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Serial 8W - The Best Wife
An Alternative Program Guide by Ewen Campion-Clarke
Twenty-Third Entry in the EC Unauthorized Guide O' Bigamy

D O C T O R W H O

Serial 8W - The Best Wife –


Deep in the ruins of a city, Richard E Grant leers out the window of his bed-sit and demonstrates his complete lack of social graces to a passing young girl.

But when he starts boasting about how destroyed the city they are standing in due to the aid of his bigger-on-the-inside liver, the girl shows him the finger.

Outraged, REG leans out the window to remonstrate with the passer-by and falls out. He then struggles to escape a vicious kicking from the girl, but it's too late...

Part One - Inactions

Aboard the good ship TARDIS, Charley and C'Rizz are slowly coming to the conclusion that being trapped in an alternate reality that consists solely of Cardiff is driving the Doctor bowel-shatteringly insane.

The increasingly grumpy and distracted Doctor has recently started to refuse to leave the TARDIS. He has started tearing up every book in his library with the letter J in the title. He has started to hang upside down from the ceiling squawking like a penguin. Just the other he repeatedly struck himself over the forehead with a Stradivarius violin, screaming "I am a magnificent man in my flying machine!"

Today, Charley awakes to find the Doctor has dressed himself up as a Ringmaster and trapped C'Rizz inside a steel cage. He is now torturing the Eutermisan with a holo-cat-of-nine-tales to change his skin color on cue and sing 'I'm A Little Tea-Pot'.

"At last, Doctor, you're starting to act normal," says Charley, relieved at this development.

The TARDIS re-materializes several hundred miles above Cardiff and begins to plummet towards it at gathering speed. Charley decides this is the perfect time to regale the others with a time she suffered "phantom limb" reflex – when her French 'uncle' Jacques groped her with an arm he lost during the war.

"Is this relevant, Charley?" the Doctor sighs.

"Is this relevant?" echoes Charley in disbelief. "Is THIS relevant? Is this RELEVANT??!? ...no, not entirely, no."

Ultimately, this discussion has simply delayed the Doctor from saving their sorry arses.

The TARDIS strikes Cardiff and...

...C'Rizz awakens, disoriented, to find himself lying in the backseat of a Cadillac in the Multi-Market car park with his lover L'da.

Stunned, C'Rizz realizes that he's somehow traveled back into reality and conveniently found his girlfriend in the mood to "get squelchy". He admits there is a good chance that this is some kind of mental construct created by an evil megalomaniac, but if he refused to have sex with this possibility hanging in the air, he'd still be a virgin.

...Charley awakes, disoriented, to find herself in a 1960s student flat with her niece, Polly Wright and her stoned mates who are, like, you know, totally amazed.

"Polly, girl, what the hell did you put in the rum punch?"

"Just the ecstasy and the marijuana gin, Ben."

"Oh, wow! You know what this means?!"

"Yes, it means –-"

"No, no, no. It MEANS... Yeah, this is some good **** we're having, man! That girl appeared out of like nowhere at all, man!"

"Barry, why the hell do we invite you to these things?"

Somehow, Charley finds she isn't all that interested in going downstairs to screw the entire football team; she's shagged too much by now for a mere bunch of jocks to arouse her.

"Hey, Aunt Charley," an un-surprised Polly says in a mellow voice as she passes a gold-plated Turkish bong. "How come you're not screwing someone by now? You feeling ill or something?"

"I just don't feel like it, Polly. I've just come from a divergent universe where I slept with practically every single person. There's not much inclination left, I suppose."

"No! Really? Everyone?"

"Yep. The Doctor, the Oroog, Sil, the Boring Man, the Boring Man's assistant, the entire rebel cell on Gauda Prime. Even C'Rizz."

"C'Rizz?"

"I know, I know. But it was raining. There was nothing good on TV. Who else? Uh, L'da, the Fourth Doctor, my own son..."

"Your own son?!"

"Yeah, little Richard E Grant Doctor. He wasn't as good as his father, but he was out of his skull on lighter fluid at the time."

"You've slept with a whole universe – even your own son?! Wow, Auntie, where were you at Parent Teacher Night? You would have seriously put the whole 'bike shed' incident into perspective."

Suddenly, the Kro'ka reappears in the bedroom and complains she hasn't shagged him yet and, frankly, he's taken that rather personally.

Charley politely asks how the Kro'ka, a dead game show host from another plane of existence entirely, just happens to drop in on a 1960s bedroom just after she critiqued his sexual prowess?

The Kro'ka fumbles for an excuse for around thirty seconds, then gives up. He explains that Charley is plugged into a very shoddy VR program at the behest of his master, Nicholas Briggs.

Briggs himself appears in the dream and announces that he has absolute control over Charley's mind. However, this proves to be an utter lie. Charley imagines him dressed in a bunny suit and gets him to recite the French national anthem before locking himself in the cupboard.

In reality, Briggs despairs – they can easily control C'Rizz's mind (what there is of it) but it will take more than a teenage sexual fantasy to dominate Charley's consciousness for more than 0.3 of a second. This is going to require cunning.

"Sir," the Kro'ka whispers. "I have a cunning plan."

"Oh, god," Briggs replies. "Is this likely to be as cunning as your plan to defeat the Doctor by putting him on your show and making him perform in quests only *you* find at all difficult and challenging?"

The Kro'ka insists this is even more cunning – they release Charley from her VR world and then explain she is now in VR and the only way to return to real reality is to get into what appears to be a VR program and to let Briggs control her every single thought.

Briggs announces that the Kro'ka is as intelligent as the broken Stradivarius in the corner and kicks him in the groin. Luckily, Briggs has a plan so cunning it could sneak up on a fox about to rob a chicken coop and steal his trousers without him noticing.

Briggs returns to the dreamscape and tells her that that the fact her mind has taken her to a wild night out with her niece suggests she no longer finds partying with the Doctor so bitching cool.

"I might find my niece's university parties more enjoyable than recent times with the Doctor, but I prefer the Doctor to you, Baldo, so just piss off, already."

"No, Charley, listen! I've plugged you into virtual reality so your tiny human brain can recover from what happened. I, at great personal risk saved you and C'Rizz from certain death when the TARDIS crashed into Cardiff and exploded into a million, billion pieces."

"Prove it," Charley retorts.

"Disprove it!" Briggs answers back.

Charley doesn't quite know how to answer that and Briggs swaps into C'Rizz's dreamscape. There he threatens to reveal to Charley what C'Rizz has been doing with a video camera in the TARDIS shower block.

C'Rizz is not concerned – it was Charley's idea, after all.

Briggs changes tactics and decides to offer C'Rizz all the booze and sex-crazed women he can handle in return for betraying the Doctor, Charley and everything he ever believed in. "But you won't do that for a few drunken groupies, will you?" Briggs asks mildly.

"If that was a serious question," C'Rizz replies, "I'd be worried about you, Nick. You bet your ass I'll help you!"

Briggs returns to the 1960s party, grabs Charley off a cheerleader and vanishes in a puff of logic.

