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Serial 8Q - The Twice-A-Night Kingdom

Ninteenth Entry in EC Unauthorized Guide O' Post-Gauda Prime

 

D O C T O R W H O

 

Serial 8Q - The Twice-A-Night Kingdom

 

Part One - Necropolis Ow!

 

After the abysmal efforts of the previous two challenges, the Kro'ka decides to send his team - the Doctor, Charley, C'Rizz and Fraxin - blind to the forest-planet of Gauda Prime. With no idea of what the hell they're supposed to do, the team just sort of stand there for a while before Fraxin hits on the idea that they have been sent to live in the rough for a week. So saying, he runs off into the forest and finds a deserted wooden hut which he claims as his own. The bounty hunters inside, however, don't take kindly to this intrusion, and gun him down.

 

The remaining trio head for the ruins of an underground silo filled with skeletal remains. The Doctor suspects that, as they are mere episodes from the end of the season, the TARDIS should be close by. Charley points out that the last time they saw the time machine it had dissolved into dust and so, even if they DO find it, it won't exactly prove useful. The Doctor tells Charley to keep her whining, cry-baby opinions to herself in future. As they begin to loot the corpses in the base they encounter Arlen and Brecht, two officers of the Terran Federation Space Academy, who immediately assume the trio are rebels and prepare to execute them. When pressed however, they can't really think of a reason WHY they have to kill the rebels. Brecht thinks that the TFSA never actually got round to relating that particular reason, and Arlen realizes that they have handy brainwashing equipment lying around in order to save ammunition. During this little tet-a-tet, Charley has run off, leaving her companions to certain death. The Doctor frantically asserts that he is THE fascist dictator of his universe and if he's going to side with anyone in this particular struggle, it's gonna be the Federation.

 

Arlen reveals that they are searching for Star Major And All Round Fantastic King Of Thieves, Vila Restal, who took over the rebel alliance after everyone else forgot to duck. The Doctor decides that they should join forces and explore the nearby mine workings on the off-chance there is a secret army camp hidden underground. C'Rizz wonders why the resistance would continue to operate on a planet held by the enemy, and Arlen explains that resisters are, by definition, complete morons and so sees no logical flaw in the argument. The new group head for the mine workings, but by the time they reach there, they have used up all their ammunition on C'Rizz. To their dismay, his armored hide protects him from most weapons, which is why the depressed, poetry-spouting wanker has survived this long.

 

Underground, Sub-Commander Kyben detects movement on the surface and reports this to Commander Hailee, who tells him if he's so damn interested he can investigate it himself. He does so and finds Charley getting a splinter from a thorn bush. Kyben tells her she will be paralyzed for life unless she shoves her hand into boiling water. She does so, proving her gullibility and latent death wish - she's the perfect resistance member and just the sort of human shield Kyben likes to have on this armpit of a planet. Meanwhile, Hailee reports the incident to Vila, and, in light of the recent military incursions, suggest that they move the camp elsewhere. Vila assures her that there's no need to do so, they are close to achieving their objective and he's only just got the feng shui just right. As he speaks, Vila suddenly convulses, sensing that someone vaguely interesting has just entered the caves. Either that, or the curry they had for breakfast is repeating on him. Kyben returns with Charley, who instantly takes a fancy to Maxil, the medical officer who "isn't QUITE a Doctor". The new medical officer has not yet arrived and Maxil can't quite recall what happened to the last one bar the fact he had an arse like a nutcracker.

 

As Arlen and the Doctor proceed through the dark and scary caves, the Federation Officer quickly becomes irritated with the Time Lord's constant owl impressions. Suddenly, Kyben and his men surround her and the Doctor, who offer C'Rizz and Brecht in return for their miserable lives. Brecht, meanwhile, is trying to set C'Rizz on fire in a mindless bloodlust fever, and the Eutermisan frantically tries to point out that he has another companion, Charlotte Pollard. Brecht does not see the relevance of this until a crack team of rebels lead by Charley takes them all hostage and drags them into the caves in time for the morning conjuring trick from Star Major Vila. Aware that morale is dropping, he has arranged a demonstration of stand-up comedy and magic tricks. Despite Vila's insistence he is above the hecklers of the crowd the moment he gets called Baldo he orders Brecht to shoot Arlen - and Brecht does so, releasing some of the tension C'Rizz has caused. The Doctor realizes that Vila has some mental hold over Brecht, or maybe Brecht just really likes to shoot superior officers, but as he tries to convince the sergeant that he should turn his attention to C'Rizz, Vila orders Brecht to reload his pistol and shoot lizard boy as well. Unfortunately, he's out of ammo...

 

Part Two - Missionary? Just This Once...

 

The Doctor suggests Brecht use his empty rifle as a club when Maxil bursts out of the crowd. Maxil and the Doctor are old enemies from the Academy on Gallifrey - and the Doctor has been copying Maxil ever since they first met in his desperate desire to be cool. First, it was exam questions, then fashion tips, slang, until he started to model his regenerative form on Maxil, and Maxil is sick of seeing someone identical to his former self molest the galaxy and its occupants. He'd hoped to hide in this reality, but the Doctor's just gone and followed him again! Doesn't he HAVE an original thought in that stolen head?? The Doctor insists he was just popping back to collect Nick Briggs when he got stuck, but Maxil doesn't believe a word of it and tells Vila that the Doctor is a Federation spy, saboteur and theatre reviewer. Vila however, has no inclination to have the Doctor executed - these two Time Lords bitching at each other is amazingly entertaining and already morale among the troops has improved ten fold.

 

Maxil takes this calmly, rationally, and breaks the Doctor's nose before throwing him into a cell with Charley. The Doctor starts playing a harmonica and singing a sad ballad, which infuriates Maxil as that's EXACTLY the thing HE'D do in such circumstances. He decides to get his own back by deactivating the force field without telling anyone. Suddenly, the Doctor stops playing and explains to Charley that the resonating frequencies in his harmonica have fused the force barrier and it is safe for Charley to exit. To his immense disappointment, Charley is not fried into a blob of mint sauce and so, for want something better to do, leave the cell. Charley is quite enjoying this underground rat's maze of hell and torture and doesn't really want to leave. The Doctor remarks his luck is changing for the better. He finds, however, the rebel's attitude disturbing - they don't seem like the hardened revolutionaries one would normally find on this hellhole, in fact, they rather resemble sex-crazed loonies dressing up as rebels for their own kinky enjoyment. Charley thinks this is an even better reason to stay on Gauda Prime.

 

Meanwhile, Hailee questions C'rizz and threatens to administer a truth drug to get answers out of him, even though he's quite openly agreeing to answer all of her questions anyway. Hailee realizes this and Maxil calls her a "silly bitch" before she gives him the back of her hand. She then ties C'Rizz to a bed and begins a very distinctive and immoral "initiation ceremony" on the startled lizard. Kyben shows Brecht to his quarters, explaining that they live as a commune. Kyben then sits Brecht on his bed and does his own disorienting procedure all new recruits suffer. Vila suggests they decrease the army's food rations for a time, as this make... er, OTHER hungers grow even more powerful. Kyben takes the opportunity to question Vila about Hailee's erratic leadership - every month she gets in a bad mood and he has no idea why. Vila promises to explain that when Kyben grows up, and suddenly fondles him. When a disheveled, red-faced Kyben stumbles back into the main cavern, he has even less idea what's happening than before...

 

Corporal Farin reports that the Doctor and Charley have escaped and, while he is dutifully flogged and punished (at his own suggestion, oddly enough), Hailee sends Kyben and Brecht out to find them and prevent them from getting away. She uses a lot of dirty words saying this, which excites the troopers even more. C'Rizz tries to convince Hailee that the Doctor and Charley pose a threat and should be strung up by their eyeballs over molten lava. Hailee tells C'rizz about her sister, who tried something similar once and was turned frigid for life. Hailee was forced to watch this painful incident again and again over webcam and mail it to seven friends. This is why she will not permit the Doctor and Charley to leave the camp without doing a bit of Riverdance.

 

The Doctor and Charley hear the sounds of pursuit, and follow an underground stream to a dead end. Certain that the water must be going somewhere, the Doctor dives in, even though Charley points out that the "water" is the colour of ****. She still doesn't believe they should be fleeing from these people, but she reluctantly follows the Doctor in when he tells her she's really kept her looks after her pregnancy. When Kyben and Bryn arrive, there's no sign of either the Doctor or Charley, but when Maxil realizes they've found the outlet to the latrines, he realizes the Doctor is copying him AGAIN! He did the whole "escape through the sewer" during the Ice Cream Vender invasion of 2896. He orders the others to dive into the pool after them or so help him he'll shove their heads up their backsides and they'll spend the rest of eternity crawling around on all fours looking for the light switch.

 

The Doctor and Charley surface in a much larger pool and swim to an island of rock in its centre -- but when they surface and get a clear look, they see dozens of... well, I'm getting a bit queasy. Let's just say they're not particularly pleasant to look at and that the rebel camp needs flush sanitation more than anything else. Indeed, the human waste is so toxic that Brecht doesn't survive the final edit and rots away, leaving Kyben - high off the revolting fumes, demanding that the Doctor and Charley do a striptease for him. The Doctor shouts, "AGH! BABOONS!" and dives straight back into the liquid crap...

 

 

Part Three - The Twice-A-Night Kingdom

 

Ah, well, Kyben and Charley follow and by the time they've finished catching the Doctor, we're fifteen minutes into the episode and minus half an hour in plot. Maxil berates the Doctor for nicking all his ideas and passing them off for his own, before realizing that he's just missed the conversation where the Doctor accused Charley of exactly the same thing. Charley, meanwhile, likes the newest incarnation of Maxil and is unwilling to wait for the Doctor to nick it. Thus, she sides with Maxil and denounces the Doctor as a traitor, plaigerist and all-round arsehole. The Doctor is not shocked by her betrayal and reasonably tells her to go off somewhere and die in a ditch like the hideous slut she is. The sudden changing of allegiances confuses Kyben so much he walks into a wall and hurts his remaining eye. Pissed off beyond belief, he storms off to find a Lithuanian prostitute. Vila, meanwhile, has video-taped the whole thing and begins to broadcast it to the troops, who enjoy the wacky antics of the alien intruders. The Doctor questions Hailee about her willingness to let him walk freely about the camp, and she admits that she's too tired from the constant sex sessions to care any more. Intrigued, the Doctor decides to analyse the fungus which the rebels have been using for food rations to check for any amazing aphrodisiacs. Maxil is peeved to find the Doctor meddling in his laboratory. Why can't he get his own laboratory, the cheapskate copycat??! The Doctor soon convinces him to admit that he too has doubts about what's happening here - and he suspects that, if there IS an aphrodisiac, it won't work for Time Lords. Maxil hasn't even got to first base in all his months in the caves.

 

C'rizz wonders why Charley has betrayed the Doctor, and so is she - she should really pay more attention to the script, seriously. Is it that the Doctor has become harsher and more judgmental in this Universe? Has she finally twigged to the fact he hates her guts but loves all the stuff outside them? Or is there some other reason she's turned on him? Since the first two possibilities would take more than an episode to resolve, C'rizz plumps for the latter and goes off to get wasted from Maxil's Patrexian Bong Emporium. Charley struggles to understand why she's so upset with the Doctor. She's then realizes that she doesn't really have a reason and she doesn't particularly care even if she DID have a reason.

 

Kyben waylays Hailee as she returns to her quarters; he's convinced that Vila has given her more than the vague boasts she's passed on, and demands to know what kinky secrets she's keeping from him. However, Hailee no longer remembers what Vila told her, or indeed how many times she's shagged him today. When Kyben presses her for an answer, she collapses, finally overwhelmed by exhaustion. Vila arrives and offers to take Hailee back to his quarters, claiming that he knows an ancient regenerative position called "The Two Great Danes". Hailee is too weak to understand what's happening to her, but doesn't complain when Vila takes her to his private island and lays her in a bed of soil. Soon she is beyond caring...

 

The Doctor finishes analysing the fungus, he finds that it does not possess any mood-altering or mind-altering properties; however, it's a suspiciously effective toilet cleaner. When C'Rizz arrives to find the Doctor musing aloud on the nature of the enemy, he loses his temper again and storms out, convinced that the Doctor is looking for evil where there is none. The Doctor doesn't notice and, when questioned, denies he knows anyone called C'Rizz or any six-foot lizards. Maxil is now convinced that the Doctor is being affected by whatever's at work within the caves, not realizing the Doctor forsakes C'Rizz every chance he gets. Maxil decides to confront Vila in person on his isolated underground island and try to break whatever hold he has over the rest of his army. Moments after he leaves, the Doctor has an identical idea.

 

Vila informs Kyben that Hailee has pushed herself too far and given herself a hernia, which can only be cured with copious amounts of whipped cream. In her absence, Vila promotes Kyben to Masterbater of the First Order, gaining the instant respect of the camp. Well, they've been calling him an uptight tosser for months before hand. When Maxil and the Doctor arrive and request boats, Kyben refuses to help them, and Maxil thus knocks him out and steals one. The Doctor frantically wakes Kyben up, then knocks him out again and steals a different boat.

 

As Maxil and the Doctor race to Vila's island, they trade insults before entering a small structure on the island. The Doctor and Maxil proceed into the next room, where the truth is revealed; the chamber is pulsing with blue light and grey smoke - and standing in the shadows is Vila and the unmistakably sexy shape of a She Devil...

 

Part Four - Breakdance

 

The Doctor finally realizes the truth: the cave system is carved of a unique material that can absorb entropy from one life form and download it to the other - Vila will remain forever young, undying, as another suffers in his place. However, he's totally stumped as to how the She Devil fits into things and, frankly, has had a gutful of encountering old enemies everywhere he turns in a new fricken universe. Vila explains the whole She Devil thing is just a coincidence as every victim turns into one of those after absorbing his corruption. It is, in fact, Hailee beneath the taunt red skin and leather undergarments...

 

Vila explains how he learnt of such material on the planet Xenon, which was being used as a base by Dorien Grey. It turns out EVERY planet in this universe has a pocket of the material close to the surface, and so before the Gauda Prime massacre, Vila used a couple of innocent passing-by squirrels to become a gestalt, a group creature, which allowed him to survive. Since the shootout, he has started his own rebel colony. This allows him to indulge every taste and sensation he wishes, with the added side effect of making his troops so dazed and confused they don't notice when their numbers vanish to become a fresh gestalt to absorb more corruption.

 

Maxil is horrified, even more so when Vila reveals that it never did anything to him - people GENUINELY don't find him attractive, even though the Doctor is attractive, wearing the same bodies. Devastated, Maxil runs off blubbering as Vila decides to commence the evening shagathon and use up Hailee's reservoir. The Doctor meets up with Charley and C'Rizz and has them line explosives at stress points throughout the cavern. C'Rizz finds the idea of immortality and satiable appetite appealing. So appealing he begins to throttle Charley, laughing like a madman. Maxil, passing by, points out that C'Rizz is just depriving himself of a possible gestalt victim, and the Eutermisan quickly releases Charley and pretends it never happened. Charley says C'Rizz is full of **** and goes off to get laid.

 

The Doctor is disgusted at Vila's union with the gestalt. True, he is immortal and can indulge in any vice he wishes - but what's the point? The gestalt immediately cleanses him, removes any trace of the fun life he leads. How does he even know he's lived it since he has no proof bar the memories? And what happens when the memories fade? Vila sacrificed his life the day he merged with the gestalt, he just hasn't died yet - and even death would be better than the pointless existence he now endures. Vila breaks down in tears, realizing it is all true. Better to die a real man than live forever as a pale shadow of one. He separates his link with the gestalt and the debauchery and debasement instantly transfer themselves to the little thief (not to mention a rather large bullet hole), who slumps dead, insisting this was the best way.

 

"Sucker," the Doctor sneers.

 

Before anyone can stop him, the Doctor leaps into the fray and merges with the gestalt, and Hailee is twisted and transformed once more into a She Devil-lookalike. The Time Lord begins to strut his funky stuff, amazed at all the new sensations and crimes he can commit in perfect safety. Never again will he drop dead from too much sex, fall into a washing machine, get shot in the head or any other possible deadly scenarios. The first thing he shall do is shag Charley until she loses all interest in sex, and then he'll eviscerate C'Rizz with a small and blunt penknife. Charley asks for a last request: that C'Rizz be dealt with before she is. The Doctor considers that reasonable and prepares to exact his vengeance...

 

Suddenly there is a cheap negative effect and the Doctor is thrown across the chamber. Maxil steps out of the shadows, laughing and triumphant. Since the Doctor has been copying Maxil's DNA for the last eight centuries, it was easy for Maxil to burst in on the link between the Doctor and Gestalt and replace him. Maxil is now the most powerful being in the planet, the solar system, this universe, ALL UNIVERSES!!!! But he promises not to let his newfound status go to his head and vows to continue Vila's world of royal mounties and perversions. Maxil, showing his immense benevolence, allows the Doctor and his companions to leave. The Doctor does so with a fixed grin on his face and, the moment he reaches the surface he activates the demotion charges and destroys the cave system and everything it. "Hah! How's THAT for original thought, you wanker?" the Doctor snarls, spitting on the rubble.

 

In his trademark burning car, the Kro-ka explodes onto the scene and awards the Doctor "double fist"!! Their mission was to locate and perceive a true ending for the Blake's 7 saga and finish it off for good - but, as a reward for the full-fisted effort by the Doctor to become immortal and invincible (and not letting anyone ELSE get it), he wins and thus a familiar-looking blue box appears before the shocked Doctor's eyes. Although Charley and C'Rizz are eager to leave the gameshow and Gauda Prime, the Doctor does not.

 

"That's not the TARDIS!" shouts the Doctor accusingly. "The windows and panels are the wrong size! It's too squat - it looks a bit pudgy! The corner pillars are far too narrow! And there should be THREE steps between the Police Box sign and the roof..."

 

Charley tells the Doctor to stop whinging and enters, only to emerge moments later, shocked that it's smaller on the inside than it is on the outside! The Kro'ka isn't surprised. He only offered them a tatty police box prop, not the TARDIS and was rather confused by the fact they never asked about it until now. However, he is willing to hand that over in return for a further completion of a Full Fist. C'rizz and Charley accept the challenge, proving they have learnt nothing from the previous twelve episodes. The Doctor sighs, and the Kro'ka asks (for the benefit of the viewers at home) what the Time Lord's really looking for, and why he really came into this Universe. The Doctor admits it to himself, perhaps for the first time: he told Charley that he came here to cut himself off from his own Universe, but in truth...

 

...he's looking for Glen Miller.

 

 

Book(s)/Other Related –

Doctor Who Versus Vila Restal

Dr Who Fight Terrorists (Canada Only)

Copy-Cat Crimes by Helen Demidenko

 

 

Fluffs - Paul McGann seemed a bit rebellious in this story.

 

While the Doctor pronounces "Gauda Prime" as "Gowda Prime", Vila prefers "Gorda Prime", Charley uses "Gourda Prime", C'Rizz says "Goudry Prime", Maxil calls it "Goodie-Goodie-Gum Drops Prime", Hailee refers to it as "Prouder Grime" and Maxil offers "Darlon IV".

 

 

Goofs –

Orac is clearly just a fish tank with Christmas lights in it. They haven't even scooped out the pebbles at the bottom! And it has a Woolworths price tag!

 

Charley has conveniently forgotten that they nicked a working TARDIS from REG, and seems to think they're looking for the old one that was destroyed in 'Schizo'

 

 

Fashion Victims –

I don't know what that lizard is doing on Charley's dress, but I'm sure it's having the time of its life.

 

 

Technobabble –

"Together you will become one creature. A gestalt. It will be a strong creature. It will absorb much more than an individual could before it dies - all the rotting corruption and madness that would else be mine. I will be immortal! Invincible! Intelligent! Don't try this at home, boys and girls - it's naughty!"

 

 

Links and References -

Vila implies that the Federation are the backers of Happy Fun Time Whizzo Novelty Corporation, as seen in "The Fun Makers" (Serial 4W)

 

 

Untelevised Misadventures -

The Doctor, Charley and C'Rizz have been on many missions for the Kro'ka, so many infact he is starting to run out. Specifically:

Kro'ka: There's a Confederate communication centre to be blown up...

C'Rizz: Been there.

Kro'ka: Annoyed hobbit to be rescued from the Nibble-Pimmlies?

Charley: Done that.

Kro'ka: Light City Alpha have a two for the price of one offer?

Doctor: Got the T-shirt.

(The T-shirt reads "I WENT TO LIGHT CITY AND ALL I GOT WAS REVISED")

 

 

Groovy DVD Extras -

A different end credit sequence, with special theme lyrics sung by India Fisher.

 

 

Dialogue Disasters -

 

C'Rizz: I've been doing some thinking, Doctor.

Doctor: Did you rupture anything?

C'Rizz: Not that I noticed.

Doctor: I knew it was too much to hope for.

 

Vila: It's about time we hit the Federation where it hurts. They've bled us white, the bastards, and what have they ever given us in return?

Maxil: Space travel?

Vila: Oh yeah.

Kyben: And the domes. Remember what the world used to be like - radioactive wasteland? Yuck!

Hailee: New colonies.

Vila: Well of course new colonies, that goes without saying...

Brecht: Tranquilized dreams.

Hailee: Medicines.

Farin: Education.

Vila: All right, but apart from space travel, domes, new colonies, tranquilized dreams, medicines and education, what have the Federation EVER done for us?

Charley: Nice leather uniforms.

Vila: I don't believe this! What sort of rebels are you?

C'Rizz: Reluctant ones.

 

 

Dialogue Triumphs -

 

Doctor: This place is the death of hope. It is a sunless, airless, cavern of doom. It is, in short, the birthplace of the revolution. Welcome.

Maxil: HEY! *I* was gonna say that!

 

Vila: Why does everyone always look at me when something goes missing?

Charley: Because you're a thief?

Vila: Oh well, as long as there's a good reason.

 

Doctor: This is the script for the next episode!

(He flicks to the back page)

C'Rizz: What are you looking for?

Doctor: Just checking that I'm still alive at the end. And I am!

C'Rizz: What about me?

Doctor: Bad news, I'm afraid - you're still alive too.

 

Charley: You are used to being a Lord, and here you are nothing. You’re a fraud, a sham, hiding under a façade of confidence...

Doctor: Hey! I thought *I* was the pizza boy and *you* were the fallen angel!

 

The scene following C'Rizz murder attempt on Charley -

C'Rizz: As always, in the nick of time, I've saved the day again

We may have had our moments, but we're still the best of friends!

Charley: **** off, C'Rizz.

 

(Maxil knocks Kyben out. The Doctor shakes him conscious)

Doctor: Kyben, wake up! Wake up, Kyben!

(Kyben wakes up with a start and holds the Doctor's arm)

Kyben: Oh, my skull! The throbbing’s getting worse. Luckily, you're here,

Doctor. Thanks for waking me up and comforting me in jarred, tender state of shock.

(The Doctor knocks him out with a broken beer bottle)

Doctor: I never get tired of doing that. I JUST LOVE ABH!

