Thursday, November 5, 2009

7th Doctor - Alixion (ii)

Book(s)/Other Related –
Dr Who and the Bank Manager of Doom
Doctor Who Versus Big Bad Beetle Bugs
Beetlemania (Over-Excited Entomologists Editions)

Fluffs - Sylvester McCoy seemed to go cold turkey in this story.

"Ah, thank clergymen for smart god."

"Prey, be seated. Oh, wait, did I say 'prey'? I meant 'pray'. You know, religious incantation. I wasn’t saying you’re all food for a stronger predator at all. No way. Why would I want to say a thing like that? No, no, no. You’re not prey at all, especially not for any giant flesh-eating beetles. Not that denial is suspiciously specific in any way, shape or form - look, I’ll come in again..."

"Nothing would give us greater pleasure, but as you’re offering, I’ll have to put off nothing."

"Oh, Doctor, you have gone down hill. Whatever happened to the man who destroyed whole species for the greater good? He would never have let me got this far. But Time won’t have her champion for much longer. Oh this terrible waiting... Who would have thought a mere 80 minute television serial could have so much padding within it? Just get to the death scene already!"

Goofs -
What happens to all the beetles? Do they starve to death? Or do they start eating their own shit to make themselves clever enough to find a way out of that mess? Or does the new Doctor actually eat them all to sate his new ravenous hunger? Oh the bitter irony!
The Doctor’s post-regenerative eyesight - either that guy was totally smashed for the final scenes or he has a serious eye problem. It looked as if he was seeing the world from the bottom of a vodka bottle. People would lurch in and out of sight with an alarming randomness. No wonder he couldn’t pilot the TARDIS all those years - HE COULDN’T SEE THE DAMN BUTTONS! It’s a wonder the Doctor can even find the door...

Fashion Victims -
The Bank Manager’s ceremonial tinfoil helmet with coat-hangers sticking out of it at 90 degree angles and lime green PVC robe, and thoroughly deserves all the Doctor’s crap "it’s hard to break the habit, isn’t it?" jokes for three episodes.

Technobabble –
The Doctor explains he can regenerate decayed or diseased tissues by a triple helix DNA of self-replicating biogenic nano-molecules: "It’s a metamorphosis, like a butterfly... or Madonna."

Links and References -
Doctor: If I’ve got to go regenerate again, go through that miniature death one more time, I want it to be on my own terms!
Kate: What’s it like? Regenerating I mean?
Doctor: The first time I don’t remember, I was unconscious after a mass Cyberman roggering. The second time... I don’t want to talk about. Let’s just say the expression "scarecrow gangbang" was used and move on. The third time, I was unconscious after too much disco.
Kate: The fourth time?
Doctor: Atypical. There were some strange time and energy effects involved. Plus I’d just been shot through the hearts after an all-nighter of caffeine and kinder eggs.
Kate: But, you know, what does it feel like? Is it good or bad?
Doctor: Good... in the same way that having sex with household appliances very, very fast is a good feeling, until POW! Like being shoved through a window with a delicate part of your anatomy in the pop-up toaster. That’s what it was like the fifth time.
Kate: What about the sixth time?
Doctor: Unconscious. Mel, an exercise bike and a skull fracture.
Kate: How does it feel? Do you feel good because you realize you’re not going to die?
Doctor: No. You feel awful, because you KNOW you’re going to die. Again. In an excruciatingly embarrassing manner. With a bit of luck I won’t be awake for the next one either. I’ll just step onto a landmine or something and still retain SOME kind of dignity...

Untelevised Misadventures -
Kate bitches that the Doctor’s been in a right mood ever since he wiped out the Cybermen on Monday with trillions of civilian casualties – after all, that sort of genocide usually cheers him up.

Groovy DVD Extras -
A cut sequence from the final episode where the Doctor and Kate nearly get eaten by a beetle but only manage to escape by running up lots and lots of corridors. I myself cannot believe such a vital moment was removed from this incredibly intricate plot.

