And so the worst week of my life (copyright whoever that guy is who pretended to get married to Sarah Alexander and NOT be Jack Davenport... Ben Miller, is that his name?) comes to its conclusion. Kicking off with the loss of the Ashes? Impressive, but escalating through the officially terminal diagnosis of dear papa, then the tumors on my dog's arse, the manifest awfulness of Doctor Who's Greatest Moments (waiting trial under the Trades Description Act), having a hithertoo unmentioned DWCA convention tomorrow too late for me to attend, and then getting simultaneously snubbed by my cousin and a five-year-old birthday boy ON THE SAME DAY!
You couldn't leave it there, though, could you? No, you had to go one further AND DESTROY ANY FAITH I HAD IN MOFFAT'S ENCROACHING APOTHEOSIS!
I mean, I was trying to be open-minded. I really was. I gave the casting a chance. I tolerated the possibility that making River Song a semi-regular might be preferable to being forced to watch The Idiot's Lantern interspersed with scenes of Battlefield and the soundtrack to Blake's 7 Rebel. I took with equinimity the revelation that the opening episode was basically a rewrite of Girl in the Fireplace, only with Amy instead of Reniette. I tried to be positive at the seriously-how-fucking-pathetic-are-youness that the plot would be nothing more than an attempt to scare people about the cracks in the paintwork after the epic success of making flesh-eating darkness BORING. The news the Daleks were returning... in a one-part story... by Mark Gatiss... was enough to push me to the brink.
And then this pushed me over the edge.
Some kind-hearted fan managed to record a snippet of dialogue as Doc 11 confronted his new, grey-painted "British secret weapon designed on that black trashcan we found under the Empire State Building fifteen years ago" Daleks...
"I sent you back into the void. I saved the whole of reality from you. I am the Doctor, and you are the DAAAAAAAAAALEKS!"
Yes. It turns out, on top of everything that Matt Smith can't actually act.
And I'm not arguing technicalities of the Sylvester McCoy/Tom Baker "define acting" sort of gig.
I'm talking "this guy needs acting lessons stat".
I'm talking "on second thoughts Chip J, let's see how you go in the main role, I think you got the bottle the play the part" awful here.
Imagine a thirteen year old with less talent than Rick "The Mutants" James was trying to improvise with the instruction "be Turlough having an epileptic fit" and then image it is really, really shithouse. And then taken a step further by Shaun McCallif in his David MacGhan aspect.
For the love of god, he can't even pronounce "Dalek" correctly!
I'm crying genuine tears, I really am. This is not news I wish to know about let alone discuss. The idea that they cancelled Robin Hood for this show which now appears to be completely bereft of talent on either side of the screen is enough to make me contemplate suicide. Twice. Especially as the rest of eternity is now fully booked with Lawrence Miles bouncing up and down by that barrel full of rainwater screaming, "I TOLD THEE SO! DIDN'T I TELL THEEE?!?"
I'm scrabbling for some explanation. That, in context, it makes sense - maybe he's taking the piss or having a door slammed into his face in the middle of pronouncing "Dalek", or maybe it was just some rehearsal and Smithy was having a laugh, understandably awestruck at his first Dalek scene, or maybe, just maybe (coz, truth be told, it doesn't sound much like Matt Smith) it's some idiot fan 'recreating' the performance to best of his lack of ability. That this won't be the complete liquid manure it so manifestly is, that we aren't getting a Doctor that, in years to come will prompt Australian fans to whisper nostalgically "if only they'd got Chris Lilley to play the Eleventh Doctor, wouldn't that be awesome"?
I want to be wrong. I want to be able to look back and point and laugh at my paranoia rather than going "fuck me, I was right!" like when I accurately predicted Nottingham would be destroyed in a season finale explosion. I want Doctor Who to be, at the least, as good as the last four years. I don't want all concerned to completely let me down.
But no. I've run out of all confidence. I've been burned too much too soon.
Doctor Who died today.
If only we'd all died with it.
I just fucking give up.