One Hundred And Forty-Eighth Entry in the YOA Unauthorized Programme Guide Finite Imagination Appendix O' It's Hip To Be Square
12D - Divine Aura # 4 -
TWO WORLDS! TWO SIDES! TWO FRIENDS! WELL, TWO PEOPLE WHO KNOW EACH OTHER AND ACTUALLY SPEND EVERY MINUTE OF EVERY HOUR OF EVERY DAY DETERMINED TO MAKE EACH OTHER'S LIVES AS HORRIBLE AND MISERABLE AS POSSIBLE! IS THERE ANOTHER WAY? WELL, I HOPE NOT, OR THIS BLURB WILL BE COMPLETELY INACCURATE!
"We should have wiped those goddamned dirty Trods out in the war! If only they hadn't kicked nine colours of shit out of us and let any of our military outposts survived, it could have been a real different story."
"WE ARE HERE TO TAKE BACK WHAT IS OURS FROM THE EARTHERS AND CHEW BUBBLE GUM. AND WE JUST RAN OUT OF BUBBLE GUM."
"Doctor... I don't want to be your enemy. Now eat the fucking salad!"
"I will not eat your cooking, Dara!"
Set in the future, but written about on the pages of today, two races fight over the remaining supplies of Divine Aura # 4. Can the Doctor and Dara prevent a war which no one gives a shit about, but no one can be bothered to stop? Or will they find themselves dragged into the conflict as well... on opposite sides?
From the pen of Raymond Dugong, script editor for two seasons for the Superiority Complex Audio Drams -- and thus is responsible for The Lust Colony, The Price of Paris, global warming and the death of the princes in the tower -- comes an adventure set in the future of mankind... like most SCAD adventures... in fact, I have no idea where I'm going with this. Is anyone impressed by the idea of a story set in the future? Since it's based on contemporary moral concerns, the story should be set today, not in the future. What a bunch of cowards! "Oooh, I don't want to rock the boat so I'll parody the current political situation with some giant robots!" Yeah, whatever you freak, you fool NO ONE! God I hate pretentious little coward bastards like that...
"You've closed your mind, Dara - even MORE than before!"
Dara decides to inflict her eating disorder, vegetarianism and truly appalling culinary skills on the Doctor, who punches her in the face and runs off. To cheer himself up, he pilots the TARDIS far back in the mists of ancient time, in the great and glorious days of the former Galactic Empire, where life is wild, rich, and on the whole, tax-free.
In those days, spirits were brave; the stakes were high; men were REAL men, women were REAL women, and telepathic squid-faced creatures from the Ood-Sphere were REAL telepathic squid-faced creatures from the Ood-Sphere. And all dared to brave unknown terrors to do mighty deeds to boldly split infinitives that no man had split before - and thus was the Empire forged.
Unfortunately, the Doctor cannot pilot his time machine, and so, with the accuracy of a drunken bee in a roundabout, the TARDIS arrives AFTER the system broke down, when the empire has collapsed and a long, sullen silence of inflation settled over the galaxy.
As such the Doctor is incredibly pissed off.
And he's not the only one.
Space Warmongers the Trods have decided to eschew the military conquest idea and instead concentrate on 1980s-style greed-is-good Reaganomics, and so have bought the planet Winterworld to transform into Trodos II: Where No Man Hath Trod Before. Thanks to the declining exchange rate and the fall of the Earth Empire, they bought the entire planet, fixtures and fittings for a bag of marbles, a digital watch and empty bottle of ketchup.
However, it turns out that Winterworld is full of lots of weird, exotic-sounding space minerals, each of which can be legally dubbed "the most precious substance in the known universe" without being sued under the Trades Description Act. And the now penniless humans realize that the Trods have completely screwed them over thanks to sheer blind luck! Now the racist and despotic Trods have developed strange Kentucky accents and hiring workers for slave wages to mine these incredibly valuable and unspecified stuff.
Then the most silly tragedy imaginable occurs -
Deep in the mines of Winterworld, a miner breaks through a wall and out spills a river of whipped cream, killing all.
Immediately Humanity blames the Trods and the Trods blame Humanity, but niether side can, for the life of them, work out why anyone would use reservoirs of whipped cream as weapons of mass destruction rather than something simple like a hydrogen bomb or nerve gas. In the meantime, the stock market crashes yet again as edible carpets go out of business and, for some reason, this is attributed to the chaos on Winterworld.
Thus, it would have to be the worst possible time for the TARDIS to land in the middle of the cream-spattered mine and the Doctor and Dara to start poking their noses in things that do not concern them. But, this show is nothing if not predictable, and they do just that.
Despite arriving after an earthquake in the middle of a crime scene of suspected sabotage, these two complete unknowns are not immediately strip searched and charged with terrorism but instead are lead to the disaster site and asked to find out why the mine collapsed. The authorities let them investigate and start watching EastEnders instead; even AFTER Dara stubbornly screams that they are NOT the experts they have been mistaken for but instead time space explorers and the Doctor's attempts to avoid being arrested are "unmitigated arrogance". But they might simply be tuning out Dara's annoying nasal screeches, and thus this plot development is completely credible.
After a quick inspection, the Doctor determines that the mine supports were not made with reinforced concrete but actually cake mixture and gravel. Only Dara is remotely shocked when the Doctor dubs this "sabotage", and her hysterical gasps cause another earthquake so they are nearly crushed in another cave in of whipped cream. This death-defying stunt is made all the worse by Dara insisting on telling us how unhealthy and fattening whipped cream is, and how many calories can be found in them in comparison to her lovely spinach and celery risotto.
Bored, the Doctor wanders off through the caves and finds a tourist information booth where the helpful receptionist easily guides him back to the surface. The Time Lord then informing Dara that, all in all, this turn of events is far more realistic than some incidental malfunction summoning a repair team who just happen to be able to rescue the pair of them, and that if she doesn't like it she can piss off.
Production Manager Gerry Wicks meets with the Super Trod Triminister Dalkor the First (Chip Jamison) to discuss the terrible inflation the galaxy is enduring, and generally hurl racist abuse and paranoid accusations at each other. Wicks accuses the Trods of hoarding supplies of space minerals to increase prices, and the Super-Trod blames the humans for the whipped cream eruptions of death.
When the Doctor arrives to report his findings, he decides to blame the Trods on the fact that, you know, they ARE space warmongers with an aeon-old grudge against the human race. Wicks, furious at this unsurprising betrayal, snaps off the Super Trod's aerial. The Trod is left mindlessly convulsing and making a curious bleeping noise.
Dara decides to help the Super Trod back to its own kind, explaining that the stricken robot reminds her of a Tamagotchi she once let starve to death. The Doctor realizes with a rising sense of revulsion that Dara is actually falling in love with the Super Trod, and she can no longer even keep her boyfriends to a single species nowadays!
Suddenly the soil turns acidic and the ozone layer vanishes, causing a bunch of extras played by Chris Jamison to be scorched to death, leading to more news reports, silly accents, and lots of Vox Pops of disparate rednecks shouting "FUCKING TRODS!" a lot. The Spice Girls arrive on Winterworld to perform a benefit concert but, on the way, their shuttle explodes. Ironically, this improves morale and calms the tensions much better than if they survived to sing Posh's new hit single "Where They Trod" which is simply awful.
Using the lull, the Trods decide to go back to the tried-and-tested "incinerate all humans" approach of yesteryear. Dara, finally realizing no one finds her attractive, blackmails the Super Trod into making her his Queen so they can conquer the galaxy with an army of phallic robot monsters subservient to every one of Dara's perverted whims.
Meanwhile, the Doctor talks to the Earth First Movement and discovers the human resistance is also lead by Chip Jamison, and after five minutes of listening to his incoherent ranting on "the enemy is in the eye of every squid" comes to the conclusion the human terrorists have mistaken the Trods for illegal Calamari salesman. The rest of the EFM, however, are not inclined to make terrorist attacks on Winterworld since EastEnders has finished and the football's start on TV. Truly, primetime scheduling CAN make the world a better place.
Dara decides to sabotage the central heating of Winterworld, plunging it into an ice age which will kill every human being on the planet - and stupidly doesn't see any possible danger for herself. The Trods, eager to get rid of "Her Hotness Queen Dara Hamilton", eagerly agree to this pointless slaughter of all their slaves and suggest Dara go there in person to do the sabotage.
At the EFM base, a Scottish stereotype reports that the Trods have sent their new Queen to attack Environmental Control, and the Doctor bravely volunteers to stop the saboteur and then have her hung, drawn and quartered with her internal organs used as costume jewelry. If I were of a suspicious mind, I would think the Doctor has realized the identity of the Trod Queen.
Inside the main control room, the Doctor and Dara discover each other and Dara demands the Time Lord do all the fiddly shutting down business so she can stand around looking sexy. She also criticizes the Doctor for siding with humanity, while the Doctor points out that allying herself with an army of homicidal killing machines just cause they turn her on does not give Dara the moral high ground. Yet again, Dara refuses to consider for a moment the possibility a millennia-old Time Lord who has spent time in this world getting to understand the people and problems could EVER know better than her.
Dara shuts down the generator, but before the Doctor can slap her with the force necessary to snap her neck from the whiplash, there is another cream-earthquake, trapping them both inside the control centre as the temperature drops like a stone. As it will take 24 and a half minute for them to freeze to death, they don't actually bother to fix it until a whole episode is passed and the next cliffhanger needs resolving.
Trapped in the room together, Dara decides to cheer herself up with a striptease and the Doctor hurls abuse at her for half an hour, and this is interspersed with a Candid Camera stunt going wrong and South Hampton being destroyed in a cheap negative effect. Finally the Doctor announces he has deduced on absolutely no evidence whatsoever that Winterworld is, in fact, alive and is trying to defend itself from the constant mining which is killing it.
However, neither the Trods nor the Humans believe this new age 'be kind to the planet' crap and continue to blame each other wrongly for the whipped cream sabotage, and the two mighty empires are posed for war... whereupon the writer realizes that the planet is now a frozen ball of ice and all the humans are frozen solid. The Humans realize Winterworld is lost forever and abandon it, returning home to watch Wimbledon on TV.
Meanwhile the Trods defrost the human miners and sell their pulverized corpses as a new perfume entitled "Divine Aura # 4", which they sell at great profit and grind the Earth Empire even further into the economic dust. The Doctor buys a vast quantity of the perfume and spend the next few days trying to drown Dara in barrels of it.
Books/Other Related Material-
Doctor Who Smells Like Teen Spirit
5 Million Things I Hate About Dara Hamilton (chapters 6 through 84)
"Them's Cream In Them Thar Hills!" Prospecting Goodie-Style
Links and References -
Throughout this story, the Doctor wishes Ace were around so they could blow up Dara and watch her die horribly.
Untelevised Misadventures -
The Doctor's visit to the Centauri Republic was ruined when Dara criticized the local's hair cuts and insulted the entire species for being a republic ruled by a royal dynasty.
Dialogue Train Wrecks
Doctor: Dara? Dara?
Dara: Huh... Dad?
Doctor: Christ, I hope not!!
Wicks: The drums of war are beating and their song is one of death and destruction.
Debbie: Yeah, the Spice Girls suck.
Trod: Arl rart you lart, welkum to der marnes of Wintahwerld!! For yor two-yeah tour ah dooti here, Ah only ask wurn thing: that choo break yor backs doin yor chob an pull in yor daily quotas! In return Ah promise you dirt for food, claustrophobia, unendin boredom AND at ther end of yor tour, you'll arl leave this pathetic rark richer than you evah thart possible! IF you do your chob! An you will! Odderwise will be havin a little tark! Unnerstand? GOOD! Now yor work day started five minute go SO HAVE AT IT! COM ORN!
Dara: I, out of the goodness of my heart, have prepared dinner for you tonight.
Doctor: I find that very difficult to believe.
Dara: What? That I prepared dinner?
Doctor: That you have any goodness in your heart.
Dara: I insist you eat this! SIT!
(She slams a plate down on the table.)
Doctor: ...what is it?
Dara: It's my own recipe. 100% vegetarian and 100% healthy. Now, I'm sure your stomach will be a little shocked at first that you're actually feeding it something good for a change, but believe me you'll be doing yourself a favor. I don't see how anyone can survive on what you eat!
Doctor: Uh, hello? Different life form, different dietary needs! Do I argue with whatever slop YOU eat?
Dara: "Slop"? This is seaweed, artichoke hearts, wheat germ, eggplant and whole-meal pasta!
Dara: It's completely natural!
Doctor: So is dirt, but I wouldn't eat that either!
Dara: Oh, quit your complaining - EAT!
Doctor: I will not! If it's SO good, YOU eat it!
Dara: I *DO* eat it!
Doctor: It doesn't count if you throw it up right away, you Bulimic whore!!
Dara: Let's TERRORIZE!! Oh God, I am so hot right now.
Super-Trod: WORT DO YER MEAN? DO YER HEV A BODY TEMPRATURE PRABLUM OR SUMTHUN?
Doctor: Of all the egotistical, I swear I don't know your head fits inside the TARDIS... I should have expected nothing else! NOTHING AT ALL! Dara, you've been a short-sighted, narrow-minded, thick-headed slut ever since you were born out of the dust! LISTEN TO ME! You're nothing but the smallest bacteria! Oh what a fool you've been!
Dara: Don't say things like that, Doctor. I have the courage to stand up for what's right, the wisdom of Solomon, compassion for those who need it most. You're a better person for knowing me, I'm everything anyone sane has wanted to be!
Doctor: She's not the shiniest of apples, and she doesn't even mean well, the weed...
Dara: I resent being called a weed! I am human, you know.
Doctor: Oh yes, I keep trying to forget that.
Dara: Trods, all this is humanity's fault! I want you all to become my love slaves, and take over Winterworld! I stand against what is wrong! Earth may have the right to scream for my body, but with rights come responsibility and they have ABDICATED their responsibility! NOT ONE OF THEM ATE MY VEGETARIAN CASSEROLE! WELL, THEY SHALL HAVE NONE OF MY SALTY GOODNESS EITHER!! AM I RIGHT?! Like it or not, I am the hottest girl ever and if I have to start a bloody galactic war to prove it, then that's just peachy! And I'm horny - SO WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT?!
Super-Trod: AH BELIEVE A LART O THINS! AH BELIEVE THER UNARTED STATES WULL UVENSHALLY WIN THE WORLD CURP! AH BELIEVE THET FARTHER CHRISTMAS WILL BRING ME THET SHARNY NOO BICYCLE AHV ALWAYS WARNTED! AND AH BELIEVE YOU DARA ARE A BASTION OF BOOTY PERSORNAFIED!
Super-Trod: NO. WE'RE TROOLY LESSAH BEINS FOR HAVIN KNOWN YOU. COME, LET URS LEAVE THES PERTHETIC WRETCH TO GRAPPLE WITH HER OWN INFERAORETEE CORMPLEX... EF SHE CAN!!
Dara: That's not the way it was, Raymond! That's NOT THE WAY IT WAS!!
"There's a 10th Doctor/Rose book out titled "The Price of Paris". However, after reading the blurb it looks like this story closely resembles a SCAD story called Divine Aura # 4. We must sue them! SUE THEM ALL! I admit, though, that I only really just skimmed a very small part of the book. Has anyone read this book? If they have, take a shotgun down to Cardiff and destroy everything that moves! ONLY WE ARE CANON! THE SCADS ARE SUPREME!!!!" - Richard Segal (2006)
"And all this blather about galactic interest rates, supply and demand, market price increases over the third financial period, inflation, profit increases, quarterly returns, costs plus... This is just stock broker porn! And if there's one sort of porn that doesn't work for me, it's stock broker porn!" - Nigel Verkoff (1999)
"Well, THAT was shite. Hands up who wants to throttle Dara?" - Ewen Campion-Clarke (2007)
"Doctor Who is at its best when it makes social comments, so it's a pity that Divine Aura # 4 has no relevance to contemporary life whatsoever. And even if it did, Divine Aura # 4 strikes just the right balance between good science-fiction storytelling and statement-making to come across as 100 minutes of solid, self-righteous preachy bullshit! The Trods and their sudden KFC accents count as great character development as long as you have no idea what "great", "character" or "development" mean in this solar system. Racism, environmental issues, colonialism, and that's just from Dara! And it doesn't take a political science expert to see the deliberate parallels to the IRA and the Israeli-Palestinian conflicts, either. In fact, the chances of a political science expert listening to crap like this is plain laughable! Hell, ME listening to crap like this is pretty far-fetched as well! Sheri Devine as Dara gets some great stuff to do, showing that Dara is not just fluff to keep the guys interested, as any guys interested in such a decrepit, megalomaniacal slut should be taken out of society and gassed like badgers! Oh, Dara, FUCK OFF OUT OF OUR LIVES!!" - The Jeffrey Coburn Handbook (2000)
Jeffrey Coburn Speaks!
"I quite like the stories that make you think and Divine Aura # 4 was one of them. A good 'Sweet Onion Chutney, People Get PAID For Garbage Like This?' story without being interesting. Of course, I think the story will be more memorable to most chaps because this is the one where Sheri Divine wears the least amount of clothing. But then, I could be wrong. I myself went to fourteen hypno-therapists and trauma counselors after seeing all that cellulite. I can still hear the folds wobbling to themselves in the middle of the night... Ew.
Now, Joe Medina left in this story, didn't he? Yes, Joe was a deeply unhinged man. I know I was quite shocked, and saddened, when he left the show so suddenly. I was kinda hoping I'd meet him down a dark alley and slit his throat with that diamond-encrusted Trod-shaped cigarette lighter he sold my kidneys for over the internet.
I don't know a lot about what happens in the production office, if indeed ANYTHING happens in the production office, but I do know Tom Himinez taking over as script editor was a long time coming. Tom's been there in the background for a long time, rubbing his hands with glee, laughing diabolically to himself that his evil plans are at last at fruition... it's about time he got due credit and professional help. Doug's been bringing on people who shared his philosophy of professionalism, dedication, and the zeal to encourage new writers and actors, and Tom fits into that mould spot on. Apart from the professionalism. And the dedication. And the zeal.
Apart from that, Tom was BORN to do this... which is a comfort to his parents who, I'm sure, have been wondering what the hell was going on."
Sheri Devine Speaks!
"I didn't think that Dara was a total fucking lunatic, so much as she was just trying to get laid. But some people can see that as a kind of total fucking lunacy, so... so be it!"
Rumours, Slander, and Libel
SCAD Producer Douglas Phillips was beginning to realize that hiring Joseph Medina as his new script editor was a bad move. Although he had only worked on four stories, Medina had systematically destroyed everything Phillips loved about the SCADs - the Anthonly Ainley Bastard had been ridiculed by his former incarnations and then killed; the Dustbins had been completely annihilated forever; the Snotarans were shown to be completely useless against the might of the Cyber-Autons, promoting homosexual cyber-deviancy in a way antithesis to the SCADs; and the previous two Doctors and the next in line were roundly denounced as being crap.
Worse, it was now blindingly obvious Medina had a strange Trod fetish and wanted to introduce the robotic foes into every single story, including suggesting they drop the name "Doctor Who" in favor of "Doctor Who And The Trods" or maybe just "The Might of The Trod Confederacy!"
Phillips decided enough was enough when Medina decided to start work on a new story - a seven part story left over from Coburn's second season entitled "Sphincter World" by Ray Dugong before his untimely neo-plasmic absorption by the Estate of Terry Nation - and immediately added the Trods to the plot, cut three episodes and added another one full of Dara Hamilton spite.
Phillips was furious at this undermining of a "serious issue story", like stories such as The Price of Paris' euroskepticism, Dork Dreams' Cold War commentary, or The Doomsday Single's unequivocal condemnation of that newfangled "pop music" the younger generation were always going on about. Medina pointed out that these stories proved that any plots deliberately based on the headlines of today has a tendency to be rubbish and added more scenes with the Super-Trod.
Medina was not, however, COMPLETELY unreasonable, and was willing to rewrite "Divine Aura # 4" to be more to the left end of the political spectrum to counterbalance The Price of Paris, which some (particularly the French) had complained as being too right-winged. The trouble was, Medina had no idea what "left wing" or "right wing" meant and just added more scenes of Trods shooting humans and making them explode in utter gore.
Phillips decided that the best choice to replace Medina was Thomas Himinez, longtime SCAD contributor, creator of the Saigon Palace II story arc, and co-writer of The Empire of the Dustbins Strikes Back! Unfortunately, tragedy struck when Himinez, chosen to direct the story, allowed an inappropriate phrase into the final edit of the story. Everlasting Films' psychotically strict policy of not allowing any vulgarity into the show held no exceptions, and thus the scenes of Hardcore Dutch Porn Involving A Live Otter Murdered In A Satanic Orgy were right out. Himinez was fired and given forty-eight hours to say goodbye before a demonic assassin was summoned from Hell to feast on his brain-stem.
Himinez bargained for his life and simply edited the offending material from the story. He was therefore allowed to live and was not fired. However, the demonic assassin had also turned up and was incredibly pissed off at this wild goose chase, and so went to the nearest girl's school to cause some nasty fun with an oujii board.
Ultimately, Divine Aura # 4 would be the last story with Medina as script editor - since he quit five seconds before Phillips could fire him, leaving the show in the middle of a season with unfinished scripts scattered liberally around his squalid bedsit.
"I felt my gut tie itself in knots when he told me he was quitting," recalls Doug Phillips. "I could not have gotten worse news. I finally thought things were going right and I'd be able to have even the vaguest kind of control over the audios and I was going to fire him! I was actually considering leaving the show myself and letting Trod-Lover turn it into his own demented froth. But then this happened and all that went right out the window. I had wondered if I had done something wrong, did I not do something? But you can't dwell on something like that especially when you've got much better things to worry about, like having a teenage mistress with a penchant for auto-erotic asphyxiation. Not that I -HAVE- a teenage mistress with a penchant for auto-erotic asphyxiation, it's just a hypothetical. The show must go on, to use an old, tired cliché, and tired old clichés are my specialty."
Thus, Thomas Himinez was summoned to try and make sense of the rest of the season, to not only try and salvage three half-finished stories, but also deal with Jeff Coburn who was distinctly pissed off with the shambles he was forced to work in. The winds of change were blowing through the broken windows of the SCADs - and Himinez was going to have to be the one to try and avoid dying of exposure to the elements...