Monday, November 2, 2009

7th Doctor - LIVE 34

Serial 7W/B - The Chaser’s War On Colony 34
The Chaser’s War On Colony 34
An Alternate Programme Guide by Ewen Campion-Clarke
An Extract From The EC Unauthorized Guide O' Chaser-Style Stunts


Serial 7W/B - The Chaser’s War On Colony 34 -

Different races across the Galaxy have marked Time in different ways but by the Second Calendar it is the year 227, and approximately one quarter of the Galactic disc is under the rule of The Terran Federation.

The Federation was born from the ashes of the Atomic Wars, which nearly destroyed the Earth and its colonies, as an honorable Government dedicated to protecting the survivors. Now corrupted by its own greed, and disfigured by its own paranoia, it has evolved into an oppressive, totalitarian Empire dedicated to Absolute Control and Order, "From Strength to Unity."

All dissent and opposition without and within is ruthlessly crushed and the hard-earned freedom of the Galaxy has been stolen by its own saviors. Despite the near-impossible odds, there are still those, be they brave, desperate or foolish, who will fight for freedom... and they’ve done it by cloning a bunch of Australian stand-up comedians and given them a top rating current affairs satire show with an unstable Wednesday Night timeslot...

After the opening titles involving the main cast doing lots of spy-like James Bond-ian stunts ending with Chas ripping off his face to reveal the familiar features of Sad Tony, we cut to the introduction from Craig Reucassel and Chris Taylor sitting in their ramshackle half-apartment-half-office-half-storeroom set. For some reason, their on screen credits are ABSLOM DAAK and TOPMASTER CHAIRHOLDER UVANOV.

The pair discuss the string of explosions in the BCD over the last three nights, the latest of which has brought down a government planning office.

This leads to their first stunt of the week involving the Freedom and Democracy Party, which is insisting it isn’t behind the bombings and that their political opponents are faking messages of the FDP claiming responsibility. The stunt involves the Chaser team confront the main FDP representative "Doctor Ka Faraq Gatri", pretending to be the ones that faked the messages, and the FDP’s manifesto that Prime Minister Mick Jagger MCXXXLIV hold open elections and try to bring down the unemployment rate, that’s all fake too.

The Doctor takes this all on the chin and points out that if the Chaser believe the ostensibly peaceful FDP is just a front for violent insurrection... they better stop annoying him before they all end up found dead in their baths.

The Chaser take this on board and abandon the skit – and Chris and Craig offer their considered opinions that this is all self inflicted due to colony security forces all being insane berserkers who love juggling nitro-9 after twelve shots of tequila. After all, the buildings were empty, so this is probably some drunken squaddie insurance scam. And not the FDP at all, no siree.

Andrew Hansen (credited as KALENDORF KNIGHT OF VALYSHA) and Chas Licciardello (credited as HOMONCULETTE) host "What Have We Learned From Official Newslinks This Week?", as ever poking fun and sensationalism used in the weeknight current affairs programs. This week’s lesson is on the reporting techniques, and how not to commit yourself by saying that there will be no more terrorist bombing in our lifetimes when the episode is then interrupted by a vehicle manufacturer being blown up with considerable loss of life.

Then it’s "Newsbot D4N0’s Meaningless Gibberish Segue of the Week" applaud the android newsreader’s attempt to segue live terrorist bombings to the dead donkey story of a charity milk fund gala. Indeed, the EMP from the explosion scrambles the robot’s lexicon causing it to spew total gibberish – yet it ends up sounding more logical and reasonable than ever.

Then there is the live streaming address for the Prime Minister, where his speech urging the terrorists to give themselves up and announcing new emergency powers to protect the public is mocked by having the subtitles say: "Hahahah! My evil conspiracy to terrify the working man and give the state greater repressive powers is working perfectly! They don’t suspect a thing, the puny fools! NOTHING IN THE WORLD CAN STOP ME NOW! Hahahahahahahaha!"

There’s then a spoof of the public infomercials warning people to be on the look out for bomb-wielding poor immigrants and alien monsters lurking in the shadows of the colony: "Help Protect The Colony By Not Being Such Gullible Fuckwits!"

Then there is static and the FDP announce that the Colony Central Commission have accepted the petition to force Jagger to hold elections and are sending this message through every medium to ensure no one tries to put spin on this. This is in fact not outside interference but another Chaser mockery as cutting between the show and the message allows humorous misunderstandings and the apparent revelation that Chris is in fact humping a Slitheen out of shot.

It’s subtle visual humor, you had to be there.

Next up is "In Other News ..." presented by Julian Morrow (KASTON IAGO) and Craig, which focuses on current news stories and events in particular the mysterious Rebel Queen Ace of Nitro-9 - Who is she? Is she really behind the recent terrorist attacks? What is her agenda? Does she think the Lynx effect genuine?

Julian reveals he simply popped down to First City’s South Gate and followed the lewd graffiti and found Ace enjoying a Coke in a run down fish and chip shop. Ace assumes that Julian is just another autograph hunter, and is taken aback when he wants her to sign his official Rebel Queen merchandise – but Ace quickly realizes that it is just some old Xena action figures and Julian wants to get her gormless expression of surprise on camera.

Ace tells Julian that she’ll give him a free interview on the condition he can juggle some hair spray cans throughout without dropping them. Unfortunately, Julian is unable to and discovers to his cost that the cans are full of explosives. The impacts mean that Ace’s poetic description of arriving in the beautiful and serene Colony 34 are interrupted by bangs, flashes and the sounds of human beings in pain. Basically she and her pals arrived, and decided to bring down the government because it was a Tuesday.

Elsewhere, the Chaser show interviews with people on the street about their opinions – one guy was arrested, beaten, and interrogated for three weeks after being spotted speaking to a man believed to be a known opponent of the government but – get this - he never found
out who the man in question was! HAHAHAHA!

A woman in a wheelchair used to be a site manager at the mines until she complained about working conditions; for this, she was accused of being a rebel infiltrator, taken to a detention centre, tortured for four months and – wait for it - she’ll never walk properly again! BWAHAHAHA!

A slutty emo chick explains her entire family was arrested for no apparent reason; after days of sleep deprivation and interrogation, she agreed to confess to whatever the security forces wanted so that her parents would be set free, but once she had done so, the Prime Minister himself led her family into the cell and – oh this is classic - shot them all in the head as she watched! HAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAAAAHAAAAAAAAAHHH!

"Prime Minister Jagger – fucking the people up, one by one!"

Next on The Chaser’s War On Colony 34 is "Pursuit Trivia" as Julian arrives at the campaign trail where the Doctor and Prime Minister Jagger are making a public appearance. Julian notes that Jagger has dismissed all the claims that the colony’s fuel reserves are running out and put it down the recent power crisis to FDP bombing, but what, exactly is the highest mountain in the Sol System?

Jagger cannot answer "Olympus Mons on Mars", and orders a rent-a-mob to storm the Doctor on stage when he points out that the colony’s resources consist of two AA batteries and a lemon.

Now onto "The News According To The Singh BrotherHood" where Chas and Andrew critique the biased reporting of the ancient pirate brotherhood, especially their "Dole-Bludging Paramedic Drug Dealers" expose, which focussed on one guy called Hex from Colony 48.

Ostensibly the "Worst Ambo in the Stellian Galaxy" the mellow Hex is clearly shown to be an advocate of herbal medicine and is first off to assist a lady that has fallen through the floor of her house after a whacking great elephant fell through the precariously thin ceiling and landed atop her. Exactly why an elephant was installed in the top of the house is unknown, but it’s presumably some shoddy design flaw.

When Hex grumbles that his friend’s question mark umbrella is full of holes, the Singh BrotherHood reporter immediately dubs Hex "unpatriotic and callous", dismissing the precious rain after months of drought that have brought the farmers to their knees, then their stomachs!

And when Hex finds that the lady has already been given first aide by a passing Scotsman in a question mark pullover, the reporter calls him a "worthless scrounger" not even doing an honest day’s work and only answering calls that will be dealt with by someone else.

Hex takes all this with open-minded pacifism, but not even he can put up with the chutzpah when the reporter blames him when she discovers that the basement of the house has subsided into the sewer to reveal a tide of human bones and accuses Hex of creating a mass grave out of patients he couldn’t be arsed to save.

