What does this mean? It means that the production team of Joe Ogulin and Louis Singh, better known as The Two in the TARDIS, have come out of their hiatus and are back to give you our opinion of the Doctor Who movie, "whether you like it... or not." Feel free to send flames to /dev/null. :-)
Let us begin by thanking Fox for not using any glowing dots or red trails to help the uninitiated better follow the TARDIS as it wanders throughout the galaxy and time continuum. We sincerely hope that they do not use FoxBots in place of Daleks.
Now, let us begin with a summary of the plot, and there actually is plenty of it, especially after the first hour.
Let's see. It begins with you know Who number 8 giving a narrative. He talks about how you know who was put on trial on the planet Skaro, and that as his last request, you know Who be the one to transport his remains back to Gallifrey. (The salt-and-pepper-shaker exterminators were kind enough not to even attempt to exterminate you know Who.) Anyway, after seeing a computer-generated image of what appears to be Roger Delgado's incarnation turned into sparkly dust, we break to a new opening sequence. Back to more narrative, but instead of seeing you know Who's 8th incarnation, we see his 7th. We see him locking you know who's remains inside a mini treasure chest, pointing the sonic screwdriver in the wrong direction. He bypasses his 900 year diary (notice how it's rather thin... remember, he doesn't have enough time to write to it) in favor of Timelash, er, The Time Machine, while listening to some soft jazz and sipping tea. (Must be the equivalent of 4pm.) You know who manages to escape (yet again) and cause the you know WHAT to malfunction. (So what else is new?) After an emergency landing of the you know WHAT, where everything on the control panel is conveniently labelled in English (instead of Old High Gallifrean), at the garage, er, General Motors place in Vancouv... er... uh... San Francisco on December 30, 1999, you know Who gets shot "accidentally." (yeah, right... plot device... this is not a UNIT training mission... he would've been safer in London with Dunderhead). So after getting him to hospital (Harry Sullivan is not there to assist, so of course $#!T happens), you know Who dies on an operating table, because nobody believed their eyes. Here we go again... regeneration... "Quincy" wheels him into the freezer, where he becomes the 8th version of you know Who. When he breaks out, imitating a well-known figure from a Book we won't mention, he doesn't know Who he is. So, of course, we go through the standard "let's find a new outfit" routine, at which time he bypasses a familiar-looking scarf. ("Typical... absolutely typical.") Now he walks around dressed in his new garb (NBO would be proud of the way he is dressed), still confoozed. He manages to convince the cardiologist of what occurred, or so he thinks. They go back to her place. Meanwhile, somehow, you know who (doing his best imitation of a certain muscle-bound Republican) gets inside the you know WHAT, to meet up with the "Asian child," who has appropriated you know Who's things (naughty boy). His first encounter with relative dimensions is quite impressive, and we later find that you know who starts telling true lies to the kid. Meanwhile, you know Who is trying to get a Beryllium Clock to repair the you know WHAT. So "Amazing Grace" calls for an ambulance, since she thinks you know Who is nutso (but we already knew that). Guess who and who are driving the ambulance. They found this out by using the Eye of Harmony with the human eye that's melodious with the light. Well, anyway, they get caught in traffic, you know who pukes on Amazing Grace, then you know Who (who now knows Who he is) and AG get away by extinguishing the fire. After copping a motorcycle, you know Who and AG get to the Clock, but not before you know who and the kid. After much mingling, they manage to get the piece of the clock they need, but have to escape from the others, noticing some slimy guards that you know who failed to consider hypnotizing them into being his servants. Of course, they manage to escape for now, partially repair the you know WHAT and even close the Eye. This, however, is not enough. (how did you know?) So they have to somehow jumpstart the you know WHAT. You know Who then asks AG for the neutron ram, at which time Gracie says, "Good night." After waking, he is made up like Alec from "A Clockwork Orange," (which is very apt, considering alarm clocks are so important) you know who attempts to steal you know Who's body. Well, after this, you know who kills the kid, Amazing Grace opens the Eye, and you know Who and who can't move. So Amazing Grace is told to run and set the alarm clock, which she somehow manages to do, despite not knowing anything about the you know WHAT. (How 'bout that... you know Who ain't saving the day... er, millenium.) Into temporal orbit we go. Now you know who tells Gracie, "Good Night," but after a struggle, finds himself where his emaciated self tried to go, once upon a time. Well, somehow, you know Who's idea to head back before the events actually occurred worked, and both AG and the kid live. (Do we now have concrete proof that nobody liked the twit, er, Adric?) You know Who returns them to January 1, 2000. The kid goes off on his own with a warning about next Christmas with something to arm himself against Cybermen invasions. You know Who asks AG to come with him, and she asks him to go with her. Though tempted, they part ways. (and lips... thankfully... HEY! get your mind back into outer space and out of the gutter.) You know who goes on in the you know WHAT, trying to figure out where to go next, and how to keep his record from skipping.
Review... oh boy, are we gonna have fun with this (and oh boy, are we gonna get it after this :-) )
Let's see... should we start with the good or the bad? Let's start with the bad and the ugly. It took way too long to get to the actual regeneration, and it felt like a padded three-parter. What's with this garbage about you know Who being half human? Though it is an attempt to explain his attachment to you know where, it's a really weak excuse and makes no sense whatsoever. What's with the slime? Whatever happened to you know who being such a masterful hypnotist and everyone obeying? Aha! We've got it! The reason you know Who is half human is so that the story is filled with nonsense and so that nobody can be hypnotized! :-) The way you know Who died is not Syl-ie enough. What do we mean? Well, you know Who 7 would be far more likely to die while actually saving someone. It's just his way. The Puccini opera-ting room reminded us too much of Keff McCullough. The parting kiss should've been parted from the film. We can understand the one when he suddenly remembers who Who is, but that final one was like trying to take a horse pill. This movie actually had worse continuity problems than "Mawdryn Undead." (and that's saying something... Hi, JN-T... we don't mean to cheap-shot you :-) ) Take, for example, how you know who was able to appropriate Tremas's body at the end of The Keeper of Traken, but wasn't just satisfied with absconding with Bruce's body and going off to make trouble... see above regarding hypnosis... you know who wasn't handled all that well, especially considering his previous suave and debonaire, yet impeccably mannered evil style versus his now completely pure revengeful style... and since when has the Panopticon moved to the middle of you know Who's you know WHAT? This seems to be a cognitive dissonance. If the NHL can promote some of these really garish jerseys, can we please have Nehru jackets come back for you know who?
Now let's get on to the good. It's baaaaaack! (Sorry... shameless piece of self-promotion.) Let's start with Paul McGann. EXCELLENT choice to replace Sylvester. He doesn't have Colin's dress (non)sense (thank Rassilon), and his character is quite believable. He seems real, and well-suited for the role. Eric Roberts is adequate as you know who, however, we believe that even with better scripting, he still could be the correct choice for the role. Watching you know Who select his new outfit was quite reminiscent of previous regenerations, as was the welcomed reappearance of his old friend and tasty tidbits (sonic screwdriver and not Amazing Grace). The interior of the you know WHAT looks far more like the Rani's; however, we believe that an excellent job was done with the design. The only thing missing are the roundels in the walls. A gratuitous quarry scene would've helped, but is not absolutely necessary. Both Amazing Grace and the Asian child would make excellent travelling companions, as long as they have rooms of their own. (We don't want to be reminded of Sarah Jane in love stories.) Both are believable characters, and have depth. Watching some of the standard silly things, such as the Asian child's first entry into the you know WHAT, as well as the motorcycle cop making a U-turn inside it, are quite amusing... however tire tracks are not what the council room carpeting needed. We find that keeping the 900 year diary thin, and having you know Who repairing the you know WHAT console to be good binders to the original BBC series, especially when you know Who has to whack the console to get the you know WHAT to work. The special effects were of a very high quality, too. The opening sequence, while lacking the usual melt to you know Who's face, features a peculiar arrangement of the theme (Yo, Universal... the theme is the theme... it's been that way for 26 seasons... it works... you know the old adage... if it ain't broke, don't fix it... the you know WHAT not withstanding), and was actually quite impressive. We were also impressed with the cat-like appearance of you know who, considering the last time we saw him (we're glad he survived Survival).
There is lots of potential in this story. However, it takes a bit too long for it to gel and get started with the actual story. A better revision of the script might help this along.
Overall? We liked it. Yeah, we're picking nits... but like any good reviewer (read: we're just being purists), we're stating our opinion. If you don't like it, that's just TS... tough steering. Besides, if they really do want to make a series out of it, they have a very good start with this movie. And we seriously hope they carry through with Mr. Segal's concept of bringing in Terrance Dicks as producer, and Mr. Dicks' concept of bringing in Barry Letts as script editor... and that they keep the series format the same (ie, a "30 minute" episode each week, instead of a self-contained story in each episode). To alienate your fan base is a big mistake. (Just ask the NHL and Fox... gee, you'd think we were hockey fans... nah... we just like to play it, and use our heads while watching the game.) You should work to please them, while expanding your base. We know that it's impossible to please everyone, but you should work toward pleasing the majority... and in this case, that's the fans of the original BBC series.
Our congratulations to Mr. Segal and his production team, Mr. Jacobs for performing the daunting task of writing the script, Mr. McCoy for being gracious enough to appear and do a proper regeneration scene, and to Fox for taking a chance on this movie.
Jeers to the Beeb for making us wait so bloody long.
Thanks to all the other production companies for vying for this (especially those headed by Terrance Dicks, Verity Lambert, John Nathan-Turner, and Victor Pemberton).
And now, for the moment you've all been waiting for... IMPOSSIBLE TRIVIA! :-) Remember, these questions can (but don't necessarily) include things from the movie.
Food for thought (wow... a new section, and we're not talking jelly babies here, nor "tenderizing the meat")
That's all for now... until we next *vworp* into your news reader or web browser... this is The Two in the TARDIS saying, "Yo, Fox... we still got a fandom parody written from a fan's point-of-view... think of the great stuff we could do to us... er... them!"
--The Two in the TARDIS
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