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Alien Worlds: The Madonnas of Zanzibar Alpha P1 and The Madonnas of Zanzibar Alpha P2
The Madonnas of Zanzibar Alpha P 1

The Madonnas of Zanzibar Alpha P 2

Buddy gets an unexpected visit from the Amazing Daphne, a tattooed lady from the circus based on Barnum Five. She turns out to be an old friend of Buddy's and in short order Buddy and all his friends (including Hot Librarian Ingrid, Buddy's girlfriend; their flirtatious banter will bring all the joy of a painful catheterization) get free tickets to the circus.

Daphne, who talks like Mae West for some reason*, has an undiagnosed medical condition that she is inclined to just ignore. It turns out to be an easily treated ear condition.

In episode two, Buddy and Ingrid have an audience with the circus psychic, during which mysterious references to the Madonnas of Zanzibar Alpha get made. On the way back to Earth, Buddy and Ingrid's ship gets lost, marooning them on a planet that turns out to be none other than Zanzibar Alpha! After a pleasant conversation with one of the Madonnas, Buddy and Ingrid come to their senses and learn that the whole thing was a shared hallucination inflicted on them by the circus, who think this sort of thing will really bring in the punters.

(I am guessing it might but most of the illusions people spin for themselves won't be as philosophical as Buddy and Ingrid's. And I guessing most of that was Ingrid. Buddy was the one who basically summoned up Shelob at one point)

What is it with SF and consent issues?

There's some gratuitous German at one point, which seems to exist to establish Ingrid is Dutch and not German and to fill some time. Speaking of filling time, once again I have no idea why this was a two-parter.

* This is as good a place as any to mention there's a Steve Martin "Excuse Me" reference in this.

Also posted at Dreamwidth, where there are comment count unavailable comment(s); comment here or there.

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The Amazing Daphne seems to flirt with everyone without ever quite carrying through. There's one bit where she assures Jon she has tattoos everywhere* down to the soles of her feet and to prove it, she takes off her shoes. Really, if there's one place shows should be able to get away with casual nudity, it's radio.

Edited at 2012-12-08 05:40 am (UTC)

Didn't Somtow Sucharitkul have a series of stories based on a circus-world planet of hats?

...Or am I confusing him with some other author published in Asimov's?

I think you have him confused with Barry Longyear.

Oh, yeah. I must have been confusing it with Mallworld. ::shame::

Was The Greatest Show in the Galaxy (AKA that Tom Baker Who serial with the scary clowns) set on a circus world, or was it just one of those "completely empty save for this one building" worlds where the one building was a circus?

You know, I don't remember that one at all....

Wasn't that Sylvester McCoy?
This means I can't answer your question as I pretty much skipped his entire tenure (generally watching virtually no television at the time, and the one scene I caught in passing involved a man made out of sweets, which didn't tempt me to make an exception for Who)

Appears to be the latter, based on the Wikipedia synopsis.

I was a bit surprised to see Buddy actually has a girlfriend but his awkward, heavy-handed and self-conscious flirting with her seemed terribly plausible.

Edited at 2012-12-08 05:04 pm (UTC)

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