Feeds

The new touchy-feely Doctor Who trend: Worrying

Timey-wimey cuddling has replaced the Stiff Upper Lip

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Too much soppy stuff

1975’s Genesis Of The Daleks sees the Fourth Doctor attempting to destroy his most reliably psychotic enemies before they come into existence. Refusing to commit what he sees as genocide, he has to settle for holding them up for a thousand years or so. This is something of a contrast with 1988’s Remembrance Of The Daleks, when the Seventh Doctor contrives to completely destroy Dalek homeplanet Skaro with superweapon-in-a-coffin The Hand Of Omega! Uncomfortable or what?

While history hasn’t been kind to the actors that followed the inaugural Big Four – there was psychic pain galore involved in the late '80s schedule-poinging, theme tune revamps and Doctors under pressure – they did at least stay faithful to certain important fundamentals. All bets would be off, though, after the 2005 return.

There’ve been some brain-boggling blinders, without doubt. If only the Ninth Doctor, Christopher Eccleston, had hung around for another series or two. But since the return, the season conclusions seem to have been devised by some unknown compliance-cabal charged with amping up the sap levels.

This reached its grisly zenith in 2007’s Last Of The Timelords, when an apparently powerless, desiccated Tenth Doctor is granted Christ-powered resurrection by like, everybody on Earth sending him their love-power at the same time through the Master’s evil mobile phone network. And if this one-bound-free magic-over-science non-resolution wasn’t bad enough, then he actually forgives the Master. (This was perhaps only surpassed by the insanely OTT regeneration of The Tenth Doctor, complete with exploding TARDIS).

You wouldn’t have had the First Doctor doing this stuff, or letting the companions – or even the viewers – sort it out. Is this because the ultimate destruction of the Earth/Universe/Time Itself is actually less dramatically satisfying than sentimental side issues, which everyone knows the kids like more than explosions, infinity and monsters?

Well, maybe they don’t.

True, things have improved plenty with the Eleventh Doctor, though regarding the River Song story arc, how exactly did her marrying/snogging the Doctor restore the universe to its pre-fragmentary state?

The lunchbox-owning target audience isn’t complaining. Yet.

But they might if all these anti-canonical events, fuelled by unnecessary guest spots and catch-all “timey-wimey” fixes, become more endemic, and Doctor Who undergoes final inspirational heat death. If that happens, imagine Sarah Jane’s stiff-upper-lip departure in 1976 adventure The Hand Of Fear, newly soundtracked by Coldplay, forever.

"Tears, Sarah Jane?" ®

Ian Harrison also writes about pop music and will miss Ceefax.

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Special pleading against mass surveillance won't help anyone
Protecting journalists alone won't protect their sources
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Apple's iPhone 6 first-day sales are MEANINGLESS, mutters analyst
Big weekend queues only represent fruity firm's supply
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Bill Gates, drugs and the internet: Top 10 Larry Ellison quotes
'I certainly never expected to become rich ... this is surreal'
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
EMC, HP blockbuster 'merger' shocker comes a cropper
Stand down, FTC... you can put your feet up for a bit
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.