Tuesday, June 10, 2008

TV Comic Action In Exile 4: Quark Chase!

Wrong logo... Wrong face... But it's in COLOUR!!!

Death Race! by A. Nonymous and John Canning
And people think Charles Daniels was exaggerating the cultural impact of the Quarks...

Official Plot Synopsis:

The Second Doctor yet again manages to completely screw up continuity in Season 6B (b).

The Tardis lands on Earth in the year 2053 and the Doctor finds himself a driver in a veteran car race. However, the Doctor finds that he is being chased by a Quark who has hijacked a motorway patrol vehicle and is intent on destroying him...

That’s Kind Of Cool:
For all the brain-damaged premise, I can’t think of another Doctor Who story involving a car race – unless you count episode two of Planet of the Spiders. The idea of alien spectators for a famous Earth event is kind of nifty too, and there’s a good explanation for why the Quarks can’t simply nuke the car from orbit and have to rely on other methods, and the idea that 1960s cars would be antiques in the far future.

"Oh. Wait. Did I say 'marvellous'? I meant to say... 'SHIT!!!'"

You Gotta Be Fucking Kidding Me:
1) So, the Doctor, marooned on Earth, suddenly finds the TARDIS and it works and he escapes... only to arrive back in London, ninety years in the future. And the Doctor is pleased to be back in London. Unless his ‘marvelous’ is sarcastic, ala fantastic, this is talking crap.

Can you believe Big Finish hasn't given them a spin-off series yet?

2) The Quarks. I suppose the idea of making them a poetic-voiced race of individual-minded robot warmongers isn’t really something worth complaining about, since it was perpetrated long ago, but still... Quarks?! What the hell!? The impractical, weak, puny, easily-confused and fragile Quarks have somehow evolved beyond the need for their Dominator masters?! And THEN become the biggest baddest alien race since the Cybermen?!? OK. Now that’s out of the way, the Quarks are visiting Earth as one of many alien races to watch the race from the air. As they don’t expect the Doctor to be there, they HAVE to be there solely to watch the race. So the Quarks, the most evil robots ever, put aside their war against life kind... to watch a car race. Quarks like antique racing cars. Let me repeat that, the Quarks come to Earth not to invade, but to watch a cross country rally race.

3) The race itself. In 2053, humanity is famous enough that a car race from London to Brighton draws alien civilizations to come and float in the skies of England and watch it. Is there any kind of security about what in other circumstances would be doomsday? Why is this race using primitive gas-guzzling vehicles? Why doesn’t anyone mind a police box materializing in the grid? Where are the crowds and the TV crews? Where are the other competitors? What about all the private traffic which seems to be on the same route? Try getting a passenger seat in a national car race TODAY and see if you can manage with no notice, and imagine another fifty years of compensation culture and insurance! Did the Doctor sign any kind of waver?

4) How the hell does the Unnamed Racer win the race? His car breaks down moments before the race starts, then he takes on a passenger (who will either slow him down or cause him to use up fuel faster), then he gets held up by an AA man, loses more time getting blasted, but despite all these delays wins! The only way he could manage that is if they managed to get ahead of all the competition BEFORE the Quark attacks, which means when the pylon crashes across the highway, it would have at least delayed all the other racers – so, effectively, the Racer wins by cheating! And surely the race would be called off or held again after an accident like that, especially when they discover a Quark was trying to kill people and tamper with the outcome... it’s amazing they didn’t slam the Racer in jail right away, let alone let him win...

Stupid Mistakes:
Letting this guy take over the comic for a couple of weeks...

Only in 1969...

Words of Wisdom:
“What a lovely collection of old bangers!” – The Doctor’s tact and diplomacy strikes again.

“How’s that? I just gave your automatic fuel pump a tap!” – Dr “Dab Hand At Mechanics” Who works wonders.

“Mind if I join you? They say this rally is great fun!” “Proud to have you aboard! Your skills will come in handy if I break down.” – The Unnamed Racer desperately fixes a plot hole before it can be spotted by the readers...

“There are too many space ships in the area to risk an aerial attack on the car! Carry out your instructions!” “I will not f-a-i-l you!” – The Quarks try the same thing, made slightly more surreal that the brave young Quark is on a bungee cord descending out of the floating alien spaceship during the conversation. Why Daleks, Cybermen and Quarks spell out certain words, I have no idea...

OH THE HUMANITY!!!

“A ray gun!” – The Doctor works out the entire plot in a single frame. No doubt the insanity of it all sinks in during his hitchhiking to Brighton...

Cliffhanger:

No. I don't quite understand his logic either...

