Saturday, September 19, 2009

5th Doctor - Primeval

Serial 6C/D – PRIME Evil
An Alternate Programme Guide by Ewen Campion-Clarke
An Extract From The EC Unauthorized Programme Guide O' Rolf Harris

Serial 6C/D – PRIME Evil -

Nyssa is startled to discover the TARDIS has materialized on her home planet of Traken. Is it random? Or has the Doctor's Easy Catholic Schoolgirl Detector started to affect the time machine, sending it to the most famous source of Welsh tarts in the cosmos?

The Doctor awkwardly insists it's the former.

Suspicious, Nyssa decides to check up with her old pals and make sure than no one on this planet of total peace and harmony has robbed anything from her flat. The Doctor, meanwhile, decides to see if they've arrived during the period of Traken history when a colony of easy Welsh tarts arrived.

Nyssa meets up with Consuls Sutra and Pelvic, the latter of whom is really coming to grips with his new post as the Zoo-Keeper of Traken. When they ask Nyssa where she's been for the last six months, she explains that an evil sea lion stole the body of her father, when a being speaking Portuguese offered her a lift to the planet Logopolis where she shacked up with the Doctor, an air hostess called Tegan and Adric, who promptly died, then the Doctor who had just regenerated into a total voyeur dumped Tegan and ever since has been transporting her to cold climates and ensuring she wears totally impractical and revealing clothes so he can subtly ogle her from a distance.

"You know," says Nyssa. "Same old, same old."

The Doctor, having ascertained that he's still millennia early for the Welsh tart colonists, discovers a hostile reception. The Trakenites don't immediately believe he is the same drunken megalomaniac in a scarf they met before, but bizarrely this doesn't improve their mood in the slightest. The Doctor doesn't make things better by flippantly promising to act drunk, insane and power-mad.

The meeting does not end well, as the Consuls are angered by the Doctor's apparent attempts to seduce an orphaned princess who has clearly had her soul corrupted by EVIL – or at least endless exposure to cold weather.

He is also disturbed to learn that, as there is only one consul left, the Zoo-Keeper has decided to dispense with the old form of Traken government and replace it with a PRIME computer. The Doctor has had several bad experiences with PRIME computers and is not in the least surprised when the device orders the Trakenites to expel the Doctor and Nyssa from the Union before any other weird crap starts to happen.

Annoyed, the Doctor demands the PRIME computer to tell him what he could possibly do to endanger Traken now that the Bastard is now off somewhere with Tegan for a companion. PRIME suggests that the Doctor might contact the evil wasp-eating warmongering maniac Kwundaar – named after a snatch of 'Stairway to Heaven' by Led Zepplin – and give him the information to conquer Traken and its mysteriously powerful position of Zoo-Keeper.

The Doctor snorts indignantly and goes to do just that.

The Doctor pilots the TARDIS to Kwundaar's three-millennia-old war craft and privately wonders if a guy who can't even afford a remotely new space-chopper could possibly be a threat to the advanced technology of a PRIME computer.

In the inner sanctum, the Doctor meets with Kwundaar, and as the Doctor sees his face for the first time he begins to scream with laughter.

For Kwundaar is an elephant with a false front leg and an eye-patch.

Annoyed, Kwundaar bitch-slaps the Doctor and tells him to pull himself together. The Doctor manages to do this with difficulty, but honestly wonders what is it about the Zoo of Traken that inspires animals to try and take it over – even the pay isn't that good. However, Traken has to be the most boring and irritating place bar Gallifrey and if he can get it blown up, he will. Kwundaar agrees, on one condition. However, he won't tell us what the condition is. Weird, huh?

Back on Traken, Nyssa shares a jacuzzi with a guy called Fabian.

The Doctor eagerly awaits for the attack on Traken to begin when the spaceship finally breaks down. Kwundaar uses his dark powers and calls up a member of the galactic AA. The Doctor decides that this attack is just a lost cause and plans to collect Nyssa and head for another cold climate. Returning to Traken, he pauses in his search for Nyssa in order to brag to PRIME how he didn't betray Traken to the dark lord Kwundaar, but a few moments of interrogation and the Doctor folds like a house of extremely thin cards in a hurricane.

Unable to find Nyssa, the Doctor sighs, all depressed and decides to give up and use his Easy Catholic Schoolgirl Detector to get himself some distraction. To his shock, surprise and annoyance, the TARDIS leads him straight to the jacuzzi to see Nyssa and Fabian doing naughty things with an unwilling rubber duck. Devastated, he pretends to drown himself in suicidal anguish.

