Wednesday, December 2, 2009

8th Doctor - Neverland

Serial 8J - Nowhere-Land
An Alternative Program Guide by Ewen Campion-Clarke
Thirteenth Entry in the EC Unauthorized Program Guide O' Northern Songs


Serial 8J - Nowhere-Land -

Part One - The Eggs of Time

Like Earth, Gallifrey has a curious unofficial law allowing reckless and drunken use of a time vehicle in circumstances including: use of the Apocalypse Element, Faction Paradox, and if the young lady in the back seat is about to give birth.

The Doctor, knowing about this law, has converted the entirety of the TARDIS into one huge reserve of liquor, which he has been working through ever since Charley's waters broke.

The girl herself is howling in pain, and the Doctor calmly puts it down to indigestion. Charley begins to cry and the Doctor tries to cheer her up by watching a nice film. Rosemary's Baby.

After this, the Doctor decides it might just be best to just dump her at the Maternity Services on Gallifrey and run like hell in the other direction. However, no sooner has he shoved the pedal to the metal than a fleet of battle TARDISes materializes around his own ship.

The Doctor tries to explain his actions to the arresting officer, CIA Coordinator Vansell, but realizes he is now too drunk to speak. The Doctor attempts to weave his way out of the trap, and decides it is time to use his exclusive invitation to a thousand-year party in a distant pocket time and space which the Time Lords know nothing about.

Sadly, there's only invitation, but the Doctor promises to return to Charley once she's died in childbirth. However, his laboring girlfriend punches him in the face and activates the TARDIS's Plot Device, which sends them hurtling towards Gallifrey and a three hundred year waiting list...

The Doctor stumbles through a burning town formally known as Gallifrey when he bumps into a solemn, dignified, powerful old man wearing galoshes, who is humming the latest jingle by happening dude Zig-Zag-Gay-Ass.

As a spaceship from orbit starts hurling huge fists at the world below, the old man drags the Doctor into the nearest Betty Ford clinic which mainly caters for soldiers with 5-dimensional STDs.

The old man explains that Gallifrey is at war with the ultimate of all enemies.

"The Dustbins? The Cybermen? The Snotarans?" queries the Doctor, and gets the reply, "Um, no. The OTHER ultimate enemy - Blue Meanies!"

It is at this point that the Doctor is jammed into a hadron net to transfer six regenerations for the greater good. However, no one is still prepared to touch the "Brain of Moby"-face drama and so is let off and sent to the Panopticon where his old squeeze, Romanadrovatrelunder, has become Imperiatrix of Gallifrey and is exacting her revenge on the Dustbin Emperor - who stood her up on a date for twenty years.

The Doctor remarks how damn bitching cool she's got since he dumped her in E-space and Romana, still in a 'get revenge on ex-lovers' mode, has the mob tear him apart.

But none of this is real.

Or even particularly relevant.

The Doctor has, in fact, passed out in the gutter outside the Gallifreyan Maternity Service and has been hallucinating the last few scenes. He is found by CIA Coordinator Vansell, who the Doctor mockingly refers to as "Toastrack" after the academy discovered Vansell using sliced bread as a substitute for a real woman one cold, lonely night.

Vansell calmly replies that he will not be in the least bit affected by any six-hundred-year-old insults, and promptly drop-kicks the Doctor and breaks his fingers.

Vansell drags the Doctor kicking and screaming to President Romana, who is glad to have finally caught up with the attractive Eighth Doctor and now has the absolute power over him - in short, Charley.

Charley, meanwhile, is struggling through her labor at the woefully inadequate Gallifreyan birthing centre - consisting of a washable chair, a baseball mit and a tube of vaseline.

Two medics, Kurst and Levith are monitoring the Earth girl and finding themselves simultaneously aroused and disgusted by what they see. Kurst in particular finds the concept of Charley very stimulating and seeing her in... well, her flesh disorientates him badly. However, he is brought back to the present as she begins to crush his right hand.

