Monday, March 28, 2005

He's Back - no, really, this time he is...

And so it wasn't as poor as I feared, nor as brilliant as I hoped, but definitely leaning towards the side of the good. This is particularly true after watching it a second time just now, a day or so after the first viewing, and after I've allowed my more fan-boy reactions to give way to slightly more sensible thought.

Worst thing out of the way first - the whole wheelie bin thing. I have every sympathy with the reason for having a wheelie bin swallow someone and burp afterwards - it provdes big laughs for the watching 8 year olds. I also have no problem with Rose not spotting Mickey had been nabbed by the Nestene - for 26 years Dr Who required far greater stupidity from far more intelligent people on a regular basis, so long as it suited the plot. But unfortunately, it just looked crap and not the level of special effects I'd been expecting. The CGI was especially obvious during the portion when Mickey had his back to the bin and his hands in the air, but in general it all just looked rubbish.

Second bad thing, second - the incidental music. Actually, the entire opening segment played to a pastiche of the Mission:Impossible theme just seemed very old fashioned and dull to me, but the incidental music throughout was frankly misjudged and added nothing to the drama. Added to that the sound levels at the end in the presence of the Nestene were a bit off andf I couldn't tell what the Doctor was saying on several occasions.

All the great stuff, now.

Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper - Marvellous. Eccleston pinned his Doctor down in the space of two scenes and Piper can actually act.

The writing - Loads of great moments for all concerned. Rose entering the TARDIS for the first time; the Doctor not bothering to go all techno-babble when asked how things work ('you wouldn't understand' is all we need to hear); Eccelston's little look in the mirror and comment about his ears; the hurt look on the Doctor's face when he thinks Rose isn't going with him; the lovely Faction Paradox sound of the Shadow Proclamations; Clive's wife getting a a dig in at fanboys and - best of all - the Doctor's beaming pride in his TARDIS ('it's a disguise') and Rose's incredibly happy look as she runs towards the Doctor at the end. And that's not them all - this 44 minute bit of Who has more wonderful writing moments than all the Baker/McCoy years combined.

And finally, the plot - I know this sounds a bit silly, given that everyone has bemoaned the lack of plot in this first outing, but I loved the fact that old-time fans of the series would recignise Rose for what it was - the last episode of a four parter. It doesn't need a plot as such - all the plot bit went on before we started watching and all that's left is the mopping up. The Doctor confronts the baddie, gets in a spot of trouble and then gets out of it again, destroying the baddie on the way. They maybe can't do that for every episode, but it worked beautiflly here.

I still don't like the TARDIS interior set, mind (well it wouldn't do for any Who fan to
be that positive...
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Blogger alienvoord said...

I loved the incidental music, but I seem to be the only one.

4:06 pm  
Blogger Stuart Douglas said...

It just seemed so in your face to me, frequently obscuring the dialogue.

It's hardly the greatest sin the new series could have committed though and there were so many good things to enjoy that it's an easy one to forgive.

4:15 pm  
Blogger Stuart Douglas said...

It was much better this week, so maybe I was just looking for something to criticise in the first episode, so that I looked a little less biased :)

7:17 pm  

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