Serial 7W/L – Animal Magnetism
An Extract From The EC Unauthorized Guide O' Child Locked Head
D O C T O R W H O
Serial 7W/O – Animal Magnetism
As the TARDIS drifts away from the emotionally-exhausting decades-in-the-making rather-unimpressive-if-you-think-about-it-objectively epic events on the planet Menrox, the Doctor is horrified to discover the first thing Hex has done is light up a joint and sat down in front of the Transdimensional Sony Trinatron Total Image Screen to tune into the adventures of the Unsoiled Eighth Doctor.
DESPITE the fact that doing this imperils all past and future creation and the previous story consisted solely of the TARDIS crew fighting the unspeakable abominations that spurt out of these hell dimensions.
"Aw, dude!" Hex moans. "I just got comfortable!!"
As the Doctor and Ace take turns in... "physically educating"... Hex about the dangers of perving on uncanonical stories, we might as well focus our attention onto the neglected Transdimensional Sony Trinatron Total Image Screen as it displays another adventure that never was...
By the year 1993, industrial development has accelerated out of all control, spawning dangerous new technologies and laying the Earth to waste as pollution poisons the planet to the point of TOTAL environmental collapse - weather patterns are increasingly unstable, the poisoned atmosphere is giving everyone AIDS, inner cities collapse in guerilla warfare, the Australian army is fighting in Indonesia with laser guns, and traffic is so slow that motorcycles are the only way to get anywhere! A new dark of superstition is dawning as the destruction of the environment reaches the point of no return...
"But," the Doctor notes as he flicks through a copy of 'Serial Killers Weekly', "there’s still time to do something about it!"
The Doctor intends to begin a four-dimensional guerilla war against the Touchwood Institute (currently trading under the name of European Butler Hiring Services) and is incredibly disappointed that Kate does NOT want to be a mindless zombie he can maneuver without explanation, crossing the pond to steal weapons as a ruthless automaton with no charisma, personality or intelligence.
"Oh, where’s Ace when you need her?" the Doctor sighs, before remembering he manipulated her to join Prydon Academy on Gallifrey and he’s stuck with someone with her own life.
Refusing point blank to do his gun running in Turkey for him, Kate instead wishes to return to her father’s mansion on Earth, because her cat has just had kittens. "KITTENS?! Miss Tollinger, you realize that Touchwood are, even as we speak, harvesting organs from criminals and the homeless to ensure the survival of the rich and powerful? They are attempting to work on a project to upload entire human minds into computers! The human race will become software, running on computer systems in vast bunkers where they can survive the death of the Earth! They call it the FaceBook Project! They’re well on the way to painting themselves silver and growing jug-handles from their ears! And what are we doing, Kate? Hmmm? Going home to see some KITTENS!?"
The Doctor finally agrees to take her there, but ONLY so he can use her gangland boss father’s underworld connections to help defeat the poverty-stricken, polluted and overpopulated future of Earth and replace it with one filled with space travel, stellar expansion and shocking fashion designs.
As ever, the TARDIS arrives with its pinpoint accuracy outside Marlowe Chinese Takeaway – in the middle of a pond. Kate is far from pleased by the water, and the Doctor is easily distracted by the ducks which he reckons would "taste delicious marinated in plum sauce with fried rice on the side".
However, before the Doctor can catch a water fowl with his bare teeth a familiar figure emerges from the Chinese Takeaway – it is Brigadier Bamberi of the Unsaturated Ingredients Taskforce (a splinter faction of UNIT itself). It turns out she has been investigating the security of the restaurant while it researches new uses for monosodium glutamate. Unfortunately, with UNIT looming around the place, none of the chefs are allowed on the premises and thus no one’s cooking a damn thing.
"We need your help to lift this threat so we can get on with vital research and get a lifetime discount for UNIT troops on the egg fu yung special with black-bean sauce!" Bambi rants. "The defenders of the Earth will be forced to rely on substandard garbage from Subway Sandwiches or D’You Believe This Pizza!"
The Doctor calls shotgun, so Kate has to stand around in a pub loudly proclaiming she wants to join any group devoted to clandestine sabotage of the local fish shop.
