Well this blog is certainly popular. I get visitors every day and on Sundays after each episode I get an upsurge in readers wanting to check out my latest Whovian stylings. Shame I don’t seem to be able to get it out till Monday. Don’t get me wrong I’m no President Barack Obama or Noel Fielding when it comes to fans, but that doesn’t stop me from being the self professed Stephen Fry of Peckham Rye. Aii!
So how have I been killing time in the world of Doctor Who till the next episode? Well I have finally started reading the novel Human Nature by Paul Cornell, I’m playing the free online adventure game and I’m organizing an outing with some friends to go to the Doctor Who Experience. Can’t wait, we’ll be there on 26th May 3pm with plenty of beers and a geek fest after. I’ve heard it’s fantastic.
On Saturday I had absolutely no chance of watching Doctor Who. I Had to be in the west end by 6pm and Eurovision was on. I assumed they would hold it back for a week but lo and behold if they didn’t show it anyway. At the gig I got a text from the wife saying, Doctor Poo is on tonight. Sweet.
I didn’t get to watch it on Sunday either due to going to Finchcock House to see a load of old keyboard instruments and watch an excellent impromptu concert on the old instruments. I then went straight to a friend’s barbeque and got myself full of booze and full of meat, so I didn’t get to watch it till Monday afternoon.
This episode was written by Neil Gaiman famous for the Sandman comics which had an odd habit of going from sheer brilliance to mind numbing pretentiousness from story to story. I’m one of the few people out there that read the whole lot including the Death miniseries, which inspired an army of saucy (and overweight) goths to emulate her on Camden High Street in the late nineties. I’m sure among the Geekdom planet there was much excitement about the great god Gaiman writing an episode of Doctor Who. All we need now is for Alan Moore to pen an episode (who did write for Doctor Who monthly).
WARNING, CONTAINS SPOILERS.
Straight from the off the episode had a whole Gaiman feel about it, mysterious and dreamlike. As Gaiman likes to create his own worlds, it was a genius idea for him to have the TARDIS leave the universe, into a junkyard setting that explained the universe has a plug hole and things fall through. Wonderful. It was a bit like the planet of ballpoint pens in Hitchhikers. Uncle and Auntie were great ideas, but a little underused. The fact that Auntie had a Timelord’s arm made me hope that even having bits of a Timelord would mean there would be another one out there, like the Daleks recreating themselves out of human DNA. To simply kill them off because House had left was a bit disappointing. But Gaiman’s worlds can be harsh and many characters you warm to in the Sandman end with tragic pointless deaths.
The feel of the set was very Gaiman. Busy and filthy. It reminded me a bit of a Samuel Beckett play when I first saw it and thought perhaps this may have been deliberate because Idris started spouting a stream of conscious gibberish like Lucky in Waiting for Godot.
This episode was for the real fan boys like me out there. There were so many references to the TARDIS from previous episodes. I can’t remember where I’d heard it before but I always knew it was an old TARDIS and he stole it, which gives him a special bond with this TARDIS. And when he got to talk to it, it was amazing, so much so even the doctor sheds a tear. In the past he has referred to the TARDIS to old girl and other female terms so it makes it more poignant to have the TARDIS enter a woman’s body. And what a woman. Suranne Jones was amazing in this. Some of the supporting cast in the last two series have been brilliant. Toby Jones in Amy’s Choice springs to mind.
The Doctor and Idris bickered perfectly like an old couple that really love each other, especially when he complained that she never took him where he wanted to go and she simply points out that she took him to where he needed to go. Matt Smith reacts to this perfectly as if to say he knew this all along. And we find out that she chose him, it wasn’t the other way round. He thought the door was open so he’d have a joyride, but she wanted to see the universe and he was mad enough to do it. That made me feel funny inside. There was also nice nod to Timecrash showing that the new TARDIS consoles are more like desktops and the TARDIS always archives them without the doctor’s knowing.
The ending when they discuss the new room for Amy and Rory and Rory asks if the Doctor has a room. We all know the console room is his room. This episode really brings Rory into his own. Especially when he comments that as a nurse, Idris’s death got to him.
The Doctor’s dance at the end and the music was sentimental and sweet, but it wasn’t sickening in any way. Richard Curtis could learn a lot from watching this episode.
But I have to point out the one negative thing. Even though it was a mind trick, Rory died again. You killed Rory, you bastards.
9 out of 10