Serial 7CPRE-A/A – Id
An Alternate Programme Guide by Ewen Campion-Clarke
An Extract From The EC Unauthorized Programme Guide O' Jockstraps
Serial 7CPRE-A/A – Id -
One afternoon, the TARDIS materializes on top a mound of junked hard drives in a gigantic junkyard full of abandoned laptops, computers, mobile phones and iPods. The Doctor realizes he is in Silicon Valley, rendered the dumping ground of all outdated and obsolete technology in the 32nd century where mankind was forced to upgrade their computers every twelve seconds or get left behind on the information hyperspace tunnel (the next step up from super highway).
The Doctor emerges from the police box, talking darkly about mankind’s remorseless advance through the stages of computer development, of their rampant consumerism, of their lack of forward thinking...
... just as his foot slips on something loose and he tumbles head first to the bottom of the pile, braining his ankle and knocking himself unconscious in one brilliantly unintentional slapstick routine.
This is seen by two data pirates from their flying barge ship, where the geeky Gabe Steptoe and his horrible mother Denise, burst out laughing at the Doctor’s misfortune. They decide to kidnap the unconscious Doctor and sell him on eBay as a ransom and get some cash out of him. Gabe points out there is little chance this plan will work, but Denise says that while she may have a brain, but that doesn’t mean she has to use it.
Elsewhere in Silicon Valley, the Long Way (To Tipperary) Clinic has set up its own flying air base, just like one out of Captain Scarlett, and from here Gyles Brandreth XIV orders his minions to scour Silicon Valley’s four billion plus data storage devices – from the standard email chip you have for the fridge to tell you you’ve left the door open, all the way up corporate hub systems. The minions protest that 80 per cent of every data store is broken or stripped already, and when Brandreth points out this still leaves a massive amount of recoverable data, is told bluntly that it’s always disappointing mild porn.
Nevertheless, this insanely optimistic recycling operation continues as sixty thousand more obsolete bits of technology are dumped into the Valley daily as the minions release Scan-Droids – transformer robots with chunky monochrome computer monitors for heads, to stalk the valley downloading all the files they can. The minions then use USB ports in their arms to search for anything that isn’t the Paris Hilton III sex hologram and therefore conceivably valuable or useless.
One of the minions, Field Researcher Federer, hastily stops downloading the mass of chatroom archives, pornography photos and erotic fiction after he gets a nasty stinging sensation and realizes the computer was actually having an unhygienic relationship with its owner. Just then a Scan-Droid announces it has an amazing overseas offer on cialis tablets and forcibly downloads it into Federer, who screams and drops dead.
The Scan-Droid, unconcerned, lumbers off through Silicon Valley to search for more people to learn about shockingly low prices for penis enlargement therapies which leave you comparable (ie a lot smaller than) a mountain gorilla.
These unwilling customers die screaming as well...
Federer’s lack of texting is soon noticed by Brandreth and his assistants Claudia and Lake, who immediately assume he’s slacking off with some really interesting internet porn when they get an email notification of a new eBay bid by Denise Steptoe – claiming she’s selling one of their workers for 8000 GBP. Brandreth believes that only a complete moron would expect him to pay for Federer and ergo Federer must have downloaded something incredibly dirty and/or important to worth that much. Unfortunately, Brandreth is giving Denise far too much credit, as not only is she not bluffing, she hasn’t even got Federer and is actually selling the Doctor.
The Doctor meanwhile has been tied to a chair and probed with a variety of cold metal devices but, to the Time Lord’s dismay, Gabe isn’t making sexual advances and worse the probes only work on human beings, so he isn’t even getting a buzz!
The Doctor is even more pissed off when Denise steals stuff from his pockets and announces she has already sold him to an online bidder along with a few novelty mugs and a bit of Nazi memorabilia.
The Steptoes fly over to a derelict shack on the outskirts of Silicon Valley and there they meet Claudia, who is incredibly pissed off that the fiendish masterminds her boss was expecting her to engage in cutthroat negotiations with are actually a couple of banjo-playing hicks who assume some loony in a weird coat is automatically worth 8000 GBP, and she only has a budget of 5000 anyway.
