Friday, January 1, 2010

9th Doctor - 2006 Annual

–Doctor Who Annual 26 -
From An Entry In The EC Unauthorized Guide Program Guide Fiction Appendix O' A Completely Canonical Trip Of A Lifetime

A rather unimaginative photoshop montage of the Doctor and Rose from "Shell Shock" hovering over the TARDIS which in turn is hovering over Earth, backlit by the morning sun and the words "THRILLING MISADVENTURES IN SPACE AND TIME BASED ON THAT SHOW, DOCTOR... SOMETHING OR OTHER". How dull.

Back Cover
A definitely unimaginative photoshop image of the TARDIS with some lens flare crap happening against a black background. How boring.

End-papers/Title Page
A painting of the Doctor and Rose from a BBC trailer standing in front of a screen cap of the time vortex and caption "starring CHRISTOPHER ECCLESTON as doctor who and BILLIE PIPER as rose". How paralyzingly dull, boring AND tedious!

What The Hell Is This Crap?
A hastily-written summary of over twenty-six years of Doctor Who by someone who thinks that Patrick Troughton fought the Slitheen in 1968 with sections subtitled "Enter Rose (Not Like THAT You Perverts!)", "The Changing Sexual Preferences of Doctor Who", "Worzel Gummidge Does MI5!", "Tom Baker Gets Drunk Saving The Universe", "It All Goes Crap In The Eighties", "Paul McGan IS Canon, Mofo!" and "The Ninth Doctor: Don't Get Comfortable!" written by Phil MacDonald with less effort than it took to type out this entry.

Puzzling Problems
After destroying the replication pods of the evil Breebles, they created an identical android copy of Rose Tyler and sent it to assassinate the Doctor. Can he tell which is the real Rose and which is the copy, or will he not care as long as it doubles his chances of getting laid with a cute blonde?

Meanwhile, Captain Jack Sparrow is left in the TARDIS under attack by a Dustbin war fleet. Thinking quickly, Captain Jack determines that of the ten ships approaching, three have ruby lasers, six have atomic missiles and two have both. Ergo, says his rum-addled brain, there must be three Dustbin ships unarmed! Then the Captain remembers that he can take off instead of fighting them and he dematerializes the TARDIS before the Dustbins can catch him. What a guy.

Doctor! Doctor! (Can't You See I'm Burning? Burning!)
Dr Perivale Carrrrrrrr is the finest detective in 1920s England – the internationally-famous sleuth who solved such baffling cases as the Problem of the Bite Marks on the Bottom, the Matter of the Laudanum-Abusing Cyclist and the Case of the Abusive Phone Call Full of Rude Words to the Parish Priest After he was Found Selling Crack To Small Children – is taking an opportunity to show off, once again, what a total smartarse he is to his biographer and rent boy, the eminently forgettable Henry Ransom.

Two of Lord Farthingale's house guests have been murdered, and Dr Carrrrrrrr accuses society hostess Glenda Neil, whom he claims killed them to cover up her past as a male impersonator named Kitty Kickshaw on Broadway. Which, you know, is a reasonable motive, I guess.

However, the Doctor and Rose unexpectedly burst into the drawing room and claim that Dr Carrrrrrrr is wrong; the house is in fact infested with deadly, invisible aliens! Which, you know, is also possible in this demented franchise we call Doctor Who, I suppose.

The TARDIS has crash-landed nearby due to a combination of an unstable temporal drive nearby and also because the Doctor is simply shithouse at DOS when it comes to overcoming quantum interference. But none of this impresses Dr Carrrrrrrr, who screams things like "By Cicero's Beard!" and tried to stub out a cheroot on the Doctor's forehead as he screams that he worked it all out using his massive Jonathon-Creek-style genius and anyone who disagrees with him is completely insane.

Something invisible lifts young Bart Faversham from his feet and throws him headfirst into the hearth with deadly force. The Doctor turns to Dr Carrrrrrrr and demands to know what "Mr. Answerman" has to say for himself now. Dr Carrrrrrrr simply screams hysterically and runs off into the house, followed by the rest of the not-actually-murder-suspects-after-all.

Hiding in the billiard room of the manor house – mainly for ironic purposes, since it was where the first "murder" took place – the Doctor finally decides he's terrified and humiliated the stupid apes enough and should actually explain what the fuck is going on before they all die horribly and, even worse, in ignorance.

Rose actually beats him to it and reveals all the murders are being caused accidentally by energy fields from an alien space ship caught between reality and the CGI of the time vortex – every time the crew try to turn their engines over, they kill some aristocratic fop as an unintentional but incredibly amusing side effect.

To solve this crisis, the Doctor can think of no less than 737 separate possible approaches but concludes he doesn't actually care very much and thus uses his funky sonic screwdriver to cut through the padding and transport himself and Rose on board the alien ship in a neat special effect.

Inside the freaky inverted-pyramid-of-white-neon-strips-against-artistic-black-void interior of the alien ship, the Doctor and Rose are slightly put out to find all the blobby aliens were killed in the crash and the whole thing has been down to another insane computer.

Blasting said computer with the sonic screwdriver, the Doctor and Rose teleport away before the ship blows up and reappear in the manor house just as Dr Carrrrrrrr is declaring them dead in a noble self-sacrifice, presumably because he hates being shown to be wrong.

The Doctor and Rose spit at him and are about to depart in the TARDIS when Dr Carrrrrrrr announces that even though the Doctor's accent does not match his manners, nor his clothes his face, his shoes are peculiar and his wrist watch is on Alpha Centauri time, the brilliant sleuth has worked out THIS about the Doctor:

He’s a Lancastrian identical twin married to an older woman.

The Doctor laughs cruelly and challenges Dr Carrrrrrrr to explain how the hell a police box can vanish with a wheezing groaning sound. Dr Carrrrrrrr spent the rest of his life standing there, trying to do it and died from a yeast infection.

So a happy ending all round there then.

The Doctor EXPOSED!!
Disappointingly-inaccurately-titled article written by His Holiness the Mighty Russell T Davies explaining who the hell the main character is, in case anyone was still confused after the previous story and even more previous article. It is also infamous as the only occasion RTD ever actually bothered to explain what the hell happened in the Temporal Difference of Opinion, which was why the new TV series, Big Finish and the DWM comic strip completely contradicted the content of this article on no less than 614 separate occasions before the next annual was published.

More notable facts that turned out to be total crap include: the Dustbins using the Apocalypse Element on the Orion Arm of the Milky Way to destroy the Pakistani, Nestle, Moaning Host and the Gelth; the Imperiatrix of Gallifrey making the Doctor her love slave and forcing him to fight the Dustbins; Lucie Miller killing "Romanabramobitch" with a handbag, escalating the conflict; the Doctor taking six long months regenerate into Christopher Eccleston after some mild food poisoning at the Broken Heart of Elysium; the Time Lords resurrecting Moby as the ultimate warrior who then destroys them all with an atom bomb forged from the anti-matter foundries of Maladoom; and that the Emperor of the Dustbins regularly tags war memorials with "YOU ARE NOT ALONE".

The Masks of Mascara
The Doctor and Rose land on an alien planet that happens to resemble Cardiff in every important respect bar one: the inhabitants wear creepy BAFTA-masks enabling them to share their good vibes as a telepathic community encyclopedia that an. The spokes-unit for the community mind is only discernable by the panda eyes on its mask, the result of excessive make-up.

When Rose stupidly lets loose the Doctor is the Last of the Time Lords, the Leader is so impressed it asks the Doctor to speak on its behalf to the alien representatives who have come to see the masks for themselves. The Doctor tells the Leader to shove its offer violently up its anal sphincter.

The Doctor admits to Rose that his general misdemeanor is because his own people tried something like this called the Matrix, and the Doctor is too much of a wild-eyed loner rebel anarchist to support his establishment and allow the Mask Dudes to put "Endorsed by Time Lords" on their tie-in merchandise. Rose realises that this planet reminds him of the home he's lost – curiously, this makes the Doctor even MORE convinced that it must be a corrupt and evil hellhole.

The Doctor decides to confront the Leader as it chats up the Intransigents of Smorg, trying to impress everyone with its amazing telekinetic powers of furniture-juggling. Little does he know that, for some reason, Rose has decided to strip naked and practice erotic poses in her guest room... and soon finds ghost-like phantoms with masks ogling her in her state of undress. As you would.

Rose is then mugged by some Units who force a mask onto her face, casting her into the mental artificial gestalt reality... which takes the incredible form of the Powell Estate in Cardiff.

The Leader reveals that its body is dying and wishes to plug the Doctor into the computer net so it can take over his body – yes, once again an incredibly gentle philanthropist turns out to be a megalomaniac intent on conquering the entire universe. The Doctor has a mask forced on him, but escapes into the Powell Estate and meets up with Rose. But the Leader sends an army of Jackies after them both, causing a lengthy chase around the flats.

But the ghosts who leered at Rose earlier on prove to be rebellious Units who refuse to lose access to a hot babe like her, and the Leader has to put down this revolt with some similarly revolt-ing porn pop ups – but the distraction allows the Doctor to become a ghost and use funky telekinetic energy to force a mask on top of the Leader' mask.

Trapped in a mental feedback loop, capable only of sending orders to himself, the Leader stands around for the rest of its life not doing a damn thing while everyone else returns to reality and run away, leaving it to die alone, unmourned and unloved.

So a happy ending all round there then.

