The Chess of Fenric
An alternate Programme Guide by
The One Hundred and Sixtieth Entry in the Charles Daniels
Unauthorized Programme Guide O' Sally Jupiter
Serial 7M - The Chess of Fenric -
Deep inside the forgotten interiors of the TARDIS, the Doctor
stares forward with grim resolve and a touch of remorse. The
Doctor already knows that their next destination will take them
to meet ultimate evil - the dark spawn known throughout the
galaxy as the Vampyr.
Sensing a presence the Doctor tries to explain one of the
secrets he has kept hidden -
"In every generation, there is a Chosen One. She alone will stand
against the vampires, the demons, and the forces of darkness.
Britain, 1942. The TARDIS materializes in a naval base which
houses the ULTIMA Code-Breaker, the most powerful computer in
the world capable of factoring a 3 digit number in only 5 days!
"That's less than 48 hours a digit!" Explains Dr Judson with
The Doctor and Ace manage to get quite far into the camp before
being confronted by Nazis. The Doctor is shocked to see these
soldiers on a naval base as far into England as Whitby, but he
soon discovers these are incredibly stupid Nazis who are so
confused they are fighting on the side of the British.
The Doctor bluffs his way past them and takes Ace to meet the
paralysed Dr Judson. The Doctor orders Ace to "distract" Judson
but she is deeply put off by the idea -
"It's like being asked to screw Stephen Hawking's grandfather."
"That's the paradox." Replies the Doctor with an odd smile.
The Doctor uses a red pen and a rubber stamp reading "Happy
Birthday!" to forge very unconvincing documents from the War
Office, in a sad attempt to provide himself and Ace with
Judson doesn't seem terribly convinced by the documents and
loudly notes that the Doctor has drawn in an incredibly
unconvincing red moustache for himself. But when Ace starts to
rub his shoulders he, for some reason, ceases any protest.
The Doctor sends Ace to the barracks "to sleep" while he
wanders the grounds, pondering what's to happen next, realizing
what's to happen next, and then desperately trying to forget
what's to happen next.
Meanwhile, a squadron of Soviet soldiers is actively playing
beach volleyball on the coast at Maidens' Point. The Soviets
are deadly serious about the game, considering it the ultimate
proof of Communist superiority.
"When the capitalist pigs engage in the sport of beach
volleyball they're opponents are always scantily clad young
women - I should know, I've seen the films!!
But it is Comrade Stalin who knows the true beauty of this
game. Fit, agile, communist men, heavily skilled, heavily
armed with automatic weaponry, joining together as comrades
in the field of battle which is Beach Volleyball!
With no decadent homosexual subtext whatsoever!"
Deeply embarrassed, one of the Soviets admits that, in his
excitement, he forgot to bring ball.
"where did you leave it??? On the submarine? On the dingy?
In the hotel?"
"In Smolensk?! We come all the way out here, to the Yorkshire
coast to play a rousing game of Beach Volleyball, and you left
the BALL in Smolensk. AND you didn't even bother to mention
before NOW? Why not before we left the motherland! Before we
landed in the hostile British Isles? BEFORE WE SET UP THE DAMNED
"Forgive me comrade. I thought it would turn up."
"This means only one thing. We must go inland. Subdue the
closest military base. And secure a ball. If we can manage that
within the hour, we still could have a pretty good game."
The Doctor and Ace visit the local church, where Judson is
copying ancient Viking inscriptions. When Ace asks him why
he's bothering, Judson explains that he hopes to build a whole
new interface for electronic computers such as the ULTIMA
machine. Judson explains that he will create a runic typewriter
so he can type complex instructions into his computer.
Ace: Wait? You want to create a keyboard for your computer
using Viking runes? Why the hell would you do that?
Judson: I was originally considering creating one in Latin.
But that's just so terribly common.
Ace: And you're using this old church inscription to figure
out the rune alphabet? That's a bit of a waste of a
weekend. Why not just go to the Jorvik Viking Centre?
Judson: The what?
Ace: They've got the rune alphabet on little sheets of paper,
so you can write name in runic symbols. It's pretty
sad really, but the animatronic Vikings are wicked.
(The Doctor whacks Ace hard with his question mark umbrella)
Doctor: Nevermind Professor Judson. My colleague is suffering
from a severe head injury.
