Friday, December 4, 2009

8th Doctor - Scaredy Cat (ii)

Book(s)/Other Related -
Doctor Who Versus Enya
Doctor Who And the Male Bonding of Time
Dude, Where's My Time Machine?
"Proof Positive I Know What I'm Doing" by RTD

Fluffs – Paul McGann seemed a funk soul brother for most of this story.

Doctor: Let me diverse, let me perverse, reverse the neutron flow,
Let me retch, let me letch on the nude shores of Tripoli.
Let me sway, let me sway, let me crash into your elbow,
Let me go, let me go beyond Metabelis Three!

Goofs -
This cost me $49.95 for 20 minutes of plot, 54 minutes of Enya song and twenty seconds of drama.

Why does the planet Cardiff look exactly like Earth? There's even the horn of Africa for the love of Led Zepplin! Do lots of planets have a Red Sea? Does 'Yaranaaaaa' literally mean they've run out of time and alien planet images so this'll have to do?

Fashion Victims –
C'Rizz in a pith helmet, fishnet stockings, studded black leather briefs, translucent silk dressing gown and Gumby singlet.

Technobabble –
"Bloody hell! Fudd is manipulating the entire planet's morphohujimaflipic field!"

Links and References -
The Doctor mentions his visits to the newly-formed planet of Tigga (The Dustbins' Nasty Plan) and primeval Earth (Paris Sucks) and on neither occasion did the morphojimaflipic field assume the form of Enya.

Untelevised Misadventures -
The Doctor once went on a 'religion crawl', getting totally pissed and then graffiti-ing every temple and monument to every deity in the universe until he sobered up. If any of it was real, he'd be cursed to the most awful fate in the universe.

On the other hand, he IS in this story...

Groovy DVD Extras -
The Trenchcoat Farewell Project – a novelization what Doctor Who would have been like if Enya had taken over the program in 1990. Unfortunately, it would mean the show continued strong to this present day, so it's hard to criticize.
(Note: The alternate eighth 'Trenchcoat' Doctor from "Cardiff" comes from here, so blame Enya, not me)

Dialogue Disasters –

Doctor: Do you know who this is? This is Cecil Rizz Esquire. President of Fabulous Dialogue. Ruler of the Eye Flare. Lord of the Dramatic Gesture. High Admiral of Over-Acting. Lord General of Space Costumes - and Defender of Camp!
C'Rizz: I AM *NOT* CAMP!!!
Charley: "Not camp"? What a load of tripe!

Barkin': Good moaning!
Doctor: The TARDIS translator circuits must be malfunctioning!
Martha: Nah, he always talks like that. Ignore the idiot.

Chronic: A newly-formed planet gets angry with colonists! That's the most absurd thing I have ever heard. I mean it's downright offensive in my opinion! What next? A time-travelling police box bigger on the inside than the outside piloted by a man with two hearts who can change his face? Slippery slope, people! SLIPPERY SLOPE!

Dialogue Triumphs -

Charley: We can steer, we can near with Charles Dickins at the wheel,
We can sigh, say goodbye to C'Rizz's dependencies
C'Rizz: I'm right here, you know!

Doctor: Blue tits! Southampton blue tits!
C'Rizz: Er... what?
Doctor: Just a Gallifreyan term of abuse, C'Rizz.

Fudd: As plots go, this is a bit rubbish really, wasn't it?

C'Rizz: That's not even clever pseudo-science, it's dumb anti-science.
Doctor: Have you got a better explanation, lizard boy?
C'Rizz: It wouldn't be, say, because these birds are smart, observant and quick learners? Something even remotely believable?
Doctor: C'Rizz, I fancy myself...
C'Rizz: You don't say.
Doctor: something of an amateur scientist.
C'Rizz: It shows.
Doctor: Look, C'Rizz, don't blame me because the writers are so lazy nowadays they're happy to settle for really stupid fantasy science fiction ideas. And stop Bogarting the joint already!

UnQuotable Quote -

C'Rizz: Sweet Onion Chutney! That is AWESOME!

