What Who needs to do this year is go back to the roots of the revival. That’s my thinking.
I appreciate that over the last few years, we have experienced a rebirth and with it, the guidings hands involved have taken it upon themselves to try different approaches.
All the series have had an arc plot – which I like. I can’t argue with the concept of that. When you’re watching a show for a baker’s dozen of episodes, it’s nice to have a sense that you’re involved at a deeper level than a more casual viewer. I get that. It means that someone can come in and have an experience of Who for the first time without necessarily needing to undergo a pre-viewing training session. On the other hand, those who have spent the time coming back time and again have the chance to see a bigger story develop.
Of course, those who commit themselves to the Doctor Who concept on a yet wider level can have the appreciation of a meta-plot. Gallifrey and the Time Lords actions in the Time War has offered this. The Doctor has struggled with the actions of his people and the steps they took. For those viewing the new series since Eccleston, the Time War has been a background hum from the outset. Since the second episode, when Jabe, of the Forest of Cheem, recognised the Doctor and saw the pain in his existing as the last of his kind – we have been on a journey.
Beyond plots, we have had some great writers – especially some of the guest writers in the last couple of series, superb guest actors, marvellous leads, fine villains – and the triumphs of the anniversary episode…
However, at the same time, we have lost some of the wonder, and certainly lost the sense of regularity.
My wife’s key criticism of the JJ Abram’s near future sci-fi series Revolution, currently showing on Sky in the UK, related to the plants.
If civilisation collapsed 15 years ago, what’s with the plants growing all over the buildings in major cities? How come the plants grew rampant, but not quite so rampant as to be aesthetically displeasing…
My question would take a slightly different focus – why so little destruction in the urban landscape of the Revolution future? Is that down to the aesthetics also?
Last Summer, the UK experienced widespread riots and looting in major cities. The other day, someone blew up a forecourt cash machine with explosives.
If the power goes out and the leaders lose control (and interest), why wouldn’t the whole world completely go to shit. Wouldn’t the people with anti-social tendencies, tenuously controlled and restrained by current authorities, just go ape-shit when everything collapsed? Wouldn’t the mad, the bad, and the dangerous to ang around with find flammables and explosives and then lay waste to almost everything?
Never mind the vines… Why are the buildings still standing?!
Yesterday, I watched ‘A Good Man Goes to War‘, and I like it. No, I love it. For some reason, it works as an episode introducing the new season (or at least the second part), piles on new characters like they’re going to be relevant (which they haven’t been until the 2012 Christmas Special) and progresses the story of River Song by leaps and bounds (which for some might be a turn-off, by I have always loved the River Arc and have the hots for Alex Kingston).
As a roleplayer, the episode stands up as a great model for starting a campaign. You get a pretty solid story, a pile of new characters, an immediate challenge for the characters to face, and an ongoing quest to latch future adventures off. You have rich back story potential in the Madame Vastra, for example, or Strax – aliens who have lives that work against the norm. Sontaran Strax has a penance to serve, set by The Doctor, and he does his best to keep to his word. He vows to punish and defeat everyone once he had served his time – but plods on helping and healing in the meantime. Like River Song, his story ends here – but we know that much has come before and we have glimpse some of that in the 2012 Christmas Special.
The brief appearance of the Cybermen provides the chance for action and explosions without needing to get them directly involved. The presence of the Cyber-fleet adds to a cinematic quality. I found the whole episode felt like a film more than an average episode of the series. When you felt like you’d reached a conclusion toward the end, they tack on a little bit more than supplies a necessary twist that would drive through the rest of the season.