Doctor Who Rare Entries Contests

DWRE3: 26 June 2006


These are the results of the third Doctor Who Rare Entries Contest. 
Once again, my thanks to Mark Brader, rec.puzzles King of Rare Entries 
Contests, as well as to all the entrants. 

There were 39 entrants, up from DWRE2 and nearly as many as DWRE1. And 
the winner is... Wilf, following two fourth places finishes. Second is 
Jesse Smith who also has scored well in previous contests (coming fifth 
and third in DWRE1 and DWRE2 respectively) with Andrew Lowrie taking 
third place. For myself, I feel that I gave you a bit too much choice 
on several of these questions. Expect future contests to be a bit 
tighter. This takes nothing away from the highest placed finishers, who 
all submitted excellent answers. 

Here are the top three answer slates.

    WILF                     JESSE SMITH            ANDREW LOWRIE 

0   Warrant Officer          Platoon Under Leader   Captain of the Guard 
1   Harry Sullivan           Nancy                  Peri 
2   L1                       The Bus Conductor      Raston Warrior Robot 
3   Christopher H Bidmead    Fiona Cumming          Barry Letts 
4   Donald Pickering         Donald Pickering       Michael Wisher 
5   Brief History/Time Trvl 
6   George Stephenson        Kate Fisher            Saladin 
7   Simon Winstone           Elwen Rowlands         Douglas Adams 
8   Castrovalva              Day of the Daleks      Mawdryn Undead 
9   Patrick Troughton        Patrick Troughton      Tom Baker 

To review the scoring: 
The scores on the different questions are MULTIPLIED to produce a final 
score for each entrant. Low score wins; a perfect score is 1. If your 
answer to a question is correct, then your score is the number of 
people who gave that answer, or an answer I consider equivalent. A 
wrong answer, or a skipped question, gets a high score as a penalty. 
This is the median of: 
- the number of entrants 
- the square root of that number, rounded up to an integer 
- double the largest number of entrants giving the same answer (right 
or wrong) as each other on the question 
Here is the complete table of scores. 

RANK     SCORE    ENTRANT             Q0 Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q5 Q6 Q7 Q8 Q9 

 1          72    Wilf                 1  1  3  1  2  1  1  2  2  3 
 2         144    Jesse Smith          1  1  2  1  2  1  1  4  3  3 
 3         300    Andrew Lowrie        1  1  3  5  5  1  1  2  1  2 
 4         360    Chris Branigan       1  4  3  1  1  1  1  2  3  5 
 5         450    IceWarrior           1  5  1  2  3  1  1  3  1  5 
 6         480    Aloysius             2  1  2  1  2  1  2  3  2  5 
 7         720    Dave Woodley         1  4  2  1  2  1  1  3  3  5 
 8       1,008    Mark Walton          1  1  2  2  3  1  4  3  1  7 
 9       1,200    Cyril Washbrook      2 WR  1  1  1  1  2  2  3  5 
10       1,440    Jonathan Morris     WR  1  1  5  3  1  1  4  1  3 
11       1,512    John Dorney          1  1  2  3  2  1  1  6  3  7 
12       1,620    Christopher Gerardy  3  1  3  1  3  1  1  2 WR  3 
13       2,400    BeyondTheVoid        1  2  1  2 WR  1  2  3  2  5 
14       2,520    Paulbarthur          2  1  2  3  1  1  1  6  5  7 
15       3,240    Neil Toynay          1  1  3  1  3  1  2 WR  3  5 
16       4,200    Hotmissile           2  1  1  3  1  1  4  5  5  7 
17       4,536    Craig Charlesworth   3  1  2  1  3  1  1 WR  3  7 
18       5,400    Dave Jones           3  5  1  2  2  1  2  3  3  5 
19       5,760    BTN                  2  1  2  1  3  2  2 WR  2  5 
20       6,480    Llama Roddy          4  1  3  5  3  1  1  6  3  2 
21       6,720    Angelaook            1  4 WR  2  3  1  2  2  2  5 
22       8,400    Luke Curtis          1  1 WR  2  5  1  1 WR  5  2 
23      10,080    artyclarty           4  1 WR  5  1  2  2  2  3  3 
24      10,800    Sean                 2  5  3  1  1  1  2 WR  3  5 
25      11,664    Simon Kinnear        4  1  3  3  3  1  2  6  3  3 
26      14,400    Chriskelk            4  1  3  1 WR  2  1  4  3  5 
27      15,120    fortmap              4  1  3  4  3  1  3  5  1  7 
28      20,160    Beano                2  1  2  2 WR  1  4  3  3  7 
29      42,000    Solar Penguin        2  5  1  2  3  1  4  5  5  7 
30      57,600    Mike McKeown         4  2  3  4  3  2  2  5  2  5 
31      84,672    sontaran             4  1 WR  4  3  1  3  4  3  7 
32     108,864    Face of Po           2  3  3  1  3 WR  2  6  3  7 
33     112,000    NathantheWhovian     1  1  1 WR WR WR  2  5  2  7 
34     134,400    Yohinnchild          2  1  3  2  5  4 WR  2  5  7 
35     201,600    cols123              4  5 WR  3  5  4  2  2  3  2 
36     216,000    The Doctor           2  1  3 WR WR  4  2  3  3  5 
37     313,600    GenesisRockz         2  1 WR  5  5  4 WR  2  2  7 
38     338,688    Bennett Standeven    2  3 WR  2  1  1 WR WR  3 WR 
39   1,036,800    Guy Leopold          2  3  2  4 WR WR  3  6  3  5 
40   2,903,040    Darkstar            WR  4  3  3 WR WR  2  3  3  7 

Here is the complete list of answers given.  Each list shows correct 
answers in the order worst to best (most to least popular). 

Once again, the contest was marred by people who posted answers in 
public news groups, and by the attempts of others to score those 
answers. User "Morbius" posted a complete answer slate and user 
"Dick Stagg" answered some questions properly but gave multiple 
answers to others, complaining that it was a rubbish quiz because there 
were too many right answers to choose from. This time around, each 
individual publicly apologised for not having read the rules correctly, 
although as far as I know neither has entered the competition 
legitimately (which saved me having to decide whether to allow the 
entries or not). Once again, where their answers have also been given 
by other entrants, they have been indicated. A * indicates the answer 
given by "Morbius" and a ~ indicates the answer given by "Dick 
Stagg". Dick Stagg's multiple answers are not indicated at all. 

0. Name a military rank held by a human we have seen. 

4    Flight Lieutenant (Lavel) 
4    Major (Cosworth, Mind of Evil) 
3    Group Captain 
2    Brigadier 
2    Centurian 
2    Colonel 
2    Lieutenant 
2    Major General (Scobie, Spearhead from Space) 
2    Section Leader 
2    Third Officer (Blythe, The Sea Devils) 
1    Captain of the Guard 
1    Chief Petty Officer (Smedley in The Sea Devils) 
1    Colonel of the Grenadier Guards (Queen Elizabeth II) 
1    Commander-in-Chief (Queen Elizabeth II, The Idiot's Lantern) 
1    Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States (Lincoln in The Chase) 
1    Corporal 
1    General 
1    Lieutenant Commander (The Sea Devils) 
1    Platoon Under Leader 
1    RSM (Benton) 
1    Staff Sergeant (Arnold, The Web of Fear) 
1    Surgeon Lieutenant 
1    Warrant Officer (Benton) 
1    Brigadier General 
1    Commander General 

Battlefield, which was also a popular source of answers in DWRE2, 
continues to shine here. The question was intended to allow ranks other 
than those in the British Military (such as those in the Inferno 
parallel world) and, in hindsight, only allowing ranks other than those 
in the British Military would have been a better question. This would 
also have disallowed the two honorary ranks held by the Queen which 
were right answers here. There is no rank, real or in the fictional 
world of Doctor Who, of "Commander General" and the rank of 
"Brigadier General" was replaced by "Brigadier" in 1922 and so 
can hardly apply to Lethbridge-Stewart. 

Where given, parenthetical names and stories are not necessarily the 
only examples, or the ones cited by entrants, but merely demonstrate 
that the answer meets the requirements of the question. 

The * answer was "Sergeant". 

