Monday, September 21, 2009

5th Doctor - The Gathering

Serial 6Q/J – The Sequel (Summer in the City)
An Alternate Programme Guide by Ewen Campion-Clarke
An Extract From The EC Unauthorized Programme Guide O' Sequelitis
Much help from the Mighty Jared "No Nickname" Hansen

Serial 6Q/J – The Sequel (Summer in the City) –

"Travelling with the Doctor is the strangest, maddest experience. One minute your life is small, nine to five, the next you’re seeing - well, everything. And it’s terrifying, it’s brilliant, and it’s almost always in a gravel quarry being chased by tinfoil-suited robot people with South African accents. Then one day, like all things, it ends. You leave him, you go home, and everything’s vaguely believable and realistic again. But you get used to it. The last thing you ever, ever expect is for him to come back. Well, at least when he’s played by the same actor as when you left..."

The TARDIS materializes and the Doctor expects to be at the famous Ice Caves of Yabbadabbadabbadoo, but instead he’s greeted by malformed, pale, long-haired creature named Ian #4445, who instantly recognizes the strangely-dressed man with a police box as the Doctor.

Upon seeing the Fifth Doctor sans-companions Ian #4555 screams like a neutered girl that there is no opportunity for the Fifth Doctor to travel without companions post-Omigod, and bursts into tears screaming that his virgin mind is incapable of comprehending reality anymore, unlike the extremely non-virgin mind of Paul Carnall, and he immediately runs off to masturbate over his Target novelizations and bitch about the latest paradox on Outpost Gallifrey.

This is probably the subtlest piece of fourth-wall breaking that Big Finish has ever done.

Another Ian, Ian #4446 arrives and explains the Doctor has arrived at the WikiBox, the official font of all knowledge in the Universe, the Open Encyclopedia That Anyone Can [Responsibly] Edit. Ian #4445 wants to finally clear up the UNIT dating issue, and the Doctor desperately changes the subject by finding out if anything interesting happened on this day in history:

September 22nd is notable for, amongst other things, the release of the Dead Sea Scrolls, Bulgarian Independence Day and being Billie Piper’s birthday – an occasion which relate to unexplained deaths, mysterious happenings and mass hysteria. The Doctor concludes that Piper’s birthdays must be incredibly spectacular, and thus decides to attend one of them. Ian $4446 still wants to discuss the canonical version of which Doctor Who alien caused the disappearance of the Marie Celeste crew, the Great Fire of London and framed Lindsay Lohan, but the Doctor cunningly escapes by kicking Ian #4446 in the goolies very hard and running back to the TARDIS as fast as he possibly can.

The TARDIS works perfectly, taking the Doctor to Earth on Friday 22nd September, 2006, in time for Billie Piper’s 24th birthday. Unfortunately, it has arrived in Brisbane, on the other side of the planet from any celebrity carnage that may or may not ensue.

The Doctor spends the beautiful sunny morning stalking outside the TARDIS, swearing loudly and debating whether or not to simply return to collect Peri and Eminem or stubbornly stay where he is and hope that there might be some other birthday party for him to crash. But why would some ape-descended hominid’s celebrations interest him anyway? The trouble is, what self-respecting alien would set up shop in BRISBANE of all places?

The Doctor realizes that HE is an alien and HE is in Brisbane, and the irony makes him start screaming very loudly and throwing litter at passing cars.

Finally, the Doctor decides to visit a fire-story building marked "TOUCHWOOD INSTITUTE AUSTRALIA – IF IT’S ALIEN, IT’S OURS; IF IT’S ABORIGINAL, IT’S YOURS" and see if they know of any xenomorphological birthday happenings in the city. However, he is rather put out when Emily the secretary for this international alien scavenging operation, a woman with an IQ of 145, calls the Doctor a "nutter" and is too busy making an obscene phone call to her bissexual lover and slagging off her boss to spare him any attention whatsoever.

Annoyed at the arrogance of these self-imposed guardians of human progress, the Doctor shouts that they’re a bunch of sex-obsessed bloody loonies meddling with things they don’t understand and dear GOD there has to be an earlier appointment available than next Thursday?

