- Gallifrey 90210: Past Lives -
An Extract From The EC Unauthorized Doctor Who Spin-Off Guide Appendix O' Oncoming Apocalypse
Episode 5: Retcons
President Romanadvoratrelundar has decided to make her home planet of Gallifrey a more open and liberal society, and generally make the Time Lords and their world a hell of a lot less boring. Thus she opens the Galactic University, allowing students from other worlds to learn all about the wonders of time and space and strange fashion choices.
Inquisitor Darkel is pissed off and no mistake as, with Romana legalizing damn near anything, her job as a magistrate is redundant. However, since Romana has changed the most ancient laws of Gallifrey, Darkel realizes that she can change the laws that keep the liberal President in power. Deciding to finally become a total bitch, Darkel wanders the cloisters of Gallifrey generally hoping to find someone who will help her overthrow the government.
Unfortunately, pretty much everyone is far too busy wandering around Gallifrey being sulky and depressed. Inexperienced new Castellan Winter is too busy swotting up on "Chancellery Guard Etiquette 4 Total Retards"; CIA Co-ordinator Narvin is too busy trying to find a cure for his insomnia; Andred is locked in a cell, doing a really pathetic Hannibal Lector impersonation; Leela and K9 are too busy going walkabout in the Vaults beneath the Panopticon; Braxiatel is too busy organizing an incredibly wild and debauched initiation party for the Galactic University; and Romana is not only too busy sulking, but the least useful person that Darkel could chat about overthrowing her.
Romana is upset to discover that Braxiatel has started referring to himself as Chancellor, a post that has been empty since the TV Canon. Romana refuses to appoint her friend to a position of power for fear her political enemies will slag her off for favoritism, but Braxiatel insists he changed his name by deed poll to "Chancellor" for his own private amusement and there’s no need to read subtext into it.
In the Vaults, Leela starts hearing a spooky disembodied voice which then teleports her out of reality and nukes K9 Mk I, leaving the robot dog brain damaged and sobbing "Pandora, Pandora, Pandora... why, why, WHY?!?" whenever anyone talks to him. Which gets irritating. Incredibly irritating. Very quickly.
Romana and her K9 turn up to investigate and K9 Mk II reveals that Pandora was the first radical feminist President of Gallifrey who declared herself Imperiatrix and tried to overturn Rassilon’s outdated and all in all rather stupid laws. Together with her Killemall Wolfmen of the Apocalypse bodyguard, Pandora lead Gallifrey into a Temporal Difference of Opinion to reset the continuity of the universe FOREVER!
Romana notes that sounds suspiciously familiar for some reason, and K9 reveals that Pandora was defeated after her bodyguard was tricked into betraying her, and after a bloody civil war that devastated Gallifrey, Pandora was retconned out of existence and now exists only as a legend.
Leela reappears and points out that not only does Pandora’s entry in Who’s Who also uncannily parallel Romana’s story, there was that nasty business with the Nowherepeople where the Doctor predicted that Romana would become a ruthless dictator known as Imperiatrix. Mind you, he WAS completely stoned out of his head at the time, which is why no one really paid his ramblings any attention until now.
Romana realizes that they have entered the Matrix, and somehow Pandora’s spirit survived her retconning and is the gullible and rather stupid disembodied voice. Since then Pandora has absorbed all the evil, vice, scandal and hatred of all the other Time Lords – basically everything that might possibly have made them interesting – and now Pandora has split into a three-headed hydra of Past Pandora, Present Pandora and Future Pandora who speak with the voices of the Doug Anthony Allstars. These said voices reveals that Romana carries the "Imperiatrix Imprimatur", a particularly nasty condition that CAN’T be cured by antibiotics. Basically it means her delectable ass belongs to Pandora, who has manipulated Romana into becoming president, adopting an alien bodyguard and overturning ancient laws – she is the Pandora Copycat of DOOM!
Romana politely asks how the fuck that logic is supposed to work, and the voice explains that Romana accepted that imprint into herself by choice! Long before leaving Gallifrey to travel with the Doctor, the young Romana was stuck working at KFC and was so desperate to become Employee of the Month, she started to listen to the disembodied voices she could hear while cleaning out the grease trap. Ultimate power over all of the Time Lords and no more fried chicken was too good an opportunity to ignore!
To prove it, Pandora summons a Matrix ghost in the shape of the First Romana who is disgusted she became a right-on political anarchist blond schoolgirl who hangs round with aliens, while the Second Romana hates to be reminded of what a frigid, loser psychology student she used to be. However, this bitch-fighting is merely a front to distract the easily-distractible Pandora. The Romanas are actually great pals and often go for cappucinos outside time and space.
The First Romana reveals that she achieved Employee of the Month on her own merits and realized that Pandora was a waste of her time. Luckily, Branch Manager Braxiatel was there to use his formidable hypnotic powers he learned from the Bastard to brainwash Romana – this made her forget everything about Pandora and their past together, thus making total sense of any and all continuity errors in her life.
Alas, the very next day chosen by Colonel Sanders to accompany the Doctor in their quest to collect the Eleven Secret Herbs and Spices and was taken away from Braxiatel’s stabilizing influence and into the Doctor’s fucking deranged influence. Twenty-five episodes later, however, Romana was tortured with a rubber chicken by Terry Jones. This kinky fun broke her hypnotic conditioning. Realizing that Pandora was on the verge of taking her over, Romana cunningly snorted a pot noodle – committing suicide.
She regenerated, not only scrambling her memories and burying Pandora, but also granting her the ability to become a nifty shape changer for the duration of the first episode of "Dustiny of the Dustbins" and her body became stuck in the form of Lalla Ward. This explains the brain damaged opener to Season 17 which has been bugging fandom for over twenty-five years.
As everyone applauds this truly unnecessary fanwank retcon, Pandora reveals she has been listening all the time, and put the two Romanas together so they would spill the beans and give her all the information she needs to take over Romana and conquer the universe!
K9 simply switches off that bit of the Matrix and thus Pandora with it, so that threat to all time and space is pretty much sorted but it means Romana cannot use the Matrix for fear of being taken over by an evil from before the Intuitive Revelation.
Meanwhile, Darkel decides that Andred is her best bet to help her remove Romana from office and overturn her policies, so she kills the guard and releases Andred... who immediately runs away, laughing insanely, leaving Darkel alone. Hastily, she leaves evidence framing Narvin for the crime, but no one falls for it as Braxiatel is convinced that Narvin’s recent insomnia means that Pandora has been feeding off his sleepy goodness to do her non-specific evilness.
Turns out he’s right about that.
While Darkel continues to plot using her public access cable talkshow of sedition, Andred remains on the loose and Romana is devastated to discover that her entire life is a hideous tissue of lies, but nevertheless they all happily go home for lemonade.
Episode 6: Swapshop
Sick and tired of all this Gallifrey shite, Leela and Romana decide to take a holiday vacation to the embarrassingly-named planet Chlamydia which insists it is completely 100% STD-free and the perfect vacation spot for planetary leaders like Ming the Merciless, Emperor Londo Mollari, Queen Chaotica and the Super-Trod.
Romana and Leela get down to relaxing and are soon smashing up hotel rooms, go on nature rambles, critique Richard Dawkins’ "The Blind Watchmaker" and the concept of intelligent design, make s’mores by a camp fire, compare blackmail they both have on the Fourth Doctor, and are just about to try a sensory-deprivation tank when suddenly a TARDIS arrives carrying a hideous burnt Time Lord with no hands, tongue or naughty bits that, worryingly, hasn’t regenerated itself. This is a Time Lord from the future, who has come back into the past... for some reason... and is no doubt a portent of oncoming disaster. Leela dubs the figure "The Broken Man" for easy reference.
Romana and Leela try the floatation tanks and suggest putting the Broken Man in one to see if makes him feel any better. Oddly enough this causes some freaky shit to happen and Romana becomes a gormless, homicidal knife-wielding loony and Leela becomes a calm, rational super genius who looks good in a school uniform. They discover that while they were in the tanks everyone has disappeared, kind of like a cross between Night of the Comet and that Twilight Zone episode.
After being attacked by giant bats, it turns out all this was a nightmare.
The pleasant atmos of the holiday ruined, Romana and Leela return to Gallifrey only to discover that Darkel has decided to have an inquiry into the Broken Man, who is turns out has some horrible sexual disease which will be unleashed like a plague bomb if the Broken Man regenerates.
Yet everyone thinks it’d be a brilliant idea to take the Broken Man right to the heart of Time Lord society and poke it with sticks to see what happens.
Christ, no wonder RTD got rid of these idiots.
Episode 7: Bitch
Inquisitor Darkel’s latest attempt to undermine Romana is going badly – the two K9s have fire-walled Pandora into a disused corner of the Matrix, so she can use the big Gallifreyan internet; Narvin and the CIA have claimed jurisdiction over the Broken Man, so Romana doesn’t have to answer for an inquiry; Andred is still missing but hasn’t caused any trouble; and the Galactic University is going splendidly and the xenophobic Time Lords are really getting into the visitor’s lives of keg parties, wild sex and recreational drug use.
It’s the 1960s on the planet of the Time Lords and President Romana has never been more popular and successful!
Things are so laidback Romana decides to let gormless Castellan Wynter deal with the Broken Man case, which should be a lot simpler now that the poor sucker’s died of its injuries. K9 Mk I decides its time to follow his original function of being a forensic pathologist specializing in extraterrestrial venereal diseases and examine the unrecognizable Time Lord.
Still struggling to ANYTHING halfway evil, Darkel suggests to Leela that she suggest to Romana that she make Braxiatel Chancellor in the hope Romana might be stupid enough to change her mind and do something so politically damaging. But Romana isn’t that stupid and tells Darkel to keep her beauty-spotted nose out of their business – but if someone as anti-Romana as Darkel is pro-Braxiatel... does that mean she really SHOULD promote him in Gallifrey’s best interests?
Convinced this is a triple-bluff, Romana appoints Braxiatel Chancellor – not realizing that Darkel is so fundamentally stupid that this is actually what she wanted in the first place, and Romana has actually ruined her own ice queen reputation with nepotism of the highest order.
Cheered by this success, Darkel tells Wynter that Braxiatel hates his guts and is determined to make the Castellan his bitch before the day is out and the only way to save his butt is to frame Braxiatel for a crime, and release Pandora from its electronic cage.
