Serial 7W/N – A Dearth in the Fanon
An Extract From The EC Unauthorized Guide O' Projections
D O C T O R W H O
Serial 7W/N – A Dearth in the Fanon
In the previous fanwank-fermenting episode of Doctor Who, Hex told his old pals the Doctor and Ace that they could get fucked and stormed off in a huff to get very, very stoned.
Hmmm. Seemed more impressive at the time.
Returning to the TARDIS, the Doctor and Ace were, to put it lightly, utterly gobsmacked when they found the rotund figure of the Eighth-Doctor-Who-Never-Was, AKA The Richard Griffiths Doctor, waiting for them beside the console.
And so, the demented soap saga continuums...
"This," the Seventh Doctor announces, "could be a problem. Meeting myself is something I’m very much not supposed to do. Meeting versions of myself who don’t actually exist outside speculative and spurious magazine articles is a DEFINITE no-no!"
"Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will brutally murder every single cornerstone of reality if you two don’t buck your ideas up and listen to me!" snaps the Griffiths Doctor, whacking them both over the head with his cane, Three-Stooges Style.
The Griffiths Doctor explains that when the Seventh Doctor and Ace rushed out of the TARDIS to save Hex from fatally overdosing on oregano and smack, they foolishly neglected to switch off the Transdimensional Sony Trinatron Total Image Screen. This incredibly dangerous visualization device has thus been perceiving the nature of unfathomably different dimensions for days on end, eroding the barriers that divide the mutifaceted jewel of the omniverse.
This, the Griffiths Doctor notes, is a BAD thing.
"I shouldn’t be hearing any of this!" the Seventh Doctor shouts, running around with his fingers in his ears. "It’s bad enough that we’re both here at all!"
"Your 'What If?' machine has been tuned to the very edge of the multiverse as we know it! It’s like how life on land with deer and birds and rabbits all seem normal and natural, but in the sea life becomes stranger and weirder with eels and fish and whales. You’ve opened a gateway to the very, very bottom of the sea, where creatures defy everything we know or ever want to know – hideous, transparent, inside out sponges and squids... mmm... squid..." explains the Griffiths Doctor, now prowling the oversized control room for any decent food in a grip of 5-dimensional munchies.
"So, you’re saying something’s entered our reality from where all the wild things are?" Ace translates.
"Quite so," the Griffiths Doctor explains. "Like me, he’s an Eighth Doctor who never will be – but unlike me, he’s an anthropomorphic personification of a first draft, unanchored to any kind of continuity as we could conceive it. A being so badly characterized he could alter the entire world with a spelling mistake!"
The Seventh Doctor pauses in trying to prevent his possibly-never-successor from eating all the pies as the horror of the threat sinks in: "But that means his abilities and powers will increase exponentially simply because it’s completely ridiculous!"
Yes, the more unrealistic and unbelievable this being becomes, the more dangerous he becomes, and before long credulity itself will snap he will become unstoppable!
With everything on tenterhooks and the audience on the edges of their respective furniture, it’s probably the best time to completely change the subject and focus entirely on the B-plot.
Hex, meanwhile, is wandering through the evacuated London when he stumbles across a refreshment van run by a mad old Catherine Tate character who has somehow survived not only the zombie plague but also a neutron missile strike. How she managed this feat is left unknown as no one can stand her long enough to find out how.
Gripped by the munchies, Hex offers "Ann the Van" a pile of gold doubloons in return for lots of foot and NOT TALKING TO HIM! Soon, our beloved stoner is chilled out, trying to feed the ducks in the pond but getting confused and ends up snorting breadcrumbs.
There he is approached by a strange man with long hair, a goatee and bitching sunglasses who immediately starts asking incredibly personal questions about Hex’s sex life and if he’s still a virgin.
"Dude, I found out some horrible things about my mam, found out my friend has been totally keeping me in the dark because he’s a real control freak and just as I realize this loony with a question mark umbrella is in charge of my life YOU turn up and start asking if I’ve got any genital piercings? Screw you, man!"
The man laughs cheerfully for forty-three seconds and then suddenly tries to force an apple down Hex’s throat.
Back in the TARDIS, the Seventh Doctor is assuring Ace that the chances Hex might be getting into trouble are so unlikely as to be virtually impossible.
He then realizes this virtually guarantees Hex is in danger.
The Griffiths Doctor sighs and head-butts the wall in despair.
At the duck pond, Hex continues to retreat from the disturbing sexual advances of the mysterious goateed sex offender. "Hexy-boy wants to know who I am? Where to start? Ah-ha, yes, here we go: the most important truth you never learned – you are a stupid little monkey and I am the Doctor! When the chips are down, I only ever think about my own revolting libido! I’ve seen it all: the past, your future, Nimrod, your ‘mam’ - all of it! Seen it and sold the videos as hardcore porn!"
"For fuck’s sake, man, put your trousers back on!" Hex screams.
"You’re GAGGING for it, Hexy-boy! Your mother suffered, lived like an animal for years, was brainwashed into doing very bad things and then she died a horrible death. Don’t tell me that doesn’t turn you on?"
Hex shoves the lunatic into a pond and tries to drown him – but this is a creature who’s grasp of continuity is so poor he can’t drown with lungs full of water. Instead, he effortlessly breaks free with super-strength (which he may or may not have), laughing like a madman.
"How odd, yet how cool. Neat isn’t it?" laughs the Jeremy Banks-Walker Doctor, bristling with pure, unadulterated, transatlantic ham!
At the bomb crater formally known as Touchwood HQ, the two Doctors are working on building a super-duper Nth-Doctor-defeating gizmo with soldering irons, bent coat-hangers, some dental floss and some car speakers Ace stole from a nearby car.
The Banks-Walker Doctor arrives, having decided to come dressed in one of Jo Grant’s old miniskirts and his hair in pigtails for reasons best left unexplored. Clutching a bottle of cheap wine, he toasts his new apparel: "Perfect, smart, elegant and inconspicuous, not at all like my former, BBC-sanctified selves!"
