Tuesday, March 5, 2013

7G1 - Dragonfire 1

It's funny how one's opinions about some Doctor Who stories change over the years. Thankfully, I find myself enjoying some stories more today than I did when I first saw them as a child. The Aztecs left me a bit bored when I first viewed it in my late teens, but I recognize its brilliance today. The Ribos Operation is like a fine wine that just gets better and better with each passing year.

And then there're Delta and the Bannermen and Dragonfire. Delta has gone from a bit of camp fun to a fun, camp, proto-new series story since when I first saw it. I was quite impressed by Dragonfire in my mid-teens, looking all shiny and new as it did at the time. Now, it just looks cheap. Maybe it's just my Canadianism showing through. TV through the ages, particularly classic series Doctor Who, has never done snow and ice particularly well. The snow in The Seeds of Doom looks like pellets of polystyrene (because it is), and the ice walls on Iceworld in Dragonfire look like cheap, vacuum-formed plastic (because they are). I mean, does no one else in the world know what winter looks like?

Cheap sets aside, Ace gets her debut here, her first time on camera being in a wide shot with several other characters. I can't tell if this is a directorial failure on the part of Chris Clough, or a nice subtle way of introducing a character who will go on to be one of the most prominent companions in Doctor Who history. I'm leaning towards the latter, and I'm also choosing to believe that Kylie Minogue's Astrid Peth (a waitress, like Ace) wandering through the camera shot for her initial appearance in 2007's Voyage of the Damned was an obvious homage to Clough's direction here.

And, despite the screengrab at the top of this page, I'm staking my claim that this is the first ever review to not bother to talk about the cliffhanger.


Gordon Jones said...

Be fair they make up for the cliffhanger in Remembrance of the Daleks where the cliffhanger is literally that the Doctor might have miscalculated.

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