Awww, sob! That was one hell of a sad regeneration, he didn’t want to go, he regenerated on his own, awwwww!!!!
All in all, a good episode, better than last week’s but again a slow start with lots of standing around talking, although once again the scenes between David Tennant and Bernard Cribbins were absolutely excellent. The gone loco Time Lords didn’t particularly have that much menace, although Timothy Dalton’s glove was an impressive bit of kit. But I did like the almost camaraderie between the Doctor and the Master in the end.
Other random thoughts:
- I liked the music in this one, it was quite old fashioned in an adventure epic sort of way.
- There was a bit of Star Wars in this one, with the cactus people’s ship being chased by missiles and the shooting lasers. I thought the giant chamber of Time Lords was a bit Star Wars to. Has Russell T Davies changed his mind about George Lucas and is trying to show his wares?
- So, the Doctor takes a gun, interesting that the new Doctor is also waving a gun around in the new trailer.
As for the end, gulp, Tennant’s Doctor survives the big battle between the Master and the Time Lords but then of course he has to save Wilf to, in a very interesting plot device that means the Doctor slowly dies instead of dying immediately (causing an immediate regeneration), allowing the Doctor to go back and briefly visit all his old companions. He saves Martha (now hitched to Mickey, way to go Mickey!) from a Sontaran, saves Luke from being run over because he’s too busy chatting on his mobile, gives Donna a winning lottery ticket after going back in time to cadge a pound off her dad (as of course he doesn’t carry money around) and visits Rose before she’s even met him, almost regenerating outside Rose’s block of flats, but he just makes it into the TARDIS and oh he doesn’t want to go, he doesn’t want to regenerate, so different from Christopher Eccleston’s regeneration where he goes out on a blaze of glory. David Tennant was just brilliant, playing the Doctor’s pain at going. And Matt Smith? You know I wasn’t sure when I first heard about him, but just from those last few minutes, I think he’ll be ok.
And of course there is that trailer, I think Russell T Davies has left the show in good hands, which of course, being Stephen Moffat’s hands, are brilliant and it looks like (from the trailer) that Moffat could not resist bringing back his weeping angels, which will be excellent, check out this added weeping angel bonus also on the Doctor Who website at the moment. Can’t wait and Spring, that could be just a few months!
You know, I sort of like having just the Doctor Who specials instead of a series just because the level of excitement and anticipation before each special, it’s like having Christmas early. Plus they seem to put so much more extra welly into each episode and this episode, The Waters of Mars, had lots of extra welly. Great premise, an event that the Doctor just can’t change, water zombies, a great scary script with lots of typical Russell T Davies bits (and that ending with the Captain), which I will so miss and top class acting from David Tennant, playing the Doctor going slightly mad (as would you wouldn’t you, eventually, the last of your species, that much power over life and death?). It’s all working out towards an explosive Christmas special (and is that Donna I saw in the trailer!) and I have a feeling that Davies and Moffat have been talking to each other, using these last few episodes to set up possibly a tantalizingly much darker Doctor, now that would be good.
Now don’t forget Dreamland starting 21st November on the red button and online.
. . . a 26 year old! It’s my birthday today and I was doing very well at not feeling old, until they announced the new Doctor, Matt Smith, was 8 years younger than me, mmm and there I was saying the other day that the next Doctor had to be minimum early 30s, goes to show Stephen Moffat wasn’t listening to me, which was probably a good thing because other than making me feel old, Matt Smith certainly looks ‘unusual’ and from the clips shown on Doctor Who Confidential, it seems like he can act to. I can’t see myself fancying him but I bet you I will and I’ll feel like a cradle snatcher. My only criticism is that previously from Doctor to Doctor, there’s been quite a physical change between the regenerations, whereas David Tennant’s Doctor to Matt Smith’s Doctor, both two ‘stringy’ males, who ok aren’t twins but they both look a little too similar physically, hopefully Matt Smith’s costume will be quite different.
PS Mr. Lacer is chuffed, he went to the same school as Matt Smith, however we’re talking decades difference.
I’ve just been reading the rabid frothing on the Doctor Who forums; the next Doctor will be announced tomorrow BBC1 5.35pm, during Doctor Who Confidential (click here for more info – goes to BBC Doctor Who page). Eek! Well that was a surprise that they’re announcing so soon but not surprising really, wait much longer and it was bound to be leaked. I’m still hoping it’s Joesph Paterson, I don’t care about all the dubiously moralled nay-sayers going on about how “It didn’t work in Merlin”, piffle! If the US can have a black president, I think we can just about manage a black Doctor, everything else changes about the Doctor during regeneration, his hair colour, for example, changes, otherwise we’d have had ten white haired Doctors, so no reason skin colour can’t change. If it’s not going to be Paterson please may it not be a) anyone too young, early 30s an absolute minimum but conversely b) if not conventionally good looking (and you wouldn’t want too conventionally good looking anyway) have just a little bit of charm, so David Morrissey it would not. Ah whoever it is, I remember when they announced that number 10 was David Tennant, I was absolutely gutted, thinking he was a bit of a stringy dork, but oh I like a bit of a stringy dork now! So whoever it is, I have but just one concrete theory, it will be someone Stephen Moffat has worked with before (so could well be Paterson), mark my words and watch me be wrong!
