Friday, 26 November 2010

Doctor Who: Situation Vacant review

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.

But seriously... part of me is hoping that one of these will eventually end up to be a dud. Nothing yet though, I am, as I have said before, genuinely surprised by the consistent high standard of the Big Finish Who’s I have listened to so far.

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