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 …
Actually I liked all the Doctors up to the reboot.
Sometimes I didn't like the stories, and especially toward the end I HATED the production quality, but those things were clearly not the fault of the actors.
Although I do see they are walking quickly toward a brick wall that can't be avoided - too many regenerations were burned up before the reboot, and that's discounting the movies. The 13th Doctor is supposed to be evil and vicious, so they're almost out of regens.
Whenever people talk about the limit to the number of generations I wonder how much attention they've paid to the canon over the years.
Think about the Master. He actually used up all his regenerations once and was granted another cycle by the high council. So was the limit of 13 a limit imposed by the high council? If so then the limit would presumably disappeared along with the high council.
Also SJA is considered part of the canon in which the Doctor says he can regenerate 507 times. Is he lying?
Then there's the fact that River used her regenerations to save the Doctor when his regenerative ability was suspended. Does that mean that the Doctor now has River's remaining ten incarnations? If he does is that 10 added to the 13, the 507 or the 11 he's already had.
I don't think the writers will have a problem in finding a reason to give the doctor more generations.
Blink... and you missed the only good bit
The Neo-Who stuff just seems to be "playground acting" to me. A bunch of actors running around making things up on the fly with zero structure and lots of pretend machine guns, cars and spaceships (etc.). Only decent episode, IMHO, was Blink.
Still, stuff all else on worth watching, so it gets watched by default.
This crap again
I picture the author standing in a window, waving his fist, and yelling "GET OFF MY LAWN". The series has never been more popular, and that's because it's finally not embarassing to watch a good deal of the time.
This old-fartedness is not unheard-of in SF fandom. Science fiction should be about ideas they say, how DARE writers spend more than 5 minutes fleshing out the characters? Get over it!
wow... calm down dear.
Popular <> good in every case or even in everybodies taste
I've *always* watched Dr Who in all its forms (well OK not sylvester McCoy that would have been stupid) I've watched every "new" Dr Who and have found myself disapointed by pretty much every episode (apart from the odd one or two and I did enjoy the Ecclestone series)
The reality is, I don't find the new stuff, apart from the odd episode to be very, well, "Dr Who" , It's sci-fi yes, Dr Who No, (for me) there is too much "timey-whymy" stuff.. there is definately too much sentimentality in it but for the most unforgiveable thing is the "genral purpose, get out of everything" object that the Sonic Screwdriver has become.
"I've *always* watched Dr Who in all its forms (well OK not Sylvester McCoy that would have been stupid)"
Imagine if you are my age... People always remember their doctor, the one they grew up with. Sylvester McCoy is my doctor, and Ace the companion :)
Well, that's exactly the problem I have with Torchwood. Torchwood had, you know, a team and a dynamic, plus some decent sci-fi ideas buried under everybody making out with everybody else.
These new mini-series - "Children of Earth" and "Good-God-They're-In-America" are not bad for modern British sci-fi [*] and in some parts got deliciously ugly... but... it's just not Torchwood. Please please please can we have a new series that brings back the team and retcons the last two series as "Gwen on some weird alien drug, hallucinated it all"?
* - as in, we're a long way from Day Of The Triffids and Quatermass. And by that I'm talking about the ones made before I was born. In some cases, before they even had <gasp>colours</gasp>!
"The series has never been more popular"
X-DrugUser-Factor is popular, I'm a B-List Celebrity Get me On TV is popular, BigWan^H^H^HBrother is popular, does that make them good gods no, they're bloody awful television.
Death to so-called "reality TV" !!!
Do you have any pabst?
Cripes, can we dispense with the "it's popular, therefore it must be crap" nonsense?
I could go for a PBR but...
can we dispense with the "it's popular, therefore it must be awesome" nonsense?
It's TV, its popularity is important and you can't get away from that.
It costs a lot to make, but it's popular so the cost is justified. Indeed it is one of the few programmes that the BBC make which costs the licence payer nothing because of the licensing and merchandising revenue.
Were it not so popular it wouldn't get made as the BBC would not be able to justify the expense. 45 minutes of Who will cost an awful lot more to make than 45 minutes of Eastenders. Do you really believe that even 8 million viewers is enough to justify Who's existence. The BBC can sell Who to other countries and licence loads of merchandising and DVDs and that is why it's made.
However I do think the proposed new Hollywood film may be a step too far. As soon as they started talking about it being a completely new re-imagining of the story and saying it would not be part of the canon I switched off. Remember the bloody awful Cushing films? The ones where the Doctor was actually a Doctor who's surname was Who and he had invented the TARDIS more or less in his lockup. That will happen again if some Hollywood committee is allowed to re-imagine the story. But then so many such projects die before they get into production simply because the various parties can't agree, so I don't think there's too much to worry about.
