Properly titled "Doctor Who And The Pirates [[EitherOrTitle or]] The Lass That Lost A Sailor".

One of the most well-loved AudioPlay/BigFinishDoctorWho episodes, and certainly one of the Sixth Doctor's most popular episodes ever made. The (intentionally awkward) title is a parody of both [[Recap/DoctorWhoS7E2DoctorWhoAndTheSilurians "Doctor Who And The Silurians"]] and ''Theatre/HMSPinafore or The Lass That Loved A Sailor''.


Sally, a history student, is having a hard time, and the ''last'' thing she wants today is for her favourite tutor, Dr. Evelyn Smythe, to turn up and tell her a long, rambling story about pirates.

But Dr. Smythe won't be dissuaded. In fact, she even invites her friend and travelling companion, the Doctor, into Sally's apartment so they can ''take turns'' with the pirate story. Evelyn insists the whole story is true, even though Sally points out that it's a transparent SelfInsertFic set in a mess of pirate cliches.

As the story goes on, though, Sally starts to see some uncomfortable similarities to her own life. In particular, to a very recent, very painful, very personal loss... someone very dear to her was killed in a car crash. Sally was driving. And she doesn't think she can go on.

The pirate story starts getting darker, too, so the Doctor decides that the only way to cheer them all up is... to [[CrazyAwesome turn it into a musical!]] A Creator/GilbertAndSullivan one, to be exact.

The story deals with a pirate captain named Red Jasper, who's after a map leading to a treasure. A cabin boy named James London (Jem for short) turns out to be the son of the only man who knew its location. Evelyn and Jem are captured by Red Jasper, and despite Evelyn's best efforts to bluff her way out (posing as "Evil Evelyn, the Pirate Queen"), Jem is tortured and brutally murdered. Evelyn blamed herself for his death, and asked the Doctor to take her home after the adventure was over. When she got home, she found Sally's suicide note in the mail. She asked the Doctor to take her back in time so they could talk Sally out of it.

Although Sally isn't sure what to make of the story in the end, Evelyn manages to explain to her that real life doesn't have a happily ever after -- just good days and bad days. And that as long as one person cares, life is worth living.

This episode is directly followed by [[Recap/BigFinishDoctorWhoSpecialsRealTime "Real Time"]]. Which also makes this one the last time the Doctor wears his [[ImpossiblyTackyClothes infamously horrible coat]] for some time.

