seawasp (seawasp) wrote,

Doctor Who Reviews: Blink and the Master three-parter

Of course, I must cut it to prevent spoilering...

BLINK: This *COULD* have been a great episode. Great work at trying to build up the tension and fear in the atmosphere; cool characters, with the Doctor taking a backseat role for this one; some interesting concepts.

But unfortunately they TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY BLOW IT by creating an essentially unstoppable menace and not following through on their capabilities. The fact is that either they needed to describe some additional weaknesses (maybe "hearing" or something counting as "observation", etc.), or have a very, very, very clever way to ensure 360 observation. Otherwise, well, the group's totally screwed. There was no reason, except for Plot Reasons, for the Weeping Angels to leave Sally alive, nor any way she could have kept herself from being killed. In fact, there was no way for ANYONE to prevent it, given the description and the fact that there were more than one of the things.

And on the other hand, the statement by the Doctor of "you can't kill stone" was also ludicrous and I would have expected an appropriate reaction: "Hey, this statue's going to come alive and kill me? Well, Mr. Weeping Angel, meet Mr. Sledgehammer."

So, rating 9 for atmosphere and so on, -9 for incredible plot stupidity, for a really suckily disappointing episode. Better than Family of Blood, but that ain't saying much.

The Master Trilogy: Great episodes overall, well written, well acted, cleverly scripted, and with no more plot inconsistency than I'm used to from Doctor Who. (the fact that Blink and Family of Blood broke my WSOD says something very bad about them, given what I put up with from Doctor Who usually). The only negative part for me was the Master himself. I feel about the "Mr. Saxon" version of the Master the way I feel about the Fantastic Four movies' version of Doctor Doom. He might be a perfectly serviceable villain, but he's NOT the Master. The Master has grandeur, he has drama, he has PRESENCE. This guy had no presence. He was like a Timelord Hannibal Lecter but without Anthony Hopkins' stage presence. Oh, the PLAN was very much a Master plan, the execution was very much in character, but he just didn't feel at ALL like the Master. (the old guy who became the Master for all of about 30 seconds might have been able to pull it off, but we didn't have much chance to find out).

(well, there was one other negative point, to which I'll only say: "Dobby Doctor!". I think that pretty much sums up that little thing.)

There were some excellent pieces of work in this one, though, especially the Doctor's counterplan and Martha's FLAWLESS execution of that plan. And all the in-jokes and references to other parts of Doctor Who and about a dozen other shows, piling thick and fast on top of each other. The grand finale, with Martha giving that face-hidden-by-hair smile, directly from about a dozen anime (angle of shot and smile perfectly done). The "Phoenix" Doctor (or, as I jokingly call it, "Densetsu no Supaa-Timelord"). Many others. It was really well done.

So overall I liked the eps, I just wish that the Master had... been the Master.

(I absolutely LOVED the nod to "Flash Gordon" at the very end.)

Then, of course, there's the odd question that occurred to me. Given the way Russell T. Davies has been doing Doctor Who, the manner in which he uses offhanded references and gives them significance later, and so on, it strikes me that there's a frightening implication in the ending sequence. The Master had himself a female companion (who at various points seems to be protecting her abdomen more and more...). When he dies -- in the Doctor's arms -- after being forgiven, and refusing help to survive -- he's burned. On a pyre. Lit by the Doctor with a torch.

"No, Doctor. *I* am your father."

Seems obvious to me, anyway...

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