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Serial 8C - Bored of Ironing
Fourth Entry in the EC Unauthorized Program Guide O' Photon Fish


Serial 8C - Bored of Ironing -

The Doctor and Charley intend to return Serge the Seal to his native icy habitat, but there's a slight problem - Charley wants to keep him as a pet for her baby, which will make her rich as she extorts millions in Child Support payments from her randy Time Lord lover. The Doctor tells her in no uncertain terms to "get real". The Doctor needs alcohol - and fortunately, he knows just where to find it...

Part One - The Ravagers

This is the future; the Pokémon war continues with no end in sight, while the Brie storm Pigmalian drifts to the fringes of the Garazone system. There, Captain Thinnes of the Chinese laundry cruiser Greasy Bastard and his associate Digly soon locate the find of the century, a huge duvet covered in stains of various shapes, sizes and colours. Thinnes and Digly spacewalk over to check out their discovery, and a quick perusal suggests that not only is re-usable, it seems to be covering a star destroyer spaceship which appears to have been dipped in fondue. Gagging on the foul cheesy stench, they enter the space-ship, ignoring the DO NOT DISTURB tag on the door handle. With a cry of "Oi! Do you mind?" something lurches out of the shadows and kills them both...

The Doctor has taken Charley to the bazaar on Garazone Central, one of the earliest artificial space habitats built by humanity. In this era, it's far from the central authorities, and one can find almost anything here - perhaps even someone stupid enough to buy Charley off him and pay a reasonable amount as well. However, Nradorlk the Randy is unable to keep one of his many eyes on Charley after she shags him sideways, and the Doctor takes the offended girl into a shop that does backdoor abortions for fun and profit. He then bluffs the shopkeeper, Ike, into believing that they are Gorilla-Grams in order to keep Charley in the dark about the nature of the shop. He's pretty sure Ike won't push the matter; Singing Telegrams are rife in the sector.

Amused, Ike contacts his associate Gash and demands to know if he's set up some kind of birthday treat. Gash dismisses his hopes, and tells him that there's a bigger problem; Captain Obermann has been transferred off the Vanguard, and the new captain, Deeva Jansen, has brought forward the ship's disembarkation time by five hundred years. They may even have to work this time! Ike bolts from the shop without closing up, devastating the Doctor who had been praying for a resolution to Charley, who insists he must be going to get his friends. As the Doctor doesn't have either anatomically correct Gorilla outfits for himself and Charley, nor even a set of spoons to do the Stripper tune, he steals the cash register and legs it back to the TARDIS. An idea strikes him and he catches a grav-pad and invites Charley on board.

Charley is shocked at this "flying paving stone" and the Doctor regales her about how the technology was first invented by Welford Jeffery in the year 2335, shortly before one fell out of the sky and landed on his head, killing him. "It was a mercy, really," the Doctor explains. "He WAS, after all, about to executed for fraudulently selling grav-pads to gullible tourists and had no idea that the things short out in mid-flight and send them hurtling to their deaths." Charley asks what this has to do with anything as the Doctor unpacks the sole parachute on board and tells her to remain calm while he escapes with his life.

The murder attempt fails as, although the grav-pad has just shorted out in mid-flight, they are directly above a convenient bale of hay next to the docking port. The Doctor swears under his breath as they enter the hanger. Unfortunately, the Vanguard's new captain is in such a rush to leave that she's ordered her crewman Vol to load all the cleaning supplies aboard, whether they belong to the Vanguard or not - especially that battered blue box that looks like it might contain some serious cleaning detergents. And thus the TARDIS is accidentally loaded aboard the Vanguard as well. The Doctor, realizing he has less than ten minutes to find a way onto the ship before it leaves, taking the TARDIS with it, knocks Charley out and runs inside...

Inside the time machine, Serge the Seal is totally taken aback as the Doctor enters, sobbing hysterically and saying that Charley is dead, having sacrificed her life - and, more importantly, the life of their unborn child - to save them. Wracked with remorse, the Doctor vows never, ever, EVER to forget... uh, what's her name, and will renounce his jackdaw meanderings. At that moment, Charley appears on the scanner demanding to be let in. The Doctor activates the time rotor, saying this isn't Charley but an evil, shape-changing giant cockroach that sucks out people's brains through a straw. Serge deactivates the time rotor, insisting they cannot take the risk that it ISN'T Charley. The Doctor reactivates the time rotor, saying that yes, they can. Serge deactivates the time rotor, insisting that they can't. The Doctor reactivates the time rotor, pleading that they must! And so on and so on.

Ike arrives with seconds to spare, and joins Vol and Captain Deeva Jansen on the bridge as the ship blasts out of spacedock, taking out three old-age pensioners on a space-walk outing. Jansen then returns to her cabin, while Vol and Ike settle in for the flight and wonder what's up with their new captain. Why the rush to leave? Why is she packing such a heavy-duty firearm? Why is her hair a brilliant shade of purple and at a 45 degree angle to her skull? Whatever the case, she's not your average scrapship captain, and Vol begins writing a letter to Playboy.

Finally, the Doctor insists that Charley is, in fact, the enigmatic murderer of Serge's parents and so must die. Serge agrees, and demands they let Charley in so they can commit the act of vengeance himself! The Doctor gives up and lets Charley get inside, finally activating the time rotor, only for the bastard machine to stall. They have not moved in time, and have barely crossed the studio - they are now in a gleaming metal star cruiser, dripping with cheese and embossed with a distinctive Cyberman logo. The Doctor decides to explore, wondering just what giant, unfeeling aliens would travel around in a Cyberman star destroyer?

Not a lot is happening aboard the Vanguard, an interstellar laundry service which cleans and dries the drifting alien linen that wafts through the void following the legendary "What's That Button Do?" incident of 2376 and then sells this for a profit. The crew are bored ****less of ironing and have instead focussed their attention onto increasingly bizarre pass times: creating an artificial Rowan Atkinson, making a pyramid of roast potatoes and writing the definitive autobiography of Saddam Husein. They pay no attention to the massive, abandoned, cheese-stained blanket on the left, or the fact they are travelling so fast they have nearly destroyed their engines, simply grunting, "Sod's law, innit?" in various silly voices.

