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135bc 'Urban Myths'

CD audio adventure released May 2007, 1 episode

Writer: Paul Sutton
Director: Barnaby Edwards

Roots: Rashomon. Poytee and its enormous city, climate modulator and near-permanent crime wave recall Mega City One from Judge Dredd. Mention is made of W C Grace and W C Fields, while in the same version of the back story Peri calls the Doctor 'Babe Ruth'.

Goofs: Why would the CIA route their communiqués to Type 40 TARDISes when according to The Deadly Assassin their prime suspect (the Doctor) has the only remaining one of its kind?

Double Entendres: "Let's see what they think of my googlie!"

Continuity: The entire surface of the high-tech planet Poytee) was terraformed as a single conurbation with the chain of sub-surface atomic reactors (there is also mention of oceans on the world) and a climate modulator. Its Planetary Co-ordinator Palgrave reports to a Science Corps. The population of Poytee is suffering from a form of mass hysteria, characterised by routine frenzied activity to the point of exhaustion and culminating in a serious crime wave. The Doctor deduces that the cause is unmistakeably a variant of the Tuloz Virus, passed on by physical contact. As a remedy he synthesises an antidote from his own blood sample using the planet's climate modulator to activate and disperse it.

A benign strain of the Tuloz Virus causes the sufferer to make wildly exaggerated claims; this particular strain is responsible for something known as the urban myth, a story that extrapolates from a simple small truth into several 'viral' stories of outlandish conjecture. Specimens of this strain have reached Gallifrey (via CIA operatives?), and the specific antidote is administered in food the Doctor prepares in the restaurant where the operatives dine.

In order to maintain a back-up copy for future reference, any top secret CIA communiqué is automatically routed via the closest Type 40 to the incident in question. The Celestial Intervention Agency is represented here by its supposed top team: Co-ordinator Harom and Commander Edge, both reporting back to Inquisitor Oron on Gallifrey. Commander Edge's recollection of the Doctor on Poytee includes a reference to the Brigadier (presumably the CIA has a file on him as well.) Oron's interpretation of the Doctor's time signature is imprecise, suggesting an arrival in this time zone within the evening of that day, but nothing more precise. Once cured of the viral strain the Doctor asks Harom and Edge to put in a good word for him with the High Council.

The proprietor of the restaurant is an old friend of the Doctor's and a fellow Time Lord renegade Time Lord. An out-of-order walk-in fridge at the back of the kitchen is actually her TARDIS. Peri wears the restaurant's waitress uniform for the duration of this story (and one assumes a short time afterwards.)

Untelevised Adventures: Kettoo's recollection of the Doctor on Poytee has him claiming to have bowled out W C Grace (or posisbly W C Fields)

Links: This story forms part of Big Finish's loose 'Virus strand' resolving in Patient Zero, with the Tuloz Virus presumably having escaped containment in the Amethyst station. The Deadly Assassin (the CIA). Shada (Time Tots)

Location: The planet Poytee, and a London restaurant in the present day.

The Bottom Line: "That's the way the cookie crumbles"

From the over-the-top opening with a googlie-chucking vigilante Doctor to its close with Peri elbows-deep in dishes, a brief and dizzy diversion. We're early into the Viyran Strand, a very loose association (which will only get looser with later stories), so it's just as easy to forget the questions of viruses and their origins and just go with it. Fun - particularly for a Sutton story!

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