Tardis

Spoilers are precisely defined here. Rules vary by the story's medium. Info from television stories can't be added here until after the top or bottom of the hour, British time, closest to the end credits roll on BBC One. Therefore, fans in the Americas who are sensitive to spoilers should avoid Tardis on Sundays until they've seen the episode.

READ MORE

Tardis
Advertisement
Tardis

RealWorld.png

Extracts from the Doctor's 500 Year Diary was one of the three prose stories in The Doctor Who Fun Book. A comedic compilations of extracts from the First Doctor's entries in his Five Hundred Year Diary, it offered insight into the Doctor's opinion on his companions, and also sought to explain Doctor Who's existence within the Doctor Who universe.

The story made heavy use of the "unreliable narrator" narrative technique, as knowledge of the TV stories involved (mainly An Unearthly Child and The Daleks) makes it evident that the Doctor is lying about his motives for some of his more questionable actions, and keeping others yet wholly silent. He most amusingly acts outraged at the suggestion that he might be squatting in the police box, even though it was well-known by 1987 that the Doctor had in fact stolen the TARDIS and had no rights to live in it.

Summary[]

From the beginnings of his difficult relationship with the BBC due to Susan Foreman watching the Beatles without a license during their stay at 76 Totter's Lane to his constant, but secretly fond, bickering with Ian Chesterton, the First Doctor's point of view on his adventures from Foreman's Junkyard to the cusp of his regeneration into the Second Doctor is a complex and frequently-frustrated one…

Plot[]

While the TARDIS remains parked at 76 Totter's Lane, the Doctor tries his hand at some commerce, buying and selling items from the junkyard, though his poor sense of what is and isn't an antiquity from the point of view of 1963 Earth makes it difficult for him to turn in a profit. At Coal Hill School, Susan Foreman takes her geography, needlepoint and maths exams, failing in one key respect in the latter due to forgetting that Britain hasn't moved to the metric system yet (even though the Doctor had tried to get her to remember that at least).

A few days later, the Doctor returns to the TARDIS to find that Susan has managed to fiddle with the TARDIS scanner to make it show the current broadcasts of the local, "primitive" television channel, the BBC. Susan is enamoured with the music of the Beatles that is being played, but the Doctor finds it horrid — though this is the least of his troubles, as Susan's meddling attracts the attention of some BBC envoys the next day, who have detected that someone inside the junkyard was patching into the BBC signal without a licence. The irate Doctor scribbles in this entry of the Diary that "you'll need a licence for dealing in junk yet". To his dismay, he is almost immediately proven right and gets into yet more trouble for his earlier dabbling in antique-dealing.

On 23 November, "the final straw": the Doctor returns to the Junkyard only to find two teachers from Susan's school snooping around. After they enter the TARDIS, and seeing no option but to take them with him and Susan as they change time period again, he decides to startle them with a rough take-off — and they're not the only startled ones, as a 15-strong group of BBC employees the Doctor had trapped in the Ship following the earlier mishaps is also taken along!

During the ensuing travels, the Doctor's entries are short and curt, with several entries consisting of nothing but "still trapped by the Tribe of Gum" and then "still trapped by the Daleks", and noting with an apparent utter disinterest that most of the BBC people have been exterminated by the Daleks while he was "out shopping" for a fluid link. The Doctor and friends' escape from the Daleks thanks to their pwoer source being cut off is recorded in similarly unserious terms as the Doctor quips: "thank goodness they hadn't converted to gas!"

Despite a number of entries consisting of nothing but "argued with Chesterton", the entry for Ian's departure from the TARDIS as he returns to June 1965 is a sad and sincere one. Steven Taylor's stowing away onto the Ship is also recorded, with his manners initially rubbing the Doctor the wrong way.

After an indeterminate amount of skipped entries, the Doctor checks back in on Earth, where the show the BBC created based on their knowledge of him is, to his outrage, failing against Batman, of all things.

Characters[]

References[]

  • When complaining that there was no one around to help him while he was carrying items to and from the junkyard, the Doctor notes that "there's never a Boy Scout when you need one".
  • The police attempt to tell the Doctor that it's against the law to squat in a police box.
  • When Steven Taylor stows away in the TARDIS, the Doctor grumbles that at this rate, he should purchase a rent book.
  • The Doctor acquires a new suit that's two sizes too small.

Continuity[]

Notes[]

  • The short story could be seen as picking up where Part 1 of The Test of Time, the wholly-serious comic story by Quinn and Howett printed in the same book, left off, as it ended by depicting the First Doctor and Susan Foreman's first arrival at 76 Totter's Lane, dated to August 1963, while Extracts begins in November of the same year.
  • The implication is that the too-small suit the Doctor acquires and complains about towards the end of the story is the one he was wearing in The Tenth Planet when he regenerated, to explain why the Second Doctor was, in The Power of the Daleks, wholly comfortable in his suit despite not having changed clothes after his regeneration.
Advertisement