***SPOILER ALERT FOR THE RECENT PIRATE EPISODE OF DOCTOR WHO***
Oh, Doctor Who. Why you do me wrong?
Yes, Amy is only doing CPR by rote description, under stress, and she has to do it so the camera can see her panicked face past her swinging hair, so we can forgive her improper technique and improper timing.
Things we can’t really forgive:
-Rory: Amy, you have to be the one who does CPR on me, because you’ll never give up!
Amy: ::Does X number of cycles of not-enough-chest-compressions-with-not-enough-rescue-breaths (I didn’t go back to count, but it was only a few)….then gives up immediately.::
-The Doctor sits idly by looking very concerned, even though 2-person CPR is much more effective (as chest compressions are really, truly exhausting, and you can do CPR longer if you switch out with a buddy). The Doctor has to know this, as he knows all kinds of other things. He could kinda lift a finger or something. Unless he has some sort of ulterior motive other than to demonstrate to the audience exactly how dire the circumstances are. Let’s take bets on that one, shall we? (Hint: It’s usually a bad idea to bet against writerly laziness and shortcut-taking, especially when it comes to pseudo-medical circumstances. Remember that the last time he did something doctorly, he sprayed some goop on some people and thusly cured “every disease in the world.”)
-There’s a pause between cessation of effort and recovery. Rescuer gives up, exhausted and distraught, and then there’s a pregnant pause….followed by a huge gasp, and inevitable spontaneous recovery by the victim.
Please, someone pay me a nickel every time an author uses this obnoxious pattern to create a contrived and formulaic emotional rollercoaster:
Author: He’s dead! Audience: ::Sob!:: (or, so hopes the author.) Author: Oh, just kidding! Audience: Oh, hooray! (or, so hopes the author.)
-Even improperly-executed CPR works. Victim pops up, smiling, with no ill effects whatsoever. Because CPR is magical. It’s the medical deus-ex-machina. And it’s complete crap. I’ll get into why in a future post. But for now….Gah! Stop treating CPR like a magic wand! Please, oh please, oh PLEASE!
(I still want to beat writers with wet chickens when they pull this stuff.)
Oh, Doctor Who. You broke my heart this week.