TTR: Letís PlayÖ Blind Date (with Leela)
By V. Jewitt


Does it show that I've been watching season 15? It's been longer than
I realised since I came up with this sort of nonsense. And, as we
have TV in Nameless, it seems reasonable to imagine that the Celestial
Toymaker might be a tired game show host. But then, I've been
watching Season 15 and I left my sanity somewhere around Fetch
Priory...


***

That celebrated Nameless TV game show host, the Celestial Toymakerí
attempts an episode of Blind Date in which Leela must decide between
her queue of unlikely admirers. (At least, thatís the intentionÖ)



***

[Lights and cameras focus on a brightly coloured pink and blue TV
studio with the CELESTIAL TOYMAKER standing in the centre.]

CELESTIAL TOYMAKER: Welcome to another exciting edition of [glances at
card in hand] Ah, yes, ĎBlind Dateí. Iím afraid our producer has
stamped down on the actual blinding of contestants, but to make up for
it to you Ö wonderfulÖ viewers, we have a challenge for Leela of the
Sevateem, famed for leaving a trail of broken hearts across the
galaxies. Yes, itís time for her to decide which of her unlikely
admirers she *really* prefers. Letís have a big round of applause for
Leela!

[Canned Applause]

[LEELA enters, a scowl on her face. Someone has taken her knife.]

VOICE OVER [Itís the MOVIE MASTER]: Leela of the Sevateem, hard-
hitting savage warrior, but she has her softer side. And as we can
all see, thanks to her miniscule dress, she isnít lacking in the looks
department, although why -.

CELESTIAL TOYMAKER [coughing]: Yes, thank you, Graham.

V/O: Graham?

CELESTIAL TOYMAKER: Oh, youíre hardly the first. We call you all
Graham. Iím Ö not sure why. Now, Leela, we have a treat in store for
you tonight.

LEELA [moving across to CELESTIAL TOYMAKER] If you do not stop
speaking lies against me, I shall kill you. And give me back my
knife!

CELESTIAL TOYMAKER: Weapons are forbidden in this TV studio.
Obviously, if one pauses to recall some of the pairings we found
ourselves left with. Even the spoons have been confiscated from time
to time. Now, Graham, remind us who we have here tonight.

V/O: Iím not doing this if you donít stop calling me that.

LEELA: Good. Can I go home now?

BOTH: No!

[LEELA folds her arms and sulks]

CELESTIAL TOYMAKER: Well, go on, who are these potentially lucky men?

V/O: You wonít believe this, Toymaker. We have a whole string of
completely hapless and hopeless males queuing up and, believe me, when
I say hapless and hopeless, I mean *astoundingly* useless, even
considering that the majority are merely feeble bipeds originating
from earth. You wonít believe your eyes.

LEELA [looking up]: I am going to kill you for this.

DOCTOR [from the other side of the screen] Thatís all very well, but
what am *I* doing here?

CELESTIAL TOYMAKER: Youíre on the list. [glancing up, to address V/O]
And I donít think thereís any call to label the Doctor as useless.
Intensely irritating, a cheat, a spoilsport and various other things,
but *useless* -.

V/O: Iíll call him useless if I want. Do you want me to read the list
or shall we argue all night?

CELESTIAL TOYMAKER: Yes, read the list. Who are these fortunate
contestants?

V/O: Weíve managed to narrow them down, since Tomas declined to be
here Ė some excuse about not wanting to let Calib get up to any of his
tricks Ė and the entire population of Fang Rock died immediately after
meetig this young lady. Plus, our producer insisted that even a
savage couldnít really want to marry Idas. Which leaves us with our
startlingly inept line-up: Chief Mover Ander Poul, Professor George
Litefoot, Professor Adam Colby, Cordo, Commander Andred and the
Doctor. Sheís partial to a title, isnít she?

LEELA: Is he allowed to insult me like that?

DOCTOR: I really must protest -.

CELESTIAL TOYMAKER & V/O: Oh, be quiet.

CELESTIAL TOYMAKER: Now, we need to narrow it down further. Letís
begin the process of elimination -.

