Friday, January 1, 2010

9th Doctor - Father's Day (ii)

Links and References -
Rose first mentioned her father's close relationship with Santa Claus in The Presuming Ed.

Untelevised Misadventures -
Well, there are some comic strips and novels that could conceivably fit before and after this story, but they're crap and should be ignored.

K9 Conspiracy –
In this episode, the graffiti phrase "K9 IS COMING!" is visible on a rave poster near the Doctor and Rose. That's just creepy, that is.

Subtext? WHAT Subtext? -

The presence of the child-Mickey raises the question of why he runs to Rose when he cannot recognize her. The reason probably stems from the same impulse that causes Pete Tyler to give Rose the car keys automatically; more than just vaguely fancy her, Pete feels an instinct to trust her in the hope he might get a shag.

Similarly, Mickey feels intense sexual desire for the woman he will go out with in the future, even though he neither recognizes her nor understands why he feels that way.

Considering that the story features telephones echoing Alexander Graham Bell's first naughty phone message, and a car trapped in an endless loop, Mickey's lust over Rose may be another of the future echoes and strange understandings unleashed by interfering with time.

Either that or Mickey was a randy little bastard as early as five.

Groovy DVD Extras –
Billie Piper's appearance on Parkinson, where she suffered ten minutes of put-downs, patronizing remarks and lewd looks before she snapped. Also the news reports, trial dramatization and her next appearance on Parkinson later that year.

Psychotic Nostalgia –
}incoherent, strange lizard impersonation{

Viewer Quotes -

"Death Day was self-aware, so much so that it actually fell into the age-old trap of not making any sense. At all. My psychoanalyst started dribbling after he watched this. Just sat there, blowing saliva bubbles. But the sight of hot x-x-x Billie-on-Billie action can do that to a guy." - Kevin Stoney (2005)

"In fact, the Doctor's little speech in this is a summary of Carnall's wold view – 'Who said you're not sexy?'... It's something I find endlessly admirable. And ever so slightly kinky."
- Andrew Beeblebrox (2005)

"I really cried - it wasn't trite, or cliche, or overly done, or maudlin or anything - it was perfectly acted and scripted, and evoked genuine feeling. But then trans-temporal sex appeals to me. Apart from that, the series has gone to the dogs without me."
- Nigel Verkoff (2005)

"For an intelligent, strong, smart person capable of dealing with strange and dangerous circumstances better than most, Rose Tyler wears entirely too much mascara. And she really does have some honking big front teeth, doesn't she?"
- Eve Markson (2004)

"I could have written that!"
- J.K. Rowling (2005)

"My senile budgerigar says that there's a subtext that the Doctor wants to have sex with Rose Tyler. Where the hell did THAT come from?!"
- George W Bush (2006)

Billie Piper Speaks!
"Shagging an earlier version of yourself in front of over a million viewers on Saturday night at eight o'clock. I haven't had to do that since The Canterbury Tales."

Christopher Eccleston Speaks!
"Death Day was my favorite episode. Not that that says much. I got three pay-checks for it, though."

Russell T Davies Speaks!
"Death Day? Is that the one with the guy who doesn't die, when he should die, because Rose saves him, thus being alive for Rose, so she doesn't need to go back to stop him dying, so she doesn't, so he dies, so she needs to go and stop him dying... Or was that Red Dwarf? I think it was Red Dwarf. That was funny."

Trivia –
The tale the Doctor is regaling Rose with at the start of the story is about the orgy with Mary Shelly and Lord Byron story the Eighth Doctor can't seem to shut up about in Shagged'er II, Sick Morning, Nowhere-Land and Zig-Zag-Gay-Ass.

Rumors & Facts –

Oh, bloody Carnall. Soppy-git-big-hippy-let's-set-everything-in-a-bloody-church-wet-blanket-ooh-everyone's-lovely-let's-put-touching-scenes-in, he's back again!

This might give the impression that I don't like Paul Carnall, and it IS slightly fashionable to write him off these days as a drippy, pretentious politically-correct sod.

So, yes, let's do that then!!

During the wilderness years between 1989 and 2003 when Doctor Who was no longer in regular production, Paul Carnall was at the crest of the wave of fans who took control of the franchise and began to fanwank furiously at the kitchen table.

Like syphilis, Carnall had been active in fandom for some time, with numerous publications in fanzines and Doctor Who Magazine all suggesting that Doctor Who would improve tenfold if the central character took over the government and saved the world from the hideous ape-like babwyns that currently perverted the course of existence!

But it was Carnall's debut novel, 1990's TimWorm: St Paul Letters To The Corinthians II, which charted the course for the then-nascent Doctor Who: The New Adventures range from Virgin Publishing by appealing to relentless angst, relentless fan-theory-speculation and relentless pop culture reference.

