Saturday, December 29, 2007

Series 4 Preview

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Voyage of the Darned

Face it, despite the imagery of heaven and hell, gods, devils and messiahs, this years Christmas special lacked the real epic danger you feel with good story telling to warrant being compared to escaping damnation. No, the campy formulaic story was much more like a voyage of the darned. There is a great review of the Christmas special that I think captures what the episode was lacking at Behind the Sofa.

With that said, there were some good moments to the episode, but most of it was due to David Tennant’s solid performance as the Doctor that we have come to expect. This got me thinking, as someone who really wanted to see the Christmas episode and had to go out of my way to try and watch it in the US, I wonder how much this Christmas Special was just produced on automatic pilot? Knowing that after a few months without Doctor Who, as we anxiously await the next season/series, perhaps the Doctor Who production team believes that we are so starving for the Doctor that we will accept sub par stories during what would otherwise be down time.

I think RTD has done a good job over all and reviving the Doctor Who franchise, though I definitely don’t think that the 2007 Christmas special reflects the best of RTD’s vision for Doctor Who. I just think that it would be far too easy to lean on Tennant’s performance to try and pull off cardboard heroics of generic plots. You might be able to get away with this from time to time but it is not sustainable in the long run and not the same kind of story quality that drew us back to the Doctor a few years ago.

I can lived with a Voyage of the Darned on occasion, even just enjoy it as a cheesy popcorn adventure, but I do expect more from series four and hope that “specials” they will be producing in lieu of a hiatus from the show in 2009 will have a quality to them that will stand alone rather than just trying to tide us over to series five. I don’t think any of these specials (Christmas or otherwise) should just be stories that tied as over like a cheap appetizer- they should be made to stand alone as a quality feature that meets and maybe even occasionally exceeds what we have come to expect from the best of the TV series.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Doctor Who Comic Book Preview

The Doctor is coming to the great form of story telling that is told through sequential art and words balloons in January; in other words comic books. Let’s hope for long a successful run of stories. You can check out a preview of the comic HERE.

I think the art looks good, but they do not seem to be able to consistently draw Tennant in a way that is always true to his actual likeness. Some of the frames they have him nailed and others he looks like a 13 year old. Maybe he is hard to draw. Anyway, I am looking forward to checking out the book in January.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Next Time: is to long off for U.S.

Ok, all I want for Christmas is for someone in the UK to record Voyage of the Damned and send it to me in the U.S. in time for the New Year. I don’t even care about quality because I will buy it when it is available; but I just can’t wait till NEXT Christmas to see it when it finally airs in the United States.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

WHO Knew? Doomsday wasn’t the end

With the news of Rose’s return there has been a lot of talk about the Doomsday episode where Rose was (supposedly) lost in a parallel world and never able to be reunited with the Doctor. One of things I have heard often is that the Doomsday episode is somehow ruined and tarnished itself because Rose is coming back.
While I am skeptical of Rose’s return being a good idea, even though I love her character, I would have to disagree that her return would “ruin” the Doomsday episode itself. Yes, her return could ruin Rose’s chance to have the perfect departure from the show because I think the departure of Rose in Doomsday is going to be hard to top. But I don’t think that Doomsday itself looses any of its dramatic effect as a good story itself. Yes, some of the emotional sting is taken away if you’re watching it now and you know Rose will return, but of course if you know what will happed later on in a story or series it will ruin some of the emotional impact. Also the characters during the Doomsday episode don’t know that this isn’t the end and Tennant’s and Piper’s performances are very convincing.

Another complaint I am hearing is that somehow Rose’s return undermines the integrity of the Doomsday story because in that story we were told that it was “impossible” to travel back and forth from parallel worlds. What I find interesting is that in the Doomsday story the term “impossible” certainly had lots of qualifications. The Doctor told Mickey that traveling between parallel worlds used to “be easy” and you could “just drop in for a cup of tea whenever you wanted.” So, I don’t think Rose’s return jeopardizes the integrity of the Doomsday story because in that same story we are told that traveling between parallel worlds ranges from “impossible” to “easy” depending on other factors and circumstances. The other factor we are told is the existence of the Time Lords, so if they return in what I hope will be part of the over all story arc of season 4 then Rose’s return becomes easily accepted as having continuity with what we learned from Doomsday.

It was very clear to me even when I first saw Doomsday way back that the writers left themselves an out to escape the “impossibility” they created in the Doomsday storyline just in case they wanted to bring Rose back. My only hope is that the story they come up with for her return is as epic as her departure. I think having good stories are more important than just having Rose back, and regardless of what happens next (I am hoping for the best) Doomsday was a good story.

I love this youtube video set to Pink’s song Who Knew because it captures the storyline of season 2 extremely well including the emotional impact of Doomsday. My wife can’t watch it because it makes her too sad, but there is a line of hope in the song that get sprinkled in; “until we meet again”. I think that may be one of the reasons why so many of us loved the story line to begin with even though it was extremely sad, because even if we did not pick up on it or really think Rose would actually return the story always had seeds of hope.