Ace decides she needs to sit down and clutch her head for
a moment or two. Whilst sitting in the pews Ace meets two young
girls, Jean and Phyllis, and arranges to meet them later at
Re-joining the Doctor, Ace tells him that she has become aware
of a dark and unknowable evil lurking in the crypts below,
but the Doctor ignores her, concentrating instead on a desperate
and doomed attempt to solve a Rubik's cube.
"Had this thing in my pocket for 600 years! Today might just
be the day!"
The Doctor takes Ace to Maidens' Point to meet her friends, but
finds an abandoned volleyball net...and for some reason
immediately thinks "COMMUNISTS"!
The Doctor is somehow aware that Soviets are near, and so he
promptly abandons Ace and her friends at the one place they
are likely to return to.
Ace asks for a gun to protect herself if the Soviets return
but the Doctor leaves her only with the following advice -
"Don't go into the water".
Which in Ace's opinion is pretty lame advice seeing as how
she is surrounded by an ocean of it, and only wearing her
Jean and Phyllis' do not seem overly bothered as they only
really wanted to come to Maiden's Point to smoke and drink beer.
Though eventually they get pissed and insist on having a swim.
Ace, not wanting a cruel and stupid death, abandons them to
their fate, bothering only to wave goodbye and steal a packet
of fags before leaving.
The Doctor returns to the church and meets Reverend Wainwright.
During a relaxed conversation Wainwright mentions that his father
had already translated the Viking inscriptions and used them
to unleash a horrifically evil force which was once buried
beneath the church.
Stunned, the Doctor asks Wainwright why his father would ever
dream of unleashing dark and evil gods from five minutes before
the dawn of time upon this quiet and peaceful village -
"No real reason. He was always kind of an arsehole, know what
The Doctor realises that he should probably immediately run
to the ULTIMA machine to stop Judson's translations. However
he's feeling slightly bummed over yet another failed attempt
to crack the Rubik's Cube, and really needs to sit, relax,
and sip a hot cappuccino before proceeding.
When the Doctor eventually returns to the naval base he
discovers an office which is a perfect copy of the German cipher
room in Berlin; The officer who works there, Millington,
explains that he is trying to understand how the Nazis think.
"Really? Why don't you just ask the Nazis already working
"Those guys? Gunther and Franz? Well, let's just say, they
don't think like regular Nazis."
"A few bricks short of a wall?"
"A few walls short of a Reichstag more like."
The Doctor notes to Millington that he thinks the office is
perfect in everyway, except for two things - Millington's old
school photograph and a chess set.
Millington causally explains that we went to boarding school
with Goering, and is currently playing chess-by-mail with
The Doctor hands Millington a copy of the runic inscription
and Millington concludes that the writing is Viking.
The Doctor annoyed as he already knew that, hands Millington
an english translation of the runes and Millington concludes
that the final battle of the gods is at hand.
What bothers the Doctor deeply is that Millington seems
perfectly relaxed about that.
"Oh yes, the final battle between good and evil, light and dark,
being and non-being. I say, would you like a cup of tea?"
The Doctor's face lights up when Ace enters the office, but
immediately falls again when he sees a group of Soviets pointing
Simonov SKS rifles at her head -
"Give us a volleyball, or the girl gets it!"
The Doctor and Ace quote from "Stalin's Personal Rule Book of
Soviet VolleyBall" to convince the Soviets that they are
sympathetic to their cause.
Above suspicion, the Doctor and Ace are freed. The Doctor and
Ace return to the church, where they find more inscriptions --
"WOW! Professor! We didn't see these before. Did some dark
and evil force from beyond burn these runes into the very stone
of the church?"
"No, we just didn't look here before."
After careful investigation of the area they discover a spooky
underground cavern where soldiers and technicians from the naval
base are tapping into a natural source of lethal toxins, which
they intend to use as weapons against the Nazis. When Millington
discovers them he is about to have them shot for being Soviet
spies, but, luckily the Doctor is extremely well read and quotes
Quoting stuff you've read is apparently the most convincing way
to persuade people and avoid death. After some ramblings about
Odin and Loki, Millington firmly believes that the Doctor and
him are on the same side. Millington agrees to show him
everything -- but the Doctor only wants to see the secret
facility and insists that Millington can keep his trousers on.
