Thursday, February 4, 2010

10th Doctor - Journey's End (ii)

Parte the Second

Just as the Dustbin is about to annihilate the one likable character in the story so far, Rose steps out of the shadow and fires her BFG which does what all decent BFGs should: blows the motherfucking outer space robot wanker into a billion polycarbide shards.

With typical British formality, Wilf immediately offers Rose a nice hot cup of tea at his place and they ignore this ghastly invasion by the Dustbins. Over tea and some Kendall mint cake and ignoring Sylvia completely, Wilf and Rose realize they share a mutual acquaintance in the Doctor. Alas, they can’t contact Donna’s super-phone – it turns out Martha’s cover story is true and the Dustbins are actually blocking all communications.

"What the hell are you two on about? Donna being some kind of alien fighter? Don’t be ridiculous!"

Wilf gives Sylvia the back of his hand. "OPEN YOUR GODDAMN EYES, GIRL! The sky is full of planets! We’re being invaded by homicidal rubbish bins and YOU’RE calling ME ridiculous! You narrow-minded denying cow!"

Rose muses that if they can’t find the Doctor, the Dustbins have won and joins Wilf in beating Sylvia up.

Filled with similar ennui, Captain Jack declares that "There is nothing we can do to fight the Dustbins, and since I’m immortal, the only question is whether we have sex before or after the pair of you are ruthlessly exterminated."

Sarah is similarly stumped and despite Luke pointing out that she has single-handedly defeated every single alien menace they have encountered on screen or off it, refuses to waste her time.

And just in case you think our main cast are in any way going to be proactive, the Doctor, Donna, Jenny and Alonzo are aboard the TARDIS as it stops at the Medusa Cascade and similarly hopeless.

"The Medusa Cascade. I came here on a school trip when I was just 90 years old. It was the centre of a rift in time and space, until I single-handedly sealed it in the Temporal Difference of Opinion. Would have been really impressive if I’d MEANT to do it. But this is it. The end of the line. There’s no one here. Nothing for us to do."

So they all stand around looking rather gloomy and depressed.

Just as all the viewers are starting to wonder why they’re wasting their time watching a bunch of time-travelling superheroes standing around in silent, hopeless, desolated defeat as the world ends under the Dustbin yolk of genocide a voice begins calling out amidst the different transmissions. It is heard on the laptop at the Nobles, on the Touchwood computers and also by Mr. Smith.

"Just ignore it, Gwen," Captain Jack sighs. "Probably just someone using an underground network to communicate with the outside. Like that would do anyone any good!"

"Captain Jack Sparrow! Shame on you, you big tosspot! Get up off your fat arse and stand to attention, you bastard!" booms the voice as the screens show the white-haired cherubic old man. "I am Mister Richard Copper-nee-Bucket and I’m saving all your ape-descended asses out of the fire of Dustbin Damnation! Now, let’s see if we can’t talk to each other like civilized bipeds..."

Mr. Copper establishes links with Touchwood and Sarah Jane but not Rose and the Nobles. "Oh, Christ!" Rose complains when she realizes she cannot communicate with the others. "Why don’t you have a webcam?"

"SHE wouldn’t let me have one," Wilf explains, pointing to Sylvia, "she thinks I’d just film myself masturbating and send the videos to 18 year olds."

"I’m RIGHT, aren’t I?! I mean, it’s what I’D do if I had one!" Sylvia snaps. "Why doesn’t blondie go and get a webcam from that shop everyone was looting if she’s so cool?"

"The fourth contact seems to be having some trouble getting through, I’ll just boost the signal," Mr. Copper adds and suddenly a link is made with a familiar nightingale-turned-stalker.

"Martha Jones! You’re safe! Fancy that!" Captain Jack muses.

"Who? Who the fuck is Martha Jones?!" screams Rose.

Yes, Mad Martha was able to teleport herself to the one thing in Cardiff more soul-destroyingly terrible than any amount of Dustbin storm troopers – her mother. Francine "Ballcrusher" Jones. Enough said.

"You must be Sarah Jane Smith who fights Gorgons and Slitheen without all the needless civilian casualties! Looking good, savvy! Why hello!" leers Captain Jack. "By which I refer to the conventional 51st Century definition of the greeting, which is for us both to remove our trousers and get warm at wet at our earliest mutual convenience..."

As Sarah starts fiddling with her hair and giggling bashfully, Mr. Copper explains, "This is the Subwave Subway Submersible Submachine Network, a sentient piece of software I made out of a digital set-top-box and a coat-hanger. It’s programmed to seek out anyone and everyone who can help to contact the Doctor..."

