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Your show had a ranting Trig.

That is all.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Dear Neill Harris:

you are an insane wronghead beyond all hope of redemption.

That is all.
I think you have a problem with your brain being missing.
Not at all! I know exactly where my brain is. It's over here. Somewhere. I'm sure I left it there...
whazza Trig?
Maths thingy, isn't it? All about triangles.
Thizza Trig.
oooooh-kay.

Is that bad then?

(whistles innocently, has hardly ever watched Fools & Horses, quite enjoyed the ep, was at least glad it was a two-parter finally.)
OK, some unpacking clearly needed here.

1. Last year, the definitive rebuttal of choice to any wrongheaded Who fan was "your show had a running pig".

2. Roger Lloyd-Pack was appalling in tonight's episode. Irredeemably bad.

(As for the rest of the episode: a horrible humourless mish-mash with a few redeeming visuals.)
I liked the running pig. Granted, many others did not, but that's their problem.

I thought the bit where they were upgrading the terrified humans will-they nill-they was v good, especially the shot of a dark satanic Battersea Powerstation. And I'm a sucker for alternative universes generally.
I'm not entirely certain why the humans were screaming, given that five seconds previously they had been under complete mind control, but yes, that sequence was effect.

As an alternate universe, though ... meh. It felt like an excuse to throw together a number of things they wanted to do an episode about without any particular thought applied to the process. I didn't find it convincing. (And frankly, if you're going to do an alternate London and then the only difference is that there are zeppelins, you've wasted an opportunity. And I say this as someone who likes zeppelins.)

Oh, and two particular details that annoyed me: "We are humans point two" -- no, you mean 2.0, I think -- and the fact that everyone stopped moving during the download. Why? How? Why?
You're just determined not to like Dr. Who, aren't you? I mean, no matter what they do, they could make an universally acclaimed episode, and you still wouldn't like it just because it's Dr. Who. You madman.
Go on, then. Defend this episode.
It had CYBERMEN! :D

Alright. Serious hat on for a second.

It didn't come anywhere near the depths of stupidity that RTD episodes have reached. The writing and plotting was sound; perhaps a little slow, but that can be forgiven a bit because it's a two-part episode, and I suspect it wouldn't have seemed so slow if we hadn't all been wondering when the Cybermen were going to appear already.

Having an alternatve universe is a great way of having a new, fresh take on the Cybermen without having to be slaves to continuity. That 'London' was still recognisably 'London' but with subtle changes was the best way they could have done it. They surely don't have the budget to have made a drastically different 'London', and it might have alienated the less SF-fans of viewers. Given that we had Zeppelins, the strange new internet/cyber ear-plug things, and a new Ricky, I don't think they wasted anything.

Sure, some things may perhaps have been a bit odd. 0.2 instead of 2.0, or the 'death of the Tardis'/'oh not, it's alive!' part of the plot getting zipped right through, but such things can be forgiven as they're very minor, in the grand scale of things.

But yes, you had a nice, effective build-up throughout the episode, you got Rose dealing with her not!parents and related conflict, and Mickey/Ricky got to show us that he actually has acting chops. And ultimately, we had CYBERMEN. Really ace looking Cybermen too.

If I was to try and be a little more objective, I'd say that it perhaps wasn't as good as the Gitface. But it had CYBERMEN, which clearly trumps all. And if you can't love that, then you have no soul.
the Gitface

\o/

That said, it is daft that everyone stops when the 'download' happens (what if you're driving? Or running down the stairs?).

Agree with you that it ticked all the boxes that could reasonably be expected re: the AU stuff, given the premise they're trying to get across. Mickey was great this episode, as he has been since 'School Reunion', but I could really do with less of Rose's parent!angst. I really could.

(what if you're driving? Or running down the stairs?).

I was sort of assuming that the cars could be automated. Did we actually see anyone but the rebels driving their cars?

Agree with you that it ticked all the boxes that could reasonably be expected re: the AU stuff

My problem was that that was all it did: tick boxes. I didn't get any sense of cohesion, nor any sense that the elements were really playing off each other. The problem with the RoseAngst, for instance, was not that it was RoseAngst, but that it wasn't particularly different from RoseAngst we'd seen before--and I can't help thinking that given that this is an alternate universe, that doesn't quite ring true.
It didn't come anywhere near the depths of stupidity that RTD episodes have reached.

