A Hater Revisits nuWho

Discussion in 'Doctor Who' started by Bones2, Nov 30, 2009.

  1. Lindley

    Lindley Moderator with a Soul Moderator

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    As Ten says to Martha at one point, "Just walk around like you own the place. Usually works for me."

    There is some increased UNIT presence later in the show. For a while they dialed them back because the United Nations wasn't happy about being portrayed with a military arm or soemthing, but they figured out that if they called it the "Unified Intelligence Taskforce" then no one would complain.

    The Brigadier showed up once on the Sarah Jane Adventures, but not on Who so far.
     
  2. Bones2

    Bones2 Commodore Commodore

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    I didn't know that. Which episode?
     
  3. wamdue

    wamdue Admiral Admiral

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    Enemy Of The Bane
     
  4. Count Zero

    Count Zero Says who? Moderator

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    I just like to state for the record that you don't have to be under the age of 6 to find fart jokes funny. I know grown-up comedians who had a fart joke scene in the first movie they made.

    That said, "Aliens of London/World War Three" isn't that great a double-episode, though it has some good and funny scenes. I wonder, though, if you're that critical, how did you ever get into Who in the first place? The old series has its share of nonsensical plots, unrestrained camp and acting failures.
     
  5. Bones2

    Bones2 Commodore Commodore

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    Well, I was much younger when I used to watch the classic series. But I still found it captivating. I'd probably be harsher on it if I watched it now. But when the new series came along, there was a certain amount of excitement there that it was back, and then it seemed to start with a run of poor episodes, Unquiet Dead aside. I do find things to like in a lot of new Who, that's why I've started this topic. Maybe I've been too harsh on it.
     
  6. diankra

    diankra Commodore Commodore

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    It's always opened conventional doors, right back to Troughton (except when it's convenient for the writer for it not to, like in Image of the Fendahl).
    Similarly, given how often the earlier Doctors would sort out a problem with the TARDIS by hitting the console, finally keeping a hammer close to hand makes Who-ish sense!
     
  7. The

    The Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Actually, I am really enjoying these reviews. It's nice to see sincere criticisms of the show, in a forum built to praise it. However, I also agree that you can be a bit too nitpicky on some of the points. The Sonic Screwdriver, while insanely overused and outright silly at certain points (wait until Tennant starts waving it around like Harry-fucking-Potter), has always had a primary use of opening locks. So, if you want to complain about it, I'd avoid the rare times it's used for what it was always used for: opening doors. ;)

    And I honestly don't get the Eccleston dislike. I love it when the Doctor is surly, in ANY incarnation. That's why I've always loved Number Six and Number Nine. The first one is just mad as a hatter, and Eccleston is just the traumatized incarnation. It makes sense for him to be the way he is. It's The Doctor struggling to overcome the horror of The Time War and just be his old jolly self. But, he's obviously having trouble, and you can just see the boiling rage and pain behind the goofy grin. That's why I love the 9th Doctor so much.

    I will agree, though, that the two-parter you're watching is one of my least favorite episodes of Who. After the next part, though, get ready for some awesome in episode 6... :techman:
     
  8. The

    The Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Agreed. I love it because it shows how he's rebuilt the thing with pieces and scraps. You can just imagine what must have gone on during the War to tear the interior apart like that...
     
  9. TedShatner10

    TedShatner10 Commodore Commodore

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    I actually think Doctor Who under RTD's stewardship is pretty comparable to Star Trek: The Next Generation: a relatively high number of cheesy moments and incidents of sloppy scripting, but none the less the show is consistently entertaining and there are many episodes that will stand the test of time. NuWho is also the most popular full blown sci-fi show since TNG in that it's more or less fully mainstream, with non-nerds talking about at work, and not just a cult success like Stargate SG-1 or Farscape.
     
  10. Starkers

    Starkers Admiral Admiral

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    Though the Slitheen two parter is pretty rubbish there are some good bits...Harriet Jones (yes we know who you are), the space shipt crash, the whole Rose' dissapearance sub plot, and the beginings of Mickey coming into his own as a great character.

    On the whole though not good...
     
  11. TedShatner10

    TedShatner10 Commodore Commodore

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    The Slitheen two parter has its moments and on the whole better than the Daleks and Pigs in New York, but not as good as the Sontaran episodes.
     
