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The Pip And Jane Chronicles

Part 3: What They Wrote On Their Day Off

By Chris Mander

Yahoo everybody, back again. Well, this time round I'm feeling rather lazy or creatively burnt out or something, so I'm taking a rest.

Yes! This bi-month Pip & Jane are writing the column for me!! We're about to take a roller-coaster ride through some of the most tortuous and screamingly hysterical sentences P&J ever wrote in their Doctor Who novelisations. It's... (leave a suitable pause to build up the suspense) the Classic Quotes!

Actually whenever you open a Pip & Jane book you're automatically looking at a mind-numbingly silly part of it, so these fortuitous fragments are something like the edited highlights (if such a term could possibly apply).

Throughout this selection of shattered serenity I've freely (and completely without remorse) taken things light-years out of the context in which they didn't make any sense at all in before, and they make even less sense than a yeti rolling uphill when reprinted here. So, for the benefit of the doubt, you can check up on them yourselves with the handy rinky-dinky page numbers supplied free with each mouthful. (initials of the book title then page number)

NO! DON'T!! That's fair warning, I think - I'm not going to have a recommendation to actually read these books weighing heavily on my conscience. I mean to say, I did, and look what happened to me...

PART ONE - THE PETTY INSULTS

Open, deeply felt emotion is a key element in these stories, so P&J take every chance to let their characters' feelings flow...

  • "Cretin!" -TATR45
  • "you cretins!" -MOTR53
  • "You asinine cretin!" -MOTR129
  • "Imbeciles!" -MOTR30
  • "The imbecile..." -MOTR77
  • "You imbecile!" -TATR136
  • "You blundering imbecile!" -TUF117
  • "You vain fool!" -TUF106
  • "you incompetent fool!" -TATR40
  • "You're a raving lunatic!" -TATR69
  • "crack-brained freak..." -MOTR125
  • "Oaf! Microbe!" -TUF58
  • "You intellectual microbe!" -MOTR125
  • "you interfering maniac!" -TATR112
  • "You appalling dunderhead..." -TOTV33
  • "Silence, worm!" -TUF63
  • "your thick academic skull..." -TOTV33
  • "you incompetent egoist!" -MOTR81
  • "Incompetent dolt! You're worthless!" - MOTR117 (and that's no way to talk to Peri)

Well, I suppose it saves having to actually write something that contributes to the story in any way whatsoever...

PART TWO - A COMPLETELY BOGUS BOOK

In The Ultimate Foe, an absolutely astonishing number of useless things (well, really only Mel) turn out to be just plain bogus...

  • "bogus Mogarian..." -TOTV68 (whoops, how did that get in there?)
  • "...bogus!" -TUF77
  • "bogus trial..." -TUF82
  • "...bogus Mel" -TUF78
  • "...bogus Mel" -TUF109
  • "bogus creature..." -TUF118 (...which leads up to the very famous revelation...)
  • "Bogus creature! Mel!" -TUF118

Even Pip & Jane acknowledge that Mel is completely and utterly pointless!

PART THREE - HOW SILLY IS PERI

Pip and Jane take every opportunity to extend the role and character of the female companions - in The Mark of the Rani we see how readily Peri can comprehend, and possibly even carry out, the most basic commands...

  • "Stay back, Peri! Stay back!" -MOTR69
  • "Come on, Peri! Come on!" -MOTR73
  • "Stay still, Peri! Stay still!" -MOTR116
  • "Hoist up your skirts, Peri" -MOTR15
  • "Shove, Peri! Shove!" -MOTR68
  • "Careful, Peri! Careful!" -MOTR31
  • "Press it, girl! Press it!" -TOTV19 (just to prove that Mel is stupid too)

How could they? That's just appalling. And these are meant to be children's books - what a wonderful example to set...

PART FOUR - SIMPLY AWESOME PARAGRAPHS

Sit back and let Pip and Jane's fabulous creative and descriptive genius flow over you, preferably with exclamation marks!! Bear in mind that (almost) each and every one of the following are individual, self-contained, stand- alone complete examples of those curious elements of literature called paragraphs...

  • "Whoosh!" -TUF118
  • "Wham!" -TATR45
  • "Bang!" -MOTR33
  • "Whack!" -MOTR127
  • "Aaaaah!" -TOTV45
  • "Crr-a-a-s-ssh!" -TOTV52
  • "Carrot juice... carrot juice..." -TUF122
  • "Stampede!" -TATR74
  • "A click!" -TATR77
  • "A judder!" -MOTR11
  • "Tap-tap-tap on the door." -TOTV35
  • "Clip-clop. Clip-clop." -TUF80
  • "A perceptive deduction." -TATR65 & TATR31
  • "Too late!" -TUF90 & TOTV34 & TOTV57 & TATR5 (a definite personal favourite)

Wow. The epitome of descriptive artistry (as P&J might say) straight from the experts to you. How much trouble would they be in if something happened silently?

PART FIVE - I'M SORRY, I DIDN'T QUITE CATCH THAT

Incomprehensibility seems to be a P&J speciality - mixed metaphors, non-sequiturs, words which had to be bribed in order to sit next to each other - they're all here!

