Monday, June 1, 2009

The Raincloud Man

Serial CP6 – The Raincloud Charley
An Alternative Program Guide by Ewen Campion-Clarke
Another Entry in the EC Unauthorized Guide O' Sequel Stress
Thanks to Jared "No Nickname" Hansen for the cop show stuff

DCI Gene "Genie" Hunt of the Manchester Armed Bastard Police Force parks his car in a glorious 720 degree handbrake turn at the latest crime scene. To his disgust, he finds the smoldering wreckage of a caravan and half a dozen dead junkies with 2012 Olympic merchandise despite the fact it’s 1980, and thus a blatant temporal paradox. Thus, Gene kicks the corpses in a rage.

Turning to his fellow coppers, Gene tells them to 'shut it' before they’ve even started to open their mouths and screams his head off about the "NEW POISON IN MY CITY!!!" and abruptly pulls out three magnums – not a bad trick if you can do it. "Everybody else is off the case! These mofos are MINE!"

Soon after he says this he realizes that he doesn’t actually have any leads, but concedes that it doesn’t matter that much considering his general 'investigation' style. He then gets back in his car and flattens an ice-cream stall as he thunders off at his cars minimum speed of 85 mph.

"So... does that guy work here or something?" asks one of the several baffled policemen.

Gene then nearly runs over Charley in the Doctor as they emerge from the curry house he was going to ram-raid on the grounds a curry house is the logical place to begin his investigation. Delighted that his methods have paid off once again, Gene slams the Doctor against the bonnet of his beloved Ford Cortina and demands he talk.

"All right, Joseph of the multicolored vomit stains, have you been paying for your illegal rent boys with cold hard cash that won’t be minted this side of the millennium or are you going to try to tell me with your few remaining teeth that it’s a complete coincidence? How do I know it’s not you from further on in your timeline behind all this, eh? Give a reason not to kill you and retroactively solve the case, Dr. Kildare, can you do that? Thought not!"

The Doctor manages to protest that he is as concerned about the origin of the anachronistic money as Gene is – more so, in fact, as the owner of the currency might be trying to change the course of human history, weaken Earth for an alien attack, or even worse have no idea what they’re doing and bring about the apocalypse totally be accident.

Leaving the Time Lord in the gutter with several compound fracture, Gene decides to take an hour off the case to have a blisteringly hot sex session with Charley in the back of his beloved car, then drag-race his mate Duggan Dougal before gate-crashing his one time sensitive snout – an alien informant who proved completely useless to the other time travelers Gene has had to put up with.

Things get off to an awkward start when, upon taking one look at Charley, Kelsey the time sensitive screams in agony, smashes his head three times against the sink, screams abuse at Charley for being an unresolved temporal paradox loitering around her future lover’s past and screams at her to tell the Doctor the truth before her stupidity destroys two thirds of the entire universe.

He then throws himself down the stairs and kills himself.

Gene decides to arrest Charley for murder – all right, it was suicide, he’s a witness and Charley had absolutely no motive or opportunity, but he needs twenty crimes a day to justify his awe-inspiring paycheck. Charley doesn’t mind, as this is an excuse for more bondage involving handcuffs and she’s been falsely accused of murder so many times now it has become synonymous with "Hello".

The Doctor meanwhile has bothered to investigate the crime scene and discovers one of the dead junkies idly wrote about how he got his funky future finances from the Japanese restaurant Touchwood Toshiko Titty-Kaka’s. At the restaurant, the Doctor enjoys some crispy duck, makes a nasty scene with the waiter, and discovers they got the cash from a strange woman who ordered the fried rice and didn’t leave a tip.

Upon leaving the restaurant, the Doctor is promptly beaten up by a gill-breather Klepton Parasite, who in turn gets scared off when a hyno-eyed Caterpillar Man rugby-tackles him and a huge fight kicks off while the Time Lord runs off whimpering like a baby man.

He is immediately almost run over by a familiar Ford Cortina driven by Gene Hunt and containing "Charlotte Church" in the back seat. Gene’s prized car smashes into a pile of empty cardboard boxes and in the confusion, Charley wraps her handcuffed arms around Gene’s neck and chokes him unconscious. For the sheer hell of it.

