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Curtains for Stevros

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Friday, 21 April 2017

Curtains for Stevros

As the intergalactic battle for the NHS rages, a doctor with dubious qualifications teams up with a woman less than half his age, but are they running out of time and can they get affordable medical indemnity cover...?

[Scene: Somewhere in London]

Doctor: Who the hell are you?

Assistant: I’m your attractive yet savvy dialogue feed, carefully selected to appeal to the core middle aged male demographic without upsetting diehard female fans.

Doctor: Ha! You’ve got the gig. Quick, we have to get on with saving the NHS. To the Tardis.

Assistant: The what?

Doctor: Temporal Adjustable Reality Device for Infinite Sustainabilty. It’s what we use to avoid tricky plot issues posed by the Treasury.

Assistant: That’s incredible, it’s…

Doctor: …yes, yes, bigger on the outside than the inside.

Assistant: I was going to say it’s one of the worst acronyms I’ve ever heard, but now you come to mention it, it’s a bit tight in here.

Doctor: If you think this is bad, wait until we reach 2019. No room for manoeuvre at all.

Assistant: What does this do?

Doctor: For God’s sake don’t touch that. It’s a contractual lever. You can’t pull it without the agreement of the BMA and a cast of extras in rubber suits from NHS Employers.

Assistant: Sorry, I just assumed…

Doctor: Never mind that now. Just look at this beauty. I’ve had the clapped out vanguard transformers replaced with the latest unaccountable core system drive technology.

Assistant: What does it do?

Doctor: Probably nothing, but let’s give it a try. We’ve tried everything else.

[Scene: Crowded interior]

Assistant: Where are we?

Doctor: It’s just as I feared.

Assistant: What?

Doctor [picking up conference programme]: They’re here to change the course of the future – and I think I know who’s behind this. Have you noticed there are no steps anywhere in this building?

Assistant: Disabled access?

Doctor: Not exactly. Ah, the welcome party, right on cue: my oldest and least convincing adversary.

Assistant: Oh my God – Daleks!

Doctor: Close, but no sink plunger. They’re NHS England drones.

Daleks: Are you the doctor?

Doctor: I might be. Who wants to know?

Daleks: Innovate! Innovate!

Assistant: What do they want us to do?

Doctor: I’ve no idea – fortunately nor have they.

Daleks: Come with us for assurance and compliance testing.

[Scene: Barely lit lair in which we find disembodied bearded head attached to bits of dishwasher hose]

Doctor: Excuse me if I don’t shake your hand, Stevros.

Stevros: Enjoy your last little joke, Doctor. I thought you might like to see my plan enter its final phase.

Doctor: Ah yes, the plan to set up 44 colonies across the entire galaxy all under the control of your big-bottomed rust-prone personnel…

Daleks: Collaborate! Collaborate!

Doctor: Your fabulous plan to transfer responsibility to zombie organisations while maintaining overall control…

Daleks: Delegate! Delegate!

Doctor: Your plan to put a giant bureaucracy in charge of moving at scale and pace…

Daleks: Procrastinate! Procrastinate!

Stevros: And your point is?

Doctor: The point is that you’re almost out of time, Stevros. Without the help of a time lord you and your over-engineered army of metal morons are doomed to a long pointless trundle into obscurity.

[Figure emerges from the shadows]

Mayster: Oh look, you wait all day for a time lord, then two come along at once.

Assistant: Who’s this, Doctor?

Doctor: Ah, Mayster. I must say I preferred your old Etonian persona to this Maggie tribute act thing you’ve got going on.

Mayster: Flattery will get you nowhere. We all need to regenerate occasionally to stop the viewers getting bored. I’m planning to make a teeny change to the schedule.

Doctor: You mean…

Stevros: She’s calling a snap general election. It will give us all the time we need to make my plan work.

Mayster [vaporising Stevros]: Whoopsie! Someone’s out of time.

Doctor: Of course, you didn’t need him, did you? Because this was never about the NHS, was it Mayster?

Mayster: It’s true that I’m a little preoccupied with the teeny Brexit size hole we’ve torn in the space time continuum. You can trust me to take us out of the universe on the best possible terms.  My new team can do all the boring detailed stuff.

Daleks: Negotiate! Negotiate!

[Scene: The Tardis]

Assistant: That was a close call. Where to now?

Doctor: The 1990s are supposed to be nice at this time of year. Or the 1970s if you’re into beards. I could show you what an opposition used to look like.


TV editor: Julian Patterson


Sarah Talbot-Greaves
Sarah Talbot-Greaves says:
Apr 21, 2017 09:32 AM


david seabrooke
david seabrooke says:
Apr 21, 2017 09:36 AM

Assistant : Yay! The 1990s – I was born then!

Doctor : Mmmm but I seem to recollect the 1990s was pretty dark time for me. Let’s make it the ‘70s – break out the smoking jacket and the lace cuffs, the chunky scarf!!

Assistant : What else should I know about the 1970s?

Doctor: Strikes mainly. GPs threatening to leave the NHS, operations due in February being postponed to April, crumbling hospital buildings and ropey equipment, continual re-organisations…

Assistant: Oh. But some great TV shows – I’ve seen them on ITV 4, and we’re often on the Horror Channel as well.

Doctor: - I just need to find a quiet spot to land the Tardis unobserved. Let’s see – any provincial cinema sounds promising - no… Grease or Star Wars might be on… the British Leyland plant at Longbridge… that little clothing shop that never sold wide lapels or bell bottoms. You know what? All that thinking has made me thirsty - set co-ordinates for a pub with decent beer.

Tardis: Bip, bip, bip – grunt.

Doctor : Come on, old girl

Tardis Bip, bip, bip – grunt.

Doctor : Blast you, confounded contraption!

Julian Patterson
Julian Patterson says:
Apr 21, 2017 02:24 PM

Excellent. See you in 78.