Your humble correspondent is well aware this might not be the most rivetting topic in 2014, as distinct from 2007-10. It’s like the debate over which was better – Bond or Bourne – it was done a few years back, it doesn’t need doing again.
On the other hand, all this is new to me and though 4-7 years too late, certain observations can be made.
1. I watched an interview with Jenna Louise Coleman before the 50th and they were right into it – from the presenters to the audience who were hushed and hanging on every word of JLC. You know, that’s really nice – not so much about JLC but about the way Britain and elsewhere have “taken ownership” of the whole thing. I have too. It really is a national institution, it’s ours.
And aren’t opinions strong? The Beeb must be delighted.
2. There is a strong sense of “the rules” of Doctor Who, of time travel and many felt that these rules were being broken in later episodes, particularly at the hands of Stephen Moffat. More than a few have called for his dismissal.
The main beef is that you can’t have someone dying if time travel is a quick fix to bring that person back, you can’t reboot the universe to take care of a pesky plot problem, you can’t have the Doc petrified of the Daleks and then needing only a sonic screwdriver to defeat them. You really must follow the rules.
3. Tied in with this are characters and character development. And highly convoluted plots are not clever – they’re a turn-off. This forum comment was apt:
I once read a brilliant Youtube comment that went something along the lines of this: “Don’t you miss the days when it was just characters A, B, C and D fighting aliens and not character A turning out to be character B’s brother and characters C and D turning out to be in a gay relationship?”
Best. Youtube comment. Ever. Because it hits the nail on the head. Plot twists that serve no purpose and are not clever (come out of nowhere) are not necessary.
They should leave social issues out of it, except on things most would agree on. Having gay characters was utterly unnecessary and alienates a sizeable proportion of the viewing pool. Why do it in a nationally iconic SF show, ostensibly for kids? Turn-off, gross-out.
4. I’ve just seen the first three episodes of Series 5.
Am I the only one who is not into Smith shouting at people? And he’s not taking it seriously, which is one of the rules. It’s not a spoof or farce, to showcase the OTT talents of Matt Smith – he’s meant to be the Doctor.
At episode three of Series 5, let’s be charitable, he might develop … or not.
Interesting exchange between two women.
1. Amy Pond’s predecessor Donna was fantastic: confident, bolshy and outspoken …
Are you serious, lady? Those very traits are a total turn-off, that’s precisely what makes her so unpleasant.
Not so Amy Pond. From the beginning, she’s grumped her way around the universe like a spoiled teenager on an extended gap year, glaring at galaxies and complaining about the weather.
And Donna didn’t? What planet are you from, love?
Don’t get me wrong: Karen Gillan is a great actress, but her character’s constant bad temper and inability to follow simple instructions (such as, ‘don’t lock yourself in a room with a Weeping Angel’) was incredibly irritating.
Gillan a great actress? Bizarre. Irritating – yes. Woman N2 writes:
… also boring, unintelligent, stroppy and contrary. The only thing I disagree with was you saying KG is a good actress… In this case I beg to differ. The only emotions she was capable of displaying were the extremes, and often when the situation called for the subtle. Regardless, Pond was one of the worst companions ever.
Agreed, Bryony, at least so far.
The thing I don’t like about both Smith and Gillan is they’re OTT, they’re playacting rather than being the characters [cf. David Suchet, Jeremy Brett]. They can’t do emotion so they shout. Maybe some adolescents are into that and can relate to it – the rest of us can’t.
And this kooky, geeky thing with Gillan – I saw her flounce onto a couch in one interview and put on this kook act – it’s contrived, it’s egotistical, a way of getting maximum attention. So she also wears ultra-small miniskirt and those baby giraffe limbs are everywhere – in one scene with Smith, her thighs are right in shot behind/beside him – I get the idea of what we’re meant to feel. Sorry but to me, they’re not good thighs, unlike Rose’s or Clara’s. They’re straight and boring.
If she was a nice person though – well, they’d be rivetting thighs.
Another thing – some have said that Smith and Gillan set each other off, that this was chemistry. Have to disagree – she needs a strong Doctor to keep her grounded. He needed a strong woman to keep him on the straight and narrow. Together, they’re not good.
Early days yet and those are early thoughts.