She immediately flees the car crash before the Doctor can get to his feet. Upon realizing what’s going on, the Doctor crosses to the prone body of Gene and starts repeatedly kicking him in the ribs until the ambulance officers force him to stop.

Bloody annoyed at his fun being spoiled, the Doctor decides he personally no longer cares about temporal deviants abusing their time travel in Manchester for their own financial gains. In fact, he finds it a bloody good idea and immediately starts looking for any casinos in the area he can defraud using his super Time Lord powers.

Charley in the meantime decides to return to the TARDIS and take off, whether the Doctor’s there or not - unfortunately, the ship doesn’t seem to be where she thought it had landed and it soon becomes clear the TARDIS has gone! Actually in fact, it’s just around the corner, but it’s a dramatic peak to the episode, so let’s just roll with it.

With the TARDIS "gone", Charley decides to forget all her troubles and head for the nearest casino where she can slut it up and find herself some new sugar daddy. By a staggering coincidence signifying a complete breakdown in the laws of probability... or very poor scripting... she happens to arrive at the exact same casino where the Doctor is loitering, trying to look butch as he sips a fruit cocktail.

Idly they meet, chat about the stuff that’s happened to them, compare notes on how stunningly sexy Gene Hunt is, before finally noticing a rather uptight woman who is winning a ridiculously large amount of money on a single bet. Deciding, based on the outrageous coincidences so far, that she is most likely the one responsible for the out-of-time cash arriving in Manchester’s economy, the Doctor decides to ruin her night by putting her off her game. This allows the gambling house to slip him a backhander when she loses a fortune at poker.

"Ah, human beings," the Doctor notes affectionately. "So much more fun when they’re corrupt."

But the woman, Carmen, takes offense to this and kung-fu kicks the Doctor until he falls to the floor in agony, screaming that he is a "bitch" who should "pay his momma what he owes" and just when it looks like things are going to turn R-rated, the police arrive, headed by DI Gene Hunt. No auto-erotic asphyxiation or car crashes can keep a man of HIS appetites down!

Carmen is arrested and Gene ignores her accusations of the Doctor rigging the game in return for a cut of the Time Lord’s fee for doing so. He then punches the Time Lord in the head and throws him into the ornamental sculpture of champagne glasses, which offends Gene’s sensibilities being so highly refined and thoroughly upper-class.

Gene decides to question Carmen in a manner even a rogue time traveler like her can tell is not following normal procedure – by dangling her over the edge of a bridge with a gun aimed at her head. More seriously, the interview ISN’T being recorded and she HASN’T been offered a solicitor!

Gene finally decides that if Carmen ISN’T a time traveler, he has a legitimate excuse to beat up the Doctor again, and thus releases her without charge. Unfortunately, the Doctor overheard the workings of Gene Hunt’s devious brain and he ran away before the big butch copper can hunt him down and beat him with a truncheon.

The Doctor meets up with Charley, who has gone down to the Salford Quays to see if she can get some cash off sailors from the boat called The Stoned Pervert. They both watch Carmen run past them and onto the ship and run by none other than the less-than-memorable master criminal, the evil DORIAN HELOTRIX!!!

Yeah, it takes the Doctor a while to remember him too. And he remembered the Protons last week for the love of Led Zeppelin.

Charley decides this is getting really rather tedious, and so to spice things up a bit, so she runs aboard The Stoned Pervert, saying she’s Carmen’s escort for the evening. With a body like Charley’s, it’s easy to believe and so Captain Dorian lets her in. He sure as hell does not do the same for the Doctor, even though he has no idea that this is the same blond celery-wearing voyeur he has faced before. Mainly it’s because the Doctor contravenes the dress code on 2649 separate counts.

The Doctor is left by the quayside, shouting about "sartorial philistines" as The Stoned Pervert sets course for Rio in a rather unorthodox manner by hurling the entire ship through a Sliders-style wormhole and disappearing completely. The Doctor bemoans the fact the ship could have gone absolutely anywhere - and it’s taken Charley with it. At least until he remembers it was heading for Rio and calms down.

