Sunday, October 4, 2009

Unseen 6th Doctor - SlipBack

Serial 6Z/5 - SlipUp
An Alternate Programme Guide by Ewen Campion-Clarke
An Extract From The EC Unauthorized Programme Guide O' Voxnic

Serial 6Z/5 - SlipUp -

The TARDIS materializes outside Lucan's Bar, a Voxnic club on the planet Zaurak Minor, run by famous earth man fugitive Lord Lucan and Eccentrica Gallumbits, the triple-breasted whore of Erotican VI. Peri is beside herself with rage when the Doctor and Sil go to the bar without her - and are allowed in, as their clothing is considered "fashionable" but her bikini top and denim shorts are not. Furious, she returns to the TARDIS.

No sooner has Peri entered the control room that a Terileptil named Danstop wanders in, carrying the Doctor over his shoulder. The Time Lord has got completely smashed, mixing his Pan-Galactic Gargle Blasters and Shirley Temples like there's no tomorrow. As Danstop drops the dissolute Gallifreyan on the floor and wanders back to Lucan's Bar, the Doctor begins to sing a song about goblins.

Disgusted, Peri tries to drag him to the nearest bed - which the Doctor promptly vomits all over. Peri is not amused, as it was her bed. She throws the Doctor into his own bed and decides to wait up for Sil. However, the Doctor's clock radio switches on, tuned to the 24-hour Disaster Area rock and roll marathon, and the Doctor is roused from his slumber, babbling that he can hear a voice in his mind, a voice of unimaginable power from beyond the dawn of time. The Doctor decides to refer to this being as 'the Disc Jockey'.

Vowing to do the bidding of 'the Disc Jockey', the Doctor runs to the control room and begins reprogramming the console. The TARDIS takes off, abandoning Sil and Zaurak Minor to hurtle into the depths of deep space with such velocity the Doctor spins around and falls over, screaming "Get a bucket, Leela! I think I'm going to be sick!"

After a few moments of vomit, close harmony singing and ABH, the Doctor hits a particular control on the console and immediately sobers up, lucid and calm in an instant. The Doctor explains he programmed the TARDIS' telepathic circuits to download the intoxication from his mind - and at that moment, the time machine lurches out of control and crash-materializes into the service ducts of the giant green space ship, the Vipod Mor.

The Vipod Mor is a gigantic exploration vessel painted bright green. It was created by the peoples of the Setna Sreen galaxy to explore space, seek out new and distant civilizations, to pass the final frontier and go boldly where no one in their right mind would ever go before. And the main computer expert has finally recovered from an eight-year-old hangover he picked up at a Voxnic club on Zaurak Minor...

Sil is horrified to find that his brain has been transplanted into the body of a perfectly ordinary ape descendant by a drunken surgeon Oliver Sneed, whom Sil remembered using as a sofa during the party. Exactly how and why Sil's brain was shoved into a human's body and left in control of a massive space liner is something he doesn't particularly want to know - especially as he's just realized that the captain of the Vipod Mor is in fact the Terileptil Danstop, who has spent the last eight years in a bath, making quacking noises.

The main computer (who is happy to be called 'Eddie' if it helps you relax), explains that a police box has appeared out of nowhere and slammed into an internal bulkhead. Quickly realizing that the Doctor has somehow caught up with him, Sil orders some crewmembers to search the ventilation ducts, and is promptly told to get stuffed.

Eddie explains that some hideous bio-mechanoid monster is roaming the ducts of the Vipod Mor, slaughtering anything it comes across. Already, it has used the entire maintenance crew as dental floss, leaving only their boots behind. Sil cannot believe Eddie neglected to mention the ruthless inhuman killer in the ducting, and gets the defensive reply:

"You didn't ask!"

Stepping out of the decidedly queasy TARDIS into the stygian gloom, the Doctor and Peri trade insults and stub their toes. They quickly lose themselves in the gloom when a distant roaring noise indicates the arrival of a hideous, acid-bleeding, eyeless, drooling, face-hugging, chest-bursting Star Beast from the Outer Darkness.

Or, that the Doctor's bowels are playing up.

