Monday, February 1, 2010

10th Doctor - Army of Ghosts (iv)

Parte the Fourth

The Doctor, Rose, Pete and Ricky are running up a stairwell as the screaming pathetic loser Touchwood employees flee in the opposite direction, in the insane belief they can escape the global Cyber apocalypse stretching from Mermaid Bay to Penwyllt and all Welsh points in between! Rose protests that she didn’t mean to touch the Genesis Ark and unleash whatever destructive power, but the Doctor points out this will reveal what the Genesis Ark actually IS rather than leaving it all mysterious and irritating.

"You’ve done the audience a favor!" the Doctor says as he kisses the top of Ricky’s head. "Now, run!"

As the Doctor and company flee they bump into Jackie. Jackie is astounded by the presence of Pete but soon after he explains where he comes from and he tells her to be proud of bringing up Rose, they are embracing one another. "HELLO!?" the Doctor shouts at them in annoyance. "The world is still ending! Can’t you two keep it in your respective pants for the moment? Jings, what IS it about Touchwood that makes you apes all randy and stupid?!"

Across Touchwood Tower the Dustbins and the Genesis Ark are blasting
their way to freedom, unstoppable against the Cybermen and the
Touchwood soldiers and Pete’s shock troopers who have all united in the cause of mutually assured extermination.

There’s a lot of crossfire I honestly can’t be bothered to transcribe, what with all the Cyberman laser bouncing off the Dustbins and the Dustbin lasers ripping through the Cybermen as the surrounding humans shoot at both parties due to inadequate direction.

Finally, the newly Cyber Leader – who has done SUCH a good job taking over from Harriet Jones – decides to call in the big guns by ordering every Cyberman in Cardiff to return to Roald Dahl Plass and we see lots of footage of Cyber troops mincing to their obvious and imminent doom leaving the surviving Welsh to boggle at this reprieve.

As the Cybermen march towards Touchwood, the Doctor’s group take a wrong turn and step into the middle of the battle betwixt Cybermen and Dustbin. The Time Lord puts on some 3D specs he got free with the Radio Times that week to see how good the laser battle looks.

The Dustbins move directly underneath the hangar roof that can fold back and, er, make it fold back. By shouting at it. Somehow. The Doctor and Rose take turns to flag up the mysterious of the episode: what are the Dustbins doing? Why do they need to be outside? What is inside the Genesis Ark? Why does it rely on Time Lord science? Is there going to be ANYTHING left of the Cyber reputation after this two-parter?

The Cult of Fargo and the Genesis Ark elevate up and out of Touchwood into the overcast skies of Cardiff, leaving the handful of surviving human soldiers and Cybermen feeling rather beaten and left out. The Doctor snatches up the Ice Cream Vendor Magnum Scoops so obviously flagged up as vital to the ongoing plot in previous episodes.

The Doctor amazingly enough reveals that this ice cream scoop will help him defeat two mighty armies and save two whole planets before the end of the episode and they must get to the top floor of Touchwood Tower at once. The gang are not best pleased at the idea of running up ninety flights of steps, but the Doctor intends to hijack the Jaffa Sun-Glider, fly it up through an aerial dog fight with the Dustbins and slam it into the top of the sky scraper.

"We could always take the lift?" suggests Captain Jack, leaning out of a lift doorway, accompanied by Arthur the Horse.

Rather than waste time with tedious lift scenes, the narrative then cuts with Monty Python deftness to Kirsty Wark on Newsnight as footage of Cybermen marching through gunfire along a street of exploding cars and screaming people is displayed behind her.

"Good afternoon. I said a hey, Sah-Lo-Ney, Ah-Lo-Ney, Ah-Lo-Ney, oh. Everybody say a hey, Sah-Lo-Ney, Ah-Lo-Ney, Ah-Lo-Ney, oh. More on that story later. Now, an emergency broadcast as the entire country is under attack. The government has declared a state of emergency saying 'it’s those tinfoil arseholes from the eighties back again and hopefully things will mysteriously resolve themselves like they did the last time the bastards turned up back in 2004'. We have heard nothing more from the government beyond 'Fuck, this is serious, let’s get the hell out of here! The Cybermen are everywhere! If you see them, run! Just run!'

There is a small explosion in the studio and the newsreader turns to the whirring Dustbin Mike standing beside her desk. "With us now is Dustbin Mike of the Cult of Fargo. Dustbin Mike, if I may ask, what are your opinions of Great Britain’s economic future in the midst of a global war that some are claiming is Doomsday itself."



