Sunday, 19 May 2013

Doctorin' The Tardis [Review: The Name Of The Doctor]

My money was on the Doctor being Kandy Man all along... damn.

Madame Vastra hears a cryptic message about the Doctor from a murderer and with Jenny's assistance she brings together Strax, Clara and the deceased River Song via a trance. When the Doctor eventually hears the message himself, he and Clara set out on a voyage to the one place a time traveller should never go - the location of his own grave.

The Name Of The Doctor leads to an extremely clever reveal and central concept, and it does at least look as if the whole Clara story arc has been building to this point. It's also got a lot of heart - some nice scenes with the Doctor and River Song, as well as the relationships between other characters, and for the long-suffering Doctor Who fan there are glimpses of the Doctor's earlier reincarnations, digitally remastered and worked into the plot.

However before you get to the really good stuff, you do have to swallow two bitter pills: the fact that "time travel has always been possible in dreams" (no it hasn't, sorry) and the appearance of the laziest Doctor Who creatures ever, the White-Stocking-Over-A-Plastic-Skull-Maskodonians.

Government cutbacks have gone too far. Even the Romanian entry in this year's Eurovision Song Contest made more of an effort to look sci-fi.

[It's My Life - Cezar]

Some plot elements remain vague and mysterious - it's hinted but not fully explained that the cheap monsters are just information, as is River Song, and this is connected in some way to the Library where her personality was stored after her death. Also, the Doctor and Clara have to Tardis it to the supposed graveyard with great difficulty - but the Cheapikons can get there, bringing Vastra and the others, using only background music and a couple of focus pulls. The last few seconds make no sense, but not to worry - Moffat and friends have until November to come up with a plausible explanation. Once again an episode promoted as something incredible turns out just to be a regular one but still enjoyable.


Big D said...

I have to admit, I thought it could have been better but the reveal at the end had me going "Wait..what?"

Also Romania at Eurovision; That was...interesting, wasn't it?

Sci-Fi Gene said...

Still waiting for that Doctor Who / Eurovision crossover episode...

Maurice Mitchell said...

"White-Stocking-Over-A-Plastic-Skull-Maskodonians" LOL Those guys keep promising scarier villains than the Weeping Angels and is not going to happen. A good, but not great episode.

Sci-Fi Gene said...

I think they fail when they try too hard. In the original series there were several attempts to create Dalek-beaters such as the Quarks - remember them? Exactly. I think the success of the Weeping Angels took the creators by surprise after their first appearance.

On the other hand with these particular creatures, no-one can accuse them of trying too hard.