  12. Bones2

    Bones2 Commodore Commodore

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    Yeah, but I think this was the first time it opened a normal door, so it goes on the list. And it was a door that needn't have been locked. If I recall, it was a cupboard with some rubbish on trolleys in. Also, I may be wrong, but I'm not sure the Doctor even tried the handle first. It wasn't much, but it was just unnecessary. As if it was just to confirm to the audience that "yep, I know we haven't seen it yet, but it can open proper doors too!".
    Yeah, but there's a difference between being surly or loveably irascible, and just being an absolute dink ("no, your name's Ricky" - err, hang on, this is the guy who's had a year of being outcast and accused of murder because of you). But then, the Doctor is relatively likeable in The Unquiet Dead, and to a lesser extent in The End of the World, so maybe it's the script rather than the acting. Who knows. But from what I've reseen so far, the Ninth Doctor is no more likeable than I recall, and he's still definitely my least favourite of the ten.
    Comparable to TNG? TNG at least took itself seriously, and produced some of the most memorable television I've ever seen. All shows have their highs and lows, but I'd take TNG any day. I get what you're saying about being popular, but the difference is that TNG didn't have that lowest common denominator appeal that RTD Who does. If you watch TNG, you're not guaranteed a space battle, but you may well get an interesting story that'll explore some interesting ideas. Scratch under the surface of Who and you'll find a lot less than with TNG.
     
  13. Bones2

    Bones2 Commodore Commodore

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    World War Three (0)

    Well done Russell, you've surpassed yourself.

    Yeah, so, remember that exciting cliffhanger where it looked like the Doctor was only going to die? Well, turns out that thing that looked like it was killing everyone (including him) was only deadly to humans. So he then picks off his tag of death, and tags it to the Slitheen in the room with him. Like a should-be-deadly game of, dare I say, tag. Excellent cliffhanger resolution. Better still, the lightning energy seems to start hurting the Slitheen chasing Jackie and Rose/Harriet. Why? Because otherwise RTD might actually have to make up a different way they can escape. And he's not clever enough for that.

    So, the Doctor runs off, gets some soldiers, the soldiers believe the Slitheen (in their people suits), and then chase after the Doctor until they have him at gunpoint. But aha! He's standing right in front of the lift. So while he keeps chattering away and they have ample time to grab him, he backs into the lift and goes to another floor.

    Meanwhile, Rose and Harriet are still hiding, now from three Slitheen. I'm sure this will be resolved logically. Ah yes, there we go: the Doctor runs in with a fire extinguisher. Sure is lucky he knew where to find them. And the Slitheen are idiots/useless.

    So, a bit of a chase ensues, until the Slitheen catch up. Now, the way I do these reviews is by taking notes as I watch the episode. Anyway, for the next bit, I paused it and wrote about a paragraph of why it was stupid. But then, there was a rare outbreak of competence in the writing when the Slitheen (albeit much later than the rest of us would) realised how stupid it was. So all my criticism of it (specifically, some idiotic non-jargon from the Doctor as to how his magic wand and a bottle of alcohol could kill them all) goes to waste. Still, plenty more where that came from.

    Anyway, rather than just attacking immediately, the Slitheen stumble around a bit while the Doctor gives a quick history of Downing Street, culminating in explaining how the cabinet room (which the Doctor, Rose, and Harriet are in, but the Slitheen are just outside) is the safest place ever. Then he presses a big obvious button at the side, and shielding comes up and surrounds the entire room. Now, even though he didn't do the sensible thing and press it as soon as he found out what he needed to from the Slitheen and as soon as they stopped being fooled by the old "sonic screwdriver to the whisky" trick, and instead took the time to chatter on even then, I'm (almost) willing to forgive it, purely because of how in the quick history he gives of Downing Street, he describes Mr Chicken as a nice man. Made me smile :). And that would be the last time I smile for this episode.

    Meanwhile, because the army are idiots/useless, we see Jackie and Mickey easily sneak around them to get to Mickey's flat. At the same time, some fat people who obviously aren't human go into Number 10, and the dead horse of flatulence is flogged a bit more. Lol, bodily functions sure are funny :).

    So, Rose, Harriet, and the Doctor talk, and apparently the British government no longer have control over their own nuclear weapons; the UN have the codes. Words can't describe how stupid this is, but it's a development very necessary to the plot. Harriet Jones says she voted against that, so here's a character who isn't an idiot/useless at least.

    They then phone Mickey (it's nice to know they can get a signal in a room completely surrounded by 3 inch thick steel), and after the Doctor insults Mickey for a bit (what a guy), Mickey helps by going onto the UN website. And conveniently, all the secret information known to man is kept on one website with only one password.

    Sadly, before things get too convenient and the episode can end, Constable Slitheen arrives at Mickey's door. So the Doctor asks Rose and Harriet to go through the things that the Slitheen can do because somehow he'll magically know their weakness. Then, he works out what planet they're from. Because despite knowing the planet they're from because of the nature of their gas exchange, he can't recognise their planet from looking at them.

    Anyway, considering the Slitheen is chasing Jackie and Mickey into the kitchen, it's damn useful that they're vulnerable to vinegar. And despite being gone for a year (what was the point in that subplot anyway?), Rose still knows Mickey's kitchen better than he does, so she tells him where the vinegar's kept, along with pickled onions and stuff. So they chuck vinegar at Officer Slitheen, and he explodes. Does it make sense that he explodes? I'm perhaps blissfully unaware enough of chemistry to be able to give a definitive no, but I'd have thought if such a reaction should happen, it should be immediate on contact, not with it standing there dripping for a few seconds first.

