Saturday, 28 June 2008

Last-minute change

What? What?!

As your correspondent (currently convalescing in East coast exile) drops, drained and confused, into the Chair of Reckoning for the weekly outpouring, the mobile goes off.

It’s a distress signal from the sofa back at Watcher Acres - and if I were to record here precisely what the text said just after the end of the episode… well, it would effectively be my resignation letter. Let’s just say it’s like ‘Flippin’ eck’, only turned up to 11.

As your resident Mysterious Projection From The Future, I feel I’ve let you down, because I just didn’t see it coming. But did you? I mean it can’t be, can it? If it is… but it can’t be! But it could be! No, but it isn’t. Relax: in the cool, calm seconds it’s taking me to type this, I am suddenly at one with everything. It isn’t. Breathe, and relax. Think of cool, cool moss…


I blame the trees, a lovely mindless day walking in the trees, tea in the flask, breeze in the face, not a care in the world; I was lulled, sloppy, mind off the job. But, in my defence, there was no disturbance in The Force, no sign of The Darkness threatened in the weather forecast, no distant clang of the Cloister Bell.

‘Yes, the Daleks are back tonight’, I remember musing idly – I may even have been humming something by Delia Derbyshire – ‘and one’s had a bit of a paint job, and unless that shadowy figure was Jackie Tyler in a pimped mobility scooter, we should see Davros again tonight, and we haven’t seen him for ages, have we, not since… ooh, I wonder what kind of tree that is…’

And all that did happen, of course, although up to about the 44th minute this was perhaps the most horrible, noisy episode we’ve had, genuinely hard on the eye, ear and soul. I felt like I was trying to watch the actual show while someone changed channels by smashing my face against the television set: ooh look, it’s Sarah Jane (PMPHH!)… I mean, Captain Jack (PMPHH!)… no, it’s the other one…(PMPHH!)… er, is that Dempsey and Makepeace? PMPHH! PMPHH! PMPHH!

People running, shouting, watching people watching other people watch other people on big screens, big guns locked and loaded, the end of the world redone as a kebab-house rumble. I almost wasn’t having any of it, until the Daleks zapped that mouthy bloke’s house, a restful suburban dream-wish moment amid all the volume and face-pulling.

But then it was back, the only calm clear voice the Judoon sergeant, whose ‘Kro! Blo! Flo! Mo! Ho! Yo! Bo! Ho Ho Ho! Toe! Flo Jo!’ seemed to sum things up nicely. Pity he’s thrown his lot in with The Shadow Proclamation, which is, apparently – and despite all the dark mutterings – merely the foyer of a smart dental practice, now ‘manned’ by former child genius James Harries.

But that was before The Big Surprise…

Russell T Davies: part genius, part wind machine. He’s like a brilliant chum you invite round for dinner in the hope of bons mots and airy charm, only to see him eat everything in sight, off every plate, before regurgitating and rounding out the evening with a protracted postern blast.

Except… he then comes back, washes up, and tells you the most thrillingly brilliant thing ever.

He did it last year with Utopia, the cosmic twin of this show in which nothing much happened for 30 minutes… and then suddenly The Master’s back. The writer even organised a real-life thunderbolt for that bit, at least at a storm-lashed Watcher HQ, and the effect was pretty much the same this time.

Ah, that deliberately-overdone run as Rose and the Doctor rush to embrace; the slo-mo; the syrupy strings; the wry smile on Donna’s face.

The Dalek.

The gone-into-negative death-ray.

The regeneration crisis.

The regeneration.

I mean it can’t be, can it? If it is… but it can’t be! But it could be! No, but it isn’t.



Alexis said...

Bloomin eck. Is this really happening? Is this the end of David Tennant? Where is all this going? Is Rose a goodie or a baddie?

I am as shocked and amazed as The Watcher.

Who turns up next week? We just need K9 and Mickey to complete the set. There is still time.

Russell TD, you are a fine man. I must have a lie down now...

Dan Wainwright said...

Don't worry it won't be.

Not even Russell T Davies would do something so catastrophic as to change the lead actor half way through a story.

I've no idea how Davies will abort a regeneration though. Reverse the polarity of the neutron flow?

Watcher I am devastated to have found this blog so late in the series. I feel like Peri arriving just in time to be saddled with a psychotic instead of lovely chummy Peter. Only I don't have nice jubblies.

I was watching Confidential afterwards and came to a terrifying realisation - I know every line Davros spoke in Remembrance of the Daleks. I can recite the "unlimited rice pudding" tete a tete backwards.

We all need help to get over losing a regular series until 2010.