Peter Rogers's Blog
Artist-in-Residence at Chez Firth
Monday (1/30/12) 10:00pm - ... wherein Peter starts taking notes on Doctor Who.
I've been taking notes on the first David Tennant season of Doctor Who, as preparation for the upcoming run of The Professor at SVT.
- Looks to be very much a monster-of-the-week sort of show.
- Be sure to *tease out* the horrible monster before actually showing it.
- You can also cut past/not show the really horrid things the monsters do.
- The monster is often a conventional supernatural beastie.
- But it's given a scientific explanation.
- But honestly, the "science" involved is really just so much hand-wavey magic.
- The bad guys generally are broad and simple, in the sense that they aren't complicated/conflicted (like say Cylons).
- If the bad guy genuinely wants nothing more than just "EAT ALL THE HUMANS", You're Doing It Right.
- Heighten the threat.
- At least put the Doctor and the Companion in danger.
- Better still, put the whole world in danger.
- If on top of that, you put the whole universe/multiverse in danger, You're Doing It Right.
- Looks like you can definitely *slowly* sort out what's going on.
- It's not as slow as Twilight Zone/Star Trek, but it's definitely not run-run-run all the time. There are scenes where characters contemplate possible explanations for the weirdness.
- Also, give secondary characters a chance to dismiss the oddness that the Doctor is investigating.
- If you find crazy-and-fun times/places to go to, You're Doing It Right.
- It also feels okay to do Whovian takes on other genres/works.
- Always a good bet to paint the Doctor into an absolutely impossible corner by about the ¾ point.
- You can always deus ex machina your way out of it.
- If you can reincorporate some earlier plot elements as you do so, all the better.
- Also good: making room for a simple, emotional two-hander amidst all the "world in danger" chaos.
- Easy way to heighten the danger: (temporarily) disable the TARDIS or the sonic screwdriver.
- The Doctor will often declaim this week's weirdness as "Impossible!" early in the ep.
- Fortunately for the humans, it looks like PTSD doesn't exist in the Whoniverse.
- Horrible global catastrophes happen, and the world manages to keep looking and feeling like the modern-day earth we know and love.
- If at some point the Doctor and the Companion wind up fleeing hand-in-hand from several explosions and a horde of rabid aliens, You're Doing It Right.
- Outside of a few puzzle-box episodes (e.g. "Father's Day"), the show doesn't really concern itself with brain-bendy questions re: time-travel logistics.
contemplative · Music: