Monday, June 1, 2009

Fly Me To The Moon

Serial CP0 – Fly Charley to the Moon!
An Entry in the EC Unauthorized Program Guide Fiction Appendix O' Self Sufficiency

Back in the mists of time to the early days of the 21st Century where men were real men, where women get their navels infected from inadequate piercings, and where RTD was just some hack author of only one NA and nothing to do with Doctor Who as a whole...

With the aide of a friend’s malfunctioning time-space translocation podule, Nigel Jay Verkoff has managed to capture Charley Pollard from a near-fatal encounter with some Cybermen. In gratitude... or maybe just sexual frustration... she agrees to become Nigel’s girlfriend.

After three weeks, the spark has gone out of their love life. Has all the sedatives they took when working through the Karma Sutra killed their passion? Is it just that no mortal man could ever compare to a Time Lord from another dimension? Is Nigel just bored with her and starting to lust after Alyson Hannigan again?

They decide to turn to the sex therapist across the road, Professor J Smith PhD – but they soon realize that this is in fact the Seventh Doctor who is at a loose end after the departure of Ace and all the other companions he had before the TV Movie. Despite having absolutely no experience or ability with relationship counseling, the Doctor still finds other people’s problems more interesting to deal with than his own, so takes Charley and Nigel on as his clients.

Since the couple are not drawn together by platonic, romantic or even physical love, the Doctor decides to give them individual sessions. However, after six weeks, all he and Nigel have discussed are the relative merits of "Enterprise" and wondering why the hell they chose that theme tune music? In fact, the Doctor gets so bored he starts telling Charley all about the confidential sessions with Nigel, just for something to have a laugh about.

Charley decides the relationship is going nowhere and decides on a trial separation – which hurts Nigel worse than covering his porn mags in petrol and setting them alight! The Japanese-raised Aborigine is left alone while Charley sleeps her way through his friends both male and female, and seduced Alyson Hannigan when she happens to pass by.

Charley comes back to rub Nigel’s nose in it (metaphorically), and the Doctor is furious at his failure to reconcile the lovers:

"TWENTY MINUTES I’ve been at this game! Counseling dysfunctional couples like you! I listen, I counsel, I help them to heal, I wanted to get spectacular results! And you come along, fail miserably at everything I try and then, magically, come up with a solution by yourselves just like that! How fascinating! I’m intrigued, I really am! It’s not as if you ever actually LOVED each other, is it? How ARROGANT! I was once like you two once, felt the way you did, thought the way you think THEN what happens? I get roggered to death by Cybernetic perverts and metamorphosise into a strange man who thinks he’s a penguin! You two won’t be the first but you’ll certainly be the last! They all go. Mel, Ace, Hex, you two! I’M NOT FINISHED, SO SIT DOWN!! You haven’t PAID me yet, have you? Yes, money! You could have spent that money on a long weekend in Paris, walking hand-in-hand, gazing into each others’ eyes, whispering sweet nothings to each other! But you did this instead! That’s it! PILE IT ON, YOU BASTARDS!!"

Without another word, the Doctor storms off into his TARDIS and Charley follows to get a trip back to 'her' Doctor. Nigel is left alone in the abandoned office with the immortal one-liner:

"Oh well. There’s always Jayma Mays..."

Books/Other Related –
Charley Pulls It Off!
Tie-In Audio CDs of Dubious Moral Character
Finding All The Answers Between The Covers Of A Bed – Nigel Verkoff’s Guide to Love

Fluffs –
At several points the director can be clearly heard saying "Ok, folks, we’re running again, so let’s have some more orgasmic ecstasy please. And cue!"
"Fill me in? My arse!" is phrased as ridicule rather than a request.

