Thursday, June 08, 2006
THE NEW TENNANT (DAVID TENNANT, THAT IS). The Tenth Doctor has debuted on the new series of Doctor Who (in England only but, of course, your intrepid Cerptseroony has managed to clap his eyes on several episodes already). I have had the pleasure to see the "Children in Need" 10 minute special, "The Christmas Invasion", "New Earth" and "Tooth and Claw". OK Ern, so are we pencilled in for Friday for you to get a sneak peek at 'em??? Anyway, the first actual appearance of David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor (not counting the end of Christopher Eccleston's final episode) was in an approximately 10 minute snippet on the "Children in Need" special. This is interesting, if fairly cursory, stuff which mainly deals with Rose's (Billie Piper's) initial shock at the Doctor's transformation. The first full episode is "The Christmas Invasion" which strikes me as very reminiscent of the Ninth Doctor's first episode "Rose". The New Doctor and Rose land the TARDIS back in London on Christmas Eve to visit Rose's Mum and boyfriend Mickey. Of course, things can't be that simple. Not only is the Doctor having particular trouble with his regeneration (he spends half the episode out cold in bed) but Rose, Jackie and Mickey are attacked by homicidal Santas (pictured here) and a murderous Christmas tree (you have to see it to believe it!). That's all before the aliens invade! Harriet Jones (Penelope Wilton, pictured) is back once again but this time as Prime Minister. At the last minute, of course, the Doctor manages to save the world (in his jammies, yet)! Of the three full episodes here, this is probably the best one. The human relationships are the strong point and the acting is first rate. As the new Doctor, David Tennant is very good. Only in comparison to Christopher Eccleston does he suffer; but who wouldn't!!! The next episode, "New Earth", is probably my least favourite of the three but it has it's good moments (including a very funny lip lock between Rose and the Doctor (pictured). After the Earth was destroyed in the future (in Christopher Eccleston's second episode "The End of the World"), the new Earth has been created (with the help of Captain Jack, who hasn't returned in the first three episodes of the second series as yet). The Doctor and Rose land (in a field of fragrant apple grass) and venture into the super-futuristic hospital (pictured) where they not only meet some cat nurses (pictured) but TWO returning characters who were last seen in Christopher Eccleston's season last year. I won't spoil the surprise but it's great fun. Finally, the third episode is called "Tooth and Claw" for good reason; it's a werewolf story. Just like Christopher Eccleston's third episode (do you see a pattern emerging here?), The Doctor and Rose travel back to Victorian times where they meet Queen Victoria herself (played by Shirley Valentine's Pauline Collins, pictured) and a fairly impressive CGI werewolf. There are also a group of monks who practise martial arts on wire-work a la Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (some impressive stunt work for a BBC TV production). Perhaps it's just the inevitable come-down after Christopher Eccleston's departure but the stories in the new season don't seem to be quite as well-written as the first. Maybe it's just the impossibly high standard of last year's season but these episodes seem to be just a notch below last year's. This doesn't reflect on David Tennant, whom I actually like a lot more than I thought I would. He's quite excellent as the Doctor and, if we can't have Eccleston, then he'll do quite nicely. One can only hope that the calibre of scripts improve in the rest of the season. In a few months, I'm hoping to be able to see some more episodes but, until then, that's all I have for you. And I'm most sorry, Miss Jenny Penny, but the fourth episode (with Buffy the Vampire Slayer's Giles) I haven't seen; however I HAVE seen the coming attractions for it. I'll let you take a peek next Sunday. Until then, here's a photo of him just for you!!!