Monday, December 7, 2009

8th Doctor - The Company of Friends (ii)

Book(s)/Other Related -
Doctor: Short Trips & Casual Shags
Doctor Who & The Negative Continuity
Celebrity Historical Monthly # January 1872 (the one with the nude centerfold of Mary Shelly and the sonic screwdriver)

Fluffs – Paul McGann seemed unbounded for most of this story.

"November. A cold, dreary day. I’ve created a monster - me! I’m literally pouring out of my size ten dress, I’m 32 and still no sign of marrying a tedious posh tosspot in publishing! All by myself... don’t wanna be... all by myself..."

Goofs –
The Doctor makes a big deal to Fitz that he is completely new to this entire timeline and has absolutely no idea about Sabbath or the total annihilation of Gallifrey and the Time Lords, and basically Fitz should just act like the Doctor is a total amnesiac. Two seconds after this, the Doctor reminisces about an early BBC novel where Sam Jones kept contriving to rub her naked breasts over his face. Either the Doctor is becoming assimilated into this new version of reality, or annoying granola chicks called Sam Jones keep trying to seduce him now matter WHAT universe he finds himself in...
There are plenty of OTHER continuity flaws in this story, but as long as they leave the anoraks sobbing and bashing their heads against the ground, howling in misery, well, then all the better in my opinion.

Fashion Victims -
Mary Shelly’s waist-length hair, white face-paint, eye-shadow, black lipstick and nail polish, black string vest over a sleeveless black T-shirt with a vampire fang logo, black wrist bands, fishnet stockings, all demonstrate this woman is the true origin of all future Goths.

Technobabble -
The Past Eighth Doctor explains to Mary that his future self was able to regenerate without changing his appearance because he "managed to use the onrushing energy to heal himself before siphoning off the remainder into a handy bio-matching receptacle, namely his earlier temporal version".
The Present Eighth Doctor assures Mary that this is total bullshit as he remembers making this crap entirely off the top of his head at the time when HE was the Past Eighth Doctor.

Links and References -
The Doctor finds working with Benny Summerfield so utterly tedious he starts to refer to her as "Mila" and asks if the pollen-induced illusions are starting to effect the communist Dustbins yet?

Untelevised Misadventures -
What do you bloody reckon?!?

Groovy DVD Extras –
Another 78 hours of audition scenes featuring Sherri and Terri; Compassion; Destrii; Charley; Lucie; Alex; Todd; Rita; Jadi Morok; Kroton the Cyberman; Ssard and Stacy; and pretty much EVERY companion from every possible Eighth Doctor continuity ever!
Well. Except for C’Rizz, obviously.

Dialogue Disasters –

Doctor: He’s a me-that’s-yet-to-be. You see, Mary?

Fitz: What, like – you go from the world where shrimp don’t exist to the world where it does, have a look at whoever you’re lumbered with from the books or the comics or the audios, and if they’re any cop you stick with them until all the contracts are signed and they get their names in the opening credits?
Doctor: Never has a theory been brought so penetratingly to life.

Mary: When I first met Percy, he promised me a life of adventure – we would run away together like characters from a romantic novel! He abandoned his wife and his child to be with me, and we braved reporters from the Daily Mail following us everywhere calling us "scum". But, well, I was just so horny.
Doctor: You were sixteen, it’s to be expected. Heh. DAMN IT, I JUST LOVE TEENAGE IRRESPONSIBILITY!

Izzy: That issue of 2001AD is going to be mine! You hear me? Mine!
(Izzy laughs dementedly for a full minute.)

Doctor: I know where we are – it’s Tambora, 1815 as the volcanic ash in the upper atmosphere discolors everything blood-red...
Mary: You DO know you’re wearing sunglasses, right?
Doctor: I am? Oh. Yes. [takes them off] That’s better.