Inexperience twit that he is, Wynter does so – and by the time some idle chat with Narvin reveals that Braxiatel is really rather fond of Wynter, the Castellan has not only screwed up monumentally, but he’s started to hear the voices of the Doug Anthony Allstars – AKA Pandora Past, Present and Future - INSIDE HIS OWN MIND!!!
Meanwhile, a rather creepy emo goth chick called Gillian steals Braxiatel’s password and runs into the vaults, intending to poison the Capital’s water reservoir. Her plan is foiled, however, since Andred the Looney is using the reservoir as his own personal fishing hole and immediately overpowers her. When Wynter and the Chancellery Guard turn up to arrest her, Andred hands himself in, claiming the little angel dude on his shoulder said it would be a good idea. The little angel was right and, having saved Gallifrey from poisoning, is immediately exonerated and declared legally sane.
Gillian turns out to be a fanatical follower of Flexi Time (the radical anti-Time-Lord terrorist group which has nothing whatsoever to do with the Dustbins, oh no, siree bob), and the poison she was going to spike the water is the SAME detestable substance in the Broken Man’s corpse! Could this be of further significance?!
Andred doesn’t think so and immediately tries to chat up the nearest hot chick he can find – which turns out to be Leela, which leads to a very awkward conversation and ends in the noble savage kneeing him in the Gallifreyan goolies and storming off.
Elsewhere, Wynter is having an LSD nightmare. Pandora is trying to seize control of Wynter’s body, planning to use him to feed on the greed and ambition of the Time Lords until she’s strong enough to take on Romana in the last great time cat-fight! Rather than betray his people and his President, Wynter tries to kill himself in the most gory method possible...
...and ends up a tongueless, handless, smoldering burn victim infected with the Flexi-Time plague and on the point of death. Unfortunately, this just means that Pandora can make some Lucio Fulchi homages while it STILL uses his possessed body to feed on the ambitions of the Time Lords and rip people’s brains out the back of their heads.
Darkel blames all this on Braxiatel, which doesn’t quite work as all the evidence correctly points to Wynter and actually makes Darkel herself look like the guilty tool bitch she is.
In one of those rom-zom-com moments, Andred and acting-Castellan Leela must work together to hunt the mutilated Wynter through the Vaults, slaughtering lots of Chancellery Guards who were stupid enough to be wearing red shirts and thus by ancient Star Trek conventions are walking canon fodder in any given sci-fi series. Leela and Andred, being regulars, miraculously make it out alive.
Having realized that the Broken Man’s corpse was actually Wynter from the future – and pausing to marvel at the wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey nature of it all – Braxiatel goes to confront Pandora himself, since his ridiculously ambitious nature is the perfect lure for Pandora.
Darkel pops up at this point, laughing like the insane bitch she is, as she’s deliberately done all this to unleash Pandora on Gallifrey once more. Braxiatel doesn’t believe her, and accuses her of being really stupid and klutzy and just PRETENDING to be an evil Pandora acolyte so she doesn’t look such a pratt.
Pandora feeds on Braxiatel’s mind, but Braxiatel has a cunning plan – he has dedicated one part of his mind into replaying the entire series of "Lost", and the endless plot twists trap Pandora, who is unable to escape either Braxiatel’s mind or that fucking desert island!
While the mindless, zombified Wynter is sent back in time to the previous episode to cause all this mess in the first place, Braxiatel realizes he must flee Gallifrey to protect his fellow Time Lords. He intends - like his much cooler and more popular brother, the Doctor – to leave this reality behind, and take up a quiet, retiring life in the Bernice Summerfield New Adventure spin off range.
Romana isn’t particularly sorry to see him go, as he’s manipulative little so and so who hasn’t actually defeated Pandora, just the past and present aspects – the Future version (Timothy Dorson-Lang-Bean Ferguson) is still in the Matrix.
With Romana’s most trusted friend and advisor discredited and expelled from Gallifrey, former-stooge Andred appointed Castellan and Narvin finally thinking the Inquisitor might be onto something, Darkel is closer to victory than she has ever been!
And she seemed so nice on TV, didn’t she?
Episode 8: Reflux
Inquisitor Darkel continues her quest to be the most pathetically mean and spiteful bitch in the entire Doctor Who universe with her public-access Bigotry Hour where she slags off Romana, aliens, tolerance, social development and pretty much everything interspersed with interviews with David Blunket, Miss America 2009, Norman Tebbit and the Supremo of the Distbun Clan of Fargo – all like-minded individuals from across time and space and Cardiff who love nothing better than stirring up racial hatred and social intolerance.
Darkel also exclusively reveals that the plague Gillian was going to use is actually the Dogma Virus – a mutagen that causes infected Time Lords to become Flexi-Time zombies when they regenerate. She also claims, based on no evidence of any kind, that someone else MIGHT have already poisoned the water supply, which means all the Time Lords could be infected and no one would know it.
She then goes onto the usual spiel of how Romana the idealist has placed all of Gallifrey under threat and overrun the planet with terrorists, spies and 1980s satirical student archetypes, before demanding Romana tell all the aliens to fuck off home.
Newly-appointed Chancellor of the Galactic University and replacement for Braxiatel is Cardinal Valleys, who even his closest friends would describe as an unhappy bubble of anal wind, farting in the bath of five-dimensional existence. He kills stone dead the carefree days of the Galactic University, especially for the students Rick Pratt, Neil Pye, Vyvyan Basterd and Mike Thecoolperson.
The gang are deeply impressed when Leela is made a tutor – not only is she incredibly hot, her lessons consist of all the various alien monsters she’s slaughtered with her bare hands and a very sharp knife, and her ability to even make the events of "The Invasion of Tim" sound incredibly thrilling and exciting. It even makes all the racist abuse and slander from the Gallifreyan locals worthwhile, as all the Time Lords are convinced aliens are terrorist scum working for the Dustbins – mind you, the fact quite a few ARE Dustbin-worshipping terrorist scum doesn’t help the student rep at all.
Neil tries to fight the oppression of the Time Lords with a sit-in – but the stupid stoner hippie forgets to tell anyone else about it and, after half an hour sitting alone with his guitar in the Panopticon Archive, Neil HIMSELF forgets why he’s there and wanders off.
Mike takes on Darkel personally by claiming to her underage alien lover and selling his story to Public Access Video – along with related stories claiming not only to be the son of Paul McCartney but actually the father of Prince William as well.
Vyvyan decides that he rather likes the violent factionalism powderkeg the Galactic University has become and, between spreading scandalous rumors that he’s having a sexual relationship with Cardinal Valleys, drinks 80 pints of Shaboogan ale and then bets his hamster SPG he can’t do wheelies outside the Untempered Schism in Vyvyan’s Ford Cortina.
Rick is far more proactive and writes a "reeeeeelly grate" play called Total Time Lord Theatre, which deals with such matter as Phaidon isolationism, Sunari student violence, Moaning Host segregation, Darkel’s lies and xenophobia, Valleys’ hypocrisy, the compromises made by a decadent society, and the naïve minimalism of President Romana. All underscored with suitable Cliff Richard songs.
Unfortunately, the play is so stupendously awful that the entire audience decide to leave halfway through and cause even MORE internal conflict. Egged on by Andred, Mike and Vyvyan decide to seek out the Key to Big Daddy’s House, the most precious artifact on Gallifrey whose exact function isn’t specified, but is bound to be worth a few quid at the Lost & Found Desk. Vyvyan is mildly suspicious about the fact they got the location of Rassilon’s most prized possession on a folded beer mat given to them by Inquisitor Darkel, but Mike is confident she was just succumbing to his lothario charms.
Andred, having finally reconciled with Leela thanks to their shared hatred of Rick’s poetry, heads off to stop Mike and Vyvyan from mucking about with the 57 Chevy of Rassilon and unleashing its Fonzy power... but suddenly Inquisitor Darkel steps out of the shadows, cuts his head off and stabs him through both his hearts... which is what it already did to poor Mike and Vyvyan. Turns out Darkel sent them into a trap, would you believe?!
With all Moaning Hosts leave Gallifrey, sick of the racism, the mistrust, but above all Rick’s right-on poetry about Felicity Kendall, the Galactic University turns into a pitched battle of different specifies beating the shit out of each other. Leela is overcome at such nostalgic bloodshed and, using Neil as a blunt object, dives into the fray and restores peace through superior violence!
With political attacks on all sides and Darkel destroying the diplomatic relations she made with the universe, Romana decides she needs someone to talk to, and so wired K9 Mk II up to the Matrix – allowing her to speak with the Future Pandora without any of that mucky zombie apocalypse business happening. This, however, doesn’t improve her political credibility at all, as Darkel has the headline: "President Takes Advice From Evil Dictator’s Ghost Via Chatroom!"
Pandora tells Romana that Gallifrey will plunge into civil war if she and Darkel keep up with this bitch fight, but if Romana quits as President, Darkel will just take over Gallifrey and erase all of the good work that Romana has tried to accomplish. Romana assumes that this means that she should somehow reason with her enemy, but Pandora was thinking more of 'bathing in said enemies’ blood'.
Yes, Pandora suggests that Romana simply declare herself Imperiatrix and sweep aside all that disagree with her in a bloody Stalinist purge, and use her dictatorship to lead Gallifrey into a new and enlightened future. The fact that this would make Romana copy Pandora’s own history and allow the evil ghost bitch to manifest in reality is a simple side benefit and of no significance whatsoever.
Romana tells Pandora to "swivel on it", only to discover Darkel has eschewed her TV show’s usual "cute animal" segment and is now trying to force an election onto the public. She does this by holding a rigged phone-in poll which by 100% majority demand an immediate electoral contest and the studio audience declare Romana is hanging on to her Presidency by a very thin thread.
"All right, you isolationist bitch whore," growls Romana, cracking her knuckles, "BRING IT ON!!!"
Episode 9: The Death of K9 Mk I!!!
As Romana suffers hideous nightmares which take the form of re-edited bits from "Nowhere Land" being passed off as new material, Rick attempts to try and soothe the rioting mobs at the Galactic University with his poetry. But Rick’s protests that innocent students are being punished for the actions of a single fanatic called Gillian is undermined when it turns out that Neil is actually an android built by the late lamented Vyvyan: his famous novelty Exploding Hippy!
