Steven Moffat re-writes the first episode of Doctor Who

(We open to an impossibly dark shot of a junkyard. The only light is blue in color. A policeman walks by the junkyard, but the camera lets him go and holds on a picture of a police box in the junkyard. A scary chord rumbles underneath as the policeman comes back and scratches his head.)

POLICE: Goodness! There’s a police box in a junkyard! That’s a bit unsettling, as police boxes don’t usually go in junkyards. However, it’s innocuous that I really don’t pay it too much of a mind, but still… it COULD be something spooky.

(a young girl is seen walking up to the police box and entering.)

POLICE: Blimey! A small girl in a junkyard! That must be REALLY scary because little girls aren’t usually in junkyards! And girls don’t usually go into police boxes! And little girls aren’t usually out at night, because night is dark and scary and this little girl, by the virtue of being a little girl, is immediately labeled as sweet and innocent with no unnecessary exposition cluttering up the way. This is all very unsettling, isn’t it?

(a beat.)

It is, because it’s something that looks normal, like a small girl or a police box, but it’s in a place that it normally shouldn’t be. Ordinary objects are frightening when they’re not where they are supposed to be… and yet for some reason I can’t bring myself to care. It’s almost as if my mind is being clouded by some kind of perception filter, which just makes it all the more spooky. Imagine that, spooky things hiding in plain sight, but the people don’t know it. Isn’t that just chilling?

(another beat.)

Well, back home to the husband. Because there are gay people, you know. In the world. In England. In the 1960s. Gay people exist.

(he toddles off as we see a car pull into the junkyard, muttering something about seeing a car with two schoolteachers in it pulling into a junkyard this late at night being very unsettling, because it’s normal things in a setting that is not. The two teachers get out, a man willow-thin and a bit slack-jawed, and a woman who is strikingly beautiful with her face in a permanent pout.)

MAN: I don’t understand. This is the address listed at the school… but it’s a junkyard! That is very unsettling, because little girls aren’t supposed to live in junkyards!

WOMAN: (pouting and hitching up her micro-mini) You’d think the school would have researched that bit. Makes the whole thing seem like a bit out of Scooby-Doo.

MAN: Ha ha! Scooby Doo exists! That’s why I love you, Barbara. Not only are you gorgeous, but your sour-faced, attention-hungry demeanor is simply irresistible.

BARBARA: That was a song from the 80s.

MAN: Isn’t pop culture keen?

(We see the little girl poke her head out of of the police box and freeze with fright.)

BARBARA: There she is, Ian! Go get her, I can’t run in this skirt without us losing family-friendly certification!

GIRL: You shouldn’t be here! Go away!

IAN: She’s saying something cryptic, Barbara! Isn’t that unsettling? I mean, she’s a girl… in a junkyard… and she’s saying cryptic things! Doesn’t that give you goosebumps!

BARBARA: More than YOU do. Oh, if only that a man I once met as a little girl would show up, still age-appropriate, and whisk me away to a world of wonder and enchantment!

IAN: What?

BARBARA: Nothing. Now go do my bidding.

IAN: Will you love me if I do?


IAN: Right-o!

(He approaches the little girl in the police box)

GIRL: Stop! I’m little and innocent and defenseless but also a super-special sparkly little diamond that will one day play a key part in deciding the fate of the universe!

BARBARA: So what? So am I.

ROSE TYLER: (making a cameo) and so am I.

DONNA NOBLE (cameo) and so am I.

GIRL: How did you all get here?

ROSE TYLER: Time travel.

GIRL: But…


DONNA NOBLE: Look, if we got into a long, involved discussion about the science and wonder of being able to travel in time and space, we’d lose the Ritalin-fueled audience who want more explosions. So let’s just say things went wobble-bobble and move on.


IAN: What is going on here? I’m completely confused.

BARBARA: Shut up, Ian.

IAN: Okay.

GIRL: You shouldn’t have come here. He will find you.

IAN: Oooh, more cryptic language!

GIRL: I will keep shouting tailor-made “next week” trailer one-liners until you go away! One of you will soon perish! This is the day you lose everything! I am your father! Soylent Green is people!

(a skinny, bandy-legged young man swaggers out from behind the Police Box, eating an apple and wearing a pith helmet along with a tweed jacket and plain trousers. He is wearing a bolo tie and brothel-creeper shoes in a calculated way to look anachronistic but still marketable.)

SKINNY, BANDY-LEGGED YOUNG MAN: Well now, what’s all this then?


(the music swells out of nowhere to a schmaltzy chord as the GIRL rushes to the man, genuflecting down to one knee and kissing his hand. The man, in response, seems cool as a cucumber.)

SKINNY, BANDY-LEGGED YOUNG MAN: I think I might not like apples. You see, that’s a strange thing for a man to say instead of ‘hello,’ because I’m an alien and I do strange things. It would also be strange if I didn’t like apples, wouldn’t it?

