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Tidbit — Whodunnit II

First Published:
As a murder mystery play at a Doctor Who Club of Victoria meeting

Publish Date:
13 August 1994

Comments:
Have just re-read this (and Whodunnit III) for the first time in ages, and I LOVE THEM! All modesty aside, I think these are brilliant! I’m mighty tempted to do an audio recording of these now… Note that Sarah Jane was played as a "junior reporter", with a teddy and oversized pencil — boy, did I do her in! Richard’s cameos on the TV were brilliant stuff.

Update: as I create the chart at the bottom showing who was where when, I’m finding all sorts of logical contradictions — but after a whole lot of re-jigging they’re thankfully corrected for the version you’re reading! My brain hurts now…

THE SCENE

A party to celebrate the return of Doctor Who after six years off air is well in progress. Present are some of the Doctor’s selves, friends, and a mysterious-looking man dressed in black who no can remember inviting. The party is in full swing with people moving all throughout the TARDIS when the body is found…

Wedged behind a control panel in the Power Room is the corpse of the Seventh Doctor, Sylvester McCoy. Fortunately, Inspector Davo is on hand. He marshals up the six suspects to the crime, extracting statements from each regarding their movements and whereabouts during the evening. In true Choose-Your-Own-Adventure style, he needs your help to solve the case. You must establish the location and method of death, as well as the identity of the murderer.


THE INSPECTOR

The Fifth Doctor — but with a mean streak (David J Richardson)


THE SUSPECTS

The Second Doctor — almost as clever as his companions (Richard Nolan)

The Sixth Doctor — Colin wants to lend a hand, he’s still got one, it’s in demand (Mark Harding)

The mysterious-looking man dressed in black who no can remember inviting — yes, the Master (Tim Cutter)

Josephine Grant — trained in codes, safe-breaking and explosives… and fire-fighting (April Claridge)

Sarah Jane Smith — victim of the Seventies (Polly Morgan)

Ace — worth US$3000 on the open market (Judith Gray)

With special guest appearances by the Fourth and First Doctors on the monitor (Richard Nolan)


THE LOCATIONS

Console Room

Power Room

Zero Room

Infirmary

Cloister Room

Boot Cupboard

Kitchen


THE WEAPONS

Aspirin

The mysterious-looking man dressed in black who no can remember inviting’s Tissue Compression Eliminator

The Fourth Doctor’s scarf

Hartnell’s walking stick

A can of Nitro-9

The Sixth Doctor’s umbrella


THE INTRODUCTION

The scene is a dark and quiet room. The monitor flickers into life, and a face best known as the fourth incarnation of the bohemian wanderer in Time and Space appears. ‘Ah, there you are!’ he exclaims. ‘You find us at a grave time. I was going to welcome you to a celebration of our continued travels throughout the cosmos. But, my friends, a murder has been committed. Our latest version, the little Scottish fellow, has been cruelly slain. The killer must be found (and congratulated). You are the only person who can help us. Trapped (as usual) in a temporal bubble, I can only observe. Already my time is nearly spent (or at the least the budget to keep me here is). Good luck, my dears! Look to the inspector and he will guide you.’ The image fades… Faint calls of ‘Shaaaaada, Shaaaaada’ can be heard.


ACT I

Inspector Davo arrives

Davo: Ah! Hello! So you’re my assistants, are you? Ah, the last lot was pretty unpromising too… Anyway, no time for idle chit-chat. there’s a killer to be found. The corpse was found at 11:30 — he had died in the past half-hour. Forensic have taken the body, so there’s no joy there… Stop that! I’m not into necrophilia! Um, anyway… Let’s wheel in the suspects for preliminary torture and interrogation, I mean, interviews and statements. [Picks up phone book, and grins] First we have an… Ace? What sort of name is that? It’s a girl too!

Ace: Oi! What’s wrong with my name then, dirtbag?

Davo: Hmmm… yes, well, nothing I guess. Fine name, suits you — goes with the temper. [Under breath] Distemper, more like. [Normal voice again] Next is Andy Pandy — I mean, Ms Sarah Jane Smith.

Sarah Jane Smith skips out

SJS: Half a pound of tuppeny rice, half a pound of treacle, that’s the way the money goes —

Davo pulls out a gun.

Davo: Pop goes the pistol!

SJS sits down — far from Ace, who had been glaring at her

Davo: Oh dear. Next!

