R.J. Anderson (rj_anderson) wrote,
R.J. Anderson

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REVIEWS: Catching up on New Who

Because being mostly on fannish hiatus doesn't mean I'm not still watching and having opinions and stuff...

"Impossible Planet / Satan Pit": LOVED IT. No, really. And considering how much I was dreading the second part of this story merely based on the title, that's saying something. Fantastic supporting cast, great direction (though I had some quibbles with the editing, particularly when Ten is doing his thinking-out-loud while talking to the Beast in the pit -- those choppy cuts really annoyed me), and like I said before the flat-out scariest thing I've seen from Who ever... though Possessed!Toby with his red eyes and deep voice, and the Possessed!Ood in all their tentacular glory, were both way more frightening than the big horned demon thing in the pit when it came down to it. I don't get nearly as scared by big ugly things that go "GRAAAAAAAH!!!" and wrestle with their chains as I do by things that are smarter and faster than me. Also, Pseudo-Satan was totally Omega, and I refuse to believe otherwise. (For real brain-bending fun, try watching this right after "Arc of Infinity".)

"Love and Monsters": Wonderful concept, poor execution. The Absorbaloff was 100x scarier in its original concept as a seven-year-old kid's drawing than in the actual execution, which was panto and lame. Also, Elton's geek credibility went right down the toilet when he took off his shirt, because no way would a nerd be that buff. And as most of the world has said already, Pavement!Ursula = Teh Ew.

On the other hand, Jackie never looked so good. Seriously, in that scene where she's chewing Elton out for trying to get to Rose through her? She was positively beautiful.

"Fear Her": I actually really liked this one. Snappy dialogue, nifty concepts, great secondary characters, and for once an alien who isn't evil. My only beef was the "Olympic Torch = Love" thing which was not only stupid, but unnecessary: they could have just said "a symbol of world unity" and it would have made much more sense, even in terms of the Isolus. Great acting by the girl playing Chloe (especially in the scene where she's lying on the bed and the Isolus is giving Ten its illustrated history), and Nina Sosanya (who I've never seen before, but she was in Casanova with Tennant, right?) is beautiful.

Speaking of which, I just love the diversity of the casting in this series, the use of black and mixed-race and Asian (especially Indian and Pakistani, which you almost never see on American TV for some reason) characters who are real characters and not tokens, and I love the fact that they do it without being in the least self-conscious or preachy, there's no sense of "Oh, now we have major characters who aren't white, we have to make this story all about race and tolerance and fighting the evils of bigotry" the way that American TV so often does. I thought for a moment that they were going to play the race card in the scene where the neighbourhood lady is chewing out Tarmac Guy and she says something about "You people", but then I realized she didn't mean blacks, she meant road workers. (Which is good, because otherwise I would have had to go after her with a pickaxe. Tarmac Guy was awesome.)

"Army of Ghosts": Oh, Rusty, you hopeless anorak. You couldn't resist having the Daleks fight the Cybermen, could you? Seriously, it would be endearing if it wasn't somehow so pathetic. Or maybe the other way around.

Was I the only one whose thought processes as the Void Ship was opening went like this:

1. IT'S ROMANA!!!!! SQUEE!!!
3. OMG, Daleks. *massive disappointment*

In my own defense, #1 was generated not only by my all-encompassing Romana love, but my dim recollection that we were supposed to meet another Time Lord somewhere in this series. And really, how awesome would it have been if it had been her? Even though finding out that the Void Ship in which she'd escaped E-Space the destruction of Gallifrey had been the means of the Cybermen breaking through into this dimension would have been dreadfully embarrassing for her... but I'm sure she'd have got over it, and promptly found a way to help Ten clear up the mess while Rose cried emo tears over once more being reminded that she is not the Doctor's One and Only.

As for #2, that was prompted by Yvonne's speech about the temporal distortion being a massive source of energy and how it would make Britain truly independent... it was a lot like the speech they gave Ten about Point Zero in TIP. Plus, I liked Toby and want him back I keep thinking we haven't seen the last of Omega the Beast.

And #3 surely needs no explanation.

My only other quibble about the ep was that Rose found that lab coat so conveniently laid over the table beside the TARDIS, but it only took me a few seconds to realize that Mickey must have left it there for her. It was great to see Mickey again even though my heart belongs to Rajesh, and with something bigger on his mind than Rose for once (plus, Mickey with a honkin' great Cyberman-killin' gun? = WIN).

This episode also reminded me once more of why I love Ten. There were a few shows this season where I found his mannerisms and line delivery either flat or irritatingly overplayed, but I think it's got to be a directorial thing, because he was spot-on here. Plus, the Ghostbusters reference? Adorkable.

Is it next week yet?
Tags: doctor who, reviews, tv
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