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back to article The new touchy-feely Doctor Who trend: Worrying

For a certain type of alphabetised-DVD-collection Doctor Who fan, there’s a crafty mental reset button that can be pressed when encountering deeply uncomfortable concepts. Concepts such as when the Eighth Doctor, Paul McGann, casually let it slip that he was actually half-human, or upon hearing the Doctor In Distress charity …

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Here Here.

I am a little too young to remember the earlier Doctor Who stories, but I remember being terrified on a consistent basis by "The Curse of Fenric". I mean, zombies and vampires in the same story. I still get nightmares to this day.

Something you just dont get these days.

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Headmaster

"Where? Where?"

(From "Doctor Who and The Homophones")

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Same with Star Trek

Compare tough man Captain Kirk with soppy Jonathan Archer. Or consider Jean-Luc Picard & crew who spent too much time chatting about touchy-feely issues to counsellor Deanna Troi. Kirk would never have stood for it.

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Happy

Kirk would have...

...slept with the councillor for a start, then critised her for not wearing a skirt short enough, or having eyelashes not long enough.

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Never fear

The movies did away with contemplative Picard and turned him into a badass.

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Devil

Exactly

Watch "First Contact". Contemplative my a***

While does not reach the level of Warf's most famous quote from the same movie ("Perhaps it is a good day to die. Prepare for ramming speed") he is definitely not far off. In fact compared to "First Contact"'s Picard, Kirk is soft and contemplative.

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Alert

Where can I buy my...

Amy Pond Bondage Handcuffs, complete with matching redheaded temptress?

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Anonymous Coward

There are a few NSFW website that can help you out there, my friend.

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Gimp

The Dalek Masterplan

"Today, anybody under the age of about 51 can only experience the ‘65/’66 12-parter The Dalek Masterplan via narrated audio"

There is also a 2-part Target adaptation (which I have).

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Holmes

Answers

Yes, it is true that the eighth doctor claimed to be half human. I will remind you that the same post-regeneration psychosis prompted the sixth doctor to accuse his companion of being a fairy. Don't trust anything a timelord says within 48 hours of regeneration.

Time was only able to move when River Song and the doctor were in physical contact, because it was an intervention in their interactions in the real universe that broke time in the first place. He snogged her because that was the only way he knew she couldn't resist being in physical contact with her which could also be shown on the BBC in that time slot.

Sherlock, because he is a time lord.

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Yeah, but no, but yeah...

She actually snogged the Teselecta Robot disguised as the Doctor, with a miniature Doctor inside. To which you could reply

it didn't have to be physical contact, just close enough...

So time could continue because every witness had seen what they were supposed to see at that fixed point in time and could carry on the way they were supposed to. Only in fact the suit was under remote control from the Silence because River herself in the suit didn't want to kill the Doctor either. And the bits with River chasing the Doctor around trying to kill him earlier in her timeline were pointless because she could only kill him at that fixed point in time.

While it was unfolding it had the possibility to be rather clever but when you put everything in order it at the end it's on the wrong side of the 'a little bit too silly' line. But still better than Tennant blubbing and RTD's scripts.

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MJI
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Sherlock

And I thought it was due to the writers of the TV series

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Yes, it was the tesselecta

The anomaly was between River and the thing we'd always assumed to be the Doctor. The fact that it was secretly the Doctor in a Doctor suit is detail.

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Anonymous Coward

Ahhhh ... BUT

"Don't trust anything a timelord says within 48 hours of regeneration."

I would agree with you there BUT the Master also discovered the Doctor had a Human retina ... remember when he's fiddling with the Eye of Harmony?

He, too, was astounded as we were by this revelation.

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don't think that's quite right

Close but no. Time broke because she failed to kill the Teselecta with the Doctor inside, she just didn't know that it wasn’t the Doctor standing in front of her. That was the true fixed point in time, not the actual Doctors death, but obviously no one else knew that. Therefore her kissing the Teselecta at the end restored time to normal. I agree with the rest of it being a bit muddled though. I have to assume Ian Harrison didn't bother actually watching (or paying attention to) the end of the episode.

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Unhappy

Sheesh.

I bet you chaps have some thrilling theories about Donnie Darko too.

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What the Master found was that the TARDIS had been programmed to expect a human retina. Which is a totally reasonable thing for a barking mad timelord to do. He then made the mistake of assuming that the Doctor had a good reason to do it that didn't rely on being barking mad.

Once you acknowledge that the entire film is the eighth doctor's equivalent of the Fish Custard scene it makes perfect sense.

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Headmaster

Pedant..

She didn't kiss the Teselecta as far as I could tell, she kissed the doctor. The doc wasn't necessarily inside the Teselecta while in the broken universe, he just told her to look in his eyes when she returned to the beach.

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Anonymous Coward

Um ...

"That was the true fixed point in time ..."

That's fairly non-canonical as far as nature is concerned.

