Saturday, 11 April 2009

Dr Who: Crap

I'm very sorry to say this, but tonight's Dr Who Easter special was crap.

For those who did not catch Dr Who and the Planet of the Dead, the plot was typical Who: double decker bus hurtles through a wormhole to a desert planet. The Doctor and Zoe from
EastEnders soon find out, with some assistance from crap humanoid aliens with fly heads, that the world was previously populated by some 100 billion people who've been reduced to sand by swarms of floating manta ray/hammerhead metal creature things. The Doctor is able to retrieve the bug-eyed aliens' power supply (alas they get eaten - why can't we save ugly extra-terrestrials?), reverse the polarity or something, and fly the bus back through the portal before the chompy-chompy aliens make it through.

It was dull, the special effects were rubbish, the acting terrible. As if that wasn't bad enough, it had Lee Evans in it.

On these occasions my TV review normally veers off into portrayals of gender, race or class in the show. But not tonight. Instead, out comes the soapbox.

There's no getting away from it. The plot lines are naff. The aliens are naff. The actors are naff, and so is the otherwise lovely David Tennant. Am I the only one annoyed by his over-acting? Naffness just pervades the show, there's no escaping it. And unfortunately, the same is true of its "adult-themed" progeny -
Torchwood (despite Eve Myles). King Midas had the golden touch, but everything Russell T Davies caresses is irredeemably twee. You could say the premise of both is cheese in the extreme, but then again so was Buffy and Angel. And yet they were never naff.

What is to be done? 

25 comments:

gray said...

hahahaha...Phil

I was just about to take a step forward from the Tom Baker era to write a review myself, only from a very positive point of view.

Phil BC said...

I think you've got your blinkers on, comrade. But still, even though it was poor the Planet of the Dead is light years ahead of the ghastly Red Dwarf. Why can't they leave things alone?

gray said...

Not seen the new Red Dwarf. :(
Is it really as ghastly as all that?

Of course, when it comes to dr.Who, nothing can compare to the truly awful Colin Baker era, which even alienated such devoted Whovians as myself. Mind you, I have an old Whovian pal who simply refuses to watch any of the new show. (Lots of people are praying Moffat will refresh things, given his excellent Who stories Blink and Girl in the Fireplace, etc)

Resurrecting old shows and having spin-offs and goodness knows what seems par for the course these past many years.
Something that has sent me batshit crazy is the news that Mel fucking Gibson is doing a film remake of Edge of Darkness. How dare he!

Phil BC said...

Blink is definitely the best the new series of Who's come up with. I mean, seriously, any kids watching would have been terrified (I deny all the rumours about me cringing behind a cushion).

Brother S said...

All a bit modern for me. I usualy watch repeats from the old days. Last night watched Essex Boys.Very good. Those bleak Estuary landscapes.

Chris Baldwin said...

I like the series, but this one wasn't great. They seem to like going really over the top in the specials. And there was far too much applied phlebotinum.

Matt Sellwood said...

It had Michelle Ryan in it. All was well. :)

Matt the easily pleased

CharlieMcMenamin said...

Phil,
Not everything can be as good as Blink - not just the best ever Dr.Who but amongst the best TV of the last decade full stop.

I really enjoyed the Easter special - lots of cultural references (Mission Impossible etc), the Doctor got some brilliant lines ("Easter? Of course I was there at the first one..what really happened was...."),crackling sexual tension with that woman from Eastenders and even Lee Evans was pretty funny. Mind you, I watched it with my 9 and 12 yr old, so perhaps I was having a different experience tto you....

Dominic Smith said...

From a rather one-sided pro left-wing point of view nothing can beat the Sylvester McCoy era in the late 80's. Anyone else remember, 'The Happiness Patrol' with the deranged dictator Helen A being modelled on Thatcher? Or how about 'The Curse of Fenric' where at one point the Doctor joins forces with some Soviet solders in the 40's against this insane Nazi sympathiser British general who wants to detonate a chemical weapons bomb in Russia.

Phil BC said...

Charlie, I guess you're right. I watched it with CBC and she sat with a barely-repressed scowl throughout.

Matt, yes, you are easily pleased ;)

nationofduncan said...

