Sunday, January 29, 2012
Here's a video that includes images from EVERY existing Doctor Who episode.
There are some from the 11th Doctor on here I haven't even seen. I just finished watching the DVDs from the first half of Series 6, and these eps begin to crystallize my feelings about the newest Who. Steven Moffat's Who stories are dazzling, funny, very entertaining. But I miss the ground of reality in the core characters of the Russell T Davis years. So I've stopped expecting these to be anything but what they are. For me, Amy and Rory are fun but not very real, especially since they die or seem to die or almost die almost every episode, and always reset. Matt Smith is a fine Doctor for this approach, but I don't have any feeling for this character, or this universe, and I don't really recognize the continuity with the previous Doctors. I thought Neil Gaiman's idea of giving the Doctor's TARDIS life as a woman was brilliant, and the Doctor/Tardis parts of that episode was classic (the Amy/Rory running around inside the Tardis was rubbish.) You always got the feeling that the Tardis was purposeful in choosing destinations--why else would the Doctor always arrive somewhere something crucial was happening? And it's a fitting payoff for the tease of who is the Doctor's Wife. The Riversong payoff was clever in the last ep (of the first half) and interesting going forward, though again the emotional payoff for me was muted. So maybe I should just shut up about it? Well, I'll still watch. But not in any particular hurry.
But speaking of the Russell T Davis years... In 2005 there was a neat little independent movie called Marilyn Hotchkiss' Ballroom Dancing and Charm School, which I've just seen recently on DVD. It stars a Scottish actor, Robert Carlyle, who'd been in several Brit TV series and starred in the film Once Upon a Time in the Midlands. In this 2005 film the character played by John Goodman talks about fate, about the different way his life might have turned out if he just turned left instead of right. He uses this phrase several times--if I'd just turned left.
Two or three years later Russell T Davis used this exact premise for "Turn Left," the Catherine Tate episode. In his book I didn't see any reference to this movie as his inspiration, but I wouldn't be surprised. Anyway, it's a great Doctor Who episode--and a really nice little movie.