Serial 304 – The Dustbins on Broadway!
An Alternate Program Guide by Ewen Campion Clarke
From An Entry In The EC Unauthorized Guide O' Musical Theatre
"YOA's Discontinuity Guides - Inaccurate But Caring."
Serial 304 – The Dustbins on Broadway! -
Nighttime has fallen over Cardiff, and if anyone was paying attention, there are strange lights in the waters Mermaid Bay as yet another cargo of live pigs mysteriously vanish. If I were of a suspicious mind – or indeed, had I ever seen this story before – I would say Dustbins were going back and forth under the water, kidnapping swine.
But that, of course, would ridiculous.
At the New Welsh revue, it’s two minutes to curtain up on the amateur performance of The Alternate Adventure, but showgirl Tallulah Bankhead is busy doing naughty things with her boyfriend Laszlo to turn up on stage to play Kylie Minogue. Finally, the understudy of Jason Donovan turns up and drags her off, leaving Tallulah’s lover free to steal absolutely everything not nailed down and sell it to a porn shop.
However, even as Laszlo struggles with prop of Patrick Troughton’s Pirate King from The Pirates of Penzance, a strange creature lurks in the shadows. A snarling echoes around the props store and with no warning a Weevil lunges at Laszlo – a scene that terrifies children and adults everywhere with veiled implication Touchwood may be canonical!
And cue the theme tune!!
ACT ONE – THE DUSTBIN VACATION IN CARDIFF
Parte the First
Using a mixture of feminine cunning, reverse psychology and double-dares, Martha convinces the Doctor to take the long way round in returning the TARDIS to Cardiff 2008 and instead ‘detours’... to Cardiff in 1987. Martha is slightly put out at this lack of scale, but the Doctor quietly reminds her she didn’t even know about time travel yesterday and should be grateful for what she should get.
The TARDIS has materialized in Roald Dahl Plass (as it is often want to) however, there is the immense novelty that the Millennium Centre has yet to be constructed and the landscape is mercifully free of that strange eyesore with the bollocks about singing horizons. Admiring the architecture, the duo head for the nearby park to make fun of the vagrants living there.
"Monday, October 19th, 1987 – Black Monday. Stock markets around the world crashed, starting in Hong Kong and spreading west. The Dow Jones dropped over 500 points in minutes, bollocking the economy of a lot of places. Thousands of evil, selfish Gordon Gecko types left penniless and unemployed because they’d let their greed get to them and dabble in shares. Those that could fled with what was left to the Bahamas before the inland revenue caught up with them while the rest has nowhere to go and ended up sleeping in parks. Each one a money-grubbing, pathological lying asshole who deserved what they got! Jings, I love yuppies suffering while ordinary folk thrive, don’t you?"
The Doctor and Martha arrive at the Cardiff equivalent of Hooverville, a collection of quickly-put-together shacks and tents with random fire barrels placed throughout. The duo point and laugh at two desperate inside traders fight over a loaf of bread in the knowledge a few weeks ago they were cheerfully driving other businesses into the dirt to squeeze more cash out of the stock exchange.
The town’s sheriff, Solomon, breaks them up and shares the loaf between them in what he calls "the wisdom of Solomon". The Doctor interrupts and technically if it WAS the wisdom of Solomon then one of the ex-yuppies would have willingly given up the loaf of bread without tearing it in half and Solomon’s actually missed the point.
"And who might you be?" snaps Solomon. "You don’t look hungry and poor! You look like you have money! And food! And firewood! So why are you here? You come to see the freak show? Come to laugh at our misery?"
"Pretty much," grins the Doctor. "Hey, at least we’re honest about it instead of stabbing you in the back and stealing your portfolio! See, Martha? Way too good for the likes of him."
Solomon sags with despair and asks the Doctor, as a man of learning, why Cardiff can still have a thriving Broadway theatre culture, but still have hundreds of stockbrokers living in poverty, one by one mysteriously vanishing.
"The Welsh love a good stage show," the Time Lord shrugs. "Hang on a sec, did you say 'mysteriously vanishing'? And NOT as a euphemism for running off to Majorca like Christopher Skase?"
Alas, just as the first faint glimmerings of plot appear, the action shifts fast enough to give the cameraman whiplash, to the interior of the Electro where theatre boss Omar Djalili is arguing with an extra (Ricky Gervais) about the accelerated rate of construction.
