So, after a dull opener, we’ve had three pretty decent stories in a row – for all their faults, they’ve been watchable, entertaining, and had some decent ideas and moments in them.

It looks like season 6B might turn out to be the most consistently decent series of Doctor Who since the 2005 return…

Oh wait…

What’s that?

For those of you from America, or otherwise blissfully unaware of his existence, you can think of James Sodding Corden (henceforth JSC) as being a less funny Jack Black (were such a thing not an oxymoron), except on a lower budget, and with sports instead of rock and roll music.

JSC is not actually a terrible actor, and performs his role in this competently enough, but the problem is that he’s one of the most famous men in Britain at the moment, and has that fame almost solely for doing very bad things. You can watch him for maybe thirty seconds and almost be drawn in to the performance, but then the rage takes over and all decent-minded humans start looking for weapons with which to beat him around the face and torso for his role in Lesbian Vampire killers.

It amazes me that people who can see it was a terrible mistake for John Nathan-Turner, in the 80s, to cast well-known figures from light entertainment in the show, no matter how good a job they did, can’t see that it’s exactly as bad an idea when Stephen Moffat does it. And personally I’d take a thousand Ken Dodds, Bonnie Langfords or Beryl Reids over one JSC.

But moving away from He Whose Continued Popularity Is Proof That God Exists And Wants Us To Suffer, what about the script?

Well, it has good moments. The Doctor talking to little baby Stormageddon is amusing, though very derivative, but the good moments are more than swamped by the problems.

First is the running ‘joke’ in the episode that JSC is mistaken for the Doctor’s lover, or the Doctor makes pretend passes at him for no good reason. This is a joke because straight men are, of course, discomfited by the suggestion that they might not be absolutely 100% pure heterosexual. Apparently.

Yes, Gareth Roberts is, I believe, an homosexualist himself. But so is Mark Gatiss, and that didn’t stop him writing (with Moffat) the embarassingly homophobic Sherlock. And while I don’t want to start arguing that straight white men are the most oppressed people of all, I do find it unutterably tedious to see straight men portrayed as uniformly scared by the idea that they might be perceived as one of Those Gayers.

I’m also not at all sure that the Doctor should do quite so much hugging.

And then there’s the Cybermen.

Now, we’ve seen here before exactly what makes the Cybermen scary. And there are other, less-imaginative ways to make them effective, revolving around body horror, or political analogies with Communism, or future shock.

Or you can do what every Cyberman TV story (and the vast majority of non-TV stories, too) since 1975 has done, and have them be generic clompy monsters doing bad things because they’re the baddies. So of course that’s what is done here.

Millennium Elephant’s Daddy Richard has made a reasonable case that by having the Cybermen in this story be a bit crap, Roberts is actually trying to satirise all the other Doctor Who stories which have the Cybermen being a bit crap. But the end result is just a story where the Cybermen are a bit crap.

Nice to see the return of the Cybermats though.

But the worst thing about this story is that it sends out three separate messages, which range from the clichéd to the vile. Firstly, like nearly every single sodding episode since the start of the year, we find out again that the only kind of relationship that really matters is between a father and his son. No-one has ever been roused to heroism by a daughter! That would be sick and wrong. And a mother can never overcome impossible odds for her son – don’t be absurd, she’s a woman! And as for caring about a sister, or a cousin, or an uncle, or a friend, or any of the myriad other kinds of relationships that motivate and enrich the lives of every human being on the planet – don’t be stupid! What kind of drama can you get out of that?

No, the only possible things that can motivate a man are his wife and his son. (Women don’t have motives – they are objects, not subjects, of verbs).

In this case, the power of a man’s love for his son is so huge that it can actually destroy Cybermen. Yes, the climax of this story is actually the monsters being beaten by the power of love. Not metaphorically, but literally. His love is so intense it literally blows the Cybermen’s minds, and they all die.

This brings us to the second of the bad messages this story sends out. JSC only gets the courage to go and fight the Cybermen because he has learned from the Doctor that he can do anything if only he believes in himself.

