Published on March 11th, 2005 | by Christian Cawley
Reaction and Interview – Updated
Continuing on from Tuesday’s Press Launch, a vast portion of the media is focussing on the Internet leak as much as the show itself. However, there has been alot of positive reaction from the Press, such as The Guardian, where Terrance Dicks and Barry Letts both give their opinions of Rose and The Sun who have produced a run-down of some of the shows new alien foes – and yes, the blue buddha-style creature we have seen on the cover of DWM is the Moxx of Balhoon!
UK sci-fi and fantasy behemoth SFX has posted a review of Rose – unbiased, critical and we’re relieved to say POSITIVE. The new beginning to Doctor Who is looking very encouraging indeed, and a review of this sort from SFX will appeal to hardcore Scfi Fans. The review is by Ian Berriman, and covers two pages – it can be found by clicking here
Meanwhile, TimesOnline have a report based on Chirtsopher Eccleston’s BBC interview yesterday (more on that below), as well as the first paper-published review. Nigel Kendall gives a quick run down of the 1st episode, and asks a school boy what he thinks of the show returning:
“I know what it was,” he told me of the show (that was axed before he was born), “but I’ve never seen it.”
That article is available here.
Digital Lifestyles have run an article claiming that “at least” 3 sites were hosting links to a copy of Rose just yesterday. Reuters meanwhile discuss how the BBcs own iMP will broaden it’s international reach through online streaming.
At the same time, many other publications have focussed on Christopher Eccleston’s comments in response to the leak, and his view of the bad reviews – Teletext has quoted him as saying:
“It’s kind of sick and I think it’s a rough copy they have got. The people that did this better not come around my house, that’s all I can say.”
On BBC Breakfast on Wednesday morning, he spoke of how he was fascinated as a child by the Doctor’s ability to have a different body yet still be the same person, how sexism has been rejected and the monsters – Daleks, Slitheens, Gelth. He also said that we “will have to wait for the Cybermen”. David Sillitoe’s interview is transcribed below (the interview can be seen here – Real Player required):
CE: No I wasnâ€™t a fan as a child, no. I was playing out when Doctor Who was on as a child. It didnâ€™tâ€¦ there were key moments that I would tune in watch out for as a child â€“ there was regeneration, because as a child I was fascinated by the concept of a character remaining the same but looking different â€“ I thought that was fascinating and secondary to that I wanted to see how they would do it that technically. And the other time I would tune in was for the inside of the Daleks. As a child I thought that was mesmerising. This idea of this thing that had been so frightening and so threatening, was actually pathetic. I thought that as a child was fascinating.
DS: Now your Doctor Who has got a nice northern accent and remarkably different from the others. Did you go back at any point and go “oh Iâ€™m going to keep that bit of Doctor Who”?
CE: I feel the old series â€“ I think what weâ€™ve jettisoned is the sexism – the underwritten female role â€“ alsoâ€¦ you know the defining characteristics of Doctor Who are to a certain extent are heroism and intelligence. And there seems to have been an equation drawn with RP â€“ received pronunciation that that was theâ€¦sole area really and you know I thought it was time to kick â€“ along with the sexism â€“ I thought it was time to kick it out.
DS: Of course, the key element of Doctor Who is the monsters. Youâ€™re acting against monsters most of the time – the Daleks and other villains.
CE: Yeh the key element is things like the Daleks, the Slitheen, the Gelth, the Moxx of Balhoon â€“
DS: -are the Cybermen coming back?
CE: Weâ€™re not no, Cybermen, youâ€™ll have to wait for the Cybermen but you get everything else. What you get is that Russell has created this whole … new array of villains, creatures to add to the gallery of the last 40 years.
DS: Some people when they look back at the old episodes they laugh at them, they say “oh the Daleks have been made with a sink plunger” and things like that â€“ youâ€™ve got to compete with some big-budget American science fiction, I mean kids are a lot more sophisticated these days arenâ€™t they?
CE: I think they are more sophisticated in terms of what they take in visually, but I think you can still touch them. What a lot of the science fiction programs that weâ€™re going up against donâ€™t have is the central message of Doctor Who, which is “love life”, …m you know itâ€™s unashamedly emotional and the Doctorâ€™s message seems to be “you have a short life lets make sure itâ€™s a happy one, seize every moment and accept life in all itâ€™s forms” which is a central message with him. You know he doesnâ€™t react with horror when he sees a blue three-headed monster, he reacts with wonder, and I think thatâ€™s a very important message to send out to children and a lot of the series is a kind of when youâ€™re talking about Buffy itâ€™s kind of post-modern irony and stuff but this is, this retains that kind of innocence of its message but also weâ€™ve brought into line the production â€“ I think as a child watching it I was put off by some of the low production values and I donâ€™t have a camp sensibility and when the sets wobbled it meant the world wasnâ€™t real â€“ I didnâ€™t believe in it so I went out playing; whereas I stayed with Star Trek because the production values were high as far as I could see and the world was consistent. But we in our new series weâ€™re in line with all that, the production values are very high, we had a good budget and most importantly we had brilliant people working on it at the crew level, that created i. Thereâ€™s no wobbly sets â€“ bit of wobbly acting, no wobbly sets.
DS: Now, you have to be prepared of course since youâ€™ve become the Doctor you will have for the rest of your life a large number of fans who want to write letters to you â€“ how do you-
CE: – I might have enemies, I might have enemies, it depends what they feel about me-
DS: -but youâ€™re prepared, over the years its developed its about 8000 out there committed staying with it year after year after year.
CE: Iâ€™m fortunate cause Iâ€™ve been in the business varying degrees of exposure for over the last 18 years and I know a little of what thatâ€™s like. When I was cast in the role I immediately met a number of Whovians for want â€“ you know shall we call them “Whovians”? â€“ and they have been unfailingly polite and gentle and encouraging to me and Iâ€™m very grateful that theyâ€™re around the set, theyâ€™ve watched us filming and I think theyâ€™re passionate and grateful that the series is returning and Iâ€™ve enjoyed every encounter with them â€“ theyâ€™re not interested in any of the details of your personal life, what they wanna know is what itâ€™s like being a Time Lord. And I share â€“ you know Iâ€™m like that about reggae and soul music, I have that slightly obsessive thing, so its been a pleasure and I genuinely hope they are happy with what I and we have done. I hope its going to be a programme that the family will watch like all the best television â€“ I would like 8-12 year olds to take me into their hearts. I donâ€™t think Iâ€™ve got much of a chance with Tom Baker and Jon Pertwee and I respect that, that fidelity really I respect that loyalty – I have that loyalty myself to Sean Connery as James Bond â€“ but Iâ€™m hoping that 8-12 year old children Iâ€™ll be their first Doctor and love me the way a lot of people love Baker.
DS: Why did you want to be the Doctor?
CE: Because Russell T Davies wrote it, and because it was an audience and an area of television that I hadnâ€™t worked in, I hadnâ€™t had the privilege to act for children previously. And Iâ€™m constantly told that Iâ€™m not funny and Iâ€™m not charming and those were some of the demands in the role so I wanted to, I felt it was a big gamble. There were two reasons to do it â€“ Russell T Davies and the gamble â€“and I like a gamble. I think its important for an actor in any sphere of life to do the things that frighten you most.