Friday, 3 December 2010

Let it Snow Let it Snow Let it Snow

The recent snow has been fantastic. Why people complain about it I've no idea.

Poor sales of the Doctor Who series 5 DVD set

As I predicted this set is selling less rapidly that the previous series boxsets. This suggests that a rethink is needed in the show's direction.

Friday, 27 August 2010

I'm enjoying a light lunch

It consists of a ham salad sandwich and a coffee

Friday, 16 July 2010

Coming soon: the new Doomwatch 2010 story!

Watch this space folks!

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

"DOOMWATCH 2010": Meet the Team!

"DOOMWATCH 2010" : Meet the Team!

OK, I thought I'd provide a more visual description of the new team so that people can picture them better :

Dr Peter Ashton-Scott

Team leader. An experienced chemist and ecologist from Cambridge university who left academia to set up a self-sufficient community in the hebrides. Coaxed out of retirement by Allen.Aged around 59, Ashton Scott physically resembles the late politician Michael Foot: longish white hair, thick glasses and prone to passionate gesticulating when speaking.

Steve Allen

Environmental campaigner, idealist and disillusioned science advisor to the government.Steve is in his early 30s with short hair and a muscular frame. Phsically resembles Lee Majors in his heyday in the 1970s when he played 'The Bionic Man' .

Charles Furness

Young, attractive Oxford graduate and brilliant chemist and technician. Struggling to accept his sexuality.Aged 21, Charles is slim with long, shoulder-length dark hair. He wears casual clothes, jeans and thin sweaters.

Abby Hanson

Feisty twenty-something geologist and ecologist. Gave up teaching to join the team.Abby is around 25 years old, slim with dark hair. She is attractive and businesslike.

Genna Miles

Genna is a 23 year old History graduate who formerly worked at Bosworth Battlefield Centre. She has short blonde hair and is attractive and personable. She wears smart casual clothes.

Brian Eddows

Sixty-something lab technician. An ex-prisoner seeking a new life and redemption from his crimes. Brian is 62 years old and is a thick-set stout man with very short grey hair. Has a sense of the reformed villain about him.

Sunday, 2 May 2010

"Price Worth Paying" Part 5

OK : the story continues:


Charles, Genna and Abby were led by gunpoint to an office where an angry Walker was waiting:
"So, not content with going through the normal process to secure an interview, you also see fit to break into this centre. I will obviously be making formal compaints to the appropriate authorities." Abby stepped forward:
"Yeah and we will also be speaking to the authorities. About how you know damn well that your GM grain is toxic to primates".
"Its all in these documents" Charles added, waving the papers. Walker laughed sardonically:
"The documents in that cabinet refer to the very earliest prototype of our modified grain. I presume you didn't bother to check the date or the details. Those documents are seven years old and refer to Zentar wheat sample 1, while the product we actually now grow is sample 7, which is perfectly safe". Charles checked the documents and saw that Walker was telling the truth:
"That does not alter the fact that your product in its early stages was highly dangerous and we only have your word for it that it is not so still", Charles stated, flicking his long dark hair from his eyes. Walker got up and stared at him:
"You know, you do-gooder student types make me sick. Look at you, standing there with your foppish hair and self-righteous manner. Never done a proper days work in your life no doubt, just sponged off your parents and then got a non-job with a pointless quango run by a sad old lefty." Abby intervened:
"You don't know what you're talking about", she shouted. Walker stared at her:
"I despise people like you. Wet behind the ears pseudo radicals. The fact is that the world needs more food and we are helping to provide it. Who cares about a killing a bit of wildlife in the process or causing a bit of collateral damage to local populations. They are a price worth paying for greater yeilds. And the public want more and better food, not organic lentils."
"So as far as you're concerned, any damage to the environment or to the public itself is just collateral damage" Charles asked.
"Yes , *to the security guards* escort these overgrown children off this site."

Meanwhile in Suffolk Steve had given a brief interview to the police and returned to the site of the crop test. Using his initiative he borrowed a ladder that was proped up beside someone's half completed garage extension and carried it across the wasteground to the perimeter fence. He climbed up and carefully navigated himself over the barbed wire and jumped down over the other side. He landed badly and fell backwards, banging his head. Picking himself up, he couldn't believe his eyes. A field full of wheat was growing through the snow and entering the stage of starting to ripen, in the middle of winter. As he looked around he felt someone grab his arms. Two men dressed in white plastic overalls and gas masks grabbed him and escorted him to a grey building at the side of the field. He was thrown on the floor in front of a suited man who smoked a cigar:
"Hmmm. You're from Doomwatch at a guess. The boss just rang me to warn that you lot could be on the prowl" the man stated.
"Who the hell are you?" Steve asked.
"Andy Powell, Zentar Director of Research. It seems that your collegues have caused a right stir with Mr Walker."
"Why the hell are they wearing gas masks? You know don't you? You know that this stuff is dangerous" Steve shouts. Powell laughs:
"Oh don't be so po-faced. Have a cigar. Those masks are purely to prevent our staff carrying pollen out of the site in their lungs and then contaminating nearby organic farms".
"Bullshit" Steve shouted.

In Leicestershire, Charles, Genna and Abby had returned to the Black Swan. Charles stared mournfully at the documents:
"So these are just useless. They prove nothing". Abby looked up:
"They at least prove that the crops carried dangers at the start. But yes, we need much more. Anyway, right now I'm ready for a drink.Charles? Genna?"
"I'll have a white wine" Genna replied.
"None for me tonight. I want to keep a clear head for tomorrow. Anyway I don't drink much. I prefer a good book to alcohol" Charles stated.As Abby went to the bar, Genna smiled at Charles:
"So what do you like reading"?
"Oh all sorts, history, ecology, anthropology, fiction, poetry. Right now I'm juxtoposing "Silent Spring" with "Jude the Obscure".Genna laughed:
"So tell me about this Chris" she asked. Charles looked away:
"I don't want to talk about that. Its too painful still. Like raking up the shattered shards of broken dreams".Abby returned from the bar:
"As I see it, we now have no options left here other than to find someone in that organisation who will whistle blow" she states......

..... to be continued.