The two Doctors look up new arrival, rather unimpressed.
"My-my, but I am quite a contrast to you, my seventh persona! I’m gentle, kind, spiritual, warm, instantly likeable - plus I look just like that Bruce Baumgartner from Babylon 5! And I don’t wear such a hideously obvious item as a question mark pullover sweater! This is just the sort of outfit this persona needs! Good god, you make me want to throw up, you ugly little gnome!"
"You seem rather lofty, condescending and bland to me..."
"Bland? Pah! I’m precisely the sort of intriguing character that BBC Wales is desperately crying out for! I’d bet a Formaisian Florin on it! Don’t you agree?"
"No," the Griffiths Doctor yawns. "We don’t."
"Too bad," the intruder replies, pulling out the Star Trek phaser he carries due to poor beta-editing. "Now, I shall execute you for crimes against the universe!"
The Seventh Doctor points out that if he is killed here and now, there can be no Eighth Doctor and thus the Jeremy Banks-Walker incarnation is completely impossible with no timeline.
"So you want to play hardball, eh?" the Nth Doctor sneers. "Well, it simply isn’t cricket and I am no space-time-beholden-slave-to-canon-matter-ape-meat-puppet like you! I am an unanchored casual intervention in the fandom of the universe, and with my every demented action I jeopardize the whole of established continuity! HAPPY DAYS!"
Even during this little chat, the Jeremy-Banks-Doctor is being granted more and more power over reality until he can stop the world spinning, tell the sun when to shine
"What can I say?" he laughs. "Some people hit the ground running. I hit the ground driving a Porsche! You can grovel if you want because the latest news is this - Sunny weather with a remote chance of rain later on; current temperature 23 Celsius; relative Humidity 23%; wind speed 2 Knots coming from the South East; and the chance Of Horrific World-Destroying Disasters are at 100%!"
However, during this little chat, the Seventh Doctor has also hacked into the Wiki-Box, the trans-galactic internet encyclopedia and accessed every related article that links to his own gigantic and complicated wiki-page. Filtering it through his own consciousness, the Seventh Doctor can project the entire "History of Doctor Who" article at the evil Nth Incarnation and annihilate him where he stands.
Being basically rather clueless, the alternate Doctor doesn’t realize he’s in danger until the Seventh Doctor activates the gizmo and the Nth Doctor is swamped by an article so huge, so contradictory, yet singular and coherent, so desperately needing citation, that the evil Valeyard-wannabe doesn’t stand a chance!
Hell, Jeremy Banks-Walker isn’t actually a real actor, he’s just some names nicked off the cover of the Fourth Doctor Handbook! Faced with such crushing inevitable truth, the evil Time Lord can only scream:
"Just a thought: I AM WHAT DOCTOR WHO *SHOULD* BE!!!!!"
In an instant, he is blasted out of existence, leaving only his stupid whalebone sunglasses lying on the ground.
Unfortunately, channeling all that data through the Seventh Doctor’s brain has burnt out his cerebral cortex and killed him stone dead. The Griffiths Doctor laughs evilly and rubs his hands with glee – by destroying the Seventh Doctor’s mind rather than his body, he is destined to regenerate not into a Paul McGann version but a Richard Griffiths version. The Griffiths Doctor is now canon!
Hex wanders up and, still sober enough to use his basic paramedic skills to note the Seventh Doctor is dead. Properly dead. D-E-A-D. He’s stone dead, definitely deceased, bleeding demised, off the twig. Bereft of life, he rests in peace.
Nevertheless, Ace and the Griffiths Doctor have their doubts.
"Look, mate, I know a dead Time Lord when I see one and I’m looking at one now! That’s what I call a dead Time Lord – he is no more. He has ceased to be, he’s expired and gone to meet his maker, he is a stiff, his metabolic processes are now history!"
After half an hour passes without the Seventh Doctor regenerating, it seems Hex is right – the Doctor has kicked the bucket, shuffled off his mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleeding choir invisible. THIS! IS AN EX!!! TIME LORD!
"Now that’s what I call a dead Doctor," Hex concludes.
The Griffiths Doctor realizes there’s no point crying over spilt bovine lactose – destroying the Jeremy Banks-Walker timeline has corrupted, changed and replaced the Doctor’s until canon insists he died here and now in every program guide ever.
"Bullshit," Ace protests, but to no avail.
Causality is straightening out and the universe will soon retcon itself into submission and the Griffiths Doctor will vanish in a puff of logic. Leaving the corpse of the Seventh Doctor lying face down in the mud, the trio hastily run for it before the police arrive.
Returning to the TARDIS, the Griffiths Doctor decides that he wants to make sure that Ace and Hex have as unpleasant a time as he will now everything’s buggered up. Ace is far from impressed at "Tubby’s" stoic acceptance of the inevitable and tells him to get his oversized botty into gear and save the REAL Doctor’s life.
"Young lady, are you insinuating that I’m somehow portly?" asks the Griffiths Doctor, nonplussed. "And if you think I’m going to go back, crack the very foundations of time and save that gargling Scottish hobgoblin than you are very much mistaken!"
Ace insists that they must do what’s best for the most – and ergo piss off the least amount of the Big Finish audience, I guess. "There are millions of people, all across the internet, who need us to be there, to give their empty lives meaning," she insists. "Stuff the timelines – that’s what’s important!"
The Griffiths Doctor stares at her and announces he thinks she needs to stop traveling in the TARDIS and try and get some kind of social life: "Human beings burn bright and quick – joy, friendship, hope, love. You don’t have to become old and hard and cold. Not like you did in the New Adventures!"
The TARDIS arrives on the jungle planet Menrox, billions of years away from anything remotely approaching the UNIT era. The Griffiths Doctor kicks Hex out the doors and into the swamp.
