Get In Touch,
Publishing Inquiries

Bored of the Chord: When Doctor Who and Eurovision were less than Absolutely Fabulous

The power of music eh? Beware though, as this cod-review contains less than glowing mea culpa mentions of several virtue-signalling British national institutions and a quartet of Swedish musical nobility. Are you sitting comfortably?

What a bizarrely bonkers and disappointingly deflating night in watching Aunty Beeb.

Watching Space Babies followed by The Devil‘s Claw double-header, it seems apparent that New Who is rapidly becoming a frantic cornball pantomime devoid of darkness and suspense. Instead, it is morphing into something so depressingly Disneyfied that if there’s another all singing dancing High School Musical meets Lil Nas episode of indulgence I think I might switch off the Doctor completely, which I would obviously be really loathe to do, seeing as I really like Ncuti Gatwa‘s sexy, nuanced portrayal in the world‘s longest running sci-fi show I‘ve been watching since 1974.

Both The Beatles and Doctor Who became global cultural exports as the Britain of 1963 flexed its post-imperial soft power. Moreover, for a show about adventures in space and time that has been brilliantly interwoven with British pop culture since its inception, a trip to Abbey Road is an obvious premise. So obvious that it‘s actually the second Time Lord story with a “what if” moment hinging on the Fab Four’s cultural impact.

So why then were Lennon, McCartney, Harrison and Starr reduced to such throwaway cameos? Despite the implied theme being the power of music, the inclusion of the world’s most successful band was no more than a brief window-dressing subplot in a series of sub-plots without a clearly defined central plot. Though the way the BBC get around one production complication – that even with all the cash thrown at Get Back and Disney’s vast bank balance, Doctor Who still can’t readily afford to license Beatles songs – is grudgingly, cleverly done.

But who was that Maestro ‘villain’? Admittedly, it’s a brilliant concept for an antagonist – serving as the embodiment of music from the Toymaker’s dastardly domain – but I’ve seen scarier doings in my cat’s litter tray. The acting was hammier than a pig farm, especially as this Edina-inspired Jinkx Monsoon tub of lard looked like Mark Gatiss‘ mum playing Fanny Craddock on absinthe. In other words, another one who’s ballooned.

Though not Patsy, never ever Patsy. Stone, Patsy. Oh, Patsy!

Talking of (not so) Absolutely Fabulous camp, it says everything when the most thrilling moment of a chaotic and often fraught politically-charged Eurovision Song Contest was Joanna Lumley announcing the British jury votes. “Cheers Swedies”? Oh, never mind the Damehood, make this national treasure monarch and send Sausage Fingers and his horsey slap-headed son to the Tower forthwith. Ditch the kitsch, and the Windsors while we‘re at it.

You can never have enough hats, gloves and votes. So Joanna channelling Patsy, even down to the glass of champers, almost made up for the dire Dolly Alexander’s tack track more suited to Chariots than Eurovision. 

Perhaps if the former Years & Years screamer concentrated on singing properly than trying to remember which ‘dancer’ had the biggest packet he might have done alright. The ‘talent‘ contest generally has now become so knowingly outré-camp and non-binary that the public awarding him nil points is actually quite shocking. 

Heteros vote in Eurovision? Oh, they make me dizzy.

Oh, and forget the egoist Dutch no-show (he’s a klootzak) or the hoo-ha over Israel’s right to exist, because mainly Muslim Turkey have been competing almost every year since they legally invaded Cyprus, and in 1992 — the first time Malmö hosted, in fact — “Yugoslavia” still competed despite the atrocities and war crimes committed by Belgrade under Milošević. 

If anything was worthy of the comedy boos it was ABBA not being arsed to put in a personal appearance. If I’m honest, that was mainly the reason I stayed in when I could have been out having a bit of cock and bumfun.

And I was always the one with the boys.

Steve Pafford

#eurovision #doctorwho #absolutelyfabulous

Liked it? Take a second to support Steve Pafford on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!

We use cookies to give you the best experience. Cookie Policy