Wednesday, December 31, 2008

 

Doctor Who 45th Anniversary – Why Was 1988 Brilliant?

The Doctor’s taking on mighty enemies: Remembrance of the Daleks is brilliantly made and intelligently scripted, from the pre-titles to the flying Daleks; The Greatest Show in the Galaxy mixes scary clowns and ancient powers; both have alarmingly large explosions. In shops, Doctor Who videos start affordable releases. And one night, the Doctor just turns up and topples an empire…

The Happiness Patrol
“Why don’t you do it, then? Look me in the eye? Pull the trigger – end my life?”
“No…”
“Why not?”
“I can’t.”
“Why not?”
“I don’t know.”
“No, you don’t, do you… Throw away your gun.”
An impeccably liberal parable in which state-dictated happiness is no happiness at all – the dictator may seem like Mrs Thatcher, but her policies are sheer New Labour. Plus, her executioner’s a giant killer sweet, and there’s a wonderful moment with a foot and an umbrella.


There’s no DVD as yet (sometime in the next four years), but a second-hand search can track down the novelisation and the VHS.

You might also like to read Will’s The Sound of Empires Toppling on the many different targets of the satire here.

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Comments:
While daddy PROBABLY means the BBC special effects people's new and allarming habbit of over-doing the explosives (a Dalek blast that sets off car alarms all over Shoresitch and resulted in the fire brigade being called out; and an exploding tent that may have left the Doctor with the back of his clothes blown off!) you could ALSO take it to mean Dr Who's newfound taste for using ancient Gallicreyan super-weapons to commit genocide against the Daleks/Cybermen (delete as applicable).

That IS a very, very good quote, though.
 
I think you have a very good point there, Millennium! Though you may need a smidgeon more practice typing with your trunk on your other daddy's new phone...
 
YAY! I love the Happiness Patrol, and can never understand why some people are so down on it...
 
I think they're embarrassed by the giant Bertie Bassett, who's terrific. Either that, or they’re obsessive liquorice partisans.
 
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