Monday, December 7, 2009

8th Doctor - The Eight Truths (iii)

Book(s)/Other Related -
Dr Who: Cardiff of the Spiders!
The Enlightenment of Lucie Miller The Annoying
The Quatermass Conclusion That All Hippies Are Evil (1979)

Fluffs – Paul McGann seemed to be arachnophobic for most of this story.

One of the cultists recognizes Lucie as "the new face of Loriel!!"

Goofs –
The Doctor stuck with Lucie as a companion rather than Kelly. Sweet Jesus, is there ANY kind of logic to that?
Um... isn’t the Handjob of Moby still following Lucie around? Doesn’t that mean if she stays anywhere for more than five minutes, won’t a bright green sun materialize and incinerate everything? Or has the stellar manipulator finally developed standards and dumped her?
Ace the Headhunter tells the Spiders she is completely immune to rubber spider bites, so how come she died from them? Was she bluffing? Did she just assume that NO ONE could die from silly rubber spider bites? Was she just allergic to rubber?!?

Fashion Victims -
The tinfoil hats. And tinfoil underwear.

Technobabble -
The Doctor can survive being attacked by 638 furious cult members thanks to the "Inverse Conservation of Ninjutsu Strength" principle.

Links and References -
The Third Doctor, Sarah Jane Smith and Austin Powers first encountered the silly rubber spiders of Meetmeinbedin 3 in the classic 1970s story, Planet of the Spy-Spoofs (Serial ZZZ).

Untelevised Misadventures -
The Fourth Doctor, Romana and K9 also encountered some silly rubber spiders and defeated their second invasion of Earth by playing on the spiders’ one weakness – a love of deep-pan meat-lover’s pizzas!

Groovy DVD Extras -
The Director’s Cut of "Battlefield Earth", just in case you might be thinking this story is a bit harsh on Scientology. Just remember the cinematic crimes THEY committed FIRST!

Dialogue Disasters –

Kelly: That was your friend?
Doctor: No, that was Lucie. But she definitely didn’t seem like herself.
Kelly: Being inside that place turns a lot of people weird.
Doctor: Another thing that turns people weird is having their minds taken over by incredibly intelligent rubber spiders!
Kelly: ...please tell me that’s just a non-sequitur.
Doctor: It isn’t.
Kelly: You’re not saying that hyper-intelligent spiders are taking over the entire planet and establishing a hive empire of total evil?
Doctor: No... but now you come to mention it, that WOULD explain a few things, wouldn’t it?

Sangakkara: Ah, kiss my chuddies, man!

Marvin: They’ve opened my eyes!
Rob: Mine too!
Karen: All they want is our happiness and in return all they ask for is our mindless slave-like obedience!
Doctor: No, no, no, wake up you useless bastards! You’ve been brainwashed! YET AGAIN! That psychic shit has seeded this thought into your minds, you have to fight it...
Karen: I pity him.
Rob: His is an empty life.
Marvin: And you can’t expect salvation if he talks like this!
Karen: It’s our duty to put him out of his misery.
Marvin: Sadly, we must agree with you.
Doctor: Wait, before you kill me...
(The Doctor goes insane, fists whirling and shouting various ninja things as he charges the Scientologists and leaps through the air, feet first, Bruce-Lee-style.)

The Doctor discussing the plot of The Quatermass Conclusion:
"Gosh! Evil Aliens In Lying-to-Human-Allies Shocker! Palace Prepares Statement!"

The brutally emotional regeneration scene –
Ace: Oh, this is just typical, this is... I was finally getting used to this body and everything!
Karen: What are you talking about?
(Ace glows brightly)
Ace: Wow... can you see that unicorn?
Karen: What unicorn?
Ace: The one next to the talking rainbow. Can’t you see it?
Karen: No!
Ace: It’s REALLY pretty... you’re missing out! You know... I didn’t know rainbows could touch... or unicorns were so smooth... I think it likes me...
(Ace glows brighter and brighter)
Karen: What’s happening?!
Ace: No idea...
(Suddenly there is a brand new Ace lying on the floor.)
New Ace: Oh, wow. Did that, like, just happen?
Karen: What? Who are you?
New Ace: Hmm? Oh, er, I’m like... Ace. Or was it Susan? Oh wow. I totally, like, cheated death, dying but coming back from the place best friends are made, just as it, like should be. Random.
Karen: You’ve turned into a total moron!
New Ace: So I have. Oh, wow.

Doctor: Why did you shout "GIRL POWER" when we were charging them?
Kelly: It just... seemed the thing to do?
Doctor: Please don’t do it again. It’s very off-putting.
Kelly: Why?
Doctor: It reminds me of The Vicar of Dibley.
Kelly: Oh. Say no more.

The Doctor confronts John Travolta:
"Don’t try to justify what you’ve been doing! You’ve been breaking people down and brainwashing them! Worse, you’re responsible for some of the worst atrocities Western Cinema has ever witnessed!"

Karen: Lucie!
Lucie: Keep away from me, Karen! I’ve got, like, a sonic thing in my pants and it’ll totally mess you up! And not in a cool, day-glow-sex-toy kind of way either!

Dialogue Triumphs -

Doctor: The giant spiders of Meetmeinbedin 3! I thought they’d been destroyed, but it seems I’m always making that mistake when it comes to the less-copyrighted 1970s nostalgia villains...

Lucie: All praise the Great One! WORSHIP ME, PATHETIC MORTALS!
Smelly Ed: She’s in awe... of HERSELF?
Doctor: So what else is new?

Possessed Karen: Is this the only body there is?
Ace: I’m afraid so. Why, what’s wrong with it?
Possessed Karen: It’s just a bit... short. That’s all.
Ace: Oh, in THIS era of Earth History it’s considered very attractive to be short. Like Kylie Minogue – a real pygmy, but everyone loves her.
Possessed Karen: Oh. And the acne-ridden skin?
Ace: Very much the in-thing, style-wise.
Possessed Karen: And the third nipple?
(long pause)
Ace: Ah...

Lucie: I want to be fawned over, not worshipped. There IS a subtle difference. I just keep forgetting what it is, like.

Sangakkara on the silly rubber spiders:
"I’m told it’s another charming example of British amateurism. Which is marvelous for the people who find this amusing, but rather a kick in the teeth for anyone expecting half-decent production values."

UnQuotable Quote -
Kelly: Was that IT?

Viewer Quotes -

"The wide-eyed cults-peak just creeped me out to no end. I’m expecting Tom Cruise to sue the Doctor and Lucie any minute."
– Trey Parker (2009)

"I have high hopes for this one. Eddie Hitler hasn’t let me down yet. If you're reading this Steven Moffat, Eddie Hitler should definitely be writing for the TV series, and I would be more than happy to look after Karen Gillan. I bet she’s got a smashing blouse on. I’m also the Duke of Kidderminster AND EXTREMELY RICH!" – Richard Richard (2009)

"Kelly Westwood is to Lucie Miller what Donna Noble was to Adric."
– Bruno Langley (2010)

"The only reason BF are giving different names to episodes is so they can pretend it’s a different story and justify selling it as two separate releases at £22/£18 rather than releasing it as a two-CD set
at £15/£13 (and make the subscription rate look more of a saving)!"
– One Who Knows (2009)

"I can’t rave about this enough. So I won’t even bother trying."
– Efficiently Concise Media Reviews (March 2010)

"I didn’t find anything particularly memorable or engaging about this episode. In fact, I might have actually forgotten to listen to the damn thing. Oh well, who cares? I hate my life..." – Dave Restal (2010)

"This is the audio-only sequel to Planet of the Spy-Spoofs that we HAD to have!" – SadFanWanker99 (2009)

"Why the hell would a hyper-intelligent spider from another galaxy have a Northern accent? Surely it would have the received pronunciation of 1970s Meetmeinbedin 3 inhabitants? Oh, and if anyone repeats the lots-of-planets-have-a-North gag, I shall bludgeon them unconscious!"
– Russell T Davies (2010)

Psychotic Nostalgia -
"Also I wonder how many fans will comment on the Doctor apparently eating a cheeseburger. Perhaps it was on Orbis that he stopped being a Vegetarian? What do fish people eat anyway? Each other? Doesn’t that lead to Mad Fish Person Disease? Of course, I’ve had no mental problems consuming human flesh... but then, I’m not entirely human. It says so on my census form under 'Any Other Information'. So. Yeah."

Paul McGann Speaks!
"Apparently everyone remembers the One with the Silly Rubber Spiders, but I never saw it. Nor do I want to. In fact, we were chatting about Jon Pertwee and how much things have changed since then. The stories have changed, not just in their form, but also in their spirit over the decades. And perhaps – I don’t want to make extravagant claims for these stories, which are what they are but perhaps they reflect us, the times we live in. That’s the beauty of this kind of fiction, isn’t it? We can rip the shit out of Scientology as much as we like!"

Sheridan Smith Speaks!
"I have a massive fear of spiders. I’m scared of anything that creeps and crawls – daddy longlegs, tarantulas, Jonathon Ross... ew, the mere thought of it is making me itchy."