"This planet could be a blank canvas for you, Hex - a whole new start. Or you might just starve to death here or get eaten by all the no-doubt-ferocious jungle animals. But there are plenty of freaky fungi here you can chew to your heart’s content and blow your mind inside out again. I can offer you that much."
The Griffiths Doctor turns to Ace, but all the advice he can think to give her is to take care of herself, make friends and stop using pipe-bombs to blow up everyone she disagrees with.
"And eat well, lots of fruit and veg - like this lime for example. An excellent source of vitamin C, the lime. We can’t have you getting scurvy, can we? Mmm. Actually, still feeling a bit puckish and if anyone deserves a last meal, it’s me..."
But time is reorganizing itself and the Griffiths Doctor fades out of existence in a process he admits he finds surprisingly erotic. Hex watches him disappear, but as he’s already munching on some shrooms assumes this one bitching hallucination and wanders off, giggling.
"Sod this for a game of soldiers," Ace snaps and storms off into the TARDIS, taking off to travel through time and space until she finds a reset button big enough to bring the Seventh Doctor back to life.
Alas, despite her Time Lady heritage Ace is nevertheless a woman driver and immediately crash-lands the TARDIS into the White Rabbit pub, one year after the events of the previous episode.
Wasting no time, Ace immediately mugs a passing Nigel Verkoff and steals his copy of "The Betty & Veronica Lezz It Up Annual 2027" and uses it as notepaper for her plan to resurrect the Doctor. However, after her attempts to "persuade" a cash point with a spanner set the police onto her, she is forced to turn to Nigel for help.
Help which is he is more than happy to provide in returned for used pairs of Ace’s knickers. He CLAIMS its acceptable currency in this day and age, but I dunno...
"I know this is a little bit insane, but meeting you last week was possibly the most interesting, and sexually peculiar, thing that’s happened to me for at least two weeks," Nigel explains. "I don’t suppose you’d like to mud-wrestle my stepsister naked in a vat of orange jello, by any chance?"
Ace smiles patronizingly at him and waves the spanner menacingly.
Nigel gets the hint. For once.
Hex, meanwhile, is strolling through the forests of Menrox singing Dropkick Murphy songs to himself when he bumps into a senile octogenarian hag called Evelyn Smythe. A former companion of the Sixth Doctor, she was eventually dumped on this alien hellhole for reasons too convoluted and rather clichéd to go into here.
As Hex is stoned out of his head and Evelyn is so demented she barely knows what time it is they get on like a house on fire. Convinced they are both in Kansas, the duo stumble off to the share house through the trees for a nice hot cup of tea and more hallucinogenic fungus.
"Good gracious," Evelyn mumbles as she eventually realizes Hex is the son of Cassie Schofield, but it’s weeks before her short-term memory is functional enough to remember why this is important.
Back on Earth, Ace has monopolized the UNIT hotline and forced Nigel at spanner-point to pay a £12,000 phone bill (though admittedly that’s not a lot of money nowadays) – but got absolutely nowhere. UNIT refuse to hand over the Time Lord’s well-decomposed corpse, even to his next of kin and frankly are thinking of taking a restraining order out on Miss McShane if she keeps this harassment up.
With Touchwood destroyed, the exclusion order preventing her from visiting 13 Kandyman Parade, and the fact all the UNIT-era characters are dead of old age this far in the future means that Ace and Nigel are pretty much on their own and simultaneously pretty much stuffed.
Next, Ace and Nigel spectacularly fail to break into the GPO Tower on the off-chance the Doctor’s corpse might have been stuffed into a store cupboard. This is particularly annoying as this is actually where the corpse IS being held – but not even Nigel’s hilarious Pakistani accent can fool the mechanical mind of WOTAN 7: Not Before I’ve Had My Coffee.
WOTAN 7 gives them a rather insulting text message pointing out that their plan of reviving the Doctor by attaching electrodes to his nipples and attaching them to an electric exercise bike wouldn’t have worked anyway and to stop pissing about.
At her lowest ebb, Ace finally sleeps with Nigel...
In a piece of republican back-tracking up there with denying the holocaust and Moffat insisting the New Paradigm Dustbins are just "an officer class", it turns out that was all just another false reality being viewed on the Transdimensional Sony Trinatron Total Image Screen.
Yes, the lusty Nigel is peering into other dimensions where Ace was desperate enough to bonk someone like him!
This proves to be just the brainwave Ace needs to work out the solution to this retarded four-parter! She orders Nigel to go onto his crappy, self-pitying live journal account and write an incredibly detailed and pornographic vignette about Ace, the more wildly-inaccurate and fanboy-pleasing the better.
"Never fear, Dorothy," Nigel replies smoothly, "for here is one I just happened to have prepared earlier!"
Ace is delighted... but also kind of creeped out as well.
The pneumatic pair retune the Transdimensional Sony Trinatron Total Image Screen to the far distant and improbable-bordering-on-brain-shatteringly-impossible dimension where Nigel’s revolting wank fantasy is pure, unadulterated canon.
Instantly the fabric of reality buckles and shatters apart, allowing a parallel Ace to emerge from the infinite alt. universal flux. There are some Aces who became Time’s Vigilante, others who reshaped the legacy of the Time Lords, still more who died in a nasty incident involving nitro-9 and a giant flea... but THIS Ace has all the godlike powers and abilities of the Sexual Toymaker!
"It all makes sense in context," this parallel Ace explains, before adding "Probably. Maybe."
Ace appeals to her quantum-unrealized self to use her godlike powers to restore the Seventh Doctor to perfect health, alive and well and none of the old monkey-paw-fine-print nonsense.
The alt-Ace considers for a moment. "No. I won’t do that. I’m NOT going to resurrect the Doctor, and if I DID resurrect him I wouldn’t do it for YOU. And if I was going to resurrect ANYONE it WOULDN’T be the Seventh Doctor. Because he deserves to stay dead, and if he DIDN’T deserve to stay dead, I wouldn’t resurrect him ANYWAY! I’m not GOING to resurrect the Doctor, and I probably won’t resurrect ANYONE under any circumstances EVER! SO THERE!"
Having thoroughly confused absolutely everyone, the Sexual Toymakeress snaps her fingers and a group of boy scouts on a day trip to the GPO tower are taken aback when the Seventh Doctor, alive and well, bursts out of the store cupboard, rolling his Rs louder than ever!
There is, however, an ever-so-slight drawback to this as this tampering with the nature of cause and effect has allowed the Nth Doctor to slip back into reality. How, I hear you ask? Well, that’s the point – it’s so hideously random and unlikely that it was bound to happen, when you think about it.
After being completely fucked up by the Wiki-Box, the Jeremy Banks-Walker Doctor has been forced to regenerate into the Anthony Robbins Doctor – just as pathetic, just as out of character, just as sexually obscene... but this time, he looks like Basil Rathbone in a seventies porn moustache rather than Jason Alexander in bitching shades.
The Nth Doctor, boasting even more spurious super powers than before, effortlessly teleports into the TARDIS to confront his enemies. Most terrifyingly of all, he’s forgotten to teleport his clothes with him!
However, the naked old man is also flakey, indecisive and apathetic and interested in corrupting circus midgets and no one present is particularly intimidated by such an obvious loser.
"Be warned, child, I have matured and learned from past mistakes! I’m down-to-Earth, and at heart don’t want adventures in time or space but want the simple and rewarding life of an urban pimp, corrupting young circus midgets to bestiality... It’s time for ME to enjoy the perverse and sadistic delights of the universe, not the other way round!"
The creepy old man advances on our heroes.
"Starting with YOU!"
"Try it, psycho-boy," Ace warns, picking up her baseball bat.
The Anthony Robbins Doctor sneers at her. "You cannot harm me – I am pure fan fiction wrapped into an indestructible photo-shopped avatar! A canonical matter creature like you causing me even the SLIGHTEST harm is an idea so ludicrous that..."
Alas, the Nth Doctor has fallen into Ace’s trap! Since it would be utterly ridiculous for Ace to be able to harm the Nth Doctor, she thus can do that and immediately breaks both the old man’s kneecaps with her baseball bat while Nigel beats him over the head with a Martian bedpan.
"All right, I admit, I may have not thought this through," splutters the Anthony Robbins incarnation through a gushing nose bleed. "Don’t mind me, I see the light. Hallelujah!"
"You want to play games?" leers the sinister alternate Ace, grabbing the Nth Doctor by his bollocks. "Let’s see how many games you’re up to – and there is NO safety word in my domain!"
"Not yet!" screams the Sherlock Holmes wannabe as he is dragged out of the physical universe into a distant parallel of the Sexual Toyroom. "I’M FLAWLESS, I TELL YOU! I PUT TV DOCTORS IN THE SHADE!"
"You wanna come along for the ride?" alt-Ace offers Nigel.
"Any port in a storm," Nigel replies nonchalantly, before doing a strange victory dance and screaming "HA! IN YOUR FACE, CIVILIZED SOCIETY! I’VE SCORED!!!" before jumping after the others through the spatio-temporal rift which immediately seals.
The real Ace is left alone in the TARDIS, boggling at what a weird day it’s been so far when the revived Seventh Doctor enters demanding what in the name of Rassilon’s DVD box-set of "Sharpe" is going on?
"I was dead, and now I’m not. A spatio-temporal intervention and physical resurrection like that would be something that the most brilliant scientific genius would balk at... something amusing you, Ace? No? Then stop giggling! Remember – you’re the one with the big mouth and the baseball bat who makes witty comments while beating up Cybermen. I am the one who does all the masterful plans and Hex holds the coats... well, when he’s not so stoned he still has motor functions anyway. Where IS Hex, by the way?"
Yeah, good question! Because back at the share-house, Hex is living the life he’s always wanted – he’s so ripped off his tits he hasn’t blinked for two months and he’s working through the zero-grav Karma Sutra with Evelyn’s slutty housemate who is a dead ringer for Alyson Hannigan. Meh, it’s audio, I can pretend she looks like whoever I damn well please!
Evelyn meanwhile keeps herself entertained by reciting the plots of Emmerdale Farm to herself in a boring monotone with a thick Swahili accent for a reason that none of the other members of the commune can possibly reason out. Instead, Hex and Alyson spend their time collecting body parts left from the innumerable spaceships that crash into Menrox and fashion them into cricket bats.
One day in Autumn, while they turn an Ice Cream Vendor’s leg, a Dustbin squeegee and a Cyberman iron will into a crude wicket, Hex and his new bird are taken aback when the TARDIS arrives and the Doctor and Ace emerge, eager to get back to normal adventures in time and space.
"Doctor dude, aren’t you like... totally and utterly no-returns dead?" asks Hex blearily, puffing on a joint.
"Oh, I’ve had closer shaves than that, Mister Hex."
"Guess so. Only it seems to me, just recently, they’ve been getting closer and closer, all the time. Do you, like, believe in Death? You know, the Grim Reaper. Bloke with a scythe. Cos if he IS, like, real, I reckon he’ll be gnarly mad with us for cheating him all the time. Mad, yeah, and gettin’ madder. Very bogus."
"I don’t follow you."
"OH, MAN, I AM SO FUCKING STONED!" Hex sobs, collapsing in the middle of giving the Doctor a bear-hug and passing out with a giggle.
As they drag their companion aboard the TARDIS, the Doctor notes that Ace is looking (and feeling) a little solemn, as though this adventure has had any kind of long-term affect on her characterization which hasn’t moved a bloody inch since 1989.
Ace takes a deep breath. "Don’t you think it’s all a bit... old? The secrets, the lies, the schemes, the story arcs. What good does it do? We lie and manipulate and everything turns out all right in the end as long as we can angst about it. Aren’t you getting bored with the same old shit, day in, day out, story after story, year after year? DON’T YOU EVER YEARN FOR CHANGE?"
