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Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Geek/CounterGeek: Who's On First?

Think Vito can't get any geekier? Think again.

Geek: Doctor Who is Back... And It's About Time

British sci-fi classic Doctor Who is often ridiculed for its cheap sets, bad makeup and laughable special effects. The show was on from 1963 - 1989, so somebody liked it. Actually, it was incredibly popular for much of its run in England, and PBS reruns of the seven-year Tom Baker run won it a loyal audience in America.

The last new Who aired in 1996, a one-off TV movie that aired here on Fox. Despite the high production values, the attempt to "Americanize" the show removed what the audience loved so much about it, its uniquely British approach and sensibility.

This Saturday, Doctor Who returns to the BBC. The show is getting a huge amount of press in the UK. The biggest buzz overall, however, was when the first episode popped up on the Internet three weeks before it was scheduled to air. Reviews of the first episode varied wildly, from raves to out and out derision. I've seen the first episode and I have mixed feelings about it. I'll withhold judgment until I see more, but that may be a while- there has been no announcement as to a US broadcast.

CounterGeek: Doctor Who- Cheaper Than Ever

I could look past the shortcomings of classic Dr. Who because I thought the stories were mostly good and the acting was usually top-notch. I was excited about the revival, hoping for a Battlestar Galactica type rebirth - High production values, mature tone and themes and a 21st century feel.

Having seen the first episode, I can only say that the show has failed on all counts. Shot on video to save money, the show alternates between looking like well-done porn and Saved By The Bell. The content of the episode reminds me of The Power Rangers, with silly gags, cheesy villains and a dumb plot. The show truly seems to be aimed at eight year olds.

Christopher Eccleston, who had dead-serious roles in Elizabeth and The Others, seems to be on methamphetamines in the role of the Doctor. His portrayal is so manic and goofy it's hard to watch. It's no wonder there's no U.S. distribution deal.

What do you think? Post a comment now!

Vito's Geek/CounterGeek airs every Tuesday.

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1 other geekspeak:

  • I watched the new "Who" last week. I admit I was a little disappointed the update didn't result in a more sophisticated show. And while visual effects were greatly improved, others still seemed cheesy by 2005 standards.

    But then, this is what we're used to from "Doctor Who," so we can look past all that as long as the story is good, right? Too bad the story in the first episode, "Rose," sucked so much.

    If you watch the trailer for the new series on the official BBC site, it looks like there is some interesting stuff coming up. I'll withhold judgment -- assuming we ever get to see any of those shows.

    By Blogger Roon, at 12:41 PM  

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