Katarina Olssen Speaks!
"It’s a bit of a finale for me, which is a bit sad... but maybe it’s a good thing. I never thought that Ace the Headhunter would go for three years. I just sort of assumed they’d be able to come up with original ideas, but considering this story is based on some background props in two episodes of a 1974 story no one likes, I guess 'original' is not a word you look for in this series. These fans are so confident in their writing skills and think they actually are completely infallible, in control and professional all the time... when they’re not. They’re actually quite annoying, if I’m honest."

Eddie Hitler Speaks!
"Sanjeev Bhaskar is the first person to appear in Big Finish with an OBE. Which is incredibly pathetic, when you think about it. Mind you, Sanjeev Bhaskar is also the first person to get an OBE and flog it on eBay to pay for a Happy Meal..."

Trivia -
This story actually paints the Church of Scientology in a positive light. Well, certainly in comparison to the Fifth Doctor story Singular Angularity (Serial 6P/C), anyway...

Rumors & Facts –

Since late 2005, the BBC Wales production of Doctor Who had been under siege by something hideous and terrifying, something that caused petrifying fear on the faces of those unfortunate enough to witness it – something that could only be called Sparacus "Flamingo" Jones. A strange creature wearing a sequined bodystocking with diaphanous head fins, googly fish eyes and a sad clown frown, this ex-Colchester history-professor, sexual deviant and absinthe abuser had decided to marry his twin obsessions: 1970s Pertwee-era Doctor Who and Adam Rickitt the failed Corrie soap star, failed pop singer, failed politician and now exiled to New Zealand and known by the locals as "the Kiwi Cheese-Stealing Vagabond of Olde London Town".

For years, longer than Tennant had been the Tenth Doctor, Jones had been demanding that Doctor Who abandon its new cult status and become serious, gravitas-fueled sociopolitical drama which basically meant an endless series of stories set in Cornish fishing villages with archaeological digs and corrupt chemical plants run by evil corporations. But more importantly the Tenth Doctor was to be given a love of Gothic architecture lectures, Venusian Aikido and psychotic addiction to Benjamin James Sebastian James Chatham, a whiny self-hating emo loser who styled himself as a world-famous sophisticated amateur archaeologist who spends all day listening to Bowie and getting drunk on absinthe.

Finally, after numerous death threats, assassination attempts, and Adam Rickitt’s repeated statements that he despised Doctor Who, science fiction, playing homosexuals and having honey licked off his naked chest by Colchester history teachers in their late 40s, Jones finally accepted that the world was not yet ready for Ben Chatham on Welsh television. Instead, he decided to pester the hell out of Big Finish.

Determined to have his work recognized by the most famous and influential range: Eddie Hitler’s Eighth Doctor spin-off starring Paul McGann, Sheridan Smith and whoever the hell it was who played Smelly Ed. Jones approached Hitler at the local pub, the Slug and Sandwich, about letting Jones – borderline illiterate with a pathological refusal to take any kind of writing advice – pen the epic season finale for the third series of Hitler’s magnificence.

Jones’ idea was a story entitled simply "Dildo", and began with the tigers at London Zoo eating small children, tossing their bodies around like rag dolls of gazelles, biting deep into the flesh of their head. Then some Welsh cows go bezerk in an infants school and trample them to death, while a pack of wild pitbull terriers attack the SuperSave Supermarket in Camden, soaking the ice on the fish counter in blood as they rip the throats out of customers...

Eventually, this mindless blood-soaked carnage would take a back seat in the plot, which involved Ben Chatham the famous superhuman cultured AntiChav who all men and women find sexually irresistible and who all world leaders immediately get down on their knees and worship visiting a well-maintained Victorian rehab clinic for heroine junkies. Ben struts around the place, miraculously healing the sick and inspiring the scum of society like Amy Whitehouse or Pete Docherty to take an interest in exclusive Columbian Blue Ridge Coffee.

Just then, a random cat tries to claw Ben’s eyeballs out of his skull – but this is something of a usual occurrence and Ben casually snaps its neck with his amazing godlike strength, which provides ex-addicts with a new Christian religious direction to detox their own dreary souls. Flicking his golden hair from his dark eyes, and musing that other people merely exist just to get in his way, Ben extols the virtues of Fox’s Glacier Mints, hardcore hallucinogens he forces down the throats of the recovering addicts, causing them to float down turquoise rivers, seeing the elfin spirits of the forest, and finally die choking on their own tongues.

