Okay.... now where's that load of crap I wrote about the episode a couple of weeks ago? Ah, here we go....
Well.... at the time of writing it's currently a week since I got a copy, nearly two weeks since it was shown and I've just got my copy of the NEXT episode and I still haven't watched Fanwank of the Angels, so it's clear that I have no real enthusiasm for the prospect at all.
But Jared, you ask, are you not swayed at all by the squeedom of all other fans? No. I am not. My entire online persona, after all, is based upon a near-certain delusional belief that I am better than all other fans, those fools who believe The Seeds of Doom is somehow genius television and demand at knife-point where the fuck I get off putting The Greatest Show in the Galaxy in my top ten. If these people are jizzing themselves screaming that "this is the single greatest ever story in the history of the show since Midnight!" then it's all the more reason for me to assume that it's terrible.
Dear God the prospect of pressing the 'play' button in Windows Media Player rests like a sack of rocks upon my shoulders. But I have to bite the bullet... I must do this, not for my own entertainment, not by a long shot of heroin in the arm, nor for vindication and not for the chance of being proven wrong, but for the sake of the 1.5 people who read my blog on a semi-demi-pseudo regular basis. I must do this. And I can.
I totally can.
....awww, fuck it, I'm watching Farscape.
FARSCAPE: 1.18 DURKA RETURNS
His name's John Crichton, he's an astronaut, radiation hit and he got SUCKED THROUGH A WORMHOLE! Now lost in some distant part of the Universe in a SHIP a LIVING SHIP surrounded by STRANGE ALIEN CREATUREShelphim being chased by an IINSSAAANE military commander. Doing everything he can to find a way home, apparently. About on par with Alex Drake in that department so far...
That was a pretty good episode. The Aussie painted blue and speaking in an American accent this week was Tiriel Mora, best known as Martin DiStazio from Frontline and the bloke who swears a lot over his photocopier in The Castle, with a surprisingly unrecognisable performance. He's an emotionless mindwiping alien who talks like Truman Capote (or at least Philip Seymour Hoffman playing Truman Capote) who arrives with two prisoners - one of whom is the Durka of the title, and the other of which is new crewmember Chiana (not to be confused with the most memorable Ben Chatham character ever written), who seems thus far to be a sociopathic and whorish version of Vila from Blakes 7. That is to say, she's nothing like Vila at all, aside from the fact she's a thief.
The episode's name had me confused for a while, given the fact that no villain named Durka had appeared. It turned out that he had actually.. for about five minutes eight episodes ago in a flashback Rygel had set near a hundred years in the past. So... yeah. It turns out this dude's been kept alive by super-duper-advanced alien technology from Blueman Capote and had all the I-want-to-torture-frogs-yeah! code wiped from his mind to be a peaceable and productive member of society. Naturally he starts killing people and takes over the ship. And the good guys win, with barely any of the usual going crazy and trying-to-kill-one-another that occupies a lot of time in Farscape. Unless we're counting Chiara as part of the crew already, in which case her default mental state seems to be batshit insane and she tries to kill three people.
Man, I like this show.
Anyway... Doctor Who...
After I finish listening to Ben Folds. I love this track. It's Fair, btw. Just coming up to the cool drums bit. Oh, yeah, there we go. Now there's something in the background that could be synth or cowbell, grooving really well. It's the final bridge, where Ben keeps going "I'm lonely and I'm right." He just said "Yeah!" in that really cool way, so now we've got a minute of honky-tonk. Go you good thing. Soon it's going to fade out, though and we're left with the weird ending were it's just the bass and the drums going on their own. I'm assuming it was the last track on the album. Erm... not that I would not know that because... you know, I purchase the albums and stuff because I like... legal music so much. And Ben's one of my favourite artists, after all. Obviously I would support him. WHY ARE YOU ACCUSING ME????
