Monday, February 1, 2010

10th Doctor - Tooth & Claw (ii)

Book(s)/Other Related -
Doctor Who: The Werewolf Is Not Enough
Two Dr Whos Prefer the Company of Wolves
Punk Lycanthropy In Modern Culture 101

Fluffs - David Tennant seemed to have partaken in the hair of the dog more than once during this story.

"Ooh! Queen down! QUEEN DOWN! Ducking lairy nannies! That was SO Scottish!"

"HE’S a creepy-ass mofo!"

"Check out my hot new companion!"

"I can’t believe Derek Riddell gets his own limelight. I thought I was the only one to get my own personal limelight, as stated in the contract! You got enough light there, Derek? You happy now? WOOF-WOOF! AROOOOOO! Huh? RUFF! RUFF! YOU SUCKED IN BLAKE’S 7, YOU HEAR ME?!"

Goofs -
Why is nobody in Queen Victoria’s party surprised by mysterious police boxes appearing out of thin air? Are they all addicted to morphine and just assume they’re all hallucinating? Is this why Queen Victoria doesn’t have a lady in waiting and she’s OD’d and been left outside a field hospital somewhere?
Touchwood House has an awful lot of OHS problems.
Seriously, how does the werewolf escape from the library? Can the werewolf teleport somehow using the Power of Hammer Horror Cliches?
Why doesn’t the Doctor kill Queen Victoria again? Did he forget the whole reason he was there was to stop the creation of Touchwood and thus prevent Rose from getting a chance to leave him? Did he just decide she wasn’t worth the bother? Did the writer just give up since they could never get Billie back as a regular anyway?
Why is Queen Victoria worrying about the curse of the Koh-i-Noor affecting her as the curse is only supposed to apply to men, and not to women. Is this story not only saying that Queen Victoria was a werewolf but also a transsexual?!
Isn’t it irritating that the second the villain is vanquished the weapon used to destroy them will magically switch itself off – especially when the weapon is the MOON for god’s sake! How the fuck does a dying wolfman switch off the fucking MOON!?! You MIGHT say that the moon moves out of the telescope's field of vision at just the same time as the wolf dies, but does that sound even REMOTELY likely? Hell, how likely is it that the moon is in horizontal alignment with the telescope at just the point in the night when the Doctor uses it against the Werewolf, as the telescope clearly isn't capable of horizontal movement? That’s so many coincidences it couldn’t stand up in a court of law! And yet people STILL think this is the best script Doctor Who has ever produced! GULLIBLE FUCKWITS!
The Doctor and Rose go to quite a bit of trouble to confirm that all the BBC Books are NOT, in fact canonical and merely "a passing daydream in some giant bug in a parallel reality" and thus no one, EVER, should waste time, effort or money trying to get them as they have no relevance to the ongoing TV series. Which is rather counterproductive to the merchandise market when you think about it.

Fashion Victims -
The werewolf’s furry sporran.

Technobbable -
The Doctor defeats the werewolf by "reversing the lupine polarity of the haemovariaform wavelength".

Dialogue Disasters -

Elder Doctor: Rose!
Rose: Doctor!
Elder Doctor: It’s... nice. To see you again.
Rose: I only left you five minutes ago.
Elder Doctor: So you did. It’s just... there’s trouble on the way. I just see bad times ahead. I hear the dogs are howling. I know the end is coming soon. Hope you’ve got your things together, hope you’re quite prepared to die, looks like we’re in for nasty weather, one eye is taken for an eye... Don’t go out tonight, cause it’s bound to take your life.
Rose: Why?
Elder Doctor: There’s a bad wolf on the rise!

Younger Doctor: Its just like the story of the grasshopper and the octopus. All year long the grasshopper kept burying acorns for winter while the octopus mooched off his girlfriend and watched TV. Then the winter came, and the grasshopper died, and the octopus ate all his acorns and also he got a racecar. IS ANY OF THIS GETTING THROUGH TO YOU, YOU DAFT MONARCH BIMBO?!

Dialogue Triumphs -

Queen Victoria: The moral of the story is that diamonds are forever a girl’s best friend.

Werewolf: I cut out his soul and sat in his heart, put some shelves up on his lungs, dug out a patio in his backbone and had stone cladding put in his funny bones! I really like what I’ve done with the place. It’s really added to the resale value.

Queen Victoria: I am the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Everything around me tends to be cliched and overwritten.

Young Doctor: We just met Queen Victoria! What a laugh!
Rose: I know! She was just sitting there like a stamp! I want her to say "we are not amused". I bet you five quid that I can make her say it while we’re here.
Young Doctor: If I gamble on that it’d be an abuse of my privilege as a traveler in time.
Rose: Ten quid?
Young Doctor: I am a Time Lord. There are rules that cannot be broken!
Rose: Ten quid and a lapdance?
Young Doctor: Done.

Queen Victoria: It is said that whoever owns it must surely die.
Younger Doctor: That’s a pretty rubbish advertising slogan.

UnQuotable Quote -
Doctor: Exile? Me? NOT FUCKING AMUSING, Vic!

Links and References -
The Doctor idly wonders if the werewolf is related to his old pal Jamie.

Untelevised Misadventures -
The Fifth Doctor, Turlough and Kamelion encountered some much friendlier and approachable werewolves during the first anti-gravity Olympics in the Big Finish story, "Louis Gooey".

Groovy DVD Extras -
The infamous "Cheerleader" sequence where the local cheerleader team, annoyed that the local kick-boxing team had been written into the story, demanded to be involved in filming: "Goooooooooooooooooooooooo WOLFY!!"

Vortext –
Sir Billy Connelly is walking through deserted moorland on one of his comedy tours when a werewolf eats him.
Unsurprisingly, the BBC gave up completely on the concepts of Vortexts after this. It was just getting stupid, really, wasn’t it?

The Spite of Sparacus -
"When analyzing each episode of the new series I find an effective method to use is the David Bowie Test – Would a serious artist of Bowie’s caliber be keen to accept a role in the story? The answer must surely be that apart from I, Dustbin and maybe The Nun in the Liftshaft the answer is no. Can you imagine Bowie wanting to be in a story with burping wheelie bins or farting politicians. Can you imagine a David Bowie robotic figure on the Gamestation or a Bowie-Slitheen? He needs a serious role in a gripping piece of drama, and the new series has been so lightweight that a major artist who is known for serious sci-fi acting roles like Bowie wouldn’t agree to take part! Can you imagine an actor like him sitting around with Billie the Tits and the Mickey actor while they rehearsed those scenes about Mickey and Rose’s relationship in Funky Town?
In my opinion 2007’s season should be cancelled while the last two are updated and improved with Christopher Eccleston and Billie the Tits are CGI’d out and replaced with Davie Bowie and Adam Rickitt. Bowie has always looked sort of otherworldly and would make a fine Doctor, what with him having a successful acting career, being a painter, editor of serious academic art journals and on top of that is a qualified ski instructor. Adam is luscious, delectable and well groomed. The Bowie Doctor and Ben Chatham would make a fine team actually. I am not David Bowie although I have ridden in a white stretch limo. I am not without money. Please don’t shove things into my mouth. It’s vital to get your hands on meaty parts."

Viewer Quotes -

"I’m glad that even though Doctor Who is in that slot, on that time, on that day, but has NOTHING to with Christmas, which would just make it repetitive and dull – there’d be a Christmas-themed episode ONCE a year! That’s FAR too much, especially as we only have a minimum of fourteen stories a year!" - Ebenezer Scrooge XIV (2006)

"Honestly, if this one doesnt hit all the right fanboy buttons, then I don’t know what will. It’s Rusty’s best script, the structure and pace are perfect and everything ties together by the end. The only trouble is that smug obnoxious chav for a companion..."
- Terence Keenan mindlessly follows the herd for once (2006)

"This cannot be a story by RTD! The Michaelmas Werewolf was an absolute pleasure! It’s set in the Scottish Highlands! Running up and down corridors! A werewolf! A lazy mcguffin dues ex machina to destroy the monster and save the day! You can’t go wrong with totally random kung-fu monks! WHOOPPEEE!!! I’m in seventh heaven! It’s obvious that they’ve taken such care and attention to the plot and the lead characters are so likeable and mature! Not once did I wish to be flogged to death at embarrassment at the crap on screen!"
- the vast majority of Fandom who seemingly lobotomized themselves for the duration of the episode (2007)

"What the fuck are you lot on about? It was total shit!"
- Me (2006)

"Should the Doctor be more interested in Adam Rickitt? He obviously feels a great attachment towards his companions in this series as evidenced by Rose and Sarah Jane. Now Martha. Why not a male companion? Specially one identical to Adam Rickitt? Just because the Doctor lusted after Rose and has chosen Martha to join him in spite does not indicate he’s not madly passionate about Adam and there is no conclusive evidence that the Doctor HASN’T longed for that smoothe chest his whole life! I am not advocating the inclusion of some token gay character - rather an exploration of the Doctor’s sexuality which is unlikely to be exclusively gender-specific given the advanced nature of Time Lord culture. There is no reason why scenes of sex with Adam Rickitt would be less suited to a 'family show' than some tart. I’m not suggesting anything heterosexual be shown – how unimaginative. Adam’s looking tired and thin and being roggered by David Tennant could reverse this upsetting trend. Unless of course Adam is looking tired due to intensive work on the filming of the later episodes of season three!!"
- Sparacus (he does this every year, so might as well quote it now)

"A Scottish kung-fu werewolf trying to eat Queen Victoria. How dull."
- Benjamin Bland (2006)

"Typical! Davies and co miss the point entirely. They should be making stories about the Sixth Doctor instead of pumping out scripts that are a poor imitation of The Talents of Wong-Jing with immensely childish and distinctly fucked up element. Anyone over the age of 12 and possessing a triple digit IQ would have found it very difficult to take the whole thing seriously, though I don’t know many over-12 geniuses who actually WATCH Doctor Who in the first place. Certainly none of them want to talk to me. This IS NOT Doctor Who! Doctor Who is by ME! 'The Lair of Fu-T’sang Lung' with the Seventh Doctor, Mel and Dibber trying to stop a Nordic God in the shape of a turkey is what is real! It is nice to be able to play God with a formerly impressive modern popular mythology, and I am FAR BETTER at it than that hideous Welsh sexual deviant! WHY DOESN’T ANYONE COMMISSION ME?!" - Ron Mallet (2007)

"Absolutely everything I look for in Doctor Who and more. Without a doubt one of the finest Doctor Who stories ever. Colour me impressed. I refuse to complain. HOOOOOOOWLLLLLL!" - Jo Ford Prefect (2006)

David Tennant Speaks!
"Am I missing Billie? The only other cast member there every single day who I relied on professionally and personally? Not really. We still stay in touch. Literally. She was at the orgy John Barrowman had at the Millennium Dome the other night. We both boggled at how well Madonna’s kept her figure. She’s 47 would you believe, and I’m not talking about age, I’m talking about waistline!

Still I’ve got Freema taking over properly next year. She seems pretty excited rather than nervous, enthusiastic rather than daunted – so she’s obviously on something, that’s the impression I get. I wonder if I can score some pills off her or something? I mean, doing this show is a lot easier when you’re high, so I can’t comment. This show gets a lot of scrutiny, so she wouldn’t have got the gig unless everyone was certain that she could do it. Or at least we all fancy her rotten. It’ll be fascinating to see how she slots into the orgies. Maybe she can bring her dealer along for next year?

You have to have a certain amount of faith in the CGI boys not to stitch you up. You could be doing all this terrified acting and this pink, fluffy thing appears. They did that all the time to Chris Eccleston, apparently, which is the four hundred and twenty fifth reason I’ve heard for him quitting. But, no, the werewolf per se isn’t difficult, but there was one point when I was acting merrily away and Euros came over – it turned out we were picturing two completely different things. He was picturing a werewolf and I was picturing Sophia Myles wearing a sandwich and... ANYWAY, moving on. This story was a howling success. I think you’ll be hard pressed to find a better ontological paradox historical werewolf anti-establishment horror sci-fi thriller on your TV. I’ve not seen one of those in a movie, either."

Russell T Davies Speaks!
"You know that 40-foot telescope? Well, it’s not a model miniature or a computer effect. It’s actually real. And make out of cake. Five hundred Jammie Dodgers and a grape. That was my idea. I remember Euros, the director got a bit annoyed when I suggested it, and said the stress of running three whole series had warped my fragile little mind. As if. I don’t think I’m supposed to have favorites, but this story is as good as it gets. Cast, design camera, music, it’s all so REAL! I might be in an old folk’s home somewhere... and this is all a dream...."

