Saturday, July 26, 2008

NEWBIE REVIEW #10 - Millenium Shock

Yes, it's another book that I can barely remember!

Millenium Shock by Justin Richards

Something I knew about this book when I went in: it was written over two weeks or so. That probably is useful information to have as this book certainly isn't ground-breaking stuff. But it is certainly a competent and entertaining read.

(This book's also a sequel to System Shock which I haven't read, but all the events of that novel are quite competently re-capped.)

This book is a bit amusing as it concerns something that fizzled out quicker than the Matrix phenomenon: Y2K. I found it funny, reading again how seriously everyone took the whole thing back then. The book is set over the course of the weeks leading up to Y2K and the big day itself, where, in true DW-fashion, everything goes crazy! Planes falling, raiding, instant gridlocks, power failures, the whole lot. Ah, the sweet memories of rampant paranoia.

But, slight datedness aside, the book teams up the Fourth Doctor and Harry Sullivan, which is always a great combo. Harry is now middle-aged and working as chief of MI5, and this transformation, surprisingly, comes across as fairly credible. Harry gets caught up in a strange affair involving a company named Silver Bullet, aliens that travel as computer data, Russian paramilitarists, and things of course only get more complicated when the Doctor shows up. In his living room.

At times, the book can border on a bit silly. The aliens appear in makeshift human form (don't they always?) and, frankly, it's pretty easy to work out who're the aliens from when you first meet them - but none of the characters are this perceptive. However, the light-heartedness of this book becomes positively non-existant the further you read it - Richards gives us a body-count of Saward-proportions! No secondary character is safe.

For me, the real highlight of the book was the friendship between the Doctor and Harry. Richards captures Doctor #4 brilliantly - he's just mad. Scenes such as when he starts polishing the nameplate of a tank and has a chat to it are just wonderful and so easy to visualise. Harry, likewise, is the no-nonsense stiff-upper lip chap we know and love, just older and wiser. The two have a great rapport, and it's charming to read scenes like when they exchange Christmas presents.

Another good thing is at the end when Richards delves into the politics and we get to meet PM Terry Brooks - a wonderfully unflattering caricature of Tony Blair, with the cabinet to match. I guess this may have alienated Blair supporters somewhat but I had a bit of a chuckle at it. (BTW, I'm Australian so your politics really aren't much business of mine anyway...)

For me, the book was lumbered a little by the prose, that was workman-like, but this is really understandable given the circumstances under which it was written. Aside from that there's lots to enjoy - the Doctor's plans are suitably clever, the characters quite enjoyable, and there's lots and lots of action. I remember reading it and thinking - "God, I wouldn't mind so many new stories set on Earth if they were like this!". Yes, I'm a UNIT fan and this book smacks of 'Action by HAVOC', I am pleased to say. Aside from the needlessly high death-toll the only thing plot-wise that irritated me about this book was a rather cheap trick by Justin - telling us that there's an alien agent in the military and clumsily setting up one character to be the obvious culprit only to reveal - OMG - it was a character we had never seen or heard of before. I am simply mystified as to why he wrote it in.

So, it's a good, solid read. I think I'll give it a 6/10

Hmm, six out of ten? Seems quite Scrooge-ish of me. But then I haven't read it in ages and I do remember finding quite a few of the death scenes LAAAAME as I like to say. As in Richards does a Saward and just goes "Sick of this person - kill 'em!" And I faintly recall some instances of "Captain Scarlet Syndrome", as I shall now call it, on the part of the aliens. That's where the Doctor works out a way to kill the aliens using acid... and they survive... then some guy just throws a grenade at them... and they survive... then they get a ten-megatonne nuclear bomb dropped on their balls and do die... but then it turns out they were playing dead and kill the ambulance drivers/pallbearers... and then some guy shoots them with a special Anti-Alien ray... and they survive... and then the Doctor waves a magic wand over a church organ and they die when you're near the end.

It's probably fair enough for that to pop up in the books because it's pretty rife in the TV show. The one that sticks in my mind being Bok, the loveable demon, getting blown into powdery rubble by a bazooka, and yet somehow being able to reform himself perfectly mid-air. Okay, that could be Azal at work... Another similar thing would be the Silurians gaining the power to create concrete from thin air with their third eyes so they won't be caught. I mean... generating concrete through their eyes? What evolutionary purpose could that possibly serve? What other situations does that even come in useful for them as a species? Is that just MAGIC or what?

So, anyway... Millenium Shock. Bugger it, I'll just go ahead and say that Justin Richards should be the new producer of Doctor Who. Why? He did this book in 2 weeks. Two fucking weeks. That's HALF the time it takes RTD to write a script. And it's about six times longer. And about 2 million times better than Journey's End. Take these mathematics further and he could write an entire season of stories in the space of just over a month. Then he could look at them and say "What a minute, that's shit. I'll NOT bend over backwards to give Donna amnesia, but instead do something cool" and be able to write them again, PROPERLY, in another month. And still have time to shag Julie Gardner senseless like the rugged, masculine writing-tiger that he is.

Also worthy of note is that he wrote it in 4.7 times the time it took Larry Miles to write The Book of the World. Which shows that he doesn't rush things.

I can't remember this book at all...

EDITED TO ADD: Actually, I do remember something.. read this one at about the time I was doing my HSC, realising that 13 years of education was going down the gurgler as I was in the middle of a crippling depression, studying courses I didn't like and doomed to NOT get into uni as UAI's are determined as much by your own efforts as the biggest fuckwit in your class. And it cheered me up a little. I henceforth declare it the greatest book in the world. 12/10.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Cleaning out the Attic...

Yes, I haven't blogged in a while. I've been too busy wallowing through knee-deep blood of my pets that have been dying like flies, dealing with some weird pseudo-imsomnia and working in a library. It is worth noting that the library in question is probably the least scary place in Earth unlike, say, the room in the abandoned shack on my property that used to be the 'shower'. *Shudder*

Anyway, there are a few bits and bobs I can chuck up here with shameless laziness, thanks to my habit of saving text from sites and doing nothing with it.

Firstly, the relic of my vain endeavours to find out something that obviously was ludicrous - to learn what time the Indian Fucking Premier League was showing on Channel Ten. After the Guide promised it was on at the very easily watchable time of 8:30 PM and I went down to aforementioned abandoned shack which has the only aerial on our property (don't ask) and found myself watching half an hour of Stuart Little in the freezing cold. And then five minutes of Harold and Kumar Go To Whitecastle. Ha ha ha, no it wasn't actually anything that good.

So, anyway, I thought that, maybe, Channel Ten's website would show what the fuck was on TV. HA! What a ludicrous concept. But while I was there, I did see the total glory of their Torchwood forum. Hooo yes. Check it:

I think torchwood gay because it suck very bad.
this is worst than watching neighbours.
It just aguy from the future joining a the police force and he has special power like he fly and all those crazy stuff it like Superman the movie.

Torchwood has fans? HAHAHA u almost had me for a minute.. nice joke man

I would love to be a mod of this forum. I'd be so banning his a**

I cant believe someone has started a torchwood fan club, how pathetic, must be a bunch of nerds, wat a rubbish show. The guy is a tom cruise wanna be .

torchwood has more fans then your face BAM loser

Wonderful extras & goodies, I have planned my weekend to watch all of the Capt Jack interviews & appearances and listen to some of his music.

Torchwood is an odd show but no matter wat u all say john barrowman is damn fine!!! and really the show can be quite gud!!

I know what you mean , whenever i'm in Photography i'm always on the Torchwood forums lol instead of doing my work.
My teacher cought me out a few times lol

Ahh, good times.

Next up from my vault is... erm... how about an episode of Doktor Cube? My mate is still talking about making this into a movie.. somehow.

No formatting. Apparently formatting would spoil it.

The Doktor was driving his train away through the 2x4 electrical ducts
and listening to the ranting and ravings of TWO, the technically
deficient AI supercomputer attempting to dominate the third, fifth,
and ninth universes parallel to our own. In an attempt to throw off
TWO, the Doktor threw the train into a proverbial handbrake turn and
knocked out both aluminium/concrete/asbestos walls and the train began
to roll down the widened tunnel at 178kph. The Doktor, sensing danger
ahead, tried to raise YMMCA back in his pad in fluent Norse: "WHERE AM
DESTRUCTION. TELL ME NOW. TELL. ME. NOW," then in Czech in the event
of a misunderstanding: "NOW!" With no response the Doktor put
together a makeshift AK through stripping parts off the broken drivers
seat off the train. Just as he completed it, the Doktor was thrown
through the front of the train's already 42% fractured front window as
the journey came to a sudden and powerful stop:
Judging by the relative air pressure being detected by the Doktor's
CUBE vision the Dr deduced that he was being thrown at a speed of
152kph towards a brick wall 3.47meters in distance from the train's
stopping point. Twisting his body around in mid flight to avoid
hitting 64.7% of the solid brick wall with traces of nickel in the
third and eighth quadrants the Doktor heard TWO's voice in fluent
NOT HERE." Then in a flash of trans-dimensional destructive essence
the entire scene was shattered and rebuilt into something entirely
different. Then the Doktor was no longer in the train, but standing
upon the top of an ancient Mayan pyramid possibly at the time of 19th
dynasty Egypt. The sky was 82% deep purple, with clouds rushing across
it from horizon to horizon. The Doktor himself was dressed in a 14th
dynasty battle-brand's hell raiser armour, a deadly tool protecting
those who knew how to use it. Either side of the pyramid stretched off
into a metaphorical sea of darkness… Dr Cube did not need his Cube
Vision to tell that he had been placed in an arena… Rain began to
fall… and in c1458 medieval spell-sword's ice bastion armour, two
materialised 16.8 meters away from Cube. He began to speak in hell
bound Yutharak: "BORASH MIRAL HARAK SHARAL!" "Speak faster, or forever
regret your existence, Two." "SO WE HAVE COME TO THIS DOKTOR, AT THE
CHALLENGE, A NEW-" "Your conclusion, not mine." And with that the
Doktor brandished his AK-47 and began to fire. TWO was caught off
guard and forced to avoid the bullets. With his foe off balance the
Doktor leapt towards him and delivered a crushing kick to the pancreas
designed to give off enough force to knock the off-guard TWO off the
temple into the darkness. It did. But barely had the Doktor restocked
and locked his AK when two came flying back up onto the pyramid. "YOU
A CHANCE!" And with that two more pyramids rose up on either side of
the arena, one from Cairo, the other from Tikal, and both extended
bridges onto the arena pyramid. Then a literal army of TWO's poured
from the two pyramids across the bridges to challenge the Doktor… "HA,
GUESS IT'S TWO BAD FOR YOU DOKTOR." And with a click of his AK
disarming the safety, the Doktor responded: "Congratulations Two, you
just found me in your own personal hell."

While I'm posting meaningless gibberish I might as well post my own 'episode' of Doktor Cube that got me a cease and decist message from the original author. I didn't think it was that bad...

The glowing magnesium core-induced fluctuations of the visual
spectrums A-Z subsided, and the omnipresent 30% cannabis smoke
disappeared, to reveal a two-foot dwarf dude from

"Michael J. Anderson?" asked 8-Ball, in Aramaic (Although it was a
pointless act, considering the phrase is exactly the same in all
languages except a Klingon dialect of Sontaran)

"Yo," said the dwarf

"Well, excuse me, MISTER ANDERSON, but we've got a mofo to kill and
your 67% crippled ass is in my goddamned way"

"Oh, you can get past..." said ANDERSON in Latin-American "If you
survive the SKULL AVALANCHE!"

Cube and 8-Ball looked at each other, and spoke simultaneously in
Ancient Norse "Man, no way is our luck that bad!"



"Yo man, this be yo' chance to get AHEAD in life!" shouted 8-Ball as,
for reasons best known to himself, he stripped down into a red
g-string and dived into the pool of skulls forming below them. Cube,
however, as he did not suffer from a congenital brain disease stuggled
against the cavaclade of skulls, as one would struggle to swim
upstream a river, if it wasn't composed of 100% head-shaped carparace.
Suddenly, Cube remembered his RPG-loaded shotguns, and fired them
indiscriminately. Soon, no more remnants of skull, Michael J.
Anderson, or even cliff face remained. Cube gingerly picked up 8-Ball,
using the skills of his training to ignore what he had learned to call
a 'skull avalanche boner' (or alternatively S.A.B, the dem-bone
schlong, or De schedel zette erectie aan) "None of this is real,
8-Ball, do not be seduced by the glory of infinite death" "Man, this
be so BA-A-A-AD!" "Don't fuck with me" "A'ight. But what whacked out
shit can we do to counter TWO's mind games?" This query required Cube
to exert nearly 6.2 seconds of neural activity, quite a conundrum. In
the meantime his CUBEvision displayed the new sanity bombardments TWO
was already preparing for him. A complete replica of the high school
from "Clueless" was forming, endless armies of honky vampires
stretching out into a stormy sky... and Alec Baldwin. But then, Cube
had an idea. "I met some monks in Bhutan who had discovered the
secrets to infinite mental duplication and exertion. So naturally I
killed them. But I did pick up at least one trick from them... we must
don the gowns of the holy one" Within a matter of no time 8-Ball and
Cube were wearing identical Colin Baker costumes, turning around in
completely concentric circles while chanting the ancient Cao Dai
chants of Nan'sei, which sounded precisely like
"LALALALALALALLALALLALALLALALA!". In a matter of even less time they'd
decided that this was in fact gayer than swimming through skulls in a
g-string with a massive schedel zettes, and Cube destroyed the Colin
Baker costumes and vowed never to speak of them again. 8-Ball, however,
declared it "Looked so BA-A-A-AD!" and it could not be destroyed.
Before Cube could prevent his (platonic) friend's VR induced folly
8-Ball raced off into the distance shouting "Hey, it be Alicia
Silverstone. Man, I be about to pound her ASS" Cube sighed the sigh of
a man who has been deserted as many times as Blade from "Blade" and
continued on his way. "I give no hope to 8Ball" he intoned in Elvish
"I have kept it all for myself" Soon Cube came to a door with EXIT
written on it. "Hmmm," said Cube, as he enjoyed talking to himself
while staring right into the camera "This must lead out of this
Puragatory, and right into HELL PROPER!" He was satisfied to hear
ominous thunder roll in the background. He opened the door, and the
thin grey raiment of the world fell away, and all turned to silver
glass. And then he saw it. Right the fuck where he started. And 8-Ball
was waiting on the other side, wearing an other-sized leather
trenchcoat, the origins of which would forever remain a mystery. "Get
that trenchcoat off, bitch. I'm the 'ba-a-a-a-a-a-ad one here" 8-Ball
reluctantly removed the coat, folded it up 16 times and placed it in
his pocket. "Yeah, well if you be so BA-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-
(breath in) A-A-AD then you tell me what the fallujah has gone down?"
"Clearly we were not prepared for the mental onslaught of TWO's
Purgatory Zone, so the entire escapade felt like some sort of lame-@ss
adventure constructed by one of those n00bish guest writers. Now, I'm
sure after we go through the door this time it will feel more real"


And so they went in.

Ah, I was younger then. And seemingly more racist.

Ooh, here's something - a script I fiddled around with sometime last year. Judge my idea of a Doctor-Donna convo as written months before I saw Partners in Crime...

DONNA: God, it's like Waterloo Station in here...

THE DOCTOR: Have I taken you here before?

DONNA: Erm, no. It's just crowded...

THE DOCTOR: Oh. Oh! Sorry, I thought you were being clever for a moment there! Yeah, this is Waterloo Station. Space Station. Humans aren't big on thinking up new names when there are perfectly good ones lying around.

DONNA: A space station. Right. So what are all these people doing? Waiting for a shuttle out of here?

THE DOCTOR: Well... some of them. All of them, officially... but in deep space there aren't really many rules around so...

DONNA: Oh, great. You've taken me to the Intergalactic version of Chatham!

THE DOCTOR: Steady on, it's not THAT bad. You’re thinking of Gibraltar II, in orbit round Pluto way. Bad neighbourhood.

DONNA: What are we doing here, anyway?

THE DOCTOR: I was thinking about a hobby.

DONNA: You? A hobby?

THE DOCTOR: Yeah, well, it’s hard work saving the Universe, you gotta admit. So, I’ve decided to collect keyrings!

DONNA (flatly) Keyrings?

THE DOCTOR: Yep! I mean, what am I meant to do with my keys?

DONNA: What keys?

THE DOCTOR: Ah. Good point. I guess I’ll start collecting keys as well. But the point is, right, that I’ll get ALL the limited-edition keyrings pressed in the Nebulum-grade stations post-30th century.

(They go into a tacky tourist shop)

DONNA: Why do they have key-rings anyway?

THE DOCTOR: To hang keys on.

DONNA: Yeah, but - future! Aren’t doors opened by.. sonic or laser or something? Keycards? That sort of thing?

THE DOCTOR: They can be bypassed, you know.

DONNA: Heard of lockpicks?

THE DOCTOR: Well, yeah, point. But 30th century laser’s on the way out - mechanical comes back in a big way. Ah-ha! There we are, Waterloo Station 2972, what a great year!

(The Doctor goes to the counter. Donna is pulled over by the albino.)

WHITE: Time traveller?

DONNA: What?

WHITE: Time traveller.

DONNA: Well, yeah. Part-time sort of thing...

WHITE: Time travellers aren't popular here.

(Donna looks over to the Doctor. He is engrossed in conversation with the cashier. Well, he's engrossed anyway - the cashier seems to be staring blankly into the distance)

DONNA: Yeah, well, we're just on our way out...

WHITE: With me.

(White grabs Donna by the arm and pulls her out of the shop. The Doctor sees this.)


Hmm, I don't think that's too shabby. But I'm obviously biased. For these reasons I give you a couple of other snatches from this unfinished tale.

WHITE: A trickier transmat than usual... he's upped the security - but then that isn't surprising...

DONNA: What the hell's going on?

WHITE: A man as smart as him, though, should realise that splitting an energy entity will leave two charged particles, equal, opposite and therefore magnetized.

DONNA: Look, I don't speak jargon! I don't care who you are, but the Doctor is going to sort you out.

WHITE: Oh, if only he could, Ms Noble.

DONNA: How do you know my name?

WHITE: Come with me.

(He walks off)

DONNA: No way, Jose.

WHITE: The answers are this way.

DONNA: I don't think I'll like them

WHITE: You will like the darkness less.

(The lights go off throughout the tunnel. White goes through, Donna follows timidly. The lights begin to go out faster, so Donna begins jogging. White is disappearing into the distance now, and Donna can hear strange creatures in the dark. There are hisses and screeches all around her. The lights shut off quicker and quicker - Donna quickens her pace again, now running flat out - the lights still go out quicker. White is nowhere to be seen. Now all the visible lights are gone, Donna is in complete darkness, a seemingly thick darkness that threatens to envelope her. There are animalistic roars surrounding her - she wildly spins to try and see what is behind her, and falls to the ground. The roars and ungodly, alien sounding screams ring out towards here, growing louder and wilder. Donna whimpers in terror and screws her eyes tightly shut, as ebony-black talons fold out of the darkness and begin clawing at her arms-

In an instant the lights are back on. White kneels down and offers her his hand.)

DONNA: What were they?

WHITE: Your alternative. Answers?

(Donna takes his hand, and White pulls her onto her feet)

WHITE: Good. Follow.

(White drops her hand and walks into the distance. Donna follows close behind this time.)

* * *

THE DOCTOR: Quick question, if someone vanishes, where's the most likely place for them to turn up?

JENNI: What sort of question is that?

THE DOCTOR: A quick one, like I said. Where? Come on come on come on!

JENNI: Well, I guess the Governor's Centre.

THE DOCTOR: Great! What? What makes you say that?

JENNI: If something strange happens it's usually to do with the Governor.

THE DOCTOR: Right. Take me there.

JENNI (pointing to sign) I've got my post, mister, I can't just leave it.

COMPUTER PA: All incoming flights are delayed by one hour. Outgoing flights will leave on schedule.

THE DOCTOR: There's been a lot of those announcements about. Something out of the ordinary?

JENNI: Like I said, it will be to do with the Governor.

THE DOCTOR: How do I see him? (beat) With all those flights being re-scheduled this place will be empty soon - you won't have any work. So come on. Get me to see the Governor.

(Immediately later, talking to a teller machine with the Governor's face on a screen)

AKTASI: Greetings citizen, traveller, and/or friend. You desire the guidance and comfort of the station Governor - and here I am. If you wish to ask questions about the history of Waterloo station, press 1. If you would like to make enquiries about lost property, press 2. If you need to lodge a complaint, press 3. If you have an appointment to see me in person, I have no idea why you're using this machine. Thank you.

THE DOCTOR: You've got to be kidding me.

JENNI: It's all I've ever seen of him.

THE DOCTOR: Well, you wouldn't have been here too long, surely...

JENNI: I was born here.

THE DOCTOR: Oh. Good for you. Lovely place. But that doesn't matter.

(The Doctor looks across the rear of the lobby. He sees three different gilded doors.)

THE DOCTOR: One, two or three?

JENNI: Well, two sounds most like what you wanted-

THE DOCTOR: Good enough for me!

(The Doctor jumps over the table, and runs up the stairs to the second door incredibly quickly and opens it with his sonic screwdriver. Before security can even react he's through! Jenni is startled.)

* * *

DONNA: This is what you call answers, then? A box?


DONNA: And what's it meant to tell me?

WHITE: Nothing.

DONNA: Is that a joke?

WHITE: I never said the answers were meant for you.

DONNA (furious) Then WHY bring me here?

WHITE: The box is sealed with four-dimensional deadlocks. That means to even engage its unlocking sequence it will need vortex cells.

DONNA: Like, time vortex?

(White nods, and gestures to the box)

DONNA: Hang on, you just bring me here to open up a box for you? Is that it? You're just a thief?

WHITE: More a... Person of Interest.

DONNA: I've had enough of this. I don't like that darkness but I reckon I like you even less, Mr White or whoever you're meant to be. So unless you take me back to the Doctor right now, I'll go back myself!

WHITE: There's only one way out.

DONNA: Yeah, I know!

(Donna turns around to run back through the tunnel - and runs straight into a wall. We hear White's laughter)

WHITE (V.O) That's not what I meant.

* * *

XERCANIAN: A twin plaent to Ghurghash-Bunk, which is currently presided over by the Xercai Bank in accordance with the loan of twelve trillion credits made to the Hujik.

TULK: You preside - you own nothing!

XERCANIAN: We retain the right to sequester any inanimate objects within the planet-

TULK: But the box was 255 Selim away from the planets surface!

XERCANIAN: Objects in orbit...

(Aktasi yawns loudly. Tulk looks greatly offended)

AKTASI: None of this matters right now, gentlemen, does it? I have measured both sides of the case-

XERCANIAN: You have not listened properly.

AKTASI: And what does a robot know about listening? Besides, I read your dossier here.

XERCANIAN: You haven't even opened it.

AKTASI: I skimmed it.

XERCANIAN: It is 465, 232 words in length not including footnotes and annotations.

AKTASI: That's why I skimmed it! As far as I'm concerned, Xercai, you both have legitimate claims-

TULK: Their claims are a travesty of justice!

AKTASI: Let me finish?

TULK (reluctantly) Alright.

AKTASI: You have legitimate claims BUT... I don't care. If something's legitimate at Waterloo... well, it's out of place, isn't it? How's this for a deal... the box goes to whoever I like more? So far, Tulk is in the lead - because he's a homicidal warthog with a shouting problem BUT he doesn't put me to sleep like you lot from Xercai.

XERCANIAN: This violates all conventions of-


ZANA: All conflicts of politically-affiliated parties within the territory of the Human empire are to be settled with the co-ordination of the immediate neutral Imperial representative. There are no exceptions, and no rights of appeal.

AKTASI: See? I know the law as well. And right now the law says that I'm as good as God. So... either get with the program or get left behind.

TULK: We are honoured to have your friendship, Governor Aktasi.

AKTASI: Well, don't get honoured too quickly there, Akuna-Matata. I like you, but who else do I like? Myself. And there's nothing in the law that says I can't impound the box for the next... ooh, 100 years? So... what can you do to make me like you more?

(Tulk's eyes narrow)

TULK: Weapons?

AKTASI: Now there's a thought...

What's that? It's getting a bit Alien Bodies? FUCK! *VROOOOOM*...

Hmm, some weird tidbits I seriously found on Wikipedia

When Nerds Collide
In Slocum General Grievous has Captive the school of slocum sekwes area Dooku Discover this boy of david chadwick Sidious Obeys david to kill the jedi knights With the help of Calamitous. Obi wan Arrives to arrest Grievous But david arives and stop Grievous Darth Sidious Has betrayed him by killing the Sith Lords Nute And Grievous. (From Nute Gunray)

If anyone can translate that into English be sure to let me now.

Estella Dawn Warren (born December 23 , 1978 ) is a Canadian actress , spunk dribbler, former fashion model , and a former synchronized swimmer .

Yeah, you noticed the odd bit with that one, didn't you?

Something else odd I did in a moment of spare time was make a list of possible hokey-Target titles for the New Series stories. I was a bit annoyed doing Series 4 in the space of about two minutes just then in that most of them this year sound like old-skool titles anyway...

and The Christmas Invasion
and The New Earth
and The Werewolf
and An Old Friend
and The Girl in the Fireplace
and The Age of Iron
and The Idiot's Lantern
and The Impossible Planet
and The Living Pictures
and Doomsday

and The Runaway Bride
and The Hospital on the Moon
and The Witches of Death
and The Motorway
and The Evolution of the Daleks
and The Lazarus Experiment
and The Curse of the Sun
and The Family of Blood
and The Weeping Angels
and Utopia

and The Adipose
and The Fires of Pompeii
and The Planet of the Ood
and The Sontaran Stratagem
and The Doctor's Daughter
and The Murder Mystery
and The Mysterious Woman
and The Killer Sun
and The Prophecy of the Daleks

*Ahem* Anyway, last thing is something I was seriously going to post on it's own here, but I recently decided wasn't worth it. Me bickering endlessly with an angry fanboy-cum-fuckwit. But, hey, Ewen did it with Nyder, didn't he? So, *ahem*...

The Passion of the Fuckwit

Allow me to use this blog to vent, away from the chlorinated moderation of Outpost Gallifrey, about quite an amazingly mentally retarded specimen.

It was that Eurovision thread again, and in comes Silentlurker who, unfortunately for EVERYONE, does not live up to his name. He is a New Series supremist, which is fair enough, really, and says this:

I'd say Blink does beat them, easily (and I'd say that even if it hadn't of [SIC] just done that). Talons gives it a run for it's [SIC] money, but frankly I don't see what people see in Caves. It's OK, but nothing special. Certainly not the be all and end all some posters seem to think. of [SIC] all the episodes in the finale, Caves is the most overrated IMHO.

No, that's not why he is mentally challenged. People are entitled to believe that Caves is 'overrated' and don't know how to write in English. But at the same time I find it a very odd view to have, so I replied to him saying as much:

For the record, Caves-dissers, the rest of fandom would take you more seriously if you actually gave some reasons for it not being the best story. I've seen decent criticism against Talons (too shallow), War Games (too long), Fenric (too pointless) and Genesis (too padded), and even though I disagree with it I respect it. I've also made a LOT of criticism against the 8 episode load of wank called The Invasion which I rank as one of the most disappointing DW stories I have EVER seen (too shallow, too long, too padded, too pointless, too Doctor-lite).

But then people saying Caves doesn't deserve the title essentially always say "It doesn't deserve the title because... I didn't think it was that great". Without coming out with any actually criticism of the episode, it makes the opposing view look even stronger.

This is a view I stand by, and I don't think this post is very hostile. Indeed, by my standards I'm positively inviting the shit over for some Devonshire tea. And it's a fucking good point! Nobody does have anything against Caves, it's just the idea of a 'greatest' DW story offends a lot of people, whereas the idea is to look at it as the story which, on average, is rated as the best or near the best by the biggest number of fans. Which is, hey, Caves. For good reason, people!

So anyway, what is his measured response?

..I've no idea because I've lost the file. So nevermind all that. Happy Hannukah!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Doctor Who and the LAAAAAME!

THE DOCTOR: Okey-dokey, gang, it's Christmas time so I'm going to show you how much I love you all! Jack!


THE DOCTOR: You mentioned in passing how much you like ebonics so I've given you two black playthings!

JACK: Awe-some!

MARTHA: Erm, what's in it for me? I'm engaged, remember?

THE DOCTOR: Oh, yeah, your 'engagement'. You're going to like this one, Martha - when you get home your 'fiancee', you know that old scarecrow that you painted a pinstripe pattern on before sticking my photo on front of it that you keep in the cupboard and think I don't know about and seriously that freaks me right out, is actually going to be ALIVE!

MARTHA: Oh my god that is the best news ever! Leo won't have to do the marionation anymore! And I won't have to listen to his talk of oncoming suicide as a direct result! Aww, thanks a billion, billion!

THE DOCTOR: Oh, and let's not forget Jacqui, dear old Jacqui - you never believed in me. You never had faith in me. You never even liked me. But I know how much that twat pissed you off by doing that really shit fanfic where you died every second episode and so I made doubly, doubly sure that Adam WASN'T brought back in this story.

JACQUI: Yes, I did notice that...

THE DOCTOR: In fact, I killed him with my bare hands and now here's his head, mounted for you.

JACQUI: Oh, you're a dear.

THE DOCTOR: And Sarah-Jane Smith... I arranged the death of that former prime minister who sort of looked like you so won't get called a Thatcher-clone bitch in the street anymore.

SARAH-JANE: K9 could use some more batteries..

THE DOCTOR: Yeah, right, I'll pick 'em up... and finally... Rose! You get... me. An identical copy of me, who acts like the Eccleston version so isn't quite as insufferable to be around all the time, but has my good-looks, will age along with you, openly admits that he wants to sex you up and is probably into the kinky stuff.

OTHER DOCTOR: Oh, you have NO idea!

ROSE: What? Is that it?

THE DOCTOR: ...isn't that enough?

ROSE: Jack got TWO sex toys! Plus he has too many already! THIS ISN'T FAIR!

THE DOCTOR: Alright... I'll give you a pony..


(Rose beats her fists against the floor viciously)


THE DOCTOR: Okay, okay.. jings... right... I'll make a clone of my clone...


THE DOCTOR: And the pony...


THE DOCTOR: And... erm... magic pencils. So that you draw a cow and the cow comes to life.


THE DOCTOR: And... erm... this bus token.

ROSE: Right. (beat) I guess that will do. BUT I WANT MORE NEXT YEAR YOU BASTARD!

THE DOCTOR: Right, right, okay...