Dialogue Disasters -

Manager: I need your knowledge.
Doctor: I need it, too!
Manager: Oh, that’s what they ALWAYS say!

Doctor: And keep your eyes open.
Kate: For what?
Doctor: Well, anything interesting. And it always helps to keep your eyes open. You don’t bump into as many stalactites that way. Come on, my dear. Best foot forward.
(The Doctor trips and falls flat on his face.)
Doctor: Don’t. Say. A fucking. Word.

Galen: [agonized] I have finally got all I ever wanted – inner peace! In one afternoon, you and your friends seem determined to ruin it at any cost! You assholes! You’re worse than Richard Dawkins!

Manager: You’re living on borrowed time.
Doctor: Borrowed time is better than no time at all.
Manager: Tell that to a librarian. MWAHAHAHA!

Kate: Surely we’re not going to leave the monks to be slaughtered?
Doctor: We can but try!

Galen: SHUT UP! My entire life has just gone to hell in a hand basket, all thanks to you! So – just – shut – up!
Kate: I sense hostility, Galen. Do you want to talk about it?

Doctor: Just what exactly are you playing at?
Manager: A game with high stakes, Doctor.
Doctor: And how high are they?
Manager: Higher than you can comprehend. And you’re not playing any more. You’ve won the booby prize!
Doctor: actually think you’re being witty, don’t you?

New Doctor: Hey diddle diddle, the cat and the fiddle, but the cow has failed in its first attempt at a moon landing! That’s one small step for a cow, one giant leap for the beef industry... MOO!

Dialogue Triumphs -

Doctor: You can’t win, Manager. If you strike me down, I shall become more eccentric than you could possibly imagine.

Kate: So who is this evil mastermind?
Doctor: Oh, he follows the same pattern. Genius with a deviant childhood, forced to eat liver, too much vitamin A, becomes ambitious, develops a taste for power. Before you know it they're trying to take over the universe and looking for someone to gloat at. Of course, sometimes they just become bank managers. And sometimes BOTH!

Manager: O creator of all, who made us flesh and blood and immortal interest rates in your credit rating, we give thanks for the annual chance you have given us to find the one true tax dodge, the path of extended overdrafts. As we eat our food to live another day, please don’t let a giant green alien bug tear us to pieces before the close of business, for that would be rather inconvenient not to mention messy.

Doctor: Changes come slowly in human beings. Imagine what it’s like to know you might wake up, suddenly, completely different; with a new face, with a new personality! Suddenly you like jazz instead of opera; suddenly you can’t stand pears when you used to love poires en douillon; suddenly you’re convinced you’re a penguin or you’re seeing gay porn that you never used to see...
Kate: It’s not my fault you’re going to regenerate! Don’t blame ME for your screwed-up alien biology...

Richard: Your usefulness remains the same, alive or dead. The amount of elixir will remain constant.
Kate: Elixir? What’s that got to with me?
Tim: Well, we’d like to tell you, but we are all sworn to secrecy.
Kate: You’re also not supposed to talk at all!
Time: What can we say? We pick and choose which vows we uphold.
(Paul picks up a chainsaw and switches it on.)
Paul: ‘Thy shall not kill’, for example. Never believed that.

Doctor: I see the faces of every death I’m responsible for every time I sleep. Every enemy, every friend I’ve lost, every innocent I’ve failed to save. So I stopped sleeping and started taking amphetamines instead! Lateral thinking or what? Sometimes I’m appalled by my own recklessness. And other times I just giggle at it.

Kate: So, do you have a partner or something?
Doctor: How can a member of one species really know how a member of another species mind works, or how they think or feel? You’ve no frame of reference: you can only make assumptions and have beliefs. And without a common frame of reference, those are most likely to be utterly wrong.
Kate: So you’re single.
Doctor: Yes.
Kate: You know, it’s probably more down to you being a secretive little asshole with a superiority complex than just being an alien.

