Serial 8T – Cardiff
Twenty-Second Entry in EC Unauthorized Guide O' Corduroy
My inexpressible thanks to DIY Sheep, Kathryn Young and the author of Sweet Revenge. Except I just expressed that thanks. Guess it's not so inexpressible all of a sudden. The moment's gone, now. Bugger.
D O C T O R W H O
Serial 8T – Cardiff -
Part One – Mind Dames
The latest installment of the distinctly improbable, immoral and very likely ill-defined adventures of Doctor who finds that our hero, the Doctor who, as has already been established, has self-exiled himself to a completely different universe and has committed suicide by blowing himself up rather than winning the distinctly pathetic prize from the Kro'ka's extreme lifestyle show Double The Fist.
This is because the Kro'ka has decided to hand over Adric and Katarina to the Doctor as replacement companions which, is in turn because the Doctor's current companions Charley Pollard and C'Rizz have died extremely horrible deaths, which is turn because of the machination of the frustrated Chumran political leader Excelis following the destruction of her society, which was in turn because a plague of Lustmongers was sent to the planet, which was in turn because....
...and so and so on, back to the initial and highly controversial creation of the Universe.
The Doctor wakes from a dream of fireworks exploding and a redhead eating a banana very slowly to find himself in a metal pod resembling the Millennium Dome, only fuller – here are his erstwhile dead companions Charley and C'Rizz are here as well.
The Doctor's depression spirals out of control as he realizes that he must clearly be in hell to be lumbered with these morons once again. The Time Lord concludes that this strange metal pod is a dark, miserable void on the outer reaches of mental oblivion.
"No, we're in Wales," Charley explains.
"Same thing," the Doctor shrugs dismissively.
C'Rizz explains that their respective traumatic deaths have given them short term amnesia – the only clue to what happened is a large button marked DO NOT PRESS and a sign beneath it saying
I AM PLEASED TO REPORT, YOUR
MALEVOLENCE, AN ESPECIALLY NAUSEATING
END TO THE MEDDLESOME DOCTOR
AND HIS PRATTLING ACCOMPLICES
CARDIFF WELCOMES CAREFUL DRIVERS
The Doctor struggles to recall the last thing he remembers – it turns out to be Charley asking him what was the last thing he remembers. Suddenly the memory of the last few episodes returns and begins to feel queasy before running over to a hatch in the hole and vomiting.
The Time Lord emerges refreshed and with a plan. As the three of them entered this mysterious place via these hatches, they simply must simply return via these same opening. After a few rather predictable double entendres, C'Rizz tries his hatch.
No sooner does he climb out of sight then he drops back into view by another hatch, concluding they are in some giant alien ant farm and that some strange godlike being has chosen the Eutermisan to breed with every single female in the cosmos.
This theory causes the Doctor and Charley to crack up laughing.
Suddenly, the lighting in the dome turns a bit blue, demonstrating the amazing otherworldly powers of the Kro'ka as he rings the afterlife to complain that the Doctor's suicide has ruined the ratings for his lifestyle show. He is ruined!
The Doctor gives the Kro'ka a Full Fist of the Time Lord's own devising – a standard Full Fist with a Full Middle Finger added. He laughs at the host's misery and hangs up. With his show off the air, the Kro'ka's powers are gone for good.
Just as the trio are about to discuss what to do now that they are dead, the Kro'ka arrives in the afterlife, having committed suicide and awarding himself the Full Fist for doing so. He also carries with him one fucking huge bazooka he calls "Big Emma".
The Kro'ka fires it and the Doctor collapses in pain while Charley and
C'Rizz stand by and do nothing. This is not because of any instruction of the Doctor's, they're just being voyeuristic sadists. Besides, the Doctor's already dead – what can happen to him now?
This logic is now dawning on the Kro'ka as he realizes that the Doctor is completely unharmed and is just screwing with the host's mind.
Kro'ka furiously explains that, due to the bizarre nature of this universe, the Afterlife consists entirely of this room and is a gateway back to the home universe the Doctor came from.
The Doctor, Charley and C'Rizz are delighted to learn all they have to do is escape the pod to return to existence again, but this is diminished by knowing the moment they do so, the Kro'ka will use "Big Emma" on them again and who the hell knows what will happen to them when they die this time?
