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back to article Steven Moffat promises 'darker' Doctor Who

Steven Moffat has teased that the forthcoming new series of Doctor Who will kick off with episodes "darker than any other opener of a season". Speaking to journalists at the launch of the the new episodes, Moffat said: "We've been pretty dark before in Doctor Who. But we're coming in from the dark side just because we haven't …

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Soap Opera

I'd rather he promised less 'emo'. I don't really care about the doctor's emotional involvement with his various assistants, or their attachments to their families/boyfriends/whatever. More science fiction, less soap opera, please.

I suspect I'm in the minority, however.

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No Minority

I agree, 100%.

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Agreed

No matter what physical age the current 'body' might be, he's supposed to be 800+ years old. The relationships with the assistants should only be on paternalistic lines. They're all children to him, as are their families.

And, Please <insert Deity>, don't bring back Billy Piper or Catherine Tate again. Ever.

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Especially...

Catherine Tate

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a title

Er... yeah.

You do realise that they no longer like to admit that Dr Who is Science Fiction? (*)

All the emo stuff is to satisfy the critics who want to see a more 'real' story.

(*) The critic's criterion is "If I happened to read/watch it and liked it then it can't be SF, but I'll make up some other excuse". (**)

(**) See http://news.ansible.co.uk/a283.html#12 - there are many other examples.

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Happy

Well, it's kind of soft sci-fi at best...

...but it's probably the best that Mainstream can handle; I personally don't have a problem with exploring the impact something like the Doctor would have on a "normal" person's worldview and relationships (I liked that exploration of Rose's relationships with her mother, boyfriend, dead Dad etc for example) as long as we can avoid becoming mawkish.

I do like the dark feel from the trailers, though, and my young son is as excited as I am (but more able to express his excitement due to social mores etc) as long as we can keep the metrosexual Daleks out for the time being...

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Unhappy

Story arc - again?

Is anyone else getting fed up of these constant story arc things?

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Story arc - again?

So you'd prefer a whole bunch of episodes where what happens this week has nothing to do with what happened last week and will be forgotten by next week?

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I'd prefer

what happened last week to have happened a billion years ago and half a universe away. When you can go anywhere and tell any story story arcs become an encumbrance and a contrivance. Continuity's fine - the show's always has that - but lately it's become a fetish that's getting in the way of good storytelling.

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Story arcs

Since day 1 Doctor Who has had story arcs, previously they were 2-3 hours each, but you can't just have them materialise in an exciting new place, spend 15 minutes introducing the setting, 15 minutes introducing all the characters and then having around 12 minutes for plot. Not gonna work.

They managed it on Star Trek partly because you already knew 90% of the characters in an episode and partly because they didn't care about keeping characters constant anyway.

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FAIL

"If you run for 13 weeks you can start to feel as though you can miss one episode and it'll be okay"

Of course it's okay to miss one...that's why the IPlayer was invented.

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Grenade

Yes.....

......but completely screwing you over in such circumstances is what IP geolocation was invented for. Handing the shaft to the utter fucktards behind that particular piece of stupidity is what BitTorrent was invented for.....

Expat FWIW. Thank fuck that nobody's figured out how to stop a satellite signal from crossing an arbitrary line drawn on a map eh?

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let me get this right...

you bitch that you cant view it from outside the UK.

i take it you are still paying £150 a year like the rest of us then? where you live you can probably buy BBC stuff cheaper than in the UK anyway

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Unhappy

satellite signals

> nobody's figured out how to stop a satellite signal from crossing an arbitrary line drawn on a map

They're not far off, look at the Ka-band Irish Freesat proposal for details. Tiny spotbeams, with frequencies reused in each spot :(

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@Citizen Kaned

"i take it you are still paying £150 a year like the rest of us then? where you live you can probably buy BBC stuff cheaper than in the UK anyway"

Cue steam from ears.

We're not given the option to pay to see BBC stuff online. Even the trailers are off-limits, for crying out loud. I certainly would quite happily pay, being one of those weirdos who believes people should always be remunerated for doing a good job.

And buying BBC stuff abroad (I assume you mean DVDs and so forth) is nio cheaper than in the UK. Postage is often expensive, and the exchange rates are always tipped to favour the vendor.

Happy now?

Regards,

Citizen Erased

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Missing one episode isn't ok?

Since that massive tool Moffat took over, I've missed considerably more than one episode and it still feels OK to me.

He's trying *way* too hard, "his" doctor is mis-cast (I don't blame the actor for that, he's trying his best but lacks the gravitas to carry the part) and frankly if he spent half as much time on good writing and editing as he spent going on about how different his era will be from RTD's and how his stuff will be "darker" (as if that's a magic paint that guarantees a better story somehow!) then his episodes would be a good deal more watch-able.

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Anonymous Coward

More Abzorbaloff, please.

Nothing darker than Peter Kay playing a fat northern alien.

OK I'm kidding. No Absorbaloff, please. Davros would be find, though, or Derek Jacobi's Master - but no John Sim! Good an actor as he may be, I just thought "what is Bernard from New Order doing in Dr Who?"

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Yes

@ lurker ... yes

@ John Ruddy ... yes

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How scary, exactly?

A fair percentage of kids are playing their parents (or their own) 18-rated FPS games. How scary will it have to get for them to hide behind the sofa? Or is some middle-class North London definition of scary I've not been told about yet?

Cybermen had to be the ultimate scare really, a humanoid form with no emotion. Sofa every time.

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Paris Hilton

"Horror" does not mean scary

Most FPS games are less scary than a badly carved pumpkin. Why? Because the player has an arsenal of firearms which you use to blow the "scary" (ie. ugly) things away.

Film and TV programmes can be scarier because you, as the passive viewer, are powerless to do anything about what happens.

Not to say that FPS games can't be scary. Just thinking about playing Amnesia makes me uncomfortable. Why? Because here again you don't have any weapons, and are generally powerless against anything you might meet around the corner.

Paris, because now I'm thinking about Amnesia, and need a hug.

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Depends on the kids I would have thought ...

... my daughter is 5 and loves watching Doctor Who. The recent episode with the Vampires of Venice is the only one she asked to turn off and watch another time. She also watches the Sarah Jane spin off but out of the two its the Doctor and the "scary aliens" as she puts it that she loves to watch the most.

It has to be a fine balance. You start to introduce genuine scares in there then the show gets pushed back behind the watershed potentially losing the younger audience.

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The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

Personally I thought the statues (angels?) were the scariest episodes of the new dr who's so far... Blink and its follow up were generally quite freaky.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

Blink is boss.

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Re: The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

Blink is indeed boss, but that next story with the Weeping Angels was terrible... Angel Bob? Smeg off!

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Re: Meg C

Blink was a superb episode but I thought the angels were the weakest thing about it. A bit silly really, quantum entities who turn to stone when you look at them? They wouldn't survive me with a bag full of amphetamines, a torch strapped to my head and a sledgehammer for more than a few minutes. The excellent thing about Blink was the wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff which was some of the best time travel related SF I'd seen on TV for ages.

The follow up was too silly for words. It seemed to me that the writers, knowing how popular Blink had been, had tried to cash in on it's success but missed the point entirely.

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The one with the children and gas masks

were pretty scary, IMHO.

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Troll

@Sarah Bee

The 60's called, they want their catch-phrase back.

Last time I heard something was 'boss' was - well, last Saturday, was watching American Graffiti. Is it making a come back?

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Are you my mummy?

Chris3?

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Yes

Blink and The Empty Child: my kid had nightmares for weeks after.

He still says they are the best episodes :D

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What about...?

Midnight is another scary episode (along with Blink and The Empty Child) -- scary because of the isolation and psychological horror/mind games aspects.

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Keep Calm...

... and Don't Blink!

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MJI
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All from the Moff

The current show runner

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Blink is win

But it must have become 'kin tedious for those jobbing actors dressed up as statues...

'ere, mate! Blink! Blink n ur dead, innit!

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Dead Vulture

I didn't understand the finale of the last series...

... with Big Bang 2.0 and all (Did we learn why the Tardis is exploding?). But the gist seemed to kill off all the previous story arcs and start over. So why is River and apparently James Corden still around?

I'm selecting the tombstone icon, cos it might simply be I'm too old at 36.

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Anonymous Coward

All probably part...

... of a bigger story arc.

Remember earlier on last season, people were pointing to what was percieved to be a continuty error early on in the series, when the doctors jacket disappeared, then in the last episode it all made sense, because the jacketless doctor went back into his own timeline and interacted with the characters (or was it he was wearing the jacket when he went back to his jacketless past, i forget now)

Same will hapen with the Big Bang. It was stopped (for now) but we'll still to find out why it happenned.

I also predict we'll find out about the Tardis hidden behind a perception field in that upstairs flat, which seemed to respond to the Doctor, oh and I'm still awaiting an explanation from that Blue Grass episode, why their future selves were stood across the fields waving back.

The Moff seems to be good at little arcs within big arcs, and seems to lay seeds in episodes that in future episodes become "oh now that makes sense" moments. I wouldn't be surprised if we're seeing a 3-4 year arc a'la B5. At the end of it they'll send a space station back in time, to start it all off again :p

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Coat

Re: I didn't understand the finale of the last series...

