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Jon Pertwee's Doctor had a love of well-meaning, but ultimately patronising speeches, often incorporating very watered-down Buddhist concepts. The Japanese idea of 'Mottainai' would appear to fit the mould very well - to oversimplify, the idea is that all things have essential diginity, and that to waste food, or time, or throw stuff away affronts those things on a spiritual level.

I'm afraid I've sailed straight past 'Day of the Daleks' (which actually features some cheese), and gone for the post-Exile Pertwee of seasons 10-11, where his era really started to grow in ambition, and where a lot of the most emotional drama is to be found.

Cut from this song during editing:
• more verses about how the Doctor is a pacifist who loves hitting people
• an extra chorus, about the TARDIS fridge, and renewable energy.
• a verse in Welsh about 'serendipedd'


My venerable teacher on Gallifrey
Said milk is not just curds and whey
Don’t throw your waste out carelessly
For each cheese has a dignity
It’s a shame for the cheesiest cheese to die
Yes he taught me the principle of Mottainai

I had a few words for the weary Thal
As we chatted over Riesling and Emmental
Destroying foes is far from nice
Blow them up or entomb in ice
Don’t throw away lives on a dream of glory
It pays to be conservatory
I told the chap, don’t go and die
What of

Jo, that’s why
We recycle, never waste
Save the planet
Eat the stilton
Add a little wine to taste.

But when talking fails, I can never resist,
Oh I roll my sleeves and use my fists
With the slightest of moves I’ll shout out HAI
In accord with the principles of Mottainai
It pays to conserve one’s energies,
For life’s not always port and cheese.
Sometimes one’s palatte can grow dry

Jo, that’s why
Re-use is duty, time’s a perk
Save your paper
Don’t waste ink
I have no time for paperwork

Down at the Global Chemical plant
I made my point and I made my stand
I said ‘good grief, Stevens, don’t be a fool!
Don’t sell your planet for a fossil fuel’
But Mottainai couldn’t make him budge,
Nor meditate on flammable sludge.
He blew the whole place sky high

Jo, that’s why
These communes live on mushroom soup
See a power
In each flower
Love in every cantaloupe
So the fledgeling flies the coop
Such is Mottainai

And now my end is here at last
The new man comes, the old must pass
I crossed the void beyond the mind
I ate the cheese, I kept the rind
I’ll lay me down and close my eyes
(Was I ever dignified)
But where there’s life there’s…

(with regeneration energy:)

Yes that’s why
Large as life and good as new
Back for more
For number four, it’s
Television’s Dr Who (…echoed)
And he’s our guy


from Time and Relative Digressions on Cheese, released June 30, 2015




Ben Swithen Sheffield, UK

Ben Swithen is a person.

Here you can find their music - solo work, and a Doctor-Who- and-Cheese double-concept concept-album by The Potential Bees (who are a two- or three- person band), which forces both concepts into every song).

You can also find Ben Swithen on Youtube, but why would you even?
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