Saturday, May 10, 2008

The Doctor's Recyclingwatch

The Unquiet Dead: ...has a *massive* amount to answer for in terms of random guest-characters sacrificing themselves while Murray Gold switches the keyboard to "sad" mode. Just once I'd like to see the obvious human sacrifice make it through the story (and this one doesn't count, as she does technically die).

Father's Day: Disappointment when your relatives don't turn out as you expect, plus a father who gets to know his previously-unknown daughter and comes to respect her.

Boom Town: Ages and ages of raking the Doctor's moral hypocrisy over.

The Parting of the Ways: Magic golden breath precedes regeneration.

School Reunion: Companion has convinced herself that she'll travel with the Doctor forever, but ex-companion knows better.

Rise of the Cybermen/The Age of Steel: "I'm not your father! Really I'm not! Well, sort of, I suppose." Ad nauseam. Plus companion who heads off into the sunset for more adventures at the end.

Love and Monsters: Donna is played for laughs as a sexually frustrated older woman, sort of like Jackie in LAM.

Doomsday: More crash-the-action-to-a-halt-so-we-can-talk-about-relationships action.

Gridlock: The idea that the people in this society can't help themselves, they have to have the Doctor turn up and save them.

Daleks In Manhattan: Does that theatre look suspiciously familiar? Or maybe it's just the opera house on Kobol (see below)?

42: Race against time through corridors with fetching young people dressed in khakis; supposed enemy that isn't all it seems.

Last of the Time Lords: The Doctor as Messiah again.

Voyage of the Damned: Doctor meets plucky blonde girl temporary companion, with whom he bonds, and who dies, or sort of dies, at the end (and you could see *that* one coming for miles in both cases).

Catchphrasewatch: Lots of "No no no" this week, plus yet another iteration of the tired old "assuming the Doctor and Donna are married" bit.

Old Skool Who: The Face of Evil and Underworld (planets that start out as terraforming operations and end up with warring, primitive populations with no idea of their origins). The Chase (planet terraformed by machines, just waiting for people to fill it). City of Death (the jokes about Jenny being seemingly unable to solve a problem without violence are recycled from Duggan's). That famous Lenny Henry sketch (jokes about running up and down corridors). The Ark (human-alien colony mission, where relations between humans and aliens sour rapidly). Oddly enough, the Sontaran stories (warrior clones). The Curse of Fenric (Ace's distracting-the-guard bit, plus don't the Hath look kind of like haemavores?). Lance Parkin already did a similar Doctor's-daughter bit in the BBC novel Father Time. Full Circle (colonists who don't realise they're colonists, and/or that they've got a close connection with those humanoids with gills wandering around out there).

Everything Else: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan has a lot to answer for here, what with Genesis devices, heroic self-sacrifice, and loony old warriors (although the Doctor's wrong, the Genesis device *can* be used as a weapon), with a bit of Star Trek III: The Search for Spock coming in the resolution. Battlestar Galactica: TRS (generations-long war between two groups who are quite similar really; reproduction through cloning machines; protracted bonding between two members of opposing camps as they wander through an irradiated landscape, and the Doctor lifted his pointing-guns-at-heads-and-handing-them-over bit entirely from Sharon "Athena" Agathon in Season Two) Entrapment, the film whose sole attraction was watching Catherine Zeta-Jones negotiate a corridor full of lasers. Buffy the Vampire Slayer (the obvious, plus random relatives being created out of nowhere through plot conveniences). Enemy Mine, and to a lesser extent "The Return of Starbuck" (Martha's bonding with the Hath adventures). BBC News (note that when the Hath do their victory dance with the rifles, it looks suspiciously like that dance that Iraqis do that involves hopping from one foot to another with your rifle held in the air). Silent Running (in the sequences in the terraformed jungle, I kept expecting the camera to pan across to Bruce Dern happily transplanting saplings with his little robot pals). Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (plucky and tough warrior girl who can't solve a problem without knocking it unconscious first).