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May 26, 2007

Your super soar-away Sun

Eyes down for a full house. The Leisure Hive... 65. A Colin Baker's Dozen... 31. Possibly not quite alone... number 10. All the C's... Chris Chibnall.

42

Doctor Who has a long and colourful history of borrowing/blatantly ripping off from other aspects of the genre as well as playing fast and loose with, well, just about anything. But 42 takes that concept, ratchets it up to 11, and then proceeds to guffaw chinlessly at all before it. After more than a good handful of references (that's an Aquatanian handful, their hands are approximately 17 light decons from side to side, causing major planetary discomfort when two courting Aquatanians decide to express the mutual affections for each other by holding hands on, say, a trip to the ice cream parlour) you begin to lose count of just how much sci-fi rape has occurred in the construction of this story and wonder when the long awaited homage to Morons from Outer Space will appear in Doctor Who.

"Doctor Who must continually connect to those three annoying cornerstones: humanity, sexual orientation and guest appearances from Eastenders alumni."

No_not_chibnall Yes, the King of mechanically reclaimed sci-fi is at it again. Aim a pressurised water hose at the collected carcasses of 2001, Alien, Star Trek, Star Wars and more, coat in breadcrumbs and deep the resulting mulch into a concentrated finger of consumable matter and you've science fiction's equivalent to generic fast foot chicken nuggets. Even Tennant's reaction to the news that Torchwood's finest would be contributing a script was met with a less then favourable response. The screams of anguish are still echoing around the cavernous Upper Boat facility.

And to think, I was actually quite partial to 42. But even in this far flung corner of the Universe, why is it that Doctor Who must continually connect to those three annoying cornerstones: humanity, sexual orientation and guest appearances from Eastenders alumni. Cindy Beale would find it difficult to act her way out of a branch of Primark, even if she were being propelled out of the doors on a careering trolley heading for the McDonalds dumpsters.

"Windscreen wipers? you've got to climb out onto the hull and Riverdance for 16 minutes to get the panel containing the wiper controls to open."

And someone has left her in charge of a ship that's so obviously been designed by playwrights, rather than use the more traditional engineers approach, to incorporate maximum jeopardy settings in all aspects of design. Auxiliaries? Why, they're right through there, through 29 dead lock seal, password protected doors. Windscreen wipers? you've got to climb out onto the hull and Riverdance for 16 minutes to get the panel containing the wiper controls to open. Toilet flush? Before you can open the waste ejectors you've got to get up to 67 million miles an hour by sling-shooting round a class 5 coronal sphere. Ditch all those egg heads at Lockheed Martin and Boeing and instead draft in an army of very good bearded playwrights, that's where the current space programme's going badly wrong.

"Kirk was always seeking out new life and new civilisations, locating their quivering mimmsy and introducing them to the Captain's pork rod."

This_is_cnn Stick a gas mask on a child and have him plead for his mummy, creepy. Stick a welders mask on a man and the most you've got is the butchest gay spot welder in town. Make him rasp like an inconsolable Darth Vader on hearing that his favourite Federation daytime tele chat show's been cancelled and you've got the episode's main bodily threat, who only appears to be there to distance this from a below standard episode of Star Trek.

If you're going to go all Star Trek then make it interesting. At least Kirk was always seeking out new life and new civilisations, locating their quivering mimmsy and introducing them to the Captain's pork rod. An intelligent and self aware sun. Please. What Kirk would be after would be a couple of Sun birds.

Couple_of_tits Speaking of which, at least all that was left at the end were a couple of tits and people who look like they work for the BNP.  So, perhaps it was your super soar away Sun after all. And after all that heat I'm still sweating on number 76 in the bingo. First prize is the opportunity to script an episode of the next season of Doctor Who. Second prize is two episodes.

The Bumper Book of Made Up Doctor Who Facts has this to say about 42: the alien catch-phrase uttered in this episode was actually "Burn Gorman, With Me."

Comments

Damon - you have really hit your stride. That review was the perfect blend of disturbing images, inspired wordsmithery, gibberish, and actual insightful analysis of the actual episode.

However - one criticism.

Unexpectedly, your review did not feature Elize Du Toit in her star turn in 42 as Sinister Woman!

Forget Jacobi, surely this casting coup deserves a mention somewhere?

"An intelligent and self aware sun."

If that doesn't qualify as interesting, what does?

Superb review. Some of the Eastenders guest actors have been tolerable enough. Tracey Ann-Oberman was fairly alright, even if she did have a habit of weeping oil.

The self-aware sun and all that would have been very interesting, but it was such a throwaway concept that it had nothing to it. There was one in a Pratchett novel anyway.

Where can I get a countdown clock like theirs that randomly announces times? "it's now 8.53" followed by "it's now 9.07" and then again at "9.42". Bit of an odd disaster clock to choose such random seconds to tell everyone.

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