The Magical Natives of Dreamland

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In a year of Doctor Who specials, you’d think they’d take care to make all of them really good. The creators decided to go a different way though, so what do I know.

The monstrosity under discussion today is Dreamland, the animated episode which follows The Waters of Mars (I’ll return to that, as it was actually awesome, as was the Christmas special).

So, let’s get this out of the way. The animation is HORRIBLE. It’s worse than most video games. In particular the walking seems weird and off-pace and takes me right out of the moment, since it looks like the olden day driving a car blue-screens. We have decent computers here in the future, use them!

The Doctor arrives in 1950s America and meets up with Cassie (confusingly voiced by Georgia Moffett, who played Jenny the Doctor’s “daughter” in the episode of the same name—minus the snotty quotes. Because really they just cloned the doctor and made him female. Somehow. Even though you can’t switch the gender of a clone. Whatever, a wizard did it.) and a magical Native American, Jimmy Stalkingwolf who harnesses the power of feelings, and nature awareness, and deep sadness about the plight of the laaaaaaaand. If there’s anything worse than the way Hollywood represents Native Americans it’s how the BBC does. At least liberal Americans are leery of colonialism, I can’t imagine an episode like “The Satan Pit” in which an American hero in the aughts claims that some alien race just love being slaves.

Anyway, the Doctor and his human friends end up at Roswell because of an encounter with a Viperox (which is an awesome alien name) and some intergalactic men in black whose job it is to shield the humans from dangerous tech. They find a lady grey alien, and the doctor is all bleeeeee blaaaaah charm and quirkiness whatever. Okay, that’s not exactly what he’s like, but there’s something REALLY jarring about this episode following on the heels of The Waters of Mars which showed us the darkest, most nihilist, most angry god doctor we’ve ever seen. And now he’s all “Allons-y” and quippy, and it bugs.

Whatever, giant space bugs, the greys created a genocide device, the Doctor insists they must be allowed to live people and enormous centipedes can chaaaaaange and modifies the device to make it not fatal but extremely irritating to Viperox ears. I guess I’m just a violent American, because I pretty much think that if someone credibly threatens to kill everyone on your planet, you’re justified in killing them. (There is one creeeepy shot of the Viperox Queen laying her eggs, I should say in defense of this episode.)

Jimmy has a grandfather Night Eagle who is (obviously) handy with the bow and arrow. Being in tune with the whole universe, Night Eagle has been sheltering a friendly grey, the husband of the one at Area 51.

It all works out. The greys are reunited, the doctor leaves, and Cassie and Jimmy get together, because any two single people of opposite sexes have to get together, it’s like… the law.

The story isn’t horrible, but it seems out of pace with the rest of the events in the Whoniverse, so… fail.

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