This has nothing to do with the current challenge - I've just got
trapped in the Round. I might try when I get out, but I'm not sure
when that will be... :-)

TTR: TARDIS Speculation

In which the Second Doctor gets hold of a copy of 'About Time 2' and
everyone takes the essay 'Was there any hanky panky in the TARDIS?'
far too seriously, leading to much confusion, jealousy and probably
murder before the night is out. A fairly mild night for the Round,
but there you go.

(Not really a story in any true sense of the word, but I couldn't help
but wonder what the inhabitants of the Round would make of it should
it fall into their possession. See Appendix at end for details of the

"Look at this!" The Second Doctor waved a large paperback book around
Jamie eyed him warily. "What is it now, Doctor?"
"Well," he said, placing the book on the table and smoothing it open,
"it's a book about me! Although I'm not sure I should show _this_ to
His companion folded his arms. "Doctor, what are you on about?"
"According to this, she had a crush - on ME!" finished the Doctor,
near to bursting with pride and amusement at the idea.
"Who did?" asked Ben, sitting down at their table.

"Am I in it?" asked Jamie with more interest, although Ben was now
frowning into his beer, having heard the explanation.
The Doctor sighed patiently, "Yes, Jamie."
He considered this, pleased - and then looked worried. "Hang on a
minute - I don't have a crush on you as well, do I?"
"It's not fact, Jamie," said the Doctor and then glared at him. "And
I certainly hope not!"
It was at this point he found the penultimate essay: 'Oh all right...
Was there any hanky panky in the TARDIS?'

"Why am I not on this list?" he demanded indignantly, shaking the book
as if an extra page might fall out. "It's not fair!"
"What list?" asked Ben, lifting his head again.
"Possible TARDIS couples. And none of me is in it - well, almost
none of me!" The Doctor threw the book down, where it was eagerly
seized upon by the Third Doctor.
"Dear me," he said in surprise and then rubbed his chin. "I must
say, I agree with you for once. We should be on this list!" He read
further on and then spluttered. "Liz - with the Brigadier?!"
Everyone present turned to look at the Brigadier, who was sitting at
the UNIT table, waiting for Sergeant Benton and Mike Yates to finish
their game of darts. It didn't help allay the Doctor's suspicions
that it was a youngish Brigadier here tonight. He was unfazed by the
attention, merely giving an enigmatic smile in response. Several of
the females present couldn't help noticing that he _was_ actually good-
looking, something that was easy to forget when his older, fatter self
was so much more often in the Round.

"Ha!" said the Fourth Doctor in triumph. "You six may not be
included, but Romana and Romana and I get a mention."
The crowd now gathered around the Second Doctor's table ignored him
as he walked away, pleased with himself. Both Romanas exchanged
unimpressed looks.
The fact that Jamie was now trying to read the list had slowed things
down. "Hey," he said at last, his literacy skills being up to reading
'Jamie and...' at least, if nothing more. "I'm in this three times."
He increased his concentration and then brightened. "That's more than
anyone - except you! You kind of get four."
Tegan, to whom this was directed, stopped dead in her tracks.
"What?" she squawked.
"Three?" echoed Ben slowly. "That's Victoria, Zoe and ... Polly,
right? Okay, let me see that!"
He grabbed it off Jamie, to the protest of the waiting Doctors and
companions, and read it, not much more speedily than Jamie, before
handing it back to the Doctor. "So - they reckon Polly was more
likely to have gone off with the Doctor or Jamie than me? Seems I'm
just a mug, then."
"This is terrible," proclaimed the First Doctor. "I have a
granddaughter - and I got engaged to a charming Aztec lady. How can I
not be on that list? After all, the existence of Susan surely implies
that there was once a grandmother?"
The Seventh Doctor shook his head, muttering, "Hasn't he read any of
the New Adventures?"
"Of course not," said the First sharply, there being nothing wrong
with his hearing. "I wasn't in them! In any case, it's utter
nonsense, my dear fellow! They can't argue with the facts of life,
now can they?"
The Seventh and Eighth exchanged glances. "Apparently ..."

