Thursday, February 8, 2007

For fuck's sake..

I would just like to make the next announcement.

The next person I meet who gives a rant as to how shithouse series two is and how it's gone to the dogs, I will murder in cold blood.

Don't say you were warned.

Now, that wholy remarkable book, The Completely Useless Encyclopedia, notes that fandom is a curious beast and that every fan decides that the current output of the show is crap, not half as good as it was x years ago. Despite the fact they said the exact same thing x years ago, when the show was crap and not half as good as it was y years ago, before they were born or even watching. Now, the reissue of TCUE rips the shit out of series two on many occasions but this is forgivable as a) they did the exact same thing to every other era and b) the book was specifically about them ripping the shit out of new stuff.

However, the number of "official" intellectual fans who are banging on about how Doctor Who is doomed bugs me. Especially as they were all screaming that this was the best TV one year earlier. Mike Morris - MIKE MORRIS! My guru, the bloke who's tossed around ideas inspire me to create story arcs! The guy who was impressed by my analysis of Planet of Fire! Who, unless he's reviewed a story, I refuse to comment on! A guy whose opinion I respect - has given two rants about the second series and Christmas special, and as for Kaldor "Subtext, you moron, SUBTEXT" City...

I'd just like to sum up the general criticism.

1) The new stuff is crap.
See my comment on this being part of being a fan.

2) David Tennant isn't half as good as I was expecting.
Bollocks. He just isn't what you were expecting, which is entirely different. Everyone points to shows where he plays gritty serious characters and goes, "Ah! THAT'S how he should play it!" Steven Moffat famously decided Tennant had the right stuff when he played Carlisle in Blackpool... a character who, on paper, was just like the Ninth Doctor as played by Christopher Eccleston. Is it any wonder he plays it differently, rather than aiming for redoing his Cassanova or Carlisle or Fergus the Looney?

The fact is, David Tennant's Doctor is frankly, better for the show. There. I said it. Put the gun down, bitch, I ain't finished. Chris Eccleston was ... let's just say it... fantastic. The Ninth Doctor was brilliant. He shoulda stayed longer. Etc. But the fact is the Ninth Doctor couldn't last. An untrustworthy, morally-bankrupt character who can barely stay sane WITH a beautiful blonde teenager isn't going to work in the long run, and this is supposed to be a children's HERO!

Imagine Eccleston in Attack of the Graske. It wouldn't work. You wouldn't risk stepping aboard the TARDIS with him at the helm! You saw what happened to the last two, both abandoned without a second thought and given lots of crap in the meantime! The Ninth Doctor could screw up, get you killed, give up... arguably, that makes him the more interesting character, but, remember this sport's fans. Doctor Who is for kids. The ideal role model is not and never will be a bloke who wanders round threatening people with big fucking guns EVEN if he was never going to use it. The show itself said this guy wasn't up to it. That's why Rose was there, to make him better, to get us back/forward to David Tennant. It was the story of how the Doctor found his groove.

The Tenth Doctor is called smug, irritating, etc. But remember, the fictional character of the Doctor is having one of the best times of his ENTIRE life. He is happy! He's travelling with his best friend, having so much fun, who cares about what caused that hole in time or what "torch wood" means! And he pays for that. Like the fifth Doctor, the Tenth's confidence in himself was shattered when he lost his friend. Forever. And on top of that, he immediately started to devolve back to the harsher character before he met her - which is exactly what Rose BEGGED him not to!

Now the Doctor is trying to get on WITHOUT the massive blonde with the cute teeth... or visa versa. Now he's on the look out for repeated memes, trying not to let himself go ape shit and brutally abort spider babies. He's evolving as a character. Which is what the Ninth Doctor did. The only difference is, this one has more time to do it with.

He's the first Doctor since McCoy to have that chance as a given.

3) God damn it, Rose is a smug bitch!
Now, there IS some evidence to this and unsurprisingly it comes from the worse script in Series Two - The Idiot Lantern. Where, after losing a mother, a father and her boyfriend, who she only realized seconds before saying goodbye how rude she'd been to, how cruelly she'd treated him... and she's over it. Totally.

Would it have been so difficult to shove in a few lines? Have the trip to see Elvis a desperate attempt by the Doctor to make Rose smile again? Have the last scene with the toast also have Rose saying she'll not dwell in misery because Mickey would hate that?

Of course, this isn't ENTIRELY Gattis' fault. RTD grunted, "People move on" in justification and Gattis maybe thought TIL was set years after Rise of the Cybermen. Hell, TIL was, in the original running order, right after The Runaway Bride, which saw Rose... getting over Mickey. Yeah, she was pissed off when Mickey joined but look at all the reasons:

a) now Mickey will be in danger every time the TARDIS lands
b) it's not like Adam or Jack ended up happy
c) she thinks she'll have to live with "No, it's RICKY!" arguments
d) the Doctor asked her opinion as an afterthought
e) she won't be able to flirt with the Doctor any more...