Doctor: Izzy, I’m sorry, but I’ve seriously got much better things to do than hang around with you while you shout very loudly early-90s slang and compare absolutely everything to simplistic fantasies – I can’t even show you the Medusa Cascade without you banging on about the title sequence to Battlestar Galactica...
Izzy: Aw, come on! The TARDIS might not have a holodeck but beggars can’t be choosers, right?
Doctor: OH, FUCK OFF!

Fitz’s seduction of a newsreader:
"Whoaaaa! Get away, you ugly old cow! No! NOT IN THE FACE! Ow! Come on, we can talk about it. Speako Englisho? Arrrrgh! Oh, yeah, that’s it baby, treat me rough—— OWWWWW! Geddoff... Oof! Help!"

Benny: Doctor, it’s me! Bernice Summerfield!
Doctor: ...nope.
Benny: Benny? I’m from the twenty-seventh century. I’m an archaeology professor, I traveled with the Doctor for a very long time in your seventh body?
Doctor: Not ringing any bells.
Benny: The planet Heaven? We fought the Hoothi, a race of monsters who looked like giant... um... mushrooms. We had dozens of new adventures all across time and space, too broad and too deep for the small screen!
Doctor: You’re really not narrowing it down...
Benny: When you regenerated into this rather dashing body with the long hair, we met up in 1997! Big spaceships over London, the Ice Cream Vendors invaded, we defeated them.
Doctor: "We"?
Benny: Well. Mainly you, as ever. At the end of that, he dropped me off back in my native timezone and we, er...
Doctor: What? "Shook hands and said goodbye"?
Benny: More like, "fucked like rabbits".
[Long pause.]
Doctor: Me and you?
Benny: Uh-huh.
Doctor: Right. So... was I going through a period of very low-self-esteem at the time?

Mary: Percy doesn’t believe in fidelity, he been having an affair.
Doctor: Mmm. Well, he’s got a point. I mean, if you have a second child that doesn’t automatically diminish the love you feel for your first child – why should he love you any less because he also loves someone else and respects you enough to be honest?
Mary: He’s having an affair with my sister.
Doctor: ...ah.
Mary: My half-sister!
Doctor: OK, that is just sick. Let’s kneecap the pair of them, huh?

Dialogue Triumphs -

Doctor: I hate to mud-wrestle teenage girls in warm baked beans... Actually, that’s not true, I revel in it.

Izzy: This is just rubbish! I don’t need sexual initiation to give my life meaning, I’ve got the whole of Star Trek: The Next Generation on VHS to keep me happy...
Doctor: Ahem. I’d like you to meet Destrii Anatos.
Izzy: Oh. Um. Hi.
Destrii: Hi.
Izzy: So, um, what do you do for a living?
Destrii: [lustful] Whatever you want.
Izzy: [eyes widen] ...eep.
Doctor: Destrii’s a pros... I mean, a professional sex counselor.
Destrii: Would you like to come upstairs with me?
Izzy: No thanks.
Doctor: [to Destrii] Scuse me. [to Izzy] Look, the choice is between a life time of being wracked with obsession over mindless trivia – or a night of wild sexual pleasure with a beautiful woman.
Izzy: Well. I’m not sure.
Doctor: JUST GET YOUR COAT! YOU HAVE PULLED! Honestly, the only reason Joss Whedon isn’t spinning in his grave right now is because it’s 1988 and he’s a decade away from writing Buffy the Vampire Slayer...

Doctor: There you go. Budge up. Tight in here.
Benny: Yeah. If you just move your leg so... yeah.
Doctor: Hang on... I’ll put my arm...
Benny: Ow!
Doctor: Sorry. You sure this is how we did it last time?
Benny: YOU’RE the one who’s into this Tantric stuff, not me!

Polidori: All we need is a mob of villagers with flaming torches!
Byron: Oh, how unforgivably clichéd!

Doctor: Why on Earth would you ever want to travel with me?
Fitz: Well, I want to see just how big life can be, how a skinny little no one like me could make a real difference...
Doctor: Is that all?
Fitz: Well, it IS a fantastic way of impressing the birds!
Doctor: Hmmm. Promising. Very promising.

