TwoP review of Planet of the Dead

I don't like Television without Pity. It's not that I don't agree with them. I often agree with them. But I seriously do not like the concept of pseudo-intellectual snarking for the fun of it. Yes, I know...I snark...and I'm pseudo-intellectual, too, I suppose. But, I hope I'm not without pity. :smirk:

That said, however, having just discussed the idea that there was never a bad episode of DW...and having called them out on Planet of the Dead...I thought I might take a look at TwoP's review of the episode. And here...I must admit that I had many an evil chuckle over the review.

Read it all here:

I think my favorite part is this reference to all that I have gone on about lately about how the recycled storylines are becoming boring. And it really isn't the companions back...not for's the Daleks...and knowing what is going to happen, because, well, nothing else can happen.

But then magical black lady comes up and magicals at him about how he's going to regenerate come Christmas, his "song is ending," which is sort of an ood thing to say innit, and also: "It is returning. It is returning through the dark. And then, Doctor... Oh, but then... He will knock four times."

He stares after her, looking terrified and sad and just generally nuts, but I don't get it. Somebody psychic says that shit to him every day of his life, and it's always true, and he never gives a fuck, but this time he takes it to heart. And I mean, after YANA I'm tired of that manipulative silly "he will knock four times" deal. I really want this season of specials to be more than a warmed-over redux of the last four years. You know how rarely I get soppy about the characters on this show, how deeply averse I am to that, but still: it seems disrespectful to Rose and especially Donna to replay any of this. There should be consequences. But going there like this, I wonder. "It" is probably Daleks, because it's always fucking Daleks, and "the dark" is probably the Void, because ditto, and I'm guessing "he" is pretty obvious too, since it's always the same "he." But I sort of thought the end of Martha's season was a rerun of "42," and I'd hate to think we're dipping into that well for the third time with this last season, especially since we've now visited the whole "bad things happen when the Doctor doesn't have Companions and/or marital-rapes them" thing twice, so I guess we'll see. Buffalo buffalo, etc.

AMEN! Because it's like...the HE is the chance that it could be some other bloke 10.5, which I think would be very interesting indeedy.

Come on, RTD! Prove all of we smug bitches wrong...give us a real winner of a finale.

I know you have it in you.


I liked TWoP! Would get over heavy ground light.

I loved the summaries for s1 DW, in which Jacob did not snark as much as gush. Was a bit self-congratulatory, but also effusive. Fun, in fact. He also kept me going through S2.

Also, Rae, please stop posting my life to your blog: I.e., asking about worst/best eps as I put together (and watch) a playlist of eps in RealPlayer that jumps from TRB to PiC running through JE, ...and then discussing TWoP after I rummage around in that folder, too. ::snicker::
I just love Jacob. He's written some brilliant, beautiful stuff about everything that was right in the early seasons, but he's not afraid to call bullshit (very loudly! lol) when it warrants.

I admit to being a fan of TWoP. Well...a lapsed fan. I just didn't have time to read everything and finally stopped going there quite a while back. I think what I always liked (at least for the ones that I read/followed) is that despite the snarkiness, it's obvious that these folks have affection for the shows. I've always found the reviews amusing and not saying anything that I didn't already think. ;)

*snicker* Many of the nicknames and jokes from the reviews have stuck with me, such as "The Cottages" for House's team, "Stately Luthor Manor" and "Gayest Look of the Week" for Smallville (which deserves every single snark fired its way). I dunno. Perhaps I am easily amused. XD
I can believe they are brilliant
This one was positively priceless. And I very much enjoyed the snark.

But I am very forgiving of other people's flaws and not the sort of person who enjoys snark as way of life. Several of my fellow writers have asked me to join "Bad Fic" clubs where talented people mock the less talented. And it is true that some of the bad fiction will make you snort soda out your nose if you are injudicious enough to be sipping as you read. But, to me, it almost interfers with my own creativity to sharpen my venomous claws on other people on a daily basis.

Yes, Torchwood CoE...and Planet of the Dead definitely deserve to be mocked and derided. But...I don't know...TwoP reminds me, quite strongly, of these Mensa people I used to hang out with in college. I was a member because of my IQ, but I didn't enjoy their company very much. They would gather in little beer or coffee circles and make jokes at other people's expense. And, even though they never really directed the barbs at me...and sometimes I couldn't help laughing at some telling remark...I still couldn't move beyond feeling sorry for the people they did skewer. Because, in my opinion, most of the time, tiny failings in another person or a person's work just aren't worth that much bile.

Which is not to say that Jacob is a base or unjust person. I'm sure he and a lot of other writers on TwoP are perfectly lovely and quite insightful people. But the attitude of the place is what I find distasteful. The open license to deride other people's labor. It's bad karma, in my opinion, to set yourself up as such a merciless judge.

Re: I can believe they are brilliant
TwoP reminds me, quite strongly, of these Mensa people I used to hang out with in college. I was a member because of my IQ, but I didn't enjoy their company very much..

Perhaps it was the competitive college atmosphere? My post-college group was accepting and supportive and funny and incisive without crossing the line into bad Karma. Stll are some of my favorite people to spend time with!
Yes...I liked "The Ducklings"
And it's Foreman.

And I must say I really did LOL at Jacob's honed blade cutting to the heart of what is bullshit about Planet of the Dead. When he says Malcolm goes "Ten Kinds Of Gay over the Doctor phoning him." And wasn't that true. So many people apparently adored Malcolm, but I thought he was a huge buffoon of a character. Like Christina and her spoiled rich kid plays with fire routine, Malcolm goes a bridge too far and takes the off-ramp into parody.


