Hold on to your seats

Saturday March 26, 2005

In a spirit of complete cynicism we approached it fully resigned to tasting the bitter fruit of disappointment once more. Surely, we thought, it simply isn’t the BBC way to make a success of bringing back one of our best loved TV series after an absence of seventeen years or so.

“They’ll mess it up, see if they don’t,” Graham said.

“You’re probably right. Best put a tape in the VCR just in case, though.”

“Oh, yes. And perhaps we ought to unplug the telephone, too.”

“How about the sofa? Should I pull it out from the wall?”

“No, that’s going too far. Besides, we can hide under the table if need be.”

So, then, picture it. Two grown men, both of them old enough to know better, settling down in front of the TV just before seven o’clock this evening, ready not to enjoy the first episode of a brand new Doctor Who.

Well, we were wrong. It was absolutely superb. Just the right amount of reference to the past, in other words almost none at all. A perfect balance of humour, wit and silliness. Scary, exciting and endearing all in the proper proportion and, unlike the originals, the pace was very, very fast. The new Doctor, and his new assistant, were brilliant, good, well-schooled actors both, and entering fully into what has all the signs of becoming another classic of BBC television drama.

Unlike the dreadful movie they made with Paul wotsisname, this was set in London, complete with Big Ben, a sufficiency of double-decker red buses, and the splendour of the London Eye against a night sky. They’d used just a tiny bit of CGI, and some darned good make-up, and employed people who can actually act.

And the Tardis was there, clean and sparkly on the outside and decidedly twenty-first century gothic on the inside.

So, without issuing any spoilers, thoroughly recommended. And we’ll be sat sitting in front of the TV at five to seven next Saturday evening, gagging for the next installment. Worth every penny of our TV licence fee and, though it was made for us Brits, I’ll be astonished if Doctor Who fans the world over don’t enjoy it as much as we did.

Even Dolly the Mega-Cat enjoyed it, and she, as the whole universe knows, is not easy to please.

 

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