Sunday, 1 July 2007

The Doctor Who Thing: An Apology

In last week's review of "The Sound of Drums", the author of this journal commented: 'I also have a terrible feeling, more a nightmare than a rational response, that "The Last of the Time Lords" will feature a shock ending in which David Tennant regenerates into Matt Lucas. I know it sounds ridiculous, but it'd be somehow typical of the kind of mistake this series is starting to make.' The suggestion in this article was that if Doctor Who were to hire a media-friendly yet grotesquely overrated comedy performer, whose talents only extend as far as Doing Silly Voices and whose attempts at drama tend to distort the rest of the production so badly that the "real" actors look as if they're in a completely different programme, then casting Matt Lucas as the Doctor would be as bad as it could possibly get. In light of today's announcement by the BBC, we now accept that this is not the case.

The review of "The Sound of Drums" also criticised Russell T. Davies' belief that the audience can only "accept" regular characters from a contemporary suburban background, describing it as "insulting" and pointing out that the programme's obsession with all things present-day is becoming both repetitive and embarrassing. This paragraph should, of course, have ended with the words: 'The result is that the ideal companion is now a one-dimensional caricature of Someone Typically 2007 who wouldn't even be acceptable in an episode of Footballers' Wives, an individual whom the programme-makers believe to be "modern" despite the fact that there isn't a single section of the audience which is capable of relating to her, even if she weren't played by a comedian whose idea of "acting" is to put on a generic surprised-looking face and start shouting when she thinks it might get a laugh.'

The review went on to suggest that Mr Davies is now so well-insulated in the Doctor Who bunker that he's no longer capable of seeing things from the audience's point of view. This was clearly written before we learned that the new regular on board the TARDIS will be a forty-year-old woman with relationship issues and a job in an HR department, a character who will simply be bewildering to any children watching, and whose presence will inevitably cause life with the Doctor to become a BBC3 sitcom about bickering grown-ups who occasionally get interrupted by annoying things like "having adventures" while they're trying to agonise about their biological clocks. We therefore freely acknowledge that we underestimated the scale of the problem, and that "we couldn't possibly have expected them to do anything this rubbish" is not an adequate excuse.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused. As, indeed, should BBC Wales.

We'd also like to ask whether we can have Bonnie Langford back.