Enter Fatso — I mean, Colin

6th: I regenerated to get away from you — thought I’d see the last of you! [grumble, grumble]

Davo: Well, now we’re seeing the most of you… Moby.

6th: At least I didn’t spend half my life with my hand up a cow’s bum!

Davo: You are a cow. Next!

Colin sits down noisily — the chair groans. A crash is heard from behind stage — in staggers Jo, half-blind

Jo: Where are you? Oh, oh, there you are. I really wish I had Jon with me to hold my hand. Hey, look, there’s a mysterious-looking man dressed in black who no can remember inviting out there! [Points behind stage]

Davo: Better get him in them, hadn’t we? Come out!

Master: I am the Master, you will obey me…

6th: Fat chance! You’re no better than the Knacker’s Yard!

Master: Yes, well, you would know about fat chances…

Davo: Now, now. This is just a friendly murder between friends. Nothing to get excited about. Now, if we’re all assembled, let us begin.

Jo: Wait a moment! We’re not all here! What happened to the little fellow?

2nd: The little fellow is quite alright, thank you very much. [Pushes past Davo to seat, stands while examining his chair] Now just what is going on here?

Davo: Sit down! [Threatens with phone book]

2nd: Oh, very well, put like that — but, but, you can’t do this — I’m a genius!

Ace: Sit down, bog-brain!

Davo: Quiet! Now, have you all got your scripts — I mean, statements! Good, then we’ll start with… you! [Points accusingly at Ace]

Ace: Well… I saw the Master playing hopscotch with Jo, in the Boot Cupboard. They were using the Tissue Compression Eliminator as the stone. They seemed to be enjoying themselves. [smirks]

Davo: When was this?

Ace: 10:40

Davo: Did you see anything else, Ms Deuce?

Ace: The name’s Ace, scumbag! Anyway, I saw the fat guy in the Infirmary, around 23:20.

6th: [Colin jumps up] Fat! Fat!? Fat!!!?

Ace: [Unperturbed] He was bandaging his wrist.

Davo: [Points at Colin] Sit down! Carefully, those chairs are only rated for one person. And while we’re at it, why were you bandaging your wrist?

6th: I, I fell off the exercise bike. [Looks shifty] Yes, that’s it, I fell off the exercise bike! In the Cloister Room!

Everyone: Carrot juice! [Fall about laughing. Colin not impressed.]

Colin: Well, I saw Sarah at 10:50 in the Console Room. She was playing with the Fourth Doctor’s scarf. [Stricksonian] Remember that — that’s important!

Davo: OK, that will do for now… What about you, Jo? What did you see tonight?

Jo: Sorry? Who said that? Oh, well I didn’t really see anything. I finished my game with the Master just after 10:50. I’d broken my glasses during the game, and was stumbling around the TARDIS looking for a spare pair. I did hear a recorder being played outside the Zero Room at around ten past eleven.

Master: [Jumps up] I deny I was playing hopscotch — I was trying to hypnotise her!

Jo: Yes, you always cheat… you sly devil, you…

Master: My dear Ms Grant… [tails off]

Davo: And where did you go afterwards? [Nods towards Master]

Master: I went to the Cloister Room, to spend some time contemplating my sins… [Quietly] I am a reformed man, Doctor.

Davo: Yes, well. And what time was that, then?

Master: Oh, time is a meaningless concept to those such as us, Doctor. However, I believe it was 11:10 Tarderial Time.

2nd: Oh, enough of this clap-trap. I’m a well-respected fictional character! I saw you [points at Master] leaving the Power Room just before 11:20!

Davo: Anything else you could contribute?

2nd: Yes! I saw his [Colin] broken umbrella in the Zero Room at 11:20. It looked as though it had suffered a great force upon it.

Ace: Yeah, lard-ball here sat on it!

6th: Yes, well, at least I’m not a one-dimensional pseudo-military cut-out!

[Davo throws phone book on ground]

Davo: Shut up! You can settle this later! [Ace smacks fist into palm. Davo turns to Sarah, who has spent the entire interval staring vacantly into space] Hello? Bath-tub to Sarah? Anyone home? No, I though not — ah, there you are! Now, what did you see tonight?

