Doctor Who

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: C | 6 USERS: A

The Doctor sexily says that blowing his own ass to kingdom come is just an occupational hazard, and then they see the dogfighters coming in, and scream about various things as they've been designated previously. "Danny Boy" radios over and over to the Doctor, and he screams how Winston is "a beauty" and they have a big old space fight with some total Star Wars music, and it goes on and on and on. "Tally ho!" they say, and their planes are named things like "Jubilee," and it's like a theme park about Han Solo was crushed into the side of a theme park about empty fake memories of British culture, somehow tectonically, and they just shrugged and made it work because it doesn't matter where the money's coming from.

Space battle space battle space battle. Cheering cheering cheering. The roof watchmen literally puffs out his cheeks and goes, "Do your worst, Adolf!"

The Doctor makes one of those classic speeches designed to make us think any of this shit matters -- "This is the end for you. The final end! You've just played your last card!" -- until such time as they notify him of the newest and most stupidest story that's about to happen: "Bracewell is a bomb!" they scream. He goes on and on about how bluffing and deception are in their shiny natures, and there's even a shitty pun: "There isn't a sincere bone in your body. There isn't a bone in your body!" But of course, he's wrong, because Bracewell runs off an "Oblivion Continuum," okay, which: What is that? Well I'll tell you, it's a captured wormhole that provides perpetual power, meaning that when boring old pointless Bracewell detonates, the Earth will bleed through into another dimension!

The point of addicts -- drug, gambling, even sexual -- is that they go chasing that first high, when everything matters and everything's alive with significance. Have you ever seen Owning Mahoney? There's this great point where the shrink asks him how he would rate the thrill of gambling -- 100 -- versus the thrill he ever got from anything else, which barely hits 20. And the point is that 20 is where you're supposed to be: Only acting like an addict raised the ceiling and burnt your brain out to the point where 100 was even possible.

Even bringing the fucking Daleks out for a spin is touching on 100 territory, but eventually you have to raise the stakes: Bring in the Cybusmen or steal a bunch of planets and where are the bees and all that shit. So rebirthing the Daleks is so pedestrian at this point -- because the enemy, and the toys, must always exist -- that now you've got to raise the stakes personally for the Doctor so terribly high that we've got dimensional bleed. Why not "If we blow up Bracewell the Nazis will win?" No, skip that entirely and go back to the entire point of the first three seasons of this show like it's nothing.

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Doctor Who




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