Monday, June 1, 2009

Dalek Empire III

- Dustbin Umpire: Mutually Assured Hygiene -

Episode 1: The Incinerators

Long ago, a Dustbin invasion of the galaxy was thwarted by Roj Blake, with his usual consideration for civilian casualties in the wave of all-encompassing destruction described by normal people as the Great Catastrophe that shattered the civilization of the Milky Way back to the Stone Age. On the plus side the same destructive impulse destroyed every single bit of Dustbin merchandizing in the galaxy, and even smashed the living crap out of the Microsoft-Sans-Serif Galaxy where the rest of the Dustbins were cowering in their humiliating panic attack as the destruction came straight for them.

However, the Cult of Fargo were around to stop the last few dozen Dustbins being blown to smithereens. Drawing lots, Venus de Milo was unlucky enough to be the one to absorb the full force of the destruction and contain it, stopping the apocalypse in its tracks. By a freaky coincidence, it meant Venus de Milo was totally possessed by a strange split personality containing the Emperor Dustbin and Susan Mendez. This disturbed gestalt with its creepy girly voice was thus chosen to be the replacement for the e’er loveable el Lavros:

The Dustbin Suzpreme!!!

Meanwhile, the survivors of the Great Catastrophe have long since forgotten about said Catastrophe and gotten on with their lives until, some 200 years later, it has been discovered the Dustbins have got their act together and are returning to the shattered galaxy. Si Tarkov was sent to get evidence from Sally-Anne Hardew that the Dustbins are in any way worth worrying about.

Alas, on his way home, Tarkov gets a particularly nasty and embarrassing social disease after a stop off on the accurately-named planet Scabies. So ashamed is Tarkov he decides to cryogenically freeze himself until such time as humanity has a cure, and completely forgets to warn everyone about the Dustbins.

20 years later, his frozen body is recovered by the Galactic Union Monopoly of Practicalities (or GUMP), who reveal that the venereal disease has over the decades become a plague that is decimating the Border Worlds and the only cure has left Tarkov with a permanent stutter and the cold mechanical sound of The Human League’s "Tom Baker" running through his head. On top of that, everyone’s forgotten what the hell they send him to Sally-Anne in the first place, so the whole thing has been a waste of time -–sad but true.

Commander of GUMP, Brigadier Giorgi Selestru briefs his chief scientific advisor – a thin, spikey-haired young man in a long coat who shouts "Jings!" in a Scottish accent – about the situation and the possible return of the Dustbins. Toying with his sonic screwdriver, the Doctor agrees to do it as it’s something to take his mind off that nasty business with Donna Noble and a severed arm...

Meanwhile in the Graxis system of heritage listed small, blue-green planetoids where the Graxis Wardens run a wildlife park no one bothers to visit since the only way to get there is jump off a spaceship from low orbit, disturbing crap is starting to occur. UFOs are spotted and Wardens are found dead, yet perfectly clean. Worse, the STD plague means all the worlds are quarantined, so no help can arrive and basically everything’s going to shit.

It soon becomes clear that strange rubbish-bin shaped robot creatures are at large on the planet and, unlike every single human being ever to see the title, the Wardens can only wonder who the hell these aliens are and what they want. Just then, a smug bastard called Carnal with a funny walk arrives and explains that these are the Dustbins who now control the Graxis system for one reason and one reason only:

To cure the STD plague!!!

Episode 2: The Hurters

The Doctor decides to begin his investigation in the Scaly system, one of the first places to report the STD plague and where Si caught the disease. Under the cunning pseudonym of Dr. Dennis Wheatly, the Doctor travels there in his police-box shaped time machine and starts to have a look round, too busy singing "Ghostbusters" to himself to notice he is being stalked by a woman who looks just like Janis Joplin.

Back in the Galactic Union, Selestru goes to the pub with Si and breaks the news that his wife Erica is dead and his daughter Amur is all grown up and rather annoyed it’s taken two decades for Si to go out and buy some milk.