Now some Tom Petty cranking. "So if I come to your door, let me sleep on your floor, I give you all I have, and a little more". He does sleep late Down South. I love the random function. I wonder who the hell Samuel Clemens is and why exactly Tom Petty would pretend to be him? Does he have the same girlishly long hair worn about a decade after it's time to cut it shorter? No offense to Tha Pett but he makes Bill Bailley look extremely well groomed and non-frightening. Last time I saw him anyway. Or maybe the time before that. One of the times he had giant glasses and a bandana on. Looked like he could be halfway towards being The Invisible Man. A stoner 70s Invisible Man who liked playing piano.
Bah. Beatles. There's nothing funny to say about them. Well, I guess except for the fact that I only realised there was a pun in their name a couple of years ago. Those bowl-headed fuckers had me mispelling 'beetles' for years.
After some porn.
No, I'm joking. It really is Doctor Who time. Though pornography has seen me quite pre-occupied lately.
As an added twist with this review I will be adding and subtracting points on the fly, as this episode has to win my respect before I deem it worthy of having been made. Now, the initial thought that I had was to give it 1/10 to begin with because obviously something is better than nothing and especially the fact that I have continuous new Doctor Who and have had for the past 5 years... BUT the fact this episode is proving popular makes me reset it to 0/10, because the happiness of others irritates me. Ha! This is my blog. MY RULES!
I'm so lonely.
Now time to press play..
0:07 Seven second establishing shot? Jesus Christ are we back in the Lovett Bickford era? Has the world gone fucking mad? -1
0:32 Drugged out dude gets action and pisses off butler. A situation we can all relate to. +1
0:40 Oh, hallucinogenic lipstick. So River's an even bigger manipulative slut than I thought. -1
0:40 Christ, I'd forgotten for a glorious period this episode has RIVER FUCKING SONG in it. -2
1:12 ...'12, 000 years later'? Once again Moffatt is being unnecessarily cute and smug in presenting something weird. Unless this comes back in a cool way -1
But also +1 for seemingly turning River into Kate Tollinger. But that's also a -1 for inconsistent characterisation oh you cannot win my porridge loving opponent!
1:24 The Doctor taking a companion to a modern day museum? This is exactly how EVERY Ben Chatham fic starts. -1,000 going by previous efforts.
1:31 Okay, so it's an alien museum. +999. But -1 for making me look bad and -5 for having yet another 'biggest thing ever'. What is Moffat's obsession with bigness? Is the Doctor going to take Amy to see __ somewhat-proud owner of the world's biggest penis? (13.5 inches before you ask) I'm going to assume yes and that's -1 for just plain inappropriateness.
Also +1 for no reason so you can't claim I'm writing the most unfair review ever.
2:24 Yo man what the fuck Stevie Wonder? You keep telling us you don't like the Time Lords and the backstory bullshit... well, first of all you give the Doctor more baggage than he could ever fit in his fucking Narnia wardrobe by plonking a Sarth Effriken wife on the poor bastard (who only sounded South African in one scene but I like saying that a lot) which incidentally still counts as a -1 2 years down the track but FURTHERMORE you have Old High Gallifreyan in the FOURTH EPISODE once you're in charge. What the Hell, Hero? -1. Could be points back if it's cool.
2:37 Oh, here we go the writing is going to be "This way up" or something similarly unimpressive. OR 'cum and c mi sweetie love Prof Song Snog Bunnybuns"
2:41 Second try, not bad though I say so myself. How much does River Song suck? -1
3:26 The Doctor can HACK into security camera footage from a 12,000 year old spaceship. -1
4:27 You can't hear it through the vaccuum clearly, but the butler dude is currently saying "You know, this rapidly depressurised airlock doesn't suck quite as much as she does at least!" HA! +1
4:57 Oh? The 'follow that ship' bit from the trailer was meant to be the hook? FUCKIN LAAAAAAAAAAME! -1
Incidentally, why go through all this bullshit when River's meant to be able to send the Doctor messages on the Psychic Paper? It's not as if the fact that things ended up so bad the last time (what with her actually getting the wrong Doctor and then BEING DEAD HAHA (+1)) since they haven't happened yet would stop her. Besides she was shown to enjoy the lottery effect of getting maybe the right Doctor and maybe a wrong one. Presumably from a pool of two. No... make that hopefully. I don't want to see her as a recurring character for years and years to come. Oh God no. Especially considering the fact that bafflingly every appearance from hereon in will have to be her at a younger age than when she first appeared.
