Monday, February 1, 2010

10th Doctor - Love & Monsters (ii)

Book(s)/Other Related –
Doctor Who And Love And Pizzas... Well, Just Love, Actually
Dr. Who Does The Hustle!

Fluffs - David Tennant seemed sidelined for most of this story.
"I try not to ignore the loose ends I leave, but no one’s perfect. We have problems and make mistakes and look back in anger and... ah, jings! look, who really cares about this rubbish? Fancy a quick one?"

Goofs -
Any goofs are deliberately there to add verisimilitude. The fourth rule of the successful con. Bwahaha.

Fashion Victims -
Peter Kay. In a G-string. Make him go away, mummy, make him go away...

Technobbable -
The Harriet "Hellfire" Jones government has dismissed Auton attacks as "freak plastic shrinkage due to a gas leak in the middle of a thunder storm", the Slitheen spaceship knackering Big Ben as "a goddamn commie stealth bomber", while the Sycophants were "oh, fuck this for a game of soldiers, yes, they were aliens, get over it".

Dialogue Disasters -

Ian Levine: Firstly, I am Ian Levine. Secondly, you have strayed from the path of righteous fandom and I have come to lead you back. I AM YOUR SALVATION! Behold, footage from the very first Dustbin story I myself personally rescued from the BBC Archives the day it would have been incinerated! I am the GOD of ALL missing episodes! See the clarity! See the vividness! See Hartnell’s toupee tape! AND WORSHIP MEEEEEEE!!!

Ash: The police box represents the lodestone, perhaps even the Holy Grail itself! We could be being hunted down by that Albino Monk from the Da Vinci Code even as we speak!

Stacie: His name is the Doctor.
Danny: Doctor what?
Stacie: That’s all anyone knows.
Danny: I’ve seen him. The Doctor - I swear to you, I saw him when I was a kid. He was in my house, and he was downstairs.
Stacie: Don’t tell me - he looked exactly the same then as he does now?
Danny: Yes - yes! Oh my God. You believe me!
Stacie: You’re not the only one, you know. There’s so many stories, all saying the same thing. That this Doctor is somehow... eternal. Walking the Earth and never aging, like the Wandering Jew. Are we allowed to say Wandering Jew these days?
Danny: Dunno. Sounds a bit dodgy.
Stacie: Well, then, the Flying Dutchman.
Danny: Oh, careful, you’ll have the Dutch complaining next...

Ian Levine: It would be a very great honor if I could meet your inner sanctum... Oo-er! Sounds a bit rude!

Dialogue Triumphs -

Stacie: Maybe something with "Doctor" in the title? Like the Doctor People. Doctor Hunters. Or the Doctorers.
Ash: Sounds a bit medical though. We don’t want someone having a heart attack then running in here for help. I mean, we’d be stuck.
Albert: That’s true. That could get nasty.
Mickey: He could die.
Stacie: Oh, the poor man.
Ash: It’s like we killed him.
Albert: I feel responsible.
Danny: If only we’d listened.
Ian Levine: ...dear God I hate you all.

Jackie’s attempts to seduce Danny:
"Why don’t you go and slip into something more comfortable?
"I haven’t got anything else."
"That’s what I call comfortable!"

Danny: She whines about her daughter all the time, but I can’t make it obvious, can I? It’s like the other day, we had this pasta and I did a little rift about Italy – "That’s a nice country, has Rose been to Mars while she was dating an extraterrestrial?" But she just said, "Yep" and that was it.
Albert: You... had pasta?
Danny: Just a bit of lunch.
Stacie: You were mending a fuse and she made you pasta?
Danny: Yeah.
Mickey: Ask me, I think she fancies you.
Danny: That WOULD explain why she keeps trying to take off my clothes and pour red wine down my throat, I guess.

UnQuotable Quote -
Tom Baker: That new fella, Tennant, is excellent. Why can’t I play the Bastard, hmm? They haven’t even asked me. Welsh imbeciles.

