Saturday, December 5, 2009

8th Doctor - Human Resources (iii)

Book(s)/Other Related -
Dr Who – Letters from Temporal Difference of Opinion
Doctor Who Climbs the Corporate Ladder
Cybermen: Putting the "Industrial" in "Industrial Relations"

Fluffs – Paul McGann seemed to be working unsupervised in this story.
"You can show me the ropes."
"Sure, the ropes are important. We use them to escape out the window when it gets too hectic."
"Or if you’re just feeling a bit ropy? Or roping people into doing things they don’t want to do?"
"Careful, or you’ll give yourself enough rope to hang yourself!"
"...any more rope gags?"
"Money for old rope? No, that’s all I’ve got."
"Thank Christ for that. Let’s move on."

Goofs –
Barnaby Edwards is credited as the director rather than Nick Briggs. Arrogance on Edwards’ part or a realistic rating of Briggs’ directorial prowess?
Why does the Doctor have a framed photo of Susan Foreman on his desk? Is it just mindless fanwank? Is it to resonate when we discover the Headhunter’s true identity? If so... MAN, that is some SUBTLE foreshadowing?!
Lucie, like most mobile phone users, seem to believe that screaming "PICK UP THE PHONE! I KNOW YOU CAN HEAR ME!" into voicemail will somehow be heard by the other person as though they’d actually answered. Morons.
How did Ace the Headhunter know that Hulbert had sided with the Cybermen? Was she just making an assumption that Hulbert might cooperate rather than fight to the death? Or is it all a massive CIA (and not the Time Lord CIA) conspiracy to disguise the truth?
I’m also not convinced that the best people to operate deadly war machines are a bunch of gormless, bureaucratic pen-pushers who don’t even know what they were doing! The boss guy did do a reasonable attempt at trying to justify it, but his explanations all felt a bit too contrived. What is this supposed to be? Sci-Fi?!

Fashion Victims -
Lucie’s high-powered miniskirt, low cut blouse and complete lack of underwear... which is very noticeable when Ace the Headhunter keeps slinging her over her shoulder.

Technobabble -
"You see, all we had to do was meddle in her timestream, causing a chemical imbalance in her biodata that resets her 'Hates Jewish People' node to the 'off' position!"

Links and References -
There’s the occasional reference to The Pleas of Fairness, The Gorillas of Kinder Lingers, Lymph of the Dustbins, Horror of the Music Industry and Deimos, but what do you expect in an arc-resolution episode? Huh? More importantly, the hideous truth behind Lucie’s pregnancy is revealed in the Touchwood episode "The Cautionary Tale of Lucie Miller" and is such an amazing, brain-boggling story I feel a momentary reluctance to reveal the mind-blowing final plot twist that Lucie was in fact date-raped and mind-wiped by a zombie called Owen Harper...
Hey, I only said a MOMENTARY reluctance!

Untelevised Misadventures -
We still have yet to experience the adventure where Ace ditches Hex to tackle a giant flea and ends up regenerating into Katarina Olssen. Unless it’s that comic strip in DWM, Ground Zero. But that hasn’t been reprinted in hardback yet, so it simply CANNOT be canonical.

Groovy DVD Extras -
A rather strange and possibly criminally-insane Doctor Who fan uses the five minutes showing the Temporal Difference of Opinion to justify her insane theories. Notable ones including the Doctor is actually a hermaphrodite kangaroo with a string of illegitimate children, Time Lords are actually from the planet NEXT to Gallifrey and the Dustbin Umpire are merely the puppets of the Dommervoy Collective. It also includes her hilarious anecdotes about the sex life of Phil Neville.

Dialogue Disasters –

Jerry: Lucie, hi! I’ve been meaning to touch base with you. I’ve got poles to grease and axes to grind.
Lucie: You asking for a shag?
Jerry: Pretty much, yes.
Lucie: Fuck off.
Jerry: Do we have a respect-gap issue?
Lucie: I said FUCK OFF!

