Day 312: Sole In Heaven

Why watching Doctor Who early isn’t the perk you’d think it is

November 8 main layered

This is me watching tonight’s Doctor Who, but I’ve blurred it for obvious reasons.

Another really late blog today – sorry. Various reasons. One was that I had to go a collect my bike from Bristol. Remember I said I had a puncture on Thursday? Well, my attempts at fixing the puncture were futile, so I had to leave my bike in Bristol, go home on the train in the evening with the wheel, then buy an inner tube yesterday, which I put in position and pumped up last night. Then this morning I got the bus back to Bristol with the wheel, then put the wheel back on, before cycling home in the kind of rain that makes you feel like you’re cycling along the bottom of the ocean. I really need to get some puncture repair training.

And once home I couldn’t get on with the blog as I was doing an emergency review that I was only offered yesterday – the Doctor Who series finale. Which, of course, is on tonight which meant, of course, I had to get the review done really quickly.

Now, it may sound like one of the perks of the job, getting to see Doctor Who early, but really, under circumstances like this, it isn’t. Anything but.

For a start, I like watching the show in HD. The BBC preview site isn’t in HD. It’s not even the quality of SD on iPlayer. It’s blocky, slow and muddy; occasionally it’s tricky to see what’s going on, and judging the quality of the FX and lighting is impossible. Worst still – especially when you’re trying to make notes and you need to pause and rewind all the time – the controls are rubbish.

Secondly, the BBC always put warnings about not revealing plot details next to the viewing window… listing all the major plot points in MASSIVE TYPE. You can switch to full screen, but usually by then, the damage is done.

Thirdly, it just doesn’t feel right watching it in isolation. I like the feeling of learning all the revelations – and going “ooh!” and “ahh!” at the same time as other devoted fans. I know I can’t actually hear them, but I know they’re doing it.

And finally, I’m not just watching it; I’m reviewing it. Maybe some reviewers can just watch something in the same frame of mind, but for me it’s a different discipline, and one that takes some of the fun out of watching a film or TV episode.

Anyway, enough moaning. I still enjoyed it, a lot, with one major reservation. And one thing: keep an eye on the opening credits – something unusual occurs.

And I will be watching again tonight. There’s lots of spectacle I want to see in its full glory.

See you tomorrow!

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