Mr. Natural
Mike Tyson is a chronically depressed 26-year-old janitor at KFC, who lists his interests as Kettle Chips, model sail boats, Natalie Imbregulia and living with his mother. One night, he is kidnapped by aliens who believe him to be the reincarnation of Shogalath, a war criminal responsible for overthrowing the Vandos Imperium.

The Doctor, idly watching the court case on cable television in the TARDIS, decides this is "OJ all over again" and lands aboard the Vandos spaceship orbiting Cardiff. Looking to impress Rose, the Doctor uses his handy-dandy psychic passport to convince the aliens he is Hyper-Temporal Magistrate Authorized Wandering Lawyer and decides to save Mike with the lethal Traffikanti Defense.

Unfortunately, Shogalath has already been tried and convicted, so the aliens don't have to piss about with any of that trial business and can get on with the executing bit. Luckily, Rose has mistaken the flight computer nerve cluster for a vending machine and her attempts to get it to dispense a packet of fags knocks the spaceship out of orbit.

The Doctor and Mike flee, but the aliens send their hideous exoskeletal squid-like bailiffs to chase the duo and Rose through the interior of the ship, which is apparently more complicated than Croydon's branch of IKEA. As they flee back to the TARDIS, the panic-stricken Mike holds tight to his bucket full of cleaning fluid, the only link back to his real, normal life which rather disturbingly reminds Rose of Mickey Smith.

Hastily, the Doctor snatches the bucket off Mike and throws the ammonia-soaked soapy water onto the floor, which luckily happens to be lethal to the bailiffs, who write in agony allowing the Doctor, Rose and Mike to escape in the TARDIS.

The Doctor contacts the aliens and tell them to sling their hook, get lost, take a powder and piss off – in that order. The aliens threaten to incinerate the whole of Wales unless Mike is returned to them, but the Doctor gets down on his knees and begs them to do it. "Bigger, smarter and uglier aliens than you have tried, but you never know, you might just get lucky!"

The Vandos ship opens fire on Cardiff... but thanks to Rose's jigger-pokery earlier, the offensive systems cause the space ship to explode in a really expensive CGI effect. The Doctor sighs and headbutts the console for a while.

Eventually, he calms down and takes Mike back to Cardiff, revealing that these aliens were a loony cargo cult furious that Shogalath, a heavy-weight anti-gravity boxer, beat their rival in the first round. As the Doctor mocks the idea that people can die and be reborn in a new body with less embarrassing facial features, Mike departs with a new appreciation for life, violence and blood-soaked carnage.

So a happy ending all round there then.

Loopy Logic Tests
A message arrives at UNIT HQ in the language of the Slitheen. If you happen to be able to share the Time Lord gift of instant translation, you will know the message says "BEWARE THE K9" and if you’re REALLY bloody clever, you can decode that message to find out what the hell RTD was on about with that story arc buzzword.

The UNIT initiation test separates the men from the boys and the pedantic jerks from the useful members of society with smart alec trick questions like "Can you spell it? I-T! Hahahahahah!"

Elsewhere the Doctor has to answer such brain-twisting questions as "what colour is the TARDIS?" and "do the doors open inwards or outwards?" before the Milliways staff will return his time machines.

Rose Tyler EXPOSED!!
Even more disappointingly-inaccurately-titled article revealing the sordid life of Jackie Tyler and her sweet, virginal angel Rose whose nastiest experiences behind the bike shed involved being made to pick up papers during lunch by a vengeful geography teacher. The fact that Rose has lead such a kind and blameless life with no drug abuse, prostitution, pregnancy scares or even filming a porno with Mickey mean the author seemingly goes mad with boredom and starts writing any old shit off the top of his head.

Either that or RTD really DOES think that Rose is:
an experienced belly dancer
confirmed vegan
of Polish decent
a stunt driver for Gone In 60 Seconds with Christopher Eccleston as her pimp
a qualified scuba diving teacher
assistant stage manager on David Tennant's Hamlet
a scorpion trainer
ran away to join the circus as a celebrated condom-full-of-heroin-swallower
wrote Xtro II
was born in South Africa
taught Alan Moore how to draw
hijacked an ambulance and nearly ran over Cherie Blair
once snogged Madonna AND Britney Spears at the same time live on MTV
designed the BMV
written a West End musical based on the US space program
came up with the idea of tachyonics
has had lovechildren with both Bodie AND Doyle from "The Professionals"
is a direct descendant of Genghis Khan (or, more likely, Nabil Shaban)
is one of a set of identical quintuplets including Hyacinth, Daisy, Violet and Dutch Elm Disease
part-time solicitor at the criminal court of justice who personally got OJ off a murder charge but magnanimously allowed Johnny Cochran to take credit for it
is an honorary member of the Garrick gentleman's club
once murdered a church warden over a can of Tizer,
sang in a Liverpool-based Beatles tribute band playing the flute, guitar and piano simultaneously during a round of golf
was imprisoned by the Japanese during World War II
is the reincarnation of Maid Marion
wrote this article.

Out of curiosity, the Doctor deliberately pilots the TARDIS towards Cardiff in the off-chance this might land him somewhere... anywhere... else. But no. That's just too damn much to ask, isn't it? The time machine arrives in the city with unerring accuracy, arriving in the eighth millennium, where mankind finally comes crawling back to Earth after it finally stops being a radioactive mudball of ruins and weird Bender-like robots.

The Doctor and Rose are neither surprised nor impressed to find a muddy meadow in the rain, but after six thousand years the rain has somehow evolved and become sharp enough to cut through human skin. Whimpering pathetically, the pair of them find a flimsy shelter containing the Jerk family, three Jerks of various ages who are such Jerks that spending six weeks in a bunker hiding from rain that has slaughtered most of the human colonists haven't changed them at all. They just sit around all day bitching about how if television hadn't gone out of fashion, they could have lived as asteroid-to-asteroid salesmen instead of New Welsh colonists.

After about five minutes with the Jerks complaining that the Doctor and Rose are hogging all the food, drink and air, the Time Lord decides he's starting to sympathize with the sentient rain of terror trying to wipe out every last one of the greedy bastards. Rose finds the sound of the rain hypnotic compared to the sneering Jerks she almost walks out into the rain to escape them.

The Doctor finally realizes that the colonists are just as moronic as their Welsh ancestors and haven't realized that boiling rain for drinking water is just going to keep pissing off the sentient liquid and make it angrier than ever. He leaves the shelter to communicate with the rain, hoping to convince it to let him and Rose go, but tragically it proves all too bleeding reasonable and allows the Jerk family, the only colonists left alive in Wales, to return to their ship and leave.

Disgusted, the Doctor and Rose run off, hoping that the rain might be lying and slaughter the Jerks. Ironically, the Jerks are explaining how inspired they've been by the Doctor, vowing to overcome their bitterness and become true individuals when the rain comes down and slices them to pulp.

So a happy ending all round there then.

Doctor Who – Behind the Scenes!
The stuff so hot they couldn't show it on Doctor Who Confidential and are instead printing as wild, spurious speculation and slander here because no one is sad enough to read it! Find out what that bicycle pump in the TARDIS is REALLY for, which pharmaceuticals lead to the design of the revamped Dustbins, the sordid details of Christopher Eccleston's failed career as a lounge singer, and where that infamous nude illustration of Billie Piper came from! Remember, this was BEFORE Secret Dairy of a Call Girl and any images of Rose in the nip were treated with the same reverence as the Turin Shroud, whereas nowadays seeing her in the altogether is only interesting if she’s doing it with blokes who might be playing the next Doctor.

What I Did on My Summer Vacation by Calvin, Boy of Destiny!
12-year-old Calvin is stuck writing a stupid essay about all the amazing brilliance he experienced for those three glorious months he wasn't being forced to suffer public schooling.

While developing a transmogrifier out of an old cardboard box with his pal Hobbes the cynical tiger, Calvin finds the words "HELP ME, CALVIN! 24/12/1985" written under the peeling wallpaper of his bedroom. Curious, Calvin and Hobbes investigate and, with the aide of Tracer Bullet, alcoholic PI (actually one of Calvin's less interesting split-personalities) find a box of photographs of that year's Christmas party. Bizarrely, they all feature a guy with big ears wearing a leather jacket holding up a sign saying, "FOR FUCK'S SAKE, CALVIN, GET ME OUT OF HERE!!"

Further instructions are written under the bathroom tiles, and Calvin and Hobbes follow them, building a time machine out of a completely different cardboard box and travel back to 1985. There they meet the Doctor, who explains that his time machine hiccuped and left him stranded alone. He has been able to communicate with Calvin because he’s reading the assignment he's going to write for his homework, which he got thanks to some wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey predestination paradox.

Thanking the duo for their help, the Doctor steals their cardboard box time machine and uses it to find his TARDIS, leaving them marooned in 1985 in his stead. On the bright side this means that it will be many years before Calvin next has to go to school.

So a happy ending all round there then.

I love consistency, don't you?

Not-at-all disappointingly-inaccurately-titled article explaining what in the name of Slitheen buggery a police box actually is and why only readers' square grandparents would ever have seen one in real life. It also recounts in depressing detail all the Eighth Doctor adventures that turned a gleaming white spaceship control room into what looks like a patchwork lump of coral underneath Brighton Pier.