Dustbin Mike turns and leaves. "COMING! COMING! LIKE WE’RE REALLY GOING TO BE SPIRITUALLY ENLIGHTENED BY SEEING ANOTHER BILLION CYBERMEN BLOWN TO SMITHEREENS ANYWAY..." Dustbin Mike stops, turns to the camera and grates, "COWABUNGA!" before shooting out the transmitter.

Dustbins Mike and Don join Raph and Leo as they hover over Cardiff with the Genesis Ark. At Dustbin Leo’s command the Ark slowly opens to reveal it contains nothing more than another Dustbin. Watching this from the top of Touchwood Tower, the Doctor and company sigh in disappointment at this massive let down...

...until the Dustbin hurtles out of the spinning Ark, followed by another and another, more and more, in an endless advancing army of pristine dust-eradicating DEATH!

"Oh yes!" the Doctor sighs, smacking his forehead. "Time Lord science! It’s bigger on the inside! Like anything else could be used without a huge amount of fanwank and technobabble!"

Ricky watches the ever-growing swarm of Dustbins. "So... what the hell is that thing anyway?"

"A Time Lord prison ship," the Doctor explains. "A few of those put in the middle of a galaxy, and they hoover up every Dustbin they can in no time. The Cult of Fargo must have captured one – a handy-sized receptacle for millions upon millions of Dustbins!"

"Just imagine all the Dustbin anal-prison-rape going on behind those doors," slurs Captain Jack as he briefly regains consciousness again.

"WHERE ARE THE BITCHES AT?" the new arrival Dustbins immediately demand upon being released from Time Lord prison.


"HE’S LOSING IT," observes Dustbin Don. "HE REALLY IS."


The flying Dustbins swarm ver the streets of Cardiff and blast away at humans and Cybermen alike, even as another platoon of Cybermen stomp through Barry Docks and the more sensible soldiers hide as the second alien invasion that day strikes Wales and ergo the rest of the English-speaking world. Soon the streets are full flaming wreckage of cars, vans, motorbikes; every window and door is smashed in; one by one, the Cybermen collapse from Dustbin firepower... but a couple mediocre explosions wipe out a flotilla of Dustbins!

Yes, while the Cult of Fargo are reinforced Metal Bastards of Cleansing Armageddon, their new army are the standard broken Hitler Dolls who freak out if their squeegees are impaired, and often crash into buildings! More Cybermen march into view, and fire in unison at the Dustbins, triggering huge explosions through Butetown, the pressure shattering walls, rocking trees, smashing more glass.

Dustbin Mike observes the decimation of their drone soldiers and notes, "THIS IS GETTING A WEE BIT SERIOUS, METHINKS."

The Cybermen open fire again and another Dustbin drops with a cry of pain, two more Dustbins open fire at the silver troops, not just blowing up the street but also causing more dramatic explosions to blossom at the base of Touchwood Tower, and an ear-splitting boom in the ADR dubs.

With the foundations of the sky scraper demolished, the whole of Touchwood Tower starts to collapse. Pete decides to screw this for a game of soldiers and hands out teleport bracelets so they can escape to Irth – apart from Captain Jack, whom no one really thinks or is sober enough to achieve transference anyway.

The Doctor, however, is cheerfully wiring the ice cream scoop to Touchwood’s Rift Manipulator: "Don’t worry, the Earth’s not going to crash and burn. Maybe Cardiff, but there’s nothing we can do about that. Thankfully. But I’ve got all the technology hear to slam the Rift shut and seal off Irth once more. No more sequels from today!"

"But we can’t just leave," Rose points out. "What about the Dustbins? And the Cybermen? And the Welsh?"

"They’re part of the problem and that makes them part of the solution! Oh yes!" the Doctor cheers, seeming to have acquired a new lease of life, or at least a supplier of REALLY good shit. "To pass through the Rift you get soaked in background temporal radiation, right? And the Dustbins and the Cybermen marinated in the Rift, they’re bristling with contamination! And the clever thing is, the Ice Cream Vendors on Mars use particle separators to get perfect balance of flavors, so if I wire this to the Rift Manipulator and switch it on, it will hoover up EVERYTHING that has been through the Void. And if I open one end of the Rift but not the other, galaxy’s biggest waste disposal chute? AM I FANTASTIC OR WHAT? SERIOUSLY!!!"

"What will happen to the Cybermen and the Dustbins then?" asks Rose.

"No idea. Unless they can exist outside time and space itself, in which case they’ll either spend the rest of eternity playing I-Spy or else have one hell of a party..."

