Visit the official Doctor Who website

Visit the official Doctor Who website
Look to the future

Asylum seekers...

Asylum seekers...
Refuge of the Daleks

Doctor Who picture resource

Doctor Who picture resource
Roam the space lanes!

Explore the Doctor Who classic series website

Explore the Doctor Who classic series website
Step back in time

Infiltrate The Hub of Doctor Who spin-off Torchwood

Infiltrate The Hub of Doctor Who spin-off Torchwood
Armed and extremely dangerous

Investigate The Sarah Jane Adventures

Investigate The Sarah Jane Adventures
Fearless in the face of adversity

Call on Dani’s House

Call on Dani’s House
Harmer’s a charmer

Intercept the UFO fabsite

Intercept the UFO fabsite
Defending the Earth against alien invaders!

Uncover the secrets of the Dollhouse

Uncover the secrets of the Dollhouse
Programmable agent Echo exposed!

Hell’s belles

Hell’s belles
Naughty but nice

Love Exposure

Love Exposure
Flash photography!

Primeval portal

Primeval portal
Dressed to kill or damsels in distress?

Charmed, to be sure!

Charmed, to be sure!
The witches of San Francisco

Take on t.A.T.u.

Take on t.A.T.u.
All the way from Moscow

Proceed to the Luther website

Proceed to the Luther website
John and Jenny discuss their next move

DCI Banks is on the case

DCI Banks is on the case
You can bet on it!

On The Grid with Spooks

On The Grid with Spooks
Secret agents of Section D

Bridge to Hustle

Bridge to Hustle
Shady characters

Life on Ashes To Ashes

Life on Ashes To Ashes
Coppers with a chequered past

Claire’s no Exile

Claire’s no Exile
Goose steps

Vexed is back on the beat!

Vexed is back on the beat!
Mismatched DI Armstrong and bright fast-tracker Georgina Dixon

Medium, both super and natural

Medium, both super and natural
Open the door to your dreams

Who’s that girl? (350-picture Slideshow)

Wednesday, 2 August 2006

Revelations and Reservations!


The final two episodes of the second season of new “Doctor Who”, “Army of Ghosts” and “Doomsday”, followed a similar path to the concluding two-part story of last year’s opening season. Although not as pronounced as last year, it was still really a case of two single episode stories tenuously linked together. “Army of Ghosts” was protracted padding up to the supposedly big reveal. I’d already guessed the Daleks were in the sphere, just from watching the trailer, despite the script’s desperate attempts to wrong foot us into thinking the void ship contained more Cybermen! It had to be something bigger otherwise the episode would simply have been replicating the climax of “Rise of the Cybermen”. I was more surprised, though only slightly, knowing these concluding episodes were shot back-to-back with the earlier Cybermen episodes, by the reappearance of Mickey towards the end of “Army of Ghosts”!! After that, it was only to be expected that Pete would put in an appearance in “Doomsday” and, surprise surprise, not to leave anyone out, up pops resistance-leader Jake, restraint being an unknown concept to RTD!!!

Everything RTD does is so obvious. I wonder how many children actually got the “Ghostbusters” reference in “Army of Ghosts”? Only those whose parents own a copy of the film on DVD I suspect, or have seen it by chance on TV. He seems to have a checklist of things “Doctor Who” has never done and wants to be the first to do them. Three examples spring immediately to mind. Firstly, a Dalek had never appeared inside the TARDIS until “The Parting of the Ways”; secondly, a Dalek and Cyberman hadn’t appeared in the same frame until “Doomsday”… One question that occurred to me, before “Doomsday” aired, was how well would the Daleks and Cybermen look together, bearing in mind their difference in size? It would obviously have to be shot quite carefully to avoid making the Cybermen seem ridiculously tall or, conversely, the Daleks too short; and finally, Martha Jones, to be played by Freema Agyeman, will be the first black female companion. There is nothing wrong with any of these ideas as long as they evolve naturally out of a good script.

Good scripts are currently very scarce in “Doctor Who”. Matt Jones wrote the strongest story this year, with “The Impossible Planet” and ”The Satan Pit”. You could argue even those episodes are highly derivative but when has that not been the case in “Doctor Who”? Jon Pertwee’s first two seasons borrowed unashamedly from “The Avengers”, “Adam Adamant Lives!” and especially the Fifties’ “Quatermass” trilogy, for example. There’s nothing wrong with borrowing intelligently from the best! Tellingly, Matt is the one writer who won’t talk about his work on the show. Could that be because it was tampered with too much by a certain Executive Producer? It didn’t need jokes about Walford, just as the plot of “Army of Ghosts” wasn’t advanced with the inclusion of Peggy Mitchell. Not all of us are slaves to “EastEnders”. Could it be RTD wants us to think of “Doctor Who” as “EastEnders” in space?!! I’ve only ever watched one episode of “EastEnders” and that was because, ironically, it was directed by Graeme Harper, the man at the helm of these closing Cybermen episodes!!!

3 comments:

Paul Greaves said...

I know exactly what you mean. Its difficult to pinpoint exactly what's gone wrong this year. Complacency perhaps?

David Howe has summed it up pretty well on his blog, www.howeswho.co.uk, and my opinions can be found, naturally enough, on mine.

I just get the feeling that the rest of the crew know so little about DW and that RTD is such an untouchable figure at the moment, that no-one has the strength to turn round and say "You know what Russell, that's a terrible idea."

Surround yourself with yes men and it all starts to unravel.

Stuart Douglas said...

Some nice points as usual Tim (although the Walford gag in tSP was the only such reference that worked for me this eyear - because as oyu say, it arose naturally freom the situation).

In theend I suspect I enjoyed this season slightly more than you, but you;re right - RTD does seem to have a list of Stuff Which Hasn't Been Done and he seems determined to go through them all, even when the idea (Daleks v Cyberman) is one which would have been rejecte dout of hand as a book submission (that said, the scene in which the Daleks and Cybermen first met and taunted one another was, I thought, excellent).

I really worry about next year - RTD is clearly not a writer who can stretch himself thinly and still deliver and with Torchwood and SJS Investigates he's going to be stretched further than even a writer as good as everyone seems to think RTD is could manage...

karensff said...

Welcome back! Glad you managed to get a new computer. I had no computer access for a week and it drove me up the wall.

I seem to be the only one that truly enjoyed this series. Admittedly the story lines weren't as strong as last year but I still liked most of them.

As for the last two episodes, I don't watch much television so I didn't see the trailers. The appearance of the Daleks was a complete surprise to me. For me it was one of those jaw dropping moments.

I am looking forward to next year. The Ice Warriors are meant to be making an appearance. And I look forward to seeing the difference between the new companion and Rose. Admittedly the relationship between Rose and the Doctor in the last series set my nerves on edge at times. Occasionally she would seem so needy for his attention. I prefer the relationship between the old companions and the Doctor.

Karen
xxx