...which makes this, oh, about nine months early for the bulk of the season, but the Christmas Special is series seven, so...
I want mah Doctor Who.
Well, colour me impressed with that Christmas Special. I'm normally fairly ambivalent about them, but it was a pretty straightforward, overly sentimental christmas tale.
Was surprised Bailey and Armstrong were not in it as much as their billing indicated, but Skinner and the kids were ace. Very cool.
Though that Sherlock trailer at the end was just weirdly short. :)
I was a little bit worried early on as the pacing lagged and I thought it was trying a little too hard, but the episode built steam as it went on, and I was very into it by the end. Not as good as A Christmas Carol (which was extraordinary), but I'd argue it's better than the other Christmas specials.
Not as good as A Christmas Carol, which is in a class of its own, but still a very strong episode. I never thought that the guy who did Coupling would be making me tear up at Christmas specials, but here we are. I guess that it sort of helps that Christmas, in its broadest cultural sense, is a kind of celebration of what The Doctor is all about. Although, he does take it a bit farther than brotherhood between men all the way to brotherhood between consciousnesses.
Just finally watched this. I got problems.
--The story was pretty thin. I believe budget has become a real issue, but still, it was too straightforward a story for a full-length Christmas special. It was really just a padded regular episode.
--I'm not sure what the point of linking it to The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe was--A Christmas Carol was an actual reinvention of the Dickens story, using the themes and ideas in clever ways, whereas this just borrowed some of the imagery from C. S. Lewis to no real purpose--but if they were going to do it, surely the TARDIS should have played the role of the wardrobe? I mean, he even said it was the wardrobe, but then it was the Christmas present that became the portal to the other world. That seemed like it was going to be the whole point of doing a TLTWATW pastiche.
--Why the hell was the Doctor doing all this anyway? I mean, I know it would be nice to believe he travels the universe, randomly sending kids on delightful adventures, but there's too many kids out there for even a Time Lord to personally play Santa to all of them, so presumably there was some other order of business and treating the kids was just a nice afterthought. So...what the hell was it? If it was just a "thank you" to the mom for helping them, he went about it in a pretty bizarre way, especially considering that he never actually met the kids.
--The biggest problem: if you're going to spend an hour trying to squeeze pathos from the story of a widow not being able to tell her kids their father died, don't have the father turn up alive and well at the end. That honestly makes me a little angry. Yes, it was framed in a rather clever way, but emotionally it was an enormous copout. It smacks of the often nonsensical "and then everything magically worked out for the best" endings of the Russell T. Davies era.
I agree that the story was thin. And overall this wasn't one of my favorite specials despite, the nod to Warhammer 40K.
But the last few scenes really, really got me. I'm going to be really sad when the time comes for Amy and Rory to go for good.
Unless you are prepared to back up this vile calumny with a composer's knowledge, I am afraid I shall have to demand satisfaction, suh!
Daleks at 15 paces!
In all seriousness, what is it you don't like about his work? I've listened to all the music for series 1 through 5 and the specials and I've loved almost everything he's done. The shows tend to re-and over- use his themes, but I'm not certain that's his fault.
I've never really understood the Murray Gold criticisms myself. The worst I can say about him is that his scores are a bit on the nose and 'big,' like he's trying desperately to be John Williams, but that never really struck me as 'inept.' Maybe it's because I came into Doctor Who with Ecclestone.
That's a bit like saying "the worst you can say about the Pacific ocean is that it's a bit moist."
He's a screamingly unsubtle composer who's devoid of any kind of melodic invention; he just swipes from John Williams, as mentioned, and cranks the volume up to eleven. And I'm usually the last guy to complain about the score in movies and TV, but Gold makes it impossible not to be annoyed, especially on this, a show that frequently fails to earn its emotional beats, and relies on the score to tell you how you're supposed to be feeling. Or to scream it in your ear every moment something happens. To be fair, this was worse during the Davies years, when there was often NOTHING to the stories being told except a hamfisted attempt at cheap sentiment; Davies needed Gold to make his halfassed scripts work at all, so I guess he got used to bearing the load. He hasn't been as bad lately, since Moffat and co. are writing scripts with actual substance and the music tends to feel more earned, but this script started falling into a lot of the bad habits of NuWho, and Gold's flop-sweat started to come out again.
Not TV news, but IDW is publishing a Doctor Who / Star Trek TNG crossover comic in May.
I haven't thought about TNG since First Contact, but man I used to be a huge trek nerd. This sounds like it could be bad fan-fic, but count me in just to see The Doctor drive Picard up the wall.
Super excited. I'm very very lucky that even episodes most people consider mediocre really get me excited. There's always a concept or a system in place that's neat enough or imaginative enough that I don't really have "bad" episodes.
