Wednesday, 2 June 2010
Around here the graves eat people
More worrying than any of this was that, for the first time this series, I found the whole thing unconvincing. The subterranean alien world never felt real. You could see the joins in the effects. You could tell they'd just dressed up a stage with some plants. The Doctor wanders around tunnels that seem plastic, talking to aliens that aren't original. It's a shame, because up till now the series has been full of imagination and creativity. I didn't believe in this one at all. Even the characters it introduced didn't seem to work. These aren't the 'best of humanity' at all. An irritating mother and a small boy who was just there to get in the way. A grandfather who gets poisoned by the reptiles but is so manly he hardly complains. The most offensive one is Nasreen, the head of the mining operation, who wanders around the alien world like it's a supermarket. In fact, none of them seem phased by this peculiar turn of events. They meet an entire alien civilisation that's been living beneath their feet. The little boy says 'wow'. That's as surprised as they get. Why aren't their mind breaking? In one scene Nasreen casually discusses the fate of the planet with the reptile elder like she does it every day. Nothing gels here. It's all very pretend. You're not meant to notice it's fiction. The only redeeming feature is the Doctor, whose enthusiastic bounding around is always entertaining. Hopefully normal service will be resumed next week.