Book(s)/Other Related –
The Doctor, Doctor Who & Dr Who Versus Zig-Zag-Gay-Ass To The Death!
Doctor Mysterio Il Hetero Rectum Criss-Cross!
How To Boil An Egg 2: This Time, It's Edible!
"It's A Better Exit Than I Ever Had - A Bang On The Head, I Ask You!"
Fluffs - Paul McGann seemed non-canonical for this story.
Sylvester McCoy seemed pedophilic for this story.
Colin Baker seemed vampish for this story.
Peter Davison seemed agnostic for this story.
Tom Baker seemed absent for this story.
Jon Pertwee seemed drunk on cheap cider for this story.
Patrick Troughton seemed as dead as corduroy for this story.
William Hartnell seemed forgotten for this story.
"Again you never I Doctor, I'd thought see!" cries Charley.
The Doctors refuse to accept that Rassilon created the question mark, and claims it was THEM, and that no pan-dimensional copyright laws will stop them. Will they never learn?
Tegan has absolutely no dialogue, and, if it weren’t for all the other characters shouting things like "Oh my God! Tegan Jovanka! Super Spy! And she’s got a gun!" you wouldn’t even know she was there, and assume that BF are embarrassing glossing over the fact they couldn’t get Janet Fielding to do a play before the sun exploded.
Leela has somehow managed to keep her good looks after over 500 years on the most boring part of the most boring planet in the universe with the most boring man in the entirety of creation. But she dumped him after he misplaced his red hat. Although billions of tie-in novels and fan fiction have provided explanations for this, not a single one is used here. Does that mean that The Invasion Of Tim has been rendered non-canonical? My God! I'm already quivering with delight at the thought...
During the anniversary cut-and-paste from Death to the Dustbins, Charley ridicules the whole concept and demands to know why such an obvious bit of padding in an already-gargantuan plot. Therein follows seventeen minutes of total silence as a tumbleweed rolls across the set.
Maxil is credited as "Whichever Wanker Russell T Davies Chooses Next" and "Matthew Waterhouse" on alternate episodes.
Fashion Victims - The Offspring's question-mark nappy
The Brigadier explains his libido is an "agitated protoplasm". A very BIG, MANLY agitated protoplasm.
"Rassilon has created regeneration, by reversing the polarity of the self-replicated contact molecular flow! It's a better exit than I ever had - a bang on the head, I ask you!"
Links and References -
Zig-Zag-Gay-Ass has read the BBC novel "The Dominatrix of Vendetta Street", the DWM comic "Bolivian", BBCi webcast "Beth Comes to Rhyme" and the Telos Novella "Rip Wide" and, frankly, prefers the Big Finish continuity - thus proving that, although he may be the epitome of darkness from the depths of evil, he does have some taste.
Untelevised Misadventures -
The Doctor insists that not a single one of him was responsible for Kennedy's assassination, as they were all too busy sitting at home watching The Unruly Child.
Groovy DVD Extras -
Cut scenes showing Tony Hancock, Richard Hearne and Douglas Adams playing the first through third Doctors. These were deleted when it became apparent that all the artistes were dead and their acting talents too limited to impersonate William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton and Jon Pertwee. At least, when the latter were alive.
Dialogue Disasters -
Sixth Doctor: The first victim of prog rock in history?? It's a better exit
than I ever had - a bang on the head, I ask you!
Sixth Doctor: Driven mad by rage, being teleported over a cauldron of white miasma and dropped into the bubbling muck by a vengeful companion? It's a better exit than I ever had - a bang on the head, I ask you!
Every Doctor: We never, ever, EVER have had any sexual relations with that woman of any sort, any time, any where.
Sixth Doctor: Sucked out of the TARDIS and into a meat grinder! You should be so lucky! It was a better exit than I ever had - a bang on the head, I ask you!
Charley on the fact the Doctor has locked himself in the bathroom for eighteen months - "He's probably just a bit excited."
Sixth Doctor: Having your living weapon turn against you in the ultimate ironic coup de grace and hurling you into oblivion forever? It's a hell of a lot better than the exit I had - a bang on the head, I ask you!
