Saturday, August 1, 2009

Unbound # 11 - Masters of War

An Extract From The EC Unauthorized Programme Guide O' War-Masters of Mars-Water


A FILTH-y Doctor – A FILTH-y Dimension

Serial 3B – Engines of Dust-Eradication

Part One

The Doctor and the Brigadier have arrived on an alien planet that seems oddly familiar for some unaccountable reason, though just about anyone with a fully-functional central nervous system who has seen a single frame of the 1960s film "Dr Who and the Dustbins" would be able to identify with more ease than it takes to blink.

Finally, when a patrol of gleaming silver Dustbins surround the time travelers as they wander around a very dull generic sci-fi city, the Doctor twigs they’ve managed to end up on Fargo, home planet of the Dustbins. It seems that if the TARDIS is powered by imagination, the author clearly lacks much as the time machine has fetched up on the only place it turns up MORE OFTEN than Earth!

The Dustbins are disgusted to find these two geriatrics breaking curfew and suspect that Last of the Summer Wine style antics are imminent. They threaten the pair with extermination when, at the last moment, some rather dull... er... Dulls, approach.

A female Dull named Gillian explains that the Doctor and the Brigadier are her closeted gay redneck uncles from the Cliché Province, and thus are too backward and illiterate to join the electoral roll. The Dustbins tutt loudly and punish the lot of them with a 12-day reduction in their rations of food, water, and illegal iPod downloads.

Although the TARDIS crew are very grateful to Gillian for saving their sorry asses from the deadly Dustbin death rays, but the Doctor for one suspects they face a fate far worse than death – having to sign on to a Dustbin Work for the Dole program at the nearest Distbun branch of Centrelink! The Brigadier, for his part, is rather unimpressed that the nightmarish cyborg monsters of pure evil the Doctor goes on and on about merely gave them both JobSeeker ID numbers instead of anything remotely badass nasty or vicious.

The pair cheer themselves up by crashing at Gillian’s swinging bachelorette apartment which she shares with her bi-curious flatmate Nadir who immediately overpowers them. She warns the newcomers that she has put individual sticky labels on the food in the fridge and if anyone tries to nick one of her low-fat yogurts there will blood, yes, there will be BLOOD!

Over a rather awkward soybean and tofu salad, the Brigadier tries to break the ice by reminiscing about that time in 1972 where over fifty UNIT troops were slaughtered on a staff-outing to a Dustbin discothèque. The Dull girls swoon over the butch military man, even though his anecdotes were actually cited as evidence of his incompetence by the United Nations.

The Doctor clears his throat loudly and points out that HE participated in the Great Piss-Up that resulted in the deaths of all the Dustbins on Fargo... and quite a lot of innocent civilians who happened to be in the way. As the Dulls consider the Great Piss-Up to be a senseless massacre, the Doctor chatting cheerfully about it over dinner is, in fact the height of bad taste.

The Time Lord hastily explains that it wasn’t HIM who used those pipe bombs that caused all the collateral damage, and emphasizes that he freed the few surviving Dulls from the Dustbin tyranny.

Gillian waspishly points out that pretty much the moment the Doctor was gone, a package tour of Dustbins from off-world returned to discover the massacre and instantly re-conquered the last remaining (and ever-so-slightly crispy) Dulls.

"You bastards are never happy are you?" the Doctor grumbles.

In return for not having to do the washing up, the Doctor offers to overthrow the Dustbins once more – and this time without a violently destructive explosive-using granddaughter to stuff things up.

As the Dulls are so utterly boring and desperate, they immediately agree while the Doctor begins his quest of redemption and resistance... by crashing out on the sofa and watching TV all night. Alas, the Fargo Broadcasting Corporation is made by Dustbins for Dustbins and between regular daily propaganda broadcasts, sitcoms like "Oh My Dustbin" or long-running soaps like "Terry Nation Street", there are children’s programs called "Learning with Lavros".

After watching 639 episodes of the near-mythical creator of the Dustbins talking to puppets about cleanliness being next to godliness and the nature of hygiene, the Doctor has one question:

"Who the hell is that guy?!?"

The Dulls explain that millennia ago, a mysterious hostile race of space aliens attacked Fargo – the Trods, the sadistic-static-powered, shoulder-padded robot bastards! Their Dull Ancestors immediately conscripted their weak, no-fist loser cousins the Distbuns as shock troops to fight the Trodos menace. In the war, a young and sexually abnormal boy called Lavros was crippled and incontinent, and fought back against his rebellious sphincter by creating the Dustbins.

Lavros then vanished on some spiritual quest with a discreetly pregnant Drammakin supermodel girlfriend. Since then the Dustbins have decided that their embarrassing progenitor should be completely forgotten, which is why this vitally important bit of the mythos has never, ever been mentioned before.

Satisfied by this explanation, the Doctor and the Brigadier decide to head to Centrelink, intending to ferment a rebellion with the downtrodden slave workers. After a whole day of registration, aptitude tests, the Doctor decides that the Dulls are so boring that they damn well DESERVE their horrible existence.

The Brigadier is stunned to discover that Nadir has the Dull equivalent of bipolar disorder and is thus actually INTERESTING. The Doctor is more fascinated by the fact the Dustbins allow Nadir to enjoy all sorts of unemployment benefits while she stays at home as a co-dependent of her girlfriend Gillian.

"Now, why didn’t I think of that?" the Doctor fumes.

So annoyed is he, the Time Lord immediately decides to create a method of reprogramming the brains of Dustbins using two magnets and a comb... and quickly realizes that this is not only impossible, but a monumentally stupid waste of time.

The Black Dustbin announces that they are at DustCom 3 and thus all the Dulls on benefits shall be placed on a new youth training scheme that just happens to involve being transformed into hideous mutants and installed into casings thus swelling the ranks of the Dustbin army. With Nadir dragged off to the Incubation Crèche, the Brigadier finishes his low-fat flour shake and decides it is time to kick arse.

The Dulls, still inexperienced in the art of doing absolutely anything halfway exciting, gratefully accept the soldier’s help in fighting back against the tin-plated omnicidal maniacs! Who says Darwin was wrong about survival of the fittest?

After eight long centuries of oppression, it takes about seven minutes for the Brigadier to single-handedly lure a Dustbin patrol into a trap, damages one of them, stuns the creature inside with Hai Karate aftershave and disable its rape alarm. Unfortunately the Dulls are rendered catatonic by this display of military might and are unable to stop the Brigadier being effortlessly captured by ANOTHER Dustbin patrol that happened to be passing and took some serious offense.

The Brigadier is shoved onto a train to join the Incubation Program, to be turned into a Dustbin. His friend and companion the Doctor meanwhile, spends another night watching TV and trying to ferment alcohol from tofu and potato peelings. By morning, the Doctor has created a mixture of two parts gin and three parts vodka!

With one drop, the Doctor captures that damaged and helpless Dustbin from earlier and gets it completely and utterly pissed. The drunk and delusional Dustbin immediately winds its unsteady way back to the hub of the city, slurring its words and bumping into things.

Drunk Dustbin hiccups and demands to be placed in command of all Dustbin forces on the grounds it is "so damn bastard hard" it’s not afraid to take ANYONE outside. It starts blasting other Dustbins, and begins to scream it is the Second Coming of Lavros.

At last, the Doctor has found the true weakness of the Dustbin Empire!

Their incandescent GULLIBILITY!!

Despite the fact "Lavros" is clearly a worker drone Dustbin wasted on cheap cider and unable to string three words together without burping, countless Dustbins believe its wild claims. In fact, the only reason the Black Dustbin rejects the idea is because it’d simply lose its job with the Supreme Architect of the Dustbin Vision back in town!

Confusion spreads throughout the Dustbin ranks, as some accept the
word of the dissident while others remain loyal to the Black Dustbin and in less than three minutes, civil war has broken out between the factions. The Dulls steal weapons from exterminated Dustbins and immediately wage war to re-take their city.

If the Doctor had actually PLANNED any of this, it would be a brilliant scheme – but he didn’t and he especially didn’t take into account the alien spacecraft heading for the city.

Yes, the Trods are here!

The Black Dustbin calls an emergency party political broadcast where it explains that the Dustbins conquered Fargo and the Dulls for their own good, to protect them from the evil Trods! Well, that’s their story and they’re sticking to it – either way, unless the Dustbins and the Dulls end hostilities and face the common enemy, they are all stuffed!

The Trodos saucer attacks the city, and their gleaming Trod soldier bots glide out to conquer the Incubation Crèche where the Brigadier and Nadir were queuing. Once the area is secure, they summon their Chief Technician, the legendary Lavros...

"Well," says Lavros after a long pause. "THIS is pretty awkward."

Part Two

Lavros finally breaks the ice by ordering the Brigadier and Nadir flung into a convenient holding cell until their presence has some kind of impact on the plot. In the meantime, the Trods seize control of the city and only lack of legs prevent the Black Dustbin from being forced to kneel before Zod... sorry, Lavros.

With the weary disappointment that only blind, one-armed cripples can evoke, Lavros explains precisely why his creations suck so badly:

"You had already established a sound footing on several other worlds, worlds that had so much more to offer than this ravaged gravel quarry – wheelchair access, mandatory recycling laws and no littering campaigns! There was no logical reason to return to Fargo – or are you going to tell me that the Dustbins have become SENTIMENTAL?! WHERE DID ALL THIS NONSENSE PHILOSOPHY COME FROM? DOES NO ONE PAY ATTENTION TO THE CORPORATE MISSION STATEMENT ANY MORE?!?!"

Lavros bitches that the Dustbins were useless from the start which was why he answered a rather kinky back-page classified advertisement to join the Trodos Confederacy and considers the Trods to have far more potential than any Dustbin – they can master the art of bitch-slapping apart from anything else!

The Dustbins now have a choice: to bend over and take whatever the Trods do to them and become the bitches of the invaders or else all be exterminated...

Unfortunately, given the fact the Dustbins are in the middle of a civil war at the moment, more and more divisions occur in the Dustbin ranks at this ultimatum. Some days it’s just not worth getting out of bed, is it?

Meanwhile, the Doctor decides that the Dulls and Dustbins must unite on equal terms against their common enemy before the Trods use the entire planet Fargo as dental floss! The first thing to do is to end the civil war, which involves taking a cricket bat to the Dustbin currently known as "Lavros" and beating some sense into it. The Doctor admits that he feels guilty about what he’s done and wants to restore the Dustbin's free will... but is nevertheless enjoying himself immensely as he smashes the Dustbin with the bat.

At some point or another when I couldn’t be bothered to take notes, the Brigadier and Nadir escaped from the Trods while they were busy repainting all the Dustbins now under their control.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, the Brigadier decides it’s time for someone with balls of steel to take charge of the situation and the Dustbins and Dulls agree to help him on the grounds the Trods will be unlikely to be expecting their entire military strategy to be given over to an alcoholic septuagenarian off-worlder.

However, said alcoholic septuagenarian off-worlder is one badass mofo and the Trods are taken completely by surprise as the Brigadier leads a fleet of Dustbin saucers to blast the Trods out of the sky.

The Dustbins and Dulls work together to capture Trods and then torture it to gain answers to completely irrelevant questions from the screen career of Dirk Bogart to the life cycle of the hermit crab. Finally the Doctor discovers the Black Dustbin aiming its gun-stick at the Trod prisoner, demanding to know its favorite position for sexual intercourse. The Doctor is disgusted, and that’s putting it mildly.

It finally strikes the Time Lord that Lavros is effectively working for the enemy who first crippled him aeons ago and the Doctor decides to break into the Trodos Mother Ship, tell him the truth and generally hope things sort themselves out from that point onwards.

