Friday, December 4, 2009

8th Doctor - Time Works (ii)

Book(s)/Other Related -
Doctor Who Works Clocks
Dilbert Who: The Clockwork Business Development Manager
Charley Pollard's Dock Work: How to Live on Thirty Altarian Dollars A Shag

Fluffs – Paul McGann seemed to be on overtime for most of this story.

Goofs –
How fucking hard can it be to say the words “Tick Tock” in order?! Yet, somehow, not a single Clockwork Man can manage it, the useless, time-wasting piss heads! No, I am NOT envious of their lifestyle!

Fashion Victims – Charley’s ‘Heaven This Way’ lace panties.

Technobabble –
The Clockwork Men rely on ‘tickytockytickytockboom!’ energy.

Links and References -
The Doctor hasn’t been this bored since "The Spam Musuem" (Serial Q).

Untelevised Misadventures -
The Doctor and Krestorian know each other through their mutual friend Acting Lieutenant Horatio Hornblower, who Krestorian reluctantly imprisoned in a mainland Spanish fort in 1795, “The Duchess and the Devil.”

In one particularly nasty post-regenerative hangover, the Doctor joined Hornblower on the Hotspur as a mid-shapman calling himself Lieutenant George W Bush.

Groovy DVD Extras -
Introduction and narration by Ricky Gervais.

Dialogue Disasters –

Kestorian: You want to know about the Clockwork Men? We work in their shadow, every tick and tock of our lives. We hear them in the workings of the Great Clock. We work hard, turn our hands – but we all wind down in time, and that is when they come for us: when our time is up and, more specifically, when they atomize us in a violent drunken rage...
Doctor: Sorry to interrupt your long speeches, Kestorian, but you DO know this is part four of a four episode story?
Kestorian: Then I fear that our work has been nothing. We will suffer the fate of the Old World. Out time will be over. The seconds are counting down to a fateful future that has already happened, UNLESS we can beat the clock...
Doctor: Christ, he goes on a bit, doesn’t he?

Vannet: The Great Clock cannot be turned back. It measures our progress towards completion.
Revnon: It measures our progress towards lunchtime. I’m famished.
Vannet: Shut up, asshole, I’m trying to be mythic here!


Vannet: This is my punishment, for daring to turn anti clockwise!
Doctor: You mustn’t fear change, Vannet. Sometimes the only way to make something right is to tear it down first. That’s what I tell the insurance company, but the bastards never believe me.

Zanith: I know what the workers say of me, but I’m not addicted to hardcore pornography. It just takes the edge off. I can quit whenever I want to. I just don’t want to, that’s all. Besides, idle hands and all that!

Dialogue Triumphs -

Charley, on her desired, full-time occupation:
"Finding trouble and then shagging it."

Doctor: Even the best parties become humdrum once you’ve gatecrashed as many of them as I have – but outside those doors now, there could be anything, literally anything at all. Doesn’t that excite you?
Charley: Hell yes! Pass the whipped cream!

A chilling introduction to the main villain of this story -

Revnon: The Clockwork Men
Keep us turning clockwise
And without them, we
Would be tempted to leave
Our hands
And my girlfriend and I have
No time for those who
Would turn
Our hand back.
Doctor: What crap. That’s not worth thinking, let alone putting on a blog, you sad pastule!
Revnon: Get your own blog then, Doctor.
Doctor: I will, I will! I’ll call it “The Not Half As Excremental Offal As Revnon Writes Blog”!
Revnon: You wound me, man, you really do.
Doctor: AND you don’t a girlfriend, you liar!

Charley: You know what I think? I don’t think the TARDIS is faulty at all. Or, if it is, that suits him quite well.
Doctor: I keep telling you, security cameras being installed in all the bedrooms is a total coincidence!

Kestorian: You wanna piece of me, bitch? You ain’t got the cogs!
Clockwork Man: I’ll settle for yours!

Doctor: Once upon a time, in a land not too dissimilar to ours, I knew a man once who became obsessed with predicting the future and planning for every variable... until he realised that he was losing the one thing that was most precious to him: he only wanted to be more human.
Vannet: Who was that?
Doctor: I dunno, he was a real geek and not really that memorable.

UnQuotable Quote -

Zanith: I have no purpose. Rather like this script.

