purplecat: The Tardis (Doctor Who)
[personal profile] purplecat
I wasn't really sure what to expect from The Myth Makers going into it. I have a fairly low tolerance threshold for so-so comedy and, while it has a good reputation, it is also Doctor Who attempting comedy in the 1960s and I had not been overly impressed by The Romans.

Where The Romans was attempting to be a farce in the style of the Carry On films (and I suspect didn't appreciate the skill required to pull that off), The Myth Makers is a sitcom about squabbling families and manages this much better - possibly because the humour relies less on physical business and more on dialogue. The bickering in both the Greek camp and the Trojan court manages to be genuinely funny even at a distance of fifty years and existing only in audio. Possibly it works better in audio, we don't get to see Steven and Paris almost-but-not-quite fighting but only hear instead Paris' confusion as Steven rapidly surrenders and demands to be taken prisoner.

Of course, half the supporting cast die in episode four and I was expecting more of a sense of whiplash as the sitcom turns to tragedy but, to be honest, it worked. Maybe growing up with Blackadder made this seem a perfectly reasonable way for a comedy to end.

The romance between Troilus and Vicki/Cressida teetered on the brink of being annoying, but the story's own awareness of the fact more or less rescued it. One did feel that Vicki was going to end up spending a lot of her life managing Troilus however, who didn't seem like the brightest spark in the Trojan box.

I would genuinely love to see what The Myth Makers actually looked like. Doctor Who so rarely whole-heartedly tries to do comedy and this has some great dialogue and comic moments. I would have liked to see the actors faces as the lines were delivered. Watching telesnap reconstructions of old Doctor Who is definitely a fans-only past time, but if you feel up to the effort then I would say that The Myth Makers is more rewarding than many.
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