Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Apocalpyse Element and The Fires of Vulcan

Happy belated velociraptor awareness day!

No new beer today. Just some Shiner Bock because I didn't make it to the store in time to buy Mighty Arrow from the folks that make Fat Tire. After a meal of homemade turkey wraps we start up The Apocalpyse Element.

It opens with two glorified air traffic controllers talking. Monitor wants to be called Trinkett when it's just her and some other bloke.

Me: They call me MR. Tibbs!

We learn that there's a conference about to begin and then we hear the dulcet tones of the Doctor's TARDIS.

Tim: Well, everyone's going to die. The Doctor has arrived.

The Doctor has apparently stumbled in the wrong place at the wrong time for the Timelords liking as they come across a member of the Celestial Intervention Agency. It doesn't take long for the Doctor and Evelyn to separate. The Doctor advises that something is up and that they need to be subtle.

Me: Like that's going to happen with a coat like that.

We get backstory as the Timelord President explains that Romana's been missing for twenty years when a planet she was visiting, Etra Prime, (oh clever, clever prime...) disappeared. The Timelords are attending the conference in hopes of discovering which race had the ability to make a whole planet disappaer.

Evelyn is having way too much fun with a bracelet and then all the sensors start going crazy. It seems that the planet that disappeared with Romana on it has reappeared.

Me: Is that like Unicron?

Ensac gets hypnotized.

Tim: You mean nutsack?

Insert short sequence of Dalek's screaming at one another.

Me: We have Daleks!

Monitor Trinkett thinks the planet, Etra Prime, might have reappeared.

Angelie: Optimus Prime?

Evelyn is skulking about and trying to make sure no one notices her.

Me: I'm not liking Evelyn in this compared to her previous appearances. She's almost too snarky and glib.

Ensac tries to complete his mission but is stopped by Trinkett and the Doctor.

Tim: You mean Ex-lax?

Daleks show up and start blowing shit up, including Evelyn. Chancellery guards start blowing up Daleks and rescue Evelyn.

Tim: I can deal with Evelyn being a little more terrified by the Daleks since this is the first time she's met them. I don't really buy her being crushed by debris or in real danger. It's easy to go over the top in both cases but she almost underplays it.

The Daleks steal some technology that the Gallifreyans wanted to steal themselves. Meanwhile Trinkett and the Doctor are visiting the gravity wells until things go all Alien and they get attacked by Dalek mutant things.

Tim: Was it just me or was that the longest first episode ever? It's horrifying but funny trying to imagine those things just floating around and attacking people.

Insert soliloquay by Romana II about being a prisoner of the Daleks for twenty years.

Me: Just like your marriage to Tom.

Tim: Ouch!

Romana continues on about remembering when her body was young and full.

Me: Just like your marriage to Tom.

Tim: Ouch!

The slave robot finally names himself, Vrint

Tim: It's better than Nutsack.

We hear that the leader Dalek is black and thus begins the slew of Shaft jokes. It begins to gloat about how they're responsible for making Etra Prime disappear and has replaced the leadership with Dalek clones.

The Doctor and Evelyn get reunited and Evelyn wonders what that slime is on the Doctor.

Angelie: It's pizza grease.

The Black Dalek has to announce his color and explain to the slaves on Etra Prime what's going on.

Angelie: Evil knows no color. I hear Black Dalek and I just think "Yo, Yo!" and record scratching. They're the lost rappers.

The Doctor decides to go back through the Dalek mutants alone to shut down some shields. He asks for a new suit.

Me: (as The Doctor) I got jizz on this one.

Angelie: It's pizza grease.

Tim just chokes.

Evelyn declares something is huge.

Tim: That's what Romana said.

More shit blows up somewhere. The Doctor gets a clean suit and the Daleks talk about activating the apocalpyse element.

Me: We have title!

Evelyn complains about being too big for whatever tube they're traversing to get to the Birthing Bay.

Me: Should've thought about that before you stuffed your frame into the tube.

The Doctor talks about Mexican standoffs and asks the Daleks if they've killed any Mexicans.

Tim: What the hell? Where is that coming from? (as the Dalek) No, but that's a great idea. We'll go down, sit on the beach, and kill some Mexicans. He's right. Why didn't we think of this before.

Me: On a very racist Doctor Who....

Angelie: Are they going to say anything about the Filipinos next?

The Black Dalek does a drive by and attacks Gallifrey via a Trojan horse. Yet more shit gets blown up. Romana gets the TARDIS through the barrier with some mental jiggery pokery. Eveyln and Romana vow not to let the Doctor face the Daleks alone.

Me: It's like Eveyln is trying to be like Ace in "Battlefield" in terms of asserting her place as the Doctor's new companion to an old one. And it doesn't work so well in this case. Evelyn really serves no purpose in this audio except for the odd one liner and means for the Doctor to explain what's going on.

More shit blows up. More people die. More exposition spouted. More moments of Evelyn annoying the hell out of us.

