Wednesday, November 4, 2009

7th Doctor - Frozen Time

Serial 7Z/B – Frozen Crime
Frozen Crime
An Alternate Programme Guide by Ewen Campion-Clarke
An Extract From The EC Unauthorized Guide O' Copouts
Dedicated to Vila Campion-Clarke – you were batshit insane but you loved everyone and we miss you


Serial 7Z/B – Frozen Crime

In 1929, Lord Barset lead an expedition to Antarctica and did the whole "unleashing ancient terrors that mankind was not meant to know about" Lovecraftian shtick. Their ship, The Martin Jarvis, sank without trace but there was one survivor who made it back to Blighty, but unfortunately he was stark, staring mad and days later died from forgetting to breathe in and out. (This wasn’t down to any brain-melting horrors or anything, the guy was stark, staring mad BEFORE the expedition.)

But that sad, mad lunatic carried with him the expedition diary detailing that expedition encountered a reptilian race, indigenous to Earth but which pre-dates the rise of mankind! And they are incredibly broadminded bisexual swingers into necrophilia, pederasty, bestiality, orgies, wife-swapping, flagellation, sadomasochism and group sex. A whole race that seeks more or less anything to screw, without needing even to see a photo first!

Now, 83 years later... that’s 2012 to all you math-illiterate twits... his grandson has published Barset’s scandalous diaries and created a massive fan-base powerful enough to force the Expeditions Commission PLC to grand Barset the license to head to Antarctica to discover what befell the first expedition and also get all of the kinky sex tips that they perished trying to master.

Of course, this would be a complete and suicidal waste of time if it weren’t for the fact this is same civilization that has relocated the 2012 Olympics to a biosphere on Mars to keep the crowds down.

What a horrible future we live in.

Part One

It only takes one day of Barset Junior’s expedition being underway in the Antarctic for it all go tit’s up and they completely lose contact with the small exploratory group in underground ice caverns the frozen wastes... hey, there are still polar ice caps in 2012! Yay! Mankind escapes extinction another day – in your FACE, climatologists!

Ahem. Anyway, deeply annoyed, Barset is forced to lead a rescue party to Professor McIntyre’s last known location – suspecting they have already defrosted the kinky reptiles and started a celebratory orgy of defrosting WITHOUT HIM!

In fact, McIntyre and his hot French tart Genevieve are not having an orgy at all, but are struggling to melt away huge chunks of ice with all the hot water bottles they have to hand. Finally they discover an old London police box buried in million-year-old ice... which isn’t really that remarkable when you think about it. How many times have they been excavating limestone quarries or Pompeii and found a police box from period before human history? Indeed, it is quite clear to any decent paleontologist that police boxes predated the dinosaurs and it was only in the 1950s that Britain cunningly used them as telephone booths rather than strange obelisks to civilizations long gone to dust.

Admittedly, the body frozen in the ice next to the police box in the pullover and golfing umbrella doffing his hat is slightly unusual, but not enough to balance the books, exciting-excavation-wise.

Thus, McIntyre and Genevieve have absolutely nothing to show for their expedition as Barset and his armed, volatile and homicidal thugs lead by the aptly-named Captain Harm-Man arrive with Uzzi submachine guns. Barset is disappointed, especially when the man with the umbrella is chiseled out of the ice is shown NOT to be a reptile person.

The ice soon melts away and with all the logic of "Encino Man", the ice soon melts away to reveal the perfectly preserved body of the Doctor, who returns to life after several millions years of sub-zero temperatures, no food, water, oxygen or anything else that might allow organic life to endure so long.

Still, if Brendan Fraser can do it, why not Doctor Who?

Nevertheless, the Doctor finds himself completely amnesiac... apart from being able to speak perfect English. And having knowledge of the world of 2012. And Ace and Hex and Mel. And lots of other stuff that would be a hassle explaining. But not who he is or how he came to be frozen in time for aeons upon aeons.

Genevieve makes him a cup of cocoa, and in moments the Doctor has remembered that there ARE hideous prehistoric reptilian people frozen in the ice in these caverns, and if they are dug up they’ll revive in the same illogical and ridiculous manner he did!

The Doctor and Genevieve race to warn Barset and McIntyre, who are confident that awakening a long-forgotten species with no sexual inhibitions whatsoever would be a great idea and immediately try to thaw out the creatures. The Doctor points out that these creatures are branded with the "A" symbol, insisting these ice caves are not some ancient city or tomb for the dead!

