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|The Land of Wonder|
|Main character(s):||Iris Wildthyme|
|Main setting:||London, 1972; Under the Earth's crust|
|Publisher:||Big Finish Productions|
|Cover by:||Anthony Dry|
|Release date:||March 2009|
|The Sound of Fear||The Two Irises|
Publisher's summary Edit
Exiled to Earth by her mysterious superiors, Iris has been amusing herself and Panda by working for MIAOW, the Ministry for Alien Incursions and Other Wonders. When a certain Professor Ramsbottom and his lovely assistant Audrey unearth a weird vehicle under a London railway station, Ms Wildthyme and her art critic chum are on the scene pretty sharpish.
Among anachronistic skulls and crockery they discover the still-living forms of utterly perplexing, alien creatures. And, before you can say "Jabberwocky", Iris and her friends are on a mind-boggling voyage into a groovy Wonderland deep, deep beneath the Earth's crust...
Iris' bus has broken down in 1970s London. Meanwhile Professor Trevor Ramsbottom and his assistant Audrey discover skulls and a tea set underneath a London Underground station, which seem to be emanating evil. Iris and Panda get recruited by MIAOW to investigate although Ramsbottom insists that he does not need assistance. Ramsbottom is unaware of MIAOWs existence, although he eventually accepts the pair's help and they go to Ramsbottom's laboratory, where Panda flirts with Audrey.
Iris tells Panda that she plans on using logic bombs in order to set ludicrous events into motion by exposing the presence of implausibility. Although illegal, Iris has an affinity for the devices. The bombs dig up part of a green machine with the words "Jabborwocky" written on the side.
Special Forces come to help dig up the rest of the machine. In the process, one of the soldiers gets hit by a piece of debris and begins repeating some kind of nursery rhyme. They manage to open the ship and find the White Rabbit and the Mock Turtle from Alice in Wonderland. The characters are shocked to find themselves in 1973. The Mock Turtle weeps incessantly.
Iris and Panda take the events in stride, but the Professor and Audrey have trouble rationalising the situation. Iris works tirelessly to fix the Jabberwocky so that she can enter Wonderland as she is strangely drawn to the place. She reveals to Panda that she stole the bus in an act of rebellion, and that the bus has broken down due to the Clockworks meddling with it. She views the Jabberwocky as a potential escape from 1973.
Meanwhile, the Rabbit and the Turtle have become a media sensation. They reveal that they have been in hibernation for one hundred years. The Turtle prevents the Rabbit from revealing the identity of the woman who created the Jabberwocky.
Iris and Panda encounter a living, lizard-like, winged Jabberwocky. Panda killed it in order to protect the crowds, much to Iris' dismay. She condemns the crowds for being scared of the unknown and not admiring the beautiful creature instead.
The Professor tries to get the Rabbit and Turtle away from the press in an effort to protect them. The Rabbit insists that there is something strange about Audrey. Audrey reveals that she is actually a MIAOW operative. The Professor contacts Iris and informs her of Audrey's true identity.
Iris and Panda decide the best place to flee from MIAOW is the entrance to Wonderland. They detonate their last logic bomb and they enter the rabbit hole into Wonderland. Their journey is surreal and dream-like. They see a mental projection of Turtle, which warns them that MIAOW wants both of the them dead.
They arrive in Wonderland where the sky is lilac. Iris begins having second thoughts after observing the creepy atmosphere. The climb the highest hill to get a panoramic view, where they encounter who they think is the Cheshire Cat, although he isn't smiling, and introduces himself as the Salford Cat. He knows the identity of both Iris and Panda. He refers to the surface as the "rational world". Panda gives the cat candy in exchange for information.
The cat tells the travellers about Harriet Dodd, a brilliant scientist associated with the early years of MIAOW. She created the wonderland as a prison for creatures from other dimensions trying to infiltrate the "rational world". The cat then vanishes after giving them a warning that Harriet Dodd now has the two of them as part of her inter-dimensional zoo. They decide to continue travelling through wonderland in the bus. They encounter many strange creatures, such as walking, but empty bottles of booze.
Harriet Dodd's head is huge due to containing five brains. Audrey continues on Iris' trail in the repaired Jabberwocky machine. She plans on destroying Wonderland because it is "too weird". MIAOW begins torching everything they see. The Professor and the Mock Turtle then overpower Audrey and take control of the Jabberwocky.
The Salford Cat appears in the bus, informing them that Harriet Dodd has told him to lead them to the palace. After they enter the palace, Dodd tells Iris and Panda that MIAOW has woken her up after her one hundred year hibernation. Wonderland is beginning to decay and Iris is the only one who can save it. The Jabberwocky crashes into the palace and Rabbit, Turtle, and the Professor enter the room. Dodd begins to feel remorse for being so wicked in her younger days. Dodd dreamed up Wonderland with the Feasibility Generator, a machine that allows the user to make the most improbable fantasies come true, or at least become more probable, which she gives to Iris. Dodd insists that Iris use it to repair her bus, even though it means that all of Wonderland will cease to exist. Although Iris is initially unsure of what to do, Panda decides to take the generator, fixing the bus, and spreading absurdity wherever they travel. The Rabbit, Turtle, and Professor follow them into the bus and they share a drink.
- Iris Wildthyme - Katy Manning
- Panda - David Benson
- Trevor Ramsbottom - Steven Wickham
- Audrey/Harriet Dodd - Lizzie Hopley
- Mock Turtle/Salford Cat - Sean Connolly
- White Rabbit - Scott Handcock
- Iris has been exiled to Earth and is working for Ministry for Alien Incursions and Other Wonders (MIAOW). This parallels the Third Doctor's exile on Earth.
- Iris worked for MIAOW in the 1960s, during "that business with the robot Guru and the holiday camp in Wales" when she met the Beatles. Also, the time the cast of Crossroads was transported to the Moon by Samurai Jelly Fish.
- The Jabberwocky is a craft.
- Panda is working as a freelance journalist.
- The feasibility generator looks like a dodo.
- Panda narrates/introduces elements of this story. It is of a meta-fictional variety, in that the narration is acknowledged as part of the on-going story at one point.
- This story is a parody of many of the elements of the Third Doctor era of Doctor Who (1970-1974), during which Katy Manning played Jo Grant.
- This audio drama was recorded on 24 March 2008.
- A Mock Turtle also appears in PROSE: The Scarlet Empress.
- Iris mentions her work for MIAOW in the 1960s. (PROSE: Mad Dogs and Englishmen)