This feels so dated now - my sequel to Master Test. It's too long to
go into, but the Movie Master ended up in a House of Eliott double
drabble. And obviously the Eliott sisters in the Round, well...
A strangely pointless story, but I liked it enough to finally finish
Part One: A Change would do you good
In which everyone gets too fashion conscious for their own good.
The Eighth Doctor looked up as a young, dark-haired girl approached
his table. Her troubles were clearly visible on her beautiful face,
so the Doctor coughed and asked if everything was all right.
“Don’t you like the Round?” he continued, his face being nothing like
as readable, since he was successfully hiding a certain amount of
Evangeline Eliott sat down opposite him, still frowning. “Well, it
takes some getting used to, but I quite like it. There’s some
outrageous outfits,” she added, shaking her head and breaking into an
attractive smile. “No, it’s that man.” She nodded discreetly.
He followed her gaze and his sense of guilt increased. “Ah. The
Master, you mean?”
“He keeps thrusting these terrible fashion designs on me and scaring
me when I try to point out some potential improvements,” she
The Eighth Doctor realised that promising the Master crossovers in
fashion TV series had not been one of his best ideas, but then the
Master had been threatening him and Charley at the time.
Evie shuddered. “He scares me. And Bea doesn’t like it here now,
because of him.”
“That’s a shame,” said the Doctor.
She put her head in her hands. “Of course, it’s partly because the
girl at the door says that Jack was only on the telephone in our story
and he can’t come in. She says he can phone, but that’s not much fun
for them both. They have enough trouble getting any time together, as
“Dear me,” murmured the Doctor in polite sympathy.
Evie nodded. “Writers. They’re always making everybody row, aren’t
He shrugged. “It doesn’t tend to happen to me. But you could have a
word with my Fifth self…”
“Well, if it’s not arguments, they’re sending Jack off on some new
craze and tying Bea up in work. There’s no one else I could speak to
about it, is there?”
The Doctor considered. “Well, maybe if you asked Polly nicely. But a
few odd people have been getting in lately -.” Then his face
cleared. “Next time she has a day off, I’ll offer to cover for her!”
“Thanks,” she said. “Maybe it isn’t worth it with him around? Oh
The Doctor looked up to see the Master approaching with a bundle of
new fashion designs.
“Miss Evangeline,” he said passing them to her.
Evie looked slowly through them, her horrified opinion as transparent
as her earlier worry had been. “They’re – unusual,” she managed at
last, handing them back.
“I’ve been thinking,” said the Master. “Why don’t we start up a
fashion house in Nameless?”
Evie directed a panicked look at the Doctor.
“Why don’t you go ahead and do that yourself?” he suggested. “The
Eliott sisters probably want a break from running a business, but now
they’re here they could give you some advice.”
The Master thought about it. “It’s an idea,” he snarled and flounced
“I hate him,” said Evie, her blue eyes dark.
“Who was that?” Charley asked Eight later. “I’ve spoken to her once
before. I liked her – she seems to be from my sort of period.”
He explained and then said glumly, “Look what I’ve got us all into
Charley made a face. “I think, Doctor, it’s more my fault than
yours. Or both of us, at any rate. What shall we do?”
“Well, maybe if he really does start up a fashion house, it’ll keep
him busy,” said the Doctor without much hope.
However, a glint had come into Charley’s eyes. “It might,” she agreed
with a wide smile.
“What is it going to be called? Fashion outfits for Villains?”
“Hardly very snappy, Charlotte,” said the Master. “However, it’s
along the lines of what I was thinking. So few tailors really provide
what your average evil character is after – plenty of black, leather,
shiny robes, outrageous collars…”
“Well, there are enough baddies here,” she said enthusiastically. “It
should be popular. I think you’re really filling a gap.”
His future self had been passing and stopped to mock. “Oh yes? I
find any decent department store will do me a reasonable suit!”
“You aren’t the ‘average’ Doctor Who villain,” the Movie Master told
him. “Have a look around you! We’ll have some particular needs to
Charley was thinking hard. “You’d probably need an accessories
section – quite a lot seem to need a fair bit of make up.”
“True,” said the Movie Master. “Yes, there’s a lot to be done.”
The Doctor invited the Eliott sisters to join him at the Round and
explained the Master’s project as best as he could.
Bea caught on first. “It will certainly keep him busy! I doubt he
has any idea what’s involved in running a successful fashion house.”
