|100 days of Love and Hate - Day 23
||[Sep. 22nd, 2006|11:13 am]
A fabulous concept in Doctor Who. We've seen intermediate or future regenerative characters before in Doctor Who - echoes of a Timelord's new self before he regenerates - in the form of Cho-Je and the Watcher, even Romana's 'trying on' of multiple bodies may have been a form of this.
The Valeyard is all the Doctor's evil, all his repressed dark thoughts and instincts. And he wants a body, the chance to exist. Even beyond the Master and the Daleks, there could be no greater enemy for the Doctor than his own evil self.
What a shame he's so crap.
When the Valeyard's true nature is revealed, it's a revelation. It's also all down hill as he proceeds to act like every other villain, making the same stupid mistakes. The Doctor is brilliant, clever, inventive... his evil self should be all that unhampered with any sense of morality.
What needed to be done with the Valeyard, if he really *is* the Doctor's distilled evil, is that he become a dinky-die full-on bad-guy, but a smart one. He's seen all the errors bad guys make, that's how they can be beaten, so he needs to have learnt from that. If it's him versus the Doctor, he should be keeping the Doctor behind the eightball all the way, until it's only sheer animal cunning that wins.
In Ultimate Foe, he's just a Master clone. Not a good one, either. Not Delgado in his prime, but Ainley at his worst. He made Eric Roberts look good. If the Valeyard is all the Doctor's evil, he needs to be the ultimate bad guy. Vastly more evil than his other enemies and he loves it! Loves the freedom to be truly wicked.
Give me a Valeyard story! I'd open it with daleks on the run. A colony world with human slaves, but now their masters are being destroyed by an unseen enemy. We soon discover it's the Valeyard. He's decided to take them out just because he knows he can, because there's no morals holding him back... and it'll be fun! He enjoys the killing, the mayhem.
The daleks are defeated. The slaves come forward to thank him for freeing them. He kills one, states that that's the only freedom they can have, that they work for him now...
You run a story where the Doctor's only advantage is that the Valeyard needs him alive if he's to steal the remaining lives. The Valeyard doesn't explain his plans, doesn't give hints or clues. His plans are simple, straight forward, so there's less variables to go wrong. He doesn't make idle threats or give warnings. He won't threaten to shoot an innocent to get the Doctor to surrender. He'll shoot an innocent to show he means it, bring forward another, then ask for surrender.
Instead we got a panto villain. Such a waste.
I love my film, as you all know. I love a good, well thought-out story, with great characters... but then I also love crap, shows that are rubbish. Some are good for a laugh, or are historically significant. But there's one thing that saves me, even from the most dire piece of celluloid garbage.
I have yet to see a film without a Moment. Even the worst have one.
The Moment is a nebulous thing - it's perfection within something flawed. Some bad films have several, but I've yet to see a film without one. If you're genuinely watching, it's there. The thing that, by accident or design, they got so very right!
It may be a great line, a fine piece of acting, spot-on comic timing. It may be a gorgeous establishing shot, or a single moment where everything is framed and lit beautifully. It may be the one effects shot that, flawed or not, gets the point across well. A piece of music that works beyond the film, a camera move, or a focus shift. It may be a concept that is introduced, a moment of realisation, something special in an otherwise pedestrian script. A costume, a prop, a sound effect.
Be open to it all and you'll find one. You might find several. It's not the reason to see a film, but it can be the reward when the rest is rubbish.
No matter how badly written, shot or acted a film is, I'm always open to, and love, The Moment.