Sunday, February 24, 2008

When Mediation Goes Bad

Probably the main career I've had in my uninspiring life so far involved dressing up as a giant elf in a badly-thought out costume meant to look traditional rather than logical, and sit in the toy department of a shop and try to be nice through false beards, wigs and makeup. It's not easy, especially as no one seems to think that someone dressed to cope with the climate of the North Pole might find an Australia shopping centre a tad warm and change their clothing accordingly.

Thus I struggled to sit perfectly still (on many occasions startling a customer who assumed I was some kind of prop... heh, Auton Fun - don't underestimate!), so as not to produce unnecessary body heat. Often there would be no customers to talk to and conversation with my photographer was made difficult as I had to stick in character, plus the beard. Entertainment comprised of endlessly repeated cartoons or movies sans volume (I've seen Monsters Inc. and Madagascar 72 times each, not once with sound), leading the mind to wander...



And so, deprived of all but the most basic outside stimulus, my thoughts turn inwards, ideally avoiding all those parts of my memory that would depress me to tears (and there are plenty of those). And my mind uncovers something I forgot I forgot... Fillini's Satyricon!

My latest mediation started with The Goodies episodes good friend Jared sent me (mingled with mild annoyance he'd taped over the same episode I had taped over: Frankenfido), and more importantly the extended version of The Movies, an episode where the Goodies buy British Film Studios in order to revitalize the genre from pretentious and tedious films that were clogging up the place.

I remember the sequence where Tim has a go at the unseen producers mainly because it was singled out for complaint on Backchat (remember that? When the ABC listened to complaints?) from some rabid Fillini fan.

"What we have seen has been either very tedious or extremely pretentious - and in some cases BOTH and I AM looking at you, Fillini. You can't get a sad faced clown and a bunch of bald dwarves together and expect to win the Cannes Film Festival! Yes, I know you DID, but that's not the point!"

Anyway, apart from some confused impression that Fillini was a woman, and more the point one of the words Monty Python decreed never to be shown on British televison ever again, I thought little of this Italian film maker.

One night, I forget when, I was channel surfing before going to bed. I saw what seemed to be a remake of Theseus and the Minotaur on SBS and, having a soft spot for the Greek classics after seven years of being told about them in my Greek language class by Mrs. Harralumbous, decided to watch it.

I was gobsmacked therefore to spot that "Theseus" was none other than Martin Potter - AKA Robin Hood! And you can believe me that Martin Potter is not a bloke easily forgotten, particularly the fact he's a handsome bloke with deep, burning eyes. I wish there was some way to describe his eyes without coming across as a drooling Rickitophile, but try and find him on youtube or, simply, watch Terminus. His eyes are like that. There is no other way to describe that.

(One of the biggest and worst issues I have with JNT is how he wasted Potter as Eirak, a character who gets less screen time with Peter Davison than Lytton did, but at least he didn't need makeup bar that fake Vanir wig. Anyone vaguely interested will know that I recast Azmael in my Twin Dilemma rewrite as Potter, in the firm belief he could portray the guy who inspired the Doctor to rebel.)

Since I have only ever seen Potter in two things (Robin Hood and Doctor Who), I was understandably surprised and decided to watch the film. The sound was slightly out of sync to the point it seemed dubbed (after all, SBS shows The Gods Must Be Crazy dubbed from English to Chinese with English subtitles), but might be some twisted 'Passions of the Christ put everything in the proper language' vibe.

Potter plays Ecolpious, (the modern translation would be "Dick") who has somehow fallen foul of a hedonistic ancient society and thrown into the maze with the Minotaur. This movie is set before the Birth of Christ, in an incredibly debauched and post-apocalyptic period following an Earthquake, where the decadence has been crank up to a point reality itself seems to be crumbling... or maybe that's just Fillini being freaky.

With the omnipresent howl of desert winds throughout the film, Ecolpy finds his way out of the maze onto a barren plain beside a city where the inhabitants chant in a vaguely ape like fashion and shine mirrors at him. Watching this, I assumed what I was looking at was the denoument - like Lord of the Rings or the Body Electric, as our hero discovers the horrific truth. In this case the pack of utter psychos eager to see him disembowelled by the Minotaur (whose face is disturbing like the Calliech).

Falling to his knees, Ecolpy points out that he's not cut out for fighting the Minotaur to the death, and all in all, the cowman should try and find someone worthy of beating the shit out of. Then, the Mintoaur pulls off its head to reveal a big cheerful bloke who is so impressed with Ecolpy's patter he allows him to live.

This causes the crowds to go wild. In a good way.

Ecolpy is baffled by this twist of fate, as much as I am, and is lead to a temple. A fucking huge temple. One of those places so huge you just look at the walls and go "Wow, that is one big room!" It's so big that the huge amount of people present hang around one corner.

It seems that Ecolpy has won the right to do the Mummy and Daddy Dance with the King's daughter, and our sweaty, incredibly tanned and ridiculous blonde wig wearing hero meats similarly hot and sweaty women. But nothing happens. A lot. Finally it becomes obvious this is no artistic statement but Ecolpy has somehow become impotent after nearly getting killed by a faux Minotaur!

Tough, as they say, break.

Ecolpy's shaky grip on reality (or maybe my shaky grip on the plot) snaps and we find our way segueing into an urban legend. Apparently, some time ago, a geeky loser wizard fell in love with a princess and tried to seduce her. She played along, then dumped him in public. His revenge was, to say the least, novel. He triggered a permanent midnight, forcing civilization to come to him for some kind of light (since, being a wizard and all, this stopped fires from burning). The wizard ultimately revealed he had hidden the sun inside the princess, and only a qualified gynaecologist could get it back. Or a bunch of angry farmers with unlit torches rammed ironically where the sun DID shine.

Well, the moral presumably is do not piss off sexually frustrated wizards unless you like sitting in stirrups for the rest of your life. Good message for the kids there.

Ecolpy rises to the forefront of the plot again and demands to know what the hell this has to do with anything?! He is told that basically the princess is the one woman that could get his mojo back, and so Ecolpy engages on this quest to find the lady with fire inside her. As you do.

The princess, I must be blunt, has let herself go.

A lot.

Jabba the Hutt-style a lot.

Nevertheless, it seems she is resigned to her fate as some cosmic viagra and is not at all surprised when a fit young traveller with burning eyes turns up, but simply... as Billy Connoly would describe it... violates him. And what would you know, it works! Maybe because Ecolpy's survival instinct kicks in and cures his impotence so he can get out of there as soon as he can?

Ecolpy runs out into the wilderness outside (seriously the empty desert winds follow this guy everywhere), exhuberant and not at all taken aback by a wierd thing growing out of the ground like a giant talon crossbred with 2001's monolith. He is, however, a bit put out when his pal is found lying dead in the grass beside it. What killed him? Beats me. Then the sky goes dark.

We end with the funeral of Ecolpy's pal, who has been wrapped up like a mummy and placed on a plinth on the shore of a beach surrounded by wierd upright coffins. Ecolpy and a gang watch on as the priest reads the deceased's will: he will give his vast fortune to anyone who eats his corpse raw.

All the mourners immediately go nuts and start sharpening the knives and unwrapping the corpse. Ecolpy and his friends realize the dead guy's finally proved what utter scum the rest of the Roman Empire are, as they are reduced to eating a rather smelly corpse in the hope of getting some cash. Amused at this Chaser Style Stunt, Ecolpy and the others decide to leave their "civilized" bedfellows to their uncooked cannibalism...

And then in mid stride Ecolpy transforms into a mural of himself on a ruined temple wall in Italy, 1969 (a very impressive shot). It's a rather bittersweet ending, and I sometimes like to think a similar ending could have cheered up The Legend of Robin Hood. Well, cheered ME up. Maybe.

The end.

Amazing what your mind can throw up at you when you're not expecting it, huh?

I might try and find the rest of Satyricon, since I can't download it, but unless SBS screens it again very publically, I'll probably miss it. Mind you, I checked the trailer on youtube and it scared the shit out of me.

Sundays bring out the contemplative within me, I apologize.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Torchwood - The Cardiff Copout

Leave me be and let me rest in peace,
Let me get some sleep
Let me take my love and bury it
In a hole six foot deep
I can lay my body down but I can't
Find my sweet release
So let me rest in peace?
Why won't you let me rest in peace?

At the end of the previous episode, Reset, I decided to leave the cliffhanger finale unspoiled. I niavely assumed this situation would not instantly be resolved in the next episode - more fool me. After all, this episode is written by Matt Jones and we all know how well HE can resolve a cliffhanger. If you recall that doozy with the Devil rising out of the Satan Pit, the Ood closing in around the humans and Kroptor itself plunging right into the black hole? Well, the resolution had the Devil actually not coming out of the Pit at all, the humans running away, and Kroptor instantly returning to orbit.

So, with a heavy heart I watched the pre-credit sequence. Last week, Torchwood went up against the Pharm and destroyed the Cardiff branch, only for the resident mad corrupt scientist bastard to pull a gun on the Hub team. Rather than let Jack take a bullet, Owen decides to reason with the loony (odd how in another show that sentance would be applauded) and gets shot through the heart. He falls to the ground and dies in seconds.

Well, I took that on the chin.

This is OWEN people. Out of all of Torchwood Three he did manage to overcome being such a total ugly asshole by at least being an interesting ugly asshole beserker. I do not mourn his death, and considering he spent the latter half of the first series trying to kill himself doesn't really break me down in tears. I mean, I was impressed they killed him off in the middle of the series.

But the next episode was called Dead Man Walking.

Hey, Private, do you think this episode will have Owen magically brought back to life?


