Wednesday 23 April 2008

Moving the mountain (off the face of the earth)

And Partners In Crime is completely forgotten. My word this was good.

Soothsayers, volcanoes, underground monsters, stone people, ancient circuitry, moral depth for Donna (who saw that coming?! – I don’t believe you if you say you did…), fabulous actors...

Any shortcomings from the week before, forgotten and gone. This was lovely. Even the water pistol moment was good. In fact, it was far better than that – it was classic Who – it sits alongside offering Jelly Babies and cups of tea, and bamboozling enemies with insults so intelligent that they are still standing scratching their head while their plan is unraveled around them.

This is what I call Doctor Who… at least, what I did when I was little. It was one of those moments that you look for with every new Doctor, the moment where they challenge the previous incumbent’s reputation… Where they mark their path. Introduce their own little quirk to the role. The first moment that Pertwee’s furrowed brow morphed into that cheeky glint in the eye, when Tom Baker’s teeth filled the screen like an Attenborough Shark Special. When Davison adjusted the leek on his lapel and straightened his hair. When McCoy doffed his hat and swung his question-mark-handled brolly. When Colin Baker’s doctor had a break…

The Doctor of agonising choice was back, and boy it was fantastic to watch!

The thing is, this is more of a traditional Doctor Who story than any of the others I’ve seen so far in the “new series”. Until now, there’s been nothing that has created such a chasm and such a choice. Sure, in the last three series we’ve seen a succession of historical characters and settings, from Shakespeare, Queen Victoria and Charles Dickens to the Blitz, but none of them have been based on something obviously historical (albeit with the historical element given that regular, everyday alien conquest twist). And given the success of the last three years, maybe this constituted a risk. But by thunder, just see how that worked!

May be it sounds a little odd to say that its only now that DT’s doctor has made his mark – but I’m saying that from the point of view that everything else that has gone before has been markedly different from the kind of style that occupied the first 25 years of Who… DT made a mark immediately, but it was a complete change – its just not fair to compare some of the sweeping epics of the 1960s-70s to the swift, modern drama we get nowadays. But that doesn’t stop them being the same character, or having the same ethos. But I can’t think where this scale of sacrifice has been challenged. I’ve found something I like about Donna, if she’s going to stay like this – she’s stronger when it comes to challenging thought. But maybe that’s because she’s not distracted by the thought of what is in the Doctor’s pants.

All in all, this was a triumph!

There’s just one thing though: Donna's "TK Maximus" gag... Oh lord.


Andrew said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andrew said...

Yeah, this was proper Who, and then some!! There's no other series that could have all that and the water pistol moment. Sublime.

You go next with Ood!