Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Torchwood: End of Days

The Singing Stone Horizon Guide to Touchwood
written without any permission (or consent) by anyone who would sue me
by Ewen Campion Clarke

DISCLAIMER: This is an unauthorized program guide to the stupendously awful Doctor Who cash-in Angel-rip-off. Neither the guide nor the series is to be taken seriously. Or orally. And if rash occurs – and it probably will – consult the Doctor immediately.

"TOUCHWOOD... immature, senseless crap. Beyond continuity, outside character development, above empathy with the audience. Emphasizing shoddily-directed action, staffed by worthless pricks, blithering idiots behaving like children and completely mindless and unlikable bitches meant to be the Human Element. Too busy having delusional high school drama fights to save the world... SWEET MERCIFUL CHRIST, THIS IS A CRAPPY SPIN-OFF! I WANNA GO BACK TO DR WHO!!!"

Episode 13: Shit! Apocalypse!

Institutions across the globe (including UNIT, the CIA and the Men in Black) have their eyes trained on Touchwood when the end of the world begins five minutes after Owen pisses about with the rift in time and space that Cardiff is built over. Now there are eight-mile high flames across the sky as the world burns like a junk-heap, and the dying screams of angels can be heard on the wind, the team question their responsibility and decide that it’s Owen’s fault since he is a worthless prick who actually caused this mess.

While Ianto starts chanting in Latin as he waits for the Rapture to save his pale ass, Jack tells Owen and Tosh to investigate a quarantined hospital where the Black Death has broken out. Jack and Gwen meanwhile fight off Roman legionaries as all the nations of Earth go to war and George W Bush invades Palestine for a laugh. Unfortunately, Owen not only survives visiting the hospital, but still insists this is all Jack’s responsibility. Jack decides that the O-Man is not worth the oxygen he thieves from more deserving people and fires his ass, who decides to sit around crying into his latte.

However, as the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (looking suspiciously like the Beatles circa Abbey Road) storm the world dropping nuclear warheads on Jerusalem and destroys the Twelve Foundations and shatters the Seventh Seal, the Touchwood Team start having LSD flashbacks of their loved ones telling them to open the Time Rift further and further. Gwen and Jack hide from the advancing armies in an antique shop called Blitz & Pieces, which is run by none other than Gary Sparrow who steadfastly refuses to explain what the hell is going on. Instead, he bores the duo by regaling them with tales of his bigamy across time and space. When he was marooned in 1945, he was so desperate to resume his travels, he joined the Cult of Guilala X and stepped between eras in time to hasten the kaiju’s reawakening.

Realizing that the end of everything is nigh, Gwen returns to her flat to find Rhys... doesn’t exist! He’s been a hallucination in her diseased brain all along! Jack is forced to drag Gwen back to the Hub as she shouts Rhys’ name, crying and shouting and also blaming Jack for absolutely everything that has gone wrong, up to and including the fact it is raining blood and millions are dying at every minute.

Owen finally decides to solve the problem of the Rift being open by opening it EVEN WIDER and hoping all the bad Book of Revelations shit will all fall into it and that something even nastier DOESN’T materialize to doom all of Earth. Jack tells him to fuck off, but Ianto, Tosh and Gwen decide that Captain Jack Sparrow is the source of all their problems. Jack cannot believe the fucking chutzpah of the whiny little sluts he calls a team and pulls a gun on them. Gwen beats him up and Owen takes the gun. Jack insists that they are all self-serving, free-loading amoral scum and don’t deserve what he’s done for them over the series.

Ianto, Tosh, Gwen and Owen look at the ghosts of Lisa, Destrii, Rhys and Amelia Earhart, and then shoot Jack dead, hung, draw and quarter him before dumping the body in a vat of sulfuric acid before skipping hand-in-hand over to the homemade Rift Manipulator and ripping open the entirety of time and space itself, instantly triggering an earthquake that turns all of Cardiff into a rubble-filled wasteland. As the Touchwood team flee the ruins of the Hub, they find Gary Sparrow laughing uncontrollably at what a bunch of gullible fuckwits they all are and how they have released the Great Beast Guilala X, Santa’s Roast Chicken of PURE EVIL!!!

