Saturday, June 09, 2007


A month or more back I may have mentioned that life really was too short to waste watching the new season of Doctor Who. What with the space-rhinos, nupty next-stage Daleks, and skanky CGI monsters, even the unintentional hilarity that ensued wasn’t worth pissing away an hour a week on.

That said I had given it a second chance with the two-part Human Nature and The Family of Blood, adapted by Paul Cornell from his earlier novel. One or two caveats aside, it had certainly shown signs of improvement.

Then tonight came Steven Moffat’s episode, Blink. Now I hadn’t been that impressed by last year’s The Girl in the Fireplace, or the celebrated first season two-parter – The Empty Child and The Doctor Dances, especially because the plot hinged on that hoary old science fiction pulp magazine chestnut where aliens fix injured humans without understanding their physiology and fuck it up royally. And it introduced Captain Twat.

Blink, however, was absolutely perfect in idea and execution. Hopefully the final montage will give the little bastards the willys for months to come. For someone who spent the first fifteen years of their professional career writing comedy, and only switched to drama once Doctor Who was brought back to the screen, that’s an astonishing achievement.

It also bodes well for next week’s Jekyll, Moffat’s reinterpretation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Starring James Nesbitt, Gina Bellman and Michelle Ryan - who will soon be kicking Katee Sackhoff's butt in the resurrected The Bionic Woman - Moffat has described the drama as “somewhere between a modern horror story and The Odd Couple.” Which makes it certainly worth a look.


At 12:40 am, Blogger Jaded and Cynical said...

Doctor Who is the most overpraised piece of crap on TV.

But you're right, this week's episode rose to the dizzying heights of watchable entertainment.

However, it did so only because the two leads were pushed to the sidelines (presumably because of scheduling necessity) and we were given a shiny new protagonist complete with some sense of jeopardy.

The fact that Doctor Who works best when the Doctor isn't in it, says a lot.

No doubt we'll be back to business as usual next week, with the full complement of bad special effects, intrusive music, bland central characters, lots of pointless running around...oh, and if Captain Jack from 'Carry On Torchwood' makes an appearance, hopefully there'll be a few cheap double entendres for the kids to enjoy.

At 12:54 am, Blogger Good Dog said...

I know, scary for all the wrong reasons in that respect...

Aren't they filming episodes concurrently so the leads were in the other one? Isn't that what Space:1999 used to do? Gee, that was just whizzo!

Saw the trail for next week and it looks like it's back in the playpen with all the bright shapes and the jingle-jangle. Captain Twat obviously provides the stinky load dropped in the nappy.

Can't remember what damned show it was, but they had a clip of next week's that the Twat clinging on to the outside of the TARDIS as it did the whole time and space thing. Nice...

At 8:50 am, Blogger Ian said...

I wouldn't waste any time on watching the rest of the series - we've been spoilt by having Cornell and Moffat's episodes air consecutively and lull us into a false sense of security that maybe things have changed with the head scriptwriter wising up at last. He hasn't.

I've enjoyed all of Moffat's episodes. Yes Captain Jack's intro was annoying, but that was forced on Moffat and I still think his first double-parter was the scariest Doctor Who seen in a long long time (and if Doctor Who needs to be one thing, it's scary). I liked his little coda on "The Girl in the Fireplace" too.

Very much looking forward to his take on "Jekyll and Hyde", although the comment from the lead actor on Parkinson last night that it was "a little bit camp" too gives slight cause for concern.

At 9:17 am, Blogger Lee said...

Yep, it's been a while since there were three great episodes in a row - the last time it happened, it was down to the same pair of writers.

Such a shame next week's looks like it's going to be an appalling piece of toss. When Doctor Who is good, it's very, very good. When it's bad it's written by Russell T Davis. Poor old Sir Derek.

At 1:23 pm, Blogger Good Dog said...

Ian, I absolutely agree that the show needs to be scary. The thing Moffat’s last two episodes and Cornell’s two stories did was bring a real humanity to the story which is also a fundamental necessity.

Didn’t care for the clockwork monsters, or the deal with the spaceship in The Girl in the Fireplace, but the scenes with The Doctor and Sophia Myles’ character were just excellent, especially the last scenes.

BTW, not to be a total nerd, but the piece of kit The Doctor puts together when stuck in the 1960s, do you think that’s a nod to “equipment which isn't far ahead of stone knives and bearskins”?

Yeah, next week it’s back to the brash pantomime nonsense. Lee, you’re right about Jacobi – not sure he deserves it one bit. Ooooh, the end of the universe?! Is that like the end of the Northern Line? Or the end of the Raj?

Wouldn’t it be great to have a simple little story where people look up at the night sky and watch the light from the last long-dead stars finally go out? All that’s left is empty blackness and it’s over and they’re alone...

Of course at that point the space monkeys attack!!!

Maybe the best thing Russell T Davis could do for the show is take a walk.

Didn't catch Parky, but I still think Jekyll is certainly worth a look.


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