Wednesday, December 2, 2009

8th Doctor - The Twilight Kingdom (ii)

Book(s)/Other Related –
Doctor Who Versus Vila Restal
Dr Who Fight Terrorists (Canada Only)
Copy-Cat Crimes by Helen Demidenko

Fluffs - Paul McGann seemed a bit rebellious in this story.

While the Doctor pronounces "Gauda Prime" as "Gowda Prime", Vila prefers "Gorda Prime", Charley uses "Gourda Prime", C'Rizz says "Goudry Prime", Maxil calls it "Goodie-Goodie-Gum Drops Prime", Hailee refers to it as "Prouder Grime" and Maxil offers "Darlon IV".

Goofs –
Orac is clearly just a fish tank with Christmas lights in it. They haven't even scooped out the pebbles at the bottom! And it has a Woolworths price tag!

Charley has conveniently forgotten that they nicked a working TARDIS from REG, and seems to think they're looking for the old one that was destroyed in 'Schizo'

Fashion Victims –
I don't know what that lizard is doing on Charley's dress, but I'm sure it's having the time of its life.

Technobabble –
"Together you will become one creature. A gestalt. It will be a strong creature. It will absorb much more than an individual could before it dies - all the rotting corruption and madness that would else be mine. I will be immortal! Invincible! Intelligent! Don't try this at home, boys and girls - it's naughty!"

Links and References -
Vila implies that the Federation are the backers of Happy Fun Time Whizzo Novelty Corporation, as seen in "The Fun Makers" (Serial 4W)

Untelevised Misadventures -
The Doctor, Charley and C'Rizz have been on many missions for Steve Foxx, so many infact he is starting to run out. Specifically:
Foxx: There's a Confederate comm centre to be blown up...
C'Rizz: Been there.
Foxx: Annoyed hobbit to be rescued from the Nibble-Pimmlies?
Charley: Done that.
Foxx: Light City Alpha have a two for the price of one offer?
Doctor: Got the T-shirt.

Groovy DVD Extras -
A different end credit sequence, with special theme lyrics sung by India Fisher.

Dialogue Disasters -

C'Rizz: I've been doing some thinking, Doctor.
Doctor: Did you rupture anything?
C'Rizz: Not that I noticed.
Doctor: I knew it was too much to hope for.

Vila: It's about time we hit the Federation where it hurts. They've bled us white, the bastards, and what have they ever given us in return?
Maxil: Space travel?
Vila: Oh yeah.
Kyben: And the domes. Remember what the world used to be like – radioactive wasteland? Yuck!
Hailee: New colonies.
Vila: Well of course new colonies, that goes without saying...
Brecht: Tranquilized dreams.
Hailee: Medicines.
Farin: Education.
Vila: All right, but apart from space travel, domes, new colonies, tranquilized dreams, medicines and education, what have the Federation EVER done for us?
Charley: Nice leather uniforms.
Vila: I don't believe this! What sort of rebels are you?
C'Rizz: Reluctant ones.

Dialogue Triumphs -

Doctor: This place is the death of hope. It is a sunless, airless, cavern of doom. It is, in short, the birthplace of the revolution. Welcome.
Maxil: HEY! *I* was gonna say that!

Vila: Why does everyone always look at me when something goes missing?
Charley: Because you're a thief?
Vila: Oh well, as long as there's a good reason.

Doctor: This is the script for the next episode!
(He flicks to the back page)
C'Rizz: What are you looking for?
Doctor: Just checking that I'm still alive at the end. And I am!
C'Rizz: What about me?
Doctor: Bad news, I'm afraid - you're still alive too.

Charley: You are used to being a Lord, and here you are nothing. You’re a fraud, a sham, hiding under a façade of confidence...
Doctor: Hey! I thought *I* was the pizza boy and *you* were the fallen angel!

The scene following C'Rizz murder attempt on Charley -
C'Rizz: As always, in the nick of time
I've saved the day again
We may have had our moments
But we're still the best of friends!
Charley: Fuck off, C'Rizz.

(Maxil knocks Kyben out. The Doctor shakes him conscious)
Doctor: Kyben, wake up! Wake up, Kyben!
(Kyben wakes up with a start and holds the Doctor's arm)
Kyben: Oh, my skull! The throbbing’s getting worse. Luckily, you're here, Doctor. Thanks for waking me up and comforting me in jarred, tender state of shock.
(The Doctor knocks him out with a broken beer bottle)
Doctor: I never get tired of doing that. DAMN IT, I JUST LOVE ABH!

UnQuotable Quote -

Doctor: Mind your step, Arlen.

Viewer Quotes -

"If Season 30 has proved one thing to us, it's that, on the whole, Space Monkeys generally prefer Kill Bill 2 to Day of the Jackal."
- Leonard Nutter (2003)

"What is it about baddies trying to psychoanalyze the Doctor? Vila spends an age trying to get the Doctor to submit by telling him he is arrogant and always thinks he will win and that this time, oh yes, this time he will lose! He even uses that hoary old trick of getting the Doctor to agree by threatening his companion's lives. Why do I even WATCH this crap, anyway?! Oh, yes. The naked women. I remember now. Sorry about that." - John Prescott (2003)

"A fine return to form for the McGann season, which has been one of great varying quality. Not half as such hot monkey sex and wild LSD experimentation as I'd have liked, but The Twice-A-Night Kingdom holds its rude bits high as a solid, atmospheric story with some fine screwing and true character development. The villain of the piece, er... Vila... has a laidback attitude that convinces in a way that suggests, YES! This man HAS done everything TO everything! But with soldiers shagging each other for two hours, there's an element of cliché here. And bondage. And leather.... Sorry, wandered off a bit there. This is a routine adventure that doesn't really stick in the head for long. The images of hetero-homo-deviant LUST... however... occupy my every waking thought. Or was that 'every wanking thought'? Hmmm. There are some interesting ideas in the way Vila controls his army with a will of iron. Very interesting ideas. And when the She Devil gets involved... DAMN IT, I LOVE DOCTOR WHO!!!"
- Nigel Verkoff (2004)

"As the fine adversary Vila Restal, Michael Keating gets to show off what he can do for those who have only ever seen him play a funny sneak in Blake's 7 as he plays the funny sneak from Blake's 7 in Doctor Who. Actually, it's not that much of a wrench, really, is it? The bludger."
- Paul Keating (2005)

"This actually comes across as a rather traditional story given the McGann season format, which increasingly looks to be superfluous and pretentious. It is perhaps ironic that the best story of the season is the most traditional one, given that this new run had set out to be experimental. Of course, the fact we see more naked flesh of India Fisher here than in any other story (including "Nowhere-Land") getting it on with a She Devil has absolutely NO effect on my enjoyment of The Twice-A-Night Kingdom at all!" - A Carmalite Nun (2005)

"This disappointing season is brought to a close with another story that is miles apart from the one that preceded it, traditional but in a very different way to The Credo of the Moron, this is a story that steals ideas from a thousand sources and moulds them all together into a predictable, plotless whole. But a predictable, plotless hole that makes Sharon Stone look like Monica Lewinski. These niggles aside though, The Twice-A-Night Kingdom is a highly enjoyable story, with some great behind-the-sofa moments, memorably C'Rizz dry-humping Maxil's leg. The violent penetration of the script never becomes gratuitous because such ingredients are essential to deducing the major plot points. And it gave me the fucking horn." - Bill Clinton (2005)

"Stories like The Twice-A-Night Kingdom I find myself desperate to return to the glory days of Big Finish, times when they could produce stories such as The Mutant Phrase, Bored of Ironing and Inuit in Hull in very close proximity. If Season 30 is anything to go by those days are long passed. I say, kill the lot of them and get a new Doctor. Someone older. With less hair. And a bow tie. With a neon pink toothbrush..." - Nicholas Briggs (2007)

"Glen Miller, eh? Didn't see that one coming. It's a cliffhanger I can imagine will lead to a far more satisfying conclusion than the huge one Nowhere-Land gave us. Who could possibly have bettered such a dramatic and iconic moment?" - Jimmy Hoffa (2005)

Psychotic Nostalgia -
"There is nothing instinctively wrong with this story but I find it very hard not to slaughter virgins that have no enthusiasm for it. Of course, the virgins that DO have enthusiasm for it tend not to be virgins any more by episode four. It's a cruel world."

Paul McGann Speaks!
"After the horrors of Zig-Zag-Gay-Ass, The Credo of the Moron and The Actual Mystery of Beer... I gave up. It was the only thing to do. The fact that, once again, I had stumbled across an old enemy in a completely new universe that eerily mirrors our own to the last detail just stumped me. I just decided to say "Stuff it" and just read out the lines. Why waste a performance? The fans want to see me explore a strange new reality or fight evil villains, there are my first two years to drool over. I suppose someone might have noticed the lack of interest, urgency and emotion in my acting, but I doubt that the Doctor would have given a crap about the rebels, Gauda Prime or anything else. Of course, I didn't know about the She Devil element at that point. The way I sort of... snapped to attention and took notice really echoed the Doctor's reactions. I really thought I nailed the part, especially in the unscripted scene where I copped a feel off the 'gestalt'. Hahah! That final episode was one of the happiest moments in my life, a truly defining point in my acting career. Mind you, the rest of it sucked donkey balls, though."

India Fisher Speaks!
"Yeah, playing the role of the She Devil was a top moment in my career. It's quite easy for an incredibly vivacious, striking young woman with a knack of nailing the most complex and emotional scenes in a single take like me. All I did was play Charley Pollard again, only I didn't say much. Of course, I had my mouth full half the time, so it wouldn't have mattered. Wil Shindler was really encouraging in that regard. Always made sure there was an endless supply of Mentos between takes. Eh! What did you think I meant?"

Conrad Westmaas Speaks!
"I really loved that 'I'm a man, honest' speech in part three. It was so much like a moral sermon from Jon Pertwee it was uncanny. Yeah, Shindler was a brilliant author who really understood C'Rizz character and how it worked in relation with the Doctor and Charley. Indeed, The Twice-A-Night Kingdom is definitely my favorite Doctor Who story with all the caves and lazer guns and tantric sex. It's really smashing stuff and I'm NOT saying that solely because Will is paying me for the comment. No, no, no. Look how he treats India, for instance. If he'd known just how dangerous shagging her could be, he would have rewritten the story top to bottom with Vila using Charley's libido as a WMD."

Trivia -
The coordinates of Gauda Prime at 11-9-20 0 by 0-2 from Galactic 0 Centre. By an astonishing coincidence this also the pin number of a former employer of mine. Enjoy the cash.

Rumors & Facts -
After the experimentation and naughtiness of the rest of Season 30, The Twice-A-Night Kingdom almost qualifies as soft core pornography, offering a well-paced, easily-aroused that wouldn't be out of place during Doctor Who's heyday.

All in all, it's a better entry in the season than The Credo of the Moron, but it may make the listener long for the previous radical The Actual Mystery of Beer, though Beer lacks wild use of non-consenting sex and supernatural themes.

Another minus point at the end comes with a cliffhanger. Rather than tie up the problem that has started four stories before, the end of The Twice-A-Night Kingdom leaves it until the next Paul McGann series to finish. The revelation that the Doctor is searching this dimension for Glen Miller can't be making anyone very excited for next time.

Will Shindler began his writing career at the age of nine, when he wrote a shopping list as an aide de memoire. You can imagine his surprise that, upon passing the local bookshop that he spotted a best-selling story entitled "Shindler's List" and called his lawyer immediately, demanded recompense. His lawyer laughed in his face and so Will instead focussed instead on his script editing duties. Since the age of eight months he had been responsible for the output of such shows as Doctors, Born and Bred, The Bill and Doctors. Indeed, his creation of the psychotic nymphomaniac Cathy Bradford was something that instantly caught the attention of Gay Russell and Jason Haigh-Ellery, who promptly put them on their hit list.

Paul Carnall and Rob Shearman regularly consulted Shindler about psychotic nymphomaniacs as they developed story lines for the character of Charlotte Pollard.

Shearman actually introduced Shindler to Russell in a cafe in London, winning a bet that there was someone more twisted than him on the planet.

Will's ideas of shoving the Doctor into a completely different reality and forcing him to compete in a carbon copy of Double the Fist immediately resonated with the producer's plans for the third Eighth Doctor season.

However, when given the choice to fill up a four episode story, Shindler cried like a baby and ran back to his mother, who suggested he focus on the most horrific and terrifying event of the last century.

Shindler's script, The Twice-A-Night Kingdom, thus focussed on the immediate aftermath of the last episode of Blake's 7. Upon reading the outline, Shindler's mother disowned him and went off to live in Jamaica.

Meanwhile, in order to support the weak story line of shootouts and caustic remarks, Shindler hit on the idea of using sexual exhaustion as an elementary brainwashing technique and began to research this possibility for three days in a Soho brothel.

Stumbling outside on the fourth day, he confirmed that, yes Susan, it was perfectly possible.

I don't know who this "Susan" is, and frankly I doubt Shindler does either.

Russell decided that HE would undertake the main re-writing of The Twice-A-Night Kingdom. He thus added an entirely new element of a She Devil living in a basement.

Several of the BF production crew demanded to know why such a stupid and illogical character should be involved in the story, whereupon Russell showed everyone his copy of the 1972 Jon Pertwee story The She Devils.

Following this there was no objection to the use of the She Devil and indeed a suggesting at least fifteen of them be included in every following Big Finish release.

Unfortunately, this incident simply intensified Russell's insane desire for control. Already he had directed every single story in Season 30 and co-written Zig-Zag-Gay-Ass, and made sure every sodding piece of BF merchandise had his name emblazoned on it whether he was involved with it or not.

When Alan Barnes suggested that Russell's dictatorship of Big Finish was causing every story to become the same, lazy, boring plot in a sea of despondency, Russell had Barnes publicly read "The Scales of Injustice" - a punishment so cruel and severe that even Tom Baker was willing to turn up and protest.

Russell backed down gracefully, admitted that he had been in control too long and that somebody else needed to step into the big chair for a while and see what new blood could produce.

So saying, he allowed the final story produced in the season to be re-written and directed by Greg the cleaner. Following Schizo's production, Russell returned to his ancestral seat without comment.

Ultimately, the entry The Twice-A-Night Kingdom was selected as the last story because it ended with a sequence where the Foxx suggested another challenge.

This plot development fitted in with their insane plans for Season 31 a lot better than The Actual Mystery of Beer, in which India Fisher has a stomach pump.

In order to give an added feeling of closure, Big Finish gained the services of Christopher Eccleston to play Maxil, a lowly Time Lord guard who the Doctor had been impersonating ever since Jon Pertwee played the part in 1969's The Wank Games.

Eccleston agreed on the condition that he get some "jiggy-jiggy" with the sexy red lady in the corner and then never be involved in Big Finish ever, ever, ever, never, ever again.

A final rewrite of The Twice-A-Night Kingdom gave the story the reappearance of Steve Foxx, an appearance by the new police box prop and the unexpected and unexciting revelation that the Doctor is on a mission to find Glen Miller.

Still, we are no nearer to discovering the true purpose of the Double the Fist program or even why Steve Foxx is remotely interested in the activities of a shagged out Time Lord, a horny teenager and a neurotic six-foot lizard.

But I'm sure that there's at least one adult website dedicated to finding out.

Season 30 Wrap-Up -

I suspect many will say that this season, as a whole, was disappointing. Aren't I clever?

An overlong gap since the last season has pushed expectations to ludicrously high levels of at least Roche's limit above sea level.

When the Doctor entered the diverging universe at the conclusion of Zig-Zag-Gay-Ass, it was an opportunity to tell different stories in a fresh new setting where everything was uncertain.

However, that would be too fricken' easy and so we are treated to such formulaic plots it becomes impossible to tell just WHICH Doctor is having WHICH story.

Season 30 has been the least enjoyable one yet, and I saw Season 24 live!

While other seasons may have had a couple of really awful stories, here ALL the story lines didn't work, or at least it didn't get any justification for its use.

After sixteen episodes in this new universe we know sod all else about it except that it's pretty much identical to old one and each planet has the secret to immortality underneath it.

You could say the same thing about C'Rizz, but I don't feel Big Finish deserves slating for ignoring the character. Indeed, they deserve a pat on the back by trying to de emphasize this Adric-wannabe.

However, Season 30 comes to a disappointing end. A season that promised so much and delivered some of arguably Big Finish's most stupid and idiotic stories ever; collectively, the weakest of not only three McGann seasons, but the twenty-seven ones before that.

After the overlong travesty of Zig-Zag-Gay-Ass, the sinister lunacy of Schizo, the stultifyingly dull Credo of the Moron, the Whatthefuckwasthat?-ness of The Actual Mystery of Beer and now the sordid, non-stop sex sessions of The Twice-A-Night Kingdom...

Sorry, I've forgotten what I'm talking about. You know, come to think of it, this story is probably the best since Nowhere-Land. It lacks progression and fails to exploit the full potential of the divergent universe setting.

However, it does feature people drinking animal blood and having orgiastic sex for no other reason than it looks good. I don't think I have the moral ground this time.

I've learned two useful things from all this.

Firstly, the Eighth Doctor's adventures can still deliver perfectly recognizable Doctor Who stories when it chooses and we should get down on our knees and thank god when they change direction.

The other is that India Fisher has bits of her painted red that not even my private surgeon can name. Might rewind that last bit for another check... Uh, carry on amongst yourselves. Don't mind us.

Finally, the exclusive printing of the proposed Doctor Who theme song, as recited by India Fisher on a broken karioke machine:

"There's a decent star
In a decent plot
Just not in a decent show
In a prime time slot.

Success is there
You've still got a record to marr
Oh, poor Paul
That's where we three are
But we'll only go so far
You get the car

Come, to the Webber's Gate pub
We'll drink dry the taps of bars
Then we'll hit C'Rizz with a club
And we're bound
To become stars!

Though the years go by
On the silver screen
If our talent is true
We will find our dream

Travellin' on
Suddenly that's who we are;
Those decent stars -
Those shining stars -
Those shining DECENT STARS!"

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