Monday, June 09, 2008

Recyclingwatch of the Dead

Further to last week's comment about mixed messages about reading in Doctor Who: if you want to encourage kids to read, isn't it a good idea not to tell them "libraries are scary and books can kill you"?

Usual two-parter deal: only new stuff or stuff I didn't think of last week.

New Earth: Endings with bewildered people standing around a lobby as a delighted protagonist hugs as many of them as he can.

The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances: "Everybody lives!" again, plus compare the moment when the Doctor realises that Other Dave is just repeating catchphrases to the moment where the Doctor realises that the tape has run out a while ago. Microscopic organisms as this week's antagonist. Sonic screwdriver/squareness gun antics.

Bad Wolf/Parting of the Ways: The Doctor announcing to the villains that he's going to win because that's what he always does.

The Girl in the Fireplace: The Doctor finds love, but she dies.

The Runaway Bride: Donna's wedding dress is recycled from that story, as is her falling for, and marrying, a fantasy man.

Gridlock: Doctor's antics involving dropping through doors and hanging from objects; the library really looks like New New (etc.) York, particularly in the ending bits.

Human Nature: Character experiences a virtual life, complete with spouse and children, which they enjoy but have to give up at the end.

Blink: "Mummy's not going to close her eyes," says Donna.

Voyage of the Damned: More people getting a virtual life, plus the Doctor doing another "I'm the Doctor and I'm going to win" metatextual type speech.

Catchphrasewatch: "No, no no no!" a lot, smacking about the technology while gibbering out an explanation at top volume.

Old Skool Who: Underworld (floating platforms, computers at the world's core). The Aztecs (River Song even says "...not one line"). The Robots of Death (two beings advancing on the Doctor from opposite sides, both spouting catchphrases, but the Doctor ducks between them). The Ark in Space (only three people on the teleport at any one time). Faction Paradox (creepy ladies in anachronistic Victorian dress). The Virgin NA Who Killed Kennedy (companion is sectioned and told her adventures with the Doctor were all a schizophrenic delusion, but still can't shake the idea that they were real). Battlefield, AGAIN-- look, people, it wasn't that good a story!

Everything Else: The Time Traveller's Wife, again (meeting someone who's special to you, after you've known them a while but it's the first time they've met you). Neil Gaiman's "A Doll's House" (people trapped in a virtual universe made up by a little girl). The idea of dead people downloading their consciousness into the Internet has been a staple of cyberpunk fiction since Neuromancer (although this story most closely resembles the denouement of Mona Lisa Overdrive). The Matrix, again. The early books of Piers Anthony's Xanth series (lady who alternates between ugly and smart, and ditzy but beautiful). Star Trek: Generations (the one where Picard falls into an anomaly where time has no meaning, and he imagines/creates for himself a family life with perfect spouse, kids and Christmas).