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09 November 2008 @ 02:59 pm
The Day of the Clown  

This was a vastly superior story to the previous pedestrian runaround. It managed to be a little bit mysterious and a little bit spooky. Although there were some plot holes, or at least, plot gaps, none were serious. It also served as a good introduction to new girl, Rani, and her family.









If it suffered at all, it was from a slight desire to through anything vaguely relevant at the screen spooky clowns! spooky pied piper! spooky museums! spooky stuffed elephant! spooky hall of mirrors! spooky ringmaster! spooky balloons! However thematically these all fitted together fairly well and made sense within the context of an entity which was specifically trying to keep people on edge. From an old skool perspective it also suffered from the fact that a lot of the scene-setting material had been used before in The Greatest Show in the Galaxy even though that had a different underlying plot. At a nit-picking level the implication that the child-stealing activities of the energy creature were only sporadic was never really explained.

More and more its becoming clear that Daniel Anthony is the best actor among the regulars. He even managed to make the final confrontation just about work, despite the extremely dodgy premise that a teenager spouting a steady stream of lame puns would be able to laugh Sarah Jane out of her terror, in spite of the fact she had good reason, on several levels, to be scared.

All the other actors stumbled from time to time especially with the less naturalistic dialogue about the wonders of the universe. Such dialogue has become something of a hallmark of the Cardiff take on Doctor Who and often seems to cause actors trouble. It's also worn thin over time. Eccleston and Piper brought something fresh to the wide-eyed wonder of exploration and discovery. We've now seen this schtick all too many times and its beginning to look tired, especially in the hands of actors that are mostly rather ordinary. Anjli Mohindra managed pretty well, however, and the explicitly go-getting character she's been given seemed to fit into the show very naturally.

All in all this revivified my enjoyment of a series which I feared had become stale after watching The Last Sontaran. If it had any problems it's some which are endemic, I think, to Davies' vision of Doctor Who.
reggietate: experimentalreggietate on November 9th, 2008 05:13 pm (UTC)
Is Daniel the lad who plays Clyde? He's good, isn't he? Though he's only pretending to be teenager these days :-) The little lad who plays Luke isn't so little any more, either.

I like Rani. The ethnic mix doesn't seem too forced. And her Dad is fun. Less sure about her Mum (where have I seen the actress before?)

Thought the guy playing the Clowns/energy being was very good, especially when doing the Ringmaster.

louisedennis: Sarahlouisedennis on November 10th, 2008 09:46 am (UTC)
Yeah, Daniel plays Clyde.

I vaguely thought I recognised her mum so I've just looked her up on Wikipedia

"Mina Anwar (born September 20, 1969 in Church, Accrington, Lancashire, England) is a British actress who is best known for playing Police Constable Maggie Habib in the sitcom The Thin Blue Line which was shown on BBC 2 from 1995 to 1997. Other roles include the recurring part of Dr. Sandra Malik in The Bill in 2003 (a more serious police drama), and most recently she played Sister Zita Khan in Doctors and Nurses. She also performs as a storyteller in Razzledazzle on the CBeebies channel. Anwar recently appeared as Shazza Karib in the Channel 4 drama Shameless, sister of Kash Karib, and new love of Norma Starkey. "

I think I must recognise her from Razzledazzle.