Sarah: I watched the Andy Pandy Show at 6:30, and Auntie Lavinia gave me a nice bath and then she said that because I’d been a good girl I could stay up late and go to the grown-up’s party. But nobody wanted to play with me and that nasty man there [Master] wouldn’t turn my skip rope for me. So I wandered around for a while, and I wanted a drink, but that man there [Troughton] had some tea, but he wouldn’t give any to me. Adults are sooo mean. He’s not like my Doctor, my Doctor gave me lollies and things, and, and, and that’s all.

Davo: By Sarah, age six.

Sarah: Can I go to sleep now, it’s after my bedtime. Can, can, can I go to the toilet please?

Davo: Well, this would be an opportune moment for a break… of her neck. [to audience] OK, anyone have any questions?

[After questions, The Terror Game was shown, hence explaining the first line of Act II.]


ACT II

Davo: Trust you enjoyed that fictional account of us real characters. Let’s see how out suspects are getting on with their versions of the truth — I mean, statements. Now, Dorothy, [Ace yells ‘Ace!’] what else can you tell us?

Ace: Well, just after 10:30 I saw the Master come out of the Console Room, laughing demonically. I heard crying within. Ten minutes later, I saw the Professor and that brat in the Console Room — he was playing spoons for her. She didn’t want him to leave. She kept trying to trip him up with the scarf.

Sarah: Did not!

Davo: There, there, little girl. Now, big boy, where were you before 11:00?

6th: I saw Ace near the Console Room at about 10:40. She was fiddling with a can of Nitro-9. I later ran into Jo Grant — well, she ran into me —

Master: Pretty hard to dodge that much bulk!

6th: — anyway, she had a walking stick at that stage. I remember it striking my umbrella. The stick looked familiar…

2nd: Look! Look at the monitor! It’s, it’s HIM!

[Hartnell appears on TV]

1st: Ah, here I am, I mean there you are. I hear you’ve killed one of me. Typical incompetence! Now, what have you done about it, hmph? Nothing, I suppose…

Davo: Well, we’re working on it at the moment…

1st: Hmph? Who’s that? Oh, it’s the fellow in the pyjamas. And the clown! And I suppose the fat man down the end there in that ridiculous outfit is me too? Hmph! So which one of me has died, eh? The fellow with the long scarf who doesn’t want to be seen with us? No? Oh, that Scottish bloke. Done us a favour, I’d say. Making it too scary for children, indeed! I remember in the old days, back when we made real television —

Davo: [turns off TV] Thanks for that. Contributed absolutely nothing! Now, where were we? Now, Jo, you obviously remember running into the Sixth Doctor —

Jo: — so that’s who it was!

Davo: — yes, anyway, what time do you think that was?

Jo: Oh, about 10:40. He seemed in something of a hurry.

Davo: I see… Even if you don’t. Now, Master, what else can you tell us?

Master: On my way to the Boot Cupboard to play with, I mean, to hypnotise Miss Grant, I saw the Second Doctor near the Infirmary.

Davo: Now you say you were in the Cloister Room after eleven o’clock. The Sixth Doctor also claimed to be there, exercising. Was he?

Master: Now you come to mention it, no.

6th: OK, I admit it, I don’t like exercising! So I lied to cover that up. Mel would kill me if she knew!

[Second Doctor is waving his arm]

Davo: What’s that, little man?

2nd: I wonder if the old one is still there. Maybe he can tell us something…

[Davo turns on the old geezer]

1st: …and I told Verity, Verity, I said, this show is for children! What do you think you’re doing, introducing nasty things like these, these Sensorites? Far too scary for children! If I had my way —

[Davo turns off TV]

Davo: Well, you don’t. Now, little man, anything constructive to say?

2nd: Well, I never! Such impudence! I saw Ms Ace running from the Console Room just after 11:00. She was yelling for the Doctor.

Davo: Is that all you wanted to say?!

2nd: Yes, well, I was going to add that I saw Sarah in the corridor outside the kitchen at about 11:10. I’d just made myself a cup of tea and she wanted some.

SJS: The nasty man wouldn’t give it to me!

2nd: Oh, my dear Sarah — I may call you Sarah, mayn’t I — tea is a grown-up’s drink.

Davo: Yes, a noxious infusion of oriental leaves containing a high percentage of toxic acid.

2nd: Yes, yes, quite unsuitable for children!

SJS: I’m not a child — I’m nearly twenty-three! [stamps foot]

Davo: Sorry, we couldn’t tell…

SJS: You better be nice to me, or I’ll be packing my goodies and going home!

