Sunday, December 6, 2009

8th Doctor - The Zygon Who Fell To Earth

Serial 9N – The Bygone Who Sold The World
An Alternative Program Guide by Ewen Campion-Clarke
Forty-Third Entry in the EC Unauthorized Guide O' Tight Rubbery Things


Serial 9N – The Bygone Who Sold The World -

Parte the First

The TARDIS has fetched up at a rather pleasant little hotel, the Zygon Guest House, near Lake Skarasan in the dystopian era of 1984. The Doctor was hoping to catch one of Wordsworth’s wild acid rave parties, but as ever the TARDIS has fucked up again. Or it could be something to with the cataclysmic war being fought across the web of time.

While Lucie consumes twice her body-weight in undercooked steak pies, the Doctor bores her rigid that he was the inspiration for Wordsworth’s most famous poem. "I got him addicted to Monkey Magic. He always loved the bits with the floating clouds..."

Just then, a suspiciously fey pair called Mervyn Urquhart and Humphrey Mims arrive and book into the honeymoon suite while on business, claiming to the receptionist Pat they are here for the annual pheasant-plucking festival at Kendal, but are hoping to look up one of their old school chums, Del Terrant.

Pat reveals that, by a staggering coincidence, Del Tarrant is her husband, who happens to recognize Mims and Urquhart and also tells them to sling their bleeding hook or he will ventilate them with the loaded shotgun he carries for just these sort of emergencies.

"I’m happy as a hotelier! John Cleese was talking crap, it’s the best job on the planet! Now get out before I blow your brains out!" screams Tarrant but, discovering that Mims and Urquhart are willing to pay in advance, allows them to stay for the night. "I can’t go around turning down money!" Tarrant explains to them. "Where would it all end?!"

Mims is confident they can convince Tarrant to change his mind, and laughs with megalomaniacal laughter until Urquhart kicks him and tells him to stop camping it up like nobody’s business.

The Doctor watches this, yawns and idly asks Lucie if she’s full yet, as he was kind of hoping to check up on his old pal the Loch Ness Monster who is on a tour of the Lake District around this time.

"Are you saying you find a giant sea monster better company than me?" Lucie challenges, stuffing another steak into her mouth.

Just then she hears Mims and Urquhart forgo going to bed so they can take a stroll together down by the lake in the moonlight. Convinced she’s on for some gay outdoor porn, Lucie finishes her meal and runs off after them. The Doctor shakes his head in disgust as she leaves.

Lucie heads down to the side of the lake and hides behind a bush to watch Urquhart and Mims "get all Brokeback Mountain" but alas all they do is conspire with a woman, and chat about their day. The woman then whistles, summoning a huge pantomime Loch Ness Monster emerges from the dark water which moves over to join them.

Disappointed, Lucie emerges from hiding and demands they at least get some decent snogging to provide modicum of entertainment. The trio realize they’re being observed and accuse Lucie of spying on them. Lucie claims she came down here innocently for some fresh air, but once again the Miller girl is dealing people not QUITE as stupid as she is and they close in around her...

Back at the Hotel, the Doctor is idly watching the Winter Olympics when Lucie returns, swigging from a bottle of mineral water and able to speak BBC received pronunciation. Amazed, the Time Lord watches Lucie act in a calm and sensible manner, revealing the new arrivals are
just ordinary businessmen and have absolutely NOTHING to do with the horror in the cellar of the hotel.

For want of something to do, the Doctor investigates the cellar which is decked out with pulsating red and green disco lights... and Tarrant himself stuck inside a gooey cocoon of hardened slime. "It’s a body-print machine! It lets you make and wear a perfect replica of someone else’s physical form... kind of like a Groucho Marx glass-moustache combo, but a thousand times more convincing! You see, Tarrant isn’t dead, only hibernating. It could have been for days, or years, there’s no way of telling, but he’s here to refresh the body-print so the machine doesn’t run loose and you haven’t interrupted me once!" the Doctor complains of Lucie, who has been listening in silence.

