Saturday, April 05, 2008

Chewing The Fat

The fat just walks away, apparently. Unfortunately, despite the claims, the gristly bits that are impossible to digest and stick in your teeth will very likely be lodged there forever. I don't think the bad taste left in my mouth after tonight's Doctor Who Season Four premiere will be going away soon. The memory of those lardy Gremlins waving from the mothership window will probably also be with me from now until the day I die.
You know, just like those memorable scenes of old - yes, it's right up there with the Sea Devils rising from the ocean that's stuck with me since childhood. Um, no. No, that's a fond inspirational image, the sort of stuff that fired my childhood imagination. All those Pilsbury Dough Munchkins parading down the street are a horrible, horrible memory that will likely leave a stain.
You'll also remember how the old Doctor Who would have these big organisations that, because of budgetary problems, only had about two guards on the payroll... back then it was perhaps forgiveable, here it's merely laughable. But then, there's no excuse for the utter tripe (ha) that was on display throughout this whole sorry business.
Don't get me wrong, there were some nice touches in the mix. But I feel no inclination to dwell on them even now, because I know those will not be the enduring memories from this experience. Nicest moment for me had to be the scene of the Doctor and Donna mouthing silently to one another through a couple of windows. Naturally, this is a vast improvement on having Catherine Tate shout her way through The Runaway Bride. Such a pity they're going back to allowing her to speak for the rest of the series.
Even a less annoying entirely silent Tate could not have saved this though. The new mangled , could-it-be-any-busier theme sets up an aggravating, negative vibe from the get-go, and after some fairly amusing shenanigans of not quite letting the Doctor and Donna meet, we're into a wholly insubstantial daftfest with a plot that might have gotten away with it in The Sarah Jane Adventures, or whatever more juvenile spin off they come up with for the CBeebies.
Fat generally suggests weight and while I understand that you couldn't do a plot like this with any kind of seriousness, this was so high in fat and yet entirely weight-free, it's something of a miracle in itself. Added to which, there is the touchier issue of whether it actually manages to be offensive to people with real weight problems. Fat is funny, fat people have always been great comedy material - look at Little & Large for goodness sake. Rusty worshippers will defend him heartily on this point and accuse anyone suggesting anything of the kind of making something out of nothing. Irrespective of that 'debate', it was at best an expensive cheap joke and I'd argue that it's Partners In Crime that made something out of nothing. Only, not very much.
Honestly, I wish it would just walk away.


iCowboy said...

'Partners in Crime' was televisual herpes - it makes you feel like crap sticks with you for the rest of your life.

RTD and the gang better watch out, I think I spot a shark fin in the waters ahead.

BTW. Do you think the fact the OG servers are repeatedly crashing tonight is down to them being overloaded by enthusiastic fans of the Adipose begging for their return?

SAF said...

iCowboy: "BTW. Do you think the fact the OG servers are repeatedly crashing tonight is down to them being overloaded by enthusiastic fans of the Adipose begging for their return?"

I would never doubt the fans' capacity to see worth in something so worthless. On top of its insistence on wearing its childish credentials on its sleeve, the New Series demonstrates a certain shameless desperation to be liked, and has the good fortune to be matched by an equal desperation on the part of its fans to defend each new low.

No self-respecting shark would be seen dead in such waters, so I suspect it'll be some pitiful flounder that does all the jumping ;) Or a puffer fish, perhaps, with its ability, when threatened, to inflate itself and become all spiky. :)

Stuart Douglas said...

{shuffles in cautiously}

I liked it loads*

{runs back out the door}

* though Julie has pointed out I like the first episode every year. It's a desperation thing, she says.

SAF said...

Stuart: "I liked it loads*"

Hand over your mantle of Oracle Of All That Is Good And Right In Doctor Who now! ;)

Stuart: "though Julie has pointed out I like the first episode every year."

It's a factor I've been aware of - and make note of in my next post - that the return of any favoured show brings with it a certain degree of goodwill. Not saying that was all that was at play for you here, but since you bring it up, it was something I felt during Smith & Jones, and even New Earth to an extent. Buoyed up just to have Who back, and full of optimism for the new season. With Smith & Jones, that positivity faded by the next episode and now I only have vague memories of what I might have thought was good about it at the time. With New Earth, it dissipated during the episode. With Partners In Crime, it withered away that much sooner. That's just me.

Now, as for you, sir, what can I say but, get well soon. ;)

Stuart Douglas said...

It's definitely true that I enjoy the season openers more than any other Rusty scripts. This is actually something which reassures me that it's not knee-jerk anti-Rustiness which causes me to dislike much of New Who, year on year. I want to like Who every time it's on and particularly find myself hoping each year that the season opener is the mark of a sea change.

Also, the season openers tend to be light even by Rusty standards on plot, which makes for less plot-illogicality, there being so much less plot to be illogical with.

SAF said...

Stuart: "I want to like Who every time it's on"

Yeah, that's exactly the case with me. It's just on some occasions, I then find it more wanting than me. ;)