"Price Worth Paying" Part 4

Here it is folks:


Steve Allen is driving through the Suffolk countryside towards the experimental GM test site. He had felt frustrated after another altercation with Ashton-Scott during which he had insisted on using the car. However it was crisp, blue-skied winter’s day and Steve now felt uplifted by the sunshine gleaming off the thin covering of snow on the fields that he passed. Eventually he arrived at a huge green metal perimeter fence which was topped with pointed spikes and barbed wire. He stopped the car and got out , climbing on top of the car to try and get a view of the crop, however the fence was too tall.
“There ain’t no use in doin’ that, you need a stepladder” an old woman’s voice calls out. Steve looks round and sees an elderly woman dressed in ragged clothes with unkempt hair. She carried a cat in her hands which she stroked:
“I’m Elsie. It ain’t natural whats growin’ behind there. Them there enviromentalist protesters where down here again last week . Good luck to em I say.” Steve smiles:
“Do any of these protesters ever get over the fence and inside Elsie?” he asks.
“They gets in but they soon gets shoved out again. They must have hundreds of them security men in there. And then the bobbies come and take the protesters away in big vans”.

As Elsie speaks, Steve hears a woman scream and a commotion coming from some terraced houses separated from the fence by a patch of unkempt wasteland. Running across he is shocked to see a large, overweight man in a white vest attacking a woman with a plank of wood. Spittle and foam was dribbling from his mouth as he lunged at the woman who was also in a furious rage. The woman ran down the small garden and out of the broken gate . She picked up a half-brick from a pile of fly-tipped rubbish on the waste ground and threw it at the man, cracking his nose open. He fell to the ground grunting and screaming. The crazed woman turned on Steve, lunging at his face . Steve managed to grapple her to the ground as a police car drew up……..

Meanwhile in Bosworth, Charles is sitting in the lounge of the Black Swan with Genna and Abby Hanson, who has just arrived. He explains recent developments to Abby:
“Its clear from what you say that Walker will tell us nothing .” Abby observes.
“So what do you suggest that we do now? There is no actual evidence that Sansom was working for the protesters.” Charles replies.
“Then we find some. We break into that centre and we damn well find the evidence” Abby suggests. Genna looks up:
“I know a way that you can get in. Part of their centre backs onto our battlefield centre’s grounds. They were not allowed to build a massive wall or anything so theres only a thin fence. They do have guard dogs though.”
“We can drug them safely using some steak laced with dizaphane.” Abby responds. As they enjoy a coffee, Genna asks how Abby became involved with Doomwatch:
“After uni I spent a year teaching Geography in Hampshire. However it just wasn’t for me. I could handle the kids but I wanted to make a difference and the syllabus was just too narrow and restrictive. When I heard about Doomwatch I knew I had to get involved.”.
Charles sighs:“I wish I had that certainty. I had absolutely no idea what to do after uni. I just knew I had to get away from living at home.”

Later, Charles, Abby and Genna have cut through the wire and are inside the Zentar Corporation’s HQ grounds. Around them lie the unconscious dogs, having nibbled the beef.
“It is perfectly safe. Those dogs will be perfectly ok again in half an hour” Abby assures Charles.
“I’m pleased that Doomwatch has an ethical approach to dealing with guard dogs. However this means we must move fast” Charles comments. He and Abby use a skeleton key to get inside the building while Genna keeps a lookout. Inside they wander through deserted corridors and come to a side room full of large freezers. Charles opens one up and is shocked to see it is full of frozen monkey corpses in plastic bags. Abby and Genna rifle through some papers kept in a grey cabinet. Abby suddenly gets excited:
“Look at this. Its some of Sansom’s pathology notes on the monkeys.”Charles looks at the papers which are handwritten autopsy notes signed by Sansom. He reads aloud:
“…… it is clear to me that subject 23 died of the same symptoms as 13-22. Intense cerebral haemorrhaging following a long period of severe anger and violent rage. It is also clear that the symptoms are only present in those subjects exposed to the GM grain……..”
Charles is cut short by a voice behind him:
“None of you move”.They see two security guards with guns raised…….…

……… be continued.

Thursday, 15 April 2010

"Price Worth Paying" part 3

OK folks, here is part 3:

"Price Worth Paying": Part 3

After a sleepless night in an uncomfortable bed with lumpy pillows, Charles sets out for the Zentar Research Centre. Arriving at the gates, he is met by several private security guards who escort him to Walker's office. Inside he is met by a firm faced man in a business suit with short dark hair.
"Right Mr Furness, lets get several things clear. Firstly I'm agreeing to talk to you purely as a gesture of goodwill. I don't like your organisation or your boss however I am willing to engage in dialogue. I do want to make it clear that I regard this interview as pointless."
Charles senses a deliberate attempt to intimidate him:
"Mr Walker. Can you tell me why one of your scientists was shot here" he asks. Walker scowls:
"Haven't they briefed you. Oh, looking at you though you must be new. Just out of university I presume."
"Just answer the question please" Charles replies.
"A militant splinter group of that Greenpeace lot broke into this Centre and shot Dr Paul Sansom. Its as simple as that. The two people responsible are in Leicester nick awaiting trail. Typical crusty types, one an anti-hunt protester as well."
Charles senses elusiveness:"But they had no motive for murder. And they don't sound violent types" he states.
"Right thats it, interview over. Now kindly leave the premesis" Waker tersely replies.

Charles leaves and gets the bus to Leicester where he goes to the prison and finds out visiting times. He then goes to the Bread & Roses student cafe for an organic coffee and visits two second hand bookshops before going back to the prison. As he sits in the visitor room, a dishevelled man with lots of facial piercings and platted hair arrives.
"Hello, I'm Charles Furness. You must be Nigel Dearham".
"Ere I 'ate that name. I'm Logga" the man states. Charles decides to humour him.
"Ok Logga. I suppose it is a name with a more earthy ring to it than Nigel." The man stares.
"So Logga. Can you tell me what happened the night Paul Sansom was shot?"
"We ain't guilty. Me and Bez we like wanted to see what was really going on in that lab. We 'eard that they were experimentin' on animals and tryin' to develop some kind of GM crop that could grow in winter. They were feeding it to monkeys to see if it hurt 'em. Sick bastards. Anyroad, we gets in an as we searched around we hears a shot. Then as we are tryin' to escape security nab us." Charles flicks his dark hair out of his eyes:
"Are you sure you didn't do it?"
"Look mate are you deaf or summat. Anyway why would we want to kill our inside contact?"
"Sansom was one of us. He was the one passed us the info about the experiments. He rekoned that the crops wern't safe. That the monkeys went mad when it was fed to 'em and clawed each other up".

