All New Who

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Post by Mrs Figg Mon Dec 25, 2023 10:29 pm

malickfan wrote:
Mrs Figg wrote::facepalm:  wow, All The Diversities. It took all the worst soap opera elements and tripled down on the cheese. It was horrible. The filming seemed to spend most of its time 2 inches from his mouth, as it seemed to take up most of the screen. She was just a dumb blonde.

The Soap opera cheese was front and centre in RTD's first era, always assumed he'd bring it back again...thought you liked it the first time round?

I did like it first time round because it was done well. This time round it's like a parody version of RTD.
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Post by Mrs Figg Mon Dec 25, 2023 10:33 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:{{ Um....I'm processing that, and double-checking some of it actually happened and I wasn't having buckie hallucinations, again. Mad I will say this, took 2 minutes for RTD to get his first shoehorned completely unnecessary diversity hire into proceedings, about 5 minutes to get his first pop culture shoehorning in (and does RTD owe Davina McCall something that he keeps shoving her into Who?) and less than ten to fill the screen with subpar Eastenders, baring in mind normal Eastenders is subpar to start with. Fuller thoughts to follow, but that was certainly a different sort of Who than anything the show has been before, not the sort that requires you to bring much of a brain along for the ride either and even by previous RTD standards cheese was at maximum, cringe was high and again I thought a lot of the dialogue was really clunky, sadly particularly a lot of Ncuti's lines, I didn't mind him in this, though at times he did seem a bit smug, and nor was there really a moment where I felt, 'yup, that's the Doctor' .
I have a rule with new Doctor dialogue, I run it through my head in the voice of various previous Doctors, if it still sounds good no matter which Doctor says it, it's good 'Doctor dialogue'. But if it's not a catchphrase or some rare thing very particular to a Doctor, just general Doctor banter, and it doesn't sound natural or right in any other Doctor's mouth, it fails- 99% of Jodie's dialogue was like that, and so was a lot of this. }}

That taxi ride looked like fun didn't it. I'll have one trans, one black, one Chinese, one blonde and a fat one just to make it extra diverse. There was more cheese in that episode than a cheddar factory festival.
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Post by Pettytyrant101 Mon Dec 25, 2023 10:41 pm

{{ I think that was to outweigh the fact they had cast an attractive blonde white girl as companion. Though I'm still waiting on the outrage to come RTD's way, as it wrongly did Moffat's for Amy's short skirt, for the first part of this episode not only was Ruby in a similarly short skirt, but the camera seemed to spend a suspicious amount of time shooting her from very low angles Suspect I thought it was going to go full Basic Instinct at one point. Shocked Amy might have worn short skirts but at least they never tried to stick the camera up them! }}

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Post by Mrs Figg Tue Dec 26, 2023 10:49 am

To be fair, they were shorts not a skirt.
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Post by Pettytyrant101 Tue Dec 26, 2023 11:04 am

{{ Trust me Figg, as a hot blooded male I am instinctively trained to spot when a camera has been told to sex up a shot with some upskirt low angle shots! She wears shorts in second half, the opening though when we are first introduced to her is full of leg shots and low camera angles, they suspiciously stop once she is in shorts.
Just nabbed this example off bbciplayer, if Moffat has Amy in her short skirts filmed like this he'd been crucified by the feminists for his blatant sexism, he got crucified for just showing she had legs, and that wasn't even in his script let alone sticking a camera on the floor and shooting right up her skirt! And this taxi scene cuts away and back to it on several occasions and she apparently needs to cross and uncross her legs an awful lot of times in that short period, I could have grabbed another 4 or 5 very similar shots of her just from that one scene alone and it only lasts a minute or so, someone in the editing room had to pick all those particular shots to use I wonder what drew them to their choice?!-

Spoiler:
the impression it gave me, given these sort of shots are at their most blatant in this taxi scene, in the 'diversity taxi' no less, was as if they wanted to reassure the heterosexual male audience members (still its core audience after all) 'its ok, we've got you covered too'.  What when classic Who was on the go the producers more honestly called "something for the Dad's".}}


