Chapter 04 - Target Books, Bacon Numbers, and Stolen Fluid Links

From Episode 4: The Rise of Stolen Fluid Links

SEAN: I was at work a while ago, and I was full of caffeine, which is never a good thing for me. Just like being full of Scotch isn’t a good thing. And I had this bug in my brain about the Target novelizations. I used to read those as a kid, and I really liked reading them. And I thought, “You know what? Maybe I’ll get one.” So I got a used paperback copy of “An Unearthly Child” for four bucks. It comes in the mail, and yesterday while I was playing “Dead by Daylight”, there’s a lot of downtime in between your matches because people are online hooking up. And so I picked up this tattered paperback. It’s like eighth grade reading level, but I’m fucking loving it! I don’t know if I’m going to go back to the murder mystery that I’m reading right now, because this Target novelization of “An Unearthly Child” is really damn good. Written by Terrance Dicks, who, of course, didn’t write the television script but he went back and did a lot of the novelizations.

CHRIS: He did a ton of the novelizations.

JB: I read his version of “The Deadly Assassin” before I saw the episode.

SEAN: I read a lot of those before seeing the episodes. But by the time I saw the episodes, I didn’t remember what I read as a kid. I thought they were all original stories made for books.

CHRIS: There is a dedicated, hardcore fan group that is all about the Target novels. There’s a page I follow on Facebook that features artists and graphic designers that will do their own versions of the Target novelization covers. Anytime a new episode of the show comes out, half a dozen people will immediately design a Target cover and post it on Facebook.

SEAN: I think I’ve seen these.

CHRIS: There is some really cool stuff people come up with.

SEAN: I devoured those books as a kid. If we didn’t complete homework assignments at school, we would be marked up and we would have to send a report to your parents for them to sign. And I wasn’t very good in grade school. I wouldn’t get a lot of homework assignments done. And my mom told me that if I had all my assignments caught up, she’d take me to the bookstore on the weekend and I can buy a Doctor Who book. I don’t think my grades went up, but I started doing my fucking homework. Because I could read one of those books in a week. I specifically remember the only one that I hated was “Colony in Space”. It was too long and too boring. And what do you know? That’s exactly how the televised story is like.

JB: It wasn’t even called “Colony in Space”. Wasn’t it called “The Space War?”

SEAN: I honestly don’t know. It would’ve been called “Doctor Who and The Space War”.

CHRIS: A lot of them got the name changed, or modified at least.

SEAN: And the whole time I was reading them I thought it was Tom Baker in them. I didn’t know it was Peter Davison or Colin Baker or whomever. The only ones they didn’t print were the ones that … what’s-his-face … the Hitchhikers Guide guy?

JB: Douglas Adams. And also the two Dalek stories written by Eric Saward were not originally novelized.

SEAN: But since then they’ve done them, right?

JB: Unofficially, yeah.

CHRIS: Terrance Dick’s writing style was such an easy read. You can knock one of those out in two hours.

SEAN: Yeah, it’s an eighth grade reading level, and a lot of them were copied right from the script. He probably knocked it out in two hours himself.

CHRIS: On a typewriter, no less.

SEAN: Yeah, I can picture him in a big English study. “Well, I will type this one out vewy qwickly! I remember it by heart!”

CHRIS: Did you realize we lost him not too long ago?

JB: Yeah, that was all over my news feed.

CHRIS: Really? I felt like people didn’t make much of a deal about his passing.

JB: Oh, they had. They did.

CHRIS: Okay, I guess I just missed it, cause I was like, “Guys, this is a big deal!”

JB: He was the gateway to Doctor Who for a lot of people. I remember this kid who was a couple of grades below me in high school. He was this fat little kid who almost died when the coach made him run laps in gym class. But he was always reading those Doctor Who Target novels. Years later I bumped into him at a convention, and we sat thru this slideshow presentation on Doctor Who. The moderator didn’t know fuck-all about Doctor Who, so we’re in the audience and we’re shouting, “No, it’s from this episode! Not that episode!”

SEAN: (imitating a geek) “Excuse me, I think you’ll find that this is actually this episode!” So, yeah, Terrance Dicks was the last major person in the Doctor Who world to die. Who’s going to be next?

JB: Tom.


JB: Or Carole Ann Ford.

CHRIS: If we’re putting money on it, I’ll say William Russell. I heard he’s circling the drain.

SEAN: I saw him at Gallifrey a few years ago, and he was a very nice man and very entertaining. People were very respectful, but he kinda lost his way a little bit halfway thru some of the questions.