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@Annihilator

Nope, sorry, she definitely looked into the Teselecta's eyes in the broken universe and saw the miniature Doctor, it was why she finally decided to snog him (it) then let the suit kill him (it).

I would post my 20 page essay on Donny Darko but it would be off-topic.

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Who is Donnie Darko? Some American fast food outlet?

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"She actually snogged the Teselecta Robot disguised as the Doctor, with a miniature Doctor inside. To which you could reply

it didn't have to be physical contact, just close enough..."

Ah no. The fixed point was that River would kill a robot that everybody thought was the Doctor. So she had to come into contact with the robot.

The Doctor figured that out. He knew the fixed point had to be River killing something or somebody who looked just like the Doctor, because he'd seen it. It din't have to be the Doctor himself. Most Whovians had figured that out, but the most common prediction was that the Doctor on the beach would be a flesh avatar.

"While it was unfolding it had the possibility to be rather clever but when you put everything in order it at the end it's on the wrong side of the 'a little bit too silly' line."

You've got an alien who looks completelt human and can regenerate when the plot, the actors career or the BBC's internal politics require it. He can travel in time and space in a little blue box which is an awful lot bigger on the inside. He can fix almost anything in the world (except wood) with his sonic screwdriver, but can't fix the chameleon circuit of his TARDIS. Time can be rewritten. He can't travel back into his own personal timeline, except when he does. Etc. Etc. Etc.

I'm sorry but I think you'll find that almost any Doctor Who plot is well over that line. But there's nothing wrong with silly.

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@Grease Monkey

I was attacking it from the 'it was really him the first time round but he changed things so it was the Teselecta the second time round' point of view. Things did happen slightly differently at the lake scene in the last episode than the way we saw them in the first episode and the last, plus all this ado about 'Time can be re-written'.

But yes, it could have always been the Teselecta too. What wasn't playing playing fair that the Teselecta was lurching round like a Thunderbird except when it was disguised as the Doctor.

Nothing silly about a blue box being a time machine. What was really silly was RTD's last Christmas Special.

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Anonymous Coward

It's not necessarily fatal

Pertwee spent something like five years diluting the brand into formulaic 25-minute car chase sequences with tedious kung fu for exposition and it bounced back from that.

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"If that happens, imagine Sarah Jane’s stiff-upper-lip departure in 1976 adventure The Hand Of Fear, newly soundtracked by Coldplay, forever."

Okay, I'll be 42 ne3xt month but the thought of a Dr Who Coldplay Moment makes ME want to hide behind the sofa. And not in a good way.

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Simples...

The current Dr Whos are written for the touchy-feely US market.

Enough said.

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Oh I Don't Know

Seems to me in "A Good Man Goes To War" River Song characterized The Doctor's viciousness pretty well.

But then the 11th Doctor is no Doc Martin so you may be right.

Then there was the Americanization of "Torchwood" which totally frakked it up. Oh well, there's always "The Big Bang Theory" and "Friends" reruns. And "Top Gear" and, of course, Stephen Fry.

So many choices; so little time.

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FAIL

Here here! The spin offs aren't fairing much better either. The original Torchwood series provided a nice "adult" angle on the DW world, but the writers seriously messed with the character dynamics, Jack in particular, with Miracle Day presumably pandering to their America paymasters. Was is it just me but was Jack TRYING to be a shallow stereotype?

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I thought the obvious one here was the line; "I'm the Doctor. We're in the biggest library in the universe, look me up.", stopping a planet-buggering swarm of invisible unstoppable miniature airborne piranha thingies dead in their tracks.

I got the message that the Vashta Nerada looked him up and collectively crapped themselves on the spot. So that makes him scarier than them then, which is pretty bloody scary in anyone's book.

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APA

One of my favourite lines of the series was actually one of Rory's:

Rory: I have a message and a question. A message from the Doctor and a question from me. Where is my wife? Oh don't give me those blank looks. The twelfth Cyber Legion monitors this entire quadrant. You hear everything. So you tell me what I need to know. You tell me now and I'll be on my way.

Cyberman: What is the Doctor's message? {the fleet explodes behind Rory}

Rory: Would you like me to repeat the question?

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There's a reason that the fans are calling Rory "Time's New Roman"

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Trollface

Was is it just me but was Jack TRYING to be a shallow stereotype?

Not that he needed to try too hard...

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APA

He just seemed to be, well "gayer" than usual. In the Angelo retrospective episode I thought he was going to break out into a West Side Story, number.

The series as a whole had good ideas and obviously had the money, yet still somehow managed to cock it up.

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Hey! It's not our fault the touchie-feelie weenies

on YOUR side of the pond like the even more touchie-feelie-where's-my-mommie weenies on OUR side of the pond that they've permanently fracked over the show. I always LIKED the fact that Dr. Who was different and that he was working with the Brigadier instead of a US general and had a somewhat different outlook on life in general. It made it, well real, even with the extra-cheesy special effects.

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"I thought he was going to break out into a West Side Story, number."