Links and References -
The grifters were the ones that conned the Nestle Consciousness into buying the London Eye in "Ruse". They also that worked with the Slitheen and bet that a UFO would crash into Big Ben before the end of the next financial year, and managed to convince Harriet Jones that Ash was a newly-regenerated Doctor who only required a quarter of a million British pounds to defeat the Sycophants on Christmas Day.

Untelevised Misadventures -
Oh, you have NO idea...

Subtext? WHAT Subtext? -

It’s curious that this story’s essential message is: Doctor Who ruined my life, and the lives of everyone around me. Secondly, the story revolves around a group of people peacefully engaging in fan activities, whose lives are then irrevocably disrupted when a fat, gay, Welsh gentleman arrives and promises that he can give them the Doctor.
It almost seems as if Davies is expressing some misgivings about the new series, and its effect on people, making the story certainly worth watching from a psychological point of view; it seems calculated to ruffle feathers, and take risks - again suggesting a worrying trend that my argument the series is more inward-looking and less progressive is, in fact total crap I make up to sound remotely interesting.

Groovy DVD Extras -
Deleted scenes. Yes, there were bits of this even RTD himself was not willing to allow to be screened on British television. Look upon the cut material oh ye mighty... and DESPAIR!

Vortext –
Ian Levine makes horrible grunting noises as he logs onto Outpost Gallifrey to start yet another a flamewar against Christopher "Lower Than A Scorpion" Eccleston.

The Spite of Sparacus -
"Judging by the trailers, this episode is the turkey of the series – an unconvincing monster, Peter Kay, and hardly any sign of the Doctor and Rose and Arthur. This is basically a self-indulgent story about fan obsession, of interest only to Paul Margrs, and thinks it’s clever with lots of tritely comedic in-jokes and a knowing-intellectual air... SO WHY THE HELL WASN’T BEN CHATHAM IN IT?! Oh, what I’d do for a romp in the sack with Adam Rickitt. THIS IS UNBELIEVABLY BAD! An insult, a boring insult to The Kids. GET this RUBBISH OFF!!!!! Now I know why people kick TV screens in. If this mind-numbingly awful bilge had been submitted by ANYONE except RTD, it would NEVER have been accepted! I could write a self-indulgent too-clever-by-half populist comedy to alienate the generate viewer and annoy fans! Intelligent young people do it all the time! The phrase 'know thyself' springs to mind! No, I still haven’t watched it but if the Bogside Backstreet Theatre in Grimsby features tried this, the northern kinds who sit chewing fishbones would lob half-bricks at the stage.

I HAVE BEEN A DR WHO FAN SINCE 1973 – A DAMN SIGHT LONGER THAN ANYONE ELSE AND THEY’RE LYING! RTD needs to sit down and rethink his approach after his rambling and un-engaging, confused, weak, meandering NON-STORY of risible humor alienated a considerable chunk of the audience – i.e.: me. If this show wishes to remain popular, it CANNOT afford to do this! The production team should have the sense to admit they made a mistake and should go back to simply repeating 1970s episodes like Genocide of the Dustbins or I’m Dreamin’. I don’t want everyone in the entire world to agree with me... BUT IT WOULD HELP!

If ANYONE SANE is interested in a more serious and less comedic approach to Dr Who than 'Love & Pizzas' or 'The Horny Nimoy' or the dire Season 24, may I recommend my 10th Doctor script 'Alpha & The Matrix Monster from the Loch', free from juvenile humour and written calmly, sensibly and maturely rather than smothered by immature concepts like 'fun'. A propensity to engage in giggling or fun when serious matters are being discussed is VERY immature yes! The fact is that 'fun', 'happiness', 'giggling' etc are all immature activities in the sense that as one becomes an adult one sees the negative side of life - loss, failure, and the essential negativity of the human condition. Such activities are inappropriate given the essential realities of life - the struggle to pay bills etc. Better to listen to the Smiths! The last time I had fun was probably in 1987 when I had a wank!"

