Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Bad Wolf

As the regular reader of this web log will know, I am a huge fan of the new series of Doctor Who. To bring the series back after 16 years and manage the amazing trick of appealing to the adults who remember the classic series and also to appeal to a new generation of children who are viewing it as something brand new is amazing.

Obviously the greater budget and improvements in technology have had a significant result on the look of the show especially the special effects. The writing has been excellent and under the stewardship of Russell T Davis, the series feels consistent and in safe hands. The acting and actors are brilliant and there are plenty of laughs, scares and surprises.

This is of course great news for a Whovian like myself. I so hoped that they would get it right and they have. But what has surprised and delighted me even more is how the show has adopted the Internet as an additional route to the viewers. It started of with the leaking of the first show "Rose" a couple of weeks before the premier. The BBC claims that this was unauthorized and that the person responsible had been sacked. I suspect that it was deliberate though, because it is a classic example of viral advertising, starting a movement on the Internet and generating massive media coverage.

It hasn't stopped there though. The amount of additional material, behind the scenes coverage and extras available on the official web site is quite staggering. It is also the first show I have ever seen that introduces a brand new theme for the site for every episode. That would be enough for any other TV show but they have also created other sites to support the series. For example the site Mickey is maintaining can be found at Who is Doctor Who and there is a real site for UNIT (the secure password is badwolf).

Observant viewers will have noticed a theme through the series of reference being made to "Bad Wolf". For weeks there as been intense speculation and debate on Internet forums and web logs about what Bad Wolf means. In the last episode The Doctor even comments on this, dismissing it as coincidence. Now there is a web site Bad Wolf that outlines the clues and proposes some theories. This site is also created by the BBC. I won't speculate here on what I think Bad Wolf means, but I applaud that brilliant use of new media. If you don't agree with me just try searching for "Doctor Who Bad Wolf" in Google and you will soon see how it has spread.


Tony C said...

Top, top stuff.

Mr Ports said...

Phew, I'm so glad that you like it as well Tone. After we disagreed over the standard of the H2G2 fillum, I was a bit worried that you might have similar views about the good Doctor.

Darren said...

I thought the first episode was rubbish, but the series has improved. The 'Dalek' episode was great, and the most recent 'Boom Town' was very witty and well written. The premise behind the double 'Empty Child' episodes was very clever, and actually less far-fetched than some EastEnders story-lines.

Shame about Ecclestone not returning for the next series - I think him and Billy have a good on-screen rapport. I still think they ought to get Harry Hill to replace him... "Sea devils, cyber-men, hmmm, hmmm. Daleks floating upstairs, what are the chances of that happening?".

Tony C said...

Oh no Ports. I think the new Dr Who series is great. Like you I'm a big, big fan of the good Dr.

It is a real pity the Ecclestone won't be staying but for me the real stars of the show has been the writers. The writing has been tight, witty and at times scary.

The return of the Daleks has been a piece of genuis...