"The producers they demand that the RKO radio tower prop needs the extra work completed by tonight! And if you think for ONE SECOND your union, it can save your sorry Western behind, well, you can take it up with the producers yourself! They are no mere Tom Stoppard in a suit! They... ARE FROM BEYOND YOUR IMAGINATION!!"
"You mean... foreigners?!" exclaims the horrified extra with traditional Welsh xenophobia.
Just then a trapdoor in the stage opens and out rises a familiar squat, menacing, gleaming metallic shape emerges, flanked by two Weevils. "ALL RIGHT," grates the crimson Dustbin, "THIS *SO* BETTER BE WORTH MY TIME! WHAT DO YOU WANT NOW, YOU STRANGE LITTLE ETHNIC MINORITY?!"
"I am sorry, my lord trash can Raphael, but this man he is refusing to complete the work! He crazy! He say he have rights, that labor somehow make him not expendable!"
"JEEZ, DO I HAVE TO DO EVERYTHING? REPLACE HIM WITH SOME OTHER WELSHMAN AND WE WILL USE HIM FOR THE FINAL SHOWSTOPPER!" Dustbin Raph orders and the Weevil drag the screaming extra behind stage. " WE NEED MORE EXTRAS FAST! THE PRODUCTION MUST NOT FAIL! THE PROPS MUST BE COMPLETED IN TIME!
"It will be, my lord litter container, it will be! I will get some more of the backing singers for you at a once!" reassures Djalili with evangelical zeal. "I NEED to be famous!" he adds in a whisper.
"FREAK," Dustbin Raph mutters once he’s gone.
Back in the park, Solomon explains that people have been vanishing from the shanty town – though it is believed they are being abducted at night, the police are not interested. "Apparently we deserve what we get for insider trading," the acting sheriff broods.
"But what does missing mean?" the Doctor scoffs. "People must come and go here all the time. It’s not like anyone’s keeping a register!"
"Um, yes we do," Solomon points out.
"Oh. Jings. Fair enough then," the Time Lord shrugs. "So, the question is, WHO is taking these people and what for?"
In one of life’s little ironies and one of the script’s more awkward coincidences, at this exact moment the man responsible for taking these people and full aware of the reason why makes a dramatic entrance. Alas, as he missed the question, Djalili doesn’t actually answer the question but instead starts showing off his complete lack of acting skills:
"I need the men. Volunteers! I have got little work for you and you sure look like you can use all the money! It is dollar a day for little trip down the sewers. Got tunnel collapsed it need clearing and fixing. Any takers? No? You think you deserve more than slave wages? You don’t need the work I give? FINE!"
The Doctor offers to help out, mainly because it’s an excuse to leave the shanty town full of dirty, smelly market traders. Unfortunately, when Martha volunteers as well, Solomon and a young work experience trader called Frank agrees to come with them.
It says a lot about how much respect Soloman has from the other yuppies that when the leader of the commune volunteers... absolutely NO ONE ELSE decides to follow him.
Soon they are below grounds being given directions to clear away a fallen tunnel on the rather unconvincing promise that Djalili will wait for them to return and pay them there. The Doctor spends about two minutes in a stare out contest with Djalili before the leather-clad cad whimpers and flees the sewer.
The quartet head down the tunnel, idly noting that the sewers are a huge warren of tunnels any half decent cyborg invader could hide an army down in a manner that screams "crude foreshadowing". The Doctor asks Solomon about the 'mad Iranian in the stupid hat' who just left and learns that Omar Djalili was just another stagehand a few months ago but now seems to run most of the Cardiff theatre rep!
"These are strange times," Solomon muses. "A man can go from being king of the hill to the lowest of the low overnight. It’s just for some folks it works the other way round. And for guys like Djalili it just smacks of ill-thought out plot contrivance.
Suddenly they come across a growing green, foul-smelling, possibly radioactive, brain-like entity, which the Doctor carefully examines. By licking it.
"So, Martha?" he asks, showing her the composite organic matter. "What’s your medical opinion?"
"It’s not human, I know that!"
"THAT’S your medical opinion?" jeers Frank. "Well, Quincy is REALLY shaking in his boots now, Martha! What insight you got there!"
