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Apr 16, 2006

Brave New Earth?

After choking a little on just how bad last night’s offering was, I jotted down some incoherent rants then refined them later. It’s still been a massive disappointment – I wasn’t expecting a masterpiece but this takes the biscuit. What kind of twisted logic dictates that you always start a new season with something stupidly weak, eh Russell? Never since Twin Dilemma have I wished for something to end sooner more often.

He never really gets round to explaining why they don’t die if they’re infected with every disease, either. Or, in fact, how they could effectively test drugs on patients suffering from everything. Blimey – hasn’t RTD ever watched House? And what about the intravenal drips which work when they’re simply sprayed on the zombies? Not to mention the cure being passed on by touch.

It starts well enough – Tennant slicking those switches with aplomb, chemistry between the leads, stunning use of location footage with CGI and a sinister Irish albino. Looks good. But then RTD has to go and spoil everything by making it into a silly panto which quickly descends into farce – not only all the body swapping but the ‘funny’ lift sequences. Oh, and the kiss.

It’s gratuitous, adds nothing to the plot or character and is just another case of writer out of control, (although I do love Tennant’s expression as she walks away). Not to mention the ceaseless innuendo which normally I’m OK with but under Russell’s guidance and without Cptn Jack it doesn’t work. Nor does the plot, actually. It lets thousands of zombies wake up without the adrenaline boost which raises the first lot, also able to walk and talk, without having had any muscle development in their lives. He never really gets round to explaining why they don’t die if they’re infected with every disease, either. Or, in fact, how they could effectively test drugs on patients suffering from everything. Blimey – hasn’t RTD ever watched House? And what about the intravenal drips which work when they’re simply sprayed on the zombies? Not to mention the cure being passed on by touch. It’s ludicrous.

Right, plot holes aside (and there are more holes in this than a Sea Devil’s vest) it was OK. On first viewing, I did nothing but cringe – massively confusing anyone who walked in on me who was under the impression I was a fan. It has improved – almost raising a smile with some of the better scenes.

Tenant can do funny far-and-away better than Eccleston ever managed. But his ‘angry’ is also superb – especially the line about trying to keep calm. He over eggs it a bit at the endwith the cured zombies but that’s a small quibble. Alarmingly, at points he lacks the thing which makes the Doctor. I can’t put my finger on it but in The Christmas Invasion he had it and more than once it slips and we’re no longer in DW. It’s a bad episode to judge from and I’d certainly not condemn him but it was startling to see. Still, he’s a fine actor and both he and Billie carry off the body swapping excellently well.

Thank goodness she can act! Think how awful it could have been. But the switches were crisp and I liked the way she used her accent – so simple yet so effective. Still, it’d be better not to contemplate whether ‘chav’ as word exists in 5 000 000 023.

Edging gently ever closer to the positive, the cat-nuns looked fantastic, with much more expression than I was expecting. I’m also glad Zoe Wannamaker didn’t feature more – the old Cassandra managed to look even worse this time – even if she does do her small part very well.

At least the last two minutes were exciting – a preview of what looks set to be a cracking episode and then the middle eighth. Best bit of the whole thing really. So, not good – not even close. It doesn’t help that the online commentary only pops up as a Quicktime thingy which just will not work. Any info concerning that would be appreciated – something downloadable to Windows Media Player would make sense. Still, we have next week to look forward to.

Comments

I must say I kind of liked it, but then I´m a bit mental

If you're on a (choke) Windows PC then right-click the link and download to disk. It's an MP3 so should play in whatever player you have installed. Mine is currently streaming wirelessly to my stereo via iTunes.

If you're getting a Quicktime logo it means you have QT installed but your preferences are probably set to wait till the whole thing has downloaded before it plays. either change your quicktime settings (or make sure it's up to date) or change your browser preferences so that MP3s are handled by a different plug-in. :-)

Once again my technical incompetance gets shown up ;-)

Thanks for the help. x

Bah... I prefer the Tachyon TV commentaries. Hear that Neil Rodgers? Of course not.

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