Thursday, 7 November 2013

Fear Her, Army of Ghosts & Doomsday

Fear Her

Ooooooh a box aren't we clever?
Another episode which gets a lot of stick from the fans, ‘Fear Her’ was written by Matthew Graham. Whilst I agree it really doesn’t work, I have to say I liked the idea behind it – a tiny creature lost from the rest of its kind. It’s different. However, the setting is London a few years in the (then) future, on the opening day of the 2012 London Olympics.

Here comes the big bad!
It’s not set some time interesting basically. It could be set in a special time in the past, or in the far future, or even the present day which makes a threat feel more real, but there’s no real reason to set a story six years in the future. The world is basically the same, they’ve arrived on a suburban street but not with any established characters, so we don’t see into Rose’s future, it simply appears to be a gimmick connected to the Olympic games.
It’s not a comedy, in fact it deals with some very dark themes – child abuse, and I’m not sure Doctor Who is the appropriate show to be bringing up these issues on. I refer to Chloe’s (Abisola Agbaje) father, who is dead, but brought to life by Chloe because everything she draws is brought to life. In fact I had a similar story where pictures were brought to life by a very curious demon, named Dean. It wasn’t nearly as dark as this story.
The Doctor lights the Olympic flame. Makes sense to me.
Then we have the Tennant and Piper double act on song with their massive egos barely being contained on widescreen. This culminates with the Doctor lighting the Olympic flame in the stadium and feeling damned pleased about it himself. The Doctor has always had a big ego, but the way David Tennant has expressed it in the series has been a big issue for me. Rose does nothing to tone it down, in fact she is always encouraging him.
So basically, I liked the central concept. A small lifeform empathising with Chloe, and joining with her. I didn’t like the way the Doctor (and to a lesser extent Rose) pushed his way through the story telling people what to do. The setting was uninspiring and the material does fill the 45 minutes well.

Army of Ghosts/Doomsday

Rose and her Mum. 

The series finale sees the return of the Cybermen, of Mickey, of Pete Tyler and the Daleks. Yes, Doctor Who fans can go ‘squeeee!’ because finally their wt dreams have come true – the Daleks fighting the Cybermen. Who will win? Well, as it turns out the Daleks are basically invincible and the Cybermen are not. So in the end it’s really like the Daleks fighting humans. Which in the end is disappointing.
They're back!
I liked elements, I disliked elements, I don’t know if it was better or worse than the previous finale. There’s less of a build to this one, besides a throw-away line in ‘The Satan Pit’ where Rose is told she is going to die soon. Naturally this is a play on words, the episode starts with Piper’s short monologue about this being the story of how she died, except it isn’t. Which in some ways is a disappointment, not because I wanted her to die, but that’s where you think the story is going and the
And so are they!
way they get out of it – she ends up in a different dimension – is really a ‘cheat’ in my book.
We start with the Doctor and Rose arriving on modern day earth with Jackie Tyler telling them that Rose’s Grandfather appears as a ghost to her and they discover that ghosts are regularly appearing everywhere nowadays. Again, I hate to harp on about this, but Davies makes Jackie out to be a complete moron. And then he plays on that! The Doctor is then making jokes about her intelligence and her age. When she comes face to face with Pete Tyler (Shaun Dingwell) from the other dimension, she keeps asking about how rich he is. It’s truly awful. She’s written as a dumb, old blonde. And it becomes really hard to believe Pete is in love with her. She could have been written as a strong single mother, but she never has been. Anyways, enough about her.
See ya round like a rissole!
The Cybermen have seeped through from the other dimension via the void because of the Daleks ‘void-ship’. There are four Daleks inside, the ‘cult of Skaro’. Inside the ship they have the ‘Genesis Arc’. An interesting title, a Time Lord ‘device’, it is in fact a prison full of millions of Daleks. Groan. Why call it the Genesis Ark? It makes no sense. It has nothing to do with beginnings at all. Just a cool-sounding title.
So we are treated to Daleks massacring Cybermen in the great battle which for this reason is disappointing. I would have expected to win, but if it was going to be so easy why bother showing it. Then Davies gives the Daleks a bunch of cheesy lines ‘This isn’t war, this is pest control.’ for example.
And it's goodbye to Rose as well. 
Finally, the Doctor has to close the gap to the void and send all the Daleks and Cybermen into it. All except Rose head to the alternate Earth, Rose stays with the Doctor. But in an act of heroism, she has to pull the lever back to the central position to keep the door open, and is rescused by Pete Tyle (no idea how) at the final millisecond and has to live the rest of her life in another dimension.
The Doctor makes one last – projected – visit to see her and we get a final scene full of tears. It’s sad and dramatic, and a little bit overdone. It’s not too bad and after the ride of the previous two series, we had to expect something along these lines.
The story works on most levels, but it’s not brilliant either. I felt it didn’t look as impressive as I expected it to.


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