Saturday, May 31, 2008

Jared Reviews The Doctor's Daughter!

By that I mean the episode. I'm not just reviewing Georgie Moffet. Because then there'd just be pages of: "Coooooooor!"

I haven't already done that joke have I? Giving me de ja vu. Must have come up with it this morning or something...

0:10 - "I don't know where we're going but my old hand's very excited about it!!!"

Ah, subtlety.

Cue explanation for Doctor missing a hand

1:11 - People with clean hands get them shoved inside one of those things from the ten-pin bowling arcade? Well, I'm all for some weird alien cultures... even if the same weird alien cultures dress like Che Guevara...

1:13 - "Something tells me that this isn't about to check my blood pressure..." Man, in terms of quips the Doctor has really gone down hill. I liked Colin's quip-delivery, you know - all that "Your just desserts" and "You'll forgive me if I don't join you". But then he had a very sedate style. I often get the impression that David Tennant's delivery comes from a director whipping him and saying the line needs to fit in a two-second gap...

1:16 - Wait, if everyone gets processed why do clean hands matter?

I'm probably pre-empting here, actually, as the kid's only mid-sentence. I just stopped to point out that he has.. the cold, dead eyes...... of a killer.

1:24 - Was this a Big Finish script? "Ow it's taken a tissue sample... it's extrapolating.. wait, I thik it's accelarating... now it's taken the tissue sample out and it's wrapping it in a large brwon paper bag which has 'Doggy Bag' written on the side... aha, now it's let me go! Now, freaky kid, look at my fist - AS IT GOES INTO YOUR FACE!"

"Ow, what are you doing?"

"What does it look like I'm doing? I'M HANDCUFFING YOU TO A TREE!!!"

I love tangents.


1:47 - Okay, he says "arm yourself" when he's in the process of giving her a ridiculously large gun. How much more does she need to be 'armed'?

1:54 - "From you?" Yes, Martha, from him. You kinda just saw it happening, and are only speaking now to fill in last week's trailer.

1:56 - "How?" What the fuck is this, a DWAD?


1:57 - "Who is she?"

Even assuming she hasn't just been cloned in the last few seconds... why is Donna so certain that the Doctor would know?

Yeah. I know. Trailer.

Incidentally, I hope that Marian De Haan has seen this, after all the trouble that the clones in B7 that are produced in a few minutes gave her mind...

2:04 "She's my daughter"

"Alright, alright - stop this now. You're being silly, Doctor. It's a clone, we can all see that, and saying otherwise is just silly. This is all too silly, and I'm gong to ask you to stop."

The thing that gets me about this... is that there is nothing really wrong with the premise of the Doctor's actual daughter appearing, aside from arguments over the wisdom of depriving the character of the Doctor of his mystery (Something I'm in two minds about - is it that important that the Doctor remain mysterious? Emphasise the mystery too much and people will demand the answers and THEN it will be really flat...) and the eight billionth kick-in-the-balls to Marc Platt and his retarded 'loom' idea.*

Because, in Fear Her we were explicity told that the Doctor was a dad. And, before that, implicitly told in The Empty Child. And also the entire point of The Empty Child was Steven Moffat screaming "THE DOCTOR HAS SEX!!!" via metaphor and subtext, which I stress again is slightly odd given the fact that if Rose and the Doctor have sex right after the credit rolls as a lot of people like to believe it stuffs up the arc remarkably, unless Gallifreyans continue the touch of gentials bush-league but the touch of lips monumentally important.

The point is - it's official, the Doctor has a family. Well, and I guess it was even made quite clear in The Tomb of the Cybermen... so why shy away at the last minute.

The odder thing is... on A Teaspoon and an Open Mind, I read a story with a setup so much like this it was scary. (Well, it wasn't then, because this was a couple of years ago) The Doctor is lost with the Brig when trying to get back from The Eye of Orion (Now THERE'S a gap some PDAs should have been set in...) and lands, for some reason, in 8th Century Britain or something comparable, does the wandering around thing, monastery, GASP!

"Doctor, who is that?"

"He's my son!"


The next chapter opens with a fairly clumsy explanation that in an unseen adventure the Doctor came up against some Cloner-Pirates in the far-future who stole his DNA and made a clone, that the Doctor left in a cosy monastery to be raised and educated. Sound familiar?

Oh, and from my sketchy memories the rest of the story was about dealing with an ancient werewolf on the moors. Hmmm, maybe RTD is ripping stuff off from fanficcers...

Anyway, the point is that there isn't anything remotely clever about the idea at all, unless the point of the exercise is to piss fans off with terrible writing. In which case, it is a masterstroke.

I mean, it's like if JNT really DID make The Wife of Doctor Who, and it turned out that Cameca from The Aztecs had been kidnapped by the Draconians and he needed to enlist the services of Lightfoot and Jago to get her back. (Although, I should probably stress, I would love to see that story...)

*I am fucking serious, before the New Series started EVERYONE thought the Looms were canon. I heard about them non-stop and it drove me crazy because it was such a stupid idea. Now... nobody.

2:28 - While the ginormous "...AND" is taking up the screen it's a good enough time for a status report. Even though since leaving the regular cast of DW she has appeared in six episodes of two prime-time series in the space of the last few months courtesy of the producers she originally worked under, there are some people who STILL believe

A - That Freema Agyeman was 'axed'
B - That it was due to her acting abilities, in spite of the fact that they got her the job
C - That she was also massively unpopular with the fans, in spite of the fact, again, that she's been brought back twice.
D - That they are not the bastard children of that bloke from Love They Neighbour and have nothing of worth to offer society.

I smell a particularly bullshit and ugly future fan myth in the brewing...

2:41 - Oh, come on! I was trying to forget that this was Stephen Greenhorne!

I'll try not to mention Attack of The Scorpion Man, from hereon as that episode is the focus of a slight divergence of opinion...

2:55 - Why haven't Donna and Martha been shoved in the machine? Didn't they scrub?

2:58 - "Technically... in the sense that I provided the sperm sample that result- wait.. hang on.... no, I'm full of shit actually..."

3:05 - is the sheep that Dolly was cloned from referred to as her 'mother'?

3:24 - Any video gamers out there, reading this in secret, I say this episodes design is directly influenced by the Half Life series. About half of the second game is spent in dimly lit tunnels with scrap metal detritus like that and the Hath bear something of a resemblance to... fuck, what are they called, let's see...

..the Vorticauns! Or something similar. I swear the aliens in Commander Keen were called exactly the same thing.

3:39 - Martha gets captured AGAIN? ... okay let's see...

She was captured last week, she was captured by Mad Scientist in her first Torchwood episode and then captured by The Evil Glove in the next Torchwood episode and now it's happened again. By my reckoning, that's more captures then she had during her actual time with the Doctor... (Blink, Daleks and Gridlock I'm counting, if you're wondering. In Time Lords she sort of is, but then it's the entire idea of her plan so... you know..)

Starting to become a bit of a habit. I'm hoping she'll be well served by this story anyway...

4:00 - Just thought I'd mention that that explosion is an excellent demonstration of how to effectively create some action without splashing out on the budget...

4:30 - Ooh, Gary Russell's saved up his catfight-energy for this story...

Either that or I'm borderline paranoid and seeing his hand behind everything the show does, when some sites are saying he's essentially just the new Ian Levine...

Anyway, good to see that Donna sticks up for Martha despite not knowing her very long. Another strong sign of Donna's essential decency in spite of her abrasive demeanor...

4:39 - Seriously this dude is a fucking freak. Is he the son of that dude who was the Head Crimo or something? Is he pissed off because he missed out on the part of Styles by looking too weird?

5:37 - Lovely little scene there with Martha comforting the wounded Hath. I like the idea that the Hippocratic insticts are all-pervading for her...

6:08 - Hmm, I sense something of a plot point with the Hath being so incoherent..

6:16 - "I'm Doctor Martha Jones, who the hell are you?" Pretty forthright.. but as I guess I myself pointed out, she's pretty used to having guns pointed at her by now.

6:59 - Yeah, they're stretching this 'parent' thing aren't they.

Turkey baster x= gigantic cloning machine.

That isn't me speaking - that's Einstein!

7:08 - Also, really, really odd that Donna is now arguing to the Doctor that he IS Jenny's dad when he's the one who said "HOLY FUCK I'M A DADDY!!"

8:52 - Martha is clearly flattered by the Hath's clumsy advances, yet desperate to find a way to politely turn them down...

9:02 - Martha gets gang-groped by aliens - FINALLY!

Honestly, Stargate was giving this away in the very first episode...

9:55 - Okay, so we have two armies sending clones at one another, in a war that's gone on so long nobody can remember how any of it started... there has to be a Sontaran reference soon, surely?

11:34 - What exactly is it about the words "Whoever has the Source controls the destiny of this planet" that causes David Tennant to have a violent seizure?

12:00 - ... yeah, I'm really confused as to where those tunnels came from...

11:41 - Watched it again... apparently a 'supressed layer of information' in the map, which Tennant could tell from groping it.

So... they haven't put all the tunnels on the map? Surely they would have known from all the raids that they've been making over the past centuries?

12:24 - Oh... so the Source doesn't bring harmony, it's more sort of... genocide.

...seriously, no Sontaran references?

12:36 - The Doctor's going a bit overboard again... I blame Greenhorne, of course.

The funny thing is when he said "look up genocide in the dictionary because when you do you'll find a little picture of me in there with a caption saying-" I thought the next bit was going to be "Universe's worst offender". And he was going to go on a rant about how nobody can genocide like he can, and rant about roasting all the Time Lords for ages.

The reality is something of a let down. "Under my dead body". Is it a special "empty threats" edition of the dictionary?

Anyway, bet the next line is "That's fine by me" or some such variation.

12:40 - Ooh, originality.

12:55 - Lol, what an inappropriate time to have the "We're not married" thing. I also note that General Cobb doesn't say wife, he refers to Donna as the Doctor's woman. I'm probably just being a freak but I like to think it's a veiled B7 reference, what with Gan talking about 'his woman' (And I think Avon might have when referring to Anna Grant..)

13:03 - Ooh, reminds me of Tom Baker's stories where they wouldn't stop making references to his mind as 'his weapon'...

13:09 - "Can't trust her - she's of pacifist stock.." Nice eugenics subtext there. This certainly hasn't been a spectacular story so far but very competently written and strong in character...

13:40 - "You mean that's not true?!" Erm... why does she trust what the Doctor says? Haven't they established that her mind is programmed upon her inception?

14:10 - Drawing up strategies like a general?... he hasn't drawn up any strategy so far. He's said we need to get out and stop Cobb. Extraordinary circumstance but it's just optimistic planning. Not really any different from saying "I need to get to the shops and buy some batteries..."

Hey, does that make ME a soldier too...

14:20 - Man, I'm sick of seeing the Doctor getting his arse handed to him in poorly written arguments.