They are so lethargic, in fact, it takes fifteen of their number shot dead by new captain Deeva Jansen before they even look up from what they're doing. After disposing of the rest of the non-speaking extras, Deeva orders the survivors to collect the gigantic sheet and begin cleaning it. She's met her match in the team leader, Grash, who refuses to touch it on the grounds it isn't kosher - in fact, it covers a giant space ship in some kind of cloaking device. The pun is so awful, he is beaten up by the rest of the team - his jail bait lover, Chev, and her redneck cousin Kelsey, who agree to board the mysterious ship for any other laundry in order to make amends.

The Doctor and Charley find what appears to be the destroyer's control room, but it's entirely bare, as if the missing crew took all of the soft furnishings with them when they left; if ever there were any. The Doctor suspects that this oddly Cyberman-type characteristic, coupled with the cheese-ridden Cyberman corpse sitting in the corner, might provide a vital clue to the identity of the mysterious owners of the craft but he's buggered if he sees it. Hearing the distant sounds of the recon team boarding, the Doctor decides to return to the TARDIS and try to re-enter, but Charley spots him running off and follows him. They hear another sound in the distance, like something howling. And the closer they get to the TARDIS, the louder it is. The Doctor suggests it is just his sense of optimism and hope dying a slow death around Charley.

Kelsey also hears the sound and assumes it is simply the cocomole he ate repeating. He, Grash and Chev have split up to explore, and Kelsey is the first to find something - the TARDIS. As he peers inside, a battered silver figure lurches out of the shadows shouting, "Christ, a bit of privacy! " Kelsey backs away in horror, screaming until the credits roll in...

Part Two - Sexy Montage

The Doctor and Charley hear screaming and rush off to investigate, the Time Lord sending his human companion ahead with the following advice: "Show no fear and run straight for the gaping jaws - they'll always back down!" Instead, they find that someone has piled a heap of mincemeat next to the TARDIS. Charley suggests a barbecue, when Chev and Grash arrive, see them with the body and leap to the wrong conclusion: the Doctor and Charley are, in fact, the Two Fat Ladies come to cook a surprise meal for the crew of the Vanguard. The Doctor replies that he is in no way responsible for Kelsey bleeding to death at their feet. This startles Grash, who quickly decides that these wandering chefs have murdered his fellow laundry-worker. Grash decides to call his physiotherapist and ask whether or not shooting the suspects where they stands confirms or denies the presence of Bugs Bunny in linear time.

He has, in fact, called Deeva by accident, who tells him to shut the hell up and do what she says. She agrees that the Doctor and Charley cannot be responsible for the brutal violence of Kelsey's death, and Chev calls her a witch who should be burned to death. However, upon reminding that the "witch" is in charge of Chev's wages, the whole "burning" angle is quietly forgotten. Deeva orders Ike to take two spare suits over to the destroyer and bring the strangers back to the Vanguard and that this time he's supposed to make sure the strangers WEAR the space suits! Ike does so, painfully aware that Deeva is not wearing any underwear.

Back aboard the Vanguard, Ike and Chev take Kelsey's body to the kitchen for hamburgers while Deeva and Grash question the Doctor and Charley about their fashion sense. Grash, grasping to explain the damage done to Kelsey's body, accuses them of being Pokémon, but Jansen knows he's just ****ing insane. Grash responds by stealing the Doctor's copy of Accidental Death of an Anarchist and sonic screwdriver, both of which the Doctor keeps inside the front of his underpants. Following this bizarre search, it becomes obvious even to Grash that the Doctor and Charley can't be responsible.

Just at that moment, all the lights go out and the Doctor begins to scream in terror, unsure if he is being groped by Grash, Charley or - heaven's forbid! - both. Lights fail throughout the Vanguard, leading Chev to dub it "a LOVE scrapship". The Doctor finds a torch and is unable to tell who molested him in the darkness, though he suspects that Deeva may have been involved as well. He decides to get off the ship straight away and explains that a small child is running rampart through the ship, wielding scissors and acting the goat. He knows this as he saw the infant in question drop onto Grash's backpack on the destroyer and dropped off in the airlock while they were talking. When asked why he didn't mention this earlier, the Doctor replies:

"Christ, do I have to mention EVERY single damn thing that happens now? YOU'RE the companion, Charley! It's YOUR job to ask questions like, "Ooh, Doctor, what's that weird child that fell from the ceiling onto the man in front?" "Ooh, Doctor, do you think its dangerous?" "Ooh, Doctor, I think I fancy Ike and will stay here in the far future away from everything and every one I've ever met and never effect your life again, even in anniversary specials!" God, even MEL was better company that you, fatso!"

By this point, Ike and Vol are holding the Doctor and Charley apart as they swear violently at each other and Grash chants "Jerry! Jerry! Jerry!" in the background. As the episode is under-running slightly, Chev arrives and accuses the time travelers of being evil alien murders. Charley points out that not only is she innocent of killing Kelsey, he wasn't actually dead at the time and it was Chev's fault he died because she let him wander off on his own, never made him a cup of warm tea, and was too busy asking for an autograph while he bled to death at her feet. At this point Chev and Charley begin to fight to the death, the Doctor wondering if he should keep the victor as his companion.

After a few minutes of erotic wrestling between two busty blondes, the Doctor realizes the episode is running out and suggests they try and find the evil alien child saboteur. When asked how, he rolls his eyes and groans, "Jesus, do I have to think of EVERYTHING!?!" He goes on to say his sonic screwdriver has a seldom-used function to attract evil alien child saboteurs and thus is the perfect deus ex machina for this situation. One problem: it's broken and can only be fixed by... altogether now... reversing the polarity of the neutron flow - something only possible in the null-time envelope of the TARDIS. He decides he will return to the ship with Deeva to make sure he has someone they trust keeping an eye on him. As they head for the airlock, the Doctor suggests that, should they not return right away, the Vanguard and its crew should flee back to Garazone Central as they have certainly been killed by the evil inhabitants. He also orders Charley to stay where she is and make sure they get home safely. He is confident that this is a suicide mission and they will not meet again.

