Saturday, 26 December 2009
Signs Of The Apocalypse
It's Boxing Day, and I still have a hideous hacking cough, so I'm not too inclined to put together a particularly lengthy comment on The End Of Time Part 1. Indeed, there seems very little point in doing so, really. It's an RTD "big" script, which means at this point you can just make a list of the standard problems and tick them off: Doctor compared to God/worked into religion; constant drumming home of impending doom with no real justification, complete with music so histrionic that if it were an actor you would only hire them for mourning scenes in Italian operas; horribly misjudged comedy moments undercutting the atmosphere you're "working" to build; and of course Bernard Cribbins. 
(As an aside, I wonder if the same idiots who defended Voyage of the Damned as "would've been shit had it not been Christmas, but since we're all stuffed with food and not really thinking it was ace" are now singing the praises of this most mopey and continuity-heavy fair. I'm guessing yes).
So there's not much point going into all that again, save to mention that it is at least possible that we're half-way through the very last time we have to witness such hysterics. The one thing that I wanted to comment on was the Master's Masterplan (hey, if RTD gets to use an entire episode to set up his Master race pun, then I can have a piece of the action too). What exactly is the end game, here? There are now seven billion or so megalomaniacs on the planet. Some of them will be starving to death in African villages. Shivering their pasty arses off in Inuit huts. Figuring out whether they can get that massive wooden disc out of their lip before a jaguar eats them. President Obama Master might be smiling, but there's a lot of other Master's who are about to have a very, very bad day.
And how long is PresiMaster going to enjoy himself for, anyway? He can't use Air Force One anymore, because his pilot is the Master. Whatever fabulous pastry chefs slave in the bowels of the White House aren't gonna be cranking out any more Danishes, because they're the Master. Everyone Master who woke up somewhere nice is about to find out it won't stay nice with no-one to maintain it, and every Master who woke up somewhere shitty is about to assemble the nastiest weapons possible from whatever they have to hand and go on the march. The sudden arrival of the literal equality of every person on the globe is not going to lead to some kind of international Communist utopia, is it? It's going to be a fight to the death within three days. And everyone the Master has to take on during this global scrap is exactly as scheming and conniving as he is.
It's not really clear what the end-game is, is my point. Cobble all the Masters together into one gigantic Master Master and take on Unicron? Broadcast the resulting internicine conflict to the galaxy as "Big Master"? "Day six on the Big Master planet, and the Master has nominated the Master and the Master to be shot with TCEs". Enquiring minds are desperate to know.
Of course, all of this still makes more sense than Time Lords showing up again, hell-bent on achieving their Time Lord victory by destroying time. But I guess we'll see what that's about next week.
 I like Bernard Cribbins, don't get me wrong. It's just impossible for me to take him seriously as the human foil through which we watch the crumbling of reality. Especially whilst playing a character who begs the Doctor to speak to Donna in one scene, and then five minutes later shouts at him for parking in front of their house.