Laughing, the Kro'ka explains that he hid the Doctor's son's stolen TARDIS in this realm, which he knows only as "Cardiff". The philosophical implications that Wales is the Afterlife shock even C'Rizz and they begin to chase each other around the pod in fast forward to stupid Benny Hill music.
Finally the Doctor realizes how to escape the pod and strikes the DO NOT PRESS button. The pod opens up and his companions run outside into field of placid cows. The Doctor is about to follow when the Kro'ka decides to abandon "Big Emma" and beat the living crap out of the Time Lord. As he weighs 189 pounds and has a lot of sexual tension, the Doctor looks well and truly stuffed.
Suddenly two figures leap into the pod and rescue the Doctor, hauling him out into Cardiff as the pod reforms around the Kro'ka. The Kro'ka is now trapped in this dull metal world – perhaps forever.
On the bright side, for the violent beating he gave the Doctor the Kro'ka has awarded himself two Full Fists.
Part Two – Trekker
Meanwhile, in Cardiff, the Doctor is getting his ears chewed off by his rescuers – alternate versions of himself.
One of the Doctors is a fat, white-haired, moustached man with pince nez in a grey morning suit and has the attention span of a backward three-year-old with an IQ of minus ten.
The other one is a younger, dark-haired uptight prig in a trench coat with stupid Hugh Grant-like hair, he is agonized, self-centred and rather camp ponce.
The remaining Doctor realizes that the complete lack of continuity in this universe has effected him.
Fatso is what the Eighth Doctor would have been like had he ditched Ace and picked up a sexy game show host Kate Tollinger the very next day – before having his mind sucked out by an evil immortal known as the Bank Manager.
Trenchcoat is what the Eighth Doctor would have been if he had taste-tested the New Adventures and NOT dumped Ace at all – and also been machine-gunned to death by an irritable Motherfucker astronaut.
With this established, there is an embarrassed pause as our heroes wonder what the hell they are supposed to do.
Climbing a hill, the travelers spy a picturesque Welsh village and thus probably a haven of unemployed junkie prostitutes. The Doctor decides to go and check out the quality of the knocking shops while Charley and Trenchcoat head for the fish and chip shop and C'Rizz and Fatso explore the local petting zoo.
C'Rizz and Fatso, humming Madness songs to himself, wander to the petting zoo and find sheep, a pig and a hungry Bengal tiger. C'Rizz wonders if perhaps he should have just stayed on Zendon writing on-the-pulse poetry and being damn cool, but Fatso laughs in his face and mocks his inability to return home ever.
He then gets bored and, to liven things up, releases the Bengal tiger.
Meanwhile, Trenchcoat is steadfastly refusing to be seduced by Charley as he is far too busy extolling what a wounded soul he is and how horrible the universe is to a kind, loving person like himself. Charley is getting increasingly frustrated as the alternate Doctor starts eulogizing over a broken clock in the fish and chip shop.
When her fourth attempt to 'accidentally' remove his clothing is rebuffed, Charley loses it and smashes him over the head with the broken wall clock – which is now broken a hell of a lot more now.
The canonical Eighth Doctor finds his way to the Slap & Tickle Hostel For Tired Businessmen, certain this is just the place a police box would be placed inauspiciously. However, the distinctly frigid Anne Robinson-style secretary refuses to give him a confusing set of directions to improve his sexual performance.
The Doctor gets bored and runs off into the brothel and soon manages to get lost and asks directions from a passing client with an extremely sore backside. The client insists that this is a local whorehouse for local people and there is nothing for police box fetishists like the Doctor here.
Meanwhile, the Bengal tiger chases Fatso and C'Rizz through the streets of Cardiff, and they finally find sanctuary in a sewer vent. True, there might be giant alligators down there, but at least it will make a change from that bloody tiger.
Meanwhile, Trenchcoat is running for his life, being chased by a Charley glowing red with sexual frustration – at the same time keeping up an endless stream of platitudes that he's not gay, he just doesn't find her attractive. Charley thinks he's bullshitting her. So do I.
Finally, Trenchcoat finds the grease trap of the fish and chip shop and manages to escape through it in one of those bits that you realize hasn't been really thought through by the writer. Charley follows.
Increasingly desperate, the Doctor starts checking rooms for any prostitutes, but only finds a skeletal woman in a rocking chair insisting she really shouldn't be here. The Doctor considers helping her, but she keeps calling him Norman and trying to stab him to death with a knitting needle.