Meanwhile, on Graxis Major, the Dustbins are kicking bottom as the gullible Carnal is convinced that pointlessly exterminating the primates of the local jungles will somehow cure the plague. Apparently the cure works by murdering small cute, furry animals which is why all the planets in the Graxis system MUST be carpet bombed, no matter what the dramatic irony of heritage worlds being the first to be vandalized. To pad out the episode, the Dustbins slaughter lots of non-speaking redshirt workers for want of something to do.

On the planet Scabies, the Doctor checks into a bed and breakfast run by a nice old lady called Mavis while the Janis Joplin lookalike offers the Time Lord a job at the Healing Zone trying to cure the STD, which is rather oddly named as the function of the mini city is to infect as many people with the virus as possible. The Doctor broods over the fact the whole enterprise is part of Dustbin Umpire PLC...

Episode 3: The Dead

Beginning to realize that his gadfly Time Lord may not be the best source of espionage, Brigadier Selestru sends Tarkov and Amur to the Border Worlds – where they can get both evidence of what the Dustbins are up to and maybe a speech therapist for Tarkov. It is only once the dynamic duo have smuggled themselves onto a medical supply ship that occurs to them both that they won’t be permitted to return. Just then the medical ship is bushwacked by the Dustbins.

Tarkov starts swearing very loudly, which means his stutter is getting better if nothing else.

Brigadier Selestru is pretty pissed off too as the GUMP senior officers demand he explain exactly what they hell he’s been doing with all his spies, since imbd reveals Si Tarkov’s daughter died in the same crash that killed his wife. Whoever the woman is with Tarkov, it isn’t his daughter! Ooh, it’s like Eastenders, innit?

On the planet Graxis Major, the last of the Wardens are trying to escape from the Dustbins as they begin to mash the planet up like so much plasticine. No sooner do they get to their spaceship, Ferret 1 when it becomes obvious that Kaymee – representing the cute teenage demographic – has somehow contracted the STD plague and so must be left behind to die lest the plague spreads to the others. Trying to establishing himself as a tragic figure rather than a generic traitor, Carnal offers to stay behind with Kaymee so the Dustbins can cure her. Aw, bless.

Elsewhere, the Dustbins are keeping an eye on the mad Scot in the glasses and pinstripe suit, convinced there’s something curiously familiar about him for some reason. However, the Doctor has a nifty ring of invisibility he picked up on Middle Earth, allowing him to go wherever he damn well pleases and thus decides to follow the IV tubes into the patients, as he’s suspicious of pretty much every hospital nowadays and is convinced evil is at work. Course, the Dustbins being there as well probably is a hint.

The Dustbin Suzpreme is deeply disturbed by the situation and orders the Dustbins to stop fannying about and hunt the chic geek down. This proves ridiculously easy as the Doctor is breaking into the Dustbin Suzpreme’s secret control room right now.

"What?" exclaims the Doctor as he is restrained and forced to his knees before the strange green Dustbin leader.

"SO, DOCTOR – WE MEET AGAIN!" booms the cyborg in the ring-modulated voice of Susan Mendez.

"What?!?" the Doctor boggles.



Episode 4: The (Lonely) Angels

The Dustbin Suzpreme is now interrogating the Doctor demanding to know what the hell he’s been doing since that pesky little incident on Spiridon with Kate Tollinger. "What the hell are you on about?" asks the Tenth Doctor in bewilderment.

To his surprise, the Dustbin Suzpreme releases him and orders him to visit a certain patient in the Healing Zone; Si Tarkov (small universe when there’s small cast, huh?) and Amur who turns out to be a Dustbin clone agent from the good old days, like Morli in "Warzone" except with a less silly accent. She has been working to undermine both Tarkov and Selestru, the only ones who are relevant to the ongoing story arc.

Upon learning how screwed over he’s been, Tarkov swears like a trooper, fully regaining the power of speech. Until Amur/Elaria bitch-slaps him unconscious.

However, the Doctor cunningly uses a Vulcan mind meld on Elaria and is able to break her Dustbin conditioning and restore her free will. Elaria realizes what a bitch she’s been to Tarkov and starts pouting so much the Doctor is forced to put on the invisibility ring and they escape, then run back, pick up Tarkov and escape again. As the Dustbins can’t see them, this works surprisingly well.

