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The New Series of Doctor Who: Fleeing From Format?

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the this-equals-not-that dept.

Sci-Fi 170

An anonymous reader sends in this thoughtful article about the format of Doctor Who: "The New Series has given itself two basic tasks. One, to put back and keep on our screens a program by the name of Doctor Who that maintains substantial visible continuity with the classic series in many ways. Two, and this is where conflicting elements start to come in, to seek to define this resurrected program against many aspects of the classic series, even fundamental aspects, in pursuit of task one. In itself this is neither good nor bad. If anything it is on balance probably a good thing to seek to redress the shortcomings of the classic series, but what matters, ultimately, is the choices involved and their execution."

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Based on the summary... (4, Insightful)

msauve (701917) | about 2 years ago | (#42007199)

So little to say, so many words to say it.

Re:Based on the summary... (4, Informative)

ravenshrike (808508) | about 2 years ago | (#42007679)

Trust me, reading the actual review it only gets worse.

Re:Based on the summary... (3, Informative)

hawkinspeter (831501) | about 2 years ago | (#42008685)

Reading the review has ruined my brain.

Re:Based on the summary... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42007963)

The summary was almost as confusing as a typical Doctor Who story at times.

Says everything and nothing at the same time.

Re:Based on the summary... (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 2 years ago | (#42008801)

It could use more of the action and emotion and Big Dealism that it complains about.

darleks all live but no time lords but doc who (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42009295)

always made me laugh
that the darleks survived but not the time lords.NO offiense but ya just send a world buster back in time to the darkek home system and make it into a black hole

problem solved.

Re:Based on the summary... (4, Informative)

quax (19371) | about 2 years ago | (#42009651)

Indeed, TFA could be summarized as:

  • The classic doctors were better.
  • The relaunched series was better in the beginning.
  • Some things are still cool, but so much sucks now.

And now get off my lawn!

Re:Based on the summary... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42009933)

...Beginning to see the benefits of not reading TFA

Keep the Doctor Who series the same (5, Insightful)

dehole (1577363) | about 2 years ago | (#42007235)

Keep the Doctor Who series the same quality show that I have come to love, it is the very last show I can bear. You have to love a show where the main character's weapon, is his mind.

Re:Keep the Doctor Who series the same (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42007367)

Keep the Doctor Who series the same quality show that I have come to love, it is the very last show I can bear. You have to love a show where the main character's weapon, is his mind.

Well, not so much his mind, but his writers. That seems more of what saves the universe.

Re:Keep the Doctor Who series the same (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42007453)

He's basically MacGyver with a time machine.

Re:Keep the Doctor Who series the same (2)

Zephyn (415698) | about 2 years ago | (#42007633)

His backup weapons aren't bad either. The Sonic Screwdriver and the Deadly Jelly Baby.

Re:Keep the Doctor Who series the same (3, Insightful)

f3rret (1776822) | about 2 years ago | (#42008155)

Don't forget the occasional bit of heavy handed handwaved deus ex machina.

Re:Keep the Doctor Who series the same (1)

Legion303 (97901) | about 2 years ago | (#42008881)

Not so much of that since RTD left.

Re:Keep the Doctor Who series the same (2)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 2 years ago | (#42007897)

You have to love a show where the main character's weapon, is his mind.

You're gonna love the first episode in the new series of Red Dwarf.

Re:Keep the Doctor Who series the same (1)

dehole (1577363) | about 2 years ago | (#42009677)

You're gonna love the first episode in the new series of Red Dwarf.

I'll check it out, thanks!

Re:Keep the Doctor Who series the same (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42008223)

Blah blah blah. I'm predicting the end of every episode within the first ten minutes. I've got the end of every season within a half dozen episodes. It's boring, and it needs to change. I was raised on the show, my grandfather watched it until he was too old to follow what was happening. My father watches it, my girlfriend watches it.

We are (or were, in the case of my grandfather) a bit jaded with how predictable it is.

Think of it this way - after "Let's Kill Hitler," it was perfectly obvious how the last series was going to end, wasn't it?

Re:Keep the Doctor Who series the same (2)

hal2814 (725639) | about 2 years ago | (#42008787)

Well if you were raised on the show that should be par for the course. The big surprise villain at the end of Episode 1 of Day of the Daleks is:... wait for it... wait for it... the Daleks. That character in Keeper of Trakken who looks JUST like Roger Delgado? He's going to be the next Master. It's a predictable show. It always has been. If the predictability bothers you now that probably says more about how your taste in television has evolved than it does about the series itself.

Re:Keep the Doctor Who series the same (1)

skids (119237) | about 2 years ago | (#42010333)

Basically I give the following advice to people who might not want to invest in watching every episode no matter how bad: Just watch all the episodes with Professor Song in the plot, and you won't miss many of the good ones. At least that way there is some sort of plot arc, albeit a very thin one.

Doctor Who XXX (0)

Rivalz (1431453) | about 2 years ago | (#42007243)

I'm thinking a HBO Special series like game of thrones and sparticus where doctor who battles for humanity and aliens while banging hotties and space sluts.
Basically taking Dr. Who and Americanizing it. Thats not just a SONIC SCREWDRIVER in your pocket....

Re:Doctor Who XXX (2)

mcneely.mike (927221) | about 2 years ago | (#42007475)

That's Torchwood, except it's male 'hotties' who get banged by Harkness, and the 'Americanizing' of it sucked.

Even Kirk banged more aliens than Harkness... would have been nice to see him with a girl though: "Harkness... Captain Harkness."