Brigadier: I shall have the pleasure of abusing you.
Eighth Doctor: Then... BRING... IT... ON!!!!
Brigadier: Er... I've forgotten what I was going to say. Aw, you've put me off it, now!
Sixth Doctor: OD-ing from snorting ludicrous amounts of cocaine off a panda's tits? That's a WAY better exit than I ever had - a bang on the head, I ask you!
Third Doctor: Birds do it, bees do it --
Charley: Let's just do it.
Third Doctor: Wait, I haven't reached the chorus - OH, MY!!!
Dialogue Triumphs -
Sixth Doctor: And they call ME an egotistical, arrogant, infantile, infuriating, anodyne and totally vacuous git who is as weak as vegetarian piss!
Peri: Are you saying your future self is a total arsehole?
Sixth Doctor: Hmm? Hell no, I'm just bragging.
Zig-Zag-Gay-Ass: Awww, I haven't even ravished the universe yet!
Romana: I've got two hearts. I don't have to ravish anything!
Charley: Oh. How unlucky.
Sixth Doctor: Skewered by the unearthly blade wielded by the founder of Time Lord society? Well, it was a better exit than I ever had - a bang on the head, I ask you!
Sixth Doctor: You know, I don't think that these eighteen-month intermissions really WORK, do you? It's like giving junkies morphine, making them go cold turkey for a year and half, then offering them some juicy fruit. Mark my words, this'll bomb.
Brigadier: Oh, shut up, Colin! At least you're working today!
Seventh Doctor: Trapped in hell for all eternity with Charley Pollard? It's a better exit than I ever had - keyhole surgery on the lower intestine, I ask you!
Sixth Doctor: Turning to dust after a stake is rammed up your arse? Well, er... ah... You know, a bang on the head really ISN'T that bad a way to go, is it? Really? Count your blessings, that's what I say.
Eighth Doctor: My God... Cut down in my prime by an eighteen-month suspension in my second year, forced into a season-long story of pain, suffering and gratuitous continuity, then fired off-screen and replaced by some one I wouldn't spit on if they were ablaze! YOU CALL THAT AN EXIT??
Sixth Doctor: Oh, you get used to it, buckaroo.
UnQuotable Quote -
Brigadier: Welcome to your domesticity.
Viewer Quotes -
"Zig-Zag-Gay-Ass just wrong, sick and I never want to hear it again. Plus, it doesn't hold a candle to my vastly superior work."
- Lewis Carroll, two minutes before being lynched by a mob of rabid fifth Doctor fans (1963)
"It is really so satisfying to hear McGann slot in alongside his predecessors so seamlessly, if you know what I mean - NONE of them sound like they want to be here. Like the Doctor, you'll probably never want to hear the word 'continuity' again by the time you're done. Just what the hell is Gay Russell on? Not even my dealer is prepared to hazard a guess - Mr. Sheen, maybe?" - Andrew Beeblebrox (2003)
"I swear, the moment when Zig-Zag-Gay-Ass turns up, everyone who views it will cry out, 'We waited eighteen months for this tosh?'" - an eerily accurate prediction by Gay Russell (2001)
"I think I may have OD'd on Doctor Who. I cannot move. I must stay where I am and not move. I cannot speak, just hum the Doctor Who theme music. I think the CD has fallen through a crack in the floor. It's down there... in the darkness... breathing." - Nathan Lyons (2004)
"MY GOD, WHAT HAVE YOU DONE??!?!?" - Terrance Dicks (2003)
"I was young. I needed the money. What more can I say?"
- Zig-Zag-Gay-Ass, from his "Mr. Winkie's Fun Palace" at the Axis of Insanity (2003)
"Totally fucked up the continuity I slaved for months trying to work out. Now, admittedly, *I* would have fucked it up as well, but these bastards somehow got there first. That's not something you just forgive, now, is it?" - Laurence Miles (2004)
"Oh Great Prophet Zarquon! Where do you start reviewing a story like Zig-Zag-Gay-Ass!? Almost any meaningful review is going to include some kind of spoiler, as there is over three hours' worth of material, spread over 3 CDs, with huge chunks of plot draped across them all, so that any discussion of Disc 3 will tend to reveal some of the story elements from Discs 1 and 2. So, after thinking this through, I'd decided just to say 'Sod it' and go home early." - SFX reviewer (2004)
"Special mention must go to India Fisher who I think has the biggest part of the whole play. Again she brings Charley to the top of the companion popularity tree. With sheer charm and downright likeability, she carries the story. Charley, and India Fisher, is one of the main reasons I enjoyed Zig-Zag-Gay-Ass so much. Charley plays a pivotal role in the climax of the story, the relationship between her and McGann's Doctor being put under the microscope. As with Nowhere-Land, this is the strongest part of the story, the way in which these two souls interact. Their actions at the end of the disc are both in character and consistent with what has gone before. The sacrifices that both characters make are moving without being over-sentimental. And I swear that Charley's nipples can be seen at a distance of ten metres!" - Nigel Verkoff after his brain rejects another attitude adjustment (2005)
"Is Zig-Zag-Gay-Ass a story I'd want to celebrate 40... fucking... years of Doctor Who? Bonnie Langford appearing as three separate characters - has the world gone MAD?? Zig-Zag-Gay-Ass' main purpose, however, seems to be a story so bad that the Doctor would rather take a running jump into a dimension gate than suffer Zig-Zag-Gay-Ass 2: Attack of the Killer Nowhereperson. And so, what are we left with? A randy, stoned but vaguely homosexual man travelling through a whole new universe in a police box bigger on the inside than out, accompanied with the only person in the universe that shares his starting point. Hmmm. Sounds crap. I wouldn't watch it." - Ewen Campion-Clarke (2004)
Psychotic Nostalgia -
"I thought that Jon Pertwee was crap in this story. He can do much better than his weak so-called 'performance'! Anyone who's seen The Monster of Paddington or The Mootants can tell that! And what was his pitiful excuse for not turning up for work? 'Sorry, I'm slightly dead'? PA-THET-IC! All we need is his photograph, a lock of hair and the blood of a virgin window cleaner and we'll see what Pertwee makes of the script! You wait here..."
Paul McGann Speaks!
"My attention span isn't that good. In fact, it's probably that forgetfulness that has got me through any of this crap. Lord knows you need something to keep you going.
I remember Seagull wanted there to be a very melancholic side to the Eighth Doctor, which is why he forced me to do it in the first place. So there'd be the underlying feeling of resentment and depression. Which is, you know, good for me because I can just read the lines on a first take as long as I pronounce the words right.
One time I came in feeling great and revived and having a good laugh, and well, India took one look at me and hid in the corner. Cause of time restraints and stuff, we had to add this whole sequence when I explain that I'm actually possessed by Sil and had taken a lot of LSD in order to explain the changes in my performance.
You know, come to think of it, I might have dropped some acid before turning up to work that day. Hmm. Would explain a lot.
I think my Doctor's really separated from the rest of the boring gits. He wears his background, and he wears his solitude sometimes, but, all in all, he wears a velvet jacket and a grey cravat. But there is a bit of variation, which is better than the last three Doctors, you've got to admit.
My Doctor is hard to get to know, and does have that real passionate desire to get the hell out of here as fast as possible. I mean, with say Colin Baker, he'll land somewhere and go, 'Ooh, look! Four-headed rocks starving due to cyclone damage! I think it's worth checking out.'
Now, my Doctor will go, 'Oh, look! Four-headed rocks starving due to cyclone damage! Well, fancy that. Oh, well, I'm off now. Is that the exit behind you?'
Yeah, I really brought the character back to the old William Hartnell days, when he was embarrassed to leave the TARDIS at all, just wanted to bugger off into the wild blue yonder and get laid. Maybe not in that order, though.
I liked reading those scene where the Doctor tells everyone, 'right, look, I'm off. Don't worry about me, cause I'm sure as hell not going to worry about you. It'll be just great. There's be no tosser Time Lords and none of their crap rules'. Yeah, that dark, bitter side to him, the spiker side to him. He's under that dynamic, he's in that mood, he has that feeling, rather than skipping off into some sunset, happy as Larry.