No sooner do the Doctor and Deeva leave, Grash orders the ship to get the hell out of here, much to the Time Lord's joy. This joy evaporates as it becomes clear the catfight, pointless repetition and noble pontificating has allowed the saboteur to eat the main engine of the Vanguard, stranding them there. Ike finally gets the chance to tell Grash about his earlier encounter with the Doctor and Charley; but if they really are from Shang-A-Lang-Telegrams, why haven't they done a little dance for the captain? Grash doesn't know, and he doesn't care. Chev offers the totally unbiased opinion that Charley risk her life solving their engine problem. As she's pregnant, her hormones and other unscientific crap like that will give her and edge in the no-doubt mortal combat between blonde slut and alien child. The others agree, and quickly begin a sweepstake of how many limbs and how much blood Charley can lose before she dies.

The Doctor suspects that there's more to Deeva, and her interest in the destroyer, than she's letting on, but doesn't really care as he's too busy explaining how easy and enjoyable it would be for both of them to leave in his big blue box and travel the universe. At that moment, a rogue Cyberman lurches out of the shadows, shouting "YES! YES! TAKE ME, DOCTOR, TAKE MEEEE!" much to the Doctor's surprise. One blast from Deeva's gun is enough to destroy it - and the Doctor puts this down to the Cyberman's obvious "weakness of the week" and Deeva's knowledge of the cyborgs down to a handy copy of David Banks' The Cybermen rather than raise the question of what such a well-educated and trained officer is doing in charge of a scrapship. The Doctor studies the dead Cyberman, and finds that its cyber-neural systems were damaged by faults caused when it was prematurely woken from cryogenic stasis. In short, it has become a Passions fan, which is why it reacts so psychotically to organic life. The Doctor now suspects that the thing on the Vanguard is a Cyberbrat -- and as the signal from the Cyberbrat wasn't meant for this rogue, that implies that there are other Cybermen aboard.

However, the Doctor keeps this information from Deeva, and steers the conversation back to the whole "leaving everything here to its horrible fate and escaping in the TARDIS" part of their conversation, and Deeva looks thoughtful...
Part Three - Uncle Insult

Ike forces Charley into the engine room, where she finds the Cyberbrat waiting for her. Grash orders Vol and Ike to wait until it rips off her clothes her before destroying it, or else strip her themselves and claim that it did. However, Vol can't bring himself to do that and Ike is too busy fantasizing about this to deal with reality. Using all her new-found maternal love and care, Charley grabs the Cyberbrat in a full Nelson and smashes its head against the floor seventeen times until it falls silent. Ike, deflated in every sense, enters and notices that the Cyberbrat has eaten both the engines despite the fact it is still teething.

Chev and Grash are recovering from their sex session beside the airlock when the doorbell rings. Unsure whether it is the Doctor, Deeva or perhaps a wandering pool cleaner, they open it to find two Cybermen. Their in-built sexual frustration reacts badly to the sight of the two naked scrapshipers, and the distraction allows Chev to flee as Grash throws himself, literally, at the mercy of their iron wills, vowing to obey their commands forever.

The Doctor's fantastic sense of direction, coupled with his mental link to the Time Lord intelligencia, the sum total of all Universal knowledge, manages to get both him and Deeva stuck in a lift. There is an implication this isn't the usual mistake the Doctor makes as he cunningly suggests the lift is very hot and stuffy and that they should undress quickly. Deeva points out that the Cybership is 10 degrees below freezing and tells him to get back in his pants and focus on topic. "What topic?" asks the Time Lord, bewildered. Deeva is stumped by this as they are more-or-less alone on a cheese-riddled star destroyer, sent out from Telos on a beer, pizza, and porn run with a side order of finding genuine commitment amongst the stars.

The Doctor and Deeva finally leave the lift to find a chamber full of egg cartons, smothered in gorgonzola. Two Cybermen are gingerly scraping away the lethal substance, allowing their Cyber Leader to get off his arse and acts like he owns the place. After the first few cups of coffee, the Cyber Leader puts on a pair of bitchin' shades and asks for a status report, swearing he will listen and not fall asleep. Thus, the cycle of clunky exposition continues as the Cybermen explain that a Brie storm smashed through the destroyer's cloaking device, wrecking the space ship and jamming them in suspended animation until a deranged Passions fan recovered. The Doctor claims his ten pounds from Deeva and together wander back to the airlock. However, the Doctor's triumphant shouts of "He shoots he scores!" attract the attention of the Cybermen.

JUST the attention of the Cybermen, who just sort of stand there and watch as their ultimate enemy and his female companion don space suits and leave the star destroyer in perfect safety. This is because they are awaiting orders from the Leader, who now holds a sign saying, "No, Seriously, I'm Awake!" as it snores a cybernetic snore.

In the engine room of the Vanguard, Vol is trying to convince Ike that a lack of engines just isn't something you can "make do without", but gets called a quitter by Charley. Chev arrives, terrified and believing that she has lost Grash to a bunch of weird 1970s robo-porn stars, but as she tells the others about the invaders Grash arrives; he seems somewhat out of breath, but claims to have killed the invaders. However, he also claims that that there is a party happening in the depths of his pants and no one else is invited, insisting that the others help him to write an encyclopedia. Charley suggests at this point that Grash is in fact, utterly insane, but his crewmates find no obvious changes in his behavior and follow him to the airlock to face the waiting Cybermen. However, the cheese-sticks emerging from their chests show that Deeva and the Doctor have returned and their vengeance will be terrible. Charley, it has to be said, is really rather aroused by the whole idea.

Grash bursts into tears when he sees the warriors lying dead, and the others decide that the mutiny is now over; it was a pretty unbelievable plot development at the best of times. Vol warns the Doctor and Charley that if Grash thinks they are Singing Telegrams, they're in bigger trouble than they can imagine. They might claim not to care about pretty Gorilla-Gram activities, but there's nothing petty about Grash's sexual... abnormalities. Ike and Chev
then arrive, and the Doctor questions them about Deeva; he wants to know why someone like her is captain of a scrapship, how she got hold of a gun which can destroy a Cyberman with virtually a single shot, and just why is her hair like that? He then asks the Vanguard crew to fill in a quick questionnaire about Deeva's vital statistics, taxable income, and whether she prefers dinner and a movie on a first date or just a quiet night in with the chainsaw.

Suddenly, the doorbell rings. "Open up, it's the Cybs!"

Deeva joins the others at the airlock, where the others suggest letting them in so Deeva can blast them. However, she can only take down one at a time, and if she misses just one, there will be no hope for any of them. The Doctor has an alternate plan, albeit a dangerous one; close all the curtains, switch off the lights and pretend that no one is home. For some inexplicable reason, the Cybermen believe this ploy completely and just hang around outside in the vain hope some victims might wander past. The Doctor has bought some time, but not as much as he thought; this story IS only four episodes, after all. As such, he decides to cut the crap and demand to know why Grash was leading them all into a trap. The others hastily work through their bizarre expositional dialogue and Grash explains he is, in fact, a bit of fan of S&M and would willingly hand them all over to the Cybermen in return for a few minutes of sordid pleasure. Everyone is disgusted at this, but not particularly surprised, especially the Doctor, who thinks this pathetic plot twist would be cliched in Reader's Digest.

The Cyber Leader smacks its forehead when its learns its troops have fallen for the "nobody's home" ploy YET AGAIN! This tactic has allowed Dustbins, Ice Cream Vendors, and Skeletor Master of Hate to bar them from trendy discos since the dawn of time. The Cyber Leader instead decides to revive the Cyberbrat - its brain may have been destroyed, but it is still capable of annoying the hell out of any other humans it encounters...

Idly looking to play a game of solitaire on the computer, the Doctor instead finds a Garazone space patrol report about the abandoned Greasy Bastard being located near the star destroyer and how military intelligence is planning to... But we get no further than that as the Doctor deletes the file and sets the Vanguard's entire computer system into trying to locate any games on the computer. When Charley points out this is a perfect opportunity to find some blackmailable material on Deeva, the Doctor ridicules the suggestion, the implication, Charley herself, her species and, indeed, the nature of cause and effect. Suddenly, the Doctor breaks off, having had a brilliant idea: they'll use this perfect opportunity to find some blackmailable material on Deeva! Charley spits in his face.

Chev and Grash retire to another part of the set, sorry, Vanguard, and make out - the former determined to show the latter the "true meaning of ecstacy" when a weird noise is heard. They realize they have unintentionally found the Cyberbrat and begin to back away out of the room. However, Grash relieved shout "PHEW! THAT WAS CLOSE!" wakes the strange creature up and it begins to wail endlessly...

Part Four - Bored of Ironing

The Doctor and Charley hack into the main computer system with the aide of a convenient axe, only to discover that the folder marked EVIL PLAN Bored of Ironing contains nothing more than some primitive porn pictures of Cybermen shagging small furry creatures. Charley notices a word document "Why I Want To Be An Undercover Earth Security Operative on a Secret Mission In Five Words Or Less By Deeva Janson", but the Doctor is more interested in getting the porn bitmaps onto floppy disk. When Deeva arrives, the Doctor leaps in front of her, shouting that it isn't what it looks like and that, at no time, did he switch the Netscape Nanny off so this must logically be Charley's fault and she should be punished and could he possibly watch?

Vol is idly marking time by playing charades with the Cybermen outside when Chev arrives, desperate to offload the Cyberbrat and get some sleep. When the Cybermen reveal they can stop the whining cyborg cry-baby, all three let the Cybermen onto the Vanguard are taken to the conversion chamber and are tied up with leather straps and metal studs. For a bit of S & M, the Cybermen return the subject's mental control and are startled and slightly turned off when Grash admits he is in sheer bloody ecstasy. The Cybermen demand he stop enjoying himself and surrender his earthly soul like Vol and Chev, but Grash is acting like a thermonuclear reactor of lust. This threat is finally dealt with when Grash stupidly tells the Cyber Leader, "I seriously don't think you're man enough to pull that trigger."

The Doctor, Deeva and Charley race to flight deck in time to see a Cyberman being to seduce Ike. Sadistically waiting for the moment when Ike is about to enjoy the experience, Deeva guns down the Cyber-shagger and orders the others to don space suits as the other two Cybermen aboard the ship advance very slowly towards them. The Doctor spots a billowing cloud of Meadowland Cheese hurtling towards them at a hundred miles an hour - the high dairy content is, even at this distance, making a mess of the Cybermen's allergies. These means they can escape without being followed. Deeva shoots out the main viewport, much to the confusion of the others, as there is a perfectly-working airlock just beside them.

Rather than using the escape pod or tying together the huge star duvets to make an escape route back to Garazone central, the survivors return to the star destroyer out of budgetary convenience. The Doctor realizes that there is a small chance that the Cybermen might just be waiting for them - however, by the time he comes to this Sherlock Holmesian deduction, he and the others have been captured, searched and brought before the Cyber Leader. Deeva remains calm and rational, screaming that the Cybermen let her live and take their ultimate foe and most fondly-remembered shag, the Doctor, in her place. She also explains she has been sent by the powers that be to enlist the Cybermen to fight a common foe.

"Pokémon!" Deeva hisses.

She explains that humanity has been collecting Pokémon for some time, and they've finally become so irritating they are being hunted for sport. Unfortunately, some smart arse pointed out that the small, cute, harmless creatures can, in fact, become gigantic, armor-plated killing machines at the speed of thought and soon all the collectors were dead and the human race became an endangered species. Although the casualties could be counted on one hand, at least two victims were Westerners so war was declared. It has been going for eight years now as no one really knows what to do with the Pokémon once they're captured. As they look so sweet and innocent, they are usually let go. Thus, there is no end in sight for the Pokémon war. The only effective weapon so far has been cotton sheets which absorb the static Pokémon power, but the troops are bored of ironing sheets and pillow cases. So, humanity has turned to the Cybermen to face up to their misplaced responsibilities. She then goes on to list the fabric softeners that are now extinct due to the horrors of war-time laundry.

"****ing hell," groans the Doctor at this point, sick of political debate.

Upon learning that they are required to blow Pokémon up and under no circumstances enjoy a bit of kinky torture, the Cyber Leader simply shakes its head. It wants all the human converted into fresh Cybermen and the Doctor to be shoved in the drinks fridge where he can be analyzed later. The Doctor offers a different proposal, and backs it up with a slide show of the various plot points. He points out that cheese has ruined the star destroyer's engines, and without the cloaking device they are all supremely screwed. The Doctor offers to give everyone bar Charley safe passage in the TARDIS and - if they promise to let the Time Lord live - he'll give the troops a nice long Swedish massage. He knows they're only looking for love. The Cybermen agree and lower all their weapons in act of good faith.

