Serial CP7 – Charley –vs- Viyran –vs- Dustbin
An Alternative Program Guide by Ewen Campion-Clarke
Another Entry in the EC Unauthorized Guide O'Verload
The Sixth Doctor, long weary of this overblown story arc, decides that, with due consideration, at the end of the day, when all is said and done, couldn’t give a monkey’s fuck about who Charley is or what her dark and mysterious past might contain.
In a fit of pure spite, he fiddles with the TARDIS console and switches off one of the time machine’s vital Plot Devices, which stops its crew from perishing from every possible germ and disease they will encounter throughout time and space unless there’s a decent four-part story in the offing.
As Charley is, as has already been established, the biggest slut in the omniverse, she’s been exposed to every venereal disease throughout time and space. Without the protection of the TARDIS, she immediately is reduced to a "seething caldera of sexually transmitted diseases" (TM Johan 'Hashish Addict' Redsen).
Gripped with agony, bright green and beginning to smell, Charley is locked in Adric’s bedroom and warned that she will not be allowed out – nor given any medical attention, but that really is the less important factor at the moment – until she spills the beans about who she is, where she comes from and why the hell she refuses to accept that the Doctor is gay and keeps trying to take him roughly from behind!
The Doctor’s smugness is slightly warn down when he realizes he has no idea how to cure the various STDs ravaging Charley and he probably best get some kind of Space Penicillin or something. He thus sets the TARDIS to locate the biggest store of antibiotics in all of creation, and the time machine hurtles to the very dawn of history and a world covered in volcanoes and hot juices – not that there’s any kind of Freudian subtext involved here, not at all, no sir.
So, the TARDIS lands on the planet of Amethyst-Coloured Vaginal Discharge (referred to for reasons of good taste as just "Amethyst") in a huge underground bunker patrolled by a dull-looking man in a kipper-shaped tie and red suspenders.
This is Malachi "Prattling" Fratalin, a Chogrophin protoplasmic creature who can divide into an 800-strong army of clones by ameba-like fission. A man of infinite patience and the creativity of a brick, Fratalin is so utterly boring he has volunteered to spend centuries at this VD Security Station working to stockpile literally millions of rampant social diseases. These nasty little infections are the fallout of an ancient biological war and are being gathered in one place so the mighty bad bad mofos known as the Viyrans can arrive to finally sterilize the cosmos of Space Chlamydia forever more!
Fratalin orders his clones to hurl the Time Lord into the waste vent leading out to the molten lava lakes to perish... but the Doctor is miraculously saved when he discovers the vent is blocked by a Dustbin time-ship containing an undercover taskforce who are obsessively-compulsively cleaning and tidying the vent of its dirt and grime...
Back in the TARDIS, Charley is horrified to discover she is not alone – someone else has stowed away into the TARDIS and is even more of a creepy psycho-fan of the Doctor than she is!
Yes, it is Margaret Pollard, Charley’s oft-forgotten third sister! Always overlooked in favor for her nympho siblings, Margaret has spent a lifetime of voyeuristic sexual frustration and by now her passionate desire could out-burn most stars in the sky!
Margaret managed to sneak aboard the Dustbin time-ship when they stopped off in 1930s England to stop up on Edwardian cleaning supplies. These Dustbins, part of the new post-Lavros generation, have become as obsessed with Charley as everyone else and thus Margaret is to all intents and purposes invisible in comparison. Now she has caught up with her wayward sister and vengeance is now hers!
"Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiight," Charley says slowly.
Charley decides to take her chances outside the TARDIS, but all her STDs set off every biological alert in the facility – mistaking her for one of the viruses gone loose! In moments Fratalin clones have thrown her into a cage, but Charley is disappointed to learn there is no bondage fun on offer. She’s in an isolation cell where she can expire of every todger-rotting pestilence she has contracted over her monumentally sordid life!
"Sucks to be you!" Margaret laughs cruelly.