The scene opens with Martha about to perform an autopsy on Owen when Jack rushes in and tells them not to touch the body until he returns from the secretive unknown mission he's about to undergo. Yeah, well, fine, let's watch Owen go bright green and start to stink up the place. And, seriously, I boggle at the sight of Gwen, Tosh and Ianto eagerly watching Martha get out the scary surgical stuff... like hacksaws. I mean, get real! They REALLY want to see his corpse get cut open?! Jesus...

Jack pops by Creepy Little Girl Casino for a tarot reading and we get some painful product placement in the form of Torchwood tarot cards, with Jack as a knight in shining armor. I would have gone for spiked leather bondage gear myself. Anyway, the psychic girl knows what Jack is looking for despite the fact it's a very stupid idea and he should really know better than that.

Jack has decided that Owen deserves to return to life... in exactly the way no one else in this entire show has ever merited another chance... becuase he knows a few passwords! Thus, Jack has decided to search for the OTHER resurrection gauntlet, the exact same one we had no reason to believe ever existed, let alone would be on Earth in this dimension. Unfortunately, it's burried under a church full of Weevils. Well. Fancy that. There's more than one of them. Wow.

Jack immediately rescues the glove, which has been neatly dug up and left under a shrine of toy dolls and flags. Yeah, Weevils do stuff like that apparently. Returning to the Hub, everyone tells Jack he's going to be utterly nuts if he thinks he can bring Owen back to life with a glove - even if it worked, as Suzie demonstrated, it just kills the wearer. I dunno which depresses me more - one of the worst eps is confirmed as canon or the fact Jack is being so monumentally stupid in the first place. When confronted by the fact he will be lucky to restore Owen for two minutes, Jack backs down somewhat: now he's just going to use it to say goodbye to Owen, rather that pervert the course of nature itself. Well, Jack does his best John Edwards impressions and summons Owen back to life - and he predictably starts screaming hysterically that by the ass crack of the infinite he just got shot and is now in the autopsy room! And then even HE has a go at Jack for the incredible stupid glove business JUST FOR A FUCKING PASSWORD!

With less than thirty seconds left, Owen tells Gwen to piss off, listens in shock as Tosh reveals her love for his rigor-mortised form, and Ianto doesn't get a word in edgeways. Owen then tells everyone at home that Suzie wasn't bullshitting, there IS no afterlife, just darkness. Well, obviously only the GOOD go to heaven, since Eugene Jones (no relation to Ianto, Martha or Harriet) managed it without any fuss. Hah! Owen is damned! Na-nah-na-nah-nah!

What do you mean, I'm irreverant? You think he's not going to be back to normal at the start of next week? I want to know why they're wasting one of the two Martha episodes left, that's far more important! Is it karma for her professionalism last week that Miss Jones needs to be audience identification figure and get some basic info on the gloves conveyed to the audience, all the niggling little details they didn't bother to explain in Everything Changes or They Keep Killing Suzie. "It's glove, it's magic, it's evil!" was all RTD said about it and no one else gave a shit. I wonder why?

Anyway. Owen's dead. Everyone cries. Violins play. Doesn't have as much impact the second time, does it? Especially when it turns out... Owen is still walking, talking and cracking unfunny homophobic abuse. Yes, Owen is now a zombie, so bar a change of makeup application, you can stop concentrating. Is Owen draining Jack's life force? ...who cares? As Abbadon discovered, old Cap'n Jack has more than enough to spare! Meanwhile, Martha is slightly grossed out by Zombie Owen's necophilia gags and decision to start acting like an even bigger arsehole than ever - insulting, mocking and flirting with everything with a pulse. Cue more necrophilia gags. Martha gives him a teleport bracelet to occupy him and then ignores the bastard, presumably crossing the Torchwood gang off the invitation list. And after the way he treats Tosh, I'm surprised they don't throw him in the cells.

Meanwhile, the discard glove... starts to move. Creepy. Well, this IS Matt Jones, he does have some strengths... (haha, Matt, just joking. Fluid Links sucked though, I want my money back). Jones also gets points for remembering that there's this extra character played by Kai Owens called... Rick something... Rhys! That's it! Oh, and he's betrothed to Gwen! Might be worth mentioning him, eh? And so Gwen rings up her boytoy in the middle of the night to... actually we miss that. Let's assume she doesn't just sob mindlessly but actually tells Rhys that her pal got shot dead and is now a zombie. Truth in the relationship, people, otherwise you end up like an Oxford graduate prostituting yourself for absinthe.

Zombie Owen decides to do the party piece 'of something in the darkness' (jeez, didn't we establish that it was Abbadon?) and then finds himself briefly sucked into oblivion. Gosh, this reminds me of the last series of Angel, which started with Spike brought back from the dead, only to be a ghost irregularly being yanked into hell... But Torchwood wouldn't rip off Angel, would they? What the fuck am I on about? I'm surprised they haven't ripped off the rest of that series and have a regular die and transform into a monster played by the same actor. Owen with blue hair, leather and contact lenses? Nah, Amy Acker has the hips for it, but I doubt Burn Gorman has the lips for it. Oh wait, Martha's announcing Zombie Owen is starting to mutate into a new creature. What a coincidence!

As soon as Zombie Owen is alone for five seconds he is haunted by an invisible whispering voice which makes his eyes go funny and speaking in tongues. Uh... Matt? Some new material WOULD be nice here? Even the violin music is the same! The beings known as Torchwood Fans may not have seen The Satan Pit, but I have, and this ripoff doesn't even have Gabriel Woolfe to do the voice! Owen then magically escapes the hub... and enters a trippy 'static pose as the world spins around you' sequence like Carys the Nympho of Death, pausing in his LSD journey to have a pint (and as Martha points out, no good can come of a corpse drinking) where he is tormented by a bunch of teenage girls dressed as angels and an anime grim reaper, and Owen realizes that no amount of viagra can help him now his heart no longer beats.

Martha finally takes her gloves off and points out that Jack is running his organization with the same professionalism as Operation Delta - as she says, they have the power to bring the dead BACK TO LIFE but Torchwood never trusted UNIT enough to mention it! Deaths caused by Torchwood and the glove? Five. Deaths caused by UNIT and the glove? None. Confronted with the fact, once again, they are not the best people to decide how alien technology is used... Jack changes the subject and tries to hunt down a member of his team before they slaughter innocents. Once again.

Damnit, I hope Martha gets the Sontarans to nuke the Hub. I mean, it can only do the world good, right?

Jack finds Zombie Owen, unfortunately Zombie Owen is an incredibly annoyed unkillable zombie and a bit of a fight happens. They then get arrested and their claims of Torchwood fall on deaf ears - presumably EVERY perp in Cardiff tries to pass themselves off as a member of the Empire's Xenophobe Division... Jack and Owen get stuck in a cell as Zombie Owen starts to break wind violently and vomit Exorcist-style the beer he drank. Coz corpses do that. Jack, rather surprisingly, dubs this excremental display "the most disgusting thing ever", which makes him seem like a bit of a prude... but then the two immortals are soon chatting about how Jack's ex Marcel Proust was a tad immature. It's getting so Jack seems to have slept with everyone the Doctor has ever namedropped which is a tad disturbing in a stalker like way, when you think about it. Soon they escape from the station only for around two hundred Weevils to attack from all sides - it's amazing they never managed to convince an army of Cybermen, but can do an army of Weevils, no hassle... and just where DO Weevils get their clothes from?

As our "heroes" flee into Cardiff Carpark (well, there SEEMS to be just the one) the Weevils switch to Maximum Hitchcock Mode, and start multiplying off camera. All seems lost when Zombie Owen turns freaky again and all the Weevils prostrate themselves before him - and back at the Hub, the girls get out the Molenski Univarious thingamabob that opens doors, reprograms computers, scans books and also translates alien languages. Hell, that single prop is more use than the entire gang! But they soon discover that Zombie Owen's fevered mutterings are a quote from the Grim Reaper as he released the Black Death on the world.



This means there were Weevils AND Terileptils running around in 1666. Was Richard Mace banging Jack?

Let us move on.

As Tosh points out "Are we really going to act on something Gwen has googled?!" Why they can't read books, like they do in Buffy, I dunno. But apparently some legend from the 15th century suggests that the Resurrection Glove can summon Death itself, the King of the Weevils! I... I can't cope with this. Matt, what is it with you confronting the archetypes of supernatural horror with some blaise sci fi heroes? First Satan, now Death, and didn't Chris Boucher beat you first? Still, you've cancelled out his time fissures with the Rift, why not do the same with the Fendahl... and guess what? When Death walked Cardiff, he needed thirteen souls for his own nefarious purposes... just like the Fendahl... and a human was transformed into a host creature for Death... just like the Fendahl... but was mysteriously stopped at the last minute... like the Fendahl...

However, Owen is not prepared to let Boucher be ripped off any more and has Martha embalm him before he can turn into Thanatos the Big-Mouthed. But before they can inject him full of more chemicals than Kieth Richards, the glove comes to life and goes Evil Dead II on Martha! This leads to the surreal sight of six grown adults reacting in terror to a glove as Ianto wields a hockey stick... I'm sorry, it was done better with The Young Ones and Vyvyan's sock. This is just silly. And then it does the Auton-groping-Rose face-hugging thing on Martha and...


Smegging hell. Is there some kind of rule that every DW character in TW must either a) be completely out of character or b) suffer hideous humiliation? Since the most edgy thing Martha has done is mention Owen "having a pee", it seems she's doomed to the latter. Less than twelve hours after she was impregnated by a giant alien wasp which then tried to rip its way out via her belly button, she has now been withered to state of David Tennant as Gandalf!