"So... that was your auntie, huh?" asks Ben Jackson as he puffs on a communal hookah.

"That's her," Polly replies.

Ben nods very thoughtfully. "We lead interesting lives."

Charley and C'Rizz awake inside the TARDIS – but the crash has got rid off all the furniture, marble plating and wood paneling, turning it into a bare, skeletal Farscape-style metal shell.

Charley points out this invalidates Briggs' story – but Briggs insists that the TARDIS *did* shatter apart, and he's put it back together. Unfortunately, the Kro'ka has continually screwed up the repair work which is why half the controls are missing and the dynomorphic inertia system has been replaced with a bicycle pump.

The Kro'ka switches on a laptop on the scanner to show the Doctor desperately attempting to seduce a red-haired woman in what appears to be a San Francisco studio apartment.

Yes, it appears that the Kro'ka is accidentally playing an off-air recording of the 1996 telemovie and Briggs was hoping that no one would notice this.

The Kro'ka helpfully explains this and Briggs strikes him.

Briggs goes on to say that he too was infected with Zig-Zag-Gay-Ass energy when they last met, which explains his cruel, cowardly and pathologically stupid behavior; however, he claims to have freed himself from its influence via a 12-step program.

Once he has repaired the TARDIS and kidnapped the Doctor, they will all return home bar C'Rizz, who will stay with L'da having fantastic – if meaningless – sex for the rest of eternity.

Charley decides if anyone's going to find the Doctor before he can seduce another woman, it's going to be her. So saying, she strides out of the TARDIS and, after some prompting from Briggs, so does C'Rizz.

"Why are you so happy, Mister B?" the Kro'ka asks.

"Because, vegetable descendent, our plan is going precisely according to... to, well, plan."

Briggs then lets loose with a peal of diabolical laughter, and the episode ends soon after.


Part Two – The Pattern of Sinfinity

The Kro'ka is slightly confused. Briggs has made C'Rizz and Charley so angry with the Doctor they might kill him before returning him to the TARDIS, which might possibly be a flaw with Briggs' plan.

"Well done, Kro'ka! You seem to have actually worked something out by yourself. True, that something is so obvious you could put it in a crowd of very obvious things and it would still be the one you noticed first; but it was still a nearly coherent thought. You are of course, completely wrong."

Meanwhile, the Doctor wakes up in a small Cardiff lake feeling extremely hung over. A sheep wanders over to him and begins to nibble his hair.

At the last moment, however, a woman arrives and shoots the sheep between the eyes. The Doctor looks up at his rescuer and gasps...

"Grace? Grace HOLLOWAY! Bugger me sideways, Grace, how the hell do you happen to be here? In the afterlife? Of another universe? Five hundred years AFTER I first met you?"

"It's a long story," Grace explains. "And mostly dull."

The Doctor takes this entirely on trust and asks her if she's seen the TARDIS anywhere around, or perhaps the unconscious bodies of a teenage school girl and a giant lizard.

Grace explains that the sheep are dangerous. There is also a storm about to break over Cardiff. And a tsunami is sweeping towards the little town as they speak. The Doctor checks his Psion personal organizer and finds today is marked "IT'S COMING! THE MYTHICALS GROW NEAR AND THE FOUR HORSEMEN COME SOON! THE APOCALYPSE IS HERE! WE MUST SAVE OURSELVES! ARMAGEDDON!"

"It looks like it's going to be one of those days, isn't it?" the Doctor mutters philosophically, before grabbing Grace's hand and fleeing for the Slap & Tickle gentlemen's hostelry.

The tidal wave breaks over the shore, and a goat is drowned.

Watching the goat from a safe distance are C'Rizz and Charley. Charley idly wonders if she slept with that goat and C'Rizz finally snaps and screams abuse at her.

"Damn it! Yes, you're sexy! Yes, you have slept with every single person I have met bar the Kro'ka! Big FREAKING deal!! Well, when I betray you and the Doctor to Briggs and live the life of Riley with L'da, we'll see how damn horny you are then!"

Briggs and the Kro'ka are watching this on the TARDIS scanner. "Do you TRY to be this stupid, C'Rizz, or is it just an unhappy accident?" Briggs screams furiously.

Luckily, Charley doesn't pay C'Rizz much attention in the first place and the duo continue onwards towards the main setting.

At the Slug & Sandwich local tavern, REG is ordering the finest wines known to humanity from the bewildered Welsh bar staff. They also accuse REG of killing the landlord, especially after entering the pub splattered with blood and saying, "I'm glad I killed that stupid bastard of a landlord, aren't you?"

REG's P.A., a Eutermisan called G'Dunce, reminds REG that his wife, Grace Holloway, has 'popped out for a quick smoke' the very hour the apocalypse starts. REG let her go, assuming she was getting booze.

Grace and the Doctor run through the streets of Cardiff, and encounter the dazed landlord who – as he was already IN the Afterlife – has returned from the dead and determined to get his revenge on REG.

"Don't you dare say that name!" roars the Doctor and pushes the landlord in front of a passing car.

Unfortunately, this kills the landlord again and, until he can return to town, everyone now thinks the Doctor is a very stupid serial killer. With a perfect scapegoat, REG asks the Doctor if he's got any money.

The Doctor is horrified to see his and Charley's love child again, and REG reveals he got kicked to death for ogling women survivors on the planet he was left on. Since arriving in the Afterlife, he's spent most of his time in the pub, got a PA and married Grace.

The Doctor begins shaking with anger and is unable to articulate his rage. REG denounces the Doctor as speaking in tugs and the primitive, superstitious Welshmen (is that an oxymoron?) move to kill him...


Part Three – Rhododendrons

The Doctor points out that, under traditional Welsh justice, he is allowed a night at the local brothel, and is then allowed to hunt down the arsehole who accused him in the first place.

This does kind of explain why traditional Welsh justice is rarely used in the Western world.

G'Dunce escorts the Doctor to the knocking shop, and the Time Lord quickly tries to chum up with him, pointing out that chameleonic life forms like them should stick together. The Doctor notices that G'Dunce flinches whenever he mentions "that wanker, C'Rizz", but puts it down to the fact that the people of this universe have some kind of race memory about the poetry-obsessed loser.

REG tries to apologize to the Doctor by way of buying him a meal at the pub. To REG's surprise and annoyance, the Doctor does not order off the set menu and dives into the expensive ploughman's lunch with gusto. The ploughman is put out, to say the least.

As dinner progresses, discussion naturally turns to the apocalypse encroaching the Afterlife. If Cardiff itself is threatened with destruction, than the divergent universe is logically, totally stuffed and no mistake.

Charley and C'Rizz reach the town where the Eutermisan spots G'Dunce – who he recognizes as his father. G'Dunce runs off, screaming he has no idea who C'Rizz is and even if he did, C'Rizz can't prove a thing. But C'Rizz is desperate to tell his father of the hardships he's written about in poems, the girl's he's seduced, and also get some money.

Charley watches this apathetically, and wanders off.

The Doctor learns it is time to go to the brothel and Grace insists that, as the Doctor might be the one person with a chance in hell of saving the Afterlife and it's occupants, sentencing him to death isn't exactly a wise move.