Romana explains that when Rassilon completed his half-arsed web of causality, it created a whole different universe of total order and peace. So, instead, she plans to take a pre-emptive strike on the reality of Pepperland, which is chaos personified, a dark legend known only by the Time Lords (and the Beatles, thanks to a pissed Doctor spilling the beans). To travel there, they must use the only craft capable of traversing the dimension.

Yup. A yellow submarine.

Don't look at me like that, dude.

During the days when it HASN'T been used to pierce the wall dividing one plane of existence from its nightmarish neighbors, it has acted as a warehouse, polling station, rented accommodation and the setting for Season 23's "Mistrial of a Time Lord".

Upon entering, the Doctor falls into deep awe at the sight of the mighty time rotor - partially at its erotic shape, partially because it is a totally pointless embellishment to a submarine and doesn't work even if it could.

With no obvious way to jumpstart the submarine, however, the quest is pointless. There is a long silence and some rather awkward glances.

Suddenly, the Doctor delves into his pocket and produces a pair of jumper leads and attaches them to the control console, and the other end to Charley's nipples.

Why? I don't know. It's not scripted. Alan Barnes denies every possible connection between him and this scene and judging by the screams India Fisher gives off, she wasn't in on the plan either. Is this, then, the true meaning of "reversing the polarity of the neutron flow"? If so... ouch.

A massive contraction shoves Charley closer to childbirth and sends the submarine tumbling across an unconvincing 2001-style trippy journey into a new universe, as the echoes of the Doctor's haunting farewell, "Bye, Charley, and I hope you get bowel cancer", fade away...

Part Two - Nowhere-Land

The Yellow Submarine hurtles through the countless dimensions or, if you will, "seas". In the Sea of Lawyers, the Time Lords are hunted down by lawyers of H.G. Wells and C.S. Lewis, who turn into werewolves. Terrified, the Doctor puts on a kiddie-style sailor suit and a giant lollipop, shouting that they should save the women and children first.

This proves to be unnecessary, as the lawyer's canine instinct takes over as they ever the Sea of Fire Hydrants. After passing through a tunnel into the Sea of Animation, time flows backwards and all the Time Lord regress into Time Tots and there is a ferocious battle over the possession of the Doctor's lollipop which doesn't end when they are all aged into pensioners.

Things return to normal in the Sea of Karma and into the Sea of Annoyances where the Doctor falls prey to home shopping demons and dreadful infomercial vampires in sequences so awful Vansell has to get it on film.

The Doctor escapes the monster's clutches and they arrive in a realm of complete whiteness, which he deduced from the atmosphere, temperature, pressure and molecular structure must be Nowhere-Land. Of course, the neon sign saying WELCOME TO NOWHERE LAND helped. Slightly.

Nowhere-Land is the land where sequels are made and generally the place where all the Doctor's forgotten enemies and bit-part-Dustbin-wannabes end up. There's the Brigadier, Deeva Jansen, Serge the Seal, the Bastard, Lavros, Queen Xanxia... Basically every evil that could possibly escape the ending of a standard four parter is here, waiting for the Doctor.

They are lead by Temptress, who lives up to her name by assuming the form of Charley Pollard. They are all members of AAA and so begin to help out repairing the damaged Submarine. The Doctor, Romana and Vansell have a good look round, and, yup there really is nothing in this land at all. Nothing. Nothing at all. Not a thing. No, sir, indeedy.

After a few minutes walking, they find what appears to be a suicide note from Rassilon. The Doctor realizes this is no parting message from the back of beyond, but instead some amazingly cool song lyrics for a ballad called "Zig-Zag-Gay-Ass".

The Time Lord digest this information and walk around for a bit, before trying a few games of "I Spy". That dries up pretty quickly and idly the scene switches to show Charley screaming in childbirth just to break up the monotony before Temptress arrives and swears to kill all of them for cliffhanger purposes.

