Monday, June 11, 2007


So I've been watching the new Doctor Who's, they started off as a "Oo Doctor Who's back on" and have slowly degenerated to "Well there's not much else on in that genre". So what's the problem? Well the decision to have one story per episode over the long-standing tradition of one story per season means not only pressure to come up with about 13 new ideas per series, but also the need to cram that story into 45 minutes (or 90 for a two-parter). As a result the only character development we see is in the Doctor and companion, and they're always running. Every episode I feel someone is remonstrating with me to 'Keep Up'.

Next up is over-reliance on CGI, oh sure the old 'men in rubber suits' and wobbly sets are passée, but it did mean that the writers had to pull your attention from them with strong scripts and storylines; now it's can't think what to do blow something up, have a giant slathering creature running through a building.

Finally we come to the sonic screwdriver, which appears to have become the Swiss Army Knife of the Doctor, can't open a door - sonic screwdriver, can't lock a door - sonic screwdriver, need to detach welded plates - sonic screwdriver, distract Daleks - sonic... ah well you get the point.

So with the exception of the odd twinkle they've been pretty derivative - Doctor +1 arrive, something bad happens, they run around a lot, the Doctor pulls out his sonic screwdriver, the end.

Then we have "Blink", which pulls me apart. On one hand at last we've got a Doctor Who episode worthy of the franchise, on the other it just shows what they could have been doing from the start. Just an old abandoned house and a statue of a weeping angel, no massive explosions, no 'look-at-me' special-effects, no Doctor. Just a slow strongly written episode which brings back the hide-behind-the-sofa psychological scariness that Doctor Who was once famous for. Scares, humour, and a plot you can appreciate; forget your "Are you my mummy?"'s, disregard your "Burn with me"'s - just remember "Don't look away, don't blink. Blink and you're dead".

Oh and next week's episode was advertised with some big explosions and lots of running around <sigh>