Mary: My husband and my sister find sadistic amusement in my being aware of their relationship. The irony is that Claire is really in love with Byron. She’s carrying his child and Lord Byron? Lord Byron is in love only with himself.
Doctor: Shee-it. And I thought MY life was a crack-fueled soap opera...

Valhalla: This rock is fifty million years old. After so many millennia of solitude, it isn’t fair to expect the world to give up its secrets easily.
Benny: I’d have said "it’s like looking for an unidentified needle in a very dark haystack," but you were a lot more poetic just then. Avoided the clichés. Mostly. What are you doing?
Valhalla: Getting rather annoyed with your never-ending smug sarcasm, to tell you truth.
Benny: That’s always happening to people I talk at! It’s uncanny!

Mary: I’m not following a word of this.
Present Doctor: But we shouldn’t be here, in the same place, at the same time.
Mary: Why not?
Past Doctor: Because it’s terribly embarrassing, for starters!

Benny: I think so. This isn’t the first time I’ve been trapped in a collapsing pocket universe being stalked by some semi-visible unknown creature. God, it isn’t even the second!
Doctor: Yeah, very impressive, I’m sure. How about you try something completely new – like shutting the hell up from time to time?

Mary: Hmmm. Can I just point out one little thing? "Frankenstein" is the name of the doctor, NOT THE FUCKING MONSTER!

UnQuotable Quote -
Izzy: Save us from the belligerent newsagent!

Viewer Quotes -

"Three thumbs up!" – Circus Freak Quarterly (2011)

"I think Izzy's Story is my other favorite! Jemima really makes a 2D
character into a fully rounded 3D one with nipples and navels and body hair! CHRIST! Izzy! Izzy! Izzy! Let me add my voice to the chorus begging for her salty goodness! Her boobs are definitely the two I demand more of! I salivate for her naked skin! Yes, yes, yes, YES!"
- Nigel Verkoff cracks under the strain of sexual frustration (2011)

"I could virtually see the panels on the page in DWM!"
– rejected slogan for the 'Heroin Really Screws You Up!' campaign

"The Eighth Doctor and Benny need to team up more often! I’ve written lots of stories when they do! Stories with lots of angst! Angst is still cool, right? Right? Hello? Anyone?"
– Nick Walters (2010)

"Benny’s audition was strangely satisfying, like a long, slow fist up the arse. I’m trying the other sexual perversions in a few days. Unfortunately this is a very busy week for me, as I am going up before the Old Bailey because of committing unnatural acts with a baboon, so the timing’ bad... but so am I. A very, very bad girl. Oh yes."
– Sick Sad World Employee (2009)

"McGann acted his socks off in that one! Seriously, can he come and collect them? They’re stinking up the studio!" – Gareth Jenkins (2009)

"The Fitz story was rather awesome except for Matt DiAngelo, who I thought was bloody awful as Fitz. Stupid cockney accent and he can’t act. The amount of lines he slaughters is cringe-inducing – and if anyone knows about cringe-inducing acting inability, it’s me!"
- Chip Jamieson (2011)

"Izzy is my favorite companion and to hear her for the first time with that monologue... Let’s just say I punched the speaker and denied the existence of God Himself." - Katy January (2012)

"I'm intrigued about where people are getting these twenty-five minute stories from; episode one alone is almost thirty-six minutes long, which is longer than a single episode of "classic" Doctor Who and only six minutes shorter than a typical episode from the more recent television series. The other episodes clock in at over thirty minutes each. I have no life." – Andrew Pixley (2010)

Psychotic Nostalgia -
"In Italy, for thirty years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love, they had five hundred years of democracy and peace — and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock. This is EXACTLY why Big Finish is going nowhere while the Welsh series goes from strength to strength!"

Paul McGann Speaks!
"Big Finish? Why are we back here at Big Finish? Who are all these people? What the fuck is going on? The last thing I remember was ordering four triple vodkas and a banana daiquiri..."