"How exciting," Kate announces with truly impressive sarcasm.
It takes about thirty seconds waiting in line for a babysham when Miss Tollinger is approached by some wanker called Scooby-Do going on and on about "escaping the hierarchical yolk of technology repression exploiting living creatures". Kate takes a sickening amount of pleasure for buying an extra-large beef burger which she eats slowly, making orgasmic noises as she chews on dead cow flesh.
Scooby-Do wails miserably that she should eat nut cutlets and carrot salads and begs Kate to come back to his place and have a bit of an orgy with his flatmates Jack and Shell. Pausing only to remark that it is an amazing coincidence that two of her pals from a Swiss finishing school just happen to be in the same story, Kate agrees.
After about three seconds of les-yay flirting with her school friends, Kate loses any and all interest in Jack and Shell and instead they all idly admire Scooby-Do’s extra-large KYTV satellite dish nailed to the side of his grotty bedsit, and how it’s highly unlikely that this will have any kind of relevance to the rest of the plot.
Meanwhile, Bambi’s second-in-command Sergeant Backstabber reveals that he spotted a suspicious ticking pile of plastic explosives in the ladies’ restroom. When asked exactly WHAT he was doing in the women’s lavatory, Backstabber hastily changes the topic.
Assuring Bambi that he knows what he’s doing, the Doctor takes out his sonic screwdriver to zap the explosive. Unfortunately he manages to switch the timer from ten hours to ten minutes. And then from ten minutes to ten seconds.
Still insisting to the soldiers that he is in complete and total control of the situation, the Doctor calmly throws the bomb down the toilet and flushes it. A few seconds later the duck pond outside explodes, killing one of the ducks the Doctor had so drooled over earlier. Delighted, the Time Lord snatches the dead avian water fowl and tosses it into a wok, whistling "Turning Japanese".
While looking for some paprika, the Doctor finds a sinister spiky squid-plant thingamajig hiding in the spice rack. As it races around the kitchen, shrieking and squawking, the Doctor sighs theatrically and attacks the creature with a machete, reducing it to shredded lettuce which he immediately ads to the wok.
Bambi notes that these squid-plant things were found growing wild in the barren wastelands the natives call Kent, and UNIT decided to send it to the Marlowe Chinese Takeaway to in the vain hope that it might improve the flavor of the chicken lemongrass and chili.
In her own mediocre subplot, Kate, Jack, Shell and Scooby-Do plot an attempt to destroy the Chinese Takeaway on the grounds that every other extremist with the same idea has died horribly in the attempt. Oddly enough this doesn’t encourage his loser mates.
No sooner has Kate wandered off on her own she is immediately spotted by Sergeant Backstabber who, ironically, is completely unaware she’s an undercover UNIT operative and decides to use her as target practice to work off his own monumental frustration and longing.
Conveniently for fans of Kate Tollinger and Julia Sawalha’s accountant, the Doctor and Bambi wander into view and short out the whole ghastly misunderstanding – while the Time Lord grumbles that right now he could be doing something really interesting, like blackmailing a disillusioned New York cleaning woman into letting him hack into Touchwood’s mainframe, and then cruelly discard her afterwards for her desensitized apathy, and let her die from the AIDS which she contracted from her cleaning bucket...
As everyone is deeply disturbed by this, the plot hastily grinds back into action. Scooby-Do leads Jack and Shell into the potting shed out the back of the Marlowe Chinese Takeaway – which happens to be infested with eighty-nine carnivorous stinging paralysis-inducing, venomous alien squid plants. And they’re in a MEAN mood!
The Doctor, Kate, Bambi and Backstabber hear their desperate pleas for mercy and point and laugh for a few minutes before finally deciding to get off their asses and do something. Putting on a novelty apron, the Doctor prepares to tackle some more of the... seriously, would have been so difficult to give these things a bloody name? Like "Jeff" or something? Is that too much to ask?
The apron-clad Time Lord storms the potting shed and effortlessly rescues the moronic eco-activists – but alas Jack has already been scratched by the nasty planty things and collapsed. Scooby-Do stubbornly decides to stay amidst the flesh-eating monster vegetation rather than get arrested for being a complete prick.
