Sunday, April 27, 2008

Non-Probic Vent

It being the first of a two-parter, I'm being fair and reserving comment on The Sontaran Stratagem until I've seen the second episode. When I do comment it'll only be one of my mini-reviews anyway, but in the meantime, pardon me while I have a mini-rant.

Now, I realise nostalgia must play a factor, but I do have fond memories of the relationship between the Doctor and the Brigadier and despite the fact that they were at loggerheads - the scientific versus the military mind - their friendship was a special one. And here we were with the Doctor reunited with UNIT and what I'm seeing played out between David Tennant's Doctor and this brand new UNIT Colonel actually makes me angry.

It's curious and disheartening that New Who rarely provokes anything like such an active response from me - usually it leaves me pretty much in neutral. But when I think of the opportunities in terms of painting a rounded, convincing military character and establishing relations between him and the Doctor, what we got was, if you'll excuse the pun, Major Disappointment.

Poor enough that he's portrayed as a spineless non-entity who obligingly salutes Donna Nobody on demand, far far worse that the Doctor insists he doesn't want the man standing next to him because he's *wearing* a gun. The man hadn't even been given a chance to be a *character* let alone a bit of a bastard, which might at least have earned him the snub. But no, this was entirely based on the fact that the man was in the military and completely disregards the Doctor's previous regard for the Brigadier. This from the Doctor who metes out cruel and unusual punishments on aliens who happen to piss him off, who's just recently caused the deaths of 20,000 people in an effort to save the world and preserve the course of history (and who, but for Donna, wouldn't even have saved a single Roman family), and who wields his sonic screwdriver *like a gun*.

This Doctor is apparently being painted as a Lonely God. And, in case any further evidence were needed, now we have an explanation for the 'Lonely' part. And frankly, I'd grown to dislike the man already, but this was the point where I'd really had enough of him. So, any kids out there whose father happens to be an officer in the military, don't worry, it doesn't mean your daddy's evil. It's just that, no matter how much the script will insist he's 'dazzling' or 'brilliant', this particular Doctor is a self-righteous, sanctimonious prick.

Hopefully next week a Sontaran - or maybe Donna - will slap him around a bit and teach him not to be such an ass.


Stuart Douglas said...

I enjoyed it more than the other kiddie two parters (so far) but that's a very, very good point. You should repost the entire thing elsewhere and start a bit of a row :)

SAF said...

:) Light the blue touch paper and retire? That'd be evil.

Meanwhile, I'm hopeful this will prove better than the Cybermen and Dalek two-parters. I've one or two questions which may turn out to be plot holes or may be fully answered in part two, so I didn't want to jump the gun! This is Helen Raynor's Big Second Chance, after all :)

SK said...

Hear hear. Why was anyone in the military saluting the Doctor anyway? He never, to the best of my admittedly incomplete knowledge of the Pertwee era, held any kind of rank -- he was a civilian who worked with UNIT. Was he saluted in 'Battlefield'?

And where was Bessie?

They even discussed the records of how he used to travel!

SAF said...

My memory of Battlefield is, thankfully, vague, but I don't recall him ever being saluted. Meanwhile, I think Bessie's charm would have been misplaced in this episode, outdoing the Doctor as she would have done on that front.

SK said...

Hang on... you don't think... when they need to only vehicle in the world that doesn't have an ATMOS device...

SAF said...

Lol, now I wouldn't put that past them :)