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Doctor's playing the long game

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2013-04-08 Times.jpg

  • Publication: The Times
  • Date: 2013-04-08
  • Author: Alex Hardy
  • Page: Times2, p. 11
  • Language: English

Doctor Who

Saturday, BBC One


It was quite a comedown from the Triumph. Last week, in Clara's first true adventure with the Doctor, she got to ride pillion up London's Shard on a motorbike as gleaming as the building's walls. This week the pair's steed was ... well, they called it a moped, but it looked liken few boxes, sprayed grey. Or an amateur model of K-9, slightly adapted. But then there was the planet they soared over — Akhaten, with its amphitheatre of aliens. Every CGI-pimped pixel radiated care, attention and Who heritage.

It has always been thus, I guess, that Doctor Who has combined hi-fi and lo-fi. Maybe the lo-fi cracks just stick out more, now that the technology bar is so high, in Who and elsewhere. Maybe one slightly shoddy sequence doesn't matter, because we'd forgive our national treasure anything, especially in his 50th birthday year. And maybe Clara has given us permission to probe into the cracks? Bear with me ...

These opening stories — last week, this week, next — are ostensibly about the Doctor getting to know Clara. So on Saturday we swerved from the high sentiment of meeting her parents — their love story starting with a falling leaf and ending with a bereavement — to the high stakes of Clara and the Doctor's adventures on Akhaten. In the same way that Thomas the Tank Engine is a beginners' guide to basic emotions, this was a beginners' guide to Clara's main characteristics. They are compassion (from her now-deceased mum), derring-do (left over from her past, abandoned attempts at travel) and, possibly most importantly, iconoclasm. Here's a girl unafraid or unknowing enough to call the Time Lord's Sonic Screwdriver a "spanner". What we're seeing with her isn't just the introduction of a new assistant, but also the knocking down of an old idol — breaking the Doctor into pieces, and rebuilding him, maybe, in time for that 50th. Showrunner Steven Moffat, and leads Matt Smith and Jenna-Louise Coleman, it seems, are playing a delicate, fun, long game here.

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  • APA 6th ed.: Hardy, Alex (2013-04-08). Doctor's playing the long game. The Times p. Times2, p. 11.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Hardy, Alex. "Doctor's playing the long game." The Times [add city] 2013-04-08, Times2, p. 11. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Hardy, Alex. "Doctor's playing the long game." The Times, edition, sec., 2013-04-08
  • Turabian: Hardy, Alex. "Doctor's playing the long game." The Times, 2013-04-08, section, Times2, p. 11 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Doctor's playing the long game | url= | work=The Times | pages=Times2, p. 11 | date=2013-04-08 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=11 April 2021 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Doctor's playing the long game | url= | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=11 April 2021}}</ref>