Doctor: All the universe is a stage, Kate. Acting’s not enough for me. I like to direct. Or improvise with some spoons and a mime act! I’ve been the manipulator for too long, moving the pawns, the chess-master. I’ve spent so long formulating my own schemes that I’ve missed the fact that there are others better versed in the art of deception and deceit. I also forget to take out the bins on garbage day.
Kate: You are definitely one high-maintenance boyfriend, aren’t you?

Doctor: I started to tire of chess a while ago. These days, I seem to be playing hopscotch.
Manager: That was a stupid mistake.
Doctor: I never make stupid mistakes. Only very, very clever ones.
Manager: ...give me strength.

The Seventh Doctor’s parting words:
"Ah, lost sanity, I remember it well... Wait, my mind plays tricks! Thou art the final neural switches that will allow mind of mine to come home to roost! But wait, these will not be my thoughts, these are the thoughts of a simpleton, albeit a hideously overweight one. Oh vile vessel of future incarnations, take flight and do not leave me looking like the fat guy from Pie in the Sky!"

UnQuotable Quote -
New Doctor: Regeneration may LOOK all glowy, magical and cathartic, but believe you me - it stings like a bitch!

Viewer Quotes -

"Not bad, I suppose. A little overwrought, perhaps? But it’s a better exit than I ever had. A bang on the head, I ask you..."
- Colin Baker on the Seventh Doctor’s regeneration (2003)

"I can’t think of anything to say."
- Cameron J Mason (2010)

"Whoa. Death by Brain Bleach! Subverted HARD!"
– average TV Tropes response (2010)

"An infuriating combination of the spellbinding and the excruciating as Sylvester McCoy brings a sense of gravitas to the role which he never quite managed before, but only when he’s bound, gagged and locked in a padded cell away from the rest of the cast." - Jo Ford (2009)

"I can’t help but love this story. I think it’s awesome, even with its strange fetish for insect fecal consumption! Okay, the story is lame, but it showed the groundwork laid for a potential spin-off product of Bug Shit Energy Drinks. Stupid, but charming." - Sarah Palin (2010)

"The witless and childish Addiction shares its faults with the worst of 80s stories! The universe is inescapably savage, human beings at their worst, heavy-handed continuity references, annoying and unlikable companions, an emancipated Doctor, and the Bank Manager is a common creep... Where is the sublime maturity, damn you? WHERE? The Seventh Doctor should travel with Romana, not some schizophrenic, neurotic and often deranged trollop!"
- Thomas Cookson (2010)

"Sylvester McCoy gets hung out to dry! Lunatics have called it his best performance as the Doctor. Bollocks is it!" - Ken Campbell (2011)

"Very witty, old man. But I’ve seen the future, and you’re not it."
- Paul McGann on Richard Griffith’s Eighth Doctor(2010)

"You wouldn’t see Richard Griffiths always moaning to his current companion about how great Kate was and how much he misses her, or being really sneering and playing 'look at that freak' with the aliens, or using the TARDIS as his companions' personal taxi service whenever she wants to go pick a fight with her mum's ex-boyfriend. Oh, RTD, you bitchy, obnoxious spoilt childish control freak, you may have nothing whatsoever to do with this repellent excess, but I hate you anyway!"
- Thomas Cookson (later that week)

"I still can’t think of anything to say."
- Cameron J Mason (a few minutes later)

Psychotic Nostalgia -

Sylvester McCoy Speaks!
"All my stories as the Doctor have such variety and interest and, thanks to the mysteries of television we can do thinks that are brilliant and wonderful and when it finally comes on television it’s some completely random bollocks about me fighting a man made out of liquorice allsorts or getting drunk with King Arthur who turns out to be the Brigadier! What the hell happened there? Still, four years as the Doctor was just about right. My one regret is that I never got to go back in time and prove that Richard III was a really nice man – but, flipping it round, at least I didn’t have to be in that Nev Fountain story like poor young Peter Davison. Narrow escape there! Hah, no, I’m not ashamed to be part of Doctor Who. Unlike SOME people, eh, Rich?"

