Serial 410 – Journey Till Dawn
An Alternate Program Guide by Ewen Campion Clarke
From An Entry In The EC Unauthorized Guide O' And So It ENDS!!!
"YOA's Discontinuity Guides - Inaccurate But Caring."
Serial 410 – Journey Till Dawn -
ACT ONE – THE STOLEN CARDIFF
The biggest epic of all Doctor Who ever times infinity begins on that goddamned Powell Estate as the TARDIS arrives and the Doctor runs out expecting to find his bodacious blonde ex waiting for him... but all he finds is a rather depressed milkman on his rounds.
Donna and Jenny stumble out of the police box as the Doctor runs up to the milkman, shakes him violently, and screams at him for the love of Baby Jesus to tell him what day it is!!
"It’s 7:34 am, on Saturday the 26th of September 2009. AD, not BC."
"Oh. Thanks for narrowing it down!" the Doctor says brightly, letting him go. "Right, well, Rose will be bound to turn up soon. That’s what the inverted retroactive self-inculcated auto-suggestive paradoxical mnemonic was all about back on Shee Shore!"
"In English, spaceman!" Donna snaps.
"Rose is back and I am so on a promise!" the Doctor grins.
"But isn’t see locked away on a parallel world forever?" asks Jenny. "Which could only be accessed by the walls of the universe breaking down so if Rose IS coming back... then everything in reality is ending?"
"So it does," says the Doctor with his fixed grin. "Let us return to the TARDIS and work out what the hell we are going to do with the total apocalypse of all reality shall we?" he asks, before letting out a sobbing wail and running back into the TARDIS.
Sighing, Jenny and Donna follow him back inside where he confirms that there are no vortex disturbances, the spatial exorhythms are normal and quite simply everything is normal and fine in every possible and conceivable manner.
Returning to the front doors, the trio discover that the entire city of Cardiff has vanished in a cross-dimensional spatial transference leaving them in a giant gravel pit in the middle of Wales.
"Well, bugger me sideways!" marvels Jenny.
The Doctor and Donna wince at the thought.
At that moment, Cardiff has reappeared far across the universe, surrounded by a strange ocean with waterspout-shaped cloud formations as enormous ringed planets slowly rise over the horizon. Throughout the city, various ex-Doctor Who companions look up at the alarming skyline – Martha Jones at UNIT HQ, Captain Jack Sparrow in the Touchwood Hub, Sarah Jane Smith at 13 Kandyman Parade, Wilf and Sylvia Bitch at their house, and Rose Tyler with a big fucking gun at the Powell Estate.
As the second bananas boggle at the collection of new planets in the heavens, only Rose Tyler, releasing the safety catch on her gun, is capable of saying what they are all thinking:
"This is just like The Quiet Earth, isn’t it?"
Parte the First
Inside the TARDIS, Donna worries about what may have happened as she suspects the Doctor might have utterly destroyed the city and everyone in it accidentally on purpose. "Oh, if ONLY, Donna!" the Doctor sighs as he runs around the control room. "It’s been shifted from one place to another, like a teleport but on a massive scale!"
"You mean someone’s stolen Cardiff?" Jenny boggles. "Why the hell would anyone do something like that?"
"There are some pretty sick people out there, Jenny," the Doctor shrugs. "But if I follow the path, we can find them. Or... not. Actually, probably not. There’s no readings, nothing, not a trace, not even a whisper on Facebook! Jings, that is FEARSOME technology!"
Donna gives him a slap. And why not? "If they’ve moved the entire city, all the air will be ripped away! Or what about the sun – they’ve lost the sun! even if they’re breathing they’re gonna freeze!"
"Maybe not," the Doctor prevaricates while avoiding another blow. "You can move whole planets and keep them intact – or was that on Red Dwarf? Either way, we’ve got a problem. Move one city centre and all the suburbs shift – the whole of South Wales is gonna fall apart!"
"I DON’T GIVE A SHIT ABOUT SOUTH WALES!" Donna points out calmly.
"Oh, wait, there’s a gravity echo keeping the valleys intact. For the next seven hours anyway. So, we’ve got seven hours to find Cardiff and return it. Even though we have no idea where it went or where to look." He blows out his cheeks. "Jings. Any ideas?"