I remember seeing an interview
Involved RTD and the presenters favourite episodes.
Gas Mask child pair, and Girl in the Fireplace.
RTD was very embarrassed as he didn't write them.
I'm not a fan. I kinda stopped watching after the excellent Blink and Empty Child episodes. I found the Rose Tyler / Dave Tennant running around the universe giggling like a couple of ADHD kids on a Red Bull trip annoying after a while. Unfortunately though, I'm vilified by my fellow geeks for not watching it, as not liking it makes me 'un-British'. Even more so for not considering the "edgier" spin-off Torchwood, the biggest pile of unwatchable shite I've ever witnessed. Yes John, we get it, you're gay.
So I ditched Dr Who for the far more interesting American sci-fi: Battlestar Galactica, V, and Flash Forward. Better production, better acted. We Brits can do ace drama; I just don't think think we're that brilliant at sci-fi. Dr Who started off so well with Chris Eccleston (though I generally watch anything he's in) but then just descended into kitsch.
Dr Who started off so well with Chris Eccleston ....
No it fscking didn't. It started off brilliantly with William Hartnell.
Yoof of today <humph>
John Barrowman is gay ?
They kept that quiet.
Generally agree with you comments about Tyler/Tennant, but at least it was watchable and enjoyable. Completely agree with Torchwood comments. I just suffered through Battlestar Galactica. Religion and children - the whole thing sucked to high heaven.
I was with the article right up till it said ... "Even more unedifying and illogical than the Doctor having a daughter" ... then I hit the "that is canon button" (a different but similar sounding button). Remember that the first doctor, William Hartnell had a granddaughter, Susan Foreman, therefore by inference, the doctor also had at some point been a father.
I was a fan of doctor, even back when I was a kid. They say you can tell someones age from which doctor they knew. For me it was the end of Jon Pertwee run during the time of the now very sadly late Elisabeth Sladen who was my first idea of the doctor's companion, Sarah Jane Smith.
Even though the special effects back then were nothing compared to modern effects, there was still some very good scary characters from years ago, such as the Giant Maggots and the Giant Spiders. I also still remember the Brain of Morbius as an evil powerful time lord with his brain in a transparent bowl and a crab claw. :)
Ahh good memories. :)
Yes Torchwood really was appallingly, appallingly bad wasn't it.
Actually, you're right; I meant Eccleston in the "reimagining". As for the old school, I'm a little bit too young for Hartnell. I vaguely remember Jon Pertwee but Tom Baker was my Dr of choice, with some genuinely scary episodes. Was it "The Ark" where victims got absorbed by some weird alien blob (presumably the picture in the main article)? Scared the crap out of me did that...
"Remember that the first doctor, William Hartnell had a granddaughter, Susan Foreman, therefore by inference, the doctor also had at some point been a father."
Except that Susan wasn't his real granddaughter, being human and all that.
Susan may or may not have been his real granddaughter but she was certainly Gallifreyan.
Chris did rock though
Chris did rock though. I wish it had just gone straight from him to Matt and skipped that irritating little mumbling scots git in the middle, couldnt stand him!
It got worse (Torchwoody)
What amazed me was that it got WORSE. Wouldnt have thought it was possible, but here we are.
First series had about 4 episodes in it that were quite Ok:
First episode (its needed of course)
They Keep Killing Susie (brilllliant! I would go as far as to say)
...and the rest were pretty forgettable. No, _utterly_ forgettable.
Next season - no good eps.
Next season - no good eps.
Children Of Earth - I want the several hours of my life back where I was sucked in in the mistaken belief that it would have an ending. Oh, and just to bury it forever:
THE ALIENS ARE STEALING OUR CHILDREN TO MAKE DRUGS!!
.....yeah thought so, there IS no way to say that without it sounding like a TShirt.
Ie. Its funny, which I dont think was the authors' intention.
(Incidental Question: What WERE the authors' intentions with CoE ??? Or as Rick James said it is just a case of "Cocaine.....its a hell of a drug."?)
Reading contemporary interviews about the perceived rivalry between star trek and dr who, the phrase that stuck in my mind was something along the lines of "they had the budget but by god we had the talented script writers". That's all gone now of course. There are no proper 4 parters, and the whole thing is being "Holbyised" (the process of spinning out another show from a drama like Casualty into a relationship based pseudo soap opera like Holby). Matt Smith is the first bearable Dr since Peter Davidson (although Peri did make some of the Colin Bakers bearable).
Absolutely, my misspelling of Davison renders everything I said invalid. Cheers for that.
