Ever since the second half of this season of Doctor Who started the quality of the writing has taken a giant step backwards. The overall arcing plots that we’ve come to know and enjoy disappeared to replaced with one rather tepid plot: Who is Clara Oswald and why is she impossible? This has made her into a mix of River Song/Rose Tyler-type but without the puppy dog eyes when it comes to luvin’ the Doctor. Steven Moffat’s MO since he started is time traveling out of sequence is fun fun fun for the entire family. Something like Memento mixed with Back to the Future. I was ready to write this episode off. Until the pre-credit sequence has Clara greenscreened into 1 adventure per Doctor. And, even as far back as the Doctor and his granddaughter stealing the TARDIS before The Unearthly Child episode. Yeh. They went there.
I’ve decided not to ruin Star Trek Into Darkness for you. Instead I will point towards I09’s review with which I totally agree with. I want you to experience this million dollar, bloated, 3rd act jumping the shark, non-3-d, glorious looking IMAX movie for yourself. Really. Go forth and see what we waited years for. Then go watch Iron Man 3 and enjoy a well written character piece which is what Into Darkness should have been. Instead we get scenes verbatim out of Wrath of Khan. Verbatim! I have no idea why John Harrison needed a backstory. I have no idea why John Harrison just didn’t steal Vengeance at the beginning of the movie and turn this into a true hunt for the White Whale. Why isn’t John Harrison a truer threat to Starfleet? I have no idea why Vengeance is twice the size as Enterprise and needs less crew members. I have no idea why Vengeance and Enterprise in their weakened condition did not go mano a mano ala Khan because well, we’ve decided to recast a great scene from Khan and have less emotional impact. And I have no idea why Chekov never saw John Harrison. Yes, I get the Khan injoke between Khan recognizing Chekov. I would love to know how this screenplay turned into fan fiction because that’s what this movie is I stand by my thoughts from Wednesday night: The sauce was tasty but the goose was overcooked.
Diana Rigg has been busy this season from Game of Thrones to Doctor Who she has got her bases covered. Each of the characters at polar opposites of each other. In The Crimson Horror she plays a scientist Madame Gillyflower that has created her own perfect little town called Sweetville that is taking the best the brightest and using goo from the 65 million years ago to turn them into mindless slaves and she’s going to take over the planet. Yeah, it’s one of those plots. Madame Vastra, Jenny and Strax learn about the odd dealings and begin to investigate and find something peculiar: the Doctor was the last thing the victim saw before dying. Through undercover work and sneaking around Jenny finds out why: the Doctor and Clara found out about the odd dealings too and decided to investigate and were captured. Overall, Diana Rigg steals the episode with her blind ambition even harming her own daughter Ada played by her own real life daughter, Rachel Stirling. Ada’s arc through the episode follows dots from sub-serviant blind daughter to taking back her life. The trio of Vastra, Jenny and Strax are happy sight enough so to ignore the blatant GPS directions from Thomas Thomas. This could have been a Doctor-less episode and it still would have been good. And I think the audience would have applauded the idea. Cybermen from Neil Gaiman next week followed by the finale on the 5/18.