Doctor Who was Rushed and the Ryder Cup is Comedy Gold

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October 4, 2012 by raconteurmagazine

By James Bovington

So this season of Doctor Who (BBC One) came skidding to an end on Saturday, rounding off with the kind of finale we’ve come to expect from the Doc. and chums.

Except, y’know, thinner.

I’m not going to spoil anything, so unclamp those eyelids, but what I will say is this; I didn’t care. Odd, because I really enjoyed the presence of the Ponds-né-Williamses in the TARDIS (We knew they were leaving, it’s not a spoiler, stop screaming) but when it finally happened it just didn’t affect me. The reason is simple; it was rushed. They could have milked at least two episodes out of that particular story, and to my mind it would have been a great improvement. As it was, the characters got almost no time to mull over decisions, or put pieces of the puzzle together without massive leaps of logic, and neither did we.

With the exception of Dinosaurs on a Spaceship and A Town Called Mercy (both of which are fairly decent ‘Doctor Who’ staple romps, Dinosaurs… is a bloody good episode, actually), every episode has felt rushed. Especially Asylum of the Daleks; there’s at least two episodes of material to cover in there, crammed into one and fired at us from an exposition cannon. We had no time to become emotionally invested in the throw-away character (who, funnily enough, is wearing red. Star Trek fans know why that’s important), a situation with the potential to teach us more about the Doctor’s life during the Last Time War and one of the reasons the Daleks fear him is squandered, and the ending, which should have been an absolutely enormous reveal was given literally two lines of dialogue before the credits rolled. It was a travesty.

I’m not sure what the problem was. Aside from these five episodes being aimed squarely at the American audience, I swear it’s like they just noticed our cousins across the pond exist and like the show. Maybe that’s why they thought they had to cram all of these stories into five hours, in case the notoriously short American attention-span simply ran out. Or maybe they were only given five hours of airtime. Then again, this is BBC One’s powerhouse show, so the odds of them not getting the time they needed are slim.

Maybe we’ll never know.

Still, I did enjoy all five of the episodes. Leaving the Ponds is bittersweet, even if it’s not the tear- jerker they were clearly after. I’m hoping for an excellent Christmas special, and hopefully a new companion that isn’t awful.

Plus, we got to see Matt Smith in round-frame glasses. It made him resemble a humorously vandalised Easter-Island Head.

Just quickly, aside from that I’ve also caught a bit of the Ryder Cup.

I don’t like watching sports, as a rule, and while I’ll happily play a bit of golf, watching it has to be one of the dullest things imaginable.

Except this time, because you got to roll around in fits of laughter at people bellowing ‘IN THE HOLE!’ as one of the players teed off, or singing the American national anthem for no reason. One highlight was watching grown men excitedly bounce over to where a player’s ball had landed off the fairway and stand around staring at it like it held the secrets of the universe. The particular secret being ‘What brand of ball does Tiger Woods use?’ which quick Google-ing tells me is a tailor-made Nike model. Funnily enough he doesn’t even use the balls he’s paid to endorse and his personal stock isn’t available to purchase. Like Fidel Castro’s cigars back in the day, but less exciting. Also I assume they just really want to stand near the player when he struggles to chip it out of the rough and carry on with his game.

Alright, so it didn’t make it any more exciting, but it made me chuckle. Plus, golf is just really easy to watch. Lots of rolling green grass and slow movements. It’s televised Valium. Just the ticket if you’ve had a rough week.

Next time; Boris Johnson goes on Letterman and employs his ‘bumbling but well-meaning oaf’ persona to great effect. Then David Cameron, an emotionless lizard-robot that ripped through the veil from a dimension where the poor don’t exist and he’s free to boringly devour the elderly, tries the same thing.

Am I going to enjoy this because of Schadenfreude? Or am I going to cringe myself inside-out and melt into a puddle of apologies for inflicting him on the world, like the rest of England? I suppose we’ll find out when it airs.

Writing a TV article can be a double-edged sword, can’t it?

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