One Hundred And Fifty-Sixth Entry in the YOA Unauthorized Programme Guide Finite Imagination Appendix O' Zero Hour Crises In Time
20D - The Cardiff Rift -
While the Doctor is showing Chris the Temple of Peace in Cardiff City, under the Rohl Dahl Plass, an experiment goes horribly wrong. Suddenly, dimensions begin to mix into each other. Creatures and beings from different Earths are thrust together and Chris suddenly vanishes before the Doctor's eyes! But apart from that, it's pretty much bad news.
Ordinary and extraordinary people are ripped from the Earths they knew and suddenly find themselves on worlds they know to be their own, but isn't. Aren't. Will not. Oh, whatever. Anyway, they must work together to stay alive long enough for the Doctor to try and find a way to close the dimensional rift which could engulf all the universe and end life itself!
The Doctor must risk his latest life in order to enter the Rift and stop its destructive path, to save not only one universe, but ALL of them. It is the Doctor's greatest crisis yet! And it may take everything the Doctor has to stop the Rift before it consumes all... of absolutely everything else not hitherto mentioned in this incredibly overhyped story!
Citizen Kane has NOTHING on this!
Part One - The Amateur's Armageddon
The grandest of suns are collapsing in on themselves, while all the planets fold themselves out of existence and the continuum fades from sight as the constellations of Mutter's Spiral melt away. After watching the first few billion stars disappear on the TARDIS scanner, the Doctor suggests to Chris that they put aside such self pity and go on holiday!
"The universe will still be ending when we get back," he assures her, piloting the TARDIS through what's left of time and space towards the planet Earth on 23rd of July, 2000... a day where UFOs can be sighted over the Taj Mahal in India, German stormtroopers are engaged in a police shootout in London, the Beatles are on the roof of Abbey Road studios, a guillotine is in Paris and Samurai warriors are on the rampage in the Tokyo subway system.
Intelligence expert Jeffrey Archer (Chip Jamison) has apparently ruled out terrorist activity and is claiming it's just a hoax, but religious groups believe these incidents vindicate their teachings about judgement day - this is the End of Days! And since it manifestly DIDN'T happen on New Year's Eve 1999, they're even MORE confident that this time will be the real deal!
The TARDIS touches down in Cardiff, specifically in front of the water sculpture in Cardiff Bay's Oval Basin. The Doctor and Chris emerge to take in the sights, unaware that they have landed directly above a secret underground base for the top-secret organization Touchwood. Separate from the Government; outside police jurisdiction and beyond the United Nations, Touchwood sets its own rules... sometimes. But normally they just have an orgy, shoot at each other, unleash chaos from the alien technology they scavenge like parasites, refuse to take any responsibility for civilian casualties, brood over a cappuccino and learn absolutely nothing from the experience.
In the gigantic, multi-storied futuristic laboratory/workshop full of strange alien objects dotted around, the three surviving members of Touchwood wonder what mischief they will unleash on the unsuspecting public today in the vain hope it might help Britain forge its own xenophobic and independent empire.
Since the TARDIS is blocking their special secret lift up to the Wales Millenium Centre, team member James Mayer suggests that instead of going for pizza, they start fooling around with the properties of the spatial-temporal rift which runs right through Cardiff.
Suzie Costello (Chip Jamison... in drag) points out that the all the apocalyptic hysteria going on above might just have something to do with their reckless use of their hastily constructed Time Rift Manipulation Device which consists of a water sculpture, three car batteries, a dynomorphic inertia drive and a naked singularity. Suzie goes as far as to prove with a PowerPoint presentation that all the weird crap occurs from temporal anomalies, cracks in time which in turn are ripples and aftershocks of the Cardiff Rift splintering.
This all indicates that they are suffering the aftereffects of opening the Rift before they actually open it... which makes Alex Morgan incredibly depressed and nihilistic. He thus suggests that free will is obviously a worthless illusion and that they have no reason to take any responsibility. They are predestined to open it and doom the whole universe, the only question is: should they all have sex before or after they use the Rift Manipulator?
At that exact moment, the Doctor and Chris are still wandering around Cardiff looking for something even vaguely diverting. The Time Lord desperately tries to interest Chris by noting a cocoon on a tree branch and explaining the wonderful magical way that certain life forms can completely change their physical appearance while still remaining the same person.
Chris wonders if the Doctor is trying to tell her something or, perhaps, foreshadow oncoming events in the story? The Time Lord laughs unconvincingly and quickly changes the subject, giving an impromptu lecture on the Dimension Theory of Reality. Which he assures Chris is just a bit of casual pub conversation and unlikely to become incredibly and improbably vital information to know about as events ensue, no way, no sir, indeedy.
Meanwhile, the Touchwood team hose themselves down and start working at their shitty Apple Macintosh laptops, not even bothering to read all the pop up warnings that to institute Emergency Protocol One will endanger the entire infrastructure of the Touchwood base. When alarms start sounding, they shoot out the speakers and think nothing of it, even as huge electrical arcs spark across the base of the water fountain and then a fireball of blazing light races upwards, through to the top of the tower on the Cardiff Bay waterfront and then up into the sky.
The Doctor notices the strange light in the sky and he and Chris immediately rush over to the Millennium Centre to get their photos taken with it. Chris notes that surely something INTERESTING happening in Cardiff is yet another symptom of the encroaching apocalypse, but the Doctor tells her not to be so damn pessimistic all the time.
Just then, an earthquake begins, with the Touchwood base right in the middle. Finally, Suzie, James and Alex decide it might be time for a bit of light abandoning-sinking-shipping when a chain of explosions brings down the ceiling, and they hastily put their pants back on while simultaneously trying to avoid the falling masonry around them!