I used to spend a bit of time over at TWOP, but I did get tired of the obnoxiousness eventually. I will say that Jacob is probably the best over there and his reviews (of anything decent) are usually a good mix snark and enthusiasm.
Well...I decided to check out
...his review of Father's Day. And I was moved by the fact that he saw exactly what I saw in it...the same bright moments...that it was about the Doctor and Rose and their relationship and what it means to both of them...and how positively perfect Father's Day is as a story.

But, good LORD, did I get tired of the constant asides about therapy and god and wishes. I simply can't tolerate that...which is odd...because I have been known to go on and on about some things. Yes, okay...I do get it! I got it when the Doctor said, "Your wish is my command, but be careful what you wish for." But, I suppose, when you are a reviewer for TwoP, they pay you to go on and on with the insightful referencing to grander themes. This is what I loathed about College Lit classes, too.

And one thing I will completely support RTD and the other writers of CoE about...writing isn't about themes and metaphoric references. We just write stories that we hope other people will enjoy or praise or pay for. Certainly, I do believe that themes develop and I, for one, like to provide some structure in archtypes and mythology and to foreshadow events. But only critics and literary professors and pseudo-intellectuals, in my less than humble opinion, sit around and analyze every line of a work for deeper meaning.

Edited at 2009-08-05 12:50 am (UTC)
I completely agree about the asides...
I consider myself pretty well read and educated but frequently they still go waaaay over my head and I end up skipping a lot of them. But when he's actually talking about the story I often find our opinions coincide. Honestly I really only read his reviews after someone else points one out, which is more than I can say of any of the others.

But, I suppose, when you are a reviewer for TwoP, they pay you to go on and on with the insightful referencing to grander themes. This is what I loathed about College Lit classes, too.

But only critics and literary professors and pseudo-intellectuals, in my less than humble opinion, sit around and analyze every line of a work for deeper meaning.

AMEN! This is why I took as little LIT as possible because it annoys the crap out of me to have to do this. I just don't think this way naturally when I read and when I write I'm certainly not thinking about it either. Though telling my friend who was an English major that did not go over very well for some reason. ;-)

Yeah, I suppose there are people...
...who just love that sort of thing. Personally, I know a lot of writers and we aren't generally deep people. LOL

Okay, we are sort of deep people. And I think the best of us do deal in cultural symbolism. But, we aren't always looking inward for answers. I imagine someone just going on and on about my relationship to my father or my stand on gay rights or how my sister once stole my boyfriend and, they see this knowledge about me reflected in the way I wrote Nun #2 in some story. And I know that's all nonsense.

I am reminded of a poem I once wrote that was lauded and awarded and picked over by our local poetry specialists, people with doctorates. And they spoke of my intense devotion to some lost lover and how lucky this person was and how lucky I was to have experienced such a deep, if fleeting, passion. And I smiled and nodded a lot. But the truth is...the poem was about Doctor Who...written in 1993...well before the idea of Rose was presented to anyone at the BBC. I, too, like RTD, imagined writing about the Doctor in love. I wrote a poem. He wrote an amazing series.

The passion in the poem...was nothing but me imagining what it would be like for a traveler like him to find someone like, Rose. Yes, I do use metaphor and imagery in my work. Yes, I would say I have some subconscious themes that I keep addressing. The way that RTD keeps addressing class issues and the Doctor as a god-figure. And, I imagine you could relate my issues to me, as I relate RTD's to him.

Though where I draw the line...and where we had other people galloping across the line a few weeks that I don't pretend I really know what is going on inside RTD's head. And I really do think that it is possible there is nothing going on in there, at all. Just as I wasn't really the "solitary sailor, becalmed on the tractless seas of time," but, was, instead, a girl with a need to write a poem for a contest. A girl who thought,
"I'll write about the Doctor and what he must feel like sometimes." It is not only possible, but probable, that Russell is just filling up pages and screen minutes, telling the most exciting and memorable story he can tell. I said a few posts back...I really doubt very much that RTD hates gay people. He probably did think he was being deep when he killed off Ianto...and what he was truly being...wasn't very meaningful at all. That's the real truth at the heart of art, if we are being honest. What it symbolizes is very subjective...even if an author keeps writing the same ending over and over again...maybe he or she is writing about a waitress they met one day at a truckstop and just can't seem to get out of their head.

Hmm, I don't know, I lost interest in TWOP, because their Buffy recaps were so damn bad. They just annoyed me. That and their message board was run by people far too biased for the com's good.
See? That was my experience with them as well. I, too, hated the Buffy recaps and thought they mostly were self-indulgent and missed the point. Which is rather like MY recaps of Doctor Who, yes? :snicker:

I didn't want to mention the forum, because I had an incident there that puts me over into ranting. I found the forum to be a biased bastion of bullies who went after every new poster that disagreed with the wankers who were in charge. Not disagreed in flaming, you understand, but simply presented an alternative idea. Really the closest I've ever seen to the crazy Moderators depicted in that episode of the West Wing. It is safe to say that the Buffy Forum at TwoP put me off that sort of fandom experience for life.

So, yes, I am not exactly in an open frame of mind when I read a TwoP review. But I am willing to believe many of the reviewers are genuine and insightful fans of their particular show.

Yeah, and it didn't help that the recapper hated everything about Buffy and Spike that I loved about the show and the character. Seems to me that they were a flat out evillista and were so sure of themselves on that that anything that contradicted their views, was instantly seen as bad.
I, too, was a Buffy/Spike fan. But what bothered me was just how they were so full of themselves. As I said somewhere above...I don't really like people who have to grandstand quite that much. But that is probably because I have to control my own desire to grandstand. :grin: