Saturday, September 3, 2005



Those of you cursed with razor-sharp memories will remember that with the two-part 'Doctor Who' story which introduced the Slitheen family ("Aliens Of London" & "World War Three"), I postulated a theory that they had to take place in an alternate TV dimension. This was due to the destruction of Big Ben and Number 10 Downing Street, as well as the murder of the Prime Minister before the episode even began.

It would have been no problem at all for the TARDIS to make such a journey - after all, the name is an acronym for Time And Relative Dimensions In Space. It was supposed to be able to traverse dimensional vortexes as well as travel through Time and the Space in which Earth Prime-Time could be found.

Don't we see it doing just that in the opening credits each episode of the new series? Those wormholes down which the TARDIS tumbles are quite similar to the ones through which Quinn Mallory and his friends would slide to reach alternate versions of San Francisco ('Sliders').

And I don't think the Doctor was even aware that he had left the main TV Universe and ended up in a "mirror universe". Quite frankly, I don't think he knows where he's landed half the time until he's had the chance to look around. Just in this series alone, he's come down in Cardiff of 1869 when he thought he was on his way to 1860 Naples; and he brought Rose back to her Mum 12 months after they vanished, rather than the 12 days he had promised.

No, I think it's the TARDIS who makes most of the travel arrangements for the Doctor. It's not only telepathic but it's also able to foretell the future as well. That's why throughout the long history of the show, the TARDIS found itself deposting the Doctor and his Companions in varirous locations in Time and Space where they could avert one crisis or another.

With that in mind, I decided that the first Slitheen story should take place in the world of 'The West Wing'. If it couldn't be located in the main TV Universe, then why not in the alternate world of TV's best pollitical series?

Well, regular reader "Words Say Nothing" splained why not - even though "Aliens Of London" & "World War Three" took place around June of 2006, 'The West Wing' had already reached that point in time during last season's storyline about the presidential primaries for both parties. And in one of those episodes we saw the British Prime Minister - a woman named Maureen Graty, not Harriet Jones as the Doctor suggested would happen.

Through a few back-and-forth emails, we tried to reconcile the timeline with a bit of juggling, - that Graty became Prime Minister right after the crisis was taken care of, and that there was no sense of urgency before Harriet Jones assumed leadership.

But based on the limited info that's come out so far regarding "The Christmas Invasion", the 'Doctor Who' special (which will be David Tennant's first star turn as the Doctor) it appears that by Christmas of 2006, the back-bench minister of Flydale North would already be at the helm as British Prime Minister Harriet Jones.

That seemed like an awful lot of bother to juggle both series convincingly, so I gave up the notion and decided to move those two episodes of 'Doctor Who' elsewhere.

At first I was tempted to land them in the universe of the new ABC series 'Commander In Chief' which will star Geena Davis as the first female POTUS. Something wicked in me thought that perhaps the show would never last long enough into 2006 to even be a problem. But I didn't want to unnescessarily curse the series, especially since it has so many actors involved whom I enjoy watching (Donald Sutherland, Kyle Secor, Jason Wiles, etc.).

But now I've found two series which form the nucleus for a TV Universe in which the President of the United States is different from George W. Bush, who currently holds the office in not only the Real World but in the main Toobworld as well. These shows are no longer on the air and thus can't cause too much trouble - if any! - for any shows I wish to later add to their dimension's roster.

These two shows were both on CBS just a few years ago - 'The Agency' and 'The District'. 'The Agency' was about the inner workings at the headquarters of the CIA, and it lost its berth in Earth Prime-Time as soon as they introduced Tom Arnold playing the half-brother of the President.

As for 'The District', that series was about Jack Mannion, who was brought in to become the Chief of Police in Washington, DC. In one of its last seasons, the show did a crossover with 'The Agency', and so it became allied with that show in a brand new universe.

Since they are both no longer on the air, and enough time has passed for both the American President and the British Prime Minister to have been replaced in office, it makes for the perfect world in which to house those two episodes of 'Doctor Who'.

It also makes a great world in which to situate the new FOX series 'Prison Break'. As we learned in the season premiere last week, (which takes place in early 2006), Lincoln Burrows is in the Fox River State Penitentiary on Death Row for the assassination of the Vice President's brother. If I'm not mistaken, that man's name was Strickland. "I could be wrong now, but I don't think so."

(As 'Prison Break' is a live-action series, I'm not about to link it to 'King Of The Hill' in which Strickland Propane plays a major role. That show is set in the Tooniverse.)

Even though it looks like the Secret Service and other branches of our government might play a major role in the events leading up to the actual 'Prison Break', I don't think that should be a problem. Again, the President in 'The Agency' and 'The District' could have changed by now and even so, he was never named. (His half-brother had a different surname.) Besides, it's the Vice-President's brother who was murdered, and a Veep could be replaced even faster in that time.

And I think it's highly unlikely that the British Prime Minister should ever be invoked on 'Prison Break', let alone actually seen.

So there's a nice alternate TV dimension starting to bloom, with three series ('The Agency', 'The District', and 'Prison Break') as well as the first two Slitheen episodes of 'Doctor Who'.

That's right - just the first two episodes of that particular storyline takes place in that brave new world. Because even though Blon Fel Fotch Pasameer-Day Slitheen of Raxacoricofallapatorius returned in "Boom Town", I think everybody involved had already returned to the main Toobworld for that adventure in Cardiff.

And I'll provide that splainin in Part Two of this essay, "Blon Ambition".


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