At 12:20 today my Uncle Bill died during a heart operation and the world is not quite as kind a place as it was before. An intelligent teacher, husband and father of two, he faced despair and worse but didn't let it ruin him completely and he remained to the end a beloved member of the family.
The world may not miss him, but we will.
"Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened." -- Matt Smith (2013)
While the world - including myself, let that be fundamentally clear - reels from Paul McGann fulfilling a nine year prophecy of turning up for a quick and dirty regeneration sequence, I thought I'd go against the grain completely and waffle about YOA instead. How did Andrew get on with that exorcism? [Bedroom. A blotched-face woman is strapped to a bed on an IV drip, muttering to herself in Romanian. The door opens and Andrew enters with a boombox on his shoulder blaring out a little-known thrash metal cover of "Stariway to Heaven" by Toyz Went Bezerk. He notices the woman.] Andrew:Sorry. Don't mind me. Woman: Release me from these straps. Andrew: Can't you do it yourself? Woman: If I could, I would have. Andrew:Well, lie back and enjoy the bondage. Woman: Are you not here to help me? Andrew:What on earth gave you that idea? [He sits down on a chair facing the bed and puts his feet up on the boombox.]
Woman: Who are you? Andrew:Who are you? Woman: I'm the Devil! Now kindly undo these straps! Andrew:You're the Devil. Woman: Yes. Andrew:And you can't undo the straps yourself. Woman: I could make them vanish, but that would be a vulgar display of power. Andrew:Yeah. I can see modesty and decorum are really your bag, baby. What would you do if I let you go? Woman: Unstrap me and find out. Andrew:Fine. I'll stay ignorant, you stay trapped. I thought the Devil was supposed to be smart. Woman: And I thought you were supposed to be a private detective. Andrew: Private detective. Exorcist. Part-time toy salesman. Woman: Would you like to know what your mother thinks about you? Andrew:Not particularly. Woman: She's burning in hell right now. Andrew:If you say so. Woman: RELEASE ME! Andrew:Convince me. Honestly, for the ultimate tempter of mankind, your salespitch is shit! [She projectile vomits. Andrew ducks.] Andrew: Oh, that'll convince me. Jeez. OK, you can throw up ectoplasm until you pass out from dehydration. It's not going to impress me. I mean, vomit? Is that supposed to impress me? Woman: You wish to do her more harm than good? Andrew:I'm not the one possessing her. Seriously, you are a huge disappointment. And I've read Del-Del! Woman: Childish scribblings of those who fear the dark. Andrew:Yeah, plotting was a bit dodgy for me too. But better than anything from Ivan Malouf. Imaginary Life my sphincter! Anyway, you're the Devil. The bane of all that is good. And given the torture and chaos you can cause you... possess a piss-weak thirty-two year old woman and throw up on the carpet. Are you even still surprised God kicked you up the arse? Wile E Coyote would be more trouble than you? Woman: Quality is over quantity. I shall burn this family apart from the inside out. Andrew:And then what? You're either going to kill your host or get locked in a looney bin. This is not the attitude that wins, Bobby. Woman: ...did you just call me Bobby? Andrew:Yeah. Barton Luther Zachariah Robert. That's your name? B.L.Z. Bob? Woman: ...it is pronounced "zed", mortal. Andrew:Hah! The devil stands up for grammer. Oh, how evil! Hold me, I TREMBLE! [The curtains fall from the window. The door bangs shut. The boombox blares static.] Andrew:Telekenisis. I am very scared and impressed. Why don't you snap my neck? Woman: You want to die. Andrew:You care what I want? I bet you just used up all your strength. That's how psychokinetics works, it doesn't matter how you use it, it's as exhausting as doing it the normal way. Also, you're still strapped down. Game, set and match.Do you speak latin? Woman: Like a native. Andrew: Well, I don't, so let's stay speaking in English. It's not going to impress or intimidate me any more than bumping into an Italian with gastric distress. So, are you going to leave that body or what? Woman: Not until she rots and lies stinking in the Earth. Andrew:So, what you're saying is... you're not going to be doing anything else for the next few decades then? Woman: What? No. Andrew:So while your little shell there decays, the world is free of the devil? Sounds good to me. Woman: You little sinner, it is corruption incarnate! Andrew:Whatever. You've got yourself stuck in there. Like one family from Surrey Hills is worth the ultimate freedom of the human race! Do what you like, it's all good from now on. I'll drink to that. [He pulls out a water bottle.] Andrew:Want some? Woman: ...Holy Water! Keep it away from me! Andrew:So, you're powerless, strapped to a bed, and scared of water. How did Satanism get started when you are weaker than vegetarian piss?! [He squirts the water on her. She screams.] Woman: It burns! It burns! Andrew:Well, here's an idea. Get out of the body so you don't get hurt. Christ, you are a moron. [She starts screaming incoherently.] Andrew: Is the diddy-widdy demon having a big tantwum? Ooh, boo-boo-hoo! Woman: Emit su evig! Ydob eht ni mraw si ti! Uoy ees I! Dlihc a si eh! Emit su evig!
[He takes off the lid and empties the water on her. She screams.]
Andrew: ENGLISH! DO! YOU! SPEAK! IT?!!
Woman: Siht rof eid llahs uoy! Denruomnu, devolnu dna enola!
Andrew: I AM TALKING, MOFO!
[She starts screaming.]
Andrew: OK. No more Mr. Nice Guy.
[He strides over to the IV drip, tears it open with his teeth and empties out the liquid.]
Andrew:[incredibly angry and quickly] I'm telling you, you saccubitic piece of rectal distension, if you don't cough up some answers right now I'm going to waste you right here and now with a goddamned embolism! You've given me absolutely no reason not to, even apart from the fact you've monumentally ruined my weekend! I'm going to do it, you know! Don't you dare think otherwise! [He blows up the bag.] Andrew:Last chance, you pustulant parasite!
Well, Charley's long-awaited spin off has been released joining the ranks of Dalek Empire, Gallifrey, Jago & Litefoot, UNIT, Cybermen, Graceless, Vienna and all the other stuff that gets put to the back of the pile. I think I speak for most that we've definitely missed out on the Lucie-and-the-Monk boxset, but I wonder what will BF turn their hand to now that six of those ranges have ended (along with the Companion Chronicles,Lost Stories and those freebie CD mags they used to give out).
And then the answer struck me like a slice of lemon wrapped around a large gold brick...
The year is 4499. Davros has been captured by the Second Great and Bountiful Human Empire and is on trial for crimes against all sentient creation. But Davros seems to be more than capable of defending himself - is he really responsible for the creation of the Daleks, or just one step amongst many in the road to their genesis? More to the point, there are plenty of supporters who want Davros alive for their own reasons...
Meanwhile, the Movellans remain locked in perpetual stasis with the Dalek battlefleet - but a second expedition has been made to Skaro and uncovered the remains of Commander Sharrel. Restored to full function once more, Sharrel has the key that will break the stalemate.
After centuries of peace, the end of the impasse is finally in sight...
As the fate of Davros is decided, one key witness realizes the danger to the human race is only just begun - the Movellans will turn on the rest of the galaxy once they are finished with the Daleks. As Sharrel prepares the super-weapon to wipe out the Daleks, Tyssan joins an elite taskforce to penetrate the Movellan network accompanied by the reprogrammed Lan and Agella. But can they really be trusted?
And will Davros' final fate prove the death nell for humanity as he claims?
4500: The civilizations of the cosmos from Sureen to Kantria are celebrating as the Movellan virus decimates the Dalek race, leaving their armies slaughtered and their technology ripe for salvage. The Movellan Network are hailed as heroes and rescuers, and it seems that straightforward conquest of humanity is unnecessary - they're welcoming the Movellans with open arms.
But as time goes on it becomes clear the Movellans have their own agenda - one rooted in their own origin. For as Tyssan is about to discover, this is not the first time the beautiful androids have encountered the human race.
There are answers to questions best left unasked.
And they lie in Orion...
4508: The truth about the Movellans has been discovered. The known worlds are up in arms - but Commander Sharrel has them hostage with a bevvy of artificial viruses that they have already infected the galaxy. Unless total surrender is given, the pathogens will be allowed to do their deadly work across known space. The Movellans win either way.
Tyssan and the Torchwood Archive intend to strike back using technology looted from Sharrel's old battlecruiser, but how can they possibly enter Movellan space without being wiped out by the diseases now running rampant through the cosmos?
Salvation appears to come at hand from a pair of mysterious travellers in time and space who are determined to help save everyone - but are the Monk and Lucie Miller as trustworthy as the Doctor and Romana were? Can Tyssan afford to take the chance as the death toll mounts?
Because the threat is no longer Davros, the Daleks or even the Movellans.
The current state of emergency has drawn the attention of Viyrans themselves...
I know, right? Freaking awesome. And the covers are good too. I've always thought the Destiny-Resurrection gap was ripe for exploration - mind you, I've always thought that Time and the Rani is as awesome as Chuck Norris... anyway, just proving that my paralytic sure ain't bitterness.
The bastard snuck onto my front porch, reached in through my bedroom window where - due to feng shei difficulties my stuff is located reasonably close - and stole my wallet while I slept, leaving only a broken window, a startled cat and me emotionally and materially poorer!
I could forgive the $40+ that he got away with, but the other stuff - business cards, medicare cards, photo id, birth certificates, TFNs... yeah, yeah, you're all so smart saying it was stupid for me to put them in one wallet but goddamn it with the current beaurocracy in this country you more often than not need them at a moment's notice! And since I only expected to LOSE my wallet rather than have it STOLEN, I think I should be forgiven for lax security in my own home!
Worst of all, worst of all, the bitterest pill is I know who did it.
See, there was this down and out bloke on a bike with a dayglo vest and a crash helmet a couple of years ago who had lost his own wallet - or so he claimed - and was going door to door asking for charity, offering to do any odd jobs as recompense. It was late afternoon and I saw him go through one street and then another, getting no response. Feeling damned sympathetic and charitable, I gave him $50 and politely told him to fuck off and sort his shit out. He was pathetically grateful and went on his way.
Then he turned up again, desperate for rent. Or for busfare to Canberra. Or because the local underbelly mafia had kidnapped his poodle and was threatening to cut it up for cash. And yes that last one is genuinely what he told me. He turned up at my door, at my window, in the street, asking for money like some demented capitalist seagull.
But this wasn't some 24/7 bombardment. Months would elapse between seeing him. Certainly enough time for him to credibly have fallen into a fresh disaster. But I told him no. Repeatedly. Distinctly. Emphatically. When he started tapping on my window and waking me first thing in the morning, I added the distinctive proviso that ever since I'd given him money, I'd lost my job so if anyone should be seeking charity, it would be me. It was irritating rather than creepy, and he apologized and went off on his way, vowing never to return at least for the next quarter.
Now it seems he turned up, but instead of the usual wake-up-poor-Ewen routine stole my wallet instead.
If I knew his real name, address, occupation or indeed anything about him, I'd set the pigs on him! And not just pigs, the gigantic mutant bushswine from sadly-underwhelming Razorback!