"I was waiting for the moment when you reveal you have seen this before and know its makers to be a race of hideous B-grade actos from the deepest, murkiest fathoms of ITV and now try to take over the entire Earth," Lucie explains deadpan.

"Oh. Well, let’s skip that bit anyway, it’s obviously redundant," the Doctor shrugs, leaving the cellar. "Now we have to tell that nice lady Pat that she’s married to a hideous, deranged, temporal lobe-slurper who barely count as extras in crowd scenes! Everything she knows about her beloved is a lie, she has been betrayed in every fundamental way and left with nothing but heartache." The Doctor blows out his cheeks. "DAMN IT, I JUST LOVE THIS JERRY SPRINGER CRAP!"

The Doctor, is thus, utterly devastated when it transpires Pat knows all about Tarrant’s dark and dirty secret with him being a barely-human warlord attempt to take over the world. "I’ve dated far worse in the past," she tells them, "When you really love someone you accept their foibles and their funny habits, the way they dump bodies in the cellar as part of their own personal space..."

It turns out that Bygone Tarrant does not actually have an evil master plan and does not intend to conquer the world. Indeed, his stolen body is a cryogenically frozen corpse who had an incredibly odd will, and Tarrant has been in this body for nearly 25 years. Lucie takes this to be deeply offensive and storms off in a strange, zombie like fashion.

"Sorry about Lucie," the Doctor apologizes. "Hormones and all that, you know, she hasn’t been herself lately. Hope it lasts!"

But - brace yourself for this – it is revealed that Lucie’s strange behavior in a story about bodysnatching actually is down... to her body being snatched by another of the Bygones. She complains to Mims and Urquhart that instead of shrieking herself into gibbering insanity as they’d expected, it turns out Pat already knew about this.

"Bang goes that stereotype," sighs Mims.

Urquhart realizes that for Tarrant to be in love with a mere mortal non-equity-card-carrier means he has forgotten the Bygone way and MUST be on the verge of betraying them! Before "Lucie" and Mims can get him to show exactly HOW he cam to this conclusion, Urquhart announces he intends to accelerate phase three and four of their evil masterplan!

Mims is thus sent down to the kitchen to collect the groovy necklace Pat wears, which is a crucial part of their plans for reasons as yet unexplained. Mims immediately tries to mug Pat but the necklace has been fused to Pat’s flesh, and the Bygone has no choice but to render Pat unconscious with his "stink" – all Bygones have the ability to stun or kill their victims with their truly awful Richard III impressions.

In the next room, Tarrant explains to the Doctor that he gave Pat the organic alien ignition key for their Bygone spaceship. "I never wanted the stupid thing again, so I thought she’d like it as a love token. Course it might make her a target for the other Bygones. Really should have thought of that earlier, actually..."

As "Lucie" wanders in, still knocking back mineral water, the Doctor and Tarrant realize that Pat has been kidnapped – no doubt by the Bygones who are at this minute returning to their underground base via the tunnel chewed through the mountains by their pantomime Loch Ness Monster for such an escape!

The Doctor, deeply relieved that the other Bygones are still the evil gits he remembers, decides they must find the tunnel and locate the other glorified extras before they implement their terrible plan!

Indeed, at that moment Pat is indeed being dragged down an underground tunnel by the Bygones. Relishing the opportunity to be free of their ungainly and undignified "characters", Urquhart and Mims return to their natural states – two rather bland-looking actors with cool sci-fi names like Urtak and Timita who have become so brilliant at acting like other people they have no real identity of their own. Not that they ever had any real identities of their own to start with, but it’s a moving thought, isn’t it?

Tarrant leads the Doctor and "Lucie" to the mouth of the tunnel and Lucie starts shouting "HELLO!" at the top of her voice, until the Doctor advises her to keep quiet. "Obviously feeling more like your old self, eh, Lucie?" the Time Lord mutters in regards to her stupidity.