Claudia turns and leaves the upset Steptoes screaming that they are quite prepared to blow the Doctor’s head off, and they’ll do it! Depressed when she doesn’t come back, they sod off as well as the Doctor is left hogtied and screaming furiously that he is a Lord of Time, President of Gallifrey and you do NOT shit with him!!
Finally, he is able to hop out of the shack and shouts at Claudia as she gets into her flying Porsche until she finally takes pity on the wandering nutter and unties him. She explains she has got better things to do like look for Federer and whatever porn favorites he may have in his possession, and the Doctor offers to help – by lying through his teeth and saying he saw Federer at the TARDIS. However, Claudia simply drives off when she gets the description of the police box and the Doctor is left behind, swearing loudly in Cantonese at what a decadent age this is and how everyone in it is a total wank biscuit.
He then realizes he is only a few hills of CD-ROHM away from the TARDIS and cheers up immediately.
When he gets there he finds the corpses of numerous data pirates and when Claudia arrives looking for Federer the Doctor proudly boasts he slaughtered the lot of him with his Jedi mind powers so she can consider herself damn lucky to still be alive.
Claudia points out that one of the bodies is Federer, but luckily she’s had so many designer brain alterations and personality surgery she doesn’t really give a shit about her dead colleague. She is more interested in where the Scan-Droids have got to, not realizing that this is a BBC sound stage and thus everything can only be less than five metres away from you at any given time.
Sure enough, just on the other side of the hill, the Scan-Droid is attacked by a data pirate who is incomprehensibly stupid enough to think that tackling a giant robot and downloading its data will be a good move after said giant robot slaughtered all his fellows by uploading lethal info into them.
The pirate does the whole "screaming in agony, tries to disengage but it’s too late and he collapses dead" thing when a second Scan-Droid arrives and, after a few conversational pleasantries, decide to exchange data about the previous night’s soap opera. Now this new Scan-Droid has the curious fixation to tell people about Cialis tablets and they split up and head off in different directions!
Wouldn’t you know it, a second later, the Doctor and Claudia run around the hill to look for Scan-Droids but in best pantomime traditions, they’re all gone! Snapping their fingers in frustration, they decide to return to Claudia’s flyer and from there to the barge. She warns him not to cause any trouble or use his Jedi mind powers to slaughter her coworkers once they're inside as she'll be held responsible for his actions and might suffer a pay cut.
Back at the barge, Brandreth realizes his accountant Nardini has disappeared with six million from petty cash and, furious, hires a new one called Tevez who announces their pathetic collection of chatroom fetishes does not balance the expenses of the operation, which has already gone over budget for the next six years. Surely, Tevez asks, there must be more efficient ways of archiving pornography?
Brandreth insists that Tevez is focussing too much on what HAS happened rather than glibly speculating that things might really take off in the distant future, and notes he has found the email account of the infamously volatile, immoral and egotistical Nigel Verkoff, and it turns out he idly emailed himself copies of his own brain to check the account was still active!
Meanwhile, Federer’s Scan-Droid arrives and starts killing everyone in sight by downloading the lethal spam into their systems, and Brandreth, Lake and Tevez start screaming and panic: after running around in circles for a few minutes announcing they are teapots, the trio leg it, leaving the Scan-Droids to stalk the barge just as the Doctor and Claudia arrive, idly noting the strange lack of personnel and the all the alarms going off.
Then the Scan-Droid appears behind them and starts to the throttle the Doctor, in order to provide a decent cliffhanger moment before Claudia pulls out a pocket bazookoid and blows its head off in a fireball.
As the flames die down, the surviving guest cast creep out of hiding and Tevez starts bitching that Brandreth isn’t exactly in absolute control of things as he promised. Brandreth points out that the Scan-Droids are instructed to upload important info into human beings, and they’re doing that to the letter. The mass slaughter is an entirely irrelevant side effect and should under no circumstances affect the quarterly budget returns. Besides, Brandreth continues, even the killing people thing is down to one dodgy robot easily fixed!
