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Lately, it feels like I'm the only person in the world who couldn't give a shit about the new Dr Who.

No, I haven't watched it, and no, I don't plan to. I just don't care. A giant goddamn promotional phone box could drop out of the sky and land on the sidewalk right in front of me, and I'd step around it, assured that whatever came out of there would be utterly useless to me. And doesn't anyone remember Billie Piper from her fifteen minutes as a pop starlet, dancing in a laundry mat, and telling us all... well, who knows, really. Something innocuous and repeated sixteen billion times in pop songs around the world.

I don't understand the need to keep remaking shows like Dr Who. Is the audience that starved for the story of a guy and his telephone box that they'd have this instead of something new?

I've found, of late, that the moment I hear that something is being remade or rethought or reappropriated or returned in any fashion whatsoever, that I lose interest. It's like a switch in my head. After some inspection, I've decided that the reason for this is that none of these shows are actually worth remaking. They're not that unique. They don't bring anything new to television or whatever else there is. Take Superman as your not Dr Who example. How many Superman series have we had? How many times has the storyline of Clark Kent dealing with his duel identities while chasing a girl he loves been played out?

Christ, we know what happens in the end, do we really need to see it again?

One of the things that drew me to Firefly was that it wasn't a remake of an old TV show that people in their mid to late thirties grew up on. (That's not a slag, simply an observation.) It wasn't new, of course, because you could pick up the influences fairly easily, but what it didn't have was that sense of a pre-existing fan base who had already decided the rules by which the series should exist. The Dr won't be getting blowjobs from Billie Piper in a back alley, for example, because that's not what Dr Who is about, and if it was, fans would react badly. But back to Firefly: the other advantage of it was that you didn't have a sense, when reading or talking about it, that the series was competing with a child's recollection of what it was once like.

Of course, Firefly was canceled, and maybe that was why. If it makes it back to the television after Whedon's Serenity, will it exist in the same space?

Of course, remaking things is not an issue located in science fiction television. How many times have you seen the story of Batman's identity in film? Batman Begins is most likely going to be a film that is about Bruce Wayne becoming Batman, which isn't that much different to the four or five films that are about Bruce Wayne being Batman and someone finding out. And there's a new Superman film--I wonder what that plot will be? And film makers are constantly remaking old films for a new generation that, with the popularity of DVDs, don't really need it, but could be argued as simply vanity projects where directors and stars pretend they are Frank Sinatra and his buddies. Indeed, outside those examples (which are hardly complete as supporting my argument goes) there is the suggestion that most film is simply the remake of a novel or comic or article or video game. The percentage of original films being made out there doesn't appear to be that big, after all.

And why should it be? Remaking something means you're creating a product with an already existing audience. It's good business.

But I want something new.

Comments

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bodhichitta0
May. 25th, 2005 12:33 pm (UTC)
I've never even seen an episode of it and didn't know they were remaking it, er, again. I agree in general with what you are saying about remakes. I think probably there are some exceptions though I can't think of any right off. :-p I saw the Batman trailer at Star Wars and actually turned to my husband and said "And how is that different from the 2000 other ones they've done?" We both chuckled. There was another trailer too--looked a lot like X-Men only with different people.
benpeek
May. 25th, 2005 01:54 pm (UTC)
i think the trailer is FANTASTIC FOUR. i saw the same thing. dodge looking, really.

anyhow, there are always exceptions to the rule. that's the way life is.
(no subject) - angriest - May. 25th, 2005 04:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - bodhichitta0 - May. 25th, 2005 09:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
ex_hestia
May. 25th, 2005 12:35 pm (UTC)
I don't care either.
benpeek
May. 25th, 2005 01:50 pm (UTC)
cool.

that's a bright little icon you've got there, you know. it kinda reminds me of that j-pop cartoon.
ex_hestia
May. 25th, 2005 10:33 pm (UTC)
Thanks for noticing. I love that icon. It's taken from Mari Chan: http://marichan.com/
daebod
May. 25th, 2005 12:45 pm (UTC)
You're missing the point.
All stories are exactly that, stories.
The fact that these new ones are wrapped in the Dr Who world is just the setting.
.
Rather than the Dr Who universe restricting the plot, I'd say that it allows it to go into things more fantastic than mundane.

Superman and Batman are different I think. They're Hollywood, thus boring and tired and regurgitated.
benpeek
May. 25th, 2005 01:44 pm (UTC)
you seriously can't be telling me that one series of stories staring the dr is different from a different series of stories staring batman, are you?

the logic to that is just flawed, man.

stories are stories. there is, really, a limited number of the kind of stories you can make, so it's the characters and world that set the guidelines and interaction. the dr, for example, can only do a limited number of things and see a limited number of worlds, and you will always seem them in that 'dr who' kind of way, just as you would see it in a 'batman' kind of way--and by this, i mean they have to equal the tone and setting.
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coalescent
May. 25th, 2005 01:19 pm (UTC)
You're not missing anything. I'm watching, but only because everyone else is. I realised this week another reason it so annoys me: it's not just that it's a remake (Battlestar Galactica justified the existence of remakes for a while--one hit that good can make me forgive quite a few pointless travesties), it's that it's a kid's show. And adults are treating it as serious, thoughtful entertainment, on a level with something like Firefly, when it's nothing even remotely close to that.

It's the Harry Potter effect for TV, that's what it is.
benpeek
May. 25th, 2005 01:46 pm (UTC)
to be quite honest, judging from what people have been saying, i thought it was an adult show--comparable to other adult sci fi shows. i guess i shouldn't be surprised, really.
angriest
May. 25th, 2005 02:21 pm (UTC)
Why should a show for a family audience be treated with any less interest or respect than a show for an adult one?

And while I'm ranting, Firefly = every tired cliche of the western genre regurgitated with emperor's new clothes. I like the show a lot, but let's not over-state how good it is, which is what everyone seems to want to do with Joss Whedon.
(no subject) - coalescent - May. 25th, 2005 03:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
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mariness
May. 25th, 2005 01:31 pm (UTC)
No, you're not the only person.

Then again, I barely paid attention to the old Dr. Who.

benpeek
May. 25th, 2005 01:47 pm (UTC)
was it even big in the states? i thought it was mostly a british/australian thing.
(no subject) - mariness - May. 25th, 2005 03:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
thehornedgod
May. 25th, 2005 03:26 pm (UTC)
I don't know what happens to Superman in the end. I wasn't aware than anything of import ever happened to Superman. I can confidently state that nothing ever happens in Smallville. They just angst about not having relationships with each other without ever having them, as if the kryptonite had made the cast of Dawson's Creek immortal.
mariness
May. 25th, 2005 05:28 pm (UTC)
Now, now.

Sometimes Tom Welling takes his shirt off!

So you can't really say that nothing ever happens.



thehornedgod
May. 25th, 2005 08:49 pm (UTC)
Touche, I retract; all that ever happens is that we see the Nipples of Steel.
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