Friday, August 22, 2014

Doctor Who--"Rose"

I have only the vaguest familiarity with Dr. Who, so I had very few preconceived notions about the new Who and can bypass the entire 27h v. 1st season classification argument altogether. My emotional attachments to the old who are few and far between. I recall a Tom Baker episode or two on PBS as a tyke, but I was way too young to appreciate the subtties of the plots or the dry British humor. I met up with Tom Baker’s Doctor again in the early ‘90’s when the Sci Fi Channel aired a few seasons in their afternoon lineup and the occasional reunion movie. Speaking of movies, I sat through the 1996 TV movie movie but wasn’t all that impressed. I got the feeling many Who fans wee as well. I understand their problem. As a comic book fan, I’m part of a cottage industry in which there are certain expectations as to how characters are going to act. It doesn’t translate well to other mediums and when the beloved characters are done badly for an audience who doesn’t care about what’s gone before, it’s painful. It does not appear the new season has disappointed fans.

The episode feels very muh like a pilot with no lingering backstory rather than a continuation of the previos series. I’m not sure how adamant fans are about either case being true. Regardless, we have some shape shifting aliens, not unlike the T-1000 from Terminator Ii, chasing after poor Rose. The girl is in way over her head, but once she is rescued by the Doctor, develops a fascination with him. Once he saves her the first time, Rose takes to the internet to discover more about him. Nice touch, really. I imagine the Doctor has mostly lived on through the internet over the years. Rose encounters the doctor again when he rescues her from an alien that has assumed the form of her boyfriend. The doctor thwarts their nefarious plan to take over the Earth and offers Rose the chance to become his companion, which she rather impulsively accepts once she learns the TARDIS can travel through time.

I have always assumed the Doctor had a certain arrogance that allowed him to be cruel in order to get certain jobs done. The Doctor seemed particularly violent in this episode, tearing the head of an alien. Perhaps it is my unfamiliarity with the character, but I seem to recall him surviving more on whit and cleverness in the past.This was a nifty introduction to the series. The villains seemed too much like throwaway characters to me, but the emphasis on the episode was all about getting Rose and the Doctor together, so I can’t complain much. Some of the humor went over my head and quite a few of the special effects were laugh out loud pitiful, but I had a good time watching, and that’s all that counts.

Rating: *** (out of 5)

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