Written by a Gallifreyan doctor (not 'The Doctor') with editorial assistance from Nate John Won
Okay, so it finally happened - a renegade Time-lord from our world (Gallifrey) decided (in the Humanian Era, 1963) to go against all of our moral rules for social conduct, and presented a story based upon our culture to an Earth-based tele-visual organisation - the BBC. They called it Dr Who and the rest, as you humans say, is history.
So now you have a global myth, a media storyline which tells the tale of a time-travelling maverick, who helps the downtrodden - the underdog rejects of the galaxy. He's smooth, sophisticated, ultra-intelligent. Or so the story goes. Let me tell you what it's really like to be a Time-lord.
It's true that we travel in time-machines - what the BBC referred to as a TARDIS. Well, mine landed in Cardiff the other day. The chameleon circuit kicked in, but it turned my machine into to a 'public convenience'. Oh yeah. Great. When I stepped out, there was some chap already waiting to use it. I had to hang an 'out of order' notice on the door. Anyway, I gathered together my dirty washing and slung my laundry bag over my shoulder, made for the nearest laundrette. My own time-machine laundry room had imploded during a rough time-tunnel cross-wind.
At Jones's Eazee Cleen I just about managed to find the correct change in my pocket, amongst the Gallifreyan snarps and pandaks. The washing cycle began and I sat back, closed my eyes and dozed a little. No-one would believe the week I'd had - Cybermen trouble on Cygnus-Alpha, Sontarans in the Time Vortex - you name it.
Someone shook my shoulder, to wake me. Oi, Mister! Laundry's almost done - called a voice. It's Doctor I murmured, rubbing my eyes. It was the laundry girl - well, young lady really - she was in her early twenties. Oh - sorry… she replied. She went on to inform me that my dress-sense was appalling. I told her that all intergalactic explorers dress in this way, and if she'd had to visit as many different planets as I did, then she'd forget the dress code too.
Are you for real? asked the girl. Of course, I told her. I'm a time-traveller too, and by Earth standards, I am actually 941 years old. She frowned. A time-traveller? Sounds a bit far-fetched. What's your name? H.G. Wells? She had a point. It probably did seem unbelievable, so, I asked - You ever heard the phrase 'realty is stranger than fantasy'? Well I should know - I've lived a few realities.
The young lady said that she didn't believe that I could be any kind of explorer, since I didn't even look well enough to ride a bike, let alone any kind of space or time-machine. I explained that that, actually, I could once run 100m in six Earth seconds. Although, I'd have to admit, my left-side heart wouldn't cope with it these days.
Anyway, she was still doubtful and wanted to see my time-machine. It was a test of course, but I was hesitant. She would see that it was all true, and then would want to be my assistant, travel the universe, etc., etc. - and normally assistants end up thinking that you're marvellous - which, mostly, despite being Time-lords, we aren't. And to be honest, I'd been trying to avoid all females, since that run in with a Time-lady called The Rani. She told me she liked a man with a shiny sonic screwdriver, and then she disappeared with it.
I noticed a chill in the air at this point, and rummaged around in my laundry bag for my scarf… a woollen six-footer, knitted by my Gran in a previous incarnation. I couldn't locate it, of course, and made a mental note to pick up another the next time I popped into The Question Mark Shop - a cheap clothing outlet on Betelgeuse-V.
I picked up my laundry and then told the young lady that in fact I'd made it all up. She shook her head and walked off muttering. Another strange looking chap walked in - thick glasses, stripy boating jacket, and wearing a long scarf a little like mine. Fortunately, I recognised the character - it was me - a former incarnation. Fortunately, he hadn't realised who I was, so I walked out, without a word, kicking myself for crossing my own time-stream.
I headed back to my machine. Once I'd located my key and opened up the door, some scruffy teenager fell out, zipping up his trousers. Oi! I yelled, it's out of order - can't you read? He stumbled off, and I stepped in, almost slipping on the wet surface as I did so. That blasted chameleon circuit - it's supposed to help, but it causes more trouble than its worth. Last time I was on the planet Skaro, it had turned my machine into a tree. After a heavy day of dealing with the Daleks, I returned to the woodland grove where I thought I'd parked. It took me almost two Gallifreyan hours to locate the blasted thing.
Anyway, that was my fun afternoon out in Cardiff. I programmed up the machine for Gallifrey since I had agreed to look after my Gran that evening (Gallifreyan central current time). In her current incarnation, she has a biological age of six. Yeah… I know, baby-sitting my own Gran - but that's regeneration for you. And you think that you humans have problems?
I'll leave you with a few scientific pointers that we Time-lords need to consider every time we travel:
• Regeneration seems like a great thing, but consider what happens when, as a result of Gallifreyan genetics, you end up with odd eyes, or green hair.
• Relative Dimension-based time-machines are a fantastic idea, but have you ever tried to get one with just 20 rooms? They ALL have at least 50 and up to 200. And if you buy one from a dodgy dealer… well, the chances are that it will break up in a solar storm.
• Gallifreyan physics recognises two rules regarding time, depending upon the type of universe you're travelling in - (i) that time is set, and you can't interfere with it anyway, regardless of what happens, and (ii) that an action undertaken in the relative past will affect an action in the relative future. [The Gallifreyan Time Council insist that all Time-lords seek to enforce this second rule].
• Strictly speaking, all Time-lords are obliged to carry a log book of events so that we do not ever repeat our actions (or bump into ourselves). Of course, this is completely pointless if one believes that the future and all time is pre-ordained. [I had to throw my log-book at a venomous Gondha-beast on the planet Jivillick, some time back, so really ought to get another.]
• Most of the time, a sonic drill is more helpful than a sonic screwdriver.
So, there you have it. Next time you see that programme broadcasted by the BBC, think of us - the actual Time-lords, and all of our difficulties. And if not, then at least consider that The Doctor should be old, wise, and unfashionable. To this end, I recommend the following Earth-based actors to play the part: Mr. Noddy Holder, Mr. Lawrence Llewelyn-Bowen, or that chap who plays Nigel on Eastenders.
This is 'a Gallifreyan doctor' (not 'The Doctor') signing off.