Monday, 31 May 2010

Big Gay Longcat reviews Doctor Who: Gridlock

Gridlock, by Russell T Davies, is an episode from season 29 of Doctor Who. It starred David Tennant as the Doctor and Freema Agyeman as Martha. It guest-starred Ardal O'Hanlon as the cat-manny Brannigan.

It starts with two old mannys in a space car who get nommed by a monster. This is a good beginning as we don't see the monster now, it is clear that is being saved for when it would be very dramatic, like when the Borad was revealed in Timelash.

The Doctor and Martha arrive on New Earth in the TARDIS. It is like Earth but in the future and in space.

A big-faced monster called Face of Boe sends a catwoman with a gun to look for the Doctor.

The Doctor and Martha meet drug dealers and then Martha gets kidnapped by two mannys with guns. They take her to a space car and fly away. The Doctor shouts at the drug dealers after they help him by telling him what is going on. From this I would expect them to be baddys but they are not in the story again.

The kidnappers are called Milo and Jean. They tell Martha it will take them 6 years to drive 10 miles in their flying car. This is the first sign that something very, very stupid is going on in this episode. I know I am only a cat but those numbers are just silly.

The Doctor meets the Irish cat-manny Brannigan, who rescues him from all the space pollution that the flying cars produce for no reason.

Brannigan has his own flying car. Inside is his wife Valerie and their kittens. They have been in their car for 12 years and gone 5 miles in that time. This is SO STUPID. Other silly things we learn include the fast lane has speeds of up to 30 miles in an hour and the police are always on hold.

Martha hears the monsters outside the flying car and Jean tells her a scary story about the monsters making flying cars disappear, but Milo doesn't believe in them. Their car gets a call from another flying car that is then attacked by monsters while speaking to Martha and her new friends.

Brannigan calls an old married couple who know things to help the Doctor and he finds out from them the car that Martha is in. The Doctor guesses how ridiculous the situation is because it does not make sense to him, then all the mannys in cars sing a song.

The Doctor jumps on to another flying car, he goes from car to car and meets different mannys, including two nudey mannys (that bit's rude!) and a red manny. In the car the Doctor left behind Brannigan and Valerie meet the catwoman with a gun.

The Doctor sees the monsters. They are great big crabs called Macra.

Although they sounded scary when we couldn't see them, when they are revealed they are not scary at all, they look silly. The Borad in Timelash was much scarier than this.

Macra attack the flying car that Martha is in. They stop the car and the Macra stop attacking them. They can only stop the car for a few minutes or they will run out of air. This bit is not dramatic at all. Only the Doctor can save them in time but he does not know this.

The catwoman with a gun finds the Doctor and they teleport away to a place with a lot of skeletons of dead mannys, killed by a drug called 'Bliss' that turned into poison (for some reason). Only mannys on the flying motorway didn't die of it. Except, I presume, for all those that weren't on the motorway like the drug dealers from earlier.

The Doctor meets Face of Boe, then he turns the power on and opens the roof of the motorway to let the flying cars out. The car with Martha, Milo and Jean flies up and escapes the Macra. Face of Boe tells the Doctor "You Are Not Alone" and then dies.

At the end the Doctor tells Martha he is the last of the Time Lords while the mannys sing their song and fly their cars in the sky.

I was looking forward to seeing this episode because I heard there were cat-mannys in it, and it started well with the promise of scary monsters nomming mannys. But I am a disappointed and sad cat now I have seen all of it because this is a rubbish story that makes no sense.

There are too many questions about why the world works the way it does for it to make any sense.
Why do mannys and cats live in flying cars?
Why is a traffic jam still going after 20 years?
If everyone lives in cars then where do the drug dealers come from?
If not everyone lives in cars then why don't the mannys in cars get out and walk as it would be much, much faster than driving at the silly slow speeds we are told the flying cars go at.
Why are their cars so polluting?
Why is a traffic jam still going after 20 years?
Why do mannys kidnap Martha instead of finding a friend to go with them?
Why are the Macra so bad at catching the flying car with Martha in?
Why can Face of Boe and the catwoman with a gun not help the mannys in cars but they can set up an elaborate lie about life beyond the motorway with holograms and songs and police on hold?
The Doctor is a clever manny but why is he the only one who can save the mannys in the flying cars from the Macra? All he did was turn the power on and open the roof.
Why is a traffic jam still going after 20 years?

It seems to me that everything in this story happens for no good reason. The manny who wrote this must be very silly to think a traffic jam could still be going after 20 years or that mannys and cats would live in flying cars that go much slower than walking.

The one word that best sums up the whole story for me is this: contrived.

This is a terrible, awful episode of Doctor Who. It is not dramatic or exciting. It is not any good at all, and it makes me a sad cat to think about it. I am going to have to read lots of Avon/Tarrant stories to cheer me up so I can be a happy cat again.

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