Sunday, May 11, 2008

RTD? Stop ripping me off!!

God damn it!

I mean why? WHY? I'm not as creative person as I'd like to be. Out of the small percentage of stuff I've actually finished, honest-to-god originality is few and far between. I'm always to some extent nicking things, concepts, or at the very least writing for someone else's format. Even The Youth of Australia - which sucks the marrow out of every sitcom Rik Mayall ever looked at - was almost entirely thought up by Damian Sanchez. I just write about it. That's my curse. I can do wonders with ingredients, but can't think up a recipe on my own.

So, WHY is it then, that the very very few things I can put (c) Ewen Campion-Clarke next to, somehow RTD uses in the proper Doctor Who?

I'm not stupid! I'm not saying RTD is stalking me and ripping me off - how the hell COULD he without me at least meeting him in some respect? Unless he really IS Sparacus, how? Ergo, he isn't. It's all a coincidence.

And that's the worst.

If anyone ever bothers to read the scraps for my aborted novel, Carribean Blue, they'll probably accuse me of ripping off Season Two. An impossible planet (actually called that in the dialogue), filled with spooky happenings, hanging over a walled-in universe full of ghosts? The Doctor noting he "is the man who gives monsters nightmares". Jack dying and coming back to life? The Doctor getting possessed by an alien? The Doctor ending the story by watching a female villain die in a stolen body?

Hell, I'D say I was ripping it off! But it's there. Look deep enough in the OG archives or click on "properties" and see I came up with all of it. I came up with the idea of a long-lived xeno-tech company called Geocomtex who fought the Doctor throughout human history, with their representative Captain Jack. Sound familiar? I came up with the idea of the Doctor having to regenerate, and getting a good farewell speech before dying, from cellular damage killing his organs. Ring any bells? A machine that spits out an endless army of Daleks? Landsquid aliens possessed by the REAL Devil? Inspired by a scattering of spoiler rumors, yes, but you start to wonder, don't you?

And then The Enemy Within. Fuck, I can barely describe it. Everything that happened in the Season Three finale, I did that. I wrote it, typed it up and sent it to people before ANYONE saw it. I tried everything, and RTD does the same thing, except he's not happy with a haunted house and bog monster, no he needs the end of the universe (which I had the Master say he'd seen, which inspired his nihilism! LOOK!), a new labor government and severed human heads with laser beams. But everything else! Even the Master tormenting a family out of sheer sadism! WHY?!

But this is... this is beyond the pale.

OK. Clear your mind of all preconceptions. Cause this is going to sound like such a lie. I have no proof what I am about to say/type, except that it sucks too much to be false.

Back in 2001ish, Damian and I were discussing The Youth of Australia and how it was a bit male-oriented. As we tossed around ideas to make it less so, I came up with a truly retarded idea. One story arc we had was Andrew and Nigel being marooned in Northern Territory and having to find their way home. I came up with this idea for part of their roadtrip:

Andrew and Nigel stumble across an abandoned genetics lab. They explore it and find a strange Frankenstein's lab with a huge test tube linked to computers, one with a hand-shaped hole built into it. Curious, Andrew puts his hand inside when Nigel, for a laugh, turns it on. Andrew's hand is trapped and he shouts in pain as something stabs his hand. A screen lights up: SECOND GENETIC SAMPLE INTEGRATED.

Andrew finally tears his hand free - a needle has plunged into his palm. The machinery comes to life pink slime fills the test tube, the electrodes inside the tube activate and zap! A huge, deformed blob appears, condensing out of the slime. Andrew realizes this is some fucked up cloning machine, except it's used his DNA and someone else's to create a new life form. Nigel sees the hideously ugly monster and laughs at "Andrew's Child" until the blob starts to change. It's actually a giant fetus and it 'evolves' into its finished form - a beautiful teenage girl. They adopt the girl as "Tambi" (named after the tambourinist from the Dandy Warhols coz THAT'S how damn hot she is!) and she is the new girl regular, learning things, getting into troubles and faux pas (like when she explains the guy old enough to be her boyfriend is, in fact, her father), plus giving the interesting dynamic of Nigel and Andrew despising each other, but both caring for Tambi.

Understandably, we thought it was pretty dumb. YOA was already divorced from reality enough with rent-free accomodation; cloning machines was stupid, and ultimately Tambi's role in the gang was replaced by Eve mk 2, and bar the odd use of a time machine, the show kept its feet on the ground. Well, one of them. But for an afternoon we worked out the whole business of the episode, even down to Nigel's long speech of how he can never look at Tambi sexually since she changed from a six year old to a seventeen year old in front of his eyes, so it just feels wrong to lust after her. The bit where Andrew's arm was bitten by the machine hung around for a while, before we decided it was basically like DNA from Red Dwarf. And the idea of "Andrew's daughter" was dismissed before the sun set.

And then, today, I see the latest ep of Doctor Who.