At that point the Doctor notes that all the Scan-Droids have quit their scouring of Silicon Valley and heading straight back to the barge at top speed – worse, they won’t respond to urgent control and mindlessly chant about the benefits of viagra...
Meanwhile, the Steptoes continue their hereditary stupidity by attacking one of those same Scan-Droids, but it downloads its info in Denise and – guess what? – she dies. It turns on Gabe but by a complete fluke that resembles a last minute plot addition by a half-awake script editor, we discover Gabe’s brain-computer interface is not Y3K compliant, and thus he cannot process digital information, and thus he survives the download! Yes! In your face, modern technology!
Back at the barge, Tevez announces that Brandreth is quite clearly insane and his organizational skills are a joke – he couldn’t even stop a robot rebellion for the twenty minutes she’s been at the barge! With the cost of human resources unacceptably high, she decides to liquidate the project before they have to spend any more money on fruit baskets for the relatives of the dead researchers.
Brandreth insists that everything is absolutely peachy and accuses Tevez of being a drug addict too busy hallucinating about android apocalypses to realize she wants them to throw away the biggest advance in human history. At this point, Tevez kicks him in the balls and heads off to cut off his funding and complain to head office.
Just then, nine Scan-Droids start breaking into the barge like a cheap Romero zombie movie and everyone flees further into the ship as unnamed extras fall victim to the spam emails of fatal death. The robots charge after the puny humans and after a tense but shockingly predictable sequence, they get to safety behind locked doors.
Now trapped, the Doctor announces that the robots are not the killer but whatever spam info they carry – and their determination to download it into people is all Brandreth’s fault anyway!
Just then, Gabe puts up his now-dormant mother-killing Scan-Droid on eBay for a GBP of 76 billion, and the Doctor easily tricks Gabe into revealing that that the machine just shut down after it realized he couldn’t accept the download. The Doctor laughs loudly and mocks Gabe’s dead mother as suffering the fate of all those who dare to try and sell Time Lords on eBay! It’s a curse older than humanity!
The Doctor turns to the others and explains that since he has no USB ports, he is completely safe from the Scan-Droids and as for the rest of them, well, he never liked them anyway so they can all rot in hell as far as he’s concerned.
He strides out the door and all nine Scan-Droids try and fail to upload the info into him, and then go dormant. The Doctor realizes that all the humans are now safe and, annoyed, kicks the nearest robot but only succeeds in breaking his toe.
Meanwhile, Brandreth offers Gabe 76 GBP and a piece of string if he downloads the info from the Scan-Droid onto a floppy disc and hand it over to him. Gabe cunningly demands 74 GBP and TWO pieces of string, in the belief he’s totally ripping Brandreth off. Brandreth, unable to believe his luck, agrees and the moment Gabe delivers the disc, punches him in the face and runs off without paying.
Idly, the Doctor checks exactly what was in the email of death and discovers its misleading spam title belied its content: a personality re-coder that rewrites the brain of anyone who downloads it. The trouble it, the software it was written on was so shitty that it scrambles the brain of the downloader and kills them!
Suddenly, a tenth Scan-Droid bursts in and downloads the program straight into Tevez as she is rehearsing her acceptance speech for stealing Brandreth’s job. However, instead of dropping dead, Tevez looks around in panic and then screams she’s just popping to the little boy’s room, before fleeing the area.
Meanwhile, Brandreth sifts through the email on his computer but when he tries to run the program he discovers it has corrupted with countless viruses. Instantly, Brandreth starts to mutate into a monstrous tentacled Lovecraftian beast screaming, "DIE, SCUM!" over and over again in a strange voice not unlike that of Nick Briggs.