* AnachronismStew: Sally accuses Evelyn of this, because at this point Evelyn's telling the story based around pirate tropes rather than what actually happened.
* AnythingYouCanDoICanDoBetter: The Doctor and Merryweather have a song about this.
* AristocratsAreEvil: Captain Swann isn't evil so much as spoiled and useless.
* AxeCrazy: Red Jasper. Briefly played for comedy, then [[RealityEnsues played chillingly for drama. He truly is utterly insane.]]
* BatmanGambit: The Doctor lets Merryweather challenge him to a rum drinking contest, followed by a plank walking contest. Merryweather, lacking the Doctor's Time Lord constitution, gets drunk off his face and falls right off the plank.
* BoardingParty: Just one of the many pirate tropes that shows up.
* BreakTheCutie: Evelyn suffers due to the subject matter in this story, despite making it LighterAndSofter.
* BuriedTreasure: Another pirate trope - Jasper's looking for Ezekiel Bones' treasure.
* CanonDiscontinuity: The Doctor, InUniverse, wonders to himself if [[Series/K9AndCompany Hecate]] is in continuity[[note]]It is, incidentally. It's where Sarah Jane got her K-9, but [[Recap/DoctorWhoNSS2E3SchoolReunion "School Reunion"]] was a few years away yet[[/note]].
* {{Cliffhanger}}: After a few hints and hums from the Doctor, episode 2 ends with the following exchange...
-->'''Doctor''': Why, you could almost say I was the very model of a Gallifreyan buccaneer. ''[song cue begins to play]''
-->'''Evelyn''': Oh no! You ''are'' going to sing!
-->'''Doctor''': Well, yes! I am! ♪''I-iiiiiiiii-am -- [[[InterruptedByTheEnd Theme music plays. Episode ends]]].''
** And then he gleefully sings it as soon as the next episode starts.
* ContinuityNod: The Doctor credits Mel's exercise regime for his excellent physical form.
** Evelyn also mentions he doesn't like talking about [[Recap/DoctorWhoS19E4TheVisitation the Great Fire of London]].
* ContinuityPorn: The Doctor's "buccaneer" song namedrops [[Recap/DoctorWhoS1E2TheDaleks Daleks]], [[Recap/DoctorWhoS6E1TheDominators Quarks]], [[Recap/DoctorWhoS4E2TheTenthPlanet Cybermen]], [[Recap/DoctorWhoS3E4TheDaleksMasterPlan Mavic Chen]], [[Recap/DoctorWhoS6E3TheInvasion Tobias Vaughn]], [[Recap/DoctorWhoS7E1SpearheadFromSpace Autons]], [[Recap/DoctorWhoS8E3TheClawsOfAxos Axons]], [[Recap/DoctorWhoS3E6TheArk Monoids]], [[Recap/DoctorWhoS18E4StateOfDecay Vampires]], [[Recap/DoctorWhoS1E5TheKeysOfMarinus Voords]], [[Series/K9AndCompany Hecate]], [[Recap/DoctorWhoS20E2Snakedance Manussa]], [[Recap/DoctorWhoS6E1TheDominators Dulkis]], [[Recap/DoctorWhoS17E5TheHornsOfNimon Skonnos]], and [[Recap/DoctorWhoS18E2Meglos Tigella]].
* CreditsGag: The final credit theme is rewritten as a Gilbert & Sullivan pirate tune.
* TheDragon: First Mate Mr Merryweather.
* DarkReprise: The song "Pirate Queen" first shows up when Evelyn and Red Jasper are singing about the virtues about being a Pirate Queen and King, respectively. The dark reprise occurs not 5 minutes later when Jasper sings it again, celebrating his complete authority [[spoiler: after cutting out the tongue of one of his crew and pushing the Doctor off the plank.]]
* DrinkingContest: During "I'm a Better Sailor Far Than You".
* DrivenToSuicide: [[spoiler: The whole reason Evelyn's at Sally's house. She received her suicide note in the post [[TimeTravelTenseTrouble tomorrow morning]], and she convinced the Doctor to nip back to the night before so she could spend the night with Sally when she needed someone.]]
* TheDrunkenSailor: Both a plot point and a recurring leitmotif during "I'm a Better Sailor Far Than You".
* DuelToTheDeath: The Doctor ([[UnreliableNarrator no, wait, it was the First Mate]]) challenges Jasper to one... and gets killed.
* EitherOrTitle: The "or" portion being a reference to ''HMS Pinafore''.
* EyepatchOfPower: Red Jasper, and [[CaptainObvious also more than likely, One-Eyed Trent]].
* FlashbackWithinAFlashback
* FramingDevice: The Doctor and Evelyn tell Sally a story.
* GiverOfLameNames: Evelyn names all the new pirates with the same idea. John Johnson, Bill Bilson, Tom Thomson, Nicholas Nichol... [[Literature/NicholasNickleby Nickleby!]]. At which point she switches track to [[Creator/CharlesDickens Dickens]], with Literature/OliverTwist, Literature/DavidCopperfield and [[TheLastOfTheseIsNotLikeTheOthers Little Nell]], before she thankfully gives up.
* HairTriggerTemper: Red Jasper.
* HamToHamCombat: Creator/ColinBaker's Sixth Doctor versus Bill Oddie's Long John Silver {{expy}} Red Jasper.
* HardGay: Mr. Mate, supposedly.
* HookHand: Evelyn initially claims Red Jasper has two hooks for hands. When Sally points out that he would not be able to fire a pistol, Evelyn admits she was embellishing, but never really establishes if he had one hook or none.
* [[ImADoctorNotAPlaceholder I'm A Historian Not An Impressionist]]: Evelyn's excuse for doing the same voice for all the sailors.
* InexplicableTreasureChests: Played with -- Evelyn invents some treasure for the ''Sea Eagle'' to be carrying, so it'd sound more like a pirate story.
* InnocentInnuendo:
--> Captain Swann: "''I'' should be doing all the stroking."
* InTheBack
