An Extract From The EC Unauthorized Programme Guide O' RTD Must Die!!
W H A T I F . . . DOCTOR WHO HAD BECOME A SLICK, OVER-ELABORATE, AMERICANIZED FAST-PACED VISUAL SPECTACULAR RELYING MORE ON EXTRAVAGANT SPECIAL EFFECTS AND CELEBRITY GUEST STARS THAN PLOT CONTENT WHOSE DARK, BROODING STYLE WAS BASED VERY MUCH ON THE NEW ADVENTURES WHICH ALIENATE THE SHOW’S TRUE FANS AND LOSING ALL CREDIBILITY? WHAT IF THERE WERE A ROTATING ENTOURAGE OF RATHER ANNOYING COMPANIONS PLAYED BY FORMER POP-STARLETS, MEDIA TRENDIES’ AND CURRENT GOSSIP COLUMN FAVORITES? WHAT IF THIS VASTLY-DIFFERENT VERSION OF DOCTOR WHO WENT TOTALLY OVER THE TOP AND BROUGHT TOGETHER EVERY MAJOR CHARACTER SINCE DAY ONE??
. . .
A Typical, No-Attention-Span, 21st Century Doctor – A Typical, No-Attention-Span, 21st Century Dimension
Serial 102 – A Swarm of Angles
The Doctor has finally escaped from his dull-as-Swedish-clay-animation life on Gallifrey, and is roaming through all of time and space, exploring infinite possibilities, righting wrongs and soliciting the sexual favors of alien babes wherever he encounters them.
With his meek and easily-forgettable granddaughter Susan, the Doctor is helpless when their TARDIS (in the form of a barrel of Hawk Larger – "Stay Witty And Sexist To The Bottom of The Glass!") falls down a temporal sinkhole, having nearly collided with a rudimentary time machine. The Doctor screams abuse about "Noosphere Drivers" at the ceiling while Susan mildly wonders if he’s going to actually, you know, do anything to stop them crashing.
The TARDIS slams into corporeal existence in the middle of Roald Dahl Plass in the heady space year 2009. The Doctor and Susan emerge to take in the rather unimpressive sights and, bar the novelty fountain and the Cardiff Millennium Centre, the only thing of any note is a funky rotating billboard showing a smiling blonde woman with the words:
"MY HUSBAND TURNED OUT TO BE A RIGHT BASTARD SO I KILLED HIM -- THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF LUCIE MILLER –- OUT NOW!!"
After marveling at the brilliance of the concept of rotating billboards, the Doctor and Susan yawn and decide to get some traditional Earth cuisine from the nearest branch of D’You Believe This Is Pizza?
By an astonishing coincidence, on the other side of Mermaid Bay, Lucie Miller is sitting in a limousine looking all evil and Mafiosi while crates marked "Property of Touchwood" are lowered onto the dock from the container ship, the S.S. Selfish Tosser.
Lucie has her bald, muscled thuggish bodyguards and boytoys to smash the crate to pieces, revealing a huge syringe of what seems to be evil glowing nougat with which she promptly injects a random passer-by. "You ever heard of the Nestle Consciousness?" she asks the screaming, convulsing extra as the extraterrestrial confectionery rewrites the human’s brain. "Coz you’re about to!"
The poor sucker’s eyes start glowing day-glo orange and suddenly possessed, the guy asks Lucie where he is... and is dismayed to discover that, even after the near total annihilation of its race in 2005, the Nestles STILL haven’t escaped fucking Cardiff!
The Nestle stares at Lucie for a long moment, recognizing her from a prior encounter. But not necessarily the one you might be thinking of with the Eighth Doctor since she orders the Nestle to call her "Bastard" and demands he tell her where the "trashcan" is in exchange for saving his sorry ass from the ravenous hunger of a chav called Mickey Smith. After being screamed at for about twenty minutes, the Nestle shrugs and point to a back alleyway and then runs off.
Laughing diabolically, Lucie runs into the alleyway and finds, between two dumpsters and a wheelie bin, the perfectly-preserved blue casing of Dustbin Leonardo, Leader of the Cult of Fargo. At this, Lucie totally loses it and giggles like a nutcase.
Standing in line at the pizzeria, the Doctor and Susan bump into an attractive black woman called Martha Jones who rather disturbingly is having an argument with her invisible fiancé "Tommy M". At first the time travelers assume her to be a Flaxian Basidiosphore, but it turns out that she’s just ever-so-slightly cracked in the head.
However, Martha seems to have a thing about Gallifreyans and immediately offers to take Susan on a shopping spree in a huge and ever-so-slightly-singed store called Plastic Fantastic – unaware that the Nestle has arrived and is using his alien telepathic power to turn all the display dummies into psychotic killing machines.
As you do.
Martha and Susan take this moment to enter the shop leaving the Doctor and "Tommy M" to do "guy stuff". Increasingly disturbed by Martha’s insanity as she looks for kinky sex toys for her "husband", Susan searches desperately for an excuse to flee.
At that moment, one of the mannequins comes to life and unleash in-built hand-shaped blaster and go on a killing rampage which, as you can imagine, comes as an incredible relief to Susan even though it puts her in the most deadly of dangers...
While Susan and Martha run though the store dodging Autons, there’s panic on the streets of Cardiff as a vast number of plasti-choco lust replicas storm around mowing down Welshmen with lazy abandon. The Doctor returns to the TARDIS, musing that he’s pretty certain that this sort of alien killer rampage isn’t normally the sort of thing that happens in Cardiff. Is he in a parallel universe, or has his meddling to established chronology caused history to go into free-fall?
Deciding that he doesn’t particular care either way, the Doctor uses his timey-wimey-déjà-vu detector to locate the temporal pooling sinkhole gubbins that drew the TARDIS here in the first place. He doesn’t realize that, in the alleyway opposite, Lucie has used a welding torch on the abandoned Dustbin to forge a nifty Nintendo game-gauntlet with traditional Dustbin balls attached.
"Bitchin," Lucie observes before activating her nifty gauntlet and promptly electrocuting herself.
Susan and Martha are in the middle of the chaos as Martha pretends to "phone her husband" and has a deeply unhelpful row with "Tommy M", and Susan decides to cut her losses and flee to the TARDIS. Martha meanwhile spots a truck with crates marked "Touchwood" trying to get through the crowds. Martha explains to Susan that Touchwood is a Welsh organization specializing in scavenging xenotechnology and causing an incredible amount of alien threats to the UK due to their general ineptitude and stupidity.
As Touchwood is no doubt responsible for this sudden chaos, Martha and Susan decide to follow the truck as they dodge the occasional Auton and generally pad out the entire episode with chase scenes until a fresh dozen Autons smash through a shop window and capture the duo at the behest of the Nestle who has been using his creepy alien telepathic powers... of watching the duo on CCTV.
The Doctor is now loitering outside the Electro which just happens to be where the Touchwood truck is arriving. For want of something to do, the Doctor breaks into the theatre and sees Martha and Susan gagged and bound on stage surrounded by dozens of Autons made an army due to cheap CGI – and their leader, the Nestle Consciousness.
"It seems we have an unwelcome visitor," the Nestle Consciousness camps it up like all proper unknowable, godlike higher evolutionaries always do.
"There’s no need to be rude about it!" snaps the Doctor, hitting the leader of the Autons over the plastic bonce with his cane.
"Oi! Do you know what I am, granddad?" snaps the Nestle Consciousness, a bit miffed at the lack of respect the old git is giving him.
"I don’t care, young man! Do you know what I am? Hmmm?!"
"A decrepit old asshole who beats people with canes?" the Nestle complains. "Hang on! You’re a Time Lord! It was YOU all those years ago in that deserted paper mill!"
"Hmmm. What?!" asks the Doctor, taken aback.
"GET HIM!" screams the Nestle in fury and the Autons attack the old man, and in the scuffle break a test tube in the Doctor’s coat pocket. The Autons fall back, screaming and melting from the substance within the test tube, which appears to be some kind of anti-plastic compound.
"Good gracious," the Doctor gasps. "That Sabalom Glitz fellow swore blind it was actually an aphrodisiac made of Monoid urine and lime cordial! Hmph! Good thing we found that out now, eh? I was going to try it later on tonight!"
Alas, since his host is a human being, the Nestle is still standing while all around the Autons do a strange interpretive dance before going all stiff. The Nestle prepares to kill Susan and Martha when suddenly his eyes stop glowing orange and he falls over – the so-called virility drug having destroyed the alien influence.
The Doctor releases the duo, congratulating himself for having effortlessly defeated an entire alien invasion and saved the Earth from apocalypse and so on, genuinely trying to get Martha to have sex with him in gratitude or at least in order to shut him the hell up. Alas, she insists she is a married woman and even if her husband IS a figment of her truly deranged imagination, she won’t do it.
"Bugger," the Doctor growls and leads the others from the Electro.
Susan muses that this, all in all, incredibly pissweak alien invasion happening right at the same time as a temporal sinkhole is unlikely to be a total coincidence, and may indeed be some kind of distraction to keep them all out of the way.
"Nonsense, child," the Doctor tutts. "Who on Earth would wish to do a thing like that to me, hmmm? I’m the nicest possible person. And VERY good in bed, if I do say so myself."
As they emerge from the theatre they find Lucie standing in the alleyway holding the time gauntlet, very singed and her hair standing on end. "Gotta admit, Doctor, impressive. Never though you’d sort it out THAT quickly, ya big ponce?"
"Are you on drugs or something, young woman?" barks the Doctor. "If so, either share them with us or point us in the direction of your dealer, hmmmm? Stop bothering us, there’s a good slapper."
"Face it Doctor, you’ve lost, again!"
"I haven’t the faintest idea what you’re on about, my dear. Stop talking crap and get out of our way, will you?"
"You still haven’t said though, have ya?" Lucie sneers. "My name? Poor Lucie, her mind was so empty it offered no real resistance. She came to see me remains, so I took her body for me own, rewrote her DNA. Eye for an eye, she DID shoot me..."
"Are you getting any of this?" asks the Doctor of Susan.
"Um, she’s some kind of virus trapped inside a human body or... something equally gross?"
"THAT’S NOT ME NAME! SAY IT, DOCTOR, SAY ME NAME!"
"Oh, fuck off you malignant time waster!" the Doctor says, bitch-slapping Lucie across the alleyway and striding off with Susan, Martha and "Tommy M."
Lucie hits the ground and accidentally activates her time gauntlet, causing her to vanish in a blast of light before she can do anything. The others don’t even notice her vanish, nor that her rubbish Dustbin time shifting is what caused the TARDIS to go haywire in the first place and thus start off the whole plot.