The Brandreth mutant lurches out of its office to confront the Doctor, Claudia, Lake and Gabe, as the Scan-Droids start screaming that "YOU SCUM ALL HAVE TINY MINDS! YOU ARE UNWORTHY!" and tries to kill them. It seems that Brandreth now rules the evil Scan-Droids and together they will form a new race of evil machine people who will conquer the entire universe because... well... Brandreth’s a REAL visionary when it comes to these long term career goals.
The Doctor and the others flee into the toilet where Tevez reveals she is no longer a mild mannered accountant but actually Nigella Jay Verkoff himself – Tevez’s mind has been erased and replaced by the download of Verkoff’s id!!
And now Nigel is living his dream of being trapped inside the body of a woman! Nigel reveals he emailed a bunch of his brain prints when he got drunk and tried to start a chain letter with the intention of getting more chicks by wiping their minds and replacing them with someone who actually thought he was attractive.
As for the Brandreth mutation, well, computer viruses can do that too you when you’re trying to hack into the less respectable lesbian animal threesome websites...
Incredibly nauseated by this conversation, Claudia opens the toilet door and fires a salvo at the Scan-Droids and Brandreth to absolutely no effect whatsoever. Slightly embarrassed, she quietly closes the toilet door and shuffles awkwardly on the spot.
Since they are at the mercy of a homicidal snot monster and his army of robot killers, the Doctor decides they should let the Scan-Droids inside the toilet and upload Nigel’s personality into it, giving them an ally to sacrifice nobly for the greater good.
The other Nigel pauses in playing with her breasts and admits that this is a pretty cool idea she’d be up for.
In less time than it takes for me to actually type up, a Scan-Droid is captured and reprogrammed and soon the robot and the woman are arguing about which one of them is the real Nigel Verkoff. The argument ends with another Scan-Droid arriving to see what all the fuss is about, and accidentally downloads the program, so there are now THREE Nigels!
Confused and without the RAM to cope with Nigel’s ego, the Scan-Droids start trying to rid themselves of the program and soon every Scan-Droid on the barge is convinced it is Nigel Verkoff, like some incredibly horrific disease created by French existentialists.
In the confusion, the humans wonder what they should do now – escape, fight the angry mutant, or hang around and hope for the best? Claudia decides to flee in her Porsche and the others follow... including Brandreth, who tries to grab onto the side of the air car as it leaves the barge, and his weight slowly drags the vehicle out of the sky.
The occupants of the Porsche shout angrily about whose fault they think this is down to and then Gabe has the brilliant idea of trying to download the mutation virus into Tevez/Nigel in the hope this causes a nifty battle of kaiju-type destruction. Truly, this guy is the proof why cousins shouldn’t marry after the sixth toes arrive.
Thus, the out of control Porsche being attacked by a homicidal mutant now has ANOTHER homicidal mutant INSIDE the Porsche where the other passengers are. The Doctor is furious - he makes it a general rule not to sacrifice a human life in order to create one monster to destroy another unless he’s SURE it would work!
The Doctor, Claudia and Gabe dive out of the Porsche as the two mutants start fighting, but by now the air car was so low it was barely a metre under the ground, so their death-defying stunt isn’t really very impressive.
The Doctor snatches up the virus and decides to shove it through a few firewalls, reverse the polarity and generally turn it into a dues ex machina that will transform Brandreth and Tevez back into normal humans once he jabs it into the right USB orifices.
After a long, tiring and incredibly over-expositional fight, the mutants are cured and the Doctor uses this excuse to repeatedly kick Gabe in the head until he falls unconscious.
Meanwhile, the mutants transform into two naked versions of Tevez who immediately start to fight to the death – it seems the antidote was mingled in with a lesbian mud-wrestling movie file. But before they can work out which one is really Tevez and which one is Brandreth, one of the woman snaps the neck of the other and kills them instantly.
The Doctor sighs and snaps the disc in two to stop further pornographic mind-altering mutation from occurring and idly asks if Claudia would want to join him in the TARDIS, fighting much more wholesome monsters and villains, creatures and demons, aliens and spaceships?
Claudia laughs in his face and vows to keep searching silicon valley for more of these deadly computer viruses which can then be sold on to the military and make her a fortune!
