I had almost completely given up checking out what ML had to say, my interest now solely for retarded quotes for the guides (I've nearly done Enemy of the Daleks, you know). But his latest post really does redefine all possible boundaries. Yes, my author avatar for Lawrence Miles is now Alex Drake. Specifically very early Alex Drake, like when she's inspiring suicide bombers and calling people fictional constructs. I defy anyone to read it and believe that Larry's either taking his medication or said medication is strong enough.
He starts off by altering his headline to describe his blog as a "self-parody" (given he hasn't updated it all year and the few changes he has made are all deleted, I wonder what exactly can be parodied) and then bitching it's not as bad as the new series.
Now, Douglas Adams believed that Doctor Who achieved self-parody status before he actually started watching the show, let alone wrote for it. I certainly believe this, since it's hard to believe Doctor Who was still a serious, non-post-modern entertainment saga after series two ended with The Chase and The Time Meddler back-to-back. These stories revealed that the TARDIS is not some unique magical transport and literally any old fecker with a dematerialization circuit can build them, and that not only can history be rewritten, if it weren't for mad monks and demented Daleks we wouldn't have Stonehenge or the Marie Celeste! To top it all off they ditch Ian and Barbara for some nutter with a teddy bear who appeared in ONE episode and spent most of that episode talking to thin air and trying to commit suicide! The final episode of the season has the Doctor break the fourth wall and staring into camera announcing, "I am familiar with the medium of television, my child!"
If anything, Moffat's taken the show far more seriously than even RTD did!
But ontothe true depths of insanity Mad Larry purports. Best analyze it Spara style before the sod deletes it...
THE SQUEE DOCTORS
S'okay, I didn't actually bother watching the second half. So this will be largely hypothetical.
Since he didn't watch the first half properly, I was pleased at this and also note that he makes no real predictions about the next episode anyway.
...five days ago, I was standing in front of the window of the local newsagent's. There was a poster advertising "Archaeological Adventures: Dinosaurs" (I've mentioned this on Twitter, but if you don't already know, then it's the perfect thing for an intelligent child or autistic adult who wants to whittle while watching an unfulfilling World Cup match or BBC drama), and also a poster advertising Doctor Who stickers. I ignored the latter, because I'm really not joking when I say that I can't even look at the gormless foetus-face of Matt Smith without wanting to slap it.
He's such a tolerant and open-minded bloke, isn't he?
"You are ugly, I must resort to violence!"
That thing with Van Gogh looked like the most interesting episode this year, but as soon as he did the "could you breathe a little more quietly?" schtick in the trailer, I literally made an effort to be out on Saturday.
Dear God. You could simply have rented a DVD. Or unplugged the TV. But he couldn't bear to be in a place where he might watch a show. This doesn't say much for his self-control, does it? Especially given he avoided watching the ten episodes prior without difficulty.
(Sidestep One. ITV did a remake of The Prisoner which, by all precedent and reason, should've been unbearable. It was quite good. Jesus! ITV is doing a "cult" reboot, but uses proper actors - Ian McKellen and Ruth Wilson, the latter of whom steals the "Most Attractive Woman in the UK Who Looks Like a Fish" crown from Miranda Sawyer - while Doctor Who does a piss-poor Harry Potter impression with a footballer and a blow-up doll? Gutted.)
Good. I hope you cry yourself to sleep you ungrateful ratbag fuck.
So I'm in front of the window. And then a little girl, of the kind that Moffat pretends to like when he's stuck in a narrative corner,
So Moffat hates little girls now?
Note: this is from the bloke who hates all small children and considers them a waste of food and resources.
pulled her mum up to the glass and pointed at the poster.
'I saw that Doctor Who on Shannon's widescreen!' she said. 'It was scary. The Girl One had to run loads'...but the Boy One had to save... something.'
The narrative slip is, of course, acceptable from a seven-year-old. However: the Boy One? And, yes, I did indeed turn eyes-left to make sure she was pointing at the photo of Matt Smith. Then I turned eyes-right, sharpish, beacuse I was scared of looking like a paedophile.
A sensible move there, as we all know he resembles a serial killer. And that's not any kind of hyperbole on my part. Though I can freely say I can look at images of people I don't know and not want to slap them.
The Boy One?
Yes. I fail to see the logic here. It is acceptable for the seven year old critique to dwell more on the actual television it was watched on than any kind of plot, but not that she might be unable to remember the names of the characters. The fact Mad Larry is so out of touch he doesn't know that there is a second companion in the show is presumably why he assumes the girl was not actually talking about Rory.
About a week and a half ago, Stephen Fry (defined by a sometimes-wise critic as "a stupid person's idea of what a clever person is like") attracted venom by critising Doctor Who in the era of Steven Moffat (defined by me as "oh, what a complete arse"). Yet in this epic cage-fighting battle between drivelling self-involved pretend-intellectuals,
More evidence showing how out of touch Mad Larry is.
While it's true there was an Armstrong and Miller style "Pru, it's kicking off!" it was actually done by the media. When fans actually found out what Fry said, they definitely did not "spew venom". For the record Fry went on at length about how much he likes Doctor Who, he just hates the fact the BBC act like they can dumb down anything and use Doctor Who as "proof" they're better than ever. A viewpoint Moffat agreed with.
the most important point seemed to be missed. Fry talked about programmes "like" Merlin and Doctor Who.
Actually no, he mentioned them specifically because they were the shows the BBC was bigging up.
Christ, Larry, is it REALLY so hard to do basic research?!
If you can use those two titles in the same sentence, then something's gone terribly wrong.
Which was the point Fry was making, you dumb fuck (TM Silent Bob).
But then, this is what I've been saying for a loooooong time:
Oh joy. Little Miss Jocelyn catchphrases. What next? A treatise on the Stalinist Purges using the expression "I DON'T FINK SO!!!"?
Moffat stated that he didn't want to be remembered as "the man who killed Doctor Who", and yet he already did kill it. He killed it in "The Girl in the Fireplace", a rather good episode if you concentrate on what the author genuinely likes - robots and temporal screwing-around -
How, exactly, does Larry know what Moffat genuinely likes? He admits their "relationship" (translation: Moffat's occasional chats to the wierdo at a pub) was 90% Larry boggling that Moffat didn't share his love for a fecking puppet show and was actually popular with other people! So where does this divine insight come from? If you've listened to the commentary for TGFP (which I recommend, it's hilarious), you'll note that Steve has plenty to say about the non-robot-timey-wimey bollocks. Which he also uses a lot in sitcoms and Press Gang.
There is, therefore, the slightest chance that Moff doesn't mind the story elements he uses a hell of a lot.
but an abysmal and emotionally-extorting one when you understand that he's trying to redefine the Doctor as a Sexy Immortal and himself as the Sexy Immortal's Agent.
Ignoring the fact that this idea was done by Toby Whithouse in the immediately previous episode. And the idea was from RTD in the first place. These are not hidden truths, nor are they theories. They are bloody obvious facts you could get from the booklet of the Complete Season Two boxset.
Of course, Mad Larry is such an intellectual giant he'll just shoot his mouth off without any hint of "checking facts", which makes me pine for Nyder... well, briefly.
I wasn't kidding when I said the the series in 2010 is competing with Twilight, y'know.
...when did you say that?
And anyone with a brain cell would point out that if Season Fnar is competing with Twilight, the previous five years were competing with Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Thus my point of "SO FUCKING WHAT?!" springs to mind.
Doctor Who at its best has been awkward, experimental, and unpredictable.
Hmmm. So that's the Second Doctor era onwards that's been complete crap then? Or did Mad Larry miss the base under siege, the UNIT era, the Hinchliffe remakes, the Saward Daze, the Cartmel Masterplan or the Gay Agenda?
Moffat's version, as laid out in "Silence in the Library", is slick, conservative, and entirely founded on things that have been proven to work. In short... it's like Merlin. Only even stupider.
...well, we can't really deny that, but Moffat himself isn't exactly bigging up SIL as his magnum opus, is he? His "let's talk about anything else" atttitude in Confidential and actually ADMITTING it wasn't that good says as much. And as someone who actually had the cahones to watch the series, I can say it's better than SIL.
Here's the grand irony, though -
(Sidestep Three. How many times have I used the phrase "here's the grand irony"?)
Too many times. Get a freaking thesaurus.
