Sunday, August 24, 2014

Doctor Who--"Planet of the Dead"

I have said before Russell T. Davies is just phoning it in these days before Steven Moffat takes over. Look no further than “Planet of the Dead” for proof. The story was little more than a combination of Flight of the Phoenix and The Nutty Professor mixed with goofy insect aliens and gratuitous shots of Michelle Ryan’s behind in order to distract from the derivative stew.

Ryan, if you blinked and missed it, was the new Bionic Woman she could not quite carry the show herself in the United States, particularly competing against the far more watchable Katee Sackhoff. Perhaps she has a different lot in her native United Kingdom, but I do not see how. Her character, Lady Christina was a thief and adrenaline junkie who was supposed to offera tougher, more adventurous companion for the Doctor. She fell flat for me. The chemistry was forced, especially the obligatory kiss, and I did not buy the supposedly high emotion of the Doctor’s argument he did not want her as his permanent companion because he loses them all. I just did not buy they were connected enough for him to even consider it seriously.

The plot was fairly run of the mill. Dodgy CGI aliens which look like flying manta rays have opened a worm hole to Earth which they are going to use to escape their desert world. Instead, a bus carrying the Doctor, Lady Christina, and several others including a woman named Carmen who happens to be psychic, although no one explains how or even thinks that is odd. They crash on a desert planet with fly-like aliens called the Trivore The Trivore were little more than cannon fodder as the Doctor enables the bus’ escape with flubber, essentially.

I was underwhelmed. For the two hundredth adventure, there was not much to mark the occasion. The Trivore were not all that fly-like, the CGI was iffy, the connection between the Doctor and Lady Christina was not believable, and Carmen was just thrown in to hint the Doctor will regenerate soon, Gallifrey may return, and so will the Master. It was all too contrived to suit me.

Rating: ** (out of 5)

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