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Excerpts from the Staggering Stories Blog:


Staggering Stories Podcast #278: Festive Fools
by Staggering Stories Podcast
Sun, 17 Dec 2017 09:38

Summary: Adam J Purcell, Andy Simpkins, Fake Crumbly, Fake Keith, Jean Riddler, the Real Keith Dunn and Scott Fuller review the Big Finish Doctor Who boxset ‘The Tenth Doctor Adventures: Vol. 2’ and the recent partly animated Doctor Who: Shada, play some festive games, find some general news, and a variety of other stuff, specifically: […]


Staggering Stories Commentary #206: Babylon 5 – Movements of Fire and Shadow
by Staggering Stories Podcast
Sun, 10 Dec 2017 10:00

Summary: Adam J Purcell, Andy Simpkins and Keith Dunn sit down, detecting, in front of the Season 5 Babylon 5 episode ‘Movements of Fire and Shadow’, and spout our usual nonsense! Lyta and Dr. Franklin have their investigating feet on, Mollari is keeping himself locked up and Delenn prangs her Whitestar. But enough of their […]


Staggering Stories Podcast #277: Make the Sanest Listener Go Mad
by Staggering Stories Podcast
Sun, 03 Dec 2017 09:00

Summary: Adam J Purcell, Andy Simpkins, Fake Keith, Jean Riddler, the Real Keith Dunn and Scott Fuller review the likes of Big Finish’s Doctor Who: Dark Eyes, Star Trek Discovery and Red Dwarf XII, play a game, find some general news, and a variety of other stuff, specifically: 00:00 – Intro and theme tune. 01:30 […]


Staggering Stories Commentary #205: Doctor Who – The Lie of the Land
by Staggering Stories Podcast
Sun, 26 Nov 2017 10:17

Summary: Adam J Purcell, Andy Simpkins and Keith Dunn sit down, broadcasting, in front of the 2017 Doctor Who S10 episode, ‘The Lie of the Land’, and spout our usual nonsense! The Doctor has become a TV presenter, Bill is still fixated on a dead woman and the Monks have given up on VR entirely. […]


Staggering Stories Podcast #276: Whittaker Calling Orson
by Staggering Stories Podcast
Sun, 19 Nov 2017 09:15

Summary: Adam J Purcell, Andy Simpkins, Fake Keith and the Real Keith Dunn discuss Doctor Who subjects such as the Thirteenth Doctor’s costume, the 60s and 70s composer Dudley Simpson and director Paddy Russell, review the second season of Stranger Things, find some general news, and a variety of other stuff, specifically: 00:00 – Intro […]


Staggering Stories Commentary #204: Babylon 5 – And All My Dreams, Torn Asunder
by Staggering Stories Podcast
Sun, 12 Nov 2017 09:00

Summary: Adam J Purcell, Andy Simpkins and Keith Dunn sit down, inquiring, in front of the Season 5 Babylon 5 episode ‘And All My Dreams, Torn Asunder’, and spout our usual nonsense! Mollari is feeling left out, Lennier has some hot footage and G’Kar wants to guard Londo’s body. But enough of their problems, please […]

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The Cre'at Club

Chief Inspector Grey-um:
Last Seen Puzzling

Arresting the mind of Adam J Purcell


Chief Inspector Grey-um #2 - Picture of Grey-um in his office, looking bored!.

Detective Chief Inspector Grey-um remains a hard drinking police detective who enjoys word search puzzles, being grumpy, bad novelty music and especially solving crimes. It’s almost as if his lack of character development is deliberate, so that people can hear about his cases in any order. Almost.

It has been a quiet time for Grey-um between cases. So uninteresting, in fact, that they never talk about it.

Chief Inspector Grey-um #2 - Dinkley enters Grey-um’s office.

Grey-um is bored. Terribly bored. But who is this visiting Grey-um in his office? Yes, of course it is Grey-um’s trusty but inexperienced sidekick, Detective Sergeant Velma Dinkley. She has the look of someone desperate for action.

“When will we have another case, Sir? I can’t stand doing anymore of this-” bemoans Dinkley before Grey-um cuts her off sharply.

