Many years ago, I used to buy The Sun.
I’m not proud of it. But it was that time in my life that I did hospital radio. Little snippets from The Sun were perfect for a Saturday morning request show, particularly when you combined them with stories from The Weekly World News and challenged your listeners to work out which was real and which wasn’t. I collected requests from the orthopedic wards, which meant a juxtaposition of lonely pensioners and beardy, tattooed bikers. My musical selection was thus an uneasy combination of Val Doonican and Meat Loaf. That was fine. The news stories helped with the flow.
The Sun and I had a falling out back when the Sarah Payne story broke and they did something that I won’t go into, but which made me discard the filthy rag permanently. It was something of a wrench, because I’d grown quite addicted to Deirdre’s Photo Casebook, in which agony aunt Deirdre Sanders would deal with the likes of serial adultery, gambling addiction and problem teenagers through the heady medium of captioned photo stories, told in daily installments, three or four photos per episode, with at least one panel featuring a girl in her underwear. Deirdre’s ‘advice’ would feature on the final day. There were five strips a story. Literally. Look, it’s easier to just show you.
And so on.
Why am I telling you this? Well, cast your mind back to ‘The Caretaker‘. Series eight threw us its fair share of curve balls, but while I never wanted to throw things at the TV during this one (which is not something I could say for ‘Death In Heaven’) it struck me that I didn’t like the way in which the relationship between the Doctor and Clara had progressed. The Doctor’s physical ageing had presumably rendered any question of a love story distinctly icky, and the only possible solution, it seemed to the writers, was to turn him into a stern father figure. It’s something Moffat dealt with last year when Capaldi lightened up, and whatever mistakes the show made during Clara’s swansong stories (not to mention, of course, the tedious death-and-resurrection narrative arc) her relationship with the Doctor was, if nothing else, far more fun to watch, at least when they weren’t getting angsty about unravelling the web of time.
But in the meantime, I’d done this. And eighteen months later, I appear to have finished it.
But you don’t get the whole lot at once, of course. You can darn well wait. I will upload an image per day over the next week, and you can see the story unfold at its author’s intended pace. Bonus points for anyone who can spot which episodes each panel is from. It’ll be something nice and not at all cynical for Valentine’s weekend, from your not at all cynical author (who is, I should emphasise, not at all single).
And no, Jenna Coleman doesn’t get her kit off. But keep reading. Someone else might.