Doctor Doctor Who Guide

First off I have to say that I came to this series with an open mind. I genuinely want it to succeed, I think everyone does. So why am I feeling a crushing disappointment at this moment in time.

Sure, this new series has had it's niggles, the 45 minute format quite obviously is not working, the incidental music has been rubbish to say the least, Eccleston's mugging veers dangerously close to ham acting on too many occasions, the sonic get out of jail free and, while you're at it, why not pass go screwdriver.

And then there are my personal annoyances with the series, the insistence that all no obscure references to the original series be made, so as not to confuse younger viewers, lets just make this clear, there are several million more older viewers than younger. We appreciate a bit of continuity (it doesn't take much for the younger ones to brush up, there’s plenty of quality stories on DVD and audio). The fact that special effects are not equal across the board, they can be fantastic in one episode and distinctly ropey in another, and while some of the acting has been cringeworthy, some of it, by the guest stars, has outshone the regulars. And also the fact that I am now quite safely able to predict the paths that each character will take in any given episode.

However, as I say these are personal minor niggles and haven't really affected my enjoyment of the series so far, mainly due to the fact that Unquiet Dead and End Of The World were such distinctly great scripts, even if they had plot holes I could drive a bus through (I'll be kind and ignore Rose here).

Aliens Of London, unfortunately, had plot holes I could have driven that spaceship through. Ladies and Gentlemen welcome to the worst story of the series so far, and quite possibly the worst story in Who since those Comic Relief things.

We'll deal first with the blatant stupidities of the script, what was RTD thinking? Firstly, why do these aliens, who have already infiltrated the British Government (Hardly taking over the world is it?) take the trouble to do the whole Pig thing? Especially as they are bodysnatchers. Quite frankly it would have been easier (and more interesting) for them to win a ruddy election than to go through the whole evil machinations plan. Was it me or was the entire first 35 mins of this 45 min episode completely irrelevant to anything more than character development, of which there was pitifully little.

There is a reason the Doctor never ever takes his companions home, or if he does, that's it, the end of the affair. Precisely because of the reaction of Rose's family. This is a condition of entering the Tardis, the first thing that the First Doctor pushed onto Ian and Barbara. The price for wandering the Galaxy is that you become a hobo, you can't just pop home for a cup of tea whenever you feel like it. This is perhaps the worst crime the new series has committed bar one. It just takes away the whole romance of the Doctor, step into the Tardis and get whisked away on unbelievable adventure, step out and that's it, no more. And the Doctor will leave and maybe he was just a figment of your imagination all along and he'll be as sad as you but he will continue on other planets, other worlds, other times, with other companions. And in our heads, we were his only constant companion.

RTD allowing the Doctor to take Rose home just ripped out the romance and the soul of Doctor Who. It's gone, I'm not sure it can come back. His exclamation to Rose not to bring her domestic into the Tardis was simply embarassing, Camille Coduri's excruciating performance didn't help, kudos to Noel Clarke however, Mickey was just annoying this time around rather than all out pathetic. But why did the Doctor insist on calling him Ricky? Is the Doctor as petulant as all that? It was like watching jealous schoolkids, it didn't sit right, as so many things didn't.

Let's move on in this excuse for an episode (We'll ignore the fact that the Doctor should have been arrested the first time around as a kidnapper or something) lets report something positive. Penelope Wilton, gave an excellent, as always, performance.

Ok that's the positive side over and done with. It must be said that Andrew Marr also gave a great performance, but there is something seriously wrong with the BBC casting agents when he outperforms every actor on the show.

Several commentators have noticed that for all the dash and vim of this Doctor, what does he actually do?

Apart from figuring out that the so called alien was actually just a pig, lets just go over the events here, first contact is made with an alien species and the corpse is left in the care of a single med student in a minimum security and blatantly unsterile environment who can't work out that it is a pig, despite the fact that it is, actually, a pig? This from the man who promised us more realism in the show.

So The Doctor figures out that the Pig is in fact, a pig. What else did he do in this episode exactly except watch telly and avoid Rose's mum?

Ok now we come to the actual bad guys of the piece. Simple things first, their design was just utterly awful. There have been better monsters in Troma films. Secondly the CG was pretty bad, not terrible but not great by any means.

Why have a cliffhanger if you're gonna spoil it with a trailer of next week??? WHY WHY WHY!

And last but not least, just to sum up how bad this episode really is, here's a list of some of the Doctor's past foes:

1st Doctor fought Nero, The Trojans, WOTAN, Daleks and Cybermen
2nd Doctor fought Yeti, Ice Warriors, Salamander, The Macra and Krotons
3rd Doctor fought Autons, Silurians, The Master, Omega and Dinosaurs
4th Doctor fought Sutekh, Sontarans, Rutans, Zygons and Wirrin.
5th Doctor fought The Mara, Rassilon, Sea Devils, and The Black Guardian
6th Doctor fought Sil, The Rani, Androgum’s and The Valyard
7th Doctor fought The Cleaners, Kane, The Gods of Ragnarok, Mordred and Fenric
8th Doctor fought The Master and the end of the world.
9th Doctor fought fat farting aliens.

This really is an embarrassment on the scale of Dimensions in Time. Not only is RTD pulling apart they Mythos and Romance of Who, he seems to be intent on removing its dignity as well. There have been bad scripts before in Who, but never have they degenerated to the level of infantile pap that this was. They might as well have cast Matt Lucas and Peter Kay, in fact they probably should have, at least they might have been funny.

Who at its best is incredibly clever and witty, look at Tom Baker’s era. Degenerating to fart gags indicates a lack of ideas and ability. Not even the Carry On’s were that crude.

This marks the moment that I lost faith in RTD’s ability to deliver Dr Who.

The announcement of David Tennant as the 10th Doctor does not fill me with hope and smacks of an RTD love in as he just recruits his former leading men. No offence to Tennant, I’m sure he’s a great actor, but he doesn’t appear to have the physical presence to hold the role when there are great actors who could do a really credible performance who don’t even seem to get a look in. Was anyone else (Such as media favourites Nighy or Davies) ever really considered?

I shall continue to watch until the return of the Daleks, as that will be the story that this series will succeed or fail on, but it’s going to have to do a heck of a lot more to convince me now than it did before Aliens of London. To be frank, even if it’s perfect I’m not sure it can. This was a pathetic attempt to play at Who, written by fanboys with a mental age of ten and may have done irreparable damage to the esteem of the show.

Filters: Series 1/27 Ninth Doctor Television