Re:Doctor Who XXX (1)

MrWin2kMan (918702) | about 2 years ago | (#42007571)

That would have to be on Skin-a-Max...

Re:Doctor Who XXX (4, Insightful)

rsmith-mac (639075) | about 2 years ago | (#42007671)

They tried something like that. It was called the 4th season of Torchwood (Miracle Day).

Everyone agreed it was god-awful, and that it was never to be spoken of again.

Re:Doctor Who XXX (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42008201)

Sorry, not everyone. I for one quite enjoyed it. Not sure why this is insightful.

Re:Doctor Who XXX (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42008487)

Agreed. I still gasp in horror if someone suggests "it was great". Children of Earth was awesome, if not depressing as hell, but MD was at a level of mediocrity that can only be outdone by WWE "wrestling".

Re:Doctor Who XXX (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 2 years ago | (#42008809)

Miracle Day started out well, but when the big reveal of the problem came about, it just seemed...stupid.

Ironically, season 3 of Torchwood also suffered the same thing. It's...it's...it's freakin' drug-addicted aliens? That's it, just another alien?

Re:Doctor Who XXX (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42009093)

I liked most of Season 3, but the drug-addicted alien thing felt... childish. Silly as fuck.

Re:Doctor Who XXX (2)

dbIII (701233) | about 2 years ago | (#42009617)

Continuity sucked with "Miracle Day". After "Children of Earth" the CIA still didn't believe in aliens?
It was a similar waste as dragging Jackie Chan to the USA just to do "Cannonball Run".

Re:Doctor Who XXX (1)

ArchieBunker (132337) | about 2 years ago | (#42008883)

I really enjoyed the two seasons of Torchwood but don't care much for the mini series.

Re:Doctor Who XXX (2)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#42009951)

Good god, Torchwood was all around awful.

Reincarnation (3, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#42007263)

The nice thing about Doctor Who is if they screw up, it's just a one minute visual effect and a new actor away from being fixed. So relax people, have some custard and fish sticks.

Re:Reincarnation (3, Insightful)

Lucky75 (1265142) | about 2 years ago | (#42007645)

It's actually a great way to prolong the series without running out of material. Unlike a show like "Lost", where if they get off the island, the show's over.

Waste of time reading (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42007271)

This seems to me like someone doing lots of talking but not actually saying anything. I get the impression that the author likes the sound of his own voice.

Flamebait (4, Insightful)

Jerslan (1088525) | about 2 years ago | (#42007275)

This article is nothing more than flamebait.

New Doctor is mostly disappointing (1, Flamebait)

mfearby (1653) | about 2 years ago | (#42007291)

Those stupid angel statues, for God's sake! How utterly lame is that? And this obsession with Amy Pond and Rory and their family. And a floating spaceship where some carnival clown in a glass box controls everybody? What were the writers smoking that day? Lame! This is no way lives up to the classics from the likes of Tom Baker and Jon Pertwee.

The new Doctor Who is at risk of being what Enterprise became to the Star Trek franchise -i.e., so bad that no self-respecting Trekker/Trekkie will acknowledge it.

Re:New Doctor is mostly disappointing (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42007385)

Actually, the angels are widely regarded as some of the best sci-fi monsters in recent history. You have lots of legitimate complaints, but I believe you're all wet on that item.

Re:New Doctor is mostly disappointing (1)

Guspaz (556486) | about 2 years ago | (#42007479)

I think they're possible the best Who monster ever, although I think the over-complicating of them in "The Time of Angels" (particularly the "that which holds the image of an angel becomes itself an angel" bit) was a mistake.

Re:New Doctor is mostly disappointing (4, Insightful)

Zordak (123132) | about 2 years ago | (#42007821)

"Blink" was one of the finest DW episodes of all time. Up there with "Genesis of the Daleks," "The Deadly Assassin" or "The Caves of Androzani."

"The Time of Angels" was an overblown crapfest. More angels + More aggressive = LESS dramatic tension than you had in Blink. It was a twice-over waste of an episode. It took a great concept (the Weeping Angels) and ruined it the way "Victory of the Daleks" ruined the Daleks.

In "The Angles Take Manhatten," the angels were back to having a little dramatic tension. Not on the same level as "Blink," but pretty good.

Other than that, I'm with the GP. I am so happy to be rid of Amy and Rory for good (PLEASE, for good). I keep watching New Who because there are moments of excellence, like "The Empty Child" or "The Doctor's Wife," but then you get "Love and Monsters" or "The Power of Three," and you wonder why you're wasting your time.

Re:New Doctor is mostly disappointing (2)

zyzko (6739) | about 2 years ago | (#42009403)

Completely agreed. The angels in "Blink" were actually scary. If you can call them "lame" (silent, deadly, but still a bit vulnerable with cunning planning) I don't know what makes a good monster (well, if by "lame" the GP meant that they lack big lasers then yes, they are lame sci-fi monsters). I actually also liked the concept of "that which holds the image of an angel becomes itself an angel" - maybe the part that looking at an angel through monitor is dangerous was a bit overblown, especially when mixed with the classic cliches of self-locking doors etc. but it added their bad-assness. The episode was ruined though by bringing in them by the thousands.

Daleks are comedy, angels are true monsters.

And yes, "The Power of Three" was worth...umm...I don't know, I want to forget that. And bringing in relatives - the father of Donna Noble did some scenes and added to the story but on "Dinosaurs on a spaceship" Rory's dad...oh please, please let me forget that episode. The whole thing with River Song and Amy was nice (I did not see that coming up until a few minutes before the scheme was revealed but then again, maybe I'm easy to fool), and I can forgive the faults of Amy as a character, but bringing in Rory and then even his dad, uh, nothing good came out of it.

Re:New Doctor is mostly disappointing (1)

Zordak (123132) | about 2 years ago | (#42010191)

Daleks are comedy, angels are true monsters.

This is where New Who fails. Anybody who grew up hiding behind the couch whenever the Daleks showed up knows that Daleks are NOT comedy. Daleks are poop-you-pants scary inhuman monsters. They were deliberately designed without familiar reference points to make them look more alien and unsettling. So the irony was funny when I heard a Dalek screech "WOULD YOU LIKE SOME TEA," because I remembered all the times that Dalek screech scared the crap out of me, but it was also kind of sad. I probably would have forgiven all if the Daleks had reacquired their traditional inhuman ruthlessness by the end of the episode, but when the new fruit-candy-colored Daleks showed up at the end, I wanted to hit something. It was like Doctor Who had suddenly become a self parody.

At least "Asylum of the Daleks" had mean Daleks again. Maybe somebody at BBC is getting a clue.

Two streams (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42009571)

Agreed Blink was brilliant, but I find Moffat is really trying too hard these days. Too many plot twists in the 50 minutes. You don't get the slow moments that make the fast plot twist more of a contrast. Still far superior to the previous guy. But I wish he'd distill the episode down, remember the slow moments in Blink that *made* the story line, and ask if himself if he really needs this third or forth plot twist, or yet another series thread.

I find River Song is always explaining every micro-detail just to close every plot 100.0000%, answering questions only nerds on forums would ever ask or care about.

My favorite of the last series was Two Streams (The girl who waited). It struck the right balance between slow and fast paced. It wasn't a Moffat episode.

I think Rory and Amy have had their time, I'm glad they go because the writer writes them out, and not because they get sick and won't renew their contracts. A problem that has plagued previous Dr Whos' where a regeneration is written in, whenever someone has enough of their role.

But I'd also stop that 'River Song' emotional side garbage. "Don't ever age, don't ever let him see the damage', P-L-E-A-S-E, that crap belongs on Desperate Housewives. Also the "what's the doctors name" stuff, too often, too many times, yeh we get it, the big reveal relates to his name, but do you really need to put the series thread everywhere in the series???

Calm it down Moffat, you're doing fine, but need to focus and remove some of the noise.

Re:New Doctor is mostly disappointing (1)

geminidomino (614729) | about 2 years ago | (#42010147)

In "The Angles Take Manhatten," the angels were back to having a little dramatic tension. Not on the same level as "Blink," but pretty good.

I was with you 100% until this. I thought they Hayden Christensened the Darth Vader of the DW mythos in that episode. In "Blink," they were fantastic, they turned into a cheesy monster movie in "Time of the Angels," and then they just got into silly when they made the damned Statue of Liberty into an angel...

Re:New Doctor is mostly disappointing (2)

Zordak (123132) | about 2 years ago | (#42010241)

Okay, I should have mentioned that the Statue of Liberty thing was just ridiculous. One, I could see it coming from a mile away when the elevator in Winter Quay had a poster. And two, it was the kind of self-indulgent, bombastic overkill that has been the biggest flaw of the revived show. It was downright cartoonish (see also, "The Wedding of River Song," which looked like some kind of Loony Tunes mashup).

Other than that, I stand by my original opinion. They were back down to just a handful of (visible) angels. The angels were back to their proper attack (time shift instead of snapping necks, which made them basically just goofy space commandos). And the stakes were deeply personal (being separated from loved ones). Again, not anywhere near the level of "Blink," but at least enjoyable this time out.

Re:New Doctor is mostly disappointing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42007727)

My thought is that they made the Angels too powerful. Based on the last episode about Angels, they cannot be defeated on Earth because they have some sort of nexus/beach-head. I'm sure the writers will come up with some cheesy plot line, though....

Re:New Doctor is mostly disappointing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42007729)

It's gotten a bit "Twilight"-ish.

Remember the Honey Badger? He don't care. Neither should the Doctor. It's gotten soap-opera-ish. It's gotten soft.

Main characters should die, and die gruesomely... not live out their days in happiness..

Daleks aren't R2D2.

Timey-wimey isn't a word.

Mass appeal invariably means pandering to the.... masses. Storylines lose their edge because the edgy ones may frighten the kids. That was the damned point... That eerie music, that weird looking dude in a scarf (but he was so competent) against some sinister villains that frightened not because of how big an explosion they made, but how evil they seemed.

But hey, people watch it, right?

Re:New Doctor is mostly disappointing (2)

Jerslan (1088525) | about 2 years ago | (#42008059)

In the original run, Companions very VERY rarely died (only one I can think of off the top of my head is Adrick). A few were psychologically scarred by their time with the Doctor (ie: Teegan), but for the most part they all lived "happily ever after" (well, to some extent anyways).

Re:New Doctor is mostly disappointing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42008463)

Katarina in The Dalek's Masterplan ejected herself and one of the Doctor's enemies into space.

Re:New Doctor is mostly disappointing (1)

snspdaarf (1314399) | about 2 years ago | (#42009855)

I (only one I can think of off the top of my head is Adrick).

...and there was much rejoicing.

Re:New Doctor is mostly disappointing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42008139)

I can tell you never watched the show, just the clips. Or if you did watch the show, perhaps you should go back and try again, and this time, pay attention.

Re:New Doctor is mostly disappointing (1)

mfearby (1653) | about 2 years ago | (#42008379)

I've sat through every last one of them. Some were better than others but the proportion of crap in these new Doctor Who episodes is much higher than in the classics.

