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04 November 2014 @ 07:27 pm
NuWho Rewatch: Bad Wolf/The Parting of the Ways  
NLSS Child, it transpires, has firm opinions about the evils of reality TV and its deleterious effect on the industry. I find this somewhat perplexing since she doesn't watch TV - certainly not live TV anyway - and I suspect her YouTube habit is far worse for the TV industry as a whole than reality TV. At any rate she entirely approved of Bad Wolf even though she hadn't got the faintest idea what any of the shows being lampooned were and trying to explain The Weakest Link in the middle of a Doctor Who episode is harder than it might appear.

While it is difficult to draw firm conclusions from NLSS Child's lack of familiarity with Big Brother et al I can't help feeling that Bad Wolf already feels out of date and, of all the stories this season, it's the one that will age least well because it was so very much of its moment. Even though I'm sure reality TV and its ilk will continue for many years yet, the Anne Droid pun, the reliance on some familiarity with the rules of the shows depicted, are all very specific to 2005 and surprisingly prominent in the story.

Leaving aside the satire on current TV trends, I liked the actual underlying idea of the Bad Wolf more this time around (much as I've liked most of the season more). When you know its coming it seems less completely out of the blue and, in particular, you can see the idea forming while Rose grapples with her situation back in London.

This is also a surprisingly brutal episode. It disposes of its supporting cast far more ruthlessly than the previous episodes in the season leaving the Tardis crew (and family, I suppose) as the only survivors. It was nice to be able to give a straight answer to the question "Does Lynda die?" even though the answer was `yes'. Obviously the answer to "Does Jack die?" was `yes, but he gets better'. NLSS Child was not impressed by this.

Jack seems like one of the missed opportunities of NuWho. I've never felt he worked well in Torchwood where he was required to be brooding and angst-ridden rather than fun and cheesy. However he also demonstrates, like Romana in the old series, that it isn't actually fatal to have someone on board the Tardis with a bit of technical know how. The hints of the relationship between the three members of the Tardis crew are great and I wish we could have seen more of it.

So we came to the end of the Eccleston run and, entirely to my surprise, I had full on regeneration trauma to deal with. Eccleston was funny; the reason she'd never liked Doctor Who was that she hadn't realised it was funny and not just about Daleks and Cybermen; she was sure Tennant wasn't funny; after all "what does David Tennant ever do!!!" she complained.

Clara is still more awesome than Rose though, or so I am told.

This entry was originally posted at http://purplecat.dreamwidth.org/131943.html.
daniel_saunders: Leekleydaniel_saunders on November 4th, 2014 08:30 pm (UTC)
This supports something I've suspected since 2005, namely that much of new Who, with its emphasis on pop cultural references, is going to date really quickly.

"what does David Tennant ever do!!!"

I have been known to wonder the same thing myself...
Young Geoffreyed_rex on November 5th, 2014 03:58 am (UTC)
Tennant can be funny too
If you don't mind me interjecting, I recently re-watched "The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit" and need point only to the first episode's teaser as an example as what David Tennant could do. (Billy Piper, too.) The laugh they share when Rose suggests leaving if the Doctor thinks it might be, y'know, dangerous to stay, is both funny and hints at the budding romance between Rose's second Doctor and herself.
louisedennis: Doctor Wholouisedennis on November 5th, 2014 12:00 pm (UTC)
Re: Tennant can be funny too
I am hoping she'll come around to Tennant. The production teams and writing teams are substantially the same and I don't recall thinking Tennant's run was any more serious than Eccleston's. I think she's just mourning her first Doctor.
Young Geoffreyed_rex on November 5th, 2014 01:40 pm (UTC)
Re: Tennant can be funny too
I think she's just mourning her first Doctor.

And well she should; The Parting of the Ways kicked emotional hell out of me.
Susanlil_shepherd on November 5th, 2014 06:37 am (UTC)
"what does David Tennant ever do!!!"

louisedennis: Doctor Wholouisedennis on November 5th, 2014 10:59 am (UTC)
To be fair, this is the first time in the rematch that the pop-culture references have really bitten. The most notable thing dating the previous episodes, really, is that not one is using a smart phone.