But it turns out that the entire clinic is a trap run by the evil rubber spiders of Meetmeinbedin 3 and their incredibly powerful red dildos of all power!

Ben takes a little time to realize this, of course, as he discovers one of the clinic patients is none other than Nicola Chatham, his long-lost sister. Despising her in their childhood for her being allowed to sleep with boys while HE was forced by social conventions to put up with ovary-possessing brood-mares, young Ben convinced his parents that his sister was a junkie prostitute lowbrow slut and had her thrown out of the house, cut out of the family will, and systematically destroyed any and all letters Nicola sent to her parents in despair.

Ben locals Nicola and tells her in graphic detail how he ruined her life and that she deserved it all for being so damn popular with his parents and "causing all sorts of hassle". He also blames her for the fact none of his boyfriends can stand him for more than three days before emigrating, so he has an exclusive and very expensive French assassin shoot her dead.

Ben then sends a text message to UNIT HQ and, what with him being a famous saver-of-all-human-civilization-with-a-massive-penis, the emergency services are entirely at his beck and call turn up at the clinic for no real reason. Luckily, as there IS an alien conspiracy involving giant rubber spiders, so UNIT blow up the place and kill everyone inside.

Ben is utterly devastated: in the conflict, he gets a tear in his jacket, which cost £900.

He spends the rest of the story lying on the sofa in a dressing gown, downing a bottle of finest French absinthe and sobbing uncontrollably at the tragedy of what happened to his jacket.

Jones also noted there might be a B-plot where the Doctor and Lucie investigate all the wild animal attacks, get bored, go to the Tate Modern, bump into the Touchwood gang, get kidnapped by hooded cultists working for the spiders and trying to destroy civilization with giant red dildos – but none of it was really important and could easily be cut to focus more on the fascinating scenes of Ben Chatham.

Having listened to this pitch, Eddie Hitler finished his pint and then knocked over Jones’ glass of absinthe into the fish-creature’s lap and set fire to both of them. Leaving Jones to run around, aflame and screaming, Hitler returned to the office though Jones would later tell everyone that this did NOT actually count as a rejection, really, when you think about it. Hitler later told everyone that it bloody well WAS a rejection, which Jones insisted was "an unsubstantiated assertion", whereupon Hitler beat him to death with a cricket bat.

Clearly if Hitler wanted a tense and dramatic season finale – or at least something that wasn’t an offense to all intelligent listeners everywhere like last year, anyway – he’d have to do the bloody thing himself, and for the first time in the Eighth Doctor era a series would end in a story set in Cardiff in the ethnographic present. Admittedly, this novelty would wear off RAPIDLY in the future, but still...

In order to ensure that Jones’ pitch would never be accepted by anyone else, out of sheer spite Hitler decided to do his OWN Meetmeinbedin 3 giant spider story – which legally meant no other BF story or BBC Wales episode could use such a plotline. Cackling evilly, Hitler decided he’d make Lucie possessed by the evil aliens in exactly the same way she was in practically every other story she was in.

"Hey, it beats twisting her ankle every week!" Hitler pointed out.

The title was eventually changed to The Eight Years in celebration that this was the eighth season of adventures that Paul McGann had played the Doctor in since the year 2000. Of course, he’d technically been the Doctor for four years before that, but The Twelve Years Including Books And Comic Strips was never seriously considered as a suitable title for a story of this nature.

Being as it was at the end of production, and all concerned shagged out after long squawks, the cast and crew were prone to adlibbing uncontrollably and breaking the fourth wall. As more and more people dropped completely out of character to complain that "this is all very similar to that Quatermass movie, isn’t it?" Hitler decided to run with this concept and revealed the spiders’ entire evil plan was based on a Nigel Kneale miniseries about hippies being scum.

This was doubly ironic, given that at absolutely no point had Hitler seen The Quatermass Conclusion and was in fact plagiarizing The Lust of the Time Lords by RTD and Silence of the Librarians by Steven Moffat. But you didn’t hear that from me, right?

Hitler was also eager that the story arc conclude with the Doctor forced to confront the destruction of his adoptee home world (you know, the one with the lesbian fish girls that never actually got a name) with Lucie Miller revealed as the agent of destruction with her nauseating links to the Handjob of Moby.

Unfortunately, he had a bit too much to drink one Friday lunchtime and completely forgot to write that bit in, and so the Doctor comes across as incredibly blasé about the entire situation.