Re:New Doctor is mostly disappointing (1)

hawkinspeter (831501) | about 2 years ago | (#42008735)

I thought the Weeping Angels were superb in the Blink episode. That and the gas-mask face episodes are my favourite scary episodes and I grew up to Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker.

Er...what's wrong with the classic series? (2)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | about 2 years ago | (#42007327)

>> good thing to seek to redress the shortcomings of the classic series

Special effects, check. What else?

>> (Doctor tries to get into his companions' pants.)

Sex, really? I thought you were British.

Re:Er...what's wrong with the classic series? (2)

Sussurros (2457406) | about 2 years ago | (#42007927)

In the first series the Doctor abandoned his granddaughter on a backwater planet. She clearly wasn't able to be involved in the Time Wars so she's probably still alive. If they really want to redress the shortcomings of the classic series they should make Charlie Sheen the next Doctor and he should go find her and she should be played by Miley Cyrus and the Companion should be played by Rowan Atkinson.

Well, it'd certainly get the show some attention, but, my point is that both the classic and the modern series have more holes than a Swiss cheese. There can be no redress on any grand scale and personally I don't care. I like the show. My joke about Miley Cyrus makes me think that she would make a great alien on the show though and Whoopi Goldberg would make an interesting companion.

Re:Er...what's wrong with the classic series? (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about 2 years ago | (#42008443)

> My joke about Miley Cyrus makes me think that she would make a great alien

Only if Miley was vaporized at the end.

If you saw her on Three and a Half Men, you know that she could easily play someone totally alien. Or maybe that's her in real life.

But I agree, the "last of the time lords" seems really unlikely. How does he know? "I just know." And then he's wrong -- The Master survived. And he (presumably) doesn't know yet that Jenny survived in "The Doctor's Daughter", and seemed entirely unaware of River Song's legacy through most of that plot line. So this knowing thing about other time lords seems like a plot hole in itself.

What might be moderately cool is a plot where there's a whole bunch of time lords that survived, but they're all hiding from him as some kind of colossal joke.

> I said - don't look Ethel!..., but it was too late..., she'd already looked.

I hadn't heard that in so long it took me a moment to remember Ray Stevens.

Re:Er...what's wrong with the classic series? (1)

Sussurros (2457406) | about 2 years ago | (#42008637)

The remaining Time Lords hiding from the Doctor for a joke is a brilliant idea.

As for the sig, well fortunately that particular song has been cast into oblivion along with I Wanna Be Loved By You. The actual line was rather different though: "I hollered up at Ethel, I said, "Don't look, Ethel!" But it was too late. She'd already got a free shot. Grandstandin', right there in front of the home team."

Re:Er...what's wrong with the classic series? (1)

Sussurros (2457406) | about 2 years ago | (#42008723)

If they really wanted to improve the show they could do a Southpark/Kenny thing and wipe out Miley Cyrus every episode in ever increasingly unlikely and excruciating ways. Better yet, turn that into a computer game - you are the Doctor, you have a goldfish, two sticks of gum and a sonic screwdriver, your job, yet again, is to save the universe from the Miley Monster!

Re:Er...what's wrong with the classic series? (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about 2 years ago | (#42008793)

> If they really wanted to improve the show they could do a Southpark/Kenny thing and wipe out Miley Cyrus every episode in ever increasingly unlikely and excruciating ways.

That really shoulda been the fifth season of Hannah Montana. Directed by Sam Raimi.

But we digress.

Re:Er...what's wrong with the classic series? (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about 2 years ago | (#42008729)

Boop boop ba doop.

Re:Er...what's wrong with the classic series? (1)

snspdaarf (1314399) | about 2 years ago | (#42009889)

I Wanna Be Loved By You.

Mary Ann thinking she was Ginger.

Re:Er...what's wrong with the classic series? (1)

Sussurros (2457406) | about 2 years ago | (#42009955)

Yes Young People of today - however bad today's music may sometimes be, the greatest musical horrors lie in the past where they should be left to moulder. The greatest horror of them all, the very worst song of all time, so bad the Vogons wouldn't claim it, is from 1914. See http://www.firstworldwar.com/audio/abadabahoneymoon.htm [firstworldwar.com] if you must but I recommend against it for your sanity is at risk if you do. I swear that this song is what drove Gavril Princip's assassination and started the Great War.

Re:Er...what's wrong with the classic series? (1)

jd2112 (1535857) | about 2 years ago | (#42008713)

If you saw her on Three and a Half Men, you know that she could easily play someone totally alien. Or maybe that's her in real life.

That's nothing, you should see her Dad.

Re:Er...what's wrong with the classic series? (1)

WCLPeter (202497) | about 2 years ago | (#42008627)

If we're going to have the Doctor start meeting up with the Disney Kids then my vote is for Selena Gomez, her portrayal of Alex on Wizards of Waverly Place often stole the show. You've piqued my curiosity, I'd certainly be interested in seeing the guy who finds all the trouble paired with the girl who makes all the trouble just to see what kind of trouble they'd get into together.

Re:Er...what's wrong with the classic series? (1)

Sussurros (2457406) | about 2 years ago | (#42008859)

Britney Spears for the Doctor's companion? Christina Aguilera?

Re:Er...what's wrong with the classic series? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42009789)

Whoopi Goldberg would make an interesting companion.

They tried that on ST:TNG. It sucked.

Not saying she would suck in NuWho, sample of one and all that, but I wouldn't try it.

