Last night turned into a bit of a Sci-Fi night. Earlier in the afternoon the Disney spectacular The Black Hole was shown, and later on Beth spotted that Channel 4 was re-showing Flash Gordon, a film so cheesy that it is a laugh to watch, including such classic lines as “Flash I love you, but we only have fourteen hours to save the Earth!”, and a masterclass in overacting from a number of people in the cast!
The main events of the evening were part 2 of the new series of Doctor Who. Despite the increasingly bitter press coverage over his exit Chris Eccleston again proved why the BBC were keen to get him to do the role. Some parts of the basic plot were a bit derivative (The Restaurant at the End of the Universe anyone?), but the execution was very well done. Downers were the giant fans which reminded me of the scene in Galaxy Quest where the vital system was beyond the totally pointless dangers, and also a slight question over the morality of the final scene where the Doctor’s compassion seems to go out the window. It was also interesting to note that one of the proposed plotlines for the 90’s Doctor Who movie – “Doctor Who: The Last of the Timelords” – seems to have put in an appearance, as we also found out that the Timelords are now extinct, (or should that be exterminated?) and that the Doctor is alone. It remains to be seen quite how the show fared this week against the might of Ant and Dec!
The other big event of the night was the restaging of the Quatermass Experiment. To some extent it showed it’s 50’s roots, in that for a modern audience the pacing was slightly odd. It also had a couple of “this is definitely live” moments when lines were fluffed, or stuff was knocked over. Having said that, what was probably the first live drama that the BBC has done for years worked pretty well. However I’d like to see a version done with the time to put on some up to date special effects – the kind of stuff that couldn’t be done on a live performance.
Having said that, if you haven’t ever seen it, it is worth getting hold of the one surviving original Quatermass series, Quatermass And The Pit, that was produced in 1958, and thankfully was taped, unlike the original Quatermass Experiment. I saw it first when Dad bought the first video release, and saw it again more recently. Even though it is nearly 50 years old, it stands up to modern viewing with it’s story of a strange object found whilst digging the foundations for a new development. Just one tip, make sure you clear some space behind your sofa as it is something that will definitely have you dashing behind as the story progresses!