She’s changed her hair and her wardrobe (well... put on a G-string and a bra made out of two OTHER G-strings) and now looks a dead ringer for Charley. She intends to take over as the Doctor’s new companion and slowly but surely corrupt him back to heterosexuality while her much more popular and memorable sister dies of the pox!
"Better whores than you have tried!" Charley vows.
Back in the vent, the Doctor is miraculously not being shot dead by the Dustbins. This taskforce, lead by the creepy and slightly-geeky Dustbin Time Controller (hereafter referred to as the Purple Dustbin), deliberately do NOT exterminate the Doctor and indeed make an actual, considered decision NOT to do this rather than waiting for a convenient cliff-hanger-resolving dues ex machine.
Instead, they order the Doctor to keep the hell out of their way as they break into the Amethyst Station to complain to management about the appalling standards of hygiene – pausing on the way to nuke a couple of Fratalin clones they pass on the way.
Assuming that the Dustbins have finally woken up and realized how wonderful and charismatic he is, the Doctor flounces on after them, promising autographs and doing public appearances on Fargo. The Purple Dustbin decides to let him believe this on the grounds he won’t have any reason to kick their tin bottoms across the spaceways like he has on every other single occasion their paths have crossed.
He’s nae daft, the Purple Dustbin, and the Doctor meanwhile is so delighted that he decides Fratalin’s comparative rudeness means he DESERVES to die writhing in a lethal radiation burst, and helps the Dustbins take over the complex with all due speed!
For the next few episodes it all becomes a blur of Dustbins exterminating Fratalin clones while the Doctor cackles insanely in the background, and then Fratalin decides he is getting too old for this shit and brings in the big guns: yes, the Viyrans whose appearance was cunningly foreshadowed not only in the title but the seven hundred and fifty two separate mentions of them in the story so far!
The Purple Dustbin decides that it might be best if the Dustbins finish their mission and get the sweet merciful fuck out of here before the Viyrans turn up! The Dustbins plan to steal the entire Amethyst Station and use the deadly stockpile of plagues to wipe the entire universe clean of dirty, filthy little humanoid bastards – and is also just the sort of thing needed to win the Temporal Difference of Opinion, but we pretend not to know all about the RTD era whenever the Sixth Doctor’s on the cover, don’t we, boys and girls?
"SOON DUSTBIN VICTORY OVER THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE WILL BE ASSURED!" the Purple Dustbin announces. "NOT THAT I’M GETTING AHEAD OF MYSELF OR ANYTHING. I’M FULLY AWARE THERE’S QUITE A BIT LEFT TO GO AND THINGS CAN CHANGE ANY SECOND BUT, ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, I’M STILL FEELING PRETTY CONFIDENT, TRUTH BE TOLD..."
Alas, during this reasonably optimistic speech, the Viyrans have actually arrived and they don’t take any shit from nobody!
The not-a-bit-like-the-Cylons-from-the-good-old-days Viyrans storm the station and immediately set about kicking some serious Dustbin ass. As the Viyrans are completely, antiseptically sterile, there is no dirt for the Dustbins to eradicate and an epic stalemate begins with both sides shooting the crap out of each other to absolutely no advantage.
With the battle in the background, Margaret catches up to the Doctor and effortlessly convinces him that she is Charley Pollard – he’s never bothered to pay much attention to her and frankly all humans look the same as far as he is concerned. Indeed, the only clue as to her true identity is she isn’t making smutty innuendo about using the Dustbin’s various power-vac attachments for her own sexual gratification.
In order to save the day, the Doctor finds the oh-so-convenient station self-destruct control and presses it. Repeatedly. Fratalin is horrified that such an explosion will send the contained viruses out into space to cause untold damage across the galaxies, but the Time Lord smacks him over the head and tells him to have a bit more faith in passing badly-dressed psychotic time travelers.
The Purple Dustbin cunningly uses the Dustbin time-ship to freeze the Amethyst station the instant before it explodes, but it now means every Dustbin is needed to constantly click "OK" on error pop-ups to allow the stasis field to continue and they’re simply too damn busy to do anything else, like exterminate their mortal enemies.
The Doctor is hideously smug at this easy victory and mocks the Purple Dustbin for being a stubborn moron who never grasps the big picture.
The Purple Dustbin then switches off the stasis field – meaning that Amethyst will explode in the distant past, sending the viruses across the galaxy for the Dustbins to collect at their leisure in the present.
"HAH! I GOT YOUR BIG PICTURE RIGHT HERE, TIME LORD!" the Purple Dustbin jeers, before vanishing in a cheap editing trick also known as Emergency Temporal Shift. "SAYONARA, SHIT-HEAD!"
The Doctor is torn – does he risk suicide in trying to create an even BIGGER explosion to destroy the viruses or else allow an ongoing BF story-arc to unfold as it already has done?
Ultimately, Margaret drop-kicks the Time Lord unconscious and drags him back to the TARDIS and they take off a split-second before the big bang incinerates everything, including poor Fratalin who is totally confused about what the hell is going on.
The TARDIS is caught in the temporal shockwave long enough to pad out the rest of the episode with suitable dramatic tension but survives intact and the Doctor and Margaret fly off to further adventures, pretending that none of this ever happened.
However, in the pulse-pounding teaser cliffhanger reveals that the Viyrans are so damned bastard hard they have survived the destruction of Amethyst... and they have also captured the real Charley Pollard, and are curing her STDs, one by one.
I smell a story arc in the offing...
Book(s)/Other Related -
Charley and the Herpes of TIME!
Dr Who & The Pyrrhic Victory of the Dustbins
N. Verkoff: Stalker Without Standards
Fluffs – India Fisher seemed to be contagious in this story.
Doctor: We’ll find another way to defeat the Dustbins—
Fratalin: No! You said yourself that they never give up! Doctor, you can’t do this! You must be strong! You must—
Doctor: Then I can’t be that ‘strong’! If that’s what strength is, it’s beyond me! I’m sorry, Fratalin, but I must. And when it comes to defeating the Dustbins, I never give up hope!
Dustbin: OH WILL YOU TWO JUST SHUT THE GODDAMNED HELL UP?
The other problem with the Dustbins is simply that... well... they’re Dustbins. Again. It’s only two stories since the last lot. And that one wasn’t very good. Still, at least they’re not all off their faces on hallucinogenic pollen and praising Karl Marx this week, I guess.
Fashion Victims –
Fratalin understandably wants to disinfect the Doctor’s coat and then burn it, assuming it is covered in different-coloured bacteria rather than any sentient being actually DESIGNING something that hideous.
"Cellular mutation alert! Molecular structure is phasing with reality! Stabilize power fluctuations from warp reactor field before dimensional fusing DNA occur! Shut down hyper-drive immediately! WHY DON’T ANY OF YOU BASTARDS LISTEN TO ME?!"
Links and References -
Charley mentioned her sister Margaret in "Zig-Zag-Gay-Ass" (Serial 8N) but, like everything else in that story, assumed it wasn’t canon.
Untelevised Misadventures -
The Doctor claims he spent years having lots of solo adventures while Charley was unconscious, before admitting it was all a lie and she’s only been out for half an hour. (see Dialogue Disasters below)
Dialogue Disasters –
Viyrans: We are the Viyrans. We have our mission. We obey no one. We have the ultimate authority. Our mums are bigger than your mums.
Doctor: My dear Miss Pollard - are you stroking the inside of my upper thighs in an admiring fashion?
Margaret: Might be.
Doctor: Well don’t. It’s making me feel queasy.
Margaret: Doctor! You should be straight!
Doctor: I know, it must be very infuriating for you.
Doctor: Dustbins? Oh fuck.
Fratalin: Wash your mouth out with carbolic soap!
Doctor: Um... yes. Well, I’m sure that is completely necessary. But, just as a suggestion, how about we run for our lives instead?
Margaret: You’re like me, aren’t you, Charlotte? We’re the same. We’re coming together, Charlotte. You and me. I love everything you are. Everything. You’re perfect. I long to be like you. I want to BE you.
