A couple of people have asked about THAT Odeon trailer. It came as a complete shock to me. I think it’s fair to say that cinema-trailing a TV show, however high-profile, is pretty much unknown here in the UK, though it happens in America sometimes.
First up, it’s a bridge into the Doctor as a character for people unfamiliar with the show, with the voice-over “I’m the Doctor. I’m a Time Lord. And I’m going to save every one of the six billion people down there on that planet.” (cut to Titanic shot). “You have a problem with that?” It’ll be interesting to see whether those lines actually show up in the script – they could be written specifically for the trailer.
There’s a lot of Bad Wolf Theme and close-up on the Doctor’s face – some spectacle too but I was a bit distracted by then. What really struck me was that it uses a cinematic vocabulary, and is really very different from the style of the TV show. It puts the Doctor right up there with the superheroes like 007.
Theoretically at least, there’s no obvious reason why a movie, or even a movie franchise, starring Tennant as the Doctor, couldn’t run concurrently with future seasons of DW on TV starring a new incarnation. One thing’s certain, the man sizzles on the big screen.
And, thinking it over, that kind of squares with the way they seem to be promoting VOTD. Last year’s Xmas special was very quirky, screwball comedy, and tied in clearly with the post-Doomsday narrative. This year the publicity is referencing cinema constantly. David and Kylie as Jack/Rose in “Titanic”, and lots of references to “The Poseiden Adventure” and other disaster movies. Then there’s the sheer scale of the thing – the production values are massive with huge sets, loads of extras etc. And the length – 71 minutes. This is almost a TV movie.
What bothers me slightly – and this is a subtle point which I might not completely get across – is a feeling that they’re taking the Doctor generic hero territory. I do hope they don’t airbrush out too many of the quirks that make him the fascinating character he is. Will he walk onto the Titanic as a hero without a visible past, or will it tie in organically to where he’s been and where he’s hopefully going?
It might well be that the Christmas Special format as a whole is a pitch to Hollywood. It wouldn’t surprise me, and I think it’ll throw up some interesting issues as to how the franchise might transfer to the big screen.
Anyway, thought people would be interested.