Radio 2000


Ben Chatham

April 2008

Plot:

25 weeks after Alexander Milan conquers the Earth by seizing control of the worldís defense satellites, a Las Vegas rebel movement is slaughtered before it can topple the dictator. The only survivor is a girl called Tara, who heads to the orbiting satellite Radio 2000, a pirate radio satellite, with a disc containing vital information. After an episode to get there, she is shot dead by someone. The TARDIS arrives and, guess what, the Doctor and Christine are suspected as the murderers. Shock! Another episode comes and goes. Milan is actually an agent of the alien Ovodians who are softening Earth up for invasion and colonization. More shock! The Doctor and two of the DJs head back to Earth to try and translate the disc. They get chased by werewolves, and Christine gets Rock History 101. Another episode comes and goes. The Doctor gets arrested and taken to meet Milan, who drones on about what a nice guy he is once you get to know him. Then he fires a missile at Radio 2000 and is double crossed by the Ovodians. The other DJs save themselves easily, so the Doctor sabotages their sabotage and the missile ends up blowing up the space station and the advancing alien ship while he, Christine and DJs escape in the TARDIS. They then finally play the ****** disc and broadcast Milanís evil phone messages of betrayal across the whole Earth, toppling his evil regime with some suitably inappropriate music.

Story:

Radio 2000 is clearly a story aiming high: it wants to be a socially-relevant, futuristic spy thriller focusing on media manipulation, peaceful rebellion and environmental conservation. Itís fair to say the story utterly fails on every count. The unspecified future world is a mix of Doctor Who standards like aliens, mutants, transmats and laser guns jammed with a Hollywood version of the past where gangsters run casinos, hippies run pirate radios, and armed soldiers shoot people very loudly. It is an awkward juxtaposition and near impossible to suspend disbelief. Then, this mass of ill-matched clichťs would be a bad move at the best of time, but then Jeff Coburnís Doctor arrives and in true character style refuses to take any of it seriously, killing off any credibility the story had.

Partly, Radio 2000 seems to have been inspired by Revelation of the Daleks Ė in particular Alexei Sayleís DJ who acts as a Greek Chorus with a comedic slant on proceedings with anachronistic costumes, accents and music. But while the DJ was revealed to be simply an act for a shy man with an unusual admiration for rare music, the crew of Radio 2000 are all genuine enthusiasts, which stretches credibility past breaking point. Similar lapses of logic strikes Milan, while having the capability to destroy the space station, chooses not to lest it gives the rebellion a martyr Ė but he never seems to consider simply damaging it and preventing it from transmitting to the Earth, especially since he has a traitor aboard helping him.

Perhaps Radio 2000 could be enjoyed as a B-movie style homage, except the fact that John S Drew Ė who wrote The Time Brokers, The Doomsday Signal and Mesomorph Ė seems to have completely forgotten the basics of radio drama. The story is incredibly visual (such as Taraís death scene) forcing characters to narrate what is happening in a very trite and unbelievable manner; this is doubly confusing since the radio station idea provides the perfect excuse, as used in Big Finishís The Fearmonger and LIVE 34 (which, by coincidence, share the same theme music as Radio 2000). Worse is the sheer number of characters in the story with such painfully limited resources: the Radio 2000 DJs alone number more than the actual cast, leading to Chip Jamison and Jeff Coburn to have conversations with themselves.

This lack of cast means that the padding becomes almost farcical. There are two identical sequences of Jym de Nataleís character being mortally wounded and dying before Chip Jamisonís character and Tara, before they flee and Chip is killed by the encroaching militia. Worse, less than a minute after Tara is killed, another character played by Sheri Devine (with no real difference in performance) arrives, so it is completely baffling: is this newcomer Tara or not? Most of the acting is poor in this regard: Chip Jamisonís performance is a rare case of starting off decent and getting steadily worse, a truly eye rolling sarcastic recital of the dialogue, as if appearing as more than four characters seems too much for him to cope with and his main role suffers. David Segal is forced to make Milan a one-note megalomaniac simply to differentiate him from General Parker, and the story suffers even further.

The real trouble is that even on paper, the plot was dead in the water and clearly not intricate enough to spread across five episodes. The Doctor and Christine only join the story in the end scene of part one, and spend part two locked in a cupboard. Episode four is mostly taken up with a scene where Christine is explained the sort of basic plot details that should have been covered in part one. Taraís journey to the station where everyone she meets is killed by surprise army attacks is totally superfluous, especially as Las Vegas is not revisited. Had she come from the East End (or maybe the East End scenes relocated to Nevada) it might have helped foreshadowing the doggie plot thread, which appears out of the blue as an excuse for some distinctly audio-unfriendly werewolves. On screen, a deserted London with roaming monsters could work, but on audio, it feels like a hasty excuse for a cliffhanger and a few chase scenes. The cliffhanger reprise to episode five is also incredibly long, and the news updates for each episode also feel more like padding out the running time than establishing characterization or motivation.

There are other problems. The shock reveal that Andrea is Frankie doesnít work since we only get one other scene of her in that episode, and the twist that the one person they meet in London is the one person they need stretches coincidence beyond breaking point. Dr. Loveís betrayal is only revealed in his death scene, with no hints prior that he might have been the traitor. Meanwhile, Milanís evil is already well established in the enjoyable and professional news updates at the start of each episode: but he becomes increasingly cartoon like in his evil, going from an evil dictator to a man who likes animal experimentation. Had the story gone any further, how long before he started stealing candy from children? This still doesnít fit with the Milan presented to the Doctor, who is taking the Ďends justify the meansí philosophy and trying to get Earth placed under the control Ė and thereby protection Ė of the Ovodians, a potentially interesting moral dilemma which is dubbed Ďobsceneí and not referred to again.

Finally, there seems to have been a troubled production of the story Ė several of the scenes with the Doctor and Christine are crudely inserted from a different story, the ultimately unmade The Metroid Invasion, and the original script had Christine part company from the Doctor and agree to stay on Radio 2000, but this was changed at the last minute without explanation. Presumably therefore, much of the material building up Christineís departure was removed, hence her being almost completely sidelined throughout the sparse plot.

All in all, Radio 2000 is an interesting experiment that fails ironically not because it takes itself too seriously, but because it doesnít take itself seriously at all.

Personal Appreciation: ***
A good basic idea, but the more I heard of it, the more it irritated me.

Character Stuff:

The Doctor is a total Banana Splits fanboy, even prepared to land the TARDIS in deep space for three days to pick up the transmission of a 1969 episode he missed first time round, and even keeps merchandise for it. Missing an episode makes him unusually annoyed, rather unreasonably accusing Christine of mucking about with the console to sabotage it. His love for 20th century pop culture and its after image is undimmed, he always wanted to be a DJ, and he knows a lot about the Bee Geeís legacy. Heís genuinely sorry over the death of Tara and GM wolves, and advocates focussing on logic rather emotion during tragedy. He still has his deck of cards, a paperback of Through the Looking Glass heís read twice (as in Fictional Hypothesis), a ping pong ball, confectionery, pocket fisherman, an unspecified remote control and an apple. He is a future Doctor (well, a prior incarnation wore frilly shirts and sounds like Pertwee). He hasnít been to the 1960s or 70s for several years (his time) and limbos incredibly with training from Houdini, so he must have got those magic lessons. He knows about humanityís attempts at time travel and doesnít seem fussed at the idea (so they probably fail on their own.) He is willing to forgive Dr. Love he betrayal and wants him remembered for the good he did with his life. This incarnation of the Doctor seems to be reaching its expiry date: simply running away from wolves exhausts him, and he absent-mindedly forgets to take his sonic screwdriver from the console. He has never visited this time zone before in this incarnation, as his photo turns up nothing in Milanís incredibly extensive files.

Christine is learning to read, write and play Go Fish (the Doctorís lessons leave much to be desired), and she understands the basic gist of the Doctorís explanations if he doesnít include technobabble. She has no idea what the **** the Banana Splits are, but takes an instant dislike. She is still wary of leaving the TARDIS in a new location, and reacts with reasonable distress when confronted with fresh corpses. She is clued up enough to realize the Doctor bragging his sabotage skills wonít help their case. She believes honesty is the best policy Ė a trait which is good in padding out stories, since no one ever believes her crap about time travelling from the 13th century. Unfortunately it is irritating as ****. She still believes everyone to be her superior and addresses them as Lord or Lady. She seems to cope with culture shock by letting the Doctor do all the explaining, and her religious upbringing causes even more friction. The idea of all culture and expression being vetted by the authorities seems like a good idea to her. Her musical tastes are limited to the local church bell chimes. She decides to stay with the Doctor rather than ditch him for a bunch of loser radio celebs living on a world in the middle of political upheaval. Clever girl.

Observations:

Ok, before we start, there are too many characters and not enough actors, forcing the unfortunate cast to go Richard Briers in order to make characters distinctive. This becomes knife-like agony on the ears when you realize the characters arenít WORTH making distinctive. Kudos to Chip Jamison for being highly tolerable in the first scene. By the end of part one youíll want Faction Paradox to come for him as he sleeps, but heís given material that not even Sylvester McCoy could salvage. On audio, anyway... Suffice it to say the cast are doomed to ruin this five parter. They had no choice. Itís the idiot writing this I blame.

Dear ***, what the **** is that intro music? It was horrible! And about as dated as carbonized fossils!

Hmm, a news broadcast conveniently explaining the plot background. Is it subtle or incredibly blatant? Either way, itís not as terrible as some efforts from this series. And doesnít the McCoy music crash in perfectly Ė Keff McCulloch, history will bear your mediocre genius out in the long run.

Oh, Jefferson Airplaneís White Rabbit! A brilliant use there, hats off Ė this is up there with Tainted Love being played in The End of the World, or Voodoo Child as the Toclafane descend... no, wait, donít stop it there! I want more Gracie Slick, not Jym de Natale expositing all over the place! No!

ĎWannabe hippiesí? Surely thatís an oxymoron? How can you pretend to be a hippie? Are they really yuppies up there? And Ďyahoosí? ĎRiff-raffí? ĎDisc-jockeysí? Is this supposed to be the future?

Oh ***. Curse of Fenric music. Why canít they use more of the radio music?

Dear ***, that general likes talking to himself. Be glad the enemy donít have surveillance devices. Six minutes with this guy, I feel confident Iíd know enough to seize control of the pentagon using only a paper bag and a banana.

The exposition.... the more appears, the worse it gets!

"NO!! WHAT ARE WE GONNA DO?!?!?" Chip Jamison, ladies and gents. Master of subtlety.

Surely the TARDIS translator circuits mean Christine wouldnít need to learn how to read or write? I mean, I know WHY she should learn, but if they were working, she should already understand that C-H-R-I-S spells her name? So either the circuits arenít so good or else Christineís brain doesnít work well enough. Either possibility is feasible...

"You do?!" Uh, cut her a bit of slack, Doctor. Thatís just harsh. She gets you came here to see something important, which is the main thing. Bad characterization for the Doc there.

Staying Alive by the Bee Gees. Yep. Evil music.

"You really enjoy using people, donít you, Tony?" "Iím on the side of whatever makes me a buck, darlin." Dear ***, does anyone REALLY think that this is realistic?! And all the mentions of vice and prostitution, very at home in a family drama.

That computer voice is better than Chip Jamison as Rocket Man. He is incredibly psychotic and aggressive for a peace-loving hippie Ė instantly losing faith in the cause and himself in a very loud and public manner in front of the people he believes has murdered them. Get a grip, dude. Hey, Rocket Man = Bowie = incredibly over-emotional loser with stilted dialogue = my ***... ROCKET MAN IS BEN CHATHAM!!! Meanwhile, Chaz with his insistence on telling people when he goes to the bathroom for a piss is similar to a certain fishy fiend I could name...

"And just what did you do to her?" Well, since sheís lying on the floor with a bullet hole and a lot of blood, I suspect that she suffered an allergic reaction. Dear ***, woman, what do you THINK was done to her?!

So Tara gets a favor and escape route from the very casino the rebels were going to take over anyway? Now, THAT is chutzpah!