The Eight Years ties up all the threads (heh-heh, spider-type joke) with the neatness that only a bunch of drunken audio hams with an obsession for "Peep Show" and continuity references, and even give the long-running character of Ace the Headhunter a noble and surprisingly stirring death scene. True, killing her off just as she was finally becoming recognized by fans as the Big Bad of the Eighth Doctor was kind of lame... but at least her new brain-dead bimbo incarnation explains how someone so lethally badass could become just another casualty in the Temporal Difference of Opinion, right?

Furthermore, the victory over the silly rubber spiders is wonderfully uplifting – with humanity in unison celebrating what a bunch of rabid, foam-at-the-mouth self-destructive psychopaths we all are! You don’t get THAT kind of self-awareness from Russell T Davies, do you?!

I unequivocally recommend you all sit yourselves down with a packet of Dr Kargs and a hearty brew, and enjoy the superb performances; the first-rate production; and a story so very good and so very now that it beggars belief its writer hasn’t been snaffled by the television series yet. And not because of the large amounts of money being paid into my off-shore savings account by a certain E. Didgeridoo Hitler, no sir!

Season 35 Round-Up –

2009, the year when the global financial crisis destroyed such deserving TV series as Robin Hood, Primeval, Eleventh Hour and... er... Touchwood. The year when even the BBC couldn’t afford to make thirteen episodes of Doctor Who, let alone screen it any kind of logical pattern so we got one episode at Easter and three out of order during the New Year Festivities.

Surely THIS was the moment that the Eighth Doctor audios moved in for the kill? Released over the magical interweb one half-hour installment at a time, on Saturdays, completely free to the British public during the normal period David Tennant should be gurning at Dustbins on TV... how could this possibly go wrong?

All it needed was a series of big, sexy adventures.

Ah, you see? The slight flaw in the plan becomes ever more obvious.

Of course, any reasonably impartial person would note that this season was far superior to Season 34, with better stories, actors, monsters, special effects and sound design. Trouble is, finding a reasonably impartial person is damn difficult, especially after the shitstorm of The Vengeance of Moby (now internationally recognized as a crime against humanity itself).

After THAT, no matter how strong and excellent the new season was, no one in their right mind was going to listen to Season 35. Luckily few – a VERY few – Doctor Who fans are in their right mind and so these tales of excitement, fun, and engaging brilliance were not overlooked. But was this series sexy?


This series was as erotic as Rik Mayall in soiled underwear dancing on a hotel bed while Ian "Molly" Meldrum beat him unconscious with a Logie on "Countdown". Incredibly un-sexy material, I think you’ll agree.

This season cunningly went without using Dustbins, Paul Magrs, or Briggos the Destroyer. But very un-cunningly, it keps that utterly dreadful - dare I say minging? – assault on the ears they pass off as a theme tune! Yes, apparently the millions of complaints of this atrocious a mishmash of sounds were taken as some crude reverse psychology and everyone LOVED the fact that not only had Big Finish thrown away the unique arrangement for the Eighth Doctor, but also replaced it with the sound of Nick Briggs bashing his head on a keyboard for thirty seconds!

This horrible "Delia Derbyshire in an actual blender" abomination of annoying and painful sounds which, at one time, was the theme to Doctor Who – which was, after all, voted "by far and away the worst version of the theme tune ever dear god it is horrendous" by Paul McGann, Sheridan Smith and Edward Hitler THEMSELVES – was kept!

However, in the desire for artistic balance, I have found ONE positive review of this bloody awful boatload of unforgivably sparse nothing brutally reverberating every single bastard note until none are left standing that makes normal folk want to claw their faces off and scream at god for the mercy of clown horns and ABBA mash-ups...

"I absolutely adore the theme! Its really psychadelic and cool in my opinion! I really wish the tv theme was like this!!"
- Ian Levine (2009)

Which, when you think about, it just a way of saying that the theme is AWFUL, BOMBASTIC, CRASS AND UGLY to those who circle the pastures of reality! Truly, if one thing ever unites mankind as a whole it will not be class, creed, ideology... it will hatred for this energy-less blender remix that ambles about in random sounds for 45 seconds then arbitrarily ends for no real reason.

Make it stop. PLEASE! MAKE IT STOP!!!


With the format of RTD’s Doctor Who copied to the point of a gritty, crying-on-the-inside-addicted-to-amphetamines-on-the-outside Doctor travelling with a feisty butch girl stereotype in 45-minute episodes in the peak ratings period of the BBC year while Murray Gold music blared from every nook and cranny, only ONE thing was needed to complete the transformation into a perfect segue towards the BAFTA-winning TV series. Well, TWO things, actually, but since Eccleston wasn’t interested, they only had the inappropriately-named Christmas special tradition to go for...

will return in

No comments: