Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Fish Custard

(there may be one very mild possible spoiler in this- not as in plot but as in "funny thing that happened"- you have been warned!)

A rare thing is happening across the internet at the moment- the Doctor Who fandom is in a good mood.

I know, weird, isn’t it? I dabble in fandom a little, as I don’t seem to have the real dedication it takes to stick to one or the other (I did once, in my Star Trek TNG and X-Files days, and oh my, there was fanart, oh yes) so I tend to be an observer more than anything. One of the conclusions I have made over the years is that hands down, Dr Who fandom is the grumpiest out there. You can forget your Harry Potter shipping wars, the shitstorm over the Avatar casting (Airbenders, not smurfs), Doctor Who fans can create a boiling sea of hatred just over a logo, for goodness sake.

There are certain science-fiction forums where the Who thread is a sort of no go area for casual fans, and the podcasting politics is mindboggling. But, let’s be fair, I have always forgiven them this. After all, of most fandoms, Who fans have had the roughest of deals. It has an epic history, and being a tv programme about time travel, the continuity is a glorious migraine inducer. During the Sylvester McCoy years it was largely ignored (possibly with good reason) and just when it started to find it’s feet again, it was cancelled. Then there were the wilderness years, where fans kept the spirit of the show alive through their own enthusiasm for it, and never quite gave up hope that it would be back in one form or another. In all of geekdom, the Who fans deserve the greatest credit for utter dedication.

So on Saturday night, Matt Smith had his debut episode as the Doctor, and you know what? I don’t know of anyone who didn’t absolutely love it. Well, maybe there are a few out there who just really thoroughly enjoyed it, but largely the Who fandom is currently basking in a warm glow of decent story telling and witty writing, that they can all agree on. Almost. It’s a beautiful thing.

And if you need to ask, I loved it too. My patience has been stretched thin in the past by RTD’s boomy music, nonsensical plots and Jesus-esque Doctor, but both Matt Smith and the story of Eleventh Hour were a joy. We’re back to clever writing, a story that is both fun and scary, and a Doctor who is both bonkers and confident. And Smith does have very lovely hair.

(The only voice of whinging so far has been, surprise surprise, the Daily Mail, although I’m not sure their article on it counts as a review as such. It was largely about the HUGELY scandalous fact that Amy Pond is a kissagram, and wore a short skirt. SWEET JESUS WON’T SOMEONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN?! There were also some eyebrows raised over Amy watching the Doctor get undressed, because god forbid anyone see a woman finding a man attractive… I mean, where will it end?! Certainly men have never been depicted as drooling over young girls, because that never happens… Honestly though, how sad that the Daily Mail (or more accurately, the readers of the Daily Mail) find the idea of a young woman with a sex drive so distressing. Yet again, I wish the Daily Crapfest would disappear up it’s own bumhole)


  1. I loved everything except the music. I hated every. damned. note. of that music. Especially the theme. That music was right out of Dark Knight and every Tim Burton movie.

  2. I have had a lot of problems with Nu Who's music in the past- it is totally American Family Film much of the time, so that any emotional subtlety is lost by the crashing music telling you how you're supposed to be feeling:

    BOOM BOOOM - here is a dramatic bit.
    BUM BA BA BAAA - here is an exciting bit.
    twidly deeee - here is a funny bit.
    wooobly wooo - aww, poor angsty Rose.

    I didn't think the music was as bad in the Eleventh Hour; or at least, you could hear the actors over it for once.

    I must confess I loved the new theme tune...

  3. I really like the new theme and title sequence. It feels quite indicative of the change in the show - away from the old 'Look at me! This is loud and exciting! LOOK AT ME!' theme and towards something more subdued. Even if you don't, it's only fifty bloody seconds.

    I also have to say, in... hang on a second, I can do this. In... In de... *strains* in defence of the Daily Mail, they were really just reporting on viewers complaining about the 'sexiness', and there was nothing in that article which had the Mail itself moaning about it. So your ire should be pointed at the middle class twonks who dared to watch our programme. There. Now I have to go have a shower. I feel so unclean...

  4. Oh aye, but the Daily Hate Mail only sticks that poor excuse for reporting on it's website because it knows it's readership will get all riled up about it. They can't just report on Who, it has to have ROODNESS and BADONG* and if possible REFUGEES TAKING OUR STUFF.

    *both bad and wrong, therefore, badong.

  5. Thank for the post, agree totally.

    I gave up on Who again after a few seasons of RTD as I simply couldn't put up with the crap endings that basically insulted the watcher. (I mean come on, using a Nokia phone to destroy a Cyberman invasion by plugging it into a very convenient socket on the control panel? I struggle to find a bloody charger that fits!)

    Moan aside though Moffat's stories were always strong, and this new season looks like it's going to be a real cracker. The DW/Pond relationship has a real energy already and Matt Smith won me over in about 60 seconds.

    Genuinely looking forward to next week's show now, which is something I've never really felt since the return of Who. Thanks Moffat for giving me hope! :)

  6. As someone who works within the Who-niverse, I thought the reboot/restart/whateveryoucallit was excellent. Matt Smith blends the best bits of Troughton, Baker, Davidson, McCoy & Tennant while bringing a lot of his own uniqueness. I thought the hair was a little TOO much, but c'est la vie. Amy Pond is an interesting companion, yes with great legs, who possibly only needs to clear up her diction and sort out the accent to be a winner (Scottish or Irish?). The story was fun and enthralling, even if the monster was a little same old-same old. All in all it was a rollicking good ride. Sadly the new theme and opening are a little drab, missing some punch and also, in audio terms, feeling a little flat. My only BIG grumble was the trailer at the end...oh dear god we have to put up with YET MORE daleks and YET MORE cybermen. I really hoped SM was going to go somewhere new this season. But I suppose the toys need to be sold to recoup the costs and increase the profits.

    So here's to a Matt Smith future, and Amy's legs. May they be with us for many years to come.

    I'll go back to making DW audiobooks now...

  7. @Martyn Darkly - I know exactly what you mean about the phones! In the RTD whoniverse they really are magical devices that can get the Doctor out of any scrape; I know everyone is continually attached to their mobiles these days, but does that mean every episode has to be about how amazing they are?
    *ahem* Anyway, it did give me a bit of concern to see mobile phones used again in Eleventh Hour, but at least the taking pictures bit made sense.

    @Hokus Bloke - But his hair is so fabulous! And apparently self styling, as a short time after being soaked by a swimming pool library it is back to looking swish and awesome again. ;)

    The old enemies coming back does seem to have divided people. Personally I find the Cybermen incredibly boring, but Marty assures me he has listened to a really good Cyberman story that makes them all interesting and cool, so I'm hoping Moffat can produce something like that for us.

    All in all, I'm looking forward to the next episode, and like Martyn, I haven't said that for a long time. :)