76 Comeback


If there’s one hang-up I have at the moment that just won’t go away it’s Baby Boomers. Can’t stand ‘em. Born into a fully-operating welfare state, brought up on milk in schools, served the best era of rock and roll, and the first real generation to get not only a proper Yoof Culture, but also Free Love. Bastards! Of course we know how it turned out – by the Eighties they had the power and used it to make movies about themselves and their nostalgia (Back to the Future, Peggy Sue Got Married, The Big Chill), they became Yuppies, the Stock Market crashed and the inevitable loss of dignity carried on from there. More recently of course they’re making the headlines by Not Retiring, Spending The Grandchildrens’ Inheritance on Holidays and Harleys, Outbidding First-home Buyers For Investment Property, and in general Not Moving On and Letting Someone Else Have a Crack.  Their crime? Longevity.

Doctor Richard Lazarus is no Baby Boomer, having been a child of the previous generation, but he too has lingered and devoted his last years to recapturing the past. He has a young man’s weaknesses and faults; age has only brought him power without wisdom. And he’s a creepy sod too – hitting clumsily on Martha’s sister Tish when he really ought to be old enough to know better. In many ways Stephen Greenhorn’s script is essentially a box-ticker – there’s weird science, the ambitions of people trying to live beyond the boundaries of nature, and there’s reconciliation and a moral at the end. What gives it the edge, along with some nice design, some very good performances (Mark Gatiss is reliably good, although Thelma Barlow is criminally underused)  and fairly decent CGI work, is the umbrella arc showing through – Martha’s battleaxe mum only wanting the best for her kids, the implied threat of Mister Saxon’s people to the Doctor’s future. The race to the season cliffhanger ending begins now…

Perhaps after two slightly bat-arsed episodes in Old New York the injection of a story arc into the season is a little jarring, but we’re here at last. Wherever the Doctor goes on contemporary Earth, Saxon’s peole will be keeping tabs on him, and now that Martha’s permanently on board her future is in question as well. And it does prove that old adage so true to Lazarus’ plight that, in the words of one celebrated Baby Boomer Mr Robert Zimmerman – you really can’t go home again.


2 Responses to “76 Comeback”

  1. Timb Says:

    Ah I KNEW I’d seen her somewhere before – Mavis in Coro St yeah? :D

    BTW Nice opening paragraph there P

  2. Peter A Says:

    Yeeesss… not quite sure where that came from. Good to get it off my chest though! Of course it does rather raise the bar for Al’s upcoming review of 42: “Red Dwarfs? Can’t abide ‘em!” et cetera ;)

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