Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Day Eight - Dr.Who: Series 1, Episode 2, or "Huh... end of the world? Not that bad."

After a disastrous (IMHO) pilot episode with one of the silliest and poorly done opening villains I've ever seen, I was actually relatively content with the second episode... at least, in comparison.

Sure, things were still high in the cheese department (in typical Whovian fashion), but chances were taken.

For one thing, the producers were fine with offing likable characters. Whether it was the quaint tech, who Rose chats with during her "last human alive" depression, or ent-girl Jabe, who immolated while helping to save the day, it's a nice change from the previous epi... whose only casualty was the deus ex Doctor hunter.

That's a major plus for me.

Another such plus was the fact that there was a wide variety of aliens and actually pretty decent special effects. Unlike the community-center-performance-artists-in-latex-mannequin-masks-doing-the-robot-cause-they-can't-see the epi previous, it looks like the creature shop actually took a little time putting something together. While there were several less than sterling examples (the blue-skinned servers/stewards), there were also some rather inspired attempts.

This was especially true of the Face of Boe, a canon puppet that is a fan favorite concept, and Jabe, the aformentioned ent-girl.

Sure, the effects aren't groundbreaking or cinema level, but they're certainly better than the previous examples.

I really liked Jabe as she's a sort of one-off companion, filling in the role as Rose had to be, by necessity, all mopey for the hour while just what it means to be a companion started sinking in. I thought it was brilliant having her sacrifice herself, though it was a hugely lazy way to explain it. I mean, seriously. If it's hot enough to ignite wood, it should be hot enough to burn Time Lords.

Just saying.

And, really, that's one of the main weaknesses of the episode (and Dr.Who) overall. The writing in these early episodes is atrocious. It's like they take everything they come up with in pitch sessions and let it all in, never cutting or rewriting.

I really, really wish Babylon 5 got the fandom that Dr.Who does... they did so much more in terms of effects, writing, style, and impact than I think Dr.Who EVER could... and did it a decade earlier than the new series.

Ah well, just a few more episodes before Tennant joins.

And here's to that! I don't know how many more Lady Cassandra O'Brien dot Delta Seventeen's I can handle.

Not that she wasn't an okay villainess, but her send off was just bleh. Where's the pomp? Where's the panache? Drying out? Really?

Oh, it's supposed to be ironic because she was so vain? Well, lah-dee-dah. At least explain to me why/how her moisture wands came to be filled with acid during her escape, please. No? Well screw you, Russell T. Davies!

Well, at least I got Tainted Love as ancient human classical music. Of course, Toxic was given such treatment as well. Hum. No Apocalypse is perfect it seems.

Until tomorrow, Potatoes~

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