RTD Drinking Game

Russell T. Davies is the man the BBC turned to to kick-start and produce the new Doctor Who series. From the start, everyone involved in the program showered him with praise, calling him “brilliant” and “a genius” and “the best TV writer in Britain today”. But his Who episodes have been generally the weaker ones. I think of him as a bit like (former Who script editor) Douglas Adams - bursting with neat ideas but seemingly unable to string them together into a coherent, satisfying plot.

So, here’s the first edition of the Oh No Not Another Russell T. Davies Episode Drinking Game. Contains spoilers, of course. Suggestions welcome.

* It’s set on another space station. Sip.
* Or we’re inside a famous British landmark. Sip.
* A PA voice says, “Visitors are reminded that…” Sip.
* We’re in a lift. Sip.
* ...and there’s that same damn lift shaft footage. Sip.
* Hugely anachronistic contemporary pop culture reference. Sip.
* Kids’ show/movie reference. Sip.
* Music or music reference from Davies’ youth (say, 1975-85). Sip.
* Bodily function joke. Drink. (It really helps get through the Aliens Of London two-parter.)
* A character appears who is essentially a face with no body. Sip.
* Joke about the Doctor’s accent. Sip.
* Another recurrence of a running gag. (“It’s not amusing, is it?” No, not really.) Sip.
* Someone says the word “naked”. Sip.
* Jackie mentions a new beau or makes a pass at someone. Sip.
* “Roxicoricofallapatorius.” Sip.
* The Doctor kisses someone or vice versa. Drink.
* Great big Bad Wolf or Torchwood speech. Bottle.
* The villain explodes all over everybody. Bottle.

We all repeat ourselves now and then, of course. Even Stephen Moffatt (“The Empty Child”, “The Girl In The Fireplace”) isn’t immune:

* “Dancing” as euphemism for sex.
* The Doctor complains to an animal about his companions.
* “Bananas are good.”

More general to the whole series:

* Sonic screwdriver used. Sip.
* hack a computer. Another sip.
* ...or as something unscrewdrivery, like a medical scanner. Sip.
* Psychic paper used. Sip.
* “Everything has its time and everything dies.” Sip.
* The Doctor says “I’m sorry” to someone dead, dying or bereaved. Sip.
* Rose flirts with yet another guy. Sip.
* And yet Mickey comes back to her. Sip.
* Jack flirts with anyone. Sip.
* The Doctor has a gun, but doesn’t use it. Sip.
* Jack has a gun, and uses it. Sip.
* “Fantastic.” Sip.
* The Ninth Doctor calls humans “stupid”. Sip.
* The Tenth Doctor calls humans “brilliant”. Sip.
* Bad Wolf or Torchwood reference. Drink.
* “Doctor who?” Drink. And maybe cry a bit.

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Oh yes. RTD’s scripts tend to be weak, but I DID like Bad Wolf, Parting of the Ways, and Tooth & Claw. I even thought “you aren’t amused” was hilarious.

At least we got Sarah Jane back for a bit, even if she was facing a less than fascinating menace.

Posted by Muffy St. Bernard on 9 June 2006 at 2:03 PM

RTD certainly has his moments of greatness. I think he just needs to polish his stories more, or get someone else to do it if he’s too busy being the multi-limbed executive producer man.

“Tooth And Claw” had some pretty neat things going for it, and it looked fabulous. I’ve just been finding Rose - and the Doctor, now and again - a little annoying this season. A little bit the ugly time tourists, maybe. (I did giggle a lot when the Doctor had to put a stop to Rose’s Scottish moment, though.)

And hey, Anthony Head, and running a high school, no less. That was kind of spooky in itself.

Posted by Eli McIlveen on 9 June 2006 at 2:34 PM

My problem with RTD is that he tends to get a bit too campy, flambouyant, and obvious…he pushes the envelope, but usually just a BIT too far. Farting aliens, silly body-switching, and man-eating recycling bins just don’t do it for me. When he reigns in his enthusiasm just a bit he seems to accomplish more, but I agree: he should polish, or have somebody ELSE put on the “Producer” hat when his scripts are concerned.

You’re right, I hadn’t thought about it before: Rose and Tenant are “ugly time tourists.” The Doctor doesn’t seem to have the nobility that he had last season. The real problem, I think, is: can anybody outdo Eccelson? We all compare the two of them as though they were playing the same role, which they’re not, really.

I also don’t think they can really explore a story in only 45 minutes…but then not all of the 90 minute two-parters are better.

I have only seen up to “School Reunion” so far. If you can, catch up on the reissued DVDs…“Genesis of the Daleks” is even better 35 years on. I can’t wait for “Hand of Fear” later this year…that’s always been one of my favourites.

Why do we care about this TV series?

Posted by Muffy St. Bernard on 9 June 2006 at 3:08 PM

Haven’t the faintest.

Did you see this? :D

Posted by Eli McIlveen on 9 June 2006 at 4:01 PM

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