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Love and Monsters

Well, I'm all out of love. So much potential in the idea of a group of Doctor obsessives. So badly squandered on hackneyed story ideas.
We've known since series 1 episode 1, "Rose" that there were people who have noticed the reoccurrence of the Doctor throughout history and gone a bit nutty over it. In "Love and Monsters", we get five of them. Five people with their own backgrounds and their own reasons,major trauma and loss for some of them, mere curiosity for others, to lose themselves in the quest for the Doctor. They meet, exchange theories, ideas, even fan art, and out of their meetings grows something else, a stronger bond, a purpose in life. I was actually touched by that. I instantly sympathised with the characters, sketchy as they were, and found myself rooting for them. It's a lovely mirror to fandom, or fandoms, the social networks and subcultures they form, and the way fan groups move on beyond what brought them together into real friendships that otherwise would have been prevented by barriers of age, class and location.

Then the monster*) shows up and the whole thing goes to shit. I don't mean for the characters although they do get picked off one at a time**) (and I don't feel bad about spoiling this at all. When this episode comes on in your area, whether you see it on Scifi Channel or Nederland 3 in a year's time, don't waste your time on it - go do something else instead). I mean disastrously bad writing. After the monster appears, the story unfolds in an utterly predictable manner: the monster, in disguise, asks to speak one member of the group after another to speak with him in private, then eats, sorry, absorbs that member while the others walk away from the meeting place, oblivious to the screams (honestly, I'm doing you a favour by spoiling this). The one thing that isn't predictable is the very end when the writer makes the Doctor do something that completely contradicts everything he stood for in the past two series (not to mention what I've seen of the twenty-odd seasons before that): he partly resurrects the love interest and last victim of the episode's hero, trapping her mind and face in a piece of pavement so the hero can go on loving her forever and ever and she can go on giving him blowjobs for all of eternity. Errr... what? Whatever happens to the idea that everything ends?
Don't get me started on the Scooby Doo chase in the beginning of the episode, by the. Just don't. The only things that redeemed the episode somewhat, except for the setup, were the scenes with Jackie Tyler. The writing in those was cheesy too, but at least it succeeded in being funny, and Camille Coduri has grown into the character so much she can make any old rubbish work.
And any old rubbish is exactly what this script was. I'll need to make a note of who the writer was so I can avoid his work in the future. Update: It was Russell T. Davies himself, which means that avoiding his work will be very difficult. On the other hand, he is capable of turning in good stuff. Sometimes.

*) I mean the real monster, not the thing with the teeth that went "RAWR!" at the beginning. The thing with the teeth that went "RAWR!" at the beginning served its purpose well enough.

**) Sort of like Series 2 has been doing until now.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on June 19, 2006 7:39 AM.

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