[[caption-width-right:350:He's difficult to get rid of -- when he's not the direct cause of his own ridding. Repeatedly. Or ''hers''.]]

The one where the Doctor ended up being somebody totally different, then did so again in rapid sequence and finally turned into a woman, the reasons for which we'll explain later.

"The Curse of Fatal Death" is a 1999 ''Series/DoctorWho'' AffectionateParody, produced by Creator/TheBBC for [[UsefulNotes/ComicRelief Red Nose Day]] between [[Recap/DoctorWhoTVMTheTVMovie the 1996 TV movie]] and [[Recap/DoctorWhoS27E1Rose 2005 revival]]. It was written by Creator/StevenMoffat, who took over the revived series of ''Series/DoctorWho'' in 2010.

The Ninth Doctor (Creator/RowanAtkinson) contacts the Master (Creator/JonathanPryce), wanting to meet him on the planet Terserus. The Doctor reveals that he's planning to retire and is engaged to his companion Emma (Julia Sawalha), after which things get... kinda weird. And then the Daleks get involved, aligned with the Master but with their own goals as well. When the Doctor and Emma are captured, he's killed several times and rapidly cycles through being Creator/RichardEGrant, Jim Broadbent, Creator/HughGrant, and finally Creator/JoannaLumley... who decides she'd actually rather shag the Master than fight him.

The comedy special is notable for offering an early glimpse into concepts that Creator/StevenMoffat would later bring into ''Doctor Who'' proper, once he became the series' showrunner. These include the Doctor marrying a companion, Time Lords regenerating as [[GenderBender a different gender]], the Master getting stuck in sewers with Daleks, Emma's outfit (a version of which was seen on companion Amy Pond later on), extremely complicated time travel schemes, and [[FoeYay the good ship Doctor×Master]].

Originally broadcast in four short parts, the BBC released a two-part version on VHS which, aside from the Comic Relief mentions, resembles any other ''Doctor Who'' release from around that point.

!!"The Curse of Fatal Death" provides these examples, which we'll explain later:

* ACupAngst: The Master tries to inspire this in Emma, asserting that his [[GagBoobs "Dalek bumps"]] are "quite firm".
-->'''Emma:''' What are you trying to say?!\\
'''The Master:''' ''[mockingly]'' Oh. ''Nothing.''
* {{Adorkable}}: The Ninth and Twelfth Doctors, definitely. The Eleventh seems to parody the concept, though.
* AffablyEvil: The Master is surprisingly polite and understanding throughout the story, perhaps to set up [[DatingCatwoman the ending twist]].
* AffectionateParody: It's pretty much a send-up of the most common ''Doctor Who'' tropes.
* AirVentPassageway: The Ninth Doctor describes his companion as being "more exciting than an escape up a ventilation shaft."
* AllGirlsWantBadBoys: The Thirteenth Doctor.
* BBCQuarry: One of the reasons the Doctor is planning retirement from saving the known universe on a weekly basis? He's tired of endlessly running around those rock quarries.
* BestialityIsDepraved: The Master. Poor, poor guy.
* BigHeroicRun: In a parody of the classic series habit of running through corridors, the Ninth Doctor and his companion spend a good long while running through the same exact corridor over and over.
-->'''Emma:''' [[LampshadeHanging These corridors all look the same!]]
* BiTheWay: The Thirteenth Doctor. Possibly the Master as well, though that may be SingleTargetSexuality. (Moffat would later confirm, once he took over the show proper, that he considers gender on Gallifrey fluid and that it's not a factor in attraction for Time Lords.)
** Averted with Emma, who can't bring herself to continue a relationship with the Doctor anymore after their [[GenderBender gender change]].
* BizarreAlienSenses: Only the Daleks would join the Master on his quest for revenge, since the Daleks have no noses (and he'd just escaped from a sewer).
* BondVillainStupidity: {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d.
* CannotTalkToWomen: The Eleventh Doctor. Humorously, the Master's [[GagBoobs etheric beam locators]] get the same response out of him.
* CanonDiscontinuity: Obviously, but the Franchise/DoctorWhoExpandedUniverse indicates that the Tersurons existed and really did [[ToiletHumor communicate that way]].
* DeadlyDeferredConversation: The Twelfth Doctor's last words to Emma are, "I'll explain later." This being the tail end of a RunningGag where something ridiculous happens and the Doctor goes, "I'll explain later."
* DeadpanSnarker: Rowan Atkinson's Doctor, naturally.
* DeathEqualsRedemption: Of a sort. Twelve's seemingly final death inspires the Master and the Daleks to renounce their evil ways.
* DeathIsCheap: Whenever [[TheNthDoctor Time Lords]] are around, it is.
* DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment:
** The title (being that any death is, by definition, fatal), in a parody of similarly redundant classic title "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS14E3TheDeadlyAssassin The Deadly Assassin]]".
** Early on, the Master claims that he shall have the "deadly vengeance of deadly revenge!" He also says that the Doctor's certain death "is now... Certain!"
* DistractedByMyOwnSexy: Richard E. Grant's Doctor finds himself so handsome that he licks the mirror.
* DramaticThunder: The Master somehow conjures thunder inside his TARDIS to accompany his EvilLaugh.
* EvilLaugh: The Master, of course. Jonathan Pryce goes all out with this.
* {{Expy}}: Emma shares a lot of mannerisms with Third Doctor companion Jo Grant, while Jonathan Pryce's Master is pretty much the Anthony Ainley version dialed UpToEleven (except for his competency, which is dialed down to one). Averted by the various Doctors however, as each of the actors gives their own unique take on the Doctor. That said, Rowan Atkinson is definitely channeling some Series/{{Blackadder}}, considering all the snarking he does.
* FartsOnFire: The tragic fate of the Tersurons.
-->'''Ninth Doctor:''' They discovered fire.
* FridgeLogic: InUniverse. Why do Dalek ships have chairs? And why don't they just exterminate the Doctor when they have the chance?
-->'''Ninth Doctor:''' I'll explain later.
* GambitPileup: PlayedForLaughs. The Doctor and the Master engage in a battle of temporal one-upmanship by travelling increasingly further back in time to bribe the same architect first.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar:
-->'''Tenth Doctor:''' [[BlatantLies How could I forget the only time-traveling companion I ever had]]?\\
'''Emma:''' You've had lots of companions.\\
'''Tenth Doctor:''' The only time-traveling companion I ever ''[[DoubleEntendre had.]]''\\
'''Emma:''' Oh, right!
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: The Master's attempts to trap the Doctor backfire horribly on him, though not [[TimeyWimeyBall always]] through his own fault. His deal with the Daleks, however, is [[OmnicidalManiac as ill-conceived as it sounds]].
* ImperialStormtrooperMarksmanshipAcademy: The Daleks announce that they're going to exterminate the Master... and promptly end up shooting the Doctor and the Zektronic generator instead.
* InsistentTerminology: They're not breasts, they're Dalek bumps.
