Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Shadow of the Scourge and The Holy Terror

Hey kids! Did you miss us? We missed you. Today we're at TBH with our new member, Raul, as we give you this pre-Gallifrey 2010 edition of the Time Team. Say "hello, Raul.

Raul: Hello

Isn't he great, ladies? Naturally he enjoys Doctor Who along with roller derby and rockabilly. And he runs a theater

After a primer on Benny, New Adventures, and Post 1988 Ace we start us The Shadow of the Scourge by Paul Cornell. It opens with the beginning of a seance and Annie asking the aliens to come as she and the others bring peace.

Me: And moist towelettes.

We all get a good laugh as Annie bitches to Brian Hughes about copyright infringement of quack psychic characters.

The Doctor arrives with Ace and Professor Bernice Summerfield in tow and as usual there's a body count whenever he shows up. And "wise old biddies" based on Summerfield's lip reading skils. We get a side trip with Hughes showing up at another convention happening in the hotel before returning back to Doctor Who: CSI. The triple booking at the hotel of cross stitchers, extra terrestrial channelers, and time experimenters is apparently bad for the universe and our gang splits up.

It doesn't take long for Bernice to make herself known to main range Who fans as she infiltrates the extra terrestial channelers and gets them to speak to her dead turtles. Meanwhile Ace is getting herself kicked out of the time experiment room and then getting close with the cross stitchers talking about the dead dude on the elevator. Back to Bernice talking to Mary and then Annie. Annie's in the back trying to keep her guts from spilling.

Me: Annie, are you okay? Are you okay, Annie?

Hughes is locking the joint up and setting the time experiment machine while Annie is legitimately making contact with the other world. We get title as the Scourge start showing up. Our first cliffhanger of the day leaves us with the Doctor seemingly handing over Earth to the Scourge.

Tim: For some reason this reminds me City of Death and The Invasion of Time where it's funny and the Doctor is handing stuff over and you've no clue what's really going on.

"That is really...icky!" might be the best line in the any of the audios Big Finish has done up to this point in the timeline of the main range.

Tim: Paul, if you're reading this you are a brilliant, brilliant man.

Which is then followed by the worse line as Bernice does a pun based on Pembroke saying "what" three times. Cross stitchers try to be all heroic and fail miserably. Bernice says "goddess" as the Scourge Demi-Leader makes one strangle himself.

Me: Drink.

The Doctor blames his connecting up with the Scourge on to much cheese before bed time.

Me: Dude, I eat a bunch of cheese before bed but I've never met the Scourge in my dreams.

Ace proves that her acting skills are not the best as the Doctor proves that he didn't fall for her charade of thinking he really gave the Earth to the Scourge. Ace and Bernice go off to make tea for Pembroke and Greg, Cross Stitch Boy and discover that there's only darkness outside the hotel.

Me: So that's where the band went.

Ace rags on Radiohead as the Doctor says the Scourge prey on the depression and sadness of the masses.

Raul: Wow.

Tim: I like Radiohead, but yeah, she's right.

The Doctor describes people falling for the Scourge as a rabbit stops in the headlights of an oncoming car.

Me: Which is a song by Unkle sung by Thom Yorke from Radiohead.

The Doctor gets out tricked by the Scourge as they figure out his games and trump him. He starts transforming as the Scourge Demi-Leader talks about how cool he is for outwitting the Doctor. Part Two ends with the Doctor begging for Benny and Ace to help him as he starts to change.

Tim: Bummer.

Me: So, Raul, now that you're halfway through your first audio what do you think?

Raul: I want to listen to more. I'm really enjoying myself. You can tell they're having fun and doing it for the love of the show. Like any new medium it takes a little getting used to but I'm having fun.

Tim: You missed some really bad ones.

Me: Oh don't worry. There are more bad ones to come.

Tim: I thought I was going to slit my wrists after I think Phantasmagoria.

Me: Actually I think it was The Sirens of Time.

Tim: Oh yeah. I wanted to stop after that one.

But we didn't and after refreshing ourselves with Shiner Bock and Oreo's we continue. The inevitable chess reference comes from Ace as she talks about how the Scourge have outmaneuvered the Doctor. Bernice says "goddess" again.

Me: Drink!

Ace talks Gary in to fucking up her ear drums. The last thing she hears is Bernice uttering another "goddess".

Me: Drink!

Bernice has a plan that's slightly more involved than Ace's of deafening herself and madcap hilarity ensue as they try to communicate with Ace. We go back to the Scourge.

Tim: Are they in the lobby with the music?

The Doctor proves he still has a trick or two up his sleeve as we learn he's shut himself down to keep the Scourge in him from popping out. As he quotes Shakespeare in his mind Bernice and the gang are dragging him across the hotel floor. We get another "goddess" as they run in to a Scourge.

Me: Drink. Jesus, was Paul trying to hit a "goddess" quota?

They find the Scourge Formerly Known as Annie and bring the Annie portion back to the front.

Me: Are they attacking a cappuccino machine?

