Friday, November 9, 2007

ALT-27 MADNESS!

A key part of being a Doctor Who fan is, and always has been, thinking you could write the show entirely on your own, contrary to asbolutely all available evidence. As a result, the bulk of fans that were active during The Cancellation had their own ideas for a Season 27. Most would be nowhere near as shithouse as mine.

The Doctor: Me. In a cloak, boater hat, American college-style waistcoat, glasses, slip-on shoes and wig. Yes, this is the bit where you get worried. I'm hoping that casting oneself a common theme among plots from young DW fans who have performed in some sort of amateur theatrical capacity and that I don't suffer from a particularly egotistical strain of Asperger's Syndrome. And, yes, the worst idea for a costume ever. Why the wig you say? Why indeed...

The Doctor would be bookish, fond of language, prone to mood swings, and very, very fond of disguises/feints/playing dumb. He would either treat his companions as his best friends or ignore them entirely, depending on which day of the week it was. Mostly just me living out my fantasy, though.

The Companions: Todd, a somewhat introverted and impoverished Pakistani Londoner sci-fi/fantasy geek... you know what I'm going to say next, don't you? Yes, who 'nevertheless, has inner courage and an important destiny!'. Okay, at this point you could accuse me of creating a complete Mary-Sue to present nerds in a fashionable (and PC!) light and having a companion that the type of people sci-fi fans would identify with and nobody else. Fair enough, but he's just one of the two companions! The other was -

Chula. An alien princess of the Leela variety, not necessarily over-endowed with clothing.... Damnit.

The Budget: Eight billion squid.

The Season: 40 episodes. 25 minutes. I'm a fan of Troughton.

Continuity: I can't recall ever giving thought as to whether it would fit with the Books (this was before I heard the audios)... I'm guessing the answer was 'nah' because I like Time Lords. No PMG regen, though. I think that's the only thing that an insane 14-year-old and RTD agreed upon. Looking back, though, there wasn't much continuity at all in the stories save for The Master appearing... too many times.

Guest Stars: Erm..let's see... David Wenham as The Master. John Rhys-Davies as the Good Caveman. Udo Kier and some other famous villain actor as the Vampire Lords.

The Stories: This is the really embarassing bit.

Apogee (4 episodes) Obviously the best way to introduce DW to a new generation is to do so with the most confusing, multi-time sprawling story ever. Erm... I'm having trouble explaining this. The Doctor and Chula are tracking down some alien time travellers (we don't know who they are or what they're doing at the start), find Todd who gets attacked by his best friend turning into a werewolf. They save him... go to Victorian England for some reason. Werewolf stuff. The story ends in the moon, where it turns out a heap of... white, reptilian midget aliens... have travelled back through time to... try and kill Todd so his grandson doesn't defeat them in Earth's first planetary war...using werewolves...

This made so much sense a few years back. I never wrote a script, though, so the answer to the question "What the fuck was I thinking" shall forever remain shrouded in mystery. At the end of the narrative mess, however, Todd joins the somewhat unwelcoming TARDIS crew, maybe for his own protection...

Crystalline (4 episodes) After a completely unnecessary stop off in a Neu Kyoto Hotel (I loved putting 'Neu Kyoto' into stories back then) the Doctor announces that the TARDIS will be performing Chula's sacred pilgrimmage to the Crystal Planet of some name. Soon after their arrival at the planet, where the Crystals are said to have healing powers, the Evil Overlord of some aliens, now aged 130 and on death's door, arrives to use them, effectively taking over the planet. Efforts to boost the Crystal's powers with alien-electrolysis backfire violently, and the mind of The Overlord now CONTROLS THE CAVES... somehow. Much runaround shennanigans ensue.

The Silent Invasion (6 episodes) Man, these things are painful for me to write, they really are.

Anyway, this story re-introduces UNIT with their new British C.O, ex-Commodore Stanley Baker (In an effort to reproduce the punchiness of 'The Brigadier' with 'The Commodore') running tests on an unmanned jet-plane. As you would expect, the Doctor lands in the middle of the jet during its flight, chats to the test-crash dummies in their seats, that kind of thing. However, shock horror! The TARDIS can't take off again, and the jet's flight-computer is failing. The Doctor decides that there's nothing for it but to dismantle the entire computerised system and land the plane - his WAY! As soon as he lands they're all arrested by UNIT on terrorism suspicions and, of course, the episode gets taken over with 'can we trust him' malarkey and the plot goes nowhere until Part 2.