At which point Deeva laughs like a madwoman and guns them all down. The Doctor runs off in terror as cheese sticks fly back and forth. In a twist of unbelievable irony, Charley manages to escape the slaughter, but poor Ike does not. We last see him being tied into a conversion chamber with a leather mask pulled on, vowing revenge on Charley E. Pollard.

Deeva is shot in the arse by one of the Cybermen, and as they near the TARDIS the Doctor insists upon seeing to her injury. She resists at first, and the Doctor realizes why - she's a damn Pokémon! Just one that's stayed in "mon" form as a high-class space vixen! Deva explains she is, in fact, a double-agent, working with Humanity but betraying them to their cute, furry enemies. Indeed, she has made up most of the plot of this story as she goes along - the Earth Alliance's proposed Cyber deal, the richness of new fabric softener, the truth about the Kennedies, all of it was lies. Before the Doctor can ask her why the hell she IS doing this, then, the Cybermen arrive and take them prisoner.

"You ****s!" roars the Doctor. "We had nearly tied up an integral plot there!"

One of the Cyber warriors grabs Charley, threatening to dismember her if the Doctor doesn't let them into the TARDIS, and the Doctor agrees to let them in on the condition they do just that. In fact, he'll throw the phone number in for a bunch of blank-faced lethal androids who are newly single - but then the Brie storm strikes in earnest, breaching the hull. In the confusion, Charley finds that she can't breathe in solid cheese! As the Doctor passes out, and the last thing he hears is Deeva laughing at Charley's misery.

When the Doctor wakes, the destroyer has been torn to pieces, and the Cybermen are floating helplessly in space around him and Charley, begging for the androids' phone number. There's no sign of Deeva, who, in a last act of total spite, removed her own life support pack and gave it to Charley; the last thing she said before they were separated was "loser". The Doctor and Charley use their jetpacks to cross space to the TARDIS, and the Doctor ponders Deeva's nature, gives up after ten minutes and adds her to his hit list.

Book(s)/Other Related –
Doctor Who Wishes He Was An Ironing Board
Dr. Who is Bored ****less (Canada Only)
Doctor Mysterio Repeatedo Snookie!
Indulge Your Wildest Fantasies As You Iron!

Fluffs - Paul McGann seemed freshly-laundered and wrinkle free in this story.

Goofs –
The rogue Cyberman clearly collapses BEFORE Deeva shoots it - about fifteen minutes before she fires at the area it was occupying.

Serge never actually gets round to castrating Charley with a blunt knife as he vehemently insists he will upon her return to the TARDIS.

I'm also pretty certain huge clouds of liquid cheese AREN'T drifting through the wastes of deep space, searching for Cybermen to annihilate.

Fashion Victims –
Kelsey's straw hat, tartan shirt and denim overalls. And why does he chew that stalk of corn, anyway? Is it addictive?

The rest of the recon team's Armageddon-style space suits have embroidered patches in the knee, elbow and crotch areas.

Technobabble -
Doctor: Of course the molecular bonding circuits are the most important part of any half-decent anti-gravity flyer, but they're as expensive as hen's teeth and twice as rare. I suppose that's why old Jeffery used old
chewing gum to keep one's feet steady. I remember his trial. Very eloquent defense, I thought. "I may have doomed thousands of unsuspecting commuters to a horrible, fiery demise, but at least I'm cost-effective about it!"

Links and References -
The Doctor reminds us you should never, ever put your head into something marked HEAD REMOVER (The Loonbase). This story also explains a lot of troublesome Cyber-continuity, like why the Cybermen call the Doctor "Cuddles" in Return of the Cybermen, and why they blame him for their failed relationship in Earthshag.

Untelevised Misadventures -
The Doctor insists that there is a race of giant cockroaches who assume human form in order to suck your brains out with a straw. Serge insists he's lying - there are preying mantis who do that, but not cockroaches! The Doctor tells the Cyber race they've really let themselves go since their stint at the Radio Times comic strip.

Groovy DVD Extras -
Exclusive fan video "Doctor Who: The Warriors of Espia" by Aaron Climas, starring Adam Taylor as the Doctor is included to show that, no matter how awful you think the current output of Doctor Who is, it could be worse. With music stolen from Bored of Ironing, and sound effects from Blake's 7, this stunning extravaganza shows the Doctor, Tim and Crayil fighting Servalan, the Levithian Invincibles (from The Ribald Operation) and the Snotarans who, for reasons unknown, do not actually appear in the finished film. There. Colin Baker doesn't seem so bad now, does he, huh?
Dialogue Disasters -

Deeva: You realize I can force you to take me?
Doctor: No force needed, believe you me. And may I say, what a packed bra you're wearing?

Cyber Leader: While you members of the Earth Alliance pass yourselves off as champions of truth and peddle your reformist illusions in the capitalistic press we are supposed to defend democracy by blowing up small, electrical animals?
Deeva: That's about the size of it.

Charley: One of these days, I think I'll shag myself into an early grave.
Doctor: Early? Overdue, more like.
Charley: Sorry, what was that, Doctor?
Doctor: [rolls eyes] Oh, nothing dear heart.

Charley: Don't go all soft on me, Doctor!
Doctor: That, Charley, is what a sonic screwdriver is for!

Dialogue Triumphs -

Cyber Leader: Open the TARDIS and we will dismember the human female.

Vol: Your idea of firm parenting is to bash a child's head against the wall fifteen times?
Charley: Yup. It's what mother did to me when I told her daddy was shagging Aunt Patricia.

Cyber Leader: Why not ask yourself, Miss Jansen, what sort of democracy requires the services of inhuman killers such as us? I'll tell you. A Bourgeois democracy - which wears a thin skin of human rights to keep out the cold!
Doctor: Uh, what's going on?
Deeva: But when things heap up, when the rotten plots of the ruling classes fail to silence the incessant cries of "Pee-kaa-chu!", well, then they'll shed their skins and dump you, as they did in 1986, and set their wildest perversions loose upon us all!
Charley: Seriously, what are you talking about?
Cyber Leader: What has the defeat of the Cyber Empire and the destruction of home planet Monday have to do with all this?
Deeva: Well, it's the purest example so far of the failure of the "cyber-conversion" road to socialism, isn't it?
Ike: Hey, Helen, this is Dario Fo! Get back to the script!
Cyber Leader: He'll get his royalties. Who's moaning?

