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Mar 31, 2007

Judoon Platoon On The Moon

The Doctor is back on our screens...and so am I - finally back on the blog. Let's see if I can make it to the end this time.

Smith And Jones

So how was the opening episode of the new series? Last year I gave Russell T Davies a right royal mauling for the mess that was "New Earth". Could he pull it back and give us a decent opener AND introduce a new companion? Well...yes and no.

7 From the start, everything was looking good. Realistic dialogue with Martha and her dysfunctional family. An unexpected bump into The Doctor in the street with a cryptic message. Roy Marsden's officious consultant and then, there is Mr Smith, grinning like a loon in his stripey PJ's.It was smart, sexy and bristling with promise. And Martha was really, I mean really good. Looks, brains AND attitude .This time last year I had already wanted to slap Rose twice within the opening ten minutes.

Mr Tennant was on superb form too. Okay, so we all get his little character tic's now - the repetition, the strange EMphaSis on certain words. But this time it was actually quite endearing. I liked the gag about "I like the little shop" and his sorrow at the loss of the Sonic Screwdriver - well until he flippantly chucked it away.

"I got rope burns off that kite"..."Not her, she'd hold us up". Great stuff. The only letdown was that damn "hokey cokey" moment when the Doctor was getting rid of the radiation. I actually squirmed with embarrassment.

The plot, always one of RTD's weak points, worked too. The transfer of the hospital to the moon made sense. The Judoon scanning everyone to find the Plasmavore made sense. Even THAT kiss was a logical extension of the plot. True, the "slab" creatures did look a little too much like the evil version of The Stig from Top Gear (I almost expected Clarkson to pop up with "Some say he is from the planet Zovirax is made of leather and works for blood-sucking little old ladies...)"

"Some say he is from the planet Zovirax is made of leather and works for blood-sucking little old ladies..."

17But then, like our eponymous time traveller himself must feel sometimes, I suddenly was in the the grip of a strong sense of deja vu. Flashback a year and what was I carping on about? Endings. And wouldn't you know it, the Whomeister is at it again. Sigh. The resolution of the plot was downright terrible.

...RTD sits in his office surrounded by awards. "So the oxygen is running out, Martha's unconscious, the Doctor's weak and the MRI is going to explode any second. Solution? The Doctor comes up with a fantastic plan and saves the day? Nah. Sugar water and a hug? F**k, used that one last year. I know!  He simply unplugs the machine, carries Martha up a corridor and the Space Rhinos zap everything back to normal. Hooray for me!!"...

"Solution? The Doctor comes up with a fantastic plan and saves the day? Nah. Sugar water and a hug? F**k, used that one last year."

I despair sometimes.

Fortunately, things did get pick up. I could have done without the extended bickering about the blonde bimbo (please, not another "This is me putting my foot down" 'comedy' moment) but once the Doctor appeared the dialogue sparkled . The whole TARDIS sequence, with the Doctor mouthing "bigger on the inside" was played to perfection. Oh and Martha sure is forward isn't she? What a refreshing change. I'm looking forward to seeing how this relationship pans out over the coming weeks.

By the way, am I the only one who wished that the Doctor had to manage for a couple of episodes without that sodding Sonic Screwdriver before creating a new one? Guess the marketing men wrote that part of the plot then.

Mention should as always be made of Murray Gold's incidental music. As usual, it varied from the sublime (Martha's Theme, the balcony scene on the moon) to the downright bloody awful (anything with the Judoon on screen). I'm convinced that he just DOESN'T know how to write action music, and resorts to bashing a few pots together in the vain hope that it will sound "exciting". Strange thing is, his themes and melody's can be among the best on TV.

Next Week: The Shakespeare Code. Guaranteed to be better than anything written by Dan Brown.

Comments

As a cop out ending, I though it worked, especially as there was no other way to get everyone to Earth.

It didn't need the Doctor carrying Martha through the hospital though.

Radiation dispersal through his foot, would have been useful for the First Doctor on Skaro, Second Doctor on Dulkis & the Third on Metabelis III. This was the low point of the tale for me.

The Jones family have a different less irritating dynamic than the Tylers, but I hope they can be used sparingly as moments of comic relief not immersed into the stories too much. One tin dog was enough, don't need a whole litter of them.

am I the only one who wished that the Doctor had to manage for a couple of episodes without that sodding Sonic Screwdriver before creating a new one?

Nope, not at all, I was hoping it was gone for good, but can't have everything.

You know, I've just watched the episode for a second time, and maybe RTD was trying to go for a "red wire / blue wire" bit of tension with the Doctor's solution to the MRI exploding.

I can only assume that if that was the intention, it got lost on the cutting room floor. Again.

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