An alternate Programme Guide by
The One Hundred and Fifty-Ninth Entry in the Charles Daniels
Unauthorized Programme Guide O' Black No. 1
Serial 7Q - Goth Night -
The Doctor sets the TARDIS to Gabriel Chase, a Victorian mansion
in Perivale, which will host the first Sexual Olympics in 1972.
Unfortunately the Doctor is driven to distraction as he thinks
about the events, and accidentally sets the TARDIS to land in
1883; when it's just filled by a bunch of sexually repressed
Victorians in laughable suits...
Reverend Ernest Matthews, Dean of Mortarhouse College, Oxford,
arrives for dinner to challenge the blasphemous theories of the
house's owner, Josiah Samuel Smith. Josiah Samuel Smith has
recently published a very controversial paper which claims that
the glorious and god chosen race of humanity has in fact merely
evolved on the planet, descending from the common banana.
The theory is so universally unpopular that even Charles Darwin
is mightily pissed off.
When the TARDIS materializes in the upper observatory of the
house Ace explains to the Doctor that she feels aeons of terror
and can hear the voices of the damned screaming in her head.
The Doctor just tells her to get used to it -- he has.
Ace asks the Doctor straight up if this isn't all some sick plan
to drive her insane and use her for some devilish end.
Quickly checking his pocket watch the Doctor replies -
"It's Saturday already!? Well, then, the answer is yes. But
do try to have fun. Don't let it spoil your weekend."
Before Ace can complain, she is approached by an oddly intense
explorer who politely explains that the house has driven him
insane. At first the Doctor wonders if the house has actually
just unleashed the explorer's mind; allowed him to see beyond the
three dimensions that the majority of the human race has enslaved
The Doctor explains to Ace that once a human being allows itself
to become unstuck from time it can gain a transdimensional
hyperawareness that frees one from the cage of linear thought,
and to the unenlightened outsider merely appears to be insanity.
When the explorer explains that he has come to seek out Josiah
Samuel Smith, and prove once and for all that he is indeed descended
from the ancient banana people of the Congo -- the Doctor deftly
concludes that the guy is just loopy.
Things on Sanity Lane take another bad turn when the butler of
the home introduces himself as Nimrod the Neanderthal and politely
takes their coats.
Nimrod shows the Doctor and Ace to the drawing room and offers
them some canapes. Ace is just about to eat one when the
Doctor roughly grabs her arm and forcefully stops her.
"What Professor? Do you reckon they're poison?"
"Ace, I have travelled through endless oceans of time and space.
Seen dimensions undreamed of, and universes made of dreams. And
in all that time, the whirling chaos of cacophony, I have learned
one thing...NEVER accept canapes from a Neanderthal!"
Nimrod is deeply offended and hurt, he explains that he spent
hours perfecting the Aubergine and tofu satay, and that he
personally caught the salmon he used in the couscous sushi with
his own bare hands.
In deep shame The Doctor hands Nimrod the fang of a cave bear, a
token of wisdom amongst the elders of Nimrod's tribe....
unfortunately Nimrod is a complete moron and is deeply puzzled
why the Doctor has suddenly handed him a tooth.
It is at this point when further stresses greet our heroes.
The humble Victorians politely mention that Ace is dressed like
hooker, and really should wear something more covering...such
as a huge ball gown and a balaklava.
While Josiah Samuel Smith's ward Gwendoline shows Ace to her
room to find suitable clothing, the Doctor and Matthews speak with
Smith, whose treatises on banana-based evolution have provoked
outrage amongst the God-fearing Victorians; who were already too
shy and retiring to speak of bananas publicly as they are noted
often for their phallic appearance.
"Honestly sir. This latest treatise was obviously meant solely
to inflict tension of a sexual nature. If you are to propose a
preposterous plant predecessor, why not an apple? Or a refreshing
kiwi? To even mention such a devilish and tempting fruit as you
have done in a respected journal! Outrageous!"
"Excuse me if I'm hearing this from the wrong angle, but, why
should a banana be more offensive than any other growing plant?"
Queried the Doctor in alien ignorance.
"My good man! The long shaft - which must be caressed, the
skin slowly peeled back, so that one can wrap one owns lips
firmly upon it, take the white fruit into ones own body for
nourishment and fulfillment! It's damnation I tell you!"
