Well, I feel the need to get some fic into this blog to hold true to my promises, but my writing is fairly fruitless at the moment. I've decided to get back into my alt-22 projects, though, so I'll be posting parts of Attack of the Cybermen here weekly. The great part about this is that the entire first episode is written, so that gives me a few weeks to write the rest of it.
For those of you not aware this is part of the 'Alternate-Season 22' project I'm involved in, along with other people trying to undo the incredibly bad work of a certain Doctor Who script editor.
(A lingering, slow moving panning shot of space, focusing on distant stars, swirling galaxies. The camera slowly comes to a rest when it is hit by the glare of a close sun, but which is soon blotted out, by a strange, spinning metallic cylinder.)
2. TSS TIME MACHINE INT.
(It is a small, uncomfortable-looking room, centred around a glowing dome in the centre of the room, that shows the Time Vortex spinning violently. The whole room is shaking around, as if caught in turbulence, with sparks leaping of exposed wiring. There are four stations on the walls - each consisting of bars for armholds and futuristic headsets. All four are occupied: there are BATES, STRATTON, PROSER, and GHAN - all are wearing matching light-blue uniforms. They shout to make themselves heard)
GHAN: I think we're losing Nav Control!
STRATTON: We will if you don't calm yourself down! Bates, what's the bearing?
BATES: No idea - there's too much interference!
GHAN: We're breaking up!
STRATTON: The only one breaking up here is you!
(At that point a valve seemingly busts and they are flooded in steam.)
PROSER: (coughing) Power levels are dropping fast, we'll need an emergency landing-
STRATTON: It's a hostile system, Proser, you must be mad.
PROSER: We can't cope with the drain! I'd rather land now than crash!
GHAN: (grimacing) Don't say that word, please...
BATES: What's causing the drain?
PROSER: Same thing causing the interference! Oh, god... hold on tight
(The cabinet is thrashed around wildly, while all four of them scream in terror. Ghan loses his grip on the bars and begins to bounce around all four walls of the small cabinet, off his crewmates who groan in response. As suddenly as the turbulence started the cabinet comes to a complete stop - for the first time since the scene began. Ghan lies groaning on the floor. There is a buzzing noise and the scanner-dome displays the Seal of Rassilon.)
BATES: Oh, no....
(The image of the seal is soon replaced with the coy face of a young blond woman, vaguely reminiscent of Romana.)
STRATTON: Time Lord?
TIME LADY: Of course. We are the Celestial Intervention Agency... the Agency has spoken with you and your colleagues, Commander Stratton. At length. Sadly you don't seem to have listened.
STRATTON: We’re our own people. We have our own rules. You cannot stop us.
TIME LADY: Can't we? Are you moving now, Commander Stratton? No, you are not. But you should be thankful - the alternatives will not be to your liking.
STRATTON: How about you start talking straight?
TIME LADY: Very well, Commander Stratton. You have no defensive capabilities, no navigational powers, and are in full traction-lock of our TARDISes. You can't run and you can't fight. You must surrender yourselves, it is your only option. Do it before we lose patience and we will be lenient.
PROSER: Wait a minute, if you've got us trapped, why are we even having this conversation?
TIME LADY: You have NO advantages.
PROSER: But why? You could have us all shipped to a penal colony by now.
GHAN: Don't tempt her!
BATES: (realising) It's the door! (grinning) They can't get through the door.
STRATTON: (grinning) Not exactly God-like powers, eh?
TIME LADY: (unamused) The locking system of your vessel is exceptionally complicated. Beyond even our skill. All we ask is that you surrender yourself and open the cabinet. Judgement will be passed upon you, but we can assure no physical harm shall be done to you.
STRATTON: What about metaphysical harm?
TIME LADY: Clever, Stratton. No doubt your cleverness had a part to play in your impressive rise through the ranks, but it must have deserted you when you considered even for a moment you could get away with this. The eyes of the Time Lords have been on you for a very long time… Lintus. We knew you would be the most likely to challenge it. We were ready for you. Now, will you surrender yourself?
