Sunday, December 6, 2009

8th Doctor - The Vengeance of Morbius (i)

Serial 9S – The Vengeance of Moby
An Alternative Program Guide by Ewen Campion-Clarke
Forty-Fourth Entry in the EC Unauthorized Guide O' Varnax


Serial 9S – The Vengeance of Moby -


The increasingly-gravid Lucie joins the Doctor in the TARDIS control room and asks if they’re going anywhere nice that specifically ISN’T Cardiff for a change when suddenly all the lights go down as the time machine’s power supply cuts out.

"Lucie, why must you make me cry so?" asks the Doctor with a sigh. "Now look what you’ve done? You’ve managed to totally kill the TARDIS! Well, if that was possible, anyway. To leave the ship totally dead you’d have to shut down the great 57 Chevy of Rassilon on Gallifrey, and how the hell could THAT possibly happen?"

"Aren’t your lot in the middle of a massive Temporal Difference of Opinion with the Dustbins and all creation is at stake?" asks Lucie.

"Oh yes. Mind like a sieve. I guess this is the end, then," the Doctor proclaims with due reverence, but the feel is completely undermined when the power returns and the lights come back on. "No, wait, it WAS just you being annoying."

Lucie starts to protest... as usual... when a strange noise fills the air and the Doctor and Lucie are thrown around as the TARDIS is buffeted. On the console monitor appears a weird black triangle formed from a shoddy 1983 BBC Micro – which the Doctor identifies it as a particularly embarrassing piece of Time Lord technology coming straight towards them!

At the last second the Doctor and Lucie remember that they’re actually in a fricken time machine and the Time Lord slams down some levers and the shining time rotor does its up-and-down-thing that hurtles the TARDIS out of danger.

But the question remains: why are the Time Lords after him with a Time Scoop? Surely they’ve long given up trying to get him to fight with the Time Battalions destroying and undestroying cloneworlds with telepathic attacks of black fireballs of supercharged chunks of the causal nexus through portholes in the Web of Time? Or is it another hideous anniversary multi-Doctor special?!

These questions are immediately forgotten as the TARDIS materializes in the cargo hold of a space freighter where Lucie immediately starts looking for donuts and lamb kebabs to feed her cravings. The Doctor decides to leave straight away, but before he can abandon Lucie, a group of face-painted mime artists in silly hats emerge from the shadows and charge towards him!

"Lucie! Help!" the Doctor screams as he is overcome by the mimes, and is furious when Lucie takes one look at his predicament and waddles off for her life and promptly falls straight into a waste pipe and would have fallen several miles to her death but luckily her bloated midriff jams her halfway down.

Meanwhile, a female ninja dives into the fray and in an amazing display of unarmed combat effortlessly defeats the three mimes and rescues the Doctor. But before he can thank her, she headbutts him unconscious and carries his lifeless body away.

"Um... little help here?" calls Lucie from her pipe. "I’m stuck! Hello? Anyone? Anyone? Hello?! ...shit."

Parte the First

On a surprisingly bleak, stormy, and uninteresting world, the Goodies lounge around their converted railway station base being generally depressed. "I can’t believe you let that, that common tart get away with the Doctor!" Tim Brooke-Taylor rants, pacing up and down. "I’m ASHAMED of you!"

"Oh, come on now, Timbo," Graeme Garden interrupts. "That’s a might unfair if you ask me. That so-called common tart was using a biotransmitter sending out false signatures to fool our internal scanners. Of course she was going to get away."

"Yeah, and WHERE, precisely, did she get that convenient bit of technology from? Eh?" asks Bill Oddie. "I’ll tell you where, the bleeding Time Lords, that’s where! Ancient Gallifreyan technology, and we all know what that means!"

"Do we?" asks Tim, lost.

"Of course we do! That palsied harridan is working for them! That’s why she rescued the Doctor and that why we can’t find head nor tail of him, his TARDIS or that knocked-up cow he hangs round with! They’ve all cleared off in the time ship!"

"Well, that’s not the end of the world, is it? We can track the Doctor’s TARDIS anywhere. Can’t we, Graeme?"

"Indeed we can, Tim, indeed we can. Especially as the Time Lords are using their Time Scoop to chase the TARDIS already."

"And what if, my friends," asks Bill, "what if the Lord of Time have got there before us and scooped up the TARDIS?"

