Serial 6C/G – On The Game
On The Game
An Alternate Programme Guide by Ewen Campion-Clarke
An Extract From The EC Unauthorized Programme Guide O' Offsideness
Serial 6C/G – On The Game -
The Doctor and Nyssa arrive in North London in 1979, where a decades long failure to win an FA Cub has devastated the city and traumatized the entire population.
Arsenal FC is so desperate for members, they immediately recruit the Doctor to join the team in the confused belief that anyone silly enough to dress as an Edwardian cricketer must be brilliant at all sports, even football.
The Doctor goes up against Manchester United, suggesting that instead of worrying about kicking the ball, they simply hack their opponents to pieces with very sharp blades. When the whistle blows, Manchester United are literally massacred.
When the buzzer finally sounds the end of the match, 163 corpses are heaped on the pitch as the Doctor brags to the local journalists about what a brilliant strategy he came up with completely off the top of his head and entirely on his own.
At this point a man with an obvious fake suntan, cheap black sunglasses and a zoot suit strides in front of the cameras and announces he intends to sue the Doctor over breach of copyright, since he was the one who first came up with the idea of a game plan involving ruthless slaughter and very sharp knives.
The Doctor contests this, explaining he first stole the idea from a human schoolteacher he traveled with in the 1960s... and then with a rising sense of horror realizes that the man in front of him is in fact that same schoolteacher.
"Chatterbean?!" he gasps, shocked.
Yes, the strange geezer referring to absolutely everyone as "Mr. Big" is Ian Chesterton, who was once a companion of the First Doctor but now spends his time as a full time drug pusher and part time alien computer expert who has single-handedly created three separate operating systems that have attempted to overthrow humanity.
Recently, Ian abandoned his attempt to build the most powerful sexual aide device in history with stolen Dustbin technology and instead become manager of the local football team.
After an awkward explanation of why the Doctor no longer looks like William Hartnell and is not so sexually frustrated and pathetic as his original incarnation, the Doctor is challenged to a duel by his former companion for ruining the team’s reputation as a bunch of complete losers – from now on the team will actually have to work hard since everyone now knows they are capable of winning.
The Doctor tells Ian that he’d give the aging schoolteacher a jolly good smacked bottom in a fight, and heads off with Nyssa to organize a deal using his face on merchandise.
Furious, Ian demands he and the Doctor play a game of football to finally confirm which one of them is the better, and admits to Nyssa he is worried that his common law wife, Barbara Wright is going off him and secretly sleeping with Cliff Richard behind his back.
Nyssa wanders out of the stadium and is immediately attacked by a snarling monster, and she runs back inside – specifically into Arsenal’s shower room and does not emerge for a long time, in which most of the team enter and also do not emerge.
Finally, an extremely dazed and flushed Nyssa emerges, rearranging her clothing and breathlessly then informs the Doctor that she’s decided to stop travelling with him and become a full-time Arsenal supporter.
The Doctor is sad but accepts her decision. This turns out to be a cunning bluff in order to get Nyssa to pity him and change her mind. When this fails, the furious Time Lord agrees to play the football match with Ian... TO THE DEATH!!!
Since the Doctor is no longer a frail specimen and able to speak coherent sentences for more than four seconds at a time, Ian realizes that beating the living shit out of the Time Lord may not be as easy as it once was.
Meanwhile, the sinister figure in the stands, a Dexy’s Midnight Runner reject named Dorian Helotrix, meets Ian and gives him some special "smelling salts" to improve Ian’s performance, but this drug seems to blow the schoolteacher’s mind, leaving him a giggling wreck.
This is actually a masterful plan, since Ian is clearly no longer able to actually participate in the fight to the death, but the Doctor won’t let the fact his opponent is a completely defenseless stoner stop him from hacking him to pieces!
Just then, those damned snarling monsters attack the Doctor, who recognizes them as Gooners – insanely intense Arsenal Supporters, whose DNA has corrupted in reasons there is probably a whole New Adventure dedicated to explaining in unnecessary detail.
Dorian announces that he is the one that controls the Gooners, and orders to them to drag the Doctor back to his bedsit, and also head for the commentator’s booth and murder the incredibly irritating Jonathon Pearce, who has been narrating the whole story with his usual staggering lack of talent.
At the bedsit, Dorian heads to the garden shed – in reality an Egyptian-styled casino! There he meets a bunch of rich Japanese businessmen playing poker machines and staking incredibly huge bets on Arsenal losing at FA Cup finals, Cup Winner’s Cups and generally finishing as First Division runner-ups. Dorian’s plan has been ruined thanks to the Doctor leading the team to victory by ruthlessly murdering Manchester United, allowing them to turn the tide for the first time that decade!
