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06 January 2015 @ 05:57 pm
NuWho Rewatch: The Idiot's Lantern  
What particularly struck me on rewatching this was its compassion towards the over-bearing and obnoxious Eddie Connelly. Doctor Who is not, in general, particular compassionate towards the small-minded and belligerent (and it has a fair collection of these) so it was interesting to see the Doctor and Rose encouraging Tommy to maintain ties with his father. NLSS Child could not see why they would do this - some discussion ensued.

I'm surprised this episode has its comparatively poor reputation. It's not a Doctor Who classic, but the period is invoked well with its technology nicely integral to the plot and the resolution. The drama within the Connelly family is well presented and, for Doctor Who, treated with a certain amount of nuance and subtlety. That said, it is annoying that Rose must act as a damsel in distress, and Detective Inspector Bishop's actions, at least until the Doctor intervenes, do not make a great deal of sense. However I would say the episode's crimes are to be somewhat insubstantial and that may be at the heart of its problem. Up until this point I think every episode of NuWho had served some purpose in the telling of the larger story, be it introducing the audience to the concepts and consequence of time travel, time lords and the Doctor, tieing into the arc plotting of the Bad Wolf or Torchwood institute, or moving forward the inter-relationships between the Doctor, Rose, Mickey and Rose's family. This is, I think, the first episode of NuWho that really is just a standalone episode and I think it suffers for it.

This entry was originally posted at http://purplecat.dreamwidth.org/135622.html.
daniel_saunders: Leekleydaniel_saunders on January 6th, 2015 06:30 pm (UTC)
I enjoyed this at the time, but felt it has not stood up to repeated viewing well. I can't really remember why; something to look out for when I attempt my own marathon re-watch at some point.

I found the treatment of Eddie Connelly odd. The script can't seem to decide if he is rude and over-bearing or downright abusive; if the latter is the case, then the Doctor's actions at the end seem downright dangerous. I recall that at the time some fans read the situation as abusive and were highly critical as a result.
louisedennis: Doctor Wholouisedennis on January 7th, 2015 11:48 am (UTC)
I think if they wanted to present him as abusive then they probably ought to have been more explicit about that. Of course, within the context of the time, a lot of normal seeming behaviour then would appear abusive to us now. But I take the point, reconciliation is not always desirable in these situations.

Still it was nice to see a story that shows that children do not have to take sides between divorcing parents, and sometimes we can come to a new relationship with someone and there may be good reasons to do so, even if their past behaviour was toxic.