Monday, September 21, 2009

5th Doctor - Three's A Crowd

Serial 6Q/G – Two’s Company
An Alternate Programme Guide by Ewen Campion-Clarke
An Extract From The EC Unauthorized Programme Guide O' Aquitar

Serial 6Q/G – Two’s Company -

After their traumatic experiences in Tibet, the Doctor and Peri realize that hanging around Eminem could seriously damage their health – and Eminem also believes that that her two travelling companions are putting a crimp in her hardcore lifestyle.

The TARDIS fetches up on a deserted spaceship which, despite being completely deserted, still happens to have life support capacity. The Doctor finds such pointless use of resources highly offensive, and shuts down the station, only to be persuaded to reverse his decision after the TARDIS crew start to choke to death.

Eminem spots a sign saying BREAK GLASS IN CASE OF EMERGENCY and, delighted at arriving in an authoritarian world that promotes mindless violence, happily smashes everything she can, and sets off the spaceship’s burglar alarm.

The Doctor heads for the flight deck and meets Zen, an incredibly cryptic and stoned-sounding master computer who, through a series of Buddhist parables, explains that that they are in the year 2885, in orbit around the colony planet Igshang Simor, and that the works of men speak to other men so life is the message the universe sends to itself.

Peri and Eminem meanwhile, discover a store room filled with free range eggs the size of Winston Churchill, and then find a strange section of the craft that resembles a teleport section. In a rabid fit of kleptomania, Eminem steals all the teleport bracelets she can and runs into the transmission area, which immediately causes her to vanish into thin air after her mucking about with the controls.

Relieved, Peri heads to the flight deck and explains that Eminem has teleported herself to a completely random destination – the chances of her reaching a specific teleport zone on the planet are astronomical, and she’s probably been atomized and her remains scattered to the nine corners of the universe.

Zen notes that it is change that frees and perpetual night or day both enslave... which somehow convinces the Doctor and Peri to teleport down to the surface, where they arrive in an empty hotel room. No sooner has Peri started to look around then the Doctor is teleported away and brought before the leader of Igshang Simor, a former bus conductoress called Auntie Mabel.

Auntie is suspicious of the Doctor’s claims that he and Peri are just passing mime artists travelling against a wind towards the mime convention on Marceu 331 and believes him to be some kind of spy from the Mighty Terran Federation of Conquered Planets, come to demand why the terraforming of Igshang Simor is fifty years overdue.

The Doctor insists he is nothing more than a mime artist, and even has his business card: Alternate Carpark, Mime By Appointment. Auntie can’t think of why anyone even remotely sane would have a Mime’s business card about their person, and decides to believe the Doctor’s story.

Meanwhile, Eminem has been teleported into a hotel room where two colonists – Laroq and Vidler – are playing an intense game of Dungeons and Dragons. The sight of a third person in the room (especially a scantily-clad woman) proves too much for Laroq, who has a panic attack and wets himself in terror.

Vidler tries to calm Laroq down, but as Eminem starts to wreck the hotel room out of boredom, he too becomes terrified.

At knife-point, Vidler explains that the colonists are cut off from civilization and spend every day locked in individual isolated hotel rooms, instant messaging each other, and have over the years become intensely agoraphobic, terrified of open spaces or meeting people who cannot be cancelled out of existence by using the ignore button. Worse, they are now so utterly bone idle they need teleports to move from room to room to give them more time to eat doritos.

Bored, Eminem kicks down the door and strides off into the depths of the hotel. Meanwhile, Peri, also bored, opens the door to the hotel room and meets a woman in the next room along called Bellip – however, Bellip has spent her entire life alone in her room with only a staggeringly vast amount of internet porn as her companion and never seen another person face to face – though she is having a serious relationship with someone called JaxInfinte219 on MSN.

Bellip suffers a crippling anxiety attack, since Peri and her breasts are seem to fill the room and steal all the air like a coach party. Peri tells her to grow up and put some pants on like the rest of the human race, and discovering there are more humans leaves Bellip convulsing on the floor.

Bored, Peri leaves again, calling Bellip a ‘loser’ and returns to the hotel room where the Doctor has arrived and is pretending to be trapped in a glass box. Peri explains how dull and stupid it is here, and they teleport back to the orbiting space cruiser.

Arriving in the cargo holds, the Doctor quizzes Zen on just why the hold is full of giant alien eggs and is told that the Buddha uses outrageous coincidences sometimes to awaken piety.

The Doctor and Peri are then taken aback when Eminem teleports back to the ship, having burst into one of the hotel rooms and forced the terrified occupant to teleport her out.

