Tag Archives: Steven Moffat

Who was best, the Doctor or Christie?

Doctoring your Agatha Christie… I wish they hadn’t. I didn’t initially remember* the original Witness for the Prosecution, but I gather the BBC added the odd thing at the end, and even when you don’t know the plot intimately, it was pretty obvious that someone had been allowed to go crazy. And I don’t mean the murderer or his unfortunate solicitor. Or even the sad victim who wasn’t the murderer after all.

The first half of this Agatha Christie short story was good and even a little enjoyable, bar the coughing from Toby Jones. Even the beginning of the second half was all right and the plot went in the expected direction. The falsely accused murderer and his ‘wife’ were both excellent. But I did hate the coughing. On the other hand, it was illuminating seeing the importance of good health care and how you can be virtually brought back from the almost dead. Unless you have been murdered.

The Return of Doctor Mysterio

Doctor Who, on the other hand, was a delight from beginning to end. I know people who hated it, but you need to keep in mind that Doctor Who is a programme for children, not adults. Doesn’t stop quite a few of us from liking it, though.

Superheroes, what’s not to like? The baby was a bit weird, but it was the babysitter we had an interest in. And his (her?) mother. Matt Lucas was fine, but I really didn’t grasp his role in all of this. Maybe his task was to look a bit odd and make a few funny comments?

But you know, the Doctor was expected, as he hung upside down outside the boy’s bedroom window. We all expect a visit from an unknown older male at Christmas, don’t we?

I had just about forgotten that we’d not had the Doctor round for the past year. But I’m ready for him now.


*It all came back to me after a while. The 1957 film was much better. And I also now recall trying to get my hands on the book, in Swedish translation, for a friend. It was impossible. I was at the back of a very long queue.

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Who on earth expected us to like that?

Is Steven Moffat taking us for granted? I found myself watching the Christmas episode of Doctor Who with mounting surprise. ‘Is this it? Whatever happened to the idea of a special something for Christmas?’

The 50th anniversary episode a month earlier was so very, very good that I somehow imagined they knew what they were doing. Perhaps they used up every ounce of great ideas for that, and now there was none left. My loyal in-house Whovian pointed out there were some nice in-jokes. Maybe there were. Maybe the hardcore fans always get more out of an episode than the mere spectator. But even idiot viewers should be given some fun, while the experts chuckle over the cleverness of whatever they’ve come up with.

If I was Peter Capaldi I’d sue for getting such a crap entry to what should be a fantastic new job. If I was Matt Smith I’d sue for getting nowhere near the kind of exit David Tennant had. I was just sitting there willing it to be over. Die and let’s see this new Doctor and then we can all go and watch Downton Abbey.

I’m gladder than ever that I watched the 50th shebang in November. It made me pleased to ‘be part of it.’ (So for the sake of clarity; I had nothing to do with the Christmas failure. Not the 50th either, obviously, but, you know…)

My in-house fan then showed me the Peter Davison half hour programme about the other former Doctors who – supposedly – weren’t part of the 50th show. That was terrific! I could happily watch it again.

Thankfully Doctor Who won’t be back for a while. They will need time to write something we will want to watch.

The Eccleston reign

Would fish fingers and chips – bunged in the oven – have made a difference, I wonder? I’ve been informed this is how mothers coped with Saturday dinners in the olden days of Doctor Who. Because it’s astonishing quite how many episodes I never watched as the Doctor returned to the home screens eight years ago.

I think I plonked Offspring down in front of the box to watch, because it was what you did. Generations of British children watched the Doctor and the Daleks from behind their sofas. I don’t think I really expected to watch. I had no proper upbringing that led me to want to do it. So I probably watched a couple of episodes to keep people company. And I caught glimpses of the Tardis and stuff as I dashed in and out of the room.

I have long been under the impression that I watched every other episode of season one. Now I know better. I didn’t. Not by a long shot. I ‘met’ Captain Jack Harkness only by hearing him talk soothingly to Rose, as she sailed across the London sky. I have a lot of weird, half-fake memories. Sat through the ‘are you my mummy’ episodes to keep Daughter calm. But they were creepy.

In fact, I didn’t care that Christopher Eccleston stopped Doctoring, because I simply didn’t know the man well enough to miss him. And he was followed by the lovely David Tennant, so was easily forgotten by me.

Luckily the lapses of yesteryear have been rectified. I have just watched every single episode of season one, up to and including the Christmas one where David Tennant mostly slept on the job. They were pretty good, on the whole. And I’m beginning to see why some fans moan these days. They really did write them better before. They just did.

Never mind who was the Doctor. It’s who wrote the script that matters.

The Christmas episodes

Not surprisingly, some were better than others. Although we found ourselves making comparisons between fresh new writing as was the case for older new Doctor Who seasons, as well as for the earlier season of NCIS. Downton Abbey was OK-ish. Apart – obviously – for you-know-what. NCIS: Los Angeles felt more Christmassy than its big brother did.

Although, it was very noticeable that they had decided to throw in a little from many early NCIS seasons and stir well. Except maybe the stirring wasn’t done terribly thoroughly, after all.

Doctor Who

I don’t care for the Doctor’s new assistant. She’s spunky, but the chemistry between us is all wrong. And I trust there is now a country full of children who will scream at the mere idea of a snowman.

How could they end Downton Abbey like that? They did, though, didn’t they? Someone here was disappointed it wasn’t a wintry episode, but when you’ve seen one snow scene, you’ve seen them all. And all that Scottish deer-stalking will suit the Americans just fine. Long live Mrs Patmore and her patés!

So, L A was an early NCIS medley with a Christmas twist. But at least once they’d sorted out the drugs on the ship (I just couldn’t get over the L A gang being on a boat in the first place) they went a little Christmassy. To my mind Nell didn’t need fake elf ears. Besides, didn’t she go from very sad to surprisingly chirpy very quickly?

But NCIS, oh, NCIS… What shall we do about you? This was an over sugary episode with too many cute scenes. I almost didn’t mind DiNozzo Sr being back. Again. He was almost more rational than Jr. And the sight of Junior’s bed is now forever etched on my mind. His flat was gorgeous, but was it him?

As for the goldfish… Or the snickerdoodles. Well.

Perhaps get Steven Moffat to write the next episode?

The Angels Take Manhattan

The Angels Take Manhattan

Goodbye to Amy. I didn’t cry at all, or feel close to doing so. I have been an Amy fan from the start, so am not one of those who are only too pleased to see the last of her.

But not only had we been warned Amy and Rory were going, and in which episode, but I do feel there are only so many adventures the Doctor – any Doctor – can have with an assistant. Any assistant. We were getting close with Amy, and she went before she became an embarrassment.

The Angels Take Manhattan - The Doctor and Amy

Also, seeing as Matt Smith’s days are counted, it all seems for the best.

One bonus with Amy was that she brought Rory along. Sometimes it seems tempting to have just the pair of Tardis travellers, but occasionally I feel the more the merrier. Rory’s Dad has been an asset; useful and not easily fazed.

The Angels Take Manhattan

What was bad were the angels. I’m sure DW scriptwriters are responsible for loads of new phobias around the world, and surely being afraid of statues of angels is one of the weirder ones?

As for the vertigo, well. I don’t want to stand on the edge like that again.

The Angels Take Manhattan - Rory and Amy

And correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought we ended with a long and happy life for the Ponds. Just not the one everyone was expecting. Amy disappeared in front of the Doctor, but she was there to write the last page in River’s book.

Eleven, soufflé, dead

Those were the three words I was able to say well before anyone said it on screen in Asylum of the Daleks. I must be wired in, or something. Are they simply getting too predictable?

Doctor Who and the Asylum of the Daleks

And, I have a confession to make. I don’t understand what is so scary about the Daleks. The weeping angels are scary, and so is ‘are you my mummy?’ Daleks, no. Perhaps I had a deprived childhood, growing up in a Dalek-free zone?

But it was all right, this Dalek episode, as the beginning to an end. It was good thinking to include the Doctor’s new friend. This way we’ll be more used to her when she pops up for real.

Doctor Who and the Asylum of the Daleks

And just when I thought we were meant to be thinking it won’t matter when whatever happens to Amy and Rory, actually happens, because they are embittered and out of love, they go and move those goal posts again. It has to be said, most men don’t wait 2000 years for their loved ones.

We’ll wait and see what soufflé-girl will do about her predicament.

Old years, new year

First Dodo and Son (hmm, good company name…) spent hours watching the extra features on Harry Potter, while making witty comments. Then they ruined my childhood. We ate the usual Indian food. Once the forgotten Daughter had been collected from her nerds’ party, we went to bed and then we woke up and ‘went’ to the New Year’s concert in Vienna. Dispatched Dodo and Son, ate again and watched Sherlock.

Spiced rice

Uppama

Scrambled eggs with tomato sauce

Chickpea salad

I never cease to marvel over the fact that the next generation willingly opt to spend New Year’s Eve with us doddery types, eating the Resident IT Consultant’s Indian cooking. It was good this year. Recently we have had time issues, but he diligently slaved over a hot stove for days (with me trailing behind, wiping, and filling the dishwasher), so we had plenty to eat.

Son had missed the last Harry Potter, so bought a copy of the DVD for Christmas. After which, the extras were enjoyed by all. It’s his childhood, when all is said and done. Also the childhoods of Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson.

That’s what got me started on mine. I was seven when I went to see Five on a Treasure Island in the cinema. I’ve never forgotten it. It started my reading career, and subsequently lead to everything else I’ve done, including coming to England first on holiday, and then to live here. And they had the nerve to laugh at the film!!!

Even the Resident IT Consultant who hardly ever laughs, was bent over in an uncontrolled fashion, red in the face, tears spurting. It wasn’t that funny! Not even the navy vessel The Gay Viking was all that funny. As I said, that was my childhood memories ruined. I could still feel the magic of that beautiful coastline and the lovely English house and the old ruins. Not to mention the ingots (otherwise known as gold bars).

Anyway, I enjoyed it. And as a punishment the amused chef was sent to pick up Daughter, missing the end…

Famous Five on Treasure Island, 1957

We slept and we woke and we breakfasted. Lounged with the Wiener Philharmoniker and Mariss Jansons. Have you noticed how conductors often look very conductor-like? I feel there is a special conductor look. Mariss must have worked slow, since we missed all the lovely credits at the end.

Then Daughter packed her bags, and – illogically – Son and Dodo were driven away by the amused chef. We settled down on the sofa with the leftovers and Sherlock, which was as good as ever. I even remembered how the last episode ended. Most unusual. Very good script by Steven Moffat, and let’s hope the howler highlighted by that darling Sam Wollaston in the Guardian wasn’t his doing.

An exciting weekend was had by all.