"Not particularly, no."
"Fair enough. Let’s hit the road."
Back on Menrox, as Evelyn potters around the share house it is repossessed by the Morrain Student Accommodation Company PLC and turned into a luxurious prison cell for the ancient war criminal and part-time Knight of Vaseline, Sancroff the Cool Person. Being the only person the Morrains know of half as demented as Sancroff, Evelyn is allowed to share his exile for the increasingly brief periods she is sentient enough to be aware of it.
Suddenly there is a flash and a wild-haired, green-eyed lunatic appears in the living room. Yes, the Nth Doctor has used his powers of poor logic and flawed continuity to escape – and regenerated into absolute fucking foam-at-the-mouth psychopath! He may have face of Vincent Perez, but he maintains he’s the played by renowned 21st Century French porn star Laurent Meyer.
"Just call me Lazarus returning from beyond the grave! Yes, Ms. Smythe, I’m back and making up for lost time! I’ll never make the mistake of showing any mercy to anyone or anything ever again! Life is more trouble than it’s worth and so I will destroy it all – kill everything in reality and then violate the corpse! Such necrophilia WILL SET ME UP ABOVE THE GODS – then I’ll kill them and rape their twitching corpses as well!"
"That’s nice, Johnny," says Evelyn kindly.
"Yes, everything that crawls, grows, wiggles and swims in all of reality! Bang! The whole lot – past, present and future - finished, kaput, finnito-complete-o GONE! Then the orgy of the Uncanonical Tenth Doctor commences! How’s that for a plan?"
"Would you be a dear and make me a cup of tea?"
"OI! GRANDMA! I will be the first being in the whole multiverse to commit ultra-cide! A billion to the power of a billion living things wiped out, annihilated, eradicated and obliterated. BY ME! Let’s see some Scottish twat in trainers beat that! OOOH, NIRVANA!"
But Evelyn just keeps chatting idly to herself about the developments on Emmerdale Farm. Gripped with truly amazing senile dementia, she blandly accepts absolutely everything she sees and hears, meaning that everything the Nth Doctor says and does is completely credible!
EVELYN SMYTH IS KRYPTONITE TO THE CANADIAN DOCTOR WHO PROJECT!
(And yes, feel free to quote that entirely out of context.)
"What in the blue blazes is going on here?!?" wails the Laurent Meyer Doctor miserably as his grip on reality shrinks away into nothingness. There is no way out for this stunted Mary Sue or his living synthetic reality and as Evelyn natters on and on about her bunion, the Nth Doctor and his unimaginative Canadian backstory boil out existence.
"Oh dear," sighs an observer standing in the undergrowth nearby. "And he had such potential." The middle-aged, tweed-clad man who looks uncannily like Robert Hardy widens his eyes in horrified realization as he gasps, "Does that mean there can only be ONE true continuity?"
The Bullseye Books version of the Eighth Doctor winks at the audience, bids them goodnight and ducks into a police box which promptly dematerializes with a nostalgic, backward-looking, televisually narrow and shallow version of the theme tune...
Book(s)/Other Related –
Doctor Who: A Twat In The Family
Dr Who & The Crisis in Infinite Continuities
"Where Utter Fuckwits Are Made" by Arnold T Blumberg
Fluffs - Sylvester McCoy seemed knackered in this story.
"I have a horrible can I’ve just opened a very nasty worms of feeling!"
How does the Seventh Doctor know Evelyn is marooned on Menrox when the Ninth Doctor is the one that chloroformed and dumped her unconscious body there? Is it just something that’s always been on his "To Do List" and he assumed he would get round to it eventually?
Fashion Victims -
The only thing worse when the Jeremy Banks-Walker Doctor’s dressing up as Jo Grant or wandering about in the nude is when he’s wearing that midnight-blue waistcoat with silver stars that rearrange themselves into different shapes from rose petals, prison arrows, butterflies and then obscene pornographic doodles of Bilurian lust.
"Unlocking drives and disengaging presets... reverse the directional thingy and flip back the temporal runner... bring up full manual control... Uh-oh. Seems that I have pressed the wrong button, I admit it! I am UN-pressing it! SEE ME UN-PRESS IT! Man, where is IT Support when you need it?"
Links and References -
Evelyn rambles about her life with the Doctor, some of it true, some of it not, and quite a bit only there to plug the BF online download service, in particular "300", "Mud Ride", "The Farce of Exxon" and the Companion Chronicles story "A Town Called 'Forsooth'"...
Hell, the only story she DOESN’T big up is "The Tarrants of Time" which shows Evelyn’s final fate on Menrox with Sancroff the Cool Person when they both get shot to pieces by blunderbuss-wielding baboons! And THAT’S only because it hasn’t happened yet! Damned spoilers!
Untelevised Misadventures -
Hex thinks fondly of the various mind-expanding weed he got addicted to on the planet Saros IV which were so potent they allowed him to understand the entire plot of "Lost" with no trouble whatsoever...
Groovy DVD Extras -
All ONE-HUNDRED-AND-FUCKING-TWO poorly-written, badly-researched, atrociously-characterized and downright icky stories of The Doctor Who Project, a fan fiction franchise that has only lasted this long because Blake’s 7 and Tomorrow People fandoms have too much self-respect to let Bob Furnell anywhere near their cult sci-fi icons.
Dialogue Disasters -
Hex: This isn’t the way we usually go.
Alyson: That’s because we’re going somewhere else.
Hex: Whoa. Deep.
Doctor: And there’s still no sign of Hex?
Ace: No. He shouldn’t have found out about his mother the way he did. Whatever he says, he’s not come to terms with what happened. You let him down, Doctor!
Doctor: I’ve no time for emotional dramas, Ace! We gave him a whole FOUR episodes to sort his shit out! Back to sci-fi fantasy for us!
