I am moved once again to rant about the BBC 1 Stephen Moffat Variety Hour*
TODAY'S EPISODE: INTO DARKNESS
To be fair,
And, unlike similarly insidey episode 'Journey to the centre of the tardis'.
And despite the name.
I did not guess/get spoiled the basic plot points of this episode.
WHICH WAS VERY GOOD BECAUSE.
It meant that the groovy/exciting pre-credits moment when Capalditor first faces a dalek
A key moment in any doctor's development
(11 also did a good one but I couldn't find)
And the moment when the potentially-awesome-although-I'm-not-completely-sure-they-did-the-concept-justice plotline for this episode became clear
WERE THE SAME MOMENT.
SO WELL DONE THE DR WHO MARKETING TEAM THERE.
SLASH WELL DONE ME FOR AVOIDING SPOLIERS.
I DON'T KNOW.
BEFORE ALL THAT CAN HAPPEN.
WHO I SHALL HENCEFORTH REFER TO AS 'VOD'
HAS TO ESCAPE SOME DALEKY LASERS
Pause to consider how rubbish the dalek lasers must be
If she can have been hit and still be flying and her brother potentially nondead.
Although SPOILERS that situation is not going to last long.
So Vod explodes and dies.
BUT THEN NOT in what appears to be becoming a recurring theme of the series
Capalditor looks at her with a face like oh my god I can't even that face SURELY a highlight of 9 years of revival who.
Vod is a bit angry, probably understandable in the circumstances, but don't worry, because we'll RETURN TO THAT LATER.
Dialouge, things happen, and we're back to where you started.
The new titles, which I forgot to mention last week,
Are ok, but personally, I don't see why they have to keep changing them.
Like, I don't see any sort of general improvement since the series 1 ones.
There's then an extended sequence in the life of Clara.
THIS SEQUENCE REALLY ANNOYED ME FOR SOME REASONS.
I HAVE SEEN 'EDUCATING ESSEX' AND ALL THE SEQUELS.
SO I KNOW WHAT A SCHOOL IS LIKE.
(also I went to a school)
(that is a thing I did in my life)
SCHOOLS ARE NOT LIKE THAT.
TEACHERS ARE NOT ALLOWED TO SPONTANEOUSLY CRY WHEN ASKED ABOUT THEIR DIFFICULT PAST
THIS IS LAZY, LAZY CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT, MOFFAT.
FIRST AND A HALF-LY
'PINK' IS A REDICULOS SURNAME.
THAT WOULD BE WHAT THE KIDS WOULD TEASE HIM FOR
SECONDLY, THE THING WHERE HE TALKS TO HIMSELF AND CLARA NOTICES.
*IN REAL LIFE*
DOCTOR WHO IS ALLOWED TO BREAK THE RULES OF 'REAL LIFE' BUT NOT IN THE SCENES WHICH ARE DOCTOR-FREE BACKGROUND CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT.
FOR A GUIDE ON HOW TO DO THIS WELL, SEE
LIKE, COULD YOU IMAGINE A SEQUENCE LIKE THAT HAPPENING WITH ROSE OR MARTHA?
COULD YOU HELL.
LAZY, LAZY, LAZY WAYS TO GET US EMOTIONALLY INVOLVED,
VIA CHEAP, LARGER-THAN-LIFE PLOT OCCURUNCES.
ARE ALLOWED WHEN THE DOCTOR IS PRESENT (eg, the beginning of series 5)
BUT *HORRENDOUS* WHEN IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE 'REAL LIFE'.
Similarly, the following 'am I a good man?' thing
Felt a *little* insincere,
like they had just written it in to go in the adverts,
but I think only because it was in all the adverts.
So what can you do?
We progress then, to the episode proper,
which I would like to credit for exploring the issue of Dalek morality,
albeit in Moffat style
ie: 'with no subtlety'
many of the scenes in this episode reminded me of scenes from the series 1 episode 'Dalek'.
'Dalek' was an outstanding epsiode, and there are a number of comparisons to make.
The first, is that in 'Dalek', the episode was mostly just the Dalek marauding its way through hordes of quite tough looking guards.
THIS SEEMS SHALLOW but
it served a very important purpose of *establishing that daleks are fucking scary*
and that's important to note, because we, the dr who audience are very forgetful,
so we need plenty of carnage when daleks arrive, to remind us they are bloody dangerous things,
And, to be fair, not quite as much as in 'Dalek', but 'Into Dalek' saw a reasonable share of carnage.
Now, the endless banging on about whether you can have a 'good Dalek'
Got a bit samey, and were very Moffatish, and allowed once again for this to happen
BUT it was a dalek episode in which Daleks were the enemys
and Daleks were scary
and they were scary because, they're,
horrendous murder machines
SOME CREDIT THERE
But I think we should pause here, because there's one other bit of deja-dr-who-vu,
in the whole, go-off-on-adventure-inside-thing-after-being-minaturised category,
I am of course refering to the episode inside the tessalector
Which existed mainly to help in answering the tricky existential conundrum
'If an archeologist is originally a dick but comes around, so is then forced to be a dick by a robot suit that looks like a spacesuit hidden in a lake in the sixties, how do you stop a timelord regenerating but not actually kill him?'
