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Dragonfire


Chase - Posted on 07 August 2009

Dragonfire 1

 

Wow. Wow. That has to be the single worst episode of DW up to this point and that's saying a lot. The villain's boring in look and desire; his aides are dull and over the top at the same time; there's yet another complicated and totally unbeliveable backstory in there somewhere but not yet revealed; the villain's powers are as yet ill defined; the dialog is awful, the sets are not even adequate  this time out; the music is okay I guess; and Mel and Ace have to be the worst two companions in one story. All this and Glitz too. Glitz drops his map and the Doctor swings his umbrella in a badly staged scene.

The whole thing is badly staged. It's like a bad stage play. Every scene between Ace and Mel is poor and the dialog cringe worthy. "ACE!" Ace yelling his is enough to make me leave this show forever. "BRILL!"  Who speaks like this? She's a poorly conceived, poorly acted, poorly backgrounded companion and this story is the worst companion introduction ever for any companion. I have, for Ace, what other fans have for Adric, at least from this story. This poor garbage left a bad taste in my mouth for Ace. Others have said they've met Ace's in their time in real life. I really doubt it. Aldred is quite poor in this and her "acting" over the top and way too hyper active for my tastes, mixed with Mel's optimistic fakeness...it's enough to give you goosebumps.

The milkshake scene, the Ace's room scene, the bombing of the blocked door scene (and just why is Ace knocking down this blockage only to get arrested?), and the cliffhanger scene just to have  a cliffhanger scene. All such poorly conceived set pieces that it boggles the mind that this was allowed to go on and that this show wasn't cancelled soon after this mess. 

Yeah the Doc just decides to go cliffhanging because there's one needed here. ANd are they kidding with the direction and editing of that cliffhanger? For once we have a cliff in the cliffhanger (although see STONES OF BLOOD for a much much better one) and it's done in every worse possible way. My God, what were they thinking? Was there a director for this? Didn't McCoy see how lame this story was? So the Doc has three companions, and I can't guess which one's the worst. Glitz is probably the best but he's also got an illconceived background.

Oh and once again, we don't get a year time frame or where this really is. And we don't get the feel of a real place or real people and the one that we should identify with : Ace: is the most unreal one there is. Truly awful.

Oh and the scene where Kane tries to win Ace over is so bad....Ace needs Mel's voice to tear her away from Kane's alluring magnetism...and Mel's voice screeches into my mind as well. "Don't listen to him Ace!" Mel shrieks in an ear splitting scream. Well if nothing else this ep gives good headaches.

God, I hate this episode!          

2

 

It's really bad when you start a story with the worst episode. I mean most DW stories have a GREAT first ep, even if the rest falls down but this...had the worst first episode. Still, things can only go up from there, right? Wrong! The Doc does a great job of slipping on the ice...but doesn't he have spikes on his shoes? What's that distraction with the guard bit? It's not funny, not interesting or realistic and makes no sense whatsoever. And how did the Doc get away after that? I can't recall but I'm trying to forget this horrid ep as soon as I watched it. The dialog is awful... "We'll go straight on ahead or maybe we won't..."  plot points are predictable (Bellog and the other henchman Crack Hour or whatever his name is, plot against Kane but fail and are killed by him).   

A few saving graces might have been: the alien dragon robot thing is rather interesting looking in the dark and in the shadows and quite alien this time out but it looks a lot like ALIEN from ALIEN and it's nice. Reminds me of the same plot function as...uhm, the Mummies in PRYAMIDS OF MARS and looks better than the silly fur ball thingie from TERMINUS. The ice statue of Kane's accomplice and lover, Xarn, melts so that's interesting. ABOUT TIME 6, as ever, has lots why this whole plot sucks. I mean why did they put Kane here? And how is it really a prison if he can do even all this? The zombie men are scary for about two minutes.

Ace: Oh my dear God, she's the worst. Mel's not much better. For a few moments they seem to switch places with Ace complaining and whining, "I'm not going down there" and acting all wimpy and femaley and Mel acting all tough and lobbing Nitro Nine. Love how Ace clings to the Doc when they see a zombie and the one funny bit in all this is when the Doctor explains how the crewmember of Glitz won't remember a thing until he/it says he does remember Glitz and then the Doc adds, "Except in precense of extreme hatred and anger." 