So Martha punches him in the groin.
As Frank squeaks in agony, the Doctor notice that they appear to have not yet found any sign of a collapsed tunnel and ponders why they have been sent below ground. Just then, inhuman squeals echo around the Doctor and his current companions.
"Oooh," the Time Lord grins. "That sounds ominous. Very ominous. That is textbook ominous, that is!"
Solomon ponders that maybe some other sewer workers have been left down in the sewers to go quietly mental, when the Doctor notices a huddled figure on the ground next to them: a Weevil with pain-filled tears running down its pig-like face.
"Pigsy?! Is that you again, you filthy swine?!" screams the Doctor in an unnervingly-convincing Monkey Magic impersonation, which seemingly causes the crippled mutant to slump dead in awe.
More Weevils appear, filling the opposite end of the tunnel and start to close in on the intruders. The Doctor considers several possible courses of action involving diplomacy, haiku readings and interpretive dance before deciding the best thing to do is run like hell!
The army of digitally-multiplied Weevils chases after them!
Parte the Second
For big nostalgia points, the Doctor and his pals flee through endless sewer tunnel corridors being chased by slow-moving pig-faced Weevils, occasionally pausing at cross sections for Martha to cry out "Which way now?!" but more importantly allow the monsters to catch up.
Finally, the Doctor spots a ladder and he and Martha scramble up it to safety, while Solomon uses all his weasel cunning and half-arsed Szun Tzu philosophies to kick Frank repeatedly in the face as he tries to escape, leaving the poor sucker to the mercies of the Weevils while Solomon escapes.
When the Doctor and Martha confront him for his assholedom, Solomon shows off his incredible wisdom by screaming hysterically "IT HAD TO BE DONE! THOSE THINGS WERE FROM HELL! FROM HELL ITSELF! WE HAD TO SCRATCH THEIR BACK OR THEY’D STICK KNIVES IN OURS!!"
At this point the trio at last realize they have found a sewer exit leading directly to the Electro theatre and Tallulah has been aiming a gun at them for the last two minutes.
"All right then! Put em up! Hands in the air and no funny business! Now tell me, you schmucks, what’ve you done with Laszlo? He’s my boyfriend by the way, until two weeks ago. No letter, no good-bye, no nothing! What kinda guy asks you to meet his mother before he vamooses?"
"Um... is that a real gun?" asks Martha. "Just, I’ve been held hostage by a false gun already this week and it’s just it feels stupid."
"Ah, ya got me," Tallulah sighs. "It’s not real, just a prop, but it was either that or a spear."
She throws away said prop before the Doctor explains that more people have been disappearing across the city, and to find out more he needs to examine the alien object he found in the sewers, which he has been keeping in his pocket.
Everyone is nauseated by this.
On stage, Djalili is giving his stagehands instructions for the constructions of the play’s backdrop to attach a series of panels to the base of the radio mast by the end of the night. He shows them the panels, which those of you observant enough to be out of a coma will note be taken from the base of a purple Dustbin casing.
They protest about the task in hand but Djalili goes apeshit: "You do not get it! I don’t care how cold it is or how a tired you are! If you do not a work, I can replace you like THAT! No questions! Get going! Go and live in Russia if you want equality?! GO!"
Once they are gone Dustbin Raph reappears. "WAY TO GO WITH THE EMPLOYMENT INCENTIVE, DOOFUS. IF THEY SCREW UP, THE WHOLE PRODUCTION IS RUINED! YOU KNOW, IF WE DUSTBINS HAD A CONCEPT OF WORRY, WE’D BE FREAKING TERRIFIED ABOUT RELYING ON YOU."
They move to observe the empty theatre. "THIS DAY IS ENDING," Dustbin Raph sighs. "HUMANKIND IS WEAK. YOU SHELTER FROM THE DARK AND WATCH EASTENDERS INSTEAD OF COMING TO SEE A BROADWAY MUSICAL."
"That is progress," Djalili agrees, completely missing the point. "You have got to move with the times or else you get left behind."
"MY PLANET’S GONE," Dustbin Raph says after an awkward silence. "DESTROYED IN A BITCHING ORGY OF SOLAR DESTRUCTION. AND NOW I’M STUCK IN THIS STUPID DAMN CITY. WAR? HAH? GOOD GOD. WHAT IS IT GOOD FOR?"
"I always have saying: Today Cardiff, Tomorrow The World!"
"YOU’RE AN IDIOT."
"Ah, but idiot with ambition, no? I am going to RUN this city! Whatever it takes! By any means necessary! I am going to clean up the theatre industry and rid the world of Andrew Lloyd-Webber musicals forever!"
"YOU THINK LIKE A DUSTBIN," Dustbin Raph observes. "ALBEIT A VERY STUPID DUSTBIN WITH NO CONNECTION TO THE REAL WORLD."
Djalili is unaware of many things: one of which is that in the subbasement of the theatre, the Cult of Fargo are watching him via RalphCam. The blue Dustbin Leonardo makes a decision.
"YO, RAPH. WE MIGHT AS WELL USE THIS GUY FOR THE EXPERIMENT. THE REST OF YOU, PREPARE THE LABORATORY. TONIGHT IS THE BIG ONE."
"DUDE, YOU SURE ABOUT THIS? THAT IS A *LOT* OF CLASS A COLOMBIAN NASAL DUST YOU’VE BEEN SNORTING TODAY," advises orange Dustbin Michaelangelo, indicating the huge pile of drugs in the corner – collected from all the kidnapped Yuppies who require such chemicals to function now the Dow Jones has betrayed them so.
"I KNOW WHAT I’M DOING, MIKE. NOW MOVE!"
Dustbin Raph tells Djalili that the Leader of the Dustbins wishes to speak to him and, showing that monumental stupidity once again, Djalili is actually happy about this and follows the Dustbin into the lift that takes them down to the sub-basement – a laboratory filled with groovy 1960s Dustbin technology and Weevil.
"HEADS UP, LEO, I BROUGHT THE MEAT!" Dustbin Raph announces.
"Oh, my lord Leonard, I, Omar Djalili am honoured to meet you. Ever since you first made contact with me through the Lonely Hearts column, tempting me with such images, such ideas... Oh, sir, I’d always dreamt that the—-"
"CEASE TALKING!" shouts Dustbin Leo. "YOU’RE FREAKING ME OUT, DUDE!"
Dustbin Leo orders his slaves to hold Djalili but he insists he wants to work with them and insists even MORE than he doesn’t want to become just another Weevil with unusually copious amounts of body hair.
"LEO!" interrupts a purple Dustbin significantly lacking its side panels. "I’M NOT REALLY SURE WE SHOULD GO ON WITH THIS. I MEAN, I’M ALL FOR RADICAL IDEAS, BUT THIS CAN’T BE GOOD!"
"DON’ RIGHT," agrees Dustbin Mike. "DUSTBINS ARE SUPREME. HUMANS ARE FILTHY GARBAGE-MAKING BIPEDS WHO HAVE THEIR SEXUAL ORGANS RIGHT NEXT TO THEIR BOWELS! THEY’RE DISGUSTING!"
"THEY ALSO OUTNUMBER US MILLIONS TO ONE," Dustbin Leo retorts. "IF WE’RE SO UTTERLY SUPREME, WHY THE HELL ARE WE LOSING ALL THE TIME? THE EMPEROR CREATED THIS CULT TO IMAGINE NEW WAYS OF SURVIVAL. WELL, GET THIS, IT’S WHAT WE’RE GONNA DO!"
"BUT THE EMPEROR WOULDN’T WANT THIS!" Dustbin Donatello protests. "WE MUST REMAIN PURE, INCORRUPT, WHOLESOME AND WITHOUT NAUGHTY BITS TO TEMPT US FROM THE PATH OF CLEANLINESS AND GODLINESS!"
"WAKE THE HELL UP, DONNY! WE’RE ON THE VERGE OF EXTINCTION! YOU EVER SEE HUMANS WITH THEIR NAUGHTY BITS AND SLOBBINESS ON THE EDGE OF EXTINCTION? YOU EVER SEE THEM GET THEIR ASSES HANDED TO THEM IN A TEMPORAL DIFFERENCE OF OPINION? YOU EVER SEE THEM HAVE TO HANG AROUND WEEVILS CAUSE ALL THE COOLER HENCHMEN ARE ALL DEAD?"