Emily tells the Doctor to do something unprintable, as she and her boss – with whom she has regular lesbian threesomes with – are off to a birthday drink at a bar later tonight and she’s not wasting any time over a guy wearing celery in his lapel. She thus decides to shoot the Doctor with a tranquilizer dart, take some inappropriate photos, then wipe the Doctor’s memories and leave him by a ditch somewhere in Perth.

Just then, the Chief Executive of Torchwood Four, Kathy Klaus emerges from the lift, twitching dangerously and, upon discovering that the unwanted visitor is called the Doctor starts to convulse and falls over screaming that the goblins are laughing at her again.

The Doctor listens on with broadminded bewilderment as the tearful woman screams that the Doctor ruined her life 22 years previously when, in a fit of pique he attempted to destroy Kathy and her surviving friends and relatives. Only she and a somewhat singed Nigel Verkoff survived, and when he decided this exchange trip was getting screwed up even by HIS high standards, got him to smuggle her out of the country as hand luggage. Kathy was convinced that the police were after her for her passion for egg, cheese and onion sandwiches, and knew there would only be one place she could be safe: Brisbane, an isolated space cut off from the rest of the universe.

It was there that the infamous Touchwood Institute hired her since she was completely paranoid, a severe bipolar disorder and pathological hatred for "The One They Call Dok-Tor!", and thus was given an honorary degree as a surgeon and put in charge of the institution. Her lack of any experience, lateral thinking or administration know-how actually means she’s the most efficient boss they’ve had in a while. Over the last two decades, Kathy has only managed to keep herself sane by talking to her father, Adam Klaus, a rusted Cyber corpse she keeps in the attic as a novelty hatstand.

Kathy wraps up her hysterical rant by screaming that the Doctor changed her entire world, let people die and single-handedly destroyed her entire life and laughed and joked while he did it.

"Well," the Doctor says eventually. "That’s something for me to look forward to, isn’t it?"

Blowing cigarette smoke rings, Emily puts the giggling Kathy in a straightjacket and by a neck-lead, drags her down to the local bar named 000 – since that is the phone number most likely to be rung by patrons when they end up needing stomach pumps, armed responses and fire-fighting crews.

The Doctor is delighted and tags along to the birthday party, and finds it full of rather boring Australians including the devastated Nigel Verkoff, who has discovered the joy of tequila to replace that "Anglo bint" who recently ditched him but still expects him to turn up at her birthday party with a present!

The Doctor is stunned when said "Anglo bint" finally deigns to turn up to her own birthday party and discover it is...


The Doctor is speechless: he never once suspected she shared the same birthday as Billie Piper, and if he had, he might not have callously called her bluff in that whole warehouse of Dustbin carnage incident and marooned her in Wapping, 1984, with nothing but the prostitute get up she was wearing.

The drunken and self-pitying Nigel explains that he had to change flights at Heathrow, and simply added her to his hand luggage of shell shocked Doctor Who characters on his way back to Australia. He then falls off his bar stool and sobs loudly that Sarah Michelle Gellar and Reece Witherspoon could have been the best of friends and WHY is it so fucking unfair?

Finally Nigel passes out in his own vomit, the Doctor and Tegan make small talk and the Doctor cheerfully explains that he got rid of Turlough and Kamelion in no time and found himself completely new, less annoyingly back-stabbing treacherous scum for travelling companions, though he still hasn’t been able to find anyone from England.

Tegan starts screaming at the Doctor that this is her home and these people are her family and friends who she cares about and doesn’t want to see them scrubbed down by Dustbins, manipulated by the Mara or skull-fucked by Cybermen and she knows, she just KNOWS that if the Doctor is here in Brisbane then trouble is on its way and he shouldn’t dare deny it!

The Doctor senses a certain hostility from her.

It seems that 22 years left to brood about what an unlikable bitch she was running Verney Food Supplies, constantly abusing all the young trainees for being younger, more attractive and less sexually-perverse than her, hasn’t improved her temper.

Tegan points out she has a new life, her own apartment, and bullied her way to the top of her own company in a tense game of psychological warfare with her ailing grandfather.

The Doctor folds her arm and points out that the only people attending the party are her employees, she doesn’t have any friends, and has focussed her entire life around a small company supplying fertilizer to farmers whose cows are too constipated to provide their own.

