Sunday, 29 June 2008

So now the end is near...

So here we are at another season finale, and the third one in four series to feature the Daleks.

I don't want to say too much at this stage as we're only half way through but I have to say I was quite impressed. With so many returning characters, plus the Daleks, plus Davros plus something approaching a plot, it should have been a disaster. But somehow Russell T Davies manages to make this work which is a testament to his abilities as a writer. It may not be his best script, but the fact that he managed to produce something that was not only watchable but so much fun as well just goes to show how much he deserves the OBE.

Pretty much every character gets a decent amount of screen time, with the exception of Martha's mum though that's no big loss; she's such an unmemorable character that I've already forgotten her name. The Doctor, too, seems to take a bit of a back seat here but hopefully he'll move centre stage for the finale on Saturday. Of course who will be playing the Doctor will depend on how they resolve the cliffhanger...

Ah yes, the cliffhanger. Suprisingly quite a lot of fans are rather upset at this cliffhanger, convinced that somehow the Doctor would escape the one thing that in the past he could never escape from: regeneration. They may well have a point but using the regeneration as a cliffhanger is a stoke of genius. The point of cliffhangers is to get the audience talking and excited about the next episode. Well I think it's fair to say that people are definitely talking about it. There are rumours and counter-rumours and lots of theories about whether we will see a new Doctor on Saturday night and who that new Doctor may be.

Personally I don't think he will change, though I'm not sure quite how he might get out of it. Then again Russell T Davies does like to try and surprise his audience. Maybe he has one more big surprise lined up for us.

Before I go, I hear that they've lined up a replacement for Sir Alan Sugar in the next series of the Apprentice:

"You're fired!"

Saturday, 21 June 2008

Two Words...

I'm back!! Yes I know it's been months but I had more important things to occupy my time. Yes, more important than Doctor Who. Shocking I know. Anyway I'm back now and there's lots to catch up on so what better place to start than with this weeks episode Turn Left.

And so to another two words: Rose Tyler. Yes, she's back too though at first I found her return somewhat flat. Billie Piper seemed to take a while to get back into character; at times it was as if Billie was doing an impersonation of herself playing Rose. But by the end it felt as if Rose was finally back and it certainly seems to bode well for the final two episodes.

The episode itself was another attempt to stretch the format of the series. This season seems to be more experimental than any other which is something I'm all in favour of. It's also the darkest season so far and this episode is perhaps the darkest of the lot with Donna discovering what the world would be like without the Doctor to save it time and again.

For the long-term viewer it's a real treat, with references to several past episodes as well Torchwood, Martha and Sarah Jane. Doubtless some people will feel that these references are going to alienate and confuse the causal viewer and will complain bitterly that RTD is being self-indulgent but these nods to the recent past are done in such a way that even a casual viewer should be able to follow the story.

My only complaint is that the action that Donna takes to save the day at the end of the episode seemed rather obvious even to me and I'm not the most observant of people. Plus it smacks a little of a certain Season One episode.

And so to the end and two more words that resonate right back to the first (well OK, technically the second) episode of this revamped series and is enough to make the Doctor do what he seems to do best (ie run around with his mouth open like particularly well-dressed goldfish. I know there is at least one person reading this who hasn't seen the episode yet so I'll refrain from saying what those words are but I'm surprised I didn't guess what they'd be (I told you I wasn't very observant). The ending, without wanting to give too much, away was great and I love the detail that went into the final sequence.

Finally, three words about the next week trailer: Oh. My. God. I honestly don't think a trailer has ever excited me so much. This is looking to be a great finale. Not a finale for David Tennant, as some believe but for Russell T Davies. I know he's writing the specials next year but this is his last full series and I get the feeling that he's going to be using these next two episodes as an excuse to have one last play with all his toys before he lets Steven Moffatt have a go.