“No, Sergeant! You know we must never speak of what we do between major cases!” exclaims Grey-um.

Chief Inspector Grey-um #2 - Chief Superintendent Naked Tom Baker joins them in Grey-um’s office.

Grey-um has another visitor. What a busy morning. It’s Chief Superintendent Naked Tom Baker and he looks grim, no doubt wanting to get straight to the point.

“I’ll get straight to the point, Grey-um. Something terrible has happened. Terrible, I say! And grim! Little Amelia Pond has disappeared!” says Naked Tom Baker, grimly.

“It's a tragedy, Dinkley..." emotes Grey-um.

“Golly! Well it is Christmas again. Why do so many of our special cases always seem to happen around Christmas?” ponders Dinkley.

“Impossible to say. If we ever did know why specials always happen around Christmas then maybe we could do something about it and make this cesspit of a world a better place.” groused Grey-um.

“You’re being morose again, sir. Remember what the police psychologist said to you?”

“Yes, Dinkley, you’re right. I must stop playing to type. Fancy a drink on our way to the scene of the crime?”

Chief Inspector Grey-um #2 - Grey-um and Dinkley in the Falcon, on the way to the first crime scene.

There’s Grey-um and Dinkley, in his quirky and distinctive classic vehicle. They are on their way to the first crime scene of the day, of no doubt many. If Grey-um is flying erratically it’s because he’s had a total skin full en route. Like all good detectives, Grey-um can’t help but let the job get him down.

One way Grey-um lightens the mood is to loudly play his favourite music. This time he’s sharing The Birdie Song unto the world. Dinkley does not look happy.

Chief Inspector Grey-um #2 - Inside the Pond-era TARDIS.  Amy Pond, Rory and the Doctor, Grey-um and Dinkley questioning.

Here we are in the TARDIS, little Amelia Pond’s home. Big Amy, Rory and the Doctor are distraught but nonetheless manage to explain how Amelia didn’t return after going out to buy some fish fingers and custard.

“But I don’t understand,” says Dinkley, clearly not understanding something, “aren’t you, Amy, and Amelia the same person?”

“Fraternising with your past self? That’s against the first law of time, isn’t it? I ought to run you all in.” warns Grey-um.

“I never got to raise my child, instead the Doctor’s been seeing her while we’re asleep. To compensate, I now get to raise myself. The Doctor said it would be alright and he’s the Lord of Time…” explains Amy.

Grey-um is bristling at that, “I’m a good old fashioned detective who hates the establishment, so don’t expect me to respect any Lords! Besides, shouldn’t you remember what happened to you when you were Amelia - you’re clearly still alive.”

“Of course not! That would make a mockery of every story where people meet their past selves. Terrance Dicks would have had a coronary decades ago!” explains Amy.

Grey-um is looking thoughtful, “Yes, he’d be starting to smell by now… But do you have any clues for us? It is clearly stated in the rules that villains must leave clues!”

Rory steps up and hands Grey-um a scrap of paper. A scrap of paper with a word search puzzle on it.

Chief Inspector Grey-um #2 - first word search puzzle.

“Excellent, a puzzle! Back to the office with us, Dinkley. This calls for a long sit down and even longer drink, to get the little grey cells going!” declares Grey-um.

“The game is afoot, sir?” suggests Dinkley.

“Shut up, Dinkley!”

Chief Inspector Grey-um #2 - Back in the office, they find Vampire Willow, looking upset and with another puzzle.

We are back in Grey-um’s office again. But what’s this? That’s Vampire Willow, the local Tom. She too looks upset.

“Spit it out, Vampire Willow! The day’s barely started and I’ve already had enough drink to knock out the entire 1970s.” demands Grey-um.

“It’s Fascist Spock and Derek the Demented Dalek… They’ve been kidnapped. Murdered maybe! You’ve got to help me, Inspector!” pleads Vampire Willow.

“Two this time, sir. Whoever’s taking them is certainly getting bolder.” opines Dinkley.

“Yes but at least they haven’t made it personal with us, eh Dinkley. Don’t you hate it when that happens?” adds Grey-um.

“This puzzle was left, addressed directly to you, Detective Chief Inspector Grey-um.” says Vampire Willow.

“Bugger.” Grey-um says flatly.

Chief Inspector Grey-um #2 - Second word search puzzle.

“Eureka! These are particularly challenging word search puzzles, Dinkley. You’d never manage them because you’re an easygoing working class sort, prone to wild hunches. Whereas I am an adipose of refinement and intellect, a deductive detective who relies on reason and logic with my vast intellect and knowledge.” drones on Grey-um.

“Yes, sir...” says Dinkley wearily, used to pompous put downs from her boss.

“It has taken even me several hours but I have discovered two words, one in each puzzle… See - this second one has ‘advent’ and the first one ‘calendar’.” announces Grey-um, triumphantly.

“Also ‘Christmas’ in that first one - right there, sir?” Dinkley immediately points out.

“Enough of that! Nobody likes a smartypants, do they, Sergeant?” says Grey-um, hotly.

“No, sir.”

“We must go to the Advent Calendar. Obviously the kidnapper is there, his inner demons clearly desiring he be caught.”

“And the kidnap victims, sir?”

“Who? Oh, yes, they’ll be there too.”

“You don’t think it might be a trap, sir?”

“Don’t be silly, Dinkley. When are these situations ever traps?! You’ve a lot to learn, Sergeant.”

“Yes, sir…”

Chief Inspector Grey-um #2 - Grey-um and Dinkley hovering above the advent calendar in the Falcon.

Grey-um and Dinkley have arrived by the Advent Calendar but, typically, there is nowhere to park.

“Dinkley, drop me off here and join me when you’ve found somewhere to park. Find a nice parking space - I don’t want my baby scratched again!” orders Grey-um.

Chief Inspector Grey-um #2 - Grey-um on the advent calendar as Dinkley approaches.

“Ah, Dinkley, you’re back at last. It took me a few minutes but I have discovered something…” declares Grey-um.

“That it’s Christmas Eve but only the first three doors have been opened on the Advent Calendar? I noticed that before I dropped you off, sir.” says Dinkley.

“Er, yes. Shut up, Dinkley! It’s a clue, don’t you see? We should open them up, maybe our missing persons are behind them…” suggests Grey-um.

“I’m not sure they’d fit, sir. Is that even wise - it could be a trap!” warns Dinkley.

“Let me show you how real police work in done, Sergeant.”

Chief Inspector Grey-um #2 - Grey-um and Dinkley open up the first eight, watched on by Old Man Palpatine in his CAP-2 and Ackbar.

“Just Lego, sir.”

“We’ll keep going, Dink-” Grey-um starts as he opens the ninth door before being cut off by a trap!

Chief Inspector Grey-um #2 - The floor has given way, Grey-um and Dinkley falling, Palpatine looking down!.

The ground beneath their feet has swung down like a particularly tricky trap door and there's nothing for our heroes to grab hold of...

Right now Grey-um wishes he could fly but he can’t.

Chief Inspector Grey-um #2 - Dinkley lands on Grey-um, in a heap on the floor.

Fortunately Grey-um is a squidgy little adipose, immune from all but the highest of falls.

“Get off me, Dinkley! Are you alright?” says a winded Grey-um.

“Yes, sir, you broke my fall. Er, where’s your..? I parked it right here...”

“What?! Has someone stolen my pride and joy? You did lock it, didn’t you?”

“Of course, sir!”

“I think this was part of their plan all along, to get at me and you fell for it, Dinkley!”

“Wha..?” begins Dinkley, slightly incredulously.

“We’d better get back to the station, it’ll be a long walk.”

Chief Inspector Grey-um #2 - Grey-um back in his office, with Rory coming in.

It was indeed a long walk for Grey-um’s little legs but at last he is back in his office. Look, there’s Rory coming in, looking even more distressed than usual (he always was a pathetic specimen and in no way deserving of Amy).

“Yes, we’re still looking for Little Amelia, Mr. Pond. Should we be listing her as your wife or your adoptive daughter? You’re a very sick man, you know that?”

“What? No, it’s not just Amelia but now they’ve all gone! Amy, our grown up daughter River and my son-in-law the Doctor. Also the TARDIS!” says Rory, with more than a slight hint of panic.

