Thursday, July 05, 2007

Cat Scan

Catherine TateNews that Catherine Tate is to be the next “permanent” Doctor Who companion has been causing a fair bit of furore in both the UK national press and the Bloggosphere.

The general response has been a resounding, “Oi, Russell T. Davis – NO!” though whether Russell, Doctor Who’s head writer/writer in charge (or whatever he wants to call himself), will actually listen is a matter of some debate.

I suspect he won’t which leaves us with the worrying prospect of Catherine Tate appearing in all 13 episodes of season 4.

A number of Doctor Who stalwarts have already voiced their concerns most eloquently – TimeWarden being once of them – and it’s not my intention to repeat what has already been said but nevertheless I feel the need to cast my hat into the ring.

I don’t hate Catherine Tate in the slightest. I love her comedy shows and think her a competent actress. I’ll even admit to finding something very attractive about her though she always seems intent on taking a bad photograph. (Karen and I are convinced she has issues regarding her looks but that’s a subject for another post...)

What I didn’t like was the character that Catherine played in last year’s Christmas special, The Runaway Bride. “Donna Noble” was just too shrewish and too fish-wifey to be an effective long-term companion. She grated. She jarred. She was a one-trick pony. Does the Doctor really need a stereotypical, constantly nagging female companion on his travels?

What next? Bernard Manning style mother-in-law jokes?

The trouble with Donna Noble is that her creator has confused volume with depth. The character is irritatingly two-tone and two-dimensional to say the least. And that’s hardly fair on Catherine Tate’s abilities.

But maybe I’m being unfair. Maybe a fantastic back story is even now being composed? Maybe scintillating scripts are even now being prepared and salivated over by Russell T and his crew?

The trouble is I suspect that Russell T has utterly no sense of quality control. He was swooning over the season 3 finale last Saturday for example and, to be frank, “Last Of The Timelords” was complete and utter cack. Ineffably risible.

It doesn’t bode well for the fourth season at all.

The problem is I can see Catherine Tate being turned into a convenient scapegoat and I think – if all does go belly up (though hopefully it’ll remain paws down) – the real blame will actually lie elsewhere...

But is Russell T Davis bovered?

11 comments:

Old Cheeser said...

I totally agree with you Steve. Like you I'm a fan of Catherine T in other scenarios - her comedy show is brilliant and very well observed - she is a very talented and clever character actress.

However within the realms of Dr Who I just don't think that the character of Donna will work in the long term - this is a very bad move. It'a backward step resurrecting a character who has already served her (fairly limited) purpose in the show and I don't think Donna has staying power. Why oh why can't they create a new character (and NOT another Earth woman, please!)

Like you I am holding onto the (admittedly faint) hope that they will do wonders with her character and we'll all be proved wrong. I still think it's a bad idea though.

And I am similarly very worried that this could signal a definite downward trend for Doctor Who...anyway I will stop rabbiting on (as the Nan would have said?!)...if anyone desperately wishes to know my further thoughts, check out Time Warden's post...

Old Cheeser said...

Love your caption for the photo btw. East End ham, ha ha ha!

Steve said...

Thanks Old Cheeser - I always aim to please! Looking forward to your return by the way!

TimeWarden said...

When Bonnie Langford was the Doctor's companion, a fanzine, which later became the magazine "Dreamwatch", suggested that Bernard Manning was going to take over the lead from sixth Doctor Colin Baker!

What's more, the series was going to be retitled "Bernie and Bonnie's travels in the TARDIS"!!

Naturally, the date of publication was April 1st but it was to express dissatisfaction over casting! Nothing changes!!

Steve said...

Bernard Manning and Bonnie Langford? Now that is scary! It almost makes Catherine Tate's arrival seem a little more palatable!

MOTHER OF MANY said...

I feel ashamed to say that my girls thought of all sorts of possibilities for Catherine Tate when they heard she was to be the new companion. Whilst Rose and Martha had very different personalities and we love their acting for different reasons we saw the possibility of something different in Catherine Tate.
Rose and Martha were besotted with the Doctor and the girls hoped that having somebody not so besotted may mean a whole different relationship for the Doctor and his new companion.Someone to argue with him, someone to stand up to him, perhaps someone more to be his equal-we can but see!
When Christopher Eccleston left we were devastated(sadly true!) but we think that David Tennant is also a brilliant doctor.
Let's hope that the new companion can impress everyone too.

Steve said...

No need for shame at all Ally, it would be great if what you suggest does prove to be the case. It would be really miserable if Doctor Who went down the pan after returning with so much promise. I have reservations but am willing to suspend judgment until season four commences. As you say: we can but see.

Rol Hirst said...

Is this for real... or just another piece of disinformation to get the fans in an uprage?

Can't see it myself, but I stand to be disappointed / enraged / etc.

Steve said...

It could be a piece of clever publicity I suppose - a bit of meat thrown to the dogs to get everyone snarling and/or salivating... but I suspect it's all too true...

CHAYNELIGHTNING said...

while trolling your blog, i notice no follow up to this.

I for one, found Donna Noble a breathe of fresh air in the TARDIS, how nice to not have a love sick puppy hanging on the Doctor's every word. But and adult, who gave and well as she got...

I knew, the moment they had their through the window reunion, that we had a winner

Steve said...

Hi Chaynelightning - it's funny revisiting this post as about half way through the DW series run with Donna Noble I'd become a total convert and thought she was actually the best thing in it. It was so nice not to have someone making moo-cow eyes at the Doctor all the time - I totally agree with you and said so here!