Kappa And The Impresarios
An alternate Programme Guide by
The One Hundred and Fifty-Third Entry in the Charles Daniels
Unauthorized Programme Guide O' Omicron
Serial 7F - Kappa And The Impresarios -
Aboard the TARDIS, Mel is complaining that they never go out anywhere
fun anymore. Every time they leave the TARDIS it's for some boring
business purpose, such as saving the universe.
The Doctor listens to Mel's complaints and heartily agrees that a
holiday would do them both a galaxy of good.
Mel is excited and awaits to discover what wonder of the universe the
Doctor might choose to take her to on their fantastic mystery vacation.
When the TARDIS materializes at a space tollport, Mel is not amused.
But the Doctor assures Mel that this is NOT their final destination.
Upon exiting the TARDIS they are informed that they're the tollport's
ten billionth customers and have thus won a trip to Disneyland in the
Mel asks the Doctor why he's bothered to take them to a tollport to
win a free trip to Disneyland. Surely the Doctor could just use the
TARDIS to arrive at Disneyland, hypnotise the staff into believing
he's paid them, and then severely beat Mickey Mouse for laughs, as
he did on their LAST vacation to Disneyland.
The Doctor explains that since they've won the trip, now the next
customers won't. Mel is annoyed that the whole reason for coming here
seems to have been to screw someone else out a trip to Disneyland, but
she doesn't complain...for once.
Mel and the Doctor are offered passage with a strange alien race
known as the Impresarios. The Doctor refuses, saying he will follow
on in the TARDIS, but suggests that Mel travel with the aliens.
Once Mel is out of ear shot the Doctor mentions to the toll collector
that the Impresario Space Bus Service to Earth is the most
accident-prone tour company in the Universe.
SOME USELESS KNOWLEDGE ABOUT THE IMPRESARIOS
None of this is vital to the story in any way, but as I took the time
to actually research the original notes, scripts, and details behind
the story, I thought I'd share what I'd discovered. Apparently the
script editors thought the audience should be left out of the little
details like - Who the aliens are, or what their motives were, and
really any information that can help this story make any sense at all.
The Impresarios were once a proud race. They actually had nothing
to be proud about - other than perhaps their unusual efficiency in
making their homeworld an unlivable hell hole of pollution. While
not evil, or bad, they were arrogant, stupid, and one of the most
thoroughly aggravating races in the entire universe.
The Impresarios experimented briefly with taking over other planets
in the galaxy; but after killing countless quadtrillions of sentient
beings, devastating bajillions of worlds, and wiping out some of the
most interesting and fascinating civilizations in the Milky Way, the
Impresarios got bored with having an empire, and decided to do something
This behaviour is an excellent example of their careless disregard
for others. Several races, the Snotarans, Dustbins, etc, worked hard
for galactic domination. It was what they were good at, what they
were passionate about, and it gave their lives a focus and meaning.
The Impresarios were just having a go, taking a stab, and they built
one of the most enviable empires in galactic history, before deciding,
much like one would simply change majors at college, to stop the whole
conquest game and try their hands at show business.
Frankly, it was deeply annoying. It's one thing to have your temples
burnt to the ground by a horrific cyborg oppressor which will enslave
your race for thousands of years; until at last a brave band of rebels
deliver you from bondage. It was quite another to have a race of
people in awful suits bomb your cities, burn your libraries, and then
suddenly lose interest in you and take up acting lessons instead.
It was belittling to the dark gods who slowly, deliberately infiltrated
the entire galaxies, to have a race come along out of the blue,
accomplish all their long standing goals over night, and then decide
that they'd rather be on television after all.
The Impresarios were, above all else, deeply inconsiderate people.
Yet, the Impresarios found that they indeed had a role to play in
galactic conquest. They were naturally good promoters, conductors,
and sponsors. And so, starting with the more hip power mad alien
races, beings started to use them as a vital part of their conquest
Picture the scene -
A world has been flatted by 3,000 atomic weapons. Deadly fumes of
poison gas seep from the scorched earth. Black rain, soot and charcoal,
pounds down, flash flooding the landscape. Then a single light appears
from the sky, a spotlight. And in the spotlight emerges a small humanoid
figure in a bright pink sparkly leisure suit with oversized bowler hat.
