chris boring (doktor242) wrote,
chris boring
doktor242

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Doctorin' The TARDIS

So I downloaded the first episode of the new Doctor Who series that Warren Ellis was talking about here. (It's on alt.binaries.drwho if you're into news groups. It's also on all the still-extant bittorrent sites.)


The new Doctor, Christopher Eccleston

I can see why Warren said most Americans wouldn't like it. It's very, very British. This is, of course, a good thing, in fact is why I liked the original series so much. Christopher Eccleston is wonderful as the Dcotor, and Billie Piper is a credible companion. Eccleston catches the manic glee of Tom Baker and mixes it nicely with the sort of madcap quality of Sylvester McCoy. Ms. Piper reminds me a bit of Katy Manning from the Pertwee era, only not nearly as much of a screamer.


The new companion, Rose, played by Billie Piper

Bryan Hitch's newly designed TARDIS interior is quite striking, weaving together the 1995 TV movie set, the classic TARDIS control room, and that auxiliary control room from mid-run Tom Baker episodes quite nicely. The familiar exterior is still there for those who were worried that the chameleon circuit might be fixed this time around. The redesigned sonic screwdriver's not bad either.

Anyway, the villain this time out is the Autons, not seen since the Pertwee era, but really a super creepy villain as Who villains go. The marauding army of mannequins is really quite well done. The special effects are better than we're used to seeing on Doctor Who, but then that's not really saying much!!! There were one or two moments of bad CGI, but on the whole, it was quite nice to look at. The incidental music, as Warren pointed out, was sort of crap. I didn't have a big issue with the titles as Warren did, and the new theme song is really quite like the original Delia Derbyshire/Ron Grainger version, you can tell they have a lot of reverence for the original material.

The one thing I really, really liked about this show that's 100% different than the original is the pacing. In the old days, it was 3-7 22 minute episodes per story, whereas this is a single self contained 45 minute story. A lot of older Who episodes lagged a lot in the middle section, but this one hits the ground running and keeps you entertained consistently.

On the whole, I'm giving this 9 out of 10. They really nailed the combination of humor, action, and story that made Who great, and picked up the tempo while retaining the feel of the original show. I'll be grabbing this each week after it's BBC debut on the 26th. Hopefully, they'll run it on US TV as well.
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