"Rose isn’t going to turn up, is she?" asks Sarah.

"Christ, I hope not," Martha adds.

"Nah, she’s in some parallel dimension or some such bollocks," Captain Jack reassures them. "Na├»ve tart would be useless anyway."

"The Doctor would just moon over her anyway," Martha agrees.

"She was a rubbish shag as well," Sarah confides. Luke boggles.

Back at the Nobles, Wilf and Sylvia watch as Rose goes apeshit and starts smashing the furniture screaming abuse at the "bitches" on the laptop for dissing her and how she intends to pull all of their hair when they finally meet.

"Anyway," Mr. Copper cuts to the chase, "moving on. Martha Jones has the phone we need to contact the Doctor and the TARDIS. Captain Jack and Touchwood have the space-time fissure of awesome power and Sarah Jane Smith has a Zylok computer mainframe. Together we should be able to create some kind of signal the Doctor can detect and get here."

Shamefacedly, Martha admits that her phone is blocked, but Luke points out that they can still use Mr. Smith to connect every telephone network, modem, router in Cardiff together to call the number all at once since that’s how they normally defeat four out of five regular alien menaces. The whole Touchwood team is suitably chastened at the massive revelation a mad old woman’s attic has technology more powerful than anything THEY have on offer.

As an incredibly funky sleigh bell rock tune blares, an action montage of the combined forces of Touchwood, Mr. Copper and Sarah’s pretentious comedy computer are at work, beaming the signal out into space. Alas, our revitalized heroes have made one teeny-tiny mistake.

The Dustbins notice the surge through the national grid into the water fountain outside the Millennium Centre at the exact same moment the telephone networks combine. They DEFINITELY notice arcs electricity shooting up out of said water tower and pulse out into space.

"YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!" exclaims the Dustbin Suzpreme at news of the unknown network blasting out of their funky hideaway. "TRACE THESE DAMNED HACKERS! FIND THEM! AND CLEAN THEM OUT!"

"SIGNAL CANNOT BE STOPPED!" reports a junior Dustbin.

"THEN USE YOUR INITIATIVE AND EXTERMINATE THE POINT OF ORIGIN!"

That oh-so-ominous voice pipes up again. "I warned you, Suzpreme One. Just as Dustbin Raph foretold. The Doctor’s groupies are moving against us. But everything is falling into place. It’s destiny, don’t you know?"

"ONE OF THEM WILL DIE!" Dustbin Raph giggles insanely. "OHH, ONE OF THE PRETTY CHILDREN OF TIME WILL DIE!"

"ALL OF THEM WILL DIE ONCE WE GET OUR PROTUBERANCES ON THEM!" buts in the furious Dustbin Suzpreme as a squadron of Dusbtins is dispatched to seek, locate and exterminate Mr. Copper!

What are our main characters up to? Why, in the TARDIS, the the Doctor, formally solemn and introspective, now leaps to life. "It’s the phone! Martha’s phone! It’s ringing! Hang on a sec, didn’t I blacklist her or something?"

"Maybe it’s someone else?" Jenny suggests. "Who is it?"

"I don’t know," the Doctor admits. "I can’t answer it. It just keeps ringing. As though it’s eternally half a second behind me... hold on! I think I know what going on."

"I’m glad one of us does," Alonzo grumbles.

"Jings, shut up, Alonzo! I’m trying to concentrate! Cardiff is one second out of sync with the rest of universe! That’s how whoever stole it managed to keep them hidden. God, I’m clever! Aren’t I clever?"

"If you say so, dad."

The Doctor locks the TARDIS onto the signal, turning the mood lighting blood red to make things look epic as the phone call forcibly pulls the police box into the future which happens to look like some of the title sequence with inverted colours – to arrive back in the Medusa Cascade, only this time it’s full of planets!

"HE IS HERE!" screams Dustbin Raph in ecstasy. "THE DARK LORD IS COME AT LAST! I TOLD YOU SO, DIDN’T I? DIDN’T I TELL YOU SO? OHH, THE TRAP IS CLOSING! BONZAI, BABY!!"

"It is him," agrees the voice. "You KNOW it’s him. His very presence causes ripples in space and time and underwear – you can FEEL him in your waters!"

"I’M STILL UNCLEAR IF YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT THE DOCTOR OR ROD STEWART," the Dustbin Suzpreme complains, confused.

