Tuesday, March 6, 2012

From BEYOND THE GRAVE!!!

Something resembling a Greek punk version of In The Hall of the Mountain King was playing as I picked up my glass and sipped from it. Oh, the halcyon days of yesteryear when I might have indulged in fruit juice. This is lemon, lime and bitters and mostly water. The various components have begun to separate again so I centrifuge them back together.

I ponder my condition. Is diabetes really curable as the endocrinologist says? Why, sticking so slavishly to their diet, am I left so shagged out I need bottles of energy drinks to stave off unconsciousness? And would Big Finish ever try and get Chris Eccleston to appear in a play but not as the Doctor? Eccles said he'd be into it, and let us remember these are the folk who outstared Paul McGann, Janet Fielding and Tom bleeding Baker. Only their famous ineptitude at resurrection spells is preventing them from summoning Jon Pertwee back into corporeal existence.

A cloaked figure stepped out of the dark smoke and slipped into the booth where I was sitting. In a typical den of thieves like this, somewhere in the Northern Suburbs, such meetings were common. Indeed, that's why there were such an array of booths and tables arranged throughout the bar.

I could tell little about the figure opposite, but something hinted that it was man called Peter whose surname began with a Q. Perhaps it was some kind of extrasensory perception on my part or the big badge pinned to his cloak saying "HELLO, MY NAME IS PETER Q. WILL YOU BE MY FRIEND?".

We sat there for a while, saying nothing. After all, what is there TO say?

Eventually, Peter Q seemed to think of something to break the ice. I cannot deny, I was intrigued and leaned forward. What secrets had he to impart? The word "conspire" means to "share breath" which was presumably why Peter was wearing breathing equipment that made him look and sound like a cross between Darth Vader and Christopher Skase.

He spoke but two words. Or, to be exact, one name.

"Kyron Mallett."

I supped on my tepid juice. There was a name I had not thought of in many moons. Mainly because in my mind he'll always be "Ronald" Mallet rather Kyron, which sounds like a constellation Robert Holmes came up with when he actually meant to say galaxy. But what, dear readers, did this mean?

Ron Mallet had vanished from reality some time in 2007. His websites abandoned, his connection to the DWADs and Who in general left to rot. The massive interview he'd given justifying his wholesale theft and plagiarism of Loose Canon reconstructions still can be found if you look, and overall one gets the feeling that he hasn't been missed. One could only wonder what he'd make of the world today.

The knowledgable stranger had more to say - which was something of a relief as the conversation between us was not in good shape at the time.

"He hasn't vanished," was the next revelation.

I put down my glass. Of course, I'd never honestly considered Ron's waveform had collapsed causing him to blink out of existence. In the fraction of a second I might have devoted thought to the horrid little partisan, I assumed he'd either got over himself or been brutally murdered by his long-suffering fan fiction in a metatextual revenge pact.

Still, give Peter Q his dues, this was a surprise. I'd been expecting more talk of Rudd and Gillard and Carr and Abib. Or at least the sinister coincidence of Richard Armitage being replaced in Spooks by Laura Pulver.

"You sad, opinionated little oxygen thief."

I was expecting more and that was it. It transpired it was an insult of some description, and judging by Peter Q's respirator, he was determined not to lose an ounce of oxygen to anyone, let alone myself.

I've been insulted before, of course. Usually by myself. Frankly, the insult from Peter Q felt very forced. Where was the bile? The hatred? The anger? It sounded more condescending than enraged, somewhere between Sir Richard Richard and Russell Brand. It certainly wasn't imaginative. Perhaps Peter Q didn't think I deserved imagination, which is rather harsh. Everyone deserves imagination.

"I'm not little," I said. You have to admit, I had him there.

Peter Q didn't hear me through his life support get up.

"He simply stopped watching crap."

"And talking it too?" I wondered lightly.

"He's still a vocal and informed critic of the new series!" Peter Q rasped.

I blinked. I assumed the "watching crap" referred to NuWho. Mind you, I was assuming "new series" meant NuWho as well. But surely this argument meant that NuWho WASN'T crap, else Mallet would not be watching it - and he had to be, for how else could be a vocal and informed critic?

But vocal? Where, prey tell, was he being vocal if google couldn't find him?

"He posts regularly on http://retroztv.proboards.com/index.cgi."

Peter Q, satisfied I had taken the point, rose to his feet and dissolved in the smoky darkness, leaving me with a rubbish drink and the nagging feeling that my novelization of The Whispering Forest was never going to get me laid. My novelization of Planet of the Dead, however, would get me sauced to Marakesh and back, but Stephen Cole's generic runaround? Not so much. Oh well, there's always a wierd customer.

Still, I now had info about Ron Mallet - a mere two years after I'd last even mentioned him in passing. And that was "mentioned him in passing". It was about four years since the Youth of Australia had MST3K'd his ass.

Was he still writing Sixth Doctor stories? Reviewing Big Finish? Describing in totally unnecessary detail how BBC Wales only got to produce Doctor Who because Russell T Davies kept giving Michael Grade blowjobs in order to use the revival to destroy the show forever? I did always wonder if he noticed Colin Baker's full-bodied support of the new show, which is not exactly secret and was noted quite clearly during his Australian tour back in 05 (together with a love for the Doug Anthony Allstars that, at the time, made me doubt the workings of my own brain).

I cracked open the sub-etha net on my vortex manipulator and sought out the coordinates Peter Q had given me before returning to Dorium Maldovaar for a new set of testicles. The screen lit up with a crude forum site against a wallpaper of cut-and-pasted kaliedoscope pictures. The Silver Smurfer (one of the names Mallet went under when fandom at large declared a jihad on him) seemingly ran the place.

"Classic Dr Who versus the new series" seemed as good a place as any to start.

To me there's no comparison between the original and new series.

While better resourced the new series is a pale imitation of the original. Thin plot lines, soap opera character development, a terrible theme and shitty performances. If there was ever an example of standing on the shoulders of genius and offering nothing (or very little) that is new and innovative, this was it.


Odd that. He seemed to be quite enjoying the new series when he was posting on DWRG...

I wanted so much for the new series to be good... but unfortunately RTD and Moffatt have tried to appeal to the lowest common denominators.

Sex has been used to 'make it more accessible' at the expense of concepts and plotting.


Failed badly, considering the flak Series Fnarg-plus-one got for being so confusing.

I also can't watch a show where a character talks about sticking his penis into a block of concrete that used to be his girl-friend.

Well. Good for you. Of course, that's in no Who episode I know about. Unless you're suggesting Elton Pope was so poorly-hung it would fit inside such a shallow recepticle. The fact is he was talking about kissing poor... um, what was her name? You know, Moaning Murtle. Ester? Was that her name? Oh, who cares?

Surely Love and Monsters was the lowest point in television history?

Unless Chris Lilley was in it, that seems rather difficult to believe.

Love and Monsters was Episode 10 of Season 2 of the new series. It was basically a fingers up to older fans who had started to go at him for desecrating a beloved institution from their youth.

...I thought it was actually about mocking Ian Levine. And it shows amazing foresight on RTD to write a story like that before anyone had had a chance to "go at him".

Still, why not? Holmes did something like that to the tax office...

It's very strongly suggested in the story that central character (not the Doctor as this is the first 'Doctor-lite' story) Elton Pope as played by actor Marc Warren, continues to have a 'love life' with what's left of his girl-friend who has been transformed into a face on a garden tile.

He says "we have a bit of a love life" and Ester? Eliza? her, she says "never mind that, get to the story". Considering how chaste their relationship was, and the amount of effort it took for Elton to ASK HER OUT TO DINNER, that he'd be bragging about oral sex on a video blog is rather unlikely, don't you think?

'Suggestion' is the cowardly way RTD got away with lowering the tone of the show to make it appeal to 'the youth demographic' and small animals. It's also suggested earlier in the season in 'School Reunion' that the third or fourth Doctor had a sexual relationship with Sarah Jane Smith.

Um. No. Must have missed that. Mickey calls her the Doctor's "ex", but I never saw the scene where the Doctor boasted to Rose about doing Sarah over the TARDIS console while he made Harry videotape it ("I say, old thing, I think I deleted the bukkake shot..." "HARRY SULLIVAN IS AN IMBECILE!!!")

Unless, of course, Ronny is mistaking Charles Daniels' version of events for the genuine article and (let's all be honest here, people) who hasn't done that?

The young ones lapped it up and the older fans squirmed, either left or told themselves it wasn't true (like Jonathan Blum).

Or spent the next five years obsessing about three seconds of dialogue on an opinion forum...

Instead of showing faith in the younger demographic to have sufficient members of intelligent people that could appreciate well plotted innovative sci-i/fantasy we got increasingly nauseating does of Fantasy/Soap.

...wow. I didn't think anyone remembered it after THE FUCKING DALEK/CYBERMAN WAR!!!!!!! which seemed more interesting at the time.

And if you didn't like it under RTD you hated gay or black (fill in the minority blank here) people. Under SM you simply 'don't get it' and are part of the world that's against him.

Yeah, cause Jabba the Moff (to give him his preferred moniker) really is a paranoid obsessive, too afraid to leave the house in case he meets someone who disagrees with him and is convinced Mad Larry is in the bushes with a bowie knife.

...

Actually, that last one may not be so paranoid.

It's no coincidence that fans like Garry Russell and Stephen Hill have distanced themselves from Doctor Who over the last several years.

HAHAH! Gary Russell? Who got a job with RTD in 2009, quitting Big Finish specifically so he could get closer to NuWho than ever before, script editing everything in sight, writing the epic Wilf-Mott-versus-the-Mandragora-Helix novel and doing another encyclopedia? As for Steve Hill, he's been too busy banning me to care about the direction

As for Matt Smith, he's simply too young to look credible in the part.

You gotta love Ronny. He's not one to be superficial, as he always saw past Sixie's coat...

He's a talented actor but his call up was a couple of decades too early.

So instead of getting talent now, we should wait for TWENTY YEARS?

If the show had been done right, McGann would have returned for a year and handed over to Eccleston or Bil Nighy or someone around that age bracket.

Except McGann refused point blank the idea. So, that was never going to happen, was it?

A 'Doctor in Love' premise would never have been considered by any producer of the original series.

Apart from Verity Lambert. And Barry Letts. And JNT. Who all did it on screen.

Even feelings between companions was down-played.

"Were". Not "was". Try for English.

That was an option but RTD went the easy way and simply wanted more 20 something women or gay men to watch the show (like most of his others). Just because someone was a fan in their youth doesn't mean they're qualified to 'reinvent' an institution.

So who is qualified? Would their initials be RM by any chance?

RTD's vision is a reflection of the gay sub-culture that took control of the concept from the New Adventures period on. There was plenty of sex and violence and it was realyl very un-who and a bit sad.

"Un-who." It sums up so much of this argument, doesn't it?

My only consolation is that Big Finish have a lot more respect for the concept and have resisted taking the easy soap route (not that their audience would buy it).

...you're really not listening to it, are you? I mean, seriously? Listen to Graceless, Loups-Garoux, hell, anything by Nev Fountain...

McGann has continued to be an excellent radio Doctor on BBC7.

Which are meant to ape the RTD era. Hmmm?

There is lots of humour and the relationship between the Doctor and his companions is a lot more frank and 'modern' in a sense... but it is still actually Doctor Who.

That's nice isn't it? Heh? Nice? Remember that? Being happy about things? Instead of whinging and moaning like Eyeore with syphilis...

My guide is that if you can't picture any of the Doctor's saying some dialogue or in a situation in the new series, its a good guide to the fact that they've lowered the bar. William Hartnell would never have said 'But I can't bear to lose you' any more than Sylvester McCoy.

Hartnell would never have said "The proof of the pumpkin is in the squeezing!" any more than Sylvester McCoy would have said "You'll both end up as a couple of cinders floating about in Spain!" either...

Can you imagine Patrick Troughton's head appearing from under a woman's dress as Matt Smith's did in the first episode of the last series of the new?

Actually yes. In fact, if we're talking about Troughton the man in real life? The sex machine giggilo that made Frazer Hines look like a choir boy at the time? Yes. Definitely. I can also picture Troughton wearing a woman's dress and flirting with prositutes. Because he actually did that in The Highlanders. One of which was his companion at the time.

But then again, if we all thought the same way, it would be a boring world with nothing to argue about!

Yeah, cause arguing is such a wonderful passtime.

Fuck this.

I switched off the screen and waited patiently for Peter Q's inevitable return.

17 comments:

Miles Reid said...

Reading your article and then... actually going to the website, I think all these fans need to actually... take the shrinkwrap off their dicks and use them, or get therapy for their worrying obsessions with sexuality, or judging by many comments, a borderline homophobia.

Doctor Who, as far as I can tell has a very sexy fandom (due in part to Doctor Who's large queer fanbase), as opposed to Star Trek, which Kirk-Era aside has always seemed very reserved and 'keeping the trousers on' in terms of what the variety of Starfleet crews get up to, unless you're visiting one of Quark's holobrothels, but again, aside from a few aside mentions, no-one ever really talks about the fact that the holodeck is effectively a free way to indulge in every dirty sexual whim known to man. I mean, hey, if I had a holodeck, I'd quite happily have a harem consisting of about seventy-two copies of my fiancee, Christina Hendricks and Ellen Page... anyway, back to Doctor Who. Star Trek, for all its 'We're so groovy and liberal'-ness is a clear product of Protestant America. The much vaunted 'inter-racial kiss' which Trek fans bring up time and time again would have much more power if Kirk and Uhura hadn't been kissing while under mind control. Sex, gay or straight doesn't seem to ever come to mind, homosexuality doesn't exist in 24th century. In the Mirror Universe, lesbianism exists, but the only lesbian we ever see is a PVC wearing fascist. Make of that what you will. It seems that in a fanbase that is more dedicated to Star Trek's technology, species and rather hamfisted well-meaning yet incredibly patronising ideology, the only fans having fun are the ones writing KirkXSpock slash fiction.

Even though the Doctor in 'New Who' is a lot more aware of sexuality and sex than he ever seemed to be in the original series, there is no real sexual tension. There is love. But if you confuse 'love' and 'sex', then I'm sorry, you are a very, very sad individual and I have nothing but sorrow for you.

Rose and Martha pine for the Doctor, but we know the Doctor doesn't see them 'that way', the most the Doctor ever really seems to go is bragging about a few things which may or may not be true, he is the guy who claims to have loads of girlfriends and 'done it about fifty times' but honestly hasn't. The Doctor can be in Love, but Love can be so much more than just mere sex. These people are simply 'out of touch' with a lot of things, the changing world, the changing atitudes and their own emotional drives.

Youth of Australia said...

Gosh. An argument so coherent and well-set-out deserves better than to be in the comment section.

On the topic, Partners in Crime was repeated the other day and I remember the bit where Donna notes Martha must have done the Doctor good to curb his infantacidal tendencies. The Doctor agrees.

A long pause.

"She fancied me, you know!" he adds, in what is clearly a "no one's ever done that before, how wierd is that?" manner.

Donna immediately ensures this cannot be any egotistical boast by suggesting Martha was either desperate, blind or pitying to find the Doctor attractive.

And then the Doctor makes it quite clear he cannot travel with Donna if SHE fancies him because he cannot return her feelings and, despite the jokes, is clearly dreadfully upset he unwittingly broke Martha's heart repeatedly.

And how did he do that? By often saying he loved Martha. Which he did. He just wasn't IN love with her, a distinction that pretty much takes in every companion.

By Monsieur Mallet's definition, when the Doctor says Amy and Rory are "people he loves", this translates to some perverted orgy scene written specifically to insult Mallet himself.

Sad, is it not?

(Sorry, just woken up where I am and not firing on all - if, indeed, any - cylinders.)

Also, it's interesting as I didn't know that Kirk and Uhura were history making when the godlike aliens got them to snog. I thought it was an interesting take on workplace flirting, since Kirk is going to have to try and treat Uhura perfectly normally after this awkward moment (thank god some passing robot probe wiped her brain episode later, huh?)

But, in its original context, apparently it was Kirk just getting it on with a lady who wasn't either caucasian or bright green.

Which, as you say, is not something you'd WANT to go in the history books.

Miles Reid said...

Unfortunatly for Kirk, Nomad wiped Uhura's memory in an earlier season. He still has to turn up to work knowing what happened.

Miles Reid said...

The thing is, while I would accept that Star Trek the Original Series did a lot of good, did some things which were risky at the time and managed to be moralistic without sacrificing an entertaining story to go along with it, I think that Star Trek since has pretty much done a shit poor attempt from then on.

TNG is dull, real dull, fucking dull. The Enterprise crew (and indeed, pretty much the entire Federation at this point) are a bunch of Ben Chatham's, Ben Chatham-ing their way around the Universe, telling people that they're scum in comparison to the Federation. So many times does 'trying to tell an important message' overtake 'just be entertaining.' You can use an episode of Star Trek to try and say something about the world we live in, but the story should never just be made out of a soapbox.

And worst of all, the one thing I can never forgive Trek for.

It made space travel boring. To these guys, the Final Frontier is just another day job. Oh look, M-Class Planet, ho hum. Doctor Who goes to places and each and every time, it's new, it's special, it's different, the planet may be a slagheap of a dump, but it's a whole new planet of exciting adventure and possibility. These guys live in space and my God, it's dull, it's banal and it's beige. Shoot me now.

Youth of Australia said...

Well... I prefer TNG to Voyager. At least Picard and his homies were trying to be nice to people instead of being immoral, freeloading scum with enough angst to suffocate a 1960s Batman episode to death...

Jared "No Nickname" Hansen said...

Ooh, now I want to know what Miles thinks about the new film. Having re-watched it lately it is massively entertaining but it's hard to pin down anything particularly Trek-ish about it aside from naff uniforms and the familiar alien species.

On the original post... who is Peter Q? Did he actually accost you in a bar or is this a humourous interpretation?

Youth of Australia said...

Who is Peter Q? Did he actually accost you in a bar or is this a humourous interpretation?
Heh. You know me too well.

The truth is here.

Jared "No Nickname" Hansen said...

Off topic, the pic from that post of Amy stranded in the jungle with no clothes is IMO funnier after the Karen-Gillan-stranded-in-hotel-room-naked scandal.

Miles Reid said...

I actually liked the Star Trek movie very much. I think it managed to achieve what they were trying to do and they managed to give all the characters at least one stand-out moment instead of simply standing in the background.

I mean, to be honest, the Trek movies AREN'T really Trek, they've not been for a long time now. The original Movies, 1-6 are a lot closer in tone to the series that spawned them, Wrath of Khan and The Undiscovered Country actually progress the characters and the world in ways that make the films matter. Khan shows us a world where our heroes ARE growing old and Kirk has gotten a little more cynical and weary with his life. This is Kirk, the guy who faced down Insane Computers, Demi-Gods, Time, Space, Death and Reality, the guy who always had a plan, the best and boldest of Star Fleet and at the end of the day, he still can't outwarp his own age. Spock's sacrifice (the unspoken coda to the conlusion of 'A Tale of Two Cities', the book Spock gave Kirk for his birthday) and the growing relationship with the son he'd lost allows Kirk to undergo the spiritual rebirth he embrace both his age and his lost-youth, it doesn't need the whole of the Picard clan being wiped out in order to give Jean Luc some weak motivation and character for Generations. The TNG movies are so consciously trying to be action movies, something that TNG never really was that. It feels out of place to see Picard doing his best Die Hard impression in First Contact, no matter how good a film is. They try to ape Wrath of Khan without really taking what it is that makes Wrath of Khan such a powerful movie. This is Star Trek the Reboot's biggest flaw, Nero fails as an effective villain and the 'time-travel/rebooted universe' stuff does feel like an attempt to mollify the fan rage, even if seeing Leonard Nimoy as Spock one more time is wonderful, even if hearing him say the 'These are the Voyages...' one last time at the end is the perfect coda for the movie, it still isn't a perfect movie, it's up there high in the rankings of the Trek films, but it isn't a Wrath of Khan, or a Voyage Home.

Honestly, I would want the follow-up movie to this have been a bit more along the lines of Star Trek-The Motion Picture. Although, watched Spock and Sherlock duke it out with Mickey the Idiot as back-up... that's all kinds of awesome, I admit it.

Youth of Australia said...

Although, watched Spock and Sherlock duke it out with Mickey the Idiot as back-up... that's all kinds of awesome, I admit it.

What?

The?

Fuck?

"Ah, the crows feet of someone who arches their eyebrow due to an inability to express complex emotions - probably mother issues - and a haircut designed to emphasize your ears - clearly insecure about them, trying some Vulcan pride to reassert your ethnic background - while wearing tight black jeans whenever James T Kirk is in the room. A repressed neurotic homosexual, half human on his mother's side and you clearly wanted to get your ears pierced but daddy wouldn't let you? Am I right?"

"Highly illogical."

"Don't listen to him! He's an alien! HE'S A FING!!!"

Miles Reid said...

Benedict Cumberbatch and Noel Clarke both have parts in the new Trek movie. There's leaked photos of Sherlock being Nerve-Pinched by Spock.

Matty Knoller said...

This is Matty Knoller (Kyron Mallett). A full response is available now at http://mknoller69.blogspot.com.au/

Despite the mix up, I'm afraid David you are a 'sad, pathetic, opinionated oxygen thief'.

Think it all over.

Youth of Australia said...

This is Matty Knoller (Kyron Mallett).
The same as Silver Smufer (Kyron Mallett) or Ron Malett (Kyron Mallett)?!?

Man, you have more names than Hallet in Terror of the Veroids! (See, how I made it a Six Doctor reference in deference to your obsession? How nice of me.)

Despite the mix up,
...
What mix up?

I'm afraid David you are a 'sad, pathetic, opinionated oxygen thief'.
...
Who's David?

Think it all over.

...

WHO THE HELL IS DAVID?!?

Are you insulting Mr. Tennant or something? Or Mr. Segal? Or even, lord forbid, KOSCHIE?!?

I'm sorry, but I refuse to allow you to insult people on this blog unless I know who they are. And you, a professional doctor and everything! Such laxity! Such unprofessionalism! Such who the bloody hell is David?!?!

Yours, bewildered of Dulwich Hill.

Youth of Australia said...

Oh, and your link don't work, Mr. 69. I've tried in both internet explorer and mozilla firefox, so eager am I to discover the identity of this mysterious David of whom you insult.

Alas, it don't work.

You can post your concerns to me at the usual editorial address and while you're here I invite you to enjoy my dissection of your incoherent scribblings:

Reformation of the Daleks
here, here, here and here.

Tangent: Earth
here, here, here and here.

and half of The Final Days

Be assured I put more work into the critique than you did into writing them.

PS, I quite liked The Missing Doctors.

PPS - who is Peter Q? Is HE David?

Blimey, it's like talking to Papa Lazarou...

PPPS - this IS fun, isn't it?!

Matty Knoller said...

Or alternatively you could list your own works of fiction and I could check them out... hang on, you haven't written any!

Again you are making my own case for me!

Matty Knoller said...

You clearly imply here that the Peter Q who posted on this blog was me.

I have explained who I believe it was and why. I have also explained that until a couple of days ago I did not know who you were.

I'm still not clear on your real name or at least handle? Ewen? Whatever?!

Youth of Australia said...

There you are, Matty! Forgive me for assuming you had the intellectual capacity to SCROLL DOWN this blog frontispeace to see a list of my works.

I have very high standards, it's a failing, I admit it.