Indeed, a huge creature rises above the ruins of Cardiff and drains the life energy of every Welshman it can find as it tramples Wales flat. The wretched, miserable, blind and gratuitously naked human race are left to their fate as Guilala X mercilessly begins to destroy the entire world! But at the last second the kaiju notices Captain Jack Sparrow standing on top of a building with no trousers on, singing "I’m Too Sexy". Guilala X lurches over to the tiny human, who begins to perform indecent, unseemingly and biologically impossible immoral sexual acts on the giant monster until a blue light flows out of its crotch and it falls over dead... unfortunately crushing the building Jack was standing on and seemingly killing him.

The time rift has been sealed, but the Earth has been bombed back to the Stone Age. Ianto, Owen and Tosh decide to do what they do best: looting, while Gwen waits patiently for Jack to re-animate so she can kill the fucker one more time. Owen, Ianto and Tosh are satisfied he is dead and moving on with their lives, but Gwen being Gwen just doesn’t know when to quit and stays where she is. For days. Finally, Gwen appears to give up and Jack returns to life the moment she’s gone.

Disgusted and furious with the ungrateful treatment he’s got from his team, he returns to the remains of the Hub as the TARDIS materializes. Upon realizing they’re in a shitty spin-off, the Doctor and his companion try to flee, but Jack manages to follow them. As the TARDIS takes off, Gwen and the Touchwood team arrive.

Gwen concludes that something has taken Jack... before realizing she doesn’t actually care and the Touchwood Team have one last group orgy before the series is taken off the air for its obscene content but mainly to leave a time slot for Sarah Jane Smith’s spin off the following week...

Trivia Questions
1. Do even Channel 9 consider this series canonical?
2. Is this a good thing?

Great Moments -
It’s over. Hehehehehehe. It’s OVER!

Fashion Crimes –
The huge stone demon chained cast beneath Cardiff since before the dawn of time is... interesting. Bulbous arms, a tail with a crab-like claw on the end it NEVER uses, and its amazing space-ship like head complete with beak, glowing faceted eyes, a weird funnel sticking out of his forehead and the deely-bopper antennae.

Yet, for some reason, the Mill are incredibly proud of this thing.

Missing Adventures -
Jack muses that Guilala X may be one of many such beings entombed underneath planets across the universe before time, which isn’t exactly a newsflash as he and the Touchwood team fought and singly FAILED to defeat one such being (who was either Father Christmas or the Devil) in the Doctor Who story The Santa Tip.

Technobabble -
The password to Jack’s safe is "Rhea Silvia" who in Roman mythology was raped by the God of War Mars and was the mother of Romulus and Remus who founded the city of Rome. What’s really disturbing is that Jack thinks fondly of Rhea as "the kind of girl who says 'No' when she really means 'Yes'."

Great Lines -

Owen: Who the fuck are you anyway? Jack Sparrow?! You don’t even EXIST! We’ve looked! So if you’re not even a real person then why the hell should I follow your orders?
Jack: The question you REALLY ought to be asking is, why didn’t you mention this sooner, huh?

Jack: Et tu, Ianto?
(Ianto shoots Jack between the eyes.)

Gwen: This is what happens here. We all end up alone. Not me. No way. You bring him back.
Jack: Gwen, give me strength. He was a hallucination in your insane skull. How the hell am I supposed to bring him back?
Gwen: The resurrection gauntlet!
Ianto: Was destroyed.
Jack: And only worked on real people anyway.
Gwen: We gotta have something else!
Jack: Are you completely delusional? Have we been tripping over resurrection devices constantly and I just haven’t noticed it? A clue – I said no.
Gwen: No, there’s something wrong with time, so we can go back and, go back to the moment, to the very moment...
Jack: Gwen! Get real!
Gwen: Well, there’s gotta be, there’s gotta be somethin’ you can do. Otherwise, what’s the fucking point... of YOU!!
Jack: ME?! What’s the point of YOU, and your strange belief I’m suddenly your own, personal, one-man all-purpose miracle solver! I’m your boss, you’re my employees, so why do you expect me to bring your dead ex’s back to life?!
Tosh: You ARE the one who keeps killing them.
Jack: I never SAID I was perfect!

Jack: Have I ever let you down?
Tosh: Repeatedly.
(Tosh cuts him to pieces with a chainsaw.)

Gary: Jack, what would make you a likeable character? Someone who the audience would consider worthy of their empathy? What could make your personality interesting enough for your own spin-off?
Jack: The right kind of Doctor. And less of the mindless cunts I work with, if I’m honest.

