Saturday, May 05, 2007

Lazarus Experimented on a Spider-Man

They drew very obvious parallels between the Time Lord regeneration process and the experiment Mr Saxon was funding. Which is no surprise, as we saw Saxon looking very ill indeed in the trailer immediately following the episode. He's obviously dying, and he apparently knows exactly who the Doctor is.

Of course he's the blinkin' Master isn't he?

Apparently showrunner Russell T Davies gives his writers a list of elements to include in their episodes. This episode's writer, Stephen Greenhorn, was given "Marvel Comics", "mad scientist", "experiment gone wrong", "supervillain", and it definitely showed in the episode. The climax was supposedly a nod to Quatermass, but seeing the Doctor defeat an enemy in a church belltower using sound as a weapon certainly evoked Spider-Man's battle with his alien costume, and not entirely because I'd seen Spider-Man 3 earlier in the day.

Which was excellent, by the by. It's got some mixed reviews, and it's not without some minor problems (Lucy Gordon's turn as an English news reporter (in New York?) was so horrible, I was sure that she had to be some Hollyoaks/girl group offshoot given a cameo rather than an actual actor), but if you don't like this film, you don't have a soul. Not as good as the peerless second film, but quite good nonetheless.

I had to laugh when a character literally blunders into a particle accelerator experiment at one point (are they still using bits of James Cameron's Spidey script?), further exemplifying that "experiment gone wrong" aspect of the Marvel Universe. One scientist unsportingly pointed out that there was someone in the machine, but his colleague was thankfully on hand with a shrug and a suitably irresponsible "it's just a bird". Wouldn't Civil War have been more sensible if the government had registered the scientists, given how 90% of Marvel Universe experiments go so badly wrong and produce all these dangerous freaks in the first place?


  1. I quite liked the film, especially Emo-Peter-Gone Bad, but there were some sloppy plotting elements that annoyed me.

    * Venom suddenly knowing all about Sandman's hidden agenda, without any apparent effort to research it on screen.

    * Sandman suddenly turning over a new leaf after beating seven bells out of Spidey, with touching reconciliation and forgiveness scene followed by him blowing off into the distance. Huh?!

    * The butler waiting so long to reveal the details of what happened on the night Harry's dad died, making him feel like a tacked-on macguffin to allow Harry to help Peter.

  2. Fair criticisms, and I agree. I think cramming so much in meant that a few plot threads had this undeveloped feel. On the whole though, I feel that they were minor flaws.

  3. Crikey! I thought Spidey3 was souless :(

    - Too long

    - Harry and butler doing a "bruce & Alfred"

    - Eddie Brocks voice staying the same when the venom costume "took over" ; I expect some changed in character and speech etc.

    - The Jazz Club scene was horrible. The dancing in the street wasn't too bad but the Jazz club scene with Peter turning into a Jamie Cullum clone was awful

    - They made Peter bitch slap MJ :( No need.

    - Mr & Ms Stacy were pushed into the story with little real reason.

    - (Agree with Richard) Spidey forgives the Sandman just like that

    - I still don't like Dunst as MJ

    Bruce Campbell was rather good though.

  4. Yes, Bruce Campbell's performance as some strange Gallic Basil Fawlty is surely the performance of the year.

  5. I liked the jazz club scene:o
    Actually, some faults aside, I really like the film. Packing too much into it was a mistake, but at least it wasn't as bad as the few dozen endings final LOTR.