But when Neil explodes, he destroys the Galactic Univeristy and most of the students with it – all of which is caught on camera and played on Darkel’s TV shows as "Funniest Home Video" of the week. Darkel reveals that the Exploding Hippy was triggered by Gallifreyan terrorists who are sick of Romana, confident that right is on the side of those who use the most firepower and cause the most collateral damage with most civilian casualties.
Darkel then invites Leela onto her show to patronize and humiliate her, but Leela is ALREADY a bit pissed off to find that her husband has been killed. Again. The audience watch on rapt as Leela points out Darkel is a law-breaking bigot who is a Pandora groupie and challenges her to a mud-wrestling contest. Darkel takes offence at this, especially when Narvin bursts into the studio and uses a string of unacceptable language on primetime TV revealing that Darkel not only helped Gillian with her poison water plot, but also the Exploding Hippy, the murder of Andred and lots of other shit.
Darkel has her bouncers drag Narvin out as he screams that she was crap in bed anyway and a rubbish Patrexes slut trying to take over Gallifrey in an insane bid for a season-long story-arc. Darkel laughs evilly that two out of three Chapterhouses will support her revolutionary tendencies, so he can just piss off right now!
With Darkel’s ratings at a new peak and all the other temporal powers about to launch all-out attack on Gallifrey as all the surviving students try to flee, Romana nearly succumbs to despair, seeing the carnage that has resulted from her policies and wondering whether they really are for the best. K9 Mk II suggests she cheer herself up by mocking the helpless Pandora again
But Pandora gotten rather cocky and says that Romana’s dreams of a Gallifreyan civil war are inevitable if she doesn’t let Darkel win. Romana points out that Pandora is the one who helped Darkel get so freaking powerful in the first place – talk about chutzpah!
Under threat of torture, Pandora agrees to help Romana, but still insists that there is only one way for Romana to eliminate all opposition to her policies. Romana knows what this means -- but will her actions prevent civil war, or bring it about?
Meantime, Narvin decides to use the innocent students now departing Gallifrey to lure out the bomber, so they can catch the bomber and thus expose Darkel as the freaking obvious Moriaty behind all thus. Romana and Leela decide to check it out and make sure that nothing goes wrong.
Typically, five minutes later everything goes to hell.
Antimon the irritating TV reporter turns out himself to be an Exploding Hippy in disguise. Commander Hallan immediately seals off the Time Lord Scaphe Port, trapping all the evacuating students and plenty of Gallifreyans as well, not to mention K9, with the thermonuclear peacenik. "Sod this!" wails K9 Mk I. "Emergency temporal shift!"
K9 Mk I vanishes as the bomb goes off, killing everyone else there, and assumed dead with them. In fact, K9 Mk I has escaped and gets his own spin-off TV series "The K9 Exploitation" which Channel 10 confidently predicts will be screened any century now.
In the meantime, however, the mass slaughter will no doubt provoke all out war between the Time Lords and the other temporal powers – a Temporal Difference of Opinion, if you will – and Romana orders the planetary force fields raised and her best PR spin doctors get to work as soon as freaking possible. Leela is pretty depressed, having lost her husband, her robot dog and even the Doctor, her social circle on Gallifrey is limited to Romana and Narvin of all people. It seems that committing suicide could only improve things!
Darkel turns up, and, being a racist bigoted cow prone to gloating, gives Romana one chance to give in to the inevitable and step down gracefully, but Romana refuses, insisting that her policies are the only way forward and apart from anything else, Darkel just pisses her off. Darkel calls a council meeting to held live on her TV show to discuss what the hell they do now, but Romana has an ace up her sleeve – well, not ACE, per se, but the Key to Big Daddy’s House, with which Romana will be able to take the final step to secure power on Gallifrey.
Darkel points out this can only prove that Romana is dangerously unhinged by her desire for power – but on that logic, therefore, pissing Romana off would be a seriously bad move...
Episode 10: The Imperiatrix Formally Known As Romana
Darkel’s latest infomercial begins with a panel of the High Council and the assembled heads of the Chapters. Romana addresses the audience, explaining that her policies are downright brilliant, and her only mistake has been to rely on idiotic redneck xenophobe retards like Darkel. Ergo, she finally decides to declare herself Imperiatrix.
Darkel is fuming – no one every bothered to rescind the law about female Presidents becoming Dictators-For-Lives, which was really stupid in retrospect. Romana has beaten her in a completely legal move, and by the time Darkel realizes how screwed she is, Romana has dissolved all the Chapters, appointed her own personal Imperial Guard and is now the Ultimate Executive Power of Gallifrey.
"In your FACE, sucker!" Romana tells the beaten Inquisitor.
Narvin arrives and Romana tells him to arrest Darkel, but the cunning bitch has an Exploding Hippy on hand and mortally wounds Narvin – not that "mortal wounds" mean a lot on Gallifrey. Darkel tells the Time Lords that since she can get away with bomb threats, Romana is clearly NOT the all-powerful Imperiatrix she says she is! This giddy height of logic doesn’t cut any ice with Romana, who points out that since Darkel’s cult of hardcore traditionalist mercenaries like Hallan will instinctively side with Imperiatrix over Inquisitor.
