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

Friday, July 18, 2008

Journey's End

Ooooooweeeeeeoooooo!! It’s Dr Whoooooooo!!

Except it isn’t any more, cos the last episode of Season Four has now been and gone!! * The Cheeser starts sobbing uncontrollably….* How am I (and many others for that matter) going to spend my Saturday evenings now?! And next year we don’t even get a proper series, just a few specials!! Oh well, better than nowt…

And have you heard the current rumours about how much the Beeb are offering David Tennant to stay on for Series Five? (Which would seem to indicate he might be departing some time next year….) (Oh and if you click on that link before there's a birrova spoiler at the end - just to let you know!)

Anyway. In the meantime, what were my thoughts on the second part of the Dalek “epic”? Yes, I'm late, I know... just for a change.

The Good

Just let me get me old fingers on that old Dalek joanna! All together now....any old iron, any old iron, any any any old iron...

Donna’s amazing transformation into half human half time lord. Okay, so it was a convenient plot device that the “temp from Chiswick” with a low self-image was finally imbued with the intelligence, know-how and wisdom to enable her to render the Daleks and Davros impotent, free the Dr and co and ultimately save the day, if not the entire universe (and rather similar to what happened to Rose’s transformation into an omnipotent, god-like being at the end of Season One, don’t we think?) However Catherine T played it very well and proved Rose’s remark that she really WAS the most important human in all creation. “Ooooh yes, I’ll just the render the thingamy whatsit thus doing the thingamy…..” (Sorry can’t remember the lines but you know what I mean). This in part was down to Catherine Tate’s brilliant rapid fire delivery and comic lines –The comedy really did work this time.

Look I know I've only got a one series contract, but you can't wipe my brain, Dr! No! No! No! I don't wanna appear in a West End play in the nude!

Donna’s “death”. Very poignantly done and tragic. Some of my fellow bloggers have said that it was horrible and diminishing. Yes it was, but then wasn't that the whole point? Having Donna forget all that happened to her since she’d met the Dr; all of her travels through time and space; all of her extra terrestrial encounters and so forth and then having her revert back to the self same unchallenged temp from Chiswick she was at the very start of “Runaway Bride” rendered her whole situation far more tragic than just being blown up, Adric style. And although the outcome for Donna was obviously negative, wasn’t it more realistic NOT to have an entirely happy ending sometimes? (Whereas on the bright side they did manage to defeat the Daleks and return the planets to their rightful place, which was something wasn't it? If Martha had had her way, the whole of planet Earth would have been nuked!!)

All together now. You put your left leg in...you put your left leg out...hang on. The TARDIS ain't no bike...

The companions all operating the TARDIS console. The console room had never been so crowded! But good to see the literal “hands on approach”.

Greetings Village People! Any vacancies for a decrepit old Kaled with a Gucci tunic and a disco fixation? Look! I can do the hand wave to perfection...

Julian Bleach as Davros. Great performance. There was only one bit which seemed non-Davros, when he threw his hands up in the air in a rather YMCA fashion (see above).

However (and this should really go in the “not so good” section below) they could have done more with him. Old Dave Ross was stuck in the vault for all of the two episodes. Couldn’t we have seen him out “in the field” (no, NOT with Phil Lynott and Gary Moore) supervising the Daleks’ takeover of the Earth/the Cosmos? Or iconically trundling across Westminster Bridge with his creations following him behind? Or shopping in H&M on Oxford Street for a trendy new tunic? Then again, we did get the bit about how the Daleks wanted to “contain” Davros, hence him being stuck in the “basement”. It was just a bit kind of limiting for old tortoise face.

Mistress! Master! Oh this is a bit boring being stuck in an attic...

The return of K9. Not quite how I predicted but good to see everyone’s favourite dog back all the same.

I liked the "helping to fly the Earth back home" bit and the fabulous accompanying choral music. Very uplifting and magnificent.

The okay but could have been done better

Who you gonna call? Chavbusters!!

Mickey and Jackie’s return. They didn’t do very much. Granted, they saved Sarah from destruction (though as an all-action adventure girl with her own series, I would have preferred to see Ms Smith doing this herself) but overall The Mickster and the Jackster were rather underused. And the rumours have it Mickey is back in the next series of Torchwood! Mmm. I’ve never been a fan of Mr Clarke’s acting in spite of his good intentions and directorial aspirations, but we’ll see….if we get lots of scenes of him showing off his naked bod like in Rise of the Cybermen, that might just help to compensate. Or a three-way with Jack and Ianto?

No! I don't want the camera to pan down any further! This is a kid's programme!

The second Dr being reborn in the TARDIS. This did just about work but was a tad too convenient e.g. having “another” Dr on hand to help Donna whilst the other Doc was held captive, and of course, ultimately partnering up with Rose, which is what she’d wanted all along. Quite nice to see DT topless too, a first I think. What might the rest of him have looked like, we wonder? One clue might be Billie Piper's nickname for him, which was "David Ten-inch". Anyone know why?

The not so good

The non-regeneration thing – a swizz and a cop out? We all knew the hand would, erm, come in handy, somehow didn’t we?

Haven't we been somewhere like this before? Deja vous or what...

Some of the companions felt under-used (in spite of the aforementioned TARDIS scene). And sticking The Dr, Rose and Jack in a very similar scene to "Parting of the Ways" wasn't very original.

Mmmm...mmmm....oh what's that? Oh. So, it's true what they say about your nickname, David...

After her butch-Sigourney-isms of Part One, Rose didn’t get much of a chance to flex her muscles in this episode. I would have loved to see her going hell for leather with her giant gun, blowing up Daleks left, right and centre, but no such luck. A waste. And whilst still on the subject of Ms Tyler, her presence was...well...kind of swamped by everything else that went on, and the Return to Bad Wolf Bay scene felt a bit too familiar. And yeah, getting a Dr Number 2 to snog made it nice n'easy...

The gappy-toothed one and the comedy doorman from Torchwood also didn’t do very much in Part Two. I suppose if they’d let them out of the hub and into the TARDIS all of the guest stars would have been squeezed up in the console room far too tightly, worse than a London bus during rush hour.

The rather convenient placing of the device machine thing (forgot what it was called) in the Vault that enabled Donna to defeat the Daleks and save the day. Would it really have been so easily accessible?

That's right, Ms Jones. Have the decency to look a little bit guilty...

The key thing – would Martha really be prepared to blow up the whole world? Her transformation into ruthless killer prepared to zap all of mankind for the greater good was slightly hard to stomach. Had her time with UNIT turned her into a hard-nosed military b*tch? It didn’t really wash.

Well it seems I have as many criticisms as positive things to say about the whole affair. Sure it had it's drawbacks. But it was still one hell of a lot better than the Master-Mess of 2007 and on the whole I enjoyed it lots.

And now we have to wait until 2010 till another full and proper series!! But there's a few specials to console us along the way.... until then, I shall probably dig out a few more of my DVDs...

Oh and like last year, I shall shortly post my Top 13 list of Season Four (thanks for the reminder, Tim) - erm, actually that doesn't make much sense as there were only 13 stories, but you know what I mean. All the stories in order of preference. Watch this space!

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  • At 11:13 pm , Blogger The Sagittarian said...

    Damn, why did I read that? Oh well, luckily my memory is a bit shite so by the time we even get that series here I may have forgotten it. C'est la vie. You write so well I caaaan't hayelp meself.

  • At 11:18 am , Blogger Steve said...

    The first part was superb, the second part (final episode) was a bit pants for me. Too easy. Too convenient. Too sentimental. I'm kind of reconciled now to Donna's demise though I think it a terrible waste of one of the few characters who'd developed so beautifully as the series progressed. She really confounded all expectations and won me over completely. OMG! I love Donna Noble! The Rose Tyler / Dr No.2 thing was just mawkishly predictable but it does kind of draw a line under the possibility of Rose ever returning to the show. I would have preferred a storyline where Rose realizes she was related to Sam Tyler and found herself beamed back to the 70's where she undertakes a torrid love affair with Gene Hunt. Now there's a show!

  • At 9:13 pm , Blogger Old Cheeser said...

    Amanda - Yes, that probably has blown the gaff for you. But don't tell your daughter, cos she's the real fan in the house, eh?

    And bless you for your comment on my writing. Very kind. I really must, erm, visit your blog more often...

    Steve - I wouldn't say Part Two was pants, but yes, there were lots of convenient bits, you're right. The "Donna-Dalek piano" most of all.

    OMG indeed! You're fallen for a chav! I have to agree with you, CT was much better than expected, but as said oodles of times before, that's cos she's a decent actress with good range and timing and via Donna it shone through. I think I should write an "Apology to Ms Noble" post actually after all my previously vitriolic anti-Catherine T/Donna N ones.

    Yes the Rose return ultimately didn't have quite as much impact as it could have done, but yes again, with her getting her "own" Dr for keeps, maybe this will be the last we ever hear from her. As for the Rose meets Gene story, sounds great! Go write it, Senor Bloggertropolis!

  • At 9:24 am , Blogger TimeWarden said...

    I think "Journey's End" rendered the whole of Season Four pointless in the same way the original fate of Peri, at the end of the "Mindwarp" segment of "The Trial of a Time Lord", was undermined several episodes later by a change of heart on the part of the production team but there you go!

    As Donna has had her entire memory of the Doctor wiped, does it mean she no longer remembers her wedding day fiasco in which her fiancée turned out to be not all he seemed and eventually had his life terminated by the Empress of the Racnoss?

    If Donna has the slightest memory that she was once engaged to be married then she will remember the Doctor's involvement in her husband-to-be's demise. Applying this simple piece of logic, Donna's fate makes no sense whatsoever. Wiping a companion's recall wasn't the best idea in 1969!

  • At 9:06 pm , Blogger Old Cheeser said...

    Tim - I wouldn't go so far as to say it was pointless - it's a matter of opinion really - but from Donna's point of view I guess it was. I'm assuming the Dr wiped her memory of the whole Racnoss encounter too - after all the Dr aiming obliterate all knowledge of HIM. For me, it just made the whole thing all the more poignant - losing her memories of all those wonderful times - yes, just like Jamie and Zoe!


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