The TARDIS crew muse on just why the colonists are living such isolated lives, and consider that it might be some kind of reality TV series about a human zoo where nothing really happens?

On the other hand, the Doctor supposes, perhaps some amoral scientist has created the colony as a science experiment to use humans as lab rats in psychological medical and aptitude tests?

Then again, maybe there was some kind of plague centuries ago which left such a mark in the colony’s race memory that they instinctively perceive other people as dangerous, so the society broke down into solitary confinement, only allowing visitors who had been screened by the transmat for infection?

Of course, maybe all the colonists are the children of dangerous criminals and the Federation’s ruthless justice system means that the offspring of such people are themselves kept in prison because they are seen as genetically pre-programmed to be dangerous?

But perhaps it could all have been Auntie’s way of ensuring that no strong bonds developed amongst her people so they would continue to love her above all others?

The Doctor claps his hands as he realizes who is really behind this incredibly devious and amoral scheme... the CYBERMEN!

"I should have realized! The Cybermen are harvesting the human colonists for future conversion, and they’re de-humanizing them before they actually transforming them into Cybermen. Think, Peri! People develop emotions though contact with others, so what better way to make the Cybernisation process more successful than by preventing those emotions from ever fully developing?!"

Just then, they are attacked by talking velociraptors.

It appears that all their theories were wrong and the colony is just the larder for some carnivorous reptilian aliens who are eating human colonists one by one. It’s not even that the colonists have been sold out by the Federation to be ground up into high-protein food, just some random talking velociraptors.

Zen muses that Heaven must love fools, since it made so many of them.

The velociraptors announce in their sillibant Gollum-type gibberish that they are the Khellians and have the right to prey on weaker species because they have an insatiable hunger for flesh.

So Eminem cuts off their leader’s head.

The TARDIS crew teleport down to the colony and warn the only survivors – which, by a stunning coincidence are only those in the main cast – about the Khellian larder. Whether this is out of altruism or because the Doctor intends to use the humans as cannon fodder is unclear, but it’s largely irrelevant anyway.

The Khellians teleport down to the surface, and Zen muses on the carnage undoubtedly about to occur, before deciding that the harp does not play music if its strings are too tight or too loose; the
music comes only when the strings are stretched just right.

Since the human colonists tend to faint in the presence of more than one other person, the Doctor finds it hard to round them up and forge them into a fighting force.

Auntie announces it was her evil plan all along, and up on the space ship, the eggs hatch to reveal even MORE velociraptors who immediately start going on and on about how damn hungry they are. JESUS H CORBETT, IT IS ANNOYING! YES, THEY LIKE TO EAT THINGS! CAN WE MOVE ON NOW!??

The Doctor tells the humans to run out of the hotel onto the wide, empty surface of the planet in the hope that such staggeringly vast incredible hugeness won’t blow the colonist’s teeny-tiny minds. He also urges Eminem to go with them, as practice for when she finally decides to arbitrarily settle down and stop hassling him.

As the Khellians chase the humans out of the hotel, the Doctor and Peri teleport up to the space ship, and after a long discussion over whether or not the rain of compassion falls on the dominion of Hell, and the light of wisdom shines on it, Zen agrees to shut off life support and kill all the Khellians aboard.

Peri notes that this is not very Buddhist, but the Doctor points out that when faith takes root, and blossoms of joy begin to spread their fragrance, allowing the dominion of Hell to turn into Buddha's pure
land. Ergo, if a man's mind becomes pure, so all his surroundings become pure also.

"Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiight," says Peri carefully. "That’s nice."

To be on the safe side, Zen decides to self-destruct and nuke all the lizard bastards since there is no silence like the silence of great mountains. The Doctor and Peri retreat quietly as Zen decides to attack the surface of Igshang Simor with carpet bombs, wiping out the hotel and every other Khellian.

As the space ship is blown to smithereens and with it the last remnants of an ancient, proud, incredibly carnivorous civilization, Eminem hunts down the last remaining velociraptor and blows it to pieces with some handy cans of nitro-9.

The TARDIS arrives and the Doctor sticks his head out the doors and says incredibly quickly that the colony might just have a future if there is someone to rally the four other survivors and suggests that Eminem might wish to make a new life for herself here.

But, to his and Peri’s dismay, Eminem has decided that she still wants
to travel with them, vandalizing the Universe and cold-bloodedly murdering new things.

Once again, the Doctor despairs about allowing either of his companions to travel with him.

