Saturday, December 5, 2009

8th Doctor - Horror of Glam Rock

Serial 9E – Horror of the Music Industry
An Alternative Program Guide by Ewen Campion-Clarke
Thirty-Third Entry in the EC Unauthorized Guide O' Becoming a Rock Star
All the laugh-out-loud material is by Jared "No Nickname" Hansen – easy to spot, huh?


Serial 9E – Horror of the Music Industry -

The Doctor lands the TARDIS and notes that it is actually Earth, early 2007. Slightly confused about the fact that he said that there was a force-field around this precise planet and time just a story ago, the Doctor is mystified. But then Lucie throws up all over the console and he gets distracted.

An unshaven lunatic speaking with an improbably plummy and obviously fake English accent, answering to the name Lord Cat of Molester-Jones, drives his exclusive three-wheeled custom Lambourghini through the bible belt of the United States whilst toasting some crumpets and sipping high tea. In the back seat are the two biggest and youngest stars of a country that has no concept of talent - Rihanna and Chris Brown! Or, at least, two fifty year old actors claiming to be Rihanna and Chris Brown. They’re probably all from the same asylum.

As the car ploughs through three-feet deep snow, Rihanna asks if maybe putting the roof up would be an idea. Molester-Jones scoffs at this, saying that being the most filthy-rich and famous music producer who ever lived doesn't stop him from appreciating an opportunity for free sub-zero air conditioning. Chris Brown, meanwhile, is muttering to himself about the oncoming invasion of homicidal guinea pigs. Molester-Jones announces that they can get all the guinea-pigs they want – in Ray's [In]Famous Pizzas! Guinea Pig Surprise is a specialty of the insane owner. So long as his parole is over, they should be guaranteed quite a feast!

As they enter the diner, they notice in the distance a gentleman named Marshall Mathers III, from one of the most eminent families of 20th century America, stumbles down a frozen highway in a drug-addled haze, contemplating aloud whether it’s time to retire from hip-hop for the sixth time this year, and questioning the wisdom of carrying all his worldly possessions around his neck on gold chains. He begins to argue with himself about whether he seriously thought he could make it as an actor, whether he sold out by appearing on Oprah, whether they really DID forget about Dre, and whether his smooth hip-hop rhymes and scintillating beats seriously have any chance of fighting off a werewolf.

A clue: no.

Parte the First

Moments later, the TARDIS materializes on the hard shoulder of the
Motorway, the doors open and the Doctor bodily hurls Lucie outside. It seems that after 800 paper towels, the Time Lord realized that he was treating the symptom rather than the cause of vomit fountain, and thus tells Lucie to find her OWN freaking way back.

The Doctor’s hopes of hearing her crushed response are spoilt when he hears nothing but a faint burbling sound. He then takes a look and notes that he has managed to throw Lucie face down into the bubbling, septic remnants of the whitest and most septic rapper to ever live:

"Marshall Montague Mathers III, fifteenth Earl of Montinghurst and Commander of the British Empire, more commonly known by his stage name and comedy white-trash persona "Eminem"!" the Doctor marvels. In fact, he’s so pleased to see that the world’s biggest fascist snob to ever imitate an impoverished R & B artist has been destroyed utterly by wandering werewolves, that he graciously deigns to overlook his homicidal urges towards Lucie and pulls her out of the liquefied organs before she can drown.

"This could be the start of a beautiful friendship," he enthuses to his gore-spattered companion, who rewards him with a 5-inch stiletto heel embedded into his balls, followed by a "Fists of Fury" pummeling. "Then again, maybe not..." the Doctor is heard to remark beneath the 1960s Batman-style "POW!" "SMACK!" "KER-SPLATT!" "WHACK!!" and "KITCH POP CULTURE REFERENCES THAT SHOW WHAT A SMUG LITTLE ZEITGEISTER THE AUTHOR IS!" sound effects.

By the time Lucie finishes beating the Doctor, the entire TARDIS has become snowed under and is inaccessible! They have no choice but to seek shelter elsewhere! Oh, it’s so traditional, it just hurts, doesn’t it? To Lucie’s horror, the nearest roof from the storm is Ray’s [In]Famous Pizza – a full FIFTY METRES AWAY!

There is a tense five minutes as Lucie wails that she can never make it that distance and forces the Doctor to carry her, and the Doctor races against the clock to carry her the five thousand centimetres of open space before the time elapses whereupon they will begin suffering side-effects of overexposure – in just four and a half hour’s time! He makes it with four hours and twenty five minutes to spare, having stopped off to buy a newspaper on the way and get some coffee. His acts of daring earn him a standing ovation when he enters the Pizzeria.