Is she a psychopath? Or just for the seriously kinky clients? The Doctor doesn't know and by now doesn't care. After calling the woman "an aging American drag queen," the Doctor dives through a door marked "WAY OUT", conveniently ignoring the door's prefix of "NO".
The Doctor finds himself in the sewer with Charley, Trenchcoat, Fatso and C'Rizz in a coincidence so utterly unbelievable I can barely bring myself to type this contrived crap.
Anyway, the episode ends with something nasty lumbering down the sewer towards them, arms outstretched and roaring.
C'Rizz wets himself, but, hell, he's in a sewer. Best place for it.
Part Three - Setback
The three separate Doctors combine their amazing mental powers of observation, deduction and rationalization and decide to run away in the opposite direction very quickly and hope it eats Charley and C'Rizz while they escape.
Trenchcoat launches in a soliloquy about how his whole life is wasted running away from unspeakable horrors he can't face and how his relationship with companions is often referred to (usually accurately) as temporal pedophilia.
Fatso just shouts with laughter as he finally gets the "when is a door not a door" joke. That's been bugging him for years.
A man named Wayland then appears and explains that the monster is kept in the sewer system to protect the central computer terminal that regulates the day-to-day necessities of life for the city from deceitful alien engineers who offer to help the people of the city only to infiltrate every aspect of their daily lives.
Trenchcoat thanks him for explaining this, and then throws him to the monster to eat while the gang escape up to the surface and find themselves in a police station, where, standing as part of a Police Recruitment Week display for 2005 is the TARDIS.
The Kro'ka is waiting for them, having tried to charge his way into the police box. He wants to use the TARDIS to tamper with history and get his show back on TV, and is prepared to torture and kill the Doctor. The Doctor points out that the Kro'ka is on his own and the Time Lord has four accomplices.
Unfortunately, those accomplices have already fled.
The Doctor takes this on board and runs away, back to the monster in the sewer hoping that the Kro'ka will be stupid enough to follow and the two adversaries will kill each other. But the Kro'ka doesn't.
Trenchcoat, meanwhile, has been brooding on how unfair life treats the kind, the virtuous and those who look dead cool in a trenchcoat. He is then attacked by the still-free Bengal tiger.
The others continue running, pretending not to hear his screams for assistance as the big cat starts to maul him.
Just then, the Kro'ka appears in his exploding Fistmobile and captures Fatso and prepares to torture the secrets of the TARDIS out of him.
But Fatso is a Doctor even bigger than the Kro'ka and Charley and C'Rizz watch on with detached enthusiasm as the Kro'ka has seventeen colours of shit kicked out of him by the alternative Time Lord...
Part Four - Cardiff
Charley waits for a half an hour before deciding that the Kro'ka is probably about ready to give up now as Fatso systematically breaks every single bone in the ex-TV-star's body.
She and C'Rizz decide to give up and find their Doctor, who at least they can put up with for more than five minutes at a time. Soon, however, they discover the layout of the city of Cardiff is ludicrous and the inhabitants are unable to perceive them consciously, although on some level they're aware enough not to bump into them.
It's a Welsh thing. I don't get it either.
Meanwhile, the Doctor escapes to the surface and the Minotaur tackles the Bengal tiger and they manage to eat each other. Not sure how, but not even Trenchcoat feels able to brood over this disgusting spectacle.
Finally, they bump into the Doctor's companions and realize that they are in Cardiff, the land the Kro'ka spoke of. As this was established half-way through the first episode, it's a bit hard for me to get worked up about this plot point.
With the Kro'ka strapped to a table and being electrocuted by the furious Fatso, the others arrive and laugh at the irony. If this was being televised, it would probably rate quite well.
This enraged the Kro'ka, but underestimates what Trenchcoat Doctor is capable of – he has purloined "Big Emma" and before anyone can stop him he blows the Kro'ka to pieces. Only the host's sunglasses survive.
The three Doctors, Charley and C'Rizz return to the police station where the TARDIS is hidden – or rather, the one that died in Schizo and is in the afterlife with them.
Leaving the ludicrously armed Trenchcoat Doctor to fight it out with Fatso Doctor over who gets REG's TARDIS, the BF trio return to the time machine. OK, they are now trapped in the universe of Cardiff, but at least they're out of the damn lifestyle show.
As the TARDIS fades away, the Kro'ka finds himself back in the pod once more. Here, the ruthless TV executive, Nicholas Briggs is waiting for him...