Following on from the last entry I am reassured to find that the BAFTAs sensibly refused to recognise Avatar as a film of quality, except in areas of visual effects, choosing instead to heap praise upon The Hurt Locker, a film I am eager to see. I can only hope that the Academy Awards follow the example set at the BAFTAs by not succumbing to the behemoth. The Hurt Locker is a film that would benefit enormously from the additional income that comes with such awards and it may enable future projects of similar quality. Avatar by contrast has no need of a scattering of golden statues to boost revenues, even for the coming DVD release, with the hype expected to be maintained with promises of unedited sex scenes among other ploys. It may come down to whether or not the voters decide a female director sweeping the board or an old friend of Hollywood reinventing film makes for more attractive headlines for the event.
In other news, as they say, a new trailer for Doctor Who was this week unveiled by the BBC. We have only had one brief teaser prior to this and this new ad showcases the Doctor’s new assistant, Amy Pond, properly for the first time alongside the 11th Doctor Matt Smith. Steven Moffat, writer of excellent episodes in previous series such as the acclaimed “Blink” (featuring the weeping angels which are set to return) and the infamous “are you my mummy?” gas mask episode, as well as other series like Jekyll starring James Nesbitt, is now running the show. Despite developments that some fans found worrying, notably the casting of the young Smith, I had put my trust in Moffat to re-launch the show successfully. His contributions in the past had always produced quality episodes, often the best of the series and so giving him charge of the Doctor’s path through time and space seemed wise. He will write most of the 13 episodes in the series, with other contributors including Richard Curtis of “Love Actually” and “Notting Hill” fame, who is said to be contributing an episode that features Vincent Van Gogh in online discussions. However whilst I had vowed not to judge until the show returns to Saturday nights I can’t help but think Moffat has been seduced by his childhood nostalgia for the show and his giddy excitement at being given such power will lead to a retro version of the Timelord, portrayed by a poorly cast lead.
The new trailer is less promising than the original trailer despite it providing more hints about the direction of the series, indeed it may be because it gives more clues of what is to come. The trailer ends with a monster’s face smashing out of the ground, and I am betting the “Silurians” are being lined up as the Doctor’s principle foe, a race that previously inhabited Earth. David Tennant and Russell T. Davies both previously said in Doctor Who Confidential interviews they would have liked to see these monsters return and Moffat has clearly chosen to revive them from the classic series, as an alternative to the Dalek/Cyberman/Master cycle. He obviously wishes to have his own signature opponent for his Doctor, but I can only hope they are yet to redesign the creature as it appears they have just used a terrible looking 70s original in the trailer. Also disappointing on this front was the blue vortex that swallows the Doctor and Amy. The effects look low budget and as mentioned Moffat appears to be fixated on a retro look, with the blue vortex, a blue DW logo and a new look Tardis along similar lines to come. Worse than this however is the performance of Smith, who again sounds childish and looks out of his depth. It is difficult to judge his companion as yet on her generic screams but if I was forced to I would admit disappointment. Despite all this however I still hold that whilst Smith will inevitably be a massive let down following Tennant, Moffat’s writing may still make the show as good and hopefully better in the long run (fingers crossed).