Friday, May 7, 2010

Doctor Who Two

Woo hoo! "Common / People" is a finalist for the CJA's! I feel a little down that the Body/Buffy mashup didn't make it, but okay. It's an honor to be nominated, I guess...

...except that, if this musical Dr. Who video is any indication of the rest of the entrants, I don't think I have a chance...

I especially love the Weeping Angels/Madonna bit at the end. I mean, I like my little animated slashfilm, but damn, THAT was a lot of work. Somebody's got a TB drive to rip stuff to.

But I digress, this post was really just an excuse to not strut about with my chest puffed out like a rooster showing off his feathers, but to talk about how deliriously much I love the new take on Doctor Who by Stephen Moffat.

See that promo? It's kind of crap. It didn't really inspire me to think we'd be seeing anything worth paying attention to, not after David Tennant's incredible run as the tenth Doctor. But after just one episode, I was won over.

Of course, I immediately had to download it as soon as it was available, like many here in the States. The thought of waiting two weeks to see how absolutely horribly they'd screwed up the Doctor was like a death sentence. No, we needed to know NOW how bad it was. And then the reviews came out.

"Pretty good" and "Fantastic" and "Totally won me over" were common phrases, with a few die-hards moaning about the theme music ("They've ruined a classic," please, it's not like they got Lady Gaga to remix it or something... hmmm now there's a thought) or just spoil-sports all around about how things just haven't been the same since Pertwee or Baker or whoever your favorite Doctor was.

I expect every time they change actors, you have to deal with this, but when the original Doctor Who's run stopped you had to actually listen to these people in person at the comic book shop or at the science fiction convention you were attending and what not. Now it's all-pervasive... you can't log on to one of your sci-fi interest sites without a deafening din of outraged or delighted fanboys/girls demanding justice and/or squeeing messily about how great/awful the new thing you used to like is.

So I admit, Matt Smith, in promo pics, wasn't doing it for me. He looked too strange. Out of a lineup of possible Doctors, I doubt I would have picked him. But the first episode, "The Eleventh Hour," hooked me from the very beginning of the show, and never let go.

I won't recap it, because if you care you've seen it and already dismissed or lauded it as a failure/success. I loved it. Sure, the next couple of episodes were kind of light... Starship UK was kind of a so-so mediocore DW ep, and the new Daleks were obviously just a setup for something further down the road. But then "Time of the Angels" aired, and anything I might have been holding back, dreading, were all let go.

I make no apologies that my favorite episodes of the new run of Doctor Who are the more silly ones, totally deus ex machina at the end and such. But my favorite episode so far? "Blink," with the Weeping Angels, a new and terrifying enemy who, by their nature, will probably always lend themselves to thrilling episodes, as long as they're not overused (I'm looking at you, Daleks).

"Blink" was not only one of the best Doctor Who episodes, but it was one of the best time travel stories I've ever watched. While Time Travel is at the core of the Doctor Who mythology, it's not really used all that much except to set up each story, but in this one it was woven into the story perfectly. The Doctor and Martha, trapped in the past without their Tardis, must set up a series of events to give a message to a person in the future that will ensure that the person not only escapes a nasty fate, but provides them with information about the very event they're warning her about somewhere in their past timeline. Genius.

Anyway, the two parter reintroducing the Weeping Angels to DW was simply phenomenal, although I think Brits liked part two a little more than I did. In a very weird turn, I think part two needed more obvious explanation about how things happened, but it was great. And I take back what I said about Matt Smith before; he may be weird looking, but he is an awesome Doctor Who.

Although I still think he has awful hair.

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