Elsewhere, the Graxis Wardens are on the run after their planets were nuked by the Dustbins for the greater good – but we already knew that, but did we know by similar freaky coincidence they’ve come to the Scaly system to check out the Healing Zones. And so, they land just at the exact moment that the Doctor, Elaria and Tarkov need a getaway vehicle.

But at the last second the Dustbins intercept them! IS THIS THE END?!

A clue: no.

Episode 5: The Cowards

At the last moment, the Wardens fire their ship’s rarely-used laser canon and blow up the Dustbins, allowing the fugitives to come on board and take off before the flying Dustbins catch up with them and the Dustbin Suzpreme freaks out embarrassingly.

With his usual mixture of charm, foibles and raw sexual potency, the Doctor easily convinces the Wardens to trust him while giving the bare minimum of info about how the hell they got into the mess, while suggesting they all head back to Gauda Prime AGAIN and get some evidence about the Dustbins being evil AGAIN and THIS time get GUMP to do a damn thing about it.

The bad news is that the Dustbins are already heading for Gauda Prime to destroy the evidence, but the good news is that if they weren’t, they would have been here to blow up the Ferret 1 before they escaped the planet below. Life’s a bitch, huh?

In the meantime, Kaymee has received the cure for the STD and now started suffering strange LSD visions of her absentee father being hunted down by Dustbins and strange fantasies of being trapped inside a surprisingly comfortable Dustbin casing. She begins sleepwalking and her flesh starts to drip with green slime.

The increasing unwell Carnal starts to suspect that the Dustbin Healing Zones may not be 100 per cent reliable, especially when he twigs that they are pumping lethal radiation throughout the hospital, slowly killing everyone except the 'cured' patients who are starting to transform into Dustbin mutant embryos!

Carnell works out how monumentally badly he’s screwed up about three seconds before the Dustbins exterminate him. It’s amazing how often you come across that in these Dustbin spin-offs, isn’t it?

Aboard the Ferret 1, Tarkov wakes off and is in a monumentally shitty mood, which is kind of understandable given everything, and goes and sulks in the engine room – which is just annoying as the Wardens are in the middle of trying to nick some petrol from a Dustbin base on the moon of a forgotten gas giant. As you do.

Nevertheless, they refuel and escape with another nick-of-time-escape-from-the-jaws-of-death style maneuver and Elaria points out that the Doctor is kind of assuming a lot about her, like she won’t instinctively sell them out to the Dustbins, who are even now turning the Border Homes into the breeding ground of the greatest Dustbin army ever assembled since the LAST one the Doctor blew up. Indeed, it’s also the smallest Dustbin army as it is in truth the only one what with the Great Catastrophe doing more damage to the tin-plated assholes in five minutes than Eric Saward managed in three years.

The Doctor is confident that as long as they get to Gauda Prime before the Dustbins, they can sort this all out in less than 45 minutes. Of course, little does he know the Dustbins are following the Ferret-1 and the Dustbin Suzpreme is ranting that once the Doctor is exterminated, the Dustbins will be victorious!

Cause THAT plan has never failed before...

Episode 6: The Past

Back in the Galactic Union, Brigadier Selestru has concrete proof that the Dustbins are evil but unfortunately it’s the same proof that shows the Brigadier is a corrupt cheating lying scumbag. Still, you can’t have everything now, can you?

Meanwhile, the Dustbins exterminate Mavis and Janis Joplin lookalike as they’re speaking parts with no further narrative function. The rest of the inhabitants of the planet are having their genetic code rewritten by the radiation killing everyone who hasn’t caught the STD. It’s a bit harder to be philosophical about this scenario, which plain sucks from everyone’s point of view.

On the Ferret 1, the Doctor is beginning to wish he’d used his TARDIS than the incredibly tedious sub-light space yacht which takes six freaking months to get anywhere interesting. What’s more, Tarkov gets all depressing and notes that an upcoming war against the Dustbins will make good people complete bastards and ruin the stability and peace of the previous golden age.