Jeremy Banks-Walker: Touchwood were great though, weren’t they? I
loved Nimrod. "Welcome to Touchwood, Doctor – and please stop jabbing electrodes into my testicles!" Brilliant! But you had to go and kill him, didn’t you? That’s right, Tree Huggers, he’s dead! No there’s no point writing in for more stories with him. He’s gone. Yeah? Understand? D-E—D-A-D-D! The whole thing’s gone on far, far too long, and it was a pretty crappy joke to start with. Even the bloody Americans have realized the franchise is a diseased whelk not worth any further production, so let’s just ALL let it go, shall we?
Ace: It’s harder than I thought it’d be.
Nigel: What is?
Ace: Fitting in. Living day after day in the same temporal period. It’s like they’ve got rid of all the colours except yellow. There’s nothing wrong with yellow, I like yellow, but only seeing yellow all the time, yellow-yellow-yellow, I’m thinking – "Where’s the red? Where’s the blue? Where’s everything else, you know? Give me velociraptor violet, Cyberman silver, anything, but if I see any more yellow I’m going to hurt somebody!"
Nigel: I understand maybe 10% of what you’re talking about. And it seems to be you don’t really like the colour yellow.
Hex’s pillow talk needs work:
"Erm. That was you... shagging me. Milfy."
Griffiths Doctor: Bit by bit, you’re becoming an outsider. Lose that connection to the real world and satisfying character arcs become like sliding beads on an abacus. Abstract. You’ll do whatever it takes to come out with the number you want.
Ace: And that’s me, is it, fatso?
Griffiths Doctor: Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow. But soon.
Ace: You know, you’d probably win more arguments if you stopped quoting Casablanca in casual conversation.
Griffiths Doctor: Oh, Ace... this could have been the beginning of beautiful friendship!
Ace: Oh, SHUT! UP!
The Laurent Meyer Doctor’s chilling tale of pandimensional orgies:
"Oh yeah! Ace the Sexual Toymaker and me – we’ve bonked through space, time, and half a dozen other dimensions... Broke a few of ’em, too! And the positions she made assume – heartbreaking. Seriously. I got whiplash, you know? But I’m still ahead on orgasms!"
Griffiths Doctor: I am an extremely complicated space-time event, you know. Causality needs a few minutes to straighten itself out, adjust to the fact that the Doctor died today and when that happens, I expect I’ll simply disappear.
Ace: You don’t seem too bothered.
Griffiths Doctor: Not bothered!? OF COURSE I’M BOTHERED! I’m dead! I’m only talking to you now because of a stray wrinkle in reality! Look at my face! I’m bothered! Face! Bothered! Face! Stray wrinkle! Dead! Bothered! Talking! Bothered! Face! Bothered! Face! Dead! Reality! I AM FUCKING BOTHERED, ORRIGHT!
Hex: Heh-heh-heh. Catherine Tate is funny.
Nigel: So which dimension are we actually aiming for, exactly?
Ace: I can’t tell you.
Nigel: Because it’s not meant to be perceived by human eyes?
Ace: No, because it’ll just turn you on.
Hex: It never ends, does it? Touchwood, then you, then Cybermen, Dustbins, sky falling in, death, disaster, lies – IT NEVER FUCKING ENDS! Well, I’m not playing this game anymore. Do you hear me? I’M NOT PLAYING ANY MORE! I want PROPER character development, GOD DAMN!
Dialogue Triumphs -
Sexual Toymistress: It might be prudent to withdraw.
Nigel: Who said anything about "withdraw"? Hell, who said anything about "prudent"?
Anthony Robbins Doctor: How can you prefer that poor excuse of a Doctor to myself? For him it is a chess game where he is the king, oh so clever and impressive but refusing to dirty his lily-white hands, sitting at the rear, sending wave after wave of pawns to die in his plans and strategies while he keeps his conscience clean? Actually, now you come to mention it, it DOES sound a rather more enjoyable approach to life, does it not?
Hex: Man, I like the Doctor. He totally helps people become the best they can be, you know?
Banks-Walker Doctor: The best they can be?!? That’s what happened with YOU, is it? Running around with a gun and a box of dead relatives? Thomas Hector Schofield: Reanimator.
Hex: Listen, I don’t know what’s wrong with you, or how you think you’ve got the right to talk to me like this... but that is a DAMN fine idea for a spin-off series, isn’t it?
Evelyn discusses the fate of her last husband:
"Well. He had it coming. Pompous ass. Which is why I had to put a cap in it, you see..."
Griffiths Doctor: Hex, listen to me. Before I go – there are things I want to say. Things I should have said when I had the chance. It’s just a pity none of them actually mean anything to you, but I’ve got a list of the things I meant to say to Kate Tollinger and since she’s not here and you are, you’ll have to do. Get it?
Hex: Got it.
Griffiths Doctor: Good. Ahem. Number one. "Oh, Kate, it was wrong of me not to tell you about your mother. I made a mistake. I’m sorry."
Hex: It’s alright, dude. You don’t need to say anything... Yo, wait a sec, what happened to the dudette’s mum again?
Griffiths Doctor: Hmm? Oh, she got eaten by a Metatraxi or something and I never bothered to tell her, leaving her to be brought up by uncaring relatives and forced into a life of vice and self-abuse to balance out the aching lack of maternal contact.
Hex: Most heinous, dude! The same thing happened to me!
Griffiths Doctor: It did?
Griffiths Doctor: Oh. Well, that makes it a bit easier, I suppose. Now, where was I? Oh yes. "Sometimes we lie because we must, but sometimes we lie because we think we know what’s best for everyone else. An important distinction, and one that was lost on me for too many years."
Hex: Um. Is that it?
Griffiths Doctor: Well, there’s a bit about asking you to stop robbing bank vaults, wear tighter clothes, show more cleavage and generally get back to running the Junior Gazette... but yeah. Basically.
