The headline probably gives an insight into my Saturday night TV viewing.

Sandwiched between watching the BBC’s hit and miss coverage of Glastonbury, the penultimate episode of Dr Who managed to do something that no other programme in this series has managed to date – it left me wanting more.

I’m still not entirely impressed that the Daleks and Davros (do his friends call him Bobby as a joke, behind his back?) made yet another return to the fray.

The Daleks are baddies that have outlived their usefulness and scare value, no matter how many frightened tears were shed by Sarah-Jane and Cap’n Jack last night.

But that quibble aside, it is clear that Russell T Davies has been saving the best for last in what will be his final series at the helm of the revived Dr Who.

It has been a real gamble. I thought the unthinkable mid-way through this series – I nearly didn’t bother.

The writing felt clunky and the direction was slack (two of the show’s biggest plus points up to this stage) and the choice of Catherine Tate as the new assistant was not exactly working.

It wasn’t Tate’s fault, everyone seemed to be trying too hard to play everything for laughs with a successful comedy actor in their midst. A bit like Torchwood trying too hard to be “adult”, so this series of Dr Who has felt a bit forced.

Donna has come into her own in the last couple of shows, but it begs the question why did it take so long to get the formula right?

We’ve had a lot of spoilers and red herrings – the Doctor’s “daughter” and who exactly is Prof River Song? – and the stuttering reappearances of Martha Jones and Rose Tyler.

It was all building to the final two programmes in the series. But it still wasn’t hooking me in, it still felt a bit predictable and the amount of scene-setting last night swallowed up a large chunk of the programme.

And yet, the masterstroke that no-one had predicted has got me wanting more. The Doctor is regenerating.

We knew it was going to happen, just not quite yet. So we have a week to wait to discover who will become the next Time Lord and hats off to Russell T for finally waving his magic TV wand again.

The speculation will build over the next 7 days.

But my vote will go to Jay-Z.

They want someone different, someone who breaks the mould a bit, someone with a bit of charisma and a bit of menace, a showman capable of appealing to a wide cross-section of the population. Step-forward Beyonce’s better half fresh from his triumphant headlining performance at Glastonbury.

He proved the doubters wrong – and the pre-show interview with the Alan Partridge of the hip-hop world, Tim Westwood (the thinking rapper’s DLT), was a hilarious prelude to quite an impressive performance.

I’d stop short of suggesting Amy Winehouse as Jay-Z’s assistant, particularly with Beyonce jiggling about in the wings as a ready-made time travelling companion.

Needless to say the coverage of Ms Winehouse’s Glastonbury slot has veered from the ridiculous to the pointless.

Those enthusing about her shambolic self-parody need to really get a grip (she didn’t sing too many decipherable words and it often sounded her band were playing a different song to the noises coming from her mouth). But, equally, the coverage of her “lashing out” at a fan sensationalises a non-story and does no-one any favours – it is seeking to stoke up yet more controversy about a troubled singer who would have been better off staying away from Glastonbury.

However, if the Dr Who people want some more inspiration from Glastonbury then they should try and persuade Hot Chip to become a band of freedom fighters.

So Jay-Z for the role of Doctor.

Beyonce for the Time Lord’s assistant.

And Hot Chip to be a group of space-hopping freedom fighters.

It could work. It would certainly work for me.

The irony is that although I can’t wait for next weekend’s series finale, I won’t be tuning in.

You wait all series for a genuine cliff-hanger and then when you get one it clashes with our date with the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain at Lichfield Cathedral.

No matter. Supporting your local festival is far more important and rewarding than watching TV.

Maybe the Uke’s will put their own unique stamp on the Dr Who theme tune to mark the arrival of a new-look Time Lord?

2 responses »

  1. Ursula says:

    Paul, I have been trying hard to come up with some sort of reasonably intelligent comment on this one. I can’t, on grounds of ignorance.

    I am probably the only person in the world who has never watched Dr Who (maybe they’ll keep me as an exhibit in London’s Natural History Museum when the time comes); as to Jay-Z (had not heard of him), and because I trust you implicitly, I clicked on some video link, was warned about obscene language and, just as I was bracing myself for nothing that I hadn’t heard before, the phone rang. So I didn’t get far there either.

    I watched the Amy Winehouse clip; it’s inconclusive. However, never interfere with a beehive – you will get stung. I note her performance got mixed reviews – I’d say she slurred but then we are all human.

    Lichfield Cathedral, Ukele Orchestra – Paul and Rachel, how very civilized.


  2. […] Jay-Z to be the new Dr Who […]

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