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Sunday, June 05, 2005

More WHO

Got caught up on the new DOCTOR WHO series with the last few episodes. Still nice, although a few things always feel off in every episode. Nothing I can quite put my finger on, but sometimes they seem to just be trying too hard to be cute or clever, and it really doesn't work (or sometimes does work, but not in the context of the series). Fortunately that's the minority of the time, and for the most part they deliver dopey sci-fi in the best DOCTOR WHO tradition.

Only watched one original series serial recently (got quite a few waiting for me to pick up from the library), and interestingly it had a lot of the same problems. It was "City of Death", a late Tom Baker era story I hadn't seen before. Overall I liked it a lot, and the parts of it that fit DOCTOR WHO fit beautifully. However, there were quite a few things that didn't, starting with the Paris setting. It would be fine if there weren't all these superfluous scenes of the characters running through Paris just to show that they were really there. It was also kind of odd seeing Douglas Adams credited with story editor, and realizing halfway through that he must have done a lot more than that, since a hugh part of the plot is identical to a Dirk Gently novel (a bit of web research shows that Adams did in fact co-write the episode under a fake name). Those parts were good, I'm a big fan of Adams, but they really didn't fit the series as well as they could have.

I have to say, I also really did not dig Romana as a companion much. I'm not sure why in the middle of the Baker years they started to move away from the companions being from contemporary Earth and had them from other worlds and times, but I'm pretty sure it was a mistake (and moreso making another Time-Lord a companion), and am glad they went back to the more traditional sort for the new show.

2 comments:

  1. Yeah, Adams was story editor, but he wrote "City of Death" under a pseudonym that escapes me at the moment. (He also wrote "The Pirate Planet" from a couple seasons before.)

    It's one of my personal favorites, but different tastes, after all. Also, thanks for the lack of spoilers for the new episodes--I'm only seeing them as the CBC shows 'em, so I'm about a week and a half behind what must be on the net. :-)

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  2. I suspect that I would have liked "City of Death" a lot more if I hadn't read the Dirk Gently novel where Adams used some of the same ideas to better effect. It made them feel more like non-WHO concepts.

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