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DOCTOR, DOCTOR -- the world's greatest superhero sitcom

A while back, I read Roger Stern and Mike Mignola's brilliant Doctor Strange & Doctor Doom: Triumph and Torment. While that was a deeply affecting tale, they really missed an opportunity to turn it into a classic 80s sitcom. I have remedied that. Please enjoy the pilot script below, which I will sell to the lowest bidder.


DOCTOR, DOCTOR

Season 1, Episode 1: “Strange Bedfellows”


DOCTOR, DOCTOR is filmed before a live studio audience.


ACT ONE


INT. APARTMENT – EVENING


A tastefully but exotically decorated apartment, part Pottery Barn, part Hogwarts, on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. A handsome but serious and severe young man in his mid-twenties, VICTOR VON DOOM, sits at the kitchen table, his lips moving silently as he studies a massive leather-bound tome. His concentration is broken by the arrival of another handsome mid-twenties man, STEPHEN STRANGE, carefree and sporting an early-stage goatee.


STRANGE: Honey, I’m home.


Insert laugh track.


DOOM: Bah! Why do you always insist on spouting that hackneyed catchphrase every time you return from some fool errand?


STRANGE: Because they find it funny.


Strange winks knowingly at the audience. Insert laugh track.


DOOM: Who are you talking about? There is no one there! You are a madman!


STRANGE: Oh, am I?


Strange winks again at the audience. Insert laugh track. Again.


STRANGE: Anyway, what is it you’re failing to master today, Victor?


Doom scowls and closes his book.


DOOM: It is of no concern to you! Bah!


STRANGE: I’d offer to help, but I need to get ready—I’ve got a date.


DOOM: You waste your time with such trysts.


STRANGE: You’re just mad because such trysts won’t waste time with you.


Insert laugh track.


Cue theme song


One’s a handsome doctor of the medical variety

One’s an iron-fisted ruler of worldwide notoriety

They share an apartment on the Upper West Side

So they can go together on a mystical ride


One is shallow, one is deep

They split the rent because New York ain’t cheap


They’re not the best of friends and sometimes they like to fight

One’s an evil dictator; the other’s Tony Stark-lite

The sparks will surely fly when they’re in the same room

Oh, those wacky roommates, Doctor Strange and Doctor Doooooom!


INT. APARTMENT – EVENING


Doom is still sitting at the kitchen table, five empty coffee mugs spread around, head resting in his hand as he concentrates on the book he’s reading.


DOOM (muttering): Vector of the obtuse angle is equal to the hypotenuse of the—


A doorbell rings.


STRANGE (off-camera): Victor, be a dear and get the door, will you? I’m not quite finished making my toilet, as you Europeans might say.


DOOM (muttering again): I’ll make you INTO a toilet…my toilet…just need to find the right spell…


Doom opens the door, expecting to see Strange’s date for the evening. Instead, their neighbor from across the hall, SUSAN STORM, stands at the door. Susan is about the same age as Doom, blond, striking, and visibly upset.


DOOM: Susan!


Doom and Susan stand awkwardly for a moment.


SUSAN (sad, sniffling): Can I come in, Victor?


DOOM: Yes, yes, of course! Come in.


Doom moves aside and ushers Susan in, guiding her to a chair in the living room.


DOOM: Sit, please. I will get you some liquid refreshment.


SUSAN: Thank you, Victor.


Doom rushes to the kitchen to fetch a glass of water. He hands it to Susan, who takes it and drinks, offering Victor a grateful smile. We see Doom melt a little. Strange enters.


STRANGE: Ah, Suzy-Q! What brings you all the way across the hall to our humble abode? I refer only to the abode itself, of course, because more than fifty percent of its residents are exceedingly arrogant.


Doom scowls at Strange. Strange winks at him.


SUSAN: I need your help, Stephen. It’s…well, I need you to take a look at my Muffin.


STRANGE: I’m sorry, Suzy, but I’m just about to go on a date and even I draw the line at—


DOOM: Bah! She means her tiny dog, you fool!


Insert laugh track.


SUSAN (nodding): That’s right—she’s sick, Stephen. Can you examine her?


DOOM: You don’t need him! I will care for your ridiculously small canine.


SUSAN (gently): I appreciate that, Victor, but I thought I would ask Stephen because he’s…well, he’s…


STRANGE: A real doctor?


DOOM: I am a doctor as well!


STRANGE (snickering): Sure, Victor—those Ph.D.s will solve all of his problems. Maybe you can help Muffin with his organic chem homework.


Insert laugh track.


DOOM: Bah! With your wasted hands, you would be better served having Rictor perform surgery on the canine.


SUSAN: Huh?


STRANGE: I think, though I may be wrong, our friend Victor is trying to make a joke—you see, Ms. Storm, my hands were badly injured in a car accident and I can no longer perform surgery, so “Doctor” Doom was suggesting that a D-list superhero with earthquake-based powers, namely Rictor, would be more effective in operating on your dog. Jokes, you may have guessed, are not Victor’s strong suit.


Pause.


STRANGE: I might have gone with Michael J. Fox…


Insert laugh track.


Doom looks confused. Susan offers a disgusted sigh.


STRANGE: Too soon?


SUSAN: Forget it—I’ll just call Reed.


STRANGE: I’m sure “Mister Fantastic” will make everything all right with his super-stretchy—


Susan storms out, slamming the door behind her and drowning out Strange’s last word.


STRANGE: Well, that was fun. I need to finish getting ready.


DOOM: Are you planning to remove the tiny and poorly groomed rodent from your face before your date? I would recommend it, as I am given to understand that people do not usually enjoy rodents rubbing against their faces during the act of saliva exchange.


STRANGE: Rodent…?


Strange rubs his hand across his chin, feels his goatee, and grins.


STRANGE: That was actually pretty good, Victor. Maybe there’s hope for you after all.


Strange goes into the kitchen and looks in the sink. He sighs.


STRANGE: Dammit, Victor! You know you’re on dish duty this week.


Strange gestures toward a multicolored paper plate on the refrigerator.


STRANGE: Did you not look at the chore wheel?


DOOM: Bah! The wheel is rigged.


STRANGE: How dare you suggest that the assignation of chores is not entirely fair and random.


Strange spins the wheel.


STRANGE (muttering softly): Winds of Watoomb blow softly and with grace…make sure the wheel ends up in the right…place.


The wheel comes to a stop on a blue square.


STRANGE: Ah, see! “Be handsome.” That’s my chore for today. The wheel never lies.


DOOM: One day I will laugh over your broken corpse.


STRANGE: Well, until then, I need to finish getting ready for my date.


Strange moves off screen to return to the bathroom; Doom resumes studying.


DOOM (reading): Titration must be executed to the proper amount within 1000 parts per mL or the spell will—


There is a knock at the door. Victor glares malevolently at it.


DOOM: Doom will not brook further interruption!


Doom mutters the words of a spell and flings his left hand toward the door. An eldritch bolt of light shoots out and melts the doorknob.


Strange enters the room, surveys the situation, and shakes his head in frustration.


STRANGE: You know that Howard won’t come and fix our doorknob anymore, right? You were standing here when he told us that. When he told you that, really.


DOOM: Bah! I have Ph.D.s in physics, engineering, and biochemistry. Doom can fix a doorknob.


STRANGE: Well, you know what they say—you are what you fix…


Insert laugh track.


Strange approaches the door.


STRANGE: Who is it? I’d open the door, but we’re having a minor mechanical problem with it.


There is no answer. Strange and Doom look at each other. Both men nod slightly and prepare to conjure spells.


STRANGE: Be right with you…opening the door just now…


Strange yanks the door open, ripping it from its hinges, as he and Doom prepare to blast whoever is on the other side.


BRICK JONES, a handsome African-American man in his late-20s, stands in the hallway, looking sad.


STRANGE: Brick! You’re early. I’m…still getting dressed.


Strange looks down at his attire, which is a satin bathrobe and his red magical cape.


STRANGE: Though maybe I don’t need to get any more dressed than this…


Strange smiles wickedly at Brick.


BRICK: Look, Stephen…I’ve been thinking.


STRANGE: It’s never good when someone says that.


DOOM: Bah! I am always thinking.


STRANGE: Thank you for proving my point.


Insert laugh track.


BRICK: This just isn’t working.


STRANGE: This?


BRICK: This…us. This whole thing. I just can’t.


STRANGE: Why?


DOOM: Perhaps he does not enjoy having a rodent rubbed against his face.


Strange glares at Doom, who resumes studying at the table.


BRICK: It’s all this magic, man.


STRANGE: What about it?


BRICK: It’s too much. It’s freaking me out.


STRANGE: Why?


BRICK: Flying ghost snakes…tiny little demons…horny lady devils…I can’t deal with it, Stephen. It creeps me out, and I’m tired of worrying that every time my boyfriend goes to work, he’s going to get his soul eaten. Or have sex with a horny lady devil.


STRANGE: The Sorcerer Supreme does what the Sorcerer Supreme must do to protect the Earth. Even horny lady devils, if that’s what the job calls for.


Brick shakes his head.


BRICK: I’m sorry, Stephen—I really am. You’re an easy man to care about. Maybe even love. But I need something…something more normal. Not this.


Brick hugs Strange, who stands stiffly and does not return the hug.


BRICK: Goodbye, Stephen. Be safe.


Brick leaves and closes the door behind him. Strange stands staring at the door for a moment before walking over to the kitchen table and flopping down into the chair next to Doom. He sits silently, staring into space. Doom continues to study his book. Finally, Stephen lets out a long, slow breath and stands up.


STRANGE: Pancakes?


Doom looks up from his book.


DOOM: What are pancakes?


STRANGE: You don’t know what pancakes are?


DOOM: Is it not generally standard rhetorical practice to ask a question of someone when one does not know what someone is talking about?


STRANGE: Seriously? Are there no pancakes in Latveria?


Strange begins rummaging around the kitchen, getting out the ingredients for pancakes.


STRANGE: They’re light, golden, fluffy, flat little breakfast cakes that you top with butter, maple syrup, whipped cream, fruit…whatever you want.


DOOM: Like a Doomcrepe.


STRANGE: A Doomcrepe?


DOOM: You do not know what Doomcrepes are?


STRANGE: No. What’s a Doomcrepe?


DOOM: It is like a pancake, as you describe it. It is a traditional Latverian breakfast food.


STRANGE: And it’s named after you?


DOOM: It is named for my family. Everything in Latveria is named for the Von Dooms.


STRANGE: Toilets?


DOOM: Doombowls.


STRANGE: Chicken fingers?


DOOM: Doomnuggets.


STRANGE: Vibrators?


DOOM: We do not have such things in Latveria. Von Dooms properly satisfy their lovers.


Insert laugh track.


STRANGE: Touché.


Strange busies himself mixing up the ingredients for the pancakes while Doom yawns, stretches, and rises from his seat. Doom picks up a cup from the table and moves over to the kitchen sink to fill it with water. Just at that moment, Strange moves to drop an egg shell in the sink, and the two very nearly collide, ending up face-to-face just inches away from each other.


DOOM: You impede Doom's path to hydration!


Strange looks sad, almost on the verge of tears.


DOOM (softly): I am sorry, Stephen. About your friend. He does not understand the difficulties faced by one who would be Sorcerer Supreme. He is a lesser mind.


STRANGE (sniffling): I…thanks, Victor. It’s just…it’s hard.


Doom stares at Strange. It’s clear that there is tension between the two, and not just because Strange is preventing Doom from getting water.


DOOM: Yes. It is indeed…hard.


The two move closer, their lips very nearly touching.


STRANGE: I thought you had a thing for Sue Storm.


DOOM: I find Susan intoxicating.


STRANGE: Then….then what’s this all about?


Their lips very nearly brush together.


DOOM: Von Dooms are sexual omnivores.


STRANGE: Then maybe we should…


Doom pulls away.


DOOM: Bah! Doom must visit the doombowl. Stand aside, wizard.


Doom moves past Strange toward the bathroom, but stops and looks back.


DOOM: But perhaps…in the fullness of time.


Doom moves off screen, headed for the bathroom. Strange stands still for a moment, his gaze following Doom, both confused and intrigued.


STRANGE: You’re just full of surprises, Victor. Hopefully Strange surprises…


Insert laugh track.


INT. APARTMENT BATHROOM – EVENING


Doom stands in the bathroom, staring into the mirror. As he looks, a woman’s ghostly face appears. The woman looks anguished.


DOOM (talking to the face in the mirror): I will save you—I swear it. I will save your soul, Mother. No matter what it takes. Even if it means…even if it means climbing into bed with strange bedfellows.


END ACT ONE—APPLAUSE


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