Steven Moffat Speaks!
"People often wonder where white Scottish monks learnt martial arts, well let me tell you that Scottish religions are a little bit tougher than the old Christian Church. I remember at Sunday School with the preacher saying, 'Right, that’s the whole Easter Thing so, you know, let’s go kill some strippers.'"

Trivia -
It was during this story that David Tennant, Sophia Myles, her sister Eve Myles and John Barrowman played truant to scope out the first night of Madonna’s "Confessions of Madge" tour at the Millennium Dome.

Rumors & Facts -

Doctor Who never has to try hard to please the mob when it ventures into the realms of horror, and since no one lived in the Victorian era they can’t criticize how said era is portrayed. The anarchist werewolf is suitably frightening - even for some genuine punks watching. Despite the fact the plot has so many holes it technically doesn’t exist, as far as the public are concerned, the end result is undoubtedly RTD’s best Who script to date.

How infinitely depressing.

The success of the return of Doctor Who in March 2005 had quickly prompted the commissioning not only of a second season but also the program’s first-ever Christmas special, the suitably ironically-titled The Michaelmas Evasion.

So phenomenally popular was the remainder of Doctor Who’s initial slate of adventures that at the BAFTA screening of The Parting of the Legs, it was announced that a third season and a second Christmas special had also been green-lit. This caused much shock and outcry, especially from Russell T Davies whose screams of "NOW YOU TELL ME!" were louder than the cries of anyone else!

Work began immediately on "The Second Doctor Who Christmas Special", with tentative casting including Bea Arthur, Chewbacca, and music from Jefferson Starship. Titles such as A Very Different Michaelmas Envasion, The Life and Loves of Rose, The Windmills of My Ass, The Sycophants Strike Back, I saw Jackie Kissing Santa Claus, The Yuletide War Terror, Bad Turkey, The Old Fat Guy In A Red Suit In The Fireplace, The Bleak Midwinter and How The Dustbin Stole Christmas were discussed, laughed at and never mentioned again.

On top of this was the complication of how the handle the whole companion situation given that Billie Piper had left Doctor Who in the story immediately previous, Dustbin –vs- Cyberman. Observant people might therefore complain if the story after Rose’s heartbreaking departure featured her still there as if nothing had happened, and RTD was obstinate that Martha Jones should NOT feature in the Christmas Special. Or Sarah Jane Smith. Or Kylie Minogue as a Cyberwoman.

After about three minutes of hard thought RTD came up with the brilliant idea of introducing a new, short-term companion bridging the gap betwixt Martha and Rose, while still using Freema Agyeman as yet another time-filling role before she became a main star of the series. Then he changed his mind again, changed it back and finally came to the decision that Rose SHOULD be in the story along with Not-Martha.

Nonetheless, production of Nativity of Infinity of Death continued apace until it became known that RTD’s third consecutive spin off from Doctor Who – Rose Tyler D├ęcolletage – was cancelled by the very same BBC demanding him to make them another Christmas special. RTD was devastating and gave up on writing altogether, sitting there like a vegetable – specifically a big fat spud.

Over the next few days, various people would try to raise the topic of the unfinished Christmas script, but they always got the same response: RTD immediately started ranting about how brilliant Rose Tyler D├ęcolletage would have been, in particular the ongoing plots he had in mind involving the Tyler Clan, Ricky, Jake and alt-Yvonne Hartman encountering the Cheerleader from 'Heroes' and fighting armies of Cybermen lead by the evil but undeniably well fit Jody Latham.

When he was requested to write the synopsis for the Christmas special for the official Doctor Who website, all RTD would give was: "And the theme tune was gonna be 'Destroy Everything You Touch' by Ladytron! HOW FUCKING COOL WOULD THAT HAVE BEEN? HUH?!?"

Temporarily abandoning RTD, Phil Collinson and Julie Gardner suggested that with Doctor Who rapidly turning into a contemporary soap opera, that maybe the special could feature the TARDIS breaking down in Albert Square so the Eastenders Xmas Special could also be one for Doctor Who, perhaps with the final twist revealing that Dot Cotton was actually the Bastard following a hideous sex-change regeneration.