"But," Ricky points out with his usual insight, "we’ve all been through the Rift, so WE’LL be sucked in as well!"

"Oh. Didn’t think of that. Still," the Doctor shrugs, "the Rift will only be open on Earth, not Irth, so if everyone goes back to Ricky’s World, they’ll be perfectly safe. A whole new world waiting for you, Jackie, eh? How does that sound?"

The building shakes and collapses further.

"Very good," Jackie agrees and she, Ricky and Pete prepare to leave.

"Rose can stay with me!" the Doctor says quickly. "I mean, we’re not as contaminated as those metal gits, so we should be mostly all right when the Rift opens." He grins at Rose. "Think of it! Once the force field returns, that’s it, you will never be able to see her again. Your own mother, that bleached tart who always tries to pretend to be your sister and has slept with every single one of your boyfriends!"

Rose nods and tells Jackie, "You’ve got to. I’ve had a life with you for nineteen years. And I have hated every last minute of it. But then I met the Doctor and... all the things he’s said he’s done to me. To you. To all of us. To the whole... stupid planet and every planet out there. He does it alone, mum. Sometimes with French tarts, but mostly alone. But not anymore. Cos now he’s got me."

"Oh, this is just brilliant," says the Doctor happily. "Am I on a promise or what? OK, you lot. Sod off! Not wanted here. Go on. Go away. Goodbye, goodbye. Go on. Goodbye."

Glaring daggers at him, Pete activates the teleport bracelet and he, Jackie and Ricky disappear leaving the Doctor, Rose, Captain Jack and Arthur. The Doctor crosses to the controls as Captain Jack opens another bottle of rum and dryly asks if they expect him to, once again, risk his life facing down a Dustbin army coming straight for them to buy time for the Doctor to build a nifty dues ex machina.

"No, of course not, Jack, how could you think that?" the Doctor scoffs. "No, we want to risk your life facing down a CYBERMAN army coming straight for us to buy time for me to build a nifty dues ex machina. It’s completely different. Now, off you go..."

Captain Jack is bundled into the stairwell to face the a seemingly endless queue of Cybermen. ++We-will-retreat-through-the-rift.++ explains the Cyber Leader hastily. ++Regain-the-Home-World. I-never-liked-this-stinking-mudball-anyway. The-Dustbins-can-freaking-keep-it!++

"None shall pass!" Captain Jack challenges, fueled by Dutch Courage. "I move for no man. Woman. Or cabbage. Who dares challenge Captain Jack? Then you shall die! Come on then, you pansies! Come on! Have at you! Chicken? CHICKEN! YOU YELLOW BASTARDS! TAKE WHAT’S COMING TO YOU!"


Suddenly, another Cyberman appears and blasts the assembled Cyber hoardes with a BFG, destroying them with a bright ray of white light. When it speaks, Yvonne’s voice is discernable through the Cyber-tones.

++Hey-baby. Did-ja-miss-me?++

"I like it!" Captain Jack grins. "Cyber Sex to a new level!"

Immediately Captain Jack and the remaining Cyberman start having violent sex until CyberYvonne sheds a single black tear from the Cyber Helmet oil duct, in another one of those scenes you wished that had been cut at the draft stage of the script.

Outside, the battle between the bronze and silver gods still rages fiercely. By now, almost all the buildings in Cardiff are now fiery ruins, there are bodies in the streets and Cybermen are still shooting round after round at the Dustbins, who invariably tend to blow up under the onslaught.


Ajax cluster bombs and Mr Sheen laser storms erupt as the Dustbins indiscriminately nuke everything even remotely resembling a building. Inside, Rose gets all giggly as millions of innocent people outside were getting slaughtered – she was just the same at Columbine!

"What about Arthur?" asks Rose as they prepare to open the Rift.

"Don’t be silly, Rose. He’s a horse, what’s going to happen to him?"

In the death zone that was once Cardiff, the screams of the dying are mixed with the roar of the flames as the Cybermen and the Dustbins continue to fight as the Doctor and Rose shove the levers up into position, an unearthly ghost light floods the office and the barriers dividing time and space and death and reality start to crumble...

Instantly, Dustbin Don senses a disturbance in the Force. "IT’S THE DOCTOR! I KNEW IT! I BLOODY KNEW IT!" shouts Dustbin Raph and instantly orders the nearest flotilla to swoop over to Touchwood Tower and blow the roof off it and trigger more wholesale destruction.