"We’ll burn that bridge when we come to it," Tim snaps. "I’ve had enough of this negative attitude. Don’t you two realize that NOTHING is more important than what we’re doing here? That they’re working for the future glory of the Universe? for the new Empire that is to come?!"

Graeme and Bill stare at him. "Course we do!"

"Oh. Good. Just checking."

Suddenly, the Robot reports that they’ve found their objective and makes strange clucking noises until the others hit him over the head. "The time is now, my friends, our destiny is at hand!" Tim rants as he activates his iPod and 'Land of Hope & Glory' starts playing.

"Nothing in the universe can stop us now, my friends. The Time Lords are too busy in the Battle of Mofo and destroying the Dustbins’ battle worlds before the Temporal Difference began and the Dustbins are too busy detonating star-killers on Gallifrey before the Time Lords could destroy them, and so on and so until local time itself collapses from the damage! Final extraction can occur UNIMPEDED! Our eternal and immortal vanguard shall return to us, unbound by obliteration and unsoiled by time! Once more he shall return to his followers and that we too will become unsoiled, just as HE was unsoiled, and that the enemies of our leader WERE soiled! Very badly! It never washes out! And those enemies are the Time Lords and they will die in total vengeance! The Vengeance of Moby! THE SECOND TIDE OF MTV CONQUEST WILL BEGIN!!"

Bill yawns. "NOW can we have a cup of tea?"

Back on the Goodies Incorporated space freighter, the crew have finally managed to remove Lucie from the waste tunnel with some industrial lubricant and a huge suction cup. She is thrown in a cell and left to rot as, by now, the entire crew are sick and tired of her bitching and moaning about absolutely everything. In fact, the crew send out a distress signal to the Shadow Proclamation to get the star cops round to sort everything out.

Marshall Edwardo Rosto of the Gelth, a strange wraith-like ragged pink ghost alien composed of certain ignoble gases, is sent to arrest the stowaway and clear things up as quickly as possible because the Northern bint keeps going on about her swollen ankles and demanding cocoa butter to rub all over herself to prevent stretch marks.

"There is no record of a human from Earth called Lucie Miller," says Edwardo in his high-pitched, wailing squeak. "And she sounds like someone they’d remember, if not someone they’d declare public enemy number one, two and three..."

Lucie is pacing up and down her cell, complaining about her aching back, when the door to her cell slides back and a hazy ectoplasm billows inside. Like the useless cow she is, Lucie immediately cowers and screams for help. Oddly, when the transparent vapor tells her he is a police officer, she gets even MORE hysterical.

Finally Edwardo is able to shut her up for five seconds by threatening to blow her out the airlock to float dead in space, no matter HOW much paperwork is required to justify such an act. This doesn’t last though, as when Edwardo demands she explain herself, Lucie starts calling him "a great big fart with ideas above his station" and demands to know why the Shadow Proclamation doesn’t employ "proper people"

"There’s no need to be offensive, you disgustingly overweight harlot," Edwardo replies calmly. "There are interplanetary police marshals from many species, but none of the human officers wanted to go anywhere near you. Partially because of the smell, partially cause you might go into labor during the interview, but mainly because you’re the most disagreeable, selfish, incomprehensibly stupid little bitch known throughout the twelve galaxies. Now answer the questions or I will kill you and take over your corpse!"

Sulking, Lucie recites the events of the pre-credit sequence in the most incoherent and indirect manner possible. Hell, I’M not even sure I understand it, and I’m typing this bloody thing! Indeed, it’s so baffling Edwardo is left in the belief that the Doctor is a giant centipede performing lobotomies on small squirrels for fun and profit while Lucie is in fact an abstract personification of rapid eye movement. Edwardo thanks Lucie for cooperating and then says he must continue his investigation elsewhere. With lots of alcohol.

No sooner does Edwardo float out, then with a familiar wheezing groaning sound is heard and a strange hippy in a stupid hat and white robes appears – the Time Lord called the Magician, travelling via a Time Bling, a friendship bracelet that works like a TARDIS. Upon seeing Lucie, the Magician visibly recoils in disgust.

"Eww. Lucie Miller," he sneers. "What an unpleasant lesser person who I had hoped, dreamed, prayed never to see again, never to clap eyes upon, to never encounter! Yet there is so much more of you to avoid now, it seems. How ghastly."

"You’re not the Doctor, you’re a completely different time travelling ponce! What you called again? The Mongoloid?"

"The Magician!" retorts the Time Lord, deeply offended. "And I’m not hear to listen to your gurgling confinement of gravid maternity. I am here, present, purposeful to seek, locate, ascertain the whereabouts of none other than the Doctor, the poor unfortunate you keep hanging around. The Time Lords of Gallifrey, the Elder Houses of Civilization, have chosen me, myself and I to do this. Where is he?"

"He was kidnapped by mimes two days ago."

"FUCK!" shouts the Magician in annoyance. "Of course, two days, a mere 48 hours, a paltry 414, 7200 seconds short of the intended target is a near miss, a gnat’s wing given the vastness of eternity, the enormity of time, the absolutely humungousness of linear progression. I must return and tell the others, my fellows, of my tale!"

"Ere," says Lucie in annoyance. "What about me?"

"What ABOUT you?!" the Time Lord laughs cruelly. "Even if my Time Bling could possibly cope transporting your rotund corpulence across the galaxy, lesser species are not allowed to go to Gallifrey. Well, they are, actually. But you’re even LESS than they are! Besides, we are in the middle of a conflict tearing time and space apart and ravaging the universe in between, so you’d be safer here. Still, we can’t have everything. Goodbye, farewell, Lucie Miller. It’s been as irritating and pointless as always!" the Magician calls, operating his friendship bracelet and disappearing out of reality.

"This is just discrimination cause I’m up the duff, innit?" Lucie shouts at thin air. "You just wait, Magic Boy! Once this time war thing is over, I’m gonna totally sue you!"

Alone in her cell, Lucie begins to cry and realizes just how much she misses being able to paint her toenails and how worried she is about the latest plot developments in Coronation Street. She doesn’t give a single thought to the Doctor, and indeed couldn’t care less if she never saw him again...

Outside, Edwardo makes a scene-of-crime report and concludes that Lucie Miller is a nasty, hormonal chav talking complete bullshit about evil mimes and cannot be trusted to tell the time, let alone the truth. But the Gelth cop is shocked to discover unusual DNA traces in the freighter of a Time Lord and mime arists! Not only does this mean Lucie’s highly-disturbing account is true, it means she’s going to be utterly insufferable and never let ANYONE hear the end of it.

Despite having only just met her, Edwardo already has a crippling anxiety about Lucie telling him "I told you so!", and so the Gelth decides to interrogate Lucie again in the hope he can find a possible flaw in her story and thus totally discredit her.

Meanwhile, a beautiful young woman dressed as a ninja breaks into Lucie’s cell and Lucie – showing truly remarkable stupidity, even for her – does not recognize this ninja as the one who abducted the Doctor, and instead assumes that she is a human police officer arranged by Edwardo. Despite the fact Edwardo quite clearly refused to do. And it would take weeks for such a person to arrive anyway. Look, to cut a long story short, Lucie is a non-functional moron.

The ninja introduces herself as Hampshire and offers to take Lucie to the nearest Earth Embassy for McDonalds, Swedish massage and fit male prostitutes to see to Lucie’s every sordid desire. And Lucie, not being remotely suspicious about this despite hostile forces clearly being after her and the Doctor, accepts and agrees to leave straight away. When .. offers to make a galaxy wide appeal for the Doctor’s whereabouts, Lucie just stares at her and asks, "Who?"

Without further delay, the duo flee the cargo freighter for the unbelievable luxury of Hampshire’s pimped-up planet hopper which hurtles off into the void on course for the nearest Earth Embassy. Lucie says she feels uneasy and after gorging herself on chocolates and luxuriating in a bubble bath feels mildly better.

Sudding herself with mounds of foam, Lucie tries to go through the sequence of events in the last episode of Coronation Street, only to realize she’s completely forgotten the plot and got it mixed up with her real life.

"God! If only things were as exciting as they are on TV! If this was a decent soap opera, there wouldn’t be evil mimes lying in wait to kidnap us the second we left the TARDIS. Or at least there’d be an explanation for how the hell the mimes knew we’d be there. Hell, the Doctor wouldn’t have been taken prisoner by mimes at all, probably just arrested by the Time Lords like that Magician twat. And that ninja woman wouldn’t have been a total red herring. Odd how she looked just Hampshire, innit? Small world, full of coincidences..."

Lucie is very tired as she hasn’t slept much in the last two days due to the lack of decent toilet facilities, bedding, food combined with her amphetamine habit which causes insomnia and she soon dozes off and starts snoring like a wounded pig, quite content to think that her travels with the Doctor are over.

Selfish cow.

Back on Gallifrey, the skies are blood red from thousands of starships destroy each other and the Citadel of the Time Lords is filled with foot soldiers from countless species from the "Gallifrey 90210" spin off series. Suddenly, the Magician reappears in the Panopticon where he is met by one of the few beings on the planet prepared to actually try to talk to him: Leela, the blind, ex-presidential bodyguard and recreational psychopath. Since her K9 was blown up in the civil war, the second and far more camp K9 unit is now her seeing-eye-dog.

The Magician reveals that he arrived too late and the Doctor had already been snatched, and Leela demands to know why he didn’t bring Lucie back with him. "My dear, ...have you actually MET that bitch? She’s a woman more irritating than clockwork bacteria!"

"Silence, verbose one! This is a time of direst emergency and this Lucie Milluh might have vital information, or are you so addled you need to be told what will happen if the Goodies capture the Doctor? This Northen cow you speak of could be our only lead, so go and do whatever you need to do to bring the Doctor back to here!"

"Reminder: the survival of the whole Universe of Space and Time depends on what the Magician does next," chirps in K9 helpfully.

"No pressure then," the Magician sighs and uses his Time Bling once more, and is sent hurtling through CGI vortices once more...

Lucie wakes up from a strange nightmare of witches chanting "Sacred Flame AKA John Inman" to discover her bath water has grown cold and Hampshire’s spacecraft is being stormed by a ghostly pink wraith!

Despite clearly being just Edwardo come to rescue her and the fact there is a plasma rifle conveniently held in the soap rack next to the bath, Lucie decides to scream in mindless terror anyway and since twenty-five minutes are up, this is arbitrarily chosen to be a cliffhanger for the episode.

Parte the Second

Like many episodes of Doctor Who, this episode begins a three-way Mexican stand off between a naked companion, a psychotic female ninja and a floating pink cloud of gas channeling Hercule Poroit in the main room of an out-of-control planet hopper. It’s just one of the reasons I love this damn show so much.

Both Hampshire and Edwardo claim to be police officers rescuing Lucie, but while Edwardo can point out the huge holes in Hampshire’s cover story, all Hampshire can do is shout, "IT’S UGLY! IT’S EVIL! KILL IT!" which, sadly, seems quite a compelling case for Lucie.

"For god’s sake, woman, Hampshire is the ninja you saw working with the mimes!" Edwardo complains. "She was even stupid enough to leave one of her personalized Sisterhood of the Flame earrings at the crime scene! She turned up and kidnapped you because you’re a witness! How idiotic are you, Lucie Miller?!"

Despite all the evidence, Lucie insists on giving Hampshire a chance to explain her evil plan. But when allowed to speak, Hampshire runs into the bathroom and locks the door. Being a cloud of gas, Edwardo easily follows... to see Hampshire chant "Sacred Flame AKA John Inman" and teleport herself away by sheer telepathic wicca power!

Hampshire reappears in the caverns of the Sisterhood of the Flame, lead by the elderly Karen who tells Hampshire off for returning empty-handed. Like Leela, Karen has the bizarre idea that Lucie possesses vital Time Lord information and cannot be allowed to fall in the hands of the Goodies. "We cannot risk this, all links with the Doctor must be destroyed – it must be as if he never existed!"

"Good. I couldn’t stand the dozy tart!"

Back aboard Hampshire’s ship, Lucie has gone on another food binge and decided that Edwardo is clearly in love with her as he went to all this trouble to rescue her delicate self from such horrible straights. Edwardo’s protests that, actually, he only came here in the hope he’d arrive too late and she’d be dead are, of course, ignored. "You’re one of the good guys, Smelly Ed," Lucie congratulates him.

"Can you at least put some clothes on, you bloat meat bag?" 'Smelly Ed' protests when he realizes there’s no point talking to her.

The Goodies, meanwhile, are making their perilous way down a bottomless chasm as they attempt amateur pot-holing. Tim is the Anchorman on the windswept surface while Bill is the Reckless Loony who climbs down the cliff to claim the prize. Graeme meanwhile has put on his old tweed suit and is tinkering with some silly Heath Robinson device. All of them ignore the Robot when it spots an unknown ship entering the orbit of Korn.

To the surprise of no-one, that ship contains Smelly Ed and (a now-thankfully-clothed) Lucie Miller. Smelly Ed decides to track down the mysterious mime artists and at Lucie’s suggestion, looks it up on wikipedia but this proves utterly useless. The page on the Sisterhood of the Flame leads to a lesbian erotica chatroom and the entry for the Time Lords is purged until a reliable account can be made about the Temporal Difference of Opinion.

Idly, Smelly Ed points out that Lucie ran rather than staying to help the Doctor so she should feel really, really guilty but Lucie has no idea what he’s talking about. Even when the policeman-cum-gasman explains, she still doesn’t get why she should have risked her life for a lesser being like the Doctor. "You are the most arrogant humanoid I have ever had the misfortune to encounter," Smelly Ed complains.

"Thanks!" says Lucie cheerfully, assuming this is a compliment.

Elsewhere, Hampshire and the other members of the Sisterhood unchain the captive Doctor from his crucifix and bring him to their Mother Superior, Karen. The Doctor fearfully asked if they’ve captured Lucie yet and is relieved to discover they haven’t, which means they can have a half decent conversation for once.

Karen for her part is unimpressed as to how this Doctor measures up to the Tom Baker version she met centuries earlier – rather than being a prattling man full of idle questions, he seems to have nothing to say for himself and hasn’t even tried to chat up any of the sisters.

"Well, as no one’s been particularly forthcoming since I got here, and I don’t have any reason to assume the situation has changed, I decided to waste any good chat up lines on you repressed spinsters," the Doctor retorts, flipping her the finger.

Karen shuts the Doctor up by playing a recording of Lucie in the bath, a sight everyone present finds disturbing and arousing in equal measure. Uncertain as to what the quasi-lesbian order is after, the Doctor offers to set Karen up on a date with Lucie – though he has to admit, he never thought they had such strange fetishes. The Sisterhood asks the Doctor to help them use their mighty psychic powers to teleport Lucie here...

Above Korn, the ship is caught in a tractor beam generated by the Robot on the surface. Suddenly, the Magician reappears on the flight deck via his Time Bling and tries to charm Lucie right away. "Ah, sweet parturient flower of youth, what a delight it is to see you again!" he lies through his teeth. "

"Shut it, hippie boy!" Lucie snaps – amazingly, having remembered something for once. "You left me in the lurch, you selfish pig! Hand over that Time Bling! I don’t want you vanishing again!"

"That can have no possible value to you," the Magician protests.

"I think it matches my eyes!"

"Look, you vacuous, insipid simpleton," the Time Lord complains, "we must return to Gallifrey at once! If the Doctor had actually let the Time Scoop catch his TARDIS in the first place, at square one, none of this would have happened, occurred OR eventuated!"

"Maybe I don’t WANT to go to Gallifrey," Lucie pouts.

Smelly Ed loses it and together with the Magician attempt to kill the annoying teenager, but at the last second she is teleported off the ship by the Sisterhood of the Flame, leaving the duo trapped in a ship being dragged to Korn by the Goodies, the most infamous clan members of the Cult of Moby...

Lucie reappears in the Sisterhood’s secret base right next to the Doctor and immediately tells him off for abandoning her in her delicate condition before giving him a clip around the ear. "Oh, God, just kill me now," the Doctor sighs.

"Funny you should say that, Doctor," Karen says and points to the giant microwave oven in the corner. "Now Lucie is here we can be sure there is no trace of you. Hampshire, take them to the Door to Oblivion and cast them through!"

"Now look what you’ve got us into!" the Doctor shouts at Lucie as the Sisters drag them over to the simultaneously quaint and utterly barbaric molecular dispersal chamber – which, despite the fact it’s well over five centuries past its expiry date, is still in perfect working order!

"Oi! Do any of you bitches actually know who I am?!" protests Lucie as they are thrown inside the oven...

Next Time...
"He always did inspire such convoluted plot lines."
"Moby’s shithouse, are we all agreed? Apart, maybe from Lift Me Up, but that’s just the exception that proves the rule. But that nutter Solong managed to save his brain and continue his singing career!"
"No contrivance in the universe can bring him back!"
"And what do YOU know of realistic narratives?"
"One more episode. We’re gonna make it. Think positive!"
"The story’s completely out ideas so positive thinking is pretty much all we’ve got left!"
"Don’t go blaming it on me. That was Smelly Ed."
"Get away with you, Lucie Miller, before you stink up the place."
"The author has a Moby fixation!"
"That... will... be me... then..."
...Season Finale Time...

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