Saturday, March 18, 2006

The New Doctor Who (Sci Fi Channel Fridays 9pm)

Christopher Eccleston has inherited a weighty mantle, the BBC's ubiquitous eccentric Timelord...and lordy the good ole time he is having with the sinecure.
The Beeb has revived their stalwart sci fi series and somehow managed to do the franchise a great deal of justice - let me just assert that right off the bat.
Of course, good casting may have something to do with it, Eccleston is both man of action and a humorous Timelord in the grand tradition of Patrick Troughton and Tom Baker. He can also do the solemnity act quite well and even betrays a little of Peter Davidson's harried fussiness at times.
But all in all from what I saw last night he makes the part his own.
Billie Piper as Rose the Doctor's inevitable decorous time traveling companion is easy enough on the eye, can make with the quips and gets into a fair amount of the action. She is a far cry from the old series hapless Jo Grant's and helpless Victoria's.
If there is any big observation from last night's double episode premiere is that the late Douglas Adams' "Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy" books cast a long shadow on this show. A one point, the Doctor and Rose show up at a sort of resort dedicated to observing the heat death of the planet Earth some five billions years into the future.
Sound familiar? It should it is the "Restaurant at the End of the Universe" by any other name.
This ironic as author Douglas Adams started out as a story editor on "Doctor Who" and seems to have written "The Hitch Hiker's Guide" as a loose parody of said program.
Well anyway, "Doctor Who" indulged some gentle payback last night over here in America, it was fun to watch.

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