BATES: Give it in, Stratton. It's not worth it.
STRATTON: She can't DO anything to us! It's an empty threat. Talk, that's all those Time Lords are.
TIME LADY: Is that your final word, then, Mr Stratton?
STRATTON: Yeah, tell your bosses in the High Council that it's over.
TIME LADY: No. I'll tell them YOU'RE over.
(There is a loud banging noise, and BATES, STRATTON and PROSER are all screaming, terrified.)
3. MODEL SHOT
(The Time Cabinet, shooting space so quick that stars flash past blindingly, heading towards a small yellow planet...)
4. TIME CABINET INT.
(With a loud crashing noise the cabinet comes to a smashing halt - throwing STRATTON, BATES, and PROSER down onto the floor - at the same instant the lights cut out, and after a few seconds of darkness in which we hear crying, red emergency lighting kicks in. We see GHAN, huddled up in the foetal position in a corner, crying. The others are sprawled on the floor, looking sore.)
PROSER: We've landed.
BATES: (with a small laugh) Don't think we need a navigator to tell us that, mate.
GHAN: Let me out, please let me out...
PROSER: Where are we?
STRATTON: (checking dials) All systems out - needs repairs...
GHAN: Let me out, let me out, let me out!
(STRATTON becomes aggravated and pulls GHAN up to his face by his shirt-front.)
STRATTON: You want out then, Ghan? EH?!
(GHAN sobs pathetically in response. STRATTON furiously punches a button in the roof - one of the walls folds out upwards making a door.)
STRATTON: YOU CAN HAVE IT!
(He throws GHAN out the door, onto the grey, rocky desert outside. GHAN, sobbing uncontrollably, runs off hysterically. BATES and PROSER angrily confront STRATTON)
PROSER: What do you think you're doing?
BATES: He needs help!
STRATTON: He needs to calm down first. Fresh air will probably do him a world of good.
(On that note, there is a loud ZAP noise. All three look out the door in shock...)
5. TELOS SURFACE
(GHAN is gripping a smoking hole in his chest, still trying to cry but not finding the breath to do so - he slowly falls down onto the ground. PROSER and BATES are looking out in horror from the cabinet door, and run over to help him)
(STRATTON tries to grab BATES but the latter gets out of his grip. STRATTON runs after him.)
STRATTON: No, you morons! It's not safe!
(There is an ominous click, and we see several laser guns being levelled at the trio from different vantage points on hills surrounding the time cabinet from the POV of their attackers.)
CYBERLEADER: (V.O) Resistance is useless.
and NICOLA BRYANT
The Attack of the Cybermen
by Jared Hansen*
(*with some stuff courtesy of Eric Saward/Paula Woolesly/Ian Levine/whoever actually wrote the damn thing)
6. LYTTON'S LOCK UP - GARAGE
(Before the camera establishes the entire room it drifts across a notice-board in the corner of the room.. various newspaper articles have been cut-out and stuck up. Among the headlines that stick out are: "MYSTERY" ROBBERIES CONTINUE, 6 BANKS HIT IN ONE MONTH - POLICE CLUELESS, LONDON - GANG CITY? As we see the rest of the room, it becomes evident that it is dominated by a silver sports car in the centre. It is an untidy room with clutter on the floor and on various shelves - mundane objects such as empty bottles and car parts for the most part. There is the incongruous presence of incredibly detailed scientific diagrams, architectural plans and city maps on the walls, but the general feel of the room is sustained by a large Arsenal FC flag which dominates the rear wall. Present in the room are JOE PAYNE, who is wearing blue overalls and working on the underside of his car, and CHARLIE GRIFFITHS, who is staring at the frontpage of a newspaper and looking distinctly worried. There is a ghetto blaster on the floor playing rock music right near Payne's ear.)
GRIFFITHS: I don't like it, Joe.
GRIFFITHS: I said "I DON'T LIKE IT!"
PAYNE: Yeah, well, it's like I said. Means that much to you, you can put a United flag on your own damned wall but the Gunners are here to stay!
GRIFFITHS (exasperated) Not that!
(Irritated, Griffiths switches the stereo off. Payne emerges from underneath the car, grimy and smoking, looking annoyed.)
PAYNE: `Ey! I was listening to that, Charlie!
GRIFFITHS: You seen today's paper?
PAYNE: Can't say that I have, no. Another one for the notice-board, is it?
GRIFFITHS (grimly) You could say that.
(He turns the paper around to show Payne - "SUSPECT SIGHTED: FIRST BREAK IN ROBBERY CASE, CLAIM POLICE". There is a sketch of Payne occupying most of the front page.)
PAYNE: Oh, bo-
GRIFFITHS: Yeah, that's right! I haven't been liking none of this publicity – I been tryin’ to keep my nose clean, keep my head on my bleedin’ shoulders and now this!
PAYNE: You think I wanted this? Cos I didn’t Charlie, thought you’d have gotten that through your thick skull.
GRIFFITHS: Don’t you dare call me thick – you insisted on bringing the Jag.
PAYNE: We had to get out fast the Boss said. Nothin’s faster than this.
GRIFFITHS: So I keep hearing, but it ain’t exactly inconspicuous in the middle of Brixton. You’d best enjoy it while you still can, reckon we’ll all be rumbled soon.
PAYNE: Oh, really?
(Payne goes back under the car)
PAYNE: Are you pullin’ out then, Charlie?
GRIFFITHS: No. Not today.
PAYNE: ‘Not today’?... so you reckon you’re leaving?
GRIFFITHS: I don’t reckon I’m leaving, Joe. I AM.
(Payne nods in a somewhat cynical manner.)
PAYNE: Right. Don’t get your knickers in a twist ‘bout that paper, mate. Terrible drawing – don’t even look like me. All I gotta do is start growin’ a beard, wearing hats… Bob’s your uncle.
(Griffiths shakes his head in exasperation, and tosses the paper onto one of the workbenches. After a short pause, Payne sticks his head out from under the car again.)
PAYNE: Has the Boss seen it?
GRIFFITHS: Nope. Been in the office since this morning.
PAYNE: You ever wonder just what it is he does in there?
7.LYTTON’S LOCK UP – CORRIDOR
(A dank, brick corridor, that is notable for a large, steel door that has a sign on it saying “DO NOT DISTURB”)
(A dim, poorly-lit room. All we are shown is a tight shot of Lytton’s black-gloved hands handling some controls in front of some sort of screen, which is showing extremely hazy images. As Lytton slowly adjusts the controls we hear different voices being broadcast.)
CYBERMAN #1 (VO) Eastern Sector Six Work Party rotation commencing.
CYBERMAN #2 (VO) Shuttle 755Alpha docking – station B.
CYBERMAN #3 (VO) Coolant increase of 4% requested in Technical Zone 23. Transferring full report.
CYBERMAN #2 (VO): Newly interred units – 250 standard units. 70 scout units-
(The dial is re-adjusted slightly)
CYBER CONTROLLER (VO): Report status.
PROSER (VO): It looks about right.
CYBERLEADER (VO): Prisoner will specify in exact terms!
PROSER (VO) Well… it should work. Sir.
CYBERLEADER (VO): Specify probability.
(Lytton talks over the audio)
LYTTON: Request visual.
(The sound is interrupted by a negative tone. The computer responds)
COMPUTER: Request cannot be completed. Target zone is beyond maximum range.
CYBER CONTROLLER (VO) Alpha Test shall commence… 5, 4, 3,…
LYTTON: I want a lock-on this target.
(There is a thundering bass electronic noise, and we hear a sound that seems to be a Cyberman screaming. However, the sound comes into contact with extreme interference, and when it clears we hear the sound of classical music.)
LYTTON: (Confused) What is this?
COMPUTER: Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6 in B Minor. An inferior piece.
9.TARDIS CONSOLE ROOM
(Peri walks in through the door, wearing a pink leotard and denim shorts, to see the Doctor giving a spirited mock-conduction to the tune of the music which is playing on a clapped out old gramophone on a coffee table.)
PERI: You're feeling good, then?
