Review: The Jaws of Zardox

Well, there’s no secret now about the circumstances surrounding the fabled ‘lost’ Sixth Doctor story, The Jaws of Zardox. And indeed, no secret of how it came to be lost in the first place.

(Whovians will recall – if they use the mental deprogramming techniques outlined below – how the story was the culmination of a series that caused such outrage, amongst the general public, that the resulting riots laid waste to half the cities of Britain, caused the death of millions and threatened to topple Her Majesty’s Government itself!)

Much as they had after the Vociferous Slorg invasion of 1978, the British authorities were forced to blanket the survivors with pulse-pumped electromagnetic radiation from their TV-sets, convincing the population that towns and cities like Choatingly-by-Bow and Wimblehampton had never even existed, that their dead friends and relatives had merely popped out to the shops, and that the Doctor Who series in question had never actually appeared - the show itself being ‘on hiatus’.

Master-copies of The Jaws of Zardox were burnt, and the ashes sprinkled liberally over an unmarked grave under a gibbous moon. Special Branch operatives rounded up all illegal video-copies, commonly shooting the luckless owners of them in the head. Stringent censorship laws severely curtailed the five-thousand-channel BBBBBC TV-service and caused it to lose three of its B’s. A blow from which it is only now beginning to recover.

Of course, if you don’t remember all this, then you are no doubt still suffering from the effects of governmental pulse-pump radiation. There is a simple method by which this can be counteracted. Take a pair of nine-inch nails and a claw-hammer. Put them away neatly in the toolbox and go out. Find some hostelry or other of the roughest sort, and regale the worthy patrons with your opinion that their sainted mothers perform acts of depravity and frightfulness for a commensurate sum. When you wake up, you will remember all – and realise the true facts of why the country is such the miserable, raddled and desolate place that it is.

In any case, the last surviving copy of The Jaws of Zargox was found amongst the personal effects of a certain Mr Martin Bleen, of 57 Whiplock Drive, Chingford, Essex. The address is not strictly relevant, since Mr Bleen died in a freak pelmet accident in the People’s Republic of Guam. In his little satchel, however, was a VHS tape case labelled ‘The Wit and Wisdom of Jim Davidson.’

(We shall now pause for a moment, as a mark of respect for an old, old gag, and then reveal that there actually was something in the case.)

When I heard of this momentous discovery, personally, I immediately set out at once for the lead-lined bunker in which The Jaws of Zardox had been ensconced - to protect it from the attentions of such terrorist forces as the Paramilitary Restoration Army Taskforce. During the extensive security checks that would allow me inside, I began to hear rumours of other critics who had viewed the piece, and their comments.

Mr Dagon Weeks said: ‘It’s got Peri in it. So there’s a couple of good points. Dur, hur, hur, hur …’ before being dragged off by a right-thinking society to be torn apart by wild horses.
A Mr Rodney Chalmers, apparently, thought that the introduction of a so-called Synchrononambulatory Effect, which swapped the bodies of the Doctor and his companion, while leaving their clothes the same, to be, ‘utterly gratuitous and stupid.’

A Mr Arthur Completelymadeup, it seems, enjoyed the sequence where the Doctor berates his companion for almost stepping on a rat, on account of it being quite possibly vital to the unfolding of the whole vast panoply of Time. Although he finds the out-of-hand squishing of another rat, who quite possibly isn’t, somewhat out of character for the Time Lord …

All these comments and more resounded in my head as I at last sat down to view this long-lost masterpiece. What wonder and joys would await me? What vast new insights would this experience portend? What earth-shattering and life-changing pleasures were not in store …?

It didn’t have cats in it. I like cats, so I didn’t like it.
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