Antidisestablishmentarianism of the Dalek

By Chris Mander

A white parrot sat on top of a multi-coloured umbrella. The parrot was soft, furry and cute, with a big yellow beak and a mischievous gleam in its eye. The parrot sat very still.

It didn't want to fall off, as the stirringly impressive music reached new crescendos around it. The red and yellow and blue and green and red and yellow and blue and green umbrella shifted slightly, indicating the presence of some unknown controlling intelligence beneath.

Neither of them was Colin Baker.

The heavy-set figure wore a battered old dark grey felt hat, pulled down mysteriously over its eye; and an immensely long scarf went up, down, around and about then all the way back again on its main body. A red tartan kilt was wrapped around its lower portions, but didn't quite reach all the way, leaving its balls exposed at the front.

A carefully preserved shaft of willow, and a spare umbrella - but black, with a strangely shaped handle - were hanging from the figure's manipulatory devices in a nonchalant manner.

And a cute but devious furry orange (with black racing stripes) feline sat cradled in the voluminous folds of scarf, surveying the occasional unsuspecting passers-by. It licked its lips in anticipation - it lived for the hunt.

This was a pre-credits sequence, designed to strike terror into the hearts and minds of all who dared to discover for themselves the chilling horror of the coming events.

For the mysterious figure was a Dalek, travelling incognito.

Its mission blazed around its primary operational circuits, and its castors stirred again in anticipation of the bloodlust about to loosen itself upon this primitive world.

Its body was strong, its mind clear and without guilt. It knew when it would be needed.

It waited.

BWAAAAAAAAAAOW!

Diddly dum, diddly dum, diddly dum, WOOO - EEE - OOOOOOOOH!

The credits were here. Waves of rushing energy leapt out of an inky, cloying blackness and screamed away into the oblivion of infinity. Pale blue words seemed to shudder into existence from nowhere, replicating themselves in garish brown shadows streaming off into the distance.

This was the event...

DOCTOR CON

... and it was all about to happen. The strobing letters shuddered, became unstable, then with frightening speed collapsed in upon themselves in a concussion of flickering whiteness...

Normality asserted a tenuous grip. A blue darkened lightness appeared, looking strangely inverted and sounding like the inside of a Dalek control room. This mesmerizing void held a message...

THE STORY SO FAR... DALEKS HAVE LANDED IN QUEEN STREET AND ARE SEARCHING THE CITY FOR A STRANGE EVENT... THEY WANT TO KILL THE DOCTOR AND ELIMINATE BAD ACTING FOREVER!

Fat chance.

With a jerk and a shudder (but no wheezing, groaning noises) the Mid-City Centre exploded into presence. Crowds of socially expectant and trendily-dressed humanity moved quickly past, mostly hoping to get lucky in some fashion later that night. For many, that definition of luck was about to take a chillingly barbaric twist...

The Dalek rolled into view, shouting threats, promises and obscenities into the milling throng. It perambulated quickly over the ceramic tiled floor, its metallic plating reflecting eerily the harsh actinic glare of a modern shopping centre.

It felt strangely at home here, amongst the moving walkways, the columns of metal and plastic, the massive sheets of transparent silicates, the wide-spectrum illuminated tubing and the grating-covered panels of bright whiteness.

It was not an environment fit for humanity, the Dalek thought. That would be arranged later. For now, its mission was to eliminate one of the seven possible threats to the future success of the Empire.

It had seen fleetingly the multi-patched and badged jacket of the companion to the Seventh Doctor, through the ebbing crowd. So where was old Ka Faraq Gatri himself, the Scottish sod?

The Dalek sped through the gleaming temple to capitalism, screaming the usual mindless messages of destruction, subjugation, massacre and elimination; as well as a few interesting bits about Kentucky Fried Chicken, and just exactly what it would do to Paul Scoones if it should ever be so fortunate as to discover where he was hiding...

