Russell T. Davies

I have seen the last episode of the third season of Doctor Who and I am close to vomiting. I didn’t know how much I cared about the series until now and I sincerely hope that the rumors are true — that Davies has decided to leave Doctor Who and will never return again. I’ve had enough. For all that any long-time Who fan complained about John Nathan-Turner, the cheesy crap under Nathan-Turner was fucking Masterpiece Theatre compared to this flamboyant tripe. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, see this clip, in which Doctor Who has been cheapened beyond any rudimentary level of dramatic redemption. It’s a pity, because John Simm is a promising Master. Russell T. Davies appears to have sabotaged a science fiction staple. This is, in many ways, worse than the Six Feet Under episode, “That’s My Dog,” in which another great series was hijacked. To dwell on the subject further is to unleash a mad torrent of violence upon an inanimate object that I will only call “Russell,” only to injure my hand and pay an expensive hospital bill.

Russell T. Davies, you fucking wanker. How could you do this? How could you destroy a sizable chunk of the human population in the present day? How could you write scenes in which characters effortlessly infiltrate major executive scenarios? How could you write something so adverse to the show’s quirkiness, wit, intelligence, and charm?

Christ, it’s only a television show, I know. I have only late-night Dirty Harry impulses to go on. But this two-part finale is the work of a talentless megalomaniac and I wish that justice of some sort could be effected. But it can’t.

Guess it’s time to read James Joyce instead.

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17 Comments

  1. You thought THAT was the most offensive thing about that episode? I was far more offended by “let’s all think about the Doctor and he’ll magically de-Gollumize and fly through the air.” (My apologies to anyone who considers this a spoiler but, trust me, you shouldn’t even be wasting your time with this putrid episode anyway.) What makes it all the worse is that the trilogy that ended the season (a trilogy that got progressively more painful) came off a handful of brilliant episodes.

    Yes. RTD needs to go. Put Steven Moffat or Paul Cornell in charge. I’m glad RTD brought it back. But how could a self-proclaimed fan of the show rape it in this way, with fart jokes and pseudo-magical mumbo jumbo? What show was he watching growing up that had these elements?

  2. Wow, I couldn’t disagree with you more. I loved the season finale and the whole “one year later everything’s royally fucked up beyond belief” scenario. And frankly, I thought that clip you linked to was absolute brilliance. Look, in a word where people like Time Lords are visiting the world on a regular basis, every once and a while one is going to take over the Earth and kill everybody.

  3. I feel like I’m watching a completely different show than you, Ed. Oh, no, wait. That clip is from the show I watched. Funny, that. What you describe doesn’t sound *anything* like the episode I watched and thoroughly enjoyed. And I just don’t *get* the Davies-hatred. Maybe it’s that I never really watched the classic series. Or maybe my expectations are just wildly different from yours. (Having reached here through Abigail Nussbaum’s post, I’d say that’s probably part of the reason.) But, overall, I thought this was a terrific season and a great final episode.

    And I don’t get the “sizable chunk of the human population in the present day” argument. This should be verboten why exactly?

  4. Fred: It worked quite appropriately with the Cybermen in the parallel universe. But I think invasions which take out most of the human population in the present day act as if the world that we live in doesn’t exist. In other words, it gets in the way of suspending disbelief. That kind of bullshit escapism keeps Doctor Who a “just for kids” show in line with the observations that Abigail threw around. But the Oz books were “just for kids” and just as wonderfully entertaining for adults. I suspect that I simply have higher standards for art than you do.

    One thing I didn’t mention here was just how piss-poor the plotting was. Humans using their psychic energy to re-energize the Doctor? What a moronic deus ex machina! And then we learn that everything in the past two hours HASN’T happened? So then what is the point? What has been lost? How have characters changed? Well, they haven’t. Because NOTHING HAS CHANGED!

    Incidentally, my favorite episode of this season was “Blink,” written by the incomparable Steven Moffatt Now THAT is a convincing and thrilling episode. Funnily enough, the best show of the season didn’t even involve the Doctor and this simpering “I wuv you and I no longer have any brains” companion Dr. Jones.

