Dr Who: Episode 4

I was not impressed by episode four of season two. Spoilers follow...

The Doctor appears multiple times in the life of Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson, aka Madame de Pompadour, and saves her from clockwork robots intent on stealing her brain once she turns 37, to replace the main computer of the crashed 51st Century spaceship they're from. He intends to take her to the stars as well, but forgets that each jump back to the 51st century takes him years into her future, and gets back after her death. Angst ensues.

It sounds great, barring the angst, but it wasn't. The dialogue was awful. It was so bad that I remarked twice on good lines while we were watching, and now can't remember them - they weren't good lines, they were just better than the rest. The woman playing Jeanne-Antoinette ("Reinette") seemed wooden, at best, even if she looked the part (amusingly, even as I'm writing this, someone has edited the Wikipedia entry on Madame de Pompadour to include a mention of the episode). I'm inclined to think she did reasonably well with a terrible script.

Quite apart from the dialogue, the storyline was choppy, included a few segments of Mickey and Rose running around the spaceship that did absolutely nothing for the plot, and seemed to have a few bits of deliberate anachronism just thrown in for good measure.

It had huge potential, and some of the visuals were great, but the execution, well... it sucked. Seeing as the writer, Steven Moffat, also wrote the two parter of The Empty Child / The Doctor Dances in the first season, which was brilliant, I can't imagine what went wrong.

Next week's involves an alternate London with zeppelins, and the Cybermen, who look pretty seventies. The impression the end-of-episode trailer gives of the next episode, though, is far from reliable, so it's a wait and see.

Posted by Drew Shiel at May 6, 2006 8:26 PM

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