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October 18, 2009

Mr Smith and the Windows 7 Launch Party

The inestimable Danny Baker has been talking, on his new Saturday morning BBC Radio Five Live show, of his forthcoming own goals and gaffs video. It's the grand return to a lost art. During the course of the production of the latest feast of hilarious footballing cock-ups he asked the production team whether they had any clips of howlers from women's football. "Oh you can't do that", came the shocked response, "that would be like strangling the game before it's had a chance". Baker, needless to say, thought this ridiculous, saying a howler of any sort is fair game and why should female player's gaffs be treated any different from their male counterpart's displays of ineptitude. Only when that sort of pointing and laughing is acceptable will you know that the female game has made it.

This is sort of the way I feel about writing my own brand of drivel about a show which is specifically targeted at kids.

The Sarah Jane Adventures: Prisoner of the Judoon

I can't see Charlie Brooker launching into a polemic diatribe about the morality of the life choices The Pontipines make in the psychotically disturbed vision of Hades that is In The Night Garden, or Victor Lewis-Smith extolling the virtues of a comforting double helping of Chucklevision. And yet why ever not? The SJA/Who production team have stated their intention is to provide something that's currently lacking in the world of children's television - to produce a show that doesn't treat the core audience as imbeciles, doesn't attempt to talk down to them, actively pushes the boundaries of their imagination and intelligence and prompts them to ask more from their dedicated strand of television. So if they make it like adult television, we can have a go at it like adult television... And that's all the justification I need!

Old friend of your parents at a wedding who you always called Auntie, but she's not a relative, getting sloshed on Advocaat and coming onto anything that moves.

Prisoner of the Judoon adheres to the usual SJA template of a single alien threat who, whilst being alone in his actions, nevertheless proclaims to be able to wreak the same sort of damage as a trans-dimensional shed load of Daleks. This at least affords our leading lady the chance to try out her "old friend of your parents at a wedding who you always called Auntie, but she's not a relative, getting sloshed on Advocaat and coming onto anything that moves" routine. We've all been placed in that sort of uncomfortable position. We've all sensed that stench - the cloud of oncoming lavender and Murry Mints. Possessed Sarah was at best uncomfortable watching for adults tortured by repressed memories of distant marriage celebrations but probably scared the living Sunny Delight out of the target demographic. I can't wait for the re-badging of thousands of normal Sarah Jane figures as a limited edition Possessed Sarah Jane.

The Judoon natural language is actually just a series of tabloid-assigned abbreviated celebrity names.

Whilst the Judoon themselves were recast as intergalactic straight men. Having finally worked out that their natural language is actually just a series of tabloid-assigned abbreviated celebrity names: J-Lo, Su-Bo, Bo-Jo etc… it's no wonder they have no word for, or and use for the word, "Maverick". Every Judoon police procedural drama must sound like The Fast Show trails for John Actor's latest series of Monkfish (a tough, uncompromising, cop who plays it by the book). A race so anally retentive they'd make Richard Brier's Ever Decreasing Circles character look like a carefree radical.

And although to complement the Judoon's Cannon we had the Androvax's Ball, it was left to self-proclaimed super computer Mr Smith to really balls things up - with a near spectacular own goal. To equip something that stupid with a self-destruct mechanism must be idiocy of the highest order - "I was told to destroy myself because I was instructed so to do and yet in doing so I will destroy everything I've been ordered to protect in the first place".

Once our real life computers come with self destruct mechanisms we'll know that they too, like the women's game and children's television, have made it. But until then we'll have to make do with installing the latest Windows operating system.

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