A satirical piece on the most malevolent beings in the universe: Doctor Who fangirls. Just how far might they go to meet David Tennant? Find out here.
What I Did on My Spring Break
(by Allison Rose)
Once upon a time, in the United States of America, there lived four thirteen year old girls. Their names were Alexis Stevens, Stacy Carlton, Gwen Marvin, and Hilary Williams. They were fans of Doctor Who.
They weren’t just your typical, run-of-the-mill Doctor Who fans, though. They were fangirls. Tenth Doctor fangirls. Ever since the first time they set their eyes upon an episode featuring David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor, it had been love (one-sided, of course, as, much to their dismay, the forty-two year old Scottish actor has no idea that they even exist) at first sight. Ordinarily, Alexis, Stacy, Gwen, and Hilary wouldn’t have been caught dead watching some nerdy British sci-fi drama about time travel, (their typical fare included things like Glee and the High School Musical movies,) but they watched Doctor Who solely for that man. That was the extent of their love for him.
So you could imagine just how loudly they screamed when they learned that Doctor Who is real.
I kid you not, so quit your screaming. (I can’t stand it, really! You’re blowing my ears clean out!)
Alexis’ distant third-cousin Sally, who lived far off, ‘cross the pond, as they say, in England, once shared with the family her harrowing experience with the (allegedly) cutest Time Lord in the universe. Oh yeah, and his companion Martha, of whom the girls were extremely jealous. Nobody had believed her until now.
But anyway, after a tiresome profile search on Facebook, Alexis managed to friend and contact Sally about coming to visit her with her three girlfriends, so that they could all talk girly stuff — and take a look at those totally creepy Weeping Angels (although she hadn’t exactly mentioned that part). Sally hadn’t been particularly happy about this, but since her apartment was pretty empty ever since her friend disappeared, (on account of guess who,) she was lonely, so she let them come anyway.
Besides, spring break was coming up, and the girls’ parents weren’t quite sure what to do with them. After all, all they ever did together was sit in one of their living rooms and eat popcorn while watching their favorite TV show. (Hilary’s brother was getting quite sick of hearing a certain theme song every day.) If their parents had known that they were going to England with more of that Doctor Who stuff in mind, they probably would not have consented to the four friends flying halfway across the world to visit Alexis’ dear cousin Sally.
Flight 709 had been rather uneventful — if you discount the fact that four certain girls were repeatedly chewed out by the stewardess repeatedly for turning up their iPods and singing “The Climb” (perfect choice for takeoff) and “California Girls” (perfect choice for a different flight destination) at the top of their lungs. They sang so off-key that everyone else on board agreed that this flight was definitely the “Voyage of the Damned,” if you’ll excuse the pun and the word usage.
When they landed at Heathrow Airport, Sally picked them up and brought them to her flat. Ever since her story had appeared on TV, she rather preferred living by herself, away from the public eye. The last thing she wanted was seeing hundreds and hundreds of fangirls on her doorstep, begging to know about the Doctor.
But when Alexis, Stacy, Gwen, and Hilary insisted she take them to the basement of that old house where the Angels were first-thing, she couldn’t send them back home on such short notice!
And so they went, with Sally driving on what seemed to be the “wrong” side of the road, to the place where the Weeping Angels remained to this day. After negotiating with a police officer to let the girls inside, Sally offered to wait in the car.
“Now, you girls go on ahead and take your cellphone pictures and whatever you like. I’m going to wait here – you never know who might want to steal an empty car right off the streets these days. Be careful, and don’t do anything stupid!”
Shrugging her words off, the four BFF’s hurried inside the decrepit old building as quickly as their legs could carry them.
“Here we are,” sighed Hilary, doing a little twirl on its clammy basement floor, “the four of us, alone with the Weeping Angels!”
“You sure we’re safe?” Gwen asked uncertainly, eyeing the sight before them.
The four Weeping Angels looked exactly the way Sally and Larry had left them so long before, their faces frozen into grotesque, leering grimaces, and their arms extended permanently in front of them, groping for their unseen prey.
“Of course we’re safe! They’re looking at each other!” Alexis reassured her stiffly.