DONNA: And what about me, Doctor? I've stuck by you more loyally than any of these losers..

THE DOCTOR: That you have, Donna, that you have... and that's why your reward is EXTRA special...

DONNA: Oh boy!

THE DOCTOR: You... get your mind wiped by yours truly and dumped in a ditch.

DONNA: Oh - what?!?



THE DOCTOR: I do love a happy ending. Th-th-th-th-that's all folks!


Kaston Iago Goes on a Date

IAGO: What do you think of the flowers they have here?

WOMAN: Pretty good. They bloom strong, at any rate.

IAGO: I can't grow any like these..

WOMAN: Are you a gardener?

IAGO: No. I'm a psychopath.

WOMAN: Yes... you've mentioned that a few times. What I meant was.. in your spare time..

IAGO: A man with spare time hasn't killed enough.


IAGO: That's what my father said, anyway.

WOMAN: Right-e-oh... was he committed?

IAGO: Only to killing.

WOMAN: ...

IAGO: To answer your earlier question I do fertilise my own flowers with the corpses of my enemies.

WOMAN: ...

IAGO: Are we going to fuck or what?

* * *

IAGO: So.. you ever killed anybody?

WOMAN: Um, no.

IAGO: You're missing out!

WOMAN: Didn't you steal that from Jekyll?

IAGO: Jekyll stole that from ME! And I killed it.

WOMAN: You killed a TV show?

IAGO: I'm unstable. People tell me it shows. Are you wet yet? I was hoping I wouldn't have to pay for more than the entrees..

* * *

WOMAN: So, anyway, I guess you'd be interested in my line of work...

IAGO: Not partiuclarly. In my spare time I hacked into your offices security grid and watched you at work. I learnt all I needed to know.

WOMAN: Erm... wow.

IAGO: I know. I have my romantic moments. Is there a draft?

WOMAN: No, I'm just.. moving my chair around.

IAGO: I don't like movement. It makes my trigger finger itch.

WOMAN: But you don't have a gun.

IAGO: I don't like itchy fingers.

WOMAN: ..was that meant to be a clever line?

IAGO: Hey, do I watch your work and criticse you?

WOMAN: Yes. You just told me so.

IAGO: Ah. You have a point... I think we need some oysters..

* * *

IAGO: How's your veal?

WOMAN: A little undercooked. Yours?

IAGO: Like human flesh. But that means I like it.

WOMAN: Let me guess, you ate the Butcher of Zercai or some such crap?

IAGO: Bits of him.


IAGO: Wait... that snappy retort didn't work, did it?

WOMAN: It did not.

IAGO: It made me sound like I was homosexual.

WOMAN: Very.

IAGO: Damn. I used to be really good at this. Like that guy who I was beating up, and I was all "You know who I am, fat man?" and he was "ZOMG u bastard!" and so I said, heh, get this... "That's WHAT I am, not WHO I am!" Heh. Hehehe.

WOMAN: Hilarious.

IAGO: I came up with that one before hand. It was very lucky that he said "Bastard" actually. I've used it before when people have said "Shit" or "Bollocks" and... it doesn't quite work, you know?

WOMAN: Yes, I get the idea. So... why were you beating him up?

IAGO: He was going to arrest me!

WOMAN: Oh, that's just rude, isn't it?

IAGO: I can't tell if you're being sarcastic or just madly amorous you're pretending to be a stand-offish bitch to lure me in.

WOMAN: Try harder.

IAGO: Damnit. You're getting the checque.

WOMAN: Piss off!

IAGO: Oh, I intend to!

WOMAN: That one didn't work either.

* * *

IAGO: Oh, God... how can this night get any worse?

UVANOV (off): I-ah-go! I-AH-GO!

IAGO: No... not him...

(Uvanov runs in wearing a dressing gown)

UVANOV: Damnit, I-ah-go, how many times do I need to tell you to check my bed for SPIDERS?!

IAGO: Was there a spider?

UVANOV: No, but I could tell that you hadn't checked! One of these days LANDAH-CHILD is going to put one in there to humiliate me!

IAGO: He doesn't need to - you can open your mouth fine without a spider's help.

WOMAN: Oh, that one actually was quite clever.

IAGO: Does that mean we ARE having sex?

WOMAN: A clue: no.

UVANOV: Who's the whore?

IAGO: Your daughter.

UVANOV: Oh, of course! Hello Sophie.

WOMAN: Dad. Still the planet's biggest arsehole?

UVANOV: Well, I-ah-go's giving me a run for my money. I've had to start pronouncing everybody's names in a ridiculous manner to compete. LANDAH-CHILD!

IAGO: Whatever. I'm going to go masturbate over some crime scene photos.

(Carnell sticks his head out from under the table)

CARNELL: Schroedinger's Cat!


Coming soon: A critical response to Kaldor City

[It shall be more sensible than this. And the series itself]

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

NEWBIE REVIEW #9: Venusian Lullaby

Here's a book that I barely remember at all, apart from a vague sense that it was, all in all, quite good. Back when the words hadn't faded from my mind, I said something very much like this:

Venusian Lullaby by Paul Leonard

This is the first book I've read that made me want to read more from its author... and, erm, unfortunately I haven't yet. I saw a copy of Genocide on eBay but it was just not to be. At any rate, this book is trememdous and, like good books should, just jumps out at you with the author's sheer style.

The book stars the First Doctor and Ian and Barbara - like some stories from this era do, apparently, it features a steerable TARDIS, but Leonard at least gives us a vaguely scientific reason for why this is possible so it's not too intrusive. The story starts off as a bit daft, with the Doctor giving Ian and Barbara a candlelit supper of pills from the food machine, but I think the odd bit of daftness is appropriate in a 60s story.

The tone turns odder very quick, when the Doctor discovers a lost invitation to an old Venusian friend's funeral and decides to pop back and attend the event. We meet the Venusians, gigantically tall creatures with many eyes, tentacles, and claws and from here on you may want to get yourself a pencil to keep up: we meet LOTS of Venusians, and we are given the full name and clan of each. For the purposes of this review I can only actually remember two Venusian characters' names: Mrak'acedo and Trikhobu, and these names are very typical. As I'm sure you can imagine, keeping track gets quite difficult, and this is probably the worst part about the book.

The best thing, however, is directly related. A lot of DW stories have, let's face it, quite half-arsed alien worlds. There are often some interesting worlds, some fascinating tidbits about culture, but usually it's just actors in bodysuits over-annunciating their dialogue. This being a novel, though, Leonard has let his imagination run away with him and the results are tremendous. The Venusian culture seems just dripping with detail: their law, their social hierarchy, their ideals, their communications, their advanced sciences, their political factions, their transport, it's all there. I'm not saying every book should go into this sort of detail but it's great that one does.

And the story itself... clocking in at over 300 pages it's quite epic, I have to say, but there's very rarely a dull moment - in spite of the fact that the main conflict doesn't even emerge until 100-something pages into it! It's quite a simple plot I guess, stripped down to the basics - invading aliens trying to decieve the good old Venusians by appearing benign - but the delivery is great. In spite of the long, cumbersome names you really get to know the characters, and Ian and Barbara go through their fair share of action in this novel.

Surprisingly Leonard, in spite of being a relatively new fan when he wrote this, as mentioned in his notes, draws a great character sketch of the First Doctor. His crotchety side (which was never that prominent, in actuality) barely makes an appearance and we see his charm, his childish curiosity but also his moroseness, gravitas, and authority. He comes off brilliantly in this adventure.

Very little to not like about this one, just a bit long and a lot of characters, another 9/10.

Next: Millenium Shock by Justin Richards

Hmm, by this stage I seem able to string two sentences together without looking a complete arse, so I can show some pride in the works of my past self at last. And I clearly did something right because reading that somehow brought back memories of the story...

It's great because of it's eccentricities, essentially. The Vesuvians, for reasons I can't recall, are effectively poisoned every time that they touch metal. Their society thus needs to function on devices of stone and wood, and the crossbow is the deadliest weapon. Because of this their space program [literally] doesn't get off the ground due to a need to construct the spaceship entirely out of wood, and without the motor-engine or anything like it possible the Venusians get around with gigantic ships with sailing masts - that sit on top of a gigantic wheel. Or in stone elevators that get pushed around by lava flows.

It is all nonsense but of such a terrific nature you go along with it utterly, like Paul Leonard is some sort of magician masterly using some narrative sleight-of-hand to convince you, even for a second, that this stuff is sensible.

The book also captured my interest by an evolving plot - the planet of Venus is dying, as we know it must, but, huzzah, their prayers are all answered by some benevolent aliens come to rescue them. Only, as happens, they're evil - but they've been brough their by the Venusian high priest, who sees that the planet is dying and has arranged to spare the people the long years of dying by arranging a glorious massacre of them all... the fact that what he's doing is fuelling more evil is further confused by the fact said aliens want to eat them all and Venusians believe that eating a body ensures its re-incarnation and other oddities..

It would be great if all DW stories could have plots so ambiguous and complex and downright strange as this one has. This is one of the few novels to capture the unpopular 'two alien races in conflict' trope well, in fact, and it is really tremendously served here. It also fits so very well into its chosen era, by combining the standard 'We cannot change history!' and 'This planet is MAD!' storylines into one which is stronger than the sum of its parts.

Brilliant characterisation of the Doctor and companions tops it all off, and I think that this book, more than any other that I've encountered, really does justice to the idea of going beyond what could be shown on screen that Virgin kicked off with.

And, unusually, I agree with the above review 100%, even if it is succinct by my standards.

Jared Reviews Silence in the Library

Not that I really want to.

This was a cataclysmic disappointment for myself, as I saw it some time after Mad Larry's review, which I thought was just another symptom of him apparently smacking his self-destruct button and throwing himself into a weird blog-battle against Moffat with dual Dodgy Argument Pistols blazing. I did not consider for a moment that it was anything more than the latest in his strategy of "You thought bagging out Blink was bad? YOU AIN'T SEEN NOTHING YET!!!"

I didn't imagine for a second that he could actually have made some good points.

And it came at the worst possible time. Hot on the heels of The Unicorn and the Wasp, IMHO one of the season's best triumphs which I loved so much it had me utterly convinced that this series WOULD be a classic one as a whole even though you'd need to overlook the last three episodes to admire it properly, and written by Steven "God" Moffat, whose three previous scripts (Including The Empty Child, damn it!) were brilliant pieces of Doctor Who, in some cases even being the only good thing in the season. THEN the news that Moffat is the new producer!

"Oh my giddy aunt!" I cried joyously "Now the Scottish Tarrant-head is off his leash, and we shall see what wonders he has planned!"

Actually watching the episode left me in the metaphorical gutter, chugging metaphorical brandy wrapped in a metaphorical brown paper bag and mentally gearing to cope with the oncoming 16 year 'hiatus'.

Okay, the future won't be that bleak. But Jesus Christ, when it comes to producing your hands-down lamest script EVER-

... close enough.

Now, rather than relaxing in the warm glow of the doubtless cheery future prepared by Steven Moffat, I'm afraid of endless stories where the Doctor uses and discards women who die sad and lonely, not having to put any effort into doing anything because his future self has already solved every fucking minor problem in his life and because the Big Boss doesn't want to bring back old monsters he'll spend his time mumbling about table-monsters and sunbeam-monsters while the camera gives us theoretically 'threatening' shots of these inanimate objects, the SFX-budget being funnelled into Moffat's outrageously large pornography fund and Murray Gold working himself to an early grave to keep it vaguely threatening.

Oh, God, Bottle, dear friend, where are you...

A Show about Nothing

Recently afte watching The Sontaran Stratagem with my mother I have come to a shocking conclusion - Silence in the Library (Possibly the whole story, though I have not yet been arsed to watch all of part 2..) is worse.

"But Jared, you toerag!" you scream "You gave TSS a piddling 3/10 and claimed it was irredeemable shit simply for a lot of semantics about UNIT/Sontaran characterisation and that boring science stuff that only you care about!"

My you have crystal-clear remembrance. That's true. BUT my mum loved it. This doesn't instantly mean that that episode is good, but it means that it is not as utterly irredeemable as I made out - none of the stories flaws were truly superficial, and as it was it followed the trad 'invasion of Earth' formula to a t, a formula that exists because people like it.

What I'm get at here is that TSS works if you just disengage your brain and want some trad fun, something that I probably should have noticed as I own the DVD of The Visitation, arguably the most Trad story ever televised. (Though I also owned a copy of Nightshade, which some say is the most Trad story in any medium and was unable to make it past 20 pages...)

This is a quality that Silence in the Library lacks utterly, because it's script is oddly aimless, and an element that feels like it should be the subplot (ZOMG THE DOCTOR'S GOT A WIFE!) is treated like it's the main plotline, the shadow monsters don't appear for an incredibly long time and even when they do their role in the story remains elusive (Hell, I have no idea what the idea is..) and there is faaar more dialogue than action, most of it dedicated to River Song.

So, because of the lack of action and any, directly apparent, purpose to the plot you can't switch the brain off and go with the flow. And if you switch your brain ON ... you'll probably be disappointed unless you're one of two types of fan:

a) People who think onthiological paradoxes are the single cleverest story-telling device ever and thinks they need to appear in ALL stories after watching Blink.

b) Squee-junkies beyond the point of no return.

A good test for how coherent a story is holistically, is to try and explain the general premise to somebody who knows nothing about it, and count the number of times you pause before or after saying "And".

Say, for example, explaining The Fires of Pompeii, I'd probably say...

"The Doctor arrives in Pompeii and loses the TARDIS when Vesuvius is about to erupt.. and finds out that soothsayers are making microchips"

Fairly simple, hmm?

Then, trying this for Silence in the Library, just a moment ago...

"The Doctor gets a call on the psychic paper to go to a library to meet this archaeologist who's probably his future wife... and then they find it's filled with air-pirahnas that hide in shadows... and there's a little girl in the library... and she watches them on TV in a house as well... and Donna gets trapped in a prison that's just like a poorly-written TV show for some reason.. and I didn't didn't really get it..."

"Yes, I know who you are"

This time there's no timecaps and acerbic comments, because I was unbelievably bored watching this - like it was the TV version of Scaredy Cat, probably the most generic and forgetable BF ever - that I didn't find enough to comment on every ten minutes, let alone every ten seconds. However I did scrawl a note or two down and key among them was:

"You've seen me before then?" has to be the most idiotic line of the Doctor's even to be written. HOW can he not have worked out that River Song knows him by this point? She's made direct references to his appearance about a half a dozen times, has a diary shaped like a TARDIS and is treating him like her bitch. Makes the Doctor shouts of "I'm THICK!" seem very, very good foreshadowing.

And then shortly later:

Oh, wait, scratch that - "You're screwdriver - it looks exactly like mine" OH RLY?!?

Quite odd that this is the writer who keeps referring to the Doctor as a god-like entity on the show, now making him unable to spot the most blatantly obvious things imaginable...

I guess it's also quite odd for a writer who talks quite a lot about the importance of never talking down to children, because the treatment of the River Song character seems utterly ridiculous, and seems to verge on contempt for the audience. Well, not really, but I've got a short temper for shows that feel the need to explain anything twice and in this case it really is inexcusable. Though it's rarely at the forefront of the show time travel is at the very least one of the biggest themes of DW and is commonly used as a plot device - it's an unavoidable part of the show and all of the audience will know this. We must assume that those who watch regularly have some form of imagination to deal with this (certainly the fans do) and can imagine some of the things that happen in time travel.

From the very first appearance of River Song, the audience will know that she knows the Doctor and that the Doctor does not know her. They will assume "He hasn't met her yet" - bingo. For reasons that elude me, Moffat seems to think that the reaction will be "wtf my brain canot cope wit this who is this slut?!/?" and, furthermore, that the Doctor's response will be a Colin Baker in regenerative crisis style "Alien spy sent to kill me! Prove your identity harlot!!!!" Which is REALLY puzzling.

It's certainly odd that in none of the television stories that I can remember the Doctor met somebody who had met him beforehand (scratch that, I just remembered The Shakespeare Code HAHA!) but it seems... well, beyond bizarre, shall we settle for 'fucking off the planet?'... to assume that the notion has never crossed the Doctor's mind.

What's really painful is that the Doctor refuses to even to begin to accept River Song's story in spite of the fact that, hey, it makes perfect sense and the idea that she's LYING makes no sense unless we assume that... well, that Balthazar and the Valeyard have put a hit out on him or something and the Doctor's ultra-paranoid as a result.

And THEN, once River Song has explained all this shit to the Doctor using flipcharts and a powerpoint presentation, Donna needs it all explained to her as well. Sit down and tell a fucking story!

River Song is the Doctor's Wife no returns you Slaggathors

Some people on IMDb claim that there is nothing in the script to suggest that River Song is anything specific, let alone the Doctor's wife. At least on OGer suggested that she was, get this, the Doctor's mum. Okay, I can sort of grasp the logic of that aside from the fact that it clearly comes the 8th Doctor in one of the worst bits of writing ever and then he makes it clear that he knew his mother. And this casts a very nauseating light on the romantic picnics that the Doctor and River Song have apparently had.

So, anyway, to occupy myself I have decided to write down a list of all of the reasons to assume that River Song is the Doctor's future wife, as an incredibly high proportion of fandom think that people like me are complete morons for assuming the case and that there is nothing 'romantic' about their connexion. Here we go.

1) River Song's very first line to the Doctor - "Hello, sweetie".

Not a good start for their case, is it?

2) In her third line she is asked how she knows the Doctor isn't an android. Her response is "I've dated androids - they're rubbish" Probably the clearest reference yet from Moffat that the Doctor has had sex.

3) "Thanks"
"For what?"
"The usual - for coming when I call"

Observant people will note that not even with SJS is there this level of familiarity. In fact, in that case there is considerably LESS familiarity. Note that here River Song is incredibly casual - most of the companions we have seen recently, including Martha and Rose with whom there is more than an implicit relationship, continue to see the Doctor as a mix of Scooby Doo and Santa to paraphrase the bloke who tossed this episode off, and yet she is treating the Doctor like an equal. Not even Charley Pollard, in her most poorly-written, has quite done this.

4) Her very next line - she sounds AMAZINGLY pissed off about the Doctor 'pretending' not to know her.

5) Picnic. River Song remembers a particular picnic that she has had with the Doctor. Very fondly.

6) Note her seeming near-heartbroken tone when she realises that the Doctor doesn't know her.

7) Rules of the relationship... seriously, do I need to even list this out? It's all for people so stupid they should have been strangled at birth anyway...

8) "Oh god I know that man... we go way back, that man and me..."

9) "Snap" - she's adaopting catchphrases of the Doctor. Or, specifically, a catchphrase that he only ever uses when encountering different versions of himself. Stories about which he wouldn't relate to just anyone given their massively confusing premises and embarassing nature to him personally. Furthermore, the only other companion to do this is Rose Tyler, whose mutual love for the Doctor is explicitly presented on screen.

10)"I don't give my sonic screwdriver to anyone..." This is the big one. The response "I'm not anyone!" is far more important, though.

11) Oh for... "You're bickering like an old married couple!" Extreeeemely long look between them. "Doctor... one day I'm going to be someone you trust COMPLETELY." You think this is subtext you WEIRDOES??

Five Empty Space-Suits

I haven't mentioned any characters other than River Song. There's a good reason for that - there really aren't any. Few stories have characters that feel as cipher-y as this one. It's like the idea of including two characters with the same name is so novel that there's no need to give Proper Dave and Other Dave any real personality; I can't remember the American Tom Girl's name at all, just that she gets all of the 'old space-hand' lines; Lux is the typical bureaucratic arsehole who exists solely to annoy the Doctor and occassionally obstruct him; and Miss Evangelista... sigh.

Miss Evangelista is a remarkably bad bit of characterisation, and I can't help but wonder what Moffat is trying to do here. She feels like she's out of a sitcom. A very bad one. She's the pretty girl who is stupid, knows that she's both pretty and stupid, and makes jokes about the fact that she's pretty and stupid. Possibly there's meant to be a message about not making fun of stupid people, I don't know, but I couldn't take the character seriously for a moment. I mean, come on, "My father told me that I had the I.Q of planckton and I was pleased"? Surely if she was THAT stupid she wouldn't know what an I.Q or planckton WAS??

Good to see the actress putting in the effort that the role requires and playing it as a ridiculous caricature. Good on you. You know if you did it decently The Moff would get all the credit.

Air Pirhanas... I don't need to add a joke to that do I? Seriously, air pirhanas..

