Saturday, January 16, 2010

A Critical Analysis of... The Seventh Doctor

Time and the Rani
WEAK! Low-brow, empty, implausible, ridiculous, startling in its sheer banality! Trial of a Time Lord was way better! WHERE IS THE MORPHING?? THE FLASHBACKS?! And Mel! I know I haven't mention her before, and that's because I hate her and now SHE'S IN STEREO! She's almost as brain dead as the Rani, except the Rani's a perky, smiling bitch and Mel isn't! The Lakertyans are out of Flash Gordon and the Tetraps are from DISNEYLAND!!! McCoy is the most popular Doctor, because fans are idiots with no concepts of worth!

Paradise Towers
It's so great, I'll just recite the plot with more exclaimation marks!!!! Oh, the subtext, the social relevence, gangland violence... it is one of only three 1980s stories that don't deserve to be immediately burnt (the others being Mawdryn Undead and Vengeance on Varos!)! Richard Briers is an arse.

Delta and the Bannermen
....IT'S DOUGLAS ADAMS ALL OVER AGAIN!!! This is NOT canonical!GAAAAAAAAAAH!

Dragonfire
The plot is crap, it rips off Aliens, the villain's out of a cartoon, there's a completely pointless Goldilocks wandering around who has no thematic reason to be there... but it ditches Mel and brings in Ace. It is freaking AWESOME!

Remembrance of the Daleks
Best Dalek story since Genesis, though I honestly can't tell if the first Dalek story had William Hartnell or Peter Cushing. How the fuck can Skaro be blown up in 1963? THAT! DOES NOT! MAKE! SENSE! What if Thals were there? WOW! The Doctor isn't just one hell of a procrastinator, he's a cosmic MURDERER! How the hell does this synch up with continuity? Especially as there are incredible moments calling attentions to the vicissitudes of time travel, like ACE READING A BOOK! Oh, the Doctor is pure NA evil and I for one will stop watching!

The Happiness Patrol
This isn't canon.

Silver Nemesis
A muddled and confused rip off that doesn't match UNIT dating! This isn't canon either.

The Greatest Show in the Galaxy
I like the novelization, and even though it's a rip off of Killer Klowns from Outer Space. This IS canon.

Battlefield
KING ARTHUR! CAMELOT! This is the most ORIGINAL STORY EVER!!! But why bring the Brigadier back and NOT Liz, Jo, Yates and Benton? IS THAT SANE, I ASK THEE?! It ruins everything! But Bessie's in it! It's not great Doctor Who, but the only great Doctor Who is in Space: 1999!

Ghost Light
WEAKEST! STORY! EVER! Unintelligable rubbish! Why do husks WEAR TUXEDOS?! Why isn't Control a Neanderthal?! Why is Josiah trying the lamest plan since "stop Magna Carta"? No, I didn't watch it properly the first time, but I don't have to! This is a conspiracy to boost VHS sales by making the story so FUCKING COMPLICATED! My brain BLEEDS simply typing out the face it rips off an Outer Limits episode! "This is the nadir of 26 years of dull unoriginality!"

The Curse of Fenric
Just as bad. Next!

Survival
Oooh, Planet of the Apes only with leopards! I'M SO IMPRESSED - NOT! Doctor Who finally does the Arena episode! And it's SHIT!

The Enemy Within
Wow, picks right up where Survival ended, with the Doctor getting the Master's ashes from the Cheetah planet! THAT is what I call continuity! But it's TOO DAMN OFFICIAL! It should be a one-off, not something that is actually important! CHRIST, THIS STUFF THINGS UP MORE THAN DOCTOR WHO JUST BEING CANCELLED IN 89! If they ever bring back Doctor Who... yeah, heh, right... they'll have to ignore this film entirely and never mention Paul McGann! Still, the whole thing is too dark, what with the Doctor and Hollowell or whoever getting it on, and Who fans are worse than Trekkies. I'm glad this movie ruined their lives. But is it canon? A clue: no.

I am utterly confident nothing will ever bring Doctor Who back bar some shitty fan films by Nicholas Briggs. And why the hell should it? It's not as good as Star Trek. It deserves to be forgotten.

And it will.

22 comments:

Cameron Mason said...

"This is the nadir of 26 years of dull unoriginality!"

Words.

Fail.

Me.

Jared "No Nickname" Hansen said...

Seconded. If I could think of the worst phrase possibly suited to describe Ghost Light and the series that spawned it.

To me, GL's incoherency isn't that big a problem - to me, the lack of a big finale really was. Warrior's Gate is a fairly incoherent story (And, in the end, seems to be about fate , ying-yang, cosmic forces at play and various odd aspects for a Doctor Who story) but finishes strong, with a good action-y climax, the Tharils breaking free, the punch-up between the Doctor and Rorvik, the murder of the psycho one on the ship we all want to see, the mini-universe collapsing, and the big explosion finale as always.

GL... and I'm going from vague memory here, ends with the spaceship taking off. The mystery carries most of the story, but there isn't a big AHA, it all makes sense now! moment, nor sufficient action to make you forget about it.

I really do need to watch it again, I know, but that's just how I remember it. I admired it a lot more than I enjoyed it, really.

matt311 said...

So, Muir lumps in the TV movie with the Seventh Doctor's era? Typical, that...

By the way, what are your feelings on McCoy's second series? I know they were shuffled around in broadcast, so I'd like to hear your views (or viewing order) on such.

Youth of Australia said...

GL... and I'm going from vague memory here, ends with the spaceship taking off.
Pretty much, though the last scene is the Doctor and Ace chatting about the house and her saying she'd wish she'd blown it up rather than burn it down. "Wicked" the Doctor deadpans (much cooler than it might be on paper and the point is they can TALK about what Ace did rather than SCREAM AT EACH OTHER about it, so the therapy has worked).

So, Muir lumps in the TV movie with the Seventh Doctor's era? Typical, that...
Actually, no, that was me. The TV movie barely gets a mention. In the appendix. After K9 and Company. Which gets more said about it.

By the way, what are your feelings on McCoy's second series?
Me? Well...

Remembrance of the Daleks - kickass Dalek carnage, though the "all fascists must die" vibe gets more uncomfortable the more I watch

Happiness Patrol - underrated freaking genius with best musical score ever

Silver Nemesis - not as good as it could have been but at its worst it's still thoroughly enjoyable as a runaround

Greatest Show - nuff said

matt311 said...

What about Curse of Fenric and Survival?

Youth of Australia said...

Pretty much the only Seventh Doctor story I actively dislike is Battlefield. For reasons I have listed elsewhere and simply am too tired to do here. It's childish, badly-written macho rubbish sans rhyme, reason or even interest and McCoy turns in a corresponding performance. It's the worst story of the eighties and if it didn't instantly get Who cancelled, nothing ever would.

matt311 said...

Well, it does have the Brig; doesn't that make it even slightly redeeming?

Youth of Australia said...

No.

It doesn't.

matt311 said...

Okay, then; sorry if that's a sore point.

Jared "No Nickname" Hansen said...

Hang about, Ewen, are you the guy who argued that the Brig is completely out of character in Battlefield? I remember I read that somewhere, a guy talking about how they basically turned him into an action hero and ignore his established character.

I also seem to remember we talked about an "If *I* Had Written Battlefield" project at some stage. Not sure if it got any further than that.

In it's defense "GET OFF MY WORLD!" and The Destroyer is a bit cool enough for me to wish it was in another story.

Youth of Australia said...

No, weren't me. The Brig's in character (though I think going from 'forgotten unappreciated school teacher' to 'highly-respected secret agent with hot wife, private helicopter who regularly gets phone calls from the King of England' is rather a geeky step - this is the Brig, not Lord Flashheart!) and his scenes are very good. But they are not enough to redeem Battlefield in my eyes. Indeed, they emphasize how damn rubbish the rest of it is.

The fact is the novelization is 1000% better in every possible respect, so there's no point trying to rewrite it since it has already been rewritten. Very successfully.

Jared "No Nickname" Hansen said...

Well... that's put me in my place, then.

though I think going from 'forgotten unappreciated school teacher' to 'highly-respected secret agent with hot wife, private helicopter who regularly gets phone calls from the King of England' is rather a geeky step - this is the Brig, not Lord Flashheart!

Yeah, I'd definitely agree with that. Even in the 70s stories they depicted him as being underappreciated by the U.N despite fighting to save the world several times over - he's never promoted after all, even though the Doctor thinks he'd have to have been.

Though the Brig was, of course, the last choice for Mawdryn Undead. Which is rather funny considering that he was the one of the three options (Ian and Harry being the others I'm sure you remember) that fans would most like to see again. Not that that changes things, but one of those 'there but for the conflicting schedules'..

Youth of Australia said...

Yeah, I'd definitely agree with that. Even in the 70s stories they depicted him as being underappreciated by the U.N despite fighting to save the world several times over - he's never promoted after all, even though the Doctor thinks he'd have to have been.
Which is of course part of the tragedy, and why the ending is so feel-good. The Brig becoming a teacher in nowheresville isn't what's bad, it's him forgetting his whole past. No instant biological metacrisis funky amnesia for him... mind you, it would have been funny in the bit where the Doctor tries to snap the Brig out of it and mind lava explodes out of his head, knocking everyone unconscious...

(Ian and Harry being the others I'm sure you remember) that fans would most like to see again.
I just don't think it would work as well. I mean, Ian knows next to nothing about the Doctor compared to say Tegan. He certainly wouldn't be helpful for the "Mawdryn is the Sixth Doctor" plotline, would he? And seeing him a lonely old bachelor - without Barbara - would just be plain wrong.

As for Harry, I can't really see anything working there unless you flipped it all around...

Harry: Doctor! It's me! Harry Sullivan.
Doctor: (coughs awkwardly) Never heard of you. Must dash.
Harry: We were at UNIT together!
Doctor: Official secrets act!
Harry: Oh yes, forgot about that.
Doctor: HAHAHAH! (runs away)

Jared "No Nickname" Hansen said...

The Brig becoming a teacher in nowheresville isn't what's bad, it's him forgetting his whole past.

That's a good point. At that stage the audience might think it's all part of some aliens' diabolical scheme...

I just don't think it would work as well.

That IS the funny thing about that story, isn't it? Third time lucky, I guess..

Then again, the story did end up being written specifically for the Brig, you have to assume.

And seeing him a lonely old bachelor - without Barbara - would just be plain wrong.

I'm absolutely certain Babs would have gotten a name drop at the absolute least..

Harry: Doctor! It's me! Harry Sullivan.
Doctor: (coughs awkwardly) Never heard of you. Must dash.
Harry: We were at UNIT together!
Doctor: Official secrets act!
Harry: Oh yes, forgot about that.
Doctor: HAHAHAH! (runs away)


Lmao! Poor Harry - he was a good companion who just needed a little more screen time...

Though I did love "HARRY SULLIVAN IS AN IMBECILE AHAHAHAHA!".

Youth of Australia said...

That's a good point. At that stage the audience might think it's all part of some aliens' diabolical scheme...
When of course the alien is the one desperately trying to stop it happening. MU is full of cool subversions like that.

Then again, the story did end up being written specifically for the Brig, you have to assume.
Well, true, but the story would always have more weight with the Brig than the others.

I'm absolutely certain Babs would have gotten a name drop at the absolute least..
Yeah, maybe. It reminds me of Whatever Happened To Susan Foreman? where Ian got time amnesia, forgot all about the Doctor and the TARDIS, driving Barbara to become an alcoholic hermit in the middle of nowhere.

Comedy my ass.

Lmao! Poor Harry - he was a good companion who just needed a little more screen time...
Or a bit more sympathy from Holmes, who loved him like a punching bag.

Though I did love "HARRY SULLIVAN IS AN IMBECILE AHAHAHAHA!".
It's amazing how much the Doctor seems to despise him, given that Tom Baker and Ian Marter were the bestest of friends. Never comes across on screen like that...

matt311 said...

No instant biological metacrisis funky amnesia for him... mind you, it would have been funny in the bit where the Doctor tries to snap the Brig out of it and mind lava explodes out of his head, knocking everyone unconscious...
You know, before that happened in End of Time, I was actually wondering if Donna was going to regenerate (seeing as how she's part-Time Lord, and all); I guess RTD must have his cake and eat it, too...

Youth of Australia said...

You know, before that happened in End of Time, I was actually wondering if Donna was going to regenerate (seeing as how she's part-Time Lord, and all); I guess RTD must have his cake and eat it, too...
Except JE makes it quite clear - she only has a part-Time Lord MIND. Her body is still human. If it weren't, her head wouldn't be in constant danger of exploding, would it?

The reason she wasn't Masterized is because the first step requires contact with a human brain. Which what Donna don't have, just a Time Lord brain permanently hungover enough to pass as human.

Tsk, tsk.

matt311 said...

Tsk-tsk, indeed... but, still, I would've like to see her involved more in the plot than "head goes ka-blooey, she falls unconscious".

Youth of Australia said...

Wouldn't we all?

matt311 said...

I'm going to guess Catherine Tate didn't have much room on her schedule, then...

Youth of Australia said...

No idea, but it was a deliberate decision on RTD's part. Well, he SAYS it was. In fact, he considered not having her at all.

matt311 said...

In fact, he considered not having her at all.
What? Did he hate the character that much?