Book(s)/Other Related –
The Doctor Who Psychotic Dinosaur Colouring-In Book
Zen and The Art of Casual Genocide
Agoraphobic Monthly: Large Print Sci-Fi Edition

Fluffs -
Khellian: You've spread through the universe, bringing your narrow-minded ideas of right and wrong, and claiming the moral high ground...! How many times have you humans been responsible for death and destruction on a massive scale?
Khellian 2: Barry!
Khellian: Oh! Whoops! Er, ssweet precious little meatssess!! Hungry!!

Goofs -
The enemies in this are talking velociraptors. Just THINK about that.

Fashion Victims – Auntie’s yogurt-stained cardigan.

Technobabble –
Zen reverses the polarity of the Nirvana flow, allowing him to carpet bomb a planet to smithereens with absolutely no bad karma whatsoever.

Links and References -
The TARDIS pool is still frozen over, as Peri had turned it
into an ice-skating rink in The Roof of the World.

Untelevised Misadventures -
Eminem doesn’t question the Doctor when he speaks about cricket, having already encountered the sport in Graham Dilley Saves the World. Or something.

Groovy DVD Extras -
The Dudley Simpson teleport theme tune filter. You can use it if you want, but it feels mighty strange without be "Bumpabumpabumpabuddum!"

Dialogue Disasters -

Peri: Doctor, we can't keep taking Eminem everywhere we go! I can't deal with it!
Doctor: Ah, Eminem! I was wondering if you were regretting asking to travel with us?
Eminem: No.
Doctor: You sure?
Peri: I was worried you were thinking of leaving us?
Eminem: I cannot lie to you Peri, I have been thinking about that.
Doctor: Jackpot!

Khellians: Whatsiss?! Little meatssess? Give ‘em ssome bitessess, yesss? Bite ‘im! Ssnap hiss sspine! Then eatss the meatssess! Come here, my preciousss, my ssweat little meatsses! Whassat? Whasssat?! Tricksssy little meatssess! Trying to run, yessss? Ssstupid little meatssess! Juicy little meatssess! Yum! My preciousss... sssweat... little... meatssess!!!
Doctor: I do believe they are a bit obsessed with something!

Auntie: Social contact is a privilege. Choose your social contact with care. And for god’s sake, stop that! You’re living under my roof, with my rules, so all of you take a cold shower and stop fiddling with yourselves!
Bellip: Be patient with me, please?
Auntie: And YOU’RE just as bad!

Doctor: You've turned this colony into some kind of farm, haven't you?
Khellians: Meatssess wanna talk?!
Doctor: How can you eat something with which you've just had a conversation?! Weren’t you brought up not to play with your food?!
Khellians: Bitesses the meatssess!
Doctor: Oh, I’ve had enough of this. Blow them up! BLOW THEM ALL UP!

Dialogue Triumphs -

Auntie: What is that? It looks like a giant lizard, but humanoid and weaning an army uniform! It’s licking its lips! Shall we start screaming now?

Erimem: Ooh – big teeth! I’m SOOO scared!
Khellian: Meatssess can make my hungrysss go away!
Eminem: You don’t wanna be hungry any more?
(She hacks off its head with a knife)
Eminem: Not hungry now huh, bitch?

Zen: As there are questions which have no answers, so there are answers to questions that were never asked. What was its balance? Both are essential. Everything that ever was is essential to make what is. YIPPE-KAI-YAY MUTHERFUCKERSS!!! DIE, DIE, DIE! BWAHAHAHAHAH!

Doctor: You have the foresight of a headless chicken, Auntie.

Laroq: I am authorized to use offensive weaponry.
Peri: Isn't all weaponry offensive?
Laroq: Not as offensive as this weaponry. It disrespects your family as it blows your head from your shoulders.
Peri: Wow. That’s offensive, all right.

Viewer Quotes -

"The best cast member is Lucy Beresford as Bellip, who seems to have mastered the art of speaking while breathing inwards instead of outwards. She's quite Alyson Hannigan-esque in fact. I love Alysson Hannigan. And she loves me. A lot. As does Amber Benson. In fact, I’ve shagged most of the cast of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Yep, even Joyce, Buffy’s mom. I drew a line at Dawn though. I have some standards, after all. That bitch totally ruined Inspector Gadget for me!"
- Nigel Verkoff (2005)

"I’ve got nothing in particular against the appearance of inevitable bloodthirsty aliens as long as they are interesting and erotic."
- someone I now avoid (2007)

"I'm starting to give up all hope! Big Finish is stuck in a rut of slow, talky, tedious, quiet, underdeveloped squandered bullshit. On top of that, they INSIST on using Peter Davison! What??? How gullible are these fools? And what was all that crapola about the power of Zen? This isn’t Blake’s 7 you know! Time for some fresh blood – we need every release to be Colin Baker, Gay Russell to be publicly executed, and Darlington learn how to play the sodding piano!"
- Jo Ford (2005)