Sending "Lucie" ahead, the group discuss the Pantomime Loch Ness Monster, the chosen weapon of choice for Bygones. Lucie does not seem to recall that the Doctor is good friends with the genuine one, especially as the Time Lord was going on about this non-stop at the start of the episode. To the audience this is a clue that "Lucie" is an ALIEN SPY!! To the Doctor, proof that Lucie is goddamned moron.

Tarrant reveals the tunnel leads to the semi-organic alien spaceship that the Bygones have converted to their particular needs. Some believe the alien ships cause the Bygones to break out, turning lame loser actors into DNA-fluctuating warlord psychopaths. "I personally consider it all a freaky coincidence," Tarrant reveals with that infuriatingly smug, slack-jawed smile of his.

The Doctor notes that a similar spaceship must have activated in Devon and transformed the local amateur dramatics society. Amazingly enough, "Lucie" finds information of all the Bygones’ various defeats at the hands of the Doctor vital information. Suspicious at such behavior, the Doctor cautiously claims he can’t remember. "I’ve foiled so many races in so many spin off media," he shrugs.

Suddenly they hear the bellowing of the pantomime Loch Ness Monster and Tarrant realizes it must have their scent. "Lucie" suggests hiding, but the huge creature appears in the tunnel and the Doctor quickly whips out his sonic screwdriver to confuse the electronic half of its body. It then strikes him that a pantomime Loch Ness Monster doesn’t HAVE an electronic half of their body and they are all screwed!

"Lucie" starts bitching that this is all the Doctor’s fault and he’s lead them to their deaths, making us wonder for the first time if she might be the genuine article after all...

Parte the Second

In the gooey raw-liver-like interior of the Bygone Craft, Timita and Urtak watch on a big scanner as they decide to let the pantomime Loch Ness Monster scare the living crap out of the trio for a laugh.

Unfortunately, everyone’s forgotten that as Senior Warlord, Tarrant is attuned to the very being of the pantomime Loch Ness Monster and soon has the prehistoric monster sitting, begging, rolling over and playing fetch. When it accidentally cuts "Lucie" in half in an explosion of gore and entrails, "Lucie" insists she’s fine. No one cares.

Suddenly Bygone Timita arrives and takes them all captive, throwing them all in a cell until Tarrant – or, given his true Bygone name, Gaygoth – has a long hard think about all the complex loyalties and desires he’s betrayed and comes crawling back to them.

The Doctor suddenly demands to know what they’ve done with the real Lucie, and when "Lucie" asks him what he means, he tells her she can stop pretending now. "I know you haven’t been yourself since last night! I mean, come on – YOU’RE CUT IN HALF!"

Congratulating the Doctor on his perspicacity, "Lucie" transforms into a Bygone, Hackrus and uses some self-healing slime to repair her injuries. Hackrus and Timita wandering off, rather stupidly forgetting they’ve left a long-time enemy of their species unsupervised in a cell with his sonic screwdriver.

To pass the time while the Doctor picks the lock, Tarrant explains, " Urtak and Timita also have biochemical warheads aboard the ship and phase five of their plan is to detonate the gases in the atmosphere, wiping out all non-Bygones. It means they’ll have no audience, but at least there’ll be no more hecklers, bad reviews or creative differences. But they’re missing a vital component - a crystal lattice which I took from the torpedo tubes and turned into a necklace."

"Hmmm?" says the Doctor, who hasn’t been paying attention. "Oh, right. Yeah. So, uh, whatever happened to that?"

The narrative cuts to the flight deck as Urtak announces "We all have a part to play in the coming hours!" and has Hackrus remove the necklace from Pat... along with a large part of Pat’s throat.

