Thursday, September 07, 2006

Setting The Record Straight

It’s not that I hate the new Doctor Who. It just doesn’t do it for me, that’s all.

Breathing new life into what was held up as a Great British institution obviously put pressure was on the production team. Earlier this year, working with one of the actors from the show, he mentioned that the filming of the first few episodes had been certainly fraught. So much so that the director and editor were denied invites to that first series’ wrap party.

Of course, after so much hullabaloo, if the first episode had tanked it would have been a boom time for the nation’s florists. More flowers would have been laid outside BBC Television Centre than the Dead Blonde ever got, and the country would probably still be in mourning.

The reason I bring this up, again, is that the Grand Lad brought the subject up once we were out of the office and ensconced at the bar, and then yesterday Our Pal called earlier to gloat that the series had won a bunch at a recent award ceremony. (Although instead of being voted for by its peers, this one was a public vote where ‘best’ usually means ‘favourite’. But that’s neither here nor there).

There were issues I had with that first broadcast which coloured my enjoyment. First off, I left this show behind long ago; years before it finished it’s original run. I loved it when I was a youngster. Adventures in space and bug-eyed monsters! What’s not to like?

Doctor Who, along with the Gerry & Sylvia Anderson puppet shows, was my first introduction to science fiction. This was long before Star Trek appeared on UK screens. But by the late 1970s I moved on and left it behind. It was as simple as that. There were things happening in my life: other programmes and other priorities.

So I wasn’t frothing at the mouth, wetting myself or having any other kind of zesty emission at the thought of it coming back to the screen. I simply associated it as a programme I watched as a child, not an adult.

When I watched the first show of the new series there simply wasn’t a connection. There were some nice lines of dialogue, and the casting was certainly interesting, but it just didn’t come together. For me.

Obviously made for a family audience, it felt like there were, if not compromises, ingredients missing.

Rather than give up, I’d watch the show when I got the chance. I wasn’t sitting down religiously in front of the television waiting for it to start. But if I was in, and it was on, I’d give it a look, each time hoping it would come together.

While the episodes I saw had their moments, there were enough instances that made me want to yank the plug out of the wall or just throw the television out of the window. Because Doctor Who is a family show, it felt like there were instances of adult drama mixed with utter childishness. Maybe the scripts needed another pass. The two halves didn’t gel.

Of course, having recently watched a few repeats on the BBC’s digital channels, some of the episodes don’t seem as bad as they appeared the first time around. Although, that may be because they haven’t got the pantomime theatrics and childish gurning that infused the second series. At least that’s my opinion.

Hopefully now they’ll read this and that’ll the end of it. Just maybe, when we get together for drinks in the future, the bloody subject won’t come up again. After all, there are more important issues we have to deal with.

For a start... How good a James Bond will Daniel Craig be?


At 10:21 pm, Blogger Riddley Walker said...

Hear, hear. ;-)


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