"I had to prize her fingers open," sounds disturbingly like a scene from Drop the Dead Donkey. Which is something a news media spoof like this needs more of, ******!

Is Alan played by Jeff Coburn? Respect! Good hysteria... unlike Chip Jamison playing two roles in one scene! Or David Segal doing the same thing in episode three. Jym de Natale is pretty good too; but itís not difficult to be better than average in this hellhole.

OH ***** ******! THATíS AWFUL! The channel surfing scene, with JDN talking posh, Chip Jamison talking with his mouth full, then David Segal talking bollocks. Is Milan the Master in disguise? Oh ***, he sounds like an evil Gordon Brittas with all that Ďmy dreamí stuff. Boo hoo. People donít like you as dictator. You shoulda thought of that beforehand, *******!

Is that unintentionally garbled voice supposed to disguise the fact it is JDN talking? Of course, considering the sheer number of characters he plays, it could be anyone. Oh, itís a completely different voice next time... Oh, itís an alien. An alien we can barely understand. Like Donald Duck wearing a Cyberman voice changer. What the **** are they saying? Something about chancellors taking control with missiles, and Sheri Devine as an alien queen with sisters... Iíve lost the plot, I admit. I hope someone explains all this...

Dear ***, first Babylon 5 music, Curse of Fenric, The Sea Devils then Hound Dog by Elvis?

Christine. PLEASE! STOP SCREAMING!! Sheís quite decent until then...

"Itís ALL quite PLAIN!" You know who Rocket Man sounds like? Sandy from the Fashion Club in Daria. The way he draws out syllables for emphasis, but doesnít break the monotone. However, Sandy was a fictional character and Chip Jamison is real. Oh, the lack of humanity as Daria would say. "NO! I REFUSE to BELIEVE this!" as Rocket Man wails.

Oh yes. The disc. Sweet Slitheen droppings, Iíd forgotten about that.

Werewolves. Yeah. Just what this story of social media manipulation needed. An alien invasion and genetically modified werewolves. What next? Renegade Time Lords? Zombies? Virtual Reality?

So the Segal Doctor used to feed K9 chocolate ball bearings? Yeah, I can believe that. Such unfunny humiliation is just his style, that crazy plagiarism of a guy...

"You know what they say: an apple keeps the Doctor from becoming a doggieís lunch!" I never thought Iíd want Coburnís Doctor to just shut the **** up, but since the cliffhanger heís been so irritating he could teach things to Dara. Or skin diseases.

"Move out!" What? Where did that army come from? What the **** is going on?

Louis Armstrongís A Wonderful World... and Christine babbles all the way through it. I honestly canít understand a word sheís saying, and agree wholeheartedly with Gina.

My ***, Chaz is supposed to be Michelangelo-style surf dude. And heís played by Chip Jamison. And he gets FOUR whole hours of shouting into the microphone... Iím surprised anyone keeps listening.

"The timeís they are a-changing were a popular phrase at the time." No it bloody wasnít!

Ovodians arenít as bad as Daleks, Cybermen, Zygons or Sontarans, huh? So... they should be no problem at all. Wish it HAD been either the Daleks or Sontarans. Maybe this story could have been halfway presentable with some established moneyspinners...

Dear ***, that has to be one of the worst cliffhanger resolutions ever! The General takes a pager call and thus cancels the execution...

Alanís piss-taking of Christine is so good, itís almost as if Charles Daniels wrote that single scene.

Nope. Still cannot understand a thing those aliens are saying.

Fascinating. Thereís a traitor to Radio 2000 played by JDN. JDN plays Dr. Love. Dr. Love is not being treated the same way as the other prisoners. I wonder if this suggests something?

Not the Doctor Who gag! The Time Lordís response ("Does it matter?") is vague recompense. But then it all goes horribly dark and people being shot! **** it, the one character whose actor wasnít tripled up and they just shot her! ARRGHHH!

"But we had a deal!" "How many times have I heard that refrain?" Ooh, smackdown!

This has to be the most long-winded and calmly discussed scene ever written involving a nuclear warhead hurtling straight for the defenseless space station. I mean, why not have tea and biscuits while youíre at it? No rush, after all.

"Panopticon-8 Remix?" What? The? ****?!

Iím too busy trying to identify the backing music to hear the incriminating evidence! But the idea of Radio 2000 setting up a new base on the TARDIS is kind of cool. Itís certainly not as irritating as other parts of the plot, at the very least.

Aw, Milan didnít get shot through the head? That means this ridiculous society is here to stay!

"Christine, stay with us!" Er, what?! I desperately want her to, but I canít see any logical reason for it...

Preposterous Plot Points:

The Earth portrayed in Radio 2000 is more ridiculous than the one in Torchwood.

Letís start with Radio 2000. I mean, "2000"? Why name it that if that year is long and gone. Would YOU name a radio station "Radio 1954"? Youíd only name it that if it was the wavelength you were broadcasting from, so are we to assume that this is the frequency from a space station?! Is it because this story came out in the year 2000? When it was set three hundred years later? Give me strength.

And what about the music? It is solely from a forty-five year period around three centuries previous, and there seem to be no music CDs or electronic storage like iTunes. Even if, say, some millennium bug sort of disaster occurred, the idea that records would have survived along with the ability to keep playing them is ridiculous. If the satellite can communicate with the entire Earth, why can they not send images? This should be some massive version of Countdown, with lots of clips off youtube, but instead everyone acts like both society and technology have not changed since the 1980s. OK, it was a story made in 1998, but surely they realized the future concerns would be a bit more spectacular? And why would anyone want Ďclassic rock and rollí? It should all have been remixed beyond all recognition by now! And isnít it lucky that everyone on the station likes naming themselves things like Dr. Love or Rocket Man, and all experts on this historical period who also find a stash of LPs from that same period? None of them could have been alive at the time as they all appear to be around thirty, so the passionate tirades on 80s consumerism and soul music ring hollow. Iím waiting for the reveal some time ripple left this bunch of 1980s sad rockers in orbit, but that relief never comes. Weíre just supposed to accept them as typical future people Ė despite the fact they were cliched stereotypes at the time they were written.

Then there is Milan, a dictator who got into power by appeasing the public... then took over the Star Wars program to do his evil work. He then rounds up all the intellectuals, trouble-makers, etc, and take over the world media, and no one has tried to stop him? Like 1984 or V for Vendetta, thereís at least some kind of massive event that allows such a change in society, but in LESS than six months? How can a planet that has teleport and colonies on other worlds allowed such an invasion to occur that would be hard to pull off in the year 2000, let alone three hundred years of even more security and paranoia!

Or how about the Las Vegasí mafiosi casino full of cliched 1940s gangsters who love nothing more then explaining how corrupt they are in front of his customers? The way the government removed all the T-mat booths... which means mass starvation should be striking the planet since they need T-mat to send food and supplies around the globe which is why they were built in the first place! Just how has Milan replaced that? Do food runs from airplanes? Or does he put all his political enemies in the third world and dump all the locals in the free west?

And why doesnít anyone on either side brief their troops UNTIL they are five seconds from combat? Like a very basic lecture on using laser rifles before getting people using it? And why didnít anyone notice the big blue wooden box arrive out of nowhere next to the teleport bay? How come humanity doesnít believe in aliens in the twenty-third century?!

Jansen tells his secret plans to the people of Radio 2000, who he openly believes are cowardly traitors, and who broadcast to the entire world. And then he is surprised that he is betrayed. Bloody ****, did the Daleks wipe out all the good bits of the gene pool?! This is a world that is supposed to impress us with someone carrying a CD? Why didnít they email or SMS the information? They could spam the internet, and the idea that Milan could control it is ridiculous: the best he could do is block most of the websites...

Taraís boyfriend is a DJ at Radio 2000. So her boyfriend spends all his time on an orbiting space satellite, never on the same planet with her, and she refuses to visit. Tara must be a real patient gal Ė and how does she know on sight the others in the station if the station cannot send pictures?

So humanity decided to let the rainforests die off because the medicinal properties of the plants could be created artificially. And were surprised at the ecological disaster that followed. Iím sorry, WTF?!? The average two year old could explain that the rainforests are slightly more important than herbal drugs! And the ENTIRE Human Race FORGOT this?!? And despite the environmental collapse, they decided to wage war rather than say, a concerted effort to repair the damage?

How exactly do White Rabbit, Staying Alive, Hound Dog and A Wonderful World manage to be anti-authority propaganda music? Why not something by the Sex Pistols?! And why does Milan, who is clearly prepared to shoot people dead right in front of him, send the Doctor off to be executed on firing squad, which is just begging for him to escape and foil his plans?

What a horrible future we live in.

Notable Dialogue:

Massively gratuitous use of the title, starting with:
FUNKY DAN: Radio 2000 will continue to keep you abreast of the latest developments while entertaining you with 24 hours of classic rock and roll!

More gratuitous use of titles, and self-justifying wank!
MILAN: How easy it has all been. This world, hanging on The Edge Of Destruction, needed a firm hand. I brought the stability needed. But how much longer can I hold it together? As time goes by, more and more people are becoming disenchanted with my vision, my dream. As I manage to root out another nest of vipers, twice as many spring up to challenge me Ė AND THAT ACCURSED RADIO 2000! They spread their filth, stirring up the rabble... I would shoot them out of the sky, but that would make them martyrs! Their message and cause would just become more powerful and encourage those fence-sitters to topple over to the rebel sides! Why donít they understand? It's for their own good. I cannot let anyone or anything stand in the way of total domination!

Political sociology 101 by Chip Jamison amongst others:
AUSTIN: Iím SURE there are things Milan says and DOES that MANY people WILL agree with. Thatís how the MAN GOT INTO POWER in the FIRST place: you know, it sounded like a good IDEA at the time?

ROCKET MAN: She believed that it was action that spoke louder than words. Maybe she was right.
DR. LOVE: My man, you cannot be thinking that what weíre doing up here is not helping.
ROCKET MAN: IS it?! We sit up here and we RATTLE on, claiming to be keeping hope ALIVE, and yet there are people, GOOD PEOPLE, DYING on our WORLD BELOW!
DR. LOVE: And we should just jump right in there and throw our lives away with the rest of them?
ROCKET MAN: At LEAST it might MEAN SOMETHING.
DR. LOVE: I dunno. Taraís death seems pretty meaningless to me...
ROCKET MAN: WHY YOU?!?!?!

CHAZ: For a PRICE!
ALAN: And what is wrong with that? Pure capitalism at its best!
CHAZ: SPOKEN like the TRUE MATERIALIST of the 80s!
ALAN: Donít let us get into that again...
CHAZ: In case youíve FORGOTTEN, weíre at WAR HERE! People like TONY are LEECHES! They should be HELPING us!

CHAZ: In THE "You Canít Get It Right ALL the TIME" DEPARTMENT, Milanís forced STORMED a school in VANCOUVER earlier this morning! Working on a TIP from a SUPPOSED "informed SOURCE"! ACCORDING to the TIP, a number of HIGH-PROFILE rebels were HIDING out in the SCHOOLíS CAFETERIA. All MILANís goons did was DISRUPT the schoolís ASSEMBLY HONOURING THE WORLD LEADER! In the MEANTIME, those SAME HIGH-PROFILE REBELS managed to slip out of CANADA into ALASKA where Iím sure theyíre rubbing noses with the ESKIMOS BY NOW!

CHAZ: DUDES! Iíve GOT to let you KNOW that the next FOUR MINUTES or so are gonna be TENSE! Thereís a MISSILE heading STRAIGHT TOWARDS the STATION! Itís SAFE to SAY that Milan has AUTHORIZED this strike, CONSIDERING he controls the worldís MILITARY! You see HERE now, PEOPLE?! The LENGTHS to which MILAN is WILLING TO GO IN ORDER TO RID HIMSELF OF A NUISANCE SUCH AS RADIO 2000?!? Weíre going OFF the air in a few MINUTES, but weíll go out playing the BEST of classic ROCK AND ROLL! And WITH THAT, letís pick up a little with PANOPTICON-8 REMIX!!

ALAN: There are millions of people worldwide who literally spend their day allowing Milan to continue without any resistance. They look in the other direction while their neighbors are dragged away, suspected of anti-loyalist operations. What kind of human walks the planet Earth these days? Iím not saying that myself and those who dwell on this station are beyond scrutiny when it comes to claiming our humanity. I suppose itís easy to be brave when I'm safely tucked away up here at Radio 2000. Till tomorrow, my friends.

GENERAL PARKER: This is going to be good! These rebels have been nothing but a bunch of pests! Bad enough we have to deal with the criminal element, but then you have these misfits causing trouble! To think, one of their own ratted them out, they canít even trust each other!

DOCTOR: You canít do that!
MILAN: "Canít"? Doctor, Iím the world leader!

Youíre dead meat, dude:
JANSEN: Donít be so melodramatic! What could possibly be that bad?

Paging Nigel Verkoff...
DOCTOR: Iím called the Doctor and this is my friend, Christine.
DR. LOVE: "Doctor"? Hello, my fellow practitioner. I too am a doctor. A doctor of lurve.

Interrupting Parkerís speech:
FUNKY DAN: Well, we donít need to hear the rest of that rhetoric...

A lovely Coburn Doctor moment:
ANDREA: How can you sit there so calm?
DOCTOR: Helps me think better.
ANDREA: Youíre working out a plan to escape?
DOCTOR: I know nothing about where we are, so planning to escape isnít such a good idea.
ANDREA: How do we get out of here?
DOCTOR: Iíve often found escape possibilities occur when you least expect it.
ANDREA: In other words, youíre making it up as you go along?
DOCTOR: Exactly!

Hah. Bloody. Hah.
CHRISTINE: That noise! What is it?
DOCTOR: Disco.
CHRISTINE: It sounds evil.
DOCTOR: There are many that thought it was.

Dear ***, who thought this was worthy of recording?
DR. LOVE: This changes nothing, Parker! We may die but the cause will live on!
PARKER: Please! You sound like a late-nit vid-link movie, one of those awful ones from the twentieth century!
ANDREA: I havenít seen one of those in ages. Milan stopped their broadcast.
PARKER: A good thing too.

Gina sums up my opinion of Christine:
GINA: Youíre getting my head dizzy with your speech.

The Doctorís bitch factor cranks up to eleven:
DOCTOR: General, this is all futile Ė thereís an alien fleet on its way to Earth!
GENERAL PARKER: Iíve heard some wild tales from rebels on their way to execution. Thankfully, youíre not begging for your life, it gets boring after a while.
DOCTOR: You fool, Parker...
GENERAL PARKER: If the fools are on the right side of this conflict then call me the Biggest Fool of All Time.
DOCTOR: No. That title is reserved for a select few. But you come close.

More realistic and credible world-building:
TONY: There arenít many illegal transmat devices in the area. The government was pretty good about taking them all out. It is only my generosity to the local law enforcement that allows me to keep mine.

CHAZ: Dude! This sounds like an old episode of that TV show Murder She Wrote!
GINA: This isnít one of your cheesy 20th century tele-pictures, Chas! This is for real!

NEWSREADER 1: And protestors in Gunai, India, were doused with petrol by loyalist forces as they tried to storm a temple...
NEWSREADER 2: English poet Lindsey Templeton was arrested today after trying to post her latest propaganda piece, Tears of the Singer, on a number of cars in the East End of London. The poem Ė a lament on what she deemed "lost freedoms", freedoms such as taking illegal drugs and raising anarchy with random talk...
NEWSREADER 3: General Parker completed another successful mission against rebel forces outside Las Vegas, Nevada. According to sources, these rebels were planning on taking the once sinful city. General Parker followed his victory by shutting down one of the largest underground casinos operating there, Tonyís...