"I mean, come on, Tegan, I didn’t expect much from you but even DODO has a more spectacular and interesting spin-off scenario! OK, she got an extra-dimensional STD, got brainwashed by the government, had a love child with the man who shot JFK and was then used as target practice by the Bastard... but at least she knew how to have a party!"

Tegan screams even louder at the Doctor that maybe she might have broadened her horizons if she didn’t have an inoperable brain tumor, causing her irrationally bitchy behavior and determined to kill her before she reaches her 47th birthday.

The Doctor stares at her in a stunned silence for a few seconds, as if he can’t believe she just said that, and then he starts laughing uncontrollably in her face.

"Wow, I mean, I knew your life sucked, but you have to go that one extra, don’t you?" he giggles, trying to calm down before he bursts out laughing again. "YOU ARE SO COMPLETELY SCREWED!"

Tegan responds by snatching the celery off the Doctor’s lapel and stuffing it in his mouth!

The Doctor is devastated. He hates celery - he only wears it on his lapel because some strange bearded guy in a Hawaiian shirt thought it looked kinda cool.

At that moment, Kathy starts screaming and, breaking free from her straightjacket, pulls out a gun and opens fire, killing most of the patrons of 000.

Emily sighs, punches Kathy unconscious and drags her out, bitching that once again her Friday night has been ruined by her mad American boss’s gun shootings and once again she’ll have to spend the weekend using false witnesses, memory altering drugs and lots of computer hacking to maintain the illusion that Touchwood is halfway competent.

Tegan storms out after Emily, furious at her birthday being ruined, and ends up being told to "GET IN THE BACK OF THE VAN!!!" by the Touchwood members, who refuse to waste good amnesia drugs on some whiny tart who’s only got six months left to live.

The Doctor runs out – though whether he is actually concerned about Tegan’s welfare or just trying to occupy himself now his Friday Night is ruined is left up to the responder to decide. When I say ‘responder’, it’s because saying things like ‘reader’, ‘viewer’ or ‘listener’ are too "last century" and those fucking markers at the HSC flunk you, no matter HOW damn brilliant your critique of David Malouf’s An Imaginary Life...

However, Tegan is so pissed off, she knocks the Doctor out with a single punch even though he was the only one likely to stop her being kidnapped. This idea sinks in as she is thrown in the van and driven off, leaving the Doctor left unconscious in the middle of the street.

Eventually Nigel emerges from 000, and kicks the Doctor awake, explaining he’s probably had a few too many to drink and could the Doctor be a saint and drive him home in Nigel’s car, Wynona The Verkoffomobile? Luckily, Nigel is so utterly sozzled, he doesn’t notice that the Doctor has instead driven straight to the Touchwood Institute, instead wailing unhappily that he and Tegan were good together – the domestic stuff was rubbish, but the sex was fantastic. He also firmly believes that Tegan made up the whole 'brain tumor' thing to put a typical Jovanka spin on the Dear John letter.

Before long the two men are exchanging rather bitchy comments about which one of them was closest to Tegan and which was more annoyed by her and the Doctor lets slip that he’s a time traveler. Nigel is not at all surprised, revealing that he, like pretty much everyone in Brisbane, has already met the Doctor in 1984 Baltimore and actually know more about the Who canon than the Fifth Doctor himself!

The Doctor determines a way to break into the secure Touchwood installation, realizing he needs someone totally dispensable to be sent inside to switch off the security systems, and Nigel is the perfect candidate. In fact, he’s already drunkenly rung up Kathy and recites a speech from "American Beauty" where he demands money off the kidnappers in return for his silence, bluffing that he possesses secrets that could utterly destroy the British monarchy forever.

The Doctor congratulates Nigel for this brilliant improvisational tactic, before realizing Nigel is entirely genuine and stumbling off towards the building demanding his cash and has completely forgotten about Tegan entirely.

At the top floor, Tegan and Emily are deeply disturbed to discover Kathy has strapped the resurrected corpse of a loved one she has a deeply unhealthy obsession with into a broken Cyberman Conversion Unit which she keeps secret from her staff and superiors. Kathy is certain that in a year’s time ALL the popular Touchwood staff will be doing this. "I’m a trendsetter!" she crows insanely.

