Thursday, January 31, 2008

Doctorin' The TARDIS pt2

Doctor Who is unique in British culture as no other series - book, cinematic or televisual - has had the effect of inspiring a hit record.

And for the jury I think we can safely discount anything to do with stop-motion animation and people in suits; Anita Dobson singing the theme tune to EastEnders really doesn't help is here either.

Blending the siren wail of The Sweet's "Blockbuster", Dalek exclamations and a popular Gary Glitter tune "Rock n Roll (Part 2)" it is a triumphant classic, a blend of various elements of a 1970s childhood.

Yet to afford too much praise, or use the music to accompany any Doctor Who footage would be a step into the darkness.

Gary Glitter has been convicted on more than one occasion of various crimes against minors, including the incident that sparked his fall from grace, having images of paedophilia on his laptop.

So where does that leave the most popular Doctor Who related song?

And is it really the best?

Monday, January 28, 2008

Doctorin' The TARDIS...

22 years ago the fate of our favourite show hung in the balance. Some people who should have known better got together and recorded "Doctor In Distress".

Which didn't really help.

However months later a shock hit threw Doctor Who back into the public consciousness (albeit in a Tom Baker era nostalgic way).

The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu; the KLF; the Time Lords; call them what you will, their track Doctorin' The TARDIS could easily be one of the most culturally important pieces of music in British history.

We'll look at that last statement in more detail in the next post...

Sunday, January 27, 2008

I'm not angry...

But I know a guy who is.

Thanks to the Doctor Who Webguide (links to the Kasterborous mirror) I've discovered the wit and wisdom of Angry Who Fan.

This angry, sarcastic and bloody funny blog takes issue with Doctor Who and Torchwood, and the most recent post is a good ripping of a very poor piece of the Torchwood websites "Torchwood wants YOU!" campaign, featuring a very satisfied (and slightly chubby) looking Ianto Jones talking directly to the viewer in what is a rather unnerving manner.

Of particular entertainment value is their deconstruction of Voyage of the Damned, the which features several highlights - but my favourite accompanies a photo of Kylie driving the forklift:
Kylie can give us a good ramming any time she likes.

Not 'arf

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Torchwood Magazine?

Discovering a few months back that there would be a Torchwood magazine came as a bit of a shock.

With a maximum this year of 26 episodes to talk about, one has wonder exactly what publishers Titan are hoping to fill the pages with.

Not only that bit they seem to ignoring Doctor Who websites when it comes to promotion of the new periodical.

I discovered today that more than one individual had visited on the back of a google search term of "Eve Myles nude" - sadly I don't think even that can help Torchwood Magazine long term.

Series 4 Casting Thoughts

Over the months there has been some consternation concerning yhe names cast in series four of Doctor Who.

Many fans take issue with the casting of former soap actors such as Lyndsey Coulson and Sarah Lancashire simply because they appeared in soaps.

Yet Mary Tamm, Caroline John, Louise Jameson, Peter Purves and Freema Agyeman somehow get off scot-free.

Soap operas are the most popular form of television. FACT.

So soap snobs, what's your beef? They're actors and its not as if Doctor Who hasn't had its share of stinkers in the past who WEREN'T former residents of a fictional suberb. Even as recently as Gridlock.

Besides, it was Charles Dickens who popularised the serial drama format with Bleak House - the recent adaptation of course starred Torchwood's Burn Gorman.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Whatever Happened to Ianto Jones?

I very recently compared Torchwood's Ianto Jones to white paint.

Seemingly in response to this damning declaration, he spent the duration of Sleeper expressing pithy, macabre observations in a manner that suggested he had rather an autistic grasp of events; a far cry from the shy and reserved butler of series 1.

So I'm guessing he's joined the gays.

Nothing wrong with that, you might rightly point out, except that as a case of character development I find it:
A) obvious
B) dull

What exactly is being said here? Are dull, bland people in actual fact raving closet cases? If such look out boys, Brad Pitt wants YOU!

On the other hand it could just be very poor demonstration of that staple of modern drama - character development.

But with questionable character consistency amongst the useful members of the team, wouldn't it be better to let them develop fully before we learn more about "Dulux"?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Return to Sender?

Series 4s biggest news to date is the presence of companions Rose, Martha and Donna at various stages throughout the run.

So do we really need Captain Jack and Sarah Jane?

In the old days this many characters would appear only in a regeneration vision... So is this the end of Doctor number Ten?

Sandwiching Jack into Last of the Time Lords wasn't really a winner - so how are 5 characters going to work? And what about Mickey??

I am worried by this. However as with Torchwood Series 2 I await the highlights - Martha and the Sontarans (good name for a musical combo!) - with keenness.