Lucie: Er, scuse me, Doctor. You KNOW this leather biker bitch?
Doctor: I’ll explain later.
Lucie: No you won’t! Tell me!
Doctor: This is Ace, an old companion of mine when I was a short Scotsman with a disturbing question mark fetish. Of course, Ace is simply wearing a different body to how I knew her then, and indeed even then she was wearing a different body. She’s actually my violent, pyromaniac granddaughter reincarnated but twice.
Lucie: On second thoughts, just stick to explaining things later.

Lucie: I’ve met Jerry Lewis.
Doctor: Oh? Know anything useful about him?
Lucie: Yeah. He’s a cunt.

Doctor: Special feature on that model. Shielding from alien communications scans. And, I get fifty off-peak minutes a day free!
Lucie: More bloody technobabble! As a general rule of thumb, if it’s not something you can buy at Argos, you have to explain it all to me.
Doctor: Including contraception by the sounds of things.

Ace: Look. I have high explosives, and, if you’re not quiet, I will kill you! OK, I have a history of killing myself in the explosion, but I have this neat trick of cheating death. So the rest of you have to ask yourselves... d’you feel lucky?

Doctor: Why are you such a sarcastic bitch?
Lucie: It’s my superpower! I am Sarcasmo, Woman of Sarcasm! My enemies are struck down by my witty barbs of steel!
Doctor: ...riiiiight.

Dialogue Triumphs -

Lucie: You’ll never believe this...
Doctor: I probably will. When you’ve seen as many things as I have, you tend to become rather credulous.
Lucie: I’m pregnant.
Doctor: ...OK, you got me there.

Cyberman: Arrgh! Polarity... reversing! Oh, the LACK of HUMANITY!

Lucie: Is that how the Time Lords do things? Decide what’s best and then stick their oar in? As far as you’re concerned, we can’t be trusted to make our decisions, can, we? So you just nudge us this way and that until we’re where you want us and if we find out, you tell us it’s for our own good! How do we know you’re not just saying that?
Magician: My dear Lucie, WE are the god like aliens, the oldest civilization in the universe who control time and space and death and reality. YOU are an unemployed pregnant teenager with no qualifications, no friends and the social graces of a hyena. Go, as they say, figure.
Doctor: You know, he’s got you there, Lucie...
Lucie: Shut it, you wet ponce!

Hulbert: If you make another Del Boy joke, then I will call security.

Doctor: Oh, more petty politics, hypocrisy, duplicity, in-fighting... I don’t want to hear it! You’ve destroyed worlds, wiped out races, rendered whole spin-offs uncanonical – all so you don’t get your asses handed to you by a bunch of bling-plated trash cans!
Magician: Doctor, it is very, VERY important that we don’t get our asses handed to us by a bunch of bling-plated trash cans.

Lucie: Doctor?!
Doctor: Yes. Hello.
Lucie: It all really happened then? Oh wow, I thought I’d imagined it all! The Dustbins and Eminem and the Valeyard and all that! I thought it was a Wizard of Oz moment and I’d dreamt it all!
Doctor: In glorious Technicolor? Which one was I, the wizard?
Lucie: No.
Doctor: The scarecrow?
Lucie: No.
Doctor: The cowardly lion?
Lucie: No.
Doctor: The dog?
Lucie: No.
Doctor: A munchkin?
Lucie: No.
Doctor: Then what?
Lucie: Actually, you were one of those evil flying monkeys.
Doctor: ...dear god I hate you.

Cyber Leader: You value your own survival over that of your species?
Hulbert: You bet your shiny metal ass I do.

Lucie: Why do you think the Time Lords put me with you?
Doctor: Because I leave things better than I found them, and that’s a
Lucie: Aw, shucks.
Doctor: And you’re the exception that proves the rule.
Lucie: I can throw up on you right now if I feel like it, you know.

UnQuotable Quote -
Magician: We had a nice, little character subplot about Lucie being a Nazi but now it's all just gotten silly, it’s all far too silly and now we’ll move right on and forget ALL about it!

