Thursday, 4 March 2010

The Myth Makers - March 2010


  1. "The Myth Makers" has some similarities with "The Romans" in season 2 - its a classically set historical written mainly as a comedy. But for me personally it's much better. Maybe this is because the humour is somewhat more subtle and literate and more my cup of tea. It even has time to indulge in some terrible and corny puns, something I particularly love (as anyone who has spoken to me for 20 minutes will let you know).

    The basis for all this is the story of the Siege of Troy with all the expected stereotypes present and correct, but the humour and theatricality makes a boon of this and all the cast throw themselves into the fun. The main drawback is that it's one of those stories that really doesn't feel like Doctor Who. By now even watching them in order years later as we are, it seems that the series has a feel when at it's best and "The Myth Makers" departure from them is a little disconcerting. So I would not recommend this to any casual viewer as an example of the show to watch, or in this case listen to.

    Having said that though I enjoyed it and found it an easy listen. So from me a 5/10 and an excited look forward to the coming Daleks.

  2. Just a word also on the departure of Vicki. Romance with Troilus nicely paced and given time to grow rather than tacked on which is great to see. Well acted by Maureen O'Brien it has a really sweet quality without being saccharine. Nice job.

  3. Even as a fan, some Doctor Who stories are difficult to love. I'm afraid this is one of them.

    Although it's the third story of the third season, this is actually the first story by the new production team. And I do hope fervently that the problems are just them finding their feet.

    It feels a lot slower than the Lambert Era, and by God I miss the lovely rhythms of The Aztecs. (I never did find out if they were speaking in blank verse or not - surely someone somewhere must have a script we can take a look at?)

    Paris seems to think he's in a broad comedy (and why's he being played gay?), while everyone else is played straight (both ways).

    And the plans. All of the plans are monstrously stupid. "I'll build you flying machines instead of a horse!" "I'll allow myself to get captured by the Trojans so I can escape with Vicki!"

    And the pace. The slow, slow, glacial pace. Steven spends five minutes getting Cyclops to carry a message, who gets killed minutes later for absolutely no reason (as the person-who-killed-him's-buddy helpfully points out). The Doctor spends five minutes talking about aircraft before agreeing to design a horse. Why? It's to fill space. Because those scenes accomplish nothing.

    And then at the end - where the fuck did Katrina come from? What's she doing here? What the bloody hell is going on? What was the point of the last four episodes?

    And don't get me started on the Woe gag. Why? WHY DO YOU DO THAT TO ME? WHY?

    I'm sorry, Doctor Who. You know I love you. But sometimes, you do make it difficult.

  4. I quite enjoyed The Myth Makers in spite of it's faults. I never knew I had such a soft spot for comedy historicals. I thought it was pretty funny (the first two episodes at least) and looked like it would have been quite a change visually.

    The dialogue had a Raimi-esque modern edge to it in places, although this was inconsistent.

    I did wonder if this was originally written for Ian and Barbara as Steven seems to have adopted Ian's gung-ho policy towards non interference!

    As John says, Vicki's departure is well handled. While I do wonder if she'll have a face/palm moment the morning after, her behaviour is consistent none-the-less. On the other hand I think the viewers have been short changed. Here was an interesting character played by a talented actress but the production team never quite knew what to do with her. It seems to me that Doctor Who has so far struggled to consistently depict a younger companion, whilst they have excelled with Ian, Barbara and (to a lesser extent) Steven.

    I do echo the "Who the hell is Katrina" sentiment though!

    On the whole it's far from the best of stories but was entertaining enough to hold my interest for the duration.

    Better than - The Sensorites
    Not as good as - The Romans