Last edited by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Dec 27, 2023 2:55 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Mrs Figg Tue Dec 26, 2023 3:58 pm

To be honest I was too busy totting up the diversity quota to notice the upskirting shots. I have also noticed that all my favourite critics like Drinker and Nerdrotic have, as one, totally ignored this episode. probably a boycott or maybe they are just done. As I am. This is worse than expected, its like CBeebies for Guardian readers kids, but with blatant undercurrents of queer messaging, race swapping and the very worst Hollyoaks espisodes (because comparing it to Eastenders and Coronation Street is an insult to those soaps).
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Post by Pettytyrant101 Tue Dec 26, 2023 4:05 pm

{{ My brain works that way when watching media (and I don't mean trying to peer up actresses skirts!) a bit of my brain is always noting camera choices, editing choices, music choices and asking why that shot? Why that angle? Why that musical cue? Why that take? Nothing that ends up on screen does so by accident, everything is selected from a choice. It's just part of how I analyse media, and this was one of those things that was noticeable as it was so blatant in its choices throughout the first introduction to her. }}

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Post by Amarië Tue Dec 26, 2023 8:57 pm

Fairly certain we are skating near edge of the forumotion rules here, so kindly mind the imagery.

Seems to me to be more aiming at eyelevel part-of-the-group view, but that's me and my female gaze I guess.

The plot was... so weird. Like they fell into a bad, animated movie Space Jam style. I like Ruby. Ncuti was ok, not my Doctor quite yet, but this takes time. Or more likely a better script. Daughter liked that all the characters* felt real. RTD is good at that at least.

*not the goblins obviously

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Post by halfwise Tue Dec 26, 2023 9:31 pm

Not having watched it, I'll stick my neck out and say it's all in how it's done. If it was just a passing shot and not something you'd notice unless pointed out or freeze framed, then we're just looking at a young woman being a little frisky with her legs in the moment and no blame to the crew. If it can't be missed (doesn't have to reach Basic Instinct levels) then the editors should be ashamed of themselves.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Wed Dec 27, 2023 2:46 am

{{ Oh its in the cant be missed category Halfy, its quite deliberate.  It doesnt happen once, or twice, it happens at least 5 times in a scene it cuts back to several times, each individual bit of it lasting no more than a couple lines of dialogue, and they manage to get her in such a pose every time. As for the rules Amarie, thats why the one where you can see her flash her knickers isn't included. But the very fact I can get images from an episode of Who, a Xmas episode no less, that could breach forum rules kind of says its own thing. }}

{{edit add- Ive put the offending pictures in spoilers, to save the modesty and standards of the forum, sadly same cant be said for Who as a show. }}

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Wed Dec 27, 2023 3:15 am

but that's me and my female gaze I guess. - Amarie

{{ That's kind of my point, from her introduction till they bung her in shorts she seems deliberately shot through the 'male gaze' camera, lots of low angle shots, lots of leg in shot at every opportunity, as if they want to reassure the male section of the audience (still the largest bit of it) that there will be something for them too. I found it an aspect of how this episode was shot that was quite uncomfortable. Haven't felt that way in a Who episode since the intro of Peri in her bikini as companion to the 6th Doctor.}}

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Post by halfwise Wed Dec 27, 2023 3:33 am

I suppose since RTD is being more open about the LGBTQ+ angle they feel the need to reassure their geeky male base that they haven't been forgotten.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Wed Dec 27, 2023 5:38 am

{{ Well, heres my thoughts in full-


The Chuch on Ruby Road is very much an RTD episode, taken to extremes. In format it basically follows the exact same template as Rose. We are introduced to the life of our companion first, in Rose's case her relationship with Micky and her work place and mum, and in the case of Ruby her playing in her diverse band and her foster mother and grandmother (also of course diverse). Meanwhile the Doctor pops in and out of the first third without much real explanation until eventually the companion is confronted with whatever is going on and joins up with the Doctor- here it's when the goblins snatch the baby, and in Rose it was when oblivious Rose doesn't notice Mickey is now made of shiny plastic. And inbetween we have some pop culture stuff, in this case Davina Mcall gets upgraded from being the voice of Big Brother now, and in a billion or so years time when RTD used her last time out, to actually being in the show as herself. Not sure of the sense of this if part of this new era and deal is to globalise the franchise, get a guest star in almost certainly unknown to anyone outside the UK.
But in terms of basic structure and beats its pretty much a carbon copy of Rose.

