Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Dr Stu on Dr Who

I don't like Doctor Who.


Ok, I did when I was 5 and it came on TV. Mainly the bit where the smiling face appeared on the screen and the pretty colours came on. I remember a really scary episode involving vampires called the Curse of Fenrus and some weird one where King Arthur came back only to be destroyed in 5 minutes of an episode (or maybe that was another show). But then I realised it was yet another BBC cheap-skate sci-fi series and lost interest. Having said that I watched some Blake's 7 recently and thought it was ok.

I liked the McGann pilot that never got a series, the Gothic Tardis was pretty cool, though the show was American, showing the BBC's inadequacies that it can't make sci-fi without supplementing our license fees with American money and in doing so selling out to the vacuous style of American TV.

Er... rant over... anyway so I decided given the fuss the Beeb was making to watch this as well.

I liked it.

Damn it!

Eccleston is pretty damn cool as the Doctor. He's smug, weird, and generally a good actor anyway. Billy Piper I wasn't so sure of.

In true cheapskate Dr Who tradition rather than choose one of the other infinite possibilities of time and space the Doctor wound up at the centre of the universe, London, England, Earth convienently in the early 21st century. That must have lowered the budget for the first episode, and allowed him to pick up Billy Piper, who it turns out can act.

The episode was really quick - 45 minutes that seemed to involve running everywhere with latex dummies chasing the goodies. The dummies were ok and I understand there is meant to be some big overarcing reason for all this if you've been watching for the past 25 years or so, but there was also some dodgy CGI including a wheely bin. I thought the effects looked like the kind out of Red Dwarf VII, like someone'd been playing with their old Amiga for a couple of months. Additionally there was a totally unconvincing "dummy" replica for Billy's boyfriend which she was completely fooled by despite the fact it looked mega-odd.

Overall good. Not stellar. Not set the world on fire. It's no Babylon 5 or Battlestar Galactica v2.0 but it's watchable. I'll be watching next week I suppose.


Anonymous said...

In defence of Doctor Who (Guess I'll have to do in the abscence of Hoppy), they are trying to balance the old with the new, the slightly camp style of previous doctors with something a bit more up to date, hence the slightly crap costumes for the Autons (The plastic dummies) and the fake-Mickey, it was on purpose.

Also the rise and fall of Doctor Who, and its "selling out" to American TV has more to do with BBC internal politics than their ability to make a good show... see Red Dwarf...

Stuart said...

In all fairness Red Dwarf sold out as well - Season 7, JFK assassinations and female leads were designed to make the series more sellable to the yanks...