Links and References -
The Doctor mentions causing the fall of Troy in The Piss-Takers. The gullible locals are given by way of an explanation the plot of Image of the Ken-Doll by the Doctor, just to confuse them. He also mentions being involved with Wong-Jin in Black Scorpion 3: Sting With A Vengeance, a reference to The Talents of Wong-Jin.
The Temporal Difference of Opinion and its instigator, the Moxx of Baloon, are mentioned yet again and Smelly Ed makes his second appearance after the pre-credit sequence to Ruse.
Untelevised Misadventures -
The whole REG-is-the-bastard-son-of-the-Eighth-Doctor-and-Charley-Pollard arc is nicked from Big Finish. Go there if you're confused.
Charley Pollard is now living in contemporary Cardiff under the name Charlotte Church, making regular appearance in The Sopranos.
K9 Conspiracy –
In this episode, Presuming Ed gets high and says that he, like Rose, has seen some seriously weird crap – including 'a goddamned robot dog'.
Subtext? WHAT Subtext? -
It's made clear that when the Gelth possesses Mrs. Pearce and returns her to life, she's damn well not going to let death stop her seeing 'It All Happened On The 11.20 From Hainault To Redhill Via Horsham And Riegate, Calling At Carshalton Beeches, Malmesbury, Tooting Bec And Croydon West', which shows the Gelth aren't in control. As to why she broke her grandson's neck, well, maybe she just hated him?
Thus, the Gelth changing from pitiable angels into sinister demons comes from Presuming Ed's foul imagination. And, as the Doctor regularly shoots his mouth off about the Temporal Difference of Opinion and old companions (especially when stoned), their whole claim to be Smelly Ed and refugees might be a pile of crap.
So, are the Gelth trying to conquer humanity off their own bat or is it the evil of Presuming Ed? The fact the aliens flee when realizing they are in Cardiff suggests... both.
Er, come back later. I'm thinking about this.
Groovy DVD Extras –
The entirety of 'Withnail an I', finally allowing you to enjoy not only The Presuming Ed but also the Big Finish dramas Zig-Zag-Gay-Ass, Schizo and The Best Wife plus aborted pilot I Scream Boom-Shaka-Laka!
Psychotic Nostalgia –
"You'd be surprised how often the dead come back to life. The number of times I've buried a coffin out the back as they batter on the inside, screaming for release... But they're evil gas aliens! Show them no pity! Wanna see my scar?"
Viewer Quotes -
"You see, kids? Anyone who comes round here saying they're refugees from a war and bloody immigrants in general are alien ghosts who want to rape your livestock and steal your children! Doctor Who said so!"
- David Blunkett (2005)
"There are clear problems with this tale. For one, the Doctor is completely useless in this story - he does nothing but bring about the deaths of two people and fill the world with zombies and it is only the fact Cardiff is such a shit hole that saves the day."
- Swansea Tourism Board (2006)
"Rose dressed in red leather and spikes and the revelation Charlotte Church is India Fisher in disguise! This is Sprained Wrist television, this is! I might mention that also running on BBC at the moment is the drama Fingersmith, a silly bit of hokum with the seemingly obligatory scenes where two girls lez it up with each other. I just wanted to mention that. Thanks." – Nigel Verkoff (2005)
"Damn it! Everything's been prettified, tidied up. Just look at the first shot when Rose steps out onto the oh-so-virginal snow - that street is beautiful. It shouldn't be. The people on those streets would be thin, malnourished shivering waifs, not rosy-cheeked types wrapped up snug and warm. Where are the street-urchins, thieving to stop themselves starving to death? Where's the horse shit? Where's the rubbish, the grime, and the slopped out content of chamber pots? Well?"
- Gritty Realism Monthly (July 2006)
"More Withnail and bloody I being passed off instead of real Doctor Who. Is no one capable of original thought anymore?!"
- Dave Restal (2005)
"I'm loving Rose more and more!!!!!!! And think that they shouldn't bother regenerating the Doctor... Just give Rose her own show!!!!!!"