Why not Ianto - who bar checking a stopwatch, opening a safe and holding a hockey stick has said and done NOTHING this week? Or Tosh? Or Gwen, that would be interesting! But no, Martha is the one that suffers and any Who viewers watching will now for certain dub Torchwood and everything it stands for as "a bunch of mindless jerks who'll be the first against the wall when the intuitive revelation comes".

Meantime Owen's shot the glove and started screaming before angry tics burst out of his nipples. Whatever. Gwen and Tosh don't seem particularly interested either. Suddenly Own belches up a skeletal form of smoke and... this all turns out to be a nightmare by Jack... who has dozed off in the SUV... outside hospital, where everyone is rushing to save Martha. Including Owen, who is no longer turning into a monster. What the hell?!

No explanation is forthcoming as Jack announces that Death is stalking the hospital they are in (wow, just like that Buffy episode) which is surrounded by Weevils, just as Gwen reiterates the 'thirteen deaths stopped by faith' questions just in case any viewers were confused by the sudden change in plot. I know I was. And now the name Torchwood has power as the hospital evacuations as Smoky Skeleton Dude causes ward after ward to flatline and turn to rotting corpses... just like the Fendahl.

Just to emphasize this, IT IS ALL TORCHWOOD'S FAULT! Thank God they weren't so stupid enough to have Jack's monologue bigging up the organization... oh wait. They did. Fuckwits.

IANTO: I've searched for the phrase "I shall walk the Earth and my hunger will know no bounds" but I keep getting redirected to Weight Watchers.

Owen and Tosh manage to, for the first time in Torchwood, save a child from certain death (course he's got lukemia... pity they shut down the Pharm or they could have cured him with Reset, but, oh yes, only Torchwood are allowed to make decisions for other people). Then we get yet ANOTHER rant from Gwen were she reveals Death has claimed twelve lives and need but one more and this is bad! WE KNOW, GWEN, SO SHUT UP! Hell, just give him Jack, it normally works... and while this is a better plot than End of Days, it's still a whacking great monster out of the darkness killing thousands because the Hub gang are a bunch of IRRESPONSIBLE BASTARDS! Finally, even Tosh concedes, "We don't know what we're dealing with!" Bit late in the day, Sato!

Ianto reveals that Death was stopped by the one it piggy-backed into the mortal realm, so ergo Owen will be the one to stop it as he has "nothing to lose". So Owen automatically tries to convince the child Jamie that he has nothing to live for and must stop death... you fucking coward, Owen! Oh, wait, Owen was just giving him a pep talk. Coz it sure came across like "Do the decent thing, Jamie! Save us all!"

And so Owen has a girly fistfight with a CGI skeleton.

Jason and the Argonauts, this ain't. The basic idea is that Death has a limited time on Earth before he dissolves, and needs thirteen living bodies. So Owen traps Death in one part of the hospital and delays him until he dissolves, since Owen is already dead and cannot be consumed. Seems a sensible plan, but Jack and Gwen rush in to help THE ZOMBIE by providing DEATH with two fresh bodies.


By sheer luck, they arrive just in time to see Death turn to dust. And Martha is back to normal (wow, completely sidelined in her second episode, smart!) and scares the shit out of Ianto. At least Owen has the guts to apologize to Martha for nearly killing her and confront Jack over all the deaths that are directly his fault. Martha reveals that Zombie Owen has a limited lifespan and could kark out in thirty years or thirty minutes. Owen devotes what time he has left to trying to make amends for the massacre... wow, all the other deaths you cause didn't count? Arrogant zombie son of a bitch.

Jack reminds the audience at home... should there be one... that Death isn't really dead, since you know, everyone's still mortal. He does this in the creepiest, spookiest way possible, specifically to freak out Toshiko, and the episode ends with us wondering why in the name of sweet onion chutney this organization should be shut down completely and Jack sent to do community service as a stripper?

Don't get me wrong, this was a good episode, but it's clear Matt Jones, like the others this series, can't stand the Hub or those who work there. If, at the end of this, you have ANY faith in the gang to save humanity, then you, you are a cool, a sad and a fimpleton! And why did the Weevils worship Death?

I wouldn't mind if I thought it would ever be explained.

Next week... the horror of Richard Briers! Owen is sacked. But then brought back as their field agent, what with his lack of mortality, morality or body heat. No sign of Martha - they probably forgot she was supposed to be in it.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Youth of Australia Program Guide

Simply to refresh where I was up to and what to do... * means unfinished/unready/unstarted.

101. Here's To The Future
At the end of High School, Dave Restal confronts his terror over the future, his unrequited love, and what utter psychos he puts up with in the classroom.

102. The Definition of Insanity (AKA The Good, The Bad, The Ugly & The Dumb)
Dave teams up with Nigel and Andrew of all people to find a new house and become a swinging bachelor.

103. Too Clever By Far
The gang are caught in a desperate war of nerves with the neighbor from hell.

104. Hell With Flourescent Lighting *
The gang meet a millionairess called Eve who allows them to share her flat.

105. Insecurities
Dave asks Nigel for advice on dating, leading to the gang becoming totally different people.

106. Not A Day Of Rest
Nigel sets out to seduce the Head of the Board of Education to raise his HSC mark.

201. The Yuletide Apocalypse *
The gang's first Christmas together is ruined when Eve's parents match her up with Ben Chatham.

202. A Holiday Is As Good As A Change
The gang celebrate New Year's Eve in Manly.

203. It's Always Fun Until They Catch You *
Eve discovers something new about herself and Nigel visits a nude beach.

204. The Foghorn Formally Known As Nigel *
A road trip back from Manly leaves Andrew, Nigel and Dave in a deserted lighthouse on Kangaroo Island.

205. The Storm Before The Calm
When Nigel manages to defraud Centrelink out of thirty grand, he is discovered by Ben Chatham and his new stalker Katie Ryan.

206. The Centre Cannot Hold
Dave's life spirals out of control as Andrew disappears, Nigel gets a job and Eve heads home to her parents.

301. Not A Day Of Rest: This Time It's Personal *
Dave and Nigel indulge in DIY while Andrew and Katie go fishing.

302. Slip-Back *
The gang try to work out what happened to them after a big night out.

303. Heatstroke *
A sudden heatwave causes everyone to start to hallucinate.

304. Unclear Motives
Dave's driving lesson leaves the gang trapped in the Cosi Van Tutte

305. Brain Power *
In the final battle against Ben Chatham, Nigel achieves Enlightenment, Eve leads the Revolution, Andrew is declared insane and Dave finds an old friend.

306. Jacob's Ladder *
A simple trip to the supermarket turns into a robbery gone wrong.

401. The Way Forward *
The gang must say goodbye to Eve.

402. Fools & Family *
Nigel's surreal birthday leads to him appearing on a quizz show called Mindbender.

403. Dreams of Reality
Nigel teams up with Dr Spoon and Chamber to visit a German health spa which masks a hidden menace.

404. Isolated Incidents *
Andrew and Dave accidentally leave Nigel to face the urban legends down at the river.

405. Live By The Rod, Die By The Grunt
After Muck-Up Day riots leave Nigel in hospital, Andrew convinces him he's been in a coma.

406. In Whom We Trust
Nigel and Dave begin to suspect that Andrew is trying to kill them.


Status Anxiety
After an argument about washing up, the gang declare all those with blond hair will be made slaves. Will Eve and Nigel stay meek slaves, or will Andrew restore equality?

Faith No More
Nigel sets up his own religion, the Cult of St Macka The Usurper.

On The Road
The gang head to Canberra to visit one of Dave's relatives... assuming they ever get there.

Sentiment And Other Weaknesses
A brief obsession with plants leads Dave to visit the Botanical Gardens as Dr Spoon unveils his new project: half-cheese plant, half-blood-sucking octopus!

Does A Beeblebrox Care?
Andrew builds Sukatri Odalon, a paranoid android, to have someone intelligent to talk to.

The Rejoining of the Ways
The guys go to their high school reunion and discover what happened to all the interesting people.

Behind You!
A carnivorous space monster attacks the gang. And wins.

Andrew's Legacy
Dave and Nigel try to cope when Andrew leaves them.

500 Miles To Christmas
Nigel ends up playing Santa Claus at a shopping centre, and actually falls in love with the girl working in the ABC shop nearby.

The End Days
The gang investigate signs and portents of the oncoming Armageddon.

Lost Causes Depress Me
The gang find a gangster with a hidden agenda. Or do they?

The Art of Crime
Nigel finds a way to pay off his debt to Centrelink... if he can survive the trip to the National Gallery.

The Other Side
An accident leaves the gang in the afterlife. Can they return to the mortal coil? Why bother?

Identity Crisis
With Eve unavailable, Dave has to dress up as her in order to scam some free food from an official function... but then he goes nuts and decides he wants to stay that way!

Complete Moral Outrage
Dave brings the fight between Andrew and Nigel to an end with artificial nightmares!

Nigel attempts to get his novel published, but there is more than meets the eye to his plotting.

Alpha Female
Andrew invites Katy to stay at the appartment, and Nigel decides that if there isn't going to be a massive girl fight between her and Eve, he'll have to start one on his own.

Some wild mushrooms lead to everyone's personalities reversing.

Delayed Reaction
Dave gets a cursed totem that begins to destroy everything that annoys him.

A Day At The Races
The gang explore some suspicious goings on at the gymkhana.

Night Thoughts
Reality starts to go wierd late one night, as the gang discovers a sentient pink cloud.

Party Time! Excellent!
The gang hold a housewarming party. Which gets REALLY out of hand.

