Dr. Who Review • 1 June 2008 • The SnowBlog

Dr. Who Review


Our library theme continues

Now that's what I'm talking about. A questionable but very fruitful premise executed with ability, style, humour and intelligence - not to mention a gift for tension - so that one finds oneself inevitably shifting towards the edge of one's seat. [contains spoilers] I usually dread two-part episodes. Even some of my favourite writing teams fumble the pacing when they have to couple two sets of three acts together into a dramatic whole. But unless Steven Moffat has saved the worst to last, he's off to a fantastic start. Doesn't it just hit you how much difference a good script makes? The production team still have the same strengths and weaknesses, but suddenly they appear to be firing on all cylinders (except for whoever filmed the faces on the Node statues: when faking a face, you shouldn't be able to point out exactly which bits are latex). On Who Confidential, poor, not very bright Phil Collinson talks about how we're all a bit afraid of libraries because they're, dunno, unsettling or something. Incorrect, Phil. That's just you. It's fear of the dark that's universal; we like libraries. And Russell T. was gushing about how exciting a Steven Moffat episode is because... well the list went on and on, but the executive summary is that they have every one of the important elements of good television, most in abundance. The well-intentioned, but slightly bumbling team were more or less the same group who've been dropping the ball each week, but now with a Moffat script to work on, they seem to have suddenly pulled themselves together. Maybe some of it is courtesy of director Euros Lynn, who has perhaps presided over fewer disasters than, say, Graeme Harper or Alice Troughton. But then he really doesn't come across as a genius. He also made Fear Her, which rather underwhelmed me. With any luck, it's all down to the Moffat Effect. Even the music cues seemed better this week. Once Steven Moffat is sitting in the big chair for the next proper season of Who, do I dare to hope that it's like this every week? If I had to nitpick, and I can very rarely resist, I might have hoped a fellow who'd been time-travelling for nine hundred years would be used to the idea of convoluted time-lines. The Doctor seemed a bit slow on the uptake. River Song knows him well, but he hasn't met her yet - I felt we'd got that long before the Doctor started to grasp it. But that's not to detract: it's clearly very important to the plot that we get it, so Mr Moffat has perhaps decided to hit us over the head with it a couple of times just to be sure. I'm feeling in an airy and generous mood, and therefore let him off unconditionally. I have my fingers crossed for next week. And, seriously, if any of you know Steven Moffat - maybe you're married to him, or he owes you a lot of money - please get in touch. He might not know it yet, but he'd love to have me write a script or two for him. (Ooh, plus I really must stop slating the very team I'd love to work with.)


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