Friday, January 1, 2010

9th Doctor - The Empty Child (ii)


With nothing else to lose, the Doctor steps forward and addresses the gas-masked zombies and tells them: "I AM A GOD OF THE FOURTH! AND YOU LOT CAN JUST PISS OFF BACK HOME!"

To his relief, they bow their heads sadly and return to their beds.

"Fancy that – some webcasts ARE canon after all!"

Parte The Third

Once the immediate crisis passes, Jack regains some of his swagger and announces that if the people of 1941 can't hold their liquor, it's not his fault and he's getting the hell out of here.

The empty child wanders off home, sadly, and Nancy is caught by the Lloyds when the all-clear sounds. Arthur realizes that Nancy has been looting their house but Nancy uses a craft mixture of psychology and latent homophobia to not only escape, but also get the loot AND a torch, wire cutters and a musical toilet paper holder.

What a girl. I wish she was the new companion. Sigh.

The Doctor takes Rose and Jack to room 101, boring the hell out of the others about the time he blew up the 51st-century factories and replaced them with banana groves due to the Time Lord's strange banana fixation – an idea which has fueled many a slashy fanfic.

Room 101 is a room. Uh, where the empty child spent a few days before going on a rampage. The Doctor manages to make this amazing logical deduction that the little kid in the gas mask is somehow connected to the hospital-full of people in gas masks. Wow.

The empty child arrives, prepared to crash out and sleep off the booze, but instead starts asking the three time travelers if they are his mummy. Shock horror.

Jack points his gun at the child, only to discover that he's now holding a banana and that the Doctor has the gun. The Doctor disintegrates a hole in the wall, and as soon as he, Rose and Jack have leapt through, Jack grabs back his gun and reintegrates the wall. Why they didn't dis-re-integrate the empty child, I don't know.

The other gas mask zombies lurch towards them. Very slowly.

Luckily, a trapdoor in the floor opens at that precise moment and the trio are saved. They end up in the ward below and flee into an empty office – that is, an office that's empty rather than a freaky gas mask-wearing room asking for its mummy.

Jack decides this is getting too silly and vanishes when the Doctor points the banana at him.

"Oh yeah! I lurve bananas! Bananas are good!"

Nancy returns to an abandoned house and disbands her gang of underage thieves – she's determined to break into the bomb site and nick something, anything, in the hope that the empty child will leave them alone. And also for some cash.

Jack has used his emergency teleport to return to his ship, but it's going to take some time for him to bypass its security codes and rescue Rose as well. He contacts them by using his omni-comni-domni-bromni-link, which allows him to speak through anything with a speaker grille - just like the child.

"Doesn't seem so creepy now, does it?" the Doctor muses, before demanding that he get rescued along with Rose or else.

The Doctor does not believe Jack will rescue them. Maybe it's just the fact that the guy's a self-proclaimed criminal who dragged them here in the first place and insulted their clothes, got Rose wasted, tried to shoot a four-year-old child AND dissed the sonic screwdriver before vanishing in a puff of boredom, but the Doctor just doesn't trust him.

Rose claims that Jack is a lot like the Doctor, except that he does not have a strange banana fetish. The Doctor is put out by Rose's assumption that he fetishes fresh fruit, and just then they are both teleported up to Jack's ship before the conversation can go any further. Thankfully.

There, the Doctor hastily changes the conversation and makes the floating nanogenes aboard the ship spell out the words JACK IS A WANKER and announces that the time ship is stolen from the Tudor people as well. He then accuses of Jack of copy-catting the Time Lord's MO.

Jack realises that the Doctor doesn't trust him, but admits to Rose that the Doctor might have good reason; the Time Agency took two years of Jack's memories away from him while he was still an Agent himself, and he has no idea what he did in that missing time.

"Of course, it might not have been the Time Agency. Maybe it was just one too many Ossbossan Soul-Killers. Either way, I was stuffed."

Elsewhere, Nancy easily breaks into the bomb site, and is just as easily captured by some anachronistic UNIT troops and locked up next to a wasted soldier named Jenkins who admits he has a curious craving for putting on a gasmask and crying for his mummy.

Proving herself far more intelligent than any UNIT officer, Nancy is not surprised that the empty child virus is present in her jailer. Though her grunting, "Yeah, am I your mummy, get on with it" in an unimpressed fashion does kill any possible tension in the scene.

The Doctor, Rose and Jack arrive at the crash site, and Rose offers
to distract the guard on duty; however, Jack recognizes him as Algy and Jack sets off to 'distract' Algy himself, and the Doctor explains that the people of the 51st century are a bit more flexible when it comes to... well, screwing just about anything that moves.

"But yet there is still so much intolerance over bananas, Rose. Sometimes I wonder if there is any hope for the future," the Doctor weeps and that Enya crooning begins in the background.

However, when Jack greets Algy, it becomes apparent that Algy now has the brain power of a concussed four-year-old asking for its mummy. I would say Jack would have to be incredibly moronic not to connect this behavior with the empty child, but maybe underage head injuries are his major turn-on and he thinks Algy is just playing along.

Algy puts on a gas mask and starts to wander in search of his mummy.

The Doctor and Rose rush forward, but the Doctor now knows that the infection has gone airborne, and it could strike at any time. There could be only hours before the entire human race is affected.

