Sunday, 11 October 2015


Image copyright BBC TV

So, last night's DOCTOR WHO, how was it?  Tedious,
uninspired sh*te is the honest answer.  The Doc breaking the
fourth wall and addressing the viewers, playing his guitar again,
lots of racing around corridors, much incomprehensible babbling -
the programme is suffering from trying far too hard to be wild, zany,
witty and thought-provoking.  Unfortunately, STEVEN MOFFAT's
idea of thought-provoking is deliberate vagueness rather than clear
and proper storytelling, in the hope that viewers will ascribe any-
thing they don't quite comprehend to profundity, not poor
narrative and lack of story structure.

Do you recall the 1960 film, The TIME MACHINE,
and the '67 STAR TREK episode, CITY On The EDGE Of
FOREVER?  That's how stories involving time travel should be
done, not the banal, pretentious, repetitive, wearisome claptrap
that Doctor Who has regularly offered up since Moffat took over
from RUSSELL T. DAVIES.  It all seems to be a 'jolly wheeze',
with The Doc ever-ready with a comic one-liner - even in what
are supposed to be moments of drama and deadly danger.
Last night's story failed to involve or intrigue me, and  I
must have nodded off at least three times.

Well, I'm fed up up with it.  I want something that can
deliver on its promise of cosmos-threatening peril and space-
spanning adventure.  I'm off to dig out my CLANGERS DVD.  At
least those little woolly astro-creatures know how to take things
seriously.  Wait till I put the disc into the player - oh s*d it,
the bloody thing's stuck again!  (Let's try BAGPUSS!)

Agree or disagree with your genial host's views?  Then
share your opinion of The Doc in our comments section.


Colin Jones said...

Kid, for me modern Who completely lacks the air of menace that i used to feel back in the '70s. I wasn't exactly hiding behind the sofa (did anybody actually do that ?) but I did think it was quite scary and each episode would slowly build to the cliffhanger ending - they took it seriously then but now it feels too jokey,as you say with all those one-liners. I just don't think you can really jump from near-comedy one minute to life-threatening terror the next. I haven't seen any episodes from this season so far though. By the way, you mentioned the 1960 version of 'The Time Machine' - I think the 2002 remake is excellent, I'd say I preferred it to the original.

Kid said...

The only thing I prefer about the remake to the original is Samantha Mumba. Whatever happened to her? I'd say the original is by far the superior piece of entertainment, CJ.

Christopher Nevell said...

This series' two-parters have been very enjoyable - a step up from the usual gallop. Capaldi's doctor is so alien. He doesn't know how to cope with people yet still looks to protect the human race. From last series it's also clear that he has Some trouble telling one from another. I would though like to stamp on the sonic sunglasses. The old screwdriver was a bore too. To much wavey, wavey, out of trouble.

Kid said...

Well, we're four (it IS four, isn't it, or have I forgotten a couple?) episodes in, Chris, and none of them have enthused me so far. I hope he's not going to whip out his guitar every time he has a problem which perplexes him, so ditch that, along with the sunglasses (silly, just silly) and the screwdriver. I wonder if the guitar is meant to be the equivalent of Holmes' violin?

DeadSpiderEye said...

Haven't seen it, I might get round to eventually. I'm quite sympathetic to Moffat, he has delegated a few scripts to some meagre talent though. My general view on Moffat is that: anyone who can get lesbian lizard women on the BBC family viewing hour, has to be some kind of genius and gets my vote of approval.

baab said...

Yes, it was pish.
All over the place,same ol' government workers being annoyed by an entity.

And Capaldi had to explain it all at the end.

Kid said...

Either that or some kind of activist with an agenda, DSE. Doctor who has some good bits every episode, but unfortunately they don't add up to a satisfying whole. (Stop it!)


Thanks for seconding the motion, Baab. If they won't believe me, perhaps they'll listen to you.

Chris Tolworthy said...

Completely agree. On the surface the new Who is wonderful, but NOTHING EVER MATTERS!!! There is nothing below the surface. No danger, no coherent world, nothing to encourage thought.

Funny thing, the other night I watched one of the very first Who stories from the early 1960s. It was the complete opposite. On the surface it was awful: cliched threats, weak enemies, terrible acting, cardboard sets (literally) and it took half an hour to get anywhere. Yet it dealt with a real topic in a realistic way: real danger; enemies who were genuinely alien, yet were imperfect and vulnerable just like us; real fear that causes a person to break; tasks that are rooted in real world grit and tedium (most of warfare is after all, hanging around wondering if you will be shot). The story was basically a World War II story but set in space, and acted by people who probably served in WWII.

New Who is the inverse of Old Who. A story that was all depth and no surface is now all surface and no depth. In my opinion.

Rip Jagger said...

I give the Doctor so far this year a blah. The stories have seemed almost like step-by-step Who yarns, with the tropes you anticipate but little beyond. Capaldi needs to calm down a mite and give the character some more of the gravitas he's capable of giving to it. It is time for a new companion though, as fun as Clara has been her story seems finished.

Rip Off

Kid said...

It seems to me, CT, that the programme is now being aimed at teenagers. As you say, it's all superficial, and, much as I try to like it, I find it all curiously uninvolving. When RTD was in charge, it seems that interesting images resulted from having an interesting story. SM's approach appears to be to think of an interesting image first, then try and create a story around it. Unfortunately, none of the stories have interested me, and he seems to be playing with half a deck of cards. How many times now has The Doctor and his companion arrived at an isolated facility with a handful of personnel, only to see some of them die, one by one? After much running around corridors has ensued of course.


You'll be getting your wish as regards Clara, Rip, as I believe she's leaving the show. I think I'd rather see Moffat leave 'though, as it's his insistence on trying (and failing) to be clever and funny that's dragging the show down. Capaldi, unfortunately, has been ill-served by the quality of the scripts. Every writer seems to want to portray The Doctor as a babbling eccentric, and it's just oh so tedious.

tongalad said...

Breaking the 4th wall put me right off, the electric guitar playing is nonsense (we all know the Dr can't even play a recorder!) & why on earth were they recycling Terry Gilliam's "The Fisher King" (it was that wasn't it?) for a character name/title? Seriously Moffett has killed the show and it's time for a new writer to step up tp the plate....oh and SPOILER ALERT...the deaf woman lip-reading was on my radar 30 mins before it was suggested!

Kid said...

They seem to be trying to make The Doctor 'cool'. They should focus instead on making the shows interesting, intriguing, and entertaining from start to finish, instead of having just the occasional good bit that the rest of the story fails to match. Every week I used to tune in hoping to be pleasantly surprised, now I'm tuning in to see how much of a disappointment it's going to be this time. The Doctor isn't meant to be a babbling clown - they should stop making him one. Having Capaldi looking like Wee Willie Winkie in his first ever episode was a sign in what direction the show was going - down.

(Originally posted on 12 October 2015 at 18.30.)

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