One funny bit in this episode for me, and it's purely in a post-modern sort of way - the Doctor's request for the crew to 'look very, very scared' and their nonplussed expression parallels the reactions of myself, Ewen, and Lawrence Miles to this entire story so very well...

It tries very hard to be scary. But it present us with a silly idea, that oddly feels far more like something designed to scare kiddies than sapient statues even though it also makes more sense - invisible air pirahans that live in shadows. YAWN.

Not much is done with the idea because they oddly seem to create their own shadows through the powers of magic and don't actually need to move through shadows to eat the crewmembers for unexplained reasons.. in fact the Vashta Nerada act a lot more like a disease than a race of anything. And the explanation that they exist all around the Universe, along with the suggestion that they have somehow also been the Doctor's single greatest fear since day one but, for some reason, he's never mentioned them until now in the 800 odd years of he travels that we've seen and heard...

Okay, a bit of "If *I* Had Written..." action right now. The Doctor magically knows about the Vashta Nerada so he can give it all to the audience in one massive info dump and tell us why we're meant to be scared, thankfully adding even more dialogue to a script that is already rotten with it. But let's imagine he didn't. And that Vashta Nerada is a disease rather than a race. Evangelista gets infected, the Doctor can't diagnose it and he's lost track of the TARDIS so he needs to use the library to diagnose the problem - the entry that they're looking for has vanished off the electronic record so they need to trek to the pathology wing, carrying Evangelista as they go - the Doctor notes how dark it's getting and Lux can't offer a good explanation. They find the area with the book, the Doctor's looking for it, hears a strange noise, gets curious, keeps looking - then Donna finds Cal and calls the Doctor over. While he's gone Proper Dave finds the book on Vashta Nerada and grabs it - BAM! Screams everywhere and he falls to the ground as a heap of bones.

"What the hell was that?!?"

"Vashta Nerada"

"What IS that?"

"I've got no idea.. but we know what it does..."

Hey, it works for me.

Hang THIS!

For the record, bloke at the last convention who said that the New Series was better specifically because of better cliffhangers, THIS is why we laughed at you.

A skeleton in a spacesuit moves incredibly slowly, shouting "HEY! WHO TURNED OUT THE LIGHTS?!?" over and over again while Donna's face superimposed on what looks like a foam oyster says "Donna Noble has left the library, Donna Noble has been saved"

It's like he came up with two phrases that he knew weren't half as good as "Are you my mummy?" and thought, hang on, if I add these two together and repeat ad infinatum it will HAVE to work! No.

It doesn't help that the cry of "Hey, who turned out the lights?" which was probably meant to sound terrified and terrifying actually sounds like the six words in question read out in a recording studio in a monotone and badly clipped, and becomes very, very annoying if looped endlessly. And the fact that cliffhanger just goes on and on and on. Yes, somebody is walking towards them. I get it.

As before, not going to rate on the first part. But here's a hint - it's not going to be 10/10.


IMDBer Response: [Riversong] didn't imply she knew him when slightly older, she said alot older.....when did the doctor look alot older??? When the Master aged him into the worlds smallest oap.... could River song be the masters wife...cant remember her name... or the master herself....female hand picking up the ring anyone?

Lunchbox Admirer Response: I thought that was an awfully low tech looking lunch box for the 51st C. You think that they'd at least look as high tech as the space suits.

Sparacus' Baffling Response: I thought the Doctor's comment that time travellers like himself laugh at archaeologists was very out of character. The Doctor would never dismiss an important and complex discipline such as archaeology with such a dig (pardon the pun).

The comment would have made more sense if the series actually contained some episodes where the Doctor actually travelled back in time to solve archaeological questions , such as the purpose and cultural context of Stonehenge for example.
Also Ben Chatham, an archaeologist, has travelled with the Doctor and is respected by him. Benny Summerfield also works in this field (pardon another pun).

(The fact that he's since started saying that the comment indicates that the Doctor HAS met Ben is quite amusing..)

Stater of Bleedin' Obvious Response: River's book looked like the TARDIS

Alan Stevens Response: Bagsy I submit it to Fucktard's say the Darndest Things.

(Oh, the irony. And yes, that's been taken out of context..)

Behind the Sofa Response: Aside from the thoroughly effective wee beasties, a lot of what makes The Silence In the Library work is the setting. I'm not talking so much about concept of a planet-sized library (which I also think is brilliant) or The Mill's flashy spectacle of design (which is spectacular), but about the rooms in the library. There's just something about the musty old rooms, the vast shadow-filled spaces, the sunbeams, the tall narrow stacks of books...maybe there's just something naturally creepy about libraries, but the location shooting on the episode is one of the best things about a mostly-excellent whole. If I hadn't already been hooked by that line from the trailer and the words "Stephen" and "Moffat" being attached to The Silence In The Library, I would have been by the pre-credits sequence.

(Remarkable that somebody who respects Moffat's work so much should still be unable to spell his name..)

Paraphrased Lawrence Miles Response: Oh? What's that? You didn't like The Book of the World you fecal-stained cretinous wastrels? WELL I DON'T LIKE YOU! The stage directions are too long??? I'M CREATING A UNIVERSE! It fucking took Your Almighty seven days to build one to house your lard-arsed dyspeptic personage, so EXCUSE ME if I should take more than the fifty words used by RTD to say "It's in a warehouse. Oh, aren't I imaginative???" And by "Your Almighty" I mean God, rather than Steven Fucking Moffat. Oh, yes, that name had to come up, didn't it..

Now I don't want to sound like I'm reaching for somebody to blame all my troubles on, but I think it's important you know that Steven Moffat is the prick who introduced me to alcohol, which destroyed my entire life and is coincidentally the direct influence over my Unquiet Dead post, the 'piss Blink in my sleep' post, and... shall we say The Book of the World? Yes, it's directly responsible for The Book of the World's terrible characterisation. BASTARD!

And now HE'S going to be producer! He should give the fucking job to ME all the hardship he's put me through. And then he goes and writes this fucking library story... ooh, yes, shadow creatures that eat you in a library, girl talking to the Doctor through a television, that makes sense! THIS COULD BE SET IN A CAVE FOR FUCK'S SAKE!!!

Bob Marbury Response: Don't know if I missed something but what was scary about it?

David A. McIntee Response: 'twas mysterious and spooky, and has some nice guest-shots (albeit pretty one-dimensional in Alex Kingston's case: it's pretty obvious who she's going to turn out to be, or at least who were meant to think she'll be. Folks who remember certain bits of disinformation from the JNT era will get it at once, and the casual viewer about ten seconds later.

Sensible Response: Somehow a skeleton in a space suit zombie-walking and saying 'Oh, it's a lovely day, isn't it?' sounds even scarier than one saying 'who turned out the lights?'
...Or maybe I'm just weird.

Next Week: River Song does her Benny Summerfield impression, but can't grasp the charisma factor...The Doctor demands to know why he's being `shipped with a forty year old version of Melanie Bush... Avon's cousin taunts little girls... a flashback to the Doctor laying it on the line to Sparacus after reading his "Series 2 finale"... the Doctor decides it's serious enough to begin using culinary similes... the target audience screams out for this crap to be switched off... River Song is STILL not dead... Tom Baker brings the wind-fan from Keeper of Traken into Eve Newton's home, only to be disappointed to see she hasn't got a skirt on... the Doctor shoots down the idea of re-enacting Monsters & Mazes in spite of the library's perfectly dark atmos... Moffat seriously expects us to care about what three letters we briefly saw on a computer monitor will be revealed to mean...

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Jared Reviews the Gap Week!

Forenote: Apologies for the ensuing massive piece of self-indulgence, which has really taken up too much of my time, and will doubtless be utterly incomprehensible in just a few hours' time when the finale airs. It'll be contradicted about 8 million times I swear..

Yes, there was a big fat gap week. Not that it affected me anyway what with me committing big, fat, piracy and being a few weeks behind, but I am aware of its existence.

I liked to see this as an oppurtunity for fandom to see it as a gap in the Universe, to be filled by their own minds. Naturally, mine looked like this:

5.00 - Total Breakdown

The newly regenrated Doctor (Jared Hansen) wakes up in a cryptic mood and begins delving deep into the TARDIS to find some shoes. He doesn't even notice Donna, who has gone into a near catatonic state with the shock of what has happened. Eventually, she overcomes the trauma and tracks him down by following the sound of "Icehouse" being sung in a faltering baritone, and overpowers him with a cricket bat - just when he's found a pair of shoes that he likes.

The Doctor doesn't recognise Donna at all, following the debilitating effects of the Vogon Inhumation Beam, and refuses to give her any answers. More than that - he goes into a Tchkopic Neutrality Trance to make him immune to her 'torture'... which also leaves him unable to see, speak, or hear.

Utterly frustrated and defeated, Donna drags the prone (but strangely relaxed) form of the Doctor to the console room and tries to appeal directly to the TARDIS herself. It is a fruitless process, and she soon opens the TARDIS databanks looking for any solution. Reasoning that the Doctor must have been replaced by an impostor, she searches for 'Huon particles' remembering her encounters with the Rachnoss. Eventually she jury-rigs a means for the TARDIS to follow a trail of Huon particles, reasoning that this will take her to the Doctor.

The TARDIS lands in what seems to be a vast planet of desolate wasteland. Cautiously Donna leaves to explore...

Once she is gone the Doctor emerges from his trance, announcing that he will tell the 'crimson harlot' all that she wants to know, not because he is of a weak constitution but simply out of boredom. He takes a moment to congratulate himself on surviving her torture for, by his estimation, five hours and 28 seconds with no apparent injury... and then seeing that she is not present congratulates himself further upon managing to drive her off and reclaiming his TARDIS - possibly through intimidating use of morse code blinking.

He then checks the controls and is confused by the fact the TARDIS has landed - he didn't set a course. He then sees the data about Huon particles and is concerned. He then opens the scanner and looks at where he's landed and then he starts bricking it... but he has no idea why!

Realising he has a hole in his memory that would make the Gold Coast look reasonable the Doctor breaks some emergency glass to pull out his emergency memory-restorer - a copy of Terrance Dicks' The Eight Doctors. By the time he has read two sentences he is beating his head against the walls and shouting "THIS IS ARSE!" at the top of his lungs and decides that another measure is called for - interfacing with the Matrix.