Torching Hopes

I had been looking forward a great deal to Torchwood, expecting a show that had finally found its feet.

I was disappointed.

Despite all the big, positive noises made by Chris Chibnall, KISS KISS BANG BANG, was as poor as thwarted worst episodes from the first run.

But how??

Long term readers of this blog and will know that I shy away from personal attacks. I just don't see any instance in which they might be warranted.

Yet Chris Chibnall has proved himself utterly out of his depth on Torchwood, if the series' first episode of its second run is anything to judge.

Everything that should have been fixed is still there, naked on the floor while all the good stuff is tucked away mid series.

With a magazine released this month, it seems that Torchwood does have a long term future - a literary backwater once occupied by its parent show.

Yet unless Russell T Davies loses Chibnall, it won't even make it that far.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Kylie & David Sitting In A Tree, K I S S I N G

Well that David Tennant is a lucky so and so, isn't he? Not one but two potential lovers in a pretty young BBC staffer and the Queen of Pop herself, KYLIE.

To say that I'm jealous is putting it mildly.

The scrawny Time Lord has been far too fortunate with the ladies quite frankly, and as if lovely Billie marrying bland streak of piss Lawrence Fox wasn't bad enough it now looks as though her former (and future ) costar David is "having it large" with little Kylie.

Damn it, Doctor - I saw her first!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Unfolding Text...

Russell T Davies' recent declaration that Doctor Who is safe seems to confirm what we've long suspected about the semi-series of special Doctor Who adventures in 2009.

With furtive late night phonecalls and quiet nods, Doctor Who's future has been secured - and meanwhile Julie Gardner and Phil Collinson have been confirmed as moving on.

So when is Russell going?

If - as seems likely - he moves on after the three specials, one can foresee a "handover" period to the incoming production team who will then be busy mounting Series 5 for broadcast (hopefully late) 2010.

Any new names mentioned in the immediate future are only guaranteed to be working on the remainder of Series 4 and the series of specials - but keep your eyes open for new names.

As for a new executive producer? Well conventional wisdom says it's Steven "Grand Moff" Moffat and I suspect that after Series 4 - or perhaps in time for the first of the specials - we'll know for sure.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Clive Swift -Tells It Like It Is

Bit of a stir in Who fandom at the moment following the release of Doctor Who Magazine 391.

Put simply, actor Clive Swift wasn't too happy about being interviewed for DWM, and berated the "poor journalist" (who perhaps should have focussed a bit more on Swift's 42 year screen career) as follows:

DWM - "Right, one final question..."

Clive Swift - "I think that's more than enough isn't it? How many pages are you going to have on Mr. Copper?"
DWM - "Well, I was just going to ask....

CS - "There's no reason why I should talk to you at all, so you shouldn't push it. I'm sure you'll write something very nice (stony silence). I know that you all think that this is a big world, this Who business. But it isn't. There are much bigger things than this"

DWM - "Maybe, but it means a lot to a great many of us."

CS - "Yeah yeah. Goodbye"

Rude? Definitely.

Right? Yes. Completely and utterly right. There are much bigger things than Doctor Who, ranging from the works of JRR Tolkien or Led Zeppelin to the hellish state of geopolitics and the obscene ways in which so called democratic governments indulge in corruption and cronyism.

If we can't accept that Doctor Who is nothing more than (usually) very good, entertaining escapism, then we don't deserve to be part of anything other than a civilization that is trundling quickly towards hell in a very cramped handcart.

On the other hand, it could be useful to see that Clive Swift has a point - he has been around a long time, after all - and that Doctor Who is there for us once we've done the important things that need doing in the world.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Welcome to 2008!

Another year, another series of Doctor Who.

Strange to think, then, that this is the last time we'll get a regular series until 2010. And yes, I'm still angry about that, and still even more angry at the BBC's dreadful statement. We'll leave that behind now however, and wonder...

Reports suggest that the Doctor Who production team are after a new companion. This suggests that we'll not be seeing Martha for much longer beyond Series 4. Add to this the confirmed departure of Julie Gardner and Phil Collinson, the much-expected moving on of Russell T Davies and a lack of any real answer regarding Tennant's longer term future with the series (2010 is two years away, I know - however recording for that would begin next year, so someone would know by now on a series that takes as long to produce as Doctor Who) and the only thing we can realistically predict is a change of production team.

Doctor Who's first real regeneration of the new era, and you know it's pretty exciting really. We could have new opening credits, a new TARDIS interior, a new way of storytelling, new enemies, new friends, new worlds - a darker tone, a lighter tone, a different approach.

All of these things we've seen in Doctor Who's 45 years (this year!) and it's only right to expect them in the future, and soon, lest the show dry up and die.

Here's to 45 Years, and here's to change - not a moment too soon!