    History lesson though kids: Hannibal crossed the Alps by dissolving boulders with vinegar. Which is sort of true.

    So, then PM Slitheen goes outside and we get an odious little reference to the claim leading up to the invasion of Iraq that Saddam Hussein had weapons he could target at us and fire within 45 minutes, when he says that there are aliens above who can attack in 45 seconds. This is so that the UN will give Britain the codes to their own nuclear weapons, which they can then fire about at other countries starting World War 3, with everyone dying while the Slitheen watch, and then they sell off the bits of dead planet. Because bits of radioactive planet will apparently power spaceships. Why they can't just make some nukes (which you'd expect a species so advanced could easily do), radioactivise some barren planets, and sell that is but one of a million reasons why this is some of the most stupid and ridiculous television I've ever seen.

    Up until then, this episode could have been passed off as mindless, idiotic fun (I wouldn't call it fun, but at least, if nothing else, it's not boring). But this ham-fisted attempt to create a parallel to the WMD claims made leading up to the invasion of Iraq is ill-advised at best and offensive at worst. And it's not just a passing reference; the standard American fake news channel repeats the whole thing for us, as the UN supposedly deliberates and the Earth is propelled into "interplanetary war". How we'd strike this other planet I'd like to know, but...

    And then we get the stupidest false dilemma I've ever heard. The Doctor has a way to save the world, but he'd lose Rose. Oh no! Heart-wrenching! He'd lose an idiot girl he's known for about a week, while saving 5 billion people. Pathetic.

    Meanwhile, the UN council is deliberating (you'd think maybe they'd have a look at the sky themselves to see if these hostile aliens are up there before believing the words of a minor minister who's become British PM suddenly, which would make no sense to anyone). And Mickey continues to easily hack his way to wherever the plot needs him to. It seems the same password as worked for the UN site also works for the Royal Navy. And on the internet, you can fire missiles (though obviously not the nuclear ones without the codes, because that would be silly).

    So we get a tensionless race as we find the UN, being as stupid as everyone else on this show, has voted yes on the nuclear codes, and meanwhile a missile soars towards Downing Street to kill the Slitheen, while everyone else manages to evacuate, and the Doctor, Rose, and Harriet are safe after all in the big safe cabinet room. So that stupid dilemma with either Rose dying or everyone else in the world? Didn't exist. And even though they've been thrown around a steel shell, they all emerge completely unharmed and completely unrattled. Emerge by easily opening their way out of a supposedly impenetrable room that's survived being blasted by a missile and thrown around, I might add.

    A few pointless things happen and the episode takes 5 minutes longer to end than it should. And I'm left with a nasty taste in my mouth.

    Even the sight of a Dalek in the preview for next week can't lift my hopes. Doctor Who is dead, and they'll probably just ruin the Daleks as well.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2009
  14. WillsBabe

    WillsBabe Vice Admiral Admiral

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    :lol: :guffaw:

    I could wibble on about all the things that make Eccleston and 9 complelling for me, but I won't because, you'know, don't want to start boring my neighbours!
     
  15. Captain Pike

    Captain Pike Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Crikey Bones, if you've cracked a zero at this point then I guess you'll have to resort to negative numbers when you reach episodes like Love & Monsters!
     
  16. Jax

    Jax Admiral Admiral

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    If you can't like the next episode Dalek nor the season finale "Parting of the ways" I would pack it in ;). Season 1 is the weakest but still got some gems I feel though DT era is so much better.
     
  17. Bacl

    Bacl Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Hey I liked Love & Monsters...parts of it, anyway. Way better than Fear Her.
     
  18. wamdue

    wamdue Admiral Admiral

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    I think Red-Bonesed Reindeer needs to join the Leisure Hive, he (or she*) would fit in well there.

    * female avatar making me think Red-Bonesed Reindeer might be female.
     
  19. Bones2

    Bones2 Commodore Commodore

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    Blimey yes, once was enough when I watched that too. I really didn't expect to be giving a 0 rating before I watched WW3, but it was one mind-numbingly stupid thing after another, and then the tasteless "45 seconds" bit was the icing on the cake of shite. I nearly awarded half a star for the one smile it gave me, but that just wasn't enough. I was nauseated by the end. Which is how I recall feeling after Love and Monsters, now you mention it...
    No, I am a boy. Unless I'm on a night out anyway, then I could be anything. I just think Gul Ocett is really...err...cool. :adore:
     
  20. Lindley

    Lindley Moderator with a Soul Moderator

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    They can get a signal from the year 5 billion. 3-inch steel is a party trick by comparison.

    Agree with most of the rest though.