That's a -1 I just hate River Song.
5:32 You know they say every story with 'Time' in the title is crap? -1
6:01 River knows the TARDIS better than the Doctor. Who the fuck she think she is, Romana? I want Romana bitches. -1
6:11 Although if the idea is to actually give people the ability to talk in the TARDIS without falling all over the place then THAT is cool. +5
6:16 "You call that flying the TARDIS? HAH!" Yay, grouchy Doctor ftw! +1
6:32 Cue revolting Mary Sue-ishness. -200 points for Slytherin
6:52 Fuck you Moffat, it makes the noise. It makes the noise all night long. There are tons of stories where you don't hear the dematerialisation noise from inside the ship! Infact, clue's in the name, motherfucker DEmaterialisation. It plays when the ship takes OFF the planets for the most part - how can he have the 'brakes' on then? -500
7:08 Heh, kind of reminds me of the wonderful environment check from Destiny of the Daleks, one of my favourtie Tom Baker moments - "Ooh, look, rocks!" Hehehe. Sadly I'm still annoyed about that diss of the Radiophonic Dept's fine work. -500
7:27 Okay, I just dissed River for being a Mary Sue but the Doctor's being a God Mode Sue. -10
7:36 "It's a shame you were busy that day" Jesus Christ, River Song has been taught the ways of the TARDIS by THE MASTER???? I guess it explains why she has the cooold, dead eyes... of a killer. +1
8:13 "She's the future... she's MY future..." Okay, hold the phone... is there some little fight going on here between RTD and Moffat? I thought the Doc said basically in a throwaway line in The End of Time that he met River properly inbetween that story and Waters of Mars. Now he claims not to have met her properly? I CAN'T STAND THE CONFUSION IN MY MIND! -1
8:39 I guess I have to grudgingly admit that getting Amy's first alien planet after 3 eps is impressive, though. +5
10:11 I still hate River Song. -1
12:40 So... the Doctor's saying the Weeping Angels are the most malevolent and dangerous and evil and powerful lifeform ever? So this Moff admitting the Doctor just says that about anyone and hence Vashta Nerada and the Daleks do suck balls. FanTAStic! +10
13:12 Take THAT, motherfuckers! You dare tell me River Song being the Doctor's wife isn't explicit? Fuck you! Fuck you! I was right. You are wrong, so very wrong every retard fuckcake on IMDb and Gallifrey Base that insisted she wasn't the Doctor's wife I LAUGH at you. I bet you didn't get Klein/Utterson on Jackal, either, and didn't realise Benjamin was a bad guy but still felt legitimised in guessing that I was too dumb to watch the show. You mouthbreathers are the stupid ones and Moffat has just smacked you down. You all suck. Everybody but me with an IMDb account sucks the balls of Atlas himself, and furthermore are too stupid to even know who Atlas was in mythology so deliciously are unaware of the insurmountable horror of being condemned to suck his balls for all eternity when you are sent to the circle of hell reserved for Fucking Morons. +400
13:39 We're in the 51st Century again? -1
15:43 Sorry, took a break to watch ABC News. Now I'm going to listen to a badass shred-metal cover of Beat It.
Twice. Awwww, dat was metal.
Okay back... now I'm confused. Amy's just seen the angel move but didn't River Song say it was just a tape she filmed of the angel on loop?
16:03 Oh, okay, so they're addressing it..
17:11 Incidentally, this is another Moffat script where TVs behave in a magical way...
