Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Noisy Tennant

Watched the second part of Doctor Who Meets Beelzebub last night. It was all right I guess, if a little draggy in places. The story was partly ripped off from this one (which itself was a less spooky-ass version of this).

I seem to be in the minority, but I've been nonplussed by the series remount on the whole. A part of it's an inability to "go home again" to be sure, but that doesn't minimize the show's weaknesses, to wit:
  • creator Russell T. Davies, who's never met a fart joke he didn't like or a sci-fi/adventure convention that he didn't want to piss all over. His episodes have generally been plotless shit.
  • the unseemly unconsummated lurve affair 'twixt Rose T and The Doc, which dramatically speaking, has outstayed its welcome big time.
  • some of the crappiest and least subtle incidental music I've ever heard.
  • a chronic inability to establish proper episode pacing: moments of busy-action hyperactivity (today's audiences demand faster movement, doncha know...) sandwiched between drawn-out character-development scenes.

And then there's The Doc. I marginally prefer David Tennant, although I think a lot of this has to do with the fact that I've never seen him before and he's still a novelty. When Chris Ecclescakes was announced as the lead, my first thought was "great choice." I've always liked that particular combination of menace and deer-caught-in-the-headlights nerviness that he brings to the table. But once I'd mulled it over, I realized: I know exactly what we're gonna get from him. And get it we did. The actors who've been most successful in the part have been those (Tom Baker, Jon Pertwee and Patrick Troughton) who either played against type or who had absolutely no idea what they were going to do with it. It's that kind of role. The charismatic Tennant has potential but he's hampered by the series writers' penchant for having him deliver OTT grandstanding speeches about how he's gonna whip the bad guy's ass...instead of just getting on with inventively whipping the bad guy's ass.

I like the show's energy--it's got enough visual and verbal interest to keep you watching for sure--and there's been the odd episode that I thought was outstanding. Billie Piper's been very good to boot, and some of the character-driven stories revolving around her have been well done. It's just that there's so much inconsistency even within individual episodes and so much of it hasn't been able to rise above the level of moderately intelligent eye-candy. Shame.


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Will said...

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