6th: Thanks heavens for small mercies!

Davo: If you’ve all quite finished now, I’ll open the forum for questions…


ACT III

Davo: Well, here we are with the motley crew of would-be assassins — apologies to Ace and the Master, who really are. You must be nearly at the end of your scripts, sorry statements, by now. Now, Dorry dearest, [grabs phone book defensively] anything more?

Ace: Call me that again, bilge-breath, and I’ll rivet your knee-caps together.

Davo: Now why were you running from the console room at 11:00?

Ace: I saw the black dude there sabotaging the TARDIS console —

Master: I was just seeing if you had cable!

Ace: — and I ran to get the Professor.

Davo: And did you find him?

Ace: Yes, I did, eventually, at 11:30. Dead in the Power Room! I found this spoon near the body —

Davo: Thank you! [takes spoon, mixes his tea]

Ace: Oi! That’s vital evidence!

Davo: No — Earl Grey, actually. Oh, the spoon. [points to Master] So, you weren’t in the Cloister Room as you claimed earlier?

6th: [jumps to feet] BUGGER! I could have got away with that lie about the exercise bike. Mel would never have known!

Davo: [A though occurs] How did you break your wrist then? And where were you instead?

6th: [flustered] Well, I, I, [sighs] I was in the kitchen eating a cake. Just a small one, mind you. And then a pie. And a roast chicken. And a loaf of bread. Not much for an active Time Lord like myself.

Davo: Certainly one with an active stomach.

6th: And stop making fun of my size — I just enjoy living life to the fullest.

Davo: Are you sure the Androgum Inheritance hasn’t affected your appetite? Anyway, it appears you have been stuffing your face recently — there’s cream all over your waistcoat. Anyway, Master, what were you doing in the Console Room?

Master: I said — I was trying to find the extra channels you sometimes get on cable — you know, the Swedish ones… Oh damn it! I admit it! I was sabotaging the TARDIS. You don’t seriously expect me to come on board and do nothing, do you?! After I was sprung by that little bomb freak, I went to the Power Room to see if I could do any further damage there. But the bomb freak had already done more than enough damage there. That was around 11:20.

Davo: Any other revelations you’d like to share with us?

Master: ‘Anticipation smells of brimstone and roses.’

Davo: Ah yes, Timewyrm: Revelations, page 42, by Paul Cornell. And what else?

Master: Shortly after I finished my game with Ms Grant, I passed the infimary. I noticed a spilled bottle of aspirin on the floor.

Davo: Interesting. Now, Jo, any final, er, revelations?

Jo: Well, I did hear a loud thud from the Zero Room at 11:10. Maybe it was the umbrella breaking…

Davo: Very interesting! If you have no more, we’ll move on to the shrimp in the braces. Sir?

2nd: I saw Ace in the Power Room at 10:50. I thought I heard an explosion just before-hand.

Ace: YOU CHEATING SCUMBAG! I was just testing a new batch of Nitro-9! The fuses on the last batch were dodgy. I keep getting in trouble for that with the Doctor… [tails off, as he’s dead now]

Davo: Now, Sarah, you have to help us here. I know you’re frightened and it’s way past your bedtime, but you must help us. Can you think of anything else?

SJS: Um, today I drew some pictures and I wrote a story about K9, and then I came to this party. And, um, I went to the kitchen and ate some food, and I saw that fat man there, and he gave me a cream cake, and then he wouldn’t play with me, so I wandered around for a while, and I saw the fat man and the nice man with the spoons go into the Zero Room, it was really late, about 11:00 or even later, and then they were shouting, and I heard a nasty noise. And then I ran away and I found a hopscotch thingy, and then I played for a while, and, and, and that’s all. Can I have a biscuit and, and, and some lemonade?

Davo: How about an oxygen mask?

2nd: [Produces a biscuit from his pocket, brushes the lint off] Here you go, my dear. [Turns to where 6th is rising from his seat] Get back, Colin! You can’t have it!

Davo: Please! Colin, what were you and the Scottish one doing in the Zero room? Arguing? What about?

6th: We were arguing about… about… about… food! Yes, that’s it, food. He said I was a big fat pig, and I said he was nothing but a jumped up music-hall entertainer whose only hope of a gig was to stuff ferrets down his pants and bang spoons together.