"After all, what’s the worst that could happen?" the Doctor asks.

Another pitched battle between the Fargonites and the Trods comes and goes, and the Trods manage to finally conquer the city through sheer bloody-mindedness while the Doctor and the Brigadier finally break into Lavros’ very laboratory. Hastily waving a signed confession, the Doctor proves the truth about Trods

"What a fucking liberty!" Lavros whispers.

Being a complete foam-at-the-mouth psychotic megalomaniac, Lavros has built a funky doomsday device that will fuse every last motherfucking Trod in the galaxy with a surge of 10,000 volts of static electricity and, laughing like a crazy person, presses that button.

One montage of cheap negative effects later, every last Trod goes apeshit and explodes, finally destroying the Trod Mother Ship and everything in it, with the Doctor and the Brigadier having escaped through a flaw in the continuity.

Safe and sound in the city, the Doctor announces he’s completely bored of all this and determines to return to the TARDIS. The Brigadier however, announces he is way too old for this crap and would rather stay on Fargo with Nadir as his teenage mistress.

With a final shout of "I’m hauling ass to Paddington!" the Doctor dematerializes the TARDIS, leaving the Brigadier and Nadir faintly embarrassed and facing a highly unbroadcastable future...
Book(s)/Other Related –
Dr Who and the Trodos Ambush
Doctor Who and the Curfew of the Dustbins
It Happened There, Maybe, I’m Not Sure But It Sounded Nasty – an in-depth analysis of histories that didn’t happen but were apparently bloody awful

Fluffs – David Warner seemed to be in a state of mutually-assuredly-messiness for most of this story.

"Why can’t you be more convincing? We need ACTING, not ACTION!"

"Ooooh, the Dustbins are fighting back... someone peel me a grape..."

"This fanwank is wasteful! I should like to see if I can subvert it or invert it or avert it... OVERTLY!"

Gillian: Have you got your lines right this time, Doctor?
Doctor: Yes...
Black Dustbin: NO!
Doctor: Shut up, Nick!

Fashion Victims – The Doctor’s 18th century sideburns and hair don’t really go with his glow-in-the-dark hotpants and tie-dyed string vest.

Goofs -
Why would laughing gas get a robot high?!

Technobabble -
The Doctor brainwashes a Dustbin by "reversing the polarity of the artificial neural limit flow".

Links and References -
The Doctor goes on at length about his previous encounters with the Dustbins in the hope someone – ANYONE! – might be interested.

Untelevised Misadventures -
The Doctor goes on at length about his previous encounters with the Trods in the hope someone – ANYONE! – might be interested.

Groovy DVD Extras –
Isolated music tracks, and a trailer for the third season of Eighth Doctor and Lucie stories.
I know.

Dialogue Disasters -

Brigadier: This antiseptic solution is incredibly flammable... Don’t try this at home, children, as it invariably ends in death!

Dulls: So why didn’t you tell us what it was all for?!
(A long pause.)

Doctor: My sympathies lie with the oppressed. They’re so much easier to get into bed for some reason...

Brigadier: At the double!
Brigadier: It raises morale!

Lavros: My new Dustbins will have full loyalty to the Trods! It is the closest they will come to achieving my original ambition for them!
Lavros: [sighs] Indeed. It now seems somewhat ridiculous.

The Brigadier’s truly incredible sex life:
Brigadier: Do you want me to come?
Nadir: It’s up to you.
Brigadier: I don’t know about you but I feel like I’m limbering up. AHHH! Splendid orgasms, all of them!

Dialogue Triumphs -

Lavros: You are always weak.
Black Dustbin: WE ARE NOT WEAK!
Lavros: Really? Then why have you lost?!
Black Dustbin: ...TOUCHÉ.

Brigadier: How many Dulls did we lose?
Nadir: Three, maybe four.
Brigadier: Good.
Nadir: Good?!
Brigadier: I once lost 47 men trying to take down three Dustbins. You can’t take on a Dustbin and not expect a few dead red-shirts! Keeping the death toll down to three or four per Dustbin is pretty good!
Nadir: How can you boil them down to numbers like that?
Brigadier: Well, they weren’t particularly memorable, were they?
Nadir: ...good point, well made.

The Doctor, discovering where baby Dustbins come from:
"It’s worse than I imagined!"

Lavros: I designed the Dustbins to be ruthless and believe utterly in their own cleanliness. That absolute obsession is more important than anything! They clean because they BELIEVE they should be clean and they truly WANT, more than anything, to BE clean!
Doctor: But they believe they were far more tidy than you were and scrubbed you into submission.
Lavros: Indeed. It is a conundrum I never entirely foresaw. Oh, why must everyone ALWAYS bring that up?

Brigadier: I think I’m bringing far less emotional baggage to the matter. Now, chap with the squeegee – FIVE ROUNDS RAPID!

The Black Dustbin on the idea of a national garbage strike -

Lavros: It’s never wrong to overthrow an oppressor. Unless that oppressor is me. It’s always wrong to overthrow me. I suddenly feel quite nostalgic. Perhaps I should see how the mood takes me.

Gillian: Doctor, have you got a plan?
Doctor: Would it make you feel better if I pretended not to be making it up as I go along?
Gillian: Yes.
Doctor: In that case I know exactly what I’m doing, but please don’t ask me about it in any great detail.

Brigadier: Doctor, I don’t think this thing with the Dustbins and the Dulls is going to hold! All it takes is one toffee wrapper on the ground and the whole thing is going to blow up again...
Doctor: Those two have been living out their unfunny sitcom existence for thousands of years. It was never going to be fixed overnight.
Brigadier: But you just said that it WOULD be fixed overnight?
Doctor: Yeah, well, I was lying then, wasn’t I? It could take years for them to work things out and master the art of refuse management responsibly, and we can’t hang around here all that time, can we?
Brigadier: Can’t we?
Doctor: There’s so much else out there, so many places to see... we could be somewhere else, flirting with someone else and getting to third base with an alien babe with green hair and six breasts!
Brigadier: YOU could be. I don’t have to.
Doctor: Yeah, right.
Brigadier: I’m sure of it. You go and get blown away into space, do what you do with KY jelly... but I’m not sure I can keep up with your pace, no matter how many Acturan Viagra tablets you provide! Maybe it’s time for me to play sugar daddy for a while?
Doctor: Well, you’re a swinging chap, Alistair. It’s been a pleasure going on the pull with you.
Brigadier: Thank you, Doctor. Shacking up with a bipolar alien teenager wasn’t EXACTLY what I was looking for, but it was probably what I needed. My sex-life at UNIT was so frustrating... I feel I’m making up for lost time in my own inimitable fashion!
Doctor: dirty old man!

Viewer Quotes –

"I heard that the Trods were a last-minute replacement for the Crotch, an alien species that just look like a crotch dragging itself along the ground by its thigh stumps... and the Distbuns hated them so much, they relinquished their own crotches and became Dustbins. Imagine the fight scenes... AIM FOR THE GROINS! Goodnight, folks!"

"Not ANOTHER bloody Unsoiled Dustbin story! Don’t you people have ANYTHING ELSE TO OFFER?!" - Jared "Cybermen Rule" Hansen (2009)

"This is my most anticipated release of the year!!! Well looking forward to this jaw-droppingly interesting one! Bravo to all involved! I watched Titanic when it was on TV the other day JUST to see David Warner being evil in it. He is thoroughly awesome! Eddie Hitler, you are a genius and are welcome to marry my sister anytime! Well done sir! Well done to all involved! Huzzah!!"
- Mr. No Coherent Thoughts (2008)

"The Trods undoubtedly have THE most annoying alien voice I’ve ever heard in a Big Finish. The extremely fey performance completely undermined them as a threat. Oh, sure they’re all pure statistics, calm stillness and isolated analysis but that doesn’t stop them sounding like a sedated teletubby lounging around after an orgy. COOING LASSITUDE IS NOT CREEPY, SPOOKY OR ETHEREAL, DAMN IT!"
- the supposedly-terrifying comedy genius/mammal Emo Phillips (2009)

"It’s just like Star Trek: Voyager, man!"
- Stoner who thinks EVERYTHING is like Star Trek: Voyager (2010)

"This is terrible! It sounds like some fans dicking about! Long, turgid and action-movie-empty-character-less-ness! I was embarrassed for an actor of Warner’s talent having to say those awful lines in this thin, weakly-scripted, indifferently-played, wearisome story! I can’t give it anything out of 10! I HATE IT!" - Michael Grade (2010)

"After Baker Lane, many thought Eddie Hitler was a crap writer. After
the delightful Grand Theft Auto: Cardiff 1898, it was decided that Hitler-penned stories would be on the bottom of the list to purchase. After Engines of Dust-Eradication, I think you would have to count as bowel-shattering insane to think Mr. Hitler was in any way talented. So, no, we are NOT interested in his services! FUCK OFF!"
- BBC Wales Press Statement (2009)

"Nicholas Briggs as the... Dustbins. Color me surprised. I bet he crops up as a few other things in it too." - Roy Skelton (2010)

David Warner Speaks!
"It’s quite ironic, really, that with no Doctor around to fight off the alien hordes in the 70s and 80s, Earth is in dire straights but the rest of the universe as a whole is better off. Yeah, that should take Generation Y down a peg or two, the arrogant little bastards."

Nicholas Courtney Speaks!
"2009’s something of a renaissance for the Brig, what with me being in Unsoiled stories and The Sarah Jane Misadventures all in the same week. Only trouble is next week I’ll be completely forgotten. Oh well. Life’s a bitch and then you appear in Big Finish, as Paul McGann once told me between uncontrollable sobs."

Terry Molloy Speaks!
"I thought this was really excellent. Terry Molloy again gives us a chilling Lavros. Although Terry Molloy liked Julian Bleach’s performance in the new TV series, Terry Molloy really do think Terry Molloy would have been great in the role again. Julian Bleach doesn’t speak of himself in the third person, either. WORD!"

Rumors & Facts –

It’s so nice to anticipate something and then not be disappointed when you finally hear it. If only that could be felt with THIS story.

In 2003, Big Finish released Doctor Who Unsoiled as part of the oh-so-drearily-predictable 40th anniversary celebrations. Six stories daring to ask how the universe would cope if the causal nexus had unraveled in a slightly different way... and all bar two of them concluded with "everyone is dead and/or never existed in the first place".

Only the first two stories, Arse Morality and Sympathy for the Devil, had anything remotely approaching sequel fodder, and fans clamored on the occasional overrated internet forum for a sequel featured the Third Doctor and his bitter, disillusioned and alcoholic companion the Brigadier as they stumble through time and space having remakes of stories that were much, MUCH camper in the original 1970s series.

Alas, after the stark disaster of A Storm of Angles with its "Russell T Davies is an abomination against all mankind" subtext, the Unsoileds were quietly shoved onto the backburner. Big Finish did so fear that the hand that fed them just MIGHT get a bit annoyed. So, the next story of the David Warner incarnation fighting Dustbins was promptly shelved for the next year.

EVEN MORE ALAS, the BBC refused to allow the story to be released in 2004 lest it compromise the massive publicity juggernaut of the new series where Bill Nighy was definitely-absolutely-positively-look-I-don’t-have-my-fingers-crossed-or-anything the Ninth Doctor.

The story was thus shelved again until 2005... whereupon BBC Wales immediately blocked the production on the grounds that it would undermine the brand new Ninth Doctor they were trying to sell to the public, especially as the Terry Nation estate were prick-teasing everyone about whether or not the Dustbins would be used.

Oddly enough, the EXACT SAME REASON was offered the following year.

