Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Gallifrey, looking behind the curtain

Mark Gatiss on the way Gallifrey appearing on-screen can lessen its mystique.

This goes all the way back to An Unearthly Child cutting specific references to the Doctor and Susan’s origins, and fan reactions to the satirical Westminster/Oxbridge hybrid Gallifrey of The Deadly Assassin and the like. As Steven Moffat has noted, do we really want the mysteries solved?

The visuals of classic era Gallifrey didn’t help, of course - the robes, collars and skullcaps remain pretty cool, but everything else was always a bit Flash Gordon On Stage.

(Speaking of, Trial Of A Time Lord makes an interesting comparison to the trial called by an off-brand Time Lord that same year on the West End. How’s that for a non-canon spinoff?)

Compare the reveal of historic Skaro in Genesis Of The Daleks a year and a half earlier, played totally straight with an equally obvious Nazi analogy, and where the stark design works for the story. Even that led to Dalek stories being trumped by reappearances by Davros for more than a decade.

Now Gallifrey looks as grand as Coruscant in the Star Wars prequels - and that still risks getting boring if overexposed. At least now the guards have better costumes.

No comments:

Post a Comment