I had been looking forward to Doctor Who on Saturday. I like Hugh Bonneville (although I have never really understood the whole pirate thing – unless we’re talking George MacDonald Fraser) and the building into a classical myth with the use of the siren was appealing – having formed the basis of stories before (albeit often bad stories: Time Monster; Underworld; Nimon). Anyhow, I watched the pirate episode of Doctor Who the way in which I understand people watch pirate DVDs or videos, with a small head in the way blocking a chunk of the screen. When I managed to persuade my youngest to move out of the way I’m afraid that it did nothing for me. I thought Hugh Bonneville was – as always – pretty good (his presence sending me back to my DVD of the first series of Five Days); and was looking forward to seeing more of Lee “Press Gang” Ross – but it appeared he had a bizarrely truncated role, as he seemed to vanish for half of the episode for no obvious reason to allow more time for the “oh my god, they killed Rory” emoting moment which appears to be the running motif of the Moffat years.
While my younger children left the room when Lily Cole (extending her range enormously by going from walking about looking vacant to a Trevor Eve when he’s angry style snarl) turned red and grew sharp pointed teeth. But my eldest watched enthralled , although I was a little bored, and disappointed at the way in which good actors like Bonneville and Ross were left with characters that felt somewhat flat.
But then my Doctor Who senses started tingling with the trailer for next week – a little message box (last seen in The War Games); the wonderful Suranne Jones (albeit her last visit to the Doctor Who universe was a rather broad Mona Lisa in the Sarah Jane Adventures, although her appearance in the second series of Five Days gives better indication of her ability); and it’s by Neil Gaiman.
With any luck – the becalmed days are behind us. I can’t wait.