I promise I’m not going to turn into a TV reviews site… but I do have some thoughts on the first 60th Anniversary Doctor Who Special, The Star Beast.
So, it’s finally here; the three parts that make up the 60th Anniversary Doctor Who Specials.
And of course, I’ve watched the first part, The Star Beast.
More than once, in fact.
However, I HATE spoilers, and the culture that’s grown online around them that says “Oh, well, I just spoiled something for you, but you read it, so it’s your fault.”
It’s nonsense to me — so much easier not to be that obstinate, I think — so to be 100% transparent and clear, this article DOES include some spoilers for The Star Beast.
And to allow you time to back out if you’ve not yet watched it, here’s Howard Jones performing “Hunt The Self”.
What does this have to do with Doctor Who?
Nothing at all, but if you scroll below that video, that’s where the spoilery bits start.
I’m going to presume by now that you’ve seen the episode, so I’m not going to do a recap; more a collection of semi-random thoughts about the episode as a whole, a couple of nit-picks and some future thoughts, in no particular order.
- The intro makes sense… but you could (mostly) skip it. I get the point of having it, because the intent is to draw in some fans (or re-hook lapsed ones) but outside of Donna having a daughter, it’s all classical info, and just a little goofy. It’s fine, though.
- How does The Meep get up the attic ladder? It has such tiny legs!
- Why do Sylvia/Rose/Shaun get trapped on the way down in the steel works? It’s never shown — slightly lazy “in peril, oh no” writing there.
- The Meep is interesting — one family member of mine commented that they didn’t look very “Doctor Who”, and I guess if you’re not familiar then that’s kind of true. You might even think that it was Disney interference, because The Meep is a very Disney looking critter — well, at first, anyway… But no, it’s a classic comic strip villain. Of course, if you’re an older veteran Who fan as I am, it does rob the story of a slight twist.
- The gender identity stuff is nicely handled, but I can 100% see a certain percentage of the fanbase up in arms about it — probably the same folks who were up in arms about a female doctor. There’s also a very subtle point here that escaped me on first viewing that I think some might not spot…
- How did Rose get The Meep out into the shed in the back without Donna and Silvia seeing it?
- I really liked the whole meta crisis solution — while other areas felt like slightly lazy writing, that was smartly handled.
- The Dagger Drive splitting London apart (and conveniently down streets!) is a little too wacky, especially as it’s reversed as though nothing bad had happened. Let’s just ignore the people who must have fallen into it (driving, out walking the dog, etc), or the structural damage to services like power, water and sewage, etc.
- I am, 100% going to cry when Bernard Cribbins appears. And I am entirely proud of that fact. You should be too.
- I mostly like the new TARDIS interior, though it is a bit Apple shop. Could have done without the central console having a coffee machine though; that felt just a little too cute.
- Speaking of which, clearly the TARDIS is a tea drinker. Makes sense, being British…
- It’s still a joy to see David Tennant and Catherine Tate work opposite each other. I’m not a big fan of Tate’s sketch comedy — it always felt a little forced to me, but tastes can naturally differ — but the two of them have such an effortless chemistry together.
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And now I get to get up early next Sunday — as a reminder, I’ve written up a piece on how to watch the 60th Anniversary specials in Australia here, and it’s gone NUTS in terms of traffic (to my great surprise) — and do it all again!