18:14 That was an oddly convenient bit for the Doctor to read out seeing as it didn't really answer his question. Also the fuss about pictures seems pretty odd considering the fact that we have adjectives and such and not a lot of writers also draw. -1 Ha, I'm a harsh marker today!
18:24 Wow, gee, River, I think it may mean that if you have, say, something that is an image, and this image depicts an Angel... then that's A FUCKING ANGEL! -10
18:42 Okay, and the Angels have been boosted up nu-Dalek style for this story with the ability to manipulate the physical world? Hmm, right...
19:56 If the Doctor DOES tell her what the Angel does then it's a let down because she just vanishes into Time. Which, you know, ain't grand but she LIVES. And he may be able to find her if random shit that the TARDIS can do keeps getting introduced. But he's just grabbed the book so I'm sensing retcon. -1
20:09 And... yes. Going by that the Angels are now able to possess people...
20:40 That escape sucked. It can 'deadlock' the entire ship, including IT'S WIRES, but can't stop the remote's pause function? Not buying it. Not even looking twice at the packet. -1
22:19 The Bish just commited grand-theft voicebox to poor old Paul McGann. -5
23:02 So River's a serial rapist. Finally some justification for her apparent mental imbalances. +10
Bored now. Watch the rest tomorrow...
So I didn't watch the rest tomorrow... instead I watched some more Farscape...
A HUMAN REACTION continues the theme of the series of making sure nobody at all bar John Crichton get a decent swag of screentime or contribute too much to save the day which gets mildly irritating. To assuage this the story decides to fully embrace just how fucking Aussie this series is by entering it into canon that John's mission didn't take off from Cape Canaveral as it appeared in the pilot but rather from somewhere in the general vicinity of Sydney. And so the guest cast needs even less effort than usual in disguising their accents.
For a parochial person this bring obvious benefits - Sydney (or possibly even Gosford in an early scene) scenery that you can recognise and the hilarious sight of John introducing Aeryn to beer as they share stubbies of VB of all things. Some oddities follow, such as John insisting that even if you're an Australian you would have to know who won the Superbowl, apparently ignorant that we of the wide brown land give not a toss for whoever should win the first-grade comp in a sport nobody else on Earth bothers to lower themsleves to. This one's made even worse by the fact that it's apparently a clue to the truth of the scenario.
Yes, it could not be more obvious that Crichton cannot simply go home than in this story and when his crewmembers start being dissected by the evil strictly-surname-basis ocker jumpsuited goons that are apparently Crichton's former allies it becomes even clearer that this is a dreamscape made by evil aliens. Specifically the sort of evil aliens who just copy and paste from Crichton's mind people's he's met onto Bondi so he's able to work it all out when he thinks to the strange fact that every single person he's met he already knows, and every 'extra' on the streets of Sydney is somebody he knew with three-four degrees of separation. Fucking lazy aliens.
Though, to be fair, the twist is that they aren't REALLY evil aliens. And the episode contains some great sequences where we hear Zahn, Dargo, Rygel and Aeryn talking in their 'native' accents as Australia, as with broadband, is well behind when it comes to getting neurally-implanted translating microbes. I think this ep demonstrates the strenght of the show, nobody does filler like Farscape...
Unfortunately THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS goes on to demonstrate the possible down side is nobody else seems to do as MUCH filler as Farscape, though the story contains some character development as well it's time for the "Oh shit we've got no budget!" ep where the script writers panic and scramble for a bottle episode using nothing but the main cast and the standing sets. Results seem tedious as all fuck to being with, as Pilot tries a sudden Star-burst to show off and soon has left the whole cast sprawled around the dinner table and they all make like lambs to the kebab shop as they each go through the doorway even though the first person who does glows bright and then vanishes and results really don't vary. Then we get a ton of time taken up by Crichton finding Aeryn and them both shouting visibly while the audience gets nothing but white noise. It all feels so much like a rejected B7 script that it staggers belief.
