despite the many spin-offs and rubbish tv commercials

TV And now the bump:

One of the reasons The Fast Show is still considered one of the great comedy series despite the many spin-offs and rubbish tv commercials nipping away at its legacy is that it was willing to take risks and included that thing rare for sketch series: dimensional characters. Rowley Birkin QC, a retired barrister, was a drunken sot unintelligibly reminiscing about his past adventures, his random moments of clarity the points of comedy and for five weeks that's what it was. Then in the sixth week, this happened. It's one of Paul Whitehouse's best performances and it turns Birkin's catchphrase on its head, makes it far less amusing and actually changes how we view the previous sketches, makes them even richer. Less funny perhaps, but richer.

This final Pond Life is a small version of that. After four funny instalments it hits us in the gut, throws the Doctor's usually amusing time meanderings against what's happening in his friend's lives. Rory leaving or as may be the case Amy chucking him out. It's nicely ambiguous (though a scene in the BBC News package yesterday indicates where this may be going -- another Lizo Mzimba special spoiler).  It doesn't necessarily change our perception of the previous four episodes, there wasn't much to them, but it does make us wonder whether it was the spooky-doos and the Doctor keeping the relationship together and without that there's no spark, like a work or holiday romance which can't continue past the thing which a couple had in common.  Losing the Ood, heralds the end.

As ever it's anchored by Matt's performance as the Doctor, the crack in his voice, the sad walk away from the door towards his TARDIS, his umbrella not really stopping the rain from soaking him, providing the tears he can't have as they so often do when he can't definitively explain when something is wrong. He's become connected to some human friends again and this is a rare occasion when a companion isn't home when he turns up for an adventure. He fears perhaps that they've moved on without him. That's happened before but usually he leaves them behind not the other way around. If only he'd done the same thing I usually do when someone's not home. Sat on the doorstep and waited. He would have discovered that Amy does need her raggedy man.  Tomorrow, then.

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