Friday, 4 January 2013

Overview: Doctor Who: Season 17

Also known as, "The main actors are bonking Season."
Written 7/10/12

I hated Season 17. Not entirely, not a vicious burning hatred like I feel whenever Ten does that weird "hoyes" thing, but certainly I didn't like it in a way that's a tad odd for me to comprehend. I mean, surely I like bad Doctor Who, so what's the problem when it's as bad as this? Well, it's the type of Bad that's the problem. Because I can't tell whether Douglas Adams was trying or not. Trust me, I love the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, but I just couldn't stand the way that this series went at all. The reason why I wanted to do Season 17 before popping back to Season 12 as I had planned to is simply that I wanted to know why JNT made Season 18 the way he did. Season 17 has provided me with more reasons than I really wanted.
     Firstly, the Bidmead issue. While Bidmead's attempts to add more science to the series were ultimately laughable in how far they fell from reality despite using semi-realistic jargon, they are a million miles closer than this season. Even when it comes to things that have been in the series forever, Season 17 has such a weak grasp on reality that it's clear to see why that was the first thing that Bidmead and JNT jumped on in their attempts to "fix" the series. The Daleks aren't robots, life didn't start 400 million years ago (t'was muchas earlier), you can't really eat cholorphyll and for goodness sake, if you keep a bunch of paintings locked up in a dusty cellar, they're gonna get ruined. I don't mind things not being 100% scientifically accurate, but when it gets to the point where it affects the story, you have to draw a line.
     The worst story of the season by far was either The Creature From The Pit or The Horns of Nimon. The first had a decent sci-fi idea that could have been awesome if it came anywhere close to being executed correctly. The latter is absolutely dreadful in a way that's very easy to udnerstand - poorly made, poorly executed, poorly written and fucking poor on every level. I could at least laugh at some of the ridiculous phallic stuff in Creature From The Pit, Horns of Nimon is 100 long minutes of boring as shit story, punctuated by terrible production mistakes and some of the worst line reads in the show's history.
Nimon fucked me over. It was the last straw, and I
had very few straws reserved for Season 17
in the first place.
     The only redeeming story in the season is probably, and I didn't think I'd be saying this down the line, Destiny of the Daleks. It's imbued with a sense of fun that the rest of this series tries to emulate but ends up lacking drastically. All of the weird jokes and bad humour - they just seem to work better here. Romana comes out better because Lalla's got the character right, the Doctor comes out better because I'm not tired of him yet, and despite the shoddy production and weird attacks upon Dalek history, there's never a dull moment. That was this season's biggest failing. Instead of being dull with lots of great ideas, like Season 18, it was dull with a lot of bad ideas, and so many stories left me with no impact whatsoever.


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