Monthly Archives: May 2011

The Almost People (Doctor Who series 6, episode 6)

[A revised and improved version of this essay appears in my book The Eleventh Doctor: a critical ramble through Matt Smith’s tenure in Doctor Who.]

It’s part of the essence of Doctor Who that it drops bombshells on us.  It’s a show where things are not always as they seem, and where trying to figure out exactly what’s going on is an important part of the fun.  Back in the day, we were shocked by the revelation in The End of the World that the Time Lords were gone; we all guessed wrongly at the identity of The Doctor’s Wife; we were chilled by the sight of Daleks on our side in Victory of the Daleks.

The one constant that makes these constant twists and turns work is that the character of the Doctor himself is reliable and consistent, even as his personality changes between incarnations.  He himself is the bedrock against which all the waves of the universe break, the ground against which we evaluate the changing figures.

MAJOR SPOILERS FOLLOW THE BREAK

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Dumbed down

I was picking up some groceries in Lidl this evening when this advertisement in their hand-out caught my eye.

Seriously, Lidl?  Do we really need to be told that a Stainless Steel Pedestal Barcecue is “Ideal for BBQs”?

Yes, apparently we can’t be expected to figure this out for ourselves.

The Rebel Flesh (Doctor Who series 6, episode 5)

[A revised and improved version of this essay appears in my book The Eleventh Doctor: a critical ramble through Matt Smith’s tenure in Doctor Who.]

“We have met the enemy, and they are ours” — General William Henry Harrison.

“We have met the enemy and he is us” — Walt Kelly.

The Rebel Flesh is old-school base-under-siege Doctor Who.  But this time, the enemy is us.

MORE SPOILERS FOLLOW

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How to get things done: don’t open your post

This is the pile of unopened post that’s accumulated inside our front door over the last couple of months:

Usually I feel a sort of low-level nagging guilt about this, but actually I think it’s a good thing.

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The Doctor’s Wife (Doctor Who series 6, episode 4)

[A revised and improved version of this essay appears in my book The Eleventh Doctor: a critical ramble through Matt Smith’s tenure in Doctor Who.]

Doctor Who continues to exhaust superlatives”, Andrew Rilstone wrote back in the far-off days of Series 2 (although I am not sure he meant this altogether positively).  Five years on, I can only echo the quote, if not the ambivalent sentiment behind it.  More and more it feels to me as though Series 6 is a qualitative step up from what’s gone before.  Which, given how much I loved Series 5, is high praise.

The Doctor’s Wife is another episode that’s hard to talk about without giving away some secrets, so be warned that there are SPOILERS AFTER THE BREAK.

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The Curse of the Black Spot (Doctor Who series 6, episode 3)

[A revised and improved version of this essay appears in my book The Eleventh Doctor: a critical ramble through Matt Smith’s tenure in Doctor Who.]

WARNING: spoilers from the start.

Read on if you’ve seen the episode.

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The British public has spoken!

Well, the referendum on the Alternative Vote system is over, and the results are in.  So here we go:

67.9% of us said that we wanted all our preferences but one to be ignored.

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