn't mean.  I did say 'My theory is...'
'The planet Argolis, a place of wonder, tranquility, and the cheapest
car insurance in the western mutter spiral!'"
             - Charles Daniels, Usenet Posting, rec.arts.drwho (1998)

"Shut up you pro-Colin Baker troll!"
             - Raxxon, Usenet Posting, rec.arts.drwho (1998)

"Whatever...then again, maybe Sil is the competent foe.  I mean, he might
have married Peri and then faked their deaths.  He's pretty crafty for
a slug."       - Charles Daniels, Usenet Posting, rec.arts.drwho (1998)

"That's a very salient point actually Charles.  I'll have to remember to
use that idea for my new 6th Doctor novel submission 'Peri Is Raped
Repeatedly By The Fish People.'  Thank you."
                      - Raxxon, Usenet Posting, rec.arts.drwho (1998)

Psychotic Nostalgia -
"I wish my trial was this exciting!  I just plead guilty and got ten to
fifteen years!  Man, some people get all the perks, virtual realities and

Colin Baker Speaks!
"I was a pawn in a game of publicity and politics.  At the time, I thought
of myself as a Knight, or Bishop, but Michael Grade was always the King.
The Black King.  Of Death.

 I was just, unlucky.  Between Michael Grade, The A-Team, and all the
upheaval of the times...I mean, I've always blamed the decisions to move
Doctor Who around the schedule until the point when we were actually
lagging behind the ratings enjoyed by Roland Rat - The Series.

 Still it was a real laugh doing the show, and the best job on television.
Well, the best job on British television...before the watershed...well,
what I'm saying is, a few years ago I saw this Swedish programme and it
features this guy who has insanely rigourous sex with different young
Swedish girls and then gives his personal reviews of the experience to
the camera afterwards -- so yeah, THAT'S THE BEST JOB IN TELEVISION!
But Doctor Who is a close second...wait, umm, actually I've always wanted
to host Mastermind.  Still, I've started so I will finish -- Doctor Who
was the best job on television and that's that.  It was a real pain in
the arse to lose it.

 I can't complain about the experience of making the show.  It was
fabulous right up until that last day of filming.  We had a great big
season wrap up party...and then Michael Grade sent in three guys with
suits, who I swear were Orgons, and then they picked me up, dragged me
into a back alley, beat me senseless, and stole my wallet.

 It just goes to show you -- some of the magic stays with you for the rest
of your life."

Rumors & Facts -

 This season..umm, wow...what's the nice way to say this guys?

 This season...had problems.

 The most important episode of the entire season was without a doubt
episode 14. The episode which would conclude the season, neatly tying
all the disparate strands of thought into one understandable whole.

 This would take considerable time and effort from the greatest writers
in Doctor Who history.  However, for various reasons (whenever I say
"For various reasons" please read "I couldn't be bothered to get off my
arse and properly research anything because I'm lazy, drinking cheap
cider and eating hob nobs" and I've come to use "for various reasons"
as a crutch in writing this guide because I realise that there is almost
NEVER one single over riding reason for anything to occur, and it sounds
like I know what these reasons are, but they are so boring I've decided
not to bore you with them. But actually I'm just clueless.  Thank You).

 For various reasons the greatest writers and thinkers in Doctor Who
history were unable/unwilling to write episode 14. However they did
explain at length to JST awesome plot lines which would provide the most
amazing episodes of Doctor Who imaginable.

 JST searched for an available party to write the final episodes right up
until the scheduled filming dates for the episodes.  JST finally decided
to give the last two episodes to Pip and Jane Baker.  Pip and Jane asked
JST how the season was meant to end.  It was then that JST realised the
talented writers were exacting a horrid revenge upon him!

 All of the other authors contacted had described amazing endings in
detail. Now that he had commissioned Pip and Jane to write the final
episodes, he couldn't tell them any of the outstanding ideas -- for fear
of breaching copyright, being sued by the authors for nicking their ideas!

 Worst of all, whenever Pip and Jane did come up with a possible great
ending JST had to dissuade them from using it because something almost
exactly like that had been suggested by someone else!

 Eventually he told them to come up with any old random idea, as long as
it wasn't very good.  This way they could avoid legal action from the
crafty writers.

 Pip and Jane had to work quickly and come up with a way of tying together
all the season's loose ends in a way in which no one wanting to write a
logical or engaging story would ever consider.

