Thursday 25 May 2017

Daleks are destroyed - now what's next to go?

With Doctor Who's most famous villains put into retirement, there are other TV clichés that should be axed writes Ed Power

In fear of the Daleks: Elizabeth Sladen and Tom Baker had many battles with the Daleks
In fear of the Daleks: Elizabeth Sladen and Tom Baker had many battles with the Daleks

Dark days lie ahead for fans of one-eyed space monsters that can't use the stairs. The Daleks, Dr Who's most iconic adversaries, are to be packed off to semi-retirement.

"There's a problem with the Daleks. They are the most famous of the Doctor's adversaries and the most frequent, which means they are the most reliably defeatable enemies in the universe," show runner Steven Moffat said.

"They have been defeated by the Doctor about 400 times. Surely they should just see the Tardis approaching, say, 'Oh. It's him again', and trudge away."

Nothing kills a TV viewer's passion faster than a novelty pushed past its sell-by hour. With their ever-shorter attention spans and increasing choice of distractions, audiences constantly crave the new. If only more people in television followed Dr Who's lead, calling time out on old reliables that have turned a tad stale. We've selected a few television institutions which would benefit from 'pulling a Dalek', and trundling off into quasi-retirement for a bit.

Celebrity Chefs who never Go Near a Kitchen

It's all very well Jamie Oliver trying to save America's fat kids from their crippling turkey twizzler habit, or Gordon Ramsay wanting to be light entertainment's go-to-foul-mouthed-dude. But celebrity chefs often forget the reason they are famous in the first place is that they can do natty things with half a dozen spring onions and some chopped liver. Perhaps that's why RTE's Martin's Mad About Fish has gone down so well. Martin Shanahan spends his show cooking dishes, not attempting to singlehandedly reform the American education system.

Mad Men's Betty Draper

When budget cuts at Emmy-bestrewn ad agency drama Mad Men were announced, the gossip was that creator Matthew Weiner would be forced to cut at least one major character. No prizes for guessing who everybody wanted for the chop. We're not suggesting Don's ex ought to be written out of Mad Men -- not entirely at any rate. But her simpering, house-wife on valium routine does feel out of step with the show's three-scotches-for-lunch raffishness. Send her on holidays -- we'll miss her once she's gone. Or not.

Vincent Browne's Eyebrows

As recently as the General Election Tonight With Vincent Browne felt like a daring new force in Irish current affairs. Now it's the same old Punch and Judy ding-dong every evening -- the guests change, Vincent's sighs and interjections remain the same. Obviously it would be a move too far to plunge Vincent in the wintry darkness of permanent exile. But TV3 might ask someone in wardrobe to trim those fearsome eyebrows.

The Simpsons

No particular character -- just the entire show, which, lest we forget, hasn't been funny since the autumn of 1999.

Or perhaps they can persuade Conan O'Brien to start penning scripts again. He wrote The Simpsons' two greatest episodes, 'Marge Vs the Monorail', and 'Homer Goes To College'

Miriam O'Callaghan's Compassionate Streak

Charming, articulate and with the hint of a self-deprecating twinkle in the eye, Miriam O'Callaghan lights up an otherwise dowdy current affairs schedule. The trouble is she's too darn nice, often tripping over herself in her determination to be fair when she ought to be springing, claws outstretched, for the jugular.

Send her compassionate side into exile and then Prime Time would be properly compelling telly.

Star Trek: The Next Generation Villains with Bumps on their Forehead

Why does every single Star Trek: The Next Generation bad guy really need to look as if someone had recently smeared a Mars Bar all over their forehead, by way of illustrating their 'evil alien' status? At least with the original Star Trek the costume department went to the effort of provisioning off-worlders with pointy ears and strange beards.

Bill and Sookie from True Blood

Early on, Alan Ball's sexually supercharged vampire drama seemed to plod along, with loads of the classy touches you expect of HBO but little to truly keep you engaged. As the scope of the show widened, things got more interesting. True Blood would get by just fine if the formulaic love story between vampire Bill and psychic Sookie was put on ice for a while.

Irish Independent

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