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Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Doctor Who On Boxing Day!

I did very little in the Boxing Day sales today. I did go into the city to buy new sandals, as I'm very hard on my shoes and I really needed new ones. While there, I popped into JB Hifi with the gift vouchers burning a hole in my pocket, and used some of the money on them to pick up some DVDs: the movie of Hidden Figures,  the book of which I'm currently reading, a season of Father Brown, with Mark Williams(you may remember him as Rory's Dad in Dr Who, Mr Weasley in Harry Potter or even, if you have been around long enough, Dave Lister's Swedish friend Olaf Petersen in Red Dwarf!) and a Jon Pertwee Dr Who story, "The Time Warrior",  which is the very first Sarah Jane Smith story. That one also features a very young Jeremy Bulloch, who went on to play a role in the BBC Richard II and Edward of Wickham in Robin Of Sherwood.  (Such a nice man, by the way! I met him at a Star Wars convention in Melbourne, where he had been invited because he also did the role of that bounty hunter who brings in Han Solo. He said the  suit of armour a fan lent him to make an entrance for his speech was better than the one he had in the film. He wandered around chatting to everyone and I chatted with him in the foyer for about half an hour.)

So, I'm looking forward to seeing my new DVDs and wearing my sandals. But that isn't the most important thing I did today.

On an impulse, yesterday, I bought a ticket to see the DW Christmas special on the big screen at the Jam Factory cinema. I'm glad that I did, because I forgot to watch it at 7.30 p.m. this evening, when it was on the ABC, and due to the current version of iView, the app that lets you watch a show you've missed, refusing to be used by anything but the most up to date operating system, I could only have watched it on my tiny iPhone. And the episode won't be out till February.

The story was bookended by making-of documentaries that kept reminding us that this was the last story, both for Peter Capaldi and Steven Moffat. Yes, yes, we know! We KNOW! But still, it was interesting to watch, and to listen to the cast and the director and Steven Moffat talking about the Who experience. Even David Bradley, who played the first Doctor, was excited by it - he has been watching since the Hartnell era!

David Bradley did an amazing first Doctor; despite his claim to be only doing a "riff" on William Hartnell, you could half-close your eyes and pretend he was William Hartnell. The voice and manner was there. If you've seen the telemovie bio of Hartnell,  An Adventure In Space And Time, you'll remember that he played the role of William Hartnell playing the Doctor. Apparently Peter Capaldi made a joke at ComicCon that it might be fun to have him as the first Doctor and Steven Moffat thought, what a good idea! If you haven't seen him in AST, I am pretty sure you will have seen him as Argus Filch, the school's obnoxious caretaker, in Harry Potter!

A bit of a disappointment that, although he wasn't keen on the changes in the TARDIS, the first Doctor did NOT say, "You've been doing the TARDIS up a bit! I don't like it." It was an in-joke from The Three  Doctors, and was repeated by David Tennant to Matt Smith, as I recall.

They made sure there were some blasts from the past in this story, including Bill and Nardole, and even - no, spoilers, sweetie! In case you haven't seen it yet, there was one more former companion, and I liked what Steven Moffat said about his reasons for including this one.

It was funny and sad and I did sniffle a bit at saying goodbye to Peter Capaldi. In some ways, if I had to compare him to any previous Doctor, he's the closest to Tom Baker. Not entirely - Tom Baker's Doctor wouldn't be making some of the speeches he does, like the one about why he is doing what he does, because it's kind, and kindness is vital.  But he had a similar zaniness to him, and witty comments.

The only annoying thing is the cliffhanger ending - dammit, we had to wait through a cliffhanger for this one, and now we'll probably have to wait till - April? - to find out what happens next. The regeneration was there. Interesting that the theme here was "moving On". Both Doctors had refused to regenerate(and they did a very good fade-in from black and white to colour, as the first Doctor declares to Ben and Polly that he isn't going to do it.). Both of them eventually realise that dreadful things will happen in the world if they just allow themselves to die. Well, for one thing, if the first Doctor dies, there will be no second to twelfth Doctors, will there?

Anyway, I was very pleased with it, even if it did finish off the lovely Peter C, and now I want to see what the female incarnation will do. I think, from the one line she got, that we may have another over-the-top, crazy Doctor.

Fingers crossed for the new stories!

So, if you saw it, what did you think?


Unknown said...

There was a tweet that I was half inclined to reply to, saying how clever it was to make the first Dr so misogynistic, and then having the next Dr be a woman, and that it was meant to be a dig at all the people who have been dissing a woman Dr. I have to say, I disagree. I don't think I've actually seen a Hartnell era episode, but I don't believe he would have been so overtly antagonistic. If anything, I felt that it undermined the Dr as a whole. Apart from that, it was quite a fun episode, and a good way for PC to exit.

Sue Bursztynski said...

Goodness, you've never seen a Hartnell episode? Ever? They're easily available these days, apart from the missing episodes. The first Doctor was basically a grumpy old man who was quite happy to have a go at everyone. His first companions were his granddaughter Susan(whom he eventually locked out of the TARDIS because she was in love with a young man she had met along the way and she was torn) and two of Susan's teachers, Ian and Barbara. Susan was bright and well educated and was never, as I recall, asked to dust the TARDIS and if he'd tried asking Barbara to do it, she would have let him know what she thought of him. I rather think that bit was a joke about the 1960s, when Hartnell was the Doctor. What about that scene where Bill asks him why he stole the TARDIS and ran off and he didn't answer? So we still don't know!