Viewer Quotes -

"OK... nympho Charley is being shortchanged in stories. For C'Rizz. Of all people. Let's just think about this travesty of justice for a few minutes, shall we?" – Andrew Beeblebrox (2006)

"I always thought Enya would be a good Benny Summerfield. But then, I thought Ernie Dingo would be a good fifth Doctor."
- Nigel Verkoff (1993)

"The latest flushing from BF's endlessly streaming pipe is worthless. Big Finish? Bog Flush, more like. Even shit can be recycled to encourage new life elsewhere. But what can we do with this? Use it as an ashtray? Sail Away boasts a banality previously unsuspected even by the low standards which Bog Flush exemplify, this is a humorless embarrassment! This crude junk offends my view on reality! I bet Schindler can't even SPELL the word 'can't'! I bet he spells it with an 'R'!" - Will Schindler's ex (2005)

"Wait a minute! This is a rip of 'Kinda''! And 'The Twice-A-Night Kingdom'! And 'The Beard of Evil'! And 'The Dustbins' Nasty Plan'! And 'Paris Sucks'! And the new series Empty Child story! And 'Less Than A Lazarus', the 1992 Stranger spin-off! Come to think of it, 'Less Than A Lazarus' was ALSO a rip-off – of Nick Briggs' Oddly Visual 'Just A Judas'! FOR GOD'S SAKE, IS NOTHING ORIGINAL OR SACRED ANY MORE?!?"
– Dave Restal (2005)

"Charley's been reduced to a traditional, stereotyped companion that can be outshone by a pink lizard. Her story's over. Marry her or kill her, I do not care – but she has nothing more to contribute to these audios. Actually, do both and have her die of multiple orgasms! It's the way she would have wanted it. I know it's the way we want her to. In fact, I have the perfect story idea for this, and it's on the table if Big Finish want it. Come on, you know where I live - I CAN SEE YOU TAUNTING ME, YOU BASTARDS!!!"
– Cameron Mason (2006)

"Worst Eighth Doctor story EVER! No, wait, that's The Credo of the Kromon. Or was it Zig-Zag-Gay-Ass? Or was it Inuit in Hull? Or maybe The Crime of Fright-Night. No! No, Rob, I didn't mean it! No! No! Put down the plum pudding, Rob! NOOOOOOO!!!!"
– Last Words of the Comic Book Guy (2007)

"I've always said that Big Finish have the advantage of being able to make a story as long as it needs to be - I think that some of the longest stories have been amongst Big Finish's finest, and it has annoyed me when people have complained about a story being long just because it's long - often I've felt that the length has benefited the story. I get the impression that Big Finish have taken these criticisms on board in the last year or so and gone out of their way to keep stories strictly between 1:35 and 1:50 (the only story from
the last year to be outside this range was The Afronauts), and I
don't honestly think they need to, so I take the same viewpoint here; if being 74 minutes long is right for the story and making it longer would have harmed it, I'm happy with it being 74 minutes long. Yeah, that's right tree-huggers! I suppose you could argue you don't get as much for your money - but I rather like Sail Away, and am very happy to pay the standard price. But then, I'm mad."
– Dexter Pinion (2006)

"It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts. Oh, and this story was total shite. Even by Big Finish standards." – Sherlock Holmes (2005)

"Unlikely coincidences! Dubious science! A measly 74 minutes run time! No special features of any sort whatsoever! Loyal buyers being ripped off before we make half the range exclusive to subscriber's only! Screw the loyal customers! All this and more from the fuckwits at BF!"
- Jon Ainsworth (2006)

"I'd rate Sail Away as fair, because there wasn't anything actively bad about the play, though it was less interesting than watching a dead cockroach with an ice cube. So, it was a fair play. Fair play. Hahah. That's witty, that is. I wish Sail Away was half as entertaining."
- Ewen Campion-Clarke (2006)

Psychotic Nostalgia -
"Big Finish have given us everything they have to offer, all we are getting now are variations of releases they have already made and pretty pale imitations of them at that. There's no ambition, the regulars are tedious, the dialogue unoriginal, the production standard and the storyline rushed. And where are the dancing lobsters in Tam O'shanters? Where? Where are they? ANSWER ME!! WHERE?! All I want is to get through an audio release satisfied, to be entertained for a few hours. It doesn't seem too much to ask but it is becoming less and less likely that this is going to happen. I WANT MORE DANCING LOBSTERS!"

Paul McGann Speaks!
"Fans can be very critical of the shows. So can non-fans. Indeed, anyone the meanest intelligence can and should denounce this stuff for the crap that it is. I'm only here because of my contract.

I've had great fun at conventions, usually under the influence of mind-altering substances. In fact I spend quite a lot of time under the influence of mind-altering substances. I'm not an addict, though I could be if I didn't only quaff LSD when I was involved in anything Doctor Who related. I've had some really freaky dreams about Doctor Who. Last time it was an alien planet that looked exactly like Cardiff whose atavistic spirit was Enya! Man, I must have taken some twisted shit that night!"

India Fisher Speaks!
"I enjoyed this story more the time Will Shindler told it in The Twice-A-Night Kingdom. At least there was plenty of shagging in it."

Conrad Westmaas Speaks!
"Will Shindler has a very distinctive writing style. I could have guessed that this story was one of his. The way the words "BY WILL SCHINDLER" are at the start of the page are a bit of a clue. Will's a bit like Rob Shearman. So watch on your change, keep your back to the wall and no sudden moves."

Trivia -
There is a stoned hippie sitting on the floor of the flat in every episode of The Young Ones – go and check, he's just sitting there, doing nothing, never mentioned, just sitting there...

Oh, some trivia about *Doctor Who*? Right, I get ya!

Er... it was originally called "The Trouble Shooters"? That's pretty trivial.

Rumors & Facts -

Is it a crime to be average? If it is then this play should be locked up in the big house and the key thrown away. Any story the Big Finish website summarized as "the usual hokum runaround camp nonsense" is not off to a good start, especially when it is effectively a repeat of The Twice-A-Night Kingdom, only without all the orgies.

Did the quality of Big Finish's Doctor Who releases drop as part of a natural process of decay? Was it because they've started boatloads of
miniseries simultaneously? Have they simply run out of ways to be experimental? Were they always crap and we've only just noticed because there's finally some PROPER Doctor Who out there?

These and other such questions have been clogging up fan sites and opinion forums for ages now. Normally various suggestions are made before the conversation segues into a heated argument between pro-RTD fans and anti-Eccleston trolls. The circle of fandom continues.

During his first audio drama for Big Finish, Will Shindler suffered from a near case of fatal exhaustion while researching background for his plot. In order to demonstrate physic barriers weakened in direct proportion to amount of sex the subject had, Shindler went on a brothel crawl of Soho and nearly died proving his point.

It took a year for Shindler to recover his wits, strength and not to mention the power of speech. Finally he was ready to pen his second story, a sequel to The Twice-A-Night Kingdom featuring even MORE sex and brainwashing. As long as there was ludicrous amounts of shagging, Shindler had absolutely no interest in which Doctor/Companion team was caught in the middle. Or even in the wet patch.

Although The Eighty-Seven-Times-A-Night Kingdom was commissioned to appear in the thirteenth season of Double the Fist adventures for the Eighth Doctor, Charley and C'Rizz, it quickly became apparent that seven adventures involving the game show were more than enough. The story arc finished abruptly, was given some root beer, taken out the back and shot through the head as humanely as possible.

Countless changes were made to the story to remove any arc references to it and, bizarrely enough, the story was pretty much the same. In order to differentiate The Eighty-Seven-Times-A-Night Kingdom and make it clear they were not simply re-releasing the story, it was decided that, instead of a pointless return of Vila Restal, the evil mastermind would be Celtic singer Enya.

The script actually remained pretty much true to what had been planned, so it decided that all the gratuitous scenes of tantric sex would be erased from the plot. The 9 hour 26-minute story now ran to seven and a half minutes. Songs from Enya's Paint the Sky were used to pad out the story to 75 minutes, whereupon it was decided to still have a story that could fit on one CD released on two so that BF could screw their fan base financially as well as artistically.

