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To a Theatre Near You


Season: 3

Episode: 17

Written by: Doctor What and Thande

Air date: June 18, 2007

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An landing party consisting of Kit, Leo Caesius (in his robot body), Diamond, Weapon M, Landshark and IronYuppie are surveying a devastated world. Leo is puzzled that although this Earth appears to have wiped itself out in a nuclear war decades before, there is much more recent damage from advanced plasma weapons nearby. Deciding there's nothing interesting here, the AH.commers beam up, but the teleporters fail enroute and only piles of dust - with one of Landshark's shoes - materialise on the pads.

After Thande and Torqumada pronounce the six dead, there is a moving funeral with a eulogy, in which Dave Howery attempts to play Amazing Grace on the bagpipes, but they end up playing him. Without Leo as the computer, the Ship rapidly starts to break down. However, the crew still have the machine seen in “SYMPATHY DAY” which allows the computer to be a hive mind of three people with colanders on their heads. GBW points out that they should choose the more logical and rational people on board to make up the computer. Accordingly, Bobo, the Mosquito and Keira Knightley take over the computer. But then Thande and Torq discover that Landshark's shoe was in fact a faked replica, and so the team might be still alive. The Ship turns around to return to that timeline…

Meanwhile, it appears the six missing AH.commers are all trapped in fantasy worlds based on epic films, in three pairs of two. Landshark and IronYuppie are in Gone With The Wind, Leo and Kit are in King Kong (not Jurassic Park as Leo had originally thought) with Kit as the huge, animalistic 'Kit Kong', and Diamond and Weapon M are in Planet of the Apes, but the deserty world is instead populated solely by luakel clones calling themselves Urkels. (An unintentional coincidence with the later episode “LUAKELS OF THE WASTELAND”). The Urkels live in a utopia in which all guns have been melted down and there is a collectivised universal healthcare system. Weapon M is devastated.

Leo works out that if they can corrupt the scenarios by altering the parameters, they will break down. After Kit is taken prisoner by a crazed, inverted version of MrP as a big game hunter, Leo breaks him out, but Kit seems to lack his higher reasoning faculties. He climbs the Empire State Building with Leo in his hand, swatting biplanes piloted by n00bs out of the way enroute, and attempts to cram Leo into the disabled toilet on the top floor…

Landshark hijacks a Confederate ironclad, the CSS Virginia, and tries to sail to Britain, but it is sunk enroute by the USS Alligator, an American submarine. Landshark instead rides on the back of the Alligator to Europe, and makes his way to London. The Trent Affair has just happened and Lord Palmerston has sent a rude diplomatic reply to the Americans. Prince Albert hurriedly tones down the message to avoid war, but Landshark knocks out the messenger boy (Nekromans) and substitutes his own, even ruder message. War proceeds between Britain and the United States: HMS Warrior and HMS Black Prince, commanded by General 67th Tigers and Admiral Tielhard, sail up the Potomac and fight the USS Monitor, commanded, appropriately enough, by Imajin. Because Tielhard and 67th have wargamed this so many times, they've calculated everything down to the last detail, and thus the Americans are trounced by the British/Confederate/Canadian forces. The CSA therefore wins the Civil War, destroying the end of Gone With The Wind, and the scenario begins to break down. However, all IronYuppie cares about is that Landshark managed to lose her stiletto heels.

Meanwhile, Weapon M reconstructs guns for the Urkels and Diamond teaches them the Tao of Pantslessness. The resulting rebel movements defeat the conservatives led by the Urkel Prime, and that scenario breaks down as well. With two of the scenarios corrupted, the third one (with Kit and Leo) also breaks down, much to Leo's relief.

The six AH.commers break out of the VR rooms and find the man responsible for their imprisonment - edvader. He hid from the nuclear war that destroyed the planet in this underground bunker, with his huge film collection. However, Ward and the attacked him recently (hence the plasma damage) and stole it, so he's kidnapped the AH.commers to act out his film fantasies through them. Edvader mobilises an army of robotic superhero action figures to fight the AH.commers, but the Ship returns and beams down a security team, who subdue edvader. Everyone is happy…but why did Ward want those videos, anyway?

The episode ends on the ship, where we learn that Ward is keeping the crew in line by torturing them with a 'Catwoman/Elektra Double Bill'…


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Behind the Scenes

As usual in their collaborations, Thande came up with the basic idea but Doc wrote most of the actual episode, especially the funny dialogue. One of the longest single episodes ever written - Psychomeltdown considered breaking it into two, but decided against it.

Easter Eggs

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stories/to_a_theatre_near_you.txt · Last modified: 2019/03/29 15:14 by

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