But as the rest of the Cult of Fargo try to convince Dustbin Raph and he’s clearly being paranoid about the Last of the Time Lords and Destroyer of the Dustbin Species, the Rift opens wide and sucks the Dustbin squad straight past the Doctor and Rose and right into the pestilential light of oblivion!


Beneath them, the surviving Cybermen are rapidly gripped by the invisible force, as is the entire Dustbin army. Even as Dustbin Raph can swear his dome off about the stupidity of his fellow Cultists, Dustbin Mike decides the time for diplomacy is over.


The Cult of Fargo shimmer, sparkle and vanish into another realm of time and space in a blatant piece of sequel fodder.

Caption: @@@Cult_of_Fargo@@@ HAS LEFT THE GAME.

Meanwhile, Cybermen all over the world are lifted into the air, allowing us to realize that absolutely nowhere else on the planet has suffered this holocaust and the Cybermen haven’t even got round to upgrading humanity en masse. Some kind of day of judgement THIS is turning out to be! The Cybermen then zoom across the globe to the ruins of Touchwood Tower, and with that kind of acceleration and atmospheric friction, they all vaporize long before they reach Cardiff, which is why we only see millions of Dustbins, all shrieking, all powerless hurtle into the rubble to their doom!

Captain Jack’s torrid sex session with CyberYvonne is cut short as she is literally ripped away from him in another scene you wish had not been recorded on film. We didn’t need to see it. Honestly.

Finally the Genesis Ark itself is sucked down into the gaping maw of death, and in less than two minutes both cyborg armies are completely annihilated, leaving the Doctor and Rose clinging on for dear life as the suction grows more and more intense.

Just as they are pushing the levers down to close the Rift, Pete, Jackie and Ricky appear and use their ninja skills to grab Rose, flip the Doctor the bird and then vanish again without falling into the Void. The Doctor stares at the place where they disappeared, breathing very heavily as the Rift finally closes and silence falls.

"WHAT A FUCKING LIBERTY!" the Doctor roars, furiously.

WELSH 317, 493

As the realization that there are only seven living beings left in the whole of Cardiff, our attention returns to the mainly-vertical heap of rubble that was once Touchwood Tower!

In different dimensions the Doctor and Rose are left to stare at the wall where the void was opened, Rose stone-faced and the Doctor sobbing his heart out, separated forever in a kind of sexless, stunt-arse-free version of "The Wicker Man" as Murray Gold finds the Folksy Button on his Casio Keyboard.

The Doctor walks slowly up to the wall and lays one palm flat against it, and then rests his head there, empty. "Oi, Doctor!" Captain Jack shouts suddenly. "Back off! Don’t leave yer smudgy ol’ handprints on the dimensional-portal, if you please!"

"This is a worse ending to a relationship than the end of Goodnight, Sweetheart!" the Doctor growls, cueing a Family-Guy-style cutaway as he clambers atop Arthur and rides through the ruins of the tower towards his time space machine.

"Oh, that’s it!" Captain Jack shouts abusively after them. "Just wander off and leave me to face the music and the post-holocaust rebuild! How the hell am I supposed to run a xenotech research and development base when half of it is now buried under Roald Dahl Plass? Answer me that! Go on! And how am I going to get Owen, Tosh, Ianto and Gwen back now I don’t have a Touchwood cloning machine? What, am I supposed to just recruit people who happen to have those names? Actually, that’d be a pretty interesting way of doing it actually..."

Captain Jack’s 2008 business plan is cut short as he is buried in a huge pile of rubble and presumably killed. Again. Meanwhile, the Doctor and Arthur enter the TARDIS and it takes off from the devastated Cardiff for the final time. This year. Barring the Christmas special. Don’t get your hopes up or anything.

The Doctor pilots his ramshackle time machine through the rift in time and space and through the very last crack in the massive force field he placed around Earth specifically to ensure that he couldn’t land there by accident and tempt Rose to stay. The irony of this finally strikes the Time Lord and he laughs dorkily.

Finally, the TARDIS reappears on K9 Cove, a beautiful golden beach on a tropical island with huge, candy-coloured marble palaces basking in the shimmering sun of an indigo sky. Rose Tyler is nude sunbathing on the shore when the Doctor and Arthur ride out of the TARDIS.

"ROSE!" he exclaims in shock. "There you are! How dare those bastards kidnap you just because you’re related to them! Anyway, we gotta go. There’s one tiny little gap in the universe left, just about to close, so we have to move like bullets in the butts of bats out of hell before it closes and we’re trapped in this world forever!"

