21 comments on “Doctor Dwarf: Xtended

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  • Wasn’t that episode of Doctor Who brilliant, though? Kind of reminded me of Farscape. Lots of people running and shouting in corridors, giving out expository dialogue disguised as character stuff, treating the audience like intelligent human beings, and no silly, CBBC-style alien makeup (like that godawful Dalek-human hybrid) – a proper, adult story. It’s what Doctor Who should always be like.

  • >Wasn?t that episode of Doctor Who brilliant, though?
    Um, no.

    >Kind of reminded me of Farscape
    Kind of reminded me of Jason X.

  • I’m not sure I’ve ever seen more contrived peril plotting than that episode.

    “The ship’s going to crash into the sun! Not to worry, we’ll get in the TARDIS!”
    “Oh, you can’t, it’s suddenly too hot in the room you were just in five seconds ago.”

    “Okay, let’s make our way to the control room!”
    “Oh, you can’t, all the doors are locked.”
    “Ah, well, sonic screwdriver!”
    “Oh, no, this is the one piece of tech in the entire universe that it won’t work on.”
    “Okay, then. How do the locks work?”
    “Well, each one is a pub quiz machine, and you ONLY GET ONE TURN. And there are questions about 20th century pop culture.”

    “Right, I’ll just re-magnetise the escape pod.”
    “Sure thing. Just one thing, though… the button’s on the outside of the ship.”
    “Well, who the fuck designed that one?”

    … and so on.

    Didn’t help that the supporting characters were totally rubbish (Michelle Collins being downright unlikeable), it was completely ungripping despite having a ready made tension device in the form of the utterly WASTED real-time concept (all that the countdown did was help me time when our pizzas were ready), and all in all, it was just a lame knock-off of The Satan Pit.

    “What Doctor Who should always be like”? If it was always like that, I’d never watch it. The first genuine bum note of series three, for me.

  • I dunno, thought it was alright. Couldn’t understand why the ‘infected’ crew had to keep putting those helmets on, they just looked like drunk welders.

    Did remind me of Satan Pit as well, ie. deep scary voice, spaceship corridors, annoying crew, Doctor in spacesuit etc etc.

  • >Wasn?t that episode of Doctor Who brilliant, though?

    What has obviously happened here is, you’ve knocked your remote after the opening credits and ended up watching ‘My Big Breasts and Me’

  • It wasn’t bad, objectively, but I felt it was a huge opportunity wasted. An episode actually called 42? Well it’s already got the metaphorical weight of HHGttG on it’s shoulders before it begins. Throw in a COMPLETELY UNNECESSARY AND CONTRIVED ‘real-time’ gimmick without actually exploiting it and you rather invite folk to pick holes.

    Also, changing the helmet does not make it a new space suit. Unless you make some sort of throwaway link between the two, I suppose.

  • Oh, incidentally, the episode wasn’t actually in real-time. I didn’t count myself, but somebody else did, and apparently the clock lost about three or four minutes as the episode went on.


  • Oh dear.

    I’m probably the only person here who doesn’t actually like the new Doctor’s last three series. I’m getting kind of tired with unscary monsters, dodgy digital effects and the REALLY shitty (and far too loud) “epic” music. It just seems far too childish and half-hearted. Don’t get me wrong, I like childish, but I also wouldn’t mind a bit of dirt and grit, y’know. A bit of darkness, and that’s what this story provided for me, including acting and dialogue that didn’t sound like it was spouted from the mouth of some college students making an amateur film.

    What I would REEEEAAAAAAALLLYYY love is for the Doctor and Martha to face a recurring foe that doesn’t want to take over the world and go “BWAHAHAHA!” all the time – it’s just an alien that kills and hunts, like the xenomorph in Alien. Something without emotion and sentience. They could do that at 7pm, surely. Not too graphic, obviously.

    And hopefully Martha’s Mum can be its first victim.

  • What is it with the ridiculous over use of CG in the newer series?
    It’s like when I saw the remake of King Kong, I just got really frustrated and consantly found myself thinking “why the hell have they bothered with a CG version of that!”
    Modern CG is amazing… on an enourmous budget, I’ve seen student stuff on par with the CG on Who.
    It’s CG for the sake of it, which I hate!

  • > What is it with the ridiculous over use of CG in the newer series?

    It’s because they’ve made it their only option after they (seemingly) chucked The Model Unit. The only physical effects they seem to have any more are Neil Gorton’s prosthetics. It makes me want to cry.

