Friday, June 27, 2008

Doctor Who: Midnight

A belated and very short review...

The Good: It was creepy, claustrophobic, and overall, clever. The Doctor was in more actual and convincing danger than he has been in a long time.

The story did a good job of establishing these people as a normal group of people--they had no Deep Dark Secrets, weren't psychotic, were not alien plants. They were just ordinary, mostly friendly people on a holiday. Their turn to paranoia was thus unexpected and chilling, and it worked.

The brief exposure to the real Skye. I liked her. Her fear was believable, I wanted her saved, and I was sorry when she died.

The Bad: The sacrifice-of-the-week. I mean, really. These days it's like they're auctioning off the chance to sacrifice oneself for The Doctor ("For only $999 you too can bring a tear to his eye!"). It's getting old.

The So-so:

Not identifying the alien and giving no indication of its motives. I hate to nitpick this, I really do. I mean, I understand atmosphere, and I have been known to get all bent out of shape over the contemporary insistence that everything in a story have a logical, scientific explanation. But... but. Here we have beings who are alive where there is no life and never has been life--ok, I'm willing to believe that; Doctor Who is all about the unexpected. But... these unexpected aliens (or maybe alien singular) recognize warm-blooded, corporeal-type beings as life right away and have the ability to possess them, the desire to do so, and the malignant wish to drive them mad. Why? Do they make a hobby of driving one another mad? Do brain waves all look alike in the dark? What is going on? Why target the Doctor first? It's not a completely insurmountable difficulty, but it niggles.

The Doctor not knowing the Hostess' name. Our gregorious outgoing Doctor? No way. And why wasn't she wearing a name tag anyway? And am I supposed to wonder this in the middle of a really touching (semi-cliched) line?

The completely unfair complaint of the week: No Donna. There is no way the story would have worked with her present, the Doctor had to be isolated for it to play out. But we only have Donna for a very short time, I'm barely reconciled to that, and I thus reserve the right to quite arbitrarily resent any show without her.

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