Viewer Quotes -

"After an impressive Who "debut" with Baker Street, the boy Hitler does it again with Hostile Takeover. Cracking first part of what has been a fairly solid run. One of the finest audios period - get Hitler writing for the next series, RTD! PLEASE! And, do you think I could get Catherine Tate’s phone number while I’m at it? She’s got a whazzo pair of jugs, hasn’t she? Doctor Who is the biggest jug-fest ever! Oh, RTD, if only you were as heterosexual as I am, you’d realize what a wonderful life you have! By the way, did I mention: that’s a SMASHING blouse you’ve got on!" – Sir Richard Richard Esquire (2007)

"I suppose the message of the play is that if I listen to it over and over again, eventually I will enjoy it." – Eve Markson (2008)

"Hopefully Karen will quickly defeat Ace the Headhunter in a lesbian spank inferno and launch on her own blazing trail of evil. Is the BBC was thinking of launching a spin-off series? "The Headhunter and Kazza Lez It Up Through Time"? I’d watch it! A lot!" – Nigel Verkoff (2007)

"That’s a shame. After all the build up, well I SAY 'build up', more like 'gratuitous Headhunter bit at the end of each story', the resolution of the Lucie Miller arc was a bit of a tease and in the end a disappointment. The idea of her being a right wing dictator is rather exciting and certainly explained her insane behavior in Immoral Bedfellows. But then... but then... she’s just a more annoying version of Charley who refuses to practice safe sex!" – Dave Restal (2008)

"There IS no story arc! Bwahaha! Why didn’t I ever think of that?"
- Andrew Beeblebrox (2007)

"The idea that the Cybermen are being defeated every time simply because the humans are cheating. We’re not playing by the rules. It’s not cricket old boy. We’re lousy cheats and that’s all there is to it. If you start feeling sympathy for the Cybermen because it isn’t a level playing field old man then you have earned your St George’s flag, cup of tea and a Hob Nob! It’s a great barometer of how English you are!"
– Gordon Brown (2008)

"Really? That’s it? I wasn’t expecting Lucie to suddenly reveal herself as Davros, or anything, but 'whoops, clerical error' is incredibly underwhelming. That’d be like... I don’t know, revealing that Zig-Zag-Gay-Ass was just Paul McGann in the TARDIS talking to himself in a funny voice. Which he was, I guess." - Emelda Marcos (2007)

"This story worked much better when it was called Clock Works and had Charley and C’Rizz. This version reminds me far too much of my own life and why there is no point continuing it." - Ewen Campion-Clarke (2007)

Psychotic Nostalgia -
"The Cybermen illustrate the horrors of conversion into an emotionless, indistinguishable state. Just like call centre offices brainwashing people into office drones. Were there call centres on Monday? Did the Mondayian Ricky Gervais never come along? Is the dehumanizing office environment is actually incredibly efficient if alien warmongers use it? After all, office life at a defense contractor isn’t much different from office life at a paper company - will the next World War be fought via phone calls to Frank from Accounting? Can we cripple the West by snuffing out all the photocopy repairmen and allow chaos and anarchy to spread like the plague? I, for one, intend to find out!"

Paul McGann Speaks!
"I did love the way the Doctor blags his way through swathes of corporate bullshit whilst causing trouble at every opportunity. In many ways, this is the Doctor at his most anarchic, his status as an iconoclast never more obvious than when he clashes so vibrantly with the grey tedium of a seemingly generic corporation, in a way that we haven’t really seen so blatantly illustrated before. No doubt there’s an anorak out there who can tell me it was already done in some Patrick Troughton story with giant crabs, but who cares? Like anyone is going to remember the one with the giant crabs – I don’t think."

Sheridan Smith Speaks!
"Ever since I started doing Doctor Who, I’ve been having very mad dreams that would to most slash fiction to shame. Lucie is a very annoying character to play. All other characters I’ve done have been quite pleasant compared to her. Sometimes you hyperventilate with all the bitchy remarks and selfish put downs. Yeah, Lucie makes all the Dustbins and Cybermen look almost well-adjusted in comparison. There are aspects to her that develop as the story goes on, like the fact she’s so stupid she couldn’t remember getting laid nine months ago, things like that. I suppose a lot of people, including the Doctor, wish Charley was still around. But the thing about replacing India as Charley is that she was really the posh totty and I’m really the Northern scum. But we’re both tarts who fancy Paul McGann rotten. As are our characters."

