I have no idea why I'm doing this. Two essays due in twenty-four hours. Well, no secret Who
's addicting. Let's hope this is a better episode than the two-parter.
The Hell noise? It's the squealy electrical thing.
We have a record people!
Martha the Moron: "Where are we?"
The Doctor: "The end of the line. [Martha the Moron looks at him eagerly; by now about a third of the audience has clued in on the end of the freakin' line
. She's so dumb! She's a medical student!] There's no place like it." The Doctor nods affirmatively. Martha's still grinning like a goon. Because THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME! IDJIT.
This is all before the thirty second marker people! Thirty seconds!
Say what you like about Rose, but she was written as being fairly dumb, and yet she was still fairly smart. Martha
is a medical student - and you need very good grades to get on a medical course. For instance, if Martha studied Medicine at UCL she would need a minimum
of three As at A Level and a passing grade in a fourth AS Level. And she's not exactly getting the fact that after the incidents in their last journey
she's being taken home. Or this lovely little fact. In 'The Shakespeare Code' she was promised one
trip. This was then extended in the next episode to be one into the past, one into the future. And then
they went to 1930.
How can Martha not add one plus one plus a bonus trip?
Thirty. Seconds. People.
Martha the Moron is rapidly becoming my least favourite long-term (as in more than two episodes) Companion.
And doesn't her face fall when she realises it.
She does. Only twelve hours after she left. Better than Rose's initial twelve months. And she's thrown a hissy fit. Like she's being dumped. Hate Martha the Moron.
I'll be brief. I'm two minutes (1.57 to be exact) into the episode and nearly every word Martha the Moron says
is making me annoyed. "I suppose things just kind of - escalated
." she says, leaning forwards slightly, looking up through her lashes at the massively oblivious Doctor
. He's staring happily at the ceiling, reflecting on something. At least she has the grace to give in . . . gracefully. Until 2.31 when she looks sad and depressed. Until the Doctor comes back.
To ask: "I'm sorry. Did he say 'change what it means to be human?'"
Intro scene! The writer is Stephen Greenhorn.
And now for a note on the episode title. Did you know one of my old childhood friends went to Sunday school every week? And if she had a sleepover, all friends had to go too? Or that I was unofficially Sunday schooled by this old cartoon called The Storykeepers
. It's actually a pretty good series, from what I remember of it. Very good actually. Don't even ask me how my entire family got into watching it, we just did.
As a result I picked up Bible stuff ever before I had to take RE properly. Then I got into reading the 'classics' of 'literature', medieval mystery novels like the Cadfael
series and so on. So I have a fairly good knowledge of the Bible, simply because I needed to (or picked it up) while on my usual reading sprees even before I started (UK) college.
Long story short, way too late. Lazarus. Really. Everyone knows this story. And for those of you who don't! He was a dude who was dead for four days. Then Jesus came along, "wept", brought him back to life; and then stuff happened. There was another Lazarus who showed up in the NT. He was a leper. And that's where you get the phrase 'Lazar house' from to describe a leper colony. Seeing as the former is more famous, and involves subverting the traditional path of being human; I'm betting this old dude's going to come back from the dead or something.
Stuffy British accents said by old people. The old lady is concerned for the people who'll be in the room with the Crazy Science Stuff (4.04 - ick! Old Dude's hitting on not-Martha) because "Mr. Saxon is concerned" about how they'll react.
The Doctor looks smoking handsome
in a tux. How does he make the sideburns work. Tish (Martha's sister) has an extremely painful looking Croyden facelift. The Doctor's being dorky, and there was gossip. it bored me.
The Doctor doesn't know what a "science geek" is. That's sweet. Just want to pinch his cheek!
Martha the Moron freaks out and hugs her mother, even though she 'didn't miss her family' and didn't want to go home. Nice subversion of the usual 'Doctor who?' joke at 06.37 or so. Martha's mother looks eerily like River Song at some angles. It's the eyes and brows.
You know, I just realised I'm an idjit too. The old dude became young in the preview! So cue from flashy lights and a Big Red Button, some impressively blue flashy special effects and we get - a system overload!
How did the Doctor get backstage so quickly? He's very athletic for someone who (at this point in time) was nearing forty. Wires are pulled, buttons are pushed, the booth opens and it's . . . Boris Johnson!
A less goofy looking one. With less floppy hair.
Title drop. "Ladies and gentlemen. I am Richard Lazarus, I am seventy-six years old, and I am reborn
So why doesn't he give his wife an age-down? Ah, she's going to "be the first in line".
Heart burn. And now Boris is "famished", eating wildly. The Doctor says something about Boris needing more energy due to expending too much.
This is all a commercial venture though. So it's basically the ultimate cosmetic surgery. According to the Doctor, Boris is "out of his depth". And now the Doctor and Martha the Moron go off hunting for biology labs. In a place called Lazarus Laboratories. I think they're going to find one.