As the Doctor and Chris watch cracks in the pavement, the Time Lord is looking through a local guide book, noting that this part of Wales is famed for its ancient Time Rift which acts as an eternal prison for the son of the Great Beast who was chained in rock before the creation of reality itself. Chris is CERTAIN that this casual bit of trivia will have long-term importance, and even as the Doctor denies this, the ground shakes and a huge horned demon appears.
"Of course, on the other hand, I could be completely wrong," the Doctor concedes.
Returned from out of the darkness, Abbadon the Great Devourer has come to feast on life itself and the whole world will die beneath the creature's shadow. People in the streets scream in terror and run for their lives, but as the mighty beast's shadow moves across them, they all die instantly and drop to the floor. Before long, the streets are littered with bodies. The Touchwood crew, however, are too busy being worthless pricks and engaging in high school amateur dramatics to care about saving the world.
After watching the trio hurl barbed comments at each other for the respective poor sexual performance, the Doctor quickly determines this is all their fault and complains. Alex snaps that they are Touchwood, not the Jesus Christ Hotline and they have no obligation to provide miracle dues ex machinas to save the entire universe from giant stone demons.
Pausing only to marvel at how pathetic these troublemakers are, the TARDIS crew decide they'll have to actually sort this mucky business out on their own, leaving the Touchwood crew to suddenly pull guns on each other and scream personalized abuse at random moments.
As the Doctor and Chris head across the plaza, in the distance the giant creature smashes its way through some pesky buildings. Suddenly, the creature senses their presence from miles away and for some reason changes direction, and strides right towards him.
The Doctor awkwardly admits he didn't actually have a plan for dealing with the Beast of Death, bar perhaps throwing some peanuts at the monster and hoping for the best. Chris stares at the Doctor for a long moment in disgust.
But at the last second Abbadon screams in absolute agony, cracks start to form in the demon's skin and eventually it falls to its knees, before finally dropping completely! The Doctor congratulates himself for a job well done, explaining they distracted the creature long enough for the Rift to widen into other dimensions and allow something to emerge capable of killing the Son of the Beast in two seconds flat.
Chris points out that such a thing might be an even bigger danger than the Creature Who Feeds on Death Itself Preferably Medium-Rare, and it looks like she's damn right as an armada of flying, armor-plated death machines arrive fresh from shooting the Great Devourer through the back of the skull.
The Doctor realizes that these newcomers are Trashcans - Dustbins from another universe where Ray Cusik had a budget larger than two pounds fifty to design them! These Trashcans are dark green and blue, covered in razor-sharp barbs with built in jaws-of-death, electrified whips and AK-47s which are streamlined so the TV tie-in merchandise doesn't have bits that snap off easily.
"WE ARE THE LORDS OF CARDIFF!" booms the impressively spiky novelty Trashcan Potentate Storm Blaster Sergeant Major. "WE HAVE FREED YOU FROM THE BONDAGE OF THE ENGLISH! NOW WE SHALL DESTROY YOUR CITY AND COUNTLESS INNOCENTS IN THE NAME OF LIBERATION!"
"Isn't that a tad contradictory?" the Doctor calls up to them.
"WE SHALL ENJOY WATCHING YOU DISCUSS THE IRONY. IT WILL BE AMUSING."
"Oh, well, at least this lot of Dustbins can laugh about it," the Doctor shrugs philosophically as, meanwhile, in Bermuda, former Star Fleet Commander Mark Tryhard is enjoying a life of such luxury and sexual ecstasy that Hugh Heffner is green with envy.
As he dines on caviar served from the pert bottoms of choir girls and improves his already godlike physique and tan, the only cloud on Mark's horizon is the fact his girlfriend Serena Kyle has changed from an incredibly sexy and vicious cat burglar into a whining, self-hating, tubby bint. If the sex wasn't still fantastic he would have had her shot months ago.
Mark muses for a moment on the drawbacks of his insanely wealthy and enjoyable lifestyle... and can't think of a single one. As he laughs uproarishly in delight at his own hedonistic pleasure, a mini rift forms in the fabric of time and space directly beneath his chaise lounge and he plunges out of reality.
Believing Mark has finally grown tired of her and run off, Serena has an anxiety attack and wolfs down some boxes of chocolate. But Mark is not alone in this unexpected temporal dislocation!
At that exact moment, Dara Hamilton has been sentenced to life imprisonment on Devil's Island now that the Clinton Administration (Chip Jamison... yet again...) has no further use for her half-alien super powers and America is now totally defended by her ammonia-sucking illegitimate super hero triplets - Dara Junior, Little D and Dara Hamilton the Second.
Normally even the American government would be grateful for all the times Dara has helped saved civilization from the red menace, but recently she has begun to change. She has lost her good humor, compassion, tenderness and level-headed perspective and become an annoying loudmouth bimbo unable to shut up for more than five minutes about how hot she is.
Dara herself is unconcerned at her 'polymorph personality-altering bites' are healing, and also at the prospect of life imprisonment. The idea of being trapped in prison with lots of sweaty and rude convicts gives her such a thrill of excitement she jumps for joy... and her alien-enhanced legs mean she is able to jump over the three-metre high fence and land somewhere in Albuquerque.
The police and armed forces are already closing in on her, but Dara merely assumes that her adoring fans have come to see her again. Luckily, a multidimensional rift opens to pluck her out of existence or else she would have certainly been lynched by the passers by she was being incredibly irritating to as she marveled at her own hotness.
But wait! THERE'S MORE!