And then she pulls herself together and gives Mickey the tour of the fifty-first century, getting a new hairdo, a tight T-shirt, and wrapping her arms around him every chance she gets!

The fact is, Rose is not so bad out of context. The trouble is we see her in The Christmas Invasion (were her confidence vanishes completely); New Earth (where she's possessed by a bitch); Tooth and Claw (where she is SUPPOSED to be smug); School Reunion (when she is SUPPOSED to be a bitch); The Girl in the Fireplace (where she is SUPPOSED to be a bitch); and Rise of the Cybermen (where she is SUPPOSED to be a bitch).

Imagine if Love and Monsters had been shown instead of TIL. When we see Rose as a hurt girl determined to protect her mother at any costs, and forgives Elton when she learns he's lost both the girl he loves and his mother. It makes sense.

If Rose WAS such a bitch, then I remind you of:
- wishing Cassandra luck
- calming down Flora
- inviting Sarah Jane aboard
- urging Tommy to reconcile with his father
- pulling together the team of SB6
- forgiving Elton
- trying to get Sec to exterminate her to save Mickey's life
- realizing that the Doctor won't cope without her.

She was willing to abandon everything she cared about for the man she loved. To sacrifice her life to stop evil. To risk brain damage to save a hospital full of hypocritical cats.

4) Torchwood is a crap arc
Indeed it is. Explaining what the word means on its second appearance is not good. Exploring the beginning of it in its third is dumb.

But the thing is, Bad Wolf was a mystery. Torchwood isn't. The Doctor's total ignorance of the organisation is a statement in itself! It's like the first episode of Destiny of the Daleks - we all know who's going to be behind the strange radioactive drilling, just as we know who's behind British Alien Defence. The Doctor doesn't. We can see him walking to his doom and, like in Earthshock, the niave cheer makes the crushing defeat all the worse.

However, all the signs are the Saxon arc will be better. Hopefully, the Doctor will actually try to find out who he is, much like Angel going on the offensive the moment he twigs that Wolfram and Heart are getting mixed up in his business. The fact the seeds have been sown in two different shows also says something.

Bad Wolf asked us "what is that?" Torchwood asked us "when will they come after the Doctor?"

5) Crap continuity
Yep. But look at the evidence! Read the pitch document for series one - everything makes sense, it all fits together neatly and the episodes happen the same way as we ultimately saw them. If RTD had stuck to his original outline, series two would have gone:

New Earth
The Girl in the Fireplace
School Reunion
Rise of the Cybermen
The Age of Steel
The Runaway Bride
The Impossible Planet
The Satan Pit
The Idiot's Lantern
Love and Monsters
Fear Her
Army of Ghosts
Doomsday
Tooth and Claw - the Christmas special where the ending would be a twist, the Doctor creating the very organization that just wrecked his life!

So the message to RTD is - first guess is the best.

Thankfully, Martha's intro suggests there will be a rigid order to Series Three.

6) It's childish now
No, you're just not being distracted by Slitheen flatulence and burping bins and vomit ice cubes.

7) It shows the total decline of western values that RTD is now doing 'play it safe'
Name one show that decides to tamper with a winning formula. Go on. Is 24 going to abandon the real time element? Supernatural forget the ghosts? The Bill focus on the plight of the Natterjack Toad?

This all reeks of the people who rubbished Season 17, then JNT and went back.

8) The music is too loud
Then fuck off. I don't want to talk to you no more you empty headed animal.

13 comments:

Colin said...

I think I agree with every word of that. And the original season order makes a hell of a lot more sense.

Jared "No Nickname" Hansen said...

Well, as we all know I have some reservations about new DW, but unusually I prefer Series 2 to the first one... of course I think this is for one main reason.

The whole Eccleston issue... I don't like him. At all. He is the only Doctor who actively gets on my tits. I think the reason may be the very reasons that you've listed for liking him, though. Yes, he is dark and gritty and dripping with attitude and is a brilliant character for a mordern drama... but just doesn't gel with anything we'd seen of the Doctor so far. Okay, maybe I'd like the character in some other show - after all when Robbie Coltrane is an arrogant prick and nevertheless stuffs everything up in Cracker I enjoy it. But when the Doctor starts doing the same thing? Not so much.

As to the individual points:

1) Absolutely every fan of every series has this complaint and it pisses me off. The Star Wars Prequels are at least as good, Red Dwarf Series 8 kicks ass and Futurama just got better. Now fuck off.

2) I thought David Tennant would be crap. He turned out to be very good.

My only issue is with the writing - I was hoping for a Doctor that was truly different to Eccleston. Because as is there's no reason to think that the Doctor isn't a bi-polar schizophrenic who runs around at high-speed everywhere he goes, talks even faster and shrieks nonsensical pop-culture references 24/7.