His second title, Rove And Law, introduced endurance-testing alcoholic lout Benny Summerfield, who would eventually be spun off into her own series of books and audio plays because no one else could be arsed to.

Carnall subsequently wrote No Plot, the first Missing Adventure novel Ghost Oprah, the acclaimed Bloomin Nature, and the fiftieth New Adventure, Four Funerals And A Happy Ending.

Later, he penned The Shadows Of Albion for BBC Books' series of Doctor Who novels as well as two titles – The Reservation Of The Scourge and Reasons To Care (the latter with his wife, Caroline Symcox) – for Big Finish Productions' line of Doctor Who so-called audio dramas.

Meanwhile, Carnall established a writing career away from Doctor Who as well and also that he was crap at it. He published two novels, Something Morose and British Summertime Of Doom, both of which can be found in remainder bins of any good bookstores and especially awful bookstores.

He also contributed scripts to a number of television programs, including Coronation Street, Casualty and Children's Ward mainly because he liked TV shows beginning with the letter C.

And for a time it appeared that Carnall would be charting the adventures of his own Ninth Doctor when he was asked to write I Scream Boom-Shaka-Laka, a 2003 animated BBC webcast in which Richard E Grant provided the voice of a new Doctor; further plans for this Doctor were scuppered by the announcement that Doctor Who would be returning to television in 2005.

Ha! I laugh at your misery, Carnall! And REG was crap, anyway!

Well-known for his ability to incorporate emotional content in Doctor Who albeit not very well, Carnall was asked to develop the episode in which Rose travels back in time to the day her father is killed, sobs a bit, writes a letter to Playboy, builds a bridge and gets over it.

This episode was entitled "The Amazing New Adventures of Doctor Who: the Last of the Time Lords from The Journeys of Rose Tyler Being a Fantastical Tale of a Young Earth Wanderer and Interplanetary Explorer within The Environs of A Gentleman's TARDIS Part Seven: Act One - The Young Miss Tyler Decides To Watch Her Father Repeatedly Die In A Motor Accident While The Doctor Speaks To Those That Knew Him".

Originally, the episode was envisaged as one in which Rose repeatedly observes his death while the Doctor speaks to those who knew Pete Tyler. Presumably this derived from the initial description of Rose as a self-hating drifter with a fetish for emotional pain and the Ninth Doctor as an on-the-scene crime reporter.

This outline began to change when Cornell sought to introduce a monster component to the storyline, which would hopefully now consist of more than grim montages and the song My Way being played in the background.

After suffering the hellish nightmare of I, Dustbin, Joe Ahearne was press-ganged into producing this story. Production began on October 26th, finished on October 24th and then started again on October 25th when it was discovered that the owner of St Eccleston's church was conducting diabolic black magic which in turned was causing a genuine time rift.

Luckily, despite the fact half of it didn't happen, it was recording and saved the special effects budget a full fifty-five pence.

Other locations, such as the drunken-piss up at the registry office for the Tyler wedding, was actually a boardroom in the offices of ITV Wales. Shaun Dingwell had hated ITV's lineup for years and the rest of the cast enthusiastically supported his suggestion to break in there, get ratted and write obscene graffiti on the walls.

Studio material, as usual, was completed at a warehouse in Newport where the cast where left to sober up and not released until they had recorded the rest of the episode.

The Dommervoy themselves were originally called the Reapers and Carnall depicted them as creatures identical to Barney the Dinosaur. In order to make them in any way threatening, the Reapers underwent a considerable evolution to become the classical cloaked Grim Reapers.

However, this proved too expensive and so a few Gentlemen outfits from Buffy the Vampire Slayer were used instead and were named Dommervoy (an anagram of Yovremmod, which is, in fact, total gibberish).

Another awkward moment came when it was realized that the baby portraying Rose C was found to not only be an orangutan but also had blue eyes when Billie Piper has brown. Awkwardly, an explanation was given that the baby had only been born a few hours before and thus its eyes were still blue.

The alternatives – rerecording the entire series with Billie Piper wearing contact lenses, or just giving the baby contact lenses – were ultimately abandoned, while the novelization of Death Day by Paul Carnall "Shackled Father Dead Past Zeitgeist Of Doom" has a prologue where Doctor C is left baby-sitting Rose C and shaving her body and giving her radical lighthouse laser surgery to change her eye colour.

The story's title shifted drunkenly from "Nothing Lasts Forever" to "Whatever Will Be" to "Sins of the Father, Prayers for the Dying" and "The Day Doctor Who Died Repeatedly", which was finally simplified to "Day Died Repeatedly Doctor" and then "Death Day".

Recording wrapped up around the start of December, despite the fact half the plot resolution had not been filmed. Ultimately, a few notes of the Who theme were played in the background over the final shot and it was hoped that anyone watching would just generally assume things worked out happily ever after.