The being clears it's throat loudly into a microphone to gain the
attention of the injured and mutated survivors -
"HELLO HELLO!! PEOPLE OF ABARXON! Please, let me be the FIRST and
FOREMOST to introduce your new Overlords! You know 'em, You
love 'em! THE CYBERMEN!"
The upbeat Impresarios gave a certain surrealness, a psychological
dream-like effect which helped the invaders control a confused populous
during the vital first few moments of taking direct power.
It was how the Impresarios were most successful, and in that role they
remained almost undefeated (except for that one time on earth, when the
evil of Vaudeville was destroyed).
Of course, none of this is material to the story whatsoever, but
I thought you might like to know!
* * *
The 1950s Space Bus collides with an early American space probe - the
probe being about the size of a small grapefruit! This amazing feat,
colliding with just about the only manmade object in orbit around the
planet, affirms and maintains the accident prone history of the firm.
Millions of radio enthusiasts world wide are saddened when the
repetitive, weak, plaintive beeping of the tiny probe dies.
Mel and the other passengers survive, much to the Doctor's surprise.
Mel has made friends with a friendly giant bird alien named Kappa.
Kappa is carrying a silver egg, which the Impresarios desperately seem
to desire -- for some reason.
This deeply distresses the Doctor, who talks loudly about this
development to a random seeming Welshman, as a mysterious shadowy
figure listens from a distance.
After this curious scene, the Doctor leaves and decides to meet
"the only man who can save the world now!". Which turns out to be
a local eccentric beekeeper, who has actually come to believe himself
to be a bee. The beekeeper is glad to help the Doctor in his quest,
whatever that is, but first he must perform an elaborate and winding
dance in front of the Doctor, rubbing his legs together often, as
the Doctor takes notes.
The Doctor thanks the beekeeper for his help in saving the entire
Meanwhile, the mysterious Welshman has eaten "a special cornish pasty
from space" which has somehow transformed him into an alien.
In the next scene, the Doctor and Mel are in a desperate motorcycle
chase. Mel screams at the Doctor to drive as fast as inhumanly possible,
while the Impresarios apparently do nothing.
Meanwhile, the space Welshman tries to find the Doctor, and for some
reason his arm bursts into flames as soon as he touches the TARDIS.
Across town, the Beekeeper proudly shows his bees and his collection
of classic honeys off to a random group of Impresarios, who seem to
be either viciously murderous, or just very hungry. It's hard to tell.
The beekeeper explains that the bees are producing royal jelly,
the food which turns an ordinary drone into a hyperintelligent
transdimensional queen bee. When the Impresarios demand that this
bee act as their new leader, the Beekeeper sports a devious grin
and laughs insanely.
Elsewhere, in furtherance of some cunning plan, the Doctor is strapping
portable radio equipment onto goats.
Back at the abode of the Beekeeper, the Impresarios have attempted to
"culturally overwhelm" the bee society, but in the process they are
covered from head to toe in sweet natural honey and are immediately
attacked by angry bees.
Nearby, the Doctor notices a charred human arm near the TARDIS. The
Doctor turns to Mel and shouts in horror "THE CORNISH PASTIES!! AGAIN!
OH!!! HOW I HAVE FOUGHT THE EVIL OF THE CORNISH PASTIES!!! Will it
Just down the road, the Welshman approaches the giant bird creature
Kappa, and explains that a cornish pasty has made him an alien. Kappa
looks doubtful, but the man explains that he wishes to marry her and
sit on her silver egg. The Kappa is pleased.
The surviving Impresarios, still smeared with honey and bees, stumble
into an open field. The Doctor, lying in wait, activates the radio
goats, and the loud sound waves kill the weakened Impresarios instantly.
Walking over the sweet smelling, sticky corpses, the Doctor notices
the Welshman and the giant bird alien Kappa experimenting with
"cross-species fertilisation" (well, that's how he describes it to Mel
because otherwise she'd turn all red and embarrassed).
Mel is confused and upset! The Doctor has senselessly murdered the
kind people who offered them nothing more than a free trip to Disneyland!
The Doctor explains that if she had been paying attention, those same
people were trying an evil scheme to rule the universe!
Mel asks if this is why they had to win the trip to Disneyland in
the first place. And what about the person who didn't win thanks to them?