Finally, in 2009’s gap-year, RTD allowed Big Finish to finally release the story on the grounds that he didn’t care if this undermined the introduction of the Eleventh Doctor as he’d quit already and no longer gave a damn what happened to Steven Moffat.

And so, five years after it was first announced, Engines of Dust-Eradication was finally recorded! A story that demonstrated that the undoing of even ONE relatively forgettable adventure can have huge consequences thanks to the interconnected universe of space and time... or, to put it another way, author Eddie Hitler was too pissed to remember all the details to Genocide of the Dustbins properly.

With a quick bluff that all the Dustbins the Doctor has fought before were all total weirdoes who in no way reflect the true society and beliefs of the Fargo trashcans, Hitler was groggily confident no one could possibly argue against his incoherent view of continuity. Not that he particularly cared anyway.

When Hitler DID make the vaguest of efforts to do any kind of research into his script, it all went horribly wrong. He got the confused and assumed the original draft of the first Dustbin story ("The Surveyors" as it was called) was the finished article and NOT a complete pile of horseshit that even Tony Hancock was not willing to claim as his own.

This meant Hitler was under the impression that the dusty neutronic war on Fargo was actually triggered by a third alien race and the story ended with the Dulls and Dustbins uniting against a common enemy while the TARDIS crew ran in the opposite direction very, very fast.

But WHO were these mysterious, laser-proof, war like aliens? After much discussion, debate, soul-searching, and Asking Jeeves on, Hitler came up with the following list:

- the Quirks
- the Boord
- those aliens from Blake’s 7 that resembled three litres of pond scum

Given this list, Hitler drank a bottle of Jiff Micro Liquid and decided that none of them were good enough and it was time to bring to Big Finish for the first time ever THE TRODS!

Yes, the Trods! Invented by those strange, strange creatures in the air, at sea and on land who worked for Mighty Midget TV Comic 21 who were not prepared to spill out the cash on the Dustbins! Instead they created their own incredibly camp alien cleaning machines, the Trods, to threaten the First Doctor and his illegitimate offspring John and Gillian. At some point around 1966, the MMTVC21 got the rights for the TV monsters and the Trods were the first up against the wall, having their botties soundly smacked by the Dustbins in their first ever appearance and ever since have been solely confined to the dark halls of Gareth Roberts nostalgia and shitty American fan-made audio dramas!

Exactly why these metallic bastards of evil death ended up having such vague, wishy-washy voices turning them into ethereal yet bloody irritating tosspots is harder to fathom.

Nevertheless, the Trods make Engines of Dust-Eradication a spectacular story, by virtue of being a spectacle, like walking down the street in a leather bunny suit with vinyl underpants and a latex bushy tail. Not entirely sure where I was going with that, but neither was Hitler when he came up with this entire audio play. A single metaphor seems rather insignificant in comparison all of a sudden, doesn’t it?

Some say that Engines of Dust-Eradiction is a complex, multi-layered
story that might take a few listens to fully digest BUT at the same
time you can get the basics of the story on the first run-through. Some say that this provides a great extrapolation on the character of the Alt-Third Doctor, the Brigadier, the Dustbins and Lavros. And some say that there will be a third adventure for the David Warner incarnation, and the inevitable delays mean it will be released just in time for the fiftieth anniversary.

If you come across these people, beat them up for me, will you?

Christ they annoy me.

Here comes the Dustbin re-unification
Catch the train to the city of old!
Incubate the new generation
From the cells of Dulls on the dole!

Battle fleets blocking out the sun!
Planet Fargo, here I come!
Viva la Lavros! Viva la Lavros!
Viva la Yarvelling! Viva la Lavros!

Here come the Trods and the New Order!
Who cares if Dulls have bipolar disorder?
When you’re low where can you go?
Where to? FARGO! FARGO!

You can’t quench my evil desire!
By sending me away and calling me a liar!
Viva la Lavros! Viva la Lavros!
Viva la Super-Trod! Viva la Lavros!

When I met the Trods I switched allegiances,
And turned against my own kind!
Morals are just inconveniences,
But it seems I’ve been willfully blind...

Viva la Lavros! Viva la Lavros!
Viva la bullshit! Viva la Lavros!

It’s a triumph against the odds!
Everyone united against the Trods!
Hey ho, off we go!
Where to? Cygnus Alpha? No, FARGO!

I say, "Here come all the Dustbins, baby
And if the propaganda works one day
Then we’ll all be goose-stepping

Unbound # 10 - Curse of the Daleks

An Extract From The EC Unauthorized Programme Guide O' B7 Enterprises


No Doctor – No Dimension

Serial SP01 – The Cuss of the Dustbins -

"In the Third Century of the New Calendar, the Terran Federation was no longer a beacon of democracy and peace. In fact, it had NEVER been a beacon of democracy and peace. From the start, it had pretty much always been a corrupt tyranny, ruled by elite factions who care nothing for the fate of ordinary people. But it was in the 23rd Century that anyone actually noticed that freedom and justice were things of the past. ONE MAN chose to oppose this rather nebulous situation. And unfortunately, that ONE MAN was a bowel-shatteringly insane frying-pan-wielding suicide bomber. His name? Roj Blake!"


Roj Blake, the most dangerous terrorist in 100 years thanks to his rabid paranoia and tendency to self-harm and three convictions of pedophilia involving frying-pans, has managed to steal a gigantic alien warship after his Federation captors allowed him on board on the promise that he WOULDN’T, cross his heart and hope to die, steal it.

Well, that showed THEM, didn’t it?

The organic, semi-sentient, violently over-reactive spaceship has been named "The Liberator" for no other reason than it’s awfully ironic, and the psychotically paranoid, mass-murdering central computer has been dubbed "Zen" for precisely the same reason.

Aboard the Liberator are a bunch of useless jerks who were the first up against the wall before, during and after the revolution came and who Blake keeps around as canon fodder as he attempts to turn this sitcom premise into a flame of remembrance, a torch for all the people and worlds Supreme Commander Servalan has destroyed to feed the empire she built on money, lies and blood. The trouble is, he’s complete insane and not particularly clever – and no one really wants to follow his crusade of light rather than stay in the darkness of oppression. In fact, not one of them is willing to die for their principles. Come to think of it, they don’t HAVE any principles in the first place.

His (for want of a better word) allies include:

- Jenna Stannis, a foaming-at-the-mouth American space pilot suffering acute schizophrenic astrophobia and a chronic lack of acting ability.

- Oleg Gan, a superhuman genetically engineered racist freak with the strength of six Womps and the emotional IQ of a broken urinal whose naked hypocrisy is truly a wonder to behold.

- Vila Restal, a septuagenarian, bulimic, comedy stereotype Jewish pickpocket with a never-ending supply of Michael Caine impressions.

- Laura Mezin, the token ugly chick and rogue ex-Federation trooper who is clearly more intelligent and charismatic than the rest of the galaxy put together.

- and Kerr Avon, a white-collar criminal former redneck who puts "top flight hacker" on his business cards and, while subversively stupid, is still cleverer than most of the main cast. Well, he’s not QUITE as retarded as the rest of them anyway.

The day starts with its usual catastrophic predictability as Zen announces that it is God made manifest and jumps out of hyperspace into the nearest meteorite swarm to prove it is immortal and indestructible. All it does is prove that it is out of its artificial fucking mind, and Gan finally has the brainy idea of switching on the anti-magnetic force field and repel all those bloody rocks.

When everyone asks why life-long spacer Jenna didn’t think of that blindingly obvious course of action, she gives a very long and stilted speech about why space is so motherfucking dangerous and how they all face certain death every second of every hour of every day. Vila notes their chances might be improved by having someone who isn’t terrified of outer space be in charge of piloting the ship, but Jenna spits at him and then runs off to graffiti corridor walls with anti-Earth propaganda slogans.

Avon discovers that the meteorite storm has deflected the Liberator’s course, so they’re heading instead for the nearest planet. With any other half-decent space ship this would be absolutely no problem, but their flight computer is too screaming it is the Lord of All That Seen And Unseen to get them out of the gravity well.

Blake, for some reason, accuses Avon of sabotaging the Liberator on the grounds that he is a convicted criminal. Avon patiently reminds Blake that they are ALL convicted criminals and indeed, Blake’s crimes are worse than everyone else’s. Blake concedes the point when he can’t think of a witty rejoinder, but vows to keep watching Avon "twice as hard" from now on.

Avon, Vila and Mezin confer and decide that Blake is beyond insane and likely to get them all killed even if Zen doesn’t, so they should probably leg it while they can. Nicking anything not nailed down that looks remotely interesting or useful, they load into the Liberator’s all-in-all completely unremarkable and boring ship-to-surface shuttle craft, The SS Plot Hole. Unfortunately, the only person who can pilot it is Jenna, so they have to bring her along too, along with Gan who is the only one completely expendable. For some reason, Blake was hiding in a crate of tinned baked beans, and thus unintentionally smuggles himself aboard.

Despite the fact they were abandoning ship precisely to get AWAY from Blake, neither Vila nor Mezin can see the problem and Avon headbutts the dashboard as Jenna pilots the shuttle towards the planet below. Left alone in orbit, Zen starts chanting in Latin and uses its seldom-mentioned architectural configuration system to make the walls of the Liberator drip blood.

The Plot Hole lands on the planet surface on the outskirts of a ruined city which is covered in dust and litter from a rather explosive barbecue party that seemed to occur some fifty years previously. At the base of an ancient metal ramp surrounded by archways, the escaped criminals decide to have a picnic. Vila bitches that he’s convinced someone or something is watching him. Avon points out that any such entity would be bored shitless after five seconds so he’s probably in no real danger, worst luck.

Blake grumbles that he doesn’t want to stay too long on this planet as he’s got an insane crusade against a corrupt government to be getting on with, and insists on throwing some of the litter into the nearest convenient litter bin. He is alarmed however, when he finally notices that the bin buried beneath the tangle of candy wrappers is actually some kind of miniature robot fitted with a sink plunger, mop, powerful mini-vacuum-cleaner and a laser gun death ray.

"It’s amazing... yet terrifying!" Mezin gasps. "How lazy were the inhabitants of this city they can’t even get rubbish into the bin?"

After studying the inert Dustbin for a few moments, everyone gets bored and start insulting each other over some cucumber sandwiches and a bottle of cheap pop drink. Blake once more accuses Avon of betraying them and all the times the top-flight-hacker has singlehandedly saved all their lives is simply a smokescreen for his true intentions, which are so devious no one can possibly work out what they are.

Avon simply munches his cucumber sandwich and arches an eyebrow.

Gan meanwhile finds that the picnic hamper contains no salmon-liver pate whatsoever! Worse, it’s seemingly full of small black metal boxes marked "EVEREADY". As they have no nutritional merits and are unlikely to kill anyone, Gan considers them useless. Jenna suggests they have a nice game of Darts and throw the boxes at the Dustbin to pass the time.

Finally, Blake manages to throw one of the boxes against the back of the Dustbin, which instantly starts to move of its own accord, slides up the central ramp and disappears within the metallic city as the others watch on being contemptibly useless.

"Game set and match to me, I think," says Blake smugly as his crew patiently explain he has managed to bring to life a mechanical device equipped with enough weaponry to kill them all and tidy away the corpses in no time flat. Blake accepts this, and so Gan has to explain once more that this is NOT a good thing.

Avon announces that the Dustbin was clearly some kind of carnival dodge ’em car that has somehow acquired sentience. The Dustbin and others like it waged a war on the people of this planet, who left all the garbage lying around the place and refused to pick up after them. After 500 years of this cycle of violent littering, a mysterious being in a blue police box arrived with lots of duty-free lager and pipe bombs and destroyed the city and the Dustbins with them. This being was known as Susan the Babe of Death and has been canonized as a saint by the survivors of a race known as the Dulls.