Finally, they reach Gauda Prime and finally notice the Dustbin saucer following them. Is Elaria responsible?! Actually, no, but there’s still a very, very long paranoid-filled discussion on the topic before they pop out to see the now hideously old Sally-Anne Hardew who is not impressed about Tarkov’s success rate over the last two decades.

No sooner has Tarkov actually explained the mess they’re in than the Dustbin battleship attacks. The Wardens flee in the Ferret 1, leaving the Doctor, Elaria and Tarkov behind. But they get their comeuppance when the Dustbins blow up the Ferret-1 and all aboard, while the Dustbins arrive and exterminate Sally-Anne because things just weren’t depressing enough already.

Thinking quickly, the Doctor, Tarkov and Elaria sneak into the Dustbin saucer and use their broadband hyper-beam transmitter (capable of reaching other galaxies, after all) and use it to send the evidence to GUMP. However, the Doctor decides to prove he trusts Elaria by letting her operate the transmitter and trust she doesn’t instantly stab them in the back.

Finally they are caught by the Dustbins and taken prisoner, brought before the Dustbin Suzpreme. The transsexual cyborg asks Tarkov why they fight Dustbins when the Dustbins are obviously superior, since if humanity is to defeat them they will become so paranoid, aggressive, uniform and tidy they might as well BE Dustbins. For a bit of casual sadism, the Dustbin Suzpreme explains that her new Southern Bapist personality will allow the Dustbins to rule the cosmos and then turns Tarkov into a Dustbin (he had the STD and the cure, remember? Damn it, dude, keep up!)

The Doctor rains on the parade by pointing out that they sent the message and the Dustbins can’t stop GUMP and Brigadier Selestru from organizing the Galactic Union against the Dustbins. But Elaria laughs evilly and reveals she never sent the message, and indeed has been betraying him to the Dustbins all along – and the worst bit is they’ll never know if Elaria’s lying or not, as the Dustbin Suzpreme immediately exterminates her!

The Doctor blows out his cheeks and concedes that things are looking grim – unless, of course, he simply uses his TARDIS to escape the Dustbins, contact GUMP and warn them to be ready for war, whilst simultaneously using some 51st century nanogenes to revert the mutant plague victims BACK into human beings.

And he does just that.

The Dustbin Suzpreme stares at the spot the Time Lord once stood for quite a long time before finally finding its voice: "YOU REALIZE, OF COURSE, THIS – MEANS – WAR?!?!"

Book(s)/Other Related – Dr Who & The Creepy Shemale Dustbin
Big Finish Short Hops: Dustbin Umpire Cash-In
"So, You Have Herpes And A Strange Desire To Exterminate Bipeds?": the NHS free information pamphlet!

Fluffs – Nicholas Briggs seemed overshadowed by a canonical Doctor for most of this spin-off audio series.

"Do you mind telling me what you’re doing on my property?"
"Trespassing! What does it look like? Jings..."

"Oh, I’m thick! Thick-thick-thick! Thick as month-old custard! I need a new and less thick head! When’s Matt Smith taking over?"

Fashion Victims – the Gorilla-Grams for the evolving primates on the Graxis planets fooled precisely no one.

Goofs – How the hell can this be a missing adventure for the Tenth Doctor as played by David Tennant when not only hasn’t he been cast yet, but his predecessor has yet to film an episode?! Was this actually recorded in 2009 and sent back in time for Big Finish to warn humanity of some kind of oncoming disaster? Or am I missing something really, really, REALLY obvious? Seriously, that’s been known to happen!

Dialogue Disasters -

DOCTOR: I’m all ears. Well, used to be.

DOCTOR: Yep, that’s me. Hurray!

TARKOV: I don’t trust you!
DOCTOR: But I trust you, Tarkov! Remember that determination in your distress call? Where’s that determination now, eh? You’ve lost sight of it, but, well, given what you’ve suffered since then, who could blame you? If you have given up, then you’ve every right to. I won’t force you to help me. I’m sorry, Tarkov. I’m so, so sorry.
TARKOV: ...all right, Doctor. I’ll help.
(long pause)
DOCTOR: That was too soon, wasn’t it? Came across all cynical. Is that who I am now? Cynical and not ginger?