I’ve been horribly ill all over Christmas (still am), which has had only one benefit, I could get lots of reading done, which is why I managed to devour Doctor Who: The Writer’s Tale in two days. This is an absolutely amazing book, a must for all Doctor Who fans or those interested in writing, a collection of e-mails and texts between Benjamin Cook and Russell T. Davies (plus a few from Stephen Moffat) it follows the creation of series 4 of Doctor Who, with further information on Torchwood and a little on The Sarah Jane Adventures. I’m not sure any review could do this book justice but I’ll try and describe it anyway; Russell T. Davies goes into such depth about what it’s like to be the head writer and show runner for Doctor Who and from the sounds of it, it’s quite an anguished life. He describes about how much of the writing, is actually just thinking about it and how he’ll have ideas just walking to Tesco, yet he’ll leave the actual writing to beyond the last minute. He undergoes massive self doubt about whether what he’s writing is any good (yet interestingly doesn’t care a penny what the fan forums say), I thought it was interesting (and reassuring) during an exchange of e-mails between Davies and Moffat, when Moffat admits that he’d quite like to stick his head through the window and yell ‘I don’t know what I’m doing’. As someone who wants to write, it’s so ‘nice’ to read that other very well established writers can still have the self doubt and that they just have to battle through it, which is something I need to learn to do. I also found it interesting the extent to which Davies rewrites the other writers scripts, with only out of all the stable of Who writers, four writers that he won’t do that for (Moffat obviously being one of them he doesn’t rewrite). The Pompeii episode in particular was shown how it was rewritten and in one e-mail shortly after Human Nature was aired, Davies is depressed because everyone is going on about how wonderful Paul Cornell’s script was and how he feels that he can’t admit that actually he rewrote most of it. So that was interesting, after reading the Doctor Who forums, seeing often the instant bias against Russell T. Davies scripts, that actually what his detractors don’t know that there are a lot more Russell T. Davies episodes in each series than they think.
Davies describes this as in now way a ‘how to’ book and that everyone writes differently but he does offer quite a few hints about things like pacing, speech patterns, character motivation etc., that I think is relevant whether you’re writing scripts or novels. A totally fascinating book.
Now, to the people who make Heroes, can we have something similar please?
Sob, sob, sob. Actually I’m sure it’ll be ok. Russell T. Davies will write an amazing regeneration for Tennant (just like he wrote an amazing regeneration for Eccleston) and Stephen Moffat will pick and create an amazing 11th Doctor. I can appreciate why Tennant decided to leave alongside Davies, he’s leaving whilst the going is still good and he’s an amazing actor and I’m sure we’ll see him in a lot more stuff, even if it does mean I have to go to RSC more often.
As for who will be the next Doctor, I quite like the look of the current favourite Joseph Paterson better known as the Marquis de Sade Carabas (whoops, what does that say about my psyche?) in Neverwhere. There’s something about his eyes and that’s the crucial thing about a good Doctor, those eyes have to look like they’ve been around for 900+ years and that they’ve seen things. Consequently whoever they choose as the next Doctor can not be too young, so definitely not that Russell Tovey that Russell T. Davies likes (not that his opinion will count in the decision). The top of my personal wish list though for the next Doctor definitely has to be Rupert Penry-Jones, well he’s not in Spooks anymore and I think he’d be good and very very cute.
Not me unfortunately, no a series of e-mails from Russell T. Davies to a Doctor Who magazine journalist who was working on the book Doctor Who: The Writer’s Tale, has just been published in The Times here. The article is a great insight into work on the last series and the politics involved, for example Davies wanted J K Rowling in this year’s Christmas special, in some sort of storyline where she’s transported into a world of her imagination and the Doctor has to rescue her but David Tennant thought it sounded like a spoof (it would have been an interesting storyline but I think Tennant is right), so they stalled the idea to keep him happy. We also learn how the people up top were desperate to keep Davies for another series and how Davies approached Stephen Moffat to talk about the ‘white elephant in the room’, i.e. Moffat taking over, sounds almost like the Blair – Brown relationship!
Russell also talks about how he writes, I like his opening e-mail in the article;
There’s little physical evidence of the script process to show you. No notes. Nothing. I think, and think, and think…and by the time I come to write, a lot has been decided. Also, a lot hasn’t been decided, but I trust myself, and scare myself, that it’ll happen in the actual writing. It all exists in my head, but in this soup. It’s like the ideas are fluctuating in this great big quantum state of Maybe. The choices look easy when recounted later, but that’s hindsight. When nothing is real and nothing is fixed, it can go anywhere. The Maybe is a hell of a place to live. As well as being the best place in the world.
I filter through all those thoughts, but that’s rarely sitting at my desk, if ever. It’s all done walking about, going to town, having tea and watching telly. The rest of your life becomes just the surface, chattering away on top of the Maybe…and the doubts. That’s where this job is knackering and debilitating. Everything – and I mean every story ever written anywhere – is underscored by the constant murmur of: this is rubbish, I am rubbish, and this is due in on Tuesday! The hardest part of writing is the writing.
Finally Russell also talks about who he thinks should be the next Doctor . . . . Russell Tovey, who played Midshipman Frame in the last Christmas special and is more famous for being in The History Boys. I don’t know, I think he’s a bit too young and a bit too goofy looking. Anyway not Russell’s decision anymore!