REG simply swigs a glass of lighter fluid and laughs like a madman.

Grace shakes her head and decides to go with the Doctor. The Time Lord chuckles darkly to himself – it's taken a while, but she's finally started to warm up to him.

Charley bumps into her son and is a bit sad that her only child managed to drop dead a few minutes after she left him. REG simply insists he is 'too spaced' and starts to prance around the town, claiming he is a pretty ballerina with cancer of the brain.

C'Rizz catches up with G'Dunce and proves that he is the Eutermisan's son – he's got the birth certificate, school reports, photos and mobile numbers to prove it. He wants his father to meet the Doctor, who often suspected he would feel kinship with a man whose child is not so much a disappointment but an advertisement for retroactive birth control.

G'Dunce snaps and, grabbing C'Rizz's head and tries to drown him in a well, in the hope he might kill a guy who's already in the afterlife. It's a vain hope, but the only one he's got.

C'Rizz finally breaks free and bitch-slaps his father. OK, he never wrote, he never called, just what G'Dunce told him to do. Is it his fault that his father died from over-dosing on viagra after a bondage session with Charley (well, I assume who the 'big, blonde and bouncy' humanoid was)?

With a cry of "Damn it, dad, you used to be COOL!", C'Rizz strides off into the town, looking for a poetry slam to attend.

REG accidentally shoots himself in the foot. Literally. With a harpoon gun. And, leaving her bastard child skewered to the pavement, running around in a circle singing "Pretty ballerina! Pretty ballerina!", Charley runs for the safety of the brothel nearby.

Inside, the Doctor and Grace have stripped down to their underwear when Charley bursts into their room.

"WHO'S SHE?!?" Charley demands.

And so, the biggest cat fight in this, or any universe, begins...

The Doctor awkwardly introduces cardiology-expert and violent racist Dr. Grace Holloway to Charlette Elspeth, time-travelling underage mother and author of the best selling How To Be A Complete Slut.

"Doctor! You're cheating on me!"

"Oh, lighten up, Charley! You've shagged most of two universes and you're nagging me over fidelity?"

"It looks, little girl, like you can't give the Doctor what he wants," Grace announces lightly as she gives the Doctor a long, Swedish massage.

"You don't even KNOW what he wants, Grace!" Charley rejoinders. "I've shagged him more times than can even be DREAMED of in your barren American philosophy! Everyone knows he prefers English schoolgirls!"

"Sure. He lusted after me from the day I accidentally killed him on the operating table. He only went for you out of sexual frustration."

"Oh, very convincing," Charley retorts sarcastically.

"Actually, Charley, that's really what happened..."

"Shut up, Doctor! I got him first! We've done the nasty more often than he did with Romana – and that's saying something!"

"I agree – you're burnt out. He needs someone... fresher."

"Is that as good as it sounds?" asks the Doctor, intrigued.

"Doctor! I'm still fresh! I'm not twenty till next week – and considering we're in a universe with no time, that means I'll always be fresh! Look at Grace, Doctor! Look at her!"

Charley smacks the Doctor. "Ow!"

"Not THAT closely, Doctor! She's over thirty! She's practically senile! That body screams menopause!"

"Where as yours screams 'childhood obesity'."

Taking a well-earned break from this girl-fight of destruction, in the TARDIS, the Kro'ka has gotten confused. Again. Well, he was lobotomized sans anaesthetic by Briggs at the end of the previous story, so cut the poor bastard some slack.

Briggs is watching a convenient Divergent TV News broadcast showing that the nine galaxies in this universe are being destroyed – the dead are returning to life, animals are killing everything in sight, the stars themselves are burning into nothing and all the warranties on white goods have simultaneously expired. The peoples of the universe have nothing left to do but wait for the end and watch repeats of Double the Fist.

On the condition that he not discuss his personal hygiene, Briggs allows the Kro'ka to ask why, as Briggs knows the divergent universe is caught in one giant time loop of death and destruction, doomed to suffer an endless cycle of chaos, pain, death and misery, why doesn't Briggs do a damn thing about it?

"It's a laugh this way," Briggs explains.

Back at the hotel room, the Doctor and C'Rizz watch with perverse excitement as Charley and Grace slap and generally attack each other.

"Face it, Grace, you just don't have that great of a body. You're short, with small breasts and hollow hips."

"Small? They're the size of Winsconsin!"

"In lego-land! Lucky the TARDIS telepathic circuits come free with an electron microscope, or I wouldn't even know they're there!"

"While you're so much better, Charlotte. Positively Rubanesque in those sweatpants and maternity shirt!"

"Hey, this T-shirt helped me out a lot when carrying REG. And also, that means I've got living proof I've had sex – unlike you!"

"So why are you still wearing it? Knocked up again?"

"Bloody hell, I hope not," mutter the Doctor and C'Rizz in unison.

"How many cheese-burgers do you eat a day, Charlotte? And have you ever heard of deodorant? Or moisturizing spray? Cause sure as hell they've never heard of you! Emitting feminine order is so... so unfeminine!"

"And I bet you're still using those tampons that were linked to toxic shock syndrome in laboratory animals!"

"Well, it beats those panty-liners you're using!"

"Keep going, Gracey! Give me an excuse to rip your out throat like a marauding wolf!"

"At least you can admit you're a bitch, Charlotte! Now, I'm warning you, if you keep this up, I'm ripping your lips off and shoving them down your throat!"

"Yeah, well I'll do it to you – but not the lips on your face!"

"I'd like to see you try when I've got my hands wrapped around your throat, strangling you til you're twenty different shades of blue and purple!"

"Tough! You won't see ANYTHING when I scratch your eyes out!"

"It still won't make you cute, Time Tramp!"

"Don't knock it till you've tried it!"

Outside, REG finally manages to pry his foot for the pavement. Screaming in agony, he runs to the pub and demands entrance. Unsurprisingly, he is thrown back out again moments later.

Meanwhile, in the Pink Room of the Afterlife's only brothel, the bored Doctor and C'Rizz are now playing a game of whist as Charley and Grace, who have now collapsed from exhaustion, hurl insults at each other. G'Dunce gives each insult a score out of ten.

Grace leads with, "Anyway, I think I'm about to take the plunge!"

"What? Lose your virginity? What took you so long?"

"Listen, you slut-bitch-creep. If she try to ruin my admittedly-unlikely relationship with the Doctor, I swear I'll kill you!"

"Just count to ten, Charley, and let all the nasty impulses fade away – if you can control yourself to that degree."

"YOU'RE talking to ME about self-control?!

"I was talking about... marriage."

This gets everyone's attention.

"You see!" laughs Grace triumphantly, earning a 8.7 from G'Dunce. "Charley never even considered marrying the Doctor! But I'm up for it – and if we somehow survive the Apocalypse and reappear the moment after the Big Bang, I can start breeding a new race with Doctor."

"B... but I've already had his child! That proves my fertility! If anyone's going to be Eve to the Doctor's Adam, it's going to be me!"

"Excuse me, but to I get a say in this?" asks the Doctor meekly.

"No!" Charley and Grace shout at him.

The Doctor bangs their heads together, 'Three Stooges' style. "Look, Charley's pregnancy lasted three weeks and nearly killed me. If you think the idea that either of you like that for the rest of eternity excites me, you've got the wrong Time Lord."

"It works for me though," C'Rizz offers, who gets a smack in the mouth for his troubles.

The Doctor decides that, in order to decide which girl he'll marry, there will have to be a mud-wrestling competition between Charley and Grace, a competition to discover who...

...is the BEST wife?
 
Part Four – The Best Wife

After fifteen minutes of gratuitous girl-on-girl wrestling in mud with the moment of Armageddon less than an hour away, G'Dunce idly wonders if the mysterious Stargate-style ring in the basement might provide an escape attempt from the endless cycle.

Everyone else, however, is far too interested in Charley getting Grace in the sleeper hold.

REG burst into the hotel room, announces that he feels like a Snotaran has shat inside his head, and passes out. He then gets up, denounces C'Rizz as a traitorous lizard he would not trust with his non-existent sister, and passes out again.

In a lull in the mud-wrestling, the Doctor is impressed to learn that C'Rizz has apparently been using his companions all along in order to get here. It almost makes him interesting.

G'Dunce calls time out and the Doctor announces that Charley has won the first round. The second challenge will take place in the girl's shower room and is a predictable 'who looks better naked' competition.

As they head down to the shower, Charley idly explains that the Stargate-style thing in the basement is a gateway back to the old home universe, as explained to her by their mortal enemy Nicholas Briggs.

"On second thoughts, he might have just been talking out of his arse," Charley suggests, and the second competition begins.

The Doctor, C'Rizz and G'Dunce cheer and hoot and cajole the contestants and REG falls through the ceiling, insisting that as time and space in this universe are about to rip themselves apart, they really should try to escape.

He then sees what Grace is doing with the sponge and shuts up.

Grace wins the second competition, but only by a little. The Doctor announces the final challenge to decide who he will marry. Charley expects it will involve a sexual gratification competition, and so does Grace, but they are wrong.

"For the final test," the Doctor announces, "the contestants must act and star in a one-act play of their own devising, featuring a plot point that the characters must construct a dry stone wall."

Grace tells the Doctor to get stuffed, but Charley is up for it.

"Damn! It was some stupid Wisdom of Solomon crap, wasn't it, Doctor? It wasn't the play and the dry-stone wall that mattered, but what our reactions to the request were!"

"Well," the Doctor replies, "no, to be honest. But that's a bloody good idea. Right, Charley wins!"

Charley saunters up to Grace and spits in her eye. Grace then decides to try and break her neck. Time Lord and Eutermisans are utterly hypnotized by this spectacle – remember, both women are nude.

REG finally picks himself up and explains if THEY are not going to escape the destruction of the universe, he will. In his home universe, he will absorb all the alcohol available and move onto the next reality, and the next.

This finally gets their attention as he runs to said Stargate device and re-programs the energy portal and begins to cackle insanely at the sheer evilness of his plans.

C'Rizz pulls out a bazooka called "Big Emma" and shoots absolutely everyone but the Doctor. G'Dunce dies insisting that he has no idea who C'Rizz is, and that they are definitely not related.

The Doctor is shocked. He had assumed that C'Rizz has sided with his father on the Dark Side, like in a certain film trilogy he dare not mention for fear of legal reprisals.

C'Rizz berates the Doctor for thinking of doing something so cliché and then shoots down the Time Lord with the bazooka. The TARDIS materializes and Briggs and the Kro'ka emerge.

"Ha! It worked!" Briggs laughed. "You know, Kro'ka, I feel as happy as the Marquis de Sade would be if he'd gone into a bank career and foreclosed on twenty mortgages before lunch."

"I'm happy too, Mister B."

"Kro'ka, there are things with more complex minds than you living in toilets, so this comes as no surprise. Still, and with a sense of physical pain and emotional weakness, I will ask. Why are you happy?"

"Because everyone in the universe is watching my show!"

"Brilliant. Kro'ka, what few remaining viewers left in existence in the universe are more than likely evil zombies with heads barely solid enough to contain the black liquid ooze formerly known as their brains. Of course your show has ratings! Indeed, I dare say viewer appreciation of Double the Fist will climb higher as the molecular structure of said zombies is lost. Now shut up, or I'll take two fountain pens, shove them up your nostrils and use you as a desk ornament!"

C'Rizz has betrayed the Doctor and Charley and now wants a free ride into the next universe before this one ends. He also has "Big Emma" ready if they try and cheat him.

Briggs laughs evilly and orders the Kro'ka to lower the protective shield. Th Kro'ka presses a button and a steel wall drops from the ceiling – unfortunately, with Briggs, the Kro'ka and C'Rizz all on the same side.

Briggs clears his throat in embarrassment and awkwardly offers to bring L'da along for the ride if he lowers the weapon.

Proving himself the only person more stupid than the Kro'ka, C'Rizz agrees and is quickly pistol-whipped unconscious.

With minutes left before the Apocalypse wave strikes Cardiff, REG panics and runs for it, leaving the Doctor, Charley and Grace with a bulkhead that can only be opened by decoding a specific logarithms.

Unfortunately, he lost his sonic screwdriver when his Fourth self nicked it, and neither of his naked female friends have any length of wire or skeleton keys about their person (the Doctor checks anyway).

Grace suggests they try on the other side of the bulkhead to find a lock-pick and, ironically, the bulkhead isn't locked in the first place. Even as they step through, however, the floor gives way and they plummet out of site before either Briggs or the Kro'ka can react...


Part Five - The Eloping Storm

Briggs then activates the Stargate, and at the moment the divergent universe ends, the gateway will link up with an identical gateway on Gallifrey and allow him to escape.

He warns the Kro'ka for the upteenth time that, if they pass through the portal BEFORE that moment, they will reappear in Cardiff seconds after the Big Bang and suffer through the cycle all over again.

The Doctor, Grace and Charley struggle to find their way back up the shaft in a sequence of blatant padding, while REG has already broken into the basement via the back door.

Out of his mind on anti-freeze, the wide-eyed vamp lunges at Briggs and the Kro'ka, before spontaneously vomiting all over them. The toxic substance burns their flesh and the duo trip over a banana skin to plummet into the portal. How ironic.

REG is delighted! He's saved the day and it's only moments until the Stargate locks onto the real universe and he can escape – maybe he really IS up to this saving-the-universe-under-the-influence-of-alcohol lark? Before he can decide, he is shot in the back with his own harpoon gun and collapses with a cry of "Rumpitty".

The universes are coming into synch and it looks like the story is about to end – suddenly Grace announces that she is NOT Grace Holloway, but instead the embodiment of retroactive continuity.

She is ZIG-ZAG-GAY-ASS!

The energies around REG were left behind when he died and went to Cardiff, and the Zig-Zag-Gay-Ass has recorporealized into the form of the Eighth Doctor's sexual desire.

Charley points out that she had been insisting from the start that Grace was a zombie possessed by an evil force from before the dawn of time itself.

The Doctor reminds Charley she says this about ANY woman he talks to.

It seems that Charley is not the only deranged stalker after the Doctor – Zig-Zag-Gay-Ass appears to be the ultimate psycho fan, and she's more than willing to possess the teenager's body if that will, you know, get the Doctor going.

The Doctor doubts that even Zig-Zag-Gay-Ass can control Charley's libido, and luckily at this point REG gets up, announces that he is a little teapot, and falls over.

As he falls, he knocks over Zig-Zag-Gay-Ass and they both fall into the hole in the ground once more.

Amazed at his luck at having all the villains defeat themselves without any input from him whatsoever, the Doctor runs over to the TARDIS, screaming that he is free at last.

C'Rizz tries to stop him, gets knocked halfway across the room with a blow. The Doctor laughs fiendishly. "Hahaha! You foolish mortals! You thought Nicholas Briggs was lying when he said I was using you for my own evil ends? He was telling the truth! Now, I'm getting the hell out of here. Rose Tyler, here I come!"


Part Six – To Go Beyond (Any Resemblance To A Plot)

Charley insists that she may just be pathologically jealous of anyone who gets too close to the Doctor and only followed him into this universe because he's the best shag she's ever had, but promises that all she wants is to be taken back to her 1930s household where she can brag about her life to her 'square to the point of deformity' sisters.

Time is running out, and the Doctor concedes he might let Charley come with him. He then turns and asks C'Rizz to try and sweet-talk him.

Since it worked for Charley, C'Rizz insists that he may just be pathologically jealous of anyone who gets too close to the Doctor and only followed him into this universe because he's the best shag he's ever had, but promises that all he wants is to be taken back to Charley's 1930s household where he can brag about his life to her 'square to the point of deformity' sisters.

Oddly enough, this doesn't convince the Doctor to take him with him.

With a sudden change of heart, he orders that Charley and C'Rizz beg him to allow them into the TARDIS. But Cardiff finally shakes itself apart and, wasting no time, Charley and C'Rizz punch the Doctor in the groin and scramble into the TARDIS.

REG and Grace/Zig-Zag-Gay-Ass manage to climb out of the hole just in time to see the police box bounce up and down and hop into the Stargate a second before it shuts down.

At that moment, the Apocalypse begins in earnest. Rather than simply show stock footage from Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, turned negative, instead, fifty thousand zombies explode out of the ground, followed by vampires and demons.

Earthquakes begin to tear Cardiff apart as the universe ends. On Zendon, Gauda Prime, the Multi-Market and Light City, zombies and vampires brutally tear the peoples of the divergent cosmos to pieces and then eat them. Flames engulf matter itself...

"You know something, Grace? My mother Charley warned me there would be days like this," REG grunts.


Nicholas Briggs awakes, lying face down in total blackness. "Ohhhhh, GOD," he groans. "My head feels like a rugby game's been played on it! Oh, no! I've fallen into the start of the time loop again! Bloody hell! What *else* could possibly go wrong?"

"Hullo, Mister B!" the Kro'ka asks.

Briggs sighs. "I just had to bloody ask, didn't I?"

Briggs concludes that he must be in Hell – or at least it's closest universal equivalent. However, has he has ensured he carried an unlimited supply of jelly babies about his person and so is unconcerned - until he realizes he's eaten all the orange ones. Briggs screams "Damn it all! ****!" and breaks down in sobs.

As they finally reach each other, Briggs tells the Kro'ka to stay where she is while he runs off in one direction so they don't get lost. The Kro'ka, however, quickly finds Briggs, who tries to look of the bright side about their entombment on a lifeless planet in the middle of another universe.

Sadly, this is far more difficult than it appears and he idly wishes that they'd gone to a Guy Fawkes celebration at Ravenscourt Park. With it becoming ever more obvious this is a word-for-word copy of "Schizo Episode 1", the two of them walk off into the endless night, occasionally tripping over a wheelbarrow...


Elsewhere, floating through the endless void are Richard E Grant and Zig-Zag-Gay-Ass (still stuck in the form of Grace for budgetary reasons). Around them, atoms are taking their own sweet time to form and gather themselves into reforming the divergent universe.

"I have some extremely distressing news," REG announces suddenly.

"I don't want to hear it," Grace snaps. "I don't want to hear anything. Oh God, it's a nightmare out here, I tell you!"

"We don't have any wine. What are we going to do about it?"

"I don't know. I don't know. For Christ's sake, what's the matter with you? Are you an alcoholic or something? Eat some sugar like any normal half-human Time Lord love child!"

"How dare you!? How dare you!? How dare you call me inhumane!?"

"I didn't call you inhumane, you merely imagined it. Calm down."

"Right, you ****er - I'm going to start rebuilding the universe in my own image! After all, it'll only be twenty or thirty billennia until the next Apocalypse – and then the four horsemen will rue the day!"

"You have serious mental problems, you know that?

"God, how long until the pub opens?"

"Eight million years."

"God help us. Have you got any booze? YOU'VE GOT TO HAVE SOME BOOZE! I CAN'T GO ON LIKE THIS! My head's gone numb! I feel unusual! I must have some booze! I demand to have some booze!"

"If you do not shut up this exact instant I will ram a temporal spike into your frontal lobe and reduce whatever you call your brain to primeval porridge. Sorry, did I say 'reduce'? I meant 'upgrade'."

"You wouldn't spike me! You're too mean! Besides, there's nothing in any universe I couldn't take – or haven't taken already!"

"You wait, buster. When I'm finished with you, you'll think a spiritual enema was a birthday present!"

"Go on, then! I not having a shag-sack insult me. Zap me with all your energy, I'll take it and run a mile. In the meantime, Zig-Zag-Gay-Ass, you can stuff your mystical energies up your arse and **** off while you're doing it! Scrubber!"

"Up yours!"

"Little tart! You love it really!"

And so, the two most annoying beings in Doctor Who float away, onwards ever onwards...


In the next universe but twenty-seven, the TARDIS explodes out of the Stargate into the ruins of the Tomb of Rassilon, bounces off the far wall and then dematerializes again – presumably heading for Cardiff.

The TARDIS reappears in a dark, metal chamber, and the Doctor is promptly kicked out for being a crap and reckless driver. The Time Lord makes it clear to his companions that if they keep this crap up, the next time he threatens to desert them to certain death, he'll mean it.

The Doctor crosses to the only door to the chamber and opens it to see what's on the other side. Unfortunately, he finds out.

The good news is: they're definitely back in their own Universe.

The bad news is: the Doctor has just seen Lavros on the toilet.
 
Book(s)/Other Related -
Doctor Who: The Catfight of Time
Erotic Female Mudwrestling Volume 28 – Cult Science Fiction
That Jerry Springer Episode. You know the one I'm talking about. Don't even think about denying it.


Fluffs – Paul McGann seemed full of it for most of this story.

"Is there a point to this story? None of this matters! Dear God! Has no one in this production company ever heard of ****ING SCRIPT EDITOR?!?" screams Conrad Westmaas towards the end of part six.