  5. Okay, but the aliens in London, the ship that crashed into Big Ben, the prime ministers like Harriet Jones and the Master — the fact that none of that stuff actually happened in the real world, and obviously never happened — that didn’t hurt your suspension of disbelief, or allow you to accept that this isn’t “our” universe in which events happen? That this isn’t the world we live in necessarily?

    Again, I think we’re just watching very different shows, or at least coming at the same show from a very different perspective. Taste is subjective, of course, but what you call piss-poor and horrible I rather thoroughly enjoyed. And it’s not as if I think the “it’s a kid’s show” argument (while true) forgives all ills.

    I agree that “Blink” was terrific and one of, if not the best episode of the season — even if I found it just slightly less phenomenal on a second viewing — but I also liked the finale quite a lot. After a rather disappointing second series (with the rare exception like “School Reunion” and “The Girl in the Fireplace”), I thought this one was terrific all around. Even with filler eps like “The Lazarus Experiment” and “42.” While I think there are potential problems with the character that need to be worked out, I thought Freema Agyeman was a great addition to the cast (and a much better companion for Tennant), and I’m glad she’ll be returning for at least part of next year.

    But, the again, I hope Davies sticks around…so obviously we disagree.

  6. I agree with “Fred” all the way. The reason the doctor “flew through the air” is due to a little bit of psychic energy in everybody propelling it back to the sattellite which the doctor tuned into, all put together gave him these abilities. It all makes perfect sense and I love doctor who. Besides you dumbass RTD doesnt write the episodes there are these people called writers, producers etc. as well. I agree a little bit that despite thinking it was ok it could have been better and more thought up but the fact that the doctor is always one step ahead and to see him literally on his knees and losing for 3 episodes in a row is a rare sight which added tension to the season finale. I think they keep getting better as despite series 1 and 2 being really fun and entertaining, in my opinion at least, the third series is the best but it may have somthing to do with “Martha”. Anywho, what i’m trying to say is those who are against RTD shut the fuck up and eat shit you dunno what you’re talking about. If he leaves, which is rumoured after series 4 along with David Tennant (and with catherine tate in season 4) theres no point watching after the third series. Besides RTD will mostly likely be replaced by some newbie who knows fuck all about sci fi, fuck all about doctor who and simply repeats the grand stories of RTD. It was his idea to bring the story of “human nature” alive and that was an awesome 2 parter.

    Should he stay? I dont think so, I know so….GOT IT!!!!!

  7. Heart Break Kid: Actually, there are these things called credits, which reveal that RTD wrote the last three episodes. Learn how to read, you illiterate imbecile.

  8. Hey you fucking twat I know full well that RTD wrote the last three but its no reason to put down the whole of doctor who for it you fucking wanker. I wrote a paragraph about how i hate you and you should die “DrMabuse” but i decided not to post it and call you a little piece of shit instead.

  9. Hi,
    I’m a teacher who has run a Who club for 9-13 year olds for the last 6 years. I have many original props from the original show…yes a massive fan, however… I’m heartily sick that the wonderful show I loved (and many of my pupils loved) has been turned into a ‘did you see them shagging’ experience courtesy of RTD’s Torchwood trip and farting/innuendo additions. What’s wrong with a touch of innocence?- it seems to be well out of fashion. The Doctor’s character has for me degenerated and the whole package extremely arrogant.
    Oh well, what do I know… and as for the recent Master…my staff room was begging for the arrival of Delgardo’s ghost to shoot the bastard. Fuck me! I’m swearing… I’ve entered a Torchwood episode: that’s adult content- apparently.