Charles leaves and gets the bus back to Bosworth. He has dinner with Genna in the Black Swan.
"So how was your day Charles?" she asks.
"Concerning. I think that the Zentar Corporation have had one of their own staff killed in order to stop them blowing the whistle on the side effects of their products." Genna strokes his long hair:#"Poor Charles. How about we order some wine? *strokes his leg*" Charles feels uneasy and tears well up:
"Genna you need to know that I'm gay before you get the wrong idea". Genna looks surprised but composes herself:
"Oh... oh well I'm pleased you told me. Do you have a man in your life?" Charles thinks of Chris and holds back the tears:
"At uni there was someone. But he wasn't intetrested. I'm alone on an Island of dry sand........."

............ to be continued.

"Price Worth Paying" Part 2

OK, here is the second part of this story folks:


Charles is sitting quietly in the first class compartment of the train, sipping tea and reading Rachel Carson's 'Silent Spring'. His mind keeps wandering away from the book and he puts it down and takes a pen and paper out of his leather case. He begins to write a few lines of verse, not noticing a young woman enter the carriage.
"Excuse me, would you mind moving your case so that I can sit on that seat" she asks him. Charles doesn't hear her.
"Could you move your case?" she repeats sharply. Charles looks up.
"Sorry. I was lost upon the sea of my own thoughts". He moves his case and she sits down. Charles continues to write.
"I'm sorry for being sharp just then. Are you travelling far?" the girl asks. Charles flicks his long dark hair out of his dreampool eyes:
"Only to the land of silent melancholy" he replies. The girl smiles:
"What a sad thing to say. What do you do for a living?"
"I've just got a job with an environmental organisation called Doomwatch. I graduated last summer" Charles replies.
"Oh me too. My name is Genna Miles. I've a first in History from Durham. I've just been appointed as site historical advisor at Bosworth Battlefield Centre in Leicestershire."
Charles' interest picks up and he puts down his pen:
"Hey thats where I'm going to, Bosworth. I'm Charles Furness. I'm looking into the activities of the Zentar Research Corporation. Mind you I find your job very interesting . My mother always said that there is Plantagenet blood in our family line and so I've always had an interest in Richard III". Genna smiles:
"Pleased to meet you then Charles. I've heard about this Zentar Corporation actually. They tried to buy some land on the battlefield site so that they could build all on it, however Leicestershire Council stopped them."
"Do you know anywhere in Bosworth where I could stay" Charles asks."Well I'm staying temporarily in the Black Swan until I can find somewhere permanent. Why not see if they have more rooms?" Genna replies.

Meanwhile, back at Doomwatch HQ in London Peter and Steve are having another altercation:
"Look you can't just send that boy to deal with this on his own Peter. Its too serious." Ashton-Scott frowns:
"The decision has been made Steve. The nuclear issue takes precedence."
"You're just guilty because your brother worked at Aldermaston!" Steve Allen shouts. Ashton-Scott stands up and glares at him:
"How dare you. You have no damn idea about my family and the sacrifices I made for my principles. When I started going on the Aldermaston protest marches my brother and father severed all contact with me."As he speaks, Abby Hanson enters the office, accompanied by Brian Eddows.
"Whats all this arguing? Can't you two just have a civil conversation without all this macho posturing?" Abby states.
"Macho? Him? Give me a break" Steve replies.
"Shut it Steve" Abby shouts, slaming a file down on the table, "I've just heard that the Dungeness leak was a false alarm. Therefore we can concentrate on this new case" she continues. "Good. So can I go up to Bosworth now? " Steve asks.
"No, Abby can. You can visit the testing site in Suffolk" Peter states.

Meanwhile Charles and Genna have checked into the Black Swan and are enjoying a pub salad and a pint. Charles throws his long hair over his shoulders. Genna feels deeply attracted to him.
"So can you tell me anything else about this Zentar Corporation?" he asks
Its run by a self-made millionaire, Sir Willie Walker. They're a nasty bunch; think the planning laws don't apply to them. I'd watch out though as he's a big friend of Richard Bigjack." Genna replies, munching a lettuce leaf.
"The rightwing newspaper columninst?" Charles asks.
"Yes. The one who's always going on about the EU and feral yobs in the Daily Post. He may turn his sights on your Doomwatch. He hates environmentalists, thinks they're a bunch of fifth columnists for Brussels."
Charles frowns:"Oh no, what have I got myself into. I don't need this hassle after all I've been through this last year."........

..... to be continued.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Doomwatch DVD recommendations:

TOP= Two episodes from the classic series ie "The Plastic Eaters" & "Tomorrow the Rat".
BOTTOM: The movie starring Ian Bannen.

"DOOMWATCH 2010": "Price Worth Paying"

The New Team:

Dr Peter Ashton-Scott = team leader. An experienced chemist and ecologist from Cambridge university who left academia to set up a self-sufficient community in the hebrides. Coaxed out of retirement by Allen.

Steve Allen: Environmental campaigner, idealist and disillusioned science advisor to the government.

Charles Furness: Young, attractive Oxford graduate and brilliant chemist and technician. Struggling to accept his sexuality.

Abby Hanson: Feisty twenty-something geologist and ecologist. Gave up teaching to join the team.

Brian Eddows: Sixty-something lab technician. An ex-prisoner seeking a new life and redemption from his crimes.

OK folks, here is the first part of a brand new Doomwatch story with a new team:

"DOOMWATCH 2010: Price Worth Paying" : Part 1

Winter in Suffolk. The cold February wind blows snow across the farmyard as Brian Coley goes out to feed his pigs. He hasn’t felt well for days and he had a strange headache that never seemed to go away. As he reaches the pigsties Brian spots an axe in the yard that he had been using to chop logs earlier in the day. A strange feeling of rage hits him, as if all the world was his enemy and out to destroy him. He grabs the axe and swings it around. As he does so Stan Henson, one of his labourers emerges from the tool shed:
“You ok Brian? You look a bit stressed.”Brian swings the axe and buries it in Stan’s head. He is now foaming at the mouth. Driven by pure rage he takes up the axe and heads towards the farmhouse…….