Goofs -
{Supplied by Sir Nigel Verkoff Esquire. Repeatedly}

"OK... Where the **** does Steve Johnson get off with that cover. Don't get me wrong, it's a nice cover. Very nice. Nice colours, general layout. But where, for the love of all that is holy, is the nude mud-wrestling images of Charley? WHERE?!?

And don't think DWM is getting unscathed. The last comic-strip preview of Big Finish ever and we bet Mike 'can't draw for toffee' Colin doing a scribble of a Macrame crab!??! WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?! Damn it, the one thing more erotic than "At Home With the Braithwaites" AND YOU LEAVE IT OUT? HOW CAN YOU SLEEP AT NIGHTS?!?"


Fashion Victims -
Nick Briggs' morning suit and toothbrush. Oh. The horror.


Technobabble -
The Doctor notes that the impending Apocalypse definitely rates a 0.8 on the "George Romero Scale".


Links and References -
The events of Sick Morning, Rhyme of the Dustbins, Nowhere-Land, Zig-Zag-Gay-Ass, Scherzo, The Credo of the Moron, The Lust and Cardiff are mentioned.

Not for any reason, they're just mentioned.

In a cheap piece of foreshadowing, the first scene of Terri's Firma is played before the end credits.


Untelevised Misadventures -
Apparently, there is a whole season of Cardiff-based adventures between the previous story and this one. I, for one, get down on my knees and thank the Gods someone decided to leave them untelevised.

While dining with REG, the Doctor refers to a similar meal he took on a Pacific island in the 1930s, presumably a reference to the comic strip "C Tooth and Law", where the Doctor was ravished by a vampire gorilla after knocking out a Pamela Anderson clone with a giant light bulb. Presumably, he finds dining with REG similarly surreal.


Groovy DVD Extras -
An introduction to the story by Ewan McGregor ala "Train Spotting":
"Choose a wife.
Choose a foe. Choose a battle. Choose a universe.
Choose a ****ing awful extreme lifestyle TV show.
Choose two hearts, a regeneration cycle, a respiratory bypass system and six toes on each foot for added balance. Choose a damn cool leather jacket, a waistcoat and a matching cravat. Choose getting a 1930s schoolgirl pregnant with alien DNA.
Choose an afterlife that is identical to Cardiff.
Choose your recurring characters. Choose a less-than-talented Eutermisan in a range of ****ing colours. Choose a natural blonde nymphomaniac who could out-shag Cassanova, out-screw Caligula and out-do Paris Hilton and all before breakfast. Choose a former gameshow host who now has an IQ of a piece of particularly stupid lemon peel. Choose Nicholas Briggs gone out of control.
Choose saving the cosmos and everything that in it, and wondering why the **** you bothered.
Choose cruising through challenges on Double the Fist with your usual lack of caution, wit or flair.
Choose rotting away at the end of it all, gasping your last in a divergent universe, nothing more than a scapegoat for the selfish, screwed-up Who fans who devised this story arc in the first place.
Choose a wife. Choose a foe. Choose a small Welsh village. Choose a story line full of terrible performances that must be acted against.
Choose your future."


Dialogue Disasters -

REG: Today we hunt the most dangerous game of all – the plot!


Doctor: C'Rizz, why would you of all people betray me?!
C'Rizz: YOU STOLE MY LEATHER JACKET! GIVE IT BACK!!


Briggs: Hah! You have no idea what horror will await you if you return to your own universe, Doctor. For you see, you owe back taxes to the Gallifreyan Internal Tax Service.
Doctor: They're everywhere, aren't they? I'll never escape them!
Briggs: Fitting, somehow, that you'd owe money to GITS.


Charley: Been around with the Doctor too long now. Not much left to surprise me when it comes to alternative sexual lifestyles. Hell, I think I've started most of them in this universe myself, anyway.


Doctor: The Apocalypse is approaching, an event I look forward to about as much as I would washing C'Rizz's underwear with my tongue.
REG: Oh, I'm sure it will be an extraordinary experience.
Doctor: It might well BE an extraordinary experience for someone with the intellect of a used prophylactic that's been left out in the hot sun for a week.
C'Rizz: I'd quite like to see the Apocalypse!
Doctor: [to REG] See what I mean?


Briggs: You see! The Doctor has already found a new companion and is searching for a way back into the home universe!
C'Rizz: It looks like he's just trying to get into his new companion's underpants.
Briggs: Er, that too. See, he never wanted you or Charley with him, and he's left you here to rot!
Charley: I notice he's wearing his frock coat and cravat again...
Briggs: Um, well, of course. He wouldn't leave this universe without them, would he!
Charley: ...Which he used as toilet paper the first night we got here.
Briggs: Ah, there's a reason for that –
Charley: Is that a FOX MOVIES ident in the corner?
C'Rizz: Hey, this is just the telemovie on fast-forward!
Briggs: Damn it, C'Rizz, you're supposed to be on my side!


Dialogue Triumphs -

Doctor: I want to get back more desperately than either of you can possibly imagine. But leaving both of you here to die means more even than that!


C'Rizz: I'm not the person you think I am...
Doctor: You mean, you're even vaguely interesting?


Charley: Ah, it's you - Nicholas Briggs! I thought that the Doctor sorted you out long ago!
Briggs: So did he - only here I stand before you. The Doctor's no match for ME!
Kro'ka: Yeah, he usually mucks things up well enough on his own.
Briggs: Kro'ka, does the phrase "compound fracture" mean anything at all to you?

Briggs: I intend to cure the Doctor, then we all return to our reality.
C'Rizz: Even me?
Briggs: No, C'Rizz, you stay here.
C'Rizz: Is there the chance of a cosmic cataclysm if I cross over into your dimension, Nick?
Kro'ka: No, it's just we don't like you very much.


UnQuotable Quote -

Ben Jackson to Nicholas Briggs: "Whoa! Are YOU the stripper?"


Viewer Quotes -

"Nicholas Briggs is pretty pathetic in The Best Wife, a lingering background presence to guffaw and insult the Doctor and his friends but in the end of the day provides no threat at all. We never learn what he was really up to this universe or why, just that he wants to go home. And most insulting of all his spectacular and devious scheme is defeated when a secondary character (not even the Doctor or Charley) pushes him through a door. As I believe I have said before all that build up... for this? Did they bring back Briggs just to belittle him? My friend Doreen would be furious about this because he loathes it when Big Finish take the piss out of Briggs and in this case I would have to agree." – www.NickBriggsisGod!@justyce.org


"Why don't sultry babes flirt with me and offer ME a shag for repopulating the universe? This is just unfair."
- Alexei Sayle (1998)


"What is this bizarre obsession with Big Finish that longer is better? Come to that, what is this bizarre obsession with women in general that longer is better? It's not size that counts! At least, I hope not..."
- Richard Richard (2003)


"This story is 220 minutes long. That's three hours and forty minutes. I could have a run, have dinner, go on a drinking binge, come home and watch the whole of Talents of Wong-Jing in that time. Can I multi-task or what?" – Andrew Beeblebrox (2005)


