Diary of an old cheeser

Hi there! Like other blogs, this is my chance to wax lyrical (some might say talk utter cr*p) about a) what's happening in my life b) all of my pet obsessions in particular music, tv, movies, books and other generally connected things, quite often of the retro, old and "cheesy" variety. Hence the title of my blog. Feel free to leave a comment if the mood takes you. There's nothing like a good chinwag about one's favourite topics and besides I love to meet new people! Cheers, Simon

Thursday, August 09, 2007

The last of Who

Oooooweeeeeooooo!! And WHICH theme tune do you think I’m trying to replicate there? No prizes for guessing. But there have been a conspicuous lack of Dr Who posts from moi of late. Could it be I am actually getting a life?

No further comment.

Anyway it’s high time I posted up some reviews of the final few episodes of Season Three. Most of my fellow blogging partners wrote theirs light years ago. I am SO not with it. But better late than not atall, so here goes nothing, my cosmic cuties…and erm, gird your loins for yet another big one (oooooer). Oh and you will note I have dropped the review "format" of before. That lasted long, didn't it?

Blink

This was the season’s “Dr-lite” episode, but it couldn’t have been more different than “Love and Monsters” with a more adult and less comedic element. Lots of people have raved about it, proclaiming it to be one of the best of the season. On first viewing I found it a bit of an oddity and second time round I still felt pretty much the same, but the episode definitely has its merits, in particular an ability to present an original and interesting story which didn’t feature the Dr and Martha very much. Although the events of the story all lead back to the TARDIS twosome of course. The Time Lord and his companion become stranded in 1969, when the TARDIS is hijacked by a race of alien psychopaths known as the Weeping Angels, who look like statues and feed off people’s energy by sending them permanently back to the past. Sally Sparrow, a young woman living in modern day London, encounters the Angels when visiting an old deserted house, then, via a series of DVD Easter eggs (yep, really!) becomes embroiled in a mission to return the TARDIS to the Dr and save the day.

In some respects I thought that the pre-episode trailers and adverts made the Angels out to be scarier than they really were, well, certainly their method of “dispatch”. The Dr’s urgent comment: “Blink and you’re dead” was technically a bit of a misnomer as sending someone into another time period doesn’t exactly finish them off! However I suppose you could look upon each human as being "killed" in that their contemporary existence/s ceased once they were sent back in time, and had to start their life all over again, so in that respect it was traumatic. This idea was used quite cleverly within the general story e.g. Sally’s friend Kath getting sent back to 1920s Hull, marrying a local fella and then writing a letter to Sally in the future to tell her all about it – neat. But I did kind of wish that the Angels' method of destruction was something a bit more grisly and horrible! Their real “scary” quotient only really kicked in during the last 15 minutes or so of the episode when Sally and Larry are trapped in the cellar of the old house with the Angels.

I loved the look of the Angels though and they are definitely one of the most successful monsters in the revived Dr Who; unbelievable that they were played by a human actress as they really did resemble real statues but with a sinister edge. The expressions on their faces as they advance on the humans, one moment with outstretched hands and an almost “mournful” look on their “faces”, the next a horrible toothy snarl, was utterly nasty and the idea that you couldn’t take your eyes off them for one moment was the stuff of children’s nightmares. Kudos to the visual effects designers and director Hettie McDonald for making the Angels look so convincing (the succession of quick edit shots as the angels “jumped” across the room toward Larry and then later on, him and Sally, were especially menacing scenes and a great exercise in horror).

This was also a story in which Time itself played an important role. Rather ironically in a lot of Dr Who stories Time hasn’t always figured that much, but here it was the lynch pin of the whole thing.

Carey Mulligan was excellent as Sally Sparrow (although I thought that her character seemed to "get over" the loss of Kath and potential lover Billy Shipton rather too quickly...) An attractive lady with an intellectual quality, whilst mature and “with-it” at the same time. And she was also good at investigating, ably filling the “Dr” role. As many have said, Ms Mulligan would have been a great choice for the role of new permanent companion. Sadly it was not to be and Donna La Chav has been re-cast in that particular role instead. WHY????

The rest of the cast put in quite solid performances. I liked Kath but she wasn’t around for very long unfortunately! Sparrow and Nightingale could have made an interesting detective series but kind of hard to maintain when you’re both in different time zones. Finlay Robertson as Larry was suitably geeky and okay-middling-attractive. A shame the camera couldn’t have panned down further in his pants-less shot.

All in all an interesting little tale.

Utopia

I’d really been looking forward to this one, partly because of the return of lovable, luscious space rogue Captain Jack. And mainly because of all the rumours about the return of a certain old enemy. Of course stoopid old me couldn’t resist clicking on a spoiler in the Outpost Gallifrey forum and found out who that certain someone was before watching the episode…more fool me.

The plot of “Utopia” was pretty secondary i.e. there wasn’t an awful lot of it – last ever humans are stranded on an alien planet in the far-off future with Professor trying to fix mega-rocket so they can escape to Utopia – with character development given more of a front seat. But this wasn’t a bad thing.

The centerpiece of the episode was of course Derek Jacobi's performance as Professor Yana/The Master. Luvvie comments about Mr J abound, what with all the RSC and highbrow stuff he’s done, but I confess I’m a Dezzer virgin and have seen him in virtually nothing. And although the role of Yana didn’t give Mr J an awful lot to do (he tended to be stuck in the control room for most of the narrative) he brought emotion and gravitas to the dual roles of Professor and Master, proving what a versatile actor he is. We also did a good job of conveying Yana’s anxiety every time the drum beats sounded in his head and his building suspicions about the fob watch and everything Time-Lord related. The hardness in his eyes and face when he became the Master was unnerving. A shame we didn't see Mr J in the role of the Dr's arch nemesis for longer, because I was less than, erm, impressed with John Simm’s subsequent turn…

I also really liked Chantho and her relationship with the Prof. She was a genuinely endearing character and again would have made a lovely companion - such a pity she got bumped off. Like Martha/Adeola, I’m still nursing the (very faint) hope that Chantho will turn out NOT to be the last of her race after all, but with a distant relative who can join the TARDIS crew! As I was saying on another post, I was thinking that after Martha they really needed an alien companion for contrast - too many Earth girls has become very repetitive. However RTD and the production team seem to be looking a gift horse in the mouth – they pass up the chance to permanently cast Carey Mulligan, then Chipo Chung (Chantho…) They obviously have NO taste. And I loved the scene when Martha tries to get Chantho to “swear” – kind of reminiscent of the camaraderie between Rose and Gwyneth in “The Unquiet Dead”.

And then there was the return of Captain Jack, another eagerly awaited aspect of the story. I loved Jack in Season One of DW but was less than keen on the Jack of Torchwood who seemed rather too po-faced and serious by comparison. Of course this might have had something to do with the fact that he’d been dumped by the Dr on Satellite Five, had to deal with the realisation that he was immortal and then travelled back to 21st Century Earth via vortex manipulator to await the Dr but ended up in 1869 instead, thus having to hang around through several decades of Earth’s history before finally getting the chance to hook up with the Dr again in contemporary Cardiff– phew. So his less than jolly demeanour could kind of be understood. Nevertheless, the Jack of Utopia was more akin to his old vixen-ish self, with cheekiness and flirtatious comments aplenty; good to behold. He also got some decent back-story, explaining what happened to him after being stranded (see above) and how/why he became immortal – the possessed Rose Tyler being the chief culprit. Although there did seem to be a bit of a flaw here – the Dr said he “ran away” from Jack when he realized he’d been made immortal by Rose (who had the time vortex running though her and consequently the power of life and death) but how did the Dr actually KNOW that she’d brought Jack back to life? Back in “Parting of the Ways”, at this point the Dr was too concerned with saving Rose and they then left in the TARDIS with the dying Dr forced to regenerate – at no point was there any indication that the Dr knew about Jack’s plight. The clinging onto the TARDIS in the time vortex bit in the pre-credits sequence of “Utopia” was also pretty hard to stomach. But then as Jack’s now an all-powerful immortal I guess he stood more of a chance of survival than most. Gosh I am SUCH a geeky little nitpicker aren’t I?

