Saturday, September 19, 2009

5th Doctor - Time Reef/A Perfect World

Serial 6C/M – Crime Spree
An Alternate Programme Guide by Ewen Campion-Clarke
An Extract From The EC Unauthorized Programme Guide O' Repeat Offenders

Serial 6C/M – Crime Spree -

The Doctor runs around the TARDIS corridors, understandably paranoid as to what the hell total asshole Thomas Brewster has done to his ship for the five months of story time the jerk had sole access to the time machine. Not only has the little scumbag reconfigured the TARDIS architecture, there are large gaps where the food machine, the fault locator and most of the wine cellar used to be. The Doctor confronts Thomas Brewster and is absolutely furious to discover the miserable self-hating bastard hasn’t just been selling off bits of the TARDIS for two pints and a packet of crisps, he’s also wearing the Doctor’s spare cricket whites!

The Doctor and Nyssa decide it is time for an impromptu execution and unwind a ball of string to make a noose, while Thomas insists he hasn’t done a thing and all the evidence of his selfishness and theft are lies. He then hurls abuse at Nyssa for acting like she’s better than him, and starts ranting insanely he knows a REAL princess who very nearly went to third base with him once.

Thomas is only saved when the whole inner structure of the TARDIS destabilizes – since Thomas nicked the conceptual geometer, the specific macguffin that STOPS the internal dimensions from folding in on the themselves. The good news is that the Doctor and Nyssa do not have the time to string Thomas up from the hatstand, but the bad news is that they are all doomed to be crushed to a singularity when the TARDIS stops being bigger on the inside.

Using his formidable powers of deduction to deduce Thomas sold off the macguffin for some cheap gin and a mince pie, the Doctor sets the TARDIS to return to one of the places Thomas piloted to in the vain hope it’s the place where the conceptual geometer ended up and they can stop the TARDIS from collapsing like a court case involving the Royal Family. As the walls of the console room are rupturing, no one can really fault his plan and the TARDIS crash lands on a barren asteroid hovering in the time vortex – a time reefer as it is known.

The Doctor, Nyssa and Thomas flee the TARDIS before the interior collapses and the time machine becomes nothing more than a tatty police box prop with no magical properties of any kind. At this point a guy in a spacesuit flies overhead, waving cheerfully at them. The trio aren’t quite sure what to make of this when a bunch of Hornblower rejects attacks the time travelers, but Nyssa is able to leg it.

Lead by Commander Pomades, the sailor folk grab Thomas and start beating the crap out of him – blaming "the Doctor" for abandoning them on the time reefer! The Doctor realizes that these are the poor suckers Thomas sold bits of the TARDIS to while pretending to be the Time Lord and decides to sit back, relax and enjoy the brat suffering his long-awaited just desserts.

It turns out that Commander Pomades and his crew are the classical pioneers of trans-temporal voyaging, heroes who have sought adventure across the ages – and for some reason the civilization mastering the ability to travel time just HAS to act like it’s the Napoleonic Wars and speak in BBC classical English. Even their time machine is shaped like a sailing ship for no other reason than it might look nicely surreal on a CD cover somewhere.

A distress call lured Pomades and his crew to the uncharted time reefer where they met Thomas and he demanded all their treasure for spare parts to repair their sailing ship. No sooner did Pomades realize the stuff he’d bought was a broken food machine, fault locator and conceptual geometer, Thomas had buggered off with the loot.

Thomas babbles bullshit that he didn’t abandon them per se, he just popped out for some milk and then spins Pomades a line that he went out into the universe to seek out the TRUE Doctor who actually understands all these time travel shenanigans – and while everyone seriously considers whether or not the whiskerless blond youth with the celery can possibly help them, Thomas legs it, laughing evilly.

The Doctor angrily tells Pomades men to head after Thomas and kill him, but it turns out the urchin has fled into the territory of the Thrush, the damned cunning and foul-hearted carrion bird that generally makes the sailors’ lives a misery. AND it craps everywhere.