LEELA [outraged]: I am not killing any of them! They are my friends.
And I will kill *you* before I harm the Doctor.

CELESTIAL TOYMAKER: Please, allow me to finish. We will begin the
process of elimination by asking an initial, extra question. Simply
choose the three answers you prefer to make your decision. Now, sit
down here where you canít see them.

LEELA: Why may I not see them?

CELESTIAL TOYMAKER: Because youíre supposed to decide from the answers
alone. Shall we make a start?

LEELA: But I *know* what they look like. I also know very well what
their voices sound like.

CELESTIAL TOYMAKER: Those are the rules. Sit down if you would like
this over with before the universe finally falls apart around us. You
do not get to leave until you make a decision and neither does anyone
else. Now, the first question to decide who gets to stay here and
have a chance with this charming Öly vicious savageÖ is: You have an
evening off and you decide to treat Leela to a night out. What do you
do and where do you take her?

DOCTOR: Firstly, I resent my inclusion in this farrago of nonsense
and, secondly, Iíve taken her plenty of places already. Whatís more,
I have planets to save. [Marches off, scarf thrown over shoulder]
Cheerio! Hearts broken, indeed.

CELESTIAL TOYMAKER: Doctor.

DOCTOR: Sheís a primitive savage and Iím a Time Lord! Be realistic.
Besides, Iím busy.

[The DOCTOR heads off out of sight past the cameras]

OTHER CANDIDATES: Thatís a bit insulting / Full of himself, isnít he?
[etc. etc.]

CELESTIAL TOYMAKER: Leela?

LEELA [shrugs]: Well, I *am* a savage and he *is* a Time Lord. I will
go and help him.

CELESTIAL TOYMAKER: [catching at her arm] No, you wonít. Not until
weíve finished. Now, what about the rest of you?

COLBY: I donít know whatís supposed to be going on here, but it canít
be real. I must be dreaming and Iím not going to talk to figments of
my imagination.

POUL: For the rest of our sakes, couldnít you try? If it is a dream,
what harm will it do?

COLBY: I suppose thatís true. Of course, I could just be going crazy.

POUL: [putting a hand to his mouth and turning wry] There is always
that option, yes.

CELESTIAL TOYMAKER: Can someone actually answer the question?

CORDO: Whatís an evening off? Do we have to pay tax on it?

COLBY: Sounds as though someone needs to have a word with his union.

CORDO: Well, the Company never allowed us things like that, you see.
This being free takes some getting used to.

POUL: Oh, the *Company*. What did you expect?

CELESTIAL TOYMAKER: [hoping for sense from someone] Commander Andred?
How about you?

ANDRED: Now wait. Donít rush me. I take it this is a theoretical
question? In that case, Iíve got all of time and space to choose
from. It could take a while.

LITEFOOT [glancing round in confusion]: I donít see itís such a
difficult question as all that. I admit it has been some time since I
considered entertaining a young lady for the evening, but I would
imagine a meal and a trip to the theatre should suffice. Thereís some
rather decent stuff about these days.

[LEELA gets up]

CELESTIAL TOYMAKER: And where are you going?

LEELA: You heard the Professor. He is going to take me to the
theatre!

CELESTIAL TOYMAKER: Itís merely a hypothetical proposition.

LEELA: Itís a hypo Ė hypo -. What did you say?

CELESTIAL TOYMAKER: Itís just pretend.

LEELA: Then what is the point?

ANDRED: [finally coming up with something] I should think Andria 4,
fifty-third period would do nicely.

LEELA: [frowning] What is that?

CELESTIAL TOYMAKER: Listen, we have to narrow this down somehow. Iím
not going on with all five of these idiots here.

LEELA: I can make my own decisions. It is not easy, but the Doctor
has left and while I like Cordo I do not think I wish to marry him.
And I am afraid that Poul was damaged.

CELESTIAL TOYMAKER: Are you sure? I canít say I think much of your
remaining choices.

LEELA: Yes. I am sure.

[CORDO and POUL vanish and the other three take their seats on the
other side of the screen]

CELESTIAL TOYMAKER: Now for the first question proper: where would you
take Leela on your ideal, romantic honeymoon?