Cut to the Lazaruses reminiscing. And Boris talks about how his home was destroyed "in the war". Given we know he's seventy-six, and that every child in the UK is educated on Britain in the Blitz, I therefore find it a bit . . . pointless for Boris to then elaborate upon it. I'll allow the year - no. I won't. We all remember the kick-butt two-parter 'The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances' two seasons ago. Set 1940, heart of the Blitz. Okay, I think I will allow it. New viewers and all. And, I suppose, to humanise the soon-to-be-villain.
I like the romance between the Lazruses. Until Boris gets all - ugh, he gets all jockish and insults his wife of however many years. "Look at you woman". Lovely man.
In the labs; we have technotreknobabble. Basically, Boris is mutating.
Mrs. Laz is all upset and - Boris: "You think I'd waste another lifetime on you?"
"Did that process make you more cruel?"
"No, my love, I learnt it from you."
Harsh, vicious man, good sally though. Then Boris mutates into a scorpion thingy, and stabs his wife in the face. I'm assuming it's in the face. The mutating was hammily done. And now Boris is all normal again, but his neck cricks freakily. And then he starts hitting (skeevily) on not-Martha.
The Doctor and Martha the Moron find the very dessicated corpse of Mrs. Laz. "Like draining the juice out of an orange." MtM and the Doctor freak out, running down to the reception room just as
Tish? and Boris ironically
walk out the other lift.
There's some more boring family stuff before we follow Martha's mother around. And anonymous MiB offers MtM's mum a drink, before enwuiring as to the identity of the Doctor. "Perhaps she should choose her friends more carefully." This guy? Is a bad guy. He's slimily obvious.
Technotreknobabble. Cut to the rooftops. Things get skeevy real
quick. Makes me cringe. Boris: "Between the idea and reality, between the motion and the act -"
"Falls a shadow."
Boris: "So the mysterious Doctor knows his Eliot. I'm impressed." And I turn to Google. It's from The Hollow Men
(1925) - that poem about the world ending "not with a bang, but with a whimper". basically: incorporating themes and structures from Dante and elsewhere, this poem is generally seen as a passage of a soul through the three kingdoms of death; and is viewed through the eyes of the dead watching a living soul. Symbolism.
Boris does some typically smarmy villain things; and then the assertion that it's how you live, not the length that's important.
Boris then orgasms into a seizure into a scorption . . . thing. The CGI looks about on par with Silent Hill 3
. Good uncanny valley stuff, but it doesn't mix with the real world well.
There's some running. People are bamboozled in the reception. The Doctor orders people out of the building as the monster appears. It actually looks better now than it did on the roof. More running and mayhem. Eeeehhh, idiot blonde doesn't run away from obvious monster going to eat her -
you know, Martha's brother looks a lot like Mickey
- and is turned into a mummy. I've also determined that it's the face that's the most off when it comes to - why are we having gratuitous spinning of cameras? Good disorientating choice though. - close-ups of the monster thing. It can speak.
Boris is arrogant. It's all for "progress" with extra sssssibilance. That face is freaky freaky weird.
MtM randomly sonics things to get people out, but restoring the power makes things go belly up for the Doctor. He runs some more. MtM "[has] to go back", and does despite protest from the family. I might add she's in heels that are at least
two and a half inches high. You won't even see me walking quickly
in babies that high. I think they were stilettos too, but I can't prove it.
And the Doctor's in a school science lab (blatantly) turning on all the gas pipes. He explodes the place. MtM is conveniently a couple corridors away from from Ten. Some more stupid family stuff about family. Not-Mickey "[Ten] must be some guy."
Probably Tish: "Maybe she loves him"
Mum: "She's only just met him!"
Ominous MiB: "[...] He's dangerous." And he whispers something into mum's ear. Called it. Ominous MiB is ominous and probably working for the Daleks or the Time Lords or the Big Bad. Dredging up my shaky, shaky knowledge of Classic Who
there were good Time Lords, neutral ones, jerky ones, and evil ones. Also, I think the Doctor was a naughty Time Lord, so another Time Lord would want to make sure everyone knew the Doctor was a naughty Time Lord.
So bets are it's a Time Lord. Mostly because if they did another human-puppet-ruling-on-behalf-of-Dalek-Caan I'd be put out.
Or it could be a big bad I've not seen all season yet. Or the MiB is
the Time Lord. It'd certainly shake things up wouldn't it? Seeing and yet not-seeing the villain.
More running (27.55), the Doctor and Martha are standing chest-to-chest in a tiny booth of the whirly blue de-ageing thing. Ten has no plan from here on out. And then he all but put - okay. His head is level with her crotch.
And Martha rebecomes a Moron. She knows the monster is Boris, and she thinks it's "alien". Tenchontreknobabble about prehistoric throwbacks. Boris turns on the thing.
Pausing at 29.30 to speculate on awesome. If they failed right, Marth the Moron is de-aged out of existence. The Doctor
on the other hand could potentially revert to a previous regeneration. If it's set to about fifty years or so, then we could have seen Eight or Nine. Of course, the Doctor's techotreknobabbling his way out of this, so let's unpause and see what happens.
Stuff is said, the Doctor stops the machine from working. Ha! I actually 'ha!'ed out loud at 29.55: "should have just reversed the polarity" (of the neutron flow?! Pertwee, you lovely person you. He's my mum Doctor you know. As in her
Doctor) And then following up with "Must be a bit out of practice". Yeah. Seven Doctor's out.