Jack: I forgive you.
Owen: I don’t.
(He skewers Jack’s skull with a machete.)

Gary: The seventh seal has broken! Jerusalem has fallen! The triple-breasted mother of all abomination and the Antichrist have destroyed the twelve foundations and humanity is left wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked in the face of the Wrath of the Lord God! The 21st Century is here and NONE of you were ready!
(Long pause)
Jack: Oh, well. There’s a Charlotte Church look-a-like competition at Ritzy’s. Let’s not waste the night!

Jack: You ARE delusional, you insane bitch. Yeah, Gwen, sure! You’re SO in love with Rhys you spend all your time in Owen’s pants!
(Gwen reaches forward, bites Jack’s nose and RIPS his face off.)

Crap Lines -

Gwen: Did you have to pick on him in public like that?
Jack: Public? We’re in the Hub! And I didn’t pick on him, just reminded Owen that this is all his fault. Which it is. All of our actions have consequences. Maybe I should get that tattooed on the inside of your eyelids...
Gwen: And all your staff have feelings Jack. Even Owen!
Jack: Well you would know.
Gwen: My God, I can’t believe you brought that up.
Jack: Oh, look, I’m sick of this high school drama. We’re MEANT to be saving the fucking world, remember?

The strange line Ianto has when confronted by Guilala X:
"You need the money, Gareth, you need the fucking money. Come on, you can do this..."

Jack: So they were on their way there, time splintered, and he ended up here.
Cop: Scuse me. Hi. Any time you feel like talking sense?
Jack: Those Roman soldiers came through a crack in time.
Cop: He’s not serious is he?
Jack: Don’t you people WATCH News 24?

Medic: We waited for you! You’ve got to stop this, you’ve got to do something!
Owen: No, YOU’VE got to do something. Honestly, what did you expect? Really? Did someone give you Touchwood’s phone number and say it was the Jesus Christ hotline?
Medic: Yes, actually. I mean, it IS the Apocalypse and all that...

Director: The line is "pashed", not "shagged"!
Gwen: But NOBODY says "pashed"! Am I meant to be 14 fucking years old or something?
Director: Swear jar, young lady! Do it again and you’re grounded.

Jack: So... what? You’re a united front now? is that what you’re saying? Toshiko, the poor girl who’ll screw any passing alien that likes Star Trek? Owen, so strong he gets in a cage with a Weevil, desperate to be mauled because his balls are significantly smaller than the human average. Gwen, the lunatic who couldn’t even stay faithful to her own imaginary boyfriend she was stalking. Ianto, hiding a cyber-girlfriend in the basement. Your three comrades pumped bullets into her. Remember? Why don’t you fucking Welsh bastards EVER remember anything? Don’t you realize how pathetic you all look? Well, you bastards can rot in your own cum! I wash my hands of you all!
(Ianto, Gwen, Tosh and Owen throw Jack into a vat of acid)

Plot Oversights
- The Roman soldiers have their Latin pronunciation all wrong. They’re speaking PIG Latin, not the Italian version!
- It takes 2-7 days for the Bubonic plague to incubate, so why are people brought up with modern medicine dropping like flies ten seconds after it is released? How can ANY plague be still considered deadly and virulent if OWEN FUCKING HARPER knows the cure?
- Jack’s blood stains seemed to have mysteriously become a lot smaller by the time he seduces Guilala X.
- The teeth of the plague victim are not consistent with people from that age. Unless they all had gold fillings and braces.
- Owen leaves the hospital by walking INTO a bio-hazard zone while not wearing his protective suit. And yet he still survives. Truly, there is no god.
- Why exactly would opening the hellmouth, er, rift, miraculously bring back all the characters killed during the series? Why, even if it did, would this be a good thing? How dumb ARE Team Touchwood to fall for this crap which wouldn’t fool a used prophylactic?
- How is Gary Sparrow able to force the visions on Gwen and the others? Are his powers that allow him to step through time linked with his gift of mental manipulation? What does Gary Sparrow have to gain in releasing Guilala X? What happens to Gary Sparrow after Guilala X is defeated? Does anyone really care?

