Monday, April 23, 2007

"New Amsterdam, New Amsterdam?"

Hmm, Daleks in Manhattan. There were Daleks, they were in Manhattan, and thus was the Trade Descriptions Act of 1968 not broken. I tentatively give it... 7 out of 10. (Next to which, Smith & Jones is definitely an 8, while Gridlock can be fixed down to a 6. My opinion of The Shakespeare Code is endorsed by the fact that The Lovely Jo had forgotten about it just a fortnight later.) I may come back to this rating after next week's episode, but overall... hmm. Alas, the Daleks didn't sing, but Dalek Sec did dance a bit (well, it looked like dancing). And then he turned into a Monoid with dreadlocks.

There was much to recommend it, certainly - just some things I didn't like. The episode dragged quite a bit in the middle. It took about thirty seconds for all the female cast and their voices to get thoroughly on my Dalek balls. Almost including Martha, sadly - whenever she's acting "excited", her voice does this odd Bonnie Tyler thing, and her believability suddenly drops. In all other respects, she's bearing up very well - once again, we see that she's smart, resourceful, and open-minded enough to chase a pig hybrid with the words "You're not like the others!" More good news: David Tennant's finally nailed "angry", with that lovely line "They always survive, while I lose everything." On the other hand, there were quite a few dialogue wobbles. Most notably (and unfortunately) that final line. Lovely prosthetics, dodgy line.

Ways in which the final line could have been worse (just about):
"I am Manlek, son of Dalek!"
"Heeeeeeeeere's Dalek!"
"Hi, and welcome to the show - I'm Jay Leno."

Of course, the real sin is that the shock ending was given away on Tuesday by the Radio Times - fules! Whose decision? Russell T's, according to the interview. Was this just a stupid mistake, or an act of sabotage? Still, to play devil's advocate for a minute, if I hadn't known what was coming I'd've fallen right off my chair, so maybe, just maybe this was an attempt to avoid traumatising the kiddies (too much) by preparing them for the ending. Generosity leans towards stupidity, however.

News amusement this week: Sheryl Crow suggests that, to conserve paper, people should only use one sheet of toilet paper a time. Clearly Sheryl Crow has never shat. Either that or she just doesn't care, and the inside of her undercrackers looks like the Somme. Still though... perhaps if someone could devise an alternative to toilet paper? Yes, it's time for the three seashells. It's the last thing standing between us and the world of Demolition Man.


Ben said...

Bonnie Tyler? You mean her voice goes low and gravelly? Hadn't noticed.

Have never seen Demolition Man, so had to look up the three seashells reference. Now wish I hadn't.

John Toon said...

Well... sort of croaky. Perhaps it's just me then.

As for the three seashells, I'm glad to have informed. I didn't actually know how they were supposed to work either, until I looked up the Wikipedia entry. The film remains mercifully coy about the whole process.

Siskoid said...

Jay Leno!!! Yes! LOL! I thought that too.

I just found you blog via Paul Cornell's so I'm catching up on your thoughts (sorry I'm late). At the time, Manhattan made me edgy, but I think Evolution redeemed it despite being "big and stupid".

But the story takes place in America, so what do you expect? ;)

John Toon said...

It's the chin, isn't it? And the suit that looks like he's been sleeping rough in it.