Charley: Well, you’re only human, after all.
Dustbin: FRATALIN! IF YOU DO NOT SHUT DOWN THE FORCE-FIELD, WE WILL TRACK YOU DOWN AND EXTERMINATE YOU LIKE A DOG!
Fratalin: I cannot obey your commands! I have committed my whole life, my very being, to my duty in this station! I will not betray the great work we have begun here. There is much more at stake here than my survival. So you must do your worst, Dustbin. I will not yield.
Dustbin: HMM? WHAT? SORRY. DRIFTED OFF THERE FOR A MINUTE. WERE YOU SAYING SOMETHING?
Charley: Doctor, I know you’re angry with me, but—
Doctor: What? Charley... that was years ago!
Charley: Say what?!
Doctor: You’ve been in here for years. In some kind of coma.
Charley: Years?! Oh my God! You’re not serious. Years? Really?
Doctor: [burst out laugh] Ahhh, I’m just messing with you! Oh, Charlotte, you should really see your face, you gullible little slut! Ha! Not even Peri would have fallen for that one! HAhah!
Charley: ...I violently dislike you.
Margaret: I’ve been watching you so closely. I know everything I need to know about you.
Charley: You don’t know the truth! You can’t HANDLE the truth!
Dialogue Triumphs -
Doctor: These Viyrans... they’re coming to take the viruses away, ah-hah? They’re coming to take them away? To burn in the heart of a star? To the where life is beautiful all the time and we’ll be happy to see those nice butch fellows in their clean white armor and they’re coming to take the viruses away, ho-hoo, he-hee, HA-HAAA!!!
Purple Dustbin: IDENTITY CONFIRMED – THIS IS OUR GREATEST ENEMY, THE TIME LORD KNOWN AS THE DOCTOR.
Dustbin Commander: HE MUST BE EXTERMINATED!
Purple Dustbin: NO.
Dustbin Commander: NO? ARE YOU SHITTING ME?
Purple Dustbin: NO.
Dustbin Commander: HE IS OUR GREATEST ENEMY! HE MUST DIE!
Purple Dustbin: OUR IMPERATIVES ARE TO LOCATE THE VIRUSES.
Dustbin Commander: HE’S THE FUCKING DOCTOR FOR CRYING OUT LOUD! HE’S ONLY HERE TO *IMPEDE* OUR IMPERATIVES!
Purple Dustbin: SEE, THAT’S PRECISELY THE NEGATIVE ATTITUDE THAT STOPS YOU GETTING ANY PROMOTION PROSPECTS AND WHY I HAVE A FUNKY PURPLE CASING AND YOU HAVE THAT GHASTLY GOLDEN BLING.
Dustbin Commander: OI! DO NOT DISS THE BLING!
Purple Dustbin: OK, BUT ONLY IF YOU DON’T EXTERMINATE THE DOCTOR.
Dustbin Commander: FINE!
Purple Dustbin: FINE!
Dustbin Commander: FINE!
Charley: Margaret Pollard? Who are you? Some ghastly relative I’ve met and have totally forgotten all about?
Margaret: I’m your goddamn sister!
Charley: Well, mum WAS a bit of a slapper, it’s entirely credible...
Margaret: We’re triplets! You, me and Cecilia!
Charley: Well, I don’t remember you.
Margaret: But I’ve worshipped you all my life!
Charley: Have you? How fascinating. By which I mean "not remotely fascinating at all in any way, shape or form."
Doctor: Don’t you understand? I can’t let that girl die! I’ve traveled across the entire universe, across aeons to try to save her. She’s been an enigma to me far too long. I hardly know her at all and, in fact, I’m certain she’s been hiding the truth about herself from me ever since we met. And yet...
Fratalin: And yet, you feel a connection?
Doctor: Mm? Um, no. But I simply MUST convince her that I’m gay. You might call it stupid and irrational, but I’m not going to lost her life without making VERY clear I don’t find her remotely attractive!
