Saturday, August 2, 2008

Lighten up with Dr. Spoon & Chamber

After the bone-crushing, mind-blowing fury I've got into after the recent Big Finish story, The Betrayal Of A Rather Large Part of 1980s Doctor Who Mythos For A Cheap Laugh, I've decided to cool down and repost here an extract from the special DSC episode of The Youth Of Australia. It was our first attempt and embraced wholeheartedly the 'sketch show narrative' of Monty Python, with all the sketches effectly occuring in the same place and time and link shots and characters between the two.


The students are leaving the theatre, chatting and talking. Dr. Spoon and his aide Chamber are among them.

DOCTOR: I think that guy took it to the next level.

CHAMBER: Oh? Which level is that?

DOCTOR: The one below all the rest.

CHAMBER: I didn’t think that was possible.

DOCTOR: A genius doesn’t do what is possible.

CHAMBER: They do the impossible?

DOCTOR: No, of course not. No one can do the impossible.

CHAMBER: Wait, I don’t understand.

DOCTOR: That’s understandable.

CHAMBER: My not understanding is understandable?

DOCTOR: Exactly.

CHAMBER: You haven’t got a clue what you’re saying, do you?


CHAMBER: So, you’re not a genius, then, are you?

DOCTOR: Depends what you mean by ‘genius’.

CHAMBER: Someone with above average intelligence.

DOCTOR: I was afraid that would be your definition.

CHAMBER: What’s your definition, then?

DOCTOR: Someone with below average intelligence.

CHAMBER: That’s a stupid definition.

DOCTOR: I’m a stupid guy.

CHAMBER: No argument there.

DOCTOR: No argument here either.

A long pause. Dr. Spoon frowns.

DOCTOR: Okay, that does it!

CHAMBER: What you going to do?



DOCTOR: Yep, quit. Quit this whole conversation.

CHAMBER: You can’t quit the conversation.

DOCTOR: Watch me.

CHAMBER: You don’t have what it takes to quit the conversation.

DOCTOR: Not only do I have what it takes but I also have what it DOESN’T take. So there!

CHAMBER: Why do you have what it doesn’t take?

DOCTOR: I don’t like to throw anything out.

CHAMBER: I’m the same - but with comics.

DOCTOR: It is funny how some people find it hard to give up their possessions, even when their usefulness has come to an end.

CHAMBER: Yeah. You idiot.

DOCTOR: That’s it!

He turns and heads back inside the theatre.

CHAMBER: I was joking! Don’t leave! It was a joke! A joke...

Dr. Spoon vanishes inside. Chamber sighs.

CHAMBER: He’s such a child.

He crosses to a side door to the theatre and enters.


A typical Aussie garage with a typical Aussie car parked inside it. The bonnet is up, and music is playing quietly in the background. Chamber enters, in grimy overalls, and bends over the engine. A caption reads: CHAMBER’S CAR MAINTENANCE. He looks up and notices ‘us’.

CHAMBER: Afternoon, dudes, and welcome to Car Maintenance, a series of programs where we will discuss some very important aspects of caring for your car and making your driving experience an enjoyable one.

He moves into the drivers seat and gets comfortable.

CHAMBER: Now, when you’re driving, does your car ever make annoying clanking noise like these?

He turns the ignition. The engine starts, and then an ominous rattling sound becomes audible, getting louder all the time.

CHAMBER: It’s a very common problem to most drivers and is very simple to fix it. Don’t bother taking it to the garage and wasting your hard-earned time and cash. Just do what Chamber does - turn up the radio. As the song says.

Turn Up Your Radio’ plays incredibly loudly over the car speakers. Chamber now has to shout to be heard at all over the noise.


His grin fades as smoke begins to pour of out of the engine. Hastily, he turns off the radio and switches off the engine. More smoke fills the air around him.

