Sunday, May 11, 2008

Miss Congenealogy

Georgia Moffett was pretty, wasn't she? The Doctor's Daughter, But Not Really might have been a more accurate title and the whole thing really wasn't helped by the fact that this potentially fascinating story was played against a scenario from the Ladybird Book Of Science Fiction Plots. If you want some idea of the shortfall between promise and realisation, you need only look to some of the comments that, along with the rest of us, looked forward to the episode:

"Out on the fansites, they're guessing aliens will pinch the Doctor's DNA. But that sounds too prosaic, and not enough to justify the hyperbole of a writer who saw part of the episode and calls it "one of the single most audacious moments in Doctor Who's 45-year-history... cheeky, hilarious and brave".

and from Rusty himself:

"Yes, that's the title. And it does exactly what it says on the tin!"

And then compare with what we got. But that's the way a con works: they razzle dazzle you, then slip you a cheap imitation. In much the same way the Ood somehow got the impression the Doctor was a great hero who saved their world, in much the same way this Hath-Human colony is told to found their new society on The Man Who Never Would - when in fact he's The Man Who Most Assuredly Would, As Long As It Was With Some Device Or Method He Could Safely Claim Wasn't A Gun Even Though It Was Just As Deadly And As Often As Not Twice As Cruel. They sell you a lie.

There were some nice touches, there were. But as soon as Jenny showed up, I don't know about you, but we were expecting the Doctor to reject her, then bond with her, then watch her snuff it by episode end. But, probably, she would regenerate - most likely, I thought, after he'd departed, believing her to be dead. Which should serve to illustrate how many surprises the episode had in store for us.

It did surprise me in some small measure that Martha could, at the same time, be such a spectacularly brilliant doctor that she could deliver the prognosis on Jenny - "no regeneration, no hope" - at a glance, while being such a spectacularly bad doctor that she a) didn't even try to save her and b) got it completely wrong. Likewise, it was of some passing surprise that Martha could understand the Fishmen, and no doubt we'll be told by supportive fans that the TARDIS was translating for her, but if so why couldn't we hear the translation as we normally do? But these questions, like most of the rest of it, were of no consequence.

Perhaps this one was really just about steering us into further spin-off territory, or maybe to that most ultimate of conclusions, the killing off of the Doctor and his replacement by this non-daughter, and Doctor Who finally gets to be more like Buffy with a fraction of the wit and ingenuity. To be honest, Jenny has a lot more charm on her side than her old man so would have that going for her. But I'm afraid I rather suspect she was right, when she launched herself off in that shuttle, and that, whatever comes of this, it will involve "lots of running around". The apple never falls very far from the tree, so basically expect more of the same.


Stuart Douglas said...

Painfully accurate Simon - a combination of wild hyperbole before it was on and leaden nonsense once it actually started.

If I were a religious man, though, I'd be praying that your dead Doctor/Jenny in the TARDIS idea is just some mania caused by your leiving near the sea...

SAF said...

Yeah too much salt in the air. Pray really hard all the same, just to be on the safe side :)

Stuart Douglas said...

Ooh, you have a cool favicon!

Sorry - geek moment there.

As you were.

SAF said...

Lol. My wife did that. She'd done a favicon for someone else, and now she's doing them for anyone that wants one. :)