Satisfied that Thomas is doomed, the Doctor agrees to help Pomades and they load the TARDIS aboard Pomades’ ship, the John-Selwin-Gumma. Pomades intends to get the whole crew into the time machine and abandon the stupidly-named ship to the ever-growing coral of the time reefer. Unfortunately this otherwise-brilliant plan relies on the TARDIS still being bigger on the outside.

On the bright side, if the Doctor gets his conceptual geometer back, he can magically retcon the TARDIS back into full working order. On the downside, the conceptual geometer is with the flying spacesuit dude who is in fact caught in a time loop and out of reach in every possible sense. This is yet ANOTHER fine mess Thomas Brewster has caused.

Elsewhere, Nyssa stumbles across a huge-winged bird with a human-like face who speaks with a deep voice. It mumbles some philosophical bollocks about how it wasn’t ALWAYS a psychotically evil flesh-eating hunter, but he is now and he’d really like her to fetch some beacon or another as it 'sings the place alive from the blinding dark'. Nyssa realizes two things:

a) the beacon is some kind of honey trap luring people and objects to the time reef to suffer a long, drawn out lingering death
b) the bird thing is totally blind so she can just walk off

So she does.

She soon finds a giant glass jar containing a naked supermodel called Lady Voo-Yucky, whose stunningly attractive body doesn’t make up for her irritating and contemptuous personality which got her sealed in a jar in the first place. Nyssa is more disturbed that Thomas is ALSO inside the glass jar and doing naughty things with dried bits of dead porpoises while Voo-Yucky whines and bitches about the lack of presents

Nyssa realizes THIS is the princess Thomas was moaning about earlier and when Voo-Yucky demands Thomas make Nyssa a slave and feed her mud, Nyssa responds by kicking the jar down the hill and walking off. The backstabbing Voo-Yucky reacts like the complete bitch she is and sends the Thrush (that big blind bird mentioned earlier) to peck Nyssa’s eyes out and screams avian abuse at everyone and everything.

The Thrush goes absolutely apeshit and flaps off to attack Nyssa, while Pomades and the Doctor turn it. It seems that Pomades too has fallen smitten for Voo-Yucky and her dusky pink areola, not that she would spit on him if he was on fire. But this one-sided relationship becomes ever more strained when Voo-Yucky mistakes the Doctor for her guru, Cosmic Raymond and lets out a torrent of shocking obscenities when he reveal that he isn’t Cosmic Raymond and indeed doubts if such a guru actually exists beyond Voo-Yucky’s rancid imagination.

The Doctor wanders off and finds the Thrush about to strike Nyssa down... but, what with it being blind and all, it misses completely and succeeds in beating itself to the brink of unconscious and collapses, sobbing that its trapped and alone and doesn’t even belong in this dimension, coming from an eternal ever-ness of flying free and normally its feet would never touch the ground, but the dimensions here bind and crush it.

"Yeah. Whatever," yawns the Doctor as Commander Pomades and his men turn up and perform a brutal beating on the already-downed birdman with all the restraint of the New York Police Department. Oh yeah, I went there. Anyway, further proving that every single character in this scenario is a selfish, arrogant shithead, Pomades decks the Doctor and ties him to the mast of the John-Selwin-Gumma.

These oh-so-advanced time travelers then decide to sacrifice the Thrush to the bloody sky gods and appease the mighty forces that are – they would have done that sooner but they didn’t have any sheep left on board, so THAT’s there excuse for lying around doing sod all so far.

The Doctor decides that he is getting too young for this shit, effortlessly escapes his bonds and decides to fire a harpoon at floating-astronaut-dude to bring him down to Earth. Nyssa points out that the Thrush at some point mumbled that this might be a bad idea, but the Doctor has been pissed around enough in this story arc and refuses to listen to a refugee from Sesame Street.

The Doctor fires the harpoon anyway... but unfortunately misses as there is technically no gravity, air resistance or linear time. Pomades runs into view and demands to know what in name of Eumachus is going on, so the Doctor explains "No More Mr. Nice Guy!" and punches Pomades in the groin.

Just then hundreds of Thrushes appear above them, falling from the sky like rain and beaching themselves on the reefer... quite possibly the bad stuff that original Thrush mentioned, but it could be a coincidence. Pomades accuses the Doctor of luring them here to their deaths... and the Doctor kicks him in the head to shut him up.

