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01 February 2015 @ 03:21 pm
42 isn't that bad actually. It's existing purely on adrenaline and not much else, but once you accept that then it trundles along nicely at its breath-taking speed.

It must be said my attention wasn't entirely on the story since NLSS Child excitedly proclaimed that she'd seen William Ash who played Riley as Demetrius in A Midsummer Night's Dream (which seems plausible going by his IMDB entry) and then by her attempts to draw some kind of parallel between the two parts.

I've seen only one episode of 24 and, really, the most interesting thing about 42 is that it is trying to replicate the format by telling its story in some approximate to real time. The one episode of 24 that I saw annoyed me because I felt it didn't adhere rigidly enough to its conceit. Boring things like moving around buildings and driving to places seemed to happen rather faster than they would in reality. I felt 42 had the same problem. I wasn't at all convinced that the writer or production crew knew how big their spacecraft was, nor how long it would take to move around it. I'm absolutely sure, given the time it took them to open the 3 doors we saw, that they were not going to get 28 doors open in 42 minutes. What I can't really decide is whether that is a problem or not. In the mind of the writer, clearly, the conceit about 42 minutes was just an excuse to up the tension and motivate a lot of running. Getting the timings actually realistic would have been hard work, time consuming (and so expensive) and would probably have only served to completely destroy the sense of pace they were trying to evoke. It would have been more like an experiment in theatre than a TV show. I'd have liked to see it done, but I'm not sure it would have gone over well with the anticipated audience.

It's mostly a good episode for Martha but, once again, does Francine Jones no favours.

Beyond the central conceit 42 isn't trying to do anything particularly different. It has, essentially, a mind control monster, a base under siege, and a lot of running down corridors. The advantage of that is that it is, basically, inoffensive as Doctor Who stories go. I'd have liked them to work harder at making the real time, actually, real time, but suspect that would never have worked for modern mainstream action telly.

This entry was originally posted at http://purplecat.dreamwidth.org/140193.html.
doctorxdonnadoctorxdonna on February 1st, 2015 10:09 pm (UTC)
I know a lot of people who didn't like 42, but it's actually one of my favorite episodes of the 3rd season. It's not often that we get to see the Doctor helpless and scared out of his mind, so it's interesting to see that happen. And of course, it gives Martha an opportunity to shine. I do agree though that the timing is a bit off-there's no way they could've gotten through all those doors, not at the pace they were moving. Still, it doesn't ruin the episode-Doctor Who requires the suspension of disbelief quite often, it's just something that goes with the territory, I suppose.
some kind of snark faeryshyfoxling on February 2nd, 2015 06:59 am (UTC)
It's not often that we get to see the Doctor helpless and scared out of his mind, so it's interesting to see that happen.

I rather like "42" for the same reason.
louisedennis: Doctor Wholouisedennis on February 2nd, 2015 10:51 am (UTC)
I think my complaint about the timings really is that if you are going to make such a big deal of it being real time (which, at the time I recall they did) then you should put some effort into making it real time.

NLSS Child didn't even notice it was supposed to be real time and I didn't point it out so I think it is probably definitely one of those ideas that doesn't really translate well to the screen without surrounding hype explaining it.
a_cubeda_cubed on February 2nd, 2015 08:59 am (UTC)
The first season of 24 is actually quite a good bit of TV, IMHO. It only really worked once, though, and I think it suffers from the US TV weird concept that the show is actually one hour (*) so isn't actually showing everything that happens in real time - they keep having three minute lapses. 24 also suffers from being very right wing US which is bearable for one season but gets insufferable after that, again IMHO. Season one is worth watching, I think, but a bit like Twin Peaks it really suffers if you don't start at the beginning.

I remember JMS talking about the possibility of doing a show which happened in real time. He said it would be very hard to pull off convincingly and that he would only do it on B5 if there was a story that really should be told in that format - he wouldn't do it just to do a tricky piece of auteurism. He never did it, so I figure he never found a story that needed it.

(*) When iTunes starting including TV shows I heard the episodes decribed as "one hour shows cut down to 42 minutes by removing the ads" - am I the only one who finds this backwards - US shows are 42 minutes with 18 minutes of adverts inserted.
louisedennis: Doctor Wholouisedennis on February 2nd, 2015 01:20 pm (UTC)
I think the episode of 24 I saw was the first of season 2, and scheduling around adverts might explain some of the jumps there - it's not an excuse Doctor Who has though.