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The Vardan Invasion of Mirth was the third story in The First Doctor: Volume Three and featured Peter Purves as Steven Taylor.

Publisher's summary[]

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)[]

to be added

"It's Teddy Baxter!" (2)[]

to be added


Additional Voices[]


  • 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.
    • The carrier wave resulting from Teddy Baxter's influence, however, has an unstable waveform, which means it would nullify any Vardan who makes contact with it. As a result, the Mediasphere had to be evacuated and abandoned.
  • 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)
  • The title is a play on The Dalek Invasion of Earth.


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