Discovering that for some reason there is more power than he thinks the console has had for years, his plans are confirmed in his mind - he uses the Matrix to summon two key figures from his past lives, instinctively crossing his fingers to try and deter Gareth Jenkins and/or Tegan Jovanka. When Martha Jones and Charley Pollard appear the Doctor grins crookedly and simply says "Jackpot".

Meanwhile Donna is wandering through the planet, and is getting more and more creeped out by the second by the endless fog, rocky chasms, and whispering voices. She's also finding that it's dead cold, but goes on regardless, calling out for the Doctor. Some of the whispering voices seem to react - but differently. Some laugh, some cry, and others curse the name. Donna decides that it's time to turn back... and finds that she can't see the TARDIS behind her. In this moment of stillness she stops and listens, and hears a new sound, like the slow creeping of a million cockroaches, that she didn't notice before. She looks down... and sees that the ground is moving beneath her feet. The entire planet is in a state of migration...

Martha and Charley both demand to know what the hell is going on, and the Doctor refuses to tell them - primarily because he doesn't know. He gives Martha a couple of moments to dry herself off and find some clothes, apologising idly for getting her out of the show but not really sounding very sincere. After this, he gets the two women to yell obscure continuity references at him to try and jog his memory and they do so - Martha with great reluctance, but Charley very enthusiastically, explaining that it reminds her of her Doctor "who was a complete fruitcake!"

Eventually we get to the obligatory bit where the Doctor begins yelling "I'M THE DOCTOR!" and runs off to find a brand new wardrobe. He still ignores his companions' questions in a bid to establish himself as a Colin Baker-esque 'distant' Doctor, and then, with his memory rapidly accumulating, remebers Donna!

"Oh spack" he moans.

He then remembers the Huon particles.


And realises the fact that he hated what he saw on the scanner because IT WAS THE RUINS OF A DEAD TARDIS.

He yells "Spacking spacking spack, you spacking crukkmunching froods!" whilst attempting to eat a hat and climb the TARDIS walls.

He then calms down... and then he remembers that he's on THE RUINS OF A DEAD TARDIS! Martha and Charley have gotten the idea now that this is really, really, really bad, but the Doctor tells them to go and add another really and a swear word onto that sentence.

"A TARDIS needs to fuel itself - any time. Obviously it's meant to be done from Gallifrey but now that no longer exists. I went and destroyed it - good move, Doctor. Not too shocked by that, Charley? I'll take that as a no, it was a pretty miserable place. Close your mouth, you look like a nitwit, my dear. So, the emergency systems kick in - a big sponge that soaks up energy - in four dimensions. That's how I keep this thing going. Unfortunately to keep that big sponge going it needs to be made from something even more virtually indestructable than the TARDIS itself - which means it LASTS. And it keeps sucking things in - in four dimensions. Energy to begin with, then even raw matter. But the framework intended to process this muck no longer exists and if it does it will break down - so the mass of the TARDIS grows, the gravity gets stronger and it consumes, building up power endlessly until it breaches it's own capacity or reaches back to the Big Bang. Either way, the result's the same - massive explosion. As in galaxy-sized. And the fall-out will reach further than that - nobody's safe, least of all us. It needs to be neutralised."

"You... blew up Gallifrey?"

"Yes! Next question!"

Martha has done an incredible job absorbing the Doctor's needlessly complicated exposition, and points out that if the planet they're on is absorbing energy from every possible source - won't it be absorbing the TARDIS?

To his horror, the Doctor checks the instruments and sees that Martha is absolutely correct - and the news is so terrifying that he can't even thank her. The planet is draining the power banks at a remarkable rate, and now the Doctor understands why the power was high enough to fire up his Matrix-backup - the two TARDISes have formed a symbiotic link to aid one another as they were designed to do, only one doesn't have a maximum capacity anymore so will drain the entire TARDIS! The Doctor figures that he can stop this by forcing his TARDIS to use more power, so he engages the dematerialisation circuits. Martha guesses that this won't be about a thousandth of the power that the Doctor will need to break the link and power-down the planet they're on and the Doctor tells her that just this once he DOES like a smart-arse.

"WHY did you blow up Gallifrey???"

"I didn't like the wallpaper. Now I've got an appointment to go out and be mildly heroic - coming with me, Charley?"

Donna is following the shifting earth as best she can, hoping that the TARDIS has somehow thrown the surface into chaos after its crash-landing, and for a moment this seems to be working as she sees that the shift is coming from a hole on the horizon. When she runs towards it, though, it's only a matter of seconds before she finds herself tumbling into a roundelled cavern, and being groped by a cold, metal arm.



The Doctor has given Martha a headset hooked up to ones worn by himself and Charley, and he and the Edwardian adventuress are venturing out onto the TARDIS-planet with a ball of huon-fused twine to find their way back to the TARDIS. Charley is quite disappointed that they don't get to wear any spacesuits, but the Doctor promises her cheerfully that there are plenty of oppurtunities to narrowly avoid death to come. Just as he says this an ominous looking figure rises from the planet's earth like a golem and begins to follow the pair, unobserved.

Donna has been restrained by the Cybermen and also stripped - apparently to see if she has any concealed weapons - and chained up against their Cyber Base. The Leader interrogates her roughly to discover her identity and intention - believing her to be part of the wider trap that this entire planet seems to be. Her answers seem to be as truthful as they are ignorant, and the data is processed by the Leader - he can only conclude that subject Donna Noble is not part of the trap, yet the entire planet is a trap, ergo she is a random element, which means in all probability that she has arrived along with - THE DOCTOR!

"Erm, no. Never heard of him. Who? See, I've no idea what you're talking about."

The Cybermen instantly transfer her into The Hostage Chamber...

The Doctor and Charley continue their hunt for Donna, their conversation tugging in two ways - the Doctor wants to reminisce about that time that they teamed up with Don Quixote to reclaim that corn stolen by Richard the Lionhearted to thwart the giant duck people from Zarniwoop Minor, but Charley just wants more details about the Time War. The Doctor finally confesses sheepishly that his past two incarnations were so far in denial that he now has absolutely no memory of what actually took place, but has a vague impression of it being just like the Crimean War but with lots of really big clocks. Charley is horrified at the Doctor's lack of concern, and the Doctor tries to mollify her by saying that if he could bring himself to care he could probably get horrified himself - but there's a rather impatient damsel in distress to be rescued and not everything is about Charlotte Elspeth Pollard.

At that moment, the ground erupts into a circle of lurching zombies, formed from the clay of the ground.. but as the Doctor points out, it's actually chameleonic matter and it shape-shifts into the zombie-fied forms of The Celestis! In quite a Colin-esque bit of pique the Doctor blames Charley for this, saying that the planet's former inhabitants have been aroused by her paradoxical nature ("Well, pardon me for NOT existing!") and shushes her complaints that this is getting more fanwanky than the last season finale.

Donna tries to force her freedom from the Cybermen by telling them that the Doctor isn't there - she explains desperately to the ever blank-faced Cyber-Lieutenant that the Doctor exploded in light and vanished, leaving a stranger in his place. As if to a child, the Lieutenant explains the idea of regeneration to her, smugly informing her that they encountered ten different configurations of the Doctor and that her inability to extrapolate this is one of the many clear failings of the un-converted mind. It then seems to take an inordinate amount of pleasure for an emotionless being in pointing out the fact her actions will undoubtedly cause the death of the Doctor, and possibly untold millions of others.

Martha, to her horror, loses control of the TARDIS as Celestis materialise within it's walls, and force her away from the console - she screams out for the Doctor's help, but he sadly informs her over the headset that he, too, is completely helpless. He then apologises for the fact that everytime they meet up now they never seem to get any time together and promises that she won't get the 'left behind in room with aliens part' next time.

The head Celesti, calling himself simply The Judicator gloats over the Doctor's capture and snaps the string of twine. He announces that now all will be as it should have been. The Doctor harshly informs the Celesti that he isn't even a real being - just the vestige of a matrix imprint formed by a malfunctioning TARDIS's hiccup and even BEFORE that he had surrendered all of his honour as a Time Lord for the shelter of a fruitbat sect. The Judicator corrects the Doctor, claiming that he now works for the good of Gallifrey, even in his death, showing a dedication that the Doctor has lacked. He explains that, seeing the Daleks upon the brink of victory, it was his decision to self-destruct his war-TARDIS, to activate a perpetual energy vortex in deep space - a time bomb that would destroy a vast chunk of the Universe. Not just in space... but in Time itself, allowing the final hours of the Time War to be re-written.

To the Judicator's surprise, both the Doctor and Charley actually approve of this idea - the Doctor has forgotten the circumstances of the Time War completely and assumes in his new arrogant guise that it was simply the ineptitude of his former self that doomed the planet, and Charley is very eager to see that funny talking dog again. The Doctor talks through the theory and is very impressed at the feasability of the plan, but points out an obvious flaw - they will need an army to assault the Daleks. After all, if one War-TARDIS could have been enough, then the Judicator would haven't have cut and run like Arnold Judas Rimmer with his arse on fire in the first place. The Judicator, ignoring the slight, grins and says that this has already been taken care of.

Martha is well beyond being concerned hearing the Doctor casually talking about re-wiring the known Universe in a deranged ghost's image, and isn't sure whether he's double-bluffing or if the regeneration really HAS changed him this much. At any rate, as she tells the Sentinel, the chief Celesti occupying the TARDIS, she knows that the Doctor is too powerful to resist. But she knows enough about the TARDIS to know that she can sever the symbiosis and dematerialise - she makes the Celestis promise to take her safely back to Earth to stop her from doing this. They reach a tentative agreement.

The Judicator brings The Doctor to meet their army - The Cybermen! The Cyberleader is pleased to see that this is not a trap as they previously had believed - the Celestis have kept their word. The Doctor, puzzlingly, seems delighted to see the Cybermen and compliments the Judicator on his choice of army. He even goes so far as to friendly back-slap the Leader, but this nearly results in a broken arm as it's construed as an act of sabotage. The Doctor protests that he's on the Cybermen's side - after all, "The enemy of my enemy is my friend"!

The Leader is frankly confused to buggery but for the sake of simplicity assumes that the Doctor is hostile and lays down his terms - Donna and Charley will die unless the Doctor gives the Cybermen the secrets of unlimited time travel. Then the Cybermen, in turn, can provide the raw fuel that the Celestis require to send the TARDIS supernovae AND join them to fight the Daleks. The Doctor isn't entirely happy with this deal - they're assuming he WANTS Charley and Donna.

Charley, who has been thrown by this entire conversation, now tries to punch the Doctor's head in, but is restrained by the Cybermen and taken away to be converted. The Doctor compliments the Cybermen on finally using resources effectively, and says that he will help them only on the condition that he is given two Cyber Bombs - there are some old enemies that he now believes he was too lenient towards.

The Cybermen demur - they will need to bring in their flagship to deliver the bombs and the TARDIS is difficult to land on - and the Doctor taunts them as a result. What are they going to do, kill his companions? They have NO leverage over him for a change and he's loving it. And they can't threaten his life because he is the only true Time Lord left and therefore the only person with a bona fide link to the Matrix. Rather unsurprisingly the Cybermen still don't trust him and so he volunteers to demonstrate the process on a lone Cyberman.. rallying back instructions to Martha and the Sentinel and using his own powers over the Matrix the Doctor downloads the knowledge into the Cyberman's mind and sets it up so that its circuits begin re-programming themselves. Once the process is complete the Cybermen disappears... three seconds into the future! The jury-rig the Doctor has supplied leaks chronon radiation like a sieve as well, making it impossible for the Cybermen to X-ray and keeping his dastardly secret safe, a fact which leads him to crack a smug smile.

Charley and Donna find themselves in the conversion cells and try to work out a way to help one another - Charley tells Donna that she's met the Cybermen before, and knows how to deal with them... vaguely. When pressed by Donna Charley's forced to admit that when she's met them they've tended to come undone due solely to their own competence, but it doesn't look like that's about to happen in the next ten seconds....

As the Cyberships come down, bearing their payloads, the Doctor grins and shouts an order at Martha to sever the link. She initially refuses but the Doctor yells her down and she harriedly separates the two TARDISes - this leaves the planet sucking the power from the Cyberbase, powering down the conversion cells and sucking the Cyberships into the planet itself where they are cannibalised in less than a minute.

Martha is overpowered by the Sentinel, who has survived the process. To her amazement, in fact, he is becoming whole again, his body repairing and reborn - he exclaims in wonderment that he was formed by the dead TARDIS and it's powers still flow through him - allowing him to repair himself with the Doctor's TARDIS' power! In seconds, he and his friends are proper, living, breathing Time Lords and have been invested with the telepathic energy of the TARDIS - it takes them a moment to realise what this means.. but they now have access to the rejuvinated Matrix and find all the data that they need. Martha is in shock and tries to run for the doors to the inner TARDIS but they are locked in an instant. The Sentinel smiles, waves his hand, and tells Martha that she will forget everything...

The Doctor assumes that now the ravenous monster of a planet has absorbed the Cybermen's energy it will turn to the Cybermen themselves and then he will be able to rescue Donna and Charley while they are decimated - but he's forgotten that he is the Last of the Timelords, and thus contains a much greater life-force than the Cybermen, and it is this which is now absorbed. He falls to the ground, years of his life being ripped away, much to the Judicator's amusement and, surprisingly, to some degree of enjoyment on the part of the Cyberleader.

The Judicator explains that he has the power to disengage the power-drive of the broken TARDIS for a short time... but the Doctor will have to do a favour for them. The Doctor nobly proclaims that his life is far too insignificant a concern right now, and so the Cybermen bring out Donna and Charley and threaten to kill them. The Doctor agrees to whatever terms they ask, naturally, and so tells them everything they need to know about accessing the Matrix. Charley begs him not to, but the Doctor weakly explains that he has no choice - he was playing a triple bluff, but it now may be that the Cybermen have his only hope of saving the Universe, by cancelling out all of this in history. He then apologises to Donna, because what happens next will erase their adventures from history, and he wished it didn't end like this...

Hooking the Doctor up to a Cyber-brain he downloads his thoughts and his link to the Matrix into the Cybermen themselves, and they update themselves in seconds. The Judicator is satisfied and disengages the emergency systems, telling the weakened Doctor that he is free to go... but the Cyberleader says that the Doctor will be converted. The Judicator protests, and says that even in the CIA honour has always been upheld - and then he dies painfully and in an instant - The Cybermen have no such concept of honour and have released a virus to attack the ephemeral agents. Donna grabs the Doctor and tries to run him to the TARDIS, but the Doctor explains that the TARDIS is gone before fainting from exhaustion. Desperately Donna tries the headset and finds herself talking with the Sentinel - who is delighted to have a trace back to the planet and sets course immediately. Charley demands to know what's happened to Martha, and the Sentinel says that she is where she belongs, at her home, with no knowledge of the Doctor. Even in his state the Doctor sneers at this and notes that CIA policy still hasn't changed...

In an instant the Cybermen materialise around them, proudly stating that they now have the power of time travel and have reached the ultimate point of evolution. They are so undefeatable, and strong that they no longer need humans for conversion and raise their guns to blow Charley and Donna away and.. nothing happens. Charley exclaims that they've clearly used their energy one time-shifting and so have none left for their usual murder and thus grabs the nearest gun, charges it with the sonic screwdriver, and starts blasting them away. She throws Donna the screwdriver, and announces that she's "Going like C'rizz", whatever that means, before running off into the yonder with a mad grin on her face.

Donna, tearfully, tries to shake the Doctor back awake and asks him what to do. The Doctor gives her some settings for the screwdriver and tells Donna to run. There is no more explanation and so she runs, finds the screwdriver beeping and follows the noise. Cybermen continually appear from the mist and fire at her but she keeps running, following the beeping as it grows stronger and stronger...

His TARDIS dematerialises by the Doctor just as the Cybermen arrive to find him and it's Extrapolator Shields block their lasers. Re-energized by the return of his time machine, the Doctor runs in to find the Sentinel and, with no preamble, punches him in the face. He snarls at the Celesti that he's lucky to be getting away just with that after effectively killing THREE of his companions. The Sentinel protests that he followed standard operating procedures in dealing with Martha and did nothing to the others, but the Doctor yells at him to look at the big picture - Charley, thinking that there's no hope left appears to be gunned down, and Donna reaches where the screwdriver leads her and presses the switch - detonating the buried CyberBombs, de-stablising the entire planet, and causing her to vanish.

The Doctor notes that they are all lost to him and, what's worse, he seems to have arranged it instinctively. The Sentinel tentatively suggests that the Fendahl is responsible before the Doctor tells him to piss off and get some work done. Now that the planet is unstable it's time-shifting around the Cybermen who can't stay here - and also can't use it to travel to the Time War where they probably would have converted every Time Lord alive. The Cyberleader hails the TARDIS and tells the Doctor that they will meet again, that it is a certainty, and the Doctor knows how that would be arranged - the traditional way. 21st Century Earth. He then grins wickedly, and says that his TARDIS is sitting on the biggest ball of power in the Universe...

The Cybermen begin descending towards modern day London, with such force that premontions sweep over all the human race and all eyes turn to the skies...

And the Doctor pulls a switch and beams out a chameleon circuit through space, right onto the Earth, and in an instant burns out all the power of the dying Celesti TARIDS, leaving nothing but empty space...

And a large book in the TARDIS. With the planet Earth on its cover.

"You... turned a planet into a book.." Notes the Sentinel weakly. The Doctor nods coldly.

"Imagine what I could do to you"

He randomises the TARDIS' co-ordinates and tells the Celestis that wherever he lands, they go, and they stay. And that if he ever meets with them again they had better change their standard operating procedures. The Sentinel says that the Doctor is being unreasonable, that he clearly needs their help to combat this new menace, but the Doctor pushes him out the door. But he agrees that he needs help. He needs friends. And now he's going to go make some...

Books/Other related - Doctor Who and the Insane Fan
I am Going To Kill You, an open letter from Nick Briggs, Hansen's response

Fluffs - Jared Hansen seemed quite pants-wettingly overjoyous this story
"I am the Coctdor. THE COCTOR!"

Goofs - In several shots you can quite clearly hear the sounds of a fistfight and Nick Briggs yelling "I can't believe this shit!"
While the script is attempting some clever jokes about the new Doctor being asexual he can't seem to stop staring at Charley's chest
Weirdest. Christmas special. Ever.

Fashion Victims - The new Doctor's long ginger wig and cape.. does this make ANYBODY happy?
Why exactly does absorbing the Matrix cause question marks to appear all over the Cybermen?

Links and References - The tedious sequence where the newly-regenerated Doctor lists all of his companions. Astonishingly he misses out Sarah-Jane, but DOES list 'Professor Ruebish', 'Will Chandler' and 'Kate Tollinger'. What the hell is THAT about?

Dialogue Disasters - ..too numerous

Dialoge Triumphs - ...erm...

Viewer Quotes

"I really did not commission this" - Steven Moffat (2015)

"Oh, come ON! THAT'S what the Doctor is on the run from? Hyper-advanced, insane, time-travelling Cybermen? It's so BANAL! He may as well be up against some fucking monkeys from a Klien Bottle! Nobody can use my stories ever again! NOBODY!" - Lawrence Miles (2009)

"There is no God" - Joseph Ratzinger (2009)

"... you have lost it. You have really lost it mate" - Ewen Campion-Clare (2008)

"Not the best story. 8/10" - Baysan Tulu (2009)

Next Week: A return to the bittersweet world of sanity... "This is the biggest library in the Universe... so where is everyone?" - possibly in another room in the biggest library in the universe? And...Universe? That's a bit extravagant, surely? There will never, ever be a larger library? ... Donna and the Doctor vent their frustrations on boring set doors ... that woman from Three Non-Blondes who dresses up like a tampon is incapable of portraying emotion... the Doctor runs through quite a normal-looking library... "HOLY SHIT, IT'S NATHAN SPRING... oh, wait, it's just that Benny Summerfield rip-off I've heard so much about. Why does she add the 'archaeologist!' on the end? Afraid I'd confuse her with all of those other Professor Riversongs around? ... black guy tries to freak out a young girl, seems to be doing quite well... the Doctor worries that the marble floor is infected with Shadow Virus, I assume a symptom of which is having shadows on it ... the Doctor runs some more ... then admits he has no idea who Cal Wilson is... and THEN engages in a re-enactment of the first Pyramids cliffhanger... ZOMG skeleton.

Seriously... skeleton? That's the best you can do?

(EDIT: Yes, I just posted an insane fanfic that LEADS in to Larry Miles' Book of the World. I am sorry. I am so, so sorry...)