Rumors have it that said ending would show Santa Claus fly out of the sky and kill every last Dommervoy with steak knives, but rumors also have it that Paul McGann would be reprising the role of the Eighth Doctor in this story with his Dustbin companion Adam Mitchell.

Death Day got a brilliant reaction from public and fans alike when it was broadcast. Anyone who didn't like it was accused of "hating emotion" or "not being broadminded enough" or simply "wankers" when what they really wanted was a story with some kind of plot that didn't TOTALLY reply on Rose being an incredibly screwed-up individual.

I hate people like that, don't you?

Next Time...
"Then why are we chasing it?"
"It's got a huge sign on the back saying 'CHASE ME', Rose! And it's about thirty seconds from the centre of Cardiff!"
"Rose! Think Vera Lynn!"
"Please let me in, mummy. Let me in. Seriously, this not funny any more. Let me in you mad old bitch or I'll call the cops!"
"You mustn't let him touch you! He'll get all excited!"
"Are you a doctor?"
"Depends. Are you a nurse?"
"They've all got the same tragic fetish – right down to the leather bondage masks and the furry knuckle dusters!"
"Sexual abnormalities... as a plague!"
"Shall we have a screw on the balcony?"
"Is that a cocktail name?"
"Oh, all right then."
"I like to think of myself as a swinger."
"I bet you do..."
...Shell Shock...


RTD was not so completely deranged when he cast Christopher "This Is Me Swanning Off!" Eccleston as the Ninth Doctor. A dozen other artistes were considered for the role and their audition tapes are transcribed here to show you the alternatives that made Chris Eccleston seem like such a sensible choice.

And lo, RTD found the perfect Doctor in the form of Anthony Stewart Head. Not only was Head willing to portray the character for a minimum of three years and, as long as Buffy and a certain brand of tea were not mentioned for cheap postmodern jokes, was quite happy to have the crap beaten out of him every week by the Moxx of Baloon.

It seemed for a moment like the one and only Ninth Doctor would be Head and Eccleston quietly forgotten like a rather embarrassing one night stand. However, tragedy struck through the re-filming of Death Day when Carnell's PC sympathies overloaded the limiter chip in his brain and produced some of the most contemptible 'right-on' material ever committed on screen.

Head quit Doctor Who after one scene. To be fair, the rest of the cast had quit long before that. Only with the ungodly powers of John Barrowman and some kangaroo tranquilizers was Billie Piper actually convinced to stay for the rest of the season.

Extract from "Doctor Who Discovers That Fools And Family Are Not What They Seem" Episode 1:

(Setting: The TARDIS control room. The Doctor [Anthony Stewart-Head] and Rose [Billie Piper] are present. The time rotor is at rest.)

Rose: Doctor, if you're so angry about the war in Iraq, pollution, women's rights, the environment and religious intolerance... why don't you DO something?!

Doctor: Oh, that's just typical of you, Rose! All human beings say that! Like I don't have enough to do, stopping other people killing you all in various messy ways!

(The Doctor thumps the console)

Doctor: Rose, look at the TARDIS - she might not work perfectly, and she might break down occasionally... every few hours... but she runs on vegetable oil. So, there!

Rose: (Arches eyebrow) Your spaceship runs on vegetable oil?

Doctor: Exactly.

Rose: And that works?

Doctor: No. You see, I converted the old girl to accept vegetable oil instead of a mixture of dwarf star alloy and mashed potato peelings in aspic.

Rose: And that didn't work?

Doctor: Well, actually it did. It worked perfectly. (Quickly) But the by-products. Dear God, Rose, the by-products!

Rose: Couldn't you just dump it into the sun or something?

Doctor: Definitely not, Rose! I signed a petition to stop people doing that! It's alright to start with, but then everyone starts doing it and THEN where would you be? By the way, where'd you get that hoodie?

Rose: Marks and Spencers.

Doctor: (Horrified) OH MY GOD! And the jeans? And are those shoes Nike? Are they leather? Please, don't let them be leather...

Rose: Hang about, what's that jacket made of then?!

Doctor: Um... Non-toxic plastic made from renewable biomass!

Rose: Bollocks! That's a dead cow!

Doctor: Died of old age! I knew her personally! And I'll have you know it's considered a great honor to donate your skin in that culture! But don't donate other people's... BIG mistake.

Rose: That's disgusting!

Doctor: Says Little Miss Wal-Mart!

Rose: Says Mr I'm-Not-Solving-Your-Problems-Unless-It-Suits-Me!

(A long pause.)

Doctor: Oh, sod it, then. We'll nip back, pick up Thatcher, and drop her on Alpha Centauri.

No comments: