Friday, July 8, 2005

WHO, WATTS AND HUGH!

Hugh Davis could well be the most loyal correspondent I have. He's been writing to me about my TV Universe theories - and great ones of his own! - since my Tubeworld Dynamic days. And even when he doesn't agree with me, Hugh always has well-thought-out responses to my wacked-out topics.

In regards to my latest post, "Who, Watts, and How!", he sent the following reply:

The fact you call DiT a "cute" story is either tongue-in-cheek or suggesting you haven't seen that garbled tale. I like the idea, as you can imagine, but it's poorly executed. I wish they'd gone all out with it, as the Curse of the Fatal Death did, with a little more time devoted to the story and just a little more money (hardly a requirement for my favorite sf show, but it can always help). But with everyone wanting to celebrate the anniversary, plus with the profits raised going to a major charity, you'd think they could have put more into it. Sigh. An opportunity wasted.

(In your bit on EastEnders, you say Chrissie Watts, whose been on the show a year, offed Dirty Den. Do you follow the soap? I used to watch it, and Den disappeared years ago--did they bring him back only to kill him?)

You may know this story, but the plan (before they got stuck making DiT) was to make a movie-length adventure for the 30th anniversary called "Dark Dimension." Part of the plot (in fact, the fulcrum for the action) was for the 7th Doctor to go back and help save his 4th incarnation, who appeared older at the start of the movie and disoriented. The story would reveal that something had gone wrong with the Doctor's regeneration into his fifth self, causing a continued disruption in the time stream, now being fixed by McCoy's Doctor.

The end result (which I think is brilliant) was going to be the need to go back and make sure the regeneration occured as it should, and thus that was why the Watcher is in Logopolis (if you'll remember, the Watcher was a white spectral being who followed the Doctor around until his fall from the tower, when he merged with Baker's body, allowing the regeneration). It's the only time the Watcher was used (unless you count K'Anpo/Cho Je in Planet of the Spiders, when it turns out the young assistant was the Tibetan Monk/old Time Lord's future incarnation) for a regeneration, and I think the retcon effect of this movie, which backtracked to explain its occurence, was clever.

Unfortunately, the film fell through. I think the final and overbearing straw to break its back was the budget, but there were also complaints, particularly from Colin Baker and Jon Pertwee, that their Doctors barely appeared (Colin was quoted as saying there were just "cough and bit parts" for them) in a supposed multi-Doctor story.

Personally, I am very sorry this wasn't made. I think it's attempt to explain why Tom Baker had aged was at lest novel (not unlike the idea of "Season 6B," which attempts to explain why Troughton looks older in 5 Docs and 2 Docs--an idea given pseudo-endorsement with the announcement of a novel set during that time). (Now they never bothered why Pertwee had aged, but maybe that was cause you didn't need to--he appeared the same--or why the 1st Doctor looked entirely different in 5 Doctors, and I'm fine with a little different look or aging, but at least they were taking it into account.)

The greater loss is that it doesn't appear Tom Baker will return to Doctor Who, even though he's the elder statesman at this point (and increasingly elder, when you consider how young all the latest Doctors, including "sidestep" Richard Grant, have all been). I understand the Big Finish audio people have tried to bring him in for a CD story, but he's asked to play it "his way" (apparently "as Tom Baker," and not as his 4th Doctor persona), and they can't come to an agreement.

Given he apparently has poor health and doesn't like to travel much to film, I'd think this would be an ideal arrangement, but he's resisted. When the new series was announced, he was quoted as saying he'd like to play the Master, and I think they should use him--perhaps not as the Master, but as a villain. Then, he could play the part pretty much as he wanted, and the script editors could work out why a villain looked like a former incarnation.

Perhaps Meglos somehow replicated himself, minus the cactus spines, or perhaps that Watcher idea could be used here as well.

Anyway, that's my latest .02,
Hugh

PS from me:
"Hugh's .02"... That'd make a great title!

1 comment:

Toby said...

Thanks to Markhael, I did see "Dimensions In Time" just two weeks ago.

I didn't mean "cute" to be disparaging. I think Troughton's performance as the Doctor was "cute" (the term usually applied is "Chaplinesque".) but it is no less effective and totally accepted by me.

The same with "DiT". I think it works even if it is garbled. (Maybe we can chalk it up to a jumbled chaos p.o.v.) IN a way, it reminded me of the overlapping dialogue scenes to be found in Altman's work.

But you know me... even if something truly sucked (and I don't think this does), - let's say the universally denounced "My Mother The Car" - I'm still going to incorporate it into the overall TV Universe.

(And I'm not one to deride "My Mother The Car" - not when it's a great example of reincarnation in Toobworld!)

But all that info about the aborted movie idea for McCoy and Baker.... Ah, we can dream, but I'd rather have had that completed as an actuality! It sounds like it would have been fantastic!

Thanks as always, Hugh. I'm glad you stumbled across my ramblings because you always spark me to think of new directions in which to explore Toobworld.