Friday, December 4, 2009

8th Doctor - Scaredy Cat (i)

Serial 8Y – Sail Away
An Alternative Program Guide by Ewen Campion-Clarke
Twenty-Fifth Entry in the EC Unauthorized Guide O' Peter Sellers


Serial 8Y – Sail Away -

Inside an empty gasometer, a man sits, playing a sad tune on his saxophone. He pauses, recites a beatnik poem about biblical-style beginnings, and plays another tune.

This, believe it or not, is somehow relevant to the following story.

Part One – Evening Falls

Captain Jack Harkness is setting up another self-cleaning con job where he dumps a canister of incredibly dangerous organic waste on a primitive planet, then seduce any wandering time agent that turns up to investigate it. Wasted on Vermouth, he accidentally jettisons the container of IDOW on a small blue green planet – not that he'll realize this for two weeks and then put it down to an alcohol-induced dream.

Meanwhile, a small village of ignorant maggot-ridden inbred peasants are poking the canister. With a stick, I hasten to add. Well, there's always one... Anyway, IDOW releases a truly hideous thing, prompting a familiar looking Celtic singer to recite Enya songs. Which is what you do when curious onlookers are dying horribly in front of you.

Having finally accepted that he is stuck with the goofy-looking turtle-headed poetry-spouting wanker-lizard, the Doctor decides to try and get to know C'Rizz better. After five minutes, the Time Lord concludes this is the worst decision he's ever made and needs some "attitude adjusting".

Thus, he leads C'Rizz to a secret part of the TARDIS – his hydroponics garden of fine herbs, a stoned horticulturist's dream. The Doctor and C'Rizz share a joint and generally become very mellow.

When Charley finds them lying in the grass, pointing at the clouds and giggling excessively, she is rather suspicious. The Doctor insists he's just trying to recreate the events at the Garden of Gethsemane using only valium and an open mind.

C'Rizz has never heard of this Jesus Christ bloke, or read God's fascinating short story collection, and suggests they go and check out the weird hippie nudist garden of talking snakes in the early chapters. The Doctor agrees on the condition they steal some apples and throw them at the unicorns.

Unfortunately, it quickly becomes apparent that the TARDIS is unable to travel to biblical metaphors as its religious agnosticism circuitry is in complete working order. Instead, a quick perusal of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy locates an alien planet that resembles the Garden of Eden in every way, shape and form.

There is one downside though – the planet is cordoned off from the rest of the universe, and to set foot on the planet's surface invites the most painful and excruciating of deaths in all of reality, from which no sentient life-form has ever survived.

Completely off their faces, the Doctor and C'Rizz are totally up for it and denounce Charley as a little scardey cat sitting on the door mat as they pilot the TARDIS into a lethal paradise... of DEATH!!

Inside the gasometer, the man wonders just what the hell he is doing. Then goes back to playing his saxophone. This too is apparently vital to the ongoing plot.

In an isolated Welsh-looking farm house, a man in a straw hat and tartan shirt chews a reed as he leans on a fence. This is Professor Barking Mad Dog Bastard, or Barkin' for short. His barely-hominid milk-fed cousin-brother, Chronic, approaches and shows off a mysterious new creation he calls a hand tool.

Chronic's boasts that he may just be more sophisticated than the professor previously imagines simply causes Barkin' to grunt, swat away some flies and walk away slowly.

Meanwhile, a blonde redneck chick Martha whose biological connection to these other two is best left unexplained, is attacking a chimpanzee with a burnt stick, totally oblivious to fact that the burnt stick could outthink either of them.

Finally the chimp has enough and climbs out of the unlocked cage and runs off. This amazing evolutionary leap overloads Martha's laughable excuse for a brain and she falls face down in a puddle of her own drool. The other two start grunting and chasing their chimp.

Ludicrously overconfident in their own damn bastard hard toughness, the Doctor and C'Rizz stumble from the TARDIS looking for fight and call upon the unspeakably hideous creatures of pure evil that live in the forest to just try it!