Re:Er...what's wrong with the classic series? (1)

Cassini2 (956052) | about 2 years ago | (#42010137)

The backwater planet was EARTH. If memory serves, Susan met David while fighting the Daleks in Bedfordshire. The Doctor felt it was time for Susan to settle down with someone (David). He locked Susan out of the Tardis, so she would move on with her life and not spend her time looking after him.

Re:Er...what's wrong with the classic series? (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about 2 years ago | (#42008357)

>> good thing to seek to redress the shortcomings of the classic series

> Special effects, check. What else?

Pacing, music.

A good bit today (1)

ArchieBunker (132337) | about 2 years ago | (#42008947)

The "classic" episodes are so dry, long and drawn out, and so dialog heavy. I've tried watching episodes from every Doctor and they all bore me to death. I know they had limited budgets back then but come on. Bubble wrap with green spray paint is supposed to be a giant insect arm? High school plays have better effects than that.

sonic screwdriver (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42007413)

can I just say this. The sonic screwdriver is meant to be a literal fucking screwdriver, not Harry Potter's magic wand.
Sonic Screw Driver Fixes everything is to Moffat as Running & Screaming was to Davies.

there I said it.
flame on you crazy whovians.

Re:sonic screwdriver (2)

chaim79 (898507) | about 2 years ago | (#42007535)

This was a problem in the old series as well, you start watching classic and you'll see it doing all kinds of weird things as well. There was one period/doctor where they decided it had gone too far and almost banned it from showing up and being used just so they could break the writers of the "and the Sonic Screwdriver saves the day" addiction they had going.

Re:sonic screwdriver (2)

Zordak (123132) | about 2 years ago | (#42007893)

I think the worst abuse of the "magic wand" sonic screwdriver was evident in "The Power of Three." It was literally just a magic wand that fixed the problem with no explanation or cleverness on the Doctor's part. At least with Ten, things were sometimes "deadlocked" so the magic wand didn't work.

Re:sonic screwdriver (1)

boarder8925 (714555) | about 2 years ago | (#42007719)

Except wood.

Dr. Who's Savior Complex (5, Insightful)

Zombie Ryushu (803103) | about 2 years ago | (#42007465)

I'm probably burning Karma here, but, I've heard alot of people say Dr. Who is becoming 'Atheist Jesus'. In the Classic series the Doctor was an Alien detective/investigator who merely lived a long time with a set number of Regenerations. He didn't always save the day. (Up until the latter part of David Tennant, he didn't save the day either.

But with Matt Smith, he's become like, a Demi-god or an Apollo type god. (River/Melody calls him 'an ageless god'. Now it's the case there are no limits on how many times he can regenerate, and he can use his regeneration abilities to heal others. The series doesn't make contiguous sense the way it did under Tennant and Eccloston. Basically, it's non-sense after non-sense plot. (The last Episode with the Angels is quite good really EXCEPT THE ENDING SUCKS.

Re:Dr. Who's Savior Complex (2)

ravenshrike (808508) | about 2 years ago | (#42007713)

True, but they had to get rid of the Ponds somehow. I'm still convinced that at some point the Doctor will realize that gravestones don't necessarily have BODIES under them and bring back the Ponds to their proper present. However, being a companion or two past them he will no longer snuggle up to them like a neglected puppy.

Re:Dr. Who's Savior Complex (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42009037)

Gingerlicious Amy needs to be dug up for an R rated Doctor Who movie!

Re:Dr. Who's Savior Complex (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42010375)

For that matter, the old Rory doesn't have to have been the real Rory, and he doesn't have to have lived through the preceding years without any time travel.

Re:Dr. Who's Savior Complex (1)

Zordak (123132) | about 2 years ago | (#42007931)

The last Episode with the Angels is quite good really EXCEPT THE ENDING SUCKS.

Huh? Amy and Rory disappear from the Who universe, apparently for good (finally). What's not to like?

Re:Dr. Who's Savior Complex (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42008607)

You can act like an uncaring curmudgeon all you wish toward Amy and Rory, but I really think that deep down you're as soft for them as the rest of us.

Re:Dr. Who's Savior Complex (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42009007)

Actually, I get hard over the fire bush.

Re:Dr. Who's Savior Complex (1)

kaushik (158328) | about 2 years ago | (#42008065)

I think for the most part, Russel T. Davies did an amazing job telling the stories. He pretty much took the height of the modern-day Dr. Who with him when he and his crew left the show.

Re:Dr. Who's Savior Complex (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42009089)

See, and I would beg to differ - RTD got too much into over-arching storylines that veered away from the classic "1 episode (or chain 4 or 6 in the original 1/2hr format), 1 story" to where you have to watch the entire season to follow the story. The episodes that stand out the most for me are the ones where they are mostly self-contained, like the original series (minus the "Key to Time" episodes from the Tom Baker years).

Press button, problem solved (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42010115)

Hardly, most of his shows ended with the doctor flipping a switch and the problem is solved. Or were a simple *problem* *shoot problem* *problem fixed* format.

No plot as such, just a story that ends with a switch being flipped, when it could equally have been flipped without the story. Doctor arrives, flips switch, problem solved.

It's a pity, he did some good ones, Planet Midnight, I thought was clean, simple and a well written play. But they were few and far between. The best episodes in his time was Hollow Child, Girl in the Fireplace, Blink, there's a reason they chose Moffat for the next lead. IMHO The Impossible Planet, maybe the second tier. And Planet of the Dead, but that was cowritten with Gareth Roberts who writes for the current series too.

Where I credit RTD was with getting the show recommissioned.

Re:Dr. Who's Savior Complex (4, Insightful)

fermion (181285) | about 2 years ago | (#42008107)

Honestly each regeneration of the Doctor has lead to a new series. Hartnel was basically history for kids. When he left they didn't want to end the show, so they came up with regeneration and put Traughten in with a more action style. some time an arbitrary limit was set. That limit was broken, I believe, with the master and the Keeper of Traken.

Pertwee was a gadget guy and no longer roamed the universe. He went around saving earth from all manner of dangers. I think this is when we really got the Doctor as the defender of earth. It goes on. Baker of course is well known, he formalized the idea that a female assistant attract the teen and older men by wearing little. Of course we did see Sarah Jane in bathing costume on one of her early appearances. Davidson got rid of the gadets and his episodes, with a unusual size of entourage, tended to be very emotional.

Then we had the Colin Baker fiasco where instead of real episodes we got a season of clip shows and elevator episodes.

I like daring of McCoy and ace. I think it was the best of everything that came before.

Which is to say that the current stuff is like the old stuff, in which the show pretty much does what it wants to. No one can say the Gallifry episodes were all that good, so having the doctor be alone instead of having a country is good thing. If a series is going to last as long as the doctor, it can't get bogged down in details.

Re:Dr. Who's Savior Complex (3, Funny)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#42008861)

(The last Episode with the Angels is quite good really EXCEPT THE ENDING SUCKS.

You have to watch the last few minutes very closely or you'll miss why it's awesome. You probably blinked.

Re:Dr. Who's Savior Complex (1)

WCLPeter (202497) | about 2 years ago | (#42008941)

Now it's the case there are no limits on how many times he can regenerate

I remember when I was a little kid watching the episode where they talked about Doctor only being allowed twelve Regenerations (I think it was twelve, I was a kid at the time) and crying over it. I never wanted the Doctor to die and I thought it was mean of the Timelords to tell the Doctor he could only have so many Regenerations before he died. My old man, who was a huge Doctor Who fan himself, pulled me up into his lap and told me this story about how "Regeneration Juice" was very expensive and very hard to make. That in order to ensure they had enough for all the Timelords and their children, and to keep them from fighting over it and use it all up quickly, they they all had to agree to share.

I doubt its Cannon, just a silly little story told to a crying child. But if its got any basis in truth then with there being only one Timelord, and no other Timelords to share with, the "juice" available to the Doctor during Regeneration would be pretty much unlimited.

Or, more realistically, when the RegenValue was originally chosen the BBC didn't have any clue that the show would remain as popular as it has and continue to be produced even now. They probably figured 12, or whatever number was chosen, was safe because they were probably quite convinced the show would have been cancelled before it ever reached that number.

Re:Dr. Who's Savior Complex (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42009147)

I'm probably burning Karma here, but, I've heard alot of people say Dr. Who is becoming 'Atheist Jesus'. In the Classic series the Doctor was an Alien detective/investigator who merely lived a long time with a set number of Regenerations. He didn't always save the day. (Up until the latter part of David Tennant, he didn't save the day either.

But with Matt Smith, he's become like, a Demi-god or an Apollo type god. (River/Melody calls him 'an ageless god'. Now it's the case there are no limits on how many times he can regenerate, and he can use his regeneration abilities to heal others. The series doesn't make contiguous sense the way it did under Tennant and Eccloston. Basically, it's non-sense after non-sense plot. (The last Episode with the Angels is quite good really EXCEPT THE ENDING SUCKS.

Did you not watch Tennant? He started to do this too. Hell, the story where the Master takes over Earth and the Doctor defeats him with the combined prayers of everyone on Earth; that didn't strike you as being somewhat Jesusy? The 10th's god complex peaked near the end of his reign, when he decided "fuck all this fixed point in time bullshit, I'm the Doctor!".

11 is just continuing that, especially as he starts to become unanchored from the Ponds. He's drifting, losing his "humanity", as it were. He spends years travelling alone, and the next time he meets up with the Ponds he's starting to go even crazier (Melody suggests he really shouldn't be travelling alone; later, she's very concerned that Amy try to hide how much she's aging, because he won't be able to handle it). In the first half of this series, he's killed at least a couple villains, and threatened others in a pretty uncharacteristic manner.

Re:Dr. Who's Savior Complex (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42009161)

I concur. I gave up on the show a few seasons back when the sonic screwdriver turned into a magic wand. Nothing makes a character less interesting than giving them the ability to do anything.

Loki, coyote etc (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 2 years ago | (#42009673)

They turned him into a trickster God some time before the Pandorica episodes and then really rubbed it in with those. The one where he spent a while human rubbed that in a bit around the end of it as well (imprisoning people in mirrors etc).

My biggest complaint about the recent Dr WHO... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42007711)

is the lack of cute female frontal nudity.

Come on - everybody was already thinking the same thing!

CAPTCHA = imports
(posted from ip 127.0.0.1)

What I'd like in the new series (5, Interesting)

Jim Hall (2985) | about 2 years ago | (#42007857)

I'm a long-time Doctor Who fan. I like the new series, but maybe not as much as the classic series. The actors are good, but I think the writing and stories aren't as strong. I've heard Lalla Ward mention in classic episode commentaries, for example, that it would do a world of good in the new series to cut their budget in half, so they learn to focus on making the stories tight (and not rely on special effects as much). The linked blog also mentions that some stories in the new series did really well because they had small budgets and had to keep the story tight and within that budget.