Nyssa doesn't notice.

After some melodramatic floundering, the Doctor pretends to get washed away and ends up in a reservoir as Kwundaar's army of death incarnate arrive and begin to walk on the grass, against clear warning not to. Stunned at the evil of this act, the Doctor genuinely drowns.

Kwundaar laughs evilly and uses his ludicrous appearance to kill with laughter any and all that oppose him. With his mighty tusks, he intimidates Pelvic into handing over control of Traken to him. Kwundaar explains he was once the Zoo's most famous and popular animals, but after an unfortunate incident with a hand grenade and a table-tennis championship, Kwundaar the elephant has been a lonely exile, forced to pose for holiday snaps with amused tourists. It was a degrading time and, tragically, the elephant remembers every last moment of it. Now, he will have his REVENGE!!!

Using the power of the Zoo-Keeper, he will destroy inferior exhibits and summon other mutilated animal mascots who will remake Traken in their own gimp-like image.

Unfortunately, the Doctor and the PRIME computer have teamed up against him – the Time Lord having survived his drowning by pretending to be a fish. Exactly how this helped is not explained as Kwundaar begins to stampede around the zoo, knocking everything over.

The Doctor scowls and throws Kwundaar a bag of poisoned peanuts. He would have wanted it this way, the Doctor rationalizes to a horrified bunch of Trakenites.

Much later, the stuffed Kwundaar stands as a photo opportunity outside the Zoo of Traken, and business is booming. The Doctor plans to leave Traken and run like hell before the other injured zoo animals catch up with him. Acting heart-breakingly noble, he tells Nyssa to stay on Traken where she will be safe, but she refuses. She will stay with him and the TARDIS, come what may.

Just as the Doctor intended.

Book(s)/Other Related -
Doctor Who Can't Swim
Kwundaar The Elephant Goes To The Zoo
Nude Traken: The XXX-rated adventures of Nyssa the space ghost

Fluffs -
Kundaar's mind wanders at the sight of Nyssa in a bikini -
"We have secured this whole sexy slut... Sorry, sector."

Goofs -
Kwundaar can look through time and space yet can't see that he will fail – does anyone else think that Kwundaar was just bullshitting us?

The sound of a pottery vase breaking sounds like the long, drawn-out death rattle of an old man dying of terminal flatulence.

Technobabble -
The hatch has a neutronic lock, which has fourteen trillion possible combinations. The Doctor manages to get EXACTLY the right one on the first try by simply reversing the polarity of the neutronic lock.

Links and References -
The Doctor claims that Kwundaar is using his evil psychic powers to place Nyssa in cold climates when dressed only in her underwear, hence the increase of snowy isolation during Serial 6C and pretty much every damn story afterwards.

At the end of the story, the Doctor is worried that he may have unleashed some terrible injured zoo animals back into the universe – explaining why the Ergon, Mara, Garm appear in the following season.

Untelevised Misadventures -
The Doctor once played a fish in a school play and ever since has been able to breath underwater simply by getting in character. Don't ask me how, I have no idea.

Groovy DVD Extras -
The PRIME computer ads showing the Fourth Doctor's worrying relationship with the machine – much to Romana's chagrin.

Dialogue Disasters -

Kwundaar: You can feel me in your mitochondria. You can feel me in your toes. I am all around you. And so the feeling grows.

Doctor: Never discuss religion at the dining table. Or politics. Or urinary tract infections. Big no-no, that.

Kwundaar: My agent will soon bring the walls of paradise down.
Doctor: Really?
Kwundaar: Considering the amount I pay him, he better bloody do!

Dialogue Triumphs -

Fabian: The warp drive's stuffed! We're, like, dead, dude!
Doctor: Never fear! I have a spare weft drive in my pocket.
Fabian: What's a weft drive?
Doctor: Well, it's like a warp drive, only a warp drive goes beep and a weft drive goes ping.
Fabian: Fair enough.

Pirate 1: Is the Doctor dead?
Pirate 2: Well, the laughing's stopped...

Doctor: This glass is half-empty. Get me another.
Barmaid: You're one of those people whose glass is ALWAYS half empty, aren't you?

Doctor: I'm not impressed by these theatrics.
Kwundaar: Well, don't blame me, blame my agent!

