Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

So we watched the first episode of season 28 today, and it’s a shame to notice how much lower my hopes are for this season than they were for the last.

Even worse, the CD burning program had actually burnt a long rebarbative advert for itself in large unfriendly letters across the centre of the screen for about the first 30 seconds. After it had finally faded out, it was then quickly replaced with another one that actually read “Enjoy the film.”

Winter wonderland
A tough challenge right from the off. Following on from the Doctor and Rose about to leave Jackie and Mickey behind in the snow (alright ashes) one evening at the end of the preceding episode Christmas Invasion, this one began with the Doctor and Rose leaving Jackie and Mickey behind in a dry daytime.

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas…
Tougher to accept, any suggestion that this may be a different visit to Rose’s family was quickly quashed by implications that this was their first trip in the TARDIS since the "New new Doctor"’s regeneration. This opening reminded me of such challenges as Sliders, Seven Days and even Codename: Eternity, but least I always felt that Sliders was trying.

This episode was a sequel to last season’s The End Of The World. As before, the central hook was good – travelling “further than we’ve ever gone before” - but again irrelevant but for a few future jokes early on, most notably Futurama’s famous New New York gag. Using someone else’s joke is one thing, stealing a joke that’s said in almost every episode of a show as successful as Futurama is just not something I’d risk in front of millions of people.

Rather than setting this 6 billion years in the future, this really could have been set just 100 years away – it’s certainly a story that, environmentally, makes more sense before “The End Of The World.” Just look at the old lifts (still using cables despite all the anti-gravity ships flying about outside). And the huge bulky 70s phone the Doctor calls Rose on.

It’s up to you, New New New New New New New New New New New New New New York, New New New New New New New New New New New New New New York…
Incredibly, they actually gave Rose a line about standing on different ground under a different sky, which she delivered while we were looking at her standing on ordinarily green grass under an ordinarily cloudy sky.

I liked the way the psychic paper was used.

Alas, continuing the formula established by the last 4 episodes, once more the plot only functioned if you could keep forgetting everything that had happened so far.

Cassandra had a body-swap machine, but until the Doctor and Rose show up, it had never previously occurred to her to use it.

Then, Cassandra could swap between bodies anyway, but it had never previously occurred to her to use this super-human ability, preferring instead to get a machine for it, which she then didn't use until Rose arrived.

Then, when she is about to die, it never occurs to her that she could just swap into her own younger body. It never occurs to anyone else either.

The 16mm film hasn't decomposed over 5 billion years, and the projector still works too.

And of course when they go back in time at the end, there’s no-one there with a 16mm camera to film things in the first place.

And let’s not forget the way the Doctor triumphantly healed everyone in the hospital by just roughly showering them all with a mixture of every medicine available to cure them of everything. That’s right - forget pills, dosages, injections and treatment plans – this intravenous medicine doesn’t even need to be administered intravenously. Sorry about all those needles everyone.

(it’s a far cry from when I went to Ethiopia and had to have 2 live vaccinations (Typhoid and Hepatitus A I think) 3 weeks apart to prevent them from stimulating each other and making me ill)

Also – if that lethal cocktail really did cure everyone of all their ills, the hospital would have been healing people that way for years. Healthy people would have used it as a matter of course.

And then there’s the central conceit of all four characters running into each other again by pure coincidence. Especially since The Face Of Boe didn’t even take part in events.

Cassandra says that she needs the Doctor to find out about the huge (judging by the small exterior, the building must be dimensionally-transcedental or go a long way underground) warehouse of fortunately clothed English-speaking lab-humans. Once there however she’s fully au fait with both how to give the prisoners a shot of adrenaline to help them escape, and how to release them.

And for the first time since it happened, the Doctor and Rose at long last remember going back to modern-day Earth for chips in The End Of The World.

Whilst the double-metaphor was brilliant, how sad to see two such great performers as David Tennant and Billie Piper with so little story to tell.

Doctor Who has come to this

Labels: ,

2 comment(s):

At 3:47 am, Blogger KlownKrusty said...

"This opening reminded me of such challenges as Sliders, Seven Days and even Codename: Eternity, but least I always felt that Sliders was trying."
Ah-hum. No Love for PATCHWork?

At 12:42 am, Blogger Steve Goble said...

For the record, P.A.T.C.H. WORK was the most perfect definitive science-fiction show ever, that's right ever, and no right-thinking viewer can say otherwise.


Post a Comment

<< Back to Steve's home page

** Click here for preceding post(s) **

** Click here for following post(s) **