Friday, August 15, 2014

If Jared Reviewed Into the Dalek...

I will be more positive. I promise. The valium will stop me getting angry and betrayed.

...though I still refuse to call this Doctor Who.

I'll call it Last of the Time Lords instead. Or Time of Your Life or The Enemy Within or Utter Desecration Of My Favourite TV Show By Caledonian Cun-- anyway, moving on. Anyway. Daleks. Phil Ford. Probably a Hartnellesque episode to fulfill the ancient prophecy begun in 1966.

What could go wrong?

(Don't think about Something Borrowed. Don't think about Something Borrowed. Don't think about Something Borrowed. You remember Torchwood? No? What a surprise.)

So. Begin.

0:20 - Hm. This is a bit like the start of The Millennium Trap. Mind you, space battles and screaming pilots aren't unique. And does that suspiciously-repainted-Gallifreyan-looking armor stop Dalek rays?

0:25 - "Aristotle" is Cockney rhyming slang for "arse". (honest: aristotle-bottle-bottle and glass-glass-arse) So I find this sequence more amusing if our beleagured mixed race space pilot is screaming "ARSE!" into her radio over and over again.

0:39 - It's pretty much established that one of those Dalek saucers could effortlessly ravage a planet like Earth and stand up to a TARDIS in combat. And it seems to be in perfect working order. But it can't blow up a proper space ship? (Oh well, maybe the Daleks have been sent back to the Stone Age after the Siege of Trenzalore used up their entire war machine for nine hundred years?) Still, though. I don't get the Daleks are trying. Though maybe coz they sound like Nick Briggs hungover without the ring modulation?

1:01 - wow, that shot has a narrative purpose and isn't just some pretentious camerawork for a trailer.

1:13 - is this a deliberate mirroring of what Missy did with Not-John-Hurt last week? Am I just leaping to ridiculous connectection like Nala "Ooh-arr, sarbtekkkkkssss" Snevets?

1:27 - I know I'm in the dark about this whole Dalek war but sending soldiers into battle with their siblings on the front line IS sort of asking for priorities to slip (see The Tenth Planet for why this can end badly).

1:42 - I was expecting Capaldi to be more hyped up and angry in these scene. He sounds tired and bored. I mean, really, he sounds like he totally stopped giving a shit. Another Pertwee homage?

2:27 - um, if the Aristotle is a super-secret resistance bunker in a Dalek war... why is Trooper Journey Blue (WTF? And I thought River Song was a stupid name!) telling everyone about it and shouting out about it over radios Daleks are no doubt listening to as she lead an attack craft into the very asteroid belt it was hidden in? Is the Combined Galactic Resistance the ultimate evolution of Torchwood?

3:03 - it's Tyres from Spaced! Yeah, he's been a tough cop in Luther and Scott & Bailey, but to me he'll always be the ecstacy-driven bike courier with no short term memory and those FUCKING MOOD SWINGS!!!! But it's nice to see another Spaced regular in DW. I think there's only Mark Heap left. Which could be self-explanatory, after all.

3:31 - the security of this base is absolute? Apart from all the patrol ships running straight for it screaming "SAVE US FROM THE DALEKS OH SECRET ARISTOTLE BASE, WE RESISTANCE FIGHTERS DON'T WANT TO DIE WHEN WE COULD BE BACK AT BASE WHICH IS RIGHT THERE IN FRONT OF US ON THAT PARTICULAR ASTEROID"?

3:38 - "Oh, it's a rollercoaster with you, isn't it?" Still got the mood swings, Tyres. I respect that. Even if there is a real whiff of Paradise Towers about this.

3:48 - Daleks still do duplicates? I thought they just nano-virused people nowadays.

4:20 - and after inserting himself into an unwilling dinosaur's mouth, Capaldi now discusses inserting himself into an unwilling patient's anal sphincter. And people whinged about "Allonzee".

4:56 - Matt Smith still in the credits. Oh, if only.

5:34 - crappest drill sergeant ever. Even the one in Meaning of Life who lets everyone go home early while he marches up and down the square had more self-respect.

5:50 - "Mr Pink." And these stupid names just keep coming...

6:06 - and after two syllables I want to slap the bint. Didn't anyone learn anything from TSJAs?!

6:42 - yeah, that'll make all the kids feel relaxed in your company. I'm just surprised they're not all whipping out their phones and texting "LOL! MY TEACH IS TOTS SERIAL KILLA!!!"

6.57- Heh. Flems is the only one who misses this blatant revelation.

7:40 - yes. It's not really a surprise Clara doesn't have many friends, is it?

8:12 - Mr. Pink, there are such things as therapists. And you must have had one to leave the army after grief after shooting a non-combatant woman - isn't that, like, the law now?

8:42 - I know Coal Hill has had some interesting choices of teacher over the years, but now this place is giving both Waterloo Rd and Teppapawai Boy's School a run for the money. In fact, it's as farcical as Teachers only with less charisma and more dysfunctional. Who talks to themselves like that?!

9:35 - undoubtedly this is the worst opening scene for any companion since Dodo. I mean, Lucie Miller made a more favorable impression. I know Mr. Pink is supposed to be a total Jeff-Murdoch style loser but when the defining characteristics of a person are "weeps uncontrollably, can't talk to girls, and headbutts tables in shameful humiliation"... you're not going through to the next round of Companion Academy.

9:53 - OK... I don't know about English schools, but in Australia the first term of the year kicks off early February. If school is already well underway, it's probably around that time, yes? So minus three weeks to the end of the previous episode and this means Clara was marooned in Glasgow about a month after Christmas. Where she was last seen having a tearful breakup with her nudist boyfriend and then ran away never to be seen again. Her family must have been going spare. Except for her stepmum or her aunt or whoever that bitch was. You think this might provide a tad more plot potential than Mr. Pink's Adrian Molesque self-pity.

10:19 - he's calling under-30s Clara a frumpy old spinster? After his big speech about rejecting all the human flirting stuff? Either he's trying to sabotage her love life or... well. He's a fuckwit.

11:07 - "Am I a good man?" "Well, you did spend a thousand years defending some innocent rednecks from every army in the entire universe until the day you died. And then you turned into a complete bastard who repeatedly abandoned me to die when you weren't coming up with every possible insult about my face, personality, intellect and species. Oh, and you killed someone for shits and giggles. So, on the balance of probabilities I'm going to say 'not any more' followed by 'fuck off and die you wanker'."

11:35 - that's it, show her a Star Trek movie. That'll make you seem less of a jerk.

11:42 - didn't they work out the truth on Trenzalore? Or maybe this is before the mindwipe? This whole amnesia thing is causing way more trouble than it should...

11:55 - yeah, I'm with Capaldi. That is pretty much Dalek 101. My god, these idiots ARE Torchwood!

12:33 - Into Darkness... Wrath of Khan... Dalek Khan? Is that you old buddy?

12:40 - um, Clara, you forgotten about the last few episodes? The ones with Daleks slaughtering billions of innocent children? Or are you just insulting Capaldi as petty revenge? Coz I'm fine with that.

13:08 - fast-talking sociopath with a seeming inability to generate emotion. No, I don't think Torchwood TNG should be happy about this. Come on, Capaldi, there is a thing called charisma you have? Might be wise to use some? Did you OD on botox or something?

13:20 - "DAR-leks" not "Dal-lex"! Come on, dude, you're a fan! You're as bad as the DWAD one that can't pronounce the word "TARDIS".

13:53 - so our heroes (one old Time Lord and a Coal Hill School teacher) are on a combat hospital on an asteroid using shrinking rays to go inside an alien and fix his brain damage. Can you imagine Hartnell in this? Well, yes, I can. ECC's rule of second stories remains totally vindicated! Mind you, who ever watched The Invisible Enemy and went "this needs more Daleks"?

14:18 - those not-teleport-bracelets are way too loose. This is just asking for trouble.

14:33 - say what you like, YOU'RE ON PROBATION!!! Yes, another Ideal regular is in the show. I'm expecting Johnny Vegas in the next episode. He's also been in Pramface and Game of Thrones, but he'll always be on probation to me.

14:47 - well, that'll shut Tat Wood up. Whole pages of About Time ripped out. Good work, Phil Ford.

15:24 - and who would have thought The Invisible Enemy would have a less pathetic shrinking scene? Not I!

16:20 -16.41 inclusive - fun with mirrors and black drapes. It's like Inferno. Only pointless.

17:16 - it took 45 years but at last THE STEEL OCTOPUS IS ON SCREEN!!!

19:17 - this must be New Paradigm stuff, because the Cult of Skaro kind of made it clear their lack of nice emotions is genetically-engineered, rather than some whacking great "emo-filter".

19:31 - ooh, Yeti balls... or Skagra balls... or Toclafane... or...

20:00 - so, just to be clear, the new Doctor has killed two people now. How lovely.

20:51 - did we lose another redshirt? Does anyone care?

20:57 - coz we didn't get enough of this in The Beast Below, let's do it all over again.

21:11 - more pages of About Time shredded.

21:58 - after wading through the Thames, being vomited on by a T-rex, Capaldi now has to wade waist-deep in Dalek shit. Someone in this show just doesn't like him.