- Billie Piper's Agent (2005)
"Eccleston! YOOOOOOOOOOOOUUUUU... QUITTER!!! Where the FUCK do you get off refusing to appear in season two! Fear of type-casting – fear of commitment, you sad, insignificant piece of crap! FINE! Off to the builder's site you useless SHIT! GOOD RIDDANCE! I HOPE YOU GET BOWEL CANCER! And RTD, if you so much as THINK as casting David Tennant I will shove barbed wire down your throat, pull it out your arse and run it back and forth through you LIKE DENTAL FLOSS! Go for a black actor or face the consequences!"
- a completely impartial news report on behalf of eyeofsaurus.com.uk
Christopher Eccleston Speaks!
"Yeah, Mark Gatiss wrote this one, didn't he? I was with him on The League of Gentlemen, when he made me dress in a hat, long scarf and coat and answer to the name 'Doctor'. It's only now, much later, that I get why he suddenly announced, 'Ooh, you look like Doctor Who,' before he grabbed me by the throat and shook me saying, 'You bastard, that part's mine! I'm watching you, buster!' Lovely bloke, though."
Russell T Davies Speaks!
"The Presuming Ed was the first script I didn't write. You can tell the pilot isn't at the controls, can't you?"
The Doctor's catchphrase of "FanTAStic!" was picked up when he got sick of having to explain his previous one ('And Tiny Tim, who did NOT die') to particularly thick sky-jellyfish who don't pay attention.
Rumors & Facts -
Mark Gatiss had already made contributions to Doctor Who as both a writer and an actor prior to scripting The Presuming Ed in early 2004. Gatiss had first made a name for himself writing for Doctor Who: The New Adventures series, including Nightshade and St Almo's Fire. He
continued his affiliation with BBC Books' Past Doctors range, penning
The Petrolheads and Blast Of Gardening.
Gatiss contributed scripts to Big Finish's series of Doctor Who audio plays as well, his credits including Evaders From Bars (which was pointlessly name checked in The Presuming Ed). Gatiss also tackled a number of roles in the Big Finish audios, including that of the Bastard in the Doctor Who Unsoiled play Sympathy For The Weevil.
Furthermore, Gatiss both co-wrote and acted in a series of comedy sketches for BBC2's Doctor Who Night in 1999 -- including playing
the Doctor, accompanied by an annoying floating pink cloud referred to as Edward.
The Presuming Ed started life as a New Adventure for the Seventh Doctor, Ace and Bernice. However, due to the lack of drug use, gratuitous non-consensual sex with farmyard animals and Madonna songs, it was rejected.
It was similarly rejected as a Big Finish adventure for the Sixth Doctor, Peri and Sil due to the overabundance of drug use, gratuitous non-consensual sex with farmyard animals and Madonna songs.
When Gatiss' aborted Doctor Who 2000 idea (which would have been a Year Zero-style re-imagination to piss off fans) fell through due to the sporadic inclusion of drug use, gratuitous non-consensual sex with farmyard animals and Madonna songs, Gatiss made it quite clear in an interview to Doctor Who Magazine that nothing in the universe could save the series now.
The very next issue had the banner DOCTOR WHO RETURNS TO TV!!!
Executive producer Russell T Davies took pity on him and let him write an episode - specifically "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 Three: Act One - The Young Miss Tyler Enjoys Recreational Drugs With Complete Strangers Thirty-four Years Before She Was Even Born."
Gatiss handed over a third of his Presuming Ed BF submission under the new title "The Strange And Incredible Affair Of The Mischievous Moxx Of Baloon," a Yuletide tale of devilry and mischief featuring the esteemed maestro of the written word Mister Mark Gatiss. Not only did this story firmly stamp the series onto the end of the Eighth Doctor's Big Finish adventures with references to Charley and the REG Doctor, it also drained out any remaining plot potential from Withnail & I.
When RTD, however, caught Gatiss paying a large amount of money into Christopher Eccleston's bank account so he would leave at the end of this first series and allow Gatiss to be the Tenth Doctor, he was furious.
He demanded a number of completely pointless rewrites to the story and demanded that the gassy companion Smelly Ed be revealed to be an evil alien overlord working for the Moxx of Baloon. Also, instead of the Doctor talking and trying to understand the zombies when he comes face to face with them, the Time Lord was now to fly-kick their heads off and made a joke about moisturizing.
Gatiss did so with his trademark smiling optimism and removed the subplot where Marwood, crippled with the fear, started lighting his own farts and killing out the peaceful Gelth, who in turn declared war on the human race. He also added a lot of digs about Cardiff being the back of beyond – which were kept in despite the curious decision to film in Swansea for A Message From The Fog.
