Thursday, June 28, 2007

"Let the work of government begin."

Did Gordon Brown watch Saturday's Who? If not, his choice of soundbite this morning - "Let the work of change begin" - seems a little... uncanny. Still, in he goes, and out goes Anthony "Tony" "Yo" Blair, and not before time. Don't you think he looks old? I tell you, it's the third term that does it. It's always the third term that pushes them over the edge - even Thatcher somehow managed to become more mad after her third election. It's just not healthy for Prime Ministers to cling onto power that long. But anyway.

The Sound of Drums - oooooh, 9 out of 10. But in a tennish kind of way. I think it's the most promising of the three series finales to date - it has the present-day setting that gave Army of Ghosts an urgency and a solidity Bad Wolf didn't have, but without the pile-it-on sensationalism of Cybermen vs Daleks. Plus you've got the political material of Aliens of London without the farting aliens - bonus! The one thing it needs to push it up to a 10 is a really first-rate second half, and I'm quite hopeful.

Top marks to John Simm, the playful Master. He's every bit as much fun to watch as Delgado and Ainley, but I think his is also a more convincing portrayal of sheer universe-destroying insanity than the urbane evil of his predecessors. And hallelujah, no cod "evil" dialogue. (When I think of the prime Captain Bird's-Eye Anthony Ainley used to have to deliver... or even Sir Derek J last week...) The Cabinet gassing scene was good, but second best to Simm opening and closing the door on that screaming journalist. It's funny and evil.

A few random thoughts:

I'm not sure about the Master's taste in music, partly because I didn't recognise it, but mostly because it just seemed odd for him to play a pop song at that moment. (Then again, he did listen to King Crimson in The Mind of Evil.) I'm not familiar with the work of Malcolm "Mac" Fly, but I assume this was something Mr Fly knocked out while he was filming his cameo appearance.

So there are about six billion Toclafane, "every man, woman and child" is involved in their plan for world conquest, it would break the Doctor's hearts to know what they actually are and there's a paradox engine involved. I think I see roughly where this is going. (Actually, the current global population is around 6.6-and-a-bit billion, but if you decimate that figure...)

Shame that, after doing such a splendid job of aging David Tennant in The Family of Blood, the Who crew should give him the puffy, jowly Lazarus look this time. Did they not keep the prosthetics at all?

Yes, I think we all spotted the Captain Scarlet Cloudbase. Destiny Angel, Harmony Angel, Archangel. Well, it fits. And we've talked about Indestructible Captain Harkness before.

So now we know why the Master is the way he is - as a boy he gazed into the Who title sequence, and the theme tune drove him mad. He's just pissed off that he doesn't have his own TV show, that's what it is. (He's certainly doing his best to steal this show, bless him.)


Sarah V said...

The 'here comes the drums' bit, is by 'Rogue Traders', and the track itself is 'Voodoo Child' (isn't wikipedia marvelous? as a side note wiki also noted the 'Mister Saxon' = Master no. six thing a few months ago.)

As to the episode itself, it was good, but you could tell it was written by Russel T Davies, as it didn't have the quality that 'Human Nature' 'Family of Blood' and 'Blink' had. But, as you say, the absence of 'farting aliens' are a bonus. Even if they do remind me of the Vardans from Invasion of Time. I think it must be that little flying balls with pathetic voices maybe just as bad as the oops-we-ran-out-of-special-effects-buget Vardans. Oh yes, and haven't we had enough of deadly chrismas tree ornaments? We've had them every series so far.

Andy said...

Was I the only one to notice that the gassing scene was ripped off from the Tim Burton Batman film? Looking forward to your thoughts on Episode 13.