Doctor Doctor Who Guide

Aliens of London was a real mixed bag for me. It featured both some of the best and some of the worst moments of television that I have seen. This episode both thrilled and upset me. Unfortunately, it is the negative feelings that tend to stay with us. And this episode of Doctor Who may leave a sour taste in my mouth for some time.

On the plus side, the Doctor returns to earth with Rose and we get a much anticipated reunion between Rose and her family. These scenes were so much fun. I loved seeing the Doctor struggle with the little boy over the remote. Another favorite moment occurs when you realize that no one in Rose's family thinks to call Mickey (not even Rose). The corresponding silence that falls over the room upon his entrance creates a wonderfully awkward moment.

The scene with the Doctor in the hospital was also great fun, as the Doctor barked orders in authoritative fashion and the soldier boys fell instantly in line ready to obey. The pig in the space suit evolved from silly to genuinely creepy as the truth of the creature is revealed.

This was all great Doctor Who. Loved it! But apparently in order to enjoy this new series of Doctor Who, one must take the bad with the good. I think back to the days before the new series began, to the anticipation that we all felt. Hungrily we devoured snippets of information from the news or the web. I remember Russell T. Davies in an interview stating gleefully that Doctor Who was the best idea in the history of the world ever! And of Christopher Eccleston who stated in interviews that it is the incredible writing talents of Russell T. Davies that has lured this high profile actor into the role.

These are the things that go through my mind as I watch a scene of 3 giggling overweight adults farting in an embarrassing and obnoxious display that pushes one uncomfortably out of the fantasy that is Doctor Who. Suddenly, I'm not a spectator peeking through his TV set into the life and adventures of the Doctor and Rose. I am a man sitting in his living room, scowl on my face, looking apologetically over to my wife who wears an equally pronounced expression of discomfort.

My wife had already noted absently aloud that, Fat people are bad guys... My wife and I are both overweight, but usually things like this can be ignored. However, fat, sweaty, flatulent and obnoxious is difficult to ignore. These were the villains of the piece. Presumably so portrayed because this is the way these aliens perceive humanity. One alien complains of the gas noises and the other proclaims that it seems very human to him.

What is Russell T. Davies trying to say? In Rose the Doctor typifies the human race by saying that all we do is sit around, eat fatty food, and watch television. In The End of the World we get Cassandra, who is the result of the human desire to achieve thinness through surgery. She is also the villain of the piece. Now we have this, alien invaders who see humans as fat, flatulent pigs.

What soap box is Davies on, and to whom is he preaching? Perhaps he hopes to raise the social profile of Doctor Who fandom by alienating all its overweight members and literally thinning the herd? Perhaps I am reading too much into this. Doctor Who is meant to be a family show, and Davies is making an effort to put something in for the kiddies.

Let's see, in three episodes we have: burping, spitting and farting. These apparently are the elements of a family show. As I recall, Doctor Who was originally created as a children's show. So I put in my video of An Unearthly Child and I give it a quick review. Burping? No. Spitting? No. Farting? No. Maybe Davies' vision is just a reflection of the times. I look to the new series itself for answers. Nope. No burping, spitting or farting in The Unquiet Dead. This is just about Davies.

Is this what Davies thinks a family show is? Talking down to our children? Catering to their crasser natures? Telling them that it is funny to spit in a young woman's face? Is this the writing that attracted Chris Eccleston to the role? Is this what drove him away? Okay, now I am ranting, and I must apologize. The trouble is I owe Russell T. Davies an enormous debt of gratitude. He brought back Doctor Who. This is something that I had all but given up on. For this I say thank you. And because of this I forgive the rudeness that populates Aliens of London.

There is good stuff in this episode. And the good is so good that I can abate my anger and wait anxiously for next week. But I wish someone could tell me why there is a need for the 'bad' part of Doctor Who. What purpose has been served by feeding this neophyte Doctor Who audience these doses of bile alongside our helpings of genuine brilliance? Why must I take the bad with the good?

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