Just then two swarthy, moustached alien Groob appear and demand to know what the bloody hell happened to cause The Stoned Pervert to disappear. Realizing they won’t get any answer, they disappear again. Bored, the Doctor returns to the TARDIS and finds a bunch of Vatheks trying to smash the windows with house bricks when suddenly they are slaughtered by a passing gang of monocular, beaked, finned Craytons.

Shaking his head, the Doctor enters the TARDIS and despairs what 1980s Manchester is coming two with all these rival alien immigrant wars going on, and sets the time machine to Rio de Janeiro.

Aboard The Stoned Pervert, Charley is admiring the huge casino contained within the cruise ship and more importantly asking if the ship has a resident exotic dancer. Just then she discovers that Gene Hunt has smuggled himself aboard The Stoned Pervert somehow in a sequence which was cut for time – assuming it was ever recorded in the first place.

Reading the cocktail menu, Charley and Gene discover that The Stoned Pervert is a floating casino that hops instantaneously from planet to planet, but always at night so it’s always full of people. The clientele is exclusive and the owners are careful about who they invite aboard. But apart from that it’s not very interesting, bar the fact that you don’t have to gamble money but abstract concepts like their past, their future, their skills, their passions.

To demonstrate this to the audience, Dorian challenges a player to Snap and when the player gambles his youth and loses the bet, he is instantly transformed into an infirm, elderly man who annoys everyone by pretending that he’s deaf.

Just then the TARDIS arrives on the kraps table and the Doctor emerges, protesting about the discrimination he has suffered at the hands of the management, when suddenly a squad of drooling insectoid Mantis-Men arrive and, completely pissed, make an exhibition of themselves around the poker tournament.

In his private office, Dorian meets a Morraxian tour group who are less than pleased to know about the drunken bender the Mantis-Men are having in the casino. They storm into the gambling deck and start shooting at each other with nerf guns. All the guests run for it, but the Doctor bumps into Dorian Helotrix and finally recognizes the camp, coiffure-sporting git as one his Y-grade enemies.

Dorian reveals that since they last crossed swords, the entrepreneur has been trying to pay off his various overdrawn credit accounts by running a multi-temporal casino. All the profits go to Z-grade Doctor Who monsters, most of which were too crap to ever appear in the TV series and languish in Mighty Midget TV Comic Action 21 strips.

But now Dorian has worked out a truly impressive get rich quick scheme – to create the ultimate race of mercenaries in the form of a hyper-intelligent virus that creates a race of super soldiers out of anyone infected and spontaneously generate a never-ending supply of whole armies. There is but one flaw with this plan: Dorian has no idea HOW to engineer such a virus. Thus he keeps running the casino until inspiration finally strikes him.

Elsewhere in the ensuing chaos, Gene and Charley fight against the crowd and consider their course of action. Do they search for weapons? Look for the Doctor? Jump overboard? Or just have lots of sex in the lifeboats? Alas they are only half-undressed when a pack of wolf-headed dwarves arrive and start trying to hump everyone’s legs. This puts a slight dampener on the Morraxian/Mantis-Man battle, but blowing up the sound system soon gets things going again.

Dorian decides that the going has gotten tough and the time has come for the tough to be a double-dealing underhanded two-faced bastard – he will dematerialize The Stoned Pervert and leave all the warring aliens to drown just off the coast of Rio. Dorian laughs in a spectacularly evil manner... until he realizes that the Dryons, voted the most hideous creature in the universe 23 years running, have eaten all the fuel supply and The Stoned Pervert is scuppered.

Charley has a wicked idea – they bet the current situation on the gambling tables, so when they lose, the whole adventure will be retconned out of existence in the most dangerous and Dommervoy-attractive manner humanly possible. Being something of a complete moron, Dorian goes along with these plans before they can all be eaten by the angry hideous land-squids using the lower decks as a wild pig breeding ground and slimy nest.

Deciding to play roulette with a 50-50 chance of winning on either red or black, Dorian sets the roulette wheel spinning. The Doctor is furious about this, as while he may go around changing the course of history all the time, he doesn’t want Charley shooting her mouth off and telling absolutely everyone! In fact he has a three-hour lecture WHY half of her "good idea at the time" plans should all be taken out the back and shot dead!

The roulette wheel comes to a stop – and the ball lands on green, which means there are no winning bets and no losing bets either. In annoyance, they decide to play other games like Top Trumps cards, Cluedo, Twister, Conkers, Backgammon, Connect 4... and each and every time it’s just a draw. Everyone waits impatiently as game after game ends in stalemate, until finally Gene Hunt snaps, picks up a submachine gun and shoots all the aliens dead.

He also shoots Dorian to be on the safe side, and uses a Molitov cocktail to blow up The Stoned Pervert and everyone decides to claim the insurance.

The Doctor tells Gene Hunt that he despises the thug who is destined to die alone, unloved and unmourned in a ditch somewhere and, even worse, have to work with the infamous Alex "Fruitcase" Drake before that blessed release! Gene headbutts the Time Lord and heads off to set up the Shaft Appreciation Society (which he is quick to point out refers to the blaxploitation TV series rather than the male sexual organ). But before he leaves he drinks all the booze in the TARDIS, shoots out the time rotor and urinates in the wardrobe before running off into the night as "I Fought The Law And The Law Won" rings out.

The Doctor and Charley are left alone and the Time Lord demands to know what the hell she’s hiding from him. Charley responds that he’ll have to have consensual heterosexual intercourse with her if he really wants to know.

The Time Lord sighs, but his decision is not revealed in a truly awe-inspiringly cheap cliffhanger moment.

Book(s)/Other Related -
Dr Who Versus The Man Who Broke The Bank At Monte Carlo
Charley Sleeps With The Man Who Broke The Bank At Monte Carlo
Life After Drake: What The Gene Genie Did Next...

Fluffs – India Fisher seemed to be on a promise during this story.

Goofs –
How can one of Gene’s contacts be Smelly Ed? Is there some missing adventure when the sentient pink cloud takes up residence in 1980s Manchester? Is this after his appearance in The Presuming Ed? Is Smelly Ed mad? In a coma? Or has he gone back in time?!

Technobabble -
"I have diversed the linearity of the Croupier flow!"

Links and References -
Dorian Helotix previously appeared in (or ruined, take your pick) the Fifth Doctor stories On The Game and Xtro 4. As well as a rather notable episode of Blake’s 7.

Untelevised Misadventures -
Dorian will be back. Apparently. Oh, let joy be unconfined.

Dialogue Disasters –

Dorian: You overestimate me, Doctor. All I want to do is have some fun. And take over the world as well, of course.

Lish: I’m starting to realise how much I’ve grown to like you, Charley...
Charley: I don’t think we’ve time for that sort of thing. I’ve got another punter in half an hour, so it’ll just have to be straight sex tonight. Yes, I know. I find it boring too, but I’m on a schedule...

Doctor: You know, Gene, despite all the dreadful things you have done, I pity you. The Manchester police force are in a hell of their own making, but I still thinks you deserve a chance. At least more than that Sun Hill lot, anyway.

Dialogue Triumphs -

Gene Hunt is unimpressed by Charley’s lifestyle:
"You think you’re the first time traveler I’ve met, Lady Hamilton?"

Carmen: My specialty is poker – but the biggest winner here is the House, because it never loses, and the second biggest winners are people like me - but for every winner there has to be a loser.
Charley: I know that. I’m not subnormal!

Gene Hunt: This is my city, vinegar knickers, and you think I don’t know that there are aliens in my patch? They stay low-key, don’t nick jobs from the locals, refrain from annihilating mankind and all is good in my book. I have to put up with punks, skinheads and Rastafarians every day – do you think a couple of Draconian refugees, Weevils and Andromedan Pond Scum Beings are any worse? You sicken me.