Katarina Olssen Speaks!
"The Headhunter is a time mercenary, but she’s really Ace, who’s actually the Doctor’s granddaughter reincarnated twice over because she keeps blowing herself up with TNT. I’m playing a slightly Cruella De Ville version of Ace, a kind of malevolent Gwyneth Paltrow. I mean, if the Doctors are all so different, why not different Aces? People never think of that. Or if they do they never mention it for fear of men in white coats turning up. The writing of this one’s so great - Eddie’s one liners communicate his alcoholism and detachment from the world of reason really well."

Eddie Hitler Speaks!
"Ah, the epic finale! You know, the culmination of a year’s work. Crossing the horizons and completing a brilliant season of audios. It needed an unusual master criminal mind such as mine... to just sit on the sofa and watch DVDs of Doctor Who until inspiration struck. Which took come considerable time, I might add, before I decided to rip off yet another RTD episode most people would remember. Still, I do hope it works out. Think of the news when the season gets released to the public ON CD!!! This’ll really impress the birds! Oh yeah! The Hammersmith Hardman braving Big Finish Productions and surviving! I’ll be famous! Might even get on Kilroy! A second series is a cert, busty young journalists queuing round the block for an interview and a servicing. Phwooargh!!! All depends on how many people listen and buy the CDs, of course, but the fans will subscribe to any old rubbish, so we should be all right, no matter what."

Trivia -
The CD cover for Hostile Takeover is officially the most boring one Big Finish have ever produced. Twelve different artists attempted to depict the thrilling and gasp-induced sights of Lucie getting a coffee and the Doctor sitting in on a planning meeting, and ten of them instantly fell into comas at the prospect. One suggested that they have one of the giant office robots on the cover, but Hitler refused on the grounds it would spoil the surprise. He was proved right when all four people who actually BOUGHT the CD without being put off by the cover marvelled at the plot twist... before sliding into comas anyway.

Rumors & Facts -

Hostile Takeover could be the best season finale of the Eighth Doctor era. This is incredibly impressive until you remember the competition of Inuit in Hull, Nowhere-Land, The Twice-A-Night Kingdom, The Best Wife and Baker Street.

The time had come for Eddie Hitler to face the facts – almost the entire budget of the BBC7 series was exhausted, mainly due to the exorbitant cost his drinking binges, and also they were nearly out of recording time, mainly due to the outtakes caused by his drinking binges. It was quickly becoming apparent that they would only be able to record one last, double-length story which would have to act as the season finale... which was incredibly lucky, since that was originally what they were supposed to do anyway.

What they needed was a big old spectacular, filled with returning monsters, a satisfying explanation of the running story arc and everything working out at the end before a completely pointless and random cliffhanger could lead into the next season. A veritable cornucopia of intellectually-challenging thoughts and ideas was required, so Hitler grabbed the nearest DVD and decided to nick everything on it which, in this case, was the 2006 season finale of Doctor Who – Dustbin –vs- Cyberman!

Hitler argued that stealing Dustbin –vs- Cyberman! was just what they needed: a story with a relatively slow pace, the tension gradually rising as events progress slowly and inevitably towards an epic cliffhanger and from then on everything in a pressure-cooker situation until the final brilliant moment where the Doctor and his fit blonde and possibly up the duff companion wonder whether or not to stay together for the sake of friendship and/or audience identification.

It quickly became apparently that there were several reasons NOT to feature a fully-fledged Cyberman/Dustbin war. For a start, it would seriously piss off RTD who had, after all, gone to such length to have the Tenth Doctor exclaim, "Jings! Dustbins fighting Cyberman! Now THAT’S never happened before!!" every few minutes. Secondly, after the perfect dramatic role of Parallel Ninth Doctor was given to Rowan Atkinson of all people, Nick Briggs was on strike. Of course they could trick him into doing Cybermen voices by drugging him and fitting a BBC Character Options Cyberman Voice Changer Helmet on the git, but Dustbins? That was out of their league.

Grimly, Hitler realized that they would have to change tactics. Instead of the second half of the story featuring mindless alien-on-alien violence to pad out scenes irrelevant to the story arc, he’d have to think of something else. He then decided to go one better than the Welsh TV series and actually feature the dreaded Temporal Difference of Opinion which had so devastated the Doctor and turned him, albeit briefly, into a gritty Northerner in a leather jacket.

