Monday, February 1, 2010

10th Doctor - Smith & Jones (ii)

Book(s)/Other Related –
Smith & Jones (Deceased) Visit Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace
Martha Jones: First Blood!
Dr Who & The Chess of Fenric

Fluffs - David Tennant seemed drained for most of in this story.
"We’re on the bloody moon, mothafucker!"
"How now brown cow!" growls Rocksteady at one point.

Goofs -
Why don’t the Jundoon ever interrogate the Stig?!
Why is Mr. Van Helsing called Mister rather than Doctor? In UK hospitals, only SURGEONS go by the title Mister, and yet Van Helsing is clearly depicted as a non-surgical consultant as no one in their right mind would ever allow him to use anything sharp, let alone operate on live patients. What the hell is a rogue vampire slayer wandering around a Cardiff hospital for when he refuses to slay any rogue vampires? What the hell is this all about anyway Alfie?!
One of the Triceratons homages Corporal Jones from Dad’s Army with his delayed snapping to attention. There’s always ONE isn’t there?
So you can survive lethal radiation contamination just by doing the Twist, can you? Bet that tidbit of info would have come in handy for the Chernobyl survivors.
The scene in the MRI room appears to break a number of laws of physics. I hate it when things do that. They don’t out and out ignore basic fundamental aspects of reality, they just APPEAR to! The wusses never go the whole hog! I mean, apart from anything else, why is all that metal stuff lying around an MRI? Shouldn’t it magnetically attract all sorts of beds and trolleys and ballistic oxygen tanks? Ah, pedantry. Gives such a warm feeling inside.

Fashion Victims -
Um, do medical students usually wear tight turquoise evening dress and long dangly emerald earrings? If not, why not?!

Technobbable -
When taking off, the Doctor closes down the gravitic anomaliser and switches on the helmic regular before he actually finds the handbrake he was looking for and releases it.

Dialogue Disasters -

Martha: I’m on the moon. My family are on Earth. Not enough distance!

Frau Blücher: This is my friend. Some say he is composed entirely of leather all the way through. Some say he’s a basic slave drone built by someone with one hell of a fetish. Some say he’s even capable of resolving UNIT dating. All I know is, he’s called... the Stig.

Doctor: How are you feeling? Are you all right?
Martha: I’m running on amphetamines.
Doctor: Welcome to my world.

Rocksteady: Dese Jundoon uniforms sure are smart, huh?
Beebop: Duh, I dunno, Rocksteady. Wearing clothes is restrictive to my bodily parts.
Rocksteady: Dat’s because youse clothes is too tight, Beebop. Loose-fitting camos like I is wearing allows fer freedom of bodily functionin. Plus it is more manly than youse girly spandex!

Martha: What do you think happened?
Doctor: What do YOU think?
Martha: Extraterrestrial, it’s got to be! I mean, anything else would be mad, especially after Cardiff got turned into a landfill. I had a sister, Esme. She worked at Touchwood Tower. She never came home. Course, considering the foul and depraved sex games they played there, we didn’t worry for the first few months.
Doctor: Oh yes. I was there you know. In the battle.
Martha: Did you see Esme?
Doctor: See her? I blew her brains out...
Martha: What?
Doctor: Nothing.

Dialogue Triumphs -

Martha: What about you? Haven’t you got back-up? You must have a partner or something?
Doctor: Jings. Humans. We’re stuck on the moon, running out of air with Jundoon and a bloodsucking criminal, and YOU’RE asking personal questions!
Martha: Sorry. So... would you say that you were single and looking for a new relationship or are you seeing someone?

Frau Blücher: You see, there are great tests to come, and terrible deeds, some of them my own. But if I am to survive this, I need you.
Van Helsing: And in English?
Frau Blücher: I need your blood. I need fire in my veins, and who better than a consultant, with blood full of salty fats and vintage wines and all those Michelin star sauces?
Van Helsing: Mmm. I don’t blame you, I’m getting hungry just thinking about it. Don’t suppose I could get a bite in as well, could I?

Beebop: Duh, we is da Jundoon, part of der masonic lodge of freaky albinos what worships the Shadow Proclaimation.
Rocksteady: If youse refuse ta cooperate, we would be forced to shoot youse full of laser beams and den we don’t have ta bury youse bodies cause youse will be dust.

Doctor: My sonic screwdriver!
Martha: She was one of the patients, but –
Doctor: My sonic screwdriver!!
Martha: She had a straw, like some kind of vampire.
Martha: Doctor!
Doctor: Oh, you get to moan about your dead twin sister, but I can’t mourn the passing of my favorite dues ex machina? I lost the girl I loved, I lost my horse and now this?! If it wasn’t for the fact that I’ve got another thirty six sonic screwdrivers in the TARDIS toolbox I’d be REALLY ANGRY!!!

The Doctor’s totally pointless free-form poetry recital:
"A Jundoon platoon
Upon the moon
Far too soon
I need a boon
In the shape of a spoon...
You loon, Geoff Hoon
Sometime in late June.
But what about the dragoons?"

Martha: I promise you, Mr Smith, we will find a way to make this relationship work. If we can travel to the moon, then we can move in together and stay faithful. There’s got to be a way.
Doctor: Er. Yeah. By the way, it’s not Smith, that’s not my real name.
Martha: I don’t mind.
Doctor: I’m the Doctor.
Martha: What, Doctor Smith Lost in Space?
Doctor: No! He was camp! I’m not camp. Am I? Is that what I am now? Camp and not-ginger? No, I’m just the Doctor.
Martha: What, people call you 'the Doctor'?
Doctor: Yeah.
Martha: That’d look so cool on wedding invitations.

UnQuotable Quote –
Martha: You’re COMPLETELY single?

Links and References -
Martha mentions events of the last few years including the spaceship
flying into Big Ben (Alias of London) "Christmas" (The Michaelmas Evasion) and "those Cybermen things" destroying the entirety of Cardiff (Dustbin –vs- Cyberman), proving that she has a long-term memory.

Untelevised Misadventures -
The Doctor mentions meeting Benjamin Franklin when he discovered that lightning is a form of static electricity – Franklin was killed by the electric shock but luckily a passing alien parasite possessed the corpse and totally changed the course of human history. The Doctor WOULD have stopped this, but he was busy having a disastrous love affair with Emmeline Pankhurst and a laser spanner.

Groovy DVD Extras -
The four minute action sequence where the Doctor and Martha escape the Triceratons by hijacking a window cleaner’s cradle, which is absolutely identical to the sequence that was used exactly one series later in Bunglers in Crime. Only with Martha instead of Donna and the Triceratons instead of the Rani. I go for the one with Catherine Tate, personally.

The Spite of Sparacus -
"At the start of a new series, and after a special salad spread with spare ribs, a bottle of £10 Rioja and some of my Marks & Spencer organic Dustbin Easter Egg, I can only say this: they should sack RTD and replace him with me. I’d focus Doctor Who back onto serious subtexts like environmental destruction caused by pollution & loss of habitat; the damaging effects of globalisation and EU expansion; and rising crime rates among the chavs and the damage caused to the law-abiding absinthe-drinkers! Statistics will not only show that violent crime is on the increase but that mindlessly copying what I naively dub 'the Pertwee' era is firmly what easily-confused contemporary young people with no notions of class WANT from Doctor Who! I’d start the season with a future Earth where the environment is collapsing and the Doctor sides with some useless hippy greenies just like in The Clean Breath! No over-fast-paced, dumbed-down, Eastenders rubbish like Ruse that introduces the main settings and characters INSIDE two hours! To be fair, the only element that spoiled the otherwise good Smith & Weston is that the Doctor did not do more to defend the blood-sucker? OK, she WAS a murderer who was prepared to wipe out half the earth and the Doctor WAS unconscious and unable to do a damn thing, but for all we know the callous psychopath might have been bullied in school! The Jundoon might not have been a legitimate police force but a hired mercenary gang out to impose a ruthless form of capital punishment. And this Princess may have been part of a ruthless Autocracy denying the people basic rights and freedoms! Oh, if only *I* had written this trash!"

Viewer Quotes -

"People complain that my reviews are repetitive as I praise the production values, claim I’m better than the emotionalist-filled uneven writing and mindless hatred for Billie Piper. Is it MY fault this show is so utterly awful it keeps making the same mistakes? Look at the title! 'Smith & Weston' – emphasizing emotional interplay rather than concepts and adventure which is what sci-fi is actually supposed to be ABOUT! I am an AUTHORITY on science fiction! Haven’t you read my brilliance 'Quality Control' about genetic engineering and other such relevant social issues? Yet you watch THIS shite. I hate you."
- Ron Mallet (2008)

"Could the Jundoon beat the Cybermen? I say no. It would be a draw, they would make an alliance and take over the universe by destroying everyone, starting with the Slitheen! MY PLAN FOR COMPLETE CONTROL OF THE UNIVERSE SHALL COME TO FRUITATION. MUHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!" - Pizza Supreme (2008)

"Martha and the Doctor had more chemistry between the two leads in three minutes than we've seen in the series since Nicola Bryant tried to resuscitate Peter Davison with her magical breast power! Plus, Martha’s whole medical school background will open new doors, like being able to drink 16 pints of scrumpy, or smuggle a human skeleton into a flat-warming party, not to mention the mandatory sexual appetite rivaling most mountain lions! OH yeah, Freema! You and me, baby! GOOD TIMES AHEAD!" - Nigel "Hung Like a Jundoon" Verkoff (2007)

"Did Jundoon kill Princess Di and Dodi?!" - The Sunday Express (2007)

"Doctor Who Really Cares Any More? Billie Piper’s buggered off and been replaced by the wooden, bland, unoriginal and worthless Freema Agyeman in the BBC’s most-over-hyped show which should have been cancelled. Nothing can survive more than two years and remain exciting and fresh! I know, because I’ve tried it myself with genital tattoos! Now the gloss has vanished and everything is boring and repetitive to judge by all of the ten seconds of naff aliens and schmaltzy story-line I watched. This show has problems larger than Cimon Cowell’s ego! LAZY! LAME! I mean, for fuck’s sake, A POLICE BOX?! THAT SHIT WENT OUT IN THE 1950S!"
- Jon Wise in The People (2007)

"If you don’t like Smith & Weston, Wise Guy, you can just piss off!"
- Charlie Brooker in The Guardian (2007)

"First we have a secretive order of Dustbins named Mike, Leo, Raph and Don. And now we have Beebop and Rocksteady leading an army of Triceratons. Now, why is it when RTD makes up Doctor Who/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle crossovers he’s an award-winning BAFTA imaginator visionaut, but when I do it I’m the weird kid everyone at school hates?"
- Ewen Campion-Clarke (2009)

"Where in the name of hell were the goddamn Ice Cream Vendors?!"
- Dave Restal (2007)

"I think Martha Jones was created when Phil Collinson knocked over a jar of awesome onto the scripts of this season."
- Some tool with no understanding of the creative process (2007)

"Of course the whole topsy-turvy chronology of the episode with past events cause by future actions and people travelling back to the start to cause cheap tricks is the backbone of this series. It’s like the Doctor and the Bastard are possessed by RTD and script editing their lives via time travel to make them more BAFTA-worthy. Or am I reading too much into this?" - Andrew Beeblebrox (2008)

David Tennant Speaks!
"This time last year, simultaneously yesterday and a lifetime ago, I was very much the new kid on the block and now I’m the old hand in this mid, almost real-time script showing the Doctor from a new point of view. So WHY the hell are people accuse me of upstaging Freema on her first day?! What kind of swine do they take me for? I LIKE that pink and blue floral shirt! They gave me that shirt as a present on the day because I was raving about it so much. I heartily embraced it. And people think it’s a bit muck? It’s interesting! It’s nae dull is what it is! I LIKE that shirt and I will be seen out in it again. Mark my words: I have no problems with the shirt. I’m keeping the sideburns too. They give me something to stroke in times of stress. Look, what was WRONG with that shirt? I LIKE TO BE BRAVE!"

Freema Agyeman Speaks!
"I now know that you find a heartbeat with the stethescope under the left nipple. I feel medically proficient, especially with a white coat and the fact I gave myself a shot of adrenaline to keep my energy up filming. Coffee is for losers. And David Tennant is amazing. He’s so good at what he does and being with him in the biblical sense, I find myself watching him like a viewer, then remembering I have to interact with him and say lines. The only downer was all that stuff about suffocation. I hate that. I specifically asked them not to do stuff where I run out of air, cause it freaks me out. And this is the first episode I’m in and I’m suffocating. Oh well, mustn’t grumble."

Russell T Davies Speaks!
"The first episode is big, loud, fast, rattling and adventurous. Quite a departure from my usual work, I’m sure you’ll agree. We could have had an alien companion or a Time Lady, but I decided to make Martha a medical student because I like the white coats. Oh, and it means I could kill the Doctor off in the first episode of the series and she could resurrect him. Those idiot viewers keep thinking that the Doctor cannot die and he’ll just regenerate, well this will show them a thing or two."

Trivia -
Patients at Albion Hospital include Dawn French, Julia Sawahla, the attractive chick from Man Stroke Woman, Will Smith, Victoria Wood, Liam Cunningham, Jordan, Charlotte Church, Rhys from Touchwood, Mark Gatiss, Jonathon Ross, Sharon Osbourne, Steven Moffat, One Fat Lady, the entire cast of Black Books, Keith Allen and Catherine Tate. Is this Albion Hospital or the Cardiff branch of the Betty Ford clinic?

Rumors & Facts -

There are some episodes where we know straight out what to think about it and how to rate it, and there are others where for a while I have no clue. Either one is boring when you think about it, isn’t it? At least Smith & Weston is much better than the LAST season opener set in a Cardiff hospital full of rampaging monsters, that’s for damn sure!

With Doctor Who’s public profile now slightly higher than the Royal Family (thus having the entire production team put on the M15 death list by royal command), there was no option but to launch each new series with an all-out adventure. Of course, with RTD’s pathological refusal to stick to a steady definition of what counts as a "series", this lead to the outright failure of Earth 2.0 despite the Big Gay Welshman’s protests that the REAL season opener was the Christmas special four months previously.

Thus, after months of painful aversion therapy and rehabilitation, RTD was finally willing to accept that the first story AFTER the previous year’s Christmas special was, in fact, the season premiere and thus he would have to actually stop crying into his cappuccino about the BBC canceling Rose Tyler Décolletage and get on with his life.

This meant finally accepting Billie Piper was gone and finally allowing Freema Agyeman to become a proper companion, thus continuing the Doctor Who tradition of providing an endless conveyor belt of mini-skirt wearing tarts with weak ankles and a tendency to scream. Agyeman had already appeared as three separate supporting characters in the previous year while RTD fannied about, and the time was to introduce her as a character who would actually survive more than forty-five minutes and become a new audience identification figure.

RTD was keenly, keenly aware that the new companion would have to be likable and versatile as Rose but not be a carbon copy. This was why Agyeman’s first character, the man-hating, gun-totting armed criminal psychopath Esme Jones, wasn’t quite right. Neither was her parallel equivalent, Esme Jones II, who was a nice, sweet, girly girl who loved instant messaging and screamed a lot, but had the fatal inability to run away from Cybermen when they wanted to kill her. The Flora Jones character of the mild-mannered Scottish maid similarly lacked that "ability to avoid being eaten by wolves" characteristic that might have helped her make the grade.

Finally, after Paul Carnall suggested she was a racial campaigning lesbian from 1914 with an insane, torturous history suggesting her timeline was being manipulated by Faction Paradox, RTD realized that everyone was assuming that he was going to cast Freema Agyeman as SAM Jones from the BBC Books – the most hated companion ever! Even worse than the deformed offspring of Mel, Adric and Kamelion!

RTD gave up completely and decided to simply make a carbon copy of Rose on the grounds that writers handled her character so poorly in the last year she might as well be another character. Of course, RTD himself WAS one of those writers, and showing what poor handling he possessed soon ended up making the new character three years older, more sophisticated, educated and a medical student. With this completely different character established, she was dubbed Martha Jones in simultaneous tribute to the numerous other doomed girls Agyeman had played.

As with Rose, RTD was eager that Martha’s first story and the premiere episode of Doctor Who’s 2007 season should focus firmly on the new companion. However, what was an upwardly mobile medical student living in the Powell Estate while her boyfriend and estranged mother make hot monkey sex on burned out police cars?!