Vol: You've got a high powered space vixen on your tail now, Ike.
Ike: This is so unfair, Vol. Why do you always get to play Lara Croft I always have to play the evil undead mummies who get disemboweled?
Vol: It's my PlayStation!

Cyber Leader: We only behave according to specific directives. We must provoke the kind of atmosphere in which we can justifiably demand greater oppressive powers. The subhuman Pokémon filth are threatening to engulf our beloved galaxy. Society is falling apart. Action has to be taken. Strengthen the state, crack down on hooligans, drop-outs, drunks, addicts, squatters, demonstrators, heck, anyone with a pulse. We must infiltrate the union militants, round up activists, fatten up the files, polish our iron wills... But suddenly it's all got out of hand and there are huge clouds of cream cheese drifting through space!
Doctor: Good old logic - the last refuge of a cybernetic scoundrel.

Chev: SHUT - IT!
Kelsey: Dang, Grash, you leave the toilet seat up an e'ry one's a critic!

Doctor: Katarina, Sara, Dodo, Jamie, Liz, Harry, Adric, Gus, Nyssa, Kamelion, Erimem, Peri, Angela, Evelyn, Olla, Ace, Grace and now Charley. Innocent - well, fairly-innocent - all right, not-at-all innocent lives that I
drag into my endless games that I play with space and time. Won't I ever learn? Hey, wait a minute, I'm thinking of the Sexual Toymaker! Again! I must stop doing that. Yeah, all of them had it coming if you ask me.

Charley: Doctor, are these Cybermen an alien species?
Doctor: Depends how you define alien. They were human once, before they started fiddling with themselves. When you look at a Cyberman you might be looking at yourself a few thousands years on - tacky, uncool and sexually frustrated. Does that make them alien? One thing's certain, unless we get out of this mediocre plot line, there's a very good chance they'll turn us into Cybermen. Who'll be the alien then?
Charley: Well, the French, of course.

UnQuotable Quote -

Chev: That's as may be.

Viewer Quotes -

"Space is very big, very cold, and will kill you given the slightest opportunity. Where did I leave that head of mine?" - a confused Douglas Adams (1998)

"In his fourth story, the Eighth Doctor shows few mannerisms specific to this regeneration. He's in rapid-fire observe/seduce/shag mode throughout, and Charley comes across as a watered-down blonde 1930s Ace who is able to rewire a malfunctioning grav-bad with only her shoelaces and some toiletries as if she's been travelling in space for years! How come this sort of **** always happens to the Doctor and his companion when they're in trouble but never to me when I'm stuck on a school bus about to explode if it drops below sixty-six miles per hour?" - Keanu Reeves (2002)

"The cast give faultless performances, though the fact there are no cast members in this story makes it hard to distinguish between them." - a confused theatre critic who thought he was watching "Zen and the Art of Ironing" (2001)

"The Music makes this an unmistakably Cyberman story, by turns referencing The Tense Planet, Return of the Cybermen and The Sheep in Spandex. This is due to the fact it IS the music from those stories. I just told everyone I did it all myself." - the composer of Bored of Ironing's incidental music (2000)

"Too long. Too, too long. It is very nearly at two hours and that is just TOO LONG! Why have a plot that takes two hours to tell? Why not have a transvestite orgy instead? That could take more than two hours to tell! Much of the opening episode is superfluous. Getting to the point faster would, admittedly, leave Part One running 20 minutes short and we would know all the characters a lot less... which is just another reason to do so. Maybe we could have used the extra time for a depiction of the Pokémon wars, or an explanation for what the hell Deeva is up to, or just a 20-minute steamy shower scene with Charley misplacing the soap?"
- Father James O'Maley (2002)

"Entertaining as the slaughter of two red T-shirts in the first scene is, the murder on the Orient Express would have been more interesting if it had been at the furry paws of a Pokémon. Or if they had BEEN Pokémon. Or if ONE of them had been a Pokémon. Or maybe the revelation that the Garazone system is smuggling Pokémon instead of sheets... Why all this fuss about Cybermen in the first place? Pokémon is what we want!" - Regos Krang, Leader of The Cyberman Appreciation Society (2007)

"If the film Alien had begun with half an hour of the ship's crew preparing to embark, cut out most of the alien murders and replaced then with Cybermen, added the Doctor and Charley, re-edited it into four long episodes and introduced a subplot about huge clusters of stellar cheese and ended on a stupid Thought for the Day, it would have turned out not too unlike Bored of Ironing. Actually, it's not a very good metaphor, is it?" - Delta Goodrem (2019)

"Soiled salubrious salvage spaceship stops suddenly, swerving slickly saving sinister silver star-destroyer's savage silver spacemen suspended shimmering... feet."
- alliterative Doctor Who plots, Nigel Verkoff,

"That is has come to this: being spoofed by an awful radio sci-fi fad!"
- Dario Fo (1978)

"According to the online poll of best Oddly Videos at www.NickBriggsisGod!, Bored of Ironing is the very best fan production ever. Terrifying, isn't it?"
- TheMiller98 at Outpost Gallifrey (2004)

Psychotic Nostalgia -
"Ah! The Cybermen! Some say they surgically removed their nasal hair. I prefer salad tongs."

Paul McGann Speaks!
"I've never really been a fan of the Cybermen. I mean, the Dustbins had their moments, but they could never follow you upstairs. They could simply blow up the ground floor and wait you to drop down to their level and THEN kill you, but when you start adding provisos like that, you're not exactly scaring the crap out of anyone, let alone me. Don't get me wrong, I like to scare myself. I'm very Catholic in that sense. Indeed, it's part of my method acting. Every time the Doctor needs to look even vaguely anxious, I always make sure that I've just spoken to Sylvester McCoy before the cameras start rolling. Of course, that lead to that awkward time during "The Crime of Fright-Night" when a technical fault left me with McCoy for around fifteen minutes. Caused endless retakes because the director complained I'd crossed the line between 'cautiously grave' to 'convulsing with mortal terror'. Picky, picky, picky."

India Fisher Speaks!
"Yes, after The Stoned of Venice, things did settle down somewhat... What WAS my second story? It's a total blank. Weird. I can't remember a thing about it. Not even its name. The only thing I remember is... it was very boring and tedious. There were some people on a ship. They walked around and talked. Cybermen attacked them. The people on the ship walked around and talked and shot things. Traitors... blah blah, yawn. No suspense, no drama, just booorriingg... Apart from that, though, I can't remember a thing about it."

Nicholas Briggs Speaks!
"Of all the Oddly Videos, Bored of Ironing is the most popular - and I thought that, with the technology, acting and restraining orders available now, it would be the best thing in the world to do. Screw peace on Earth and goodwill to all men, I want to make Bored of Ironing with a budget higher than Mum's pocket money! I mean, we've done some things loosely based on Oddly Videos before... VERY loosely based... In fact, bar the title, I swear not a single element has survived in that new version... Sorry. Anyway, we've based Bored of Ironing heavily on Bored of Ironing - it's just updated and made it worse. Not better, but worse, because the original is the best thing since the Bible. Hopefully, thousands of Big Finish fans will get a taste of the sheer brilliance that is Oddly Videos, and flock to me in the thousands! Hah! Thousands, I tell you! I'm gonna be rich! FILTHY... STINKING... RIIICHH!!!!!!!"

Trivia -
Every single Cyberman in this story was played by a Mexican at the express wish of writer, director, star and originator of Bored of Ironing. Ultimately, not enough Mexicans could be found to play the Cybermen and so four wallabies from the local zoo were drafted in for the crowd scenes.
Rumors & Facts -
Anyone who likes hard, Isaac Asimov-style science fiction, Blade Runner and tense, atmospheric confrontations with classic enemies is sure to be utterly disappointed with Bored of Ironing. It says a lot that this is a story about a mysterious derelict space-ship full of Cybermen and we don't get to the derelict space-ship until the end of Part Two. So totally unmemorable was this tale of boring Mexican stand-offs with Cyber-Forces that it did not even lose the Doctor Who Magazine Season poll. "Even worse than cholera" was the way Jacqueline Rayner, Executive producer for BBC Worldwide described the story, noting that the dull stock characters and pathetic revelations of this story were so bad that not even India Fisher's presence was able to compensate. Indeed, ripping off most of the plot of Alien does not improve Bored of Ironing, but rather seems to contaminate the Alien series instead. Even the most avid supporter of Bored of Ironing, writer Nicholas Briggs, considers it "sneaking up to average."

The main flaw is a syndrome that scientists have identified as "spoiler amnesia". Spoiler amnesia is the condition in which the author inexcusably forgets that we, the audience, already know who the villain of the piece is because they are named in the title of the story or will appear on the cover. The author then tries to build a great deal of tension around the mystery of who the villain is, despite the fact that we knew it from the first. This was a Cyberman story. It was made known six months before release that this was a Cyberman story. There's a Cyberman on the cover. And yet, the first two parts are spent trying to figure out what sort of nasty creature is lurking about with only Paul McGann's performance giving any clue the Doctor either knows or cares about this. Why did we have to spend 40 minutes waiting for the author to reveal what we already knew?

Bored of Ironing is the fourth story to feature the Eighth Doctor, and the third to be specifically tailored for another incarnation and then changed vaguely to look like the current incarnation. Bored of Ironing originally featured the Ninth Doctor, The Stoned of Venice the Fifth, Inuit in Hull the Third, Shagged'er II the Fourth, and The Enema Within was written for Hugh Grant's armpit. Following Big Finish's announcement of "Oh, ****, the Scouser's serious!" there was a massive need for even vaguely useful scripts that would effectively deal with all the regular characters and formats a new Doctor had to suffer through before he was finally accepted by the Who fan community, or the "Death of 1000 Anoraks" as McGann perceptively commented from the safety of his glass fronted Popemobile.

The story's life had begun back in 1999, when Nicholas Briggs' rising resentment against McGann's Doctor lead to him suggesting they do a complete remake of the 1980s totally-for-profit Oddly Videos Doctor Who fan productions, discarding absolutely everything except for Briggs himself as the toothbrush wielding, psychologically-unbalanced "Nth" Doctor. When Gay Russell and Jason Haigh-Ellery told him this did sort of defeat the whole "Eighth Doctor adventure arc", Briggs replied: "Oh, yes, that's right! Focus in on that ONE flaw!" Briggs went on to suggest they adapt three stories for the Eighth Doctor: the Cyber-orgy, Bored of Ironing, the Dustbin matinee The Mutant Phrase, and the kinky domination saga Inuit in Hull. These were chosen mainly because the rest of the plays lasted 4 minutes apiece and were mainly set in Nick's bedroom, fighting a race of evil, bloodthirsty megalomaniacs known only as "The High School Maths Teacher".

In order to shut Briggs up for a millionth of a second, Russell and JHE agreed to look into adapting the Cybermen-laundry-extravaganza Bored of Ironing, and told Briggs to revise the script. Briggs was delighted and began listening to the original, morning, noon and night, occasionally bursting into applause and writing self-addressed letters of congratulation to the writer, producer, soundscaper, main star and provider of Cyber voices. Briggs had started off with the intention of making Bored a fast-paced, totally original story with no cheap gimmicks like monsters or cliched characters. He vowed in front of fourteen witnesses that he would tidy up any and all plot anomalies that bothered absolutely anyone; give the supporting characters genuine, credible motivations with a real sense of terrible secrets and/or ambivalent moral values; to make the little human drama unfolded on the Vanguard the core of the story; and change all the continuing story arc crap and make it self-contained.

One re-listen later, Briggs shrugged and said, "Y'know, it's good enough as is."

This attitude prevailed until Big Finish scoured the coup of blackmailing Paul McGann into a season of stories and scripts were a rare commodity. Since the only completed script at all was Bored of Ironing, it was thrown into the mix at story 17 simply because that was the number Bored of Ironing was given by the Oddly Videos releases and no one could be arsed to change the paperwork. However, upon reading the story, Russell and JHE carefully put it to one side and backed away slowly, insisting that they could make do with the half-finished scripts that were also available. They refused to disclose their reasons for not going right ahead with the script, but Briggs suggests in his autobiography "I *Am* Canon, Damn It!" that the cold-blooded murder of a trained otter in scene one was beyond the scope of BF's current production standards. Russell insists that the otter's death was one of the few ACHIEVABLE moments in the original script and was only dropped due to lack of time and the feeling that sea-bound mammals were already well-represented in Doctor Who.

