Hey, kids! Let’s dissect some trailers!

21st March 2010 • Blog Post by Seb Patrick •

Well, it’s all kicking off. Two trailers in the last couple of days, now – first of all with Digital Spy posting the Press Launch teaser, before a trailer from BBC America that rather bafflingly contains lots of goodies that we Brits haven’t had the chance to see yet also made its way online. So if we’re going to do this, let’s do it properly – screencaps and discussion after the jump.

We’ll tackle the Digital Spy trailer first, and bear in mind that I also won’t bother posting/commenting on things we’ve already seen in earlier trailers (e.g. River Song, Weeping Angels and so on).

This is such a brilliantly iconic image that I’m amazed it wasn’t done in the RTD era. Lovely stuff.

And a decent glimpse at the TARDIS interior. Interesting one, this, as it doesn’t look like the simple backdrop image that usually gets placed inside the box when filming from outside it. I’d imagine this is probably filmed through the “doors” of the set itself instead.

Ahh, if there’s one thing the Mill is terrific at, it’s big futuristic/alien landscapes. Check out the lettering on the towers, too – they appear to say “YORKSHIRE”, “DEVON” and “SURREY” among others. Is this a future where the population of the UK have relocated to towers, divided by county? OH! Is this the “floating UK” we’ve heard about, from episode two? Must be.

You wouldn’t think that anyone would look at this and think “Pete Tyler’s Earth”, but since I have actually seen someone on a forum suggest this already, all I’ll say is, read a history book. Or, y’know – watch “The Empty Child”.

This is just brilliant. Love the detail of the Union Jack on the “nameplate”, and the “headlights” being covered up (presumably to avoid detection during air raids, yes?) So this is, we are to assume, a Dalek that’s been found and misappropriated by the British Army during World War II. That’s simply a wonderful idea, isn’t it?

It’s just a spaceship, but it’s nice-looking. Who said Series Fnarg was going to look cheaper than the RTD years? Anyway, my money’s on this being the infamous Byzantium.

“OH, HE’S GOT AN ARM OFF!” Alright, so – yes, this is a New Series Cyberman. This makes us look rather foolish – but look, all we said we’d heard was that there was a redesign somewhere, and we’d only then made the assumption that this possibly meant a full-on new (or “new old”) look. The “redesign” could just refer to chopping bits off it and making it rusty. Or there could be more than one type of Cyberman in the series (JUST LIKE THERE’S MORE THAN ONE TYPE OF DALEK, EH?) Anyway, it’s bloody creepy the way half the head’s missing as well, isn’t it?

This is just… wow. SPITFIRES IN SPACE, FIGHTING A DALEK SHIP. How the hell is all of this going to fit into a single episode? Well, here’s the thing, I’m going to lay my cards on the table now – this (along with a later image we’ll see) is series finale stuff. As with series one, I think we’ll see a single Dalek in the one-part episode, before getting LOTS MORE at the end of the series. But how excellent would it be if the World War II setting carried over to the finale? It’d certainly be something different, with all of RTD’s finales taking place either present-day or in the far future.

And there’s our console. Now, I’m not a fan of knee-jerk negativity when it comes to something we haven’t seen properly, but… hmm. I do like the idea of the interior being utterly mental and full of junk (having apparently constructed itself around the personality of a slightly bonkers Doctor), but something about the colour/shape doesn’t quite look right to me. Although it is hexagonal, which is good. Anyway – no point in commenting too much until we get a decent look at the thing, when I’m sure it’ll be painstakingly picked apart.

So that’s what I found to be relevant from the Press Launch trailer. Now, let’s see what our American friends have been up to. Sorry about the rubbish quality of the caps, but this is taken from Youtube and there’s not a higher-res version around yet.

This is probably our best look yet at the new sonic. It’s a bit… chunky, isn’t it? Seems almost a bit overdone, and also reminiscent of the Master’s laser screwdriver.

I post this purely as further evidence to back up my earlier-posited THEORY – which is that, since this seems to follow the “What have you got for me this time?” bit, he’s actually talking there about the interior, and this is him seeing it for the first time. You know it makes sense.

This would seem to be the “End of the World” moment. Actually, if there’s something that worries me slightly about this series from what we’ve seen so far, it’s that it seems to rely a bit on existing tropes. We’ve seen a clip of the Doctor talking to a baffled young girl. We’ve got another bit coming up that’s almost an exact retread of earlier Moffat dialogue. And it looks like episode two is the “Doctor takes companion to see human civilization in the far future and she becomes a bit overwhelmed”. The hug is nice, though.