You see, as we learned in the episode “Blink,” the Weeping Angels cannot hurt you when you look at them. When they are being looked at, they turn to stone, and stone can’t be killed. It’s stone.
But if you look away, or do so much as blink, in that split nanosecond that your eyes are not on them, BOOM! They can come at you, and at the touch of a finger, send you back in time forever! But in their current situation, all four Angels were looking at each other, which immobilized each one of them.
“Alright, girls, cover the faces of three of ’em!” Alexis called, putting her hands on her hips. She was the natural leader of the group, and made this very clear whenever she felt the need to.
“Why are we doing this again?” Stacey muttered as she approached the nearest stone figure. Its vampiric face was giving her the creeps.
“So we can meet the Doctor, of course!” Alexis snapped impatiently. She proceeded to explain her reasoning, although as the author and chronicler of these events, I have chosen not to write it down verbatim. You see, the way she put it was too full of “likes,” “y’knows,” and “totally’s,” and writing all of those down would be an incredible waste of both my time and yours. Anyway, here’s the gist of what Alexis intended to convey:
Looking at each other is what caused these Angels to turn to stone, which is why they cover their faces to look like they’re weeping. These four Angels were forced to look at one another, due to the Doctor’s fantastic trick, thus immobilizing each one of them. But if you disrupted their visual contact with each other, they would be free once again, to send their victims back in time! If they could revive the right one, it would touch them and send them all back to 1969, to the exact moment where, during the events of the the “Blink” episode, the Doctor and … Martha … were waiting for the TARDIS to arrive and take them back to the present!
“Well, okay,” said Stacey resignedly. Think of Troy, she told herself determinedly, the face of her favorite High School Musical character floating through her mind. She didn’t want to appear chicken.
Gwen and Hilary were a little more compliant, because if they disagreed with Alexis, then Alexis would probably tell the whole school — including the boys they secretly liked — their deepest, darkest secrets ever, and that would be like totally bad, right? Right.
Nonetheless, Gwen couldn’t resist asking, “How do we know which Angel is the one that will send us to 1969?”
“We don’t,” Alexis retorted. “It’s not like I have a photographic memory, do I?”
You can barely remember your maths homework, Gwen wanted to reply, but she kept her mouth shut.
Naturally, Alexis was too caught up in her fantasy of meeting the Tenth Doctor, shaking his hand, holding it in her own, looking into his inquisitive brown eyes, and telling him just how much she cared … to consider that reviving the wrong Angel could have disastrous results. (For all she knew, she could have accidentally sent them all back to the 1920s!) So relying solely on eeny-meeny-miney-mo, Alexis chose the Angel she was certain would send them to the year 1969.
Using one hand to hold on to each other, and the other to cover the blank stares of the other three Weeping Angels, Stacey, Gwen, and Hilary kept their eyes on the other Angels while Alexis stood in front of the Angel she had chosen for the job.
“You’d better be the one,” Alexis muttered determinedly. “Ready girls? Three, two, one….”
“BLINK!!!” they squealed together.
Alexis saw the Angel come alive, its distorted, fanged face coming extremely close to her own. It wrapped its suddenly unnaturally long arms around the four girls, and then everything went blank.
When Alexis awoke, she found herself staring blankly into the bespectacled eyes of the tenth Doctor. (Although he’d never admit it, he only wears them to look smart.) Using the back of his sonic screwdriver, he was scratching his head, which caused little flakes of dandruff to fall out of his messy brown hair.
Alexis sat up and screamed her head off.
The Doctor drew back, alarmed. “This wasn’t supposed to happen,” he said in perplexed voice. “Are you hurt?”
Alexis stopped screaming for a moment to say, “No, no! It’s just that–”
Alexis was interrupted by Hilary screaming. And then Gwen. And then Stacey. They were all screaming “DAVID!!!” as they charged at him.
The Doctor paled. “How did you find out my name?* N-nobody’s supposed to know my name!”
“Your what?!” a young woman with black hair and a maroon-coloured leather jacket walked over. “Doctor, you’ve got a name?! Did I just hear you correctly?!” This was Martha, the Doctor’s companion.
“Uh-oh,” the Doctor muttered. “Er, pretend that never happened, okay?”
Martha nodded earnestly.