Weighing up the pros and the cons, the Doctor decides to leave him there and instead helps Jack and Shell escape. After having a humiliating panic attack and wetting himself, Scooby-Do blubbers and crawls after them, begging for his mummy to come and save him.
Instantly he is arrested by Bambi and interrogated with high-pressure hoses and some red hot pokers. Scooby-Do bemoans the burning irony of it all, but refuses to answer any questions on the grounds the second episode is very nearly over and – since it has been pretty much 100% padding so far, it might as well go the whole hog.
In order to provide a decent cliffhanger, Scooby-Doo boasts cruelly that his whacking great giant satellite dish to stuff up every plot point that could stop him in his tracks. He has also summoned outside assistant to his anti-takeaway organization.
"Oh yeah?" Kate scoffs. "You and whose army?"
Just then a colossal flying saucer, over three kilometers wide, descends out of the sky towards the Marlowe Takeaway in a cross between Close Encounter of the Third Kind and an episode of The Young Ones...
After staring out the window, jaws hanging open with shock, the Doctor decides that since Scooby-Do’s antennae is blocking all communication, the only people they can communicate with is in the battle cruiser floating directly overhead, so they might as well contact them.
Kate thinks this is a monumentally stupid thing to do and when the Doctor considers, he has to agree. He was working on it being a lateral thinking exercise rather than it being a smart course of action.
Bambi immediately starts writing up memos insisting that she is in no way responsible for her moronic scientific advisor’s attempts at first contact with random alien beasts from beyond the stars.
"What is the correct protocol?" she moans, proving that Bambi hasn’t heard of the old 'We come in peace – shoot to kill!' method expounded by her predecessor Lethbridge-Stewart.
Leaving Scooby-Do and Kate behind, the others are beamed up aboard the giant alien space craft. Idly humming to himself and day-dreaming of teaming up with a serial killer called Bobby Charlton and then leaving him to the mercy of the younger football teams Charlton had been preying on for years, the Doctor fleetingly returns to the plot.
After a long discussion over whether or not the lights are broken, switched off, or simply attuned to frequencies human eyes cannot perceive, the creepy-ass-mofo aliens make their presence felt.
These are the Numlocks, ruler of the alien triumvirate of Astropoint 7-8-1 which also includes the Scrolllocks and the Capslocks. Butt-ugly animatronic freaks, they’re that sort of extraterrestrial that refers to themselves in the third person, take everything literally, and are about as trustworthy as Robert Maxwell on Viagra with a pension fund.
They demonstrate this by nuking the Marlowe carpark with their mighty alien death rays for reasons beyond human comprehension (though, if I were to hazard a guess I would say it was down to shoddy writing on the part of the author.)
The Numlocks announce in between scenes that they have been summoned down to the Earth to save all the little fluffy bunnies from evil animal experimentation. As there isn’t any experimentation going on around Marlowe, let alone any fluffy bunnies, their liberation scheme pretty much is dead in the water. Which is also like Robert Maxwell on Viagra, when you think about it...
Despite their claims of being cheerfully serene herbivores who harm no innocent creatures, the Doctor cannot help but notice the Numlocks tend to suck blood from random passers-by by sucking out through their eyeballs. They’re basically just Robert Maxwell is what I’m saying.
The Numlocks activate a force field which surrounds the entire Marlowe Chinese Takeway and trapping everything within – which is rather a weak cliffhanger, so the Doctor tries to pep it up a bit.
"My dear Kate! I’ve finally worked it out! 'To Serve Man' is... A COOKBOOK! And not a particularly good one either – they don’t use tarragon anywhere, and they have all the gas oven settings completely wrong! Who wrote this drivel? The Two Fat Ladies?"
Realizing that they could be bloodily consumed at any moment by aliens who have no concept of seasoning, the Doctor decides it is time to kick some serious Numlock arse. He decides to sabotage the force field using Scooby-Do’s homemade satellite dish... but as the dish is OUTSIDE the force field and he is INSIDE the force field, that entire cunning plan is pretty much abandoned from the word "go".
