Monday, April 16, 2007

Doctor Who 3X03 "Gridlock" by Russel T. Davies

Eh. Davies' straight dramas (pardon the expression) are so much better than his work on this show. Some people should just never work in the genres, and Second Coming notwithstanding, I suspect Davies is one of them.

But we're stuck with him, (at least until he decides to move on, hopefully to be replaced by Stephen Moffat), and I'm not ready to stop watching yet, so as far as this episode goes, again, "Eh." I guess I've just sort of adapted my expectations.

It took a while. I spent the first couple of series wanting the show to reconcile its science fiction elements with the real world -- the way early XF, or the awesome British series Ultraviolet, did. I wanted them to make me believe that this shit could actually be happening--and I will always prize science fiction that takes me to that place over SF that doesn't even try.

But it's a fact: Who is one of the latter. Who is farting aliens and Ann Robinson robots. Pepperpots with plungers as the Big Bad. In this episode, the offspring of a human and a cat person (played by Dougal from Father Ted) are shown to be kittens. Actual kittens.

And that's how Davies wants it: campy nonsense 'cause it's all in good fun.

OK, then. On that level, this was a decent episode. The other two episodes set in this time ("The End of the World" and "New Earth") had very Douglas Adams and Neil Gaiman-y vibes. This one didn't -- This one had a very RTD vibe. That's my big criticism.

Oh, and also, the big secret being kept by the Face of Bo for all this time turns out to be exactly what everybody thought it would be . ("You are not alone" -- which foreshadows the return of The Master.) Not much of a bombshell when your entire audience has guessed it long since.

Next week: Old New York, a bit of location shooting, and what look to be some legendarily bad American accents. Oh, and pepperpots.

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