Nothing comes forward and the Doctor concludes all the incredibly lethal anti-life monsters are hiding in the nearby potting shed, and promptly tries to break into it with a crow bar. Just then, gunshots fill the air...

"What is it?" the Doctor demands. "Some ferocious extra-dimensional beast from beyond the stars who wishes come here to wipe us from the face of time itself?"

"It's some kind of weird hillbilly!" Charley explains.


"Is that like a giant preying mantis with tentacles?" C'Rizz asks, swaying unsteadily.

"Not really."

"Does he, does he have huge spiky claws and drooling unspeakable acidic slobber?"

"He's wearing a gingham dress..."

"Good enough!" The Doctor bunches his fist. "OI! WANKER! NAFF OFF!"

The dude with the saxophone remembers a guy he once met in a pub who knew a hell of a lot about bees. The saxophone player can't remember anything else about that man, but boy he knew so much about bees.

Barkin' and Chronic open fire again at the intruders as they are forced to face the fact that the shed's impressive defenses of a closed door might not be enough to keep out unwanted visitors, but are horrified what will happen if their illegal hootch still is discovered by anyone who might know how to use it.

Charley manages to drag her companions out of the line of fire as they hurl more abuse at the rednecks and challenge them to an arm wrestling contest. As they ponder their next move, and indeed every single move they've made in their entire miserable lives, they are confronted by a chimpanzee. Charley immediately bonds with it as they are the only two people on the planet with identifiable motor skills AND real teeth.

The Doctor kicks the chimp repeatedly in the groin for "putting the moves on his bird" and C'Rizz joins in with a frying pan. Chronic and Barkin' arrive, letting off their guns in random directions and going "YEE-HAW!" a lot in a strange, donkey-like fashion.

Just when things seemed as twisted as they could get, what appears to be an anthropomorphic personification of Enya manifests on the lawn nearby and sings the chorus to Orinoco Flow. No one notices her, so she disappears again.

The Doctor and C'Rizz drop-kick the rednecks and bludgeon Barkin' unconscious with his own chimpanzee and decide to ransack their farmhouse. The Doctor notices smoke coming from the chimney and announces that it is the unmistakable warp field of a detrax lambda irradiation unit – which is perfect for re-heating burritos!

Charley wonder what in the name of Greek Buggery would this trio of inbred pig-rooters have sophisticated fission bombardment equipment linked to a chimney? The Doctor and C'Rizz stare at her for a long moment and then walk off, muttering "Primates..."

Barkin' and Chronic regain what passes for their wits and stagger around looking for their farm before finding it and forgetting why they were headed there.

Inside, Martha smiles stupidly and welcomes a Victorian lounge lizard, a genuine lounge lizard and a jailbait school girl into her home and shows them the dining room, the living room, and the secret laboratory of advanced technical research.

Martha explains that she and her companions arrived on the planet to generally enjoy themselves and also tamper with the forces of nature by eradicating evil from the minds of men. Unfortunately, they're incredibly crap at it and instead have reduced their intelligence to the point where even George Bush could beat them at sudoku.

The Doctor munches on a burrito and explains he has a great deal of experience with evil. He's devoted his lives to find the moments of history where the balance is tipped the wrong way, point, laugh, and hopefully score with someone who won't immediately sell the story to the local papers.

However, he's disturbed. But you knew that any way.

Martha, stupidly forgetting how freaking dangerous the equipment is, switches it on so she can look at the pretty lights. C'Rizz wonders that if this device will burn out all evil in the brain, the trio better close their eyes and run like fuck.

The chimpanzee enters, then falls over.

Suddenly, Enya appears and begins to croon 'Sail Away' over and over again until the theme music crashes in...

Part Two – Shepherd Moons

The Doctor and Charley wonder what the Enya was – a true spiritual singer of the twentieth century, an atonal tone-deaf noise polluter, or some sort of psychic projection from the unconscious chimpanzee? And in either case, surely if you were going to go nuts and imagine short-haired 1980s lead singers, it'd be Annie Lennox from The Eurhythmics?

