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Doctor Who: Rose (Review)

To celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the longest-running science-fiction show in the world, I’ll be taking weekly looks at some of my own personal favourite stories and arcs, from the old and new series, with a view to encapsulating the sublime, the clever and the fiendishly odd of the BBC’s Doctor Who.

Rose originally aired in 2005.

So, I’m going to go up there and blow them up, and I might well die in the process, but don’t worry about me. No, you go home. Go on. Go and have your lovely beans on toast. Don’t tell anyone about this, because if you do, you’ll get them killed.

(beat)

I’m the Doctor, by the way. What’s your name?

Rose.

Nice to meet you, Rose. Run for your life!

– the Doctor and Rose

It’s amazing to think of the pressure weighing down on Rose. Sure, Doctor Who has gone from strength-to-strength since its revival in 2005, but there was a time when its resurrection seemed unlikely, to say the least. Although fans had kept the show alive in various media, it must have seemed highly unlikely that they show would ever return to television, let alone as a massive success. Producer Russell T. Davies might have seemed like an unlikely choice. Although he had written some spin-off material, like other British television writers including Steven Moffat and Paul Cornell, Davies was best known for producing shows like Queer as Folk and The Second Coming. Nevertheless, he had been campaigning to bring the show back for quite some time, notably in 1998 and 2002, before finally bringing the revived show to screen in late March 2005.

Although the edges are still a bit rough in places, Rose serves as an effective introduction to the Russell T. Davies, and contains the seeds of what would become the show’s success. Borrowing (and reinventing) heavily from perhaps the last seismic re-tooling of the series in Spearhead from Space, the show presents a version of Doctor Who for a new generation.

Run!

Run!

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Watch! Trailers for The Impossible and Song for Marion…

I love me some Terrence Stamp.

Okay, a lot of that love is rooted in the fact that he was cinema’s best comic book supervillain for well over a decade, playing the iconic Zod (of “kneel before…” fame) in Superman II. However, as I grew older, I came to love spotting Stamp in all manner of roles – whether serious, comic, subversive or even random. Whether it’s small roles in comedies like Yes Man or Bowfinger, or leading performances in films like The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, I just have a massive fondness for Stamp. (It’s a fondness, I must confess that extends outwards to other British actors of his generation, including Malcolm McDowell and Patrick Stewart.)

Anyway, I just received this trailer for Song for Marion, and it looks like it could be fun. Stamp plays a grumpy old man who gets involved in his wife’s choir. Oh, and Christopher Eccleston plays his son. It’s strange, but somehow brilliant casting. Anyway, the clip is below.

There’s also this trailer for The Impossible, starring Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts. It’s the story of a family struggling to survive the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. I’m very curious to see how this plays out, because it’s a premise that really needs to be handled with a great deal of care.

Non-Review Review: G.I. Joe – The Rise of Cobra

I never grew up with G.I. Joe. For me it was Batman: The Animated Series or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. To me, this franchise was just a bunch of generic toy soldiers – in fact, I didn’t even know that they had separate names or defining characteristics. So I come to this movie without a sense of nostalgia or a familiarity with the core product. So, Stephen Sommers’ adaptation of the popular multi-media franchise to the big screen is my first major exposure to the product, and it left me feeling like I’d spent two hours watching a guy playing with toys, rather than making a movie. One of the characters even has a “kung-fu grip”.

It's a black-and-white world...

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Non-Review Review: 28 Days Later

Welcome to the m0vie blog’s zombie week! It’s a week of zombie-related movie discussions and reviews as we come up to Halloween, to celebrate the launch of Frank Darbont’s The Walking Dead on AMC on Halloween night. So be sure to check back all week, as we’ll be running posts on the living dead.

I know there’s some debate as to whether this is actually a zombie movie – what with the “infected” not technically being dead and all (not to mention the running) – but I think it feels like a “zombie” movie, even if the creatures aren’t necessarily zombies. I’m going to be entirely honest here and confess that while I was impressed with Trainspotting, it was 28 Days Later which confirmed to me the Danny Boyle was a talent to watch. Not just for offering a film which feels different yet never inaccessible, but also for his ability to shift genre – The Beach confirmed him as a quirky almost-indie director, but 28 Days Later demonstrated that he could bring the same talent to low-budget horror. More than that, he constructed a shrewd little film which feels more like a George A. Romero film than any of his more recent efforts.

Danny Boyle's on fire...

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Doctor Who? A Tennant Era Retrospective…

Well, with The Eleventh Hour airing over the weekend, it seems like the perfect time for a reflection on the end of the Russell T. Davies era of Doctor Who. I’ll probably go back and do a retrospective on the Eccleston era at some point in the future, but Tennant’s four years in the brown trenchcoat provide a fertile enough starting ground.

Has the Tenth Doctor got a screw loose?

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