Doctor Who And The Nature Of Fear (Series 34 Episode 4)

Clara is in her flat. She goes into the bathroom and closes the door behind her. Suddenly Doctor Who pops out from behind the shower curtain

Doctor Who: Clara, are you alone?

Clara: I was!

Doctor Who: And yet look…

Doctor Who points at the bathroom door.

Clara: It’s… a door?

Doctor Who: And? And?

Clara: And… What, exactly, am I supposed to be looking at, Doctor?

Doctor Who: If someone believes they’re truly alone in the house, why would they lock the bathroom door behind them.

Clara: Habit?

Doctor Who: What if they don’t believe they’re truly alone at all?

Clara: No, I’m definitely sure it’s just out of habit.

Cut to: Doctor Who and Clara are in the TARDIS control room. Doctor Who is pressing buttons and pulling levers on the control panel.

Doctor Who: What’s the first thing you see when you sit down on the toilet? The door! And what do doors do? They open! And when are we at our most vulnerable? When we’re on the toilet. Now imagine if outside every bathroom door there is a monster that wants to eat you. If you didn’t lock that door, it’d kick it open and catch you with your trousers down and you’d have no chance to fight back.

Clara: And that’s why we lock the bathroom door? Because they’re are monsters in our house that only come out when no-one else is around and you’re sitting on the toilet on your own?

Doctor Who: Exactly.

Clara: Doctor, do you think that maybe you’re the monster? I mean, it was you that appeared in my bathroom.

Doctor Who: Don’t be absurd. It’s the most common fear in the world, imagining someone bursting in on you while you’re sat there. It’s terrifying.

Clara: Anyway, Doctor, can you stop somewhere right now because I really really need the toilet.

Doctor Who: We can’t stop now. I don’t know where we are.

Clara: I really don’t care.

Clara reaches across the control panel and pulls on a swanee whistle, causing the TARDIS to dematerialise instantly.

Doctor Who: Clara what have you done? That’s the emergency toilet stop. We could be near any public convenience in the entire universe.

Clara: Sorry, Doctor. I’ll just be a mo.

Clara runs out of the TARDIS into a row of shabby looking toilet cubicles. She kicks the nearest one open. It flies open, hitting a schoolboy who was sat there on the head and knocking him out. As he slumps back he drops a marker pen on the floor.

Clara: Oh my, I’m so sorry.

Clara moves to the next cubicle, finds it empty, and shuts the door.

The camera switches to a viewpoint just behind the slumped form of the boy. As the toilet in the next cubicle flushes he begins to wake. We hear the TARDIS huff its way back into space, and as the boy leaves the door swings back shut and we see that the graffiti he was writing on the wall says:


Then we see a sign saying GALLIFREY SCHOOL FOR BOYS above the exit. Also we see that the marker pen was actually a sonic screwdriver. And then text whooshes in to the screen saying THE BOY WAS DOCTOR WHO, followed almost instantly by NEXT WEEK and a picture of a Dalek emerging from a toilet cubicle.



1. I wrote this in 2014
2. Presumably after watching this episode of Doctor Who.
3. Very old satire is the best kind of satire.
4. Anyway, I dont know why this wasn’t already on here but it is now.

The Six Universal Plot States Of Fiction

1. A dream
2. A dream within a dream
3. A dream within a dream within a dream
4. A dream within a dream within a dream within a dream
5. A dream within a dream within a dream within a dream within a dream
6. A nightmare



1. Written on November 11th, 2023

Tales From The Town #135: The Rudest Word In The Entire World (Part 3)

“So what is a rude word then, Mum?” Ethel asked.

“Yeah, Mum, I bet you know loads of rude words,” Claire said. “Like, you must know words so rude Daniel wouldn’t even know they were rude.”

“I’d know,” Daniel said, hugging the cat and one of the dolls while watching his favourite tv programme on his phone and eating a yoghurt all at once while also hiding in a den he’d made using a crocheted blanket stretched out between three chairs and kept in place by some precarious towers of heavy looking books.

“Well, maybe you just need to shut up, Daniel,” Claire said. “Maybe you should all shut up and let Mum say what she wants.”

“That doesn’t make any sense, Claire,” Tina said.

“I don’t care,” Claire said. “Anyway, look, Daniel’s put his headphones on. You can say anything now Mum!”

“Just so we know never to say whatever it is!” Ethel added, actually quite eager to hear something so forbidden.

“Or accidentally put it in a poem,” Tina said.

“Or a story.”

“Or the script we’re writing for a radio show that we’re going to broadcast to the whole town!”

“You’re not going to catch me out that easily,” Agnes said. “And anyway, it’s not the word that matters, it’s the intent.”

“That sounds stupid,” Claire said. “Of course it’s the word that matters, Mum. Otherwise it’d just be… noise!”

“I simply mean…” Agnes said, feeling quite defensive. She hated being put on the spot like this. “Like, what about the mayor?”

“What about the mayor?” Tina, Ethel and Claire all asked.

“I mean, the mayor,” Agnes said, looking out of the window as if maybe she could see the mayor out of the window even though the mayor was shut up in the mayor’s office like always and not in their garden like he never was and never had been nor ever would be. “There’s nothing wrong with the word. But what about the man?”

“What about the man?” Tina, Claire and Ethel all asked.

“Doesn’t he just seem… you know,” Agnes said, shuddering. “Urgh.. he just kind of revolts me. Like, what is he doing in there?”

“In where?” Ethel, Claire and Tina all asked.

“In his office,” Agne said. “With the lights off, and the doors bolted, and all the windows covered in soot. It’s not… it’s not natural.”

“Natural?” Ethel, Tina and Claire all asked.

“You know, the sort of thing a human being of living flesh might do,” Agnes said, suddenly leaving the room so she could go and make a cup of tea even though she’d only just had a cup of tea. “There’s something very wrong about the mayor, that’s all I know. Something very wrong indeed.”

“Well, that was weird,” Tina and Ethel said.

“But not rude,” Claire said. “At all. Stupid Mum. Who cares about the mayor anyway?””

“The mayor,” Daniel said, taking his earphones off now it was safe, and looking at the others very seriously indeed through the holes in the crocheted blanket. “Is a massive fucking wanker.”

Daniel!” Tina, Ethel and most definitely Claire all shouted. “You can’t say that!

“Well, it’s only what I heard,” Daniel said, before putting his earphones back on and listening to whatever it was he was listening to under his blanket while he watched whatever it was he was watching in there with the cat and the doll (he’d finished his yoghurt by now).



1. Written on July 28th, 2023
2. Obviously this episode will be censored in reprints.