eating crow: PLANET OF THE DEAD
Okay you're gonna really enjoy this. I was all set to NOT watch this and/or rip it to shreds again. I don't know what happened but less than half way through, I started to...gulp...enjoy this. Oh, there are still flaws aplenty and the start is the worst start to any DW ever but for some reason I found this less offensive and more entertaining than THE NEXT DOCTOR.
So I've gone on this ride through AN UNEARTHLY CHILD to the PLANET OF THE DEAD and the previews for WATERS OF MARS and had to watch this just to complete it all. What the hey, it was only 59 minutes what could it hurt?
Many of my previous criticisms don't really hold up when my expectations this time were on the ground. Some still remain. Okay from the start, we get a thief that I don't care about in a rip off of MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE the movie not the much better tv show. Guards don't see any movement above them. Christina leaves a cat device at the scene of her crime, then gets alarmed when the alarms go off and she leaves her "Lover" to get caught and smiles about it. Oh, she's catwoman? The music for these scenes is bad, overblown and bombastic. Also the editing. Where is the bus in relationship to the cops and Christina exactly? How do the police not see a great big RED bus and a girl in black getting on it? Where are they all in relation to the museum? Then the doofy Doctor gets on board and David doesn't do his best acting in this...scene and maybe in all of it but the dialog is often silly and stupid but boarding on offensive is the Doctor's rant about the original Easter and I'm glad they had the sense to curtail that before it got really faithless and athesitic. Yeah I"m prejudice against people who dn't believe in God. I just wish the best for them really. Just kidding on one of those accounts. I do love em, God bless em. RTD included. Although secretly I think RTD does believe in God. He just channels it all into the writing of the Doc's character and frankly on first viewing all the Doctor-Love going on here was totally annoying and over the top. I didn't mind it too much now especially since I'm at the end of my journey (although I'll probably start back at Hartnell and review Doc1,2,3 and the first season of 4 properly...NO, I can hear you all screaming at me!).
Okay the bus gets stolen and heads for a crash landing...that we don't see. We're supposed to think a desert scene is impressive and mind you, for DW, it is. But we've seen it before from STAR WARS in 1977 to INDIANA JONES and others. Then we see a screen and a monster's hand watching the bus on it. Then we get yet another cliche of the psychic hearing voices. An old man dies so it's not really that terrible but just after he dies, the Doc keeps on talking like nothing's happened. ANd he could have stopped the man with a simple warning.
On the bus, the Doctor's speech starts to get me. It makes me like him here and like this. BUt then the dolt makes a promise, the same one I believe he made to Sky in MIDNIGHT that he could not fulfull. I sort of like the bus passengers more than I did before...it wasn't that I didn't like them on first viewing--- it was that they weren't developed enough but maybe they were.
I still find UNIT boring and hearing that same music again is boring and drives that home. Oh and the open vent on the Fly's spaceship is just silly unless they open it after hitting the atmosphere but that's not how it sounded. I also wonder about the metal manta rays...were they built? Are the naturally metal? WTF? They spin and open worm holes far away from themselves? WTF? Oh and the last WTF I think---Christina's high jump...okay, the Doc DID have an idea of what she was doing and tried to stop her and she DID know...hey wait...is the DVD version an updated version of what was first aired? This seems to make more sense now. What doesn't make sense is the great big red button above the security forcefield above the crystal area AND why have a forcefield just under the great big red button that shuts it off. ANd why do you need a forcefield to protect a place on your ship anyway?
I DO think now that there was some rapport between Tennant and Christina and in fact, she's make a great travelling companion unlike any that travelled with the 9th and 10th Doctor. She might even have a bit of Romana in her and she's certainly different enough from the gushing Rose, the very gushing Martha and the starting to gush, yelloutloud Donna, all of whom I liked. The Doc's still a hypocrite not taking her with him but he's afraid someone will break his heart. Oh stop! Stop it please! He should have taken her. I even like their kiss although I wish the Doctor said, "Do that again."
I like the UNIT captain lady better. Malcolm. I even like him a bit better but for Pete's sake why didn't the fool close the hole as soon as he heard the bus was back. For a brief moment I wanted him to get eaten by the manta as he stumbled outside. SOME of his stuff was funny but alot of it was annoying and silly. BUT I like him better than I did the first time.
For the record, I NEVER minded the flying bus. I don't know why people go on and on about how bad it looked. Really it looks fine. I also don't mind that UNIT can bring down three THREE flying metal manta rays. The music also picked up about 20 minutes in or so and the tension, while not PARTING OF THE WAYS or DOOMSDAY in nature was pretty good.
I also didn't mind the future doom of the Doctor, "You're song is ending" Bull sh&^. It was actually quite unexpected and added to the overall effect of this.
I would have to give this a 3/5 and that's a vast improvement from a 0/5 or even as I may have once suggested a negative number for this.
As I've gone from almost all of Pertwee to AN UNEARTHLY CHILD, most of Hartnell, back to Troughton's "lost" stories on reconstructions, through the rest of Hartnell, the rest of Pertwee, three Davison stories, the rest of Troughton and then all of Tom's in order, then Davison, Colin, and McCoy in order, then the TV Movie, Dimensions in time, right to Chris E, then all of Tennant, bumping through the horrid CHILDREN OF EARTH and now at the end of this...I might start again with Hartnell...or maybe as most of you might wish, I might switch to another show altogether. BLAKE, TP, or Kyo Kara Maoh.
In any event, it's been a bumpy ride and DW often does not live up to its premise but when it does...and I believe the new series does it more than the old series, it's just FANTASTIC!