At that moment, or rather, as before since it's still technically the same moment, Colonel Crichton of UNIT Britain is also in a bit of a fix. Like Dara, our plucky lads in red berets have overcome their unwilling personality transplants and reverted back to the hysterical and incompetent time wasting parasites of yesteryear. Which is a real petty as their former good-looking brilliance would really be handy right about now.
For it appears that at the centre of the Earth live a race of lava-based fire people who were the direct inspiration for certain characters in Rupert the Bear. But now they have declared war on mankind and triggered volcanic eruptions, targeted death by sentient lava and lots of insurance fires. At the infamous Lava Lake of Africa, humanity has desperately sent a spokesperson to negotiate a cease-fire (heh) with the Leader of the Fire People (heh heh).
Unfortunately that spokesperson is Crichton, who has crumbled under the pressure of having the save the entire world and developed a serious amphetamine habit to in his words 'take the edge off things'. But as Crichton trips out and suffers massive spasms and paranoia, the Leader of the Fire People, Pheonard (Chip Jamison... once again) decides that the human race must be put out of its misery if Crichton is the best champion they have to offer.
The UNIT Colonel bursts into tears before vanishing in a mini time storm that the assembled humanoids composed of sheets of flame can only describe as "seriously random!"
And, oddly enough, the exact same vanishing-into-the-rift thing happens to Chris as well. The Doctor isn't sure whether to laugh or cry, but leans heavily towards the latter as the flying army of death hurtles towards him...
Part Two - The Glitch In Nine That Saves Time Or Whatever
Luckily, the Trashcans decide to forego slaughtering the human race while they tidy up Abbadon's corpse and all the resulting chaos and victims. In this amazing respite, the Doctor runs past the Touchwood team, into the TARDIS and dematerializes, intending to get as far away from Cardiff as possible.
The sight of the vanishing police box triggers the usual incredulity in Suzie, Alex and James. Despite them happily watching a giant stone monster be shot dead by a swarm of floating litter bins with machine guns. God, why are the Welsh SO fucking stupid?! They're like the English's imbecilic inbred cousins, they are!
Aboard the TARDIS, however, the Doctor notices that the universe is still ending and he doesn't actually have anywhere left to run TO, and furious decides to sulk until inspiration strikes.
In the meantime, Chris finds herself deposited on a farm in the middle of the forest - a parallel universe Cardiff. Things get worse when she is confronted by Dara, who demands to know where she is and that Chris shut up and stand in awe of Hamilton beauty. After about thirteen seconds Chris can take no more and tries to snap Dara's spine - and it is only the teenage mum's semi-alien super strength that stops her. Darn.
Chris struggles to rip Dara's arms off as Colonel Crichton arrives and comes to the conclusion that he must have died and gone to hell as he is now at the mercy of a superhuman Dara Hamilton, who continues to whine like a brat. Chris finally throws Dara through a barn wall. Another rift forms in the air and Chris and Crichton attempt to escape into a yellow submarine piloted by a 1960s pop band, but the rift closes, leaving them stuck with Dara.
As they take turns in trying to drown her in a trough, Chris and Crichton discover they are all acquaintances of the Doctor, they all like the colour blue, collect matchbooks, discard bottle tops and are avid viewers of The Bold and the Beautiful.
Back in Cardiff, the Trashcans start filling all the media wavelengths with dust-hating propaganda and declare their mastery of the planet Earth. Since no one outside the CBD of Cardiff itself has even seen them, they are put down to some Scientology publicity stunt and ignored.
Meanwhile, James, Alex and Suzie are able to flee into the ruins of their secret underground base. There, Suzie complains at length that if they simply stabilized the Rift all this could have been avoided... but when the others point out they have absolutely no idea how the hell they're supposed to work the Rift Manipulator, they decide to forget all their troubles and have another handgun orgy.
Thus, they are completely unaware that the Rift has widened even more, sucking in the TARDIS which the Doctor had parked in Earth orbit to finally discover once and for all if you can see the Great Wall of China from space. As the TARDIS plunges out of control, the Cloister Bell goes off - just in case anyone hadn't noticed all the universal destruction going on already.
Elsewhere, Mark is running for his life chased by some local villagers straight out of a Welsh remake of 'Cannibal Holocaust'. Four years of decadence and indulgence still haven't slowed our hero down and indeed his athleticism, deep tropical tan and all over body wax have convinced the ignorant maggot-ridden peasants that he is a demon. This is really rather ironic because we've already seen a REAL demon in this story and he and Mark are nothing alike - but YOU try telling to a community born from cousins out of wedlock!
Mark is confident he can defeat these rednecks by building a primitive invisibility cloak and then hunting them down and killing them one by one - but he is gripped with mind consuming terror as he hears the familiar nasal drone of Dara Hamilton, the one thing Mark truly fears... and he doesn't even KNOW she now has super powers!
Crichton suggests they all hide in the farm house, but Mark is quite prepared to take his chances with the pitchfork-wielding mob rather than Dara, some medieval chick and the most useless military commander since Colonel Klink had his brain replaced with stewed pineapple.
Dara is confident that her peer-pressure skills, gift for emotional blackmail and her completely failure to get onto the high school debating team will allow her to calm down the mob. And as the others watch with a rising sense of disbelief and physical pain, Dara smashes down a gate and screams at them:
"Well, what are you all staring at? You want a fight? COME ON, I'LL GIVE YOU ONE! I'm ALL woman and that's more than most people can take! I'm considered quite attractive where I come from, you inbred HICKS! I'll smash your intestines from your skulls! BRING IT ON! I'LL FEAST ON YOUR HEARTS AND USE YOUR OPTIC NERVE AS DENTAL FLOSS! I AM DARA THE DEMON! BWAHAHAHA!"