"No I want PEACE!"
"Yeah, but soldiers do too. Ergo you = soldier, motherfucker!"

A follow on from...

"You kill people in cold blood, bitch. Sometimes you let one go just for the hell of it, big deal"
"Only a murderer would know that!"
"Not really. I learnt that from Cracker. Good show that. First season anyway..."
"Yeah, fine, I'm a murderer. Now shut the fuck up.."

14:30 - Sonic screwdriver = instrument of war?... erm, no. Jenny is insanely looking for metaphorical parallels to soldiering in the Doctor's behaviour.. and is kind of freaking me out now..

16:41 - Very canny thinking from Donna with the whole heartbeat thing but... I dunno, am I an arsehole for not believing that the Doctor apparently owes it to a pre-fab clone soldier to act as parent just because some guys raped his hand by sticking it into a Hot Chick Machine?

Also, thought I'd make another divergence - I'm still confused by her ultra-hotness. That isn't to say that her beauty is such that it dazzles my mind into mute incomprehension until the next cold shower, but I'm curious as to why. After all, the Doctor has quite a motley collection of looks over the years, of which I'd say Tennant is the most attractive but even so he hardly looks normal, and then we see the Rebel People Who Probably Have A Collective Name and what with Klein (aka Styles Jr) and General Cobb we can see that the clone machines clearly don't turn them out as oil paintings, so the question has to be... what happened there? Just pure luck.

Of course, as I write this I have no idea what I'd expect the Doctor's daughter to look like. And then there's the blinding irony that, hey, she IS played by a Doctor's daughter anyway. Do I have any leg to stand on here? No? Ah, well, never mind...

17:35 - Hang on... previously I got the impression that the Doctor was on the outer of the Time War if anywhere at all. Didn't realise that he was in the thick of it... or they could just be referring to the whole "blowing up Gallifrey mass genocide" event... that would qualify as "killing"... nevermind me...

17:38 - "Then how are we different?" ... one of you is like two hours old and hasn't actually killed anyone yet, is pre-programmed for way, carries weaponry is spoiling for a fight, is of the female persuasion and doesn't have any mystic Time Lord powers due to missing out on an upbringing of force-fed Vortex viewings and an arduous training process at the Prydonian Academy.

Apart from that I guess you're peas in a pod..

18:24 - Hmm, Martha about to go through dangerous levels of radiation.. this ep really does have a Terry Nation vibe to it, you know.

And I like the way that she and the Hath can now understand one another. Reminds me of the wizards in the discworld dealing with the Librarian who turned into an orangutan.

"So what does he say when he means 'yes'?"
"Hmm. And when he means 'no'?"
"Erm... well, 'ook'. But he says it in a different way..."

18:48 - Oh God this looks like the most disgusting flirtation scene ever...

"Hey soldier. Those pimples look ripe and juicy. Want something done about it?"

19:09 - At Donna's dare to engage in homoerotica to escape from jail cells in the future, the Doctor looks strangely thoughtful...

19:34 - "Let's save your wiles for later.." Man, haven't felt this let down in a while..

19:59 - The Doctor was going to distract him.. not clobber him. So he didn't explain this to either of the others, and while the guard was actually distracted made no attempt at all to sneak past. A poor excuse for another "DON'T YOU FUCKING GO PSYCHO ON ME!" moment...

21:31 - Quite a nice alien landscape. And the whole scene demonstrates Martha's adventurous nature and playful humour.

I've been pointing out one or two of her character traits to myself because some toerag on OG was saying she had no personality.

The same brain donor went on about their being no foreshadowing of her apparently being in love with the Doctor in Last of the Time Lords so he's scarcely worth thinking about, though...

21:34 - "Okay, the massive attack we've launched is going great, just thought I'd better duck back and check that there's no guys left tied up - SON OF A BITCH!"

21:43 - "I've waited all my life for this moment... to discover a completely worthless teenager was unable to hold some prisoners in a cell. Oh, yes, this will be AWESOME!"

*Unzips fly*

21:51 - "At arms! March!"

"Fuck, we need to get ANOTHER gun? My back is killing me..."

22:04 - Is the twist with the numbers that they are all the same number? Because I swear it's been the same one every time we've had a close up...

22:23 - "The Doctor? That's it?" God, this conversation's a bit overdue...

22:59 - God, General Cobb caught up with them pretty bloody quickly..

And, you know, isn't it weird that Jenny smacked the Doctor down in an argument earlier (due to the Doctor doing a guppy fish impersonation rather than actually speaking) but is now realising that she has no idea who they actually are or anything real about them, and is unable to comprehend the noiton of free will?

Ah, well, whores will have their trinkets..

23:03 - Oh, yeah, good to see Klein's on the front line. Is this kid one of their most senior officers or something? He's in every fucking scene!

23:31 - Oh, and I was wrong about the numbers thing, obviously.

24:09 - It's quite lucky for them that a pre-programmed super soldier is such a crap shot..

24:55 - Oh, she was missing deliberately. There I go again, beating the subtext...

25:36 - Is the whole "Impossible? Just a bit unlikely.." a reaction to the way Tennant said his sandwich having pickles on it when he specifically said "NO PICKLES" was "impossible" in Season 2?

Fair enough, I suppose. It was a reeeeally shithouse catchphrase..

26:26 - Martha is in a great big puddle of steaming ooze.

Yep. Terry Nation all over...

27:26 - Aaaw man... Martha must be thinking it isn't worth having all these adventures. If she isn't aging 70 years in ten seconds she's watching friends die constantly. I don't like to see my Blackamoor Queen go through the wringer this much...

28:57 - Finally we acknowledge the fact that the Doctor being a parent is nothing new! God. You see people, THIS IS ALL A RIDICULOUS CHARADE!

Funny to think, isn't it, that if Anthony Coburn didn't find the idea of an old man travelling with a schoolgirl unthinkable this entire thread of the mythology wouldn't exist...

29:52 - ..hasn't Donna told the Doctor he's wrong plenty of times?

30:20 - Martha crests the hill to see... the top of the hospital from New Earth!

"You did it! You finally did it! You maniacs... you blew it up..."

30:31 - "This is a door!"


30:38 - "I can hear them!" Err, well done...

30:56 - "They're coming!" Okay, I get the running part, but when did the Doctor have time to explain to her the exclaim-loudly-about-really-obvious-stuff act?

30:58 - I don't believe this. She just fucking said "Close the door". After the Doctor started to close it. Greenhorne, what's going on here? WAS this a BF? Is that what has been going on here? It's only in the last minute this shit has happened! God, just when the story was trying make Jenny more intelligent.

31:16 - Should have written something when I saw it, because now I sound a bit LM, but when we first got the shot of the 'tower' on the map I thought that it looked like a spaceship..

31:35 - "It's the Hath!" Oh, my word, isn't Ms Marple meant to be on next week?

32:40 - New Byzantine Calendar? How did Donna work that out?

Erm, whatever, so the robots put the date everywhere on those plates as they built it..?

32:46 - Yes, I was correct.

33:07 - And yes, I had also noticed just then that the date had barely changed.

Of course, the clock could just be broken..

33:33 - Hey, come on, Doc, a bit of sensitivity for once. I'm not sure what's got you so happy about discovering that everything Jenny has ever believed in is a cruel sham... even if she's only believed in it for four hours...

33:38 - "They're not in ruins, they're just empty..." BULLSHIT! The theatre has peeling paint all over it.

34:08 - It is now official... none of the Doctors can pronounce 'bouganvillia' correctly..

34:43 - And terraforming again! So... no mention to TSS? You know, that adventure all three of you have gone through just hours earlier, in which you encountered a clone race fighting an endless and pointless war and plotting to terraform the planet? Anyone? Getting anything at all?

36:16 - I would have found it hilarious if The Source was not designed to be broken open like that...

37:15 - Ah, and here we are... the important bit of the episode that it would be impossible to NOT have been spoilerized for me. That Steven Moffat retconned out at the end of the script (still to come) and... well, there's the aprallel to the Master, obviously, a really, really big one... but I don't think that's the biggest problem.

I think.. that it's pretty poorly done. I mean... there's something oddly crowbarred about Cobb shooting her (or, you know, trying to shoot the Doctor...) at that moment...

And also note that it gets a bit of a Two Doctors style reaction...

40:13 - Okay, I'm probably betraying my fandom roots by not being sucked into the sentimentality of the moment but, when Tennant says that the foundation of the society should be a 'a man who never would' all I can think of is...

A group of blokes in a pub. A reasonable looking woman walks past, they exchange some glances...

ONE BLOKE: Yeah, I would.
ONE BLOKE: Oh, shi-

(Police Kick door down)

40:53 - Must be pretty big frigging topsoil..

41:27 - Aaaand no idea what that paradox shit is on about. The Hand brought the Doctor to the planet.. why? I mean, he says because of Jenny but.. the hand never took them to Utopia OR to 21st Century London. And why the hand? Why not the rest of his body? It's all made of the same stuff!

42:27 - "We're making a habit of this!" Aha, it's acknowledged!

43:46 - Hang on... how did Jenny go from being on an operation table to being in the rockets cockpit in the space of five seconds, without the two guys standing guard over her noticing it happen? Slight goof..?

Yeah, that... that did nothing for me at all. I liked the Nation vibes I got at a couple of times but... okay, the twist about it being 7 days I guess was alright... except for the fact that Cobb stayed out of the fighting (well, everyone did for that matter) so you wondered how exactly their entire population could be wiped out several times every 24 hours... no, this one just doesn't work for me. Not actively bad, but... lacking in competence and polish. Jenny was the only hook but... ultimately she wasn't that well conceived a character. She jumped from being nothing but a biological android soldier who only shared DNA with the Doctor, to a girl apparently at least as intelligent to the Doctor, to a blank canvas, and then a proto-Doctor. If there was any sign that this was meant to portray the uneasy mental state of a mass-produced human then it would have been excusable, but there wasn't any so we were left to assume that this was a fully-rounded character and it never convinced me. Donna was also unusually agressive and it felt like much ado about nothing especially because, as I said, there wasn't much of a real reason for the Doctor to consider himself a father. Also, Cobb was a pretty underwhelming villain. 5/10


IMDBer Response: At the end when Jenny flew off in the shuttle, I thought I heard shades of the old Blake's Seven theme!

Am I crazy or did anyone else hear it?

I then got to thinking, wasn't one of Blake's 7 called Jenny...?

Conossieur Response: Jenny's pants - very tight and shiny, weren't they? ;)

Sparacus' Baffling Response: This idea was featured in the Wrath of Khan/Search for Spock films. Clearly the production team have recognised the wealth of ideas in Star Trek.

That Person [or Persons] on OG Who Really Gets on My Tits Response: By far the best story ever!

Lawrence Miles Thing: ...

