It's No Good Without Evidence by Paul Beardsley
Scene: The front room of a semi-detached house in Cambridge. The year is 1980. Syd Barrett sits alone watching TV and strumming a guitar.
Enter Dr Flump, carrying a heavy Tesco shopping bag which he puts down on a table.
Barrett: Hi, Doctor Flump. Did you manage to get some of that Crest toothpaste?
Flump: Yes, but they didn't have any of those sample tubes. But don't worry, I got you some of your regular Colgate in case you don't like Crest, and I don't mind using up the Crest, so it won't go to waste.
Barrett: You're the best, Doc.
Flump (blushing): Well hey, it's just so cool temporarily sharing a house with former Pink Floyd guitarist Syd Barrett. What have you been up to?
Barrett: Watching Scooby-Doo and strumming some tracks from the Piper at the Gates of Dawn album.
Flump (screwing up his face): I stopped watching when they introduced Scrappy Doo. I can't imagine any popular franchise ever coming up with a more irritating character. On an unrelated subject, I hear The Empire Strikes Back is getting good reviews - some say it's even better than the original Star Wars film.
Barrett: I agree with you on all the points you've just made. And by the way, it's pretty cool for me too.
Flump: What's cool?
Barrett: Temporarily sharing a house with a fully qualified doctor whose amusing surname inspired Julie Holder to create a children's TV series.
Flump: You're making me blush!
Barrett: Speaking of doctors, you know all about science and all that, right? Well, anyway, I've got this theory.
Flump: Tell me more!
Barrett: Basically, my theory - and if it's right it'll blow a number of preconceived ideas out of the water - is that Dr John Dee, under the reign of Elizabeth the First, built a sort of space and time vehicle, a bit like Doctor Who's TARDIS. Except it wasn't bigger on the inside than the outside of course!
Flump: No, that would be ridiculous.
Barrett: Anyway, Elizabeth went travelling with some of her subjects, including the Earl of Essex, and they visited Mars and the Roman Empire and all stuff like that. When Elizabeth died and James the First of England and James the Sixth of Scotland came to the throne, they put a stop to it. Everyone thinks they were really scared of witches, but the truth is, they were afraid someone would use it to go back in time and kill Mary Queen of Scots before she'd given birth to them.
Flump: It sounds intriguing!
Barrett: Thank you.
Flump: It seems to fit all the facts, except the bit about you using the plural to refer to James I and James VI.
Barrett: Oh I knew they were the same person. It's just that royals often use "we" instead of "I".
Flump: I will write it up immediately. It's something the world needs to know. Incidentally, could you give me a brief run-down of the evidence you have to support this theory?
Barrett: Ah, you have me there. I don't actually have any evidence at all.
Flump: What a shame. As a theory it sounds great, but... Well, it's no good without evidence.
Barrett: I guess you're right. Oh, and by the way...
Barrett: Macleans toothpaste is my favourite, not Colgate.