Feb. 14th, 2017

smokingboot: (head off)
Here's how it was meant to be: My brother's birthday was in late December. He was 50. He wasn't up for a party then, saying it seemed unfair to ask people at a time when everyone is traditionally broke or just revving up for new year. Larians' suggestion was to take him on the Eurostar to Paris, including a jaunt to a cafe specialising in geek activities, including Dr Who games, as my brother is a lifelong fan of the time traveller. There were a few problems with this idea, the first being that some could not afford a weekend in Paris, the second being that Bro is not quite the traveller I am - he'll do it for work, but it's not second nature to him. But by far the biggest pitfall was that his companion/boyfriend had an entirely different plan in mind. A much bigger plan.

His plan is to secretly turn my brother's garage into a tardis, which might have been present enough, but there's more. There's always more. He wanted scenes to occur as part of a story. Xavier would have to gather 6 components for the central console, and to do that, Xave and his guests would be whisked away to different locations in time and space, including the local park, and be attacked by cybermen/daleks/whoever. The guests who 'died' would be got back to the house and dressed for the next scene, and the next, and the next... So basically we would be hosting an interactive improv/linear role playing event, with unsuspecting guests who turned up hoping for a party. And this often outdoor event would take place in February. And then there's the matter of props and food and costume...He even has some scripted gags in mind...

But, and here's the big thing, if it worked,my brother would love it. He would love it more than a dozen trips to Europe.He would be the happiest brother in the world. So like an idiot, I said I would help.
Here is a sample of the online conversation I have been having with my brother's friend.

Me: I think we need to rethink this. Metcheck suggests the 25th may be cold and is likely to be very wet.We don't have props and wardrobe,we have the guests, and they haven't signed up for anything beyond a party! Guests won't enjoy being outside for long,especially in party gear and Bro's fun will be spoiled if he thinks his guests are getting bored. So we need encounters that are simple and can be based indoors as we need. So:

1) Blindfolded he is led through the house to the dining room, where the crappy cake is revealed to him, and we all drink a toast to his birthday. Then we go with him into the tardis.

Encounter A) An Ood/dalek knocks on the door of the tardis and challenges Bro to a Dr Who trivia/drinking quiz. For every answer Xavier gets right, all the guests must take a drink, and Xavier gets a crystal/propcomponent to put in a compartment of the tardis console. For every answer he gets wrong, he has to drink a shot. This lasts up to three crystals, before the ood buggers off.

Encounter B ) The dalek pinata. R is going to try to make a dalek pinata, which we can stuff with sweets and three more crystals/components for the central console. Bro is shown it then blindfolded, and has to break it open. If the guests look restless, they can take turns too.

[...]

I understand that this may be a disappointment given your vision. But I think Bro will enjoy the magic of the tardis anyway, and though he pretends otherwise, he is very mindful of his guests. The above is a compromise we can actually produce given guests/weather/time. I am available for most of this week, my only real issue is that I must practice with the dalek cake mould. But if you want me to come around and do some work on the tardis, I will give it my best shot.




Him: That sounds like a good plan
We could limit the outdoor scene to just a quick cyberman battle. Nobody needs to go outside until it's time and then it's just deploying smoke machine and lasers, one dead soldier lying on the ground, one cyberman emerging from a bush and a bit of dying. I still like the seance idea which could be done in the living room. And the third scene could be done in the garage with strange characters coming in from the outside (toxic atmosphere?)

Three is fine because, I don't know if I mentioned but we're installing giant floor-to-ceiling mirrors in the garage and only building half a console so it becomes a full one when combined with its reflection. So there'll only be the panels to place artefacts in. So just having three scenes is good

Costumes wise, we'd only need Victorian dress for the seance and some futuristic battle clothes for the battle. And whatever the mysterious tardis guests from the toxic planet will be wearing
The pinata and quiz challenge could be in the same scene in the tardis. The pinata being one of the trials

That scene could involve a couple of quick stops at points in time where the guests run off into the wrong time period to be replaced with those from another. That way other people get to have a go in the tardis and we tick the "you've messed up the timeline and are hereby banned from further time travel" box


Me: Do we have smoke,lasers and cybermen costumes? What do we do with guests who don't want to get involved in the roleplaying? These are questions we need to be able to answer.so let's consider these first.

Him: Maplin do smoke and lasers. I think hss hire might also have smoke machines for hire as a cheaper option. I can't see these three scenes taking more than half an hour in total and even if people don't feel like acting they could tag along as themselves in the tardis. We only need one cyberman costume. Anyone else who wants to be in the futuristic scene can improvise future soldier / insurgent / bounty hunter costumes, even if that means just wrapping themselves in tinfoil.

It's not me is it? It isn't some macabre attempt at gaslighting me through Messenger. He is just not hearing me. He's really got the bit between his teeth, and to make it worse, he doesn't tell anyone else, and he dearly loves complexity.

If this all comes together, my brother will be made up for the rest of the year, possible the next 50 years. But the more complex the plan, the more likely to go wrong,and this is a bloody complex plan.

And I have to make this bastard dalek cake.

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