If there’s one thing I don’t like, it’s an 'hilarious' send up of a popular television series. I’ve read a number of Master Chef send up comic strips in the past few weeks, and the idea- for what it is- is tired and, in my opinion, more or less done to death.
I say more or less, because sometimes you encounter a send up, and for one reason or another, don’t click that’s what it is. Which is what happened with Situation Vacant. It was only when listening to the extras that I realised (well, I didn't realise- I was flat out told) that this had an Apprentice riff running through it. Perhaps I don’t watch enough television?
So, what we have here is an idea I’m surprised hasn’t been thought of before. The Doctor advertises for a new assistant, and sets the four applicants a series of tasks to perform, eliminating failures along the way…
See, now I’ve written that description, I feel a bit stupid at not spotting the reference!
Of course, the Doctor holds the interview/test in a hotel where there happens to be a convention of big brained scientists also meeting, so you know things will get serious soon. And they do.
What I really liked were the characters of the four prospective candidates. Each genuinely has something that an assistant needs- courage, intelligence, common sense etc, so any one would, in an ideal world, have made a great companion. And the fact that the one we get in the end is so unexpected speaks volumes for both the quality of writing and acting throughout.