Viewer Quotes -

"Everything except this episode is formulaic and unimaginative. Love & Pizzas is different. It’s not in any way good, but it’s different. Not REALLY different though. I mean, it’s not all from the viewpoint of a monster or something incredibly radical like that, is it? Why won’t they let me write an episode? This story proves that Russell T. Davies is seething with self-hatred. Those who disagree are deluding themselves about the sad, pathetic, loveless wasteland of life!"
- Mad Larry the Pirate King (2006)

"Meh. Another Tennant episode, another crossover with a much better TV series. Casanova, Mr. Gormsby, Touchwood, now Hustle... Next week it’ll probably be Life on Mars!"
- Ewen Campion-Clarke (2006)

"The Wolf is free! Yes, the Wolf got free when it shattered the chain of cause and effect in The Parting of the Legs. It’s The Death of Time! Is no one going to believe me? Well, that’s my fate, I suppose. IT’S THE FINAL BATTLE! THE WOLF IS FREE! IT’S THE END OF TIME! CAN’T YOU PEOPLE HEAR THE CRACK OF DOOM? Ah, I give up. I’m off shopping, while there’s still shops to shop! Well, I’m back from my shopping now. I bought a loaf of bread, a carton of Tropicana, "with Juicy bits", and a copy of this month’s Doctor Who Magazine, which is edited by that terribly nice chap, Clayton Hickman. He’s a celebrity now, you know, just like Jade Goody, and he’s always appearing on the telly, and I’ll tell you something else. When I see him at the Tavern next, I’m going to get him to sign my... AAAAAAARGH! OH, NO! I’M TURNING INTO A PATHETIC SHARK!!!!"
- Alan Stevens (2006)

"This episode contains an embarrassment of riches that highlights just how generic and worthless so much of today's TV schedule is. Well, it contains an embarrassment, anyway. Jackie’s a real tart, isn’t she?"
- Joe Ford (2006)

"OH FUCK OFF, ROSE!" - Terrance Keenan (2005 – present)

"My head is CHOCK full of received wisdom... wHat’S HApPeniNG TO ME????? And what’s that terrible ripping sound? ArggggggggggHHHHHH!! IT’S THE RAINBOW BRIDGE! THE TIN MEN ARE COMING FROM OZ TO STEAL OUR BRAINS, BUT... WAIT A MINUTE... only the madman can see his way through the tangled forest... and what I see is...they’re men of staw... the real terror is AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH! I’VE BEEN POISONED BY THE GREAT SERPENT... GET ME A FUCKING DOCTOR! NO! GET AWAY FROM ME!!!!!! NOT YOU! YOU’RE NOT THE DOCTOR!!! YOU’RE LOKI. OH, GOD HELP ME, BUT SATAN is deaD, only Viðarr, can help us now, BUT NO! NOT THAT. Viðarr’s a BLOODY D... AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!"
- Alan Stevens (2006)

"Ian Levine, the obsessive superfan par excellence in his single-minded obsession with the Doctor, is less an advert for the kids at home to buy the latest old series DVD, more a warning not to watch the show ever again. I mean, don’t scare the audience away and reinforcing every negative stereotype about the show you’ve been trying to destroy or anything, will you Russell?" - Andrew Beeblebrox (2007)

"This story represents everything I hate about the new series, so it’s very efficient and well-structured from that point of view. This is television that assumes the audience is mentally agile enough to appreciate a coherent one-dimensional narrative rather than a succession of little glossy moments that RTD thinks might be amusing or look
good on TV. Don’t they understand the viewing public are tedious MORONS?! Why else would they prefer RTD’s work – which is so appallingly plotted that a six year old would have trouble suspending their disbelief – over my ineffable brilliance?! What little story Love & Pizzas possessed was nothing compared to my own brilliance, Quality Control which similarly keeps the the Doctor’s role to a minimum and he turns up towards the end of the "story" to put in just enough of an appearance to justify calling the whole exercise Doctor Who! If RTD can get away with serving up this type of garbage THEN WHY CAN’T I?! I thought Funky Town! was the lowest this very low series could sink... but I was wrong. AND I AM NEVER WRONG! Yet I was. Oh no! I’m going to have a stroke! This is what happens I think when one starts to believe their own myth! Oooh, all fades... darkness comes..."
- Ron Mallet (before he tragically slipped into a coma)

