I am so tired right now. I've been awake since 4:30am. At 5:45am I finally gave up, got out of bed, and did 114 pushups before hitting the treadmill. That just seems surreal. I can't go to bed quite yet, I've got a software release to do in about ninety minutes. So in the meantime let's talk Doctor Who.
(TARDIS Data Core recap)
In 2009 a reader poll in Doctor Who Magazine ranked this as the worst story of the modern series. Again in 2014 it ranked at the bottom of the list. I just don't get that. I mean, it's not a fantastic story, but it's certainly no Planet of Giants. Hell, in 2009 it would have been compared to Daleks in Manhattan and The Lazarus Experiment, not to mention the farting aliens in the Ninth Doctor era. It is certainly better than any of those. But here we are.
The story is set in near-future London of 2012 at the start of the Olympic games. Three children on the same block have all gone missing without a trace in the same small neighborhood, potholes keep forming in the street, and cars randomly stop working for no apparent reason. As it turns out, a lonely little girl is capturing the missing people into drawings, fed by the power of a similarly lonely alien spore that has been separated from its family. Spooky things happen, there's a graphite squiggle monster, and even the Doctor gets trapped in a sketch. Luckily Rose does a Very Clever Thing, and as quick as you can say "Huey Lewis and the News" the world is saved by the power of love.
Look, it's got its hokey moments. The big payoff with the Doctor running the final leg of the Olympic torch to the stadium is goofy as all get out. At one point the Doctor stops a group of arguing adults by shouting, "Fingers on lips!", and they all actually shut up. So sure, not the best writing ever.
But it also tells a story about the aftermath of child abuse, and how confusing and conflicting it is when a child loses a parent even though they are abusive. The complex relationship between the young girl and her mother is well-drawn and fully believable. The terror of trying to reason with a scared and panicked child (both the young girl and the alien inside her) makes for some very tense moments.
So I am totally on board with calling it a mixed bag. But worst of the modern series? Nah. Not even close.
Companion(s): Rose Tyler
Episode(s): Fear Her
Steps Walked: 7,320 today, 2,725,304 total
Distance Walked: 3.86 miles today, 1,419.32 miles total
Push-ups Completed: 114 today, 983 total
Is the Doctor So, So Sorry?: No, he is not
Weight: 251.70 lbs (five day moving average), net change -55.60 lbs