Friday, December 4, 2009

8th Doctor - Terror Firma (ii)

Part Three – Waltzing In Memory

After leaving Romana and K9, the Doctor visited an adult book shop in Cardiff who popped into get a copy of "Big Jugs" – not realizing it was a history of 18th century pottery. Terri was working there and tried to correct his mistake, and, fascinated by the weird stranger, Sherri decided to follow him into the police box he was squatting in.

Then it was the usual. Bigger on the inside, time travel is a scientific dream, this can't be happening, who are you Doctor, take your hand off my thigh...

But no sooner had they finished their adventure with the living guitars in Studio 54 and recovered from the hangovers, the TARDIS reverse parked inside a battered Pakistani time vessel. Leaving the Doctor to read his pottery book, the siblings popped outside to get some milk. The Doctor never saw them again...

...until now.

Lavros insists that the Doctor has forgotten the truth, but his argument is diminished, rather, as he is calling the Time Lord Johnny again and asking the way to the zoo.

Another shot of MM later, Lavros decides to tell a long and rambling story about what he's been up to since 'Rememberin' To Take Out The Dustbins' WAY back in 1988...

Emperor Lavros of the Imperial Dustbin Army gloats over his victory, having captured the ancient Gallifreyan weapon of mass destruction – the Handjob of Omigod!

Soon he will transform Fargo's sun into a source of unimaginable power and the Dustbins will either achieve true mastery of Time or will just have a bitchin' orgy - either way, he's happy.

The Seventh Doctor provokes Lavros into starting the Handjob, which is
unbearably unsightly, but somehow explodes Fargo's sun in a giant,
sploogie mess.

Chickening out at the moment, Lavros decided to leg it... or rather, roll it... the hell out of here at the last minute. Diving into one of the handy escape pods that has been saving his sorry arse from exploding space ships ever since he first appeared in Doctor Who, Lavros managed to escape the Dustbin mothership before it exploded in a deeply Freudian moment of repressed sexuality.

This experience forces Lavros to relive every single moment of his life and drives him stark staring bonkers – and considering what a total lunatic he was in the first place, that's scary.

Lavros is finally rescued by a Pakistani time vessel-cum-fishing trawler, who offer the deranged mutant a lift in return for meaningful conversation and possible motor maintenance.

Lavros is stuffed on the latter due his complete lack of limbs, and stuffed on the latter because he really is a very boring conversationalist on things not directly related to Dustbins. So, instead, he does the only logical thing he can – he slaughters all the Pakistanis and laughs while he does it.

The Doctor asks how a dismembered head could possibly do the amount of damage Lavros describes – even if he had teeth to bite people, he couldn't possibly maneuver his head to do so! Lavros insists that he did this in an unusually clever and effective manner and continues on with the story.

Left abandoned in the vortex with nothing but himself and some decaying corpses and rotting fish for company, Lavros kept going by singing "Ten Green Bottles". Finally, the TARDIS arrived and out stepped the Doctor's companions, Sheri and Terri.

Lavros still believes he's something of a lady's man and yes, maybe this super-duper "Obey Lavros" hypnosis laser beam may have helped. The Doctor finds it laughable that an evil super villain like Lavros had a weapon to brainwash his enemies and never thought about using it. However, on second thoughts, he finds it tearfully believable.

With Sherri and Terri now Lavros' mindless love slaves, they broke into the TARDIS and beat the Time Lord over the head repeatedly with a spanner. Lavros – thoroughly unimpressed that this multidimensional space-time travelling machine resembles a Victorian hotel lobby and is controlled by a fruit machine – decided to vandalize the place.

Unfortunately he accidentally blew a hole in the console and a bright light shone into Sherri's eyes, creating a vortex-powered Time Goddess who began shout things like "At the rising of the new moon, the Bad Wolf will return!" before Lavros had Terri slap some sense into her.

Setting the TARDIS to travel to Cardiff in the year 2164, the evil mutant cyborg decided to get some serious karma on the Doctor and so he decided to...

...let the Time Lord escape with his time machine!

Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time, especially three weeks later when he realized Sherri was telepathically linked with the time machine and thus by attaching jumper leads to her earlobes he was able to watch the Doctor's adventures.