CHRIS: He’s in his nineties, isn’t he?

JB: Oh, yeah, he’s in his nineties, I think. He’s at Joe Biden levels at this point.

SEAN: (laughs) Don’t get us started!

CHRIS: Creepy hair-sniffing motherfucker.

SEAN: Oh, it’s not just the hair-sniffing! It’s gotten worse now. It’s like, “Well, which rapist do I have to vote for now?”

CHRIS: The orange one or the blue one?

SEAN: It’s so sad. I’m looking at my wastepaper basket on the other side of the room. It’s got a Bernie Sanders sticker on it. It says “Bernie Beats Trump”.

CHRIS: The day he came out and endorsed Biden, which was a couple of days after he dropped out, I stomped out on my yard in a rage and ripped out my Bernie sign. And I have a Trumpy neighbor that parks his car and leaves his MAGA hat sitting on the dashboard and pointed towards my Bernie sign just to antagonize me. I ripped up my signed and flipped off his truck and shouted, “Fuck you, you Nazi fuck!”

SEAN: I picture you being like Steve Martin in “Planes, Trains & Automobiles”. When he has a meltdown in the parking lot.

CHRIS: Basically. That’s not very far from the truth.

JB: Speaking of “Planes, Trains & Automobiles”, the scene before that when he’s in line for the rental car? I knew the guy who was standing behind him in the line. They shot that scene in St. Louis, and this guy used to play acoustic sets at a local bar, and he was also in my acting class in junior college. He’s a tall, blonde-haired guy. He’s standing in line behind Steve Martin while he’s cussing out the lady at the rental car desk.

SEAN: In my high school we had a substitute teacher that was in “Home Alone”. He’s on the airplane when the family boards. That means absolutely nothing to anyone. Oh, and my biological father was good friends with John Wayne Gacy.

(JB goes into a laughing fit for about two minutes)

SEAN: That’s the only one I got, okay? That, and my mom almost dated Joe Montana. At one point, they said I was related to Vanna White, and that turned out to be not true.

CHRIS; What’s your Bacon Number?

JB: (practically in tears from all the laughing) OH MY GOD!

SEAN: My bacon number? Well, I can probably eat 16 or 17 strips in one sitting.

CHRIS: No, I mean “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon”. Mine’s is four.

SEAN: Really? How is that?

CHRIS: I was an extra in a B-movie. I’m a guy dancing in the background. It’s blurry, and you can’t even tell it’s me. But there’s a website where you can look up your Bacon Number, and I traced it out, and my Bacon Number is four.

SEAN: Wow! At least you have a Bacon Number.

JB: Okay, so the big question is what’s your Doctor Who number?

CHRIS: Three. To Tom Baker.

JB: Oh, shit!

CHRIS: I can’t remember the intermediates in-between, but I traced that one out, too. This was like my 15 minutes. I was milking the crap out of this.

SEAN: What was the movie?

CHRIS: I can’t even remember the name of it anymore. (laughs) This was, like, 10 years ago, and nobody watched it. There is a DVD. I have a copy. When I say B-movie, I’m being pretty fucking generous. This was never shown in a theater other than the one time at the premiere. The attendees were the cast and crew and maybe two or three girlfriends and boyfriends. That was pretty much it.

JB: You had two or three girlfriends and boyfriends?

CHRIS: No, not me personally.

SEAN: Was it a good movie?

CHRIS: No, it was absolutely terrible. It was some crap about a cop, and the guy who wrote and directed the movie was a friend of mine who’s a big, local podcaster now. He was the starring guy, and he’s done a couple of these movies where he always playing a characters who is losing his grip on reality and ends up going nuts and shooting somebody.

SEAN: That’s wonderful, Chris. I’m glad you shared that with us.

JB: We’ll find you on IMDB.

CHRIS: It’s not on there. I looked.

JB: Well, you gotta go in there and put yourself in there.

CHRIS: That’s what she said.

JB: Wow, we’ve been recording for almost an hour, and that’s the first “that’s what she said”. That’s a record.

CHRIS: I want to ask a theoretical question. With the whole COVID-19 pandemic going on right now, if the Doctor was to come down and “save us”, which version would you want it to be?

SEAN: I know the answer. It immediately came to mind. It would be Peter Capaldi. He is probably the most rude to humans.

CHRIS: Brusk?

SEAN: Yes, brusk. And I think this is what this situation needs. Somebody who’s fucking brusk. He needs to go to Georgia and visit Governor Kemp in his office and go, “Put the phone down! We need to talk about what you plan to do!”

CHRIS: “Go and fucking shut down the state!”

SEAN: Yeah. So first choice is Capaldi. Second choice would be Pertwee.

JB: I think Pertwee would be my first choice. Because he would be in the lab trying to find a cure while flirting with Liz Shaw. And he would go into the House of Lords and go, “You lith-en here!” He would shame all the bureaucrats and ministers. He would have an “in” with all the politicals in jolly ol’ England.

SEAN: I like that. I’m with you, JB.

CHRIS: I like that one, too. I would also go with Christopher Eccleston. “The Doctor Dances” would be my justification for that choice. How many other Doctors have an episode where they can honestly say, “Everybody lives!”

JB: Except everyone who has died so far from COVID.

CHRIS: Yeah, but if we went with the typical Moffat plot, he would find a way to bring back all the dead people. He would reverse the disease and add a chronon particle to take it back through time to all the people who got it, and they would all come back to life. I’m not saying it would be a good episode, but we would fucking survive it!

SEAN: Yeah, but I want to see Jon Pertwee yell at Donald Trump.

JB: “You, sir, are a qwith-ling!”

CHRIS: Sold! Okay, now let’s flip it. Which Doctor do you not want to see show up?

JB: Oh, god. Peter Davison. “There should’ve been another way!”

CHRIS: Yeah, you can see Peter Davison standing in a pile of corpses going, “Oh fuck, Tegan, we fucked this one up!”

SEAN: We should’ve worn more than masks at the grocery store. You know what, I’m going to say Hartnell.

JB: Wasn’t it in “The Ark” where he’s trying to cure the common cold, and he was doing it completely wrong?

SEAN: I don’t remember that.

CHRIS: Oh, I forgot about the Hartnell plague episode!

SEAN: I wouldn’t want William Hartnell walking in the midst of this. “Okay, what we need is more white men like me to try to figure this out!”


SEAN: My partner has this thing whenever I do something that he thinks is questionable, he’ll go, “HMM! HMM!” And I’m like, “Could you please not do that? That is so annoying. It’s cute when William Hartnell does it, but when you do it, it reminds me of William Hartnell, and you don’t even know who William Hartnell is. You do not have the privilege of doing that!”

CHRIS: You don’t have context! You are not allowed to do that!

SEAN: Yeah, exactly.

JB: William Hartnell would be very offended of you doing that.

SEAN: (laughs) Especially as he’s Asian.

JB: Yes! Exactly!

CHRIS: Okay, the Doctor I wouldn’t want to come save us from the pandemic is David Tennant. He would have a plan all figured out, and while he’s moon-eying or sacrificing shit over Rose, half of us would die.

SEAN: That was a good question. I like that question.

JB: Me, too. Speaking of questions, I’ve pulled up some questions that were meant to be answered by our good Canadian friends over at “Radio Free Skaro”. So it’s time for some “Stolen Fluid Links”. I went through all these “Fluid Link” questions that were posted on Twitter, and most of them were shit, and I pulled what I thought was salvageable. They just ask the most fucking inane questions, because they know they’re not going to address anything groundbreaking or controversial.

CHRIS: Don’t rock that boat!

JB: So our first question is from @cats&drwho. “Of all the guest characters introduced in in Series 12, which do you think would make the most interesting new companion for Jodie’s Doctor?” Can anyone remember who all were guest characters in Series 12?

CHRIS: Oh, man. There were a bunch in the episode where the chick was trying to blow up the thing, and it had the future humans in it. I forget what they called them.

JB: The Toclafane?

CHRIS: No. (JB laughs) This was a Jodie episode, yes? The one where they have the mutant humans feeding the humans on that resort.

JB: Oh, god! That one? “Orphan 55”?

SEAN; So the way you described it is actually much better than the actual episode.

CHRIS: There were a ton of supporting characters in that one. There’s the green-haired guy and his shitty kid…

JB: I would say it was a shitty father.

CHRIS: Like an extra plot they tacked on this mess that did not need anything else to be tacked onto. There’s the old couple, the spurned daughter that was blowing everything up, her mother…

JB: And the woman who looked like John Candy in “Spaceballs”.

CHRIS: Yeah, Pogo-hyphen or something like that?

SEAN: Yeah, she worked there. I’m afraid that I’m going to go with her. She would be like another Nardole. Jodie’s got enough companions already. She doesn’t need a fourth one. That would be just ridiculous.

