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 …
@Mike Brown - Blah Blah Blah, Too american, not British enough, effects look too real, wheres the bubble wrap <insert other BS spouted regularly>
Personally watched 2005 S1, some of S2, none of S3 and S4, watched S5 and S6 whe Moffat took over as RTD constant "oooooh lets make this character gay/bi" started to really really grate.
I LIKED the river song / Amy Pond Arc, clever writing with some hidden twists.
Only part I didn't like was the James Cordon episode, liked the episode generally and one of the few, which has made me jump in a long time, but given 3 or so eps back the Doctor has just taken out a cyberfleet, how does he get captured by 4 poor assembled malfunctioning cybermen? (not paying due to impending death perhaps with a lack of interest in living mixed in)
end of S4 was meant to show a change of tone and a different take on regeneration, where the Dr is fighting it and ergo things bottle up and get out of control and result in him being a tad odder than ever e.g. fish fingers and custard.
Though the simple answer is if you dislike it that much, "Don't watch it" watch X factor or similar rubbish.
@Graham Marsden Are you really saying that i have to write a script for Dr Who before i can have an opinion on it? How odd.
No, I'm saying if you think you can do better, why don't you.
I've never agreed with the "you can't complain unless you can do better yourself" argument. So I think Graham's point was a bit silly. However to all the Whovians who want the series to be stuck in a timewarp of whatever period in their youth they discovered the doctor I do have an answer.
DON'T WATCH IT.
I first discovered the Doctor when Pertwee played the part, and really got into it when Tom Baker took over. I think my interest probably peaked during the Douglas Adams period (even though I had no clue who he was at the time), but I still enjoyed the Davison and Colin Baker doctors. When McCoy took over the role however the show, in my opinion took a dive, so I stopped watching. I didn't complain and expect them to rewrite the show to suit me.
Sigh, I didn't say "you can't complain unless you can do better yourself". Read Mike JVX's post, he got the point I was making.
In its defence
The old show never gave us those twin wonders of Space and Time - Amy Pond and River Song.
Didn't need them.
The old show had Leela, who was far better with a Janis thorn than River has ever been with a gun, and Romana (Mary Tamm, not the mousy Lalla Ward) who at least until the writers dumbed her down way too much, could hold her own or best The Doctor.
Not that I'm objecting to Amy or River mind you.
Leela was the most wooden and badly acted assistant the Doctor ever had.
The ship has crashed. The crew are dead. A title is required.
I thought El Reg only used to run stuff like this on Fridays?
Irony, weird coincidence, or what?
That the bit about "the Master’s evil mobile phone network" was right next to a picture of Steve Jobs.
It could be worse, one of our American networks could pick up the series!!
This week, on a very special "Doctor".....
(I don't even like Dr. Who, and that into makes me cringe)
Decline and fall
It illustrates part of the dumbed-down touchy-feely decadence that will bring the end for this country (and a few others). I blame things like moulded plugs, Java, twit-face social networking, MBAs and PPE graduates, and the demise of decent O and A levels in maths and science.
Big hugs, group-think etc., won't fix it either - so go on, wetheads, vote me down!
Ahh... Sara Kingdom. I can still see her demise. One of those things that sticks in the mind's eye after all these years. I can remember being behind the sofa to!
La la la I can't hear you
When I read some of the interviews with cast and writers that preceded the debut of the revival, I came to the conclusion that whatever it was they'd liked about the old series (and they never did articulate what they'd liked, all they ever talked about was stuff they wanted to change), and proceded to ignore it as a completely different show which just happened to have the same name as one that I like. Every time I read something about major plot developments in the new Who, even articles that approve of them, I cringe and become even gladder that I made that decision.
It's not as though this locks me into an endless cycle of nothing new; I've never seen most of the Hartnell and Troughton stories and missed a couple seasons near the end, so as the DVDs get released, I'm still getting to see adventures that are new to me.
(Does anyone really put their collection in alphabetical order? Seriously? I mean, the only *proper* obsessive way to do it is in story order!)
I don't know the episodes but there was one with a small golem in it that killed people. Another with some experiment in a large container that broke out and attacked Pertwee. Another with large bugs and slithering pupae on a spacheship that had Tom Baker in it and the dinosaur one with Pertwee. They proper scared the crap out of me as a child.
