Saturday, April 09, 2005

still blogging WHO

Quite enjoyed tonight's new DOCTOR WHO. If the previous episodes have been elevated somewhat above their humble origins by natty writing and some acting with real conviction by Eccleston, tonight's saw a fantastic turn by the fine old ham Simon Callow as Charles Dickens. Written by THE LEAGUE OF GENTLEMEN's Mark Gatiss, it has the expected mix of wit and outlandish humour from within a horrific situation you'd expect from the LEAGUE. But also, the guy realises (maybe more than Davies) that action can illustrate character as clearly as any dialogue.

To paraphrase the immortal words of Ben Grimm (okay, Joss Whedon), Dickens is Callow's signature piece. Callow has an amazing empathy with Dickens, having previously co-created the biographical play THE MYSTERY OF CHARLES DICKENS with the great Peter Ackroyd. So this synergy positively jumped off the screen, Callow getting the opportunity to play a Dickens re-energised just before his twilight.

Plus, Victorian sci-fi horror is just so right for WHO, some of my earliest Tom Baker memories seem to mix watching The Talons Of Weng-Chiang, with The Phantom Raspberry Blower Of Old London Town on THE TWO RONNIES straight after on Saturday nights in 1977. Hmm, Proustian.

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