At that moment, high above Cardiff is the giant Skybase Valium, a flying aircraft carrier with several planes on its numerous runways. Here Harriet "Hellfire" Jones and her latest gimp Major Ernest Shackleton are plotting to seize control of the United Kingdom. However, their evil scheming is cut short when the Valium’s orbital scanner detect an approaching alien invasion fleet.
"Right, time for Touchwood to earn their keep," Jones growls. "I want these things blasted out of the sky as soon we know their intentions and have let them nuke all our political enemies! THE EMPIRE OF HARRIET JONES STARTS HERE! BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!"
As the ex-Prime Minister rubs her hands with maniacal glee, the alien fleet descends upon the Earth...
The Doctor, Susan and Martha make their way back to the TARDIS, gingerly stepping over the corpses of the Autons’ victims and the lifeless window dummies themselves. Inside the time machine, the Doctor checks the scanners to ensure the temporal sinkhole is sorting itself out as these things are often want to do – like that one time he gave the Aztecs the secret of atomic weaponry and told them "Look that Cortez shit right in the eye before you blow his fucking brains out!"
But the TARDIS sensors pick up the alien battle fleet closing in on Earth, due to arrive within the next three hours. Curious as to what the hell humanity is actually doing about it, Susan tunes the console to hack into the Archangel satellites and in moments the TARDIS crew are having an awkward and unexpected video conference with Harriet Jones herself!
"You diseased tool," sneers Jones upon learning the old man is the Doctor, assuming it to be a regenerated version of the same self-righteous Scottish git who deposed her on Christmas Day – CHRISTMAS BLOODY DAY – 2006!
"Madam, you seem to be mistaking me for someone else..."
"Don’t deny it, bitch, it was YOU!!"
"Don’t tell me what I can and cannot deny, madam! Long before you came to power and slaughtered harmless aliens, I was toppling entire galactic civilizations! And I don’t make threats, but I do make promises and your little political career will be the least of your problems unless you stop annoying me!"
"Uh, grandfather, are you sure this a good idea?"
"Well, my child, it seems like we’ve been pissing about with her destiny for a while – be a shame to start before we stop, eh? Eh? I should say so. Yes. Hmmm."
At this moment the Valium picks up a signal from the alien invaders. This isn’t particularly difficult because said signal immediately punches its way through every firewall on Earth and takes over every single broadcast channel, the internet, television, radio. Everything.
The Doctor chortles. "It seems to me that you are, er, completely screwed, Mrs. Jones. I laugh at your miserable predicament!"
Suddenly the TARDIS scanner shows a strange hunchback pig-faced alien monster resembling a very unconvincing rubber Ferengi mask speaking like Zippy from Rainbow but without the natural talent and charisma. Even more disturbingly this inane creature can been on every single television, computer screen and iPod, while his annoying clicking voice emerges from every radio, loudspeaker and mobile phone.
It might have been impressive with, I dunno, a Cyberman Controller or maybe a Vogon Constructor Fleet, but not this loser who speaks in a bored monotone: "This planet is ours, the people will serve us. This planet is ours, the people will serve us. This planet is ours. Is that fully coming across? It’s ours. And the people, that’s YOU, right, YOU will serve US. Because THIS planet IS... OURS. Not YOURS. YOU are OURS. Am I being unclear in my message?"
Absolutely no one is entirely sure what to do about this and, even though mere moments earlier killer shop dummies were slaughtering people left, right and centre, the surviving Welshmen are already bored and having afternoon naps until this ugly alien dude shuts the hell up.
Martha (and, apparently, "Tommy M") urge the Doctor and Susan help defeat this unimpressive menace, but the Doctor points out that his magical transdimensional time machine isn’t some funky Death Star weapon and simply DETECTING the ships is enough for him.
The old man starts shoving Martha out the TARDIS doors, only for them all to be suddenly arrested by big, bald men in black – Lucie Miller’s henchmen who, now out of a job, have signed up to become the hired goons of Harriet Jones herself. "Oh joy!" the Doctor snaps as they are dragged into Lucie’s abandoned limousine.
The luxurious ride is slightly spoiled by the repeated blows to the head the henchmen hand out to the Doctor, Susan and Martha, and TOTALLY spoiled by the fact the car radio only plays the alien mantra – perhaps as some kind of persistent psychological warfare? I, for one, would immediate welcome our alien overlords in order to shut them up after five minutes of that arse-killing tedium.
The limousine takes them to an imperfect, partially-constructed replica of Canary Wharf Tower – a replacement for the original replica which was destroyed when Touchwood (who used said tower as their secret base) accidentally unleashed two separate armies of cyborg monsters that laid waste to the entire world and killed millions. Martha regales the Doctor and Susan about the irresponsible carnage as they catch a lift up to the roof and are immediately escorted into that old UNIT helicopter from 1969 – you know, the one with "GOD-AWFUL" spray-painted on the side? – where the pilot is Major Shackleton.
Once inside, the helicopter takes off for the Valium as Shackleton complains he was hoping for the curly-haired nutter in the scarf, or that cricketer who smelled of damp celery, or the flamboyant homosexual in the technicolour dreamcoat, and he gets a raddled old has-been who is clearly no use as Champion of the Planet Earth and will most likely get them all killed in senile dementia.
"I think he’s talking about you, my dear," the Doctor tells Susan.
FINALLY the bloody helicopter lands upon the Valium and the trio are brought into the Conference Room. There, Harriet Jones shouts abuse at her new henchmen for getting the three wrong people – she asked for the Doctor, Rose Tyler and Mickey Smith god damn it!! As punishment, she has the incompetent goons taken away and shot dead.