- by attempting to squee-up the Doctor, Moffat has destroyed him as a meaningful figure. In "Forest of the Dead" (the Doctor defeats the shadow-nasties by saying "do you know who I am?", thus removing any possible dramatic tension and making him look like the petulant celebrity he's bltantly becoming) and "The Pandorica Opens" (the monsters have spent ages planning this, yet a version of the Doctor of whom even I wouldn't be scared gives himself breathing-space by telling them that he made their mums wee themselves),
How can Mad Larry criticize the plotting of a story he didn't watch?! Seriously? Else he'd know that that the Doctor's "breathing space" (one huge Xanatos gambit in itself), was not down to him saying "I'm so badass, run away!" It was him saying, "I have beaten every last one of you before, so the chances are whoever strikes first I will beat easily!" Thus, he was provoking a battle between the monsters (and the monsters pretended to do so).
The Doctor even admits his speech just got the bad guys "squabbling".
we're shown a Doctor who can do anything he likes because he's... well... famous.
More brilliant logic from someone who, and I cannot emphasize this enough, WAS TOO MUCH OF A SPINELESS NO-FIST LOSER TO WATCH THE PREVIOUS TWELVE EPISODES WHICH WOULD HAVE PROVED HIM WRONG! Damn it, there is a straw man, a huge straw man, and inside that straw man is Mad Larry and I shall be the Christopher Lee to set the fucking thing aflame!
He never proves he's clever, or brave, or moral, or indeed, anything at all. We're just told that he always wins, and we're expected to swallow it without question. His fandom-strength makes him the weakest hero in history.
Whereas Mad Larry's reluctance to watch or listen to anythng that challenges his pathetic and cynical worldview makes him the weakest reviewer in history. Yes, with this post, he finally steals the crown from Gabriel "RTD IS AN ABOMINATION! SAY IT!!" Chase.
That's what I meant by "irony": Moffat tries to make the Doctor a fetish-object, because that's how we think of him as long-term Doctor Who viewers, and because we're the ones to whom he's pandering. (Well, not me. But you know what I mean.)
Yeah, two TV tropes for the price of one. The other is Or So I Heard, BTW.
What the author's actually doing is ensuring the Doctor's worthlessness. If you make someone all-powerful, then power's worth nothing at all, especially if you do it just to reinforce fan-opinion of the safe and clean-cut Boy One.
Hmmm. This seems to be the logic behind Ben Chatham... has Sparacus' true identiy been revealed?!
And of course, the really horrible thing is that this might - I stress "might" - be my fault.
Yeah... this is where it became something I had to record for posterity...
Over the last week, I've been informed by numerous people that "The Pandorica Opens" was a lot like "Alien Bodies". This never occurred to me while watching it,
Since you didn't actually watch the whole thing, this is to be expected.
I don't think it's true. At least, not in the way they meant: technically, "Pandorica" is a lot closer to "Dimensions in Time" than "Alien Bodies". No, screw technically, "Pandorica" is like "Dimenions in Time". Only on a big budget. And without Big Ron.
And, you know, actually makes sense.
So it's Dimensions in Time, only good. I fail to see how this could POSSIBLY be a bad thing.
Still... I remember what Moffat said he liked about "Alien Bodies". He specifically drew attention to the end of Chapter Five, claiming that it was the best cliffhanger he'd ever read. Since he was still capable of wit in those days, I remember the exact way he put it: "And that includes 'Mr Holmes, it was the footprint of a gigantic hound'."
Now, that's a compliment and a half, and I felt duly chuffed. Yet I can't help wondering about the consequences.
...here we go...
In "Alien Bodies" (and on the off-chance that anyone reading this doesn't know what happens in it, I'll be vague regarding the end of Chapter Five),
Fuck that. The Doctor discovers this cut price Curse of Peladon alien convention are bidding madeupnames of awesomeness so they can buy the corpse of the Thirteenth Doctor and do naughty things to to him.
Showing what a gutless tool Mad Larry is, the final chapter reveals the Thirteenth Doctor is alive and well and living with a Brazillian supermodel and Pharlap the Horse on a different plane of reality. Actually, it doesn't, but it IS a copout ending.
the Doctor becomes the subject of Doctor Who rather than its medium. I wrote it that way for a specific reason: a lot of very silly people, mentioning no Jon Blums, were trying to "redefine" the Doctor's past after the "half-human on my mother's side" blather of the TV movie. Like the editor of the books at that stage, I didn't give a rat's minge about his past, and thus wrote something about the future. Not just his future, either.
But in doing that, I... sort of... turned the Doctor into a fetish object. Literally, in fact, according the the dictionary definition of "fetish".
And Moffat read it. And liked the end of Chapter Five!
And now he runs a version of the series in which the Doctor is a living fetish object.
Even though it completely destroys the series' (pardon me) Prime Directive, by making it about an all-powerful all-male hero-figure rather than a traveller who's just interested in things.
And to an extent, I admit it: "Alien Bodies" was stupidly popular because it made the Doctor the subject rather than the medium.
Especially because of the end of Chapter Five.
And Moffat knew that.
And his Prime Directive is to be liked.
Yes. So Moffat not only responsible for making Mad Larry a mysanthropic alocholic psychotic, but he stole Mad Larry's most popular book and used it to destroy Doctor Who. In a script out of baby skin written the blood of freshly-slaughtered fluffy kittens.
But Mad Larry has no bitter or unreasonable vendetta at all.
And the crucial thing to realise about the "Pandorica" arse-fest isn't the plot (if you've found one),
Did a better job than you, arsewipe.
but that it puts the Doctor at the very centre of the universe: there's a box, and you're primed to think that he's going to be in it, but it's actually a trap so that he will be in it. It's pitched not as a prison for the Doctor as a character, but for the Doctor as an icon of modern-day telly.
Um. No. It isn't.
So I find myself asking. Did Moffat get that from me?
No. Next question
Despite what's been said elsewhere, "Pandorica" isn't structurally similar to "Alien Bodies" at all.
Wrong. Both involve the Doctor being lured to a famous and magical real-life location by cryptic clues as a chain of events in timey-wimey order allow the biggest bads ever to gather specifically to deal with a universal crisis by getting hold of the Doctor's body. The Daleks are expected to turn up but they arrive with the lamest and most forgotten of monsters (yes... the robot Santas!), and the Doctor discovers he is doomed in a huge multitemporal conspiracy based on things he hasn't done yet.
The major difference is the companion doesn't spend the entire adventure sitting on the stairs, reading a magazine and wishing she was a dark-haired junkie badass.
Yet his vision seems... uncomfortably close, if for all the wrong reasons.
Indeed. Alien Bodies was rubbish in everything bar E-Kobalt-Prime, who spent the whole story bigging up how badass he was in an episode of Doctor Who the BBC forgot to make. That's Earth Aid for those lucky people living in a world with Kate Tollinger and Tony Robinson as the Master.
Oh, you know: like Neil Gaimain ripping off Alan Moore, then wearing sunglasses and pretending to be a rock star in LA.
...get... a fucking... life...
This is the question that's bothering me. If you like the eejit but don't like me, then please feel free to say no, I'd honestly like the reassurance. If the reverse, then please lie and say no anyway.
Weak. Spineless. Dog.
Otherwise, I'm going to apologise, just on the off-chance that I'm right. Doctor Who is now more awful than at any point in its prior history, not because the chief-writer-stroke-producer is vastly more inept than any of his predecessors (he clearly isn't), but because he's vastly more cynical. I, for one, would rather have a bad programme that's attempting something - anything - than a programme designed specifically for BAFTA judges and fans of superhero movies [see previous blog-entries]. And if there's even a 1% chance that I laid 1% of the groundwork for this, then I'M SO, SO SORRY!!!
Yes! Don't you see, Mad Larry isn't some disorganized passive aggressive asshole unable to do much more that twitter bitterly about how unappreciated he is - he's the most important person in history! He destroyed Doctor Who, making him bigger than Michael Grade (or his sex slave RTD if you answer to the name "Kyron Mallett")! Some people could get the show cancelled, or churn out crap stories, but Larry Miles single-handedly annihilated any iota of "pure" Doctor Who and left it a worthless televisual zombie of shame!
This is Mad Larry's ultimate victory, my friends.
OF DOCTOR WHO...
Yeah, course you are, Larry.
Whatever makes you feel special.
I know such things are in very short supply.