Now that we're coming up on the 50th anniversary season, I'd really like to see some hard references to the classic series. I came up with a great idea a few weeks ago that I'd love to see. With 7 Doctors in the original series, you can have 7 episodes to use as references. (Or 8 if you include McGann.) Imagine a series arc like this:

Story 1 : The episode starts with the Doctor, Clara (the new companion they'll introduce at the Christmas episode), and "Colin" (new companion .. see later) discovering a strangely quiet space museum on the planet Xeros. Exploring the museum, they discover themselves on display in the museum, with the TARDIS nearby! The Doctor realizes the TARDIS must have jumped a time track when they materalised. Thus they temporarily occupy a fourth dimension. This lets them be simultaneously in the cases in one reality and standing, looking at themselves in the fourth dimension. The Doctor adds that is why everything seems familiar, yet unfamiliar - for example, why he can remember meeting Clara but is fuzzy on meeting Colin - they're experiencing time out of order and things are all mixed up.

From there, the rest of the story is a one-hour version of 'The Space Museum' (1st Doctor). It was a good story, and would translate well to the current series, but needs editing down.

(The "Next Time on Doctor Who" trailer is not actually from the following story, but a re-cut trailer from a classic story. Same for the rest of the season.)

Story 2 : The TARDIS arrives on Earth in the year 3000 and the travellers quickly discover a base where scientists commanded by Leader Clent are using an ioniser device to combat the advance of a new Ice Age. The scientists uncover Martians (Ice Warriors) frozen in the glacier ice. The Doctor warns that the Ice Warriors are dangerous enemies. He also comments how similar this is to the first time he met them, also in Earth's future, but Colin suggests this is deja vu from jumping time tracks from the earlier episode.

This story re-introduces the Ice Warriors from the classic series, and in fact is a one-hour version of 'The Ice Warriors' (2nd Doctor).

Story 3 : The Doctor and his companions make a test flight in the TARDIS, trying to jump back to their original time track, and arrive on the planet Peladon. Seeking shelter, they enter the citadel of the soon-to-be-crowned King Peladon, where the Doctor is mistaken for an Earth dignitary (Clara and Colin as his aids) summoned to act as Chairman of a committee assessing an application by the planet to join the Galactic Federation.

The rest of the episode plays out similarly to 'Curse of Peladon' (3rd Doctor) but edited down to one hour. Sort of a cheesy episode, but can be improved through editing and some minor re-writes. I'd change the antagonist to one of the delegates, probably Alpha Centauri. The Doctor believes he knows who was causing trouble, but would end up being wrong. Instead, Colin and Clara ferret out the bad guys. The Doctor is really confused by now, especially since things seem familiar, yet unfamiliar (a theme repeated throughout this season).

Story 4 : The Doctor, Clara and Colin arrive on a desolate and apparently deserted Earth in our far future. They soon find a group of shipwrecked astronauts from a human colony in the Galactic Federation, lured there by a fake distress call. The astronauts suspect the Doctor of luring them. One of their number, Roth, tells Clara of an alien conducting gruesome experiments on his crewmates and him. The alien turns out to be a Sontaran (we've seen them in other seasons) compiling a report on human physical and mental capabilities as a prelude to an invasion of the galaxy.

It's a direct lift from 'The Sontaran Experiment' (4th Doctor). Not much editing required this time.

Story 5 : The Doctor, Clara and Colin arrive on Sea Base 4, a near-future nuclear missile station under the ocean. The Silurians (we've also seen them in other seasons in the new series) soon invade the base.

The rest of the episode is a one-hour version of 'Warriors of the Deep' (5th Doctor). Lots of things are changed, however. I'd lose the cheesy "neural implant" operator plot device from the original story. Colin plays a more "action" role in defending the base against the Sea Devil invasion. Why is Colin suddenly interested in getting a piece of the action? This causes the Doctor to wonder if they have really jumped time tracks, or if something more sinister is happening.

Story 6 : In the TARDIS console room, the Doctor decides to investigate further, and decides to retread his path, to backtrack and perhaps "reboot" the time line. He throws a switch ... The Doctor and his companions arrive on the Earth around the same time as story #4. Why is the Earth abandoned? They soon discover an underground colony, and learn from the people living there that the Sun became unstable (this sort of got mentioned in the Chris Eccleston season) and destroyed the surface, so they were forced underground. "The Earth has recovered, the surface is completely habitable now," insists the Doctor. But the colony is controlled by a service robot who was programmed to maintain an underground survival facility, so underground they will stay.

The story progresses more or less like 'The Mysterious Planet' (6th Doctor, 'Trial of a Time Lord'). It needs some editing to fit Colin into the story, with Colin taking on the role of Sabalom Glitz from the original story. But why is Colin becoming some kind of action hero?

Story 7 : The TARDIS materialises in Iceworld, a space trading colony on the dark side of the planet Svartos. The Doctor and Clara encounter Colin, a mercenary who has come here to search for a treasure guarded by a dragon. Also on Svartos is Kane, a literally cold-blooded criminal who has been imprisoned here. Wait, wasn't Colin a companion just a minute ago? This is left undefined for now, but the Doctor and Clara seem to recognize Colin from a previous encounter. The Doctor and Clara agree this seems weird ...

The story mostly follows 'Dragonfire' (7th Doctor) but with major changes. The Doctor suspects something is up ...

(The "Next Time on Doctor Who" trailer for this one needs to be lifted from 'Dalek Invasion of Earth'.)

