An adventure in space and time.
This is another posting that I’ve been meaning to talk about for ages, but up until now, I just haven’t gotten around to it – like many things in my life.
So then, if you’re a Doctor Who fan, then it can’t have escaped your notice that this year (2013) is the show’s fiftieth anniversary and the BBC are to mark this golden milestone in many ways, but the thing that I find myself looking forward to the most is the docu-drama, ‘An adventure in space and time’ – I still think that they should have named it, ‘An adventure in Spain and time’ after one of William Hartnell’s fluffed lines.
Basically, it’s a drama about the creation of the television programme, written by a fan and WHO luminary, Mark Gatiss. Beyond that, I know nothing about it really.
So to bring a drama such as this to life, certain props needed to be built to recreate the setting and just recently, several people have sent me links and photographs of these props to see what I thought.
Right off the bat, yes, I can see that they’re not perfect by any means, but this really doesn’t matter one iota – the point is that they’re there, we can clearly see what they’re meant to be and most people watching, even the die hard fans, probably wouldn’t realise anything is amiss – only the Prop-Heads would. They set the scene perfectly!
Above. The TARDIS exterior. Doesn’t this look great? I’ve read several comments on a couple of forums where the fans have said that they’d much rather have this style of TARDIS in the main show, rather than what we actually have. Now I don’t mind the design of any of the props from across the years, but I can see where they’re coming from.
Looking at this recreation, it does seem to me that whoever built it had used a variety of design cues from the “New Series” builds and applied them to the general look of the original prop. I think that it pays off rather well, in an odd sort of way.
This has to be my favourite shot of the lot, the Totter’s Lane Junk Yard set. Very atmospheric. My only niggle about it is the colour of the gates. I’ve always maintained that they were actually green and not blue. Of course I could be entirely wrong about this and if the set designs still exist, it probably says that they were blue. I just prefer green for some reason.
This is another shot that I rather like, it’s quite moody – even if it does make the TARDIS look very cheap.
The subdued lighting doesn’t help either as it blatantly accentuates the fact that the contrast of the white window frames to the blue of the surrounding walls makes certain things look very disproportionate. I won’t even mention the old cliché, despite it being very true in this instance.
Ah, the console room set. It really is the 1960′s!
Hmm, a little design error here.
That wall that the crew are all stood in front of (centre part of the image) should really be a photographic curtain stretched over a framework… but who cares? It’s the original console room! And oh look, a bloke dressed as a Caveman, to the right of that camera.
Of all the recreated props made for the show, this is the only one that I really don’t like as much as the others. Why? I just feel that they’ve crapped out a little bit with these. Even my three year old son picked up on it with the statement, ‘That’s rubbish and there’s a man in there, Daddy.’
Again, despite not being terribly fond, it doesn’t bother me enough to make me rattle out a self opinionated and ranting letter to the BBC, like some folk have been known to in the past. I once heard a terribly funny story about a bloke who wrote several angry letters to the corporation about the bastardisation of the Dalek design with the new Paradigm props.
That said, with all of these props, I do wonder why the BBC didn’t just go back to the originals, most of which still exist in some form or another and take measurements or use castings that were taken from those originals – they’re all out there and are relatively easy to acquire, if you know where to look.
So there we are then, a show about the origins of Doctor Who and I never thought I’d ever see the day where any of this would happen, despite wishing for it. Come November, we’ll have a gloriously authentic looking drama on just this subject to drool over.
This year’s starting to turn out alright…