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December 26, 2007
Am I really the only person to have been disappointed by the Doctor Who Christmas special? And consistently so? The first one was too short to successfully develop the myriad of ideas presented; last year's was better, although I was disappointed to see the Santas recycled, and I'm not a fan of Catherine Tate either (could make Series 4 a tough watch); this year's was the most ambitious of the lot, and had evidently had a lot more money thrown at it.
As lavish as the set and CGI were (the CGI particularly was a vast improvement over previous series), and as many big names (Kylie Minogue!) they got for the cast, the writing and the plot turns were, as with most of Russell T. Davies' episodes, quite frankly rubbish. The twist at the end where the baddie has control of the boat's engines and shuts them down remotely defied belief, not least because if that was the case, why did he go to all the elaborate lengths of paying off the captain, controlling the Host, etc.?
The only really nice twist (in the "good" rather than the "nice" sense of the word) was that the bastard stock dealer survived when everyone wanted him dead.
There was too much cheese in the writing, and Kylie's character, Astrid, was so two-dimensional in a 1950s-Sci-Fi-B-Movie kind of way that I almost didn't feel anything when she died. Twice. If it wasn't for David Tennant's masterful portrayal of the Doctor making something good out of a dodgy script I honestly couldn't have given two shits whether Astrid lived or died. Compare this with Davies' handling of Billie Piper's exit at the end of Season 2 whose pathos almost moved me to tears.
So, BBC, please get someone else to write the Christmas specials. Davies does have some great ideas, but they can't be realised in the small time slot allocated to the specials (even this year's longer slot). Ideally, consign Russell T. Davies to a director or executive producer role where he can retain overall creative control and plot direction over the series, but for God's sake stop him writing scripts! His episodes are consistently the weakest in each series, carried more by the strength of his ideas than their generally ham-fisted execution, and it pains me to think of what someone like Steven Moffat, whose episodes have consistently been the best in each series, might have produced.
Good morning, world.
July 26, 2006
And what a good finale it was!
Ok, so I'm a little behind all the cool kids with their goggle–boxes, but I finally got around to watching the series 2 finale of Doctor Who last night (yes, both parts :).
It was a perfectly–executed storyline that didn't suffer from the underdevelopment of many of the recent episodes (the last Christmas Special, and seemingly all of Russell T. Davies' episodes except these two); it was a fanboy's wet dream in terms of bringing both Cybermen and Daleks in, but I feel that this made it slightly over–done. My only criticism, though.
But the ending was so emotional! I knew before I watched the finale that these would be Billie Piper's last episodes, and the ending was such a nice twist (I won't spoil it for anyone that hasn't seen it). But my god, did I have a lump in my throat at the end…
It's such a shame that Rose will no longer be travelling with the Doctor. David Tennant has acted superbly throughout the series (despite my initial qualms at the end of series 1 and following the Christmas Special), and played the bond between the Doctor and Rose much stronger than between Rose and Christopher Eccleston's Doctor. It's also refreshing to see that Billie Piper's acting is infinitely better than her singing.
So, as with the ending of the first series, I'm left wondering if the person stepping into one of the main roles will live up to the high expectations set by the previous. It's not helped by the fact that we have already seen the Doctor's new companion (played by Freema Agyeman) in the finale, and that she died, but I hope Freema does at least half as well as David Tennant at living up to the expectations of so many people.