Deciding not to take the risk, the Doctor and Peri hurry deeper into the labyrinth of passages and stumble across Richard Mace - Shakespeare's alcoholic grandson, a travelling thespian, and rent boy extraordinare - who the Doctor last met in his fifth incarnation, on Earth, in 1666. Mace explains that the last thing he remembers was chatting up the three-breasted Vospodian waitress at Lucan's Bar, and suddenly he found himself in the ducting of the Vipod Mor, eight years and millions of parsecs later. Before the Doctor can ask just HOW Mace got from the Great Fire of London to Zaurak Minor, the monster catches up with both of them.

"Never fear," Mace announces, stepping in front of the time travelers. "I have found myself in such a position as this on several occasions. One day, while walking through a forest on the planet Vigal Minor, I was swallowed whole by a splay-footed Hedron. As I slowly slid down the Hedron's gullet, I decided to spend my last remaining seconds reciting my favorite sonnet, 'Ode To A Flashiest Mud Scavenger' by Poet Master Grunthos the Flatulent, one of the Azgoths of Kria. Such was the mind-bending stiltedness of my performance, that the mucus in the Hedron's gullet evaporated, and it was forced to regurgitate me or choke. It just spat me out, quite unharmed."

So saying, Mace strides bravely towards the monster, only to realize at the very last moment that this is NOT a splay-footed Hedron but, in fact, the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal, which has already digested Mace's torso before he says a word. As it rains blood in the air duct, the Beast turns on the Doctor and Peri...

...but, at the last moment, the Doctor reveals what he calls 'the Keyring of Rassilon' and fires it at the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal. Instantly, the Ravenous Bugblatter oh, sod it! The RBBBFT promptly falls over and gurgles an extremely pathetic gurgle.

"Wha... what... what did..." Peri gasps inquisitively.

"I just absorbed all of my intoxication from the main TARDIS data banks and them beamed them directly into the cerebral cortex of the RBBBFT. It's so smashed out of its skull, it won't bother us again."

"Why did it take you so long to think of it?"

"What are you implying? I thought of it straight away!"

"But that means you just stood idly by while poor Richard Mace was torn apart!"

"Oh, well, if you want to be perfectly literal about it..."

Beside herself with fury, Peri round on the Doctor – and promptly plummets out of sight as she falls into an open ventilation shaft. As she was ALREADY in the air duct, the Doctor suspects that Peri has some bad karma to deal with and, stepping over the sleeping RBBBFT, wanders off in search of some food.

Peri survives the fall intact (this is not impossible, but very, very, improbable) by landing on two Kakrafoon police men, Shooty and Bang-Bang. They too were attending the all-night rave at Lucan's Place, and have even less idea than Peri as to how it seems everyone from that party has found themselves in the ventilation system of the Vipod Mor eight years later. But they remain calm - after all, it isn't easy being a cop.

While looking for the TARDIS, the Doctor encounters a lugubriously depressed Sirrius Cybernetics android called Marvin with a genuine person's personality. However, that person seems to have been a chronically-depressed lemming. After hearing complaints about Marvin's aching left side, his huge intellect being squandered and the dead mouse in his leg, the Doctor snaps and zaps him with the Keyring of Rassilon in the hope Marvin will lighten the hell up.

At first, it seems like the android is as maudlin as ever when suddenly it detaches its own head and uses it as a football. The headless body shakes the Doctor's hand and walks off, doing a little jig as its detached head complains that even its own body doesn't want to be around it any more.

Turning the corner, the Doctor is surprised to find a kaboose sitting in the middle of the ducting, and even more surprised to find a bunch of strange alien creatures sitting inside, watching Eastenders and not in the least bit interested in anything he says or does.

Suddenly, the Doctor clutches his head. The intoxication he flooded Marvin with has now spread to Eddie the computer, which is desperately trying to download back into the Doctor's mind. The Time Lord falls to his knees, screaming in agony until one of the aliens shoves him out of the kaboose and slams the door so they can watch their soap opera in peace. The Doctor sobs heroically that he is Merlin the Happy Pig, and slumps, lifelessly, to the floor...

The Time Lord suddenly blinks and finds himself back inside the TARDIS along with Peri and Sil (still stuck in the body of Shellingborne Grant) as the last of the alcohol leaves his system. He quickly learns that Eddie the computer has accidentally stumbled on the formula of time travel and now plans to send the Vipod Mor hurtling backwards in time so he can check out this really froody party on Zaurak Minor.