Things pick up when it's revealed that the ship stalled mid Burst and is now spread across 4 parallel Universes, and furthermore has earned the ire of a creature that lives in the void naturally. The crew themselves have spread across, and broadly the alternate realms assault the senses - Dargo is in a world where everything is blinding, Aeryn in one where there is constant deafening noise, and Rygell in one where everybody laughs like complete fuckwits at EVERYTHING. It's all quite fun. Once it got into it's stride it's all very, very well scripted and tightly plotted, the one downside for me being the fact that the actress playing Chiana can barely do an American accent and says half her lines in a completely Aussie accent. Is the character meant to be vocally schizophrenic?
Then.. A BUG'S LIFE. It's pretty cool. Crichton puts on a kind-of-convincing British accent and some black leather to make out like a Peacekeeper when the badass commandos who cameoed earlier comeback, only this time with the monster from B7: Killer they have somehow managed to capture. And so grey-chick and Rygell break it open to set it loose as soon as possible. Everybody but the heroes die, especially the dude who has the audacity to set him up as a potential love interest for Aeryn. You Sebaccean n00b!
AFTER THE FACT EDIT: Holy shit, just re-read that for the first time. Was I on something? Incredibly hostile, and unusually I didn't acknowledge where I was plain wrong - I'm sure at that stage they made it clear that the Angels have been upgraded from 'conscientious objectors' to 'insta-kill machines', also a retarded read on my part of the video scenario. Strangely I left out my biggest quibble....
...okay, let's take a moment. Using its magic bubble technology the Angel is able to 'deadlock seal' an entire shipping container basically. It generates a power source for the TV so it can't be unplugged. It does... something to the wires on the outside. But... it cannot stop a cheap remote from beaming a 'pause' command to a future-y VCR? That solution bugged the hell out of me. Come on.
Anyway, here's the stuff I wrote tonight which is mildly sane...
Now, then.... the irony of this weird and pathetic excuse for a review is I managed to stop writing at the precise moment that the story actually got good. But unfortunately also at the stage where not much sticks in the mind about it a month or so after the fact. Because I never did actually watch the second half until it came on television...
And... well, pretty damn good actually. As demonstrated in Jekyll Moffat is extremely gifted at turning on a dime from comic to scary and intense. This episode was not particularly scary but set all the pieces in place, and led to a good cliffhanger, albeit one that was driven by the annoyingly predictable stupidity of bit-part soldiers.
If you ever find yourself leading a battalion of soldiers in the Whoniverse... never assign two of them to do anything, EVER. If The Sontaran Stratagem did not make it clear, nor the hundreds of Pertwee stories in which it occurred then you'll never learn clearly. When faced with any potential danger they will inevitably walk straight into it, because when there are two soldiers you will have one who is timid and sensible, and another who's boisterous and fucking retarded. That said, they'll both be equally adept at exchanging middling-to-entertaining banter about their predicament.
Don't think for a moment this rule is universal, however. In Stargate, for example, if you leave two soldiers on their own, the odds are that they'll be either O'Neill and Teal'c; Scott and Greer; or possibly Shephard and forgettable young black guy, and those dudes are indefatigable killing machines. If their name contains a '#', though, forget it.
Incidentally, after writing two paragraphs on the subject I can't actually remember if there are even two soldiers who get eaten by the Angels or maybe three. Anyway, the story ends up feeling a little bit to me like Moffat secretly read my blog and thought to himself "Fuck, I need to win the one bloke on Earth who didn't stain his trousers over this crap I wrote while high and have no memory of to once again be Crown Prince of TV-Writery!" because he brings back another element and makes it more reasonable, and actually disturbing..
Unlike the unbearable tedium of "Hey... who turned out the lights" droned by a hung-over accountant and then played on a loop like this is the lead in to a Chemical Brothers track, we get the spooky disembodied voice of .... god, I so vaguely remember this...
..sorry, I'm going to go to TARDIS Wikia. I never do this normally...