"Come on, gutless! You couldn’t kill a fly! I’ve been attacked more by armies of Thrushes! Yeah? GET THE IMPLICIT INSULT THERE, YOU FEATHERED BASTARDS?! I’LL TAKE YOU ALL ON!" the Doctor screams furiously at the surrounding army of blind and very stupid extra-dimensional birds.

Showing how utterly pissweak the alien menace of the Thrush is, the aliens flee. Either the Doctor’s foaming-at-the-mouth-fury-after-being-pushed-around-once-too-often has scared them off, or it’s down to Lady Voo-Yucky having got out of her jar and wandering over the reefer nude like an Alanis Morissette music video. Clearly the Thrushes are terrified of her and can’t get out of the way fast enough as, since they are blind, they know her only for her disgusting personality.

Pomades however, now heavily concussed and bleeding from numerous head wounds, is still in love with Voo-Yucky and begs her to board his fine ship John-Selwin-Gumma. Once again it shows that the dashing chrononauts of yesteryear had all the self-control and reasoning powers of a bull elephant in heat. It also shows that Voo-Yucky is the same total bitch of the previous episodes as she refuses to board the ship unless her nonexistent guru is aboard.

Finally the dimensional bubble that keeps the time reefer stable starts to burn out and Thomas Brewster reappears to cause more mayhem by releasing the original Thrush. For some reason. The Doctor decides to call it a day, and steals back all the stuff from the TARDIS while Pomades loses the last of his reason and asks all the psychotic Thrushes to come on board and kill everyone.

Voo-Yucky is upset that she’s no longer the centre of attention, which is another reason why I hate her and indeed every other character in this story. They’re all assholes and deserve to die, especially Thomas who screams hysterically for everyone to stop having a go at him because none of it was his fault as he provides Voo-Yucky with a foot massage as the world ends.

As Pomades and his reprobates are torn limb from limb by the rampaging Thrushes, the John-Selwin-Gumma snaps loose from the time reefer and Voo-Yucky tells Thomas that she’s decided to dump him and move on with her life. In fury he locates the Doctor and Nyssa in the hold and locks them in, just in time for them to be unable to fix the engines of the ship as it starts to break up. Yep, Brewster screws up yet again. What were the odds, I ask you...

Luckily, the Doctor and Nyssa have the original Thrush to break them out of the hold as the sky starts to shatter and reality crumbles at the seams. There the Doctor uses a lucky hypno-coin he got off the back of a comic book to repair the engines of the ship but the surviving sailors STILL want to bloodily slaughter the Thrush to appease the Gods, even though they can escape.

To the surprise of no one, Voo-Yucky reveals she is in fact a sociopathic serial killer known as the Giggling Hyena With Big Tits by her few surviving victims. Thomas shrugs and points out that they probably asked for it, before Voo-Yucky explains EVERYONE asks for it, even him!

At this revelation, Thomas decides to accept that the relationship is over and get the hell out of here while they still can since the flying dude with the conceptual geometer is over the yardarm. The Thrush flies up and snatches the vital component while the other jump overboard onto the time reefer which even now is in meltdown.

The Doctor, Nyssa and Thomas flee across crumbling ground into the police box and plug the conceptual geometer into the fuse box, unraveling the dimensions of the TARDIS interior. The only problem is that there is no way the Doctor can think of to annihilate Thomas at the same time and mourns a wasted opportunity to sacrifice the git.

The control room reboots into existence all around them and they escape the disintegrating time reefer as Lady Voo-Yucky struggles to boss around the time vortex before it tears her shreds in an infinite agony across every last millennia.

Too quick and merciful in my opinion.

Book(s)/Other Related –
Time Reefer Madness!
Dr Who & The Declining Moral Values of Society
Bitches in Jam-Jars by Paul Margrs

Goofs -
The Fourth Doctor often removed the conceptual geometer and used it as a makeshift ping pong ball and not once did the TARDIS implode. In fact, the whole point of making the TARDIS implode is lost on me as it makes absolutely no difference to the adventure apart from one moment when the Doctor babbles that his TARDIS is gone forever and five seconds later works out a plan to rebuild it better than ever! This is a complete waste of my infinitesimally valuable time!