As the RBBBFT has conveniently slaughtered every other speaking character, the Doctor sets the TARDIS to materialize in the core of the computer systems, time-ramming Eddie out of existence and blowing up the bright green spaceship (as green is the Setna Sreen color of peace, the Doctor believes this will give the cosmos 'a great psychological message').

As the Doctor punches the final controls on the console, the scanner opens to show... the BASTARD! The evil Time Lord explains he has been sent by the High Council of Time Lords to stop the Doctor's interference, which will endanger the very balance of cause and effect. The Doctor says the Bastard is full of shit and moves to hit the final button.

The Bastard frantically explains that he once broadcast a message to the entire population of Setna Sreen, claiming to be Vipod Mor and not to experiment with time travel - so they would ultimately build a ship capable of travelling in time and name it after him. The Bastard reveals that Eddie is so plastered he will overshoot the rave at Lucan's Bar and instead head for the moment of the very creation of the universe itself...

The Vipod Mor will trigger the Big Bang!

Thus, if the Doctor intervenes, the universe will never have happened!

At this revelation, the Doctor laughs in the Bastard's face, explaining that he's BEEN to the space galleon Terminal, created by the Tralfamadorians and whose unstable fuel rods were the cause of Event One when they were jettisoned into the void. The Bastard awkwardly explains that the fuel exploded BECAUSE of the Vipod Mor, but the Doctor thinks that his old sparring partner is just spoiling his fun because HE wants to destroy the Vipod Mor himself!

The Bastard insists that this isn't the case and that he really IS on a mission from the Time Lords, but the Doctor is having none of this and activates the TARDIS. There is the familiar wheezing, groaning sound followed by a raspberry as the Vipod Mor vanishes in a cheap negative effect. The Doctor then gets out his pocket watch and waits for the whole universe to cease to have ever been.

After fifteen minutes, the Bastard scowls and calls the Doctor a smartarse before closing the scanner in a vulgar way. The Doctor laughs to himself, and promptly sets the TARDIS to complete the Vipod Mor's journey to Zaurak Minor and the party at Lucan's Bar.

"I assume we're going to get my brain BACK into its previous and far more attractive body, Doctor?" asked Sil suspiciously.

The Doctor blinked a lot. "Er... yes! Of course! Why else would we go there, anyway?" he said before grinning to himself.

Book(s)/Other Related -
Doctor Who - The Piss-Up of DISASTER!
Doctor Who Versus the Dolmansaxlil Shoe Corporation (Canada Only)
Hungover Time Lords Say The Loopiest Things

Goofs -
As the TARDIS materialises on the ship, someone off-screen hurls a bottle of vodka straight at the police box and it shatters, creating a pool of liquid and broken glass that Peri slips in upon leaving the time machine.
Although she claims to have 'fallen 12 metres onto Bang-Bang', Peri is clearly shown to accidentally step on his foot.
The RBBT is clearly the Gravis from "AFRONTIOS" wearing Groucho Marx-style moustache and glasses
In episode 5 just after the Doctor says 'That's right', someone can be heard climaxing in the background.

Technobabble -
"Not even a Spastic torpedo would scratch Antipodean matrix steel!"

Links and References -
The Doctor orders 'Tegan' and 'Turlough' to back up his claim to the Bastard that they know Terminal to have caused the Big Bang, before being violently reminded he is actually talking to Peri and Sil.
Richard Mace notes the Doctor has gone downhill since they last met in "The Visit", but admits his standard of travelling companions has definitely improved

Untelevised Misadventures -
We never actually DO see what goes on in Lucan's Place on either of the Doctor's visits. And perhaps that's for the best.

Groovy DVD Extras -
A special "How to Mix 1800 Alcoholic Cocktails For Fun and Profit" hosted by Marvin the Paranoid Android with his usual flair.

Dialogue Disasters -

Marvin: Oh, that's just typical, that is. Even my own body would rather wander off into a ventilator duct stalked by an omnivorous killer rather than stay here and keep me company. I wish I could say I was hurt and upset but I'm far too intelligent to be shocked and surprised by this development. It all makes a depressing sense to me as I watch my own torso continually bump into feed grilles. Why did I even bother to talk to the idiot in that coat when I knew what he was going to do. Oh, GOD I'm depressed... Oh, look! Coronation Street's on!

