Tuesday, 31 January 2006

So, erm, That Doctor Who Review, Then...

Well, see, I was going to write what I thought about it, but this page here over at Tachyon TV says it a lot better, and at greater length, than I was planning:
19. ‘We’ve got incoming’

The TARDIS rescues Rose from the Dalek ship.

The stakes had never been higher: the Doctor and the Daleks at loggerheads one last time, with the Doctor’s time-travelling chum the prize. Against seemingly insurmountable odds, the Doctor leads a daring rescue mission into the heart of the Dalek fleet, materialising his ship around Rose and her Dalek captor. No-one - least of all the Daleks or the viewers - expected that one.

You can upset a few hardcore Whovian on the 'net by pointing out the debt Russell T Davies owes to Joss Whedon, the hardcore claim, and have a point, that Doctor Who was intelligent, witty drama for kids long before Ms Summers staked her first vamp, but more than any other comparison I can think of it is apt to look at this new (first or twenty seventh depending on who you ask) season of Doctor Who as a very british answer to Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Davies' Doctor is not so much about the monster of the week, but how the Doctor and his companions deal, or not, with what's going on around them. The monsters are macguffins that make the relationships change. Even the fanboy pleasers like "Dalek" are designed more to show the Doctor and all his different, sometimes contradictory, sides than the Dalek and how Rose is a humanizing influence on them both in the end.

Joss, perhaps, wouldn't have put so many fart gags in the Slitheen episodes, though...

If I found anything wrong with the season then it was it kept the Doctor Who tradition of some of the guest actors being more wooden than a Woodentops family reunion in a forest, but that didn't happen too often.

Speaking of acting Ecclestone's Doctor took some getting used to a first; everything just seemed slightly off. He smiled too readily and too goofily and was a bit too easily satisfied with himself. It becomes obvious after a while, though, that this is intentional. That it was human behaviour as observed by someone who doesn't quite understand humans and, as such, I thought it was a great way to play it.

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