Thursday, October 22, 2015

Doctor Who 9.5 "The Girl Who Died"

I fear my Doctor Who enjoyment is in danger of waning. I try to keep my eye on the screen but I simply can’t help but see the man standing behind the curtain out of the corner of my mind. This latest episode is the worst case of straw-man-ism so far this season.

The story is just so empty. We have a case of a feared, invincible, alien army who it turns out are really just reaping the benefits of a reputation. (Dangerously close to a metaphor of the show itself, come to think of it.) But in this episode, as in so many latterly, the story is insignificant. Instead we are supposed to focus on:

The celebrity casting.

The long awaited reveal of an answer.

And, the set-up of yet another question.

Taken in order, here is what we actually get:

Perhaps people who watch “Game of Thrones” already have a connection to our guest star, I can’t know. However, the writers are sure banking on that fact. Because they give us no reason to fall in love with her character here and it comes as no surprise, and invokes no real feeling when she dies. (I mean… the title of the episode left us with no doubts, as well as the title of the next episode spoiling the “surprise” of this story.)

The answer we have been looking for is a big letdown. We have been told for some time that the writers would explain why the Doctor now looks like someone else we have seen in previous episodes. Turns out, he was subconsciously telling himself to save someone, anyone, someday. What? And why this girl, at this time? We certainly are not led to believe that he cares about her more than any other character he has met since his regeneration. And, to make matters worse he almost instantly regrets bringing her back to life. (The way that is accomplished, by the way, is one of the more stupid plot devices in all of Who.)

Finally, we get yet another Moffat-side-character in the form of this immortal girl. Much like Captain Jack and River Song, we will likely see a lot more of this Viking girl, but at this point they haven’t given me much reason to care. And, to be honest, they’ve burned us a lot in the past with these character. Whole story arcs have put up with sub-par plots all because we are supposed to be distracted by these “mysterious” characters.

1 comment:

  1. I sort of assumed it would be Clara who died. After all, she's already been impossible. She's probably died before too. I don't know anything about Game of Thrones, so I wasn't terribly excited about that. It was a sort of medium episode, where you could see all the plot twists coming ahead of time.

    ReplyDelete

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