The applause goes to his head and he demands the crowd acknowledge him as their one true God.

There is total silence.

"Damn it, that one usually works. Can I at least have a medium slice with extra gopher?"

There are nods of acceptance all round as the amassed customers realize that the Doctor is a regular, and they return to their meals. Lucie points out something that the Doctor hasn’t noticed - incredibly they’re ALL noted chart-toppers! The Doctor shrugs at this news, as he can’t leave the TARDIS for a piss without bumping into disgustingly famous people.

Lucie doesn’t take well to this attitude and points out that there’s Kanye West, Sean Kingston, Beyonce, Amy Winehouse, Stacey Ferguson, Chad Kroger, Keith Urban, Sara Origliasso, Lupe Fiasco, Tom De Longe, Shannon Noll, DJ Shadow, Westwood, Akon, Timbaland, Nicole Scherzinger and NE-Yo all eating together in the same run-down lower West End Brooklyn pizza joint – does the Doctor not see a problem with this?

The Doctor blinks. A lot.

He then says that something very clearly IS wrong – Lucie has been brainwashed into thinking these people are somehow IMPORTANT! He then goes on a lengthy diatribe about how all of those people will be swallowed up in the wake of the oncoming great events that will rip the world apart, the cruel winds of history leaving them nothing but clean-picked bones in the metaphorical desert of time.

Apart from Tom De Longe.

"Brother was in Blink!" as the Doctor puts it, before jumping onto a table and air-guitaring his way through "Small Things" before Shannon Noll misinterprets the lyrics in an embarasing way and throws his meatballs at the Doctor.

The Doctor’s calm, measured response is to cut off one of Noll’s fingers and yell "I AM NOT AFRAID OF YOU!" He then helps himself to Noll’s garlic bread whilst ignoring his pitiful crying and general begging for mercy.

Lucie goes to Cat Molester-Jones’ table and asks the group whether THEY think any of this is strange. Cat Molester tells her to shut up, he is in a phone call, before continuing to stare at the wall; Chris Brown yells that the Custard Men are coming; and Rihanna shrugs in a way as if to say "This is just a typical Saturday night."

Lucie backs slowly away, and then finds the Doctor who is pressuring Nicole Scherzinger into answering his many questions about the trashy one-second hit "Beep" – mostly relating to the pressing question of whether the song was actually written for someone with breasts visible to the naked eye because that would have made a hell of a lot more sense that way.

Lucie tentatively asks the Doctor whether they could leave, right now, at high speed, and never, ever come back. The Doctor muses over the sensible request, but says that they are embroiled in events now, and that things are liable to get very serious. He’s just noticed a clear continuity error in that Ray’s [In]Famous Pizza was clearly state to be on the Highway originally, but is now apparently in the inner-city! All continuity errors are naturally purely on behalf of the writer and never unintentional, so when so obvious one occurs it usually means that someone's messing around with the space-time continuum and some seriously Rob Shearman-style murdering is about to go down.

Right on cue, Fergie screams at the sight of Timbaland slumped on a table, with a gaudy diamond-encrusted knife in his back.

The sight of the doors confirms what the Doctor suspects – the snow has marooned them inside! The Powers That Be have deigned it time for a game of Murder On the Orient Express with the 'stars' of the modern music scene!

With the help of Lucie's fist-flavored 'persuasion of pain', the Doctor lines up all the guests against the wall and begins interrogating them. By 'interrogating', I really mean 'mocking them until they cry tears of blood'. He is left speechless when he sets eyes on Chris Brown, and his sense of unease is not helped by the fact that Chris Brown won’t stop going on about some aliens that are going to land here any minute.

It is up to Cat Molester-Jones to introduce his companion to the Doctor.

"Oh, Chris BROWN?" the Doctor says in sudden understanding. "The nimble, 16-year old breakdancer with a racer Gollum like physic who manages to fool the world into believing that he’s also an R&B singer?"

"That is the very one, my good sir."

"You know, I didn’t recognise him at all. He’s looking very fat, fifty, cross-eyed and gout-infected today..."

The Doctor double-takes at the sight of Molester-Jones and soon swears that he’s seen him somewhere before. Molester-Jones laughs evilly, but it must be some sort of aside to the audience as the Doctor asks him if he was ever a Meth dealer and lets the conversation drop there.

He then blanks Rihanna completely, seeing that she is clearly actually an octogenarian called Sheri Devine with shoe polish all over her face, and moves on to NE-Yo, of whom he demands an instant explanation for all his provocative crotch-grabbing and trilby-wearing.

Lucie, for the sake of 'character development' talks to Rihanna, which serves as something of a merciful distraction from endless slagging off of pop-stars by the Doctor, but it turns out that the Northern lass has little to actually ask, other than "D’ye reckon I’d look hotter in boot polish?"