Part Three - Dark Boots

Temptress decides to forestall the execution by demanding that the Time Lords take the Nowhere-People back into reality. The Time Lords tell Temptress to stick her head up a dead Ogron's arse and refuse to entertain any possibility of allowing hideous sequels onto the cosmos like "Weird Planet 2" "Return of the TOMTIT Monster" or even "The True History of The Monoids".

But the strange unfulfilled/non-existent potential of the various monsters and villains is starting to corrupt Vansell, who quickly dons a cape and moustache and laughs evilly as the possibility of a spin-off show "Vansell's Revenge on the Toaster" warps his fragile little mind. Despite all the best efforts of the Doctor to take the piss, Vansell does not bite and quickly loads the Nowhere-People aboard the Yellow Submarine.

The Doctor realizes that the Nowhere-People have already begun to contaminate his timeline - the awful appearances of the Bastard, Brigadier, Cybermen, Dustbins, Leonard Nimoy and Vogons in the last two seasons is the result of this single adventure rippling outwards into causality.

And if the Nowhere-People's influence is felt on Gallifrey (cause of the most frequent and most awful sequels ever) than the incomprehensible fanwankery that will follow will ruin the Doctor Who franchise FOREVER!

Luckily, the Nowhere-People are as crap at mechanics as they are at being returning foes and so the Submarine almost immediately stalls. With no way of returning to reality without, it seems, attaching nipple-clamps to a laboring earth girl, it seems like they are stuck in the void of Nowhere-Land forever.

The Doctor ponders on the irony of his fate, gets bored, and then falls asleep while the Nowhere-People stand around, sighing.

Part Four - Zig-Zag-Gay-Ass

Sneaking aboard the Submarine, the Doctor prepares the machine for one last sideways maneuver - at the moment Charley gives birth, a breach will appear in the walls of canonicity and allow them to slide in through the gap where no missing adventures of sequels can follow.

Unfortunately, Charley's labor has stalled and she's getting thoroughly bored waiting for something to happen - indeed, she's starting to try and seduce Kurst and Levith out of a lack of anything else to do.

This delay allows the Nowhere-People to storm the Submarine, and the continual inaction has allowed Vansell to regain his senses and feel morbid embarrassment at what he has done.

He thus fakes a "Plan B" and leaves with the majority of Nowhere-People on a fool's errand, sacrificing himself rather than become a generic Bastard-substitute for a bored production team. The Doctor is moved by this nobility - for half a minute, and then cracks up in giggles.

They are now held captive by Temptress, the Brigadier and Yorkshire terrier called Robert.

On Gallifrey, Charley quivers mightily and makes a curious "Eeep!" noise.

The Doctor is reminiscing about his S&M hallucination of Romana when the Submarine is suddenly sucked out of Nowhere-Land through all the seas and, at the exact moment *something* bursts out from between Charley's legs, the dimension hopper materializes around the TARDIS.

The shift annihilates Temptress and Robert, sends the Brigadier and Romana hurtling off into different directions, and traps the Doctor as the Yellow Submarine implodes around him with a series of sickening animated flashes and bangs.

The Brigadier finds himself back in Sunnydale, being chased by a huge snake. Romana finds herself back in E-Space - but this time without even K9, but a mocking message from Rassilon that she'll be late for her 5:30 appointment unless she does something quick.

Meanwhile, a mysterious figure visits Charley in hospital, only to fall prey to the insatiable sexual desires of the girl. However, the first chance in months to see her feet distracts Charley long enough for said mysterious figure to run for his life. His plan is proceeding quite well...

Charley, enjoying her regained slim figure, finally gets round to shagging Kurst and Levith before passing the padded cell where contained within is her unspeakable offspring.

One look causes Charley to scream hysterically and race outside into the battered TARDIS.

Inside, the Doctor broods over the controls, cold and emotionless. Not immediately sensing anything wrong, Charley suggests they get the hell out of here quickly as there is only moments until the season finishes and the ongoing story arc needs to be resolved.

The Doctor replies by slapping her down.

"You stupid son of a bitch!" Charley snarls and kicks him in the goolies. "How dare you! I have to put up with giving birth to your child, suffering your stale planet, dealing with your mortal enemies, having to say 'Ooh, what's that, Doctor?', your disgusting magazines and you hit me like you're my pimp or something! I'm gonna emasculate you with a short but blunt knife, as God as my witness, you're not knocking up another innocent bimbo! Die, Doctor, DIE!"

The Doctor responds to this tirade of abuse by throwing her across the room.

"'Doctor'? 'Doctor'? I hold the last vestiges of the most awesome power ever imagined - RETROACTIVE CONTINUITY! How much better if I should take my title from a work of bad poetry? A creature willed to power by the repressed canonicity of a forgotten race! I am NOT the Doctor! I... am become... ZIG-ZAG-GAY-ASS! I am --- gahh!"


He is promptly dragged onto the floor by Charley, who begins to break every bone in his body...

Book(s)/Other Related –
Doctor Who - Fuck Me, THAT Was A Scary Ending
Doctor Who's Yellow Submarine (Canada Only)
OASIS' Greatest Hits (Vol. 2)
Robert Winston's "Time Lord Obstetrics"

Fluffs - Paul McGann seemed Evil From the Dawn Of Time in this story.

"Once, ny mame has wailed and feared in mequal beasure y riend and fenemy alike. Thow knen, that I am Yonquerer of Cssgaraoth, Doverpriest of Orornid, Irst Fearl of Prydon, Vatris of the Portex, Vavager of the Roid... and Grefedent of Prallifrey tom the frime of our empire Feat Groundation! I am Rord Lassilon!"

"Gallifrey 90210 Glittering beneath The Shining: THAT'S what I call a double bill!"

Goofs –
While I believe that a hospital waiting list on Gallifrey could go for three centuries, Charley doesn't seem to have aged over three hundred years. Does Time Lord labour last over three hundred years? No wonder there are so few children!

The Time Lords still refer to the Doctor as a 'sexually repressed prude' although they themselves gave his libido back to him at the end of The Tree Doctors.

Charley ponders if her baby might be genetically effected by the various people she’s shagged, but only mentions characters in order of BF stories with no breaks between them. We're supposed to believe the countless missing adventures that have happened occurred WITHOUT Charley ever getting lucky once? Suuuuuuuuuuuuuure. Talk about insulting the audience's intelligence!

Fashion Triumphs –
Imperiatrix Romana's PVC Headmistress' outfit. Grrrrrrr.

Technobabble –
Time-warp-silos, relative time compression, a sub-protonic accelerator, triple bonded polesium with Tinclavic relief, Zybanium shields, multi-quantiscopes, neutron staffs and flux valves, an astro-rectifier, neutron grips, delta leads and a radial socket, ion grapplers, electron cramps, flux curves, Ganymede drivers and Demeter uncouplers. And that's for a NATURAL birth for Charley!

Links and References -
The Doctor remembers "hot, steamy nights" with Romana, experimenting with LSD.

Untelevised Misadventures -
The Doctor deliriously relives a few moments of a past orgy with Mary Shelley and Lord Byron AGAIN! God, if it was SO good, why don’t you go back there you malodorous pervert?!?

Groovy DVD Extras -
The extended birth sequence, complete with the infamous "raspberry" scene.

Dialogue Disasters -

Xanxia: Your continuity cannot survive without us!
Doctor: Well, it's survived the last fifteen years without YOU, sweetheart.

"Your passage will be unimpeded - I hope."
- Charley whispering to her stomach in the first scene.

Doctor: [terrified] She's here! She's coming!
Vansell: I think she's giving birth.
Doctor: Maybe - she always makes those moaning noises.

Romana: Doctor, the projection never changes. The Web of Time in shreds, the fall of Gallifrey, the corruption of the oldest civilization. Chaos an anarchy loosed upon us all. A new order. A twisted one.
Doctor: If this vision is supposed to make me recant, to make me see the folly of my choices in the past, to approve the unmaking of a life for the sake of order - YOU'RE DOING A DAMN-FINE JOB!