> ... with Big Bang 2.0 and all (Did we learn why the Tardis is exploding?)

It was jump started by Lister

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Questions, questions, always questions!

"(Did we learn why the Tardis is exploding?). "

No, we didn't.

They made that quite explicitly clear, that the cause of the TARDIS exploding, why it was dragged to that point in space/time, and wtf the Silence is, are all still completely unknown.

Nor do we (or the Doc) understand why Amy knew nothing of the Daleks before meeting the ones with Churchill - more mysteries to be explained at some stage, as was pointed out in that very episode.

"But the gist seemed to kill off all the previous story arcs and start over."

No, it wasn't.

It didn't reset the universe, it simply brought the universe back to how it was before everything was destroyed. So no Big Reset Switch (that was RTD's style).

There's a lot more to this overall story, I would tend to agree with those who are speculating a multi-season arc rather than just a 1 series arc (a la woeful Bad Wolf crap), and if so, Bring It On!

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Real Life?

"Cybermen had to be the ultimate scare really, a humanoid form with no emotion."

Like say.... Parking Wardens, Council Officials, Tax Collectors, Bank Managers.......

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Less stupid, please

I don't care about more scary. Just have it make some vague sort of sense.

Also, Smith is a good actor but he's no Tennant. Asking him to do an impression of Tennant, but even *more* manic -- that's truly dumb.

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Will They Ever Learn?

"You put the jokes in and the silly bits in for the adults"

Oh dear.

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WTF?

Those are the current Dr. Who characters?!

I admit I only ever watched the show in the 80's or maybe very early 90's. The then Doctor was rather tall and had a big head of hair and was eccentric - very much a Brit. it was a fun & funny show.

That guy in the cowboy hat reminds me of Micky Knox, for God's sake!

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Confused...

How can you miss one? Every episode is transmitted at least 19 times on various BBC channels during the first week or two after initial broadcast, (along with 11 repeats of 'Dr Who Confidential') and then at least 3 times a week on BBC 3 for the next decade.

And isn't a series of 13 episodes with a big break in the middle actually just two short series?

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How can you miss one?

Easy. Live in the U.S. where you're at the mercy of your state's PBS network and/or the Syfy (whatever they're calling it now) Channel, and your local cable monopoly.

The last thing I saw he was running around in the kind of tennis shoes basketball players wore in the '50s and Donna Noble had been made permanently amnesiacal or something.

I've heard rumours that there's a separate Torchwood series, any truth to that?

How come there's no TARDIS icon?

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Yep

Three series of Torchwood.

Have you seen Ghostbusters? Pretty much the same, but set in Cardiff but with more sex and death (not always in that order).

It had some potential, but the writers repeatedly painted themselves into a corner by dramatically killing one of the core team and then having some kind of alien tech resurrect them.

If you don't do stuff like that, you have to repeatedly replace the team members, which is tricky when your usual recruitment method is to bump into someone in a nightclub and then find out they're an undiscovered genius. Also, as they would have gone through something like 100 team members a year, it would almost certainly be impossible to keep the secret organisation a secret.

Ultimately the whole thing collapsed under its own weight and ended with an extended story that (guess what!) killed off most of the main characters. There are rumours of a fourth series, but I don't know how they'll re-populate the team. No, wait, I know exactly how they'll re-populate the team.

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Can not wait

for the new series looks great, love the 'scariness' and all the 'funny bits for the adults' its all there, sadly, I'll have to record it to watch on my own or else my partner will be hiding under a cushion, or behind the sofa, as she's a big 'scaredy cat' !

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re. 'scaredy cat'

Is she a cat-nun who looks after sick people?

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I can remember hiding behind the sofa for the very first Dr Who

... never really got round to every watching it regularly since, which is odd as I loved Star Trek.

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title

Moffat is the man who came up with "Are You My Mummy", "Don't Blink", and "Hay, who turned out the lights?" before he was showrunner.

I totally trust this man to create that eerie, creepy feeling I love in Doctor Who. Can't Wait.

In fact the only thing I've seen so far that I don't like is James Corden. Fat =/= Funny.

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I miss the old days

I feel the short episodes don't have the same meat to them as the old stories, which were one story split into several parts. Sure its a bitch waiting for the next ep but when you finally get it on DVD or in an omnibus repeat, you're glued for the whole thing.

Then again I always did have an abnormally long attention span. Of course the other advantage to this is fewer stories means you can drop the weaker story ideas and focus on the really good ones.

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old school

I prefered the old format to, give me 4 or 6 part episodes like the old school Dr Who

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