Posted tagged ‘Doctor Who’

Spotlight On Doctor Who

July 5, 2008

Tonight marks the end of an era.  For four years Russel T. Davies has masterminded the greatest revival in television history, Doctor Who.  Under his guidance the show has become what is to my mind the best piece of speculative fiction to ever grace a video camera.

What sets this show apart is the sense of wonder, something that I often find lacking in SF productions.  I think writers/directors have a tendency to think that merely showing something incredible on the screen is enough.  But Russel Davies and company know better, you need some joy infused into the story as well.  What they have come up with is a Doctor who is constantly awestruck by his travels.  He explores time and space simply because it’s there to be explored, and to quote he finds nearly everything he sees “brilliant”.

Granted even without the Doctor’s point of view the show would be pretty damn good.  Anytime you have back to back episodes in which one features an electric light orchestra tribute band and the next focuses on a planet orbiting a black hole in order to imprison the devil you’re doing something right.  This is a show with a real sense of scale, anything can happen in any given episode, and it’s not affraid to have a little fun along the way.  It’s also fortunate enough to have the pick of the BBC when it comes to casting, Derek Jakobi, Anthony Stewart Head, and Simon Pegg among others have all made guest appearances (and all as villains actually).

I cannot recommend this show highly enough.  Simply put, every single episode has left me grinning ear to ear, and that still happens on repeat viewings.

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Silence in the Library

June 1, 2008

First a confession, I am an enormous Doctor Who junkie.  Any given episode of the current series will leave me with a big stupid grin afterwards, no matter how many times I may have seen it.  To my mind it is simply the perfect show, clever, witty, and just full of joy in every frame.  Oh and David Tennant is just awesome.

It has also always been a very literate show, often delving into answering literary mysteries.  Episodes have focused on the ending to the Mystery of Edwin Drood, the fate of Love’s Labours Won, and the 11 day disappearance of Agatha Christie.  So it was only a matter of time before the show decided to focus on a library.

And man was this a brilliant episode, but then I would expect no less from Steven Moffat, the show’s best writer.  For one thing the story takes place on a library planet (which may or may not be a creation of a little girl’s imagination).  For another the Doctor makes a point of talking about how well books are doing in the future.  This episode takes place in the 51st century, in which books are more obsolete than ever, but people still can’t properly replicate the feel, smell, and experience of opening a real book.  Oh man was that good to hear.

And then as if that wasn’t enough there were a few gibes regarding copyright legislation and security measures thrown in for good measure.  There’s a brilliant life and death SOS message in the episode that has been redacted via a content filter.  The Doctor is also shown ripping up a contract that would give up the intellectual property rights to his experiences within the library.

Oh and there are killer shadows, and it’s a two parter!  Television just cannot get any better than this.

Good tv returns

April 7, 2008

Whoops, guess I hit save and not publish yesterday.

This has been a fairly laid back weekend for me, and I’ve spent a great deal of it in front of my tv (ok in front of my copy of VLC). Battlestar Galactica ran the first episode of its final season with a brilliant new role for Gaius. Doctor Who began its fourth season with an episode that brings back Donna (my new favorite companion) and which introduced the cutest creatures ever. Finally Torchwood wrapped its second season by bringing back James Marsters but also continues the trend of endlessly torturing every cast member.

Tomorrow I’ll be back to work and thinking about library business once again.