Purple Dustbin: THE DUSTBINS HAVE ENCOUNTERED DEFIANCE OF THIS NATURE MANY TIMES BEFORE. CHRIST, IT GETS PREDICTABLE. AND IT ALWAYS GETS CRUSHED AND YOU SACRIFICE YOUR LIVES FOR NOTHING! HAH! WHAT A NIHILISTIC WAY TO START THE NIGHT!
Doctor: I didn’t chase round the universe to find a way of curing you, just to see you take stupid risks! "Stupid"? What am I talking about? "Suicidal" risks! AND STOP FONDLING MY BOTTOM, CHARLEY!!
Viewer Quotes -
"Well, that was excellent: best Big Finish I've listened to for a long time. Brilliant. Sublime from beginning to end. I can't recommend this one enough, a plot, story, drama, explosions, a fantastic score. What a fantastic release! Good story with an unpredictable plot, good acting and a great ending! I HAVE TAKEN DRUGS!"
– SFX reviewer (2009)
"Really can’t say that this grabbed me in the slightest."
– Brutally Honest Ron (2010)
"Whoa, I like totally thought that the Purple Dustbin would actually be Charley in the future! Turns out he was just Dustbin Don from the new series... unless Dustbin Don IS Charley in the future! WOW!"
– a very, very, VERY stoned Eve Markson (2009)
"I groaned with realization that this was another Dustbin story, as the tile, cover artwork and the first three episodes didn’t hammer the point home enough to get through my skull, but the Dustbins appeared with a completely different Doctor/companion line up less than two years previously. I might have been a little more excited if they hadn’t, but the Dustbins have never thrilled my with their presence and I think they work best when they’re not involved in anything."
– Mark "No Sense of Shame" Gatiss (2011)
"Dustbin stories in Big Finish are like Star Trek films - only alternate ones are any good." – an oxygen thief (2009)
"Besides Charley’s fate, the Dustbins from the future, the Fratalin clones, the virus containment, the shuttle trains, Margaret’s obsession, the lengthy diatribes on the nature of free will as a four-dimensional concept in linear progression and the Viyrans turning up... this is really just a few explosions and the Doctor shouting moral outrages and asking 'What’s going on?' whilst standing in a corridor."
– The Narrative Curveball Frustration Monthly (2010)
India Fisher Speaks!
"I was worried that they’d get John Culshaw to play Margaret – I mean, he sounds as much like me as he does Tom Baker, doesn’t he? But no, they got this mimic called Jess Robinson. She sounds a damn sight sexier than I ever sound, so I had a threesome with her and Sheridan Smith later that day. I love my life."
Colin Baker Speaks!
"You know what? When I read this script I couldn’t put it down – and I can’t divulge the ingredients that made it so unputdownable, but at least large factor was that someone had spilt superglue all over it before hand. The solvents used to take it off made me go 'Wow! Ooh! Phwoar! EEE!' and I think skin grafts may be required."
Eddie Hitler Speaks!
"We wanted to bring the first season to a real, stonking, nose-biting orgasm of a crescendoy-type conclusion! We had the idea of ripping off Single White Female with obsessed stalker who eventually mistaken for her own stalkee – and wouldn’t that be the ultimately irony when the clingy high-maintenance Charley HERSELF has a stalker? And, yes. I said 'nose-biting'. What’s the problem with that? You VIRGIN!!"
Rumors & Facts -
Thoroughly disappointed by the embarrassing collage of fanwank and capitalist propaganda that was Charley & Das Kapital of the Dustbins, head honcho Eddie Hitler wanted a PROPER Dustbin story for Charley’s Odyssey, aping the television series’ most iconic episode: Dustbin –vs- Cyberman by Russel Tiberius Davies.
Hitler wanted a story featuring the Dustbins going to war against another formidable Doctor Who villain and in the midst of the carnage the Doctor would lose a blonde bimbo he’d had UST with for far too long. This time that blonde bimbo would be Charley E Bah Gum Pollard and the other formidable Doctor Who villain would be...
