Monthly Archives: September 2011

A quick apology …

… for those of you who don’t care about Doctor Who.  I was a bit shocked to see that all four of the most recent posts here have been Who reviews.  And the next one or two probably will be, as well.  I try to keep an eclectic mix of topics, but things have got away from me, and it’s been very Who-centric.

This Saturday’s episode will be the last in the current series, so once that one is out of my system there will be no more until Christmas.  I’ll get back to writing about, well, everything else.  (Except sauropod vertebrae, of course.)

Closing Time (Doctor Who series 6, episode 12)

[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.]

At the end of my God Complex review, I worried about Closing Time: “I loved [The Lodger] but in part because it was so very self-contained, a sort of holiday from the main story; and because it wrapped up its whole rom-com subplot so neatly.  I don’t see how a sequel can really work, and I especially struggle to see how it can tie in to the arc.”

Well, I needn’t have worried.

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The God Complex (Doctor Who series 6, episode 11)

[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.]

… And there there are the times when Doctor Who just gets it all so perfectly right that you feel you never need to watch anything else ever again.

There’s so much that could be said about The God Complex — about the careful selection of one-shot companions; about the craftsmanship with which they’re given separate and interesting characters so that in the space of 45 minutes we come to care about who makes it and who doesn’t; about the nightmarish nature of the hotel’s corridors and staircases, before we even get into the individual rooms; and about how the nature of what the monster is doing turns out to be different from what we all assumed.  But that’s not the point.

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The Girl Who Waited (Doctor Who series 6, episode 10)

[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.]

Waiting has been a recurring theme in New Who.  Sarah Jane waited thirty years (in real time!) to see the Doctor again after The Hand of Fear.  Captain Jack waited in Cardiff for somewhere north of a hundred years before finding the Doctor in Utopia.  Amy waited twelve years for the Doctor within a single episode (The Eleventh Hour), and then for another two years later in the same episode!  Rory waited two thousand years for Amy to emerge from the Pandorica in The Big Bang.  (It’s part of Rory’s charm that he is the only one of these to have waited for anyone other than the Doctor.  Amy means more to him than the Doctor does.)

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Night Terrors (Doctor Who series 6, episode 9)

[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.]

When Series 6′s complex and demanding opening two parter Impossible Astronaut/Day of the Moon was followed by the relatively straightforward third episode, Curse of the Black Spot, I couldn’t help but feel a little underwhelmed by comparison.  It had a lot to recommend it (in fact I really must go back and watch it again), but set against the sprawling ambitious of the opening gambit it seemed somehow mundane.  That’s harsh, but based on a true story.

Night Terrors had the similarly difficult job of following on from Moffat’s mid-season two parter A Good Man Goes to War/Let’s Kill Hitler; but would it be substantial enough to stand up against those very rich episodes?

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Well, that about wraps it up for copyright

I just read this article on TechDirt: EU Officially Seizes The Public Domain, Retroactively Extends Copyright.  As the article says, “This is nothing short of governments and the entertainment industry seizing works from the public domain”.  Let’s be clear: it’s theft.  It’s a matter of big companies (and it should surprise no-one that record labels have lobbied aggressively for this) stealing content that belongs to you and me, and taking it for themselves.

In fact, let’s call it exactly what it is: piracy.

And the shocking thing is, this piracy is not a crime.  It’s legally sanctioned.

But that doesn’t make it right.

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