Saturday, April 29, 2017

Doctor Who and the Second Class

Hi there! Tonight’s the night for the 3rd new episode of Doctor Who’s 10th season. My family is expected to be out of the Fortress of Ineptitude and back in the environs of Geeksboro with our fellow Whovians. We missed going last week as my wife and I were watching my daughter in a live performance of Seussical.  (See yesterday’s post.) 

Before we get to that, I wanted to touch base on the Doctor Who spin-off, Class. There were several good individual bits in the 1st episode but it didn’t quite come together for me. The 2nd episode was a monster of the week kind of thing but it resonated with me more, maybe because we had a chance to focus on one of the ensemble, Ram.  

Ram Singh is dealing with a great deal of trauma: he watched his girlfriend murdered right in front of him by the Shadow Kin who also took off part of his leg. Yeah, the Doctor fixed his leg but come on: he’s got an artificial foot and it and his head are messing with his soccer game, a past time of great importance to Ram. While Ram is struggling, his coach is being a total dick to him. All he knows is Ram was once good at soccer, now he’s not. A bundle of warmth, this guy. Oh, and he has a dragon tattoo that has a bad habit of slithering off of him to become a real dragon and grab a bite to eat. For a dragon, “grab a bite to eat” means “eat a person”. Yuck! 

The rest of the gang rallies ‘round Ram to crack this mystery. Well, except Miss Quill who is obsessed with a silent, steely eyed inspector in her classroom. She’s sure he’s not human. And he isn’t. When the dragon tries to fry him up for dinner, we find out he’s a robot.

Dragons don’t find robots very tasty. 

Then a second dragon appears. Well, isn’t that wizard? Ram, standing up to the dragons and the dickweed coach saves the day. Ram decides he does need to open up, to these new found friends. And to his dad who belives and supports his son. (The alien artificial foot helps convince him.) 

I can’t say that I’m enamored enough with this show to hope it gets a 2nd season. Still, I hope the rest of Class’s 8 episodes are as engaging to me as this 2nd one was. 

Alas we must doff our cap and place our hand over our heart to say a fond farewell to Francis Armitage, the headteacher of Coal Hill Academy. Nigel Betts had appeared as Armitage as a minor character in the Doctor Who episodes "Into the Dalek", "The Caretaker", and "Dark Water". A minor character who makes a major sacrifice to save his students from a dragon. It was a terrible surprise; Francis always assumed he would die at Coal Hill in a robot attack. Dragon? Never saw that coming.

Back to Doctor Who, nothing new on the future. I have discovered some not quite positive reactions to the potential casting of Kris Marshall. Outside of the fact that he represents a “safe” choice (not a woman or a person of color), I’ve seen quite a few comments asserting that Kris just isn’t very good. Of course that’s a matter of subjective opinion and probably just negative trolls who gripe about anything. Still if it is Kris Marshall, 1) it’s the worst kept secret in the world and 2) he has a major uphill battle in front of him to be accepted as the Doctor. The idea of Kris Marshall as the Doctor is not a universally accepted idea. 

I really think the BBC wants to wait until series 10is over before announcing the next Doctor, creating some new Doctor Who headlines after the new  stories of Series 10 are done.  The only reason ther BBC would act sooner is if their hand is forced and they have to announce the new Doctor to get ahead of a major leak. 

But first: TONIGHT! Back in 1814, the Doctor and Bill are on the frozen river Thames confronting an elephant. From Sarah Dollard who gave us “Face the Raven” in Series 9, we find ourselves on “Thin Ice”.

See you ‘round the telly tonight and I’ll be back tomorrow with a write up on the episode.

Until next time, remember to be good to one another.

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