(I actually didn't read it that week...)

Observant Person's Response: How did she know he was her Dad? It wasn't that bright in there so it must have been hard to notice his hand, she's stepped out into a room with more than one person in it (plus more than one person with clean hands).

Nyder's REALLY Baffling Response: You think the Moffster! You actually believe the Moffster is something you have made up? What is a Moffster anyway? Will Character Options be flogging one soon?

Some Dude's Response to THAT Response: All very amusing, but STOP.

(I thought that was quite tame by his standards, but no chances are being taken for a possibly impending lawsuit...)

Next Time: Agatha Christie stays at Bertie Wooster's place... The Doctor liked The Chimes of Midnight so much he tries to do it again... The Doctor comments that he's always bumping into Christie at times like this, and this is fortunately before the restraining order was placed on him... Christie demands an audience with the Borad... The Doctor won't stop doing that 'talking straight through his jaw' thing that really pisses me off... Cassandra is back!... The Doctor asks Christie to do something to justify her own presence.

Yeah, that trailer gave me nothing. NOTHING!

How to get into porn

Okay... this may be in poor taste but I'm posting it anyway. If this blog hasn't been 'flagged' (And, I'm pretty sure it has been already) this will definitely get it over the line. While exploring some, entirely non-porn, websites I could believe my misfortune when I did stumble into a den of explicity the homepage of an apparently prolific and gifted actress "Sexy Samantha 38G" (I'm sure you can work out the logic behind that nomenclature...) where she has an open letter addressed to all of the guys who email her asking if she can help them 'get started in the porn industry' (read, have sex with them in order to give them something to brag about to their online porn buddies and J.O Bros.) The response is slightly more eloquent than you think would be necessary, a list of requirements for breaking into the porn industry as 'male talent'. If Chris Hale is still reading, please take note.

I get many emails from guys wanting to be male talent. Good Fucking LUCK!!!!

See, I believe that's all that was necessary. But now..

1. Must live in LA (No one is going to relocate the whole porn industry to fit your needs. LOL Some men actually think they can have a career in porn living in the middle of no where. Fantasy Land LOL)

The revelation that all porn is made in LA surprises me. Now I want to know where the "German dungeon" district of L.A is...

2. 8 inches or MORE

2.8? Really? Oh, sorry, my bad. Again, this makes me curious about that Japanese porn I've... er, heard so much about.

3. Wash board abs and in great shape.

...again, this is contradicted by the evidence of my own eyes a dozen times over.

But if you have 10 or 12 inch dicks, then alot can be forgiven body wise.

Ah, there we go. For the record, the 'alot' that can be forgiven is 'looking like The Womp'.

4. A hot chic

You need an elusive chic, a Je-nous se-quai... and more than that - IT NEEDS TO BE HOT.

Must be able to find and recruit new female talent. And have them request you for all their shoots. (If you can't get laid, then porn isn't the way to guarantee you will get laid on a regular basis. It is guys with game, guys with charm or a lot of money who can get chics all on his own who make it in this business.)

Now I guess it's good that she's put this down in writing, because it really does illustrate how much the porn industry sucks.

She, the logic behind most guys endeavours into the industry clearly runs thus:

1. I am not getting laid

2. Not many guys would agree to do it on camera, so if I do that, I get laid.

Whereas the reality seems to be

1. I am getting laid

2. Hell, I'm getting laid so much that I'm going to take sell my entourage of hot babes into slaver where they can be gang-banged by Womp clones with much bigger penises.

3. I am not getting laid now... something has gone wrong here...

5. Ability to perform with many people in the room. Ability to perform on camera.


6. Gang Bangs or open calls are a way most get started.

What happens if all the guys forget to bring their own hot chics?

7. Ability to perform with all body types and attitudes of females. Can't pick and choose who you work with, this is no fantasy. But reality, and there is a product to be made. No one cares about your preferrence in females.

... what? A minute ago you were to tell me that the industry was a purely Bring Your Own Bitch affair. So, what, they take the hot chicks off you, herd you into a dark room and say "Yeah, you're doing a shot for today..."

8. Ability to network

... proof that EVERY job requires you to apparently do this. Whatever it is..

9. Improve acting skills

LMAO. A lot of people clearly skip this step.

10. A sense of humor, this job is way harder than you can ever imagine.

"You don't have to be mad to work in porn... BUT IT HELPS! AHAHAHAHA!"

11. Try googling adult jobs or sex jobs and such. I can't do all the work for you.

Whoa, sorry Sexy Samantha. I was about to ask you to do the Googling for me...

12. Ability to pop when the director tells you to and not before hand. A good large pop is required.

Pop what? Pimples?

Yeah, I know what she means, but... she's been working in the industry for [apparently] 8 years and... 'pop'. No other terminology for that? It got me imagining if the whole article was in this style...

"Your weenie needs to go stretchbusters, Mister!"

13. Aims-HIV and STD test


14. On time, prompt, clean and a few different outfits for the scene.

15. Ability to listen and take direction well.

Yeah, these two make sense...

16. Patiences lots and lots of patiences.

What? Where can I buy more patiences? I only have one!

Some scenes are shot in 2 hours, some take all day long.


Is directed this, demanding re-take after re-take?

17. Ability to perform while the husband/boyfriend is staring you down.

So.. that's there idea of a good day out? Standing in the corner and glaring - for A MINIMUM OF TWO HOURS - at a guy having sex with your girlfriend?

Of course, it could just be the guy who's about to herded off into and is in a bad mood...

18. Yes, you have to show your face. LOL

Hey, it isn't that funny. I can think of some porn where if they didn't it would be an improvement.

Also... leather gimp-masks are out? Damn. I've got to give mine to the Salvos..

19. Don't be the creepy guy on the sets.

What? You've got boyfriends just standing in the corner trying to kill people with telekinetic powers, and you're worried about ME being the creepy guy?

Do you know me or what?

20. Make the female talent no matter what she looks like feel like a sex goddess. Help build the attraction and chemistry to make for a super hot scene.

Well, I can see how she was talking about the industry being difficult. You're banging away, thinking "Don't pop, don't pop, don't pop!", your actual girlfriend is in the next room being done over by The Womp clones, Robert Altman is yelling directions at you through a megaphone, the boyfriend is plotting to kill you, you've got lots of 'networking' to catch up on that night and you need to make the fat granny underneath you feel like 'a goddess'. Presumably without sarificing a lamb, because that would make you 'the creepy guy'.

It's a cruel world!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Jared reviews The Poison Sky!

Do you like that explanation point I put in the titles? I like to think it makes these reviews of three-week-old stories seem really exciting..

0:12 - Although I dislike recaps in general, I have to say that I have a Tennant-for-shops style love of the reeeeally goofy new bits of music that Murray Gold puts underneath them for some reason. Remember the recap at the beginning of Aliens of London where it was just Murray going insane on a xylophone coupled with a shot of Mickey trying to breakdance in front of Rose? I mean, it pissed me off at the time, but surely that should win some award for the most ridiculous way to begin an episode of Doctor Who.

Second on the list would probably be Martha, supposedly making a phonecall, looking at the camera and saying "Doctor, I'm bringing you back to Earth!" while grinning slightly creepily while trombones go apoplectic somewhere in her vicintiy. (Ooh er!) So who directed this? As usual I didn't check, but I like to believe it was the same bloke who did R. Kelly's "Real Talk" clip because of the similar exercises of 'on the phone' acting used in both.

0:23 - ...didn't they just cut out the 'battle' in '10th Sontaran Battle Fleet'? Are they THAT pressed for time? Or am I just insane?

0:26 - ...and we needed that shot of Ross giving the Doctor a slightly homoerotic look as their range rover bumps up and down?

0:59 - And for the record, recapping the identity of Ross was apparently far more important than explaining who the hell Luke Rattigan is... these are just meant as a memory-tripping exercise rather than actually EXPLAINING anything, surely?


1:31 - Christ, for a moment I forgot Helen Raynor wrote this one... okay, I'm just using stalling tactics now...

1:48 - ... I hope they're not expecting me to respect Mama Bitch just because she saved Cribbins' life. But at least that axe finally found a use aside from improvised vasectomies.

1:53 - An axe is also the swiftest cure for poisoning.

2:03 - "We can't escape, take the soldiers into the factory!" ... to quote YOA - SHOW YOUR WORKING!

2:14 - For the record I am choosing to imagine that that is either Coproal Bell's daughter, neice, or baby sister.

2:16 - As this map shows, Communism is also rapidly spreading.

3:47 - ..good work 'for a female'? ... okay, she's a GM creature, so technically isn't really a female at all apart from basic form. Also SONTARANS AREN'T SEXIST!!! How, HOW can this have slipped through TWICE? Did Raynor watch ANY Sontaran stories to draw from? At least The Time Warrior, where it's revealed that they're just colour-blind to this sort of thing? I don't know...

4:05 - Oh, so THAT'S what the news chick from Dead Ringers looks like in real life. Doctor Who can be so educational...

4:18 - Incidentally... is anybody else finding this whole format tedious? I'm getting pretty sick of every threat the Doctor faces being a global one, and this being demonstrated through either unconvincing stock footage or lengthy montages of news reports. It isn't exactly predictable but it isn't very stimulating seeing the exact same token scenes in a story like this. The show really has become very 'format' in this regard, at least with the alien invasion stories... still, this could be down to the fact that this is just a poorly-written one..

4:54 - "Yeah, maybe we can get sentimental after the world's finished choking to death!" Donna... I love you. Fight the format, babe, fight the format! If we had Donna onboard, Doomsday would have ran for about 20 minutes tops. And it would have been AWESOME.

5:11 - Wouldn't it be the most mind-blowing plot twist ever if Donna was to find that while they were out, ATMOS had been installed in the TARDIS?!? MWUHAHAHA! Man, I want to write that script..

6:21 - "It's time I made a move, sir.... are you busy tomorrow night?"

"I shall be drinking the broth of victory for the skulls of your puny leaders!"

"Oh. The night after?"

"No. I will be with Sir Justin Timberlake."

"...can I come?"


6:37 - Oh, so they ARE just humouring Luke. Thaaaank God. I would never be able to respect the Sontarans again if they were taking him seriously..

6:50 - Yeah, the Doctor can taste the 'tang' of a Trans-Mat even through billowing clouds of poison smoke. I buy that.

7:04 - "I'm stuck on Earth like... a human. How RUBBISH IS THAT?" Comment on Eccleston's season? Hmmm...

Also, you going to sit around, crying into your hot ebonic sidekick etc.

7:27 - w00t! The Doctor has sussed that it isn't really Martha thanks to some of the little clues! Oh, thank God it was really irritating me.

7:33 - ... wait, or has he?

7:39 - Incidentally this 'Hitler Youth' army looks rather a lot more like the crowd you'd expect at a Devo concert.

8:03 - ... 'not high for fighting'WHAT??

8:22 - Captain Marian Price, eh? Definitely the niece..

8:40 - "I earned that a long time ago..." Hmmm, let's see...Ambassadors of Death, would it be?

8:42 - Whoah, hang the fuck on. UNIT's communicators... don't work without jabbing a sonic screwdriver into them? I find that very, very VERY difficult to believe. In fact, my only conclusion is that the Doctor is going off the deep end and is getting a buzz out of sticking it inside absolutely everything that he can.

8:45 - Oh, he uses it to make a hologram! That makes so much MORE sense!!!!!! (Number of exclamation points is an indicator to the degree of sarcasm being used.)

8:48 - And THAT is the bit with Rose everyone was going on about? Pathetic. Well, maybe not exactly but there were all those "DId I just see Rose???" threads. This rises the question.. how bad is the average New Series fan on OG (That is, braindead fifteen year olds who clog up threads with near illegible posts thanks to their complete lack of a grasp on the English language) at watching things. Do their minds process at two frames per second or what? Because from the very existence of those threads, I assumed that there was a brief second glimpse of her face on the scanner in the background of a scene, while Donna and the Doctor are talking about something else entirely. But no. This is a GIGANTIC close up.

Times like this I wish that the internet was a highly volative quantity, so that morons would be unable to use it without it exploding in their faces. I know it's complete snobbery to say this but I really don't care, it's the feeling you get when talking to somebody over a point of mutual interest and a four year old runs into the room yelling their head off about... I dunno, what are young people into? Hentai?

8:57 - And of course they don't know what Sontarans even look like FOR FUCK'S SAKE!!!

I think I'll sit down with a copy of Robot to admire how efficient and well-informed UNIT used to be..

9:47 - Rutans? RutanS?? RutanS???

Did David A. McIntee do all his hard work on the one good bit in Lords of the Storm just for you to piss it all up against the wall? No, Rutans this and Rutans that.

Of course it was already contradicted in The Two Doctors so I guess I may as well drink myself into oblivion.

10:10 - Hehe, he swtiched to cartoons. I was thinking that he would just mute them, but that's going one better.

A good time to reflect on how all of Raynor's character bits (save for the Doctor becoming rabid whenever he sees somebody from Hornblower) actually work really well, but somehow everything else manages to suck to the point you wish Sparacus was writing the plots for her.

10:28 - "First Sontarans in history to capture a TARDIS!"

That isn't inaccurate insofar as I can tell (A case could be made for the poolside antics of Invasion of Time, I suppose...) but I just wanted to take a minute to check if that contradicted with any of my own fanfic ideas.

And it doesn't! Hurrah!

10:52 - "All you have communicated is your distress, Doctor!" Love it. Absolutely love it.

11:29 - "All this... INVENTION!" Worst Tom Baker impersonation ever.

11:54 - Ah, so it IS Eugenics. Mighty Rattigan will create a new MASTER RACE, of the pudgiest and most pale human beings ever!

I think this entire scheme is so he can laid. Points for originality, though.

12:35 - Luke really didn't think this through did he?


"Erm... no, it's not for us"


13:22 - Yeah, I.. don't know what to make of this. How does this figure into Sontaran plans exactly? I want more Sontarans from this episode, less Revenge of the Nerds...

13:32 - "Kastar 36... you're just sick... you know that's my mum's name..."

13:58 - Ooh, Australia finally made one of those shots.

14:50 - "All those things they said about pollution and ozone.. they're really happening, aren't they?" Nice and subtle. And from now, Sylvia, it's a strict vegetarian diet for both of us.

14:56 - "Oh, like you'd know, you're so clever!" she physically unable to be nice for more than a few seconds? Urge to kill rising...

16:01 - Cribbins rocks. But then you already knew that.

16:57 - Erm, didn't the Doctor say that nothing would happen if the bomb hit? Why is this so melodramatic?

18:12 - ...after all that IT DIDN'T EVEN LAUNCH??? Man... I am so tempted to give up on this right now..

18:24 - Have you figured it out yet, Doctor? What the hell is going on here?

19:01 - A tribute to the olden days that there's only four UNIT soldiers to meet the alien attack?

20:something - Hey, what if it had been a UNIT guy that the Doctor hadn't happened to meet? Then he wouldn't have been able to be so high-and-mighty. I would have liked that.

Oh, wait let's go one better...

THE DOCTOR: He wasn't Greyhound40.. he was Ross.

ROSS (V.O) Hey!

(The Doctor looks around and sees Ross in the corner, looking very pissed off)

THE DOCTOR: Oh. Well it sounded like you...

ROSS: He was Glaswegian...

THE DOCTOR: Yeah, well, you're near Glasgow aren't you?

ROSS: I'm from Cornwall!

THE DOCTOR: ... you really think you're better than me, don't you?

20:17 - I'm also keeping track and those two really obviously hypnotised soldiers are yet to do anything of use to the Sontaran cause since converting Martha, in spite of the ton of weird orders they've been receiving.

20:27 - ...and now they're dead.

20:32 - Speelfox? Stop putting in references, Raynor, and write a decent fucking plot!

20:49 - "This isn't war, this is SPORT!" is probably my favourite ever Sontaran line. Why did it have to be in this story?

21:03 - "No offense"

"None taken"

Observe how blatantly Mace lies through his teeth there..

21:09 - What...



The Brig has been knighted. That's good.

He's... stranded in Peru.

Despite being retired for AT LEAST NINETEEN years. And having been designated to a desk job in Geneva for umpteen years BEFORE that.

I guess this is some sort of twisted setup for a return appearance of The Brig.

But seriously, what the fuck? Is this some new policy to write out characters as missing in some obscure country, following on from Torchwood going on 'a wild goose chase' in the Himalayas?

"Do you think Martha could help us?"

"I don't think so, Donna. Last I heard she was helping with a police action in The King James Islands..."

21:45 - I wouldn't have thought much imagination would be necessary to believe in aliens by this stage...

21:58 - ...okay, this whole Rattigan Logans-Run subplot is turning into complete bullshit. They wanted Rattigan to lure the students onto the mothership... just so they could kill them all?

22:14 - "We only needed you for installation of the ATMOS system!" So, WHY is he still alive?

25:35 - "You've got three fingers" "Oh yeah!"

Lol. Whoever said Catherine Tate wouldn't be good should be hanging there heads in shame. This stuff is all really, really good, btw. Brilliant character-building for Donna and genuinely tense. Not enough real tension in the new series but this sneaking-around-on-the-mothership does the trick nicely..

25:45 - Could David Tennant find a way to make "Coooor, you're brilliant you are!" look more like an obscene phone-call?

25:49 - And again, I really love Donna. Her complete lack of patience for any of the Doctor's catchphrases is mightily endearing. It makes me wonder how Tegan worked so badly when it's such a similar idea...

26:35 - "Are you my mummy?" ...seriously, is this Gary Russell at work? The amount of references in this are obscene. I like a good reference but we're heading towards Quantum Archangel levels...

27:20 - Sontar! NOT Sontara! Well, David A. McIntee got some etymology in there afterall...

27:40 - "It's The Valiant!" Thanks, I'd already worked that out...

27:52 - "With engines strong enough to clear away the fog!" ...and that.

28:14 - With all the fuss about petrol prices going up, people haven't noticed how cheap Death Stars have gotten..

Incidentally, if you pause the video at that point you will see that the explosion looks amazingly fake. Double the Fist fake. Which I guess is why we have these new-fangled moving pictures...

28:29 - Yes! YES! A battle where the good guys can actually fight back! It's something that I've really moaned about in the New Series, especially in every recent Dalek stories where the 'action' can be summed up by dozens of extras shooting at the Daleks for about ten minutes while they stand perfectly still, but the Classic series is equally guilty of it, especially in the UNIT stories.

At the same time I find it a bit sad that this is the second story where UNIT can actually destroy the menace on their own terms (The first being the really quite lame The Seeds of Doom) and that neither of them had The Brig presiding over the United Nations arse-kicking.

28:38 - I swear Mace says that they need to "Reach the Norg security!" At which point the Doctor decides to phone Donna. Insert your own joke here.

Btw, heated battle involving massive gunfire exchanges and a full battalion of troops running around in a factory - good time to make a phonecall yea or nay?

29:37 - So the Doctor DID know it was a fake Martha!... he just decided to do sweet F.A about it.


30:07 - Okay that explanation actually made sense. Fuckers.

How is she a 'triple-agent', though? She's pretending to work for UNIT and is actually... no wait, I get it. Man, forget I wrote anything...

30:22 - ... and the clone's memories are stored in her heart? Thank Christ the script's gone back to making no sense, I can deal with this..

31:00 - And David Brent's Sontaran cousin gets the shit blown out of him unceremoniously. Now I'm tired of seeing UNIT getting to win for a change and just pissed off that the Sonts are so easily disposed of.

I point this out because ALL of my favourite DW monsters have suffered this ignominy - The Ice Warriors in Monster *Spit!* of Peladon and The Cybermen in Doom*spit!*Day. I guess the Sontarans also got their arses handed to them in The Two Doctors but at least Bob Holmes knew how to make it FUNNY!

31:25 - And now Martha's going to make her clone turn good... mehh. Emo ahoy.

31:28 - "THE GAS, TELL US ABOUT THE GAS!!!" The Doctor's seriously impatient... hang on, this episode's over in fourteen minutes...

I'm with him! Explain the fucking plot!

31:48 - Clone...feed.

Why do I get the sudden feeling that this is about to go further downhill?

31:53 - "That's why they're not invading, they're changing the atmosphere!!" - wasn't that fairly obvious?

32:08 - THAT EXPLANATION MAKES NO SENSE!! Why not invade, crushing the humans easily with their military might, and THEN turn it into a barracks-planet? From what we've seen that would also make the Sontarans a lot happier...

34:22 - Did that Sontaran just refer to Donna as "the Doctor's wife"? Heh. That is actually amusing. I mean, I could barely hear it because of the muffled sound but it's an application of that bewildering running joke that succeeds in being funny.

34:53 - What? Wilf is Sylvia's dad? I thought he had to be the paternal grandfather for sure, the way that bitch treated him. This plot twist is more mind-boggling than anything else in the episode full stop...

35:26 - If anyone even cares enough for me to point out one of a billion plotholes... why would the Sontarans need a human nuclear missile, bouncing off their ship, to ignite the atmosphere? That IS what the Doctor just garbled then, isn't it? I feel like giving up entirely here...

35:44 - Clone...pods. Yeah, that's it, I have officially given up.

36:31 - Oh so the Doctor was saying that HE wanted to ignite the atmosphere.

And THAT'S why everyone hates this ep.

Nothing else is necessary here, right? Igniting the atmosphere to save the day? Nope? Cut and dried? Good.

36:34 - Man, Corporal Bell's neice is hot.

36:47 - "What's happening?" "The Doctor has stolen the Earth and put it in a book" "What? MIIIIIILES!!!"

37:05 - Sorry, I can't help myself - oxygen burns. Oxygen.

Fuck your two kids in a bathtub, Mary Whitehouse, now I'm worried about kids trying to fix global warming with napalm strikes...

37:30 - I can't help, it I really can't - we should be seeing Threads 2 right now, for fuck's sake!

37:48 - Please note that the gas is still visible around the Rattigan Academy.

38:37 - Please note that the Doctor is a gigantic hypocrite.

38:49 - "Put it on a delay!" "I can't" FOR THE LOVE OF LED ZEPPELIN YOU BUILT IT YOU FARRKIN' PLONKER! In an episode of Mythbusters it takes them like 10 minutes to build a delay into one of their devices, and, hey, I like to think that the Doctor has a bit more wits in him than Tori Bellaci does..

38:54 - Whoop, spoke too soon. I'm clearly way too acclimitised with terrible writing at the moment..

39:56 - Nice Mexican stand-off whatever but a thought just occured to me... igniting the atmosphere on the Sontaran ship will kill all of them. But igniting Earth's atmosphere doesn't even damage The Valiant.

40:32 - Not even the Sontarans can escape the most basic universal truth.. being killed by the Doctor is cool. Being killed by a spotty, young Leonard Nimoy look-a-like who is literally wearing a red shirt, really, really isn't.

40:42 -Oh! The engines of the ship explode as well! Ha ha, this episode is so well thought-out all round! Author, author! Never mind this shot gun, it's simply for controlling the mobs of appreciative fans...

41:59 - Wilf needs to travel in the TARDIS. He is just awesome.

Oh... this is completely unrelated to that, I just realised that he HAD to be the maternal grandfather or his last name would be 'Noble' instead of 'Mott'. Drawn into a corner there, weren't they?

But anyway, I have been blown away by how good Bernard Cribbins has been in this. He's just known as a comedy actor - hell, before Doctor Who I only knew him as "The Spoon Salesman" from that really brilliant episode of Fawlty Towers - and he certainly played up to that rep in his cameo in Voyage of the Damned... but wow. He is a really, really good actor. So's Catherine Tait of course, but I never doubted that...

What's really interesting is that Cribbins (I hope this isn't a mistake on my part because it would make me look like an idiot) was considered for the role of the Fourth Doctor. When I read that I sort of snorted in derision, thinking "That totally wouldn't work..." but now I have to wonder... it could have been pretty awesome.

So, who are the alternate Doctors we have to choose from....

4 - Bernard Cribbins
6 - Michael Keating / Brian Blessed
7 - Tony Robinson
8 - every British actor alive and working in 1996 and a few who weren't.
9 - Hugh Grant
10 - Eddie Izzard

Oh, and I guess for #2 we have Patrick Troughton again, but in black face doing a mystifying Jack Sparrow impression.

Better, worse, or war crime? Discuss.

43:08 - Okay, Doc... the hand thing... getting kinda creepy now. I guess you can't trust it with anyone else but... well, it's a fire hazard if nothing else. Somebody could really easily trip over that where it is...

43:35 - And that cliffhanger did nothing for me. Big surprise...

To sum up... I don't know I think my opinions have become clear. This story started off bad, and got worse. In fact, you know what my summary is? That scene in Rumble in the Bronx where Jackie Chan walks into the strange warehouse full of stoners where that girl apparently lives, takes one look at the stoners, and yells "YOU PEOPLE ARE GARBAGE!!" and the ensuing ten minute fight scene. This really makes me appreciate Lords of the Storm.. But then, the real tragedy is that this script contains some brilliant, glimmering gems of moments among the dross and has been lovingly produced. So in all good consciousness I can't give it the 1 or 2 my gut feelings tell me that it deserves..


(But I can come close)


OGer Response: Is is just me, but does anyone else think that the very obvious yet subtle shots of Donna over the last 10-15 mins of The Poison Sky that showed her wearing blue nail varnish mean anything?

(Good to see we've got our priorities straight..)

Asiophile Response: I just realised I think in every season there has been a reference to Japan somewhere.
Series 1- Doctor and rose escape Kyoto Japan
Series 2- Japanese girls on TV talking about ghosts
series 3- Japan wiped out by the Toclafane
Series 4- First deaths recorded in Japan (Tokyo)

Wonder if someones got a certain liking to this particular nation (cant blame him, it rocks)

Eye of Horus Response: Zilch.

IMDBer Response: Wilf is more Tom Cruise than Luke.

Paraphrased Lawrence Miles Response: Not bad, actually.

(Well, I did say 'paraphrased'...)

Ewen Campion-Clarke Response: I refuse to even acknowledge that episode exists...

(Not that you're a loser, you understand..)

Dancercisist Cuisiniophile Response: Go Colonel Mace! LOVED his "you will face me line". I was literally dancing around.

Spara's Baffling Response: This episode , like 'Planet of the Ood', marks a welcome return to the ethical zeitgeist of the Pertwee & Davison eras....However the Doctor seemed to genuinely care when that very attractive young UNIT soldier got killed which was nice.

Fans of Blank TV Screens Response: I really wasn't keen. Too much fake emotional issues and too much shooty-shooty stuff. shame.

Next Time - Everyone turns around in slow-motion making weird sucking noises... lizards who stretch their mouths with beer glasses... Peter Davison's daughter is hot... oh, and can flip like Daryl Hannah in Bladerunner... oh, and beat up lizard people... and blow up barrels of petrol... Donna promises to mate with the Doctor if he enters a gymnastics competition against his daughter... INCEST no wait she's kissing somebody else.. is that really meant to surprise me? Now I'm imagining one of the McGann sisters saying "I'll use my ancient Time Lord power of snogging a complete stranger!" ... "She's my daughter!" Hey, I wonder if that will turn out to be as accurate as "It's volcano day!"? there a reason why the Doctor's daughter would be an unbelievably hot arse-kicking machine?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

You win this round, Hayle!

Okay, a while ago Chris Hale did a really good cover for Ewen's fic The Enemy Within. I was impressed, naturally, but at the same time over-confident of my own abilities. Being extremely drunk at the time on the manliest of Vodka Cruiser substitutes, I can't remember if I actually used the phrase "I could piss that in my secret library while Robert Kennedy is assassinated by women leaving themselves uncovered like meat, because we're just going to change it all once we've been elected". It would certainly explain the fatwah that Hale placed on me, something he communicated to me through a coded message about how much he liked my 'review' of Blakes 7: Animals. (Note: Not an actual review, but rather one really long pedophilia joke)

And now... I stand corrected. I could not do Hale's job for a day. I nearly did a cover. Of fairly low quality. I succesfully made rough images of an evil-looking Doctor with glowing blue-eyes and Cybermen emerging from the Rift (erm, soft of..) and changed the colour of those little bars (Hee hee!). But, as ever, I suck at drawing females. It would be easier if it was Mel I was doing, as imperfections would be permissable, but when dealing with Nicola Bryant.. that just isn't cricket.

And so:

Yes, I drew it OVER Chris Hale's version, to make sure the template stuck. And... it isn't very good. BUT I think the basic idea is good enough, and something could be made of it. If there could just be a Peri draped with Bates' jacket (to continue the MA tradition of depicting the regulars in unusual costumes/general appearance) plonked down, it would be passable.

Of course, then if this got made into a passable cover, you'd have the obvious probelm of feeling obliged to do covers for the whole lot. Probably best avoided...

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Lawrence Miles DRUDGE MATCH!!!

I know, I spend too much time going on about him but TRUST ME... I have a reason this time.

Lawrence Miles has released his "If *I* Had Written The Season 6 Opener That Hasn't Even Aired or Begun to Be Written Yet..." script.. you know? The one he bragged about on his blog?

Oh, you don't. You don't actually load it once a week to make sure you read all of his slurs before they're deleted indiscriminately.

Man, I feel like a bit of a loser now...

Anyway, LM bitched about Steven Moffat DARING to write an episode with a similar premise to one that he himself had deliberately written in secret with the decision to never show anybody at all. Personally, I think at that point you lose sympathy right away. I mean, I would be pissed obviously if I turned on the TV to find that somebody had made a show named 'Calypso 5' about a heap of prisoners trying to become the new Blakes 7, but I wouldn't really have any grounds for complaint, unless I'd been attacked by psychic scriptwriters.

This was largely inconsequential. But it happened to be in the same paragraph in which he proclaimed that he had the superhero ability to urinate Moffat scripts while unconscious.

This is from a guy who refused to even WATCH Jekyll, on the high-minded premise that... it starred a guy who did some telephone adverts that pissed him off.

Now, a monumentous post from him today or... sometime recently. That I had to respond to in [bad] form. Here. Where he'll never see it. But anyway...

On the day of Steven Moffat's ascension to godhood, my pretend-agent sent me the news in an e-mail headed "Bet You Wish You Hadn't Made That Comment About Blink Now", to which my response was: 'What comment about "Blink"?' Remember, I never go anywhere near the newsgroups,

Or your own blog?

So when it turns out that an off-the-cuff comment I made three months ago

How do you define an 'off-the-cuff' comment online? It was clearly visible, afterall. Not trying to be narky, but that's a real grey area. Maybe next time you say something completely idiotic you should put a big flashing .gif next to it saying "OFF THE CUFF COMMENT". How does 'off-the-cuff' work anyway? From this defense I gather it's a little like 'off-the-record'. Oh, wait... 'off-the-record' STILL lands you in deep shit when it's a stupid thing to say.

has not only become notorious, but has actually provoked a response from the New God-King himself, I have to feel a certain level of… actually, I'm not sure what.

Confusion? Bewilderment? Come on, Larry, why is it you can never give a straight answer. It can be amusing at time but mostly it's frustrating. I can eat meals in the time it takes you to get to the frigging point..

I read the old interview of him on Outpost Gallifrey. There wasn't a single question he didn't answer by either picking apart the words used in the question, or by saying "I wouldn't say [blank] more a matter of [tangent leading to his favourite subject of conversation, in this case how much he hates Anji]"

Puzzlement, mainly.

Wow, sounds like I guessed correctly.

Now, at the end of last year, I wrote a full-length Doctor Who script.

Wouldn't have to recap this if you didn't delete everything off your blog constantly but anyway..

However, I now know that people remember me saying something along the lines of 'I could piss a better script than "Blink" in my sleep'. This changes the tone of the whole affair: it's not so much a question of putting my money where my mouth is as putting my generative organs on the chopping-block. Everything I've ever said is going to stand or fall on this, isn't it…?

... not necessarily. I think it's the way that you're making a big deal about it now. And, I have to say, focusing on one comment you made towards Moffat when you've been riddling your blog with snarky little jibes at him for the past couple of months feels like really ba dform. I haven't even read anything about Moffat making a response, but I've read a fair bit recently about his bemusement at you seeming to pick a fight with him online constantly, possibly being fed up with it.