"Oh yes! Well, if we hadn't have won the trip, it would have been
the next customer of course. In this case a mother and father with
a small, lonely, little boy who always dreamed of fun and adventure.
But his parents, being insanely poor, never had the money to take him
anywhere. And so he grew up embittered, disillusioned, and spent the
rest of his days in an air of cynical disdain which kept him distant
to all others."
"Wow! And you had to let that happen, because of the web of time!
"Oh yes. Partly that. Also because I never liked the bastard, and
this is my cruel blackhearted attempt at revenge."
And so ended another story of Doctor Who...but...wow, can anyone
explain that one to me???? I never could follow it.
Book(s)/Other Related -
Doctor Who - The Birds & The Bees
Doctor Who - Last of the Goat Lords
The History of Goat Warfare
There is a deeply unsatisfying bus explosion.
I thought that was impossible.
A bus explodes and I'm just left there thinking "WoW! That was
the lamest bus explosion EVER."
That's just wrong.
The Doctor rambles endlessly about his "sonic goat army".
Now this may technically be a dialogue disaster, but I think
when an editor gets a script that includes the phrase
"sonic goat army" and that story gets made...that's a goof.
How in the hell can a cornish pasty make you an alien?!!?!?!?
I mean, I could be an alien right now and not know it!
I've eaten traditional, bavarian, hell I've even eaten Chicken
Tikka Cornish Pasties man! I'm probably some weird freaky
Martian by this point.
Links and References -
The Doctor mentions that the Brigadier and UNIT specialised in
Untelevised Misadventures -
Mel thanks the Doctor for saving her life from the platinum dragon
they encountered in Glasgow.
So, this is either some freaky missing adventure, or just another
hint that the Doctor is addicted to AD&D.
Groovy DVD Extras -
An awesome commentary track by Harrison Ford! It's actually
the commentary track for Bladerunner, but somehow it ended up
on this DVD.
I hope they keep throwing in weird stuff like this, I had to
watch the story three times before I figured out that the Doctor
wasn't a replicant.
MAN! That was confusing!
Dialogue Disasters -
Mel: Doctor, now that you've saved the universe, what are you
going to do?
Doctor: I'm going to Disneyland!
Burton: Doctor, I sense that you are not a drone worker bee,
but instead, you are a spaceman in fear of an attack
from some other spacemen!
Doctor: Yes, how very perceptive.
Now take your hands off my knee.
Dialogue Triumphs -
Mel: Doctor, how will I know a good alien from a bad alien?
Doctor: If it tries to shoot you, that's a bad one!
Mel: But, wait, you've tried to shoot me before!
Doctor: Yes, well, I'm the rule that proves the exception.
Mel: Ummm...don't you mean that the other way around?
Viewer Quotes -
"This serial ripped off a classic science fiction film.
Unfortunately that film was 'I Married A Monster From Outerspace'
and actually this serial had a smaller budget than that
classic of B-Movie cinema." - Derrick Wilkins (1990)
"Alien rock-n-roll fans try to visit Disneyland, try to take
over the universe, but succeed in being attacked by bees and
That isn't a theme usually explored in science fiction, and
now I know why." - Larry Hincock (1988)
"Considering that they never explained who the Impresarios
were, or what they were doing, or what motivated them; I
thought this was a fairly easy story to follow - if you were
stoned." - Andrew Brown (1999)
"This story was very whimsical. And when I say 'whimsical'
I mean 'crap'". - Blunt Review Monthly (January 1993)
"A fun romp! This story proves that plotlines are overrated!"
- Richard "Desperate Optimist" Rogers
Sylvester McCoy Speaks!
"This was one of those great stories when everyone just showed
up and no one bothered to act, or pay any attention to what
was going on. We'd just sort of vaguely look at the script,
and then stumble in front of the cameras and did what came
In fact, if I remember correctly, the whole part of the story
about the Doctor and Mel winning a free trip to Disneyland
was just a mad joke someone on the set thought up at the time
and we said 'Okay! Let's go with that!'
It all seemed to make some sort of manic sense at the time."
Rumors & Facts -
Script Editor Andrew Cartmel desperately wanted Douglas Adams to
pen a new script for Doctor Who. At this time in Douglas Adams'
career the author came to expect six figure advances for just
promising to think about possibly one day having a vague idea
for a story.