"This is a maximum security prison and these creatures are convicted dangerous criminals," the Doctor reveals. "Worse than that! They’re ANARCHISTS! Like Ben Elton used to be!!"

Part Two

The Doctor terrified screams are merely helping crack the ice faster than before, and he begs Barset to move the hot water bottles – but Barset isn’t interested in his suggestions and calls him a loony. The Doctor starts to reply, but then sobs that there are strange noises inside his head and he is quietly lead away by Genevieve for some more cocoa and a straightjacket.

But, upon seeing his reflection in the shattered ice, the Doctor falls to his knees, screams that he... is... the DOCTOR... and snogs Genevieve passionately before passing out, face down in the snow.

Leaving the Doctor where he is, Genevieve and McIntyre drag the first creature out of the ice and defrost it with hot water bottles, and then wander off for an illicit shag and a ciggie – and unbeknownst to them, the reptile creature undergoes the same insane return to life, making a very strange hissing sound like an asthmatic undergoing auto-erotic asphyxiation without prior consultation.

Harm-Man is idly noting the sudden, unexpected and altogether-quite-ominous snow storm which will strike soon and trap them in the ice caverns when the revived reptile man stands up straight and bitch-slaps Harm-Man to the floor as easily as if it was disciplining a tart.

Harm-Man’s girly, pathetic screams soon attract the rest of the speaking parts and even wakes the Doctor up, who complains mightily that if people deliberately revive prehistoric monsters after he specifically told them not to then frankly he has little sympathy!

Barset explains he needs to gain the kinkytron orgasmatronic technology used by these sexy lizard people as described in his grandfather’s diaries, but the Doctor points out that

a) these lizard freaks have been frozen for millions of years, so they can’t be the ones Lord Barset encountered
b) there is absolutely no trace of Barset’s lost expedition in these particular ice caves
c) these lizard people are Martian Ice Cream Vendors, not Bilurians! They’ve mixed up their notorious lizard-based Doctor Who monsters up like some sweaty newbie trying to convince RTD they’re one of the faithful!!

Barset, McIntyre and Genevieve stand around, looking rather ashamed of themselves at such an obvious rookie error in Doctor Who Continuity.

Meanwhile, the Ice Cream Vendor returns to the tunnels where its comrades are still entombed, only to encounter all the non-speaking, trigger happy storm troopers who immediately open fire. Unfortunately, the Ice Cream Vendor’s stained apron is thicker than reinforced steel and all the bullets bounce off harmlessly; worse, all the gunshots raise the temperature of the cavern and melts the ice around the rest of the frozen Martian bastards!

With a silly, high-pitched wobbling burble of resounding airwaves, the Ice Cream Vendors hurl waves of unfriendly prehistoric ice cream blitzes at the defenseless troopers, who squeal and do the twist in and out as if made of putty. This ice cream is the lethal "Bone-Crusher Caramel Swirl" which unlike ordinary ice cream devours its prey rather than the other way round. Soon all the red-shirts are dead meat in a hazy shroud of sprinkles!!

Thinking quickly, the Doctor runs up to the armored confectionery-loving alien psychopaths and orders them to just shut the hell up for a damn minute and give him some time to think or he’ll castrate every last bleeding one of them! The Ice Cream Vendors immediately recognize the bedraggled Scotsman as their old enemy the Doctor and brag that they have escaped their prison, proving their overarching dynastic monarchy is a redundant governing body.

"Anarchy isssss the only freedom!" hisses their leader, Ice Lord Errico Malastesta of the Martian World of Ice Cream.

The Doctor points out that millions years have passed, and they were up for parole back in Triassic Period! They haven’t escaped, they served their sentences five thousand times consecutively, and better get used to the idea – like the audience.

The Ice Cream Vendors here were imprisoned for being supremely awful at making ice cream so vile it sparked wars, and tried to justify it with some incredibly unconvincing anarchistic propaganda.

Rather pissed off at the Doctor’s unflattering depiction of their back story, the violent psychopathic Errico orders his non-speaking minions to slaughter all the stinky mammals in the ice cavern in the way that violent psychopathic alien war criminals are so oft to do...

Part Three

The Doctor, Genevieve, McIntyre and some guy named Jeff dive out of the way of the lethal wibbling distortion of the Bone-Crusher Caramel Swirl, and hide behind the hot water bottles. The heat from the water bottles melts the ice cream before it can kill them, and they run away. Meanwhile, Ice Lord Errico has spared Barset and Harm-Man so he has someone to talk to and advance the plot.

While the Doctor and his pals run up and down lots of cold corridors being chased by Ice Cream Vendors, Errico’s first officer Nestor Makhno manages to kick the hot water bottles out of harm’s way and allow them to get on with their nasty alien rigmarole.

Finally, our heroes emerge from the caves onto an ice flow in the middle of a stormy wind with no shelter, transport, weapons or means of contacting the outside world. The Doctor muses on this, then remembers he is an alien and likely to be able to survive frostbite unlike his puny ape-descended companions. Oddly enough this news does not cheer the mood at all as they flee into the swirling snow.

Back at the action, Errico demands Barset and Harm-Man tell him where the escaping humans are heading. Yes, I know the Doctor isn’t human and Jeff barely qualifies, but just let it go for once in your lonely, misspent life of misery and pedantry, will you? The Ice Cream Vendors fear that Barset’s ship, The Martin Jarvis II, contains weapons, equipment and supplies of rival frozen confectionery, and when Barset points out that bringing crates of ice cream to Antarctica was the last thing anyone sane would think of, they don’t believe him.

Nevertheless, the cold-blooded Martians decide to use their resentful, hate-filled prisoners to use the hot water bottles to melt the remaining ice inside the cavern. However, it seems their blind faith that the humans won’t turn on them is justified – as neither Barset or Harm-Man even think of using the hot water bottles as weapons, and instead meekly doing what they are told.

Soon, one more figure is defrosted free: a Martian of superior rank than a mere point-of-sale Ice Cream Vendor, an Ice Cream Taste-Tester! This is none other than Geldof, the prison governor and all-round tough-as-nails bastard despite having three heart bypass operations, a prostate removal and early-onset Alzheimer’s. His Colostomy Bag may always need changing, but Geldof is so damn hard he’s not afraid to take anyone outside be it man or beast... as long as someone shows him the way and makes sure there’s a nice warm cup of tea on hand.

Errico and his fellow Vendors however, are more concerned with a pamphlet they found around the ice tunnels called THE GREAT GLOBAL-WARMING SWINDLE, proving not only that the Earth’s atmosphere is suffering from a build-up of gasses in the advanced stages of causing climatic upheaval they can use to their advantage, but also that human beings in general are incredibly, soul-destroyingly stupid.

When Geldof emerges from the ice, Errico immediately executes him via his Bone-Crusher Caramel Swirl, liquefying Geldof’s internal organs faster than a packet of two-minute noodles, and as he slides to the ground like a wet sack, the episode is padded out to 25 minutes.

With the evil Martians distracted, Barset and Harm-Man runs for it. Since Barset has more interesting dialogue, he is able to get out of the cavern alive while Harm-Man is scythed down by the lethal ice cream waves, killing him instantly.

Errico now reveals his brilliant plan to bring anarchy to the Earth: using a complicated system of canons loaded with the earthshock-level Vanilla Ripple Explosion topping, they will destroy the atmosphere and make it only inhabitable by Martians and, of course, ice cream. All other life will be obliterated! Even the cockroaches!

Nestor points out that they only have the one canon and its warranty ran out two leap ice ages ago, so they decide to test it with a clay pigeon rally. Since they have no clay pigeons to hand, the Ice Cream Vendors stand around waiting eagerly for something to fly past so they can shoot at it.

Meanwhile, out in the snow, McIntyre has collapsed from frostbite, which in true Darwinian style allows the Doctor, Genevieve and Jeff the chance to escape by climbing a ladder up to a passing helicopter. What the hell a helicopter was doing in Antarctica in the middle of a blizzard, I do not know – but never look a gift horse in the mouth, that’s my motto. Or was it beware of Greeks bearing gifts?

Either way, the Doctor and his pals don’t have time to ask even THIS rudimentary questions before the Ice Cream Vendors open fire with their VRE canon and the helicopter is blasted out of the sky...

Part Four

With death looming as the helicopter plunges towards the icy ground below, the Doctor decides that this is the perfect time for him to have a flashback...

