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Apr 15, 2006

Prophecy 1: I'm not a geek!!!

Excuse me for titling this post with regard to me, when it is actually a New Earth review, but I am now officially the only person that matters as far as television goes. Let me explain.

Early this morning (I would have posted sooner, knowing that there would be a jam of posts now, but have been out all day) I realised something. Something that shocked me, and something which I never expected. I realised I'm not a Doctor Who Geek. I'm not even a Doctor Who Fan in the literal sense. I am merely a viewer. True, I know the names of all the Doctors. True, I've seen almost every story available. True, I can name the home planets of the Time Lords, the Daleks, and the Cybermen (Yes, both of them!). All these things are considered geeky by my friends and colleagues. But the curious thing was that, when I was watching the "Who-ru" quiz on Totally Doctor Who on Thursday, I realised I didn't know the answers to most of the questions, and what's stranger, I didn't care. And, as excited as everyone seemed to be online about the premiere, and as excited as even my friends have been (the ones who call me a geek!), I didn't feel excited. I wasn't even bothered. I had a technical rehearsal for a show I'm in next week (The Sorcerer in Grantham, I'm the lead!!!), and so I had to record it, and I realised I didn't care that I wasn't watching it.

So there, I'm not a geek. I'm not a detestor of the show. I'm exactly between the two. I am now, officially, The Average Viewer.

Having made this startling revelation, I (somewhat half-heartedly) sat down to watch New Earth at 10:00. Now, I have made many points referring to my dislike of Billie Piper, and my unlike (it's not strong enough to be dislike) for RTD's scripts, so you probably know what to expect from my comments on an RTD-written, Piper-centric episode. So here it goes, in 4 simple words: I didn't like it. Now, I don't wish to offend anyone, so anyone who prefers positive thoughts should move to the penultimate paragraph. That's near the end.

I thought that the plot was stringy. I strongly feel that RTD's scripts should be edited, or that someone else should write them and he should be the editor. Cassandra should have had a proper introduction! But no, it's an "Oh." moment, instead of an "Oh!", "Oh?" or "Ooooooh!" moment. I know he'd leaked it to the press, but in 42 years time, they won't know that, and any viewers for reruns would be surprised. When (Well, If) this hits America, they won't have all the press releases and leaks and gossip mongers. They won't care enough. So the viewers just won't understand. The opening snippet was quite good, and it's only a shame that it didn't go anywhere. "We're going to go farther than we've ever gone before." leads to me saying "So what?" instead of "Where? WHERE?!?", which it should have been.

There were fewer of those dreadful monologues, although a lot of the brief speeches had the same wear-and-tear effect on me. The lines about "the first date". The "lab rat" that spoke, the "we understand why you did it" speech, was unneccessary and uninteresting. The lines about Rose's "curves" (FAMILY SHOW!!! What the hell is RTD playing at? Does he want to turn a generation of girls and boys into sluts and pimps?). Please excuse the occasional homicidal outburst.

I don't know if it's RTD who picks the actors, but the ones in his episodes are always fairly ropey. The cats moved between solemn (which worked, very creepy) to overactive faces and voices (which didn't work, very stupid). The lawyer was far too melodramatic, although most of the other patients were quite good. They didn't have to move. Chip was good, except when he was Cassandra, then he wasn't at all convincing.

Billie Piper gave her least dislikeable performance here, but then again I've just seen The Truman Show and I still hate Jim Carrey (It's a bloody good film, though!). And talk about overacting! I still found her immensely irritating. But the accent is much more acceptable. And now, I'm sorry about this, but it has to be done:
--------------------WARNING---------------------
THE WORDS "DIDN'T LIKE" AND "DAVID TENNANT" ARE ABOUT TO BE USED IN THE SAME SENTENCE!!! LOOK AWAY NOW IF EASILY OFFENDED!!!
--------------------WARNING---------------------

I didn't like David Tennant as Cassandra. I thought it was an idiot thing to put in, and I thought he was completely unconvincing. Not right at all. I hated the "Go into him!" "Go into her!" scene, it reminded me too much of the Chuckle Brothers "To Me" "To You".

AND NOW: COLEBERG CORPORATION PROUDLY PRESENTS.... A COMPLIMENT!!!

The Doctor was spot on. And I don't mean David Tennant (as fabulous as he was). No, this time the compliment goes to RTD. How many of you died of shock? Anyone who answers "Me" will be court-marshalled. Seriously, the writing for Mr Tennant to deliver was absolutely on the dot. The Shop references were perfect. The shouting was perfect. Everything about The Doctor (except for the body swap, and the bit where he says "What have you done to Rose?") was perfect. So, even allowing faults, his screen time of perfection was roughly 30 minutes. Well done RTD, you did something right!