Fashion Victims –
Voo-Yucky’s awful "naked" outfit that’s clearly a skin-coloured swim suit with nipples drawn on in crayon.

Technobabble –
Don’t. Just... just don’t.

Links and References -
The Doctor and Nyssa bitch about pretty much every single thing Thomas Brewster has ever done in his miserable, pathetic and worthless life.

Untelevised Misadventures -
Quite a few, but they features Thomas Brewster pretending to be the Doctor and screwing over everyone he met. If I want a badly-acted emotional cripple with a chip on their shoulder causing countless plot devices, then I will attempt to watch Ashes to Ashes.

Groovy DVD Extras -
A documentary pointing out which of Plate’s previous works were ripped off to produce this, with the author’s brilliant justification that as hardly anyone listened to his Unsoiled work, he could completely rehash it as a new story in the new range. Git.

Dialogue Disasters -

Nyssa: There you go again, making incredibly pointless blunders...
Thomas: Eat my bum biscuits! For SOME people incredibly pointless blunders are what life is all about!!

Pomades: Oh my love, why must you be so coy, especially as we’re both equally trapped on this godforsaken rock? This is a place where time sluices all around them and the past and the possible dash against the reefer! Can’t we just be together for the rest of eternity?
Voo-Yucky: Who are you, again?

Dialogue Triumphs -

Pomades: We haven’t offered any sacrifices for 130 days since the Thrush stole our goats!
Doctor: Sacrifices?! You offer blood sacrifices?!
Pomades: Yes. Don’t you?
Doctor: I object to the principle!
Pomades: No wonder you never get anything done.

Thrush: It sings the place alive. Sings the blinding dark. Doo-be-do-be-do.

Pomades: When I was newborn I was taken to an Oracle who foretold my death in glorious battle. My first ever toy was a sword and all through my schooling I was told I was going to be a hero - but now I am resigned to the fact that I’ll never meet my doom.
Doctor: Boo... friggen... hoo. Untie me from this damn mast!
Pomades: At the burning of the Sable Empire, a wounded Sphinx came prowling through the field of dead and found me where I lay bleeding. She cursed me to eternal life - the worst possible fate for a hero who was trained to die in combat.
Doctor: Yes, in my experience, fortune tellers only ever tell half of what they mean. In fact, if you untie me from this mast, I’d be MORE than prepared to kill you where you stand...

Viewer Quotes -

"I was very disappointed with rather muddled and un-engaging offering, but I wasn’t particularly surprised. Because I’ve listened to the author’s work before, you see." - Ewen Campion-Clarke (2008)

"What whimsical bullshit." - Homer (89 BC)

"My dislike for Thomas Brewster doesn’t tire, unlike this story, which didn’t so much blow me away as break wind in my general vicinity. There were no interesting characters, little conflict and 80% of the plot was Brewster being a fuckwit and the Doctor grumbling about Brewster for being a fuckwit. For the THIRD release in a ROW. Are we really supposed to believe that Big Finish think this is worthy material? That’s a leap of credibility too much for me. It’s much more likely to be a conspiracy on the part of Nicholas Briggs!"
- Eve Markson accidentally stumbles upon the truth (2009)

"After the awful Fawning of Thomas Brewster and the dire One That Fandom Forgot, I approached this was some concern... and I was goddamned right! What utter, utter tosh! Especially compared to my own superior work."
- Nigel Verkoff (2008)

"Anyone else think this was pretty awful in the places it WASN’T a direct rip off of Entitlement?" - Seth McFarlane (2010)

Psychotic Nostalgia -
"ARGH! The Paranoid Schizophrenic Frustrated Carmelite Baptist Ladies Netball Team won’t be silent about this awful new companion trilogy any more! HEY, PRICILLA! GET – MORE – FOOD!"

Peter Davison Speaks!
"I still haven’t read the script for this one. With the acting process I’ve mastered over the years, you don’t really need to know the beginning or the middle, just the end. Knowing how it all turns out makes all men blandly indifferent in improvisation in the instant. This isn’t really one of the stories we would have done in the TV series. At least, we wouldn’t have done it very well. Of course with Doctor Who nowadays there’s no telling if Thomas Brewster is really gone for good... but we can pray that he is."