Hex is then dubbed "psychotically disturbed" and "dangerously violent" when he storms out of the interview, and his description is given to local high schools and telling them he is a pedophile.

After a few witty comments from the Chaser Team underlining this injustice, it’s time for "The Fixers" where Julian and Craig examine problems in the community, and present their idea for a fix – in this case the continuing explosions being blamed on Rebel Queen Ace of Nitro-9, which have caused the Prime Minister to put the colony under lockdown until the election is over.

Thus, Julian and Craig get one of Chas’ girlfriends – the one that looks most like Sophie Aldred – puts her on an imitation 1962
Black Vincent motorcycle, and deliver her to the Prime Minister in the middle of a press conference to see if he reacts amusingly. Or at all.

Unfortunately, this Chaser-like stunt goes horribly wrong as the gang are promptly arrested as rebel insurgents and, completely believing one of Licciardello’s Ladies is Ace, Jagger announces to the public that she is the mastermind behind the so-called FDP and throws her to the floor and accuses her of murdering civilians to overthrow his legitimate government and install a puppet leader allowing aliens to strip the colony of its incredibly valuable AA batteries and lemon.

He thus orders the Doctor to be assassinated and have the election rigged so he wins with 80% of the vote, and the remaining 20% be people he doesn’t like so he can ruthlessly murder the lot of them.

Unfortunately, he realizes the Chaser have been filming all this live.

It’s then another working day for Andrew Hansen as the "Surprise Spruiker" who turns up to help out Jagger now the CCC has branded him a psychotic criminal, but his suggestions of emphasizing his passion for the job as ‘the man who would kill to rule’ fall on deaf ears and the security guards throw him out. Another successful skit.

It cuts back to the studio for "Election Watch" as Chas and Chris note that the election was never actually going to decide anything since the Doctor didn’t fill in his census and thus is not eligible to stand, and Jagger never bothered to stand in the first place. Thus Chris decides to stand for Election, assuming that he will win by default.


However, Chris abandons his political ambitions when the studio audience starts to pelt him with rotten tomatoes and boo him.

Hastily changing topic, Chris and Chas do their "Nut Job of the Week" segment to take a look at the "special people in our society who have "alternative views": in this case it is the rising belief in society that Mick Jagger is not the Prime Minister but nothing more than a cloned Rolling Stones band member gotten cheap off eBay.

Unsurprisingly, this theory is being put forward by Hex and his stoner mates that mysterious black unmarked ambulances have been seen dragging figures back and forth out of the colony hospital’s unused wing is the real Prime Minister of Colony 34, a strange Jabba the Hutt being known only as Big Kim who has been using the Mick Jagger clone as a puppet rightly fearing his physical deformity and complete lack of political clout might affect his career.

The Chaser gang claim they believe Hex entirely, leading to a cutaway where a few alien monster props from Andrew’s private collection are seen in an editing suite operating joysticks and gurgling "THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS LEFT WING BIAS!!" into wired-in communicators.

Another one of those visual gags. Let it go.

Meanwhile, back at Jagger’s headquarters, security forces are releasing Julian and Craig and handcuffing the ex-Prime Minister when a journalist approaches and asks if he can just get a few questions from Jagger before he is shipped off to the penal colony Desperado, the Devil’s Planet of No Escape.

Without letting Jagger speak, the journalist then reads out ten questions:

1. Is it true you’re only a clone used by the real Prime Minister?
1. Are you faking the terrorist attacks and spreading rumors of alien invasions just to draft in emergency powers to control Colony 34?
1. Since the human body provides an excellent source of fuel if processed properly, are you using the corpses of your victims to defeat the power crisis?
1. Does this planet really have any more natural resources beyond EverReady batteries and lemons?
1. Are your lips supposed to be like that?
1. Are the new refugee intakes being treated badly so they die quicker or are you just a racist bigot motherfucker?
1. Do you think you have a snowball’s chance in hell of getting out of this without dying more embarrassingly than Benito Mussolini?
1. Do you think "Hot Fuzz" is superior to "Love, Actually"?
1. What happens if you put a mirror face down in a photocopier?
1. Why do fools fall in love?

Surprisingly, Jagger is able to reply:

1. Yes.
1. Not faking, merely adjusting the people’s perception of events.
1. Pretty much.
1. God knows.
1. Yes, they are, you dork!
1. Little from Column A and a little of Column B.
1. Nonsense, the people love me.
1. "The Blues Brothers 4000" is better than both.
1. Your mum’s face.
1. So they can have stupid inbred children like you!

Jagger is last being dragged off by the Citizen Infringement Officer, giving him 30, 8542 fines for being a dictator, a mass murderer, and a poncey wanker – while the Crazy Warehouse Guy shouts incredibly loud anarchistic diatribes in the former ruler’s ear.

A moment later, Dominic Knight grabs the abandoned mike and tells everyone he intends to invite an alien army to invade unless a supermodel seduces him in a photo-booth by midnight. And thus, with "Open Mic" complete, the action cuts back to the studio.

There, Andrew and his fellow members perform a song with a humorous and topical song clearly written by Chris... and at this point, the live broadcast is cut off.

Inside the TARDIS, the battered and bruised Doctor, Ace and Hex turn off the scanner and decide that the day a bunch of alternative comedians can overthrow a corrupt dictatorship in one episode, is the day they really need to rethink this Time Vigilante shit they’re always trying to get away with...

Book(s)/Other Related –
The Chaser’s War on Doctor Who
Doctor Who & The APEC Summit Motorcade of Terror (Canberra Only)
The Chaser Annual 4722 – contains recycled Magic Chin jokes and one brand new joke about Guardian Karlton Rudd

Fluffs - Sylvester McCoy seemed a real bonehead in this story.
"Chaser? I thought this was for Back-Berner!"

Goofs -
Andrew Hansen does not seem to notice he’s talking to Doctor Who, his childhood hero who never judged him or thought ill of his stupid hair, and does not thank him for this in any way shape or form. The ungrateful BASTARD!

Fashion Victims -
Chas’ "I Started A Bulldogs Riot And All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt".

Technobabble -
None, as it was all edited out after a focus group turned it down.

Links and References -
The Doctor and Ace remember some of the other incredibly crap fourth-wall-breaking media-looking-in stories they’ve been in like "The Fishmonger", "The Rupture" and above all the BBC book "Primetime".

Untelevised Misadventures -
The Doctor was once the focus of That Was The Week That Was.

Groovy DVD Extras -
Sylvester McCoy, Sophie Aldred and Phillip Oliver do a commentary for The Chase Decides 07, and add their own vulgar suggestions to "The Eulogy Song".

Dialogue Disasters -

Chas: Hey Craig! Why is there a dead possum in this boot?
Craig: How should I know?
Chas: It’s your flyer!
Craig: It’s on loan!
Chris: How long have you got it for?
Julian: Will everyone just shut up for two seconds!
Andrew: Hey, how about some music to help us relax? I could sing the lounge version of "Rancid Amputation"...

Hex: Don't you know there are poverty-stricken people out there dying in the street that you're not doing anything about? Why haven't you helped them? Are you ashamed of them? Why do you want those people to live and die like that? Et cetera! Yeah, you heard me right the first time! ET CETERA ET CETERA!

Julian: I’ve been checking the online guest book. We’ve got heaps of requests to test that ad where they launch the beer ingredients and the deer into the air and it starts raining beer.
Andrew: Hey, I understand their reasons, but we weren’t even allowed to do anything at the Logies this year! Do they really think we’d get permission to catapult a living creature into the sky?
Julian: We could always just use Chas.

Dialogue Triumphs -

Doctor: No, you don’t understand! There is something going on with that’s not right. I know your tiny human brains might have a hard time processing it...
Chas: Hang on, we’ve got uni degrees you know!


UnQuotable Quote -

Blind Flyer Pilot: Can you tell me if there’s any traffic?

