Book(s)/Other Related -
Dr Who Versus Papa Lazarou
The Most Retarded Sci-Fi Ideas EVER # 27: Blender of Eternal Youth
You’re MY Wife Now, Dave Tennant!!
Fluffs - David Tennant seemed quite a geek in this story.
"A vol u vent! French, you know. Means 'flight of the wind'."
"If you eat any more of those prawn ones, you might be demonstrating that rather than translating it, you flatulent Scot bastard."
"Jings, you love it, really! Ooh, pardon me..."
How the fuck does a food mixer make you younger AFTER it has reduced you to tomato paste? Does ANYONE have ANY idea? I mean... WHAT?! I bet if anyone other than a superhuman serial killer had penned this story, the script editor would have made some serious changes!
There isn’t actually any need for the Doctor to unhook the Bunsen burner from the gas tap to blow up the lab scene, since an unlit Bunsen will still put out gas into the atmosphere and at the same rate as the tap itself... and this is something any half-decent pyromaniac should know. Er, I imagine. You can’t pin arson on me, you fascists!
Who plugged the cable back in so the machine would work again for the climactic battle huh? Helga? I don’t think so, somehow...
An evil goblin slaughters two people and... no one calls the cops? Or UNIT? Or Sarah Jane Smith? Or Touchwood - who are based RIGHT OUTSIDE the crime scene?! [Is this just further proof that RTD considers Touchwood less canonical than the Sky Ray lolly wrapper comic strips?]
If you listen when the Doctor is talking to Lazarou in the cathedral, it sounds like he’s wearing tap shoes rather than his massive platform gum boots!
Fashion Victims -
The rejuvenated Lazarou does not exactly look "godlike" with his frizzy hair the colour of horse droppings. I mean, changing what it means to be human is one thing, but do you have to look like Leo Sayer at the end of it? Surely that’s much worse than a psychotic black and white minstrel!
The Doctor saves the day by reversing the polarity of the neutron flow and fandom weeps with joy.
Dialogue Disasters -
Doctor: Hello, Tish. How’d you do? I’m the Doctor!
Tish: You’re actually qualified then? That’s good – about time she stopped wasting her time with students.
Martha: That’s rich, you end up sleeping with them before I can!
Tish: Travel light, move fast! Did I mention I’m the Senior PR assistant with twenty-nine grand a year, six weeks’ holiday and a clothing allowance?
Martha: Yes. Repeatedly.
Doctor: That’s impressive for someone your age.
Tish: Don’t sound so shocked! They recognized my potential!
Martha: How many execs did you sleep with this time?
Tish: Not one.
Martha: Frigid cow. And keep your hands off my man, bitch.
Francine: I don’t know whether I should be thanking you for saving my daughter’s life or slapping you for putting it at risk. But I’m leaning towards the latter, followed by a right good bollocking and flushing your head down the nearest lavatory bowl.
Doctor: ...is that bad?
Doctor: Now THAT looks interesting!
Martha: Must be the device Lazarou was talking about. What do you think it does?
Doctor: Jings, Martha, if I had to speculate I’d say the number of possible applications is dependent on a pretty large set of variables.
Martha: You have no fucking idea, do you?
Doctor: Not one. Do you know what it does, Tish?
Tish: It’s highly confidential. I can only discuss it with authorized personnel – i.e.: not you. It’s going to change the world though. Just think, you’ll actually get to see history made, in person! I bet that makes a difference to your stunted little lives!
Doctor:...you know, Martha, I’m pretty certain I hate your sister.
Martha: This is a friend of mine, the Doctor.
Francine: Doctor what?
Doctor: Jings, that means we can’t reference the series title in the dialogue! That’s the whole point of these scenes! JINGS!
Dialogue Triumphs -
Martha: The world’s in danger! What should we do now?
Doctor: Mingle and nibble!
Lazarou: This is only the beginning. We’re not just making history; we’re shaping the future, too!
Frosty: Think of the money we’ll make. People will sell their souls to be transformed like that!
Martha: Commercially?! You are joking. That’ll cause chaos!
Lazarou: Not chaos. Change. A chance for humanity to evolve, to improve.
Doctor: Ah, don’t give me that bollocks! This isn’t about improving, it’s about you and your customers living a little longer!
