Thousands of souls eagerly awaited the new series of Dr Who, and it has been positively received by the fans as well as by anyone with Tartan in the wardrobe.
However, I think I just saw an alternate timeline version.
The one I saw had an actor of immense potential (Peter Capaldi) totally underused in a storyline which seemed to have been written by a committee of inebriated six-year-olds. It was some of the laziest crap I have seen in years and doesn't bode well for future episodes.
It's short for WHAT THE HELL!
The new episode begins with a T-Rex strolling around in the Thames largely because they had a T-Rex already in the BBC computers as they just love their dinosaur programmes.
T-Rex maximum 20 feet tall. Standing in the Thames, roughly 6 feet deep, so 14 foot of visible dinosaur is able to look down on London from above while it is shown as having a height not dissimilar to the tower of Big Ben which is 316 feet. What they presented was obviously throwing away anything resembling facts just so the show could piggy back on the recent success of Godzilla. Trick of perspective perhaps? Not when T-Rex spits out the TARDIS a 1960's Police Box at 10ft in height.
Even a Seismosaurus (Tallest at 84ft) couldn't have gulped that down, so T-Rex would have found it almost as hard to swallow as I found the start of the show to be.
When do you think? During the reign of Queen Victoria, because let's face it, they haven't used that era anywhere near enough in the whole Doctor Who revamp.
So who was watching the T-Rex... A load of stereotypes and of course a lesbian Lizard-Woman and her wife, accompanied by their Sontaran butler. Nobody human batted an eye at the presence of Aliens in their midst. They also didn't seem at all surprised to see a Police Phone Box a good sixty years before it should exist.
Victorian London, because they already have it in their computers at the BBC so it's a handy setting to reuse and there is no shortage of costumes already available either. Within minutes of watching the opening I had the strangest feeling that the second episode would be set in space and probably feature the Daleks. They appear to have themes on rotation for the show, anyway the oversized T-Rex gets to stay up late and party before inexplicably bursting into flames.
Later on we get the reveal of how it got cremated, and it's ridiculous. A tiny flame-thrower hardly big enough to roast a chicken is meant to have reduced a (wet) dinosaur to ash in minutes.
Because the committee of inebriated six-year-olds thought 'wouldn't it be cool if.....' Which is why we have a T-Rex, as everyone knows little kiddies love the T-Rex. They needed something else and so they consulted the interweb to see what is currently rather trendy, and the computer says... Steampunk.
So they have lots and lots of cogwheels in the new intro as nothing says Steampunk quite like a mass of cogs. While they are at it, mix in clockwork robots, which they have done before, only this time have them cover the robots with living tissue but no real explanation of how they function or why they do it with the exception of the lead cyborg who seems to be part cuckoo clock (the cuckoo bit). He wants to go to 'The Promised Land'. I couldn't help but think that he had the right idea, as I would like to go to the promised land too, the land where Dr Who promised to be fantastic, and not the land in which it piled on disappointments like Jenga bricks until the whole thing just toppled. Nice idea with the clockwork gentleman though... Queue some extreme regular and lingering close-ups of how clever those boys and girls in the special effects department are while we see basic automata performing functions it would actually be incapable of.
The other cyborgs, although apparently flesh and metal, were actually 100% wooden. Think of a bunch of trainee mime artists told to pretend that they are Keanu Reeves and you'll get the picture. Oh, and here's an idea... Make the cyborgs only function when they can hear breathing, which is not a bit like Dr Who's most successful recent episode 'Blink' with the stone angels who can only function when you are not looking so hey, it's not as if that shit didn't work before.
I predict that in the next incarnation of Dr Who they'll have beings who can only attack you when you are not talking. Remember, you read it here first.
And what was with the attempted rescue? Lesbian Lizard Lady and her entourage descending on silk scarves? Cirque Du Sol-Alien? It was bad enough they made that entry without then completely botching the rescue to the point where they needed rescuing.
It wasn't as bad as the clockwork gentleman making his escape in a hot-air balloon made of human skin. You'd have thought with that much surplus flesh hanging about the guy could have patched the rest of his face up, but then we wouldn't have got to see his mechanisms. I'm sorry, but my brain cells just won't let me un-think it.
Peter Capaldi, that's who. What a waste of an actor of his calibre.
So the new Dr WHO is an Alien? No, he's a Scotsman, no, hang on a minute, he was a Roman Merchant in an earlier episode and the Home Secretary in Torchwood.
Okay, so they have a plan to resolve that whole issue, but to be honest I am past caring. Why they couldn't have cast someone who hasn't been in the show already is beyond me.
Capaldi starts off a tad insane, which given the emotional turmoil of regeneration can be forgiven, after all he's 2000 years old, the poor sod apparently has very late onset Alzheimers. He never really seems to get into his stride, so I can only hope he gets more of a chance to elevate the show above the absolute stupidity of the first episode.
However, with the way it ended I'm not so sure.
Missy? I'm thinking it's 'The Master' in the first 'Regenderation'.
As you may gather I was not entirely thrilled by the beginning of this series as it just seemed to be a massive build up to an equally massive let down.
The show is in desperate need of new ideas and fresh writing talent, but that would also bring extreme changes in other ways. Russell T Davies rescued the show and made the Doctor bisexual as well as introducing lesbian and gay characters, write what you know Russell. The current writer is... wait for it... A Scotsman called Stephen Moffatt! So we have the new Doctor played by a Scotsman with a strong accent who drinks whisky, his assistant wearing Tartan and his Nemesis appearing at the end sporting a rather Scots accent of her very own.
Future incarnations could be an Australian... Doctor Roo, who wears overalls with a pouch on them that's bigger on the inside. The Tardis becomes a British Sports-Bar where Doctor Roo can show people how good he is at making cocktails.
Or Black? Doctor Rude-Boy, travelling with his Alien posse in his new role as intergalactic DJ. They could get Noel Clarke for that one, oh wait, he's been in Doctor Who already... Oh wait, that's ok, loads of the actors have.
How about a Regenderation into a woman, Doctor Rula, a feminist who doesn't need a companion because she's a strong modern woman who doesn't need a man to help her.
Silly and stereotypical, but I didn't start the fire, I just chucked some wood on it.
The recent writers are the ones taking 'write what you know' to absolute extremes here.