Parte the Fourth
All hope seems lost, but luckily the Doctor’s previous incarnation wasn’t a completely useless jackass and is now cannibalizing the ruined control console as his companions watch on.
"There’s one thing Lavros isn’t expecting and that’s another me! He totally gave that away when he showed off his hunky chest – all the Dustbins are made out of his cells! So if we can lock onto that matter-dissolving signal and tune it to the frequency of Lavros HIMSELF, biggest backfire in history and all the Dustbins go bye-bye!"
"Maximum power!" crows Donna in her best Servalan impression as the completely-knackered TARDIS lurches into life and hurtles through the Medusa Cascade as the countdown starts...
In the Vaults, Lavros is gloating over the Doctor. "The man who abhors violence, never carrying a gun? Bullshit! THIS is the truth, Doctor – you take ordinary people and fashion them into weapons! Behold your Groupies of Time transformed into suicide bombers!"
The Doctor stares at him. "I hope you know where you’re going with this," he says at length.
"And how many have you sacrificed? How many more will die in your name? Mary-Jane? Peter Tyler? Lynda-with-a-Y? Sir Roger Blake? Mickey Briggs and his con team? Paula Moore? The Face of Bond? Dustbin Leo? Chantho? Adam Mitchell? That hostess without a name?"
"Good grief, Lavros. OK, maybe Mary-Jane. But Pete Tyler committed suicide. Lynda-with-a-Y was exterminated by Dustbins, so that’s your fault, but she’s alive again. Blake committed suicide. Mickey Briggs and his con team aren’t dead, you halfwit! Paula Moore was killed by a Cyberman, no sacrifice there. Face of Bond? Old age. Leo? Your Dustbins, your fault! Chantho, for fuck’s sake? That had NOTHING to do with me! Adam Mitchell frankly doesn’t count and as for that hostess, she could have found a non-suicidal way of getting out of it!"
"Yes," Lavros clears his throat, "well, most analogies don’t bear close examination. But this is my final victory, Doctor! I have shown you... yourself!"
The Doctor stares at Lavros. "Amazing. You almost sound like you care. Lavros, you’re planning to destroy every single living thing in reality. You DON’T have the moral high-ground, I think you’ll find! Honestly, the idea that you've seen everything I've done and STILL think you can stop me suggests that your great genius died long ago. Sad really."
"And how exactly are you going to stop us?" asks Harriet.
The companions make similar incredulous demands.
Suddenly, a hurricane blows through the Vault and with the grinding of ancient engines, a temple of light and wind manifests in the form of a vandalized police box still partially on fire. The doors are flung open to reveal the clone Doctor, back-lit for maximum drama, holding his whacking great Anti-Lavros Neutralizer.
"Oh yeah! That’s right! Who’s your nemesis, Lavros? Who’s your nemesis?" cackles the clone Doctor. "Fell for the oldest trick in the book – trans-modernism human super-biological metaphysical crisis!"
"No, wait a moment, that doesn’t make sense," protests the bald Nick Briggs Doctor. "If THAT had happened then I wouldn’t have had enough cellular energy to complete the renewal and I’d have undergone uncontrolled retrograde-regeneration by now!"
The Doctor notices a strange ethereal glow playing across his hand.
"You know, there’s no justice in the universe," sighs the Doctor before he is suddenly bathed in an unearthly blue glow that swims over his flesh, his face burning away to reveal a different aspect. The Doctor stumbles back... metamorphosed David Tennant once more.
"Jings! I was kind of hoping it reset back to McGann," he gasps breathlessly, looking around in a daze. "And that regeneration actually counted! I just wasted a precious life but look the same as ever! If it wasn’t for the fact that the Time Lords gave me unlimited regen count in the Temporal Difference of Opinion, I’d BE REALLY ANGRY!!!"
"Two Doctors?!" boggles Captain Jack, swaying on his feet. "We’re ABSOLUTELY SURE I’m not drunk?"
"This is... IMPOSSIBLE!!!" gasps Lavros, backing away.
"You don’t like it? Go on the internet and complain!" challenges the Clone Doc and he, Rose and Alonzo charge from the blind, one-armed cripple in his combined wheelchair and potty.