"Love & Pizzas is deliciously fucked-up. Of course, it is the teenagers in us who crave realism and unimaginative things, even if shrouded in the incredible instead of the ordinary, that want every TV show to be a formulaic chase with a sturdy escapist plan ready to take us away. I fucking hate teenagers." - Dave Restal (2006)

"I think too many people with single digit IQs have been playing the part of a Taiawanese prostitute and groveling at Davies' feet proclaiming him a genius! This is the most embarrassing moment in television history, meaningless tripe and certainly NOT Doctor Who! This is all a CONSPIRACY! MICHAEL GRADE IS BEHIND IT ALL!!"
- Ron Mallet (after he tragically emerged from his coma)

"I’ve been accused of objectifying Jaime Murray, but this is something else! I mean, if I wrote a script about turning a person into a desire-gratification machine, I’d get slapped! And not in a good way! Even if I pretended to be gay like RTD! Yeah, come on, Russell, you’re not fooling anyone nowadays, you didn’t even get a float at the Mardis Gras!"
- Nigel Verkoff (2006)

"A monster based on the winner of a Blue Peter competition! I’m in awe;
That’s just retarded. Words just can’t describe it."
- Eve Markson (2006)

"AAAAAAAAAAGGGHHHHHHH! Bonny Langford is really a man. Lawrence Miles is SANE! Colin Baker drives a combine harveSTER, AND HAS DIED TWICE. oNCE DRESSED AS A WOMAN. EAT THE SPAG BOLLI. IT’S NOT FULL OF ROHYPNOL. JSt was the antiCHRIST, HIS REAL NAME was IanTO. aRGGGGGGGGGGGGHE!!!!!!!!"
- Alan Stevens (2006)

David Tennant Speaks!
"We’re putting the realism back into this show. Just not in this particular episode. In fact, we’re extracting it. Violently. I mean, you’ve got to know what you’re missing before you can fully appreciate it, you know what I mean? Jings! And am I sick of people asking me how long I’m staying in the show! I’m doing a third series! I intend to stay in this show for as long as humanly possible. I know I’ll still have some kind of career at the other end of it. I know how many series I’m going to do, and it would take more than ONE psychotic death threat from Phillip Glennister to change my mind, OK?"

Billie Piper Speaks!
"Sad Tony is the best monster yet! HA! My nails are like that. I share my nails with that beast, but not my teeth. Look at all that drool. It’s the most KY jelly we’ve ever used. Hmmm. Actually, maybe not."

Russell T Davies Speaks!
"Satire’s quite easy. Students do satire. I have something else to say. You don’t get THAT On Battlestar Galactica!"

Trivia -
This is the first ever quantum-uncertain story for Doctor Who. Until it is watched and the waveform collapses, it is BOTH a big Doctorless mess
with lots of plot holes and a fairly lame monster AND a great character-driven story about the impact the Doctor has on those around him AT THE SAME TIME. Truly, this is Schrodiger’s favorite Doctor Who episode.

Rumors & Facts -

Woah. This one positively defies you to write anything about it. The general message from this episode is that there are lot of other things you could be doing than analyzing the life out of a television show. Or reading an analysis of a television show. Or parodying the analysis of a TV show. I think I might be better off heading down to King’s Cross and wasting what little cash I have on drugs and whores, so thanks for the encouragement, Doctor Who!

...bitches wouldn’t accept credit. Unbelievable. Guess it’s back to the guide entry for me then. Life sucks.

Anyway, this particularly unusual and to be blunt shameful episode of Doctor Who came into existence because of the complicated network of blackmail and drug running that defines the relationship between Doctor and Blue Peter, a strong bond between the BBC’s flagship children’s variety programs from the 1960s. Blue Peter had stolen Dustbin props, William Hartnell’s last episode, the design secrets of the special effects department and on several occasions Peter Purves. In return it had given a constant supply of narcotics, porn and in 1969 monsters for Patrick Troughton to keep as mascots at his private desert island: the Sapphire & Steel Octopos, Aquamarine Man, the Hypcocoin and the Protons. Troughton didn’t like the Protons and the desperate BBC snapped them up as a replacement for the Tellytubbies in Troughton’s final year.

In 2005, executive producer Russell T Davies was overwhelmed with nostalgia and wanted to repeat the experiment, only with much better monsters and without Patrick Troughton stealing everything in the studio not nailed down. Rapidly he sobered up and realized he was putting the future of the BBC’s flagship TV series in the hands of a bunch of schoolkids with nothing better to do with their time then draw evil footballs that murder PE teachers.

RTD’s plan was simple, yet cunning, indeed cunning in its simplicity. He would submit his own monster to the competition and then rig said competition so the Absorbthebleedinlotofyou would actually appear in a Doctor Who story which he could easily write. Unfortunately, the resultant pool of submissions received by Blue Peter was larger than any other contest held in the preceding twelve years since the "Felicity Kendall’s Used Underwear" fiasco of 1994.

Tragically, the Absorbthebleedinlotofyou did not win and it was instead Sad Tony – a design created by ex-Eastenders star Leslie Grantham whose long history of violent murder ensured that not only did David Tennant conclude his entry the most impressive of all, but also everyone at Blue Peter was so utterly terrified of him they waved the whole "not actually nine years old" problem.

This development really pissed RTD off as he had already worked the Absorbthebleedinlotofyou into a recycled script he was developing for Tennant’s first season. The recording schedule for the inaugural year had been tighter than an Italian waiter’s bottom, thus Doctor Who had been forced to tape two stories at exactly the same time (for what it’s worth you anoraks, it was The Long Haul and Shell Shock). However, with the BBC happily demanding holiday specials from now on, this meant that Doctor Who would end up recording THREE separate stories simultaneously and one of them being a Christmas special.

Basically, they were screwed, but RTD suspected they might just MIGHT get away with it if one of the episodes only features the Doctor and Rose in the story for less than eighty-five seconds of dialogue free long-shots. Thus the tradition of the "Doctor Lite" episode was born and more importantly, the less-well-known "Hustle Heavy" episode introduced.

In 2004, RTD had developed an idea for the Doctor Who Magazine comic strip which was rejected on the grounds he was a great big poof who had absolutely no input into any kind of Doctor Who since his one and only contribution was a New Adventure about Chris Cwej appearing in gay porn and providing the cure for AIDS. The strip would feature the main characters from Hustle getting rich from major events from Doctor Who history entitled I Grifted The Doctor.

By 2006 however, RTD had come to the conclusion that everyone on Outpost Gallifrey were self-hating immature bastards brought together by the internet into an army of whiny, arrogant and incredibly stupid self-pity assholes who fret years of their lives away on UNIT dating and justify their entire existence on the fact they can "see" clever subtext and subtle character points, whining about minutiae and miss the big picture entirely.

Most especially a certain guy called Alan, who we should not doubt for a minute that RTD fucking hated far and wide most of all, and indeed RTD considered ending the whole series so he would fuck off and go back to endlessly making up conspiracy theories about Blake’s 7 instead of screaming anything without Eccleston was automatically "a bland, shallow adventure for cowardly cunts who hate being intimidated and want everything served up on a plate" and when forced to accept Stevens’ conspiracy theories "would whine some more".

(And for the record, anyone who disagrees with this point of view is a "credulous, sad, bitter, twisted-up fucking liar" with a severe hatred of Stevens personally and unworthy of any respect and unable to come up with any ideas of their own. That also applies to anyone who disagrees with this point of view about anyone who disagrees with that other point of view. Or indeed ANY point of view (AKA "terribly misinformed dorks who know fuck all about something yet still won’t shut up about it") not sanctioned by Alan.)

