Probic Vent Ood For Thought

13Dec/100

Caves and Twins: The Stolen Earth and Journey’s End

Showing RTD knocking one out for 90 minutes may have been slightly less indulgent than The Stolen Earth and the second parter, which is no doubt called the Impossible Everything Apocalypse or something (I checked, it's called Journey's End).

By this time the new series was feeling very tired, and a crying out for a new broom. But RTD had other ideas. One last big wank. Until The End of Time.

Caves

 

Cribbins - Brilliant as always, his webcam line is the highlight of the first episode

Julian Bleach - Davros is a real success in this. Lunatic, screaming mania – but done with real conviction

Jack - When not playing some sort of weary, ageless, lonely but stupidly horny demi-God, Jack is an enjoyable character played with evident relish by Barrowman.

Dalek invasion - A few of the invasion scenes were quite good, certainly considering how weak the New Series had previously done the Earth invasion stuff.

Donna - Tate surprised me by how good she was, when she's not being written as a complete shouty twat.

Twins

 
The Daleks - Totally neutered by now, the Daleks in the new series have been a case of diminishing returns. Every appearance seems to be bigger and more outlandish than before; with the result that the only feeling they inspire now is apathy.

Regeneration tease - Perhaps the fourth, fifth or sixth time someone was about to die in the series and then just... didn't. Talk about writing yourself into a corner; the worst thing was no-one in their right mind believed it in the first place. Also sets up the ridiculous two Doctors, then three Doctors, then Donna dies (but doesn't) drivel later on.

The gates of Elysium...the Nightmare Child... - Oh do fuck off. All of this drivel is genuinely hard to listen to, especially when it's always delivered with Tennant's tight-lipped spittle-drenched shouting.

Rose - Rose's long-suspected but little-desired return is a predictably tedious, self-absorbed affair, but it's really not helped by Piper's quite weird, lisping appearance.

Sarah-Jane - Seems out-of-place and quite annoying here. Lis Sladen's frightened acting is just awful. Only her very brief dialogue with Davros makes any sense.

Harriet Jones - Who gives a fuck?

Close up of man saying 'Ladies and gentlemen, we are at war - Utter shit

Dalek Caan - Embarrassing

Martha - Pains me to say as it, as she's rarely helped by scripts, but Freema has one of her weaker episodes, and it shows her up alongside the others.

Jackie - I'd've preferred it if Bruno Langley had come back.

Murray Gold - terrible, terrible, terrible


An absolute car crash. It's totally incoherent; at no stage does it make even the remotest sense; fan-wank is piled on in such proportions that even fan-fic authors would baulk.

There's some kind of weird 'you know it's wrong' pleasure to seeing such a hodge-podge play out on screen, with everything imaginable thrown at the wall. Jelly, cream, chocolate, jam, vodka, Red Bull and heroin – but mainly cheese.

A very few crumbs stick, but if this wasn't evidence that RTD had run out of juice by now, I don't know what was.

• Caves and Twins? What are you dribbling on about?

Go here: Caves and Twins

18Aug/100

Doctor Who sweeps board in SFX sci-fi poll

The Doctor has been voted 'Best Hero' in an SFX poll of its readers; with the Daleks voted Best Monster; and The Master voted Best Villain; with various other Whoniverse characters peppered around various other polls.

I'm biased, but it's tough to see how any other genre character can really compete with the Doctor – eleven faces and personalities; bigger-on-the-inside time machine; anywhere in time and space; mysterious background and abilities. Who could compare?

Blake's 7, Babylon 5 and Farscape, three other series I have big soft-spots for, get a few mentions in the poll too, which is mainly dominated by the Trek franchise and various tedious vampire stuff.

Elsewhere The Master was voted best villain. A right and just result considering the brilliance of Roger Delgado and the sheer evilness of Anthony Ainley. Simm had his moments too. In his less interesting stories, including some of the recent ones, The Master is just a generic pantomime villain.

But gven something more interesting to do, all the actors who played the part have brought something new to the role in the way that every Doctor does. Seven shades of evil. Again, who could compete?

As it goes, I don't really have much interest in the Daleks. Every new appearance since Remembrance of the Daleks - barring Dalek - has been an exercise in diminishing returns and I'm frankly rather bored of them now.

The Daleks, yesterday

Daleks have arguably been rebooted three or four times now, but beyond that original concept there's not a huge amount to them. Most of the best Dalek stories since the 60s have concerned how people react to their presence and existence as much as anything - Genesis, Revelation and Remembrance specifically - although Day of the Daleks is brilliant sci-fi fun.

RTD and Helen Raynor failed completely in doing anything of interest with them in my opinion, and while Victory of the Daleks had some nice moment, it was pretty incoherent stuff.

Nevertheless, Daleks are slightly beyond that now. They're such a massive icon it doesn't really matter any more.

And now, in an SFX poll, they've trumped something called Lorne from Angel, the Aliens, Gollum from Lord Of The Rings, Gizmo from Gremlins, and the thing from, er, The Thing.

I wonder what Ray Cusick, designer of the Daleks, makes of it all. Legend has it he got an ex gratia payment from the BBC that amounted to £50, while Terry Nation bought a massive house in the country and a fleet of sports cars.

Cusick may not be rich, but designing the best monster ever isn't a bad legacy.

Other Doctor Who-related results in the SFX poll include:

• K9 named fifth-best robot
• Cybermen named 13th-best monsters
• Davros voted fifth-best villain
• Captain Jack Harkness voted 11th-best hero
• Donna Noble, Rose Tyler and Sarah-Jane Smith are voted fourth, eighth and tenth as Best Heroine respectively

   

Hush child stop addlepating me!

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