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Recap / Big Finish BSS 8 E 1 The Tub Full Of Cats

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The Draconians and the Mim are at war, and the Collection's in the middle. Benny tries to return with the Collection's former owner, Irving Braxiatel, in an attempt to open negotiations in an attempt to end the war before a nuclear armaggeddon. The only problem is, the Collection is blockaded. Only when Maggie and Benny arrive at the spaceport, they find one very old ship, an absence of Irving Braxiatel, and a suspiciously large box among their luggage. And then there's the small matter of the ship's almost entirely feline crew.


Written by Daniel O'Mahoney.


  • The Alleged Spaceship: The Gravity's Rainbow.
    Benny: "Maybe this isn't our ship. Maybe this is just...a pile of junk someone's left here...."
  • All Conspiracy Theories Are True: Apparently, all the astronauts in the original space program came from a male modelling agency in New Mexico.
    • Although, the man who said this was (in the context of the story) certifiably insane, and it was most likely a delusion so he could claim that he was the first man in space. And yes his ego is that big, while orbiting Earth in a capsule he thought that the Earth was moving around him. In fact his egomania was so huge it was what the Gravity's Rainbow used to anchor itself to reality whenever it entered the Light. And given that (in other areas of the whoniverse) the space program was definitely real, it's safe to assume that it isn't this trope being used.
  • And I Must Scream: The Light. Where you don't actually exist. And travelling through this is how the Gravity's Rainbow intends to run the blockade.
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  • Ambiguous Gender: Chanticleer.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: After discovering that Brax has been in null suspension in a box in the hold for half the journey, Chanticleer's conditions for him staying on the ship are that he pays the full fare, apologises to Maggie, and empties the cat litter for the rest of the journey. Brax reluctantly agrees.
  • Broken Ace: Anthony Rogers, the 20th century astronaut driven mad by having to be the personality who has to drag the ship back to reality every time it goes into 'The Light'. See Spaceship Girl below.
  • Cats Are Magic: The only creatures with enough sense of self to defeat the Eldritch Abominations let loose in the Light.
  • Cloning Blues: Played With, as Brax acknowledges that Maggie is essentially his daughter but proceeds to treat her like crap throughout the entire episode anyway.
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  • Comically Missing the Point: When Maggie attempts to hold Brax account for Parental Neglect, he genuinely seems to think he's scoreed a point by stating that he spent the last cosmic cycle ''as'' a rock, rather than merely under one as Maggie complained.
  • Double Entendre: Rogers' comments, on the subject of stars, that they are 'pin pricks' and tiny compared to him. Benny, held hostage, replies that yes, she can say that he's an enormous prick.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Found in The Light.
  • Episode on a Plane
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Maggie takes the role of anchorite for the Gravity's Rainbow after Rogers manages to finally escape and die. Of all the passengers, she's the least suited but also least necessary.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Brax attempts to avoid The Light by putting himself into a state of null suspension. Doubles up with Ask a Stupid Question... and A Spot Of Tea, as he ends up locked in a box with an Eldritch Abomination. As he screams frantically for help, Benny arrives and asks how it got in.
    Brax: "I invited it in for tea! I DON'T KNOW!"
  • Meaningful Name: Chanticleer, the Gravity's Rainbow itself. Averted with Maggie, who ended up with the surname Matsumoto as it was the name of the cloning company.
  • Narcissist: Captain Anthony Rogers. The ideal candidate for Anchorite should be one, as it has to be someone with a sufficient sense of self to drag the ship back to reality.
  • Opposite-Sex Clone: Maggie to Brax. When she was first created, he was slightly disappointed that "it" was female.
  • Parental Neglect: Brax's treatment of Maggie, which culminates in him hiding in a box knowing that she'll have to make the Heroic Sacrifice instead.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The crew of Gravity's Rainbow consists entirely of Chanticleer, 20th century astronaut Anthony Rogers, and several cats.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    Benny to Anthony Rogers:"Not only will we die but everyone on the Draconian flagship will die. Then their fleet will fire on the Mim and loads of Mim will die. Then they'll fire back and loads of Draconians will die. Then everyone in the middle will die! Everyone on the Collection will die and they're going to die because you are bloody moron!"
  • Sapient Ship: Gravity's Rainbow, in a way.
  • Spaceship Girl: Anthony Rogers is Spaceship Guy at the beginning, Maggie ends up as this at the end, though she minds a lot less. The reason? The ship, which disappears from reality into 'The Light' needs an individual with a strong sense of self to drag it back.
  • Tearjerker / Throw the Dog a Bone: Maggie and Brax's final conversation.

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