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Sep 10

A snippet from Ian Levine’s Gallifrey

Ian Levine is a well known Doctor Who fan – in particular famous for saving the original Dalek story before it got wiped in 1963.  If you’re interested (and I don’t see why you would be unless Doctor Who fandom makes you go squeeee) here’s his Wikipedia page.

OK, I need to put the passage I’m about to post into some sort of context.  I’m going to keep it short otherwise this will be a very long, pointless and shitty post.

In 1985 Doctor Who went on an 18 month hiatus during the Colin Baker period.  (Falling asleep yet?)  Anywho, the stories that were slated for that year were dropped.

Ian Levine has more money than sense and so he’s started a personal project, paid out of his own pocket and for his own personal use, to do animations of each of these “Lost” stories and have them voiced by actors who sound a little bit like the actors from the telly.  I am not making this up.

One of those stories that was going to be made (though there’s no actual evidence of this aside from Ian’s memory) was called Gallifrey.  It was meant to be the season finale where Gallifrey exploded… or something.

There is no script of this story (and like I say above, the production team of the time deny it was going to be made).  So Ian, adamant that such a story was slated to be made, created a 6-part script totally from his memory of meetings he had with Eric Saward.

He has this 6-part script voice acted.

Here is a snippet.  All you need to know is that Peri, the Doctor’s companion, has been sold into slavery.  The Doctor played by Colin Baker and Lord President Flavia from Gallifrey (don’t ask) have devised a cunning plan to buy her back.  Here is the pivotal scene:

BALD FEMALE AMAZON – We offer title and souserainty to the entire Perseus Cluster, including its seventy two resort planets, with an annual income of at least ninety billion credits. (The biggest gasp yet from the audience)

PRINCE – Well dear…. Er…. Madam, I suppose that makes you the winner. After all, unless someone were to offer a globe of Magronite One Five, there’s nothing left in the whole universe worth more in liquid cash terms that what you’re bidding …

DOCTOR – (interrupts) – Funny you should say that, Bubbella… (He hold the green gem globe up high..

PRINCE – No. No !!!!! Skruggs catch me before I faint

SKRUGGS – Don’t be silly, Prince, that couldn’t possibly be real

DOCTOR – Oy Vey – He says my schmatta isn’t real. It’s the most priceless currency in existence. Here, see for yourself, but be careful what you do with it. My colleage here, Rabbi Solomon Goldblatt, didn’t earn his title of the Butcher of New Tel-Aviv for nothing. Anyone who tries to be a ganuff here will be turned into lokshen pudding on the spot. (He hands the sphere to the Prince. It sparkles and glints and shines from an inner light source. The crowd gasps and coos)

PRINCE – It certainly looks real. If it’s a forgery I have never seen a better one.

DOCTOR – I offer you the largest globe of Magronite One Five ever mined, before its planet Bandraginus Five was destroyed by a mad Pirate. There is no other stone in the universe like it. It will buy anything. And it’s all yours bubbella, in exchange for the spools of the Matrix, and you throw in the Shiksa Slave into the bargain.

PRINCE – You have a deal my friend. And what is your name, pray tell

DOCTOR – I am Rabbi Baruch Finklestein of the New Zion Armed Mercenaries. And none has ever crossed me in battle and lived to tell the take. I have collected scalps from three thousand unlucky victims. I call it my personal Schnorra Collection, It’s there on New Zion, displayed in the Temple for all to see and glory at.

PRINCE – Then you won’t mind if I have it checked

DOCTOR – Be my guest. Are you alright with that, Solomon

FLAVIA – (Deepening her voice) – Oh yes Rabbi Baruch.

DOCTOR – Then be quick about it my good man.

And yes, they are both dressed up like Chasidic Rabbis.

Now, I need to point out that Ian Levine is Jewish.  Apparently he was on the front page of the Jewish Chronicle in London.  Knowing that, and knowing that this scene may have been broadcast on telly in 1985*, what do you think?

This exchange between Ian and myself on Gallifrey Base will give you an indication of where we both sit in regard to this scene:

I said:

I’m also Jewish, and the idea that Colin Baker would dress up as a Chasid and pretend to be the worst sort of stereotype – straight out of a Goebbels fan video – is extremely offensive.

It’s made worse by derogatory terms like shiksa slave.

Shame on you Ian.

Ian responded with:

No – shame on you for having no sense of humour.
The rabbi lines were actually read by an actor who performs for the Wembley Shul and does classic Eastern European Rabbi parodies for the Shul plays.

How dare you. And the shiksa slave was in reference to them trying to sell Peri off into slavery. It was the Doctor’s way of saving her.

It’s an affectionate homage and your rudeness makes me sick.

And I responded with:

Putting side the awful gender politics of having Peri being sold into slavery, do you have any idea how derogatory a term shiksa is. Or did your actor friend who performs for the Shul have a good chuckle at that as well?

And Ian there’s a huge, massive difference of some guy performing as a Chasidic Rabbi for a Purim spiel to a Jewish audience and this piece of unfunny filth you’ve created where Colin Baker – who last I heard wasn’t performing pantomime in the local Shule – would have dressed up as the stereotypical money grubbing Rabbi. Assuming you’re right and this masterpiece was slated to be made in 1985.

Stop embarrassing yourself and your culture Ian. Your affectionate homage is a mockery of a religion and culture that deserves so much better.

For those still reading – thoughts?

 

* I should point out again that the production team of the time deny that Gallifrey was slated to be made and there’s no paperwork stating this.

5 comments

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  1. dalekboy

    There is very strong evidence that they were building up to something like the destruction of Gallifrey.

    Given Colin’s Doctor was set up to have a character arc to explain why he acted the way he did, the theory holds. If you take as the reason the 6th Doctor is so cracked from the get-go is he’s realised how bad the Time Lords are, and knows that at some future point he will have to deal with them. Then, look at the sheer number of stories Colin’s Doctor has that feature renegade Time Lords, Time Lord secrets, and the Time Lords doing morally dubious things, or nudging things.

    That all said, my thought on this story can only be summed up by quoting a great man –

    “This is poo.” – Mitch.

    This is the sort of stereotypical money grubbing Jew that would not have been out of place in the a 60s sitcom. I find it offensive, and I’m not Jewish. Hell, I’m not offended by the yellow face in Talons of Weng Chiang, but this offends me.

    I think you’re right on this one.

  2. Greg McE

    It’s mortifying and don’t let Ian Levine try and convince otherwise. Just horrified at this end.

  3. lauredhel

    “This is the sort of stereotypical money grubbing Jew that would not have been out of place in the a 60s sitcom.” – and yet, we have Mr Gold/Rumpelstiltskin in Once Upon A Time, and, heck, we have Solomon in Dinosaurs on a Spaceship, now with bonus cripple-age …

    These disgusting stereotypes have not exactly disappeared, unfortunately.

  4. Dave

    What do all the various Hebrew (?) words mean?

  5. Robert Parson

    Awful tripe.

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