I actually didn't mind the pirates episode and have revisited it since original broadcast. The only episode from season six that I've not been able to watch again is "Night Terrors". I know that it was the necessary "Let's save the budget here so we can use it later" episode but, with the vile "Victory Of The Daleks" episode already under his belt from the previous season (I loathe that episode), I'm starting to believe that myself and Mark Gatiss would have a fist fight if left in the same room together.
One credit I'd give to the Moffat era is that I haven't found an episode yet I'd be terrified to rewatch. There hasn't been a Rose or an Aliens of London or a Fear Her yet for me.
Yeah, even the weakest Moffat-era episodes are a huge improvement on the worst of the Davies era. And many of the best.
The pirate episode, as lame as it was, at least ended by introducing a team of space pirates. SPACE PIRATES!!! And their return later on during the Battle of Demon's Run was pretty kickass. In a way, they were just getting interesting when Curse of the Black Spot ended.
I think the excited whimsical attitude of the Doctor and the Companions, and the CONSTANT switching up of story elements and endless driving forward momentum of the plot masks what would otherwise be a bad episode. The pirate ship episode never came off as specifically cheap, it always LOOKS nice, and the monster of the week is always presenting something new and interesting about itself so I was never bored and thinking to myself "this is boring and lame". The Doctor is always saying or doing something interesting, and Amy and Rory and The Doctor are always SUPER STOKED to be living a pirate adventure.
That's what I love so much about Doctor Who, they take the time to appreciate how absurdly cool and awesome what they're doing is. In fact, it's the point of their adventures. The monsters so often have this wonderful childlike reality to them, for example the Angels or The Silence remind of the "don't step on a crack on the sidewalk", or "don't touch the lava floor!" games we all played as children. There's a whimsy and achild like sense of fun to everything. Doctor Who captures that feeling of being a kid on an adventure better than Super 8 does.
Bringing this back, because my favorite alt weekly paper just posted this blasphemous ranking of the contemporary doctor's companions:
Donna? No. Just no.
Also his reasoning for not listing River Song would discount Jack too.
Attempting to fuck an alien the night before your wedding with zero regard for your fiancee's feelings counts as mean-spirited and selfish to me. She's improved, but she has treated Rory like shit a lot during her time on the show.
See, that's the thing, if they were talking about the beginning of her run, I'd understand, but her relationship with Rory only got better pretty much ever since he joined them, so why are they talking like she's recently become some giant asshole? I feel like I missed an episode or something. Also: fuck it. The Ponds should be number 1 on that list. Together.
Come on. So she tried to jump the Doctor. It's the context that counts.
She was already an orphan. So she already had abandonment issues. Then she meets this magical space guy that in turn abandons her too. So add that to the pile. Then the night before what is by itself one of the most nerve wracking days of her life, magical space guy re-appears. And don't forget that until it was demanded of him to be extraordinary, Rory was kind of a goober.
I bet a big majority of women would entertain the thought of doing what she did and a not insignificant amount would also act upon these thoughts.
I liked Donna because for once during the revived run we had a companion who wasn't all moon-eyed with awe/repressed lust over the Doctor. She was pretty much a foil, which was kind of refreshing.
Catherine Tate was also pretty hilarious in that role. She was the one companion from the Davies run that I really loved. I liked that she was the annoying lady that had a bunch of Precious Moments dolls all over her house, that she wasn't hip AT ALL. Her arc was more in fitting with the spirit of the show, too: she was a totally mediocre person who was mediocre because no one ever let her know that she could be more than mediocre.
I don't mind Donna in theory, and I really like Catherine Tate, but I was getting fairly sick of Davis run by then, mid-pack for me.
That. Unless you mean in the actual intercourse sense, which then, no. My least favorite companion, easily.
Rory in the #1 spot.
That August thing is a television festival in Scotland, they are showing the first episode at the festival. I don't believe there are any official dates yet from the BBC. Some think September will be when it starts, the first few episodes up to the Christmas special.
Agreed that Donna was a breath of fresh air. I was heartily sick of Davies' endless Mary Sue-ism at that point, and Donna helped bring things down to Earth a bit. It helps that that was arguably Davies' best overall season (though that's not saying all that much).
Yeah, I've been doing a re-watch of the whole series with some friends who've never seen it, and it kinda surprised me how anxious I've been to get to Donna. Martha was a lot more annoying than I remembered her, and thank God "Blink" was in the middle of season 3, otherwise nearly the whole thing would be a wash.
Donna is my favourite ever companion(I've only watched the revamp series though, so best of the revamp companions), wish she could have come back instead of Amy Pond - very happy I don't have to put up with Amy Pond soon.
Yes to this. Martha was also an intelligent companion, then apparently got a lobotomy. Total waste of a good character, and actress.
Loved it in the first episode, then they tried (again) to spin her off into her own show. What little I saw of the later (plus SJS's subsequent appearances in Who) seemed even more schmaltzy than Who.