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Sunday, April 23, 2006

Would you care for a jelly baby? Pop tart? Shot of rum?

Living in the U.S. does have a few meager downsides. One of them, is that we are well behind the times on the revivial of Doctor Who.

All those who didn't think I was a geek until now, please raise your hands. Anyone? Well then, I'll continue.

Seriously, the Doctor is back, sort of. The popular BBC children's series, which really has had an appeal to people of many ages, because many adult people love science-fiction (Really, it's not just a kiddie thing! Pleanty of adults are into it! Stop chuckling!), and because the programme is really funny in a low-grade, ridiciulous, "Can we really get away with this?" sort of way.

Anyway, the series went off the air back in 1989 and stayed off, except for a fairly cheesy made for television film in 1996, starring Willy Wonka as The Doctor. Just last year it returned with Christopher Eccelston in the title role, and David Tennant (named after the Scottish lager) took over the role for the 2006 series.

Of course the real Doctor looks on all the television programmes with a kind of detached bemusement, and some bitterness over the fact that the BBC does not provide him with residuals, and that he can't sue because he has no legal standing as an illegal alien. I talked with him about this and a few other things.


Earl: Doctor, I'd like to thank you for allowing me to interview you, right here in the TARDIS.

The Doctor: Yes, my pleasure. Some Jelly Babies perhaps?

Earl: Certainly.

The Doctor: Take them all. I can't stand the things. (Opens a Crunchie bar and starts to eat it)

Earl: (Looking around) It really is bigger on the inside than the outside! Time in Relative Dimensions in Space, yes?

The Doctor: (Yawns) If you say so. Actually, we just backed the police box against a building and cut a hole in the wall.

Earl: You mean we're not in the actual TARDIS.

The Doctor: Heavens no. It's sitting over there in the sugar bowl.

Earl: The sugar bowl? However did it fit?

The Doctor: Listen, if I can fit a gigantic spaceship into a police telephone box, I can squeeze that police box into a sugar bowl. Trust me on this, mate.

Earl: Care to explain the science behind that?

The Doctor: It'd only make your head explode into a quadrillion pieces.

Earl: Fair enough. Moving on, when did you leave Galifrey to go on the run?

The Doctor: Well, actually I'm not on the run. I'm on holiday.

Earl: Holiday? What about the whole, "Stole the TARDIS and is out exploring the universe" bit?

The Doctor: It's an urban legend. It's all over the Internet.

Earl: Wait a tick. That's been the programme's storyline since the 1960s. How could an Internet urban legend get into a programme three decades prior?

The Doctor: What about time travel do you not understand?

Earl: Plenty, apparently. So you've been on holiday for 40 years?

The Doctor: It's all relative. I'll outlive you by about 700 years. So, what's 40 for holiday?

Earl: Tell me, do you travel with a companion, like your counterpart on the series?

The Doctor: Sometimes. It all depends on if I can pick up any birds in the pub that evening.

Earl: I thought the companion was supposed to be a loyal female friend with whom there was only the subtlest suspicion of romantic involvement, without anything ever being explicitly established.

The Doctor: That's fine for a children's programme, but the Doctor needs a little more than an attractive stooge to bounce amasing facts and figures off of. You spend several hundred years in a gigantic cold, police box-shaped space capsule and see how you feel. It's like getting out of prison sometimes. I'm all over anything with a bosom and a skirt. Having two hearts means the Doctor is a bit more, erm...frisky.

Earl: Apparently so. What about the male companions on the programme? Do you ever have male companions?

The Doctor: Do I look like I'm wearing a cowboy hat to you? If you want to go Brokeback Mountain with an interview, go and chat with the cast of Blake's 7.

Earl: Doctor, finally a little word association. Time travel.

The Doctor: Boring

Earl: Companion you'd choose?

The Doctor: Grace Kelly

Earl: Hasn't she passed on?

The Doctor: (Shaking head) T - I - M - E -T- R - A...

Earl: Oops, forgot about that. Tell her I said hello.

The Doctor: Oh, of course.

Earl: Favourite food?

The Doctor: Anything but Jelly Babies.

Earl: Favourite Drink?

The Doctor: Rum, Scotch, Gin, Bourbon.

Earl: Which one?

The Doctor: That is the one drink.

Earl: Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart

The Doctor: General Jack Ripper from Dr. Strangelove

Earl: Daleks

The Doctor: Snooker cheats

Earl: BBC

The Doctor: Toast, as of 2024, when Jo Rowling takes control of the government and renames it to "Jo TV."

Earl: How often do people ask you for medical opnions?

The Doctor: Not as much as you think. The scarf and waders usually convince people that I'm some sort of veternarian.

Earl: What about the Sonic Screwdriver?

The Doctor: That? I've got it right here. (Pulls out a doohickey with a flashing light at the end of it)

Earl: Impressive... I suppose. What all can it do?

The Doctor: It can open any lock, disrupt wireless transmissions for a radius of 100 kilometers, and access any information source on the planet, from computers to cellphones...

Earl: I suppose you were the one to crack Paris Hilton's mobile phone?

The Doctor: I was bored. I've got the photos and numbers here, if you like?

Earl: Thanks, but my life is complicated enough. Anyway, you were saying?

The Doctor: It also can unscrew any type of bolt or screw...

Earl: (Under breath) Amazing!

The Doctor: ...and has this as well. (He presses a button and a small corkscrew pops out of the end of the Sonic Screwdriver.) Whoops! (He presses another button and a small piece of metal pops out instead.)

Earl: A USB connection?

The Doctor: Yes. Of course, I've got an old serial adapter. but it's quite burdensome to deal with.

Earl: No wonder you skipped the nineties. Tell me, why do you call it the "Sonic Screwdriver," because it uses sonic vibrations?

The Doctor: It was the name of my favourite cocktail back home on Gallifrey.

Earl: Why not? Listen, our time is almost up, but could you tell me anything about my future?

The Doctor: (Goes into a kind of trance) Your blog will become incredibly popular. People will turn to you for advice and amusement. They will become desperately addicted to you. They will elevate you to political and economic power. Soon, you will rule the industrialized world.

Earl: Hmmm... I suppose we should be more ambitious with the guests in future then?

The Doctor: I suppose you shouldn't take everything I say seriously. The truth is that Jorge Carlito Viejo does a leveraged buyout of your blog in 2013 and sells it to Lemony Snicket for a case of Aero bars.

Earl: Well, I suppose the upside is that's more than I'd pay.


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