"Why don't you just read my review of Cardiff? Says pretty much the same thing?" – Dave Restal (2005)


"Barnes and Russell clearly want to continue their love affair with Charley Pollard (and I'm not speaking metaphorically). They go over old ground once again with the re-introduction of her niece Polly and a protracted discussion over how her sex life been affected by her travels with the Doctor. More fundamentally, The Best Wife wipes away all hope that anything is ever going to be made again of the remarkable relationship when it reveals the Doctor actually gave Charley a hysterectomy when she was blissed out of her mind on cheap Andromedan cocaine. So, maeiusiophilists might as well give up. When the hell is Billie Piper when you need her?" – Nigel Verkoff (2005)


"It isn't necessary and it feels suspiciously like fanwank. It smells like it too." – Monica Lewinksi Inpersonator Zelda Hammond (2006)


"I yet again find myself fervently wishing that the Doctor had left Charley behind. Specifically with me."
– Aggressive Gay Fan I Will Not Name As She Told Me In The Strictest Confidence And Also Swore If I Mentioned Her Name She Would Kill Me


Psychotic Nostalgia -
"On the plus side it is better than Zig-Zag-Gay-Ass but that was the aural equivalent of having your scrotum set on fire. And I know that for a true and honest fact."


Paul McGann Speaks!
"I didn't read this particular script before we recorded it. It was a rather faint hope to dull the pain. I never wake up feeling confused about the bizarreness of this profession, but I do get the nagging sensation I'm running through forests being chased by giant crabs. It feels normal to me. Eight years since the movie. Jesus. But then, I've never seen the movie. I'd rather see Conrad's holiday snaps. I WAS BEING SARCASTIC, CONRAD, SO PISS OFF! Sorry, where was I? Well, the series is back now. I was never going to do it. I'm not that crazy. Of course, at both of the convention I was lured to, when asked the same question, I dutifully said yes. I'm not stupid – those nutters would have lynched me. I wonder how poor Eccleston is coping? Bwa-ha-ha."


India Fisher Speaks!
"No, Conrad, I don't want to see the holiday snaps either."


Conrad Westmaas Speaks!
"My holiday snaps are ****ing brilliant! Look! You see! There's me at the nudist beach in Acapulco – only schoolgirls allowed. There's me strutting my funky stuff. And there's the policemen that arrived and arrested me. And there's my cellmate, Meathook, who taught me some valuable acting lessons. And there's the police baton after they removed it from my arse..."
 
Trivia -
The plays big selling point is the return of Daphne Ashbrook, though to be honest I'm not sure what all the fuss was about. "So she was in the TV Movie – so ****ing what?" as India Fisher said.


Rumors & Facts -

Originally entitled Nicholas Briggs – What A Wanker, The Best Wife was penciled in as the final story of the Paul McGann era, to be recorded at some time in 2010, weather permitting.

With production moved forward by six years and absolutely no former planning for the serial, you could be forgiven for worrying that this story would be a 3-disc mind-numbingly poor story with a rushed conclusion, crap exposition and ****ty music.

You would not only be forgiven for expecting this, but also commended on your amazing second sight.


With just over a month before Russell T Davies' new Welsh TV series and the slow dawning realization that the story arc was monumentally awful, Big Finish had no choice but to wrap it up quick.

This desperation can clearly be reflected in the choice of producer Gay Russell and comic-strip author Alan Barnes to write the story. No happy production would ever use these idiots again after the fortieth anniversary story Zig-Zag-Gay-Ass descended into a slanging match against psychotic Big Finish dogs body Nicholas Briggs.

However, the concept of giving a decent finale to the arc was scuppered at the start – due to a mixture of complicated legal reasoning and also the fact Chris Eccleston wasn't dumb enough to return to Big Finish, the idea of regenerating the Eighth Doctor had to be abandoned.

Although even Carole Smillie could have told you that the character of Charley was totally stale and beyond use, and that C'Rizz's lack of c'rizzma made Matthew Waterhouse look sexy, it was simply too expensive and complicated to reformat the companions or introduce new ones. Ironic, really, as Charley and C'Rizz are two of the few characters Big Finish are legally entitled to kill off. Unfortunately, they tend to resurrect them straight afterwards for plot purposes.

Co-writer Alan Barnes' sanity had been spiraling out of control since Zig-Zag-Gay-Ass wherein he had started turning up for work dressed in an Edwardian dress insisting to referred to as 'Charlotte'. While this did allow India Fisher a stunt double for most of the story, the fact he started wearing a surgical gown and screaming 'Grace?! There is no Grace here!!' caused even more problems during production.

In order to keep style and tone with the previous stories in the arc, Gay Russell and Alan Barnes made sure the story lacked drama, humor, decent dialogue and cunning exposition.

The decision to use Nicholas Briggs as the villain was made early on, as they could record his strange mutterings while they got him to do all the work. However, this did have the side effect of rewriting the character of Briggs as a big melodramatic bully who screams and shouts and waves his fists but never actually gets anything done. Whereas, in Zig-Zag-Gay-Ass he had been a pretty pathetic loser much like his real-life persona.

What's worse, none of the regular cast were willing to act beside him and so Russell decided the only war for a viscous battle of wills to occur between the Doctor and Briggs would require extremely sophisticated editing technology.

As Big Finish has been fresh out of that for the last five years, it was decided to simply have a secondary character dispatch him. In order to make it sure that the story wasn't JUST about showing Briggs for the megalomaniac he was, the characters of Zig-Zag-Gay-Ass, G'Dunce and REG were introduced to show that he was not alone in such behavior.

However, to make sure that Briggs knew ALL the villains were equal, thus there was no big confrontation between any of them and the Doctor – the baddies dispose of each other in the most rudimentary manner possible, and the Doctor isn't involved directly with any of their downfalls as they squabble with each other and while they're busy with that, he slips through the middle and away from the divergent universe in the process. This approach mirrors just how Paul McGann would escape the studio at the end of recording sessions.

An initial idea was that the Doctor would use Machiavellian manipulation to achieve this result (ala the Seventh Doctor of the New Adventures), but this proved too much like hard work. Rather than give the impression that the Eighth Doctor is playing each of the villains against each other, it was easier to write that he's just blundering through without style or panache THEN have him claim it was an evil plan at the very end, when he has won and no one can contradict him.

At the final outline, the writers discovered to their horror that the two-year arc was easily resolved in an episode in a half – and included completely gratuitous appearance by Ben, Polly and L'da. Even with the addition of a pointless chase sequence in Nicholas Briggs – What A Wanker, it was a rather brief two-parter.

Desperately, everyone in Big Finish wracked their collective excuses for brains and it was Sir Nigel Verkoff Esquire who came up for the main plot of the story.

"An all-girl mud-wrestling championship between Charley and Grace!"

With this element added, the story now lasted five episodes – and that was severely edited down by Jac Raynor to reduce constant repetition in the dialogue, apparently commenting, "Yes, they both have girl parts! Will you lot just ****ing grow up?!"

