Wednesday, April 11, 2007

New Service: Doctor Who Recyclingwatch

OK, I can't be the only one who's finding the new series of Doctor Who a little, well, familiar. Identifiably so, in fact. So, as a service to those of us who care about these things, this year I'm going to identify exactly what was ripped off from where (feel free to send in things I've missed at the usual address, btw). The focus is on the last two seasons of DW, obviously, but I'll put in a few of the more amusing other sources as well, plus seeing how many times Timelash and The Fifth Element get a look-in.

Smith and Jones

: Typical boring day in life of DW-companion-to-be, which turns into exciting romp with aliens; Doctor grabs hand of companion-to-be and runs with her to escape said menace; companion-to-be's family issues explored in detail; after one particularly extensive instance of family issues, the Doctor turns up and offers to take companion-to-be away from it all, and she accepts; blonde slappers and absent fathers; "OMG it's bigger on the inside, etc. etc." moment. Companion saves Doctor at the climax through doing what she does best.

Aliens of London: Major London landmark damaged/removed through alien intervention; politicians quick to cash in on this.

The Parting of the Ways: The Doctor absorbs and expels a massive dose of radiation (though this time, he doesn't die in the process).

New Earth: Hospital; aliens with the heads of familiar Earth animals (cats there; rhinos here); camp older woman villain; taking on other people's bodily aspects (out and out bodyswaps there, plasmavore stunts here). The moon featuring prominently again.

Doomsday: Freema Agyeman; more Thamesside settings; a quick retconning namecheck by Martha.

Generally: Saxon = Torchwood last year, Bad Wolf the year before it.

Old Skool Who: The Curse of Fenric (plasmavore = haemavore; she's played by Anne Reid, who played Nurse Crane in the former serial), The Stones of Blood (blood-ingesting aliens; older women who turn out to be aliens), The Happiness Patrol (the Doctor taking a black medical student as companion).

Timelash Moment: Something weird happens early on, which turns out to be the result of a trip to the past being made later in the story.

The Fifth Element (early indications are that this movie is going to turn up a lot this year): protagonist hijacked on an ordinary working day into excting time and space plot.

Everywhere Else: Judge Dredd (the Judoon without the rhino masks), any and all medical shows (don't make me say Holby City), Buffy and Forever Knight ("vampire" surviving through raiding hospital blood banks); Casualty 1906 (a one-off docudrama BBC1 showed last year which was based on the patient records of an Edwardian London hospital; the sequences involving messing around with the X-ray machines and MRI reminded me irresistably of the sequences in Casualty 1906 showing how a turn-of-the-century radiology lab worked). Red Dwarf (bloodsucking alien that uses a straw to do it); The Wizard of Oz (ordinary building being swept up in a freak weather incident and deposited intact on another world). There's a Billie Piper music video in which Billie encounters a nightclub with a CGI anthropomorphic rhino bouncer that looks amazingly Judoonlike (earlier in the same video, she develops godlike powers, and turns a dustbin into a man; does RTD get his ideas from MTV?).