Rural Leicestershire.In the Zentar Corporation’s Research Laboratories near Bosworth, Doctor Paul Sansom is working late. As he stands over his equipment shaking his head a figure approaches behind him. A gun is raised and then fired. Sansom falls down…..

Charles Furness was feeling very nervous as he walked into the Doomwatch Centre in London. This was his first job interview since leaving Oxford and one he was only reluctantly attending. He had left with no idea of what he wanted to do for a career other than something related to science and chemistry. Work was the last thing on his mind. All he could think about was Chris, whom he had fallen in love with during that final year amid the dreaming spires. However Chris had treated him with derision when he had told him of his feelings and was now about to get married. Charles’ confidence had been shaken and the last thing he needed was to have to get a job. However he couldn’t stand the stifling atmosphere of home any longer. As Charles enters the main office he sees two men having a florid argument. The older one sits behind a desk and has long white hair and thick glasses:
“I tell you I cannot spare you at the moment Steve, its all hands on the pump as regards the Dungeness nuclear leak” he shouts. The younger man slams his fist down on the table:
“Look this can’t just be a coincidence Peter. A spate of bizarre murders in the space of weeks and all in the vicinity of the Zentar Corporations’ experimental field of GM winter-growing crops. And now one of their scientists is murdered in his lab.”Dr Ashton Scott sighs in frustration:
“My dear man , they’ve arrested two Greenpeace activists for that. They had broken into the site. And there is not one shred of evidence to link those murders with the GM test.”

Charles clears his throat so that they notice him:
“Excuse me. I’m Charles Furness. I’m here about the job.” He flicks his luscious dark hair out of his eyes. The old man stands up:
“Ah the new boy. I’m Peter Ashton Scott and this is Steve Allen. Welcome to Doomwatch. You’re just in time in fact. Steve here thinks that theres a problem with the Zentar Corporation’s GM testing . I’m not sure I’m convinced and I can’t spare Steve at the moment so you’ve got your first case.”
“You mean I’ve got the job?” Charles asks.“Of course. You’re a brilliant chemist; first class honours from Oxford. And very attractive as well I might add”. Charles blushes:
“So what do I have to do?”
“Do you drive?”
“Then don’t. Too many cars on the road is one of the greatest threats to our environment. Take public transport to the Zentar Corporation’s HQ in Leicestershire and interview their Director, Andy Powell. All of the details and background info is in this file”. Peter hands the file to a puzzled Charles:
“But I’ve no idea about what to interview him about” Charles states.“That’s why I’ve given you the file. I presume your generation can still read.”

Charles leaves the building not sure whether to be pleased or not. He heads towards St Pancras and takes the first train out to Leicester.……

…… to be continued.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Eleventh Hour poll: "drivel" winning so far

This shows that polls on other Doctor Who sites may be skewed by post-broadcast euphoria . After time a more considered consensus may emerge.

The World of the Lumpen Dim

So Gordon Brown has called the election finally. I do worry about the electorate. I suspect more are interested in voting in the X Factor or Strictly Come Dancing polls than in a proper election. When I was growing up politics was discussed in the home and at school. Now I fear the masses will decide on the basis of who gives the best Piers Morgan interview or impresses Simon Cowell the most.

Audiobook recommendation: "LEVIATHAN"

I can thoroughly recommend this recent addition to the Lost Stories series from Big Finish. It has an interesting medieval setting and a plot clearly influenced by classic sci-fi films such as 'Logan's Run'. The perfect antidote to Nuwho.

Exclusive to this blog: More Episode Re-writes!

As a special treat to readers of this blog I can promise more exclusive rewrites of below par NUwho episodes.

"The Eleventh Hour" concusion

"The Eleventh Hour" - conclusion

The Doctor and Amy run towards the cricket pavilion, however as they pass the village green a huge eye appears in the sky and they find themselves surrounded by the Guardians. They appear to have no mouths however they are able to speak:
"You are the prisoner. You must be executed."The Doctor realises that they are talking about him:
"Look, I suggest that you think about what you are doing. I am a Time Lord, the last of the Time Lords in fact. You think I am the prisoner because you are detecting residue on me from travelling in time. But that is what I do. Why not analyse me properly."A huge beam of light emenates from the eye and engulfs the Doctor. His clothes evaporate and he is left standing naked . Eventually the light stops.
"You are not the prisoner" the Guardians say.
"Ten out of ten" the Doctor replies.Amy eyes the naked Doctor and nudges him:
"I could say the same from where I'm standing". The Doctor blushes and covers his groin with his hands:
"Kindy return my attire!" he shouts. The clothes suddenly reappear on him:
"Now there is no time to lose. Your prisoner is in that cricket pavilion. Let us commence an arrest."

Entering the pavilion, the Doctor and Amy are shocked to see a pile of dead cricketers and standing behind them is Amy's aunt.
"Please give yourself up" the Doctor pleads. The prisoner scowls.
"I did not create the crack in time. It was created by others. There is a darkness coming".Amy frowns.
"We don't care."The Doctor stares at her:
"You should not be so dismissive of such information. Remember that this isn't your real aunt. *to the Guardians* Please just take your prisoner back into confinement. There is no need for execution, the death penalty just lowers you to the same moral level as the killer themself. However I must speak with this prisoner first about this crack in time".However before he can do so, a bolt of energy from the eye in the sky eliminates the prisoner. Then the Guardians ascend up into the eye and it vanishes.

Later the Doctor, Amy and the Brigadier are discussing recent events in the Red Lion over a drink.
"There should have been another way, there was no need to kill the prisoner" the Doctor states.
"What about this crack in time?" Amy asks.
"I'm very worried Amy. However I assure you that I will try to get to the bottom of it" the Doctor replies.Amy looks at him:
"Can I join you on your travels Doctor? There is so little for me here".The Doctor squeezes her hand:
"Of course. I am so lonely; I've lost so many people close to me. I need company."The Brigadier lightens the mood:
"By the way, I bumped into another former companion of yours last week at my club; Ben Chatham. Splendid chap."The Doctor smiles:
"Ben is one of the best. I must catch up with him.............."