Dorian has researched the Doctor thoroughly and so applies Mayzerian Cologne For Unscrupulous Machiavellian Bastards – an addictive pheromone love potion. In theory, the Doctor will instantly become addicted to Dorian and be unable to resist him.
However, Dorian has sadly confronted an incarnation of the Doctor who is straight, and thus simply dismisses the strange urges by going for runs and beating up things with a cricket bat.
Thus, Dorian’s plans to seize control of the TARDIS and use it to take over the whole galaxy... because that’s what nasty people ALWAYS want to do... are stuffed!
As the Gooners trigger a massive football hooliganism riot, and Nyssa finds herself getting six separate marriage proposals from the Arsenal team, but the ridiculously stoned Ian starts waving an invisible hokey stick and somehow takes command of the riot which charges straight towards the bedsit and destroys Dorian’s casino.
Dorian himself flees to a retirement home in the hope no one will ever think of looking for him there, but unfortunately his cologne attracts all the sexually-confused (and sexually-very-certain) hooligans.
But, luckily, there happens to be an experimental space shuttle created by one of the residents who happened to be a mad scientist, and Dorian uses this incredible plot contrivance to escape from London and the rampaging mobs – though the Doctor vows that he will hunt down his newest and most deadliest of enemies throughout time and space.
Despite this incredibly pathetic set up for a sequel, absolutely NO ONE has written a story about Dorian Helotrix, even Nicholas Briggs!
Since Nyssa has no real wish to settle down in a steady relationship, and also because this is a missing adventure, she abruptly changes her mind and agrees to travel with the Doctor once more, leaving Ian Chesterton to lead Arsenal FC to victory in the 1980s.
Book(s)/Other Related –
Doctor Who Goes On The Game
Doctor Who Versus The Football Hooligans
Dr Who & Roy of the Rovers of DEATH (Canada Only)
Ian Chesterton: Mean Machines
The stupid light sabre noises the players made when practicing.
Fashion Victims – Dorian’s supporter face-paint makes him look like Mel Gibson in "Braveheart" if Mel Gibson was completely colour blind.
Technobabble – Dorian fuses the control of the pheromone flow.
Links and References -
Nyssa notes that once again the TARDIS arrives in a freezing cold climate when she is wearing unsuitably flimsy outfits, a reference to the ongoing story arc since "The Band of the Dead".
The Doctor notes the medicinal benefits of playing football, as discovered in the previous story, "Teachers of Footy".
Untelevised Misadventures -
Ian Chesterton and the Fourth Doctor once traveled back in time to save Sarah Connor from being attacked by a Wank Machine 2000 sent to kill her by WOTAN III: Son of Circuitry. This in turn lead to a temporal paradox so confusing it will never appear in a tie-in novel. So it MUST be damn complicated.
Groovy DVD Extras -
An exclusive PS3 version of PsychoNyssa 3: Keep on Traken, only with the rampaging leper monsters replaced with Arsenal Supporters.
Dialogue Disasters -
Dorian: This means Arsenal will go on to win the cup!
Doctor: Interference on that scale is almost beyond comprehension... do you how many episodes of A Question of Sport that means I’ve ruined?
Doctor: I don't suppose one game will kill me. But it WILL slaughter the opposition. I admit, I have a slight tendency to interfere. But I have a major tendency to start wholesale slaughter against Manchester United... It’s not that I hate them, as such. It’s not that I love Arsenal beating them. I just love MU losing! Besides, what is any sport except a watered-down excuse for people hacking each to pieces?
Ian: The game is everything to these people. They never want to give up playing it. Anyone else see that episode of Ripping Yarns? It’s TWICE as intense as that was!
Dialogue Triumphs -
Doctor: Every day thousands of athletes walk into this arena to play football to the death.
Ian: No they don’t!
Doctor: They do now!
Morian: It's a little hobby of mine to find moral loopholes in people, makes them go a little pear-shaped. And then you’re NICKED, sunshine!
Nyssa: ...that’s not a pineapple!
Doctor: Ignore Nyssa's pedestrian comedy.
Viewer Quotes -
"This is the dumbest episode of Futurama I’ve ever seen! Or is it a 2000AD strip? Could be Blake’s 7? Sorry, did I mention my short term memory is not what it could be? Who are you, anyway?"
- Ivan Mullet (2004)
"God damn it! That’s the first two episodes put over to explaining all the stuff that was already on the back of the CD! What do they think I am? Stupid?" - Jessica Simpson (2004)
"Christopher Eccleston played Burnside on The Bill?!"
- a confused Nigel Verkoff (2005)
"Big Finish have created a range where we are increasingly often presented with plays where plot arcs get developed, companions undergo real changes, the Doctor does likewise, famous enemies pop up, and so on. They thereby set themselves the challenge of making plays where none of those things happen seem equally contrived and wanky. This play certainly succeeds in feeling that way as you listen to it."
- YogaMaster122 on Outpost Gallifrey (2300)
"Peter Davison rocks in this story! HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE?! Maybe because, at times, it feels as though the story belongs to the Sixth and Far Superior Doctor! Hmm. The production notes inside the sleeve confirm this was the case initially! I thought so. Davison can go suck on a hamster!"
- Jo Ford Prefect (2005)
Psychotic Nostalgia -
"ERE WE GO, ERE WE GO, ERE WE GO! ERE WE GO, ERE WE GO, ERE WE GO!!"
Peter Davison Speaks!
"It was great fun to see William Russell playing Ian again. I remember the good old days, before we found out that Ian was single-handedly responsible for every single mad computer the Doctor meets in the show. Ian was the best thing about those early shows, a real swinger who could daintily quaff a glass full of LSD without blinking. I was so overwhelmed when Will recreated his character so well. Made me up my game somewhat, hah, yes. If the Doctor was going to confront an old face from the past, he’d want to keep his cool and be as bland as indifferent as he possibly could."
Rumors & Facts -
Some years ago, Doctor Who Magazine ran a list of ten 'things to avoid when submitting a Doctor Who book proposal'. One of these warned potential writers against including a dull or politically arduous back story about football hooliganism.
It was advice that Big Finish would ultimately ignore at their peril.
After the horrifying excesses of 2003, Big Finish realized that trying to make themselves as complicated, introverted and fan-whoring as possible might not be a good move. They were losing any new customers that might have been attracted by RTD’s revival of Doctor Who on TV, and pissing off all the sad anoraks who they already had.
In order to get new, fresh blood involved, Big Finish started to commission stories from totally new writers – people who had never written Doctor Who audios, or Doctor Who stories or even just written anything at all – to create a vanguard of creative exploitation!
The latest victim was Darin Henry, who previous wrote the award winning "Jerry’s Uncle is Shoplifting with a Sawn-Off Shotgun" episode of Seinfeld and the more amusing and less stupid episodes of Futurama "Zoidberg is Possessed By The Beast From The Heart Of A Black Hole".
As all prospective first writers, Henry aimed Doctor's Got Game was for the Sixth Doctor and Evelyn, and as is often the case was handed over to the Fifth Doctor instead. The arguments that the whole point of the story was for the Sixth Doctor to founder in an atmosphere his predecessor would sail by, and thus making it a Fifth Doctor story would remove any interest or tension from the plot, were ignored. Quite a lot. Even when Henry started smashing up the furniture and screaming.
It was decided to make On The Game a spectacular six-part special, which would be a first for Big Finish. Apart from the release a month previously, The Best Wife. And, technically, Zig-Zag-Gay-Ass, the previous year. And Shagged'er II: This Time It’s Finished.
Since On The Game was a four parter to begin with, it was simply required to give two more cliffhangers, meaning the six episodes could sit on two CDs, so it would cost the same to produce six short episodes for four normal length ones.
Henry was horrified at the idea of a six-parter – either it would be the traditional mess of repetition, padding and tedium like The Best Wife, or else all the episodes would be shallow and insubstantial from lack of momentum. Gay Russell suggested he use the extra episodes to tell his story on a grander scale to provide a real epic quality, but this curiously seems only to have depressed Henry even more.
Henry decided to simply follow in the footsteps of his hero, Sherlock Holmes, and simply sewed a four part story onto a pathetic two episode unrelated plot, introducing a completely new supervillain which Henry hoped would become a recurring foe, like the Kro'Ka, Nimrod, Raven and David Tennant’s Future Doctor.
Russell also demanded that Ian Chesterton be written into the story, since William Russell’s agent had been pestering Big Finish since day one about getting a role not as Ian but "as a role worthy of an actor of his calibre". Russell told his namesake he either recreated the role of the first male companion or he could sod off back to the dole queue.
In order to give Dorian even a scintilla of respectability as a possible returning villain, it was decided to get Chris "Burnside" Ellison to play him. The great man’s fee was so stupendous, the rest of the cast were forced to be a bunch of dole-scum illiterate chavs who spoke like characters from "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels".
During the production of On The Game, Jac Raynor decided she’d had more than enough of the crap Big Finish had been giving her, and quit as Executive Producer for BBC Worldwide. Unfortunately, no one was prepared to replace her, which meant the BBC were no longer looking over the company’s shoulder any more.
This was to be the beginning of the prelude of the prologue of the chapter immediately prior to the one before the one before the end.