*stomps off to play with his Danbury Mint Doctor Who chess set whilst reading Targets Travels Beyond the Tardis*
"There are no proper four parters"
You are aware aren't you that once you remove the titles and the overlaps the episodes you talk about were often below 20 minutes of actual content an episode?
So long, Dr Who...
...welcome to Social Workers In Space...
Rantzen and Kilroy-Silk boldly go...
1. John Pertwee
2. Tom Baker
3. Everybody else
@ Jim 59
Thumbs up sir.
Pertwee seems to be the favorite of many long term Dr Who fans, including mine. Technically Tom Baker was my first Doctor, but I still prefer the Pertwee years overall. After that, I have a hard time sorting out my favorites, and my preferences change depending on mood. So 2-5 on my list are fluid.
3) Tom Baker
4) Davison (several quotes that I still use 20 years later)
6) Michael Jayston (look it up yoofs) :)
etc etc etc...
22) Matt Smith (the first completely unbelievable Dr Who in *my* book. Backtracking through the stories though and a lack of Dr Who universe consistency, I think you'll find they're still in the Library, which is why the last several years do not make sense... Tennant is still the Dr, and all events after the Library have only occurred inside CAL's AI)
I find Smith to be closer to the old-style doctors than the newer ones, at least he started that way. I had assumed that was why he was initially unpopular.
@AC @2011-11-14 22:59GMT
Actually, Smith's Dr very much resembled Troughton's Dr to *me*, at least initially which intrigued me a bit, but he lost the beat somewhere. I do give him the benefit of the doubt and assume it's the stories and scripts rather than his acting. The last two series I've watched, cause it's Dr Who and my compulsion won't allow me to do anything but, but I'm not fond of the Matt Smith years to date.
The problem with Eccleston...
...is that the Doctor is supposed to be an eccentric, not a hipster. An odd Doctor is more satisfying and believable than one who dresses, talks and behaves fashionably. Eccleston should have been a little less Die Hard and a bit more Ford Prefect.
Pertwee had the intelligence/authority thing off to a tee, and was a little bit frightening himself perhaps, at least to children. Baker, he had that voice.
"6) Michael Jayston (look it up yoofs) :)"
Sorry but the Valeyard was no more the Doctor than the Dreamlord was the Doctor. Yes an alter ego or an incarnation of his evil side if you like, but he wasn't actually the doctor per se. A sort of biproduct of the regeneration of the 12th Doctor.
Curiously people have said that the Valeyard is the 13th Doctor, but he isn't. He is described in the series as an aspect of the Doctor that was produced by the regeneration of the 12th Doctor into the 13th Doctor. Just an aspect of the Doctor, not the Doctor himself. In fact it could be suggested that if the Doctor did manage to divest himself of his evil side then the 13th Doctor would be a right goody goody.
Be careful when analysing the canon. Try hard enough and you can find references which suggest that the Doctor and the Master are actually the same person. Which is obviously utter shite, but there are people who have picked up on it in the past.
What complete and utter bollocks!
"Once upon a time, a non-hysterical make-do attitude prevailed in Doctor Who, and was reflected in stolid, often-recurring supporting actors sufficiently trained to take anything seriously, and the proper British rubbish churned out in the special effects department."
Which is exactly why Dr Who died on it's arse, seemingly never to return.
Dr Who in the 'old tradition' wouldn't last one episode today, so either be thankful that the BBC have brought it up-to-date and successfully resurrected it, or shut the fuck up, stop watching it and go back to your sad collection of 'classic' episodes on Betamax.
Well, Dr Who "classic" was great for its era and budget. I watch them with that in mind, and the "reality distortion field" holds up most of the time. The stories were good, the acting *most* of the time was ok, the writing wasn't always great though, and effects were indeed rubbish (which requires some imagination to ignore sometimes). It wouldn't last a second on TV today. The other problem is the 30 minute format ended up causing the stories to get elongated on occasion. It wasn't as noticeable watching them on TV, but on DVD it gets annoying as hell having the last 3-4 minutes duplicated in the first 3-4 minutes on each episode in a series...
The current Dr Who after an awesome start though has been recently relying on pseudo plots and stretching what should take 2 hours across many more, which mirrors what happened to poor Torchwood. I gave up on Series 4 after sitting through half the season and nothing actually happened. It was worse than a US soap where you can go an entire year and the story not have advanced at all , in spite of a lot of busy activity. I really wish they'd stop writing for the US and just write it for Brits like normal. The US fans (like me) like it better that way, that's why we were watching to begin with. :) If I wanted dumbed down US TV, I'd watch US TV. I don't need it coming from across the pond...