No One Is Safe
A trip to Katie's Uni reveals a serial killer stalks the area.

Underqualified Success
The gang are put in charge of a beatnik art gallery.

The Easy Way Out
Nigel embraces religion after a date goes really really wrong.

The gang confront their feelings when they get stuck on the top of a tour bus when it starts to rain.

Why Can't It Just Be Over?
Dave's birthday goes as expected.

The Cost of Living
The gang remember they have to do their taxes.

Zeitgiest of Indecision
Nigel remembers the last high school disco he was at.

Actually, I Asked For Decaff
The gang go to vote.


1. PUB

Nigel is crooning romantically to Eve, who stares at him adoringly.

NIGEL: [SMOOTHLY] I’ve no excuse, Eve. I just want you to use me, take me and abuse me. Look at me, in the rain, calling out your name again... I know what I want, and I want it now, I want you, then I want a little more. Lift your hands and voices, free your mind and join us, you can feel it in the air. Do you have the time, to listen to me whine, about everything and nothing all at once? [BELCHES] Now, every day’s a holiday and all I do is dance.

EVE: Your point being?


EVE: I’ll drink to that!

ANDREW: [FIRMLY] No, don’t drink THAT!

He grabs the bottle away from Eve before she can remove the lid.

EVE: Why not??

ANDREW: Eve, it’s bleach!

EVE: Sorry, Drew. Thought it said "Brandy". Or was it cider?

ANDREW: [COUGHS] The thing about cider is that you have to remember to breathe every now and then. I know it gets in the way but its important to remember.

They clink glasses together.

BOTH: Cheers!

EVE: Y’know, Andrew, I think that this is the last bottle of vodka. [LONG PAUSE] Oh, well, it was nice knowing it. [OPENS BOTTLE AND POURS A GLASS] She made the ultimate sacrifice so that I might drink.

ANDREW: There’s no more booze?

He peers at the bottles, but they swim in and out of focus.

ANDREW: Uh... [POINTS] Zero... what comes after zero? I forget. But... [SHAKES HEAD] This is bad.

On the table, Nigel opens one eye and closes it again.

NIGEL: [DRYLY] This room is still spinning. Take it away and get me a new one. NOW!

Dave tries to get up, but can’t. He looks mildly hysterical.

DAVE: My legs don’t work! I CAN’T GET MY LEGS TO WORK!!

EVE: Those’re your arms. Your legs are the walking things.

NIGEL: Um... am I the only one around here in the LEAST bit disconcerted about the room spinning so fast?

Andrew chuckles loudly and falls, face-down, onto the table.

EVE: [HAPPILY] Hey, we’re just in time for a sing-song! Andrew’s passed out but that’s OK – cause you’re my best friend ever!

Eve hugs Nigel. Dave laughs so hard he collapses.

DAVE: [SADLY] My leg’s STILL don’t work.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Aged Scientist Dahvrose Has Developed A New Species...

Well, yep. It's official.

And for want of something else to say, a transcription of the climax of the Audio Visual story Planet of Lies, showing that the Time War was an old idea before RTD came up with it on the spot in 2003. Everyone in the scene was played by Nicholas Briggs, with his emperor voice being the same spine-gnawing grate of The Parting of the Ways in case you thought that was original too...

(Scene: Dalek Control, identical to the one in Evil of the Daleks.)

DALEK: Scanners detect the Doctor procedding along corridor 247.

DALEK EMPEROR: Excellent. Enter.

DOCTOR: (in pain) I obey. I don't know how you did it, but you got me here. So just get it over with, you've waited long enough to kill me.

DALEK EMPEROR: Extermination is not our purpose.

DOCTOR: What?!

DALEK EMPEROR: You have already served the Daleks well. You will now do so again.

(Scene: a few minutes and a few less main characters later.)

DOCTOR: I said are you listening to me? Answer me!

DALEK EMPEROR: I am informed that the time is near.

DOCTOR: "Time"? What time? What do you mean?!

DALEK EMPEROR: The time for you to serve the Daleks again.

DOCTOR: I'll never serve the Daleks - and I never have.

DALEK EMPEROR: That is not true. You destroyed the mental energies of the primitives' artefact.

DOCTOR: The Totem of Shuboogim? That would have torn apart the continuum! I had to destroy it!

DALEK EMPEROR: No, you destroyed it because I wished you to.

(Scene: more death and destruction later.)

DALEK EMPEROR: There is fear and confusion in your mind, Doctor.

DOCTOR: What? Heh. I'd never have thought amateur psychology was quite your line...

DALEK EMPEROR: I know your mind.

DOCTOR: You know NOTHING! I came to this planet out of compassion and friendship to find the girl YOU abducted from the TARDIS! Can you understand that? You, whose minds are riddled with neuroses and paranoia! All you understand is fear, the fear of those victims you terrorize and your own fear and envy of all that is unlike you!

DALEK EMPEROR: You do not fear us, but you fear those doubts in your own mind.

DOCTOR: Look at you! Trapped inside your web like a beetle with its wings torn off... I'd only have to wrench at a couple of these feeding tubes and --

DALEK: You will not harm the Emperor!

DOCTOR: Ah, the Dalek Supreme, hiding in the shadows along with his minions!

DALEK EMPEROR: I have no need of their assistance, Doctor. Carry out your threat.

DOCTOR: I'm not afraid to die... (pained) Agh! Can't...

DALEK EMPEROR: You will do only as I command.

DOCTOR: I... don't...

DALEK EMPEROR: A psychotropic link was surgically implanted within your brain, subjugating your will to mine. Your mind is no longer your own.

DOCTOR: Then you made me destroy the Totem of Shuboogim.

DALEK EMPEROR: Because it was a threat only to the Daleks. Interrogation of captured primitives revealed this fact.

DOCTOR: And that's why you brought me here? To remove that threat to your dominance over time?

DALEK EMPEROR: You are the last Time Lord. The only being capable of entering and destroying the Tribe's Unconscious. Attempts to abduct you from the TARDIS were unsuccessful and power-consuming. Both the male and female humanoids were taken due to inaccuracy. The replicant male was substituted to ensure success.

DOCTOR: And Ria?

DALEK EMPEROR: The girl was captured from the Nomad Tribe to lure you here. She will now be exterminated.


DALEK EMPEROR: She is of no consequence to you now - you have but one purpose.

DALEK: Time distortion field will align with spatio-temporal location in Gallifreyan history as predicted.

DALEK EMPEROR: Excellent. The Doctor will be taken to the spaceship.

DOCTOR: What do you intend to force me to... gah!

DALEK EMPEROR: Now our minds are as one, Doctor. Think.

DOCTOR: The Eye of Harmony?

DALEK EMPEROR: Which balances all things that may neither flux nor wither...

DOCTOR: No, stop it! Get out of my mind!

DALEK EMPEROR: You cannot prevent me. The fortuitous effects of the unknown disaster which struck this planet are now dissipating.

DOCTOR: The time eddies?

DALEK EMPEROR: Another shock to the Eye of Harmony at precisely the same moment in space and time is required.

DOCTOR: That will destroy --

DALEK EMPEROR: It will be done! The Star Rover now contains our most powerful explosives. You will pilot it.

DOCTOR: I don't see why you need me... Haha. You don't know where it is!

DALEK EMPEROR: Dalek scientists have located the vacinity of what was once the Time Lords' capitol. You will find the exact target.

DOCTOR: Oh no. (pained) I'd rather die!

DALEK EMPEROR: You will not die until the moment of impact. You will obey. You have no choice! Take him!

DALEK: I obey. You will enter the Star Rover.
DOCTOR: Like a lamb to the slaughter. The reaction predetermined. Is this really how it's going to end? 900 years of life culminating in the greatest crime in history? I don't even have the option of sucide...

DALEK: We shall prevail. This is the triumph of the Daleks! Destroy the survivors! They cannot escape!

DOCTOR: I don't know what will happen if the Eye of Harmony is utterly destroyed... It's literally unimaginable. I don't suppose the Emperor knows either. He must realize the risk he's taking - but then he probably won't mind dying himself if every other living thing in the space time continuum dies with him. Paranoia doesn't sink any lower than that...

Sunday, February 17, 2008

By Any Other Name

Back in the old days, my parents taped Doctor Who in movies on Saturday afternoon and oft did not have any chance to check the titles when they wrote them down. Ergo, my knowledge of this sci-fi show is mingled with how I personally think of each story's title... but what if this insanity of retitling spread to other eras beyond the latter half of the Fourth Doctor and the Seventh Doctor's eras?