This is indicative of quite a bit that Miles does - he shifts the focus of everything like this to make himself look like the victim. If he's the victim of anything in cases like this it's his own inability to be nice to or about anybody. I'd go so far as to say if he was just a complete bastard and unapologetic about it, he'd be a lot more likeable. But all of this slagging somebody off and then turning around and saying "Oh, because I said ONE THING-" to make them look like the petty ones is really miserly.

The fact that Moffat (of all people) was the one who forced the crisis, by writing a real TV story about a great big cosmic library, is an added irony.

There we go again - 'crisis'. Larry is apparently under seige from the nasty, relentless Moffat. Of course, we know Larry can't apologise, or give an explanation for the comment or even acknowledge the fact that Moffat deserves a bit more respect as a TV writer who actually knows what he's doing.

So, if you want to read the script, then it's at the following address. For one week only.

Wow. That's a surprise. I've already saved it to my harddrive, naturally. This one isn't getting away from me..

Bear in mind that I wrote this as a personal challenge, which means that I made various rules for myself before I started.

Oh, qualifications already...

- It had to re-boot Doctor Who from scratch, sending the programme in a direction that was as far-removed from the Russell T. Davies version as possible,

Well that's good, isn't it. I certainly can't think of a better way to prove that you're not an egocentric madman who is unable to write to a set format...

It had to do everything I keep going on about in my "Doctor Who Should Do This" blogs, while avoiding everything I keep going on about in my "Doctor Who Shouldn't Do That" blogs.

But what about the things that are listed in both blogs on different days of the week..?

But just as importantly, it had to be exactly the kind of thing you'd expect me to write, without actually re-using any of my back-catalogue.

Yeah, I wouldn't attach much importance to that one, myself...

- I had to do it properly.

Whatever the fuck that means. Come on. How is that a rule? "Properly" as defined by whom? At a guess I'd say not the production office.

Let's read this shit...

A couple of notes I jotted down while reading it:

Okay, I'm at the start... the action is filled with uncertain descriptions, very Mallet-esque... of course, this has me feeling I should check my own scripts to see if I do the same..

..oh come on, 'hoods they wear are almost medieval in nautre'??? What, are they special DARK AGES hoods? Are they 97% medieval?

'Heiromimus'? You need an alien name so take a Greek name and change one of the letters? Ooh, very clever..

After the fact, I wrote the following on OG.

...I'm not terribly impressed. It's like Alien Bodies all over again. Yes, it's good to read because of the backdrop, but he pulls the exact same trick again, setting up an elaborate background conflict and mystery and an arcing plotline (ironic given how he's trashed sci-fi's reliance on arcs recently) Aside from that the characters are generally flat ciphers, the Doctor himself being the worst offender. Until his token moralising speech he has no range at all, talking in nothing but smart-arse retorts to everybody around him. The Drudges are a spooky idea rather than anything genuinely frightening or thought-provoking, and The Cardinals are a fairly simplistic piece of his typical sociological caricaturing. Oh, and the Duenna is a terribly realised character. Utterly inconsistent.

That said, I wouldn't mind watching this episode, and he has especially come up with a good climax (Ignoring the God-Like Beings intervening - hmm, was there something like that in Alien Bodies, I wonder?) but Larry raises the standards you need to see from his work through his constant trashing of everyone elses. While this is decent, like everything else he writes it can never justify his own pomposity with regards to his own work. I think every time I read fiction of Larry's it makes me like him a little less, as it can never fulfill his own hype.

I also think it needs to be pointed out that, although he has proven he can write in a screenplay format, he has done NOTHING to prove that he can write for Doctor Who. Because this sets up an arc of his own devising, doesn't write for anyone else's characters. Oh, and a bit of grievous bodily harm near the end that I doubt would go down well nowadays..

Now, I stand by that, even though it doesn't have the requisite immature cussing and tangents into my opinions of 20 year old TV shows to qualify as a review by this site's standards. Because I wasn't impressed. But for the record, I'd like to place her the thoughts of a man who had similar views and, for my record, is far more eloquent in his voicing. And harsher, too. That's cool with me..

He hasn't got a clue, has he?

The entire episode's FX budget has gone by the start of page three, to be generous, though more likely by the second stage direction.

Compare and contrast with:
for how it should be done. Practical, for a start.

He blogs about "big Russell" not understanding Doctor Who and writes something George Lucas would dismiss as excessively-demanding on the CGI on his hundreds of millions of dollars budgets.

It's testament to a remarkable arrogance that Miles can pontificate about "how things should be" when he clearly either hasn't read anything about how to write a workable script or he hasn't retained a scrap of it.

There's one point of agreement, though. In his commentary on 'Utopia' Russell T Davies talks about how "some people would say you can't write a scene this long. I don't agree, and I don't work with people like that, but there are those who say it." He is talking about having one very long scene at the heart of 'Utopia': Larry has an enormous scene between minor characters before the plot starts.

It's like having listened to someone boasting about how they are a world class tennis player and finding out they can't even serve.

A comic masterpiece, but not for any reasons he might think.

And while I'm quoting OGers, how about this loser..

Quite a brave move to let it loose, although I'm sure others will be quick to portray it as an attention-seeking attempt to impress the new guv'nor or something.

Erm.. no. They'll be quick to point out it isn't actually very good. Not because they dislike LM (although that won't help) but because it really, really isn't.

NEWBIE REVIEW #7: Burning Heart

Dave Stone is an author so purposefully off the planet that, even now, people are starting threads simply to say he must die. He produces violent episodes in people who have previously only lived to build kitten orphanages out of marshmallow and is so staunch in his bisexual ways that he even gave that 'God Hates Fags' guy a good night out (In Denmark). If it wasn't for the existence of Lawrence Miles and Sparacus, he'd have been number one in the pooling for "Doctor Who writer most likely to be diagnosed with bi-polar schizophrenia immediately after murdering my family".

He is two pence short of a pound, his beer's been left out in the sun, he's sixes and sevenses, his rooms decorated with rubber wallpaper, he owns seventeen chainsaws but no timber, he's Michael Richards without the restraint, he's touched by the sun, high as a kite, barmy as old boots, dafter than a bag of farts, bereft of marbles, pestered by kangaroos in the top paddock, chasing shadows in the dark, refusing to fire on all cylinders, Mario Speedwagon, weaving baskets for Napoleon under his bedsheets and dribbling custard on his head HE IS INSANE!

I like the guy.

I can't explain exactly why it is that I do, but there is something about Dave Stone's style that is just right, and I must admit that I had sort of hoped, in secret, for stories just like the ones he rights. And Dave Stone specialises in the sublimely silly.

After all, the Whoniverse is infinitely large, and generally everyone's very sort of blase about absurdities when it hits, so it's nice to have stories where absurdity and greater absurdity are packed on one another in a mountain of batshit-insane legos that threatens to collapse and make millions of jape-widows. Something, funny, crazy and dangerous. The only TV story like this is The Pirate Planet (One of my absolutest absolute faves..) and for my part I wished there were more of them.. preferrably a couple thrown in Season 20 somewhere. Well, I guess a couple of Season 17s are nearly there but that's entirely down to Tom and terrible production values than anything script-wise..

Anyway, Dave Stone is the guy to write that story. Yes, story singular, because I must admit that so far he only seems to really have one:

Something weird and undefinable takes over a planet/galaxy/timestream and makes everyone go fucking insane. Doctor tries to deal with lunatics for 250 pages, before said weird and undefinable thing manifests, and the Doctor performs some perfunctory sacrifice to disperse it. And they all go home for tea.

The thing is, he tells it really WELL. And you're not really reading for the plot - but for the bits inbetween. This was what I said way back when..

Now this is something rich and strange. Dave Stone is an author with a great sense of fun, which becomes obvious very quickly in this book. His forays into the Sixth Doctor's psychology, Peri's sarcastic humour, and various bizarre cultures are great. I can see that he's probably a real 'marmite' author - you either love him or hate him.

Fortunately, I love his authorial voice and I love this book. Conceptually, it's a Judge Dredd-Doctor Who crossover. Of sorts. I'm no Judge Dredd fan myself, but having read The Indestructible Man I can say that this is a far more natural-feeling crossover, strange though it may seem.

The book's set on an asteroid city that acts as port of call for a great many ships on long journeys and, as such, has become home to a great many alien races and houses the dregs of many societies. To keep order there's the Church of Adjudication, who are led by a computer they call 'God' and Garron, who interprets the messages it gives them. They are opposed by Avron Jelks, a smooth talking charmer who leads a guerilla vigilante group named Human First. Unfortunately, both groups are quite insane.

I'm guessing Stone isn't big on plot, because that's the books story in a nutshell. Most of it is down to madcap humour and interesting characters. Fortunately, this is brilliantly inventive and funny. As well as Jelks and Garron, we have Joseph Craator, the ultimate hard-ass take-no-prisoners action man, Queegvoghel Seven, a benevolent alien centipede whose faulty translator unit is his own worst enemy, Kane, who makes Turlough look reliable, and a loveable rag-tag group of alien prisoners, including Sontarans, Medusoids and Draconians. Sometimes it feels distinctly cartoonish.

The best thing about this book? Definitely the Doctor. It's the sixth Doctor, warts and all, and Dave Stone reminds us Colin fans why we like him. He is impossibly flippant, arrogant, brash and smug but also funny, witty, and kind - in his own way of course. The strange thing is the Doctor doesn't really have much to do with the action when you sit down and think about it: he spends most of his time in a prison, stepping forward at the end to save the day right at the last minute. But he's so funny you don't even notice.

Peri carries the brunt of the story, being abducted by Human First, and Stone also captures her headstrong character brilliantly. In fact, brilliant is the key word here. There isn't much not to like about this book at all, so I'm giving it 9/10. Not for everyone, but I loved it.

Note that with my usual flair for professionalism, I forgot to give it a score out of ten.

I haven't re-read this particular one, but I have read Dave Stones since and, as I have explained, they're really much of a muchness when stripped down. So I can't say my opinion has changed much. Just my writing ability..

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Jared Reviews the Sontaran Stratagem!

Back to regular business now... given that I wrote the following a week ago, before I even started my Ood review.

0:10 - Okay, kids in orange hoodies dragging a woman out of a building at night. If that isn't a Spara-tastic beginning to a story I don't know what is...

0:17 - "Get your hand off me!" ...there's only one hand? So the other guy's an amputee with a hook or something?

0:38 - "I'm telling you, Atmos is dangerous!" ... yes, these students who have bodily thrown you out and trashed your work are clearly in a receptive, reasonable mood to listen to an argument.

Or, to put that in Gary Russell speak "Oh, by all means let's have a debate!" (aka Dialogue #4566 - For three years this line of dialogue was one of half a dozen that needed to be present in every single Big Finish script, along with "Doctor, what is it?", "We can't talk now, it's coming right for us!", "Just shut up!", "You think you're so clever, Doctor...", and "As you can see, I'm pointing a gun at your head right now" and variations thereof)

0:53 - Aaaand she has a model of the incredibly dangerous SatNav device she is investigating (presumably for killing people) installed in her own car. Is there any redshirt redder than this bitch, I mean come on. She is criminally stupid. Am I meant to see her as a character? She's like the scientists from the start of Rise of the Cybermen and Boom Town! (Yes, that's the correct spelling and punctuation of that title. Everyone likes to ignore it, but that's how it's written..) whom you INSTANTLY recognise as a piece of narrative cattle about to be slaughtered. It's cliche like this that Doctor Who really should move away from. I keep hearing it's the best written show on TV. I'd like to see a little more evidence.

What, am I getting too negative? Sorry...

1:05 - I am always amazed by the New Series capacity to directly recreate what was derided about the original series. In this case... "UNIT Headquarters" being a recognised destination for a SatNav program. Hmm. Did they just give up with the whole 'secret organisation' thing sometime in the 80s?

1:11 - "Clever by the sound of it..." The sound of WHAT? She hasn't said or done ANYTHING clever. Quite the opposite as I was pointing out. Jesus Christ it's going to take me all night to watch this episode at this rate. Give me a little less to nitpick!

2:18 - Ooookay I'm going to pre-empt this... any minute now it'll be revealed that the evil SatNav program can control the central locking, so she can't get out of the car. That's fair enough. Implausible but not impossible. While she's panicking that she's unable to get out, the car starts accelerating itself into the water. Which, of course, would be a massive load of crap because the workings of the engine are, and always have been, entirely mechanical. You'd need to install some electric power device to exert pressure onto the accelerator to achieve that. And I think people making SatNav devices would be quite curious about why it should be hooked up to the car's engine in so creepy a way.


I have to question the wisdom of this entire plotline. It's obviously meant to feel relevant because of the whole 'people driving themselves into lakes because their SatNav tells them to' meme in the news recently but... come on. It's a bit of a stretch isn't it? To take that particular avenue of gross human stupidity and somehow make aliens responsible for it. Not only aliens but The Sontarans for Christ's sake, almost certainly the series' least subtle aliens ever.

I also need to agree with Lawrence Miles' assessment of the danger posed by aliens hi-jacking SatNav being too 'middle class'. Indeed it is. I don't know anybody with a SatNav at all. How many people DO have them? Would I give a toss if aliens did hi-jack them? Not really. I'd find it remotely interesting to read in a paper as if, say, the world's bees had vanished, but no more than that.

2:45 - Hmm, Donna admiring the somewhat phallic pneumatic exertions of the central column. That's more like it.

2:48 - Ooh, first companion to fly the TARDIS since Tegan! Neat... also one of probably a few too many parallels with Tegan.

3:01 - "Bit too close to the 1980s!" "What am I gonna do, put a dent in 'em?" "Well, someone did..."

Good line aside, the somebody you've been trying to hunt down is Alex Drake.

Wait... hold up... is it just me or is that a veiled jibe at Michael Grade/cancellation? Ha, I feel proud of my reference spotting skills now.

3:26 - Not sure if I made this clear enough, but shots done specifically for the trailer and no other reason really are pissing me off. And this is probably the worst offender. Who strikes a dramatic pose and stares into the skyline majestically when making a phonecall, for fuck's sake? And the melodrama - "Doctor, this is Martha... and I'm bringing you back to Earth!" Don't make me sick.

Why's she so sure that he'll come? And why does she sound so confident? After the horrific awkwardness of their parting you think there'd be some degree of reticence and embarassedness on the part of both parties. I mean, how does she know that the Doctor will pick up the phone in the first place? And then there's the matter of knowing that he won't have forgotten here. Yeah, sure, it's all relative time - we know that because we're fans. But she isn't! How does she know she won't be reaching the 11th Doctor (played by Jared Hansen) who has a distracted nature and terrible memory?

3:48 - A'ight, I see now why some of my homies in tha crib were dissin' the "AND FREEMA AGYEMAN" title card... it looks terrible. They've somehow made it even bigger than it needed to be. It takes up the whole fucking screen.

Come to think of it, where the hell were the "AND NOEL CLARKE" and "AND BRUNO LANGLEY" title cards? Surely they're at least as 'big' a name as international superstar Freema Agyeman? Well, okay, not literally...

4:35 - "HAHA! I can tell from the way you said my name that you haven't changed a bit from the horrendous war crimes you endured directly before we said goodbye!"

4:43 - Oh. Fuck. Hostile glance between Martha and Donna. Please let this episode have not been under Gary Russell's shift...

4:48 - "Now, don't start fighting!" Phew. The Doctor clearly has equally fond memories of The Next Life. All we need is Paul Darrow standing between them with his eyes gouged out and I'll be having `Nam style flashbacks..

4:52 - HOLY SHIT THEY'RE SPECIFICALLY NOT FIGHTING! Oh... you have no idea how relieved I am. That's at least ten minutes more we can spend on Sontarans now that that bullshit is out of the way.

5:08 - "She's engaged, you prawn!" Lolz to the max, and pleased to note that once again the Doctor's blindspot for small, everyday details is established

5:18 - Wow. Even Martha can see that she's actively projecting to create the safety-cushion illusion that she's going to marry The Doctor. That's nearly as disturbing as the amount of stalking that doubtless went into her sustaining a relationship with Tom Milligan. And the fact that she'd have had to do it whilst juggling a job in UNIT. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder at work? Or something much, much worse? Let's wait and see..

5:30 - I swear it sounded like that radio said "Doctor Who, report to base". WOTAN in charge of UNIT?

5:44 - Erm... yeah. Weirdest music for UNIT since the paino-flute jamming session overdubbing the ruthless, blood-spattery warehouse gun/fist-fight in Ambassadors of Death. Murray Gold seems to be remixing Martha and Donna's themes together, with more rhythm guitar. And it's rubbish.

.. I should probably put in some effort to point out when Murray does a really good job. But the truth is I seldom notice him unless it's guff like this.

6:03 - "LAY DOWN YOUR TOOLS AND SURRENDER!" ... you can't really 'surrender' unless you're a combatant in the first place...

Besides, you're leaving yourself wide-open for an action film comeback there - "There's only one tool I'm going to be laying down here!" That's what you say directly before pulling out the Uzi.

6:07 - OMG! Martha said "Greyhound to Trap One!" Squee!

6:29 - Oh, for FUCK'S sake! The Doctor doesn't even have a comeback to that whole "Is that what you do - turn them into soldiers?" bollocks? I would have accepted "No" for crying out loud - it's to the point and honest, after all. And how does Donna know that Martha wasn't a soldier in the first place. God, everyone's so presumtpious in this one. I'm compelled to BEAT THEM TO DEATH!

6:36 - They've moved to their 'penultimate stage'? Jesus Christ that's terrible English fullstop. And those fingers look so fake. *Sigh* This story is such a rollercoaster of elation and disappointment...

7:06 - OOOOH! Office in a lorry how AWESOME is that! And nice Invasion throwback (Yes, even though I hate Invasion)

See, this is what I meant by that 'rollercoaster' line just then.

7:20 - "I read all the files on you, technically you're still on staff..." So somebody FINALLY got their act together and put the Doctor on the books after that Battlefield debacle, eh? Good to know. I mean, somebody would have to have pointed out that needing one doddering old retired officer to show up to vouch for him was a pretty impractical system. And, say, put on record that he changes appearance so he doesn't need a pass and whatnot....

And as I said last week he's the cook from Hornblower and The Examination For Lieutenant. I find that kinda neat.

7:27 - "Yeah long time ago, back in the 70s" EIGHTIES YOU PRICK! Oh, wait he does the same joke I did in Attack..

7:49 - "It's like Guantanamo Bay out there!" ...erm, no you're thinking of that one really good episode of Torchwood. So far some people have been arrested peaceably in a similar manner as would have been done by the police. No waterboard torture, solitary confinement, electrode torture, salivating dogs, or unusual geo-political context to allow blatant Geneva violations via loopholes. In fact, it's say it's compeletely UNlike Guantanamo Bay. And I'm pretty left wing.

8:00 - He actually saluted her... the question is, is Mace a pussy, or just diplomatic? Let's find out!

8:19 - Okay, I'm guessing that the Sontarans are deliberately trying to lure UNIT into a trap, because the plan already seems poorly thought out - simultaneous strikes can only possibly draw attention.

8:30 - ...was there a script re-write? Poison now. Poison would actually make far more sense than driving the car into a lake, I have to say, so it's a welcome change, but still a little jarring. Incidentally, isn't it a massive coincidence that all of the 52 people were in their cars at the time? Especially the people hit at 5 and 6 am... do Atmos cater especially for nocturnals?

8:41 - ... okay, firstly "ATMOS" doesn't stand for "Atmospher Emission system" because even though it is written as an acronym it contains no initials directly connected to unconcatenated words. It's short for whateveritwascalled.

Second... it reduces carbon emissions to zero AND gives you SatNav? I am hoping this plot will begin to make sense sometime soon..

9:56 - "If you could control them you'd have 800 million weapons" ...except SatNav can't control a car it's... fuck it, I'm going to bed. I'll write the rest of this up when I've got a clearer head.


10:06 - "We should go back... there's nothing much down here" I smell a redshirt!

Seriously, though, how shit was that line about cars being weapons? Give me a fucking break...

10:33 - Yeah, I'd like to think that after 30+ years of this shit UNIT would train their troops to recognise unbelievably obvious hypnosis.

And cars as weapons? What, are we talking The Cars That Ate Paris done globally?

10:44 - "And like a good warrior I will enter the fray myself"... I don't know, something about this dialogue isn't entirely ringing true to me...

10:59 - ..even assuming that two people could be retarded enough not to realise that the unblinking dudes in matching jumpsuits are hypnotised, to then unquestioningly enter a dark, mysterious door that they have unlocked and strangely NOT take them prisoner as has been done to every single other worker in the factory...

And cars as weapons?

11:23 - I don't think the pod really deserved such a big "What the hell?" reaction. Yeah, it's kinda out of place but let's not go overboard.

Hmm, should I use my highly advanced laser weaponry that can dissolve metal in seconds or should I go with a fucking car. Yeah, I think I'll go CAR.

11:39 - "It's like something BOILING inside!" ... or cryogenics. Jesus Christ when did all UNIT become so stupid? And I've seen Robot!

You know what I love? Weaponry that needs highly expensive fossil fuels, optimum mechanic maintenance at all times, a smooth surface on which to function, and constant re-fuelling. Whoo-yeah. Best idea ever.

