Apr, 2006

Tooth and Claw: First Glance

I thoroughly enjoyed ‘Tooth and Claw‘ at the weekend – even though a time disfunction (i.e. my kitchen clock running slow) led to my missing the first 10 minutes or so of the episode. Luckily, the story proved simple enough to pick up. I could ascertain something was amiss in the house without seeing the monks initial attack and imprisonment of the staff and the lord’s wife.

Bad timing aside, I enjoyed the story, the CGI effects, the Doctor’s ‘real’ accent, Rose’s desperate efforts to get Queen Victoria to utter her classic line concerning not being amused and the revelations at the end of the episode. It all added up to a brilliant story – and I have to say (having watched Underworld last night) that the BBC really excelled in rendering the wolf at the heart of the story.

Brilliant – and, at times, actually pretty hide-behind-the-sofa scary.

By Royal Appointment

Just caught a report on Sky News with Prince Andrew. In general discussion with the reporter, the Prince reminisced about his childhood and mentioned they sometimes watched television. At weekends, they watched Grandstand on a Saturday and cricket on a Sunday… And, the Andrew admitted to having been bought up on the original Doctor Who, hiding behind the furniture. Superb.

60 for 3

I just saw India Fisher (Charley, companion to the Eighth Doctor) in a Vodaphone advert. It’s one of the current series that shows a mobile user getting a conversation seconds long instead of the significant higher amount of time they’d get with Vodaphone… The odd thing about it… well, India had brown hair, rather than her previous blonde. As it happens, it seems this might be her current (or natural) colour – as seen on the Big Finish site.

Oh Flip

You know, having read through Time Lord again… the one thing that really bugs me is the dice. All this stuff about rolling two dice and deducting the result of one from the other to get a final score of 0 to 5. I mean… what’s that all about? It seems to be a sluggish, ill-conceived mechanic… or am I just missing something? Why not just roll one six-sided die and deduct one from the final result? Or, better yet, go for something more in keeping with the style of The Doctor and leave everything to the flip of a coin instead? You could decide that you need heads to score anything and then throw five coins on to the table. If you get all tails, you get a zero. If you get all heads, you get five. I’m sure I don’t need to cover the results inbetween – but I hope you get my meaning.

Am I the only one who has a problem with this?

New Earth: First Glance

boe.jpgThe new series of Doctor Who started last night with the episode New Earth. It isn’t a spoiler at all to note that this episode features the return of Lady Cassandra (the stretched piece of skin representing the last of pure blooded Humanity in the year 5,000,000) and The Face of Boe, providing a comforting link into the previous series for fans… but providing enough exposition to allow for anyone who only just started watching.

New Earth (the name of the planet) provides a home for an hospital where the resident felinesque nuns provide incredible cures for every disease. The Doctor provides a clue that something’s amiss when he highlights a certain disease – that causes petrification – won’t have a cure for another thousand years… and yet, moments later the patient has undergone a miraculous return to full health.

Both Rose and the Doctor have plenty of moments for camp acting, perhaps the only thing that might put a newcomer off. The story demands some thoroughly out-of-character moments that might leave many viewers reeling; not out of confusion, but out of an uneasy sensation that we’ve returned to the slightly uncomfortable moments at the start of the Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy regenerations, when somehow the script made the Doctor a blithering idiot or an outright clown for no reason at all. You might wander whether the instability of regeneration actually amounts to nothing more than an excuse for an odd script.

Otherwise, a good story with some entertaining and engaging moments, a little rushed (rather like the Auton story of the last Doctor). The special effects work sometimes (great landscapes, huge rooms), sometimes don’t (you’ll know when you see them).

Also, I could swear at one point they reuse the set from the when the Ninth Doctor met the Nestene Consciousness to provide a backdrop to the intensive care unit of New Earth.

Regeneration

Having spent all too long trying to be clever with my home grown blog, I have decided it would be far simpler to maintain this site with… well, a real blog. So, here it is.

As a result of this massive technological leap forward, expect far more regular content updates on this site – as well as a progressive inclusion of some old material. I hope, as well, to finally complete my indepth meandering through the FASA Doctor Who role-playing game… amongst other things.

I will also have something to say about the new Doctor Who series running in the UK at the moment. I will do my level best to make it really clear when I have a spoiler – and take measure to make it invisible to the casual reader… perhaps by making the text the same colour as the page and requiring that you highlight to see what has to be said. Suffice to say, I’ll give all due warnings.

Anyway… I had best get to work.