Whatever it was, the Doctor knows two things:

1) The presence of a mysterious female presence on a paradise planet where technologically advanced primitives are making asses of themselves suggests strongly this story is a rip-off of Kinda', which means origami snake monsters could appear at any moment.

2) He has got the munchies BIG time.

The Doctor storms out to see if there are any jaffa cakes around, and Charley and C'Rizz idly note that at least with the rednecks they don't need to waste time explaining how they manage to travel through time and space and Cardiff in a whacking great blue box.

Raiding the kitchen, the giggling Doctor opens the fridge and finds Enya lying asleep between the metho and the salmon liver pate. She's clearly been there some time, judging by the interesting moss and fungus growing on her dress. The Doctor munches a handful thoughtfully and wanders off, forgetting all about this curious site.

Unconvincing extras in gorilla gram outfits have surrounded the farm house and are grunting 'Sail Away' over and over again. This too reminds the Doctor of that time on Space Station X9. When Charley asks him to clarify it, his response is:

"Station X9? Whoa, I like totally forgot all about that place!"

C'Rizz decides to write a poem about hillbillies tampering with dangerous forces, but realizes that for truly epic blank verse he'd have to learn more about what's happening on this planet and he couldn't give a toss. "You have to be honest in poetry!" he weeps.

Charley, sick of C'Rizz poorly-scripted teenage angst, says she could learn everything of interest within a range of two billion miles because she is not stoned out of her tiny reptilian mind.


Charley kicks him in the groin. He falls over.

The Doctor sees this, laughs and walks out, then comes back for C'Rizz since he has the rest of the last spliff. Charley then crosses to Barkin' and kicks a confession out of him.

It appears that this is some kind of nature ramble gone horribly, horribly wrong. Barkin' – a noted figure in the sewage maintenance community – decided to visit this planet as a tax dodge since he could claim illicit experiments to eradicate violence and war forever as a no-claims bonus! As for Enya, maybe she is "Yaranaa" – a soul of failed Celtic rock groups?

The grunting of the natives starts to get irritating so Charley throws a brick at them through the window and they run away.

In the gasometer, the saxophone dude is struggling to play 'Land of Hope and Glory', but thinks it a little too bourgeois. He settles for 'Three Little Fishies' instead.

Barkin' and Chronic discuss the worrying implications of the newcomers' arrival; Chronic fears that the Doctor's knowledge could pose a threat, but Barkin' believes that it could come in useful. But can they truly trust those with real teeth and whose transport does not require walking?!

The chimps outside throw the brick back through the window and the two hicks are rendered even more insensible than they were before. Martha suggests they stop giving the chimps ammunition, and Charley tells her to shut up before pretending to come up with the exact same idea.

The Doctor and C'Rizz, looking for the toilet, have somehow wandered off into the forests and ask another ghost of Enya for directions. But it appears that Enya literally has no mind of her own. The Doctor admits he always thought she had some kind of brain, but instead chalks it down to experience and he and C'Rizz stagger off, yodeling 'Walk Like An Egyptian' to themselves.

Charley asks what's in the potting shed and all the rednecks cower and gibber before realizing they've completely forgotten but whatever it was you don't want to mess with it. Martha refuses to discuss it, claiming only that it contains something from Charley's worst nightmares.

Charley laughs. Few people could cope with HER nightmares! She strides out of the house, drop-kicking the chimps that get in her way. She does not see the hillbillies laugh and giggle and rub their hands with glee when they realize their plans work, or frown and get confused when Chronic asks "What plan?!"

The man with the saxophone sings "Enormous Earlobe Girl" to himself:

"I know a girl with enormous earlobes
They drag across the ground where she walks
They also tend to get tangled in her toosties
Oh how I love my enormous earlobe girl..."