"Now, Doctor, are you going to suck it up, embrace the pain and get over our past or are you going to bitch at me for blasting the helpless out of the sky and providing a spectacular bit of Christmas Day performance art? Now Alan B’Stard left a lot of mess, a bad taste in the mouth of the UK and the people need a leader they trust, someone who fights off aliens instead of inviting them round for biscuits. And if they don’t like it, I’ll blast them as well!"
"Er... yes, quite," the Doctor says, not having a clue what she’s on about. "How exactly can I help precisely, hmmm?"
"Don’t lecture ME, you hypocritical loser! Your best friend Captain Jack and his personal army of sex slaves have the Belgrano Device aimed right at the ships for the last ten minutes, so are they gonna fire or are you going to try that diplomacy shite? I’m choosing you because I’m fresh out of diplomatic peace talks envoy – all the good ones are in the Middle East and the rest keep dying when I kill them! So. What do you say, Mister Last of the Time Lords?"
"Which course of action DOESN’T get us shot?" asks Susan.
Alas, all this chitchat had allowed the aliens to swoop past the moon and enter the Earth’s atmosphere and aboard the Valium, Harriet Jones opens a channel with the ships to allow the Doctor to seek council with the alien leaders and achieve a peaceful solution to the conflict. "We LIKE conflict," sneers the alien, and promptly hangs up.
Giant flying saucers hurtle down over the skies of Cardiff, Paris, Sydney, the White House in Washington DC... hang on a minute, this is just stolen footage from Independence Day! Cheapskates!
Typically humanity reacts by running around, abandoning their homes and getting caught in traffic jams. And it’s just worse in Cardiff with all the dead Autons blocking the backstreets!
And underneath Roald Dahl Plass, in the Touchwood Hub all sorts of alarms and shit are going off. Captain Jack Sparrow is playing Naked Hide & Seek with Gwen "Psycho" Cooper as the alien catchphrase constantly repeats in the background.
"Hey, you remember when I told you that everything was going to change in the twenty-first century?" asks Jack hopefully.
"Was that before or after you wiped my memory?" asks Gwen.
"...ah, probably before."
"Then, no," Gwen replies, stubbing out a cigarette on his bare back.
"Damn. I had a great quip all ready and prepared, savvy?"
As another saucer descends over the Valium, the aliens send out a slight variation of their perpetually looped message for mankind: "This planet is ours, the people will serve us. The invasion of the Kraaps has begun!"
With the Earth on the brink of colonization by the least memorable and most poorly-thought-out Tom Baker era alien the world has ever known, President of the United States of America demands Harriet Jones stops fannying about and nuke the alien bastards. Harriet laughs cruelly – she’s seen enough Hollywood blockbusters to know that preemptive strikes never work as it’s far more dramatically satisfying to blow the mothers away when all seems lost.
Plus she has photos of him with the French Ambassador (and the Ambaddador’s wife, and his wife’s sister in law, two rent boys and a sheep) so unless he wants to suffer a similar fate to his predecessor, he will respect Harriet Jones’ authority and seek psychiatric help.
"There’s not a species that DOESN’T try to invade Earth at some point in your history – some try more than once. Those idiots never learn," the Doctor sighs, having deduced that the Kraaps are attempting to subjugate humanity in a pathetic attempt to follow more fashionable alien empires. "Peer pressure, in short. They might have an armored exoskeleton but they sure as hell don’t have backbones!"
Suddenly, in another moment curiously similar to stock footage from Independence Day, the Kraap Saucer releases an attack force of six one-man saucers. This proves too much for the Americans who immediately fire missiles straight at the UFO fleet!
To the surprise of all concern, this actually WORKS and the Kraap fighter ships are blown to smithereens with the only survivor falling out of the sky and crashing into Mermaid’s Bay... curiously similar to stock footage from "Alias of London" methinks.
Although Touchwood were created with the express purpose of retrieving, examining and retro-fitting alien technology, they happen to be bloody awful at this so Harriet sends Martha and Susan to salvage the wreck while she phones the American President, screaming "DON’T LIE TO ME YOU PIECE OF CRAP, YOU FORGOT WHO YOUR MOMMY IS! WHO’S YOUR MOMMA? WHO’S YOUR MOMMA! THAT’S RIGHT, **I’M** YOUR MOMMA!"
The President breaks down in tears and begs for forgiveness... so Harriet immediately uploads her blackmail onto youtube anyway.
No sooner, however, do Susan and Martha use the UNIT helicopter to reach the downed ship when Martha is suddenly teleported to a Kraap holding cell full of a similar bunch of randomly-teleported passers-by. One of them, amazingly enough, is none other than Lucie Miller! Yes, while all the other prisoners were kidnapped, Lucie’s rubbish Dustbin-time-glove actually brought her here by accident.
Marveling at the dramatic irony, Martha uses the Molenski Univarious to break open the Kraap cell and allow the prisoners to escape and they actually get about three or four metres down the organic-styled corridor before they are recaptured by a single, laser-wielding Kraap warrior... who Lucie promptly kills with a tissue compression doohickey she happened to have tucked into her cleavage.
The prisoners find their way to the escape pod deck conveniently placed right next to the prison cells – typically Kraap design I think we’ll all agree. Alas, the clamshell-like escape pods only take one person each, so someone will have to stay behind. Showing a lack of selfishness bordering on suicidal insanity, Lucie chooses to remain on the alien warship. Although suspicious, Martha doesn’t give a tinker’s cuss what happens to the Bastard’s ex-wife and leaves her to her presumed doom. Smart girl.