Meanwhile the unlikely minion designated to record the event was having his own problems. It was physically impossible to keep a camera steady while running backwards through a busy city shopping centre, going backwards up and down some escalators, and avoiding (backwards) dim-witted Japanese tourists who thought they were out of danger when off the motorways - all this faster than a Dalek could travel (which was surprisingly quick).

For some strange reason, nobody seemed to realize this.

The Dalek sped off into the night, a fleeting shadow darting amongst the bus stops, the parking meters and the rubbish bins. A silent figure (only squeaking occasionally) melting into the darkness... hiding... awaiting... the event.

Someone had noted its existence. A nationwide broadcast was made - a warning. Beware tomorrow, she said in a French-award-winning bright and perky manner, of all things falling from the skies. Like scattered showers, and Daleks.

Nobody listened.

Or if they did, they got completely the wrong idea...

Today, Chris Mander was not organizing Auckland's latest DOCTOR CONvention, and a damned good thing that was too. He had been taken prisoner by a free-roaming Dalek earlier that day. Now, at gunpoint, with the threat of death hanging over him like a long-armed stapler, he was being forced to smuggle the very same Dalek into a hall filled to capacity with Doctor Who fans, watch it violently kill all his friends and record the event for posterity.

It was going to be one of those days.

No-one noticed that he all-of-a-sudden had developed a chronic stuttering problem. No-one noticed as he undid the lock of the main door with a screwdriver. (Because no-one had realized they needed both doors open if they were to be killed by a Dalek, the wallies!) The door wouldn't open anyway.

So the Dalek zipped down around the front, barged through another set of doors and levitated its incredibly heavy metal, wooden, plastic and lots more wooden body up two narrow flights of stairs.

Chris now served no further useful purpose, so the Dalek casually levelled its gunstick and shot him. Chris's smoking body jerked backwards, reeling into the railing at the top of the stairs, before slowly toppling over it and falling all the way to the ground with a lifeless thud and the cracking of fifty-seven important bones.

That was bloody amazing, thought the Dalek as it paused, about to charge into the convention centre. It would savour this moment for a long time to come.

Its mission was to conquer the Earth. Quite a predictable mission, the Dalek thought to himself. But then Daleks had never been renowned for their originality. Why, I bet Daleks the Universe over even think exactly the same things as what I just thought when they think about doing the things I'm thinking about going and doing, it thought...

The hall was spacious, airy, well-lit and full of fans. These people very definitely had been advertised on the network news the night before, and there were heaps of them.

Actually, most of them had been stuffed into a dark little cubbyhole to watch a video, but there were quite a reasonable number left over to make a convincing massacre.

The Dalek zoomed into the room. The fans screamed, ran, screamed and died, in that order. Need I elaborate? Well, OK...

A stampeding mass of panic went surging across the slippery wooden floor, all seeking somehow to escape through that distant set of wooden doors. If they could only get through those doors, they'd be safe. Well, at least they could die off-camera.

The air around them crackled with energy and turned all sorts of strange opposite colours that meant ‘you have just been shot by a BBC Dalek’.

The fans all bent over in highly weird directions, and sank to their knees with their eyes crossed in excruciating agony. Yes, we are aware that there was only one toilet in the whole building, but it couldn't be helped...

Reality jarred - everyone disappeared off the floor and came screaming into the room again. This was called getting good mileage out of one scene by doing it five times. They all skidded on the bend, looking backwards over their shoulders in terror-stricken helplessness, and thundered past the low-angle vantage point of observation.

The Dalek zoomed into the room, gliding effortlessly and speedily in pursuit. With frightening ease, it brought its gunstick to bear and blasted the slowest of the fans full in the back. The young fan staggered to a halt, his legs collapsing under him, falling backwards to lie a twisted, blackened corpse on the hard floor.

The Dalek shot past him, speeding by, mere millimetres from the camera, looming almost impossibly tall in the viewfinder.