Dodo looked at her entry with disbelief. There were just three little
words under 'Dodo and Steven' and she was feeling insulted and
"Why?" she asked in puzzlement.
"Er-hm," said the First Doctor, looking embarrassed and pulling out
the first volume - all about him, of course, even if he had found some
items inaccurate and others hysterically amusing. "I think there's an
interesting theory in here that might explain it."
Dodo and Steven retreated to ponder on the question: 'Are Dodo and
Steven related?'
"Urgh," said Dodo in shock and horror. "And I thought my life just
couldn't get any worse!"
Rose was stifling laughter, since anything post 1996 had been
ignored. "You could go on one of those talk shows: 'I had a crush on
my great-great-great-great-great-grandfather'!"
"Has everyone read this but us?" demanded Dodo.
Steven coughed and reddened.
"...But me," amended Dodo miserably. She rounded on the other.
"Steven, is this true?"
He backed away. "That's hard to say."
"You were always telling me not to do this that and the other," she
reflected. "Just like me Gran, actually." She put her hands over her
face. "I want to die!"
Before anyone could remind her that she already had, Nyssa obliged.


Dodo: Well, I've lost it. I flipping well want to STAY dead this


Tegan took advantage of the distraction to take hold of the book and
read her entries with a dawning horror on her face. Jamie had not
"Adric?" she exploded.
He glanced up from the bar with a startled expression on his face.
Nyssa lent over Tegan's shoulder. Her eyes narrowed instantly as the
phrase 'Adric and Nyssa' caught her attention, followed shortly by
'Nyssa and Tegan'. "Who wrote this? Where can I find them and kill

"It's nothing but gossip and speculation," advised Barbara sensibly,
as she passed them on the way to join the Doctor, Susan and Ian. "Why
don't you put it away and ignore it?"
The Second Doctor was still scowling. "I don't see why they're so
rude about me - all my selves."
"I know," agreed Tegan. "Why is me and _Adric_ less horrible to
imagine than me and the Doctor? And as for Ian and Susan as an idea
"What?" came three horrified cries from the First Doctor's table.
Then Ian, Barbara and the Doctor turned slowly to look at Susan, who
jumped and said hastily. "What? Ugh!" And then took the opportunity
to stare away into the distance in an unearthly fashion.
"I agree," said Peri. "It's skewed if you don't include the Doctor
at all. I mean, it's as likely as some of these others... If we have
to imagine this stuff at all. I might be having nightmares tonight."
Tegan couldn't help giving her an evil look, even though she was on
her side, because one thing she didn't care to imagine was Peri and
the Doctor. Well, if it was the Sixth she didn't care, but otherwise...
"Well, tell me the worst," continued the other girl. "What does it
say about me?"
Ben answered for her, "You're not in it."
"I'm not?" Peri was amazed. "I'm not in it at all? Is that
Tegan sighed. "So why me? I get entries for Adric, Nyssa, Turlough
and Kamelion! Please, can we hide this somewhere? Promise me you
won't show this to the Doctor - my Doctor."
"Won't show me what?" queried an all too familiar voice from behind
her. She realised now that that was what Jamie had been helpfully
pointing at. She smiled rather desperately as she turned to face
him. "It's nothing - just a load of lies!"
He lent on the table to read the book, his eyebrows rising as he did
so. Then he glanced across at her.
She closed her eyes, waiting for the worst.
"Well, Tegan," he said, unable to keep from laughing, "you have been
busy, haven't you?"
She opened her eyes again in relief and annoyance. "What is it about
"I can't imagine," he returned instantly and grinned at her.

Sarah quietly pulled the book towards her and read through it, looking
"What is it?" asked Mike Yates, taking the opportunity to sneak a
look at the now infamous essay.
She glanced up at Harry behind the bar. "They're right; it is
ridiculous - but there's no need to be unkind!"
"They've missed us out," he responded instead.
Sarah twisted around in her chair. "What do you mean by 'us'?"
"Well, you flirted more with me than with him," he pointed out,
nodding to Harry.
She reddened. "Yes, but that's all it was!"
Mike laughed at her and went across to ask Benton if it was true
about him and Jo.
Harry wondered over, having caught something of the exchange.
"Whatever it is, don't worry about it," he advised Sarah.
"I'm not," she returned. "It's just someone's opinion, but I don't
think it's very nice, that's all."
He shrugged and said, good-naturedly, "I'm sure they know as well as
anyone else that you'd never look twice at me."
Sarah half-realised that there was something important about that
sentence she was missing, but she passed the book across to him.
Harry read it (slowly) and then winced as he came to the line about
Harry not knowing one end of a woman from the other. "Oh, I say.
That is a bit harsh."
"If they come in here," decided Sarah, looking grim on seeing his
hurt expression, "I may give Nyssa a hand..."

Vicki, after a long wait, got the chance to read her entry. And
"It's a bit ambiguous about us," Steven said. "What do they really
think is going to go on with the Doctor around? I'm not sure how to
take some of this."
She sniffed and wiped her eyes. "What does it make me sound like?
The Trojan version of a page three girl?"
Steven really couldn't think of anything to say to that.

Liz walked in later, to be greeted by a Doctor all but jumping up and
down with indignation.
"Liz! How could you? That - that cloth-headed, clod-hopping,
military oaf! And with a moustache like that! I thought better of
She stared back at him in bemusement as he stormed off.

"Polly," said the Second Doctor. "May I have a word?"
She listened to his question and then laughed and kissed him on the
forehead. "I'm afraid not, Doctor!"
Ben said, "And what about Jamie?"
"Jamie?" she asked in confusion. "Oh, you wouldn't think that I -?
If you're going to be like that, I'm just not going to talk to you!"
As she marched off, Ben cheered up no end. Things were pretty much
back to normal.

"So," said Sarah, "who's still talking to who?"
The First Doctor said severely, "Well, no one is talking to Susan
until I say so - I've sent her to Coventry."
"Nice place, Coventry," said Harry, passing with beer for the UNIT
Sarah noted that down. "Barbara and Ian?"
"I'm talking to her," he told Sarah.
Barbara added, "I'm considering not talking to him, but I shall let
you know."

Jamie had got the book to himself now and he was struggling to read
the text of his entries. Victoria and Zoe came to join him, curiosity
written across their faces.
"I think I'd better ask the Doctor what the rest of this says," he
decided after wrestling with the words for some time. The print was
too small for his liking.
Both of them grabbed for the book at the same time, having taken in
what was in their entries. "No!"
He looked from one to the other in bewilderment.
"It's all very dull," explained Zoe hastily. "Nothing interesting in
it at all!"
Victoria nodded. "Oh, very. I don't think you should bother the
"No," agreed Zoe. "He's busy tonight."
Jamie gave up, even though the Doctor appeared to be involved in
nothing more taxing than teaching a humanized Dalek some new tricks.
After he went, Zoe looked at Victoria, "You might as well 'wear a
placard saying Take Me Now'?"
"It says here," retorted Victoria, "that you 'increasingly dressed to
please' Jamie!"
Zoe put her nose in the air. "Nonsense," she said loftily. Then she
glanced across at Victoria. "Where can we hide this?"
Turlough slipped in between them. "I'll take it, shall I?"

He read his entry with some glee, but on reaching the end, halted with
a worried look. The authors had definitely claimed to exclude the
Doctor, but there was something about that suggestion that implied...
Well, he was with the authors and didn't want to imagine it, either.
Whatever it was he wasn't imagining. Turlough grimaced, since he had
been planning on quoting this at Tegan for a long time to come and
calling her 'Princess Leia'.
"Who writes something like this?" he asked aloud in irritation.

