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Feb. 21st, 2010

The Shadow of the Scourge and The Holy Terror

Hey kids! Did you miss us? We missed you. Today we're at TBH with our new member, Raul, as we give you this pre-Gallifrey 2010 edition of the Time Team. Say "hello, Raul.

Raul: Hello

Isn't he great, ladies? Naturally he enjoys Doctor Who along with roller derby and rockabilly. And he runs a theater

After a primer on Benny, New Adventures, and Post 1988 Ace we start us The Shadow of the Scourge by Paul Cornell. It opens with the beginning of a seance and Annie asking the aliens to come as she and the others bring peace.

Me: And moist towelettes.

We all get a good laugh as Annie bitches to Brian Hughes about copyright infringement of quack psychic characters.

The Doctor arrives with Ace and Professor Bernice Summerfield in tow and as usual there's a body count whenever he shows up. And "wise old biddies" based on Summerfield's lip reading skils. We get a side trip with Hughes showing up at another convention happening in the hotel before returning back to Doctor Who: CSI. The triple booking at the hotel of cross stitchers, extra terrestrial channelers, and time experimenters is apparently bad for the universe and our gang splits up.

It doesn't take long for Bernice to make herself known to main range Who fans as she infiltrates the extra terrestial channelers and gets them to speak to her dead turtles. Meanwhile Ace is getting herself kicked out of the time experiment room and then getting close with the cross stitchers talking about the dead dude on the elevator. Back to Bernice talking to Mary and then Annie. Annie's in the back trying to keep her guts from spilling.

Me: Annie, are you okay? Are you okay, Annie?

Hughes is locking the joint up and setting the time experiment machine while Annie is legitimately making contact with the other world. We get title as the Scourge start showing up. Our first cliffhanger of the day leaves us with the Doctor seemingly handing over Earth to the Scourge.

Tim: For some reason this reminds me City of Death and The Invasion of Time where it's funny and the Doctor is handing stuff over and you've no clue what's really going on.

"That is really...icky!" might be the best line in the any of the audios Big Finish has done up to this point in the timeline of the main range.

Tim: Paul, if you're reading this you are a brilliant, brilliant man.


Which is then followed by the worse line as Bernice does a pun based on Pembroke saying "what" three times. Cross stitchers try to be all heroic and fail miserably. Bernice says "goddess" as the Scourge Demi-Leader makes one strangle himself.

Me: Drink.


The Doctor blames his connecting up with the Scourge on to much cheese before bed time.

Me: Dude, I eat a bunch of cheese before bed but I've never met the Scourge in my dreams.

Ace proves that her acting skills are not the best as the Doctor proves that he didn't fall for her charade of thinking he really gave the Earth to the Scourge. Ace and Bernice go off to make tea for Pembroke and Greg, Cross Stitch Boy and discover that there's only darkness outside the hotel.

Me: So that's where the band went.

Ace rags on Radiohead as the Doctor says the Scourge prey on the depression and sadness of the masses.

Raul: Wow.

Tim: I like Radiohead, but yeah, she's right.

The Doctor describes people falling for the Scourge as a rabbit stops in the headlights of an oncoming car.

Me: Which is a song by Unkle sung by Thom Yorke from Radiohead.

The Doctor gets out tricked by the Scourge as they figure out his games and trump him. He starts transforming as the Scourge Demi-Leader talks about how cool he is for outwitting the Doctor. Part Two ends with the Doctor begging for Benny and Ace to help him as he starts to change.

Tim: Bummer.


Me: So, Raul, now that you're halfway through your first audio what do you think?


Raul: I want to listen to more. I'm really enjoying myself. You can tell they're having fun and doing it for the love of the show. Like any new medium it takes a little getting used to but I'm having fun.

Tim: You missed some really bad ones.


Me: Oh don't worry. There are more bad ones to come.

Tim: I thought I was going to slit my wrists after I think Phantasmagoria.

Me: Actually I think it was The Sirens of Time.

Tim: Oh yeah. I wanted to stop after that one.

But we didn't and after refreshing ourselves with Shiner Bock and Oreo's we continue. The inevitable chess reference comes from Ace as she talks about how the Scourge have outmaneuvered the Doctor. Bernice says "goddess" again.

Me: Drink!

Ace talks Gary in to fucking up her ear drums. The last thing she hears is Bernice uttering another "goddess".

Me: Drink!

Bernice has a plan that's slightly more involved than Ace's of deafening herself and madcap hilarity ensue as they try to communicate with Ace. We go back to the Scourge.

Tim: Are they in the lobby with the music?

The Doctor proves he still has a trick or two up his sleeve as we learn he's shut himself down to keep the Scourge in him from popping out. As he quotes Shakespeare in his mind Bernice and the gang are dragging him across the hotel floor. We get another "goddess" as they run in to a Scourge.

Me: Drink. Jesus, was Paul trying to hit a "goddess" quota?


They find the Scourge Formerly Known as Annie and bring the Annie portion back to the front.

Me: Are they attacking a cappuccino machine?

Annie allows the Doctor to speak long enough for to tell Ace to find the TARDIS and Bernice to come inside the Doctor's head. Bernice uses Annie to get inside his noggin and apparently he's gotten a bit of an interior decorator to provide seating for situations like this. They see his Jungian archetypes who only show up when bad shit is about to happen.

Tim: Or during an anniversary special.

Like other fan girls Bernice drools over the 8th Doctor which she sees waiting over the bridge to come over. The Doctor points out he'll transform into a Scourge if they don't win. Bernice has a go at him, bitching him out for possibly destroying her future. The Doctor reminds her that she's not helping him fight a species that feeds on doubt and fear. Bernice backtracks in between another "goddess".

Raul: One hell of a guilt trip.

Me: Drink.

Annie can't sense the Doctor's heartbeat.

Me: (Don Johnson) Heartbeat! I can hear your heartbeat!

Annie Scourge comes back and she makes Gary strangle himself as I reach for another Oreo. Ace and Pembroke finally reach the TARDIS where they encounter another Scourge who asks them to kneel.

Me: Before Zod!


Bernice's attempt to make the Doctor all warm and fuzzy fails as the third part ends with him seemingly succumbing to the Scourge in his mind. Tim and I do our best Bill Paxton impersonations as the Doctor proclaims over and over that the game is over. Ace and Pembroke fight two other Scourge and Ace bitches that Pembroke doesn't need to pull her head to see the second Scourge.

Me: Maybe he's did it because he's tired of your yelling and your shit acting.

Tim: Ouch.

Then my point is proven as Ace doesn't another bit of shit acting to get close enough to stab a Scourge. Benny wakes up in a hotel room, alone, and runs off to help the Doctor uttering another "goddess".

Me: Drink.

Ace tries to keep Pembroke from killing her by telling him she's seen loads of people die who didn't deserve it.

Me: Yet you're still here.

Tim: That describes fifty percent of the people who show up on the show. More if you take series finales into consideration. how many continents get shifted at the end of The Parting of the Ways?

The Doctor takes over Pembroke's mind and tells Ace where the key to the TARDIS is. He apparently set the nanites to focus on the control room and Ace realizes the Doctor thought they wouldn't make it through without harm.

Me: Um...that's pretty much how things went during your time in The New Adventures. Especially ones written by Kate Orman.

The Doctor makes everyone feel the Scourge and they kinda feel emo.

Bernice: Goddess

Me: Drink.

Ace and Bernice share a tender moment as Bernice stays to look after the Doctor.

Tim: (as Ace) I love you.


Me: Can I say that acting against Lisa Bowerman only accentuates that Sophie's not the best of actresses?

Tim: You could, but I've really enjoyed some of the comedy bits.

Me: Yeah, those have been good, but look at this past moment when Ace says it should be her looking after the Doctor.

Tim: I admit that could've been more powerful.

Bernice tells the Scourge who's playing Doctor Phil to stuff it as she takes another stab at bolstering the Doctor's self esteem. They try to think up a way to counteract the despair the Scourge are stirring up.

Tim: Let's have an orgasm!

She sorts out that it's happiness with people you love, hanging with loved ones and eating tea and scones because they are the best!

Tim: Yes! I'm having a teagasm!

Ace rallies the troops of cross stitchers, new agers, and technogeeks to attack the Scourge as The Doctor and Bernice show up. The Doctor turns fear back on the Scourge as he makes everyone else feel love, peace, and moist towelettes in a bit of reverse psychobabble. Cornell is able to work owls in as he convinces Brian that none of the killing was his fault.

Me: Drink for owls! And I guess that makes Brian like Andrea Yates.

Cue stock Big Finish Huzzah music as the day is saved and everyone returns to normal. The Doctor chastises Bernice for lusting after his 8th version.

Tim: (as Bernice) I just saw Paul McGann and thought he was hot.


Raul: Very Cool.

Tim: Certainly one of the better audios. Funny, couldn't see what it was going.

Raul: A lot of fun.

Me: It was fun to see Bernice in a supporting role as opposed to the lead one she normally plays. Bowerman slots right in to the notoriously close team of McCoy and Aldred and feels as if she's been there the entire time. Further proof that Paul should write for Bernice more often as it's always fun when he creator gets his hands back into the process.

We jump right in to The Holy Terror by Rob Shearman after laughing at the retard who thinks The Wolfman ripped off Twilight.

Tim: I hear that music and still expect Tom Baker to show up.

We learn how easy it is to keep yourself from being burned at the stake as Tacitus easily recants his heresy in following the wrong living god.

Tim: That's so Monty Python! I think I'm going to like this more than Jubilee which is saying a lot.


Macap hilarity continues as the old Queen is taken off to be killed in a manner determined by the new Queen who had been polishing the old Queen's toenails. Meanwhile Frobisher is trying to eat some gumblejack when the Sixth Doctor barges into his bath.

Tim: Don't get between Colin Baker and his gumblejack.


Frobisher has been messing with the TARDIS controls to make fake gumblejack.

Raul: What happens when I touch this button?

Apparently hunchbacks are meant to be evil as the Old Queen bitches at her hunchback son, Childeric, who she thinks isn't evil enough as he sucks up to her saying she's his evil idol.

Raul: With that music behind him it's like he's about to break into song.

The new living god is a bit of wuss as he's not producing any thoughts worthy of chronicling. Childeric shows back up and talks to High Priest Clovis.

Tim: Is that Paul Darrow?


Me: Nope.

Tim: He has that effeminate "oh I'm so evil" voice like Darrow.


Pepin gets coronated and fails miserably as a living god much to the consternation of his wife and his subjects. Just as Pepin is about to be put to death the TARDIS shows up on the scene providing the miracle in the form of Frobisher, ruining the plans of Childeric. Frobisher denies being a god.

All: When they ask you if you're a god you say yes!


Despite his best efforts to get killed Pepin survives as his subjects rejoice while his wife, Livilla, continues to bitch at him. Childric continues to plot against Pepin as Tacitus writes the Bible. Part one ends with an attempt on Pepin's life that oddly enough doesn't come from his wife. I take a picture of my super sweet new Booze Leprechaun chapeau made by Alison as Pepin survives the ritual assassination attempt and forgives his would be ritual assassin much to the consternation of Frobisher. Pepin still doesn't feel like a god.

Me: Maybe he feels like a woman.

Frobisher drools over Pepin's wife as she comes to bitch at him some more. Pepin and Frobisher go to the Blue Temple as The Doctor messes up Tacitus' room looking for an earlier bible. The passage from Pepin the Third's bath reads a bit like the beginning of a Penthouse story while the locals have transformed the TARDIS into the temple. Pepin tries to convince Frobisher that the TARDIS is indeed a temple and the console was an altar. Clovis shows up to Tacitus' house as Livilla tries to get mother-in-law to say that Childeric is the real heir. The locals are pissed that Pepin the Sixth died. Livilla shows she's a suckass Empress by failing to kick Berangaria's ass until she starts to beat her with a lead pipe.

Frobisher tries to convince Pepin to stop being such a pussy as Pepin wants to again tell his subjects he's not a god. Childeric tells the Doctor why he's doing what he's doing. Clovis admits no one in the church has believed in god in centuries.

Alison: Wow.

Pepin abdicates his throne to Frobsisher as the second part ends.

Me: You know what I just realized? We're halfway through a Colin Baker audio and we've only made one fat joke.


Childeric shows he's gone completely bonkers as he's tried to make a god from birth.

Me: As opposed to being the Freshmaker.

Tim: Mentos: The Reaper of Souls!


The subjects continue to worship Frobisher. He starts to mess with the social framework of the planet as he pardons Pepin and tries to make him the new High Priest.

Tim: It's good to be the king penguin.

Raul: Emperor penguin.

Frobisher manages to rework society within thirty minutes by implementing parliamentary elections and dodging live bullets during ritual assassinations. Childeric gets all pissed off and unleashes his hand made god to retrieve the throne. Apparently he's done a better job than even he expected as the child speaks. The child is super creepy as he transforms Livilla into an infant.

Me: I think we have title!

The Doctor and Tacitus escape the oncoming temper tantrum. Tacitus freaks out as he thinks he's killed the kid numerous times in the past. The Doctor goes back to stop the child and then we get a little intermission of Frobisher fixing his nose to save a sculptor from death. Meanwhile the Child God continues his killing spree before entering Childeric's mind. He tears Childeric apart.

Tim: What horror movie is this music from?


Raul: Sounds like Halloween.


God was apparently created by Tacitus. Or at least he sounds like Tacitus. Part four starts up and Tim has to leave us.

Tim: I guess I'll find out who created God later.


The Doctor pisses on the Child God's delusions of granduer telling him he's not a god but a source of torture. He hopes he's lived up to his father's expectations of killing and wondering if he's pleased his father so far.

Me: Only if your father is Saddam Hussien.

We shift back to the Ultimate Dysfunctional Family as Pepin and Bergania have a heart to heart over how much she hates him. Clovis begs the Doctor to explain why he wants to destroy the Emperor. The Doctor explains Clovis is just a stereotype and a sidekick to the real villian. Child God keeps killing people as he searches for his father and Tacitus is hiding in Frobisher's throne room. Child God shows up just as Pepin and Bergania become a real family and makes it go all pear shaped as he kills Pepin. Bergania finally comes round to the notion of free will before finally getting her wish for the sweet, sweet release of death. Tacitus goes bat shit as he finally breaks from being in prison and believes himself to be the emperor. The Doctor stops history from repeating itself as Tacitus wants to kill his son again. Instead Tacitus gets the child to kill him.

Raul: That was cool.

Me: Definitely not a warm and fuzzy ending. Probably the most depressing in the Big Finish line up to the point. It stands out more when put back to back with The Shadow of the Scourge and it's almost candy cane sweet ending.




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Aug. 30th, 2009

Companion Chronicles - The Drowned World

The end of the world is seriously nigh, and available for purchase, as I give you not one but two Audio Time Team sessions this weekend.

And watch as there be spoilers ahead.

It would only seem natural that if I did Home Truths yesterday I should do The Drowned World today. A direct sequel to Home Truths, The Drowned World brings the entire creative team responsible for one of Big Finish's most popular titles from last year back together for another go around. We pick up a time after the ending of Home Truths where Robert returns to the house and Sara Kingdom, giving us an info dump of the previous audio. Robert has returned to hear another story from Sara that will help him convince his superiors not to destroy her. Once again we're teased with stories involving a boy dying in Sara's arms and a man stuck in a clock but this time around we get a story involving her adventures on an asteroid in the Red-O Belt.

The TARDIS materializes in an odd angle in a lab area and it takes no time at all for Sara, Steven, and the First Doctor to be separated from the TARDIS as it falls into water. Having no where to go up they continue to climb, opening one hatch after another. The second set of doors open up, freeing a bunch of miners and the stock Big Finish "much rejoicing noise" who weren't expecting Red-O Base to send a rescue party in time.

Sara remembers that some of the miners were convinced they'd been attacked as opposed to being struck by an act of nature. The Doctor opts to work on the life support system with a warning about the water while Sara, Steven, and Miners Hutchinson, Cowell and Keefe go to retrieve the TARDIS. It doesn't take long for the body count to start as Miner Keefe ends up playing the role of red shirt ensign in manly screaming fashion, making the mistake of not heeding the Doctor's advice to not touch the water. Think of The Abyss gone horribly wrong.

At the risk of sounding blasphemous, the real star this time is Niall MacGregor as Robert. The first time around MacGregor's Robert was a placeholder character, serving to give the listener something else to listen to than just Jean Marsh along with serving as the device that gets Sara to tell her story. This go around he's a much more integral part of the story. Simon Guerrier fleshes out his character and turns Robert into someone we actually can care about just as much as we care about what happens to Sara. Robert also serves as another narrator, at times helping to tell Sara's story. This is not to say Jean Marsh was horribly, far from it. Just as before Jean took what she was given and ran with it, providing another stellar performance.

Guerrier once again writes a gripping outer story that helps frame the inner story that Sara's telling. Ultimately, just as you find yourself caring about Robert you find youself just as engrossed in what one would think is the inconsequential outer story of what's happening to Robert's world. As before Lisa Bowerman does not disappoint. I know I sound lke a broken record, but it bears repeating that she may be the one of the best directors Big Finish has on the payroll at the moment. Maybe, it's her acting background, but she's able to bring out performances that aren't one note, something that might be easy to fall in when you're working with only two actors. There's definite shifts between the inner story and the outer story that you'd be able to tell without the aid of the sound design and music.

Even before listening to the behind the scenes chat with the creative team it's very clear that the foundation is being laid for the story of Sara and Robert to be a trilogy. And while I could eventually see that coming, it does not disappoint me. After two audios I care enough about them to want to hear a third story. One can only hope that Big Finish will bring this group together for a third time.




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Aug. 29th, 2009

Companion Chronicles - Home Truths

Looky looky, it's not an Archway cookie but another Audio Time Team installment.

Hell has turned quite frosty. Our schedules have not meshed and as you'll notice quite quickly still haven't meshed. But I felt like getting something out so I've opted for some Companion Chronicles. If the concept of one person narrating a whole story is good enough for Big Finish, then little ole' me going solo is good enough for me.

For my return to the world of solo ATT goodness I've opted for Home Truths by Simon Guerrier and starring Jean Marsh as Sara Kingdom. For you New Who kids Sara Kingdom traveled with the First Doctor for one story before she met her untimely demise. Naturally one might ask how the hell do you do a Companion Chronicle with a character that was only around for one story and ended up as dead as Michael Jackson. At least that's what I was thinking, without the Michael Jackson bit, when it was first announced that they were doing a story with Jean Marsh as Sara Kingdom.

To answer this question the audio opens up on a dark stormy night with a man begging to be let in to escape the weather. Quickly we learn the house is inhabited by an old woman who used to run a guesthouse. The man, asks her to tell a story about a house.

The woman turns out to be Sara Kingdom.

For those not familiar with Sara we get a quick info dump of the background of how Sara ends up with the Doctor and Steven. This works well, not only for new fans but old ones as it helps to flesh out Sara's character. It helps give reason as to why we'd get a Companion Chronicle with a companion who people debate as to whether or not she's a true companion. After this info dump and a taste of other adventures she'd had with the Doctor and Steven we get to the story that not only the man, but we want. The story about the house. (Between this and "Every Day" by Stephen Fewell it seems the First Doctor is attracted to fucked up houses.)

The audio flips back and forth from the main story of Sara meeting with the Magistrate, Robert, and the one she's telling. It's a nice way to break up the action, without feeling forced. It's easy to imagine the main scene of them talking and then the flashbacks associated with Sara's story. These switches along with creating the general atmosphere are capably handled by Richard Fox and Lauren Yason handling sound design and the music. It can tricky doing a mystery/horror piece on audio since you're lacking the visual component to foster fear and terror. This is one of those audios that benefits greatly from listening to it with a good pair of headphones. You're able to catch the little bits thrown in to help craft the overall audio along with the script and acting.

I've never been a fan of the First Doctor. The stories were normally too long and at times he was too crabby for my liking. I won't even get into my issue with his later stories where he'd just be absent for multiple episodes leaving us with just some crap companions. His stories during a monthly Nitro-9 meeting normally servies as nap and/or food time. Much as he worked his magic in the Bernice Summerfield range to get fans to re-examine the character of Jason Kane, Guerrier does an equally admirable job of rehabbing the First Doctor, for me at least. The story is tight and crisp and the characterisation of Hartnell's Doctor is detailed enough to allow Marsh impersonate him to a "t".

Hinging the success or failure of any story on one person is always a gamble. In the wrong hands, these Chronicles can be painful to work your way through. Obviously, in the hands of Jean Marsh this is not the case.  Though it's been over forty years since Jean played Sara she picks up where she left off. Jean takes the script and runs with it, making the part and story her own.

Rounding out the perfect creative group to bring this story to life is Lisa Bowerman as the director. She has yet to fail as a director and this continues the trend for her. Lisa may be one of the best directors Big Finish has employed as of late and it's a pleasure to see them using her as much as they can.


Overall, Home Truths is a quite a clever concept allowing the fans to re-experience a character from beyond the grave. There's something to be said for classic storytelling over the usual reliance on explosions and non-stop action to propel a story, especially in the audio format. And doubly so when you relying mainly on one person to keep the story moving and your audience engaged.

Keep your eyes posted here as I want to get things moving around these parts again. Possibly check back tomorrow even...




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Jul. 12th, 2009

A Momentary Interruption

We break into this regularly scheduled blog about Big Finish audios to point out the massive levels of fail being experienced by the writers on Torchwood: Children of Earth at the hands of some seriously sad fans.

http://jamesmoran.blogspot.com/2009/07/stepping-back.html

To quote the great William Shatner from Saturday Night Live "Get a life!"




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Jun. 29th, 2009

Hell Has Frozen Over...

...or I ended up in an alternate universe. Either way, the long awaited Bernice Summerfield: The Inside Story is being released.

http://www.bigfinish.com/news/Bernice-Summerfield--The-Inside-Story

Run, don't walk to your computers and your wallets to pre-order this tome the likes of which we'll probably never see again. And lookey at the bottom of the press release, you lucky people who pre-order will get your copies signed.

Check this space later this week for a possible update on the next Time Team installment.


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May. 25th, 2009

Much Belated Pimping

I know, I know. I've been a bad bad girl. (Not that kind you freaks)

Not sure when we'll get together for another Time Team. I don't think we'll get one in for May but you'll definitely see us in June. But until then, enjoy this pimping I've been slacking on.

First up: New Animated Who on it's way sometime in the fall ala' The Infinite Quest. The reason for Time Team pimpage you ask? Besides starring Tennant this new Who will star Time Team favorite Lisa Bowerman. It's not Benny but we'll take what we can get.

Next: Hurricane Who is developing quite the nice guest list for a first time con with latest additions of Gareth David Lloyd, Tony Lee, and India Fisher.

Later on in the convention Winter season is Chicago TARDIS which is finally making it look like their 10th anniversary will be one to remember. McGann will be joined by his first companion, Daphne Ashbrook, along with possible his most beloved by fans, India Fisher. Can we hope for all his women with additions of Lisa Bowerman and Sheridan Smith? (I got the backs of the fanboys and their dreams. Someone should have theirs come true.)

And as always, early next year is the uber party known as Gallifrey. Peter Davison is the only guest announced so far, but we all know it'll be a party to remember.



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Apr. 19th, 2009

The Apocalpyse Element and The Fires of Vulcan

Happy belated velociraptor awareness day!

No new beer today. Just some Shiner Bock because I didn't make it to the store in time to buy Mighty Arrow from the folks that make Fat Tire. After a meal of homemade turkey wraps we start up The Apocalpyse Element.

It opens with two glorified air traffic controllers talking. Monitor wants to be called Trinkett when it's just her and some other bloke.

Me: They call me MR. Tibbs!


We learn that there's a conference about to begin and then we hear the dulcet tones of the Doctor's TARDIS.

Tim: Well, everyone's going to die. The Doctor has arrived.


The Doctor has apparently stumbled in the wrong place at the wrong time for the Timelords liking as they come across a member of the Celestial Intervention Agency. It doesn't take long for the Doctor and Evelyn to separate. The Doctor advises that something is up and that they need to be subtle.

Me: Like that's going to happen with a coat like that.

We get backstory as the Timelord President explains that Romana's been missing for twenty years when a planet she was visiting, Etra Prime, (oh clever, clever prime...) disappeared. The Timelords are attending the conference in hopes of discovering which race had the ability to make a whole planet disappaer.

Evelyn is having way too much fun with a bracelet and then all the sensors start going crazy. It seems that the planet that disappeared with Romana on it has reappeared.

Me: Is that like Unicron?


Ensac gets hypnotized.

Tim: You mean nutsack?

Insert short sequence of Dalek's screaming at one another.

Me: We have Daleks!

Monitor Trinkett thinks the planet, Etra Prime, might have reappeared.

Angelie: Optimus Prime?

Evelyn is skulking about and trying to make sure no one notices her.

Me: I'm not liking Evelyn in this compared to her previous appearances. She's almost too snarky and glib.

Ensac tries to complete his mission but is stopped by Trinkett and the Doctor.

Tim: You mean Ex-lax?

Daleks show up and start blowing shit up, including Evelyn. Chancellery guards start blowing up Daleks and rescue Evelyn.

Tim: I can deal with Evelyn being a little more terrified by the Daleks since this is the first time she's met them. I don't really buy her being crushed by debris or in real danger. It's easy to go over the top in both cases but she almost underplays it.

The Daleks steal some technology that the Gallifreyans wanted to steal themselves. Meanwhile Trinkett and the Doctor are visiting the gravity wells until things go all Alien and they get attacked by Dalek mutant things.

Tim: Was it just me or was that the longest first episode ever? It's horrifying but funny trying to imagine those things just floating around and attacking people.

Insert soliloquay by Romana II about being a prisoner of the Daleks for twenty years.

Me: Just like your marriage to Tom.

Tim: Ouch!

Romana continues on about remembering when her body was young and full.

Me: Just like your marriage to Tom.


Tim: Ouch!

The slave robot finally names himself, Vrint

Tim: It's better than Nutsack.

We hear that the leader Dalek is black and thus begins the slew of Shaft jokes. It begins to gloat about how they're responsible for making Etra Prime disappear and has replaced the leadership with Dalek clones.

The Doctor and Evelyn get reunited and Evelyn wonders what that slime is on the Doctor.

Angelie: It's pizza grease.

The Black Dalek has to announce his color and explain to the slaves on Etra Prime what's going on.

Angelie: Evil knows no color. I hear Black Dalek and I just think "Yo, Yo!" and record scratching. They're the lost rappers.

The Doctor decides to go back through the Dalek mutants alone to shut down some shields. He asks for a new suit.

Me: (as The Doctor) I got jizz on this one.

Angelie: It's pizza grease.

Tim just chokes.

Evelyn declares something is huge.

Tim: That's what Romana said.

More shit blows up somewhere. The Doctor gets a clean suit and the Daleks talk about activating the apocalpyse element.

Me: We have title!

Evelyn complains about being too big for whatever tube they're traversing to get to the Birthing Bay.

Me: Should've thought about that before you stuffed your frame into the tube.

The Doctor talks about Mexican standoffs and asks the Daleks if they've killed any Mexicans.

Tim: What the hell? Where is that coming from? (as the Dalek) No, but that's a great idea. We'll go down, sit on the beach, and kill some Mexicans. He's right. Why didn't we think of this before.


Me: On a very racist Doctor Who....


Angelie: Are they going to say anything about the Filipinos next?

The Black Dalek does a drive by and attacks Gallifrey via a Trojan horse. Yet more shit gets blown up. Romana gets the TARDIS through the barrier with some mental jiggery pokery. Eveyln and Romana vow not to let the Doctor face the Daleks alone.

Me: It's like Eveyln is trying to be like Ace in "Battlefield" in terms of asserting her place as the Doctor's new companion to an old one. And it doesn't work so well in this case. Evelyn really serves no purpose in this audio except for the odd one liner and means for the Doctor to explain what's going on.

More shit blows up. More people die. More exposition spouted. More moments of Evelyn annoying the hell out of us.

Me: (as Maggie Stables) Bland. I think I'll be bland in this entire audio. Especially compared to Colin's bit of Shatnerian acting towards the end.

The President says that if the other daleks self destruct he'll let the Black Dalek send an unarmed scientific bunch of daleks to help figure out why shit could blow up that people don't want blown up.

Me: Unarmed daleks?

Angelie: Is there such a thing?

Me: Um...no. (more stuff with Evelyn) Why don't they just kill her and pluck her eye out?   

Evelyn does a shitty Dalek impersonation.

Me: Kill her!

The Black Dalek orders a hit on the President and he dies.

Tim: (dripping sarcasm) Didn't see that one coming at all.

More stuff happens but to be honest none of us could be cared to follow in rapt attention. The end comes mercifully.

Me: Well, that was crap. This audio sorely needed a drinking game.

Tim: It was a great idea in theory but not executed really well.

One trip for ice cream later we turn to the first time the Doctor goes to Pompeii, this time with Mel, in The Fires of Vulcan. We open with a crap Italian accented professor talking about a discovery at Pompeii that's put his dig on hold. The discovery is apparently a British police telephone box that's being possessed by UNIT.

The Doctor and Mel show up in Pompeii the day before the volcano is to explode. They manage to evade the questions of a slave who sees the TARDIS materialize and make their way to downtown Pompeii. Mel asks the Doctor if he notices a young man standing off in the distance.

Tim: It's David Tennant!

After wandering around a tad the Doctor begins to offer Mel up for wagers with Stephen Wickham channeling a cross between Brian Blessed and Colin Baker. Mel doesn't care that her milkshake brings all the boys to the yard as she runs from a bloke eyeing her and ends up in a whore house.

Tim: That would never happen to Evelyn.               

Volcano day lives up to its name as Vesuvius starts rumbling, allowing the Doctor to escape an ass whupping.

Tim: I was expecting that to happen in Episode Four.

Things go all pear shaped as the Doctor and Mel discover the TARDIS has been buried under a pile of rubble. The Doctor begins to natter on about Time being against them in his usual New Adventures style. Mel gets him to admit that the TARDIS is found in 1980, meaning he and Mel won't see it again. Mel can't quite grasp what's happening.

Me: He's saying you're fucked.

Tim: It couldn't have happened to a better companion.

The locals talk about the messengers from Isis. The Doctor goes back to the bar and gets some wine. Mel asks if it's a good idea to be drinking.

Me: You're gonna die at Pompeii. I can't think of a better day to drink.

Mel has issues with accepting the defeatist attitude of the Doctor.

Me: You're kind of screwed. You pretty much have to lay down and take it without any lube. Mel's got balls man. I've always liked this version of her compared to the TV version.

The bloke that's been stalking Mel makes himself known as the local councilman. He offers to give her a tour inside the temple.

Me: And show you some etchings...


The Doctor finally decides to try and change history in terms of retrieving the TARDIS. The music swells as he tries to get Mel to leave.

Me: Sail away, sail away, sail away.

Tim: I was thinking Orinoko Flow as well. (Mel gets carted away at the end of Episode Two) Wow, she had more lines in that one episode than during her entire run on the show. It's nice to hear her talk about things not centered around carrot juice or exercise.


The Doctor uses the Jedi mind trick to get the keys to Mel's cell. As Mel's would be stalker falls asleep the Doctor tells him he'll take good care of the prisoner.

Me: Of love.

Mel escapes and then gets recaptured. Meanwhile the Doctor gets drugged by the Brian Blessed/Colin Baker hybrid.

Towards the end of Episode Three Vesuvius starts to erupt. Mel tries to get her stalker to admit there's something brewing.

Tim: See, over there a dark haired man in a suit with a woman are loading people into the TARDIS. What the hell?

The Doctor is begging for his life in his best "Survival" voice.

Me: If we fight like animals we die like animals!

Mel goes off in search of the TARDIS only to realize she doesn't have a key.

Tim: She wasn't cool enough. She's not Sarah Jane. Or Rose after three episodes.

Me: And Martha. Didn't he give Donna one too?

Tim: Yeah, I think all the new companions get one.

Angelie: He's a whore now.

Me: A Player.

The Doctor explains to the inn keeper that if they can get into safety and survive the next 12 hours they've got a chance to escape Pompeii. Mel continues to be all badass and makes a run for the TARDIS. They reunite as they work their way to the tombs where the TARDIS was hidden. Then we get an awesome resolution to the original problem of why/how the TARDIS was discovered in 1980.

Tim: Nice. The pretty much redeem Bonnie's character in this one audio.

Me: Sweet. Well, as much as the last one sucked, this one didn't. Following up on their work in rehabbing Colin's Doctor they do similar work for Bonnie Langford's Mel. This story manages to be a nice mix of action and drama with a twist in terms of the Doctor being the one that for a time is willing to succumb to Time and Fate.




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Mar. 8th, 2009

Another Benny Double Feature: The Poison Seas and Death and the Daleks

For the first time since before Thanksgiving we're all able to get together. Due to time constraints today's session turns into another Benny double feature. I promise, next month we'll get back to main Who line.

Beer is courtesy of the Shiner Family Reunion pack. One beer each from their main releases then one Kosmo's Reserve which Shiner hasn't brewed in nearly ten years. Named for their founder, Kosmo's Reserve is a hoppy affair that provides different tastes as it finishes. I'm enjoying it way more than the Commerator.

After a meal of sweet and sour pork with wonton soup for me we start up The Poison Seas.

Tim: I'm picturing Sea Devils. The music seems to indicate Sea devils.

Angelie: Too much reverb. I can't understand what they're saying. I've had two cups of coffee. My goal is not to fall asleep.

Insert the first of many The Little Mermaid jokes as we listen to a Sea Devil soliluquay. Then we get to hear Benny trying to evade Carvers' questions and getting yelled at for not staying in her quarters.

Me: Yeah, Benny is really good at staying put and listening to orders.

Benny calls and bitches out Brax couched around a tender moment of asking him how Jason is doing. Then we go back to talking Sea Devils. The sound design is great, but of course you have to strain to really understand what they are saying due in part to the reverb. This ultimately is one that's probably best served listening by yourself with a pair of really good head phones. I find myself alternating between Little Mermaid songs and PJ Harvey.

Benny gets dropped off and we listen to Carver and her assistant wonder if Benny's going to be trouble. Carver notes that Benny will just be an innocent victim.

Me: Um yeah...Benny is not innocent and "trouble" really should be her middle name.


Benny starts talking with a Sea Devil.

Tim: Ok. I really can't hear anything at this point. There's too much going on in the background.

Angelie: I heard a corridor.

Tim: I don't know what this chamber is or where it's supposed to be, but whenever they're in it I can't hear a damn thing. (Sea Devil dialogue)

Carver kills a sea devil and then we go back to more hard to hear sea devil dialogue. Other stuff happens and Benny hooks up with her friend to investigate the killing of the sea devil. She explains to the lead sea devil that she's been sent to really determine who within the group is helping a terrorist group that Carver is leading. In another batch of hard to follow sea devil dialogue there's something in the water, and it's not just the sharks.

They go back to see the Principal and Benny utters a 'goddess'.

Me: Drink.

Benny gets found out by Carver and we end up back with Principal talking to Nedda. Nedda at one point says "how can this be?"

Me and Tim: (ala' Dune) For he is the Qwissatz Hadderach!


Principal reveals that he is the poison sea and he starts to strangle sea devils ala' Darth Vader. Carver reaveals the reason for all her barely post teen angst before she leaves Benny to die. She eventually gets rescued by Nedda who catches her up to speed on how Principal's gone all crazy. Meanwhile Principal is giving Carver some of his strangling treatment.

Benny gets all maudlin and starts talking about home and it's significance. She also mentions how some times she's tempted to take the time rings and just run away from it all. I point out that unless she's got mad skills she needs someone to work the other ring.

After a bad set of puns with Principal Benny runs into a not quite dead Carver. The bomb Carver set can be controlled by remote so Benny ups the time of destruction. Principal is getting all orgasmic about getting the planet back before he gets blown up by Carver's bomb.

Benny radios The Collection and something's going on as Brax replies in vague answers and keeps talking about her coming home soon.

I bring out my copy of Life During Wartime to show Tim and Angelie was Benny is coming home to and explain briefly what's going on. Then Death and the Daleks gets put into the player.

We get through the recap and Benny finds her dad is commanding the armies of the Fifth Axis. Benny says "cruk".

Me: Drink.

After evading the Fifth Axis and then evading Jason's enquiries as to the nature of their relationship Benny goes to see Brax. He talks about how his life has been distilled down to torture and interior decorating.

Me: Maybe that could be next year's edition of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. One way to get Ty to shut up.

Benny gets approval to visit Heaven and says goodbye to both Adrian and Peter. Peter cries as Benny talks about leaving.

Tim: (as Benny) It's not like I'm ever here anyway.

She talks about getting Isaac back.

Tim: (as Benny) We're bringing him back from the dark side.


Bev gets rescued and Benny and Jason make it to Heaven. The planet. Last seen in Love and War Benny starts going down memory lane. Angelie is able to guess Jason's dialogue when he tells Benny that he still loves her. Benny and Jason sneak out in the evening to go to the Heavenite arch.

Angelie: I'm sorry, but if I didn't know they were in a tent and I heard that zipper sound...

They get to the arch and Jason notes that it's huge.

Angelie: That's what she (Benny) said.

They stumble upon the Daleks and we get a history of the word "cruk" before Jason goes on a "cruk" tirade.

Me: That's like a chug right since someone other than Benny is saying it?

I tell Tim when this was released and then he tries to figure out which version of the Daleks he should be envisioning.

Bev starts the food riot and then we go back to Benny and Jason being revived by the Daleks.

Tim: That looked cool in my head. That was a really nice sound effect.

Me: You know, they could just grab some kid that plays World of Warcraft all day and probably get a better level of tactical knowledge.

Benny wonders if the Daleks have other military minds hidden behind the doors.

Tim: Cause the Rani already did that.

As usual Benny turns the interrogation around and antagonizes the Daleks. Jason mentions that no one would normally think to do that to the Daleks and they can never go to the zoo together.

Me: I *so* want that line on a t-shirt. Really. If someone put that on a t-shirt I'd be a happy girl.


Benny tells Jason to take his fat suit off.

Tim: (as Benny) I don't want to die without having another go with you.


Benny and Jason make another stab at rescuing Isaac. Jason kills a bunch of Daleks and then remarks at how strange it is for Isaac to have been placed in the storage room.

Me: Not as strange as you blasting Daleks while being naked? Speaking of which, I don't see Captain Jack killing Daleks naked.

Tim: No, thankfully he put his clothes back on before he took out those two What Not To Wear robots.


Me: See, another reason why he's just a poor man's Jason Kane.

Isaac offers to comfort Benny as she feels bad for getting a bunch of Axis officers killed.

Me: No, that didn't sound creepy at all. This just makes me all the more sad that Ian Collier is dead.

Disc one ends with Brax unveiling his TARDIS and Benny, Jason, and Isaac preparing to defend themselves to the death if need be against the Daleks.

Tim: I was able to follow that better than the one with the Sea Devils. I like them and I think it's cool they were in a story, but it was hard to understand some of them.

Isaac would rather fight in a battle than watch Peter.

Me: God, no one wants to spend anytime with the kid.

Angelie: Poor kid.

The Killoran Liberation Army arrives and Jason leads the revolutionary army through the door to the armory.

Tim: Is that a music cue lifted straight from Aliens?


Jason assumes that Adrian means him when Adrian says the best man won in the battle for Benny's heart.

Tim: (laughing) What a dumb ass.

The battle continues and eventually the Collection gang get all together inside Brax's TARDIS. Insert awkward moment number 378 as Isaac tries to get Benny and Jason to return home with him. Isaac is still really under control of the Daleks so things go all pear shaped as the Daleks try to capture Brax's TARDIS. They're able to turn things around and eventually get the Axis officers to kill off most of the Daleks. Jason and Benny go after the last one while Brax comes up with a plan to take care of the Dalek fleet.

In typical Benny/Jason fashion they decide the perfect time to rekindle their relationship is in the middle of looking for the last Dalek. Their makeout session is interrupted by the Dalek who Jason eventually gets around to killing.

Using Isaac to give out new orders Brax and Benny do what The Doctor couldn't do in Genesis of the Daleks and destroy the Fifth Axis.

Tim: I didn't fall asleep once.

Angelie: I didn't either. It was just hard to understand what they were saying in the first one we listened to.


Tim: It was good to hear the Daleks. And I liked hearing Brax finally acting like a Time Lord.

Me: This has always been one of my favorites and is in frequent rotation along with The Crystal of Cantus and Just War. On the whole the series is finally finding its footing and properly incorporating all the various characters. I understand from an economic side why they probably don't do more double disc Benny's, but it's fun to get an expansive story that features everyone on the Collection. It's an excellent core group of actors who should be allowed to interact with each other more often.

Check back next month when we'll do The Apocalypse Element and The Fires of Vulcan. Also keep an eye out as I might start doing the Companion Chronicles as a solo effort.

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Feb. 26th, 2009

Gallifrey 2009 - Day Four

The clock on the bed reads 8am when I awake. This means I've had less than three hours of sleep from when I stumbled back to the room. This means I'm going on my fourth day on something around nine to ten hours of sleep. This means I of course feel like death on a triscuit.

Or maybe more appropriately in some truncated version of Withnail and I with any number of Squeeze songs about drinking for the soundtrack. I feel like a pig shat in my head even though I have no gone on holiday by mistake. I decide that I might as well ride the drunk/comfortably mellow state of affairs until Monday so I start the day by finishing off the apricot ale I had earlier in the morning. All I can do is sit in the chair and just kind of stare into the distance and try to comprehend my current state.

Since I can't go back to sleep and I've got nothing I want to see until Colin and Nicola go on stage at noon I wander back to the dealer's room. I figure I can go back and speak with Cindy Pickett. She's not there, but Greg Berger is. He notes that I'm now wearing my Houston Aeros hoodie, finally indicating where I'm from. In talking I mention I'm not a native Texan and he immediately states that he could tell from my accent and mannerisms. I probably spent about twenty minutes talking to him. Very nice conversation and a great guy.

Noon rolls around and I haul myself down to the ballroom for Colin and Nicola. My friend Bob sees me and asks if I've got a hangover on top of the hangover. I state that I'm still in the boozed up portion and that he better be ready to drive tomorrow morning because I already know I won't be able to. Colin and Nicola were a joy to watch together. It's always fun to see past Doctors with their companions. It was easy to see the great affection they have for one another. Colin explained his reasoning for biting Nicola on the ass during the first day of rehearsal. In my opinion, the same douchebag who asked Colin about his weight being a reason his Doctor was eating on screen all the time asked the same question. But this time he lacked the tact and just outright called Colin fat. This lead to Colin teeing off on him asking if everyone had ever told the dude he has no tact. Colin explained that he'd rather be healthy and enjoy life instead of some emaciated stick figure. We all applauded and then Colin would use any opportunity to just take another whack at the douchebag.

I don't know how and maybe it was something as simple as someone checking Facebook, but it was apparently getting around that it was my birthday. Which it was. Guests and friends alike were coming up to me going "I hear it's your birthday" or "Is it your birthday?" or just plain old "Happy Birthday". Dan did offer to get a group together to go to the strip club down the block as part of a birthday celebration. While I'm down with the strip club scene this one looked like the type of club that would have a pregnant one armed stripper as the main attraction. And as appealing as that sounds I realized photos would be taken and I'd hate to have to explain to work why there's a shot of me getting a lap dance from a pregnant one armed stripper while my friends pay to make it rain on us.

It had come to my attention the previous night that among the items donated to the charity auction where five Bernice Summerfield CD's donated by David Darlington. All were signed, I just didn't know by whom. If I had criticism about the auction it would be that I wished a complete and up to date list had been available to see beforehand. The only thing that I could find was one sheet posted by the door to the room that housed all the items and it was clearly not up to date.  As such I had missed the first part of the auction watching Colin and Nicola which lead me to miss three out of the five cd's. Vanessa had me scared for awhile as she mentioned one of them was a copy of "The End of The World". Later I found out it was only signed by Simon and I already had his signature of the copy I owned. If David Darlington had signed it I would have had to find the person who got it and beat them down for it. The two cd's left were copies of "The Final Amendment" signed by Simon, David, and Joe Lidster and "The Diet of Worms" signed by David. I already had a copy of "The Final Amendment" signed by a whole host of people, but not David so I resolved to get that along with "The Diet of Worms".

When I show up at an auction I come to play. I know what I want and I have a set price in my head. Non of this flim flam bullshit of upping the bid by a dollar. I had to wait a bit for them to get to the Benny cd and the first of the two was "The Final Amendment". They barely got the description out when I opened with five dollars for my bid. Someone bid six and I immediately went to ten. She countered with fifteen and I went straight for twenty. Twenty going once. Twenty going twice. Sold twenty dollars.

I had to wait longer for the other cd to go up and then I felt like I was in Groundhog Day. The bidding literally went the same way, note for note. I opened with five, the same person countered with six. I went straight for ten, she went fifteen and I bid twenty. Twenty going once. Twenty going twice. Sold twenty dollars. The only difference is that you could hear in her voice that she was pissed. If you read this blog and you're the person I beat down for those two cd's, what can I say? Mama was going home with those, that's what I'm saying. And I'd have gone after the other three if they had still been around. But really, you know I paid twenty on the first one. You might as well have cut to the chase and bid twenty.

With my new cd's in hand I went back to the dealer's room where I ran into the Big Finish crew. Simon reminded me that Gary had directed "The Final Amendment" and Gary was nice enough to sign the cd for me.

Speaking of Big Finish it was back into the ballroom at 4pm to see their final panel. Again, nothing new for the most part. The only two new items would be that the Bernice Summerfield Inside Story book is closer to getting released. There's only one person to get permission from and then Simon can go ahead and write a chapter about season number nine. It was explained that since Big Finish has the rights to Doctor Who and a chunk of the Benny book is what's happening to the show in the years that it's off the air they couldn't have their cake and eat it too by releasing something that hadn't gone through the proper clearance channels. The other news was that Sapphire and Steel is in a bit of trouble. Jason has to put pen to paper in regards to renegotiating the license and whether they can make it work financially. Sapphire and Steel may be the first audio line to become a casualty of illegal downloading. They want to make more though so it might be revamped into a Companion Chronicles style line of audios for future seasons. So you kids out there who want Sapphire and Steel and want it in full audio cast style might want to either buy copies of the existing catalog or buy more if you've already done so.

After the Big Finish panel the convention proper portion was pretty much done for me. Just as Opening Ceremonies do nothing for me neither do Closing Ceremonies. Instead I went back to Carl's Jr with John for dinner. This turned into unintended comedy as John was so out of it he didn't realize he ordered two combo meals and I got the shock of my life when I realized their idea of a western bacon cheeseburger is a cheeseburger with bacon, bbq sauce and two nasty onion rings. Seriously, onion rings. I had to go back and look at the picture on the menu to make sure it was my fuck up for ordering and not theirs in making it. It was also by this time that I learned that when I'm going on four days of drinking nothing but booze I start to stutter. Badly. As in from time to time I was sounding like a definitely tipsy Porky Pig.

The last night in the lobby started after dinner. People joined us as the Closing Ceremonies finished and I asked Bob to get my lasat tasty treat to share with all my British friends. Beaver Nuggets. Beaver nuggets are a tasty confectionary treat made by the good people at Buc-ee's, a gas station chain in Texas with a beaver for its mascot. I wish I had a camera to get the reactions of every time I said "would you like to try some beaver nuggets?" My beaver nuggets were a hit overall and I need to fulfill a promise to send a care package of those and some Booze Leprechaun t-shirts overseas.

Since it was my birthday people bought me beer instead of it being the other way around. Which was nice because it was my birthday and to be honest I was all out of beer and really didn't want to try and buy more so one way or the other the Booze Leprechaun was taking a night off. As it was many birthday rounds were procured and I ended up having a very nice and lengthy conversation with ElyssaDC who knew of me from the Audio Time Team's Liverjournal mirror blog.

Elyssa is another major lover of all things Benny having come by Benny in a roundabout fashion via the New Series. Luckily she was able to explain it to me without the use of graphs and charts because let's face it, I was too damn drunk to have comprehended anything that complicated. It was fun to talk to her and it's clear that her passion for Benny puts mine to shame. I also learned from her that apparently I'm not the only person who likes the character to Jason Kane so this made me feel like I had emerged from the wilderness to find Xanadu. The one that Kublai Khan did decree, not the one inhabited my Olivia Newton-John on roller skates. We talked for awhile and tried to call Lizbee, another LJ'er, because in my drunken state my ego increased to think that while the lobby lacked any guests I'd be good enough for her to talk overseas with.

While talking to Elyssa some of my friends asked if I'd like a piece of chocolate cake from the restaurant. I am not one to turn down free chocolate cake. Eventually I looked up to see Keefe with the cake in hand but not coming anywhere near me. This lead me to suspect that something was afoot and to move my beer glass. Next thing I know my friends are coming en masse, singing Happy Birthday and managed to rope Kai Owen into the festivities. Later on Elyssa saw Frazier and got him to come over and wish me happy birthday as well. Vanessa has us on tape posing as if she was going to take a photo.

Later on it was time for the annual Scrabble game. This year it was myself, Jarrod, Rob Shearman, and Vanessa. I was convinced Rob would totally destroy us since Jarrod and I were admittedly drunk. We managed to hold our own though and not get completely trounced by Rob even though he did win. It became a spectator event again, which I'm down with. I did find though in my state of inebriation I wasn't down with the spectators putting their two cents on what word should be played. But I did learn a new word for drunk from Rob and got a very nice compliment later on in regards to my overall play so I can't complain too much.

The evening then further descended into more drinking and talking. I had had every intention of going to bed after Scrabble but the siren's cry of gin and tonics called to me. That and I just didn't want the night to end. I knew that the next day would mean the end of summer camp and we'd all be going home.

Besides, it had turned into the BEST...BIRTHDAY...EVER! How could I got to sleep? This had topped the one where my dad sent me a stripper who ended up being from Australia and did his routine to Will Smith's "Men in Black" among other tunes. And may I mention that all my other friends chickened out and I got to enjoy the stripper all by myself? I believe I shall.

All good things must come to an end though and I finally dragged my ass to bed sometime after four.




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Feb. 24th, 2009

Gallifrey 2009 - Day Three

I awake to find myself drowning in a pool of my own drool, still laying sideways on the bed fully clothed and the clock reads 7:30am. This of course means I've only had about three hours of sleep and I'm definitely displeased by that state of affairs. What displeases me further is that I can't manage to fall back to asleep so I'm stuck still slightly drunk on three hours of sleep. Joy.

I can't remember what I had for breakfast. I want to say maybe some leftover beer and some chips from the con suite. I could be wrong about the chips.

The convention day proper for me starts with the Big Finish panel. Still much talk about the Key 2 Time series and very limited discussion of the "Lost Season" of Colin Baker's they're doing. As usual with a Big Finish panel the highlight is just watching them all interact with each other. You never know what's going to be said. Fun bit at the end as they played previews of some of the audios coming out this year including McGann's "Company of Friends" and his reunion with Susan.

Then it was time to start using our Golden Tickets as the first autograph session of the day was forming. I wanted to get a couple of other items signed by Paul Cornell, including a couple issues of Captain Britain and the Short Trip Christmas anthology he edited. The Golden Tickets let us roll up on the line after it was starting the form only to get to head of it. John, Cathy, Keefe, and I had fun posing for photos with our Golden Tickets. The chick who's place at the head of the line we usurped didn't look as thrilled as us oddly enough. But we didn't care as we sang the Golden Ticket song from Willy Wonka and queued up according to the number on the ticket. When we got to go in the fun increased as it took a few minutes for the non Golden Ticket holders to be allowed into the room. Much jokes about peasants were made. Yes, we are evil like that. We have the Golden Tickets to prove it.

I think I got lunch. I don't remember.

Next up for me was the Wendy Padbury interview. Wendy was awesome and pure delight to watch. The best part of this was her explaining how she discovered Matt Smith when she was a talent agent a few years ago. She sang his praises and did her best to dispel any fears we have of him being the next Doctor. In the middle I slipped out in hopes of using my second Golden Ticket to get Pia Guerra to sign my copies of "The Forgotten". It took a little longer than I thought it should've, but I finally got confirmation that in fact Pia wasn't going to be able to make it out to the convention. I grumbled a bit and then went back to see the end of Wendy's session.

I was so still drunk that I had trouble telling time. I thought it was 4pm and next up was Colin Baker talking about Big Finish. I was so pleased to see so many people coming in to hear him speak as Big Finish has done a wonderful job rehabbing his Doctor. Imagine my shock/surprise when instead it was Gareth David Lloyd coming on stage. I rechecked my watch, cursed, and then probably pissed a bunch of people off as I stood up to leave.

I think this is when I decided to kill time in the dealer's room. Hidden in the back were Greg Berger and Cindy Pickett. They were having a conversation with someone so I didn't want to interrupt but the guy noticed me and asked who I was. I just mentioned I was an attendee to both which Greg and Cindy said I wasn't "just" an attendee. I took that as a chance to mention to Cindy that I was from Houston, had gone to the University of Houston, and one of my best friend's had gone to Bellaire High in the nineties. A quick lesson: Cindy is a native of Houston whose dad for a long time taught acting at both Bellaire and U of H. Among his students besides Cindy are Brent Spiner, the Quaid brothers, Robert Wuhl and the late Trey Wilson to name a few. Once I assured her I wasn't full of shit she smiled and shook my hand. I backed off and let them continue their conversation with the guy. A few minutes later I hear Cindy yell "Houston". I turn back around and pointed at myself in confusion. She said she wanted to talk and I explained that I didn't want to interrupt the current conversation. She and Greg appreciated that and she implored me to come back later to talk. While I appreciated the gesture I also think it might have partly been because she and Greg were lonely.

With the little hand on the four I made my way back to the main ballroom to see Jason Haigh-Ellery interview Colin about his Big Finish stuff. Awesome interview that was only marred by two things. One, some douchebag who has a weight fetish not so tactfully inquired if jokes about the Doctor eating were put in the scripts because of Colin's weight. Before anyone cries 'hypocrite', I may make the odd Colin Baker fat joke when we do one of his audios but I would never dare to bring it up to his face. Cute little jokes that I live in fear of him mentioning one autograph session is one thing. Making a weight comment right to his face in such a manner that can be construed in no other manner than nasty is another. The second was that I forget how the conversation led to it but Colin had to drop his two cents on waterboarding. If you know me it shouldn't take you long to figure out which way I lean on the subject. The lack of applause tells me that either the majority of the audience feels the same way I do or they just thought it wasn't the appropriate place to make such a comment. Either way I know I could've gone without politics creeping into my Who.

After Colin there really wasn't much going on until the Masquerade later in the evening. My friend Vanessa entered as the Haute Couture Dalek. I wanted to see her, but I also knew I needed to eat and not another meal at Carl's Jr. The Magical Bucket of Booze also needed to be replenished. So I headed back to Ralph's to buy Reese's Peanut Butter cups, another 12 pack of Sam's and a 12 pack of Coors Light per request by Keefe while he, John, and Dan trekked to Carl's Jr. Apparently there was something involving a homeless guy in a diaper possibly obsconding with a cheeseburger they bought for some random guy at the convention who asked them when he heard they were going to forage for food. I managed to run into the same cashier who once again noted I had to be planning for another party.

There was nothing that tickled my fancy in the way of dinner so once I got the latest additions to the bucket chilling I made my way to Denny's. Nothing finer than placing a layer of grease thanks to a Moons Over My Hammy on top of still full belly of beer. Note for future reference: the Denny's by the Marriott has a bar.

By the time I felt slightly human I decided just not to go to the Masquerade. I knew I'd get to see Vanessa's costume later and overall cosplay just ain't my bottle of beer. Instead I settled down on one of the couches in the lobby to start reading "Tiny Deaths". Part of me wanted to try and get a nap but the other knew once I slept I probably wouldn't wake for days. As it was I ended up not getting much reading done as hotel staff was dealing an unruly guest/visitor. I don't know what started it but next thing I know I see a guy sitting among the other set of couches talking to one member of hotel security. I can't hear what the hotel security guy is saying but I can clearly hear the guest/visitor and it's not good. Soon one hotel security member multiplies to about four which then escalates to one cop and then to three with sirens in the distance. They got the guy to leave the hotel without incident but I cannot report what happened once they got him outside.

While I didn't sleep, I did retire to my room for a bit to fiddle about on the computer. I had also decided against going to see the American premiere of Moths. It's not that I don't want to see it, but I knew the place would be jam packed and that I would have had to line up long before the masquerade even started to get a decent seat. Knowing that he'll be back in October at Hurricane Who to perform didn't hurt in the decision making process.

Apparently Moths got started late due to the masquerade running over so I was a bit surprised when I wandered out into the lobby around when I thought Moths was ending to see the place relatively empty. I did spot Tim and Llamastrangler so I hung out with them until the play let out and people started making their way up to the lobby. Then it was time to bring out the Magical Bucket of Booze and its cousin along with my pub sign with 'Park Your TARDIS Here' written on it. I started the evening with 24+ bottles of Sam Adams, 3 Shiner Blacks, 8 Shiner Blondes, and a few Sam Adams Light. By 2am I was completely out of beer. The party was still rocking though and thankfully Handsome Timmy D produced another 12 pack of Apricot Ale. We descended on it like starving dogs to meat and that bad boy was gone in about an hour.

5am rolled around and the party was still in full swing, much to the consternation of the hotel staff who had to keep cleaning up our debris. The Starbucks opened along with Lattitude getting the overpriced breakfast buffett ready. Though things were still going on I made the decision to stumble to bed. At that point in the evening/morning the rest of the hotel occupants would slowly make their way downstairs along with airline pilots checking in. It was kind of hitting that point where things were gonna have to end soon or something ugly would happen and I wanted to hear the story being told, not be part of it. After creating a little bed on the floor using the huge non-fluffy pillows I finally went to sleep/passed out.




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