“Calm down. How can you be sure they haven’t just left you behind - I know I would.” asks Grey-um.

“Because this puzzle was left, addressed to you.”

Chief Inspector Grey-um #2 - Third word search puzzle.

“Hmm, tricky. Okay Mr. Pond, we’ll let you know when we have any news.”

Chief Inspector Grey-um #2 - Dinkley enters Grey-um’s office as Rory leaves.

“Ah, Dinkley. Where have you been? We are now missing another three people. I can detect a pattern here - first one, then two and now three… What’s the matter?” Grey-um is asking a very puffed out looking Dinkley.

“It’s the Chief Super, sir! I think he’s been taken, too!” Dinkley is managing to get out between deep breaths.

“What?!” exclaims Grey-um.

“Yes, I just went to his office to tell him what happened to us and all I found was this puzzle…”

Chief Inspector Grey-um #2 - Fourth word search puzzle.

“Right, that does it. Enough of these games, let’s talk to my snout, The Head of Pertwee.” declares Grey-um.

“It’s going to be a long walk downstairs to the living room, sir.”

“Shut-up, Dinkley” barks Grey-um.

“I can borrow a pool vehicle, sir?”

Chief Inspector Grey-um #2 - Grey-um and Dinkley in the troop transport.

“This just isn’t the same, Dinkley…” groused Grey-um.

“It also smells of those unwashed uniformed officers, sir.”

“That it does, Dinkley. That it does. Worse than that, I don't have my music.”

“That's very unfortunate, sir.” says Dinkley in the most unconvincing way possible.

Chief Inspector Grey-um #2 - Grey-um and Dinkley hovering by the HoP’s usual place.  He is absent but in his place is the final word search puzzle.

“He’s gone, sir! Look there’s another word search puzzle on the ground - he’s been taken along with the rest of them!” cries Dinkley.

Chief Inspector Grey-um #2 - Fifth word search puzzle.

“This is really getting personal now and I don’t like it, Dinkley. Not one little bit.” complains Grey-um.

“Back to the office, sir?”

“What choice do we have? Though we should stop off for some drinks on the way…”

Chief Inspector Grey-um #2 - Back in the office, Grey-um and Dinkley looking at the word searches, attached to the walls.

“It’s no good, Dinkley. All I have for this first puzzle is ‘christmas’, ‘calendar’ and ‘vowfi’ - whatever that means…”

“Nothing, sir, that isn’t a word. I can also see ‘red’, along with ‘pond’ and ‘amelia’ - obviously the name of our first victim.”

“Hmm. Okay, Dinkley, on the second one I can see ‘advent’, ‘dalek’ and ‘demen’ - obviously a misspelling of ‘demon’.”

“I think that’s part of ‘demented’, sir. As in Derek the Demented Dalek. There’s also ‘herring’, which along with ‘red’ on the first one might have been a hint that the advent calendar wasn’t a real clue!”

Chief Inspector Grey-um #2 - All five word search puzzles.

“Alright, the third then, clever clogs.” challenges Grey-um.

“Er, ‘doctor’, ‘song’ and ‘pond’” says Dinkley, glancing at the puzzle.

“The victims again! I’m definitely seeing a pattern here. Continue!” orders Grey-um.

“Evil, going down that way…” points out Dinkley.

“Next puzzle, Sergeant.”

“On this fourth one I can see… Oh, this is a trickier one… There’s ‘chief’ going down. Er, ‘peru’ but that might be just random…”

“What about the final puzzle?” asks Grey-um.

“The fifth and, so far, final word search puzzle… ‘pertwee’... ‘huer’? Has Dr. Huer ever visited here?”

“No, that creepy old man was banged up for Twiki molestation years ago. Probably random again. See there, going down? Does ‘patine’ mean anything to you?” reaches Grey-um.

“No, sir, I think you’re making up words again. So, what about Wilma?” asks Dinkley, worried about someone with a vaguely similar name.

“Deering? Sold into slavery to Tigerman, I think. It all came off the rails after that terrible second season. Buck Rogers went postal after reading the early third season scripts. They never got made, of course. They talked about recasting but Lee Majors could only run in slow motion and that just didn’t work for them.” laments Grey-um.