Davo: I see. Well, if you’ve finished… Does the audience have any final questions?

[Questions taken]

Davo: OK. Well, you’ve heard the statements and listened to the evidence. It is time to make your judgement…

[People submit their guesses on who, where, with what and, hopefully, why]


ACT IV

Davo: Well, you’ve had time to consider your verdict, and I have gone over them with much interest and, well, sniggering. As Inspector responsible, I have deduced the truth, and before I announce those of you with impeccable judgement, here is the real truth of what happened…

Sarah-Jane spent the entire evening wandering around trying to find someone to play with. She saw the killer about to commit the foul deed.

Ace, being the anti-social type she is, spent very little time in the one location as she avoided the others. She also plays a minor role in this evening’s proceedings. She surprised the Master, who for his part, largely spent the evening either in the company of Miss Grant or at work sabotaging the TARDIS.

Miss Grant gave us some of the most vital clues to the identity of the killer. She didn’t see much, but she heard a lot!

Colin started by lying about his period on the exercise bike. He also lied about his feast in the kitchens — he actually ate much, much more! He was, however, telling the truth about the argument he had with the Seventh Doctor. It was just an argument, plain and simple, although it ended in a clash of umbrellas. Colin’s came off second best, and he injured his wrist in the process, forcing him to journey to the Infirmary.

This of course, leaves us with the last remaining suspect, who is our murderer — the Second Doctor!! Well, Pat, what have you to say for yourself?

2nd: [Sighs in resignation] Alright, yes — I killed him. I took the aspirin from the Infirmary early on with the intent of poisoning him. I had to search for some time to find him. When I heard me and me fighting in the Zero Room, I waited until I saw the big me leave. I looked in through the door and saw the Scottish me sitting on the floor, holding his head in his hands. I knew my chance had arrived. Rushing to the food dispenser, I dialled up a cup of tea, then dropped several aspirins in it. I took it to him, passing you, young lady, [motions towards Sarah] on the way. I gave him the cup and he drank it in several gulps. Minutes later, it was all over. I dragged his body to the Power Room, passing Jo on the way — luckily she couldn’t see me. Wedging the body behind the console, I proceeded to the Cloister Room, where you found me later.

Davo: One last question — why?!

2nd: He was always being described as ‘Troughtonesque’ in his portrayal — and I’m sick of it! I couldn’t stand that Scottish burr being compared to my definitive interpretation of the role. Everyone knows that I was the —

Davo: Stop, for Rassilon’s sake! Someone take him away, please. [Entire cast except Davo drag the Second Doctor away, protesting ‘I did you all a favour — you can’t do this to me! I won’t have it! Stop, you’re making me giddy’, etc.]

Davo: Thank goodness that’s over with. Now, I never did get to drink that tea… Ah, here we go.

[Pulls out spoon Ace gave him from his pocket] Nothing like a hot cuppa. [Drinks. After several seconds, cries out and collapses…]

Lights out — entire cast reassemble. Announce winners.


Just in case you’re confused, here’s the breakdown. Names in italic indicate placements where no direct evidence was provided for it.

  Boot Cupboard Cloister Room Console Room Infirmary Kitchen Power Room Zero Room
10:30 Jo   Ace, Sarah, Master 2 6   7
10:40 Master, Jo (breaks glasses)   Ace, 7, Sarah, 6 Master (on the way to the Boot Cupboard), 2      
10:50     Sarah Master sees spilled aspirin Jo, 6 2, Ace 7
11:00   Master and 6 both claim to be here Master, Ace, 2     Jo 7, 6, Sarah
11:10   Ace (searching for 7)   6 2, Sarah Master Jo, broken umbrella
11:20 Sarah Jo Master Ace (searching for 7) 6 2, dragging body of 7 7, 2 (with poisoned tea)
11:30 Sarah 2 Master Jo 6 Ace (finds 7)  

End of Tidbit

Here’s the list of the Doctor Who assorted tidbits available here:
How to Create a Costume
1996 DWCV Cricket Day Report
The Black Box series of jokes
The Pit: what are the worst ever Doctor Who stories?
The Second DWCV Whodunnit Murder Mystery Play
The Third DWCV Whodunnit Murder Mystery Play
→ Or just head back to the Doctor Who Index


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This page last updated by David J Richardson on Wed, 8 Jan 2003.