The Doctor, meanwhile, thanks to fancy editing tricks has reached the end of the line after a blow-by-blow criticque of Boxcar Racer’s cretinous cover-version of "Mandy" and finds himself face-to-face with a rather friendly-looking werewolf, who decides to save the Doctor time by wildly professing his innocence instantly.

The Doctor ruffles his fur, says he likes the cut of his gib, and then hands over the murder weapon, asking for him to keep an eye out for any just like it. The nameless werewolf grins and says that the Doctor can count on his help.

Three seconds later, Keith Urban is dead.

Parte The Second

The crowd is shocked, but the Doctor tells them to get over it. After all, can anyone even name a single song he did?

There is a deathly silence, and a tumbleweed blows across the room. However, this turns out just to be Amy Winehouse's beehive hairdo – for a moment Lucie suspects she is also dead, but it is simply one of her six-pass-outs-a-day, so everything is perfectly normal.

However, before the drug-addicted singer passed out she took the time to scrawl a message into her unconvincing wig with some of her left-over cocaine - it says simply "DISTRESS"

At this horrifying message, the Doctor realises why Molester-Jones looked so familiar – he is the dreaded DJ Distress, aka Ian Levine, one of his most infuriating and implacable of enemies! The DJ is always uncovering evidence of the Doctor’s most embarrassing escapades on Earth (even after the Time Lord’s deliberate attempts to destroy all such evidence) and publishing it to the world! He also invented Scarsborough Trans-Dance, Bulgarian Techno-Polka, and Salt-Lake Soprano Medley Bluegrass along with countless other, slightly less lethal freak genres of music.

"Plus you also just really piss me off!" the Doctor snarls, mainly so it can be edited out of context and used in trailers which will make gullible fans think that a vaguely credible enemy might appear in this story.

The DJ reveals that all this is indeed true – and he has just returned from purchasing some rare scrimshaw of the Doctor in compromising positions with Marco Polo and the Yeti! The Doctor, flushed, demands to know the details of DJ Distress’ latest villainous scheme... assuming it is in any way different from all the other villainous schemes which blur together into one big 1970s cliché.

Embarrassed, the DJ is forced to admit that he doesn’t actually HAVE a villainous scheme today. Okay, he had the idea for a caper involving replacing the real Rihanna and Chris Brown with doppelgangers, but after twenty minutes he realized that the plan was actually rather shit and he’s now "so over it". With a shrug, he says he’ll probably go to Cardiff and see if anything’s going on, make another bid for the Eurovision Song and Genocide Contest, or maybe just cry himself to sleep. Again.

Lucie, more than a little fed up with this nonsense, notes that the snow has abated outside and they can probably get out of this incomprehensible shithole. The Doctor, unimpressed with the true nature of his legendary enemy, agrees and they successfully navigate the half-dozen corpses between themselves and the door, only for it to be thrown open by THE ALIENS!

Yes, the aliens that Chris Brown hasn’t shut up about for the whole story are finally here...

...and somewhat disappointingly, they’re revealed to simply be Illegal Aliens from Guatemala carrying shovels who announce in grating English that they’ve been called in to dig a mass grave.

Cleaning blood off his diamond-encrusted blade, the Werewolf complains that it took them frigging long enough and he was starting to wonder if he could take the smell much longer.

"Wait a minute!" screams the Doctor melodramatically, and pulls a tophat out of his coat. The way you do. The instant he puts it on the mysterious Werewolf's head all becomes clear!!


Yes, it was Tom Petty all along!

I’ll give you a few seconds to wrap your primitive earthling brains around this.


Fuck it, I don’t care if it makes no sense to you, time is passing! Tom Petty explains calmly that his plan was to destroy the entire corrupt music industry, by eliminating all of the number one artists in one night. He also makes it clear that the fact his own new album is soon to be released is purely co-incidental, and he truly has the music itself at the heart of his agenda.

The Doctor makes one of his grand, moralistic speeches straight to camera, where he explains that you really can’t blame the talentless hacks who get their photos on the album. "Sure, they WANT the glamorous life of pop stars – but they don’t make it on their own! As any glance at the Billboard Top 100 these days show, it’s purely a lottery for who gets made and who gets left behind by the vultures of the music industry. Their tyranny saturates the market to the point where even the theoretical democratic marketplace consumers cannot be blamed for the success of a Pussy Cat Doll or a 50 Cent, as the possible choice is so limited in any high-end record store actually in a position for their sales to be recognized by the official channels in the highly corrupt ranking system, that all that can be truly measured is the amount of marketing spent on any one album!"