I wonder if kids get scared of Doctor Who anymore what with all the video games monsters and various movies doing the rounds.
Probably Talons of Weng Chiang, Spearhead from Space, Arc in Space and The Dinosaur Invasion.
The beeb had to choose who their target audience was for the Dr Who revamp: Impossible-to-please middle aged men with fond memories of what they thought was the good old days of British sci-fi, or a new generation of children who neither know or care about the older series.
Due to the unique way the BBC is funded, there's no justification in pandering to the former - even though they would enthusiastically buy DVD sets and action figures, it's a limited audience that is only destined to shrink smaller.
A modern sci-fi / kiddie series is obviously the only way they could have gone. It's perfectly successful, but will inevitably disappoint.
If you took your 'But it's not CANON' whining to a meeting of license fee budgeteers, tasked with deciding how much should be invested in the writing of Dr Who, I doubt you'd get far.
So why bother?
So if you want to create essentially a brand-new series, why not just create a completely *new* series rather than annoying the allegedly useless nostalgic middle-aged fans? What's the point in dragging a pre-existing series in if all that does is pick up a contingent of haters?
Haters can be ignored...
As a concept, DW is still one of the best out there. It's BRITISH. More than that - it's ENGLISH. The BBC owns it. And because of those "nostalgic middle-aged fans", it automatically had a viewing base. I got my kids hooked because I made them sit with me and watch the first episode of the reboot. Nostalgia for us old farts, young, handsome and hot (Martha, damn!) for the younger generation. Even the haters still watch (for the most part).
Is it really that simple?
Rhetorical question. No its not that simple. The writing. The writing is paramount. The writing has been, for the most part, very very BAD in the new series. This is a problem.
Pretty awesome. Not the article, but the dual aspects of a) the number of upvotes on the "Amy Pond Bondage Handcuffs, complete with matching redheaded temptress?" comment and b) that I think this is the longest run of comments on an IT thread that doesn't have a "Where the IT? angle" icon on it. That kind of says something about the place (love it or hate it) Dr Who has in the hearts of Brit (and other) geeks.
Maybe I missed what I was being told
But I got the feelign that the end of the last series had the Doc (i.e. Steven Moffat) promising a return to low key adventures rather than giant Galaxy condensing musical number arcs
If so I look forward to it
Though I liked Alex Kingston. Once again I could fancy a woman in Dr Who and not think "She's young enough to be my daughter"
Problem with Rose's mum (Camille Coduri) was remembering her as the Cute Young Thing in Nuns on the Run
Sorry, where were we?
It works. Don't ask me why it works as some of the RTD writing leaves me cold, but it works. Why do i say that? Because the kids will go to school the Monday after to talk about. They'll make sure they've seen it so they can go talk about it. American friends who could never get into the often padded (but I still love) 'classic' Dr Who and who could never get it have commented that their kids will watch it. I grew up sitting watching it with my family as a "must not miss" sit down all together event. It's that again, and in era where it's an effort to drag the kids away from the lastest Xbox masterpiece it's a pleasure to have something fun, sometimes smart and thought provoking, exciting and above all, not full of sex and swearing or reality tv dross that they want to sit and watch with you. We've had some great conversations after it stretching from science, to history to morality. There aren't that many shows that can provoke that nowadays and long may it carry on. I can't watch it the way I did as a child, because I'm much much older now. I love that my kids can though.
It's not "sap": it's drama! Sorry, but despite being a fan of the older episodes, I think the new series are vastly superior. They're funnier, cleverer, and even sexier. If you want to watch the classic shows, get them on DVD.
Are you my mummy?
I think the article can be distilled down to: the early series were "boy's own" adventures: small boys wanted to be the Doctor who saved the world and defeated enemies mostly by being clever. All you needed was to understand science and you could defeat anything. Companions were there to wonder at the Doctor's genius and occasionally need rescuing. If you ever went to the park to play at Dr. Who then you'd fight over who would be the Doctor and who would be the daleks/cybermen/master and the little sister that your parents made you take with you got to be the companion (as long as she didn't get in the way).
Now the Doctor defeats his enemies by being touchy-feely. What small boy wants to save the world by getting his sister to press her hand on the side of a captured Dalek and watch it fly off to Dalek heaven?
Tears, Sarah Jane?
That line was at the end of Planet of The Spiders, the third Doctor was dying and Sarah Jane was kneeling over him. Pertwee's exit speech, not Sarah Jane's!
Couple of things ....
Was once in the Coach & Horses (if you don't know where this is ...) with Dr Who (Tom Baker) when Romana (Lalla Ward) phoned Norman (Landlord) to send him home for tea ...
And the second thing, RTD and SM have tried to put an 'overarching' story (very American series) into Dr Who - nothing wrong with that - and upped the production values to those of the new US series. But 'The Twilight Zone' (original) had the same tacky sets and puns as the first Dr. Whos so they learnt from us, and later, we them. I enjoyed the early 70's Dr Who / Blake's Seven / etc as it and I were of that time, and I like the new ones since Ecclestone as they are 'of this time', as is the new Gallactica and the revamped Star Treks.
But the spinoffs - That prequel to Gallactica, and Torchwood on this side of the Pond, don't really measure up - liked the idea of Miracle Day but there really was only 5 episodes of material there.
Sorry, where were we .....?
The first example of time travel?
"But 'The Twilight Zone' (original) had the same tacky sets and puns as the first Dr. Whos so they learnt from us, and later, we them."
The Twilight Zone first aired in 1959, Doctor Who in 1963. Spooky....
I think you're somewhat deluded if you think that RTD was the first to put an overarching story into Who. There were complete series with an overarching story going back to at least the seventies. The whole key to time thing was one, then there was the trial of a timelord and I'm sure there were others.
"You wouldn’t have had the First Doctor doing this stuff, or letting the companions – or even the viewers – sort it out."
Yes you would. In the first few serials, the Doctor was a bumbling old coot who got everyone into trouble, and Ian was the hero who saved the day. Look at which one of them takes down the final villain in 'The Keys of Marinus', for example.
The great thing about the old Dr Who was the writing. In particular the doctor would usually solve everything without blowing anything up or shoving his sonic screwdriver up their nose.
The doctor would usually go between the two sides and convince both sides that the other side were awfully nice chaps. Then they everyone would sit down for tea and cucumber sandwiches at the end. Huzzah.
Fortunately things have picked up with Moffat doing the writing. There is only one canonical episode as far as I am concerned - the episode where Rowan Atkinson is the doctor (Dr Who and the Curse of the Fatal Death) which was also written by Moffat.
"In particular the doctor would usually solve everything without blowing anything up or shoving his sonic screwdriver up their nose."
Hardly. Not only was the "classic" Doctor a lot more violent than people seem to remember he often got out of things more by luck than judgement. I seem to recall Douglas Adams once describing the typical doctor who plot as being the Doctor and Sarah Jane running around, getting captured, learning and important bit of plot, escaping, running round, repeat until close. It often came with something of a deus ex machina ending too. As for the Doctor solving everything, it was often down to his companions or a third party to actually come up with the final solution. Sometimes it even happened by mistake.
"The doctor would usually go between the two sides and convince both sides that the other side were awfully nice chaps. Then they everyone would sit down for tea and cucumber sandwiches at the end. Huzzah"
Actually the plot was more often than not the doctor trying to mediate, failing and having to resort to something different. Usually resulting in death and destruction, sometimes by accident. Often served up with a large helping of the Doctor agonizing about being a man of peace. Pretty much like the tenth Doctor story with the Daleks and the Empire State building.
I'm not a fan of Davies mainly because he introduced too much of the soap opera to the show, Moffat has of course managed to turn that on it's head and into a joke on several occasions. But you do have to remember he remains a lifelong fan of the show and did manage to bring it back with a lot of the elements that made the original great, but squeezed into a more modern format. Where a lot of people make their mistakes in criticizing him is in assuming that he wrote all the stories. Far from it. He was "lead writer" which put him pretty much in the role of the old script editors.
Don't get me wrong I enjoy the classic Doctor Who as much as the next man. I have nearly all the surviving recordings in one format or another. And that, I think, qualifies me to comment. I find that a lot of people seem to have faulty memories when it comes to Doctor who, in particular the idea that he was a man of peace and managed to solve everything amicably.
Oh and I'm sure you didn't mean that there is only one canonical episode? What did you mean to say there?
