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Doctor Who and the Curse of the Black Spot - contains spoilers - dorsetgirl
May 8th, 2011
08:57 pm
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Doctor Who and the Curse of the Black Spot - contains spoilers
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I think I’m going off Doctor Who. Maybe it’s just over-familiarity and tension-fatigue but seriously,

there’s really only so many times you can go “Oh my God, they’re not going to kill Rory, are they?” And all this pregnancy stuff – I don’t know, it somehow just doesn’t seem appropriate for something that, when all’s said and done, is a kids’ programme.

I quite enjoyed last night’s episode, but I’m sitting there thinking, “Well, I suppose this is what they call a light-hearted romp, and that’s why it has no depth to it.” For me, there was simply no tension whatsoever, apart from Amy’s pathetic attempts to resuscitate Rory. Even then I was more concerned with being annoyed at them using that ploy again, and the fact that the Doctor was just sitting there doing nothing to help. I don’t believe the Doctor would just sit there like that.

And while we’re on the subject of what the Doctor would or would not do, I don’t believe the Doctor would “abandon ship” just because he didn’t know where it was going. I think he would stay with the Tardis.

As to acting, I thought Lee Ross was excellent, and Hugh Bonneville was fine – although I couldn’t help but compare the character, to his disadvantage, to Jack Sparrow - but I didn’t think the part really used him properly. (Also, there were some very “Pirates of the Caribbean” moments in the music.) The boy was quite good, and looked familiar from somewhere.

Is it just me, or is Lily Cole actually ugly? And why on earth did they need a famous model for the role, when any coldly pretty girl could have done the job? The producers have always talked about how tight the budget is, and I just think that we’re currently seeing far too much emphasis on famous names rather than the right person for the part.

When I think back to the total emotional engagement we as a family used to have with this show, what we’re currently seeing is a mere shadow of former glory. OK, the kids are older, but I haven’t changed that much. We used to all be in position five minutes before the programme started, reluctant to miss a single second. For God’s sake, for The Parting of the Ways we unplugged the phone ten minutes before the episode started.

Don’t get me wrong, I really like Eleven. I think Matt Smith totally is the Doctor, in a way that – for me – Tennant never was. Karen Gillan does a perfectly good job with Amy, although I don’t think the character is half as kick-ass as they keep telling us she is. And Rory is adorable. I seriously hope for great things for Arthur after this.

I don’t feel there’s anything much left in the series for me any more. I will carry on watching, at least during this series, but for me the emotional depth has gone, to be replaced by a lot of clever-clever plotty stuff. I don’t do plot – I can’t write it, and as a reader or viewer it’s not what keeps my attention or sticks in my memory. I like character, and emotion, and motivation and connection.

In other (tv) news, I never got a chance to watch John Simm’s Exile, but I did make sure to watch episode 1 of Christopher Eccleston’s The Shadow Line the other day, and I’m hooked. His character is very interesting so far – a boring accountant type who is quiet and thoughtful, and loves his wife, and has spent £1.5m of his own money setting up a front for a heroin-trafficking business. I’m definitely planning to watch the rest.




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From:dorsetgirl
Date:May 9th, 2011 07:11 am (UTC)
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Yeah, hollow... empty... interesting visuals... and that's about it.

I guess I should find out who wrote this one, and at some point Moffat has to accept that he can't both be across every detail of two series and do it all properly. By which I mean getting the feeling right as well as the mechanics.
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From:talkingtothesky
Date:May 9th, 2011 03:38 am (UTC)
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AGREED on so much of this. The pregnancy thing irritates me. I'm still very much 'so what?', I don't understand why it should be a big deal unless you're making it out to be somehow salacious and no, that's not a kids show, it's a soap opera.

I actually squeaked when I saw Lee Ross, he's amazing. I thought Karen rehearsing with the cutlass in Confidential was absolutely adorable. But other than that, I'm a bit meh about this episode. It was good fun, no doubt, but not half as fun as New Earth or The Shakespeare Code.

I used to count down the days from one episode to the next. Lately I have to rely on someone else to remind me that it's Saturday.

