Friday, May 31, 2013

The Repeated Meme: Recycling Like the Wolf

Cold War

Central Premise Recycled From: “Warriors of the Deep” crossed with “Dalek”, and obviously “The Ice Warriors”.

Moffat Autorecycling: None, and indeed the story seems to have been engineered deliberately so as to exclude the usual tropes: setting it on a Russian submarine precludes the presence of children and Time Travelers' Wives, making the antagonist a lone Ice Warrior rules out Gentlemen-lite hordes or Weeping Angel creeping unknowns. The script mercifully refrains from repeated catchprases and speeches about how wonderful libraries are. All that leaves is a villain who turns out to be Just Misunderstood, and song-based technology.

Recycling Other People: Has all the hallmarks of the Troughton-era Base Under Siege stories, albeit with fewer weird psychosexual undertones. Also “The Horror of Fang Rock” (base under siege at sea, with an alien that's pretty good at hiding and picking people off one by one). “The Krotons” (HADS). Gatiss indulges his fondness for eccentric old professors (see “Nightshade” among others), and has characters named “Zhukov” and “Onegin” (presumably there's a ship's doctor named Zhivago somewhere aboard).  
“The Curse of Fenric” (sympathetic Soviets). “The War of the Worlds” (the Ice Warrior's hand coming up behind Stepashin's head). “World War Three” (world on brink of nuclear annihilation thanks to an interfering alien). “The Unquiet Dead” (time is in flux, and the fact that Clara is alive in the 2010s does not preclude her dying in the 1980s). “Alien” and sequels, though that practically goes without saying. “Battlefield” (the Doctor's antiwar rant). “The Sea Devils” (submarine invaded by prehistoric lizard-creature).

Evil Household Objects: Not exactly, but there's a treacherous walkman.

Doctor Who!: Again not exactly, though Zhukov does ask “who are you?”

Outfits!: The Doctor dons aviator glasses for a visit to Las Vegas.

Small Child!: No, but then, where would you fit one on a submarine?

Murray Gold's Top Ten: Rather banal this week.

Clara Dies Due To: Nothing, though she does get knocked out for a while.

Clara's Job of the Week: To channel the spirit of Deborah Watling for forty-five minutes.
Run, you clever boy, and remember”: Nope.

Topical Reference to Puzzle Future Generations: Lots of Eighties references, so we can puzzle them right now. “Daddy, what's an Ultravox, and why are you and Mummy laughing?”

Gratuitous Plot Hole of the Week: That's an awfully big and spacious submarine they're on, and why's it got ventilator shafts?

Continuity Frakup of the Week: Strangely it's actually not a frakup, but a correction, in that the Ice Warriors were always meant to be cyborg-type creatures with really technological armour. However, since they haven't up till now, it comes across as a frakup. It's been pointed out that the Doctor saying he's never seen an Ice Warrior out of its armour renders certain New Adventures uncanonical, but I'm not sure most of the audience is bothered.

Nostalgia UK: We're back in the Eighties again, when everything was bigger. At least the choice of Ultravox and Duran Duran for period stylings means we miss out the “Ghost Town” embarrassment of last week.
Item Most Likely to Wind Up as a Toy: Foregone conclusion. Suffice it to say we're not going to be getting little plastic David Warners.