Sunday, October 12, 2008

Post Ike Edition

As I said in the previous post we all survived Hurricane Ike relatively intact. Many thanks to those of you that sent private and public well wishes. Houston is slowly getting back to normal but it will take a long time for Galveston to rebuild, if they even try to rebuild the whole island. One of the things our Who group in Houston likes to do every year is Dickens on the Strand. It's an annual Dickensian festival that happens the first weekend in December. You get to buy Ye Olde' Gorditas and give pennies to street urchins sporting their finest Nike sneakers. Family of elves smoke as local newscasters speak jive to Santa before the parade begins. Some male relative of Dickens shows up and gives a reading of The Christmas Carol. You can also tour some of the historical houses for an extra fee, every year I try to go to the one serving the English Breakfast and never make it.

This year we don't know right now if there will be a Dickens on the Strand. From what I'm hearing a lot of those old homes were damaged, which is not suprising considering how bad the storm was and how only residents are still allowed on the island. While giving to the Red Cross or donating blood is a great way to help, the Space City Timelords will try to help out the Galveston Historical Foundation, who puts on Dickens on the Strand. Where else am I gonna be able to get into a historical festival at a discounted costume rate when I tell them I'm a time traveler who's visiting and that's why I'm wearing jeans and a sweater. All kidding aside, Dickens on the Strand has provided us many years of enjoyment and we hope that at least that part of Galveston is able to continue.

I am seriously bummed about Ian Collier.

Food today is provided by Dickey's Barbecue Pit. Much slow cooked meat and sides are consummed. Nothing fancy in the beer department this time. Just some Shiner Bock that's been hanging out in the fridge.

The Bellotron Incident ushers in the beginning of season four for Benny and the return of Louise Falkner as Bev Tarrant. We're implored to gather round the campfire and listen to Old Man tell an old tale about war.

Me: All the Who's down in Whoville?

Old Man keeps droning on about his story, imploring children and talismans to be kept safe.

Tim: Is this a four minute monologue?

Angelie: It's only four minutes out of sixty minutes.

Tim: You only get thirty seconds in an audition.

The first track ends and we get the second track which seems to be a continuation of the monologue.

Tim: Oh my god! I'm not drunk enough for this.

Angelie: This track is only two minutes long.

Tim: On top of the first four! This is like every Chris Carter season premiere.

The Old Man gets killed and there's much rejoicing.

Tim: Alas poor Yurick, I knew him well, Horatio.

We get some dialogue and someone mentions Potatoheads.

Angelie: Mmm....potatoes....

Tim: And his bucket of parts?

We're still Bennyless almost ten minutes in as we learn the officers talking are in the middle of the Rutan/Sontaran war. They come across a dead nomad and his equally dead pack animal, wondering how they died.

Tim: By monologue.

The probe investigating the planet goes all pissy and sends a message saying a specialist needs to be involved.

Angelie: Like Benny?

She's reading the Captain's mind as he calls Braxiatel, apparently an old friend. The Captais says the planet they're in orbit around is called Bellotron.

Me: I think we have title! And exposition.

The planet is moving in a funky orbit and need someone to investigate the planet in the next thirty-six hours. Preferably someone that's knowledgable, tactful, and willing to follow orders.

Angelie and Me: That's not Benny.

Fifteen minutes in and we finally get Benny as she's come out of cryo sleep, fairly cranky. She's giving The Commander a hard time going through all the security protocols. Benny remarks that she's being escorted by two penis substitution ships.

Angelie: They call them dildoes.

As we go through more exposition Tim busts of the new Doctor Who monster book to show Angelie what the Rutans look like.

Me: This is pretty disappointing so far for a Mike Tucker script.

Tim: I'm glad he had that scene with Braxiatel because I really stopped paying attention prior to that. They completely recap what happened in the previous two scenes. We really didn't need it.

The first "Goddess" is uttered.

Angelie and Me: drink!