"Alien eggs. Oh dear – is it 1979 already?" - Katy January (2008)

"I prefer to think of this Eminem era as an alternative reality. Mainly because that is what it is, according to Big Finish. We have reached an accord on that particular topic. While we’re on the topic, doesn’t everyone think Colin Baker should have started in Season 22 rather than at the end Season 21, so his first story would have been the not-at-all self indulgent Atari of the Cybermen? I may be stalking Colin, but even I can tell The Twin Double-D Lemma is shithouse! Well, I appeared to have wandered a bit from Two’s Company, which is quite convenient because I didn’t really pay attention."
- Ron Mallet (2006)

Psychotic Nostalgia -
"Over the last year to eighteen months, we seem to have an inordinate number of stories that have been coming close to putting me to sleep. And when I sleep, I see that strange figure, chained to a pole in a world of nightmares! And he’s watching me! WATCHING... MEEEEE!!!"

Peter Davison Speaks!
"Personally, I’m of the opinion that meat-eating humans have no right to complain if something else comes along and eats them. The idea that humans are somehow at the top of the chain (do chains have tops?) is absurd as there are plenty of species on Earth which are better killers than humans. But if a lion eats a human then it is cast as the bad guy! It’s outrageous when you think about it. I good use a nice chianti right now, come to think of it."

Nicola Bryant Speaks!
"What is truth when we lie to ourselves about so much, and know so little? What is the universe made of? How big is it? Is it eternal? Which politics are best for society? Even Peri understands that certainty is only another delusion. Word."

Caroline Morris Speaks!
"Eminem has definitely killed a hell of a lot of people. She's still young and she's still developing, but she's definitely gone from some wussy little murderer to psycho bitch 4000. The last couple of scripts I've done, the writers have definitely taken on board the character and involved her in even MORE complete carnage! Eat cold steel, mofos!"

Rumors & Facts -

Love it or loathe it – and if you loathe it you’ll be shunned by everyone, even your bank manager, until you swallow your pride join the Billie Piper fan club - the fact that Doctor Who is back on BBC television means that Big Finish have to fight even harder to justify their existence in the crowded world of Doctor Who fiction.

Let’s face it, it was hard enough to justify at the best of times. And this is NOT the best of times.

No longer can these audio adventures be seen as any sort of 'replacement' for the television series, now they are merely optional extras, so they really can’t afford to be releasing mundane by-the-numbers run-arounds right now.

Not that any of the nutters involved in it realized it. The last thing Big Finish should have been putting out was a series of generic, unadventurous, unimaginative run-arounds that has a half-decent premise which is jettisoned in favor of a bog-standard by-the-numbers Doctor Who runaround, but they refused to let anything (especially not reality) dictate their actions so that is what they did.

The latest instigator Big Finish hired was Colin Brake – a man tipped to be the script editor to replace Andrew Cartmel after he undertook a one-man mission to assassinate Margaret Thatcher. Unfortunately, Doctor Who was cancelled and Brake instead was forced to script edit the BBC’s incredibly popular and insanely well-known replacement series, Bugs.

After 50 episodes, Brake wrote a screenplay "Alien Versus Predator" but due to an accident involving a psychotic postal worker and a malfunctioning traffic light, it was commissioned as a short story for the Second Doctor, Jamie and Zoe and not the massive summer blockbuster film it was originally intended to be.

Similarly, his next screenplay "Freddy and Jason Go All The Way To Hell" ended up on the desk of Gay Russell, who, as ever immediately refused Brake the opportunity to write for Colin Baker, and instead forced him to prepare a story for the Fifth Doctor, Peri and Eminem, specifically one which got rid of Eminem, since Caroline Morris had recently looked at Russell "in a funny way".

Brake’s idea was for a cutting social satire tackling the incredibly topical social issue of agoraphobia!

Despite protests that agoraphobics were hardly their target demographic, Brake pressed on, determined to be taken as seriously as a Hispanic pop star!

You see, the colonists are basically a whacking big analogy for teenage chatroom culture! The Phoenix is a big high school with MSN, and Debbie Watling is the headmistress! Or something! There are dull corridors beyond every door, and entire planet only holds three speaking parts! Did I mention this story is boring as watching ping pong in slow motion?

Within five minutes Russell had thought up seven potential plot lines incredibly more interesting than the finished product.

Two’s Company was released as BF # 69, leading everyone to expect that a "good time" would be had by all.


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