Bang-Bang: You have the right to remain silent, but I wouldn't encourage you to do so. Anything you say will be taken down, altered to my satisfaction and used in a court of law to send you down for a good many years. So start confessing.
Doctor: That doesn't sound entirely fair.
Shooty: Hey, it isn't easy being a cop.

Doctor: It's always significant if you find insignificance significant, but I've always found significance significantly insignificant in relation to insignificant significance. Which probably signifies something, don't you think?

Shooty: Snatch him, Frisk!

Dialogue Triumphs -

Peri: You started to wink and flash and grunt like some dirty old man in a park.
Doctor: My god, I'm sorry! ...I am a little naïve when it comes to this sort of thing.

Doctor: You're saying, if I press this button, the universe will instantly be cancelled out?
Bastard: Do I detect a note of skepticism, Doctor?
Doctor: No, no, of course not.
Bastard: Good.
Doctor: Not a note. More a sort of symphony with a philharmonic orchestra's backing of skepticism.

Eccentrica Gallumbits: I'm afraid sir, the only position I can adopt is a horizontal one.

The chilling hangover scene -
Doctor: (covering his ears) Wos?
Doctor: Go way! I'm ill!
(The Doctor begins to vomit into a waste paper basket extremely loudly.)
Peri: Ugh! I'm not cleaning that up, Doc!
(The Doctor collapses. Peri peers into the basket)
Peri: What on Earth were you eating last night? It still looks alive! Where did you learn your table manners, anyway? My God, it’s looking back at me! Doctor? Doctor! Doctor! Come on, wake up!
Doctor: (groans) Oh, fuck off, Peri...

Shooty: Don't you think your gun's a little small?
Bang-Bang: Your gratuitous use of innuendo often disturbs me, lad.

Doctor: I came as soon as I could.
Sil: I've been stuck on the Vipod Mor for EIGHT years!
Doctor: Yes... but you've only been sober for two minutes!

Viewer Quotes -

"This is the second Eric Saward story in which a character with the name Bates is killed horribly. Well, I'M worried!" - Norman Bates (1988)

"This play is the most faithful of the three to its era. All the Sawardian elements are here, usually for the worse, and the script doesn't appear to take itself too seriously, if at all. Definitely one to watch after the thirtieth pint when the pink lizards start dancing around the pub." - "Sloshed" Harry Hill (2000)

"Don't look at me - I had NOTHING to do with this!" - Douglas Adams (1987)

"Easily forgettable. What am I talking about again?" - Some fan whose name escapes me at the moment (some time)

Psychotic Nostalgia -
"Colin Baker and Nicola Bryant are not to blame for the direness of SlipUp. They are the innocent parties in this. But who in life is TRULY innocent? Not me, that's for sure! Get me the razor blades!"

Colin Baker Speaks!
"I remember that, for timing reasons, we had to cut out a whole sequence when my Doctor just went into a gay pub called Lucan's Bar on a planet called Zaurak Minor. I noticed that because Saward was, himself, frequenting a gay pub down the road and turning up for work appallingly drunk and kept criticizing Paul Darrow for interfering in the creative process - which was odd, I thought, because Paul Darrow had absolutely no involvement in SlipUp at all. Yes, the monsters were much scarier in that story. I have no idea why Saward wanted the monsters to be costumed in an audio drama, and with all those sets. You know, now I come to think of it again, I'm fairly certain it was just another TV episode. Except, for some reason, only audio survived - which isn't surprising, considering there were no cameras. Another thing Saward insisted between projectile vomiting. How odd."

Rumors & Facts -
The second to last story of the season was originally to haven The Children of January by noted gynecologist Michael Feeny Callan. This script was discarded as too expensive under the current budget, which consisted of three cardboard boxes and a photocopied IOU. Also, the production team considered the idea of the Doctor gate-crashing maternity wards in order to strangle at birth a baby that would grow up to become a really nasty geography teacher and part-time bus conductor that ultimately gains the Doctor's enmity when she sneezes on his coat as 'a bit too high-brow'.

