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June 19th, 2006


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01:00 am - doctor who ytmnd
Every week when I watch the latest Doctor Who episode after it's beamed my way from across the ocean, I either laugh a bit, I laugh a lot, or I run over to the little keyboard and start pound pound pounding angry-sounding words until I run out of steam, and then I just private-lock the entire thing as-is without bothering to finish it. I got on quite a tear that way after "The Idiot's Lantern", and we're all better off that I bothered to scrap that one. (A choice bit from a few weeks ago: "I originally thought I'd landed in a Sylvester McCoy episode, but after some painful-ass Joss Whedonesque dialogue, I was sufficiently convinced that we were actually in an episode of Rosie: The Dalek Slayer.")

Yeah, the rest of it wasn't pretty, either.

So I'm happy to report that I can sum up the latest episode, "Love & Monsters", with a link to a brilliant YTMND meme on the episode. And all without having to resort to concrete slab sex jokes. (Mr. Davies, the next time you decide to skive off writing the third act of an upcoming episode by having a Cosmopolitan-filled Sex And The City DVD marathon or something, please don't leave the writing of the ending up to the Blue Peter contest winner who designed the Monster Of The Week for you. Because I really liked where you were going with this week's episode, as unabashedly Silly and Fluffy Filler as it was, right up until the ending. And that's all I'm going to say about that.)

(15 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


From:(Anonymous)
Date:June 19th, 2006 12:41 pm (UTC)

one good thing:

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Well, there were a couple. I liked Elton (Marc Warren) he'd been very good on Hustle, and was pretty kickass in that one Band of Brothers episode. But I liked the heavy anvil of foreshadowing that he laid upon us, regarding the ultimate fate of Rose "The Joker" Tyler.
But I can't help but look at the episode in a weird light, once I realize that at some point before during and after the arrative, the guy's going to facefuck a sentient concrete slab. That's weird shit. I didn't know Warren Ellis was writing for Doctor Who now.
-pete-
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From:mmcirvin
Date:June 19th, 2006 12:50 pm (UTC)
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It's not that Russell T. Davies is a bad writer. If he were a bad writer, it would be much easier to just dismiss and ignore his stuff. The problem is that he's often shockingly good, and it makes the badness all the much more painful. He's better at writing characters and naturalistic dialogue than I can ever imagine being, but one some level I don't think he really gets science fiction.

This episode was Exhibit A-Number-One. In the space of a 45-minute episode he manages to create a whole collection of endearing characters, a knowing parable about the rise and fall of the little communities people make, and Jackie Tyler's best story since the beginning of the series. And when he brings in the science-fiction element, he doesn't know how to handle it and it all goes to hell.
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From:derspatchel
Date:June 19th, 2006 01:28 pm (UTC)
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I agree. This episode was enormously entertaining, had some great moments ("L.I.N.D.A." was inspired), it gave Jackie some much-needed character, and had both Shirley Henderson and ELO. And honestly, who hasn't apartment-danced to "Mr. Blue Sky"?

Once the alien shed his human suit, it was all over from there. I think we can add "flabby pale green humanesque aliens smooshed into human suits" to the List of Dead Horses We Never Need To Beat Again. This list also includes "Londoners Being Collected For Sinister Purposes Through Newfangled Technology" after the little Cybermen arc and The Idiot's Lantern back-to-back extravaganza.
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From:sanspoof
Date:June 19th, 2006 02:28 pm (UTC)
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Ah, so true. This one was so much more enjoyable than a lot of his work though... I'm willing to forgive the weak ending, since I am so pleased that the rest of this episode did so well. I sort of enjoyed the fat alien waddling around after Blond Willem Dafoe Jr. As I announced at the time, 'We are REALLY SEEING THIS. They COMPLETELY did this on PURPOSE.' I mean, anyone who's ever seen a movie before knows that fat guy running is impossible to take seriously. I hope.
And, as I won't shut up about, every television show should have Mr. Blue Sky in it. Though they shouldn't have cut it off when they did, they should have done a long slow fade. You can't cut that song off. I tried once to make an amusing video with Forever Knight footage to it, and it was way too long for the idea but it was just not possible to cut the song. So sad, another potential youtube link strangled.
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From:derspatchel
Date:June 19th, 2006 03:19 pm (UTC)
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The loincloth totally made the scene for me. My train of thought went along the lines of "Wait, he better not be naked, good lord that's a line we simply cannot cro-- oh, he's got a loincloth on, that's all right." Then I realized what I'd just said. Frankly I can't believe fat waddling alien was able to keep up with skinny, lithesome Elton.

