Sunday, 29 September 2013

Landmarks No.37

The real Second Coming.
Has there ever been a more significant story since An Unearthly Child? Stories like The War Games may have been game-changers, but this brings Doctor Who back from the wilderness and turns it into a popular and successful prime time show, creating millions of new fans (especially younger ones).
If the McGann movie turned out to be a master-class in how not to bring Doctor Who back, Rose shows how it ought to have been done.
No need whatsoever to bog things down in continuity. No need to make it a regeneration story. US TV techniques may be on show - but the series remains quintessentially British. It will shortly take off in the States without the need to overtly "Americanise" it in any way.
If the various Star Trek incarnations, The X-Files and so forth can tell a good story in 45 minutes, then so can Who.
Cliffhangers we will miss - they'll be reserved for the very occasional two part story. In their place we get the "Next Week..." trailer.
The Autons are a perfect monster to launch the new series - a connection to the past for us older fans, but easily accessible and understandable to a totally new viewer (the name Auton is never actually used on screen).
The new Doctor and his companion hit the ground running (literally). Rose has a home life - a job, boyfriend, and a mum. There is a strong mix of drama and humour - some of the latter a little broad (burping bins, for instance).
Just a few hints as to what the Doctor has been up to since we last saw him. It's suggested that he has only recently regenerated (either that or he has been travelling in the universe of No Mirrors for a while) and we hear mention of some war...
First mention also of the Shadow Proclamation.
There's a little homage to the series' origins - the unseen electrician being called Wilson (after Donald).
Model-maker Mike Tucker links the classic series and the new one.
The Mill aren't entirely new to the series - having worked on The Curse of Fatal Death.
Cardiff pretends to be London for the first time. Later on, Swansea will pretend to be Cardiff...

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