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Bona Cybernetics

Hugh Paddick as Julian, Kenneth Williams as Sandy, and Kenneth Horne as himself.
Hugh Paddick as Julian, Kenneth Williams as Sandy, and Kenneth Horne as himself.

Slightly odd one this, it’s something a young Lee Binding and I wrote one evening in a fit of creative frenzy, referencing the wonderful BBC Radio comedy series “Round the Horne”. In that show, in a magazine segment entitled “Trends”, Kenneth Horne would investigate some new “trend” and would invariably run into Julian and Sandy, two outrageously camp out-of-work actors “filling in between engagements” played by Hugh Paddick and Kenneth Williams.

It was transmitted to the nation of a Sunday lunchtime, somehow bringing Polari and homosexuality to the masses without anyone actually taking massive offence. To say this was a landmark in broadcasting in the 60s is to understate the case. I honestly urge you to track down “Bona Law” which so clever on so many levels, and it’s amazing the show wasn’t taken off the air.

But Lee and I felt inspired to do a Julian and Sandy mashup with Doctor Who – and why not?

So here it is: Bona Cybernetics.

KENNETH: Well now, the trend today is towards the preservation of youth and since I’ve noticed this old body of mine is wearing a bit thin of late I thought I’d better do something about it. So, I popped along to a new shop that’s opened in Covent Garden where apparently they can eradicate the various signs of aging. The sign on the door said “Bona Cybernetics”.

Hello, is there anybody there?

JULIAN: Oh, hello! I’m Julian this is my friend Sandy.

SANDY: Oh, hello Mr ‘Orne! Nice to vada your dolly old eke. Or it would be nice, y’see, but in fact we have now foregone emotions…

JULIAN: Foregone.

SANDY: Yes, foregone. We are now your genuine CyberOmies. Tell him, Jules, tell him.

JULIAN: Well, we’ve been augmented, haven’t we?

SANDY: Augmented, yes.

JULIAN: Metal and plastic replacing bones and skin. It’s all the rage!

KENNETH: So I see. Well, I suppose that’s why I’ve come, d’you see? I want you to halt the aging process. Now… what can you offer me?

SANDY: Well, shutting the stable door a bit isn’t he, Jule?

JULIAN: Yes… Hardly in your first flush are you, Mr ‘Orne? We normally take ‘em a bit younger, don’t we?

SANDY: Well, we know you do!

JULIAN: Oh, shush.

SANDY: Well! That’s how this all started wasn’t it? Him and his friend ‘Gordon’ picked up some trade down the Ballspond Road, Mr ‘Orne. Didn’t you, eh?

JULIAN: Oh don’t. He don’t want to hear about all that.

SANDY: No, you don’t want him hearing, you mean. You and your little encounters on Telos. Yes! Go on! Telos another!

KENNETH: Yes, please do, it sounds interesting. Who was this mysterious stranger?

JULIAN: Well he was a CyberOmi, wasn’t he?

SANDY: Enormous brute by all accounts. Big ears, and you know what they say… Made Jule an offer he couldn’t refuse.

JULIAN: Couldn’t refuse.

KENNETH: And what, I shudder to ask, was the offer?

JULIAN: Nante pain, he said. Nante pain, nante fear and nante resistance.

SANDY: And we don’t like ‘em resisting do we?

KENNETH: And so I’ve heard. But this doesn’t sound so desirable to me.

SANDY: Oooh!

JULIAN: A critic.

KENNETH: No, not at all. I don’t mean to be rude, but… well, I mean… when was the last time you ate a well-prepared meal, enjoyed the smell of a flower or felt the love of a fellow man?


SANDY: He’s got a cheek hasn’t he?

JULIAN: Very bold.

SANDY: No, no, I know what it is, Mr ‘Orne. You’re not sure about the image are you?

JULIAN: Well, you see his point. The plastic sheeting’s trés naff.

SANDY: That’s your actual French, Mr ‘Orne.

JULIAN: But as it happens we’re redesigning the drag even now.

SANDY: Go on, tell Mr ‘Orne what you’re working on Jule.

JULIAN: Oh, give me a minute, I’m still mulling it, ain’t I?

SANDY: He’s mulling it Mr ‘Orne. You are standing here at the birth of a new master race.

KENNETH: Well, I do hope his waters don’t burst.

SANDY: I know. Make a terrible mess on the tufted shag.


SANDY: Oh! He’s got it Mr ‘Orne. Look at him twitch. Yes. Yes, he’s coming over all Zandra Rhodes. Hitting him in waves it is. Go to it girl, come on. Spit it out.

JULIAN: I’ve got it!

SANDY: He’s got it! You see what happens when he gets into a frenzy like that? Genius strikes. What is it Jule? What have you got to tempt Mr ‘Orne with?

JULIAN: I’m going all silver, tight fitting and butch.

SANDY: Butch, yes. Come on. Accessorize, Jule.

JULIAN: I’m thinking balls… golf balls and enormous helmets!

SANDY: Oh! Bona. I can see it now. What do you think Mr ‘Orne?

KENNETH: Well, yes, that’s rather more like it. So how do I go about getting all this?

JULIAN: Well, it takes a while.

SANDY: Yes, but you needn’t worry. What we do is we shove you in a freezer, get you nice and stiff and then make you one of us.

KENNETH: Yes, but there must be some advantage.

JULIAN: Oh yes, when we’re through with you you’ll be superhuman. You’ll have the strength of ten homies, enormous great thews and bulging metal lallies.

SANDY: Very strong, Mr ‘Orne. Trés butch.

KENNETH: Well yes, that sounds rather appealing, but I’m still not sure it’s entirely me.

SANDY: What is? No, Mr ‘Orne you have no need to fear. In fact we could slot you in right away: a vacancy totally in keeping with your rank and position.

KENNETH: Ah, excellent! And what would that be?

SANDY: Well, it’s obvious innit, Jule? Only one thing he could be with that sized dome: you’d be the cyber-controller!


I’ll be honest, I do want to hear this done with the voices of the Tenth Planet Cybermen…