1. Name a character who at some time is believed dead by at least one 
other character, but who is later seen to be alive (but not necessarily 
in perfect health). "Later" should be taken to mean later in this 
character's personal timeline. 

5    Rose Tyler 
4    The Doctor 
3    Romana (Destiny of the Daleks) 
2    Plantagenet 
1    Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart (Battlefield) 
1    Captain Jack * 
1    Captain Revere 
1    Captain Yates (The Time Monster) 
1    Cassandra 
1    Cyber Controller 
1    Davros ~ 
1    George Cranleigh 
1    Harry Sullivan (Genesis of the Daleks) 
1    Ian Chesterton (The Aztecs) 
1    Jamie McCrimmon (The Space Pirates) 
1    Jo Grant (The Three Doctors) 
1    Ky 
1    Lynda (Bad Wolf) 
1    Margaret Slitheen 
1    Mickey Smith (Rose) 
1    Nancy (The Doctor Dances) 
1    Peri (Caves of Androzani) 
1    Professor Chronotis 
1    Sgt Arnold (The Web of Fear) 
1    Terry Cutler (The Tenth Planet) 
1    The Borad 
1    The Great Vampire 
1    The Master 
1    Turlough (Enlightenment) 
1    Ace 

Rose Tyler was the top choice here with many entrants citing Dalek as 
the episode they had in mind. I would have thought Bad Wolf was a 
clearer example of what the question specifies, but it makes no 

In my judgement, "thought dead" cannot reasonably be interpreted to 
mean merely that X considered the possibility of Y being dead. X has to 
actually believe that Y is dead for it to count. Hence "We thought 
you were dead. Either that or gone to Birmingham," is insufficient 
and neither I nor the entrant in question could think of another 
occasion on which Ace was believed dead, so this answer has been marked 
wrong. I understand that the entrant in question disagrees with this 
ruling and will no doubt be along shortly to explain why, but with so 
many right answers to choose from, I am disinclined to be lenient. 

2. Identify a robot we have seen. 

3    Drathro (L3) 
3    K1 Robot 
3    L1 
3    Raston Warrior Robot 
3    Sontaran Surveillance Robot 
2    Kamelion 
2    Lynx's Gladiator 
2    Robot Doctor Who 
2    SV7 * 
2    The Bus Conductor (Greatest Show in the Galaxy) 
1    Android Peri (Caves of Androzani) 
1    Android Sarah 
1    Prince Reynart's Android Double 
1    Servo Robot 
1    Tereleptil Android 
1    The Grey Lady 
1    V58 
1    V6 
2    K9 (does not identify one robot) 
1    Bok (not a robot) 
1    Clockwork Robots (does not identify one robot) 
1    Robot Cleaners (does not identify one robot) 
1    Servo Robot Mummy 
1    White Robots (does not identify one robot) 

This one turned out to be trickier than I thought, but there was still 
a pretty flat pattern of correct answers. If you picked the Raston, K1, 
The Sontaran Scout or Drathro, you were unlucky, since there were 
plenty more to be had. 

On the other hand, this one was easy to get wrong if you weren't 
careful. If you picked a stone gargoyle, animated essentially by magic, 
you were in error; that's stretching the definition of "robot" 
further than I'm prepared to take it. If you described a class or 
group of robots, you did not identify an individual robot and so your 
answer was wrong since you didn't provide what was asked for. K9 is 
also wrong for the same reason (there have been four K9s to date). I 
can only conclude that "Servo Robot Mummy" is intended to mean the 
robot mummies from Pyramids of Mars (the entrant cited that story) 
which is wrong for the same reason. "Servo Robot" would have been a 
correct answer (from The Wheel in Space). 

Correct answers not given include the ad-bot in The Greatest Show in 
the Galaxy, the polyphase avatron n The Pirate Planet, the Anne-droid 
etc in Bad Wolf, and no doubt many others. 

3. Name a person who has contributed to episodes of Doctor Who in at 
least two different capacities, but who has never appeared in the 
programme as an actor. 