After that, though, I'm not sure where exactly the plot goes: people from comas are brainwashed in hospitals by shadowy humans working for aliens, they wake up and start generally causing chaos (this subplot is the catalyst for a motorcycle chase scene), electronical systems around the world go on the blink, hackers get involved somehow, but eventually the Doctor traces all the weirdness to Chernobyl where there's scenes involving giant rats. It's something about the pure energy aliens, though. Nothing too mind blowing.

The Golems (4 episodes) Ugh. Medieval alien society where the law is enforced by Golems (actually robots) controlled by priests. Generic piece of crap. In my bizarre tendency to work out unrealistically expensive action setpieces and little else, this story would feature a minecart chase.

The Neanderthal Conspiracy (6 episodes) Based on the rejected Troughton story. Just with the Master in it.

The Rosecrutians (4 episodes) Yes, there were TWO stories based on rejected Troughton scripts. In a row. I realise this.

The Zombies of Panama (4 episodes) The TARDIS lands in Panama the building of The Canal - and, predictably, there are strange stories going around. Investigating stories about a Voodoo Witch-Doctor, they find, of course, it's the Master. Once again, trying to harvest an army, by re-animating the bodies of those who died from Yellow Fever. Either because Todd is a dick or because he is brain-washed (I think the latter), he sides with the Master in planning an assault on the fledgling Panama City. It becomes clear that all he wants is to hurt the Doctor, rather than the townsfolk, and this raises the question of whether the Doctor has the right to fight back, etc. The Doctor, though, recognizes the challenge and rises to it, staging a defense in a massive Zombie-Human battle. The Doctor wins the fight, but at cost, and soon realises that either history has changed through the Master's callousness or this isn't really Earth, when George Washington Goethals, who would ultimately be credited with the Canal's success, is killed in the battle. He decides he is through playing games and confronts the Master direclty, and this somehow leads to a Reichenbach Falls style fight scene , again continuing the theme of impractical and incongruous action sequences. The Master dies. He doesn't regenerate, he just dies... I don't know how far I thought into that one.

The Dance of Death (8 episodes) Yeah, you read right. Eight episodes. I was MAD, haven't you picked that up yet?!

The first two would essentially be a complete rip-off of that one Steve Lyons' short-trip where Davison and Nyssa go to a haunted house where people are getting killed one-by-one, with very few changes to the plot until the cliffhanger to Episode 2 when Mysterious Figures show up, cause a chandelier to fall on the Doctor and kill him.

Todd and Chula are stunned, failing to believe the Doctor could truly be dead, and follow the Mysterious Figures into 'The Ethereal Realm', where they find the Doctor and others who died in the haunted house clothed in white robes in a bright, white marble palace. They say their farewells, believing this truly is the afterlife, but the Doctor is sceptical - in particular he notes that the 'cordial' they are given regularly is almost nothing but liquidized Vitamin-D, something they logically wouldn't need given the bright sunlight constantly in evidence. This leads to the next shock reveal - the 'afterlife' is ruled by VAMPIRES!

The Doctor tries to escape, but finds it is physically impossible to leave the Realm, whilst Todd and Chula are finding it harder to stay. The sordid events all become clear - The Vampires haven't 'killed' people, but created tangent realities to convince them that they are dead. Once the humans are in the Ethereal Realm they are nothing but life-force personified, and the Vampires subsequently gain more strength from them than an entire human body's worth of blood. The Vampires have been planning this in secret in a dead planet in a parallel universe for centuries, and now have enough strength to begin THEIR INVASION OF GALLIFREY!!!
The Master is one of the enslaved - the Panama events nothing but a tangent reality - but has ingratiated himself with the Vampire Lords due to his schemes for ruling the Universe. Only the Master realises the full strength of the Doctor's Gallifreyan life-force, and so forms a tryst with Hot Vampire Queen, ensuring that she will get the full power of the Doctor's force if she goes through with his plan. While the Queen seduces the Doctor in disguise, the Master sets about killing Vampire Lord #2. Soon they have the Doctor in their grasp (after a scene involving a tango and stun-gun) and he receives a complete Vampiric Blood Transfusion thanks to the dead Lord. The Master and his new other half flee, while the DOCTOR IS A VAMPIRE!

Todd and Chula try to rescue him, but the Doctor can barely stop himself from killing them both - they need to win this fight on their own.

And they do. Somehow. I never actually had the climax worked out for that one. Still, I think it's the only plot for the season I came up witht that actually had any sort of vague potential.


