What now?

TV "Here is the Doctor, and here is Rose again, in Victorian Britain in episode two of the current series, just as they were in Victorian Britain in episode three of the series before. Dickens was last season, so let?s do Queen Victoria this time; we?ve had ghosts already, so let?s have a werewolf for a change. In the event, what appeared to be spirits of the restless dead turn out to be rapacious aliens; the werewolf turns out to be a rapacious alien too. The marching dummies are under the control of rapacious aliens, as are the Yeti, the exploding Santas and the evil lady played by Maureen Lipman. The aliens invade, and infect, and colonise, and zombify; their aim is to exploit our resources and herd us like cattle, i.e. exactly what we would do, if we had the resources, to them. Rapacious aliens, it seems, are at the bottom of everything mysterious in our universe; it is a curiously un-magical, unforgiving prospect. The only thing worse is the traditional consideration that the rapacious aliens are really us." -- Jenny Turner in The London Review of Books

Really excellent, well researched, loving, musing on Doctor Who new and old. Repetition is to some extent killing the series. Although I adored last week's episode it was still a retread of a bunch of ideas and tricks from the past forty years. It needn't be that way. This is the ultimate flexible format but because of production decisions, the Doctor and Rose are still trotting about either in 20 or 21st centuries or in the far future, and nearly all evil has been alien made. The Doctor lacks for a perpetual nemesis like the Master (although not necessarily the Master) for example or a visit to a place that's truly alien. Tomorrow night's episode is a real format breaker but the final double bill depite a certain departure is another (yawn) alien invasion on 'contemporary' Earth (well actually 2007 if you pay attention to dating).

While I'm sorry to see Billie Piper leave I'm surprised its taken this long. The character's arc ended at the climax of the last series and has been of less importance to the stories in this series, very much fulfilling the 'typical' companion role of yesteryear if more motivated. She lacks for a hook now and the slightly sparky relationship she had with the ninth has evaporated. That dynamic led to some of the truly great scenes last year -- at the end of Dalek when she talks the Doctor into putting down his gun and in The Unquiet Dead when she questions his ethical position. This year although the chemistry has obviously been there and there have been some very touching scenes (see the one about the mortgage), because they lack that 'spark' the result has been something akin to Frasier after Niles and Daphne became couple, just a touch less interesting.

So who'll replace Billie? Like Tennant I wouldn't be that surprised if the role hasn't already been cast in time for film to start for the Christmas episode but interestingly a name hasn't already been put out. So here's my list anyway ...

Laura Fraser
Emily Corrie
Lenora Crichlow
Kate Ashfield
Rashida Jones

And as I previously said on 'Sofa'. It's not just a Rose-clone. That would be weak. Like The Doctor, the new companion needs to be substantially different to the old one. Not from contemporary Earth again -- I understand the issues related to offering the viewers a way in to the story but again it would be too much like Rose 2.0. Which doesn't mean it needn't be someone from the last century some time. One of the great wasted Who companions was Polly, so someone from the 60s would be good a mix of the wise yet innocent. An alien would be mistake -- and costly in terms of prosthetics -- plus theres the possibility of the week ending in which everyone is save because the companion is 'super'. Oh sorry, that's been done. Some who's assigned to the Doctor and has another agenda - not in a Turlough sense -- more Romana I -- tricky without Gallifrey although perhaps it's a forgotten child of Gallifrey and the story of the season is trying to bring their home planet back. I'm pipedreaming. No companion. A different dynamic each week. See 'The Idiots Lantern' as template -- or make the appearance natural -- so he travels alone for a few episodes then meets someone who fits the bill. Sarah Jane Smith

I'm out. [via]

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous11:19 pm

    It's going to be Nikki Sanderson, ex-Coronation Street. Where do I collect my winnings ?