Thursday, 14 January 2010

Series one #6: "How can you walk through the world and not leave a single footprint?"

Written by Russell T Davies, directed by Brian Grant, 2005

It was this story that prompted me to re-evaluate this season, when I watched one story from each Doctor’s era consecutively, so I’ve already discussed it in more depth here.

I’d always considered this season jarring in its tone, irritatingly contrived in its forced banality, and with excessively juvenile excesses, lazy writing – etc, etc; you know the rest. From a truly critical perspective, I stand by those things. But hindsight has allowed me enough perspective to appreciate this season in spite of them.

Therefore, I find this a perfectly competent story – not hugely important, but this time round the season structure has really come home to me (especially by comparison to the old series); not so much in terms of the simplistic ‘Bad Wolf’ references, but more in its recurring settings (contemporary earth, space stations in orbit), and as such I think the season as a whole amounts to more than the sum of its parts.

A story like this isn’t truly exceptional, but is elevated by its position in a series of stories designed to be watched together. I like the classic series’ standalone-ness, but this story, say, would be nothing in that context, showing how effective the modern approach can be.

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