6: ReviewAfter Twice Upon a Time I said I was giving up on Doctor Who: it was no longer worth my headspace. (The discourse about the First Doctor threatening to slap Bill recently broke out again on Twitter: it's actually worse than I thought.)
I thought Power of the Doctor was quite fun. I was amused by several of the scenes. I enjoyed the cameos. I didn't think the Doctor-Master hybrid made sense even within the narrow definitions of sense that regeneration stories usually make: I didn't really understand what was meant to have happened (Regeneration somehow pictured as a kind of possession? I suppose the decrepit Master steals Tremas's body in Keeper of Traken.) I thought the idea of the Dalek which has studied The Abolition of Man could have been a jumping off point for something interesting, but it wasn't. The story had a sort of large scale glitz and unearned sentimentality which doesn't seem to me to have very much to do with Doctor Who. The Aquadiabolical one simply bored me. Flux made me want to smash my television into little tiny pieces, or, if they are slightly more clear headed, that the Vogon had never been born. This one diverted me amiably as it was going on.
I remember someone once said that they felt about Bob Dylan as they do about Test Match cricket: they can listen to it; its not unpleasant; but they look around and find that everyone else in the room is deriving great significance from it. There are some Doctor Who fans who really really like the Power of the Doctor and jolly good luck to them. I** L***** gave ten out of ten, said that it made him cry, and that it would be impossible for anyone to do anything better. Given that he vowed never to watch the show again after the casting of a gurl in the main role, this is quite impressive. I truthfully don't know whether gloss and untethered sentiment and drive-by story fragments are honestly what some people like (in the way that some people honestly like jazz or prog rock or dogs) which is fine -- or if "this is the greatest thing ever and if you can't see that you are no true fan" is a defence mechanism, loyalty to a beloved franchise, a kind of anti-critic vice-signalling. (It wouldn't be very bad if it was.)
I don't know what else to say. Seeing Jo and Mel and Tegan and Ace and Colin and Peter and Paul and Old Uncle Tom Cobley and All was nice, in the way that eating a chocolate souffle with two much cream was nice. Seventeen years ago seeing a Dalek would have been nice but now there is nothing special about seeing a Dalek because we see them all the time. I didn't hate it; and I suppose after three years of Chibnall that's kind of a win.
I am trying very hard to be a semi-professional writer and have taken the leap of faith of down-sizing my day job.
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