This is one of the most pernicious ideas that permeates pretty much all of modern culture, and one of the things I liked about the previous episode was the way it so effectively skewered that idea. The fact is, you can’t do anything you believe you can. In fact, it’s vital to know your own limits (as I recently discovered by making myself seriously ill from overwork, even though I believed I could cope).

Some people can do amazing things. But when they can, it’s through some combination of hard work, self-sacrifice, planning and luck. Neil Armstrong didn’t walk on the moon because he had faith in himself no matter what anyone else said, he did it because he was a highly-trained test pilot who’d spent years training for that specific mission, and because of the efforts of thousands of other dedicated professionals. He may have also happened to believe in himself, but that is at best incidental.

I, on the other hand, will never walk on the moon. I’m about JSC’s age and build, and I’m asthmatic and have high blood pressure. Also, there is currently no manned space flight programme. Under those circumstances, believing I can travel to the moon would not be sensible, it would be delusional.

That doesn’t mean that I’m not capable of anything great (though I may not be), but that if I want to achieve greatness I need first to know what I am and am not capable of doing. I might one day write a great book, or a great piece of music. I might perform a great and noble self-sacrifice. But I won’t ever be a great athlete, or a great dancer, and anyone who convinced me I could if I just believed in myself would be playing an extraordinarily cruel trick on me. Yet we let TV get away with giving this message to millions of impressionable people every day. Those people might well be capable of greatness – or they might not – but I can think of very few better ways to stunt someone’s potential than to tell them the secret of success is being delusional.

And finally, the sexual politics of this story are nauseating. JSC’s character, who is meant to be an audience-identification figure, starts out as an imbecilic babyman who is literally not trusted by anyone who knows him to feed or clothe himself for a week, without the aid of a surrogate mother in the form of his wife. However, he goes on his very own heroes journey, and has a ‘character arc’, and by the end he has self-respect, and the respect of his son, because he killed something like proper men are meant to.

This is a lot of bad, disturbing messages to place in a single forty-five minute piece of television – I’d go so far as to call the attitude of this episode pathological, in fact. And the fact that these pathologies are so prevalent in ‘family entertainment’ at the moment that they can seem so normal and unworthy of comment says a lot about modern pop culture, none of it good.

But yeah, the bit where he called the baby Stormaggeddon, that was quite good.

47 Responses to “Doctor Who: Season 6B: Closing Time”

  1. Me On The Mindless Ones « Sci-Ence! Justice Leak! Says:

    [...] Where I have a belated look at Doctor Who: Closing Time. Warning: I think I used up an entire year’s supply of both vitriol and spleen on this… Rate this: Share this:PrintEmailTwitterMoreStumbleUponDiggRedditLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. [...]

  2. fighting Says:


  3. Jason Says:

    “…an imbecilic babyman who is literally not trusted by anyone who knows him to feed or clothe himself for a week…”

    An imbecilic babyman who is literally not trusted by anyone who knows him to feed or clothe his son for a week.

    I thought this episode had loads of great lines. Can’t remember any of them though.

    As for James Corden, I’ve never heard of him outside of his two Doc Who episodes; I’d recommend it.

    As for your high blood pressure, perhaps it would be better if you avoided passionate fits of hysterical nonsense, “Women don’t have motives – they are objects, not subjects, of verbs,” yeah yeah yeah.

    Yeah yeah yeah.

  4. Zom Says:

    Can’t say JSC bothers me either.

    (Didn’t watch it)

  5. Evil Scientist Says:

    Yes, I’m not a big fan of the cliche that men are incapable of operating by themselves either.

    But not convinced that the father/son theme has been as overwhelming as has been suggested in a number of places online. The season has also looked at the wife/husband dynamic of: Amy and Rory/Doctor and River/(and in one ep) Doctor and TARDIS.

    Yes they have, in this very season. Just not in this episode.

    Overall however I think your assessment of the episode in bang on the mark.

  6. Evil Scientist Says:

    Oops, sorry, forgot to put in quote from your review.

    “No-one has ever been roused to heroism by a daughter!”

    Yes they have, in this very season. Just not in this episode.

