Friday, December 4, 2009

8th Doctor - Terror Firma (iii)

Book(s)/Other Related -
Doctor Who – Time Wars Episode One: The Phantom Lavros
Dustbin Umpire I: The Jazzocize Machine
Dustbin Umpire II: The Apocalypse Elephant
Dustbin Umpire III: The Mutant Phrase
Dustbin Umpire IV: The Rhyme of the Dustbins
Doctor Who And The Parting of the Legs
Dustbin Umpire: This Time, It's Fucking Psychotic

Fluffs – Paul McGann seemed wise after the event for most of the story.

Goofs -
The Dustbins have taken over the Earth completely and leave because of
one killer virus? Surely they would take off and destroy the last
humans from orbit rather than let them reproduce and be capable of
threatening them in the future?

C'Rizz doesn't understand the term "bricking it", but he knows exactly what "You've pulled, lizard boy!" means. {Though this might not be a goof, as hanging around the Doctor and Charley the first thing he would have learned would be colloquialisms for sex.}

Fashion Victims -
C'Rizz dressed inauspiciously in a new universe: a long striped scarf, a feather-lined anorak over a red DARTH VADER WAS FRAMED T-shirt, canary-yellow flares, dayglo-orange moon boots and a tie-dyed sporran.

Technobabble -
I have no idea what the French Dustbins are saying, so there COULD be some technobabble involved.

Links and References -
Considering what a total 'fill in all gaps' fanwankarama, only Lavros, Rememberin' To Take Out The Dustbins, Sick Morning and The Best Life are actually mentioned.

Though the episode I, Dustbin and The Parting of the Legs are raped, pillaged and tortured by the plot.

Untelevised Misadventures -
Er, quite a few, apparently. And they were a hell of a lot better than the crap we've been putting up with since Shagged'er II.

At some point, the Doctor traveled with Agatha Christie, before ditching her on a god-forsaken asteroid for making him look stupid.

Groovy DVD Extras -
A special episode of Dr Phil, guest starring Lavros.

Dialogue Disasters -

Sherri: Yeah, woteva! Don't you be given me evils!

Doctor: Oh, Christ, Lavros! You've got the fear again!
Lavros: Fear? There's nothing to fear at all! I'm perfectly normal! I'm OK! You're OK! We're OK! OK?
Doctor: Oh-kay...
Lavros: Oh, god, I hate my life! My life is a seagull swimming through an ocean of phlegm! My life is a pestilent sore on the eye of a visionary! My life is a malignant tumor that says, "Don't worry about me. I'll be OK." I HATE MY LIFE! I HATE MY LIFE!
Doctor: That's it, Lavros. Let it out.
Doctor: Well, if you're going to be personal!

C'Rizz: Are you sure you should be taunting these things?
Doctor: Yes!
C'Rizz: Why?
Doctor: Because I'm talking to the bloody Dustbins who couldn't exterminate their way out of a tomato!

C'Rizz: I talk to dead people.
Sherri: Why?
C'Rizz: The living never talk back.

Lavros: Oh, Johnny. Oh, Johnny, I've got to give up the 'turning-innocent-populations-into-homicidal-cleaning-machines' habit!
Doctor: My name's not Johnny.
Lavros: Oh, Johnny... Oh, Johnny... Last night I had an out-of-body experience! The only trouble was... I don't know whose body it was! Johnny... Johnny, I'm having a break-through! No, wait, that's not right?
Doctor: Er, a break-over?
Lavros: No...
Doctor: Break-down?
Lavros: That's it! A break-down!

Dialogue Triumphs -

Sherri: I'm a girl with a big gun!
C'Rizz: Two fetishes for the price of one! Fantastic!

Doctor: So, how does one address the Emperor?

A cunning example of using the story title in the dialogue -
Charley: But Doctor, how can you possibly tell Sherri and Terri apart?
Doctor: Simple, Charley... TERRI'S FIRMER!

Doctor: Girls! Girls! Girls! You're both such lovely girls! Don't fight. And if you do, fight nice. With pillows. And jim-jams.

Lavros: The Earth is the new Dustbin home world.
Doctor: What?!
Lavros: History is finished! There is no more sexism! There is no more racism! There is no more conflict! There is no more inflation! There is no more rainforest! Dustbins clean and tidy everything and the Dustbin running the United States of America was originally Donny Osmond! Everyone's happy and content – except you, Doctor! You've got a real chip on your shoulder!
Doctor: Well, at least I've got a shoulder, dipshit!

Doctor: And every time we've met I've been older and wiser. Stop giggling, Lavros, I'm being serious.

Elvis Costello: The guitars - they're coming alive! Get back!
Doctor: They can't hurt you!
Elvis Costello: They might upstage us, though!

Doctor: Do you know who you are?

UnQuotable Quote -

Doctor: I REMEMBER... when I was young, the world had just begun, and I
was happy!!!

Viewer Quotes -

"I don't know about you, but this anti-Welsh stuff is beginning to seriously piss me off over here!"
– Daffyd Thomas, Only Gay In The Village (2005)

"Does Dave Lidster have a knack for creating the most annoying characters in the world? And what is it with him and schizo characters - they appear in one form or other in all of his Doctor Who plays! Why can't there be normal, likable people. Like us?"
- Kath and Kim (2005)

"I was of course delighted to appear as myself in this story – lets see the New Series embargo stop ME! – but all this ongoing stuff with C'Rizz bored me so much I started talking to the Olsen twins instead of just ogling them. I mean, I hate the idea of ANOTHER companion's story arc dragging on like Evelyn's heart condition or Eminem's gun rampages. Yes, I know the former only appeared in two audios and the latter only one, but, well, my definition of 'drags on' is better than your lesser mortals. Still, nice to know that my definitive Lavros II in The Parting of the Legs wasn't madder than the genuine article."
- Nigel Verkoff (2005)

"Personally I am one of the few who was sad to see the end of the Double The Fist plotline and thought the return to our own was going to be a string of easy to follow little stories. Well, I was half-right."
– Dave Restal (2005)

"Dustbins! Lavros! Angst! Continuity! Joygasm!"
– Mad Larry The Pirate King (2005)

"Chills down the spine! That's what electro-convulse therapy does. Oh, and I suppose listening to Lavros does something mildly similar. But it's just not quite the same. Pity. I could use a good zap."
– Aversion Therapy Magazine (2006)

"Ugh...can the Doctor not be a TOTAL wimp and do something with courage once in a while? This "always good something in humanity" is really weak. NUKE THE FUCKERS! MAKE THEM CHOKE ON THEIR OWN BLOOD!"
– Greenpeace Representative (2005)

"Very dark, intense, creepy, sad and crazy. Absolutely brilliant, easily the best release of 2005 so far, and indeed the best release for quite a while - and I say that as someone who doesn't think Big Finish has lost any quality of late. Oh, you mean Terri's Firmer? Oh. Big Finish needs a script editor bad. Or one who know what he's doing."
– Andrew Beeblebrox (2005)

"Lazy writing, uninspired delivery, overblown music/atmospherics... Shameful. Please, no more McGann. He's not a proper Doctor anyway."
- an OGer who was found strung up from a lamppost an hour after he posted that little nugget of wisdom.

"The main reason for the Doctor coming back to our universe was so as to not baggage the series down with continuity for the new listener. So what do we get with the first new Eighth Doctor audio? A story that not only relies utterly on Lavros' past history, but also ties in continuity from Sick Morning and has C'Rizz bring along more baggage from his past. Yeah. Nice one Big Finish – that'll really work for the new fans..." - Russell T Davies (2005)

"Why can't the eighth Doctor get some decent companions? You know, a couple of friends who don’t break down and cry and tell him they love him or want to kill him... just two nice people who compliment him and make his life fun and just so happen to resemble the Olsen twins? People like, ooh I don’t know, how about Sherri and Terri? How much more entertaining these two are when compared to Ms Melodrama and Psycho Lizard." – Isabelle 'Izzy' Sinclair (2005)

Psychotic Nostalgia -
"I spent ages hiding in garbage bins after this, and though there were plenty of voices inside my head, not a single damn one of them was from the Dustbin Control Net. But I plan to become Emperor of the Dustbins. It's a career goal I'm certain I can achieve!"

Paul McGann Speaks!
"Just listened to episode one of this courtesy of an overawed fan who lent it me and I can honestly say it was the biggest pile of wank ever! I hate what Big Finish have done to the Eighth Doctor - he's nothing like his character in the TV Movie, who had a zest for life and a sense of urgency. The audio version just rambles on and on as if to say, "Oh I'm so bloody clever and well spoken, me!", and his two companions are both irritating tossers who both talk with plums in their mouths. And these days your average BF Doctor Who is just a endless stream of non-sequiters that the listener has to carefully try and piece together into something resembling a plot. Well I'm sorry, life's too bloody short - there must be better things I can do to occupy my time. I can't bring myself to listen to anymore of this pretentious dross. Thank heavens it's back on telly, that's all I can say."

India Fisher Speaks!
"Terri's Firmer is unlike anything I'd ever done at Big Finish. In fact, for a while I thought I was in some Norman J Warren film for them fag-end of the British film industry, but that turned out be just some pills I took at a party and it really was Doctor Who. Anyone who preferred Mary-Kate and Ashley as companions over me will die, silently, at night. You were warned. I *will* find you!"

Conrad Westmaas Speaks!
"I agree, C'Rizz has never really fulfilled his potential as a character has he? Is he a threat or not? Lets get on with it and get rid of him - or Charley. Shake things up a bit. There was I time where I dreaded the thought of Charley going and if she would have been left in our universe while the Doctor traveled into the other universe that would've been truly heart breaking. But now I feel like I’ve had quite enough of her. And that's got nothing to do with the fact India has dumped me in front of hundreds at an Australian convention. When I wasn't there."

Terry Molloy Speaks!
"I can't even pronounce the word 'Doc-tor' properly any more. I can only say 'Doc-Tor!!'. I'm gonna sue. I so am! Do you know how much your local GP is pissed off when you call him that? Bloody, that's how much! BLOODY! It was never like this in Blake's 7. The Bill, maybe, but never in Blake's 7. I did like the new series though, and that one where the Dustbin was tortured with a black and decker drill bit. I was sitting at home going, 'My poor boy... Come to me... Let me look after you... I'll see everything's all right.' And that was when my wife called for the men in white coats to take me away. Did I mention that?"

Trivia -
C'Rizz marks the third Big Finish companion turned temporarily into the leader of a classic Doctor Who enemy. As C'Rizz is turned into the Emperor Dustbin, Evelyn Smythe was turned into Cyber Controller, and Eminem was turned into the Zarbi Supremo.

Rumors & Facts -

There seems to be a general feeling amongst fans that Big Finish are tailing off in their story telling. Reviews over the web, ratings given on various websites present the latest offerings as nowhere near as impressive collectively as their previous output. What could be the reason for this?

Could it be the new series? Or is it that Big Finish are just a bunch of talentless cretins who should have been strangled at birth?

Or perhaps both?

When the Eighth Doctor, Charley Pollard and Cecil Rizz Esquire came face to face with a constipated Lavros in December 2004, it would be many months before they were heard from again and when they returned Doctor Who as a cultural phenomenon had changed beyond recognition.

When The Best Wife had finished, everyone was all excited to tune in for a new Doctor Who TV series that began on a religious festival, eager to check out a new incarnation of the Doctor and how he might react to having Billie Piper of all people as his assistant, and didn't really care much for the outgoing Doctor who was sure to sink into obscurity the moment the title sequence began.

Yes sir, things sure had changed.

When Terri's Firmer was released, instead everyone was all excited to tune in for a new Doctor Who TV series that began on a religious festival, eager to check out a new incarnation of the Doctor and how he might react to having Billie Piper of all people as his assistant, and didn't really care much for the outgoing Doctor who was sure to sink into obscurity the moment the title sequence began.

On seconds thoughts I'll just shut up now.

In the course of the three months Russell T Davies' vaguely-liked TV series being shown to the unwashed masses, Doctor Who fandom abandoned Big Finish like Democrats fleeing a burning leper ship. Their releases were derided for being total crap, worthless, beyond disgusting, the product of a piece of subhuman excrement lodged in the brains of people who bought, read and enjoy "Slag-Off Weekly".

OK, people had been saying with about Big Finish since 1999, but now the standard editorial response of "If you don't like it, fuck off and die in your own filth because Big Finish is the only Doctor Who there is!" no longer had its amazing pulling power.

The knowledge that Doctor Who was now the third most popular television show ever (after Family Guy and Aunty Jack: The Next Generation) but Big Finish had fewer supporters than ever caused panic at their offices. Luckily, Gay Russell was able to restore order with a sawn-off shotgun and a photo of a Slitheen.

It was decided that the time was right to bring back the Eighth Doctor, Charley and C’Rizz as producing 'new' adventures might just turn the tide. Unfortunately, everyone agreed that following the release of Zig-Zag-Gay-Ass the Eighth Doctor adventures had become pitiful and a waste of time. OK, there were a few good bits, but it just wasn't the same. Besides, you can SEE Billie Piper in those low-cut T-shirts and BF left too much of Charley to the imagination.

In order to turn the tide, Gay Russell decided that the new Eighth Doctor story would be the one to turn the tide by

a) not being set in a stupid alternative universe's afterlife

b) featuring a nifty Lavros/Dustbins confrontation

c) be an official prequel to the ongoing plotline of the Temporal Difference of Opinion shown in RTD's TV series where the enigmatic Moxx of Balhoon set the Dustbins and the Time Lords against each other and then blew themselves up

d) feature a new alien menace called the Homicidal Mutant Sunflowers from Dimension X which would have the crap exterminated out of it by the Dustbins and put in a bell-jar on the mantelpiece for the Doctor and Charley to admire should any padding be required (this scene was eventually used to zero effect in Cardiff by Lloyd Rose)

e) completely contradict and de-canonize the events of Orange Peel's "Warts And All Of the Dustbins" which showed every 1980s Dustbin story was a cheap conspiracy theory and had the Doctor shout "Only Nation can write Dustbin stories that aren't shit!" once a chapter.

Big Finish felt sure the last point alone would get them the biggest kudos since kidnapping Janet Fielding weeks earlier to increase the range of potential Fifth Doctor stories.

It was also decided that it was time for Big Finish to stop fannying about and finish its ongoing story arcs and maybe admit that they were now a bunch of glorified missing adventures that could not truly develop any Doctor/companion combo outside of the TV series. Not only was obstreperous octogenarian Evelyn Smythe finally to depart the franchise (though in fairness it was not for want of trying), it was decided that the pathetic "Lavros Trilogy Of Self-Destructive Analysis And Ironic Social Satire" end with its third installment, and not seventy-eighth as was originally planned.

The previous two installments had been Lavros and The Afronauts, stories set on either side of the TV serial Rhododendron of the Dustbins and featured the Sixth Doctor encountering the evil creator of the Dustbins trying to hold down part time jobs and stay off the genetic manipulation of humanoid life and keep a clean nose and both times failing utterly leading to a long, drawn out whine before Lavros was seen to be utterly killed in a massive explosion he would by necessity escape unharmed for the next TV story.

Thus, this story would show the end of Lavros and have him finally consumed by the Dustbin Emperor seen on TV and used prolifically in Big Finish stories. This was also to piss off the fans, especially those who had read the Doctor Who Magazine comic strip Nemesis of the Dustbins. Part three of the comic consisted of the Dustbin Emperor insisting it was not Lavros, never had been Lavros, never would be Lavros and that it was just a regular Dustbin who got where it was through hard work and racial intolerance.

Gay Russell also decided to have the ongoing Eighth Doctor adventures develop the off-screen Temporal Difference of Opinion and give definitive end to the incarnation's life. Indeed, it was only this idea that kept Paul McGann sane during recording. Russell watched and re-watched the Dustbin stories of the series and decided to write such an obvious rip-off of them that it would be brain numbingly clear the events of Terri's Firmer lead straight into the new series.

Then, he got bored and made them lead straight into Big Finish's first ever Dustbin story, The Jazzocize Machine. So basically Dustbin history is not only completely changed after Genocide of the Dustbins, it actually loops-the-loop before ending with The Parting of the Legs.

However, focus groups had noticed that fans weren't exactly eager to touch anything Russell had written. His last three efforts (The Best Wife, He Hangs Around In Bars and Zig-Zag-Gay-Ass) had not so much been critically-acclaimed, but more inspired fans to douse themselves in petrol, set themselves alight and throw themselves out a window.

At a loss, Russell looked around the place and his eyes fell upon Dave Lister – author of the Seventh Doctor stories The Rupture and Bastard – and decided to get HIM to write the story, which Russell would then rewrite again and again until it was entirely his own work.

Despite all the expensive rehabilitation therapy he was voluntarily undergoing, Russell was still possessed of a psychotic obsessive compulsive disorder to tie up every last bit of Doctor Who continuity on the planet. Indeed, much of Lavros' schizophrenic episodes was inspired directly by psychiatric reports of Russell's session.

Lister accepted the work, mainly because Nick Briggs was too busy trying to con Russell T Davies into letting him be the Eleventh Doctor to fight for storylines with a dying fan industry like Big Finish.

Apart from fulfilling the above point, the story also had to be called Terri's Firmer (the original title Terror Firma was abandoned because someone had misread a Farscape program guide and believed it was already taken), feature the return and demise of Lavros, an evil race of alien sunflowers, be set in Cardiff and was also to clear up once and for all a gaffe in Inuit in Hull when it was stated that the Eighth Doctor once traveled with Sam Niell.

Lister was determined to break the mould of traditional Dustbin stories – there would be no quarries. Or Homicidal Mutant Sunflowers from Dimension X. And the cover would be 1980s electric green, because it's such a cool colour. That's about as far as he got, really.