Jenny shrugs. "We could always try the Shadow Proclamation?"
In Cardiff, Chinatown is gripped with panic as all the inhabitants are ordered to stay indoors while food, water and cable access is rationed by the government. A Frenchman on the radio says that this is the end of days, the Apocalypse has come and the Human Race shall fall as it is nothing but motes of dust in the eyes of God. Richard Dawkins argues that this completely proves he was right in every way possible. And BBC Wales broadcasts to anyone who may be listening on behalf of the TV industry if the locals have picked up any copies of Hereward the Wake, or at least a few repeats of the Paul O’Grady show.
Meanwhile, our audience identification figures take stock.
At the Touchwood Hub, Captain Jack Sparrow, Gwen Cooper and Ianto Jones assess the situation and determine what has happened to Earth. In their professional opinion "everything went mental and now Ianto’s new watch is broken". Thankfully, their so-easy-even-the-Welsh-could-use-them computers reveal the devastating truth:
"Whoever’s done this has created an artificial atmospheric shell keeping the air and heat inside!" Captain Jack realizes. "Well, either that or the atmosphere is doing it’s job and has kept the sun’s heat in. But it’s obvious that someone wants the human population of Cardiff alive and supple. I’m sure I speak for us all that this is a plus!"
Ianto and Gwen stare at him and tell him to do something useful like use his mighty 51st Century knowledge to work out where in the name of God’s Arse they are, but Captain Jack is in no mood for moon-spotting and suggests they check the headlines for sightings of a police box. "That Doctor friend of mine travels in such a blue booth and right now he is the best chance that we have of getting out of this mess with the minimum of fuss, savvy?"
At Sarah Jane Smith’s house, she and her cloned son Luke find themselves less worried about the fate of Cardiff than the fact Sarah’s computer, Mr. Smith, has taken to wearing a pink scarf and ballet shoes while humming the Fanfare for the Common Man. Calling Mr. Smith a pretentious little git, they get the computer to start making theoretical data-streams and be even vaguely useful for once.
Rather huffily, Mr Smith reveals that there is an artificial construction, a bronze, spiky mechanical planet hovering in the heart of the web of orbiting planets. Sarah tells him off for the metaphors and to reconfigure the scanners while Luke informs us of the fate of their friends for those in the audience who give a rat’s ass about how this links up with the spin-offs.
"Sarah Jane, it seems the object is baffling all scans, but nonetheless, I have detected movement. How good am I? Seriously! Hmm. Oh, and there’s a fleet of spaceships heading straight towards us. In the meantime, let’s talk about me, shall we?"
Martha Jones is at UNIT HQ, doing whatever it is medical personnel do, like helping squaddies with paper cuts on their left shins or something as General Damo Sanchez of UNIT has noticed the two hundred spaceships on view and suggest Martha do something useful like phone the Doctor and scream for help.
Martha, loathe to admit the Doctor now screens his calls and thinks she is a total psycho, hastily tells everyone that someone must be blocking her universal-roaming unbreakable mobile phone.
Elsewhere, Wilf has got out a pointy stick and started prowling about for "them green fucking alien bastards" to pick a fight with. Sylvia finally gets him inside and takes his medication as the local news reports about fleets of spaceships approaching in an organized flight path and, oddly enough, this doesn’t calm Donna’s granddad down at all.
Rose meanwhile takes her obscenely large weapon for a walk and does something she has always dreamed of – rob the local supermarket and off-license with total impunity. She strolls through town as people run around screaming and drinking copious amounts of Strongbow in an antisocial manner, then barges into an abandoned computer shop and scares off some teenage looters with her BFG.
"Do you like my gun, boys?" she asks, before blowing them away entire by accident. "Oops. Bit new to this."
The TARDIS, meanwhile, is spinning towards the Triceraton Homeworld of interconnected ice-cream-cone shaped asteroids, the Customer Relations Centre of the Shadow Proclamation. Jenny is told to ring them up, but all the frequencies are jammed – the place is on Red Alert. As such, it would be monumentally stupid for them to just land randomly on their manner and hope for the best. Which is pretty much why the Doctor decides to do just that.