SALLY-ANNE: None of us can control the future; all we can do is our best, and hope that the next chapter of history is a good one.
DOCTOR: Jings, shows how much YOU know, pal!

Dialogue Triumphs –

DOCTOR: Aw, humans. I’ve lost count of the number of times that I’ve sung your praises, you know? Told everyone how endlessly inventive, how incredibly adventurous you lot are? Snatching victory from the jaws of defeat, battling against the odds, yadda, yadda, yadda. I tend to forget about the times when you’re stupid, stubborn and fail to learn from your mistakes. But what the hell, I like living in denial!

ELARIA: Why are we even bothering to try to defeat the Dustbins? We can’t stop them! Nothing can stop them! It’s impossible!
DOCTOR: Just because something’s impossible, that’s no reason to quit!
ELARIA: Um, yes it is!
DOCTOR: Look, I happen to LIKE impossible. Impossible is a challenge. Any old chancer can do ALMOST impossible, but the real thing, the genuine article – THAT’S the one that sorts out the legends from the wannabes! And which are YOU, babe?!

TARKOV: It’s what we’ve got and those filthy machines can never have! It’s to do with instinct and gut feelings and the conviction we can do the garbage at the last minute and not worry about till the morning!

DOCTOR: Oh, fine. Keep pointing guns at me, might help you believe you've got some power over the situation. Now, is it true? Have you turned my friend into Dustbin?
DOCTOR: Is it my future, too?
DOCTOR: Nope. Sorry. Wrong.
DOCTOR: No matter how much human beings much change their attitudes if they’re forced to fight a war, a human will ALWAYS be better than a Dustbin.
DOCTOR: In what way?! Superior cleaners? Huh? Superior lust for hygiene and dusting maybe? But that’s IT, isn’t it? That’s ALL you can EVER have!
DOCTOR: Oh, I dunno. Contentment? Being happy with who or what you are? You’re never at peace. Are you? You’re always looking for your next enemy, your next mess. TRUE superiority comes from the ability just to BE, to EXIST and be GLAD of it!
DOCTOR: Yet you keep upping the ante, don’t you? This galaxy, the next galaxy. You’ll finally stop when you clean the entire universe, will you? I DON’T FINK SO! You’ll find something else to obsess over, something else to occupy your time! Sudoku, maybe! Well, anyway, if you’re not going to turn me into a Dustbin, you should just get on and kill me!
DOCTOR: You might as well, because you’ll never learn from what I’m telling you! You NEVER understand! You’ll just carry on SCRUBBING and POLISHING and YOU’LL NEVER KNOW – oh, what’s the use?
DOCTOR: You’ll never know friendship for one thing!
DOCTOR: Oh, I know you have your emotional responses, your passion, your anger – human beings have those too. But what marks them out from you, what makes them BETTER than you is that sense of quiet fulfillment that comes from being able to turn to a fellow human being and be happy. So, maybe you CAN defeat the Galactic Union. Maybe you succeed in making the Human Race extinct. But you will NEVER be better than them. Because you just don’t LIKE yourselves. It’s that kind of simple, calm emotion that truly gives any creature REAL power.
DOCTOR: You really want to know?
DOCTOR: Jings. Ah well. Life hurts. Things change, people come and go, nothing lasts. But if you don’t engage with people, if you don’t allow yourself to care... Well, if you do that, then you’re not really alive, are you? And on that note – ALLONZEEEE!!