Annie allows the Doctor to speak long enough for to tell Ace to find the TARDIS and Bernice to come inside the Doctor's head. Bernice uses Annie to get inside his noggin and apparently he's gotten a bit of an interior decorator to provide seating for situations like this. They see his Jungian archetypes who only show up when bad shit is about to happen.

Tim: Or during an anniversary special.

Like other fan girls Bernice drools over the 8th Doctor which she sees waiting over the bridge to come over. The Doctor points out he'll transform into a Scourge if they don't win. Bernice has a go at him, bitching him out for possibly destroying her future. The Doctor reminds her that she's not helping him fight a species that feeds on doubt and fear. Bernice backtracks in between another "goddess".

Raul: One hell of a guilt trip.

Me: Drink.

Annie can't sense the Doctor's heartbeat.

Me: (Don Johnson) Heartbeat! I can hear your heartbeat!

Annie Scourge comes back and she makes Gary strangle himself as I reach for another Oreo. Ace and Pembroke finally reach the TARDIS where they encounter another Scourge who asks them to kneel.

Me: Before Zod!

Bernice's attempt to make the Doctor all warm and fuzzy fails as the third part ends with him seemingly succumbing to the Scourge in his mind. Tim and I do our best Bill Paxton impersonations as the Doctor proclaims over and over that the game is over. Ace and Pembroke fight two other Scourge and Ace bitches that Pembroke doesn't need to pull her head to see the second Scourge.

Me: Maybe he's did it because he's tired of your yelling and your shit acting.

Tim: Ouch.

Then my point is proven as Ace doesn't another bit of shit acting to get close enough to stab a Scourge. Benny wakes up in a hotel room, alone, and runs off to help the Doctor uttering another "goddess".

Me: Drink.

Ace tries to keep Pembroke from killing her by telling him she's seen loads of people die who didn't deserve it.

Me: Yet you're still here.

Tim: That describes fifty percent of the people who show up on the show. More if you take series finales into consideration. how many continents get shifted at the end of The Parting of the Ways?

The Doctor takes over Pembroke's mind and tells Ace where the key to the TARDIS is. He apparently set the nanites to focus on the control room and Ace realizes the Doctor thought they wouldn't make it through without harm.

Me: Um...that's pretty much how things went during your time in The New Adventures. Especially ones written by Kate Orman.

The Doctor makes everyone feel the Scourge and they kinda feel emo.

Bernice: Goddess

Me: Drink.

Ace and Bernice share a tender moment as Bernice stays to look after the Doctor.

Tim: (as Ace) I love you.

Me: Can I say that acting against Lisa Bowerman only accentuates that Sophie's not the best of actresses?

Tim: You could, but I've really enjoyed some of the comedy bits.

Me: Yeah, those have been good, but look at this past moment when Ace says it should be her looking after the Doctor.

Tim: I admit that could've been more powerful.

Bernice tells the Scourge who's playing Doctor Phil to stuff it as she takes another stab at bolstering the Doctor's self esteem. They try to think up a way to counteract the despair the Scourge are stirring up.

Tim: Let's have an orgasm!

She sorts out that it's happiness with people you love, hanging with loved ones and eating tea and scones because they are the best!

Tim: Yes! I'm having a teagasm!

Ace rallies the troops of cross stitchers, new agers, and technogeeks to attack the Scourge as The Doctor and Bernice show up. The Doctor turns fear back on the Scourge as he makes everyone else feel love, peace, and moist towelettes in a bit of reverse psychobabble. Cornell is able to work owls in as he convinces Brian that none of the killing was his fault.

Me: Drink for owls! And I guess that makes Brian like Andrea Yates.

Cue stock Big Finish Huzzah music as the day is saved and everyone returns to normal. The Doctor chastises Bernice for lusting after his 8th version.

Tim: (as Bernice) I just saw Paul McGann and thought he was hot.

Raul: Very Cool.

Tim: Certainly one of the better audios. Funny, couldn't see what it was going.

Raul: A lot of fun.

Me: It was fun to see Bernice in a supporting role as opposed to the lead one she normally plays. Bowerman slots right in to the notoriously close team of McCoy and Aldred and feels as if she's been there the entire time. Further proof that Paul should write for Bernice more often as it's always fun when he creator gets his hands back into the process.

We jump right in to The Holy Terror by Rob Shearman after laughing at the retard who thinks The Wolfman ripped off Twilight.

Tim: I hear that music and still expect Tom Baker to show up.

We learn how easy it is to keep yourself from being burned at the stake as Tacitus easily recants his heresy in following the wrong living god.

Tim: That's so Monty Python! I think I'm going to like this more than Jubilee which is saying a lot.

Macap hilarity continues as the old Queen is taken off to be killed in a manner determined by the new Queen who had been polishing the old Queen's toenails. Meanwhile Frobisher is trying to eat some gumblejack when the Sixth Doctor barges into his bath.

Tim: Don't get between Colin Baker and his gumblejack.