Crichton turns the others and suggests that maybe it would be more productive if they all shot each other. Chris and Mark agree that it WOULD save time...
Part Three - Time Wake Interface Savers Extraordinaire
The villagers decide that no TRUE embodiment of pure evil could be so ridiculously annoying as Dara and decide she is some harmless madwoman. They also declare the others harmless madwomen as well, despite the protests from Mark and Crichton. The leader of the villagers, the Javaman (Chip Jamison, just for a change), decides that the intruders must all die horribly in a completely unnecessary Deliverance-style trial to determine their guilt or innocence and then kill them all anyway.
After considering Dara's rantings for a few minutes, Chris decides to thank the Javaman for taking such an enlightened and merciful approach on them.
Meanwhile, the TARDIS is STILL plunging into the Time Rift as the story fleetingly returns to its main character. Sparks fly from the console as the whole shaking room bursts into flame. The Doctor is slammed around the control room like a human pogo stick from the turbulence, finally knocked unconscious as the time machine bursts free of the Rift to materialize in the Touchwood base.
The Touchwood crew are too busy still having sex to notice, so about three hours later, the Doctor awakens to find his head is bleeding uncontrollably. He decides not to waste time trying to find a medical kit and use his amazingly resilient Time Lord constitution and some PEZ to save his life. He then exits the TARDIS to find the oversexed ham-fisted meddlers who have triggered the destruction of the entire universe are indulging in a Yoga position called The Two Great Danes.
Due to his head injury and the disgusting sight before him, the Doctor passes out. James, Alex and Suzie notice his unconscious body a few minutes later and dump him into the cells before getting back on with shagging and ignoring the imminent apocalypse they have unleashed.
Back in the other reality, the ex-companions are locked in a barn. With Dara gagged and unable to talk about herself, she goes insane and starts to headbut the floor. For hours. As Chris, Mark and Crichton watch on and applaud.
The Doctor awakens in his cell with a groan, horrified to discover that he has been stripped naked and Suzie is applying all manner of electrodes and cold metal probes to his unprotected body. The Time Lord's screams for help attract James... who is a sexual sadist and thus urges Suzie on. Luckily, Suzie is also a sadist and torments James by not torturing the Doctor.
Deeply disturbed that he was simultaneously threatened and saved by his captors uncontrollably irresponsible nymphomania, the Doctor hastily manages to snatch up his clothes and races off down the corridors of the secret base. "How in the name of sanity itself did you perv freaks get left in charge?" he screams hysterically as he goes.
"We're monarchists!" shouts Alex at the Doctor as he enters the hub. Which pretty much explains everything, now that I come to think about it.
The Doctor takes this on board and demands Touchwood use their Manipulator to close the Time Rift. Alex points out that scientifically, their reckless experimentation is very interesting and should be continued.
"There're instabilities in its very structure!" the Doctor replies. "Dimensions are beginning to merge, realities spilling out into each other! Elements from different universes are appearing here and ones that are here are disappearing into different universes! Cats and dogs living together! This is just BAD! SO SWITCH THE FUCKING THING OFF!"
"Do you have any proof?" Alex demands.
"PROOF?! Did you guys not notice time going into free fall and Trashcan aliens from other realities are conquering the planet Earth?!" the Doctor boggles.
"APART from that!"
"You have caused the deaths of billions of innocent people because of a decision on a whim - which would easily be enough to have you dishonorably discharged if this organization ACTUALLY had any sort of code of conduct at all, and your sloppy work is risking the safety of every single universe!"
The Doctor stares at him for a long moment.
And then he just snaps.
"YOU'RE A LOAD OF LOONIES!" he roars at Alex, shoving him aside and rushing around the Rift Manipulator, reprogramming it. "BLOODY LOONIES!!" he adds, unaware of the furious Alex has picked up a sawn-off shotgun. "USELESS BLOODY LOONIES!!!" the Doctor adds, reaching for the off-switch.
Alex opens fire and the Doctor's bloody form is thrown across the room. The leader of Touchwood froths at the mouth and screams in choking voice that he is 'sick of people doubting him', which he really should have mentioned earlier if it bothered him so much...
Part Four - Nth Dimensional Vistas
But, despite what the cliffhanger might have recklessly, callously implied with supreme malice of forethought, the Doctor is not dead - of course he isn't, there are three more episodes to go and the universe hasn't been saved yet. This is Doctor Who, remember, you gormless tits!
It is revealed that after the last time Alex had a psychotic episode and killed 70% of the Touchwood Crew before having truly great make-up sex with the surviving 30%, it had been standard practice to not allow any loaded firearms near the bloody nutter. Instead, his pistol is loaded with rock salt.
Thus, the Doctor is NOT dead. Very badly grazed, concussed and still bleeding from a head wound... but NOT dead. Rather than using the xeno-medical technology of Touchwood to save him, the Doctor uses his amazingly resilient Time Lord constitution and some Alka-Seltzer to save his life.
The Doctor gets to its feet and promptly lets loose a tirade of non-stop poly-lingual abuse calling into question the veracity of Alex's parentage and at the very least insisting that they were both first cousins with exposed brains. The cries of "WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU THINK YOU'RE DOING YOU LAZY OVERSEXED PSYCHO?!" echo around the room soon after.
When Alex refuses point blank to accept any kind of responsibility for shooting passers-by on a whim, the Doctor bodily picks him up and hurls him out of the secret base, leaving him for the Trashcans to casually exterminate. Which they do in a groovy CGI-glowing-skeleton death ray. So good for them.
Alas, at the moment, the imploding dimensions releases a strange man called Albert in a tinfoil helmet who appears in Cardiff and looks around at the Trashcan carnage, remembering a time long ago where a magician bloke called the Doctor spoke of such creatures. Cast into the outer darkness beyond the infinite for his hideous crimes, Albert was given his special helmet which allows him to control the fabric of reality itself!
Thus, Albert uses the powers of the gods themselves... and transforms the armies of Trashcans into a gigantic chorus line of hula-skirt-wearing cyborg death machines. And then Albert has them dance the Conga!
The Earth is saved... and then immediately threatened again as a squadron of black insectoid nightmare beasts from the Saigon Palace II restaurant chain arrive in the usual inauspicious manner of riding a metal surfboard through a tear in time and space screaming "Cowabunga!"
Albert is quickly ripped limb from limb and his internal organs sucked up like spaghetti by the chittering murderous aliens, while everything else is quickly covered in MSG and dropped into a doggy bag for later use. The Saigons then turn their eyeless attention to the camply-attired Trashcans...
...and then it just gets messy.
Elsewhere in the multiverse, the ex-companions have been accused of being demons and put on trial by their pig-ignorant superstitious captors, the Alt-Welsh. Things look very bad and just steadily get worse and worse as Dara tries to seduce the jury and continually screaming "OBJECTION!" at completely random moments which simply doesn't help.
Even after Chris grabs Dara's hand and carefully breaks her fingers one by one, Dara STILL doesn't accept that her fabulously curvaceous form cannot get them out of this mess. Finally, the judge (Chip Jamison) can take no more of this and charges Dara, trying to smash her head in with his gavel.
Thinking quickly, Mark suggests they test Dara to prove whether she is a demon or not, as he has watched plenty of Hammer films and knows what potentially-lethal forms these "test" could take. The judge allows the test but - unfortunately - Chris, Mark and Crichton are to be tested as well!
In the Touchwood Hub, the Doctor watches the carnage on the security cameras Alex and James take turns in telling Suzie to shut the hell up because her incredibly irritating voice. They still cannot comprehend the concept that the safety of many might even balance out to the sexual gratification of the few or why anyone could possibly be annoyed that their attempts to steal technology and glory might have triggered the end of absolutely everything full stop.
The Doctor points out that the sheer number of flashing red lights suggests that the Time Rift is getting larger and larger, so James suggests they continue their experiment with the aim to crack open the dimension where the British Empire never fell and they can ransack for loot. The Doctor decides that narrative cohesion suggests that Chris has probably falling into that specific universe, musing that he always thought she was a bit of heartless psychopath without any hold on the real world... but after meeting the Touchwood Crew, she seems like a bastion of normality and a paragon of virtue.
Like the spiteful and immature cretin she is, Suzie decides to get her own back on her colleagues by allowing the Doctor to escape and foiling all their grand schemes. Together they deviously sabotage the Rift Manipulator... by unplugging it! However, the rift is feeding on other energy sources like Panasonic batteries, feng shei, the sun, and grows even larger and soon huge winged vampire parasites are destroying all of Manhattan as amateur cameramen film the destruction for posterity.
The Doctor decides that he's rapidly losing all interest in staying in this particular doomed universe and thinks it might be better to jump into a different universe and plan his strategy without Touchwood around to screw things up even further. However, Suzie insists on accompanying him, and the weakened Time Lord cannot fight her overpowering and stilted acting.
Meanwhile in Alt-Wales, the ex-companions are delighted that Dara's demonic possession will be tested by tying her to one end of a see-saw and dunking her repeatedly into a stagnant pond infested with unknown horrors. The judge explains that if Dara is a mere mortal, she will perish in agony under the water, but if she IS a demon, she will survive and then they will dump her in a giant wicker statue and set it alight.
"Difficult to know which to hope for, really," Crichton muses.
But their joy is soon short-lived when they discover that ancient peasant law demands that the accused suffer the fate in alphabetical order! Thus, since she has no last name, Chris will be automatically the first in the dunking stool. Dara is much relieved and puts her temporary respite from death down to her inordinate hotness saving her yet again.
At that moment, the Doctor and Suzie board the TARDIS and pilot the time machine into the rift, heading for the reality where the sun never set on the British Empire. However, the Doctor realizes with a rising sense of irony that the Rift - what with its peculiar habit of feeding on other energy sources - has started to feet on the mighty energy of the TARDIS engines.
In practical terms this means that the Doctor and Suzie spend the rest of the episode getting thrown around the TARDIS control room while lots more characters from different timelines and realities pop up into existence to pad out the plot in the mean time.
To demonstrate, as Chris is dunked and Mark and Crichton struggle to break free from their bonds solely to get away from Dara's autobiographical musings about her carefree single-mum lifestyle and litany of xeno-gynecological quirks, the barriers dividing the universe part like the Curtain of Night itself!
Suddenly the surface of pond steams, seethes, boils, bubbles and something unbelievable rises out of the water in front of the assembled cast - so huge, so horrible, so terrifying that the eye and the mind can scarcely take it in, an immense metallic shape towering, mountain-like, above the flat swamplands; the incredible colossal malevolent shape of...
Part Five - A Question of Conundrums
As the Super-Trod lurches towards the shore in all its terrifying majesty, the crowd scatters and Mark rolls his eyes and effortless frees Chris from the ducking stool - but it appears to be too late, and Chris is dead...
...but this is just a ploy that lets Dara get close enough for Chris to grab the mutant-bimbo by the throat and flips her into the water, holding her underwater. However, Dara's inhuman biology means she can STILL drone on about how hot she is, even underwater.
Meanwhile, the golden giant Super-Trod flicks out its mighty Wolverine-like claws and slaughters the villagers as they flee in terror, before smashing the town itself to fragments and wrecking everything standing.