I'm a big Doctor Who fan and I thought last night's episode was crap.

Whoever devised the character of 'Lady Christina' clearly played far too much Tomb Raider in their youth.

Phil BC said...

Re: Blink, you'll find no disagreement from me on that, Charlie. I just wish they'd try something new with Torchwood - it tries to be Buffy but is nowhere near as witty, knowing or sexy. I don't know why but I'd like it to do well - perhaps it ought go down The Wire route, but I doubt John Barrowman and Freema Agyeman are up to it.

Leftwing Criminologist said...

I missed the dr who special, i seem to have a knack of missing every single dr who special thats on.
But I have been watching red dwarf. The first one on friday night was rather awful, whereas the one on last night was miles better. I'll be writing a review for my blog after the next one has been on.

Phil BC said...

Race you!

(You'll probably win, I'll be watching it on Dave Ja Vu - Lost takes precedence!)

Phil said...

What is to be done? Either recalibrate your crap filter (which I think you've set way too high) or grit your teeth and wait for the coming of Moffat. I thought last night's was great, but I did watch it with a takeaway, after a couple of pints and with two kids (9 and 13). Maybe there's another recommendation in there!

splinteredsunrise said...

I think it's that Davies' writing tics and Crazy Dave's acting tics make for quite an annoying combination, especially over time. On the other hand, Zoe Slater has definitely marked her card for the next Tomb Raider. (Or have they cast Black Widow yet?)

harpymarx said...

I was soooh disappointed to have missed it but reading your review yesterday morning...I was not disappointed any longer.

Oh, and Blink was utterly fantastic and dead clever.

Will Dr Who ever experience that level of greatness again? Well, not with Davies still being around.

And Zoe Slater from 'Enders ...well she lasted seconds in the Bionic Woman, didn't she?

Nobody but nobody can beat Lindsey Wagner...

"What is to be done"...??

Sack 'em all. Bring back Rose and cast Clive Owen as Dr Who.

I will be gazing happily at the telly if lovely mister Owen was in place. Dr Who can be a crap as anything but I don't care as there will be some compensation in the form of adorable eye candy.

HarpyMarx - easily pleased in the eye candy stakes...

Phil BC said...

I'll still watch it, regardless of how crap it is. Ditto with Torchwood. Sad eh?

harpymarx said...

Phil: "Sad eh?"

Nah comrade, I am the saddest of the lot, I watch any old crap. If there was the Order of Lenin for crappy telly viewing then I would be somewhere in the top 3.

Phil BC said...

I'd definitely concede that to you, comrade. I haven't tackled Jeremy Kyle!

harpymarx said...

Nooooo, don't mention Kyle. My blood pressure as only got back to normal.

Deep breaths, Harpy, deep breaths.. think nice things..now exhale.. That's better.

Jim Jay said...

I've seen it on iplayer now... I think you're right Phil and I don't know how anyone can think that woman from Eastenders did a proper job - it was like that Kylie Minogue walk on before, I think we were just meant to be impressed she was there so no acting was attempted.

Basically the plots are pretty thin or just plain stolen half the time - but when they aren't it really is worth watching. At least this one didn't have the daleks or the cyber men in it, long may that continue.

My main problem with it is the constant emoting - your a fucking time lord, where's your stiff upper lip???

There was a moment that was good in this episode, which they then spoiled.

Whatsherface runs up thinking she's going to go travelling and Who has his "I should cocoa" face on. When she asked why not I sooo thought he was going to say "I don't trust you" which would of salvaged the entire episode (and been the sensible response) - but no, he starts blubbing about losing everyone he gets close to... stop your wimpering Who!

Martin Wisse said...

Aaah, the whole episode was worth it for the UNIT licences plates.

Madam Miaow said...

A tedious bit of social engineering as the Doctor recruits the kiddies into the army.

Planet of the dead, indeed!

rob said...

So why couldn't someone in UNIT not chuck a tow-rope through the wormhole and use a truck or tank or something to pull the bus out.
That's the part of the trouble with Nu Who . Plot holes you could drive a bus through (sorry).
And the sonic screwdriver being used like a magic wand annoys me too.