No sooner had he left Van Halen, than the Doctor arrived on prehistoric Earth in the middle of the Ice Prison where Errico and his cohorts were desperately making a bid for freedom, to return to Mars and elevate their race from merely selling ice cream to the rest of the galaxy and actually USING that ice cream to conquer creation.

Luckily, the Doctor happened to have an Ancient Gallifreyan super-weapon in his pocket and thus wiped out the prison break in three seconds flat. It was then Geldof arrived and explained the situation, and the Doctor was sore relieved he hadn’t wiped out any NICE six-foot-tall armor-plated reptilian monsters, because that would really raise a moral question mark over his popularity.

Errico and his few surviving cohorts are sent to their cells without supper, but showing what perverse depths of fanaticism they have sunk to, immediately attempt to escape AGAIN! Tsk, tsk, tsk, will they ever learn? Of course they won’t, haven’t you been listening to the last three episodes?

With Errico and his anarchistic chums on the loose, determined to reclaim the empire, the Doctor runs for his pathetic life back to the TARDIS like the coward he is. He skids to a halt outside his police box as he comes face to face with Errico himself. To his horror, the enemy then starts talking at length the stateless society could still function if people came together in common sense and develop their own principled behavior and morality, as long as they didn’t try to self-rule and actually let Errico himself run the entire universe.

The Doctor shouts an urgent warning, but it’s too late. The effect of the dogma causes the ice walls around them to shatter and the entire area is instantly flooded with water. Within seconds, both the Doctor and the Ice Cream Vendors are floating motionlessly in the rapidly freezing water. As his body is dragged along by the currents of the icy water, the Doctor cunningly places himself into a coma to survive the next few million years – but unfortunately Errico and his pals were a bunch of copycats and did the exact same thing!

...and with the extant backstory fully explained, the helicopter smashes into a cliff and the Ice Cream Vendors laugh like blocked drains at the hilarity of it all.

They don’t realize that the Doctor and Genevieve bailed out at the last second using the Time Lord’s question mark umbrella as a makeshift parachute, and harmlessly floated to the ground next to Barset who generally whines and moans like a bitch that life is so unfair.

While the Ice Cream Vendors have to make some fresh Vanilla Ripple Explosion to fuel their cannons, the Doctor, Genevieve and Barset sneak inside the cavern. Errico is distracted by the fact Mars is now completely deserted and assumes that in the time that has passed, his people totally rejected all political authority, capitalism, wage labor, private property and voluntarist ice cream production... and thus all went extinct in nineteen minutes for want of something to do.

The realization that his anarchist propaganda really WAS just an out-of-control negatively chaotic nihilistic approach to absolutely fucking everything leaves Errico depressed, listless and with a sudden loss of appetite. Nestor suggests they simply change the name of their pejorative name from "anarchist" to "libertarian socialist" and simply carry on as before.

Immediately cheered up, Errico agrees and they get back to destroying the atmosphere of the Earth, command the survivors into an army, build a new empire and conquer the galaxy! "And THEN I will be average!" hisses Erico, mixing up 'average' and 'avenged'... though, come to think of it, I dunno what he needs avenging for in the first place.

The Martians fire their cannon and begin the very, very, VERY slow task of evaporating the heat out of the Earth’s atmosphere by blasting ice cream into the stratosphere. It might take 320 thousand years, but eventually the temperature will drop enough to freeze the human race out of existence, assuming they haven’t evolved into freaky bald creatures with extra hands on their thumbs by that time. The Doctor broods that if they freeze themselves for another millennia they MIGHT be able to see the canon starting to have an effect on the atmosphere!

Barset meanwhile is annoying the hell out of everyone by insisting that he came here to steal the kinkytron technology for the benefit of mankind, he just forget to mention it beforehand. Barset claims he was trying to make sure the technology united the world and would benefit ordinary people instead of being split into a million different franchises that were tied up with marketing and branding. He wanted to serve humanity without petty executives getting in the way.

Genevieve drop-kicks Barset unconscious and she and the Doctor have no choice but to leave him for dead and run to the TARDIS. Typically, Genevieve is a little sceptical that an advanced spaceship can be a such a small police box, and ends up staring at the inside of the ship in amazement... mainly because it’s so stupidly huge they need to drive to the main control panel and use a cable-lift to use the controls.

The Doctor apologizes, explaining he got his imperial measurements mixed up and used "cubits" instead of "centimetres", but it’s too freaking huge for him to reset the controls without at least two hundred synchronized body builders with degrees in invisible mathematics...