At The End of the Day
Roger Noel Cook clearly didn’t pen this story, as it craps all over his exile as the Doctor not only regains his TARDIS but the bloody thing works! Worse, the Doctor acts like he’s not been in London for ages – if I believed for a moment any thought went into this, I’d suspect that the writer hadn’t been paying attention. Despite the obvious brain damage of the plot, this brightly-coloured cartoon story is still loads of fun. Maybe this is an LSD dream of the Doctor, like in The Mark of Terror? It’s the last appearance of the Quarks in TV Comic, and they make damn well sure you remember this most overlooked of Dalek-wannabes – a lone soldier mugging an AA man and shooting down an electricity pylon right on its spiky head. Whatever stoner perpetrated this plot, we salute you! It’s a pity he couldn’t get to work on Torchwood where logic and motivation are similarly irrelevant. Mmm. Jack and Ianto being chased by a weevil on a motorbike... could work...

8 comments:

jdx-random said...

Of course, we all know that we can blame the return of the Quarks on the War Games, which presented them as a credible threat, something the Dominators didn't manage to achieve. Presumably lots of people whose memories didn't strech all the way back there thought they were a somewhat neat idea, and they somehow became far more notable than they ever deserved to be.

Just begun reading this blog recently, after watching your Sparabashes on OG with glee. This stuff seems only slightly less bad sometimes, though infinitely closer to being canonical, of course. At least the comic characters are likable, if perminantly out of touch with reality. There is a quaint factor to them though, even for me, that gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling inside, a bit like being categorically stoned.

Youth of Australia said...

Of course, we all know that we can blame the return of the Quarks on the War Games, which presented them as a credible threat,
Which was down to the fact the prop Kroton fell apart and they needed all the monsters they could get...

something the Dominators didn't manage to achieve.
I dunno what they were thinking. If you want an alien menace to rival the Daleks, DON'T make them the obedient slaves of someone else and spend five episodes showing how crap they are... still, you could say the exact same approach was taken with the Cybermen in 2006.

Presumably lots of people whose memories didn't strech all the way back there thought they were a somewhat neat idea, and they somehow became far more notable than they ever deserved to be.
Not really. The fact was, they were hailed as the Next Daleks (like other successes as the Voord and the Zarbi) and due to rights issues, the Quarks could be used by just about anyone...

Still, I found out today Craig Hinton planned a novel explaining how the TV Quarks and the TV Comic Quarks are related. Never finished it, poor sod...

Just begun reading this blog recently, after watching your Sparabashes on OG with glee.
Oh? What's your OG ID then?

This stuff seems only slightly less bad sometimes, though infinitely closer to being canonical, of course. At least the comic characters are likable, if perminantly out of touch with reality. There is a quaint factor to them though, even for me, that gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling inside, a bit like being categorically stoned.
And the artwork is lovely. I always think of Spara's stuff as a slideshow of Adam Rickitt naked with a scrolling captions down the bottom...

jdx-random said...

My OG ID is Time's Champion, though I am not so often found there any more. The Mythmakers is a tragedy of a place now especially, Spara kept it at least seemingly active for a long time, now even he is lost to us. All the Teaspoons and LJ communities of squeeish fangirl shipfics have taken over in ways that warp the universe even more violently than these comics do. At least they vaguely understand what the Doctor is supposed to be about. Oh, for the days when good ones were easy to find.

Interesting that you mention the Synesthesia trilogy, I read it many many years ago and can hardly remember it now, apart from to say that I thought at the time that it was probably the most believable romancing of the Doctor I had ever seen. I am convinced that I'll find it not as good if I read it again now, having learnt a lot since then, but it will still probably be a great deal better than most of the stuff out there, including, as you noted, Forest of the Dead, although I personally think that River is actually his mother. Certainly wou make things interesting...

Youth of Australia said...

My OG ID is Time's Champion, though I am not so often found there any more.
That probably explains it.

The Mythmakers is a tragedy of a place now especially, Spara kept it at least seemingly active for a long time, now even he is lost to us.
Surely Sticky Yellow Fluid... I mean, Lemon Bloody Cola, is clogging the place up with Craig/Isabel shipper fics?

Interesting that you mention the Synesthesia trilogy, I read it many many years ago and can hardly remember it now, apart from to say that I thought at the time that it was probably the most believable romancing of the Doctor I had ever seen.
Yeah. Mind you, it wasn't subtle. First thing Thea does is snog the police box and tells the Doctor she loves him after he says hello...

I am convinced that I'll find it not as good if I read it again now,
She did a sequel, the Sacred Rites trilogy...

having learnt a lot since then, but it will still probably be a great deal better than most of the stuff out there, including, as you noted, Forest of the Dead, although I personally think that River is actually his mother. Certainly wou make things interesting...
Well, that is just disturbing.

For a start, she doesn't look a bit like William Hartnell...

jdx-random said...

"Yeah. Mind you, it wasn't subtle. First thing Thea does is snog the police box and tells the Doctor she loves him after he says hello..."

That was part of why I liked it so much. I think the only kind of romance I could believe for the Doctor is something completely alien and nothing like the kind of thing you would expect a romance to be. Yes, Thea was somewhat Sueish and ill-defined at points, but she was quite markedly unique.

That's what bothers me about the whole Rose thing. Everyone tries to make out that she is unique, but she herself isn't really, it's just that she happened to show up when the Doctor was playing emo. That's not to say that I don't like Rose, but Thea works much more believably as an object of romance than she has even in the best fics I've read. Perhaps one day I'll find one that does it believably.

"She did a sequel, the Sacred Rites trilogy..."
in which she seemed to contradict her own canon, not unlike TV comic. I read it, it was very New Adventures... I think I liked it less because the demystifying got a bit out of control, as usually happens with that kind of story structure. I still think it was a nice try though, very interesting.

"Well, that is just disturbing."
But it would be less predictable. Alternatively, I wondered during Donna's speech about "creating a perfect man" whether River was just a construct of the library. Unfortunately that wouldn't have made story sense, as I found out moments later.

Youth of Australia said...

That was part of why I liked it so much. I think the only kind of romance I could believe for the Doctor is something completely alien and nothing like the kind of thing you would expect a romance to be. Yes, Thea was somewhat Sueish and ill-defined at points, but she was quite markedly unique.
Oh yes. Of course, I'm of the belief that the Doctor and Rose is a very different kind of relationship. He loves her, less, but then he loves all his companions - but him being IN love with Rose is a kind of displacement anxiety thing. It's a lot easier, after all, to focus on a hot blonde than destroying your entire species...

Perhaps one day I'll find one that does it believably.
Perhaps one day we'll find a shipper who can justify their "Doctor and Rose bonk immediately after Dalek" stories (and there are a LOT of those) with the fact they never told each other 'I love you'.

in which she seemed to contradict her own canon, not unlike TV comic. I read it, it was very New Adventures... I think I liked it less because the demystifying got a bit out of control, as usually happens with that kind of story structure. I still think it was a nice try though, very interesting.
I knew it contradicted the New Adventures, but in the same way my stories about the 11th Doctor would contradict the TV series when it actually happened...

But it would be less predictable. Alternatively, I wondered during Donna's speech about "creating a perfect man" whether River was just a construct of the library. Unfortunately that wouldn't have made story sense, as I found out moments later.
To be brutally honest, I think this story may have featured Jack at one point but was rewritten.

Think about it. The Doctor turns up in the 51st century and meets an oversexed figure with a squareness gun used to time travel... the difference is, this time, Jack would be post-Torchwood and know all about the Doctor's future. Then, when he sacrifices himself for the library, he somehow survives... Yeah, I think this may have been a Utopia-style rematch at some point - especially as Moffat says the idea was considered for every series, it might have been tossed around because Barrowman's so damn busy, so finally he changed Jack for a completely new character. If not a completely different one.

jdx-random said...

River is an incredibly derivative character, ripping off Jack Harkness, in fact pretty much anyone from the 51st century, as they all seem to have irritatingly similar levels of overconfidence, Benny Summerfield (that's just annoying), the Time Traveller's Wife and lots of bad fanfics, even maybe some good ones too. I can certainly believe your theory, though for all that I think it fits thematically into this series more than it would into the last, especially when noting your darkness theories from a few weeks ago.

These comments have gotten well and truly off track, I should have put them over your review for the episode rather than here. Doctor Who will be traumatized by all this canon!

Youth of Australia said...

River is an incredibly derivative character, ripping off Jack Harkness, in fact pretty much anyone from the 51st century, as they all seem to have irritatingly similar levels of overconfidence, Benny Summerfield (that's just annoying), the Time Traveller's Wife and lots of bad fanfics, even maybe some good ones too. I can certainly believe your theory, though for all that I think it fits thematically into this series more than it would into the last, especially when noting your darkness theories from a few weeks ago.
Well, thus is the influx of creative influences. The Ambassadors of Death fits into Season 7 more than Season 6... but that was still where it was supposed to be.

These comments have gotten well and truly off track, I should have put them over your review for the episode rather than here.
No hassle.

Doctor Who will be traumatized by all this canon!
It will explain his actions in the next TV Comic...