“Now, might you four ladies tell me why you just appeared here in this alleyway?”
Alexis spent an inordinate amount of time reveling in each word the Doctor directed at her, so she did not immediately respond. He’d even called her a lady!
Gwen was the first to regain her composure, while the other three continued to marvel at the presence of their beloved Doctor. (Truth be told, she secretly preferred the Ninth Doctor, and wasn’t quite as awestruck at the sight of his tenth reincarnation.) “Well,” she began, fiddling nervously with the TARDIS blue polish on her fingernails.
“That’s my line, you know!” the Doctor interrupted impatiently.
Gwen continued, unfazed, “You see, Alexis — that’s her — had this crazy idea to meet you, so we flew in all the way from America to be touched by a Weeping Angel. The same one that sent you here.”
“WHAT?!” Alexis exclaimed, her voice rising an octave. “You just told him everything?!”
“That’s my line too, you know.”
“Well, whatever, Doctor,” Alexis retorted, suddenly not so impressed by him anymore. (This guy had an attitude!) “I don’t care what your line is. We’ve come this far just to see you, and according to your timeline, your TARDIS should be here shortly to take you home. Therefore, I insist that you take us back to the present with you!”
“Yeah!” Stacey chimed in. “We could even be your companions!” Gwen and Hilary nodded earnestly in agreement.
Martha, who had been watching this entire discourse in wide-eyed surprise, crossed her arms and said, “Please do pardon little old unimportant Martha here, but how do we know your arrival hasn’t just set off some time paradox or whatever that altered the course of time and stops the TARDIS from being sent here?”
Alexis didn’t answer, partially because she liked doing the whole bravado thing, and partially because she couldn’t think of an answer. All that wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey stuff was a bit too deep for her to comprehend. All she’d cared about was the Doctor.
“Ladies,” the Doctor said finally, “I’m quite frankly very unamused.** How could the four of you be so stupid–” at this point, his voice went all high and squeaky “–that you’d put yourselves at the mercy of the deadliest, most powerful, most malevolent life-forms evolution has ever produced just so you could see me?!”
“We’re really, really sorry,” Alexis stammered.
“You don’t sound it,” Martha scowled.
“You’re right, but I can handle this myself, Martha,” the Doctor chided gently. Then, he resumed his rant. “Think about it for a moment. When Billy Shipton got sent back here, did I offer to return him to the present? No! And when your cousin’s friend Kathy got sent back to the twenties, did I rush over there and rescue her? No! So why do you think I should make an exception and take the four of you back with me?”
The girls were silent. Finally, Stacey dared to speak. “Because we love you?”
The Doctor turned very red in the face. The romantics among us might think that at this moment, he was thinking of Rose.
“I think we should leave ’em here,” quipped Martha. “They’re annoying like heck!”
“Yes, we should,” the Doctor said absently. Now his mind was on the TARDIS. “I can feel her coming through the vortex now,” he muttered.
Within seconds of his saying that, the blue phone box materialized out of thin air, making its signature whoop sound.
“Come on, Martha,” said the Doctor. “We’re going home.”
Shouting epithets and curses at what was once the man of their dreams, the four BFF’s watched helplessly as the Doctor and his companion took off in their TARDIS, never to return to that moment of history again.
“What a jerk!” cried Gwen when the box had completely disappeared.
“Why, he’s just a madman with a box!” Stacey exclaimed, kicking at the cobblestone pavement.
“You can say that again,” Hilary replied.
“He’s just a madman with a box!”
“I didn’t mean that literally, stupid!”
Alexis was inconsolable. She sat cross-legged on a wooden crate, crying her eyes out.
“Aw, poor you!” Stacey cooed, gently patting her friend on the back.
Alexis just kept sobbing. The others sat mutely, not knowing what exactly to say.
“Hey, cheer up,” Hilary said suddenly. “We can always get on with our lives here. In the 1960s, they had the Beatles!”
That changed everything.
First thing the very next morning, four American teenagers stormed Abbey Road Studios, causing much havoc and making national news.
* * * *
London, the Twenty-First Century
“Martha, why on earth are we entering in an archery competition in an old age home?!” The Doctor exclaimed confusedly. He had an archery bow slung across both shoulders, and he found it to be quite ridiculous-looking.
“Because it’s the right thing to do, Doctor,” Martha replied. She held the bows in a quiver. “They’re really quite lonely, you know, and bright, energetic people like you are going to cheer ’em up!”
“But Martha, they aren’t going to appreciate the talents of a Time Lord!”
“That’s why I brought along Lizzie,” said Martha reassuringly.
“My niece’s lizard, of course! Remember her?”
“I haven’t met your niece, Martha, and this is the first time I’m meeting her lizard as well.”
Martha rolled her eyes in annoyance. “Come on, then!”
They would have crossed the street to the old age home if a pretty young woman from the antiques store hadn’t caught their attention and stopped them. She acted as though she had seen him before somewhere, although neither Martha nor the Doctor recognized her.
The Doctor had a lengthy conversation with her, which not only made Martha considerably jealous, but considerably late as well. Finally losing her patience, she grabbed the Doctor by the arm and practically dragged him across the street and into the nursing home.
The front lobby, a pleasantly decorated room with lots of comfortable-looking chairs and couches, was packed with the elderly senior citizens who lived in the institution. Many of them sat in wheel chairs, pushed by bored-looking attendants in garishly colored scrubs.
“We’re here!” Martha announced rather loudly. All eyes turned to her and her most unusual-looking companion.
“Hello, I’m the Doctor,” her companion said, waiving shyly to everyone. The Doctor could remember quite vividly how it felt to be old, weak, and creaky-boned. It had been no fun at all, and gave him one more reason to be thankful for the ability to regenerate.
A heavy-set man in a three-piece suit sauntered over and offered his hand in greeting. The Doctor shook it. “I’m Morton, the director of this facility.” Morton examined his clipboard before adding, “We’ve got a few activities to get done before your act, so feel free to pull up some chairs and watch with the rest of them.”
The Doctor and Martha found a quiet corner next to a group of old ladies to unload their archery gear and take seats. Four of them sat closely together, whispering conspiratorially among themselves.
A little girl had moved a little electric keyboard to the center of the room and began playing “Somewhere over the Rainbow,” singing along in an off-key voice.
“Such a talented little girl,” the lady sitting closest to the Doctor said. She was confined to a wheelchair herself, and had been left unattended. “I remember being a little girl,” she added to no one in particular.
When the girl finished her performance, everyone applauded, although the Doctor had a feeling only 50% of the audience had actually heard what they were applauding for. (One zap from his sonic screwdriver, though, and the Doctor could have everyone’s hearing aids in tip-top shape again!)
“Encore! Encore!” called the one of the four old women who had been whispering throughout the whole performance.
“Yeah!” shouted another. “Play ‘The Climb!'”
The young pianist nodded eagerly and began to play the pop hit.
“Those four are a strange bunch,” the little old lady whispered to the Doctor. She’d introduced herself as Roseann. “Always listening to that noisy stuff my grandkids like….”
“Hm,” the Doctor replied absently. (The events of “Blink” hadn’t even happened to him yet, in case you’d forgotten.)
“They’re actually a little younger than the rest of us here,” she continued. “The four of them were sent here after their children grew tired of hearing them ramble on about angels and a madman in a blue phone box!” She giggled like she’d just shared a piece of juicy gossip. “How crazy is that?”
The Doctor snapped to attention at the old lady’s last words. “W-what did you say?!” he asked a bit too loudly.
“Would you quiet down, young man?” one of the four seniors in question hissed. “We’re trying to–” She paused suddenly, her eyes widening in recognition. “Alexis, Hilary, Gwen, look! It’s him!” she cackled, suddenly oblivious to the music.
“WHAT?!” the Doctor exclaimed in confusion.
“Let’s get him!” Alexis Thornton (nee Stevens) screeched. “We’ve been waiting over four decades for this!” And so, the four BFF’s ambushed the Doctor with their canes.
* The Rosean Theory (beat that, Pythagoras!): With each regeneration that the Doctor has, he takes on a new name as well, but for some inexplicable reason, he keeps it a secret. The Doctor’s first real name was William, you see; his fourth name was Tom; his eleventh name is Matt; and so on.
** Reference to the episode “Tooth and Claw” from Series Two.