Monday, May 12, 2008

To the Doctor - a Daughter!

I'm sorely tempted not to bother saying anything about The Doctor's Daughter, but instead just post a handful of spoof Doctor Who spin-offs. That seems both less painful for me and perfectly appropriate given the conclusion of this truly dire story.

But if I don't vent even a little then I'll end up with some kind of televisual reflux and be throwing up little bits of bad dialogue and snippets of wooden acting into my mouth for days.

So I'll try to think of some good points first...
  1. I liked the scene with Donna's womanly wiles being downplayed. It made the Doctor look like a prat again by having him tell his mate she's a boiler and by having him happy to pimp his daughter to any passing soldier, but at least it brought a smile to my face.
  2. Jenny saying the Sonic Screwdriver was a weapon and the Doctor denying it adds weight to my personal theory that the screwdriver/weapon debate is important this season (though since that point has been hammered home with all the subtlety of a Pro-Life placard it's hardly a boast to claim that as a 'personal theory')
  3. The scene where Jenny's two hearts are discovered would have been quite nice had it not been for Murray 'Bleeding Obvious' Gold's score skittering all over it.
  4. That's it for the positive.
Negatives, then. Hmm, where to start...

  1. It looked awful. The Hath resembled nothing so much as Mighty Morphin Power Rangers baddies. The sets were cheap looking even by 1970s Who standards. But winner of worst non-acting and non-story moment is the shot of Martha and one of the Hath when they first go onto the planet surface - do you remember the matting shot in Caves of Androzani? The really crap one that the Restoration Team fixed for the dvd release? Yeah well, that original shot was WETA level cgi magic compared to the Knightmare standard seen here.
  2. Freema Agyeman as Martha. At first I thought it was because she's playing alongside the majestic Catherine Tate, but now I just think she's rubbish. Her 'My name is Martha Jones and who the hell are you?' speech might be the worst bit of acting on Who since Joan Sims played Katryca in The Mysterious Planet.
  3. The Doctor's journey (it 'changes everything' according to writer Stephen Greenhorn, but he created the River City so cannot be trusted with anything). Ah yes, that'll be the journey from here to just over there. Actually, maybe not as far as all the way over there. More like from here to the fridge (you have to be me, sitting in the kitchen as I am, reaching out to get a beer from the fridge to get the full impact of my withering sarcasm there).
  4. The lazy-to-the-point-of-coma science. This doesn't usually bother me - the series is based on a near immortal man travelling through time in a police box after all - but when the clone isn't a clone at all but someone abit like the donor and appears fully clothed; when the terraforming machine appears to be a special gas that brings people back to life; and when a war lasting seven days is one which has gone on for 'generations' even though at least one person is clearly many years older than that - well, a line has to be drawn somewhere. And in this case that line is so far behind Greenhorn's script that I suspect he'll need the Very Large Telescope to see it.
  5. Everything else which wasn't Catherine Tate (compare her delivery of the line about the
    'outrageous amount of running' involved in being with the Doctor with any line by Agyeman to remind yourself what genuine acting looks like.)
  6. Especially the spin-off set-up which was Moffet's gung-ho, 'I'm off to the stars' final speech (Steven Moffat's idea seemingly, the complete arse).
Actually, for all that I don't like Gridlock I wasn't surprised (IIRC) that some people liked it. But I'm gobsmacked anyone thought that either the ludicrous 'GI Joe versus The Baddies from the Power Rangers' or Georgia Moffat as the Doctor's Spin-Off was anything above lacklustre, shoddy and shit.

Oh - and some suggested spin-offs for Cardiff to consider, as promised back at the top of the page.

Doctor Who Kids: A seven year old Doctor and his team of Gallifreyan Rug Rats solve a series of mysteries involving dodgy Castellans pretending to be ghosts and projecting giant pirates onto the river to hide their smuggling activites. Cartoon, 2 x 15 minute per episode.

Dixon of Doctor Green: The TARDIS turns into a normal police box and, through a series of unlikely co-incidences including his ability to survive death, the Doctor is mistaken for PC George Dixon, a job he fills for many, many years of pretty dull crime fighting. Black and White. 30 minute episodes.

Fonzie and the Doctor Who Gang: Arthur Fonzarelli from Happy Days is accidentally cryogenically frozen and is revived in the year Seven Apple Condom Fourteen. Soon he's involved in wacky high-jinks and motorcycle related mayhem alongside his henchcreatures, Cassandra and the Face of Boe. Color. 22 minutes episodes plus adverts.

Other reviews worth reading: Rob, Simon, Louise, Daniel, Kelly and Tim
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23 Comments:

Blogger SAF said...

Says it all. (And says so much more than me, but as you've noticed it's rare I can be bothered to waste too much breath on a given episode these days.) My current theory on how this will all pan out: come end of series, they're going to kill the Doctor off, make no mistake. Jenny will step into his shoes, possibly inheriting the TARDIS (remember that line about her being the reason the TARDIS went there?), and we'll have a 'female Doctor' for a bit, but then after David Tennant's had his much-needed break, they'll regenerate the Doctor from his spare hand to which they keep returning our attention lest we've forgotten it. My only hope is that, if I'm right, I win a great big prize - something to console me in the light of just how horrible all that would be! :)

12:02 pm  
Blogger Stuart Douglas said...

Oh Christ - don't say that kind of thing out loud!

12:06 pm  
Blogger MediumRob said...

No, do say it out loud. Because then it won't happen. If we say it out loud enough times, and enough people say it, then RTD won't do it because it'll be too derivative and we were all expecting it.

Although what might he come up with instead...?

12:38 pm  
Blogger Stuart Douglas said...

Rob: "RTD won't do it because it'll be too derivative"

Yeah because "Last of the Time Lords" showed how terrified he was of appearing derivative :)

Rob: "Although what might he come up with instead...?"

I typed a joke about the Doctor starting by locking Jenny in his cellar, but maybe best just to skip straight to getting me coat...

12:43 pm  
Blogger MediumRob said...

I think his official "why I ripped off BSG" explanation was that he'd thought of it first and not enough people watched BSG for it to matter.

So all we have to do is get up to 400,000 people and we're there. Once people realise just what's at stake, I don't think that'll be a problem.

Please don't tell me you left your coat in the cellar.

12:53 pm  
Blogger Stuart Douglas said...

Rob: "I think his official "why I ripped off BSG" explanation was that he'd thought of it first "

In similar vein, I was the first person to thave the idea of finsihing a season of Dr Who with a car-crash combination of Flash Gordon, Harry Potter and Captain Scarlet.

Then someone pointed out it was a terrible idea.

Rob: "So all we have to do is get up to 400,000 people and we're there."

Well, all six people who read this blog will support us I'm sure :)

1:04 pm  
Blogger MediumRob said...

"In similar vein, I was the first person to thave the idea of finsihing a season of Dr Who with a car-crash combination of Flash Gordon, Harry Potter and Captain Scarlet."

Really? Were you? Are you sure you're not bigging yourself up there? I'd have said only RTD could have done that.

1:10 pm  
Blogger Stuart Douglas said...

Rob: "Really? Were you? "

Yeah, really - it was me. I also was the first one to think up the sitcoms 'Curry and Chips', 'Heil Honey, I'm Home' and 'French Fields'.

Plus I was the puppeteer for the original Celine Dion robot and was the only person to have the honesty to tell Gary Russell he'd win the Nobel Prize for Literature one day.

1:16 pm  
Blogger MediumRob said...

Clearly, they're making a mistake with that Stephen Moffat and you need to be the next show runner then! Gary Russell for the regeneration story - no doubt induced by lashings of ginger beer à la Time and the Rani.

1:48 pm  
Blogger Stuart Douglas said...

Rob: "Gary Russell for the regeneration story"

Not again - was 'Spiral Scratch' not bad enough!

2:04 pm  
Blogger MediumRob said...

"Was 'Spiral Scratch' not bad enough!"

No. He can do worse. He just needs to be given the chance to practise.

2:07 pm  
Blogger Stuart Douglas said...

Rob: "No. He can do worse. "

Worse than Spiral Scratch? Well he did call Josef Mengele "a genius" in Scales of Injustice, so you may have a point...

2:20 pm  
Blogger MediumRob said...

Give Gary some due: he can surprise us with his many ideas, I'm sure.

Liz Shaw as the inventor of a microwaveable sausage capable of killing a Chronovore when fired from a portable rocket launcher – and feeding a family of six? The long-awaited teaming of Cassandra, alternative universe Mike Yates (number 47) and Duggan to save the galaxy from a 27-dimensional fairy that's looking for milk teeth under Ayres Rock? The TARDIS reconfigured as a pack of juicy fruit chewing gum and used to placate a Sontaran heavy petting cruiser?

I'm sure I've just scratched the surface of what must be lurking in his imagination.

2:26 pm  
Blogger Stuart Douglas said...

Do you know what's almost painfully funny?

I genuinely didn't realise until the Juicy Fruit bit that those weren't just bits from Gary's novels that I'd blocked out of my mind :)

2:35 pm  
Blogger MediumRob said...

To see into the mind of Gary Russell. Isn't that every young Whovian's dream?

Christ, I know I loves Manhunter a bit, but I don't want to be Will Graham to Gary Russell's Hannibal Lecktor (with the Tavern substituted for the High Museum of Art in Atlanta).

I think I need some convalescence time in Florida.

2:47 pm  
Blogger Stuart Douglas said...

Rob: "I think I need some convalescence time in Florida."

A week on Saturday and I'll be sipping a cool drink in Miami.

Which means I'll be away for the Steven Moffat two-parter, but sacrifices have to be made...

2:54 pm  
Blogger MediumRob said...

Yey! Spring Break?

Last time I went to Miami, almost exactly this time last year, in fact, it peed it down the whole time. Actually, the time I was in Florida before that, it rained at 4pm precisely every time, but was fine the rest of the time.

I'm sure it'll be lovely, though. ;-)

2:58 pm  
Blogger SAF said...

Stuart: "Yeah, really - it was me. I also was the first one to think up the sitcoms 'Curry and Chips', 'Heil Honey, I'm Home' and 'French Fields'."

Full of good ideas, you are ;)

Stuart: "A week on Saturday and I'll be sipping a cool drink in Miami.

Which means I'll be away for the Steven Moffat two-parter, but sacrifices have to be made..."

But on the bright side, you'll be back in plenty of time to brace yourself for when my theory becomes horrifyingly true. :)

mediumrob: "If we say it out loud enough times, and enough people say it, then RTD won't do it because it'll be too derivative and we were all expecting it."

Unless we all say it like it's a bad thing, in which case my guess would be he'd go ahead and do it just to spite us.

3:04 pm  
Blogger Stuart Douglas said...

Rob: "Yey! Spring Break?"

Or early summer holiday, it's a tricky one to define.

Rob: "Last time I went to Miami, almost exactly this time last year, in fact, it peed it down the whole time. Actually, the time I was in Florida before that, it rained at 4pm precisely every time, but was fine the rest of the time."

Strangely, the last time we were in Florida it did exactly the same thing. Nice regular rain in the middle of the night, nothing the rest of the time.

The first time though there was a torrential thunderstorm, complete with actual sheets of rain, reducing visibility to zero metres just as I drove my first ever automatic, left hand drive people carrier onto the wrong side of the US roads...

3:06 pm  
Blogger Stuart Douglas said...

SAF: "But on the bright side, you'll be back in plenty of time to brace yourself for when my theory becomes horrifyingly true. :)"

Given some of the dreadful rumours I've seen reported about Rusty's Four Part Extravaganza, the Doctor just dying might be the least of our worries.

For the record, if it does happen as you suggest, then that would be enough to have me jacking it in and settling for watching the old series dvds from then on.

3:08 pm  
Blogger SAF said...

Stuart: "Given some of the dreadful rumours I've seen reported about Rusty's Four Part Extravaganza"

Ooh, where have you seen those? Are we talking actual rumour, or just wild guesswork like my hypothesis? (of which, if it helps, we will speak no more - until the time comes! ;) )

3:51 pm  
Blogger Stuart Douglas said...

SAF: "Ooh, where have you seen those? Are we talking actual rumour, or just wild guesswork like my hypothesis? "

Try

here

for a plethora of (hopefully) wild and inaccurate guesses...

Season 5 (sic) sounds particularly grim.

4:11 pm  
Blogger SAF said...

Stuart: "a plethora of (hopefully) wild and inaccurate guesses...

Season 5 (sic) sounds particularly grim."

Brain... melting!!!

7:14 pm  

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