Urtak plugs the necklace into a squidgy console and begins arming the warheads and soon Earth will belong to the Bygones. Apparently. I personally don’t find it convincing myself. Unfortunately, this "over-stimulates" the ship’s systems and causes the whole organic vessel to vibrate in pleasure, forcing the Bygones to switch it off before it destroys them all in a biomechanical orgasmic holocaust!

Hackrus tuts and points out she DID tell everyone that only Tarrant knows the special way to use the necklace without blowing them all up, which is why they captured him in the first place.

Tarrant turns up, finds his love dead and fans of Blake’s 7 will be able to imagine the depths of emotion he conveys as he hides his face and makes silly wailing violin noises.

"All right, Gaygoth," Urtak shouts, "Enough of wasting time on these humans without equity cards! Focus the crystal lattice and set our warheads free to destroy this world’s atmosphere! It’s your DESTINY and don’t you DARE deny it!"

Tarrant shrugs and agrees he might as well as he has nothing left, so he might as well help the Bygones make their premiere tour and set the Earth aflame with their fiery, definitely version of "Citizen Kane"!

Urtak, Hackrus and Timita are so happy that Tarrant is on their side once more, they aren’t remotely concerned when he starts mucking about with the Pantomime Loch Ness Monster Manipulator controls...

The Doctor meanwhile, stumbles across Lucie being held in a body-print machine and idly pokes her with a stick. Slowly she starts to wake up and is horrified to find herself encased in what looks like a womb. "Oh God! Pre-childhood trauma! It’s all so bleedin Freudian!" she moans, convinced this is some strange karma related to her confinement.

"That’s my Lucie," says the Doctor wistfully. "Completely stupid and beyond disgusting!"

The duo stroll off out of the space craft, just as the Pantomime Loch Ness Monster starts to attack the Bygone craft and its funky apocalypse warheads, causing them to explode in the cradles. "You bloody traitor!" bitches Urtak screams as the ship starts to collapse. "Stink him to death, my brother Bygones! Do Laurence Olivier!"

The Bygone group finishes their quotations from The Merchant of Venice, but they’re shocked when Tarrant simply refuses to die. "You’re all dead meat – your time has gone, you’re all past-it!"

"It’s our destiny to triumph!" Urtak insists.

"By killing all the better actors? By lowering all the standards? You lot don’t DESERVE critical acclaim! You’ve already done enough damage to the British arts! At least you can go out with a bang!"

And they do.

The Doctor and Lucie emerge onto the surface as the Doctor realizes the real Lucie never even knew Tarrant was actually a Bygone in disguise and this whole adventure might as well never have happened... mind you, it does provide an explanation for why Lake Skarasan emptied into a network of underground catacombs.

The Doctor returns to the guest house to find some proof of the story, but the cellar contains a heap of dust where the body-print machine and the corpse of the real Tarrant should be. Lucie is convinced the Doctor is making all this crap up.

Finally accepting he is unable to prove the story to her, and that Lucie has eaten every last thing in the entire hotel, the Doctor gives up and they both return to the TARDIS and take off into the wild blue yonder, as if the greatest war in or out of history isn’t going badly for the Time Lords what with their allies the Ice Cream Vendors, the Dropdeadgorgeous and the Snotarans are scrubbed out of existence by the Dustbin war machine. Don’t the TARDIS crew care that the Emperor Dustbin prepares to attack Gallifrey itself in a conflict the Ru-tans intend to provide catering for?, they probably don’t care, now you mention it.

The moment they’re gone, Tarrant staggers into view, having survived the explosion by transforming himself into a perfect copy of Pat, which he is now stuck in for the next few decades. "I’m going to be a STAR!!" he rants insanely as s/he stumbles off into the Zygon Guest House.

Eslewhere, Timita storms into a strange 1970s office inhabited by shadowy figures and then rips off his bland mask to reveal that he is, in fact... TIM BROOKE-TAYLOR!