Damn, I bet I look impressive doing this, it thought, rotating its better side (the one without the graffiti and that nasty little accident that happened outside when he stood too still near a lamppost for too long... ) towards the readers. Er... viewers. Whatever.

It bellowed powerfully, exercising the lungs of goodness knows how many different voices it had suddenly acquired that day. ‘EXTERMINATE! WE ARE THE SUPERIOR BEINGS! EXTERMINATE! WHERE IS THE DOCTOR! EXTERMINATE! RESISTANCE IS FUTILE! EXTERMINATE! EXTERMINATE!’ And then, just to spice things up with a bit of unique creativity, it bawled, ‘EXTERMINATE!’

A pile of fans smashed into the double doors. Wouldn't you know it, they were locked. Help panic oh no we're doomed you're mad oh dear me darling I love you we're about to die I'm so sorry what a silly way to go kiss me you fool I never meant to... They were frantic. The Dalek thingy was coming and so was its gun! Even big wooden doors couldn't stand up to this kind of pressure for long.

The Dalek swooped in for the kill. With some absolutely amazingly good quality screams several more fans died horribly.

The Dalek kept going. Here it comes!! Arcing gracefully around the dead bodies which littered the floor, it moved in to add that personal touch to the painful dispatch of the last few. It kept coming, closer and closer. And kept coming. Closer. Ye Gods! I hope it stops soon. Wow, Daleks are big.

The doors sprang open and two fans dashed through, hurtling out from amongst the falling dead bodies of their comrades. It was Dave and the other one! They motored down those same two flights of stairs we met earlier. Dave belted round the landing, tripped on a stair and rolled the rest of the way, coming to an abrupt halt when his head met the opposite wall.

‘Where are we going?’ yelled the other one. Don't worry about that - we'll make it up later. He fell over as well and landed in a heap on top of Dave.

That was not a good way for the heroes to end an episode. Quick! Tack on an extra scene! Hey, wait a minute - where had Chris's broken and battered body gone???

Dave and the other one dashed around a corner, and spied the hyper-electronically beamed interstitial time-space beacon sitting beside the wall. It looked at lot like an old TV.

‘OK, gotta set up the beacon, quick,’ Dave muttered. This has to be the daftest thing I've ever done, he thought hysterically. I'm calling up Doctor Who on a television set... oh well, 100 million people can't be wrong...

Dave plugged his fingers into the mains. ‘Chaaa... Eleven C, eleven C, eleven C. This is an emergency message. Calling the Doctor. Calling the Doctor.’ Oh no! You idiot! You said it twice! You have no idea what you've just done!

‘We need help, fast. Okay.’ Ha! That was an understatement and a half! But you couldn't swear on TV, so he kept it clean. They sat down to wait.

Waaaay out in space, John intercepted the message. His eyes bleeped and he told Jeff all about it.

‘Okay, John. Right - Patrick, Tom - launch number two and number four. ThundARbirDIS are GO!!’

‘FAB, Father!’

END OF EPISODE ONE. PATHETIC VOICE-OVER BY TVNZ. YES, THE S0DS CUT THE CREDITS OUT. HOW MUCH MORE YOU'VE MISSED YOU'LL NEVER KNOW.

HERE'S EPISODE TWO.

A flashing big bold blue blob barged into existence with a great deal of groaning, wheezing, vworping and flarbling. The TARDIS had materialized, cleverly disguising itself in amongst a series of cupboards set into the wall. Nobody would have ever guessed it was there, apart from the really huge sign saying POLICE (PUBLIC CALL) BOX on top of it.

The doors crashed open, and three people dashed simultaneously into a gap that was about big enough for slightly less than one.

‘I'm first!’

‘I'm first!’

‘I'm first!’

Two of the figures abruptly vanished backwards and one that looked very much like Ben strode purposefully out, and looked around. He was followed by a tall, blonde person clearly identifiable as the Second Doctor. Considering the fact that he was both dead and in Wellington at the time, he looked remarkably well preserved for his age.