The Dawn of Knowledge
The Dalek Survivors
The Fifth Intelligence
The Conscience of Marinus
The False Goddess
First Contact
The Fall of Robespierre
Death in the Afternoon
The Dalek Invasion
Roman Holiday
The Power of the Animus
The Holy Land
At The End of Time
Ticket to Ride
1066 And All That
Culture Shock
Alone Against the Daleks
The Siege of Troy
Unity of the Daleks
The Night Before
The Death of the Sun
The Last Move
The Wild West
The Parasites
Mechanized Evolution
The Cursed Treasure
The First Cybermen


The Law of the Daleks
What Cannot Be Reclaimed
Revenge of the Cybermen
No Such Thing As Macra
The Chameleon Factor
The Decline And Fall of the Dalek Empire
You Belong To The Cybermen
The Yeti
War of Lies
Enemy Intelligence
The Battle of the Giants
Phase VI
The Quarks
The Land of Fiction
The Cyberman Invaders
A Dying World
Argonite Thieves
The War To End All Wars


Oh Well...
Before Man
The Ultimate Emergency
Basic Weaknesses
The Nightmare Machine
The Face of the Devil
Traitor of the Daleks
The Curse of Aggedor
The Justice Hand
The Solonian Summer
Master of Atlantis
The Will of Omega
Warmongers On Both Sides
The Supremacy of the Daleks
The Giant Maggots
Linx the Sontaran
The Golden Age
The Last Dalek War
The Wrath of Aggedor


The Giant Robots
The Ark of Light
The Thing in the Rocks
Creator of the Daleks
The Planet of Gold
The Loch Ness Monster
The Plants of Evil
Last of the Osirans
The Kraals
The Cult of Morbius
Mandragora Swallows The Moon
Eldrad Must Live
The Call From Gallifrey
Destroy And Be Free
Robots Cannot Kill!
The Tong of the Black Scorpion
The Beast of Fang Rock
The Enemy Within
The Skull of the Fendahl
Praise the Company
The Quest Is The Quest
Victory Over Time
The Key to Time: Jethryk
The Key to Time II: Calufrax
The Key to Time III: Ogri
The Key to Time IV: Tara
The Key to Time V: Octopus
The Key to Time VI: The Valley of the Shadow
Genesis of the Daleks
The Monster In The Pit
The Eden Project
The Great Journey of Life
New Argolis
The Two Doctors
The Swamp
The Vampires
The Gateway
The Next Keeper of Traken
The End of the Universe


The Zero Room
Monarch is God
All Things Are Possible
Richard Mace
The Cricket Match
The Death of Adric
Omega Lives
Find The Stillpoint
The Flying Dutchman
Winner Takes All
Kamelion's Demons
The Game of Rassilon
War in the Deeps
Malus Comes
Beyond The Frontier
Ressucitation of the Daleks
The Outsider
The Spectrox War


Army of the Cybermen
Survive the Vote
The Luddite Riots
In A Fix With The Sontarans
Herbert George Wells
Tranquil Repose
I Am The Individual
The Trial of Doctor Who
i. Ends of the Earth
ii. You Killed Peri
iii. The Vervoids
iv. The Undiscovered Country


Doctor Who In The TARDIS
Build High For Happiness
Why Do Fools Fall In Love?
Ice World
The End of the Daleks
The Kandyman
Cyber War
The Gods of Ragnarok
Gabriel Chase
The Chains of Fenric Shatter


Back from the Dead
The Universal Mind
The Triskele
Garrazone System
The Death of Venice
Mistaken Identity
Nothing And Nobody
When Rules Are Suspended
Return of the Solarians
Free Will of the Daleks
The Tale of the Foolish King
Alpha Sphere
The State Loves You
Resistance Is Useless
Oh Ye Of Too Much Faith
The Three Doctors
Honest Villainy And False Heroism
New Skaro
The Garden of Eden
Identity Crisis
The Cube
Welcome to Hell
Everyone Leaves
Red Rocket Rising
The Lonely Ones
Olympian Detachment
Latin for Fear
...Till It's Gone
Hostile Takeover


The Nestene Incursion
Gas Light
The Last of the Daleks
Satellite Five
An Ordinary Man
Captain Jack Will Fly You High Tonight
Those Left Behind
Cowards And Killers


After The Smoke Of Battle Has Cleared...
The Christmas Massacre
Everything Is New Again
The Empire of the Wolf
The Skasis Paradigm
The Immortal Ones
The Idiot Box
The Army of the Beast
Salvation Or Damnation
Torchwood Rises And Torchwood Falls
The Christmas Wedding
Justice Is Swift
The Lost Play
Journey's End
The Children of Skaro Must Walk Again
The Basic Instinct
Burn With Me
Revenge of Balthazaar
John Smith And The Common Men
The Lonely Assassins
The Beat of the Drums
Wibbly Wobbly Timey-Wimy
The Christmas Inferno
The Fat Just Walks Away
Friends of the Ood
Murder in the Afternoon
Bad Wolf
Apocalypse of the Daleks
The Proms
The Court of the Cyber-King
Eye of the Swarm
The Trickster
Life on Mars
Area 51

You May Have Heard Of Me... My Name Is Blake

The latest email was the last he expected to see. Were his still-sleepy eyes playing tricks? He clicked the cursor over the offending new message, simultaneously deleting six spam emails offering various pharmaceutical deals and personal organ enhancement offers.

There could be no mistake.

The sender was none other than Neil Blissett, the topic unambiguously "B7 Sequel Project", and the message:

Hi Everyone
Just to let you all know I have just uiploaded a Sequel Project update, episode 609: Retribution written by Ewen. It's a good read. Series 7 is coming.

He let the message linger on the screen, the email file changing from bold text to normal as the computer realized the email had been read and no longer needed to be emphasized. A thought emerges from the shock:

That link at the bottom of the blog actually works...

Then another:

Guess I better finish Nexus.

Then another:

Should I tell him about Deciet?

Then finally:

Wait a minute, he's put up the crappy first draft, not the perfect version up on this very blog.

And so he sat, wondering what to do. So he went shopping, for supplies were low and animals hungry. But he'd be back....

This episode fit well with what I had in mind but couldn't quite work out how to do. It's given me a few ideas and the second episode of series 7 will now be slightly different to what I intended before I read this.

Overall a good character driven episode that manages to bring in all the crew and even allows a cameo appearance by Avon. The relationship between Blake and the others reaches breaking point with even Soolin considering abandoning him, only for circumstances to bring them back together. The emotional appeal by Avon means that Blake can now count more on the crew, a situation that will continue until the end of series 6.

Torchwood Wishes They Were As Cool As Martha Jones

Martha Jones strong!
Martha Jones mighty!
Martha Jones rocks!

As Jack's bewildering return to the world of Cardiff makes me wonder if there is an unwritten law to contradict Doctor Who as much as possible, Martha Jones arrival in the Hub makes me wonder about just what the hell we are supposed to make of the main characters. Part of the trouble is, as ever, the fact RTD regurgitated his old Excalibur script without fully meshing it with Doctor Who. Torchwood was originally shown as an incredibly powerful and secret organization run for the express benefit of the English Empire and staffed with the best and brightest. Torchwood Three is a lone band of emotional cripples lead by an omnisexual immortal with a severe personality disorder.

Now, I always assumed that it was just dodgy writing and the Hub gang were supposed to be viewed as a serious team of the elite of alien-monster-fighting scientists and soldiers. But, no. These guys really ARE a worthless band of losers who have as much right to meddle with alien artifacts and defend humanity as Ren and Stimpy should be put in charge of infant heart surgery. Certainly, Reset makes it clear in its opening minutes that for all Jack's posturing about them being ready for the 21st century and beyond the grasp of all other authorities... they really are not qualified to do anything. And they are also completely stupid.

Ladies and gentlemen, Martha Jones has arrived, and if you don't want her to leave right away to show how grown ups deal with alien incursions, then you're watching the wrong show.

Martha's a lot different from the pretty student we saw at St Garts such a long time ago, but for the first time the character's total redefinition in Torchwood seems logical. After The Last of the Time Lords, Martha is a different person, ipso facto. She's walked the Earth, she's saved humanity, she's grown up. She dresses in a suit, for crying out loud, rather than her trademark burgundy leather jacket and chopsticks in her hair, she makes it clear to Jack she doesn't miss the Doctor anywhere near as much as he does, she's a fully qualified doctor of alien medicine and as far as I can make out is as important to modern day UNIT as Jon Pertwee was to the 70s version. Now, this does have the downside of killing stone dead any kind of audience identification with our favorite Dark Lady, but that's the point.

In less than two minutes of entering the hub - and being completely unimpressed with all the DS9 revolving doors, secret passages, rift manipulators and subway stations marked TORCHWOOD - Martha has pretty much bitchslapped the entire organization to the point you realize they need to up their game to ensure they're above Operation Delta. Ianto is caught on the hop by her, Owen is shown to be utterly pathetic as a phorensic pathologist and Tosh and Gwen immediately fall silent and watch on with hurt expressions. She's the Alpha Female and she doesn't even insult anyone or act mean or anything. She just arrives, says hello to Jack and gets on with her work... you know, the way everyone else doesn't.

Hell, Owen actually tries to talk them off the case by showing off the latest alien artefact. He has no idea what it's for, how it works, but nevertheless starts firing laser bolts around the Hub, nearly killing Ianto in his quest to set fire to a piece of paper in a styrofoam cup. It's clear that whatever Martha thinks of Jack's team, she'll be calling a certain police box wearing a blonde wig and calling herself Rose before going to Cardiff for help. It's even more painful as she realizes that Jack hasn't even SLEPT with his fellow gang, and they don't even know he's a time traveller! Every time Gwen or the others opens their mouths, you see Martha's (and our own) respect for the Welsh Crusaders drop further.

Thankfully, the retarded incompetence of Torchwood Three is done for comic effect, and thus comes across more deliberate than the endless parade of disciplinary failures of the first series. But before we go onto the plot proper, a word about the direction... who gave the drugs to the director? Several shots literally dissolve like acid into another, and you can get whiplash from sweeping jump cuts and flashes of alien screensavers that seem to edit out all the stupid talky stuff to focus on the plot.

What is the plot? People are being killed across Wales and England, apparently murdered by injections and a conspiracy ensues all the victims' medical records are mysteriously wiped. After three minutes (well, maybe more in "story time") Martha concludes that the injections are not the cause of death per se, but applied to destroy some kind of evidence left in the corpses before anyone can detect it. "These attacks aren't random, they're clinical, professional," Martha muses to Gwen. Got the subtext there, Welsh girl?

Meanwhile, Owen and Martha belt out medical jargon to each other where they establish that the stuff being pumped into the victims is... er... odd. I'm lost, they speak so fast and use things like "perfect cholestorol levels" and "parasitic sub-strains", I'm at a loss to work out if it's good or bad, let alone what the hell they're deducing. Was this episode speeded up to fit the timeslot or something? It's making me dizzy. Their magical flitting through the hub to the hospital and back doesn't help either, but apparently the only survivor of the needle attack, a teenage girl, is in perfect health apart from some alien crap in her blood. Which is... uh... interesting.

Coz Tosh has been left on teleport duty, er, computer duty, and Jack is... where is Jack? No idea. Anyway, Gwen and Tosh are chatting with this student, who is the friend of another student. Who is dead. Cause he got the lethal injection, but it wasn't lethal, it was something else and the injection was something else and he was diabetic... GOD DAMN IT, SLOW DOWN! Jesus! It's only ten minutes into the episode and I can't keep up - and I'm the man who made sense of Resurrection of the Daleks and Warrior's Gate! THIS IS SOME SERIOUSLY CONFUSING SHIT HAPPENING, MAN!

Turns out that diabetes cannot be cured in the heady future of, uh, is it 2009? So the fact the dead student was cured of it is an evil clue. OK. So the students are part of the Sleeper Cell or something and someone else is killing them? If so, who's doing the injection of evidence removal? OH MY HEAD!!! Oh, it just strikes me that the first shot of the episode, the door to Ianto's tourist office, has the newspaper from Boomtown on it - New Mayor, New Cardiff. My brain's just not keeping up with this... SLOW DOWN! Right. The teenage girl was HIV positive, but was given a miracle cure "Reset", the same experimental drug that cured the student. Right. "Reset" comes from "the Pharm" and... Owen's shoving his hands up under her hospital gown... What? For once, I don't think he's trying to cop a feel, but that's sure as hell what it looks like, like that bit in The Mutants where Ky molests Jo back to life by fondling her breasts in a strange alien CPR. Pity Martha is looking away at the time or she'd no doubt have a few choice words for "Dr" Harper, the ugly bastard. Still, he hasn't slagged off Tosh this week. Where we we?

Now the teenage girl has dropped dead before she can explain further... and coughed up a swarm of bugs... in a hospital... and Martha and Owen are hiding from them and alarms are going off... but the bugs are dead. So... "Reset" are like chest busting aliens incubating in humanity under the guise of being a cure... Wait a minute, this is a rip off of Slow Decay! That's another novel rendered non canonical - what the fuck is going on at BBCWales? They're being forced to plagiarize their own TV-tie-in novels to come up with new episodes!

My consciousness is impaired. I cannot think. And it's not even fifteen minutes into the story.


I think I'll try watching it again tomorrow.



That makes a lot more sense. I won't go into intense detail over the rest of the plot, however, as for once actual spoilers exist that I feel duty bound to hide. Mmm. The most interesting thing is that, unlike the rest of the season, this episode palpably exists in the same continuity as The Last of the Time Lords, with Jack telling Whitehall to go fuck itself coz he doesn't really trust them after they elected the Master prime minister. Also, while Martha's survival is guaranteed - and the info she has a boyfriend who has saved her life is a bit of a surprise - what is done to her in this ep... well, suffice it to say it would never happen in Doctor Who. It's a touch gross and uncomfortable and reminds me of Xtro... Poor Martha.

This episode certainly has the potential to rewrite the premise of Torchwood. There's a hint that the proper authorities are no longer prepared to put up with Jack and his gang of fools, and tackling the Pharm in such a way effectively is the Hub declaring war on the rest of humanity - they've certainly burned their bridges with Britain. Perhaps Torchwood will be redefined as not the professional MIBs they want to be, but a bunch of well--intentioned amateurs with the moral highground over the worlds governments? That they are simply the lesser of two evils? Frightening thought that... And does that mean they'll be asking Sarah Jane Smith for help in future?

At the end of the day, I'm just guessing about all of this - we all know how rubbish Torchwood is at creating ongoing story arcs. Even the final shattering conclusion of Reset (hint, hint) is undermined by the title of the next episode alone!

And so, this episode leaves us to marvel at the sight of Grownup Martha - so different to the fresh faced student of yesteryear - mingling with Owen Harper. It's a sight which will stand up there with oddities like Ace and Mel in Dragonfire, Turlough and Peri in Planet of Fire, Polly, Ben and Dodo in The War Machines, Vicki and Katarina in The Myth Makers, and Steven, Ian and Barbara in The Chase. Work out the common factor, boys and girls, and in the meantime relish the fact that out of six episodes, only two have been truly below par, unlike year one, where they were all of the same horrible standard.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Torchwood Plagiarizing Buffy?! What are the odds?!

Following my complete and utter disillusionment over what the first two episodes promised to be a decent series, I've decided to do a 'live review' of the latest episode Adam. First off, I'll list all my expectations and my hopes that for once I will not be crushingly disappointed. Again.

So, my predictions for this episode
  • It will be a one off self contained story that contradicts everything around it unintentionally
  • It will render Border Princes uncanonical
  • Character development of the regulars will not happen, or at least regress to the way it was in series one
  • It will completely rip off Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  • It will completely rip off Farscape
  • It will not be as entertaining as the show it is clearly ripping off
Now, like or love it, Buffy is a rather large part of the fantasy sci fi bollocks genre, as is its spin off Angel. Amazingly enough, looking back on it, these shows managed to tackle big issues like high school shootings, child abuse, drug addiction, prostitution, corruption, racism, terrorism, religious fundamentalism... and never once started swearing like troopers. Or behaving so utterly stupid as Torchwood's finest have.

Ultimately, RTD has actually stolen very little from Buffy - bar the episode The Zeppo, a lovely comedy episode basically told from the view of a passer by which shows how utterly pretentious and ridiculous the whole format can be. It was, as they say, a Buffy lite episode and thus has inspired The Long Game, Boomtown, Love & Monsters and Blink. You could say RTD's nicked stuff like the emotional cores, family life, and self-aware comedy, but you could say Buffy nicked that first... hell, watch Survival then Rose and spot any differences!

But one of the notable Buffy episodes was Superstar. And when I say notable it was briefly the Utopia of Buffys, since I was there when the hype happened. Quite simply, there is a regular character in Buffy called Jonathon who is a meek nerd. Often in the background he would get a line or so an episode, usually being the random passer by Buffy saves from a monster. He was completely forgettable. Which is the point, so when it is Jonathon of all people who presents Buffy with an award on Prom Night where the apparently clueless Sunnydale population reveal like, duh, they noticed the hot blonde saving their asses from demons, it's a good moment. It's even better when you see the infamous banned episode where the mysterious figure in the high school clock tower with a sniper rifle is revealed to be Jonathon, and more to the point was going to kill HIMSELF before Buffy arrives and unwittingly saves him.

The point is, Jonathon is no one. And then... Superstar arrives. And suddenly Jonathon is living in a mansion, incredibly famous, with movie posters showing his face and every single character worshipping him and in awe of him. It doesn't take much to realize some kind of conspiracy has been hatched, what with a single and very short and weak human being stronger than the Chosen One specifically bred to fight vampires. The reveal is that Jonathon has cast a spell to make him godlike and loved - which is really sad and pathetic in a moving way. What was interesting was that although it was a comedy it was played completely straight, even down to the opening credits being edited to have shots of this short nerd kicking ass in a leather jacket.

This one off ep lead to Dawn Summers. Now, Buffy is an only child. She's the classic example of the only child. So when she comes home and finds a strange girl in her room, the audience are lost when it's clear Buffy knows this wierdo as her sister. After many episodes wondering just who this girl is and why everyone seems to know her like she's always been there, we discover Dawn is not human but an energy being in deep cover who has effected everyone's memories to think of her as a long-term regular.

I mention this because this plot was ripped off wholesale for the Torchwood novel Border Princes, which features the Hub team joined by James Harper a nice enough bloke who uses metaphors and similies in his work. Now, I can forgive such a steal because (a) it's done very well (b) the plot is explored properly and (c) the implication is, when James' true nature is revealed and everyone forgets about him, this leads to the apparent insanity of the crew on TV.

The fact the TV series is contradicting the books would not be a surprise - hell, try reading the novels and watch Tennant's first season where every single one of them is rendered uncanonical - but what gets me is that the books of Torchwood are much, much better than the parent show. Not only is half of the Torchwood canon being ignored, it's the only half worth knowing.

As for ripping off Joss Whedon, Torchwood perpetrated this crime far more than Doctor Who ever did.

Like Angel, Jack is an immortal good looking guy of dubious sexuality in a big coat, living in a city with a team to help him save humanity both collectively and individually from an undefined disaster in the twentieth century. Like Angel, there are ridiculous 'sweep shots of the city at night' despite the fact Torchwood is in Cardiff and the main character is allowed to move around in the day. Other steals from Angel are: a team regular dying shockingly in the early episodes and being hastily replaced; the second episode involving a sex-obsessed serial-killing non-human; the main character fighting demonic forces he encountered in centuries earlier without time travel; Greeks Bearing Gifts sans lesbian subplot is a line by line rip off of Earshot, down to the scene where the immortal's mind cannot be read... oh, and Spike turning up. That was a tad blatant.

So, now I've got it off my chest how utterly derivative this show is (even when it's not total crap), I can now suffer watching the first few scenes... AND WHAT A SURPRISE! There's this new bloke, Adam (dear god, why couldn't they get a name that hadn't been used already in Doctor Who?) mingling with Torchwood Three in the '21st century changing' monologue. Just like Superstar.

