Doctor Who Blog

The 2012 Timelash Awards - Part Five

We’re almost at the end of our awards for the good, the bad and the Rills of 2011. Here we give some love (and scorn) for the spinoffs…

The Most Pitiful Spinoff Award goes to Torchwood: Miracle Day. While we loved how Torchwood: Children of Earth borrowed from early seasons of 24‘s playbook, with Miracle Day, Torchwood decided it was better to go with how 24 did it in later seasons: a great hook but way too much making it up as it goes along, ludicrous plot logic (even by the standards of Torchwood!), way too many big dramatic speeches written by people who lack Russell T Davies’ skill at making them work and characters so random they must have come from an episode of Melrose Place. It was a giant train wreck of a series, made watchable by Eve Myles and Kai Owen, who deserve some kind of medal for sticking it out. And, I hate to say it, I fear the American writers probably bear the most blame. Russell T Davies opening episode is superb, and John Fay’s penultimate episode was great, and the rest drift increasingly into mediocrity.

The Most Lamented Spinoff Award goes to The Sarah Jane Adventures, whose all-too-short fifth season continued to delight, charm and inspire. Sky was a lovely replacement for Luke, Clyde continued to be the series’ best weapon (and Daniel Anthony made “The Curse of Clyde Langer” one of the all-time greats) and Elisabeth Sladen continued to prove why Sarah Jane was so beloved by so many generations of fans. I’m still disappointed Russell T Davies and Phil Ford moved away from Doctor Who for their next project: I think they could have continued the show after Sarah Jane with Clyde, Rani and Sky. The Story Goes On Forever, indeed…

1 Comment...

I’m going to part company with you on Miracle Day. I thought it was a great season. It could be argued that it might have been stronger if it had been another 5-parter or if they’d done 8 episodes instead of 10, but I thought they did some great things with it. Although it’s not part of your critique so I stress I’m not linking your comments with it, I was quite saddened by the fact so many people hated Miracle Day simply because it was co-produced and mostly filmed in America, and for no other apparent reason. I felt that really went against the openness I’d come to associate with Whoniverse fandom. Indeed, if you were doing a Part 6 of the Timelash awards I’d nominate the almost prejudiced fan reaction to Miracle Day for the “Russell T Davies Gay Agenda Memorial Award” category.

If there’s one thing I disliked about Miracle Day is that, while RTD could be said to have taken the brave route by killing off some of the show’s more likeable characters, I got to the point where even I was saying “enough already!”. Between taking out Tosh and Owen in Season 2, then Ianto in Season 3, and four of the best characters in Season 4 (I’ll refrain from naming since it may be a spoiler for some since the show has yet to hit DVD here), RTD has made it very difficult for viewers to latch on to the cast, except for Jack and Gwen. You can’t keep killing off the characters people like, Mr Davies.

As for SJA, however, I’m in full agreement. We’ll probably see the last episodes on DVD in the next few months and I think they’ll be difficult to watch.

Posted by Alex  on  01/31  at  04:46 AM

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