5    Barry Letts (Producer, Director) ~ 
4    Peter Bryant (Story Editor, Producer) 
3    Graeme Harper (AFM, Director) 
3    John Nathan-Turner (PUM, Producer) 
2    David Whitaker (Writer, Story Editor) * 
2    Graham Williams (Producer, Writer) 
2    Peter Grimwade (Writer, Director) 
2    Russell T Davies (Writer, Executive Producer) 
2    Terrance Dicks (Writer, Script-Editor) 
1    Alan Wareing (Prod Asst, Director) 
1    Angela Smith (Prod Unit Manager, Prod Associate) 
1    Christopher H Bidmead (Writer, Script-Editor) 
1    Derrick Sherwin (script editor, producer) 
1    Douglas Adams (Script Editor, Writer) 
1    Edwina Verner (Prod Asst, AFM) 
1    Eric Saward 
1    Fiona Cumming (Prod Asst and Director) 
1    John Friedlander (Masks, Visual Effects) 
1    Michael Briant (AFM, Director) 
1    Michael Ferguson (AFM, Director) 
1    Norman Stewart (Prod Asst, Director) 
1    Paul Aitken (props chargehand, asst props master) 
1    No answer given 
1    Victor Pemberton (played a scientist in The Moonbase) 

Barry Letts, Peter Bryant and JNT stormed this one, which would perhaps 
have been a better question if I had disallowed either script editors 
(almost all of whom are also writers) or directors (almost all of whom 
had prior experience on the show in more junior capacities). Only 
Victor Pemberton fell foul of the "actor" restriction. 
Parenthetical jobs are not meant to be exhaustive, merely to 
demonstrate that each person met the minimum requirement. 

Right answers not given include Mervyn Pinfield (Assoc Producer, 
Director), Gerry Davis (Story Editor, Writer), 
Chris D'Oyly-John (AFM, Prod Asst), David Maloney (Prod Asst, Director) 
and no doubt many others. 

4. Name an actor who has appeared as named members of at least two 
different alien races. For the purposes of this question, "appeared" 
does not include voice-only contributions. 

5    Michael Wisher (Genesis of the Daleks, Carnival of Monsters) ~ 
3    Bernard Horsfall (Thal, Timelord) 
3    John Woodnut (Zygon, Trakenite) 
3    Lalla Ward (Atrian, Gallifreyan) 
3    Prentis Hancock (Planet of the Daleks, The Ribos Operation) 
3    Stuart Fell (Roga, Alpha Centauri) 
2    Donald Pickering (Keys of Marinus, Time and the Rani) 
2    Kevin Lindsay (Sontaran, Time Lord) 
2    Stephen Yardley (Varosian, Muto) 
1    Anthony Ainley (Trakenite, Timelord) 
1    Frank Jarvis (Underworld, Power of Kroll) 
1    Michael Sheard (Rhos, Mergrave) 
1    Philip Madoc (The Krotons, The War Games) 
1    Richard Shaw (Frontier in Space, The Space Museum) 
1    Roy Skelton (Planet of the Daleks, Hand of Fear) 
1    Stephen Thorne (Omega, Eldrad) 
2    Martin Jarvis (Governor not named) 
1    Edmund Warwick (not named) 
1    John Scott Martin (Hughes is human) 
1    Lesley Dunlop (Frontios is an Earth Colony) 
1    Pat Gorman (not named) 
1    Paul Kasey (not named) * 

You had to check the details here. Marking Lesley Dunlop wrong may seem 
harsh, but people (especially The Doctor and Tegan) do go on and on 
about the Frontiosians being the last humans left in the Universe, so I 
felt I had little choice. Martin Jarvis's Varosian Governor probably 
isn't human, but definitely isn't given a name, which caught out 
two people. One of John Scott Martin's only two named characters was 

Otherwise, lots to choose from, so surprising to see Michael Wisher 
making such a strong showing. I thought the choice of Roy Skelton was 
very clever, since he has appeared on camera and has played at least 
two aliens, even though he is more usually to be found merely providing 
voices. Along similar lines, Stephen Thorne is a correct answer since 
although you do not see his face, he provides much more of Omega than 
just the voice. 

I have ruled Edmund Warwick wrong on the basis that, aside from Darrius 
in The Keys of Marinus, his only other credited role is as "Robot 
Doctor Who". Even if I were to allow this mechanical device as a 
member of an alien race (which one?), it's hard to justify it as a 
"named" character. 

