Doctor Who

margarath
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Doctor Who

Postby margarath » Tue Mar 23, 2010 7:27 pm

I have no idea how well travelled the good Doctor is getting around the world, but he's big news in the UK, and I'm rather excited about the arrival of the new series in a couple of weeks, and with it the arrival proper of the 11th doctor, Matt Smith.

The main thing I'm excited about is the change of executive producer from Russell T Davies to the wonderful Stephen Moffat. He has written the best episodes from the recent series, and I can't wait for the new episode with the angels. I'm hoping that this change will also herald a slight shift from some of the OTT plot arcs that characterised RTD's time, and whilst I have no problems with the Daleks invading earth, it could be done in a scarier fashion... just so long as he doesn't scare me away from libraries 2 weeks before finals again!

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Re: Doctor Who

Postby resoundingjoy » Tue Mar 23, 2010 9:11 pm

Everyone keeps telling me I need to see this show. Can someone tell me what exactly it's about?

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Re: Doctor Who

Postby margarath » Tue Mar 23, 2010 10:01 pm

Ok, the Doctor is a Time Lord, he's not quite immortal, but is something of the order or 700 years old and is the last of his kind. He has a strange affection for the human race, and generally likes hopping backwards and forwards in time saving us from a variety of disasters (alien or otherwise). His ship is called the TARDIS (time and relative dimension in space) and it looks like a blue 1900s police box (about the size of a telephone box) from the outside, but is bigger on the inside. He usually travels with human companions taken from the modern day, and their disovery of alien worlds is a major element of most of the shows.

From a historical point of view, it's one of the longest running sci-fi series ever. Thanks to the Doctor's ability to regenerate (and change his character in the mean time), it is able to carry on for a very long time, although technically he's only supposed to be allowed 2 more regenerations. (13 lives in all). The show ran from 1963 to 1985 in a serial format, and some of these episodes have been lost (personally I've not seen as many as I'd like of them), and then went on a 20 year hiatus before returning in 2005 with a slightly more modern twist, and a more episodic format. However, series long plot arcs are still used to great effect. It's a little more sexed up than the old version though!

The key enemies are:
-The Daleks - Iconic tin robots (actually living organisms in a big shell) who just want to "EXTERMINATE" everything. When done well, of sofa-hiding levels of scariness
-The Master - the 'other' last time lord, and a generally evil chap who wants to rule the world, and often succeeds briefly before doing something stupid to allow the doctor to win. Played by John Simm at the moment.
-The Cybermen - Cyborgs with no emotions, who wish to 'upgrade' humans to be like them.

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Re: Doctor Who

Postby shireling » Tue Mar 23, 2010 10:15 pm

Thanks, margarath! :mrgreen: I was starting to write a reply but yours is much better!
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Re: Doctor Who

Postby margarath » Tue Mar 23, 2010 10:27 pm

I've become quite a serious DrWho geek recently.

Oh - and the quite brilliant theme tune is here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AX_8Azxp ... re=related

Though I do love the Orbital version, seen here with a couple of excerpts from the forbidden planet episodes, featuring my favourite doctor who monsters - the Ood! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZZlwgun ... re=related

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Re: Doctor Who

Postby shireling » Wed Mar 24, 2010 3:22 am

I've been a fan of the series since the late 70's when I stumbled onto "The Genesis of the Daleks." It was weekdays then, and they were playing one episode at a time on my local public broadcast channel. Actually if it wasn't for PBS, I don't think I would ever have heard of the show. The one station out of Columbus, Ohio started with "An - or is it The - Unearthly Child" and showed every available episode from there right up through Sylvester McCoy at least three times!

I have to ask - is Paul McCann being counted as one of the regenerations or not? If I don't include him, then Tenant is the 9th.
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Re: Doctor Who

Postby margarath » Wed Mar 24, 2010 10:32 am

Paul McGann is usually counted as one of the regenerations, despite only appearing in one TV Movie.

The BBC have today released a couple of interviews and a clip from the first episode, which will be shown a week on Saturday. Links below. Matt Smith looks to be a wonderful 'bumbling' character, which to my mind is exactly as the doctor should be.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/8575480.stm
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/8572786.stm

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Re: Doctor Who

Postby J_Kale » Wed Mar 24, 2010 12:53 pm

Tennant is 10, Matt Smith is 11 :)

Massive Doctor Who geek here, so excited about the start of the new series beginning in a few weeks I cannot even say XD

Completely agree about Matt Smith's 'bumblingness' - do you remember in the announcement show, when he was talking for the first time about playing The Doctor and he says "I have to create this--this--" and waves his hands around a bit "--*Time Lord*!" I fell in love with him then :P I hope he's wonderful. There's so much potential there with Moffat behind the wheel.

shireling - so jealous of that whole history episode by episode screening! I have about half the available eps, but getting hold of all of them like that would take either a lot of cash or no download caps and a big harddrive *fail*

Thoughts on the Doctor only having two regenerations left? How do people think they're going to get around it?

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Re: Doctor Who

Postby margarath » Wed Mar 24, 2010 1:47 pm

I do remember that. And "Geronimo!" is a great catch phrase! I wish the Beeb would put some of the older episodes on once in a while - at the moment the only way of getting them is to buy them on DVD - at about £8 per hour of footage, with no box sets!

As for the Doctor only having 2 'lives' left, I think they'll either ignore it completely, or count Ecclestone as the 'first'.

I'm not sure what to make of Smith having a gun in one of the trailers though - it's a little un-doctor-like.

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Re: Doctor Who

Postby shireling » Wed Mar 24, 2010 3:50 pm

margarath wrote:I'm not sure what to make of Smith having a gun in one of the trailers though - it's a little un-doctor-like.