FUNKY DAN: The latest release from Milan-approved singing sensation, Curvy-Wurvy, has met with some controversy. It seems that if you play Let the Sun In Your Heart backwards, you can hear soft chanting in the background. The chant Ė ĎMilan is the Devilí Ė was detected by the government watchdog group searching out media offenses meticulously and discovered the lyrics during one of their normal scans. There is no word from singer Charlie Mason or any of the band members. A spokesman for the group has stated the groupsí loyalty to Milan is unquestionable and a full investigation into the matter is proceeding. You know, the real problem here isnít a crime against Milan, folks. This group just stinks and their music goes against everything thatís good. But thatís just one manís opinion. Now, hereís a little something that will certainly make you want to get up and dance!
(The theme music starts)

Cliffhangers:

  1. Rocket Man discovers Tara is dead and then leaps to the conclusion that the Doctor and Christine are responsible. "Youíll pay for this Ė whoever you are Ė with your lives!!" shouts the gun-wielding hippie with all the restraint and believability youíd expect from Chip Jamison. This sort of cliffhanger is so common, but off the top of my head, Earthshock part two.
  2. An explosion leaves the Doctor buried under some debris, and as Christine tries to help, paranoid Alan arrives with a gun intending to execute the intruders for murdering Tara. Er, this is the same cliffhanger as last time, for crying out loud!
  3. The Doctor flees behind a building in the East End as prowls of mutant wolves attack. His babbling to himself proves to be a fatal mistake Ė his reminiscences about K9 have attracted one of the monsters which is right behind him... On TV, without the dialogue, it might have worked. Might have, since these random loups-garoux just appeared in the story without any warning.
  4. The Doctor, Dr. Love and Andrea are ambushed by General Parker and his troops, and thrown up against a wall as his men form a firing squad. Just like The Caves of Androzani part one. Or The War Games part one. Or The War Games part four. Or The War Games part five. Or that bit in Curse of Fenric...
  5. The TARDIS takes off, leaving the Radio 2000 crew to wonder what the hell theyíll do now. The trouble is, I doubt anyone really cares.

Miscellaneous:

In episode four, there is this exchange between Chaz and Gina: "I thought Iíd START with a little Donít Quit Your DAY JOB Players, take IT from there." "Thatís obscure, Chaz." "For the NINETIES? YEAH! But the group DID experience some success in the EARLY 21st century! Front percussionist Di CANDIDO released a tell-all BOOK about the BAND, following it up with a SOLO ALBUM of his own. I havenít heard anything THAT bad since Gerry Halliwellís (pronounced Holly-will) solo EFFORT!"

The Donít Quit Your Day Job Players were a real band and friends of Drew, the author of the story. So basically, he says the band were destined to be a one-hit wonder and split up. Optimistic outlook there, Drew. Did any of the players get a free copy? I bed you and Di Candido are still the best of friends...

What Could Have Been Done To Improve It:

- A complete rethink of the future world. Like, maybe, actually think about it at all.

- Have the Ovodians and their Ďbenevolenceí be more of a plot factor.

- Smaller cast of characters

- Better music and longer clips of it

- More karma for Milan. And a personality. And a better name. I mean, ĎMilaní? Why not ĎCromerí?

The Party Line:

This is actually pretty campy, and thus really fun. The crew of Radio 2000 have very definite personalities, though it is Alan and Rocketman who seem to steal the show. Hearing everyone bicker and banter back and forth is what will have you coming back again and again. Even the bumper music is tailored to each personality, just as it should be! Story-wise, you have the interesting question of how much freedom one is willing to give up for peace. At five episodes, none of it is wasted.

The Awful Truth:

With more ups and downs than a manic depressive on a roller coaster, Radio 2000 is a deranged, badly plotted mess Ė its heart may be in the right place, but nothing else is. The titular DJs are hard to tell apart, and neither are their enemies. Rocket Man seems to have no personality whatsoever and he and Dr. Love are barely in three of the five episodes, so them stealing the show was clearly done without anyone noticing. The plot is stretched ridiculously at the start and compressed at the end, with a dictatorship being introduced over an hour and felled in thirty seconds. The ideas have some merit, but this entire enterprise was done somewhat better by Big Finish under the title LIVE 34.


James Bacon

January 2013

Well written, perhaps flabby - could have done with tightening up a mite. Bad accents made me laugh a lot. Someone sack Christine. She's not very good. 7.5/10


Last updated: Wednesday, January 3, 2013