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Doctor Who XXXI.8 and 9: The Hungry Earth/Cold Blood

Those of you who follow my Doctor Who reviews will remember that detailed comments on The Hungry Earth and Cold Blood were withheld as they were promised to fanzine This Way Up. Issue 28 is now published by editor John Connors and can be downloaded here. Lots of good stuff, including reviews of the second half of the most recent series of Doctor Who plus a thematic and strategic overview of the season, a survey of film adaptations of the fiction of Richard Matheson, a look at recent developments in Heroes and the 2005 live broadcast of The Quatermass Experiment starring Jason Flemyng, Indira Varma, David Tennant and Mark Gatiss. Classic Doctor Who is covered too, with reviews of The Dominators and Silver Nemesis.

Comments

Posted by: A Meticulous Catalogue of Wrongs To Be Avenged (splendorsine)
Posted at: September 13th, 2010 04:15 am (UTC)

Is calling it "Bad Blood" intentional or a Freudian slip? It's a superbly concise review in either case.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: September 13th, 2010 09:33 am (UTC)

A Freudian slip (but now corrected)! Thanks - reading it again, I thought that John was incredibly indulgent to let me write so much.

Edited at 2010-09-13 09:35 am (UTC)

Posted by: A Meticulous Catalogue of Wrongs To Be Avenged (splendorsine)
Posted at: September 13th, 2010 10:16 pm (UTC)

I really meant the two words "Bad Blood" formed a nicely concise review! The full review is... comprehensive, but still very good. Kudos to you for being so measured in your approach, I think I'd have really put the boot in, "Cold Blood" being the single episode of the season that was a serious letdown for me.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: September 13th, 2010 10:26 pm (UTC)

I don't really do anger or sarcasm, and I did think that there were some deliberate historical resonances there which deserved to be teased out further. There are assumptions in some corners that Cold Blood suffered from budget cuts which limited what kind of story could be told, but that might be an example of a fan tendency to blame lack of money for everything that went wrong this year.

Posted by: A Meticulous Catalogue of Wrongs To Be Avenged (splendorsine)
Posted at: September 13th, 2010 11:27 pm (UTC)

I was quite keen on the first half, which made the shortcomings of the second harder to bear. It's possible that more cash would have helped, though really I think the most sorely missed commodity was time. You can't (satisfactorily) pay homage to not one but half a dozen Pertwee 6/7-parters in an hour! As with Victory of the Daleks, we ended up with half a season's worth of interesting ideas on fast-forward before our eyes... full marks for ambition, but unfortunately logic and character development are the first things to go to the wall under such conditions :-/

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: September 13th, 2010 11:41 pm (UTC)
Davison Clock

One aspect of time is that allegedly lack of money meant loss of a shooting day, IIRC - though it's all hearsay anyway. More practically (and this is what you are really talking about) it's not even an hour, but forty-five minutes; when Amy loses twenty minutes in The Beast Below, the viewer is also saying goodbye to extra time of which Doctor Who has made good use in the specials (up to and including The Eleventh Hour, and really starting from Journey's End).

Victory of the Daleks, like the previous Gatiss story The Idiot's Lantern, had characters and themes having their potential stifled; both were old-fashioned four-parters trying to get out.