"Ah. This is kind of awkward," Rose says with a forced grin. "I’m really quite happy here. You know how you were really worried that since I created this perfect world, I’d never want to leave? Well, I can’t think how to tell you this," she says, laughing at the absurdity of it all, "but you were right! Here, we’re rich and famous and powerful, especially now the Cybermen and various epidemics have wiped out most of the world’s governments! We’re billionaires and we can do what we want, since we run Touchwood and Touchwood rules Irth!"

The Doctor stares at her in horror. "Touchwood?! You’re working for an organization dedicated to using alien technology for selfish human benefit! Didn’t you miss all the times that turned out really bad, like with Adam or JR Ewing?! And – what the hell do you mean, 'you WANT to stay here'?! Living a life day after day... with Jackie?! And Pete? And Ricky and Jake?!"

"Jake went off to Broadway to star in musical theatre. Gotta live the dream, you know? And plus there’s also the baby..."

"You’re not...?" the Doctor gasps. "I knew it! Final, definitive proof that we slept together in the previous season finale!"

"Huh? No, it’s mum. She’s three months gone. More Tylers on the way..."

"That still doesn’t change the fact there’s a global trend of infertility! Barren Irth, remember! You’ve got less than a century before the human race is extinct!"

"So? It’s not my problem, is it? I won’t live that long and plenty of species go extinct. Like dinosaurs. Or Colchester history teachers..."

"B-but, Rose, think! What about the societal collapse? The terrorism? The environmental destruction?! You want to spend your twilight years in that sort of chaos?"

"You mean, rather than the alien invasions, the cyborg conversions, the supernovas and stuff I’d have to spend with YOU? Besides, we’re on a paradise island where no one can reach us! The last person to die can turn out the lights and bathe in champagne and caviar..."

A curious noise absolutely identical to that of the Cloister Bell chimes from within his police box. "I don’t have much time left Rose. The gap’s closing," the Doctor says soberly, before falling to his knees, putting his hands together and bursting into tears. "Oh Rose! Don’t dump me, Rose. Not me. Never me! I thought... I thought we’d always..."

"What are you, 14?" snorts Rose. "Besides we had a fan-TAS-tic time, didn’t we? We’ve saved people. I think... Helped people. Sometimes... Loved people. Apparently... And just because I’m not there doesn’t mean that stops. You can go back to the TARDIS and that whole Last of the Time Lords thing you’ve got going..."

"No. Not without you."

"Then find someone else. Another companion."

"No, another companion won’t do! I want you, Rose. I need you. Don’t go, Rose! Please, don’t leave, don’t leave me alone, I can’t bear to be alone and this isn’t changing your mind at all, is it?"

Rose shakes her head.

"Will I ever see you again?"

"Probably not."

"It’s not fair!"

"It never is."


"MORE than bananas?"

"Oh, I don’t have to put up with this!" snaps the Time Lord, getting up and trudges back into the TARDIS. "Anyway, you haven’t been much fun lately, Rose," he grumbles. "Not for quite a while, actually. In fact, you’re completely overrated as a companion. Polly was cuter, easily. Come on, Arthur."

Arthur neighs and trots over to Rose.

"You bloody traitor! Well, fine! Go, if you’re going, don’t drag it out, you’ll only make it worse!" the Doctor shouts as he storms into the police box and slams the door shut behind him. "Thanks for the trip of a lifetime, I don’t think! Jealous, clingy, insecure, malicious... you’re damaged goods, girl and I wash my hands of you, AND YOUR STUPID, STINKING FAMILY! ALLONZEE!"

As Rose Tyler and her horse companion watch on, the TARDIS does its infamous wheezy-groany-fade-away-out-of-existence disappearing act and the force field closes around Irth, sealing it off from the canonical universe FOREVER!

Inside the TARDIS, the utterly wretched Doctor takes a deep breath and sets coordinates without any real enthusiasm. "Better off without her, anyway," he grumbles. "Giggly, clingy busybody... nowhere NEAR as clever or as astounding as she thought she was... she WAS brilliant in bed, though. Give her that. I would have got somewhere with her eventually. If she hadn’t fallen through that time rift, we’d probably be visiting new worlds, strange alien civilizations, trying new sexual positions... Bloody Touchwood messing around with causality. If those bastards had left alone, none of this would have happened!"

Suddenly, the Doctor looks up, eyes wide with shock and breaks the fourth wall completely by addressing the camera with that curious about-to-go-straight-for-your-neck toothy grin:

"I... have just had... a WICKED idea..."

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