Hex: Kay. Good speech, man.
Griffiths Doctor: Yes, I think it works.
Hex: Um, aren’t you supposed to disperse from reality or something?
Griffiths Doctor: Hmm? Oh yes. Mind like a sieve.
(He vanishes in a puff of light.)
Doctor: I used to march around saying things like, "You micro-cephalic apostate! It’ll all work out for the best in some way I haven’t quite thought up yet." How did that work out for us? How did that work out for Michael Grade? I need to have a regional accent to stay in control!
Evelyn: You can’t be Scottish forever.
Doctor: I can certainly try!
Ace: I’m sorry, slightly-crazed unbound-Doctor, I know you’re trying to be nice in your own and very weird way, but this is the only acting job I’ve ever wanted!
Griffiths Doctor: No – this is the only acting job you’ve ever HAD!
Doctor: Evelyn, remember that calendar you had in the TARDIS, with all your old friend’s birthdays written on it? Let’s just say I have something like that. And when you finally meet your maker, being machine-gunned to death in senseless carnage, well, I promise I’ll be there. Taking photographs. And pointing and laughing.
Nigel: I’ve actually had sex, you know!
Sexual Toymaker: Once in twenty-odd years is something, I suppose.
Doctor: Hex is still out there – completely sober! So, I hope for your sake you haven’t pissed him off...
Banks-Walker Doctor: Pissed him off? Ooh, "pissed him off". That’s a nice idea. Maybe later. When there are marshmallows.
UnQuotable Quote -
Doctor: There, that should do it.
Viewer Quotes -
"I’m a real sucker for the more conceptual ideas. Ideas without any concepts just seem redundant to me, you know? An idea without a concept is like a fish without a bicycle, in my opinion. WHY ARE YOU ALL LAUGHING AT ME LIKE THAT?!?" - Jeremy Clarkson (2012)
"So that’s why there were no ducks in the Leadworth duck pond... Jeremy Banks-Walker raped them all to death and then cast them aside like some soggy tissue... Good! I hope it ruddy well hurt!"
- some lady I know who REALLY hates ducks (2012)
"A clever, complicated, twisty plot and unexpected pay offs to what you thought were throwaway remarks or immutable rules clever enough to mislead you along the way the first time through but leaves you going 'Arrgh I should have seen that!'? Shouldn’t I have written this?"
- Steven Moffat (2011)
"That was solid gold. An instant classic. The work of an exceptionally clever author. 10/10, no question. Thoughtful and clever, heartbreaking and heartwarming. Brilliant, brilliant stuff. Simply amazing, this could well be the best Doctor Who story ever. Stunning!" - Hyperbole Haters’ Monthly (2010)
"The writer is either very, very clever or just good at making us THINK he is very, very clever. Which is a very, very clever thing to do if we’re honest. Oh my brain hurts." - Mr. Gumby (2010)
"Evelyn Waugh was in this one? Seriously?" - confused OGer (2011)
"I listened to the last episode and thought the plot was surprisingly convoluted and didn’t make much (or mush) sense. Strangely people are always suggesting I am not qualified in the slightest to make judgments on other people’s work for some unfathomable reasons."
- Ruth Ritchie (2010)
"I demand more references to Bertie Bassett Doesn’t Take Shit From Anyone. I flipping well love that story!" - Harry Hill (2003)
(Ed. Note: To be fair, Mr. Hill has said this about EVERY SINGLE EPISODE, even those that DO feature references to Bertie Bassett Doesn’t Take Shit From Anyone, so it’s just quoted here at random.)
Psychotic Nostalgia -
"Evelyn eating a donut is one of the most powerful images I have ever encountered in an audio. I laughed, I cried, I punched the air, and then I took my medication and eventually calmed down. Evelyn! Oh, Evelyn! SWEET VIRGIN ANGEL; THE LOVE OF MY LIFE!!!"
Sylvester McCoy Speaks!
"It’s a lot of fun acting with Maggie Stables again. She’s HUGELY experienced, if you get my drift, and she’s also such a raddled old has-been she’s starting to believe Doctor Who is real! Madness!"
Jeremy Banks-Walker Speaks!
"At first I was very confused by the plot. It references things that I don’t understand, so I just had to jump in and go with it, act on instinct really. Of course I’m not a real person at all. This has been a very strange experience, let me tell you."
Richard Griffiths Speaks!
"People ask me why I chose to play the Doctor when I don’t my fans, shout at the audience and enjoy being sadistically horrible to small children. Of course they usually ask me that after I’ve shot their pet dogs with poison darts. I’m pretty sure I DO have a nice side to my personality, but I can’t quite remember what it is. At least I don’t inflict my naked body on a paying audience like Jerry, Tony and Laurent have done. That’s something, I suppose."
Sophie Aldred Speaks!
"I think you have an instinct for a good script. I think you really feel in your bones while you’re doing it 'Day-yam, that was GOOD!' When I read this script I thought, 'Wow. What a load of old wank.' It ties up a lot of plot threads, a returning villain and a complicated scheme of the Doctor’s, it refers back to a lot of things that happened before... if that’s not fanwank, then what the hell is?"
Philip Olivier Speaks!
"I get a love affair this time that is neither with Ace nor my own right hand, for a change. That was kinda nice. This is very different from the scripts we’ve done before, it’s almost like it’s original or something. I actually enjoy the ones where we just sat in front of the TV for four episodes, and now it’s a totally new learning curve. Word."
Maggie Stables Speaks!
"She’s a nice old bird really, isn’t she? Maggie, I mean, not Evelyn. I’m Evelyn. Aren’t I? I forget. Well, whichever one I am I started ten years ago, more or less, with Colin Baker and we’ve been on many, adventures to the future and way back into the past. We have a sort of vaguely incestuous brother and sister relationship. One CAN do naughty things with older sisters, can’t one? Course Colin’s not in this one and for some reason they’ve replaced him with a weird Scottish midget with a speech impediment and a funny hat. Oh well. I’m sure it will all make sense when I take my medication."