Sighing in annoyance at her steadfast refusal to listen to ANY of his moralistic speeches, the Doctor headbutts her lights out and storms back to his TARDIS to continue his search for a longterm companion who isn’t Melanie Bush.
Book(s)/Other Related -
Dr Who and the Deadly Download
Dr Who & The Spam Of Fatal Death!!!
Doctor Who: Vengeance on Verkoff
"Let’s Do The Mind Warp Again!" – a New Adventure with the 7th Doctor, Roz Forrester and Chris Cwej set in 1980s Melbourne for absolutely no reason whatsoever
The Scan-Droids are wearing Comic Relief red noses tied to their computer screen heads. This is never remarked upon.
The TARDIS suffers "premature spectral mismatching".
Links and References -
"Well, look which stupid changeling-faced time traveller came crawling back for more!" jeers Nigel/Tevez. This is presumably a reference to a previous encounter between Nigel and the Doctor. Or maybe just utter bollocks as Nigel is oft prone to do.
Untelevised Misadventures -
All those "Choose-Your-Own-Adventure-Find-Your-Fate-Decide-Your-Destiny" stories with such vaguely-defined one off companions like Chris, Ixio, Owner, Sam, Max and Francis Greenslade.
Groovy DVD Extras -
A bonus one part adventure called 'Prank Calls of the Viyrans' also written by Eddie Hitler. Except it’s not groovy and not an extra. Or even on a DVD.
Dialogue Disasters -
Tevez-Nigel: MAMA! I look HOT tonight!
Claudia: Tevez?! What’s happened to you?
Tevez-Nigel: Please help the cause against loneliness. Would you like to note my inside leg measurement?
Claudia: When did you take charge?
Doctor: Oh, some time ago. Didn’t you notice?
Claudia: Not really, this plot isn’t particularly engaging.
Scan-Droid: PRIORITY INFORMATION: I CREATE HISTORY EVERY NIGHT SINCE I TRUSTED IN THE NEW FORMULA. SO WET AND PINK. PRIORITY INFORMATION: ROCK SOLID HARNESS THAT FEELS BIGGER, WIDER AND FULLER TO YOU – AND TO HER! THROBBING POWERFUL BLOOD FLOW. PRIORITY INFORMATION: ALL NIGHT STAYING POWER. YOU CANNOT GO WRONG. PRIORITY INFORMATION: THIS IS HERBALIST ENDORSED AND IT IS USED AND RECOMMENDED BY SEX INDUSTRY PROFESSIONALS.
Claudia: Now, what was I saying?
Tevez-Nigel: That I was incredibly attractive and my bone structure was driving you wild with desire.
Claudia: No I wasn’t!
Tevez-Nigel: Fine – YOU can remember the conversation from now on!
Claudia: Why are dressed like that? Can’t you wear something that doesn’t make people’s eyes bleed?
Doctor: Claudia, there are lots of things I CAN do that I choose NOT to. And this is one of them.
Dialogue Triumphs –
Scan-Droid Nigel: If YOU are my answer then I must have asked the wrong question.
Doctor: I thought the Scan-Droids must have been reprogrammed. But no – the data itself is the killer!
Claudia: How can data kill you?
Doctor: If I’m right, anybody who knows that will be dead... remember how you were asking me about what the definition of irony was?
Scan-Droid: PRIORITY INFORMATION: CLICK ON APPROPRIATE LINK FOR CYNOPHILE URALITIZATION. QUATRIN TERRORIZE. PRIORITY INFORMATION: ASCYPHOUS POST-MARITAL ALPHABETS ANNEXATIONIST FLATTENS WILDISHNESS SAROTHRUM! PRIORITY INFORMATION: ALL THE BEST!