A few other comments:

The Futurekind were slightly daft-looking with their punky attire and bad teeth. I wonder if they were distant relatives of inhabitants of Camden? The female Futurekind character who managed to sneak into the human base looked like one of the less pleasant lesbian clientele you might encounter at Gay Pride.

Martha also had some good moments and although my opinion of Freema Agyeman’s acting has been up and down throughout the series, here she generally rose to the occasion. Her aforementioned banter with Chantho was nicely done. And there was a priceless moment when the Dr tells Martha that he grew back the hand that the Sycorax leader cut off – the subsequent look on her face was hilarious to behold and proof that Ms Agyeman can do some great facial acting when she wants to.

And what about John Simm? I’ll talk about his “Masterly” (or perhaps not so masterly) performance in more detail presently. As for this episode, brief though Mr Simms’ appearance was, I’m afraid to say my first impressions of him as the Master weren't very favourable, in particular the "how does my voice sound" and the "Bye Bye!" bit. Yeuccch! After Derek Jacobi’s dignified portrayal this just seemed juvenile, throwaway and badly done. The curse of RTD strikes again. The Dr did at least have the sense to look worried at the return of his old adversary though. Not to mention the prospect of being left stranded on an alien planet with a load of marauding aliens with bad make up and teeth when the Master nicked the TARDIS – which also made for a very good cliff hanger!

Overall a very enjoyable episode which was only spoilt in the last five minutes or so by the new, kiddie Master.

The Sound of Drums/The Last of the Time Lords

And here we are. The grand finale. Since watching the whole two-parter again I’ve revised my opinion about it. And not in a particularly favourable way I’m sorry to say. A shame, as this was one of the most eagerly anticipated stories of the season and I’d been looking forward to it right from the start. After all the references and hints throughout prior episodes I was dying to know exactly who the mysterious “Mr Saxon” was and what he had planned for the Dr. Unfortunately the whole thing just didn’t deliver for me.

On balance the first episode worked a lot better than the concluding one (although it was still miles off from the standard of “Human Nature” for instance). I liked the (mild) political satire and the idea that the Master had been controlling the population of the UK through a mobile network system with a hynoptic signal was credible. There were some exciting sequences – including the bit when the Dr, Martha and Jack narrowly escape being blown to smithereens by the Master’s bomb; the return of the Sinister Woman (the ice cool Elize Du Toit again, sadly underused in the story as a whole) and her attempt to kill the Doc and co; the end sequence with the Toclafane pouring down from the crack in the skies and slaughtering the helpless humans. There was also a nice build up of anticipation as the Master/Mr Saxon makes his address to the nation re: contact with the Toclafane – who or what are they?? – leading to a wonderful feeling of apocalyptic doom at the end as the mini globes swarm all over the Earth. Unfortunately it all went to pot in Part two.

The Toclafane it transpired, were the last surviving humans from the future, the very same ones that the Professor had sent on the rocket to Utopia. Rather than finding sanctuary, the planet had turned out to be a futuristic hell and (I assume) the humans had faced destruction and slaughter there – well this would explain why they had been reduced to scrunched up, mutant faces inside globes (very horrid to look at and the one “human” we saw actually reminded me of the Terry Malloy incarnation of Davros from the old series). But this was something I found kind of annoying – we didn’t really get any decent explanation as to exactly WHAT had happened to the humans and how/why they’d come to resemble wrinkled old prunes. A potentially great idea that wasn’t properly explored. I guess the geeky fan in me was hoping for a bigger surprise and that the Toclafane would turn out to be yet another old enemy, in the same way as the Daleks were unveiled at the end of Season Two. No such luck.

The shrunken hobbit-like Dr in Part Two looked plain ridiculous and didn’t work for me.

With the Doc out of action this was designed to give Martha the chance to occupy centre stage, and suddenly we saw her transformed from normal TARDIS traveler into some kind of Blake’s 7 style freedom fighter / guerilla in combats. I didn’t really find this change convincing and considering that she’d supposedly spent a year trekking around the entire world on a mission, Martha looked remarkably healthy and well - perfect hair, make-up and all. Perhaps she’d had Alexis Carrington in tow as her round-the-globe beauty consultant.