The Doctor, Donna and Jenny step from the TARDIS and are nearly knocked over by a platoon of Triceratons, the footsoldiers (or Jundoon) of the Shadow Proclamation. But the trio are then nearly floored by a swarm of Goablins, two Giant Wasps, before they find themselves facing a gigantic crowd of Slitheen, Triceratons, Sycophants, the Sisters of the Wicker Place Mat, Gelth, Meathooks, Goablins, Trods, Cybermen, Bygones, Hath, Hoax, Protons, Werewolves, Dominatrix, Quirks, Sad Tony, Ood, Ice Cream Vendors, Snotarans...
In short, basically ever single alien monster in Doctor Who ever, ever, EVER plus a 15-metre tall Adipose looking like a cross between Jabba the Hut and the Marshmallow Baby from Ghostbusters.
Our heroes queue up behind the Grinch who is haranguing the Chief Constable Rocksteady, but are simply told to take a number. The TARDIS crew get number 162589, which is a bummer since the Shadow Proclamation Architect is only on number 3.
In desperation, the Doctor tries to charm his way around the rhino-headed mutant by singing Gang-Gajang’s "Hundreds of Languages" in six million languages simultaneously but to no avail.
"Jings! This is unbelievable!" the Doctor rants as he starts scribbling through endless incident forms in triplicate. "The Shadow Proclamation was set up by the Higher Evolutionaries to take over all the crummy day-to-day universe running when the Time Lords were busy and or extinct! These daft Jundoon are still sorting out compensation about the Temporal Difference of Opinion! We’ll not live long enough to REACH the end of the freaking queue, let alone fill out the forms!"
"Who can help us now?!" wails Jenny.
"I think I can," says a voice behind them – MIDSHIPMAN ALONZO FRAME!!!
(Those were RTD’s exclamation marks, BTW. I couldn’t care less.)
With the alien fleet 3000 miles away and closing, Martha swallows her pride and rings Captain Jack at Touchwood in the hope the Doctor. Captain Jack points out that Martha is the one with the superphone and asks her point blank if she’s been putting LSD in the Cardiff water supply again. Martha admits she hasn’t, and everyone gets scared.
The ships are now accelerating, only 1500 miles away and the Welsh equivalent of Jodrell Bank picks up fuzzy images of huge, studded flying saucers moving through the sky. Now, you’d expect ex-Doctor Who companions to recognize a flotilla of Solus Magellanic Cloud Combat Cruiser Saucers when they saw them, but no. That’s just too much to freaking expect from heroes of time and space, isn’t it?
"You know," Martha says thoughtfully, "that bronze-with-rivets design looks a little bit familiar but I can’t think where."
Sarah frowns. "I’m sure I saw something LIKE them a long time ago..."
"Doesn’t ring a bell," Captain Jack broods, sculling rum.
"It’s not the aliens from Independence Day," Rose deduces, having hacked into the UNIT website with cunning use of the password "buffalo".
Wilf foams at the mouth screaming, "It’s those bloody trashcans again!" but Sylvia chloroforms him unconscious before he can tell anyone else about the monumentally obvious plot twist.
The nearest saucer heads for Mermaid Bay where the new Prime Minister of Great Britain was attending the opening of the rebuilt Westminster Abbey. After being destroyed by aliens twice, they decided to rebuild Big Ben in Wales rather than England, but this proves to be a crucial mistake as the aliens head straight for it.
Despite the relocation of the entire city of Cardiff, Prime Minister Aubrey Fairchild insists the grand opening still take place, even as a flying saucer descends. Treating them as late guests, Fairchild announces "Visitors to Cardiff, we welcome you, we ask you for help in this strange wilderness, but most of all, we seek to reassure you that the human race isn’t a complete bunch of backstabbing assholes no matter which defeated alien monsters badmouth us in public."
A huge bronze door opens and, despite the fact that even Touchwood has realized the danger and is demanding Fairchild run for his miserable life, the Prime Minister stands there all resolute and butch. Then an energy bolt shoots out of the pitch-black interior of the ship and strikes Aubrey Fairchild, leaving him a microwaved corpse.
The ex-companions STILL don’t twig as to the nature of this threat as the occupants of the ship emerge, screaming out their message for the people of Cardiff: "EXTERMINATE! EXTERMINATE! EXTERMINATE! YA PUNKS!"
About now everyone finally twigs how immensely doomed they all are as the Dustbin Saucers glide over Cardiff and shoot laser beams down into the city, and fireballs blow up the Powell Estate to provide some kick-ass visuals of Rose striding through the flames with her BFG.
As UNIT panics and runs around wetting itself with terror, the Dustbin fleet is in battle formation and all systems of the artificial planet, the Crucible (so dubbed because "New New New New New New New New Fargo" was considered a silly name for a planet) are locked and primed.
The thousands of Dustbins on the Crucible Command Deck are addressed by the Dustbin Suzpreme – a huge Samurai-style Dustbin with a giant lightning globe containing its squidgy mutant self, the perfect fusion between Dustbin and menopausal Southern Baptist from the 41st century!
"STAGE ONE OF THE NEW NASTY PLAN INITIATED!" the Dustbin Suzpreme announces with her nauseating voice, rallying the troops. "SOON THE CRUCIBLE WILL BE COMPLETE! ENGAGE THE WELSH FORCES! BATTLE PLAN FOUR AND A HALF! NO MILITARY PRISONERS! ATTACK! DESTROY! EXTERMINATE! AND CLEAN UP THE MESS MADE RIGHT AWAY!"
Hundreds of Dustbins are disgorges from the flying saucers and swoop down over the Skybase Valium, and after about two seconds of laser beam CGI battles the mighty aircraft is blown to smithereens. The Dustbins continue to overrun Cardiff... mainly off-screen... and as the military retreat, the aliens close in on UNIT HQ.
Captain Jack tries to contact Martha and warn her to get to a place of safety, before musing that it’s totally pointless and hangs up, leaving Martha for dead. The Dustbins storm the base shouting that they’re going to kill all the human scum who should prepare to die. Then the rotters open fire and the brave human soldiers are exterminated.
General Sanchez decides to, in his words, "fuck this" and escape in his scavenged Snotaran teleportation parachute which UNIT managed to steal before Touchwood could get their filthy spunk-covered digits on it. Thinking quickly, Martha stabs him in the stomach and pulls the parachute from his still-twitching corpse.
"I LOVE THIS BIT! WE ARE BRILLIANT! HIGH FIVE!" grate the Dustbins as they close in, but Martha pulls the rip-cords and vanishes in the 2005-standard puff-of-light CGI effect.
Up in the Crucicle, the Dustbin Suzpreme gets off on the carnage as the Welsh forces finally (well, instantly) give up. "COMMENCE THE LANDINGS – BRING THE HUMANS HERE! WE HAVE WAITED LONG FOR THIS GLORIOUS TIME – THE DUSTBINS MAY NOT BE THE MASTERS OF EARTH, BUT WE ARE THE RULERS OF CARDIFF! THE DUSTBINS ARE SUPREME! ALL HAIL THE DUSTBINS! THE ULTIMATE DESTINY IS NEXT ON THE TO-DO LIST!"
At the Shadow Proclamation HQ, it goes to show it’s not what you know but WHO you know as Alonzo Frame, new Jundoon recruit after that mucky business with the Titanic, leads the Doctor and his friends to the Shadow Architect, a hungover albino who is not particularly impressed with their complaint about some redneck anthropoid community vanishing when they forgot not to blink.
"Besides, if you went to all the trouble of scooping up some one-Zarbi town, it would be stupid NOT to protect the heart, atmosphere and the matrix of life within, so the locals are probably all still alive!" she explains over another mouthful of Alka-Seltzer.
The Doctor, Donna and Jenny cheer... and then realize that, Wilf aside, they don’t really LIKE anyone in Cardiff and, all thing considered, it would be a hell of a lot simpler if they were all dead.
Aware that time is running out and the first installment is very nearly over, the Doctor turns to his companion. "Donna, you’re from Earth, aren’t you? Come on! There must be something, some trace! What was anything happening back in your day? Any sort of warning?"
"Well, apart from all the electrical storms, freak weather, patterns in the sky, global warming and the dolphins disappearing... not really no, I don’t think so."
"What? Donna, you twat! You thick twat! Hang on though... dolphins..."
Jenny realizes that the dolphins must have fled before the disaster struck, and must therefore have been forewarned about what was going to happen. The Doctor quickly logs into a Dolphin Chatroom on Melissa Majoria and discovers a viral spam:
"CARDIFF IS UTTERLY STUFFED!
GET OUT NOW!
I MEAN IT – RIGHT THIS SECOND!!
REGARDS, RAPHAEL THE ENLIGHTENED"
The Doctor determines to trace this email to the server which will lead them at the very least to someone who knows what the hell is going and he, Jenny, Donna and Alonzo run into the TARDIS and dematerializes, shouting abuse at the Shadow Proclamation for being a stupidly-named waste of time totally useless and unhelpful.
The Shadow Architect muses that this is fair and they go back to dealing with the Seven Hundred Societies across the universe making compensation claims...
On the Dustbin Crucible, the Dustbin Suzpreme gets another pesky voicemail from a disembodied voice elsewhere in the base – a voice pitched somewhere between that of a Dustbins and an ordinary humanoid being. Kind of like her own really, except less annoying.
"CARDIFF HAS BEEN SUBJUGATED AND THERE ARE NO REPORTS OF TIME LORD OR TARDIS – WE’RE BEYOND THE DOCTOR’S REACH AND THE DOCTOR CANNOT STOP US ANYWAY. JUST STOP BOTHERING ME!"
"Beware your pride you transsexual freak," a cold, clever, quiet voice retorts. "Dustbin Raph is uneasy."
"HE’S ALWAYS UNEASY. HE’S INSANE. AN INSANE ABOMINATION!" declares the Dustbin Suzpreme of a ruined, bright-red Dustbin that has been chained to the floor and its mop, dustpan and death ray straightjacketed.
"Without Dustbin Raph, none of us would be here," the voice points out rather gratuitously. "And he speaks only the truth."
"HE IS MOVING IN THE DARK AND THE WILD AND THE LONELY PLACES!" sings Dustbin Raph in a childlike voice of total insanity. Or Nicholas Briggs, whichever you prefer. "THE BAD, BAD MAN! HE IS DANCING! QUIETLY, SLOWLY, QUICKLY! HE IS DANCING FROM ACROSS THE STARS TO SEE US ALL! ACROSS THE STARS IN HIS PURPLE MAGIC SHIP MADE OF SQUIRREL TAILS! OH, CREATOR OF US ALL, HE IS BACK IN TOWN!"
"VERY HELPFUL," sneers the Dustbin Suzpreme. "WHO THE FUCK HE EVEN TALKING ABOUT? THE DOCTOR OR ROD STEWART?"
"I’M A HAPPY CAMPER!" Dustbin Raph giggles, "I’M A WIBBLE TREE! WHERE ARE MY UNCLE’S BANANA PLANTS! MUMMY USED TO LIKE BANANAS!!"
"You’ve set him off again, you stupid bitch!" the voice complains.
By now the Dustbins are on the streets of Cardiff, rounding up everyone from their houses to assist in the latest and best, obviously, Dustbin Nasty Plan ever! The Dustbins are unsurprisingly exterminating those who show resistance – especially those who show resistance by throwing bricks at them and leave the place untidy. They hate that.
The terrified Sylvia prefers to hide behind her curtain and let all her neighbours die horribly, but fueled by Dunkirk spirit, Wilf grabs a paintball gun, intending to use the paint and render the Dustbins’ cleaning attachments useless.
Wilf leaps out of the shadows, screams "GET BACK IN THE SKY WHERE YOU CAME FROM YOU WHEELIE BIN CUNTS!" and fires paint across the nearest Dustbin, covering it in sticky yellow splodges. "How do you like that, you tin-plated losers?!"
"ENGAGING BODYWORK REPAIR!" grates the Dustbin and all the paint marks evaporate. "MY SQUEEGEE IS *NOT* IMPAIRED! DEFACING DUSTBINS WILL NOT BE TOLERATED! EXTERMINATE THE MIDDLE CLASS PENSIONER! EXTERMINATE!"
Things look particularly grim at this point, especially as the Dustbins have shown absolutely no interest in exterminating Sylvia. Truly, there is no justice in the universe any more...