“Who am I? I’m the Doctor”

5 06 2011

Doctor Who logo - Copyright BBC Worldwide

Apologies on the sparse posting as of late.  I’m usually not much of a television fan, but have been engrossed in two shows over the past couple of weeks.  First, I’m still moving through the original Twilight Zone episodes; the reviews, which are updated regularly, are available on the Twilight Zone master guide page which is located here: https://notesonafilm.wordpress.com/twilight-zone-master-guide/.  I hope you’ll check it out and find some episodes that fit your taste!

The other show that has dominated my life, and much more so, as of late is the British science fiction classic Doctor Who.  I’ve long thought the series would appeal to me, but I try my hardest to avoid television programs (or programmes more appropriately for a British show) when possible because of the time commitments.  However, I have gotten myself sucked into yet another with this series.

Originally, Maddie and I were going to start with the original Doctor Who from the 1960s and try our best to move forward through the entirety of the series.  We actually did watch a few of the original episodes from the William Hartnell era and, though quality was not good because of magnetic tape storage, the stories were very interesting and held up quite well!  Being a show that has had almost 800 episodes, however, we soon decided to take a friend’s advice and start with the 2005 re-boot of the series by Russell T. Davies, which updates the viewer on much of the terminology and makes it so you don’t have to watch the previous 700 episodes to know what is going on.

Because of the BBC’s “cleaning tape” policy of the 1970s, many of the original episodes are unavailable.  Also, though the stories were intriguing, the dated sets and low production value of some of the early episodes were a bit hard to get through.  So, about a week and a half ago, we began the 2005 series which starts with the appearance of the ninth doctor, portrayed by Christopher Eccleston.  We just finished the first season and regeneration into the tenth doctor (David Tennant) and are decidedly hooked on this series.

The first season wasn’t the best looking because of being shot, obviously, on Digital Betacam in 4:3.  However, the stories, performances, direction and, for the time impressive CG sequences, really propelled the series and took the mind away from the video-like look of that season.  Having just watched the special Christmas episode and first episode of the second season, it looks like they made a huge jump in what camera they were using, as it’s 16×9 and 24p (still not sure if it’s SD or downrezzed HD, but looks WAY better).

In short, don’t be surprised if the posts are a bit sparse for a bit while I continue to navigate space and time in my living room.  Do check back frequently for Twilight Zone updates though and I will have a special post when I get the full first season watched and reviewed.  Thanks for your patronage and hopefully my eyes won’t bleed out of my head in the coming weeks from too much sitting in front of the tube!

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