The BBC offered Douglas Adams their usual fee - 3 Pounds and a
free copy of the Radio Times (which would be mysteriously lost
in the mail).
Unsurprisingly Douglas Adams expressed some concerns about this
fee and explained that he had some deadlines to meet (in fact
the deadline he was trying to meet when contacted in May 1987
was for June 1981!)
Cartmel, disappointed, but not to be defeated, decided to do
the next best thing. Cartmel contacted a Douglas Adams
Douglas Adams impersonators abound in amateur science fiction
writing circles. In fact one out of every two unsolicited
submissions to the Doctor Who office had to be rejected as
the BBC did not have the rights to the Vogons and Douglas
Adams was eagerly seeking to trademark the towel.
Cartmel approached a group of strange, insomniac, Douglas
Adams impersonators and asked them to pitch some Adamsesque
ideas for Doctor Who. The ground rules being of course
"No towels, no babel fish, and absolutely no small furry
creatures from Alpha Centauri". Half the impersonators
were totally unable to work within these constraints,
and one of the Douglas Adams impersonators who actually
was a small furry creature from Alpha Centauri was
deeply offended and refused to proceed, but those who
could flooded Cartmel with a fury.
"Okay, the Doctor arrives on the planet Kalalakakalakahaha
and discovers that his sweater has been plotting against
him for 300 years. Annoyed, the Doctor seeks out the
one man who can help him - a chubby sellsperson at
Marks & Spencers in 1976, who secretly hunts and destroys
malevolent garments from outerspace. GREAT companion
potential with that chubby guy, we'll call him Arthur!"
"I know! The Doctor and Mel discover that the TARDIS
is in fact a small dog. But no one has ever noticed
this before because you have to look at it with the
idea already in your mind that it is a small dog.
Once the Doctor realises that the TARDIS is a small
dog, he takes it to the TARDIS repair shop on Gallifrey,
only to find that all of Gallifrey has been hidden,
very carefully, in a small handbag."
"The universe is destroyed exactly 3 minutes before
the Doctor arrives at the holiday planet Grokakokw.
The Doctor is deeply frustrated because now that
the universe no longer exists, the hotel manager
on Grokakokw doesn't see why he should honour the
reservation, seeing as how now everyone else in
the universe is dead, and this finally frees him
up to be rude and obnoxious; Unfettered as he
is from social concerns in an extinct universe.
And now, the Doctor has to unravel who destroyed
the universe, how, when, and why, if he's ever
to check into the hotel and have that warm bath
he's been craving."
Cartmel, after shifting through hundreds of pitches
like this, finally decided that a story about a
free trip to Disneyland with a group of alien
Impresarios was by far the most hopeful and
sensible idea he'd heard all day.
Either that, or he picked it at random out of his hat.
Cartmel commissioned the writer for a 4 episode story,
before remembering that he only had 3 episodes available
in the slot!
When the script writer learned that the story was 25
minutes shorter than he'd thought, he begged for extra
time to re-work the story, trim it down, and tighten it
up. Instead Cartmel just axed episode one off and anything
else that seemed sensible or explained the situation --
as he felt it captured more of the surreal Douglas Adams
feeling if you couldn't understand anything anyone
was saying at any time.
Cartmel later explained that he wasn't actually a big
fan of Douglas Adams, but had heard a lot of terribly
mean things about his writing style, assumed it was all true,
but figured it would fit in perfectly with the recent batch
Cartmel was of course misguided and wrong. He simply
refused to green light a much more interesting story
"Doctor Who Versus The Quantum Space Monkeys"
which was written by young and talented Douglas Adams
impersonator who shined above all the rest and showed
the true light of surrealist science fiction in a nihilistic
universe. That writer's chief qualifications being his
cutting wit, impeccable comedic timing, ability to turn
a twisted looking glass on the most mundane of situations,
and foremost just happening to be me.
It's a complete coincidence that I support my own
rejected submission. Now every Thursday I walk down
to the pub and have a nice, quiet drink with the
quantum space monkeys, and think of glorious opportunities
I mean, any old jerk can come up with SPACE MONKEYS!
But these monkeys are "quantum space monkeys"! You can
smell the quality from here!