Back on Earth, Mr. Copper is bricking it as a Dustbin saucer lands in his front. Hastily transferring control of the Subwave Subway Submersible Submachine Network over to Touchwood, Mr. Copper activates his last line of defense before teleporting to safety.

"Hyacinth!" he shouts. "I think they want to talk to you!"

The French windows are blasted open and three Dustbins glide in... to face a middle-aged woman in a floral dress looking uncannily like Patricia Routledge!

"IT IS HYACINTH BUCKET!" exclaims the squad leader in shock.

"It’s 'Bouquet'!"

"DO NOT LIE! IT IS PRONOUNCED BUCKET!"

"Now, that’s just typical of people in your social standing. You know nothing about manners, etiquette or the benefits of candlelight suppers and riparian entertainment! And that will be your downfall!"

Suddenly, Hyacinth begins to sing, there is the sound of Dustbins firing their death rays in desperation to make her stop, and in the resulting holocaust everything flares to white...

As the TARDIS spins towards the source of the signal, the Doctor, Donna, Jenny and Alonzo marvel at the 27 planets. "Look at that! They’re all in perfect balance! Self-perpetuating motion! Cosmic feng sheui!"

"All these worlds fit together like an engine," Jenny marvels, "generating massive amounts of kinetic energy! It’s a powerhouse built to provide energy! It’s so green and eco-friendly, I love it!"

Suddenly Alonzo does something vaguely justifying his presence and notes the console monitor is showing a conference call of Sarah and Luke; Touchwood; and Martha and "Ballcrusher" Jones. The Doctor shakes his head in disgust, "Why can’t I just get away from these people?" he asks himself, totally missing the shouts demanding to know where he’s been and that the Dustbins are back.

Thus in total ignorance of the nightmare they’re facing, the Doctor takes out a whistle to stop them all talking at once. "Jings! Right, now can we all just talk one at a time for a change? You! Jack! Situation report! What the hell’s going on?"

Just before anyone can answer, all the lights in the TARDIS go dark and the booming shrill voice of the Dustbin Suzpreme is heard. "YOU WILL SURRENDER TO DUSTBIN CONTROL! THIS TIME, IT’S VICTORY! THIS TIME, IT’S DESTINY! IT’S PERSONAL!! WE HAVE THE DOCTOR!!"

As Touchwood, the Smiths, the Jonses, the Nobles and Rose wonder what is going on now, the TARDIS is caught in a massive blue tractor beam from a passing Dustbin saucer overhead. The powerless TARDIS is brought through the Medusa Cascade to the Crucible.

"That station’s about 200 miles across and right at the centre of the kinetic energy field," Jenny observes. "So it must be soaking up all the power. No idea what it’s for but on the bright side, we’re going there so we might get to find out."

"Now THAT is what I call a Death Star rip-off," Donna observes.

"Whatever the hell it is," the Doctor snaps, slamming down controls, "we visit it at MY sayso. Tractor beam? Pah! Don’t give me tractor beams! I rode this TARDIS through a Temporal Difference of Opinion and out the other side! NOTHING IN THE WORLD CAN STOP ME NOW!"

"Suzpreme One," calls the voice from the shadowed figure in the vaults of the Crucible. "The TARDIS. I would address it. Give me access."

"NEGATIVE!" booms the Dustbin Suzpreme. "EVERY WORD SPOKEN BY THE DOCTOR IS A CONTAMINATION! ESPECIALLY WITH THAT SCOTTISH ACCENT!"

"Oh, but I’m ready for him," the figure replies. "I have been ready for so many years, through endless wars and boiling skies. Now let me talk to him or I am going to get incredibly unpleasant."

Grumbling, the Dustbin Suzpreme grants access and the scanner aboard the TARDIS starts fizzing. "Another signal’s coming through," Alonzo notes rather obviously. "There’s someone else out there?"

Delighted, the Doctor runs to the console. "Can you hear me? Rose?"

"Doctor," replies the voice. "Your voice is different and yet its arrogance is unchanged!"

"Arrogance? Jings, I just asked if Rose was there! Hardly presumptuous! What are you on about... oh. Shit."

The screen shows the hideous half-man, half-Dustbin, withered mutant contained in a stained Cyberloo. "We meet again, Doctor," rasps Lavros.

"No," the Doctor whispers. "But you’re dead! DEAD! Jings, Lavros, I’ve got your severed head on a hatstand! You are DEAD!"

"Remember when last we spoke, on Earth, centuries past yet future. Remember how I wished to clone myself a fresh body? Well, it turned out that I’d already done one and completely forgot about it," the mutant explains. "I was that clone, and while the other me perished I wandered Cardiff, and fell through the rift, before finally being recruited by the Dustbins to fight in the Temporal Difference of Opinion."

Jenny, Alonzo and Donna exchange confused looks.

"So... shouldn’t you be dead anyway?" asks the Doctor, lost.

"Pretty much. But Dustbin Raphael of the Cult of Fargo saved me. He emergency temporal shifted back into the Temporal Difference of Opinion, and rescued my command ship at the Gates of Elysium before it could crash and burn in the jaws of Dustbin Emperor’s Nightmare Child. A simple Dustbin succeeded where Time Lords and Higher Evolutionaries succeeded. A testament, don’t you think, to my remarkable creations and the Terry Nation estate?"

"I FLEW INTO THE WILD AND FIRE!" sings the red Dustbin in the straightjacket. "I DANCED AND DIED A THOUSAND TIMES! OH, THE VOID WOULD BE CALLING! AND NOTHING! WILL EVER BE THE SAME!"

"Yes, he also went a little mad," Lavros explains. "But now I’m here I have made a new race of Dustbins. I gave myself to them, quite literally. It cost me my arms and my legs, not to mention my washboard abs..." Lavros opens his tunic to reveal his open ribs and lack of skin. "I ended up back the way I started, but every cell of my body was grown into a new, true Dustbin. No suicidal hybrids this time, buster."

"Eww," says Alonzo, pretty much summing up everyone’s reactions.

"And now you come to face my new empire, Doctor," Lavros continues. "It’s only dramatically appropriate, really that you should bear witness to the resurrection and triumph of Lavros, Lord and Creator of the Dustbin Race!"

"Yes, we know who you are," say all the TARDIS crew in unison.

"Yes, well, we both came out of the Temporal Difference Opinion. I have a new empire and am on the cusp of dominating the universe. Tell me, Doctor, what exactly do YOU have? Well?"

Barely over the shock of seeing him, the Doctor whispers, "Lavros, after all this time, everything we saw, everything we lost... I have only ONE thing to say to you. No more. This time, no more Mr. Nice Guy. What I will do to you lot will be the stuff of fan fiction! BYE!" he adds, pulling a lever, cutting him off.

The TARDIS breaks out of the tractor beam and spins down to the planet with Cardiff affixed to it as the audience wonder if they’re meant to be impressed with the hero buggering off rather than doing anything. Alarms go off and the Dustbin Suzpreme is figuratively spitting blood and orders all the Dustbins to find the Doctor and locate the TARDIS. "LAST TIME I INDULGE YOU, LAVROS!" she sneers.

"I’m not the one so stupid as to not know where he’s going," Lavros retorts. "Cardiff, to find his precious human groupies! Am I right, Dustbin Raph, or am I right?"

"AND DEATH IS COMING! OOH, SUCH A DEATH, SIR! EVERLASTING DEATH FOR THE MOST FAITHFUL COMPANION!"

"I’ll take that as a yes. Time to lay a trap..."

Meanwhile, the survivors of the attack on Hyacinth Bucket are aboard their saucer heading straight towards Mermaid Bay to destroy Touchwood. As Gwen and Ianto realize they’ve been found, Captain Jack decides it is time for the tough to get going as the going has gotten tough. Using his nifty vortex manipulator gubbins or something, he turns to the others.

"Look, I gotta go and find the Doctor. I can lock this thing onto the TARDIS and, it’s not so much that I WANT you both to stay here and die it’s more that I’d really rather you didn’t come with me. You guys just cramp my style and I’m going to have a hard enough time convincing the Doctor to save ME let alone you too. Ciao!"

Captain Jack teleports away.

"Son of a bitch!" Gwen swears as the mighty Get-Smart-style security doors to the Hub are blown off their hinges by a bling Dustbin who swarms into secret base. It’s clear the mighty Dustbin Empire knows how heartbreakingly pathetic this secret organization is, and doesn’t consider it worth more than one Dustbin when Mr. Copper merited three.

"EXTERMINATE TOUCHWOOD!!!"

At that exact moment, Sarah Jane Smith is showing a similar loyalty to her friends as she packs a suitcase, runs out of the house, dives into her car and hurtles off into the night. She intends to get one last lift out of the Doctor as things are just WAY too massive for her cope with.

However, her road rage proves her undoing as she totally writes off her car by smashing it into a traffic patrol of Dustbins. Furious at the mess, the Dustbin renounce Sarah’s driving license and prepare to exterminate her for failure to adhere to the Highway Code.

