Telly Checked*: Doctor Who

Posted on May 11, 2010 by

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I’ve decided this shall be the name of all future articles where I talk about TV stuff. It’s not exactly the height of imagination, but then I expect if I called Ultra Mega Weasel Time, people might not get what I’m on about. Which is to say, television.

I thought that today, we might start off with that old favourite, The Great British institution that is Doctor Who. Now, I’ve been holding off on writing about this because I thought if I wrote an article about how amazing it was after only the first episode was aired, it might come back to bite me in the proverbial buttocks. Fortunately, dear reader, this is not something I would have had to worry about.

So let me start off by saying that yes, I am an enormous Doctor Who fan. To the point where, in a bleak and depressing world, it’s one of the few shining diamonds that I actually get excited about. I cannot, in mere linguistic terms, describe what it is about this show that makes so giddy with gleeous gratification, it simply has an undefinable quality of innocence and wonder about it, which so few other shows have ever been able to create.

I wasn’t the biggest fan of David Tennant’s work in the role, which I know is an admittance that could get me lynched by ravenous Tennant fangirls, but he didn’t appeal to me. I continued to watch, and loved John Simm as the Master, and still found the stories, settings and characters to be interesting, vivid and entertaining, but Tennant was always seemed to careen between being a slapstick comedian and an angsty emo kid. His constant moping honestly got on my nerves, and I was overjoyed when Matt Smith came along, and returned the series to a more retro feeling.

For instance, the time war, and the death of his entire race came up in the excellent second episode, and did Smith break down into tears? Nope, he didn’t really seem that bothered. His interpretation of the Doctor as this ancient bumbling professor in a young mans body is spot-on, and reminiscent of Patrick Troughton and Sylvester McCoy’s doctors. He also feels more… alien. Halfway through his first series, I feel confident in saying that Smith is not only a great Doctor, but one of the greatest.

The supporting cast are as sublime as ever- Karen Gillan as red-headed Scottish dad-bait Amy Pond does a fine job as companion, and continues the trend of female sidekicks who are more than just damsels in distress who need things explaining to them all the time. Her boyfriend Rory, while not used very much so far, shows great potential to evolve as a character through the series, and the vast collection of everyone else (James Corden, Bill Nighy etc) is astounding.

The New TARDIS interior is somewhere I would love to go and just mess around, it looks gorgeous, and I just hope that we get to see more of it over the rest of the season, as one of the big gripes I had with the RTD years was that we only ever got to see the console room and the wardrobe.

The music. Hmm. Now, I don’t dislike the new title music. I’m not going to say it’s been ruined. It’s clearly been composed to hark back to the theme from the 70’s and 80’s, from which the show as a whole draws a lot of its feel, but it doesn’t really stand out as anything. The rest of the music however, courtesy once again of Composer Murray Gold, is superlative. Especially the new Doctors theme- Every Star, Every Planet- which is a beautiful piece of music.

Once again, there is also an over-reaching arc to this series of Doctor Who- the cracks from the end of time, and the coming silence. Ominous stuff indeed. Why doesn’t Amy remember the Daleks? We’ll find out soon enough. If you haven’t been watching it, shame on you- get on BBC iPlayer right now and catch up. Because this show is one of the best on TV.

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Posted in: TV