Sunday, July 24, 2011

The A.V. Club looks back at "Doctor Who: The Television Movie"

"Doctor Who: The Television Movie" | Doctor Who (Classic) | TV Club | TV | The A.V. Club:

The console. (Via the Onion)

Thankfully, there is an oasis of calm in the middle of all this, in the performance of Paul McGann as the new Doctor. True, he starts with some egregious overacting demanded by the post-regeneration sequence, in which he can't simply see his new face in a mirror with momentary shock and dismay, as other Doctors have done—no, he's got to wander into a wing of the hospital that has apparently been abandoned for years, see himself in the shards of a dozen broken mirrors, and shout 'WHO?! AM?! I?!' amid thunder and lighting before dropping to his knees in a Christ-crucified pose. But once he's allowed to take things down a notch, McGann acquits himself well, and creates his character's most compelling moments during the quietest scenes. He's charming, a little scatterbrained, has an unaffected, graceful courtesy and moments of great enthusiasm and whimsy, like his unexpected glee at discovering that his new shoes fit after all. But it's really just a taste; there really isn't quite enough here to judge the Eighth Doctor, especially considering how Roberts' hamming it up as the Master overshadows the last third of the story.
This review pretty much gets it right. I didn't hate this as much after seeing again last year as I did back when I first watched it, but it was deeply flawed (no chance of  launching a successful relaunch back then, though the idea of a BBC and American network co-production still appeals to me) and extremely problematic in terms of continuity.
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