An alternate Programme Guide by
The One Hundred and Fifty-Sixth Entry in the Charles Daniels
Unauthorized Programme Guide O' I've been drinking lots of
elderflower wine, and apple wine, and silver birch wine, and some
mead...so let's rock!
Serial 7K - Silly Nemesis -
South America, 1988. A group of small Nazis protect a tiny bow with
their lives as they approach a remote airport.
Three hundred and fifty years, two months, and fifteen minutes
earlier, Lady Peinforte and her man servant Baldrick purchase
a cheap, disposable time machine, which are common place in
1638 Britain. All they bring with them on their journey is
three biscuits, a copy of The Radio Times to read during the flight,
and a mysterious and darkly powerful silver arrow - which they
acquired at Marks and Spencers.
23 November 1988
Ace leaves the TARDIS, turns back to look at the Doctor still
inside the machine, and makes a strange observation -
"Professor! The TARDIS!! It's...It's gone all albino!"
The Doctor seemed annoyed and called out matter-of-factly "We've
probably just landed in Hull."
The Doctor doesn't have time to worry about the quirky behaviour
of his time ship. A strange, annoying bleeping sound has filled
the TARDIS for hours. At first he assumed it was a warning of
a trans-dimensional collision - A problem he could easily resolve
by looping the pan-dimensional verifiers. When that turned out
not to be the case, he immediately assumed that the rechargeable
batteries of the Ion MegaDrive Scrambler had failed, and he would
need to make desperate haste to the planet Gaselveron, during it's
incredibly brief rechargeable battery manufacturing phase
(He'd need to land on exactly the right Tuesday, by Wednesday
they'd accidentally blown up the planet by putting the batteries
the wrong way around in the charger).
Unfortunately it was nothing so simple. The weird, incessant,
horrific bleeping noise was in fact being caused by a cheap plastic
mini travel alarm clock, which was lost somewhere in the vast
piles of junk littering the TARDIS.
What made this more aggravating, is that not only was the bleeping
slowly driving him insane, but the time it was taking him to track
it down and remember why he'd set it in the first place, was
probably wasting away precious "universe saving" time.
When he finally tracked down the small, slightly broken, chipped
plastic mini travel alarm clock here is what it said -
"23 November. Hull. Earth is in danger of annihilation. Meteor
approaching. All life will end. Pick up some yogurt at Tesco."
The Doctor groans in deep frustration. He'd completely forgotten
that he'd run out of yogurt, oh yeah and the Earth being in danger
yet again had also slipped his mind. And to make things perfect
he forgot to mention the YEAR!
The Doctor briefly contemplates visiting each 23 November, but
soon realises it would take roughly 10 billion trips.
When Ace rushes back into the TARDIS to confirm that they have
indeed landed in Hull, the Doctor smacks himself violently on
"Not only did I forget that I knew I'd forget that I'd run out of
yogurt. But I forgot that I remembered to program the TARDIS in
advance to come pick up the yogurt because I remembered that I'd
forget! How annoying!!"
"Yogurt?" Asked Ace. "But surely the most important part of
this message is 'Earth is in danger of annihilation. Meteor
approaching. All life will end.' You are going to save the
world, aren't you Professor?"
Deep sigh. "If I have time. It depends on how long the line is
The Doctor and Ace head to Tesco where the Doctor tells Ace to
search for a mysterious and darkly powerful silver arrow, just
in case they have any on the shelves.
Ace asks the Doctor if it is Haley's comet that is going to
strike the Earth.
"No, that was a few years ago. I'm afraid something slightly more,
surreal, is at play here Ace."
"I've remembered what I forgot. It's something I launched into
space 350 years ago. It has finally returned."
"A rubber chicken."
"Of unbelievable power."
Ace is confused, but the Doctor promises to explain later.
Meanwhile, Baldrick whimpers in confusion at this strange new world
where people bathe and don't smell like dung, while Peinforte dreams
of what she will do with the rubber chicken -- particularly the
revenge she will seek upon the Doctor, whose secret she has
To mix things up a bit, some crazed Nazis show up and instead of
trying to take over the world they simply order some pancakes and
The Doctor and Ace arrive, trying to stop things from getting out
of control, the Nazis are eating more pancakes than they can humanly
hope to contain.
Then, for no reason at all, the waiter at the cafe turns out
to be a Cyberman.
The Cyberman recognizes the Doctor, he stiffed them on a bill in
But before the Cyberman can do anything, the Nazis begin to loudly
complain about the pancake batter being undercooked and a pitched
battle breaks out.
The Doctor explains that this very same thing happens every time --
"You'd think Nazis and Cybermen would get on. But you'd be
mistaken. Chalk and Cheese!"
