Sunday, March 11, 2007

Doctor Who Runaway Bride Review

Having just seen the Christmas Special, The Runaway Bride, I've now watched all of David Tennant's first series as Doctor Who. To begin with this last show, I actually found myself quite enjoying the episode; and I was expecting to despise it- comedienne Catherine Tate has a prominent guest role as the bride. Instead I got a tongue-in-cheek romp that was fairly pleasant to watch. For once the somewhat light-hearted approach to the current run didn't feel out of place. The story clips along at a fair pace and the interaction between Tate and Tennant was well done- his propensity to talk at a thousand miles an hour to explain things was met on more than one occasion by a slap to the face. The pair seemed to grate a little and it was fun to watch. And it was such a relief not to have the show bogged down with the soap opera that was Rose and her family. Though Piper's character was a decent enough companion, the tendency of the writers to focus on her and her mother, etc was an enormous mistake. Thank goodness she- and the rest- are gone forever.

There was some good action, including the Tardis bumping along the motorway in a high speed car chase, and the Big Bad was quite well done. Not perfect- the design was great but it was a shame the FX budget didn't extend to having her move around a little; and she could have done with a little less over-acting. I could also have done without another appearance by the now ubiquitous G36; not only did the maker's have it in the hands of the British Army in Doomsday and in the year 200,000 (the end episode of Eccleston's run) but it's also used here by the Santa-bots. Come on, can't you mock up some ray guns?

Another complaint is that one aspect of the plot contradicts a previous Doctor Who story- what about the Stahlman's gas at the core? Won't the world be destroyed as it was before in Inferno? It might seem like a minor quibble but it goes against the already established canon and seems to indicate an ignorance on the part of the writers of what has gone before. Shouldn't the Doctor have had to contend with Primords and oozing green slime? Besides which, how are aliens supposed to survive there for so long?

I've also had enough of the "last Time Lord left" stuff- in this episode there's another alien who is "the last of their kind"- well, apart from a few thousand others in some kind of hibernation. We heard that before with the Daleks and there seem to be millions of them left running around the universe; and the next series previews show that more are on the way. Quite what possessed the series creator to make the Doctor the last of his kind is beyond me- seems to be a dreadful and quite pointless idea. It adds nothing to the character (exile him instead?) and closes down any plot line involving his homeworld or other Time Lords.

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