Sunday, January 30, 2011

"Time Crash"

For a multi-Doctor episode, a Children in Need Special and a tale penned by the inimtable Steven Moffat, this is all kinds of wrong. Now I'm afraid that I must confess that the Fifth Doctor is hardly my favourite of the Classics; I don't have any antipathy for him either, he's just not my favourite. But from what I've heard he's Moffat's favourite, so in this story somehow he's the Tenth Doctor's favourite. I have no idea how someone can have a 'favourite' of themselves and it rather serves to fragment the Doctor's identity. I suppose the Second and Third Doctors didn't get along very well either.
So the Doctor crashes the TARDIS and suddenly he's sharing the console room with someone who is played by Peter Davison and wears Edwardian cricket gear but behaves nothing like the Fifth Doctor. I remember the Fifth Doctor being kind of powerless and ineffectual, not some grouchy old man who shouts at people. It's irritating to hear him mention 'LINDA' from "Love & Monsters" and the astounding flippancy with which the Tenth Doctor talks about the Classic Series grates a little.
The Tenth Doctor makes a lot of horrible jokes too, such as about the celery, and his joking about how the Fifth Doctor didn't use the Sonic Screwdriver after it was destroyed in "The Visitation" only serves to remind of how overly-reliant the Tenth Doctor is on his magic wand as a replacement for his wit or intellect. There's a lot of technobabble, and then the Tenth Doctor says that the Fifth Doctor is 'his' Doctor even though they've already established through a quick time paradox that they're the same person. Why doesn't the Fifth Doctor notice that the console room is vastly different and his companions are missing? If different incarnations of the Doctor tend to recognise each other, how come the Fifth takes so long to recognise the Tenth? It's also annoying to see the Tenth Doctor blither on in a cringe-inducing way about how much he loves the Fifth Doctor and models himself on him when so much of that in the Tenth Doctor is mixed in with self-aggrandisement and irritating facetiousness which certainly weren't characteristic of the Fifth Doctor. Even if Davison's role in this sketch had been written properly, it doesn't change the fact that the Fifth Doctor and the Tenth Doctor are virtually nothing alike apart from a handful of superficial visual similarities. How much does Moffat understand Who if he associates the Fifth and Tenth Doctors solely because they both looked young during their tenure and wore trainers?
Moffat dropped the ball on this one and while it's nice to see a Classic Series Doctor appear in the new series, and even though it's just a piece of fluff to raise money, it isn't very funny and it's pretty stupid. Where was the love for P McG?

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