By the Pricking of My Thumbs

Well, it took longer than anyone would have thought for the Bard of Avon to make it into a Doctor Who story, but that he did this past weekend, in a good bit of old-fashioned, straight-up historical fantasy. It was fast-paced, properly silly, and good fun.

I particularly like the developing chemistry between Doctors Smith and Jones. I think they have set Martha up in being familiar in all the standard companion ways, but different enough from Rose to form her own type of relationship with the Doctor. I was afraid that Billy Piper would turn out to be the show’s blessing…and it’s curse…and that once she left, viewers would tune out, unsatisfied with the new companion no matter what because she wasn’t Rose. I have seen a little of that — people who were already dogging on Martha after a single story, who apparently remembered Rose as having sprung fully formed and fleshed out within fifteen minutes of her first screen appearance.

Next week’s episode looks to be pretty good, with the final(?) return of a familiar character.

As long as I’m here talking about TV I may as well say a little more about the Galactica Season Three finale. It’s not that I hated it. It’s just that it ended with two major revelations regarding the characters and I realized I just don’t care. I don’t care about the final five, or the President, or Apollo and his dad, or the Cylons’ flan, or the increasingly pathetic and stupid Baltar, or — and especially — the fate of Starbuck. There are many reasons why Galactica lost its shine for me: the increasingly cringe-inducing writing (see: the “love” speech from Badger to Caprica 6, which went on for roughly eighty-twelve hours and served no purpose whatsoever), the dawdling pace, the increasing feeling of being had (yet again), the decision that who is kissing who is more important than anything else, the constant desire to shout “would you just grow the hell up?” to nearly every character on the screen, and so forth. But really, all it’s come down to is: I just don’t care anymore. And I really don’t see me suddenly getting charged up again when the show picks up again eight months from now in January 2008: great move there, folks!

(I should also, in the interest of fairness, point out my increasing eye-rolling at how often I find myself being told that BSG is “the best show on television” and “a modern masterpiece”. I’m a fool for letting that stuff get to me, I know, but it does. Why the hell are geeks never content to just like a show and think it’s good? Hell, the finest honor a geek show can seem to receive is for it to be cancelled because then it proves that it was incredible…in fact, “too good for television”. Calm the hell down folks, it’s a TV show.)

Who knows, though. Perhaps when January 2008 rolls around and it’s confirmed that it is the final season and everything will be wrapping up, I will go ahead and see it out. Lord knows I did that for Buffy, which certainly didn’t deserve it.

So yeah, maybe I’ll watch BSG again at some point. In the meantime, I can’t wait for next week’s Doctor Who episode.

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7 Responses to By the Pricking of My Thumbs

  1. David Thiel says:

    I wouldn’t have said “the best show on television,” but I have said “the best science-fiction series in the history of television,” and I’m sticking by that until I’m proven wrong. (Granted that the bar ain’t that high, but I’d certainly put it above all of the “Treks,” “Stargates” and “Babylons.”) Agreed that the last half of season three was not up to par, but that’s still two-and-a-half seasons of crackling good drama. I’m choosing to see the Cylon as half full, and remaining hopeful that the next year will see things back on track.

  2. David Thiel says:

    A further comment: You and I have had this conversation a number of times over the years, and at the risk of being taken too seriously here, I’d argue that “calm the hell down folks, it’s a TV show” goes both ways. Weekly television series are rarely beautiful and special flowers every time out; they have ups and downs based in no small part on the vast number of creative personnel involved and the grind of putting out 20 to 26 hours each year. Personally, I don’t subscribe to the popular “jump the shark” theory, which suggests that every TV show has a clearly identifiable point after which it’s all downhill. Sometimes they make terrible mistakes and sometimes they rebound from them. And sometimes I ride them out longer than they deserve, but most of the time they maintain at least some of the qualities that attracted me to them in the first place.

  3. Dave says:

    This is why I need to disable comments; they allow people to call me on it when I’m being a jerk.

    You are right. I was overly cranky and should have stopped with BSG at the simple fact that I just am not interested in the characters anymore. As you say, I don’t think there’s any particular moment I could point to and say, “Aaaaaaaaaand there. That’s the point where I now am sick of Starbuck.” The disinterest crept up slowly enough (though not imperceptibly; we often watched three episodes at a time this season because watching them immediately wasn’t a priority) that it took the Big Reveal at the end of S3 for me to notice, “Hey! I don’t care.”

    Fortunately you know to take my comments with a slab of salt. I already have pretty weird feelings regarding TV in general and it’s no secret that it really doesn’t take much for me to stop watching something. That’s my own thing and shouldn’t be taken as any reflection on the actual medium.

  4. pronoblem says:

    I watched about 1hr and 45 minutes of BSG. I am so glad I did not have to sit through 50 hours of it to realize it was not for me. I will say that it did have nice “sets”, great “special effects” and some “talented” actors in what I did see. I do love sci-fi and will watch just about anything… I just don’t like investing that much time into TV or film as it almost always leads to disappointment. Last sci-fi on TV that I actually paid attention to was LEXX. But hey, I knew what to expect from the get-go with that one…

  5. Uncle Stewart says:

    Hey Dave (L.)- I think as a good American, you should make every attempt to re-ignite an interest in television. Like a runner inspired to hit the streets by a brand new pair of shoes, maybe all you need is a simple 42 inch plasma TV and an XBOX 360 Elite. I’m sure you can envision the perfect spot in the house for it. Love, Stewart

  6. David Thiel says:

    Somehow, I suspect that Dave’s predisposition against television won’t be improved by making it BIGGER.

  7. Dorian says:

    I’m slightly annoyed that I procrastinated on my Doctor Who reviews long enough for you to beat me to it…