Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Partners in Crime

That was fun.

And possibly the best first episode to a new Doctor Who season. Even better than Rose I think. Certainly better than New Earth.

Plus Donna is back and Catherine Tate is absolutely brilliant. After all these mysterious women of recent seasons, I miss Donna. She's an ordinary woman who can cope with extraordinary things. She doesn't pine after the Doctor. She's just one of us, with superb comic timing and great chemistry with David Tennant from the off.

They've turned her down a bit since The Christmas Invasion, which helps I think. But I can't say often enough how much of a breath of fresh air Donna is.

She also seems to bring the best out of David Tennant too who is rather good in this episode, where the threat never seems as terrible as we are meant to think it is. Perhaps because the Adipose are so cute and partly because the one person we see die by Adipose, poor old Stacey (Jessica Gunning), pops out of existence in a less than terrifying manner.

The tone of the episode is pretty light, with the exception of the little bit at the end where a familiar face appears (briefly). Which I think is ideal for a first episode of a new season introducing a new companion.

The main villain is Ms. Foster (Sarah Lancashire) who is an intergalactic super-nanny right down to the 'serious spectacles'. Seeding the Earth is her plan. The Adipose are pretty much innocent as they're just children. How much their parents know is moot but they're certainly ruthless enough about loose ends to eliminate Ms. Foster, which is possibly the only off-tone moment in the whole episode. Sarah Lancashire does a fine job with the part, which isn't surprising really. She certainly seems to be enjoying herself.

There's obviously a completely different set of gun control laws in the Doctor Who version of the UK as Ms. Foster has two security guards happily swinging around huge guns with impunity, which I think is a little unlikely in the office of a diet company. However, that's just one of those minor little quibbles that I find I can pick at without getting too upset about.

Also bonus points for the introduction of Bernard Cribbins as Wilfred Mott (Donna's granddad) who is absolutely brilliant. Plus Jacqueline King does well as Sylvia, Donna's Mum, even if she is a bit of a soap opera nagging wife/mother cliché for most of it.

There's not much else to add really except to say that I haven't enjoyed an episode of Doctor Who so much for ages.

Here's hoping for more of that in Series 4.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Doctor Lad

Firstly let me say that I enjoyed 'The Crimson Horror' for the most part. Nicely atmospheric and some good performances but...and this is a big but...when did the Doctor become just another 'bloke'. When did he go from no hanky-panky in the TARDIS to Rose Tyler to sex pest?

Because that's kind of what he's becoming. Lots of touching, without consent. Snogging Jenny, without consent.

When did he become the kind of bloke that looks at a woman's arse and gets all flustered by it? The Doctor is not, should not and can not be 'just another lad'. What next beer, football and porn mags? (And I say that as a man that likes beer and football.) Has the Doctor got a Nuts subscription?

Now I'm aware that when Doctor Who came back it had to be a more emotionally connected programme. That's one thing. But recently he's become an intergalactic stalker and frankly, it's all a bit weird.

Women are not all puzzles to be solved by clever men. Though recent companions would appear to make you think otherwise.

Now I know some of you may think I'm over-reacting. I can see the defense for the Doctor's non-consensual kiss of Jenny: it's a spontaneous reaction to him being rescued but that's still wrong because 1) it's not consensual 2) he knows she's a lesbian and 3) she's a married lesbian. What's next the Doctor suggesting a quick shag to knock Jenny out of the phase she's going through? That she just needs to the right 'bloke' to sort her out.

I can hear the whinges about me being tediously politically correct.

And perhaps I am but when I were a lad I looked up to the Doctor. He was a paragon of virtue. Doing the right thing, even if it cost him everything. His companions were his friends. Yes, there's an element of 'for the Dad's' about the some of the female companions throughout the series but it wasn't the Doctor's job to comment on that. He wasn't standing there looking at Leela's arse. (Mainly because she'd have stabbed him to death with a Janis thorn). Or standing behind Zoe playing with his sonic bloody screwdriver.

Basically, when I was young the Doctor's behavior had an effect - even if it was just a small one - on how I saw the world. So what lessons would a young man (or young woman) watching the present series be picking up?

To paraphrase a friend, we are a long, long way from the Doctor's "You're a beautiful woman, probably" to the present day.

So to end this rant. Please stop it. The Doctor isn't a lad. He isn't 'just another bloke' trolling around the Universe picking up puzzles to solve and arses to letch at. He's an alien. A man from another planet.

And to quote the First Doctor he should always remember that he is "A citizen of the Universe and a gentleman to boot."