9th time's the charm?

I have just finished watching the pilot episode of the new Dr. Who series. Obviously, this isn't supposed to be viewed yet since the series hasn't officially started, but anyone paying attention probably knows the first episode was leaked. Some people speculate it was intentional.

In any case, I watched it. My thoughts are as follows.

The flaws are obvious, and easily categorized. I'll start with them.

1: The intro doesn't show Christopher Eccleston's face. Instead, some CG'd names fly across the screen.

2: The logo isn't much good. For the credits it rocks, but they should return to the older logo and perhaps spruce it up a bit for the intro.

3: The Doctor lacks hair. I think no Doctor has had less than 5 inches worth up until this point.

4: Episodes are only one hour long, 45 minutes discounting commercials and including opening and credits. Classic Doctor Who stories were two to four such time periods. This is perhaps the greatest issue and will be discussed further later.

5: There's a scene where we see the 9th in various parts of history as photographed. The problem being its apparent he's just regenerated and has not yet had time to go on such adventures. This means that he'll have to go on adventures to these various places and times, which while novel, is somewhat constraining. Especially since its obvious he didn't prevent the Kennedy assasination. It might have been better is they had shown pictures of the old Doctors at various places they had been.

6: That cool noise at the end of Doctor Who episodes isn't there.

7: There's slightly more music in the episode than there needs to be.

8: The control room is slightly weird.

That sums that up. Barring that, the new series appears to get just about everything else right. The theme song, while not anything new, is appreciated and taken straight form the early doctors. The graphics are updated, but still classic. The TARDIS still spins, which is cool.

True to form, the doctor gets an attractive female companion that knows very little about what is going on but attempts to be helpful none the less and does random things that eventually help and even save the doctor. In the first episode you just want to see her mother and boyfriend shot by Daleks, however.

The doctor himself is quite excellent. He's a different take than previous doctors, but so was the 8th, the 7th, the 6th, the 5th, the 4th etc. I like him anyway but he needs more hair (see problem 3).

The TARDIS is slightly bigger than previous counterparts. Not on the inside but on the outside. The doctor has also apparently installed lighting on the inside, as the windows are lit when he's inside and his companion(s) blunder around outside wondering what he's doing when there's a monster after him.

There is a consensus among my friends and I that the console room is awkward. We feel the BBC should have raided FOX's old prop room and stolen the set from the ill-fated movie.

In any case, problems 1-3 and 5-7 are readily fixable, and not terrible. 8 is not too bad, but saddened. The true problem lies in problem 4.

The greatest feature of Doctor Who beyond the doctor himself was the fact that episodes took the time to develope, explain, and entertain. This simply didn't happen. There simply wasn't enough time to introduce the doctor, introduce the menance, introduce the companion, and introduce the concept in 35 minutes of story. It simply didn't work.

If they made stories in sets of four I believe the series would work. As it stands I fear for the series. In special situations, such as as few audios adventures I know of, an entire plot can be developed, climaxed and finished and be every bit as awesome as a four part one. However, I stress that this requires very special circumstances. This is by no means something you can base a series on.

Those are my thoughts. I wish that I had the proper TV channel to watch the series as it comes out, but alas.

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