Judging from my last comments about the current series of Doctor Who I wondered if I was going to be led into a room of utter despair, but I was surprised. Cold War saw the return of the Ice Warriors, in an episode that featured only one of them in a number of scenes reminiscent of the film Alien. The story was wonderfully pleasant and touched on my fondest memories of classic Who. What better than a group of mariners trapped on a submarine deep underwater, if that wasn’t terrifying enough! One also has Grand Marshal Skaldak to contend with in and out of his suit…I’ve always wondered what they look like out of their uniforms, still do.
Okay, so story good, special effects good, atmosphere good (but borrowed, not original) but I don’t really care for the character of Clara and that bloomin’ sonic screwdriver is continuously exploited as a plot device from episode to episode. Holy moly if the Doctor ever seriously loses it then we’ll never have a story where he solves a problem without ever needing to use it! However, my point here is that I enjoyed the episode.
The fourth episode, Hide, was just as good as the previous story. It has a great cast and I was hooked at the start sat with my dinner on my lap enjoying every moment. A little scary but the story’s haunting was only due to a pair of aliens in love who had been separated for a long time, one trapped here on Earth and the other trapped in another dimensional reality. How sentimenal, how dull, zzzz.
This was a lost opportunity for genuine creepiness, the sort that Blink offered but instead we’re back to the same old lovey-dovey side of human nature. It makes me sick with rage and I want to get my big stick and whack the heads of the writing team again and again and again until I hear a voice or two cry ouch! I might even take that sonic screwdriver and shove it where the sun doesn’t shine (I love Fox Mulder’s character).
When are you guys going to learn that the cause of ‘hauntings’ isn’t meant to be about people being in love. The idea of being separated into different realities didn’t lend itself to a spooky atmosphere. Stop being traditionally Dickensian, I know you work for the BBC but you need to up the Aunty and stop being namby-pamby!
Stories of love and tragedy also contain expressions of anger even hatred by a love that’s been spurned or other horrible tragedies such as death caused by jealousy. Do you not think an audience would be interested in such things where viewers can feel sympathy for a victim. How about the personality behind the haunting to be an utterly evil force that needs banishing by the Doctor and without the use of his blasted sonic screwdriver!
I think Doctor Who writers need to rethink their stories and offer us something original. Either do that or I want to see the return of Sapphire and Steel, where the stories were scary and different.
I’m trying to be as positive as possible about Dr Who and whilst I did enjoy the last two episodes they weren’t at all original stories. I know the success of the film The Woman in Black makes it difficult for writers to do something to rival it but at least make the effort!I feel very strongly about this but I think the writers are perhaps resting on their laurels of past efforts and in so doing are losing opportunities in creating unique plotlines. I don’t believe that Doctor Who has ran its course as there are plenty of writers outside of the BBC who contribute original fiction within Who fandom on a regular basis, so I think there’s hope yet.
Next time I will comment on something Ufological along with belief systems….unless the next episode of Who I watch punches me below the belt.