Another pretty good Dr Who episode tonight.
Visually, Dr Who is getting better and better. There was better rendering (a good space ship and a bubbling sun) and more interesting lighting (red and blue on the face close-ups) than we’d expect from normally cash-short British tv.
Altogether, it had the look and feel of “proper” sci-fi. Racing headlong into the sun is par for the course. (Solaris, and the film where Bruce Willis has to destroy an asteroid.) So is being trapped on a space ship with an unknown evil entity. (Alien, 2001.) As well as being stalked by a mechanical humanoid figure. (Predator, Terminator, Judge Dredd.) The computer female voice that keeps giving out unemotional messages of the pressure of time (can’t think of a reference sorry, but it seems standard…)
The main visual influence seemed to be the Alien movies (with a nod to Das Boot, but maybe that’s just me.) Both male and female technicians looked like the crew of Alien (vests, combat suits, artfully arranged sweat) . The ship also had the same sort of look and there was an intense claustrophobic feel to the plot, as well as to the sets.
This episode was called “42”, with a nod to Douglas Adams (the “answer to the universe”) and to “24” (the episode was supposed to be in real-time and there was a 42 minute timer countdown providing constant pressure).
So, a bit of an art-house-for-nerds episode. This series is shaping up to be the best one ever. Although this is from someone who loves sci-fi clichÃ©s. And who thinks that the very first Dr Who series – with that weird Quatermassy feel and the old man with long white hair – and the mainly-played for laughs Tom Baker Dr Who were the only really good bits, out of what was often dire.
[tags]42, dr-who, episode, rave, sci-fi, sci-fi-cliches, television, tv, BBC, Douglas Adams[/tags]