"Humanity will be completely pissed! And not in the American sense!"

Parte the Fourth

Just in case you'd forgotten (and, frankly, I wouldn't blame you if you had), there is an air raid on and thanks to Jack's piloting skills the Tudor canister is directly under the bombing run.

The Doctor decides if he's going to be turned into a gas-mask-wearing drunk for the rest of eternity, he's going to get drunk one last time. He is distracted at the last moment by the noise of singing from the nearby shed and decides to investigate, banana at the ready.

There he finds the terrified Nancy singing 'My Way' with the gas-masked Jenkins as the virus makes him want to karioke.

The Doctor frees her and takes her to the cylinder, idly wondering if she might want to travel with him through time and space in a police box because, frankly, the latest girl just isn't working out.

Jack punches in the release code and the cylinder opens to reveal...'s empty! All the alien hootch has been drunk!

On top of THIS calamity, all the gas-masked zombies in the hospital detect the fumes of alcohol and rise from their beds, marching towards the crash site for more liquor.

Rose orders the Doctor to, for once, tell them what he knows about the situation rather than wait for everyone else to figure it out and insult them for not thinking faster.

The Doctor grouchily explains that the 'plague' are just nanogenes from Jack's stolen Tudor space ship that got completely wasted on the alcohol fumes and have been mindlessly re-writing DNA of humans after they woke up, hungover on the corpse of a gas-mask wearing child.

"They were so plastered they could barely tell flesh from rubber and thought Jamie's internal injuries were supposed to be like that. When they finally sobered up they realized their mistake and, instead of doing the sensible thing like changing him back to normal they instead are turning every living thing on this planet into a gas-mask monster. But do not despair – I have a plan!"

The Doctor decides to spend his last few minutes watching Series 7 of Red Dwarf on a portable DVD player. He explains that, as the first episode "Tikka to Ride" held the clue as how to restore history last week when Rose saved her dad from his death, surely the last episode "Nanarchy" should help them out now.

Guess what? It does!

Jack swears loudly and teleports himself to safety.

Nancy breaks down in tears as the zombies approach and reveals she is, in fact, Jamie's mother. For reasons that aren't gone into here, she pretended to be his sister. Guess it seemed like a good idea at the time, and I bet Nancy gets more blokes if they DON'T know she's got a kid, so fair enough.

Nancy suggests that if she reveals this to Jamie they might stop the endless "Are you my mummy?" shite and save the day.

"No!" the Doctor roars. "I thought up something else first. And I'm the Time Lord here, so shut up! I'll just reprogram the nanogenes with one of these..."

He produces a timid lab rat from his pocket.

"...and one of these!"

In his other hand is a banana.

Rose begins to weep with embarrassment.

"Everyone knows that human DNA is fundamentally just the DNA of a rat mixed with the DNA of a banana! Time to save the day!"

Just then, a large bomb drops out of the sky and is teleported away at the last moment by Captain Jack in his ship. As the Doctor shouts loudly that HE was going to be the one to save the day for once, Jack flicks him the V sign and powers off into space.

The Doctor shrugs and zaps the zombies who sober up, take off their gas masks and wonder why the hell that they're all gathered in a disused railway station. The OND takes command and the Doctor and Rose sod off in the TARDIS as the former lists the amazing abilities of bananas and how they really aren't appreciated enough in society.

As the scotsman returns to make a bundle of cash selling on the nanogenes to the third-solar-system planets with the aid of OND and the Face of Bond, Nancy is free to once more hang around singles bars while Jamie wanders around during an air-raid learning the tricks of the trade from his fellow urchins.

Aboard the TARDIS, the Doctor feels rather put out. True, he has resolved anything but there were no fantastic explosions or horrible gorey deaths. Bit of a wasted night, all in all.

Rose asks after Captain Jack and the Doctor is confident that the smug bastard is alive and well. Not even he would be stupid enough to take the bomb INSIDE his ship, and even if he has he's obviously aware that the tractor beam and teleport can get him out of danger.

It's not like he's just twigged that the ship is about to blow and has decides to drown his sorrows or anything like that, is it? Is it?

The Doctor sighs very loudly and Rose pouts until he sets the controls to take the TARDIS for Jack's ship.

Jack has indeed discovers that the bomb is about to explode and thanks to its shoddy German construction won't even stay frozen in a stasis field. He decides to start drinking martinis with too much vermouth in the hope he will get so pissed he will wake up in a bar somewhere two years later with no idea how he escaped. I mean, it worked last time.

Anyway, before he can try this, the Doctor clobbers him unconscious and drags him aboard the TARDIS. The Doctor justifies this GBH to Rose as a way of preventing the 'it's-bigger-on-the-inside' conversation.

The Doctor sets the TARDIS in motion and as Jack's ship explodes, the Doctor insists Rose not flirt with such a camp character.

"Who are you calling camp?!" Jack demands, waking up.

"You, Jack! You see, this is you: Eeny-meeny-decca-meanie-oo-wop-bop-a-leeny-atchie-katchie-Liberace-I-love-you!" the Doctor squeaks as he prances around the TARDIS console acting effeminately.

Rose and Jack are bemused, but grateful at least he's not doing anything with a banana.


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