Sunday, June 24, 2007

Tony's TV Reviews: Doctor Who, "The Sound of Drums"

Here's my review of last night's Doctor Who episode, "The Sound of Drums" as on

The Master, now the Prime Minister of Great Britain, takes over the earth with Imperial Probe Droids, and turns the Doctor into a geriatric.

I’m a bit conflicted on this one. I’ll have to break it up.

The Good:
The story is excellent. It’s full of drama and edge of the seat excitement, which is why I gave this episode such a big score. I got a big laugh out of the Master watching the Teletubbies- an obvious reference to the original Master (Roger Delgado) watching the Clangers in "The Sea Devils" for us old-timers. Another great gag was him offering someone a Jelly Baby (which was an affliction of the 2nd & 4th Doctors.) The shots of Gallifrey were beautiful, and actually coincided with the way it looked in "The Invasion of Time."

The Bad:
1: When I saw the 1996 TV movie, the second most appalling thing was Eric Roberts’ over-the-top performance as a wise-cracking, cackling master. (The first was the moronic suggestion that the Doctor is half human.) I’m sorry, but John Simms’ portrayal of the Master is even worse. Does he have to be an overblown psycho to be a successful villain? Every Master has strayed farther and farther from Delgado’s cool, controlled persona. Does he have to be thirty-something, so kids today will think the show is cool? Derek Jacobi was by far a much better choice.
2: Russell T. Davies seems to have a love-hate relationship with anything in the history of Doctor who that is not HIS Doctor Who- he loves to borrow from it, (Such as re-making the novels “Human Nature (free ebook!)” & audio adventures "Jubilee" and "Spare Parts" into episodes of the new show,) but he obviously dismisses them as non-cannon (How can the events in “Human Nature” have happened to two Doctors?) Specifically, this episode nullifies the novel “Lungbarrow (free ebook!)” (which specified that Timelords were never children in the physical sense) and the Big Finish audio adventure, "Master,” (which explained the Master’s homicidal nature & his relationship to the Doctor in a far more interesting way.)
3: Using Jack’s Vortex Manipulator to escape last week’s cliffhanger was such a copout.
4: The elderly makeup job on David Tennant was as good as can be, but why don't filmmakers ever realize that actually using a wizened old man is even better?

The Confusing:
Why does the Doctor keep calling him “Master” instead of referring to him as “The Master?” I’m getting a sort of unclean vibe here. Why doesn’t the Master just hypnotize Martha’s family into doing what he wants the way he always did? (Which is... um... why he's called "The Master.") Why does he gas (or slice up or electrocute) people instead of shrinking them? Why do British people think all American presidents sound like Ted Koppel?

Hopes for part 3:
Please oh please oh please let the secret identities of the Toclafane NOT be another excuse to bring back the Daleks!


octobooby said...

kill that TV.

sex is much better for you.

Tony LaRocca said...

Well you have to do SOMETHING while resting up for round two...

Anonymous said...

Oh blah, I shouldn't have read this ... we are episodes behind ... great reading though Tony :) Hmmm, I think Dr Who needs an Octobooby in part three!

VallyP said...

Lol..Tony, I haven't had a TV for years, so didn't realise Doctor Who was still on. Sounds much more sophisticated than it was when I was a wee on. Back then we only had the Tardis and the Dahleks (spelling?) and he always had a nice boy and girl to help him out.....Good review though! Maybe I'll get to see it one of these days!

Tony LaRocca said...

The original series ran from 1963-1989. There was an absolutely dreadful TV movie in 1996 (a failed pilot for an American version,) and now a new series has started up in 2005 (It's a continuation of the original, not a remake.) He still has Daleks to fight, and yes, yummy looking girls to help him :)