At that moment, Nigel barges in screaming incoherently that he’s left instructions with a friend to call the police and tell them where he is if he doesn’t call them back in ten minutes. But unfortunately, he trips and falls straight into Kathy’s laptop, and unintentionally releases an abandoned Cetene computer virus which with typical Touchwood efficiency forgot to delete. Thus, every computer and phone line in the Brisbane communication network shuts down with the sound of laughing skeletons screaming "PREPARE TO MEET THY DOOM!"

As countless homes and businesses are disrupted by what appears to be a terrorist electronic attack, pleas of calm are ignored as violence breaks out throughout Brisbane. Well, you know, it IS Queensland, and it’s not like the local branch of Touchwood hasn’t unleashed unending chaos on the populace on a regular basis for the last three years.

"Why does this keep happening to me?" Nigel mumbles, confused. "Can’t call directory assistance without sending the entire network down! Technofear! It’s happening again!"

Since all the phones dead, no one can contact the police, therefore his blackmail attempt has backfired, so Emily shoots Nigel several times, hurling his body over a desk and out of sight.

Kathy seems disturbingly aroused by the sight of Emily wielding a semi-automatic and asks her if she ever wondered what it would be like to be more than just a receptionist? To become immortal and prevent grief, funerals and medicare bills?

Emily asks what the hell Kathy is on about and Kathy gets a strange gleam in her eye and reveals she plans to build the Klaus Memorial Hospital, which diagnoses all illnesses and cures them... and this just so happens to involve Cyber-technology revitalizing them.

Thus, at gunpoint, Kathy forces Emily into the Cyber Converter interface, to help control the Klaus Memorial Hospital Computer System – which Kathy calls the KMHCS until Tegan suggests something like "Sis" would be punchier and have an informal nursing context.

Emily screams that she did not sign up for this, but Kathy laughs insanely and waves the AWA the luckless receptionist signed – truly, it is the evil men do we should fear, rather than the remorseless armies of space robot people who plot to destroy us.

Outside, the Doctor paces around a bit, looking bored, and then tries to break into Kathy’s van by smashing the window with Venusian Aikido, but all he manages to do is set off the car alarm and hurt the hell out of his hands. Annoyed, he strides inside the building and finds Emily dead, her consciousness transformed into a new computer network which has a curious Sarf Landan accent.

As Kathy impatiently tries to repeatedly install "Sis" onto her laptop and deletes some porn to free up more memory, the Doctor asks Tegan if she’s screwed up her life even more in the minutes they’ve been apart. Tegan blames the Doctor for bringing the horror back into her life.

"Oh, is THAT what we’re calling your pathetic excuse for linear existence nowadays is it?" the Doctor sneers as he steals some garnish from Kathy’s packed lunch to pin to his lapel. "I’m here on holiday and I’m dealing with the aftershocks of their past and my future. All you’ve done is left a pub without paying the bill. I know which of us is more interesting."

She knows the Doctor was disappointed with how her life turned out, but she doesn’t think it’s been too bad – assuming her judgement is in any way reliable with that whacking great tumor affecting her personality and memories. Tegan claims she’s happy and she’s enjoyed having a normal life, but the Doctor points out that the idea of Tegan EVER being happy and enjoying herself is even MORE ridiculous than Touchwood actually knowing what the hell they’re doing.

Tegan refuses to be the first test patient for Sis on the grounds she is actually Rastafarian and it’s against her religion. Kathy screams that since Tegan’s brain tumor is probably alien in origin, she is legally obliged to hand it over to the Institute!

The Doctor offers to take Tegan to some dodgy Diagnosan in the Uncharted Territories, but Tegan refuses: she doesn’t want any more alien stuff in her head and she’s choosing to take her chances without medical treatment.

"Sure," he shrugs. "Not my problem. Bitch."

Kathy then grabs the Doctor by the scruff of his neck and announces she will use the Doctor to give the power of regeneration to dead people! The Doctor insists this will only result in slighty fresher and completely-different-looking corpses, but Kathy’s four stops on from Barking... she’s Daganham East!

The Doctor is strapped into the Ultimate Medical Computer and vows to make it his personal mission to utterly destroy this xeno-tech scavenging organization... assuming he ever remembers it after regenerating into what Kathy calls "Ronald McDonald on a bad acid trip". "Sis" offers for no extra fee to alter the Doctor’s brain so it will mentally project telepathic messages into people’s brains when the Next Doctor encounters Kathy in Baltimore.

The Doctor agrees to let the computer fix his telepathic ability and decides that when he is in that situation, it will trigger everyone around him saying strange buzzwords for no reason. After considering some phone numbers, the words "Bad Wolf", "Saxon", "Touchwood", and the lyrics from "Stairway to Heaven", the Time Lord settles on the expression:

"Put Another Shrimp On The Barby!"

The Doctor is confident that he could never forget the meaning of such a vital expression, and it will instantly unlock the memory he has of this adventure. And travelling with Peri and Eminem. Like he would forget that!

With his long term future ensured, the Doctor turns to face Kathy and threatens to use his godlike powers to shut down her entire body and die right here and now if he chooses.

Tegan, meanwhile, punches Kathy’s lights out and frees the Doctor.

The Doctor dusts himself down and changes the subject from the fact he is completely useless and needs her to save his miserable life. "You know, I’ve seen this all before. It all starts when someone wants to cure one person, but then they realize they can make everyone better, stronger and fitter. Not just one person, they can improve on the whole of humanity. That’s how the Cybermen were created. And this time I actually bothered to stop that moment that ends free will and turns the whole world into one big logical machine. So yay me."

At that moment, Nigel groggily get to his feet and tugs a bullet-proof vest from under his T-shirt, noting he’d almost forgotten he’d taken to wearing it after that unfortunate incident with Sarah Michelle Gellar. No sooner do the Doctor and Tegan bemoan his survival, he accidentally leans on a button marked self-destruct.

Everyone runs out as the Touchwood base explodes in a fireball that will no doubt be ruled out as a terrorist attack once the Institute turn up to spike the water supply with amnesia drugs. This means when they return to 000, Kathy has a glass of water and ends up with the last 22 years of her life completely erased, leaving her a well-adjusted teenager caught in the body of a forty-year-old body, but she turns this into a TV doco called "Samantha Who?" and makes millions in royalties and lives happily ever after.

Meanwhile, the Doctor realizes that "Sis" was uploaded onto a bit torrent site and thus this alien technology is beyond the reach of even the Touchwood Institute, and everything will be changed for the rest of the twenty-first century.

Sighing and putting this down to experience, the Doctor gives Tegan one last chance to go with him out into time and space and cure her brain tumor, and Tegan bursts out laughing! She’s got a career and a stunning apartment, but she doesn’t want any more aliens in her life – what little there is left of it. She doesn’t regret leaving him for one minute, and at this the Doctor furiously kicks her repeatedly until she falls over.

"How’s THAT for closure you cow?!" he shouts before storming into the TARDIS and returning to some companions that actually APPRECIATE him!

The TARDIS takes off, leaving Tegan to painfully get to her feet when... BANG! ... finds herself standing inside the TARDIS console room as a strange curly-haired main in a patchwork coat stands over the controls, staring at her in horror.

"Who... where... what?" she gasps.

"What? What?! WHAT?!?!?" he replied with ever increasing fury.

Book(s)/Other Related –
Doctor Who In A Fix With Tegan Jovanka
Doctor Who: The Suckle (Kinky Canadian Porn Editions Only)
Strange Women Loudly Blame Doctor Who For Everything That Ever Went Wrong In Their Entire Lives Rather Than Take Responsibility For Their Own Actions Vol III: Brisbane Bitches

Fluffs –
Nigel Verkoff seemed a Japanese-Scandinavian for most of this story.

Goofs –
The Fifth Doctor meets the Seventh in The Tarrants of Time, then in Beware of the Leopard so why does he claim to have no idea who the "irritating twerp with golfing umbrella" is? Is he just having fun messing with Ian #4445?

Speaking of which, why isn’t Ian #4445 more horrified at the fact the Fifth Doctor’s living a completely different life to the one described in Peter Haining’s 25 Glorious Years of Doctor Who? Shouldn’t simply mentioning "Eminem" cause him to hemorrhage on the spot?

Was it really necessary to tell the flashbacks to that waiter who wanted a smoke behind the club instead of just telling these bits in the normal order? Or was the CD playing up again?

What the hell are they doing with all these trailers everywhere? At the beginning, and now even over the theme music at the end, followed by 8 minutes of...... more trailers. God, it's starting to annoy me.

Fashion Victims –
The Doctor pinning various salad ingredients to his lapel to replace his stick of celery. The overripe tomato was a particular low point.

