Friday, January 1, 2010

9th Doctor - The Long Game (ii)

Links and References -
The Bastard appeared in the original Doctor Who series in twenty-seven stories appearing with the Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Doctors, plus meeting the first two in anniversary specials.
I swear he was in The Wank Games, but no one believes me.

The Face of Bond from The Restaurant At The End of the World makes a cameo appearance, as does Rose's mobile, flagging up how cheap the scripting is for this story.

Untelevised Misadventures -
The Doctor hasn't enjoyed a decent kronk burger since he single-handedly fought off the evil sentient electric blue twenty-two-sided furry dice of death at jello mountain on the planet Thribble.

K9 Conspiracy –
One of the news channels reporting the race is "K9 TV."

When Adam starts swearing at the injustices heaped on him, the bleeps actually spell out the phrase "K9, K9" in Morse Code.

Bastard: Create a climate of fear, and it's easy to keep the borders closed. It's just a matter of emphasis. The right word in the right broadcast repeated often enough can destabilize an economy, invent an enemy, change a vote. Well, that's what I think this K9 stuff is all about. A red herring.

Subtext? WHAT Subtext? -

The fact that there are no aliens at all on Satellite Five shows that the Moxx of Baloon is holding humanity back by shutting out access to cultural diversity, ideas, innovation and development.

Of course, I guess it would be a bit expensive to show all of the alien races in the human empire...

...So I guess this just proves that Doctor Who is as cheap as ever!

Groovy DVD Extras –
A scrapped Big Train sketch for the Doctor and Rose – set after The Restaurant At The End of the World, it showed the Doctor become extraordinarily touchy, and believing that Rose's requests for chips were unsubtle digs at the fact he no longer has a home planet.
The sketch ends with the Doctor slicing his own thumb off with the sonic screwdriver, calling Rose mental and announcing "You just won't let it drop, will you?! If you ever mention my not having a home planet again, I'll put your fucking HEAD THROUGH THE WALL!!!"

Psychotic Nostalgia –
"If it was so cold up there, shouldn't the nipples on Billy Piper and the other women been very erect? WHERE WERE THE NIPPLES? Well, actually, they're in a box over there. Bwa-ha-ha."

Viewer Quotes -

"There are many similarities to The Restaurant At The End of the World. Except one, this was shite." – (2005)

"Without doubt, the best thing about this episode is Suki. BRING – IT – ON!! Spectacular cleavage shots! What with all the cleavage, a phallic space station, a giant bitey nipple monster and Tamsin Greig in a nurses outfit, the whole thing positively THROBBED with sex! Pity about Adam though. What a turn-off." – Andrew Beeblebrox (2013)

"Mmmmm. Bitty." – Little Britain character (2005)

"Some great ideas, with quite a lot of good writing, there's something about The Long Haul that doesn't quite gel. With largely nondescript sets and a distinctively unremarkable villain in the form of Simon Pegg's Bastard, and possibly some poor choices by the director, the story is best summed up by the word average. Suki's tits, though, are fan-TAS-tic and give this episode an extra star."
- The Times Literary Supplement (2005)

"I was sorry Suki died though... I rather like the idea of a gun toting anarchist with a penchant for showing her cleavage.... would make a great companion for the Doctor when Rose leaves. Pity the Bastard got her first." - Dave Restal (2006)

"Why set a story in the year 200,000 and then dress everyone in some cheap high street bargains? Why does the Moxx want to set back human development? Why is it that this is the sixth villain in a row to be an evil businessman surrounded by zombies? Why is the CGI Moxx less convincing than a Bulgarian pin-up? And didn't we just watch all this in The Restaurant At The End of the World?! Still, Suki was hot."
- 'RTD Must DIE!' Fanzine Issue 21 (2005)

"That heavy cleavage shot as she grabbed the Bastard at the end and he struggled to get free - causing a rather engaging "jiggle"... I was transfixed. This is so much better that that crap about a Dustbin feeling lonely." - Average 11 Year Old Response (2005)

Billie Piper Speaks!
"Thank god we got rid of that annoying little virus in The Long Haul, that's all I can say. I found the retard stealing underwear from my dressing room and selling it on at eBay! I laughed when the floor crew threw him out of the window, I really did."

Christopher Eccleston Speaks!
"I really like the background detail to this Doctor. Not the Temporal Difference of Opinion, but the stuff about him shagging Paris, getting blitzed with Lloyd George and robbing ATM, going around the universe and having the most degenerate time ever! This Doctor is completely, utterly decadent! And that's FANTASTIC!!"

Nigel Verkoff Speaks!
"Am I not the coolest companion ever? In your face, Charley Pollard!