Viewer Quotes -

"Bhudda in a blender, that cover is awful! It’s the worst bit of merchandise for the last 10 years! Did someone at the BBC actually approve this? Stunningly bad. Hickman must be turning in his grave. Whoever did it should be ashamed, but not as much as whoever Okayed it at BF. And this is supposed to be a professional product. There were better pieces of work on the OVs!" - Nicholas Briggs (2008)

"This story was very popular according to internet polls, but we should always be aware that, on the internet, no-one knows you're a sexually ambiguous, homicidal maniac. This is regrettable, but it is also true."
– Kevin Rudd (2009)

"That was awesome! Not only the best Big Finish play of the year but
one of the best of all time. Colin and India were never better,
there's a real darkness around this team now. I have a feeling its
all going to end in tears... and handcuffs!" – J. County (2009)

"SEVEN MONTHS?! Whoa, we have to wait till freaking August to continue the adventures of the 6th Doc and Charley? OH THE HUMANITY!! Are Big Finish insane? Oh, yes, of course they are, forgive me."
– Nigel Verkoff (2009)

"The plot was fun, but it reminded me too much of the two Angel episodes set in similarly-themed casinos. The one where Gunn has to pay back his debt, and the other set in Vegas where Angel has his identity wiped in an all-stakes casino game. You don’t think Big Finish has been stealing material again, do you?" – Amy Acker (2008)

"What’s so great is how it establishes an intergalactic underworld existing in the greater Manchester area, and the Gene Genie is right there in the thick of it, just trying to keep order the best way he knows how with the tools he has! Gene Hunt is BF’s answer to the Brigadier, he should be a semi-regular, and I think it’d be interesting to see him mix up with the 7th Doctor too... I think they wouldn’t get on at all. Gene is one of the best supporting characters Big Finish have ever had, a straight-talking cynic who is doing what he does for the right reasons. Please let him return very soon, and let him travel with the Doctor for ever and ever and ever!"
– that weird psycho fan-girl who booed at David Tennant for beating Philip Glennister at the BAFTAs (2008)

"Big Finish have been producing Doctor Who stories on audio for over ten years now, but it’s STILL not the same. You can’t see the assistants’ jugs wobbling, for one thing."
– Richie Rich (2008)

"What’s happened to Charley’s head? Has she met that head-shrinker dude from Beetlejuice? Or is it amateur photoshopping? Or is the time space vortex causing her breasts to expand? Or has she been impregnanted by a giant centipede like they did with Lucie? That’s now two Eighth Doctor companions who have been knocked up and had strange things happen to their breasts. Let’s just be glad C’Rizz departed before it could happen to him..." - Dave Restal (2009)

India Fisher Speaks!
"Charley’s been rather deranged over the last few stories, running away and coming up with hideously stupid plans that are as likely to destroy the universe as they are going to get her laid. I think it makes a change for her having to fit into the plot with the Eighth Doctor, and now she can screw up (or just plain screw) everything for a laugh. That’s the whole point of the show, really, doing nifty things with Charley and her love for the all-time worst cunning plans ever..."

Colin Baker Speaks!
"It’s lovely to have Gene Hunt back. Much more interesting than any fanwank about Sam Tyler being the Bastard or somesuch. I love working with India, and Charley, and there’s mileage in a sexual relationship with both of them. I’m very much biding my time before I get her into a corner beat it out of her. But that’s neither here nor there. It’s odd that all the listeners know the truth, in fact the only person in the universe not to know is Old Sixie – the Doctors afterward know all about it and the Doctors beforehand don’t care! Still, that’s life for you. Life. Huh, don’t talk to ME about life..."

Eddie Hitler Speaks!
"Oh joy. Another Doctor Who story. You fans should calm down, you know, you’re talking this all far too seriously. Like Ian Levine, that evil scum. I’d take his head and ram it up his bottom if I could humanly reach through that excessive blubber to get it. Still, I get paid for this shit. Speaking of which, I better get my beautiful paycheck down to the pub before Richie finds out and mentions the rent. By the way, that reminds me, I owe Mad Ken Stalin 63 quid with interest. I wonder if he’d accept writing a Doctor Who audio in lieu of payment?"

Rumors & Facts -

Eddie Hitler had established Charley’s Odyssey for a simple reason – to provide a cheap renewable source of hardcore sci-fi tentacle pornography feature India Fisher as the biggest slut in the multiverse. However, no sooner had he relinquished complete editorial control while he stumbled off to the Lamb & Flag for a quick pint or twenty three, the series had been compromised by Nicholas Briggs. Arty-farty Marxist bullshit about Communist Dustbins, Dick Turpin and little-remembered Patrick Troughton monsters had been given a HIGHER priority than the sexual adventures of the main character!