Five Rounds Rapid
Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart: Jenkins?
Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart: Chap with wings, there. Five rounds rapid.
—Doctor Who, "The Daemons"
The good old days
Good old days indeed...
IRRC the Brigadier also called for 'five rounds rapid' from a tank at the Robot in 'Robot'. Though seeing as it was TV history's most unconvincing model tank ever, it probably wouldn't have worked.
I think that was the very first Dr. Who episode I saw. PBS bought them and stripped them in block on Saturday afternoons so I always got to watch the whole story in one sitting. After that episode I was hooked.
it sticks to tradition!!
the newer Dr Who episodes do stick to tradition:
Hot Red-Head companion like Romana II or Leela? Check
the rest doesn't matter :-)
mines the coat with the 'Amy in Policewoman's Uniform Action Figure' in the top pocket peeking out to say hi
I wouldn't describe Romana II as a redhead and you're pushing a point to call Leela a ginge as well.
there is different levels of red... Romana II is/was enough to have given me a redhead fetish for my whole life... though i do admit to pushing it a lil with Leela :-)
flame = firebush :-)
You always remember your first Doctor...
...mine played the recorder - still my instrument of choice!
I think the current series is brilliant. Ecclestone-Tennant-Smith have played the Doctor brilliantly - Smith in particular is heading towards bestest evar! The companions are also brilliant - Rory is great, Amy is ok, but my goodness River! Oh yes baby, you can kiss me anytime! Plus she's good with a Nerf gun (why yes, I am converting a Nerf pistol to River's gun for my wife, why do you ask?).
Our Local cable network has been replaying the Tom Baker seasons - most of which I haven't seen for more than 25 years, and it's funny how all the brilliant episodes I remember... weren't. Let's see:
1. "the Horror of X" "The X of Evil!" "The X of Death!" um, maybe some originality might have been good.
2. Sarah Jane - run run run trip scream! walk around corner SCREAM! SCREAM SCREAM! No. just... no. She was crap.
3. Leela - unfairly maligned. Claims of being there only for eye-candy are just silly - she was smart, alert, didn't scream, could punch a bloke, (TBH wasn't much eye candy anyway) and was acted very well by Louise Jameson.
4. Tom Baker - far more violent than I remembered! Well described as cat-like though, for large hairy manic values of cat.
5. Cybermen - the modern ones kick arse. The old ones... didn't.
6. Amazing to see how much a certain famous author ripped off from other writers - even verbatim!
7. The Wirrn - would love to see them return, they were pretty creepy.
8. Were the Robots of DEATH! the same mob who crewed the Titanic II? Very similar. (Also the adventure that links to B7 with mention of Kaldor City!)
9. Four (or six!) parters - Genesis of the Daleks - Brilliant. Talons of Weng Chaing - I fell asleep. Yes, asleep. During Dr.Who. Asleep. Also the Horror of Fang Rock - the horror was it was so bad, and seemed to have been scripted by a 10-yr old. Yes, RTD did go the gay angle, but at least he can write!
I'm hoping the network shows the Peter Davison series, in fact I'd love to see the others too. Especially Peri!
Thumbs up, because ANY Dr.Who, even 8, is infinitely better than NO Dr.Who!
Which famous author and where?
Yup, don't agree with all your points but by and large - you've nailed it.
My gods, you fell asleep during Talons Of Weng Chiang?? Whats WRONG WITH YOU?? That was the last good Who, EVER! (Yeah yeah until The Empty Child and all the other Moffat stories.....oh and Dalek which wasn't Moffat but was poignantly beautiful. RTD should have let that be the last Dalek story ever rather than bringing the goddamn things back again and again and again).
Btw FYI - the Peter Davison series was NOT good, it was BAD. Just thought I'd clarify that for ye!
Yes its a mess
Yes its a mess and it needs fixing.
RTD handing over to Moffat was a good start but then Moffat came up with that xmas special that was so bad it made me want to ram unborn dolphins up his ass repeatedly.
For me, Who ended with The Talons Of Weng Chiang. That was the last consistently good Doctor story before JNT utterly destroyed the series.
Since then, its been episodic, literally. Little high points here and there with sea of rubbish in between.
The series is very confused right now, it doesnt know where it wants to be. But it has an excellent cast and excellent directors and designers. But these are NOT ENOUGH.
