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Good Wolf

June 30th, 2008

It took a few days, but I appear to have isolated and contained the “Bad Wolf” meme that overwrote my blog last week.

I realize that some of my friends are a couple of episodes behind me in the latest series of Doctor Who, but as that’s surely their fault, I’m pressing on with major spoilers for last Saturday’s show, “The Stolen Earth.”

Turn aside! Thar be spoilers ahead!

Nope, not buying it. Even if there wasn’t fairly good intel that David Tennant has already been seen working on this year’s Christmas special, I don’t believe for a moment that in this spoiler-happy world the BBC could get away with a surprise regeneration. Speculation is that the Doctor’s severed hand (seen, once again, happily bubbling in its jar at the start of the episode) may somehow allow him to override the regeneration process and remain Tennant. Which, as far as I’m concerned, would be a very good thing. I’m not ready to let go of him just yet.

As for the rest of the show: well, it was a bit of a mess. A big, loopy, over-the-top mess. It really was Russell Davies throwing as much shit at the wall as he possibly could, but I was willing to indulge him. A couple of posts back, I referred to it as “Crisis on Infinite Whos,” and that wasn’t far from the mark. It did feel like one of DC Comics’ cyclical house-clearings, in which a legion of heroes come together under a planet-filled sky to keep reality from breaking down.

And I do fear just how much of a house-clearing may be in order. All the arrows are pointing at Catherine Tate’s Donna as being the companion to come to a tragic end, but I dearly hope that isn’t the case. Rose and Martha may have obvious charms, but Donna has become my favorite new-Who co-star.

Besides, Dalek Caan’s prophecy was that death would come to the “most faithful companion,” and that’s open to many possibilities. For one, K-9 hasn’t made an appearance yet. And it could certainly be argued that the TARDIS herself has been the Doctor’s most faithful co-traveler, though if Davies really is clearing house before the new producer takes over, it seems unlikely he’d do away with the show’s central plot device. Besides, Caan didn’t say it was the Doctor’s companion…

And how marvelous was the supporting villainy this week? The new Davros, Julian Bleach, did an excellent job of channeling the late Michael Wisher. (I wonder if the rumor about Ben Kingsley playing the part was ever true?) I loved Sarah Jane’s reaction when she heard his voice; she’s the only one of the current cast who’s ever encountered him before, and she was there during his first appearance.

Even more fun was the mad Dalek Caan himself, gibbering and singing away in his demolished casing. I’ll bet he generated some nightmares.

If there was one bit that struck me as a bit too gratuitous (yes, even more than hundreds of Dalek saucers overrunning the Earth), it was the way that Harriet Jones, former Prime Minister, was shoehorned in. While I was happy to see her again and glad that she was allowed her redemptive moment–though I do wish that she could’ve talked to the Doctor one last time–her contribution to the plot struck me as implausible at best.

And from here it’s full speed ahead to the big finale next Saturday! Worlds will die! Heroes will fall! Captain Jack and Sarah Jane will get it on! Woo!

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