"If you want something doing," sighs Harriet Jones, bitch-slapping the trio with her mighty metal backhand, which kills all hope, joy and excitement dead as they all fall to the floor and are immediately caught in holding cells as a passing Dustbin blows up the macguffin that would have wiped out the Dustbins and saved the day. "Pathetic," she concludes simply.
"Ah yes, where was I?" murmurs Lavros. "Oh yes. Stand witness you roustabouts – your strategies have failed, your weapons are useless and, oh look, the end of the universe is come!"
The count down reaches zero, the Crucible prepares to fire... as Donna sneaks out of the TARDIS and presses a single button. All the systems shut down, the lightning globes covered up. As the Dustbins go apeshit at the sudden loss of control, everyone looks at Donna in amazement.
"There’s always an emergency off-switch," she explains with a shrug. "Oh, and look, a special 'SABOTAGE DUSTBIN WEAPONRY' key as well!" she adds, pressing some buttons, rendering all the Dustbin’s leather laser guns useless art nouveau egg whisks. "Done that! Next? Come on, give me something difficult! Release all prisoners?"
"Don’t you dare!" screams Lavros, but our heroes are free again and Donna has discovered that, since the Dustbins were going to live entirely inside the Crucible, they are powered, dodge-’em-car-style. "Oh, I like this one! Watch this," she says, pressing another key and the electrical power to the Dustbins goes haywire, making then spin around on the spot helplessly.
"Why the hell is there a convenient console for completely defeating the Dustbin Empire?!" rants Lavros as Ricky leaps to his feet and kicks the insane mutant in the Cyberloo, sending him sliding across the vault.
"That would be me, darling," explains Harriet Jones.
"YOU?! Is it true? Have you betrayed the Dustbins?" whispers Lavros. "Have YOU... betrayed... ME?!"
"You wouldn’t respect me otherwise," Harriet Jones points out.
"True," Lavros concedes. "But I preferred being single anyway!"
The mutant stabs a control on his Cyberloo and Harriet Jones screams wordlessly as her armored shell turns to dripping molten metal and starts to come apart, and one time Prime Minster, one time MP for Flydale North, topples out of the shattered life support system and falls to the ground in a pool of blazing lubricant.
The charred and smoking carcass sizzles as Harriet "Hellfire" Jones croaks out one final gasp, "Fool... you still don’t realize who I am... do you? See you... in your nightmares..."
Everyone stares at the body, having no idea what the hell she was on about but completely spooked nonetheless. It is then they finally notice the control marked "WARNING! WARNING! POWER SYSTEM OVERLOAD! WARNING! POWER SYSTEM DESTRUCT!" as part of Harriet Jones’ last stab-in-the-back of the Dustbins.
"Oh look! A great big threatening button that should not be pressed under any circumstances!" the Doctor grins, overcome by powerful nostalgia for good old days of 2005. "No, I shouldn’t. I mustn’t."
"Jings, I’LL do it!" the Clone Doc snaps. "I mean, this Dustbin Empire’s big enough to slaughter the cosmos, Reality Bomb or no Reality Bomb! Plus, I REALLY want to see how they can get out of this one!"
"And as for YOU, you gibbering would-be oracle," Lavros is shouting at the straightjacketed Dustbin Raph. "Why the hell didn’t you FORESEE any of this, huh?"
"OH, I DID," Dustbin Raph giggles. "I SAW ALL OF THIS, THAT’S WHY I TOLD YOU TO BRING CARDIFF HERE, SO EVERYTHING WOULD OCCUR JUST LIKE THIS! I SAW THE DUSTBINS THROUGHOUT TIME AND SPACE! AND THAT INCLUDES THE END OF **EVERYTHING** DUSTBIN!"
"Why the hell didn’t you tell us?!" shrieks Lavros.
"I’M INSANE," Dustbin Raph protests. "DIDN’T YOU GET THAT MEMO?!? NOW THE PROPHECY MUST COMPLETE!"
"That’s good enough for me!" the clone Doctor cheers, and slams down the destruction controls. Instantly all the Dustbins in the room start to overheat and explode.