  7. Mercy Says:

    I think JC has benefited from both Lesbian Vampire Killers and his sketch show bombing so badly that he’s still entirely associated with the inoffensive and popular Gavin and Stacey.

  8. QueenB Says:

    Would it be possible for Andrew to write a post recommending some past Doctor Who that he genuinely enjoys? I’ve only really watched the Matt Smith era and I think it’s pretty consistently amazing. If there’s stuff in the past that’s so much better I’d love to hear about it.

  9. Terry Gilliam Says:


  10. James Corden Says:

    I am you know!

  11. Andrew Hickey Says:

    Am not really well enough today to contribute meaningfully to this discussion, but QueenB, I did a post like that on my own blog. However, the old series is very, very, VERY different from the new…

  12. Gavin Burrows Says:

    “This is one of the most pernicious ideas that permeates pretty much all of modern culture, and one of the things I liked about the previous episode was the way it so effectively skewered that idea.”

    Sometimes, if I’m honest, I wonder if you don’t dislike some episode first and then find a political peg to hang that dislike on. But here, yes, you’re bang on the money. It’s not even constrained to fiction, which might be argued to follow its own set of rules. Candidates for ‘X-Factor’ or some such are always saying something like “its all about how much you want it.” Knowing how to sing might be thought to come in handy, (but apparently not if you hear most years’ winners).

    What I hate the most about it is that its so blatantly compensatory. It’s arising more the more we’re expected to accept lives of drudgery, getting hired and fired from a succession of over-regulated McJobs as a lifestyle, with education constrained more and more for a privileged few. Ack!

  13. Bob Temuka Says:

    James Corden is nothing to me, and I thought he was fine. I also loved that clumsy bit at the end where the Doctor talks to those random kids and tells them he was there to help, so I thought this was a terrific episode.

    And I still can’t buy into the idea that because Craig is useless at father things, it means all men are useless. I know lots of Dads who are total Craigs, and others that are supernaturally brilliant at being Dad. There is plenty of room for stories about both.

  14. Hurricane Jason Says:

    “What I hate the most about it is that its so blatantly compensatory. It’s arising more the more we’re expected to accept lives of drudgery, getting hired and fired from a succession of over-regulated McJobs as a lifestyle…”

    Well that’s all well and good, Mr. Gavin Burrows, but personally my lifestyle doesn’t and hasn’t been anything like that, and I’d say the illogical optimism & confidence I picked up as a kid from e.g. Doctor Who have served me pretty well.

  15. JamesW Says:

    I find the idea of a children’s show telling its impressionable audience not to try to excel, not to believe in themselves, not to try to be a hero, or good, or brave, more offensive than telling them they should trust in themselves and not to lose faith in their capacity to do good despite the mental and physical disadvantages that they might have.

    I’d also rather the series continue to show that heroism is about having a strong soul, not a strong body. As much as I love the beefcake-o-rama of Supernatural, the (very US TV) idea that only the muscular and attractive get to save the world (while the ugly, the fat, the thin, the disabled get to be, at best, supporting cast members or villains) is far more poisonous and insidious than anything else in this episode.

    I usually enjoy the blog posts on Mindless Ones, but these Who entries just come across as adolescent moaning that confuse complaint with critique. It’s okay to *like* things, you know? It doesn’t make you any less worthy as a writer. Sincerity and an open heart trump mealy-mouthed grumbling any day. I would’ve thought a website as in love with Grant Morrison as this one would’ve learned that by now.

  16. Zom Says:

    Andrew likes plenty of things. Go read his blog.

    The defensive behaviour* these threads elicit strikes me as FAR more adolescent than anything Andrew’s offered up.

    *I’m distinguishing between that and, for example, Gavin Burrows’ well reasoned arguments. It OKAY to disagree with Andrew!

  17. Zom Says:

    And, Jesus, James, this website doesn’t learn anything.

    Mindless Ones is a *group* blog. We all have our own very speshul, very individual opinions

  18. JamesW Says:

    (That said, Steven Moffat’s weird issues with women – as objects, as subjects, as hangers-on, as ‘other’, as dangerous and irrational and uncontrollable by their very nature – are splurged all over the finale, so if you’re going to get your knives out again for that one I entirely understand.)

