Sunday, June 12, 2011

Fear Her

So, my review of The Idiot's Lantern was a bit brief.  It's a problematic episode to review.  It's not a bad one - perfectly competent and not really boring.  It's not a good one, though, either - there's no real tension, or excitement, or particularly memorable humor, or strong characterizations.  Nothing really imaginative.  The one creepy idea it has - people's faces being erased - isn't done in a particularly creepy fashion.  It's very, very mediocre.  But it's also one of the rarest birds in Doctor Who: it's an episode that isn't interesting.

And that's frustrating.  Doctor Who is almost always interesting.  Even when it's bad, even when it's really, really bad, it's interesting.  The worst of the worst -- Time and the Rani, Timelash, Terminus, Nightmare of Eden, The Celestial Toymaker -- are all in some ways interesting.  They have settings and ideas that are, on some level or another, intriguing.  But The Idiot Lantern doesn't.  There's not one interesting, original, or unusual thing about it.  It's really hard to do that with Doctor Who, and maybe it deserves some sort of reward for actually pulling that off.

Fear Her is like The Idiot Lantern, except bad.  Really, really bad.  And unlike those other terrible episodes, it isn't even interesting.  It's difficult to believe that a director as good as Euros Lyn and a writer as talented as Matthew Graham could make something as fundamentally awful as The Celestial Toymaker, but by making something so terribly uninteresting, they've actually, in some ways, created something much, much worse.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

A Good Man Goes To War

What a mess - an incoherent stream of set-pieces, some brilliant, some not.  A lot like Journey's End.

I should probably mention that I liked Journey's End.  I didn't like this one quite as much, but like that one, I have to admit that the highlights were fantastic.  So let me rephrase that opener: what a wonderful, glorious, magnificent mess.  A failure, yes, but a fantastic failure.