Lisa Bowerman Speaks!
"From an actor’s point of view, it’s rather relaxing that Benny responds to everything in the exact same way, as a drunken lay-about who swears a lot and bonks a lot of men. And she did it all before Lara Croft became popular. Now, I never actually READ any of the New Adventures, but who the hell cares? I don’t need to be told how to play this part – I’ve been doing this for TEN LONG SODDING YEARS! I’m like Dot Cotton in Eastenders only much funnier, sexier and with slightly-more-credible supporting characters. She knows the character she’s created inside and out, and so do I! I’m a bit of a tragic Eastenders fan, if I’m honest. I am passionate about it, but for the right reasons. There’s absolutely no point in doing it otherwise – look at Glee fandom, for example."

Matt Di Angelo Speaks!
"Obviously I was a fan of the earlier Doctor Whos, like... um... Frank Spencer. But I like the later ones, too. Especially that one that’s on TV at the moment played by, you know, that guy, the guy who does that thing with the... robot screwdriver dog thing. I love that. I applied to be in the TV Doctor Who in Wales, but, um, I couldn’t. It would have been the one with, you know, those monsters that kill people in that way everyone... talks about, you know? The crying blinking angel things, yeah, them... OK, OK, I admit it: I have absolutely no idea what I’m talking about. I’ll just shut up from now on."

Jemima Rooper Speaks!
"I was only in those recording booths for five minutes before the death threats started. I didn’t feel self-conscious and found myself becoming so annoying even my own parents were disowning me. It’s this amazing skill I have to drive people into psychotic fury. I think my Russell Tovey would be a better Doctor than Matt Smith. See? Even YOU’RE reaching for something to bludgeon me unconscious!"

Julia Cox Speaks!
"I like mixing up time periods and genres, as it means you can make really massive mistakes and say it was all deliberate. I’ve got away with murder, figuratively speaking... well, once literally, but we don’t need to go into that, do we? We do? Oh, well, the body’s buried in the New Forest, if that’s what you want to know."

Eddie Hitler Speaks!
"Er, yes, I am very, very happy that Mary Shelly is the new companion. I am, for joy, jumping. In real life, Mary was confident and outgoing and wrote a book about a socialist zombie stalker rather than some crap about knitting. She’s the perfect replacement for Lucie. Now will you please stop bothering me? I am TRYING to get RID of this HANGOVER!!!"

Trivia -
This is the first mainstream BF release featuring the Eighth Doctor but NOT featuring Charley "Bury Me In A Y-Shaped TARDIS" Pollard. This factor could be the key reason why this story sucks.

Rumors & Facts –

It had been two years since Paul McGann had taken his leave of Big Finish Productions, instead teaming up with fictional alcoholic sociopathic Edward Elizabeth Didgeridoo Catflap Hitler to forge a brand new series of audio drama on BBC7 internet radio with feisty Northern companions, 50-minute episodes, and a theme tune that could curdle milk on the other side of the continent.

Big Finish had given up all hope of seeing McGann again until one day both he and Hitler stumbled into the studio, pissed out of their minds and uncertain as to which one of them was supposed to driving the invalid scooter they had stolen from a weak-willed pensioner. The pair had just completed work on their third BBC7 audio series and had decided to take the rest of the year punishing their evil livers as a form of crude, pagan celebration.

It took eight weeks for McGann and Hitler to recover from the resulting hangovers, and it was in this period that the surviving creative forces of Big Finish (producer David Richardson, script editor Alan Barnes, and a small Yorkshire terrier called "Bobby") realized they might be able to get the Eighth Doctor back with the company and thus screw even more money out of the gullible Whovian fan-base.

And, by jingo, by crikey, they were right!

With Lucie Miller occupied having threesomes with the Bastard and his nubile masseuse on television, it was clear the Eighth Doctor would require a brand new companion to accompany him on his audio adventures through time and space and Cardiff. The problem was no one could think of any suitable candidate beyond Charley Pollard ("only this time COMPLETELY shaved!" as a certain N. Verkoff was quick to clarify).