"I've never thought of it that way." The Doctor looked into the
middle distance. "I'm sorry, you wouldn't have any of these about
would you?" Asked the Doctor with dreamy carelessness.
Matthews is shocked beyond words and things become even more
scandalous when Ace and Gwendoline enter the room, both dressed
in mens' clothing!
"Fair ladies in trousers!" Exclaimed Matthews. "Now I stand with
certainty that this is a parlour of hellfire!"
Matthews' attempt to pontificate is interrupted by the sound of a
telephone ringing. Smith answers the telephone and hears
a strange voice. Matthew's insists to know who should dare
to interrupt him when he is speaking, telephonically or not.
Smith looks at Matthew's squarely and says "Oh it's just God.
He's just rung up to tell me how full of crap you are."
Smith hangs up the phone harshly and walks out of the room smugly.
Matthews is besides himself with outrage, but the Doctor attempts
to calm him down -
"I shouldn't worry if I was you. He gets over these little
tizzies you know. I can't tell you how many times he's called
up to say exactly the same thing about me. But he always calms
down before he does anything rash....well, except for that time
with Sodom and Gomorrah. But that was ages ago."
The Doctor is desperate to find out what's going on, but he is
angrily confronted by Ace, who's learned that this house is the
same haunted house she once told the Doctor she never wanted
to return to. The Doctor has brought her back to this house to
force Ace to confront some dark secret from her past.
"Ace, you must face your fear, embrace your destiny. That is
the most important thing we must do here....also, I'm sort of
twisted and just want to satisfy my own curiosity."
The Doctor is convinced that something important happened to Ace
in the house. Ace tells the Doctor that she knows that she entered
the house on the worst day of her life, but can't remember much
about that day.
The Doctor tells Ace that the evil she encountered on the worst
day in her life is still present in the house. When Ace asks him
how he can possibly know such a thing, when even she can't properly
remember, the Doctor calmly replies -
"Ace, we're standing in a large chamber with glowing alien control
panels and stuffed animals. Something evil is definitely afoot."
Two alien beings dressed as Teddy Bears in tuxedos emerge from
a toy box and attack Ace.
The Doctor discovers that, in addition to the stuffed Teddy Bears
in tuxedos armed with hunting rifles, the toy box also contains
a lifesized wind up toy policeman.
After a good winding up with a key the toy police inspector
identifies himself as Mackenzie.
When the Doctor, Ace, and Mackenzie meet the young ward Gwendoline
she is convinced that Mackenzie is a rare insect from Java.
"Gwendoline thinks Mackenzie is an insect? Is she under some
mad hypnotic control, Professor?"
"Hmm?? Oh no, the young girl is just insane and murderous.
Nothing to bother about...most likely."
Ace and Mackenzie ask the Doctor how they are going to proceed.
Both explain to the Doctor that there are no obvious clues as
to what exactly is going on around them. The Doctor points out
to a nearby glowing membrane which seems to be growing on a nearby
"Glowing membranes like the one here tend to be gateways into
etherrealms of pure evil. Usually they are guarded by demonic
servants who kill anyone who approaches and patiently perform
blood sacrifices so their "invulnerable and all powerful" dark
masters can recharge and take form again."
"Professor, I've noticed a pattern with these dark forces. It
always seems that they are...I don't know...re-gathering their
energies. Like they will be mean and awful and evil, as soon
as they have a good rest and can be bothered. That doesn't make
them seem that all powerful to me."
"Very astute observation Ace. Of course I do time these things
carefully. Best to kick a god when he's down, you know?
STILL, this is not a typical case. It seems here that there
are no heroes rushing in, threatening to destroy the gateway.
And yet, it's heavily guarded. Now why would that be?"
"No. I think what we have here is a force that is honestly
powerful. So powerful and pissy that it's demonic guards DON'T
WANT IT OPEN! They want to protect it. To keep it closed.
They also collect stuffed animals. It's an enigma. But easily
The Doctor deftly smashes the glowing membrane into a trillion
As energy is released into the house, Nimrod wanders into the
room and screams loudly. He stares wildly at the Doctor, recites
legends of his tribe and announces that the Flammable One will soon
Ace demands the Doctor immediately tell her who this Flammable
One truly is. The Doctor admits that even he isn't sure what he's
doing, and may have unleashed an even greater threat in his attempt
to defeat Smith. But it's too late to stop it now; their 25 minutes
The Flammable One, Light, takes the form of an angel, and
the Doctor tells Ace and Mackenzie that it's on a mission to
catalogue all forms of life in the Universe.
Light explains that his first stop on his universal tour was
earth, as he fancied a bit of a sun tan and thought Greece would
do nicely. Unfortunately the sun tan got out of control and he
turned into a being of pure light -
"Happens to my species sometimes. I should have known better
and packed extra sun cream."
Light is deeply annoyed the planet Earth has changed so much
that his survey of the planet's life forms is out of date.
In his confusion he dissects one of the teddy bears, believing
them to be the dominate life form on the planet.
Light criticizes just about everyone on the planet for changing
so damned much. "So you think you're so damned clever do you?
Just because you're adapting to your situation to survive!"
Light looks at the Doctor with special contempt as he has the
habit of changing bodies. And he is similarly disgusted with
Ace - "I can feel the change within this one as well."
Ace is horrified and in a sudden rush of pain and realization
she reveals to the Doctor what happened here in 1983.
"I wanted to have fun. I thought I should firebomb a place, for
laughs, like old times. But I didn't make it out alive. Oh god,
my name. I remember my name!"
"What is your name ACE?!"
"It's not Ace...it's....Susan. My name is Susan. But Susan
is dead! I died, I didn't mix the nitro right. I was so drunk."
The Doctor hugs Ace and explains that she is indeed Ace, and
she is indeed Susan, his granddaughter.
"You mean like how you're you, and you're also the really creepy
guy with the bad scarf? The one who used to call me and breathe
heavily until I hung up?"
"I'd rather not admit to that -- but yes."
Ace is thrown to realise that she is a time lady, but there's
still Light to take care of.
After a rousing dinner of Police Inspector Mackenzie Soup, Light
explains his plans to ensure that his catalogue remains up to date.
He has programmed his ship to explode and eradicate all life on the
The Doctor is annoyed by this all too typical psychotic
megalomaniac plan and expresses his displeasure. Surely an all
powerful god could come up with something more original than that.
Light explains that every really neat idea has been tried by
some other god, and he doesn't want to draw any comparisons.
"It's very humiliating to destroy an entire universe in what
you are certain is a unique and hilarious way, only to be trumped
by Grendel, God of Random Acts of Violence, when he explains he
did it a million years before using only a lemon."
The Doctor nods appreciatively and with experience. "Such has
happened to each of us. Yet, Light, there is something unique.
Something interesting. Something no all powerful god has ever
"Really? What is it?"
"Losing. That's the thing about all powerful gods. It's just
endless dick contests eventually. The first one starts 'Oh I
destroyed a universe this weekend, it was rather pretty too.'
And then the one down the table starts off with his all too
witty 'It took you an ENTIRE weekend?? You've lost your touch!
I could destroy a reality in a single afternoon and still have
time for tea afterwards!'
Why not do something REALLY unique Light. Lose. Lose badly.
Totally and utterly fail at something really important.
It will be so revolutionary, the other gods won't know what to do
about it. You'll be respected at last!"
Following the Doctor's advice Light gives up the fight and is
killed by vicious living Teddy Bears of his own design.
All the occupants are free to leave, the spell seems broken,
and yet a quiet and unspeakable evil remains - infused within the
very living brick of the house.
Book(s)/Other Related -
Doctor Who & The Naughty Goth Girls of Time (Canada Only)
Doctor Who - Fun God Explodes And Girl With Super Powers! (Japan)
Doctor Mysterio y el loco Cave-Amigo! (Take a guess!)
Nimrod's Quick And Easy Canape Solution To Every Party Disaster
Or "All the Guests Are Undead Monsters From Outerspace? Then It's
Time to Break Out The Roast Chipolatas with Chestnut Crumb!"
Links and References -
Ace's insane love of explosives is finally revealed to be directly
from her first incarnation as the ever devilish Susan.
(See early Hartnell era, most of that ISN'T burnt, so it shouldn't
be that hard.)
