Doctor Doctor Who Guide

The latest episode of Doctor Who was I am sad to say a little disappointing.

I like a fart gag as much as the next guy. No doubt RTD imagined that kids will be letting rip and declaring themselves aliens in playgrounds up and down the country. School rooms will reverberate to 'Sorry miss, i can't help it i'm a slyltheen'. Fine a throw away line, a quick laugh and be done with it. But for god sakes, it went on and on. I can understand RTD's desire to lighten the mood for the kiddies, but this was purile cheap and frankly nasty.

I rather liked the opening section in which Rose returned a year after she left, to find herself declared a missing person. it's an obvious plot device and I think the scenes with rose's mother were a nice touch and having watched 'confidential' looks like it might be developed further.

The Alien spacship crashing was resonably well done, although I found the design a bit to retro. The aftermath was ok but the TV reporter was weak. Nice to see Andrew Marr involved though.

Eccleston continues to give a decent performance as the Doctor, and Piper is a delight. The supporting cast are less impressive. Camille Coduri is average, and Noel Clarke is frankly wooden.... and what's with this whole Ricky bit from the Doctor. He comes across as both petulant and jealous.

The rest of the guest cast seem to treat the show as an extension of panto season. They overacted and over played everything.

The scene in Albion hospital was a good one. I'll even forgive the upright pig in a spacesuit. However, the actions of the soldier was a little farfetched. One moment they are pointing guns at the Doctor, the next, they are folowing orders from him. it was just a bit too lazy and rushed.

This brings me to one of my major concerns for the long term health of the show. Having RTD , as exec producer , de facto script commisioner, editor and writer, means no one is in a position to say, NO! and that's what this episode needed badly. In his first two scripts RTD was forced by the format to keep things tight and fast paced, and I suspect this reduced his ability to over indulge, but alas given 1 hour 30 mins to tell his story, he has allowed himself to overindulge in uncalled for homour and a lack of real tension.

As a two parter, much hinged on the cliffhanger. Oh dear , even this was badly handled with 3 seperate slow Alien reveals while everyone stands around and watches. The Aliens themself are average, and some of the effects work looked unfinished.

Then to make matters worse the 'next week' segment follows straight on, losing any dramatic tension built up. One of the aims of the show was to educate children to expect better TV. I am afraid this was not a good example. Children are much smarter than RTD gives them credit for.

One of the greatest pleasures I have had in the past few weeks has been the number of people who knowing my devotion to Doctor Who, have come up to me at work and told me how amazed they have been by the new series. I suspect that come monday morning i will be reminded of some of the darker moments of the Eighties.

Still onwards and upwards. Doctor saves the world, and bring on the Daleks!

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