Hedgewick's World of Wonders was once the greatest theme park in the galaxy, but it's now the dilapidated home to a shabby showman, a chess playing dwarf and a dysfunctional army platoon. ...
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Hedgewick's World of Wonders was once the greatest theme park in the galaxy, but it's now the dilapidated home to a shabby showman, a chess playing dwarf and a dysfunctional army platoon. When the Doctor, Clara, Artie and Angie arrive, the last thing they expect is the re-emergence of one of the Doctor's oldest foes. The Cybermen are back! Written by
The Punishment Platoon was written as a nod to the Marvel comic book "The Punisher". In the Marvel comic book, Frank Castle, before he was The Punisher served in the US military during the Vietnam war. Jenna Coleman had a small role in Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) as Connie. It was her first feature film. See more »
This had all the makings to be an instant classic . Neil Gaiman wrote the highly regarded The Doctor's Wife for the previous season and we see the return of the Cybermen who are no longer the impractical marching army of metallic soldiers . Add to this the production values that can match the best Hollywood blockbuster and what could possibly go wrong ? After seeing the episode I've got to ask did anything go right ?
The problem with this episode is that it's painfully ill thought out and under developed which has been the fundamental problem of the Smith /Moffat era . There's a good premise in there somewhere but it gets murdered within the execution . A couple of children find themselves in an inter-galatic theme park and they treat it with less awe and wonder than a trip to McDonalds ? You'd think they were characters in a not very good children's series than real people . A punishment battalion get sent to an obscure outpost and they resemble these Walter Mittyesque salad dodging airsofters populating - if not literally polluting - some weekend woodlands with tales of derring do such as " Yeah I could have got a VC in the 'Stan but didn't join the army because I'm such a free spirit "
And this is what ruined the episode . Regardless of the genre an audience must have their disbelief suspended . DOCTOR WHO who is a fantasy show featuring an alien who can travel through time and space and regenerate and battles alien menaces but when you can can suspended the audiences disbelief you've got something that's every bit as compelling as Tolstoy . Here however everyone runs around giving the impression that they're appearing in a silly unsophisticated CBBC show
Moffat is on record as saying he sees DOCTOR WHO as " a dark fairytale " . If it's a dark fairytale you're after Steven then watch Michael Mann's 1983 film THE KEEP that has a supernatural , haunting ethereal beauty which despite its pretence and expressionism could personify the whole idea of a dark fairy tale . If it's dramatic realism in fantasy scenarios then QUATERMASS AND THE PIT is the best role model to aspire to . What you don't want is a shoutey woutey clown running around like a Muppet on cocaine . What you don't want is a bunch of not very good actors give the impression that CHUCKLEVISION is an adult cerebral drama . What you don't want is a writer give the impression he's writing stuff as he's going along . Steven what you want to do is pop in to the the offices of the BBC chief executives and say you've tried your best but now you want to move on and give someone else a chance as being show runner for DOCTOR WHO . Paul Cornell would be a great successor but failing that I'm sure a five year old child with attention deficit disorder would make a better show than you've managed in the last three years
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