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Carnival of Monsters

Roll up, roll up, for a peepshow w here the Doctor and Jo Grant discover that sm all isn’t always beautiful…

Exploring the hidden depths of Doctor W ho’s m ost intriguing stories…

Shirna (Cheryl Hall), Vorg’s assistant.

As a four-year-old in the early 1970s m y favourite program m e wasn’t Doctor W ho. At that age, m y favourite program m e by far was the puppet series The Adventures of Rupert Bear. (“Everyone sing his nam e/Everyone com e and join/ In all of his gam es… “) It seem ed to be on m ost lunchtim es… until the dreadful day our hired TV broke dow n, and the terrible Television M an cam e to our house to x it withhis box of tools.

He asked m e what m y favourite program m e was, and I said “Rupert, Rupert the Bear” – so he told m e to shout if Rupert Bear ran out when he took o the back of the TV. Because Rupert – and Bill Badger, and Edw ard Trunk, and all of Rupert’s Nutw ood friends – actually lived inside the television, he said.

So I sat agog while the Television M an ddled and faddled around the back of the TV… until at last I dared to sneak a peek, to see if I could really see Rupert, Rupert the Bear. Except the Television M an was lying. It was all just electrics inside the TV, after all!

In so m any ways, I don’t think I’ve ever really got over that appalling betrayal. Certainly, it’s the rst thing that com es to m ind whenever I watch Carnival of M onsters – which concerns a sort-of TV, the Scope, which fantastic m iniature people actually live inside, repeating the sam e adventures over and over.

People like puppets, and puppets like the fearsom e Drashigs. “My little carnivores”, says show m an Vorg, the Scope’s ow ner, in Episode Tw o. “Ho, ho – they’re great favourites withthe children, you know… “

A hungry Drashig.

Carnival of M onsters is an exceptionally playful piece, which begins withthe Doctor’s TARDIS m aterialising aboard an Earthsteam ship.

Inter-Minoran o cials Orum (Terence Lodge) and Kalik (Michael Wisher).

In fact, writer Robert Holm es originally intended for the rst episode to take place entirely aboard said steam ship. In his rst draft storyline, the fact that the Doctor and his assistant Jo had arrived inside Vorg’s m achine wasn’t revealed until early in Episode Tw o, when the scene cut to the inside of the ‘Vol-Dom e’ – “the equivalent of a fairground tent but like scienti c”.

One wonders, then, if Holm es hadn’t m eant the Vol-Dom e ‘tent’ to echo the police-box exterior of the Doctor’s TARDIS, withthe jukebox-like Strobe at the heart of its scienti c interior analogous to the central console of the TARDIS. Suggesting, therefore, that the extravagantly dressed Vorg and his pretty assistant Shirna were analogues for the Doctor and Jo – nothing more than entertainers, putting on a show.

“Our purpose is to am use, sim ply to am use”, Vorg tells the grey-faced custom s o cers he falls foul of early in Episode One. “Nothing serious, nothing political… “ Nothing serious, nothing political: perhaps Holm es was being playful here, too. Because it turns out that one m em ber of that Inter M inoran tribunal is dead set against outsiders being adm itted to his planet, after m any years’ self-im posed isolation. In Episode Tw o, Kalik describes his fear of alien invasion: “Don’t talk to m e about brotherhood and neighbourliness. W e have survived in the past because of our strength!” Now, though: “W e shall perish!”

”Our purpose is simply to amuse. Nothing serious, nothing political.” VORG

W e’ll see, how ever, that a signi cant num ber of recorded scenes were cut in post-production – including a particularly telling exchange from Episode One. Not long after the notorious “hygiene cham ber” line (see 13m 16s), we were supposed to learn how Inter M inor’s liberal President Zarb had decided to foster interstellar trade and “cultural exchanges”. “what do we want withthere [sic: ‘these’] aliens and their m ongrel culture?” asked Kalik.

Shirna, Vorg (Leslie Dwyer) and the Doctor (Jon Pertwee) withthe miniscope.
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About Doctor Who Magazine

THE WORLD CUP OF THE DALEKS Thirty-two Dalek stories battled for supremacy in our epic Twitter contest. Which is the fans’ favourite? Other highlights of this issue include: • A 16-page celebration of the Daleks, including the results of DWM’s online tournament. • An exclusive Series 12 update. • Writer and director Pete McTighe goes behind the scenes on The Promise, his new trailer for the Season 26 Blu-ray box set. • Sophie Aldred discusses her on-screen return as Ace. • Production designer Arwel Jones gives DWM a tour of the Thirteenth Doctor’s TARDIS. • The first part of an exclusive interview with former script editor Andrew Cartmel. • A preview of Tiny Rebel’s final Doctor Who: Infinity games. • The Fact of Fiction explores the 1973 story Carnival of Monsters. • The answers to last issue’s fiendishly difficult quiz about the first 40 years of DWM. • Part Three of Mistress of Chaos, a new comic-strip adventure featuring the Thirteenth Doctor and her friends. • The Blogs of Doom, audio and book reviews, previews, news, prize-winning competitions and much, much more!