Tag Archives: Toby Whithouse

Doctor Who (9.4): In which the Doctor breaks the fourth wall (and my brain)

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… and I’m left wanting to break his guitar. Not because I can’t get my head around the Bootstrap Paradox (even with the help of the Radio Times), but because I can’t buy the Doctor as a rocker. A dancer, yes; a reader, (*Tenth Doctor voice*) oh yes!; but a rock musician, not so much. (To be fair, I’m not that keen on Patrick Troughton’s recorder either.) But I digress.

[Here be spoilers…] Continue reading

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Doctor Who (9.3): Well, since you ask me for a ghost story…

DoctorWho-UndertheLake-ghosts-720x479Ohhhh – that’s more like it… And not a moment too soon.

I don’t mind being on my own in being dissatisfied with The Witch’s Familiar, but I really dislike writing reviews that are more negative than positive. So, hurrah for Toby Whithouse – a man who can really write ghost stories. (I can’t believe I haven’t given Being Human the Joy of Sets treatment yet – I must remedy this soon.)

[Yada-yada, spoilers below the line…] Continue reading

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Doctor Who (7.3): The good, the bad and the ugly

God knows I love a knowing reference, an in-joke, a bit of intertextuality, a spot of homage, but like the time I drank a litre of orange-flavoured 20-20 (don’t ask, I won’t tell), I fear I may be overdoing it when I’m watching Doctor Who these days.

I’m aware there are some problems that are inescapable, some cultural reference points that are so deeply burned on to the psyches of the adults watching Who that they are always going to come to mind, even if the writer didn’t intend them too. Think cyborg killing machine, think Terminator. Think time travel and cowboys, think Back to the Future 3. Think cowboys and sci-fi, think Firefly…

Does it matter? Only if it becomes like the orange 20-20, something I never want to experience again. I’m not there yet, but I have to say that for the first time in a long time, I’m a bit dissatisfied with my weekly Who fix.

I didn’t hate A Town Called Mercy, there is plenty to like, and yet the niggles are niggling scratchily and insistent.

(Spoilers below the line) Continue reading

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Doctor Who (6.11): Scooby Doo, where are you?

So we’ve dealt with Big Story Arc, done creepy and wrung out our emotions. This week we’re in mystery mode (though as always with Who, every episode has a little flavour of everything else to pep it up).

Talking of flavours, The God Complex (from the pen of Being Human creator Toby Whithouse) tastes a little like a Scooby Doo adventure. And that’s not a bad thing – I loved Scooby Doo (until they put bloody Scrappy Doo in anyway) – but I have to say neither Hat Jr or I were feeling any real sense of jeopardy. (Her concern for the alien Minotaur was quite touching though.)

(Spoilers below the line sweeties…)

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Doctor Who (5.6): Bite me space-fish…

It must be tough writing the episodes that fall between the Moffat-penned ones. Stories that would have been marked A* last year, are going to find themselves getting plain old As and Bs this year.

The Vampires in Venice has lots and lots going for it – a great writer (Toby Whithouse creator of the excellent Being Human, and writer of School reunion, new Who series two), fabulous location (even if it’s not actually Venice), stunning costumes and lighting, comedy potential (Amy’s great gangling fiancé Rory) and vampires (Hat Junior has been shouting “Vampires! Vampires on new Doctor Who tonight” for a disturbing proportion of the day).

There are lots of fine moments (more of those in a minute), but let’s get the carping out of the way first. Acknowledging that I’m not the target market for this, I just wasn’t grabbed and there wasn’t a peep out of Junior Hat either. (I know, normally I complain that I can’t hear what’s going on because she’s talking over the show – about the show – non-stop.) I don’t think she was scared, and I know I wasn’t.

I thought it was a bit of shame that Isabella died and I was moved by her brave father (the wonderfully understated Lucian Msamati – aka JLB Matekoni, Mma Ramotswe’s fiancé from The No 1 Ladies Detective Agency) leading the creatures to their mutual deaths – but that was about it on the emotional trauma front. I just didn’t get a sense of jeopardy – sorry guys.

That said, I don’t feel my 45 minutes were wasted. Even A- or B-rated Who is excellent value for money. Shall we bullet point again? I liked the bullet points…

  • First things first. One, the lovely little pre-titles scene where the Doctor jumps out of the cake, asks someone to find Lucy – the diabetic stripper – a jumper, and tells Rory that Amy’s a good kisser. Particularly enjoyed the embarrassed silence heading into the titles instead of the usual screaming/plunging/explosion type thing.
  • B (two): The Doctor slightly affronted by Rory taking the TARDIS in his stride. “I like it when people say ‘It’s bigger on the inside’.” But, not too affronted – a little tickled too I think.
  • Three – or C: Amy thinks she’s ‘done with running down corridors’ – she’s smart, but she knows nothing!
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