"EXTERMINATE SARAH JANE SMITH!"

At THAT exact moment, the TARDIS spins out of the sky and slams into a the Powell Estate one last time, completely deserted and as eerie as the Welsh town ever gets. The quartet stumble out and look around.

"OK, Doc, what do we do now?" asks Alonzo.

"I was kind of hoping I’d meet up with Rose, actually... Jings, there she is!" the Doctor grins, noting the blonde girl with the BFG and even bigger teeth at the other end of the concourse.

"Is that what he’s been so fussed about?" asks Jenny, unimpressed. "Honestly, Dad, how shallow are you? Don’t you dare run towards her," she says, before realizing he’s doing just that. "Jings!"

As the reunited lovers prance towards each other, a Dustbin glides out from behind some dumpsters. "DUSTBIN RAPH KNEW YOU’D TURN UP HERE! THIS IS A SMALL GESTURE FOR THE TRILLIONS, TIME LORD, FOR THE TRILLIONS! EXTERMINATE DOCTOR WHO!" it screams and fires at the Doctor.

The multi-coloured stream of fierce energy envelopes the Doctor, setting him afire, tearing at his flesh, boiling his internal organs, burrowing into his very soul. But being so damn bastard hard, the Doctor doesn’t so much as squeak as the deadly dose of CGI flings him to the ground as the death ray cuts out.

"...jings..." he croaks in agony, skin blackened and covered in sweat.

"JEEZ! I WOULD LOVE TOO THAT AGAIN..." the Dustbin marvels a split second before it is struck by the awesome firepower of Captain Jack as he teleports in.

"Ah, in the nick of time as always, me harties! Bet you’re so grateful you’ll give me a lift out of here, eh, mates?" he grins, before noticing everyone crowding around the dying Time Lord. "Ooops. Guess I mistimed my heroic rescue. Awkward."

Rose dumps her BFG and cradles the Doctor’s head in her hand. "It’s me, Doctor," she says, trying to sound casual. "I kinda was hoping you’d give me a second chance. I didn’t get you killed again, did I?"

"Oh yeah, Rose," the Time Lord croaks, "Knew you’d come running back. They always do. Oh, I feel knackered. So knackered I feel my life coming to an end. I didn’t even get to shag you in this body. Life sucks..."

"I knew you’d get some special-delivery instant bad karma," whimpers Jenny as she and Donna help him to his feet. "Bad shit was going to happen, you hypocritical twat! Honestly, you go on and on about me so much as looking a pistol, but last after a different blonde with the biggest gun I’ve ever seen! You look like a complete double-standard dick now!"

"Who are you anyway?" Rose complains.

"I’m his daughter, blondie! Try and wrap your brain around THAT, Earthling!"

"Wait," says Captain Jack confused. "So... Rose is REALLY here? I’m NOT drunk?" he asks Donna. "Cause I just automatically assumed... Hey, is it me or are there Dustbins closing on all sides?"

"Can we please go back to the TARDIS?" croaks the convulsing Doctor, and the arguing group flee into the police box and dump him rather unceremoniously on the grilling as he twitches and moans. Outside, the Dustbins fire suddy water uselessly at the time machine.

"Well," Alonzo yawns. "HE’S stuffed."

"And we all know what happens next," Rose adds sadly. "Typical. After I came all this way. God, I hope he doesn’t turn into a git..."

The Doctor shudders and groans. "I’m fine! I’m fine! Don’t worry, it’s fine... I’ve got one last way of getting out of this! It’s great! OK, it doesn’t involve a canoe, mind, but you cannae have everything, can you?" he asks as his skin tightens around him. "Here I go then. Off to join long ago. Get ready to run! Ah, jings, this is SO going to hurt..."

Suddenly, the Doctor’s skin turns a brilliant white, his facial features becoming indistinguishable in the floodlit glow. His face disappears into a pool of white mist as his body lengthens, his hair lost in the inferno as a new face emerges from the radiant pool.

The process slows down as stability is achieved and the Doctor is left a tall, bald man with bushy eyebrows and a beaky nose. The new Doctor blinks, breathless as Captain Jack, Jenny, Alonzo, Donna and Rose gape at him, stunned.

"There, that’s better! Now won’t one of you please put the kettle on?" asks the Nicholas Briggs Doctor with an insane grin. "I could murder a nice cup of tea..."

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WELL – WHO SAW **THAT** ONE COMING?!?
TO... BE... CONTINUED...
...but I doubt it will be worth the wait...
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