» russell t davies ¦ What You Can Get Away With

Writing and reading about Aliens vs Wizards on Thursday sparked up some old thoughts on Russell T Davies’ writing, and I wanted to set them down somewhere. As I’m trying to encourage myself to blog more again (as I have been doing for almost all of the ten years since I started) I thought this would be good place for them to be set down. Besides, I haven’t written at length about Doctor Who and the like for some time, and it’d be nice to get back in the habit.

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If you haven’t heard, former Doctor Who showrunner Russell T Davies has got a new children’s show starting on the BBC soon – Wizards vs Aliens. The Guardian have seen the first episode at a press screening, and their review is very positive, and the sort of thing that makes me wish I was 10 again.

(The comments on that article also make me wish I was 10, and too young to waste time doing stupid things like read the comments on an article. There’s a nostalgic element to reading some of them, in that they’re like Doctor Who forums circa 2006, though no one has of yet brought up Davies’s ‘Gay Agenda’.)

Even if it’s not aimed at far-too-old me (but that’s what iPlayer’s for), it’s good to see Davies back writing and creating after taking time off for personal reasons. I do miss his touch on Doctor Who, and would like to see him back to write an episode or two, not least because his Sarah Jane Adventures ‘Death Of The Doctor’ featured what I think’s one of Matt Smith’s best performances as the Doctor. And with the 50th anniversary coming up, it would be good for one of the series’ most experienced writers to come back and contribute.

But until then, we’ve got wizards fighting aliens led by the voice of Brian Blessed. Today’s kids don’t know how lucky they are…

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I have been debating whether to count this as an entire book for the purposes of numbering as it’s quite short, but deciding on including it if only to stop things from getting too complicated. However, it also says something about the story itself – Pullman has an interesting idea here, that Jesus and Christ were twins who history later conflated, but the depth and complexity of an idea like that isn’t addressed in the way you’d expect a novel to do so. In that way, it’s much more of a novella, and for me it suffers a bit from the simplicity. I often found myself comparing it to Russell T Davies’ The Second Coming – another story written by an atheist about the relationship between humanity and a self-proclaimed Messiah – and how that managed to wring a lot more interest out of similar material.

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