  • Sean : so hang on, you haven’t liked the last three series, but you liked that episode? Jesus, you seriously think it was (a) better, and (b) more “adult” than The Empty Child or The Girl In The Fireplace?

    That story was the very antithesis of dark. It was trying to be “dark” in terms of its look and feel, but the plot and characterisation were so ham-fistedly amateurish that it came off as a childish attempt to “do” dark. Anyone who thinks that it was anything other than a failed attempt to replicate the brilliance of The Satan Pit (a story which achieved everything 42 set out to) seriously needs their head examined.

  • Mmmmmm, it was okay, I think. Could have been much, much, much better.

    But all of my feelings for this story are eclipsed by the upcoming two weeks, when we have ‘Human Nature’ and ‘The Family of Blood.’ Believe me, you DO NOT want to miss that story. If it’s even slightly as good as the novel it’s based on, we’re in for a treat…

  • …you seriously think it was (a) better, and (b) more ?adult? than The Empty Child or The Girl In The Fireplace?

    The Empty Child was OK, but the ending was a serious disappointment for me. And the Girl In The Fireplace was excellent, I agree. I thought Mickey was a chump, though, and every time he opened his mouth, I rolled my eyes.

    For every good, serious character-driven episode, there are ten real clunkers.

    Anyone who thinks that it was anything other than a failed attempt to replicate the brilliance of The Satan Pit (a story which achieved everything 42 set out to) seriously needs their head examined.

    I think the Satan Pit is the best thing they have done, and presumably anything that resembles it is going to tickle me in the right way.

    I liked it. I though it was a fresh change of pace from the octopus condom Dalek man and the evil misguided mad professor episodes that preceded it. What can I say?

  • > The Empty Child was OK, but the ending was a serious disappointment for me.

    Oh, I so adored the end of The Doctor Dances. Every single time, it doesn’t fail to have me crying as the frankly angelic Florence Hoath is reunited with her son. And The Doctor saves everyone (“Just this once, everybody lives!”)! And then Dr. Constantine gets to a deliver a woofer (“there is a war on, are you sure you didn’t mis-count?”)! And then they save Jack’s life and dance in the TARDIS! And, and, and, and! *blubs*

  • And The Doctor saves everyone (?Just this once, everybody lives!?)!

    I think the “everybody lives” was the disappointment for me.

    I think I might need my head examining after all.

  • I think you do ;)

    For me, that was a man totally battered after the complete destruction of his home world and race finally emerging out the other side with what is possibly his first significant victory since before the war. It’s really well done and bloody euphoric to watch.

  • It?s really well done and bloody euphoric to watch.

    Yeah, despite my flippancy, I do know what you mean. It’s just a shame that RTD doesn’t like the term “story arc”, because I think he could do it so well. I know he’s currently introducing the Master character through build-up, but it’s not the same as a good, meaty story arc that goes on for a good chunk of a season.

    If anyone out there remembers Farscape, and let’s face it, no one does, it was what that show did really well. There were at least one six-parter every season where it all went to Hell and they were so emotionally taught and you were completely swept away, with a lump in your throat and a tear in your eye, with every line of dialogue brimming with angst. Despite the cadaverous monsters and the tentacled beasts (some of which were far inferior to Dr Who’s), you loved the characters and believed in everything and it was, in my own emo-infused geek way, like living another life…

    There was an episode where the crew went back in time and upset everything, and they tried to put it right, but they killed everyone. Their actions killed everyone when they originally lived, women and children, and you hear them SCREAMING, and the reaction of the main hero makes my eyes water just thinking about it. And that’s the end of the episode.

    This show does that brilliantly when it wants to. I dunno, maybe I should just accept it for what it is. It’s the only programme of its kind on TV at the mo, and it’s intelligent and isn’t hosted by Davina McCall, and it’s so popular too, I should be just thankful that there’s something on linear TV for a geek like me.

  • Chris Chibnall really let himself down this week (please God do NOT let him become RTD’s successor). The series is turning out how I expected, I KNEW KNEW KNEW, that’s right, I KNEW I would just be waiting for the Cornell 2-parter, Blink and the return of a seriously on-form Russell T Davies. It’s like the opposite of series 1, the only really decent episodes have been RTD-penned. Out of the others I like Lazarus, despite the CG monster-of-the-week element.

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