Viewer Quotes -
"So much for the 25 minute rule. Prank Calls is 27 minutes long! How dare they! HOW VERY DARE THEY! I shall never buy one of these one-parters again!" - Tri Sumi (2008)
"This is standard, uninteresting Big Finish fare. It is only made bearable by Giles Brandreth The Natural Raconteur ’s refreshing presence. Hell, the whole plot can go hang, I could have listened to Giles wittering on for the full two hours. He may be a jumper-ed buffoon but that VOICE! It’s so dreamy, you could bathe in it! I need only his voice alone to fulfill my sex life, as I have been faking my orgasms with my wife every time Brandreth wasn’t there... GOD, GILES, I LOVE YOU!!!" - Mr. Weird (2006)
"If you were a brainless lunatic who somehow stumbled across a job as a Doctor Who reviewer – and isn’t that how they DO get the job? – you might actually look forward to yet another story featuring Nigel 'Fabian WISHES He Was As Hot As Me' Verkoff, after he ruined Orange, The Ripoff and Caption: 1872!" - Dave Restal (2007)
"I think this double-release is by far my favorite of Eddie’s audio work to date - and also on a slighlty pervy note, how hot does he look in the booklet?" - Freema Agyeman (attributed)
"This story – a tale of multiple Nigel Verkoffs, girl on girl mutant wrestlings, psycho Transformer kill bots – is very much like Nikki Webster’s tits. So alluring from a distance, so disappointing once you get your hands on the genuine article." - "NV Gillepsie" AKA Nigel Verkoff (2008)
Psychotic Nostalgia -
"Spam filters are a lie. They’re there to trick you into a false sense of security. Don’t you realize our private emails are ALL spam to SOMEBODY! There’s no way to protect us! WE’RE JUST RUTTING ANIMALS SCREAMING IN THE DARKNESS! BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHA!"
Colin Baker Speaks!
"What keeps me coming back to Doctor Who? The good stories! The fact the show survived fourteen odd years or whatever in the Wilderness, come back and been such a zonking success isn’t because a bunch of sad fans are watching again... well, they do, but the point is, it appeals to a whole new audience of completely different brand new sad acts, some of them under ten years of age and already damned forever. The product itself is so strong, and I want to know what happens next as much as the next person. And, you know, I get paid for this. And I’d have to be, because I hate coming to London and then having to work with a toothbrush-wielding maniac... if I wasn’t getting a fat pay-slip for this, I’d stick pins in my eyes. Or rather, Briggsy’s eyes. I might do that to Briggsy anyway, actually. I’m not as altruistic a person as Peter, who would just crush his bollocks with a cricket bat."
Giles Brandreth Speaks!
"In this story I played my great-great grandson to the power of ten times four, and he’s a complex figure – both extraordinary villain, curious psychopath and boasting blind faith that he’s found the holy grail. Which was just like me, so it’s very much method acting on my part. I’m pleased that my descendants will be mutants only able to scream the word "SCUM!" over and over again. In these Doctor Who stories, there’s not much repetition or contradiction. There’s certainly deviation though. They’re all a bunch of deviants. Their deviancy knows no bounds. No wonder Tom Baker avoids them."
Rumors & Facts –
Edward Elizabeth Hitler, a comedy character made flesh by Big Finish’s incredibly cheap homemade probability generator, had been script editor for the BBC7 Eighth Doctor era as he and Paul McGann shared a deep and passionate loathing for the very concept of Doctor Who and would often plan complicated Twelve Monkeys-style time paradox attempts to assassinate the 1963 production team before they got it off the ground.
With the first season over, Hitler returned to Big Finish for no other reason than to brag to the executive producers what a cushy deal he had with much better cast, crew and editing equipment than his former employers (and technically creators) had ever managed.
Unfortunately, Hitler was startled to discover that Nicholas "Walk Without Fear But With Justifiable Tyranny" Briggs was no longer the strange gimp assistant who did the monster voices but now Supreme Overlord of the entire company. Briggs immediately locked the door, furious at the fact a quantum probability who looked like Adrian Edmonsen was getting better pay and quality conditions than he. Worse, the fact that both Briggs and Hitler were bald loons wearing old-fashioned suits caused further psychosis.
