Sunday, 29 May 2011

If it doesn't fly through time and space

The first half of the new season of Doctor Who really shows the difference between the best and rest. Moffat and Gaiman wrote such good episodes that the others seem average, even dull in comparison. It all has to start with interesting ideas, and the 'The Doctor's Wife' has that. The Tardis becoming a person is something entirely for the fans. And it still works if the nerdy significance is lost on you. Because it's an episode crafted out of creative energy, and it makes special writing look easy. It's hard to describe, but it comes through dialogue that's better than the usual, or the ideas that nobody else could invent - the sense that something important is happening, that you shouldn't look away. There's this sort of episode, and then there's the type that don't seem to matter. 'The Rebel Flesh' is an unspectacular episode stretched out over two parts. The ethics of killing clones has been done before, and more entertaining than this. Running around a damp castle does not make a good hour and a half. At worst, the whole thing was unconvincing. The scientists die, as they always do, and I couldn't care less. Some characters can turn up for twenty minutes and have emotional deaths (the Girl in the Fireplace wasn't even on screen at the time). This lot were dull and irritating from the start, and then they got a second episode.

I'll always be here, but this is when we talked.

It all picked up in the last three minutes though, with an ending that almost justifies the amount of time spent on this 'flesh' business. And now there's a promising last episode before the mid-season break (mid-season break? What?). The problem is, that when I come to expect magic, only the best will do. A script that doesn't fly through time and space doesn't deserve to be here. If it's average, if it's just a bit ordinary, get rid of it.


  1. haven't seen this show yet because i don't have a television but i'll have to see if it's on HULU

  2. God, I loved 'The Doctor's Wife'. Gaiman the writer had gone seriously off the boil for me (I am a Sandman mega-fan) but the Dr Who episode was solid gold.
    Yeah, the flesh was a bit pedestrian but who? who?! expected that ending. Oo-er.

  3. In terms of effectiveness the Rebel Flesh seemed a lot like that poor mid season two parter last year with the lizard aliens - which is to say not very effective at all.

  4. Elliot - Ooo, I hope it is.

    Titus - The ending made it all better, otherwise I'd have been annoyed. I don't think anybody saw it coming.

    Drake - Just what I was thinking. I really didn't like those lizards and their rubbish underground caves.

  5. Agreed!! The problem with Dr Who is some of the scripts can be very mediocre. When they get it right then its on and when it's not, well....
    I still like Smith as the Doctor. He is the best since Tom Baker to have truely captured the Doctor's eccentricities. Gillan is worth wartching because she such a dish! Not sure of Rory and River as characters yet.
    I've heard the episode where he talks to the Tardis was one to watch for.

  6. this blog is very good mmmm

  7. We just had the episode where the Doctor talks to the Tardis!! Great, great episode, and one of the best I've seen in a very long time. I like how the series is individual stories but there si acontinuity with them. What has got the Doctor so worried with Amy's positive/negative pregnancy??! Who is the woman Amy keeps seeing with the metal eye patch??! I await in suspense!!