And, as often happens with these unprofessional amateurs, discussions soon turned into a furious, spiteful, screaming argument about what did and didn’t count as canon. Even after the lengthy sequence in the 40th Anniversary story Zig-Zag-Gay-Ass (where the Doctor breaks the fourth wall completely to inform us that none of the books, comics or audios are canon and frankly no one would give a shit even if they were) this was still a sore point for debate.

After thirteen days straight of shrieking things like "INTERTEXTUALITY MY ARSE! HUMAN NATURE CANCELS OUT THE BOOKS! NO RETURNS!", all concerned conceded that the Eighth Doctor’s non-audio forays meant that there were plenty of companion characters on offer. Why bother creating a new character when they had books and comics to do all the hard work?

In the tradition of other commercial and artistic disasters as the Fifth Doctor’s Interesting Times, the Sixth Doctor’s 300 and the Seventh Doctor’s Twenty-Four, it was decided it was time for the Paul McGann to get his own "four short stories on two CDs" special.

But instead of just getting different writers, there would also be different companions, with each episode effectively auditioning Lucie’s replacement and the winner getting their ugly mugs on the cover art of future releases and maybe even a pay rise of up to THREE magic beans.

After much discussion, debate, debauchery and debagging, a shortlist was drawn up – representing the Virgin New Adventures would be Benny Summerfield, who already had her own spin-off series so there was no hassle about actually casting her. Plus, in the infamous finale to the NAs, Benny had got completely pissed on champagne and violently seduced the Eighth Doctor on the last page. Unfortunately, this turned out to be the ONLY interesting thing anyone remembered about her.

Lance Parkin, exhausted after working non-stop on five series of Benny’s spin off adventures, said "Sod it!" and handed in a standard runaround on the grounds that the lower quality made it more special due to the high standards of the Summerfieldverse. Besides, Benny had been around for eighteen years and even Steven Moffat couldn’t think of anything interesting left for her to do.

From the long-running and damn-well-said-on-screen-to-be-kosher comic strips of Doctor Who Magazine would be Isabelle Sinclair (AKA "Izzy Somebody") whose every appearance had been penned by Alan Barnes himself. Barnes was on record as saying that "anyone who doesn’t read DWM comic strips and know who Izzy is has no kind of life whatsoever and should be humanely gassed". This was rather ironic, as this demographic would be the only ones NOT to notice how atrociously-written Izzy was by her own creator.

Since there wasn’t a suitable actress already playing the companion, Barnes and Richardson had to find one – so they got the shortlist of actresses who failed to get the part of Rose Tyler and from these chose the one who most resembled Mick Jagger. Only one actress met this criteria, that self-pitying Bridget-Jones-wannabe from Lost in Austen who was about ten years and three stone out from playing the character from the comic strips.

It was decided to play to Jemima Rooper’s strengths and make Izzy even MORE annoying than she already was. The actress rationalized this on the grounds that Izzy’s forbidden lesbian lust was slowly driving her insane, while the writer is STILL puzzled at complaints about the characterization. We can only assume that all those comic strips must have portrayed Izzy as far a nicer and friendlier individual than she was actually intended to be.

For the third candidate, the BBC EDA range offered up Fitz Kriener, who was notable for being the only male companion the Eighth Doctor had who was NOT a psychotic armor-plated lizard with no sense of humor.

Steve Cole had created Fitz by spilling some coffee on his keyboard and creating the sentence "Robert Carlyle meets Adam Adamant and Vila Restal as a mixed-raced GI Joe"... which was immediately ignored by every other writer, instead preferring a lazy sexist guitarist stoner – the role model of many a DW author.

Chosen to play Fitz was Matt de Angelo after an exhausting process of watching "Hustle" episodes and picking the one with the most convincing Cockney accent who could do a dark, brooding tale of angst and misery. Cole then wrote some lighthearted comic nonsense, in order to "stretch the acting ability of that goddamn meat puppet".

