Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Doctor Who

Ok, so I'm two days later than everyone else with any interest in Dr Who, but in my defence I've been... er, well... my schedule is... um... ah, oh, arsebiscuits - here's my view on the latest Who:-

High definition looking mighty fine - apart from the odd 'that looks pasted on' bit in some of the wider CG shots. Not helped by colour choices of, for example, the escape shuttle thing. From a distance it looked like it had a black outline, like the one off of Futurama.

Still, the colours - often the thing I notice first between standard and high def - were stunning and (SADDO ALERT!) Mr Tennant's Hair was looking good down to the very last be-product-laden strand.

Music - top notch, less syrupy and obvious than it has been.

Performances - not a duff one in the lot, even The Aussie One With The Baggy Eyes What Was In Neighbours. Lindsay Duncan was superb as the control freak captain, and the others were somewhat more rounded than the usual cast; compare them to the cast in that bus in the desert one. Enough said. Baftas all round. Mr Tennant's Hair should, obviously, be nominated for an Oscar. The way it drooped in the snow at the end was as moving a performance as I've ever seen. I wept. "Oh the humanity", I cried, "get the man some Su-Su-Studio Line Rock Fix Gel immediately!"


Humour - not as funny as some but some good lines. Bowie Base - brilliant. "Folding Bikes" - yes! The comedy robot (by the way - "gadgetgadget"... doesn't that sound a little like "bideebidee", the robot off of Buck Rogers In the 25th Century"?) "Name, Rank, Intention"... "Doctor... Doctor... er, fun?". Lovely lovely.

Monsters - good ones, again much better than the last special. Nice prosthetics too.

Now, he says clearing his throat...

Plot. I don't expect Mr T Davies's's's stories to be watertight (oh punnity pun), even more so after reading how last minute he finishes them. But this one was a bit weak. Er, why surrender to "gagdetgadget" when a quick zzzap with the sonic would surely disable it? When he found out who everyone was and that he couldn't change things - why not save them all and put them on a distant planet somewhere they'd never be found? He mentioned that he's been in the "knowing this has to happen" situation before (Pompeii) but this one really moved him - why? The sudden change to Timelord Victorious - er, somewhat clumsy clunking of gears there, only made at all logical by Mr Tennant's superb performance.

The bit with the Dalek sparing the young Captain - didn't work at all for me. Why would the Daleks want Earthlings to explore the galaxies? Surely that would peeve them somewhat? I suppose Russell T was slightly handicapped with what stories he could've used from the recent back catalogue to illustrate why Ickle Baby Captain was special, but still...

Oh, and the end. Why didn't Old Lady Captain just run away, kill her two comrades then herself, so history wasn't altered - she seemed to think it mattered more than old Timelord Victorious about that but didn't try that hard. The change in the web pages was a bit weak too.

OK, enough. It motored along and was fun and exciting and interesting, but - to be frank - it needed a further writing pass to tighten up and fill these holes. And add a bit more as...

Pacing - it was slow. If it'd been standard length it probably would've been OK. The bit where Mr Tennant was stood at the door watching people run around with protein boxes - that seemed to last fifteen minutes alone. There was quite a lot of fat in it. Unlike Mr Tennant, looking even more rake-thin than usual.


OK, I'll stop now. As far as a televisual experience goes, Dr Who still wipes the floor with every other British made drama currently on... or, indeed, on in the last ten years. And as a setup for the Christmas ep, it was marvellous. The Doctor going mad, knowing he's going to die, the Timelord Victorious stuff - that's all new and interesting. Trailing Bernard Cribbins... Catherine Tait... The Master as a Homeless: oh, joy!

I just hope the end of the Christmas one is (temporarily) nice so I won't sit on Xmas Day being a bit frowny and worried.

As for the final ep, I'm expecting everyone to come back, from Sarah Jane, K9, and Mickey to Rose, Martha, Cap'n Jack and all.


(One footnote: not to be snide before the event, but I can't imagine The New Doctor Mr Smith giving a performance like Mr Tennant did in this ep. I suggest he needs EXTRAORDINARY hair to distract from the fact he's around nineteen and looks like he's been slapped in the face with a pan)

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