Suddenly the TARDIS materializes in mid-air and falls onto the giant robot's domed head, snapping its antennae and leaving it a giant, mindless bleeping novelty paperweight. The doors open and the Doctor runs out, desperate to get away from Suzie and her exotic accent.
There the Time Lord is stunned to discover Chris is with his old companions Commander Mark Tryhard, Dara Hamilton and Colonel Charles Crichton, all of whom are now staring at him accusingly.
"Is this an intervention?" asks the Doctor cautiously.
At that moment there is a tremendous commotion as more Trods emerge from the water, their penetrating cyclops eyes and overwhelming some more of those pesky peasants and drag them into the depths of the pond. Sensibly, the TARDIS crew flee back to the time machine, as does Suzie who is slightly disappointed that on this version of Earth, the British Empire ultimately lead to the collapse of civilization itself and there is nothing worth stealing at gun point.
Inside the TARDIS, the Doctor, Chris, Dara, Mark and Crichton idly update each other and say hello in a scene to satisfy the fans or indeed anyone who enjoys Dara being taken down a peg. As he discovers that Dara's former, repugnant personality has returned, the Doctor groans in disgust:
"You incredibly irritating, self-righteous orangutan. What are you fOR? Apart from coming into my TARDIS and irritating everyone, craving their respect even though you know we want nothing from you? You're a white elephant, you always have been! And also, by the way, from now on, you should be ASHAMED! And if you have any problems with any of the above, Dara, you can speak to my people!"
The Doctor explains to everyone that even if they leave now and try to return to their own dimension - assuming a tale of Slider-esque wackiness does NOT ensue - the entire universe is doomed to collapse within hours anyway. They are in all possible senses of the word "hornswaggled".
Since there is nothing else to do but pass the time until the end of absolutely everything no returns, Mark suggests they deal with the Trodos Migration as the static-fueled monsters are unleashed on the unsuspecting primitive Earth.
Little do they realize that, in a nearby cave is based the Touchwood of this reality - a handful of ex-knights who drink and booze and shag and steal anything not nailed down. Alt-James suggests they concentrate on their brand new telescopic looking glass to manipulate the Time Rift that seems to run through the local village, but Alt-Suzie (Chip Jamison) has heard of strange armored sea monsters attacking, so they decide to go there and steal their stuff while the monsters are busy slaughtering Alt-Welsh peasantry.
The Doctor works out his plan. Mark will take Dara and Suzie to confront the Trods - Dara's strange super powers will allow her to tackle the robots, while Suzie is very good at being irritating canon fodder. Meanwhile, the Doctor, Chris and Crichton will search the TARDIS for some handy anti-Trod weaponry.
The wearying Doctor muses that every part of his body aches, he's broken most of his ribs and having trouble focussing his eyes... but he often feels like that when Dara's in the same room. Rather than using the restorative atmosphere of the TARDIS to help him heal his injuries, the Doctor just uses his amazingly resilient Time Lord constitution and some anabolic steroids to save his life. He laughs bitterly that the idea he is having "a hard time holding up", assuming it to be some kind of erectile dysfunction joke.
Mark's team emerges into the sudden ominous thunderstorm as another wave of Trods rear up out of wind and rain and tear down every tree in their path as they hunt down the screaming and screeching Alt-Touchwood and incinerate the peasants in hideously grisly scenes that leave human bones in the mud.
Having a good look at it, Mark's team consider maybe it would be best to leave the Trods to it - a suggestion that gains more support when a Trod bursts out of the pond and towers menacingly over them.
"OVER to YOU," says Suzie calmly as she turns and runs for it, leaving them to face the music, only to be caught by the one speaking part amongst the Alt-Welsh and thus the only survivor: the judge, who immediately beats her unconscious with a convenient blunt instrument.
However, by now the Doctor has managed to work out a cunning plan. As Dara manages to distract the Trod by rubbing herself up against its casing and use the seduction techniques she learnt from a former Trod lover called Raymond, Mark is able to lure the rest of the Trods back towards the shore as their metallic comrade has a panic attack and screams:
"RAPE! RAPE! NO MEANS NO! GET YOUR PAWS OFF ME YOU DAMNED DIRTY APE!"
But this only succeeds in exciting Dara further!
The Doctor, Crichton and Chris activate a handy doomsday weapon the Doctor had propping up his snooker table in the rumpus room. It's actually one of the Bastard's tissue compression matter condensing doohickeys that got sold to the USSR in the Cold War to make a quick buck - a weapon which shrinks the enemy to Action Man size, rendering them unable to stop the user from doing whatever the hell they want!
In moments the Trod army are reduced to the size of coffee cups - incredibly annoyed coffee cups with deadly laser beams, which still work perfectly, as is demonstrated as Colonel Crichton is blasted to atoms. But there is no time to mourn the death of a second banana (even a recurring semi-TV character like Crichton), as the tiny Trods combine, Transformer-style, into one normal-sized Trod and prepare to open a can of Machiavelli on the remainder's ass!
Thinking quickly, the Doctor switches the doomsday weapon from 'shrinking mode' to 'eternal stasis' mode, trapping the Mono-Trod in one moment in time. For a laugh, the Doctor has the others drag it into the TARDIS where the formerly-deadly alien killing machine is now a conversation piece hatstand.
As violins play in the background, Mark points out that Colonel Crichton, the Brigadier of the SCADs has been pointlessly and stupidly killed forever... so should they have a celebratory glass of Voxnic or a full disco celebration?
Just then, the Doctor notices that the Time Rift is starting to narrow and shrink, which could be a sign that the apocalypse has been put on stand by. Dara points out that if the Rift closes, they will all be stuck in a particularly sucky reality full of Redneck Celtics who think they are demons!
"And whose fault is that, harlot?" demands Chris, slapping her.
Part Six - Nineveh To Nowhere!
Thinking quickly, the Doctor agrees and pilots the TARDIS towards the dwindling Rift and manages to fly through just before it narrows too much for anything to pass through, re-materializing in Cardiff once more. The sky pulses blood red in time with a strange alien buzzing, and the ruined and overgrown streets are patrolled by possessed window dummies.
"Oh, well, so the Nestle Consciousness has decimated humanity and conquered the Earth," the Doctor shrugs. "The multiverse has been saved! We can live with it!"
The Time Lord opens the doors and bundles Suzie out to her doom when the TARDIS is surrounded by the ragged but distinctly armed forms of Alex, James... and Suzie (Chip Jamison YET AGAIN)! It seems that they've landed in the completely wrong universe! And not one of the interesting ones, like where the Nazis won the Second World War, or Reg Lindsey lived to 79, but one of the really dull, beige-coloured parallel space time continuums where Stargate is canon!
The Alt-Alt-Touchwood realize that the TARDIS and its crew are from a parallel universe which they can mindlessly plunder and more importantly escape to as the Autons ravage the Alt-Alt-Earth as a direct result of them using their Alt-Alt-Rift-Manipulator. Suzie tries to sweet talk Alt-Alt-Alex and is shocked to discover that in this dimension, Alex is the puny whining bitch and Suzie is the insane empire-forging sexual psychopath!
What's more, Mark points out that not only are Touchwood opening a rift to other universes, but countless other alternative Touchwoods are opening Rifts of their own. The rifts feed off energy from yet more universes and are spinning out of control. Alt-Alt-Suzie takes this on board and laughs evilly that she has supreme power over the entirety of creation! This proves too much for Suzie and she goes completely mad, blowing saliva bubbles before giggling uncontrollably.
Alt-Alt-Suzie intends to open the Alt-Alt-Rift once more, even though it will most likely trigger an unstoppable holocaust throughout every single reality until nothing is left. Luckily, at that moment the Autons attack and slaughter Alt-Alt-Touchwood while the Doctor, Chris, Dara and Mark escape back into the TARDIS. Left behind, the completely-lost-it Suzie switches on the Alt-Alt-Rift Manipulator and then blows her own head off.
The Alt-Alt-Rift opens and the Doctor manages to take the TARDIS through it and this time back to his own, proper, quite-possible-canonical dimensional reality as Alt-Alt-Cardiff finally falls to the Nestle and the Autons. But it's not much better back on the proper Earth, as the Trashcans, Saigons, Snotarans, Lava People, Silly Lurians and big black hairy things with big teeth have all appeared in Cardiff and fighting for control of the city.
"Hell, it's just WALES for Christ's sake," Mark laughs cheerfully.
In the Touchwood Hub, James Mayer and Alex Morgan are getting nude and sweaty as emergency alarms wail and alien monsters have fire fights through the middle of the room. Finally, the TARDIS arrives and the Doctor considers telling Touchwood that he has been through the Rift to another dimension, then decides it isn't worth the hassle and has Mark and Chris kill them - only to discover James and Alex are dead in an auto-erotic-asphyxiation game gone horribly wrong.
The Doctor looks over the Rift Manipulator and notices the Meltdown Alarms have gone from "Dangerously Overloading" to "Close Your Eyes And Hope Like Fuck You Got The Right Religion" and in a matter of minutes the Rift will open wider and melt the entire solar system, and every other universe with Touchwood screwing things up. Luckily, the Doctor has one last card left to pull.
"If I take the TARDIS into the Rift ITSELF, into the heart of the dimensional instability flux I can shut down every Rift Manipulator in every dimension, and with all the Rifts closing, cutting off the energy supply to the other Rifts, everything should return to normal, give or take the meandering alien death squad in the Welsh valleys here and there."
"But how are you going to shut down all the Manipulators?" asks Dara.
The Doctor stares at her in disgust. "Make a sentence out of the following words: flow the polarity of the reverse neutron. And when you've managed that, piss off and die, Dara!"
With little time left, the Doctor insists Chris stay behind to operate the Rift Manipulator while the others enter the TARDIS and dematerialize. Aboard, even Dara is capable of noticing how utterly knackered the Doctor is after recent events. Rather than using the TARDIS to cheat history and give them a few weeks holiday before stopping the universes from falling apart, the Doctor just uses his amazingly resilient Time Lord constitution and some Dutch courage to keep himself going.
Mark points out that there must be other versions of the Doctor in different realities - and if all the different Doctors are all dealing with all the different Touchwoods, then logically the Time Rift will be filled with millions of TARDISes from millions of realities each trying to the exact same universe-saving thing as the Doctor, Mark and Dara.
"So, basically, we could have just stayed at home and let all the other alternative realities deal with it!" the Doctor sighs. "Still, it'll be an incredible, awe-inspiring sight to see an endless flock of TARDISes and every Doctor from every facet of the multiverse!"
The Doctor is left very dispirited when, upon entering the Time Rift, they do not find billions of flying police boxes... but instead find seven other TARDISes floating around idly. Either the Doctor only exists in eight universes out of an infinity or only eight Doctors out of all the universe can be bothered to show up to save everything, but in any case it's depressing.
Back in the Hub, Adolf Hitler pops out of existence screaming Nazi propaganda and Chris, without looking up from the Rift Manipulator, throws a bowie knife through the Fuhrer's skull and he drops dead mid-rant.
