It seems that last year's "Catching up on missed TV" festival chez nous has rolled right on into the new year without missing a beat, and we've kicked off 2011 by finally watching the modern series' of Dr Who. We've wanted to give it a look for a while - like many, harboring fond memories of the show from our own childhoods, and wanting to see how they resurrected it - but when we discovered that David Tennant grew up in the same neighbourhood as our Glasgow family, it was just the push to ensure that we dug in and caught up.
It would be a huge understatement to say that we have most definitely not been disappointed, and are having a BLAST with the adventures of the Tenth Doctor. It's a far cry from Jon Pertwee ("my" Doctor as a child - whoops, I'm dating myself!) and the wobbly-sets and toilet-plunger aliens which used to define the series; the high production values of the new episodes are almost cinematic at times, even if they do (thankfully) still seem to use quarries as locations, and continue to do a great line in Man In Alien Suit characters. It's a glorious blend of adventure, nostalgia, philosophy and humour performed to an amazingly high standard (especially when you consider it's still in some ways considered children's programming!). An absolute pleasure to watch, and truly something the entire family can enjoy together at so many levels.
In addition to enjoying the show itself, it's led us to the work of another brilliant actor in this new "Golden Age" of the BBC - we've now caught up with Tennant's Casanova (which is an absolute delight), the quite extroardinary Blackpool (which is a triumph for all involved - definitely gone straight to our A-list!), and we're looking forward to watching the critically-acclaimed RSC production of Hamlet he starred in as well. For once the reality lives up to the hype, and his performances are infused with an energy, a wit and an epic emotional range which is absolutely deserving of the accolades and superlatives thrown around to describe his work.
For fun, here's a semi-outtake - apparently this was, in fact, used in an episode as part of a sequence where a character fast-forwards through a message from the Doctor, hence why all that mattered was the duration he spoke rather than what he actually said. I live in hope that someday I'll get to sing a recitative that can weather similar daft whimsy!