  19. JamesW Says:

    Zom – Okay, poor phrasing on my part (I should, perhaps, have said that I’m surprised anyone who rubs digital shoulders with Morrison fans of MO’s magnitude hasn’t absorbed those principles through osmosis) but I stand by my point in that last paragraph. This essay in particular comes across as someone fishing around for something to be furious about – and thus making a mountain range out of imaginary molehills – rather than someone expressing genuine outrage.

    I thought it more upsetting that tying Corden and his girlfriend (wife?) down to a suburban existence kind of undoes the ‘let’s travel the world!’ character development at the end of The Lodger. But I don’t really like kids, so…

    Of course, these are just my *own* speshul opinions.

  20. Zom Says:

    In order for Andrew to have offended the spirit of Morrisonian criticism (I’m going to be generous and assume such a thing actually exists), he would have to be – according to what you’ve written – of the opinion that it’s not “…okay to *like* things”. Having read Andrew’s blog for three plus years I can assure you that Andrew likes a great many things and that the vast majority of his criticism is positive. More to the point, I think it’s more than possible to write a great many more negative reviews than positive and still not cleave to the view that positive crit exposes one as a bad writer.

    You seem to be suggesting, with your talk about sincerity and an open heart, that Andrew doesn’t on some level mean what he’s said, and/or (I’m going with “and”) that he’s unable to engage properly with the show because he’s armoured his heart to joy. I mean, you do know how absurd that sounds right? How many crazy assumptions you’re making? How offensive that could be? You’re a) accusing him of bad faith argument and b) getting dangerously close to making an ad hominen attack in that you’re making negative statements about him as a person: he’s insincere, his heart is closed off, he’s being adolescent.

    Look, it’s absolutely fine to disagree passionately with Andrew. Really, really fine. It’s okay to suggest that Andrew has demonstrated blindness to X or Y. It’s not okay to suggest that he hasn’t met some imaginary set of criteria (criteria that perhaps Mindless Ones should be enforcing?) and that he’s failed to do so because of personal failings.

    So why am I not being hard on Gavin? Afterall this – “Sometimes, if I’m honest, I wonder if you don’t dislike some episode first and then find a political peg to hang that dislike on.” is to some extent a negative statement about the relationship between Andrew’s character and his critical faculties. Difference is that Gavin has been corresponding with Andrew for years and that brings with it certain privileges and, yeah, maybe insights not available to someone who’s only read three or four of Andrew’s posts.

    I’d like to add that I do like a lot of your comments, James. I think you have some really good stuff to say, I just feel that you’re going way too far in this instance.

    Just for the record, if I wrote regularly about Dr Who you’d get a whole lot of extremely sincere moaning.

  21. Patchworkearth Says:

    Besides – I’M the Mindless who hates everything.

  22. Illogical Volume Says:

    That’s why we brought you onboard!

  23. Zom Says:

    We all need to rub shoulders more

  24. Andrew Hickey Says:

    This is just absurd.

    Of course Gavin’s right to an extent about me finding a political peg to hang an aesthetic distaste on – my initial reaction is always of a “Yay!” or “Ugh” kind, and the process of criticism is a way of trying to figure out why I had that reaction.

    But Jason’s nonsense…

    “I find the idea of a children’s show telling its impressionable audience not to try to excel, not to believe in themselves, not to try to be a hero, or good, or brave, more offensive than telling them they should trust in themselves and not to lose faith in their capacity to do good despite the mental and physical disadvantages that they might have.”

    Where did I *ever* say that telling people “not to try to be a hero, or good, or brave” was anything like a good idea?

    When Doctor Who is at its best, it does precisely those things. But it doesn’t make the mistake of saying all you need is self-belief.

    People who do great things have to overcome real obstacles to do them, and telling people that the only obstacle is their lack of self-belief is setting them up for failure.

    “I’d also rather the series continue to show that heroism is about having a strong soul, not a strong body. As much as I love the beefcake-o-rama of Supernatural, the (very US TV) idea that only the muscular and attractive get to save the world (while the ugly, the fat, the thin, the disabled get to be, at best, supporting cast members or villains) is far more poisonous and insidious than anything else in this episode. ”

    Again, you’re not actually disagreeing with anything I say here.

    “these Who entries just come across as adolescent moaning that confuse complaint with critique. It’s okay to *like* things, you know?”

    Which is odd because three of the five I’ve reviewed so far have been overall positive reviews, though I’ve pointed out negative elements too.

    As for it being OK to like things – of course it is. But it *should* also be OK to *dis*like things, if you find them actively repellent (as I do with this episode). Weirdly, fans of post-2005 Doctor Who seem to be the only group who take any kind of considered criticism as a personal affront.

    If I am given something good to review, something genuinely worthwhile, I will go into paroxysms of joy about it and effuse appropriately, be that a Morrison/Quitely comic or a Beatles album or an interesting novel or, yes, a good episode of Doctor Who.

    But likewise, if you give me a piece of tenth-rate hackwork, from people who are capable of better (see for example this review of mine of Roberts’ audio drama Bang-Bang-A-Boom which oddly-appropriately has me taking Roberts’ side *against* joyless fans), which could have just had a script which read “will this do?” for forty straight pages, and which *does* contain a *LOT* of unexamined clichés, many of which I find pernicious, I *will* point that out.

    That’s not a refusal to enjoy things, or being ‘mealy-mouthed’ (look it up, I don’t think that phrase means what you think it means). It’s an acceptance that liking everything is the same as liking nothing.

    (There’s also the further question of whether “did I like this?” is the same as “is this any good?” and which of those questions a critic should be asking. In this case, the answer to both is “no” so it doesn’t apply.)

    However, just for you, here’s a review of the finale, in the style you apparently want:


  25. Andrew Hickey Says:

    I think this post, and the comments beneath it on the hagiography of a man who ran a large tech company and did nothing else of note, sums up some of my stance on this

  26. Hurricane Jason Says:

    “But Jason’s nonsense…”

    The words you quoted after that weren’t written by me. I’m honestly not sure if you made a mistake there or if you decided to dismiss me with a quick “Jason is nonsense” before moving on to other matters (fair enough really).

    My objection to your review – which was emphatically not of the form “You like Grant Morrison therefore you must be orgasmically enthusiastic about EVERYTHING” – has more to do with that picknose Flyboy whine you’ve got going on, which led you into making what I thought was a genuinely stupid statement, I already quoted it, that “don’t be absurd, she’s a woman!” stuff. There may be gender-issues worth raising, both within the story and outside it (i.e. DC have been getting a lot of stick for the gender-balance of their creators; but aren’t ALL the new Who writers men?) however your tone, and the implicit suggestion that girls watching the program are getting short-changed, not to mention your seeming inability to discriminate between some shitty actor and the character he’s playing, did kinda make you come across like a big old stinky Cyberman.

    As for the HOPE! BELIEVE! stuff, sure it’s perhaps tacky and limited, but “bad, disturbing”? A lot of children lack hope and are bombarded with daily challenges to their self-esteem: Doc Who is really supposed to be a gush of positive energy and even where it’s trite in its methods I can’t see the point in attacking it for that. It makes you sound jaded. Andrew, who do you watch the show with?

  27. Andrew Hickey Says:

    Jason, I do apologise. I meant James. I’ve got a migraine at the moment and the two names are similar.

  28. Hurricane Jason Says:

    (No worries!)

  29. Zom Says:

    By the way, Andrew’s not alone in thinking “all ya gotta do is believe in yourself and you can do anything! High five!” is pernicious bollocks (for all kinds of reasons).

    Note, that is not the same thing as saying that people should lack ambition, or faith in themselves, or be pessimistic. Neither is it to suggest that low self-esteem is some sort of virtue or somehow more authentic.

  30. Terry Gilliam Says:

    I believed in myself, and I made Brazil so suck it, nerds!