Technobabble –
The computer virus Nigel unleashes utilizes the Kikkawa-Yamasaki mathematical model, which takes Kaluza-Klein variance into account, and exotic particles gathered by Calabi-Yau space from the Blue Shift lattice manipulates photons at a Quantum level which totally supersedes the transistor and the micromonolithic circuit.
"Are you flanging the whatsit on the glonthometer again, Doctor?"

Links and References -
This story continues and expands on the themes and ideas of the Sixth Doctor story "The Ripoff" and thus is... a sequel. Did you spot that?
Tegan bitches at length about every story she appeared in and quite a few she didn’t.

Untelevised Misadventures -
Ian #4446 says ominously, "They say you were there at the beginning, when mankind discovered fire – and there's rumors you'll be there at the end, with John Barrowman, Sir Derek Jacobi and Chippo Chung!"

Groovy DVD Extras -
The story cliffhangers into the infamous Eric Saward "Jim’ll Fix It Sketch" of 1985, where the Sixth Doctor and Tegan encounter the Snotaran strike squad of John, Satan and Turner before the arrival of a being known only as The Saville.
This episode ultimately gained the same cultural significance as the assassination of JFK, and lead to thousands of disgusted former viewers dumping their TV sets at the doors of the BBC and the repeated suicide attempts by the Director General after viewing the first ten minutes.
At least, this is what wikipedia tells me and wikipedia is NEVER wrong!

Dialogue Disasters -

Tegan: Listen, I’ve had... some experience with this kind of thing. Do as they say for now while I work out what we’re going to do.
Doctor: Um... Ok.
Waiter: So, do you need more time with the menu?

Nigel: I’m the last person they’ll let into a girl’s only high school. They’re scared of me. I can’t see why. Unless, you know, they fear my beauty and know once those sweet, sinful schoolgirls get their moisturized hands on my body, they’ll never go back!

Tegan: I know there’s something going on! I can hear them TALKING!!
Doctor: Tegan. It’s a radio. It’s supposed to do that.

Dialogue Triumphs -

Doctor: I’d like to stay here and chat with you Tegan but, unfortunately, you’re a complete bitch.

Nigel: And how are you? Actually, let me stop you right there, because I don’t really care. You see, the reason I’m ringing is that I need some money. Oh, don’t give that! I know how rich you Dominos bastards are, you can spare the cost of a cheese-filled-crusty meat lover’s pizza to a struggling artiste such as myself! Uh, HELLO! I could have tried to extort Pizza Hut, mate, but I naively assumed you would be the superior pizza delivery service, and better pizzas into the bargain. Am I wrong? Do you want me to go round recommending my friends blackmail rival fast food chains? Is that what you want? It IS?! Well. Fine. No, fine. I’ll try McDonalds then. More likely to be reasonable than you, you gonad! GOODBYE FOREVER!

Doctor: I'm not in love with you, Tegan. Not then, not now, not ever.

Kathy: You may die as a human, but live forever as System, a mechanism which will change all life on Earth! For that, do you think I’d hesitate to sacrifice you?
Emily: Do I look bothered?
Kathy: What?
Emily: Am I bothered? Am I? Look at my face, look at my face? Is that a bothered face?
Kathy: No, er, but...
Emily: Face! Bothered? Look, look! Bothered? Face! Look! Face? Bothered? Bothered? Face? Bothered? I ain’t even bothered!
Kathy: The experiment must...
Emily: I’m not bothered! Not bothered! Face? Bothered? I ain’t bothered! Face? Cyber technology? I ain’t even bothered though!

Tegan: After I left you, what was I meant to do? Nothing could compare to that! Especially not James Blunt on the radio every day!

