Visit the official Doctor Who website

Visit the official Doctor Who website
Look to the future

Asylum seekers...

Asylum seekers...
Refuge of the Daleks

Doctor Who picture resource

Doctor Who picture resource
Roam the space lanes!

Explore the Doctor Who classic series website

Explore the Doctor Who classic series website
Step back in time

Infiltrate The Hub of Doctor Who spin-off Torchwood

Infiltrate The Hub of Doctor Who spin-off Torchwood
Armed and extremely dangerous

Investigate The Sarah Jane Adventures

Investigate The Sarah Jane Adventures
Fearless in the face of adversity

Call on Dani’s House

Call on Dani’s House
Harmer’s a charmer

Intercept the UFO fabsite

Intercept the UFO fabsite
Defending the Earth against alien invaders!

Uncover the secrets of the Dollhouse

Uncover the secrets of the Dollhouse
Programmable agent Echo exposed!

Hell’s belles

Hell’s belles
Naughty but nice

Love Exposure

Love Exposure
Flash photography!

Primeval portal

Primeval portal
Dressed to kill or damsels in distress?

Charmed, to be sure!

Charmed, to be sure!
The witches of San Francisco

Take on t.A.T.u.

Take on t.A.T.u.
All the way from Moscow

Proceed to the Luther website

Proceed to the Luther website
John and Jenny discuss their next move

DCI Banks is on the case

DCI Banks is on the case
You can bet on it!

On The Grid with Spooks

On The Grid with Spooks
Secret agents of Section D

Bridge to Hustle

Bridge to Hustle
Shady characters

Life on Ashes To Ashes

Life on Ashes To Ashes
Coppers with a chequered past

Claire’s no Exile

Claire’s no Exile
Goose steps

Vexed is back on the beat!

Vexed is back on the beat!
Mismatched DI Armstrong and bright fast-tracker Georgina Dixon

Medium, both super and natural

Medium, both super and natural
Open the door to your dreams

Who’s that girl? (350-picture Slideshow)

Thursday, 14 April 2005

"Doctor Who - The Unquiet Dead"


"Doctor Who" is getting better week by week with "The Unquiet Dead" easily the best of the first three episodes. When I saw the first episode of "Dark Season", back in 1991, I thought this is pure "Doctor Who" and naturally assumed Russell T. Davies would be a good choice to write future episodes. Thus, at first, it might seem a little odd that I should prefer the script by Mark Gatiss! This has probably more to do with the fact that the opening two episodes of a series tend to set up the situation and Mark just happens to be the first writer allowed free reign and future scripts by Russell will improve on what Mark has done.

It’s not just down to the writer. The director’s input greatly affects the final feel of a drama. Think how bad "Revelation of the Daleks" might’ve been without Graeme Harper at the helm! It is menacing right from the off despite the inclusion of a DJ. And yet neither of Graeme Harper’s two serials would’ve been as scary without the incidental music of Roger Limb. Thus when I heard Russell was doing "Doctor Who" I hoped he would bring the director of his two children’s serials Colin Cant and composer David Ferguson with him as I believe they both played an important part in making "Dark Season" and "Century Falls" frightening within the bounds of children’s drama.

I think what is missing from new "Doctor Who" so far is edge-of-the-seat direction and incidental music that sends shivers up your spine. David Ferguson didn’t just do this on the aforementioned serials but for their immediate predecessor, "Moondial", and in subsequent Barbara Vine adaptations, for an adult audience, as well. Interestingly, like Christopher Eccleston, he has also worked on "Cracker". Without checking on IMDb, I’m not sure what has happened to Colin Cant other than some work on "Coronation Street".

I want to be positive about new "Doctor Who" and yet I find myself thinking that the last time it went back in time to approximately this period was "Ghost Light" and which would I rather watch again given the choice between the two? It also seemed like the moral differences between Rose and the maid had been lifted straight from "The Curse of Fenric". I also questioned whether it was a good idea to actually meet Dickens as good as Simon Callow was and is in this role. I loved the imagery at the end of him gazing on as the TARDIS dematerialised but thought about how the seventh Doctor didn’t actually meet Darwin in "Ghost Light" or the fourth Doctor missing Da Vinci in "City of Death". I’m sure we all remember what happened when the sixth Doctor met H. G. Wells!

Apparently there have been complaints that "The Unquiet Dead" was too scary for the very young but it has always been the programme’s intention to be frightening in the safe environment of your own home. I found it full of humour, like the two previous episodes, with lines such as "She can’t have got very far, she’s 85" and, after the corpse returns from the dead, "There’s life in the old girl yet"! Actually, I know a lady of that remarkable age who has just got back from seeing her daughter in America so there isn’t as much truth in the first quote as would at first seem!

1 comment:

karensff said...

Hi,

It's funny that you should ask me about Ghost Light as I watched it again only a few days ago. Despite my complaints on the shortness of episodes I do like the faster pace. It does feel though that so much is missed out because of these shorter episodes.

Anyway, yes I like Ghost Light better. It might have something to do with liking The seventh Doctor and Ace more though. I think you are also correct in saying that it was maybe better when the doctor just seemed to miss the famous. I always liked the stories he used to tell of the people he met rather than actually meeting them. In both stories though I felt for the companion. In the new one because I could see why Rose didn't want the dead to be used and in Ghost Light because of Ace's past.

I'm looking forward to next week though and a two parter. I wonder how the cliffhanger will compare to those of the past.