 

 

UnQuotable Quote -

 

Doctor: Mind your step, Arlen.

 

 

Viewer Quotes -

 

"If Season 30 has proved one thing to us, it's that, on the whole, Space Monkeys generally prefer Kill Bill 2 to Day of the Jackal." - Leonard Nutter (2003)

 

"What is it about baddies trying to psychoanalyze the Doctor? Vila spends an age trying to get the Doctor to submit by telling him he is arrogant and always thinks he will win and that this time, oh yes, this time he will lose! He even uses that hoary old trick of getting the Doctor to agree by threatening his companion's lives. Why do I even WATCH this crap, anyway?! Oh, yes. The naked women. I remember now. Sorry about that."

- John Prescott (2003)

 

"A fine return to form for the McGann season, which has been one of great varying quality. Not half as such hot monkey sex and wild LSD experimentation as I'd have liked, but The Twice-A-Night Kingdom holds its rude bits high as a solid, atmospheric story with some fine screwing and true character development. The villain of the piece, er... Vila... has a laidback attitude that convinces in a way that suggests, YES! This man HAS done everything TO everything! But with soldiers shagging each other for two hours, there's an element of cliché here. And bondage. And leather.... Sorry, wandered off a bit there. This is a routine adventure that doesn't really stick in the head for long. The images of hetero-homo-deviant LUST... however... occupy my every waking thought. Or was that 'every wanking thought'? Hmmm. There are some interesting ideas in the way Vila controls his army with a will of iron. Very interesting ideas. And when the She Devil gets involved... DAMN IT, I LOVE DOCTOR WHO!!!" - Nigel Verkoff (2004)

 

"As the fine adversary Vila Restal, Michael Keating gets to show off what he can do for those who have only ever seen him play a funny sneak in Blake's 7 as he plays the funny sneak from Blake's 7 in Doctor Who. Actually, it's not that much of a wrench, really, is it? The bludger."

- Paul Keating (2005)

 

"This actually comes across as a rather traditional story given the McGann season format, which increasingly looks to be superfluous and pretentious. It is perhaps ironic that the best story of the season is the most traditional one, given that this new run had set out to be experimental. Of course, the fact we see more naked flesh of India Fisher here than in any other story (including "Nowhere-Land") getting it on with a She Devil has absolutely NO effect on my enjoyment of The Twice-A-Night Kingdom at all!"

- A Carmalite Nun (2005)

 

"This disappointing season is brought to a close with another story that is miles apart from the one that preceded it, traditional but in a very different way to The Credo of the Moron, this is a story that steals ideas from a thousand sources and moulds them all together into a predictable, plotless whole. But a predictable, plotless hole that makes Sharon Stone look like Monica Lewinski. These niggles aside though, The Twice-A-Night Kingdom is a highly enjoyable story, with some great behind-the-sofa moments, memorably C'Rizz dry-humping Maxil's leg. The violent penetration of the script never becomes gratuitous because such ingredients are essential to deducing the major plot points. And it gave me the ****ing horn."

- Bill Clinton (2005)

 

"Stories like The Twice-A-Night Kingdom I find myself desperate to return to the glory days of Big Finish, times when they could produce stories such as The Mutant Phrase, Bored of Ironing and Inuit in Hull in very close proximity. If Season 30 is anything to go by those days are long passed. I say, kill the lot of them and get a new Doctor. Someone older. With less hair. And a bow tie. With a neon pink toothbrush..."

- Nicholas Briggs (2007)

 

"Glen Miller, eh? Didn't see that one coming. It's a cliffhanger I can imagine will lead to a far more satisfying conclusion than the huge one Nowhere-Land gave us. Who could possibly have bettered such a dramatic and iconic moment?" - Jimmy Hoffa (2005)

 

 

Psychotic Nostalgia -

"There is nothing instinctively wrong with this story but I find it very hard not to slaughter virgins that have no enthusiasm for it. Of course, the virgins that DO have enthusiasm for it tend not to be virgins any more by episode four. It's a cruel world."

 

 

Paul McGann Speaks!

"After the horrors of Zig-Zag-Gay-Ass, The Credo of the Moron and The Actual Mystery of Beer... I gave up. It was the only thing to do. The fact that, once again, I had stumbled across an old enemy in a completely new universe that eerily mirrors our own to the last detail just stumped me. I just decided to say "Stuff it" and just read out the lines. Why waste a performance? The fans want to see me explore a strange new reality or fight evil villains, there are my first two years to drool over. I suppose someone might have noticed the lack of interest, urgency and emotion in my acting, but I doubt that the Doctor would have given a crap about the rebels, Gauda Prime or anything else. Of course, I didn't know about the She Devil element at that point. The way I sort of... snapped to attention and took notice really echoed the Doctor's reactions. I really thought I nailed the part, especially in the unscripted scene where I copped a feel off the 'gestalt'. Hahah! That final episode was one of the happiest moments in my life, a truly defining point in my acting career. Mind you, the rest of it sucked donkey balls, though."

 

 

India Fisher Speaks!

"Yeah, playing the role of the She Devil was a top moment in my career. It's quite easy for an incredibly vivacious, striking young woman with a knack of nailing the most complex and emotional scenes in a single take like me. All I did was play Charley Pollard again, only I didn't say much. Of course, I had my mouth full half the time, so it wouldn't have mattered. Wil Shindler was really encouraging in that regard. Always made sure there was an endless supply of Mentos between takes. Eh! What did you think I meant?"

 

 

Conrad Westmaas Speaks!

"I really loved that 'I'm a man, honest' speech in part three. It was so much like a moral sermon from Jon Pertwee it was uncanny. Yeah, Shindler was a brilliant author who really understood C'Rizz character and how it worked in relation with the Doctor and Charley. Indeed, The Twice-A-Night Kingdom is definitely my favorite Doctor Who story with all the caves and lazer guns and tantric sex. It's really smashing stuff and I'm NOT saying that solely because Will is paying me for the comment. No, no, no. Look how he treats India, for instance. If he'd known just how dangerous shagging her could be, he would have rewritten the story top to bottom with Vila using Charley's libido as a WMD."

 

 

Trivia -

The coordinates of Gauda Prime at 11-9-20 0 by 0-2 from Galactic 0 Centre. By an astonishing coincidence this also the pin number of a former employer of mine. Enjoy the cash.

 

 

Rumors & Facts -

After the experimentation and naughtiness of the rest of Season 30, The Twice-A-Night Kingdom almost qualifies as soft core pornography, offering a well-paced, easily-aroused that wouldn't be out of place during Doctor Who's heyday. All in all, it's a better entry in the season than The Credo of the Moron, but it may make the listener long for the previous radical The Actual Mystery of Beer, though Beer lacks wild use of non-consentual sex and supernatural themes. Another minus point at the end comes with a cliffhanger. Rather than tie up the problem that has started four stories before, the end of The Twice-A-Night Kingdom leaves it until the next Paul McGann series to finish. The revelation that the Doctor is searching this dimension for Glen Miller can't be making anyone very excited for next time.

 

Will Shindler began his writing career at the age of nine, when he wrote a shopping list as an aide de memoire. You can imagine his surprise that, upon passing the local bookshop that he spotted a best-selling story entitled "Shindler's List" and called his lawyer immediately, demanded recompense. His lawyer laughed in his face and so Will instead focussed instead on his script editing duties. Since the age of eight months he had been responsible for the output of such shows as Doctors, Born and Bred, The Bill and Doctors. Indeed, his creation of the psychotic nymphomaniac Cathy Bradford was something that instantly caught the attention of Gay Russell and Jason Haigh-Ellery, who promptly put them on their hit list.

 

Paul Carnall and Rob Shearman regularly consulted Shindler about psychotic nymphomaniacs as they developed story lines for the character of Charlotte Pollard. Shearman actually introduced Shindler to Russell in a cafe in London, winning a bet that there was someone more twisted than him on the planet. Will's ideas of shoving the Doctor into a completely different reality and forcing him to compete in a carbon copy of Double the Fist immediately resonated with the producer's plans for the third Eighth Doctor season. However, when given the choice to fill up a four episode story, Shindler cried like a baby and ran back to his mother, who suggested he focus on the most horrific and terrifying event of the last century.

 

Shindler's script, The Twice-A-Night Kingdom, thus focussed on the immediate aftermath of the last episode of Blake's 7. Upon reading the outline, Shindler's mother disowned him and went off to live in Jamaica. Meanwhile, in order to support the weak story line of shootouts and caustic remarks, Shindler hit on the idea of using sexual exhaustion as an elementary brainwashing technique and began to research this possibility for three days in a Soho brothel. Stumbling outside on the fourth day, he confirmed that, yes Susan, it was perfectly possible. I don't know who this "Susan" is, and frankly I doubt Shindler does either. Russell decided that HE would undertake the main re-writing of The Twice-A-Night Kingdom. He thus added an entirely new element of a She Devil living in a basement. Several of the BF production crew demanded to know why such a stupid and illogical character should be involved in the story, whereupon Russell showed everyone his copy of the 1972 Jon Pertwee story The She Devils. Following this there was no objection to the use of the She Devil and indeed a suggesting at least fifteen of them be included in every following Big Finish release.