It needs story - it has to start with the stories.
In the old days we really didnt care about the special effects (and guys, they weren't that bad - its become trendy to bash them but .... its actually factually incorrect, go take a proper look with your actual eyes). We didnt care about them because they were facilitating the telling of the story, not trying to cover it up.
Blink (and I have to say Time Of The Angels even with its space opera bits, but I did like the Bishop!) came damn close. Pity it was that little scotts git and not Chris or Matt, but still, damn fine stuff.
Will we ever see another story of the grandiose magnitude of Genesis of the Daleks? Spearhead From Space? Death To The Daleks? The Talons Of Weng Chiang?
I'm beginning to think No, we wont. It'll happen on youtube before it happens on the beeb.
And just noticing somebody mentioned The Culture....
...and as I have just finished Iain M. Banks brilliant books, it seems that whoever wrote River had a bit of the Culture's impishness in mind when they wrote her. She's an SC operative if ever I saw one!
What about last years Christmas Special?
Awfulllest writing for the Doctor ever. Basically it had the premise that if he meets someone he disagrees with, he'll just go back in time and make sure their personalities changed to whatever suits him.
Sorry to say
I stopped watching wiith this new doctor bloke. To show how bad i feel he is, even Billy Piper didnt annoy me enough to stop watching. But this new doctor....
He's just a bit, well, limp....He has no "Garrammba" (Nausican).
Bring back Eccleston (after Baker).
Yet another berk with no idea of who the doctor is suppoed to be. Ecclestone was easilly the worst portrayal of the doctor that has occurred in the canon. Although the doctor regenerates he still needs to have certain character traits to make him the same person. Ecclestone didn't even try, partly I suspect because he didn't try, partly because his acting is somewhat limited* and partly because he knew almost from day one that he was a stop gap for Tennant. Worse still I'm still amazed that the BBC ever comissioned another series because most of the stories for that series were crap.
There was some talk that the BBC wanted to use Richard E Grant who had done some voice parts as the doctor for the BBC. There are various versions of the story, but the Beeb didn't get their own way because either Grant was not available or Davies only wanted an actor for a single series because he had Tennant lined up for the role when he became available. Either way Grant would have made a much better Doctor than Ecclestone.
* He's good at what he does, but don't ask him to do anything too different.
More selotape less kissing please.
They need to take the sex out of Doctor Who.
That's not what it's about and it's starting to feel like "Time Lord Factor" as it blends seamlessly into all the other trash the BBC currently churn out out to sedate the spice girls generation..
I kind of get the River line, Susan came from somewhere but I was never desperate to find out, "spoilers" focusing on unecesarry back story and spoiling the story.
perhaps what's really up is the new writers need a night out and....?
Take the sex out of Doctor Who? I think you need to go back and watch all the seventies stuff. You're never more than a few minutes from an apalling double entendre. In those days they were never going to put blatant sex into a teatime TV show, but a bit of good old fashioned British double entendre was not only acceptable. Indeed it was almost compulsory.
I'm sorry but
...mention of Pond, Song, Leela and no-one mentions Peri? Now, maybe Peri in Amy's policewoman outfit? Oh crikey.
I'm by no means a Whovian and, being of the late Pertwee/Baker vintage, I quite like the Smith instar BUT the nouveau humans-are-great and awfully clumsy look-gay-people! schtick is what annoys me (Some of my best friends are gay/black/French/real).
While it's laudable that they're trying to influence people into being more accepting, it's the crappy way that it's shoe-horned into the plot with feeble excuses like there's no reason why he should be of any particular persuasion: indeed not, but do you have to do it in such inept way? It's like deciding that they're going to make vegetarianism more acceptable and then in every fourth episode show someone slaughtering a cow and the Doctor says NO I QUITE FANCY A LETTUCE , ACTUALLY (Lettuce's are cool). Okay, this is pretty much a whinge against the stylings of the now absent RTD but the humans are the bestest ooh they're marvellous stench still hangs around.
The lack of a scientific perspective is sad but that's symptomatic of most TV output nowadays. It's all bums-on-seats dahling. If it's too difficult they won't understand it. At least that's the view of the Execs and the directors and writers that have grown up with that culture.
Don't get me started on the Torchwood labia of the world thing.
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