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Dec 19, 2005

Games Without Frontiers

I won’t bother regurgitating what I had to say six months ago about either ‘Bad Wolf’ or tomorrow’s season finale, as judging by what I seemed to have to say about both at the time (Bad Wolf Review and Parting of the Ways Review) my views have not changed a bit. So instead - and at the risk of coming over a bit Jimmy Carr - here are…

Twenty things to love about ‘Bad Wolf’

1. The spinning, head-down shot of Eccleston’s Doctor waking up in the Big Brother household - in an episode resplendent with director Joe Ahearne’s visual gymnastics, this remains my one favourite shot.

2. ‘You have got to be kidding’ - Who rips open the zeitgeist of modern TV with a scathing (but affectionate) satire of the whole ‘Reality TV’ sub-genre; and it’s RTD’s best self-scripted episode of the series by far.

3. The Anne-Droid. And I don’t care what anyone else says, the lady herself was a genuine sport for getting involved.

4. ‘Ladies, your viewing figures just went up’. Captain Jack flirting with the makeover-bots.

5. Lynda (with a ‘y’). As the Doctor himself says, ‘sweet’; and like Rose before her, offered the chance by the Doctor to change her life for the better.

6. The Doctor’s reaction to finding himself in the Big Brother household would pretty much echo mine. And I just love the way Eccleston reluctantly holds hands with the other housemates.

7. ‘I’m gonna find my friends…and then I’m gonna find you’. The Ninth Doctor gets tough.

8. Play or Die over on The Weakest Link. Who doing what it does best: taking a familiar (even banal) concept and giving it a macabre, surreal twist.

9. The Controller: equal part Minority Report’s Agatha and the first Emperor Dalek.

10. ‘Believe it or not, all I’m after is a quiet life’.

11. The human race as brainless sheep, consuming a diet of endless game shows, reality TV and makeover programmes. 200,100 or 2005?

12. The Doctor’s stunned - almost paralysed - reaction to Rose’s ‘death’. A genuine contender (amongst oh so many) for Eccleston’s finest moment as the Doctor.

13. ‘Let’s Do It’. All’s not lost, as the Doctor and Jack kick arse.

14. That familiar throbbing sound effect as Rose awakes…

15. …and the reflection as the Controller finally meets her Masters.

16. The moment when forty years of cruel jibes about cheap special effects and sub-Star Wars spectacle died in people’s throats: the Dalek fleet is decloaked.

17. Eccleston squares his shoulders, faces his oldest and deadliest enemy and gives that speech. Henry V, eat your heart out.

18. ‘Rose’ - ‘Yes Doctor’ - ‘I’m coming to get you’. And to think that I needed this Big Brother in-joke explaining to me.

19. Thousands of Daleks rise en mass and prepare for battle.

20. The trailer for next week - ‘They survived through Me’. And being convinced that that was Terry Molloy’s voice.

God, I still get goose bumps at the thought of that seven day wait.

('The Bumper Book of Made-Up Doctor Who Facts' has this to say about 'Bad Wolf': the planned shot of John Barrowman's naked bottom was vetoed when RTD remembered the last time the show had a complete arse in it between 1981-2)


Thanks for this, it brings a tear of joy to my eye remembering all those bits.

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