CHAMBER: [BEGINNING TO COUGH] Well, this has been Car Maintenance with Chamber. I hope you tune in next week, when we will be discussing what to do when the car will no longer run. [COUGHS] Coming up next, The World Lies Dead At Your Feet... [COUGHS VIOLENTLY] Thank you!

He waves and we move away from him. Smoke fills the garage.


We slowly pan down and around a news desk where a host in a white leisure suit is reading a piece of paper. There is a behind-the-scenes feel to this. We get a caption saying THE WORLD LIES DEAD AT YOUR FEET. We pan until we can see the host, Chamber.

CHAMBER: Good evening and welcome you all to The World Lies Dead At Your Feet. Tonight, we conclude our series of special documentaries on Australia’s most-avoided hospitals. In our final installment, we’re visiting a very unique hospital located near Ayre’s Rock, notable for the fact that rocks are the only patients in the hospital.


Dr. Spoon, with a beard, is interviewing Nigel, in a white coat.

DOCTOR: I’m here at Slaughter House Cottage Hospital with Doctor Rowlin Stone. Doctor Stone, is it true that this hospital is for the exclusive use for rocks?

NIGEL: You bet your ass it is. Definitely.

DOCTOR: Any particular type of rocks?

NIGEL: Well, we treat gravel, lava rocks, granite, sandstone... basically any kind of rock we could think of. Right now there’s a protest against the treatment of petrified rocks. We’ve... [SIGHS] lost several recently.


As before. Chamber has his feet up on the desk, reading a magazine.

CHAMBER: Joining Doctor Stone at Slaughter House Cottage Hospital is another expert in the field of rock medical care, Doctor Sadie Mentary.


Dr. Spoon is interviewing Eve, who wears a stethoscope and has her hair in a ponytail. She is examining a brick on a treatment couch and speaks with an American accent.

DOCTOR: So, Doctor Mentary, how did you yourself get involved with this... novel institution?

EVE: Well, I’m originally from England, but our rock hospital was closed down when we lost one of the monoliths at Stonehenge during some major cosmetic surgery. Since Australia is the only other place on Earth with a rock hospital, I came here.

DOCTOR: I see.


Chamber is eating a pizza and watching a portable TV. It takes a few moments before he notices they have cut back to him.

CHAMBER: [SURPRISED] Um, uh, yeah. [GRABS A CLIPBOARD AND CHECKS IT] Yes, the, uh, the Australian government banned all of its citizens from getting any medical degrees whatsoever - other than for the treatment of rocks and various breeds of Yabbies. Well, fancy that.


Dr. Spoon and Nigel again.

NIGEL: The people around here just don’t accept technology has progressed past the point where rocks had no other choice but to bleed to death. When we got here, there no anesthesia for operations or anything.

DOCTOR: I understand when you were a medical intern, you were watching an operation and saw the head surgeon whack a patient over the head with a crowbar?

NIGEL: Yes.That’s one reason why we treat rocks.


NIGEL: They have a high tolerance for pain.


Andrew, bends over a rock on life support, smashes it five times with a hammer, picks it up and throws it out the window.

EVE: [VO] Of course, the surgery and its highly-trained interns is only one part of Slaughter House Cottage Hospital.


A row of hospital beds containing rocks and heaps of gravel.

EVE: [VO] Our medical facilities for rocks range from intensive care to psychiatric counselling.


Dr. Spoon and Eve walk down a corridor.

EVE: I, myself, am head of the pediatric ward and cosmetic surgery. Doctor Stone is the head surgeon. Let’s take a look at one of my cosmetic surgeries.


Andrew is bouncing around the background, making monkey noises. Eve is showing Dr. Spoon the rock Andrew was ‘operating’ on earlier.

EVE: Now, this rock suffers from a typical affliction: the complete lack of any facial expression. Alexei!

Andrew, making monkey noises, bounds up to her.

EVE: Texta!

Andrew hands her a texta. Eve draws a smiley face on the rock.

EVE: There. Good as new!


