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Old November 30 2009, 09:40 PM   #4
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Location: Blighty, guv.
Re: A Hater Revisits nuWho

bismarck_1892 wrote: View Post
Sorry, but that a bit strange. With that said, the 1-8 are still there to watch and enjoy.
Eh? What's strange?


I'll be rating out of 5 stars btw. 2.5 would be dead on average, 5 would make it perfectly amazing, 0 would be...perfectly awful I suppose.

Rose (*)
Really, this episode had it all to do. There was a new Doctor to introduce, and it had to present the new Doctor Who as a concept. Clearly it wouldn't do to be just like the old one. Because who wants to watch that in this day and age?

So, it goes about this by focusing on Rose. And this brings me to one of the biggest problems with new Doctor Who: the companion has become just as important as the Doctor himself. I recall at the time on one of the series 1 Doctor Who Confidentials that RTD would prattle on about how it's necessary to give the Doctor a family and people to connect to. Well, it's not really necessary, and it sort of removes the alien element from the Doctor. In the classic series (as it has become known), the companions served the purpose of being the audience's connection to the Doctor. It was through them that we always knew what was going on.

But that's more of a criticism of the new series as a whole than of this episode. The idea of getting to know this new Doctor and the new show through a relatable human is, admittedly a good one, and probably the best way to do it. Where this episode trips up is that it plays pretty much everything for laughs. Almost all of it falls flat, however: most of Jackie's lines (though the skin like a Bible one made me laugh), the plastic arm strangling, the Doctor's manic behaviour, and (worst of all) the bin burping.

As for the ninth Doctor himself, he veers between smug and irritating, and sounds like he holds humans in complete contempt, which is completely at odds with his previous selves. Indeed, at the time, hearing him talking about "stupid little people" and "blundering apes" made me think this was meant to be a complete reboot. As well as his complete lack of concern that it seemed Mickey was dead. Quite condescending too ("go home and have your beans on toast"). All while grinning like a maniac. Tom Baker pulled that off, this guy doesn't. And the one time we're meant to find him engaging, he's given completely dismal dialogue (that bit about how he can feel the earth moving), which Eccleston doesn't even try to salvage.

One thing that did work was the sense of intrigue that we get when Rose tries to research the Doctor and finds Clive (or the Bank Manager from the Nationwide ads, as he's most familiar to me). Though adding to the sense that this was a complete reboot was the fact that the only documented evidence of the Doctor is all the ninth Doctor. And the dialogue didn't go:
Clive: "And he has one constant companion."
Rose: "Who's that?"
Clive: "A metal dog called K9."
What did work for me was Billie Piper. Indeed, she outperformed Eccleston in the acting stakes. Though Rose was a bit of an idiot (not noticing how Mickey had changed), Piper was always completely believable in the role, and showed herself to be a great actress. I have to say though, as soon as she said "I could do A levels", I immediately replied in my head "no you couldn't".

It was also good to see the Autons. Spearhead from Space was an especially memorable episode, and the Autons were the main thing that made this feel like this was still Doctor Who.

But, for all the things I find to like, the attempts at humour damn near kill it entirely, and is why I can't give it more than 1.5.

Doctor: "What are you doing here?"
Rose: "I live here."
Doctor: "Well what d'you do that for?"
Not funny.

Doctor: "That won't last; he's gay and she's an alien."
Not funny. But this being RTD, we have to get a gay reference in.

I could go on.

So yeah, I do find things to like here, but not enough compared to the things I don't. Still, the next episode promise the end of the world. Blimey, that must be good.
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