Viewer Quotes -

"Suffice it to say that The Sequel is a simply-can’t-miss event. Except for those who have missed it. How have you survived? How do you sleep at nights not worrying about this? Is there some secret? Do you have lives? Can I have one? My GOD I suck!" - JovankaJournalist23 (2007)

"Janet Fielding in Big Finish? GET REAL! Like that will ever happen. Big Finish will never reach beyond adapting and contradicting second hand NA stories like the treacherous parasites they are! They’ll never get a license for new Doctor Who stories! Oh, what is to become of them? Here are your slippers, Russell, and may you never have a day’s luck with them! No, pretty soon my BBV tie-in audios will roar all over the planet and suck the flesh from the BBC’s filthy pink little bodies! Do not lean out of the windows! At arms! At arms! COLONEL KLINK – WHERE ARE THE PRISONERS?!?!?" - Bill Baggs (1998)

"Too much talking. Too much Peter Davison. Too much emotion. Not enough Cybermen. Not enough hand crushing. Just the right amount of ruthless execution style shotgun injuries to the head." - Eric Saward (2006)

"They finally got Janet Fielding into Big Finish? Oh that’s right! Just waltz around rubbing your success into the faces of TRUE geniuses! Art is supposed to dangerous, you corporate sell outs! I can’t believe Little Nicky Briggsy turned on me as well. Now THEY’RE the ones working on the new series! AAARRRGGGH!!!!! Ding! Ding! Ding! Hey there Gilligan, little buddy, did you ever twig that the Dominie and Alice were walking copyright violations? I thought not..."
- Bill Baggs (2008)

"Oh RTD, rape my still-twitching corpse, why don’t you? It’d be nicer than your overt emotionalism is turning BF’s output into audio versions of Dynasty! All this family angst, emotional baggage and dysfunctional families is not what anyone normal like me expects in Doctor Who. I can’t help shake the feeling that the Cybermen have been pulled out of mothballs again due to their appearance in the new series. This story just doesn’t offer enough that is new to warrant the relative ease of resurrecting such a perennial monster! In my opinion, if a story wouldn’t have been remotely considered for production in the eighties, then it shouldn’t be made. Ever. This is unsophisticated fanwank, with a convoluted excuse for a plot that just smacks of something a fan would pen! Why Big Finish produces audio excrement like this and not my brilliantly sophisticated tale The Cyberman Masterplan with the Sixth Doctor and Mel beggars the imagination! WHY THE HELL WON’T YOU PEOPLE ACCEPT MY STORIES AS CANON?!" - Ron Mallett (2008)

"It would have been nice if, for once, Tegan HAD made something of herself, even if that was only to become a better person. Or at least one you didn’t want to hang from a lamppost, douse in petrol, set alight and ram hot pokers into." - Jo Ford Prefect (2007)

"This story does for Tegan what School’s Out should have done for
Sarah. Made her suffer horribly and kill her off forever. I hate Sarah, and the fact it alienates me from the rest of fandom is an entirely coincidental side benefit." - Jared "No Nickname" Hansen (2008)

"Is there some sort of audio adjustment going on to make all Australians sound like bogans?" - Cameron J Mason (2006)

Psychotic Nostalgia -
"I can’t believe Tegan listens to Radio National! No one listens to that! Who listens to the radio? Who listens to the radi-o? Who listens to the ra-di-o? Ah! That’s! What I’d! Like to! Know! Who! Listens! To the radio!"

Peter Davison Speaks!
"Gay Russell was rather disappointed when he told me we were doing The Sequel and he said, 'And Janet Fielding’s in it,' and I went, 'What-EVAH!' because he’d been bragging about doing one with her for the last six months, laughing at his own amazing abilities to weaken her 'I refuse to have anything to do with Doctor Who, acting or acting in Doctor Who' front. Of course, this is a modern-day version of Tegan, which has influenced my performance. I’ve really had to go back to my roots as an actor, imagine myself as a glistening neophyte with rippling bronzed muscles under ash blonde hair... and taking the piss out of Janet as a particularly grumpy wrinkled up old prune. Which is where she and I left off back in 83..."

Janet Fielding Speaks!
"The Doctor doesn’t change but I do. Not like the other girls who get to stay the same, because they’re just another adventure and I’m not! I think people misunderstand the difference sometimes between aggressive and being dry. What Tegan always did was give the Doctor a boundary and not take him at face value. Of course, she always kept changing the boundary and hurling abuse at him for every single thing that could ever possible go wrong, but she was fond of him. Especially when he was bending over. As for working with Peter again, we seem to be slipping into a completely false memory of us enjoying working together. I know absence makes the heart grow fonder but this is just fucked up."

