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Cliche after cliche

July 2, 2007

So. The Who finale then. Well. I suppose it wasn’t too bad, in the grand scheme of things But maybe that’s because I wasn’t expecting it to blow me away. Half the time I wasn’t sure what was going on, and I’m not sure RTD did either.

So, from what I could make out, the Master had taken the TARDIS to Utopia, discovered that the human race had been lead a merry dance in the darkness as it were, and promised to bring them back to Earth in 2007 so they could kill their own race bit by bit so they wouldn’t have to travel to Utopia. Right? No?

One of the major things when doing time-travel sci fi is that you must obey the rules. So, if a race of people travel back in time to destroy themselves, then they can’t exist as it were. You can’t go inventing a paradox machine to somehow keep the paradox in place. Because that’s just silly (and it makes my head hurt).

In other ridiculousness, Jack is the Face of Boe (oh, come on! How clunky was that piece of info stuck in. Embarrassing to watch…) and the Doctor spends most of the episode looking like a cross between Davros and Dobby from the Harry Potter films. Plus there was more heavy borrowing from RTD’s inspirations, this time the funeral pyre from Return of the Jedi (except not as subtle at all this time eh Russ?!) Any other cliches people?

I never knew Timelords could choose to regenerate or die. Bit silly really. Surely if they can just choose to die it kinda defeats the point of being a Timelord; traveling through time for all eternity? Explanations gratefully accepted here.

Top sci fi clichés this episode:
1. The ‘Reset button moment’
Very annoying and lazy writing on RTD’s part. Liked the way that it wasn’t totally reset though; the US president had still been assassinated. Nice little political nod there…

2. The ‘loyal’ person turning against her lover
Very done to death. As soon as I saw her I knew she’d be his downfall (although she was actually saving him from a lifetime of being kept by the Doc).

3. The unexpected person firing the gun at the end
Ditto. It was so obviously going to be Francine in the end.

4. Thousands of CGI monsters descending on earth (again)
I’ve mentioned this before. I’m sure RTD could come up with a better, more menacing threat to the world than just lots and lots of CG monsters. If he really thought about it, he’d come up with something evil.

*** Does anyone have any more? ***

So, on to future Who news:
> Freema will return but about half way thru series four. Jolly good. I like Martha but am not sure about the whole ‘in love with the Doctor’ thing and her recent change into gung ho Marta.
> In the mean time, the Doctor has a new companion and they’re casting as we speak (or as I type). I shall take this opportunity to make a plea to RTD to please please please use Sally Sparrow while you can. It’d be great. Doctor pops back to her shop a bit after the Blink ep, she’s having relationship probs and leaves with the Doc. Then Freema comes back, in the mean time, Sally’s realised that she does love her bloke and she understand what matters in life and (in a Sarah-Jane type way) tells him she can’t be with him anymore. Perfick. And get Moffat to write it.
> Dave might leave half way thru series four. Noooooooo! No. I won’t have it. OK, I might have it, but only if Stephen Fry is the 11th Doc (with Brian Blessed as his evil nemesis).
> Doesn’t look like Moffat is writing any of series four. Jealous much RTD?

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. Badger Madge permalink
    July 2, 2007 11:32 am

    Ah! Lots of people holding hands and chanting is kind of like Ghostbusters two…

  2. Rhian permalink
    July 2, 2007 12:21 pm

    Well the Doctor’s resurrection was very much ‘I believe in fairies’ from Peter Pan!

    Quite liked Jack being Boe but so clumsily done! ‘Oh I’m off now, just before I go, people used to call me the Face of Boe! Not sure why you’d want to know that and I’m sure it won’t mean anything to you, but just thought I’d mention it…’

    Francine? Wasn’t his wife called Lucy? I think it’s a plot they had together, he pretends to die to escape the Doc, his essence is in the ring (bearing the LazLabs logo) which she gets at the end. On that point, just how stupid is the Doctor?! Two minutes earlier he was certain that the Master wouldn’t destroy the earth because he wouldn’t kill himself, but then he believes he’s dead at the end?? The Master has seemed dead many many times before, including being burned, so the Doc really should know better.

    Having said that, I loved the Doctor’s reaction to his death, v moving. And I absolutely adored John Simm as the Master 🙂

  3. Badger Madge permalink
    July 2, 2007 1:35 pm

    Francine was Martha’s mate… Oh, yes you’re right it was Lucy.

  4. Paul permalink
    July 2, 2007 2:01 pm

    Flash Gordon movie homage at the end with a hand (Lucy’s) picking up The Master’s ring and his evil chuckle resonating around, implying he isn’t dead after all (which wouldn’t be a surprise. how many times has he appeared to die in the old show and come back?)

    Generally rubbish. I was appalled at having such drivel foist upon me. Turning back time is probably the most cardinal sin RTD could ever make. Particularly in show where its been stated time and again that you just can’t/shouldn’t do that. Even if its possible, you still shouldn’t do it because its the laziest get-out-of-that EVER.

    Abysmal.

    Looking forward to Martha in Torchwood though.

  5. Badger Madge permalink
    July 2, 2007 2:09 pm

    Cheers for all your comments so far, guys.

    Thinking back on the episode, I’m actually quite angry that RTD reduced the Doctor/Tennant to Dobby in a cage. Tennant is a superb actor, so why turn him into a CG animal and then have an occassional shot of him and his puppy dogs? The show is called Dr Who FFS, not Martha saves the world.

    While it’s great to have a strong female lead and companion, I don’t think it’s the companion’s place to save the world.

    But then, I suppose (seeing as RTD created the character of Martha) he’s more comfy writing for her than the Doc. Someone was saying on the Digi Spy forums that RTD has said he always wanted to the the companion and not the Doc like most boys, so maybe this is why his eps feature the companion more heavily.

    Dude, ust give it up to Moffat, yeah?!

  6. Badger Madge permalink
    July 2, 2007 4:48 pm

    This comment is from a mate of mine who posted the comment on my Facebook page. I liked his other opinion so much that I’m posting it here too…

    Below his comment is my reply…

    One of the major things when doing time-travel sci fi is that you must obey the rules. So, if a race of people travel back in time to destroy themselves, then they can’t exist as it were. You can’t go inventing a paradox machine to somehow keep the paradox in place. Because that’s just silly (and it makes my head hurt).

    ok firstly, there is a precedent for the paradox machine in earlier Who adventures, the Master has turned the Tardis into it before. Tthe idea that the greatest evil of all is man.. is pretty cool and chimes in with the theme of the series, remember Harriet?

    Jack as the face of Boe was pretty cool and a good moment and it wasn’t definite, maybe a bit of a joke but makes sense of Y.A.N.A. in ‘Utopia’ which I initally thought was a ropey coincidence.

    Reset button was obvious but you can’t massacre half the globe and come back as if nothing happened next series.

    Lucy turning against The Master (loved her subtle black eye) again without wanting to revel in my geekiness, this is a precedent held by the Master he even acknowledges it.. ‘it’s always the women’ line when dying. The Master ALWAYS gets shot / stabbed by his female sidekick, indeed a cliche but one that Who started in the 70’s.

    CGI monster’s ( human beings) were great and better than the boring Cybermen and Thank God they resisted the urge to bring back the daleks again…

    ok the CGI monster was a bit of a let down but I can live with it. The funeral pyre was reminiscent of Jedi (and previous Who) – no bad thing steal from the best – and obviously the Master wasn’t dead he just wanted to hurt the Doc which he did beautifully (he won).

    Oh and geek hat on Timelords can choose not to regenerate a precedent set by Pertwee way back when.
    ooh and stephen moffat is back next series I believe writing a stand alone and 2 parter (RTD is reducing his commitments).

    Other comments I thin Series 3 has been a weird one it started kind of badly but after Lazarus improved greatly best series and stand alone episodes.

    Loved lazarus, 42, Family of blood 2 parter, blink and final trilogy. Hated dalek 2 parter, first 3 episodes were ok.

    Out of interest I thought series 1 started ok and was brillinat by the end, series 2 started brilliantly but was crap by the end. (I wanted to murder weeping Rose Tyler myself by the end).

    Hated Freema until Family of Blood 2 parter then warmed to her. Loved her at the end of the series – far more of a hero (well she is middle calss :-)) as she put her family first, take note Rose Tyler.

    Ok top Six Who episodes so far

    1) Family of Blood 2 parter
    2) Last weeks episode with Simm (forget what it’s called)
    3) Boom Town
    4) Father’s day
    5) Utopia
    6) Last of Time Lords

    (love Pyramids of Mars from Tom Baker run as well)

    ok place your bets for next year?

    Daleks + Cybermen controlled by the Master verses Doc + new sidekick + Martha, penultimate cliffhanger will be… Doctor and friends decimated , earth overrun and Cap Jack + Rose + family will turn up to help… bet ya.

    Finally did you notice the Bad wolf reference in the last episode, everything is going to come together… RTD is just like Whedon….

    Badger Madge:
    Hey you, cheers for that! Glad to have a veteran Who fan to explain a few things. I still think it’s silly that Timelords choose to die or regenerate. That’s just silly.

    YANA is still silly regardless of whether Boe is Jack or not. I’m not complaining that it’s Jack, just the way it was done was soooo clunky and badly written.

    You’re right, you can’t massacre the world etc but a reset button is lazy and annoying – surely then, the Doc can just use the same premise to get out of every dire dituation from now on. Lazy, lazy, lazy and I’m sure RTD is creative enough to be able to write something better (either that or not get himself into such corners in the first place).

    Glad Moffat is back. I shall discard my list!

    So odd about your list: I disagree mainly. Loved FoB and Blink (they’re prolly my fave so far) but can’t remember too far back… I liked the warewolf/Queen Vic one and there were a few others from series 1 and 2 that I liked (all creepy and non RTD).

    Liking your thoughts for next year. Who do you think will be the new companion? Some are suggesting Dr Tom from last ep… I’m not so sure. He’s cute, but they’ve done that whole ‘taking a character from the last ep and making them a companion’ thing. I’m all for Sally Sparrow. Vote Sally Sparrow X

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