The Woman Who Fell To Earth

Saw the first episode of the 13th Doctor.

Short version: Watched it. Loved it.

Longer takes: As introductions go, the episode was one of the better ones in the show’s history.

Proper behind-the-sofa scary at times, a solid mystery, and it’s absolutely wonderful that we’re back to the idea that the companions are random acquaintances, rather than Chosen Ones. Whittaker absolutely inhabited the role from the first moments. There was no adjustment period for me. And her spending the majority of the episode in the 12th Doctor’s torn and tattered costume was a nice conveyance of the not-yet-done-regenerating theme.

As the Doctor said:

“Right now, I’m a stranger to myself. There’s echoes of who I was, and a sort of… call… towards who I am. And I have to hold my nerve and trust all these new instincts, shape myself towards them… I’ll be fine. In the end. Hopefully.”

Hell, I even loved the score. After a decade of Murray Gold starting to sound samey-same, the new sound from Segun Akinola was more modern, a bit darker, and really well done. Can’t wait for an album release.

Last thought: As a Who fan since childhood (which was more of a rarity here in the US, back in the last century), it took me a bit to get used to the idea, around the time of David Tennant (although hints of it starting to appear with 8th Doctor Paul McGann), of people being attracted to the Doctor. It took a bit for me to wrap my brain around the idea of the Doctor as somebody you’d fancy.

Now that Jody Whittaker is in the role, I’m finding that now I have adjust to the fact that now *I* fancy the Doctor. It’s a very strange feeling. :)

The Revenge of Spooktober

Home sick today — turns out that two days out in the cold rain at KCRF isn’t conducive to one’s health.

The last bit of Spooktober viewing last week was Friday night, where Laura and I watched Count Dracula, the 1977 BBC miniseries, often touted as the most faithful adaptation of Stoker yet filmed.

It was pretty damned faithful, although seemingly arbitrary changes were made: Mina (Judi Bowker, who would make an impression on me 4 years later playing the Princess Andromeda in Clash of the Titans) and Lucy (Susan Penhaligon, who bears such a resemblance to Alicia Vikander that I had to do a double-take… check the pic, you see it, right?) were made sisters… and Arthur Holmwood, Lord Goldalming, is entirely removed from the narrative, yet his last name given the American, Quincey. (And the less said about Quincey’s accent, the better.)

Dracula is played with a feral grace and urbane intelligence by Louis Jourdan, in what is easily the best of the portrayals of the time — unlike Frank Langella, Jourdan actually managed to convey an otherworldly menace, a genuine threat.

As Laura remarked when we were watching, it also seems obvious now in retrospect how much of an influence this production had on Francis Ford Coppola’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula, particularly in what scenes, often left out of adaptations, were included, and how they were staged.

Another thing I found remarkable — for a 1970s BBC production, at a time when self-appointed moral guardians were screeching about “video nasties”, Count Dracula was shockingly visceral. I was expecting something a bit more reserved. The staking sequences in particular were bloody and harrowing, with the vampires howling in agony as the claret gushed.

Really enjoyed this one. You can pick it up at the link above.