Charley: I may be none the wiser, but I dare say I'm better informed.

Doctor: You don't get to be President of Gallifrey with a head full of turnips you know.
Vansell: What about President Turnip II?
Doctor: The exception that proves the rule.

"Get blown by a Dustbin you god damned cyber-pimp!"
- one of the more obscure things Charley instructs the Doctor during a massive contraction

Dialogue Triumphs -

Dustbin Emperor: PLEASE - HAVE PITY...
Romana: Pity? I don't think so! I waited outside that cinema for 292 days, you bastard!

Doctor: Now, officer, I'm getting my girlfriend to hospital. She's very much in labor.
Charley: Doctor, you're talking nonsense.
Doctor: Nah, he'll get the drift when I point to you.

Fifteen gallons of wine later -
Doctor: Gahooober, ighwef hoyweee, agahost normeety.
Vansell: What?
Doctor: [points] Tiu.
Vansell: Oh, right. OK, then. And congratulations.

Romana: You did it, you finally did it. You got a girl pregnant. Git.

Doctor: Battle-TARDISes in an escort formation. It's not the Dustbins the Time Lords are after - it's us... DAMN IT, I LOVE DRAMATIC IRONY, DON'T YOU??!?

Charley: We measure our lives in love, and I've loved every minute.
Kurst: Really?
Charley: No. NOW GET ME A FUCKING EPIDURAL!!! I'm sorry, I don't know what got into me.
Levith: [eyes Charley’s stomach] I've a fair idea, though.

Doctor: Romana, are you wearing tights?
Romana: Yes, why?
Doctor: No reason. I just really like the idea of you in tights.

Doctor: Man, is this going to be a nightmare.
Charley: Argh! A nightmare!!!! You have the damned nerve to call my giving birth to your child a NIGHTMARE? How dare you...
Doctor: Yeah, I dare. Now stop whining like the bitch you are.
Charley: [sobs] You did this to me ....this is all your fault! I should have you castrated.
Doctor: Oh, yeah? Come on then, Charley? Put 'em up! Your pregnant ass is going down!

UnQuotable Quote -

Vansell: Oh for the love of Simon and Garfunkle, SAVE ME!

Viewer Quotes -

"Nowhere-Land is way, way, WAY too long. And considering half the plot involves the Doctor, Romana and Vansell walking in a white void not saying much... Is that not a sign from God that this script needs editing?" - Stanley Kubrick (2001)

"The Rassilon in this story CANNOT be the genuine article. He's a nigger!" - Klu Klux Klan Doctor Who Review (2006)

"The WORST birthing sequence since the pig in The Good Life! We didn't see ANYTHING! How am I supposed to become a high-paid gynecologist if Doctor Who won't give us some nice juicy close-ups! Gah! I'm never watching this again!" - Vyvyan Bastard (2004)

"Lalla Ward talks to the Doctor like he's an ex who slept with the family dog. That's not any kind of comparison from me, there's a line that goes, 'Oh, Doctor, how could you leave me for K9?'. Now, I've got to ask, what did I do to deserve being offered that mental image?"
- Andrew Beeblebrox (2007)

"Um, can someone explain what the last scene was about? For some reason, the moment Charley enters the TARDIS, all I can see is disembodied hands making a Meatlover's Pizza to some weird operatic music. It's a recognized condition, but it wrecks my enjoyment of Nowhere-Land." - Damien Satan (666)

"Time Lords. Gallifrey. Rassilon. A returning companion. Reams of scientific exposition. a plot hidden within a scheme at the heart of an anomaly. With these ingredients, Nowhere-Land sounds like a recipe for disaster - and you're damn right! Paul McGann rattles his dialogue off like he's hoping he can get through it before he realizes what rubbish he's talking, and India Fisher is reduced to either howling in pain or saying 'Of course I'm pushing you moron!' The conclusion to Nowhere-Land reminds you of being Charley's baby - it blows you across the room. A cliffhanger of Paul McGann screaming 'I am NOT the Doctor' - which I get the impression he regularly says in real life anyway - takes me back to my childhood; shocked, frightened, and desperate to clean up the mess before mummy finds out." - Nigel Verkoff (2002)

Psychotic Nostalgia -
"I winced when the baby was born. I remember thinking, 'Hey! That looks like me! Am I the father?'. But, in a funny way, the baby looks like all of us - which makes a lot of sense. At some point in time, surely EVERYONE has slept with Charley. So, it's OUR baby. Wait a minute... She's not getting ME to pay for that abomination! It's obviously Paul McGann's!"

Paul McGann Speaks!
"I remember very vividly the last episode of Nowhere-Land. Charley stumbles into the ruins of the TARDIS console room to find the Doctor huddled in the darkness - but when she approaches him, he strikes her aside with a single, cruel blow. He is now the living embodiment of evil, no longer be considered to be the Doctor. From now on he will be known as Zig-Zag-Gay-Ass... When we'd recorded that, India turned to me and said, 'I wonder how we get out of that, then?' and I said, 'Who gives a flying fuck?'"

India Fisher Speaks!
"It felt a lot more erotic than it looked."

Lalla Ward Speaks!
"Paul McGann is very different to Tom. He's much more laidback and... well, sober. He's also gorgeous and in a good mood. Poor man was dead on his feet during recording. He could never catch his breath and I never had the heart to tell him his fly was undone. India was very good though, kept taking him outside for what she called 'pep talks'. To be honest with you, I don't know if that actually worked. He always seemed to come back MORE exhausted, MORE dazed and MORE out of breath. Still, did India the world of good and the two of us were there to pick up the slack. And Paul himself, ultimately, when he passed out from nervous exhaustion. I remember Tony Keetch said, "Someone, get the Doctor! No, wait, he IS the Doctor!" and we punched his lights out. Yeah, Gay Russell wanted me to become the new companion after Nowhere-Land. Why? Dunno. Guess it was easier for them to churn out scripts for the generic Doctor and Romana than the specific Eighth Doctor and Charley. Also, it would have freed India up for other things. No idea what these other things were, and it's probably best that way."

Trivia -
The pre-credit sequence involves the characters of Bernard, Manny and Fran sitting down to watch Doctor Who and share a bottle of advocat.

Rumors & Facts -
The wonderful thing about new Doctor Who is that you don't know where you will be at the end of the story. What has Big Finish got up its sleeve to astound us? It's this uncertainty that drives Nowhere-Land and it's been cruelly removed by the conception of Russell T Davies' TV series. Damn his eyes! Damn his britches! Damn his blessed catfood!

Alan Barnes started this nightmare of a story arc when he scripted the first adventure for the Eighth Doctor and Charley which ended with a bright green pregnancy test, so it seems only fair that he be roped in against his will to sort the bloody mess out.

However, his initial proposal, The Not-Quite-Final Chapter was refused on two reasons. One, the idea of the Eighth Doctor fleeing to Gallifrey and sacrificing himself in the desperate hope his Ninth self may not prove a turn-on to his companion had already been done quite adequately in his Doctor Who Magazine comic strip, The Not-Quite-Final Chapter. Two, it did not feature an erotic dance number featuring India Fisher, a feather boa and the Hitler Youth song from Cabaret.

Ultimately, the lyrics to the song and a specially-modeled photo of India Fisher was used in lieu of a cover involving the yellow submarine.

Gay Russell, by the time recording began, decided that simply stringing out the story arc for another year would not only betray a lack of imagination and confidence, it would also be rather tiresome.

He then decided that the final story of Season 29 would resolve the Charley plot line, but end on a cliffhanger that would immediately be resolved for the first story of Season 30. The storyline the Big Finish team had come up with between two courses of Chinese takeaway featured the Doctor heading back into the darkest days of Time Lord history in the vague hope of setting up 'Damn, Just Got My Ape-Descended Bitch Pregnant' Anonymous meeting, where he joined by Rassilon, Omigod and Rupert Murdoch. The true torment of this encounter group would end with the Doctor suddenly announcing that he loves Charley AND their baby and can't wait to get started on another. The cliffhanger would be Charley suddenly realizing the spark had gone out of their relationship.

Gay Russell, however, ideally wanted the final four-parter to feature Rassilon, Romana, Vansell and his death, the Oddly Visual character The Nematodan, Battle TARDISes and time-freezing time torpedoes, The Library of St John the Beheaded, The Dragon of Hyacinth Lodge, a TARDIS turned inside out, links to the New Adventure novels, an explanation for a confusing line of dialogue in The 4 1/2 Doctors and the last line to be "I am not the Doctor! I am Zig-Zag-Gay-Ass!"

Why he wanted the Doctor to say the last line is a total mystery, as no one knew who or what Zig-Zag-Gay-Ass was or meant and this was left up for the author to invent and adapt.

Russell was on record as hoping that Alan Barnes would reasonably throw the list back in his face and tell him "If you want all this, why don't YOU write the damn thing?"

However, Barnes knew this tactic of old and also knew the horror and destruction that would result if Russell got a chance to script a story - indeed, the whole menace of the Nowhere-People was directly inspired by Russell's Fan-Wank-O-Meter, with which he rated every single Big Finish script before accepting it.

Barnes quickly came up with an outline called Charley's Web, which began with an amnesiac Eighth Doctor waking up in a hospice in the distant past of Gallifrey, where he was affectionately known as 'Nutter' by the nurses, while a huge, Armageddon-like war raged in the background.

Russell doubted that the world was particularly ready for the Doctor Who equivalent for the Book of Revelations. Unfortunately, there was no better way to convince Barnes to pursue this plotline which now revolved around Romana sending Battle-TARDIS into the far future to fight a mysterious entity known as Zig-Zag-Gay-Ass, which would ultimately kick start the Second Big Bang and unleash a horde of Nowhere-People flood out and begin the final battle between creativity and awfulness.

This plot gave Russell nightmares and paranoid delusions as he began to believe that he was being hunted down by the Newtonian opposites of the Nowhere-People, the SOMEWHERE-People, who had artistic capability and the power of original thought.

Russell began to turn up to the Big Finish Production offices waving a shotgun and screaming that he was the king of the world.

Bar the shotgun, this was typical behavior so there was no real change until JHE suggested that it might be best to cut out the revolting birth scenes with Charley and replace them with some nice wholesome entertainment about a Yellow Submarine.

Barnes sighed, gritted his teeth and did just that and the new outline, The Morons Have Triumphed, actually turned out to be under-running by a good forty-five minutes. Rather than use more shot of a blood-spattered Charley screaming abuse at the absent Doctor, JHE wrote in some "heartwarming" scenes of the Doctor, Romana and Vansell wandering around in awkward silences.

In order to pad out the remaining episodes, there were gratuitous continuity references to: Sick Morning, The Monster of Paddington, The Dustbin's Nasty Plan, Dustiny of the Dustbins, The Brain of Moby, Ornery in Space, The Lethal Assassin, The Apocalypse Elephant, Rhyme of the Dustbins, Carnival of Munsters, The Woman, The Four and A Half Doctors, Encase the Arseholes, Reasons to Care - and that was just for the first page of the script.

Added sequences included the Doctor trying to break off his relationship with Charley, insisting that it's her, not him; Kurst and Levith perving at Charley with the mysterious Z-Beam device; the Doctor naming every single Time Lord he's ever met by their full names; Romana complaining that the Doctor's HomeBirthing Kit consists of a Meccano set and a ball of string; the Doctor demanding that Romana ("you slag") apologize for impugning his honor, re the birthing kit; Romana giving him a punch up the bracket; Vansell punching the Doctor up the bracket; the Doctor hiding in the corner, begging for mercy; the Brigadier summarizing the entire plot at the start of episode three in lieu of the usual reprise; the Nowhere-People playing "I Spy"; the Time Lords playing "20 questions" which ends with Vansell laughing evilly and running away; Romana giving a long, beautiful speech about the sheer wonder and joy of the natural universe while the Doctor flicks V-signs at her and yawns; a rather vital explanation of WHY the hell the Nowhere-People exist at all; the Doctor looking through the Submarine's tool kit and identifying every tool; and Charley being told to 'push'.

Due to timing restrictions everything except the Meccano insult was edited out and the story is as it is.

Season 29 Wrap-Up -

The second season Paul McGann stories was eagerly awaited by all bar a small group of totally loopy Lost in Space fans, whose agonized pleas were silenced by the concurrent release of the Excelsior Trilogy In Four Parts.

For the rest of sane - saner - Who fans, the antics of Mark Gattis' Evaders from Bars, the P.J. Hammond-rip-off The Crime of Fright-Night, the Darkbastard history Reasons to Care and Encase the Arsheoles just had to make do.

The stories were sewn into the structure of the season around them, like an unpaid Chinese refugee worker surviving on two bowls of rice a day - and with the same level of accuracy.

The final two stories, The Rhyme of the Dustbins and Nowhere-Land were probably the most disappointing Doctor Who stories in living memory - sadly, they were only to be a foretaste for the next series.

The Rhyme of the Dustbins required several viewings to fully appreciate, but in my opinion it took only one look to show off the true paradoxical crap on offer and two more to confirm it.

Nowhere-Land however, took it to the next level. Specifically, the level below all the rest.

Charley richly deserved a story to herself and the fact Nowhere-Land sidelines her in a delivery room for four episode (in story-terms, four hundred years) is just plain wrong. The retcon step of introducing Vogon Cutaway gives the character of Charley to shine, but involves India Fisher being rendered unrecognizable in prosthetics and voice synthesizers, which pleases no one. Well, maybe those Vogon fetishists, but they were never the target demographic.

However, this series has developed the relationship between the Doctor and Charley in a direction that no other companions have gone. This is a Doctor who is sick of sex, hates the blonde he's lumbered with and, over the course of six adventures, tries new and more varied ways to get rid of her - from pairing her up with Dark Bastard to the cunning ploy of transforming himself into the mythical Zig-Zag-Gay-Ass.

Meanwhile, the sweepstakes running on exactly WHAT was taking up temporary residence in Charley's belly were seriously pissed off when we didn't see anything or even get a clue as to its presence. Ultimately, we wish it had stayed this way. What were they thinking...

This series has enriched the Eighth Doctor, drawing on his transatlantic debut and showing a healthy disrespect for all that preceded it.

Where other, lesser media would have a developing, living character and series, Big Finish make the Doctor a character that was retconned out of existence at the end of his second year.

With logic like that, I can do no better than quote the famous Zig-Zag-Gay-Ass rhyme in this story.

by Rassilon, Omega and The Other Plonker

"I'm the Zig-Zag-Gay-Ass, baby; I've got speed
I snort everything I need.
I'm the Zig-Zag-Gay-Ass, baby; I can fly
I'm a sonic screwdriver guy.

I don't need pleasure
I don't feel pain.
If you were to knock me down I'd just get up again.
I'm the Zig-Zag-Gay-Ass, baby; I'm makin' out
I'm all about.

I wake up every morning to put a smile upon your face
My, er, 'natural exuberance' spills out all over the place
(sorry about that)

I'm the Zig-Zag-Gay-Ass, I'm intelligent and keen
Know what I mean?
I'm the Zig-Zag-Gay-Ass, as a lover second to none
It's a lot of fun.

I usually let my friends down
I always make a boob
I'm a glossy magazine, a kinky ad in the tube.

I'm the Zig-Zag-Gay-Ass, baby; here comes the twist -
I don't exist."

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