I’m writing this in the midst of a gale. The wind is buffeting the hills, saturating the coasts, uprooting trees, downing power lines. None of this is happening outside my window. Outside my window it’s a bit blowy. It’s a bit blowy and all the schools are shut, which is a first world problem. I’m supposed to be on my way to the cafe to work on this book that will never get published, but there is a Danger To Life and in any case the cafe will probably be closed.
Anyway: where did we get to? We imagined a conversation between Chris Chibnall and Matt Strevens. Oh, and we did a field report to High Sontaran Command. Today, things get a little weirder. But then so did Flux, so at least it’s consistent. You will find three episode summaries below: we’re missing one for ‘The Vanquishers’, because that’s the episode I reviewed. I may write a precis at some point in the future, purely for the sake of completeness. But probably not.
By the way, if anyone at CBBC wants to hire me, I am available for interviews.
Once, Upon Time
[Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor wakes up and shakes her head. She gazes in awe at the sight around her: a vintage 1980s TARDIS, all gleaming white walls and round things.]
WHITTAKER: Holy mackerel, you’ve had a factory reset.
[Dan enters the room wearing Melanie Bush’s tracksuit.]
DAN / MEL: Ah. Feeling better, are you?
WHITTAKER: No. What happened?
DAN / MEL: You fell off the exercise bike and regenerated. Don’t you remember? Ooh, you’ve gone all Scottish.
WHITTAKER: Eh? No I haven’t, I –
[There is a flicker and she briefly looks like Sylvester McCoy, and then it’s back to the blonde.]
WHITTAKER: Oh, I see. I’ve fallen into my own timestream and I’m reliving events from my past. And you’re Bonnie Langford.
DAN / MEL: Who else would I be?
WHITTAKER: That explains the outfit. I thought it was a Scouse thing for a moment.
DAN / MEL: At least I’m not a talking dog this time.
WHITTAKER: That’s a matter of opinion.
[Bang! There is an explosion and we cut to – ]
INT. POND’S HOUSE
[Whittaker manifests in the lounge with a Wiimote in her hand.]
WHITTAKER: Oh, hang on, I remember this. It’s the one with the cubes. Trust Chibnall to reference his own stories.
[Yaz appears in the doorway wearing a checked shirt and padded jacket; Vinder follows in a miniskirt.]
YAZ: You’re playing video games again.
VINDER: No one calls them video games.
YAZ: They really do. I mean unless you work for a magazine or something. Then they’re just ‘games’. But still.
VINDER: How can one man in a position of responsibility be so clueless about popular culture?
YAZ: Ask the Commons Secretary.
[A Weeping Angel takes the place of the onscreen tennis player, serving a perfect ace that smashes through the screen in the direction of the startled Doctor.]
WHITTAKER: Oh, bug-
[The screen explodes in front of us and we cut to – ]
INT. HALL OF MIRRORS
[A dingy funfair. The Doctor, now wearing a cricket jumper, is exploring in the company of Bel, who is clicking incessantly on a small screen.]
WHITTAKER: Can’t you put down the bloody Tamagotchi?
BEL: I’m talking to someone who may or may not be you.
WHITTAKER: Does this mean if I pat your stomach we’ll wipe out the universe?
BEL: Again, you mean?
[The Doctor stops in front of a mirror, gazing at its garish reflection.]
WHITTAKER: This one makes me look fat.
COLIN BAKER: I resemble that remark.
[Enter Dan, dressed as Adric; a lone Cyberman is limping in behind him.]
DAN: Aw, this really isn’t fair.
[Bang! And we cut to – ]
EXT. THE ARUNDEL CASTLE
[It’s the set of Frozen. The Doctor is dressed as Princess Anna, and is in the middle of a duet with the White Guardian.]
WHITTAKER / GUARDIAN:
All this story’s been a series of doors out of place
And some changes in the TARDIS crew
And some dogs turned up and kidnapped the whole human race
And the Angels nicked the phone box and now we’re all screwed
But I think
Yeah I think I finally get it
Though I think it fell short of its ambition –
Love is the only mission!
Love is the only mission!
Love is the only –
[Something explodes offscreen, and the two of them are buried in a landslide. Roll credits.]
Village of the Angels
DIVISION ENTRY EXAMINATION: PAPER ONE
Time allowed: 6 episodes. (A period of extra time will be allocated in the event that plot strands do not fully resolve themselves.)
Please answer all questions on a separate sheet. Use the black ink of an Andulasian octopus, or crayon.
There is no penalty for spelling or grammatical errors, but we will dock a ton of marks if you dare use the phrase ‘Wibbly Wobbly Timey Wimey’.
- Tanya is a Weeping Angel. She has been working with the Division for six months. List the pros and cons of trying to engage with Tanya on a Zoom call. (7 marks)
- Determine, to the nearest parameter, the probability that Bel is the Doctor’s mother. Calculate the ratio of disgruntlement within the fandom. (8 marks)
- The Flame Angel and Scribble Angel are two new derivatives that have recently been launched by the Creativity Department. Design a new type of Angel to complement them. Your drawing should include a comprehensive nomenclature, suggestions for marketing, and size notes for B&M. (12 marks)
- Examine the comparative influences of either: a) George Romero, or b) Peppa Pig upon this story. (6 marks)
- Boris is giving a speech at a conference. He loses his place for 36 seconds. Given that an unobserved Angel travels a distance of five and a half metres a second, what is the furthest distance an Angel could be standing away from Boris in order to zap him before he finds the right piece of paper? (3 marks)
- Count the number of times the Doctor called the Angels ‘Weeping Angels’ in the last episode. Discuss whether this was awkward and clumsy or just mildly irritating. (10 marks)
- List some of the reasons vicars never come out well in Doctor Who stories. (4 marks)
- Using your knowledge of space-time and temporal ripples, determine Ruth’s exact place within the Doctor’s timeline. Prove your hypothesis. You will find a TARDIS under your seat. (60 marks)
Bonus question: Given that God is infinite, and that the universe is also infinite, would you like a toasted te– THIS QUESTION HAS BEEN REMOVED FOR BREACH OF COPYRIGHT.
Survivors of the Flux
SPEC SCRIPT: THE DUMPING GROUND, SERIES 9, EPISODE 1
INT. ASHDENE RIDGE – JODIE’S BEDROOM. DAY
[We’re in a functional-but-brightly-coloured bedroom at the local children’s home. JODIE, a sullen blonde teenager in a t-shirt and jeans, is standing in front of a mirror, holding up a variety of outfits to her chest.]
JODIE: No… not this one… nope… oh, it’s no good. I’m never gonna find an outfit that works.
[Enter JO, Jodie’s African roommate.]
JO: Still looking?
JODIE: Still looking. Ooh. What about this one?
[She holds up a pair of incredibly baggy trousers, hung by a set of braces.]
JO: You have got to be kidding. You look like Mork from Ork.
[Jodie sticks out her tongue, and leaves.]
JO: Oh. Mike wants to see you!
INT. LOUNGE. DAY
[Jodie passes by MONK and SACHA, two boys of about 12 or 13, both ensconced in a video game.]
JODIE: God. Don’t you two ever do anything except sit in front of that thing?
MONK: We’re grounded. Ever since the incident with the toaster.
SACHA: Which was your fault.
MONK: You were the one who switched it on! During an official visit!
SACHA: How was I supposed to know it’d explode?
[Enter MIKE, the long-suffering lead carer. An anxious-looking MAY-LI follows in his wake.]
MIKE: Jodie? Can we see you in the office, please?
[Jodie sighs, and follows May-Li.]
SACHA: Can we go out, Mike?
MIKE: Absolutely not. You two aren’t going anywhere until all the vice-president’s missing limbs are accounted for. Oh, and your room could do with tidying, while you’re at it.
MONK: We’re building something.
MIKE: I know what you’re building. Look, I’ve told you both. You’ll never get Sebastian to fit inside a Dalek case. He’s got no opposable thumbs, and he’s a Doberman.
[As he leaves, Sacha holds up a laser screwdriver and points it at the screen, whereupon Monk’s character explodes.]
MONK: Sach! You’re such a cheat!
INT. OFFICE. DAY
[Jodie slumps sulkily into a chair. Mike sits opposite; May-Li perches in a corner.]
MIKE: Now. You’re not in trouble. We just want to know what happened.
MAY-LI: What were you thinking, running off like that?
JODIE: [shrugs] Don’t know. Got bored.
MIKE: Do you mean bored like when Rani gets bored? ‘Cos we all know how that goes.
MAY-LI: Actually, where is Rani?
MIKE: Out in the workshop. Scraping up bits of rabbit.
MAY-LI: Jesus, that’s the third this week! Where’s she getting them?
MIKE: She mentioned something about Teletubbies. Can we, you know, focus?
MAY-LI: Right, yeah, sorry.
JODIE: I just wanted to see my mum.
MIKE [sighing]: Your mum. Listen, we told you. She’s a bad influence.
MAY-LI: All that stuff she made you do! Those… outings with the Division! All the stealing, the breaking stuff!
JODIE: She’s still my mum! Not my real mum, but the nearest I’ve got!
MIKE [exchanging a glance with May-Li]: We know that. But she’s proved again that she’s not able to look after you. You’ll have to come back here until she can show us she can be a responsible guardian.
[Close-up on Jodie’s face as we cut to a garish Nick Sharatt animation: Jodie smashing some windows in the company of TECTEUN, who wears a wide-brimmed hat and an evil expression. All of a sudden her sneer vanishes as a gigantic crack blisters its way down the screen and the universe is pulled in half; Tecteun is wrenched into a black hole, away from a screaming Jodie.]
JODIE: So what? You’re gonna wipe my memories again? Send me back to the academy like a good girl?
MIKE: Well… not quite. There’s been a bit of a development.
MAY-LI: Jodie… we found your mum. Your real mum.
JODIE: My – my wha…?
MIKE: She made contact with us about a week ago. Just turned up out of the blue. She never stopped looking.
[The doorbell rings.]
MAY-LI: That’s her now.
INT. HALL. DAY
[Jodie walks up the corridor, heart pounding, as the bell rings again. She turns to look at Mike and May-Li.]
MAY-LI: We’re right here.
[Jodie opens the door on an unseen figure.]
JODIE [stunned]: You?!?!?