TV/Other Related -
The Dr Who Annual 1970
Doctor Who: Blank
Dr Who & The Undertaker & The Writer
Rains of Terror

Goofs –
Surely if Rose was as loose and sensuous as she was in these stories, then the Doctor, Mickey, Adam and indeed K9 would have got to fourth base with her over a couple of drinks! This is ROSE not CHARLEY!!

Links and References -
The Doctor notes the hundreds of other World Distributor annual stories where he has encountered alien civilizations who rule by brainwashing their slaves and notes how they all seem to start in media res.

Doctor! Doctor! is set between The Presuming Ed and Alias of London, The Mask of Mascara occurs between The Monstrous Aside and Tittle Tattle, Mr. Natural is from somewhere between and I, Dustbin, Tittle Tattle takes place between SOS and Naïve Minimalism, and What I Did on My Summer Vacation by Calvin, Boy of Destiny! is actually the Tenth Doctor episode Blank from 2007. Fancy that.

Untelevised Misadventures -
The Doctor and Rose have apparently met Cicero and know him to be clean-shaven. Either that or they're just trying to take Dr Carrrrrrrr down a peg and get him to shut up for a moment.

Reader Reviews

A review by Nigel Verkoff:

A review by Ewen Campion-Clarke:
"Why is this annual so bleeding coy about the fact the one and only season with Eccleston in it killed him off three stories from the end? Why all the 'ooh, the Doctor may even change his face one day' after a seven-page article noting the previous eight times he bleeding did it? 'Ooh, Rose, maybe reincarnation IS possible!' OF COURSE IT'S BLOODY POSSIBLE, YOU LOOK LIKE DAVID TENNANT NOW! Is it so the kiddies won’t be reminded they forked out twenty bucks for this flimsy pamphlet of stories so pathetic they were turned into annual fodder about an actor who quit for still-unspecified reasons? Oh, protect the little children! Just as long as they have no access to the media and internet and notice that the very day they get this bloody book, the Tenth Doctor is on TV showing how damn bastard hard he is in comparison to the Manchurian Moron of yesteryear! Your target audience are supposed to be THAT ignorant, are they? Well, I say: GET OFF THE TITANIC, RTD, IT SUNK A LONG TIME AGO!!!"

A review by Andrew Beeblebrox:
"I disliked the Doctor’s line: 'Holding on with my fingertips against a huge enemy that wants to swallow me up, and I think it just might, cos I can't think of a thing to stop it." Uh-huh? In a throwaway seven-page story in a Doctor Who annual? You cheap tart, Carnall. You think he would have learnt from the NAs that having 'for the first time, Benny saw the Doctor truly frightened' in every book stopped working after the thirty-seventh time! YOU FOOL NO ONE!"

A review by Katy January:
"The only reason the profiles of the Ninth Doctor and Rose are interesting is because RTD wrote them and not some anonymous staffer. Which is a pity since they’re full of such retarded mistakes they might as WELL be by some anonymous staffer. In fact, how do we know that RTD wrote them at all? They could have put his name on any old rubbish. Mind you, it reveals that RTD considers the new series, old series, DWM comic strips, the New Adventures, the Radio Times short stories, the TV Movie and Big Finish canonical. But NOT the Eighth Doctor novels. Or Doctor Who Annuals. Freaky."

A review by Dave Restal:
"It’s so unfair. You never see Izzy get top billing like Rose did. And Izzy rocks. Even when she’s bright blue, with gills and dreadlocks. I’ll never score with Billie Piper, will I?"

From the Back Cover

Father James O'Maley says
"That page with Rose naked is worth the price of the hardback alone. It sure made MY back hard, ha ha ha ha. Oh, wait, that doesn't actually mean anything. What glorious netball-sized glands Tyler women possess, though. I think she might have some of Peri's genes in there..."

Rumors & Facts –

World Distributors, with their Latin motto of "ONLY FOR KIDDUS, THAT'LL DOUS" and a crest of a telephone and broken TV set representing phoning in stories about TV shows the writers never watched, hadn’t so much as thought about Doctor Who for ten years. But with the amazing return to action on television series, it was clearly time to cash in on it and provide the eerie existential whimsy, bizarre random half-page illustrations and 5000 words of space facts, hydra biographies and the development of the iPod that all those other tie-in bits of merchandise like the "3D Doctor Who Dossier" and the "Doctor Who Intergalactic Sticky Activity Book for Consenting Adults" could never provide.

Despite the fact that Doctor Who was the most popular show on television and billions of people worldwide were after more stories with the gritty Northern Ninth Doctor and his repeated failed attempts to bed the fan-TAS-tic Billie Piper, World Distributors were confident that their target audience would swallow the same incoherent and inaccurate crap as they had over the last 25 installments.