So D- to Moffat for originality there,
pretty much the only good thing about that episode
were the smarmy death robots who lived in that 'regular sized but with tiny people inside' adventure environment
who coined the magnificent phrase
although I do concede that
if they had reused them it would have made
LESS SENSE THAN ALL OF SEREIES 6
we did have BASICALLY THE SAME MONSTER flying around in today's episode.
It would have been awesome
Now, before continuing, we will introduce a new feature in this rant,
12th Doctor: bit of a dick?
HERE'S TODAY'S MOMENT:
AND IT'S NOT EVEN WHEN HE KILLS THAT GUY BY GETTING HIM TO EAT A BIT OF DALEK IN FRONT OF THE ANTIBODIES
When the doctor is in the Dalek,
and he stubbles across the radiation in the room that looks for all the world like a giant battery pack
AND WITHOUT PAUSING TO THINK,
(as it later turns out)
WITH A CONSIDERABLE HUNCH AS TO WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN
Proceeds to fix the (ahem)
CRACK THAT DOESN'T LOOK ANYTHING, *ANYTHING* LIKE THE CRACK FROM SERIES 5 BECAUSE IT'S VERTICAL NOT HORIZONTAL
WITHOUT PAUSING TO CONSIDER WHETHER HIS ACTIONS WILL TURN THE DALEK EVIL AND SHOOTY
WHETHER THERE COULD BE A BETTER ORDER IN WHICH TO DO THINGS
EG: FIX THE MEMORY ROOM PLACE THEY LATER RETURN TO
FACE THE DALEK HEAD-ON
BEFORE TURNING ON IT'S MAIN WEAPON
WITHOUT PAUSING TO CONSIDER THAT
SLASH POSSIBLY (DEFINETLY) WITH PAUSING TO CONSIDER THAT
DECIDING AGAINST IT BECAUSE IT WOULD BE TOO EASY/
The doctor fixes the crack and the dalek goes shootyvile.
#TOTALLY DIDN'T SEE THAT COMING
#YES I KNOW HASHTAGS DON'T HAVE SPACES
This results in the deaths of countless random rebel security members.
And generally is seen as a bad outcome.
So, in conclusion:
12th Doctor: Bit of a dick?
Now, finally, I will consider
THE EMOTIONAL CLIMAXE OF THE EPISODE
A moment that has moved me more than anything in DW for quite some time
And which moved me to rant today.
We will consider
THE REJECTION OF ZAWE ASHTON.
So you are aware of the build-up to this.
First, Zawe Ashton is not cast as the 12th doctor,
In a move, already described at the time
by me, as
Good news, she appears in this episode
In a character I'm going to describe as 'pretty fucking badass'
Like, let's summarise her key achievements:
-Has brother blown up. Gets over it.
-Threatens the doctor, just sort-of because.
-Makes sarcastic comment about death of brother, because badass
-Despite everything, IMMEDIATELY joins in on this COMPLETELY RANDOM mission into the dalek,
presumably because she just feels like it
-She then proceeds to,
and I'd like to point this out because
IT WILL TURN OUT TO BE IMPORTANT
CARE, ABOUT 70 SQUILLION PERCENT MORE
THAN THE DOCTOR,
FOR THE WELLBEING OF ROSS
WHEN THE DOCTOR KILLS ROSS
AND THEN THREATEN THE DOCTOR AGAIN,
FOR THE OFFENCE OF...
BEING TOO BLOODY CAVALIER ABOUT ROSS'S DEATH.
-Be the only one to offer a workable solution when the dalek goes all evil.
(because this is also fucking important)
HAVE THE HUMILITY/LEVEL-HEADDEDNESS NOT TO USE IT, WHEN THE DOCTOR SAYS HE CAN DO BETTER.
-Holds off the antibodies while clara presses some buttons.
The scene is set.
The episode is complete.
The daleks are kept at bay.
And in Moffat-era DW, that's enough for the episode to be over.
BUT WHAT'S THIS?
VOD IS KISSING HER UNCLE GOODBYE?
(Funfact: Vod's uncle played by Ian from bakeoff)
PAUSE FOR MOMENT OF REALISATION...
WE ALL KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS.
INCREDIBLE REBEL ALLIANCE BADASS NINJA WOMAN ZAWE ASHTON IS GOING TO BE IN MORE EPISODES!
*THE TUMBLER MELTSDOWN*
*THIS REVIEWER TEARS UP*
COULD IT BE?
COULD IT BE?