Exile was brilliant, if seriously creepy. I'm also hooked on The Shadow Line, I love how the pacing is so different from everything else.
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From:dorsetgirl
Date:May 9th, 2011 07:19 am (UTC)
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I think the pregnancy thing must be significant. Because it sure ain't interesting. But the thing is, the only way it's significant is if it's a Time Baby. Which leads us to Doctor/Amy Tardis!sexings WTF-it's-a-kids'-show.

Lately I have to rely on someone else to remind me that it's Saturday.

We got the tape all set up and then the kids decided to watch a DVD while we were waiting. And then we forgot all about Doctor Who until I luckily spotted that it was 6:15. We just caught the opening credits. That has never happened before. We normally plan our lives on a Saturday around Doctor Who. There have been brilliant hot sunny days where we've all agreed we can't go to the beach in case there's a problem with the car or the traffic and we can't get home in time! Not any more, I fear.
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From:phyllisdobbs01
Date:May 9th, 2011 01:43 pm (UTC)
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Hope you don't mind me commenting. I stumbled across your review and it encapsulates nearly everything I think about the current Doctor Who. The Doctor wouldn't just sit there looking vacant (he actually looked vacant!) whilst Amy struggled to save Rory and then almost gave up. Although I agreed 100% that Matt Smith is great as the Doctor. He has nailed the part but isn't being given good enough dialogue and storylines.

Not exactly an acting roll for Lily Cole as you say. I did wonder about the Doctor leaving the TARDIS and came to the conclusion that he made a quick decision to get back to Amy and Rory. I find it believable as a hangover to classic Who when the TARDIS was a lot more unpredictable and the Doctor sometimes did not know where he would end up or if he would be able to find his way back. I still see it as a bit contrived as in new Who the TARDIS seems to be functioning perfectly well when it comes to going where the Doctor wants to go.

I need another attempt at The Shadow Line as I was tired and falling asleep when I tried the first time and decided to stop and watch when I could concentrate properly. I can't recommend Exile highly enough.
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From:dorsetgirl
Date:May 10th, 2011 07:15 am (UTC)
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Hi, no of course I don't mind you commenting! I've never understood people who get arsy about someone they don't know leaving comments on a public post. I'm here to socialise and meet new people (and even if I couldn't guess which fandom you're in, I've seen you around anyway). I love it when new people stop by. As long as they're friendly, obviously!

I did wonder about the Doctor leaving the TARDIS and came to the conclusion that he made a quick decision to get back to Amy and Rory.

That's a very fair point; he would think of them first and consider that his duty was to stay with them. But why wasn't that made clear in the dialogue? As to TARDIS unpredictability, that happened - and was talked about - in The Unquiet Dead, but I don't think they've made much of it since. And people shouldn't have to remember Classic Who to understand what's going on. Russell was always very emphatic about that.

I just think Moffat is going about it all the wrong way. I have great respect for the man as a writer, and I know from interviews etc that he is putting his entire fanboy soul into this job, but it's not working for me. One thing that particularly worried me was when he said (I paraphrase), "Russell used to worry all the time that people wouldn't stay, that you had to worry about getting and holding onto people. So he used to write it so you could leap aboard at practically any episode and know what was going on. Well, I think by now we can be confident that people do stay, they do watch every week, and we can use that."

So now we get all this tangled complicated stuff where you have to wait till episode thirteen to find out why Matt had his jacket off in episode six or whatever it was. I don't want complicated plot and waiting six weeks for the payoff - and nor, I would suggest, does the average ten-year-old. I want adventure and frighteners (for the kids) and emotion and fear and exploration of the way people are (for me). Stephen just ain't delivering that.

I do realise we're not the main target audience, but if he throws away the women, he's throwing away longevity and mainstream acceptance and allowing the show to become something just for geeks again. Also, it's the mums who make sure the kids' day is structured so they can be there watching at the appointed time! If mums start to think the show is rubbish, kids have less chance to watch imo.

Anyway, rant over - thanks for commenting!
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