Viewer Quotes -

"Thank God it wasn’t a sequel to the Colditz story. That would have been... actually, it can’t have been worse than that story. It would have been brilliant. David Tennant versus Tracey Childs, I'd pay to hear that. Certainly more than I’d pay for this crap."
– Jared Hansen (2007)

"Wow. Forty five bucks for a biting satire about the working man’s struggle for a couple of days off a week. I really loved the subversive bit where that Union rep in the cloth cap stood up and shouted, ‘Awwight lads, evweboddy aht!’ The idea of Unions and strikes actually having RELEVANCE in this country is science fiction in itself. What do I do for a living? None of your business and now I’m off to Centrelink to collect my dole. Go away." – Mark Latham (2006)

"You know, there are three types of Doctor Who stories. Historicals, outer space stories, and Sideways In Time And Space stories. It’s telling that there are very, very few of the last category and they are all crap. All of them. Every last one. Argue with me on this and I WILL kill you. I’m not joking, I’m prepared to go to jail over this, with your blood on my hands." – Dallas Jones (2004)

"'Bullshit' is the first word that springs to mind when I think about this one. You could just say that this is a standard something-weird-going-on-with-time plot hybridized with a revolution plot, much like The Spam Museum was back in 1965, but if you did you'd be vastly underselling the beauty there is in that story." – Martin Sheen (2008)

"An essential slice of Doctor Who that should not be overlooked! If you overlooked it, you might think it was actually worth watching! Rubbish! Only one show is worth watching, and that is Blake’s 7! EVERYTHING ELSE IS SUB-STANDARD DETRITUS! ONLY MY OPINIONS ARE VALID! NO ONE ELSE'S! YOU WILL BELIEVE ME AND OBEY! OBEY! OBEY! OBEY YOUR GOD, YOU SCUM! OBEY! O-BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEYYYY MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!"
– The introduction to John Meer’s "A History And Critical Analysis of Blake’s 7: The 1978-1981 British Television Space Adventure" (2000)

"I love Ronald Pickup! He fricken rocks! He’s the best Aslan there is – I totally boycotted the movie version of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe because he wasn’t in it... at, least, I assumed he wasn’t. Anyway, it’s brilliant that he’s finally done a Doctor Who! In fact, now he’s done it, I’m going to throw away every other part of my collection... What do you mean he was in a Hartnell story? I just torched all my copies of the missing episodes!"
– Andrew Beeblebrox (2005)

Psychotic Nostalgia -
"The people at my office have been replaced with clockwork androids. It’s so the originals can be disposed of without offending the unions. Damn them. Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock..."

Paul McGann Speaks!
"I can’t think of anything I don’t like about Clock Works. Maybe because I can’t remember a single thing about it. Which Doctor was it again? Me? No, really?"

India Fisher Speaks!
"For all the frozen time stuff, we decided to do it ‘bullet-time’ Matrix scenes, so we all turned up in leather coats and sunglasses, mainly so Paul and I could throw people off tall buildings and see if they bounced like Keanu Reeves. They never did, but we didn’t much like any of them. In fact, one of them WAS Keanu Reeves, now I think about it, but his career’s gone downhill since Bill and Ted, and well, we wouldn’t be part of Doctor Who if we let the fucker get away with THAT movie, would we?"

Conrad Westmaas Speaks!
"There’s a fairy tale feel to this one, with the tea room and the photocopiers and Ronald Pickup and Tracy Childs. Actually, come to think about it, it’s not really fairy tale stuff at all. It’s just crappy office soap-u-mentaries. "

Trivia -
Despite all of Big Finish’s hopes, the Eleventh Doctor was not cast from a main character Clock Work, so the flukes with Coleslaw Cutaway and The Reservation of the Scourge were just flukes. HAH! Told ya!

Rumors & Facts -

Steve Lyon’s Clock Works is tremendously creative, as long as you are incredibly easy to impress.

Steve Lyons had written three and a half Doctor Who audios for Big Finish and not one of them started out as an idea remotely original, despite what Lyons himself automatically assumed. His first two ideas, which he was certain no one in the entire world would have done before, were was "Doctor Who goes to a science fiction convention" and "Doctor Who gets locked up for a crime he didn't commit", which later hit the shelves as The Fans of Vulcan and Coleslaw Cutaway respectively.

Five years later, he came up with this story, simply entitled "Doctor Who in An Exciting Adventure In Middle Management and or IT". It was rejected as the stories involving the TARDIS crew doing just that stretched all the way back to 1964's William Hartnell story The Lab Techs.

This time, Lyons was mildly prepared for the rejection, have got a word-for-word identical reaction when he suggested the idea to Steven Cole's BBC novels. On that occasion it was dropped for being identical to Mike Collier’s The Longest Wait, where the Eighth Doctor and Sam discover Microsoft runs on time travelling oak trees. When Lyons suggested his other two ideas, he got the same response: the plots were too similar to Dreamstone Mooning by Paul Leonard and I C U by Kate Orman. Finally, Lyon began to suspect that Steve Cole was deliberately engineering this to happen.

He had reason to think that, since his original idea TimWorm: Office Politics had been ditched by Peter Darril Evans for already being far too similar to Paul Carnall’s 1990's TimWorm: St Paul Letters To The Corinthians II. Back then, Lyons had been working in the admin section of a well-known high street bank and was so bored he came up with an idea of a science fiction series with a shape-changing time traveler whose vehicle was shaped like a police box. Upon discovering someone had beaten him to it, he’d been submitting stories ever since.

Indeed, Andrew Cartmel has been known to blame the original series' cancellation on Steve Lyon. And Saddam Hussain. And the floating of the American dollar. And the mining of uranium. Plus sunspot activity. Not to mention the wandering Jew. Actually, I think Cartmel may not be the most reliable of witnesses. Let us move on.

With only weeks until RTD's The Michaelmas Evasion, Lyons was taken aback when his latest suggestion caused the Big Finish production team to break down in unison into horrendous sobbing.

All he said was "How about some clockwork robots?"

As anyone who wasn’t Steve Lyon had noted by now, clockwork robots are old hat. Not only did everyone see them adequate explored in Steven Moffat's The Nun In The Liftshaft (or "How I Learned How To Stop Worrying About Clockwork Robots And Fuck Mdme Du Pompadour"), but the Ninth Doctor’s premier novel was The Clockwork Robots. And what about the Tellos Novella The Clockwork Robots? In fact, there are so many stories with Clockwork robots in them a given Doctor will have encountered them three times more than the bloody Dustbins! Hell, even the Cybermen went though that clockwork phase in the mid 1970s to go with the flared trousers and the acid trip wallpaper...

Anyway, Lyons protested firmly that Big Finish hadn’t heard him out. His story would use Clockwork Men in a totally new and original way: they would be the servants of an all powerful computer controlling the lives of a small enclave of humans, with the enslaved population eventually revolting and gaining their freedom thanks to help from the Doctor and his motley companions.

At this point everyone started screaming mindlessly and smashing their heads against the tables again and again.

Lyons was confused – was his "Doctor Who Teams Up With The Rebels And Overthrows An Evil Authoritarian Regime" just too radical and inventive for a conservative organization like Big Finish?

He then offered "Doctor Who Discovers Aliens Invade Earth By Interfering With History" at which point Gay Russell grabbed Lyons and threw him down the stairs.

Unfortunately, it was at this point Russell realized he was entirely on his own – he had specifically subdivided Big Finish into the Benny Summerfield Adventures; Dustbin Umpire; Cybermen; I, Lavros; Doctor Who Unsoiled; The Tomorrow Persons; Companion Cutaways; Judge Dredd... all in an attempt to hold back Nick Briggs. But Briggs had foreseen this and allowed it to divide Big Finish’s forces.

Now, nothing was able to stop him seizing control of Big Finish!

In one last stroke of tactical genius, Gay Russell actually gave Briggs full editorial control and thus made Lyons and his story Briggs’ problem! After producing, recording and releasing this story, Briggs was found trying to suffocate himself to death with a pickled onion sandwich while Lyons outlined a spin off series to Doctor Who about a rogue group of over-sexed xeno-tech hunters lead by an omnisexual ex-companion, "The Porlock Foundation" starring Matthew Waterhouse as Supreme Commander Adric.

Gay Russell regained control of Big Finish, had Lyons and Briggs sealed in concrete and dumped in the North Sea, before commissioning a new series of BBC7 audio dramas for the eighth Doctor.

But this proved only to be a stop gap, as Briggs was now well-used to being sealed in concrete and dumped in the North Sea. His return would be swift and terrible and nothing would be the same again.

Not even the theme tune, which this week was:

"Eutermisan Head" by Cecil Rizz the Third and the Zodan Five

The coffee is flat
We’re always worked out
Don’t have a getaway car
So we didn’t get very far

We’re as stupid as hell
And these elevators
Moving so fast
Like a beaver
So close to the bone
I don’t feel too well

And if you choose
To take today off
I will flay you
Like a shark
And I’ll cut out
Your heart
I’ll set fire to my farts
To inflame you...

Sleeping alone
No pleasure
The Eutermisan head
It spins and spins
Possessed by dark gods
Don’t remember if
I shagged her last week
It was a long time ago

And if you choose
To take today off
I will flay you
Like a shark
And I’ll cut out
Your heart
I’ll set fire to my farts
To inflame you...

(Yes, Charley, you!)

And if you choose
To take today off
I will flay you
Like a shark
And I’ll cut out
Your heart
I’ll set fire to my farts
To inflame you...

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