Me: And this bit of exposition is totally negating the exposition recap between Brax and The Captain.

Then we go through a bunch of stuff that maybe The Captain should have before Benny showed up: like naming her a mission specialist in the computer and ascertaining if The Commander thinks she's competent enough.

Me: Yeah, he's a good person to ask, seeing as he's only known her for like twenty minutes. Are they trying to go for sexual tension between Benny and The Commander...

Angelie: Because it's not working.

Me: Yeah.

Benny bitches out The Commander for not bringing back up with them as they go onto the planet.

Me: They really could've started the story from this point and dropped the first twenty or so minutes.

Tim: Yeah.

Benny says "cruk".

Me: Drink.

The Commander disengages the engine as he and Benny land on the planet.

Me: Just like we're disengaged from the story. Ooo....Benny said "Goddess. Drink!

They land and there's a weird howling sound in the background.

Me: Did they land on the Wookie planet?

Tim: Or the Star Trek comedy planet?

Benny talks about her wily feminine intution regarding not trying to be Brill food and Angelie and I just kind of look at each other.

Angelie: I'm about to go get some dental floss.

Me: Seriously, Mike Tucker has done some really good stories. This is not one of them. He's resorted to making Benny queen of the one-liners like some sort of bad Don Rickles. Not that there's really a good Don Rickles but...

Stuff happens and they move deeper into the tunnels. They get to one tunnel and Benny thinks she sees something.

Me: Like a better script?

Tim: That's not the cup of the carpenter.

We've got Rutan!

Tim: I think the Rutan here just talked more than in the entire of the original Who series.

Bev makes a dramatic entrance.

Tim: Should I remember that name?

Me: The Genocide Machine.

All three make it back to the ship and Bev gets locked up in The Commander's room.

Me: Oh yeah!

Benny makes to sneak back onto the planet and runs into Bev who's escaped.

Me: Bev is like the best part of this audio.

The Commander learns that Bev has left his room and is now in a holding cell on the ship. He complains to The Captain about having locked her in his room herself.

Tim: (as The Commander) I lashed her to the bed and took pictures. See, I posted them on the internet.

Eventually we learn the Bev with Benny is a Rutan agent and there actually is a Bev in the holding cell, the real one.

Me: This is actually bit like The Genocide Machine with the fake versions of characters.

The Sontarans leave their side of the border and go for the planet.

Me: Sontara-ha! Sontara-ha!

We think Benny's been killed but then she shows up on the ship professing not to know The Commander or anything that's just happened.

Me: What the fuck?

It turns into some Sex and the City thing as Bev and Benny bond over booze and memories of the Doctor.

Tim: For those of you confused, the real Benny just happened on the scene. It's a shame they only can refer to him as The Doc.

Me: At least they can do that much.

Angelie: We're listening to a Doctor Who one next, right?

Me: Yeah.

Angelie: Let's hope this one is better than what we just listened to.

The next one in question is Winter For The Adept featuring the Fifth Doctor and Nyssa in a script written by Andrew Cartmel.

Me: Great, another fucking monologue.

Angelie: The weekend of monologues.

Tim and I spend a few minutes reminding Angelie who Andrew Cartmel is, what he looks like, and that we all saw him at Gallifrey this year.

Angelie: I have to pee now.

Me: Might as well go. You're only missing another fucking monologue.

Angelie: But at least this monologue is actually giving some useful information.

Alison yells out to Peril to be careful about the rope. This is when Angelie walks back in and mocks hanging from the ceiling. We learn that Peril is apparently the female version of Scrooge getting left at school during the winter holidays and about to elope. We then shift to Nyssa complaining about the snow, wondering if there's anything worse than snow in the shoes.

Me: A toss up between the last Benny play or Dragon's Wrath.

Peter Jurasik shows up as a local cop on skis to help Nyssa on her way. We go back to Peril and Alison talking about Peril getting married.

Angelie: Where's the Doctor?

Tim: We're like eight minutes in and no Doctor. But we've got a companion and a person who will be a companion.

