Darren Stockford

Doctor Who: Makin’ whoopee

Slitheen whoopee cushionLook what I’ve got…

As free gifts with kids’ magazines go, this is the most inspired I’ve seen for some time… not that I’m a regular buyer of such literature, you understand. But, well, I’m talking about Doctor Who Adventures here - a new fortnightly publication that was begging me to sample it. The first issue came with a free stationery set. The second, out now if you can find a copy (it seems to be very popular), has this stunning piece of merchandise taped to the front.

“What is it?” I hear you cry. “Isn’t it obvious?” I respond, incredulously. “It’s a Slitheen gas exchange.”

As regular viewers of the Christopher Eccleston-fronted series of Doctor Who will know, the Slitheen are a family of baby-faced but deadly aliens that have no qualms about, um, venting their gases when the need strikes, prompting the Doctor’s classic line from Aliens Of London: “Excuse me - do you mind not farting while I’m saving the world?”

Their guffing is explained in the story’s script as “gas exchange”, a side effect of the monsters squeezing their large green bodies into the skins of humans (and politicians) - disguises that allow them to infiltrate 10 Downing Street. Of course, it’s really just an excuse to make rude noises and giggle, and that’s fine by me.

A Slitheen-themed whoopee cushion = an absolute stroke of genius. I’d have loved to have been in the BBC Magazines office when someone came up with the idea. I bet there was dancing. And party poppers.

Unfortunately, the cushion doesn’t work as well as it should - there’s an art to coaxing a decent fart out of it that folk with less gumption than me may not have the patience to learn. But, hey, it’s a whoopee cushion with a Slitheen on the front. Isn’t that enough?

Admit it - you want one. From where I’m sitting, I can see two monsters, and one of them’s got green eyes…

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