The Time Lord manages to do a complicated gymnastics routine which dials up an Ice Cream Vendor star cruiser on the other side of the galaxy and shouts some very particular Martian abuse at the microphone. Furious, the proud aliens immediately head straight for the Earth to find the source of the offending remark (as long as they don’t get swallowed by a small dog like the last lot).

The Doctor explains that the Ice Cream Vendors will reach Earth and notice the strange terraforming-with-ice-cream happening, deduce that Errico has returned from the grave and then blow them all up with concentrated chocolate sauce bombardment. Thus, he and Genevieve decide to continue to fight the Ice Cream Vendors on their own, mainly to pad out the remaining thirteen minutes of the episode.

Armed with flame throwers, the Doctor and Genevieve emerge from the TARDIS and scorch Nestor out of reality. They then head up to Errico and explain that the Martians are on their way back and he should pack it all in – but the insane and paranoid Ice Cream Vendor doesn’t believe them. This proves awkward, as all the Doctor’s cunning plans kind of relied on Errico blindly agreeing with what he was told.

Just then an angry Lord Barset races in, demanding to know why he was left for dead! Genevieve says it’s because he’s an arrogant, annoying son of a bitch with a pathological refusal to take responsibility for his own actions, and Errico agrees and blows Barset’s head from his shoulders with a snowball of Bone-Crusher Caramel Swirl.

This delay proves perfect as there is no more spare running time to pad out. The Martians arrive in force and blasts Antarctica with megatons of chocolate topping and Errico rants about his anarchist manifesto really making a lot of sense if you sit down and think about it properly as the ice caves collapse and he is enveloped in a tidal wave of freezing icy water.

"Oh no, not again," the evil Ice Lord groans in a hissing fashion as he sinks beneath the surface.

Meanwhile, Jeff... remember Jeff? Nor do I. But anyway, he’s there on The Martin Jarvis II with a simple, uncomplicated way of escaping this hellish wilderness now dripping with chocolate sauce. Suddenly, the TARDIS arrives and the Doctor and Genevieve emerge, adjusting their clothing and slightly out of breath.

After one last passionate snog, the Doctor takes his leave of this world and us fans are left to argue whether or not Genevieve counts as a proper companion or just a one-night-stand by Kylie Minogue...

Book(s)/Other Related –
Dr Who Endures The Ice Cream of Global Warming
Doctor Who: Peeking Man
At the Mountains of Madness and Frosted Strawberry Topping

Fluffs - Sylvester McCoy seemed frosty in this story.
"It’s something from the past, reaching out and touching you on the shoulder. And then it cops a feel... Maryam, not now! Oooh!!"
"Fate hardly drew the hard straw for you, Barset, are you here for excitement? You might have got more than you, OOH! JENNY!! WOW!"
"A return visit from our Simian fried... oh my... who taught you how to do that? Timothy Dalton?!"

Goofs -
This story even for a moment entertains the possibility of suggesting that we should consider the Oddly Visuals canon.
Why does the Doctor, a High Evolutionary and Keeper of the Legacy of Rassilon, have memory problems after being frozen in ice for a million years but some puny lizard-descended Martians are fine?
Why do the modern day Ice Cream Vendors chicken out on their vulgar threats to drown the globe in chocolate sauce? They were still firing even AFTER the Doctor explained the situation to them! Did they run out of sauce? Is there some kind of recession on New Mars?
Every time Genevieve speaks... or indeed ANYONE uses a French accent... their voices distort loudly and you can hear someone dodgy whispering "Mal Young Is The Devil". Its the first time I’ve heard this kind of thing since Louis Gooey!

Fashion Victims -
Despite having been soaked in freezing mud for millions of years, the Doctor’s hideous suit from the TV Movie is still intact. God damn it.

Technobabble -
The Doctor offers to use his occasional-atomic-structure-de-stabilization-maguffin to destroy the rogue Ice Cream Vendors, but Geldof refuses on the grounds that the plot is repetitive enough as is.

Links and References -
The Doctor mentions the last time he tackled the Ice Cream Vendors, they were using VRE bombs to freeze the atmosphere to conquer a planet from their secret ice-cold base. Indeed, he goes further and breaks the fourth wall completely by suspecting the script is a complete rip off of "Messing With Magnus" (Serial 7Z/2).

