Monday, May 29, 2006

Half Time

The Idiot’s Lantern was episode 7 of the current run of Doctor Who, and as such it’s half-way point. I have to say that at the moment things are leaving me a little cold…

What has happened to Doctor Who in Series 2? Last year had its faults, but everything seemed to be pulling in the same direction. It all reached an ultimate end with the “Bad Wolf” meme that was in various degrees successful. The overall quality in 2005 was pretty much uniform; even if the story wasn’t very good, the direction and the cast made up for it. This year however, we’ve had a marked levelling off of quality across the board, with poorer scripts, questionable casting and re-used special effects.

That last one is particular bug-bear of mine. The old Glen A Larson series of the 1980s often reused special effects – notably KITT’s “turbo boost” in “Knight Rider” or various “Airwolf” manoeuvres. It seems strange that a BBC show in 2006 is reusing explosion visuals from an episode in 2005 – in particular its most-watched episode!

Granted, the series has got darker as the season progresses, and that seems set to continue as the Doctor and Rose encounter The Impossible Planet this Saturday. Finally the new series will discard its Earthly shackles and venture out into the universe…

So in light of the impending FIFA World Cup, I present a list of manager-style objectives for the second half of the Doctor Who season:
  • More consistency with the plot down the right flank
  • Less mercy in front of goal – you’re supposed to be thrilling audiences, not baffling them
  • A better range of guest players
  • Let’s build towards a rousing finale
  • Drop the Torchwood tactic. We keep getting caught out at the back…

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