22:58 - OK, this "I totally forget about previous episodes stuff" is officially past it's welcome. I'll him off forgetting about the events of The Girl in the Fireplace but being surprised to find radiation inside a Dalek? I mean, seriously?! What next? "My god, Clara - when I cut you, you bleed!!!"

23:57 - this would make more sense if it was just Khan. Seriously.

25:00 - oh, so we've gone back to the original idea that the Dalek mutants live in the skirt section and the upper bit is full of technology? More NPD cutbacks, I'll be bound.

26:30 - I don't wish to say this plot twist was predictable but there are as-yet undiscovered tribes of man in deepest Africia who knew this was going to happen.

26:38 - wa?! Dalek guns now make the same sound as Scorpio clipguns?! Also, this is the first on-screen extermination since 2010.

27:19 - this makes it look like the Dalek as drealocks. Funny, huh?

27:33 - ooh, those Daleks sound like Adrian Edmonsen. But more camp.

28:11 - Capaldi just doesn't make any good impressions in this show, does he? Just how many non-regular characters have to call him a useless tosser who is more trouble than he's worth before he gets the freaking message?

28:23 - and now Clara bitch-slapping him. That used to be Donna's comedy shtick, but now it feels like a tantalizingly glimpse of Capaldi having some sense gang-bashed into him.

28:57 - seriously, just undo the repairs! It is that fucking simple!

29:25 - Clara, while it's all well and good for you to shout today's lesson for the kids at home, the Dalek is killing people. Might be an idea to tell them your plan and then bitch later.

30:33 - the Dalek Empire must really be on the rocks if they're so desperate to retrieve one damaged trooper. And, seriously? "Spare no humans"? Thank you, Captain Obvious. Why not remind your crew that they're called Daleks while you're at it.

30:40 - this is using soundbites from Power of the Daleks. This is more and more like a DWAD!

32:06 - FOR FUCK'S SAKE!!

32:44 - biiiiiiiiiiiiiig vote of confidence for Capaldi there. A clue: no.

33:20 - dear god, you could not be less convincing if you tried. I thought he was an actor!

34:01 - ooooh. The Technodrome eye...

34:26 - didn't expect that. Well, I'm not surprised. But I didn't think that was happening this week.

35:41 - my god, how stupid ARE you?!?!

36:15 - aw, nice memories of The Power of Kroll.

36:30 - OK, that was a truly awesome line. Props deserved for that, and the delivery.

36:41 - see, he remembers the Battle of Canary Wharf, how can he if he's not Khan?!

37:24 - um, how have the resistance lasted this long if their guns don't work on Daleks? Have they been all, ow you zay, "knobbing each ozzer" to notice as true Torchwood members do?

38:23 - and he remembers blowing up the Valiant. Yet obviously doesn't remember the whacking great Donna Noble wiping them all out. No wonder the Daleks are confused...

39:09 - please stop talking, Christ on a bike. Did you acting talent vanish once Matt Smith left the room? It's like Chip Jamison as the Doctor!!!

39:39 - wow, this is old skool Who, this is. Extras with guns looking scared as a polystyrene door melts. Last time that happened was, er... Warriors of the Deep. Oh.

39:47 - that the new title sequence?!

40:44 - There is no post-RTD footage of Daleks. Does rather ram home the fact Moffat's done fuck all with them for five years, doesn't it?

41:16 - Daleks shooting each other. What imagination. They haven't killed a speaking part since 2008 and not killed a major character since 2007...

42:00 - WTF?!?! How did they get out?!?

42:36 - oh, god, do you have ANY acting range AT ALL?! Sweet merciful fuck, how did you get these job when you could be out-emoted by a used t-bag!

42:59 - again, how many characters have to stop the plot to tell Capaldi what a useless dickwad he is before he actually does something about it?

43:27 - why in the name of fried squid testicles would Journey Blue want to join the TARDIS crew when she hates the Doctor (quite rightly), and has no interest in travel, other times, places or cultures? Mein Gott, it certainly makes Mr. Pink look overqualified for a TARDIS bedroom...

43:35 - Christ, how does that work? Someone fighting a defensive war against the Daleks is unsuitable to travel with the Doctor because they're a soldier? But the Doctor, someone even the Daleks themselves consider a rage-addled psychopathic serial killer, has the moral highground? Knee him in the bollocks. What a fuckwit. Why not simply say "Lady, I've known you half an hour and this is not a sound basis for a relationship"?

43:58 - more DWADness. Daleks use ST:TOS transporter noises.

44:23 - how cheap is that? My god, that has to be the lowest ebb for new series. It's as bad as Irongron's Castle magically turning into a quarry wall a second before it explodes...

44:30 - so ONE exploding Dalek could blow up an entire war fleet? Fuck off...

44:44 - look at him! He's too damn old for this role! Bring back John Hurt!

46:01 - oh. It's over. I could not give less of a shit. Oh where is Michael Grade when you need him.


Matthew Blanchette said...

Are you trying to kill all my enthusiasm? :-( Really, the script wasn't the best... but it's certainly a sight better than the one Gatiss wrote. You ready for "Robots of Sherwood"?

...because I really don't think you are. :-P If the first two episodes are bad, to you, Episode 3... may fall somewhere within the fifth circle of Hell, for you.

Youth of Australia said...

I read the scripts and actually ROS seemed one of the best (though they're all quite good).

It's the actual programs that are disappointing. Particularly Capaldi who constantly gives the impression he'd rather be doing a completely different TV show and really isn't enjoying himself. Never before has an on screen Docor showed such contempt for the plot, fellow actors, dialogue, special effects, established concepts...

Every line of Capaldi's rhymes with "Oh, Christ, they want to be appear on screen with a Dalek now, I am so much better than this". Which is kind of pissing me off, as I expected at least SOME professionalism from the guy who played a day-glo effete Atlantean Angel in a sewer with more conviction (in Neverwhere).

So. Yeah.

Matthew Blanchette said...

Er... where are you getting this contempt from?

Also, the jollity of Robin Hood and his gang really got on my nerves... as did Clara suddenly being out-of-character (I was gobsmacked at how badly wrong Gatiss gets the new dynamic between the Doctor and Clara).

To be perfectly fair... I haven't really been impressed so much by Ben Wheatley's direction. But that's just me. *shrugs*

Is it just Capaldi that's the bugbear for you, here? :-/

Youth of Australia said...

Er... where are you getting this contempt from?
Well, he hardly bothers to speak his lines audibly, or look at other actors, or give any real passion to the lines. He seems to sigh before speaking, doesn't smile and acts bored all the time.

Now, Capaldi's a good actor - uncontested - yet I've never seen him seem less interested in playing a character. If it's a deliberate choice, WHY pretend that your character finds this entire experience so utterly tedious and boring?

Also, the jollity of Robin Hood and his gang really got on my nerves...
In fairness, that WAS the idea. As was the idea they're all on the knife-edge of suicidal despair. But, hey, this is Gatiss, even on his good days no one ever expects subtlety from him.

as did Clara suddenly being out-of-character (I was gobsmacked at how badly wrong Gatiss gets the new dynamic between the Doctor and Clara).
I think that's more a case of, as ever, no one bothering to edit Gatiss' script to synch in properly. Like the way RTD let Moff get Rose, Mickey and Martha out of character.

Is it just Capaldi that's the bugbear for you, here? :-/
Yes. It's like someone stole his charisma. I watch these episodes and think "Why am I interested in what this boring fuckwit does? He isn't funny, engaging or even clever. If DW had ended on Trenzalore, have I missed anything? No. Not so far."

I mean, I WANT this to be good. Maybe Capaldi will dub actual acting on the finished episodes and suddenly they'll be good. I can cope with an old, bastard Doctor. But not a boring, useless one. And if it stays as bad like this I fear I'll end up going all Tom Cookson and ranting DW should have died with dignity.

Yeah. These are dark times for me.

Matthew Blanchette said...

To be fair, Gatiss didn't do that bad a job with his Series 7 scripts, characterization-wise... although it's probably telling that Clara is barely in the second one he wrote.

Youth of Australia said...

Rare as this is, I should come to Mark's defense there - Crimson Terror was actually written and made BEFORE The Snowmen, when Clara's entire character was entirely up in the air. So, the sidelining of her was not only a wise choice at the time, the fact he got the Pasternoster Gang that well done is really quite impressive. Considering they hadn't been used before.

No, the only issue I have with TCT is the running gag of "Doctor suggests peaceful solution, a woman uses mindless violence, Doctor shrugs".

Oh, and the "forcing a snog on someone of a different sexuality resulting in physical violence" gag - but in fairness Matt Smith makes that work.

Just this once.

Matthew Blanchette said...

Yes, "Crimson Terror" was written and made before "The Snowmen".. but so was "Cold War", which had been done in the previous block with "Hide", so Gatiss doesn't really have much of an excuse, either way.

Matthew Blanchette said...

(Sorry; "Crimson Horror". Ya screwed me up, mate! :-P)

Youth of Australia said...

I didn't think Clara was badly-done in Cold War (which, apparently, was HUGELY edited and stripped out whole subplots about a mutiny on the sub). Given it was a real-time, no chance to think type ep (rather like 42), she did rather well and her bond with the Ice Warrior was far more convincing and less patronizing than Amy in Victory of the Daleks where she is completely useless for 99% of the episode then spontaneously works out how to save the day in a very illogical manner...