After three months of silence, Briggs' nerve cracked and he fell on his knees and begged for forgiveness, agreeing to anything in order to get Bored of Ironing back on track. He was immediately told that the hardcore Dutch Mouth sequence would have to be cut from episode two, and introduction of Star Wars elements including the phrases "Star Destroyer", "A Den of Iniquity" and "I've A Bad Feeling About This" to be included in episode one; also, he should watch the entire Alien saga in a complicated Clockwork-Orange-style getup. After he had completed the latter task he asked Gay what this had accomplished and got the reply, "Now you know how you make US feel every single day!"

Briggs was under orders to totally restructure the character and activities of the Doctor to suit Paul McGann's interpretation of the role. But rules never meant much to him, so he quoted the legal precedent of Terrance Dicks and insisted that Doctor is the Doctor and the rest is largely up to the actor. JHE rebutted this by reminding Briggs that the main character in the script was clearly "Nicholas" scribbled out and "Dr Who" written on top of the print in biro. Briggs responded by wailing incoherently and jumping up and down, clutching his ears. Three counseling sessions and some chloroform later, Briggs accepted the task of altering dialogue and mood in order to capture the Eighth Doctor's trademarked sense of suspicious fun, great warmth and intimations of darkness.

Thus, the day before recording, four scripts entitled "Doctor Who Strangles Enclycopia Salesmen For Fun and Profit" hit Russell's desk. The plot consisted of the Doctor and Charley riding a stagecoach into a giant supermarket, to be shocked by the corrupt staff making secret deliveries in the dead of night, and concludes that the Scarab of Necromanta has fallen into the hands of Charles Havelock, who sets a pack of genetically-augmented wolves onto the supermarket. Luckily, the Doctor has the aid of Joel Shaw, leader of the United State of Soviet Russia Anti-Dustbin Force (USSRADF) and Bugs Bunny to call upon. So, after three episodes of machine gun fire, the Doctor giggles insanely and heatbutts a Christmas Tree. When asked what the hell he was trying to pull, Briggs admitted his adjusted storyline "still had the option of re-invention and re-imagining". JHE pointed out that he could no longer get away with simply transcribing the original crackling, hissing amateur production and then just handing the result over to Paul McGann.

"Prove it," was Briggs' reply.

With less than twelve hours before recording, Russelll and JHE grabbed every edition of the script and every single Cyberman story. With the original series pretty much exhausting every option with the Cybermen, the duo instead opted for a "greatest hits" package in the desperate hope that shoving all these unoriginal elements together, they might achieve a greater whole, like a triple-fried egg sandwich with chili sauce and chutney. Like that particular meal, Bored of Iron is a cross between fine literature and bacteriological warfare. Thus, there are Cybermen coming out of egg-boxes, Cyberbrats hugging people, loonies, lethal amounts of Cheese, a sexual air supply, unusual lip action and a subplot involving lethal black androids. While this was more of a re-tread rather than a reinvention, Briggs was sadistically satisfied that a surprisingly large amount of the original (typed fervently with two sore fingers on an Olivetti portable typewriter screaming "RESISTANCE IS USELESS!") still survived. When a reviewer remarked that the Cybermen were the most interesting prospect in Bored of Ironing, Briggs dug a foxhole in concrete and is hiding there till this day.

Every version of Bored of Ironing was cinematic in nature, with the main plot occurring on a broad, futuristic tapestry that made The Chronicles of Riddick look like Pitch Black. Although Russell and JHE had managed to compact the Cyber encounter into a claustrophobic runaround in a small set, Briggs took advantage of their collapse into a delirious fever to "indulge" himself. Thus, the first episode occurs in Garazone Central, a city built within an artificial environment floating between the stars, its gigantic bazaar filled with every single alien and monster to appear in Doctor Who EVER (along with all the ones from Red Dwarf), as Disaster Area themselves play an up-tempo version of the theme tune in the background.

However, budget restraints ruined Briggs' dream. The amazing canvas of the Garazone Bazaar was represented by an old gravel quarry, the amazing crowds of humans and aliens were alluded to by a horse wandering back and forth, and the musical background provided by a rather loud cell phone held close to the microphone. Paul McGann adlibbed an surprisingly believable explanation for the sudden rainfall during these scenes: it rains inside the space station because of natural condensation and an ancient air conditioning system. He was, however, at a loss to explain the horse manure they regularly stepped in.

Disturbed by the lead star's professionalism and refusal to waste his time arguing about Who continuity, Briggs decided to become a far more hands-on and crypto-fascist in his directorial manner. This impression was given credence by the fact he never took off his home-made Cyberman costume and always remained in character as the sexually frustrated Cyber Leader. Due to this unusual method of production, several clapper boys were dismembered in order to entail cooperation from the main cast. However, both Paul McGann and India Fisher rounded on him, demanding to know why the Doctor and Charley had become less thoughtful characters. Briggs replied that this wasn't particularly difficult considering how crap they were already - besides, what was so special about the Eighth Doctor and his companion that they shouldn't be allowed to slide towards the generic in their second story like every other pairing in the show's history? Fisher replied by tying Briggs to the ground and beating him with an axe.

After a similar discussion about making the Vanguard crew the same race, class or simply friends in order for Grash's mutiny to become realistic, Briggs pointed out that the complete LACK of unity made it such a neat plot twist and thus entirely credible for the mutiny to be forgotten mere moments after it had started.

This Cyberman story is unique in there not being a completely pointless change in the voices of the main monsters for the sheer hell of it. Due to amount of time and effort wasted on getting the script in line, there was no obvious way to create a brand new, expressive vocal range for the kinky cyborgs. Viewers from all walks of life complimented Big Finish on recreating the Return of the Cybermen and Earthshag Cybervoices with the pitch-blend effect, with the squelchy gurgle to each layered syllable and asked how, under the terrible circumstances behind the scenes, they were able to accomplish this?

Answer: let's just say Paul McGann's experience in telephone sex lines was quite helpful.