Thursday, April 16, 2009

Doctor Who: Planet of the Dead (Easter 2009 special)

It's going to be a long wait until the autumn --- yes, AUTUMN --- for the next of the specials. And we know they're going to get darker and more Cloister Bell-driven as the end approaches.

But this: this was about a final hurrah of pleasure, a froth of scary silliness, an array of 10th Doctor tics with limited consequences.

Licking - check
Glasses - check
Unnecessary snog - check

We also had a silly scientist (a brilliant turn from Lee Evans), a suitably hawt 'never-to-be'-companion (an appealing performance by the all black tight garment and a tolerable turn by the woman within), UNIT saluting (hee) and a great get-out clause for the by now well-reported destruction of the bus in transit.

Without a TARDIS to translate there was a slightly different approach to creatures - so we got the flies in full click-click mode rather than in English. And the main monsters were too busy wondering how to get back in touch with their cousins in The Matrix eating to do much communicating. But this worked. They were just a little bit scary - enough to unnerve me, even if most of them did take the A52 by-pass at Nottingham on the way through the wormhole from Dubai to Cardiff.* And I did feel sorry for the flies.

So what if it wasn't utterly memorable. As a 200th story (on your marks, get set, SQUABBLE to all you Who fans) it certainly wasn't a ground-breaking way to commemorate the series - but it was somehow apt. It was funny, it was a bit scary, there was a proper alien planet, some aliens (both blokes in costumes and effects), some chasing, stupid humans, good humans, pseudo science and gadgetry, and a Doctor who wasn't (really) moping or being too manic. Just nice.

A very pleasant way to boost my spirits indeed. And even if the Mars trip forthcoming is the start of the gloomy descent into losing the Tenth Doctor (*SOB!* WAIL! GNASHING OF TEETH!) we will at least have the lovely Lindsay Duncan for company.

*We could have visited the Bute Tunnel set in that rain given they were filming overnight when H and I visited Cardiff. *sigh* And I've flown through Dubai. Vicarious pleasures in watching TV...


Jane Henry said...

I loved this one too. So silly and so much fun. And David was gorgeous as ever. Sigh. I am so going to miss him...

Paul Burgin said...

Loved Lady Christina, if only she became a companion ;-), as well as that creepy comment at the end hinting that the Doctor may be facing an old enemy who is coming closer and closer..