Nigel, in a gown and mask, approaches a rock on the operating table. He carries a hammer and chisel. Dr. Spoon stands to one side.

DOCTOR: Here, Doctor Stone is about to perform very delicate surgery on a critical patient. Doctor, just what the hell do you think you’re doing?

NIGEL: Well, this is one of our petrified patients. His surgery is for the removal of an insignificant bit of his insides. I have to position the chisel just right so as not to cause too much damage to his vital organs.

He positions the chisel on the rock and gives a slight tap. The rock cracks into two halves that fall aside. Nigel indicates to part of it with the chisel.

NIGEL: Observe the granular quality of his insides. The silver specks indicate severe petrifaction, while these...

He indicates the other half with the chisel and accidentally knocks it off the table. Slo mo: the rock half strikes the ground and smashes to pieces. Nigel screams to the heavens.


DOCTOR: [VO] Another patient is lost. Its family shall have to be informed as soon as it becomes possible to work out just who the rock’s family is and how to talk to large groups of inanimate objects.


Chamber has his shirt off and is ironing said item. It takes even longer for him to notice what is going on. He looks up at us, sighs, and continues ironing.

CHAMBER: [VERY BORED] A large problem existing with the hospital is dirt clods who go there seeking treatment. The doctors state, ‘we do not treat rocks – not dirt clods’.


Eve stares out the window, brooding.

EVE: I would say that we definitely have a big problem with the dirt clods. The worst thing is that: so far, there are no hospitals established for the treatment of dirt clods. It’s really sad, when you think about it.


Dr. Spoon is talking to Nigel.

DOCTOR: But how can you deal with the more... persistent patients?

NIGEL: The only way to turn away a really persistent dirt clod is to slam it against the nearest wall with extreme prejudice.

DOCTOR: And you do it yourself?

NIGEL: Oh, we let the interns enjoy that.


Screaming incoherently, Andrew chucks a dirt clod at a wall, smashing it to bits. Andrew starts to dance and laugh insanely.

EVE: [VO] It’s sad, but it’s really for the best.


Chamber is making out with a sexy P.A. He speaks between kisses.

CHAMBER: The worst part of being in the medical profession is, of course, saying goodbye to patients you couldn’t save.


Dr. Spoon and Nigel are present.

DOCTOR: I’m here in Slaughter House Cottage Hospital’s morgue for the departed rocks Stone and Mentary were unable to save.

Nigel opens a drawer in the wall to show several rock fragments.

NIGEL: [GRIMLY] This one, Richard, was injured in the demolition of a large heritage building.

He closes the drawer and opens one next to it. Inside is a lump of what looks like crumbly charcoal.

NIGEL: This one, Margaret, was enjoying a bonfire that subsequently got out of control. [SNIFFS] Thankfully, she was the only casualty...

He closes it, moves to open a third, then stops.

NIGEL: [ANGUISHED] I can’t take it any more! Turn off the camera!

Dr. Spoon sighs and makes a ‘cut it’ gesture to camera.


Chamber, clothes rumpled, is enjoying a cigarette. He hands the P.A. a wad of cash and she leaves. Chamber finishes his cigarette.

CHAMBER: Uh, yeah. [CLEARS THROAT] Yes, the medical profession has its ups and downs, as demonstrated here in Slaughter House Cottage rock hospital and every other hospital in the country we’ve shown here over the last few weeks.


Dr. Spoon is bent over a desk in the front of a shop, examining a wall-chart map of the world. The last few lines of the previous scene can be heard over the transistor radio on the shelf near Dr. Spoon.

RADIO: Tomorrow night, a new series about International Uulungid Caloovin Day, entitled The Wrath Of The Greatest Pervert Of Them All, only on The World Lies Dead At Your Feet.

The theme music starts and Dr. Spoon switches it off. The door opens and a bell rings. Chamber enters.

CHAMBER: Afternoon.

DOCTOR: Morning.

CHAMBER: So, have you got the new map ready?