Me: And Peter Jurasik.

Angelie: As much as Tim and Nicole are trying to convince me of what we do have I'm still missing the Doctor.

Nyssa sees someone coming towards her and the sking Jurasik.

Me: Is it The Doctor?

The person shows up and sadly it's not the Doctor. Some French chick shows up and Tim and I start doing horrible cheese eating surrender monkey accents.

Angelie: I already went wee wee.

Tim: Half of episode one is over and still no Doctor.

The Crazy Scotch woman who opens windows in freezing weather freaks out when all the windows close.

Tim: Oh. Really.

Angelie: They should call Ghost Hunters to debunk it.

Nyssa and the Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey maid bust open the cognac.

Tim: That's a good idea.

They smell something that reminds the Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey Maid of dead horses.

Angelie: (french accent) bad...

The Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey Maid mentions a poltergeist.

Me: (
ala' Heather O'Rourke) They're heeereeeee....

Tim corrects the Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey Maid on her definition of a poltergeist.

Angelie: Where's the Doctor?

Tim: At least it didn't start with the TARDIS having an accident like seventy-five percent of Davison's stories. Maybe he wasn't available.

News of India Fisher (Peril) planning to elope with Peter Jurasik (Lieutenant Sandoz) brings the crazy Scotch headmistress out of her weird psychosis.

Tim: It's like a William Hartnell story where the Doctor takes a nap for an episode. (as the Doctor) Oh Chesterton, I'm going to lie down on this rock and sleep while the Daleks chase you and Susan around.

More crazy things happen and they all run away from a wardrobe.

Me: Is Aslan trying to get out?

Tim: He could be stuck.

The TARDIS finally shows up.

Tim and Nyssa: Finally!

Alison remarks about touching the TARDIS.

Me: (ala' Katy Perry) I touched the TARDIS and I liked it/Hope my friends don't mind it.

Tim: (ala' Katy Perry) It looked so small but it was really large inside.

Nyssa begins to channel Tegan as she bitches out the Doctor about the TARDIS never going where they plan it to. The Doctor is willing to admit there might be a correlation between the TARDIS arriving and the poltergeist activity.

Tim: Just like there's a correlation between you showing up some place and everyone dying.

Nyssa continues to channel Tegan as she's all pissed about The Doctor wanting to stay and investigate the poltergeist activity.

Peril and Sandoz make out while trying to get the radio to work.

Tim: Hold me closer, tiny dancer.

The Doctor goes back to Nyssa and Alison. Alison wonders if The Doctor has figured everything out yet.

Me: Bitch, he's only been gone for like five minutes! He's not that good. Seriously, I don't remember Nyssa being this bitchy.

Tim: She wasn't. She was a refreshing change from the other companions.

The Doctor and Nyssa go to check out the chapel.

Me: (ala' The Church Lady) The chapel? How convenient! Mm....Satan?

We enter the ever pivotal ham eating sandwhich portion of the audio. Sounds start coming from the music room and they quickly discount it being the Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey Maid.

Me: Who can't it be now? Who can it be now?

Angelie: Oooo...oh. Who can it? Who can it?

Me: Oooooo...oh, who can it be now?

The piano attacks the Doctor and Nyssa. Then faucets start running in the kitchen. Nyssa worries something worse might happen.

Me: Like Dragon's Wrath?

Nyssa almost gets killed by Sandoz's ski poles and the Doctor fixates on tea as the piano continues to lumber towards them. He spikes the tea, causing Alison to fall asleep and the piano stops its slow murderous path. The Doctor wonders where he puts his bag.

Angelie: (as The Doctor) I'm trying to find my condoms.

The helicopter that's supposed to rescue them gets destroyed, leaving them stranded because no one wants to get into the TARDIS.

The Doctor confirms that the evil is emanating from the chapel. Nyssa continues to whinge and moan ala' Tegan.

Tim: She really is channeling Tegan.

