Doctor Who at Newton's laws of television


The Tenth Plaintiff

by Matthew Newton


Episode One: WE GOT RID OF EPISODE TITLES NINE YEARS AGO AND WE USED THIS JOKE FOR THE CYBERLITTERBIN STORY

All monarchs of the ancient and noble and primitive planet of Peladon bore the name of the planet as a surname. King Notappearing III, the twentieth king of the planet had a very strange sense of humour and on the birth of his son he insisted that the boy have the forename Peladon. And that his middle name be Peladon too. But all this is in the past of the planet; I could lengthen this piece of fiction by going into a long rambling history of Peladon but I won't. Now that child was a young man and the monarch of his planet.

King Peladon Peladon Peladon of Peladon surveyed his throne room. This was an important time for his planet as he had applied for membership of the Galactic Federation, mainly because he liked the idea of that woman with the crewcut and the fancy frocks called Servalan visiting the planet. The Federation had sent a number of delegates to test whether Peladon was suitable for entry and to see if it had any mineral resources that could be exploited. The delegate from Earth had not yet arrived, but the other delegates were now present in the throne room after being summoned by Peladon Peladon Peladon of Peladon. First there was the delegate from Alpha Centurion, a green one-eyed creature from a society with low moral standards that was based on the ancient Roman Empire of Earth. Then there was the delegate from Architect, a small plasticy spider thing that travelled around in a life support unit that was the size of a small Sherman tank. Finally there were the delegates from Mars, whose race were known as the Rice Warriors because of their great love of Chinese cooking. The actual delegate was the Rice Lord, Zxzyyrx, but he was accompanied by his bodyguard Ssssgs. Looking at these delegates Peladon Peladon Peladon of Peladon wondered if being green was a prerequisite for joining the Federation. Also in the room was Grunt, the King's champion who was conveniently mute, and Hepatitis, the King's advisor and high priest of Aggadoo, worshipping the overgrown teddy bear that was the Royal beast of Peladon. Hepatitis was an honourable man, but he was bitterly opposed to Peladon's entry into the Federation. Peladon Peladon Peladon of Peladon suspected that he would go to any lengths to prevent the planet joining, perhaps even allying himself with one of the delegates who was secretly working for the evil Galaxy Five, in order to achieve this.

Peladon Peladon Peladon of Peladon finished surveying the throne room and addressed the assembled delegates. "I'm afraid that I must report the death of my friend and chancellor, Torbay, who was mysteriously killed by a large fierce creature not unlike the Royal beast Aggadoo." There were gasps from the delegates and Alpha Centurion bobbed up and down in a particularly obscene way. Peladon Peladon Peladon of Peladon held up his hand. "But do not fear - we believe that it was an accident. You are all quite safe..."



Jo Granite looked at the Doctor as he hunched over the TARDIS console, occasionally rubbing the back of his neck and admiring himself in a small pocket mirror. It had been Jo who had suggested a trip in the TARDIS as Mike Yates had been on the prowl looking for someone to go out with and as Sergeant Bent was busy Mike had been chasing her. Jo had now just emerged from the TARDIS wardrobe and she was now wearing an elegant pink evening gown as the Doctor had told her that they would soon be arriving on an ancient and noble and primitive planet where her hip and groovy gear would not be appropriate, especially if she needed to pretend to be a princess for some reason.

"What's the matter?" Jo asked the Doctor who was now examining his left ear in the mirror."

"Oh, I'm just wishing I had a larger mirror," he replied. "And I'm also wondering why the TARDIS is working. It's presumably a plot device because everyone's bored with alien invasions of Earth and mad scientists." He continued. "But we've definitely now arrived on an ancient and noble and primitive planet. I wonder if they'll be anyone I can hit here?"

The Doctor opened the TARDIS door and walked out, followed by Jo. The police box that was not a police box was perched precariously on a ledge half-way up a mountain. As soon as the Doctor and Jo left the police box that was not a police box, it toppled over and crashed down the mountain, giving the Doctor and Jo no choice other than to get involved in the forthcoming adventure like something in a Verity Lambert produced story.