Inside the Rift, the Doctor struggles to set up a video conference between the eight TARDISes and makes contact with all the Doctors - the hippy-peacenick Doctor (Paul McGann), his girlfriend Charley and a seal called Serge; the bald junkie Doctor (Nicholas Briggs), his companion Kevin and budgie; the bearded git Doctor (Steve Johnson) and a 1970s sex worker called Monica Swallows; the smug twit Doctor (Matthew Kopelke) and his gormless fellow traveler Chloe; Dr Joseph Who (Peter Cushing) and his violent granddaughter Susan; the well-dressed Doctor (Rowan Atkinson) and fiancée Emma Bunting; and the bland boring Doctor (Mark Gatiss), his computer geek friend Eric and Mong, a drunken humanoid mole.
Then, the TARDISes receive a video message from another time machine - and the familiar redhead puckish features of the Bastard. "It's nice to see no matter what universe you come from, there is the consistency that the Doctor is a bumbling incompetent! I am known in my universe as the Bastard, but see BEYOND my appearance! Unlike in your universes' counterparts, I am a force for GOOD! I am involved in a continuing struggle in my universe against the evil known as... the Doctor. And... hahahaha! No, I'm sorry, I can't keep a straight face. I'm sorry. Hah. Oh, man, what a laugh! The very idea!"
The Bastard explains that the Time Rift is feeding off the energy of the TARDISes, so if they try their reverse-the-polarity-of-the-neutron-flow maneuver, they'll all explode. One of them will have to stay behind in the Rift to reverse the polarity and risk certain death. The Bastard decides that the price for his information is keeping Dara Hamilton as a sex slave, and is slightly taken aback when the Doctor gleefully accepts.
"You're going to inflict her on the Bastard?" asks the McGann Doctor. "Maybe you really ARE a force for evil..."
As Dara is teleported away, screaming that she is hotness personified and will not forget the outrages perpetrated on her today, the Doctors debate which one of them will have to stay and save every single universe in creation. Finally, our Doctor agrees and the seven others plus the Bastard flee. The Doctor turns to Mark and explains he has a handy teleport bracelet which one of them can use to escape through the Rift to safety if the TARDIS starts to break up.
Mark cunningly suggests they toss a coin for it and, using his double headed coin once more tricks the Doctor. As Mark slips on the bracelet and activates it, the Doctor sighs and grumbles, "I can't BELIEVE I fell for that again!"
"You know, Doctor, to be honest," Mark replies as he wavers, becomes insubstantial and finally blows away like fog, "*I* can't believe you fell for that again either..."
Left alone, the Doctor swears violently. "Right. All alone. Again. Might as well measure me up for the old pinewood sleeping back, bring on the flowers and hang the flag at half-mast, call the Grim Reaper collect and stick a fork into me because I am officially d-u-n done! Chris can get my collection of coasters and my David Copperfield pillowcase..."
As the Doctor is about to pull the incredibly impressive-looking red neutron-flow-polarity-reversing lever on the control console when suddenly he is bitch-slapped across the room by the Trod formally acting as a hatstand!
Yes, Dara for once actually carried out one her normally so idle threats and released the psychotic robot from its stasis! The furious Trod shrieks an electronic shriek and starts tearing the TARDIS console apart, just SECONDS before the Doctor could pull the lever and save the day - ain't that a stinker?
The battered and bleeding Doctor manages to get to his feet as more chunks of the vibrating console room explode. As the Trod continues to mindlessly demolish everything in a cheap narrative trick to get a new control room set, the Doctor manages to pull down the lever... and sweet FA happens, as the circuits have been broken!
"Oh, I am gonna hate myself for this!" the Doctor grimaces as the room rocks with more explosions. Then he grabs the wires with his bare hands, and completes the circuit using his own body. The Time Lord crackles with electricity and all his hair stands on end, blue sparks and bolts fly all over him.
But even as the polarity of the neutron flow is reversed, the Trod rugby-tackles the Doctor and is electrocuted as well. Then there is a bright flash as the ruined console overloads and explodes... and I am not allowed to go into further detail because of all the incredibly graphic violence and horror that follows this bit.
Two weeks later, Cardiff is recovering surprisingly well from the chaos Touchwood have unleashed. Despite every single building being demolished and thousands of lives lost, not to mention the whole thing caught on film from people all over the world, the Welsh survivors are acting like nothing has happened and aliens and stuff don't exist outside science fiction.
Chris still can't wrap her brain around the sheer stupidity of the Welsh - and in that, she is not alone - when suddenly the TARDIS materializes beside the heap of scrap metal that was once the water fountain outside the Millennium Centre. The badly injured Doctor stumbles out and explains that he managed to pilot the crippled TARDIS out of the Rift after the Trod electrocuted himself. The Doctor didn't bother trying to go into a healing coma, just using his amazingly resilient Time Lord constitution to save his life.
Nevertheless, Chris suspects the Doctor might not be a hundred per cent as he rambles, "Hello, Chris. I've been to where everything spills from. It's very blue. I'm still alive. Or I'm still dead. But if I'm not dead then I am definitely alive. Everybody was there. All the voices. I was surprised at how lucid you sounded. Mark was there, somewhere. Dara. K9. Everybody. I heard MY voice. Calling through my bones. Urging me to join in. But I know when I open my mouth I won't hear anything except David Segal."
Inside the ruins of the TARDIS, the Doctor sets the coordinates to take them to Disneyland, but notices the veins in his hands shimmering with golden light. The Doctor realizes that he's finally pushed his luck - and his faith in his amazingly resilient Time Lord constitution - too far. As Chris watches on with impatient confusion, he succumbs to his fierce wounds which he had picked up so predictably over the course of the storyline.
And lo, upon the floor of his beloved TARDIS, the Doctor is contractually renewed once more...
"Now THERE'S a funny thing!"