Untelevised Misadventures -
The diary of Lord Barset mentions the original expedition was plagued by "a strange, hairless, tea-obsessed creature in a tuxedo waving a toothbrush and screaming that it was canonical" and totally spoiled the mood between the human explorers and the Bilurian colonists.

Groovy DVD Extras -
Steve Fox’s "Ice Cream Vendor theme tune" which the creator himself described as monumentally piss-weak.

Dialogue Disasters -

Barset: You can’t destroy all life on Earth! There are people out there who still owe me money! You’re a psychopath!
Errico: Issss that a problem?


Dialogue Triumphs -

Genevieve: Whoever could have predicted that a Scotsman with an umbrella frozen beside a police box inside the Antarctic glaciers could save the whole world?
Jeff: Nostradamus, I think. Kind of sounds like the sort of thing he’d predict. We could always look it up.
Genevieve: If we cared.
Jeff: Which we don’t.
Genevieve: Let’s just say it was Nostradamus.

Doctor: I grow tired of this story’s continuing attempts to make Nicholas Briggs an official Doctor!

UnQuotable Quote -
Genevieve: I seduced James Bond once, you know.

Viewer Quotes -

"Good to see the Ice Cream Vendors back after an absence that went on far longer than it had any right to!" - The Brian Hayles Estate (2007)

"Some of the best Doctor Who stories have shamelessly plagiarized other works, and Frozen Crime is no exception. Except that normally Doctor Who is inspired/homages/rips off something with a higher standard of quality than the works of Nicholas Briggs. Changing the Bilurians for Ice Cream Vendors and ignoring Justyce doesn’t SUDDENLY stop this being complete crap, you know. This is worse than the other remakes Big Finish have done for one bald toothbrush-wielding reason."
- Cameron J Mason (2007)

"Rubbish is such a crude yet incredibly accurate word for this story."
- HP Lovecraft (via ouiji board, 2008)

"Typical! Nick Briggs demands people start writing three part stories to cut the padding and be faster-paced excitement and then the bastard writes a four-parter! With a surprise returning villain! Just like he swore never to do! Who does this compulsive liar think he is? Russell T Davies? What next, it’ll turn out he doesn’t actually WANT to play the Doctor? Get back into your Dustbin casing, you bloody pervert!"
- Dave Restal (2008)

"Was I the only one to get slightly distracted by the fact that the
villain was just Nick Briggs putting on a silly voice?" - generic quote suitable for any given episode of Big Finish or the Welsh TV series revival, or indeed every single OV story ever (1985 onwards)

Psychotic Nostalgia -
"I can’t believe they didn’t bring back the Bilurians for this story! We could have had Bilurians versus Ice Cream Vendors! Hot blood, cold ice! Ah... yeah. Ice. Speaking of which, I better finish removing those kidneys from that drifter and change the ice. It turns brown after a while, you know. So, uh, you ever have a need for an extra kidney, boy? For dinner or something? Try before you buy!"

Sylvester McCoy Speaks!
"They said to me, 'We’d like to do another audio with you, do you have any ideas what you’d like to do?' and I thought that was very kind of them until they added, 'Well, forget those ideas because now Briggsy is in charge, it’ll never happen.' I suggested a silent film idea, which seemed to inspire them since it’d be so much cheaper. No one needs to write it or act in it and they can send out blank CDs, or just not release it at all. In the long run it’s a wonderfully practical idea. I mean, when I grew up, there were ventriloquist dummies on the radio, and I actually did an incredible card trick once. On radio. Human beings are such utter morons."

Trivia -
It is exactly 93 Big Finish releases since the last Ice Cream Vendor story, Red China. And there’s nothing more trivial than THAT particular Fifth Doctor and Peri story...

Rumors & Facts -

History has forgotten the lost Howberry Expedition to the Antarctic, and the Oddly Visual story it featured in. It’s as if this overlong epic fan production had never been recorded in Nicholas Briggs’ bedroom when he was dressed up as Erica Galloway, Undercover Call Girl. Perhaps he never DID record any of the OVs and we’re all mistaken. Is it a coincidence he still chose to rework and sequelize Endurance for Big Finish? Perhaps we’ll never know. All depends on whether or not you keep reading, rather, doesn’t it?