Ace asks the Doctor what the Cyberman was doing working at a cafe
"After the failed 1986 invasion, not all the Cybermen wanted to
wander aimlessly across the universe, homeless. Some stayed.
Tried to get jobs in IT, but usually ended up working in
The Doctor and Ace decide it's too dangerous to remain here and
flee for the TARDIS, stealing the Nazis' tiny bow for no apparent
The Cyberman smashes his fist into the table when he realises
that the Nazis have left, without leaving a tip.
In a pub called Ye Olde White Harte, the Doctor buys two pints of
lager and explains some more pieces of the puzzle to Ace.
In the ancient and dark days of Gallifrey, when virtual god-hood
had just been granted to the time lords, they were reckless and
playful. One of their darker powers was the ability to enchant
objects with mystical and potent properties.
At first they were doing somewhat sensible things - enchanting
swords capable of slicing down any enemy of Gallifrey, invoking
horrific curses on objects used by those who opposed their new
powers. Then some more trivial things were created - wine glasses
that were unbreakable, keys that could open any lock, and then,
one day, some jerk, somewhere, created a rubber chicken that could
destroy entire planets.
The Doctor, somehow, discovered it's location and launched it
into space, to prevent anyone from gaining control of it. Of course
he knew that it's orbit would bring it close to earth every few
decades, and that being a cursed and evil object it would cause
immense and terrible suffering on earth...but this way he didn't
have to really think about it for three and a half centuries.
Unfortunately, the Cyberman bartender overhears all of this and
phones his friend who works at the cafe -
"Dave? Yeah, George here. Look, this time lord was just in here,
and..well, you aren't going to believe this-"
The Doctor and Ace find the two headphone-wearing men guarding the
landing site that Lady Peinforte and the Nazis are expecting.
The Doctor sends in Ace to "distract" them, but after about five
minutes she comes back and simply nods her head no.
"They weren't interested?"
"Not their type. Looks like you're going to have to lure them into
the woods this time."
Elsewhere in Hull, a group of Cybermen approach Lady Peinforte and
ask if they can be her lackeys. They promise they will be useful
and assure her that they want to see the Earth destroyed as well.
This meeting is interrupted by the Nazis who are very confident
"Lady Peinforte! Dave the Cyberman. George the Cyberman. And ahh,
Larry the Cyberman? We are happy to see you are all such good
friends. But none of you shall destroy the earth! Not as long
as we have - THE TINY BOW OF DEATH! Hanz, show them."
Gunther and Hanz are mortified when they discover that the tiny
bow has in fact been nicked.
Nearby, shopping for candy at Woolworth's, Ace still doesn't
understand the full danger. The Doctor explains that the rubber
chicken's orbit has brought it to Earth every 25 years -- and every
25 years it has generated destruction; the eve of the First World
War, the annexation of Poland by Hitler, JFK's assassination...and
now in 1988 a double whammy, the destruction of earth and the
senseless popularity of Koosh Balls.
"It's too late Ace!! Even if we save the earth...for what?
In exactly one month's time the Christmas season will be cruelly
dominated by the Koosh ball. A rubber ball filled with a jelly-like
plasma, its outside filled with hundreds of rubber spikes making it
look like a soft and flexible porcupine that does not hurt to hold
"Sounds great! Can I have one??"
"SEE!!! Already too late. How is it that such an intelligent
species can so easily be won over by evil?"
Ace finds one on a nearby shelf and plops it in the Doctor's hand.
The Doctor prepares to return to the projected landing site,
unarmed, with only a ridiculously tiny bow and a wide variety of
At the landing site Lady Peinforte and the Cybermen have killed
the Nazis; Well, Lady Peinforte let the Cybermen watch actually.
But they did applaud. Loudly. They were a great source of
immoral support during the homicides.
Ace is beginning to get really pissed off. What's really going on?
Who brought the rubber chicken to Earth? Who created it in the
The Doctor simply hands Ace some pound coins and says "They look
vaguely goldish. By this time in their sorry history, that should
When they arrive at the projected landing site, the Doctor and
Ace see the multiple Nazi bodies. The Doctor tells Ace that he will
take the Cybermen, if she takes the crazy 17th century lady who is
actually capable of killing people.
As the Doctor distracts the Cybermen with a shadow puppet show,
Ace is drawn into a conversation with Lady Peinforte. Lady
Peinforte tells Ace that she is allied with a force darker than
even herself, and speaks to Ace the Doctor's true name.
The Cybermen seem surprisingly, and freakishly, impressed by
the Doctor's finger shadow puppetry. He invites them all out
for a pint, and leaves with them in good spirits.
The moment has at last come, the Silly Nemesis is about to land.
Lady Peinforte, crazed with the power that will be hers, looks
directly up at the sky, but sees only a shooting star.
"NO!!! NOOO!!! IMPOSSIBLE!!! IT BURNED UP IN THE ATMOSPHERE!!
IT BURNED UPPPP! HOW!? HOW!?!?"
Ace looked at Lady Peinforte and said simply "Well, it was just a
Peinforte was a pawn in the Doctor's game all along. He knew
that the rubber chicken, even though magically enhanced, was still
nothing more than a cheap novelty item. She would have had to
collect it in space.
Later that evening the Doctor, Ace, and the Cybermen listen to a
relaxing jazz tape on Ace's ghetto blaster.
Book(s)/Other Related -
Doctor Who & The Rubber Chicken Of Terror
Doctor Who & The Koosh Balls of Death
"Ace And The Overly-Complex Bondage Machine of My Own Design", as
posted on usenet by Cybernaut82, 11/12/1996
Links and References -
The 1986 invasion occurred as seen in The Tense Planet. Some
of the survivors left their dreams of empire behind to explore
a life in the service industry.
Untelevised Misadventures -
The whole story is a sequel to another adventure (which Ace hasn't
During this tale the Doctor apparently gained access to a rubber
chicken of unimaginable power, capable of destroying planets, and
shot it into space to stop some 17th century lady blowing up the
world. He also set an alarm clock in the TARDIS to warn him
that he was going to run out of yogurt in 350 years.
In the extended video version, Ace discovers a black velvet
painting of herself which depicts her in a remote jungle, riding
a tiger and wearing only a a leather bra, cheetah panties, and a
Ace believes that this hints at some future adventure through
time and space, but I believe it's just as likely that the Doctor
has strange and heightened tastes for kinky kitsch pornography.
Groovy DVD Extras -
Well the damned velvet painting for one!
Dialogue Disasters -
Cybermen: Human, once I would have served you death. But today...
Today the specials are Minestrone soup and the Tuna
Noodle Casserole. I might also suggest the Garlic
Naan as an appetizer.
Ace: Wait Professor. YOU were responsible for World War I, and
World War II, and the JFK assassination? Doesn't that make
Doctor: More or less.
Do you know if this place does sausages?
Too often people focus on quotes that are especially memorable, or
which retain their charm and wit out of context. Almost always
the hard working lines of dialogue which establish the plot or
move the action along are left by the wayside, so I present for
the second time, the second - "UnQuotable Quote"!
Doctor: NO ACE! Stop twisting the knob!
Dialogue Triumphs -
(Confirming their landing point)
Ace: So, we really are in Hull!
Doctor: Like I've always said Ace, "The proof of the pudding is
(Listening to Ace's jazz tape and enjoying a coffee)
Dave The Cyberman: So Doctor, if things went differently today.
If you were placed in a position where you
had to defeat us...what would you have done?
Doctor: Oh, easily answered! I would have simply
re-programmed the rubber chicken to
re-materialize on the Telos' sun and
immediately self-destruct; Destroying the
entire solar system.
Dave The Cyberman: But that's exactly how you killed the Dustbins
Doctor: You think I'd bother to come up with a new
plan, for the likes of you?
Larry The Cyberman: (Laughing uncontrollably) It's SO true!
Ace: Yeah! I mean, you didn't bother to come up
with a new plan.
You just tried to take over a powerful time
lord relic that the Doctor had left within
convenient reach of earth and then use it to
dominate the universe.
I can't count how many times some alien baddie
has tried that one!
And the Professor puts it right the same way
every time. Just reprogram it and BAM!
The Professor's a one man stellar genocide
Dave The Cyberman: Wow, we really are crap, aren't we?
Pass the sugar, human.
Peinforte: Girl, don't you know what being you are in service to?
He is the darkest of all the ancient time lords.
And I know all his secrets.
Peinforte: His name is the source of his true powers. I know
Ace: Wait, let me guess! Is it Daryl? I think he looks
like a Daryl.
Peinforte: The Doctor's true name is, Cthulhu Jones!
(Walking back to the TARDIS, carrying a wine bottle given to
her by George The Cyberman)
Ace: Professor, Lady Peinforte said something to me.
Something I've been thinking about. She said that your
real name was Cthulhu Jones.
(The Doctor trips over his own feet and smacks harshly into
Doctor: What?! What was that? OHH! Umm...No! Ace,
she's confused. She's thinking of a name given
to me by the superstitious people of the 17th
century -- Ronald Jones.
Ace: As in, "There goes the being of unimaginable power,
Doctor: 17th century peasants! Gotta' love them!
Viewer Quotes -
"Cartmel and JST have decided to expand the magical mystery
that is Doctor Who, by revealing his name and entire personal
history. Interesting approach that." - Terrance Wilby (1990)
"I loved the Cybermen. They were powerful, mind controlling
sex freaks during the classic black and white era. And here
they are in vibrant colour...looking like plastic dolls and
working at cafes. OH!! How far they have fallen!"
- CyberMagazine, January 1989
'Speaking as someone who has one of the largest collections of
black velvet paintings in Europe, the one seen in this story
with Ace is a particularly good example of a sub-genre I like
to call "Erotic Queen of the Jungle with Severe Bondage Overtones".
This is one of my favourite sub-genres of the entire black velvet
painting art history. I real gem of classic pornographia.
I bought a copy on eBay.' - Timothy Brown (2003)
"The bondage Ace? Oh yeah, used to have that, but I sold it
to some sicko on eBay. Good thing he didn't know I made it
myself on parish funds!" - Father James O'Maley (2004)
Sylvester McCoy Speaks!
"The Cybermen! It was great to work with them. I wish my Doctor
had been able to fight them during the height of their powers.
Not at the point in their history when they could be killed
by throwing loose change at them.
Still, you take what you can get.
I'm pretty sure I'm the only Doctor who ever killed Cybermen
with only a sweets wrapper vaguely shaded gold."
Rumors & Facts -
In March 1987, the Doctor Who script editor met with some drunk
guy in an alley and offered him a commission to write a 3 parter
Doctor Who story.
At least that's what they told the police they were doing
drunk in an alley together at 3 in the morning.
In order to keep the pretense up, the drunk guy did draft
3 episodes of Doctor Who featuring the Cybermen, some random
Nazis, a 17th century time witch, and references to a previous
story which never occurred.
It is perhaps deeply telling of the 80s, that the script was
accepted and shot.
Like Cartmel, the drunk guy was interested in "reintroducing the
Doctor as a more enigmatic figure", and so they decided to reveal
his name and bluntly hint that the Doctor was the original force
behind the creation of the time lords. These references were
dropped as subtly as a brick against the head.
'The Rubber Chicken of Time' was re-titled 'Silly Nemesis', when
JST decided that the presence of the rubber chicken should be
kept a secret, as the have the maximum possible impact of surprise.
This was uniquely successful, as even when the spoilers DID reach
the media ("The Doctor is trying to stop the Cybermen obtaining an
all powerful rubber chicken novelty toy") no one was prepared to
However, fanatical that the story be shrouded in secrecy,
JST refused to shoot in the BBC Television Centre and set up
all the studio recording scenes in a tent erected on a BBC parking
JST also didn't want the secrets of the scripts revealed, so
he habitually refused rehearsal periods. Because of this, the
director was left with only a vague idea of the timing of the
scripts and the actors were virtually cold reading their lines
It was only 2 hours into the actual filming that JST officially
explained that the story would feature Cybermen; and he only did
this to explain that the three men shuffling about the sets in
silly costumes really, actually, SHOULD be in the shots.
As the production team and actors were kept in the dark, delays
began to build up. The shit hit the fan on the third day --
none of the actors playing the Cybermen were available on this
day, despite the fact that they were due to appear in the climatic
scene in which the Cybermen call forth their secret space fleet
and entire cyberarmies march down the streets of Hull city centre.
Scenes were rewritten and went unrehearsed throughout the day in
order to come up with an alternate ending for the serial and get
it in the can.
Instead of the original script, in which the Cybermen take over
Hull city centre, and then use it as the base to control the Earth,
setting up a sequel adventure that would see the Doctor face an
earth completely dominated by the Cybermen; the emergency re-write
featured The Doctor impressing three Cybermen with shadow puppets
and then taking them out for drinks.
As the Cybermen actors were not available, the production team
went to a local pub called Admiral Of The Humber, found three
completely plastered gentlemen, and forced them into Cybersuits
before they knew what hit them.
The scenes with the Doctor, Ace, and the Cybermen listening to
jazz music was largely improvised around rough scripts that the
actors hadn't been allowed to see completely.
The extreme circumstances in which these concluding moments
were completed means that the finished serial is haphazard at best.
One interesting piece of trivia is the long standing fan rumour
that, as an inside joke, The Brigadier can be seen drinking copious
amounts of vodka in the background of the pub scenes. A careful
investigation shows that while Nicholas Courtney is present in
those scenes, he not attempting to portray the Brigadier, nor is
he even aware he is on camera -- he is simply in the pub quietly
It is just one of the eerie realities of location shooting.
In summation this story suffers greatly due to the following
1) Unbelievably stupid Nazis
2) Cybermen presented as waiters
3) Lack of rehearsals
4) Scripts written by drunk guy
5) The careless way in which the Doctor's true name is revealed
after a quarter of a century of mystery and speculation
But the story still has shining moments such as -
1) That black velvet painting of Ace
2) That black velvet painting of Ace
Now if you excuse me, I'm going to check eBay.