* KarmaHoudini: Capt. Swann, who gets to be Captain again at the end. In fairness, [[TheLoad he was just a complete and utter berk with no regard for anyone else]], but it still rankles that he seemingly learned nothing. Red Jasper, on the other hand, gets off ''much'' easier than other ''Doctor Who'' villains who commit equivalent crimes, when he's left marooned.
* LeaningOnTheFourthWall: All the damn time. The Doctor and Evelyn telling Sally the pirate story counts for most of it, and the songs do this for ''Doctor Who'' as a whole.
* LighterAndSofter: InUniverse, Evelyn starts making the story "more fun" once she realizes it's actually a pretty dark tale.
* MementoMacGuffin / OrphansPlotTrinket: Jem's compass. [[spoiler: Nobody learns it's an OrphansPlotTrinket until after poor Jem has been tortured to death, though.]]
* MobileShrubbery / TrojanHorse: The Doctor and Evelyn hide in barrels, hoping to get taken aboard Red Jasper's ship as booty. [[{{SubvertedTrope}} It doesn't work.]]
* MoodWhiplash: An light-hearted romp set during the golden age of piracy gets pretty damn dark before the eventual dawn.
* MusicalEpisode: And all acquit themselves very well! Specific musical and song tropes include:
** IAmSong: First by the Doctor with "I am the Very Model of a Gallifreyan Buccaneer" and then by the pirates with their "An Assassin's Lot is Not a Happy One."
** IWantSong: Sally has a heartbreaking one. [[spoiler: She wants to be TogetherInDeath with her partner because she blames herself for his death.]]
** MajorGeneralSong: "I Am The Very Model Of A Gallifreyan Buccaneer", probably the best-remembered song from the whole episode. Naturally also counts as the PatterSong. Have a listen: "[[ I Am the Very Model of a Gallifreyan Buccaneer]]"
* LoadsAndLoadsOfRoles: Timothy Sutton plays the Mate and every other unnamed sailor and pirate role, [[LeaningOnTheFourthWall because Evelyn's not good at coming up with character voices and does the same one for all of them.]]
* MusicalisInterruptus
* TheMutiny: Captain Swann's sailors think he's a bit of a git and join the pirates. Later, the Doctor convinces the pirates to do this when Jasper and Merryweather are on the island.
* NonIndicativeName: Merryweather is not a very appropriate name for TheDragon to Red Jasper.
* ObviouslyEvil: Evelyn is trying to make sure Red Jasper is considered the bad guy by giving him every RedRightHand she can think a pirate should have - one eye, two peg legs, two hook hands...
* PepperSneeze: The Doctor's failed attempt to hide in an empty rum barrel. Turns out it's an empty pepper barrel.
* PluckyMiddie: Jem's the lower-class "plucky cabin boy" variant.
* PyrrhicVictory: The Doctor and Evelyn get away safely, and the Doctor even managed to pocket a few of Captain Bones' treasure hoard of rubies. But Jem London's still dead.
* PirateBooty: Another classic pirate trope. This one actually does happen - the pirates are searching for Captain Bones' hidden stash.
* PirateGirl: The Doctor claims Evelyn is "Evil Evelyn, the Pirate Queen". The masquerade works... briefly.
* PirateTropes get [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] and pointed out by Sally, who ([[NewerThanTheyThink accurately]]), blames most of it on ''Literature/TreasureIsland''.
* RecordNeedleScratch: Towards the end of Episode Two, the Doctor bursts into song. Evelyn and Sally stop him with one of these... [[MusicalEpisode but it doesn't last, of course.]]
* SelfInsertFic: Sally accuses Evelyn of this.
* ShoutOutToShakespeare: "[[Theatre/MacBeth All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand]]." The first hint we get that Sally's not in the best place emotionally right now - Lady Macbeth says this because she can't stop thinking about the murder she committed.
* SpotOfTea: Evelyn insists on making multiple cups of tea for Sally.
* SurvivorGuilt: Sally crashed her car and killed her partner, and now this is [[DrivenToSuicide driving her to suicide.]]
* {{Swashbuckler}}: The Doctor doesn't do too bad at being one, when he gives it a go.
* TalkingToHimself: Timothy Sutton, who plays all the sailors -- because Evelyn is [[InvokedTrope talking to herself]], doing the voices.
--> '''Sally''': "Hey that's the same man!"
--> '''Evelyn''': "No it's not. Anyway, [[ImADoctorNotAPlaceholder I'm a historian, not an impressionist]]."
* TalkLikeAPirate: Of course. Bill Oddie sounds like he's having the time of his life talking like this.
* [[BeethovenWasAnAlienSpy The Doctor Taught Tarzan]]: Obviously a lie, and he gets called out on it.
* TimeSkip: Justified seeing as it's a story being told.
* TreasureMap: Evelyn brings one to show Sally. [[spoiler: It's the one that was hidden in Jem's compass.]]
* UnreliableNarrator: The whole story, with details changing depending on who's doing the telling. Most notably, [[ImpossiblyTackyClothes Red Jasper changes from referring to the Doctor's "Horrible coat" to "Stylish outfit" in between the two.]] Guess which person used which.
* UpperClassTwit: Captain Swann
* VerySpecialEpisode: This story is like one in many ways, in amongst all the jokes and songs and pirate cliches is a serious discussion on mental health, suicide and dealing with feelings of guilt, loss and remorse.
* WalkThePlank: Yet another pirate trope embraced, particularly when the Doctor [[BriarPatching briar-patches Mr Merryweather into walking off it.]]
* WouldHitAGirl: Red Jasper.