Thursday, 2 January 2014


This is a new infrequent series about me…ranting (comically).
Title kinda covers that, doesn’t it? Oh well. Rants about what? Whatever you guys feel needs to be ranted about or what I feel needs to be ranted about. This first installment covers Doctor Who, specifically Series 7 and 8. 

Series Seven is officially part of the past. What made it different to the other seasons? Run you clever boy? The Doctor’s biggest secret? Nope! It was the concept of making every week feel like an outing to the cinema. Did it work? Let’s have a look! 

The Movie of the Week Schick relied on the various writers of Doctor Who each picking a successful movie and bringing Doctor Who into the mix. Alien became Cold War, Snakes on a Plane became Dinosaurs on a Spaceship and Cowboys and Aliens became A Town Called Mercy, and they’re not the only ones. There’s more. If you look hard enough, you’ll discover that every episode has its roots in some successful motion picture.  

Now the idea to imitate something that’s already successful and magically transforming it into something else is a notion that has been around since…well ever! In fact, a lot of TV Shows these days implement the same strategy on a weekly basis. Psych and Castle often base their episodes on certain themes that have been prevalent in real world entertainment. The twenty-first century is a very good example of this actually. Anyone remember an abomination called High School Musical? It inspired musicals everywhere to be written and filmed. Worse of them all is the brutal slaughter of vampires throughout the fictional universe. I mean it! Vampires are officially, completely dead AND un-horrifying once they come back to life. Instead, people feel the need to want to fall in love with the blood suckers. I can understand the lure though: I mean who wouldn’t want to repeat the twelfth grade like a hundred freaking times? Even Doctor Who is guilty of the vampire lure. Vampires in Venice anyone? 
Now we move away from the carbon copy aspect and talk about the execution. Did it work? The short is uh. The long answer is…well it’s longer than the short answer I assure you. Short answer: uh. The setup for Series 7 was probably the worst of any series so far. There was an inhumanly large gap between Series 6 and Series 7 Part 1 and then another large one between Series 7 Part 1 and Part 2. No human should ever have to wait that long for anything – not even for death! For me, it was like standing in line at the ATM with everyone in front of me experiencing the joys of automated cash machines for the very first time and not having a clue how the blasted machine worked – at all! Most people (not fans) just decided to give up waiting and watch something else. 
Something else people! You don’t want your audience uttering those words...ever! Let’s ignore the reason for the split for a moment…actually…no, let’s not. It’s a silly reason to split Doctor Who and even harder to imagine Doctor Who not making the BBC enough money to warrant two full seasons over two years, because let’s face it: Doctor Who is the flagship show of the BBC and the fattest cash cow they have. The idea of not feeding your golden goose accordingly just screams poor caregiver. 
Another thing that people found alarming is that unlike the 90 minute timeframes of the movies Doctor Who was imitating every week, the episodes lacked their movie counterpart’s length. This led to Rushed Episode Syndrome where the plot managed to fix itself within seconds. You’re a clever plot! Yes you are. Yes you are. Some writers were skilled enough to handle the movie of the week format (cough* Steven Moffat cough* Toby Whithouse), while others had less success (cough* Chris Chibnall).  

A couple of things that could’ve improved some of the less successful stories (cough* Power of Three) would’ve been a longer episode. No, I’m not saying two-parters! I’m not getting into that debate. I’m saying that the episodes could’ve each been a little longer. Perhaps having fourteen one-hour episodes instead? Because you can do loads with an extra fifteen minutes. It’s true. The Doctor even said so in The Big Bang. He might’ve mentioned twelve, but I don’t really care. Why the BBC couldn’t allow fifteen minutes’ worth of extra footage to be jammed into the episode is a question best left up to the man on the moon. On a serious note though, it does seem like one of those stupid things that sound clever in the beginning to not make the episodes the reasonable size by not putting more footage into it. But let’s remember which cash cow we’re dealing with here. It’s Doctor Who. It’s not like it’s been around for 50 years or anything like that. 
Lastly, let’s ask ourselves a very important question: Would you like this movie of the week thing to be used again?  
I would!  
There’s a film every week, so you only have to think up the Doctor Who bits and there’s loads more things that could work with Doctor Who. How about Doctor Who meets The Expendables? We could get a bunch of really old Doctor Who actors and make them unrealistically unstoppable for one episode and then put them back on a bus until we decide to make a sequel next season where they’re even more unrealistically unstoppable. There’s Doctor Who and the Hobbit. We get a bunch of characters to all go on a ridiculously long quest that spans three seasons – barefoot! Clearly I’d be cast as the villain in this one; all the while killing some of them off while they’re facing all manner of strange and bizarre monsters – barefoot! 
Oh! Doctor Who and the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. With this one, we can get down to the serious storylines. Robert Downey J. or Benedict Cumberbatch joins forces with the Doctor in an attempt to solve the mystery of why Series 7 was spread over two years. There’s always the television route. The Doctor could assemble his own Avenger army by inviting all manner of strange, eccentric, quirky characters like a phony psychic, a super OCD detective, a mystery writer who solves crimes and a medical doctor, who is rude and obnoxious to everyone else. They could call themselves the Eccentrics! No? How about The Eccentrables? The E-Team?  

Joking aside, personally, I liked Series 7. I have similar criticisms as everyone else, but for the most part, it was a strong season. There were hiccup episodes, but let’s face it: there are always hiccup episodes. If they manage to make the episodes fit the size of the story they’re trying to tell, give me no series splits or at least realistic splits and one season per year – throw in some awesome movie posters like they had in Series 7 – then bring it on! The above have all been done before, so it’s not asking for the moon or stars (although those are also on my list). This has been my very first Random Rants! Tell me what you think in the comment section and what you feel should be next on the list and don’t forget to share and tweet and expand this site.

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