from Pantperthog to Knockando

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Earthshock...ing

I'd heard a lot about classic Doctor Who stories, and Earthshock always comes up as one. So I borrowed this DVD expecting to be mildly entertained.

I was... but not in a good way.

Frankly, this was dross. Okay, it was TV science fiction filmed in 1982. What was I expecting?

Weeeellllll.... a bit more than this. It dated from the days when a Who story had to be at least four episodes long. Which is fine if you have enough material to fill just under two hours. If you don't, then you get a lot of filler.

I think the script meetings must have gone like this:
"Quick, we have another 19 minutes to fill in this episode."
"Right. Er, let's have them walking down some more tunnels..."
"Okay, but why would they do that?"
"Er... because they heard someone else walking down the tunnels?"
"Good idea. Then we can film the baddies walking down the tunnels too!"

At one point one of the characters says 'It feels like we've been walking for hours.' I know, love. It felt like I'd been watching you walking for hours, with no discernible progress.

Then there was the Doctor getting captured and being held prisoner on the bridge, where he could walk around at his leisure and poke things on the control panel. I know saying that a science fiction show was unrealistic sounds stupid, but this was people acting in a way contrary to how people would act. No matter how ludicrous the situation (and Doctor Who has had some ridiculous situations in the past), the thing that was most unbelievable about this show was the way people were portrayed.

And Cybermen are meant to be scary, emotionless, resolute killers. They aren't meant to stand around chatting like night watchmen talking about the football. Villains who aren't in any way villainous are a waste of space.

Apparently a sedentary lifestyle can lead to you developing a venous thrombosis. Watching this would make you wish for one, just so you'd have something exciting happen.

The thing is, I know next time someone offers to lend me some 'classic' Who, I will probably find it hard to turn it down. There must be somewhere I can get help.

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