Viewer’s Quotes –

"Wow, the Dustbins actually turn out to be evil! And they’re behind the STD they’re out to cure? YOU DON’T SAY!!" - Nigel Verkoff (2003)

"After nearly an entire year moaning about how repetitive and bland their releases have been it gives me great pleasure to announce 2004 has seen something of a coup of quality that is showing no signs of being overthrown. Let Nick Briggs write every single story! He's too fucking good, he's showing everyone else up! I could kiss Briggsy all over until his skin was sore! I’m not going to, though."
- Jo Ford Prefect (2005)

"With a shock ending like a nude Kate Winslet in a dull historical drama, David Tennant’s face-off with the Dustbins shows most of the television Doctors how they should have spoken to their foes – it should be required listening for Christopher Eccleston!"
- Owen Dave (DWM # 352 just before Eccleston quit)

"Did Elaria send the message? Of course she bloody did! The Dustbin Suzpreme actually SAYS Elaria sent the message! What a stupid bloody attempt to create tension! Briggsy, I got an arse-kicking for you!"
- Ewen Campion-Clarke (2005)

"You have invisible people in an audio. Put that right up with rail privatization, Cliff Richard’s The Millennium Prayer and as such a dumb idea I suspect there may be some kind of conspiracy going on here." - ()

"This Dustbin Umpire series is a cheap, unnecessary, unsatisfying trick! Well, not CHEAP, actually, this set me back three hundred bucks. Well, no more, Big Finish. Suck on a hamster, I’m not falling for this again. Bit torrent for me from now on!" - Dave Restal (2006)

"Mmm. Characters woken up from hibernation to find all their relatives are dead, an evil race who transform you from within, gun-totting warrior women, genetic experiments, a high death count, space battles, android replicants... Briggsy, hear my words, read my lips, decipher my semaphore: if I want to see Aliens I will rent the fucking DVD so don’t keep forcing this crap on me! Bored of Ironing was bad enough!"
- Jared "Hashish Addict" Hansen (2008)

David Tennant Speaks! (2003)
"I turned down the National Theatre to do this, you know. It’s great fun though, I love them and they’re so well-cast if not well-written. I remember the Dustbin Annuals when I was a kind and was expecting this to be like them – and they ARE, in a way. Just less sophisticated with political situations so simple even Bush and Blair could sort them out. And not quite as exciting. I remember watching Genocide of the Dustbins when I was little with Lavros and all that. It’s so nice be playing the Doctor, but I’d probably never get to do the real thing."

David Tennant Speaks! (2005)
"Yeah, it IS a slightly curious coincidence now I think about it."

Sarah Mowat Speaks!
"Nick Briggs gave me a little master class in Dustbin voice, and my shrieking high-pitched, staccato delivery was completely knackering. Big breaths, sunken chests, am I better than the rest? It makes a change from Briggsy though. He does things to microphone stands that keep me awake at nights. No one must ever know..."

Thomas Cookson’s Deranged Rantings –
A man who despises modern society, culture, civilization and above all Doctor Who (and who firmly believes all four should have ended in 1979 in a massive thermonuclear war ending the misery of existence) insists on giving his voice over this oft-forgotten niche product:

"It is enormously tempting to regard Dustbin Umpire: MAH as non-canonical, a wrong turn like something Douglas Adams might have retconned as a plural zone. Mind you, the new fast-food artificial zany coolness series isn’t canonical, either with its mean, bullish trampling with no respect for my dignity and good taste! How DARE Russell not fit my criteria! How dare he be so bitching, sneering and arrogant! It’s a good thing I’ve got the internet so I can complain about him every hour of every day for the rest of eternity! I CAN’T STAND GRATUITOUS GLORIFIED BITCHINESS USED LIKE WATER TORTURE!!

And as for David Tennant, he’s the worst Doctor ever! He’s not half as sociopathic and manipulative and untrustworthy he could cut Jigsaw’s arms off and force him to eat them! What sort of Doctor is that, huh? He should be mad, bad, dangerous to know and snap people’s necks like Colin Baker never could, the useless fatso!

The Dustbins are a force of nature, the extension of our own evil in an eternal conflict with the ancient blood of history’s sins running through it! Of course, the Dustbin Suzpreme is Susan Mendez’ punishment from God for collaborating with the Dustbins, but I’m not entirely sure why God WANTS the Dustbins more powerful than ever with her help. Maybe cleanliness IS next to godliness? God, this is so much bleaker than that scab-picking B7 toss ever managed! Take the body count of Commando, then take all the survivors and leave them to wallow in the kind of hell of confinement, torture and betrayal of all three Saw films and you'll have an idea of how bleak it all is! OH, SWEET DESPAIR!!