Richard Griffiths Speaks!
"Oh, go away you Scottish troglodyte."

Julia Sawalha Speaks!
"There is a theory in drama that all you need is one REALLY good bit and people will remember that, forget the crap bits and go away raving about it. Actually that is not really a theory, I just made it up. However it IS true. Just like green alien slime from the Earth's core, this story grows on you. But fortunately doesn’t turn you into a hideous slavering monster. Quite a common complaint, that."

Trivia -
An abandoned special effect would have the Doctor’s famous question mark umbrella become an exclamation mark umbrella whenever it sensed danger but this idea was abandoned for fear it would make the audience think the Doctor’s umbrella was becoming sexually aroused in such life-or-death situations.

Rumors & Facts -

Addiction’s place in history is assured on three counts – it ends the Seventh Doctor’s era, concludes the Cartmel Master Plan and finally answers the question of whether your bank manager is pure evil from beyond the dawn of time who must be destroyed at any cost.

By mid-1990, Sylvester McCoy was strongly reconsidering his career choice – since he was now working as the main character in a TV series that the BBC refused to broadcast and, indeed, were only making as part of an incredibly intricate tax dodge. He was similarly underwhelmed at the huge fan demand that he return to the role specifically so he could be killed off in the first scene of a story and regenerate into "the cool guy from Granada’s Sherlock Holmes".

McCoy’s decision to quit was yet another horrible burden placed upon Producer John Satan-Turner, since he was just about to sneak out the back door and catch a one-way plane to Singapore finally freeing himself of this unending torment when McCoy spotted him. It was quite clear that not only were they have to go through the pointless rigmarole of recording Season 27, they also had to culminate everything in a massive climax to regenerate the Seventh Doctor!

Luckily, careful fund management and the fact they hadn’t bothered to waste any cash on sets, costumes or special effects since no one would be watching meant that 20% of the season’s budget was just lying there, waiting to be used on this season finale... or, more practically, be used on McCoy’s farewell party and make it five times as rowdy, drunken, and likely to attract police attention than Tom Baker’s farewell bash which had been dubbed "inciting a riot on an international scale contravening numerous anti-terrorism laws."

Initially, the final story of the season was going to be The Bellhop Inheritance written by Andrew Kearley. A long time fan with neither writing experience or social life, Kearley was chosen mainly because he utterly HATED the Sylvester McCoy era and Andrew Cartmel’s attempts to turn the Doctor into a quasi-mystical heartless arch-manipulating super hero right out of Alan Moore’s WATCHMEN (albeit not a bright blue nudist). Whatever his numerous faults, Kearley could be guaranteed to write the script absolutely free as long as he got to "restore the Doctor to his true, heroic and Jon Pertweesque self" and destroy any remaining sense of mystery in the show.

This epic story restored the Doctor’s impulsive idealism via cunningly being a word-for-word plagiarism of Planet of the Spy-Spoofs, The Invasion of Tim, and Death Comes to Tom. This would reveal that at the exact same moment Andrew Cartmel began script-editing the TV series, the Doctor would be possessed by the Satanic Powers of the mysterious Bellhop who ruled Ancient Gallifrey with Rassilon and Omigod. In desperation the Doctor uses his good pal Sean Connery to drain out his True SelfTM as a completely separate and independent individual...

...who immediately beat the Seventh Doctor to death, smashing his skull in with a twelve-pound lump hammer and causing him to regenerate into the Eighth Doctor who acted, looked and thought as if 1973 had yet to actually occur.