When directing JB the trick is in preventing him breaking out into a west side story number.

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Canon cobblers

In any long running series, there are always going to be inconsistencies.

Just enjoy each episode for what it is. Just imagine dismissing The Wrath of Khan as "not canon" because Khan recognised Chekov.

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Stop

Take Issue with

Doctors Daughter - this is about canon as it can get. Since its been a given since the first original series that he had a Granddaughter - therefore he's allowed at least one Daughter, and if linearity is any guide (and its not) at least 2.

You may quibble with the method - but I for one though it was one of the better episodes.

The wizened hobbit doctor was a bit of a stretch though..... (imho) - although I suspect that was just so the Master could keep him in a birdcage - which I thought was delightfully Masterly and cruel.

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"its been a given since the first original series that he had a Granddaughter "

In your head mainly. They called each other grandfather and grandaughter, but I always made the assumption that she was sort of adopted although they never explained how or why. Perhaps he rescued her from somewhere.

As for the Doctor's Daughter. She wasn't really his Daughter was she? Just grown from his DNA (taken from his severed hand IIRC). The writers were just playing with people with that title, especially given who the actress actually was.

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The first doctor clearly and repeatedly

called her his granddaughter throughout the series and vice versa, and there is no evidence whatsoever to indicate it was just a pet name.

It is plainly obvious that they hadn't thought of regenerations until the need arose, and I'll cut them the same slack I cut Star Trek II.

As for the DNA clone, she clearly is his daughter - the cloned cells are daughter cells, so it just happens to be a different literal.

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Anonymous Coward

Bring back the Ice Warriors

I have a very cloudy recollection of my first Doctor Who (lateish 60's, I think I must've been 3 or 4 years old) in an episode that involved giant wasps being shot at with what I recall as field guns. I have no memory of why they were either giant or being shot at, but I'd assume even a sonic screwdriver morphed newspaper wouldn't have been up to the job - I've always found 'Raid' works well on anything with more than four legs, and has the double advantage of costing less than howitzer rounds and annoying any acquaintances with covert tree-hugging tendencies.

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Giant Wasps

You're probably thinking of the Zarbi, around 1965

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Bring back the Wirrn

A bloke gimped-up in bubble-wrap is scary on every conceivable level.

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The Zarbi!

Dr Who and the Zarbi was my very first Dr Who paperback. PIcked it up for five pee in a charity store.

I should read that again.

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Paris Hilton

There have been some genuinely good moments though,

the kid in a gasmask was proper scary and so was the Blink episode. Them things in suits were horrible as well, but I have to agree that the end of season episodes tend to be rather touchy feely soft. A proper visceral episode would be good, something horrible with Baker era too-wide smiles and weirdness. I reckon Matt Smith could do this and Moffat could write it if he can shake off some of the RTD-isms.

Also, Rory is ace.

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Facepalm

Moffat could write Blink and "the kid in the gasmask" ep if he shook off RTD, huh?

Moffat *did* write those episodes, you blithering cretin. It was Davies who wrote anti-classics like The Parliament of Farting Aliens and Doctor Dobby The Christ-In-A-Birdcage.

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@Smallbrainfield

'Also, Rory is ace.'

Erm, no... Ace was a girl for starters and tended to carry around explosives.

Rory is a guy. Unless he's taking after Spot from ST:NG and changing sex as required by plot, which would make his relationship with Amy something of a conundrum...

Anyhow: Ace is. Rory is merely okay.

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Pint

I for one...

... read the post first time as meaning that Moffat should write a series end episode, in the same way as Blink and the gas mask one was written, rather than in the touchy feelibn way that RTD would write it.

Beer because I think you need one.

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Meh

I do know he wrote those episodes. Credit me with some intelligence.

He is responsible for the series as a whole now. I think there's still a bit too much legacy of RTD in there. So ner, fartface.

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Moffat has managed to make all the awkward details that RTD used into irrelevances. The Time War, the Master ruling Earth, all the twists and turns between Nine admitting he's the last Time Lord and the whole damn lot of them coming back to bring about the end of time.

Oh, some of the tricks were quite logical, but I doubt RTD could cope with the lack of a definite ending in the DW format.

Is Moffat better? He's picking up stuff from all over written SF. He's not afraid to write for an audience that actually thinks about what's happening. DW has picked up some of the same appeal as a really good detective mystery.

There has been a change. I've been watching this show all my life, and I can understand why the discomfort about the shifts. But looking back at how I was trying to figure an answer to the problem that was set up back in April, I really want to know what this guy does next. Because He's set it up so the Doctor has to be discreet, has to be more subtle, has to save the day without making a big splash.

I think it is going to be interesting.

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T J
FAIL

Ace sucked

And not in any useful way. She was cute, as was Peri - and they were both godawful and in a godawful pantomime version of the series. I was very glad that when RTD rebooted the series everything from Colin Baker onwards was consigned to a Dynasty Dream Didnt Happen status, good riddance.

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