Saturday, March 26, 2005

One

1: Have you noticed how everytime there's a first espisode of Doctor Who, a world leader dies? Well, in this case, an ex-world leader, but still.

2: Friends started ringing within three minutes of the closing credits, and I said "go away", let me get my thoughts on-line first.

3: Nick is staying with me. .There were no crumpets to be had in Tescos, not ever for ready money. To get the full experience, I even laid on a DVD of Basil Brush. (It was crap.)

And the verdict is.

Stunned. Desperate wish to see it again. Desperate wish to see next week's immediately. Strange interstitial territory between a completely new series that I think I would be very interested in from cold, and odd sense of familiarity.

Sense of entering story "in media res." The Doctor is already involved in an adventure. Rose blunders into it. We see "The Dcotor" from the outside. "The Doctor" is portrayed as mysterious and Other. Ecclestone is very Bakerish, going from impishness to occassional moments of seroiusness. (Not enough of the latter, I felt, maybe too much sense that he (the Doctor) ) was treated what was going on as a game.) I loved the way he seemed to have contempt for these stupid humans, except that he was risking his life to save them. Maybe too frenetic, too much rushing between scenes, not enough pausing to take in the atmosphere.

Rose very believable as a character. Felt to me a bit "like something out of Eastenders", but that's probably good short hand for "ordinary mortal." No attempt to make her an old school "screaming girl menaced by baddies", of course, but still very recognisable as a Who companion.

Had some doubt about re-design of TARDIS interior, although the set itself was very impressive.
Like the fact that the Doctor was "an alien" with no backstory. Liked the conspiracy theorist hunting him on the net. Liked all the London landmarks. Me and Nick laughed out loud at the London Eye gag.

Thought the CGI looked a little phony; and had a tendency to make the aliens look like cartoon characters. When one of the Autons "morphs" its plastic hand into an axe to attack the Doctor with, I thought of Bugs Bunny.

Opening sequence and theme music very dynamic. As one final nod of the head to nostalgia junkies, the announcer made innane comments over the clsoing credits, so we couldn't hear the new theme tune.

Paul McGann was a character who was definitely the Doctor in something which definitely wasn't Doctor Who. Chris Eccleston is a character who is probably the Doctor in something which is definitely Doctor Who.

Again again. Again again. Again, again.

8 comments:

Mike Taylor said...

That's all very well, but what we really want to know is whether it's true that you play Archie The Inventory in Balamory.

Louise H. said...

I've never been a bit Doctor Who fan, mainly due to my mother deciding it was unsuitable and therefore never seeing it as a child, but I thought this was superb. I knew it had me hooked when the Guardian review mentioned Rose flunking her A levels and I seriously thought about writing to correct them!

I thought the review was spot on in saying that it has pulled a lot of its style from Buffy/Angel, although I don't know how much of the B/A style was originally Doctor Who.

Charles Filson said...

I know that many in European countries and Britain are a bit concerned over America's apparent 'go-it-alone' stance. Which I find somewhat credible.

So why do you seek to exacerbate this problem by isolating us and denying us the benefits of your culture?

In other words: When can I watch Dr. Who in America!?!

Kevin C. said...

I'm not a great Doctor Who fan, but I rather enjoyed it while it was happening.

Once it was finished and I thought back on it, I was a little disappointed that there were no real ideas in it. But it was a first episode, setting a scene and introducing characters, so perhaps that's fine. I was entirely happy with the effects.

I'll watch next week.

Flash said...

Interesting that you consider it to be like Bugs Bunny, while I was thinking of Terminator 2. Ah well, I'll go back to an image of Arnie going "what's up doc?". And maybe another drink.

Meanwhile, the single thing I didn't like the most was the fact that on the inside of the TARDIS you could see the interior of the police-box doors. For some reason that seemed plain wrong. It links the inside to the outside. Does this make me an official geek?

Oh, and Japanese whisky has no 'e', by the way - theirs was set up by Scotsmen rather than the Irish who set up most of the American (apart from the Welshmen who don't use 'e's either).

Colin S said...

Actually I was highly impressed with the Autons: until I read Andrew's comments that is. You see it's Doctor Who- therefore the bad guys always were and always will be Actors-In-Rubber/Tin/Foam-Suits. I just thought they were stunningly good Actors-In-RTF-Suits and I'm bitterly disappointed that Andrew saw fit to point out that it was actually CGI. I did find it very odd that the only plastics that seemed affected by the core-thingy was one wheelie bin and every shop dummy ; even odder that the shop dummies evolved from, basically, thumping things, to explosive weapons; and oddest indeed that during the climactic battle scene the mother was able to carry on a conversation over a mobile phone, which is, of course, mostly plastic. The least I was expecting was the thing to grow tentacles and strangle her.
Yours, Colin

Andrew Rilstone said...

Meanwhile, the single thing I didn't like the most was the fact that on the inside of the TARDIS you could see the interior of the police-box doors. For some reason that seemed plain wrong. It links the inside to the outside. Does this make me an official geek?

Yes. The basic fact about the TARDIS is that it is Bigger on the Inside Than The Outside. The question of why and how and in what way the inside and the outside are connected is a matter of interpretation. I rather like the fact that you can now see the "Police Box" doors from in the inside, because it underlines the impossibility of it all.

I think that Graham Williams or someone came up with the idea that the police box was an external construct which allowed you to enter the time machine, which was "stored" somewhere else, in "hyperspace" or what not. That makes it all very rational and comfortable. I much prefer the notion that it actually is bigger on the insider. Which is impossible.

I did find it very odd that the only plastics that seemed affected by the core-thingy was one wheelie bin and every shop dummy ; even odder that the shop dummies evolved from, basically, thumping things, to explosive weapons...

In the original Auton story, the Consciousness only controlled specific bits of plastic which it had created, and then only to do a small range of things. So it constructed an army of dummies with guns in their hands and arranged from them to be sent out to shops all over the country; similarly it constructed killer plastic daffodils and armchairs.

This shows up a possible chink in RTDs armour. He (very properly) wants to avoid exposition and back story: "The Nestene consciousness. It brings plastic to life." But when the action sequence starts, he wants to pay homage to the classic Who icons of yore, in this case, dummies smashing out of shop windows with guns in their hands. But this doesn't quite fit in with his truncated back-story.

Similarly, a curmudgeon might say; "In what way was the Eye a transmitter: was the Consciousness just using a convenient lump of metal, or are we being asked to believe that it had infiltrated the whole of London's millennium celebration?" It didn't really make sense: it was in there because it seemed cool at the time. In this case, it didn't spoil this story, because it was clear that Rose had come in around part 6 of an on-going story. But I wouldn't want it to become a regular feature of the story telling.

Flash said...

Sorry to go back to the doors, but I've just realised how much it annoys me.

The interior of the TARDIS is somewhere else, hence the doors aren't actually insides and outsides.

Plus, surely the chameleon thingie is still a concept in existence, even if it doesn't work. If in the past you'd seen police-box doors on the inside then you wouldn't have had to go outside to discover that it hadn't changed.

And of course it's terribly gauche to have a house with doors entering directly onto the street. Not exactly des res, is it?