Science of onanism or,
Russell T Davies: The man who loved (himself) too much
At maybe the 35 or 40 minute mark (it's hard to tell; at the 69th, it now feels like the 169th), I was willing to forgive Russell T Davies' work on his penultimate episode of Doctor Who quite a lot. Perspective titles for this response bounced around my head, as the Doctor and Wilf (and a couple of generic prickly-pear aliens) bounced around a space-ship heading for a date with destiny (and London, of course), titles like "From the appalling to the adequate" or "To hell and half-way back."
(Yes, there are a few spoilers below, but trust me: none of them matter.)
In other words, "The End of Time, Part II" was proving to be kind of fun, if nowhere near a classic episode of the program. After the unbelievably awful Part I last week, it seemed Davies had partially forsworn his high (or is that low) melodramatic tendencies in and rediscovered the virtues of story-telling.
Alas, it was not to be — or rather, he couldn't leave well enough alone.
Yes, nearly every scene (even the "good" ones) could have been shorter, but the last o! so self-indulgent 1t minutes?!?
"Dying," the Doctor makes a tour of his (recent) companions.
Doctor saves Mickey and Martha from a Sontaran; Doctor hooks Captain Jack up with a new boy-toy; Doctor saves Sarah Jane's son from a speeding car; Doctor looks up Verity's grandmother; Doctor even looks in on Rose before she first met him; and of course, he provides for Donna and says farewell to Wilf.
One or two of these scenes (if shorter) might have been tolerable, but Davies the writer and producer has so clearly fallen in love with his own mythology that he just can't shut up. He can't stop using a bludgeon on us, his now eye-rolling audience, to make sure we Get It. The Doctor is special, he's a demi-god, a mythic hero, a ... oh hell.
I'll be eternally grateful to Davies for bringing the franchise back and for penning some lovely episodes, but sweet mother it's beyond time he took his leave.
I wish I could say he'd taken it with grace and something good to remember him by, but I can't.
At least Matt Smith's first 30 seconds or so showed some promise of good things to come. But good riddance to Russell T Davies.
All right: It's a new year. My Resolution is to be a better blogger in 2010 than I was in '09.