Alas, Kearley proved unable to pen the story as he began to foam at the mouth, demanding that "the Pertwee era is the only constant" resurrecting old hat and retreading old ground like the Bastard, UNIT, the Great Narrator, and the companion being a 1960s dolly bird with the IQ of a duvet cover. Kearley was finally hauled out of the production office by men in white coats. His screams of "FOOLS! Breadth and depth are POINTLESS! Doctor Who must be narrow and shallow for the TV screen! MY HOVERCRAFT IS FULL OF EELS!" were eventually muffled by chloroform.

With that plan stuffed, another fan fic writer with a pathological disgust for the Seventh Doctor was chosen – this time it was some hack by the name of Misha Lauenstein. Lauenstein’s suggestion for the season finale was Best Enema and was basically ripping off a rather mediocre Lost in Space episode.

In this story, the Bastard returned and very stupidly “flush” all of the evil out of the Seventh Doctor into a homicidal, mass-murdering, clown-molesting clone of Sylvester McCoy who immediately tried to assassinate President Flavia at the Gallifreyan Book Depository, before kidnapping geriatrics from retirement homes and making them his sex slaves. Meanwhile, the Bastard and the Seventh Doctor would roshambo each other until they fell over Niagra Falls and regenerated into Robin Hood and a random female prostitute respectively. After an awkward morning after at the VD clinic, the two enemies went their separate ways and experimented with cross-dressing.

Seemingly out of options, it was decided to rely on Return of the Animus Adversary And Its Time Weapon On A Race To the Court of Intrigue For A Viking Encounter – an epic five-episode story that combined the talents of Ben (Rememberin’ to Take Out The Dustbins) Aaaaronovitch, Big (The Chess of Fenric) Ian, along with Donald (The Piss Takers) Cotton, Jon (The Mascara) Lucaratti and Bill (The Weird Planet) Sutton in one gigantic complex across all of time and space.

The story concerned the Doctor and Ace discovering a salmonella outbreak in contemporary London is actually down to aliens. This proves rather boring, so the dimension-transcending duos catch a lift on a giant spaceship heading for the warzone between Dekk and Hendra IV where some other aliens are arguing, whereupon the Wine Peddler, some Slurpies and a radioactive toilet roll combine in an alliance destroy all of time and space before Ace accidentally explodes her stockpile of Nitro-9, killing absolutely everybody and causing the Doctor to regenerate into his next incarnation.

The fact that this story had been written, let alone considered for production, shows what depths of depression and despair the Doctor Who production team had fallen into over the last year.

Luckily... VERY luckily... hell, borderline-miraculously... there was one other script around, Addiction by Robert Mukherjee. Mukherjee first pitched the idea of a religious order dependant on insect fecal matter in 1989, but the story idea required much work to shape it to the required format and also decide which sort of bug crap would be the most thematically appropriate.

Used to the freedom of theatre and uncertain what one of these new-fangled "script editors" was, Mukherjee took some time to mould his ideas and approaches in accordance with a producer’s overview and the specific needs of a slot in a season. Alas, by the time he’d finished it, Doctor Who had been taken off the air. D’oh!

Mukherjee was pretty pissed off about this, having spent ages re-treading the narrative ground of Doctor Who rather than using the formulaic essence to come up with a story best described as "Bertie Basset Takes Shit From No-One only more blue-coloured". Mukherjee had spent ages coming up with the ultimate nemesis for the Seventh Doctor, a sinister human being who was highly manipulative, ahead of the game, with an insight into events and a love for cocktails, a mastermind character best described as "the Bastard only if he was bank manager played by Bob Monkhouse".

There were some strong feelings that maybe everyone was being overly harsh on Return of the Animus Adversary And Its Time Weapon On A Race To the Court of Intrigue For A Viking Encounter, and maybe they should consider working with what they had.

Cartmel remained confident over Addiction; he had always been keen on avoiding stories where the Doctor and companion arbitrarily arrived on different planets and strange beings running up and down lots of corridors – so one can only wonder what the hell he was thinking commissioning a story based SOLELY on that premise. Apparently, as long as there was a "dramatic core" involved, he could break his own rules as much as he liked.

