So, the new trailer for the new season of Doctor Who has aired. And with the new trailer lies something that has become a problem for me with this series.
First off, I’ll throw this disclaimer out there that I absolutely love Doctor Who. As an aspiring screen writer Doctor Who allows you to write in any point in time and space and be as funny, dramatic, and/or action packed as you please and you can get away with damn near anything.
The problem is that while that should apply to the writing, it should not apply to the special effects. The writing on the show, for better or for worse, has evolved since it’s confused start in 2005 when they didn’t know what audience they were making the show for. But the special effects have not.
Now, for most shows I understand. But not Doctor Who. Doctor Who makes bank. An incredible amount. This is the show that could afford to have it’s 50th anniversary episode aired in theaters world wide in 3D. That’s not cheap. But why aren’t we seeing that budget go into the special effects? I’ll be honest. As much as I love Doctor Who, it’s special effects are a giant pile of Playstation 2 awfulness. To this day they still look like SyFy original series special effects while having an incredible budget and MORE than enough time to fix. No other show could take as many production breaks as Doctor Who and get away with it.
Let’s look at this screenshot from the new trailer with the Leviathan looking thing peeks in the door:
This thing busts through the door and has absolutely no solid detailing what so ever. It doesn’t seem scaly or wet or anything. And it’s eyes are just dead. Pause it wherever and see that the eyes are always in the same position. They’re just static. It’s awful. If you’re going to work giant monsters into the mix and make them a plot point, tweak it. We live in a world where colleges are teaching people CGI en masse, you can find someone to do it and if not, hit me up BBC, I know a few people.
Let’s take a look at something else from the trailer:
Oh good lord. In 2015 there is still a show that is doing the old special effect of filming the character from the side so we don’t see the pipe shooting the flame? Are you kidding me? This is the special effect that SNL uses to make people vomit. This is wholly unnecessary. It’s such a hokey thing and I bet you don’t even need them breathing fire to be necessary to the plot because when I saw this I laughed. It doesn’t look intimidating.
When I saw this, all I could think of was “This looks like that scene from Merlin’s Shop of Mystical Wonders when that guy breaths fire.”
When your special effects are constantly comparable to movies they’ve covered in Mystery Science Theater 3000, you NEED to step your game up.
Final thoughts. Listen, Doctor Who. I love you, I love you so fucking much. You’re one of my favorite shows and I enjoy you so much and you work with Neil Gaiman and you did so many wonderful things like important things like writing characters who weren’t straight who weren’t over the top archtypes to little things like adding so much whimsy to the world. And it’s because of this that I can’t hate you for the special effects, but it’s also because of this that I want you to get better. It’s a little embarrassing now. When you were little it was cute, but the whole world’s watching now and your flies down and your dick’s out. Please, for all of us. Put it away.