On the Command Deck, the hundreds of Dustbins are all spinning out of control voices squawking. Suddenly, one after another, they begin to explode. "I BET THIS IS ALL DOWN TO LAVROS!" bitches the Dustbin Suzpreme. "TYPICAL! IT’S ALL HIS FAULT! I WILL DESCEND TO THE VAULT AND PURGE THE CRUCIBLE LIKE I SHOULD HAVE DONE AT THE START OF THIS! ALL WILL BE EXTERMINATED!"
But suddenly smoke starts to pour out of her and she begins to crumple. Power surges through her circuits. "NO! MALFUNCTION! I HAVE A CONTRACT WITH BIG FINISH! IMPAIRED VISION! ATTACK ON ALL SIDES! I’M A MAJOR SUPPORTING CAST MEMBER IN DUSTBIN UMPIRE!" shrieks the Dustbin Suzpreme as, inside her funky oriental-styled casing, the hideous screeching mutant does a very convincing impression of a Spinal Tap drummer.
"MALFUNCTION! YOU CAN’T DO THIS TO ME! OHSHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIT!" she squeals uselessly as the punch bowl the mutant sits in suddenly rises up, slamming the squidgy monstrosity against the inside of the Dustbin dome, crushing the last traces of Suz Mendes, the Emperor Dustbin and the original Lavros into stinking green slime.
With the Crucible thick with shrieking, exploding Dustbins and the fleet of saucers outside similarly starting to blow up, everything is suitably apocalyptic. The Vaults shudder as rubble falls from the ceiling and fire breaks out.
"Well, I hope everyone’s happy! Oh, what a lovely war!" rants Lavros. "A huge chunk of Wales flipped across the universe! A fantastic sexual relationship ended in blood! The mighty Dustbin Empire annihilated! And for WHAT? FOR WHAT, I ASK YOU?!?"
The others exchange looks and decide they don’t really care. Donna, Jenny, Ricky, Sarah, Rose, Captain Jack, the Doctors and Alonzo flee into the TARDIS as tangled metal starts to fall around Lavros. "Never forget, Doctor!" Lavros roars as flames rise up around him, "YOU did this! I name you - forever - as THE DESTROYER OF WORLDS!"
"Jings! Get off your high horse, Lavros!" sneers the clone Doctor from the TARDIS doorway. "You’re a clone like I am and YOU tried to destroy the entire created universe five minutes ago!"
"You’re no fun anymore!" spits Lavros, before activating his Emergency Temporal Shift. A shimmering halo surrounds Lavros, reducing him to a sea of sparkling light that slowly vanishes.
"ONE OF YOUR COMPANIONS WILL STILL DIE, YOU KNOW!" Dustbin Raph calls cheerfully as the smoke and heat obscure him.
"Well, that’s easily solved," the clone Doctor retorts, kicking Alonzo out of the TARDIS to die horribly. I guess RTD really got over his crush for Russell Tovey, huh?
"Right," the Doctor says, positioning Rose, the clone Doctor, Captain Jack, Ricky, Donna and Sarah at each of the console panels (Jenny is sulking and reading Heat magazine). It’s finally occurred to the Time Lord that the ship is actually meant to be piloted by six people, but he has to make do on his own – hence his somewhat chaotic piloting style and complete cluelessness of how the fucking thing works. "We’ve looped the TARDIS’s really rather pathetic tractor beam around Cardiff so we can tow it back to Earth and replace it exactly."
"Won’t that pretty much kill everyone on the surface?" asks Rose.
"Only one way to find out!" grins the clone Doctor.
"Oh, hang on," says the Doctor awkwardly, "I need the password to get past all the 'You Are Performing An Illegal Operation' popups! Otherwise I’ll have to click through them all and that could take a while..."
"Iiiiiiiiiit’s ME! I’m K9! Hurray!" as a floating silver CGI creation pops into existence. "Hang on, Master, I’ll soon sort this lot out without using my hands! HA! Transferring TARDIS base-codes and then I’m off, back to the in-crowd before they start to miss my massive metallic probing presence! They hate it when I get all tied up – at least, when they’re not the ones with the rope! WOOF! Seriously though, there’s a massive orgy in future London with Jorjie, Darius and Gryffen, and if I’m not there, they’ll probably kill themselves! Right, I’ll see you loser bipeds around. Next time you need the universe saving, remember who does it best – in doggy-style! WOOF! WOOF!"