Hitler was furious and quite frankly intended to write to his local MP (who had been stalking in unrequited lust for the last four years) and campaign for Nicholas Briggs, Alan Barnes and Jacqueline Raynor to be shafted every which way to make them pay for the crimes they had committed against his dreams of sexual ecstasy.

But he didn’t. No one, to this day, knows why but the words "incriminating" and "photographs" do tend to get bandied around a lot whenever possible reasons are discussed.

Hitler returned to work and decided to put the series back on track with a self-penned story reestablishing the core values of the series – sex, violence, sexy violence, violent sex, Gene Hunt kicking ass, and the Sixth Doctor talking dirty while Charley slept with everything possessing and/or lacking a pulse. However, after about three minutes it became painfully clear to Hitler he’d already done this brilliantly in the last story he’d written for the series, Contempt of Charley.

Thus he faced a problem: how could he write such a tale when there was an already-perfect story that could not be improved upon? Thus, Hitler drank three pints of Mild and decided he would, in the best traditions of Terry Nation, rip himself off, knock off work early and go to the pub to get completely hammered.

It is miraculous intellectual achievements like these that make Hitler the man he is today – a fictional character working for a bunch of dejected Doctor Who fans with nothing better to do with their time.

However, the next morning (once Hitler had managed to stop vomiting continuously for more than five seconds at a time, regained the power of speech and restrained himself from trying to sexually molest pieces of furniture), it became clear that simply re-recording Contempt of Charley would mean problems.

Though, true, it managed the neat trick of being simultaneously unoriginal, uninspired and inane, it would be pointless, expensive and waste the talents of India Fisher, Colin Baker and Philip Glennister.

In order to provide the flimsiest of possible excuses to differentiate The Raincloud Charley from Contempt of Charley, Hitler decided the thing to do was bring in another returning element. Originally Hitler wanted the Bastard to make an appearance, even though Anthony Ainley was stone dead and using anyone else would have annoyed the anoraks. Some claim that Hitler intended to give the role of the Bastard to his flatmate and common law wife Sir Richard Richard Esquire in return for not talking to him, trying to cook for him or masturbating all over renaissance art books when Hitler was trying to write award winning audio dram for Paul McGann and Sheridan Smith.

However, with the Bastard an ongoing character in the BBC Welsh revival of Doctor Who, Big Finish were unable to use him even in the popular Sea Lion form. Wracking first his brain and then wikipedia for a suitable regular villain requiring little to no thought to write for, Hitler soon discovered the best-forgotten nemesis of the Fifth Doctor Dorian Helotrix – a name synonymous with "piteously empty drivel" who randomly appeared in On The Game and Xtro 4. Dorian was played by Christopher Ellingham who seasoned his sinister character with just the right amount of sardonic wit and occasional renditions of Dexy’s Midnight Runner songs, a band Dorian had been thrown out of in his youth and provided him with a vague justification to conquer the world.

Hitler was stunned at how monumentally awful Ellingham’s gingerly mincing performance of camp damnation was, particularly with his strange anecdote of his own granddaughter’s mother’s brother’s second cousin twice removed’s best friend’s tennis partner had inspired Oscar Wilde’s short story, "The Photocopy of Dorian Grey’s Arse" – a fearful tale of a supernatural photocopier, misused during an office Christmas party, which left the titular character’s buttocks permanently young and youthful while the photocopy became hideous wrinkled and disgusting. This anecdote was repeated, verbatim, in every episode Dorian appeared in, often more than once, and usually in ridiculously inappropriate moments like when they were being attack by horny Xtroids intend on killing them and defecating inside their corpses.

But he was stuck with it and so the story was made as is. No one actually knows WHY it’s called The Raincloud Charley (as it quite clearly has no relation to the excuse for a plot) but as the working title for the story was "You DARE To Have A Bigger And Flashier Pencil Case Than I?!" we should be grateful for what we got and get into flamewars over tiny points of continuity that will last for months and totally consume our excuses for lives.

Hmmm. Guess this proves there isn’t ALWAYS a silver lining.

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