BBC – Doctor Who – Homepage: http://www.bbc.co.uk/doctorwho/
I started watching this with a fair amount of trepidation, having grown up watching the series and having very fond memories of it which have remained largely untarnished even when watching them 20 years later on UK Gold. Yeah, the sets wobble and the acting can be hit-n-miss, but it’s still got appeal. I was pretty turned off by the DVD padding program that preceeded the actual episode by an hour (I found doing the washing up was more satisfying), but I have to echo the views of the friendly paparazzi interviewed for that show: it really is good.
Now I’ll wait for the second episode before getting too excited, but I reserve the right to upgrade that opinion to very good if it carries on in the same vein. I was worried about both the choice of Doctor and assistant, but Chistopher Eccleston does bring a new style to the role, and his rather intense looks have been translated slightly away from rather sinister and mildly terrifying (28 Days Later) towards a character that feels almost full to bursting with knowledge and is impatient to apply it. The best part of the dialogue of the Doctor was the utter and uncompromising geek nature of his reponses: no extra information was offered, and if you couldn’t keep up that’s your problem – no free ride of easy answers either: if you want to impress him you’ll need to not merely keep up but manage to be nearly a jump ahead at times.
Billie Piper was for me an odd casting as assistant, and whilst she was better than I had expected in The Canterbury Tales, I didn’t have high hopes at the start. She was, however, as much of a suprise as the script: apart from a couple of screams that had an echo of Bonnie Langford about them (for me, the worst assistant of the lot), the role was much more interesting with Rose actually bothering to find out more about the Doctor on her own (rather then simply jumping into the Tardis for no adequately explored reason), and the Doctor actually admitting that she had been helpful by the end of the episode.
No, not a Jelly Baby in sight, but special effects that were in keeping with the show; aiding the story without dominating. Not typical Hollywood fare. Nice.
I’ve no idea what my two will think of this in 10 to 15 years time, but they were both silent, with an occasional cuddle along with the comment “I’m not scared” from the big one, and a “Liked it. Little bit scary” from the small one after it ended.
Sounds like the Doctor is indeed back.