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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

thehornedgod
May. 25th, 2005 04:11 pm (UTC)
It's funny; I thought Davies's tilt at Whedonesque wit was actually one of the problems with the new Who. I'm glad Davies is gunning for a kid audience at the expense of the Gallifrey One massive but I admit I would have enjoyed more considently adult material. But as much as I loved Buffy back in the day, Who has something for me that Buffy or even Angel never did. It's a British thing obv. but I'm having trouble defining it; Buffy had irony, irreverence but when written well, Who has a refreshing absence of sentiment. When written badly the Buffy influence triumphs and Who collapses into a horrible blancmange of sweeping strings mixed too high in the soundtrack.
coalescent
May. 25th, 2005 11:37 pm (UTC)
Who has a refreshing absence of sentiment

This has been an occasionaly (very occasional...) virtue, yes. The example that comes to mind is Rose objecting to the corpses being used to house aliens in 'The Unquiet Dead', and being clearly shown to be wrong. But it's not like the show is free of sentiment--see 'Father's Day', after all.

My favourite episode so far has been 'The End of the World', which I think is arguably the most Whedonesque. Whedon does Stapledon. :)
thehornedgod
May. 25th, 2005 11:58 pm (UTC)
Dunno if Rose was that clearly shown to be wrong in TUD. The Doctor's horizon-expanding lecture is rather overtaken by events.

TEOTW would be near the top of my list too; Eccles's face as he watches Zoe go pop is a nice cold moment.