Wednesday, 2 January 2019

Doctor Who - Resolution

Super Kaled, Fragile-istic

Doctor Who - Resolution
Airdate: 1st January 2019

You know, let me just say that I think Jodie Whittaker is a good Doctor and her supporting cast of Bradley Walsh, Tosin Cole and Mandip Gill are all pretty spot on for being travelling companions. There’s only been a few stand out episodes in Whittaker’s first season as, frankly, the writing hasn’t been good on a lot of these. I seem to have a large number of people following me on my Twitter timeline who used to regularly watch the show and comment on it after every episode. I’ve heard from hardly any of them this year in relation to this show and I know that some people have either given up on it or... and this seems to be quite common... have it backed up or waiting to watch on iPlayer but just can’t seem to get around to it. Which I think is an indication of what’s been going on with the show this year.

You need to have some truly outstanding, clever episodes to make the show work or at least to keep people coming back for more and... that doesn’t seem to be happening at the moment. And last night’s New Year’s Day Special, which unfortunately took the place of having a 2018 Christmas Special, was another less than outstanding episode, it has to be said. Again, nothing wrong with The Doctor and her companions... and even the supporting cast were pretty amazing on this one... just bad judgement and some not so strong writing on this one, as far as I can see.

Now, most of us had probably all figured out from the trailer at the end of the last episode that the Daleks were going to be involved in this somehow. Good, bring them on is what I say to that. Daleks are the best way to Christen a new Doctor. Alas, they tipped their hat too soon in the episode by showing one crawling up a wall. Seriously, any fan of Doctor Who probably figured out straight away that was just a Kaled out of its Dalek case. So maybe the reveal was a tad early on for that one.

However, not content with having the promise of a Dalek, which stayed in its Kaled form for way too long before building itself a fairly primitive version of its casing (I really wanted to see the Doctor surrounded by proper Daleks at some point), they also gave this Kaled the ability to attach itself to a human host like a bloody Metebelis spider... something we’ve never seen one do before or had any idea that they even could, as far as I can remember, in the entire 50 plus years of the show. It’s like the producers decided to give them new, super powers just for the hell of it. Bad continuity and, while they were rewriting Who lore... I quite liked the government cuts excuse for the demise of UNIT (United Nations Intelligence Task Force as it was back in the day... I’m not using their idiotic new acronym from the last ten years of the show) but it’s a really stupid idea. After the planet has been invaded so many times in the past, they get rid of the only Earth run defence against aliens. This is, frankly, implausible.

This episode seemed to me to be a really thinly veiled remake of Christopher Eccleston’s first encounter with the Daleks, except, it also had a Kaled roaming around for a while and a slightly bigger playing field (Sheffield instead of a highly secured building). This wasn’t exciting and didn’t have me on the edge of my seat like that original template did... I just got kinda bored, to be honest. While simultaneously trying to defend the programme from all the negative reactions in the room from the rest of the family, who really do seem to have given up on their ritualistic watching of the programme. If it wasn’t for me, this wouldn’t have been allowed on our telly box anymore.

Also, nobody seems to be addressing the real elephant in the room here. The Earth has been invaded by the Daleks on numerous occasions in the last ten or so years and the people who inhabit the world of the show certainly should remember them. It’s kind of hard to just wipe them out of memory when they even stole the Earth and moved it to another location at one point and enslaved billions of people another time. So tell me... how the heck does none of The Doctor’s new companions, or anybody in the episode, not remember previous invasions all of a sudden? This makes no sense whatsoever. Especially in a seemingly post-UNIT world. I’m sorry but, no, if you want me to invest in your stories emotionally then... you need to make them credible and treat what’s gone before with a little respect it seems to me.

The irony is, there were some great dramatic scenes here between Graham, Ryan and Ryan’s dad... beautifully written and performed. However, like someone in the house shouted, there’s a Dalek on the loose on Earth, why has it just turned into a slow moving soap opera instead. Personally I didn’t mind the juxtaposition of the pacing between the two tones myself but, yeah, other people were less than happy (and one person started falling asleep).

So... nice performances from pretty much everyone in the show, some okay sets and props and a workable premise for a story but, no, this one really didn’t work for me I’m afraid. And I’m getting tired of defending the show to the people who did once like it. This was the only episode we are getting of the show this year (the next series, if it happens, it scheduled to start around about April 2020 I think) and I was pretty angry about that but, honestly, now I’m kinda glad of the break. Hopefully, there will be some changes to the direction of the show (nobody expects people to get everything exactly right on the first series from a new creative group) and it will maybe have the rest it needs so people can really think about getting the show back on track. And I need a break from reviewing new Doctor Who for a while, I think because, frankly, I hate saying negative things about the show. Resolution was not special enough for a special edition of the show and... I’ll just leave it at that, I think.

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