Enough Bang for our Buck?

Ever since we recorded the review of The Big Bang, slightly influenced by fermented grape juice, I’ve been thinking about the finale. Not in an obsessive way, you understand… I do have a job, and a small dependant-type person. But it sort of comes with the territory that as my friends know me as a fan, I get into conversations with people who can watch the show with other people talking throughout, or while they nip in and out of the room being busy with real life things.

The thing is, I can’t do that. It annoys me intensely if someone talks through something I’ve been waiting to see, and when Doctor Who is on, the only thing I do is watch it. There isn’t much that can’t wait 45 minutes, after all.

But neither do I sit there and drink in every detail and process every misplaced shoelace or wrongly-positioned object. I get caught up in the story and I’m far from ashamed to admit that.

So when it comes to a Steven Moffatt finale… I got lost in it. I don’t mean that I didn’t understand it, just that I went into the world and didn’t come out again until the end theme music started. Having watched it again, yes, I think it was a bit over-complex and could possibly have been stretched over 3 episodes to make the little arc work (let’s face it, amusing as it was, I’d not miss “The Lodger”). But, frankly, I don’t care.

There were holes in the plot – I know. I see them too. But the Doctor is a Timelord. They’re as real as Daleks… it really doesn’t matter that there’s a couple of confusing paradoxes in there.

There are things unresolved – I know. Have you never watched a Steven Moffatt story before? That’s par for the course… Unresolved probably means it will be part of the next season. This is, after all, the chap who brought us River Song 2 YEARS AGO and we still don’t know who the chuffing whatsit she is.

Inconsistencies and contradictions? Hmm. I don’t know. The Moff seems to write scripts where you’re left thinking these are inconsistent or blatant contradictions, but a while down the line, we’re shown the significance. I don’t really see that grumbling about them is of any use. But then, I grew up in the 80s, so this is Doctor Who’s Golden Age of Hollywood compared with some of my childhood memories of bubble perms and talking green slugs. When things contradicted then, it was because they cut the episode together wrong – like that time when the 3rd, 4th, 5th 6th and 7th Doctors all appeared in Albert Square…

What do you mean, that wasn’t a continuity error?   Well, it was definitely some kind of error…

All in all, I don’t care about the problems. I don’t even care that Amy is a character that seems unnaturally cold and unemotional and that nothing has made me really like her except that she’s funny.

I think the sketch we did in Episood 16 (“Childish Things”) highlighted the one that actually bothered me – that the Pandorica plan hatched by the Big Book of Doctor Who Baddies was absolutely rubbish. But then, so is every evil plan hatched by balding master criminals in every James Bond film, and it’s still very easy to enjoy them without worrying about it. Which is exactly what I did.

My point being that is doesn’t really matter in any significant way…  I know we on the Ood Cast are usually ridiculously enthusiastic about the show, and it doesn’t matter whether the episodes are top-notch or middling rubbish – we still love it.  But being a bit more level-headed about it here – the episodes that people will undoubtedly judge the Moff’s first season on – it did what everyone wanted: it surprised, entertained, scared (the stone dalek was brilliant – finally there seems to be an end to the ridiculous flying swarms of them) and tied a few things up.  Not everything, but that’s a reason to keep watching rather than whine about it, surely?

And apart from anything else…  Egyptian godesses?  Orient Express?  In Space?  Anyone fancy opening a book on whether we’re about to see “Pyramids of Mars II: Mastaba and Commander”?! (*FULL credit and huge thanks to Mr Ian Smith for that title*)

As long as the time tunnels in this one aren’t London Underground tunnels, sounds like it’ll be great!

Oh, and did we mention I predicted the Fez….?  OK, OK, I’ll stop now.

Comments 9

  1. As a Patrick O’Brian fan I’d like to thank you & Mr Ian Smith for the Mastaba and Commander joke. I wondered if that last part might have been a joke about the Christmas teasers RTS used to produce – maybe as a cross between “Voyage of the Damned” and “The Unicorn and the Wasp”.

    I like time paradoxes and I think Moffatt missed an opportunity to reference a classic one. The post-it note from the Pandorica. He took the original then wrote a copy to take back and put into place. He should have saved paper and reused the original! This paradox of a note looping through time and apparently never actually written was used by Harry Harrison in his “Technicolor Time Machine”.

    Great podcast series everybody. I’m looking forward to your future projects.

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    I saw it this morning. I’m sure we’ll discuss this when the cast are back in a studio come the autumn, but my initial thoughts were: Michael Gambon, great! Oh no, Katherine Jenkins…

    But have to trust the Moff… It’s not like either Katherine Jenkins is an instantly recognisable celebrity or that the show needs celebrity appearances to boost ratings, so she must be able to do something worth casting her.

    And also, I suppose she’s not altogether horrible to look at, is she?

    Draculasaurus: Thanks! I hope you’ll stick around for the summer too…

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    It’ll be weekly – maybe more if I can find the time (and if others are able to join in).

    It’ll never be observational arquebus… more of an aquabus – sort large, slow and clumsy if you know what I mean!

  4. I discovered and listened to the casts *after* the series had ended. Very amusing to hear how many “wild guesses” :o) were correct. Especially the fez. Was that something you’d seen in a costume report?

    PS discovered you via your Two-minute time lord two minutes. See it *was* worth the effort.

  5. Thanks for this Chris. I found the series story-wise wasn’t quite what I expected (loved Girl in the Fireplace) and I was sure I wasn’t going to like Matt Smith. But the quality of the writing and the quality of his acting in particular made this much more “Who” than anything in the last couple of series. I grew up on the end of Pertwee (Spiders from Mars/Green Death etc) and so was introduced to Tom Baker who could be mad, serious and fun. The Moff and Matt have made this a similar mixture. I hope that the response of the audience and getting past this intro series gives them the confidence to write more careful narratives instead of lots of running and shouting. My favourite episode from this series was probably Vincent (despite the silly monster) or the first part of the finale. I look forward to further reflections. Well done with the Fez. Interesting to see what you predict for the next run.

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    Nope, the Fez thing was definitely not from reading costume reports or anything – I have no idea if they’d even filmed the episode then! I don’t think any of us read the rumours etc that appear on forums. I don’t even watch the Confidentials – and I think I talked about that in our last review… I really don’t care how they make the effects, just that it’s great on the screen… 🙂

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