The Doctor bugs his eyes out and stares meaningfully into the distance. "I am beginning to suspect that this pure, untouched planet isn't as unsullied as the legends would have us believe..."

There is a brief pause and then he and C'Rizz break up into hyena-like laughter and collapse, rolling on the floor.

The man with the saxophone does a solo with a blackboard and a fork.

The Doctor and C'Rizz are sitting outside the TARDIS, staring up at the sky and sharing a joint. "You wanna know something really freaky?" asks the Doctor, before telling C'Rizz of how Southhampten blue tits learned to open milk bottles and somehow this knowledge spread through every blue tit on Earth – either morphic resosance allowed the birds to share their knowledge through the Earth's morphogenetic field.

C'Rizz laughs uproarishly at this dumb anti-science. The Doctor's grasp of evolution and planetology makes Southern Bapists look like Einstein! And this morphogenic field crap... maybe the birds are just clever, huh, ever thought of that?

The Doctor tries hard to stare at the Eutermisan in outrage and proclaim that he is a Lord of Time and if he says planets are keyed to the racial memories of its inhabitants then it DAMN WELL IS! But he can't keep a straight face and they both break up laughing.

Charley strides alone through the forest. Probably an impressive scene on TV, but on audio it's kinda hard to appreciate.

Finally running out of things to smoke, the Doctor and C'Rizz struggle to get up and reenter the TARDIS. They have the confused impression Charley must already be inside and if she isn't, well, the Doctor's heard some great rumors about this Cockney chick, Rose Tyler...

Charley arrives in time to see the TARDIS take off without her.

Not in the least bit surprised, upset or even interested, she opens the potting shed and finds it rather improbably contains a gasometer! And inside it is that dude playing the saxophone!

Such is the shock of seeing the unrelated plot threads tie together, the episode ends abruptly in stress-related shock!

Part Three – The Memory of Trees

The saxophone-playing man rather disturbingly wonders if Charley is supposed to be chopped liver, but decides he'd prefer lightly grilled fish.

This saxophone-player is Elma Fudd and offers Charley to blow on his brass. Charley demands dinner and a movie first, proving that whoever wrote this has never written for Charley before.

Fudd goes onto claim he is a political prisoner who opposed chimpanzee experimentation, preferring to use small orphans for vivisection. Charley decides that she wants to settle down and marry Fudd because, er, I dunno, her biological clock has gone from 'stale companion formula' to 'get the hell out of Doctor Who NOW!'?

The Doctor and C'Rizz cartwheel out of the TARDIS shouting warnings to the Powell Estate at the top of their voices that the "Divergent Don Juans" have arrived and "all hot chavs shall braceth themselves!"

The TARDIS has not moved a smegging inch but our toasted time travelers are a bit slow on the uptake and stagger around the place towards a small village whose inhabitants are slowly dying of sonic diarrhea, which on audio is a nasty way to go and sure puts the Slitheen flatulence into perspective.

The Doctor and C'Rizz mistake several bodies in the grass for hungover turp-drinkers and C'Rizz is sent to the nearest public lavatory to get some water and phone numbers. There he sees Enya in the toilets, which is a sentence that just doesn't get typed enough in modern society.

Finally, the Doctor's marijuana-gin-addled senses clear enough to realize he has not gone to Earth but simply traveled back in time four million minutes to the distant past where the colony has been crippled by Captain Jack's canister of chemical cruelty! Luftwaffe!

Meanwhile, the hillbillies munch happily on the brains of their experimental chimpanzees and generally say "Yep, it sure is hot."

4 million minutes ago, the leader of the colonists, El Drin, shows the Doctor the canister and after explaining five times what it is the Doctor sucks his breath on his teeth, grimaces and nods. "Yep, that's your problem, all right," he grunts. "Nasty. Gonna set you back fahsends to fix this!"

"But what is it?"

"Well, the prop itself is a Regiorran health spa repainted as a Ventriki biological weapon, but it's all so much of muchness. The idea is that it purges your system of all impurities. Like your lungs. Kidneys. Bone marrow. Lots of little messy stuff like that. Of course, only Regiorrans can survive sonic diarrhea."