This was just a symptom of the paranoia that gripped Big Finish in the months before Christopher Eccleston ran off to Majorca with a suitcase full of cash. Terrified that their listeners would instantly abandon them (lord knows, the BFP crew would have if their positions were reversed), Russell and JHE decided to give the fans whatever the asked for and be very nice. Indeed, despite the fact The Best Life runs for 220 minutes, it costs thirty dollars LESS than Zig-Zag-Gay-Ass, which only ran for 180. That's how pathetic Big Finish had become.

As the final story in a long-running arc, The Best Wife had to balance both the need to resolve ongoing issues against the obligation to tell a good story in its own right. Barnes and Russell succeeded fairly well – at least, in the eyes of George W. Bush. The rest of us weren't fooled for a moment.

Unsurprisingly, the play repeats many of the errors of its writers' former story, but, on the bright side, at least we had warning how crap it could be. Artificial realities, fake character avatars, a conspicuous absence of the Doctor and an obsession with exploring the psyche of Nicholas Briggs, episode one feels very much like Zig-Zag-Gay-Ass II as did the fact it was trailered as such.

Conrad Westmaas demanded that, as the story WAS two episodes longer than usual and gave massive amounts of character development to the Doctor and Charley, that C'Rizz should be similarly developed. Thus, it was decided that C'Rizz would be forced to gun down his father G'Dunce with a boozaka. Hopefully, this would open up new and interesting facets of the Eutermisan's character.

It didn't.

And, judging by the second Eutermisan's vehement denial he was in any way related to C'Rizz suggests that G'Dunce may have genuinely been a complete stranger. Or maybe not. Who cares?

At the time, everyone in the English-speaking world were getting the impression that the end wasn't much of a resolution to either the five previous episodes or the two seasons before that.

Barnes and Russell argued that the Doctor had endured real hardship, suffering both the stories and the companions of the last two seasons, also died and been trapped in Cardiff. What more emotional depth was there needed?

However, JHE protested that The Best Wife lacked epic scale, endurance, passion, drama and a grand finale. Barnes suggested that, although making three hours of story spectacular and exciting was nigh-on-impossible, it was easy enough to make a thrilling thirty seconds and thus added a conclusion to the story where the TARDIS crew find the Cardiff of our universe has been taken over by a Dustbin invasion fleet that is systematically exterminating the crap out of Welsh people.

Due to budgetary reasons, this had to be scrapped and so an alternate version, where the Doctor describes seeing Lavros in a toilet cubicle, was grudgingly replaced instead.

Not a good story to end or begin. I wonder when the new series starts?


Season 31 Round-Up -

"Oh dear. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.

...Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh God."

That was the response from Paul McGann when he finally got round to reading the scripts for his fourth season.

The divergent universe arc simply screams 'chickening out'. Upon hearing there were newer, cheaper and probably better-made forms of Doctor Who out there, Big Finish gave humanity a two-fingered salute and threw the Eighth Doctor into another universe never to return. They then spent the remaining two years for broadcast trying to reset this particular option, tails between their legs.

If there is to be a lesson to be learnt from this, it is CALM DOWN, YOU PSYCHO-FAN BASTARDS! CALM ****ING DOWN!!!

The arc was ill-advised to say the least, and a complete waste of eight months of my life to say the most. Ultimately, what the hell has this story arc done for us?

Well, it resolved the fates of the Richard E Grant Doctor, Zig-Zag-Gay-Ass and Nicholas Briggs.
It clashed the Doctor against Sil, the cast of Blake's 7, the Fourth Doctor, alternate Eighth Doctors, Grace Holloway and Lavros.
We find out just what made the TARDIS prop look like the brain-twistingly wrong one in the new series.
It also showed us where the Doctor got that leather jacket from.
It provided a chance for new writers to get their grubby little protuberances all over the Eighth Doctor's life and screw it up in new and original ways.
It has shown us the true horror of being marooned in Cardiff, being accompanied by C'Rizz and, perhaps most damning of all – doing both at the same time.

So, I guess while it may not be good, you can't accuse it of being lazy. I mean, look at other story arcs out there, lying on the sofa watching Coronation Street and doing sweet F.A. I mean, has Eminem been chucked out yet? Has Ace? Will the Sixth Doctor EVER be free of Evelyn? At least The Best Life gets rid of (most of) the dead wood. I don't see that happening anywhere else, do you!?!

The Eighth Doctor is free and, sadly, on the way out. By the time most of the public had suffered through the story, Doctor Who was no longer about dubious men of indeterminable age luring busty blonde teenagers aboard the TARDIS and then grabbing the nearest nerdy dickhead to create 'URST' while unbearable story arcs grind on in the background.

On second thought, forget I ever spoke.

To conclude the season, let us remember the good times of the last two years. The end credits of Zig-Zag-Gay-Ass. The Doctor steering an out-of-control shuttle into REG's ear. C'Rizz being drowned on a water wheel. The Doctor and Charley conspiring to kill C'Rizz. The She Devil on Gauda Prime, ably played by India Fisher. The Fourth Doctor, high on opium, doing the funky chicken. C'Rizz dying horribly. A bengal tiger mauling Welshmen. And the mud-wrestling.

In the words of Homer J Simpson –
"Let us never speak of this again."


"From Now On, Blame Russell T Davies!"
by Paul McGann and the entire cast and crew of The Best Wife

But, it's all right!
Beating up poor C'Rizz!
But, it's all right!
Cause that's the kind of life I live!

But, it's all right!
Getting the hell out of here!
But, it's all right!
Charley, just get me a beer!

You can participate
In Double the Fist
(blame RTD!)

Waiting for someone
To get you out of this
(blame RTD!)

Doing stupid things to
Get back to the TARDIS
(blame RTD!)

Oh, just flip the disc.

But, it's all right!
I didn't regenerate!
But, it's all right!
Maybe it just wasn't fate!

But, it's all right!
As long as you got someone to lay!
But, it's all right!
I think we'll be back by May!

We've been on and off Earth
In the future and past
(blame RTD!)

We've faced Serge the Seal,
Dustbins, Cybermen, what a blast
(blame RTD!)

The Brigadier, Romana and now
Lavros at last
(blame RTD!)

Goin' nowhere fast

But, it's all right!
Even when it don't make sense!
But, it's all right!
Just don't sit on the fence!

But, it's all right!
Doctor Who is now on TV!
But, it's all right!
From now on, blame RTD!

I admit, I'm ashamed
Of the company I keep
(blame RTD!)

I'd rather be at the pub
But I've swum to deep
(blame RTD!)

But now the end's approaching
One final ride
(blame RTD!)

With Charley by my side
(blame RTD!)

I guess I'm satisfied

But, it's all right!
Even if you're a Star Trek fan!
But, it's all right!
You've still got the autobahn!

But, it's all right!
At least it's not set in Birma!
But, it's all right!
See you next in "Terri's Firmer"!

But, it's all right!
Beating up poor C'Rizz!
But, it's all right!
Cause that's the kind of life I live!

But, it's all right!
It sure doesn't bother me!
But, it's all right!
From now on, blame RTD!
 
 
BLAME IT ALL ON RUSSELL T