The producers of Eastenders laughed cruelly in their faces before having Babs Windsor personally bar them from the Queen Vic public house. Dejected, they returned to RTD who had discovered on wikipedia that he was, in fact, the fifteenth most powerful individual in Human Television – or, to put it another way, he was fourteen murders away from becoming bigger than Citizen Kane.

Driven by a sudden and debilitating bout of total megalomania, RTD leapt back to writing with heterosexual abandon. The first Christmas special had been titled The Michaelmas Evasion because, being set at Christmas it EVADED Michaelmas. You see? Clever. Thus, RTD intended the next story also have Michaelmas in the title but this time actually be set in a completely DIFFERENT pagan festival to the one that the BBC had specifically requested. He also decided to keep the idea of having Rose in the story, and copied the idea of multiple temporal aspects of the same incarnation of the Doctor in the one story after it had failed so utterly and spectacularly in 2005’s D-Day.

RTD then visited a focus group and loitered on Outpost Gallifrey to discover the least appropriate plot for a Christmas special and quickly came to the conclusion that "a punk werewolf eating Queen Victoria" was the best possible bet. This was indeed convenient as RTD’s current script featured the self same monarch, except alien insects burrowed into her eyeballs and destroyed her brain.

RTD was also keen to continue the annual tradition of "History Celebrity Grudge Matches" featuring borderline-unknown members from English folklore fighting a bunch of monsters from Hammer Horror movies. Mark Gatiss’ The Presuming Ed had pit the cast of "Whitnail & I" against a plague of flesh-eating zombies; Steven Moffat’s The Nun in the Lift-Shaft sent Madame de Pompadour into the ring against an army of insane clockwork robots; and now the next logical step was to have Queen Victoria fresh from the events of Her Majesty, Mrs. Brown facing down a eight-foot-tall man-eating werewolf.

But even the idea of the Tenth Doctor visiting his earlier self and Rose meeting Queen Victoria and a werewolf was NOT ENOUGH for the head writer decided that the kung fu warrior monks from the BBC station ident commercials were required, especially after their brilliant cameo in the 2000 Ang Lee film Wo Hu Cang Long (no, YOU translate it, bitch!). RTD defended the totally pointless monk action on the grounds it would be completely unexpected and provide interesting visuals. It would make absolutely no sense and ruin any credibility the story possessed, but then, you can’t have everything, can you?

RTD was nevertheless confident that ripping off Terrance Dicks’ infamous Fourth Doctor story Lighthouse Cutaway would provide more than enough material to make sense of a montage of anachronistic kung-fu werewolf action that was described by forensic experts as "that old French film, The Brotherhood of the Wolf, only more camp".

It was also discovered that the whole 'Queen Victoria and the werewolf' business had been subtly foreshadowed in the previous story as the key event in the origin of the Touchwood Institute, so cramming in all the random promotion for the new spin-off series to begin airing in the fall of 2006 made the special even MORE confusing and intricate than before.

RTD inserted a subtle historical in-joke by naming the soldiers who fetch the Koh-i-Noor from the carriage Mackeson and Ramsay: these were the surnames of the men who actually transported the diamond from the Indian subcontinent, but all scenes featuring the two were edited and the cut material destroyed while the relevant script pages were burnt. In fact, there’s absolutely no proof there were any such characters in the story, but it got mentioned in a Spoiler Thread and that’s more than good enough for me.

The Michaelmas Werewolf Bites The Shit Out Of Queen Victoria (as the episode was called at this stage) was originally planned to be filmed as part of the final recording block, but that particular block had ended three weeks before he started writing, so that plan was fucked. The director was Euros Lyn. Yes, him AGAIN. Meantime, Phil Collinson bet RTD eight pounds that he could not make the great diamond brought to Victoria from India by Lord Dalhousie in 1851 to form an integral part of the plot, but still hasn’t paid up some twelve years later.

Amazingly enough, after two years of making Doctor Who RTD finally understood all the death threats, begging letters and burning dog excrement The Mill left on his front doorstep: "Stop Demanding So Much Fucking CGI You Gay Welsh Bastard!" Thus, RTD took great care (well, SOME care) to ensure that the monster not appear onscreen too often, though he considered this a real bit of chutzpah as The Mill had been clamoring to animate a werewolf for ages since they had a cheap castoff bit of CGI wolf action from Harry Potter and The Pensioner of Kazakstan.

