Doctor Who Monsters, Aliens and Villains

Lord Krarn
Audio - The Fourth Wall
The Fourth Wall
(John Dorney)
 Name: Lord Krarn

 Format: Audio

 Time of Origin: Created by TransGal on the planet Transmission in the far future.

 Appearances: "The Fourth Wall"

 Doctors: Sixth Doctor

 Companions: Flip Jackson

 History: While The Doctor has faced foes that technically donít exist before, ranging from the villains from the Land of Fiction ("The Mind Robber") to manifestations of timelines that were erased from existence ("Falls the Shadow"), Lord Krarn is an explicitly fictional figure who was brought into the real world by a terrible mistake.

Colin Baker
Colin Baker
 Krarn originated as the villain in the pilot of new TV series Laser, created by the TransGal broadcast network in the far future as an attempt by Augustus Scullop to save his companyís reputation. Superficially, the pilot was a simple show, looking at a post-apocalyptic Earth that had been destroyed five years ago when an unknown traitor allowed Lord Krarn and his Warmongers access to the wormhole network that protected Earth, the Warmongers being literally indestructible by any means Earth had to offer. By the time the TV show took place, Krarnís only opposition was the charismatic Jack Laser, a key figure in the human resistance (and the only person who could hurt the Warmongers), who Krarn blamed for the death of his wife, although Laser claimed that he had just been forced to choose between saving Krarnís wife or letting thousands of innocents die. The initial details aside, the actual plot of Laser had not been properly developed at the time the pilot aired; Krarnís motive for killing humanity before going on to conquer the universe was unclear, and there was a lack of detail in exactly how Krarnís wife had died.

 However, the reason the pilot was so significant was that it was intended to test a new form of television transmission, developed by Doctor Helen Shepherd, that would essentially allow the watchers to take part in the show as it was taking place. The system would project the show outwards so that people could take part in the drama as new characters as opposed to just watching it unfold, even able to interact with others and change the plot, while viewers were protected by a range of security protocols that would prevent the watchers actually being hurt by the events witnessed. The technology was based on the discoveries of the legendary Dreamspinners, a race who had gone extinct so long ago that even The Doctor had never found out what had happened to them. The most significant detail about this technology was that it was based on dimensional transcendentalism, essentially projecting the other dimension outwards rather than containing it in a particular area, which led to The Doctorís TARDIS experiencing a disruption when it passed close to the artificial planet Transmission while the technology was being tested.

 When The Doctor tried to travel to Transmission to investigate this technology, his current companion Flip Jackson was pulled into the program. By the time The Doctor reached the broadcasting station itself, Flip had met Jack Laser, his love interest Jancey, and Lord Krarn himself, Flip and the two heroes currently being held prisoner in Krarnís ship. Flip realised that she was in a show as the characters were providing too much backstory, and she had noticed such continuity errors as Krarn knowing Janceyís name before she had introduced herself, but she assumed it was just a standard television or role-playing session, which led to her being shot by Krarn before The Doctor could get her out of the projection.

 Matters became worse when The Doctor realised that Krarnís ĎWarmongersí had been created by the pig-like Porcians posing as actors. Typically the Porcians were the most incompetent would-be conquerors in the galaxy, desperately trying to conquer planets and gain the fame of the Cybermen or the Sontarans, but continued to make stupid mistakes such as invading planets such as Skaro that would easily defeat them or arriving on planets that would soon be destroyed in natural disasters. The Porcians had been hired by Scullopís old business rival, Xander Drexel, to steal the secret of Scullopís new technology, but their actions inspired Scullop to disable the security protocols so that Krarn and the Warmongers could escape into the real world. Krarn and his forces easily killed most of the people who had come to watch the pilot, but The Doctor and Shepherd were able to escape when Jack Laser arrived.

 While The Doctor retreated to the Porcian ship with Doctor Shepherd, the surviving Porcians and Matthew Howland (the actor who had portrayed Krarn in the show), Scullop made contact with Krarn and asked him to eliminate Drexel. Krarn was initially intrigued at the possibilities of Scullopís claim to essentially be his creator, but when he realised the extent of Scullopís influence on his past, Krarn killed Scullop in rage. Deciding to accept his role as the villain, revelling in his relative lack of background information to just be evil for the sake of evil, Krarn used the equipment to create a new army of Krarns and Warmongers from other copies of the pilot (naturally taking care not to bring the Lasers from the other copies into the real world).

 With the situation escalating, The Doctor had the idea that he could use the technology to essentially create a weapon he could use against Krarnís forces. With Howland acting as Krarn and The Doctor posing as a Ďdelivery boyí, Shepherd filmed a scene where Krarn received a bomb that could destroy any fictional individual within a five-light-year radius while leaving real people untouched. While Krarn created two further copies of himself, Howland impersonated Krarn to allow The Doctor to enter the fictional dimension and retrieve the anti-fiction bomb while Shepherd and Laser kept the Warmongers busy.

 Unfortunately, the original Krarn realised that Howland was an imposter and killed him before The Doctor could return. Briefly posing as Howland, Krarn attempted to steal the bomb before The Doctor could set it off, but The Doctor had been able to use the previously-filmed scene to save Flipís life by retroactively revealing that the weapon Krarn used to kill her had a strange malfunction where it would create the illusion of death for an hour without any side effects. This Ďretconí wouldnít save anyone who died in the real world, but since Flipís body had been left in the fictional dimension The Doctor was able to rescue her along with retrieving the bomb, allowing Flip to set the bomb off while Krarn was focused on The Doctor, destroying him and his Warmongers. The Porcians accepted their current failure and departed while Shepherd assured The Doctor that she would dismantle the original device so that such a thing couldnít happen again.
 
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Parts of this article were compiled with the assistance of David Spence who can be contacted by e-mail at djfs@blueyonder.co.uk
 
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