As a general rule, using 'it's not as bad as [this other terrible thing]' as your first line of defence is not terribly convincing. :p

See reply to Tim for a bit more on the AU stuff. As for the rest ...

But yes, you had a nice, effective build-up throughout the episode,

Not really. I've seen people saying how great it is to have a proper Who story with the cliffhanger, but there wasn't really anything in the episode to justify the extra length. What we got in terms of plot was pretty simple, and really quite predictable (the only thing that was bit surprising was Mickey bumping into his counterpart), and I didn't feel that we got depth of worldbuilding or characterisation to compensate. Last week's episode did a huge amount more, for instance.

you got Rose dealing with her not!parents and related conflict,

Did we? I saw Rose reacting to her not!parents in, again, fairly predictable ways, but I don't think we got much in the way of dealing. Of course, there's part two yet to come, but I'm not sure that's much of an excuse--what has been set up for her to deal with, after all? The fact that they're not really her parents? There isn't anything that transfers to the rest of her life (unlike, for all its faults, 'Father's Day'), so I'm not sure what the point of the story is aside from the angst in itself.

and Mickey/Ricky got to show us that he actually has acting chops.

Well, a bit, anyway. But this was vaguely interesting. And you're right about the direction being competent, but that's really all it was. And a lot of the dialogue and acting was pretty poor this week--I'm tempted to say it was Tennant's weakest performance yet, but I think that's at least in part because he was handed such a flat script.

And ultimately, we had CYBERMEN. Really ace looking Cybermen too.

These would be the cybermen who were slow, unwieldy, and didn't have ranged weapons, so that the only reason Our Heroes got captured was that they stood there talking while the metal men lumbered up to surround them? I wasn't terribly impressed, to be honest. They did look cool, yes, but they weren't terribly threatening. (Much as I hate to admit it, 'Dalek' did a much better job of establishing a sense of menace.)
I thought the same thing about Tennant's performance. He's been settling in over the last few weeks, but this one felt a bit half-hearted. No idea which order they filmed the episodes.

The script, generally, was very weak - as if they hammered out the bare bones of a story, then handed it to a writer with no real feel for the material and filmed his first draft.
I thought the same thing about Tennant's performance. He's been settling in over the last few weeks, but this one felt a bit half-hearted.

I may be a Tennant apologist who is just happy he spent half the episode in a tux, but I can't decide if it was Tennant's performance or the script. Certainly he looked to be trying to make a good scene out of the one where he chooses to follow Mickey or Rose, even if it was just hammering home the Mickey-feels-rejected and Rose-is-special plotlines. I've never thought Noel Clarke was a bad actor, more that Mickey seemed to be written specifically to annoy me, and when he does get good stuff to do he's up to the part.

I'm going to blame it on Tom McRae.
I don't really see the need to have apologists for Tennant - I think he's great. Yes he can be a bit lurchy in emotional tone, but that's exactly what people were saying about Eccleston in his first few episodes, and he's getting better and better. Even this week, while the script was fairly inspid, had a sold performance from Tennant. He simply didn't have much chance to make an impact.
He WAS great in the tux - this is the first ep I saw why people are falling in coils over him..
Whereas Billie Piper is MUCH better in jeans than short skirts.
yes this is about the most profound thing I have to say about the ep :-)
I was gonna react to Nick, but now I don't have to. Ta.
The writing and plotting was sound; perhaps a little slow, but that can be forgiven a bit because it's a two-part episode, and I suspect it wouldn't have seemed so slow if we hadn't all been wondering when the Cybermen were going to appear already.

This is making excuses for the inexcusable. Only people who have been living in a box for decades wouldn't have known about the Cybermen, and can you honestly say that Who fans wouldn't have known from the teaser onwards what this was all about? Really?

And a double-feature is never an excuse for piss-poor plot in the first half. If you don't have enough material, don't write a 2-parter.

For the rest, I refer you to Niall's reply.

Besides, yes, Cybermen and Zeppelins? Cool. But then, crashing a UFO into Big Ben is Cool, and look what that got us...
This was, without a doubt, a vastly superior episode to Aliens of London. The trouble is, that's a low starting benchmark!
All of that is true.
Only people who have been living in a box for decades wouldn't have known about the Cybermen

*waves*

Some of us weren't born, or raised, in the UK, you know. And I suspect that there are plenty of people who were born and raised in the UK who wouldn't know what the hell you're talking about.

