?

Log in

parrot_knight [userpic]

Doctor Who XXVI.1: Battlefield

June 4th, 2010 (12:29 am)

I watched this tonight for the first time in many years. After over two decades, it's aging well, and benefits from being watched in one sitting rather than episodically, which is one of its flaws given that it was produced to be shown as a weekly serial.

Reaction from the assembled throng included:
- shock at the appearance of the helicopter - we decided that it was the budget
- a rewind for the Doctor's comeback at the Brigadier's misogynist comment: "Don't worry. Someone will be shooting at you soon."
- surprise at how good the Destroyer's make-up was - we decided that that was the budget for the rest of the season

The story picks up as it goes along. I still think the structure is all wrong, there is too much dialogue, and too many characters with nothing to do, but the acting is at least spirited and there is a conscious attempt to rescue the Brigadier from his buffoonish past and return him to the character he was in his early appearances. The interest in Arthurian legend and anti-nuclear message, though, still feel like something which should have been broadcast at least six years earlier.

Comments

Posted by: Susan (lil_shepherd)
Posted at: June 4th, 2010 06:42 am (UTC)

I also watched Battlefield again recently and am glad I bought the DVD. Yes, it does have pacing issues, and the plot isn't the most logical, but it is still a fun piece. There are a lot worse...

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: June 4th, 2010 06:55 am (UTC)

True - I also watched part of Time-Flight recently, where the DVD finds the cast trying not to be dumbstruck at the awfulness of it.

Posted by: philmophlegm (philmophlegm)
Posted at: June 4th, 2010 10:25 am (UTC)
I'vegotasportscar

Did you notice how small the Concorde wheel is?

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: June 4th, 2010 04:48 pm (UTC)
Davison Clock

I didn't - but the sense of scale in the studio is doubtful anyway.

Posted by: http://elevatormusic.space (sebastienne)
Posted at: June 4th, 2010 09:49 am (UTC)

Thank you for typing up people's responses - I am very fond of Battlefield and was sad to miss it!

The Destroyer reminds me of early Buffy demons.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: June 4th, 2010 04:50 pm (UTC)
Tom

We said that - ayaron reminded me how close the Destroyer was to the Judge. Joss knew his Who, anyway - Buffy's death at the end of season five owes a lot to the Doctor's at the end of Logopolis, though her regeneration is delayed...

Oh - and one other thing agreed upon by much of the room was that the music was one of the least appropriate scores ever; I started to explain that Keff McCulloch was one of the team behind the Birdie Song, which remains his principal legacy to popular music...

Edited at 2010-06-04 04:53 pm (UTC)

Posted by: daniel_saunders (daniel_saunders)
Posted at: June 4th, 2010 11:22 am (UTC)

I've always been very fond of Battlefield.

Regarding the budget, I think season twenty-six looks very impressive, on the whole, especially when compared to earlier seasons from the eighties, like the production team has finally learnt how to allocate resources effectively.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: June 4th, 2010 04:55 pm (UTC)

I agree with the latter point; setting two period stories of the season in confined locations, and the other two in contemporary settings helped greatly.

Posted by: Virgers! How are we doing with those explosives? (tree_and_leaf)
Posted at: June 4th, 2010 11:36 am (UTC)

I like Battlefield, despite the pacing issues, and I think it was a very good last hurrah for the Brigadier.

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: June 4th, 2010 04:56 pm (UTC)
pic#70424010

I'm very glad that the decision to kill off the Brig was rescinded!

Posted by: widsidh (widsidh)
Posted at: June 5th, 2010 02:02 pm (UTC)
liz shaw

not least because it gave him a chance to appear in Sarah Jane Adventures :-)