Finally, Jonathon "Psycho Killer Qu'est Que C'est" Morris decided he was utterly sick and tired of Barnes' oh-so-tedious habit of having the Eighth Doctor big up his 'historical-celebrities-with-benefits' relationship with Mary Shelly, until he was talking more about her than he did the bloody Dustbins and it was time for the truth to be revealed – the Doctor was talking total crap and Mary had no idea who he was.

Casting Mary took even LESS effort than casting Izzy and Fitz, as they simply cast the same actress appearing in the film "Gothic Shenanigans" which Morris just happened to be plagiarizing in the first place. Thus, Julie Cox was chosen, an actress who had been unable to play any parts other than Lord Byron groupies following being traumatized by watching episodes of Doctor Who in her childhood.


All four writers delighted in the fact that, since the stories were showcasing the COMPANIONS rather than plots, they had free reign to be as simplistic, un-engaging, paper-thin and outright piss-poor as they liked. Morris in particular enjoyed abandoning any attempt to make 19th Century authors sound like anything other than some trust-funded English literature students who would talk demonstratively in pubs and try to be terribly bohemian all the time. The fuckwits.

Of course, the choice of new companion was obvious before they had even started recording. Lisa Bowerman was too busy to be a regular, the cast and crew had to be physically restrained whenever Jemima Rooper dared speak and Matt di Angelo turned out to only have attended recording to distract everyone while his fellow grifters stole everything they could get to sell to fans at profit.

Whereas Julie Cox gave a wonderful performance, conveying compassion, intelligence and a desire for a new life all in a mere 18 minutes of airtime. Yes, this three-dimensional character was best acted, better written, and not a smug hammy twat like the other candidates. Finally, they said, a companion WORTHY of Paul McGann.

Plus she was happy to work for minimum wage.

As far as the public were concerned, they only had the vaguest ideas of who Fitz was, they outright despised Benny as a spot-light-stealing harridan and no one recognized Jemime Rooper’s character as the same Alysson-Hannigan-type chick from the comic strips.

In the unlikely event Big Finish would have ever given a rat’s ass about the opinions of their customers, they would STILL have chosen Mary Shelly. Yes, a real-life historical character was a more credible choice for an ongoing companion than anything the spin-offs had come up with after over a decade.

I despair, I really do.

On the bright side, we can take comfort in the fact we’ll probably never hear any of those other losers ever again!

The only thing left of any notice is that they finally got rid of that god-awful Ron Grainer in a blender style mix-tape of a theme tune and replaced it with a musical number by Izzy Sinclair. True, it’s completely bewildering and irrelevant for three of the four episodes, but for 25 minutes it does make a KIND of sense...

"Fish Girls Make Me Wet" by the Stockbridge Lesbian Alliance

I met her in a club down in old Soho
Where you drink champagne
And it tastes just like water from the estuary
She walked up to me and she asked me to dance
I asked her her name and
In a light blue voice she said "Destrii"

Well I’m not the world’s most physical girl
But when she squeezed me tight
I very nearly hurled
Over Destrii! De-de-de-de-Destrii!
Well I’m not dumb but I can’t understand
Why she looks like a haddock
And talked like a woman
Oh my Destrii! De-de-de-de-Destrii!

Well, we drank salt water and danced all night
Under electric candlelight
She picked me up and sat me on her knee
And said "Little Isabelle – can I call you Izzy?"

Well I'd left home just a week before
And I'd never ever kissed a woman before
But Destrii smiled and took me by the hand
And said "Little girl I'll make you a woman!"

I pushed her away! I walked to the door!
I fell to the floor! She went down on me!
And we both moaned in ecstasy!
Well, that's the way that I want it to stay!
And I'll always want it to be that way!
For my Destrii! De-de-de-de-Destrii!

Well I'm not the world's most passionate chick
But when I looked in her eyes, well, who need d...
DESTRII! De-de-de-de-Destrii!
Girls will be fish and fish will be girls
It's a mixed up muddled up shook up world
Except for Destrii! De-de-de-de-Destrii!


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