11:47 - UNIT promote whoever opens a box the fastest? Don't believe the hype. Standards have slipped.

If only I had a car. Then I could be as powerful as A LARGE OCEAN!

13:05 - ...acid-bathing mermen? This plan is getting waaay too complicated for Sontarans. This is reaching Troughton-era Cybermen territory...

13:20 - "Oi fink it's ARMLESS!" Yeah, well, you've proven to be an excellent pillar of judgement so far, haven't you?

13:44 - "Excellent skills of deduction!" In actual fact, 'deduction' s where a conclusion is drawn from available evidence. This guy is just guessing. And happens to be correct.

14:08 - Yeah, I wouldn't have thought that Sontarans would know enough about 'women-folk' to even have slurs against them...

14:16 - Another skill absent from modern UNIT that I hoped they would have - the ability to recognise an alien weapon. They must be expecting them to use the deadliest weapon of all - the automobile.

14:37 - HOLY SHIT! That thing about expanding the copper bullets actually makes sense! I shall now savour the moment...

15:18 - Oh, yeah, they also piss themselves at the first sight of an alien. After assuming that it's a kid in a halloween costume, something that I decided to ignore for the short-term. Are these guys meant to be fresh recruits? As in "got their weapons five minutes ago?" Because that's the only way I can make sense of their horrific stupidity.

15:35 - "YOU'RE CARRYING A GUN!"... didn't bother you with the Brig. Or Benton. Or Yates. Or Bambera. Or Mercer. Or Scott. (Scott from Earthshock - I'm not trying to promote my own scripts here...) In short, get the fuck over yourself. Didn't want to bring up anything when UNIT decided to go SWAT-team on some factory workers for no readily apparent reason, did you? Oh, no, take the moral high ground with a complete doormat who's being nice to you. Fuck you, Doctor. Fuck. You.

15:39 - Looks like Martha's reaction was the same as mine, going by that apologetic little smile she just gave Mace...

15:46 - "People with guns are usually the enemy in my books.." Didn't mind Captain Jack hauling two machineguns at once to save your arse on Satellite 5, did you, though? If you're going to read UNIT the riot act, DO IT. Don't give me this crybaby shit.

15:51 - "Oh, right so it's my fault" Gack, now Tennant's impersonating Gary Russell's vocal tics! And yes, it is. Why is the Doctor suddenly such a dick? I usually want the Sontarans to win when I watch their stories but I think the feeling's being trebled now..

15:59 - "Am I carryin' a gun?" "S'pose not.." She IS or she isn't! 'Suppose'? What are you, Ron Mallet? From Russell to Mallet in eight seconds time! He'll be Sparacus in no time! And then, after that... I dunno, Jeff Fenech?

16:11 - Aw, yeah, make them better. Because UNIT has always been a corrupt bunch of arseholes. You've tried to win me over with some neat little references to the past but this is a gang-rape of my lovely U.N lads!

16:35 - Yeah, those years of experience were needed to spot an empty file. THIS SCRIPT IS KILLING MEEEE!

17:23 - ...they didn't have search engines that would make you a millionaire at that time, I'm sure.

18:46 - Oh, wow, those guys have been hypnotised? I never would have been able to tell! Come to think of it, the Sontaran 'stratagem' seems to need these two soldiers. So... their entire plan hinged on two complete morons going into a room that was obviously a trap and swapping Sawardian dialogue for ten minutes until Staal turned up? I guess I shouldn't knock it, I mean it WORKED clearly but isn't that a bit... narrow minded?

19:16 - Shut the fuck up, Doctor! Has Mace pointed a gun at ANYONE? NO! WHY DO YOU HATE THIS ONE GUY WHO CARRIES A GUN SO MUCH? Is it just the terrible writing? Hmm? Is that it?

19:30 - Yeah, that's right Mace, throw it back at him.

19:49 - Yeah, plural is 'genii' you fucking moron. God, I have never disliked the Doctor so much. Well, when I say never I meant 'since Eccleston' but you get my drift I'm sure.

20:48 - ..was about to complain about an overwrought 'companion leaving' scene when she isn't actually leaving... but then it turns out to be a piss-take of all the overwrought companion scenes. Thank you! Something competent

21:28 - "My word! Until I felt this unusual heart-beat there was no evidence at all that there was anything untoward with any of these workers!"

22:14 - Yeah, thanks for that dramatic reveal moment. I never would have guessed that it was those two soldiers again. GAAAAWD this episode is lame.

22:50 - Is it just me or do we see this exact same street at least once a year? That's not a slur against the quality of writing of this episode at all. Just thought I'd point out the novelty value of that.

23:45 -Dance, Cribbins! DANCE FOR ME! BWAHAHAHA!

24:37 - Shutting off those lights may seem kinda dramatic, but wouldn't that just draw more attention?

27:24 - How can you terra-form in what appears to be a small mid-school laboratory? Planets the size of marbles?

27:38 - Oh, give me a fucking break. Suddenly the Doctor's picking holes in people's grammar when a few minutes ago he didn't even know the correct plural from? This is sloppy, sloppy writing.

27:48 - ...does the Doctor look like a "UNIT grunt"? God, give me strength. 13 minutes and a bit, you can do it, Jared...

29:11 - Oh, yeah, that's smart, Doc. Just activate the teleportation pod when you're in it. You can't just explain what it is... and... *Sigh*

29:38 - "SONTARAN! That's your name, isn't it? You're a son-tar-an!" Yes, lets point even more stuff out to the audience in as condescending a way as possible. Staal's already said that he's a Sontaran. It's the fucking episode title. I think people have gotten the idea. Why is the Doctor so amused at meeting a Sontaran, anyway? I mean, he's going right off the deep end at ONE middle-aged bloke who happens to wear a gun on his belt as part of his official uniform but an entire race literally bred for the sole purpose of war and it's "`Ello boys! Missed you I have!"

This is like seeing Mindwarp but with the scenes where the Doctor's mind is scrambled cut out for timing purposes.

30:13 - Oh, he looks like a Sontaran. Well, they got one fucking thing right. Guess we'd better give you a BAFTA.

30:23 - Oh, no. He's got Chris Eccleston's ears for some reason. I'll be having that trophy back, thank you.

No timecap, can't be arsed - I'll add the Doctor hitting the probic vent with the squash ball into my rather thin 'not retarded' list. Nice work. Of course, it's meant to be a weak point where something can go into the armour rather than some sort of pain-inducing errogenous zone that can't be struck at all but it still works.

32:35 - Oh, hey they actually explained a bit of the plot. That's nice.

33:30 - "But with you, we want something more complex... we want you to have sex with this embryo in the acid pool. Oh, yeah. This will make us a lot of money..."

I've probably seen a few too many episodes of Drawn Together...

35:26 - Hmm, so they launch the spheres from a mothership. I guess I can cope with that.

35:56 - For those counting, the clone marks Freema Agyeman's third role in DW in the space of three years. A long way off Westmaas territory but it's pretty impressive.

36:32 - Wow, really bizarre how after Season One EVERYONE knows how to 'deadlock' something... *sigh*...

37:04 -

Just when I think this script has reached the peak of non-sense-making... ATMOS is suddenly vulnerable to reverse psychology, and braking stops it from locking the doors.... Dear god this is unholy...

37:20 - Yeah, it would have been funny if there had been ANY REASON AT ALL for us to think that the jeep would blow up.

37:41 - Oooh, yeah. Naughtiest evil clone ever!

40:05 - "When you were banged up with Spanish flu!" Nothing like a slice of Smoothe Exposition..

43:27 - That was actually a good cliffhanger. A promise of quality to come? No. Certainly not. But it was good anyway.

You probably worked out... I wasn't very impressed with this one. To give it its dues, the character moments were very well done, the design (bar the Eccleston ears) was excellent... but even beyond the total lameness of the plot, or rather the towering inferno of cliche upon contrivance that acts as a plot, there's something slightly cynical about this effort. It feels like lazy work going off of a blueprint that Raynor has on how to do an invasion of Earth story, with the Sontarans the latest old enemy to be capitalised on. This same cynical side of me has to wonder how many of the references and nods that partially redeemed this story were actually the work of Gary Russell, king of the continuity in-joke, trying to give this some old-school appeal. Of course it could pick up (hah!) and I'm going to take the high ground and not give the story a score until I've seen the second part. So there.


IMDber Response: that could be elemental to the story for all we know?

why they are taking over Earth, for more DNA. they are copies of copies of copies, the coding deteriorates over time.....that story element has been used in star trek loads over the years...

(Jared says: So, where did foreigners learn English before the internet was invented?)

OGer Response: 2/5, Sontarans are funny and cute. (That's not a good thing)

I-don't-believe-this Response: Luke Rattigan - Davros possibility?

(Jared says: No. At best, he's an Adam Mitchell possibility.)

Another IMDBer Response: Earth, London, the present day. The Doctor lands in Wembley stadium during a Queen + Paul Rodgers concert. The audience just think its a special effect of the show and the band play on. After the show the doctor informs them that the aliens known as the 'Popostastic' from the Planet Pop are on earth and they're trying to rid the world of rock music starting with...yep...London. Cue corridor chases round the Wembley stadium as Brian May and Roger Taylor help the Doctor put an end to their non so threatening plot as camp fun is to be had with some great music.

(Jared says: I'm not sure if he actually watched the episode but what the hell...)

Paraphrased Lawrence Miles Response: You know what really pissed me off! The Runaway Bride! Yes, I've waited over a year-and-a-half to bring it up but I JUST CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE!!! Dinosaurs underground is stupid? FUCK YOU! Didn't you see that episode of The Goodies? Of course you didn't, you pop-culture slut! ... I didn't actually watch it this week...

Lighthope Response: If Sontarans are supposed to be clones, how come they have different voices?

(Jared says: Because they didn't get David Segal to play the entire army)

Sparacus' Baffling Response: You say "of course this design is better" as if it obviously is or something. It isn't. The black leather look was superb and that has been abandoned in favour of this blue muscular look thats like a blue teenage ninja turtle with a Sontaran head.

(Jared says: Somehow, I doubt he actually SEEN teenage[d mutant ]ninja turtles..)

Humanitarian Response: I felt sorry for Bernard Cribbens having to deliver such terrible lines while locked in the car blathering on about aliens and Donna not having the common sense just to stick a brick through the damn window at the end.

Next Time - State of Emergency, they're a dime a dozen these days... Sontarans shoot at stuff... the Doctor is still in Mace's face... Staal is amazed at the existence of Nuclear power... Donna bounces around a lot down corridors... a hot chick says the word 'six'... some aliens actually die in a battle scene! OMG! ...someone finally decides it's time to call that Code Red... the Doctor gets in Mace's face even more... somebody decides making the entire trailer a homage to the cliffhanger ending of Inferno episode 4 will make me forgive them for their sins. They're wrong.