Probic Vent Ood For Thought

27Aug/110

Caves and Twins: Let’s Kill Hitler

Doctor Who's back! With the second part of Series Six, which has been split in two for reasons that's absolutely aren't anything to do with money or ructions among the production team or Moffatt's schedule.

Four episodes into the Silence/River story arc and there's at least some manner of closure. But was Let's Kill Hitler The World at War or was it Allo Allo?

Caves

The regulars - I have doubts about Alex Kingston as River Song sometimes, mainly because the lines are occasionally terrible and the character is a bit annoying, but the main trio are excellent and have great chemistry

River Song - I quite liked the set-up of who River becomes, with the diary and archaeology.

Twins

Everything - That sounds a bit glib and unfair but I think the biggest problem with this is that it's just a massive ball of confusion, with story arcs going back several years in some cases.

Somehow, it's still not clear how, the Silence are involved as is the eyepatch lady and in the midst of everything our heroes are in Hitler's office - for no other apparent reason other than it's clearly supposed to be a kerrayzee thing to do - while miniaturised war criminal hunters are stalking around in a shapeshifting robot with the aim of torturing the Fuhrer.

No doubt a breathless review in DWM will laud it all for that very reason - bonkers! - but coherent storytelling that doesn't require an episode of Confidential to explain it all seems to be in short supply at the moment. The Silence, the killing of the Doctor, the reason for River being in prison - it's still all ongoing and I'm bored of it; it feels like Doctor Who is in danger of collapsing under the weight of its own mythos and how pleased it is with itself.

I don't think these stories are actually poor but they aren't easy to follow and require an increasing effort to keep up with that. The 'story arc' episodes in this series have left me cold - and I'm a Doctor Who fan.

Mels - Like Ace but worse. And a swerve that was pretty flippin obvious.

Funny regeneration - Firstly, River seems to experience regeneration as orgasmic, which is a rather tedious little touch if totally in keeping with Moffatt's tics, then we get the trademark 'whacky regeneration' acting and music. Bleh.

Another non death - Tiresome; decreasing returns; and feels lazy

Hitler - I'm prepared to go along with it but really? Doctor Who meets Hitler? Dangerous territory.


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26Dec/102

Caves and Twins: A Christmas Carol

Moffat's first Christmas offering didn't break traditional, in that it couldn't have been more Christmassy is Smith had wished all the viewers at home a merry Christmas at the end of it.

I always half expected Tennant to do that at the climax of one of RTD's interminable Christmas assaults on the nation's gag reflexes, but the announcement of the latest episode's title as A Christmas Carol put paid to any ideas that the focus may simply be on the story, rather than a festive element.

Did it work? I'm not sure, but I didn't dislike it the way I did all of RTD's. So, was it The Runaway Bride or was it the Chimes of Midnight?

Caves

 

Nice to see the regulars back, and the story really suited Smith's Doctor.

Visuals - Lovely, imaginative set design and visual FX of the kind that have really moved the feel of the series of since the end of Tennant and RTD

Gambon - Always good, but I wondered if Patrick Stewart may have been even better.

Dialogue - It really pays to listen carefully to the Eleventh Doctor's lines, which always jump off the page. Moffat's dialogue in Smith's mouth makes for a winning combination.

Christmas Carol - As a framing device it paid off, if a little awkwardly.

The trailer - Moffat could really have sat back and followed the RTD pattern established over the previous few years, but he seems determined to do something very different with the series. The trailer seemed to confirm that, and it looked thrilling.

Psychic paper - Shorted out by the Doctor's claim to be a responsible, mature adult.

Marrying Marilyn - A bit throwaway, but it was nice to see the Doctor at a 50s California pool party. The series rarely does justice to the anywhere, anytime' potential and it's always nice to see it employed.

Twins

 
Shark-drawn sleigh - It's Christmas, Doctor Who is whacky. We get it.

Kathryn Jenkins - She was fine, but the singing grated and it seemed really crowbarred into the story to me

Christmas indulgence - A hell of a lot seemed to happen in this episode, and I couldn't really be bothered to figure out that singing, weather, fish stuff. It felt a tad over-egged, and tough to digest in one sitting as a result.


Altogether the most intriguing and rewarding Christmas episode – albeit not one I'd care to rewatch very often – but I hope Moffat has the balls to write a Christmas episode that's not absolutely drenched in Yuletide cliches next year.

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Hush child stop addlepating me!

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