Monday, 5 January 2009

[Turtlewind] How I Nearly Became The Eleventh Doctor

You may know, dear reader, that the Mysterious and Magical Mr Turtlewind esq has been the subject of many a frenzied public debate. From being a celebrity chef with my classic Tarte a la Boue, to hosting dinner parties the talk of the shanty-town, and even the perennial "we know you did it but we can't prove it so off you go" dance I do with the nice men in blue hats every so often. But what you may not realise is that I, not Mr Matt Smith, was originally cast in the part of the eleventh Doctor!

Growing up, the young Turtle would watch with rapt attention at the screen as Mr Tom Baker fought with all manner of monsters. 'At last', I thought! 'Someone I can identify with, who like me has great problems struggling with cardboard boxes and likes to live in a wooden crate.' But my childhood innocence was forever crushed when he jumped off some scaffolding and turned into a space bogey. I vowed that day upon my tear-stained copy of The Junior Doctor Who Guide To Scorpion Training that if ever the chance came, I would take up the mantle of the errant Time Lord myself and steer the Tardis to even more muddy planets.

So it happened that some time last summer I was busy in my daily routine of scampering down the canal path catching butterflies in my mouth, when I was passed by a barge.

"Oi you in the ketchup-covered mac!"

I carefully hid the suspiciously red stains on my coat as one of the barge-goers threw a bottle of Babycham at my head. Due to my years of training as an elite ninja warrior, I was able to wobble into its path as it smashed into my skull, and only suffered mild concussion.

I awoke to find my head in the lap of the ruffian who had tried to bottle my brain. It was none of than Lord Russell T Davies, king of Doctor Who, who plied my comatose body with cheap Tesco Value wine as he and the Doctor Who production team pitched new story ideas by throwing darts at a large wheel that had words such as "Daleks" "Fart Jokes" and "Magic Reset Button" inscribed on the edge. I saw writer Sir Steven Moffat staring at me, licking his lips as he enjoyed a bratwurst, and knew I had to act fast before I became this gang of scoundrel's evening entertainment.

Leaping to my feet I prostrated myself to the heavens. "Wait!" I cried in my manly quavering voice that has sent many a young lady running screaming (in delight, I think). "Wait! Before you do naughty bumpy things to my bottom, hear what I have to say! I know that David Tennant has received a call that he must return to his home planet and thus can no longer makes googly eyes on my televisual set. This means you need a new Doctor, one who can take your show to the heady heights of this emerald isle's top rated superdrama!"

I paused dramatically before quickly adding "...also I really liked that episode of Torchwood that had a Cyberman in a bra" to cement my credentials as an expert in such matters.

Lord Russell seemed to like that, since he put away the economy tub of cooking oil to say "Yes, so did I. Next season it will be a Sontaran in a bra."

This seemed to break the ice, and soon we were drinking and laughing like the oldest of friends. It turned out that they were looking for a place that the journalists wouldn't find where they could hold auditions for the part of the new Doctor. I instantly volunteered the cellar at Turtle Grange as the perfect venue - that's where I keep the stuff I don't want the press to find!

Letting the production team sleep on the finest cardboard mattresses I could provide, I set to work cleaning out the cellar. As a well-traveled Turtle there was of course some skeletons in the closet, but an hour with a large lump hammer soon turned anything nasty and incriminating into white dust. Which I then sold to Lord Russell as magic powder for his nose.

Plenty of jobbing actors and scallies came to the auditions. The Boys Who Throw Stones did a rather moving joint audition which had the panel eating out of their hands until one of the boys got bored and threw a large rock at Steve Moffat's head. My erstwhile nemesis Matt the Cheeseboy ventured down to Turtle Grange, but spent his entire audition talking about how rubbish he thought Doctor Who was and that it lost touch with its roots when it stopped being about the adventures of the policeman in the mist and instead focused on a boring man and his time traveling box.

I think he was just there to try to steal my toenail collection though, I found Mini Cheddar crumbs by my display cabinet. Luckily Barry, my lifelong companion and rascally scorpion friend had been dozing on top flexing his sting in his sleep, thus preventing a catastrophe.

Hosting the event, I was able to encourage the other jobbing actors out the door. Later it transpired that this was the door to the furnace, but accidents happen don't they?

I decided for my own audition that I would demonstrate how awesome and mysterious I was by discarding the script and just charging up and down waving about my HUGE WANG. I finished off by presenting brown envelopes full of incriminating photographs to the casters, and the role was mine.

Later they would find out that most of the incriminating photos were actually of me cavorting around the local pie factory, but by then it was too late.

I, the Mysterious Mr Turtlewind had landed the most coveted acting role of the decade! As my colleague Harold Pinter would say, "argh my heart!"

Sadly my time in the limelight would soon go awry. For whilst I was busy dreaming of all the fat geeky girls I would be able to seduce, the hands of fate were working against me. Perhaps I could blame myself, but really it was the fault of everyone but me.

Rather enthusiastically, I came to the set to film the regeneration scene with my hero, Mr David Tennant. The script called for a somber, slow mood as Mr David, finding himself dying would collapse to the floor to explode in a burst of light thus turning into me. I had never been David Tennant before so this was rather exciting. The Turtle's brain works faster than mere ordinary men however, and so I had already rewritten the script into something much more audience pleasing.

For what better introduction for the new Doctor than to run on camera and bludgeon Mr David Tennant to death with a haddock?

I had cunningly concealed the haddock in my overcoat so that everyone would be delighted at my genius improvisation. As the moment approached, I sprang onto the stage to deliver my fishy death-blow to a rather dull scene, when disaster! My little pal Barry, who had been cast as my roguish companion had also got overexcited, and had scuttled to the head of the haddock to eat some delicious eyes.

With a thud, the fish with Barry riding atop struck David Tennant's back, sending his scampish poison sting into the spine of this country's greatest Shakespearean actor. Not even dancing atop the tenth Doctor's prone, twitching form could calm the anger of the production team and so Barry and I were hounded into the night, never to grace a BBC basement again.

So that, Turtle fans is my torrid tale of woe. When you watch the new Doctor step onto screen, please remember that it could, nay should have been me dancing atop David Tennant's dead body.

Yours now and until the day you die (a time of my choosing),
The Mysterious Mr Turtlewind, esq

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  1. The Turtle rides again, fantastic!

  2. As a Doctor Who fan, I thought this was brilliant.

  3. This is bloody hilarious! I found this blog by an internet search and i will certainly be back! You had me cracking up at work but I couldn't stop reading! Fantastic!