BARBARA: I don’t like apples.

SKINNY, BANDY-LEGGED YOUNG MAN: You don’t like anything that isn’t about you.

BARBARA: Kiss me.

(she flings herself at the man, planting kisses on his neck as the girl continues to kiss his hand.)

IAN: What is going on? I’m so confused.

SKINNY, BANDY-LEGGED YOUNG MAN: You could always kiss me, too. Because men like to kiss other men sometimes.

IAN: No, thanks. I may be p-whipped by my bombshell of a fiancee… who is currently trying to undo your shirt… but I’m not submissive enough to kiss you. The audience wouldn’t be able to identify with me, then.


BARBARA: Don’t listen to him. Kiss me.


BARBARA: Why not?

SKINNY, BANDY-LEGGED YOUNG MAN: Because I’m the Christ figure of this pantomime, and therefore have to keep pure.

BARABRA: But… I’ve known you since I was a little girl.

GIRL: Me, too!

BARBARA: You’re everything I ever wanted.

GIRL: Me, too!

SKINNY, BANDY-LEGGED YOUNG MAN: And in no way is that creepy!

IAN: Hey, man, that’s my fiancee!

SKINNY, BANDY-LEGGED YOUNG MAN: Don’t worry, I’ve got your back, man. I’ll be sure to break her confidence and love of me more and more over the next few years, so that she’s even more of an emotional wreck than when I left her as a child, which lead to therapy and a lonely childhood… until her own daughter goes back in time to be her best friend, of course…

IAN: What are you talking about? Just who are you, anyway?


(ridiculous crane shot and another histrionic music swell)


(Heavenly choir kicks in, and the doors to the police box open, bathing him in bright light.)

IAN: Who?

(both of the girls laugh, IAN still looks confused.)

SKINNY, BANDY-LEGGED YOUNG MAN: Oh, that’s always a good one. Well, shall we be off?

IAN: Off where? I’m so confused.

BARBARA: In his time machine! He’s got a time machine, and it’s so awesome! He can travel in time, and fight monsters, and shoot lasers, and make things blow up!

DOCTOR: And it looks like a police box! Isn’t that COOL?

IAN: Why would that be cool?

DOCTOR: Because I said it was.

IAN: You can’t just say something’s cool and expect me to believe it.

DOCTOR: Yes, I can. I’m…..THE DOCTOR!

(another pose, another chord.)

IAN: I don’t even know who that is.

BARBARA: Shut up, Ian. He’s cool. I knew it when he first wandered into my house as a grown man when I was seven years old.

GIRL: Oh, yeah? Well, I was born in this time machine!

BARBARA: I wear short skirts!

GIRL: I have a cool laser gun!

BARBARA: I can make this face! (pouts)

GIRL: So? I can do this! (smug smile)

DOCTOR: Ian, why don’t I show you my time machine. Seeing it may just change your life… FOREVER. You are about to see something you’ve never seen before, and most people never will see. It will be the most important moment of your life!

(the women keep squabbling, as that’s all their good for, right fellas? And another music sting as they walk inside and find it’s bigger inside than out.)

IAN: Wow!

DOCTOR: That’s it? Just ‘wow?’

IAN: Well, you built it up a lot, there, and I guess it’s cool, but after all the loud music and ridiculous camera tricks and spooky blue lighting I’m sorta… I dunno… desensitized.

DOCTOR: Oh, REALLY? Well, what if I do… THIS!

(he flicks the lights on and off)

IAN: What.

DOCTOR: Aren’t you SCARED?!!!

IAN: A little, yeah, when you first killed the lights…

(the Doctor flips them off and on several more times.)

DOCTOR: Scary, huh? You see, it’s scary because people are often afraid of the dark, because they can’t see. And I’m an alien turning off the lights so it must be REALLY scary!

IAN: Not anymore. You’ve cheapened it a bit.

DOCTOR: Well… what if I turned off ALL the lights at once, and made scary noises, and lit one of those stink bomb things, and…

IAN: It’s just too much, Doctor.

DOCTOR: (in a huff) well, maybe my adventures aren’t for you, then. Maybe you’d like to swanning off with Captain Kirk where they learn social lessons and explore intellectual concepts. You’d like that, wouldn’t you, you NERD!

IAN: Hey! I would think that nerdy people would be the kind you’d like to go jetting around the cosmos with.

DOCTOR: Nope. Only sexy, action type people. I’m the only one allowed to be nerdy in here, which reminds me… it’s been a full ten minutes before I was unmistakably British and befuddled. One moment…

(he walks around the console flicking switches)

tea and crumpets jammie dodgers flabbergasted hockety-pockety-wockety-wack, God Save the Queen and Bob’s Your Uncle! There we go! Now, let’s go Kill Hitler!

IAN: We’re going to kill Hitler?!

DOCTOR: Of course no! But it SOUNDS cool, doesn’t it?

IAN: Well, now it doesn’t.


(the two girls bust into the ship, still arguing.)

GIRL: I’m a little girl with no discernible father figure who dotes on the Doctor inappropriately!

BARBARA: So am I! Plus, I’ve seen him NAKED!

IAN: Come now, ladies! Barbara, Susan, stop acting like that!

GIRL: Susan? My name’s not actually Susan. That was just the name I used around all you Earthlings. My real name is Waterfall Lake Moffat Seventeen Dementia Raven Way Operetta. I know the Grandfather’s real name, too, and I love to hold it over his head. I also know how to fly the ship better than he does, how to travel in time better than he does, how to easily defeat his toughest enemies, and everyone in the universe thinks I’m a sex object.

DOCTOR: Hush now… Susan. I’m the star of the show, here!

SUSAN: You just keep telling yourself that.

BARBARA: So, where will you be taking my beleaguered, but saintly suffering fiancee and my avaricious, selfish, lusciously leggy body? Somewhere where we can imply sex is happening on a children’s TV show, I hope?

DOCTOR: We’re heading to the planet Sport.

IAN: Sport?

DOCTOR: Yes. You see, it sounds odd enough but not too odd, because that would confuse people. The planet Sport is experience some trouble with its gravitational pull, something I will be able to fix at the eleventh hour with a boingo-woingo switch after about 30 minutes of faffing about, running places, and hammy, melodramatic speeches from everyone and anyone about how great I am. It will conclude with a pew-pew laser shoot out with some vaguely defined enemy that takes advantage of a fundamental human fear or feeling of complacency (like hiding behind the sofa when one is scared) wherein I will slaughter all the true bads and save all the true goods while anyone ambiguous will get caught in the crossfire. We will then paradoxically reinforce my pacifist Messiah characterization even while I’m standing over the charred bodies of my enemies. Oh, and all of you will die at least once, including myself, but as long as I’ve got my un-deadener in my pocket we’ll all be fine and no one has to worry too much. After all, we’re all too pretty to die for longer than a few episodes.

(each of the characters takes a moment to pose dramatically into the camera showing that they are, indeed, sexy)

BARBARA: (squeezing tears past her pout) But…Doctor… we’ll… DIE?!

(big music sting and everything is awash in blue light)

DOCTOR: Not for too long, I promise. Besides, you two still need to have a child, a child that will grow up to be… SUSAN!

(big music sting)

DOCTOR: But then SUSAN will DIE!

(big music sting)

DOCTOR: And then I will DIE!

(big music sting)

DOCTOR: But I’ll get better.

(happy music tinkle)

DOCTOR: So, everything’s fine, really.

IAN: But… you didn’t say Susan would come back.

SUSAN: Don’t worry, nerd. I get a big, weepy send-off… but, because of time travel, it actually happens when no-one knows who I am, so we merely have to just be TOLD how sad it is instead of building up my character.

IAN: Kind of like how you can do everything the Doctor can, but with more smugness and sass?

SUSAN: Exactly.

IAN: How does the ship work, then?

BARBARA: Oh, shut up, you nerd! Who cares? It’s COOL!

DOCTOR: Let’s just say it goes spit-spot-blong through a timey-wimey hoo-hah. That’ll leave more time for explosions and melodrama.

SUSAN: You see, if we’re self-aware and ironic about things, more people will think we’re funny. No one wants to get bummed out and watch a show with MORALS… except you, nerd.

IAN: Oh, well. At least I get to shag my blow-up doll of a fiancee because the Doctor was too pious to deflower her when he had the chance… but there will still be awkward tension of wondering who’s her favorite. Because a time travel show with monsters and aliens needs a love triangle.

BARBARA: I also dream of shagging vampires and werewolves.

IAN: Of course you do. Doctor, am I ever going to get a chance to be redeemed?

DOCTOR: When I feel like it, you’ll get a hollow token like punching Hitler or being some kind of legendary figure, but mostly you’ll just be lead about by the short hairs. But we’re putting far too much exposition into this story! Quick, someone hike up their skirt or get shot! We’ve got adventuring to do!

(he flips a few more switches as BARBARA and SUSAN moon over how “cool” he is)

Now, I would say something like “Allons-y” at this point, but then that would turn me into a blubbering pile of emotions that would be totally gay. Instead, I’m going to yell “Geronimo!” because I’m a macho adventure professor who thinks girls have cooties and is far too busy saving the world and being smug about his own greatness to have any feelings. Basically, I’m like a ten year old playing Jon Pertwee: all lasers and karate without the icky talky bits. GERONIMO!

(the ship begins to make its customary dematerialization noise. BARBARA expounds on how cool it sounds, SUSAN says he’s left the brakes on because she knows better, and IAN is too busy staring at his own emotional-trainwreck wrapped in gorgeous thigh-meat to really notice.)

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