Hmmm. Well, I can't address how it stacks up against the new series, except to say that, as Arcalian pointed out, the first thing I think of is how it REMINDS me of the new series. Mainly because of the fact that it brings in the (sigh) romance angle...
But really, it does seem to kind of bridge the writing styles and just...overall _attitudes_ of the writers, but also just...ideals of HOW to make a successul show in general, what the viewers "want", marketing strategies, etc. between the old show and the new.
Although, something interesting I've noticed, going through the original series chronologically: If you do watch them all in order, you keep running into aspects of the new series _way_ earlier than expected. I forget all the things I found, now (I wasn't writing them down or anything) but I kept finding things that I USED to associate with only the new show, in Classic Who. Now, the new one still does these things far more _frequently_, sure, but...
My main problem with how the TV movie was handled is not that it was "American". I mean, I'M American. From California, same as Grace. (And Peri, who is now my Gravatar, for crissake.) It's that it was, as I like to put it, "Hollywooded Up". Same fate that befell the Hitchhiker's Guide movie, only not quite AS extremely.
Basically, "Hollywooded Up" is when you take something foreign or independent that's _meant_ to be kind of quirky and different...and put in the typical Hollywood blockbuster cliche things such as big explosions and (gag me) LOVE. STORIES. A_hem_. The second the Doctor is in the hands of Hollywood movie directors? He kisses his Companion. The second Arthur Dent is in the hands of Hollywood? His kind of background attraction to Trillian turns into a full-blown sappy Happy Ending. Dear god.
So, not that I hate it because it's _American_, necessarily. I hate when things get...declawed, and made all the same. If made by American _independent_ filmmakers, who also happened to be Whovians, we might've got something more along the lines of the quirkness and..._realness_ of the TV version of Hitchhiker's. Only less comedy, and with glitzier '90s special effects and CGI. I would be all _over_ that, man!
As for the Master...yeah, I would've _loved_ Jacobi as the Master. He's awesome! I've liked him in everything I've seen him in. I get what they were trying for with Simm-Master and the "Dark Mirror" thing, and also why it didn't work. (Couldn't he at least have had a beard, for old times' sake?
) I do kind of see _why_ they were trying for that, though, 'COS, if you think about it...the very FIRST Master was really rather a dark reflection of the Doctor!
Thing is, though, the Doctor at _that_ time was Three, and if you want slick, smooth _elegance_ in your villian...THAT'S a good one to mirror. David Tennant...notsomuch. Bless him.
As for the new episodes Arcalian mentions as being "poorly written"...um...I kind of _like_ a fair few of those...
And dude! I LOVED the movie's TARDIS interior! Steampunk so _works_, for him. Old-fashioned + futuristic + eclectic, not matching = Doctor!
Now, me, I still have a soft spot for the original look--I mean, sure, it's retro, but simple and clean. Spacious-feeling. And a circle cannot go out of style. I mean...it's a _circle_. But if we HAD to have an alternate, than I'd much rather Eight's version than the new one. Which just...I dunno. It suffers from that modern sci-fi conceit that EVERYTHING that's meant to look futuristic, has to look..._organic_...
(That, or the way Three had it done up in (only!) "Ambassadors of Death". Victorian wallpaper, overstuffed furniture, big old-timey globe, mahogany bookcases and shelves full of random bits of inventions?
It also rather reminds me of "the old control room" Four had for a while (it was dark wood and brass, etc.) so the movie version kinda DOES have some precedence in the classic series, too. (nodnod) Just, bigger and...bigger budget.
And as for Arcalian's paragraph about "the things the new series has done wrong that the TV movie doesn't even try for"..um...
Yeah. I'm gonna have to just flat out agree with that whole bit. Oy. That's...that's pretty much my whole problem with the new series. Time War, Emo-Doctors, and romance.
Also, the Doctor flipping out THAT MUCH over just _her_ makes it kinda feel like...well what were the _other_ Companions, then? Chopped flarn? What about the other ones who _died_, or were wrenched violently from him in creepy ways? What about the other ones he was really close to, such as Jamie, Jo, Sarah Jane, or Romana? What about those that he argued with, but they spent nearly an entire incarnation's worth of adventures by his side? And what about SUSAN, who was his own flesh and blood?
Rose. Gets stronger of a reaction than all of those. Really? You have _got_ to be kidding me.
(Of course, it's just because the new series is more emotional _in general_, but still...Mary Flipping Sue.)
So basically...I guess...
The things that I don't like about the TV movie that the new series does as well, I don't like in _either_. So I am at least consistent. But the jury is still out on the movie as a whole.