Thursday, August 21, 2014

Throwback Thursday: On An Adventure in Time and Space

I lied. I couldn't stay away from the TARDIS all the way till Monday. This docu-drama is downright touching, which is the first ... and possibly only word I can use to describe it. I was vaguely aware of the history of William Hartnell's tenure on Doctor Who, and aside from artistic licence, it's quite moving.

Most Idiotic Review

"... if there's a problem with An Adventure In Space And Time it's that it's written with the view that the future of television itself is at stake . This is patently untrue and everything I've read on the origins of the show indicates no one had any inkling of the genie they'd released from the bottle and thought of it as a disposable children's television show that probably wouldn't last . That said the programme begins with a disclaimer - though be it in a pretentious manner - that some artistic licence has been taken by the storytelling." — Theo Robertson (IMDB Reviews)

I wasn't surprised that I had difficulty finding a truly idiotic review for this film. Appealing to a fairly limited and already dedicated audience, my thoughts are that most people who went into this weren't going to be overly critical or ... well trolls. I read some complaints of it being unfocused, and the majority of ire is directed at a single, short cameo, but that aside, it seems this was a resounding smash hit.

Most Accurate Review

"As much as the film celebrates the beginning of the little show that could, it also bittersweetly eulogizes the man who was the definite article. Amid all the winking nods to fan-known futures or characters espousing things said in episodes not yet made, the movie focuses on a man’s realization that he’ll never again be what he once was and the fame he’ll no longer have. It’s very moving, and the special cameo during the filming of the first regeneration only served to bring more of a glisten to the eye. It’s a show we all love, but no one loved it more first than its original star." — Kyle Anderson (Nerdist) 

Slipping between the stories of primarily actor William Hartnell and producer Verity Lambert, we are shown the first beginnings of the show which, at the time this aired, was celebrating its 50th Anniversary. Personally, I could have done without the whole of the Doctor Trilogy and stuck with this and been a happier Whovian. David Bradley captures quite the spirit of Hartnell, although he is arguably a bit more gruff in his portrayal, it is still an undeniably moving performance, and the rest of the cast is fantastically picked ... although, all things considered, I was unsure about the actor cast to play Patrick Troughton, the 2nd Doctor. He seemed to have the energy down, but not quite the age, which is a small complaint, I know. 

What I Say

What can I say? It's always harder to talk about something that really moved you. It either comes across as stilted or gushy. So, on the stilted side of things, I think they did a wonderful job bringing to the screen something so well beloved by so many. On the gushy side, I did well up, more than once, in fact. David Bradley delivers such a candid performance that I, at least, shed a tear and Mark Gaitiss' writing is an obvious love letter to the history of the series and my understanding is he's been trying to get this made since 2003.

I won't go into the plot and character or spectacle here. I feel like this is a less-is-more topic, and that most fans who're walking into see this, will already have a vague notion of the history of the show, and those with no foreknowledge of these events, I'll be damned if I could explain it to you. Doctor Who truly is a 'see it to believe it' situation.

Doctor Who truly is an example of Black Swan theory. Never, ever could it have been predicted. 

You know, the more I think about it, Mark Gatiss should just take over from Steven Moffat. Yes, that's obviously what must be done. 

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