After being trapped in Briggs office without any beer of any description, Hitler firmly began to fear for his artificial life and agreed to work for Big Finish once more on the condition he wasn’t brutally stabbed to death with Briggs’ Sonic Toothbrush.
However, Hitler resolved there and then to do as little work as possible and, if circumstances allow, create the worst Big Finish story ever. This plan hit the skids when Hitler discovered the story Briggs was producing at the time: Nostalgia of the Dustbins.
Hitler decided to just settle on an unimaginative tale of unremarkable bad guys triggering predictable cliffhangers before being defeated in a standard resolution. Upon learning the story would be for Colin Baker, the Doctor rehabilitated so much by Big Finish, Hitler ensured the character was portrayed as a callous, tasteless bastard unworthy of any affection of any kind whatsoever. He also suggested getting Giles Brandreth to appear in the story as his own descendent, just so his well-known plummy tones could be COMPLETELY wasted when the character turned into a grunting monster.
Hitler even went so far as to watch a whole episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation so he could plagiarize the plot and give the fans another reason to hate it, while what little research he did allowed him to repeat the same ideas from other submissions to "make the whole thing grate like ball bearings in a blender!"
It was during this phase Hitler encountered Nigel Verkoff – occasional dog’s body and ex-Eccleston co-star who had appeared as himself in several stories including Fan & Phantasmagoria, The Cyb-Fest, The Dreaming, Terri’s Firmer, Caption: 1872, Orange, The Ripoff and The Sequel. Hitler took an instant dislike to the Aborigine and his bleached-blonde beehive hairdo, and drove his face into a coffee grinder to "teach him a bit of bloody humility".
Hitler cunningly decided to base his story around Verkoff’s egomania, but "The Id of Verkoff" was actually a biting criticism of Nicholas Briggs himself – even down to the monsters in the story suddenly acquiring the voice of a loser and impotently raging. However, Big Finish Production’s blatant hatred of Verkoff allowed Hitler to carry out this subtext in total secrecy.
While the story was being typed up by one of Hitler’s sexual conquests, he decided he couldn’t arsed plotting out and scripting four episodes and decided on whim to simply write three. Thus, he argued, this would escape the core problem of countless other, unsuccessful four part stories, and focus the plot around a smaller group of characters and their reactions. Basically, it was less work.
Briggs considered the idea as interesting, logical, and quite original – and thus missed the forgettable and lackluster material handed in for the three condensed episodes. After pointlessly changing the title to "Id", Briggs gave the whole project no further thought whatsoever.
On a deeper level, the story looks at what makes a person a person. Can one back up one's brain on a hard drive? If it is then transferred into another body, is it still the same person in a new body? If a person gets a whole new personality, how would they act? Would they then get memory surgery to make them think that their personality had been the one they'd been born with? How would they treat their past, and would they be satisfied? Can being a completely self-obsessed wanker with severe personality disorder be reduced to an algorithm?
Well, sleep-inducing stuff, but who cares?
Eddie Hitler Speaks!
"As Harold Pinter once said to me, 'Eddie,' he said, 'if babies were stories, I'd want you to write mine. It's simply not cricket for one person to have so much talent, etc, etc.' and all that bollocks. And those words were never more obvious when I found out that they’d put that bastard Nick Briggs in charge of Big Finish. He came running over to me and threw his arms around me, crying "Dear brother author of the Audio Whoniverse! Embrace Me!" and started going on and on about how I should stick with BF and do more stories with the past-it, equity-reject has-beens that only social outcasts like Steve Moffat likes!
Well, I was just about to tell the trouser monkey to go fuck himself, when I saw the looks of terror in the eyes of all the staff, the blood stains, their mute pleas for salvation. Now, I had absolutely no desire to write another piece of shit for these fools, but it was then I noticed all the window dummies with RTD’s face on them, hacked to pieces by that very same toothbrush Briggs was using to carve his initials into a Character Options Remote Control Dustbin. Anyway, we ended up writing a story for the Sixth Doctor Colin Baker but no companions, returning monsters, interesting cast or anything like that and amazingly, people seemed to like it. It was a hit. However, I have nothing good to say about the experience, other than I got to go on tour of the studios and saw all the places Paul told me about where he had surreptitiously shagged voluptuous bits of tail like India Fisher, Daphne Ashbrook, the Olsen Twins and, due to a moment involving very poor studio lighting, Michael Sheard."