Disgusted and worried, Ace elects remain behind.
The Doctor learns that the blatantly poor security at the naval
base is a deliberate lure; the Soviets were meant to easily
overrun this place in their desperate search for volleyball
sporting equipment. Following orders from Whitehall, Millington
has planted a toxic bomb in the heart of a very badly stitched
volleyball. One that he is certain will burst open on the very
"The Soviet love of volleyball will be their ultimate demise.
Today we will kill two teams. And once we have proven successful
we will export hundreds, thousands, MILLIONS of killer
volleyballs to Russia."
"That's your plan??? That's how you plan to crush the Soviet
forces after the war?"
"Yes. If you think that's silly, you should see what the
Americans are doing with bats."
The Doctor leaves Millington in the caverns and decides to
follow up on other leads.
Oh yeah, and just in case I haven't mentioned them in awhile,
Jean and Phyllis went into the sea and were brutally killed.
Just so we're on the same page.
Meanwhile, Judson translates the "final" inscription as
LET THE CHAINS OF FENRIC SHATTER. Ace points out to Judson that
the final inscription also matches the pattern of a complex
logic diagram, complex enough to be run as a computer programme.
Judson excitedly sets off to run the programme on the ULTIMA
machine. So really, we should blame Ace for the apocalypse.
The Doctor arrives at the cottage of one Miss Hardaker's, only
to find that Jean and Phyllis have already returned and killed
her, draining the blood out of her body.
The Doctor then decides to take a leisurely stroll to the
church, thinking he might possibly stop off and save Wainwright
from the two vampires and then ask Wainwright to prepare him
another cappuccino out of his heartfelt appreciation of not being
a snack for undead demon possessed girls.
The two vampire girls have already tracked down Wainwright and
find him to be a willing victim. Partly this is caused by
Wainwright's loss of faith due to the British government's brutal
tactics in the war. Most of his attitude however can be
attributed to the fact that the girls have taken to adorning
their new vampiric bodies with sexy lingerie (well, sexy for
1942 anyway...still, the stockings aren't that bad).
To Wainwright's disappointment, The Doctor's strength of will
drives the girls away.
The Doctor assures Wainwright that all will be under control as
long as no one is stupid enough to tell Judson that the final
Viking inscriptions are a computer programme.
In the computer room Ace helps Judson install his newly
finished keyboard which will be useful after the completion
of the Viking Rune Apocalypse programme that ULTIMA is running.
The ULTIMA machine has already begun printing out the names of
Viking settlers, and vampire mutations are rising from the waves
at Maidens' Point and storming the beach.
By the time the Doctor arrives drinking a piping hot cappuccino,
the ULTIMA machine is running at four times maximum speed and
can't be shut off...
The Doctor explains that the ULTIMA machine has opened up a
gateway to a race called the Haemovores - vampire mutations
from millions of years in the future.
"And if you think the Soviets were a threat, the Haemovores
love Volleyball beyond your darkest imaginings!"
The Doctor explains that the only possible way to stop the
onslaught is to recover the legendary flask of Gaochang,
which was lost in Brixton centuries ago.
Ace remembers that she has a legendary chinese flask that she
bought at a carboot sale in Brightlingsea, but decides it's
probably not important and doesn't mention she has it in her
The Doctor and Ace organize a tactical retreat back to the
church. Once inside the Doctor explains to everyone that
strong faith generates a psychic barrier which Haemovores can't
penetrate. A few moments later Ace is alone with the Doctor and
ponders the significance of the faith barrier.
"I mean, if strong faith can hold back vampiric evil, maybe
that means something deeper. Like maybe their is some higher
power listening to us all the time."
"Well not exactly Ace. I made that up to calm them down.
Those people are basically all snackfood for the forces of the
night. Here, take these."
"What am I suppose to do with wooden tent pegs?"
"Not tent pegs. Stakes. Stab them in the heart. They die."
"This is all very Peter Cushing, Professor. Does garlic kill
"I once met a vampyr in Venice who explained that the creatures
of the night are just very self-conscious about their appearance
and personal hygiene. He told me they just avoided garlic out
of fears of bad breath. Still, if you want to feed one a pizza
go ahead, can't hurt anything."
Meanwhile Millington is alone in the dark, waiting for the evil
powers of Fenric to arise; given that Fenric hasn't been seen in
a thousand years, and I very much doubt that Whitby would be
his first stop on a global domination tour, Millington is being
Ace has endless questions about the nature of the vampires, but
the Doctor has gotten bored with her and begun to ignore her
Frustrated, Ace decides to whack the Doctor over the head with
her flask to get his attention. The flask breaks into countless
pieces which immediately begin to smoke.
The Doctor reluctantly explains that the flask she bought at the
carboot sale contained a primal force of pure evil which existed
roughly five minutes before the creation of the Universe -- and
is now breaking free.
The Doctor tells Ace to seductively lure Judson away from the
church, which she starts to do, but it's too late.
The Haemovores break into the church, led by Jean and Phyllis,
and Wainwright tries to use his faith to hold them back - but
is eaten within seconds.
Judson is blasted with all the power from the flask. As a
cliche thunderstorm breaks over the church and the Haemovores
enter, the Doctor and Ace see the paralysed Judson stand up on
his own two feet.
"We play the contest again...Time Lord."
It seems that Millington was correct all along, and that I
was rash to call him optimistic; For some reason or other the
all powerful evil god Fenric HAS chosen Whitby as the first
battleground in the ultimate war between good and evil.
It all seems so random to me, but there you have it.
Fenric vanishes from the church and Millington orders some
local schoolgirls to shoot the Doctor and his friends for
Why in the hell local schoolgirls should be in a church armed
with Barettas I don't know.
The girls form a firing squad outside, but they are interrupted
by the Soviet squadron. The Soviets see the Doctor and Ace
being stared down by a group of armed young girls and immediately
assume the worst -
"Do you see comrades!? The decadence? The depravity of the
western capitalist bourgeois? Here is a grown man, getting
ready to play an incredibly violent and arousing game of
volleyball against a group of young ladies dressed as
The sight sickens me comrades! We must put a stop to this!"
The Soviets grab the Doctor and Ace and carry them away from
the scene. The leader of the Soviet squadron turns to the
armed schoolgirls and proclaims - "Do not thank me for saving
your dignity and purity from the evil capitalist pig man.
Thank only Comrade Stalin and the righteous and moral art
of the game of volleyball."
The Doctor and Ace wait to be carried about half a mile before
knocking out their Soviet capturers, and setting off their own
way on foot.
The Doctor explains that he needs to fetch the chess set from
"But wait Professor. If you move around all the pieces, won't
that ruin the chess-by-mail game that Millington is playing with
his friend? That will be very upsetting."
"Ace, Millington's friend is Adolf Hitler!"
"Anyway, the game is just stupid. Both sides insisted on
The Doctor thinks that stealing the chess set should be as easy
as...well, stealing a chess set for instance. But Millington has
booby-trapped his chessboard with explosives and they barely
escape with their lives.
The Doctor places the charred chessboard on a new table and
finishes setting up his chessboard trap. Once completely ready
the Doctor challenges Fenric to find the solution; Fenric is
very confident, he's been practicing everyday on teletext.
The Doctor hopes that the metaphorical struggle will weaken
Fenric and allow him to trap Fenric as he did the last time they
did battle, in the most horrific game of baby oil twister ever
seen in this universe.
Ace studies the board intensely, gets bored, and then
thoughtlessly asks if the game couldn't be won if the two
opposing pawns joined sides to kill the King.
The Doctor slams his hands into his head - "ACE!!! WHAT THE
HELL ARE YOU DOING!?! You've just given Fenric the solution!"
To the Doctor and Ace's surprise, Fenric is deeply annoyed
and refuses to make the winning move.
"What the hell kind of puzzle is this?! Doctor, THAT is an
illegal move! Do you know how many hours I've spent reading
chess theory books? Sketching chess diagrams? WAITING for that
damned page on teletext to load?!
And all you offer me is some stupid puzzle where I have to
make some goddamn illegal move that any streetkid could figure
out after 3 minutes of vaguely looking at the board?!
This really takes the cake Doctor, even for you!"
Disgusted with the entire situation, Fenric makes the winning
move and tells Ace that her jacket is really stupid.
Ace is thrown by this sudden insult, but then stunned when
Fenric continues. Fenric explains that everything that has
unfolded here has been a part of his plan; he directed the
Vikings to Whitby, he made sure the runes survived in the
church, he made sure that he got trapped in a magical
chinese flask owned by some guy named David who was in serious
need of money and planned to sell it at a carboot sale in
Brightlingsea, he personally bought Ace an advanced train ticket
to Brightlingsea for the weekend of the carboot sale, and he
briefly possessed Ace's friend Hazel who gave her the ticket
"when her family decided to go to EuroDisney instead".
Ace asks Fenric why in the hell he would go to such trouble,
and Fenric claims it was just to pass the time away and have
a laugh before killing her.
Ace smiles widely, knowing that while she has the Doctor on
her side Fenric can not harm her. This all seems to work
perfectly well until the Doctor callously breathes a sigh
of relief and says -
"Oh thank god Fenric. I thought you would have killed her
ages ago! Didn't expect you to wait this long."
Ace is shocked and terrified as the Doctor explains that he's
he's known since he met Ace on Iceworld that she was a pawn in
Fenric's game, part of the trap being set for him, just another
pretty emotionally crippled girl with an ancient chinese flask
of unimaginable power.
Ace collapses in tears, the servants of Fenric rush in to kill
her in her weakened state. Ace, realising that she can't rely
on the Doctor to save her, acts to defend her own life and
in blind rage she repeatedly stakes the vampires to death in
the most severe and brutal way conceivable.
His servants dead, Fenric only smiles...until Ace walks up to
him, knees him in the groin, and uses her bloodsoaked stake
to make Fenric's body look like a whiffle ball.
The physical body Fenric was possessing is dead, and Fenric
once again returns to the world of the formless metaphysical.
A walking form of sweat and blood Ace approaches the Doctor
grasping the wooden stake in her hand so firmly that her knuckles
are snow white beneath the flakes of blood splattered across
"Doctor. I know why you said those things. You just needed
me to act. Needed me to kill them for you. Needed to help me
free my mind from being dependent on you.
"Well, not exactly. You were just a pawn in a sick twisted
game between me and a dark god of chaos. But look at you now!
You've been promoted to a Queen!"
Book(s)/Other Related -
Stalin's Personal Rule Book of Soviet VolleyBall: Revised Edition
Doctor Who And The Glourious Five Year Plan (USSR only)
Doctor Who And The Collectible Card Game of Fenric (tm)
Links and References -
The Doctor mentions that this entire adventure is giving him
a very creepy "Vampire The Masquerade" vibe; a game he was last
seen playing briefly in Dragonbreath.
Untelevised Misadventures -
Fenric met the Doctor in third century Constantinople and,
defeated at twister (and possibly baby oil chess as well),
was banished to 'a shadow dimension' while its earthly essence
was imprisoned in a flask for 17 centuries.
Groovy DVD Extras -
If you go to the Special Features menu, highlight the third
special feature "Grainy Behind the Scenes Video", and then
click the right arrow key this will cause a Doctor Who logo
to appear. Click the logo and a rather disturbing Ace/Willow
slash fic story written by some lesbian fangirl will appear.
I read up to about page 3 when Willow becomes a vampire and
wears that lycra outfit...it's pretty good.
Wish it had pictures though.
But that's just me....
Well...I'm hoping that's not just me.
I don't want to be the weird one around here.
Dialogue Disasters -
Confused Nazis fighting on the side of the British
Gunther: How many times must I tell you Franz?? They are not
swinehunds - They are Tea Drinking Aryans!"
Dialogue Triumphs -
Ace: I'm not a little girl anymore.
Doctor: When we get to Maiden's Head would you like me to
buy you an ice cream?
Ace: Oh yes please!
Ace: There's a wind whipping up. I can feel it through my
(Editor's note, this line appears both in the story as
televised and in the DVD special feature I just mentioned,
so...it must be pretty good.)
Ace: And the half time score: Perivale, six hundred million;
Rest of the Universe, nil!
Doctor: Ace, you don't score chess like that.
Ace: Have to move faster than that if you want to keep
up with me. Faster than light.
Dr Judson: Faster than light in a vacuum right? Because if
you were to reflect light through a fluid-
Ace: Shut up old man! I'm trying to seduce you.
Where was I? Oh yeah, We're hardly moving yet.
Sometimes I travel so fast I don't exist.
Doctor: Time. The beginning of all beginnings.
Two forces, only good and evil, then chaos.
Time is born, matter, space.
The universe cries out like a newborn.
The forces shatter as the universe explodes outwards.
Only echoes remain, and yet somehow
Somehow, the evil force survives,
An intelligence - pure evil.
Ace: No Professor, I'm pretty sure those aren't the lyrics
to the Dark Side of the Moon.
Doctor: But that song about Time, called...Time.
That's it isn't it?
Ace: No that goes more like -
"And you run and run to catch up with the sun,
but it's sinking
And racing around to come up behind you again
The sun is the same in a relative way, but you're older
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death"
I don't think they actually mention the ever surviving
echoes of pure evil.
Doctor: Well then WHAT in the world am I thinking of?
I guess it doesn't matter. The time is gone.
The song is over. Thought I'd something more to say.
Viewer Quotes -
"The shining thread of this story. That one special element
that I will take away, is the touching story of the Reverend
who loses his faith. To this day I wonder, when I lost my
faith, WHY wasn't I seduced by demonic ladies of the night?
Don't get me wrong. Immortal sexual sin with undead women of
timeless beauty is nothing compared to the glory of our lord.
But, considering all sides, it ain't half bad either."
- Father James O' Maley (1989)
"In this story we see that Ace is no longer just a tomboy,
but a young vicious female killing machine coming to terms
with her own sexuality. GOD I LOVE THIS STORY!"
- Janet Greene, alt.fetish.lesbian.vampire (1997)
"More churches exploded in this story than any previous Doctor
Who story to date. A strange way to judge quality. But one
which proves itself true time and time again."
- Daniel Gumpy (1989)
Sylvester McCoy Speaks!
"I love going back into history and World War Two was just
a fantastic setting for a story. You see so many films and
television depictions of World War Two that you think that
you know everything about the era. It wasn't until Fenric
however that I learned of the deep Soviet respect and love
for volleyball. Completely surprising to me.
Apparently Karl Marx said that football was the opiate of the
Sophie Aldred Speaks!
"Fenric was really a very powerful and sexual show for Ace, but
then Vampire tales tend to be sexually charged. The whole,
Ace being incredibly important was completely not my doing at
all. I was really chuffed that they liked the character and what
I was doing and thought that I should go around molesting the
cosmos as my special way of helping the Doctor.
Chess Of Fenric was my favourite because of that character
development and that I must have been the first action heroine
to practically rape a guy in a wheelchair. I'm sure those
scenes stood out because when they did the first few scripts
for the X-Men movies, they asked me if I'd be interested in
playing Professor Xavier's girlfriend."
Rumors & Facts -
Following the tumultuous production of Season Twenty-Three in
1986, Doctor Who producer John Satan-Turner had requested - for
roughly the ten thousandth time -- that he be transferred to a
prison in Angola rather than being forced to continue his work
for the BBC.
His request denied, and having no other national prison system
to turn to, Satan-Turner remained. He was briefly happy during
Doctor Who's silver anniversary season in 1988, but was adamant
that at the end of the year he would build a raft from driftwood
and make a mad escape attempt to France.
Producer Paul Stone, responsible for such fantasy programming
as The Box Of Delights, was apparently offered the post, but
turned it down, changed his name, and immediately moved to
Brazil to escape the BBC.
Satan-Turner once again faced an ultimatum: produce Doctor Who
or lose thumbs. Reluctantly, Satan-Turner was back at the helm
with all ten fingers for a ninth season.
Meanwhile, in May 1988 a mysterious gentleman known only as
"Big Ian" began discussions with script editor Andrew Cartmel
about a new storyline for Season Twenty-Six.
Big Ian suggested an adventure set during the Second World War
on the coast of Britain which included plotlines concerning
the dawn of the computer age, as well as vampire legends and
Cartmel was never happy with stories that merely pulled together
three totally different themes in a haphazard and illogical way.
Cartmel asked Big Ian to come up with at least 2 other completely
unconnected ideas and weave them into the story as well. When
Big Ian suggested volleyball and ancient gods trapped in flasks
might be a laugh, he was commissioned on the spot.