Skinny Idiot Redux
Well, that was pretty damn satisfying, wasn't it? I'm not sure there's anything profound or insightful that I can add when it comes to Time Crash, except to say that I punched the air and blasphemed like a trooper when the 5th Doctor yelled at his successor: "it would really help if there wasn't some skinny idiot ranting in my face!". Talk about feeling vindicated! Even the Doctor can't stand the smug, mockney twat that he will inevitably become; a Doctor who has as much emotional gravitas as a fluffy hot water bottle. Bwrrrilliant!
Oh, to see a proper Doctor again. A Doctor who actually registers the importance of almost bringing about the total destruction of the known universe by mistake. You know, instead of goofing off about it. A Doctor who's only crime against taste and decency is a stick of celery in his lapel. A Doctor who never snogged any of his companions, relied on his sonic screwdriver (setting #1425: Quiff Hair), or performed any comedy pratfalls. Dare I say it? A real Doctor.
Anyway, the tenth Doctor's interminable flippancy aside, there are plenty of great things to say about Time Crash. For starters, you have to admire the way in which Moffat manges to make the damn thing canon. How cheeky can you get? You just try explaining this one away, in between reconciling Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane with your pet theory about UNIT dating, of course. And why would you even bother? As a friend said to me as Time Crash concluded: "That would have made Last of the Time Lords tolerable". It even manages to explain how the Titanic managed to break through into the console - and that's been keeping people awake for months. Apparently.
The music stings in the style of Peter Howell and Paddy Kingsland had me in hysterics. And at least you could hear the dialogue for a change. And what fantastic dialogue it was too, although did we really expect anything less from Steven Moffat? So many quotable lines: the fan, the desktop theme, the rubbish beard, Belgium; there were more jokes in these five, precious minutes than in the whole of season 18. And then there's the inevitable squee factor, watching Davison racing around the TARDIS console spouting technobabble like a true professional, and those lovely throwaway kisses to the past: the Mara, the cloister bell, Nyssa, Tegan... A great addition to this scene would have been the 5th Doctor saying something like "And don't forget Adric..." with the 10th Doctor responding by pulling his trademark jaw-jut face before solemnly muttering to himself, "Nah, I'll never forget that muppet". OK, maybe not.
But, to reiterate a point that it's the 10th Doctor I can't stand, not David Tennant per se, his final lines were delivered quite beautifully. And even though I couldn't quite believe they were actually getting away with self-referential chutney on a massive scale, slap-bang in the middle of a telethon no less, I managed to well up all the same.
And let's face it, if there was a Doctor truly capable of snogging his own face off, it has to be the 10th...
PS: I, for one, can't wait to read Stephen James Walker's analysis of Time Crash when he releases the fourth Telos guide. I honestly believe that that Stephen James Walker is one of the greatest authors writing about Who right now, and if he stumbles over here whilst looking for quotes for the next installment then... no... wait... Stephen? James? Was it something I said???