“That’s a tragedy, sir.”

“Shut up, Dinkley! This isn’t helping. What do all the victims have in common?”

“Er, Doctor Who, sir?”

“Not Spock.” points out Grey-um.

“He was mentioned…”

“Too tenuous.”

“Look, sir - tree!” exclaims Dinkley, hopefully.

“There are no trees in my office, Dinkley. Do I need to send you on that special holiday of the rubber roomed hotel again?”

“No, sir, please not that again! Look, on the final puzzle, fourth column going down - ‘tree’!”

“I’ll let you off this time. So? It could be random, it’s a short word.” says Grey-um, doubtfully.

“Maybe but the first one has ‘christmas’, the second… there - ‘yule’! The third… there, towards the middle, going down - ‘solstice’. The fourth… the entire length - ‘saturnalia’ - isn’t that something like a Roman Christmas? The last one has ‘tree’. Christmas tree!” declares Dinkley.

“Dinkley, I think I’ve figured it out - they’re being held at the Christmas tree!” says Grey-um triumphantly, completely unwilling to be aware that it was actually Dinkley that had come up with the idea.

Chief Inspector Grey-um #2 - Grey-um and Dinkley, in the troop transport, above the Christmas tree.

“Look, down there sir. I think those presents are our missing persons!” suggests Dinkley.

“They must have heard us - they’re breaking out! Quickly, drop me off.” says Grey-um, urgently.

Chief Inspector Grey-um #2 - The captured toys are ripping out of their wrapping paper.

“Everybody lives! Except where’s the culprit? Who did this to all of you?” asks Grey-um of the kidnapped toys.

“The Evil Emperor Palpatine!” announces the Head of Pertwee, always on the ball and, for some reason, currently on a spring as if he were a jack-in-the-box.

Chief Inspector Grey-um #2 - The Evil Emperor is making a run for it.

“There he is - he’s getting away” cries the Doctor.

With a quick bounce on his spring the Head of Pertwee launches himself towards the fleeing Evil Emperor!

Chief Inspector Grey-um #2 - The Head of Pertwee lying on top of Palpatine in his CAT-2  with Grey-um rushing in.

“You’re nicked!” says Grey-um to the crushed remains of the Evil Emperor, before adding “Why did you do it?”

Chief Inspector Grey-um #2 - The Head of Pertwee lying on top of the dead Palpatine.

“To avenge all the forgotten Kenner Star Wars action figures…” the Evil Emperor Palpatine manages to get out with his dying breath.

Chief Inspector Grey-um #2 - Dinkley unwrapping the Falcon as Grey-um watches.

Dinkley has begun unwrapping the big present. Sure enough it is Grey-um's classic vehicle. Inspector Grey-um quickly joins her to finish off and is over the moon!

Chief Inspector Grey-um #2 - Grey-um and Dinkley back in the office, with Naked Tom Baker still wrapped up.

“Well, that’s another case wrapped up, Dinkley. All’s well that ends well.”

“Yes, all those kidnapped toys have been freed. Well, almost…” says Dinkley, eyeing the wrapped figure in the corner.

“Indeed. Strange that they should wait for us before breaking out. They must have sensed the Evil Emperor was rumbled at that point and couldn’t do them any more harm. That’s how great we are, Dinkley!”

“Still, sir, I’m not sure we should have let them string up his body like that… and the hitting...” says Dinkley, rather disapprovingly.

“Well, we learnt one thing - he wasn’t full of sweets!” laughs Grey-um.

“And what about the Chief Super, sir? He clearly can’t unwrap himself, so shouldn’t we help him?”

“What and have him wandering around here naked again? It puts me right off my lunch.”

“Sir…” warns Dinkley.

“Okay, okay. Maybe in a few days!”

Chief Inspector Grey-um #2 - close up with Dinkley, Grey-um and wrapped Naked Tom Baker, as if in hilarious freeze frame!

In typical fashion, Grey-um and Dinkley finish the case with a laugh into freeze frame.

Chief Inspector Grey-um #2 - Chief Inspector Grey-um will return in The Secret of the Secret of Death.