An important change came at the story’s end. At one point, RTD contemplated surprising the viewers by having the werewolf turn out to be in the employ of the Moxx of Baloon – but tragically every single person who he suggested it to laughed bitterly and walked off, shaking their head in disgust. Since similar reactions had prevented the Moxx from reappearing in every single episode of Doctor Who since it returned, RTD decided to stop flogging a dead horse. He also decided to abandon the idea of the Moxx of Baloon as a recurring villain.

To represent Touchwood House, Lyn used no fewer than seven brothels in addition to studio sets on The Secret Dairy of a Call Girl. The first of these was Penllyn Pussycat Club in Penllyn for the ridiculous martial arts sequences. The next day saw the recording of Queen Victoria’s arrival at Touchwood House, with another brothel - Craig-y-Nos Cathouse at Pen y Cae - posing as the manor. September 29th and 30th were spent at Headlands School in Penarth for material in the cellars when the locals decided they were getting really sick and tired of Doctor Who and tried to kidnap every member of cast and crew they could reach.

When they escaped, the beleaguered production moved to Llansannor Lesbian Locale in the Vale of Glamorgan, then at the main Doctor Who studio space, Unit Q2 in Newport; these days principally concentrated on shots in the observatory and discussing which brothel was best out of the ones so far scene. The fifth Touchwood House location was Treowen Tart Explosion in Dingestow, Monmouth, before a brief visit Curvaceous Cross, Cardiff and then setting up camp for five days, at David Tennant’s insistence, in the Tedegar Club for Foreign Businessmen in Newport. There was seventh and final Touchwood House location but I can’t be assed to find out what it was.

Because the planned season premiere, Earth 2.0, had encountered so many production problems, consideration was given to dropping it back a slot and running The Michaelmas Werewolf first. However, Earth 2.0 had been completed and broadcast six months prior, so this was a really, REALLY stupid idea, wasn’t it? I dunno which brain donor came up with such a dumb plan of attack but I suspect it was Chris Chin-Balls.

Like The Michaelmas Evasion, The Michaelmas Werewolf was televised on Christmas Day as the lynchpin of the BBC’s holiday line-up and the total lack of Christmas material was embarrassing as RTD intended. And the slagging off the Royal Family didn’t go down too well just before the Queen’s Speech of 2006. Accruing only slightly fewer viewers than its predecessor, it once again rocketed Doctor Who into the week’s Top Ten programs and was instantly banned in South Africa.

Meanwhile, David Tennant revealed that all in all, this had been a complete waste of time and was only willing to put up with the international fame, stardom, spaghetti denim and oversexed groupies for another four years and after that you wouldn’t see him for dust. Leaving RTD realizing he had to start looking for a new Doctor AGAIN, Tennant continued his baffling desire to sing in every episode. This time it was a tribute to the spin off show Touchwood, which had come and gone between the end of the 2006 and its Christmas Special and been a miserable failure in every possible sense...

"Continuity" by a Skyhooks Tribute Band

More continuity right there on my TV
Continuity right there on my CV
Continuity right there, it ain’t PC
Shockin’ me right outa my brain

Touchwood to get ya in, get right under your skin
With Captain Jack? Remember him? Oh yeah!
It tries to be a thriller, it fails to be a chiller
The dialogue’s a killer, oh yeah!

The plots are a-crashin, the CGIs are a-smashin
Morality takes a-bashin, oh yeah!
The cast are a-shagging, the writers are a-bragging
The fans are a-gagging, oh yeah!

You think it’s just a spin-off on BBC3
And written by people better than you and me
Maybe you don’t care if the show gets a season?
Why does it exist? This story’s the reason!

The public don’t miss plot, content and this
Show is taking the piss, oh yeah!
They do a lotta swearing, it gets really wearing
Kids and adult aren’t caring, oh yeah!

More continuity right there on my TV
Continuity right there on my CV
Continuity I ain't talking shit
People think Touchwood is a successful hit!
People think Touchwood is a successful hit!

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