In the time since I last did a post, I’ve come to think that’s the better greeting. Like I did once before, then I started using ‘Trashies’ again. So we’ll see how long it lasts – but at least it does give a nod to our history.
Pretty much like this Christmas Special of Doctor Who, ‘The Time of the Doctor’. I had intended to cover the 50th anniversary ‘Day of the Doctor’ too, but I got halfway through before getting sidetracked with real life. No, even I have one. Ok I pretend to have one. That special was more a celebration of the last 50 years of Doctor Who, with lots of callbacks to old stuff and a companion programme with all the old Doctors in (that are still alive).
‘The Time of the Doctor’ is the swansong of the 11th Doctor, and the introduction of the 12th. Although previous series minimized the role of regeneration, the modern relaunch treats it as a much more dramatic occasion. No more regens like the 6th to the 7th Doctor, where the reason for it wasn’t shown, it just happened in the first 30 seconds of the episode. No. Now we have a long goodbye, for good or ill. I’m still not sure which way I think it went in the end, so that rules out ‘really really well’ by implication.
A brief overview – this (and the previous special) sums up everything that is currently right and wrong about Doctor Who. It mixes up too many milestones at once, doesn’t really provide reasons for a lot that happens – but it is dramatic and exciting. It also shows some good undercurrents from a long term fan’s point of view. It tries, and partially succeeds, to roll up the Matt Smith 11th Doctor Era, to leave a clean slate for the next one.
We start off with a voice over about ‘the man who stayed for Christmas’. Uh oh. They’re going with the Christmas theme. I suppose it unrealistic of me to think they wouldn’t, but I had hoped. This sums up my attitude to Christmas this year:
Fuck off before I cook your lamb in a curry
Why? Well I’ve never believed in Father Christmas, being a deeply cynical child, and if you need a special festival each year to remind you to be a nice person then you’re a bigger bastard than I am. On the plus side, I like the food and the time off work, so its swings and roundabouts.
The main plot point is that a planet has being giving off a message that the whole universe can hear (or at least all the nasty species can) and they’ve come to see what it is, as they don’t understand it.
A message we don’t understand? Quick, send our whole fleet to investigate! Don’t ask why!
The Doctor has come to investigate too, and is on board a ship with a Dalek Proboscis, as proof of his courage, and to see what the owners want.
Do the spheres on those columns look like Dalek spheres Doctor?
It’s a Dalek ship, and he runs for it. The Daleks that are shown are the old style ones, not the newer designs from two series ago that appear now to have been shuffled under the carpet for good. Maybe the action figure sales weren’t great. (That’s why they were introduced, the part of the BBC that deals with merchandising agreed to fund Doctor Who through the massive BBC budget cuts if they made more new Daleks they could sell as action figures.) But the Doctor escapes. We won’t ask the particulars, as if we did we’d be bitterly disappointed.
He seems to have picked up an irrelevant sidekick for some reason. If that’s a Cyberman though, that means it’s a cyborg, and that’s a humanoid head in that helmet, not a robot. Pretty creepy.
The Doctor’s new friend
The Doctor can’t translate the message, but now he gets interrupted by his real companion, Clara. The original screenie I took didn’t come out well, so I’ve substituted an alternative.
I’m as angry about that as you are.
No she doesn’t wear that stuff in the show, after the Leela episodes the BBC have steered away from that. Ok she’s not Sarah Jane Smith, the companion of companions, or Donna Noble,the best of the new breed by far. But she is quite good so far, and very hot. Sorry can’t help that. But the 11th Doctor was really defined by sticking with Amy Pond the whole time, so she’s despite her dramatic storyline she’s still somewhat overshadowed.
Clara’s problem turns out to be she wants a boyfriend to show off at Lunch to her family. The Doctor fills in, and an incredibly contrived and silly joke ensues. The Doctor is nude! And instead of getting dressed, he decides to wear holographic clothes. What? Why? Wait there’s more – they’re special holographic clothes that have to be keyed to the person who sees them, or else your still nude! So the contrived joke lumbers over the horizon with all the subtlety of a rampaging elephant. Clara takes a nude Doctor to lunch – but without realizing it. What larks.
That’s how I feel right now.
I won’t say kill me now, but I’m up for killing the writer. I mean whilst we’re visiting the 1970s for comedy, why not have Clara’s grandmother say ‘Have you seen my pussy’ and hold up a cat?