Sunday, 6 April 2008

The Pillaging Of My Childhood Continues

The opening salvo of the new season of Doctor Who was pathetic. Not in the sense that a wounded deer trapped under a fallen log is pathetic, but in the sense of that guy who would watch that deer, hands on hips below his Weird Al T-Shirt, and lean toward you so you could smell his stinking breath as he told you "Oh DEER!" in a ludicrous stage whisper that hurts your head.

This latter scenario may, or may not, describe the sensation of taking RTD out for a pint. I've never met the man (although I've never seen or read an interview with the man that didn't set my teeth on edge), but it certainly describes the sensation of watching a great many of his episodes. Almost invariably, they are tales told by an idiot, filled not just with sound and fury but idiotic dialogue and ludicrous asides. Also moments ripped off from Wile E. Coyote, of all places. Once your TV show lurches into territory already covered by Loony Tunes, perhaps it's time to move onto greener pastures. Add in the requisite gurning, shouting, running around at random, and worst of all the horribly forced "character moments" (if a joke falls flat, you get to move onto the next thing, a four-minute conversation between grandfather and grandaughter is almost unbearable unless the writer knows what they're doing), and you end up with the same recipie Mr Davies has been serving up for more than three years. You can't help but get the feeling he's desperate to throw as many different things as possible into each episode. That wouldn't be a bad thing except for the fact that he isn't very good at pretty much any of them, to the point where they don't just fail on their own terms, but they rub up against each other irritatingly too, like sand in your trousers. Assuming the sand isn't silica but over-earnest mugging, and your trousers are a fellatio reference, for some reason.

What's also of interest is how this nightmarish mish-mash of idiocy and self-indulgence has been received by the on-line community (well, my on-line community at least). To whit: total orgasmic delight. It's becoming increasingly hard to believe I have my TV tuned to the same channel, not least because what I believe to be the shows major weaknesses (see above) are highlighted by others as its strengths. I just don't get it. I want my TV shows to be like a good meal; it doesn't have to be just one or two ingredients, but there are rules about what you mix with what and in which order you serve it in. This show simply takes the ingredients, throws them into a blender and whisks it into a grey paste, which is then served to you by a clown singing tunelessly.

Actually, it's probably not the fact that everyone but me seems to love this bouillabaisse-and-custard monstrosity, its the level of contempt some of these people have for those like me, i.e. those incapable of watching anything with our brains on standby, cooing at the pretty lights and embarrasingly anthropomorphic marshmallow alien children. It's pretty hard to take the sneering contempt of someone witless enough to not notice that the Doctor hiding in a cupboard that then just happens to contain a supercomputer is entirely lame (Trial of a Timelord lame, which rates as over seventeen hundred mega-Langfords), harder still because of the underlying assumption that my objections mark me out as some kind of uber-nerd that even normal nerds kick mud in the eyes of, assuming so much physical exertion doesn't set off their allergies. I guess it's true what they say. Doctors make the worst patients, teachers the worst students, and inveterate geeks the worst cool kids.

Still, come Tuesday, Galactica will be back, and the shoe will be on the other foot as my hated enemies begin whining that the show is too dour, the plot too complex, and the characters far too morally ambiguous and grey for them to choose who to root for as they're gobbling down their Doctor Who spaghetti shapes.

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