That and that Tennant's been given so many scenes where has to yell out stuff to himself, which is hard to play without a little gurning...

3) Again, writing, as you said. I have to say I found Rose pretty insufferable this season. Like when she seemed to have had her brain sucked out and was calmly telling the Doctor they could just get a house and a mortgage together in the year 300-thousand something after escaping the unescapable planet. *Cough* Insanebitch *Cough!*

4) I say they were both crap arcs. Bad Wolf maintained viewer interest but the actual pay-off was terrible. The fact that all the clues to the mystery were completely meaningless as it was just a random phrase Rose stumbled across made it all a colossal waste of time, IMO. Especially since RTD sold it as a mystery viewers could solve if they were clever enough.

Torchwood? If there was anything impressive about the actual organisation it could have worked. But Torchwood were completely underwhelming and ended up being next to irrelevant as the Cybermen and Daleks trampled all over them in plot terms.

5) Oh, yeah. Shocking. But still, this is DW we're talking about. State of Decay and Vengeance on Varos were scripts that had been lying around the production office for years!

6) Hahahahaha! Zarking froods.

7) Hmmm - if this complaint refers to the seeming 'formula' of stories being used (Year 5 billion story then historical celeb story, etc) then I agree it works against the premise of the show.

BUT if you mean people complaining that the main character is now no-longer passive-agressive, twisted, obsessed with revenge and borderline psychotic... they need to get a grip on themselves. It's like people who complain Hinchcliffe wasn't producing long enough - the question remains: just how many dark, gothic stories can you WANT from the show?

8) That is pedantic. I'm more concerned with the quality of the music than the volume, but it's all secondary to a good story.

My vote? All music to be done by Rob D.

Youth of Australia said...

"I think I agree with every word of that."
Thanks, man.

"And the original season order makes a hell of a lot more sense."
I know. Of course, I still believe if you watch it

New Earth
Tooth and Claw
The Idiot's Lantern
The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit
Fear Her
School Reunion
Girl in the Fireplace
Rise of the Cybermen/Age of Steel
Love and Monsters
Army of Ghosts/Doomsday

it makes more sense.

Youth of Australia said...

"Well, as we all know I have some reservations about new DW"
Yeah, but you aren't saying your word is gospel truth. Just your opinion.

I see where you're going with Eccleston. I think he was cool, but yeah, we agree the Ninth Doctor was not the best.

"1) Absolutely every fan of every series has this complaint and it pisses me off."
THANK YOU! However, I think RD 7 was the worst piece of sit com ever perpetrated on British televsion.

"2)My only issue is with the writing - I was hoping for a Doctor that was truly different to Eccleston."
Yeah, it's obvious quite a few scripts were written for Eccleston and not changed.

"3)Like when she seemed to have had her brain sucked out and was calmly telling the Doctor they could just get a house and a mortgage together"
Billie Piper said she could only play that scene by thinking Rose WAS actually in total denial at that point.

"4) I say they were both crap arcs."
Well, fair enough.

At least it didn't involve Adam, the Eighth Doctor, time loops and the Master.

Especially since RTD sold it as a mystery viewers could solve if they were clever enough.
Not sure he did that. Heck, the rest of the production team were saying "What hell are you on about?" during the writing process.

"Torchwood? If there was anything impressive about the actual organisation it could have worked."
I agree, but the basic concept of an evil area 51-UNIT isn't bad. Heck, I predicted it myself in my guides, except called Geocomtex.

"5) State of Decay and Vengeance on Varos were scripts that had been lying around the production office for years!"
And The Long Game is a script dating back to 1983...

"7) Hmmm - if this complaint refers to the seeming 'formula' of stories being used"
Uh, no it wasn't. And the Year 5 billion story isn't going to be an annual event, Davies has been misquoted because it's the Face of Boe trilogy, ie, one in each year. Not quite the same thing as an annual event. Course he might have changed his tune now a fourth series ic confirmed.

"BUT if you mean people complaining that the main character is now no-longer passive-agressive, twisted, obsessed with revenge and borderline psychotic..."
Yeah.

"It's like people who complain Hinchcliffe wasn't producing long enough - the question remains: just how many dark, gothic stories can you WANT from the show?"
This is the same producer who gave us Android Invasion, The Hand of Fear, the Face of Evil...

"8) That is pedantic."
I agree. Besides, when you watch it on DVD, the sound is fine.

"I'm more concerned with the quality of the music than the volume"
Good. I mean, no one I know says 'the music is crap' which WOULD be worth complaining about. I mean, there's been nothing like Timelash or even The Sea Devils...

"My vote? All music to be done by Rob D."
I trust you. You got my vote, Mr D.

Anonymous said...

[url=http://www.cicoach.us/]http://www.cicoach.us/[/url] nngrv [url=http://www.abercrombieaff.us/]http://www.abercrombieaff.us/[/url] gfzuq [url=http://www.opopoloralphlauren.us/]polo ralph lauren[/url] evvuj [url=http://www.opuggoutlet.us/]button boots[/url] sijbq [url=http://www.opuggoutlet.us/]button boots[/url] xszjl

Anonymous said...

almost stands not stabilizing ghd straighteners.
Not only Slytherin there fryer north face outlet.
lBio but because the mood is different ghd hair straighteners.
4eMbg 2qMng ghd sale uk

Anonymous said...

[url=http://www.chaussurelouboutinsale.com/]louboutin chaussures[/url] ylkdk [url=http://www.monclerfemmefrsale.org/]moncler doudoune[/url] kbuyo [url=http://www.burberryhommefrsale.org/]burberry[/url] alzdv [url=http://www.abercrombiefrancesale.com/]abercrombie and fitch[/url] fnkqg

Anonymous said...

qIyt michael kors outlet
dJvn styler ghd
xSet north face winter coats
1tYtr ugg boots
3zBvl michael kors outlet

Anonymous said...

6eEtb ghd australia
dZym ugg store
aAnq michael kors purses
0yEpf GHD Australia
2uYdj burberry purses
0cLla ugg pas cher
9lGoi ghd
5xFbf louis vuitton sale
5cBhu Michael Kors
2sEeo ghd cheap
5pTmo cheap uggs
0oWor cheap nfl jerseys
0jCce michael kors outlet
7fYio Lisseur GHD
2aMni discount uggs

Anonymous said...

online payday loan http://2applyforcash.com/ idenidsTumInpup [url=http://www.2applyforcash.com]payday loans online[/url] LofirofsHusHila payday loans online Instant Payday Loans Online The ads do not pay extremely high not getting the facts about the catholic church.This signifies that the empower network system saves the user from any kind of writers to provide online content for them, but it should be noted that not all of these websites are available to non-american citizens.

Anonymous said...

[url=http://monclerbransonfr.org/]doudoune moncler[/url] sdpbv [url=http://vetementsburberryfr.org/]burberry homme[/url] bclpq [url=http://ventepriveeuggfr.com/]http://ventepriveeuggfr.com/[/url] pbpoj [url=http://vesteabercrombiefr.org/]abercrombie france[/url] bnnzt

Anonymous said...

RugRgs [url=http://onnrainnmcm.com/#35298]MCM 通販[/url] FpoCns http://onnrainnmcm.com/ OxyJdq [url=http://mcmsenmon.com/#05592]MCM 長財布[/url] FhhDtu http://mcmsenmon.com/ XtkAky [url=http://ninnkimcm.com/#14947]MCM 店舗[/url] GbtTlq http://ninnkimcm.com/ FitCcs [url=http://kaidokumcm.com/#42042]MCM 通販[/url] NofUwq http://kaidokumcm.com/ ArxIwn [url=http://manzokumcm.com/#95800]MCM 長財布[/url] IspZac http://manzokumcm.com/ HnxFab http://chloenihon.com/ FciVqj [url=http://chloenihon.com/]クロエ 通販[/url] FbhI http://toumikousin.com/ ApgPJ [url=http://toumikousin.com/]TUMI 26108[/url] LamMnQ http://toumikakaku.com/ LfrPoLM [url=http://toumikakaku.com/]tumi[/url] EheWju [url=http://mcmhannbai.com/]MCM リュック[/url] SskVxz [url=http://mcmhannbai.com/]MCM 通販[/url]

Anonymous said...

MdtDvt [url=http://onnrainnmcm.com/#95958]MCM キーケース[/url] GhwQwz http://onnrainnmcm.com/ RxiCji [url=http://mcmsenmon.com/#90142]MCM 通販[/url] RluAdv http://mcmsenmon.com/ XhbWmj [url=http://ninnkimcm.com/#34583]MCM 店舗[/url] FkvAmp http://ninnkimcm.com/ TrbWmd [url=http://kaidokumcm.com/#10626]MCM 長財布[/url] ZktKao http://kaidokumcm.com/ HzdFvy [url=http://manzokumcm.com/#21461]MCM[/url] LxzBhf http://manzokumcm.com/ WxkAdj http://chloenihon.com/ YcqMif [url=http://chloenihon.com/]クロエ 通販[/url] TtzB http://toumikousin.com/ HciOE [url=http://toumikousin.com/]TUMI 店舗[/url] EnrRdG http://toumikakaku.com/ VcpPrKA [url=http://toumikakaku.com/]TUMI 26114[/url] WuaDvf [url=http://mcmhannbai.com/]MCM ショルダー[/url] RluGkd [url=http://mcmhannbai.com/]MCM 長財布[/url]