I’ll just quickly bash out what I’ve been thinking lately, which isn’t much, all in all.
Doctor Who was on again on Saturday, so if you haven’t watch it yet, spoilers abound in the next paragraph or so. Then I’m going to talk about the finale of Skins, so if you haven’t watched that either, you might as well give up now.
It was set in Pompeii, and featured Caecilius and family, which will be intimately familiar to all of you who’ve studied Latin at any point in the past. Overall, the plot was fairly good, I thought, and the conclusion suitably heart-wrenching; but the dialogue wasn’t great, and despite having a fantastic set, the direction felt very constrained. Bonus points to the special effects guys, the pyrovile that rose up out of the grate in Caecillius’ home was completely the most awesome thing ever.
The lighting effects in the little prophecy scene went completely over-the-top, although I did love the way the camera tilted over to one side as things got progressively weirder. The content of the prophecy itself is interesting too – “She is returning” presumably a reference to the return of Rose; the mention of the Doctor’s name having something to do with the Medusa Cascade, which was mentioned by the Master in last year’s finale. Also interesting was how the Shadow Proclamation was mentioned in connection with a planet going missing, just like last week. This also happened in the very first episode of the new run, with the Nestene Conciousness losing a protein planet.
If this pays off, that’ll be a very long set-up.
Skins. I’m not sure what to think of the last episode, which will be the last ever with this cast. Their futures are all left very open, we don’t know if Tony & Michelle will stay together, or if Sid will find Cassie in New York. The stunt driving sequence seemed entirely unnecessary in terms of story progression. It seems to exist solely for the purposes of filling time; in story terms, it acts only to give the episode an early Tony-Sid bonding moment to set up their later teary parting of ways. The actual plot effect of the sequence itself is immediately undone, with no further consequences, which seems extremely lazy to me. It feels like a later addition to fill some time, while other much-needed sequences are entirely missing, like a Sid & Cassie reunion, or a few moments longer to linger on the departure of Maxxie & Anwar (oh, and James, who is given too little time to matter at all, but too much for the amount he impacts the story, paradoxically).
In all, considering that this is supposed to be the last time we’ll see these characters, it’s not a satisfactory wrap-up of their stories. I think, anyway. I guess one could argue that in real life, things are rarely as cut and dried, and life is generally raggedy and nonsensical, with no dovetailed openings or closings, and that Skins for the most part has stuck pretty faithfully to that; but it just feels unsatisfactory.