Viewer Quotes -

"Philip Olivier subverts his boring material and proves what a charmer he is. This chap is being wasted in some excruciating scripts when what we need is a decent character study that puts him in the limelight. Olivier is a fantastic performer and three audios in we haven’t see him stretch his wings at all. Oh God I yearn for his fabulously sinewy body! FOR GOD’S SAKE, PHILIP, TAKE ME!!!" - Joanna Lumbley (2005)

"Why couldn’t the Doctor do something interesting for once? Like overthrow Communist China?" – Kim Jong Ill (2007)

"Big Finish are back in the gutter with this release - an audio that perfectly utilizes the medium, framing the entire story within a live radio broadcast, it is idea so obvious and compelling I am shocked that they haven’t tried it before. Then I remembered they did all that with The Fishmonger and got all disappointed. I actually loathed it with a passion bordering on insanity which explains why I was so relieved when Hex uncovered a mass grave of child bodies! Like these neophyte corpses, this script should be dumped in a shredder! Sorry to be hard but I paid £14.99 for this! I could spent that on heroin! At least I’d have enjoyed it at the time!" - Jo Ford Prefect (2005)

"If The Chaser’s War on Colony 34 was ice cream this would be no-thrills vanilla without chocolate sauce." - The Unpublished Target Novel "Doctor Who and the Cooking Analogies"

"Though people claim turning human beings into raw fuel is inefficient since you can quite literally get more electricity out of sticking electrodes into a potato than you can from doing so into a human, this is STILL a no-nonsense journalistic report that will leave you depressed because you're part of the problem you ignorant person who's just sitting there listening." - some wanker who has a degree in media and won’t shut up about it (1998)

Psychotic Nostalgia -
Nothing today, since there appears to be a Sorry, we seem to have a technical problem there in Brussels.

Sylvester McCoy Speaks!
"A jihad on the Chaser Team."

Trivia -
This is the biggest failure from Big Finish in some time. So we’re talking mega badness here and no mistake.

Rumors & Facts -

Experimental audio plays are often a pretentious wankfest that wastes customers of fifty bucks of their ill-earned cash, but thankfully are not the norm. The Chaser’s War on Colony 34, like other plays like Teachers of Footy, The Actual Mystery of Beer and Doctor Who and the Goodies, will always sit in the pantheon of rubbish Big Finish releases that were so useless they couldn’t even use the theme music properly.

The Chaser is a team of extremely dangerous political subversives seeking to undermine the rightful authority of Australia. But it’s not all fun and games, as each and every member of this august group is a dyed-in-the-scarf womb-to-the-tomb Doctor Who freak – and it is a sign of their expert media manipulation that no one suspected this in their television series "The Chaser is Right", "Hey, Hey, It's The Chaser", "The Chaser’s Age Of Terror Variety Hour", "The Chaser’s War on CNN", "The Chaser’s War on The Federal Election", "The Chaser’s War On Australia’s Decision Over The Federal Election", "The Chaser’s War on The War on Terror", "The Chaser’s War On Absolutely Fucking Anything You Care To Name Just Try It" and "Thank Allah It’s Friday" which infested the Wednesday night schedule on the ABC for the first half of the millennium.

During the opens submission policy of the summer of 2003, the Chaser team immediately sent countless ideas into them, often involving the Doctor discovering that the Quirks were going to use Giant Wasps to sell off Telstra and that Kim Beasley was a Slitheen.

Out of the 6550 or so ideas the Chaser sent in to the Big Finish offices, not a single one escaped being burned as part of a bonfire Producer Gay Russell was using to try and kill Nicholas Briggs.

The Chaser reacted with its usual subtlety and three years later pulled their master stroke – after drawing the shortest straw, Chaser member Andrew Hanson borrowed everyone’s merchandise, put on a fat suit and some strange eyebrows and in front of six million Australians idly wondering if Saturday’s episode about the werewolf and Queen Victoria would be any good burst into the excruciating melody of "All Doctor Who Fans Are Wanker Virgins With No Life And Anyone Who Says Otherwise Rapes The Corpses Of Dead Babies."

Doctor Who fandom went into meltdown... not because of the slanderous, libelous accusations, but because Hansen used an incredibly irritating singing voice and his rendition of the theme tune shattered every window in the BBC studio, leaving most of Sydney’s dog population stone deaf. The audience itself lunged on Hansen who only managed to escape by pretending he was the Surprise Spruiker and freed himself in the ensuing confusion and hilarity.

Assistant BF Producer Ian Farrington discovered this while cruising for porn on Outpost Gallifrey and immediately suggested that using the collective Antichrist of Doctor Who fandom would be an original and fresh idea that would use the medium of audio in an interesting way.

Little did Farrington realize that he had been manipulated by the Chaser from the very start and he had fallen right into their trap by recommending them to Gay Russell. Cunning bastards.

Russell agreed and forged documents to prove they approached the Chaser team about ideas the previous year, and soon they were being asked to resubmit their pitch with the Seventh Doctor, Ace and Hex. Chris Taylor was distraught, as he’d wanted the third companion to be Bernice Summerfield, which deeply amused everyone because everyone hates Chris.

The revised outline was then sent to the BBC, who mistook it for a death threat and locked down the building.

Luckily, Big Finish couldn’t care less if the BBC okayed the idea or not as this would undermine their already shaky authority over the Chaser team, who had not once, not ONCE, fallen for the "We’re Making No Promises But We Still Get The Royalties" routine which the likes of Christopher Bidmead, Stephen Baxter and Nigel Verkoff had fallen for.

Russell was so excited about the devastating blow fandom would suffer when the official provider of Classic Doctor adventures would be seen endorsing the Doctor Who equivalent of holocaust deniers, that he didn’t notice that the storyline commissioned wasn’t actually a Doctor Who story at all.

Instead, it would be a special feature-length Chaser episode set not in Australia but on an unspecified colony world sometime in the unspecified future suffering an unspecified catastrophe. The Chaser Team hadn’t even bothered to work out a real plot, and such was their evil puppeteer tactics that no one noticed.

Julian Morrow cheerfully lied to everyone about what a challenge it was to write such a story, with all the detail from normal dramatic narrative forced to be left out. He noted that the colony world would be unnamed because it would be unrealistic for the news to tell you the name of the planet you’re living on... but perfectly reasonable for the news to explain current events as simply as possible and tell you who is Prime Minister every five minutes just in case you forgot.

Thus, with the typical mixture of cluelessness and chutzpah that Big Finish are now famous for, the new story was hailed as new and experimental as the Bible version 0.01, despite being the most uninspired and utterly predictable piece of crap the company had ever churned out in its lifetime.

Featuring a completely unknown cast, writers you couldn't name if you were put under a mind probe, no TARDIS or theme music and each of the regulars relegated to a few mere cameo performances, The Chaser’s War on Colony 34 might initially seem to be a shopping list for an unfriendly, and unloved story. Which, ironically, is what results.

Of course, whether you enjoy this is going to depend on your tolerance of experimental stories and whether you have any kind of taste whatsoever. But we're seventy four audios in with Big Finish, and if you can't try something different at that point, then when can you do?

'Become a street mime' is just one of the nine billion possibilities that instantly spring to mind.

Meanwhile, Andrew Hansen’s latest offering:

Colony 34 was on fire
No one could save it but you
Strange what desire
will make foolish people do
I never dreamed that
We'd vote for somebody like you
And I never dreamed that
We'd elect a loser like you

No, I.......
Don’t want to satirize
[This sketch is only gonna get us axed]
No, I.......
Don’t want to prioritize
[This sketch is only gonna get us axed]
Doctor Who
With you

What a wicked game you play!
To make us vote that way!
What a wicked thing to do!
To turn us against Dr Who!
What a wicked thing to say!
We’ve done enough stunts today!
What a wicked thing to do!
To run against Dr Who!

And, I.......
Don’t want to acclimatize
[This sketch is only gonna get us axed]
And, I.......
Don’t want to accessorize
[This sketch is only gonna get us axed]

Colony 34 was on fire
No one could save us but you
Strange what desire
Will make Today Tonight viewers do
I never dreamed that
We'd risk a Logie for somebody like you
And I never dreamed that
We'd depose a loser like you

No, I.......
Don’t want to extemporize
[This sketch is only gonna get us axed]
No, I.......
Don’t want to terrorize
[This sketch is only gonna get us axed]
Doctor Who
With you

Nobody – loves – Chris – Taylor!

No comments: