Last of the Time Lords

July 1st, 2007 by Reinder

See The Sound of Drums.

Edit: No, on second thought, don't. I'm watching Confidential now, because I'm such a nerd, and seeing those scenes again, even as the actors and crew are working on them, puts a knot in my stomach from the sheer stupidity of it all. It's an embarrassment. The fact that I was watching the episode on Sunday morning with, if not an actual hangover, enough alcohol residues in my system to take the edge off me a bit, allowed me to let it wash over me just the one time, but the moment the brain gets engaged at all, it rejects what I've just been watching as utter shite. I'd just as soon have another shot at watching the Sixth Doctor storyline Mark of the Rani as look at this again.

Confidential made me realise another thing. People made this. Actual actors and directors and camera crew and set designers and whatever else spent weeks of their lives making this. The actors and director in particular spent a lot of time in tone meetings and read-throughs and rehearsals with the producer and script editor and other powerful people in a position to stop this, and none of them said "Russell, love, this is shit." David Tennant, Freema Agyeman, John Simm, Adjoa Andoh, no matter how good your acting performances were, you are as much to blame for this as Russel T. Davies is. The other day I watched a documentary about Tom Baker's final season, because I'm such a nerd. And I'll tell you this: Tom Baker wouldn't have stood for this. He'd have gone on strike, gone to the pub one lunchtime and not come back until he'd had a completely revised script that didn't suck. And then he'd have done the next filming session completely hammered, just to discourage the writers from ever pulling that shit again. There's something to be said for difficult actors.

But apart from that, surely there was someone on set, maybe a humble key grip or best boy or whatever those people down the credits list do, who could have thought, hey, I get minimum wage for this and there are plenty of other jobs to go around, and gone and dropped the higher-ups a memo to say that, you know, this script is really, really rubbish?

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