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Saturday, 17 April 2010

It's Blitz

This was billed as the "first classic episode" of the new Doctor Who series.  It wasn't quite.  I am not sure the jazzed up logo and modified theme make the show more, or less, contemporary - something about the colours and tone sound too of the moment.  Sometimes retro is actually cooler, and more classic.  The new Doctor is an improvement on the last one, frankly, who I found a little insufferable.  This time around his manic eccentricity has an edge of uncertainty, bordering on insanity, that is fun.  The new assistant is even odder.  Unfeasibly tall, with a curious open face and big eyes, this pale Scottish lass is quirky, spaced out, and sometimes compellingly smart, all at once, while also looking like she's just bonked for an hour (or is that wishful thinking?).  I think she's a good character twist.

Tonight's episode was classic BBC twaddle, that convinces itself it is genius - remember the hype when they put Titanic in space?  So, this time, it was spitfires.  No real explanation was made for how the RAF was suddenly able to fly above the ack-ack and plumes and fire lasers at the Dalek mothership - alien science robot aside.  Surely some retro-fitting (sic) would be required?  And, if Churchill had that new technology, why would he need to pinch the Doctor's key?  Nice to see the Doctor threatening to blow up the Daleks with a Peak Freen biscuit.  However, most of this Blitz episode seemed far too enthralled by its own historic importance.

In a week when the election debates showed the power of TV to actually blow the dust of centuries and decades off of stale convention, isn't it time the Doctor Who (and BBC) stopped relying so heavily on these ho-hum history boy moments from the colonial past?  What next?  An episode where Larkin is whisked off to China in the Tardis, but brought home in time for Tea?
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