8041 Paradise Towers

An alternate Programme Guide by Charles Daniels

The One Hundred and Fifty-Second Entry in the Charles Daniels
Unauthorized Programme Guide O' Leases

Serial 7E - 8041 Paradise Towers -

Onboard the TARDIS Mel is criticizing the Doctor over the unfortunate
outcome of their previous adventure together.  Overall Mel disliked
her time on Lakerytan.  Not only was she tortured by monsters, severely
injured by the locals, but also profoundly embarrassed when the Doctor
failed to triumph over his arch-nemesis the Rani.  In fact, not only
did the Doctor fail to prevail, but he complimented the Rani on her
fine work and attention to detail, before leaving her with the tools
to take over the entire cosmos and end life as we know it.

 The Doctor merely shrugs when Mel demands an explanation for his

 Deeply annoyed, Mel confronts the Doctor -

 "Doctor, your lifestyle.  It's not exactly...correct, is it?  Not
for a man of your advanced years.  You have been in this TARDIS for
centuries, doing what is basically the Time Lord equivalent of living
in your car."

 "I always saw myself as more of a train hopping hobo...only, I own
the train."

 "That is EXACTLY what I mean.  Doctor, I mean to be nice.  But, I simply
can't travel the galaxy and see the wonders of the universe with someone
who is so irresponsible and uncommitted.  That's why I've decided.
Starting today, you are going to live in a single place, have a
respectable apartment, in a fashionable tower block.  And, Doctor, you
are also going to have to get a job."

 "I have a job, if you didn't notice.  Saving the universe."

 "Yes, yes...and that's all very nice I'm sure.  And I know you want to
help people.  You like helping people.  That's why I've gotten you a
proper job -- as a Youth Guidance Counselor.  You'll be helping young
people, every day, 9 to 5, and get a steady income to boot!"

 "Mel!  That is the most completely insane, inane, and mundane thing I've
ever heard a human companion say to me in all my travels."

 "Now Doctor, don't get mean or abusive."

 "In fact, that idea is so patently ridiculous...I'll give it a try."


 "I'll give it one week.  And if I like it...we'll see from there."

 The Doctor leaned his impish face on the handle of his question mark
umbrella and gave a smile which would send shivers of dread down the
ice cold spine of an unfeeling Cyberman.  In Mel's case however
she returned a vacuous grin, pleased that the Doctor had been sensible
and agreed to her fabulous idea.

 The Doctor and Mel arrive in a gleaming new tower block - Paradise
Towers.  Paradise Towers has won a record breaking number of awards
for architecture.  Art Students are known to travel from distant
light years - hoping to take quiet solace in the classic Art Deco design
of the corridors, and finding themselves bursting into tears of envy and
joy at the sight of the plumbing fixtures.  Back on earth, the Louvre
has an entire wing dedicated to just examples of the light switches.

 The Doctor and Mel get their own separate apartments, number 8041 and
9672 respectively.  Mel decides to enjoy an afternoon window
shopping, while the Doctor reads up on the various schools in Paradise
Towers, the culture of the completely contained society, and also flicks
through a pamphlet on the subject of the local youth scene.

 The next morning the Doctor starts his first day as the local youth
counselor.  Throughout the day he only sees three youths - Betty, Lisa,
and David.  Betty confides in the Doctor that she's five pounds over
weight and has considered going on a diet.  Lisa tearily confesses that
she forgot to finish her English homework, now has to stay late after
school for a week, and is horribly depressed that she could be so
irresponsible.  And David confides that he can't decide if he should
ask Betty or Lisa to the prom -- because, shucks, they're both so darn

 The Doctor sorts out all these problems within seconds, and spends most
the day reading the local newspaper, which is mostly about lost puppies
and crosswords.

 The next day is a replay of the first.  And the THIRD day of work is
shaping to be a repeat of the previous two, until the Doctor sparks a
very interesting conversation with Betty, who is unsure if she should
go on a vegetarian diet.

 "So, Betty, getting away from my advice about potatoes for a moment.
Have you ever...I don't know, wanted to do something more with your life,
something BIG, something...important?"

 "Ummm......no.  Like what?"

 "Oh I don't know.  Go into medicine, become a volunteer for charity,
completely destroy and subvert the natural social order of your entire
world.  Something along those lines?"