"Oh fuck!" wails Darkel as she is immediately captured by the lynch mob who moments ago were her devout followers.
Suddenly Rick (remember him?) boneheads his way into the room and reveals that HE is the one who has been manipulating Darkel all along – he is the leader of the wide-eyed hate-filled big-bottomed anarchistic Flexi-Time movement and been pipe-bombing Gallifrey and Time Lords because he’s a passenger on the Rebel Express where the only place to put your pants is on your head!
Romana points out that she has been trying to share Gallifrey’s secrets with those capable of understanding them, and all Rick’s done is ruin his own political agenda.
Rick frantically thinks of a counter argument, but settles for calling her stupid and announcing that he has infected the Time Lords with the Dogma Virus – so when he sets off his latest bomb, all the Time Lords killed in the explosion will regenerate into brainwashed Flexi-Time cultists! The aftermath will allow the Flexi-Time movement to seize control of Gallifrey for their TRUE masters, the Dustbin Empire!!
Unfortunately, while Rick is going on about how anarchic he is, Leela sneaks up behind him and cuts his head off with her favorite knife. All seems won, until it’s been discovered that Rick’s set off the timer for his pipe bombs!
Romana orders K9 Mk II to defuse the bomb, but at some point Pandora has possessed him and refuses to release the robot dog unless she is allowed freedom throughout the Matrix. With time running out, Romana assumes that she can cope with any and all problems and releases Pandora, who releases K9, who defuses the bombs.
Everyone breathes a sigh of relief when Pandora pulls her master stroke – and, using the amazing and often-unspecified powers of the Matrix, grows herself a brand new physical body: an exact copy of Romana’s first incarnation!
The First Romana/Pandora gleefully reveals that SHE was the one manipulating RICK who was manipulating DARKEL who was manipulating ROMANA all this time, triggering this entire story arc so Romana would be forced into releasing Pandora. And since Pandora wears the body of Romana, technically SHE is Imperiatrix!
Romana stares at Pandora for a few seconds and then orders the crazy bitch locked up with Darkel – but K9 gets confused and assumes that the brunette Romana is real and the blonde Romana an imposter! The real Romana is dragged away by her own Imperial Guard while Pandora seizes complete control of Gallifrey.
The funny thing is, if Romana tries to fight Pandora, she’ll cause the whole civil war she’s been trying to avoid all this time! Like Pandora herself, irony is a bitch...
Book(s)/Other Related – Time Lord Anarchy? RATHER!
Dogma of the Dustbins
No Reason: The Revolutionary Poetic Life of R. Wankstain
Fluffs – Louise Jameson seemed strangely frustrated during most of this spin-off audio series sequel.
"Well, I bet you’ve all pissed yourselves in terror and the great thing IT DOESN’T MATTER cause YOU’RE ALL GONNA DIE! Amazing, I JUST DON’T CARE! A word of warning, however: achtung! Oh, no, there I go AGAIN! No, seriously kids, Flexi-Time is hard and cool and has lots of street credibility – it MIGHT be run by the Dustbins, but it’s going to overthrow the government! GOTCHA, THATCHER!!”
"Ahahaha! Take that other Romana who is not myself to the cells whilst I being myself rule the planet of Gallifrey for ever and ever and ever! BOOM-BOOM SHAKE-SHAKE THE ROOM! Ahhahaha!"
Fashion Victims –
The Galactic University Student Uniform of mint-green polyester pyjamas. Vyvyan’s "Larger Drinkers From Telos" T-shirt.
Goofs – People find Darkel’s infomercials highly entertaining.
This is totally unbelievable.
Dialogue Disasters -
LEELA: I’m living on another planet, but it feels like I am mad, or in a coma or have gone back in time...
Rick’s epic theatre production summarizing the conflicts of Gallifrey –
JUMBO: Oh what a lovely Panopticon – and I’m nt talking about your anal passage! I’m sorry Keith and Spider, I know that was a tasteless joke and not at all funny!
SPIDER: Who cares whether it was funny or not? I want a time whore! I mean, that’s what I came to Gallifrey for, so who’s got the TARDIS and a list of places to meet Charley Pollard? Come on, cough up!
KEITH: That’s exactly what you will be doing if you screw Charley, Spider – coughing up! You’ll catch horrible diseases off her what will risk the sanctity of time and space!
SPIDER: Don’t make me laugh, Keith – I know you, you’re as bad as the Moaning Host!
KEITH: What do you mean, Spider?
SPIDER: Well, when you’re on the Moaning Host World and you ask someone for a sex holiday in history they’re all too busy up the Ornithopter to give you one!
KEITH: But the Moaning Host is the greatest temporal power in the universe and you wouldn’t catch any of THEM sleeping their way through the vortex – even though they’re old enough to have sex. You wouldn’t catch the Warpsmiths of Phaidon in bed with a 17th century French hooker, Spider.
JUMBO: The Warpsmiths of Phaidon aren’t the Moaning Host. Anyway, the Pakistani are better at time warp mechanics so don’t bring THEM into this argument. I wish I could joyride in a TARDIS – it would be so much fun destroying the pattern of recorded time in sheer decadence.