Then there's Ace again: dear God she's retarded in almost every way. Oh, and Mel can't decduce that Ace worked as a waitress when on Iceworld she's doing the same thing.  "I felt that it wasn't really me in my body, you know, like I was inhabiting another girl's body while I did that and didn't really belong that. It was like it was wrong, you know?" Oh barf! And then there's the whole, "Don't tell anyone my real name."  As if the school you were in didn't know. And "Dorothy...I mean I know they weren't my real parents because my real parents wouldn't name me a naff name like that."  Well, yeah, they did apparently. What dialog! How awful. On top of that she gets off at least one "Wicked" always a crowd pleaser...except it's naff and stupid sounding.  Is she supposed to be 16? I guess so but even as an 18 year old she just doesn't come off as that young only as someone older playing someone younger and it just does not work. It's embarassing and silly and very very hard to watch. What a stupid character and backstory...and improbably carries around a rucksack with cups of coffee in it, ladders, nitro nine and whatever else the plot needs. Is she a Time Lord with a neverending rucksack bottom? is this the Doctor's jacket regenerated with neverending pocket?

Before I forget, Mel seems to (my copy of this is very dark) run into something and get knocked out...nice going Mel.

And...I don't know if it is just my copy of what...channel 21 copy here so that's always debate-able...as to the quality but everything looks way too dark and underlit and yellowy and orangey and under lit. Again it could just be my copy but it's not easy on the eyes ( a bit like Langford and Aldred in that respect). 

This episode is as bad as the first and right now takes place as the worst DW story...ever.        

3

Okay, wtf, did I or didn't I spot one of sides of the tomb of Rassilon complete with plastic see through Time Lord faces as a structure in one of the rooms of Kane's soldiers? I'm sure I did. The Little Girl? What's the point of her? She hides under a table that Stevie Wonder could find her under and later sits in a chair in Kane's lair? WTF? She also drinks a milk shake after the barman has been shot and killed and presumably his body is behind the bar as she does this. And uhm, did Kane commit suicide purposely? How could he not have known his planet was gone already? In the take over of Ace he seems like a standard yet menacing villain, for the first time ever. Oh, and suddenly Mel announces that all his mercenaries are dead? WTF? How were they killed? And what about the zombies? Surely one of the zombies brought Ace to Kane. Was it killed? How? 

Several things here echo or will be an inspiration to DOCTOR WHO 2005-2009. Kane being the Last of his Kind echoes the Doctor's lament when he is the last of HIS kind. I mean with such a long life, I can't see why the Doctor would complain about this and also why --since he ran from his people and didn't really find Gallifrey such a great place until oh about his 8th or 10th incarnation--and even then it's a wonder that he found it such a great place considering what they do to children and that's it looks basically like a giant desert. But whatever. Then there's the "living your life in one neat pattern" which will be like Tennant's speech to Rose in DOOMSDAY "Living your life one day after day something I could never do." kind of thing. Although there the similarity ends. Mel's leaving is one of the worst leaving of any companion...and Rose's is THE best...at least in DOOMSDAY and not the crap junk that is JOURNEY'S END.

And sigh sigh sigh, the Doc's taking on Ace. OMG. Is he a moron? I do like that earlier he seemed unhappy that she had explosives as he says, "C'mon Mel" looking with scorn at Ace.

The books, or rather the Virgin novels, suggest that, like curtailing his 6th self's life, the Doctor implanted the idea of leaving now in Mel's mind aware himself that she would not be ready for the dangers ahead (Daleks, the greatest Gods of Ragnorak, the Cybermen, Morgana, Fenric, Ghostlight, etc) and so pushed her to leave. The leaving scene was, I think part of or all of a script McCoy did with Tegan or rather Janet Fielding standing in as Mel and another female character in his audition. Love to see that! It is, poorly written but very well acted by Langford and McCoy. AND...if we're getting Ace, I'm sorry to see Mel go. Honestly at the time I thought this entire show was just idiotic and stupid and this season was the poorest one ever and bar DELTA a total waste of time. Not sure how I feel about it now. TIME AND THE RANI isn't as bad as I once thought but this one and PARADISE are, this one worse. It now has the rank of worst DW IMO but MINDWARP comes close and if you look at TRIAL as a whole, IT is the worst dw story mostly. I mean look at it. It makes NO sense. Either way, the show, IMO should have been cancelled and retooled to look more like....more like it looks nowadays or rather as it did in 2005 before it was cancelled and replaced by SPECIALS...       

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