Probic Vent Ood For Thought

8May/110

Caves and Twins: Curse of the black spot

NB. No Caves and Twins for last week's concluding part to the season opener as yet, largely because I still don't know what to make of it

When I saw the trailer for this week's episode, which is called Curse of the Black Pirates of the Caribbean, or something, I hoped that it wasn't going to be an episode I could pretty much envisage in about three seconds with little more than a passing thought.

Doctor Who meets pirates is only a novel and exciting idea if you're about four years old or a 50-year-old show-runner with two spots in the new block to fill.

The whole genre is so familiar and over-ripe that it can't possibly avoid falling into a wretched pastiche, like a join-the-dot 'scripting for dummies' guide connecting cutlasses, planks, sirens, sharks and sirens to one another

Still, this is what we got this week. So was it Captain Pugwash or Captain Jack Sparrow?

Caves

Production values - Costumes, sets, dressing. The BBC doing what it does best (I understand it was filmed on location. Eh?).

Hugh Bonneville - Played it straight, unlike everyone else

The sci-fi bit - Hardly novel, but some nice coma-inspired visuals and the story was dying on its arse by the end of the second act.

Twins

Amy can sword fight better than pirates - and goes to the bother of putting on a stupid costume. Not even RTD would have pulled that nonsense with this beloved Wose.

Murray Gold's terrible music - Any story that relies some of Murray's patented Hollywood chintzgasm saccharine is in trouble from the get-go. Although that idea that it might send people to sleep seems amusing, it seems more likely that it would make them throw up a little in their mouths.

Toby=Adric

Captain banter - Whose is bigger, whose is better? Tedious.

Shover me hearties - Unfunny, self-satisfied, 'look-at-us-aren't-we-clever-doing-these-hoary-old-dialogue-cliches?' dialogue.

Rory dies #533 - Seriously, how many times has Arthur Darvill had to play a death scene now? And why can't The Doctor do CPR? Manipulative, nonsensical tosh.

Story arc stuff - Already irritating

In the latest DWM, Moffat reveals that the author of this episode pestered him for ages to be allowed to write an episode. Why, then, turn in 30 minutes of the most hackneyed drivel seen this side of Vampires of Venice followed by a pot pourri of Moffat greatest hits?

Doctor Who has always done pastiche, but here it just felt lazy. Things got a tad more interesting when the spaceship turned up, but then it turned into a Moffat pastiche. Weird.

This has been an extraordinary start to the series, but I'm afraid I've not been convinced by it at all thus far. And while I hated many of RTD's efforts, and other stories on his watch, I never really felt nonplussed by it - until now.

Is the show-runner doing too much? Is Who fatigue setting in? Has The Moff misjudged his Nu Who a tad? Or am I just being a miserable bugger? Tune in next week...

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

Go here: Caves and Twins

12Apr/111

Those Doctor Who deaths in full

So, Steven Moffat has been busy teasing the new series of Doctor Who with the claim that someone among the main cast will kark it bigstyle. Ooh! Who will it be?

Well, if the previous six years are anything to go by, it won't be anyone. So often has death been teased, both within the show and by production members, that it's turned into the boy who cried Bad Wolf.

I don't see this is the innocent bit of fun it might otherwise be portrayed as, because every time someone says 'X is definitely going to die' then gets out of it with a silly swerve or bit of magic fairy dust it rather damages the credibility of the show.

Which is why Iraise a bit of an eyebrow at Moffat's claims this time. What's it going to be? River Song regenerates? The Doctor dies but is brought back to life by Amy's lust monster? Rory dies but becomes a Yeti? Amy 'dies' because she's technically listed as 'dead' in some official sodding records?

I suspect this time one of the four main cast is about to shuffle off their mortal coil, with no cheats or comebacks. But even that will be reduced by the many, many 'dies and then comes back to life' or 'doesn't die in first place' tricks the show has pulled on us of late.

Think I'm overdoing it? Well have a butchers at the list below. You'll die laughing. Or not.

Doctor Who undead list

Season 1
Jack
Jack gets exterminated
Result: Didn't die

Season 2
Rose
"This is the story of how I died"
Result: Didn't die

Season 3
Jack
Electrocuted. Dies
Result: Doesn't die

Season 3
Jack
Shot. Dies
Result: Doesn't die

Season 3
The Master
Refuses to regenerate. Dies.
Result: Doesn't die

Xmas special
Astrid
Falls down liftshaft, or something. Dies
Result: Doesn't die

Season 4
The Doctor
Massive regeneration tease: "I'm regenerating!"
Result: Didn't regenerate

Season 4
Donna
"There's something on your back" "I'm sorry, you're going to die"
Result: Didn't die

Season 5
Rory
Zapped by old woman's breath. Dies.
Result: didn't die.

Season 5
Rory
Shot by Silurians, dies
Result: Didn't die

Season 5
Amy
Shot by Auton Rory, dies
Result: Didn't die

Season 5
The Doctor
Gets exterminated. Dies. Dies in some sort of sun + end of universe + beginning of time cataclysm
Result: Didn't die

You can have The Daleks too, since the very last Dalek seems to die every single story they're in, although that always seemed to be true of the Master and the Daleks in the good old days too.

Hat-tip: Hellyer

Hush child stop addlepating me!

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