 Although it was miraculous that Mistrial Of A Time Lord had been
completed at all, its reception by the viewing public was overwhelming --
that is to say, overwhelming bad.  The number of people demanding their
licence fee money back reached such a critical point that Michael Grade
had to take action.

 Grade contacted Doctor Who creator Sydney Newman about giving the
programme a make-over. Grade's initial suggestions included a new Doctor
more in the vein of Mr. T.  A Doctor that would travel America in a TARDIS
redesigned to look like a black van, and would be the mobile home of an
army of zany and wacky companions.

 This idea was dropped after hints of a law suit.

 Further suggestions from Grade that perhaps the TARDIS should become a
sleek black talking car piloted by a loner outcast Doctor supported only
by UNIT driving around in a trailer truck, would also go unheeded.

 Ultimately, Grade decided to renew Doctor Who for another year, but only
on the condition that Colin Baker be replaced as the series' star, despite
the objections of JST.  This decision led to one of the weirdest stories
in the entire history of the series -

JST Speaks!!
"Well, of course when I heard that Colin had to be axed from the series,
I was devastated.  We'd spent so much money on kitty cat lapels for the
next was economic madness to fire him!

 So, as hard as I took it, I knew Colin would be even more crushed.  So,
when I called him, I simply said "Colin, I've got good news and bad news."
And, he chose to hear the good news first, so I said 'Doctor Who is coming
back next year!' And the was thrilled, then asked for the bad news, and I
paused, and took a deep breath and said -

'We're going to have a smaller budget for your wardrobe.'

 And, I'll never know why I said that. I mean, in a sick way, it was
completely true. I just couldn't bring myself to telling the poor guy.
He was going to do Doctor Who for 26 years you know?  Anyway, I thought,
'Well I'll get the courage to tell him soon.  No need for it to be today.
He's happy.'

  And he was just over the moon, he thought we'd spent too much on cat
pins anyway, he said.

  So I waited.  And waited.  And it just got harder and harder, as he was
so excited.  You should have seen him.

  Anyway, eventually I hired on Sylvester McCoy, and I figured that would
tip the poor guy off.  But...all the media hype, all the magazines, he
just...missed it!

  So what was I to do?

  Anyway, he kept pressing to know when we'd start filming.  And so...I
gave him some dates...and booked a studio.  It was madness.  I mean, I was
spending money out of my own pocket commissioning scripts, and filming
whole stories, in some forgotten backlot of the BBC.

  And once we'd gotten his first season in the can, then came the next and
the next.  And it just dragged on, until one day after filming, I told
him..that's it Colin!  No more to make!  But, by was 1994!!

 Colin said he thought he had another 15 seasons in him, but I couldn't
afford it anymore.  So, in a moment of desperation, I hired Michael Grade
to bring in a few guys in Orgon suits and literally beat poor Colin off
the lot.

  Still, we'd done 9 seasons altogether.  And he was thrilled to have far
surpassed Tom Baker's record.He kept asking when they'd get on television.
It was difficult to come up with new excuses over 8 years,
but...we always found a way."

  After this interview with JST, I approached Colin Baker for a further
interview about his role as the Doctor -

 "Well, by my fifth season, things had really softened up.  What I liked
most about those years, was that my Doctor could be more openly
affectionate to his female companions.  In the old days, if I tried to put
my arm around Nicola Bryant and say "Back to the TARDIS now darling."
JST would be scared that the audience would forget my character was gay,
and think there was some sex going on between the Doctor and Peri.  Peri
was very voluptuous and sexual, and we had to be careful in that
relationship on camera.

 But when I travelled with Bonnie Langford, I could really be personal
and warm, because no one would possibly misconstrue my actions towards
her as having a sexual connotation.  It was obvious just looking at Mel
that any sane being would want to keep any relationship with her very

  So yes, I was able to give Mel the odd cuddle here and there and no one
would have to blast me off with a fire hose, which was always the problem
with Nicola.  It was all very, "Yes, cuddle with Mel as scripted, AND THEN
GET THE HELL OUT OF THERE!"   And I think it made my Doctor look very
compassionate -- being willing and able to cuddle Mel.

  Of course not many members of the public have seen those years sadly.
But JST's estate recently informed me that they've just made a very
lucrative deal with BBC 12...which is one of those new digital channels I
gather -- but sadly I don't get that one personally.  So, you'll have to
tell me what you think of it when it comes out!"