Doctor Who : Dreamland
I have just watched Dreamland the animated episode which has been on the red button for a while and I must admit that I wasn’t really looking forward to it, after bad reports I had heard about it, but now I have seen it.
I am glad that I ignored all of that and went into the story open minded. I didn’t watch it on the red button because at the moment our Freeview box is playing silly buggers and the red button doesn’t actually work at the moment but I might have got a bit bored of waiting for the next instalment so I am glad that I watched it in its full length format. I think the story flows much better in this format and it actually draws you in, which I don’t think it would have done in its shorter segments.
A lot of people complained about the animation but I don’t think that it was all that bad really. I have seen far worse animation than this on television and, it has to be said, far better animation but in this case I think it kind of worked. The only major thing I picked up with the animation is the characters didn’t really have many facial mannerisms to speak of and did seem a little bit stiff but apart from that I didn’t think it was too bad.
It certainly allowed for some rather nifty effects work and stuff that would have been way beyond the television budget to realise that if often the hallmark of animation. The story, like the best stories in animation (and the better single part stories in the television series), is a rather simple story that has a beginning and middle and an end, and it was written by someone who was worked in animation before, which I think does give it that edge that something like The Infinite Quest didn’t have, which didn’t really work for me.
If it didn’t have Georgia Moffett’s name in the title sequence I would have no idea that it was her playing the part of the waitress Cassie who was taken along for the ride by the Doctor along with her friend Jimmy Stalkingwolf which is a great name and is a bit like that companion they mentioned possibly having in The Last of the Timelords from the Nth Doctor book. Both Moffett and Tim Howar (who played Jimmy) did the usual companion things of asking the questions that the audience needed to know to keep up the plot, which due to the stories running time have to be told quickly in short, sharp strokes.
David Tennant is playing his Doctor more like his persona in his first series before he started to display the dark nature of his persona which might be the way he is portrayed in the Doctor Who Adventures comic strips, whom this story is squarely aimed at. The paranoia of the early fifties America is well played here with all of the local characters being positive that the Reds were out to get them.
I had to laugh when the Doctor said Manchester United when he first heard someone return to the reds, although as a Liverpool fan a little bit insulted that Manchester United was the first team he thought of when he heard the term reds. Another reason to dislike this Doctor I guess.
Even though this was squarely designed at the readers of Doctor Who Adventures there were plenty of references for the adult audience who were watching the references to Die Hard and the Aliens franchise in particular. I guess the Doctor also like actions movies in this incarnation.
What with this, the Christmas specials and the Christmas Idents us Doctor Who fans are being spoiled rotten this year after a nine month gap between episodes, the wait till the new series will seem like a brief moment compared to this year so we all have something to be thankful for.