Being civilized beings, the Numlocks are willing to pay for the privilege of eating our heroes – but oddly enough fifteen million pounds in uncut gold ingots would be a better incentive if
a) our heroes would be alive to spend the cash
b) it wasn’t just an IOU written on the back of a Milliways coaster
"This IS an interesting challenge," acknowledge the Numlocks.
Scooby-Do meanwhile makes a long and profound speech about his intense and passionate support of alien blood-sucking environmental activism until the Numlocks finally snap and bite his head off, which is something the rest of the cast have been wanting to do all story.
The Doctor then spots an oil drum that looks a bit interesting and, pausing only to switch his sonic screwdriver to "jemmy", opens the drum to reveal that it contains a chemically embalmed teenager, Vincent Wheaton. Either Vincent was imprisoned and anaesthetized because he is a dangerous telekinetic and living gateway to hell... or maybe Vincent is just incredibly annoying.
Kate asks if there is a point to this and the Doctor notes that all the plumbing is still working despite the Numlock force field and so they can all escape the aliens VIA THE SEPTIC TANK!
Oddly enough, no one is really eager to try this approach.
Just then, the author remembers those psycho plants in the potting shed which can be used to tie up the plot within one episode, setting nasty vegetables against meat-eating aliens for maximum dramatic irony and, in a truly uplifting and moral victory, a massive blood-soaked orgy of mindless violence unfolds.
Having brutally wiped out the Numlocks, the alien plant things and pretty much everyone else not part of the regular ongoing cast, and the Numlock space craft having exploded irradiating the local countryside, it’s time to wind the story up.
Just then, Sam Tollinger arrives to a round of applause like he’s the Fonz from Happy Days – and Sam is not amused at being told to infiltrate the International Drug Enforcement Agency just because the Doctor was unable to discover the chemical formula of some freaky fungi he found growing under the kitchen sink. Nor is he particular pleased at all the flyers stuck to the front gate shouting "AMPLIFY SOCIAL OSTRACISM!" or "MAKE POVERTY HISTORY - CHEAPER DRUGS NOW!" which have attracted lots of counter-culture lunatics from all over Middle England.
Yes, it turns out that, in an effort to stave off boredom, the Doctor nicked back in time using the TARDIS and placed adverts in the NME telling everyone that Sam’s mansion is a gateway to other worlds, in order to draw the attention of vaguely interesting nutters he can drug and leave unconscious in Central Park in New York to lure Touchwood into harvesting his less-pickled internal organs.
The Doctor asks Sam if they want to help him fight giant corporations, gated communities, destroyed libraries, gangs, child prostitutes, people abducted for use as biostock, and then reflect on the desolation of humanity while hanging out in the burnt-out ruins of a McDonalds then they need to make a few sacrifices!
"The enemy is the faceless corporate demon of dehumanisation!" the Doctor screams at the top of his voice before every car in the Sam’s garage suddenly explodes.
The Doctor looks up sheepishly and mumbles, "Oops."
While Sam runs around the mansion trying to stop the nutters blowing up any more of his property, the Doctor and Kate decide to make a strategic withdrawal and listen to the latest episode of The Archers.
On the radio, there is news of dogs all across London going mad and attacking their owners, but Sam irritably turns it off – but too late, as the Doctor now strongly suspects the increase of terrier-related throat-tearing is actually down to the Legendary White King (AKA "Snowy" from Hergé’s Tintin comic strips) controlling these packs of wild dogs via that funky Warlock plot device shtick!
"Oh come on," complains Kate. "Aren’t you sick of this over-the-top anti-vivisection crap? We’ve got better things to do than live life like a glorified PETA handbook – let’s go and fight some Cybermen or something nice and safe and dull like that?"
The Doctor stares at her for a long moment, then shrugs and agrees.
Book(s)/Other Related –
The New Doctor Who Adventures: The Overgrown Artichokes OF DOOM!!!
Doctor Who Discovers... Cryptonomicon
The Over-Glorified PETA Handbook by A. Computer
Fluffs - Sylvester McCoy seemed feral in this story.
