Friday, January 2nd, 2009
Over all, I enjoyed it well enough. Across the interwebs, the general consensus seems to be that they let the cat out of the bag too soon on Morrissey’s character, which I agree with, but by and large it was what I expected the Doctor Who Christmas Special to be, which was plenty entertaining.
Jackson Lake as a character rather intrigues me. As minor characters go, the idea of an ordinary man who becomes the Doctor for a short while by absorbing a pile of futuristic and fantastical content is quite fascinating. I keep wondering what the next episode of the Jackson Lake adventures might be (though I’m in no hurry for another Who spin-off); something tells me he wouldn’t just forget everything he knows about the Doctor. Pair that with wife-death by Cyberman and cue the angst. Now I’m wondering if there’s some way to make him and Sarah Jane a couple.
Rosita was forgettably generic. Other than to introduce Morrissey and Exposition Muchly, she served basically no purpose, which rather makes me wonder why they didn’t kill her off in some sort of
angsty dramatic way. Everything about her screamed expendable.
Miss Hartigan was *meh*. There were bits and pieces about her character that I liked, but I feel Davies dropped the ball on the ending and took the easy plot-devicy way out. I don’t know why this one in particular rubbed me the wrong way, since Doctor Who is pretty much weekly doses of Deus Ex Machina, but for whatever reason it did.
I’m on board with the art direction generally, though I felt the Oliver-esque children were a little too cliche. I kept waiting for someone to explain the Cybershades but nada, leaving me to assume Russel T. Davies asked for more metal suits, wardrobe told him they were out of Cyberman-silver plastic, and so he pointed to some fringed black fabric and told them: "fine, whatever, use that stuff there and we’ll have them run around on all fours and call it creepy in the interviews so people know how to feel when they see them on screen". Um… no. They were just strange and out of place visually. Though I wanted one to come out with a monotone, computerized "ARF! ARF!" really badly.
I suppose they were added to make the initial Tennant/Morrissey action scene work and make the graveyard scene a little more intense. Say what you want about the Cybermen, but they don’t lend themselves to high action. They’re basically just metal zombies, really; they don’t move very fast and have to touch you to kill you, so it can’t be that difficult to get away from one or two of them. Just run away and climb up a tree. Like traditional Shaun of the Dead zombies and rats, they only become really problematic as their population increases exponentially. Like zombies, they also eat brains. BRAAAAAINS….
Generally, I enjoyed the juxtaposition of the Doctor and Morrissey’s Doctor as they were used for comedic purposes. Some of the angsty bits were alright, too. Some humourous bits I enjoyed particularly included:
- The Doctor rambling about Dying By Brick. TeeHEE!
- The nod to and handling of the Fob Watch plot device, if only as a snark against the fanfiction that uses it. *grins*
- The Doctor immitating the bleep-bleep sound of the sonic screwdriver with a whistle.
- The Morrissey Doctor/Doctor banter, which was almost always made of win.
I would also like to read fic about the origin of the Doctor’s cutlass skills. I expect pirate ships to be involved. Possible pirate ships with Jack Sparrow on board. Preferably ones including Jack Harkness hitting on Jack Sparrow. I put this forward as a suggestion for next year’s Christmas Special.
Other notable things that made me laugh included the lines "do you have your legs on silent?" and "that was designated a lie". Who knew the Cybermen were such a delightful comedic backboard?
Finally, GIANT ROBOTS STOMPING ON LONDON = WIN, Y/Y? It was like a Dickensian themed Sim City with a Steampunk themed monster natural disaster. I would play that game, and it would be awesome. I was terribly disappointed they didn’t let the robot fall and leave a Cyber-King shaped snow angel indent of crushed houses.