LITEFOOT: Good heavens.

ANDRED: [frowning] Er. Honey moon? Whatís that?

COLBY: Camping.

CELESTIAL TOYMAKER: Professor Colby, can we please take this
seriously?

COLBY: I donít see why I should. Torquay?

LITEFOOT: It strikes me as a damned impudent question, but if the
fellow must know I always thought Italy-. I assume weíre still
talking rhetorically here Ė money no object and all that? If not, I
fear it may have to be a week in the Lake District.

ANDRED: Well, if someone could explain what it is weíre talking about
-.

LEELA: And me.

COLBY: Obviously, as you say, this is entirley hypothetical, but
surely it would have made sense to ask Leela where she wanted to go?

CELESTIAL TOYMAKER: I suppose I should have expected no more from this
useless lot.

LEELA: It is a stupid question. If I like someone, I do not mind
where we go. I shall ask the questions now.

CELESTIAL TOYMAKER: Why not?

LEELA [pleased]: I can ask?

CELESTIAL TOYMAKER: Please do.

LEELA: Which weapon would you prefer Ė a well-made bow, a sharp knife
or a sturdy axe?

COLBY: So, is this for the honeymoon or are we still on the first
date?

CELESTIAL TOYMAKER: Professor, if I have to warn you one more time -.

ANDRED [relieved at having a straight-forward question]: Personally,
Iíd prefer an up-to-date laser weapon with a stun setting Ė a bit more
civilised Ė but, given the choice, I would have to say a bow.

CELESTIAL TOYMAKER: You are supposed to add why, preferably something
coy about Cupid and arrows.

ANDRED: I am? I was only thinking that they did let us study archery
at the academy and I wasnít too bad at it. Seemed the sensible
option.

LEELA [getting up again, a light in her eyes]: Then I shall challenge
you to -.

CELESTIAL TOYMAKER [putting a hand to her arm]: Remember, we have to
finish this, my dear.

LEELA: Get your hands off me. And I am *not* your dear.

CELESTIAL TOYMAKER: Why not? You seem to have the rest of the cosmos
at your feet.

LITEFOOT: Hmm. I canít have the Chinese fowling piece this time?
Probably as well. An axe, then.

CELESTIAL TOYMAKER: [sounding bored] And *why*.

LITEFOOT: Iím not sure. Never had a try with a bow and it looks
complicated and a knife seems Ė well Ė somewhat uncouth.

CELESTIAL TOYMAKER: And do we have any more witticisms to add,
Professor Colby?

COLBY: Must we go about killing things? If I have to, the knife
then. For self-defence.

[ANDRED and LITEFOOT look at COLBY]

COLBY: Well, excuse me for not being a bloodthirsty, murdering
psychopath.

[LEELA gets up again.]

CELESTIAL TOYMAKER: And where are you going now?

LEELA: To ask my next question. Perhaps it is more of a test, but you
said I could choose.

CELESTIAL TOYMAKER: You arenít supposed to see them until after you
decide.

LEELA: I told you. I have already seen them many times.

CELESTIAL TOYMAKER: Oh, if you insist. Go ahead.

[LEELA rounds the screen and reaches ANDRED]

LEELA: [looking up at ANDRED] Kiss me.

ANDRED: What?! Here? In front of everyone?

LEELA: Yes.

CELESTIAL TOYMAKER: That is what I call cheating.

LEELA: You did not say that I could *not* ask a practical question.
It is more sensible than yours. [Turning back to ANDRED] Andred, I am
*waiting*.

[ANDRED coughs and moves forward to kiss LEELA awkwardly]

LEELA: Thank you. Now, Professor Colby -.

COLBY [grinning as she moves across] I donít know what this delusion
is, but itís improving rapidly. [Kisses LEELA with enthusiasm]

[LEELA moves on to LITEFOOT and waits]

[LITEFOOT kisses her. On the hand.]

[LEELA pouts.]

LITEFOOT: I am sorry, my dear, but this is dashed improper. Weíre not
even engaged!

[LEELA grabs LITEFOOT and kisses *him*.]