Thus, Wasting My Time Crafting Great Stories For Unappreciative Dullards (as I Grifted The Doctor had been renamed) would not only feature the grifters from Hustle in what RTD described as "pure evil" but feature a heap of Kaldor City CDs burnt en mass as uncanonical. WMTCGSFUD was then changed to You Lose Alan, Enjoy Hell before Ian Levine made his infamous "Anyone Who Would Write About Dustbins Waging War Against Cybermen Is Unworthy Of A Spine" press conference.

RTD immediately decided that his script – now entitled Blubberguts of Post Modernism – would focus instead on Ian Levine spoiling the nurturing environment of fandom, and ultimately being revealed to be the hideous blob-like Absorbthebleedinlotofyou in a plot twist that both Mythbusters and Eric Saward considered "plausible".

Anyway, that stuff about Sad Tony happened and the newly-renamed Love & Pizzas was the obvious script in which to incorporate him. Which was RTD refused point blank and demanded he be written into Attack of the Grinch which that very afternoon was entering production as part of the BBCi great big red threatening button project.

Initially, RTD intended to remove all metatextual references to Doctor Who so he could palm it off as a Trekkies-style documentary expose on how Ian Levine was ruining the lives of Doctor Who fans everywhere, both hardcore and casual. It then struck him that Jackie Tyler’s allotted screen time this season, parallel universe counterparts permitting, amounted to less than the opening titles so they should really throw the actress a bone and give her something to do before she was written out of the series forever and ever at the end of the year.

Love & Pizzas was intentionally constructed in a manner which would not
demand a lot of special effects, creative control, acting ability or narrative cohesion as RTD was vaguely conscious that it would go before the cameras towards the end of the recording slate and everyone would be completely knackered. Ultimately, Love & Pizzas was filmed while everyone else was trying to complete The Santa Tip and Filler in opposite ends of the studio, with lots of stuff being pushed ahead on production schedule and lots of stuff I don’t understand even after all these bleeding guides.

Suffice it to say that wherever the hell Love & Pizzas was left in the block it was directed by Mos Def, part-time hip-hop rapper and full time researcher for a certain guide to hitchhiking, who had previous watched episodes of programs including At Home With the Braithwaites and Linda Green and thus was totally confident he could do Doctor Who justice.

Taping got under way with two days at the Corona Pop factory in Porth, on March 19th and 20th, 2006, for scenes involving Corona Pop of which there were surprisingly many. Around March 24th, Peter Kay turned up on his hands and knees begging to play the role of Ian Levine and had been pestering RTD for months with letters praising him and begging for work.

Although a truly frightening amount of effects and pick-up shots remained to be completed for pretty much every last episode of the series, this episode effectively brought an end to production on the revived Doctor Who series’ second season.

It also marked Camille Coduri’s last contribution to the program, so it seemed only fair she get one last shag out of it.

Was Love & Pizzas the best Doctor Who story of 2006? It was certainly the best Hustle story of 2006, special in so many ways like revealing that the grifters are good pals with alien beings. Some stories you could drop from Tennant stories without significantly affecting the season as a whole. Other stories, especially The Idiot Box, SHOULD be dropped to cause an overall increase in quality. But this story adds so much to Doctor Who, both by bringing variety to the storytelling and by re-examining its mythology from the viewpoint of the ordinary people who are actually lying, back-stabbing confidence tricksters.

No doubt it will be bound to reside amongst the most underrated, under-appreciated and unremembered stories of Doctor Who for being so daring and weird. Like Mind the Gap, Bertie Basset Doesn’t Take Shit From Anyone, 8041 Paradise Towers, The Blue Angle, ...ick and Beth Comes To Rhyme. It’s total trash, but could be mistaken for pushing the envelope if you squint a bit.

Meanwhile, David Tennant continued his baffling desire to sing in every episode, but as he was totally unaware of this episode’s existence he never actually did. If it’s any consolation, he would have done a version of Paul Nicholson and Kasey Chamber’s "Rattling Bones".

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