I hope that's just a tease. As much as he's changed over the years, that's one constant that I want the Doctor to keep.

If there's any episode from the past that I would really recommend it's the final Patrick Troughton episode where he pleads his case before the Time Lords and you really get an insight into the character's love and appreciation for earth and its people. It ends with an exile to earth and a forced regeneration into the 3rd Doctor (Jon Pertwee).
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Re: Doctor Who

Postby margarath » Sat Apr 03, 2010 7:48 pm

Waiting is over. Who has been seen. I've attempted to summarise my key points below, but there's a lot to say! WARNING - Major spoilers possible!

The Grathy review of Ep 1!

Matt Smith - a.k.a. the Doctor
Well, he's just completely bonkers! It's the first time in the new series we've seen the Doctor regenerating whilst saving the world, and I think the did so very well. I liked the occasional uses of Tennant-esque speech patterns near the beginning, and then settling down into his own, new speech patterns nearer the end. Geronimo!

Amy Pond
Oh I am going to enjoy watching this series... :twisted: Amy seems to be a brilliant character, and if someone can arrange her for my stag do... Back story is kind of copied from Donna, she's been let down by the doctor, had to wait years for his return, mildly obsessed by him, fiesty and answers back. Intruiged to see what they do about the wedding though... Bonus point - no annoying parents!

The bad guys
Prisoner Zero has escaped... Prisoner Zero has escaped...
So, the main protagonist is Prisoner Zero, a multi-form who comatises his victims and can assume their shape. Suffers from the common who-monster problem of not having a back end cos we couldn't work out what to do with it, but never mind. Prisoner Zero also manages to introduce the series long doom and gloom element at the first available opportunity, which is nice of him. Something about silence.
We also have the Atraxi, who appear to consist of a rather large eye and some spiky starships. Apparently haven't read the Shadow Proclamation, which incurs the wrath of the doctor and results in a nasty telling off, via a rather nice back-story scene with clips from classic who, and all the doctors. Thumbs up!

SFX
Not a huge amount of SFX in this one, just some silly teeth and an exploding sonic screwdriver. However, the intro sequence with the Tardis flying across London was a bit dodgy, with the outboard shots clearly spinning around at some pace, and the inboard shots, well, not. I did however really like the stop-motion bit in the doctor's eye, I quite fancy having a go at trying to produce something like that...

Plot
Typical first ep plot-line, world is going to end kinda stuff. I like it not being set in London, and the commentary about modern life and it's video phones was very good. The dodgy time-nav on the Tardis was possibly overplayed a little, but to no great harm.

New Stuff!
So much! Intro music has changed, not necessarily for the better, though I quite like the special effects. The new DW thing is rather funky turning into the tardis. Speaking of the Tardis, I absolutely love the new one! It matches Matt's Doctor, in that it's completely bonkers. Typewriters, flashing lights, and a massive bit of blown glass in the middle. The extra space will probably be used to great effect, especially as and when we have more than one companion? I do hope the swimming pool is still in the library. There should be more swimming pool's in libraries. The only other major new thing is of course the sonic screwdriver, for which at the moment my only comment is that it's not blue...



Anyway, hope you found that an interesting read. Feel free to comment/nitpick/tell me never to write such drivel again/write a better review. I may or may not get more eloquent as the series progresses...

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Re: Doctor Who

Postby Niamh Sage » Fri May 07, 2010 5:42 am

Terry Pratchett has recently had some things to say about Dr Who:

Terry Pratchett vs Who

Terry Pratchett attacks 'ludicrous' Doctor Who

I haven't seen much of Dr Who so I can't comment myself, but I'm interested to hear what others think. Is it really that bad? Or is it just part of an acceptable level of corn?

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Re: Doctor Who

Postby Keith » Fri May 07, 2010 11:20 pm

Niamh Sage wrote:I haven't seen much of Dr Who so I can't comment myself, but I'm interested to hear what others think. Is it really that bad? Or is it just part of an acceptable level of corn?


To me, it varies massively from episode to episode. Terry Pratchett's remarks seem (judging partly from the comments below) to be aimed most strongly at the kind of grandiose deus ex machina copouts that were characteristic of Russell T Davies' stories.

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Re: Doctor Who

Postby shireling » Sat May 08, 2010 1:22 am

I'm one who's never cared about the science, for me it's always been characters. Pratchett writes:

"...I remember the face of David Tennant as the Doctor watching some public schoolboys machine-gunning a bunch of walking scarecrows (a reversion to the cheaper monsters of earlier incarnations) and we know that he knows that the First World War is only just around the corner where the scarecrows are for real."

I found myself nodding when I read that - that's what keeps me coming back - but I've never thought about Who being syfy - or Star Trek either, for that matter. I love a good yarn no matter what world it takes place in, and watching that struggle over what's to be done to save the 'galaxy' without betraying yourself.

The truth about the Doctor is that he's older than we know, has been where we as yet have not gone, and so has knowledge to which we are not privy. I don't assume that whatever I see, hear or read about a character is all that there is to know about them.
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Re: Doctor Who

Postby Alata » Wed May 19, 2010 5:22 am

I personally feel that if you like the series, you just accept the general corniness of it. For me, it's about the stories and the characters. The effects are secondary to that, especially when it comes to Old Who (which I enjoy watching, if only to giggle at the aliens).

On the latest series, I can say that I love Matt Smith as the Doctor; he plays it off brilliantly. Amy is the companion I've wanted for a while now, combining the better traits of both Rose and Donna without being either of them. And Moffat in charge makes it even better! Can't wait to see the Silurians return next week!
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