Rumors & Facts -

When Big Finish started, Producer Gay Russell was determined to get every single living Doctor Who regular into at least one of his audio plays – the most troublesome being Tom Baker as the Fourth Doctor, Bonnie Langford as Melanie Bush, Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor and Janet Fielding as Tegan Jovanka. Russell ultimately broke the first three to his incessant stalking and hate campaign, but Fielding was tough. Damn tough. In fact, she was waging her own psychological war against Big Finish to leave her alone, and many claimed the increasingly poor output of the company was down to her winning.

But these people were hardcore BF apologists and should be ignored.

While undertaking a drive-by shooting that left Jason Haigh-Ellery on life support for six months, Fielding made it clear she was not intending to return. The phrase involving "no fucking way", "hell freezes over", and "over your dead bodies" was attributed to this period, but during 2000 she mysteriously disappeared.

In 2005 she reappeared with a strange glassy look in her eye and a curious snake tattoo on her arm. Fielding announced in a steely voice she would be prepared to do one audio and one audio only, involving Tegan running a multinational corporation, taking no shit from anyone, power-dressed to kill and dying of a terminal brain disorder that would ensure she could never ever return ever.

Curiously, this plot idea had been in the forefront of Russell’s mind, and decided to get Dave Lister to spin out a story based on that premise and, entirely on whim, add it to the "Rogue Cyberman Tech Companion Angst" anthology, completing a trilogy of stories that only Russell had ever known existed beforehand.

However, by the time Lister got round to penning the story, it was 2006 and he had developed and all-consuming hatred for RTD’s new series of Doctor Who, in particular the way it seemed to continually rip off his ideas from previous Big Finish plays. Thus, rather than waste any of his own brain power penning a "Doctor bumps into ex-companion whose life is shit" story, he simply used a transcript from "School’s Out!" featuring the return of Sarah Jane Smith, K9, the Bastard and Touchwood.

Lister simply substituted Tegan for Sarah, a tumor for K9, Kathy Klaus for the Bastard, and Nigel Verkoff for Mickey. However, the real Nigel Verkoff would, as per The Ripoff, not be played by the annoying bastard himself but some other Australian backpacker – in this case Diat Abuchi, an Asian exchange student with an outrageous French accent. Verkoff was furious at this further defamation for his already two-dimensional character and insisted that Lister allow him to rewrite the story to show himself in a positive life.

Since Verkoff was a genuine Australian, Lister allowed him to pen the story and create a Brisbane rooted in reality rather than a half-remembered Neighbours ad. With this done, Lister cut all the scenes showing Verkoff as a badass love machine that made Tegan a panting sex-crazed bitch clawing for his underwear and added more cut-an-paste scenes of Tegan being paranoid, depressed and in complete denial about her loneliness and social awkwardness – mind you, YOU’D feel well adjusted if you were putting up with Nigel Verkoff every day.

Lister was immensely satisfied with the finished product, believing that every decision has a repercussion meaning you get big, epic adventures ruled by the characters, that can chuck out all the emotional action to deal exclusively with its own fallout. Of course, Doctor Who rarely played "Consequences" on TV for good reason - viewers couldn't reasonably be expected to remember what happened in previous stories, and the production team itself felt completely alienated with all this continuity stuff and quite often wished they were making a nice costume drama instead of this sci-fi escapist hokum.

Of course, The Sequel’s use of Nigel Verkoff, a broken Cyberleader and a big red threatening button marked PHONE KNOCKOUT leads to an enemy of the Doctor down there with Szabo, Fudd, Brighton Pier, the Evil Chinese Midgets and the entire guest cast of Necrophilia on the list of least-exciting Big Finish villains.

Nevertheless, there is a great performance from Janet Fielding herself and she manages to slip effortlessly back into character after so long. It’s just a pity that character was an argumentative galah-voiced brain donor with all the charm and compassion of dead wombat. Still, hope springs eternal that maybe she’ll do another and the character won’t be a complete time-wasting airplane obsessed psychotic bitch with no redeeming features whatsoever.

In the end, The Sequel isn’t a play to cheer the heart, more a play to put a whacking great dent in your wallet. It's rooted in grim reality, and set amid a backdrop of guns, soulless nightclubs and not much hope, marring the memories of prior stories, as well as being one long RTD death threat. And it goes without saying the horrible torture inflicted on the Doctor’s female companions.

It’s a cruel world these days, the Doctor Who Universe... at least when Dave Lister is involved...

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