Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Russell T Davies, lexicographer

At one point in Sound of Drums, the Master/Harold Saxon orders the decimation of the people of Earth:
Shall we decimate them? That sounds good. Nice word, decimate. Remove one tenth of the population!
I like that a lot. In spite of what John says it always drives me crazy when people say 'decimate' when they mean 'generally slaughter' and the implied precision is the kind of subtle character touch people keep telling me RTD is capable of.

Actually, I'd quite to see more of that in Who, with the Doctor defining words pedantically but correctly after he says them, or making impassioned speches about the failure of Americans to spell 'colour' properly.

That'd really be combining entertainment with education, just as Sidney Newman intended.

Other than that, Sound of Drums was slightly above average RTD fayre - no plot to speak of, a series of enjoyable if often illogical set pieces and some jokes which didn't always work (one nicked from The Sea Devils). Plus Gallifrey looked like a cut scene from a video game and the young Master section looked like a deleted scene from a Harry Potter DVD.

Still, this was parts three and four of six in old money, which would once have meant most of an hour spent escaping and being recaptured. Having a bit of spectacle instead is definitely something to be applauded.

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Blogger SAF said...

I'm not sure I'd like a Doctor who was too pedantic. He'd sound like he spent too much time on an internet forum or mailing list.

3:01 pm  
Blogger Stuart Douglas said...

lol :) Very true - perhaps I should rethink this...

3:16 pm  
Blogger alienvoord said...

Stuart: "it always drives me crazy when people say 'decimate' when they mean 'generally slaughter'"

That is the real usage issue with the word. Some writers don't like it to mean "cause great destruction" but have no problem with it meaning "reduce drastically especially in number". But pretty much all serious commentators understand that it doesn't mean "destroy ten percent."

- some guy who spends too much on an internet forum or mailing list

5:28 pm  
Blogger Stuart Douglas said...

AV: "some guy who spends too much on an internet forum or mailing list"

Don't we all! :)

6:11 pm  

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