Tuesday 23 February 2010

Bad Wolf

The Doctor is mysteriously transported to a space station in earth's future, where he discovers a society obsessed with deadly reality shows. But who is the mysterious power behind it all?

Bad Wolf can be looked at either as an episode in itself, with its own themes or as part of a two-part Dalek story. I am going to consider it as an individual episode.

Bad Wolf might be described as a satire or parody of reality shows. Certainly a topic worthy of satire, but if this story is attempting satire it is going about it an odd way. By using the real-life trappings of Big Brother and the voices of the presenters of these shows, the story actually celebrates them. This actually makes the violence associated with the fictional shows come across as rather sick and gratuitous.

Frankly, by borrowing Anne Robinson and Trinny and Susannah, RT Davies was indulging in gimmicky ratings grabbing. Why should Dr. Who celebrate such nonsense? Our favorite show has been around since 1963. In thirty years time, will anybody be remembering the Weakest Link?

That said, the designs for the futuristic shows are very good, with the robotic versions of Anne, Trinny and Susannah. But this only brings up that terrible failing of the new series in indulging so much in visuals at the expence of story.

I like the build up of tension, climaxing in the revelation of the Daleks. In this it succeeds where Frontier in Space certainly failed.

I love the fact that the Daleks have flying saucers as they did in Dalek Invasion of Earth! So retro. And for a nice fan reference, the Doctor quotes Abslom Daak the Dalek Killer.

Again, the story triumphs when it comes to anything visual- the Controller is a stunning nod to Metropolis. She is a very well realised and acted.

Christopher Eccleston does well as the Doctor. His concern for Rose is very convincing. I like the way he seems so out of place in the Big Brother house. I am a bit puzzled by the Doctor's comment about 'Bear with Me.' A rather bad entry into the script (Steven Moffatt, please get a script editor).

Billy Piper is quite amazing in the Weakest Link scene, displaying a great range of emotions.

Lynda is ably performed and well realised. Despite her shallowness, the viewer really feels for her and we almost hope that she does become a companion. Her historical explanation for the rise of the reality shows seems a bit out of character, however. I also don't buy the Doctor being so disturbed by it. It is not his fault that people decided to get into televised murder.

Steven Moffatt, please ensure that Captain Jack dies in the next season. This is a childrens' show. It is not appropriate for a character to be flirting and wanting to sleep with every other character. Doctor Who really needs to be cleansed of all this homosexual stuff. I am sure earlier producers of the show would be quite shocked at it.

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