The Jimmy Carter Menace

An alternate Programme Guide by Charles Daniels

Thirty-Fourth Entry in the Charles Daniels Unauthorized Programme Guide O'
Phantom Creeps

Serial GG - The Jimmy Carter Menace -

The TARDIS lands on the planet Mondo where the vile alien emperor
Jimmy 'Ming' Carter is running for re-election in 1980.   On leaving
the ship the Doctor and companions are captured by badly dressed
extras from the Undersea Kingdom and the infamous robots made
out of water cooler tanks.  The badly dressed extras take them to
the lost Kingdom Under the Sea, Atlantic City!  Capitol of Atlantis.
There the inhabitants plan to sacrifice the travellers to their
god, the Black Scorpion, by lowering them into a pit of the deadly
crustaceans.  At the last minute their lives are saved by Doctor Alexei
Zarkov.  Alexei explains that Flash Gordon and Dale Arden are being
held prisoner by the vile Emperor Jimmy 'Ming'.   The Doctor decides
he should wear silly clothes and make Polly his desirable female
love interest, much the the annoyance of Ben and Jamie.  Polly is
soon captured by a bird nobleman, Prince Vultan.  Vultan tries to
amuse Polly with bad puns and wishes to make her a bird lady.
When Polly realises prince Vultan isn't evil so much as unbelievably
dense she makes him realise that the bird people are pawns of
Jimmy 'Ming' Carter.  The TARDIS crew save Polly from some badly
dressed Romans with mops on their heads and convince the bird people
to revolt against Jimmy 'Ming'.  However 'Ming' believes that in
twelve hours he will be re-elected - he has fixed the election by
having his competition be the stupidest man imaginable - Ronald McDonald.
The Doctor supports Ronald McDonald and his running mate The Hamburgler
who go on to rule Atlantic City.
The Doctor leaves the city in silver stretch elastic pants, a cape,
a Zorro face mask, and glowing yellow radiation gloves, bidding Alexei
Zarkov and Prince Vultan farewell as his companions look forward
to leaving this silly place behind once and for all.

Book(s)/Other Related - Doctor Who Conquers The Universe
                        The Adventures of Captain Marvel: Silly
                        Costume Edition
                        Doctor Who And The Planet Of The Bottled Brains

Fluffs - Troughton seemed ashamed for most of this story
         "KASHAMBLES!" is the power cry of the Doctor which
         transforms him from his secret identity of Mr. Penguin
         into 'Doctor Mysterio, Prince of Space'
         The script clearly reads "KAZAM!" for this but maybe
         this was subtle commentary on Troughton's part

Fashion Victims - The Doctor's superhero outfit not only incorporates
                  the usual elements - cape, gloves, mask, bad pants,
                  but also adds some new touches such as the platform
                  shoes with spurs, cool 60s shades, and the ridiculous
                  clown's red nose

Goofs - In episode three Troughton audiably groans at many of the
        bad puns in the script.  Polly hits Jimmy 'Ming' Carter
        over the head with a space gun and in his daze he admits
        he has "lusted in his heart".
        The Doctor overthrew Jimmy 'Ming' Carter to support
        Ronald McDonald.  Isn't this just substituting one evil
        for another?  Shouldn't there have been a better way?

Links - When the TARDIS lands Polly thinks they are in Cromer
        again ('The Snugglers')

Technobabble - Jimmy 'Ming' Carter has a "thermonomic detonator"
               and a "kinetic death ray" with which he plans to
               rule the world

Dialogue Disasters -

The Doctor when asked how he feels wearing such a silly costume -
"I get a queer feeling."

The Doctor when asked why his companions never have any time alone -
"Oh they share everything with me."

The Doctor (embarassed): "Oh, have I dropped a brick?"

Prince Vultan (To Polly): Some birds get anxious when they hear what
                          I want to do to them.

Jimmy 'Ming' Carter: So, you're just a little man after all, Doctor,
                     like all ze rest.  You disappoint me!  I shall
                     spank you for being naughty!

DOCTOR: Well this is Atlantic City.

Prince Vultan's plea to Polly: Help me stand at your sides so
                               I may absorb your yumminess.

Jimmy 'Ming' Carter: Nothing in ze vorld can shtop me now!
                     I vill have the re-election und Doctor
                     Mysterio, Prince of Space, shall be
                     delievered into my hands!

Dialogue Triumphs -

Ben (about the Doctor): Look at him - he ain't normal is he?

BEN: What are you doing in that silly costume?
DOCTOR: If there is a wrong to be righted, or a wrongly
        righted wrong to be rightly righted, I, Doctor Mysterio,
        Prince of Space, will be there!

Rumors & Facts -

This story has long been critised as nothing but a knock off of cheap
30s and 40s film serials, but quite frankly I just don't see it.
Prince Vultan, Emperor Ming, Zarkov, and the bird people are
obviously new and innovative characters unlike anything else in
respectable science fiction.  Alexei Sayle in particular gave
a deep and believable seriousness to the role of Alexei Zarkov.
The dialogue was at all times Shakespearian in context and content.
After seeing this story for the first time I openly wept tears
of such that I have not shed since watching the gripping Free Willy
trilogy.   Brian Blessed's understated, subtle, calm and level performance
enhanced the dramatic tension of the bird's people flight from oppression
into the arena of freedom.
I am shocked and appalled at the attempts to tarnish the popularity
of this classic tale.  People often complain that the villian, Jimmy
Carter, has an inane and unbelievable German accent.  If the film
industry has taught us anything hasn't it established that
would-be-world-dictators always have a cheap German accent that
deceptively disguises itself as bad amateur theatrics?
I once read an article that referred to this story as "puke".  PUKE!
Puke ladies and gentlemen! (NO!! PLEASE DON'T!)  Didn't this slanderer
have the common decency to write "vomit" or "bile"?   Why much such
a great story be bashed and maltreated?   The costumes, the effects,
and the acting, are all consistent with a third rate kiddies panto
but the combined effect is so much more.
The bottom line is that this story is a missing story and all missing
stories are automatically unmissable classics without which Doctor Who
fandom is sadly deprived.  I know this to be true.  It must be true.
The Jimmy Carter Menace is far-fetched and written by a flake
but until I see every last frame I insist it's a masterpiece that
is hurt sadly by all the missing scenes featuring people tripping
over their own silly bird feet costumes.