Saturday, 22 May 2010

Dr Who The Hungry Earth reviewed

Just watched Doctor Who, The Hungry Earth. The first episode of this series that I've been able to watch at my own home, live as it was broadcast. (Ep 1, backstage at comedy gig in Bath; Ep 2 hotel room in Chorley before gig, Ep 3 hotel room in Inverness, Ep 4 next day after gig in Wolverhampton, Ep 5 after show on iPod in hotel room in Eastbourne, Ep 6 late after day out in, ironically, Cardiff, and Ep 7 late after gig in Chippenham) My verdict? 8/10 v good.

Had the best of the Moffat techniques:

1) The If such-and-such has happened, then how come...? technique ("how come I can still hear drilling?")
2) the Small Child
3) the taken-for-granted time travel, which is then forgotten about until we get the...
4) Reincorporation (but that comes next week)

And the return of the best of the RTD techniques:

1) Ensuring every character is well-rounded and sympathetic, even if they only have a very small part, so that when they are put in jeopardy we actually care about it.
2) er, that's it. That's what RTD always made sure his writers did, which the Moff sometimes doesn't.

For good measure included resonances of my favourite Who period, the Pertwee-on-earth years, and was also a good fast moving adventure that made Matt Smith look the best he has so far. He really is a great Doctor.

If I have a criticism, it's more of a question: why has so much of this series been filmed in churches? This episode, okay, the church was supposed to be a church, but in the Beast Below we had a church pretending to be the bridge of a star ship, and in Time Of Angels it was supposed to be a museum in the future. And we've had our share of churchyards in The Eleventh Hour and Amy's Choice. It's as bad as all those yellow railings that used to appear in every alien factory, spaceship and newly-terraformed planet environment a couple of series ago.

Apart from surfeit of churches, I'm happy.

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