“Are you ready to start, Donna?” Dave stepped forward to ask her. There was then a cautious glance across the television studio. “And what shall we do with your John fella?”
“Oh him?” She lifted her head and threw a brief glance in the Doctor’s direction. “If he gets too bad I’ll drag him on here as a special guest. I’m sure we can dream up some sort of fetish for him. Leave it with me,” she said, and gave Dave a conspiratol wink.
The Doctor went to protest, and then he realised that Donna had no idea that he had superior hearing compared to her. Should he inform her? Although thinking about it, most of his companions had become rather tetchy when he had pointed such things out. Others had been blazing mad. He wondered which one Donna would become. His money was on the blazing if not ballistic one. Still, he couldn’t help being superior; he thought with a small sniff; it sort of came with the territory.
“Oi, John!” Donna shouted out to him. “Bunsen boy! Come here!”
Trying to hide his scowl of disgust at the moniker and the order, he deliberately sauntered over as slowly as he could. “Did you call me?” he innocently asked. Well, he aimed for innocence.
“Yes, I think I might have,” she replied, ignoring his play acting. “How do you fancy having some strange sexual yearnings? You can even have your own handcuffs if you like.”
“Uhm…” How the heck was he supposed to answer that one? “I’m not sure what you are getting at.”
She consulted her notes, leaning forward as she did so. “We’ve got a leather fetishist, a rubberist, a dominatrix and a man-baby; hmm, so I’d like you to…” Donna then looked up and clicked her fingers loudly at him, catching him right between the eyes. “Up here, Boob boy! The speaking part is up here!” Her fingers directed his gaze towards her face.
He jumped, startled by her action. “I know that,” he muttered defensively. Not that he’d been looking down the front of her outfit and caught sight of her very pleasing assets, mind you. It was only his nose that had been pointed in that direction.
“As I was saying,” she huffed, narked that he had tried it on with her, the lying toad. It was at this point that she changed her mind about the type of guest she wanted him to be, and a tiny part of her evil side peeked out. “I need some of your obvious expertise; for sex, specifically. I want you to come and sit down right by my side here, and I’d like you to be a sex therapist for me.”
He quickly adjusted his tie to cover his stunned reaction. “Shouldn’t we be talking about your sex life and sexual fantasies elsewhere? Somewhere a little more private,” he carefully enunciated, clicking his teeth shut.
That didn’t go down well. “Not me, you dimnoid! I’m talking about my guests!” she hastily clarified. “As if I’d tell you my sexual fantasies.” There was a slight pause before she murmured, “Not that I’ve got any to talk about.” Nor a sex life, but she wasn’t going to blurt that piece of information out in the middle of a television recording studio either.
“Aw, Donna; you can tell me anything you like,” he cheekily quipped. He added in a wink for good measure, just in case it worked in his favour. It usually did.
“I’ll be telling you your fortune, if you aren’t careful!” she threatened. Oops! He wouldn’t comply if she did that. “Will you do this for me? I need you to do some sex talk. Please?” she asked, changing her tone to pleading.
There was no way out of this as far as he could see, to his dismay. “I have to talk about sex?!” he squeaked. “I’m not sure I can do that.”
“Well, you are a doctor,” she pointed out unhelpfully. It was almost sarcastic. Okay, it was sarcastic.
“Of science; not medicine!” he exclaimed through gritted teeth. She couldn’t do this to him, surely she couldn’t? Why would he want to stand up and talk about sex, for goodness sake! Or sit down. Not that he was ignorant or anything; not by a long chalk. He knew all the scientific facts. More than that Dr Ruth woman…
“They aren’t to know that,” she reasoned, and he could tell he had lost the fight.
He sighed. “Alright,” he whined. “But don’t make me speak with a German accent.”
She quirked an amused eyebrow at him. “Nah! An Austrian one would do.” And then she laughed as he spluttered. “We’d better get you ready.”
Dave shouted out, “Can we have someone to mike him up, please?” An apprehensive man shot out with a tiny personal mike, and approached the Doctor. “We’ll have you sitting here,” Dave continued, talking to the Doctor and ignoring the soundman fussing about, whilst pointing to the seat next to Donna. “Another chair, please!” he shouted out, to god knows who, and then stepped back to stand beside a camera.
The Doctor tried to sit calmly in his appointed seat. It was surreal to have silent people pointing cameras at him. It was better than having guns or pointy sticks, he conceded. “I’ve not done this sort of thing before,” he confessed to Donna, whispering directly into her ear. “I’ve appeared on television, but not because I wanted to... More of a case of being wanted.”
