Monday, 7 April 2008

The beginning of the end?

I was looking through the Doctor Who Forum today and I came across a thread on the section discussing 'Partners in Crime' that was entitled 'The Beginning of the End?' Basically it was a thread that's quite typical in Doctor Who forums nowadays wherein a number of fans bitterly complain about the latest episode of Doctor Who and consider it so bad that it spells doom for the show, for all I know, the end of civilization as we know it.

Now I'm not going to to criticise anyone for giving their opinion. Let's be honest it'd be pretty hypocritical of me to do that given that I'll be doing the same thing shortly. But really, 'the beginnig of the end' is just a touch melodramatic isn't it? Not only that, but the impression I got from that thread was that people were passing judgment not just on that episode but on the whole of Series 4 when only one episode had been shown. And that, to me, is just ridiculous. It'd be like trying to write a detailed biography of Kate Winslet when all you've seen her in is that scene in Titanic when she takes her clothes off. In short, if you're going to pass judgment on anything it's best to wait till after the event before you do so.

Anyway rant over.

I did, of course watch 'Partners in Crime' and I was quite impressed. Admittedly I didn't go in with high expectations which may explain why I was so pleased with it. It might also explain why the 'beginning of the end' people weren't so impressed. I think it's very easy, particularly at the start of a new series to go in with unnaturally high expectations. I'm not quite sure what it is that some people expect but whatever it is, it's the opposite of what I expect.

Traditionally the opening episode of each series has been rather lighter in tone than later episodes and so I wasn't in the least bit surprised to find that the case with 'Partners in Crime'. But of all the season openers this is by far the most comedic; in fact it may the most comedic episode of Doctor Who since the series returned. And that, in my opinion is no bad thing. I can't remember when we last had a light-hearted episode of Doctor Who, The Shakepeare Code perhaps? Series 3 was pretty grim for the most part and even Voyage of the Damned was somewhat downbeat.

So in many ways 'Partners in Crime came as a great relief to me. The fun-loving Doctor is back! I was starting to miss him.

One other thing that struck me about the humour was that there was a lot of visual comedy and sight gags, more so than usual I think. Particular favourite moments for me were the scene in the office where the Doctor and Donna just keep missing eachother, the bit with Donna's grandfather and the alien spaceship and, of course, the eventual meeting between Donna and the Doctor - possibly one of the funniest Doctor Who scenes ever.

Speaking of Donna, I have to say that, at this stage I really like her. Her character's been toned down since we last saw her but not too much. So, at the moment she's refreshing without being annoying. That opinion may well change of course in future weeks.

I even liked the little Adipose creatures. Yes, they did look somewhat basic but they were supposed to be made out of fat so I don't know how else they were supposed to look. That said I think they should have dispensed with CGI, made the Adipose out of plasticine and got someone like Aardman Animations to animate them. They'd have looked even better then. Though adimttedly we'd still we waiting to watch the episode if they had done that.

And just a brief mention of Rose's return. Totally unexpected (by me at least), very exciting but what does it all mean? I guess time will tell.

I was going to mention the last episode of Torchwood but I don't really have time right now. All I will say is: is Owen the only character in TV history to die twice within just one series? Boy, is he unlucky.

Mark C

Sunday, 6 April 2008

It All Begins (Again)

And so Series 4 of Doctor Who has begun and it seemed like a good time to start a new Doctor Who blog. Some people might say that there's already plenty of them but well there's always room for one more isn't there?

Basically all I want to do with this blog is just give my views on all things Doctor Who. And I want to be a broad as possible so I'll be talking about the new series, the old series, the books, the CDs...basically whatever takes my fancy. Oh and I'll probably talk about Torchwood and the Sarah Jane Adventures too from time to time.

One thing I will say though and that is that I don't do spoilers. If you've got a hot scoop from someone who knows someone whose uncle's cousin's daughter's boyfriend works on Doctor Who then I don't want to know. I like to be surprised by my TV wherever possible so I do my best to avoid spoilers, not that I always can. So if anyone wants to post a comment please bear that in mind, thanks.

Having said that, when I write about a TV episode or a book or a CD I'm going to be assuming that the reader has also watched/read/listened to said story. So, just to warn you, if you don't want to be spoiled yourselves then you may want to read certain parts of this blog with caution.

It's been quite a Who-ey weekend what with the end of Torchwood Series 2 and the start of Series 4 of Doctor Who (series 4 already? hard to imagine) but I think I'll leave off writing my thoughts on those till next time.

Mark C