Doctor Who – Flatline

flatlineIt’s not a popular thing to say – but when have i ever cared about  that – but I really enjoyed “Fear Her” from David Tennant’s first season.  It’s almost universally panned, much like “Love and Monsters” which, apart from the realisation of the Abzorbaloff was a marvellous exploration of the effect The Doctor has on ‘civilians’. I’ll admit it wasn’t perfect, and the Olympics ending was probably ill-advised, but, all in all a sterling and original episode.

But the big question is:

Did we actually need a re-write?

The answer?  In all probability, not really.

That said, there’s an awful lot to recommend in this version. The miniature Tardis, especially the ‘hermit crab’/Addams Family scene; Clara turning into the Doctor, thinking as the Doctor does; the out and out creepiness of the boneless as they experiment with three dimensions;

I actually really like the idea of a malignant and aggresive “Flatland”. It was very well written and realised, but apart from the effects – scary and rather marvellous – it wasn’t really anything we hadn’t seen before.  More of an upgrade; more correcting the faults of a previous poorly executed good idea.

What it does do, however, and is therefore more important and exciting for me, is that it gives me hope; hope that Doctor Who is, again, willing to take risks, to do something a bit ‘out there’.  It has been getting a little stale and staid of late. And the writer, especially after last weeks marvellous episode, is undoubtedly someone to watch. I even found myself idly wondering how he’d handle a whole season.

The best bits for me were the optical trick that meant you could see that someone had been ‘taken’ until you walked round them then and their perspective changed and tricking the boneless and using their lack of understanding of three dimensions against them.  Very clever.

I wasn’t fond of the male lead who seemed to stare off into middle distance and get bored while other people were talking; “the art of acting is reacting, darling” as my drama teacher used to say.  Switching off for other peoples performances and snapping back for your own is not on, dear. I didn’t like the supervisor, either.  I know I wasn’t meant to, but his performance was just a cliche.  THe script had more to off than the – hoho – 2D performance he gave. Jeff-off-Casualty was wasted, though.  The casting was just way off.

Do you know, I so much *want* to like this episode more, but a rehashed episode with only better effects to distinguish it simply isn’t enough to have me bouncing off the walls in the way everyone seems to be doing.

I’m not disappointed, I think it’s a great episode, but I’m just not as wowed as most people seem to be.

Again, too many little references and too little Danny.

The Missy bit made me think of Madame Kovarian.  And… most of the ‘monsters’ this season haven’t said anything, or at least none of them have been that talkative . . . see where I’m going?   It would make sense is ‘Clara had been chosen well’, but only if she was able to – gulp – regenerate . . .

Thus endeth the random wibblings . . .


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