Rumors & Facts -
Crime Spree is a peculiar story, but then this IS by the author of Goth Night, Bare Parts, Van Halen and The Skull of Sobriety. Expecting anything other than brain-twisting peculiarity was just stupid and, frankly, I think lesser of you and think we should now be seeing different people.

Continuing his increasingly desperate attempts to destroy all the good will and fan bases that Big Finish had set up over the previous decade, Executive Producer Nicholas Briggs decided to commission the author who had most let down his followers in recent times – Mark Plate!

His previous effort had decimated his own reputation and Briggs decided to finish the other nine/tenths by getting Plate to pen the third part of the Thomas Brewster Is A Total Bastard trilogy, but also rip off countless other – and better stories – by featuring godlike aliens in sailing ships, princesses living in glass jars, ancient time travelers who seem to think fashion ended in BC Athens, the TARDIS turning inside out and exploding, giant squawking thrushes and also ensure that every single character was an irredeemable jerk.

Briggs was certain these disparate ingredients would add up to a story so monumentally annoying that fandom would disown Big Finish FOREVER and only accept remastered OV stories starring Briggs as the Doctor!

Indeed, it’s hard to imagine a more deliciously horrid waste of four episodes... the immediately previous story notwithstanding anyway. The plot is thin, the pace is slow and it actually manages to make the classical Greek epics look like badly-written fanwank full of painfully unmemorable but nevertheless irritating guest characters.

Unfortunately, everyone decided that the Fifth Doctor audios were going downhill and decided to give Crime Spree a miss, confident things would pick up again once Thomas Brewster slung his bleeding hook. The critical mass of fan outrage never happened!

Briggs stabbed a passer-by with a toothbrush and decided to start his diabolical schemes again, this time from scratch...


Also included in the disc was a one-episode story entitled "Thief Encounters" – written by Jonathon Morris when Nicholas Briggs realized, YET AGAIN, that three 25 minute episodes couldn’t quite fill 100 minutes of run time according to the laws of human mathematics. It was also decided that the production team were likely to go on a machine gun rampage if they had to put up with the character any more so there was no alternative but write out Thomas Brewster who, after all, Morris had inflicted on us in the first place.

"Thief Encounters"

For maximum dramatic irony, the Doctor and Nyssa decide to execute Thomas in London 2008 which means something or other if you listen to ALL his stories in the right order. However, it turns out that London 2008 is yet another place Thomas has been and monumentally screwed up while he was off cavorting through time and space and Thomas runs off before the others can nail him to the wall and slice him open. They make chase and are immediately suspicious at the lack of early morning rush hour, chronic obesity, global warming, international credit crisis or War in Iraq.
It turns out that Thomas arrived in 2008 and proved so completely annoying that Connie Water was turned off the idea of suicide. With his typical denial, Thomas assumes this was a wonderful whirlwind romance and upon his return immediately looks her up – only for her to insist they’ve never met and she’s got engaged. Depressed he allows the Doctor and Nyssa to catch up with him and prepare a giant wicker man.
Curious at the total lack of whining, self-pitying drivel from Thomas, the Doctor checks the TARDIS and discovers that when Thomas visited, he shattered time and space... again... and somehow created a perfect world straight out of a Richard Curtis film.
Suddenly two odd figures – Dr. Spoon and Chamber – appear in the control room and dump their tools on the floor, having been called up for an emergency patch-up job in reality by the Supreme Being and all the usual Time Bandit midgets are all busy. Despite the protests from all concerned, they refuse to leave this world in a perfect state as it’s very boring and if you take away the opportunity to get things wrong, you take away the reasons for getting things right.
Since Dr. Spoon and Chamber are going to make this reality into a hellhole, the Doctor and Nyssa decide to abandon Thomas there and suffer misery, depression, angst and drug abuse unseen outside of the average episode of "Shameless". Although Thomas has been paired off with some vapid non-entity, the Doctor insists that in no way makes Brewster an official companion and hell will freeze over before he turns up in a canonical deathbed regeneration flashback!

The End

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