Archive for January, 2011

Doctor Who 27/05/96 – The TV Movie

Posted in Doctor Who on January 17, 2011 by watsonprime

There has never in the entire history of mankind been a topic that has caused as much debate as the 1996 Doctor Who TV Movie starring Paul McGann as the 8th Doctor. Concieved as a way of introducing Doctor Who to American audiences, as well as rebooting the series, the movie, made by FOX is something that has caused a great deal of controversy amongst fans of the original series. The movie shows us a newly regenerated Doctor fighting the Master on the eve of the Millenium.

There are a lot of good things about The Movie, and there are a lot of bad things so I’ve decided to split up the review.

BAD THINGS

• Straight away, we are treated to a narration by the 8th Doctor, telling of how, on the planet Skaro, the Daleks put the Master on trial for his various crimes, and not only that, but they offered him one last request, which was for the Doctor to bring his remains to Skaro. This raises several questions straight away, such as, why on earth are the Daleks putting the Master on trial? Why, would they grant him a last request? How would they contact the Doctor? How could they contact the Doctor and not try to kill him? Why would the Doctor agree to a request from the Daleks and The Master combined? Why do the Daleks have such high pitched voices? Why include the Daleks at all in this film?

As this was an attempt at reaching people who had never seen Doctor Who before, it seems sensible to include some things that audiences might recognise, hence the inclusion of the Daleks, the Daleks much like the TARDIS are instantly recognisable to most people, even if they’ve never heard of a sonic screwdriver or what Gallifrey is, and including them might help people form a link with the plot. But we never actually see them, and their voices are unrecognisable, so any connection that could have been made is lost. Not only that, but we find that they are in the practice of putting their enemies on trial, instead of, y’know, exterminating them, which is pretty much what they’re famous for.

• The Seventh Doctor’s death is one of the most dissapointing things in the movie, considering that this was supposed to be the most manipulative and prepared incarnations of the Doctor, it seems incredibly out of character for him to just walk out of the TARDIS into a gunfight. While it’s not the worst death The Doctor has ever had (that honour goes to the poor 6th Doctor banging his head on the TARDIS console) considering that this may be the first time new audiences see The Doctor it’s not the best introduction the character could have had.

• No umbrella. Considering the many references to previous Doctors, the fact that we see the 7th Doctor without his trusty question mark umbrella is criminal.

• It is revealed The Doctor is half human, which is clearly an attempt to remind American audiences of that other long running sci-fi show Star Trek. The whole half-human debacle makes no sense in the grand scheme of things, apart from helping people feel less disgusted when they remember that The Doctor and Grace are an entirely different species. Later Doctor Who stories have tried to retcon this, but nevertheless, it doesn’t fit into the plot and seems a rather pointless change to the character.

• The Master while possesing a human body can spit acid which can either paralyze you or put you under The Master’s control, this makes literally no sense, is never explained, and doesn’t fit with any previous continuity. I can accept that The Master’s will to live is so strong that he can turn into some sort of psychic snake and that he is incredibly charismatic and hypnotic, but he mentions several times that the body he is using is human, so where does the acid spit come from?

• Apparently the only way to open the Eye of Harmony is to have a human eye look into it. Wait, what? Why on Gallifrey would the Time Lords build something that could only be opened by humans? It’s not like the Time Lords were particularly chummy with humans.

• I’m still not 100% sure how Grace and Chang Li come back to life, it’s something to do with going back in time and the Eye of Harmony closing. I think.

GOOD THINGS

• Paul McGann, obviously, is fantastic. Much has been said about how wasted he was in the plot and how much of a shame it is that he never got to be The Doctor for longer (in a visual medium at least). There’s not much to say that hasn’t already been said, but it really is a fantastic performance and one that seems to have set a template for the next Doctors.

• The TARDIS interior is probably my favourite thing about the whole movie, while all the previous redesigns were just variations on the original 1963 design, the movie’s TARDIS is magnificent. It’s huge and gothic, with candles and clocks all over the place. The central console looks amazing too, and still requires a sharp knock every now and then to keep it going.

• Considering that Sylvester McCoy era Doctor Who had quite possibly the worst opening credits out of all the various versions of the theme, it is refreshing to see (and hear) that the movie theme is an orchestral interpretation set to an opening credits sequence reminiscent of Tom Baker’s era. While it’s a bit of a departure from the electronic sounds of previous themes, I feel that it’s an appropriate start to the movie and immediately adds a cinematic touch to the whole thing.

• While casting Eric Roberts as the Master seems like an odd choice, I think he did rather well. While he is probably the worst of the Masters, he is by no means terrible. The Master is supposed to be charismatic to the point of hypnotic, which I think Roberts pulls off pretty well in the scene where he entices Chang Li to the “Dark Side”. But the main character trait of The Master is that he is (possibly unwillingly) ridiculously camp, something that Roberts manages to succeed in being without going over the top. His little flourish when he emerges wearing his Time Lord robes is pure Master, evil – but looking good.

• Ultimately the best part about the movie is that without it, we wouldn’t have the Doctor Who we have today. From the majestic orchestral opening credits with a TARDIS flying through a time tunnel, to the grand, architecturally impressive console room, to the romantic hook, it is fairly safe to say that had the movie not laid down the groundwork for the new-Who, we would have a very different interpretation of the character today.

Overall, I like it, while the property could have been handled better, it was still a valiant effort, and considering the BBC had fallen out of love with Doctor Who, I’m glad that somebody at least tried something new with it.

Misfits Season 2 Christmas Special Review

Posted in Misfits reviews on January 13, 2011 by watsonprime

Merry Chrismisfits!

On Sunday the 19th of December 2010 was the season finale/Christmas special of Misfits Season 2, and what a fantastic series it has been. I can think of few programs that are as well put together and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. The Christmas Special finds the gang three months after the last episode, trying to make it in the world after having finished their community service, Simon is in training to becoming Superhoodie and is in a relationship with Alisha, who is working in a pub with Curtis, Kelly is picking up litter, and Nathan is handing out leaflets while dressed as Father Christmas. Everyone’s pretty fed up with the best days of their life behind them, but of course, things don’t stay so boring for long, and pretty quickly everything gets shaken up.

One important new figure introduced this episode is the mysterious Power Dealer who has the ability to take peoples powers and redistribute them, while he only appears in a few scenes, he has the potential to change a lot of things for the gang. He also helps introduce the villain for the episode – a priest who loses his faith, buys a bunch of powers and starts conning people into thinking he is Jesus reborn. While “Jesus” is slowly gathering a band of disciples, the Misfits decide that they can make some money by selling their powers, of course this leads to a terrible situation that the gang are unable to help, which results in them buying some powers back.

As always with Misfits, the episode is an absolute cracker (no christmas pun intended), plus there was the added bonus of having Nikki’s purpose being revealed. The series needed a main character to kill off in the Christmas special in order to show the gang how important their powers are, but of course none of the original gang could or should be written out, so a character was introduced with the implication that she was important and given time for the audience to get used to her, which makes her death dramatic and important and sad and stuff. Fortunately, I never like the character, so while I recognise that it was a sad moment, I was ultimately relieved.

Another big change that occurred for the characters was Nathan’s new role as a dad after falling in love and starting a relationship with a heavily pregnant girl. While it seems a bit odd at first for the usually selfish Nathan to suddenly accept a whole heap of responsibility, it was shown in the first season that he has some connection with babies, plus there is a more thematic link with his association with death and rebirth being replaced with a link to new life. But maybe I’m reading too far into it, and the writers perhaps just wanted Nathan to have some more responsibility and stop being such a dick.

This was yet another flawless episode, which ended on a fantastic cliffhanger as the gang decided to get entirely new powers, which I’m sure will open up a whole world of possibility for season 3. Much like the last episode of season 1 introduced Superhoodie, we are introduced to a mysterious man who can give and take peoples’ powers. This has been a truly fantastic series without a dud episode out of the 7, and I really, really can’t wait for series 3.

Also, check out my website at http://www.watsonprime.co.uk

News and things

Posted in Uncategorized on January 13, 2011 by watsonprime

So I haven’t posted anything in a very long time, and I really have no excuse, but I promise to try harder.

The big news is that I finally have my website up and running, it has my advertising portfolio, as well as my cv and other good stuff (including this blog) so please check it out at http://www.watsonprime.co.uk

I’d like to thank my fantastic girlfriend Amy for working so hard on all the technical stuff, I’m pretty limited when it comes to anything to do with coding and other related computery things.

Thanks for stopping by