Doctor Who and the Curse of Fatal Death is a parody that’s aptly ahead of its time. Originally broadcasted in 1999 for the Red Nose Day charity telethon, it was written by current Doctor Who Executive Producer Steven Moffat. Multiple stars are featured in the role of the Doctor including Joanna Lumley. The possibility of a female Doctor has recently been hinted at by Moffat and could be realized with the Twelfth Doctor.
The prophetic plot involves the Doctor marrying his companion and retiring. He explains to this archenemy, the Master (Jonathan Pryce), that he’s grown weary of fighting evil through “endless gravel quarries,” a reference to the default backdrop used for alien worlds.
As an official production of the BBC the sets and props are equally exotic, the exceptions as always are the TARDIS and console room from which the Master not-so-subtlety spies on the Doctor. The Master does a stereotypical villain monologue but the Doctor informs him that the speaker is on and he can hear every word.
“Mock me while you may Doctor, my revenge will be all the sweeter and it will be a deadly vengeance. It will be the deadly vengeance of deadly revenge,” he laughs manically to inexplicable indoor lightning.
Pryce not only looks the part of the iconic Master (Roger Delgado) but also delivers cheesy lines that aren’t too far off from the original dialogue and yet he somehow manages to keep a straight face all the while.
The story takes place on Tersurus, the home planet of aliens that communicate with flatulence. Not surprisingly there’s a shitload of lowbrow humor like the Master repeatedly falling down a trapdoor into a sewer. When he eventually climbs out he recruits the Daleks, who upgrade him with a plunger hand and Dalek bumps that are constantly mistaken for breasts but are actually Etheric beam locators. The Daleks do not “exterminate” the Doctor and his companion despite their battle cry. When the companion asks why they never follow through on their threat, the Doctor replies, “I’ll explain later.” The response becomes a familiar refrain for other plot holes that are typical throughout the series.
The Daleks ally themselves with the Master in exchange for a zektronic energy beam, which will allow them to conquer the universe in minutes (“I’ll explain later.”). When the Doctor comments that they’ll have to share the universe with the “beard and bosoms” they whisper their intention to double cross him. Hearing a Dalek whisper is a hilarious oxymoron given their notorious intensity. The Daleks accidentally shoot the machine instead, probably from being blinded by the disco lights that illuminate the room.
“You fools!” exclaims the Master. “This zektronic beam controller will now not only explode, it will implode.”
Only the Doctor can repair it but he burns through several bodies in doing so until he finally regenerates into a very well-endowed woman!
“Emma, look. I’ve got Etheric beam locators,” she tells her companion, who informs her they’re actual breasts.
“Are you sure?,” she asks. “I think I can see the on switch.”
Emma tells the Doctor that he is no longer the man she fell in love and calls off the wedding but the Master is happy to make time with her. When she asks why he’s called the Master, he replies “I’ll explain later.”