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)

Tuesday, 24 October 2006

In need of Resurrection


I have to admit a success on the part of Russell T. Davies! He successfully fooled me, and no doubt countless others, into believing second-in-command Suzie Costello (Indira Varma) would be a regular of the “Torchwood” team. But she’s not, and that’s why she wasn’t at the press launch last week and thus absent from the subsequent photo (see post before last). She was simply a guest in the opening episode, “Everything Changes”, despite the misleading publicity, appearing with the other five on the cover of the Radio Times and with a profile inside, equal to that of the truly-regular members of the cast. I’m not usually so gullible. At least, I hope not. As soon as I saw Tom Cruise confiding in Max Von Sydow, for example, (the previous evening) early on in “Minority Report”, I guessed the outcome. For all its SF trappings, Spielberg’s film is a very traditional affair. And it isn’t as if “Torchwood” is the first series to bump off a “regular” so soon. I’m sure fans of “Spooks” haven’t forgotten the almost immediate demise of Lisa Faulkner. So I was taken in, tricked, not surprised exactly because I hadn’t really had a chance to get to know the character. Was this ploy meant to endear me to the new series or irritate me into dislike? Alienating the audience is becoming a habit with RTD shows. It happened in the last series of “Doctor Who”, at least twice, at the beginning of both “Rise of the Cybermen”, with the humiliation of Mickey, and on arrival in “The Impossible Planet”, whatever the merits might be of the remainder of those two stories.

I didn’t really warm to “Torchwood”, regardless of being duped. The rain looked fake in the opening scenes and the blood spurting from the neck of a hospital porter, having been bitten by a rogue Weevil, the main creature in this new series, was over enthusiastic. Adult doesn’t have to mean copious amounts of gore, cartoon sex and what is euphemistically called strong language! For much of its original run, “Doctor Who” was, and still is, a far more mature affair than either new “Doctor Who” has so far proved to be or “Torchwood” looks like being. A secret subterranean base, the Hub, beneath the centre of Cardiff, reminds of “Batman” while the stone lift rising to street level, cloaked in invisibility until disembarkation, is reminiscent of “Thunderbirds”. Mix what is generally thought of as the province of children’s television with generous lashings of tonsil tennis and supposedly risqué ideas, in the second episode, Chris Chibnall’s “Day One”, lifted from “The Outer Limits” episode “Caught in the Act”, which starred “Charmed” actress Alyssa Milano, only goes to prove Mr. Davies doesn’t have a clue for whom his new series is intended. A person’s level of writing speaks volumes about their maturity. That’s why Claire Tomalin was able to successfully reveal on “The South Bank Show” (later the same evening), with great warmth, wit and enthusiasm, the true nature of Thomas Hardy, the poet, novelist and most-importantly the man, from his writing alone, given that he had destroyed all important documentation pertaining to his life. Unfortunately, there is too much on record for this to be the case with Russell T. (for “Torchy, the Battery Boy”) Davies!

4 comments:

Stewart M. said...

Is there anything good to be said for the old series 'The Omega Factor' starring Louise Jameson?

TimeWarden said...

As well as Louise Jameson, “The Omega Factor” starred James Hazeldine, best known in the UK for fireman saga “London’s Burning”, whose acting style is perhaps not dissimilar to Gareth Thomas. White Guardian, Cyril Luckham was in a couple of episodes and several well-known directors worked on the series such as Gerald (“The Abominable Snowmen” & “The Invasion of Time”) Blake, Fiona (“Castrovalva”, “Snakedance”, “Enlightenment” & “Planet of Fire”) Cumming, George (unit production manager on “Doctor Who” in 1975 but best-known as producer of Robert Banks Stewart’s Jersey cop series “Bergerac” throughout the ’80s) Gallaccio, Ken (“Destiny of the Daleks”) Grieve and, the man who brought “Inspector Morse” to television, Kenny (“The Horns of Nimon”) McBain. I was at University when it aired and, not having seen it, can’t say whether or not it was any good but considering the people who worked on the show I should think it’s worth a look.

Stuart Douglas said...

It was OK - not brilliant but worth a watch.

I got round to watching the first episode on the DVD of Nigel Kneale's Beasts today, and I can't receommend it highly enough. Genius is an over-used word (I heard RTD described as one the other day!), but Knele was one in the realm of TV writing.

TimeWarden said...

You won’t find any disagreement from me with regard the quality of Nigel Kneale’s writing. On my list to watch (eventually!) is “The Year of the Sex Olympics” both for him and Leonard Rossiter, predicting the future of television well before “Vengeance on Varos” and “Videodrome”. Kneale’s “1984” with Peter Cushing (not forgetting a brief appearance by Wilfrid Brambell!) remains the finest adaptation of Orwell’s novel while, despite the removal of a short scene, my VHS copy of “Quatermass and the Pit” has always been one of my most treasured tapes.

You’re also right about genius being an overused word. What I dislike is when someone says an actor or pop singer is the best when what they really mean is the person in question is their particular favourite, a different thing entirely!