SPIDER: Decadence, decadence, decadence! Is that all you can speak about? You worry me, you know, Jumbo. One of these days you’re going to freak out – and then you’ll really freak out!
KEITH: Yes, Jumbo, you really are a head case. Why don’t you run for President and make radical, sweeping changes to the edicts of Rassilon? Or see a psychoanalyst, whichever is easier.
SPIDER: Because he’s not mad, Keith, he’s just like one of us – always searching for something, that elusive something so elusive that it’s hard to find even by us, the higher evolutionaries.
KEITH: Yes, I suppose you’re right, Spider. You’ve got your time whores and Jumbo’s got his archaic traditions of Gallifrey, I’ve got a verruca... so we’ve ALL got problems.
JUMBO: Hey, look at all those Time Lords being xenophobic! Just looking at them makes me want to beat them death and join Flexi-Time.
KEITH: I don’t believe I’m hearing this! Don’t be so pathetic about time terrorists, Jumbo. When you indulge in racist violence like that it shows that all you really want is to have sex with your own ancestors, causing one big timey-wimey ontological paradox.
SPIDER: Look out everybody – Temporal Difference of Opinion!
ANDRED: Get me out of here. Get me away from Gallifrey. Exile me!
ROMANA: And lose you out there? Oh, I don’t think so.
ANDRED: Afraid I might come back with an army and depose you?
ROMANA: Afraid you might try, screw it up and make Gallifrey look foolish in front of the other Temporal Powers – like the LAST seventeen times you tried that.
ANDRED: OK, you got me there.
LEELA: If we find wood in the dust, it tells us little, but if we find a NECKLACE, it shows there is a jewelry-maker!
ROMANA: There’s no mysterious spirit overseeing the grand design, Leela! The jewelry-maker is a BLIND one! Honestly, savage, haven’t you read Richard Dawkins?
Dustbin Triumphs –
VYVYAN: Civil war? Piss off.
ROMANA I: So you’re what I’ll become one day, are you? How... homely.
ROMANA II: And you’re who I was. How... gauche.
NARVIN: Woo-hoo! Girl fight!
BRAXIATEL: Sometimes it’s isn’t WHAT you want that’s important. It’s WHY you want it. Now this Happy Meal came with a free plastic toy and as Chancellor of the Time Lords I DEMAND MY HAMBURGLER ACTION FIGURE!
DARKEL: Yes it was me, yes I released Pandora, yes I want to see our beloved weak-willed appeasement-minded President removed from the office she so disgraces. Lost for words? How the mighty have fallen!
(Braxiatel takes out a biro and rams it into the top of Darkel’s skull, leaving her writhing in agony while he leaves in his TARDIS.)
ROMANA II: You past lives ALWAYS want more life! Always blame the successive regeneration! Always try to steal the celebrity cameo scenes in anniversary specials! Always with such typical bad grace ingrained in ALL Time Lords!
ROMANA I: Like wanting more time in office when really your time has come?
ROMANA II: SHUT YO MOUF, BEEYOTCH!
ROMANA: Why did you of all people join Flexi-Time?
RICK: Why do I fight? I fight to live.
Why do I live? I live to die.
Why do I die? Because I feel like it, that’s why!
So don’t fence me in, Daddio, ask me when I’m gone!
ROMANA: Leela? Kill him!
RICK: Argh! Oh please, Your Majestic Honour, it wasn’t me, it was the Dustbins, I didn’t do it, they made me, honestly, it wasn’t me, stab THEM to death!
Viewer’s Quotes –
"Why oh why do we need Romana I back? Backstabbing harlot. And as for Darkel, sweet Zombie Jesus, I want to slap that calculating conservative cow every time she opened her damn mouth!"
- Andrew Beeblebrox (2005)
"God, this really is a load of salty spunk, disgusting and indigestible, totally plotless and obsessed with the past (I gave up counting the references but when mentions were made about the events of Nowhere-Land and Arc of Sinfinity I started to cry) and loaded with Gary Russell written dialogue cheese. Cheesy spunk filled with awful revisionist moments where he dips into the continuity of the series and provides the answer to one of its mysteries with his usual heavy-handedness! Not content with turning Rassilon into a one-dimensional bully with no brains at all called Nicholas Briigs, he now has to provide the explanation for Romana’s unexpected regeneration! HOW TOTALLY CRAP IS THIS FUCKING SHIT?! Why can’t they just leave the past alone and stop screwing around with what we already know?"
- Craig Hinton (2006)
"Why don’t Big Finish stop releasing Doctor Who stories and just concentrate on the mini series they have so successfully created? In all honesty the interest in audio Doctor Who has waned seriously, just LOOK at the Ratings Guide! Back at the beginning there were nine or ten people hungrily reviewing every story but these days you are lucky if three or four people can be bothered! Look at the polls online, all the stories from three years ago are topping those polls whilst anything brought out in the past two is languishing rather pathetically at the bottom. Is it because people have had their fill of audio Who? Is it because Big Finish has declined in quality? Is it because the interest of fandom has been transplanted over to the new TV series and to a certain extent the books which are dealing with the same set of regulars? DOCTOR WHO IS CRAP! ONLY DUSTBIN UMPIRE MATTERS!"