Nicholas Briggs laughed uncontrollably at this – which startled everyone as they hadn’t seen him sneak into the room – shouting that such a feat was impossible. "It would just de-value the possible end of everything, the crack of doom to show it like the Crimean War or something! How do you dramatize something as terrible as a Temporal Difference of Opinion anyway?" he demanded as he was forced towards the office window. " I mean, how, what is a Temporal Difference of Opinion? Are you going to be saying 'Launch time-onic missiles!' and 'Oh, no! The past is coming out of my ear!' and 'Throw this alarm clock!'?" he mocked as he fell four stories onto hard asphalt below.

But the damage was too late, as all this sounded brilliant to Hitler’s pickled brain and immediately wrote EXACTLY such a scene into the episode, even though ideally such a sequence should be so truly hardcore sci-fi that no one without a degree in Physics would be able to understand full of N-Forms and Bowie Ships and not a dumbed-down Star Wars scene to totally crush the mystique of it all.

Hitler ignored this, much more concerned with the fact that realized there simply wasn’t room to fit in the story arc for Lucie, the Headhunter, the Time Lords AND the Cybermen in one 50-minute episode. So, he demanded another episode to fit all the elements in. When Alan Barnes pointed out that he was supposed to be writing a double episode in the first place, Hitler kicked him in the testicles thirty-two times and mused, "There you go again – I WAS right!"

But soon writing the story hit a massive problem. Without the Cult of Fargo, the Preachers, Touchwood, two different worlds or a horse named Arthur, his plot consisted entirely of some Cybermen turning up at that place out of The Office and destroying Ricky Gervais in cold blood. Unless Gervais took 90 minutes to die (which wasn’t entirely impossible), it simply wouldn’t sustain the running length.

Nevertheless, Hitler found the soulless banal unreality of office life - from the pointless data entry to the consistently bewildered personnel to sheer monotony - terrifying and made him glad he’d been on the dole for twenty years avoiding such employment. In any case, Hitler decided to add a monumental twist to the plot – that the office block was actually an aggressive mobile city roaming the Earth, mechanically devouring other office blocks. It was an idea that was good Doctor Who, everyone agreed... not realizing that it was stolen from an adaptation of "Mortal Engines" which was being broadcast on BBC7 right before their Doctor Who episodes.

Tragedy struck during recording however. Thanks to another one of Hitler’s legendary drinking binges, the entire cast and production team woke up wearing each others’ clothing and traffic cones in the middle of a scene being filmed for the Welsh TV series revival. The episode, Smith & Weston, had to be rewritten top to bottom since the drunken gang had stumbled blindly from scene to scene, but not even RTD could make sense of the moment when a truly pissed Hitler and McGann tried to beat up David Tennant during the pulse-pounding climax with the Jundoon. On a side note, McGann drunkenly mumbling to Freema Agyeman "Why couldn’t I get Martha Jones instead of Lucie fucking Miller?" is now a popular ring-tone downloadable from the official BBC website.

Due to this mix up, when the team were finally escorted off the premises, so was Roy Marsden – an actor who had been playing the very-easily bled Mister B. Stoker in Smith & Weston, and thus effectively writing him out of the plot. To make amends, Hitler offered Marsden the role of the evil villain Todd Hulbert, and the sozzled Nicholas Grace was relegated to a secondary character... unfortunately, there weren’t any! Desperately, people thought for a new role for Grace, and decided it was time for the return of the Magician – the strange, Steven-Fry-like Time Lord from the infamous "Turlough and the Earthlink Dilemma" novel of 1984, who had somehow cropped in The Jazzocize Machine, Interesting Times, A Storm of Angles and Xtro 4, not to mention regular and pointless cameos in the Gallifrey 90210 spin off series.

The character of the Magician mean that the plot made a lot more sense and explained exactly HOW the Doctor managed to infiltrate the office, why the Doctor and Lucie went to see the Time Lord warfront, and also explain exactly what the hell was going on with Lucie and the witness protection program (originally, the Doctor put it down to something in The Da Vinci Code and no more was said about the matter).

The revelation that Lucie was actually pregnant was chosen simply to justify the completely pointless bits in the previous story, Tell Me Lies, that her breasts were somehow getting larger. It was only after work had finished on the season that Sheridan Smith suggested that that particular claim could have been one of the lies of the title and this whole messed up plot thread could easily have been avoided. Hitler cleared his throat and insisted that the companion being knocked up had worked as a story arc for Charley Pollard and this one would have the unique twist of not only being largely ignored but this time the Doctor clearly was not the father.

Uncertain as to whether or not Smith would be prepared to put her career (not to mention waistline) on hold for another six months of Big Finish, Hitler decided to end the story on an ambiguous note about whether Lucie would stay as a companion or go off to sue child support out of whoever the hell was mad enough to sleep with her in the first place. Hitler also wanted to use the audios to portray the social anger he felt, especially after he got locked up for ignoring a "No Standing" sign while unconscious and lying stoned in the gutter in Hammersmith.

The audience where left wondering what would happen next to the interstellar odd couple next – a trip to the seaside? Indulging in Stockholm Syndrome? A dirty weekend in the Lake District? Or one of them abandoning the other and fleeing into the depths of outer space?

Would there be a second BBC7 series? Would Paul McGann and Sheridan Smith ever bother to reprise their roles? Could Hitler stay sober enough to stop Briggs from seizing control of the scripts and crowning himself Canonical Doctor Everlasting? How dumb are you for even needing to ask this question?! Did you not SEE the stories listed on the previous webpage? There’s another dozen of these bloody things! Honestly, some people are so unobservant it destroys my faith, it really does...

Season 33 Round-Up -

BBC7 had given the world the first ever full radio series of original Doctor Who stories, a very special gift indeed. There have been a couple of big disappointments along the way, and more than one justification to end it all in a suicide bombing, but it was all worth the wait for this magnificent conclusion. Seriously. This season was great. It was the dog’s knees and the bee’s bollocks.

It’s NEXT year things go to hell...

The ultimate mixture between 'trad' Big Finish and 'rad' RTD, this a crucial series in the history of Doctor Who, even aside from the fact that words cannot express how much I have fallen for Sheridan Smith’s unaffected and winning performance. Mainly because I haven’t and find her the least accessible and believable character ever – even Frobisher the three-foot-fall alien penguin was more sympathetic!

Nevertheless, Lucie is companion gold, she’s the perfect example for how to NOT write a regular lass who like every present day companion has to cope with new experience but she never feels like she’s out of her depth because she copes with everything so well with her earthy humor and no-nonsense attitude. If you want that sort of thing, go to Donna Noble. Or Martha Jones. Anyone mot Sheridan Smith would be good.

Some were worried she may degrade into a series of sound bites and witty one-liners, but it was clear even THIS was overly optimistic and made many a fanboy long for the halcyon days of Lizard Boy.

With Eddie Hitler and Paul McGann drunk off their arses and with complete editorial control of the show, it’s no wonder the series has a fresh, original, dynamic feel to make it a great jumping-on point for anyone wanting to sample the Doctor’s adventures in other media. As long as they could put up with Lucie. And the Doctor not being played by David Tennant.

With the use of veteran actors to recall the 1980s, the postmodern scripting problems of New Who, a contemporary companion who provides an irritation rivaling most skin diseases, but tells the kind of stories which (thankfully) would no longer made on prime-time TV. It’s a strong argument for and against Big Finish’s raison d’tre simultaneously! And with stories featuring the revenge of Nigel Verkoff, Hungerian Folk Music, the insane stupidity of the colonists of New Cardiff Rising, the whole Greek God thing making Zeus a particularly randy Richard E Grant, Lucie stealing the Doctor’s mojo via arm wrestling, the return of Serge plus the Valeyard plus the Rowan Atkinson Doctor, not to mention the radical reinterpretation of Ace... I’ve completely forgotten what the hell I was trying to say! And this may be a GOOD thing!

Ablutions which kicked off the series was a true celebration of the past three seasons of the Eighth Doctor, Charley "I Was ADORED!" Pollard and Cecil "I Was TOLERATED Occasionally" Rizz Esquire partnership. Which made it all the more powerful when Lizard Boy bought the bullet half way through the fourth episode.

Then it was the tragic and beyond-the-latitude-of-human-minds The Girl Who Never Was with its no less than twenty three separate and tear-jerking departures for Charley Pollard, only to end with the revelation she never actually left. But for any further clarification of what the hell I’m talking about, you’ll have to check out the Charley’s Odyssey spin off series starring India Fisher, Colin Baker and Gene Hunt.

Lymph of the Dustbins was a true triumph – for not only a brilliant bit of subtle theft of Power-Vac and Genocide of the Dustbins, it managed to do what Hellbound to Fargo!, Nostalgia of the Dustbins, Phobia of the Dustbins and Dustbin –vs- Cyberman! did not... it wasn’t total crap.

From Lymph of the Dustbins with its introduction of Lucie "Pray That I Die" Miller" onwards, the audios would mindlessly ape the format of the new series with 45 minute episodes with cliffhangers bafflingly inserted halfway through.

Next, in Horror of the Music Industry, the series showed that it could still achieve the soul-crushing depths of stupidity that so endeared Doctor Who to generations of children and weird adolescents. Littered with the pharmaceutical-induced plots that only an addict like Paul Margrs could provide, there is no better way to waste 50 minutes of your precious life. As long as you don’t intend to enjoy yourself.

Following Horror of the Music Industry, of course, there was the incomparable Immoral Bedfellows and I don’t merely say that out of terror of what the author may do to me.

Then there was Deimos, which escapes any kind of criticism simply through being utterly... what was I talking about? Oh yeah, Tell Me Lies, the incredible atmospheric story pitting three Doctors, two Lucies and a psychotic seabound mammal together at a Welsh garden party. That’s "atmospheric" in "the atmosphere inside the mind of a criminal psychopath", BTW.

But not even the pointless rendition of the Hungarian love ballad could prepare for the psychosis of the season finale and its brain-bursting depiction of the Temporal Difference of Opinion for the first time in ANY official media ANYWHERE!

Yes, Hostile Takeover was a pretty solid conclusion with a twist – that it actually didn’t conclude anything at all now I come to think of it. It’s almost but not nearly enough to justify the completely idiotic witness protection program story arc which reveals that, like Charley in the good old days, the Doctor is once again stuck with a knocked-up bimbo who is far more trouble than she’s worth.

Truly, for Big Finish, this was the best of times and the worst of times. Despite Eddie Hitler’s rampant alcoholism, he was only frog-marched from the studios on less than 35 separate recorded incidents while similarly Nick Briggs only tried to take over production at toothbrush-point twice, for example when he did his up-tempo bubblegum anthem for the return of the Cybermen...

"We are Cybermen" by Cyberleader Zheng and the Telos Trio

Take us! Take us to your planet!
We’ve had enough, we can’t stand it!
Give us your soul and we'll can it!
Can it! Can it! Can it!

We’ll convert all we can manage!
Just say the word and we’ll shag it!
Make us a deal, and we’ll land it!
And we’ll brand it!

We are Cybermen
And we’ve got no regrets!
If you haven’t noticed yet
We’re the kinkiest foes
You’ve ever met!

We are Cybermen
We will convert you all and then
When you wake up in our beds
You’ll hope we haven't finished with you yet!

Take us! Take us to your planet!
Give us your minds and we'll program it!
Hijack a ship and we'll man it!
Coz we mean it! Uh-huh!

Throw us a bone,
We commanded!
Film our conquests
We’ll be candid!
Sunsets, no big deal!
No well-cooked meal!
Emotions, we don’t feel!

We are Cybermen
And we’ve got no regrets!
If you haven’t noticed yet
We’re the kinkiest foes
You’ve ever met!

We are Cybermen
We will convert you all and then
When you wake up in our beds
You’ll hope we haven't finished with you

We are Cybermen
And we’ve got no regrets!
If you haven't noticed yet
We’re the kinkiest foes
You’ve ever met!

We are Cybermen
We will convert you all and then
When you wake up in our beds
You’ll hope we haven’t finished with you yet!

will return in

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