Well, this have been brewing for awhile, and i've watched the episodes several times, so i stick by my review. so here goes...
The domestic side of the new series was fine for the first few episodes, but this far in, it really pisses me off, but this one wasn't as bad, its short and sweet, and gives me some hope that RTD actually reads these things, and has altered his writing accordingly. Lets hope.
The Ghost opening was pretty good, and helped to set the scene nicely, and i quite liked the idea that this had been going on for while before the story starts, and the images of the kids playing with the ghosts in the background was good, but it does make you wonder why they were playing with ghosts. The ultimate crap goalie perhaps?
The inclusion of Torchwood just annoyed me. Why is the new series so obsessed with it? There's already a spin off of it, isn't that enough screen time? If this continues, the show will end up with: 'DOCTOR WHO, SPIN OFF FROM TORCHWOOD', pasted all over the screen, with a dancing captain jack in the corner. The one redeeming part of Torchwood was the almost super Nazi feel to the organization, mixed in with a dull office atmosphere, which was worrying.
Cybermen behind walls of plastic, what can i say, that was one of my favorite parts, a nice bit of homage, but not to obvious, and interwoven into the story quite well. The return of the ear pods was quite cool to, but why nobody notices when someone has got two blue tooth attachments on completely baffles me.
Earlier i said that the domestic stuff was really getting on my pecks, but i must admit that seeing jackie tyler fill the companions role a bit was a joy to behold, especially when the Doctor blatantly slagged her off like that. Fun fun fun!
Which leads me to the more interesting companion bit; the sneaking around part, where we can all shout things at the screen like: 'don't go in there!'. But i did sadly notice another plot wrinkle, which is why is the security computer fooled by psychic paper? I mean how many computers have proper, easily confused gooey brains in them? apart from the Cybermen, but thats different.
And right when Rose is caught, who is sadly there to rescue her? Bloody Micky Bloody Smith! I lost about 20 quid to a mate when i bet he would get killed in Age of Steel, ala Adric, and when we left him in the with Byker Grove guy, i sighed with relief, and then the useless git returns like the ghost of beans on bath-night.
I'm generally painted a bad picture of this, which is a shame really, as there is a lot of good stuff, flying around, but too many plot wrinkles and irritating scenes and characters keep popping up, ruining my enjoyment, but all that was dispelled in viewing, with the presence of the sphere, the impossible void ship thought to be a theory by the Doctor (despite the TARDIS can do it in the Mind Robber), opens up a spews forth the Daleks. Well that was great on viewing, and with the Cybermen taking over the world outside, well that got me on the edge of my seat that did.
In the week gap though, i thought to myself: 'i hope the Daleks aren't going to steal the show from the Cybermen.' Well sadly they did, and in my opinion, thats down to writing, the insistence that CGI can make anything great, and the new Cybermen.
Now, i love the Cybermen, and if they ever invade this world, i'll let them in and give them leave to marry my sister any-day, but these ones, well.
1) the head's too small, and doesn't have any moving bits like the classic Cybermen. Even if it is a letter box, its still quite disturbing to see the words come out with nothing moving. Now they just have a light in the same shade of blue which seems to be the show's favorite type of light, and reminds me too much of the Daleks, leading to...
2) Delete! Delete! Extermin- err Delete! the Cybermen were cool in their own right, it isn't necessary for them to copy the Daleks Russell!
3) Stomping. This can actually work if used well (Rise in the Cybermen), but its over used. If one Cyberman needs to pull a lever, why doesn't it just walk over and pull it, as opposed to: STOMP STOMP STOMP STOMP pull the lever STOMP STOMP. Its just a bit too much half the time
4) the wrist guns. True, the Cybermen needed a ranged weapon, but a stick crudely attached with probably Cybus elastic bands, which fire something strait out of Flash Gordon? That part of the head linking the handles is just begging to slide down to reveal a gun nozzle, and let off a burst of proper energy beams, crackling with electricity instead of some noise from a Pac Man arcade. At least it isn't Doctor Who Blue i suppose.
Rant over. For the moment.
The opening to Doomsday is cool, i must say, making the point to the audience that the world was screwed big time, and that was only the start of it in Torchwood tower. the Genesis ark was satisfactorily mysterious (i thought i might of been Davros, or the Master, now that would've of been good), and the Dalek saying 'which of you is least important was inspired. What wasn't though was the Dalek smack talk. Wa? Now true the Daleks are right arrogant buggers, but they don't need to say stuff like that. I did half expect one to say: 'so is your mother' and Chris Rock or Mr T to leap out of one, to the gasps of all.
This was a subtle ploy to put the public on the side of the Daleks, allowing the Cybermen to sound like a wimpy kid at school, a generally the new kid to evil world domination, genocide etc.
Then, a bright light of hope for Cyber fans everywhere.
The bridge bit was cool, and damn well, shot (apart from the wrist guns), and the Cyberleaders speech about removing fear, color, nationality etc was a joy to behold, putting the whole idea of the Cybermen into a neatly packaged nutshell.
Oh and then they got absolutely slaughtered by the Daleks and Byker Grove kid, leading to yet another 'Pete Tyler turns up' part. Now Shaun Dingwall is a great actor, and plays the part well, and the part itself isn't that bad, just a bit overused, and once he turned up, well him and Jackie was obviously going to happen wasn't it.
Micky again cocks everything up by touching the ark, and then it turns out to be a bit like a TARDIS. Good idea. which spews forth thousands of CGI Daleks, lifted strait from A Parting of Ways. Bad idea.
Dalek showed us that the metal meanies work great with only one of them. having four (the cult of Skaro, that was a cool idea) would of upped the stakes enough, and leaves at least one to be dramatically destroyed. Now I'm not sure, but to my knowledge, none are destroyed until the climax, even when the humans and Cybermen team up (pure bollocks in my opinion).
The Cybermen get absolutely minced, so it should of been fair to have at least one Dalek get killed. Just imagine in the hanger fight, if a Cyberman had just punched a hole through a Dalek, which promptly blows up, engulfing them both in flames. If the Cybermen have super human strength, why don't they use the stuff, instead of stick gun?
Then comes the end, with the sadly simple: 'hey lets open the gateway and sweep them into the void?' A great explanation for the 3D glasses, bringing the Doctor's eccentric's to the fore, but just too simple, At least in A Parting of Ways, there's a build up to the simple idea. The stakes are way too high to be resolved with a clever idea, so why aren't the stakes lowered, ever so slightly, to get a satisfactory ending? 'Cos then we wouldn't be able to use CGI!'
Torchwood boss's conversion and revolt, was surprising, and damn good in my opinion, although it does suggest the Cybermen rushed their conversion a bit, but still, a nice play on the tear motif.
And then Rose dies. But not really. I suppose you can't kill her off, but what a cheat! 'This is the story of how i died.' Bah.
Now, i have now made myself seem the bitterest man in history, and i know there are some great bits in these two stories, but they've already been reviewed to death, so here i've covered the bad bits that haven't, that dark things spawned in the corners of the universe, if you will.
A final passing shot, it is now my firm belief that if you asked an eight year old which their 2 favorite Doctor Who monsters are, they will promptly say the Daleks and the Slitheen. Thank you RTD, if your goal was to make Kit Pedler spin in his grave, victory is yours. I know that the Daleks are top dog, and Cybermen are traditionally 2nd best, but give them a proper chance a least, instead of chucking the silver giants into a jewelry auction for 3p. A story for series 3 i think, when both monsters are both proven to be kick ass in their own right, and able to handle a story on their own.
I wonder what the Ice Warriors will chant?