Yes, Hitler was confused who they were as well. But since they couldn’t afford BOTH the Dustbins and the Cybermen, the other big bad would have to be one of Big Finish’s own creations. And since the only other options were the Debt Collectors, it looked like the Viyrans were the only viable alternative – even though they were an idea Nicholas Briggs had come up with his early teens that was so crap that it had never been used, even in the Oddly Visuals!
Now THAT is what I call "tacky".
It was then that Hitler was approached by a strangely familiar... er, stranger. A tall, skinny bald man with a porn-star moustache and an outrageous French accent, the man identified himself as none other than David Sax, creator of the Viyrans.
Hitler told him to piss off.
After a series of very complicated misunderstandings and talking at cross-purposes for days at a time, the truth was finally uncovered. Nicholas Briggs had barged into BBC Wales and threatened Steven Moffat with a toothbrush, screaming "Make me the Eleventh Doctor – or I’ll fucking kill you!" at the top of his voice.
Normally, Moffat would have simply ripped the pretender’s head off his shoulders and turned it into a chemical toilet in the traditional highland manner, but conceded that Briggs was too valuable to kill as he was the only one capable (and willing) to do monster voices.
Thus Moffat decreed the Ultimate Punishment that had only ever been done to one other before – Chris Chin-Balls. When RTD got sick of the immature, nauseating serial masturbator stuffing up Touchwood, he placed the irritating twat into BBC Wales’ exclusive Chameleon Arch and rewrote the very essence of the writer creating a brand new life form: CHRIS CHIBNALL! He was now mature, talented, witty and could easy pass as a main character from the Matrix in his dark glasses, black leather coat and telekinetic ability.
Unfortunately, Chibnall was so enlightened he realized he was way better than working for shit like Touchwood and promptly quit, taking half the cast with him to Law and Order: UK-Style. Thus, RTD had forbidden the Chameleon Arch’s use ever again.
Moffat had no such inhibitions and forced Briggs into the Chameleon Arch face first and eventually transformed him into the incredibly-normal-and-well-adjusted David Sax who at no point attempted to murder anyone, steal the role of the Doctor, or write to Her Majesty The Queen of England demanding for him to be dubbed canonical.
It seemed like a plan with no drawbacks, until it became apparent that not only had the Chameleon Arch been damaged beyond all repair, but also that Mark Gatiss needed his DNA diddled with far more than either of the previous two victims.
That, mercifully, is another story. Specifically the story "War-Bonds of the Dustbins" which, curiously enough, was also a working title for this very tale. Another one was "The Fifth Element", which Hitler had become obsessed with and was firmly convinced the main character was Amy Pond with a slightly more intelligible accent.
Hitler decided that they might as well get Sax to write two of the remaining stories for the first season for Charley’s Odyssey. Alan Barnes warned Hitler that Sax would undoubtedly go mad and die if he attempted this, but on reflection he honestly couldn’t think of why this outcome would be a bad thing.
With absolutely no interest in how the workload would affect Sax’s workload, Hitler sat back, relaxed and drank so much Mr. Sheen he eventually floated out of the office window and eventually was brought back to earth when he collided with a flock of geese.
In the meantime, Sax had decided that the cast should only consist of five people including himself. True, this would mean the plot now would be unable to be anything bar some explosions in some corridors, but it meant the story would be recorded quicker, faster, more efficient, and there would more chocolate biscuits to go around in the green room.
Gripped by the sugar rush from excess chocolate biscuits, cast and crew chanted "The Viyrans kick ass!" and marveled at how interesting, complex and memorable the monsters were, announcing that Big Finish had finally created a TRULY compelling alien race to stand the test of time and would not seem out of place in the new series.
Thankfully, they all calmed down before this went too far.
Personally I feel this solid story, while not exactly groundbreaking, is nicely produced given the limitations and progresses what some feared would be Charley Pollard’s last hurrah.
Well, I say "some feared". I could also say "some thanked god her time appeared to be up as she was a one-note actress well past her sell-by-date and Sheridan Smith was vastly superior" but the people who talk like that should have railroad spikes forced up their anal sphincters.