  10. Look, I really don’t see what you’re so upset about. I agree some moments in Last of the Time Lords seemed a bit contrived, but are you seriously telling me that nothing like that ever happened in the original series? I agree that Davies is not the best writer on the team and Steven Moffat should probably take over, but there’s no need to be so vehement about it. As for the Master, well, this is the twenty-first century, ok? Maybe Delgado’s stereotypical archetypal supervillain with his, ‘I am the Master and you will obey me’, but audiences today expect a bit more from a villain. The new Master is the perfect counterpart to the Tenth Doctor and I was sorry to see him go. As for the plot, just try and suspend belief a bit, okay? If you’re actually fans of the original series you’ll be quite used to doing that. Would you rather there be no Doctor Who at all? And look, no need to swear. Amazing.

  11. It’s funny, but lots of people thought “Blink” was excellent. And it was.

    I just don’t think it was a DOCTOR WHO story. It struck me more of an OUTER LIMITS story set in the DOCTOR WHO universe.

    While I agree the season-ender could have been done better, I also didn’t find it all that horrid. As the finality of a strip of mediocre stories, maybe. But some of the parts lots of people disliked, I didn’t mind all that much (c.f. the Dpctor synching with the Archangel grid, the Master being violently bonkers, etc.)

  12. Responding to the main article and to various responses to date:

    * “Blink” was really closer to “Sapphire and Steel” than “The Outer Limits”, but that’s my two cents.

    * RTD’s vision of WHO is about fancy effects, fancy people, playing into stereotypes rather than fighting them… it’s been a joke since day one. A belching wheelie bin, farting lizards joke that, despite various moments of near-greatness-despite-it-all, just can’t shake its lore as being a glossy, tarted up nothing of a show that mirrors everything else being made today. There’s no originality.

    * The original show veered away from sexuality, deliberately, because the writers knew better. Of course, they were objective writers and not wannabe activists… the new series does as much as it can just for the sake of it, and “Torchwood” is depraved by leaps and bounds. They can try to call it “adult”, but to me “adult” means more intricate storylines. Not the usual schizophrenic scribble with more NC17-rated scenes.

    * Steven Moffat, creator of “Coupling”, despite the love interest garbage (probably mandated by RTD, but then he did “Coupling” too…), actually seems to understand WHO deserves some creativity. His scripts are well above and beyond and it’s no wonder he’ll be imitated. At least, under his control, one way or another, SOME intelligence will be put back into the show. No vibrating cure-all sonic screwdriver required… as a plot device or disgusting joke.

    * Having said all that, audiences have changed — the new series has the right to venture new territories and ideas (even Sylvester McCoy predicted the 45-minute one-off episodes and story arcs), and for deeper characters… still, when the Master goes camp, listens to a lady screaming to death, closes the door, opens it, closes it again, and re-opens it, the writer has yet to graduate the 5th grade.

    * People claim JNT was all about the visuals, show-biz, and big-name guest stars, but he can’t handle a candle compared to RTD’s gimmicks.

    RTD did bring back the show and did the merchandising thing, but where the show counts the most, his vision of WHO is as bad as the James Bond of the 1990s. Like Daniel Craig of modern day, maybe Mr Moffatt can put WHO back to how it should be.

    Thank you for reading.

  13. RTD ruined Dr. who. His treatment of it was an utter disgrace. He was he’ll bent on introducing a sexual element between Who and his partner. He relentlessly degraded episodes into banal dialogue between the two protagonists while they cheesily twittered about their inner emotions like two school kids. It’s a fuckin children’s programme and a sci if one at that. We aren’t interested in RTD’s pubescent interest in sex which he just can’t resist layering over a story. Dr. Who became an emotional babbling idiot who often couldn’t bust his way out of a wet paper bag in case he hurt the bag’s feelings. In Torchwood RTD’S couldn’t resist lecturing us all about how being gay is a normal decent way to be. I always looked to Who as a statement for the moral high ground, the depiction of good triumphing over evil, good black and white stuff. I don’t want the biased opinion of RTD’S masquerading as the good majority when he represents the abnormal minority. I’m not interested in his life or outlook. I want a brave Who surviving peril and destroying the evil Daleks, not the poofy rambling inner thoughts who might not know right from wrong and isn’t sure if he wants to shag his partner whether male or female. Piss off RTD, go preach your deviant minority naval fluff examining bullshit anywhere but here.

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