Suki, however, was a babe! She invoked my most necrophiliac feelings since I last watched Return Of The Living Dead Part 3! Suki may be dead but her cleavage will live on, if not forever, certainly during my life time!! I mean, there are nice tits and there are nice tits! HOORAY FOR BOOBIES! Indeed, my magnum opus 'A Critical History of Jacking Off To Doctor Who Stories' has a whole seventeen chapters devoted to this episode alone! She drained the old snake of so much baby batter I'm practically asexual! Suki is even better than Mary-Jane from The Restaurant At The End of The World – THAT'S how cool she is!! I kept telling RTD if he wanted the Yanks to buy the show then introduce female companions with massive breasts and tight T-shirts wielding machine guns!


Russell T Davies Speaks!
"You see, the problem is, I'd already raped and pillaged the original script for The Long Haul for The Restaurant At The End of the World, so, bar a few set pieces, it was effectively a repeat. So, before you complain that I can't write anything else but stories set on space stations orbiting Earth in the far future with a threat posed by a financially-motivated, easily-foiled non-humanoid villain with human servants with a cameo by James Bond and over-emphasis on companions, I'd like to point out that there are plenty of other stories fitting that description that I had absolutely no hand in whatsoever!"

Trivia –
Those stories RTD mentioned include... just about all of Doctor Who.

Rumors & Facts -

There are Doctor Who stories which we term neglected. Which begs the question, who decides what's neglected anyway, and who does the neglecting?

We could debate till the cows come home why Image of the Ken-Doll suffers 'neglect' but there is no doubt about the reasons why The Long Haul will, in twenty-minutes time be the least-noticed and reviewed story of 2005.

There are a number of superficial difficulties with The Long Haul - the setting is far too similar to The Restaurant At The End of the World for comfort, the idea that Moxx of Baloon is a worthy villain once again proves that Russell T Davies is a complete psychotic and there is a totally pointless plotline about the Face of Bond.

All of these pale into significance against the crucial flaw.

Nigel Verkoff as Adam Mitchell.

It became clear after two scenes of I, Dustbin, that Nigel Verkoff was not working out. His rampant sexual desire for Billie Piper was creating a tense atmosphere on set, not to mention the death threats he repeatedly gave Christopher Eccleston if he tried to upstage him. His wild unpredictable improvisation, while cementing Adam's character, prompted RTD to start a swear box and three studio managers resigned in quick succession rather than tell Verkoff to tone down his performance.

As Adam Mitchell was publicized as being with Doctor Who for the long haul, the executive producers had a brainstorming session and decided to dub the seventh episode of the series The Long Haul and write out Adam and Verkoff as soon as humanly possible.

The original slot for episode seven was The Don Juan and was a Big Brother-parody involving the Doctor and Rose encountering Einstein, Joan d'Arc and Captain Jack Sparrow in a reality game show run by the evil Moxx of Baloon. This was promptly scrapped, and RTD desperately searched for any average tosh that could be used.

He finally remembered "False Sincerity", a story line for the Fifth Doctor, Adric, Nyssa and Tegan he had submitted to John Satan-Turner in 1982, then again in 1983 as "Crass Media" for the Fifth Doctor, Tegan and Turlough, then again in 1985 as "Wet-Look Knit Wear" for the Sixth Doctor, Peri and Sil, then again in 1989 as "Bird's Eye Third Eye" for the Seventh Doctor, Ace and Cat Molester Jones.

Working from the original outline, which saw the Fifth Doctor and company arriving at Brand Hatch only for Adric to fall under the evil influence of the Bastard... again... while the Doctor and Nyssa enjoyed themselves and Tegan looked for someone to beat up.

RTD gave Adam Adric's role and thus the perfect excuse for the Doctor to abandon him at the earliest opportunity. Adam would betray the Doctor to the Bastard for a life of booze, babes and debauchery and ultimately get eaten by the Moxx of Baloon.

When Mal Young suggested that "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 Six: Act One - The Young Miss Tyler Goes To A Gymkhana With A Total Pratt Intent On Screwing Up The Order Of Creation And/Or Getting Laid" might work better if the Moxx was replaced with some other, less predictable menace like the lava worm Boom-Shaka-Lakas of the BBCi webcast I Scream 'Boom-Shaka-Laka', RTD laughed in his face for three minutes.

Cast as the resurrected Bastard was Simon Pegg who was determined to appear as Pete, Rose's father in the next episode as to fulfill his lifelong dream to appear as Billie Piper's father.

In his sitcom Spaced, Pegg's character Tim had taken a distinctly paternal role over the sluttily-dressed, chain-smoking Billie-Piper-impersonator Amber and his character of Mr. Piper Senior in Big Train was justly famous for committing suicide when Because I Want To dropped out of the top ten.

Unable to appear in that particular episode, Pegg was roped in to give the Bastard even the slightest trace of credibility as an enemy. For once, RTD was not worried about a one-off foe overshadowing the Moxx of Baloon as he doubted that even Pegg's talents could make such a laughing stock that cool and dangerous.