    (Also: don’t apologise to Hurricane Jason, he’s obviously a one man cockstorm.)

    (That is not a compliment.)

  31. Gavin Burrows Says:

    When the first line… the very first line… of a review contains the words “we’ve had three pretty decent stories in a row” then I find “you just don’t like anything!” to be a bit of an odd reaction.

  32. Hurricane Jason Says:

    “(That is not a compliment.)”

    How can “cockstorm” POSSIBLY not be a compliment?

    “Terry Gilliam,” hur hur!

  33. Bob Temuka Says:

    Play the ball, not the man.

    I think Andrew is almost always wrong, but he makes plenty of valid points and I always look forward to seeing him write about them.

  34. Bob Temuka Says:

    Oh, and I mean Andrew is almost always wrong about Doctor Who. I agree with him on everything else he says….

  35. Zom Says:

    Terry, let’s all be nice, huh?

  36. Marc Says:

    “Andrew, who do you watch the show with?”

    And with that, Jason retroactively justifies the “nonsense” line.

  37. Papers Says:

    I enjoyed the episode. Watching it as a “homosexualist,” the queer comedy routine didn’t actually bother me that much, it felt more playful than usual and had only one wrong beat for me, which was that Craig didn’t play along with the assumption/joke at the end–by that point, I feel like he should have. I also didn’t find the “Gays are icky” vibe quite as strong as you did, particularly in comparison to some other moments in the series–when the Doctor makes the pretend pass at him, Craig’s reaction *isn’t* repulsion, he’s just awkward and hastens to point out that he’s “taken,” rather than straight.

    Bear in mind that I have no cultural associations for Corden beyond his two DW appearances.

    The “bad dad” thing would be irksome for me if it wasn’t so thematic for the two Moffat seasons thus far and if it didn’t play into the established anxieties of Craig’s character so easily.

    Someone above commented on it being irritating that Sophie and Craig were going to go off adventuring after their last appearance, and I wanted to point out what pleased me the most about the episode: we don’t know how much time as elapsed for them since they last met the Doctor (much like with Amy and Rory) and they don’t foreground the fact that the Doctor has a missing century of adventuring between this episode and the last. Craig and Sophie could have gone off and done some things between then and now, which mirrors what the Doctor has been doing.

    Honestly, it was mostly just pleasant to have a couple episodes without Moffat’s scripts and the interminable River Song stories where we have to deal with his weird issues with women, his obsession with the Time Traveller’s Wife as a plot template, and the cramming in of plot and flash-bang with substance.

  38. Papers Says:

    Sigh. “With substance” = “without substance.”

  39. Andrew Hickey Says:

    Bob, I’ll be very interested to see what you think of the Doctor Who stuff I’m starting later today on my own blog…

    Papers, I can agree with most of that, but the ‘bad dad’ stuff being a theme running through the Moffat series makes it seem worse, rather than better, to me.

    As for those of you unaware of Corden’s existence, yes, that will make a difference. However, I doubt there’s a single person in the UK for whom that’s the case – Corden is one of the most culturally-ubiquitous figures of the last five years or so over here, and has been cast for the same reasons as Peter Kay or Kylie Minogue in earlier episodes. As it turns out, he can play the role competently, but that’s not why he’s been cast and it’s not what the primary audience of the programme will be noticing. He is definitely there as a Special Celebrity Guest Star and is going to be viewed as such by anyone in the UK.

    (Put it this way – I don’t own a TV. I don’t listen to the radio. I don’t read celebrity magazines. I essentially don’t have any contact at all with pop culture. Yet Corden’s ubiquity has been such that even I, as removed from all this as I am, have still been overexposed to him to such an extent that I have an almost Pavlovian response when seeing his face, just from general cultural osmosis. If that’s true of me, then there is not going to be a single person in the UK who doesn’t have a lot of cultural baggage around him one way or another.)

