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Doctor Who Xmas special 2008

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  • Doctor Who Xmas special 2008

    So, have we all caught this? What do we think.

    Reaching back through the fog of far too much food and drink my first impressions are that it was a good, rollicking xmas day bit of telly (and definitely better than anything else that was on) but that it could have been oh, so much better.

    First of all the good things. I thought the story of Jackson Lake was suitably tragic. The Next Doctor was nicely realised. Loved the 'Sonic Screwdriver' (It makes a noise when you hit it against things) and his Tethered Arial Release Designed In Style and the Doctors palpable disappointment with each discovery. DM seemed to be a bit too stilted to start off with, in his larger than life Next Doctor persona but once we got to the meat of the character I thought his performance really started to shine. I think the reveal was mistimed though, the whole mystery could perhaps have been dragged out just a little bit more. Possibly my favourite moment from Jackson Lake though was the visit to the Tardis at the end. I think I would definitely like to see Mr Lake pop into the Tardis agian.

    The other performance that caught my eye was Dervla Kirwan as Miss Mercy Hartigan. Although the character suffered a little from a lack of back story (Why was she so evil? Why was she in league with the Cybermen?), and although I personally was disappointed she wasn't the Rani (Cos how good would she have been at that!) she was brilliantly evil and seductive. From the little that we got to know of her I think she was a brilliant woman who, due to the restriction of the time and her gender and class had lived a life if frustration and resentment, never getting to fulfil her potential. All in all a return for miss Hartigan seems hugely unlikely (But these things are never impossible.) but again I think she would make a hell of a returning villain.

    Tennant was good as always, loved the bit with the cutlass and the countless last chances. Loved his whistling. Loved the way he was so prepared, eager even, to believe in the Next Doctor and to take the back seat and watch, well, himself at work. His disappointment at each shortcoming was palpable and nicely realised. There's an undercurrent of pride in the Doctor and I think seeing a future regeneration coming up short certainly seemed to sting.

    The biggest downside to the ep, for me was the Cybermen themselves. I think we needed an early appearance from an actual Cyberman, perhaps looming out of the shadows to strike down the reverend. This would have set them up nicely for the ep. As it was, graveyard attack aside, they didn't really have a lot to do. I wasn't all that keen on the Cybershades either. It looked an interesting concept but again they seemed to be a good idea that wasn't really built on. I also couldn't get over the fact that these feral Cybers had distinctively human hands. The other criticism I would have is one that I have of a lot of RTD's eps; It was too short. RTD seems to try to get an awful lot into his eps, especially his finales and specials, and whilst that should be applauded sometimes this seems to lead to overcrowding and lumpy timing. If this ep had had another, say, 15 minutes or so then I think Jackson Lake's story could have been given the time it deserved before the fireworks of the rise of the Cyberking (Did like the cyberking though; Transformers go steampunk!) As it was it seemed that the A story got abanbdoned a bit for the sake of the big battle.

    Well that's what I thought anyway.
    Last edited by tangent; 28-12-08, 11:21 AM.

    Banner by Ciderdrinker

  • #2
    When the transformer-cyberman turned up I half-expected to see Giant Dawn arrive to battle it. But that's because in my mind, TV is one big crossver waiting to happen.

    I thought this year was better than last year, and there was some great fun and some poignant moments, but overall, it didn't really pack a punch. I didn't see the point of the villain. She was well acted, imo, but poorly written.

    As tangent said - why is she evil? What, because some old fellers ignored her? Not enough.

    I'm totally bored of both cybermen and daleks, and would be happy not to see them for a year or so. I'd like some new (or new old) villains (Rani!). Ooh, or that man made of sweets. He scared the shit out of me as a kid.

    I want to learn more about Time Lords, and have more stories in space or on other planets (surely not that expensive to film? You could have a story about a terraformed planet and just film it in Centre Parks...).

    I'd also like to see some more distant time periods in the past - ancient Rome was great last season, more of that kind of thing. How about some medieval fun - have they done a robin hood ep before? Probably, but I'd be happy for them to retread stuff from the old season if it's fruity material.

    I liked the emotional connection between The Doctor and The Next Doctor - that was the strongest part of the ep. But once we knew who the mystery man was, the tension was lost somewhat. That should've come at the end of the ep.

    -- Robofrakkinawesome BANNER BY FRANCY --


    • #3
      Favourite bit of the show for me was sitting down with my daughter to watch it as the only other person I know who loves it as much as me. We haven't done that before. Anyway...

      I agree with both of you about the timing of the reveal about Jackson Lake. Up until that point I sorta, nearly believed that we had all been mislead and that DM was really going to be the next Doctor (although, as I pointed out to my daughter it couldn't have been simply because the assistant was called Rosita which was a play on the show anyway) Once it had been revealed that he wasn't the doctor at all, I did lose a bit of interest in what what actually happening for the rest of the episode.

      Need to watch it again to really make a decision as there was a lot of talking etc going on whilst we were watching it.

      Favourite bits:-

      "That's a screwdriver. What makes it sonic?"

      "Did you put your legs on silent?"

      DT getting a bit choked up when mentioning his past assistants. Was it me or did he seem just as upset about losing Donna as he did about losing Rose in The Runaway Bride?

      Peter Capaldi is the 12th Doctor