The super-modified robot dog vanishes in a flash of atoms.
"...who was that?" asks Ricky cautiously.
"No idea," the Doctor and slams the TARDIS into life, wrenching Cardiff off the surface of the alien planet and slowly but surely hauling the crumbling landmass through space, much to the terror of the few surviving cast members within like Martha, Martha’s mother, Gwen, Ianto, Wilf, Luke, Mr. Smith and Sylvia. As the police box whooshes out of the Medusa Cascade with Cardiff in tow, as explosions break out all over the Crucible before it succumbs in what curious looks like stock footage of the Death Star exploding.
Finally the TARDIS skids to a halt above the planet Earth and releases the city, which hurtles towards the ground and finally smashes into the gap in the valleys... albeit upside down and the wrong way around, but you can’t have everything, can you?
The return of Cardiff might be a relief to the guest cast, but not to the rest of the world, who were holding celebrations and fireworks with BBC News 24 proclaiming 'Welsh Shithole Finally Gone!'
But the TARDIS meanwhile lands on a paradise island, K9 Cove, where Jackie Tyler sits astride a horse, fully expecting them to turn up and for her daughter to have snagged a fancy man. The Doctor follows his clone and Rose as they leave the TARDIS. "Hey, what are you doing?" complains the Doctor.
"We’re leaving you," Rose explains. "Off to my family on Irth."
"But you can’t go back! Not after you came all that way, trying to get away from Irth so you could find me," protests the Time Lord.
"And I’ve got you," Rose replies. "Well. Him. I mean, you’re the same man, same memories, same memories, plus this one’s got one heart – he can’t regenerate! He’s only got the one life!"
"Might as well spend it being millionaires sexing each other all day and all of the night," grins the clone. "Sides, I’m a bit TOO human – destroying all those Dustbins on a whim. I need someone to look after me, someone like Rose."
"Hey, I was here first!" protests the Doctor. "Just because you’re too dangerous to be left on your own, because when your new personality settled it was full of blood and anger and revenge and you might as well have a Northern accent... I’m not helping my case at all, am I?"
"It’s still not right! Rose came back for ME!"
"And I’ve GOT you," Rose insists. "Build a bridge and get over it!"
As Rose and the clone Doctor begin to make out on the beach, the genuine Doctor is flabbergasted. "Well, fine! Go ahead! But don’t expect me to leave you a chunk of TARDIS so you can grow your own, or anything! When we go, this whole plague-ridden planet’s going to be sealed off! Again!" he shouts. "Anything to say before I leave you to your inevitable festering doom?!"
"Sorry," mumbles the clone Doctor between kisses.
"Really?" asks the Doctor, taken aback.
"Jings!" shouts the Doctor and storms off back to the TARDIS, slamming the door behind him. Jackie and Arthur watch as the police box fades away from the shore, while the others make love in the sand.
"Actually," Jackie says at last. "That IS kinda disturbing."
The Doctor storms around the console, setting coordinates. "Right! That does it! No more of this schaltzy sentimental crap! You can all bugger off! Next stop the Hub!"
"Hang on a sec, you didn’t let me get off on Irth!" Ricky protests.
"DOES IT LOOK LIKE I CARE?!" roars the Time Lord as the TARDIS thuds to a halt. "Get out of here before I set Donna onto you!" he says, shoving Ricky down the ramp and through the doors. "Jings, I give you a brand new life in a parallel world and this is the thanks I get?!"
"Home sweet home," slurs Captain Jack as he stumbles out of the police box into the Hub where Martha and the others are present.
"You live here?" exclaims Donna. "This place is an OHS nightmare!"
"I don’t know if we’ll ever meet again, Doctor, but I better be off," Sarah decides and departs. "My son’s only 14 and I’ve left him alone for six hours, that can’t be good..."
Within 13 Kandyman Road, a rather awkward Luke lies in bed. "That was... an experience. But I promised my best friend Clyde that I would never die a virgin if I could possibly avoid it."
