Monday, June 16, 2008

Doctor Who: 'Midnight' (S4E10)

I quite enjoyed this episode too, even if it did oscillate between carefully observed characterisation and pure stereotype. It was well cast, suitably quirky, had the right amount of tension & release and was generally quite entertaining. Every time it was about to get annoying it managed to get out of it in time.

But I have two gripes.

The first is a complaint against the Radio Times who listed 'Billie Piper as Rose Tyler' in the credits. So I was all excited in an 'oooh, I wonder how they're going to bring Rose back' kind of a way, only to be disappointed that she only appeared onscreen for less than a second and isn't really back yet. (but next week...)

The second is against The Doctor himself. He quite spectacularly failed to save the day and it was only through the self sacrifice of one of the other characters that he (and everyone else) were saved from peril. Our hero failed. This show is all about how The Doctor is, essentially, a superhero and always cleverly saves the day. But this time he didn't, he failed, he lost. Was this because he was without an assistant in this episode? Will there be repercussions in future episodes? I guess we'll find out. But The Doctor himself only gets 4/10 for this episode. Not clever enough by half. Or possibly too arrogant.

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At 3:42 pm, Blogger Marcus G said...

Or was it actually a comment on how we think we need superheroes to save us, but actually the most unlikely and ordinary people turn out to be superheroic? The airhostess whose name nobody knew: just another person.

Like Clark Kent with his Kryptonite, (and you know how I see many Superman/Doctor Who resonances) the Doctor has his many weaknesses. But here I wonder if the point was not this, but that as all those people were showing the worst of humanity in being ready to kill both the obvious alien and the superior stranger in order to protect themselves, it was an act of self-sacrifice by "plane jane" that saved the day.

As M People say, search for the hero inside yourself.

And for that, sometimes the Doctor has to be held back. Let's see what happens when Rose gets back: looks like she and Donna will have to do some hero work themselves...


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