Saturday, June 18, 2005

As the Ways are about to Part...

So this is it. Thirteen weeks ago it was all apprehension, sick feelings in the stomach and worries that they'd get the tone wrong, be slaughtered by Ant and Dec and that, after so much promise, the good Doctor would still be something of a point of ridicule. How wrong was I? We've got the Guardian proclaiming it the best thing to happen to British television for years. We've got the highest audience shares for Saturday evening, and ratings that buck the trend for Saturday evening family television. We've got people admiring the special effects, noting how the sets don't wobble and the monsters are 'better' (personally speaking, I think one of the redeming factors of Terror of the Vervoids is the design of the titular menace, but thats just me). We've talk of BAFTA nominations for certain episodes. We've got kids running around shouting 'Exterminate' and telling their parents they'd rather have the Daleks on DVD than whatever else kids watch these days. Most importantly we've got two more series in the bag, and two Christmas specials, which will see the return of the Cybermen and Graeme Harper behind the camera.

So am I satisfied? Yes, and no. Yes, we've achieved everything, and a whole lot more, than I hoped for thirteen weeks ago. I've got people coming up to me at work commenting on how much they're enjoying the series. I've got people asking me what I think of certain things. I've got people I respect contacting me after episodes to let me know they thought it kicked ass. Yes, it seems Who is back where it should be: culturally important and respected. However, the doubts never go away: yes, we have a third series now, but is that just so that ideas can be developed over two series, thus allowing for a thorough review of the programme at the end of series three? I mean, tele-sf doesn't seem to last that long in the UK. Randall and Hopkirk and Strange didn't make it past three series. Additionally, what if people don't take to David Tennant? Granted, he's been ace in the things I've seen, but there's always a chance. Moreover, the BBC has decreed that cutbacks have to be made on the programme, so could this have a negative impact? Furthermore, how on Earth - or should that be the Universe? - will ITV react? I'm sure they've something thoroughly unoriginal and sneaky up their sleeves.

My biggest thought at present though is 'I want in on this, now'. I'm brimming with ideas at the minute! Well, five anyway. Two of these I've previously disclosed, but I'm also working on ideas such as tying together the Mara, the work of William Blake, and the 60s state education system in to a story where the Mara reappears in 60s Britain due to the mood of the time and the National Cirriculum. Then there's my personal fave: taking the wonderful, vain, self-obsessed Jagoroth and writing an Invasion of the Body Snatchers style piece where they end up in the world of today, admire the selfishness and vanity of Western society, and settle in perfectly. In the end, they use their natural carisma to ascend to positions of power and enslave the humans. All this, and humanity doesn't even realise therefore noting how 'alien' humans have become. However, my novel twist on this would be to tell the story from the point of view of the Jagoroth, thus having them musing on such things as McDonalds, The OC and other aspects of contemporary life. Well, in my head its funny. However, my problem is where I can get in on this: I need a foothold somewhere, for someone to read these ideas and deside that their not half bad. Or maybe that they're not a quarter-bad, but with a bit of bashing about they could become not half bad. Is there anybody out there that can help?

So, with only seven hours until those Ways are Parted I can't wait to see how this pans out. I realised the other day this will be the first regeneration I'll have experienced 'first-hand'; in that respect I'm a regeneration virgin, if you know what I mean! I remember when I saw the end of Androzani and first experienced the idea, and it was immense. Granted, that that's the best of all the previous regenerations, with Colin Baker uttering the best dialogue he has for his whole stay as the Doctor, but how will this weigh up? If its as stirring and defiant as Eccleston's rant against the Daleks at the end of Bad Wolf, it'll be superb. Oh yeah, and finally, there've been a few rumblings against the Daleks utterance of'What is the meaning of this negative' last week. Apparently this was considered camp in some circles. What would people have preferred? The Daleks turn around and go 'Ooooh, hark at you' to the Doctor?

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