Unable to stand the music of Enya, Clannad or Ricky Gervais, Gay Russell decided for the first time in five years to let someone else direct the story who wasn't a bitching cleaner. That person was Nigel Flares, who had unwittingly produced Big Finish's ranges of The Tomorrow People and Sapphire and Steel. Sail Away (or Scary Crap as it was known back then) would be Flares' chance to cut his teeth on Doctor Who. Unfortunately Flares got carried away and nearly choked to death on his own pulverized teeth.

Tragically this proved that Gay Russell – despicable as he is – is the only director at Big Finish that even comprehends the term without going into mordant epileptic fits.

Because no one was really sure what he was trying to say, Sail Away ended up with an entire cast of Sussex-based parrots who only spoke Mexican. This was one of the less-bizarre happenings that occurred during recording.

One such development was when Schindler, upon discovering that the CDs were being recorded with more than one scene per track when appropriate, tore up his script and refused to replace it until this detestable practice was halted immediately.

Another was when it was discovered that after the opening scene, the TARDIS Crew were never mentioned again and the story continued without them. Schindler explained he'd gone to all the trouble of mapping out the plot and conflicts that adding the Doctor, Charley and C'Rizz was time-consuming, depressing and dull.

Flares argued that he could easily insert the time travelers into the narrative, and just have them run around explaining everything to the listener and remain bystanders to the action going on.

Actually, he may have said something different – with all those teeth missing Schindler had to guess as what instructions the director was giving him. This also lead to Schindler's pay rise of four hundred and eleven thousand, six hundred and twelve pounds and forty-eight new pence for turning up for work.

Flares, using an ouiji board and the 'one blink for yes, two blinks for no' system, managed to communicate with Jason Haigh-Ellory and suggested they get some extras or trailers or maybe record another story altogether and put that on the excess space, so as not to royally let down listeners after over three years of stallwalt loyalty.

Apparently JHE's reply was "What happened to you, Nigel? You used to be cool!"

Post-production was also hampered with bizarre happenings. A hungover typist accidentally marked down Spencer McLaren as ex-pat Australian actor Stuart McLaren and Flares, horrified at this mistake, delayed the release of Sail Away for two weeks while yet ANOTHER batch of covers were made with the correct cast list. Ironically, this was so expensive it used up all the extra revenue Big Finish had gained by needlessly releasing the story on double CD.

Ultimately, the second story of McGann's fifth season was so forgettable it was left off the website. DWM never got round to reviewing it and most fans, after listening to it, got the confused impression they'd dozed off while watching Kinda'.

In fact, Sail Away is so forgettable...

..., ahem, sorry. Where was I? Er. Big Finish? Oh right! And Sail Away. Um. OH MY GOD THAT WAS RUBBISH! Maybe I'm expecting a new series of Eighth Doctor stories (the stories that once was the only thing stopping Big Finish from going under!) to be more daring, modern and
fresh. Since Sail Away didn't start out as a Paul McGann story, what the hell made it perfect for McGann? What the hell made it passable as a Doctor Who story!?

Oh, and they changed the theme music again:

"Caribbean Blue Box"
By Paul McGann and the Timelords

Let me sail, let me sail, let the orinoco flow,
Let me reach, let me beach on the shores of Tripoli.
Let me sail, let me sail, let me crash upon your shore,
Let me reach, let me beach far beyond the Yellow Sea.
Da da, da da, da da, da da, da da

From Bissau to Palau - in the shade of Avalon,
From Fiji to Tiree and the Isles of Ebony,
From Peru to Cebu hear the power of Babylon,
From Bali to Cali - far beneath the Coral Sea.

From the North to the South, Ebudæ into Khartoum,
From the deep sea of Clouds to the island of the moon,
Carry me on the waves to the lands I've never been,
Carry me on the waves to the lands I've never seen.

Sail away, sail away, sail away
Sail away, sail away, sail away
Sail away, sail away, sail away
Sail away, sail away, sail away
Sail away, sail away, sail away...

(oh, there's no joke, it's just a beautiful song.)

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