You know, move one series back and you might, might, have had an interesting discussion about cinematography and the general look of film.
But I have literally no idea what difference VIII in widescreen would have made. Because there isn’t a difference beyond the extra pixels. It would add nothing. VIII is still bad even if you 16:9 it.
VII was the one going for filmic look. I’m just going to pretend that extra I in the thread title doesn’t exist, and say that widescreen VII would have been a great idea if anyone had widescreem TVs in 1997. I see about three people in the entire UK raising their hand.
Y’know, it also would have been great if it was genuinely shot on film, but it wasn’t.
While we’re playing make-believe, what if the Dave era model shots were really good?
The model shots are passable, but for me the lighting in XI & XII was really unnecessary sometimes. Why make everything so blue and dark, I could hardly see the Starbug set with the lighting half the time. Plus I’m really not a fan of the giant fans in corridors which make everything a different hue below it, its realistic but it gets quite distracting.
I do have to agree on the lighting. For the most part I felt XI+XII looked pretty good, especially for a Dave sitcom, but god damn it, it’s so DARK. Series V was very dark, also. It makes it uncomfortable to watch in bright conditions with a reflective laptop screen, causing me to have to turn off all the lights and shut all the blinds and curtains etc just to watch some comedy, and the darkness is especially annoying for when you’re streaming through UKTV Play as it wreaks havoc on the bitrate. Of course, I’m sure it all looks wonderful on your 50-inch 1080p home theater system in your living room.
I love the way the sets were lit, though the overall brightness needed to be upped just a notch, in post. It probably looked great in the editing suite (and yeah the series’ do look their best when you’re watching them in low light), though maybe they didn’t factor in all viewing scenarios.
Still, it made a nice contrast to the flat lighting of X (which I still love, anyway).
I would say the grade is more to blame than the lighting. That raw footage would have been brighter, greyer and far less blue. As far as I’m concerned, the blue is the big issue. You see those non-blue flashbacks on Samsara and you wish you could get a bit more of that real color on the Dwarf.
I think that’s my invitation to throw some XI footage into HitFilm Pro and try to regrade it.
I remember seeing some XI/XII GIFS on Tumblr where somebody had put the scenes through this really nice color grade which made everything A. look a little nicer and B. more visible, but I can’t find them now
Tumblr occasionally manages to make 80s Doctor Who, shot in a studio with shitty videotape cameras and overlit to shit and looking horrendous, look quite nice in gif form. But the filtering they do would probably look shit blown up to full resolution for an entire show