Sunday, December 27, 2009

Even more reason to hate the new Who

If you're a Doctor Who fan and haven't seen the first part of the David Tennant's finale and don't want spoilers, stop reading now.

I saw the trailer and a scene from part 2. The classic series may have been meant for children, but it wasn't so dumbed down that adults couldn't enjoy it, and the villains could be serious, the moral questions deep. People defend Russell T. Davies, because he is the man who brought back the show, but I would rather there be no show, then for it to be so adulterated and childish. Modifying the show so that it appeals to the young, given the state of the young these days, is guaranteed to make it bad, even if a few episodes here and there are actually quite good.

We see the return of the Time Lords in part 1; if you watch the exclusive scene, it turns out they are not from a period after the end of the Time War, but right before it -- right before they are killed off by the Doctor. The Lord President is holding on to life, and is very tyrannical, openly killing those who oppose him. Gone are the days when political opponents were eliminated through subterfuge and deceit and perhaps behind-the-scenes murder. Instead the Time Lords seem to have become like their enemies, the daleks. This may have made for an interesting story, stretched out for a season or two -- the descent of the Time Lords into wickedness or madness, but this is not the route RTD decided to take. Instead everything is crammed into an hour, and I am going to guess that story development will suffer. The fall of the Time Lords will not be taken seriously as a moral lesson. (What we could learn from an empire's death, which it hastens by hanging on to power too long!) Instead, we will have an over-the-top villain with whom we cannot sympathize -- he's just a madman.

I never thought the Time Lords should have been done away with, at least not permanently, and bringing Paul McGann back to do a series or two on the Time War would have been a gift to the fans. They could also have taken the series to Gallifrey, brought back Romana, and so on -- too much time spent on Earth can be a waste, especially if it is contemporary Earth and none of its problems are taken seriously. (This is supposed to be science fiction, not a soap opera.)

As I've said before, this all could have been handled much better -- I suppose it will have to be left to those who write fan fiction and Doctor Who novels.

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