New Dr Who series

There’s a hallowed Whydontyou tradition that this blog has to get out a quick comment on any new Dr Who series. The first episode was OK, on balance.

I’m not the world’s biggest fan of Catherine Tate (a UK comedian) and it was a national embarrassment to see Tony Blair mouthing her catchphrases (worse even than his Simpson’s cameo.) Her Dr Who character just seemed like a more sympathetic portrayal of half of her standard comedy characters. All the same, she’s very gifted and wasn’t as irritating as she might have been.

It was telling to realise that I was actually hoping for the return of Billie Piper, although her apperance seems to have just been a two-second teaser. According to the Register, Lily Allen was the top assistant choice in November. I don’t know if that was just a wild Register rumour or if it’s still a possibility. IMHO, the best assistant in the new set of Dr Who series has been Freema Agyeman.

The space ship effects were good. I’m a sucker for well done 3-d graphics and good special effects.

(Except for the hanging bit, which was exactly as silly as almost every other “hanging from the side of a building” scene ever. I mean, just try hanging from anything, even if your life DOESN’T depend on it. If you can manage 15 seconds and you aren’t an experienced mountain climber – total respect. Or try and find a multi-storey building that doesn’t generate its own wind system. )

Cultural refs:

  • A merge of the Supernanny and Anne Robinson stereotypes of bossy female Englishwomen. There aren’t many recognizable examples outside the TV world and some newspaper columns, but, hey, that’s the world now anyway.
  • The supposedly increasingly fat UK population is a really popular topic, of course. Here the idea was that excess lard turned into a life form, which was an entertaining idea.
  • People’s endless desire for any diet pills that will magically trim fat.
  • Office work. Office blocks. Those cages that hold the window cleaners who don’t actually have to abseil down the side of your building.
  • Alien visitor, crop circles and random conspiracy theories. Need I say more. Obviously, they usually turn out to be true in Dr Who.

2 thoughts on “New Dr Who series

  1. Well, as BBC “family viewing” output goes, Dr Who is still head, shoulders, body, legs and about another five miles ahead of the normal dross (a quadrillion variations on ice dancing being the norm).

    I largely agree about Catherine Tate. As a comedian she is actually as funny as a traffic accident involving two school buses, however it seems she can play a straight role a million times better. It is also unusual for the Dr to have an assistant who is 40 years old.

    Another good point: while it is annoying that the Doctor’s travels through time and space normally result in him visiting London around “now” (unlike good old Tom Baker, I might add…) I think this was one of the better ones.

    My main complaint about Dr Who is that it is too short. just over half an hour is no where near long enough to build a plot and then see it to a decent conclusion. Every episode either rushes the start or seems to end much too fast.

    Pacing, BBC, Pacing.

  2. TW
    Yes, I agree, it i streets ahead of any other UK terrestrial “entertainment” programme.
    Sorry. I thought that went without saying.

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