Sunday, 14 April 2013

Losing My Faith (In Doctor Who)

I've been a Doctor Who fan since the early 1990s, which was an odd time to become one given it was on a hiatus that seemed like it'd never end. I've loved it in all its form since; the New Adventures, the TV movie, BBC Books, Big Finish and New Who. I've enjoyed it even when I've not liked the Doctor (number 9) AND the companion (Rose Tyler). The writing has always kept me interested.

I liked Amy and Rory enough that last series I overlooked how convoluted and forced the series 6 arc felt. And now I like Clara as a character. She's bubbly and just mad enough to fit Matt Smith's Doctor. But I'm absolutely not interested in her backstory which appears to be serving as this series' arc. And to make matters worse, the individual episodes are suffering from what, in my opinion, seems to be some of the worst writing/plotting since the series returned.

Last week we saw singing and a leaf defeat a "God". Yes. Singing. This week we had some fantastic moments with an Ice Warrior stalking a Soviet sub but the ending again fizzled out. I didn't even enjoy the Christmas special. The series feels childish, in a way it hasn't since... well since forever. Even when the series was made for children it seemed more mature than it does at the moment.

And thus I've made a horrific discovery... I no longer look forward to episodes. Oh I still watch them, 20 years of fandom doesn't just disappear over night. But I'm pretty depressed that something I've loved for a very long time is just no longer doing it for me. Maybe I've just moved on.

Game of Thrones on the other hand...

Saturday, 6 April 2013

So... Last Weekend's Telly Was Pretty Good Wasn't It?

First up was the return of series 7 (is this season 33?) of Doctor Who. For some reason I've been gradually losing heart with the direction of Doctor Who. It's becoming too clever for it's own good, in my opinion. Sometimes I just want a story with character development but not too much timey-wimeyness. Don't get me wrong, there's obviously place for timey-wimeyness in Doctor Who. But not all the time. So I started watching The Bells of Saint John more out of duty than pleasure and was not expecting to like it quite as much as I did.

Best episode ever? Hell no. But solid, enjoyable and rewatchable? Absolutely. Celia Imrie was an excellent villain, the episode sort of had thematic similarities to "Partners In Crime" and I'm liking the emergence of a proper "Big Bad" for the series in the form of the Great Intelligence. It hasn't made me fall completely back in love with the Doctor's adventures but it gave me a big slap in the face and told me to stop moaning and just bloody enjoy them!

Second came the season 3 finale of The Walking Dead. Here's another show I've fallen out of love with. It's not that it isn't following the comic storyline close enough; I quite enjoy the "surprise" of things going differently. But it just seems to be too decompressed. They could develop the characters just as much and tell the same story but in far fewer episodes (and I'm never usually one to call for less episodes). And whereas I was hoping for a final climatic battle, or at least some solid conclusion to this chapter of the story, all we got was a bit of a damp squib. Plus this series they first ruined and then in this episode killed my favourite character. There wasn't even a cliffhanger, just a set up for the next series. *sigh*

And then finally came the series 3 opening episode of Game of Thrones. There was no trepidation on my part in watching this, I've been waiting for this way too eagerly to be totally healthy. And it delivered, excellent story as ever and I'm (not having read the books) putting my flag firmly in Daenerys corner. Awesome, awesome, awesome. I just want more and more!

And this week, on a Twitter recommendation, I decided to watch the 3-parter "In The Flesh". My geeky love of zombies meant I'd heard about it but every blog post I saw on it as about how it was some lovey-dovey zombie story and I wasn't into that. How wrong those previews were. It was fantastic take on a less explored area of zombie lore... what happens if the zombies (or "rotters") are "cured"? Emotional and dark, the final minutes of the last episode had me quite teary. I cannot recommend this enough.

Genre TV is good these days :)