Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Partners in Crime - "You're not mating with me, sunshine!"

Partners in Crime (Doctor Who) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Series 4, Story 1 (Overall Series Story #193) | Previous - Next | Index

Image via death by flail
First time around, the beginning of Series 4 unnerved me a bit. Wasn't exactly a fan of Catherine Tate and had hoped all of Series 3 to eventually see Freema get a chance to play Martha without the unrequited crush angle. With the benefit of hindsight, knowing great things are ahead, that Tate's not in over her head with the Donna character, and we're going to care what happens to her later makes this a much more enjoyable experience. Plus, more Donna means more Wilf, and Bernard Cribbins is a delight to have around. Although, the companion again comes with a mom that's a bit of a pill, a trend that has me wondering how much Davies's The Writer's Tale might speak to what influence his family life had on his character development.

"Partners in Crime" larks about, giving Tennant and Tate plenty of room to shine as a comedy duo. The scene where they finally spot one another after all the near misses is gold, comedy gold. /borscht belt accent Between comedic stylings of T&T and those adorable Adipose with their one little tooth and Muppet Baby voices, the episode feels light and breezy, so much so that we forget how lonely the Doctor looked in the TARDIS when we see him at the beginning travelling without a companion. Then, boom, Davies let's us have it by bringing Rose back. It happens so quick we're still all "Wait! What?!" as the preview for next week starts to roll. Davies is having his way with us, lolling us into  thinking we're done with the big melodramatic story lines and putting all the heavy feels behind us, only to pull the rug from under us.

The other big return here isn't an actor (Cribbins from the movie with Peter Cushing) or an alien menace (the red-eyed Ood will be back next week), but it is a villain, perhaps *the* Big Bad of the Davies era: corporatism. Adipose, after all, is the name of the corporation slinging deceptive diet pills, not just of a species. The tools of this invasion are a call center and slick marketing. Sure, the Master/Harold Saxon was the architect of last season's villainy, but Arcangel didn't need a malevolent Time Lord to position itself as a global menace. Badwolf Corporation. Cybus Industries. Coming soon: ATMOS, Ood Operations. It may be that humanity in the DW universe is so often invaded not because we made a horror movie called Alien and offended the universe, but because our greed is so easily weaponized.

Stray Thoughts:

  • Love the phrase "unscheduled partenogenesis"
  • Long time readers of this blog will not be surprised my ears perked up when Donna mentioned the bees disappearing

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