Well, they never said what fun I'd have when I hit sixty. They don't though do they? Its a bit like when a mate says lets go swimming but fails to tell you that the sea around these shores are used for surfing. When that big wave hits you tend to fall over or get washed away.
Take the package that arrived about a month ago from the NHS. It was one of those informative response things whereby they are trying to help you but at the same time want data. My little letter was about bowel cancer. They were alerting me that at my age (oh yeah?) I really should have the old tubes and produce fully examined as a certain percentage of chaps MY AGE contract the dreaded BC without even knowing it. Within this medical missive was a BRE and an odd set of what looked like flattened cardboard cocktail sticks and a rather bizarre die cut DL pack with a series of pull up tabs.
I ignored it. I always do. Then, when seeking out a Pratchett book, I came across the envelope containing these little gems.
I thought about it a bit then decided, what the F? I might as well give it a go.
Now then, conceive of this if you will. The instructions run something like this....
When evacuating your bowels use either a hand filled with tissues to catch stool or, if preferable, an empty plastic margarine box.
Having deposited said turd into said box take cocktail stick like implements, shove them into steaming and rather noxious smelling poo before applying thin layer of excrement onto aforementioned die cut thingy. Toss turd down carsie, wash hands and depart feeling like a pervert in a local lav.
This procedure recurs three times, that is once a day for three days then you send duly smeared carton back to NHS. Well, they send me lots of shit so why not return the favour?
Now then, the New Doctor Who, what did I think of it? Did it live up to all the hype? The easy answer is yes it did and for a rather surprising number of reasons.
We have all come to expect something slightly different when a new regeneration throws up another Doctor. I, being long of the molar and equally as long a fan, can recall when Patrick Troughton replaced William Hartnell. This kiddies was back in time (being a time traveling show I guess that is obligatory) back when the sixties were just beginning to irritate that generation's mums and dads. The first Doctor, rather a grumpy old fart I think, changed into someone a little more bonkers. The change, sorry, the regeneration seemed fraught with elements of madness and character developmental departures. The later of course was a splendid vehicle for the script writers to delve into the time travelling alien’s personality revealing as they did a vast spectrum of odd traits.
This latest regeneration was no different. Last Doc, as played by Matt Smith, was rather an exuberant, Tigger like, Galifreyean who was even more manic that predecessor David Tennent. This change started in a similar vein with a giant T-Rex waltzing up the Thames in Victorian England. The wee beastie appears to be trying to clear its throat as if something unpleasant had lodged there. It coughs and retches and from its mighty maw a blue box, yes the T.A.R.D.I.S comes hurtling out. Spinning across the London skyline the time machine crashes to earth. Welcome back Madame Vastra, Jenny and Strax who, naturally enough as one suspects they might, rush to the scene.
Strax knocks on the TARDIS door. It opens a crack revealing a man dishevelled, not quite with current events who says something curt before shutting the door again. He opens it minutes later bounding out like Matt Smith but in somebody else’s skin. The pace is manic and Peter Capaldi carries the scene well before the Doctor's mind crashes into the reality of the situation whereupon he collapses face down in the mud.
I like the Paternoster Gang. I think they have enormous potential. A series of their own would be very welcome.
There are some brilliant one liners thrown in as we witness the Doctor coming to terms with his sudden change. Looking in a mirror he declares it to be ‘furious.’ Another time he asks where all the lines on his face have come from. ‘I didn’t frown them!’ He declares. There are also some delicious scenes between Madam Vastra and Jenny and several very funny moments. My favourite being when the lizard lady and her wife elegantly arrive to save the Doctor and Clara. Descending on silken sheets they land nimbly on their feet to challenge the badies. Strax tries same and hurtles down from above like a bovine ox to land with a thump in a heap. ‘I told you to take the stairs.’ Says Jenny.
For me the show performs at its best when we have elements of chaos, lunacy, high octane energy with dashes of horror, suspense and a little sc-fi chucked in. Better still when it is Victorian London as that era’s strait laced face provides a wonderful foil to the insanity that breaks out.
Peter Capaldi makes a damn fine Doctor. A little more sinister than before as we see near the end when he….NO, I SHALL NOT SPOIL IT.
The new show promised much and on this first outing delivered.
Russell Cuts the Corn From The Brewers Whiskers.