“For villains from – what did you say? – science-fiction?” asked
Evie. “That’s why his designs are so strange.”
“I think,” said Bea, staring thoughtfully into the distance, “that we
could contribute one or two designs to help start him off.”
“Think storybook villains,” advised the Doctor, who knew that the
sisters were from the 1920s with a sheltered upbringing and probably
wouldn’t have much idea about science fiction, other than H. G. Wells.
Evie became enthusiastic. “A wicked queen’s dress?”
“Exactly,” agreed Beatrice, a wicked twinkle lurking in her starry
blue eyes. “Or a sinister Italian count, I suppose. But don’t you
think he might start hanging around us even more?”
The Doctor paused. “Well, it may, but everyone who isn’t wholly evil
has promised to go first thing. He should be inundated with orders.
The Meddling Monk wants a new habit and the Rani feels she’s overdue
for a makeover – even though she claims not to be interested in
anything as frivolous as clothes.”
“Well, let’s hope so,” said Beatrice. “It’s good to be doing
something again, but not if we have to be pestered by that *awful*
man. And I still can’t make that girl see reason about Jack.”
“Did somebody mention me?” asked Captain Jack in passing. He stopped
to take in with appreciation the young and attractive Evie and stately
Beatrice. He pulled across the nearest chair and sat on it back to
front. “Now, why haven’t we been introduced?”
“Probably for their own protection,” said the Doctor huffily. “Jack,
this is Beatrice and Evangeline Eliott. Bea, Evie, this is Captain
“Crossovers? New to the Round?” He gave Evie a wide smile and she
Bea raised an eyebrow, not missing the exchange. “I suppose you’re
from this Doctor Who thing, too?”
“Sometimes,” he said, grinning at her, unperturbed by her frostiness.
“Sometimes it’s even worse…”
The Doctor put in, “I should warn you that Jack will flirt with
anything that moves – and probably kiss it as well.”
(Evie stared at the ceiling, thinking he didn’t sound so very
different from their Jack, after all, but it would have been more than
her life was worth to say it.)
“True,” admitted Jack, “but then I’ve heard similar things about you,
Doc. But after 900 hundred plus years of not kissing anyone, a guy’s
bound to go a bit crazy when he finally gets the chance!”
Eight stared back at him for a long moment and then frowned sternly.
“We were discussing something important, if you don’t mind.”
“What’s more important than kissing?” Jack winked at Evie, but she’d
made a mistake like this before and she only smiled distantly.
Peri was having a moment of jealousy. “Not that I want to sound like
my own stepmother, but that girl is way too pretty to be true.”
Turlough, who’d sat next to her, stared. “Your stepmother?”
“I’ve had a confusing time lately, okay,” she returned.
He smiled. “Yes, but you’re more attractive in other ways…”
Why were people always hitting him? Turlough wondered later, nursing
another bruise to his chin. He’d thought he’d be safe enough if he
kept out of Tegan’s way.
“What’s going on?” asked the Fifth Doctor nervously. As always, he
was distracted by the sight of what appeared to be Nyssa behaving
Harry was at the bar. He grinned. “It’s an early Twentieth Century
Girl get-together, I think. I don’t suppose they’d mind you saying
hallo, though, if you wanted.”
“Ah,” said the Doctor in relief. “It’s *Ann*…” The worried look
returned. Then where was Nyssa? Where was Adric? Come to that,
where was Tegan…?
“And Lady Cranleigh, Evangeline, Charley and Bea – and Sarah’s popped
back for her Edwardian dress so she can join in,” added Harry
cheerfully. “Seems to be an awful lot of talking about clothes around
The Sixth Doctor overheard. “I know,” he said glumly. “Wish
someone’d thought about that kind of thing sooner…”
“Charley,” said the Eighth Doctor, interrupting the most civilised
party she’d had since she first found herself (startled but never
disheartened) in the Round. “We must do something! It’s all getting
out of hand!”
She followed him away from the group reluctantly. “I don’t see that
it does any harm for people to be a little more fashion conscious,
He faced her seriously. “Charley, most of us here are supposed to be
involved in saving the universe. Clothes aren’t important.”
“Tell that to some of your companions,” pointed out Charley. “I’m all
right. I usually sound as if I’m wearing something sensible, except
for that incident we don’t mention -.”
“I don’t mention it,” Charley reminded him. “Look at the others!
Those outfits aren’t flattering; I doubt they were ever fashionable
anywhere and they’re certainly not practical.”
She glared back at him. “You’ve never tried running in high heels and
a tight skirt!”
“As you pointed out, neither have you,” he retorted, feeling put upon
and still haunted by his own guilt in the sudden rash of fashion
“I’m really glad you didn’t say you had,” she couldn’t help but
respond, but she was still growing irritated. “Anyway, if people want
to think about clothes for fun or ask Bea and Evie to try and design
them something practical, why does that bother you?”
“It’s – it’s frivolous!” he complained sulkily, because he was sure he
was right, but he didn’t have a good reason for it. Yet.
Charley glared at him. “Oh, is it? Maybe the Master has a point!”
“There may have been sartorial errors of judgement in my past,” he
admitted loftily, “but that’s no cause for everyone to start indulging
“Oh, *really*!” said Charley. “I suppose, despite all the high-minded
“Yes! I suppose really you just happen to like your female friends
wearing next to nothing?”
The Doctor looked thoroughly alarmed. “Charley, I have no say in what
anybody here wears!”
“Excuse me, Doctor,” said Charley, and left him standing.
“Goodbye, Jack.” (Pause) “I have been asking if you can come and join
me here. No, of course I want you to come, it’s just -. Jack!”
Beatrice handed the mobile back to Rose with a resigned expression on
her face. “Thank you, Miss Tyler.”
“Rose,” she told her. “And it’s no problem.”
Evie was still shaking her head. “I can’t believe that’s a
telephone. This place is amazing! Shame there’s no art gallery,
though. Where can I go for inspiration?”
The Eighth Doctor was still not feeling any happier. Libraries,
fashion outfitters – and now somebody wanted an art gallery. It
wasn’t exactly Nameless as he knew it. And knowing the Round,
something bad would come of it, sooner or later.
He looked up as someone sat beside him and found Beatrice there,
watching him closely.
“There’s something wrong, isn’t there?” she asked quietly, but
directly. “There’s a problem with us being here.”
He smiled faintly. “No, I don’t think it’s you precisely, but the
Round’s getting obsessed by something – fashion, in this case. It’ll
calm down again soon enough, but what will happen first, I don’t
“We don’t have to come,” she offered. “It’s been dull, but we don’t
have to be here. It’s not as if we belong.”
He sighed. “I suppose it’s been worse. It’s just all very
uncharacteristic – did you see Six wearing a tasteful suit? Still
couldn’t leave off the cat badge, though. It’s all wrong!”
“It is us,” decided Bea. “Being who we are, we can hardly help but
think about more flattering outfits for the people we meet. If we
The Doctor said, “No, no. I’m right, too. Now he’s got started
nothing is going to stop the Master that easily. Charley’s doing her
best to ward off the worst.” A concerned look crossed his face.
Unusually, Charley still seemed to be angry and avoiding him. That
wasn’t like *her*, either. It made him very uneasy, her spending all
that time with the Master…
Bea saw his concern and, as they both stood, she kissed him on the
cheek before leaving.
The Second Doctor was beside himself (literally, since he was talking
to One). “And now people are going and kissing *him*!”
“My dear fellow,” said his former self, “I thought you disapproved of
all that nonsense.”
He sighed heavily. “Oh, yes. I do, don’t I?”
Bea handed over the Eliott sisters fairy-tale villain designs to the
Master, who took them with unusual gratitude.
“Words fail me, Miss Eliott,” he said, studying paper. “I’ll start
with these two. And of course, if I may consult you on my own
She glanced at his elaborate Gallifreyan robes and said, “I’m sure you
know the sort of thing that is required by your clients.”
“But I lack your talent,” he said. “The lines here, Miss Eliott –
sublime! Or may I call you Beatrice?”
She replaced her gloves. “You’re too kind, sir. And, no, you may
“But I was hoping that we could be … friends,” he murmured darkly.
Beatrice hesitated and surveyed him with a cold blue graze. “As I
said, I’m sure Evie and I are happy to give you advice, but really -.”
Outside, Beatrice Eliott surveyed her battered portfolio regretfully.
If only she could have found something else to have hit the
objectionable man with!
The Movie Master surveyed himself in the mirror with some amusement.
Only a slight scratch, after all, nothing to worry about.
“I think she likes me,” he drawled ironically.