THE DOCTOR: Good? Good? I am ALIVE, Peri!
(Peri gives an awkward smile)
PERI: That's nice?
THE DOCTOR: Very. You don't know how good until you've died as many times as I have.
(PERI slumps on a chair, looking tired.)
PERI: Please, Doctor, it's hard to take this stuff in...
THE DOCTOR: I do have to say, though, that being poisoned beats falling off a radio-telescope hands down!
PERI (half listening) Really?
THE DOCTOR: Oh, yes. All those bones to knit. Awful. Don't think I really recovered, either... I could swear I hadn't got the backbone right.
PERI: Doctor, do you have any coffee?
THE DOCTOR: Coffee? What would I do with coffee?
PERI: Drink it?
THE DOCTOR: What a strange idea...
(The Doctor trails off as he notices Peri's clothes for the first time.)
THE DOCTOR: You went to sleep in that?
PERI: (shrugs) That's what was in the cupboard.
THE DOCTOR: (looking back at the controls) How odd.
PERI: You changed your face and then went on to defeat an evil slug, Doctor... I think that trumps everything when it comes to weirdness.
THE DOCTOR: That's not what I meant!
PERI: (feigning interest) Then what did you mean?
THE DOCTOR: These! (gesturing at controls)They're odd!
PERI: (glancing at controls) They're odd?
THE DOCTOR: Yes! I've never seen such oddity! Well, obviously I have - there's barely anything in the universe I haven't seen... the siege of Troy, the collapse of Star One, C-Beams glittering in the darkness of Tennhauser Gate-
PERI: Doctor, you're babbling.
THE DOCTOR: What?!...oh, sorry... (goes back to controls) There's something out there... something big.
PERI: Well, open the scanner.
THE DOCTOR: No, no, no!... not 'there' there... it's-
(There is a major jolt – Peri sits bolt upright. Suddenly the central column of the TARDIS starts shifting rhythmically, moving faster and faster...)
PERI: What was that?
THE DOCTOR: We hit it!
PERI: ... hit what?
THE DOCTOR: Something!
PERI: Open the scanner!
(The Doctor looks ready to burst, but restrains himself)
THE DOCTOR: It's not in space, it's in the Vortex! Like... a tear in the space-time continuum!
PERI: A-and that's bad isn't it?
THE DOCTOR: Bad? BAD?! It'd destroy the universe!
THE DOCTOR: You heard what I said.
PERI: W-we'd all die?
THE DOCTOR: No doubt about it.
PERI: Oh... oh my god...
THE DOCTOR: So it's a good thing that hasn't happened!
PERI: (Confused) What?
THE DOCTOR: I said LIKE a tear in the space time continuum. This is something completely different. But similar.
(PERI rubs her face)
PERI: Doctor, please don't do that to me so early in the morning...
THE DOCTOR: (Ignoring her) We're being carried along, through time... BACKWARDS through time... this isn't Time Lord technology! Towards... Earth!
PERI: We're going to Earth?
THE DOCTOR: At the moment... and we're not the only ones.
PERI: (struggling to concentrate) So... someone else is coming to Earth, through the beam?
THE DOCTOR: Yes. From the future. Interfering in history...
PERI: Well, what could they want?
THE DOCTOR: It could be anything... anything at all.
PERI: That doesn't help!
THE DOCTOR : No, no it doesn't... but maybe you can! Did anything important happen in 1985?
PERI : I'm from 1984!
THE DOCTOR: Well was anything important STARTING to happen?
10. LYTTON'S ROOM, INT.
PERI: Are you serious? (V.O)
THE DOCTOR: Yes, this could be VITAL! (V.O)
LYTTON: ...who are these people?
COMPUTER: Insufficient data.
LYTTON: Insufficient data? They're travelling on the time stream, that should narrow the field.
LYTTON: Then give me candidates.
COMPUTER: Races with limited time travel capabilities listed on database include: The Argolins, The Sontarans, The Cetenes, The Daleks...
LYTTON: Computer – never mention the Daleks again.
COMPUTER: Confirmed. Continue specified actions?
11.TARDIS CONSOLE ROOM
PERI: It feels like a lifetime - I think Harrison Ford was doing another movie.
THE DOCTOR: Is that ALL?... who's Harrison Ford?
PERI: (shaking her head) It doesn't matter. So, are we in any danger?
THE DOCTOR: Danger? Danger! The fabric of the space-time continuum-
PERI: Yeah, yeah, I get the stuff about space-time... but I'm talking about US. Personally.
THE DOCTOR: Well, if you want to be *selfish* then NO. We're not in danger.
PERI: So... we're just going where the currents taking us? Back to Earth.
THE DOCTOR: Yes.
PERI: (shrugs) So we just go there, right?
THE DOCTOR (sternly) No.
THE DOCTOR: Nay, I'll conjure too!
(The Doctor starts wildly fumbling with the controls and yelling increasingly violently)
THE DOCTOR: Romeo! Humours! Madman! Passion! Lover!
(The console starts sparking, and the room shaking. Peri yelps, frightened)
PERI: What the hell are you doing?
THE DOCTOR: Caesar's spirit, ranging for revenge, with Ate by his side come hot from hell, shall in these confines with a monarch's voice, cry HAVOC... AND LET SLIP THE DOGS OF WAR!!
THE DOCTOR: I'm fighting back! Suffering slings and arrows!
PERI: Well, stop!!
THE DOCTOR: NO! I'm going to find out just where they're coming from-
(he ducks just as there is a large explosion from the console, before straightening up and carrying on as if nothing happened. The gramophone is struck by the blast and topples over)
THE DOCTOR: -by going against the currents. We should be there - wherever it is - in no time!
PERI: Yeah, if we HAVE any time!
THE DOCTOR: What ARE you talking about?
(There is another shower of sparks. Smoke starts to leak out of the console, but the Doctor starts waving it away with a handkerchief, almost idly)
PERI: (pointing at the console) This!
THE DOCTOR: Teething troubles, that's all. Ever tried to teach an old dog new tricks?
(The room shakes violently. The smoke starts to come out thicker)
PERI: You know why I like dogs, Doctor? THEY DON'T CATCH ON FIRE!
THE DOCTOR: Now THERE'S a generalisation if ever I heard one! Canine is quite a common species galactically speaking, I'll have you know, and the dogs on-
(There is a very large explosion right from the Central Column, which knocks both Peri and the Doctor off their feet)
COMPUTER: ...The Third Zoners, Cryptovene, Khaskarg…
LYTTON: (VO) I've lost the trace. What's happened?
COMPUTER: ..Hatre Sedtrines, the Vordjan and, according to unverified sources, the Gam.
LYTTON: Repeat: I have lost the trace. I require more information on target.
COMPUTER: (oblivious) Races possessing Unlimited Time Travel capabilities contains only one entry: The Time Lords, native to the planet Gallifrey in Universal Sector T-delta17, aka Kasterborous.
(For the first time the camera shows Lytton's face. He has a look of realisation.)
LYTTON: The Time Lords?... (He smiles thinly) Precisely what I need.
13.TARDIS CONSOLE ROOM
(A haze of smoke)
PERI: Doctor, what are we doing?!
THE DOCTOR: What am I doing?! Trans-vector re-alignment parabolaic-reversal, that's what I'm doing!
PERI: (Crossly) You're just making these words up!
THE DOCTOR: Fine, if you must have everything SPOON FED to you, then I'm trying to dam the time-stream, halt the flow, and bring us to a nice, safe, landing! Isn't that what you want?
PERI: Yes, but I'd also not to choke to death!
THE DOCTOR: Then hold your breath in!
PERI: Don't you DARE talk to me like that, Doctor! Who do-
(PERI leans in over the console to berate the Doctor, and doing so accidentally slams her hand onto a button. The TARDIS goes completely out of control)
THE DOCTOR: You know what I just said about a safe landing?
THE DOCTOR: Forget it!
More next week. And the week after that and the one after that. HOPEFULLY also for the next one, but by that stage it'll be more complicated than pressing CTRL+V...