Reviews from Lord Taylor of Glencoe
The Monsters Inside: Stephen Cole, November 22—27, 2013
My rating: ♦♦♦◊◊
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, the New Adventure Series is getting another chance!
Cole takes Ecclestone’s Ninth Doctor and Rose Tyler (Billie Piper) to Justicia, a human-run prison planet being infiltrated by Slitheen and Blathereen.
The characters are much more fleshed out and are closer to their BBC TV counterparts. The essence of The Doctor’s cheeky wittiness is captured well, as is Tyler’s confident attitude and, in the short time they spend together, their dynamic is spot on. The supporting characters are more mixed: Flowers is well rounded and interesting and the Slitheen prisoners add good comedy value, while the young warders could essentially be one person.
In terms of plot, the first half has a good pace and varied set-ups, flitting as it does between the “alien” and “human” camps which house the Doctor and Rose respectively. The videolink scene is particularly well done, even for a non-EastEnders expert. When everything kicks off good and proper, though, it quickly becomes repetitive and drawn out. The cat and mouse running around / showdown / running / showdown / running / showdown pattern becomes quite tired and eventually you stop caring how it ends – so long as it does!
A small niggle are the scenes in which the Doctor thinks. For me, the Doctor is a brooding, aloof character that is enigmatic, experienced and understood through his companion as audience surrogate. It seems hollow to have scenes from his POV, then, since it is essentially not one we should be privy too. That is just a matter of opinion and to be fair, there’s nothing ground-breaking in these scenes.
A much improved effort from The Clockwise Man and generally quite enjoyable.