............... the end.

'The Eleventh Hour' 4

"The Eleventh Hour": 4

The Doctor informs Amy that this is not actually her aunt but the alien which has taken on her form. Amy is nonetheless blinded by anger at the sight of the aunt who abused her and rushes forward shouting. A beam of energy shoots out from the alien, however the Doctor pulls Amy out of the way just in time.
"That was a very stupid thing to do; you could have been killed. Don't ever let your emotions get the better of you like that again" the Doctor shouts. Amy apologises as the alien darts off down a side lane.

Later at the Post Office, Mrs Pegg informs Amy and the Doctor of a strange item on the local news. All the coma patients at nearby Castoby General Hospital had begun to speak simultaneously, saying "you will surrender or we will cleanse this world of all life". The Doctor informs Amy that they are picking up a telepathic communication from the Guardians to the alien.
"The earth is in grave peril Amy. However help is at hand."
"What help?" Amy asks. As she speaks a convoy of military vehicles enters the village. It is UNIT, now led in the UK by Brigadier James Ansell (played by James Wilby). The Brigadier enters the Post Office and the Doctor introduces himself:
"Pleased to meet you Doctor. I've heard much about you. I recently met a former companion of yours Jo Grant at a social function in London. She was wondering how you were. She is currently involved in organic farming and ecological research in Wales with her husband". The Doctor smiles:
"I'm very pleased to hear that she's stuck to her principles. So many of that sixties generation didn't. Anyway Brigadier, what do you propose to do about the alien?"
"Round up all the villagers and hold them in an internment camp until the alien reveals itself". The Doctor frowns:
"That is typical militarism; far too over the top".
"Don't be a wet fool Doctor", the Brigadier replies.

As the Brigadier leaves, the Doctor grabs Amy's arm:
"We'd better find the alien ourselves before he and his lads have chance to put their gung-ho plan into action. Come on". The Doctor rushes outside and uses his futuristic phone to try and track the alien.
"This is no good. The signal is too weak. However it can be boosted via linking to the internet. Do you have a computer?"
"No I'm too poor. However my cousin Sam does". They go round to Sam's house where the Doctor finds him in his room looking at gay porn on his laptop.
"You need to get yourself a boyfriend" the Doctor exclaims as he plugs his phone into the laptop. A map on the village comes up with a light flashing on the cricket pavilion.
"The alien is in there. Lets go *to Sam* delete your hard drive to remove any trace of my phone" the Doctor exclaims.

........ to be continued.

"The Eleventh Hour" 3

"The Eleventh Hour": continued

The Doctor rushes through the village towards an old, delapidated house, folowed by an intrigued Amy.
"Why are you interested in MY house?" she demands. The Doctor looks at her.
"Your house? You wouldn't be the little girl who lived here over ten years ago surely. I phoned social services."Amy looks him up and down:
"Actually... I do remember you. You came that night my Aunt disappeared. But this can't be right; you haven't changed...."The Doctor puts his arm around her:
"My dear, I will explain all of that in due course. Right now can you tell me what happened to this house after that point in time?"
"I was fostered out to Mr and Mrs Pegg at the Post Office. This place just stood empty for years as my Aunt never came back. I want to see about renovating it however I lack the money."

The Doctor strides into the house and upstairs. He inspects the bedroom wall:
"The crack in the wall will re-open any time now. Whatever lies behind it has chosen this point in time to emerge and pursue whatever escaped."Suddenly the crack reopens and several slim black creatures emerge with featureless faces and silver belts and weapons.
"Oh no. Its the eternal guardians of the penal planet Osias. RUN Amy!"

The Doctor and Amy run out of the house as the figures pursue them. Running through the village, they run into the Post Office and upstairs to Amy's room. The Doctor explains:
"Whatever escaped must be extremely dangerous. Those guardians will try to locate it, however if they can't they will eliminate all animal life on this planet. That is within their remit as its a case of the end justifying the means. We have got to find the alien first and give it a chance to voluntarily surrender."
"That sounds a bit wet to me" Amy remarks."It is important to use reason before force" the Doctor replies, "I suggest that you use this opportunity to change your clothes. Nice legs by the way."Amy pouts then shows the Doctor to the kitchen and makes him a cup of tea which he drinks while she changes. There is a cricket match going on outside and the Doctor watches it out of the window. Later they set off to find the creature."It will keep changing its form to avoid detection" the Doctor states.Suddenly a figure appears in front of them and Amy gasps:
"Its my Aunt......"

The Eleventh Hour : 2

"THE ELEVENTH HOUR" : continued

The TARDIS lands in Little Bidcombe in 2010. The Doctor admires his new, gleaming silver and white TARDIS console. The design is futuristic and minimalist. John Foxx's 'Metamatic" album plays in the background, which was a gift from a former companion. The Doctor felt that some music would help him relax after regenerating. He is now dressed in a tweed jacket and bowtie.

Leaving the TARDIS, he strides out of a spinney onto a country lane. The sun is shining and he sniffs the air:
"Hmm there is nothing like the smell of England in the summer. I feel better already" he mumbles to himself. He pulls a futuristic phone out of his pocket which he uses to lead him to the time fizzure. Walking along, he sees a group of Morris Dancers on the village green and can't resist joining in. As he vainly tries to match their dancing he hears laughter behind him. Turning round he sees a young woman in a police uniform laughing at him:
"Excuse me madam but I'd rather you didn't laugh at my dancing efforts" he shouts.
"Efforts being the right word. Your legs are too long for that, you look like a drunken crane fly" the woman shouts, giggling and eating a small pork pie.
"I am the Doctor. And who might you be?"
"Amy Pond. And before you say anything, I'm a kissagram not a policewoman. I was hired to give Sir Reginald Haxonby a treat.
"Who's he?" the Doctor asks.
"Chairman on the Village Hall Committee. Its his birthday. Eighty seven. I let him put his hand up my skirt and the old devil nearly had a heart attack" *Amy laughs again*.