The Doctor busts out the machine that caused the accident that caused Nyssa to end up in the school.

Me: Maybe it'll teleport your personality back.

Peril sings a nursery rhyme about wishing the rain would go away and come back on the washing day.

Me: And bring a better script with you.

Angelie: Because this one smells like poo.

Peril tells her family history.

Me: We have title!

The Doctor points out that Alison is controlling Peril's abilities.

Me: Alison/This world is killing you/ aim is true.

Crazy Scotch woman overhears The Doctor talking about Peril's family's past and decides that Peril's a witch that must be killed. Through crazy circuitous logic Crazy Scotch woman links electric blankets to Satan. Sandoz kills Crazy Scotch woman and Peril gets off a great line about how Crazy Scotch woman won't be able to be killed if she's not dead now.

Things start to go to hell in a handbasket again as trophies fly at The Doctor and the piano starts playing again. The Doctor triggers a post hypnotic suggestion that puts both Alison and Peril to sleep. Sandoz demands to know what's going on.

Me: Dude, have you not been following what's been going on?

Angelie: This reminds me of an
X-Files episode.

Tim: "Syzgy".

Episode three ends with a rather crappy cliffhanger of The Doctor suggesting they hold a seance. Sandoz and the Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey Maid refuse to take part in the seance. Harding Wellman, some English climber lost in an avalanche shows up.

Tim: Do you know why they call me Harding?

Me: Great, he's an effette British ghost.

The seance goes pear shaped rather quickly and everyone runs to the kitchen, including Wellman.

Me: I think I need a chart to follow how Wellman, Alison, and Peril are all connected.

The gestalt leaves Crazy Scotch woman and The Doctor talks to the Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey Maid. He calls out The Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey Maid who's really a scout for the spillagers. The Spilager Formerly Known as The Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey Maid ends up dead and the Doctor convinces Sandoz to help him dispose of her body because they decomp really fast.

Me: Oh, like work.

Sandoz reveals himself as a second spilager scout. Peril starts freaking out.

Me: And you were gonna have sex with that.

Peril gets shot and then the Spilager Formerly Known as Sandoz ends up getting killed in an avalanche. The Doctor ends up saving her life with some bullet eating/tissue repairing poultice. This means bitchy Nyssa has to take part in the seance. We don't see the seance but we assume jiggery pokery occurs as the Spillager Fleet gets killed. Then we get the TARDIS once again not working and Peril taking Harding home to see her parents.

Me: I didn't hate this as much as I've hated the novels that Cartmel wrote for The New Adventures range, but this was still a tad disappointing.

Tim: It would've been much better if Nyssa hadn't sounded like Tegan. It's like he wanted to write for Janet Fielding but couldn't so he just put her in the form of Nyssa.

We return to Benny and The Draconian Rage.

Tim: Draconians are all the rage now. And another villian we only saw once in the original series.

Benny wonders why the Draconians want her.

Tim: You are the lead of this series.

Benny thinks she shouldn't go and calls Brax callous for trying to talk her into it.

Tim: (as Brax) Me? Callous? Never?

Eventually Brax sweet talks her into going to Draconia. As Benny lands and gets a long winded greeting Tim shows Angelie what they look like.

Angelie: And they have rage?

Tim: They're more like the classic series version of the Klingons. They're all into honor and what not.

Angelie: But the disk says they have rage.

Tim: Yeah, I guess they'll have rage later.

Benny gets a level 5 sterilization.

Me: Put your hand in the box!

Benny objects to having her luggage searched.

Tim: (as Draconian) We've seen the
Indiana Jones movies.

Tim and Angelie bust out the box for the Malm as Benny goes planetside as the Draconian Emperor gets flattered by some underpants gnome. Draconian Emperor asks Underpants Gnome if he's heard of Shakespeare.

Me: (as Draconian) It loses translation when you take it out of its native Klingon.

Exposition continues between Draconian Emperor and Underpants Gnome. We switch to exposition between Benny and her Draconian Guide about the history of the city and the place of Draconian woman within their society.

Me: Why does he sound like a German?

After some more exposition Benny gets handed off to the Underpants Gnome when she reaches the imperial palace. She begins to cheese off the Underpants Gnome with her usual glib and sarcastic responses.

Me: Again she's being almost too sarcastic for the situation. She knows how the Draconians normally view women and she's pissing the Underpants Gnome off for no discernible reason.

The Emperor interrupts Benny's Former Guide as he's taking a bath. Apparently he's fallen in love with Rubber Ducky which is just kind of wrong.

Benny gets freaked out when she sees a human skull and then gets kidnapped by the Underpants Gnome's guards. She tries to talk her way out of Underpants Gnome's desire to drill into her head. Underpants Gnome mentions he's an agent of the Dark Flame.

Me: We'll be getting to that in the main line in about four years at the rate we're going.

Apparently her guide is also a member of the Dark Flame as he helps shave Benny's head. They begin to drill into her noggin.

Me: That's gonna leave a mark.

She passes out and then reawakens to have them drilling into her noggin again.

Benny's Former Guide goes to see the Emperor.

Me: (as Draconian) I found the nougatty center, Sire.

We get a discussion on how cognac tastes like urine to the Emperor. The Emperor apparently doesn't trust anyone around him. He says he smells treachery on the Underpants Gnome.

Me: That's just Benny's blood.

Angelie: Yep.

Me: For someone that's just had a hole drilled through her head she's rather talkative.

Insert more exposition as Underpants Gnome is apparently not as evil as we thought. He explains the extent of the political intrigue going on the planet and tells Benny she's the only hope to keep the planet from being taken over by the Dark Flame cult.

Me: One thing, she's got a hole in head.

Underpants Gnome tells Benny how she can escape.

Me: She might not remember all those details. That whole hole in the head thing.

Angelie: So Benny's getting rescued by...

Me: See, I can't keep up with who's who. They sound too much alike and their names are way too similar. Hence why I'm calling them Underpants Gnome and Benny's Guide.

Angelie: I think it's the guide trying to save her. That's why she was telling him she was invited by the Emperor.

Me: No, she was telling that to the Underpants Gnome. See what I mean?

Benny ends up with the Emperor and they quarrel over pedantry, the skull, and what she's doing there.

Me: Do you not see the hole in her head?

We enter The Manchurian Candidate as Benny kills the Emperor.

Angelie: They didn't take something out, they put something in.

The Underpants Gnome and Benny's Former Guide pop out of nowhere all excited that Benny's killed the Emperor, confirming what they did to her. Drama goes up to about factor 9 as Benny freaks out about the Dark Flame being in her skull all this time and how it might have affected Peter.

Me: Oh, that's the least of things you should be worried about having messed up Peter.

Benny's Former Guide ends up killing the Underpants Gnome.

Angelie: This is so melodramatic.

The Emperor really isn't dead and they expound on their plan to out the Underpants Gnome.

Tim: War between Draconians and Humans is averted. Ya.

The Emperor ends up killing Benny's Former Guide.

Me: All of a sudden we're in

Tim: They're going out of their way to painfully make this like a Shakespeare play.

Benny opts not to kill the Emperor again and they both depart hating each other's guts.

Me: That was cruddy.

Angelie: The ending?

Me: The whole thing. I had problems keeping up with the Draconian advisors. The voice actors were too similar and the character names too similar.

Tim: I didn't have that problem. I really wasn't paying attention until they stated torturing Benny. And I was okay with all the Shakespeare stuff going on.

Angelie: (in refernce to Benny being tortured) I didn't like that.

Tim: I guess this has to be an audio because the ending doesn't play well in any other format. I was okay with it.

If you're keeping up with the Benny Drinking Game, "Goddess" was uttered eleven times and "Cruk" once by our count.

Next month will be an all Benny affair as we'll finish off the fourth season.

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