Me: (as Maggie Stables) Bland. I think I'll be bland in this entire audio. Especially compared to Colin's bit of Shatnerian acting towards the end.

The President says that if the other daleks self destruct he'll let the Black Dalek send an unarmed scientific bunch of daleks to help figure out why shit could blow up that people don't want blown up.

Me: Unarmed daleks?

Angelie: Is there such a thing?

Me: (more stuff with Evelyn) Why don't they just kill her and pluck her eye out?

Evelyn does a shitty Dalek impersonation.

Me: Kill her!

The Black Dalek orders a hit on the President and he dies.

Tim: (dripping sarcasm) Didn't see that one coming at all.

More stuff happens but to be honest none of us could be cared to follow in rapt attention. The end comes mercifully.

Me: Well, that was crap. This audio sorely needed a drinking game.

Tim: It was a great idea in theory but not executed really well.

One trip for ice cream later we turn to the first time the Doctor goes to Pompeii, this time with Mel, in The Fires of Vulcan. We open with a crap Italian accented professor talking about a discovery at Pompeii that's put his dig on hold. The discovery is apparently a British police telephone box that's being possessed by UNIT.

The Doctor and Mel show up in Pompeii the day before the volcano is to explode. They manage to evade the questions of a slave who sees the TARDIS materialize and make their way to downtown Pompeii. Mel asks the Doctor if he notices a young man standing off in the distance.

Tim: It's David Tennant!

After wandering around a tad the Doctor begins to offer Mel up for wagers with Stephen Wickham channeling a cross between Brian Blessed and Colin Baker. Mel doesn't care that her milkshake brings all the boys to the yard as she runs from a bloke eyeing her and ends up in a whore house.

Tim: That would never happen to Evelyn.

Volcano day lives up to its name as Vesuvius starts rumbling, allowing the Doctor to escape an ass whupping.

Tim: I was expecting that to happen in Episode Four.

Things go all pear shaped as the Doctor and Mel discover the TARDIS has been buried under a pile of rubble. The Doctor begins to natter on about Time being against them in his usual New Adventures style. Mel gets him to admit that the TARDIS is found in 1980, meaning he and Mel won't see it again. Mel can't quite grasp what's happening.

Me: He's saying you're fucked.

Tim: It couldn't have happened to a better companion.

The locals talk about the messengers from Isis. The Doctor goes back to the bar and gets some wine. Mel asks if it's a good idea to be drinking.

Me: You're gonna die at Pompeii. I can't think of a better day to drink.

Mel has issues with accepting the defeatist attitude of the Doctor.

Me: You're kind of screwed. You pretty much have to lay down and take it without any lube. Mel's got balls man. I've always liked this version of her compared to the TV version.

The bloke that's been stalking Mel makes himself known as the local councilman. He offers to give her a tour inside the temple.

Me: And show you some etchings...

The Doctor finally decides to try and change history in terms of retrieving the TARDIS. The music swells as he tries to get Mel to leave.

Me: Sail away, sail away, sail away.

Tim: I was thinking Orinoko Flow as well. (Mel gets carted away at the end of Episode Two) Wow, she had more lines in that one episode than during her entire run on the show. It's nice to hear her talk about things not centered around carrot juice or exercise.

The Doctor uses the Jedi mind trick to get the keys to Mel's cell. As Mel's would be stalker falls asleep the Doctor tells him he'll take good care of the prisoner.

Me: Of love.

Mel escapes and then gets recaptured. Meanwhile the Doctor gets drugged by the Brian Blessed/Colin Baker hybrid.

Towards the end of Episode Three Vesuvius starts to erupt. Mel tries to get her stalker to admit there's something brewing.

Tim: See, over there a dark haired man in a suit with a woman are loading people into the TARDIS. What the hell?

The Doctor is begging for his life in his best "Survival" voice.

Me: If we fight like animals we die like animals!

Mel goes off in search of the TARDIS only to realize she doesn't have a key.

Tim: She wasn't cool enough. She's not Sarah Jane. Or Rose after three episodes.

Me: And Martha. Didn't he give Donna one too?

Tim: Yeah, I think all the new companions get one.

Angelie: He's a whore now.

Me: A Player.

The Doctor explains to the inn keeper that if they can get into safety and survive the next 12 hours they've got a chance to escape Pompeii. Mel continues to be all badass and makes a run for the TARDIS. They reunite as they work their way to the tombs where the TARDIS was hidden. Then we get an awesome resolution to the original problem of why/how the TARDIS was discovered in 1980.

Tim: Nice. The pretty much redeem Bonnie's character in this one audio.

Me: Sweet. Well, as much as the last one sucked, this one didn't. Following up on their work in rehabbing Colin's Doctor they do similar work for Bonnie Langford's Mel. This story manages to be a nice mix of action and drama with a twist in terms of the Doctor being the one that for a time is willing to succumb to Time and Fate.

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