Friday, July 02, 2010

For the Love of Gallifrey, NO.

Ok, so I was made aware today of a possible "Hollywood" Doctor Who movie with Johnny Depp playing the Doctor.

Ok, America…it's time we had a little talk. Turn off the TV, come over here and take a seat.

Now, America…I love you, you know that, right? We have our differences, but on the whole, I really, really like you.

It's just…well…you have this habit of ruining our TV shows.

You see, we write a show, it does really well and becomes really popular. So, over here, you decide to buy or license the rights, and then wreck the show by trying to adapt it for an American audience. Have you ever considered that Americans love shows like 'Monty Python' or 'The IT Crowd' or 'The Inbetweeners' because they're british?

We have different cultures and a lot of different values, and when you pick up a show and change it to 'fit', quite often you remove the heart of the show.

Take 'Men Behaving Badly'. This was one of the most popular shows in England in the 90's. It featured two guys who were always getting drunk, getting into trouble…it was hilarious. In America, it never made it past the pilot, because rather than ending an episode with the two guys saying something really dumb and cracking a can of beer…you made it so they 'learned a lesson' and the show had a freaking moral.

You got lucky with The Office. I'll be completely honest, I don't like the American version very much…but I'll admit it's a good show, just not my thing…and it's because as Ricky Gervais said, he wanted to make a show that wasn't 'filled with incident', wasn't a sitcom and got it's humor from the agony of watching David Brent make a fool of himself.

The American version is over-the-top and wacky. It is a sitcom…it's just that it works in this instance. Basically, it's not an American version of The Office, it's a completely different show that just so happens to share a similar setting and character types.

It's not going to work with Doctor Who.

When it comes to Doctor Who, you have to realize that we're not going to put up with that shit. Doctor Who has been running on and off since 1963. That's nearly 50 years. That's not a TV show, that's heritage…and it's a show that simply won't survive being 'Americanized'.

I'm not even sure how the continuity would work. You see, The Doctor has been played by 11 actors so far, but it's written into the story that when The Doctor is killed, he regenerates, which explains the difference in personality and looks. You can't just slap a new actor in there and say "Well, he's played by Johnny Depp in this movie." An actor change means a new Doctor. That's basic. That's Who 101.

So, from a nerdcore standpoint, unless they're planning on killing off Matt Smith after a single season, killing the Doctor at the end of the movie and bringing in a new actor for the next season of TV, it's not going to fit.

Plus, knowing Hollywood, they'll decide that each new actor is a 'new Doctor', they'll have free reign on how to write him. I can already hear the stuffed suits saying "The new Doctor can be a real gun-toting badass"…but that's not how that works. Basically, at some point in the movie, the Doctor will pull a gun on a Dalek…and that's when you'll lose every Doctor Who fan.

Messing with The Doctor is like messing with Santa Claus, or writing a 'gritty reboot' of Sesame Street. Putting guns on the TARDIS is like giving Kermit an AK47. Fans have a hard time adapting to a new Doctor in the series, let alone Hollywood writing and sensibilities.

Doctor Who is about an incredibly deep, complex character with five decades of back story who beats his adversaries with intellect…it's not the makings of a typical summer blockbuster.

So here's the deal, Hollywood. If you absolutely have to make a movie, bring is Stephen Moffat to write it, cast Matt Smith as the Doctor (or go back in time and cast David Tennant or one of the previous Doctors) then keep your oar completely out of the water.

You have a habit of taking what we like and changing it into what market research says we should like…and in that case, you'll turn The Doctor into an action hero who guns down waves of Cybermen then comes out with a witty quip before bedding his companion.

The Doctor is not a character who absolutely cannot be dumbed down for a wide audience. You either like Doctor Who or you don't. A Hollywood version is something that would bore newcomers and enrage fans.

Long story short, look at George Lucas, the prequels turned Star Wars from one of my favorite things in the world into something I actively avoid…and that was with his own material.

Do that with Doctor Who and I will personally cast you into the jaws of the Nightmare Child.

Seriously, Don't fuck this up.

4 comments:

rayray said...

this Yank's with you!

MC Etcher said...

But... Johnny Depp is so good. I definitely agree - Moffat rules! Also, I really don't feel the need for a movie version in the slightest - Doctor Who is perfect right where it is, on TV.

Bee said...

This breaks my heart. Doctor Who should be left well alone by the Americans and as MC Etcher said, there is no need for another Doctor Who movie (that made for tv piece of tripe starring Paul McGann was bad enough)

I meant to say when you posted about the Doctor Who adventure game that was recently released, any chance of a review post? I'd love to hear your thoughts on it.

Paulius said...

Review on the way, Bee...and Etcher, I'm a big fan of Depp's work, but he's not The Doctor.