Eric Saward's disgust with everything related to Doctor Who was growing ever worse – he would often refuse to turn up for work at all, remaining at various wine bars, pissed out of his skull. Indeed, most script conferences were conducted via carrier pigeons, and Saward had a specially modified stamp saying "Needs work, but good enough to go ahead with". This stamp allowed him to confirm the last three scripts for the series without even looking up from his triple vodka.

However, John Satan-Turner was now desperate for a replacement script, as the only scripts left to use were The Microwave-Men by former porn star Ingrid Pitt and Pip & Jane Baker's latest rewrite of a thesaurus, Gallifray, which featured the Bastard conquering a planet that, ironically, sounded a bit like Gallifrey.

Saward shouted drunken abuse at several passers by and sent a pigeon with a note to the effect he was completely plastered and in no state to write Doctor Who stories. However, the message "Doctor Who? I'm pissed as a newt! Just leave me alone!" was mistaken for "Doctor Who is pissed as a newt and just leave me alone." Believing this was an intriguing new plot, JST agreed that the next story would feature the Doctor getting hideously drunk on screen, warble 'On With The Motley' and then try to strangle Peri.

Unfortunately, no alcohol-lending establishment on the planet would let the Doctor Who crew film there – dark legends of Tom Baker's activities during The Android Evasion had spread far and wide. JST decided they would simply create the set for Lucan's Place in studio, but this proved far, far too expensive. The only sets available were the TARDIS control room and a corridor – and so, JST sent a pigeon to Eric Saward listing these difficulties and requesting a rewrite. The reply was a stream of vomit, bile and swearing which made up most of the drunken Doctor's dialogue, as JST mistook it for a script excerpt.

However, the cost of carrier pigeons had escalated dramatically, and the budget for the story was cut even further. Thus, in order to break even the entire story was filmed in the corridor outside the BBC canteen, with the doors acting as the TARDIS. Lights were dimmed in order to disguise the sets, and the RBBBFT was provided by reusing an old monster prop. Although there were plans to paint it green, this was veoted when it became apparent there was not enough cash to finish filming the story!

With a good thirty per cent of The Doomsday Pub Crawl (as Saward was determined to call it, in order to piss off the BBC's latest period drama, The Doomsday Pub Crawl) in the can, Colin Baker suggested the story be told in brief moments when the Doctor is sober, and the disjointed narrative was rounded up by a return appearance as Anthony Ainley as the Bastard, who waved aside his usual fee for being able to actually enter the canteen and eat something.

The story, renamed SlipUp as the captions cost fifteen shillings per character, was considered 'the Lame Shit' of the season, only just losing out to Messing With Magnus as most nauseating waste of space all year. Such criticisms did not daunt JST, who pointed out just how much publicity the last-minute replacement story had gained. Of course, most of the publicity came from The Sun's "DOCTOR BOOZE! Dotty Doc Gets Plastered With Space Drunks!" and several lurid 'artistic impressions' of the Doctor vomiting in Peri's bra. All this simply boosted JST's power complex even further.

Oddly enough, it took only one fan to point out that they had misnamed the character from Eric Saward's own The Visit that brought the producer down to earth and he immediately broke down in tears.

Missing Season 23 Wrap-Up –

The revelation on 3 April 2005 that the BBC had forgotten to broadcast a whole season of Colin Baker caused a tremendous upset amongst Doctor Who fans. This new season plus the one RTD making caused countless fans to spontaneously combust, leading to, for a short period, the general belief that all Doctor Who fans were suicide bombers for extremist groups. This is, of course, a lie. No extremist group would be seen dead or alive around scarf-carrying saddos.

Nevertheless, by this time there was the general opinion that had Colin Baker's time on the show had not been so rudely brought to a premature end by BBC politics (a full four decades early, according to the actor himself), then the Sixth Doctor would be remembered as more rounded, more agreeable, and more worthy incarnation.

Critics flocked to the five new adventures that lengthened the Colin Baker era: one not interrupted by a production rest, nor brought back by a confusing and alienating season-length courtroom drama. Indeed, Eric Saward confidently predicted that the shock-filled and controversial season would, among other things, reveal new aspects of the Doctor's identity, win Colin Baker audience acceptance as the Doctor, increase Peri's already cult-like following with male fans and all in all be regarded by many as the finest season in Doctor Who.


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