 

Unfortunately, this incident simply intensified Russell's insane desire for control. Already he had directed every single story in Season 30 and co-written Zig-Zag-Gay-Ass, and made sure every sodding piece of BF merchandise had his name emblazoned on it whether he was involved with it or not. When Alan Barnes suggested that Russell's dictatorship of Big Finish was causing every story to become the same, lazy, boring plot in a sea of despondency, Russell had Barnes publicly read "The Scales of Injustice" - a punishment so cruel and severe that even Tom Baker was willing to turn up and protest. Russell backed down gracefully, admitted that he had been in control too long and that somebody else needed to step into the big chair for a while and see what new blood could produce. So saying, he allowed the final story produced in the season to be re-written and directed by Greg the cleaner. Following Schizo's production, Russell returned to his ancestral seat without comment.

 

Ultimately, the entry The Twice-A-Night Kingdom was selected as the last story because it ended with a sequence where the Kro'ka suggested another challenge. This plot development fitted in with their insane plans for Season 31 a lot better than The Actual Mystery of Beer, in which India Fisher has a stomach pump. In order to give an added feeling of closure, Big Finish gained the services of Christopher Eccleston to play Maxil, a lowly Time Lord guard who the Doctor had been impersonating ever since Jon Pertwee played the part in 1969's The Wank Games. Eccleston agreed on the condition that he get some "jiggy-jiggy" with the sexy red lady in the corner and then never be involved in Big Finish ever, ever, ever, never, ever again.

 

A final rewrite of The Twice-A-Night Kingdom gave the story the reappearance of the Kro'ka, an appearance by the new police box prop and the unexpected and unexciting revelation that the Doctor is on a mission to find Glen Miller. Still, we are no nearer to discovering the true purpose of the Double the Fist program or even why the Kro'ka is remotely interested in the activities of a shagged out Time Lord, a horny teenager and a neurotic six-foot lizard. But I'm sure that there's at least one adult website dedicated to finding out.

 

 

Season 30 Wrap-Up -

 

I suspect many will say that this season, as a whole, was disappointing. Aren't I clever?

 

An overlong gap since the last season has pushed expectations to ludicrously high levels of at least Roche's limit above sea level. When the Doctor entered the diverging universe at the conclusion of Zig-Zag-Gay-Ass, it was an opportunity to tell different stories in a fresh new setting where everything was uncertain. However, that would be too fricken' easy and so we are treated to such formulaic plots it becomes impossible to tell just WHICH Doctor is having WHICH story. Season 30 has been the least enjoyable one yet, and I saw Season 24 live! While other seasons may have had a couple of really awful stories, here ALL the story lines didn't work, or at least it didn't get any justification for its use. After sixteen episodes in this new universe we know sod all else about it except that it's pretty much identical to old one and each planet has the secret to immortality underneath it. You could say the same thing about C'Rizz, but I don't feel Big Finish deserves slating for ignoring the character. Indeed, they deserve a pat on the back by trying to de emphasize this Adric-wannabe.

 

However, Season 30 comes to a disappointing end. A season that promised so much and delivered some of arguably Big Finish’s most stupid and idiotic stories ever; collectively, the weakest of not only three McGann seasons, but the twenty-seven ones before that. After the overlong travesty of Zig-Zag-Gay-Ass, the sinister lunacy of Schizo, the stultifyingly dull Credo of the Moron, the Whatthe****wasthat?-ness of The Actual Mystery of Beer and now the sordid, non-stop sex sessions of The Twice-A-Night Kingdom... Sorry, I've forgotten what I'm talking about. You know, come to think of it, this story is probably the best since Nowhere-Land. It lacks progression and fails to exploit the full potential of the divergent universe setting. However, it does feature people drinking animal blood and having orgiastic sex for no other reason than it looks good. I don't think I have the moral ground this time.

 

I've learned two useful things from all this. Firstly, the Eighth Doctor's adventures can still deliver perfectly recognizable Doctor Who stories when it chooses and we should get down on our knees and thank god when they change direction. The other is that India Fisher has bits of her painted red that not even my private surgeon can name. Might rewind that last bit for another check... Uh, carry on amongst yourselves. Don't mind us.

 

Finally, the exclusive printing of the proposed Doctor Who theme song, as recited by India Fisher on a broken karioke machine:

 

"There's a decent star

In a decent plot

Just not in a decent show

In a prime time slot.

 

Success is there

You've still got a record to marr

Oh, poor Paul

That's where we three are

But we'll only go so far

You get the car

 

Come, to the Webber's Gate pub

We'll drink dry the taps of bars

Then we'll hit C'Rizz with a club

And we're bound

To become stars!

 

Though the years go by

On the silver screen

If our talent is true

We will find our dream

 

Travellin' on

Suddenly that's who we are;

Those decent stars -

Those shining stars -

Those shining DECENT STARS!"