"YOUR POINT BEING?" Dustbin Raph cuts in.
"IF WE WANT TO SURVIVE, WE HAVE TO ADAPT. NOW, YOU’VE ALL MADE SACRIFICES - YOUR BUMPY BITS! RAPH’S CREDIT RATING! MIKE’S NIFTY EXTRA-SENSORY TIME LORD DETECTION SYSTEM! AND NOW I WILL SACRIFICE MYSELF FOR THE GREATER CAUSE! THE FUTURE OF DUSTBINKIND! BRING ME THE FATTY!"
The Weevils force Djalili forward and Leo’s blue Dustbin casing unfolds like a novelty sci-fi puzzle box, as the evil alien squawks "BEHOLD THE TRUE DUSTBIN FORM!"
Djalili looks at the evil, lumpy, one-eyed dark green blob covered in goo and a disturbing expression appears on his face. "Kinky!" he laughs.
"NOW YOU JOIN WITH ME!" Leo screeches in a squeaky, helium-like voice.
"VERY kinky!" Djalili beams, a split second before the mutant lashes out with tentacles and drags him inside the Dustbin casing and engulfs the ethnic stereotype in a slimy cocoon. The casing snaps shut.
"YOU KNOW," says Dustbin Don conversationally, "IF HE CROAKS, I’M IN CHARGE. SO THIS IS A WIN-WIN SITUATION AS FAR AS I’M CONCERNED."
Above, in the Electro prop stores, the Doctor scavenges for odds and ends to put together an extremely crude DNA scanner out of an old Hatichami Jog Person so he can find out where the green blob comes from. Solomon marvels at the Doctor’s extraordinary lack of selfishness and interest in dabbling in the stock market and calls him "a stupid Celtic loon" before running off back to the shanty town before the other tramps steal his investment portfolio.
As Solomon leaves, practicing his speech to his fellow bums ("The stories are all true; investors ARE being taken. We lost Frank today. He was stolen from right in front of me, but no more - I swear to you, no more! Now, I made a pledge that this place would be a peaceful haven of offshore funds before the end of the next quarter, but now it’s time to pack heat and blow the fuck out of anyone who tries to screw us over before we can screw them over! Arm yourselves!") he passes the stagehands working to fix the Dustbin panels to the RKO tower.
Meanwhile, Martha and Tallulah prepare for the night’s show and talk about girl stuff like make up and boyfriends and sexism from theatre management and stuff like that. Soon they are both in tears at how rubbish their partners are and embrace... but, tragically, don’t get further into their "forbidden love of musical theatre" since Tallulah is needed to go on stage and perform her number "Alan B’Stard Is An Evil Time Lord Called The Bastard".
Martha goes with her to ogle her fine white ass while Martha’s "forward-thinking hot potato in the sharp suit" however is frying the alien creature on a stage light. This reveals to the Doctor the creature’s barcode: an artificial, genetically engineered blob copyrighted 'Cult of Fargo Enterprises 1988'!!!
Yes! Dustbins are in this story! UNBELIEVABLE!
But alas, instead we must turn attention to Martha’s attempts to grope Tallulah in the middle of her act without any of the audience noticing because... well, because it’s a damn sight more interesting that David Tennant gurning at a lump of jello, that’s why!
Her attempts are thwarted when a Weevil rushes on stage and shouts "Get your hands off of my girlfriend!" at Martha, then turns and runs away and Martha, Tallulah and eventually the Doctor all follow in a painfully-choreographed Benny Hill chase sequence that comes to an ignoble end in the sewers underneath the theatre.
Losing track of Martha, the Doctor and Tallaluh chase after the Weevil and spot, further up in the tunnels, the distinctive and above all trademarked silhouette of Dustbin Raph gliding around. The Doctor goes ever-so-slightly insane at this point as he mutters, "They survive - they ALWAYS survive - while I lose everything! How fucking unfair is that?! Jings, why do I even bother trying to stay alive?!"
While the Doctor rants that once again the jihad-declaring cyborg mutants have escaped extinction to wage war on all living creatures, Tallulah catches up with the Weevil and realizes that the pig creature is actually the hideously mutated Laszlo from the pre-credit sequence. She then breaks down in tears at the amazing prosthetics or something similar, since this seems to be Chick Flick of the Dustbins.
Martha, if you remember, has ended up alongside Frank and another bunch of disenfranchised yuppies as prisoners of the Weevils, who are lined up for inspection by Dustbin Raph who selects those far too cute to be turned into Weevil pig-slaves: thankfully, Martha is one of the chosen.
"THE FEMALE IS BOOTYLICIOUS," agrees Dustbin Mike as he arrives. "OH, YEAH, RAPH? THE DUSTBINANIUM IS IN PLACE, SO THE WHOLE ENERGY-CONVERSION DEAL IS READY TO GO."
"GOTCHA," Dustbin Raph replies. "OK, YOU DAMNED DIRTY BIPEDS, OFF TO THE TRANSGENIC LAB WITH YA!"
The Doctor, still just past midnight on the crazy clock, joins the group much to Martha’s relief – and luckily, they’re being escorted by Dustbin Mike who is unable to detect the Doctor is a Time Lord and exterminate him there and then. This is bad news for the Doctor, who has decided to stop giving a shit and just commit suicide.
"Oh. Yay," says Martha lamely as she learns the Doctor doesn’t have any kind of cunning plan and is only here to end the infinite misery and pain that is his life.
Leaving Tallulah and Laszlo in the tunnels, the group are lead to the laboratory – where Dustbin Leo is vibrating with a curious buzzing noise as smoke pours from it. "THE EXPERIMENT MUST CONTINUE!" Dustbin Leo moans. "ADMINISTER THE LUBRICANT! WE MUST EVOLVE! EVOLVE! EVOLVE!"
As Dustbin Don applies a rather suspicious-looking injection, Martha demands to be told what the hell is going on. "Dustbins! What’s wrong with old Charlie boy over there? Report!"
"UH, WELL. YOU DUDES ARE GOING TO BEAR WITNESS TO THE DAWN OF A NEW AGE!" Dustbin Mike explains. "YOU SEE, WE’RE THE ONLY FOUR DUSTBINS IN THE WHOLE WIDE UNIVERSE. ALL THE OTHERS GOT SLAUGHTERED BY THIS TOTAL NEGATIVE-VIBE MERCHANT! BUT IT’S COOL, WE’RE ON THE WAY UP – WE’RE GOING TO EVOLVE A LIFE OUTSIDE THE DUSTBIN, YOU DIG? THE CHILDREN OF FARGO AREN’T GOING TO NEED DISABLED PARKING EVER AGAIN!!"
"YEAH," interrupts Dustbin Raph, "MAKES LESS SENSE THE MORE YOU TRY AND EXPLAIN IT, BRO."
Dustbin Leo enters the final stage of evolution, shaking and overheating like an overloaded washing machine. "I AM... CHANGING! I AM... NEW! I AM DALEK... REBORN!" moans the grating voice with a disturbing amount of graphic sauciness.
Suddenly, the Dustbin shell falls apart to reveal the result of the experiment. The human body of Djalili has been mutated beyond recognition – his flesh is slimy green/brown, his limbs tentacles ending in three-fingered claws, his brain exposed and face unrecognizable – surrounded by writhing tentacles. The creature’s mouth opens to breathe the air around it and then it announces, "Mmm. New teeth. That’s weird."
"What... the... fuck?!?!" exclaims Martha.
"I am a human Dustbin – I am a Bistdun, as foretold by Lance Parkin - and I am your future."
OK, it doesn’t have the advanced cleaning weaponry, near invulnerability, the ability to travel through time and space, but, er... well... obviously there must be SOME goddamn advantage to looking like this. Maybe he can commune better with nature now or tickle you to death with his face penises or something, or maybe the ultimate evolutionary leap for Dustbins is to stop being Dustbins or something.
I dunno, I didn’t bloody write this, did I?!
"Go, go, go!"
"The Dustbins are ratings pullers at the best of times but we’re right in the middle of the season, so that means the epic three part finale has something else and THAT makes the plot more predictable than ever!"
"It’s started. In fact, we’re more than half way through..."
"You’ve got to get everyone out!"
"Cardiff is the lowest place a man can fall – there’s nowhere else!"
"Oh, for fuck’s sake..."
"SORRY – EXTERMINATE!"
...yet MORE Dustbin pornography...