A hasty re-write was needed when Nigel Verkoff (prolific India Fisher stalker, Big Finish author and who played companion Adam Mitchell in the Eccleston error) accidentally taped over the scenes of Charley finding rebels breaking rocks and rousing them to fight. Thus, the scenes of Verkoff trying to score at a dinner party were hastily added into the plot. Unfortunately, this was interrupted when an unexpected case of botulism spread throughout the cast, left by an extremist terrorist who really didn't enjoy the Benny Summerfield range.

This also removed the Sam Neill subplot and instead the missing companion became Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen as the twin Sherri and Terri, providing the Eighth Doctor with sex kitten companions of the type Paul McGann had mentioned more than once that he wanted to do. Indeed, it was only the addition of the Olsen Twins to the plot of "Nature Boy" that persuaded McGann to appear in five-minute cameos in the drama series.

Luckily, Conrad Westmaas met the Olsen Twins during the annual Christmas panto by Dario Fo and they were so overwhelmed by his manliness they agreed to do whatever he wanted. This turned out to be an utter lie. It was India they were mad about.

Ultimately, the irony was that the thrust of Terri Firmer's plot (that Dustbin stories and indeed Dustbins as a concept were stuffed ever since they decided to keep bringing back Lavros) was in complete agreement with Peel's Warts And All of the Dustbins.

Since Lister wrote it without seeing one episode of the new series, he legally has a cast-iron alibi when the BBC came a knocking for violating their contract. Ultimately, Big Finish was let off with a warning and the obligation to have Matthew Hopkins return to the writing team as RTD no longer found him amusing.

Fans were up in arms that Big Finish had finally finished something and also got rid of the only half-decent recurring villain they WERE allowed to use. Russell thought about this long and hard and announced that there was now a new spin off series to join Dustbin Umpire, Sarah-Jane Smith Ingratiates, Cybermen, Doctor Who Unsoiled:

"Kaiser Lavros – The Mutant, The Myth, The Legend"

Apparently this will form a series of missing adventures set between televised Dustbin stories to explain and justify the continuing survival of Lavros. There will also be stories set in his childhood, summarized as "Stewie Griffin as a blind, one-armed cripple".

Fandom were unimpressed. Yet again.

Russell was pretty pissed off about that, having cancelled another spin-off idea in order to commission the Lavros series. We can only wait and see if "Roobarb and Custard Get Smacked Off Their Faces on Crack, Violate a Nun and Set Fire to an Orphanage" is to be used by Big Finish in the long term.

Finally, Big Finish still hadn't got their act together and found a proper theme tune for the Paul McGann audio adventures, which they had used as an ashtray during the making of The Twice-A-Night Kingdom, and so were going around remixing old songs with vaguely topical references to the story in question, lyrics generally provided either by Conrad Westmaas, Benjamin Cook or Klepton Parasite Leader One.

This week, it was Mark Dustmour's tribute to Lavros in 1976 when the evil genius was apparently killed in Genocide of the Dustbins. Re-leased again in 1984 when it seemed Lavros was REALLY killed in Erection of the Dustbins. And again in 1986 in Rhododendron of the Dustbins. And 1988 in Rememberin' To Take Out The Dustbins. And 1993 in Emperor of the Dustbins. And 1997 in Warts And All Of The Dustbins. And 2003 in Lavros. And 2004 in The Afronauts.

Hopefully, it won't be heard again.

"Do You Dust What I Dust?"
By Mark Dustmour

I spy your polished dome
I see the tea towels dry
In a blinding flash
I see atomic age go by

Continuity stuffed up
By some stupid slag
Behind me now
Oh but I still nag...

Do you dust what I dust?
Do you trust what I trust?
Do you dust what I dust?
Do you rust where I rust?

We go north from Fargo
We tidied so much
But the merchandise is shining
Hotter than the chicks in The Sun

Looking for someone
In a Welsh town that I know
But I wasn't round for long
I had somewhere else to go

Do you dust what I dust?
Do you trust what I trust?
Do you dust what I dust?
Do you rust where I rust?

I see the cleanest place around
Is that Cardiff down below
My mops are dirty now
And I rinse them as I go

The Dustbins were there for a little while
It was a fine, fine shine
Between first and second scrubs
Those bastards left me behind

Now we barely falter
Now the long clean has begun
Go north from Fargo
Hotter than the chicks in The Sun

Do you dust what I dust?
Do you trust what I trust?
Do you dust what I dust?
Do you rust where I rust?

I see the cleanest place around
Is that Cardiff down below
My mops are dirty now
And I rinse them as I go


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