And now Boris is nekkid. Even though the first time he went all scorpion his clothes weren't affected. Or did I miss something?
- and 30.22 quotes up the famous line of The Hollow Men
quoted earlier on. But Boris is dead, with thirteen minutes left to go. But everything's all sorted.
I'm not having a ten minute epilogue am I?
Mmmm, Ten looks nice in a dishevelled tux. And then mum slaps him. "Why's it always the mother?" And mum tells MtM Ten's dangerous, Not-Mickey blames Tish for the whole thing; the ambulance crashes, and Lazarus is "back from the dead". And gone to the Cathedral. Southwark Cathedral.
But it was foreshadowed earlier, so I'm happy. Chekov's Gun.
Ugh. Symbolic line is symbolic. Ten: "Where would you go if you were looking for Sanctuary?" Boris is spasming (with an extremely furry chest) behind the altar. And he's reminiscing over the Blitz.
Boris: "Have you read about it?"
Ten: "I was there."
Boris:"You're too young."
Ten: "So are you."
And now I say the earlier thing about the obvious stuff about the Blitz is given a pass mark.
Moral time! "Facing death is part of being human. You can't change that."
Boris: "No Doctor. Avoiding death is part of being human. Our strongest impulse, to cling to life." Diagonal Dalek said so last episode. Nice cohesion.
Love this line, Ten: "There's no such thing as an ordinary human." Love it.
There's more spasming and stuff, with morals interspersed (on Ten's half, "In the end you get tired of the struggle, tired of losing everyone that matters to you. Tired of watching everything turn to dust. If you live long enough Lazarus, the only certainty is you'll end up alone.") between the rustling whispers.
Why are the Moron girls still in their heels? I'd have ditched them long ago. ESPECIALLY now they're running up a stone stone spiral staircase. To the belltower.
The Doctor's pulling a BS Johnson on the organ with a sonic screwdriver. A sonic boom of death? Against a scorpion thing and two girls in a belltower.
Ten's a very good organ player. MtM gets clouted around the head, and starts to fall. And then the organ starts getting really loud (the camera wobbles!) and discordant, making the scorpion thing fall over. And go squish (without squishy bits) on the floor of the cathedral.
Everyone's okay. And then Boris goes old again for now apparent reason. The girl#s outfits are practically impeccable. I call foul! BIG FOUL! Not even Tish's stupid hairstyle is one. hair. out of place.
And then back in MtM's bedroom, Ten offers MtM one more trip. She says no.
Damn. And then he invites on as a partner, not a guest.
Ten: "You were never really just a passenger were you?"
And then as the TARDIS vworp-vwopr-vworps away Mum phones up, telling MtM the Doctor's dangerous, she knows who he is and that MtM's going to die.
"This information comes from Harold Saxon himself. You're not safe."
Cue the weird buzzy screamy electrical start of the end credits music.
Question: who is Harold Saxon? How does he know so much about the Doctor? Is he part of Torchwood? How does he know Martha's travelling with the Doctor if they've only been gone twelve hours (as far as the present is concerned)?
Do I smell a plot hook? Yes indeedy!
We're in a hot space ship. MtM has the magic Rose-o-phone that defies space, time and credit. Some creepy guy on a phone says robotically "Burn. With. Me." People are running screaming. And there's a dude in a helmet going around being creepy.
Another Empty Child syndrome?
Ooh hey! I think the thing in the end credits is a theremin mixed with a proper orchestral rendering of the Who
Eh. Hard to say, but probably the bit in the cathedral where the Doctor confronts Boris on the foolishness of his ambitions.
Any family scene with the Joneses.
Best Special Effect:
The whirly blue de-ager thing.
Worst Special Effect:
The close ups of the scorpion monster.
Lazarus is a deliciously smarmy, sleazy villain. He ties with the Doctor. I'm biased in the latter case though because he pulls off a tux and cluelessness so well.
Not-Mickey. He's so bland. He gets what, four lines?
Number of Times Rose Is Mentioned:
None. Happy days.
Number of Time MtM Obviously Hits on the Doctor Or Their 'Romance' Is Mentioned:
Three or four. New category added only after watching, so I wasn't really keeping count.
Surprisingly bland given it's rather well-structured, with adequate use of foreshadowing and, the Classics and Eliot's work. Admittedly, the quotations from Eliot are a bit obvious, but they do tie in well.
But given how much I admire that, it's just really empty. There is a plot, and what seems to be the start of a half-season myth arc, but nothing really memorable.
The monster is interesting, but not in any definable fashion, it's just a case of MAD SCIENCE! gone horribly wrong; and the trope of man's aspirations to immortality is overdone, if done quite nicely and humanly here.
It's just . . . average.
And if there's one thing Who
shouldn't be, is average.
Everything here is well done, but not especially so. Everyone puts in effort, but not as much as they could.
It's all so average.
It doesn't even feel like this average Who
episode (something which normally would stand above the rest of the average tellybox show) would stand up against an average evening on BBCOne.
Maybe the next episode'll be better.