Viewers’ Quotes

"Chin-Balls, I put it to you, is the man who killed this series in the eyes of everyone WITH eyes. It is he who has forced people to deride it for its 'mock adult' style, he who has given it its reputation for gratuitous sex, violence and swearing, he who has given it a reputation for dodgy writing. Because he’s a complete hack. HOW he became a writer for this series is beyond me - I have no idea of his background. I don’t WANT to know anything about it. The cruddiness of his work speaks for itself. He clearly has little idea of how drama works. His is a mind that believes a pteradactyl mauling a cyborg woman is an exciting climax. His is a mind that thinks the hero driving a truck through the wall and shooting everything in sight is a rewarding pay-off after forty minutes of Mexican stand-offs. His is a mind that can portray the heroine as unable to shoot a depraved murderer at point-blank range when it is the only sure way of saving her life, seemingly unaware that his previous story ended with said heroine coolly blasting away a defenseless young woman without a word to say afterwards..."
- Jared "No Nickname" Hansen (2007)

"According to Adam Rickitt’s official website he has two major TV projects coming up but as yet they have not been announced. Could one of them be Touchwood? After all - one of these projects is said to be a major new drama that has been a possibility for some time but has only recently been confirmed. Now I know Touchwood has actually finished for the next year, but my hopes are high."
- Sparacus "Flamingo" Sparacus (2007)

"For the first time only, the consequences of the previous episode are felt strongly from the beginning. Cause finally has an effect. You think this basic law of reality would have been noticed over the last twelve episodes, but no. Still, I have to thank the BBC for having double episodes of Touchwood, as we’ve only had to suffer it over ten weeks instead of thirteen."
- Ewen Campion-Clarke (2007)

"And then... that wail. You know the one I mean. Gwen lets out a sound that says it all. The completely numb cry of someone who has lost everything and has no idea how, why or if she can get it back. The raw energy behind her then comes flying out into her right arm, which tenses, flails, and pathetically hits Jack. Eve Myles, channeling the thoughts and emotions of the entire audience. This show is shit."
- Joe Ford (2008)

"...I’m giving Chin-Balls the benefit of the doubt and guessing he was given a crap brief but, even so, couldn’t he have tried to create some half-decent drama? As far as I’m concerned, Chris Chin-Balls can fuck off. But at least he isn’t writing for Doctor Who! ...you mean, he IS? Bugger. That’ll teach me to run my mouth off when I haven’t been checking out the online leaks..."
- Jared "No Nickname" Hansen (later that day)

"We’re just left feeling that we’ve spent the last 12 weeks watching Pissin’ on the Unknown, and now we’re going to find out how Jack’s experiences will affect the far more important world of the Doctor. Who cares about a bunch of emotionally retarded and argumentative losers who cannot understand the meaning of chain of command or authority? Not me, that’s for sure! British X-Files, my gay Welsh arse!"
- RTD (2007)

The Author Speaks
"So the dramatic season finale involves a totally pointless giant monster arriving and dying within ten seconds. So what? Not everything in life is like a carefully plotted story arc! Tut. You people, you love any story that denies the randomness of existence! Well screw you, cause this story is gritty and realistic. It’s dull, repetitive, confusing and depressing, coz that’s what life is like! Anyone who says different is in advertising. Or a troll on Outpost Gallifrey. Scared enough yet? Cause fuck knows I am!!"

Trivia Answers
1. Not this side of Hell.
2. Well, it proves they’re not COMPLETELY retard.

Rumors and Facts -
It was at the beginning of head writer Chris Chin-Balls’ complete nervous breakdown that he knew he would have to write the year’s final episode with absolutely no material of any kind whatsoever, and no one prepared to help him flesh out the foundation of 'satisfying season finale'. At his wit’s end, Chin-Balls decided that Ianto’s strange warnings of approaching Armageddon would actually be accurate and thus Touchwood would spend the whole episode surviving the Great Titillation as described by one of the early New Adventure novels with an appropriately biblical title.

Initially, nothing else of any note occurred in the script, but Chin-Balls decided that this element needed to be changed and came up with a giant Godzilla-type monster from "The X From Outer Space" would be unleashed by the opening of the Time Rift and annihilate Cardiff once and for all, meaning that no stories could be set there and more importantly, the BBC could not film there. However, executive producer Russell T Davies was already out for blood and using the words "not part of the official canon" to describe Touchwood in his DWM Production Notes column. In a final, desperate attempt to link Touchwood once and for all with the continuity of Doctor Who, the final scene featured the Tenth Doctor and his Rose Replacement arriving to meet up with Jack and thus forced this scene and ergo the whole series to be canonical.

(Actually, he didn’t so much write the scene as keep one of the numerous outtakes that occurred in every episode. Since the primary standing set for Touchwood, the headquarters dubbed the Touchwood Hub, was erected immediately adjacent to the TARDIS set for Doctor Who, John Barrowman would often try to save his career by running off set and interrupting the filming of Tennant’s first season, leading to a series of totally random cameos from Earth 2.0 onwards...)

However, Chin-Balls had made one last, fatal mistake. For a start, he’d got his information about the next series of Doctor Who hopelessly inaccurate – the Tenth Doctor was not travelling with medical student Martha Jones, but a sexually-repressed gay housemaid from the Victorian era called Eloise Walker. Second, the time travellers were actually played by members of the Dead Ringers team instead of David Tennant and Freema Agyeman. And finally he assumed that a BAFTA-winning writer like RTD would be unwilling to write a completely different script to reintroduce Captain Jack into Doctor Who.

Shit! Apocalypse’s broadcast on New Year’s Day 2007 brought the first season of Touchwood to a close and ensured that neither it nor the twelve proceeding episodes were canonical in terms of Doctor Who or even Touchwood itself. Chris Chin-Balls was last seen being thrown down some stairs by Julie Gardner in a Cyberwoman outfit, though whether this was a deliberate assassination attempt or just a sex game got out of hand is still unknown.

What IS known is that it’s a damn pity this didn’t happen thirteen weeks sooner so we could have been spared all of this shite!

Ruminations -
I wonder if they’ll do a low-key end of season episode one day? Or maybe just one that isn’t TOTAL shite with no redeeming features whatsoever. Ideally, tension should build towards the end of a series of episodes, culminating in the dramatic resolution of the ongoing narrative in the final part. In order to rise to the occasion of the end of the series, everyone simply had to shout "fuck" and shoot each other... which would be more impressive if they didn’t do that every single bleeding episode. The only difference this week is that the Doctor turns up at the very end just so he can agree with the audience about how utterly awful Touchwood is...

(The TARDIS suddenly materializes in the deserted Touchwood Hub. The door opens and the Doctor steps out and looks around.)

Doctor: Ah. Cardiff!

(Behind him, the Doctor’s new companion Eloise, a lesbian Victorian serving maid, steps from the TARDIS.)

Eloise: Cardiff, sir??

Doctor: Ah, yeah, but the thing about Cardiff is that it is built on a rift in time and space, just like Sunnydale, Cleveland, San Francisco and Oxford University. But the rift bleeds energy and every now and then, I need to open up the TARDIS engines, soak up the energy and use it as fuel. You understand?

Eloise: No, sir.

Doctor: Oh, well, never mind. Shouldn’t take as long as it usually does. Judging by the high amount of artron energy, the corpses and huge stone demon corpse nearby, I’d say the rift’s been active. Wonder what it was? Hopefully it was a worthy culmination of a thirteen week story arc, but you never can tell...

(The Doctor points his sonic screwdriver at the TARDIS lamp which starts to glow brightly. looks around.)

Eloise: Ooh, nice building. That’s lovely. Never been to Cardiff before, sir.

Doctor: We’re NOT stopping.

Eloise: Why?

(There is the sound of footsteps from nearby.)

Jack: [vo] Doctor? Is that you? Where are you? I heard the TARDIS...

Doctor: Oh, for fuck’s sake, not HIM again! (Checks lamp as it stops flashing) Done! Fully recharged! Time to go!

(He takes and leads her back to the TARDIS.)

Eloise: Can’t we have a look round?

Doctor: Eloise, the sapphire moons of Pahash Pakaa, or Cardiff? INSIDE!

Eloise: What’s the big rush?

(He grabs her and bundles her through the doorway.)

Doctor: Oh, I just fancy a bit of a skedaddle, don’t you?

(Jack runs into view.)


(The Doctor ignores him and runs inside, slamming the door shut.)

Doctor: [vo] ...and off we go!

(Jack sprints up to the TARDIS and manages to scramble inside the police box doors as the wheezing groaning sound begins.)

Jack: [vo] Hey, Doctor! You miss me?

Doctor: [vo] AH, JINGS!

(The TARDIS dematerializes....)

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