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Hey, I got cited! But, er...

So I was reading Backword Dave's rather interesting piece Dalek, all too Dalek on the latest two episodes of Doctor Who, "Dalek" and "The Long Game" and suddenly I read this:

I’m surprised at the hostility and (this will come back at me, I’m sure) lack of imagination in the fan criticism.

Take the review on Waffle.

Well, it had Simon Pegg (of Shaun of the Dead) fame, and it had zombies. Apart from that, this was a very average Doctor Who episode. ... But compared to the previous ep it wasn’t special.

[Snipped by me, because you've probably read it before]

Now, I can see, maybe, how one could find my reviews of the episodes unimaginative. I deliberately write them off the cuff, usually within an hour of watching the episode for the first time, just to let people know what it was like. I also keep my eye on the bottom line: did I enjoy it? Was it edge-of-the-seat stuff?

I don't stop thinking after writing the review, but by the time I'm done with reflection, there's usually a piece up at Behind the Sofa Again that expresses the same conclusions I've come to more thoroughly and thoughtfully. So if you want real criticism, go there, although I must admit some of them are a little too hung up on their own vision of what the series should be like. I don't have that kind of baggage.

What I don't see, in my reviews taken as a whole, is hostility. The most luke-warm one so far said that "The Long Game" was average - enjoyable but nothing special. Maybe it helps to know that, with the exception of news coverage of important events, Doctor Who is the only thing I turn the telly on for at all. If I watch a series from beginning to end and take the trouble to write about it, that's a strong vote in favour of that series.

Still, nice to get cited at all. Interestingly, Dave's been reading the same reviews I have, including a frankly bizarre one by Scott Martens at A Fistful of Euros where Scott got the sociology exactly wrong. Dave himself has said all there is to be said about that in the comments, which means I can concentrate on an equally bizarre statement by another commenter there:

As a fan of the old Dr. Who, I found the Dalek episode (the only new one I have seen) just pathetic. It was a weak, totally Hollywood plot line, the characters were entirely cardboard cut-outs, and the cheap production values consequently had no redeeming context at all.

Wrong, wrong, wrong! If the Dalek episode was "Hollywood", the Dalek would have been redeemed by Rose's compassion. It would have embraced its newfound humanity and set off for the stars to seed a new, peaceful Dalek civilisation, inspired by the shining example set by the cute human and by the benign ways of its distant ancestors. It would have been able to embrace its humanity because the human DNA was so damned speshul that it, and only it, would make that change possible in the first place. And the Doctor would have bowed to that speshulness and said that that's why he liked humans so much. They are the species that has the future, and they have shared that future with the Daleks now, unlike the Timelords who have nothing but a past (Gallifrey would become a metaphor for Old Europe instead of, as e described it (in an excellent, excellent piece), Cambridge in Space). Then the Doctor and Rose would kiss, not for the first time.

Instead, thankfully, we get British pessimism, in which humans are just stupid apes that the Doctor happens to be inordinately fond of, the Daleks would rather die than change into something other than a Dalek and the Doctor himself has grown to resemble his worst, deadliest enemy. Exterminate!

I used to watch Star Trek and now I don't. You can tell, can't you?


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