Dictionaries are like watches, the worst is better than none, and the best cannot be expected to go quite true.
- Samuel (‘Sausage’? ‘SAUSAGE’?!) Johnson
Him: Sounds like the sort of tent a conman would try and sell you. A ‘Con-Tent’.
Me: What, like a shovel?
06 MYSTERIOUS VISITOR
|The Earth eventually dies in the year 5.5/Apple/26. It is destroyed naturally by the expanding Sun, not by an enemy.1|
Me: So, the Colony.
Him: Why do we keep going back there?2
Me: It’s relaxing. And I like collecting t-shirts.
Him: It’s full of giant crabs!
22 TOOLS OF THE TRADE
|Like much Time Lord technology, the complex machine looks simple. 1|
Me: What’s the stabby thing again?
Him: I’ve told you once. It’s a grinder.
Me: A grinder?
Him: It stops birds from landing on your electric fence.
Me: Leaving aside the fact that I don’t have an electric fence for the moment, wouldn’t an electric fence act as something of a deterrent anyway?
Him: Birds aren’t affected by electricity.
Really long pause, like a sea-badger reflected in a fun house mirror.
Me: Is that right?
Him: They’re all made of rubber.
|Powerful and mysterious Rift Manipulator. 1|
Me: Ah. Wood. Goes up a treat.
Him: It doesn’t burn as quickly as you’d think it would.
Me: True. We were miles away before Colony security turned up.
|Central panel conceals teleport base code. 1|
Him: That was a cold day.
Me: Which one am I again?
40 JOHN SMITH
|The Doctor's real life seeps through into John Smith's dreams, which he records as fiction in what he calls his "journal of impossible things". 1|
Him: Are you going to say, “Whoops, butterfingers”?
Me: I think you should.
48 DOOMSDAY GHOSTS
|Grip-adhesive stock. 1|
|Battle Daleks fly in squadrons of 12 or 16. 1|
|Comms device is connected to brain tissue. 1|
|By opening the blaster's bonding chamber the Doctor adapts it to be effective against polycarbide - the exterior of a Dalek. 1|
|Daleks do not form alliances unless they can perceive a way of gaining a further advantage, usually achieved by betraying their allies. 1|
|The Parallel World Transporter is worn around the neck and can only transport one person at a time safely. 1|
Me: I need the loo. I tell you what, when I’ve typed all this, I’ll phone a curry. Is that alright?
|1940s tailoring. 1|
Him: Okay, let’s talk about Ironsides.
Me: I’ve got nothing.
Him: No. They’re not very interesting, are they? Let’s make up random stuff.
64 ARMY OF ANGELS
|Serene faces mask violent intentions. 1|
|Looking into the Angels' eyes is perilous. 1|
Him: Do you know that the human bite contains more bacteria than any other bite? It’s even got more bacteria than the komodo dragon. Which is amazing.
Me: What’s that got to do with Flossie?
76 GUESTS OF PLATFORM ONE
|A special mix of air is pumped into the face masks. 1|
|Large four-fingered hands with sharp nails. 1|
84 NEW EARTH
|Landing area for non-emergency vehicles. 1|
|Position adjustment control. 1|
|The Order is as single-minded about its mission to cure patients as it is fiercely secretive about its treatment methods. 1|
|Display of patient lifesigns. 1|
|Escaped specimens have bred and thrive beneath the smog-shrouded Motorway, hunting its travellers. 1|
|They forced humans to mine the poisonous gas they fed on. 1|
|Kitten nursery, equipped for the babies' every need. 1|
|Over billions of years they devolved into simple beasts and were kept in the New New York Zoo. 1|
|Many denizens of the Undercity have set off on the Motorway, dreaming of a better life higher up. 1|
|This highway is 20 lanes across and 50 lanes deep. Its traffic moves five miles every 12 years, but is going nowhere because the exit has been sealed to protect it from danger above. 1|
|Universal symbol for hospital. 1|
|Ambulance landing bay. 1|
|The Sisters can tell each other apart by their scent and the colour of their fur. 1|
|Holographic presenter Sally Calypso's fabricated broadcasts convince the Motorway residents that all is normal in New New York. 1|
|Fur is turning grey with age. 1|
Me: The weather was mostly well-behaved.
Him: It defied everything the weather man told us.
Me: Almost as though something was controlling it…
90 SS Madame de Pompadour
Me: It’s a boat. As any fool can plainly see.
Him: I can plainly see that.
92 THE BEAST
|Starlight shines through pothole. 1|
Him: The Black Shuck.
Me: Almost. You’re getting there.
|They are planning to create a new empire on Earth, but unlike the numerical equations used in Earth's sciences, the Carrionites use formulae made out of significant shapes and words. 1|
Him: You can say something about golden eagles and we’ll leave it at that.
108 TIME LORDS
|Hands hide the shame of those who voted against the Ultimate Sanction. 1|
Me: That’s our new ‘author shot’.
Him: We have quite a lot of those now, don’t we?
Me: Not new ones.
110 THE HEAVENLY HOST3
|Robot's default position is standing straight, with hands together and head bowed. Razor-edged halo can be thrown as weapon. 1|
Me: I’m saying nothing.
120 VASHTA NERADA
|One hundred years before the Doctor arrives, the Vashta Nerada enter their deadly hatching cycle. 1|
|The man-eating swarms create an extra shadow.1|
|Their name means "the shadows that melt the flesh" because they strip their victims to the bone in seconds. 1|
|They are also known as "piranhas of the air". 1|
|The Vashta Nerada are found on a billion worlds, including Earth, where they live mainly on roadkill. 1|
|The creatures hunt by latching on to a living food source and keeping it fresh until they devour it. 1|
|They normally live in the darkness, but can also be seen as the dust in sunbeams. 1|
Him: Quite a lot of jaw bones. They looked like pan pipes.
Me: The brighter the sun, the darker the shadows. BDMTISH!4
121 THE FLOOD
|Possessed eyes. 1|
|Water drips constantly from the body. 1|
Him: That’s the jellyfish and the sea.
Me: Hemmingway’s widely rejected initial pitch.
122 SAN HELIOS
|Belonged to King Athelstan over 1000 years ago. 1|
|Sand is all that's left of San Helios. 1|
Him: Do we need to say anything about San Helios? Is it not bizarre enough?
Me: Fair point.
128 STAR WHALE
|Me: Lest we forget.|
140 TIME ENERGY
Me: Same again next year?
Him: I’d assume so.
|CONTROL MUST BE BELIEVED AND OBEYED!!|
|NO-ONE ON THE COLONY BELIEVES IN MACRA!!!|
|THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS MACRA!!!!|
MACRA DO NOT EXIST!!!!!
|THERE ARE NO MACRAAAAAAAA!!!!!!|
Next: Something completely different.
1. Corry, N; Rayner, J; Darling, A; Dougherty, K; John, D; Beecroft, S. Doctor Who The Visual Dictionary, Dorling Kindersley Limited, London. 2010.
3. Photo courtesy of my long-suffering PA.
4. Meanwhile, in the Village…