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.