DOCTOR: Just finishing it, Natratov.

CHAMBER: Chamber.

DOCTOR: [LOOKS UP, CONFUSED] What chamber? Where?

CHAMBER: No, I’m called Chamber. That’s my name.

DOCTOR: I thought your name was Natratov.

CHAMBER: No one has a name like Natratov.

DOCTOR: I thought there was a King of Italy called Natratov.

CHAMBER: King Natratov?

DOCTOR: That’s the fellow.

CHAMBER: There isn’t a King Natratov. There never has been!

DOCTOR: [FROWNS] Are you sure?


DOCTOR: Maybe it was King ‘Jacko’, perhaps?

They shrug. A short pause.

CHAMBER: Anyway, how’s the map?

DOCTOR: I won’t exaggerate. It’s my bestest ever map in the whole wide world. Oh, yes, indeedy, it definitely is.

CHAMBER: Isn’t it your first map?

DOCTOR: Technically, yes.

CHAMBER: What does 'technically, yes' mean?

DOCTOR: It means ‘yes’, but makes me sound more intelligent.

CHAMBER: Oh, if I want to sound more intelligent, I just pause before I answer questions.

DOCTOR: How’s that working?

A long pause.

CHAMBER: ...Fine.

DOCTOR: Okay, I’ve just finished it. What do you think?

Chamber joins him and looks over the chart.

CHAMBER: Nice, very colorful.

DOCTOR: Yes. I used [INDICATES] bright yellow, burgundy green, aquamarine blue, aquamarine purple and neon red.

CHAMBER: All in the one country, I see.

DOCTOR: [DEFENSIVE] It’s a very important country, Chamber!

CHAMBER: New Zealand is a very important country?

DOCTOR: Indeed it is.

There is a long pause. Chamber starts to speak.


CHAMBER: You didn’t happen to be born in New Zealand, did you?

DOCTOR: How did you know that?

CHAMBER: Just a hunch.

DOCTOR: [AFTER A PAUSE] OK, how much do I earn a year?

CHAMBER: Just below your ideal pay packet.

DOCTOR: Exactly right! That’s amazing!

CHAMBER: It’s a gift.

DOCTOR: A gift? Who gave it to you?

CHAMBER: My uncle.

DOCTOR: And just what did you give him in return?

CHAMBER: A pair of jeans.

DOCTOR: Flared?

CHAMBER: Of course.

DOCTOR: At the knee?

CHAMBER: Naturally.


Chamber holds up the chart and peers at it.

CHAMBER: Hey! You’ve missed out Antarctica!

DOCTOR: Antar-what?

CHAMBER: Antarctica. You know? The South Pole?

DOCTOR: Never heard of it.

CHAMBER: You have never heard of the South Pole?

DOCTOR: No. Should I have?

CHAMBER: Well, it depends on your point of view.

DOCTOR: Does it? Really? Hmm. Do you think people will miss it?

CHAMBER: Probably.

DOCTOR: Well I best add it in. Where does it go?


DOCTOR: I can’t put it there.

CHAMBER: Why not?


CHAMBER: Ahh, I see your problem. You’ve drawn the world flat.

DOCTOR: So? What’s the problem with that?

CHAMBER: The world ISN’T flat!



DOCTOR: How do you know all this, anyway?

CHAMBER: Satellite photos.

DOCTOR: Oh. They’re pretty accurate, I suppose?

CHAMBER: Pretty accurate, yeah.

DOCTOR: So, there’s no chance they made a mistake, is there?

CHAMBER: Not on the whole roundness-of-the-Earth issue.

DOCTOR: So... I guess I’ll just have to change the map.

CHAMBER: Uh, there’s something else.

DOCTOR: What is it now?

CHAMBER: You seem to have drawn New Zealand surprisingly large. In fact, so large... it covers the map.

DOCTOR: You mean New Zealand isn’t actually that big?


DOCTOR: How big is it?


DOCTOR: That’s quite small, isn’t it?

