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New Who Easter Special: Planet of the Dead

Yep, I enjoyed that!

Sure, so there was quite a lot of silliness - particularly the Magic Flying Bus. I wasn't too convinced by the concept of the Swarm making wormholes in space by flying round and round planets REALLY FAST, and Christina de Souza was a bit of an all-round cliché. But this is a Special - so long as it delivers the laughs, the thrills and the squees, it's done its job.

My particular squees were:
  • Malcolm Taylor (the UNIT scientist) squeeing over the Doctor like a great big meta-referential fan - especially when the Doctor asked him if his favourite of the stories in the Doctor's file was the one with the giant Robot, and he then turned up at the end to give the Doctor BIG HUGS wearing a scarf! Oh, the Four-love...
  • The stuff with the Doctor having to communicate with the Tritovores in their own language, because the TARDIS was not there. And that whole issue was nicely clarified, too, when he said that he spoke 'every language' - so we now know for sure that it is basically his (telepathic?) abilities that allow him to communicate in any language, and the TARDIS that then extends that to his companions.
  • Psychic paper as Oyster card.
  • Christina telling the Doctor that 'the Doctor' isn't a name, it's a psychological condition.
  • A black woman running UNIT, and telling the white guy (the police chief) where to get off when she comes to take control of the tunnel and the wormhole.
  • The Queen not minding when the Doctor parks the TARDIS in the Buckingham Palace gardens.
  • And of course exciting pointers towards the remaining specials courtesy of the psychic lady at the end. "He will knock four times," eh? The Master?

In short - that will do nicely, thank you. MOAR PLS!

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( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 11th, 2009 07:13 pm (UTC)
I kinda hoped the bus would reverse back through and we'd get a "WARNING, VEHICLE REVERSING" siren :)

and yes, moar pls indeed!
Apr. 11th, 2009 08:43 pm (UTC)
That would have been made of 9xWIN.
Apr. 11th, 2009 08:42 pm (UTC)
I'm thinking not the Master (although I'm sure he will be back). It's too obvious, and I think it would require more build up - New Who seems to like build up. But it will be someone from Old Who. I just can't figure who. The Black Guardian? Unlikely, it's just the first that popped into my head. Hmm...

I agree Christina was a little cliched in idea, but she pulled it off extremely well. Kylie doesn't have a mote of dust on her. And hence, I loved her. I have relatively low standards when Doctor Who is concerned, which makes it quite stunning that I have been so often disapointed by New Who... but I love it really.

Gah... teh squee is clouding my thought!
Apr. 11th, 2009 08:49 pm (UTC)
Hmm, the Black Guardian is a nice thought. I'd prefer that to the Master, personally. But whoever it is, a prophecy in the first story of what passes for a season this year is about as much build-up as they can get, so...

Pity Red Dwarf has gone swerving merrily off the rails, though.
Apr. 11th, 2009 09:31 pm (UTC)
I... am reserving judgement about Red Dwarf. A surprising number of people commented that they felt it would have worked a bit better with a laughter track before I actually managed to see it, and... I found myself surprisingly in agreement. Like, that's just not how Red Dwarf rolls. There were some bits that fell entirely flat, especially earlier on in the episode, and it felt a lot like rehearsing old roles that they've semi-forgotten... and yet I still didn't hate it as much as the last two seasons. They *did* have it in places. Chris Barry was on form, I thought (and the Cat has kept surprisingly trim! Lamé is not forgiving and... there was nothing to forgive (except, you know, taste).)

It was only the first act. I'm prepared to wait and see. The new holo-gal annoyed the hell ut of me, but... I'm willing to risk it for old times sake. Hell, if I risked teh last two seasons, why not this?

Back to Who: the fact that they don't have time for build up is why I don't think they'll go Master on this one. On the other hand, I do feel a tinkling in teh force that suggests to me it migth be something of Old Gallifrey. Maybe it's a pipe dream, but I think the prophecy indicates that something he's met before will get him again, and I just sorta feel the programe makers might be feeling the need for some kind of power for the Doctor to rub against like I am. Maybe that's wishful thinking, but... Well, if they give me this much time to wish in I'll wish.

I'd vote the Rani if it were a female knocking. I would love to see them bring back the Rani. We could have glam jokes. I'm sure the writers would love that as much as the beard joke.

Ah, questions, questions...
Apr. 12th, 2009 11:28 am (UTC)
I didn't really watch the last couple of seasons of Red Dwarf, but from what I did see, I'm glad they've effectively just been ignored in the new version. The third episode tonight could turn everything around, but last night's offering was all just getting a bit too self-referential to work for me. It'll be OK if it all turns out to be a giant computer simulation, or some other kind of trick. But otherwise, not.

It would be a lovely end to the Tenth Doctor's arc to have some hint of the Time Lords re-appearing - it was him who really started talking about them again after all, not Nine. But again, I think this goes back to your point about not having enough 'time' (boom, tish) to develop the plot-line. I don't think even RTD can pull off all the things I've seen cropping up in spoiler photos and the return of the Time Lords in three episodes.
Apr. 14th, 2009 09:07 am (UTC)
It'll be OK if it all turns out to be a giant computer simulation, or some other kind of trick.

I'm catching up on LJ after the weekend and having watched all of red dwarf at time of reading I was amused by this comment. :)
Apr. 14th, 2009 09:13 am (UTC)
Hee! Yes, the third episode did make things a lot better as far as I'm concerned. It still wasn't Teh Best Red Dwarf Evah!, but a nice little post-script to the series.
Apr. 11th, 2009 09:20 pm (UTC)
T'was all good fun!

As as the knock four times business is concerned, there are spoilers on the internet about some of the cast for the last two episodes whcih naturally I won't go into here..
Apr. 12th, 2009 11:31 am (UTC)
Yeah, I've seen the same rumours too, hence my suggestion. I think that one only comes from the Sun so far, and hasn't been confirmed by any on-set pictures. But it seems pretty likely, given the way RTD operates.
Apr. 11th, 2009 11:02 pm (UTC)
Ohhh, I assumed the "giant robot" thing was just a reference to the Christmas episode. I much prefer it if it's a reference to Robot. But yes, overall I enjoyed that!
Apr. 12th, 2009 11:32 am (UTC)
Oh, yeah - I'd forgotten about that giant robot, actually. But hell - it can be whichever we want it to be; or even both.
Apr. 12th, 2009 07:16 pm (UTC)
I loved it too - some silliness, I found Lady Christina a bit annoying but that was of course the intention, I'm sure.

Personally, and perhaps because I'm such a fan of the episode, I liked the little reference to Midnight - the line about how it wasn't the first time that a bus load of people had hated him/turned against him (can't remember the exact words but that was the gist anyway).

The foreshadowing was very interesting...and I will admit becoming a little sad because now we know that this Doctor really doesn't have much time left. In this vein, I loved the bit where he was calming all of the passengers down by relating to them on a very human level - which is just how Tennant has portrayed his Doctor from the start, and that's something that I will miss.

I think it probably will be The Master, and have my own theories on exactly what knocking four times entails but don't want to speculate too much because I'd rather not think about it and then be utterly spoiler-free by the time it hits our screens :)

The trailer for the next special looks unbelievably fantastic - very exciting. I cannot wait!
Apr. 12th, 2009 07:53 pm (UTC)
Ah, I didn't catch that line about Midnight. I did notice the similarity in the settings, and was slightly sorry that this was a different kind of story, with the more traditional focus on action adventure instead of all the personality clashes explored in Midnight. But it's nice to know there was a little nod towards the alternative way of treating that kind of scenario, then.
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )

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