March 05, 2004
LOOKING GOOD FOR NEW DR WHO
League of Gentlemen's Mark Gatiss (who's writing for the new Dr Who series) on the good Doctor. 'Russell T Davies said to me the other day that he worked it out in his head that he's always regarded it as a science fiction, but what Doctor Who always did best was horror and I think that's absolutely true. From arctic bases besieged by monsters to Cybermen on the moon, it's the creeping unknown, it's the shadows and the hand at the end of the episode; it's all horror.'
Posted by mark at March 5, 2004 07:08 PM
I’m unfamiliar with Cornell and Shearman, and Moffat’s evidently very capable, but doesn’t Gatiss’s work for the League suggest precisely the sort of fandom ‘knowingness’ that seeped into and wrecked Eighties Who?
If only Anthony Horowitz could get the commission. His Crime Traveller was intricately plotted against the paradoxes and futility of time travel.
I think I take the opposite view of LOG really --- despite its ostensible comedy/ send-up orientation, there was a real underlying horror. I prefer to hope Gatiss' enthusiasm will not translate into PoMo self-reference. That's why I was encouraged by his remarks on Horror (although I suppose it's slightly worrying that this revelation only just occurred to Russell T Davies!)
As for Crime Traveller - fuck, sounds absolutely brilliant. How did I miss this?
I think I take the opposite view of LOG really --- despite its ostensible comedy/ send-up orientation, there was a real underlying horror.
If you like Grand Guignol and theatrical dentures ;-)
How did I miss this?
It was Michael French’s first starring role after EastEnders. That’s how everyone missed it.
I prefer to hope Gatiss' enthusiasm will not translate into PoMo self-reference. That's why I was encouraged by his remarks on Horror
The League’s shot-by-shot recreations of Lawrence Gordon Clark’s production of A Warning to the Curious and selected scenes from Hammer classics are a tad too close to PoMo spodder Hell for my liking...
Didn’t Moffat write a Who pisstake for Comic Relief?
Know what you mean, but the problem with Who wasn't spoddish appropriation of other mythologies/ films/ books - the classic period is full of that, from the repeated plundering of Hammer's Quatermass and the Pit in Pertwee's time to the Gothic remixes of the Hinchcliffe period - no, the problem was implosive, implexed self-referentialism.
It’s not a question of plot or motif; Gatiss, rather, is glorying in sheer obscurity of his filmic references. If it weren’t for the comments of a professional TV historian, I’d have been oblivious to the referential kaleidoscope of their studiedly unfunny Christmas special.
This is to ignore Davies’ role as supervising script editor, who, on past evidence, does have a gothic sensibility.
On the subject of genuinely frightening comedy – their 1977 Christmas special, in fact – can anything hold a candle to the Goodies’ Earthanasia?
> can anything hold a candle to the Goodies’
Sphaleotas is obviously forgetting the Two Ronnies 'The Worm that Turned' (the best sketch Helmut Newton never art-directed).
It may just be my innate pessimism, but I can't help seeing this new dr. who-written-by-LOG as a winning formula dreamt up in a marketing meeting, with the inevitable self-conscious box-ticking nostalgia-driven mess as a result.
If they trust these writers to do something good, why don't they commission them to come up with a NEW concept, like in da old days?
Still we must hope....
Terry Nation is dead, undercurrent, as well you know.
I dunno. I liked the LOG Christmas special. I think the references are there if you want em - the humour and enjoyment of the show doesn't depend on them, as it does in real PoMo. Worth noting that Gatiss wrote for Dr Who before, so it's not as if he's been hauled in for cred points. I prefer to remain optimistic; I like Davies' stuff, I think he'll take it seriously, and the show is so full of potential that it is senseless not to revive it.
Pointless damning it before anyone's seen it and indeed before the lead actor has been cast and before a frame has even been shot.
Sphaleotas is obviously forgetting the Two Ronnies' 'The Worm that Turned'
The BBC has remade it as Knealean speculative drama:
If... It Was a Woman’s World (31 March)
What Men fight back at the prospect of becoming second-class citizens in post-feminist 2020, where women have finally triumphed in the battle of the sexes.
Why Girls outperform boys at every level of education and have feminised the workplace by removing hierarchies, set working hours and the downside of motherhood.
(Radio Times, w/e 12 March, p.32)