I remembered saying and feeling identical things whenever a season wrapped up - sort of relieved, but dispirited that we were going to come back. In fact, come to think of it I said EXACTLY those same things to Russell when we finished Inuit in Hull. The bastard just wrote down the entire conversation and changed, 'You Anorak-Clad Wanker' to 'Romana'."
Sylvester McCoy Speaks!
"It's exciting, it's really great to know it's still going at... er... wait a minute. Ah yes, 40 years. Handy of them to change the logo of that, Doctor Who, to Doctor W40. I suppose you could call that DW40. Hahah! Oh, wait, no, I got that the wrong way round. It'd be WD40.
Ah, well, humor never was my strong point.
Of course, the climax of this story was intense stuff. Richard E Grant taking over from Paul was fantastic, because I've often said that REG would make a good Doctor. He may be a touch young, but he's definitely the right kind of eccentric, quirky character. Knowing that people want a younger Doctor, he fits the bill quite well.
Of course, the fact I have just won a large amount of money from Ladbrooke's on REG being the new Doctor is COMPLETELY beside the point.
No Zig-Zag-Gay-Ass is a trial run for Peter's latest career move - a barber-shop quartet of Time Lords! We'd go town a storm, but not just at conventions. We'd be bigger than that. We could be bigger than Big Brother! Worldwide domination... It's a thought, isn't it.
Colin Baker Speaks!
"Of course, anyone can tell you that this is fortieth anniversary of Doctor Who, but how many people are willing to admit that it's the twentieth anniversary of me starting as the Doctor, hmm?
The second half of Doctor Who, most of it down to me. The larger half, as Sylvester here so kindly said.
Yes, I did detect a sort of insulting subtext.
Oh, don't my about him, young chap, he'll recover consciousness soon enough.
What I liked about this story was that the hero has to be unmistakable but the bad person can be anyone. What I didn't like about this story was that most of the cast weren't themselves, so there were three times the possible bad-guys! I mean, I play the Doctor, a vampire, a ghost of a vampire, a ghost of the Doctor, and a merged ghost of the Doctor AND a vampire.
When I bite Bonnie Langford's head off... who can tell just who is in control? Or even if he's a goody or a baddy?"
Peter Davison Speaks!
"I suppose that 40 years of Doctor Who is a good excuse to, you know, have a 40th anniversary story. I mean, it'd be rather gratuitous otherwise, wouldn't it?
This story had me, for the most part, playing the Reverend Townsend, or rather the Reverend Townsend in the body of the Doctor. Or, to be strictly accurate, a hologram of the Doctor possessed by the spirit of Reverend Townsend with a huge dollop of the Doctor's mind and personality, meaning that he could switch from an unassuming German priest to intergalactic temporal lord with just a cock of the head.
Now, for any actor that would be a huge task to really bring across the schizophrenia and multiple personalities involved, so I really had to go right back, back to my roots as an actor, and I decided to play it as the Doctor wearing a dogcollar.
So, there was this bland indifference to the priest, like he was really only there because the TARDIS was projecting him to talk to Charlotte. Yes, I sure nailed that part.
Laurence Oliver, kiss my Time Lord ass!"
Tom Baker Speaks!
"Yes, I've never had a real urge to avoid anniversary stories. I mean, I thought turning up and trying to take over the whole universe worked for me. I was more than happy to appear in this story - ahh, what was it called? Of course, I remember. "Doctor Who Gets Rabies And Goes Completely Out Of His Fucking Mind", yes, THAT'S the sort of story for me!
However, I got terribly mixed up. I thought that they were recording the play on the 23rd of November, 2003, so I wrote down on this beer mat "Doctor Who, 2003, 23/11." Anyway, I turned up at Big Finish and they had no idea what I was on about. Turned out I'd arrived on the 11/23/2003. Then it turned out that it there IS no twenty-third month! I might have missed the recording by quite a lot. On top of that, they weren't recording it on the 23rd of November anyway. And I'd ended up at the wrong address anyway.
Of course, I might have laughed that off, except I'd mistaken the brewery of the local nunnery for the Big Finish Production Studio. And when the police turned up, and I'd mistaken the nuns for prostitutes, things went downhill for there..."
Jon Pertwee Speaks!
"Ah, yes, this is Jon Pertwee, here. I'm not in at the moment, but if it's important, feel free to leave a message after the tone. Yes, I'll do my best to contact you when I'm here. Hah, and you thought I couldn't get through it without saying fuc-BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP."
India Fisher Speaks!
"Yeah, as stories go, this one truly screwed me over. I didn't have anyone real to even TRY to go down on until the third act and, well, I think I'd gone off the boil by then. I remember the script separated me and the Doctor straight away, and I enjoyed the fact my character was really taking the lead, working things out, and saving the day. It was a bit like being the Doctor, I realized, and then I checked my script. They'd crossed out the name "2nd Doctor" and just written Charley on top! I mean, seriously! Thank God they edited out all the stuff with the recorder and the penguin impressions. Not only did it make the blatant unoriginality of the script slightly murkier, but I don't think that my line, "Oh, my giddy aunt, Jamie" was really as good as it could have been."
Louise Jameson Speaks!
"If you'd said to me in the mid-seventies that I would still, you know, be earning money and having a good time on the back of a nine-month job that took place when I was 25, 26, I would never have believed you. If you'd told me it was Doctor Who, I would have crushed your eyeballs with my thumbs, hacked off your head and scratched 'GET REAL' on the wall of your heart."
Nicholas Briggs Speaks!
"It COULDA worked!"
This story manages to contradict every single episode of Doctor Who, ever. And Blake's 7. And Star Trek. And Friends. And the Professionals. Come on, you've got to admit - contradicting the Professionals is one hell of a ballsy move...
Rumors & Facts -
How do you summarize and celebrate the whole of Doctor Who all in the space of one story? Well, here's a clue - don't do it like this. Don't let the cover in any way contain the words 'by Gay Russell'.
Zig-Zag-Gay is stocked with so many kisses to the past its practically hard core pornography. And over three hours of it, which every minute serving three different requirements: 1) continue or at least involve the events of Nowhere-Land. 2) - have roles for all the leading cast and take the mickey out of the roles they normally play. 3) - establish that Big Finish has sod all to do with the new series or I Scream Boom-Shalka-Laka. The result is something that fulfils all these requirements, but more by accident than design. Its quite clear that the final sequence where Nicholas Briggs tries to take the mantle of Doctor Who is not scripted.
When Gay Russell and Alan Barnes finished work on Season 29's Nowhere-Land, they took absolutely no notice of the amazing cliffhanger they'd left in their wake: essentially, the Doctor had been destroyed and Charley was left at the mercy of the mad-as-a-box-of-French Zig-Zag-Gay-Ass. When India Fisher asked how this situation would be resolved, Russell promised that in his magnum opus, The Revenge of the Macrame Terror, published on 23/11/2003, would devote a whole three lines to explaining just what happened after Nowhere-Land. However, once the obligatory seven death threats from BBC Books, Virgin and Boxtree had been received, Russell decided to dovetail TROTMT into the 50th anniversary Big Finish story, provisionally titled Disappointing Shite.
Barnes, meanwhile, was far too busy congratulating himself for making a story out of Gay Russell's fanwank shopping list, and tying up an integral plot simply by letting the characters be themselves to care about resolving the dramatic peak of Nowhere-Land's cliffhanger ending. Russell assured Barnes that resolving the eighth Doctor and Charley plot would be "someone else's" job, neglecting to explain for the third time that "someone else" was Old High Gallifreyan for "thicky Barnes over there". Which is odd considering the megalomania that Russell carried out on the story, co-writing most of it, directing all of it, and producing every eighth Doctor story he could. Already he had decided that that Zig-Zag-Gay-Ass would be the exact opposite of the fan's expectations, thus meaning that no fan could possibly be disappointed. Tragically, this decision was made during the great Open-Mindedness Fiasco of 2003 and all the fans wanted was a good story well told. Russell's success in giving them exactly what they didn't want backfired mightily: he had wanted the story to examine exactly who the Doctor was, what made him tick, his morality and thought processes. However, Jason Haigh-Ellory reminded Russell that the last 40 years of Doctor Who had sort of worked out the first three and the fourth had just been resolved in the critically-disgusted Excelsior trilogy. Taking this comment on board, Russell simply shrugged and decided to simply rip-off Alice in Wonderland for the duration.
All the crew agreed that the audiences and fans of 2003 were far more sophisticated (and twice as deadly) as the saddoes in 1973 and 1983, so simply doing a retread of The Tree Doctors or The Even Doctors or even Lame Shit just wouldn't work. Thus, there was quite a bit of confusion and pain when Gay Russell's script was revealed to be a crude cut-and-paste job of The Four-and-a-half Doctors with "Terrance Dicks" crossed out and "Gay Russell IS a Genius" written over the top of the print in biro. He suggested that they could make it REALLY radical by not just giving the same actors their old jobs as the Doctor, but swapping the roles around. This lead to the thought of Bonnie Langford as the Seventh Doctor, and JHE had to be immediately sedated and Russell was sent to rewrite "his" script. Under strict instructions to ensure that all the cast would be given roles to play to their strengths, Gay Russell decided to simply change the names of an abandoned sitcom he'd started, "WANK the UNIT: the Great War" to the cast of the fifth Doctor's era and hoped for the best. Alan Barnes' proposed children's hour "When Animatronic Animals Go Bad" suffered similar treatment, and the Sixth Doctor's segment was created by releasing Laurence Miles from his cage for all of fifteen seconds - long enough to have rewritten the history of Rassilon and the Time Lords to an absurd degree.
However, upon reading the story outline provided by Barnes, Russell began to fear for the latter's sanity: Barnes had begun to see the Doctor through the eyes of his creation, Charley Pollard, and seemingly had fallen in love with Paul McGann. Indeed, the rehearsal script (which I got off eBay for the surprisingly low amount of 18/20ths of my earthly soul) is covered in little heart baloons with "Alan + the Doctor 4 Ever" written in them.
During the intermission between recording and release, Russell would regularly log onto Outpost Gallifrey and mock the ignorance of those fans brave enough to speculate on the plot of Zig-Zag-Gay-Ass. He quickly gave this up, however, as it rapidly became apparent that the fans were coming nowhere near the real storyline, but their inaccurate suggestions were roughly a million times better: one of the most popular outlines consisting of Zig-Zag-Gay-Ass' deciding to commandeer the listless Dustbin fleet and use it to conquer reality, and steadily possessing the past Doctors in amazing miniature adventures set in Seasons 21, 23 and 27. Indeed, it is rumored that Russell plans to use this story in a future submission to the new TV series, "Return of the Attack of the Returning Retconning Dustbin Army 9". Good luck to him.
It was during the last day of recording that disaster struck - the BBC had decided to make new Doctor Who on television. Big Finish was now as pointless as The Wank Machines, dinosaurs to modern man. However, Russell had foreseen this day the moment Big Finish had started and he always kept his emergency script ready, "Blake by Chris Butcher" and was willing to change the final scene to involve a massive shootout between Charley and the Doctor which would end with Cybermen gunning down the whole cast as the Doctor laughs insanely. However, Nicholas Courtney spotted a spelling mistake on page 86 of the script and so this was abandoned in brief order.
After going to such lengths to canonicize "I Scream Boom-Shaka-Laka", Zig-Zag-Gay-Ass was now forced to de-canonize that, canonize the NEW series (about which nothing except the presence of Wales was known) and re-canonize itself in the process. Even Russell could not do this convincingly and so gave up, deciding to return to his "Anything Except What It Is Needed" policy in order to give the fans a surprise. Thus, Zig-Zag-Gay-Ass explicitly shows that the Big Finish and TV series is not canon, and, indeed, the only REAL canon is the new TV series. After this, Lance Parkin looked at his revised History of the Universe and burst into tears.
Statistics prove that Zig-Zag-Gay-Ass was the most eager-awaited, highly-anticipated and highest-pre-ordered and commercial-retailed release Big Finish has ever done. Nothing else come close - bar the amount of people, upon learning that the whole thing wasn't canon and that there was a new series in the pipeline, starting using the Zig-Zag-Gay-Ass CDs as replacement frisbees to their dogs.