The natural order of the universe has reasserted itself. There will be no uncharacteristicallly pro-Doctor Who enthusiasm today. This week’s Doctor Who is just poor. (And that’s despite having Jessica Stevenson, who I admire on principle.)
For a start, it was basically the sort of cut-rate episode that shows the BBC has already spent up its effects money.
When all else fails, an Edwardian-style episode of any scifi is cheap enough because all the costumes are already there. But Edwardian sets and costumes are generally completely uninteresting. Your eyes turn away from them. You know what to expect, Upstairs Downstairs, and so on. The yawning reflex kicks right in.
An unwillingness to watch the screen tends to make you lose interest in the plot, so I have only the vaguest idea about what it involved.
The lighting has ceased to be interesting, either. And has partly given up trying to follow the laws of nature. There was at least one scene – where the doctor is supposedly talking face-to-face with his assistant – which you know was filmed at different times.
Her face is lit with (a very high-contrast coloured shadow effect, so you can’t miss it) from the right. When the camera switches to his face, he is not lit from the left, In fact, it appears that his bit was recorded with a completely different set of lighting. So, as the camera switches from one to the other, she looks like she’s on set, doing her best to play the part, while he loooks as if he camera-phoned in some footage while he was on holiday somewhere.
Come on, if you must have totally dominating atmospheric coloured lighting, at least get the simple bits right. There are pedants out there…