Sunday, 15 April 2012

Doctor Who Review: Voyage of the Damned

Today is 100 years since the Titanic sank, so I thought I’d do something to commemorate that. Could I watch an animation with a rapping dog, or with a giant octopus? Those are real films by the way. But, I just really don’t think I could sit through the whole of one of those messes, and anyway I had a much better choice, watch a Doctor Who about the Titanic. In space. Did I say better? Cause I was very wrong.

Right, last time I had to describe the Doctor before the review, but we all know this one, David Tennant, Christmas, 2007. Hell, probably more than half the people reading this will have seen the episode I’m talking about. If you haven’t quick description of the plot, there is a replica of the Titanic as a cruise liner for aliens above the Earth, its robot servants go bad and it gets hit by a meteor strike and the ship is crippled. The Doctor and his merry band of misfits have to get to the bridge before the ship falls out of the sky and solve the mystery of who’s behind the disaster and why. So far, so a bit too far. Replica of the Titanic? Why? Oh well, it’s Christmas, let’s move on. This is one of Tennant’s solo stories where he gets a companion just for the one episode. While David gives a solid performance (although not one of his best and we’ll look at the mess of the Doctor’s storyline in a minute), his companion is played by Kylie Minogue. Say what you will about her as a musician, she’s not really an actor. Well, a good one. Kylie can’t act and she’s annoying in this story. In fact she doesn’t really do anything useful until the end. But we’ll get to… I have to stop saying we’ll get to that, let’s look at the characters’ stories.

The Doctor keeps telling people he’ll save them then fails but he doesn’t give up until the end and then he’s all annoyed at who lived and died. It seems as though there’s a message or some kind of deep emotions going on here, but there isn’t. It’s just a bit pointless. The Doctor and Kylie, or Astrid Peth if you want to give her her absolutely ridiculous name, are meant to have a deep bond. But the actors have no chemistry and the script doesn’t give anything other than forced moments that are really awkward. The Doctor seems to bond as much with the old man as Astrid and you don’t see them having a snog. It just seems unnatural. As I said she doesn’t do anything except look excited at stuff and be nice to an unnecessarily weird lame alien who is a very unnecessary weird lame metaphor for homosexuality until the end. Then she goes to meet the Doctor and kills herself to kill the lamest villain in Doctor Who since that one with Peter Kay. He’s basically a head on top of a box that’s made of spare machine parts like a really rubbish Davros rip-off. And she kills him with-in 5 minutes of him being on screen being hammy and unthreatening with a forklift truck. Forgetting ‘how does she get out of the truck for us to see her fall, but not just jump to save her life’ plot holes, it really just removes any emotion from the scene when we see the villain’s gurning face and a forklift. It’s just too ridiculous and it doesn’t work. Even on Christmas. Then the music swells, as it has throughout the episode, the music being good but put into scenes in a rather clunky way suddenly starting, stopping or changing, and the Doctor walks away from an explosion without flinching in the worst most over the top sequence in the episode. Then he’s lifted up by angels. No wonder people love David Tennant. No I’m only kidding, but really? Russell T Davies has always tried to make the Doctor seem like a god, but he does it in the bluntest and least effective ways possible. Anyway, the Doctor gets to say something fun; he flies the Titanic over Buckingham Palace and the Queen waves at him. I’m getting tired of trying to find new ways to say this is over the top. Then they try to save Astrid and she turns into some weird ghost and the Doctor kisses her and there are no words to explain how this makes no sense and is only there to make us feel better after they killed off the companion on Christmas Day, and then we have a happy scene to make us all feel better and that’s it. Goodnight. The End. You think you’ve watched a happy piece of fun and try and forget it makes no sense and is just generally awful and a bit depressing.

Depressing you say? Well, let’s have a look. The Titanic gets smashed up and loads of people die. But we don’t see them so whatever, who cares. Then the random sailor guy dies. Then the fat people die, for like no reason except they don’t fit in the plot anymore. Did they need to die for the story to work? No. Did it add anything? No. Then that red guy dies. But he was irritating even though the story seemed to be going out of its way to make me like him. And then the companion dies. Merry Christmas everyone! I’m not against a dark story, but this one was just dark for the sake of it and there was no need for it.

So in the end, you can ignore all this if you want to see David Tennant do a speech about how he’s a Time Lord, a scene that seems to be from a different story and just awkwardly shoved in as the music and direction have to change when it turns up. But except for that, there’s really nothing on offer here. It’s too dark to be fun and it’s too over the top to be dramatic, so it just ends up being a bit boring and rubbish. Out of all the Tennant Christmas Specials, this is by far the worst, and I’d very much advise you to give it a miss.


This is ridiculous.

OH and happy Titanic day. Because I forgot I’d written about the Titanic by the time I got to the end of the review. Why was it on the space Titanic? IT DOESNT MAKE SEEEEENNNNSEEE.

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