"So," the Doctor continues, ignoring the bored yawns from the rest of the cast, "if Petty, or anybody like him, TRULY wants to end this madness, he should not kill the artists – pitiful, talentless, greedy hacks that they are – but should rather the target the major record producers!"

For the sake of 'hypothetical example' the Doctor then provides a long list of such producers, where they live and their greatest soul-destroying fears. For a full list, check out the Big Finish website, or send a self-addressed envelope to the Assassin’s Guild Information Bureau (ask for Mr. Teatime).

Finally, the Doctor stops talking for a brief moment, allowing Tom Petty to shrug and says that it’s all well and good saying attack the message not the messengers, but the fact remains he’s already killed all of the musicians. The irony of now leaving the evil producers unfetted by the possibility of talent passion aside and thus making them by default stronger aside, the moral’s not exactly helping.

The Doctor and Lucie laugh merrily in response, leading to a classic 70s freeze-frame ending into the credits music, here provided as an acoustic cover-version performed by Petty and The Fat Boys.

Next Time...
"I am Zeus. Lord of the skies. Bringer of storms. And this is Hera. Goddess of whatever she is goddess of."
"What is this, the planet of banjo-plucking retards!"
"It’s what every emperor, every pharaoh ever dreamed of..."
"Oi, bar-gum, mi name'z Lucie Miller and this mis'rable suthern fucking wanker is mi bumblin' assistant! Oi'm here to perv on yez!"
"How flattering, ape girl."
"Stacy, I would rather die and be with you for that moment than let them take you from me! So can we get down to some shagging please?"
"They’re killing their own children before I get a chance to!"
"Silence! The gobby bint knows nothing!"
"Put down the magic bullet-firing machine, Calcium. OWW!"
"Don’t let the pure historical opening scenes fool you, Doctor."
"Who are they SUPPOSED to fool then?"
"I am annoyed by your accent, Lucie."
"You will save me. Do it or Lucie will die in a new and interesting way every day for a hundred years!"
"...and that’s supposed to motivate me?!"
"I haven’t seen you since The Best Wife!"
...Immoral Bedfellows...

Book(s)/Other Related -
Doctor Who and the Petty Matter
Doctor Who: Split Enz are Totally Better Than Tom Petty (Canada only)
How to Serve Rodents: Mediterranean Edition by S. Baldrick

Fluffs – Paul McGann seemed to be working for the Man in this story.
"Funny how potent cheap music can be. Isn't that right, Brian Eno?"
"The music business doesn’t change... not from the inside. Not from the out. You sign on there, it changes you. Puts things in your head. Spins your compass needle around till you can't cross the street without tripping the proverbial old lady and stepping on her glasses. And the compass needle keeps spinning. And the world gets murkier and murkier. And it’s not like I wasn’t there, gents, like I wasn’t watching all of you. My band could have been AWESOME! You broke Joe’s heart, you bastards!"
"And I say push this button, shove that lever, who the fuck wants to live forever?"

Goofs –
The Doctor deduces from Eminem’s corpse that he and Lucie have arrived during the infamous music cull of the 21st century as recorded in Dirty Bendy-Wendy Roger Richard’s magnum opus "Dreams Crashing and Burning: Musical Extinction of Lulu, Hendrix and the Wombles". Since he has the definitive reference work on the subject in his pocket, why is he so utterly useless in the real thing?!
Considering the mutilated corpse of Eminem is still steaming outside the café and the killer still on the loose, why doesn’t the Doctor warn Keith Urban of the obvious dangers of prancing out into the open with a "STAB ME" note on his back? Or is this just incredibly subtle characterization on the writer’s part?
Why does the Doctor complain, "Honestly, human beings! Put you in a position of dire peril and what do you stupid apes do? Quarrel about pop music and kill each other!" Has he completely lost the whole point of the story? It’s not exactly difficult to remember, is it?

Why do the aliens' corporeal forms vanish when the Doctor traps their
wraithlike forms in the MP3 player? (The scripted explanation - "without control
they're nothing"- isn't very convincing).

Fashion Victims -
Lucie’s massive floor-length zebra skin tie, shoulder-pads, dayglow orange flares and rubber gum boots and denim jacket:
"I thought you'd understand, being in showbiz... y’know, the costume, the wig."
"This outfit is quite sober where I come from, mate!"

Technobabble -
I dunno, there’s probably some SOMEWHERE. How many of these fucking things have I done, anyway? You think I could get a freaking break from having note every single time the polarity was reversed...

Links and References -
The Doctor muses over the death of Eminem, "It was always a real tragedy I never got him and the Egyptian Pharaoh to fight to the death on pay TV. Ah, que sera sera. He would have been knifed to death in the first ten seconds anyway...."

Untelevised Misadventures -
The Doctor once nearly joined the Martian Chapter of the Hell’s Angels as part of an incredibly devious and complicated plan to guide Ace to her ultimate destiny to defeat the Ice Cream Vendor Zombies and seize control of Gallifrey using Marxist parables. This is PROBABLY a reference to "Nice Time", but you can never be sure with Margrs.

Groovy DVD Extras -
Paul McGann’s soul dies a little more as he is forced at gunpoint to do a cover of Bullamakanka’s "Doctor Who Is Gonna Fix It".

Dialogue Disasters –

BBC7 Introduction:
"Tonight, on BBC7 another brand-new Doctor Who adventure at 6pm and repeated at midnight for people who couldn’t cope with it the first time! Doctor Who is here once again as the leader of the gang, come on! The roving Time Lord and Reluctant Companion Lucie Miller in tow pitch up a new-fangled motorway besieged by chart-topping musicians and find something sinister! I Heart The 70s this isn’t, and indeed it has nothing to do with the mid seventies or the height of glam rock, stack heels, blue eye shadows. What’s scarier about the 1970s – the monsters or the music and the fashions of the decade that taste forgot? What the hell am I even talking about? Must have mixed up my medication again. So, prepare for scare and blood on the dance floor... ARGH! SPIDERS!!"

Lucie: Doctor, I don’t feel at all well. I think I’m going to be sick.
Doctor: Why do I get the feeling your next words are going to be...
(Lucie vomits over the console.)
Doctor: Oh, that is disgusting!

Jones: Lord Cat of Molester-Jones, manager to the stars.
Doctor: The Doctor. I’m in the star business too, in a way. Except you know, I actually DO a damn thing instead of getting ten per cent for parasitically feeding on the talent and abilities of those far more imaginative and braver than I am to work out some teenage abuse problems which have caused a massive compensation syndrome.
Jones: Screw you, hippy! Come back when you’ve got a new image!

Marshall Mathers III: Aaargh! Argh! Oh please, dude, don’t rip my leg off – FUCK! You totally just ripped my leg off arrrgh!

Jones: Look at me. Who’d think I’m the most powerful and dynamic manager in the music business? Seriously, a genuine question, does ANYONE think I’m important influential? Anyone? Anyone at all? Just a fleeting, mistaken impression? How about you, the werewolf in the top hat? Anyone think that rock and roll is my destiny? Hello? What about the boy bands I’ve managed? Sure THEY got the confused idea I knew what the hell I was doing for brief periods at the very least? Didn’t they? Oh, it’s a wonder legendary bits aren’t dropping off me that my young stars and protégé roadies don’t even recognize my genius... I AM A RISING YOUNG HOPEFUL OF THE POP WORLD, DAMN YOU! Of god, I’m just another no one spec on this tiny world, aren’t I? Why won’t the universe open up for me? WHY?!? Oh, the universe is a lonely place, devoid of musical talent, and the critics tear me to shreds... DO ANY OF YOU GREAT HAIRY LOUTS KNOW WHO I AM?!

Chris Brown: You’re the Doctor!
Doctor: That’s right! Did Lucie tell you about me?
Chris Brown: Well, she described a prancing Scouse ponce in fancy velvet tat trying to take over the whole situation, so I just kind of put two and two together.
Doctor: Yes... remind me to snap her femur for that.

Dialogue Triumphs -

Doctor: Ah, Jones. Listen. There’s a corpse out there, in the car park. The savaged corpse of Eminem. Pass it on, spread the good news.
Lucie: Don’t forget to tell them he was virtually ripped in half.

Nolls: You know what this plot’s really about, don’t you, Doctor?
Doctor: I do. Really. Yes. Does that shock you?
Nolls: Nothing shocks me in this script, Doctor. I’m glad someone DOES know, actually. Yesterday, we thought we knew the general gist of the storyline, but now I don’t think anyone understands a thing...

Lucie: You do this sort of thing a lot, don’t you?
Doctor: Mmm.
Lucie: Mocking pop stars. Like this. It’s one cynical PR stunt after another with you, innit?
Doctor: I don’t go LOOKING for useless tone deaf noise polluters to tease.
Lucie: But you find them. Somehow. Every time.
Doctor: I’m glad I met you, Lucie. You really put my last few companions in perspective. Never thought I’d miss old Lizard Boy’s wide-eyed strangling compulsion in awkward moments. He was a positive diplomat compared to you, duck face. Sometimes I wonder why I bother with you expository plot devices at all... GIVE ME THAT DONUT, NOW!!!

Doctor: Old motorway charm! Ketchup things in the shape of tomatoes!
Lucie: The tea in these places is never quite right anyway. It’s like having a mouthful of copper coins.
Doctor: Which is coincidentally what YOU’LL be getting if you don’t shut up and start being a bit more helpful.

UnQuotable Quote -

Ian Levine: He’s been torn apart! Just like my underwear, only less expensive to replace.

Viewer Quotes -

"Wow, Paul Magrs can do stuff so normal that it's boring. DO SOMETHING UNUSUAL YOU DOWN-TO-EARTH TWAT!" - Mad Larry the Pirate King (2012)

"Tom Petty? Fuck you guys!" - Bob Dylan (2007)

"Alright, Jablonis, the Supreme Dustbin has noticed some of you trash-talkers asking why the murders take place without witnesses when they are logically impossible in a room filled with twenty-something people. Newsflash: it’s called DRAMA!" - The Supreme Dustbin (2008)

"I wouldn’t really say that I didn’t make it to the end, as such. More sort of me making my own ending for the story by hitting the stop button when Ian Levine appears. See, that way I can imagine it's just like that Sopranos episode and he gets his head blown off in the ensuing silence. Spiteful? Me? Up yours!" - Nigel Verkoff (2007)

"I wanted to play Tom Petty! Fuck you guys!" - Cate Blanchett (2007)

"Okay, seriously, what the fuck is the deal with the Oddly Visuals? I guess everyone EXPECTS their first go to be crap because I read hardly a bad thing about them but... COME ON! Infection 13 is complete shit! The whole thing's just an excuse to kill a companion off as quickly as possibly. And I’m not impressed – how’s this: Scene One, Nadia falls down in the shower, cracks her head and dies. Bam! Five seconds. I win. Of course, 23 years on and Paul Magrs is just using his script as an excuse to kill off every singer he doesn’t like which is even worse. AND HE’S GETTING PAID FOR IT!!! YOU PEOPLE MAKE ME SICK! NO FIST! NO FUCKING FIST WHATSOEVER!" - Jared "No Nickname" Hansen (2009)

"Ian Levine nearly steals the show, which is tragic because a world where he succeeded would be a real beautiful, happily-ever-after, candy mountain place where all our dreams come true. The neo rock version of the theme tune is as far from fantastic as it is possible to get, I’d actually go further and burst my own ear drums rather than suffer a single note of this torment ever again." – Murray Gold (2007)

"HAVE I NOT SUFFERED ENOUGH?!" – Ian Levine (2008)

"Ah, the classic 'Motorway cafe under siege' story. It was never going to live up to the title though was it!???!??" – Sarcastic Brian (2009)

"All I am is what I am. I lived seven lives at once. I was power and the ecstasy of death. I was god to a god. Now I’m trapped in an apartment. Just one roof, in this time and this place, with an unstable human who bleaches his hair and calls himself the Big N while listening to crap Big Finish audios." – Illyria Burkle (2009)

"Here come the Children of Tomorrow! There go the Losers of Today! The old order has finally fallen. Nothing’s going to stand in their way! They’re taking over! And there’s nothing we can do! They’re taking over! IT’S THE END OF ME AND YOU!" – Random Goodies Lyrics (1974)

"It was only the sheer disappointment that saved the play from being utterly forgettable." – Arnold Korns (1998)

Psychotic Nostalgia -
"Horror of the Music Industry is the greatest audio ever. There, I said it. It’s more dramatic than Bare Parts, it's got better dialogue than D'You Believe This?, and it's funnier than just about anything else. I love it. It’s absolutely genius. Cracking, gripping, suitably silly but never vomit-inducing 'camp'. People who hate it, their souls are gonna burn in a lake of fire! Magrs you inconsiderate bastard, why’d you have to go and render 90% of the BF output redundant!? Now they all have to die. All of them. All of them have to die. To die. To die. To die."

Paul McGann Speaks!
"Working on Doctor Who is usually mayhem in space and time, but since Eddie Hitler’s taken over, we’ve had a good crop of scripts. Of course, when I say that, I mean 'by the standards of Big Finish'. And with Big Finish, their lunches are generally better than the scripts and the lunches are stale tomato and cheese sandwiches. They’re not gentle or pastoral snacks. The energy and vitality needed to swallow those sandwiches means we really have to fly at them. No joking, how can some processed cheese and sun-dried tomato on white bread turn into the flavor and consistency of a mattress? It defies all logic."

Sheridan Smith Speaks!
"I work really well with Paul. His voice is quite intense and sexy, so I try to avoid the obvious reading of the line and just emote like mad. It’s my incredible strength that, and why I haven’t stopped working. I’m just too good. Plus I’ve got a fantastic set of knockers. It’s a good thing the Big Finish actually cast me cause I would probably be snapped up by the adult film industry in no time. But if anyone thinks I’m not as good as Billie Piper, remember I’m a hell of a lot better than Sheri Devine, who was in this story. She follows me everywhere, that creepy old slapper. She even tried to audition for Two Pints of Lager And A Packet of Crisps as Janet! Mad senile bitch..."

Sheri Devine Speaks!
"I’m in love with Paul McGann. Isn’t he the loveliest man? This is the second time I worked for him, though it’s the first time he’s been aware of it. He’s such a darling. We did a Midsomer Murders together, in the sense he played the murderer and I hid inside a wardrobe when they were filming and no one knew I was there. But he was completely different... assuming it was actually him. I was watching through the crack in the wardrobe door and there wasn’t much oxygen, but I’m fairly certain it was him. But anyway, I think he’s good in this and he makes everyone so welcome and makes such a lovely atmosphere with that good natured 'Welcome To Hell, The Anoraks Will Never Let You Leave' japery. And then, for a laugh, he invited India Fisher back to break my fingers one by one. If you’ll excuse me, my catheter’s been dislodged."

Eddie Hitler Speaks!
"Yeah, I was really into getting Paul’s Doctor all hard and dark and Clint Eastwood-ish, on that long and winding yet somehow inevitable road to make him slowly get more sarcastic and rude and Northern, further away from how he was in that god awful TV movie and closer and closer to Eccleston’s Ninth Doctor. I really wanted to kick that in with that story, but life’s so bloody hectic. One-Eyed Raging Bob McStallion turned up in the middle of the read-through with a pitch fork and tried to skin Alan Barnes in the curiously mistaken belief that he was a turtle. So I had to wrap him in tinfoil to make him stop. Bloody hero, I was! But do any of those tossers of the Doctor Who Forum bother to think about that when they slag off my work. I mean, admittedly, Horror of the Music Industry is complete shit, but try to see it all from my point of view. Or I’ll snap your spinal column like a dry twig and use the chord as DENTAL FLOSS!"

Trivia -
Originally, Bernard Cribbins was to play Cat Molester Jones but turned up at the wrong Doctor Who production office and was immediately granted the position of semi-regular because he was so much better in "Carry On Columbus" than all the 1980s comic talent, who just weren’t giving a shit and sitting around spouting double entendres. It was only him and Julian Clary who saved the wretched enterprise. But don’t trust me, trust wikipedia!!

Rumors & Facts -

Originally, this story was entitled The Horror of Glam Rock a pun of the famous Tom Baker story Horror of Fang Rock. But then Nicholas Briggs pointed out there WAS no such story called Horror of Fang Rock, as it was really entitled Lighthouse Cutaway and all true Doctor Who fans would know that and everyone else would be confused. Thankfully, this means that we were spared the unutterably smug and self-aware wink-the-audience gag that fans in other, less interesting dimensions were forced to live with.

As ever, the moment Doctor Who starts to calm down with traditional Dustbin stories and no more cast changes, the crazy, crazy bastards have to try to attempt something "novel" with "tried and tested formats" when on "fairly safe ground". God, it’s so reactionary, isn’t it? What’s more, they have to go the whole and get Paul Margrs to write it – a man whose bank statement rarely feels traditional, let alone his Doctor Who stories, which include The Stoned of Venice, Excelsior Yawns, The Worm of the Rani and The Widow’s Peak and those are just the ones he was willing to confine to the medium requested!

Magrs’ writing style is often referred to as "loopy and demented-to-the-point-of-neural-collapse", which in the case of his Doctor Who stories tends to simply mean that they forgo such mundane things as reality and logic and drown themselves face down in a bucket of fantasy elements while screaming obscure cultural allusions. Sometimes this gives his work a lyrical and surreal air that emphasizes the metaphorical magic of the series and its main character, but mainly it annoys the hell out of me and makes me watch Zoey 101 for all the jailbait teenage girls to get my headspace together again.

Nevertheless, Horror of the Music Industry isn’t QUITE like anything he’s written for Doctor Who before, which gives him the edge over such luminaries as RTD, Steven Moffat, Rob Shearman, Terrance Dicks, Sherlock Holmes or Mad Larry the Pirate King as they run their dross through Find and Replace and expect the masses to applaud. Of course, what’s REALLY annoying is that the masses always DO!

If anything, this story has to be the first of Margr’s work to feature a simple and linear plot concerning a werewolf murdering a bunch of overrated contemporary mainstream musicians, and Magrs uses this basic framework to bitch about cliché cultural brainwashing like a blogger on ecstasy going off on a tangent. The result of this is that for the most part, Horror of the Music Industry does exactly what Lymph of the Dustbins did so well in that it somehow manages to make an unfamiliar storyline seem smug and unexciting.

But the story REALLY crashes and burns in the way that the only famous music icon I actually recognize is murdered in the opening scene, and the fact that Ian "Big Ian" Levine is revealed to be the villain, results in a spectacularly dull monster with a motivation so unoriginal that it’s summarized in a couple of lines of dialogue and sounds like an after-thought. Though maybe if the REAL Ian Levine was not clogging up vital air space in the real world, maybe this would be much more bearable a story?

Script editor Eddie Hitler had decided the easiest way for the Eighth Doctor to series to ape the new show created by RTD and his army of stupid Welsh imbeciles was to simply plagiarize it outright. However, due to his general lethargy and tendency to distraction, the only New Who material he knew well enough to actually copy was a five-page comic strip from the el cheapo rag "Doctor Who Adventures For Under-Tens Who Go With The Flow And Aren’t Actually True Believers At All The Lying Scumbags!", specifically Kentucky Fried Death as the Tenth Doctor and Rose foil an alien invasion by repeatedly beating up Gordon Ramsey.

Thus, Hitler decided that once all the companion changes, format changes and returning monsters were out of the way, the series needed, absolutely and utterly NEEDED, a story set in an all-night motorway café besieged by monsters and taking a crack and modern society. But quickly Hitler decided that he was finding this story-ripping-off lark was getting too much like hard work.

Fearful that if he were to continue to take things so seriously that he’d end up a lonely old man living on a farm milking cows and selling straw hats for a living, Hitler handed the entire business of writing, editing and dealing with the story to the first writer he spotted.

Tragically, that writer turned out to be Paul Margrs.

Yeah. The crazy guy. Nuff said.

Following his last effort for the Eighth Doctor (The Stoned of Venice), Margrs had started to experiment with organic herbal viagra and, fueled by strange chemical inspiration, turned a single lyric from David Bowie’s "Starman" into a 50-minute audio play of oddly gritty self-contained fantasy fable entitled Hazy Cosmic Jive!

Margrs was borderline-fundamentalist-confident that HCJ would work a hell of a lot better than the last Big Finish story to make a political statement about musical sub culture, The Rupture. Everyone in the English speaking world was slightly worried by Margrs’ personal belief that anything could actually be worse.

After speed-reading the first few paragraphs, Hitler agreed to go ahead with the story though he was the first to admit that the script had 'scarred him for life' and refused to give any further comment, though apparently he excised the sequence where the Doctor is condemned by the Godkings of Verno to becomes a 1970s pop star and spend the rest of eternity doing cover versions of Madness songs as both he and Paul McGann considered this crimes against taste and their own masculinity.

Following this train of though, Hazy Cosmic Vibe! was renamed Tranny Pile-Up On The M62, then Hey Doctor Leave Those Kids Alone, and finally Horror of the Music Industry.

Overall, Horror of the Music Industry isn’t entirely successful, but it’s isn’t entirely UNSUCCESSFUL either, demonstrating that under the guide of an insane alternate comedy character with no right to exist in three dimensions, the Eighth Doctor’s life has gone to hell in a hand basket as it juggles trying something new and the established format like juggling kittens and petrol-powered chainsaws.

What is it about juggling natural enemies that so appeals to the authors of the Big Finish-produced BBC7 radio series?

Ultimately, though, Horror is just a bland, boring and generic. It wasn’t funny, it wasn’t witty, I didn’t care if any of the characters lived or died and the Doctor and Lucie never really amount to anything. The lifeless script wasting the actors in shallow roles with illogical and nonsensical premises nearly bored me to sleep. In other words...’s just like the Doctor Who of my childhood!


"I Loathe Rock And Roll" by Lucie Miller and the Tomorrow Twits

I saw him vandalizing the karioke machine
I knew he must have been about seventeen
And I had to raise my voice
Over that mindless tuneless noise
As the record companies made us their corporate toys!
And I had enough, oh yeah, enough!

And I’m singing
"I loathe rock’n’roll!
So take another axe to the jukebox, baby!
I loathe rock’n’roll!
That wasn’t the way it was meant to be!"

We smiled as we poured petrol and lit a flame
"That don’t matter," he said, "cause it’s all the same!"
I said, "You want to save the lands
From the phony heavy metal bands?"
And next, we were freeing our minds, yeah, our minds!

And I’m singing,
"I loathe rock’n’roll!
So take another axe to the jukebox, baby!
I loathe rock’n’roll!
So get out your sax and set us all free!"

"I loathe rock’n’roll!
So take another axe to the jukebox, baby!
I loathe rock’n’roll!
And I’d kill Little Richie if came near me!"

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