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Doctor Who! And a rant.

19 April 201003:59PMlifereview

So at this point I'm assuming that if you wanted to watch the new episode of Doctor Who, you would have, being as how it's been on the torrent sites for 2 weeks, iView since midnight Friday and was on ABC last night at 7:30. Thusly, this post may contain traces of massive spoilers. You have been warned. :P

First off, Matt Smith is awesome. I'm pretty sure he will literally end up being the best New Doctor we've ever had, and the only reason he's not the best Doctor ever full stop is that Tom Baker was in the old series (you know the one, ludicrously long scarf, fedora hat, and jelly babies. Also remarkably large teeth...) Towards the end there, Tennant was getting a little too angsty, and Eccleston was a bit too angsty as well, so hopefully Smith will get over himself a bit (I mean, Tennant decided he'd never take any companions again, and within 5 minutes of regenerating, Matt Smith pretty much defines what it means to be a companion: "I'm the Doctor. Do everything I tell you. Don't ask stupid questions. And don't wander off." (While we're on the topic of quotes, my favourites are "Amy, it's vital that you remember this, cause one day your life may depend on it... I am definitely a mad man with a box!" and also, "I need... fish fingers... with custard. Yes." Moving on...)

So yes, less angsty. Also less cheesy, since really, all the 10th Doctor episodes after The Stolen Earth were unbelievably cheesy with the exception of Planet of the Dead, which was great. This series so far looks much more serious, more scary, and (I'm going to sound like a massive nerd here) more 'old school'. Matt Smith looks like he would actually fit in in the old series (the 1960s-1980s one) and so does his Tardis, his title sequence, his theme tune, his companion, and the kind of stories he gets. This probably has a lot to do with having a new writer and also an attempt to possibly get away from the hordes of screaming David Tennant fangirls or introduce them to what Doctor Who always used to be about (or maybe I'm just being cynical and reading too much into this) At any rate, I'm pumped.

This actually provides a pretty good segue into today's meaningless rant: The Decline Of Modern Science Fiction. There's something that I've noticed about SF plots, and how often they show up in mainstream movies and stuff, and how SF seems to be becoming just another synonym for "Large Budget Action Film". The latest incarnation of Doctor Who goes against this, for reasons I'll explain shortly, but for an example of this exact trend, I point you to the latest Star Trek film. Let's go back a bit over the last few Star Trek films. First Contact talked about the implications of increasing incorporation of technology into life (the Borg) as well as a moderately interesting time travel plot. Insurrection was all about a scientific fountain of youth, and whether the exploitation thereof for the greater good was worth the displacement of the native population. Nemesis, while being a bit crap, was a decent film about cloning and a sprinkling of determinism and morals. The new Star Trek film? Whilst being thoroughly enjoyable, throws that entire universe out the window, invokes a frankly ludicrous unscientific use of black holes, and is basically a shoot- em-up in space. Yes, it's a much better movie, but is it really still Sci-fi, or just action IN SPAAAAAACE!? How about Avatar? (ooooh, contentious! Or not.) That film had some serious potential further than being a special effects fest. Instead, they go for Pocahontas IN SPAAAAAACE!, with a sprinkling of science on top (seriously, I'd watch two hours of Sigourney Weaver laying the smack down on some military type about planet wide tree based neural networks over the entire rest of Avatar any day).

On the other hand, 2009 gave us District 9 and Moon (Moon is fricking brilliant, by the way- very Arthur C. Clarke / Stanley Kubrick / 2001-esque, without being predictable (I refused to believe the AI wasn't psychotic right up 'til the end) and has a really awesome twist (Is it time travel? Cloning? A drug/alien induced illusion?) and has a great premise and really good acting (bonus points for Sam Rockwell for having my name in his name :D ), but I digress.) My point is, that SF should make you think, instead of being just an excuse for expensive special effects. Yes, I understand that they have to make money, I just wish they didn't need to use the name Science Fiction to do it with. I mean, it's got science in the name, the least they could do is do a little research. Maybe we need 2 different genres- one for real speculative fiction style SF, and one for regular action-adventure films which just happen to be set in space (I'm looking at you, Star Wars, you thinly veiled Hero's Journey... This is not a new issue)

Okay, that's it for my rant. If you tuned out at the start, you can come back now.

It is now the end of the holidays, and I haven't done anywhere near the amount of homework we were meant to do, haven't even started the boring ass-book we were meant to read for Lit (seriously, Fringe of Leaves... it's like he sat down and deliberately wrote "SRS LITERACHUR" with the intent of winning a Nobel Prize and putting Lit students to sleep) nor started my media project, but I don't really care. At this point I'm getting seriously sick of the whole school thing and I'd like it to be over soon, plzkthx.

The end for now... I'll probably write something else next weekend because it's a long weekend and I'll need to whine about the Ball or whatnot, but don't hold me to that. Anyway... bye.

I really need to work on my sign-off. grumbles

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