With effects being what they are these days the results are as if the Who team have spent the last four years in negotiation with Sontar to get their finest, least camera-shy inhabitants to star in this story. I imagine their dedication as they wangle the budget on that. This being the famous Doctor Who budget they probably did it via a low cost option, probably Skype, and paid expenses Earthside but not the interstellar travel on account of them each getting a copy of the DVD box set and personalised action figures of themselves and of anyone that they didn’t like and wanted to shoot.
I’m trying to think of things to say about the plot, but this being part one of two there wasn’t a great deal revealed. It was all quite traditional, which was nice. A companion gets tied up and cloned. There’s things going on in the basement. There’s aliens taking over humans. There’s mystery and there’s UNIT!! Hoorah! All very recognisable and classic Who – what’s not to like?
Loved the Doctor’s anti gun thing, which takes me right back to the playground when me and my mates were taunted by kids who watched the A Team rather than Who. Our superiority was always palpable. (Quite frankly any series where the heroes face a hail, nay, a maelstrom of bullets each week and never ever get hit – not even a bit scratched by shrapnel – is just lame. Mary Whitehouse should have sued its ass because it portrayed a shockingly unrealistic effect of gun use.) All we had to say was ‘Adric’s death’ and they fell silent. They probably didn’t know what we meant, and our superior attitude just confirmed our geekiness. But we knew we were right and we still are. You Whovians of yesteryear; where are you now? I’m sure I’d know where to find you at 6.20 every Saturday if I knew your addresses. Actually we are still in touch, but I’m rubbish at keeping an address book.
Annnnnyway. What to say about the Sontaran Stratagem… Like the idea of the carbon neutral devices; how very now. How very UNIT story too, the planet friendly thing was big during the Pertwee Doctor’s time so that fits. And yes SatNav is evil no matter what you say. I love outwitting their smug, demanding prompts and getting to a turning before they can announce it. They get all tutt-y and say with a very calculated sniff, ‘Recalculating’. This is a device that once got me to a field of cows in Cornwall instead of the Eden Project. Didn’t get the cliff hanger though. What was happening actually? Were all the cars gassing the world? (nice idea) Or what? Dunno. And I giggled (sorry but I did) at the Sontaran dance thing. I suppose funnier things happen before sporting fixtures but I couldn’t help it.
Martha and Donna didn’t fight. Well thank goodness. About time too. I find the ‘I’m in love with the Doctor’ thing distracting from the genius of the prog and I’m glad it’s over now. Don’t you dare do that nonsense with Rose’s return!! Actually I liked it that the only one who was put out was the Doctor, who thought that meeting the ‘ex’ (even though she so wasn’t) was going to be really difficult. Never been sure about this whole Doctor in love thing. Going back a couple of years, I think what made the Madame de Pompadour thing work so well was the Doctor’s yearning. He knows it would never have worked out, and that’s as tragic as not being able to see her again before she died. Here was someone he could relate to, someone he could spark off. She was someone who had walked among his memories and therefore, in a way, knew him intimately. I think he asks her to come with him as a spur of the moment thing and when time catches up with them it’s the realisation that he will never be able to meet anyone to share his whole life with that makes the scene at the end so powerful.
Hmmmm, I feel like digressing further….
Rose… hmmm, I don’t know. I mean, why would he love her any more than Romana, Sarah, Jo, Zoe (all of the above would be on my list of most dateable). Rose was, well, rather stroppy, rather pouty (and that’s no disrespect to Billie Piper who played her perfectly). I wonder if the reason behind him being ‘in love’ with her was that she was the one who saved him from himself after the Time War. I have always been puzzled by the end of Doomsday, and wonder if anyone else was. The Doctor sends Rose and her family over to the alternative Earth. He does it to save them and, although he seems a bit sad to do so, he does it phlegmatically and that’s that. No tears, anxieties, regrets, et al and there you go, she’s gone. She comes back, and he’s pleased but he’s not dancing around like a teenager who thought he’d never see his one and only ever ever again. Then she goes again and it’s like two kids who have to say goodbye to each other at the end of summer camp. No wonder they had to film it on location, cos if they’d done it in the studio they’d have had to wear rubber shoes for fear of electrocution. Never made sense to me. Anyone else?
Oh, and that brat Rattigan. I predict the word ‘comeuppance’ will be employed in this blog by at least one of us next week.