Just a little one, this, but… red-cloaked woman picking up white face mask didn’t half make me think, for a second, of Karen’s soothsayer character in “Fires of Pompeii”. It’s probably nothing, though. This’ll be from the Venice ep, I imagine.

MOAR DALEKS. And this is what I reckon also comes from the finale rather than ep three, but I could be WELL WRONG. I can’t fathom this one out, though. Firstly, are these chaps all white ones (the one on the left looks like it, but the one on the right, I’m not so sure) as glimpsed in the first trailer? And there’s something different-looking about the shape – the one on the right looks like it has the skirt of a new series Dalek, but the head looks firmly old-style – where are the large headlamps? On the OTHER hand, though, it also seems to be wearing the army utility belt type thing, so maybe it’s our friend from “Victory”. It’s all very mysterious. And what’s going to be through that doorway? Is it Davros? It’s probably not Davros.

I do like the Doctor’s line about him being the one the monsters are scared of, but… well, if at any point this series he refers to bananas being good, I’m going to loudly accuse Moffat of running out of ideas.


Not much to say here, I just wanted to remark on how much better the white window frames make the TARDIS look in shots like this. LOVELY

So there we go. Excitement continues to ramp up – and best of all, these trailers finally seem to be starting to convince people about Smith, after a shaky start. Which is odd to me, as despite being initially disappointed in his casting, I’ve loved just about every moment we’ve seen of him in the role so far. There’s a solidly Troughton vibe to it, but at the same time, his accent seems to veer strangely between RP and Estuary (“Come wi’ me”). I’m not sure he quite convinces with the big speeches just yet (each trailer has featured one, and they’ve none of them sounded as bombastic as you suspect they’re meant to) but most of the little lines here and there sound great.

Anyway, any series that features SPITFIRES IN SPACE FIGHTING A DALEK SHIP can’t fail to be brilliant, can it?

Seb Patrick once met Paul McGann, who immediately pretended to be Mark McGann. He writes for Den of Geek, BBC America, Film4 and the official Red Dwarf website, among others. He owns over thirty toy Daleks and wishes the Dapol factory tour was still open.

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16 Responses

  1. VS

    I’d add to that that the brief shot of the crashed Byzantium (7 seconds into the US trailer) looks bloody lovely.

  2. Si

    Every day we are treated to more brilliant stuff. Not going into a fanboy rave, so I’ll keep it fairly short – it’s all brilliant, which I’m not just saying as a Doctor Who fan, but because it *is* all brilliant. Oh, and that thought about Karen’s Soothsayer character… I thought that at first, too.

    Oh, that wasn’t particularly short at all, was it?

  3. I’m one of the HEATHENS who hasn’t taken to Smith yet – and yet I couldn’t tell you why. I’ve just not seen enough of him to figure it out, which is why I should probably just shut up until I’ve seen his first episode. He just isn’t… grabbing me. (Punch in the first trailer aside.)

    It would be a remarkable feat if I DIDN”T like him – I don’t think The Doctor has ever been miscast so far.

  4. ChrisM

    Yeah, I just think he’ll take a bit getting used to.

    Loved the trailers! Someone on another site said “Is that an old school Cyberman?” Strangely, glimpsing it briefly in the trailer, that struck me too, although watching it again I can see it’s very much of the new design. I’m not sure how I got that impression. I still get a sense ‘difference’ but I can’t quite figure out what it is, so it’s probably just in my own head. Less chunky maybe? Smeg, it could just be the posture. Heh.

    It would be great if we get to see more of the original Mondasian type. (I don’t mean the original design, I’m all for updates, I’m just referring to the species. If that’s the right word.)

  5. Seb Patrick

    >I still get a sense ‘difference’ but I can’t quite figure out what it is, so it’s probably just in my own head. Less chunky maybe?

    Well, it is missing an arm. And half of its head.

  6. Hendiadys

    I’m not sure he quite convinces with the big speeches just yet (each trailer has featured one, and they’ve none of them sounded as bombastic as you suspect they’re meant to) but most of the little lines here and there sound great.

    Actually, what I like about what we’ve seen of Smith so far has been this distance from Tennant. He’s not shouting in the same way. I’ve noticed a number of people on GB have been struggling to hear the dialogue in both trailers, and asked for transcripts, which is interesting. What I feel is that this dialogue has been performed to work well in episodes, rather than in our initial encounter with the trailers. I can almost imagine that the people making these trailers have struggled to make some of the dialogue fit them in the more familiar way of the past five years. It might take us a little time to realise why this quietness works especially well with Smith’s Doctor, but for me it’s all positive.

    The reaction of people not being able to hear the dialogue reminds me that producers of the 1980s claim that they made everything as bright and white as possible so that old people wouldn’t think that their TVs had broken. I’m not asking for poor sound mixing, but I’m certainly looking forward to a performance that doesn’t touch the manic heights of Tennant’s Doctor – not because it can’t, but because by being different it doesn’t need to.

  7. Mammalian Verisimilitude

    I like KG’s delivery of the “hundreds of years in the future” line (no, not being sarky, I really do).

    The “trap” speech, though… What on Earth possessed Moffat to put such a ripe-for-parody line as the climax to the first properr trailer?!

  8. Jonathan Capps

    I do like the Doctor’s line about him being the one the monsters are scared of, but… well, if at any point this series he refers to bananas being good, I’m going to loudly accuse Moffat of running out of ideas.

    This is interesting, because I don’t mind these retreads at all. I can totally understand Moffat’s desire to cherry pick his absolute best ideas/lines from his standalone episode and repackage them here. No use letting them go to waste, and I’m perfectly happy to draw a line under End of Time and forgive him any self plagiarism from the RTD era.

    I absolutely agree with Hendiadys about MS’s big speech style, though. I love it because it’s a different style to what we’ve had before but every single word he utters sounds exactly like the Doctor, in a way I’ve not truly felt since Ecclestone. In the BBCA trailer the speech is almost the same as the one in the Vortex teaser, and he delivers it so much better the second time that it’s even set my mind to rest after hearing that quite pony recording of his dialogue in VotD.

    Don’t have time to screencap just at the moment, but my favourite shot in these trailers is the one with the Dalek appearing in the doorway over The Doctor’s shoulder. It’s such a simple act that just jumps out through the lovely direction and Matt Smith’s quite extraordinary face in the foreground. I get the feeling these new directors will be really pulling out all the stops to show what they can do on Doctor Who, and that’s one of the most exciting things about this new series.

  9. Jonathan Capps

    If I was to pick one thing to be a little concerned about, it’s the extent this *seems* to be following the patter of RTD’s first series. The hugging moment is so EotW it’s painful, but I guess it’s easy to find strong links when all you’ve got is clips out of context.

    As for the Daleks in the room with the Doctor, I’m guessing that’s from VotD. Maybe there’s only one ‘true’ Dalek and the others are built from its template, which would give the production team, a perfect and self contained excuse to piss about with the designs. I don’t think we’ll get a MASSIVE DALEK ARMY turning up at the end of the series, though, because that was would be a similarity to series 1 too far.

  10. Hendiadys

    This is probably our best look yet at the new sonic. It’s a bit… chunky, isn’t it? Seems almost a bit overdone, and also reminiscent of the Master’s laser screwdriver.

    Did you miss these pictures?

    http://i952.photobucket.com/albums/ae9/DoctorWoodAdventures2/sonic.jpg
    http://i952.photobucket.com/albums/ae9/DoctorWoodAdventures2/sonic2.jpg

  11. I’m not sure I like that. I’m sure it’ll mesh beautifully with the new TARDIS interior, but on its own it looks… well, clunky.

  12. Hendiadys

    Sorry to post again, but if you’d not seen the above pictures before, and they intrigued you, you may also want to see these:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/alun_vega/

  13. Seb Patrick

    Beth Willis, there.

  14. Hendiadys

    The way Beth is holding it, you can see an additional brass section on the very bottom end (below the black rubber bit, and then what looks like white ceramic), which makes the sonic screwdriver look longer (and in my opinion less overcrowded) than the other pictures where it’s covered up.

    Also, I gather that the “claw” shown in all these pictures can be retracted (see the point at which they have a pivot point, and the spaces for them to fit against the neck of the screwdriver); if this is the case then it will hopefully look a lot slimmer more of the time.

  15. Jonathan Capps

    Beth Willis is definitely sexier than Phil Collinson.

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