"How the hell do you know all this, Avon?" Blake demands suspiciously.

Avon reveals the entire history of this planet, Fargo, is recorded on old copies of "The Daily Galaxy" lying around the place and literally anyone with two brain cells to rub together could have worked it out in no time at all. At this revelation, all of the criminals look confused until Avon explains he is implicitly calling them all morons.

What’s more, the fact throwing an Eveready battery at one of the Dustbins was enough to bring the dormant cleaning machine back to life proves that none of the Dustbins died from having their power switched off, and they are about to revive en mass and exterminate the humans for simply added to the filth on Fargo.

Blake takes this on board then decides that he and Mezin should go wandering around the city, completely unarmed, looking for the Dustbin who has left a distinctive trail in the fifty-year-old litter. Avon points out that even a single Dustbins is twice as clever and four times as cunning as Blake could ever imagine and they are almost certainly dead meat.

Meanwhile, Avon is proved right since the Dustbin has already buggered off into a secret passageway in the wall of the city. When Blake and Mexin find the trail in the dust ending in the middle of a corridor, our brave rebel hero can only think it somehow flew up into the sky, despite the fact the ceiling above is solid. Defeated, they return to the others and idly notice Gan has vanished.

They soon find Gan has been rather improbably stuffed inside the picnic hamper and all the Eveready batteries have disappeared, enough battery power to revive the entire race of Dustbins! Avon is convinced that this means they are all monumentally fucked, but Blake is confident that the batteries are probably just temporarily misplaced.

Just then a squad of Dustbins emerge from the city and Mezin, diplomatic genius that she is, runs up to them and declares they are all enemies of the Terran Federation and will surrender or be executed. The Dustbins stare at her for a long time until, realizing how stupid she looks, Mezin crumbles and surrenders.

Within the depths of the ruined Dull city, the revived Dustbins have a vote and declare one of their number their leader, the Supreme Dustbin, on account of his bitching midnight-black Dustbin casing. The Black Dustbin orders their CCTV equipment activated to find out if the Dulls still inhabit Fargo and wage their sanitary warfare. To the amazement of the outer space robot people, after fifty years of neglect, their equipment works with absolutely no faults or power leaks at all!

Marveling at the reliable warranty of their Dustbin ancestors, the Dustbins observe the crew of the Liberator and come to the conclusion that, amazingly enough, all humanoid life in the universe are lazy tossers who leave garbage everywhere!

The Black Dustbin vows vengeance and declares a jihad against all bipeds across the cosmos! However, the other Dustbins point that they are simply dodge ’em cars gone insane who require static electricity to move about – even if their new "master" allowed them more power than a few Eveready batteries, they are simply not equipped to leave Fargo and exterminate slobbiness throughout the universe.

The Black Dustbin agrees that this rather puts a crimp on things and orders a new power source to be constructed, allowing them to live forever and conquer the final frontier of outer space, boldly exterminating new and dirty civilizations where no Dustbins have wiped out humanoid life before!



Avon suggests they leave in the Plot Hole immediately and, for good measure, contact the nearby Dulls and use them as humanoid shields while they make good their escape. This would be a brilliant plan if the Dustbins weren’t watching their every move.

Blake starts ranting that Mezin is the evil one who is behind this evil plot to resurrect the Dustbin and accuses her of absolutely everything he accused Avon, with the added bonus evidence that she is ex-Federation, unnecessarily ugly and above all an intellectual threat.

At that moment, the Dulls arrive, a race of incredibly boring commuters who have become chartered accountants, bank managers and members of parliament. Avon is amazed at how depressingly tedious the Dulls are, as they make his current companions bearable – Blake and the others may be chronically stupid hypocritical ass wipes... but at least you can have a conversation with them!

Just then the Dustbins emerge from the city and decide that the time has come for them to kick some serious arse. After a lengthy game of "Dodge the Dustbin" (also available from all good toy shops as a board game, along with "The Great Escape Game – Dr Who & The Dustbins Edition", "The Dustbin Oracle Magnetic Blackmail Package", "The Dustbin Shooting Gallery", and the infamous papier-maché Dustbin Mask guaranteed to suffocate user in three minutes), everyone hides inside the Plot Hole which lives up to its name by virtue of somehow not being able to be blown up by an army of pissed-off Dustbins.

Inside the Dustbin, the female Dull Ilene falls to her knees and starts worshipping Avon as her great god, long awaited to return and save civilization. Avon explains to Vila and the others that this happens to him a lot, and probably has something to do with pheromones.

Blake, feeling increasingly inadequate with no alien babes begging to be HIS sex slaves, tries to take charge of the situation. Blake suggests they contact more Dulls and help them defeat the Dustbins. Vila and Jenna suggest they contact the Dusbtins and help them defeat the Dulls. Gan idly wonders why the hell they don’t just take off and return to the Liberator and leave the Dustbins on their impossible quest to tidy up the planet Fargo.

Before anyone can think up a counter argument to Gan’s depressingly-sensible proposal, there is a knock on the door: it’s Mezin and she explains that she has suffered horrible torture and cold metal probes at the, well, probes of the Dustbins... though she stresses she didn’t really find it TOO enjoyable... and the Dustbins have sent her here as an example of what will happen to the others if they don’t surrender.

Since they were all expecting to be exterminated, the crew are rather relieved that the worst that can happen is only torture. They tell the Dustbins they can "go suck on a hamster" and idly ask Mezin who the traitor was if it wasn’t actually her. Mezin changes the subject and the matter is not mentioned again.

The Dustbins shout that they can afford to wait, as they’ve scheduled a six-month vacation before they mount a ferocious attack on Earth’s solar system and rule the universe from Fargo. But this proves to be a cunning bluff to keep the humans distracted while they try to cut their way through the hull with a super-heated coat hanger.

As the humans and Dulls continue to argue about what the hell they should do now (while Gan points out that "take the fuck off" is still a good option) Jenna discovers a Dustbin hiding in the shuttle’s en suite toilet and has been hiding in their escape craft for hours. It exterminates all the non-speaking Dulls and opens the exit hatch, allowing a flotilla of Dustbins lead by the Black Dustbin itself.


The prisoners are escorted along endless corridors deep inside the old Dull city, which the Dustbins have taken over by squatter’s rights on the grounds there is plenty of wheelchair access for them to use. All the while the humans argue over who the traitor could be.

In the control room, the Dustbins start connected power cables to a giant electricity board. This new power source will radiate throughout the city and restore full strength to all the Dustbins and their weapons. The entire chamber hums with static electricity and all the Eveready batteries fitted to the Dustbins drop to the floor, one by one. The Black Dustbin reveals that the Dustbins now possess magic decoder rings containing more power than the sun and the tin assholes can live forever, and no longer under the command of their master.


The prisoners are all confused about who the Black Dustbin is referring to. Suddenly Blake pulls out a gun and reveals HE was the traitor all along, as he read all the newspapers lying about the place and decided to revive the Dustbins to be used as an army to destroy the Galactic Federation in a fanfare of blood for the common man!

Mezin rebukes Blake, explaining that SHE is the one who revived the Dustbins with the intention of conquering the Federation that so cruelly rejected her. Blake protests that Mezin is a lying two-faced bitch and he has the much better motive, not to mention past form for plunging whole worlds at war and putting the lives of millions at risk.

Gan laughs and reveals that HE is, in fact, the traitor, which is why he faked his own bashing and hid in the hamper after he’d removed all of the Eveready Batteries and supplied them to the Dustbins!

Vila, for his part, is amazed that Gan could be so heartless and ruthless a bastard, especially as it was HE was the one who distributed the batteries, using his irritatingly meek demeanour to fool everyone and satisfy his longstanding grudge against humanity and also finally achieve his lifelong dream of immortality.

Jenna tells everyone that they are lying in a pathetic attempt to impress the others, and SHE was the one behind it, making sure the batteries were aboard the Plot Hole which she landed as close to the city as possible and gave the Dustbins detailed directions on how to reverse engineer the Plot Hole to create a fleet of Dustbin wheelie carts they can destroy the Earth Government she hates so much.

Avon snaps and points out that they never actually worked out where the oh-so-convenient Dustbin Batteries came from. It was HIM! He designed it, planned everything out to the last detail, siding with an alien invasion against the humanity he has so publicly despised for many years. Quite simply, there’s only one person who could have been the traitor all along and that was him.

Ilene pulls out a gun and announces she’s sick of these tourists coming in and stealing HER thunder. She is a genetic throwback to the days when Dulls were interesting and she has allied herself to her ancient foe the Dustbins. People have told her she’s mad before, but she has an ambition and the ability to make it come true!

Blake mocks her, insisting she’s a silly little girl without the brain-twisted insanity to lead the Dustbins into a very short war. Avon insists that the Dustbins would never accept a loony like him as a leader even if they WERE faking it, as Avon is the only one who passionately BELIEVES the Dustbins deserve to be the superior race. Gan insists that isn’t technically human and thus is a more convincing ally to the Dustbins and can justify his betrayal on the grounds that without his influence, they’ll destroy everyone and everything. Vila points out that Gan is a shithouse diplomat, which is why the Dustbins could only be ruled and kept under control by a cunning thief like himself. Ilene insists that she intends to be Queen of the Universe, but Jenna notes she already had the Dustbins make her their Supreme Empress and put her face on their currency.

Mezin finally snaps and proves she’s a traitor by pulling out a gun and shooting Ilene, who is flung with a cry against the metallic wall. There is a not-unimpressed pause before Vila notes, "Well, ANYONE can do that! Look!"

Without another word, he shoots Blake, who falls but fires his own gun as he does so, winging Jenna. Vila turns to shoot Gan, but misses – unlike Mezin, who gets him right in the back. Avon shoots Mezin, then Jenna, before the not-quite-dead Blake shoots him as well. Ilene shoots Vila, as does Gan. Gan turns and shoots Jenna just as Mezin shoots Gan himself. Avon fires at the Black Dustbin, but the shot ricochets and hits Ilene, killing her for good. Gan shoots Jenna before falling down a ramp and dying. Jenna dies with one last shot taking out Mezin. Vila tries to shoot Avon, but misses, hitting Blake, whose gun goes off, killing Avon. Blake dies with a final pretentious gurgle.

The only survivor is Vila, who drags himself across the control room filled with smoke and corpses and a group of incredibly confused Dustbins. "I’ve been brilliantly clever! Cleverly brilliant! I’m going to commit the worst crimes in history and if that means I’m actually completely mad THEN SO BE IT!"

Not saying a word, the Dustbins exchange glances and then open fire. Vila is cut down, his twisted, distorting body torn apart in the fatal energy beam before he slumps dead to the ground.

After looking down at the burnt corpse for a moment, the Black Dustbin announces, "WE SERIOUSLY NEED A VACATION."

Book(s)/Other Related – Doctor Who Doesn’t Defeat the Dustbins
The Dustbin Outer Space Pocketbook & Suicidal Space Traveler’s Guide To Ungodly Hellholes Of The Cosmos
Blake’s 7 The Really REALLY Early Years

Fluffs – Colin Salmon seemed cursed for most of the story.
Jenna keeps referring to everyone as "mein kapitain" for some reason.

"Ay-varn, tark to ther ship! Yer the one with yer head up its backsard! What ther hell sart of marnsta are we trapped ensard? AY-VARN?!"

"Fifty years of peace have made people lazy and complacent! We should work twice as hard during peacetime to guard and maintain that peace! Goddamn it, we only just stopped Hitler and now everyone is wandering out with long hair listening to that newfangled rock and roll pop music! THE END IS SURELY NIGH!!!"

