Wednesday, December 2, 2009

8th Doctor - The Creed of the Kromon

Serial 8P - The Credo of the Moron
An Alternative Program Guide by Ewen Campion-Clarke
Seventeenth Entry in the EC Unauthorized Program Guide O' Fisting


Serial 8P - The Credo of the Moron -

Part One - Alfalfa Spear

The Doctor and Charley find themselves drawn through the primeval cauldron of universal existence, sucked into a vortex of negative time and non-space by a being of unimaginable power: Steve Foxx.

Steve Foxx is hosting an extreme lifestyle show, "Double the Fist", which is a kind of cross between The Goodies and Jackass - with four contestants completing ludicrously dangerous stunts for no other reason that he tells them to.

Normally, the only reward bar survival is the title of "Full Fist" but Steve has decided to branch out into corporeal prizes since few of the lucky winners are satisfied by this title - they don't even get a badge!

Steve offers the Doctor and Charley a chance to regain the TARDIS and escape from this particular brand of adult viewing - and when the Doctor learns that it will be every contestant for themselves, he agrees instantly.

Steve outlines the challenge, "If there's one thing that's weak, it's termites! All the other insects live on their own, fighting to survive the harsh world and carve a niche for themselves while these... WEAK colonies of ants co-operate and live inside wussy little mounds in the desert!! There are thousands of these weak insects, all subservient to a queen ant who sits around on her fat arse all day asking for more food! THIS... SICKENS ME... Now, your task will be to break into the major termite stronghold on the dying planet of Zoden, and destroy the social structure of this civilization. The one who achieves this the most effectively and quickest will receive the world title of... the "Full Fist". Oh, and this old police box I've got lying around. Your time starts... now."

The Doctor and Charley are deposited in a wasted desert landscape with the Oroog, a simple badger-like animal and C'Rizz, a color-changing Eutermersan mixture of reptile and human, who not only appreciates the damage termites can do to the native environment, but knows them also to be delicious and nutritional snacks.

The foursome immediately split up and C'Rizz decides to sneak into the mound via swimming through a nearby river, and quickly changes tactics after three near-drownings.

The Doctor, meanwhile, creates a sandstorm to cover his tracks as he climbs in through the main entrance, however he ends up trapped beneath a tree knocked over by the Oroog, who was attempting to burrow in underneath.

Charley, meanwhile, simply sits provocatively on a rock, showing off her leg to passing flying cars. Finally, one stops and reveals the Zodens...

The Kro'ka has absent-mindedly forgotten to mention that the planet Zoden, is like a lot of planets, subject to gigantism. Or, to be more precise, Earth is about the only planet in the whole fricken universe that is subject to shrinkism - which is why every alien race seems like a giant animal or bird or fish in comparison.

The Zodens are, in fact, two hundred metre tall, blood-drinking insects with psychotic gleams in their eye and take a particular offence to lifestyle TV productions being made in their territory.

Collecting the four contestants, the Zodens return in their patrol ship to the termite mound, while C'Rizz begins a mournful poem about how the horrible insects will kill them all - and gets told by everyone to shut up.

Part Two - State This Anxiety

Inside the termite nest are hundreds and hundreds of small, earth-ware TV studios - the whole mound is, in fact, a reality TV station.

The Zodens decide to take the Oroog and C'Rizz off to one of their Extreme Gardening 4000 TV shows and the Doctor claims to have a talent for being a back-stabbing, two-faced traitor, and so is given an assignment on Treachery Survivor III.

Charley is to be added to the bimbos for Joe Fragizillionaire, as various eligible bachelorettes try and win the favor of a giant preying mantis, not realizing what will happen to them once they win.

C'rizz proves to be the most irritating member of Extreme Gardening 4000 and is quickly voted off, and all the viewers demand he be executed by firing squad - quite extreme, considering the previous victims were merely shunted into stand-up comedy.

However, the Doctor and Charley start throwing mud at the Zodens, and this in itself inspires a brand new TV show "Escaping Convicts", in which three fugitives must try and escape a grisly fate in the bloodthirsty clutches of the Zoden for forty minutes, not realizing that they'll suffer the same grisly fate if they DO win.

The show rates well and takes up the rest of the episode, when the Doctor is promptly captured and taken to see the Chief Executive Producer of the termite mound, and the others are returned to their former TV shows.