 "Well...I like kittens."

 "Excellent start!  You could work at an animal shelter.  Or....maybe,
take your passion for kittens and re-focus it into..I don't know --
vague schemes for world domination.  Just something more interesting to
pass the time.  Starting small.  Maybe just weekends at first."

 Betty is confused by the discussion with the Doctor, but mentions it
to her friend Lisa.

 Two days later, a small shop on level 134 explodes.

 Mel is terrified when she sees a news story cleverly buried between
the headlines "OAP To Read Children Stories At Library This Weekend"
and "Life Gets Better At 300", which reads "Insane Killer Girl Gangs
Ravage Woolworth's and Explode Pet Shop".

 Mel rushes to speak with the Doctor and catches a glimpse of him
slipping a copy of a small handbook "Anarchy For Beginners" to a girl
in a poodle skirt.

 "DOCTOR!! I'm shocked!  What do you think you're doing?"

 "MEL!!  How glad I am to see you."

 "Are you telling young girls to blow up buildings and stab people?"

 "I'm not TELLING them to, no, of course not."


 "Well, It's just.  After a few days of angst about pimples, grades,
and boys; I thought I'd give them some interesting things to do.
New recreational outlets.  Take their minds off things.  You wouldn't
believe how mentally scarring it can be to be young and constantly
worried about your body image.  This is making them feel better!"

 "I don't want you to make them feel better! I want you to help them!"

 "I've taught them to help themselves..."  A group of young girls smash
out of a shop window clutching wide screen televisions "..to just about
anything they want!"

  Mel feels a surge of pain and betrayal and runs off.  The Doctor smiles
brightly and trods off over the broken glass of the store front.

  Mel wanders through the towers crying until she becomes lost.  She is
met in the hallway by a friendly pair of old ladies who offer her a
hot roast dinner and some pleasant company.

  After dinner the old ladies treat her to some biscuits and tea.

   "How do you take your tea darling?" asked the old lady Tilda.

   "Oh with milk please!"

   "Oh dear!  I'm afraid we are out of milk!  How did we ever run out of
milk Tabby?"

   "Honestly Tilda!  We ate Dennis the milkman for tea!!  That's why we
don't have any milk for tea now!  I told you that would happen.  You
really are a little ditzy one aren't you?  I kept begging you not to
eat Dennis. However will we get the milk now?  You should have killed
Mr. Henderson!"

   "I did!!  Two weeks ago!!  Now who's memory is on the blink?!"

   "NO!  That was old Mr. Henderson!  I meant kill YOUNG Mr. Henderson."

   "Umm...excuse me.  Ladies.  I think I must be misunderstanding.  What
happened to Dennis the milkman?"

   "He was the roast darling.  Don't worry about it.  Those were lovely
yorkshire puddings though, weren't they?  Tilda does great yorkshire

   The next morning the Doctor is beaming and excited about his day!
Girls in blue and red dress are spotted in the lowest levels of the tower
block engaging in deadly knife fights.  The Doctor sees countless streams
of injured, pregnant, and extremely violent young girls.  Joyously he
gives them tips on how best to build their self-esteem, using other people
as pawns in their ruthless power struggles.

  Later that evening the Doctor puts in ear plugs to block out the
sounds of constant sirens, in order to enjoy reading some inspirational
material he's been recommending to the girls - "A Clockwork Orange".

 The evening only turns on a sour note when the Doctor eventually hears,
in an emergency news bulletin, an order for his capture and immediate
execution.  It seems that the Chief in charge of Paradise Towers has
unravelled the Doctor's part in this little game.

 The Doctor doesn't wish to flee the tower block before his work and
promise to Mel are completed.  The Doctor knows that the Chief will
send all of his men out with orders of shoot to kill, so he needs to
devise a distraction that will slow them down.

 The Doctor sneaks into a communal laundry room and discovers a small
collection of innocent little robots.  A few moments of hardware
tampering and software protocol changing is all that is needed to
transform them into an army of killer machines - The Cleaners.

 The Cleaners march through the city, and, due to a minor mistake in
the construction of an "if" statement, the robots do not restrict their
actions to annoying and delaying law enforcement officials, but instead
go on a thoughtless killing rampage throughout the tower block.

 While on the run from killing machines of his own design, the Doctor
meets up with Betty and Lisa, who have now taken to calling themselves
Bin Liner and Fire Escape.  The Doctor explains that he has released
a race of murderous robots into the complex, and the girls stand in awe.
The Doctor is the singularly coolest person they have ever met.
Even when the robots attempt to viciously disembowel all three of them,
the girls are still overwhelmed by a deep respect and envy.

 Bin Liner and Fire Escape beg the Doctor to show them something else
cool and devious.  The Doctor is in a rush and wants the girls to make
more decisions on their own.  He secretly dreads the possibility that
this place will return to it's boring, normal hum-drum existence once he
has left, and needs to give these girls the vital skills they will need
to continue without him.  BUT, desperate to keep their interest and
encourage them, the Doctor decides to kill two birds with one stone.
He entertains Bin Liner and Fire Escape, and assures that they will have
life long sugar highs on demand, as he teaches them how to carefully
tilt and then shove their hands up drinks vending machines to retrieve
free cans of soda.

 Meanwhile, Mel finds herself worryingly tied to a sofa in Tilda and
Tabby's kitchen.

 In the burning corridors of the apartment complex, the girl gang known
as the Red Kangs act as bodyguards for the Doctor.  The Doctor wants
the Red Kangs to join forces with the Blue Kangs, and the Yellow Kangs.
He explains that after teaching them that there are actually more than
just the primary colors, he would like to see them kill the ruling
elite and then take over control of Paradise Towers directly.

 Elsewhere, Mel enjoys some relaxing conversation with Tilda and Tabby,
between screaming fits begging for her life.  The conversation is going
rather predictably against her, the old ladies are very hungry after all,
when, for no apparent reason - the old ladies are attacked by a giant
robotic crab.  The Doctor arrives with the Kangs, who are surprised by
Mel's stupidity, associating with and trusting old ladies.

 The Doctor is fascinated by the killer crab, and explains to Mel that
the Cleaners he augmented have started to "robotically evolve"!

 The Doctor is worried that he has unleashed a menace that will completely
kill off the population of the tower block, not entirely his actual
intention. The Doctor breathes a sigh of relief when he hears the news
that all the local law enforcement has been sadistically murdered by
The Cleaners, but that they no longer pose a threat as a group of old
ladies have tied them up with their knitting and begun to eat them.

 With the death of all the regional authorities and the final destruction
of the killer robots, a power vacuum has been created.  The Doctor tips
his hat and tells the warring girl gangs that he trusts them to take over
Paradise Towers.

 The Doctor and Mel walk back to where they left the TARDIS. The courtyard
is now run-down and filthy, covered in graffiti and filled with broken
beer bottles and used condoms.   The TARDIS is covered with scrawled
obscenities, and the stench of smoke and burning circuit boards fill
the air.

  The Doctor smiles widely at his creation.

  "Glad to help."

Book(s)/Other Related -

Doctor Who & The Girl Gangs of Death (UK Novelization, follows TV serial)

Dr Who & The Girl Gangs (Canadian Novelization, Added Nudity and Drug Use)

Dr Who & Super Demon Vampire Girl Gang Princesses (Japanese novelization,
Even more nudity, illustrations with fabulous girl gang costumes, giant
swords, and added tentacle love scenes.)

Goofs -
I don't know if this counts or not, but the word "wanker" is mis-spelt
in pink on the TARDIS door.

Links and References -
Oh my god!!  Could it be???  A story which DOESN'T rely on some
half-arsed connection to a throwaway line during the Pertwee era??????
It's like...the writer wanted to have...an original idea...or something.
That's weird.

Untelevised Misadventures -
The Doctor eventually admits that he had a hand in the design of
Paradise Towers, sometime after his mental breakdown in Miracle City...
in which he killed all the residents for dirtying the public toilets
he lovingly designed.

Groovy DVD Extras -
The cut scene which explains how the girls got pregnant after only
48 hours of the Doctor's arrival in the tower block.
I haven't had the courage to watch the scene, as I'm worried it
involves the question mark umbrella, or the question mark pull over
in some way, and apparently, the 7th Doctor is smoking heavily throughout
whilst gurning.

