Sunday, February 19, 2012

Autons and blondes! Going back in time ...

So I am faced with the prospect of no Doctor Who for quite some time.  Sadness.  So tonight, I am hopping into the time stream and watching the first episode featuring Christopher Eccleston as the ninth Doctor and Billie Piper as Rose Tyler.  Watching it again, I am amazed at how Russell T. Davies managed to bring back the show for those familiar with it before and introduced it to a whole new generation at the same time.

For the first time, Doctor Who is presented as happening within the lives of those in the episode.  The Doctor has been noticed though out history ... this is one of the great ideas introduced in this episode, that there are people who have heard of the Doctor and they are seeking him out, almost like a mini cult of people obsessed with this enigmatic figure.  That is probably my favorite scene in the episode.  Rose is in the shed talking to Clive, and Mickey the idiot gets eaten by a trash can.  And then of course, the scene with Mickey 2.0 in the restaurant kind of reminds me of Terminator 2 and the T-1000.

The updated Nestene Consciousness was awesome.  I love the part where it growls out "TIME LORD!"  That was something I had managed to miss the first umpteen times around that I watched it.  It was an awesome episode and a worthy way to kick-start a new generation of the most famous show in all of time and space.

Well, after a nice little Doctor Who fix, I am ready to get some sleep.  See you all in the vortex!

Monday, January 16, 2012

2011 Christmas Special: The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe

OK, off to Narnia my friends as our intrepid Time Lord takes on CS Lewis' classic tale of might and magic.  What gave me pause was the fact that the show was listed in the program guide as being two hours and twenty minutes long.  A little excessive if you ask me, but then reports were that the episode was only 60 minutes in length and the rest I would assume is commercials.  I didn't watch it on Christmas day, so now, with remote in hand, I embark on this tale of Christmas courtesy of the Doctor.

He starts out falling from an exploding space ship, struggling to pit on a space suit as he hurtles towards the earth.  Post-theme, he crashes to earth with the suit on and the helmet on backwards.  He is assisted by  Madge Arwell to find the TARDIS.  Flash forward to Madge's husband dying in the War, and Madge and the children planning for their annual trip to a country manor owned by Uncle Digby.  The Doctor is in the house posing as the caretaker, having made lots of zany modifications to the house.  Madge then informs the Doctor that she is withholding the information about their father from the children until after the holidays.

The children discover a lavishly decorated tree with a large blue box (TARDIS blue no less) underneath which Cyril sees glowing when nobody else is looking.  Lily visits the Doctor in his room and as they are talking, Cyril opens the blue box, revealing it to be a time portal and he steps through, shortly followed by the Doctor and Lily.  The Doctor becomes concerned that something is wrong and they go looking for Cyril.  All of them are soon followed by Madge as Cyril finds a lighthouse.

All of them are in the forest, Cyril enters the lighthouse and discovers a giant wooden statue of a king on a throne which turns out to not be a state at all and Madge is confronted by a group of soldiers.  The scenes keep jumping from character to character which is typical of Steven Moffat's storytelling style.  The soldiers are from Androzani Major (a nod to the classic series) and they are planning to burn the forest with acid rain and melt it down for battery fluid..  At the top of the lighthouse, another wooden creature puts a golden circlet on Cyril's head, and Madge pulls a gun on the soldiers and tries to use their platform to find her children.  The circlet is a device to allow Cyril to hear the trees and hold their life force.  Madge pilots the Androzani platform to the lighthouse.

Madge puts on the circlet, and the forest enters her, and the top of the lighthouse is a pod and launches into the time vortex.  Madge pilots the pod through the vortex with her thoughts of her late husband, and they see her husband's plane going down.  The pod lands back on earth, and the children confront their mother about their father dying.  The Doctor excuses himself and discovers him waiting outside for them, having followed the light of the pod home.  The Arwell family spends Christmas together and Madge encourages the Doctor to not spend Christmas alone.  He departs and goes to spend Christmas with Amy and Rory.