Monday, September 7, 2009

Doctor Who 2009= Fan-tastic

The long promoted first episode of the new Doctor Who 2009
fan film series premiered September 5.
And there was much rejoicing.
Episode One: Fire and Ice is a brilliant beginning for the series, and a well conceived introduction to the main characters & story. Although hype of anticipation/imagination tends to seem greater than the actuality, Fire and Ice was totally worth waiting for. Several months, I have been very excited for this to be released to the public, and had great expectations. Rating it 4 outa 5 stars, overall, I’m really impressed with what this team created. Based on what I've seen of Kenneth's work prior-- technical, acting and scripting, I expected this to be awesome.
And for the most part it was. Kenneth Dinkins is a fantastic Doctor, delivering an excellent portrayal that is uniquely distinct while still being consistently The Doctor—particularly excellent considering that Kenneth also wrote, directed, edited and provided special FX.
All of which were also quite well done. Ice Warriors looked amazing and good enough for professional TV. The CGI TARDIS innards and the intro/outro sequences are rendered stunningly beautiful, plus the music is well chosen and placed.
The narrative, pacing and plotting of the story were damn near perfect. Directing could use a little refinement, but cinematography was magnificent!
Co-star Jennifer Richman makes Alice-- the new Companion-- a wonderful character and a very suitable Watson to this Doctor’s Holmes.
These two main characters/actors and the narrative establish a strong and stable foundation on which to build this remarkable series.
The only legitimate disappointment I have is that some of the acting and dialogue are awkward or somewhat contrived—mostly with guest actors. Which is made more obvious/disruptive because everything else about the production value quality is so impressive.
However, this is only the first episode, and experience plus audience feedback make good teachers. And not even the professionals are completely flawless-- ever.
Ultimately, the craftsmanship is incredible-- especially in a fan made amateur project, and the creative choices are brave & bold. Definitely among the best fan created film/series I’ve had the pleasure to witness, and I’ve seen quite a few.
Nor am I easily impressed.
Kenneth demonstrates a passion and knowledge for not only Doctor Who, but filmmaking.
Fire and Ice —hopefully an accurate representation of the series as a whole--really captures the essence & spirit of the Who universe… which is my favorite aspect of this episode: it looks and feels like a genuine, authentic WHO story.
And the conclusion of this episode was absolutely genius, and shows a great respect for the narrative, the audience, and the BBC series. Doctor Who 2009 is a mighty & glorious achievement.
Now, having seen what Kenneth and crew can do with this, I’m even more excited for the rest of the series.

Currently available as a torrent and streaming vid on the project site.

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