THEN DO THAT OVER 1/1 Humor, Outside-Continuity
by Paul Gadzikowski
Bits of this work may derive from properties of the BBC, Paramount, Fox,
etc.; but it's parody and so falls under the provisions of fair use.
The Doctor woke up in an unfamiliar bed.
Alone! Get your mind out.
With a skill that came from waking in places other than his own bed by
no intent of his own most of the time, he was aware of this state of affairs
without even opening his eyes. A minute's consideration with whatever senses
besides sight a Time Lord is credited with by this author told him that it
was a smallish room with no one else in it, and with no obvious survelliance
devices. Then, because if there *were* people watching it would startle them,
he bolted into a sitting position, eyes open.
He let out a quickly truncated scream.
In his immediate field of vision was a wall. On this wall was the
classic Farrah Fawcett malliot poster. "I'm in the nineteen-seventies," the
Doctor gasped. The rest of the room bore this hypothesis out; the rock band
posters, the hairstyles on the covers of the sports magazines...
There was a knock on the door, and a man poked his head in. It was
Ulysses, the Doctor's father from all those half-gestated movie treatments.
"So you're up," he said. "If you're ready in twenty minutes, I'll give
you a ride to school."
"Er, thanks," said the Doctor, trying not to scrutinize obviously.
Ulysses hadn't nearly stepped into the room; the Doctor wasn't certain but it
looked like his father was wearing a leisure suit. "... Dad," he added with
inspiration. Ulysses nodded and left, shutting the door again.
The Doctor got up and looked in the mirror over the bureau (discovering
in the process that he'd been sleeping in pyjama bottoms and a 'Jaws'
t-shirt). His own reflection looked back at him - de-aged to adolescence, but
his own. Whatever was going on here, it wasn't a 'Quantum Leap' sendup.
"'Spose I'd better get ready for school," he told himself.
"There you go," said Ulysses, putting the 1971 Country Squire station
wagon into park. "Have a good day."
"Thanks, Dad," said the Doctor absently as he climbed out of the car
with his books, and slammed the simulated-wood-paneled door. He had become
increasingly distracted as he realized the car's destination was somewhere in
the neighborhood of This Time Round. Perhaps this *was* real (begging the
question of the reality of OC).
Now he stood on the walk where previously, as far as the Doctor could
remember, there had been a vacant lot: the lot between This Time Round and
Look Who's Talking. It wasn't vacant now. There was a building of the sort
whose design effortlessly screams 'public education institution', behind a
sign which read H.G. WELLS MEMORIAL HIGH SCHOOL.
The Doctor had wondered at finding his teenage self's closet half full -
next to the jeans and t-shirts - of replicas of what the Doctor wore as
himself in default, the outfit he'd nicked in the TVM. The explanation now
milled about before him. It was his school's uniform. Or his class's, or his
section's of his class; there were students in scarves or smoking jackets or
patchwork coats too, and those older than he.
The Rani and the Master - both dressed as he; the Master's goatee
adolescently sparse - ran up to him, for all the world like a scene from
'Harry Potter'. "Good morning," he told them.
"Good morning," said the Rani.
"Ready for the big day?" the Master asked.
"Big day?" said the Doctor. He'd had quite a big enough day already,
The Rani rolled her eyes. "You can't have forgotten!"
"Today is the day of the class officer candidate speeches!" said the
Rani, not after all finding it difficult to believe he'd forgotten. "You'd
better have a good speech ready."
"You've got to show your brothers!" said the Master.
"Over the past three years Doctors have been president of the last seven
class sections at Wells," said Hermoine, er, the Rani. "You've got to show
them you're just as good as they are."
"I am, am I?"
Now the Master rolled his eyes. "Just come on! Assembly's first thing
Naturally, after homeroom, when the Doctor tried to follow the Master
and the Rani into the seating area of the school auditorium, they shoved him
toward the entrance to backstage. There he discovered the upper classes'
presidents and the other candidates for all the offices of his class. He
could tell the former because they were his other selves de-aged as he'd
been, and he could tell the latter because they were dressed as spectrally
uncertain as he.
On the off chance that he wasn't the only stranger here, he went up to
his other selves and asked, "Anyone know what's going on yet?"
"Knock off the regenerative aphasia bit, Paul," said the one in the
cricket whites. "Everyone knows it's good for half an hour, tops."
"Thanks for blazing that trail, Peter," said the Doctor, testing half a
second's hypothesis. It seemed to bear out; none of him batted an eye.
"You and Eric arrived together," Jon Doctor said. "You two hitting it
The Brigadier walked up to them. He was an adult and wore a suit very
like his "1977" Brendan School uniform, but with question marks where logos
ought to be. "Now now, young Mr. Doctor," he said to the Doctor, "you haven't
been elected yet. Over there with the other section candidates."
The other candidates for president of his section were all
Doctor-analogs from a.dw.c fanfiction: Taliesin, the Nth Doctor, J2rider's
Adric... He smiled and said, "Hello."
"You think you have it all sown up, don't you?" Space Nimue hissed
angrily. The others handed out shoulders just as cold, and the group fell
silent as all the Doctors and candidates took their designated seats on the
stage preparatory to the curtain rising.
"... It's time intelligence was the measure of our best and brightest,
not money or looks or family or lack of sartorial taste!" cried J2-Adric, the
first presidential candidate to speak, by virtue of the alphabet. He got a
good deal of applause as he left the podium. The Doctor decided to vote for
"Our next candidate," said Bill Doctor - presiding over the ceremony as
senior among the class presidents - "is yet another example of a family
tradition at Wells, and though I say it myself an illustrious and acomplished
tradition." There were cheers and boos as Bill introduced the Doctor and
surrendered the podium.
The Doctor had always hated cold-blooded public speaking. Trying to
rally the spirits of the rebels against a local megalomaniac when things
looked their darkest was one thing, but getting up in front of people seated
with little paper programs in their hands was another entirely. Of course he
was aware of the classic remedy put to all schoolchildren embarking upon
their public speaking careers. Such was the Doctor's practice, and he engaged
it as soon as he arrived at the podium, seeing all before him in his mind's
eye knocked down to their knickers.
Almost instantly he realized it must be a mistake. The environment he
had awakened in this morning was one tailor-made for the reenacting of the
nightmares of youth - and perhaps not just figuratively but literally. The
other classic disrobement scenario of the adolescent years was the nightmare
of discovering oneself naked in public. Panicked that the evil that had
displaced him had contrived this moment on account of that archetype, the
Doctor flinched and looked down at himself.
No. He was still dressed. Self-possessed again, he looked back up at his
audience, confident he'd been wrong that the start of his speech was to have
occasioned the manifestation of his stereotyped teenage anxiety.
But the people around him were not so certain. Something was bothering
them terribly, and they were standing or screaming or looking at each other
in horror or trying not to look at each other at all, and the Doctor realized
that what he was seeing was not in his mind's eye but in his eyes' mind.
Everyone in the auditorium *but* him had been suddenly, inexplicably
stripped to their underwear.
The Doctor charged off as soon as he could. He'd finally pieced it
together. Two networks are premiering sitcoms this season about guys in their
early thirties who wake up fifteen years earlier, and his experiences here so
far ran like a dream's compendium of the ads for both. The one element that
*hadn't* come up so far was the bit from one series' previews in which the
protagonist is called on the carpet by the headmaster. Er, the principal. No,
headmaster, blast it!!
The Doctor blew into the school office. The receptionist/secretary was
"Where is he?" the Doctor demanded.
Eyebrows mounted forehead like furry worms rolling up a hill. "'He'?"
"'She' then. I don't care."
"Have you a note?"
"Ehh ..." The Doctor reduced his level of attention on Popplewick to
that afforded an internet troll, and burst through the door labeled
'Headmaster' into the office beyond, where that worthy looked up at the
Doctor's entrance. "You!" the Doctor cried, which seems to be the sole
initial response he's capable of to meeting avatars of this author
"Yes, Mr. Doctor? What can I do for you?"
"You can give it up!" said the Doctor.
"Give what up?"
"This fiendish plot to set up an OC high school and trap us all in our
The author blinked at him. "'Fiendish'? I don't know what you mean."
The Doctor was stunned into speechlessness for nanoseconds. "You can't
seriously believe anyone *wants* to relive high school, real or imagined?!"
"I *liked* high school. I didn't want to leave. I bet the people I knew
in Chicago would tell you I never have. Now my wife and I have moved back to
the city where I grew up, into graduate student housing across the street
from the high school where I went. And there are *two* sitcoms this fall -"
"Even BUFFY has gone back to high school this season."
"I know, I know!" It was worse than the Doctor feared. This was no
megalomaniac bent on power, nor even a self-deluded megalomaniac in pursuit
of supposed greater good. This otherwise nice fellow genuinely, cluelessly
believed he was doing people a good turn. The Doctor was utterly powerless
Except perhaps to save himself. "Look, everyone else here is an
alternate high school version of themselves, as everyone in LWT is a baby
version - except me. At least let *me* loose!"
"Certainly. I only needed you for POV in the introductory episode." The
author handed the Doctor a diploma. "Congratulations. Of course, that's
conditional on no other writers wanting you back for their TDTO bits.
Assuming anyone else picks up the ball at all, now that I've set it rolling."
The last qualification reassured the Doctor as he bolted through the
school corridors, as he knew that this author had once created an OC bar on
the BUFFY/ANGEL fanfiction newsgroup and it had gotten no response (except
one followup, whose main purpose had been to refute the argument which the
first post had been written to put forward). Perhaps they'd all get out clean
now. On the other hand, perhaps the adwc family of writers and characters
might take the chance to exorcise some old demons, the way Joss Whedon's been
doing for going on seven years -
He cleared the door out of the building - and ran straight into a wall.
A smoking-jacketed wall. With a goatee.
"Ah," said the Doctor, from a sitting position on the ground. "You'd be
my best friend's elder brother. Or is it my elder brother's best friend?"
"Babble all you want," said Roger Master. He cracked the knuckles of his
right hand through the expedient of forming them into a fist and pounding
them into his left palm, as the gaggle of teenage Ogrons behind him chuckled
heavily. "I saw you ogling my girl during your speech ..."