Review: Doctor Who – 4×10 – Midnight

Doctor Who - Midnight

Who’s this by again? “Russell T Davies”? Blimey. Is he still writing for Doctor Who then?

With all the Steven Moffat fuss of late, it’s easy to forget that Russell T Davies – aka RTD OBE – is still showrunner of Doctor Who and will be until 2010. Or that he actually writes scripts for it now and then.

With Midnight, he’s drawn something of the short straw for himself – the “we’ve run out of budget and Catherine Tate needs a break” episode. But given a small cast and three sets or so to play with, Rusty doesn’t do a bad job at all.

In fact, there’s only one man who can bring this house of cards tumbling down. You guessed it. It’s Murray Gold.

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Review: Doctor Who – 4×9 – Forest of the Dead

Forest of the Dead

Two-parters are tricky, aren’t they? You set up mysteries and problems in the first part that need to be answered in the second. Most importantly, you have to make sure there’s sufficient pay-off for the viewer, who’s been hanging around waiting for the answers.

Last week in Silence in the Library, Steven Moffat set up all sorts of questions that needed to be answered this week. Did he answer them this week? And did he answer them well?

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Review: Doctor Who – 4×8 – Silence in the Library

SIlence in the Library

Where does he get these wonderful ideas? Wouldn’t you just give anything to have the creativity of Steven Moffat? Everything he writes seems to have some concept designed purely to scare the crap out of kids – and adults – that no one’s ever thought of before.

The man’s a genius.

All the same, as brilliant as the first part of this two-part Doctor Who story was, it wasn’t complete perfection. And there were several guilty culprits.

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Review: Doctor Who – 4×7 – The Unicorn and the Wasp

Agatha Christie: the world’s favourite novelist. 

Except for me. I bloody hate her. Apart from putting together novels populated by ciphers, who are mere components in intellectual exercises with no resemblance to reality, she single-handedly reduced most of British crime-writing to the same level – a state it didn’t recover from for decades, leaving the US to take over and monopolise proper crime-writing.

Even on its own terms though:

  • Miss Marple: pages of no proper clues whatsoever then three pages before the end. "Have you ever noticed the extraordinary resemblance between cipher x and cipher y?" No we bloody haven’t because it’s a book, Miss Marple, and we haven’t had any decent descriptions that would reveal this familial connection and motive for murder.
  • Hercule Poirot: pure anti-Belgian xenophobia.

And let’s not get started on The Mousetrap as the ultimate example of inter-changeable Christie characters. 

Some people disagree. Bah, and indeed, humbug to them. They’re wrong. I will brook no disagreement on this one. They must think about what they’ve done until they realise the sheer depth of their wrongness. Yes, even my wife. I won’t be telling her that though.

Anyway, this week’s Doctor Who. It seems when you want to do an ‘homage’ to an author, you call Gareth Roberts. Writer of last year’s slightly uninvolving Shakespeare Code, he’s back again with a moderately better but still similar effort, this time a blatant piece of recidivist pro-Christie propaganda. 

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