"It’s not a Fed shuttle but then why is she wearing a Fed uniform? Oi! You, Fed! FED OFF, YOU FEDDING FEDDER!"

Goofs –
You know DAMN WELL what I’m going to say. All right, why didn’t ZEN take credit for being the traitor? Huh? Everyone else did, but not Zen, the insane flight computer with a messiah complex. Does that make ANY sense of ANY kind, whatsoever?
One of the Dustbins has a thick Scottish accent.

Fashion Victims –
The Dulls’ tri-corner hat and black underwear under white tights.

Technobabble -
"You cannot boil a kettle full of compressed water at light speed, you fool! The smallest spark turns into a blazing inferno at that speed!"

Links and References -
This story is a sequel to The Dustbins, a prequel to The Dustbin Vacation on Earth and an unwanted anal violation of everything that made Blake’s 7 in any way worthwhile.

Untelevised Misadventures -
Vila claims to have heard about the Dustbins from a "mad geezer in a scarf" he met while having work experience at the Happy Fun Time Whizzo Novelty Corporation, the light entertainment branch of the evil Galactic Empire of Total Misery And Greed.

Groovy DVD Extras -
The original 1965 bill poster in black and white. About twenty-six times more enjoyable than the rehashed CGI shit they put on the CD cover, don’t you find?

Dialogue Disasters -


Blake: It’s an established fact that, although you can destroy a Dustbin, you can’t KILL it. you can’t imprison or rehabilitate them. Imagine if humanity declared war on locusts – we might defeated them, but we could never train them. Their intelligence is of a completely different order to ours. They could never become our allies or friends. They would not fear death as it could never be final for their race as a whole. The same is true for the Dustbins - as you destroy one of them, another simply takes its place. Not through courage or bravery, but because the Dustbins only understand success or destruction.
Avon: Why are you telling us all this, Blake?
Blake: When one’s being crucified, it’s always good to know who’s banging in the nails.
Avon: Have you ever been crucified?
Blake: Well. No.
Avon: And can you imagine how the knowledge of your captor would be of use as nails are punched through your wrists and your blood sprays everywhere? What exactly do you do in that situation apart from scream in pain and writhe in agony?
Blake: shut up! You shut up now!

Gan: Whoever they were, they had an inordinate fondness for Strong Bow Cider... there must be hundreds of cans!

Jenna: Helloooo, guys, planet crash ship burn we die!
Mezin: We’re so screwed!
Blake: You think we should meekly accept our fate?
Avon: There is a point where unwarranted optimism becomes a pathology.

Gan: The Dustbins will exterminate us!
Blake: Don’t worry, I won’t let that happen!
Avon: ...I’m sure YOU believe that.

Blake: The Dustbins won’t expect us to stay on Fargo.
Avon: No. Because the Dustbins will be working on the assumption we’re NOT insane.


Avon on the plot twist revelations in the final scene:
"I’m just an ant, lost in the mind of God."

Jenna: Blake, space isn’t a joy ride. It’s the coldest and cruelest place to be. The moment you think Earth’s worse, you're dead. Earth’s just an imperial admin block. The Federation's not held together by law and order, it is built on money, lies and blood. Space is Hell, Blake. One false step out here and it’s your last.
Blake: Remind me, why the hell are you the pilot again?
Jenna: I’ve been driving ships since I was twelve years old!
Blake: "Driving"? That does it, you’re sacked. We’ll take our chances from now on!

Dialogue Triumphs -


Jenna: There are two cardinal rules for landing on an alien planet.
Mezin: Oh?
Jenna: Rule 1 – never leave the shuttle unguarded.
Mezin: What’s the other one?
Mezin: ...that’s one rule said twice, you halfwit.

Blake: Liberator’s technology is light years beyond what Earth’s has and we can use it! There are dispossessed and disenchanted people all across Federation Space - the security forces keep them isolated! They stop them from connecting! They stamp out common cause! But if those people could be rallied, if they had a unifying force... We can turn this ship into a flagship against the Federation and despotic leaders like Servalan!
Blake: Or. At a pinch. You COULD exterminate them all.

Blake: I beg to differ!
Vila: Oh, shut up and run, Blake!

Mezin: Men are all the same! They either treat you like a silly little girl who ought to know better than do a man out of a job, or else they treat you like Dresden china! What happened to the days when women were as good as men and there were equal opportunities? Can’t women be just as intelligent or do the same jobs as men? You can’t imagine what it’s like for a woman to have to compete with men - if we have a good idea, it’s dismissed as lucky, and if we make the kind of simple mistakes that anyone might make, it gets blown up out of all proportion. Out in space, a girl has to be twice as intelligent, three times as quick and four times as strong as a man.
Gan: Mezin?
Mezin: Yes?
Gan: Hell is other people. And both of them are you.

Avon: The writers are always one step ahead in depressing me.

Viewer Quotes -

"WHAT 'cuss'?!" - Ewen Campion-Clarke (1998)

"Explicate! Explicate! The dialogue is strangely reminiscent of British porn films with upper lips (amongst other parts of the body) being kept resolutely stiff. The piece loiters along like a curb crawler outside an infant’s school. It needs a Dustbin plunger forced violently up the sphincter to get things REALLY going."
- The London Illustrated News (1965)

"This was a lost piece of Doctor Who history. If only it had stayed that way. Thank God they kept Paul McGann out of it. It would have put him off Doctor Who forever!"
- Eve Markson (2008)

"Why is it that these stage plays have been released in completely the opposite order to their original dates? Is it in order of audience anticipation? Order of connection to the TV show canon? Oh, wait, of course. It’s in order of quality. Hang on, that can’t be right..."
- Dave Restal (2008)

"I find Vila in this story incredibly irritating, in a Jar Jar Binks type way, but I’m wondering whether or not that’s intentional."
- Michael Keating (2008)

"The main reason I subscribed to in the first place was to get this story. David Pisstaker is one of the founding fathers of Doctor Who and a production of The Cuss of the Daleks is the Who equivalent of turning up Cardenio or something! This is the closest thing we’ll ever get to 'new material' from one of the most important writers in the history of the show... AND IT’S TOTAL SHIT!! EVERYTHING I KNEW IS WRONG! ARGHHH!"
- Peter Haining (2009)

"It’s a slow moving, talky, whodunnit in which the Dustbins don’t feature all that much. It’s very dated and incredibly sexist. And
yet somehow I really enjoyed it. I can’t stand women getting ideas above their station. It’s just vulgar and unnecessary."
- The Risk Manger (2009)

Psychotic Nostalgia -
"Hurrah, it arrived today, and looks very sexy! I hope for the sake of everyone in a two mile radius that I enjoy it or there will be BLOOD, Mr Fibuli! THERE WILL BE BLOOD!"

Nicholas Briggs Speaks!
"I had no idea this was a 1960s stage play. I always assumed 40 year old stage plays worked so much better than this un-notable would-be thriller shite. It’s so out of date, I hated it, so much silly plotting! And the SEXISM! I’m not Mr. PC (that’s Paul Carnall, what a right-on guy) but that really got under my skin and really upset me. I refused to adapt this. Only a complete moron with no principles of any kind could ever faithfully adapt this, so I bit the bullet and gave it to Ben Aaaaronovitch. It’s all his problem now. Clever, eh?"

Rumors & Facts –

Following their TV debut in the stupidly-named The Dead Planet Dustbin Mutants Beyond The Sun in December 1963 and their return appearance in The Dustbin Vacation on Earth November the following year, the Dustbins had with absolutely no effort, intelligence, style or subtlety COMPLETELY eclipsed Doctor Who itself to become one of the great British success stories of the early sixties, like the Beatles, the miniskirt and the Vietnam War.

The public had taken to the Dustbins like ducks to chunky custard, choking on the artificial coloring and flavoring, before vomiting everywhere and polluting the pond of the light entertainment industry, which latched onto the metal bastards like an oil-slick of wholehearted greed at the money to be made.

1965 saw the coming to fruition of most of these ideas and spin-offs which amounted to a shitload of merchandise and two cinema films with Peter Cushing RTD considers more canonical than the original TV episodes. But the fans at the time were distressed that no matter which toys, games and annuals they bought, nothing explained how the hell the Dustbins survived their destruction in their very first story. The vague explanation offered on TV and fluffed by William Hartnell gave the confused impression that some decoder rings from a box of Wheaty Cocoa Flakes somehow sorted everything out and gave the Dustbins motive, opportunity and technology to invade the universe.

A group of, for the time, incredibly sad Dustbin fans vowed to explain the discrepancy once and for all in the best-forgotten Dustbin stageplay, The Cuss of the Dustbins, which had a script credited to Terry Nation and David Pisstaker though this was a complete lie. Terry Nation had decided, after writing up to three sentences for the script of The Dustbins’ Nasty Plan, that he was rich enough to give up on Doctor Who forever, while Pisstaker was too busy trying to sell the idea of replacing William Hartnell as the Doctor with some kind of windjammer captain in a huge Harpo Marx wig.

The script was actually by über-geek and psycho fans John Gale, Gillian Howell and Scott Hutchinson Scott. They were determined to make the Dustbins the stars of the play, with no overt references to Doctor Who or even the wanker in the police box appearing at all. The Dustbins were, in the writers’ opinions, now well capable of life outside the series that had created them. Indeed, they decided to give the Dustbins a life outside the fictional universe all together and the stage play programme for The Cuss of the Dustbins revealed that Dustbin-shaped aliens were absolutely gospel truth!

"As you know, Terry Nation discovered and translated the Dustbin Chronicles, rather than any kind of original thought you may have thought he possessed. About the only idea he actually had was to copyright them and become an incredibly rich bastard overnight. But the story of how these Chronicles came to light in interesting in itself. Not very interesting, but you know, worth mentioning.

Are you sitting comfortably? Then we’ll begin.

About two light years ago, I was at home playing NumberWang when Terry telephoned me in the mistaken belief that I was a Chinese takeaway called the Hong Kong Kitchen and asked if I could come over immediately with a large amount of crispy duck. I was delighted to hear from him, as I could hand over a cardboard box with 'Crispy Duck' written on it, charge him four pounds fifty and leg it off into the night before he realized I was screwing him over. I left at once, which caused some minor problems as I was naked at the time and lived next to the netball fields of the local girl’s school.

After a fine of two hundred pounds and a two year suspended sentence, I settled down in chairs with Terry and a tray of coffee and raw onion sandwiches between us. Terry demanded to know who the fuck I was and why I was acting like I owned his house. When I explained, Terry became very angry as he’d been waiting for the crispy duck for at LEAST three hours and tried to suffocate me to death with a small cube he took from his pocket and tried to ram down my throat.

I managed to get a look at this curious object as the furious Welshman pinned me to the floor and pummeled me repeatedly in the ribs. The cube he was trying to force between the lips I kiss with was twice the size of a lump of sugar, entirely made of glass except for a small collection of little compartments at its centre. I shook my head in bewilderment and confessed myself baffled as the police arrived. They’d been following me since the judicial hearing and were concerned that I still had yet to put any clothes on.

While we were held in police custody, the handcuffed and straightjacketed Terry explained that, "I found the cube in my garden and, out of curiosity, thought it would be fun to use it to kill a strange naked man pretending to be a Chinese takeaway. It got caught on one of your wisdom teeth and a number of slivers of metal fell out of its centre," he revealed, explaining what I’d been spitting out idly over the course of our arrest.

As we waited for the police to finally let us out, I examined the slivers and discovered them to be microfilms, microfilms revealing to us the story of the planet Fargo, in the next universe but one, and of the races inhabiting it: the boring, stupid and tedious people called the Dulls. I learned of dusty forest and a lake of three-eyed fish, and a Frank Lloyd Wright city rising out of a desert of litter. And we learned of the other race on that planet, the inhuman, terrifyingly merchandisable Dustbins – sworn enemies of untidiness.

We immediately decided to lie through our teeth and tell the BBC we came up with ideas ourselves for their new children’s science fiction serial, basing entire episodes on translations on a cube we later found in a dog turd in Kensington Gardens. The play you are to see, for example, is one we worked together, so anxious has modern Britain come to know as much about the Dustbins as they can.

Now, if you’re wondering why it is that all of the adventures and stories of the Dustbins are set well into the future, you’re obviously a subnormal idiot with a thyroid problem. Don’t you realize that these glass cubes Terry discovered are capsules containing histories of the future? I don’t pretend to know what curse of time is responsible of this... well, actually I DO pretend to, otherwise the BBC wouldn’t pay me as much as they do.

Are the glass cubes sent down by some friendly planet deliberately, as a warning to us? Or has some Dustbin History Museum exploded violently in space, showering the stream of time by accident with information the Dustbins must want to keep secret? Who can say? Actually, I can say and I say that there are other cubes out there, hidden perhaps in a clump of grass or lying at the base of a tree. And when you’re out in your garden or in the park, do remember to keep your eyes open, won’t you? Send all of them to Doctor Who, c/o BBC W12 and if you try and tell anyone that the Dustbins are real aliens and a couple of TV writers are getting rich off a potential alien invasion, we will be forced to sue you. The Dustbins may be real, but our lawyers are even realer.

Don’t make us send the boys round!"

Unsurprisingly, for a script was aimed mainly at children who fuss over continuity references, the fairly straightforward plot was utterly boring and the audience was quite vocal that if this was the best narrative to be spun out of Dustbin microfilms, the next time they saw one of the glass cubes they’d smash it to bits. The large number of wordy scenes, the plot threads that were as easy to swallow as a wad of cotton, and the shabby upturned litter bins used as Dustbin outfits was enough to sink ANY play, not just a crap one like this.

The Cuss of the Dustbins opened on Tuesday 21 December 1965 at Wyndham’s Theatre in London’s Charing Cross Road. It was scheduled to run for two weeks over the Christmas holiday period, then play at London’s Strand Theadre for the next twenty-five years. For some unknown reason it was cancelled during the opening night. It turns out that the Dustbin operators were very unprofessional; they found the first act of the play so utterly boring that they quit during the interval, leaving the empty props on stage with no one to use them. The improvising from the cast was pathetic and this disruption ruined the initial run and The Cuss of the Dustbins was never performed again.

Indeed, it was completely forgotten by even the most hardcore of anoraks and even they often got it confused with a later and much more successful Dustbin stage show from two years later, Dustbins – The Musical. This was the first post-Doctor Who Dustbin project and it toured for over 12 years until the public finally decided a musical about animated dustbins who face oppression and social strife in Post-Revolutionary France was a bit contrived and unbelievable.

The script of The Cuss of the Dustbins was eventually bought by Terry Nation in 1968, when he had become addicted to Banana Daiquiris and started squatting in a palatial Beverly Hills home with two garages, a swimming pool and room for a pony. Nation was completely insane and living in a fantasy world of his own devising. He was convinced that with The Cuss of the Dustbins he could take his creations across the Atlantic and make the Dustbins a uniquely American icon.

Nation planned to become a multimillionaire and a powerful Hollywood force, certain that a high-budget colour Dustbin-focussed spin off on film would kill Star Trek while still in production and be an instant ratings success. He planned to sell the series to ITV back in Britain so it could kill off its progenitor Doctor Who in a moment of rather disturbing Oedipal rage, and then spent the next ten years getting richer and richer as the Dustbins dominated the airwaves.

Unfortunately, it struck Nation that even if he achieved it, those spiteful bastards at the BBC would dispute his rights to the image and design of the Dustbins done by the slave labor the corporation called "in house staffers". The ongoing legal dispute between Paramount Studios and the BBC would be a long, drawn out opera of torment with Nation stuck in the middle and, terrified, Nation tried to prevent this horrible future by throwing the script into the Thames.

In 2008 it was dredged out of a pond along with a rotting Dustbin casing by some meddling kids on a work for the dole scheme. The script was immediately snapped up by Big Finish, who were struggling to find a third stage play to adapt for their monumentally unpopular Soiled series. Sorry, that should be "monumentally POPULAR UNsoiled series".

Five minutes into reviewing the script, no one was actually willing to work on it. Cunningly Nick Briggs decided to post it to B7 Productions In Association With The Sci-Fi Channel and their brain-bleedingly awful attempts to reboot Blake’s 7 into three hundred five-minute episodes based on lesser-known Babylon 5 episodes. The fact "Terry Nation" was mentioned on the script was enough to get it made but details on production (and how Briggs got hold of the finished product) continue to elude a number of notable search engines.

The Cuss of the Dustbins was also notable for the first ever attempt to show the origin of the Dustbins’ musical career as the mop-top loveable mutants from Liverpool, with their interest in bubblegum pop love songs rivaling their obsession with ethnic cleansing. Although their hit single "Meet the Dustbins!" was fully explored in The Dustbin Vacation of Earth, how they embarked on the musical career which would keep them going till 1975 when Lavros turned up and ruined everything.

The final sequence, where the Black Dustbin names Crawl McDusty, Dust Linen, George Harrytrash and Swingo Carpetcleaner to take over the reign of providing musical morale to the Dustbin race in their upcoming war against all sentient life. The quarter burst into song, the beginning of a journey that would lead to albums like "Meet the Dustbins!", "Dust!", "Rubber Hose!", "Dusty Road" and the infamous 1974 behind-the-scenes documentary "Tired Of The Same Old Crap: Death of the Dustbins".

We Clean You! (Linen/McDusty)

You don’t realize how much we hate you
Tidy up your mess and never please you
Please clean up after yourself!
You make our lives a living hell!
We clean you!

Said you had a thing or two to tell us
Didn’t you ever think it would upset us?
Didn’t you realize
That we would all survive
Being switched off!

Oh yes, being switched off by that sodding Doctor Who!
That was humiliating, and frozen in place
We could not go on any more...

Now we’re switched back on by it-doesn’t-matter-who!
From now on, no Mr. Nice Guy! If you’re slobby, you die!
We just can’t take it any more!

Please remember how we feel about dust
We cannot live without developing rust
So pick up after yourself
It’ll be good for your health
Or we’ll kill you!

Unbound # 9 - Seven Keys to Doomsday (ii)

Book(s)/Other Related –
Dr Who & Chastity Belt of Doomsday
Junior Dr. Who & The Brain of Moby by Terran Cedicks (Canada Only)
"I *Am* Canon, Damn It!" - Nick Briggs’ Autobiography

Fluffs – Nicholas Briggs seemed dead at long last during this story.

"Rehab is for quitters!"


"Believe me, I know how you feel. Incredibly frustrated."

"Dustbins to the left of me, Clawrantulars to the right and here I am, stuck in the middle with you!"

"3.1428571428571428571428571428571428571428576... fuck!"

Goofs –
The TARDIS has a bumper sticker saying "CAUTION: Pilot No Longer Gives A Shit, Yuppie Scum!" and the console is clearly suspended from the ceiling by disco rope lighting. At least that’s what "Doctor Who: Living in the Seventies" by Howe, Stammers and Walker says...

Fashion Victims –
The Doctor never changes out of his predecessor’s lime green loud checked trousers, purple frock coat with giant lapels, ridiculously huge bright pink bow tie or blue Argyle waistcoat. The fool.

Technobabble -
"The Chastity-Belt of All-Libido is a super catalyst that, when opened, boosts the orgasmatron energy source of the Unstoppable Sex Machine to incredible strength but without it, the Unstoppable Sex Machine is useless, cold and frigid!"

Links and References -
When it seems Jenny has been exterminated, the Doctor muses that he still has his predecessor’s bad luck with companions and regales the increasingly-distraut Jimmy with brutally graphic descriptions of what happened to Greg, Nadia, Ria, Truman, Fionara, Kevin and of course Squeaky the budgerigar: "Dead! All dead! Every last one of them, or as good as! And good riddance, too, they were a bunch of wankers at the best of times..."

Untelevised Misadventures -
Presumably the Briggs Doctor, Kevin and Squeaky had some of these rather than dying horribly the day after they first met, but to be honest, it could go either way when you think about it.

Groovy DVD Extras -
Trevor Martin’s impromptu rendition of Nelly Dean’s "My Baby’s Gone Down The Plug Hole" accompanied by Terrance Dicks on the mandolin.

Dialogue Disasters -

Doctor: Mmm. New hair. That’s weird.

Amber Benson: We don’t know this Doctor is our enemy.
Gormless: He’s our enemy because he isn’t our friend and if he isn’t out friend he’s an enemy and if he’s an enemy he is the friend of our enemy and any friend of our enemy is an enemy of our friend’s enemy’s friend’s enemy’s friend of a friend of an enemy of ours!
Amber Benson: ...what’s your point?
Gormless: I forget.

Jimmy: He’s mad, I tell ya, he’s right round the bend!
Jenny: You don’t have to be so unpleasant to him all the time!
Jimmy: "Unpleasant"? Why shouldn’t I be unpleasant? He comes staggering out of that box of tricks, suckers us into playing Good Samaritan even though he has nothing decent to steal, kidnaps the both of us and then has the cheek to tell US off for trespassing in his "Tardis"! And then, to crown it off, he wanders off and leaves us alone!
Jenny: On the bright side, now we can start shagging in peace.
Jimmy: ...I’ve changed my mind. That man is a genius.

WOTAN VII: I am powered by the sun itself! I will function forever!
Doctor: Uh, no. You’ll only function as long as the sun is around. Bit less in fact, as you’ll be fried in a supernova long before the sun collapses into a white dwarf.
Doctor: Sorry, amigo. Just thought it needed saying.
WOTAN VII: Well, I kind of knew that actually.
Doctor: You’re not going to function forever though.
WOTAN VII: All right, not forever but for a bleeding long time.
Doctor: Well, you could have said that, couldn’t you?
WOTAN VII: Oh, sure, that’d be a great chat up line. "Hi, birds, I’ll function for an estimated 4.5 billion years!" That kind of pedantry just turns people off.
Doctor: But being vague just makes you look stupid.
WOTAN VII: I know. Life sucks.

Doctor: A while ago, Jenny and I thought you’d been killed. I can only say to you what I said to her: the success of our mission is more important than the lives of any one of us.
Jimmy: What’s that got to do with this?
Doctor: Hmm? Oh, nothing, amigo, I was just enjoying the memory.


Jenny: All the same, I can’t help but feel sorry for that computer.
Doctor: I know how you feel, Jenny. I hate being forced to do Maths sums as well. I can’t stand long division at all!

Dialogue Triumphs -

Jimmy: We’ve been chased by monsters, fried by a computer, blasted at by Dustbins and you want us to go off and fight some MORE nasties?!
Doctor: [to Jenny] He does go on, doesn’t he?

Bachelor: Who are you? Why have you come here?
Doctor: I’m called the Doctor, amigo, and I just popped round to ask if I could borrow the Seventh Key to the Chastity-Belt of All-Libido if that’d be OK. I’ve got the other six, you see, and I’m trying to collect the set.
Bachelor: Indeed. And then what will you do with the Keys when you have it?
Doctor: Well, nothing, really. But I’ll hand it over to my people, the Time Lords, for safe-keeping.
Bachelor: You lie!
Doctor: All right, so they’re almost extinct. But if they weren’t, I would DEFINITELY hand it over to them. No doubts about it.
Bachelor: All who seek the keys intend to use it for their own sexual gratification in one massive bitching orgy of oblivion!
Doctor: Bloody hell, amigo, can you blame em?!

Jimmy: I’m not scared!
Doctor: Yes, amigo, but you’re a total cretin.
Jimmy: Yeah, but I’m NOT scared!
Doctor: [to Jenny] You sleep with this guy?!

Doctor: Have I? You’ll remember that I had one of the keys in my possession for quite some time, amigo, and I think I might have made a few alterations to its atomic structure inside the TARDIS laboratory. Well, I whacked it with a hammer a lot. Same thing.
Doctor: Oh, I think I’ve ALREADY tricked you. The final key is acting a catalytic booster for the other six and it’s thrown the libido directly into overload!
Doctor: Doesn’t it? Something’s screwing up your precious Unstoppable Sex Machine, and I think it’s going to blow up and take most of your base with it. Pretty Freudian, eh, amigo?

The Doctor on Jenny & Jimmy:
"What I like about you two is your sunny optimism. No, hang about. Sorry, did I say 'like'? I meant 'hate'. And instead of 'sunny optimism', I meant to say 'incessant mindless hormonal bitching'. Apart from that, you’re totally wonderful, amigos!"

Viewer Quotes -

"The science fiction escapades of brainy Dr. Who (Trevor Martin) transfer successfully to the stage at the Adelphi Theatre. The sex scenes are noisy, colourful entertainment featuring lots of clever lighting effects and clouds of billowing smoke. Children should enjoy the spectacle of Wendy Padbury’s arse as much as the parents."
- Arthur Thirkle in The Daily Mirror (1974)

"Oh, for the love of Led Zeppelin, MORE freaking Briggsy?! Don’t we get enough of him being EVERY SINGLE Dustbin and Cyberman AS well as doing all the trailers, extras, computer voices and now he PLAYS THE BLEEDING DOCTOR! Would have been so freaking difficult to use Pertwee soundbites like Zig-Zag-Gay-Ass?! We listen to every single freaking story they send out and they think we don’t start to recognize his voice? The thing is, people have been whinging more and more about this for a couple of years now and NOTHING has changed. Big Finish doesn’t really care what their regular listeners think and that annoys me more than anything! Doesn’t SURPRISE me, but it does ANNOY me!"
- Ewen Campion-Clarke (2008)

"Adapting popular TV shows for the theatre was usually reserved for comedy sketch shows, not long-running drama serials! Why on Earth did the parent show try to make the disastrous transformation from pre-recorded TV to live theatre?! Oooh, traditional Christmas panto with companions picked from the audience! Excuse me while I try not to choke on my own vomit, Mr Dicks..." - Gabriel Chase (2005)

"This is basically an example of Doctor as a piece of theatre, with a very classic baroque feel, a visual art form FREE of the trappings of realism. Some may call it cheap and wobbly, but what do they know? This story came out when the dust was still settling from the 1960s counter-culture movement, and champions the idea of youthful rebellion against the status quo for the sake of progress! OH, WHY DID IT ALL GO SO WRONG? WHY DOESN’T GOD END EVERYTHING AND SPARE US THIS PAIN?!?!"
- Thomas Cookson (2009)

"When the utlimate horror is announced, a murmur of affection runs through the house and on slide the Dustbins to general applause. Nobody actually said, "Aaaaw" but they might just have well been koala bears. Koala bears looking like shiny beehives with knobs on, cruising around exterminating every living thing... KOALAS ARE EEEEEVIL!!!"
- Psychotic Nostalgia Dude (1974)

"It’s so weird to think a story that all I had to go one was a rather confusing synopsis in The Terrestrial Index has been remade and I get to listen to it. And after the brain-numbing assault that was The Alternate Adventure, this worked like a dream. A not-at-all surreal and entirely un-symbolic dream, natch, but a dream nonetheless."
- Nigel Verkoff (2008)

"From Shakespeare to Sam Shepherd, anything goes on the modern stage, but when it comes to Dr Who, the theatre has to reckon with an expert public: and that scene where the Doctor opens a Dustbin like a hinged biscuit tin and scrape out its occupant while the rest of the cast avert their eyes in horror is just WRONG! For Mr Dicks to suggest that Dustbins contain ANYTHING more than standard printed circuits, he deserves a rehabilitation sentence down in the reactor room!"
- Irving Wardle, The Times (1974)

"What the fuck are you on about, you ponce? You tell me my job now, bitch? You actually pay attention to anything, you tumor-filled malodorous PERVERT?! YOU MAKE ME SICK!!"
- Terrance Dicks in a private letter to Irving Wardle (1974)

"Trevor Martin’s gravelly-voiced Doctor was a welcome break from the norm and I certainly wouldn't mind hearing him return in an Unbound capacity. I would love to hear more of him in that role - but leave Jimmy behind, his macho whining really put me off him and reminds me too much of Nigel..." - Dave Restal (2008)

"OI!" - Nigel Verkoff (seconds later)

"I liked Martin’s easy-to-accept Doctor and it was great to hear him finally. Nice to have an older Doctor for a change given that they cast them much younger in the TV show now and Martin’s too long in the tooth for BBC Wales. Of course I haven’t actually SEEN Matt Smith and I’m SURE Moffat knows what he’s doing but FOR THE LOVE OF JESUS AND ALL THE SAINTS, HE IS TOO – FUCKING – YOUNG!! WHAT THE HELL WAS WRONG WITH PATTERSON JOSEPH!?" - random DWF member.

Trevor Martin Speaks!
"I have no idea who thought I’d be a good Doctor, but I think it might have been because I won a bet with the director, Mick Hughes, about winning a game of darts in the pub where Hughes was drowning his sorrows. He couldn’t pay the two pounds fifty we’d agreed on, so the forfeit was being the new Doctor on stage. Or maybe not. Good story, though, isn’t it? It was an intense business – the dress rehearsal took four days straight and we still got our bleeding lines wrong and bumped into Dustbins filled with dehydrating actors and lethal battery acid. Great fun, though. But it’s only the people who REALLY know their Doctor Who that even know about it now, which is unfortunate, as it means I only really meet total nutters rather than the nice, normal sort of fans or girls in love with David Tennant. I was quite surprised to be asked to do it again on audio, but it might mean more fans – normal fans – know of it and like it and all that jazz."

Charlie Hayes Speaks!
"My mum’s Wendy Padbury, and she couldn’t be bothered doing this so they got me instead. The script leaves it a bit ambiguous about whether or not there’ll be another story. Well, it’s not at ALL ambiguous but no one’s willing to commit. I’m not sure I’d be as brave as Jenny when facing Dustbins and Crawrantulars, but what I like about Doctor Who is fit birds in tight white denim pants flared at the knee. And that is something which this story has in spades."

Joe Thompson Speaks!
"Jimmy’s very forceful and headstrong and I think the Doctor secretly quite fancies that, having a companion who calls it how he sees it and can use him as a human shield. Trevor Martin’s probably having LSD flashbacks doing this again. It’s fascinating, from a psychological point of view seeing how he recreates a 34-year-old performance. Don’t you just want to take him to a secret laboratory and run tests on him? No? Just me then? OK. I just find that interesting, that’s all."

Rumors & Facts –

With a fine Doctor, companions who sound like a twee pair of children’s show TV presenters, this quick-moving tale is light on incident and heavy on cliches – the only surprise is that Terry Nation DIDN’T write it. Unoriginal it may be, even for 1974, but it’s the Sistine freaking Chapel of audio adaptations compared to The Alternate Adventure!, which just goes to show that not being special or groundbreaking can be good too. As The Chaser tells us, in a world of excellence we must STRIVE for mediocrity!

One-time Doctor Who script editor Terrance Dicks had long harbored a deep and disturbing desire to see Doctor Who on stage – back in 1970 he had tried to interest theatre companies in a musical starring Jon Pertwee as the Doctor along with the Dustbins. This idea had not been well received, however, as neither Jon Pertwee or anyone else be consulted beforehand and were very pissed off at Dicks taking such damned liberties when they were trying to create art.

Dispirited, Dicks abandoned his hopes for a stage play for another three minutes before plotting once more to create a children’s comic West End show and spread rumors throughout the land that Doctor Who would be interested in having such a production based upon itself.

Typically, it was over four years before anyone responded and this was by Siamese twins called Robert de Wynter and Anthony Pye-Jeary who had both independently become rival theatre producers. Their pitch couldn’t have come at a better time: the BBC was turning itself inside out to find a half-decent replacement for Jon Pertwee and Terry Nation was so desperate for cash that both allowed the twins the rights to do the play without giving much thought about it.

The twins at this point revealed to the world that they had everything they needed. Except a cast. Or a script. Or the £35000 budget that such a production would need. With the twins’ criminal genius they stole a super-computer from one G. Garden of Cricklewood, and set it to work incidental music, pre-recorded voices and project 2000 slides on huge screens on the stage, saving a fortune in terms of set design, prop construction or scenery transportation.

There were just TWO minor flaws in this in-all-other-important-respects brilliant plan: firstly, the computer (WOTAN VIII: Not Before I’ve Had My Coffee) was insane and wanted to take over the planet Earth, and therefore had little interest in theatre. Secondly, they simply didn’t HAVE 2000 slides of suitable space-age backgrounds, Dustbin armies, ungodly nightmare creatures. In fact, they had about 12 slides altogether, not including the saucy shots of the twins cooking a barbecue in the nude.

Director of the play, Mick "Hughesy" Hughes and the designer, John Napier, decided this was a three-pipe problem and went to the local opium den for the three pipes each required to sort out the problem. Their drug-fueled inspirations had solved bigger problems like this – "Mrs Warren’s Profession", when the actress herself turned out to have leprosy; "Chez Nous" when the theatre suffered a white ant infestation; or "John Paul George Ringo... and Bert" when Bert went insane over the lack of lines he was getting and murdered the rest of the cast. Surely a mad computer with pretensions for world domination in the West End would be easier to solve than the production of Equus for the Royal Shakespeare Company when the main star was accidentally taken to the Knacker’s Yard instead of rehearsals?

While the twins patiently waited for the director and designer to come back from their drug-addled wanderings, they realized that the insane computer wasn’t their biggest worry: who the hell was going to actually play the Doctor on stage? Although by now Tom Baker had been chosen to play the Fourth Doctor on television, it would be simply too complicated to borrow an actor during a TV shoot and have him perform on stage a role he had yet to master on the screen. Plus, of course, it was Tom Baker and he was technically banned from the West End after that nasty incident during "Romeo and Juliet" when Baker turned up screaming he was Rasputin and threw up on the audience, picked a fight with a stagehand and singularly failed to get off with Juliet.

The obvious alternative was to cast Jon Pertwee as the Doctor since Pertwee was after all, famous, popular, well experienced with treading the boards and regarded by fan and critic alike as Doctor Incarnate! The idea of any other actor would frankly be ludicrous. Unfortunately, Pertwee had just quit as the Doctor on TV and was loathe to be typecast by appearing in a grotty stage play – but he WAS willing to sacrifice his future career prospects and portray the Doctor if and only if he received a usual-than-higher fee. It became obvious that if "Dr Who & The Dustbins Hunt The Seven Keys To My Pants" became the best-selling stage show ever and every single person on the entire planet paid their whole week’s wages every single night it STILL wouldn’t cover Pertwee’s fees AND make a profit.

The twins tried to track down the other available Doctors but Peter Cushing was busy in Hammer Horror, Patrick Troughton was busy in Hammer Horror and William Hartnell was quite, quite dead. They were left with no course of action but to create their OWN Doctor, a Frankenstein-type hideous hybrid of parts of previous incarnations sewn together.

