197 Master Plan – The Curse of Fatal Death

This is the one where the master gets stuck in the sewers for almost 1000 years. And the doctor dies 4 times in a few minutes. And those are etheric beam locators!

Live from Master Closet Studios, you’re listening to the only podcast on the internet making fun of the show we love: It’s the Noobs and the Whovian! 

My name is Austin and I’m the Whovian, and these are my sons Corbin and Tripp and we’re the noobs! And joining us from the St. Louis offices of Master Closet Studios is our Classic Whovian.

I’m Jared?

This is the podcast that introduces a whole new generation to Doctor Who by watching an episode each week and discussing it from the perspective of a dad who’s seen it before, and two sons who haven’t.

Welcome to Episode 197 covering the 1999 Comic Relief Special: The Curse of Fatal Death.

Super-short Recap 

This is the one where the master gets stuck in the sewers for almost 1000 years. And the doctor dies 4 times in a few minutes. And those are etheric beam locators!

Production notes

  • Story # NOTHIN!
  • Originally aired March 12, 1999 
  • Written by: Steven Moffat
  • Directed by: John Henderson

Misc Trivia 

  • Comic Relief partners with amazing projects and organizations to make a difference to the lives of millions of people across the UK and around the world. We all work together in supporting people to break free from poverty, violence and discrimination.


  • Name of the episode spoken in dialogue?
    • nope
  • Creature of the week
    • Terserons – farting aliens
      • Is this the precursor of the Slitheen
    • The Daleks, of course
      • Even the Master doesn’t know what the plunger is for
      • Why don’t they just exterminate you right away? I’ll explain later… 
      • Why do they have chairs?!
  • Jiggery Pokery
    • Misc
      • The sofa of relative comfort
  • Cutting-edge special effects
    • The production level on this was the best we’ve seen so far in Classic Who!

Other stuff we noticed

  • The Bill & Ted 2 style time travel battle was amazing!
  • All those endless gravel quarries
  • Running through the same hallway over and over again
  • This episode was blending together with The Five Doctors in my head.

Stuff we didn’t notice

  • The music from the Logopolis regeneration scene was used during the first regeneration

Who’s Who?

  • Who is Emma?
    • Julia Sawalha – Saffron Monsoon in Absolutely Fabulous
  • Who is the Master?
    • Jonathan Pryce – Governor Swann in Pirates of the Carribean, High Sparrow in Game of Thrones, Elliot Carver in Tomorrow Never Dies
    • The deadly vengeance of deadly revenge!!!!
    • He spent 312 years escaping the sewers and then time-traveled back to this very moment, twice! 
      • Thrice!
    • You’re the camp one
    • He renounces evil
  • Who is the Ninth Doctor?
    • Rowan Atkinson – BEAN! Johnny English, and most importantly, Zazu in The Lion King
    • He’s saved every planet in the universe 27 times
    • Fell in love with his companion
    • His catch phrase seems to be “I’ll explain later”
  • Who is the Tenth Doctor?
    • Richard E. Grant – Dr. Simeon/The Great Intelligence!
    • Ladies man
  • Who is the Eleventh Doctor?
    • Jim Broadbent – Professor Kirke in Narnia, Professor Slughorn in Harry Potter, Charles Stanforth in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
    • Shy one
  • Who is the Twelfth Doctor?
    • Hugh Grant – Richard Curtis-written Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill, and Bridget Jones’ Diary
    • Look after the universe for me, I’ve put a lot of work into it.
      • You are not of this world. No, but I’ve put a lot of work into it.
    • Father Christmas, the Wizard of Oz, and Scooby-Doo all in one
    • He was never cruel, never cowardly
    • Maybe even the universe can’t bear to be without the Doctor
  • Who is the Thirteenth Doctor?
    • Dame Joanna Lumley
      • Patsy Stone from Ab Fab, alongside Julia Sawalha
      • Just got the Dame title on New Year’s 2022
      • the first of four female Doctors in officially license BBC productions
        • Including one from the audio adventures, and of course Whitaker and Jo Martin
    • Not the man she fell in love with
    • Then she falls for the Master?!


  • Love Actually Not… 

Overall impressions

  • Overall rating out of 10 – 
    • Jared – 9 gastric languages
    • Austin – 9.5 endless gravel quarries
    • Corbin – 9 massive sewers
    • Tripp – 9 etheric beam locators

The Game Plan

  • Next week we’re headed back into to a different scifi universe to cover Star Trek: Discovery’s Magic to Make the Sanest Man Go Mad. Season 1, episode 7, available on Paramount+, or purchase for $2-3 on Amazon Video, or $2 on Youtube.
  • After that is the Best of Twelve, and we’ve picked Series 9 episodes 7 & 8, The Zygon Invasion and The Zygon Inversion.


Noobs and the Whovian is a production of Master Closet Studios, where it’s always smaller on the inside. Your Senior Producer is Austin Reason. Our Audio Engineer is Thing One: Tripp Reason. Our Production Editor is the Other One: Corbin Reason. Special thanks to tardis.fandom.com for the trivia, and to Jared for the Classic Who Connection. Shout outs to Victor and Jared for their Patreon support.

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Until next time, be safe if you can. But always. Be. Amazing.