Short thoughts on Doctor Who, disc by disc (originally published July 2012)
Terror of the Autons
Tonight’s soundtrack: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, “The Carny”
Terror of the Autons kicked off Season Eight by kicking Season Seven to the curb. Without explanation, old things were lost, new things were found, and nothing worked quite the same way it had done. So far, so Doctor Who. Here’s me not having room to do any of that justice.
ROLL UP! ROLL UP! READ three SHORT THOUGHTS on the MAGIC that is ROGER DELGADO’S MASTER:
1. They thought him up as a Moriarty for the Doctor, except that even Holmes didn’t have “a Moriarty”. Moriarty was a one-off Murder Ex Machina, not an ongoing rival or arch-foe. They were thinking of Mordred, or Magento, or Ming the Merciless. One of those M words.
2. That’s a handsome man. You want proof that 90% of attractiveness is confidence? When Delgado walked down the stairs to the Doctor’s lab in the middle of UNIT HQ in just a sharp suit and a smile with no damns given about how he broke in, fully 25% of the viewing public became spontaneously pregnant. That includes the boys.
3. Rossini, the circus owner, really missed an opportunity. He could have been immortal, quoted by fans forevermore. But no, when the Master introduces himself Rossini just sneers, “Oh, is that so?"
That’s the best you can manage, humanity? Dark alien devil materializes in a caravan and you have only cynicism? What happened to your curiosity? Why couldn’t you have asked The Question? A very old question. A question for which no answer can be trusted. A question which when answered, would explain everything and cast all into doubt. The question that haunts us and compels us. Rossini, why didn’t you bloody ask him right off the bat?
Master of What?