Sunday, July 09, 2006

Tardis lands in London (again)

Last year I wrote this, Who's for some Who? reviewing the (then) new Dr Who, with the incredible Christopher Ecclescake. As the second series ends it's worth having a look at how the two compare.

The changing faces of the CybermenDavid Tennant had big shoes to fill as the new Doctor, and ultimately did so rather unsatisfactorily in my view. He's personable enough but where Chris could make the Earth stand still with a carefully placed stare, Dave tries the same trick and fails, just.

It's a shame he doesn't use his real Scottish accent which simply makes me melt every time I hear it - but Essex is in and you can't argue with fashion can you?

One positive aspect has been that it has continued to try to freak kids out. Kids can't be freaked out enough. It's also retained the more democratic, casual and egalitarian ethos - and I can't help thinking it unconsciously reflects the changing relationships between kids and their school teachers particularly.

However, the plots continue to be derivative and the sentimentality that was touching last time had a more sickly, time wasting feel.

The episode where people were turned into drawings had a cool spooky feel reminiscent of the best of Sapphire and Steel (most of you are probably too young to remember that) but as it was a direct rehash of an earlier episode where everyone was sucked into the TV sets it began to grate somewhat.

Despite the fact that I've come to rather like Billie Piper it's also a shame she wasn't squished in the time vortex as I'd hoped - there have been far too many resurrections and returning characters. Come on. When you're dead you're dead, let's all learn that - you can't pull the same trick over and again - there is a law of decreasing returns.

It's still watchable, well put together, well acted and well scripted - but the overall plot continues to have real weaknesses, the monsters lack the horror of their predecessors (maybe that's my age though) and they don't seem to be able to get out of Earth's orbit let alone explore the full range of time and space.

But I'm sticking with it - despite the shudder of disgust on discovering that the irritating Catherine Tate is to be in the Christmas Special. Hurmpf.

1 comment:

morbo said...

I'm new to doctor who, and hadnt even watched the ecclescake series, I think it's absolutely brilliant, the older series of doctor who always put me off with the sheer tackiness, never mind, must be the new slick commercialised future huh?

Cybermen vs the daleks was the best stuff