Best Sci-Fi TV Mockumentaries
Episode: “Love and Monsters”
(New Who, series two, episode two)
Premise: We’re watching a video diary of Elton Pope, describing his encounters with the Doctor, punctuated with flashbacks to what he’s describing. He joins forces with several other people who’ve interacted with the Doctor, all aiming at trying to uncover the truth of him and his mysterious blue box as part of LINDA – London Investigation ’n’ Detective Agency.
Best in-joke: LINDA is an acronym that has appeared elsewhere – as the Liverpool Investigation ’n’ Detective Agency, in kids’ TV show Why Don’t You?, which Russell T Davies worked on early in his career.
Elton [holding LINDA member Ursula, who has been turned into a paving slab, it makes sense, honest]: “It’s a relationship, of sorts. But we manage. We’ve even got a bit of a love life…”
Ursula: “Oh, let’s not get into that.”
Verdict: A Doctor-light episode, this wasn’t the instant classic of, say, “Blink”. As a example of the mokumentary genre, it’s great, using the video diary format with wit and ingenuity (and a huge dollop of ELO… wonder if Elton was ever going to ask for copyright permission?). Marc Warren and Peter Kay are high profile guest stars, with the latter playing an alien, the Abzorbaloff, designed as the result of a Blue Peter competition. The episode garnered mixed reviews with complaints ranging from Kay’s overacting and the silly Slitheen-esque monster to annoyance at how, well, lame the members of LINDA are. That said, on rewatch it’s not too bad – Marc Warren does well with what he’s given, and for the surreal ending for Elton and Ursula if nothing else it’s memorable, even if perhaps you’d rather it wasn’t.
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