You know, I really think that the reason I enjoyed this episode while everyone else here is bemoaning it is that I had zero investment in the Cybermen concept. And frankly, having seen what this episode did with them (and having watched the Confidential for this episode which included scenes from previous Cybermen adventures) I really don't see what the fuss is about. They're just daft metal monsters - they can menace, but I don't see that any pathos is going to be coming from their direction.
*waves back*

I'm well aware of that, seeing as I'm neither british, nor have I ever lived in the UK ;-) I suspect we've got similar Who-watching 'pedigrees', for what little it's worth.

The Cybermen were on the cover of the Radio Times, the Beeb's teasers have been pretty revealing, and I go on the crazy assumption anyone writing about Who on the web has seen mention of the darn things before. My knoweldge of Cybermen was pretty much "important nemesis, robot/cyborg thingys, people seem to think they're cool".

To clarify, I'm not a really a fan, I've never seen any pre-Eccleston-Who, and while I agree with your assesment of the Cyberman concept, I just thought this week's offering was downright poor except for some selected pretty visuals. I wasn't exactly bored or offended by its badness (it wasn't 'Aliens of London'), but it didn't press any of the plot or character buttons in interesting ways.
Sorry, I see I didn't read your post carefully - I thought you were talking about the Cybermen as a concept, not the fact of their appearance in this episode (which the title was rather going to give away in any case).

That said, I think the other reason that I enjoyed this episode more than other people here seem to have is that the media blitz pretty much passed me by. I knew, obviously that this episode was about the Cybermen ("important nemesis, robot/cyborg thingys, people seem to think they're cool" sounds about right), but the marketing buildup, or even the second hand reporting of same, didn't really reach me.
That other comment? Me.
And you have to say that the "In the Jungle" sequence was just great.
2. Roger Lloyd-Pack was appalling in tonight's episode. Irredeemably bad.

He was, wasn't he? And right from the teaser too, which shows impressive commitment if nothing else.

Actually he alternated between ludicrously over-the-top, and bad-but-bearable. Taken as a whole it was all much too much.
He really did seem just like the OTT bad guys they show in clips of old episodes. I did wonder for a minute whether it was meant to be knowing and ironic, but decided it was just bad.
The thing is, while Ye Olde Doctor Nameth Who had plenty of hammy performances from aliens and robots, the human baddies generally weren't this one-note. Or maybe it's my failing memory.
That was exactly my thought too. And I *was* around at the time. Basic black hat / white hat stuff with added scenery chewing.
My thought was: "Oh, we can still have evil crippled geniuses these days, after all." Maybe it's supposed to be 'ronic.
Yes, took me ages to get this as I generally never watch Fools and Horses. :-)
I did keep expecting him to call Pete Tyler "Dave", I must admit... ;-)
Heh.
I appeared and I didn't even know about it??
I have to admit when he said Trig you were the first person that came to mind *g*
Yes. The Doctor was terrified of you.
Just a thought ... does anyone else wonder about the fact that Paul Cornell and Rob Shearman were not asked back to write for series 2 (and Moffatt only got a single episode)?

I don't know about the pedigree of Macrae and the other new writers, and Paul et al still seem close to the current team (they've not hinted at problems during their con appearances and they were at the series 2 premiere). And hopefully they will write for series 3. But it still seems odd to drop people who've written some of the best episodes. I can't help feeling that Paul and Rob have a better understanding of what needs to be done than some of their replacements ...
I'm sure I heard that Paul Cornell would be a producer on the show in Season 3.
Paul Cornell has been comissioned to write a two-parter for season three. There's a mention of it on his blog.
Cool! Good news for Paul and for the series I think ... and he's a really nice guy / fan of course.
I can't believe it... I actually _agree_ with you about this episode of Dr. Who!!!

2 episodes - pointless! Broken Tardis? Well, if they do something with that in part 2, maybe not pointless.
The Roseangst - well, it would be out of character for her not to try to talk to her mom and dad... she is curious about what they would be like together, and okay, she isn't around in this universe, but the idea that this otherwise idealistic vision of her parents (being together) might be threatened by them splitting up, she is bound to want to interfere a bit, so I'll let that pass.

Missed a bit though, due to ill-timed phone calls, so i'm prepared to have got the wrong end of the stick.

Still enjoying it though.
Indeed!

Is it just me or has this series become just a host of bad jokes:
'Oh My God I'm a chav!'
Rose as a dog
etc?