Kate’s chat-up lines are actually genuine Turkish. Unfortunately, she’s asking "Would anyone else jump into the water? I don’t think there are enough muscles in the fingers of clowns. Am I babbling? Cauliflower!!"
It’s never explained who the sniper was that ordered a satay pork with steamed rice for "the Kurdish mercenaries, and the kids in Turkey". This was later the basis for a Warehouse 13 episode entitled "Polyunsaturated" and was genuinely nineteen billion times better than anything starring John Barrowman.
Fashion Victims -
The Doctor’s three-sizes-too-small "Happy Herbivore" boob tube.
Andrew Cartmel is marinated in "extronic crucible radio-protons", which allows him to write utterly magnificent stories like greased lightning that twists fan preconceptions sideways and unfolds like a flower and the fact it all comes across as pompous gibberish only adds to the beauty of material nothing short of a masterpiece.
Well, that’s what Vortex NetZine tells me, anyway...
Links and References –
The Doctor threatens to summon the mighty hoards of the Metatraxi down on the Numlocks for no other reason than Andrew Cartmel is obsessed with them and tries to crowbar them into every story. He’s worse than that nutter who created the Quirks, he really is.
Untelevised Misadventures –
The Doctor remembers he once hypnotized a random member of the public into thinking he was the reincarnation of Leela of the Sevateem. Just for shits and giggles.
Apparently, Mister David Young spent four years stabbing random people until he overdosed and had a paranoid hallucination where the REAL Leela told him to snap out of it and get back to her responsible job as a temping haddock salesman in Mummerset.
Groovy DVD Extras –
All three of Cartmel’s angsty, right-on, softcore porn hard-sci-fi novels that claim to be Doctor Who because only the Virgin New Adventures would publish something that crap THREE TIMES IN A ROW! Why anyone thought we wanted them in eBook form is baffling, unless you want to print them out and use them for toilet paper...
Dialogue Disasters -
Scooby-Do: I don’t try to destroy most Chinese takeaways, just the kind that oppresses and torments and kills living creatures – whether it’s a laboratory animal or a human beings in a war zone. This isn’t a low-cost Chinese restaurant, it’s a torture chamber and weapons factory!
Doctor: That’s a foul slur! It also does laundry on the side!
Kate: You want to deal with a tree? Use an axe!
Bambi: ...what, was that supposed to sound cool or something?
Bambi: It was shithouse.
The Doctor’s unsuccessful attempts to flirt with pot-plants -
"Perhaps we could chat about chlorophyll?"
Kate: You lied to me.
Sam: You lied to yourself.
Doctor: We don’t have time for an ideological debate!
Kate: HE SAID FATHER CHRISTMAS WAS REAL, DAMMIT!!
Numlock: You will come to know harm. BWAHAHAHA! That actually makes more sense written down. It was more funnier on the printed page, to be honest. Really should have thought about that.
Doctor: Kate. Look at the pond. See that used condom floating next the weeds? Surely THAT is the future?
Kate: What in the name of God are you talking about?
Doctor: It is poisoned and abandoned, going nowhere and making things worse for everything that it encounters so it MUST be the future.
Kate: Are you feeling all right? Not a tad depressed or anything?
Doctor: Yet, if we throw dynamite into the pond to sterilize all those festering venereal diseases, what do we achieve apart from burning rubber and destroying the eco-system? Not to mention setting fire to the few native ducks still alive in the area? Are we not destroying the future as the only way to prevent it getting worse?
Kate: Is everything all right at home?
Doctor: And so the used condom is burning at a moment beyond where we stand, away from us, into the water table already polluted with mercury and radioactive fallout...
Kate: Oh shut up you downbeat killjoy bastard!
Doctor: Exactly! Surely the future is more soul-destroying than the past, yet if we stopped leaving pre-loved prophylactics in spots of outstanding natural beauty, then perhaps both are equally shithouse and all of us merely stagnant scum fermenting on the surface?
Kate: OH SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP!!
Doctor: Fine. I’m off to perform a few backstreet abortions and then get a freebie at the S&M bondage parlour in the high street. Enigmatic, mysterious and a little amoral! Just the way Cartmel writes me!
Numlock: Have some lentils! Plenty of lentils! [beat] Why has everyone suddenly gone quiet?
Bambi: Because no one wants to be the first to say "Bloody Hippy Food!"
Doctor: Why was he going to shoot you?
Kate: He said I was trying to escape!
Doctor: Perhaps you should have been, instead of standing around like a great big banana waiting to be shot by paranoid UNIT soldiers!
Kate: ...what are you talking about?
Doctor: Mmmm. Banana...
Dialogue Triumphs -
Doctor: Well, Brigadier... blown up anything big lately?
Bambi: My sex life is of none of your business!
One of the brilliantly-observed scenes showing the amazing grasp the writer has on contemporary British society and language -
Sam: What do you know about Warlock?!
Random Thug: No comment, you ugly bastard!
Sam: Tell that to your Spanish boyfriend! Take him down to the cleaners, you vermin, stick it where it hurts!
Random Thug: You disgusting lump of stinking fungus!
Sam: You snothead!
Random Thug: You gentlemen’s lavatory!
Sam: Why don’t you crawl back to the Mediterranean with all your Korean sugar daddy pimp friends, hanging round the harbor looking for dead fish? That’s what YOUR kind likes to do, isn’t it, Mister President Sir? God, excuse me while I’m crucified upside down! Oh great, never mind the Mexicans – they’ll look after themselves, won’t they General Degaul!! Blow your nose recently?!
Kate discusses her schoolgirl flings with Jack and Shell -
"I don’t know whether they looked uglier coming or going..."
Numlock Firstborn: The Firstborn is preoccupied with these little friends! The Firstborn implores you in particular to take note of their little bristly whiskers and their bright shiny eyes in addition to their tiny delicate paws and dexterous appendages you call "tails"! They are adorable, endearing, appealing and prepossessing! The Firstborn shall love them and pet them and call them "George"...
Random Nutter: The Doctor. Your friend. What did he say he was? An alien from another planet? You work from a paradigm of technology. So when he encountered you he offered a description of reality which worked with your terms of reference. That’s the way a sorcerer behaves! Oh, so you believe he’s an alien from another planet and you’re his girl companion but you DON’T believe in magic. You believe in that gateway to other worlds, you just call it an alien time machine! He IS a sorcerer, and I have begun to peel away your view of reality! I can tear your world apart completely!
Kate: I’m still not going to sign up to the Church of Scientology.
Random Nutter: Aw. Go on! I’ll be your best friend!
Scooby-Do: The Aliens are here!
Bambi: Here in the sense of on Earth?
Scooby-Do: Here in the sense of on the roof!
Bambi: ...I violently dislike you.
UnQuotable Quote -
Jack: Shell? I forget. Are we anti-homophobia and pro-xenophobia, or is it the other way around?
Smartarse DWM Preview!!
"After being sacked as script editor for being a talentless, directionless, barely-human gross-out slime-ball with the writing talent of an Itchy and Scratchy cartoon, Andrew Cartmel was invited back to write for Doctor Who for reasons that involved copious amounts of blackmail and obscene photographs.
Thus the third story of the season would be a right-on issue-based contemporary tale with giant spaceships, undercover activities and clear evidence Cartmel was still writing for the Seventh Doctor and not doing it particularly well into the bargin.
The inappropriately-named Animal Magnetism was actually about vegetables that try to eat Kate when she is busy helping non-vegetables escape from an experimental laboratory with a couple of loser animal rights activists with the heads jammed up their arts degrees, willing to sell out all of humanity to fuel their smug self-satisfaction.
A scene in which the Doctor takes a psychedelic drug in order to telepathically communicate with laboratory animals was excised at the producer’s requests, fearing it was a really stupid idea. Indeed, quite a few stupid ideas were excised for fear of how monumentally awful they would be and even the 'no animals were harmed during the making of this program' disclaimer was replaced by the far-more-necessary 'viewers are advised the following program is of an absurdly poor standard and if you changed the channel right now, no one would blame you.'
When the European Court of Human Rights finally brought Cartmel to account, he admitted that he couldn’t come up with any good ideas but did have plans for a sitcom set in an Edwardian funeral home set in the Turkish mountains in the late 1800s.
This plea of insanity was ultimately accepted by the court and Cartmel is now in a home for the terminally bewildered watching Touchwood: The Nude World on a perpetual loop for his own sick pleasure."
Viewer Quotes -
"This isn’t Doctor Who! You want depth and adult-themed material from the nineties? Go watch some fucking Cracker you mean, miserable sick wank-biscuits! I HATE YOU ALL!" - Steven Moffat (1992)
"Cartmel carves out a future for Doctor Who which I desperately hope will always be fiction, a place where we have poisoned the franchise to such an extent that the only sensible option is to abandon our bodies and surrender our minds to a machine that will maintain them. And I shall call this machine... THE INTERNET!" - Shaun Lyons (2003)
"Well, I had mixed feelings about this story. On an intellectual level I think it's talking bollocks. Down, Heinlein Avenger, Down!"
- Melissa George between hash brownies (2001)
"Animal Magnetism is a collection of so many disparate ideas and strands that it stands as a real credit to Andrew Cartmel's skills and abilities that he not only failed remotely to weave ANY of them together, but also managed to create a story that was engrossing, absorbing and absolutely unwatchable. Believe me, it takes REAL talent to screw things up to THAT extent!" - Mark Gatiss (2011)
"To say that I enjoyed this story would be factually inaccurate."
- Larry Booth-Heath (1999)
"It’s a powerful piece of work, so powerful that it has been accused of being manipulative. It has pungent opinions on its chosen subject matter, which would have pretty controversial even with a more middle-of-the-road treatment. It’s intelligent and vividly written. Unfortunately it’s also as fun as genital warts on a dolphin."
- FlipperFancier98 on Gallifrey Base (2007)
"Drugs! Animal experiments! Bitter, vehement diatribes! Politics! Venom! Anger! THESE ARE THINGS THAT MATTER TO ME!!!"
- Baroness Thatcher (1998)
Psychotic Nostalgia -
"This is a grotesquely pessimistic story filled with hate, written by a person with a real grudge against the world, intensely and absolute obsessed with death and loss and rape and bestiality and street massacres, animal torture and babies being scraped from their mothers wombs... GOD DAMN IT, THIS IS AWESOME! Who needs fantastic wonders of the universe? Who needs fun adventures on alien planets? There’s all the real-life aggression and trauma for the crowds to revel in! Crazy, mad, wild-eyed, big-bottomed pain fetishists! BWAHAHAHAHA!"
Richard Griffiths Speaks!
"Personally, I really like seeing furry animal bastards being sadistically tortured to death. It’s their just desserts. I long ago passed beyond 'aww, look at ickle fluffikins' into 'Jesus wept, not another fucking cat!!' It’s just a pity, that this story is very much like Doctor Who on television – in the sense the script is so utterly unimaginative I lost brain-cells just reading the cast list. Who the hell precisely did Andrew Cartmel think he was kidding? Not bloody me, that’s for sure, buster..."
Julia Sawalha Speaks!
"Now, of course scientific testing on animals is immoral and wrong – assuming all testers are the clichéd stereotypical sadistic, maladjusted Nazi-worshipping drug-pushing bullyboys like the ones in this story! Honestly, it’s like you only get a job in science if you have a perverse lust for torturing little animals! Wow, Andrew, social realism is just something that happens to other people, isn’t it?"
Angela Bruce Speaks!
"When I first got the script, I thought: oh shame."
I really, really, REALLY hate this story. Did that come across at all?
Rumors & Facts -
In the three years of Doctor Who he script-edited, Andrew Cartmel did not write a single televised story. In his official autobiography, "The Girls Wot I Banged In Da 80s", Cartmel notes that his incredibly over-active social life of drink, drugs, rock-and-roll, orgiastic sex and hardcore anarchistic urban terrorism meant he was too busy to write an actual Doctor Who story himself. Everyone else, however, suggests that it was down to no one wanting to broadcast any of his nasty, unpleasant muck for fear of putting off the little audience they had at the time.
However, Cartmel ended up being press-ganged into writing a story after he lost a game of "Pubic Dares!", the fun family pastime of setting fire to your crotch for reasons that only really make sense after four bottles of vodka.
Using all the resources at his command, Cartmel... wrote any old shit off the top of his head, focusing mainly on the numerous chips he had on his imperfectly-proportioned shoulders. These includes animal rights, corruption of the welfare state, the hardcore abuse of psychoactive chemicals and, of course, Sophie Aldred getting her tits out on camera.
This story, The Cartmel Clichés of DEATH!, went through numerous rewrites because, deep down, on a fundamental level, it was crap. I mean, really REALLY crap. That thing where all the Doctors and companions run around Albert Square fighting the Rani? It was freaking Citizen Kane compared to this offal!
Of the innumerable changes required for anyone would even be prepared to stay in the same room as the script for any length of time included:
- the Doctor to actually be in it
- the loss of the rape scene involving a Buddhist monk and a White Supremacist on the grounds they could never get clearance from Celine Dion’s lawyers to provide the soundtrack.
- the B-plot of a little boy starting a new school before fire-bombing the class in Comparative Anthropology in a moment of teen rebellion have anything at all to do with the A-plot
- the A-plot being more than the Doctor getting a skinny naked guy in his bathtub and proceeding to steal his kidneys with a Swiss army knife, a bottle of scotch and some medical gauze
- abandoning the long speech from Sam Tollinger that the "alpha individual" characteristic inherent with anyone called Andrew Cartmel means any girls who don’t sleep with him on request will "have their uteruses get gangrene drop off the next day". (This was in directly due to the appalling grammar and split infinitives in said speech)
- a few less laughably outrageous coincidences, implausible actions, weak character motivations, more subtlety in the themes and allusions than an out-of-control bulldozer, and, by the way, how exactly would animal rights be benefited by having the main characters spend four episodes machine-gunning family pets to death?
Furious, Cartmel wept a manful tear and told the production office that if THEY were so bloody clever they could damn well write the story themselves. This proved to be the most productive and useful suggestion Cartmel had ever made and soon the Doctor Who team had got old of Romero’s shooting script for Night of the Living Dead and were cut-and-pasting the word "ghoul" with "Rover".
Cartmel whined that ANYONE could do a story about monsters eating people, but only a GENIUS could add a shortlist of Cartmel’s own personal ill-thought-out obsessions. However, Cartmel had soon to learn the hard way that his personal allotment of charisma was slightly below the retarded tramp on the stairs who kept screaming at lampposts and no one cared that he had just read a great X-Men comic they could rip off.
Finally, Cartmel agreed to rewrite his original script to the specifications laid down – on the condition it could be as gritty, unpleasant, disturbing and unlikable as possible. He also broke the Doctor Who Record of Bitter Disappointment in the field of Most Main Characters Spaced Out For The Whole Story.
This record had previously been held by 1965’s The Weird Planet.
Unfortunately, it was around this time that Doctor Who was canceled. Cartmel was overjoyed, as this typified his bleak and nihilistic worldview. Thus he was monumentally devastated when, a mere TWO DECADES later, Big Finish got a bit interested in actually producing the story. Cartmel was adamant he still needed another fifteen years to decide whether he was pro-drugs, anti-drugs, or pro-being-passionately-against-experimenting-on-animals-for-human-medicines-as-long-as-this-stance-gets-me-laid-on-a-regular-basis.
In fact, by the time he’d finished his self-justifying rhetoric, the entire story had been recorded, edited, burned onto disc and released across the Western World. True, the finished product wasn’t the harrowingly-realistic milieu of violence, fear, menace, intimidation and sadism... but what do you expect for a retail price of £14.99?
Animal Magnetism is a real milestone of being without doubt the drabbest, banal story the Griffiths Doctor and Kate Tollinger have ever appeared in – even stories with C’Rizz in them were easier to give a toss about than this charmless, unremittingly grim hemorrhoid!
Of course, Cartmel will tell you that this is gritty and clever rather than hollow and lifeless, and the only reason you don’t like all the plotless, inhuman turgidity is because you’re a reactionary crypto-fascist who deserves to be locked in a small dark room with Lawrence Miles until you accept such hollow lifeless material for the manna from heaven that it truly is.
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