But then we have the plot, and I use that word supremely generously here because in Who terms there isn't one.
Goblins are the threat, sort of, they have no explanation as to why goblins exist in Who there is no explanation as to how their wooden ship with canvas sails flies or travels through space given its as much gaps as it is wood. They and their ship are just there, accept it.
The goblin king is just sort of there too, for a scene, we get introduced to him in the song and dance routine, he has no dialogue at all, and the Doctor never confronts or even directly addresses the King, yet the story is resolved with the goblin kings death when the Doctor crashes the ship into a church steeple impaling him (only the second time we see the goblin King and its his death)- and there's another major issue, the Doctor usually succeeds by being clever, outwitting the enemy and most usually using their own means to hoist them on their own petard, here he just pulls them onto a church steeple and murders the goblin king and that's that. And then the goblins and there ship crumble away into nothing. Why? Who knows?
This is now RTD Who at the point where instead of even trying to deliver a plot with any sort of sense or explanations or grounding in the shows world he's just thought 'fuck it why bother' and instead gave us this paper thin plot with no sense of stakes, no personal stakes for the Doctor at all, and no real resolution other than magic technobabble gloves save the day. Oh did I mention the Doctor now has magic gloves that defy gravity, sorry mavity, that one's still going so I'm guessing we will circle back round to it and maybe yet get an explanation for a race swapped Sir Isaac (I live in hope) it seems to be this series 'Bad Wolf'.
Which is another RTD trope this is tripled down on, not contend with a one word lure, 'mavity' he has chucked in Mrs Flood with her no knowledge of a TARDIS to knows all about them in a fourth wall direct to audience address, and the 'mystery woman' mother of Ruby. So he's gone for three mcguffins instead of his usual one. Oh goody.

Oh and talking of new abilities, what was going on in the nightclub scene, either the Doctor can now move as fast as the Flash to have got from the middle of the dance floor to beside Ruby in the time it took for her glass to fall from the table so he could catch it, or we are to believe he somehow nipped into the TARDIS, hopped a split second ahead and closer to Ruby, and dashed out just in time to catch it without anyone seeing him? Either way its stupid and I'm still not sure what the point of that scene was other than to let the camera enjoy both Ncuti dancing in a tight vest and kilt and Millie in her short skirt dropping things allowing for lots of low angle camera shots, plot wise it served little purpose and was more or less a rehash but tastelessly done of how 9 popped mysteriously in and out of Rose's life prior to her becoming companion.
Those low angle shots of Millie particularly persist in the taxi scene and are to the shame of the producers and editors that they exploit both their leads with such a gaze at various points in this. I don't need my Who sexed up thanks very much, I don't need the camera to lead my eye to the attractive elements of the cast, knock it off.

And I suppose I should address the song and dance routine, fine stick a goblin song in, its Xmas the show has done it before, better in my view and more centrally to the plot in A Xmas Carol, but hey. But the Doctor and companion improvising a song and dance routine? Um no thanks. In a musical the fact everyone knows the moves and the words and can perform at the drop of a musical cue is part of what you accept when watching a musical, its not part of what you accept when watching a drama and it breaks any sort of sense of reality or world building as soon as it happens and undermines any stakes and drama. It uncompromisingly and starkly reminds you, that you are watching a peformance for entertainment. And thats not what you want to remind your audinece of in a drama when you are trying to build stakes and credibility.

And then there is Ruby as a character. She is okish as a character, but as a companinn in a new Doctor's debut. Um, what exactly did she do? I mean it was brave going after the baby, but outside that one thng what purpose did she serve in resolving the plot? At least in Rose there was the moment she found her courage and her determination and saved the Doctor and the day. Ruby did, well not much really, she's just sort of there in the story bits. Yes she gets fleshed out more in the scenes with her forster family, but they have nothing to do with the main story, she isnt doing anything in those scene, they are just character buidling scenes which is fine, if you have her actually being useful and doing stuff in other scenes, but they dont.
I know more about her domestic life and past than I do about who she currently is. They dont show us who she is through her actions as she doesnt really do anything. I mean if you had to sum up her strengths as a potential companion from that first episode what could you say about her? Best I've got is, "Well, she's a nice person?' Rose she was brave, stood up to the Doctor, and when the pinch came she sprung into action and did the right thing, same with every other companion, there is some moment in their introduction, some action, some attitude that marks them out for companion material, someone the Doctor would pick. I struggle with Ruby to know what this is.

And so we come to the Doctor himself. Ncuti is full of energy, and he has charisma in spade fulls no doubting that, what he hasn't shown so far is the Doctor. A lot of that is down to the script, as I mentioned there are points he seems very unDoctory or has seeming shoehorned in random superpowers that don't feel Doctory, his means of 'winning' here and defeating the bad guys is also very unDoctory, he just kills them. He lacked a moment of Doctorness, a point where he got to claim the role and stamp his version on things- for 10 that was his big speech and fight with the Sycorax, for 11 its his confrontation on the roof with the Atraxi, 12 his confrontation with the control droid (though for actual plot reaosns its arguably in Flatline with the 'Man who stops the monsters' speech), for 13 it was her (admittedly rather lame but at least they tried) confrontation with Tooth face guy, and here it's, nothing.
There is no confrontation with the goblins and their King, they are just there as a means to push the thin plot of kidnapping the baby ahead, they serve no other function, we barely see them outside the song and dance number and they are just gone at the end. And all this means Ncuti never gets a moment in the script to be the Doctor, get the speech, defeat the aliens by their own hubris or by using their own threat against them after giving fair warning. He gets none of it and as such you are left at the end still waiting for, and wanting that moment when Ncuti stops being Ncuti and becomes the Doctor. So far all I'm seeing is Ncuti, the same guy I see in interviews on screen, and RTD's adoration for him. What I haven't seen yet is the Doctor.

It would seem RTD is going down the fantasy stuff now pops up in Who because Toymaker and salt at the edge of the universe. But this presents a problem that's comes up right here from the start, it undermines a central character aspect of the Doctor- the Doctor as the 2nd Doctor said when threatened with death “You can't kill me. I'm a genius!” is a genius. One of the things about the Doctor is his knowledge, it spans space and time and only ever grows as he continues living and travelling. But if things can just fantastically happen, no science, no laws, no rules behind it, a huge part of what makes the Doctor the reassuring figure he is, his ability to know what's going on in just about any situation is gone. And with it a good deal of his authority.
In this episode we get a whole spew of pointless pseudo technobabble about how goblins use strings and ropes like electrician circuits, and the Doctor working out the new rules of coincidence, in other words they have to explain how if fantastical new things are now happening, how the Doctor can still know what's going on in order to tell the audience. To maintain that they have to waste a lot of time on stupidly trying to explain something that has no explanation, the goblins and their flying ship just are now. If your plot deliberately has no explanation for things and they just happen because, trying to make up a nonsensical explanation for it is utterly pointless and will always sound empty and stupid. Its only there because they have realised that the premise undermines a key aspect of the Doctors character, and the babble about strings and ropes is just there in a desperate attempt to salvage that aspect. But it fails, miserably. And its going to remain an issue if RTD persists in just throwing stuff into the show without any basis in even Who's 'science' and world building and without any explanations for why or how. It also creates the problem if the audience no longer know what the rules of the show are then all the stakes are reduced, you never know when just as the plot needs it, say a pair of magic gloves show up out of nowhere never before mentioned that you might need, because anything can happen now without explanation.