And then a shortish, black-haired person emerged who was obviously the Fourth Doctor, looking nothing whatsoever like a Marsh-wiggle. Great. Two Doctors. Dave, we'll never forgive you for this...

Doctor Two held out his hand. Ben returned his hanky. Just how exactly it constantly came to be sitting in Ben's pocket, none of them were quite sure, but it seemed very suspicious.

They closed the TARDIS doors - couldn't have loads of fans wandering in their closet by accident - and tried to remember what they were doing. Of course!

‘Now, the beacon was...’ The Second Doctor painted to the left. Doctor Four pointed to the right. Ben was a companion, therefore he was incredibly stupid.

‘What beacon, Doctor? What beacon?’ he bellowed.

Doctor Two sighed. ‘The beacon that was... that brought us here. I think.’ That was how the plot had been going, wasn't it? Yes. They put their heads together and decided what to do.

‘That way.’ Doctor Four was decisive as ever, and pointed to the left.

‘Right,’ agreed Doctor Two.

‘Let's go,’ said Ben, and went. Everyone else was confused. Doctor Four couldn't remember which way to go, so he left to the right. Doctor Two went both ways, feeling left right out.

Dave and the other one were running, because they had been waiting for too long and the Dalek was after them. It had wasted everyone else and wanted very much to leave with a perfect score.

They shot through a narrow doorway, along a short corridor by the bottom of some stairs and went round the bend. Dave deftly caught a falling broom handle as they flattened themselves against the wall. The flaming Dalek was after them, and here it came.

Crrruunch!! The Dalek had wedged itself into the doorway. ‘MOBILITY IMPAIRED! MOBILITY IMPAIRED!’ it screamed. This would be a good time for that Special Weapons Nutcase to come and blow all great gooey heck out of every-thing all at once. Too bad he was off on leave.

Dave and the other one peered out hopefully. That was nice. They wandered casually up the stairs. ‘Wooaaaw!’ They met three weird-looking individuals coming down. Recognition slowly dawned.

‘Oh, hello.’

‘Hello.’

‘There's a Dalek after us...’

Veeeery slowly... ‘A Dalek?’

‘The beacon!’

‘The beacon?’

‘It's here!’

‘The beacon...’

‘The beacon??’

‘The beacon!!!’ Great jumping gobstoppers! Now they all knew who they all were! Wacko! Jolly good show, old boy, let's get on with it!

‘Right - where's the Dalek?’

‘Downstairs...’

‘...must deactivate it...’

‘Look out - it could shoot you.’ The group paused. Hmmm.

‘Oh no...’

Tally ho! They all ploughed down the stairs, pulling out bits and pieces and gadgets and thingies to point at the Dalek and make funny noises and flashing lights with. The Dalek screamed into life at this point, hurling abuse in all directions, but not much lethal firepower because everyone left was a hero of some description and couldn't get killed.

WHOOOPS! Bit of an abrupt cut there... All five of our impressive band were now crouching down being highly unnoticeable by the stairs, as the Dalek wandered by looking for something to shoot.

Dalek battle technique #37: never check for ambushes because we're so cool we can cope with anything. Dearie dearie me. The five burst upon it with muted cries and struggling grunting noises as they sought to overcome this malevolent mauling machine of terror.

A hat was plonked over its eyestalk, but fell off so quickly it couldn't even yell ‘VISION IMPAIRED - I CANNOT SEE’. A scarf was wrapped around the Dalek's neck, clogged up his gunstick, and pressure was applied, binding it tighter and tighter...

The hat reappeared and stayed on with the help of a hand. The stream of abuse, insults, threats and oblique instructions wound down like a broken record... its dome was going purple... muted gargling strangling noises rose belatedly from its inner depths...

Can this be death? wondered the Dalek fleetingly. ‘EX... TER... ME... PHUGGHLERUBBEBUBBLE...’

It went down fighting and consigned itself to a warrior's grave, forever to roam that great flat staircase in the sky.

‘Aaah!’

‘We got him.’ The forces of good had triumphed once more.

The adventurous hero-types wheeled the Dalek into the main hall, and grimly set about removing its top. The casing soon came away, revealing a green fluffy blob sitting in the bottom of the bio-mechanical life-support unit.

‘Aha! This was obviously the bio-bit of it. The Doctors and Ben crowded around, with a lot of groaning and muttering.

‘It smells.’

‘It's hideous.’

Somebody poked it for good measure. Well, there never was very much you could do with a dead Dalek anyway.

Anybody need a second-hand paperweight?

WHOOOPS! Blast - another one of those cuts. Something completely and utterly incongruously impossible is sure to happen...

‘Die, Doctor! Die! Die, die! Die!’ Sounds about right. It was the Master! He bounced up and down like a warp-nine yo-yo, spewing out inverse rays of deadly death-dealing dastardly destructiveness from the little black tube with a Ping-Pong ball on it.

Bodies flew all over the place, just like when the Dalek came through earlier. Hey, wait a minute - that ray's supposed to shrink things... SPFX wallies prove their absolute mastery of discontinuity once more...

Anyway, Doctor Two and Ben had been peacefully minding their own business, talking about something inconsequential. Now the Master had disappeared - shortest cameo in Time Lord history - and the Doctor was lying on the floor, severely dead. Ben, largely because he wasn't called Adric, had miraculously been thrown clear by the blast. Wow!

The Doctor (who was dead) was having a disconcerting vision. Demented spectres circled wildly, their banshee wailing slamming back and forth around his superganglia... his name seemed very popular at the moment...

‘Doctor, Doctor!’ Ben crawled desperately across the floor. Help - no heartbeats! The Doctor was completely and utterly dead! Like, he was dead!

Ah, thought the Doctor (who was quite dead), so this is regeneration! Shimmer, wheeze, groan, sparkle, spangle, glimble - pop! Hey like wow man if that wasn't the coolest far freakin' out mind blowing hippy trip since that story thirty pages ago, then cover me with flour and eggs and bake me for fourteen minutes.

It was so neat the Doctor (who, to be perfectly honest, was just plain dead) thought he'd do it again. Shlimble, whoozy, graunch, spleeble, spranflible, glamblefrankenfurter - pop! Hmmm, felt a bit different that time. (It's all gone horribly wrong... )

A shortish, black-haired person who was obviously the Fourth Doctor lay on the floor.

WHAT???

MAJOR CONTINUITY STUFF-UP, FOLKS... EVERYBODY TAKE FIVE WHILE I WORK OUT HOW DOCTOR #2 COULD POSSIBLY REGENERATE INTO DOCTOR #4 WHO HE HAD JUST BEEN WANDERING AROUND WITH IN THE SAME ADVENTURE...

Aaah, that's much better. Everybody happy now, then? NO?!? Well, I don't care.

Ben crawled desperately across the floor (again?) to where this familiar stranger lay, still smoking gently in the after-effects of a post-regenerative sensory overload. He felt for a couple of heartbeats - yes, they were thumping out the theme from Battlestar Galactica in double time with orchestral accompaniment from the small intestine. Ben rattled the Doctor's head around a bit just to get him started.

The Doctor flicked open an eye, and was shocked to find that the nightmare he thought he'd been having was a strange past-time called reality. He opened the other one and leapt up, not knowing anything at all.

Ben (who knew even less) managed to successfully add to the problem, and got him incredibly confused very quickly. Who on Earth was he? Exactly! Aaarrgh! Who are you? No, I'm Who. You're not, you know. Oh, bollocks...

Ben and Doctor Four simply settled for strangling each other instead, then shaking hands. Good way to start off a new life.

‘...terrible clothes...’

The adventurous group of five stood around shaking hands and saying goodbye to everyone. Doctors Two and Four (????) and Ben said goodbye to Dave and the other one, then to each other and themselves for good measure.

The Doctors dashed for the TARDIS, and got stuck again. Ben (who really was quite phenomenally strong) hurled them both out of the way and went straight through. Doctor Two started battering Doctor Four with his hanky, but suddenly the Fourth Doctor spotted something horrifying in the distance, and pointed.

Doctor Two was just about to look around, when abruptly they were both hauled forcibly backwards into the TARDIS by their heads. I hate it when that happens...

The TARDIS trumpeted off into the void like an elephant playing hopscotch on a piano wire with a door key, and peace descended on the tiny village...

BUT WHAT HAD THE DOCTOR SPOTTED??

Wooah! Here was another one of those strange inverted darker than lighter void thingies. But this time it was green and sounded just like the inside of a Zygon spaceship control centre... how strange... let's see what it says...

AND SO THE DALEKS BIT THE DUST! THERE ONLY REMAINED ONE FURTHER MEMBER OF THE DALEK TASK FORCE TO MOP UP IN AN ENCLOSED SPACE...

Crikey! Another Dalek!

Two diminutive, scared, but determined fans were hiding down the side of a handy piano. These were their lives hanging in the balance, after all, and they were about to take destiny firmly between their teeth and give it a good shake.

The spirit of Billy seemed to be with them as the Dalek glided swiftly past, intent on its mission to purge the galaxy of lesser alien life forms.

‘Quick - now!’ Gulping back spasms of fear which made them want to scream and twist their ankles, the two fans burst from their place of concealment.

They knew what they had to do.

The fans raced up behind the Dalek, and frantically began pushing it towards the dead-end corridor, their shoes skidding dangerously beneath them on the polished wooden floor.

The Dalek's internal gyro-motivators (castors) strained, slipped and spun ineffectually. The sudden loss of traction was shocking - how was it possible for dominance to be usurped by these elemental filth? The Dalek screamed in rage as it was propelled helplessly into the narrow annex.

At the last possible instant, the two fans dived desperately away, with a flurry of flying feet. The Dalek, in a spasm of electronically augmented fury, activated its firing mechanism. Searing bolts of accelerated irradiation blanketed the enclosed space, ricocheting, finding a target, and detonating.

The Dalek casing rippled then blew outwards, hugely, as the final threat to peace in Auckland fandom knew an abrupt dissolution.

Cheers echoed around the hall, and the dazed fans sat up, brushing dust and rubble from their clothing. A voice in their minds seemed to be chuckling in satisfaction. ‘It's very dangerous to fire energy weapons in an enclosed space...’

Luke - Billy will be with you... always...

The picture flickered uncontrollably, turned black then rainbow-hued, before being replaced swiftly with yet another green-tinged inverted void (which sounded just like Sutekh's time tunnel when it got going really well)...

THE END.

THE CLOSING CREDITS, THANKS TO ALL THE AUCKLAND (AND ROTORUA) FANS WHO SCREAMED, ROLLED, RAN AND DIED IN THIS VIDEO...

BWAAAAAAAAAAOW!
Diddly dum, diddly dum, diddly dum, etc, etc, etc ...

It was the closing theme, bringing to an end the day's hectic eventfulness. Yes - another satisfactory and fulfilling conclusion, another small chapter consigned to the history books, in that greatest of all stories which never, ever ends...

NOTE: Antidisestablishmentarianism of the Dalek, also known as Anti-etc of the Dalek, also known simply as DOCTOR CON - FIRST BLOOD PART II, was a story made on video at Doctor Con in Auckland (January 1991), by members of that chapter of the NZDWFC and anyone else silly enough to get in the way at the time. The story you have just read is the novelisation of the video. Thank goodness it's over...

This item appeared in Timestreams 3 (August 1991).

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