Now alone, Lucie uses all her Northern upbringing to steal a novelty brass key from the saucer restroom, before using her time gauntlet thingamajig to escape into time and space.
Back aboard the Valium, the Doctor decides the best thing to do is tell the Kraaps to bugger off and recommend they invade another, less important world that will still impress their space homies. After dismissing the planets Vulcan, Proxima Centauri he decides on the planet Obsidian – the home planet of the Kraaps themselves and thus the easiest possible world for them to invade.
It then strikes the Doctor that his meddling might have caused this particular catastrophe in the first place. But, then again, it might not and he doesn’t actually care either way if he’s honest.
Further proving that they are an alien invader well worthy of their name, the Kraaps instantly agree to abandon the invasion of Earth and within minutes their fleet rush out of the sky and the people of Cardiff cheer like the tools they are.
The Doctor is immediately escorted off the Valium while Harriet Jones recommences her plans for world domination and dumped in Roald Dahl Plass next to the TARDIS. Susan turns up and they decide to recommence their travels in time and space before Martha shows up again.
As they take off, the scanner shows Lucie Miller or – as she has been repeatedly trying to tell us for the last three episodes – the Bastard in Lucie’s curvaceous body! The Doctor throws a coffee cup at the scanner and tells her to get off his viewing screen.
"Calm down, Doctor, a man of your age! Now I have built this time machine from Dustbin castoffs I can return to Malcassairo in the Year 100 Squillion! I shall finally discover the source of the Rogue Traders songs inside my head! They call me to the tomb that can only be opened by the Key of Perpetual Torment that the Kraaps happened to be using to lock their toilet facilities! Now I have the key, I can finally fulfill my destiny and release the AntiChrist from the bonds that have held her since the Disciples of Light imprisoned her before the Dawn of Time!"
"Yes..." says the Doctor at length. "Thank you for sharing that."
"Once free, the AntiChrist will tear the universe apart, obliterating time itself, fracturing space to a single point, ending everything, every planet and being as it brings about a clean slate!"
"Yes, yes, Destroyer of All Time and Space, feel thy wrath, hear thy wrath and so on and so on, stop shilly-shallying and get on with it instead of waffling on about how you’re going to do it!" the Doctor snaps, switching off the scanner.
"Are you sure about this, grandfather?" asks Susan uncertainly. "She could fracture reality and everything we know might cease to exist."
"So? This is definitely a parallel continuum," the Doctor says with absolute certainty. "No one person could ever screw up the genuine article to THAT degree!"
Book(s)/Other Related –
Dr Who Makes a Pre-emptive Strike During Event Bigness
Harriet Jones Packs Heat!
Unrecognized Scumbag Nutters of DW Fandom: #987 -- Gabriel Chase
Fluffs – Geoffrey Bayldon seemed less-than-impressed with this story.
"So much continuity. How can it be? How can all this happen in just thirty episodes, hmm?!"
"Everyday Welshmen with mobile phone coverage and broadband? Gracious me, whatever next?"
"So, Bastard... erm, Bitch... Lady Bastardness... ahm, anyway, yes, so, my transsexual friend from Gallifrey..."
Goofs – Which Swarm?! WHAT Angles?! That title makes no sense at all!
While the Doctor and Susan are walking through the park, the Doctor pulls a branch out of his way and it flies back and hits Susan in the face while she’s talking, leading to her strange line of "Here we are standing on the edge of the unknown. Not many have the strength to step out into the empty air and my FUCKING EYE!!"
What the hell is the mystical key to a prison beyond the bounds of reality doing with the Kraaps?! Why the hell do their en suite toilets have the same locking mechanisms as eternal traps beyond the outskirts of this reality? Are the Kraaps really stingy about toilet breaks? Did the Kraaps get their name for their amazing bowel control?
Shouldn’t the windows on the Valium be closed? Even ALLOWING for some nifty dues ex machina stopping them all being sucked out, surely it has a devastating effect on the air conditioning bills! Is my tax money being wasted on megalomaniacal prime ministers?! No, sorry, I can’t even PRETEND to be surprised...
So, is this story saying RTD’s Doctor Who is an Unsoiled Parallel Universe – or it’s the REAL Universe and the Bayldon Doctor and Susan were just passing by? Come to think of it, since this actually ISN’T RTD’s Doctor Who what with Harriet Jones not being exterminated, the Valium still in once piece and Tommy M being an invisible friend of Martha rather than a scarecrow in a pinstripe suit... maybe it’s a completely different universe altogether? Oh no, I’ve gone crosseyed.
"When time pools into a single place, it happens when something happens in the timeline. The sinkhole. That’s just the thing, it starts small, it can grow, rip a hole in the timeline and then we’re all suddenly hip-deep in the smelly stuff! Yes, I should say so."
Links and References -
Amazingly enough, the Kraaps actually appeared in a previous Doctor Who story, The Android Evasion with the Fourth Doctor and Sarah Jane Smith. I know, I don’t remember it either, but it’s true apparently...
Untelevised Misadventures -
Since the events of Arse Morality, the Doctor and Susan have encountered the dreaded Dulleks of Fargo and got on rather well with them, persuaded Elvis to give up KFC, helped Leonardo to perfect the helicopter, encountered the geeky Lab Techs and faced down a fearsome Andromedan invasion of the Milky Way at Star One.