C'Rizz is returned to Extreme Gardening 4000 in the vain hope he will become the star that viewers "love to throw live lobsters at".

The Doctor meets the CEP - his old ally, SIL!!!

Sil, it appears, survived the carnage on his home planet Thoros Beta and decided to start fresh in an entirely new universe.

His marketing know-how and odd, reptilian flesh gave him plenty of leverage in this dimension, where he began the economic conquest of the galaxy, but ran aground when he tried to infiltrate the Zoden society.

Normally, he prospected the planet for minerals, stripped it bare and used the natives for slave labor.

However, Sil's first love for violent reality television has made the gap between the last two stages of the plan longer and longer, as more and more TV shows are made.

The Doctor bursts out laughing at his oily former-companion's lack of commercial spirit, letting sentiment overtake big business.

Sil responds by having one of the Zodens drool warm olive oil over the Time Lord, with the intention of making him drown.

At this point, two telephone numbers come up on the screen: "9876 for the Doctor to die, that's 9876 for the Doctor to die". The number for 'the Doctor to live' races by so fast, we cannot make it out.

Meanwhile, fifteen of the twenty Extreme Gardening 4000 have committed suicide rather than continue to share the limelight with C'Rizz, who's horrible acting, peculiar odor, and beatnik poetry are considered preferable only to terminal flatulence.

In fact, so bad is the show that the Zoden Queen is hauled by hundreds of minion into the studio to declare the reality TV show permanently cancelled.

C'Rizz accepts this gracefully, but his sycophantic whining is enough to make the Queen empty her side-arm into her own forehead...

Part Three - Bile and Punishment

This cliffhanger predicament overrides all others and the Doctor and Charley are set free and allowed to wander onto the blood-splattered set with Sil, who is amazed at this development, and considers creating a new brand of TV drama "Regicide: Life In The Hive" where C'Rizz convinces various members of insectoid royal families to commit suicide.

The grief-stricken Zedons demand that Charley becomes the new queen - a bizarre request, since all insect races have a special turn-drone-into-queen jelly for these particular types of emergency.

Charley demands to know just why she should be chosen for the queen, Sil replies, "You've got the hips for it".

The Doctor decides to buy a lighter death sentence by suggesting a new S & M channel for Zendon television: a 24-hour live telecast of C’rizz, strapped to a water wheel, suffering a slow death by water torture.

Impressed, Sil decides to take the Doctor out for a drink, promising that none of these will be spiked in any way by Zendon elixirs and definitely won't turn the Time Lord into a slavish, blindly-obedient factotum.

The Doctor isn't suspicious - at first - but when he is strapped down and various hallucinogenic mixtures are poured down his throat, he begins to freak out as a series of Technicolor visions assail his senses and Sil demands new and more dangerous cocktails be added.

This is the last chance for Sil's poorly-rating "LSD Torture Hour" to become a success, and it all depends on how vulgar and hilarious the wasted Time Lord gets.

The show fails abysmally, as it is competing with the sight of a sadistic Zendon soldier tying C’rizz securely to the water wheel and Charley being transformed into a hybrid Kromon queen with the aid of a strange assortment of stocking fillers.

The Doctor is so moved by his sluggy friend's misery, he promises to come up with a new format that cannot fail: "Celebrity Interactive Gyroconductorscope Blitz from Hell"!

The premise is three teams of four Zoden are given the task of assembling a space-travel machine under instructions from a cruel, evil overlord who neglects to mention that these craft run on mercury (a substance unavailable in this universe) for their propulsion, so the teams must find an alternative.

The last one to find the substitute fuel of compressed hydrogen is then placed under the exhaust rockets of the team that DOES.

The remaining two teams are on a race against time to construct the spacecraft while the cruel overseer taunts them and mocks the unfortunate losers who are about to be fried.

At the end of the second round, the team who has completed the least of the task shall be placed with the others under the winner's spacecraft while the winner themselves must pass a quick mastermind quiz on a random subject.

If they win, they are given the chance of saving the rest of the contestants.

Lose, and they get shoved under the rockets as well...

The Oroog finally remembers what show he's in and visits C'Rizz, who insists that he's fine where he is, being continually submerged, and snarls that he can find his own way out of the mess thank you very much.

Insulted, the Oroog wanders off, but is soon drawn back when C'Rizz's nerve breaks and he begs for release. The Oroog releases C'Rizz, who asks to be carried to safety as he feels rather faint. The Oroog, not convinced, makes the bastard walk.

With C'Rizz freed from the new All-C'Rizz-Torture channel, rating plummet and the audience share now belongs to Celebrity Interactive Gyroconductorscope Blitz from Hell, which has already reached the end of its first episode.

The winning Zoden gets the rest of the contestants into safety and prepares to fly the rocket in a test-flight.

However, what the winner doesn't know is that compressed hydrogen used in such a way is highly dangerous and remarkably stupid.

The painstakingly-built spaceship explodes...

Part Four - The Credo of the Moron

This unparalleled moment in TV history makes Celebrity Interactive Gyroconductorscope Blitz from Hell THE top-rating reality TV show on Zoden, and Sil decides to take pity on C'Rizz and the Oroog and include them in the next episode - which will pull in even more ratings now the most hated Eutermisan on television has a chance of being blown to smithereens.

The Doctor, meanwhile, is attending a royal reception from Queen Charlotte the Oversexed, who demands a regular role on the new series.

She also explains that the main reason the Zoden are so TV-oriented is that they are trying to avoid the fact they are sucking every last drop of water from the planet and will soon face extinction.

"Tis better to avoid dying in ignorance and live in dehydration than to drink copious amounts of alcohol in an anti-social manner of fear itself," she says, and causes three Zoden to collapse trying to understand this aphorism.

The Doctor, growing bored of life as a high-flying TV executive, realizes the Kro'ka wouldn't have sent them to Zoden if there wasn't a blindingly obvious way to defeat the insect race.

It is at this point, the Doctor, C'Rizz and Oroog spot the huge drum of toxic waste that has been sitting beside the main reservoir since episode two.

There is a real risk this might end up killing Charley, which is why the Doctor insists they must do it straight away and warn no one.

The polluted water supply quickly wipes out the Zoden, who die in anguish, not knowing the ending of the latest episode of CIGBFH.

Only Charley is saved, as she was drinking mineral water the whole time and just faking the Queen Ant crap.

Sil is beside himself with rage at the cruel end of his wonderland swears he will kill the Doctor if they ever meet again, and takes a shot at C'Rizz for the sheer hell of it.

He kills the Oroog instead, and collects the body so he can skin it and get a fur coat, before leaving in personalized limousine.

The Doctor, Charley and C'Rizz are soon confronted by Steve Foxx, who announces that they have failed the test, and are not worthy or either the Full Fist or the TARDIS - by cooperating with each other and the enemy, they have shown themselves to be absolutely weak and pathetic.

However, Steve feels magnanimous and offers the threesome another chance to win back their long-running sci-fi format.

The Doctor looks pensive as Steve begins to outline the next challenge...

Book(s)/Other Related –
Doctor Who & The Rewrite of Terror
Doctor Mysterio Ias da Fist X 2
TV Week # 8976; The "Slug Spaceship Soap Scrapped Suddenly" expose.

Fluffs - Paul McGann seemed pretty antsy in this story

Goofs –
Sil plans to escape a dying planet in a black limousine?? Does this limousine have special time-warp capabilities or something? Is it some kind of disguised TARDIS? Who's driving it? How far can it go in the quarry? What does it run on? And, more importantly, why does this single plot flaw bother me so much?

The Doctor and Charley agreed to another challenge with C'Rizz involved? I don't believe it for a second. They should have petitioned for a change of contestant, or at least a replacement for the Oroog.

If the Zoden know how utterly awful and suicide-inducing C'Rizz can be, why did they let their Queen carry a loaded shotgun when she went to see him? Oh, yeah, I get it.

Fashion Victims –
C'Rizz's Pinky and the Brain T-Shirt

Technobabble -
The Doctor and Charley are held down at one point by "blobbydobbydoozy" forces.

Links and References -
Trying to pass the time, the Doctor begins to list the various quarries he's been in until C'Rizz starts screaming and smacking him with the back of his hand.

Untelevised Misadventures -
The Doctor complains how he always seems to be captured by giant termites when he's in a younger body and surrounded by idiots. This is obviously a reference to the missing Fifth Doctor, Tegan, Adric and Nyssa story "The Planet of the Fucking Huge Termites".

Groovy DVD Extras -
A thankfully-cut sequence where the Doctor and Sil share a glass of champagne in the Jacuzzi.

Dialogue Disasters -

Charley: I'm going introduce the Zodens to what I call "the Big Bang
theory". Heh-heh.

The eponymous "moron's credo" -

Doctor: Nobody likes brain alteration.
Charley: Really? I've always found it kinda... raunchy.

Steve Foxx: Today prudence shall be our watchword. Tomorrow we shall soak the land in blood!
Oroog: Is that worth the full fist?
Steve Foxx: No. It's worth... DOUBLE THE FIST!

Dialogue Triumphs -

"Others may require greater intelligence; stronger, more adaptable formats, but none has a greater audience share..."
- Sil, on the success of CIGBFH.


Sil: My dreams! My profits! You've ruined it all, Doctor, you ichthyophagous bastard!
Doctor: Whoa, pot... kettle... black.

Zoden: What use are you?
Doctor: I've often wondered.
Zoden: W... what?

UnQuotable Quote -

Zoden: Resistance is not profitable.

Viewer Quotes -

"This story disturbed me when Charley was transformed into an insectoid monster. As a card-carrying insect fetishist, when India Fisher in black and yellow stripes DOESN'T turn me on, then something is definitely wrong with the universe." - Nigel Verkoff (2009)

"When an ongoing series puts itself through a bit of a reformatting it's normally announced as a bold and an exciting new direction, and more often than not it's only happening because that series has been struggling to pull in the punters. The Credo of the Moron is the rule that proves the exception." - Destiny's Child (2005)

"The Credo of the Moron is my favorite episode of Frasier."
- Confused fan (2032)

"Conrad Westmaas is terribly bland - which is creepy since companions are best characterized in their debut adventure. Cerys just comes across as a faintly manic-depressive bloke with a bone on his head, which is a darn sight better than I ever got."
- Matthew Waterhouse (2003)

"I almost vomited when during C'Rizz's poetry recital in episode one."
- The Gurgitator (2004)

"What's beyond debate is that Philip Martin's serious issues with the Doctor's companion. In Vetnor (which, by the way, gets an utterly contrived name-check here) Peri gets turned into a parrot. In Sexwarp, she gets turned into the short one out of The Young Ones. And here, Charley gets turned into a giant queen termite. It's this little character trait that makes him the best playwright since Dennis Potter." - Misogynist Male Monthly (2009)

"The Credo of the Moron is fifteen years out of date."
- The Doctor Who Review (July 2019)

"The cliffhangers in this story are by far the best bit - mainly because they prove that there is a finite amount of story and we have got 25 per cent further into it than the last time."
- Paul Denials (2004)

"Damn it! With Sil involved, this makes this whole season canon! SHIT!"
- John Preddle (2006)

Psychotic Nostalgia -
"No amount of justification can help this story. I mean, I was ashamed to watch it. Worse, I was ashamed of forcing my victims to watch it while I powered up the chainsaw. Dr Who, what have you done, man??"

Paul McGann Speaks!
"With the new series announced, I considered really trying to make an impression in the remaining Big Finish stories, I did. Honestly. But I was just SO bored... I adlibbed half the dialogue in this script, and it didn't seem to have an impact it was so bloody formulaic. After this and Zig-Zag-Gay-Ass, I was on the brink, the brink, I tell you! I was hoping the new season would have the Eighth Doctor so much more spikier, arrogant, less predictable. Instead, I had to save the world with a shrug of the shoulders and walk off, grinning all the while. I'm better than this. My only grain of comfort is that I know Eccleston is going through so much worse..."

India Fisher Speaks!
"I just couldn't believe this script. The Doctor has gone into an entirely new universe, composed of matter the human mind could not even comprehend enough to define, peopled by races beyond imagination, with values and customs that have no bearing on our material existence. And who's the first person we meet - Sil! I mean, what kind of logic leads to this sort of plot development? I'd like to tell you more, but they had me dress as this kinky bee outfit for the last couple of episodes, and I was bored rigid the rest of the time. Worse than Bored of Ironing, and that's saying something."

Conrad Westmaas Speaks!
"It was pure luck that I got the role of C'Rizz. The production crew were so determined to catch Martin out they demanded he write in this new companion they made up on the spot - a six-foot cricket with impotence called Cerys. The character changed a lot since that original outline, and they cast me because I was doing one of my walrus impressions in the corner and had nothing better to do. Yeah, I got a great opening story - action, giant insects, corridors, India Fisher dressed as a bumblebee. The sheer awfulness of my acting and dialogue was totally cancelled out by the total shite that surrounded it."

Trivia -
The backstory of just HOW Sil managed to escape from the slaughter on his home planet to the Divergent universe is fully explained in the series of original, full-length, adult novels, The New Sil Adventures (NSAs). This story is partially novelized in Martin's own "Return of the Time-Travelling Son of a Bitch", number 87 in this range.

Rumors & Facts -
It's hard to be truly original when appending to a 40-year old series, and Doctor Who has been often little more than sci-fi by numbers, but COME ON! It's not THAT difficult, is it?

Philip Martin was an old-hand at writing for Doctor Who, and had been submitting the same story to the production offices since 1963. However, it was almost always used by the current script editor in a paper-plane competition, insisting that the regular cast would need to be updated for the story to work properly.

Finally, it was produced as Vengeance on Ventnor in 1985 which began the career of Nabil Shaban as the Sixth Doctor's most popular companion, the slug-like Thoros Betan Mentor Sil, who stayed on until Martin's next story in the following season, four episodes of Mistrial of a Time Lord also known as Sexwarp where he was abandoned by the Doctor in the casual manner in which he joined.

Martin, who had only known a life of writing endlessly-revised Doctor Who scripts, offered his services to the Big Finish production office when they started production in 1999.

Four years later, Martin made it clear that while, yes, he wasn't complaining in his role as unpaid dogsbody who was at the beck and call of everyone else, he was rather hoping that his writing skills would be called upon.

Gay Russell replied by getting him to write a shopping list, go down to the local shop, and buy the things on that list.

Another conversation later, and Martin was commissioned for the story "The Soul of the Lounge-Lizard". Jason Haigh-Ellery explained that they were at present revitalizing Doctor Who's vague format into something bold and exciting, and so requested the story be the old-style traditional monster mash told over four episodes and have any amazing changes to the status quo resolved by the final scene.

Martin reportedly was "puzzled" at this and wondered why they were bothering to set the stories in a Divergent Universe only to make it tremendously non-divergent and use the same old stories.

The writer compared it to having your forehead tattooed and then going around in a bandana all the time, then noticed the vast number of bandana-wearing BFP staff and quickly shut up.

The only other major change to the storyline Russell requested was Sil to be utterly removed to the teleplay.

Bewildered by the fact they still wanted him, Phillip "Sil" Martin wrote a story about profit-obsessed gargling invertebrates who metamorphasize the Doctor's companion in a curiously icky way.

Slightly suspicious that some kind of crafty trick was being pulled, Jacqueline Rayner ordered Martin to make sure all the protagonists were insects and not slugs or reptiles.

Martin did just that and requested that the Zoden leader, Lis, be played by Nabil Shaban, who had so impressed Martin with his performance during Seasons 22 and 23.

Now certain that the writer was up to something, JHE demanded he rewrite the thing top-to-bottom to introduce a brand new male companion called Curries.

The role was tailored for Conrad Westmaas, who was assistant editor to Doctor Who Magazine and thus had all the qualities of anal-retentive deep-depression that Martin brought out in the finished script, and also requested that the character of Lis become an unscrupulous, passing alien being who had a history with a previous Doctor.

Determined to prove that Martin was hinting at some new development in the script, they demanded they rewrite the script and rename the character of Curries C'Rizz.

During recording, Paul McGann took one look at Nabil Shaban dressed as the evil, slug-like Lis gargling about profit and shook his head slowly, deciding to cut the crap and call a spade a spade and call Sil Sil.

Russell had been rendered unconscious during a read-through of the script and had thus missed this revelation, and it was only while experiencing the finished product did he twig in any way shape or form.

Indeed, Steve Foxx commented, "He suckered you into paying him for this? FULL FIST!"

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