LOOKING BACK: The most completely embarassing hodge-podge of sci-fi cliches and all-round bad ideas. Rampant ego tripping is involved in most of the stories, and the companions are side-lined in the general plots so that you may have noticed they barely get mentioned. Only geeks of my magnitude would ever have watched it, and probably then denied ever having done so. I am completely bewildered by the fact that neither Daleks nor Cybermen, just about the only thing save 'scarf' that the general public knows about DW, where entirely non-present, my adolescent self clearly so smugly wrapped up in my 'original' creations. (I did think up a Dalek story at one point, though, called The Exile of the Daleks that, no doubt, would have annoyed people) It's good though, that I made all this crap up in my mind and subsequently saw the New Series, so I could compare the two and realise what Television is meant to actually do.

It also gives me a good reference when RTD does something that I don't quite like. I can look back and say "Well, at least he didn't [....]" and have a good point.

3 comments:

Youth of Australia said...

Wow.

Not as bad as my fan script series for Season 27 onwards, if it's any consolation.

I am struggling to remember which British comedy character thought the currency was 'squids'.

As for the Doctor... it's the Sixth, innit?

The stories... well, they certainly have potential. More than Spara stories. I do like the werewolves, and the vampires running the afterlife, the Master controlling an army of zombies at the panama canal.

And we KNOW I am a good judge of ideas, cause RTD keeps ripping me off.

I actually wrote a script of the Rosecruitians/Rose Marriners, and NOVELIZED it for fuck's sake. Still got the print out, with all the demented plot, angst, Paul McDermott songs and last minute countdown to armageddon solved by the Doctor rewiring some shit.

And just a few years ago I tried the Neanderthal story... though it evolved into a story about the aliens from Species trying to a base under siege kind of thing. Very Aliens and Predators stuff, with lots of mysognistic gore (but then, that IS kind of a given witht the Species flicks - note: never write on what your friends suggest for Doctor Who plots while they're stonned during Stuvac).

So, really, it's not so bad.

Certainly better than 'Season 28'.

Jared "No Nickname" Hansen said...

Not as bad as my fan script series for Season 27 onwards, if it's any consolation.

Consolation is unnecessary - the stuff we write when young is MEANT to be crap, after all.

I am struggling to remember which British comedy character thought the currency was 'squids'.

It was Ali G - HOBVIOUSLY!


As for the Doctor... it's the Sixth, innit?


Well... yeah.

I can't really pretend otherwise. Though at that stage I don't believe I'd actually seen any Colin Baker episodes, so probably thought the characterisation was ground-breaking.

The stories... well, they certainly have potential. More than Spara stories.

Talk about damning with faint praise..

I do like the werewolves

In retrospect I'm trying to work out what the hell I was thinking having a story with Werewolves... acting as second bananas to a bunch of midget aliens.

and the vampires running the afterlife, the Master controlling an army of zombies at the panama canal.

Yeah, I still think those ideas had something to them.

22 000 French labourers died from the Yellow Fever when trying to build the Panama Canal - that's a lot of zombie fodder.

I actually wrote a script of the Rosecruitians/Rose Marriners, and NOVELIZED it for fuck's sake.

I can't quite put my finger on it, but there's something massively cool about a story revolving around a prison ship mutiny via botany.

Certainly better than 'Season 28'.

I don't know... The Golems would have trumped The Idiot's Lantern in terms of blandness, I'm sure... I mean, it had NO story! It was "The Doctor takes on Evil Robots" and nothing else! *sigh*

Youth of Australia said...

Consolation is unnecessary - the stuff we write when young is MEANT to be crap, after all.
Suppose... :(

It was Ali G - HOBVIOUSLY!
I am a fool.

Well... yeah.
I can't really pretend otherwise. Though at that stage I don't believe I'd actually seen any Colin Baker episodes, so probably thought the characterisation was ground-breaking.

You certainly would look the part.

Talk about damning with faint praise..
Well, I didn't want to insult you by mentioning Torchwood...

In retrospect I'm trying to work out what the hell I was thinking having a story with Werewolves... acting as second bananas to a bunch of midget aliens.
Yeah. Not exactly Loups Garoux, is it?

Yeah, I still think those ideas had something to them.
Definitely.

22 000 French labourers died from the Yellow Fever when trying to build the Panama Canal - that's a lot of zombie fodder.
Wow. Yellow Fever and How To Cure It, huh?

I can't quite put my finger on it, but there's something massively cool about a story revolving around a prison ship mutiny via botany.
And brainwashing people with silent movies of rose bushes... that just kicks ass on every level...

I don't know... The Golems would have trumped The Idiot's Lantern in terms of blandness, I'm sure... I mean, it had NO story! It was "The Doctor takes on Evil Robots" and nothing else! *sigh*
It wouldn't be set on Earth... wouldn't rip off Sapphire & Steel... would make sense... wouldn't screw up characterization like they did with Rose... wouldn't be so twisted and smug...

Mmmm.