Groovy DVD Extras –
A 15-musical tribute to the Bayldon Doctor and his wild adventures by The Killers entitled 'Mr. Brightside'.
Dialogue Disasters -
Harriet Jones: Congratulations, Doctor.
Doctor: Oh, my child, it was nothing - if by "nothing" you mean a stroke of brilliant negotiation and manipulation.
Harriet Jones: You arrogant crapwit. Piss off with you, back to space and time or whatever it is you fill your life with when I’m not around.
Doctor: Hmph. I’ve have you know, I do much greater things than you or your so-called Flydale North could ever conceive! And I do it myself, I don’t sent MI6 in black ops helicopters to do it for me while I sit in safety. You can’t stand by and do nothing while others face life and death decisions!
Harriet Jones: [thinks about it] ...nope, I think you’ll find I can! And get out of my chair, you sanctimonious geriatric!
Lucie: Aren’t you interested in how I survived being shot on the Valium and dying in your arms?
Doctor: I’m interested in everything! But not YOU, dear lady, so kindly stop waving that silly glove in my face and acting like we know each other. I’ve never seen you before in my life and, quite frankly, count myself lucky. Come along, Susan, ignore that tuppenny whore...
Doctor: Oh Susan, I’m just an old grump, but I couldn’t bear to meet that horrible Jones woman again!
Susan: Martha or Harriet?
Doctor: Either... Both!
Dialogue Triumphs -
Susan: We don’t interfere. We help only people in trouble. And, Martha, to be honest, I really think you might be beyond help...
Doctor: This is my ship, the TARDIS...
Martha: Fixed the Chameleon Circuit then? I dunno, I think a police box is better than flying around space and time in a beer barrel!
Doctor: It’s a perfectly respectable barrel, Miss Jones! Now, seriously, you’re freaking me out.
Martha: What, is it all my in depth knowledge about you?
Doctor: More the fact you’re playing ankles with thin air.
Martha: That’s my husband you’re talking about!
Doctor: Dear me, this gets more disturbing by the minute.
Doctor: Come along Susan, I know how to handle the paparazzi. Look straight ahead, say "No Comment" and make sure to remember to wear underpants when we get out of the stretch limo – that’s vital!
Susan on the Bastard’s sex change:
"You’re elevating transvestitism to a high art!"
Lucie: The universe shall be destroyed!
Doctor: But that’s completely insane!
Lucie: Ah, that’s probably down to whose body I’m wearing. Poor lass was never all there – one of the many reason I married her, actually. Come to think of it, might have been the ONLY reason. Apart from her enormous tits, obviously. Anyway, bit of her insanity seems to have carried over, but I kinda like it.
Doctor: Yes. It suits you with those hips.
Harriet Jones: You’ve done enough damage.
Doctor: Do you mind? That’s my reputation you’re knocking a hole in!
Susan: When you’re ankle deep in tears and blood you can’t let people suffer because it’s history!
Lucie: I completely agree. That’s why I only let people suffer for the sheer fun of it.
Viewer Quotes –
"Swarm of Angles? Nope. Don’t know that one. Who was in it? What was it like? ...it sounds ghastly. Glad I never bought it." - Dave Restal (2007)
"Breathtaking... this is what Doctor Who on audio is all about. Forget overblown tripe like The Best Life, THIS is the level of quality every Big Finish release should be! And no hint of the name Gary Russell on any of it!" - Joe Forde Perfecte (2005)
"It’s so good, and so delightful in its own right, it manages to do the unthinkable and catch lightning in a bottle twice! There are surprises everywhere you turn, and as usual, it would never work on the BBC’s budget! That, of course, makes it ideally suited for audio, much more so than a lot of Big Finish’s output... especially compared to the shit the SCADs churn out every few years!"
- Sarah Hadley, "author" of Fictional Hippopotamus (2005)
"The only real problem with is that it marks what is intended to be the last outing for Bayldon’s Doctor, and that is a great shame. He’s the fucking MAN! Matt Smith’s got NOTHING on this dude! From his opening dispute with Martha to his final monologue he really impresses again and again and again – let’s see Number 11 be that good!"
- Ewen Campion-Clarke (2009)
"So THIS is where the anthropomorphic duck comes from!" - Anon (2007)
"The popularity of the new series seems to have given the BBC and popular culture more distance with which to sweep the embarrassment that is the OLD series of Doctor Who under the carpet to be forgotten about. Apart from the DVDs. And magazines. And Big Finish. But does the BBC repeat any old episodes instead of these mediocre standalones with truly thin out interest in future Doctor Who? No they bloody don’t! The BBC is basically winking at the new popular audience and saying 'Trust me, you don’t need or WANT to see older ones!' The lying BASTARDS! And does Big Finish give me anything to soothe the pain? No! Unfortunately, it’s clearly too much to hope for!"
- Thomas Cookson being a whining bitch as usual (2005)
"Good grief. Good thing I listened to that before I used any of those ideas. How rubbish they were. I think I’ll bring back Lavros instead now. And maybe everyone else..." - RTD (2006)
Geoffrey Bayldon Speaks!
"I loved doing Arse Morality, our director was just wonderful and we recorded it so quickly even though it was a very complicated script, and I wanted more time to develop ideas. And the lunches here are marvelous, they really are. I’ve had lunch with a lot of actors, the whole top lot really. But I suppose the one that sticks out is John Gielgud – a wonderful, impossible, brilliant man and so mercurial! He’d say one thing one minute, then a new idea would enter his head – you felt like saying 'Hang on, but you just said...' but then, that’s the wonderful thing about early onset senility, mmm? Of course, the pay’s not great but over the years I’ve made enough money to live comfortably. You know, just the other day I found out that I actually OWN Buckingham Palace! I never expected that, but apparently I won it in all-night strip poker session with Gielgud and Tom Baker..."
