Thursday, November 28, 2013

That was the Doctor Who that was - A 50th Anniversary Post

From the outset, I make no apologies for any spoilers in this post. You really should have watched the Doctor Who 50th anniversary stuff by now, and if you haven't and go any further, you deserve everything you get.

So, the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who and all the associated shenanigans.

Ultimately, what a load of old rubbish.

The plot made absolutely no sense - who are these "Gallifresians" that they keep banging on about? That Wurzel Gummidge chap Jonathan Pertwee wasn't even given any lines which is absolutely unforgivable being as he was the longest Doctor Who ever for the eight years before 1948 and 1956, and the continuity people didn't even give Tom Baker the right coloured hair or a funny long scarf. They had David Tennants doctor running about even though I definitely remember him "rejuvenating" (See, I know all the terms) into Matthew Smith (the guy who wrote Maniac Miner for the Spectrum 48k) back in 2002 or something, and for some reason they had Kane from Alien wandering about calling himself the "Wart Doctor". And why do they have to bring back the Daleks over and over again? What's wrong with using some of the classic villains like The Hood or Zelda and Yung-Star? What a load of old bollocky nonsense - Michael Grade had the right idea putting it on the TV schedule against Crossroads years back so it would die a natural death - Stephen Muffet is terrible and shouldn't be allowed anywhere near Doctor Who. Bring back Russell T. Davison - he never got anything wrong, especially when he did that great one ("Loving Monsters?") with Peter Kay.

So I hear - I didn't even watch it. It's a kids show anyway.

But of course, that's not true at all, is it? I thought the pinnacle of the 50th celebrations would have been "An Adventure in Space and Time", a wonderful dramatisation of the creation of the series back in 1963. Poignant and made with a level of loving detail that you don't see very often, it was clearly Mark Gatiss writing a love letter to a show that is clearly so dear to him.

But the big event of the celebrations was the 50th Anniversary episode "The Day of the Doctor". Excitement had already begin building to fever pitch after the mini episode prequel in which we got to see Paul McGann playing the doctor again and regeneration into John Hurt, but this episode carried the weight of a great deal of expectation.

And did it deliver?

Oh yes. Again, one of those scripts that dazzled you and left you breathless and didn't give you time to think about the occasional pothole "Hey, hang on, didn't he just--? Whoa! Explosions and daleks!", but overall a cracking 50th anniversary episode. The production values made it feel big but rather than go the Michael Bay route of style over substance there were enough moments of contemplation and poignancy and a tendency to enjoy and celebrate the damn history of the thing that it carried itself nicely. With an ending that almost mirrors the doctors habit of regenerating by regenerating the series itself, giving it a new sense of purpose and urgency that it's been lacking in recent seasons.

Splendid telly. Here's to the 100th.

..and for those of you around in 2063 (which is unlikely to include me) I want you to do me a favour. Seriously. Do it for me.

When you're on whatever the internet is called then (probably the SuperHyperBrainNet, or something) and you see someone talking about the impending 100th Doctor Who Anniversary episode and they're moaning about what little they know of the plot and are suggesting a myriad of ways in which it could be improved if they were in charge, then please copy and paste the following chunk of text in response to it:

Hi there. Its more than likely that I'm dead now, but somebody has done me the favour of copying and pasting my catch-all response here, and I think it'll probably apply. I'm sorry to say that - even  though I'm a Star Wars fan - I've never known such a pissy and entitled group of fans as those who watch Doctor Who. Can you please for one second stop fucking whining about what should be a wonderful celebration of a well loved program and have a little faith that the program makers will get it right? And If you're stating three weeks in advance you're not going to watch it because it'll be shit, that your friends hold you to that and if you dare start enthusing about it five minutes after it finishes then they're given my posthumous permission to beat your face into a sloppy pulp.

And stop writing pissing script ideas that you think would make it better. You can't even tell the difference between "could have" and "could of" so you'll forgive me in not holding my breath (joke, I'm dead) for you to come up with some wonderful BAFTA winning Doctor Who script.

In short, piss off and start enjoying it.

You doing this small favour for me is the closest I'll ever get to time travelling. Thanks in advance.

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