Tuesday, May 5, 2009

M4 - Inferno



(or, according to the traffic report, there's an inferno on the M4)

And thus, the first direct attempt at comedy by the makers of Doctor Who ends with Nero strumming his lute whilst Rome burns in a scene that has been proven to have never actually happened, or at least is been dismissed as wildly apocryphal. It's also the first time in a historical story that the producers have played with the history a lot more fast and loose than in previous stories, all in the name of comedy. Sure, Marco Polo engaged on a fictitious journey in Marco Polo, and I'm sure certain events to do with Robespierre and Napoleon were fabricated in The Reign of Terror. But one can't watch The Romans and believe that what the viewer is seeing actually happened.

So, if one was to worry about continuity and where this all fits in to the series' canon (and I don't worry, believe me), where would it fit? Is it some sort of joke world where everyone is acting as if Kenneth Williams is about to enter the room at any moment (or hoping he doesn't)? Did Nero really look like a middle aged oaf, despite being in his mid-20's at the time?

Is it canon?!?!?

Or, you can, as I eventually did, sit back and enjoy the fun which increasingly worked its way into the story after a shaky opening episode. This show has always been about experimentation, and I could never fault it for trying to do something that it had never done before. It wasn't the most successful of attempts, but Doctor Who's diversity increased a bit more with this story, and it made the series better in the long run.

After that interesting diversion from the norm, it will be good to watch a nice, straight forward episode of Doctor Who next and get things back on the rails again. What do we have next here...

Ah, yes. The Web Planet. This should be an enjoyable romp.

2 comments:

sjcaustenite said...

The Web Planet is the epitome of why Doctor Who should be fairly conservative in its goals--it's laudably ambitious, but an almost utter failure. Ugh.

rumpio said...

though very popular at the time. which is what it was meant to do, not please the people of the 21st Century :)

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