In passing let me note that the ~ answer was also the top answer, but 
the * answer was only given by a single entrant. Hence I do not believe 
that newsgroup answer-slates systematically distort the results of the 
contest. I'd still rather people didn't post them, of course. 

5. Name a website, existing before 26 June 2006, for which Doctor Who 
or some aspect of it, is the whole or major focus. 

4    Outpost Gallifrey ~ 
2    Doctor Who in Detail 
1    A Brief History of Time Travel 
1    Chameleon Circuit 
1    Charlie Daniels Alternative Programme Guide 
1    Doctor Who Fonts Page 
1    Doctor Who Restoration Team 
1    Gallifrey 5 
1    On Target 
1    Shockeye's Kitchen 
1    The Doctor Who Ratings Guide 
1 # 
1 # 
1    Gallifrey Online (no longer operational) 
1 (not Doctor Who focused) 
1 (not Doctor Who focused) 
1 (not Doctor Who focused) 

Basically all you had to do here was not name Outpost Gallifrey to get 
a good score. Gallifrey Online looked defunct to me (so it is not 
accurate to say that Doctor Who is its major focus, only that it was), 
and a couple of others weren't Who-specific enough (in my judgement). 
Some people provided URLs, others provided names. The question didn't 
specify, so provided I could find the site, I was happy. is a BBC site built to support one of the 
Mickey Smith online games and so is a Doctor Who site by default 
despite the almost total absence of Doctor Who material on it. 

I had intended to rule Doctor Who pages within larger sites as wrong 
automatically, but on examination of some submissions, I decided that 
if the URL submitted pointed to a set of pages which could reasonably 
be called a site (or subsite) then this was a correct answer. 
Otherwise, would certainly have been marked wrong. 

The * answer was The TARDIS-builders Guild. # indicates sites submitted 
by their own webmasters. There may also be others which I didn't 

6. Name a non-fictional person we have seen. Names of actors are not 
correct answers, unless they are playing themselves. 

4    Andrew Marr (Aliens of London) 
3    Kenneth Kendall (The War Machines) 
2    Charles Dickens (The Unquiet Dead) 
2    Emperor Nero 
2    George Harrison (The Chase) 
2    H G Wells 
2    Matt Baker (Aliens of London) 
2    Queen Elizabeth II 
2    Saphadin 
2    Shakespeare (The Chase) 
1    Abraham Lincoln (The Chase) 
1    Alex Macintosh (Day of the Daleks) 
1    Billy Clanton 
1    Einstein (Time and the Rani) 
1    Elton John 
1    George Stephenson 
1    Kate Fisher (The Gunfighters) 
1    Louis XV (The Girl in the Fireplace) 
1    Marco Polo 
1    Queen Elizabeth I (The Chase) 
1    Ringo Starr (The Chase) 
1    Robespierre 
1    Saladin 
1    Warren Earp 
1    Cyrano de Bergerac (fictional) 
1    Julius Caesar (does not appear) 
1    Rapunzel (fictional) 

A mix of historical figures played by actors, people playing themselves 
and archive footage. I probably should have picked just one of those 
three. Funny that with four Beatles to choose from, two entrants who 
went with their appearance via the Space Time Visualiser picked George 
Harrison. I suspect that Ringo seemed too obviously obscure, John and 
Paul not obscure enough, but George seemed about right. Another entrant 
later submitted Ringo. 

The entrant who submitted Rapunzel misread the question, the entrant 
who submitted Julius Caesar misremembered The Romans, and the entrant 
who submitted Cyrano may not appreciate the gulf that exists between 
Rostand's fictional creation and the historical figure. If anyone 
doubts which version of Cyrano was depicted, let them be reminded that 
the story in question (The Mind Robber) was set in the Land of Fiction. 

Alex McIntosh can be assumed to be playing himself, although this is 
not completely cut-and-dried since he has worked as both a news 
reporter and an actor. I gave the entrant the benefit of the doubt on 
this occasion. 

The * answer was King Richard (correct) and the ~ answer was Leonardo 
da Vinci (wrong). 

7. Name a Doctor Who script-editor. A person is a Doctor Who 
script-editor if they are credited as such on at least one episode. 

6    Anthony Read 
5    Peter Bryant 
4    Elwen Rowlands 
3    Andrew Cartmel 
3    Antony Root 
3    Derrick Sherwin 
2    Christopher H Bidmead 
2    Douglas Adams 
2    Helen Raynor 
2    Simon Winstone 
2    Terrance Dicks 
2    Dennis Spooner (story editor) * 
2    Donald Tosh (story editor) 
2    Gerry Davis (story editor) 

You could have anyone from Peter Bryant on, excepting Victor Pemberton. 
Whitaker, Spooner, Tosh, Davis and Pemberton were all credited as 
"Story Editor", and so are clearly eliminated by the wording of the 
question. Bryant was credited as both, and all from Sherwin on were 
"Script Editors". 

I expected a strong showing from Anthony Read and Antony Root - both 
"forgotten" script editors who did little to change the direction 
of the programme - but Peter Bryant coming out so near the top was a 
surprise. I would have thought his recent, widely-reported death would 
have ruled him out. Elwen Rowlands has not received as much publicity 
as Simon Winstone and certainly less than Helen Raynor on the new 
series, so her apparent obscurity I think explains her popularity here. 

The only two right answers not given were Robert Holmes and Eric 
Saward, both of whom (unlike Read and Root) very much left their mark 
on the show - for good or for ill! 

8. Name a story featuring at least two of the ten official Doctor Who 
actors in some form. 

5    The Caves of Androzani (regeneration) 
3    Arc of Infinity (Maxil) * 
3    Day of the Daleks (flashbacks) 
3    Earthshock (flashbacks) 
3    Logopolis (regeneration) 
3    Planet of the Spiders (regeneration) 
3    Resurrection of the Daleks (flashback) 
3    The Parting of the Ways (regeneration) 
2    Castrovalva (flashback to regeneration) 
2    Robot (flashback to regeneration) 
2    TV Movie (regeneration) 
2    The Power of the Daleks (Hartnell in mirror) 
1    Mawdryn Undead (flashback) 
1    The Five Doctors 
1    The Tenth Planet (regeneration) 
1    The Three Doctors 
1    Timelash (picture of Pertwee) 
1    Army of Ghosts (not in scope) 

Always popular, Androzani was the top answer here, but not by much. You 
had a choice of regeneration, flashback or multiple Doctor stories, 
plus a couple of others - notably Arc of Infinity and Timelash. 

The only right answers not given were The Brain of Morbius and (oddly) 
The Two Doctors. Army of Ghosts would be a right answer next time 
round, but this contest only covered episodes up to and including Fear 
Her. An argument developed over in rec.arts.drwho over whether or not 
old footage of Colin Baker appeared in Time and the Rani. It did not 
and this would have been a wrong answer. In fact, I don't believe old 
footage any Doctors from Davison on had been used until Eccleston 
popped up in Army of Ghosts. 

9. Name one of the ten actors who have officially played The Doctor. 

7    Colin Baker 
7    Sylvester McCoy 
5    Christopher Eccleston 
5    Jon Pertwee 
5    William Hartnell 
3    Patrick Troughton 
3    Peter Davison 
2    David Tennant 
2    Tom Baker 
1    Richard Hurndall (not one of the official ten) 

Colin and Sylvester's turn to come out top, with a no-show from Paul 
McGann (although this was the * answer). 

Over the course of these contests, a few people have emailed me 
claiming that Richard Hurndall is "one of the official ten" before 
(so which other Doctor Who actor doesn't count!?) but nobody has 
tried it as an answer before. For the record, Hurndall may be "more 
official" than say, Richard E Grant (briefly touted as the Ninth 
Doctor) or Edmund Warwick (who also played the part of "Doctor Who" 
in the BBC TV series), but he's not an official Doctor Who. There is 
only ever one of those at a time, and at the time Hurndall played the 
part, the official Doctor Who was Peter Davison. This also makes this 
the first DWRE Contest in which every question has had a least one 
wrong answer submitted. 

This question will not appear in future contests as I'm bored of it 
now. ;) 


DWRE4 will be new series only and will begin early next week. It is 
currently my intention to keep running these at approximately 
fortnightly intervals until interest flags or I run out of questions. 




The only really controversial ruling over in Outpost Gallifrey was 
regarding whether "Ace" meets the criteria of question 1 or not ("Name 
a character who at some time is believed dead by at least one other 
character, but who is later seen to be restored to life (but not 
necessarily perfect health). "Later" should be taken to mean later 
in this character's personal timeline.") 

Following an extensive debate, itself following an exchange of emails 
between me and Cyril Washbrook, the entrant in question, I have come to 
the following conclusions. 

I believe it is reasonable of me to rule, as with the issue of The 
Watcher in DWRE1, that if something is left unsaid, an entrant cannot 
make an answer correct by their own speculation. Either an answer is 
wholly supported by the onscreen evidence, or it is not. It is not 
enough for an answer merely to be consistent with what is shown 

However, I believe that in framing this question I have invited, almost 
required, entrants to draw conclusions about beliefs based on words 
uttered or actions taken. For example, in Genesis of the Daleks, when 
The Doctor watches the Kaled dome explode and mutters "I sent Harry 
and Sarah in there," it is entirely reasonable to conclude that he 
believes them dead, even though this is never stated. So I believe that 
I must watch the segment of the episode in question and reach one of 
three conclusions: 
 The most likely interpretation is that Ange believed Ace was dead 
- and thus Cyril's answer is correct. 
 The most likely interpretation is that Ange did not believe Ace was 
dead - and thus Cyril's answer is wrong 
 There are at least two equally likely interpretations, not all of 
which are consistent with Ange believing Ace to be dead - and thus 
Cyril is wrong on the "Adrian Gibbs" principle. 

Humour. Before I do that, there is yet another issue muddying the 
waters. Ange is a comic character. She is wryly witty and she is 
intended to be amusing. Her low-key rendering of her line "I thought 
you were dead" is for comic effect and "either that or gone to 
Birmingham" is a double joke, at once making us laugh at Ange's 
apparent indifference to Ace suffering either of these fates, and the 
joke at Birmingham's expense that if one has gone there, one might as 
well be dead. In this context, to analyse the text and the performance 
and attempt to come to a conclusion as to the mental state of the Ange 
character is essentially insane. One might as usefully wonder how the 
pet shop owner thinks he's going to get away with it in the Parrot 
Sketch, but I feel I have given myself little option. 

So here goes... 

Here's the transcript, as provided by Cyril: 

Ange: "Oh, hi Ace. Thought you were dead." 
Ace: "What?" 
Ange: "That's what they said: either that or you'd gone to Birmingham." 

This has been variously interpreted to mean "I thought you were 
dead", "I was undecided about whether you were dead or whether you 
were in Birmingham", "I thought you were dead, but now having seen 
you I realise that your being in Birmingham was a more likely 

To me, everything turns on "That's what they said." This is not a 
conclusion that Ange has come to by herself. Ace's fate has been 
discussed. Their mutual friends (I think it's clear that "they" 
is their mutual friends, although I stand by my point even if it 
isn't) have swapped opinions about what might have become of her. It 
is possible that some of these opinions have risen to the level of 
belief in Ange's mind, or that none of them have. 

However, the only belief she claims as her own is the first one. The 
lack of pronouns is an issue here, but I think the following is 
overwhelmingly likely to be correct: "[i] thought you were dead. 
[They said] that or [that] you'd gone to Birmingham." If one 
follows this interpretation, one is lead inexorably to the conclusion 
that of the several options presented, Ange has selected Ace's being 
dead as the most likely and continued in that belief until confronted 
with Ace once more alive. 

As Dorney says "I'd nonetheless argue that a valid interpretation is 
'I heard other people say you were dead. I heard other people say you'd 
gone to Birmingham.'" Which of these - if either - does Ange 
believe to be true? "I thought you were dead." 

This satisfies all the criteria of the question, and - somewhat to my 
own surprise - I find myself ruling that Cyril's answer is correct. 

This bumps him up from ninth to second place with a score of 120, with 
Andrew Lowrie, Chris Branigan, IceWarrior, Aloysius, Dave Woodley and 
Mark Walton all moving down one place. 

DWRE4 will follow shortly, once I've recovered from all this, and 
from the gut-wrenching finale on Saturday night.