CELESTIAL TOYMAKER: Well, letís hope thatís finally brought you to a
decision. Care to refresh our memories, Graham?

V/O: Iíd rather not. Romantic *isnít* the word, we may safely
conclude. Here goes: So, our lovely Leelaís choices are as follows:
Eminent criminologist Professor Litefoot, whoíll treat her like a lady
with a trip to the theatre and whisk her round the Italian lakes.
Just watch out Ė heís handy with an axe.

LITEFOOT: I said nothing of the sort. I donít know who this fellow
is, but the bounder is twisting my words.

V/O: Then thereís the dashing Gallifreyan Commander Andred who Ė if I
understood his typical dull Gallifreyan terminology correctly Ė wishes
to take her on a trip to the Deathís Head Desert on the planet of
Velasius in the middle of its most vicious civil war.

ANDRED: Oh. Maybe it was the fifty-first period? Anyhow, you know
that wasnít what I meant, you -.

V/O: How should I? Given the lady in question, it sounded entirely
appropriate.

LEELA: Who *is* that? I shall hunt you down once we are done here!

V/O: [coughs] Nevertheless, sheíll be shot through the heart at his
prowess with a bow and arrow.

ANDRED: I had *no* idea it was going to be this humiliating.

V/O: And thatís it, unless Ė oh, yes, we have sceptical
palaeontologist Adam Colby whoíll give her the traditional English
experience of camping in Devon Ė in the rain, no doubt. If they make
it there, since heíd like her to give him the directions. Heíll be
bringing his Swiss Army knife, so youíll at least be able to get at
the tinned food, I suppose. He may think itís a dream, but it sounds
like a nightmare to me. Frankly, my dear, unless heís a great
kisser-.

CELESTIAL TOYMAKER: Youíre not really getting the hang of this, are
you? Difficult as it may be in this case, you are supposed to make
them sound better, not worse. Nor are you supposed to attempt to
influence the candidateís decisions. I wish people would abide by the
rules. In my realm things are far better run.

V/O: Get your last guy back if you donít like my style.

CELESTIAL TOYMAKER: Impossible. He ran off with every single
contestant we ever had. It was growing tiring.

V/O: [pause] Captain Jack, I take it?

CELESTIAL TOYMAKER: Indeed. You can imagine.

V/O: Iíd rather not.

LEELA: Can I have the others back as well? Perhaps I was hasty.

CELESTIAL TOYMAKER: No. Make your decision!

LEELA: Very well. It has been interesting, but I shall go with the
Doctor. He will need my help to save that planet. He always does.

[LEELA runs off]

CELESTIAL TOYMAKER: Hmm. Not the outcome I had predicted, but perhaps
it will do. I think this means that you three are now my prisoners -.

[He is silenced by a knife thrown at him from off-screen]

LITEFOOT: [looking to COLBY and ANDRED] I think, gentlemen, it would
be prudent to run at this point.

COLBY: It would have been prudent to run in the first place. Letís
go!

ANDRED: [turning noble] Go on. I shall remain here and cover your
exit.

[COLBY and LITEFOOT look at each other and drag ANDRED off after
them.]

STAGE-HAND: [from the side of the studio] Oh. Was I not meant to give
her her weapon back yet?

V/O: I suppose Iíll have to finish this then, will I? It wasnít in my
contract, but: Join us again next week when Peri finally has the
chance to decide which evil, deformed genius she loathes the least:
Sharez Jek, The Borad or The Master. [Pause] WaitÖ Evil genius, I
grant you, but *deformed*?

CELESTIAL TOYMAKER: [picking himself up and causing the knife to
vanish]: And, tell me, how tall was your former self when he first met
Peri?

V/O: Ah. True. There you have me.

CELESTIAL TOYMAKER: These things are far better organised in my
realm. [sighs]

[Lights dim and the music plays. Credits roll. Probably heads as
well.]

THE END.


***

Disclaimer: I do not own any of Doctor Who. All the characters here
are property of the BBC and BBC Wales and their original authors.

Blind Date must, I suppose by copyright of one of the ITV franchises
of the time. I did my best to avoid it at the time, but it wasnít
possible.
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