JB: I would say what’s-his-name who was actually Jo Martin’s companion.

CHRIS: Ohh, yeah! He was the unsung companion, because if you watch that again realizing that he’s the Doctor’s companion, he is stellar! He saves her ass big time! He doesn’t bumble into it. It’s very calculated and purposeful. That’s a good choice. Damn, I wish I’d thought of that!

JB: Our next question is from @frankie&viney. “Do you think we will get a 60th Anniversary special? Which old faces will return? And who do you think should direct it?” I don’t really give a fuck who directs it.

CHRIS: I think that since the surviving classic Doctors got snubbed in the 50th, I would love to see them make the 60th about them. I wanna see some Peter Davison and Tom Baker.

JB: I don’t think Tom will be around by then.

CHRIS: Will you stop with that talk? Stop that!

SEAN: I don’t see this happening, but somebody prepared a treatment for the New Adventures novels where there was a set of 12 villains, like “The Dirty Dozen”. And they were all different incarnations of the same Time Lord, and they would go around doing crimes. And if you did the 60th like that, have the classic Doctors do villainy and shit, that’s how I would do it. But, no, that’s not going to work.

JB: I wanna see some companions. I wanna see Sophie Aldred coming back.

CHRIS: Yes! Let’s get some Ace closure!

JB: Yeah, we’ve had various versions of how Ace left the Doctor’s company in non-canon stories.

CHRIS: Yeah, let’s get a canon one.

SEAN: According to the “Farewell, Sarah Jane” thing, she has K9 now. So K9 would come with Ace.

JB: Maybe bring back Janet Fielding?

SEAN: Okay, you have to think about what you want versus what’s realistic, and they would not bring back a bunch of people that current fans - NEW fans - wouldn’t recognize. “Who the fuck is Tegan and Sara?” Or “Tegan and Nyssa?” Tegan and Sara is something completely different that I’m sure fans would recognize.

CHRIS: Maybe they would, because they did bring back the Eternals. I watched that episode for the first time with my wife who is not at all into classic Who. When they started talking about the Eternals, I started squeeing! And they mentioned the Toymaker! Oh my god! And my wife is like, “What are you babbling about?”

SEAN: I think realistically, what we can expect for the 60th is Tennant, Matt Smith, Capaldi, and Jodie Whittaker, although she may not be there anymore.

CHRIS: That doesn’t mean she wouldn’t come back.

SEAN: And maybe Eccleston.

CHRIS: That’s a long shot.

SEAN: And I don’t see the companions coming back. The actress who plays Bill would probably be willing to come back. But nobody remembers her. It’s so sad.

CHRIS: I liked her, though.

JB: Me, too, but she’s almost like the forgotten companion now.

SEAN: Yeah, she’s the Dodo of the New Series. She was treated very badly by the show. Almost as badly as the Brigadier with the Cybermen shit. Can you just deal with a companion in a normal way?

JB: Our next question is from @phonegraph. “In ‘Death of the Doctor’, Jo mentions that the TARDIS has the exact same smell as before. But what does the TARDIS smell like?”

SEAN: “Death of the Doctor”?

JB: Yeah, that was an episode of “The Sarah Jane Adventures”.

SEAN: Oh yes! The muppet vultures! So the question is, “What does the TARDIS smell like?” I got the perfect answer. When I was a teenager, there was a movie, I think it was called “Phenomenon”

JB & CHRIS: “doo-doooo-do-do-do!”

SEAN: And it starred John Travolta. This was post “Pulp Fiction” when John Travolta had a little burst in his career. He played an angel, and everyone that met him for the first time … one of them was like, “Oh, he smelled like fresh-baked cookies.” And someone else said, “No, he smells like strawberry cheesecake.” All these Yankee candle-type things. Yes, I love Yankee candles! So I’m going to say the TARDIS smells different for every single person, and it’s not necessarily a good smell like fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies, but it may be a familiar smell. Like when you drool on your pillow, and the next day you can smell your dried sputum on your pillow, and somehow it’s very comforting.

CHRIS: (cracking up with laughter) That is very specific! And weird!

JB: It’s like … what was it … the smell of dirt after a storm?

CHRIS: Petrichor.

JB: Yes!

CHRIS: In my head canon, the TARDIS has a smell particular to certain Doctors. Like, for some reason, I think the Eighth Doctor’s TARDIS probably smelled like cotton candy. I don’t know why I have that in my head. The Third Doctor, for Jo, I seriously would imagine it smelled like the ‘70s, so it would probably Old Spice, stale tobacco, and post-coital sweat. The 70’s had some dank to it.

SEAN: They did. I was around for five years in the 70s, and I remember the smell when I would get up at 6am Saturday morning, and what I now realize is the after-pot smell. I will disagree with you, Chris, about the Eighth Doctor, because I think his TARDIS smells like old books. Like when you go into the library and pull an old book off the shelf?

CHRIS: I love that smell! I am a spine sniffer.

SEAN: Yes! Are you a spine cracker, though? Don’t you fucking say you’re a spine cracker!

CHRIS: No! I will sniff it. That is very non-intrusive. Do you think I would do that to a book?!

SEAN: Yeah, I know, because you lent me a book that I left in my car in the heat. And it warped the cover, and I felt guilty as hell.

CHRIS: Oh, I thought you got grease on it.

(JB laughs)

SEAN: No, it wasn’t. It was heat-warping.

CHRIS: It’s very minor damage. I’m well over it.

SEAN: And I don’t remember the title. It was about the Second Doctor in a big mansion.

CHRIS: It was a Second Doctor story with Zoe and Jamie, and it was written by Andrew Cartmell. Mediocre story.

SEAN: So, JB, what’s your answer?

JB: Jo said the TARDIS smelled the same, and I was just going to say it smelled of Hi-Karate aftershave. Cause I can see Matt Smith…he’s kind of a greaser. He’s probably got Palmade in his hair.

CHRIS: He always strikes me as the awkward juvenile, so it’s like I imagine his TARDIS smelled like…

JB: Like Oxy-10 acne cream?

SEAN: Or Axe body spray.

CHRIS: There you go! Yeah! I can see 11 being an Axe guy.

JB: Okay, I have one more question. This is going to be the fucking strange one. From @panelstoplanets. “This year, ‘The Orville’ did a whole story on porn addiction. Do you think Doctor Who would ever dare to tackle that topic?”

CHRIS: I wish!

SEAN: I agree! The answer is no! But if they did, how?!

JB: And how would you do that with Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor?

CHRIS: It would absolutely have to involve the Katy Manning Dalek pictures.

JB: Ohhh! Those have got to be in the TARDIS databank!

CHRIS: Like maybe write the whole episode about it. Yeah, she’s going through the TARDIS databank and she finds these pictures of Jo all naked on a Dalek. And she has to figure out why Jo was having this relationship with a Dalek. I think I’m writing fanfic right now! Shit!

SEAN: There was a story in the Past Doctor Adventures range where the Seventh Doctor and Ace ended up on a planet where everyone was addicted to watching TV. They couldn’t do anything else. And the villains were called “The Fleshsmiths”, and they were creepy as hell. The book was written by Mike Tucker, who I think was one of the special effects guys on the show. I don’t remember the name of the book to save my life, but it was really good.

CHRIS: I’ve read that book. I can’t remember the name, either. I think it’s actually a “Short Trip” story. I don’t think it was a full novel.

SEAN: No, it was a full novel. But as far as porn addiction, maybe if you have someone who was like that but into something else? Have you ever seen this movie from the ’80s called “The Stuff”?


SEAN: Everybody is addicted to this product that comes out. It’s like yogurt or ice cream. This white sludge. It’s called “The Stuff”. And it takes over your mind and basically makes you Republican or whatever.

CHRIS: It’s edible Facebook.

SEAN: Maybe a certain subsection of humanity are addicted to something, and the Doctor has to solve it. It would’t be porn. It has to be something like … it can’t be video games, because I fucking love video games! Everyone loves video games whether they admit it or not.

JB: Okay, but what kind of video games? Are we talking action shoot-em-ups, or shit like “Candy Crush”? That was apparently addictive, but I never fucking played it.

CHRIS: Or sports games. I’ll play a baseball video game for days.

SEAN: I like the “Candy Crush” idea, because my partner plays it all the time, and he would never go beneath himself to try to play a video game like I do. And he’s on level 5000 of “Candy Crush”.

JB: That game releases a chemical in your brain.

SEAN: It releases endorphins when you go up a level or when it awards you points. Most video games are like this.

JB: It’s like the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode where Wesley Crusher came back to the Enterprise, and this alien was trying to infiltrate Starfleet, and she got Riker addicted to this game, and it spread throughout the entire ship.

SEAN: I barely remember that, but that’s a really good … yeah!

JB: It was the episode that Ashley Judd was in.

CHRIS: (snickers) Nerds.




No comments:

Post a Comment