The Vardan Invasion of Mirth was the third story in The First Doctor: Volume Three.
Publisher's summary Edit
The Doctor and Steven think they've arrived in London 1956, but the TARDIS disagrees. When both the Doctor and his craft are lost, it's down to Steven to solve a mystery that holds his fate in its grasp. With the help of comic Teddy Baxter, Steven's going to have to find a way into Television...
Something in Television (1) Edit
to be added
"It's Teddy Baxter!" (2) Edit
to be added
Additional Voices Edit
- Steven finds himself in Studio 1 at ATW, or Associated Tele-Wave.
- Steven regards slapstick comedy as less sophisticated than the comedy of his era. Teddy Baxter later reveals that giving and receiving punches sometimes play a part in slapstick.
- Teddy Baxter used to be in a double act with Stan. Since losing Stan, his career has been in decline, and he mostly provides comic relief in films. Steven becomes Baxter's new straight man, now for a television audience.
- Steven searches the studio, between sketches, during a camera rehearsal. Locations searched include the entrance from the dressing rooms and the set of doors leading to the scene dock. The TARDIS police box prop is held in the scene dock.
- Emma Birch disappeared in West London, last seen attending a recording of The Tommy Allan Show. She was the sixth person to have gone missing this month.
- The Tommy Allan Show was recorded in the studio next to Steven and Teddy's at ATW.
- The Free Trade Hall in Manchester was bombed in December 1940, destroying the surrounding area with it.
- Emma Birch is turned into a Vardan whilst she is helpless in laughter.
- The Vardans came because they discovered the wavelengths put out into space by humanity.
- The Doctor is at the Vardan Mediasphere, which has been in orbit around Saturn for nearly 20 years. The Vardans set up here to study the full wavelength spectrum of Earth. Here, they generated data models based on extrapolated waveform data.
- In essence, the Vardans plan was to attack Earth using laughter, which in their estimation is one of humanity's greatest vulnerabilities. They planned to unleash a conversion wave, a "virus" of sorts, modulated through and disguised as laughter.
- In Teddy's relative future, seen in a biodata projection, he stars in It's Teddy Baxter!, as a stand-up comedian.
- Sunday Night at the London Palladium apparently has "quite the following" on Alpha Centauri.
- The voice of Paul Spragg is used posthumously to provide the sound for a comedy sketch which they needed in one scene to play in the background for 2-3 minutes. Ian Atkins had recorded these with Spragg before even joining Big Finish. The pair had put together a number of comedy videos which Atkins, before this release, had never put to use in a project. (BFX: The Vardan Invasion of Mirth)
- Teddy Baxter was in part based on the real-world comedian Will Hay, particularly with regards to his outside interest in astronomy. The writers were also inspired by the Chuckle Brothers while writing Teddy's double act routines. (BFX: The Vardan Invasion of Mirth)
- Steven remembers having to live in the 1950s on a previous occasion, although that time he'd had with him a friend, Sara. (AUDIO: An Ordinary Life)
- Steven tries selling a Magpie Tele-Wave 2000. (TV: The Idiot's Lantern)
- Steven has encountered the Vardans before but makes no mention how they are responsible for the death of his fellow companion and friend Oliver Harper. (AUDIO: The First Wave)
- The Vardan Mediasphere was previously central to their plots. When Benny and the Seventh Doctor encountered this technology, it allowed entrance into the Mediascape, which was similar in conceit and technology to the Land of Fiction. (PROSE: No Future)
- The Doctor warns that the Vardans would be locked in a paradox for eternity, should they kill Teddy Baxter before the now-fixed point from his future. The Eleventh Doctor and River Song would later face this exact consequence when attempting to change the fixed point of the Doctor's supposed death at Lake Silencio, becoming trapped within a time bubble until the paradox was resolved. (TV: The Wedding of River Song)