There's three distinct parts of Mr. Blue Sky -- the happy apartment dancing bit, the powerful ELO choral movement, and then the lingering Rhapsody-In-Blue-esque ending. They used the third part for the fade-to-white after the "that was the day my mom died" speech, which was kind of nice, even though the mom bit was thrown in for HEY KIDS LET'S HAVE SOME PATHOS. Didn't work.

Unless there was a connection with a past episode that I simply missed. I don't think that was the case, tho.

Also, I love that Otho icon a great deal.
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From:sanspoof
Date:June 19th, 2006 03:29 pm (UTC)
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Oh, that was a loincloth? I sort of thought it was hair. Well, either way.
Yeah, I agree that it was a good choice to bring back the end of the song at that point. Arguably they could have taken the concept further, but, oh well. Something about the whole 'I am declaring that I am emotionally hurt by you!' style that the show usually displays (probably Davies' fault) is just hideously wrong. It's telling-not-showing, for one thing, and usually the actors don't quite seem up to it. Maybe if it was more understated.
Mom-pathos is a really good example of what never works in the series. Also, did you note that Rose's primary function, which she fulfilled in this episode, is to hug and provide comfort? Seriously, she could be a cloth mother on wheels and I probably would like her more. And her character would be more believable.

You are of course welcome to use said icon, I don't mind. Or I could find an adjacent frame.
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From:derspatchel
Date:June 19th, 2006 04:48 pm (UTC)
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Thing about Rose is that her hug-n-comfort went very well with Christopher Eccleston's Doctor, the shellshocked war survivor. After seeing his race wiped out, he needed a bit of a hug and a nice cuppa, and Rose, needing a strong male figure in her life and a bit of adventure, was more than happy to oblige. Their relationship thrived on that. I seriously wish she'd fallen out of love with Tennant's Doctor, who's an entirely different person. Didn't they do that with Dax on Deep Space 9, for crying out loud? Anyway.

If you have one of Otho bangin away on the ice bucket during the Banana Boat Song scene, oh lordy I bet I could use that. :D
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From:sanspoof
Date:June 19th, 2006 05:32 pm (UTC)
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Ah-ha, easy enough.



Now we can have back-and-forth Otho scenes.

I do agree about that personality trait working better with Eccleston. Perhaps that's why Tennant's & her relationship has been reduced to 'YAY WE DO HAVE FUN'. It is a sad christmas indeed.
DS9 was not slouchful in the exploring ideas dept, I guess. Well, for a while, anyway.
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From:sanspoof
Date:June 19th, 2006 05:33 pm (UTC)
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PS: I removed Delia's hand from the bottom right. Hope you do not mind; it was hard to read.
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From:derspatchel
Date:June 19th, 2006 05:59 pm (UTC)
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Oh, rock on. Thank you veddy much!
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From:sanspoof
Date:June 19th, 2006 06:15 pm (UTC)
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Problem not.
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From:sanspoof
Date:June 19th, 2006 03:43 pm (UTC)
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From:alphacygni
Date:June 19th, 2006 01:10 pm (UTC)
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Where do you get your beaming? (Tell me in private if it's sekrit) I just watched the first new series season on Sci-Fi, and now I'm hooked, and jealous of those Brits.
From:zhym
Date:June 19th, 2006 05:17 pm (UTC)
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I haven't seen this one yet, but I really liked the two-parter that just finished last week. It did have its Whedonesque moments, though (Hey, it's violins playing while they open the viewport to see the black hole! Did we just fall into a Firefly spisode? If so, where's Kaylee, dangit?).

My feelings are still mixed on David Tennant as the Doctor. I'd probably even like him a lot if I didn't have fresh memories of Christopher Eccleston, who brought--and I never thought I'd say this about Doctor Who--a certain amount of gravitas to the role. That, and serious acting chops.
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From:antiquated_tory
Date:June 19th, 2006 11:25 pm (UTC)
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Don't look at me, we've been saving the last two episodes of the Eccleston series for a special occasion. Eve and I are probably the two least video-watching (meaning TV, film, the lot) technically wired people in the West.

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