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Vworp! Stage left (2008)

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Vworp! Stage left: So Dr Who saves the universe again? Yeah but, no but ...

NEVER really took to David Tennant's Doctor - Jon Pertwee was my Time Lord. That said, the final episodes of the recent series boasted some of the show's best moments since the Ogrons and Daleks teamed up to make poor Jo Grant scream like a vintage teenager at a Boyzone gig.

It all started three weeks ago with a tale called Turn Left, a Sliding Doors-type affair in which the Doctor's trusty companion Donna Noble (played by Catherine Tate with all the yeah-but-no chav subtlety of Vicky Pollard on a good day) was catapulted into an alternative world.

It was followed by the season cliff-hanger Stolen Earth, which ended with the Doctor 'regenerating' just as the evil Daleks subjugated the world.

Just a pity then that all that promise and hype (why else would 10 million people tune when normal viewing figures fall between seven and eight million) was followed by the anti-climax that was Journey's End.

A mish mash of flashbacks and spin-off series references, it left returning characters vying for the best lines while being directed at the breakneck speed of The Banana Splits title sequence. Too young? Check it out on YouTube.

But then there's little quality drama on television these days. What there was has slowly been sidelined by reality TV, soap operas and games shows - hence more actors being laid off now than at anytime since the Puritans tried to ban theatre in the 1590s.

The recent exception, however, being Peter Moffat's compelling BBC thriller Criminal Justice. It brutally brought together the best elements of prison and court-room dramas as Ben Coulter, played with astonishing vulnerability by Ben Whishaw, fought to prove his innocence and save his life.

Crown Court was never this dark, although I reckon the producers missed a trick by not having a jury of 12 good viewers and true, as they did in the 70's classic.

Fans of courtroom dramas, and that series in particular, will be pleased to learn they can again pit their wits against a jury of their peers with the release of the first five series of Crown Court on DVD (released by Network).

Ironically, the one place you might expect to find 'real' drama also now relies on TV names to attract audiences.

The stage, where once an actor could carve a career without fear of ever having to step in front of a camera, provides the lifeblood of our theatrical traditions yet even the Royal Shakespeare Company are not averse to casting a big name.

Yes, later this month David Tennant will put aside his sonic screwdriver to star in their production of Hamlet.

Indeed, just take a quick squint at the cast of any touring production and you'll spot names like Robin of Sherwood star Michael Praed, who appears at the King's Theatre in An Ideal Husband later this year, and EastEnders' Gianni di Marco aka Marc Bannerman who pops up in Absurd Person Singular at the same venue, not forgetting Loose Women regular and one-time Oxo mum, Linda Bellingham, who joins the stripping WRVS women in Calendar Girls.

Old TV stars never die, it seems, they just tour the provinces - which is fine, as long as they can act.

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  • APA 6th ed.: Rudden, Liam (2008-07-11). Vworp! Stage left. Edinburgh Evening News p. 9.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Rudden, Liam. "Vworp! Stage left." Edinburgh Evening News [add city] 2008-07-11, 9. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Rudden, Liam. "Vworp! Stage left." Edinburgh Evening News, edition, sec., 2008-07-11
  • Turabian: Rudden, Liam. "Vworp! Stage left." Edinburgh Evening News, 2008-07-11, section, 9 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Vworp! Stage left | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Vworp!_Stage_left | work=Edinburgh Evening News | pages=9 | date=2008-07-11 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=22 July 2018 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Vworp! Stage left | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Vworp!_Stage_left | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=22 July 2018}}</ref>