Untelevised Misadventures -
The Doctor hints that at some point Susan developed a time machine
and eventually returned to earth in the early 1980s before
regenerating into Ace. These adventures are explored in a series
of spin off novels starting with "Susan, Last of the Bad Ass Time
The Doctor says he once took Romana to a nice little Indian
restaurant near the Khyber Pass.
Groovy DVD Extras -
An extra 47 minutes of cut footage...and yet after watching it
I STILL don't get what the hell this story was really about!
A five minute mini-documentary which explains why the Goth
Girls and big rave party were totally removed from the final
cut of the story. I was surprised that it wasn't because
the presence of goth girls and industrial music was anarchonistic
for the 19th century, but instead solely because they didn't
have the budget to purchase all the mascara and black lipstick
Random Trivia -
Goth Night is the only Doctor Who story to feature the phrase
Dialogue Disasters -
Ace: Is this an asylum with the patients in charge?
Doctor: Yes Ace, this is the BBC.
Gwendoline: Sir, your actions confuse me.
Doctor: Really? I'm completely bewildered by them!
Matthews: I see all the stories about you are true.
You have no shred of decency.
Doctor: Actually I do. But I left it in my other jacket.
Dialogue Triumphs -
The Teddy Bears loom closer and closer to Ace, death seems
certain. Then, suddenly and without warning, the lights cut out
and the Teddy Bears are left uncertain, halting their approach.
>From a distance a voice calls out -
Voice: Sorry! It's 10o'clock. We have to stop recording.
Sophie: WHAT!? Honestly! I'm about to be mauled by giant
teddy bear monsters for the cliffhanger! You can't
do this now!!!
Director: Surely we can get an extension!
Voice: (Cruel bureaucratic laughter)
Doctor: Let me guess. My theories appall you. My heresies
outrage you. I never answer letters. And you don't
like my tie.
Matthews: I was going to be too polite to mention it, but
honestly, YES your tie is repulsive.
Ace: It's true isn't it? This is the house I told you about.
Doctor: You were here. You did something strange. Something
stupid. Something potentially deeply embarrassing.
I'm dying to find out what it was.
Ace: That's your surprise isn't it? Bringing me back here.
Doctor: Remind me what it was that you sensed when you entered
this deserted house. An aura of intense evil? A hint
of dark energy? A slightly woozy sense of wrong?
Perhaps some sort of sickly nausea...made you wish you
hadn't had a curry earlier in the evening?
Ace: Don't you have things you hate?
Doctor: I can't stand burnt toast. I loath bus stations.
Terrible places. Full of lost luggage and lost souls.
Ace: I told you I never wanted to come back here again.
Doctor: And then there's unrequited love. And tyranny.
And cruelty. And durian flavoured ice cream.
Ace: Too right.
Doctor: We all have a universe of our own terrors to face.
Ace: Hey! Wait a minute! Did you say unrequited love?
Doctor: (Sadly) Yes.
Ace: That ought to piss off those guys who said you were
After the physical death of the villain -
Ace: Will they really respect Light?
Doctor: What for? Losing control of this entire universe to
a meat puppet in a question mark jumper?
I'd doubt it.
Soon after discovering she's a time lady -
Ace: You've known since we got to the house!
Doctor: Actually I've known for 700 years, I just couldn't
be bothered before now.
Doctor: You still feel the evil in this place?
Ace: Totally. All around me. Like a wet blanket of slime.
Doctor: Yick. Yes. That's evil.
So, do you have any regrets about burning this place
down in a 100 years and losing your first life?
Ace: Yes. I shouldn't have burnt this place down.
I should have blown it up.
Viewer Quotes -
"I was completely unsatisfied with this story's denouement.
I have no idea what a denouement is, but I've always wanted to
use that word in a review, and as I am completely unhappy with
everything in the story I'm pretty sure the denouement in it
must be pretty bad too."
- Nick Smitherstein, Online Reviewer And Porn Enthusiast (2003)
"I really love this story. The Doctor is some one I really admire.
I mean just look what he does! Upon learning that Ace is scared
of this house he immediately goes there and subjects her to a
cast of twisted, mentally ill freaks who push her to a painful
and freaky catharsis. Ace is scared shitless the whole time as
the Doctor merrily manipulates her to the brink of suicide and
insanity. I've ALWAYS wanted to do that to a girl!!"
- A guy who scared me at a sci-fi convention (1992)
"This story is more complex than a Rubik's Cube. But sadly
when I get frustrated, I can't just rip off all the stickers
and put them together in order, I am just left with a confusing
broken mess." - Darren Wimbley (1989)
"This story is like trying to solve a 500 piece jigsaw puzzle
while blindfolded and on fire." - George Khovrian (1995)
(Ed. Note: I bought the book that Nimrod wrote and I have to tell
you, the Blue cheese dip with chargrilled fennel knocks them dead
Sylvester McCoy Speaks!
"I didn't really know what this story was all about. I saw the
title and immediately I thought "Wonderful! Girls in leather
skirts!" Which to be honest is a thought I try to have every
The thing that immediately got me down about the story was
that it was all studio based. Studio based recording is a
very depressing prospect. I've seen seasoned actors cut off
their own hands rather than work in a studio. That usually
does the trick, but once it backfired for a friend of mine when
he discovered he was cast as the real murderer in The Fugitive.
Talk about irony!
The nicest thing about doing this script was the big dinner party.
My wage from Doctor Who was so low at that point I had started to
cut off the non-essentials in my life such as food and shelter.
They'd already let me sleep in the various lots around the studios
and when I found out they were going to feed me as well in this
serial I was just thrilled. I had successfully staved off
starvation for another week!"
Rumors & Facts -
The Independent called this the best Doctor Who story in a decade.
However, in order to appreciate fully what's going on it is
probably necessary to watch Goth Night about fifteen times and
then make up your own story to fit the scenes.
The story was written by Mark Plate a fan of Doctor Who whom had
been attempting to secure a commission from the production office
since the mid-Seventies. Around 1976, Plate submitted an idea for a
story set on Gallifrey called 'Return of the Last of the First of
The Time Lords'; this was rejected by then-script editor Holmes
when he got lost somewhere after the third "of" in the title.
Holmes was mildly scared of Plate and so wrote him an encouraging
rejection letter along the lines of "Those bastards at the BBC
won't let me do your story. Too bad, it's great...whatever the
hell it's about."
Encouraged, Plate maintained periodic contact with the
production office. Later he submitted a story called Fishmongers
featuring two opposing alien races which have decided to put
aside their differences in order to control the universal fish
market. This was rejected by script editor Eric Saward, as was
a rather awkward sexual come on.
In 1984 Plate crafted a new storyline, Peek-a-Boo. Peek-a-Boo was
a complex adventure in which the TARDIS turned into a bizarre
landscape one morning when time called in sick and couldn't be
bothered to run the universe.
When Saward lost his life in a vicious duel against Andrew
Cartmel, Plate submitted the storyline again. Cartmel liked it
very much, but thought it far too ambitious for Doctor Who's
budget of 3 pounds 75 pence, with an option to request a further
penny in dire circumstances.
Cartmel and Plate agreed to a meeting which apparently resulted
in a conversation about their desires for girls with short jet
black hair and pale skin. From this humble conversation the
story Goth Night was commissioned.
JST was unconvinced that the audience would take the Goth Girls
seriously as monsters, and so he insisted that giant, gun wielding
Teddy Bears be added to the adventure.
When Cartmel and Plate complained about this decision, JST
confided his own childhood fears concerning armies of vicious
teddies taking over Britain. As JST had always made it a policy
to follow his childhood instincts, the argument was unwinnable
and the requested changes took place.
By the time Goth Night began airing in October, it was already
clear that Doctor Who was in trouble. Its viewing figures had been
low ever since the 1985-86 hiatus between Seasons Twenty-Two and
Twenty-Three, and when I say low, I mean there was one guy in
Brighton still watching.
Although there had been some optimism, Battlefield: Earth's
ratings had sunk almost without a trace; it was later discovered
that the man from Brighton had vacationed in Spain when the last
episodes were aired.
Goth Night was not much better. The one shining hope it had for
better ratings, scantily clad goth girls, never materialized.
The BBC held a second press launch to promote the final two
serials of the season and the situation did improve somewhat;
about five guys from Birmingham tuned in. But the damage had
already been done. In the November 25th edition of the Radio
Times, Head of Serials Peter Cregeen confirmed that fans could
expect a longer-than-usual wait before Season Twenty-Seven,
but who in the hell realised that the bastard meant 16 years?!?!