Monday, December 26, 2005

"No, wait... that's the Lion King!"

Mes Amis

David Tennant is da man.

Sure Chris Ecclestone was having fun playing a loony alien but David Tennant looks like a man with a plan. And anyone who can swordfight in a pair of PJs without looking like he's trying to be ironic gets my vote right off the bat.

Yes, Christmas Day played host to the new Doctor in The Christmas Invasion which means that Russel, being the geek he is, has to share his thoughts (well, I know Mary's looking forward to the new show!). I was actually dreading this. Anything purporting to be a Christmas special usually has me gagging in horror. Crackers, misteltoe, messages of peace and goodwill, its all too much. And the attempt to make it feel "special" is always a step too far.

Not so for Russell T Davis who, while keeping up the Christmas quota, actually crafts a pretty fun tale of alien invasion while making sure the characters are all kept in check and that the action is always moving. Not only that but despithe Christmas trappings there is no "seasonal" message or dull moralising. And it feels like part of a larger story, too, rather than a wholly removed slice of yultide shit.

The TARDIS crash landing in London made for supreme geek moment of laughter from the Badgerman. After all, it was ludicrous and yet somehow rather exciting. I got nervous when, two seconds later, the old "Doctor Who?" gag was made for what must be the millionth time in this rerun.

But the humour was what saved The Christmas invasion. From Roses' mother pondering on the nature of the doctor's twin hearts ("Does he have two of anything else?") to jokes about the Royals and inbreeding along with a reference to the supreme evil one herself, Margaret Thatcher ("I can bring down your administration in one word." "One word. Even you aren't capable of that." "Okay, six words. Don't you think she looks tired?"), this was one of the best written"lighter" stories that the new show has done so far. The bad guys were a credible and ugly threat. There were darker edges not just to the story but to the doctor himself (His final use of a satsuma was both funny and yet somehow disturbing considering what it means about his new persona's attitude) that didn't impede on the geek joy that penetrated my stone cold heart. And Billie Piper can still act. And I'm still having trouble believing she's been able to keep it up for so long.

My main problem: as fun as the flamethrowing Santas and killer Christmas trees were, what the hell was the point in them? What were they exactly and why were they just hanging around London?

And then, at the end of the episiode, just to tease us all, a clip of the Cybermen in action. Oh, yes, you can call me a big kid. You can call me a geek. But I'm really looking forward to this...


Stuart MacBride said...

Hmmm, didn't bother myself with this one. Though I suppose I should forgive the Tennant short-arse as part of the yuletide good will thing.

Then again...

Mary said...

I want Dr. Who in the US!!! Its not fair.

Vincent said...

It was good fun and well-written, but I keep feeling they're walking a tightrope. They're just on the right side of cheesy Star Trek writing at the moment (despite tottering on the edge with some woeful TARDIS-related deus ex machinas in series one), but I expect them to fall into the abyss at any moment.

Kudos that they avoided it with the Christmas Special. Even George Lucas didn't manage that.