Doctor: The mark of a gentleman is that he knows how to betray a planet full of pacifists to an evil dark lord hell bent on death, destruction and slavery... but doesn't.
PRIME: That's you stuffed, then, Doctor.

Viewer Quotes -

"My god! A Big Finish story NOT set on Earth! Is something wrong? Are the team ill or something?" - (2003)

"A story for the most dyed-in-the-wool of Doctor Who fans, calculated to delight with references to past continuity... I LOVE IT! Fanwank is the new black! Embrace the Continuity!"
- Gay Russell (1990)

"Why couldn't the Doctor have put on a bikini?" - RTD (2007)

"It's not important that PRIME Evil is a dull adventure set on perhaps the dullest planet ever to be seen in the TV series. It doesn't matter that the tale is lazy and un-involving. It doesn't matter that it is, by a long chalk, the weakest of the Fifth Doctor Audios. What *does* matter is... NYSSA IN A BIKINI!!! THAT ROCKS!!!"
- Father James O'Malley (2002)

Psychotic Nostalgia -
"Exposure to evil, even the smallest amount, can corrode the soul. Luckily, there IS a cure! A staple diet of bull's urine and fish will soon have you hanging around white supremacists with the best of them!"

Peter Davison Speaks!
"My third child Joel was born just before we started work on PRIME Evil, so I wasn't getting much sleep. I dozed off during six different scenes and the director didn't notice. You know, some people say it is foolish of me to try to recreate the youthful Doctor days gone by, but even during these audio adventures I get chances to look at different ways of playing him, of going back to my roots as an actor... Does that sound pretentious? I didn't think so."

Rumors & Facts -

Nicholas Briggs's latest submission 'The Space Mail' had just been thrown out of a fifteen-story window by Gay Russell, who immediately demanded Lance Parkin to come up with an idea before Briggs found another Oddly Visual script to hurl at them.

Parkin's first suggestion was an epic space opera titled Ironing Empire, a sequel to the first Doctor Who Weekly comic strip The Ironing Legion, about a bunch of Italian laundry workers from a parallel dimension where Rome never fell.

Due to the true inability for Big Finish to do foreign accents convincingly, this idea was abandoned – as was Parkin's second suggestion, Slovenly, where the Fifth Doctor and Nyssa single-handedly defeat the Fawklands invaders by cunningly reversing the polarity of the neutron flow.

Finally, Parkin had always been troubled by the character of Nyssa – and especially her death at the hands of Turlough in 1983's aptly-named Terminal – mainly because he was worried that she never got round to going home and paying rent for her and Tremas' apartment, and worried that she might have forgotten to feed the cat.

A similar idea had been proposed by King Lear during the making of his Eighth Doctor extravaganza Inuit in Hull. The idea, Riders of the Vartex began in media res with the Doctor on the run from the native celery people of Traken and Nyssa dying slowly in the TARDIS – but how the travelers had got into this mess was never revealed. Finally, with the aid of a Dixieland jazz band and the Hunchback of Notre Dame, the Doctor clones a new body for Nyssa's spirit to reside. Unfortunately, the space-time continuum rejects the canonicity of this adventure, so when Nyssa dies in Terminal, the Doctor doesn't think of reincarnating her yet again.

Since Russell and Lear had started mailing each other anthrax bombs, the idea was given for Lance Parkin to rework.

Parkin's initial proposal, The Last Zoo-Keeper, consisted solely of Nyssa returning to Traken and finding she had won the Reader's Digest Tour of Freezing Climates, thus explaining the frosty settings of the previous three audio plays. He also was interesting in a totally-gratuitous scene between Nyssa and her boyfriend Fabian in a spa.

As it didn't feature anything at all for Briggs to do, Russell agreed and decided to continue his insane plan to feature every main cast member of Blake's 7 appear as a bad guy in a Doctor Who story. To give him his due, there were only five left by November 2001 – Stephen Grief, Sally Knyvette, Stephen Pacey, Glynis Barber and Josette Simon. He thus hired Grief immediately and ordered Parkin to write a generic, fist-waving bad guy character that would irritate a thespian of Grief's stature, but not tax his acting abilities.

During release of PRIME Evil, Big Finish realized that they had done even less to publicize it than normal and, indeed, had completely forgotten to mention it was set on Traken at all. When the fans got the story, they were in for a big surprise and quickly applauded Big Finish for their skill and cunning in hiding this spoiler.

Gay Russell had no idea what they were talking about, but took their applause anyway.

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