And using the power of combined human thought all over the world to help the Dr to regenerate - oh, pleeeease!! Silly, unbelievable and totally corny. Were we really meant to believe that Martha had managed to make contact with the entire human population and persuade them to join in a unified mantra type chant to save the Dr? Just how had she managed to go so long undetected and escape Mr Saxon’s troops?

Then there was the turning back time thing – very convenient and a right rip-off of "Superman". Okay, so Jack destroyed the paradox machine so I suppose it might happen. But it just made things too easy. And talking of other movies there seemed to be a few too many homages in the final episode – the burning of the Master’s body on the funeral pyre ("Return of the Jedi"?), the hand picking up the ring ("Flash Gordon"?) Can’t RTD be more original than this?

I hope you are still with me and haven’t clicked off this post. I actually wouldn’t blame you if you have, as this is a turning into one MAJOR whinge.

Okay, breathe deeply and relax, as Tegan once said. Onward.

Alexandra Moen. Aaah. A very attractive actress who gave a good performance in Part One as Lucy Saxon, the Master’s/Prime Minister’s wife, obviously revelling in her husband's bad behaviour! But why? How could she condone all that he was doing? How had she and the Master met? Had he somehow seduced her with promises of power and more besides? I was honestly hoping that we’d get some insight into Lucy as the story moved on but sadly it wasn’t to be. By Part Two she’d become a mute Barbie doll who uttered only a few words in the entire episode. Okay, reading between the lines we were meant to think that things had gone sour between her and the Master (it was one year on) and he had presumably been abusing her (the bruise under her eye was testimony to this), messing up her mind to the extent where she couldn’t even communicate and think properly and eventually grew to hate him (hence shooting the Master at the end). But I think that’s me being generous and allowing RTD the possibility of a subtext. There wasn’t THAT much to go on.

There were also some slightly farcical elements in these episodes – something RTD excels in doing given the opportunity and which don't always sit entirely comfortably. Having all of Martha’s family reduced to working as the Master’s servants was daft although I will concede an amusing touch. The use of pop numbers in the story trod a very fine line between black comedy and inappropriate camp – I’m not sure if I liked these bits or not. For instance the inclusion of "Voodoo Child" as the Master unleashes the Toclafane at the end or Part One - it was a similar moment to the use of "Toxic" in "The End of the World" and "Lion Sleeps Tonight" in "Rise of the Cybermen" - potentially quite jarring but designed to fit in with the euphoria of the moment. It did put a smile on my face and I liked it when Saxon's wife started to boogie! But I can see why some people might find it annoying.

So let’s get back to John Simm as the Master. After the not-so-hot debut of “Utopia” he did have his moments in this episode, but on reflection the negative aspects of his performance outweighed the positive ones – for me, at any rate. Although I’m probably being unfair as it wasn’t just down to John Simm; RTD and the script editor obviously had a hand in the character too. It’s no exaggeration to say that a great deal was riding on exactly how the writers would rejuvenate the Master. The new version is a far cry from the Roger Delgado or Anthony Ainley incarnations and has clearly been conceived as a kind of young, “evil” counterpart to the young, “good” David Tennant. Simm’s Master is very much a sign of the times - gone is the cackling old Time Lord of yore - they've made the character younger and more virile (snogging a woman for god's sakes!) and with a real line in "in your face", gleeful humour. Sometimes this worked, sometimes it didn’t.

On the plus side, Simm played the part of the conniving politician very well, all smarm, charm and fakery and I liked his addresses to the public/nation too (although exactly how did he get away with gassing all of the cabinet?! How did he dispose of the bodies?!) The scene in Part One when Saxon/the Master talked to the Dr on the phone was also well done, hinting at the real darkness of the Master’s personality. Unfortunately we didn’t get much more of this.

On the down side, the Master had some extremely cringeworthy bits, such as the lip-zipping scene with the President and the happy-angry face bit in the cabinet meeting, a hallmark of RTD’s sometimes infantile style of writing. There were many times when I found the Master totally annoying and glib and the whole “I’m soooo f*cking amazing” smugness of the character really made me squirm. There wasn’t much subtlety to the performance, again a hallmark of RTD at his worst and an obvious attempt to appeal to a younger market. Derek Jacobi could have played it infinitely better but detractors would most likely argue that he would have been "too old" as a permanent adversary for David Tennant's Dr. Oh well. Mr Simm’s incarnation did of course cark it at the end, so we won’t have to endure another appearance. Boohoo. Does this now mean we might see a female Master in his place (presumably it was Lucy who picked up the ring at the end)…

A few other comments:

Jack was woefully underused for most of the story - e.g. tied up for most of Part Two - making me question if bringing him back was such a great idea after all. After the lively dialogue and action of "Utopia", Mr Barrowman just wasn’t given enough to do and seemed largely superfluous to proceedings. As for the Face of Boe revelation at the end of the story – silly, pointless and a throwaway reference we could have done without. Would someone care to explain exactly how a Time Agent with a normal human body ages into a giant-sized wrinkled old head??

Then there was Reggie Yates as Leo, who contributed nothing apart from a very brief cameo in Brighton which wasn’t actually Brighton atall (I should know, I lived there). Why bother? And sadly my fantasy of "The Master strips Leo naked S&M scene” didn’t come to fruition. Damn.

There were some nice cameos in other places though, especially Nicola Macauliffe (where's she been since "Surgical Spirit"?!) as the journalist Vivien Rook (I wondered if this was a pun on the old Fleet Street journalist Jean Rook? Remember her anyone? A right homophobic old cow...)

Other good performances were Ellie Haddington in Part Two as Professor Alison Docherty who played the grizzled, lived-in scientist part convincingly (wasn't she the Governor in the last series of "Bad Girls"? Unless I'm much mistaken...) A shame the Prof wasn't around a bit longer and I think she and the Dr would have got on pretty well. She reminded me a bit of Professor Amelia Rumford from "The Stones of Blood", another eccentric but endearing character.

Tom Ellis as Thomas Milligen was reasonable too and and another nice piece of eye candy. Rumour has it he'll be back in the next series of Torchwood.

And the ending?It was bye, bye Martha. At least for now. After seeing Ms Agyeman in action for a whole series I've come to the conclusion that she is a lovely girl and gave the part of Martha her best shot. She had some good moments and the character definitely proved to be no shrinking violet. But I still think Billie Piper is a more gifted actress; Freema's got a limited range and just didn't deliver some of her lines convincingly. But it's not all her fault. As I've reiterated before, one of the major problems with Martha was the "unrequited love for the Dr" trait that she was saddled with for most of the series, seriously hindering the development of her character. But then in her final scene of "Last of the Time Lords" there's a revelation! Martha realises that she's been wasting her time staying with someone who can't reciprocate her feelings i.e. the Dr and opts to stay behind with her family (and this scene was also well acted by both leads!) But Ms Jones does give the Dr her mobile so she can contact him if need be...cue an opportunity for return. As we all know, Martha is due to appear in 3 episodes of Torchwood and then the second half of Season Four of DW. I just pray that when she comes back her Dr infatuation will be long-forgotten and she'll have evolved into a much more independent character. Maybe she'll have a bitch-fight with Donna Noble. I'd love to see that.

To wrap it all up then. Whilst I certainly wouldn't rate it unwatchable, "Sound of Drums"/"Last of the Time Lords" didn't really cut the mustard for me. As season finales go, the previous seasons' offerings were just so much better - the brilliance of the Dalek invasion of Satellite Five and the crazy Dalek Emperor; the Dalek/Cybermen invasion of Canary Wharf and the loss of Rose. As critical of RTD as I can be, he DOES know how to pull off a decent story when he wants to. It's just a shame it all went tits up this time round.

But in spite of that, I am glad to say that there still was a lot of decent stuff preceding the last two episodes. Season Three overall for me was a winner, with David Tennant more settled in the role of the Doc, several excellent stories, a few very watchable but not brilliant ones, and only a couple of genuine clunkers. To see how I’d rate all of the episodes, look no further than right below:

1. Human Nature
2. Family of Blood
3. Utopia
4. Evolution of the Daleks
5. Gridlock
6. Blink
7. Smith and Jones
8. Daleks in Manhattan
9. The Shakespeare Code
10. The Sound of Drums
11. The Lazarus Experiment
12. Last of The Time Lords
13. 42

Speaking of which, I’d love to know how all of YOU rate the season. Reply with your lists now!!

Which just leaves me to add, this marks my 200th Blog Post!! Wooohooo!! Hoorah!! How appropriate that a Dr Who post should be my 200th one. I've been blogging for not far off one year now, so that's pretty good going. Thank you very much for being here, guys and gals.

11 Comments:

  • At 7:00 am , Blogger Steve said...

    Congrats on your 200th post! Wow!

    Totally agree with your DW reviews and I too found the Jedi pyre reference and Ming The Merciless's Ring scene a bit naff. I found the season wind down a huge anti-climax. For me, Blink, was the best of the lot. A nice simple idea that worked well. I also agree with Human Nature and Family Of Blood being the best stories of the entire season - fab story and fantastically acted. We need more of this and less of the lazy and ill thought out contrivances that marred the last episode.

     
  • At 8:09 am , Blogger newplanet said...

    Blimey. That was one heck of a post. Were you writing it for weeks or are you the type of blogger who can type this up in a half hour? Either way, impressive! I haven't seen much of Season 3 yet (still stuck on Season 2 on DVD, as it happens) but these were great reviews.

    And 200 posts in less than a year is amazing. Congrats, etc!

     
  • At 8:41 am , Blogger TimeWarden said...

    Congrats on your 200th post, Simon! How bizarre that we should both post our 200th on the same day!! Some strange force of time is at work here!!!

    I pretty much agree with most of what you say except the bit about RTD being able to pull off a decent script when he wants to! Having decided against purchasing the box set, I've already bought DVDs 2 and 3 of series 3 in order to avoid all his scripts, I hate his writing that much!!

    Actually, I only got the 2nd volume 'cos I like the Daleks and Miranda Raison and is good value, length wise, especially with a £2-off voucher at Tesco! I probably only acquired vol. 3 because of Carey Mulligan, truth be told - and without a voucher, this time, it cost more for less!!

    Here's the requested list...

    1. Blink
    2. Human Nature
    3. The Family of Blood
    4. Daleks in Manhattan
    5. Evolution of the Daleks
    6. 42
    7. Utopia
    8. Smith and Jones
    9. Gridlock
    10. The Lazarus Experiment
    11. The Sound of Drums
    12. The Shakespeare Code
    13. Last of the Time Lords

     
  • At 12:57 pm , Blogger Old Cheeser said...

    Steve - Cheers matey.

    Yes, the season finale was a let down. I too think Human Nature/Family of B pretty much topped everything else. I'm really wondering what kind of direction the show will go in when RTD finally leaves!

    Newplanet - Er, yes. I do have a tendency for big ones (posts that is). I just love writing and when it's on a subject close to my heart, I get somewhat carried away! I actually started drafting it ages ago - then kept coming back to add more - time is of the essence and even I wasn't going to sit at my PC and write the whole thing straight off! Anyway thanks for the compliments, muchos appreciated.

    Yes indeed and a happy third year of blogging to ya!

    Timewarden - I just popped over to your blog and saw! How utterly bizarre! Must be cosmic vibes or as you say a force of time...could it be Time Lord intervention that's causing it?

    Yes, I know you're hardly a supporter of RTD, I am more generous! I guess that makes sense, just purchasing the DVDs of the stories you like best.

    Thanks for submitting your list. Interesting as it's fairly close to my own. So did you put Blink right at the top cos of Carey M? And you put 42 in the middle whereas for me I think it belongs right at the bottom! And you obviously had an average opinion of Utopia?

     
  • At 4:12 am , Blogger TimeWarden said...

    Carey is largely responsible for "Blink" being top of my list though not entirely as I like Alexandra Moen too but that hasn't prevented her episodes being placed bottom!

    "42", despite its ridiculous script, was tensely directed. I like "sweaty-palm" stories, which is one of the reasons I watch "Spooks" and like the "Alien" movie series.

    "Utopia" is a mixed bag. On the plus side is Derek Jacobi, Chipo Chung and, like "42", Graeme Harper's direction. I'm indifferent to Captain Jack but dragging it down is the writing and John Simm!

    It's interesting you refer to Simm as a "kiddie" Master and yet he's revealed, two episodes later, to be a wife beater. I don't think "Doctor Who" is the place for domestic violence.

    "Utopia" does contain my favourite scene of the season, which although not hard to write is harder to deliver, as Jacobi reveals what we've known all along... "I am the Master"!

     
  • At 2:58 pm , Blogger Jemima said...

    Nah, 1: Blink it was cheap AND scary, 2: the Family of blood ones, also scary, also cheap and 3: the Shakespearey one, Smith and Jones was alright, not too bothered about the others and in final place Daleks in Manhattan. Those accents were unworthy of anything.

    Congratulations on the second century.

     
  • At 2:59 pm , Blogger Old Cheeser said...

    Tim - I think Carey M was one of "Blink"'s major strengths - much of the story rode on the character and portrayal of Sally Sparrow - hence one reason for why the episode has been rated so highly. Alexandra Moen on the other hand, couldn't save her story however hard she tried!

    Believe it or not, I didn't actually find "42" that bad. It's just that in comparison with the other stories of Season Three it didn't cut the mustard for me.

    I didn't have a particular problem with the Master-beating-Lucy thing - it was implied rather than overstated. The bit when he hit the Dr in the wheelchair was rather gratuitous though. I guess it's a sign of the times really - sex and violence are a staple of modern TV whereas twenty-thirty years ago they wouldn't have been.

    Jemima - Thanks for your comment! You thought some of the episodes were "cheap"? Really?! Are you joshing, my dear? Maybe "Blink" was done on a budget but "Human Nature"/"Family of Blood" looked very much like it'd had money lavished on it, I thought.

    Thanks for the congrats!

     
  • At 10:10 am , Blogger Minge said...

    Congratulations on that splendid review.

    I agree with you for most of it so have nothing really to add.

    One thing, though, I'd like to know how The Master got from the Eric Roberts incarnation to Derek Jacobi and how he managed to regenerate into the Simm incarnation as we are told in the TV movie that he'd used all his lives up.

    Oh, also, I'd like to say that the whole world saying "Doctor" enabling our man to "come back" and levitate and all the rest of it was horrible, cringeworthy and horribly reminiscent of the Easter story.

    I'm looking forward to RTD handing over to someone else after the next series. He has some great ideas, but as a writer, it's grim.

     
  • At 1:27 pm , Blogger Old Cheeser said...

    Hello Minge! Cheers pet!

    Very glad we have similar opinions.

    I did wonder that myself, it was never explained. Presumably the Time Lords granted the Master a new incarnation but how and why?

    I totally agree with you about the whole world "Dr" bit, silly beyond measure. I mean Dr Who as a programme does require a suspension of belief but this was really stretching it.

    And I too am looking forward to the departure of RTD. You have to hand it to him, he was responsible for bringing the show back but it's time he made way for some new, better talent.

     
  • At 10:59 am , Blogger DanProject76 said...

    1. Human Nature
    2. Family of Blood
    3. Blink
    4. Utopia
    5. Gridlock
    6. The Sound of Drums
    7. Smith and Jones
    8. 42
    9. The Shakespeare Code
    10. The Lazarus Experiment
    11. Last of The Time Lords
    12. Evolution of the Daleks
    13. Daleks in Manhattan

    I think I blogged about them all at the time and am too lazy to do it again! Nice reviews, duuuude.

     
  • At 1:05 pm , Blogger Old Cheeser said...

    Thanks for posting your list Dan.

    Interesting! Your list bears similarities to mine although in yours the Dalek stories come right at the bottom - take it you didn't like them much then? 42 I would stick right at the bottom, you obviously feel differently...

    Funny how everyone seems to rate "Human Nature"/"Family of Blood" so highly...

     

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