He was willing to do this, for her? Really? Donna’s opinion of him grew in that moment. “Don’t worry,” she consoled him, placing a friendly hand on his knee. “I’ll be here to nudge you in the right direction and make sure things don’t get too bad.”
His eyes suddenly widened as a thought occurred to him. “They’re not going to fight, or start flashing their chests, are they? Like on Jerry Springer.” These people may have fetishes but he didn’t want to see them up close and personally.
“This is Britain, John; their stiff upper lips would probably get in the way. They may seem like weirdoes but they don’t do that. Not on my show they won’t,” she promised; and he started to relax a bit more.
“In five…,” Dave called out, and they both froze into a smile for the cameras.
When he counted down to one, Donna burst into her introductory speech, “Hello, I’m Donna Noble and welcome to the show. Today we will be talking about some of our darkest secrets. And yes, I’m talking about the bedroom and not some serial killing desire! Strangely enough I couldn’t find any major celebrity to come in and discuss this with me, so I’m none the wiser about what games Victoria and David Beckham play. Could be table tennis for all we know. But never mind; instead I have Dr John Smith, a renowned sex therapist that you may have seen on other programmes, to help discuss things and give his view. So without further ado, let’s bring on our first guests, Ryan and Nicky Patterson!”
The show didn’t go too badly, although at one point Donna had to hand her notes to the Doctor to use so that he could hide his embarrassed face behind them. There was just something about a woman wielding a whip that affected him.
“Do you prefer talcum powder or cream?” Donna asked the man-baby at one point; and the lurid explanation made the Doctor cringe for a few seconds. He liked to think of cream and lubricants in other, very different situations, thank you very much. “What do you make of all this, Doctor?” she suddenly asked him, and he fought desperately for a decent answer.
“Well…Vernon here obviously has a deep-seated need for nurturing,” he began; and didn’t really look back after that. In fact he had fun digging through his psychoanalytical memories. Although, in hindsight, he should have expected Donna’s very last question.
“And what about you, Doctor? Would you say your own personal fetish can stand up to our friend here in the rubber suit?” she questioned him.
Ooh, the minx! As if he would reveal what his fetish was. I mean, if he had a fetish. He certainly didn’t have any fetish to reveal: yes, that answer would do.
He sucked in air through his teeth very slowly, as he gazed out into the middle distance. “I don’t think so, Donna. I can look at all the ginger hair I like without gaining disapproval, but poor Philip can’t find a decent pair of handcuffs anywhere. I’m sure he gets a lot of negative reactions when he tries to buy some; although I tend to be given them,” he said, smiling as sweetly as he could. “It’s a peril of the job.”
Donna giggled appropriately and then swivelled in her chair towards camera. “I’m sure your patients hand over all sorts of things to you,” she remarked. “Thank you, Doctor. It’s been an absolute pleasure and a revelation having you here.” She then stood up to do the closing spiel before the end credits were rolled. “I’ve afraid that’s all we’ve got time for today, so I’d like to thank all my guests for allowing us into their lives and my good friend Dr John Smith for being so insightful. Next time I hope be talking to Harrison Ford about his new film with Ben Stiller, and meeting a few other people along the way. Until then, bye everybody!”
Dave gave her the thumbs up from behind the camera.
She sat back down next to the Doctor before the credits ended, and whispered the query, “Ginger hair?”
“What about ginger hair?” he whispered back in confusion.
“You said your fetish was ginger hair,” she answered.
“Did I?” He feigned ignorance as he gazed back at her.
“Yes you did. Are you denying it now?” she asked him, fixing her beady eye on him.
He gulped nervously. “No, but I only said it because it was the first thing that came into my mind. I don’t have a fetish,” he explained.
“Of course you don’t,” she sarkily agreed. “Pull the other one, mate; it’s got bells on!”
He looked down at her legs, examining them thoroughly as he did so. It had to be said, she did have remarkable legs. For a brief moment he wondered how good she was at running. “You’ve got bells on? You’d never know.”
Inevitably she swatted his shoulder. “Stop being such a tart! You know what I mean.”
He smirked. “Ah, Donna. What you say and what you mean are two different things entirely. When you examine the semantics of…”
He didn’t finish because she swatted him again. “Get to the point, Beaker.”
Beaker! Beaker?! She couldn’t be seriously calling him Beaker. Okay, he had a science lab, and his hair may stick up weirdly when he had a bad hair day (the horror); but he looked nothing like Beaker! “Erm…,” he squeaked. “It’s not a fetish, but I do like ginger hair; quite a lot,” he inadvertently admitted before his brain kicked in to stop him.
Dave saved his bacon at that moment by stepping forward to tell them the show had gone well. Donna talked over a few technical points with him, papers were shuffled about, and then they were directed towards hospitality.