The 2006 Annual was already filled with draft stories of the Ninth Doctor, bedecked in a pinstripe suit with a super ray gun disguised a walking stick, traveling through the universe in his gyrating grey time machine which was in constant danger of being crushed by aliens who didn’t speak perfect BBC English. But the traditional World Distributors style was not prepared for the might of BBC Wales.

Having lived through over 20 ruined Christmases, Russell T Davies was not about to let it happen again and so created the brand new post of Brand Manager and gave it to a boy he fancied called Ian Gruffield to make sure no crap was allowed to be made under the glorious taxicab Farscape logo. No Dustbins Come Dancing, no action figures of a scarfless Fourth Doctor or a two-armed Lavros or a bright green K9, no FASA American role-playing adventure game books with gratuitous use of the word "plonker", no US Pina Colarta novelizations about jelly beans and UNIT spaceships, no Top Trump Cards where Annie Oakley is more powerful than the Cyberman, and NO shitty World Distributor Annuals!

RTD decided that he would have a collection of stories with a coherent vision inspired by the parent TV season and written by the same writers. Since World Distributors had done something similar in the first Hartnell and first Pertwee annuals, there was a precedent and so they were utterly stuffed. They weren’t even allowed to include articles on Sumerian mythology or the Mongol Empire in the 13th and 14th centuries, and their demands for educational articles only ended up with introductions to the Doctor, Rose, TARDIS and mini-interviews.

Broken, the company allowed RTD to send his boys round: Paul "Shagger" Carnall who had made grown men and a lot of insecure adolescents weep with his episode Death Day; Steven Moffat who had achieved the impossible and found mass popularity for discovering the British Public can’t handle a harmless six-year-old in a gasmask having a tantrum in Shell Shock; Rob Shearman who, after wiping out the biggest Doctor Who monsters ever in I, Dustbin, had vowed never to work on the TV series again; and Gareth Roberts, who was still patiently waiting to be allowed to write for the TV show instead of books, comics, interactive computer games and annuals based on the TV show. A comic strip was also provided kindly by Doctor Who Magazine on the grounds that if THEY used it, it would be one more month before they could start doing stories about the Tenth Doctor and Snotarans.

The first story, by Gareth Roberts, just goes to show why he’s more popular when he's writing for the Fourth Doctor and Romana, and why he can't STAND Hercule Poirot. This rabid Agatha Christie hatred would become very much the forefront of his 2008 episode, which just goes to show once again that if you want to delude yourself that the TV series is in any way original do NOT read the annuals.

Paul "Shagger" Carnall, suffering something of a backlash after the bollock-twistingly awful Pertwee wankstain the world calls I Scream 'Boom-Shaka-Laka', decided not to waste any precious genius this time round and instead came up with a straight Who story you could cut-and-paste back into an old World Distributors annual and no one would notice the difference. This is because it is actually an old World Distributors annual story called The Dream Masters with "Ben and Polly" scribbled out and "roSe TYleR" hastily scrawled over the top.

Rob Shearman, tired of the jaded show biz world and the endless rewrites, buried himself in a semi-autobiographical mood piece of sufficiently mature sobriety you can overlook the dedication to Shearman’s one true (and lost) love, a plum pudding. Ironically, despite the imaginative monsters and SF twists, Tittle Tattle follows the World Distributors' tradition of sneaking surprisingly thoughtful or downbeat stories into collections of kiddie fare. The only difference is he actually remembers the TV series the kiddie fare is based on, unheard of since 1966's David Pisstaker.

Finally, Moffat provided a hastily retooled Press Gang episode called "Chance Would Be A Fine Thing" with Calvin taking the role of Kenny Phillips, Lynda Day, Kenny Phillips' grandfather, and violent psycho Clerk Kent. The Doctor's role is split across the Dublin Girl, Spike Thompson, Colin Matthews and Judy Norton. But in a very gritty, masculine, Northern sort of way in sparkling first-person narration that makes Calvin such a real person in comparison to Sally "No Prior Life Or Identity" Sparrow on TV.

And, as with his TV era, the annual contains the running theme of Eccleston's Doctor letting someone else save the day, with his role being that of catalyst and inspiration and desperately trying to get into Rose's oh-so-tight jeans. In the stories, the Doctor expands the mental horizon of some guy or other, and changes the lives of Mike Tyson, Andy Donthaveone, and even Calvin the Boy of Destiny. For these people, meeting the Doctor isn't merely a spin in the spotlight, but a life-changing experience that makes them reevaluate themselves and their place in the universe. They do fuck all afterwards, but it's the thought that counts – right, kids?

The finished product would paint a powerful portrait of the Doctor's power to change lives... or at least photoshop an image with those basics, anyway. It's an uplifting, empowering message and one that gives the book its own distinctive character compared to past Doctor Who annuals where he just blew the alien fuckers' heads off after four pages and went home.

