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Best of all - that tiny bit where he said "Oh look, U.N.I.T. - I know them!" and all over the country men of a certain age and inclination EXPLODED with sheer JOY. For those NOT of either of those categories, U.N.I.T. (United Nations Intelligence Taskforce) was the quasi military group that Jon Pertwee hung around with all the time. When photographs were released of this episode showing soldiers all the Interweb FANS said "oh, wouldn't it be nice if they were from UNIT eh? But it will never happen - The Blessed Russell T is making it accessible to the YOUTH, and so doesn't want to bog it down in old continuity, thrice praised be his name."
THUS the way he mentioned it was a BEAUTIFUL SURPRISE to me (who... er... obviously spends NO time reading about Dr Who on the interweb), and another indication of just how WONDERFUL the new series has been. Doctor Who in olden times was, to be honest, usually a bit boring and rubbish (this memory based, for me, on Peter Davidson and Colin Baker), but we have a collective MEMORY of it as something EXCITING and JOLLY (this memory based, for me, on seeing clips of Jon Pertwee and especially Tom Baker), and the new series is making THE LATTER - The Dr Who We Imagined But Never Existed. They COULD have done it all Ironic and Clever and VACUOUS, or they could have gone for the DULL But Continuity Faithful version of the Paul McGann movie, so it's LOVELY that they've gone whole hog instead for something MODERN, Action Packed and Serious AND funny, that still NODS to the fans and RESPECTS the mythology that they've invested so much in (especially over the last ten years) without ever letting it take over.
It's FANTASTIC, more than anything, to have a PROPER chunk of IMAGINATIVE, FUN SCI-FI topping the ratings, demonstrating to the DULLARDS of scheduling that GENRE TV, when done properly, CAN support a timeslot when people could actually WATCH it. If only they'd realised this when BUFFY was still going eh?
posted 17/4/2005 by MJ Hibbett
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