Out of Addiction’s drunken collage of chase sequences, battles of wits and a sneaking suspicion that all energy drinks come from the asses of invertebrates, something approaching a proper plot appeared. Alas, Mukherjee ultimately went entirely overboard with originality and overturned the entire format of the show by killing off the Seventh Doctor and replacing him with the Richard Griffiths incarnation. Since this was precisely what the production team wanted, they weren’t fussed – though they were slightly annoyed that some hack writer was telling THEM who to cast as the Eighth Doctor.

"Richard Griffiths has those eyes!" Mukherjee would tell anyone who would listen. "Eyes that see more than what they’re looking at! I KNOW WHEREOF I SPEAK!"

The production team were apparently so taken by Mukherjee’s deranged enthusiasm they immediately decided to make the Griffiths the Eighth Doctor in lieu of the other more-qualified candidates like David Troughton, Edward Peel-Smith, Robert Hardy or Danny la Rue. Well, there might have been another story behind their decision, but I can’t be arsed to research it and, hell, Mukherjee sounds convincing to me.

Some people complain the Griffiths Doctor is lightweight compared to McCoy, but you can’t ALWAYS be a planet destroying sad sack can you? Sometimes you have to take pleasure in the little things like food, shoes and having it off with some fit blonde behind the catering van during filming. I know I do.

Addiction would prove to be, by far the darkest story of Season 27. OK, it was a downright parody of everything Doctor Who stood for and based entirely on the premise that Bob Monkhouse cracking one liners as very unconvincing animatronic beetles chase people up and down corridors, but it was VERY POORLY-LIT. Hence, while it may not have been incredibly disturbing and outlandish, it WAS dark.

This three-part story was not only the final story for Sylvester McCoy, but also for JST and Andrew Cartmel – intending to either get work on BBC2 that would actually get broadcast, like adaptations of Derek Tanguye’s sexual memoirs, or else die in a suicide pact. JST’s final decision as producer was to tell Richard Griffiths, an actor he had first considered for the role as the Doctor almost a decade earlier, to stop blocking the goddamned doorway already and allow people to get through.

JST made a touching farewell speech when the final scene was recorded: "In the words of the Doctor, this is the end, the contract has not been renewed. My record-breaking involvement with Doctor Who is at an end after ten long years... NOW LEAVE ME ALONE, YOU UNGRATEFUL ANORAK-CLAD WANKER SON OF BITCHES’ BITCHES’ BASTARD!"

Season 27 Wrap-Up -

When the BBC took Doctor Who off the air but continued making it, no one sane thought that the ratings share would improve. But then, when was anyone sane working at the BBC? The fact that the show was now giving out a steady performance of 0 viewers rather than see-sawing in popularity made many dub Season 27 "a significant year of rip-roaring success" – but, unfortunately, it had still somehow faded in the public’s affection since they hadn’t seen it for two years.

By December 3, 1990, production manager Ian Fraser was made Doctor Who’s tenth and final producer by virtue of everyone else having buggered off ages ago. Fraser was confident that, as the head of a "newly-repopularised" series, the only way could be up and was certain that he would achieve global fame, stardom, and anorexia nervosa!

Fraser felt little need to modify JST’s repertory team of designers, directors and other personnel – mainly because they’d all left as well and he was the only one in the studio. Meanwhile, press statements from the BBC were increasingly vague; not only were they unwilling to comment on what was happening to Doctor Who, they weren’t prepared to admit that Doctor Who had ever existed. Why, the argument went, should they put any more effort into in-house production when

a) many of the BBC’s most successful shows were now made independently?
b) no one was willing to make the fucking show anyway?

Ultimately, it would be over twenty years before the recordings of Live Aid, Thin Ice, Sale of the Century and Addiction were released to the public. Dedicated followers were grateful that, having survived Survival, the Seventh Doctor finally had a farewell story! Hang out a bunting! Declare a holiday! Build a dome! Or not.

No longer does some inconclusive guff about cheetahs end the original classic series, but now viewers have scenes that define Doctor Who in the public eye – well, apart from Dustbins and Cybermen at war, evil moving statues, and David Tennant sleeping with 80% of the audience. Apart from that, ask anyone and they’ll tell you about aliens at Stonehenge, cat burgler assistants, and... no, wait, still talking about RTD. I give up.

Even fans forget about these stories, which started off the show’s fourth decade with shite Monty Python gags, Ice Cream Vendors, an evil bank manager and a sci-fi free thriller of drug smuggling and armed sieges so unrealistic they made Edge of Darkness look like The Bill. Frankly, I’m glad no one saw these till now and if I could, I’d make sure no one ever did! TRENCHCOAT IS CANON, FUCK IT!

Finally, since 1988, script editor Andrew Cartmel had been rewriting what was left of the mythos of Doctor Who to make it appeal to people like Alan Moore, Stephen Baxter and Noel Edmonds. Writers from Mark Plate to Big Ian to Ben Aaaaronovitch found themselves inducted into a strange Masonic-style order known as the Cartmel Masterplan, which would change Doctor Who forever.

After three years of basically being given a pile of Sandman comics with orders to "rip this shit off", Cartmel realized that Season 27 would be his last and all of his Masterplan merely amounted to a few weird mutterings about the Seventh Doctor being Cthulu Jones, had murdered his prior incarnation with a lethal electric joy-buzzer, and that Time Lords never had sex because some old woman put them off the idea of biological reproduction forever (apparently based on a painful childhood memory of Cartmel’s, and designed to make Who fans feel a bit better that they can never get laid).

Thus, the final scene of the story would have a final glimpse of the Seventh Doctor and his dealing with the Gods of the Time Lords, a scene that revealed entirely what the Cartmel Masterplan REALLY was a career plan to get headhunted as script editor for Casualty. Everything else was just poppycock to keep everyone else baffled!

Excerpt from "Doctor Who And The Addictive Asteroid" Episode 3:

(Setting: The Doctor wakes up lying under a tree in verdant countryside beside a lake. Birds flutter in the trees and rabbits hop through the bushes. He looks around, startled.)

Doctor: What do I look like? Have I been dead long?

(An attractive young Goth chick with unnaturally pale skin in black top, jeans and silver ankh chain is leaning against a tree.)

Death: It’s about time, wily raven. I’ve waited long enough!

Doctor: Death? I’m dead? After 964 years in the business? How undignified! I’ll never hear the end of it! Funny, dying didn’t hurt as much as last time. I must be getting good at it...

Death: You might be dead now, but Number Eight has taken your place. The Doctor’s not done suffering yet...

Doctor: Goodness, what do you Eternals think I’ve been doing down there? Watching Emmerdale Farm? I’ve suffered enough!

Death: Oh, you haven’t seen half of it. They’ve got big plans for your new manifestation.

Doctor: How big, Grim Reaperess?

Death: They’ll write tragedies on what happens. You, however, the Seventh Doctor, have a burial plot all picked out in the Land of Sacrificed Cult TV Icons. Your ass is mine.

Doctor: I don’t wish to be rude, Death, but I *was* hoping for some rest.

Death: Well, if that’s what you want. Or...

Doctor: ...or?

Death: ...or maybe we could spend the next chunk of eternity making out like pre-pubescent rabbits?

(The Doctor stares at Death for a long moment.)

Doctor: (Clears throat and checks no one is watching) D’you think that Time might be disposed towards a threesome, mayhaps?

Death: (Shrugs.) Only if Pain gets to watch.

(The Doctor leaps to his feet and takes Death’s arm.)

Doctor: Oh, why not? Mind you, Death, it *has* been a long time... Will you promise me something?

Death: What?

Doctor: *Don’t* be gentle with me.

Death: Oh, we won’t.

(The pair walk off towards the lake silhouetted by the setting sun.)

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