Doctor Who vs the frigid virgins

Doctor Who tonight aired it’s fifth episode of the new Moffat era – “Flesh and Stone” – and with it’s final four minutes came yet another scene to allow the morality police of the Daily Mail readership types to rattle their well worn sabers.

You see, at the end of this episode the Doctor’s companion Amy threw herself at The Doctor. Sure enough forums like the rapidly growing right wing enclave Digital Spy rang out with righteous indignation and a misplaced moral fervour. “Won’t someone please think of the children” they all seemed to cry. “Im sick of the companions fancying him” some moaned, not realising that somehow they’ve missed the plot of the four previous episodes and key points of the show since 1963.

You see, in this very short amount of time we have learnt alot about this character. Amy is damaged. The Doctor had a profound effect on her. She was a child without any real family to speak of, certainly no father figure, and dreamed of escaping her mundane life long before she had even met The Doctor. She obsessed about him, she bit four psychiatrists when they dared to suggest he was real. She made a man who was hopelessly in love with her since childhood (Rory) substitute for him. She became a kissogram… Amy was broken. Amy of course was never meant to be this way, and it was The Doctor’s fault for entering her life. She didn’t want a relationship and doesn’t really fancy the Doctor as such, though she might believe she does, she just wanted one last fling and planned on it to be the person she had used as a father substitute. The girl has Daddy issues. She is a very realistic, rounded character. I’ve met her. She’s an escapist.

Of course the morality police of the Daily Mail have kicked in. They have never been able to reflect and accept the modern society we now live in. They dream of a bygone age of austerity that never existed. They don’t know of the world of children of American GIs in Britain, where women had affairs with them whilst they waited to be deployed to fight against the boy they erroneously backed in the Second World War. They forget the battles between Rockers and Mods and the highly sexually charged world of the late 50s and the birth of the teenager. They certainly don’t seem to remember the sexual revolution of the 60s either.

You see, tonight’s Doctor Who did that. It reflected culture like it always has, and I’d it in a way that young children wouldn’t really understand, Mom would titter at and Dad would wish he was in The Doctor’s place right there and then, quietly in the corner puffing out his cheeks and wondering why the Doctor was so mad as to keep replacing his braces over his shoulders.

The obsessive Doctor Who fans too once again rallied against the idea of The Doctor having a romantic relationship. Of course they forget his first companion was his granddaughter, or that to be there at all The Time Lords must have some kind of sexual relations, and that we have actually seen The Doctor’s mother too. They also seem to not notice that neither of them wanted romance either but that doesn’t stop those that are just jealous that it is not them getting to make out a little with their hero.

The Daily Mail and the frigid virgins of Doctor Who fandom would have you believe that Doctor Who maybe damaging our children and it’s reputation as a family show, and any kind of emotional or sexual angle to the characters is almost degrading our families and children. Far from it, 47 years of the show has shown us by now that Doctor Who isn’t just fantastic television, but it’s a cultural mirror that reflects our culture, that changes over time to evolve to that culture, and entertains the nation by showing us the culture we live in. It doesn’t just do that for it’s core audience either, it entertains a great many people not just in Britain, but all over the world.

If The Daily Mail or the sexless keyboard warriors of the Internet don’t like that, then they can just fuck right off.

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Doctor Who – The End of Time Review

Doctor Who - The End of Time

The End of Time

This is my review of David Tennant’s final stand as The Doctor, as written for TVOvermind.com
I’m hoping when the season kicks in during 2010, that my Doctor Who cohort might see fit to arrange a schedule with me so I don’t have to write all 13 reviews. *cough cough*

Anyway, heres my take on the show, suffice to say I like it enough that I will be purchasing it in one form or another….

Doctor Who, unlike any other show, before it or since, has thrived on a world of change. The character’s basic premise of regeneration was built into the show to never have to rely on one single actor to take the role, and that the mantle could pass down from actor to actor generation to generation, era to era. The 2 part finale shown in the UK and US during the Christmas and New Year period was designed to leave you in no doubt, then end of an era began in 2005 was here.

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Doctor Who : Waters of Mars

This is a reposting of my article from TVOvermind.com

Doctor Who Waters of MarsWARNING: This review is based on the UK broadcast of Doctor Who : Waters of Mars and contains a few spoilers. The episode will air on BBC America on December 19th, and SPACE in Canada at an unannounced time. If you do not wish to be spoiled, please do not click through.

Bowie Base One. 21st November 2059. A certain timelord decides to take a little sightseeing trip on Mars. Leaving his TARDIS to take in the beautiful red hued vistas. Upon leaving the TARDIS he views a station, and suddenly feels a weapon in his back. A robot, GADGET (pictured left with The Doctor and Adelaide Brooke), who takes him to the base.

And lo, Doctor Who is back after a seven month break in proceedings, and he’s darker than he has been for quite a while…

Captain Adelaide Brooke leads her team of International Scientists on humanity’s first base on another planet. The Doctor is brought into the base,  and soon realises who these people are, what they are doing there, and that he has to leave.

So begins the catastrophic events of The Waters of Mars, with Maggie, under the part influence of the infection revealing that their goal is the water rich Earth, and the Doctor cannot help. This is a fixed point in time, something that cannot change, and he has to leave because he cannot interfere.

As the Doctor himself exclaims, water is patient, and will get through anything eventually. Sure enough it does, slowly pushing the crew further and further around the base as they try and escape the virus infected humans. The Doctor and Adelaide end up discussing the situation, including how Adelaide’s eventual death influences her Granddaughter’s own travels into the stars in the future. Adelaide tells the story of her loss of her parents, to the Dalek’s during the time when The Earth was moved (from the Season 4 finale), explaining that whilst hiding in her attic room, a Dalek saw her through the window, it stared, before leaving without attacking her, in one particularly well handled moment using Dalek’s without having to overuse them, or turning them into overly clown-like characters, as seen in the Season 4 finale “Journey’s End”

Adelaide defiantly tries to evacuate her and her crew anyway, regardless of the Doctor’s warning via the Ship connected to the base, with the Doctor leaving via the airlock to take the long walk back to the TARDIS.

As he leaves, over the intercom he hears the chaos unfolding in the base. With more infections, including the infection of Adelaide’s number two Ed in the ship, who explodes the rocket after he is infected, stopping the virus from ever being able to reach Earth. As the rocket explodes, it knocks the Doctor off his feet. He stands up to watch the carnage of the explosion, which seems to enrage the Doctor into action, realising his is the last of his kind and understanding what kind of power he is now solely in control of. The Doctor letting the power he has go to his head. The kind of power that has him looking for companions to stop him from becoming the man he doesn’t want to be.

He rushes back to help Adelaide and the remaining survivors, eventually using the souped up GADGET to go to the TARDIS and bring it to him, just in time to evacuate Adelaide and two of her crew.

Adelaide and her two remaining crew are returned back to Earth. She discusses with the Doctor what he has done. Telling him that he shouldn’t wield his power in the way he did. She was supposed to die, and should never have been saved by him. The Doctor consumed by the darker side of him, the side that committed the destruction in the Time War, and his near genocide of the Racnoss. He exclaims that he is the Time Lord Victorious, the one man who survived, and now can do anything. Adelaide, disgusted at his behaviour tells him that no man should wield this power and goes into her home, brandishing her gun. Just as the Doctor turns to enter the TARDIS, he hears her weapon fire. Adelaide killed herself, making sure the future could still happen in the way it intended. The Doctor is in complete panic, realising not only what is becoming, but that indeed his time is over, seeing a vision of Ood Sigma in the distance, recalling the prophecy that the Ood gave to the Doctor last time they met.

As the Doctor stands in the TARDIS, contemplating his actions the cloister bell, which signals to the Doctor an impending doom, tolls. As it rings he exclaims that he won’t let the 4 knocks prophecy occur, and the episode runs to titles.

Russell T. Davies and Phil Ford wrote this episode. At times, it shows that Russell was involved, in particular with the slightly ridiculous voice and characterisation of GADGET, who like all robotic Doctor Who characters seems to want to repeat the same phrase over and over. We now have “GADGET! GADGET!” to add to “EXTERMINATE!” and “DELETE!”. It is also not all that far removed in its basic essence from episodes like The Satan Pit, with the basic Doctor and people in a remote location trying to escape something terrifying in place. Its nothing totally original, both influenced by its own previous episodes, and obvious references to modern zombie productions like the “28 Days/Weeks Later” movies. The episode also channels classic Who themes of inevitability, helplessness and hope, not that these themes are poorly handled at all, quite the contrary.

However, the story itself is almost superfluous to the underlying tale of The Doctor’s descent into his darker, more dangerous and reckless side and the incredibly well thought out and beautifully poised flashback scene featuring young Adelaide with its very short Dalek cameo, showing just how good a writer Russell can be when the reigns are in place (perhaps due to Phil Ford’s influence). Tennant channeling The Doctor’s darker side showed him at his best at an actor, not hamming up the scenes as he has in the past  with both the Doctor and his most famous role before The Doctor as Barty Crouch Jr in the Harry Potter films. The ever dependable Lindsay Duncan provides a great foil for Tennant, with both parading their pedigree as stage actors on the small screen with aplomb. They are directed by Doctor Who favourite Graeme Harper with a far more gentle, deft hand than seen by him in previous episodes. Tennant certainly isn’t the Doctor that has been criticised for gurning and slap stick in the past. The supporting cast, whilst ultimately mostly forgettable are also strong, never dragging behind in the episode or leaving you feeling as if they weren’t as carefully picked as the leads.

It is a far stronger episode than the previous Easter Special “Planet of the Dead”, with the darker tone of the show giving us a tantalising hint of what might be to come with new showrunner Steven Moffat. Whatever the situation, we can see just how Russell T. Davies made this show into the spectacular success it has become, by deftly being able to blend more adult themes into a family show, and appealing on multiple levels to multiple people. The enemy this time will scare the living wits out of the kids, whilst the deeper and darker story enthrals the older viewer.

“The Waters of Mars” is one of the best episodes in Who for a long time, certainly not since the June 2008 episode “Midnight” have I enjoyed Doctor Who as much as this. At the end of the episode we were given a glance towards the final episodes “The End of Time”.  I won’t mention what happens, or who we see, but lets just say this; We all know Russell T. Davies is at his strongest as a writer when the end of a season begins to roll in, we saw this with episodes such as “Utopia” from Season 3 and the previously mentioned “Midnight” and “Turn Left” from Season 4. What he’ll be able to bring to the table on Christmas Day and New Year, is anyone’s guess.

Just don’t do something akin to spinning the Dalek’s around in circles in order to defeat them last time you had a crescendo like this, and avoid evil characters, no matter how unhinged dancing around to the sound of the Scissor Sisters, OK Russell?

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