Dear God, Torchwood of late boasts the originality of Sparacus WILL YOU JUST GET SOME NEW IDEAS!!

The most interesting thing of the first few seconds is that Jack is handing out those Dalek Tommy guns to his newly expanded team... and, can I just ask why the hell are we having a story where the Torchwood team is going to have its memory altered? My god, they do it to the general populace every week, so it's hardly a new idea in the show. Will it actually make them realize how utterly stupid retconning humanity is? Will Jack, who left his whole life after his own memories were altered, actually react to this?

I'm hating the episode before it's started! That's just one editing "gag" can do to a fellow - I only hope that England isn't as telefantasy-wise as I am, or they might switch off at this dearth of new ideas. CANCEL THIS SHOW, SOMEONE! PLEASE! IT WILL NEVER WORK! Jesus, they can't even afford to alter the final 'action shot' of the entire gang to include Adam in. Go on, RTD, justify this cack-handed crap - I notice you distanced yourself entirely from Cyberwoman insisting "I'm gay, I don't have any input into this Cyber-sex-slave or why anyone would be interested in it, over to the hetros, they must know what they're doing!" - I DARE YOU!

Guess I better actually, you know, watch some of the ep. Oh, very well if you insist...

Our episode starts with Gwen and Rhys enjoying each other's company. Well, he wants a shag, she has to go to work and there's a wrestle, but it's full of laughter and love it requires a proper description. Tragically, I suspect this blissful coexistence will be one episode only. Dear God, wouldn't have been possible to have Adam there in the first episode when Jack returns? Built it up rather than suddenly change everything and change it back in one episode? Sorry, bitching again. Still haven't had any actual plot. And it strikes me that Gwen's "work" is not specifically mentioned as Torchwood. Is she still with the police?

To the Hub. Now I've got rid of my "Buffy-theft-hate", I have to like the way it's going. The day starts with Jack handing over a crate full of alien junk for the team to sort out. The team being Tosh (no real change, except she's wandering around rather than at her computer), Owen (wearing spectacles and now a timid McCallif-type gentleman) and Adam. God, three seconds and he's come across as more arrogant, poncy and self-absorbed than Owen managed in four episodes. I mean, show this episode to someone who's NEVER seen Torchwood before and they'll instantly peg Adam as the one NOT to trust, as he gives himself the lion's share of the 'working at computer' duty before Jack can say anything. At least we know there's a reason why this git was allowed through the door to join the team... and he looks ugly. I may not be expressing myself right, and attempt to look past external appearances, but this guy's face is... wrong. His head seems too large, or maybe his face looks too small. And that metrosexual quiff looks like some very crude special effect.

Maybe it's deliberate. Gosh, I'm waffling a lot. On with the plot.

Gwen arrives after a trip to Paris and immediately notices something odd. Owen is dressed like David Tennant and has not made a single suggestive remark. Tosh has realized she has breasts and dresses to emphasize this fact. And wrong-faced floppy-haird "I've been here for three years" git is sitting in her chair. So she demands Jack to know what the hell is going on while everyone stares at her like she's crazy and Adam himself looks even more dodgy and secretive than before. Adam then does the Vulcan nerve pinch and instantly Gwen's memories of season one are altered so this fun-loving ugly-faced git was in them.

Well, there goes the mystery angle. Just in case Whedon would soil his hands by suing the losers who commisioned this.

Now the whole plot has been pretty much boiled out in one minute thirty-three seconds, let's see where the plot can go now?

Oh. The opening titles. Shit. And it's Cathy Tregenna writing it - good old 'no monsters, more angst, suicidal self-sacrifice and an incredibly dodgy central premise' Tregenna. Jesus. When's Chris Chibnall coming back? Or Martha Jones? Or Spike? My enthusiasm has just stormed out and slammed the door behind it AND IT'S ONLY JUST STARTED! Maybe I need a sugar hit or something...

Plot. Adam's nefarious scheme has only started today, as he is already using the Hub computers to create a fictional history for himself as... "Adam Smith". Jesus. Why not call himself John Smith? Might get a laugh. However, Tosh has already twigged something is suspicious as to why wrong-faced floppy-haird "I've been here for three years" git is changing his personnel file. Gosh, at this rate he'll be out the door before five minutes are up. But Adam just retcons Tosh so they are lovers and she is too overcome with emotion for his fabulously... ugly body to notice his massively dodgy behaviour. Uh, why not just erase the last minute from her memory? Oh well, at least she get's a straight snog. Again. And it seems that the mystery object of alien origin today is a model of a Borg Cube. Nice to know the same level of effort goes into all aspects of the show.

Bloody hell! They've remembered that Owen fancies Tosh! Even when Owen has now been so lobotomized he is the awkward Hugh Grant, so meek he seems not to question the fact two people he works closely with have suddenly been an item for a year. My ep is still buffering so we must cut to Jack, who is down in the cells hurling abuse at the Weevil. Jeez, he must be pretty pissed off considering his overall compassion for these wild animals. Alas - it's Creet from Utopia (well, someone who looks like him)! And those two hands from Jack's flashback in KKBB! JESUS FUCKING CHRIST! Someone's been paying attention! My enthusiasm has returned for its car keys, but I urge it to stay and see how things develop. Maybe that run of two incredibly shit episodes was a brief downer? We can only hope.

Jack is his "usual" flirty self with Gwen (usual as in "whenever we remember his characterization") but he's distracting her from the spooky ghost of the little boy that does the whole 'vanish when you look' away thing, and he don't want to talk about it. Upstairs, Owen is trying to act cute with fluffy bunnies to seduce Tosh. Well. Yes. Awkward, but it's a darn sight better than drugging her and raping her as RTD's version would have done with an infuriatingly wide toothy hiss. I like Hugh Grant Owen. Let us keep him. A Torchwood Three member who is able to think beyond the contents of their underpants would be a real weapon in their arsenal of non-specific weapons against a non-specific threat (the Sleeper Cell? We can only hope CC is paying as much attention as CT is...) However, Tosh thinks she's getting all the sex she is and is unspeakably rude to Owen. I mean, hell, that sort of dialogue is reserved for John Simms' Master it is so cruel. BITCH! Gwen then coups de gras by calling him "a little puppy dog with no chance" - fuck off! Thank God we're not supposed to think the regulars are in their normal state of mind this week, but aren't they getting a bit suspicious of Adam repeatedly giving them all nerve pinches?

That night, Gwen returns home where Rhys is waiting for her. Gwen, however, has completely forgotten who the hell Rhys is and pulls a knife on him. Jesus Christ, girl! OK, I understand you're surprised, but it's a guy wearing nothing but a bathrobe, no need to pull out a knife - and you'll notice his photo all over the place. Let's hope Rhys remembers Torchwood... In fairness, however, he's not given a chance to talk when Gwen pulls a gun on her "stalker" and calls in Jack. And Adam. Oh dear. Rhys' future ain't looking bright.

No, wait, Jack still knows Rhys and together they point out the photos and her engagement ring (CT... I think I LOVE YOU!!) and what's more, Rhys remembers the events of the previous episode! WOW! It's like the writer KNOWS what the hell she's doing! My enthusiasm admits it is willing agree to differ on the Buffy theft.

Adam for whatever reason is unable to nerve pinch Gwen to remember Rhys, or wipe this incident from everyone's memories (I'll give the rest of the episode the chance to explain why not) and thus the Hub turn themselves onto finding out why Gwen has completely forgotten the love, ahem, of her life. Owen doesn't have a clue why she's forgotten - and just why ARE those Cyberman X-rays so important? - and Rhys is forced to record a video diary of their life to help her remember. It's a refreshingly believable and realistic sequence, marred only by the lack of Rhys admitting what really attracted him to her was the gap in her teeth... The gang decide to leave Gwen and Rhys alone, with Jack insisting he trusts Rhys not to hurt her, probably the most mature and professional move he's EVER done in either series. Instant karma however strikes as Silent Little Boy appears outside the SUV, scaring the shit out of Jack (and, you know, that really is rare, when I think about it - even when a giant demon is sucking out his life force, he's never been terrified...) Indeed, so deeply is Jack traumatized, he turns out Ianto's offer "to go hunting together".

To calm down from this unearthly encounter, Jack climbs into a pitch dark sewer and searches for a cannibalistic monster. Yeah, I think when you need THAT to calm down, things are serious. But instead he finds an old guy with an American accent, a blocked nose, and some vaguely Saracen clothing telling his son "to get out and run". "Dad?" Jack gasps... I'm sorry, it might be a very deep and significant moment, but Jack's voice is so high pitched and camp, I honestly expected canned laughter as he squeaked that monosyllable. Jack flees the sewer only to find Adam, who does his voodoo shit and makes Jack think he was on the same mission (uh... OK... maybe he needs time to build up his memory-altering skills, or maybe can only do one person at a time or something).

Owen meanwhile is trying to discover the truth of the Borg Cube and seduce Tosh at the same time with some lunchboxes of home made sandwiches. God, he really is the Anti-Chatham in this as he tried to get into her goodbooks but still do the important work at the same time... he might fail, but it's the thought that counts as beer-swilling, put-downing, charge-taking, thigh-flashing, tight-shirt and deeply-sexually-satisfied wearing Tosh looks at the lonely geek with nothing other than deep pity. It's also worth noting that the Hub has "grown" a kind of conference room to replace the upstairs one they used in the first series, which looks identical to the flight deck of the Valiant. Why? Well, we're too busy caught out by Owen's incredibly heartbreaking pathetic speech where he tells Tosh he loves her, whereupon she acts like he's just thrown up on her dinner.