Thus it was obvious that Martha’s family would have to be ever-so-slightly different to Rose’s; so instead of the fun-loving whore Jackie there was Francine "Ballcrusher" Jones, her divorced husband Frax Jones who had worked for the Mentors of Thoros Beta back in the 1980s, and siblings Tish Jones and Leo Jones. To keep up the tradition set down in the previous year, all members of the Jones family were played by Agyeman in a variety of stupid voices. This meant that Agyeman was paid for up to five characters a story, forcing the program to ensure Martha’s supporting coterie would not be as prevalant for budgetary reasons. Or, to put another way, they realized the cunning bitch was screwing them out of every penny they had, so they wrote out most of the scenes with her family. Goddamn, RTD, SPEAK ENGLISH!

For the 2007 season, RTD was intent that episodes not be given titles at an early date in order to avoid leaks to certain annoying fan websites like The Sun or The Daily Mirror or Outpost Gallifrey. RTD felt that too much information had gotten out prematurely about the 2006 stories, and that this had worked against the series since all the rumors and speculation on message boards tended to be about 10000 times better than the finished product. However, with Touchwood suffering an eighteen month hiatus while all the footage from the first series was destroyed and Chris Chin-Balls was hunted down by the Order of Takura, there were high hopes that this year would not be COMPLETE crap.

At first, it was considered naming Martha’s debut episode "Martha the Vampire Slayer" but then the anti-insanity drugs kicked in and they decided to follow the tradition of Rose’s first episode almost-but-not-quite-being-her-Christian name, and the new story went into production under the title "Spartan" (a reflection of the décor, plotting and characterization of the script).

The first production block for the new set of episodes consisted of Spartan and The Shakespeare of Evil, which was to follow it in the broadcast order, a wise move as showing them the other way round would have been unnecessarily confusing and left everyone wondering who the hell Martha Jones was and why she was travelling with the Doctor. Of course, this would be a bold move challenging the audience, which is probably why the cowardly Welshman shied away from it. Pah!

The director assigned to these episodes was Charles Palmer, who was one of the body doubles used to confuse terrorist assassins by Geoffrey Palmer, who had played some stupid beaurocrat who died after five minutes in countless Pertwee stories from Doctor Mysterio and the Silly Lurians to The Mootants and many more I could mention if I was so pathetic I’d be prepared to watch all the stories again to identify every single person he played. In any case, Palmer was immediately taken prisoner and over the course of the series suffered incredibly psychological violence until he cracked and revealed where the real Geoffrey Palmer was hiding, just in time for him to be kidnapped and used in the next Christmas special.

Filming for Spartan started on August 8th 2006, tragically three days before the cast turned up at the good old Albian Hospital which the new series of Doctor Who hung around like a lingering dose of the clap. Finally Agyeman turned up, recorded her first scene as Martha Jones for the early material and then ran away to David Tennant’s trailer. It was two days later when a deeply shagged out Agyeman returned with Tennant, both flushed and judging by the suspiciously large spliffs they were waving, very stoned. Nevertheless, they explained that Doctor Who was the most amazingly beautiful thing ever and them getting PAID for this was just the icing that proved that all god existed in a fig leaf.

Desperately the crew tried to film their drug-induced rambles at the University of Glamorgan in Pontypridd, where David Tennant repeatedly took off his tie and waved that this was proof in Einstein’s theory of relativity. RTD worked furiously trying to make this a logical development in the story, and sank into deep depression when a strange figure called Snevets Nala sent him hatemail insisting the plot resolution was right out a Sixth Doctor story called Lame Shit. Nala would then send RTD emails listing all the things Nala was convinced RTD was ripping off, insisting the Welshman was no longer capable of original creative thought.

For the record, according to Nala this episode rips off:

Ruse, Alias of London, The Parting of the Legs, Earth 2.0, Dustbin –vs- Cybermen, The Chess of Fenric, The Crones of Blood, Bertie Bassett Doesn’t Take Shit From Anyone, Lame Shit, The Fifth Element, Judge Dredd, Holby City, Buffy, Forever Knight, Casualty 1906, Red Dwarf, The Wizard of Oz, and a Billie Piper song from MTV.

RTD’s response consisted of just four words:

"Get. A. Fucking. Life."

For the record, Nala didn’t. [And he missed out The Loonbase!]

After the weekend, the regulars had calmed down enough for more stuff to be filmed at hospitals – alas, recording had only been intended to take two days and on top of this there were now squatters present! Squatters from Big Finish, incredibly drunk and trying to remake the previous season finale as a story for the Eighth Doctor and Lucie Miller, which made it nigh impossible to film more material. RTD performed another rewrite to explain all the drunk and comatose bodies lying throughout the sets as production continued.

By now, the episode had received its final title of Smith & Weston, apparently named after the firearm RTD dearly longed to use on Big Finish script editor Eddie Hitler as he repeatedly vomited all over the cameramen and more importantly their cameras.

Tragedy struck when Paul McGann stole the sonic screwdriver prop, ruing all the scenes where the Doctor needed it to break open doors, requiring a complete remount where the Doctor causes it to explode and discovers a newfound ability to OPEN doors WITHOUT an alien lockpick. Fandom was up in arms about this, worried that this might require future scripts to had a modicum of intelligent plotting, but their fears were unfounded.

On October 19th, an additional scene in Martha’s living room was taped at Upper Boat, because Agyeman felt that the transition to Leo’s party was too abrupt and also because this meant she’d get paid EVEN more cash which could allow her to have the tattoo she’d gotten while very drunk surgically removed with lasers.

Meanwhile, it had been decided that the original special effect for the Triceraton weapons - in which the victim’s skin would be seen to boil away - was too frightening, and so this was altered to them ripping the heads off their enemies and swinging them around by the dangling spinal column instead.

The first two seasons of the new Doctor Who series had each debuted on Easter Saturday, part of a worldwide conspiracy to ensure that not only would I be far too busy organizing Easter Egg hunts to catch the episode, I’d also be in the wrong continent and it would be at least three months before the local broadcaster noticed and relayed a new series of Doctor Who to the Australian masses. And you people DARE ask why I cracked and turned to bit torrent? You sicken me! NO FIST!

Thus, the conspiracy tried to disorientate me by screening Smith & Weston on the 17th of March rather than 7th of April – cunning bastards! But they had not taken into account ITV (and why would they?) who had carefully made sure their hugely successful Dickheads On Ice season finale would be screened at exactly that moment, the ultimate weapon in the ratings war against Doctor Who! Sky Sports planned an ambush of its own, broadcasting the European Championship Qualifier the same day.

All these machiavellian plots were entirely pointless however, as RTD had managed to lost the master tape of Smith & Weston. The premiere was delayed for two weeks while another version was compiled from footage off YouTube before Phil Collinson discovered the original master tape had fallen down the back of the sofa along with the remote control. As a result, Smith And Jones finally aired on March 31st and all the other channels looked like total tools for wasting their big guns prematurely in a moment with no homoerotic subtext at all.

And nine days earlier, RTD finally remembered to confirm that Doctor Who would be returning for a fourth season in 2008, but made sure not to bum everyone out by telling them after that all the cast and crew would scarper, even David Tennant and leave some other poor sucker holding the stillborn baby.

The BBC’s lack of faith in Doctor Who appeared to be vindicated when it was learned that not only had Smith & Weston equaled the ninth-place finish of the 2006 premiere, Earth 2.0, in the weekly viewing charts, but that it had actually IMPROVED upon its total audience! You couldn’t even rely on the show to stay crap any more! But, for the gullible and ignorant fools at that time, Doctor Who’s future looked rosy indeed...

...just, you know. Without Rose.

Meanwhile, David Tennant continued his baffling desire to sing in every episode, providing the closing tune as he and Martha spin off into the vortex of time and unfulfilled naked lust.

"Take That, Martha Jones" by Rockbop and Beepsteady

You, you’re wasting time fancying me
I’m hung up about a girl, can’t you see?
But you were stuck in that life
And I wanted you to get free!

No idea what we’re gonna see
But I know it’s time for you to leave
Your horrid family’s holding you back
Cause you haven’t mastered the knack, knack, KNACK!

STOP being so hard on yourself!
It’s not good for your health!
I’m totally not interested!
And I’m taking you to be
You only have to open your eyes
This TARDIS is a big surprise
It’ll probably do the good
And you might want to smile, smile, smile.

So come on! Get it on!
Don’t know what you’re waiting for!
This time machine won’t be late! Hey-hey!
So come on! See all time! And all space!
Let it shine, just let it shine, LET IT SHINE!

Hey, let me show you,
You don’t matter that much to me!
Hey, so come on, yeah
You should fancy someone other than me!

No comments: