Fantastic Voyage (Now With Added Q&A)

The following is spoiler free...

Last night was the London Science Museum press launch of Doctor Who's Christmas Special Voyage Of The Damned. And damn it all, if those beautiful 71 minutes didn't almost knock my head clean off. Writing for Doctor Who Magazine, I get to know just about everything about most episodes, reading scripts in advance. But I knew very little about this one, which was a joy. Needless to say, this opinion does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Doctor Who Magazine (although it might), but Voyage Of The Damned is better than both the previous Christmas Specials put together. And lord knows, The Christmas Invasion and The Runaway Bride were no slouches.

Fast, frenetic, painful, painfully funny, breathtaking, sad, tragic, spectacular, dark, brave... all of these words are very much applicable. VOTD shows a writer (Russell T Davies), director (James Strong), cast and crew absolutely on top of their collective game. Older fans will notice very obvious (and almost certainly deliberate) shades of the classic Tom Baker story Robots Of Death, while newer fans just enjoy the movie-esque ride. And few will fail to notice that Voyage is a love-letter to the disaster movie, a-buzz with its vital who-will-live-and-who-will-die tension. David Tennant's perhaps the best he's ever been. Oh, and Kylie's great too.

Christmas Day, BBC1, 6.50pm. There's no other place like it in the universe.

UPDATE: In my excitement, forgot to mention that the post-screening Q&A was hilarious. Several children asked some cute questions (often asking how things like the Titanic were made), while one adult journalist asked, "David, we've just watched you in Voyage Of The Damned. What's the most damned voyage you've ever been on?".

But the finest Q&A of all came when someone asked who, living or dead, Russell would like to play the Doctor. Quick as a flash, the big fella chirped, "Hitler. He'd make a marvellous Doctor". Tremendous.

15 comments:

Phill Barron said...

God damn it, Arnopp - do you know how much restraint I show on a daily basis by not ringing you up and pestering you for Doctor Who gossip?

Life is difficult enough without you rubbing my more in it.

Grumble, moan, whinge, etc ...

Lucy said...

I will say but one word.

You can guess what it is.

So actually, I didn't say one word. But you get my drift.

Piers said...

As chef-on-duty for Christmas Day, I now have to decide whether to have dinner before (at the too-early time of 4:00) or after (at the too-late time of 8:30).

It's going to be a tough call.

Oli said...

Robots of Death, you say? I am further intrigued.

Piers said...

Gotta love those old-school titles.

The Robots... OF DEATH!
The Planet... OF EVIL!
The Seeds... OF DOOM!
The Masque... OF MANDRAGORA!

OK, so it doesn't work all the time.

Lucy said...

I will kill all you geeks with my whisk, just like a Dalek. It's the only way you buggers understand.

Rob Stickler said...

The Target novelisation titles are even better though...

Doctor Who and... The Giant Robot

What happens in that one then?

Doctor Who and... the Android Invasion

The suspense is almost a reality.

Here's to Christmas Day, may it come soon and never end!

Rach said...

I'nm not reading it. I've got my eyes closed and my ears covered. La la-la la-la.

I'm going in there Xmas Day with NO idea what's coming. Even if it kills me.

Rach said...

Spotted little spoiler free sign at top. So have now been brave and read it. Sounds like fun.

Now going to put head in paper bag until Xmas day so I hear no more.

Good Dog said...

Fella,

I think you mean...

Quick as a flash, the big fella chirped, "Hitler. He'd make a marvellous Doctor". What a complete and utter cock!

Jason Arnopp said...

GD: Nope, didn't mean that. But cheers for the suggestion anyway. Merry Christmas!

martin said...

Merry xmas sir!

Piers said...

But who gets to be the Master? Stalin, Churchill or Roosevelt?

Jason Arnopp said...

Merry Christmas to you, Martin, and to everyone!

Piers: Hmmm, not sure. How about the Pope-before-this-one?

Rob Stickler said...

Christmas! Christmas!