The Doctor, known everywhere by his Police Box and with a billion cred bounty on his head for persecuting bad guys, risks a visit to Sunset Strip a lawless area between galaxies for a cup of Darjeeling and a couple of macaroons, before making a hasty exit en route to the weekly tech fair. Rose describes it as "Planet of the Gangsters". In a back alley they find Doll and her robot being held up by the Trigger Brothers. The Doctor intervenes and gets captured. A Detective Robot is shot and Rose makes off with Doll to a safe place.
The Doctor is taken to see the Boss, Mr Lippizzaner (aka Lipps), who is dealing in arms: exoskeletal stongarms from Tashkentsupplied by Don Corpulone and his sons (Blonk and Gluey). The wearer of these arms, with five different charge levels including hi-velocity, incendiary and ricochet, is slaved to a remote control hub. In return for ten single arms, Don Corpulone wants Lips to find his daughter, Doll and "the Bird" she has taken from him. The Doctor is forced to call Rose to arrange a meet and swap at the Dockyards, Doll for the Doctor.
At the Docks, with his Horsegoons wearing the strongarms, Lipps double crosses Don Corpulone. He believes he can claim the Doctor's bounty money and he has the strongarms. However, Don Corpulone has kept the remote control. The Horsegoons are turned on Lipps himself.
Holding all the cards Don Corpulone calls for Doll and the Bird to be handed over. From their hiding place, the Doctor, Rose and Doll watch as Don Corpulone and his sons' heads detach themselves from their bodies. They turn around to see Doll's head has also become detached.
One thing Doll's family does agree on is that if anyone learns their secret, which the Doctor and Rose just have, they must die...
Don't Lose Your Head
The Doctor uses his sonic screwdriver to scramble the signal between Doll's head and her body, which runs off. In the confusion, a shot destroys the strongarms' remote control. The Horsegoons go crazy. The shot from the detective robot who survived the early assault, thanks to his duralinium body, leads the Doctor, Rose and Dolls head to safety.
Doll explains that her family were grown by a crazy scientist who grew talking heads as company for the sad and old. The heads were clever. When the scientist's back was turned, they 'ran' away to start a new life. The Doctor is still curious about the Bird that Don Corpulone desperately wants back. He asks the detective robot to open its chest hatch. Inside is a Glitterbird egg from a rare robot species whose droppings are studded with diamonds, a nest egg for Doll!
Doll turns on the Doctor and Rose. She orders the robot to kill them both. The Doctor persuades the detective robot that his first loyalty is to other robots and to protect the Glitterbird. The Detective Robot struggles with his programming, but the Doctor recognises it as an Acme Industries android. He calls out the programming over-ride code (5678/2345 Alpha Delta Alpha). As Doll's re-assembled family catch up with them, the Detective robot hands the egg to the Doctor to protect and launches himself at the Corpulone brothers, sending them over the edge of a roof.
Reunited with her father, and seeing herself as the next Head of Family, Doll has proven herself a true Corpulone to her Father. Together they race after the Doctor (with the egg) and Rose. Using his sonic screwdriver, the Doctor hot-wires a space-car. Placing the egg a few feet away from the backburner, he fires it up. The intense heat hatches the egg and the Glitterbird flies off, out of Corpulone's reach. The Detective Robot returns with reinforcement and a renewed enthusiasm for law enforcement. The Corpulone family's heads are jarred and taken away.
Original print details
- Publication with page count and closing captions
- DWA 16 (6 pages) HOW WILL THE DOCTOR AND ROSE ESCAPE? FIND OUT NEXT ISSUE!
- DWA 17 (6 pages)A COOL NEW STORY STARTS NEXT ISSUE!