"Right, that does it! Ooh, I’m cross! That Doctor and Lucie have ruined my brilliant scheme to slaughter the forefront of British television! Well, I’ve had enough!" Tim complains and switches on a gramophone playing a record of Land of Hope and Glory. "We shall show the meddlesome Time Lord that he isn’t the only powerful deity strutting around the cosmos during this turbulent period of 4-dimensional warfare! For there are greater things, like the supreme being that we serve! It is time, friends, time for us to bring back from the depths of oblivion the one man who can, at this moment, take all of time and space and refashion it into his own image!"

"Not David Frost!" exclaims Bill Oddie from the shadows.


"Boy George?" offer Graeme Garden.


"RUSSELL T DAVIES?" suggests the Robot.

"NO! I mean... the Ultimate Ruler! The Unstoppable Storm! The Punt Pole in the Gondola of Reality travelling down the River Cam of Time! I refer to the New Dominator of the Whole Universe! MOBYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!"

Next Time...
"The fat slapper has identified herself as Lucie Miller."
"Don’t worry, everything’s going to be Welsh!"
"Oh, that sounds ominous."
"I knew it! Knew it’d be here! Didn’t I say? Didn’t I tell you all? Come on. Pay up. Fifty quid each. Come on."
"Doctor? Have you run away again?"
"The less you know, the better for you. So you’re the safest person in creation if you think about it, Lucie."
"How quaint. Well, I say quaint, I mean to say moronic. Well, I say moronic, I really mean beyond all stupidity..."
"Something terrible, disastrous, calamitous, cataclysmic is occurring!"
"I can tell when I’m alive. It’s a knack you pick up."
"Doctor, WHERE THE HELL ARE YOU! God, my back’s killing me! I miss you! That’d be rubbish... Someone’s got to paint me toenails!"
"Do.. do.. do... the Funky Gibbon!"
...The Vengeance of Moby...

Book(s)/Other Related -
Doctor Who & The Tarrant of the Bygones
I Shagged A Dr Who Monster!!
Bygone: When Being A Heterosexual Biped Just Isn’t Enough

Fluffs – Paul McGann seemed prejudiced for most of this story.

"And off she drew, Nancy Flew!"

Goofs –
The trailer made this story sound ten times better then the actual result! Mind you, that might have been what the trailer was for in the first place now I come to think of it.
Tarrant, beholden with a death-wish after the loss of the love of his
life, stung half to death by his fellow Bygones, and yet miraculously
he’s the only one with the fortitude to be able to survive the
explosion?? Who does he think he is, Indiana Jones?
What did the songs have to do with anything? Why would the Bygones
replace a folk musician of all people!? He could have been a retired milkman and it still would be exactly the same! The story was about big business and the negligent abuse of the environment. Perhaps it would have been more fitting for Tarrant to be a former ExxonMobil CEO!

Fashion Victims -
In their true forms, the Bygones wear togas made out of aluminum foil.

Technobabble -
The Bygone Warheads are activated by the "naughty engorgement ratio".

Links and References -
Truly ignorant people assume that the Doctor’s mention of Bygones in Victorian times is a reference to the novel "The Bandersnatchers" despite the fact there is no mention of Sam Jones or Jackie Chan and is CLEARLY about the BBV audio "The Elephant Man Is A Bygone!" as he goes on at length about how Queen Victoria was, in fact, a Bygone-Werewolf hybrid with a disturbing fetish for banana peels.

Untelevised Misadventures -
The Doctor recently needed a break from Lucie so faked his death by robot soldiers and had said robot soldiers lock her up in a cell. He finally deigned to rescue her the moment she started crying, fell to her knees and started praying to the Baby Jesus to save her hide.

Groovy DVD Extras -
"Bygone" in all its gloriously disgusting nudity, slime and organic crystallography with slashed throats, electrocution and machine-gun rampages. Shame about the porn, but the acting’s great.

Dialogue Disasters –

Tarrant: Don’t know what to be, don’t know what you’ll see
Which face will you choose? Which one will you lose?
Lucie: Are you saying I’m two-faced, ya pillock?

Timita: I wonder if any Bygone has experienced love before
Urtak: I doubt it. Even when Bygones assume the hideous appearances and gestures of the non-actor form, we have never gone so far as to mimic their disgusting emotions.
Timita: I’m not so sure. I may myself have experienced the first stirrings of emotion...
Urtak: Eww! Enough, you dirty Homo Sapien!

Tarrant: I’ve finally overcome the Bygones’ one flaw: needing a fresh cast of disguise every two hours! Turns out I don’t really need it! I could just permanently turn into Tarrant because I am so happily married and, y’know, rid myself of the burden of having the damning evidence of a frozen corpse laying about my house.. but it just adds so much character to the cellar! The kids love it! You should see their little faces on Halloween...

Timita: "Love"? What is "love", exactly?
Pat: It’s the most important thing in the world.
Timita: Ah. "Typecasting".

Dialogue Triumphs -

Tarrant: If Pat’s dead I don’t care what my people do to this world!
Doctor: Well, I do care! A bit. Sometimes. No, sod it, I’ve started saving the world, so I’ll finish.

Doctor: Lucie! Lucie! This isn’t one of your endless Sunday morning lie-ins! Wake up, you malignant whore!
Lucie: Go way.
Doctor: Oh, why do you never listen to a word I say?
Lucie: Maybe because you say nothing but shite, you WUSS! PISS OFF!

Tarrant: You’re all alone and you’re lost, far from home
A world away from the memories of yesterday
Fell from the skies with stardust in your eyes
You traveled far to discover who are!
Urtak: There’s no need to make a song and dance about it!

Pat: I never expected prejudice from you two. He’s from outer space. So what? You’re the same, Doctor!
Doctor: Quite, but I don’t destroy eco-systems and enslave populations and suck out people’s minds using organic crystallography, do I?
Pat: Really?
Doctor: Well... I try NOT to!

Urtak: The Pantomime Loch Ness Monster has been a long time without a kill. Let the creature toy with them first.
Timita: That’s sadistic, isn’t it?
Urtak: Pretty much.
Timita: Isn’t sadism is a human trait?
Urtak: Bollocks, I’ve ALWAYS been like this!

Tarrant: Some seek for fame, you’d never play that game
Some cover gold but you’d never sell your soul
You thirst for love which is unknown above
It’s time to change into something new and strange.
Doctor: Hold on, I have no desire to become a big-eared Northern pikey tosser just YET, thank you very much.

UnQuotable Quote -
Urtak: You humans are too hammy to appreciate true acting talent!

Viewer Quotes -

"I think that in McGann is the quintessential Eighth Doctor. By this point in his incarnation, he is completely settled; completely himself. He is not trapped in a universe of anti-time; he is not half in love with his companion; he is not stranded on Earth with a heart missing and the possible eradication of his people on his conscience. He is just cruising around the universe trying to ignore the massive time war threatening to destroy all of creation. Basically, he’s exactly like Tom Baker with any trace of individuality surgically removed!"
– Mr. O (2009)

"At first I thought I was listening to a RTD-written story but it
soon progressed out of that mire and I quite enjoyed it. If I had a complaint it would be that the knockabout comedy reduced the Bygones
to little more than Slitheen - but the comedy was funnier than the
New Series episodes containing villains like the farting skin suit

"I am very disappointed at what I think is a wasted opportunity with creatures as wonderful as the Bygones. Terror of the Bygones is one of my favorite stories of all time so The Bygone Who Sold The World had a lot to live up to sadly it fails with a lack of tension and many elements signposted so heavily they almost whack you over the head with them. In fact, they DO whack you over the head on more than one occasion. Very disappointed, me! I was hoping for a truly horrific story and instead get this camp adventure! I HATE EVERYTHING!"
– Ian Levine (2008)

"Jings, I just love those Bygones. I truly love them all. Like, you know, MORE than just a friend." – David Tennant (2006)

"Continuity-wise, I’m inclined to believe that the 8th Doctor and Charley stories are in the TCUWAT8D-Werewolf History 101 gap, and the 8th/Lucie adventures are post-The Yerfillag Chronicles. The Doctor’s comment in Zig-Zag-Gay-Ass suggesting parallel timelines can also be interpreted (just about) as him seeing his past, present, and future all at once, rather than separate Doctors in other universes, and he wasn’t in a coherent state of mind at the time anyway! All of this is based on a reference which might be about an EDA I haven’t read and ignoring huge amounts of evidence to the contrary!"
– The Doctor Who Reference Guide (2010)

"I think this is probably my favorite story of the season so far.
Reminded me a bit of the aliens from Evaders From Bars. Shame there wasn’t a bit more of that, in fact. Why does no one employ my genius any more?" – Mark Gatiss (2008)

Psychotic Nostalgia –
"The worst thing about this series is that damn theme - it is just awful! No matter how many times I listen to it, it doesn’t grow on me. I really hope BF dump it for the next series - it puts me in a negative frame of mind before the play proper has even begun! I can’t cover my friends in the entrails of a goat and ravish them passionately until dawn with that audio excrement in the air!"

Paul McGann Speaks!
"You know, if we had to do this sort of thing twice nightly, it’d be difficult. Because even I consider the amount of alcohol consumed during these audios DOUBLED... DAILY... well, I’d need two hearts to make it to the interval! You know, they actually have a button that makes me sound like Richard Burton? The Burton Switch, they call it. There’s another switch that makes me suffer Tom Baker stories and everyone pretending it’s the mid-70s all over again. Pretty sure that switch has been jammed for a long while now."

Sheridan Smith Speaks!
"This was a really difficult one to do, really. I had to be taken over by a brilliant actor who nevertheless had no talent whatsoever. I managed to get the balance right, by imagining it was one of the Dead Ringers lot – convincing, but rubbish at the same time."

Eddie Hitler Speaks!
"God! This wasn’t the Bygone story was it? What? It was?! Oh NO! The last thing I remember was ordering two pints of mild! Frankly, I never, in a million years, want to find out what happened to lead from 'let’s do that porno with the shape-changing blonde with the tiny tits' to this. I know you’re all dying to tell me, well tough shit! That total fucking arsehead Magrs has ruined everything! Thank Christ I laid out all my careful plans for the season finale, which should rescue this mess before Nick Briggs can jab his toothbrush into things..."

Trivia -
Tarrant (played by Stephen Pacey) is named after another character from Blake’s 7, Tarrant (also played by Stephen Pacey). You’d think this might have some connection with The Tarrants of Time, the first ever Big Finish Doctor Who story, but no. That’s just too much, apparently.

Rumors & Facts -
The title really gives this one away. Like Terror of the Music Industry last year, The Bygone Who Fell To Earth is a batshit-stupid mix of music, mirth and mayhem designed to annoy the hell out of listeners and those who have been disappointed of late in the various scripts and novels by Paul Magrs, whose unique magical realist tone seems to have vanished in lieu of banal, vaguely unfunny runarounds will be pleased to know they’re STILL right and Magrs is STILL rubbish, even by the standards of this frivolous season.

What does this story say about the Doctor, when a Bygone can settle down on Earth but the Doctor cannot? I think it says that Lucie Miller is incredibly bleeding annoying. How about you?

Since taking over the production of the Eighth Doctor stories for Big Finish, Eddie Hitler had but one dream: to adapt for his best mate in the whole wide world, Paul McGann, the R-rated video nasty BBV porn-filled blockbuster "Bygone". This film was an extravaganza exploring the pan-sexuality of a young woman when she discovers that her boyfriend is a washed-up actor, the Bygone of the title, who has developed the amazing power to become so convincing as a thespian he might as well be a shape-shifter. After much lustful bonking between the two of them, the woman discovers she too now has this ability and immediately goes on a blistering hot, gun-wielding sex rampage that makes all the saucy bits in "The Matrix" look like a test-pattern.

