Sunday, August 24, 2014

Doctors Who--"Voyage of the Damned"

Residing on the wrong side of the pond, I had to wait a while to see this. I had heard earlier today the Christmas special broke a ratings record for the BBC and got British Christians in a tizzy. The ratings record being broken does not surprise me, but I was curious what could get British parishioners upset. By all accounts, the Church of England is pretty much a hobby and little else for its members. (flame away, folks.) I figured whatever elements bugged them would have to be extreme. After watching, I am puzzled. Perhaps the Anglicans are just as anal as many of their more fundamentalist brethren in the Bible Belt. More on that in a moment.

I have always consider Russell T. Davies’ work hit and miss. When it is good, it is good. When it is bad, it is unwatchable. He has a tendency to be derivative. I think he considers it homage. I am more inclined to say it is a rip off. “Voyage of the Damned” was, well, half of that. Right up until the last twenty minutes, VotD was part Titanic, part Poseidon Adventure, part “Robots of Death” and all enormously been there, done that, now use the t-shirt to wash my car on a boring Saturday. There was also a great deal of RTD’s wish fulfillment., which I gather explains Kylie Minogue’s appearance. A fine appearance it was, by the way. To be pushing fifty, she is still a hot little number.

The Titanic turns out to be a space cruise ship on which aliens can visit primitive alien cultures. In this case, Earth. The cruise line is owned by Max Capricorn and both have seen their better days. Capricorn was forced out by the company’s board of directors. In revenge, he plans to use the ship to crash into Earth, killing all six billion people, and causing a scandal that will wipe out the company. His assistans, which are robot angels, are inexplicably killing everyone on board while the disabled ship is going down in order to eliminate witnesses even though they will all be killed on impact anyway. Maybe Capricorn was canned because of idiocy in his plans.

The Doctor saves the day after a climb through the ship picks off a number of passengers just like the aforementioned Poseidon Adventure. Along the way, the Doctor and Astra (Minogue) bond a la Titanic, but in this one, she dies as opposed to stowaway Leonardo DiCa...-er, I mean the Doctor. Her death is where VotD gets interesting. David Tennant’s mother died midway through filming, so saying goodbye to Astra really let out some genuine emotion. It was like a whole other show. It might have just struck me hard given my current state of mind, but VotD was redeemed by the last twenty minutes or so. It is worth watching if you can hang on though the early, paint by numbers bits.

Oh, yes--the Christian protest. it beats me, really. there were jokes about aliens misunderstanding Christmas as a holiday on which humans worship Santa. There was no particular mention of Christ, but the Doctor does make a snide remark about "being there" the first Christmas. Perhaps I missed the significance of what he said. The angel imagery could have ticked someone off, I guess. But iam assuming it was the Santa bit. Well, heck. why do you not consider that a satire on the commercialization of Christmas and a perversion opf the religious implications rather than be offended?

Rating: *** (out of 5)

No comments:

Post a Comment