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April 15th, 2009

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01:06 am - Doctor Who: The Planet of the Dead in brief
It was very easy to tell that Russell T. Davies wrote this Doctor Who episode with a collaborator (in this case, Gareth Roberts.) I have not yet seen the Doctor Who Confidential for this episode, but I am reasonably confident in myself and in Mr. Davies' abilities to create for you the following guide so that you can easily and unmistabkly identify when each of the writers took a turn at the script:
If something reasonably cool or even awesome is happening, that's Gareth Roberts' doing.

If something trite, cliché or just downright face-palmingly bad is happening, that's Russell T. Davies' doing.
The 200 level class will take place tomorrow.

Yes, I know Gareth Roberts is responsible for The Shakespeare Code too, but it felt like there was a very distinct dividing line in this episode that kept clearly marking where one writer left off and the other picked up.

(10 comments | Leave a comment)


Date:April 15th, 2009 06:28 am (UTC)
This is interesting, 'cause I mostly associate Gareth Roberts with some distinctly mediocre entries in the old New Adventures novel series. Paul Cornell he ain't. Russell T. Davies' entry into the line (Damaged Goods) was vastly better than anything Gareth Roberts wrote.

Or at least that's how I remember it; it's been years since I read anything by either author, and the various eye-rollers of the Russell T. Davies televion era might cast something of a pall on his novel in retrospect.

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Date:April 15th, 2009 08:04 pm (UTC)
I'm not saying Roberts is a saint, but Davies trotted out so many of his typical and annoying cliches for this Who (many of which he might have very well developed during this time) that he made Roberts' stuff look good in comparison. I liked the evil metallic manta rays. I didn't like the People Trapped In Some Place And Getting Near Panic, nor did I like the Obligatory Celebratory Kiss. Steed & Peel banter is fine, but when it came time to celebrate, here we are once more with the snog.

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Date:April 15th, 2009 10:03 pm (UTC)
But what about the SPOOKY PSYCHIC FORESHADOWING? That was so unexpected!
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Date:April 18th, 2009 09:11 pm (UTC)
I like how they introduce one brand new character type to each season's OH NOS WE ARE TRAPPED episode. By season 20 they'll have enough variety for a really lively game of Trivial Pursuit and those claustrophobic emergencies will just breeze by.
Date:April 25th, 2009 05:27 am (UTC)
Having finally seen the special...oh my goodness that was terrible. Working off your theory of authorship, I'd have to assume it was rather like those 'Piers Anthony and Someone You've Never Heard Of' collaborations, in which Roberts suggests one good idea (evil metal manta rays!) and Davies pads that out to a regrettable length with Jus' Plain Folks! Trapped! But Trusting the Doctor! And more glurgariffic scenes with UNIT! And an honest-to-goodness Magical Negro.

At least episodes like this make me miss having a regular season of Doctor Who less.
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Date:April 15th, 2009 01:03 pm (UTC)
I thought that episode seemed better than the usual Davies fare as of late. Thanks for reminding me why!

We only need to suffer through a few more episodes, and then Blinky McPompadore* takes over, thank god.

*=Thats my little pet name for Steve, you see...
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Date:April 15th, 2009 04:15 pm (UTC)
It's not that RTD is a terrible writer, per se. It's that he has particular themes re DrWho storytelling, which were underlying components of some very good scripts (early on) but have now metastasized into something blatant, omnipresent, and ugly.

My rule of thumb is, if the Doctor is getting a round of applause, it's RTD letting his kinks off the leash. (If the Doctor's round of applause actually saves the planet, it's time for RTD to go. Note that that was a year and a half ago.)
Date:April 16th, 2009 03:35 am (UTC)

What you said.

I am so sick of seeing people applaud the Doctor with overly loud John Williams-esque music in the foreground.
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Date:April 19th, 2009 02:09 am (UTC)
I miss Donna like burning.

Just sayin'.
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Date:April 20th, 2009 03:36 pm (UTC)
Me too.

And you know, if you told me I'd be saying that after only watching her Christmas Special, I'd have said something about being crazy.

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