Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Dr Stu on the New Dr Who

Here's my thoughts on the new series of Doctor Who. I'm really liking it - which is odd as a lot of folk are giving it a bad rep. It's easily the most solidly written season for me ever.

Pros: Matt Smith is nailing the Doctor. He is much more of a relatable character than Tennant's Fonzy-Cool Doctor. This is a Doctor who cocks up and who realises he does this. There are also consequences to his actions (unlike Waters of Mars which seems to have no repercussions that even remotely led to Tennant's regeneration).

The scripts are actually intelligent. It's worth rewatching episodes by the main scriptwriter. The scripts actually feel more like a 'proper' sci-fi show rather than a London-based melodrama with aliens in it.

Every 2nd character doesn't telegraph their sexuality loudly though we do still have a lot of "unrequited" love situations in everyday places (the older guy and gal at the drill, the couple in next week's episode). And instead of every other character being obviously gay they're obviously Scottish instead. :)


The budget - this has been clearly slashed so the series has to make do with some wonky CGI (Prisoner Zero and the Eyeball Ships looked like something I could've rendered for them) and invisible or "edge of the camera") monsters. While there's nothing wrong with being creative it makes me sad when you think how much money RTD managed to waste on farting aliens, the obligitory horde of Daleks or Toclafane zooming into Earth and back through a plot device at the end of every season and the doubtless expensive pointless cameos or appearances by Barrowman (shakes fist), Piper, Freema, Tate and so on who don't work for free.

Amy - I'm not so down on her being blazé about Time Travel and I suspect the actress's manner makes her difficult to relate to. Thankfully this is easier to explain than say, Rose Tyler, as Amy is bat-crazy thanks to meeting the 11th Doc in her childhood.


Here's some notes on every episode so far:-

The Eleventh Hour - a very good post-regeneration story with typical Moffaty timewimey the only shame is we miss young Amelia 4/5

Beast Below - while this is not particularly well thought out, surprising for Moffat, this is an interesting satire of the British voting system. 3/5.

Victory of the Daleks - even Iain McNeice cannot save this one from being a bit crap. Daleks again. Thankfully they won't be the last survivors of their race... yadayada... anymore. 2/5

Time of the Angels, Flesh & Stone - Genuinely creepy this is Moffat at his best and may be the best 2 parter in a long time. 5/5 - despite the perhaps more creepy ending to part 2.

Vampires of Venice - a fun romp that amuses and looks good. I do hope we get a proper Vampire episode at some point. 3/5

Amy's Choice - another good episode that reminds us this is actually meant to be a sci-fi show. Very clever - almost feels like a clever episode of Star Trek or some such. Hope the Dreamlord comes back. 5/5

The Silurian 2-parter - This is relatively ho-hum and by the numbers, though not so much as the Dalek and Sontaran mid-season 2 parters of yesteryear. The ending to part 2 is a good idea that is not particularly well or dramatically executed. Given the author's track record I think he actually exceeded my expectations. 3/5

Vincent and the Doctor - Pretty good portrayal of a manic-depressive this episode is surprisingly tearjerking. 4/5

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