* IsThisThingStillOn: The Master has ''serious'' trouble with closing the communication channel on cue early on. When the Doctor calls him out on it, he quickly claims IMeantToDoThat.
* LargeHam: The Tenth Doctor and Jonathan Pryce's Master, resulting in HamToHamCombat.
* LecherousLicking: Richard E. Grant's Doctor is so [[DistractedByMyOwnSexy distracted by his own sexy]] that he licks his reflection in the mirror.
* LiteralMetaphor: [[GenderBender "You're just not the man I fell in love with."]]
* MrFanservice: InUniverse example with the [[Creator/RichardEGrant Tenth]] and [[Creator/HughGrant Twelfth Doctors]].
-->'''Emma:''' [[EatingTheEyeCandy Result!]]
* MsFanservice: [[GrandmaWhatMassiveHotnessYouHave The]] [[Creator/JoannaLumley Thirteenth]] [[GenderBender Doctor.]]
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: TheMaster. Ultimately, [[SubvertedTrope subverted]]:
-->'''Thirteenth Doctor:''' Tell me, why ''do'' they call you "The Master"?\\
'''The Master:''' [[HappilyEverAfter I'll explain later.]]
* MythologyGag:
** The sound and visual effects used for [[TheNthDoctor regeneration]] most closely resemble those used for the First Doctor's regeneration into the Second.
** When the Twelfth Doctor dies and suddenly regenerates, Roger Limb's incidental music for the Fifth Doctor's regeneration in "The Caves of Androzani" plays. Later on, as Thirteen and the Master walk away, the regeneration music from "Logopolis" is played.
** When it appears as though the Doctor's death won't lead into regeneration, his companion says that the Doctor was "never cruel and never cowardly", one of the many AuthorCatchphrase[=s=] of prolific ''Who'' writer Creator/TerranceDicks during his stint writing novelizations of the show.
* NoodleIncident: How the Eighth Doctor regenerated into Creator/RowanAtkinson's Ninth, and the circumstances where he met Emma.
* TheNthDoctor: [[TooDumbToLive Five of them]], in fact. And the Seventeenth Master.
* OffTheShelfFX:
** The Daleks in the special are made and played by FanFilm producers, specifically those of ''Devious'' (which is most notable for its final scenes with '''Creator/JonPertwee''' as the Third Doctor). You can clearly see the actors inside them in some shots.
** The TARDIS console room and console are also from said fan film.
** The opening shot of the TARDIS flying through space is lifted directly from [[Recap/DoctorWhoTVMTheTVMovie the TV movie]].
* PowerPerversionPotential: Only now, after [[TimeAbyss thousands of years]], does the Doctor notice the Sonic Screwdriver [[ADateWithRosiePalms comes with three settings]].
* {{Retirony}}: The story is set off when the Doctor wants to tell the Master that he's retiring to marry his companion.
* RuleOfThree: The Master falls into the sewers of Terserus thrice, each time taking 312 years to climb back out and growing ancient and repugnantly filthy in the process.
* RunningGag: The story has one, but [[SelfDemonstratingArticle we'll explain later]].
* ScienceFictionWritersHaveNoSenseOfScale: The Dalek's new superweapon will enable them to take over the universe in minutes. How, you ask? We'll explain later.
* SingleTargetSexuality: HoYay [[FoeRomanceSubtext Foe Yay]] becomes [[DatingCatwoman straight Foe Yay]] when the Doctor's thirteenth incarnation turns out to be Creator/JoannaLumley.
* SissyVillain:
-->'''Tenth Doctor:''' I remember you, don't I?\\
'''The Master:''' And you still fear me, Doctor.\\
'''Tenth Doctor:''' You're the camp one.\\
'''The Master:''' I am ''not'' camp.\\
'''Tenth Doctor:''' Oh yeah? [[GagBoobs Nice tits.]]
* SlipIntoSomethingMoreComfortable: Mocked with the Tenth Doctor saying it just after his regeneration.
* TheSlowPath: The Master has to do this to get out of the sewers. Three times.
* StarfishLanguage: The Tersurons communicated via carefully-modulated flatulence. The Master and the Doctor [[ToiletHumor are both fluent]].
* SweaterGirl: Julia Sawalha's sixties companion look has this. (Her outfit would later be almost replicated by Moffat-written companion Amy Pond.)
* TimeyWimeyBall: The Master and the Doctor have a duel using this as their weapon, each attempting to bribe the architect of the ancient castle they're currently in.
* ToiletHumor:
** The Tersurons, long-dead natives of the planet the action takes place on, communicated through farts. They became extinct when they [[FartsOnFire discovered fire]].
** The castle is built atop an extensive sewer system. When the Master [[IKnowYouKnowIKnow is tricked into]] [[TrapDoor dropping himself down into it]], it takes him 312 years of wandering with nothing but [[{{Squick}} Dung Slugs for food]] ([[BestialityIsDepraved and companionship on long, lonely nights]]) to escape. [[UpToEleven He then falls down again.]] [[SerialEscalation Twice.]]
* TooDumbToLive: The [[Creator/RichardEGrant Tenth]] and [[Creator/JimBroadbent Eleventh]] Doctors die in quick succession "all because I forgot to unplug first."
* WeMeetAgain: A Dalek says it to the Ninth Doctor.
* WomanInWhite: The Thirteenth Doctor wonders if she and her fiancée will both wear white on their wedding day.
* TheWorldIsAlwaysDoomed: The Doctor has saved every planet in the known universe a minimum of 27 times.