It's not all bad however, there is one good scene in it, in no small part down to the excellent acting of the woman playing the foster mother. It's the scene where the past has changed and she never fostered any children, but just does it for money, the coldness, the bitterness, the sadness within, easily the standout scene of the episode. I could have done without the Doctor weeping mind you, I guess this how RTD is going to handle the fact the Doctor has been a woman now, he's more in touch with is feelings, he gets emotional at sad stuff and no longer has a tendency to deny or run from his pain but to embrace it. Super progressive there RTD! And worse its another nail in the coffin of an aspect to the Doctor's personality, that he moves on because he has too. If he's going to get all teary eyed ever time something sad happens he's going to be spending a lot of this regenration in tears. And you lose a chunk of that all important sense of 'alienness' that feeling he doesnt quite comprehend human emotions or know the social rules at any given point in Earth history for how to respond to them, and because they are so alien too him. This Doctor's response was super human and empathetic, which isnt the Doctors aloof, arrogant Time Lord alien personality at all. Oh bring back 12 and his grumpy forthrightness! Heck only a regenration ago 13 couldnt find the words to comfort Grahme about his cancer, ok it was super clumsily written, but in its aim even that completle misfire was more Doctory a response than this was. And when you are writing your Doctor worse than Chibnal did something is worryingly wrong.

Looking ahead this doesn't fill me with much hope. It's RTD 1 over again only he is tripling and quadrupling down on a lot of the stuff I disliked about his first run, the soap elements, the aggressive progressive agenda, the pop culture references, the terrible sci-fi plots with appalling unsatisfactory resolutions, the one word hooks masquerading as a plot line, it's all there only more so than ever before. This isn't RTD mark 2, it's just RTD times 4. }}

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Post by Amarië Wed Dec 27, 2023 8:28 am

I was thinking the crying was a nudge back to Vincent and Amy crying without knowing why. And so maybe Doc cried because Ruby was supposed to mean something for him in the future, but now didn't/couldn't. But why not crying because female feelings can't help bursting out. It doesn't seem like RTD, but it might have been oddly/poorly shown.

Doc's superspeed stunt reminded me of the tie ting with Martha, but it wasn't as good, it just seemed to be flexing and pretending to be sexy and mysterious.

But yes, RTD times 4 seems a good description. Easy to miss some skirt "shenanigans" in all that's going on. Eru help us all.

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Wed Dec 27, 2023 8:34 am

{{ I think the crying was just a hamfisted attempt to show he's more in touch with his emotional side now, but I could be wrong, I hope I am.
Regards the flash movement, I did think it was just for mysteries’ sake, but then why draw attention to the fact he must have moved impossibly fast in the dialogue, it's odd to draw attention to it that way. }}

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Wed Dec 27, 2023 9:02 am

Easy to miss some skirt "shenanigans" in all that's going on. - Amarie

{{What's interesting there is it was not confined to Millie. I was on another site and there was an interesting back and forth between several members of the gay community about how the 'gay gaze' for want of a better phrase, was used on Ncuti in terms of the camera work, and how they exploited his gayness and physical attractiveness with the camera, in a fashion they would never have done say with the casting of Jodie- we didn't get her in a lowcut catsuit glistening in sweat gyrating on a dance floor in slow motion as our introduction to her, so why is it acceptable to introduce Ncuti's Doctor this way just because he is a gay man?
What was also interesting was they had missed the blatant use of the male gaze on Millie, and I had missed some of the shots they were talking about of Ncuti, the eye was led by the camera to appeal to each demography it seems. Using your actors physical and actual sexuality to sell your show does not seem very progressive to me! It seems to be another example of RTD being so keen to put his agenda in people's faces, he is being so ham-fisted he is actually offending the very people he is trying to promote. }}

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Post by Amarië Wed Dec 27, 2023 9:35 am

Oh I certainly noticed the gaze on Ncuti. In the taxi there's talking and faces, which draws the female attention, while men's eyes will wander. (Broadly speaking, not all men etc etc.) RTD knows how to play this game...

