Sunday, April 20, 2008

"Cheap shots": an Ood review

Spoiler warnings if you haven't seen the episode yet. But you probably knew that.

Hmmm.... when even the almost always positive Stuart Ian Burns has to declare in his first line review "Well, they can't all be classics", you can probably guesstimate this may divide opinions.

Heck, it even divided MY opinions. I was thrilled that we got an alien planet made visable in glorious wide landscapes (and using a quarry! Ah, quarries again: old-skool Who); I was much less thrilled by this meaning there were Ood again in DW. I'm never that wild about the blue suit; I loved Donna's initial dress and then her going back for the intermittently hearing impairing hooded coat (I so want one like that even though I'm almost completely sensorally challenged once inside a hood - if I turn my head I also can't see much either). I loved the Ood song; I utterly FUKCING wanted to take the baton and staves away from Murray Gold for overdoing so much of the rest of the score, thus diminishing the song's impact. I was very excited by the bouncing off the side of the containers running by the Doctor; I desperately tried to ignore the pretty crap claw CGI-ed into attacking him (three pointed??? how does that grab 3-D 4-sided objects?) I get that slavery is bad, oh how I get that 'metaphor' - to the point where I so did not need a full-length subtle diatribe; I still choked slightly at finally getting an explanation about the translators and their relationship (replacement) of the hand-held Ood brain. I did like that Halpen got the full Ood treatment; I have to admit I was disappointed that we didn't get a full-frontal facial transformation a la 'The Empty Child' (even if, as the Confidential raised, it only looked like the character was barfing spaghetti...). I noticed a few more quirks of Catherine Tate's characters this week than I would have liked; I really, really loved her calling him 'Spaceman' (and indeed that whole 'cheap shots' exchange .... even if the Converse shoes and wardrobe of the Doctor rather undermine his criticisms).

And so on.

How did I feel at the end of the episode? Well, better than I thought after 50 mins of being hammered over the head by anvillicious RTD's 'slavery-is-bad' subtlety. I'm still liking Donna over-all; I like that she isn't afraid to tell him off and that he kinda likes it (the slight, oh so slight smile of wry 'yeah'-ness when Donna bites back at him in the 'cheap shots' exchange). And I just can't help watching the programme still with all the attentive adoration of my younger self.

And Martha is back next week, being rather UNIT and soldier-y and perhaps not quite influenced for the better by her experiences with the Doctor or Torchwood...? Hmmm...

PS can I just say how much I loved it when Donna asked the Doctor to take back the Ood song and then noted how he must 'hear it all the time'? That was just brilliant.


Marie said...

I really enjoyed it. Just me then? Sigh. It's the cat nuns all over again.

Lisa Rullsenberg said...

Ha: yeah, I was ambivalent about that episode as well wasn't I?

And yet, you know what, I've grown to love New Earth more over the viewings. Call me fickle. Call me undecided. Whatever. I'm still not wild about the Ood, but this was probably the best way of them filling out their story.

Jane Henry said...

I'm not a big Ood fan either, but I did think the song bit was very moving, and Donna was great, mainly. Though I wish they wouldn't let her shout. I just think of CT's characters when she does and it spoils it for me. I think the Spaceman line was great too... Next week looks kinda interesting. But Martha didn't seem that soldiery in Torchwood, so I am a tad confused...