As The Michaelmas Evasion debuted on British television, Doctor Who was more popular than it had been for decades and all the merchandise that had discarded the show over the years came back with a vengeance – Might Midget TV Comic 21 was willing to start publishing new strips with the Ninth Doctor in a pinstripe suit and bowler hat driving Bessie with Rose (with her brunette hair in a bandana) and fighting the evil moustached, eyepatched Ricky Smith, for example; while Target prepared a novelization of Alias of London, Doctor Who And The Dead Ringers Election Special with a cover showing a blurry photo of Christopher Eccleston looking half-asleep.

And Nigel Verkoff (under the cunning penname of "The Supreme Lizard Whisperer of Helotrix Major") had already written his entry for the 2006 Doctor Who Annual in traditional World Distributors style complete with horribly authentic illustrations of helicopters, Joanna Lumbley from The New Avengers, Hammer Horror Reptile Woman, something that looks vaguely like a police box and a 20-year-old picture of Eccleston turned negative.

Well, they just HAD to include it in the finished book, didn’t they?

Be afraid...

Vice from the Vortex!
"Stop children, what's that sound? Everybody look what's going down!" said Dr Who, idly tinkering underneath the non-Euclidean control desk of the spaceship HMS Tardis.

Rose Tyler bitched. "Honestly, doctor," she bitched, "you promised we'd be landing on Cervical by now!"

"Patience, my dear girl," advised the time lord. "Just as soon as I've whacked the transporting computer of Tardis with this here twelve-pound lump hammer, we'll be on our way. You'll just love Cervical – the three-gonaded family of my close friend Smeg aren't among my closest friends, but they're easily conned into giving us food, cash and a bed for the night. I wonder how his daughter Tit is doing with her studies at the Cervical Polyversity in Advanced Slut Whoredom?"

Rose bitched and flopped into the Doctor's beloved new beanbag. She was beginning to wonder if they'd ever get to Cervical, and she was thinking longingly of her home in the peaceful village of Cardiff. Just as she was about to berate the Doctor for the upteenth time, Tardis shook from side to side.

"Sizzling satellites! Check the plugs, Rose!" mewed Dr Who.

Rose bitched and ran to the power point, but before she could reach it she heard a terrifying booming voice booming out in blood chilling tones that chilled her to the very blood.


"Doctor!" bitched Rose as Tardis stopped shaking like a Parkinson's sufferer sitting on a washing machine on the San Andreas fault. "What was that?"

The doctor shook his head. "I've no idea," he said, seemingly at a loss for words. Apart from those words he just said, of course.

"I thought you said Tardis was soundproof," she bitched at him.

"She is," the scientist confirmed. "Just not very well. When we're travelling through the greyness of the inter-dimensional flux, no sound should be able to penetrate in here."

"So what was that which we just heard just now we did?" Rose shuddered. "Not the kind of voice you'd ever want to hear! It was like Nicholas Briggs on dope!"

If sound had to penetrate the cozy inner sanctum of Tardis, Rose reflected, why couldn't it have been something nice like the music of one of her favorite modern Earth pop groups such as Dexy’s Midnight Runners or at a pinch Madness?

The doctor pointed to the control desk accusingly, where a familiar light marked 'COMING INTO LAND' was flashing. "It seems we're coming in to land," he pointed out like the complete tool that he was. "Switch on the observation window my dear."

Rose flipped him the bird, but did it anyway and they and turned to look at the observation window. An eerie green planet covered in emerald mist was looming up like a fried breakfast first thing after a hangover from the previous night's hard drinking. "Is that Cervical?"

"Certainly not!" huffed Dr Who, having just noticed the planet had a rather rude name now he came to think about it. "In all my five minutes of star trekking across the universe, Tardis has never been dragged off course like this. Never! Well, once. Maybe twice. All right, no less than twenty times a week. Hang on, Rose, dear, why am I even TELLING you this?!"

The time-travelling pair clutched a stuffed panda panel as Tardis descended with its familiar high-pitched bleeping sound like an attempt to censor Ozzy Osbourne's expletives. With a soft thump it settled on to the mysterious green planet in the exact same way that a bowl of petunias doesn't.

Then there was only silence. Until Rose opened her goddamn mouth again, anyroads. "What are we going to do now, Doctor?" bitched Rose, clutching her lycra gym-slip ever tighter about her truly fantastic tits the planet's icy coldness wafted through the observation window and made her nipples go all hard.

"Only one thing we can do, Rose," said the doctor, trying to comfort her with a reassuring bit of sexual harassment. "Go out and find out who that voice was and where we are." He operated the door opening device before Rose could point out that that was actually TWO things...


The mood lighting of the green planet's three hot pink-suns and eleven fecal-brown moons made Rose want to strut her funky stuff as she stepped from Tardis after the doctor. She watched with subtle arousal as he closed the big green door of Tardis with his ultra psychic screwdriver as per bleeding usual. "Has this got anything in any way relevant to do with that mystery voice we were just listening to?" she bitched. "There's nothing here but bleak green nothingy barrenness!" She gestured around at the stock gravel quarry.

"Tsk, tsk, my girl," tutted the Doctor, popping the ultra psychic screwdriver back into his codpiece. "There’s always something to see on any planet. Why, I remember thinking your little planet was quite boring when I first visited your planet a couple or so appearances back... oh, wait, you're from Earth, aren't you? Not Bortresoye. Forget I said anything."

Rose bitched. "But there really is nothing here! At least on the planet Earth I could get myself a burger and fries or go to the disco and get indecently assaulted by some of those nice young chaps from the local housing estate!"

The words had barely left her mouth when there came a terrifying rumble.

"Pardon me. Must have been the beef," admitted the doctor who was gripped with gastroenteritis.

The words had barely left his mouth when there came ANOTHER terrifying rumbling and the grey shingle around them started to shiver and shake, for goodness’ sake. A creature the likes of which Rose Tyler could never have been assed to dreamed of suddenly emerged from the pebbles in front of them yet behind them simultaneously. It was like a cross between a wobbygong, a Spanish omelet, a Starship Troopers monster and a chesterfield sofa. One hideous eye gazed down balefully at them while the other scanned a Sudoku book. Rose screamed. The doctor screamed. The creature screamed.


Rose bitched – where had she heard that before? Oh yes, she suddenly realized with the force of a disintegrating comet right up her spinal column, it was the same evil voice she had heard in Tardis! Only a non-functional retarded grass-munching herbivore could have thought otherwise! This strange alien was obviously the owner of the voice! Though, mind you, the voice was completely different. It was really just the words alone if she thought about it.

Rose intrinsically hid herself in the folds of Dr Who's flowing cloak, which she just happened to have to hand. "That hideous monster– it's some kind of creature!" she yelled, rather redundantly.

"HISTORY NEVER REPEATS I TELL MYSELF BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP!" the creature roared again just in case the audience hadn't got the message.

"Hmm," the doctor-like scientist hmmmed. He stepped forward and addressed the monster. "Now listen. Who are these dissenters of Vraak of whom you speak, eh, my good man?"

The monster didn't answer, wondering where the hell this "Vraak" business had come from while Rose bitched and wondered if the creature would turn out not to be evil after all, but hard-done-by and deserving of their regard, and maybe even eventually their love. She wondered if she might become friends with it – though taking it back home to meet her mum and dad would be a problem and a half! Because her dad was dead and her mum would try and sleep with it, if she was honest.

But the doctor's words of baffling crap had barely left his mouth when – like so often things left people's mouths today - the creature reared up, bellowed and roared, as if about to swallow the both of them as easily as LOST might swallow a social life of one of its fans.

Quicker than you could say antidisestablishmentarianism, Dr Who pulled his motherfucking matter phaser sub machine gun from his familiar jockstrap and fired his load into the creature's hungry maw with absolutely NO sexual subtext of any kind whatsoever and it fell back and died with a groan like the groan of a satisfied prostitute.

The Doctor mopped his brow with a mop he kept for such occasions since he had uncontrollable sweat glands, kind of like Brendan Fraser in that remake of "Bewitched" when he became that basketball player who sweated one hell of a lot. It was just like that. "That was Freudian, Rose. Quick, back into Tardis and away. There might be more of these beasts and things could get VERY predictable indeed."

Rose gladly obeyed as she was a woman and had no will of her own..


A weird collection of dashes and zeroes later, and Tardis was once again on its journey through space like every proper time machine should. Rose bitched and watched as the doctor toyed with a Character Options "Alias of London" walkie-talkie set available from all good retailers for a very low price, and noticed a frown besmirching his usually dead hard, dead gritty, and above all dead Northern features.

"What's wrong?" she bitched. "We escaped from the monster, didn't we? Or have I got dreams mixed up with reality again?"

Dr Who looked up, and Rose saw a tear descending down his incredibly-difficult-to-draw cheek. "I've just checked the destination settings, Rose. That planet, the planet that we were just on, the planet we've been to, the only planet involved in this story, was..."

"Yes?" she prompted, assuming rightly that he’d forgotten his lines.

"It was... Earth! At some point in the future! The year two thousand and one by your own primitive Anno Domini calendar!"

Rose bitched and pondered his words. "That was... Earth?" she murmured, finally wrapping her chav brain around the concept.

Dr Who nodded and blubbed. "And that's what will happen to your planet unless you humans learn not to give money to Chris Lilley!" He collapsed, sobbing uncontrollably like a baby in torment.

Rose Taylor bitched.

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