|And there's double Doctor goodness!
| Mine says, "Paterson Joseph, who's he?"
I should state now that if I had written this review after my first viewing, it would be quite different. For the first time since its return in way back in, ooh let me think, 2005 I was disappointed with an episode of DOCTOR WHO. After it finished on Christmas Day I felt down but not because I'd been on a 'high' (and that regularly happens with Who) but because the latest installment of the show, The Next Doctor, didn't make me happy at all. But, thankfully, I watched it again.
Dear Mr. RSC, can David pleased be excused from Hamlet...
Don't get me wrong, there's still a lot wrong with it but overall it did its job and entertained on the most bloated day of the year. As a story, and like last year's Voyage Of The Damned, it doesn't really stay in the mind. Visually there's some great stuff but there's also a lot of repetition and some stuff that doesn't quite come off.
...as all that pumping his co~stars has done him an injury.
In RTD's excellent book The Writer's Tale we were treated to the genesis of this story and how short his time was to finish it. And, by cripes, it shows. Even in the podcast, for the episode, the outgoing show~runner reveals a better ending to it. Too much work for one man? Yes. I'm a huge fan of RTD's stories but this is a case of where his writing is the cause of the flaws in The Next Doctor.
Once we find out that David Morrissey is not the next Doctor (and the audience pretty much guessed that early on) the story becomes a bit of a non~entity. And that's a great pity 'cos the scenes involving the two, as they investigated the dead man's house, were excellent with some lovely direction and some restraint from composer Murray Gold who elected to keep his orchestra silent.
... not long to go for me!
Once the 'mystery', such that it was, disappeared so did my interest. The 'revelation' that his wife had been killed and his son taken was so bleedin'
obvious that I thought I was watching Eastenders
. Very un~
RTD. What was very
RTD was his inclusion of a Dalek reference. Can we please
have some time away from them? This was meant
to be a Cyberman story. Speaking of them (who I prefer over the pepperpots), they came off rather poorly.
Surely we're not counting him as a real Doctor?
Let's examine. Just what the eff
were they doing? Collaborating with some woman who had a strong mind? A woman who, once connected to their 'minds', they then decided wasn't up to the job? What a bunch of numbnuts!
There was no threat from them and how Davey T
managed to keep two of the blighters back with a 'cutlass' is anyone's guess. Speaking of that
woman, Dervla Kirwan
does an excellent job (until she gets Cyber~ed) though I kept thinking she was going to say, "These aren't just any Cyberman..., these are M&S Cybermen"
(For those outside the UK who don't get that, she does an ad on telly for Marks & Spencer
with those lines - my contribution to lazy joke~making.)
Scooby~Doo was surprised when he was asked to don a mask for the production.
But what was
her deal? We got very little insight into her backstory and just why she was doing what she was doing it. More of Hartigan
would have made this story more believable and would have taken our minds away from the 'mystery' a little bit longer. It can't be that Mercy
simply didn't like men, could it? She was also very
reminiscent of the Empress of the Racnoss
from The Runaway Bride
with her red dress and black eyes (another human possession story!) which annoyed me a tad.
This Charming Man
While I'm discussing similarities, and I do so because on two occasions RTD has pulled stories from DW 'cos
they were similar to others in the same series, Jackson Lake
was a re~enactment of Donna
in Journey's End
- a human whose mind has been garbled with that of a Time Lord. Granted it was different for Miss Noble
it was the same (from a narrative point of view). Surprised RTD didn't notice that, seems he only notices that trait in other
Who let the Cyberman into the photo?
Direction~wise, it was a mixed bag for sure. We got some neat angles and handheld stuff during the more intimate scenes but the action scenes did not fare as well. For example, the chase at the start, as highly entertaining as it was, seemed disconnected. The rope that the two Docs clung onto was as rigid as a rigidy
thing yet it clearly flayed from side to side in a wide shot with the Cybershade
running up the wall. And just how they got through the window is another matter. (Too picky? Perhaps but it bloody annoyed me!) Poor execution of a great idea.
It was I who let them know the location of the Endor generator..
And just why did the Cybermen
explode out of existence (thereby finishing the tale neatly) when Hartigan
started screaming at the end? The Doctor
had just stated that their connection was broken. Maybe I missed something but that also irritated me no end. Now, they're have been flaws like that in Doctor Who
before so why mention them now? I mention them now because they're so
noticeable. The Next Doctor
has very little strength in the plot so these little points (that would normally pass me by or become inconsequential) are exaggerated.
Howdy, howdy, howdy...
It didn't seem like a lot of thought (or not as much
as normal I should say) went into this production and after a year of such highs and zero lows it sticks out big
time. I very much doubt that it will be in my festive countdown (coming soon blogites!) of Doctor Who 2008
. I will say that I admire RTD (and the Mill) for creating a huge effin'
robot. I lurve
robots! And huge ones are even better. That was a treat at the end and the CyberKing
was a nice twist. Sadly it blinked out of existence before I got its number. Sniff.
Nice helmet!'Til the next doctor, oops, I mean 'time',C.
Labels: Cyberking, Cybershade, David Morrissey, David Tennant, Dervla Kirwan, Doctor Who, Dr Who 2008 Xmas Special, Dr Who Xmas review, The Next Doctor, The Next Doctor review, Velile Tshabalala