CHAMBER: Yeah, I guess it is. I never really noticed before.

DOCTOR: [SIGHS] I suppose I should redraw the map.

CHAMBER: Can I ask you a question?

DOCTOR: You can ASK.

CHAMBER: Have you ever been outside of this room? At all?


CHAMBER: Really?


CHAMBER: You’re not really qualified to draw a map, are you?

DOCTOR: No. No, I’m not.

CHAMBER: ‘Mapmaker’ was a strange choice of career, don’t you think?

DOCTOR: I never wanted to be a mapmaker. Mother pushed me into it.

CHAMBER: Was she a mapmaker?

DOCTOR: No, a walrus. But she always wanted to be a mapmaker. So, are you going to buy my map or aren’t you?

CHAMBER: No. Sorry.

DOCTOR: Don’t worry. I understand.

CHAMBER: What are you going to do now?

DOCTOR: Become a drug addict.

CHAMBER: Which drug?

DOCTOR: Probably marijuana.

CHAMBER: Can I suggest cocaine instead?

DOCTOR: No, I hate needles.

CHAMBER: Well okay then, have fun with that.

DOCTOR: I will.

Chamber leaves.


The Australian flag changes to show Earth. Intro to a news bulletin.

ANNOUNCER: Good evening and welcome to the six o’clock news. Tonight, we have a very heartwarming story about homemade beetroot. Peter Iodine has more.


Dave as the anchorman, in a suit that is the same colour as the background on which things are superimposed, meaning the pattern swallows him up save his head and hands.

DAVE: Good evening, I’m Sherlock Watson. And now, more on the head story, on location with Doctor Holmes.


Dr. Spoon, in a trenchcoat, microphone and ear-piece stands in an urban kitchen. Chamber stands to one side, in a sweater.

DOCTOR: Yes, Watson. This evening we bring you the story of the undying love between a man and his homemade beetroot, fermented in a mixture of sugar and vinegar. [INDICATES FRIDGE] It was like any other day in the life of Paddy Dipstick. He went to the refrigerator to collect some cheese and beetroot to combine in the form of sandwiches. Then - disaster struck.

Chamber sobs to himself slightly. Dr. Spoon crosses over to him.

DOCTOR: And just what had happened to your beetroot?

CHAMBER: [SNIFFS SADLY] It had fallen apart!

We see a close up of a jar of dark red liquid with what look like onion rings floating in it, stained red.

DOCTOR: [VO] Yes. Dear Paddy’s homemade beetroot had lost cohesion – no longer easily-arrangable delicious disks of marinated root vegetable. The disintegration was too serious even to call for emergency assistance. It was time for action.

We cut back to Dr. Spoon and Chamber.

DOCTOR: [GENTLY] So, what did you have to do to the beetroot?

CHAMBER: [SOUNDS ASHAMED] I had to arrange the stuff on the cheese.

DOCTOR: I see.

We cut to a black and white reconstruction of hands placing the beetroot rings inside each other on the cheese sandwich. We cut back to the present.

DOCTOR: It must have been hard for you, Paddy, being so attached to your homemade beetroot, and having no surgical experience whatsoever?

CHAMBER: It was. I tried my best, and... well, my cheese and beetroot sandwich is alright now. [TAKES SANDWICH AND EATS IT] No, it’s better than alright – it’s delicious.

Dr. Spoon turns to camera.

DOCTOR: And there you have it. A beautiful story about bravery, almost insurmountable odds, and a man’s undying love for dairy products and root vegetables. Why the hell am I wasting my life reporting this shit to a bunch of bludging arseholes sitting on the couch eating CCs? Back to you, in the studio, Watson.


Dave nods.

DAVE: Thank you, Doctor Holmes, for that... heart-warming story. We’ll be back in a moment with leprosy. Sorry, weather. I’m always making that mistake.

We zoom out to show the entire studio as the station goes to an ad break, the lights dimming.

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