Saturday, August 12, 2006

Ludicrously Negative: What RTD Has Taught Us

[I wrote this a while back after the end of the Eccleston season - I've changed my mind a bit and obviously didn't think it was terribly witty since I didn't post it at the time, but in lieu of the time to have a life, I thought I might as well take it out of the Drafts folder and post it]


  • Taught us that a full length old-style Who adventure isn't possible in the new timescale and format.
  • Taught us the series should really be about the companion and not the Doctor.
  • Taught us that cutting edge special effects can still fail to improve on the "rubber octopus" template
  • Taught us that the word incidental in the phrase incidential music means far too loud.

End of the World

  • Taught us that that RTD wasn't paying attention when he saw Galaxy Quest on DVD.
  • Taught us the year 5 Million will look pretty much like a Star Trek space station, only with fixtures and fittings by IKEA.

The Unquiet Dead

Aliens of London

  • Taught us that in the absence of a story, Scooby-Doo chases and farting can take the place of plot, characterisation and wit.

World War Three

  • Taught us that RTD can mess up two episodes at a time, not just one.


  • Taught us RTD would be better leaving the writing to other people.

The Long Game

  • Taught us the new series really wouldn't be bothering with distractions like well thought out, realistic or imaginative aliens.

Fathers Day

  • Taught that RTD really should leave the writing to other people.

The Empty Child

  • Taught us that Steven Moffat could teach Mark Gatiss something about scripting a very traditional feeling episode of Doctor Who.

The Doctor Dances

  • Taught us that RTD should absolutely, definitely leave the writing to other people.

Boom Town

  • Taught us that fans can convince themselves any old rubbish is gold if they try hard enough.
  • Taught us Deus ex Machina endings were acceptable in drama nowadays.

Bad Wolf

  • Taught us that RTD thinks aping contemporary game shows is satirical.
  • Taught us that Bad Wolf wasn't worth all the build up.

Parting of the Ways

  • Taught us that Rose is really the hero of the show.
  • Taught us that all you need to break into the TARDIS is a big enough lorry and a strong chain.

Labels: ,

Bookmark and Share


Blogger alienvoord said...

I don't see a lot of this stuff as negative.

I don't understand the deus ex machina complaint. I don't watch a lot of tv, but I know that there are lots of dei ex machinae in the old show too. How many times was the Doctor relieved of having to do something morally questionable because another character conveniently sacrificed himself to blow everything up?

8:40 pm  
Blogger Stuart Douglas said...

Very true, and that particular get our of jail free card is one of the annoying things about the old series that, for example, Big Finish picked up slavishly and new Who - to some extent, although not completely - has avoided.

But the literal nature of the DEM in Boom Town is just so incredibly shit - it's not even the result of some character's sacrifice but just a sudden, unexpected and curiously specific ability of the TARDIS that saves the day. It's lazy, bad writing, emotionally and intellectually unsatisfying and just...well, rubbish.

8:51 pm  
Blogger alienvoord said...

So I guess you didn't agree with the review of Boom Town I wrote for Enlightenment, then? :)

9:26 pm  
Blogger Stuart Douglas said...

No - but I respect your right to say it, no matter how utterly wrong you might be :)

9:29 pm  
Blogger SAF said...

Alas, I find myself more in tune with your Ludicrously Negative side than your Astonishingly Positive side, so I felt I should post my comment here. These are good though, and clearly show what a well-balanced individual you must be. Although you lose it when you cite thoughtful and intelligent writing in Boomtown - that should have gone in a separate Ludicrously Unbelievably Positive Beyond The Realms Of Credibility section ;)

11:07 am  
Blogger Stuart Douglas said...

SAF:"you lose it when you cite thoughtful and intelligent writing in Boomtown"

Well, be fair, I was struggling to think of anything good about BT so just copied what I'd heard utterly deluded fans say (hi John :-)

6:31 pm  
Blogger SAF said...

Yes, well, if you will crib from loons :)

9:24 pm  
Blogger Stuart Douglas said...

saf: "Yes, well, if you will crib from loons :)"

You do wonder about the editors of Enlightenment - but let's be charitable and assume Andrew Flint was busy that day and so they had to fall back on the insane mutterings of other reviewers :-)

9:37 pm  
Blogger alienvoord said...

Since we're writing a Doctor Who fanzine, we figure we should say some good stuff about the show. If that makes us crazy, then needle nardle noo mangrove daisy syntagmatic placoderm.

Robert Smith? has a wonderful article on Boom Town in one of the recent issues. You guys probably won't like it...

2:32 pm  
Blogger Stuart Douglas said...

Now I think abou tit, it was Robert Smith?'s piece I was thinking about - I'll have to go back and laugh at yours later :)

9:31 pm  
Blogger SAF said...

alienvoord: "needle nardle noo"

Ah, it's not often you see Michael Bentine's Potty Time quoted these days. Triffic :)

11:26 am  
Blogger alienvoord said...

it was meant to be a Goons reference.

2:37 pm  
Blogger SAF said...

Damn, of course, yes. My brain is addled. Still, they're closely related - and that will be my defence. :)

3:45 pm  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home