BOB! So, yes, we get the spooky disembodied voice of Brother Bob, once again speaking through a walkie-talkie (scientifically proven to be the most disconcerting form of communication), this time without a contrived explanation about walkie-talkies having a psychic link to the people who use them even though they still press buttons to transmit etc. Furthermore, given there's only one female guest character it doesn't serve as support for the famous Moffatian paper Sitcom Eugencis: Quantumn Correlations of Porkability & Mental Retardation. What I love is the brutal simplicity of the explanation - Bob has had his vocal chords torn out and the Angels use them for their own sordid ends.
What makes this genuinely frightening, as opposed to what sounds like a toneless wav file that just won't stop frigging playing (THE DOCTOR TURNED OFF THE LIGHTS!!! HE KINDA MENTIONED IT!!!) we get the viewpoint of somebody ruthless and cruel, expressed with the voice of somebody gentle and naive. An awkward discourse that, fascinatingly, even seems to suck in the Doctor a little bit as he's prone to chat with the disembodied voice of 'Bob' in quite amicable terms.
Really, the episode doesn't lead to anything special - the crew just gets cornered as has happened in so many recent cliffhangers. But it's a taut, well-written journey.
But, seriously, fuck River Song.
Oh, yeah, I ditched that whole running score joke.
Incidentally, the score for this excuse for a review is
WHAT THOSE OTHER LOSERS SAID
Jesus Christ! First time I go to Gallifrey Base in ages and I find a giant disembodied pair of Tennant's eyes staring at me. Bloody scarier than anything in this ep...
Crack fuelled TotalSciFI Response: Steven Moffat must like a challenge. His multi-award winning season three story Blink is widely regarded as one of the best Doctor Who stories of all time; a haunting one-off that left us with a distinct sense of unease around statues.
(You fucking serious?)
Crack fuelled IMDb Response: I believe that to be a red hering. River Song said she was trained to fly the Tardis by the very best, but told the Doctor he was busy that day. Now we can assume that she could be talking about a future verison of the Doctor or maybe it was someone else who can fly the Tardis. If Memory serves there were six people before who flew the tardis. Remeber A Journey's End. Dona tells Jack Harkness that he is best one. Jack and River are of the same time 51st Century. He would be considered a hero by many many people. I may be a million miles off with this thoery but like they say "time will tell".
Crack fuelled Gallifreybase Response: Taught to pilot by the best... The Master? Oh man want to know some spoilers!
(Okay, clearly time for me to get in on the act.... *SNOOOOOORT* Whoah... hey, you fuckers! I drag-raced TARDII and I can say the best motherfucker for piloting that shit is Greyjan the Great! Know what this means? Season finale is sequel to THE MOTHERFUCKING ANCESTOR CELL!!!! We're gonna see sooooooooooooome SHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIT!!!!!! Amy, naked in a Klein Bottle while Timmy Dalton gets fucked up by giant spiders. Remember - called it! ME! MEEEEE!)
Strawy McStrawman Response: If you’re really looking for signs of massive progress in the world of Doctor Who, then just compare the savvyness of Karen Gillen’s Amy Pond to the likes of Bonnie Langford’s ever-screeching Mel from the 80s.
(If you're really writing a review of the new series, try not to mindlessly bash the easiest targets outside your own genitalia.... unless it's Larry Miles. Yes, I'm hypocritical, it's my blog.)
Paranoid Response: Yet as brave, charismatic and attractive as Amy Pond is, there remains an element of uncertainty surrounding who she is and what she wants from the Doctor, which taints our impression of her.
Best Friend Response: Seriously? You haven't watched it yet? What the fuck, dude?
Ewen Campion-Clarke Response: No, seriously, it's good!
Steven Moffat Response: Why do so many people have a problem with River Song? I think she's a great character.
Observant Reader Response: Do you just find a heap of random quotes you want to mock in the space of five minutes from GallifreyBase?
Next week: "Did I mention the whole 'not blink' thing?" "Roughly 200 times" "Do.... not... blink" "*Sigh* Very well..." .... there really aren't any other gags in that trailer...