Friday, August 22, 2014

Parody Review: The Nerdist on "Deep Breath"

The Following is a Parody of The Nerdist's review for Deep Breath, the new Doctor Who episode premiering on August 23 on BBC America and in selected cinemas at midnight.


By: NOT Kyle Anderson

With Peter Capaldi taking over as the 12th Doctor (give or take a few), Whovians may be fearful that Capaldi and Steven Moffat's darker take on the beloved Time Lord may alienate fans (no pun intended).  Deep Breath, however, makes it obvious that The Moff may be tweaking the franchise, but with some beloved returning characters (who really need their own spin-off) and one of the best Companions of All Time (who comes so close to being among the greats like Rose Tyler and River Song and some old lady called Smith or something back before anyone actually watched the show), the fifty-year old show is as new as when it first premiered.  In fact, Doctor Who now is more exciting, more intelligent, more brilliant than at any time in its half-century.  Past Doctor Who writers like Robert Holmes, Terrance Dicks or Douglas Adams and past producers like Verity Lambert or Philip Hinchcliffe could only look on in envy as Doctor Who writer/showrunner Steven Moffat outdoes them all yet again!

The Moff is Our Hero, Our Leader, This Generation's Greatest Writer, and soon to rank up there with Shakespeare and Dickens, and goes past others like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (who technically created Sherlock Holmes but could never turn him into the brilliant creation Moffat has) or Dame Agatha Christie (whom nobody remembers, until Moffat comes up with Marple and casts Sienna Miller as the feisty, flirty Jane Marple rather than the old spinster we got stuck with).

The Doctor (Capaldi), still in the throes of regenerational confusion, lands in Victorian London with Clara (Jenna Coleman) the Impossible Girl, who now fears that the Doctor may not be the man she knew all his lives.  His regeneration confuses the brilliant Paternoster Gang: Silurian Madame Vastra (Neve Macintosh), her human wife Jenny Flint (Catrin Stewart), and their manservant, Sontaran Strax (Dan Starkey).  This new figure isn't the Doctor, but Clara is still Clara.  It takes some work to temporarily confuse the inspiration for Sherlock Holmes, but Madam Vastra soon sees that it IS the Doctor (the giant dinosaur in London being her big clue, and this dinosaur outdoes not only Dinosaurs on a Spaceship but a previous little-seen or remembered Doctor Who story called Invasion of the Dinosaurs, which might mercifully be one of those lost stories that perhaps should remain lost). 

So, with the confused Doctor temporarily out of commission, it's up to the beloved Paternoster Gang (along with a very reluctant Clara) to attempt to both help the Doctor through his regeneration crisis and to see about that big dinosaur walking around London.  However, there's evil afoot, as a strange half-faced man is walking around, bringing death in his wake, including to the poor dinosaur (insert tear for that creature).  The Doctor, now looking like a hobo (obviously echoing a not-well-remembered character on the show nicknamed The Cosmic Hobo) and Clara eventually find each other through the Victorian version of Facebook: the newspaper ad.

They meet at a restaurant where they discover to their shock that THEY are the soup of the day.  Soon, they have to face-off against a half-face man.  As this Doctor would say, "Strike the last part".  Fortunately for the Doctor and Clara, in comes the Paternoster Gang to the rescue as they fight off the Half-Faced Man and his Droid Army intent on supplying themselves with new parts.  The Doctor and the Half-Faced Man then go off in the Half-Faced Man's beautiful balloon, where the Half-Faced Man continues talking about going to "the Promised Land".  Despite his best efforts, the Doctor cannot bring the Half-Faced Man to life, but despite crying over a character we never got to know we see that the Doctor now is on a quest.  It's not find Gallifrey (which is still out there, somewhere), but to repair the mistakes of his past.

Clara, despite herself, is still not convinced that the Doctor is HER Doctor, until a familiar voice comes back to guide her to the light.  It's none other than The Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith himself), temporarily restored from his old age in the brilliant The Time of The Doctor (the greatest, saddest, and most brilliant story in Doctor Who history until Deep Breath took its place, which is natural since The Day of The Doctor had been the most brilliant story in Doctor Who until The Time of The Doctor took its place, and before that The Name of The Doctor had been the greatest Doctor Who story of all time.  In fact, we've had nothing but brilliant stories going all the way back to Rose, and no Who from the pre-Rose days would ever compare to something as brilliant as Love & Monsters or Fear Her). 

Smith's Doctor is there to comfort Clara and to reassure her (and us) that Capaldi IS The Doctor, and with that, we are off on more brilliant adventures.  We even get little bits about how the season is going to go, with the Half-Faced Man truly in Heaven, there to greet him is Missy (who is an instant Doctor Who icon).  Who could she be?  River Song (she did call the Doctor her boyfriend)?  An alternate version of Clara (she IS the Impossible Girl)? 

Oh, we'll just have to wait and see.  Moffat you brilliant dick...

Adding Smith, even if it was only for a brief cameo, is a brilliant send-off for the best Doctor (not counting David Tennant and maybe that old guy whose cameo in The Day of The Doctor excited everyone, because that ex-Doctor is the only one still with us from the original, though inferior, version of Doctor Who. He's a bit like that old Smith woman: the only pre-Rose Companion any of us actually remember, albeit vaguely).  It gives us a heart-touching final farewell to someone who will become as important to childhood as Winnie-the-Pooh or Peter Pan.  Just hearing Smith's voice gives us Whovians who have loved Smith's eternal child-like Doctor a chance to cry one more time.  Seeing him just got to me emotionally, and I know all true Whovians shed tears at seeing that face (and chin) one last time, a grand moment that will be remembered for all time.  Moffat really knows how to hit us emotionally while still making us laugh at the same time.  It may not be Smith coming back in full form (which might upset some Whovians) but Moffat in his genius gives us the viewer comfort that things will be OK, like the Good Shepherd of Doctor Who that the Moff is. 