"But, er, Enya isn't infected."

"Well, sonic diarrhea is rarely known for its musical tastes."

As Barkin' and Chronic throw stones at the fission detrax unit up to full capacity, Charley enters and protests at the cruel murder of an innocent man. Whatever Fudd's crimes, however, Charley concludes that
It's wrong for him to be effectively vivisected – and Martha cheerfully explains that they will INEFFECTIVELY vivisect Fudd, then snorts like a horse and belches.

The Doctor cunningly reveals to C'Rizz in front of everyone that setting 2936 on his sonic screwdriver will cure him and C'Rizz of any plague and the locals get all hoity-toity and demanding he saves them from extinction.

The Doctor's offer of a jelly baby is not accepted.

The Doctor insists that as they have visited the future they know that sonic diarrhea will wipe out the whole colony and reduce any survivors into gorilla grams. He refuses to share the cure because of the sanctity of history, the web of timelines, and, you know, whatever. They're back in the real universe and they have to obey the laws of time and not interfere or else, maybe, trigger an all-out temporal difference of opinion which could wipe out continuity itself!

This however, proves to be the best possible reason to do so and in moments the Doctor and C'Rizz are handing out hundreds of sonic screwdrivers to the diseased colonists and leave in the TARDIS to cheers and joyful farewells.

Once inside the TARDIS, the Doctor and C'Rizz break down in laughter, unable to believe the locals fell for that – the sonic screwdrivers handed out were just BBC Worldwide toys and utterly useless! The aliens collapse to the floor, screaming "Classic! Classic!" and laughing.

The TARDIS lands again, 3 hours in to the future or 4 million minutes minus 3 hours from the present or... well, anyway, they arrive and all the colonists are dead bar Enya, who is still singing to a very unappreciative audience which is why most folk singers start at pubs rather than charnel houses.

The Doctor throws a lobster at her and tells her to 'change the flipping disc already!' and then he and C'Rizz depart once more to reappear inside the farm house where Charley and Fudd have announced they are settling down to get married.

Martha grunts that Fudd is a serial killing saxophonist with paranoid schizophrenia who served his victims on a plate and enjoys Alice Cooper's song "Only Women Bleed". But, after ten glorious minutes in his company, Charley knows that Fudd has put his malajusted sociopathy behind him and embraced traditional Christian values. Assuming there's a difference.

The Doctor and C'Rizz arrive and the Doctor points out that someone's left the lambda irradiator has been left on "give user complete power over everyone on the planet" rather than "off".

Learning Charley intends to wear white on her wedding day proves far too much for the Doctor and C'Rizz who laugh so hard they collapse screaming and finally lose consciousness.

Fudd sniffily announces that he is the most normal and well-adjusted of people before he beats Chronic to death sadistically with his own severed limbs.

Suddenly, the temperature drops, a storm wind whips through the house as 'Sail Away' is heard and Fudd accidentally leans on the all-purpose god-making machine. A dues ex machina, if you will.

Fudd then announces that all in this planet is his and goes "MUAHAHAHAHHHEHEHEHEHEHEHOHOHOHOHOHOHO!"

Charley giggles girlishly.

Part Four – Watermark

For anyone who had trouble understanding that cliffhanger (and to make those that did feel all smug and superior) the Doctor conveniently recovers consciousness to reveal that Barkin' has inadvertently linked Fudd's mind to the planet’s morphogenetic field. Which is naughty!

In order to trick his child bride into not thinking he is a walking embodiment of pure evil, Fudd melodramatically orders everyone to leave him alone with his dark, murderous thoughts.

Charley cheerfully drags out the bodies, but leaves C'Rizz behind in case her fiancé wants to kill the beatnik lizard. Martha points out that this is clearly evil behavior, but then, it IS C'Rizz and they decide to leave it.