The story's title shifted randomly from A Message From The Fog to Steam! to Poltergelth to Gas Light to The Ghost of Christmas That Never Was to The Ghouls to Whatever Happened To Charley Pollard? Finally, RTD relented and allowed its original title, The Presuming Ed to be used.
Filming for the second block began in early September, and concluded around the end of October and its broadcast – boosted after a figure resembling Rob Shearman beat Pope Jean Paul II to death in his bed – was totally screwed over as people thought that the story of zombies, racial hatred and drug use was unsuitable for family audiences. Mainly, this was because there was no part where Headhunter gave a recipe for making a Camberwell Carrot for the viewers at home.
Nevertheless, this tale of sex, drugs, rock and roll, railway timetables, murder, aliens, zombies and groping insensible blondes somehow managed to beat the Royal Wedding in the ratings – continuing the trend since 1981 where more people tuned into watch The Webber's Gate rather than Charles and Di's wedding.
Ha! In your FACE, Windsors!
"...£2 million worth of improvements done to Big Ben as a UFO reverse parks in Central London..."
"What is it then? An invasion?"
"Funny way to invade – putting the world on red alert."
"How do you mean? Funny-haha or funny-strange?"
"By God I'll put this country under martial law if I have to. Benton! Put the UK under martial law – at the double! And lay on a jeep and pose for some photos while you're at it!"
"Defense plan alpha!"
"What, you mean stand around and do nothing?"
"OK, defense plan beta!"
"What, you mean wander around and do nothing?"
"Let the Prime Minister be kidnapped by two terrorist in an old car?!"
"Plan epsilon, then?"
"What, you mean take total orders from a nutter in a police box?"
"That's the one! Come on! Move!"
...Alias of London...
BONUS! DOCTOR WHO AUDITIONS!
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.
Upon discovering that Eccleston was in favor of stepping down in favor of Mark Gatiss during the recording of The Presuming Ed, RTD challenged Gatiss to prove he was a decent Doctor. Gatiss ripped off his every day clothes to reveal he had been wearing his Lewis Carrol Doctor Who Night outfit for the last few years. The smell wafting off said outfit provided the visual effects of the Gelth.
This final scene for the story was recorded as an audition which RTD watched 0.0003 seconds of before calling Gatiss a shit actor and telling him not to get ideas above his station – Hack City.
Extract from "Doctor Who – The Tale Of The Last Christmas" Episode 2:
(Setting: The TARDIS control room. The Doctor [Mark Gattis] and Rose [Billie Piper] are present. The time rotor is at rest.)
Doctor: I thought you were sleeping.
Doctor: What's the matter?
Rose: Oh, I *don't* know! Can't POSSIBLY imagine!
Doctor: Oh, well, go back to bed then and stop bothering me.
Rose: Sure. You CAN'T worry about individuals! The universe is a bigger picture. That is crap and you know it! That 'bigger picture' nearly took over my world!
Doctor: Look, I can't save everyone!
Rose: Maybe you should just start with one.
Doctor: Hey, that's an idea! (Clears throat, embarrassed) Look, the Gelth were manipulating us. Making us open the rift. Smoke dope. Drink tequila. Make you do pole dancing...
Rose: Are you going to blame the Gelth EVERY time you screw up?
(A long pause.)
Doctor: (Taken aback) You – you think that'd work?
Rose: No it won't! You nearly got me killed!
Doctor: I told you it was dangerous. Calm down.
Rose: No you didn't!
Doctor: Details, details...
Rose: You told me it would be perverse!
Doctor: And it is...
Rose: BEFORE you kidnapped me!
Doctor: Rose, calm down.
Rose: And I will not calm down!
Rose: NO! You know, Clive was right – you bring death and destruction everywhere. You let Joan Collins die, you let the Gelth attack. How can I trust that it won't be me? What if I get in the way of your 'bigger picture'?
Doctor: If you don't like it, then maybe you should just go home...
(The Doctor feels her arse and she roundhouse kicks him, punches him in the gut, twice in the face and ends with Rose getting the Doctor in a strangle-hold, banging his head against the console.)
Doctor: (Concussed) OooOOooh. Feisty!
(He loses consciousness as Rose continues to bash him.)
(Roll end credits)