The new Doctor was to be a crotchety old wanker dressed as cosmic hobo with a dash of style yet a happy mixture of heroine and baboon, cocaine and genuine anabolic steroids. The First Doctor’s voracious sexual appetite and senility; the inconsequential penguin impersonations from the Second; and the sickeningly moral and pompous gittiness of the Third; and Peter Cushing would be represented by acting ability.

Chosen to play this medical curiosity of stitched-together characters was Trevor Martin who had, oddly enough, already appeared in Doctor Who in 1969 as one of the three Time Lords who sentenced the Doctor to be transformed into Jon Pertwee at the end of The Wank Games. He’s the one who looks like his face has been made out of weathered clay who gives the infamous line, "The machine is ready! ACTIVATE – SPIN MODE!"

With his long white hair, booming voice and the ability to reverse the polarity of the neutron flow without wincing, Martin was the perfect choice for the Doctor, and it was decided that he would need two companions – which would double the chances of casting Wendy Padbury as Jenny, Zoe’s hitherto unmentioned twin sister cast back in time to 1974 by a freak time storm and an evil from the dawn of time. The other companion no one gave two hoots about and indeed no one was entirely certain what he was even called – Dave, maybe? – but ended up calling him Jimmy because it was easier to remember. James Matthews was cast, but Simon Jones played him instead because people would actually remember him when Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy came around.

James Acheson (another hack the genuine TV show was desperate enough to employ) was commissioned to design the monsters for the production. This should have been easy as the only monsters were the Dustbins and not only had they been designed, they had nicked four props from the TV studio the other day. But Acheson detested the conical trashcan shape of the Dustbins and wanted something that spoke of the inner turmoil and raging desperation of the blobby mutants within and plus he had the costumes used for Tom Baker’s debut Gobot going spare.

Acheson’s redesigned Dustbins were bright red, ten-foot high humanoids in silver platform boots and gigantic shoulder pads, with one arm being a tubular limb with a clamp on the end (clearly nicked from the Gobot) while the other was a massive crab-like claw, while the heads were a cross between a peacock and an alligator. Absolutely no human being on this Earth could understand how this design was an improvement on Ray Cusik’s version, as even this humanoid Dustbin couldn’t climb stairs and in the words of Martin, look like "the inbred offspring of a Proton and a Quirk brought up by Macra!"

But Acheson had built and paid for these Nouveau Dustbins and they were damn well going to be used, crudely described as mutant servants of the genuine Dustbins the public were paying to see. Desperate to work out a name for these monsters, the twins cunningly got to The Sun to run a competition to give a name to these demented creations. The runners up were "Mo Kiki" (named after pro-wrestler and Judo expert who was actually playing one of the damn things), "Big Fat Cocks", and "Crawrantularsaurus Rexes". However, the winning name wouldn’t fit on the front cover of the program booklet and so "Clawrantulars" was used instead, much to the intense dislike of one I. Levine who was nearby.

For the Bachelor of Korn, freelance prop builder Allister Bowtell considered making a giant lightbulb-headed skeleton out of plaster-soaked fabric with a car battery and a long straggly beard on a wheeled trolley to make a giant, glowing-craniumed nightmare being. But that sounded far too much like hard work so they just electrocuted residents of an old people’s home on stage every performance and dubbed on the dialogue over the screams.

By now Terrance Dicks had worked out a script for the play using up to three lines of his own works and two words of those were COMPLETELY original. The rest was ripped screaming from (deep breath) Head from Ace, Planet of Spy-Spoofs, Power-Vac of the Dustbins, Ornery In Space, Peanut of the Dustbins, The Clean Breath, The Cabbages, The Dustbins, Evasion of the Dinosaurs, The Macramé Terror, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder of the Dustbins, Death of the Dustbins, Nightclub of the Dustbins, The Tree Doctors, The Mootants, The Protons, The Dominatrix, The Dustbins’ Nasty Plan and of course The Pleas of Fairness. About the only story not ripped off was The Brain of Moby, since that had yet to be written (or, more strictly accurately, yet to be plagiarized from Seven Keys to My Pants).

This rampant recycling meant that the story now opened with a baffling sequence of the Third Doctor falling out of the TARDIS and regenerating into Trevor Martin, an effect achieved by a bewildering montage of photos of Jon Pertwee and Trevor Martin projected on the giant screens on either side of the screen. On the few occasions epileptics were NOT in the audience, it worked to great effect until the relevant slides were lost and replaced with a selection of prog rock album covers.

This was not the only incredibly massive screwup to strike the performances – Acheson had, furious at his loss of redesigned Dustbins, stolen all the curtains from the Adelphi Theatre, so all the scenery changes had to be carried out in full view, with crucial scenes such as the telepathic battle between the Doctor and the Bachelor of Korn were often slightly undermined as scene-shifters moved back and forth. Jimmy and Jenny were regularly beaten up by genuine audience members who assumed them to be randy teenagers who couldn’t tell fact from fiction rather than the main characters of play. Several of the Dustbin operators suffered hideous injuries when it was discovered the props had been filled with battery acid (Acheson again).

On the opening night, Dicks’ four year old son ran out of the audience screaming in terror when the Dustbins appeared, then ran back in again and threw the usherette on stage to delay the evil aliens while the audience could escape. One time Ian Ruskin was nearly crushed when the TARDIS console was lowered onto the stage without warning, and the impressive attempt to make the four Dustbins look like an army by carefully casting their shadows onto the stage backcloth also highlighted the sheer number of backstage crew having illicit sexual encounters during the production.

Ironically, the audiences loved it and the reviews were all incredibly favorable, in order to cut costs the play was held back until December when the IRA traditionally held their Christmas bombing campaigns of Olde London Town. Only hardcore Whovians and suicidal people were prepared to check out twice-daily shows for its four-week run (Tom Baker, Barry Letts and Suzie Quatro being notable exceptions). Many, many more cancelled their bookings as, apart from anything else, proper Doctor Who was on the TV with Dustbins and a really gnarly half-Dustbin dude in a wheelchair and Mary Whitehouse HATED it.

Ultimately, Pye-Jeary and de Wunter had to make a decision whether to go on tour as planned or to cut their losses and take the play off after the West End run. Since the entire cast and crew had already fled the theatre before the run was halfway through, they had no option but to pull the show, which took just under £27500 at the box office. Well, before Tom Baker stole it on the grounds that as HE was the Doctor, he had intellectual copyright and the money was his by right. Meanwhile, some cunning git stole one of the Clawrantular costumes for a fancy dress shop while a gang of perverts made off with the Libido Device, only to return it the following week in disappointment when it didn’t blow their minds with sexual ecstasy.

Terrance Dicks tried to novelize the script but by now Terry Nation had a positive cash flow situation and wouldn’t let anyone near his creations, but Dicks was still able to change three words and offer it to the TV series as The Brain of Moby... which Sherlock Holmes then completely rewrote and made halfway interesting.

For the next thirty years, Seven Keys to My Pants became an oddity unrecognized by anyone except Chris Howarth who pointed out that Trevor Martin was more canonical than Tom Baker – which became his celebrated party piece and after-dinner variety acts. Some sad fans in 1981 tried to stage the show based on all the rumors they’d heard about, with Colin Jones playing the Doctor, Anthony Fitzgerald as Scratchman and Elizabeth Hicken as the Super-Trod.

Three years later, some Kiwis in New Zealand managed their own, far superior effort to the previous two with Mike Sagar as the Doctor. Kicking off on 23 November 1984 with a publicity stunt of two Dustbins blowing up the infamous "Beehive" parliament building in downtown Wellington, the Porirua Little Theatre in Titahi Bay was PACKED, with hopes that the Dustbins would blow up further parliamentary buildings. The Evening Post went so far as to declare the Southern Hemisphere Premiere as "bigger than Ben Hur" and at gunpoint convinced the local TV station agree to start screening episodes of Doctor Who once again.

"President Reagan’s Star Wars scenario has nothing to match the advanced scientific technology being created out of plastic, cardboard and a few nails!" screamed The Irish Racist, and with only five performances, "Dr Who & The Dustbins Play With Undaroos" became one of the most famous Doctor Who stories of all time.

Well, in New Zealand, anyway.

24 years later, Big Finish had just completed recording an audio adaptation of a completely different Doctor Who stage play when they realized they’d started so they might as well finish with the other two official stage plays (and not totally silly bollocks like Vox Dei, The Empress of Othernow or Nick Scovell presents Furry and Deep), and thus Seven Keys to My Pants was next on the list.

After all, Big Finish had rights to the Dustbins, Trevor Martin, Wendy Padbury and Terrance Dicks so recreating the stage play was a piece of piss, especially all the money they’d saved doing The Alternate Adventure. John Ainsworth had seen the original and thus wouldn’t fall for any crap Dicks might hand over as a replacement, so the genuine script would be used. There was only one thing standing in their way:

Nicholas Briggs.

Briggs had been struggling to achieve official Doctorhood since 1984, yet all his attempts came to naught. He had been in fan audios, official audios, comic strips, novelizations and most crucially of all – stage plays. During the 2007 production of The Dustbins’ Nasty Plan adaptation with Nick Scovell as the Doctor, Briggs grew tired of simply doing the Dustbin noises and changed the ending of the play so the Doctor fell to the awesome power of the Dustbin’s Grime Destructor and was instead transformed into a dashing, hairless toothbrush-waving psychopath. Briggs had hoped the next performance would feature him solely as the Doctor, but the play was immediately canceled.

Briggs pointed out to Ainsworth that in this stage play parallel
universe where the Doctors ran Nick Scovell, then Nick Briggs, then Trevor Martin. Ergo, Seven Keys to My Pants simply HAD to feature Nick Briggs and not Trevor Martin, despite the whole point of the production was to make the play as close as possible to the original.

"You’ve got to make me a proper Doctor!" Briggs pleaded in a brilliant reworking of a Tanith Lee monologue. "I HAVE to be canonical! I have to get an official Character Options action figure! I’ve waited so long... decades, more time than you could comprehend! How can you imagine what it must like to be an unofficial fan audio Doctor? To exist in nothingness, nowhere, blind, deaf, dumb – and yet to be sentient, aware, waiting? Decades of waiting! I have to become a proper incarnation, with his own section of The Doctor Who Reference Guide, my own face on a multi-Doctor calendar, a wikipedia page that ISN’T earmarked for speedy deletion! I want to be interviewed by DWM, parodied by Dead Ringers, and be a guest presenter on Blue Peter! DON’T SEND ME BACK INTO THE DARK!! LET ME LIVE!!!"

Everyone stared at Briggs for a remarkably long period of time and then John Ainsworth got Briggs to do a deal – in return for letting them do Seven Keys To My Pants WITHOUT his creative castration, they would adapt the story so it was a genuine continuation of Briggs’ own Oddly Visuals with him as the genuine proper Doctor.

Briggs was over the moon – this news refreshed and cleansed him like a babbling mountain stream, making his heart glimmer like a newborn star as he thought of his beauteous countenance joining the Mount Rushmore alongside Christopher Eccleston, Rowan Atkinson and Richard E Grant. A great serenity fell over the tuxedo-clad sociopath and a calm settled across Big Finish’s numerous ranges. Life was good.

And when the finished product of Dr. Who & The Dustbins Find Seven Keys To My Pants showed Briggs’ OV Doctor die horrible in the first scene and thus render him as obsolete as Stephen Payne before him, Briggs simply stared into the distance, mumbling "I am canon, canon, I am canon, canon, canon, I an canon, canon, canon, I am..." until his voice gradually died away and his brain switched off.

This, for Big Finish, was the turning point!