Is it just me that finds it increasingly hard to get excited about Doctor Who?
It can’t be my age. Ian Levine is 175 and still getting sweaty with anticipation every Saturday night, but as Moffat enters his second term as headmaster at St Borusa’s Comprehensive there’s just an overall lack of drive to be sat in front of the television at 6pm (O.N.O.) on a Saturday night. And I don’t just mean because of that bloody animatronic rabbit that’s on before it.
“Doctor Who and The Pirates From Mars: The Sands Of Time: The Curse Of The Black Pearl: LeChuck’s Revenge” falls into the now traditional ‘third episode = light-hearted nonsense’ model set by “Victory Of The Daleks”, “School Reunion” and “Terror Of The Vervoids”. Indeed I joked to my girlfriend when I realised that I’d miss the start of this episode that I could probably do a fair guess at the contents. She said “go on then”. So I said “fine”.
Ok, so it’s about pirates, right? But presumably they can’t just be normal pirates therefore they must be…pirates…in…SPACE! Yes, that’s it. Although this is Doctor Who in 2011 which means there is surely some sort of monster involved. Ooh, they’ve all got black spots of death on their hand, right? Which presumably means yet another “OH NOES! HE A DED! NOT REALLY JK” plot thread for NuAdric, Rory (played to the best of his ability by Arthur Askey).
Ah yes, the captain. He’s played by Hugh Bournville off of the chocolate fame (and definitely nothing about the blocking of newspaper allegations about his paying £195 to a ########### for ########## whilst using a ######### on her ##########) Presumably the cap’n is a rough tough sort - but with a hidden secret. I bet he doesn’t take to the Doctor taking over the show either! With “results”! (Actual amusement levels to be determined) But I’m sure they’ll work together when enough of the crew are eaten by monsters or that big pan faced girl I saw in the trailer (Lily Something).
What to go with then – rift in time or alien abduction? This bit I’m actually interested to find out. But don’t worry chaps, I haven’t forgotten about the obligatory fantasy moment where Amy no doubt gets to dress up like Elaine Marley’s tearaway stepchild with leather skirt three coughs from tuft base. She should be careful being pregnant…or is she? Literally no-one cares, Steven. Sorry.
|"I don't think he likes us Hugh..."|
The whole thing will be gorgeous looking with a brilliant cast and selected great moments that will look fantastic in a clip package or backed by some pounding guitar from The XX on “Confidential” later. Maybe the scriptwriter Stephen Thompson will progress into the next great Who author and this tale could rocket into my top ten personal favourites. (I like “Vengeance On Varos” after all.)
So, how did I do? Well, who cares? Because regardless of what I think, I know that it will have ultimately entertained its target family audience and the fact it’s reaching new younger viewers each year is the exciting thing I’ve been opining the lack of in my introduction. Indeed, the idea of fifty more potential years of Who is a wonderful thing but there’s definitely traces of a mid-life crisis right now. The buzz of “regular” folks talking about the show has faded and occasionally it feels like the only concessions to a post-teen audience is stunt casting (or – as next week will bear out – stunt Gaimans.)
Still, at least River Song wasn’t in it, which for Doctor Who in 2011 is akin to finding a day of the week without a ‘y’ in it. Now onward me hearties – to the HMS BBC Three to steal the golden secrets of how they make Lily Cole’s face look like that. Say goodnight Hugh.
And here it is.