You can imagine how disappointed Lavros was when he saw the Doctor get to his feet, seeing his wrecked TARDIS and companions missing... and just put it down to the acid and shrugged off the entire thing as a hallucination – including Sherri and Terri. Despite Lavros' silent prayers, the incident didn't even depress the Doctor, who within hours was out clubbing seals and getting teenage girls pregnant.

Left abandoned in 22nd Century Cardiff, Lavros decided it was time for him to plan an even more extravagant, devastating revenge. Leaving Sherri with him to watch the Doctor's adventures, Lavros sent Sherri to America infected with a contagious plague mixing qualities of nitrous oxide and bubonic plague.

Soon, New York was in chaos as people literally laughed until they burst. America was plunged into chaos when the President of the United States got a spam email from offering services to deal with both the hideous plague, but also the disgusting mess that was being left everywhere. The gullible Americans immediately believed that Lavros' ready made protective armor and cleaning machine was just a lucky coincidence and it never occurred to them that it was a con.

In three weeks, Lavros had converted the whole of Western Civilization into Dustbins – new chunkier, bling Dustbins with big headlights and glowing blue eyestalks. On top of that, although the Doctor had inadvertently cancelled out the original Dustbin vacation on Earth he has replaced the historical event with a far worse vacation!

"You know, you're taking continuity far too seriously," the Doctor tells Lavros between playing with the gents' soap dispenser.

Lavros bitches that he conquered the entire Earth bar Cardiff, which he decided to keep out of sheer evilness. But just as he was finished setting up this devastating psychological blow against his worst enemy – he watched the Doctor go and kill himself in another dimension!

The Time Lord laughs at the insane mutant's misery.

Lavros was now totally dejected at the thought of having gone to all this trouble for someone who was dead – and his mood hasn't improved much when the Doctor comes back to life, back to the universe and then completely fail to be impressed!

The Doctor stares into the distance for several minutes. "Hmm? Sorry, er, were you saying something, Lavros?"

The mutant weeps, and explains he has handed over the vial that could reduce living creature on Earth will be reduced to infinitesimal dust. He challenges the Doctor to crush it.

Look, this is ripping off the new series something rotten...

The Doctor shrugs. "If you want to commit suicide, Lavros, you crush the vial. Oh, wait, you can't! YOU DON'T HAVE ANY HANDS! HAR HAH HAR! Later, loser!"

The Time Lord turns and leaves Lavros incredibly put out. "I hate my life, I hate my life," he sobs. "I hate everything!"

Well, no that incredibly long bit of fanwanking flashback is over, back to the... er... plot. C'Rizz and Sherri are putting their clothes back on and getting ready to find the resistance. C'Rizz puzzles over how Sherri can know so much about Charley and L'Da, but correctly puts it down to all that bragging he's done.

Meanwhile, Terri now understands that Lavros has used her to destroy the Earth and maroon the survivors of humanity in Cardiff, just out of spite. She and Charley insist that they must find the Doctor and help him to put things right, and to their surprise, the party guests are so fueled with Dutch courage they immediately break out camouflage gear and guns and prepare to charge the base and kill Lavros.

Charley wonders if all this lackadaisical decadence was nothing but an act to lure the Dustbins into a false sense of security in the belief the people of Cardiff were no threat.

"Nah, it's just coincidence," Terri confirms.

The Doctor strides out of the base, too busy rehearsing how he's going to dump Charley and C'Rizz for Sherri and Terri to notice that the base is now completely deserted and there is no sign of any Dustbins.

He emerges and finds himself in Cardiff and gets very, very depressed. Not because he's directly to blame for the near extinction of humanity and the horrors done to Sherri and Terri, it's just he's sick to death of travelling through time and space and always ending up in the same damn city over and over again.

In the tunnel, C'Rizz is reciting more poetry to Sherri, so wrapped up in his own bad rhymes that he trips over the corpses lining the tunnel without even wondering why human bodies have been left casually around the place. But when he suspects that Sherri's just bluffing her enthusiasm for his poetry, C'Rizz accuses her of manipulating his emotions ever since they met. And that SO works for him.

The Doctor bumps into Terri and Charley, miserably brooding he'll have to upgrade the Cybermen to his most deadly foe as the Dusbtins have become so utterly crap. OK, so he was part of an operation to rewrite history to MAKE them so pathetic, but time after time they decide to make Lavros their leader and look oh-so-surprised when things turn pear-shaped. I mean, they haven't threatened him with extermination once this story! They used to be cool!

Charley notices how sluggish the Dustbins were, almost letting them escape in the first scene and wonders why.

The Doctor, genius that he is, couples what they DON'T know to some wild, spurious speculation while munching some fungus he found growing in his packet of jelly babies and comes up with the answer!

The Dustbins are just PRETENDING to be utterly useless and crap in order to fool Lavros into thinking he actually controls them when he needs the most sophisticated technology in the universe to stop him drooling uncontrollably!

But this leaves the question of what the hell is the Dustbins' true agenda, and what the hell have they been doing since their shock appearance in part one?

After a few minutes of pacing, the Doctor admits he's got nothing and needs to purge himself of the freaky fungi he just ingested.

Sherri and C'Rizz have, after three episodes, finally reached the end of the tunnel and found... a door. C'Rizz has utterly forgotten what they came here for and so knocks on the door, hoping someone on the other side might be able to help them.

The door opens to reveal a Dustbin, which greets Sherri with "Hey, Sweet Lips!"

Sherri informs the appalled C'Rizz that she technically wasn't lying to him when she said she was taking him to meet the Resistance. The Dustbins themselves decided Lavros was so wacko, they are the Resistance!

"And resistance is not futile!" the Dustbin leader grates. "We found that out the hard way!"

Part Four – A Beating With Destiny

Lurking down in the darkness of the Dustbin base, Lavros argues with
himself - literally. Part of his personality is Lavros, and part
is, or will be, Emperor of the Dustbins, and another part is just quoting dialogue from The Shining.

Part of him insists upon holding onto his old identity; part of him claims that his emotional weaknesses have cost him everything; part of him screams 'Redrum! Little pigs! Here's Johnny!'.

Part of him wants to be the emotionless Emperor and let go of his past; part of him wants to die and is disgusted by his own weakness; part of him announces that this is all a dream and he's really a sponge fisherman called Spiros.

But until his internal conflict is resolved, all he can do is cower in the darkness, trapped with himself, and watch Powerpuff Girls on DVD...

As the Doctor and the humans await the arrival of the French Resistance movement, Terri notes that several inhabitants of Cardiff have disappeared in recent days – but no one was concerned, because none of the victims were actually likeable.

Realizing that Kerri has already mourned Sherri's loss, the Doctor chooses not to tell her that he's seen Sherri alive – this way, he only has to convince her to let Terri travel with him and he can pick up Sherri in secret. All he has to do is ditch Charley and C'Rizz, and he begins this plan by telling Charley to fuck off out of his life.

Just then, the French Resistance arrives. Bar the smell of garlic, the berets, the stripy shirts, the neck-scarves and the thick French accents, its clear the French have been completely replaced by Dustbins!

Charley watches the army flying over head, unsurprised. "See, Doctor? I always told you the French were aliens!"

C'Rizz now learns that Sherri has been a Dustbin agent all along; as the Doctor suspected, the Dustbins have turned against their insane creator, and are planning to get rid of him before exterminating the few human survivors and conquering Earth. Cause, you know, they never ever have any trouble doing that.

C'Rizz is horrified – might Sherri not really be attracted to him after all? The Dustbins insist that they're not so much exterminating humanity as putting it out of its misery, but C'Rizz isn't interested. He needs to know if Sherri faked it or not!

Sherri tries to steer the conversation back on course. The Dustbins have finally decided the severed head of a lunatic attached to a CyberLoo is not a suitable leader. However, they don't want to rush things and so their next choice of leader is only slightly LESS pathetic and ridiculous.

They want C'Rizz.

The Doctor turns to the French Resistance and whips them up into a mindless fury – it's Bastille Day, and he's going to lead them to Lavros and throttle the bastard!

Just in case Charley wasn't already worried at his wholehearted endorsement of cold-blooded murder, the Doctor mentions he has a vial in his pocket that will wipe out life on Earth should he choose to use it and he might just do that. The only way to stop him giving into despair and crushing the vial is for Charley to sod off.

He then turns to Terri and tells her to back her things and get back in the TARDIS. He's going to kill Lavros, find Sherri and continue their wild and wondrous adventures. But first he has to confer secretly with the Dustbins...

The Dustbin Resistance want C'Rizz as their leader and, to be fair, they used up all the most pathetic and idiotic of the Cardiff survivors before even considering it. They were going to use the village idiot, but C'Rizz snapped his neck in the last episode.

Sherri rather lamely insists that C'Rizz was the best shag she ever had and making him the Dustbin Emperor would really push her buttons.

C'Rizz refuses outright, but upon realizing how high his reputation will soar in this universe with an entire Dustbin army behind him, changes his mind and agrees. Thus he is shoved into a waste paper basket with a squeegee mop nailed to it.

Although this isn't exactly how he planned to choose his own destiny and become the most powerful and stunningly attractive man in this universe, C'Rizz listens to Dustbin voices over a transistor radio and prepares to lead the Dustbin race forward to VICTORY!

Lavros' vestiges of sanity take a beating as he sees an army of French-speaking Dustbins not only let the Doctor escape in the TARDIS but also wish him bon voyage and throw flowers at him. Worse, Terri is aboard, so Lavros can't even watch what's happening.

As he ponders how sad he must be to spend all his time watching the adventures of Doctor Who, Lavros tries to cheer himself up – after all, with all his personalities, he's nowhere near alone:

"I'll just talk amongst myself. Hello. HELLO. So, Emperor Lavros, how was your day today? FINE, JUST FINE, AND YOURSELF, EMPEROR LAVROS? Easy come, easy go! HOW IS THE DOCTOR? Oh, he's great - if you catch my drift. OH, YEAH, I KNOW EXACTLY WHAT YOU MEAN. Do you now? How could you possibly know? I HAVE MY SOURCES. Sources? What sources?! FOR ARGUMENT'S SAKE, LET'S JUST SAY A LITTLE BIRD TOLD ME. Damn that bird! SO, UM, HOW WAS FRIDAY? Stop it with the third degree!!! WHOA, WHOA, TAKE IT EASY, IT WAS JUST A QUESTION! You want a piece of me?!?!?! BRING IT ON!!! OK, I'll kick your black ass!!"

Lavros begins smashing his throne against the wall, screaming in pain and rage when the TARDIS suddenly materializes in front of him. The Doctor emerges. He's put up with Lavros ever since 1975 – NO MORE!!

He demands to know what Lavros would do if he was allowed to transfer his consciousness into the clone body, and scoffs when Lavros claims that he would simply explore the galaxy and try to help humanity, puppies and cute little kittens.

The Doctor knows only too well what happens when Lavros tries to "help," and no longer believes that it's possible for Lavros to change anything other than lose the last bit of his body left.

Lavros has taken everything good about the Doctor and used it to break him, but the Doctor refuses to give in and let Lavros turn him into a killer. He plans to turn into a killer of his own damn volition.

Lavros is both crushed by the Doctor's refusal to kill him, and
scornful of the Doctor's weakness – but with all those multiple personalities, we should forgive him his ambivalence.

However, the Doctor then opens the door and lets in the French Dustbins, revealing that letting Lavros live doesn't necessarily mean he's being merciful. After all, 'live' is such an ambiguous word.

The Doctor has told the Dustbins that he has a virus capable of destroying them all, and has threatened to release it unless they return his friends and leave the Earth in peace.

Lavros tells them that the virus is a complete lie – like the protective dome on Earth. It's just a hologram, and the rest of humanity are continuing their lives in perfect safety! They ignore the situation in Cardiff because... well, just because.

But the Dustbins don't believe Lavros. He's three stops on from Barking, and they need an Emperor who is even vaguely sensible. But the Doctor knows they can do much better than C'Rizz.

Instantly believing him, the Dustbins release C'Rizz from his litter bin and hand him over to the Doctor, much to the Eutermisan's distress and misery. The Doctor plans to give them an emperor, and the first thing to do is to destroy Lavros' cloned body.

"Like we're ever going to sell a series nowadays if the most evil creature in the universe is a black guy!" he complains. "OK, maybe South Africa, but we can't take the risk!"

The Dustbins open fire and Lavros starts screaming in despair, the trauma of seeing his hope for redemption going up in smoke finally shattering what's left of his personality.

The Doctor laughs evilly for a moment, and then moves to phase two of his plan. He puts a computer disc into Lavros' casing and begins defragging the Emperor of the Dustbins. All those years alone without de-bugging... no wonder he's gone nuts.

Fully defragged, Lavros is now calm, composed and grateful for the service the Doctor has done. "You know," he says, "I learned some pretty valuable lessons today. I learned that due to my fanatical desire to clean the universe and perpetuate myself through the Dustbins, I almost lost sight of the point of all this. I did, however, lose most of my body. And I lost my cloned body. I lost my family. I lost my girlfriend. I lost my hover-car keys and I lost my marbles."

Lavros takes a deep breath. "But worst of all... WORST of all... I... I... I CAN'T REMEMBER WHO I AM!!!" he screams at the top of his voice and begins slamming back and forth into walls. "WHERE AM I? WHAT AM I DOING HERE? WHY DON'T THE GRANDCHILDREN EVER VISIT ME?! I HATE MY LIFE! I – *HATE* – MYYYY – LIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIFFFFFEEE!!!"

Lavros begins screaming mindlessly and spinning in circles. It looks like the shitty software that makes up Lavros' mind is beyond repair, so it's time for the Dustbins to make their move.

"Happy Bastille Day!" they grate as they force Lavros face-first into a neutron-flow guillotine and reverse the polarity.

C'Rizz catches Lavros' severed head and is drenched in green blood while the Doctor watches on, disgusted. "Only the French," he spits, before reminding the Dustbins that if they want to escape the deadly effects of Lavros' doomsday vial, they should leave Earth altogether, find another planet and begin the Dustbin Empire from scratch.

The Dustbins do just that – mainly because it's the only way for this story to link up with the rest of Big Finish's Dustbin stories. The fleet of spinning saucers heads out into space.

Aboard, the headless Emperor Dustbin is now making complete sense and useful tactical decisions. Once they sort out their forces on New Fargo, they shall begin their war against the Time Lords, a third and final Temporal Difference of Opinion. But first thing's first – the Dustbins will need some kickass technology and information if they're gonna be any kind of threat to the Time Lords.

Thus, the Emperor Dustbin prepares to invade the planet Parrot-Shat, a world the Time Lords have set up the largest video rental store in history. Once the Dustbins check out the special order exercise video "How to Conquer The Galaxy – And Your Abs", the real work can begin...

The Doctor, meanwhile, is utterly depressed. Since humanity wasn't all but wiped out, he can't just trick Charley and C'Rizz into staying behind to help rebuild the Earth. But worse, Sherri and Terri have no inclination whatsoever to travel with him. So depressed, he crushes the vial... to discover a packet of cigarettes inside.

Lavros' doomsday plan was to get humanity hooked on tobacco and puff themselves into an early grave. He made only one, last, fatal mistake – the Doctor beat him to it centuries earlier.

A broken man, the Doctor sets the TARDIS to head to Blackpool so they can make fun of the plight of the Sexual Toymaker. As he and Charley enjoy locking C'Rizz in the TARDIS because they wouldn't dream of letting a freak like him out in 20th century Earth, the Doctor straightens his leather jacket and has a strange compulsion to shout "FANTASTIC!" in a thick Salford accent.

In his room, C'Rizz sticks Lavros' severed head on the hatstand and gets out a copy of Oolon Caluphid's "Sexiest Beings In Recorded History" and starts marking the ones he's slept with, starting with the Olsen Twins and a rather flirty Dustbin.

But already he has his eyes set on higher sights.

Because now he's in this universe, C'Rizz has only one objective.

He's going to sleep with Felicity Kendall!!

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