C'Rizz, completely wasted, is happy lying on the floor, blowing raspberries for his own amusement. Fudd peers moodily out the window and announces he has formulated an evil plan. He intends to leave this paradise world and then kill everyone on it from a distance with his strange, godlike powers. Why? Because he's in reality evil, bitter, twisted and wants revenge. And he drowns cute kittens too.

C'Rizz wonders what the hell Fudd is on and why on Earth he thinks he has supernatural powers? Fudd replies that he dislikes the rain outside and when it stops several hours later, leaps to the obvious conclusion he has absolute control over everything on the planet. When he sees two chimpanzees making out, he orders them to stop and, once again, two days later they take a break before starting again.

But what have the supporting cast been doing during that time? Well, sitting around the TARDIS, playing Snap and generally being mellow as Enya songs play in the background. We haven’t been missing much.

Martha suggests they use the hitherto-unmentioned petrol pump out the back to explode and kill Fudd and free Eden from his evil control. While the Doctor and C'Rizz grin cheesy grins and swear they are "up for it", Charley has no intention of getting crushed to a pulp on her wedding day and admits she's having second thoughts.

Unfortunately, those second thoughts are violent one where she attacks everyone who is less intelligent than her – and tragically that covers the entire population of the planet. Luckily, those chimpanzees are on hand for Charley to dispatch with a pitchfork in slow-motion kung-fu blood-feast-death frenzy.

Fudd's omnipotence is giving him a headache... mainly because all his mighty otherworldly powers can't get his saxophone to play anything other than Enya.

Meanwhile, Barkin' starts screaming and smashing his head repeatedly against the wall – eerily, there is absolutely no way of telling if this is down to Fudd's supernatural forces or if Barkin' is in a really weird mood today.

The Doctor finds a lucky-charm-cum-thermonuclear-device in his pocket and uses it to light another joint while he ponders on the situation at hand, and also muses over the ending of The Quiet Earth – what the fuck was THAT all about?

Enya finally gets bored and starts boasting that she is the spirit of the planet made flesh through the mixture of sonic diarrhea and the local morphogenetic fields. She thus is the opposite to Fudd's evil, but she's really just bragging and is not inclined to do anything.

Fudd emerges and announces that he has regressed Barkin's mind, reducing him to a dribbling child, but no one has noticed. Annoyed, Fudd thinks of something else evil to do and decides to "go Reservoir Dogs on Lizard Boy's ass!"

C'Rizz screams hysterically that he too is a ruthless, sadistic maniac who kills lots of people with psychopathic charm but his idea of going on a road trip with Fudd fails and instead is force-fed pesticide and illegal moonshine.

The Doctor tells Charley she should chill out, put on a sparkly cat suit and answer to the name of 'Zoë'. Nothing comes of this.

Fudd emerges and brags about how damn evil he is and becomes disenchanted to find his potential victims all too stoned and mellow to care about his black heart.

Suddenly C'Rizz appears, shouting in a thick Texan accent and goes machine gun crazy. Fudd proudly boasts he has taken over C'Rizz sad excuse for a brain and released his inner redneck, only for the totally crazy drunk C'Rizz to blow his head off with the machine gun before falling over and making the Doctor scream like a girl.

To the amazement of everyone, Fudd's head reattaches itself – all that 'I AM A GOD' crap was actually true!

The Doctor challenges Fudd's divinity by getting him to turn Charley back into the sex-pot teen of such better stories as The Stoned of Venice, uh, well, other stories. Or else!

Enya points out that the Doctor is directly responsible for this situation. The Time Lord shrugs, agrees, and decides to leave. To try and stop Fudd now would be an act of total hypocrisy. Instead, he intends to let the two planetary powers beat the shit out of each other in an epic confrontation that will feature in a subscriber's only spin-off series. If it makes this story's climax less interesting, tough.

The Doctor, Charley and C'Rizz wander off.

A few seconds after the TARDIS has disappeared, Enya starts singing.

The End.

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