Carol Anne-Ford Speaks!
"Geoffrey Bayldon is a lot gentler than Bill Hartnell. You had no idea which way Bill would turn or who he’d try and sleep him so you were always on the edge of your seat being ready to bolt to the exit. He had a sort of twinkly wicknedness about him, but then, in a flash, he could come down all strong and bombastic. I think he got more lady action after I left, actually. He found it really hard to pull chicks when they thought he had grandchildren. But back then we believed in what we were doing. We believed in those characters – and we played them as real people. I don’t want to be critical of later episodes, but have you SEEN the crap BBC Wales is spewing out?!"
Rumors & Facts –
Ah, 2003! Big Finish was on top of its game with near-total domination of the Doctor Who franchise, with everything from BBC novels to the DWM comic strips bowing to BF’s convenience. Then they took it to the next level: Doctor Who Unsoiled! Big Finish were no so powerful they didn’t even have to give a tinker’s cuss about fitting with the TV series any more – Doctor Who Unsoiled took history and shaped it according to the sick and twisted desires of Mark Plate, Nigel Verkoff, Steve Foxx, Gay Russell, Nicholas Briggs and Rob Shearman (though even THEY weren’t prepared to let Paul Magrs try his "Adric comes back from the dead to be crowned King of the Potato People and fight Doug McClure").
With new Doctors, new histories and new companions, Russell intended to build a new Doctor Who chronology greater and more complicated than the genuine article was... or ever COULD have been. The demented, drug-induced nightmares of the television series’ production teams could be picked and chosen at whim. There was nothing Russell could desire that they couldn’t do, answerable to no fan base, imagination their only limit (which was a rather large problem when you think about it).
Big Finish, in short, was now the basis of Doctor Who.
It controlled everything.
And then the BBC decided to bring back Doctor Who to TV and give Russell T Davies the job of making it interesting enough for the plebian classes to watch.
This cult counterattack took Big Finish completely by surprise, reducing their customer base and relevance amongst fans to so much cruddy Oddly Visual remakes. Half of Russell’s staff fled Big Finish so they could join internet forums and speculate about what might be in the TV series which wouldn’t be screened for another two years. In desperation, Russell struggled to emphasize the one remaining draw card BF had next – Paul McGann – and we all know how THAT mess turned out.
Doctor Who Unsoiled did not survive this devastation, especially as the news about the TV revival broke before Full Fist Five hit the shelves and the latter three stories of the series were complete crap. Nevertheless, the confident Russell had already commissioned a sequel to the premiere Unsoiled story, Arse Morality – a Year Zero reboot for the First Doctor and Susan.
Overwhelmed in a sea of bitter truth, Russell decided to abandon the proposed story of crystalline fungus, flying boats in space and Queen Elizabeth and the Doctor having an illicit affair. Instead this final hurrah for the Unsoileds would become the audio drama equivalent of a spiteful jihad against the TV series and everything in it!
Chosen for this was Gabriel Chase, an insane 40-something fan who had changed his name by deed poll to the name of a Victorian mansion in the last ever BBC-made, 100% pukka story of Doctor Who. Chase considered the upcoming RTD revival "an abomination against all mankind" and killed three passers-by in cold blood when he discovered the writer was a Welsh homosexual New Adventures author (three things that made Chase physically ill at the mere thought of).
Chase was convinced he knew how the series would "grow" and "develop", and pestered Big Finish for days. Chase warned that the Ninth Doctor would be an arrogant, condescending cowardly piece of shit strangely reluctant to commit himself to resolving crises, accompanied by a London shop girl and her annoying family appearing in practically every episode. "Even her supposedly deceased father will appear twice!" he ranted, disgusted that this new series would be an immediate hit with the Harry Potter generation of under-12s and 20-somethings "most of whom won’t know any better!"
Chase continued to pester Gay Russell with his dire predictions that the Ninth Doctor would bow out at the end of his first season to avoid being typecast and be replaced in a hurriedly rewritten finale, being replaced by "another member of that Welsh deviant’s unofficial entourage of favored actors and technical staff!"
Apparently, this "Tenth" Doctor would make his official debut in an hour long Christmas special which would be a necessary obligation of every serial screened by the BBC and not an accident of scheduling like that Hartnell episode no one remembers. The "Tenth" Doctor would continue for a second series in Easter 2006, featuring the return of Sarah Jane Smith and K9 (before they got their own spin off to rival some adult-oriented shagathon about a bit-part character from the previous series called "Touchwood") before the main companion would sod off after an explosive finale involving Dustbins and Cybermen, both of which would be revived "with an eye for the lucrative toy market".
As Russell, Jason Haigh-Ellory and others stood and listened in amazement to this clearly-insane soothsayer, Chase foresaw a third series with a black companion (who was only "HALF-black!!") and the Bastard being played by the guy from Life on Mars before the companion would be "farmed out" to Touchwood as she wasn’t "worth as many gossip column inches". Chase started to foam at the mouth at this point with his farfetched claims of a story about a Dustbin "with a personality striving to be human, rather like a modern human attempting to regress to becoming the missing link between humans and apes!"
Chase collapsed in an epileptic fit at this point, moaning about the show being "more Rose Tyler than Doctor Who", "usual clutch of familiar faces from soaps and sitcoms all eager to be seen in one of the trendy TV showcases", "predictable Smith & Jones jokes", "ratings of over 12 million", "schoolboy humor", "too much talking" and "even after thirty-odd episodes, the show rarely ventures beyond the confines of Cardiff". He finally screamed, "THIS ISN’T A FOLLOW-ON FROM THE ORIGINAL TV SERIES! IT’S AN OFF-SHOOT FROM THE NOVELS! IT’S AN ILLEGITIMATE SECOND COUSIN!"
Chase was more than prepared to, in his words "emphasize the cracks in the thin veneer of superficiality" of the new show as well as breathtaking sequel examining what might happen with a Doctor let loose upon the universes created by some six-foot gay Welsh bastard with poor eyesight and an obsession with the name "Tyler".
There is, however, a question over whether Chase is a supreme storyteller since all the hallmarks of his imagination are self-confessed plagiarism from things Russell T Davies had yet to write. So if the story engages immediately is that proof RTD is good or GC is bad? All of this leads towards the big question about A Swarm of Angles – isn’t SUPPOSED to be total crap? So if it isn’t, surely that’s bad?
With the added luxury of a second disc in which to tell a longer, deeper story than the others in the Unsoiled series, GC gives up and stitches together two rather demented versions of the same story with a sex-changed Bastard using a rubbish alien invasion to nick some shit while Martha insists she’s fallen in love with her imaginary friend. Any story IMPROVED by the arrival of the Kraaps CAN’T be a good thing, yet it wasn’t actually bad to start with. Was it? Hell, I’m only listening to the bloody thing in 2009 and all these references make sense - no doubt people at the time reacted to this baffling Cardiff where everyone knows the Doctor, the Dustbins and Autons are extinct and the biggest threat to mankind is Torchwood like Norman Bates being shoved into the Total Perspective Vortex.
Thankfully, A Swarm of Angles continues the Unsoiled tradition for bleak endings that make sequels ridiculously unlikely with it turning out this baffling waste of time has allowed the Bastard to begin the total destruction of every universe because of the fact s/he’s got "Fashion Is The Only Cure" stick in hir head. Which, honest to god, makes a lot more sense now, four years after the story was released.
Indeed, for maximum viciousness, Russell decided to keep A Swarm of Angles in reverse for the moment of MAXIMUM advantage. Ironically, this came precisely nine hours after the BBC premiere of the first episode of the New Series, "Ruse" – where a bitter ex-castmember with the initial N.J.V explained that the new Doctor Christopher Eccleston had quit Doctor Who forever and some randy Scot git was taking over.
Confidence in the TV series and in particular RTD plummeted to new depths and never really returned. Even the fact it was only five more weeks until the return of the Dustbins wouldn’t cheer up fandom as the internet exploded... twice... from the anti-Eccleston flamewars that sprung up everywhere.
THIS was the moment that Big Finish moved in for the kill!
Alas, over the last two years, Big Finish’s audience had dwindled even further and after the unmitigated disasters of The Best Wife and The Afronauts, no one was willing to try another "epic", no matter how strong the characterization, well-defined the drama, tense or intriguing the storyline OR how bloody satirical it was.
On the bright side, this meant that fandom was pretty much-unspoiled about future developments in the show and things like the new companion being called Martha Jones, the Bastard marrying Lucie Miller (hell, Lucie Miller FULL STOP) remained amazing and delightful surprises. Plus it meant no one noticed the massive flaws in the production from the dry, witless dialogue to the unimaginative theme music to the fact Susan does absolutely fuck all for three episodes! Come to think of it, neither does anyone else, really...
The cast and crew at the time of recording, however, were impressed and thought that A Swarm of Angles one of the very best overall Big Finish releases, blending wit, imagination, fantastic characters and a truly epic story in a gloriously compelling drama to uplift and amaze.
This depressed Gay Russell mightily as it just went to show that the new series was WAY better in writing, direction, realization and performances than anything he’d done. Nevertheless, he was onto a money spinner and might have made a fortune undermining RTD with Unsoileds spoilering future series – SO WHY THE HELL DIDN’T HE DO THAT?!
The answer’s simple. Back in 2003, it had quickly became clear that Chase was not fitting into working with Big Finish, with his repeated attempts to firebomb the studio, shrieking "Paul McGann ISN’T A PROPER DOCTOR!! STOP MAKING STORIES ABOUT HIM ON RETAIL-ONLY CDS!" and constantly sarcastic references to Russell as "some bright spark" with his "flood" of "contradictory continuity" making Big Finish "about as official as Virgin Publishing, BBC Books and TV Comic".
Indeed, Chase was rapidly becoming contemptuous of Doctor Who itself, insisting all the claims of it being popular with students, small children and disturbed pensioners nothing more than an urban myth. "I was a student for five years and hardly ANY of my colleagues were remotely interested in Doctor Who! Everyone was watching Riverside instead! And why not! Doctor Who’s always been a particularly depressing series of depressingly trendy 'Yoof' programs with delusions of grandeur FAR beyond its worth!"
By this point Chase had managed to insult and offend absolutely everyone with his mindlessly negative abuse, a feat only attempted before by Mad Larry the Pirate King, and so every single person Chase badmouth attacked him at the same time in a scene similar to that bit in Shaun of the Dead where Dylan Moran is torn apart.
And that was the end of that.