Lying beside him, smoking a post-coital cigarette is Spike from "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and some better-than-average episodes of Touchwood. "That’s a good philosophy, pet," he muses. "Good thing I happened to be passing, looking for the most advanced tech in Cardiff. And it’s some mad old woman in suburbia than anything Touchwood has. Typical really. So, those were the Dustbins, huh? Kind of expected them to be a tad smaller. And sound more like Smurfs..."
Back at the Touchwood Hub, the Doctor is venting his frustrations over Rose by smashing every laptop and work station he can find. "As if I’m going to allow ANYONE, let alone you bunch of emotionally-crippled nymphos, to have access to time technology! And as for YOU, Martha, the scarecrow you call a boyfriend was bad enough, but nuclear weaponry? God damn it! Buy a magazine or something!"
He turns to look at the others. "And as for the rest of you, I never want to see any of you ever again! I intend to make damn sure the TARDIS can’t turn up in this wannabe-UNIT-era, so is there ANYTHING ANY of you have to say before I leave FOREVER?!!"
"Who was that bald nutter with the toothbrush?" asks Francine.
The Doctor turns and strides back into the TARDIS with Donna, slamming the door shut after them and, moments later, it fades away with its usual piano-wire-down-a-yale-key ringtone, leaving Ianto, Gwen, Francine, Rickey and Martha rather put out.
Captain Jack laughs evilly. "Ah, forget him! I’ll got my Vortex Manipulator wristband thingie and can roam time and space to my heart’s content! ...okay, which one of you bastards stole it?"
Inside the TARDIS, the Doctor muses which desktop theme to choose to repair this damaged and quite frankly passe "Farscape industrial coral chic" option. "Where to next, ladies? How about the planet Speculum – nasty name, but it’s got mountains that sway in the breeze."
"I’m thinking of going home, really," says Donna.
"Doctor, I just wiped out an entire alien empire of death machines and saved the entire universe – you think that bitch of a mother I have has ever done that? Oh, I’m never gonna let her hear the end of this! Plus, Gramps needs looking after. I finally get it! I’m finally special! I never really believed that before, all that attitude, all that lip, all this time I never thought I was worth it. I’m wonderful, I am! Fuck what my mum says, I’m the most important woman in the entire universe! And I’m gonna prove it! Aren’t you happy for me?"
"Yeah... course..." says the Doctor lamely. "Good on ya."
The TARDIS lands in the ruined street and Donna rushes into the arms of her grandfather, determined to head back to the place where she felt worthless with the person who made feel like nothing and prove her wrong. So what if I AM crying, bitches? This is my guide!
Waving farewell, the Doctor returns to the TARDIS and takes off. "Oh well. I’ve got friends everywhere. A girl in every port. Maybe not a friend, moral compass, shoulder to cry on in every port, but girls nonetheless. Just you and me now, Jenny... Jenny? Where are you? Come on, young lady? You’re not playing hide and seek again are you?"
He then notices a post-it note on the cracked time rotor: "Dear dad, I’ve been thinking. Lavros was right, you’re a total hypocritical jerk and worse you’re going to regenerate into a bald twat who does nothing except fiddle with toothbrushes. I’ll take my own chances, frankly. I’ve nicked Jack’s Vortex Manipulator, then I’m back to Messaline and from there I’ve got the whole universe to explore. Planets to save, civilizations to rescue, creatures to defeat and an awful lot of snogging to do! PS – don’t forget to water the marijuana plants."
With all of his friends somewhere else with other people to care for, the bedraggled Doctor walks quietly around the ship, alone once more. "I’ve lost my girl, my best friend, my daughter, my ongoing earthbound line-up of recurring characters, my severed arm novelty back-scratcher, not to mention one of my regenerations. This has to be the worst Saturday I’ve had since... well, ever!"
Soaked, alone and so, so tired, the Doctor stops and leans on the console, his energy gone. The console monitor starts beeping and two Cybermen rear up behind the Time Lord.
"I," hisses the Doctor in a voice like ice, "am NOT in the mood."
The Cybermen take the hint and fade away, phasing out of existence as they plummet through the time space vortex, leaving the Doctor looking rather small in this huge machine, his eyes full of a terrible loneliness. Or sexual frustration. But probably terrible loneliness.