Thursday, December 20, 2012

Countdown to Christmas - Voyage of the Damned Review

Voyage of the Damned is an interesting sequel to Last of the Time Lords and Time Crash. It serves to bridge the gap between Martha and Donna, and at that it does a very good job.

The Doctor has just lost the Master and is once again alone in the universe as a Time Lord. Not only that, but he has just said goodbye to both Martha and Captain Jack. He's also just had a run-in with his past self, and I think at this point he really doesn't want to be alone. He sees the cruise ship with the happy people and the Christmas celebration, and he decides to just indulge himself and be happy for once. The Doctor meets Astrid Peth, and in desperate need of a companion, immediately invites her to go traveling with him. He just wants a friend, and he sees her and doesn't give it a second thought.

Voyage of the Damned is very different to any other new series Doctor Who episode. The companion, along with all of the other characters except Wilf and the Queen are aliens. No human has a significant role in the episode for the first time since Romana's era. Unfortunately, time periods and species can be a very gray area in the classic series, so it can be hard to tell which of her episodes was the last not to feature humans. So the story tries something out that hasn't been tried in Doctor Who since the early 1980s, and it does it quite well. At almost any other time in the new series it would have been very hard to to this and not have it be rather cheesy, because it would have entailed getting rid of the companion. The writers saw an opportunity to have an almost entirely human-free episode, and they took it. Russell T. Davies could have chosen to make it entirely human free, but instead chose to use his true genius for subtle long-term story arcs to introduce Wilf without really introducing him, then leave us all wondering in the very next episode. Also without the ever-present need to up ratings (which I really despise and thankfully is not very present in Doctor Who), he could have removed the part where the Titanic almost crashes into Buckingham Palace. So in the end, Voyage of the Damned is a very good storyline that hadn't been tried in a while with a bit of genius added in.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.