Saturday, 7 January 2012

So how would this character deal with that plot?

Shown at New Year (and I just discovered free on the BBC iPlayer until Monday afternoon) Race To Witch Mountain retools the 70s kids’ SF as a vehicle for Dwayne Johnson, alias The Rock. UFO cover-up agents chasing spooky alien kids in the modern world colliding with Johnson's affable asskicker. I imagine this is what Doctor Who fans fear when they imagine An American taking over the show. Thing is though, it’s great fun, mostly because hanging out with Johnson as he elbows bad guys in the face usually is, particularly when he’s doing it inside an out-of-control flying saucer heading for Las Vegas.

Compare and contrast Paul, which is pretty much the same story but featuring a much more expensive alien, and with the heroes being Simon Pegg and Nick Frost playing up their geek cred to about 150%. The results are totally different but also highly entertaining.

It’s another reason why recurring plots like the Six Staples keep cropping up - every new bunch of characters approaches them in a different way, and part of the fun is seeing these familiar stories getting a new spin.

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