Story 8 : Right away in story #8, show the classic clip from the end of 'Dalek Invasion of Earth'. [youtube.com] Follow with an intense video clip montage of the Doctor saying (Hartnell) "I'm the Doctor" ... (Troughton) "The Doctor" ... etc... shown from all of the Doctors, in order, from Hartnell to Smith. The Doctor suddenly, unexpectedly wakes (shouting "I'm the Doctor!") to find himself in a dark chamber, with leads connected to his head. He finds Clara in a similar pod, and revives her. Colin is nowhere to be found. The Doctor realizes that they have been plugged into a virtual reality generator, drawing on the Doctor's own memories as some kind of entertainment. He wonders how long they've been in there. The emotion of seeing his granddaughter Susan's farewell woke him.

The story would uncover Colin is actually an Eternal. (You may remember the Eternals from 'Enlightenment' in the classic series ... they also got mentioned in spinoff media with Tennant's Doctor.) The Doctor reminds us that Eternals dwell in the domain of Eternity rather than the smaller one of Time. This meant they are unaffected by Time and thus unaging. But Eternals have no imagination, after so many millenia. They seek constant diversion. The Doctor refers to the Eternals as parasites for using Ephemerals (us regular folks who eventually die) for their creativity, as Eternals need the imagination of Ephemerals. Colin The Eternal used the Doctor's broad experience as a source for his own entertainment, inserting himself as a companion to join the adventures.

The rest of the story is a typical "end of season - the Doctor defeats the bad guys," possibly by trapping Colin The Eternal in his own device.

Re:What I'd like in the new series (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42008119)

Bravo! Well done chap. Now to see about getting you the job.

Re:What I'd like in the new series (1)

Jerslan (1088525) | about 2 years ago | (#42008219)

One could argue that rehashing classic episodes is pure laziness on the part of the writers. I'd prefer to see more original stories than rehashes (especially if they're as fan-pandering as the ones you describe).

Re:What I'd like in the new series (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42008481)

Have you ever considered writing fan fiction... or simply getting a life?

Supports the fallacy that there IS a classic Who (3, Informative)

uCallHimDrJ0NES (2546640) | about 2 years ago | (#42007965)

This was interesting and well written in many ways. However, the author makes assumptions about the classic series which are unlikely to be shared by a broad audience, as the comments here so far demonstrate. The "classic" version ran for 26 seasons, and was under constant revision. Originally, there were supposed to be no B.E.M.s. Then, Daleks came. Newman wanted 50 percent historical stories. That lasted maybe a season. The concept of Time Lords wasn't even jelled until season 5 or so, during "The War Games". I could go on for pages, but I won't. The series is similar to a long running superhero comic book, in that the content changes to reflect what the producers feel the audience of the day desires. The author of this article really has a problem with the modern audience (meaning most of you), but he's turned it into a faux critical comparison so he doesn't have to be a hater. That said...you know what? I'm not afraid. I'll be a hater. Holmes and Hinchcliffe rule the Who universe, and those who disagree will one day be exterminated!

Just one thing..... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42008005)

Its ENTERTAINMENT, not real life, real science, real people. You know?

I've always enjoyed Dr Who. I have vague recollections of the early Doctors, I definitely hid behind the sofa when the Daleks appeared and the creaky sets/rubber monsters/that sand quarry they always shot outside Alien Planet action in didn't make the show any less thrilling. The so called "classic" era ran out of steam and ideas a while before the BBC shelved it, the fact that it came back is to be applauded.

Things had to be rethought, there were too many inconsistencies (some dating back to the original series) where plot decisions coloured the programme up to 1989 - it makes you think, 26 years of rubber monsters! Its no wonder that the BBC pulled the plug and gave the format a rest.

Just don't try to read too much into what is, after all Saturday Evening entertainment.

Change the name (1)

ISoldat53 (977164) | about 2 years ago | (#42008043)

Doctor Whom

Re:Change the name (1)

JustOK (667959) | about 2 years ago | (#42008393)

and Torch Worm

Episodic construction (4, Insightful)

6031769 (829845) | about 2 years ago | (#42008081)

I see (for all its good points) that the revival edition suffers from its episodic format. We have discrete 45-minute programmes (occasionally 2-parters) within a series which often has a loose story arc. Great for the MTV generation, perhaps, but for those of us who were brought up on classic DW, a bit of a let-down.

Back in the day we had each series consisting of (usually) six stories spread over sets of 4 episodes many of which ended on a cliff-hanger. This was great drama, well and tightly scripted. The special effects may seem crude in hindsight but they were cutting-edge then and kitcsh now. Most importantly there was a story and key to this was the Doctor who was on the side of the moral good. The zenith of the whole canon was surely the Key to Time [wikipedia.org] series which gave a classic quest storyline over the arc with 6 quintessential plots for each part of the key and a reveal of superb quality. I doubt we'll ever see its like again, but I dearly hope the beeb will prove me wrong.

In essence, a return to a medium-length plot within a series-long story would be best, but I fear those in control won't countenance it.

Who writes these reviews? (3, Funny)

Arancaytar (966377) | about 2 years ago | (#42008375)

I don't think I've ever seen so much waffling outside an IHOP.

Wow (3, Insightful)

ischorr (657205) | about 2 years ago | (#42008981)

The author has, almost verbatim, described my thoughts about the new series. And why I just finally stopped watching it and moved on to other things.

Not concise, Not clear, What are you trying to say (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42010215)

"English MotherF***er, do you speak it!?"

Sorry Pulpfiction fan. Seriously could you be anymore vague or ambiguous with your language. You've basically said noting, while catering to both those that like and dislike the new doctor who.

Honestly, the old doctor who and the new doctor who are the exact same, they've just changed through the times, based on who directs them, what demographic there aimed against and what story they're trying to convey. You expect a series spanning 60 years with numerous producers, directors and writers to remain consistent? good luck!

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