Monday, March 7th, 2005

New Doctor Who leaked onto the net


Some fine fellow deep in the depths of either the BBC or the CBC leaked the premiere episode of the new Dr. Who series onto the net, and as a result I may possibly have seen said episode, two weeks ahead of the British premiere and a whole month before it gets shown by the CBC.

I’m a Whovian from way back. I first came across the good Doctor in 1982, as I was flipping through the 13 channels QCTV had on offer and settled on a weird show playing on the Spokane PBS affiliate. From the moment I saw Tom Baker outfoxing a killer giant robot brought to life through terrible special effects, I was hooked.

So I went into this willing to cut the show some slack, but also dreading my childhood being ruined by a terrible remake of my beloved Dr. Who. It’s almost impossible to recapture the enthusiasm and acceptance of a 12 year old nerd twenty years later (only LOTR has pulled that trick off, so far), and of course this iteration of the good Doctor CAN’T come close to my love for the original. But overall, I was pleased.

Chris Eccleston does a pretty decent job of portraying the Doctor as an otherworldly half-lunatic, and he does it without the aid of an outlandish costume. I was a little worried about that at first; after all, the Doctor’s supposed to be some weirdo in a crazy outfit. But it seemed to work, as did a slightly more adult and sophisticated script than the shows of old, coupled with a faster pace and a much more slick shooting style.

And the effects are actually quite good (they couldn’t possibly be worse than the old series, though that was part of the charm) without being overbearing. So I’m pleased to give this new Who a shot; I think it’s just the shot in the arm the Doctor needed to go through another 40 years of adventures in time and space.

Warren Frey is a journalist, freelance writer, podcaster, video producer, and all-around media consultant currently based in Vancouver, Canada. His written work has appeared in such publications as Metro Vancouver, the Westender, Mac | Life and the Japan Times.

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