Log in

No account? Create an account
penrose orange



cat /var/log/stephen >/dev/eyes

"Time will tell. It always does."
penrose orange
So, Doctor Who is forty years old. Like a good fan, I sat and watched some of the programmes on UK Gold this afternoon, including the rather good Tom Baker story Pyramids of Mars.

At the end of September, the BBC announced that a new Doctor Who series had been commissioned, and will be shown in 2005. This makes me happy. Not sure who should take the title role, though I wouldn't be averse to Paul McGann having another crack at it. (Random comment: in a hypothetical TV series or movie based on Final Fantasy VI, Paul McGann would be my choice to play Setzer).

I do have an opinion on how the new show should look, though. The TARDIS interior design used in the 1996 film had a really superb pseudo-Wellsian aesthetic, with a wood-panelled control console, brass switches, analogue controls, and black-and-white CRT displays. I'd like to see this aesthetic carried through to the new series. The Doctor should dress as a Victorian gentleman, with his gadgets and toys designed to match; maybe his "sonic screwdriver" could resemble a fine gilded fountain pen; he could even have a brass yo-yo in the style of a pocket watch. (Or even a brass yo-yo with a built-in watch; that'd be cool!) The retro styling of the Doctor's clothing and technology shouldn't be mentioned at all in conversation; rather, the opposite; it should be abundantly clear that the Doctor's technology is millenia ahead of anything that Earth in 2005 has to offer. The anachronistic styling should simply be presented in a matter-of-fact way; this is the way the Doctor is, and no-one bats an eyelid.

Of course, if you ask n Doctor Who fans for their opinions on how the show should look, you'll get n different answers. I simply speak as someone who LOVES anachronistic styling in sci-fi and fantasy.

Non-exhaustive list of other anachronisms that I like:
  • Most of the design of Final Fantasy VIII: in the first couple of hours of play, you encounter a futuristic military academy, a sleepy little Mediterranean-like small town with cobblestone streets and a high-tech radio tower, cars of pre-1960 design, and enemy soldiers armed with swords.
  • Star Trek VI: with a galley on the Enterprise, and a seven-segment LED clock on the bridge, and the Horatio-Hornblower-in-the-23rd-century uniforms (which would have looked even better with ceremonial swords, IMHO), and Captain Kirk using seafaring terms like "right standard rudder", and Commander Uhura using a paper dictionary to converse with Klingons.
  • Gundam Wing: set in the far future with ultra-high-tech space colonies and combat mecha; but military and civilian vehicles straight out of the 1990s; and historical uniforms, government structure and aristocratic titles.
  • The Batman cartoon series from the early 1990s: apparently set in the 1930s or 1940s, with period clothes, cars and tommy guns; but Batman's gadgets are high-tech (the Batmobile and Batcave computer both blend retro and modern designs, and the Batplane borrows from stealth jet styling), as are those of some of his adversaries.
  • Doc Brown's steam-powered time machine at the end of Back to the Future III.
  • Telephones with rotary dials and bells loud enough to wake the dead.