7th Doctor: I just keep doing that, don’t I? Playing chess on a thousand boards, using people as pawns, tricking my enemies into stealing ancient Gallifreyan superweapons already programmed to blow them up if they try it. You know, what can I do? I’ve tried to analyze it but there’s been no success...
Charley: "Physician, heal thyself!" and all that.
7th Doctor: Quite. No, no, I’m not REALLY a Doctor, well, I mean I am a sort of health-care professional, of course, you see? Certificate there, on the wall next to my Boy Scouts Award of the Millennium award. I was only 450 at the time, though I remember we were in the highland nebula when a fungoid bit me on the bum...
Charley: Is there a point to this?
7th Doctor: Not really, I was hoping you’d stop me a lot earlier.

Links and References -
Amazingly enough, this retarded continuity reference to "Bored of Ironing" actually turned out to be to a completely different adventure, seven years later: "The Girl Who Never Was A Virgin".

Untelevised Misadventures -
Charley met the author of 'Wild Swans' and is deeply annoyed at the way the book doesn’t mention her sexual liaisons with Chairman Mao and inspiring the expression "Great Leap Forward". In fact, she is unable to read a single page without screaming "BOLLOCKS! THIS IS BULLSHIT!" at the inaccuracies in the finished book.

Groovy DVD Extras –
The first issue of Big Finish Magazine with Nicholas Briggs gate-crashing the production to laugh at Nigel Verkoff’s pathos.

Dialogue Disasters –

7th Doctor: Look at the wall... Look at the painting... Look out of the window, at the sky, at the trees, at my girlfriend sunbathing topless in the garden -- Inga! NOT WHEN THERE ARE CLIENTS IN THE HOUSE!!

Charley: I’m lying on a bed... naked... and I’m COLD! Any other man would have come smashing through the bathroom door and swung from the light fitting! Or at least wear a cravat and swear at me in an obscure Martian dialect! When was the last time you talked dirty to me in a language containing NOTHING but sibilants, huh?

7th Doctor: Look at the wall... Look at the painting... Look out of the window...
Charley: Oh! Is that Inga?
7th Doctor: What?
Charley: Sunbathing in the garden? Heh. Not bad!
7th Doctor: Oh, no, not again! INGA!!
Inga: Heloo dahlink!

Charley: Have you started yet?
Nigel: Stop moving your bum around!
Charley: How long do you think you’ll be?
Nigel: Depends if this rose falls out or not...
Charley: What is THAT?
Nigel: It’s Gregor. My lucky mascot.
Charley: It’s a rubber duck.
Nigel: Um... yeah.
Charley: Kinky! I like it!

7th Doctor: Look at the wall... Look at the painting... Look out of the window... at the sky, at the trees, at Inga carrying a large suitcase... Inga! No! Come back! INGA!
Inga: Gudbar dahlink!

7th Doctor: Shall we settle up? Ah, this week, ah, I could take a cheque this week. 90 pounds.
Nigel: 90 pounds?!
7th Doctor: Plus VAT. 105 pounds and 75p. Now, before you go, I’d like us to take part in an exercise. This is to re-orientate your perspective and bring you back to a semblance of reality. Take a look around the room. Notice the colour of the wall. Look at the wall... Look at the painting... Look out of the window, at the sky, at the trees, at the grass... Look at this photo of Inga and me on the beaches of Majus Seventeen...
Charley: That looks very expensive.
7th Doctor: Oh, it was, it was. It was also rather fun! Haha! I don’t know how I can afford it! She’s nine hundred years younger than me, you know! Nine hundred years younger! Hahaha! I don’t think the age gap is a problem. She’s a Scandinavian, so the pollution might affect the delicate PH balance of her skin... she’s so sensitive. She cooks meatballs every Wednesday. I stopped buying her flowers, but she always says I do it because I’m guilty about sacrificing another solar system to the greater good...

Dialogue Triumphs -

Charley: Oh! Oh, God! His favorite fantasy! And he’s not even here to see it! Don’t stop, Alyson! That crucifix is here for a reason! If YOU can close your eyes and use the correct lubricant then SO CAN I!!

7th Doctor: According to my notes, we really didn’t get very far at our last session.
Nigel: Yes, I know, I’m sorry about it.
7th Doctor: Or indeed for the last seven sessions.
Nigel: I dunno. I thought my dissection of "Star Trek" and Tasha Yar coming back as a Romulan counted as genuine progress! Maybe we could discuss my pathological hatred of the Star Wars prequel trilogy over a cup of coffee...
7th Doctor: Drugs are not the solution, Nigel!
Nigel: "Coffee"?
7th Doctor: Mood-altering substances are no substitute.
Nigel: They... make you feel better though, don’t they?
7th Doctor: But after the initial high there is a further mood-swing to a deeper negative!
Nigel: How about we go to the pub then?
7th Doctor: Drink is not the answer, Nigel!
Nigel: We’ll feel good afterwards!
7th Doctor: And what about the hangovers?
Nigel: If we just have one or two...
7th Doctor: Hangovers?!
Nigel: Drinks, you silly little short man.

Charley: Sexist!
Nigel: Feminist!
Charley: Misogynist!
Nigel: Don’t be facetious!
Charley: Don’t be hostile!
Doctor: No, go on, this is healthy...
Nigel & Charley: SHUT UP! ... AND YOU!

7th Doctor: In the good old days, women NEEDED men. They NEEDED them to distract them from the purposeless of their existence and pander to their negatively-subjective body image! Or was that just on Draconia?

Viewer Quotes –

"It’s a very well-considered, very well-thought-out, very well-written manual for surviving relationships in the modern world. Oh no, I’ve mistaken the words 'very well-written' for 'complete crap'."
- Ewen Campion-Clarke (2008)

"I felt a surge of disappointment that was easily masked after I listened to this. It was like Eastenders without the jokes."
- Kevin Rudd (2005)

"This story is just a figment of my post-coital imagination, an apparition used to externalize my own internal monologue! It represents my thoughts and emotions... in a good way. Clever thought processes, aren’t I? Time for me to drift into a troubled post-coital snooze. Sweet dreams. Confusing, isn’t it?" - P. J. Hammond (2002)

Rumors & Facts –
Some might have thought it was odd for Big Finish to release a play that ended up being fifty-one minutes of criticizing one of their writer’s poor sexual performance as he lusts after one of the main stars of their plays and gets another to act as a sex therapist. But it was September 2001 and everyone needed cheering up back then!

Nigel Verkoff, author of Fan & Phantasmagoria back in 1999, had fallen arse over tit in lust with India Fisher, the blonde nymphomaniac currently playing Eighth Doctor companion Charlotte E Bah Gum Pollard for main Big Finish range. Verkoff was determined to get laid with Fisher and, as proof to those doubters who insisted the closest he’d ever got to losing his virginity was sitting on top of a washing machine in spin cycle, record the entire incident and release it as an official Big Finish play.

Thus, Verkoff proposed the idea of a one-off romantic comedy play which would have a genuine "big finish" involving enough multiple orgasms to punch a whole in the fabric of time and space, death and reality. Intrigued by the description, Producer Gay Russell did give Verkoff leave to outline his proposal in a deeply graphic nature.

Verkoff was far too busy reading up on sex manuals to actually write a proper script, so he called upon his flat-mates to pen a suitably comedic script with all the requirements he outlined. Tragically, Verkoff had made one tiny yet fatal mistake – his flat-mates hated him with a burning passion.

Thus, the script that was accepted not only left Verkoff as the butt of every single joke, but also depicted him as completely unable in any way to satisfy Charley Pollard, or any other human being. This crushing humiliation would be the most popular part of the story, and many fans were eager to see Verkoff suffer further humiliation in the mainstream Doctor Who stories.

It was a request they should never have granted.

Fly Charley To The Moon proved to be a one-off attempt by Big Finish to expand its horizons beyond a bunch of lonely and depressed science fiction fans only too eager to exchange hard cash in return for a bittersweet gulp of childhood nostalgia.

It also proved to everyone who heard it just how sexy India Fisher can be, the emotional range Sylvester McCoy is capable of, and what a complete and utter loser Nigel Verkoff really is.

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