Frobisher has been messing with the TARDIS controls to make fake gumblejack.

Raul: What happens when I touch this button?

Apparently hunchbacks are meant to be evil as the Old Queen bitches at her hunchback son, Childeric, who she thinks isn't evil enough as he sucks up to her saying she's his evil idol.

Raul: With that music behind him it's like he's about to break into song.

The new living god is a bit of wuss as he's not producing any thoughts worthy of chronicling. Childeric shows back up and talks to High Priest Clovis.

Tim: Is that Paul Darrow?

Me: Nope.

Tim: He has that effeminate "oh I'm so evil" voice like Darrow.

Pepin gets coronated and fails miserably as a living god much to the consternation of his wife and his subjects. Just as Pepin is about to be put to death the TARDIS shows up on the scene providing the miracle in the form of Frobisher, ruining the plans of Childeric. Frobisher denies being a god.

All: When they ask you if you're a god you say yes!

Despite his best efforts to get killed Pepin survives as his subjects rejoice while his wife, Livilla, continues to bitch at him. Childric continues to plot against Pepin as Tacitus writes the Bible. Part one ends with an attempt on Pepin's life that oddly enough doesn't come from his wife. I take a picture of my super sweet new Booze Leprechaun chapeau made by Alison as Pepin survives the ritual assassination attempt and forgives his would be ritual assassin much to the consternation of Frobisher. Pepin still doesn't feel like a god.

Me: Maybe he feels like a woman.

Frobisher drools over Pepin's wife as she comes to bitch at him some more. Pepin and Frobisher go to the Blue Temple as The Doctor messes up Tacitus' room looking for an earlier bible. The passage from Pepin the Third's bath reads a bit like the beginning of a Penthouse story while the locals have transformed the TARDIS into the temple. Pepin tries to convince Frobisher that the TARDIS is indeed a temple and the console was an altar. Clovis shows up to Tacitus' house as Livilla tries to get mother-in-law to say that Childeric is the real heir. The locals are pissed that Pepin the Sixth died. Livilla shows she's a suckass Empress by failing to kick Berangaria's ass until she starts to beat her with a lead pipe.

Frobisher tries to convince Pepin to stop being such a pussy as Pepin wants to again tell his subjects he's not a god. Childeric tells the Doctor why he's doing what he's doing. Clovis admits no one in the church has believed in god in centuries.

Alison: Wow.

Pepin abdicates his throne to Frobsisher as the second part ends.

Me: You know what I just realized? We're halfway through a Colin Baker audio and we've only made one fat joke.

Childeric shows he's gone completely bonkers as he's tried to make a god from birth.

Me: As opposed to being the Freshmaker.

Tim: Mentos: The Reaper of Souls!

The subjects continue to worship Frobisher. He starts to mess with the social framework of the planet as he pardons Pepin and tries to make him the new High Priest.

Tim: It's good to be the king penguin.

Raul: Emperor penguin.

Frobisher manages to rework society within thirty minutes by implementing parliamentary elections and dodging live bullets during ritual assassinations. Childeric gets all pissed off and unleashes his hand made god to retrieve the throne. Apparently he's done a better job than even he expected as the child speaks. The child is super creepy as he transforms Livilla into an infant.

Me: I think we have title!

The Doctor and Tacitus escape the oncoming temper tantrum. Tacitus freaks out as he thinks he's killed the kid numerous times in the past. The Doctor goes back to stop the child and then we get a little intermission of Frobisher fixing his nose to save a sculptor from death. Meanwhile the Child God continues his killing spree before entering Childeric's mind. He tears Childeric apart.

Tim: What horror movie is this music from?

Raul: Sounds like Halloween.

God was apparently created by Tacitus. Or at least he sounds like Tacitus. Part four starts up and Tim has to leave us.

Tim: I guess I'll find out who created God later.

The Doctor pisses on the Child God's delusions of granduer telling him he's not a god but a source of torture. He hopes he's lived up to his father's expectations of killing and wondering if he's pleased his father so far.

Me: Only if your father is Saddam Hussien.

We shift back to the Ultimate Dysfunctional Family as Pepin and Bergania have a heart to heart over how much she hates him. Clovis begs the Doctor to explain why he wants to destroy the Emperor. The Doctor explains Clovis is just a stereotype and a sidekick to the real villian. Child God keeps killing people as he searches for his father and Tacitus is hiding in Frobisher's throne room. Child God shows up just as Pepin and Bergania become a real family and makes it go all pear shaped as he kills Pepin. Bergania finally comes round to the notion of free will before finally getting her wish for the sweet, sweet release of death. Tacitus goes bat shit as he finally breaks from being in prison and believes himself to be the emperor. The Doctor stops history from repeating itself as Tacitus wants to kill his son again. Instead Tacitus gets the child to kill him.

Raul: That was cool.

Me: Definitely not a warm and fuzzy ending. Probably the most depressing in the Big Finish line up to the point. It stands out more when put back to back with The Shadow of the Scourge and it's almost candy cane sweet ending.

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