AND YES, SURE ENOUGH,
THERE SHE IS, OUTSIDE THE TARDIS
HOW EXCITING IS THE REST OF SERIES 8 LOOKING,
WITH ZANE-LOWE AS THE NEW,
PROVIDING A MORAL YIN TO THE DOCTOR'S YANG
IT IS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE.
IT IS, LITERALLY TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE.
BUT THE DOCTOR HAS MORAL RESERVATIONS.
THIS DOCTOR, THE SAME ONE WHO BROUGHT ALONG JACK
NO ZAWE ASHTON.
THE TUMBLER REMELTDOWNS
THIS REVIEWER LITERALLY WAILS
EVERYONE FEELS VERY SAD
EXCEPT ZAWE WHO JUST STANDS THERE AND TAKES IT
LIKE A FUCKING BADASS.
We will now consider, and,
by consider, I obviously mean dispute
this particular choice of CapaldiDoctor.
But, first, let me assert my impartiality.
BECAUSE I WISH TO MAKE CLEAR,
I AM NOT DISPUTING THIS DESCISION BECAUSE IT UPSET ME.
DR WHO IS ALLOWED TO BE UPSETTING,
and, actually, i think reducing the amount of
could be an interesting direction that moffat & co. may explore
if they're serious about making dw 'darker again'
I AM REFUTING THIS DESCISION, BECAUSE I THINK IT IS REDICULOS,
AND BASED ON POOR EVIDENCE + HYPOCRACY.
MY PERSONAL FEELING TOWARD THE DESCISION,
WILL NOT INFLUENCE MY JUDGEMENT,
IT MAY INFLUENCE MY TONE.
Vod's first action aboard the tardis is to threaten capaldidoctor with a pistol
Ok, this could be viewed as a bad start, but
Let's consider the mitigating circumstances:
Vod was recently attacked by Daleks
Vod was recently exploded by Daleks
Vod's brother was recently exploded by Daleks
Daleks can assimilate people now, because insert reasons.
Vod was last seen being exploded near Dalek ship
So it is not unreasonable for Vod to
A- be suprised at not being dead
B-be suspicious that she might be inside a dalek ship
C-be suspicious that the doctor,
A WEIRD GUY THAT SHE'S NEVER SEEN BEFORE
might be a humo-dalek-thing.
Also, Vod backs down after a particularly unnessescary 'lightswitch' line
Proving that she has both
RESPECT FOR DOCTOR
NOT JUST A MINDLESS GUNWEILDER
This point is reproven in the very excellent scene which I mentioned already
in which the doctor's responce to Dalek attack! is
and look a bit mopey and grumble about daleks
and clara's responce to Dalek attack! is
and zawe's responce to Dalek attack! is
1 - radio to establish situation
2 - shout at the doctor
3 - offer to blow up dalek
There is also the point at which
Gretchen sacrifices herself
and Vod is at least 400% more upset than either capalditor
there then follows the scene where she shoots a lot of the dalek antibodies
WE THEN REACH THE POINT OF REJECTION
ALLOW ME TO RECAP THE REASON GIVEN
FOR ANY OF THE READERS WHO ARE PREDISPOSED
TO NOT REMEMBERING BULLSHIT
WAS "YOU'RE NICE AND ALL"
"JUST A BIT TOO SHOOTY SHOOTY KILLY FOR MY LIKING"
FROM THE MAN WHO BROUGHT ALONG RIVER SONG
FROM THE MAN WHO BROUGHT ALONG JACK
TO THE WOMAN WHO
*THROUGHOUT* THIS EPISODE
HAS BEEN CONISTENTLY MORE COMPASSIONATE
HAS BEEN ARGUABLY LESS OR EQUALLY VIOLENT AND DESTRUCTIVE
HAS APPLIED HER SHOOTY SHOOTY KILLY-NESS
WITH APPROPRIATE DISGRESSION
AND IN A *FRANKLY* MORE USEFUL MANNER
THAN A CERTAIN TIMELORD HAS BEEN
IN SOME SITUATIONS.
So, we know this is ridiculous
now that we know it is ridiculous,
let us ask why?
Why did you torment us like this?
If we are not going to add an extra companion for the rest of the series
Which I can appreciate
Is something that will need to be planned ahead for
Why did we even bother having this scene?
Why torment us, moffatt?
Well, once again.
The answer lies in that mysterious thing
The physcology of steven moffat
My theory for today:
Moffatt, as a writer who
probably doesn't get enough vitamin D
has no understanding of real audience emotion
except for the fanboys and fangirls
here on the internets
and use words like 'feels'
whenever the show has a Big Emotional Moment
(ok SIGNIFICANT pot kettle situation here)
(but let's persevere)
and so to make dw good
tries to load it up with maximum number of said
Big Emotional Moments
hence we have this
of extreme emotion
to be fair
Right in the feels.
So, until next time.
Fuck you, Moffatt,
That is all.