"The US fans (like me) like it better that way, that's why we were watching to begin with. :) If I wanted dumbed down US TV, I'd watch US TV. I don't need it coming from across the pond..."
You sir, need a job as a tv executive this instant!
Pretty much all the British series' that are remade for the US bomb, badly... so why try to speed up the process by taking it in that direction from the start.
From another American fan who would prefer the show remains British.
As for the 3-4 minute overlaps on the DVDs, that's just more bad editing/production work from the Beeb. If they took the minimal amount of time it would require to remaster them properly, it wouldn't be a problem.
I've just finished watching the first 4 doctors on Iplayer, I much prefer the latest batch of doctors. The story arcs are a lot more complicated as well.
Since when was classic who available on iPlayer? Indeed an awful lot of the first two doctors is not available in any format.
i seem to be in the minority
i dont like matt smith. from my point of view, he seems to be just doing a pretty piss poor attempt at a Tennant impression. Plus the recent series plot (?) arc is so daft and stupid it makes me shout at the telly. It seems that moffat is just making it up on the fly, and throwing anythign that seems cool at it: river song being amy ponds daughter, is particualrly annoying, as its pointless and just.......daft.
I have no empathy for Rory, and apart from gloriuos pins, amy pond could die for all i care.
I was really disapointed by this new direction from moffat, i had high hopes. But its just a mess of poor writing, silly story arcs, and totally forgettable actors.
oh and why does noone mention "midnight"? One of the greatest bits of acting Dr Who has ever produsced.
Yes, what's wrong with that?
The only two episodes, of the post-2005 bunch, that I'd suggest that a non-Whovian watch would be Midnight and Blink.
See my previous theory. Tennant's Doc, Donna and River are still in the Library, and none of the crazy plots have actually occurred since. In fact, most of the Who storyline post Library only makes sense if they are stuck in the Library and don't realize it. I can't be the only one thinking this.
Amy may have been the most seductive companion ever. Then poor Rory. My wife and I started trying to figure out how he was going to get killed and resurrected each week. But like you, I don't care about them like I did several of the previous companions through the years.
It is true that Midnight was good for acting, but the damn thing creeped me out to a degree that after a couple of viewings, I never want to see it ever, ever again. It also didn't really advance the Dr Who universe, and was a "throwaway" episode long term, so it isn't crucial to remember it for any reason. Truthfully I kinda just block that episode out, and I suspect others do as well.
No, no no no no no
Smith is channeling a mixture of Troughton and Baker and doing it VERY WELL. He is easily my favourite doc since Baker (the real one, not the one in the clown suit).
"It is true that Midnight was good for acting, but the damn thing creeped me out to a degree that after a couple of viewings, I never want to see it ever, ever again."
Nice to know I'm not alone. Having said that, isn't that what DW is all about?
Sorry, no, it was crap
Midnight was an abomination of writing so bad it nearly made me stop watching the series, as though '42' wasnt bad enough. Oh god you just made me remember the atrociously bad 'The Family Of Blood' now I just want everyone involved SHOT!!
No Midnight was actually pretty good sci-fi. Proper sci-fi not crappy US TV sci-fi. However it was also very derivative.
.... And Don't Blink!
I have to wonder whether the author of this article also bitches that nobody's writing stories like those from the Golden Age of SF between the 1930s and the 1950s any more.
Well, oddly, Doctor Who, like all other Sci-Fi, grows and changes according to the times it's in. So much SF is a reflection of the social conditions in which it is written (compare the Cyberpunk of the 1980s with Banks' Culture stories for example)
Each Doctor is different, to expect them to all be the same would be to put the series into a strait-jacket churning out the same old stuff over and over again which would be tedious beyond belief.
Instead we have developing characters and story arcs (including the wonderful "backwards arc" of River Song) and still the Silence one continues. If that's not your thing, please feel free to go back to the three R's of Rockets, Rayguns and Robots, but let those of us who appreciate a bit more subtlety on their SF enjoy what is a great series *now*.
But its not subtle. Its tacked on and quite frankly, rubbishly written. Its clear that at some point in a meeting somebody said "lets make Amy Pond have a baby who is river song!" and they all went along with it. These people should not be allowed to make TV proggrames ever, ever again.
On the surface it looks like clever and almost high brow sci fi , but it really isnt. Its just badly written, confuloted, and silly ideas thrown into a pot, and called time travel.
Plus the characters arnt developing at all. Why isnt Rory barking mad? He spend at least a century on his own, dressed like a roman, looking after a stone cube. And every bloody week they kill him, and bring him back. He should be bat shit insane by now. Not still gurning like a goon, following amy like puppy.
Fine, if you can do better, write a script and send it in to the BBC.
(Better put it through a spell checker first, though...)