Now, back to The Prophecy. For those of you who can't remember and can't be bothered to scroll down, I said this: "Dud. Another RTD panto." Now I say: DT was great, BP was irritating, RTD was on the wacky baccy. And we're still waiting to hear from Avid Merrion (The Face of Bo!). Script and direction were unevenly edited, as well as the music. Acting was very poor in some places, and the Zoe Wannamaker impersonations needed a lot more work." And to conclude: "Not a panto. Still a dud". 3.5/10

Comments

Hang on; you're not a geek, but you're worrying that viewers in 42 years won't recognise a character from a previous series? You think Joe Public is watching The Tribe of Gum on DVD wondering who that schoolgirl is?

I think you're spot on on the Doctor's dialogue bit. The thing that got it for me:

"LOOK OUT FOR THE DISINFECTANT!!"
"THE WHAT??"
"THE DISINFEC- Oh nevermind, you'll see it.."

Tennant breaks stride in his sentences WONDERFULLY, JUST like T Baker did when talking to the White/Black Guardian at the end of Armageddon Factor. I'm no longer worried about this one.

I only got 2 questions right myself. This doesn't mean I'm not a fan. I don't think a general viewer would run or contribute to a blog like this; It just means we have a milder form of autism than some of the others. I mean, those questions were rock-hard. Who set them? Andrew Pixley in a bad mood?

Ian: No, I'm saying that in 42 years there should still be fans, and they won't know that Cassandra is in the episode. A little build-up was required.

Salem: YES!!! The Doctor's dialogue that got me was the dialogue about the Shop. That was all perfectly placed, and showed his little eccentricities, like Poirot wiping dust from a mantelpiece. It had no purpose other than to develop the Doctor's character, and it was quick and didn't drag. Much better than those bloody monologues.

Neil: It wasn't that I didn't know the answers, it was that I didn't care. That was the revelation that shook me.

And by the way, my mum rang me up to say she hated the last series, but likes David Tennant. So, Tennant 1, Eccles 0.

The questions weren't just hard in Who-Ru, they were also pretty much unintelligible. And if, as it seems, kids need a constant thumping soundtrack in the background of everything they watch, clearly Murray Gold's music for the new series is right on the money...

I'm a bit like you Colberg, but I don't think it's that you and I are now average viewers. As has been said, we wouldn't be writing reviews here if that were the case - it's that we've become somewhat disinterested in the philosophical sense.

Perhaps like the three(?) ages of man there are also three ages of fandom: glee, geek and guardian. The guardians love their child but accept it's a big boy now and while we don't approve of everything it does, we still care, but can observe it much more objectively than when we were at the glee stage ("It's a Dalek! It's a Slitheen!) or the geek stage ("That Dalek's the wrong colour, the Slitheen isn't the first Doctor Who alien to break wind").

Ok thats it. Im handing in my Whovian members card and returning to the ranks of the happy General Public. Ive tried my best since this time last year to put up with the petty opinions of fans who know best, telling me after I had enjoyed the latest episode of Doctor Who that it was awful and why RTD should be shot. There is no where on the web for me now. Outpost Gallifrey is an owellian nightmare, RADW is a hive of scum and villany and since the start of the awful podcasts this place has become even more of a fanwankers paradise.

No more, Im going to enjoy the rest of this season and many more of them away from fandom - fans? You make me sick.

You'll be sorely missed. Whoever you are.

Nothing like you hate me the me the mango

Neil Rogers -- what did you think of Timelash?

Oh he's gone.

What's RADW?

RADW = Rec/Arts/Doctor Who - ie, fans stuck in the barbaric dark times when the games of Rassilon were played in the Death Zone of Rassilon while the fans read the results in the Newsgroups of Rassilons using the 486 home PC's of Rassilon.

I'm sorry, maybe I'm ignorant, and I know I'm hardly established around here, but who was Neil Rogers? Was he a major contributer here or just a reader? And by "just a reader" I'm not belittling anyone, because I'm hardly more than just a reader myself.

Why do people have such a hard time understanding that just because we rip things apart doesn't mean we don't still like them. I've talked to many people who piss and moan about the new series, but are definitely glad to see them back, and are still watching them.

At that, I hardly think Tachyon's hit QUITE the level of trashing that Outpost Gallifrey's running. There are negative reviews for sodding Pyramids of Mars up there, and I've almost NEVER heard an unkind word about that one.

Coming soon, Salem's first review! (hopefully..)

Sorry, but you ARE a fan. You went to the trouble of setting your video to record this episode. Then after you had eventually sat down and watched it, and afterwards, instead of going of and doing something completely different, you sat down and wrote a review of the episode. That is the action of a Fan. Sorry, but its true.

People who write books on World War Two aren't fans of it, it just intrigues them. It interests them.

Bet they get called 'History Geeks' behind their backs, though. ;)

I think this site is generally much more positive about the new series than it deserves, so there are obviously different opinions about the matter. This latest review seemed a little slathering, but like the others I also found the episode no more than mediocre.

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