Where the Doctor gets his arm stuck in a machine and a huge test tube slides up to reveal a hot teenage girl, his de facto child. OK, it's Doctor Who, she's blonde and wearing clothes, but everything else is the same. In fact, I'd argue its worse! The Doctor goes, "Ooh, something's plunged into my palm, taking out a sample and genetically extrapolating it!" Well, at least I had Andrew and Nigel working out what happened in a slightly more naturalistic manner!

I worked out whole paragraphs to justify why I was cool with The Doctor's Daughter seemingly revealing the Doctor had shagged some Gallifreyan bird way back when, like his insistance on being Alpha Male in the TARDIS crew from the first episode onwards to Moffat's defining the Time Lord as coming from an incredibly repressed society (just in case no one noticed). Hell, I was willing to entertain the stupid shipper idea of "You know how in Doomsday, there's a bit where you think Rose is pregnant, but it's actually Jackie's, well, actually Rose was lying and she was having the Doctor's baby even though they never so much as told each other they were in love?" theory to explain the blond blue-eyed daughter and Rose's cameos in the series.

But no. The old "genetic experiment by callous bastards" option is used.

And I could have coped if they hadn't ripped me off to do it.

And this is just the PRE-CREDIT SEQUENCE!

I'm left wondering whether there'll be a Nigel Verkoff in the credits at this rate...

Great. Just fucking fantastic...


Jared "No Nickname" Hansen said...

..okay, you've got me now. You've officially got me. I thought the whole Enemy Within thing was convincing but this...whoah.

Georgie Moffat is well hot, though, eh? (Going from publicity shots. Haven't seen the story yet. Hell, haven't watched TSS yet..)

Youth of Australia said...

Yeah. She is. Wow.

You know, there's a parallel timeline Tharils visit regularly where she plays Rose and Billie Piper plays Jenny...

Jared "No Nickname" Hansen said...

Hmm, might have to check that one out..

Ah, and the thing I forgot to mention in my first post: surely this would have been intended as a rip-off of Father Time originally?

(NB: Have not actually read the book)

Youth of Australia said...

Not really.

Father Time is kind of different, a coming-of-age tale told across a decade with the Doctor adopting a Gallifreyan eight-year-old girl and how she is hunted by assassins from the future in Thatcher's Britain. When Miranda's sixteen she murders her assassin in cold blood, which kind of drives a wedge between her and the Doctor, and then it's a race to get her crowned as Queen of the Universe (with the traditional NA rip off where the Queen of the Universe gets all the titles Servalan has - honestly, they do that in at least five books...) before she rather pointlessly sacrifices herself so the Doctor will have a huge chip on his shoulder when he turns into Richard E Grant and makes Shalka canon.

Yeah, that plan kind of went awry, leading to a "get over it" so massive I got whiplash.

This is just a slight variation on a doppelganger story, AFAICT, except instead of a complete stranger who looks like the Doctor, its a complete stranger with his DNA. Actually, there is a bit of a similarity with The Lazarus Experiment (I'm only judging the precredit scene here), with a magical white/blue glowy box that creates attractive young blonds/es out of thin air thanks to DNA giggerypokery.

With only three minutes of plot so far, it is impossible to say anything of the plot bar a) some of Donna's dialogue is completely inaudible and b) MAN Jenny is well fit! Of course, there are no doubt plot reasons why any offspring of the Doctor would automatically be a supermodel, rather than say an overweight shy nerd with buck teeth...

Jared "No Nickname" Hansen said...

Oh, hang on... you've been ripped off by RTD.. but guess who's been ripped off by Lawrence Miles?! Should I be scared?

Youth of Australia said...

Oh for fuck's sake... I tell you, I was gutted by his review of The Sontaran Stratagem. He trashed it because it wasn't completely different from anything else on the entire planet which is what DOCTOR WHO MUST BE!!

Cue several pages of hatred and cut-and-paste from About Time 5, before bitching that Steven Moffat is only "good" because he doesn't come up with ideas Larry INSTANTLY understands and despises.

As my dad would say, "Pull your fucking finger out!"

I won't read it till I've seen the ep, but I fear my review may be negative. With all the publicity practically screaming, "YES, HE DID KNOCK SOME BIMBO UP!", even down to reediting the trailer so it looks like that, the first thing after the titles is, "Well, she's only TECHNICALLY my daughter".

Ha smegging ha.

Still, having the story you weren't just expecting but were TOLD about replaced by something else, I hope Larry can stop his foul whining for a blogpost...

Jared "No Nickname" Hansen said...

Yeah, his reviews have been pisspoor. I was just pointing out that he's stolen my 'posting live with timecaps' idea.

Not sure if I've mentioned it, but LM has been the biggest Who-related disappointment of the year.. everyone of his reviews has been near identical.

Youth of Australia said...

True. Yes, TV sucks. Yes, it was better in the old days. Yes, no one in the whole world knows how to write proper Doctor Who. WE HEARD YOU THE FUCKING FIRST TIME!

Is that why he keeps deleting his reviews, so no one points out he practically cuts and pastes it? And using screengraps of Donna with "lockjaw" captions... grow the fuck up you stunted toad!