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Wed Dec 27, 2023 9:47 am

{{ My eye didn't wander, it was led. The difference being in the first case I'd just be being a perv, and in the second case they are exploiting their actors sexuality to hold viewer attention.
RTD might know how to play this game, but I'd much rather he left it out of Who and confined it to his other dramas like It's a Sin where it might conceivably belong. }}

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Post by Amarië Wed Dec 27, 2023 10:21 am

Yeah, I mean it's easier to be lead away since men aren't usually that focused on faces, expressions, eyes, and so on.
It's absolutely not the show for those games, I agree.

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Post by halfwise Wed Dec 27, 2023 11:53 am

Oh men are focussed on faces, expressions etc....it's just that we are easily pulled away as if by magnets.

Reading this I'm reminded of the pilot episode of Star Trek Enterprise where they have two characters strip down to their skivvies to apply blue anti bacterial gel to each other. They only pulled that nonsense once in order to get their audience's attention, and never did it again (at least I don't think so, I gave it up in disgust after that). It may be a similar one-off attention grabber that they're doing in Who. See what happens in the next episode.

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Post by Mrs Figg Wed Dec 27, 2023 1:07 pm

I am not getting The Doctor vibes from Ncuti at all. Not one iota. What I am getting is London Goldsmiths University drama student. He looks like central casting from Its a Sin. Too much grinning, too much smug. The girl is just a generic 'nice person' bit ditzy but harmless.

btw did anyone catch the Gatiss spooky Christmas story about mummies? great casting and I dont mean Jon Snow. can't remember the name of the show, Lot 257 or something.
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Post by Pettytyrant101 Wed Dec 27, 2023 6:05 pm

{{ Missed that Figg, but Ill give it a go if its quite at work tonight- I like Gatiss when he's not writing Who! His Who rarely lands for me, though I have a soft spot for the Crimson Horror. Lot No.249 is based on a Conan Doyle story, so right up Gatiss personal Victorian horror alleyway, and Ive glanced at a few spoiler free reviews and they are all very positive. He can write good drama when the mood takes him, the best Who material he ever did was An Adventure in Space and Time, the docudrama about the shows origins. }}

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Post by Mrs Figg Wed Dec 27, 2023 10:18 pm

Its relatively short but i enjoyed all the "what ho! old boy" atmosphere.
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Post by Pettytyrant101 Fri Dec 29, 2023 9:13 am

{{ gave it a watch Figg- and enjoyed it, it's straightforward and I've been listening to a lot of Victorian era ghost stories the last year and it certainly fits perfectly in with those, in that by modern standards nothing is explained and its more a descriptor of just what occurred. Thing with Victorian ghost stories is they aren't very interested in the how and why and what of the thing, just in telling you of the spooky thing that happened - one of my current favourites is 'The Phantom Coach' by Amelia B Edwards and in it bloke gets lost on moors, finds help at a strange old blokes house who points him the way to a road where he can catch a coach, coach comes he gets in, and it's a phantom coach with dead passengers, and that's your lot. But it's so full of atmosphere and mood.
And like it the Lot is Doyle doing much the same, it's a pretty simple tale of spookiness with a mummy in which spooky stuff happens. And at 29 minutes long it doesn't overstay its welcome or seemingly pad out the original short story unnecessary (though I have yet to read the original so don't take that as me saying it's a good adaptation, I don't know if it is, yet).
I am also curious if the cheeky Sherlock cameo is in the original, I'd be very surprised if it was and it's the one bit I wasn't too keen on, it's not that it's done badly, or the actor does a poor job, on the contrary it's done fine, its just Holmes in a story that's out-and-out supernatural doesn't sit right for me.

In case anyone is interested in some more Victorian ghost stories, I highly recommend this YouTube channel-


}}

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Post by Pettytyrant101 Fri Dec 29, 2023 3:53 pm

{{ I read the short story- there are some notable changes. Spoilers ahead for the original tale if you want to read it yourself stop here and come back later!

Probably the biggest changes are that the framing device of the tv version is not used (which I was surprised at as it's so common a device in Victorian ghost stories) and there is another character, Jephro who is a friend of Smiths and it's him not Lee that tells him about Bellingham and how odd he is. Jethor pops up a couple of times, each time Gatiss has replaced him with Lee, presumably to keep the cast down in only half an hour and keep it streamlined. In the short story we don't meet Lee until he comes for Smith when Bellingham has passed out doing weird Mummy stuff.

Casting is interesting. The guy who plays Bellingham is nothing like his description of a 'flabby, pale faced man' and as 'the fat one', but the actor who plays Lee isn't a bad choice at all visually I'd say- 'slim handsome young fellow, olive skinned and dark eyed, of a Spanish rather than an English type'. Maybe Gatiss thought a fat villain would not be as intimidating? Though t seems to miss a point Doyle seems to have been making, in that he seems to deliberately contrast an 'ideal' of male masculinity in Smith against the 'odd, unnatural' and unhealthy and unathletic Bellingham. I mean here's how Doyle describes Smith and Jephro in their introduction-
'Both men were in flannels, for they had spent their evening upon the river, but apart from their dress no one could look at their hard-cut, alert faces without seeing that they were open-air
men—men whose minds and tastes turned naturally to all that was manly and robust.'
And it's not the only such occurrence of this sort of descriptive language on Smiths manly status and athletic skills, his forthrightness of personality, sense of right and wrong and duty Doyle seems to attach to his physicality as much as anything else. And Smiths unpleasantness to his overweightiness and paleness.
However unlike Gatiss version there is no hint that Lee and Smith were more than friends, hardly surprisingly given it could end you in jail that you'd even hint of that to such a masculine overtly hetro man as Smith in that day. It felt a bit out of place and awkwardly shoehorned in, and that's because it is. Not really sure what the point of it was or the need for it, other than the seeming need at present if you're a gay writer to shoehorn in gay characters wherever you can no matter how unsuitable!
Further it being different from the short story, in it Lee only knows Bellingham because he is engaged to Lee's sister, so it's made clear Bellingham is heterosexual. And it's when Bellingham confides to Lee about what he is doing they have their fight - in the tv adaptation this fight alone is enough for Bellingham to send his Mummy after Lee, but in the short story it's because Lee forbids his sister to marry Bellingham and she breaks off the engagement, which is a better reason making it all the more puzzling why Gatiss choose to drop that and hint he was gay instead and in some sort of liaison with Lee.

I prefer the Mummy of the story to, it doesn't move like a normal later Hollywood depiction, which I felt this adaption leant towards. First it's almost entirely silent, second it's 6ft 6 'bounds like a tiger' can scale walls in a heartbeat and has 'blazing eyes' that actually glow in the dark. It also pursues you with one arm outstretched for you, such a common image of the Mummy now I wonder if this is where it came from?

And as I suspected there is no Sherlock Holmes cameo, although he does go to a friend's house at the end, pursued by the Mummy, but he's called Peterson. What's interesting here is that though Gatiss changed it to Holmes he didn't have to alter the dialogue, it's pretty much word for word, and it is oddly Holmes sounding which I presume is what struck Gatiss reading it and gave him the idea- but as I said before Holmes in an out-and-out tale of a supernatural Mummy doesn't work for me at all.

And it ends differently, the Mummy gets cut up and burned the same, but Bellingham doesn't get another one, he doesn't have a copy of the papyrus spell under his floorboards either, and Smith isn't killed at the end. The story ends on a rather undramatic note after the Mummy is destroyed, just sort of wrapping it up-

'And such is the narrative of Abercrombie Smith as to the singular events which occurred in Old College, Oxford, in the spring of '84.
As Bellingham left the university immediately afterwards, and was last heard of in the Soudan, there is no one who can contradict his statement. But the wisdom of men is small, and the ways of nature are strange, and who
shall put a bound to the dark things which may be found by those who seek for them?'

So whilst I enjoyed the adaptation for what it was, I'm not too keen on some of the changes, I'm not sure what the need for some of them were. It's not a bad adaptation, overall it's pretty damn close to the original narrative, but those changes for no good reason do bug me. }}

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