This is much better than the safe, fairytale, twee, patronizing shite BBC Wales spewing out into the braindead chav audience of children who don’t demand hard-hitting intrigue so dramatic and dangerous you need an organ donor card just to listen to it! I listen to these CDs every day, feeding my addiction with new delights I missed the first time because I was too busy making cheap shots about David Tennant, and I am more and more convinced that this is a MASTERPIECE! DOCTOR WHO ISN’T FIT TO LICK THE BOOTS OF DUSTBIN UMPIRE!!!!"

Rumors –

In 2003, the unspeakable occurred – the BBC agreed to make some more Doctor Who, rendering all spin off franchises automatically obsolete. Well, the ones that weren’t already obsolete, anyway. It rapidly became clear that another series of Dustbin Umpire would have to be a darn sight more spectacular than normal to justify its existence, especially as it turned out most of the Dustbin Umpire fanbase had only really enjoyed it because it was basically Blake’s 7 with Dustbins in.

Thus it would be decided that the new Dustbin Umpire would have to find another cult TV show main character to pit against the Dustbins in the post-apocalyptic future Blake left the universe in. After briefly considering Ace Rimmer, Flash Gordon, Jean-Luc Picard and Yor Warrior of the Future, Rob Shearman idly suggested they use the Doctor on the grounds they could at least draw the fans already present.

However, the problem was if they used the current four Doctors available, then Dustbin Umpire would just be an ordinary BF release, but the public had not exactly been impressed with the Unsoiled range either. Luckily, they had the BF-only Tenth Doctor as played by David Tennant who had appeared in several stories, and was indeed recording Medicinal Porpoises as the Doctor at the time.

Briggs was inspired – and since he personally did not consider Tennant to be canon, wasn’t even requesting to kill him off at the end of the story to regenerate into the long-awaited Briggs Doctor. It was thus decided that Dustbin Umpire: Mutually Assured Hygiene would feature the metal foes as an indistinct, nebulous threat from beyond the stars so underused many began to wonder if this was actually a Cyberman story.

With the massive cast, slow build-up, and a completely irrelevant subplot about the Graxis Wardens introduced cause Mark Gatiss thought it more interesting than a soap opera about Si Tarkov and his comic relief sidekicks who inevitably turned out to be Dustbin agents. It was also decided to extend the series by two episodes, just so they could fit all the Graxis padding into the narrative.

However, it was only after release that Briggs realized he’d totally forgotten to shove in the traditional "moral ambiguity" stuff and portrayed all the villains as irredeemable evil and all the heroes as total good – thus making his safety net of nicking the Gauda Prime shootout for the final episode less brutal fatalism, more pointless obfuscation. Desperately Briggs started running around the place screaming "IT IS AMBIGUOUS!" before he was tranquilized and dragged off to BBC Wales to take part in the new series of Doctor Who.

In a misunderstanding between RTD and the bounty hunters, so was David Tennant... and we all know where that ultimately lead. In fact, the signs were there from the beginning, when Tennant insisted the final scene feature him singing...

"All Along The Border Systems" by Galanar and the Graxis Wardens

"There must be some kind of way out of here,"
Said the Doctor to the ape,
"There’s too many Dustbins
The hour’s getting late!

Healing Zones are working hard
Rebuilding the Dustbin race
No one suspects what’s going on
Or what will be their fate, heh!"

"No reason to get all shouty,"
Si Tarkov kindly spoke
"There are many here among us
Who feel that life is but a joke

But you and I, we’ve fought the Dustbins
On Gauda Prime to the last man
So let us not talk falsely now,
Do you have ANY kind of plan?"

All along the Border Systems
People to Dustbins transform
But the Suzpremo has forgotten
I’m the Oncoming Storm!

Outside chance that Elaria
Did what she was told
If so, the cavalry is approaching
If I may make so bold!

All along the Border Systems
GUMP is kicking Dustbin ass
The Doctor has triumphed once again
And the end is here at last!

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