An all-female version of the BBC series "Doctor Who".
There was an ominous rumbling just under the surface of the planet Varos. The planet was very young. Its molten core still took up just under 50% of its mass and there were frequent volcanoes on the surface. The great oceans of the future were still puddles; comets still regularly crashed into it leaving enormous craters; and it rained. Boy, did it rain! The rain was essentially water but with a hint of some of the metals brought down from the icy comets which had delivered water to Varos in the first place. The rain was warm, which matched the hot ground and the sweltering temperature of the air. It was also incessant. It was also hard. The current subvarosian noises presaged something big – the creation of a new substance for which the planet would be famed for millions of years. It also laid the groundwork for a very, very loud bang.………………………………………………………………………………………
The Bristol Channel lashed the small island of Sharp Holme. The waves even crashed periodically against the walls of La Fesse de la Mer, the island’s most expensive restaurant. Three girls sat at a candle-lit table overlooking the angry sea. Somehow the sea’s rage – or was it Amber’s fourth glass of wine? – seemed to have affected the redhead’s mood and she started a good old moan about the fat student who periodically appeared in the restaurant.
“I mean she burps, then she sits there laughing about it for half an hour and then she says she’s feeling sick and all that and it really puts you off your dinner. I mean, it’s nice this place, isn’t it? You don’t want someone like that coming in here even. I mean I bet she doesn’t even understand all them French names for all the food and that. I mean we can all say ‘bon jyoower’ and that and if it says ‘crapes’ instead of pancakes, I mean, we don’t sit there going, ‘Oh, I wonder what that says’ do we? That’s the thing – you have to have a bit of class to be here but she comes in and she’s that fat and – ooh, it makes you sick just to look at her!” Cathy tossed her blonde hair out of her eyes. “So, how come they let her in, then?”
“’Cause of who she comes in with,” confided Amber. “Always brings Mrs. Josso with her. They reckon she’s got something on her, the crafty little sod, and so she makes Mrs. Josso pay for her meals here as like a sort of blackmail thing.”
The third member of the party, Amulya, was stirred to speak by mention of that name.
“Ah,” she said, ”the estimable Mrs. Josso! She who letches after the youngest boy students and who is then complaining that her husband is visiting tarts on the mainland. She is a terrible woman. And that whole sarcasm thing she is always doing – I mean, what is that all about?”
“If you ask me,” said Amber, “she gets whatever she deserves from that fat student but I just wish they’d have their blackmail meals somewhere else and leave us alone here!”
“Oy, who was that other loser?” asked Cathy, “Don’t know why we’re talking about all these sad people but you know, the one you said always used to turn up and never said nothing?”
“Oh, that was Patricia!” smiled Amulya. “If ever you were planning anything, there she would be. And you would have to be like, ‘Oh, hi, do you want to join us?’ and she would just be standing there and giggling and not be saying anything. And if you would be going to a fairground ride or something that was being fun, she was wont to just be standing there saying, ‘No, I won’t be doing that but you have fun’ and then it was making you feel guilty. And she would be always telling you that she is not coming from this dimension but from another Earth and all these
“Probably just wanted to make herself sound more interesting,” said Cathy. “Probably just made herself sound like a prat though, saying stuff like that, know what I mean? Oh, you know who’s been driving me mad this week? You know I go to them art classes?”
“Yes,” nodded Cathy’s two friends.
“Well, I was coming out a few weeks ago and there was this woman lying down in the road next to this blue telephone box thing. I hadn’t seen it before. She wasn’t moving or nothing so I goes to help her, right, and she wakes up and goes, ‘Oh, I’ve got two hearts so I’ve got two of them and all this time’ in like a proper proper London voice – a bit like mine in a way. And she was looking down her own front like there was something odd. Anyway she was wearing this like tweed suit, you know, like a proper old-fashioned man’s jacket, and a bowtie. So I went to help her, right, and she asks if there’s a shop she can buy some clothes so I take her to the charity shop and I’m all like, ‘Are you sure you don’t need the hospital?’ and she’s like ‘I’m all right, I’m all right – wait there while I choose my new costume’ and all that. Everytime I choose something she goes, ‘No, that’s no good,’ and then she gets this grey like tie thing and a grey blouse and a grey dress and la la la and everything’s grey and I goes, ‘That looks rubbish’ and she goes, ‘You obviously don’t understand art – if you think it’s rubbish, it must be good’! Then she only goes and starts turning up to the art class. She won’t give her name – she just says ‘I’m a doctor, I’m a doctor’ – I think she flipping needs one! And she keeps going on about she’s met Van Gogh and she met this person and that person – it’s like really stupid.”
“Do you know what?” asked Amber mischievously. “Why don’t we get together the four most annoying people on Sharp Holme and get them in one place together? Send each one an invitation saying ‘you’re invited to a party’ or ‘come to our conference’ or whatever…”
“Or like ‘free drinks on Tuesday night at the following place…” suggested Cathy.
“Yes, or whatever. And we can be watching from somewhere else and laughing through a telescope and that!” giggled Amber.
The three women clinked glasses together.
And so a gossipy little dinner on an unimportant English island ended up with a joke that would bring four unlikely people together and send them on a series of incredible adventures across the bounds of time and space.………………………………………………………….
On Varos, the rumbles had turned into a series of explosions. Huge plumes of smoke filled the air while thousands of cubic metres of molten lava cascaded down the side of the planet’s biggest mountain. This lava had a different colour from that being produced by the other volcanoes. Rain water would mix with it and cool it down to produce the planet’s first ever stock of Zeiton-7. In those few hours of steaming, smoking, pouring and cooling, the planet’s future was sealed.