The Doctor Trap

Roots: Spider-Man’s enemy Kraven the Hunter. The Doctor’s various lunatic fans, with pet theories and obsessions, might be based on any number of other writers, although we lack the evidence to suggest which ones. The Doctor muses that when he arrives at Snowcap it must be either 1986 or 2000, a reference to the discrepancies in the dating of The Tenth Planet between television story and novelisation. There are references to The Lawnmower Man, Boccherini, the Beach Boys’ “Surfin’ USA”, the Sugababes, The Shining, The Who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again”, and Jamie’s Home Cooking.

Goofs: If Suckweeds and Soresox are the only living things in the Flux Savannah and they don’t eat other, what do they eat?

Dialogue Triumphs: “This is the exact spot where the TARDIS landed.”
“How do you know? Have you got some sort of symbiotic telepathic link?”
“Naah. There’s a big square hole in the ground.”

Continuity: Planet 1 has twin suns. It isn’t specified who built Planet 1, which has become the stuff of legend. Its technology is massively advanced and largely based on Intelligent Molecular Technology, and responds to the whims of its ruler, Sebastiene. He is human, but the technology of Planet 1 has extended his life span whilst allowing him to appear young. It is implied that he has tailored his physical appearance to suit his desires and has nano-tech augmentations. He claims to have been a twenty year old student at Cambridge in 1973 when Planet 1 transported him to it to fill the role of its controller. The planet’s environment is artificially controlled and can be redesigned as required; the terraforming circuits have a telepathic quality that adapts an environment to the emotional secretions of its inhabitants.

The planet’s core is filled with machinery. The day to day running of Planet 1 is carried out by robot servants that obey Sebastiene, including the Butler and the Supervisor. Sebastiene hunts for sport and has hunted a Dalek, an Osiran (Pyramids of Mars), a formic acid spraying Mmtefl Beast, a Beserkat Feline from Florinux, a Raston Warrior Robot (The Five Doctors), a Wirrn (The Ark in Space), a Collective of Hive Rasps, Omplets, Podropeds, horned Candellax, bio-mechanical Nominate Devourers, Aords, and Zzorg Numberates, amongst many others. He tracked a Hasarian Renderer for two weeks up and down the canals of Hasaris, pretending to be the toothy amphibian’s mother, they only thing they are afraid of. Planet 1 is apparently intelligent and wants the Doctor to replace Sebastiene, having grown tired of the egocentric behaviour of its current ruler. The Doctor claims that every planet has a legend about Planet 1 and Sebastiene [an exaggeration]. The Doctor convinces Sebastiene that he’s actually a robot construct of Planet 1, but later implies that this is a lie. The Doctor abandons him on Planet 1 as it runs out of control but notes that he’ll probably survive.

Baris is from Proxima City on Proxima and is the Doctor’s greatest fan, having spent most of his life following the Doctor’s travels via Neural Net. Sebastiene surgically and genetically alters him to physically resemble the Doctor as part of his trap. The Doctor hypnotises him so that he thinks he actually is the Doctor, allowing the real Doctor to use him as a decoy. Other fans of the Doctor include Mou Loobom from Jupiter colony, who is obsessed with “sorting” the Doctor’s time line and gets upset when it doesn’t make sense; Princess Po, clone monarchist of Derridan, who turned her entire town into a replica TARDIS; and Hamble Consort who theorises that the Doctor is an anti-capitalist white magician. Baris stays on Planet 1 when the Doctor and Donna leave.

The Endangered Dangerous Species Society does not officially exist and comprises twelve hunters from different species who between them have been responsible for the elimination of over three hundred rare breeds. They are wanted by every security force in the civilised galaxy. Their members include humanoid Commissar Weimark (the Cleanser of Beriagrad, killed here), augmented Simian Brutus (killed by Sebastiene here), the Arcturan Semblance of Draxyx, a Carpalian Witch (who recently caught and ate a Sontaran), human Lord Percy (whom Sebastiene has killed, stuffed and mounted after the “Doctor” eludes him), Zzorg Zero (who has gossamer wings), and Colonel Sty of the Bolken Context (who has thick rubbery hide and is killed by Zzorg Zero here). Weimark wiped out the last Irradiate Grinderstag, the antlers of which gained him entry to the Endangered Dangerous Species Society. They agree to hunt the Doctor, as last of the Time Lords, on Planet 1. Previously, they considered him to be a myth.

One of the specially engineered Hunting Zones created on Planet 1 for the hunt is based on the Oroobian Jungle. Another is based on the Flux Savannah. Rhinons (which resemble rhinos) and Levantines (which are similar to elephants but less intelligent) are Oroobian. The only living things in the Flux Savannah are a Suckweed (a giant cactus with buried spines that waits for its once-in-a-hundred years prey to walk over it) and a Soresox a scaly crocodile that looks like a rock [and which may be a silicon-based lifeform].

Sebastiene subjects the Doctor to a painful genetic and psychic scan, which he manages to convince that he is Baris.

Donna eats various cakes, sandwiches and chocolates whilst held captive in the Exquisite Traveller.

Sebastiene unleashes a tentacled monster into the fake Snowcap. Other species mentioned here include Dimsloths. Beriagrad is the scene of a perpetual war between the Eastern and Western Marks.

Links: This story takes place after Planet of the Ood. Donna mentions Pompeii (The Fires of Pompeii). She recalls once telling the Doctor that he needs someone to stop him (The Runaway Bride). There are references to Snowcap and Barclay (The Tenth Planet), Gappa (Snowglobe 7), Ice Warriors, Rose, Daleks, and Cybermen.

Location: Planet 1.

Unrecorded Adventures: The Doctor once landed on Beriagrad and nearly ended the war in half an hour.

The Bottom Line:Have you never heard of… the Doctor Trap?” Technically awful, but daft enough to be entertaining throughout. Sebastiene is dreadful, a clichéd charismatic madman who never seems like a genuine threat because Messingham makes him an idiot. If any doubt that the NSAs are aimed at children lingers, this unsubtle farce should dispel it fairly quickly.

Discontinuity Guide by Paul Clarke

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