Doctor Who: THE TARGET STORYBOOK The Slyther Of Shoreditch Review - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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Doctor Who: THE TARGET STORYBOOK The Slyther Of Shoreditch Review

Christopher Morley joins the Seventh Doctor in Harry's cafe...

Time now to grab yourself a cuppa as we explore the Seventh Doctor's entry into the recently released Target Storybook. What starts as a simple trip to get a pot of tea rapidly turns into a discussion of the approaching Time War for the Oncoming Storm and a surprise guest from his own race who had previously given him a rather big assignment....

TIME LORD: Ah. Welcome, Doctor.
DOCTOR: What's going on? Don't you realise how dangerous it is to intercept a transmat beam?
TIME LORD: Oh come, Doctor, not with our techniques. We Time Lords transcended such simple mechanical devices when the universe was less than half its present size.
DOCTOR: Look, whatever I've done for you in the past, I've more than made up for. I will not tolerate this continual interference in my life.
TIME LORD: Continual? We pride ourselves we seldom interfere in the affairs of others.
DOCTOR: Except mine.
TIME LORD: You, Doctor, are a special case. You enjoy the freedom we allow you. In return, occasionally, not continually, we ask you to do something for us.
The same Time Lord chap returns here during another of the Doctor's skirmishes with the Daleks to request another spot of help. There's an augmented Slyther on the loose in Shoreditch that needs catching, & so things go a bit Only Fools & Horses as the two drive a hearse around the streets of that particular corner of London attempting to catch the thing before it can do the dirty work of its Dalek masters!

Perhaps fittingly for this story within a story that originally skirted around the fringes of the First Doctor's involvement with the Hand of Omega, he had been first to witness the muscle of the fellow natives of Skaro used by the Daleks as guards during their invasion of Earth....
IAN: Daleks on Earth! Doctor, how did this happen?
DOCTOR: Leave this to me, dear boy. I think you'd better let us go.
DALEK: We do not release prisoners. We are the masters of the Earth.
DOCTOR: Not for long.
DALEK: Obey us or die.
DOCTOR: Die? And just who are you to condemn us to death?
A similar scenario threatens to play itself out in The Slyther Of Shoreditch as the Doctor & his backseat driver try to bring down the Daleks' latest weapon, this particular Slyther augmented with their own technology! No wonder there's only time for the briefest of stops for a cup of Rosy Lee before its down to business.

The Daleks themselves will of course later use tea as part of a plot to convince Prime Minister Winston Churchill & indeed the “creator” of the Ironsides, Professor Edwin Bracewell, that they are fully committed to the British cause during the Second World War.
DALEK: Would you care for some tea?
BRACEWELL: That would be very nice, thank you.
Well before they can brush up on the noble art of the warming brew, though, there's a civil war to be fought amongst themselves! And the human race will find itself slap bang in the middle of it, just as the city of London nearly finds itself in a similarly sticky position during the later stand-off between the Doctor & his oldest foes, not to mention the ranks of the Luftwaffe.

During another drive with Ace in the passengers seat, he'll fill her in on a little of their history...
DOCTOR: The Kaleds were at war with the Thals. They had a dirty nuclear war. The resulting mutations were then accelerated by their chief scientist, Davros. What he created them he then placed them in a metal war machine, and that's how the Daleks came about
ACE: So that metal thing had a creature inside controlling it?
DOCTOR: Exactly. And ever since the Daleks were created, they've tried to conquer and enslave as much as the universe as they can get their grubby protuberances on.
ACE: And now they want to conquer the Earth.
That they do, the resulting conflict quite possibly an early strike in the Time War as alluded to here by author Mike Tucker.

Tucker had earlier penned Illegal Alien, intended for a Season 27 of classic Who which never came after Michael Grade pulled the plug. We had to wait until the Doctor Who TV movie to see what came next for the little fellow in the question mark pullover - a regeneration starting on the operating table having been shot as collateral damage in a gang war.

Of course Paul McGann's Eighth Doctor would face a similarly long wait to say a proper goodbye before his own changeover into a new man who disowned the Doctorly mantle entirely- it's to the period before that disavowal that Steve Cole next turns in We Can't Stop What's Coming.
DOCTOR: I'm not part of the war. I swear to you, I never was.
CASS: You're a Time Lord.
DOCTOR: Yes, I'm a Time Lord, but I'm one of the nice ones.
CASS: Get away from me!
DOCTOR: Well, look on the bright side. I'm not a Dalek.
CASS: Who can tell the difference any more?
Helping out where he can once more before the escalating conflict between the two races threatens to engulf the universe itself- strike one back on Skaro all those years ago according to the revisions of one Russell T Davies, who started down that path penning Damaged Goods for the man he was before in the wake of Survival.

The first curve towards the Russell T years begins now- you might want to stick the kettle on, before the tea gets cold!

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