Also included in the disc was a one-episode story entitled "Prank Calls" – hastily written by Hitler and Briggs when it was discovered that three 25 minute episodes couldn’t quite fill 100 minutes of run time according to the laws of human mathematics. This problem was occurring with other three-part stories on CD for EXACTLY the same reason, and so one-part stories had to be written for them as well to fill up the second disc. Briggs decided that this would create a brand new story arc based on a short story he’d somehow managed to smuggle into the 2007 Doctor Who Annual.
Briggs was keen to create a unique alien monster for the series with an evolving motivation to bring it into contact with the Doctor for very different reasons throughout his life; not necessarily evil but sometimes the results of their actions are catastrophic. Therefore, these new monsters would be piss easy to write for since they didn’t need to match up in motivation or modus operandi, plus they’d be created by Nick Briggs and no Estates would have to be paid for use for them like the Cybermen or the Dustbins, and also Briggs could prove the voices without question!
The race were dubbed the Viyrans, and looked like some cheap Battlestar Galactica costumes sprayed with red and white paint so they matched the crude Doctor Who Annual illustrations that spawned them in the first place.
Thus, The Virus Strand was born!
The Virus Strand I: "Prank Call of the Viyrans!"
The Sixth Doctor, desperate for companionship, resorts to ringing up every Grant Markham who ever lived until he finds one who would want to be his live in chum and travel with him throughout time and space.
Just as he is about to start, the phone he has built into the TARDIS console rings and it is a young woman from 1974 called Lauren Hudson who was trying to call her mother. When she learns the person on the other end of the line is a doctor, Lauren complains that she’s feeling awful and her fingernails are bleeding.
Rolling his eyes the Doctor tells Lauren to stop pestering him with what’s either probably food poisoning or an STD. If she’s REALLY worried about it, she can just head for the nearest hospital and kick up a fuss until they cure her.
The Doctor hangs up and almost immediately the phone rings again. It is Lauren, but for her a couple of weeks have passed and she went to the hospital on his advice and was immediately placed in quarantine by UNIT and the Third Doctor and the Brigadier had her sign the Official Secrets Act before they let the surgeons operate on her – removing a silver centipede from inside her spinal column! This was apparently an alien parasite that was turning her body into raw fuel and if unchecked would have turned her into a giant mucus-covered slug!
The Doctor announces this is really nauseating, and while he accepts her thanks for saving her miserable life, he’s got work to do, so he hangs up again.
The phone rings again, this time Lauren is after her friend Connie but before the Doctor can tell her to piss off it strikes her as more of a coincidence that she seems to accidentally ring the one man in the whole universe that could know what was wrong with her. The Doctor muses that maybe poor telephone sanitizing has lead to some kind of sophisticated virus that leads to unbelievably helpful wrong numbers?
Lauren points out that this idea is quite simply retarded, but the Doctor shouts at her that SHE is not the expert on alien life currently in a dimensionally-transcendent time machine, so she can shut up!
In a fit of pique, he hangs up and tries to dial the first Grant Markham in the phone book, but only succeeds in getting Lauren when she’s working at a telephone exchange.
Swearing loudly, the Doctor tries again and gets Connie, Lauren’s friend, who accuses him of being a stalker and threatens to call the police when he points out that she’s probably infected with the good-luck-wrong-number virus which is undoubtedly some kind of espionage tool allowing spies to communicate without having to do all that fiddly mucking about with remembering phone numbers.
Fuming the Doctor hangs up when he gets a text message from Lauren, at which point he screams, rips the phone from the console and jumps up and down on it until it’s pulverized.