Both Hitler and McGann (and Sheridan Smith too, apparently) were convinced that this story was exactly the sort of area that Doctor Who should spend more time examining, preferably with a magnifying glass and variety of jelly. However, to adapt a nymphomaniac stampede like "Bygone" for audio would require a lot of time, effort, patience and understanding. And they frankly couldn’t be bothered to do that themselves and needed someone else.

It was only here that they discovered that "Bygone" was actually a Doctor Who spin-off rather than a low-budget English rival to the "Species" franchise. The Bygones, has-been thespians who have unlocked their own genes, Tomorrow-People-style to become a hideous form of anti-life had first appeared in the Tom Baker story, "Terror of the Bygones" when their first attempt at world domination (dressing up as the Loch Ness Monster and attacking railway stations) was a minor subplot to a story about the Doctor’s infantile refusal to pay the phone bill.

Despite the efforts of Douglas Adams in Season 17, the Bygones did not return to television, but became an infamously popular Doctor Who adversary: they got jigsaws, colouring books, fully-opposable action figures, their own Marvel comic series "Let Bygones Be Bygones" (which was a word-by-word plagiarism of John Carpenter’s "The Thing", except the hideous intruder was a really convincing character actor and not a polymorphous alien parasite). The Bygones really hit the big time in the 1990s when they got their own comic strip with the Fourth Doctor and Leela, "RADA and Recreation", where two Bygones duel in the forms of Ian McKellan and Alan Rickman.

Following the 1996 TV Movie, Bygonemania hit its peak – they appeared in a full-length-yet-terrifyingly-underwritten novel called "The Bandersnatchers", which was basically getting the setting and characters of the Tom Baker story "The Talents of Wong-Jing" and replacing the Fourth Doctor, Leela, Magnificent Bastard and Mr. Sin with the Eighth Doctor, Sam Jones, the Bygones and the Loch Ness Monster respectively. A book this bad would have killed most ranges, but it was nothing compared to Orange Peel’s upcoming Dustbin extravaganza, and love for the Bygones reached a new high as the titular bastards appeared in the Radio Times Doctor Who comic strip which was then immediately cancelled.

Bill Baggs of BBV snapped up the rights and began his own ball-boggling new series of Bygone audios – "Home, James", "Dissolution", "The Elephant Man Was A Bygone!", not to mention the 27-part miniseries The Stanislavski Wars". More recently, Stephen Cole continued the tradition of brain-bleedingly-awful Bygone stories in print with the Tenth Doctor and Martha novel, "Stink of the Bygones" which would have killed off that novel range had the show not been so bleeding popular.

Chosen to pen this adaptation for what was, at the end of the day, a bog-standard alien bodysnatching story was Paul Magrs. Why? Well, he’d been in the previous season and thus Hitler was vaguely aware of who the man was and that they hadn’t tried to kill him the first time round. Confident that Magrs would provide a full-blown, gritty story featuring these excellent alien sex lives, Hitler went on a complete bender and had nothing further to say with the season.

This would turn out to be Hitler’s second-biggest mistake.

His biggest would be allowing Nicholas Briggs to write the season finale, but more of that unmitigated horror and torment later.

Still, at least they were able to edit out the stuff where the genuine Loch Ness Monster turns up with an Argentinean Tango finalist, even if the horribly-contrived finished product was a queasy mix of mawkish comedy and unbelievable comedy that is as irritating as a mosquito bite under your armpit. Is Tarrant’s survival a happy ending? Only if you’re unpleasantly weird with an obsession over grief.

On the upside, this has to be the most memorably Bygone story NOT featuring Jo Castleton’s disappointing rack.

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