Saturday, April 26, 2008

Doctor Who - The Sontaran Stratagem

Well if Marie can admit to finding David Tennant rather annoying, then lord knows I can. Cos he *is* annoying at the moment, isn't he? Say a line straight, for goodness sake! Just one! Please? When he gets a decent dramatic scene he'll ace it again, I know that, but for now - just turn it down a tad, eh?

Anyway, as for the episode overall - well, it had Helen Raynor written all over it, didn't it? Painfully slow, dull as very old dishwater, and some lines that had me laughing out loud. Not the ones that were *supposed* to be funny, you understand. Just normal dialogue. Marie has already mentioned the scene with the two UNIT guards as being particularly bad, and she's absolutely right. And it went on for bloody ages. Just because you've got an hour and a half to fill, doesn't mean the audience wants to spend ten minutes listening to mind-numbingly boring speech being uttered by UNIT's answer to Dumb and Dumber. A serious low-point. As for the Sontarans, when they first emerged, I felt how I often feel - that I don't actually like Doctor Who at all. Not proper Doctor Who, with funny little aliens and no Jackie Tyler. But they grew on me, actually. They're not scary opponents in any sense - I quite warmed to them - but I can see why, with all their quasi-Viking devotion to honour and "glorious warfare", they've been brought back. Oh, and is it just me, or did their ship look distinctly Dalek?

The episode picked up, certainly, but it was as Helen Raynorish as I'd expected and that's not a good thing. But I have to admit that surely only Russell T Davies could have come up with the idea of WHEN SAT-NAVS GO BAD. So we'll forgive her that one.

Oh and Martha? Well, she was just... Martha, wasn't she? And that's about all you can say.


Dean said...

Might be too early to say but between this week and last week there's possibly a trend developing of actually doing something 'different' on the show. Last week felt like a real traditional sci-fi story, and for once we had The Doctor doing something out of compassion rather than to save the Earth once again.
This time around we got the first story I can remember that gives The Doctor some real back-up - he's working with a large military group, despite objecting to them on principle, in order to accomplish something. For once it wasn't 'The Doctor + 1 against everyone else' (although that may change next week). As for Martha, never particulary liked her much, but I felt that in the few scenes with her, Donna and The Doctor there was a real chemistry between the three of them. It was a refreshingly different dynamic and I wish we could keep them both.

But the episode as a whole - I liked it generally but the pacing was absolutely to pot. It basically played like the first part of a 90 minute episode, which y'know, is no good if you're then splitting it into two. The structure just seemed to be 'stuff happens'. It just didn't hold together as a standalone episode. Which is a real shame, as I liked the premise.

Dean said...

Thinking about it, I do wonder if this episodes was originally pitched or broken as a Christmas special. I mean, the stuff at the end *felt* that way, it'd clearly been padded (there's The Doctor, the new companion and the returning old companion to cover and we spent five minutes with a couple of red-shirts?), the whole earth-in-peril thing matches those themes, a returning race from the old show and a returning Martha. It'd explain a lot.

wyndham said...

You're spot on. I have to wonder - out loud, in your comments box for some reason - whether this series of Doctor Who is turning out to be exceedingly poor.