There are so many inside jokes that zing by us so quickly you'd need a second watch to catch them all (even though all real Whovians will watch this again and again rather than the stodgy old stories like The Aztecs or Tomb of the Cybermen).  "You know I speak Dinosaur!" Capaldi's Doctor bellows at one point.  Who DOESN'T remember the genius of Smith's Doctor "talking Horse"?  Vastra's "Well then, here we go again," echoes to the late-and-much-missed Brigadier's line where we got Tom Baker (the only Classic Who Doctor that any of us know, remember, or care about). 

This is also a good time to look on Madame Vastra and Jenny Flint, perhaps the greatest secondary characters Doctor Who has ever created (apart from Captain Jack, of course).  These two show without a doubt that Steven Moffat is not a sexist or homophobe.  Far from it.  He's given us the greatest female characters in television history.  There's River Song.  There's Irene Adler from Sherlock.  Now, he's given us a kick-ass same-sex interspecies love story with two females who not only can take care of themselves but care about each other.  Vastra and Jenny are more than the John Watson and Sherlock Holmes of Doctor Who (and who are neck-and-neck with the brilliant take on those characters on another Moffat show with the always brilliant Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman).  They are the embodiment of all the best of Moffat's writing about women.

They are strong.  They are unafraid of their sexuality.  They are intelligent.  They are what all little girls aspire to be.  Fangirls need look no further for heroes than Vastra and Jenny, and soon they will be called the Cumberbatch and Freeman of Doctor Who.  They might also have their own show, which Deep Breath could serve as an excellent pilot for.  Imagine the possibilities: while the Doctor is off somewhere, the Paternoster Gang is out there, solving crimes and deep mysteries with Strax providing much-needed comic relief.  The Doctor could drop in on them once in a while, and who knows: maybe one day they'll be a massive Vastra/Doctor Who/Sherlock crossover.

Oh, my fanboy heart leaps at seeing Macintosh, Capaldi, and Cumberbatch in one gigantic epic episode of three shows!  Think of it: The Doctor takes Madame Vastra and Jenny to 21st-Century London, where our favorite same-sex bestiality couple meet their spiritual (if not physical) descendants, and together the Victorian Holmes and Watson meet their Internet-age counterparts and join forces to defeat the newly-resurrected Jim Moriarty (or his own theory) while Strax continues to bumble and stumble his way around poor Molly and Inspector Lestrade's workspace, attempting to figure out this even crazier world.

If Moffat disliked women so much as his jealous, bitter, dumb enemies keep saying, why would he give these television icons the power of ESP?

Dan Starkey's Strax continues to make the Sontarans the joke their creator, Robert Holmes, always intended them to be.  Ever since they debuted in The Sontaran Strategem (at least their official debut, their unofficial one being a little-remembered Third Doctor story called The Time Warrior), which I should point out was written by a WOMAN (thus forever closing the book on that whole 'Moffat is a sexist' nonsense that smears the good name of our Dear Leader), the Sontarans were always suppose to be silly.  Robert Holmes could never get the Sontarans to be as dumb as he wanted them to, probably because he didn't have the writing skills of The Moff.  However, thanks to Moffat, Holmes' great dream of making his allegedly war-obsessed aliens into the comic relief has come true. 

Starkey's Strax continues to be the lovable dimwit he was created to be (just like Smith's Doctor was suppose to be dimwitted as per a fan letter in Doctor Who Magazine).  It is amazing that despite all these years working for Madame Vastra and her human wife, he still doesn't get the concepts of clothes and hair, but who cares: The Paternoster Gang is BACK!  We even get a quick shout-out to the Paternoster Irregulars.  Seriously, Conan Doyle obviously stole from The Moff, because only Steven Moffat in his brilliance could have come up with something so clever, so funny, so heartwarming, so heartbreaking, and so epic all in one feature-length long story. 

There might be a few things that perhaps may confuse some of the lesser intellects who can't comprehend Moffat's intricately complex plot, like who sent the newspaper message that the Doctor and Clara happened to find knowing that the other would not only find it but think it came from the other. However, because Moffat's plots are always so brilliant and always tie in together brilliantly in the end, all those questions will be answered in the season finale because the always brilliant Moffat will connect everything into this massively epic story that will be studied for its incredibly tight storytelling. 

We get little nods to that thanks to a reference to Clara's first adventure with 'her' Doctor, The Bells of Saint John, when we're reminded of the tech helpline telling Clara to call a certain number.  We might have forgotten about that mystery, but the genius of Moffat's genius so ingeniously ties things from past stories to present stories and to future stories in that wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey way that only someone of Steven Moffat's genius could. 

Mark my words: once we discover who Missy is (my theory: a character from The Doctor's past, like something called a "Romana" or some other vague character whom we never really learned anything about during her brief time on Doctor Who), we Whovians will not only realize how brilliant Steven Moffat is, but see that he gave us clues that everybody missed!  It will be so obvious only those nitpickers who complain about things like coherence will grumble. 

Next week, the Doctor and Clara face off against his greatest foe, but with a brilliant twist that only The Moff can give us. 

Kyle Anderson:
As Objective as FOX News or MSNBC.

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