The Doctor and Jo were now forced to climb up the mountain. Jo wasn't exactly dressed for mountain climbing, but being the Doctor's assistant she was used to being dressed inappropriately; only the previous week she had been helping the Doctor investigate a mysterious killer deckchair in the Antarctic while wearing only a bikini (see "Doctor Who and the Mysterious Killer Deckchair in the Antarctic"). Fortunately, after they had only scaled the vertical rock face for a hundred feet, the Doctor discovered a secret passage.

"What's a secret passage?" asked Jo.

"It's another plot device," replied the Doctor. "Presumably leading from this inaccessible rock face to that large and windswept citadel on top of this mountain" he continued, indicating the large and windswept citadel on top of the mountain.

"What's a citadel?" asked Jo as the Doctor pulled her into the secret passage.

The passage was dark but it soon opened up into a stone corridor illuminated by torches. They wandered along the corridor until the Doctor heard someone coming in the opposite direction. Rubbing his hands with glee, the Doctor dragged Jo behind a nearby curtain. A lone figure wearing the traditional Peladonian bushy purple and white wig wandered along the corridor.

"HIIIIIIYYYYYYYYAAAAAA!!!!!!" screamed the Doctor, leaping out from behind the corridor and felling his opponent with a single blow to the back of the neck. But before the Doctor had time to rub the back of his neck in satisfaction, dozens of Peladonian guards appeared, some armed with swords, axes or heavy metal records.

POW! OOOOFFFF! KAPOW! THUD! SMASH!

The Doctor had only disabled thirty four of the guards when he was finally overpowered. Jo was also discovered hiding behind the curtain. Hepatitis had now arrived on the scene. "Take them to the throne room," he ordered the only guard captain who had not been felled by a cunning piece of Venusian Aikido. "The King will decide what to do with them!"

"What's a king?" asked Jo as she was lead away with the Doctor.



The Doctor and Jo had now been taken to the throne room where it was quickly established that the Doctor was actually the delegate from Earth and Jo was a princess, which was handy since only women of royal blood were allowed to enter the throne room, and that the large fight which had decimated Peladon Peladon Peladon of Peladon's army was merely a misunderstanding. The Doctor had been introduced to the other delegates and he was immediately suspicious of the presence of the Rice Warriors as peaceful Federation members as, after all, he wasn't used to the monsters that he encountered getting any character development. The Doctor was now trying to revive Alpha Centurion who he had knocked unconscious with an excellently executed double blow to the torso and karate chop to the back of the head. "Sorry," he apologised. "Force of habit. And I'm not used to meeting monsters that aren't trying to invade Earth."

Meanwhile, Peladon Peladon Peladon of Peladon was infatuated with Jo, who was the most gorgeous woman that he had ever seen, although that wasn't difficult as there didn't seem to be any women on Peladon. Peladon Peladon Peladon of Peladon's civil welcoming kiss to Jo's hand had lead to more kisses leading up her arm. "Shall we go to my bedroom?" he asked.

"What's a bedroom?" asked Jo.

But as Peladon Peladon Peladon of Peladon lead Jo towards the door from the throne room to his bedroom, the delegates thought that he had also been talking to them, so the Doctor, Architect, Zxzyyrx, Ssssgs and a recovering Alpha Centurion started following. Peladon Peladon Peladon of Peladon was so busy concentrating on the possibilities brought to mind by Jo telling him of her interest in escapology, and the other delegates were so busy trying to avoid the Doctor's punches and kicks that no-one noticed that the large polystyrene model of Aggadoo that was positioned above the throne room door was starting to fall, just as they all were approaching...

NOT TO BE CONTINUED (WELL, MAYBE. PERHAPS. WHAT'S IT WORTH?)

Originally published in Think Tank issue 28 (Summer 1995).



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