Spin-Off Doctors Supplemental: Ratchet & Clank


(Here is yet another working script for the synopsis of the 2016 animated feature Ratchet & Clank, as heard on The Spin-Off Doctors. As always, it remains just as full of typos and grammatical errors as when I vomited it on to the page. Enjoy!)

Following a full minute of animated company logos, we open above the Planet Tenemule, where Chairman Drek (leader of the race known as Blarg) addresses his people and reveals that they’re about to do some highly illegal shit, blowing up a planet with a big weapon. We also meet Victor, Drek’s enforcer, when he eats one of the employees phones. As the weapon fires and destroys Tenemule, we get a title logo.

On Planet Veldin, the young Lombax Ratchet is watching a robot exercise program. During the commercial break, there’s an ad for the news, which mentions the destruction of Tenemule and notes it’s the fourth such planet to be destroyed, and that the government is responding by increasing the ranks of the Galactic Rangers by 25% (which is to say, they’re adding a person). This segues into an ad that combines the spirit of “We Want You” and the cynicism of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on Ice to announce a recruitment tour.

Ratchet is living above a spaceship repair shop, and an elderly customer has arrived to pick up their vehicle. Ratchet shows off the upgrades he’s made to the customer’s ship, including a giant magnet that can pull metal objects from a great distance. In the course of showing the feature, there’s a malfunction and the ship’s engines start with the customer and Ratchet flying through a canyon with bits of scrap metal chasing them. Ratchet disables the magnet and hits the brakes just in time, as the bits of metal careen past them into a wall they would have hit otherwise. The customer is less than pleased.

Chairman Drek shows Victor the next planet he intends to destroy. Victor warns that the planet is well protected by the Galactic Rangers, but Drek has a plan to strike first. This both pleases and concerns Victor, who points out that they have no soldiers with which to fight. Drek’s got it covered, and says the Galactic Rangers will be destroyed in two days time.

Back on Veldin, Ratchet is scolded by Grimroth (the owner of the repair shop), for always having his head in the clouds and suggests that he should dream smaller so he’s not disappointed. But Ratchet manages to convince the father figure to give him an hour away from work to attend the Galactic Rangers tryouts, promising that he’ll return to help scrub some important thing that needs to be done seasonally.

At the recruitment event, we meet two other Galactic Rangers, Cora Veralux and former professional wrestler Brax Lectrus. And the bumbling Captain Quark is there also to provide an impassioned speech about how the only important thing is heart. Of course, that’s not the only important thing and Ratchet is rejected on the basis of being both small and a criminal. An annoyed Quark laments being stuck in “Blue-neck” towns on the tour after rejecting Ratchet.

Elsewhere, Chairman Drek and Victor meet with Dr. Nefarious, who has been building war bots out of Raritanium to kill the Galactic Rangers. A power outage occurs and has to be repaired. As the system comes back online, the factory produces a tiny and harmless war bot. Recognized as a defect, the little bot flees and steals a spaceship while being pursued by Victor, who damages the ship as the robot escapes.

At Grimroth’s shop, Ratchet deflated returns from the recruitment event. That night, while looking at the stars, Ratchet sees a ship crash land. Finding it on fire, he extracts the pilot, who is (of course) the little war bot before the ship explodes. Ratchet introduces himself to the robot, which he decides he’ll call Clank, and offers to repair him. While being fixed, Clank explains the reason for his presence, that he’s headed to warn the Rangers of the impending war bot assault. Ratchet misleads Clank into believing that he knows the Galactic Rangers and can help.

The war bot attack commences. On the way to Aleero, Ratchet’s character exposition is delivered, about how he was found on the planet as a baby. Meanwhile, the Galactic Rangers are kind of getting their asses kicked. And there’s a Wilhelm scream joke that was completely unnecessary. Ratchet and Clank arrive and attempt to attack the bad guy ship, but hilariously destroy a statue of Captain Qwark instead. As they continue to fly out of control (in part due to Clank’s poor piloting skills), it comes out that Ratchet was dishonest about his relationship with the Galactic Rangers.

As the writers try to will “I can fix this” into being a catch phrase for Ratchet, Clank reconfigures the giant magnet to specifically attract raritanium (the alloy the robots are made of, remember) and activates it. As before in the scene with the junk, the robots are pulled in the wake of the ship. Recalling how that scene ended, the magnet is switched off as they fly toward the enemy assault ship, weaponizing the war bots and destroying it. Ratchet is hailed as a hero, and Qwark tries to take the limelight. But this backfires, as he’s asked if Ratchet and Clank will be joining the Galactic Rangers and can come up with no good reason why not.

A disappointed Chairman Drek berates Dr. Nefarious and Victor for their failure to destroy the Galactic Rangers. Dr. Nefarious suggests that they may have more success by turning Qwark against the rest of the Rangers, because he’s a simpleton.

At Galactic Ranger HQ, Ratchet and Clank get their training. Clank is sent to work in intel where we meet Elaris, the fourth Ranger who provides operational support. Ratchet gets fancy armor that allows him to select weapons by thought from an armory. We’re shown many of the fun guns you’ll shoot in the hit 2016 remake of Ratchet & Clank, now available for PlayStation 4 consoles.

Elaris and Clank get to know one another, and Elaris provides exposition on Dr. Nefarious, who had previously performed her role within the Rangers before going insane. Elaris figures out that each of the destroyed planets has a major landmark unaccounted for in the fragments found after the explosions. This seems significant, but they’re interrupted by Qwark and Ratchet playing around with jetpacks, completely disregarding Elaris and Clank, causing damage to their office.

As Ratchet and Clank stroll through Aleero and Ratchet sees a billboard with his face on it. Clank points out that his collected wisdom suggests that fame is ultimately unsatisfying because foreshadowing cannot be subtle. Ratchet is, predictably, too caught up in his own celebrity to think about it as he signs photos. Qwark suddenly steps in and pulls Ratchet away from an adoring public, jealous of the attention he’s getting.

Captain Qwark lays out the plan to assault Drek Industries, which is essentially “Go hit things”. Elania and Clank protest that this is a poorly considered plan, but are overruled. As the attack commences, Clank is strapped to Ratchet’s back so he can provide information because he’s been here before. The Rangers sneak into the war bot factory, which seems deserted. From his office, Drek orders the execution of phase one of their dastardly plan, splitting up the team by releasing a horde of Mr. Zurkon robots to attack them.

Qwark is led into Drek’s office where, after being disarmed by Victor, Drek points out how poorly treated by the public Qwark has been with the arrival of Ratchet. Drek offers to fix this by promising to execute a PR campaign that justifies Qwark betraying the Galactic Rangers as being necessary to save the Federation or whatever. Drek further promises to evacuate the planet before it’s destroyed.

Meanwhile, Ratchet, Clank and Cora find the evidence that Drek has been destroying the planets and, further, that he’s been using pieces of them to construct a perfect world.

Victor and Drek flee from Drek Industries in escape ships, leaving Drek’s robot assistant Zed to be captured by the Galactic Rangers, who immediately cracks under interrogation and tells them Drek is about to destroy the populated planet of Novalis. Later, in the brig, Zed tries to get Qwark to talk to him further, recalling that time Qwark signed a contract with Drek, which Qwark is trying to keep secret. But we know, don’t we viewers?

Dr. Nefarious records an audio journal on the Deplanetizer, and we learn that he has a secret motivation he’s kept from Drek, which is to destroy the entire solar system and not just a few planets.

Qwark disables the weapons systems on the Galactic Ranger’s fleet as they travel to Novalis, which is (true to Drek’s word) being evacuated. He suggests that the plan will be to talk to Drek, which confuses Cora and Brax because that’s not their SOP. Elania has another plan, but it’s never revealed because Qwark mutes her partway through explaining. As he moves in toward the Deplanetizer without warning the others, he’s contacted by Drek to confirm the weapons are disabled and, once off the line, Drek orders the Blarg to attack. Vincent scans the Ranger command ship, discovers Clank on board, and decides to deal with him.

Ratchet breaks off from the rest of the Rangers (who are in retreat), unwilling to abandon Qwark, who is in the kind of danger you only find when getting a massage and eating bon-bons. His ship blowing up, he ejects and floats to the Deplanetizer.

Victor gets aboard the Ranger command ship, trapping Elania and Clank. She relays some of this information to Ratchet, who is trying to deactivate the Deplanetizer, but only succeeds in turning it on. He’s then captured by Drek.

Elania does a sneak attack on Vincent and is thrown into some pipes, which spill water. This seems to frighten Victor, inspiring Clank to get a gun that creates a thunder cloud, producing rain, which immediately rusts Victor.

As Ratchet is led through the halls of the Deplanetizer, he sees Qwark chatting jovially with a Blarg, and Ratchet realises that some shit has gone down. Drek then has Ratchet put into a shuttle and orders the destruction of Novalis, which happens while everyone watches (which we know because we’re shown everyone watching it; gotta pad that running time and remind us who’s alive, after all). Drek gets the part of this planet that he wants, bad guys are happy and good guys are sad.

Back on Veldin, a dejected Ratchet gets rid of all his Galactic Rangers tat. Grimroth comes and tries to make him feel better, tells him the Galactic Rangers keep calling, and gives him a nugget of wisdom about how being a hero isn’t about doing big things, but right things.

Drek holds a funeral for Victor and then admires his nearly completed planet, New Quartu.

Clank shows up at Ratchet’s shop to talk him into coming back to the Rangers. Ratchet’s pretty busy feeling sorry for himself, but Clank gets him to come around with the opportunity for redemption just in time for the rest of the Rangers to make a dramatic entrance. Then the team embarrasses each other with bad cadet photos, as if it were in any way comparable to allowing the destruction of an entire planet. Elania has a plan and, for once, the team listens as she suggests they could just make the Deplanetizer miss the planet by moving it.

Qwark confronts Drek about the attack on the Rangers and that Nefarious is involved, who Qwark knows is evil. Drek knows it too, because it was on his resume. Nefarious then arrives, suggests that Qwark is no better than him for having also betrayed the Rangers (probably worse due to the pettiness of Qwark’s motivation), and shoos him out so that he and Drek can continue their dark work. Once alone, Nefarious turns Drek into a sheep with a gun, effectively taking over the whole operation.

The Rangers gear up for their final stand against the Blarg. Elania has discovered the final planet (Umbria) and realizes that its destruction would cause a chain reaction destroying the entire solar system as well, which seems outside the scope of Drek’s plan. Zed (Drek’s former assistant bot who has, at some point here, switched teams) reveals that this is because the planet was Nefarious’ idea.

Nefarious takes Drek, still a sheep, to an escape pod and launches him into the incomplete New Quartu. He then activates the Deplanetizer remotely, which will destroy Umbria in fifteen minutes or something.

Elania lays out a complicated plan to infiltrate the Deplanetizer by having Ratchet pose as Qwark (using fancy technology) and, in a few steps performed by Ratchet and Clank, disable the weapon from within, which is executed just as Nefarious is attempting to leave (causing him to return to deal with the Rangers). Qwark finds Ratchet and they have a confrontation where Ratchet also points out that Qwark is no better than Nefarious. They do gun fightings with all the weird guns and Ratchet swinging around and stuff. Qwark has Ratchet on the ropes with a Tornado gun, but Ratchet appeals to Qwark’s sense of heroism, which brings him around.

Nefarious arrives then, gives a big speech about how he did all the work to make the Rangers successful but was only mistreated as a result, thereby completing his villain arc by expressing his motivation to the hero. They argue about one-liners (Nefarious concluding with a rework of one of the most cliche, “over my dead body”) and more gun fighting happens. Nefarious takes down Qwark easily, but Ratchet and Clank get away.

Outside the Deplanetizer, Brax uses more of the magnet things to shift the position of the Deplanetizer so that it’s aimed away from the planet. This, oddly, affects the gravity on the Deplanetizer. As Nefarious fires the weapon, he comes to terms with his own insanity. The deplanetizer misses Umbria. Meanwhile, Drek returns to his normal Blarg form just in time to see that the Deplanetizer destroy New Quartu instead.

Nefarious gloats too long about killing Qwark, and Ratchet clocks him with his Omniwrench, knocking him into the deplanetizer, where he seems to be disintegrated. The deplanetizer has fallen out of the planet’s orbit and is going to crash into Umbria. As the other Rangers watch helplessly from the command ship, Ratchet, Clank and Qwark try to find a teleporter to escape. Qwark winds up trapped and tells them to leave him behind, but Ratchet and Clank pry the teleporter pad from the floor and move it to Qwark, allowing all three to escape. They have a bonding moment where Ratchet gives the wisdom of an old mechanic to Qwark, and then they vomit.

 

Ratchet and Clank also part ways, with Ratchet needing to fulfill his promise to fix whatever those things were that Grimroth needed fixing. Qwark writes a book and goes on a promotional tour to repair his image. But, with nowhere else to go, Clank shows up on Veldin and they decide to be buddies forever and ready to defend the galaxy if anyone else decides to destroy a planet. Character credits roll, after which we learn that Dr. Nefarious survived the crash of the deplanetizer on Umbria, but he’s a robot now.

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