02 January 2010

Bringing in the new year with some sci-fi (1)

Happy New Year everybody.

New Years' Day is always a good day for watching a lot of TV - provided you're in a fit state to get out of bed. These days my new year's eves are considerably less crazy than back in the 20th century, so I was able to spend most of the day glued to BBC iPlayer or indeed to live transmissions.

David Tennant's final appearance in Doctor Who in "The End of Time Parts 1 & 2" proved to be pretty much as overblown as Battlestar Galactica's finale "Daybreak Parts 1 & 2" from last year, but was nonetheless excellent. Without giving plot spoilers away to those of you who haven't got this one on iPlayer yet, overseas readers(?) or merely those who don't give a monkeys, one thing I liked was that not all loose ends were tied up. For example, we still have very little idea who "the woman" (Claire Bloom's character) is. One for down the line, hopefully.

Anyway it was a good send-off for a Doctor who I'd rank as one of the best ever: for me it's hard to see how anyone could do better than Tom Baker in the role, but Tennant and Chris Ecclestone both had a damn good try, and the strength of the lead actor (along with the co-stars - Bernard Cribbins and John Simm were both superb in "The End of Time", for instance") is one reason the show has done so well. Although the quality of the writing - which has been mostly excellent - counts for a hell of a lot as well.

There seems to be a section of the fanbase out there who hate Russell T Davies and think he has destroyed the show. To whom my response is: who else could have done this well with the show over 5 years? OK, so Russell does have a weakness for overblown storylines, romantic subplots, and reality TV shows. But while these elements can occasionally tip the show into ludicrousness, they do make it fun to watch - which after all was supposed to be the point in the first place? Personally I think RTD is a genius and good luck to him in whatever he does next.

If you want a great laugh, do a search on Twitter for #doctorwho - some of the comments had me falling off my chair with laughter. One person said, for instance, "I wasn't impressed with Matt Smith's performance". What, based on 60 seconds of screen time? Jeez there are some lunatics out there. I've no idea if Smith will be any good at all - never seen him in any previous stuff he's done - but the production team have got it right twice before so for the moment, I'll be giving them the benefit of the doubt. Anyway, roll on spring 2010 for the new series. In the event of a Tory election victory, it could be one of the only reasons for staying in the country...


red two said...

Agree on most counts, but not on RTD. Schmaltzy and vain for the most part, although "The End of Time" was somewhat restrained on this count compared to previous offerings.

The acting (and casting) has been fantastic though.

giroscoper said...

Plus you never liked Torchwood... what was it you called it? "Handle-turning twaddle?" Great.