There is a minor divergence of opinion on the matter of what exactly constitutes fanwank (or 'fan pleasure' as I believe Wikipedia term it, rather amusingly...). Some say that in order for it truly to be fanwank, it needs to be something incredibly pleasing to the fans, or something that they have desperately wanted. So, say, Doomsday would be a definite piece of fanwank, whereas Placebo Effect and Gary Russell's much mulled-over Nimon-versus-Macra story really are not. The other is that fanwank refers to any such attempt of reusing old enemies for the sake of audience... so just about every Dalek story, then, with special emphasis on Blood of the Daleks.
I believe in the latter definition. After all, aren't compulsive masturbators still 'wanking' on the 20th straight wrist-number even if by that stage they have ceased to take any pleasure in the act? Is it not still a 'wank' if you've lost your train of thought in the sexual fantasy and end up at loose ends with an elk in your imaginary bed instead of a (don't say 'teacher', don't say 'teacher'...)... antelope?
This is even more so now, because even if I have absolutely zero enthusiasm for the complete madness that will be launched on British television screens all too soon (if it hasn't already - I can never keep track of GMT..) how can you deny it is fanwank? Well, I guess it is for the young'uns (read people about two-to-five years younger than myself...) infesting OG who've never even seen the Doctor fellate a gigantic green beanbag in family viewing hours nor jump around madly as Cybermen attempt to set his arse on fire... but even then I wonder how many people really REALLY want to see all of the modern Whoniverse pillars on screen at once like this.
Something I've been mulling over is what on Earth could the credits look like...
Starring DAVID TENNANT and CATHERINE TATE
and BILLIE PIPER and FREEMA AGYEMAN and JOHN BARROWMAN
and LIS SLADEN and EVE MYLES and GUY WHO PLAYS IANTO and JOHN LEESON
(As far as I know, J-Lee isn't actually in it, just wishful thinking on my part..)
What sick twisted Whoviants actually want to SEE this, though? This stuff should be in fanfic! I mean, as much as I enjoy writing about H.G Wells and The Sixth Doctor dealing with the Bendalypse Warhead as if it's a scene in Black Books or reading about Dr House's encounters with his alien counterpart, I don't actually want to see it on screen. It's a bit like watching porn with your family, isn't it?
It's a symptom of the need for season finales now, which is something I find torturous, especially the fact that this monster has been created through the fact that YANA was so mind-bogglingly big that we need something EVEN BIGGER this year, through some completely stupid laws of television. And this, in turn, is why we need the break year, so presumably season five can end with the Doctor forgetting to bring his coupons and having to pay full price for dry cleaning.
I find it remarkable, though, because now I think RTD has well and truly left JNT in the dust for the contest of Producer of The Greatest Fanwank.
After all, what does JNT have to his name?
*Brought back the Master - After a previous team had specifically created a loophole for this to happen.
*Brought back and updated the Cybermen - For the sake of viewers.
*Brought back a companion for two stories, and a heap for a 'special' - The Brig was key to Mawdryn Undead, but ultimately not that much of a distraction. The Five Doctors was a bit different...
*Brought back a one-off villain from nine years' previously when he brought back Omega
*Made two multiple Doctor stories
*Let Ian Levine somewhere near a typewriter
*Created quite a lot of clipshows...
*Brought back UNIT once
*Made one Dalek story every three years on average
*Created the Valeyard
It's decent, I'll give him that - but let's have a look at RTD's blow-for-blow rejoinder..
*Brought back the Master
*Brought back and updated the Cybermen and pitted them against the Daleks - For the sake of more viewers
*Brought back two companions for three episodes a piece in concurrent seasons, and then brings back THREE companions for one story in one of said seasons
*Brought back a one-off monster from FORTY years previously - When bringing back the Macra, an idea that JNT incidentally shot down himself..
*Made one five minute mulitple Doctor special - Yeah, JNT wins this one..
*Must... resist... cheapshots at writers...
*Creates a new show that's nothing BUT clipshows
*Brought UNIT back three times
*Makes at least one Dalek story per year
RTD's arches and recurring plots and references to his own stories blows JNT's 'excesses' well and truly out of the water. All I have to say is that RTD is now the king of fanwank, especially with Craig Hinton gone as he has all too soon.
I just wanted to post this before it all went to air. And if, at the end of it, you're feeling dirty and used... well, what did you expect? Be glad you're not blind.