Meanwhile, Jack is having a flashback to his childhood at the Boeshane Peninsula in the 51st century (looks like Bondi to me, only with wierd art deco castle)... dear god, THAT is supposed to be a young John Barrowman?! Hell, Freema Agyemen would be more convincing! Maybe that's why Jack keeps having plastic surgery in RTD scripts. He was some ugly dork, and those desert scarf clothes don't help either! Anyway, if you remember Captain Jack Harkness, the 51st century was a time of war between humanity and "the worst thing you can imagine" (still no new evidence here, except they sound like vortisaurs... damn, I assumed the enemy would be humans themselves), and Jack's childhood was kind of like the Blitz, with the invaders swooping over head all the time. Jack was told by his father to take his little brother "Grey" to safety while he went to save their mother. The fact Jack is haunted by "Grey" pretty much tells the story from here on in. Ah, but you say, Spike has found "Grey" - yes, he did. "Grey" simply vanished, while the rest of Jack's family were apparently slaughtered and though our omnisexual hero searched for his little brother for years, never found any trace of the bastard. Suffice it to say, remembering this day has devastated Jack, further muddying his stance on memory revision - is he for or against already? And looking at this flashback, surely travelling with the Doctor would remind him of that awful day, what with all the running and monsters and holding hands and stuff?

Still, at least there's an explanation for why Jack hasn't mentioned Grey before. Plus, there's no evidence my theory he was joking about being the FOB is wrong. So, yay me. Anyway, we find out that Jack's mum survived, but not his dad "Franklin". "Franklin"?! VERY 51st century that... Still, on the bright side, Jack is never addressed as such by his mum (cause it's not his name) and we finally discover WHY Jack likes standing on those tall buildings (reminds him of his home where he did that a lot). And it does CT think that the two years Jack lost were these ones? If so, she ain't been talking to Steve Moffat, who makes it clear those years saw him become the most wanted war criminal in the universe... or at least that's what he says to Rose...

But surely, there's someone we've forgotten? Of course! Ianto - and surely no memory revision can possibly defeat the most anally retentive butler in Cardiff - AND WE'RE RIGHT! Ianto realizes that his incredibly detailed diary does not mention Owen as anything other than a neanderthal with moisturizer, Tosh as a pair of glasses lusting after Owen, or Adam. At all. However, Adam does a spooky teleport thing and confronts Ianto. It turns out Adam is an ALIEN! And the reason why he's so judicious with the mind wiping is that it can lead to side effects - making Gwen remember him made her forget Rhys, for example! (CT! WHY DID I EVER DOUBT YOU!) And then, in the most disturbing sequence since the off-screen murder of a toddler in Sleeper, Adam whups Ianto's ass, leaving him convinced he is a psychotic rapist and serial killer. When Ianto resists these false memories, Adam leaves him in a dreamscape surrounded by the corpses of "his victims" and poor little Welshman cracks...

This is, typically, interspersed with Gwen and Rhys Do "50 First Dates" as she starts to remember her boyfriend, and whatisname proves once again he's a good actor with a decent character, as Rhys admits he was always worried Gwen stuck with him out out of convenience rather than love, and thus offers to let her go and not make her marry a man she's not happy with. Well, as you can imagine, that pretty much earns him a snog for being so selfless and loveable. Cunning bastard. Mind you, it'd be interesting to see if Rhys could pull this trick on Tosh, the Ego that Walks Like A Human... who is, at this very moment, shagging Adam like her life depends on it - none of that girly romance shite in To The Last Man for her! Adam wants Tosh to be willing to die for him, and she agrees in such a way to make a cynic like me think she'll agree to anything so they can get back to making the mummy and daddy dance.

Next morning, Jack returns to the Hub to find the shattered Ianto insisting he is "a monster" who murders people - and thanks to the fact Ianto BELIEVES it to be true, Jack's lie detector agrees. But Jack for once is not going to take the easy way out and just shoot his boyfriend through the head. He goes to check on the security camera logs, which show Adam beating the shit out of Ianto... and oddly enough not having a blood sample... and his personnel file only being 24 hours old. Jack realizes they have some memory-altering bastard on their hands when suddenly the lights snap on to reveal!

...a bunch of flowers.

Held by Owen, who has turned up for work to put the flowers on Tosh's table and make up for the previous evening. All done in absolute silence as Jack and Ianto, primed for a final showdown with Adam, awkwardly realize it's just a geek in love and not a being of pure evil.


Tosh and Adam arrive, and Owen awkwardly decides to prove his love for that lovely Chinese girl by letting her go - if she's happy with Adam, then that's good enough for him, and he sadly walks off. Ah, self-sacrifice. Not that any of this impresses Tosh, however, whose button is jammed on "condescending" and patronizes Owen until he goes away. Man, if they were going to kill off a regular, it should be Tosh and it should be now. THE BITCH MUST DIE!

When Gwen arrives, Adam declares a group hug and needles Ianto with lines like "I could murder a coffee", which seems to be the straw that breaks the Weevil's back as Jack aims his gun at the guy's head... just like on the cover of Border Princes. Oh well. Adam is lead protesting to the cells and Tosh goes apeshit with a handgun, but luckily, Ianto is also there to go apeshit... and I'll assume that Jack's immortality is forgotten by Tosh thanks to Adam. Cause, you know, she can just shoot Jack easy and he'll come back to life. Or at least wing him. Oh well.

Adam tries to talk his way out of it, but it looks like his spiel ain't working on Jack who is in a mean mood. "Don't kill me! I had to become part of your memories in order to survive, I didn't mean any harm! I changed you for the better - you didn't remember who you were, I helped you! Look at Owen, all his cynacism gone, he's a different man now - selfless, happier! And Toshiko too, she's never been this confident!"

I note he doesn't big up turning Ianto into Jack the Ripper. Smart move.

Leaving Adam to stew in the cells, Jack decides to 'reboot' everyone's memories by using a trippy screensaver to take them all back to before they met. Well, beats swinging a pocket watch in front of them... Gwen remembers Rhys and the fact she doesn't love him... Owen remembers his mother hating him and hurling abuse at him on his tenth birthday before she kicked him out... Tosh remembers being a maths geek with no friends... Ianto remembers Lisa and losing her (surprise, surprise). Seriously, I agree with Adam, they should have let Owen be. They'd get a lot more work done. This little bonding session leaves all four of them suicidally depressed and Jack insists that he's there for them and they're not alone. And then he gives them retcon pills.


OK, CT has points for saying that if they forget the last 48 hours then Adam's interference will be cancelled out and they'll be back to normal. But what's the point of the group hypnosis? WHY?! GAHHH! IT WAS GOING SO WELL! Tosh refuses to give up the memories of the man she loves, but Jack points out that this counts as mind rape and to take a pill to wash all the pain away. That's the moral of this week's episode, kids. Pills are good.

As the others zone out, Adam starts to die, as he is a kind of energy parasite that exists in other's memories. But can show up on video recordings. OK. Adam insists that he escaped the darkness of the void to arrive on Earth to enjoy Jack's unique memories, and can restore Jack's happy childhood thoughts if he is spared. Jack can't resist an opportunity like that, but soon his thoughts of happy Boeshane Baseball are ruined when an ugly kid called Adam shows up and steals the ball...

With his last happy memory of his family up for ransom, it looks like Adam has Jack by the balls - not in a way Jack'd enjoy, either, if your brain can percieve such impossibility - and guess what, the Borg Cube is the key to it all! But Jack's always been difficult and as Adam screams that if he gets wiped so does Jack's idenity ringing in our ears, Jack... takes the pill. Adam goes poof as Jack falls asleep.

Our gang wake up wondering how they forgot the last 48 hours and Owen the cynical sonofabitch as before, effortlessly crushing meek Tosh's delight at getting a basketful of flowers. Owen insists he didn't give Tosh flowers and that she's lying to herself... even though they all have amnesia. Jesus Christ, what an asshole. Meanwhile, Jack puzzles over the Borg Cube marked "Adam's Property" - yet again, not interested in the fact he has no idea what happened for the last two days or who Adam is - and finds the box is full of sand.


The End.

Huh? If the box is open, surely it should return his memories? If the memories died with Adam, why is there sand in there? Surely Rhys will be able to tell them that some bloke called Adam was poncing round the place and his girlfriend nearly killed him? Surely this should have been like Red Dwarf: Thanks for the Memories and started with the gang discovering what really happened over two days? If they DO find out, will Adam return to life? And apart from explaining what Grey referred to, and doing the same plot as Border Princes, what was the point of this episode?

Oh well, while with a retarded wrist-slashing finale of CT's work, this is still several solar systems' higher quality than the last two, and thanks to this ep we can put those eps down to corrupted memories, hence the script editing faults. Which just leaves Owen bitching at Tosh... I dunno, maybe he IS trying to hide his infatuation from the others.


It will be a one off self contained story that contradicts everything around it unintentionally
Half right. It was a one off as one off can be but if there's any God there will be some kind of sequel where they find out the truth.

It will render Border Princes uncanonical
Surprisingly no. But TWICE getting their memories wiped over a new male gang member? Bad move there.

Character development of the regulars will not happen, or at least regress to the way it was in series one
Sadly yes.

It will completely rip off Buffy the Vampire Slayer

It will completely rip off Farscape
All in all no, but the regulars do go crazy and start imagining crap. But not enough for a COMPLETE rip off.

It will not be as entertaining as the show it is clearly ripping off
It managed until the completely pointless and bewildering last scene.

Oh well. At least it's one crap ending scene rather than the entire episode.

Next week - Martha Jones versus Giant Wasps... which is already been shown on digital TV... bastards...