The Third Doctor was feeling disillusioned tonight.
"Jo, I always thought you liked Mike Yates. What's all this about you
running off with Sergeant Benton?"
Sarah had reached their table. She smiled widely at Jo and said,
"Well, who wouldn't?"
The Doctor left them speedily with a shocked look on his face.
Jo and Sarah laughed so much so that Jo fell off her chair.

"I'm not in it?" The Sixth Doctor looked crestfallen. "How can I not
be in it?"
The Second Doctor sighed. "None of us are."
"It's blatant Time Lordism, that's what it is," decided the Sixth.
"It doesn't have to be true for us to be gossiped about! We should be
as entitled to slander and libel as any of our companions!"
The Eighth, Ninth and Tenth Doctors were keeping well out of it,
since only pre1996 Doctors had been barred from the speculation,
although the rest of them had been ignored as being too obvious.
Although the Ninth and Tenth were have having a heated discussion in
whispers about what exactly made relationships in their TARDIS a 'too
easy to mention' target. After a good while or so of frowning over
it, they both glanced up as Captain Jack entered the Round and they
fell silent, their expressions clearing...
"No, wait," said the Tenth Doctor. "That only explains your TARDIS
crew. I think I resent this! Now, if it were about him -" nodding to
the Eighth Doctor "I could understand it, but, possession aside, you
can't actually, truthfully say that Rose and I did anything worse than
a previous me and - say Zoe!"
Since Zoe happened to be passing at this moment, she stopped in
"What _do_ you mean?"
The Ninth Doctor slipped away, taking the opportunity to get Rose
alone, while the Tenth engaged in a panicked and tangled explanation.

The Briagdier approached Liz and coughed.
She looked up. "Brigadier, what is going on here tonight?"
He looked as though he was trying not to laugh. "If you'll dance
with me, I'll explain, Miss Shaw."
"Briagdier?" said Liz, even more shocked, since it was an
uncharacteristic request. So much so that she could hardly refuse.
He took her hand and said, "Just watch the Doctor's face. He's been
listening to rumours - about us!"
Liz followed his gaze and the Doctor's expression as he watched them
take to the largely empty dance floor was indeed priceless. She
smothered laughter. "I see what you mean!"
"I don't believe I've ever had this much entertainment in the Round,"
he mused. "Thank you, Miss Shaw."
"In the cirumstances, maybe you should call me Liz?"
He had a twinkle in his eye. "Oh, I don't think we should go that

The Proprietor eventually found the book abandoned on the bar. He
shook his head and took it out to burn it. These things always caused
nothing but trouble...

(All characters are copyright of the BBC; This Time Round was invented
by Tyler Dion and About Time 2 is copyright of Tat Wood and Lawrence
Miles. Putting them all together is entirely my fault.)

Not wanting to keep quoting from About Time 2, here is the full list
of potential TARDIS couples suggested with any particular comments
referred to but not already quoted above:

Ian and Barbara
Ian and Susan
Vicki and Steven
("Vicki stepping out of the TARDIS to meet the Trojans, might almost
have the caption 'Hello Boys'...)
Steven and Dodo
("Dear God, no.")
Ben and Polly
("Less likely than it seems.")
Polly and Jamie
("Her relationship with Ben may be strained by the fact that he nearly
feeds her to the Macra.")
Jamie and Victoria
Jamie and Zoe
Liz and the Brigadier
Jo and Captain Yates
Jo and Sergeant Benton
("Some Lady Chatterly-style furtive rudeness is entirely possible, if
only to annoy Captain Yates.")
Sarah and Harry
Adric and Nyssa
Adric and Tegan
Tegan and Nyssa
Tegan and Turlough
Kamelion and Anybody
("He's on the ship with hormone-bomb Tegan and reckless pleasure-
seeker Turlough. No wonder he hides in his room and won't come out.")