Monday, August 19, 2013

Day Two Hundred and Thirty-one - Dr.Who: Series 2, Episode 4, "Is... is that Giles?"

Well... after being banished by Queen Victoria, herself, it seems as though The Doctor is back on his game, infiltrating a modern day alien situation at a recently reformed school where kids are testing off the charts, posing as a science teacher (while Rose is in the kitchen and Mickey is running tech support/research).

It seems as though all the improvements to the school are thanks to the new headmaster (Anthony Stewart Head) and his retinue of new teachers and lunchladies. They're up to something sinister, eating orphans and forcing students to randomly type to cryptic green glyphs, and it's up to The Doctor, et al., to get to the bottom of it with the help of two familiar faces from Classic Dr. Who: K-9 and Sarah Jane Smith (Elisabeth Sladen)... both former companions of the Doctor's (Three, Four, and Five).

Of course, it's your typical Whovian adventure, full of MacGuffins and Technobabble, but what else is new? What's really fun about the episode is the cattiness, both between Sarah Jane and Rose... and Mickey and K-9. Well, cattiness on Mickey's part as K-9 is nothing if not helpful, even if it is mildly passive-aggressive during the climax action sequence with the car. Sarah Jane and Rose, though? Fun, fun stuff! Too bad they managed to reconcile as I would've preferred them to remain icy towards each other as romantic rivals, instead of the stereotypical commiseration between gals in the same boat.

It is nice to see some character continuity bleed over from Classic Who in the form of Sarah Jane, though. She had to be my favorite companion back in the day (whenever I'd watch Tom Baker's version on Betamax at my Aunts' place in the 80's), and was the quintessential example of an assistant/companion until, I think, Amy Pond came around.

I do think it's a little sad, though, seeing her now that Elisabeth Sladen has passed. I never did get into her spinoff series, The Sarah Jane Adventures (not that I'm all that into the Who story universe to begin with), but I'm glad she carried the character on as long as she did and I hope, if there is an afterlife, that she goes wherever good companions (or actresses) go.


While most of the alien action in School Reunion is blah CGI, I think the most annoying feature of the episode is Anthony Head's bat-grimace. I love the man to death (even if I can't stand some of his other projects, like Repo! The Genetic Opera), but the macular distortions he was forced to portray here were just hammy beyond belief. Still, I did enjoy his "Join Us" speech to The Doctor.

As for the rest? Well, I just wish the chips around here boosted IQ. Then I'd feel less guilty gobbling them up like the big fat pig that I am. It's a fun episode, at the least... with cheese-factor that is easily suffered.

Oh, gods... I hope that doesn't mean that my resistance is breaking down and I'm slowly being converted into a Whovian. Is there an antidote? Say, like, watching Community... where the Who references are meta and ironic?

Until tomorrow, Potatoes~

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