- Thomas Cookson (2008)
"It reminds me of the good old days of DS9; power struggles, political problems, spiritual undertones and fabulous characters. Until they changed Dax with that total bimbo. I never coped with that. The whole Dominion can go fuck itself for all I care. Is DS9 actually over? Still don’t care. With Leela, two Romanas and Darkel, the next series looks like it’s going to be one hell of a lesbian spank inferno bitch orgy. Steven Moffat is wasting his efforts on the TV series with this sex-fast on offer." - Nigel Verkoff (2007)
"Gay Russell’s wish to set a serial-based drama on Gallifrey is perhaps the worst idea I have heard of since JST decided to crash a Concorde on prehistoric Earth!" - Eric Saward (2006)
Lalla Ward Speaks!
"Gosh, this is getting exciting, isn’t it?"
Mary Tamm Speaks!
"I’ve been pestering Gay Russell to do one of these for years. Not that I’m really fussed about it, but I do so love pestering Gay. So it’s nice finally doing one for a change. I like people are going to be pleasantly surprised, because it doesn’t come together half as awful as I expected it to be."
Louise Jameson Speaks!
"I can’t believe how they handled the character of Andred in this season. What’s the point of killing off a love interest, bringing them back to life, and then killing him off AGAIN, this time for good? You wouldn’t see stupid character development like THAT in an official BBC series, would you?"
John Leeson Speaks!
"Hahah! I’m going to be in the REAL TV show! He shoots, HE SCORES!!"
Lynda Bellingham Speaks!
"It’s nice playing a bitch. Everyone’s always so bleeding nice all the time, smiling at you while letting down the air in your car tires. A bit of honesty is what’s needed. If someone annoys you, let them know about it. And THEN let the air out of their car tires. Hahahaha."
With the second series of Gallifrey 90210, Gay Russell was finally able to fully realize his dream of making an audio series so utterly intricate and complex the only way to truly appreciate the storyline was to be affixed into a Clockwork Orange style set up that forced you to witness every real second. Of course, since then, wikipedia and the Doctor Who Reference Guide that mean damn well anyone can get the gist, or maybe go to a certain bravenet website run by me and get all the juicy details without having to listen to a single second.
IN YOUR FACE, RUSSELL!!
Gay Russell wrote the first story of the season, simply because Alan Barnes had gone a bit loopy and was now insisting he was in fact a bathtub full of jelly – his last scrap of sanity lost during the horror of The Best Wife. The other writers from the first season, Justin Richards, Steven Cole and Steven Lyons point blank refused to leave the place, while Stewart Sheargold was hanging around demanding an apology for the treatment he received for his Seventh Doctor and Mel story Orange.
By now, however, fandom had decided that Gallifrey 90210 was a complete waste of their time and the only thing that could ever interest them in a second season was MAXIMUM FANWANK – the final confrontation between the two incarnations of Romana. Such imaginative self-abnegation inspired Russell, who immediately make this the cornerstone of the series and penned the very first story of the season devoted entirely to the two Romana, as well as making Gallifrey the Galactic University based on a mis-remembered Mighty Midget TV Comic 21 strip from 1969 involving the Quirks.
The second installment was by Stephen Cole, who technically created the series with his first and indeed only Doctor Who story, The Apocalypse Elephant which introduced the idea of President Romana, the Temporal Powers, and Dusbtin versus Time Lord. He’s be revered as a visionary if the story wasn’t so utterly ghastly. This was why Cole wasn’t actually allowed to write a story set on Gallifrey, or actually have any kind of real plot and everything he DID write was mercilessly retconned as a dream.
The next story was by Justin Richards, who created the character of Braxiatel and thus chosen to write the manipulative sod out of the series in order to appease BOTH fans who insisted that Big Finish maintained New Adventure continuity despite the whole Zig-Zag-Gay-Ass multiple canonicity thing. For Christ’s sake, why are these anal fans NOT anal enough to realize how stupid they are!
The final installment was originally going to be Steve Lyons who came up with the brilliant idea of an evil incarnation of Romana attempting to conquer Gallifrey using Inquisitor Darkel. Normally he would have been told off for coming up with an idea already done in 1986’s Mistrial of a Time Lord, but for Lyons this was staggeringly innovative and thus the script was used before Lyons went on to his latest stroke of genius – a show about two time detectives from another dimension with alliterative, elemental names he was certain that PJ Hammond hadn’t already done first.
Stewart Sheargold, still bleeding and raw from his argument over the editorial choices for his own Doctor Who story Orange, took Lyons script and made it halfway interesting and entertaining. Well, slightly more original, at any rate.
By the time the second season of Gallifrey 90210 hit the shelves, RTD’s Welsh revival of Doctor Who had been an even bigger success than even fandom had hoped for, even with all the Welsh stuff and the main actor quitting after less than a year. One trouble was the back story of a massive Temporal Difference of Opinion between the Time Lords and the Dustbins wiping out every last motherfucking one of both sides, leaving the Doctor the sole survivor.
This did rather make Gallifrey 90210 a completely redundant spin off as the entire cast were clearly more doomed than a convention of Blake’s 7 regulars and it was obvious all this civil war nonsense sorted itself out just in time for the apocalypse. Continuing the saga would have been a pointless implosion of fanwank.
Which is precisely why Russell commissioned a third series.