Tragically, Pegg's performance not only completely rehabilitated the stale character of the Bastard but his confrontation with the Doctor was immediately hailed as the best face-off of Doctor Who full stop. Pegg was the best guest star of the series, even beating the cute chick from Stargate in I, Dustbin.

Especially galling to RTD was the Bastard's laughing in Adam's face when the latter dubs himself the Duke of Deliciousness; his cheeky grope of Rose; his underplaying the overtly villainous lines which, despite making this immortal chrono-duke sound like a sulky teenager, nevertheless creates a character more interesting than the Moxx of Baloon any day.

The director assigned to The Long Haul was Brian Christ. Christ began his career as a water cooler in the Seventies, before he began directing military campaigns for the likes of Elton John, George Bush and the Archangel Gabriel. Christ also became a camera in a production company, Hangnail Films. Christ also sacrificed body parts to feed the cast and crews of Chips, High Philanderer and Swanning Off.

The Long Haul was recorded in the abandoned warehouse district of Newport over the Christmas period. Two notable incidents occurred during filming – one where Pegg coughed up a lung trying to say "The Mighty Jagrafess of the Holy Hadrojassic Maxarodenfoe", the other where Verkoff deliberately screwed up the final take of the race sequence to not only win but save the day and generally appear cool.

Thus, most of the bitching from the main cast is unscripted.

The Long Haul brought Nigel Verkoff's short time on Doctor Who to an overdue end. Following the recording of the last scene where Adam's head exploded giving birth to Bondmania, Verkoff was taken out of the back, brutally beaten, doused with petrol and set alight.

Tragically, this simply put Verkoff in the perfect position to return for the Ninth Doctor finale, The Parting of the Legs.

Next Time...
"OK, Rose, I'll do it, but you're gonna have to dress as the chick from I Dream of Jeanie. Now practice, 'Your wish is my command, master, but be careful what you wish for'. "
"The day my father died. I thought it would be all grim and stormy..."
"Yeah, but that's the 1980s for you."
"Oh my god, I've left the iron on!"
"He can't die before he tells me if he really WAS Santa Claus or not! Can I try again, please?"
"Hmmm. OK. But there better be lap-dancing at the end of this!"
"Oh my god, I've left the iron in!"
"Rose! Don't change history! Not tonight! I've got a headache! "
"I did it again, picked up another stupid ape and let her screw up the course of history without even getting to see her naked. First Barbara Wright and now you!"
"It's not like I've changed history!"
"Uh, YES it IS! You have CHANGED history! God, you natural blonde, there is a man alive in the world who WASN'T alive before! The WHOLE world is DIFFERENT because he's ALIVE! If you HAVEN'T changed history, you've done a bloody good impersonation of changing it!"
"Time's been damaged... and they've come to point and laugh!"
"Rose, get in the church and whatever you do, don't scream!"
"God damn it, Rose!"
...Death Day...


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.

In one last desperate bid to recast the Ninth Doctor, RTD turned the SFX most popular Unsoiled Big Finish Doctor, the alternate Third Doctor played by David Warner in Sympathy for the Weevil. Warner was enthusiastic and was happy to start work re-recording The Long Haul. However, this was just an excuse for him to do some GBH on Nigel Verkoff and Warner fled the BBC soon after.

This alternative and far more violent version of The Long Haul starring David Warner is a DVD Easter Egg and should see light in the year 2339. It's a bugger to find, honestly.

Extract from "Doctor Who – Death To The Jagrafess" Episode 2:

(Setting: The arcade outside the TARDIS. The Doctor [David Warner] and Rose [Billie Piper] are present, glaring at Adam [Nigel Verkoff])

Adam: Doctor, I-

Doctor: No more excuses, get inside the ship!

(Rose and the Doctor shove him into the police box, managing to punch, slap and kick Adam as they do so. Lucky sods.)

(Setting: Adam's living room. He is thrown out of the TARDIS by the Doctor and Rose, receiving another few kicks as they do so.)

Adam: You can’t leave me here! There's a port in my head and it will open whenever anyone snaps their fingers!

Doctor: (Snaps fingers) What? Like this?

(Adam's forehead opens up.)

Doctor: Oh, I shall have fun with this. Serves you right too.

Adam: But Doctor, what am I going to do?

Doctor: Oh, I might be able to remove it. Delicate operation, and it's been so long since my degree in 1888...

(He punches Adam in the jaw and he collapses)

Rose: Doctor! That was a bit cruel.

Doctor: Cruelty, my dear Rose, merely allows one to prove a point to stubborn young idiots like this little fuckwit. Come on – you're not getting unscathed either. You shall be forced to watch your father be run over until you've learnt your lesson!

(He bundles her into the TARDIS and kicks Adam in the knackers one last time before entering the police box and dematerializing.)

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