Sunday, 4 November 2018

Doctoring


Confession time. 

I've been a massive Doctor Who fan since my youngest days. 

I even remember - I really do - first seeing Invasion of the Dinosaurs (from 1974), with its famously unsteady-on-its-feet T-Rex rampaging very, very slowly through London under the concerned eye of Jon Pertwee, when I was five. 

I actually think that might even be my earliest vivid TV memory. (God help me!)

'Doctor Who', 1974

And I'm still watching. 

And I've watched tonight's episode too. 

And I'm being very serious here when I say that tonight's episode was the worst I've ever seen.

And I've seen nearly all of them. (Some are lost).

There's a problem here perhaps, because this blog might be seen as a blindly anti-BBC blog.

I don't think we're any such thing - far from it in fact - but I'm sure that's how we might be seen by some passing dunderheads (no offence). 

But even so, if I - as a lifelong Doctor Who fan -  now say that tonight's episode was the clunkiest, stupidest, most banal, most obvious, most badly-written, most tick-box-obsessed-in-terms-of-multicultural-casting piece of Dalek waste product I've ever seen, I might still be seen as being just some Beeb-bashing obsessive bashing the Beeb. 

'Doctor Who', 2018

But no. Whatever issues I have with the BBC I'll still watch Doctor Who. 

And this latest episode really was the clunkiest, stupidest, most banal, most obvious, most badly-written, most tick-box-obsessed-in-terms-of-multicultural-casting piece of Dalek waste product I've ever seen. 

The PC ticks were a Gallifreyan mile high (and Gallifreyan miles are big!). 

Lord Hall and James Purnell might well be high-fiving themselves tonight as a result - if they watched it. 

Which they almost certainly didn't, but just as long as the multiculturally-diverse boxes are ticked I suspect Lord and James will be happy.

It was still quite entertaining though. And non-bus-end Doctor Jodie is fun to watch. 


Coda: Even the the usually-supportive comments at the Guardian are heavily trending towards calling this episode "drivel" and "garbage".

And P.S. I forgot to mention that tonight's episode made a lot of a man giving birth. I kid ye not.

8 comments:

  1. I liked the early 70s Dr Who best. They went a bit philosophical at times and sci-fi is always more interesting when it does...in my, possibly minority, opinion.

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    1. I think the philosophical Jon Pertwee era was best too. It was the programme at its most adult. So you and I are, so far, a 100% majority.

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    2. I wasn't paying much attention, but i thought I heard in the trailer for next week that the good Doctor will be dropping in on the partition of India in 1947. Is there to be a whistle-stop tour of key events during the 20th C so that essential rewriting of history can be completed?

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    3. Yes, next week's episode could take several paths.

      My reading of the history is that Attlee's Labour government tried to do the right thing and, listening to the pro-independence leaders in India, brought Indian (and Pakistani) independence forward by a year, wrongly, but that it was mainly the intransigence and politicking of the likes of Jinnah and Nehru which stoked religious tensions into a murderous disaster.

      As Doctor Who is going to make Muslim sidekick Yaz Khan their main focus here, given her family's Partition experiences, I'm guessing the BBC will avoid all nuance and simply - and simplistically - blame British colonialism for the horrors of Partition.

      I hope I'm wrong, but this is the BBC after all, where virtue signalling has been known to trump historical truth on Doctor Who before.

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  2. I also was a huge Dr Who fan from the Pertwee days. I carried on watching right up to the bitter end of the Sylvester McCoy days, and was delighted when it was resurrected with Christopher Eccleston.

    But I finally called it a day at the start of Peter Capaldi’s reign. I’m pretty sure it was the lesbian lizard with a veil that proved the final straw as far as I was concerned. I wasn’t prepared any longer to play along with being given a PC lecture I didn’t want to receive just because it was a programme I’d been watching since childhood.

    Everything I hear about this latest incarnation convinces me I was right to call it day. Dr Who is to me a good representation of the BBC itself. It always had its imperfections but despite that was well worth watching; now it is a mere shadow of what it was, weighed down by its need to show how politically worthy it is and little more than a twisted parody of its former self.

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  3. There are actually clever forces at work here within BBC Studios. Yes, Dr Who has become patronizing, virtue signalling nonsense. However this sits well with certain groups within the BBC but also ensures that BBC worldwide will make no money from it, as it's main export market of the USA will not want it. This in turn lets BBC Studios off the hook by giving them the excuse to drop what has now become an out of control money pit of a production. It does all make sense, I suppose..

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  4. I always thought it was normal for children, as they begin to transition to adults at the age of about 12 or 13, to stop watching childish nonsense such as Doctor Who and Harry Potter but it seems that many do not. No wonder that the MSM has such an easy time of it treating everyone like children.

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    1. I couldn't agree more, Unknown. The BBC handbook must apply this logic:

      ... If a children's tv presenter can relate to children, then he/she can relate to adults who were children during his/her tenure of Play-school, Blue Peter or something similar. If he/she can relate to adults, then they are useful to us as they can promote the PC ideological message on chat-shows, live broadcasts, news quiz-shows, sports and para-sports events etc...

      That the then children have become adults, and may require their tv diet to contain more substance must be considered as an unimportant distraction. Children's tv presenting is the birthplace of PC ideology. Children will absorb the messages uncomplainingly.

      The delivery style of some former children's tv presenters such as Matt Baker or Helen Skelton indicates that they haven't moved on very much when they have become adults. Serious topics have to be simplified in order that we can all understand them. They play to the audience's emotions ahead of thire intellect - that's what PC ideology is all about - to trap an unthinking audience into tacit agreement by means of their trusting persona - a trust established when they were children's presenters.

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