Wednesday, 2 May 2007

Turning the Town Red

It’s 1977 again- Liverpool off to a major European capitol for the European Cup final, Doctor Who disappointing me a bit after two by and large amazing years*. Come on, you can do it (and you too), you’ve both had wobbly starts to your season, but you can still deliver the goods, I’m sure.

It’s great how these rocks from my childhood have come back so strong in the last few years, even though football and TV production are now only dimly related to what they were then, making it impossible to compare Upstairs, Downstairs and Alan Hansen fairly with Hotel Babylon and Jamie Carragher**.
I think next year they’ll both be incredible. Mind, I’m a fan- I think that every year.
They’ve shaped my life, these two.

There’s a feller I implicitly trust, for example, because he looks a bit like Gerald Houllier crossed with Rafael Benitez.***
I’m also sure that if he looked like a Krynoid crossed with an Axon I probably wouldn’t, proof enough.

In all new present day stuff (so present day it’s future, in fact), I have a date on a piece of paper for No Tomatoes starting transmission. It’s the 27th of August which is a Monday and I’d guess the actual transmission times will be 10.30 or 10.45 pm with a re-run for shift workers, insomniacs and the undead at 3.30 or 3.45 am, with repeats ad nauseam after that for up to 5 years.
Put it in your diaries, then amend the entries later when I have better contradictory information, then miss the programme every time because even with Listen Again it’s not really convenient for you to hear it.

* Great first episode, then all oddly 'blah' since.

** For the record though I think Hansen whups Hotel Babylon’s arse every time and sadly Jamie Carragher has never quite revealed the hidden tragedy of working women’s lives on which Edwardian high society depended through the means of populist drama in the way I’ve often hoped he would.

*** Obviously, this also means he looks a bit like John Normington playing the dastardly Morgus in The Caves of Androzani, but we'll ignore that because it blows the whole theory.


Pebble said...

I thought Gridlock was a gem, but then I understand technically so is brown calcite, so I take your point. Your cynical, adult, joyless point. I hope you're proud.

I was going to say something very hilarious about BBC scheduling, too, but you've made me spend ages researching gemstones now and I'm tired. I leave it, and indeed whatever actual work I was supposed to be doing tonight, as an exercise for the reader.

IZP said...

Your work is always an exercise for the reader.

I responded well to Gridlock emotionally but for it to work for me as a story (and God knows I'm hardly the king of coherent narrative), I needed a few more explanations.

Primarily, I wanted something like a clear indication that Boeface was keeping the people in traffic jam limbo calm and unquestioning with his nebulous powers (as well as with Swifty Frisco out of Halo Jones and the Opiate of the Masses set to music), perhaps with an additional suggestion that the three passenger fast laner people were those who were beginning to have doubts.

I think I might also have liked the frankly implausible speed of the air-borne spread virus' spread to have been handwaved away as being something to do with profligate teleport use by the poshies upstairs, but hey that's a mere detail (though it might help explain why teleportation is a mode of transport used only by Hame here and Cassandra in the first 5 billion story).

I think more Boe death, fewer crabs and the Doctor really clearly helping matters might have been better dramatically too. He goes down, down, down away from the problem, is taken up to the problem, then what he does to help sort it doesn't seem special enough, and needs Boe's sacrifice to work anyhow. Given what we saw, it's hard to believe that Novice Hame couldn't have done the rewiring the Doctor did under Boe's guidance.

It looks to me like the story was rewrite hell, with elements from various drafts fighting against coherence and focus. It could have been great, but as it stands isn't. It wasn't however hanging around for 40 minutes waiting for the story to start so it can be switched of again, which is far more annoying.

I could have done with a tree too.

Pebble said...

Oh now you're just fantasising. (But yes, yes, Doctor "I'm good with computers" Who running around pulling and then repulling big lever clearly an insufficiently messianic action to open the gates of heaven.) I am however willing to forgive an awful lot for that "They're not lost, they were saved" reversal, real kick-in-the-stomach stuff, russell's best attempt at being stephen moffat yet.

Now I think about it, maybe 40 minutes of nothing happening was what made The Daleks Take the Muppets Up the Arse feel so classic series. I refuse to stop liking it. Some good bits in Evolution too, but the science is unrescuable even with my retcon turned up to 11, and Martha channels Polly, spending half an hour deducing two things we already knew and then wasting all her efforts on a pseudofeisty "slow them down at all costs!" setpiece that by definition won't work unless they're too late anyway. And for all Russell's "I'm good at reining things in" explanations, you can see the join where the money runs out a little too clearly, can't you.

I wonder why they needed Thay's balls?