Lazarou: Not a little longer, Doctor. A lot longer. Perhaps indefinitely. We want everyone to benefit from this.
Frosty: IF they can afford it.
Martha: But that’s insane! If you extend life expectancy it had huge effects on population and resources.
Lazarou: OH-YAH, I HADDEN FORT OF DAT!!
Martha: Lazarou’s gone off with a woman!
Doctor: Well, I suppose if you suddenly acquired a body like that you might want to test drive it a bit. I know I got that feeling last time.
Martha:...does that mean you’d like to have sex?
Doctor: Not now, Martha, the fate of the world hangs in the balance!
(The Doctor runs off, leaving Martha alone.)
Martha: It’s because I’m black, isn’t it?!
Alan B’Stard: That Doctor has a lean and hungry look. He thinks too much, such men are dangerous. Plus killed your daughter, brought down Harriet "Hellfire" Jones’, launched a missile strike on Downing Street, has a history of abducting young girls, helped the Cybermen during the battle of Canary Wharf... He’s a pretty hardcore authority-wrecking terrorist, really. AND he wears casual shoes with black tie!
Francine: So what are your vices then?
Alan B'Stard: I have a large doll collection. Would you like to see it?
Francine: Who is this Doctor anyway?
Tish: I dunno. Someone from the hospital, I presume.
Francine: She seems to know him very well. So why’s she been keeping him a secret?
Tish: Maybe the girl just wants her privacy. You know how she’s so ashamed of being a virgin.
Francine: She’s still a virgin?
Tish: Well, she never got anywhere with the boyfriends I met.
Francine: Yes dear, we all know you’re a whore.
UnQuotable Quote -
Tish: I know the homicidal messiah complex thing’s a bit freaky, but it works for Katie Holmes!
Links and References -
The Doctor hasn’t encountered a menace so utterly retarded and un-terrifying since "that subnormal brat in the gas mask" of Shell Shock.
Untelevised Misadventures -
"Oh, brilliant! I thought I’d lost that! United States Declaration of Independence - first draft, before I got them to stick in the bit about the pursuit of happiness. Thomas Jefferson, he was funny. Spoke Gaelic you know, very keen on rotten tomatoes, because he kept them at me, Jamie and Zoe for some reason..."
Groovy DVD Extras -
A homemade Mortal-Kombat-style game pitting Papa Lazarou against his evil reflection: Marilyn Manson!!
The Spite of Sparacus -
"The science in this one made no rational sense at all. If the renewal process revived aspects of human DNA dormant from our evolutionary past, surely an ape creature would have been more believable than a League of Gentlemen character! Frankly, this story was a wasted opportunity to bring back possibly the most interesting new character introduced in the last series and played by one of the UK’s finest young actors: Andrew Hayden Smith as Jake Simmonds! Think of it! JUST THINK OF IT! We could find about the Jake from this Earth, develop something even approaching a personality, make him the first ever gay companion since, well, the last gay companion and have him use Martha as a decoy to stop his parents finding out about his disgusting peccadilloes! Oh, JAKE!!!"
Viewer Quotes -
"How come that all-female house band at Lazarou Labs knows to play Murray Gold tunes whenever Martha is present? I mean that’s like totally impossible, surely. Unless that music is somehow following her across time and space. I think I’ve found our new story arc! SQUEE!"
- Ms. Whovortex 3000 the complete idiot (2006)
"You just can’t keep Mark Gatiss out of the new series can you? He’s a much better actor than a writer, not that that counts for much. Ballcrusher Jones is a moron! Never trust politicians when they say your daughter is in danger, that’s my motto. The deaths of many of my children are a fringe benefit. Why not just call him Professor DNA-Chop-Chop? A little morality tale about the dangers of trying to cheat death or just a season slot filler - or both? Not a bit like my own superlative Coda where the Fifth Doctor, Peri, Eminem and the Brigadier assassinate John Lennon! I’M BETTER THAN ALL OF YOU!"
- Ron Mallet (2008)
"Martha must die! Tish should be the new companion!"
- a disturbing amount of rabid Billie Piper fans (2007)
"So this doesn’t actually have ANYTHING to do with the Seventh Doctor audio Project: Lazarou? At all? Even though Lazarou’s Labs were built directly over the Touchwood Hub and Touchwood was part of said audio. Great! Just fucking great! That BF dealer TOTALLY lied to me! Last time I ever buy anything of theirs at retail!" - Dave Restal (2007)
"This is the way it ends: not with a bang but a whimper. Typical."
- Eve Markson (2007)
"At last - at long, long, bloody last – there’s an Earth-bound story with a monster that’s neither an alien nor an invader. But appallingly, it's the one episode in which aliens might actually have been able to JUSTIFY the plot! The program finally realizes how tedious crashed spaceships and evil asylum-seeking aliens are, but then does something that makes its other problems seem SO much worse!"
- Mad Larry The Pirate King (2008)
"Mark Gatiss for the Eleventh Doctor! He’d be a lot more subtle than David Tennant! And he can take over from RTD as well! The Idiot Box was brilliant! YESSSSSSS!!" - some tool with no concept of worth (2006)
"There’s a machine! There’s a monster! That’s it! And yet that would be enough, perhaps, were it not for the story's big obvious flaw: THE MONSTER ISN’T FRIGHTENING. Not even vaguely. Not in the slightest. Not a bit like a six year old in a fogged up gasmask pathetically whining like a bitch, which redefined the word terror. I’m dead butch I am!"
- Mike Morris (2007)
"What. The. Fuck? Putting aside the fact that Mark Gatiss chews so much scenery it’s a miracle he hasn’t died from indigestion, where’s the biting intelligence, left-field humor, mystery and sense of unknown that people actually WATCH the show for? No, we get a big monster who eats people and chases pretty girls. VERY fucking profound, I don’t think. This story wasted so many opportunities it bordered on the offensive! I will say that the abandonment of logic is VERY thorough though, not the half-assed maybe-it-might-make-sense of Touchwood! This is amazingly B-grade Doctor Who, the Lame Shit of the new millennium and if Mister Greenhorn has a problem with it, I’ve got a flintlock and I’m not afraid to use it, spooky-eyed bald freak!" - Jared "No Fear" Hansen (2007)
David Tennant Speaks!
"Very thought-provoking, this story with its question of what you’d do to regain your youth, to get a second chance. There are things that I’d like to do better in my teenage years, but that’d mean living through them all again. It’s tempting, isn’t it? But I suspect that way utter, utter madness probably lies. No, I’m quite happy being where I am right now. I don’t feel a yearning for lost youth and anyone who does has wasted their lives. I laugh at your misery, ya wee English scum."
Freema Agyeman Speaks!
"I never watched The League of Gentleman, but I’m a massive fan of Nighty Night. Until I learned that Mark was in it. Kinda gone off it now. He actually put HIS lips on MY hand. That was disgusting. I’m sure I mentioned it somewhere I can’t stand being with Mark Gatiss, but they must have not heard me. Either that or they’re deliberately trying to make my life a hellish misery..."
Mark Gatiss Speaks!
"I’d heard a whisper there was a mad scientist script coming up. Well, actually I started it myself so my agent could get me the job. I still can’t quite believe that me putting a few rumors out on Outpost Gallifrey could lead to a whole script being commissioned. I control the horizontal. I control the vertical. It’s a dream come true! When a kid I was really into make-up and transvestitism, so dressing up as a decrepit old man was what I do on weekends. I don’t feel it. I feel nothing. Never have. I’d do ANYTHING to live forever and would be more than happy to sacrifice a few people. Or a LOT of people. Mwahahahaha."
Russell T Davies Speaks!
"Out of all the members of the Doctor Who production team, the only one I’ve aged better than is William Hartnell, because I was taking better drugs than him. Mind you, he was on better drugs that Mick Jagger, so it all balances out in the end. While we’ve always wanted to cast Mark as something, we never wanted to waste him by giving him a cameo as an eccentric Oxford Don for three scenes before he’s murdered. Because he’d actually WANT that. He wouldn’t suffer at all. He needed proper humiliation for what he did last year, much worse than anything he got in Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased)."
Mark Gatiss is only the third person ever in the history of everything ever to write FOR and APPEAR in Doctor Who outside of crappy fan-made spin offs. The others are Terry Jones and someone else I’ve forgotten.
Rumors & Facts -
A companion returned to contemporary Cardiff for the first time since they left; a government conspiracy; media manipulation; humans transforming into unstoppable killing machines; the companion’s mother giving the Doctor a right good bollocking; a guest appearance by a future Prime Minister... it’s just like Alias of London only NOT crap!
Stephen Greenhorn had begun his writing career when suddenly he transformed into the next stage of human evolution, possessed of super human strength, dexterity, speed, an interactive race memory not to mention really creepy eyes and sharp fangs. With these skills and a truly psychopathic desire for mayhem and animal mutilation, Greenhorn worked on episodes of The Bill and Glasgow Kiss after the original writers mysteriously vanished and severed body parts washed up on the shore of Brighton Pier.
Greenhorn then created the soap opera River City, writing it in the warm blood of those who he found over-familiar and found the only thing in the entire world that didn’t bore him to a psychotic frenzy was Julie Gardner, the BBC Wales Head of Drama and executive producer on Doctor Who. Eager to spend more time with her, Greenhorn beat up some passers by, stole their wallets and expressed to her his desire to write for the Time Lord like Eric Saward – the only person Greenhorn considered weirder than himself. In the spring of 2006, Greenhorn met first with Gardner and Doctor Who script editor Simon Winstone, without their prior knowledge and consent before revealing he had kidnapped Russell T Davies and placed him in an airtight vault.
Unsurprisingly, RTD confirmed he wanted Greenhorn to write for the series and was allowed to live.
Greenhorn had developed a strange obsession with old Marvel reprints and decided appropos of nothing that it would be rather novel to have the Doctor fight Doctor Octopus and the Green Goblin simultaneously. This lead to the unusual decision to set the story in modern-day Cardiff, a move that no one was brave enough to question. But Greenhorn’s gadfly mind became affixed on tales of experiments gone hilariously wrong like The Fly and decided that a different and completely generic mad scientist would be the villain of his story.
Greenhorn was his own worst critic as every other critic tended to be slaughtered like a pig. Thus he discarded many ideas when he realized that they were similar to episodes of Touchwood, which Greenhorn considered "the spawn of the devil’s gnarled and hairy testicles". He also decided he hated Marvel comics so the idea of the scientist developing invulnerable synthetic skin and calling himself Venom were abandoned – just in time for the movie Spiderman 3 to prove beyond a doubt that the idea was crap anyway. One other idea was to set the entire thing in the Thames Flood Barrier for no apparent reason, which was dropped as RTD had already done it for The Drunken Ginger Bride.
It was when Greenhorn learned of the sheer passionate enmity cast and crew felt for Mark Gatiss after his last story for Doctor Who (the war crime known as The Idiot’s Lantern) that he hit upon a notion that would drive the entire plot: an aged scientist played by Gatiss who tried to make himself young again and only succeeded in transforming into an insane black and white minstrel called Papa Lazarou – a character in The League of Gentlemen not even PLAYED by Gatiss for the extra humiliation.
Thus the headline of the story’s cast would Mark Gatiss as Lazarou because otherwise the whole thing would be pointless. A renowned actor with the comedy troupe, Gatiss had also 'written' (the term is open to debate) both The Presuming Ed and The Idiot Box and worst of all seemed to think that this was a good thing.
Gatiss’ character was first given the name Professor Mark Gatiss, and subsequently Professor Gospel According To John after that bit of the bible where Jesus Christ creates the first-ever zombie apocalypse. Accordingly, the episode gained the working title "The Madness And Folly Of Professor Gospel According To John".
RTD meekly asked Greenhorn to make strong use of Martha’s family in his script rather than simply having them slaughtered by the monster in gratuitous slow motion. Greenhorn was happy to do so on the condition that Tish have her name changed from Patricia to Letitia as he found the latter name far more erotic. Despite claims from RTD in certain autobiographies, he did NOT add the material between Francine and Mr. B’Stard to set up elements would pay off in the season finale, this was just an inspired bit of improvisation from the cast RTD took credit for.
The director assigned to both The Madness and Folly Of Professor Gospel According to John and The Macramé Gridlock (which together formed a surprisingly camp and superficial part of the production schedule) was former Beatle Ringo Starr. It was Starr who noticed that a major location in Greenhorn’s storyline was St Paul’s Cathedral in London, despite the fact the story was set in Cardiff. For a moment it looked like Greenhorn was going to snap Ringo’s neck but at the last moment laughed companionably and settled for throwing him out the office window and no more was said about it.
