After the Fact

Okay- so low expectations was the way to go…

It wasn’t the soul-destroying semi-embarrasment that the first episode of the last season was. It did have a selection of enjoyable moments. And, when he isn’t making speeches or going that little bit too OTT, David Tennant was very good and a hell of a lot more “Doctor”y than Christopher Eccleston ever was.
However, the first episode of the second season of Doctor Who was still a bit of a bloody mess, and continues Russell T. Davies’ grab-bag method of throwing as much money at the screen in the desperate hope that nobody notices how shonky the story is. (There’s a climax, involving plague carriers being cured- and then infecting other plague carries with a cure- that seemed to make no sense whatsoever.) Just have lots of people running around, lots of CGI (not all of it very convincing), and everyone will be happy. It’s official- I’m not convinced! (And it’s bizarre- George’s opinion was very close. She’s always very vexxed at the fact that she now can’t enjoy something without analysing and criticising it, and every time this happens she glares at me and says “Look what you’ve done to me!!!”)

It’ll be interesting to see how the season progresses- but I’ve yet to be convinced…

2 thoughts on “After the Fact

  1. Less is more. Much more.
    Dr Who has gone from “look, aliens and robots and cool stuff!” to “hmmmm …. I think zombies are popular. How can we write a Dr Who story with zombies in it?”.
    The stories are consistently weak and “en vogue” so as such they say nothing original and don’t even attempt to push the envelope as the original series attempted (and maybe failed, too!). But, even the sound design from the new series is lame – they should spend more money on a decent sound designer and drop the CGI for good old fashioned camera trickery and strong stories.
    In thirty years time the current serials will seem like just another lame sci-fi series that tried to pander to (American) public opinion rather than be bold and awe inspiring. All the “good” stuff is already 30 years old (Daleks, cybermen, etc) and all the “bad” stuff has been “imagineered” beyond soul-less.
    IMO.

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  2. Absolutely! I utterly agree, especially about the sound design. One of the things that people tend to forget is that while classic Who may have frequently looked rickety, it always sounded huge and epic (especially with sound nutcases like Dick Mills and the Radiophonic Workshop at the helm). Certainly, they are leaning on the CGI far too much (and it’s not always the way to go, as most of the lift shaft sequences proved), and it seems to be more of a compilation of the films that Russel T. Davies has watched (Hmm- loved The Matrix… and loved Dawn of the Dead!) rather than an actual decent story. Old Who would rip stuff off (especially during the Hinchcliffe era), but it was actual pastiche, and they’d go the whole hog, not try to swing from camp body-swap humour to gross zombies within a couple of minutes (and how, exactly, did these plague carriers, who’d never been out of their green Matrix-style pods, learn to climb ladders?).
    The new series is going to date like hell- in ten years time, calling someone a “chav” is probably going to sound hilariously tacky, the CGI will be utterly out of date, and all that will be left will be the story. Which… er… isn’t that good. It’d be nice if there was improvements, but actual storytelling seems to be very low on their list of priorities. And my god, I really wish they’d stop milking the “Ah, the Doctor and Rose are so in love!” story thread. There’s nothing more dull and alienating than that kind of self-satisfied “We’re fantastic” vibe (and- just as a tangent- the Doctor’s “There is no higher authority- there’s just me!” line simply made him sound like a moralistic meglomaniac, and illustrated RTD’s incredibly weird and unsympathetic view of the character), and I just hope there’s going to be some serious conflict coming down the wire to shake things up, otherwise it’s going to get very boring, very quickly.
    “They say nothing original and don’t even attempt to push the envelope as the original series attempted (and maybe failed, too!).”
    Absolutely. Who is now a programme that’s officially terrified of failure- and it’s still got Davies’ hilarious determination to do sci-fi but without any actual science fiction. I could cope with the ripped off gags from Futurama and even a film projector five billion years in the future- but why the hell did it look like Cassandra originally came from the Nineteen Thirties?
    Well, I could moan forever, but it’d get rather repetetive. Let’s see what next week has to offer- and then, at the least, we’ve got seven whole episodes without a trace of RTD…

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