DIY Sheep versus Doctor Who and everybody else

The really mean review - just because I can

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I am sitting there ‘hunched over my tiny computer monitor with the tinny sound’ watching Rose (actually my computer screen is larger than my tv and has better resolution, but heck – I thought I’d make someone’s day) and I thought to myself: ‘eh gad this is awful.’ But then I smiled to myself and laughed out loud. I could make excuses like this is only a rough draft nicked off the internet or that it was only the pilot, but I didn’t have to. This is Doctor Who. Doctor Who on tele has always been bad. From William Hartnell’s ‘stop buggering me’ to the giant skateboarding prawn of The Keys of Marinus and Sylvester playing the spoons on Kate O’Mara’s breasts in Time and the Rani. Doctor Who has never been slick and great and Matrix like. Doctor Who has never really been cool. Keanu Reeves saves the human race by wearing dark sunglasses and a big shiny coat. Sylvester saves the universe from the gods of Ragnarok by playing the spoons. Spot the difference in coolness.


And even though we have ‘I’m a teen sensation and I wear a pink fleecy polar’ Billie in this, this new incarnation is still not cool.


Take the Doctor. I hope this is not a spoiler if I say that Chris Eccleston looks like he has been hit in the face with a cricket bat. I keep asking all the girls what they think of him and the answer tends to go like this:


‘ahh, yes, well, I had no idea his nose was no big. Tell me more about that cute one in the frock coat again. He is that bloke from kidnapped isn’t he? Oh he was in Withnail too wasn’t he?… ohh sorry, what were we talking about again… oh yeah that bloke with the big nose.’


I am sorry, I know how you blokes like Chris, but every time I see this story I have an uncontrollable urge to go and watch the TV movie, ‘do girlie things’ and sigh a bit.  



The Doctor


Slightly smothered in (presumably Fitz’s) leather jacket Chris tends to bound around the place like some sort of giant jiggling toy with a sense of timing and a sense of humour that makes Sylvester in Time and the Rani look sophisticated, dark and menacing. It is like that old adage: you can stick a sheep in a leather jacket, but he still will not be the Fonze. So basically a weird looking bloke with big ears and ill fitting odd looking clothes fulfills an important Doctor Who criteria… a weird looking bloke in ill fitting odd looking clothes.


But there is a hint of an Andy Cartmel master plan lurking underneath. Or at least I hope there is otherwise Rose is going to beat him to death with a shovel out of sheer irritation very soon.






I found the TARDIS a tad ‘intestinal’ for my liking (Don’t get me wrong – the outside is still big bold beautiful and bright blue). However, if I was a complete anorak who had read all the books I could argue that the gastric juice motif is definitely in keeping with the idea that TARDISes are actually sentient creatures of some kind then I might consider it quite clever, but I’m not that sort of complete anorak so that thought never crossed my mind.


But this new TARDIS interior also fulfills traditional Doctor Who criteria. Just like the original white one the new TARDIS configuration is incredibly impractical. There is nowhere to sit down, lots of nasty sharp edges and nothing to hold onto when you get buffeted by time eddies or some such. At least the Gothic look one had a few comfy armchairs, inviting alcoves and lots of books.



The Plot


That I cannot spoil, because there isn’t one. Personally I think it is a bit mean of them to only give the Ninth Doc 45 minutes to save the world. That is a bit of unfair upping of the bar. Even Sylvester had at least three episodes in Ghostlight. As Rob? says the episode is called Rose for a reason. That was something I hadn’t considered and is a very good point: the story is about ‘some boring chick from a council estate’ (good thing she happens to be a very successful singer as well).  However in this modern day and age I would have thought they could have provided a story too. Everyone complains the TV movie drowned in its own fan wank. This pilot seems to drown a bit in its own ‘Billie wank’, but if she brings in the ratings I don’t care and I think I’ll trust young Russell on this one as he seems to know his stuff.



Everyman and their robotic dog


Rose also typifies Doctor Who fandom. They made the series, then they sent out lots of advance copies to people all over the world and said: ‘now what ever you do - do not leak this on the internet…. I am going to repeat the important bits: do not leak this onto the internet… Leaking this onto the internet will not even enter your mind.’


And you will never guess what happened next. It was like they had been taking lessons from The Master – Their cunning plan went hideously wrong and it was leaked. I don't blame them for being upset. I mean if you can't trust the integrity of News of the Sun who can you trust? Oodles of Doctor Who anoraks got hold of the little sucker and watched it. All the other Doctor Who anoraks who hadn’t seen it erupted saying Russell T Davies would be very disappointed in them, they had ruined the new Doctor Who for everyone in the whole world and they should immediately go to bed without any supper. And basically they were told to get stuffed.



Does it meet the standards


There is a Doctor – check


There is a rather irritating companion who half the population have vague homicidal thoughts towards and the other half want to shag – check


There is a big blue box – check


It is bigger on the inside than the out – check


There is ‘tiddely bom tiddely bom’ music at the end and at the beginning – check


There is a totally crap monster who you feel vaguely sorry for – check



How can they go wrong.