Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Fantasy DOCTOR WHO movie game.

I'm spending a lot of this weekend watching loads of Tom Baker and Peter Davison DOCTOR WHOs on The Sci-Fi Channel. It's great craic, as is my attempt to derail a thread over at io9 with my Fantasy DOCTOR WHO movie game. I'll just quote myself, shall I?

A DOCTOR WHO movie could be easily achieved, if the will was there. It's the BBC's flagship and biggest moneyspinner these days, so the Beeb has considerable resources to play around with, and plenty of willing partners.
Plus, playing the Fantasy DOCTOR WHO movie game is great fun: If I was Julie Gardner (hmm, interesting thought...), I'd form a seperate production office. Moffat would continue to run the TV show, possibly with the Doctor recast. I'd organise a retreat for the writers to plot a movie (Davies, Moffat, Paul Cornell, Joe Aherne), with a list of pre-requisites to be met (it would have to include appearances by at least three Doctors including McGann, Ecclestone and Tennant; it would have to flesh out the Time War, and the decisions the Doctor made then, and therefore include the Daleks; but everything else would be up for grabs). I'd shop around for an experienced, safe-pair-of-hands, movie director: someone who's shot good looking blockbusters before but knows his role is subservient in this case to the production team's. Or see what Euros Lynn can do with a big budget. Whatever's handiest. I liked the job he did on PHOO ACTION.
So, if the will was there at the BBC, what's your fantasy Doctor Who movie? Other than two hours straight of Martha Jones finger-banging Rose Tyler, that is. Perverts.


RAB said...

My fantasy Doctor Who movie is none at all.

What is the constant fascination with trying to get television shows onto the big screen when the finished result is almost universally awful? It's a misplaced fixation on movies representing the big time, or success, or validation, when in fact the real creative mojo has long since moved to the telly. Writers can do so many more interesting things with plot and characterization and texture and depth in the serialized form that simply aren't available in the confines of the cinema.

Also serialized television can take creative chances a one-off movie can't. An episode can be experimental, or cerebral, or romantic, or broadly comedic -- and if you don't care for that one, next week's episode can be completely different. That's what makes DW work. But a film would have to be all things to all people. If a DW movie were made, you'd be the first one complaining the idiot executives fucked it up by dumbing everything down and going for the lowest common denominator.

Mark said...

Good points. All true, if they fucked it up chasing the lowest common denominator. But there's that niggling voice in my head saying "what if they got it right?". It's the same impulse that keeps guys my age watching what is, after all, a kid's show that all too often does chase that LCD right there on the TV screen.

I just happen to think that the talent is now there, either in place on staff or circling the project as attached freelancers, to do it well - something that was never really true before: not when the Beeb licensed it to Hammer; not when they tried to get a movie off the ground in the late seventies; and not for the patchy McGann effort.

Davies has created this fantastic piece of mythos, the unspoken back story of The Time War, that seems so tantalising for the fans. I really do think that the only way we'll see it, with a full sweep of scale and grandeur and the tricksy "timey-whimey" element is if a movie gets greenlit.

Dan McDaid said...

I read that last sentence... and I subsequently failed to do any work for the rest of the day.

Mark said...

I'm hoping it gets me a lot of referrals through Google.