The action was thus relocated to some ghastly Welsh cathedral or other, Saint "sound as of blowing phlegm through clenched teeth" noted for all the saliva running down the walls. Filming took place on October 3rd and 4th 2006 while everyone else was still weeping over the end of the previous series and pining after Rose. Action then shifted to the Senedd, home of the National Assembly for Wales in Cardiff, because no one wanted to be in that sticky church any more. THIS was the setting for Lazarou’s reception, and recording occurred there frequently in a random order until all the relevant material had been filmed.
Part of October 11th was also spent at Churchill House in Cardiff, for Lazarou’s rooftop metamorphosis, but most of the rest of the day was an inter-series cricket match between Doctor Who and Touchwood which was cancelled after Burn "Owen Harper" Gorman went into bat against Greenhorn and was left, bleeding and unconscious, in the pouring rain while everyone else went to the pub and laughed about.
On October 16th, the final piece of location work was completed at Cardiff University’s Biomedical Science Building, serving as Lazarus’ lab itself. To add verisimilitude and get everyone in a "method" frame of mind, Ringo triggered a series of explosions throughout the building without actually warning anyone at all. This earned him the deep admiration of Greenhorn, who was eating the lab rats at the time.
Satisfied that the episode would ruin Gatiss’ credibility for the rest of his life – or till the end of the financial year, which ever came first – Greenhorn let out the roar of a mountain lion, climbed the top of the Welsh Millennium Centre and started howling at the moon. He was not seen again for the next thirty-three weeks and when he did turn up he had a truly horrific idea for a NEW story...
In December of 2006, RTD decided to truncate the episode’s title to The Lazarou Experiment. Although to untrained philistines this may have appeared to echo Knigel Kneale’s quintessential-and-very-very-dull 1953 science-fiction serial The Quatermass Experiment, RTD insisted that this was not intentional as it would have brought back bad memories of when David Tennant and Mark Gatiss had costarred in a truly awful live remake of the story for BBC Four in 2005. Elsewhere, Steven Moffat’s experience of meeting Greenhorn was translated into a six-part miniseries with James Nesbitt entitled "Jekyll".
Disaster struck, however, when it became clear that no one at the BBC was numerically literate any more and had scheduled the Eurovision Song Contest in the middle of the series’ run and thus cause a two week gap between The Lazarou Experiment and 47! In a desperate bid, working day and night, fueled by nothing except coffee and cigarettes, RTD managed to create a special montage of scenes from the remaining seven episodes as a special trailer to keep interest alive... which turned out to be totally irrelevant as they had a special animated episode for that week and the whole thing was a waste of time. The trailer wasn’t used but you can find it on youtube if you don’t have a social life.
Meanwhile, David Tennant continued his baffling desire to sing in every episode and this time it became the focal point of the plot itself as his gargling karioke was instrumental in destroying Papa Lazrou...
"The Gospel According to John Experiment Cut Off" by Veron Kasarbi
Lazarou was a scientist, he lived till seventy-three!
Interested in DNA and increasing longevity!
Said that "All life is an experiment! The future’s up in the air!
Who cares about innocent bystanders who I hunt down in fear?"
Sing that: Ah, ah-ah-ah ah-ah! Ah-ah-ah ah!
Crack the genome for Alan B’Stard! You’ll never come back!
So, ah, ah-ah-ah ah-ah! Ah-ah-ah ah!
Destroy your home like an asshole! You’ll never come back!
Making his getaway through a punched-up ambulance
He slaughtered into the paramedics when he took his chance
Said that, "Don’t sympathize with all those lies when all is said and done!
Now I’m really hungry, man, and I think you better run!"
Ah, ah-ah-ah ah-ah! Ah-ah-ah ah!
Kill your colleagues! Pay the piper! You’ll never come back!
Ah, ah-ah-ah ah-ah! Ah-ah-ah ah!
Nebulus was rubbish! You’re not funny! You’ll never come back!
At that Welsh Cathedral, mutation got out of hand!
Hunting down cute black chicks to kill them where they stand!
Screamed that "I don’t think you realize you’re way out of your depth!"
When the sound broke all around and Lazarou plunged to his death!
Ah, ah-ah-ah ah-ah!