Endurance is widely considered to be one of the most popular OV stories made... well, it wasn’t as utterly despised as the rest at any rate. Indeed, back at the dawn of Big Finish when everyone was in shock, Endurance was considered to be one of the OVs to be remade as an Eighth Doctor story, with him and Samantha Jones fighting the deadly Bilurians. Thankfully, Paul McGann refused to be involved for two years, other Bilurian stories were commissioned instead and someone realized that even C’Rizz is a more interesting and sympathetic companion than Sam fucking Jones.

With Nick Briggs now in complete and total charge of Big Finish, he realized he could reuse his own material with complete impunity. Delighted, he was all for simply releasing Endurance on CD, a similar stunt he had pulled with the Seventh Doctor story Clash of the Titans, but disaster struck:

Briggs had completely lost his cassette tapes of the OVs! Not a single one of them was left! He quickly discovered that Nigel Verkoff had stolen them and sold them on eBay for a massive profit, and that those who had bought the tapes had uploaded them on countless bit torrent sites and literally anyone could download them for free!

Even Briggs knew that no one would fork out the cash for a BF crystal case issue of the same material and sunk into a deep dark black pit of despair and misery and torment. Then it struck him that this meant countless people had listened to the OVs and he didn’t have to worry about his stuff being commercially available!

Thus, he decided to do a direct sequel to Endurance which the audience would lap up as never before! This wouldn’t be the occasional nod, wink and mention of Conglomerates or Drudgers or the Temperon, this would be serious Oddly Visual fanwank! Massive, major plot elements would now become incredibly complex and only true devotees would be able to follow the plot – Briggs himself ended up completely confused by the sequel which he had entitled "Afro Zen-Time!" about the Bilurians discovering a way to warp the flow of space time using orgasms.

Derogatory remarks that this whole idea was ripped off from an episode of Angel (whereupon a temporal engineer is caught in an embarrassing moment of premature ejaculation for the rest of eternity) were quietly ignored and those responsible placed in ducking stools and repeatedly dunked in the canal beside the Moat Studios. There they were left at the mercy of Stephen Cole, who had devolved into a hideous prehistoric state and turned the canal into his nest.

Meanwhile, Briggs decided to confound expectation and have the sequel to a Bilurian story not feature the Bilurians at all but instead showcase the Ice Cream Vendors. But no sooner had Briggs had that bright idea at the exact same moment his desktop lamp exploded in his face, he was confronted with two problems:

The first was that he’d have to provide a strong role for Maryam D’Abo. She had been offered a role in Big Finish three releases previously, in Xtro 4 where should reprise her role from the original video nasty as a hot topless French au pair who was 'endearingly easy to violate by alien monsters'. D’Abo however refused to acknowledge her role in Xtro in any way, shape or form and insisted her career started with that Bond film she was in. Thus it was obvious they had to get her into an audio play fast before she used her womanly wiles to wrest control of Big Finish away from Briggs altogether!

The second was that it would have to be a Sylvester McCoy story. Briggs considered this incredibly unfair. Not only was Briggs obviously the better actor, he was actually willing to turn up for work unlike McCoy who was still on the international pub crawl with Ian McKellan and Kerry O’Brien. Luckily, D’Abo was able to, ahem, "convince" McCoy to allow BF to record a story with him for a day. McCoy’s drunken, concussed and quietly aroused manner was cunningly made into a plot point by Briggs, who came up with the actually-now-I-come-to-think-about-it-really-rather-rubbish amnesia plot and suggesting that the Doctor is actually now over a million years old.

But Frozen Crime (as Afro Zen Time had been renamed) was not destined to be the amazing success Briggs was hoping for. In fact, it ended up worse than even his bitterest detractors (the cast and crew) were expecting: absolutely no one had bothered to download the OV torrent and listened to Endurance! Thus, they found all the references in Frozen Crime self-indulgent and irrelevant and complained that they were promised a Bilurian story and a Bilurian story they damn well wanted, not something with Ice Cream Vendors!

With the entire fan base feeling excluded and alienated by the in-references, Briggs Hatred was at an all time high. Big Finish needed to open new postal addresses just to process all the death threats. Effigies of Briggs were thrown onto bonfires while several rather rabid fans tried to "get the real deal".

This tidal wave of unpopularity devastated Briggs and he retreated into the dark places of the inside... allowing production to continue normally for the next release. But it was during the recording of the next but one, the one hundredth Big Finish story, that Briggs would return to this plane of existence.

Briggs would seek out his enemies and his revenge would be eternal...

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