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The episode in question is the Ice Warrior on the submarine. And it's made me think a bit - it was an improvement on the previous episode, but ... it was still 'Doctor begs Ice Warrior not to kill every body'.

There wasn't really a great deal of peril - although thankfully his magic wand didn't get too much of an outing either.

But I think it's reminded me that - in my mind - the very best Dr Who is told in horror stories, with a bit of sci-fi enabling the creepy. A small cast, a reasonable expectation that the Doctor _would_ win (or a least survive) but not being quite sure which amongst the rest of the cast was actually going to make it. (Including companions, as whilst they had altogether more plot immunity, it wasn't complete).

So I think they missed a trick - I think last night's episode would have been much more interesting if they'd done it ... well, actually almost entirely stealing the plotline from 'Alien'. Ice Warrior escapes, goes postal, most people die, noble hero in the crew tells the Doctor to GTFO before he scuttles the ship. (Which lets face it, had basically crashed into a cliff and was in the process of toppling off and sinking anyway).

Don't get me wrong, I do quite enjoy the occasional 'I am the Doctor, don't mess with me' soliloquies, and once in a while a plot that does include saving the rest of the world too. But I also think it's generally better storytelling to concentrate on a small group of people who you can develop as characters. And a plot where you're fairly sure the Doctor will save the day, but you're not nearly so sure there'll be any other survivors - and you're interested in those survivors - is a lot more interesting.

Date: 2013-04-15 08:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jorune.livejournal.com
I happened to miss the 2nd episode of this series, which seems to been a good move in retrospect. This episode struck me as a touch contrived, what with the set design and crashing water. Nice casting with the Captain and Prospector with Liam Cunningham and David Warner. A joy to see the secondary characters, Russians and Skaldak as Heroes and regular people rather than villain of the week.

Andrew Rilstone blogs about Dr Who. He was a member of Warwick Scifi and co-wrote the game Once Upon a Time.

Date: 2013-04-15 07:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] xarrion.livejournal.com
This season has been a little meh so far, to be honest. It's been enjoyable, but with a bit of a bad after taste from each episode.

I'm getting annoyed at massive overuse of the Sonic, which has progressed to the point where each episode is basically the Doctor waving it around then delivering a plot synopsis. Unless it's a very subtle poke at the Doctor's mental acuity degrading in his old age and him needing a 'crutch' to get by - but I doubt even Moffat would go that deep into it.

It's either there to facilitate lazy writing (which if there wasn't so much lazy writing I'd find hard to believe), or to placate the ADHD masses who can't handle deduction and suspense in their hour of Adventure (tm), and need comforting that the Doctor has to read everything off a computer rather than having to use Thinking - and so making him easier to relate to.

Date: 2013-04-17 10:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] darkgodfred.livejournal.com
And to that end, I got Adam and Jude to watch The Visitation this weekend. From back when Dr Who was produced by men who could spot an overused cliché and John Nathan-Turner could be relied on to remove the resident Deus Ex Machina rather than continuing to use it as a crutch.

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