This story has a special double cover – one that shows the Seventh Doctor, Hex, Ace and Evelyn, and one that shows Rose Tyler strapping a naked Martha Jones to a strange metal harness and tormenting her with a laser-sighted vibrator.
No one knows why, but hell, if you found a picture like that YOU’D damn well use it too, wouldn’t you?
Rumors & Facts -
Many stories have tried to assess the Doctor’s relationship with his companions, but none, I think, have done it as well as this. It’s a story that emphasizes how irrevocably changed the characters have become and not for the better, rather than being a story that changes them radically itself. Actually, it sounds rather lazy when you put it like that – what’s more impressive? Digging a hole in the road or just pointing out to passers-by that a hole has been dug?
Specifically, A Dearth in the Fanon stands as a testament to two things: first and foremost, it ably demonstrates that even after producing well over two hundred Doctor Who audios, Big Finish still have hundreds of lame-ass story arcs that they’d forgotten to do absolutely anything with. Secondly, it shows that while they aren’t exactly telling fresh, exhilarating stories to push our heroes in exciting new directions, they aren’t as hypocritical as the hype-vomiting media-whores responsible for The Michaelmas Imposter.
And just as the 2008 Christmas special went out of its way to rip the shit out of the American Superiority Complex Audio Dramas’ take on Doctor Who, the time had come to tackle the Canadian Doctor Who Project – and Bob Furnell’s twisted vision of Doctor Who ultimately creates the best villain the show has seen in any medium in flipping ages for it is, like Furnell himself, GENUINELY disturbed.
It all started when David Richardson, Alan Barnes and Ken Bentley realized that, despite all their best efforts... well, their efforts, anyway... very little had actually been resolved by Project: Density apart from blowing up Touchwood and killing off Nimrod. Which had been done in numerous other occasions. In fact, all it had added to the mythos was to seriously piss off Hex and have him storm off.
Reluctantly, it was decided that ANOTHER four part story would be required to sort out the dangling plot threads involving Hex, his mother, Evelyn’s relationship with them both, as well as confront the fact that they were running low on unmade DW scripts from 1990 with the Other Eighth Doctor and Kate Tollinger.
They needed a writer familiar with Doctor Who, with the Richard Griffiths plot thread, with the Hex story arc, and with enough of a grasp of literature to despise The Doctor Who Project for the offensively-clichéd offal that it was. But also they had to be so disconnected from Big Finish they were unaware that they were only being given this story because no one else wanted it.
Barnes had an idea who such a writer might be – and this time the choice was practically RATIONAL!
He chose Steve Hall, some guy who wrote the exceedingly clever episode Colin Matthews: Jerk Lord for the 2008 celebratory audio anthology Twenty-Four. Fortunately, Hall wasn’t too busy – apart from working on a story for the Eighth Doctor and Tamsin, writing a full length novel of his epic Jaws/The Matrix crossover, and walking next door’s dog.
Alan Barnes confided in him that "with great story arcs come great responsibility" and Hall told him to piss off for being a pretentious jerk with thick lips.
After wearing a rut in his kitchen floor pacing back and forth for three days, marveling at how utterly awful TDWP was, Hall (who was, after all, an evilly devious and cunningly clever, marvellous sod) decided to pitch all three of the Canadian reject Doctors up against the Seventh and Griffiths Doctors! He also had recurring Big Finish non-entities Evelyn Smythe and Nigel Verkoff return from the ether in order to creating some double-acts for Hex and Ace respectively.
Making his acting debut as all three TDWP Doctors was none other than Andrew "Beeblebrox" Klyngeirophel – a brain-damaged bogan hermit from New South Wales who was in town acting as Verkoff’s bail guarantor.
Klyngeirophel’s performance as the psycho Doctors was so terrific, so scene-stealing, so multilayered, so powerful, so manic that the audience held their breath when faced at the genuinely-frightening menace he projected that he could quite possibly be the greatest living actor Big Finish have ever been lucky enough to employ.
Which is pretty much why all the regulars demanded that Klyngeirophel never ever be allowed back to Big Finish ever under any circumstances known to either god or man. They just didn’t need the competition.
Fortunately, Klyngeirophel couldn’t give a tinker’s cuss about Big Finish and was quite happy to go once Verkoff was discharged from hospital – apparently he had suffered not only a sprained wrist but also near-fatal dehydration during the scenes where the two Aces made out as per his slash-fic requirements.
But all of this is irrelevant compared to the love people feel for this amazing, brain-meltingly-confusing release that made "Steve Hall to write for the TV series" a bigger internet meme than the infamous "i haz cheeseburger" one. All involved in making the story were congratulated, cast and crew hailed as brilliantly clever, every single aspect of production was showered with high praise and A Death in the Fanon officially dubbed the best Big Finish story EVA!!
Was it the untouchable characterization of the regulars finding themselves having to carry the adventure themselves in the absence of the fallen hero? The most fascinating and intimate story Hex has ever had and the damning indictment of this fact? The consequences of Ace’s no-brainer relationship with Nigel? The return of Evelyn, whose minute-by-minute contribution is even smaller than the theme music, yet somehow saves the whole multiverse from oblivion by virtue of being a senile old bat who calls everyone "Johnny"?
Or was it simply because everyone in the audience was just in a really good mood when they heard it?
We may never know. Or, indeed, care.
Ironically, A Dearth in the Fanon did Big Finish more harm than good. Since much of Hex fandom consisted of stoners listening to his stories while high, the sheer mind-blowing trippyness hospitalized half the audience, while the other half decided that since this story was so good any future ones would be a total disappointment so there was no point in listening to any further releases!
Of course, we can’t all like the same things - the piece of art that pleases everyone has yet to be created. Mind you, there IS that painting of the dogs playing poker...