macrathe who ep on sat (“gridlock”) has divided the fans sharply (er WARNING — portals to LJ): — i really really genuinely enjoyed it start-to-finish and was initially totally surprised that anyone else didn’t: except on reflection it’s an ep which more than usual dicks around with the various reception registers and their respective comfort zones

viz immediately after one of the things i was thinking was “haha this did two things douglas adams was always trying to do” =
i. poking fun at SF cliches by turning them into self-evidently ludicrous and impossible devices (viz a DRUG that mutated into a DEADLY VIRUS heehee)
ii. creates isolated communities and alien worldlets which are gathered round a single blatantly unsustainable “idea”, building them up in order to flash goofily past them

except everyone knows i *hate* douglas adams and his horrible HHGttG >:(

which means (to me) that RTD was getting the delivery of this species of “idea lite” content right — NOT full of weary disdain towards “mere ordinary SF fans who are not as smart as d.adams” the way adams kinda always seemed to be (adams was to me very bad at locating useable emotional weight in — eg — the threat of the entire earth being destroyed) (i accept that plenty of ppl think RTD often overplays the “feelings” stuff — he’s no joss whedon — but i like that he doesn’t just hurriedly slide by it; i also think the “maximal yuk” some people feel towards some of these kinds of eps… the peter kay one was another one… is is much a reaction against genre moving outside preferred comfort zone as it’s an index of lame-idea-badly-done

which is bcz — i think — RTD is more than usually alert to the actual fact of a *comfort-zone clash* between the difft layers of fans which so long-running a series has inevitably gathered: he doesn’t just play “here’s an ep for the old-skool nerds, here’s an ep for the ultrateenies, here’s an ep for the (gay) dads, here’s an ep for 2000AD-heds, here’s an ep for the mccoy-lovers, here’s an ep for newcomers who aren’t still seven” — which would be one solution but not at all a coherent one — but here’s an ep for ALL THE ABOVE (and others i haven’t listed or thought out) and what’s more it’s a HIGH-SPEED THROWAWAY TRANSITIONAL ep

now to me that fact of the sharpness of the division is a sign that this episode MATTERS (even if it isn’t “good”): bcz it turns who into a terrain that has to be CONTESTED (even by ppl who DON’T REALLY CARE)

so er yeah OMG THE MACRA lolz }?{ }?{ }?{ }?{ }?{