An Extract From The EC Unauthorized Programme Guide O' B7 Enterprises
W H A T I F . . . TERRY NATION FINALLY GOT THE CROSSOVER HE THREATENED ALL THOSE YEARS AGO?!
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!
"PREPARE MAGIC DECODER RINGS!" orders the Black Dustbin. "WE SHALL REACH THE STARS AND BEGIN A GALACTIC WAR! THE PLANETS BEYOND FARGO HAVE NOTHING BUT FEAR LEFT! WHAT WE CANNOT CLEAN, WE WILL EXTERMINATE! THE DUSTBINS WILL TIDY THE UNIVERSE!"
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.
"OUR MASTER HAS GIVEN ORDERS FOR THE PRISONERS TO OBSERVE THE MOMENT WHEN OUR POWER IS FINALLY SWITCHED ON, THE CONQUEST OF THE UNIVERSE BEGINS AND OUR MASTER’S IDENTITY IS FINALLY REVEALED!" the Black Dustbin grates. "I FIND IT A TRIFLE MELODRAMATIC, BUT STILL, WHAT CAN YOU DO? MOVE IT, SUCKERS!"
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.
"WE ARE THE DUSTBINS! NO MAN IS OUR MASTER! NO HUMAN WILL EVER CONTROL US!" the Black Dustbin grates. "WE ONLY ALLOWED YOU THINK YOU HAD MASTERY OVER US, BUT NOW YOU HAVE SERVED YOUR PURPOSE AND WE HAVE NO FURTHER NEED OF YOU!"
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!"
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.
"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 -
Black Dustbin: SUCH MONSTROUS AUDACITY STILL LEAVES US SPEECHLESS! ONE DAY, A GREAT TIDE OF RETRIBUTION WILL COME! THE BLOOD OF OUR VICTIMS WILL SWEEP THE DULLS AWAY AND WASH THE GALAXY CLEAN! THIS IS A THOUGHT THAT COMFORTS ME IN THE LONGER HOURS OF THE NIGHT.
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: ...you 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.
Dustbin 1: THE SCANNER SCOPE STILL FUNCTIONS!
Dustbin 2: YOU GOTTA LOVE THOSE DUSTBIN PLANNERS!
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 -
Black Dustbin: TAKE A LONG, HARD LOOK AT THE DUSTBINS, BLAKE. IT MARKS THE END OF THE OLD ORDER. WE HAVE WEAPONRY AND CLEANING PRODUCTS THE LIKES OF WHICH YOU HAVE NEVER SEEN! THE EMPIRE OF THE DUSTBINS IS THE HERALD OF A NEW ERA, ONE WHERE THE UNJUST LITTERING OF HUMANOIDS WILL NOT BE TOLERATED! WHERE THEY WILL BE MET BY REPRISALS! BY FORCE!!
Dustbin 2: OH, THIS IS SO WORKING FOR ME!
Jenna: There are two cardinal rules for landing on an alien planet.
Jenna: Rule 1 – never leave the shuttle unguarded.
Mezin: What’s the other one?
Jenna: NEVER LEAVE THE SHUTTLE UNGUARDED!
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!
Dustbin: ...OR WE COULD JUST EXTERMINATE THEM ALL.
Blake: Or. At a pinch. You COULD exterminate them all.
Dustbin: YOU CANNOT ESCAPE!
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: 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!