  40. Papers Says:

    The Bad *Parent* thing started with the Doctor; he essentially played the role of Amy’s absentee father in Series 5 (muddied by Moffat’s awkward writing of Amy’s sexuality, or at least complicated by it, and exacerbated when Amy’s actual parents materialize), we had the mother during the Silurian two-parter (to be fair, though, I’ve never seen a narrative so carefully constructed to force a character into an action and then crucify her for it–one the reasons that two-parter is my least favourite since Moffat took over as showrunner). Hell, Gaiman’s Auntie and Uncle fill the role of bad parents as well.

    I don’t necessarily argue in favour of it, of course, but it’s there. I don’t think it’s as clean-cut as a “Bad Dad” theme, though. It’s just that Moffat’s gender politics (and those of some of his writers) are dubious. “Closing Time” bothered me less because it was more about anxiety about poor parenting than actual poor parenting, and ties into, I suspect, the thematic reasons for the Doctor to let Amy and Rory grow up (while he goes away).

    And then the damn finale fucked everything up even further, because Moffat’s writing is awful.

  41. Terry Gilliam Says:

    I hear ya Zom. It’s just hard for me these days. Every time I think about the Man Who Killed Don Quixote, I feel like the world’s raining dicks on me and sometimes I end up taking all my anger out on the wrong prick.

    But put yourself in my shoes for a minute. I made Time Bandits, a movie that both inspired the creation of the metric system and taught millions of children about Sean Connery. It’s kind’ve hard to stay humble when you’re responsible for something like that.

    I still think that Jason was barking up the wrong prick with his comments about Andrew being Jaded, but you guys have already made that point better than I did. I guess that’s just the way it is in the world. Some of us are good at writing comments on the internet, and some of us are good at making Time Bandits.

  42. bobsy Says:

    For the record Tel, I’ve never been that fond of your work. Time Bandits is an especial stinker, like being at a muddy panto where, mercifully, there is an off switch (frequently used).

    (I don’t mean panto just because there are dwarves in it. The same criticism could be said of pretty much all your films.)

  43. Terry Gilliam Says:

    There’s no accounting for taste, bobsy. In fact, there’s no accounting at all anymore, not since I singlehandedly made the whole profession illegal by directing a sketch for Monty Python one time.

    Also: there were no dwarves in Time Bandits, we actually just used a special lens for some scenes to make certain actors looks small. “Paedo-vision”, that’s what we call it in the trade. It makes everyone looks like a child, thus providing a veritable paradise for your garden variety paedophile.

  44. The Beast Must Die Says:

    I like Time Bandits.

    I’m going to phone the Daily Mail and hand myself in.

  45. Evil Scientist Says:

    Off topic I know in a thread about Time Bandits and all, but I would really hate this story to have been a satire on how badly used the Cybermen are. I would just prefer someone to write a decent New Who story using them instead.

    The Cybermen are, IMV, the best of the “cross-over monsters” in NW but have also been the most badly used. They’re scary in a way that the old Cybermen aren’t; implacable, physically intimidating, and when they turn you into them it’s not sexy Borg nanotubules and melting into a groupmind, it’s buzz-saws and laser scalpels as they cut the essential bits of you out of your meatsuit and cram you into claustrophobic metal.

    That New Who Cybermen are vulnerable to being impaired by overwhelming emotion doesn’t bother me too much, it’s better than sodding gold and at least there’s a decent reason behind it (that whole “suppress the emotions otherwise they go pain-mad with the trauma of conversion” thing). But I agree you’d think they’d have dealt with it by now, especially if these ones (contra-Earth Cybus or yer genuine Mondasian?) have been around for hundreds of years.

  46. Alex's Hurricane Jason Says:

    Wack-wacky! Wack-wacky!

  47. Alec Trench Says:

    I like how the kids of today all believe that false confidence is the route to success, because this way I’ll always be better at everything than all but the most ‘gifted’ of them.
    If anyone were to inform them that anti-defeatism is just a way of getting through the process of self-development, there’d be way too much competition.
    Keep the brats down!

    I don’t know, maybe one day somebody will write a piece of popular light entertainment with real social purpose, that we can all take as gospel and live our lives by – for want of any other sources of inspiration – but until then, there’s always the Old Testament.
    Apparently, Genesis has really nice art by the guy who did Fritz the Cat.

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