Sunday, July 02, 2006

Doctor Who Self-Indulgent

In the dream I am Miles Bennell, dishevelled and distraught, running for my life through the hills above Santa Mira as the townsfolk chase after me. But instead of escaping to the nearby freeway, I stumble and fall.

As I try to scramble to my feet the townsfolk close in and surround me. Their blank staring faces loom over me as I cry out: “It’s not my fault. I just don’t get why everyone is so worked up over this new Doctor Who!”

I don’t get why such a ratty piece of tat deserves such blanket promotion and hysterical jubilation.

Still, one more episode and then it'll be over and done with for another year. In the time between normality will hopefully return.

This penultimate episode, setting the scene for a Dalek/Cybermen dust-off which must have the fanboys rolling about creaming themselves over, perfectly illustrates how utterly wrong and hopeless the show is.

As drama it fails miserably. Where the situation should tease, it comes right out and blows the suspense. Why identify the complex as Torchwood in the first few scenes? Wouldn’t it be better to wait until the right moment? The same with showing the Cybermen, well before their appearance en masse. The finished product is the equivalent of a premature ejaculator at work. Someone who in this instance knows where they want the story to go, but doesn’t know how to get there.

Still, hopefully this will be the end of the Torchwood references, which have appeared throughout the series with all the subtlety of projectile vomit. What could have been a sinister corporation was filled with imbecilic chob-lobbers who deserve everything that’s coming to them. As soon as possible. (If it was Deadwood references, with Al Swearengen on at 7.00pm, that would be something to watch!)

Catching only the occasional episode, its perfectly obvious that Russell T’ Doofus so wants to be Joss Whedon writing Buffy the Vampire Slayer, it makes his sack ache. Trying to emulate the subtle blending of action, horror and comedy, the Doofus falls far short of the mark. But the references keep coming.

Torchwood turns out to be nothing more than a blatant rip-off of The Initiative (from BVS’ fourth, least successful, season). Whereas that had a high-calibre actress like Lindsay Crouse playing it straight, Torchwood turns out to be run by an ex-soap actress who turns an authority figure into someone who deserves to be punched continually in the face well after her head is knocked clean off.

That aside, the genre references continued apace. After borrowing heavily from Alien, Aliens, The Keep, Event Horizon, Quatermass and the Pit, Outland and Legend in The Satan Tit two-parter, here we had asides to Independence Day, The Terminator, and The Circumference from Alias, painted black. And this continued obsession with feckin’ EastEnders.

We know already that Rose is going out with a bang next week. The opening was quite poignant (although that kind of narration works better when the character is lying face down in a swimming pool). Maybe, come the finale, they will reference 1980’s David Cronenberg and she’ll be fucked to death, every which way in a three-way with a Dalek and Cyberman, embracing the new flesh.

And once that is played, all that's left is one last Doctor Who Self-Indulgent on BBC Three, where the smug, self-satisfied gits can ooze into the camera with a final bout of congratulatory circle-jerking, and then go away.


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