  • "The Rani's patience strained at the leash." -TATR37 (yup, she's a dog...)
  • "Rani? He knew her? This withered old crone? Old crone?" -MOTR38
  • "Nor were the phasers they levelled loaded with blanks." -TUF20 (BLANKS???)
  • "...had his victim by the tail and he intended to twist it!" -TUF8
  • "...a hundred percent proof nectar..." -TUF111
  • "...Mel was in the van of the helter-skelter retreat." -TATR127

Two of these actually make sense - it's just the first time they've been used in over a hundred years so I wasn't quite ready for them...

PART SIX - EVERYBODY ELSE

A lot of it simply doesn't fit into any comprehensible category - it's like trying to understand a brick wall by running into it. You just finish up with a headache...

  • "...a pathetic whine, and then one dog less in the Universe..." -MOTR27
  • "...one bureaucrat less in the Matrix!" -TUF94
  • "Venting her spleen on Josh..." -MOTR77
    (Newly discovered aspect of Gallifreyan biology - their spleens have vents! Poor Josh. Could also possibly be used as a defensive measure...)
  • "But, oh no!" -MOTR95
  • "No wheedling. Hard." -TATR44
  • "Curt: subject terminated." -TATR62
  • "A jerk!" -TATR52 (wasn't he in TARDIS TALES a few issues ago??)

PART SEVEN - YES, I JUST HAD TO COMPLETELY DESTROY MEL, HA HA HA

What, you thought that with three quarters of these books being Mel-infested that I was going to let those bits slip through the net? Like heck I am...

  • "Benefiting from her superb fitness, Mel quickly outstripped Ikona." -TATR20
  • "Mel was flummoxed." -TATR22 (what I want to know is - who flummoxed her??)
  • "'That's a daft idea!' This could only be Mel!" -TATR129
  • "...Mel's head was poked into something..." -TATR26 (A guillotine! No? Oh well..)
  • "Typical Mel. ... No dancing about." -TOTV92 (Ha!)
  • "Her scream was shrill enough to splinter glass!" -TATR57 (HA!)
  • "There's nothing wrong with my voice!" -TUF13 (HA!!!)
  • "With the dexterity of an eel, Mel..." -TATR52
  • "...on several occasions, compared Mel to an elephant." -TATR60
  • "...Mel's entrance... would have done credit to a small posse of wildebeest!" -TOTV35

Not very surprisingly, P&J are confused. Well, nobody else knows exactly what kind of animal Mel is like either.

PART EIGHT - THE CLASSIC CLASSIC QUOTES

Some of the things P&J dream up to describe a serious, depressing, sad, mournful part of the story are so brilliantly daft I wish I'd thought of them. Then you come to the really mental bits...

  • "- the goo burped!" -TATR109
  • "Again the goo burped." -TATR109
  • "Great slurps and burps..." -TATR111 (it's so hard to find goo with decent manners)
  • "The rubber tubing was fully extended!" -TATR68
  • "Nothing can stop me now!" -TATR129 (What? A cliché?? I'm flabbergasted!)
  • "...black-robed hyena! Laughing! Joke! Mel's..." -TUF106
  • "...catharsis of spurious morality." -TUF114 (say what???)
  • "The officious kowtowing of the spurious clerk had regressed to the conniving prosecutor's abrasive condescension." -TUF104 (help, help - my brain's exploded...)

To finish up with - my vote for the most wonderfully misplaced cliché of the lot:

  • "Let lass go or I'll blow brains out!" -MOTR82

BUT UNDERNEATH IT ALL THEY MUST BE UTTERLY BRILLIANT!

(THE PIP & JANE CHRONICLES PART 3A)

highly predictably written by Chris again

This is the serious part of the article, so don't expect it to be funny. "Don't worry, that means it'll be just like the other part." Thanks a lot.

So why am I bashing up P&J's work so enthusiastically? They do have their own creative and highly distinctive style, after all. The world would be a very bland place indeed if everybody wrote the same way, and cultural diversity is what humanity thrives upon...

AAARRGH! I'm sorry, I just can't do it! I can't argue both sides of the coin in order to come up with a reasoned, logical and informed conclusion! I just looked at "- the goo burped!" again and it drives me insane every time!

Right, so the books are bad. But are Pip and Jane physically capable of writing well? Is it possible for them to string two words together without descending into bounding cliché, violent onomatopoeia (?), terminal repetitiveness and intellectual cabbagery??

No.

Just look at the prologue to The Mark of the Rani - starts out brilliantly, but only eleven lines later we get hit in the face by a dung beetle, and from then on it's all downhill, through all four books.

Well, I started off thinking they were rubbish and I finished up thinking they're even worse, so that about completes the circumnavigational dissertation for this bi-month... What? I'm sorry, which bit was a quote from P&J? The bit that sounded stupid? All of it sounds stup... oh! TUF63! Help - I'm quoting!!

Aaaaah! But, oh no! Imbecile! Bogus writer! Me! TOO LATE!!!!! Glurk.

This item appeared in TSV 23 (June 1991).

Index nodes: The Pip and Jane Chronicles
Reprinted in: TSV: The Best of Issues 21-26