Dialogue Disasters -


Chief: Doctor, you may be a semi-immortal god-like being.
       But I reckon I could still beat you at Scrabble.


   Mel: I'll miss Tilda and Tabby.

Doctor: But Mel, they were cannibals!

   Mel: Yes, but they weren't BAD people.  They were quite charming.
        Even when they started to pour the gravy on me.  It was nothing
        personal.  Do you know their grandson Evan was going to
        Cambridge?   Lovely people really.


Dialogue Triumphs -


 Mel: Even though things turned out pretty bad with those girls,
      they did like you.

Doctor: Well, one tries to be a mentor.


Viewer Quotes -

"After Romp With The Rani, Doctor Who is quick to point out that it is
a show of multiple strengths -- after all, it can have stories that
take place entirely in corridors AS WELL as stories in quarries!
It's rare that a television series is the master of two such settings,
especially settings which are so radically different from each other.
One being outside and the other being undeniably inside...a small studio..
which you can see the edge of...in almost every shot."
                              - Derrick Warris (1993)

"A slow, but profound build up, to a classic and memorable series of
Doctor Who!"  - Roger "Optimist" Ricards (1987)

"I was disappointed by this story.  Well, not by the story itself
actually.  It's just, I was a desperate teenage boy when I first saw
this and I kept hoping that rampaging girl gangs wearing primary colours
would break into my bedroom and rape me to death.  But instead, I just
collected Garbage Pail Kids and cried myself to sleep every night.
Pathetic really."  - David Dennis (1999)

"What strikes me as odd, and great, about this story is that you have
the whole Nazi thing, which is a big theme in the McCoy era.  The Chief
Caretaker of Paradise Towers and his stooge officials are Nazis in
knock off uniforms -- but the Doctor out does them all!  He walks over
these Nazis like innocent little puppies and laughs gleefully as robots
tear them apart.  And I think that's great!"  - Finn (2004)

Sylvester McCoy Speaks!

'The weirdest thing that ever happened to me in all my time playing the
Doctor happened during the filming of this serial.  I was rehearsing
a scene, and this scary fan had somehow found his way onto the set,
and he approached me and said something I'll never forget, he said

"Excuse me.  When you were in your third persona and you had to break
into that safe on the planet Thalfurgal, what was the exact combination?
I've always wondered about that, and also how you felt when you saved
the universe after the giant spiders attacked your friend Jo Grant."

 And he took it all completely seriously.  He was convinced that I
was the Doctor!  That it was all true and real.  I'll never forget his
face, it was sort of...well, a lot like yours actually.

  Eerily like yours in fact.

  Yes, well Charles, I've got to go now, nice speaking with you again!"

Rumors & Facts -

 8041 Paradise Towers is a mixed bag really.  With the change of script
editors, JST was persuaded to drop his decree that "new ideas are a waste
of time" and was forced to admit that perhaps not every single possible
monster had been realised by the time of the Pertwee era.

 While it was was good that new ideas were finally being allowed back into
Doctor Who, JST did not bother to think of a filter -- a way of assuring
that they weren't new BAD ideas.

 This story has been very divisive in fandom.  Some people love it.
Some people loath it.  I just stand on the sidelines hoping someone
gets stabbed over it.  So far, no luck.  I've just heard endless debates
on the merits or lack thereof presented by the serial.

 You would think that having heard so many fans argue over the quality
of this story, I could easily sit down and construct an engaging argument
that highlighted the opinions held by both camps.  Unfortunately, whenever
discussions between fans turn to arguments about the quality of borderline
Doctor Who stories, I just nip off to the bar and buy myself some drinks
until I really don't care either way.

 Anyway, the best I can do for you is this -

Fan 1: I hate this story.

Fan 2: I think it's quite good actually!

   Me: Hey!  Either of you want a pint?  Last orders in five minutes!

 I think that's how those conversations usually end up.

 Whatever side of the camp you are on, 8041 Paradise Towers is definitely
one of the Doctor Who stories shown on television.  This is a point which
I have yet to engage a fan in debate on...which is pretty sad for me,
because I'm pretty sure I could win it.  Unless the guy was really
fabulous at debating.

PS: To this day I am still uncertain about why the Doctor is keeping the
    secret combination from me.