Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

K9: "I bypassed the impulse gyrator by re-aligning the micro-temporal signalling inhibitor to reactivate the nano-capacitator, which had come disengaged from the gravitational time dilator, which temporarily released the quantum eraser, allowing me to secure the plasma thruster."

Starkey: "I'll remember that for next time."

The most Doctor Whoish story yet.

The TARDIS, sorry I mean time rift, sorry I mean Hellmouth, sorry I mean wormhole, sorry I mean jumpgate, sorry I mean space/time manipulator (sheesh I'm such an eedjit) starts playing up, and literally before you know it, time is going haywire all over London.

As usual, all this really results in are a few hilarious instances of people repeating a sentence, and the odd scratching of heads over the disparity between the world and one's memory of it. Poor Starkey even has to pay Darius a couple of credits' debt twice, despite knowing for sure that he's already done it.

At one point they turn on their ever informative TV to watch what can only be described as a sketch about time distortion across the capital. Said skit is ill-conceived, abysmally realised, and every bit as stupid as the opening of The Wedding Of River Song, but without anything like the same sense of style or fun.

Newsreader: "Apologies to all those who complained about missing the broadcast of the King's birthday message, and to those unhappy about seeing it twice. Our next guest is spokesperson for TubeCorp Brook Thomas."

Miss Thomas: "Pleasure to be here."

Newsreader: "Yes. Miss Thomas, wild reports are coming in from all over London that tube after tube is arriving on time?"

Miss Thomas: "That's right, we are proud to announce 100% on-time running, even for trains running several hours late!"

Newsreader: "But surely that's impossible?"

Miss Thomas: "Oh, nonono, no. According to the TubeCorp timetable, some trains are arriving before they leave! The timetable is much more reliable than the trains."

Newsreader: "Our next guest is spokesperson for TubeCorp Broo -"

Voice off-camera: "You've already said that!"

Newsreader (confused): "No I haven't!"

Quite apart from the acting and the protesting voice off-camera, tube trains don't really have a public schedule, or a reputation for being late or cancelled. That's overland trains they're thinking of. Another symptom of producing a show set in London, in Australia. It's like watching a different show, but not in a hip way. Still, at least interviewee Brook has the standard-issue watery name for Doctor Who-land these days.

The series' simple stories and dialogue are continuing to pick up though. Starkey gets so wound up over being accused of lying that he decides to leave. Once Gryffen, Jorjie and Darius understand what's actually going on, they realise what a mistake they've made.

Gryffen: "Why didn't I believe him? I as good as accused him of sabotage!"

Jorjie: "He was telling the truth. It's our memories that have been stolen."

Darius: "Well I'm keeping that money."

So, just who is responsible?

K9: "Skin cells are from an oroborus."

Gryffen: "The cosmic serpent! Hoyle's boil!"

Darius: "Slow down, what's an oroborus?"

K9: "It is a predator which leeches time from other dimensions."

Gryffen: "It turned Centauri into a black hole by syphoning off its future!"

Really? Is this the same Centauri which last week was revealed to have been enslaved by the Anubis?

Eurgh, tough existence. Or not.

Jorjie: "Indian snake charmers use very slow hypnotic movements to send the snake into a trance…"

Gryffen: "No they DON'T, they sow the cobra's lips together!"

The oroborus snake - who is in the cellar stealing people's futures Weeping Angel-style - looks great. However as soon as it had been sucked back into the void, well, somehow I just knew that they were going to have Gryffen, Darius and Jorjie worry whether Starkey had survived without remembering the video feed from his jacket. Sure enough. :( K9 even laughs at the end again, which I now accept.

One of the big fails of modern Doctor Who, Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures has been these series' sense of arrogance. No matter how utterly pitiful a script (eg. Love & Monsters), it would always be presented with this supreme sense of smugness.

At the other extreme, K9 doesn't seem to take any sense of pride about itself at all. The scriptwriter fills 25 minutes, the actors deliver it and fix their lines in post, and someone else plays the organ to fill up as much as possible of the background before going home. No-one ups their game, gets excited, or betrays any sense of enthusiasm.

Come on guys, we're believing in you more than you do. You're not getting anything that wrong here, but you're sure not making much effort either.

You have so much potential - so use it! :)

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