Meanwhile by the side of the green, something senses the Doctor's presence. It appears to be Gerald Dobbs a farm labourer and his dog, however Dobbs is posessed by the escaped creature. It eyes the Doctor menacingly...... An elderly woman notices Dobbs' mouth widen revealing an horrific, animalistic appearance. Before she can scream, an invisible energy beam shoots from Dobb's mouth and sets her on fire, the flames hissing and spitting through her hair. Dobbs slips away quickly.The Doctor rushes to help, however the old lady collapses dead in a smoking heap.
"Wha... what the hell happened?" Amy asks.
"Amy, there are forces at work in this village that could threaten the entire future of this planet. However I will do my very best to overcome them, as I always do"......

...... to be continued.

Monday, 5 April 2010

An alternate "The Eleventh Hour"

An alternate "The Eleventh Hour"

OK, it is clear that 'The Eleventh Hour' has recieved a largely favourable response, however I feel that aspects of it could have been much much better. Here is an alternate synopsis of the story which hopefully will show how I would have presented the story:

The Eleventh Hour

Alone in her bedroom, young Amy Pond is staring sadly at the crack in the wall. She has few toys and her room is bare and shabby, due to neglect by her abusive aunt. As she starts to hum a tune to herself she hears footsteps on the landing and the door is flung open. It is Linda Pond, her late father's older sister & Amy's sole guardian. She has a cigarette in her mouth and is worse for wear on vodka:
"Shut that damn racket you little bitch. You do my 'ed in."Amy cowers in fear as she has recieved a thwack from her aunt many times for less. But this time something strange happens. There is a transluscent glow from the crack in the wall and suddenly a glimmering snake-like creature emerges. Linda drops her vodka bottle as the creature shoots at her head. She is instantly posessed by the thing and walks out of the room and out of the house into the cold, misty night. Amy is relieved that her aunt has gone and lies down to sleep.

Meanwhile the burning TARDIS crashes in the garden. The Doctor emerges, dishevelled, and staggers towards the house. He knocks on the door several times before Amy creeps downstairs and lets him in.
"Excuse me but can I speak to your parents please" the Doctor mumbles.
"They're both dead. I'm looked after by my aunt but she's just gone out" Amy replies.
"What and she's left you in the house on your own? That is totally irresponsible, although sadly not necessarily uncommon. May I come in and rest for a while. I assure you that I am not a criminal; I am in fact a time traveller" the Doctor states.
"Thats ok. My aunt doesn't mind criminals anyway, not the sort that sell her white powdery stuff anyway".The Doctor is disgusted:
"This is outrageous. When will she be back, I'll give her a right good taking to" he sternly states.
"I don't know. This smake thing came out of the wall and took her over." Amy mumbles.The Doctor rushes inside, concerned. He grabs a sandwich from the kitchen table and wolfs it down before rushing upstairs. He inspects the crack and is shocked to see strange dark forms moving inside. The crack closes.
"Oh no. That is a time fissure and whatever has escaped could be from anywhere in the universe. I must use the TARDIS to locate the precise point in time that the place behind the crack is at."
"Can I come with you" Amy asks.
"No. You are too young. However I will text social services on my way out". The Doctor picks up the vodka bottle and throws it in the downstairs bin, while grabbing another sandwich. He then rushes back to the TARDIS.............

................. to be continued.

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Problems with "The Eleventh Hour"

There were so many things wrong with that story that the list could go on forever. However here goes:

1) Wafer thin plotting. The story was simplistic CBBCish fare that reminded me of a poor episode of the SJA. An alien escapes than gets zapped by its guards with a lot of running around in between.

2) All style over substance. Garish colours, gaudy sets and no intelligence in the scripting.

3) Few memorable or witty lines.

4) Everyone behaving like a child with no proper adult characters other than undeveloped support characters who we learn little about.

5) A boring, dragging sense to it all.

6) The redesigned TARDIS is garish and clearly merchandise driven.

7) The new theme music is a poor and overcooked distortion of the original.

"The Eleventh Hour": Absolute drivel.

The new Doctor Who story was a huge disappointment; probably the worst new Doctor story yet, which is saying a lot considering that 'The Twin Dilemma' & 'Time and the Rani' were both rather atrocious. Wafer-thin plot, a tone pitched purely at the under 8s, lots of overacting and a general sense of 'seen it all before'. Steven Moffat needs to raise his game if he is to avoid a short run as head writer.

Monday, 29 March 2010

Rate 'Chateau of Death'

What do you think of the latest Ben Chatham classic?

Matt Smith on Jonathan Ross

I thought he came across quite well. However time will tell.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Should Philip Hinchcliffe be invited to write for series 6/2 of Doctor Who?

I say yes. He is arguably Doctor Who's best ever producer and he has submitted story ideas in the distant past.

Sign below to get Adam Rickitt back in Corrie!

The new Nick Tilsley isn't a patch on Adam. Hopefully an online petition will persuade ITV to offer Adam the role again with a massive pay increase.


OK folks, the plot thickens in the exciting fourth part:


Ben and Madame Camboux rush upstairs as they hear a loud thud coming from one of the rooms. Ben flings open the door to see Piers sat on the end of his bed shaking with shock. The wardrobe door is open and a corpse lies on the floor, its glazed lifeless eyes staring upwards.
"I..I opened the wardrobe door to fetch a jacket and.... and this thing fell out...." Piers stammers.
"Its Francois, my butler. How odd. He brought us drinks only ten minutes ago" Madame Camboux exclaims.Ben feels for a pulse on the corpse:
"Madame, this man has been dead for hours, maybe days. The cadavor is stone cold. I suspect that an android has taken his place. It seems odd that the body was hidden in here. Maybe Piers is in on it."
Piers stares angrily at Ben, tears streaming down his face:
"Why do you say that? Why? You make me so sad. You want me out of here so that you can have Madame to yourself. You are so attractive that you will get what you want."
Ben goes over to him:
"I assure you that I have no designs on Madame Camboux. I apologise Piers, I can see now that my suspicions are unfounded. And you are very attractive yourself. I find the French accent aluring" Ben replies.Piers rests his head on Ben's shoulder.
"I think we should go downstairs and tackle this android. I have this" Madame Camboux exclaims, holding up a small, petite silver pistol.

Slowly they creep downstairs and into the lounge, where 'Francois' is clearing up glasses.
"Don't move or I'll shoot. What is your purpose impersonating my butler?" Madame Camboux shouts, holding the pistol.The android leaps forward, grabbing her arm. The pistol goes off, breaking a vase. Ben and Piers try to grab him and as he flails about, Sebastian leaps up, swings on the light fittings and jabs him in the eyes with his rear paws. The android falls back and its head hits the fireplace emitting a loud bang, sparks & smoke. Ben examines it:
"The thing is dead. Good work Sebastian."Sebastian chuckles to himself while Madame Camboux inspects the broken vase.

Later, after the others return back, Ben holds a team meeting in the lounge. Craig is finishing off a poem while Madame Camboux gives Sebastian a saucer of absinthe and a dish of exclusive smoked salmon & caviar cat food, 50 euros a tin.
"Are you sure you should be giving that animal alcohol?" Katie tersely exclaims. Sebastian takes a mouthful of food and feigns a sneeze, sending food splattering all over Katie.
"Oh ****, does that thing do that all the time" she shouts. Isobel goes over to Sebastian and strokes him:
"Poor little cat, he's got a chill. Poor little thing". Sebastian goes to scratch his ear and accidently on purpose scratches Isobel's hand, deep grooves. She screams. Sebastian chuckes to himself. Katie sits next to him and gives him a nudge:
"Ok pal, I think I get you. I suggest we call a truce. You and me could really get on." Sebastian chuckles to himself.Ben asserts himself:
"OK its time to focus. Enough of this banter. What we know is that a group of androids is after wine, probably a specific bottle. Have you bought any wine from that shop Madame?"
"Oh yes. Most of the stock in the cellar is from there. However the Francois android has no doubt searched through all those. Although I do keep a couple of bottles under my bed in case I fancy one in the night" Madame Camboux replies.Ben grins:
"Thats it! The android may not have thought of searching there...." However as he speaks the door flies open. Two completely faceless androids walk in holding guns.................

............... to be continued.


OK folks, here is the next action-packed instaulment of this story:


The robot rushes up the stairs and into the shop. Isobel shrieks and faints and Craig gets pushed to the ground as the crazed mechanical being crashes through the shop door and lumbers away. Kyle rushes up from the cellar:
"Is everyone ok like?"
"What the hell was that thing?" Katie asks.
"It was searching for summat down there. Looks like we've found another case."Katie is not amused:
"I hope Ben was not aware that anything like this would happen when he sent us here. I dislike being kept in the dark about cases.Craig is comforting Isobel who is waking up:
"Oh stop pampering the simpering little trout" Katie exclaims.
"Hey don't talk about Isobel like that" Craig sulllenly replies. He strokes Isobel's hair:
"She's just jealous 'cause you're better looking than her."

Meanwhile back at the Chateau, Ben is lounging on the sofa, stroking Madame Camboux's cat Sebastian who purrs in a refined manner. In his other hand is his mobile and he is mid-conversation when Madame Camboux enters the lounge:
"...... and we can all just turn up and give our names...... thats very generous of you David...... and we get pride of place at the after show dinner.....thanks...... you are honoured to invite me?.... no its me that is honoured..... thanks again David".Ben puts down the phone, a big smile on his face:
"That was David Bowie. He is playing an exclusive one off show in Paris in two weeks and I've been personally invited along with all my team. He says that he longs to see me again."
Madame Camboux lights a cigarette:
"That is good. I have interviewed all of the servants and all deny knowledge of the theft."
Ben frowns:
"I still suspect Piers. How did you meet him?"Madame Camboux smiles:
"When I'm staying in Paris I get attention from a lot of young men who wish to succeed in the film industry. Piers is desperate to act and I promised to use my contacts to get him parts. While I get his parts so to speak".Ben frowns:
"So he is using you. I knew it".Madame Camboux elegantly draws on her cigarette:
"Ben darling, you must refrain from petit bourgeois moral constraints. I was always telling your father that. To be honest though I am starting to tire of Piers. It may be time to, how shall I put this, trade him in for a new model".

As she speaks, Ben's mobile rings. It is Kyle, who informs him of the events at the wine shop. Ben is very concerned and looks at Madame Camboux:
"I'm sorry to have to tell you this, but I suspect there is an android in this Chateau. Is Piers entirely normal?"Madame Camboux stares at him blankly. Ben goes on:
"Look, I know this is going to sound bizarre but I have experience of dealing with androids and aliens. I used to travel with someone called the Doctor in a time and space machine. Look I know how weird this sounds."Madame Camboux smiles:
"Ben darling, I don't want to shock you but I know the person that you speak of. A long time ago I travelled with him too for a short while. We met in Paris. He said he was on holiday and that his partner Romana was off at some art gallery. We journeyed in his TARDIS".Ben is shocked:
"For how long?"
"Oh just a few trips. Eventually he wanted to continue his travels with Romana. However he did give me Sebastian as a parting gift. He is a space cat . His intelligence is far beyond that of earth felines."Ben stares at Sebastian:
"Madame, I suspect a connection between the stolen wine and this alien cat. It is too much of a coincidence. Could Piers be an alien android sent to kidnap Sebastian?"
Sebastian looks concerned. Suddenly there is a scream from upstairs. Madame Camboux drops her cigarette:
"Oh no that was Piers. Someone is attacking Piers........"

............... to be continued.


OK people, here is part 2 of this cross-channel classic:


The darkness slowly lifts from Ben's mind as his consciousness emerges from the caverns of silence. He percieves himself to be lying on the bed as Madame Camboux caresses his head and strokes his hair:
"What.... what happened?" Ben asks confused.
"Giselle the maid found you unconscious on the floor. I cannot imagine who could have done this to you and in my home."Giselle enters with a poultice which Madame Camboux applies to the lump on Ben's head. She looks at the maid:
"Summon all the other servants immediately downstairs, I wish to speak to them".
"Yes Madame" Giselle replies, sheepishly leaving.
Ben looks around the room, his head throbbing:
"I'm not sure that one of your servants did this. More likely to be that Piers after how he spoke to me earlier. I fear you spoil him Madame."Just as Ben speaks, Piers arrives in the doorway.
"What is this? Why do you accuse me? I know nothing of this. This english boy is trying to turn you against me."Madame Camboux looks up:
"Nonsense Piers. Please don't make another scene. Ben is just confused."Meanwhile Ben notices that the wine is missing:
"Its gone. The bottle of 1865 claret I bought for you as a present. Its worth over £150. *looking at Piers* What have you done with it? You are clearly a thieving freeloader."Piers kicks over a chair, tears streaming down his face.
"This is not true."

Meanwhile Katie and Kyle are sitting in a street bar in Aix enjoying a cold beer each. Katie feels relaxed:
"This town is very beautiful. Its a shame that England doesn't have the same civilised drinking culture that the French have. Too many of your type spoil it by binge-drinking on vodka."Kyle sips his beer:
"I ain't a vodka drinker. Never 'ave bin".
"I suppose we'd better make a move. Ben asked me to do an errand for him before we go back" Katie comments.
"Return to that exclusive wine shop where he bought the claret for Madame Camboux. He spotted a bottle of finest Duke de Richelieu absinthe and wants it to take home, along with some 1932 Chateau de Bomboux red".As she speaks, Craig and Isobel appear.
"Ere 'ave you two had a good look round?" Kyle asks.
"We found a peaceful French cemetary where we sat and wrote some poetry" Isobel replies quietly, her delicate eyes looking at Craig.

Later the four of them arrive at the wine shop. It has an old fashioned exterior with a range of expensive old wines in the window in dusty bottles. The sign reads:
"Pierre Rouseac: Vintage Wines"
in French. The door is ajar yet there seems to be no one in the shop. Katie strides in:
"Hello? Anyone here? Mr Rouseac?"Suddenly she sees a body on the foor, blood oozing from its head. Kyle and the others enter and Isobel faints.There is a noise from the cellar below the shop.
"Ere you lot stay put and I'll see who's down there" Kyle whispers.Slowly Kyle descends the cellar steps. As he enters the cellar he sees a man with a goatie beard ferreting around among the wines as if searching for one in particular. He hears Kyle and spins round brandishing a crowbar. Kyle decides that attack is the best form of defence and launches himself at the man, knocking the crowbar out of his hand. The man lands a punch on Kyle's mouth then grabs a bottle of wine which he smashes. He goes to glass Kyle however Kyle knees him in the scrotum and grabs his face in the Chelsea bowl-lock. As he does so, he is shocked to see the man's face some away in his hand revealing wires and robotic mechanics. The robot pushes a shelf of wine bottles into Kyle and staggers out and up the staris towards the others..............

............... to be continued.

Sunday, 31 January 2010

Ben Chatham in "Chateau of Death" : Part 1

Ben Chatham was relaxing on the sofa enjoying a glass of one of the most exclusive french absinthes available. Opposite him lounged a still beautiful and immaculately dressed woman in her early fifties who smoked a cigarette with elegant grace. Ben congratulated himself on deciding to take up the offer of Gisele Camboux, the successful French actress and a friend of his father, to stay with her in her Chateau on the outskirts of Aix-En-Provence in the south of France. Madame Camboux was intrigued by Ben:
"So tell me darling, what made you decide to visit me again after all this time? You know I simply adore you and yet you wait so long?"
"I've had one of the most stressful weeks of my life. First of all there was the problem with Jake being arrested for selling mushroom flapjack to the woman who runs the canteen at Cambridge police station. Apparently the uniformed officers spent the next two days staggering around the streets of Cambridge seeing turquoise flowers in the sky while two CID officers set up a peace camp outside the station lavatory. I had to use Operation Delta's special status to get him off."
Madame Camboux smiled:
"Oh how drearily bourgeois of them. Here in France we expect our police officers to relax a little."
Ben continues:
"Then I had a chance meeting with an ex of mine Charles in the Fitzwilliam Museum. I expect he was visiting friends in Cambridge as the last I heard he'd emigrated. I tried to talk to him and he just said 'Hi Ben' and walked off. No attempt at conversation at all".Ben's dark eyes fill with tears and his golden fringe falls over his face. Madame Camboux goes over and hugs him closely, stroking his hair.
"Poor, poor Ben."As she does so, a young man of nineteen enters with another bottle of absinthe. It is Piers, Madame Camboux' young boyfriend, a model from Paris. Piers stares angrily at her comforting Ben:
"Hey what is going on? Why do you hold him so close?"
Madame Camboux looks up:
"Don't be jealous darling. Ben was upset."
Piers is petuant:
"You make me very upset by hugging this English boy." He throws a glass at Ben which just misses and storms out.

Meanwhile Katie and Kyle are taking Craig and Isobel round Aix-En-Provence to see the city. Ben wanted to use the holiday to broaden Craig's interests a little. Having looked at the Cathedrale St Sauveur they were about to go to the Musee du Vieil Aix. Craig is unhappy:
"This is not stirring my interest. I'm bored and tired."
Katie frowns:
"Oh stop whining. I'd have thought you'd love gothic cathedrals. You'd certainly like french poetry, you being such a moody, depressed youth."
"Yeah but me and Isobel just want to go round on our own. Then I might appreciate stuff without you slagging it off".
Katie laughs sardonically:
"Ha, you'll be laughed at by the locals because of that ridiculous emo get up . The youth of Aix are immaculately dressed, they don't skulk around in black."
Kyle intervenes:
"Ere just leave him alone alright. Let 'im and Isobel go round on their own an' we'll find a bar or summat".
"Which means I'll be stuck in Aix all afternnoon alone with a chav. Great!" Katie retorts.

Back in the Chateau, Ben has gone to his room fetch a bottle of 1865 claret that he had bought for Madame Camboux as a present. As he fetches it out of his bag he senses someone in the room behind him. Before he can turn around he feels a blow to the back of the head and then the darkness rushes over him........

.......... to be continued.

Monday, 25 January 2010

Two major new Bowie releases

His first album has just been re-released and also a double CD set of the Reality tour. Both essential.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

My Big Finish pitch has been submitted!

I'm very proud of it. I've tried to go back to basics with it. Hopefully Ben Chatham will soon be on audio.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Ben Chatham on Big Finish Audio?

I have the pleasure of announcing that I will be submitting a Ben Chatham story to Big Finish.

Sunday, 10 January 2010