Doctor Who: Classic or Dud?

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What was _your_ favorite story/Doctor/companion? Have you read any of the recent books published by Virgin or the BBC? Or was it all unconvincing crap?

Question inspired by an off-handed comment from Tom.

Dan Perry, Monday, 18 June 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

CLASSIC!!!!! Doctor Who made me the person I am today, from when I was a wee dot, sitting in my dad's lap, watching the scary Jon Pertwee episodes between my dad's legs, to being a teenage sci fi freak, watching the Tom Baker episodes on Channel 13. I lost track after the Peter Davidson episodes (although I liked him a lot more than the later ones, he forever in my mind should be roaming around the Yorkshire Dales as a vet, not jetting around Galifrey as a Time Lord.)

There are too many great stories to count, but my favourite episode is probably The Ark In Space, or whatever that scary one with the sleeping people in the space station that got eaten by giant bees.

Also, the whole season that was the "key to time" story arc, I can't remember the name of any individual episodes, but just the fact that the Sonic Screwdriver ended up being the key on which the whole universe hinged was pretty damned cool. Plus, I had, like, a huge crush on Adrik, the original indie maths nerd, when I was a pre-teen. Though of all the companions, I think Romana was the coolest, just cause I wanted to *be* her. She was smarter than the Dr, after all. :-)

Funny, cause all the things that people point to, saying it's a dud- abysmally low production budget, lack of special effects, socks with googley eyes glued on for monsters- were all the things that made it endearing. And the quality of writing was just AMAZING- the minimal budget that they had, they spent on getting the very best in sci fi writers to come up with concepts and stories so engaging that you didn't care that it looked crap.

I could go on at length, but I've already outed myself as a geek enough on this board for one week...

masonic boom, Monday, 18 June 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

I never really watched, but the opening would always scare the hell out of me when the faces flew out. Those faces and the sleestaks from the Land of the Lost gave me nightmares.

Jeff, Monday, 18 June 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Yay! I'm not alone.

"Doctor Who" was far and away my favorite show growing up. "The Ark In Space" is definitely high on my list, along with "The Robots of Death", "Kinda", "The Caves Of Androzani", the whole Key To Time season, "Inferno", "The Mind Robber"... Oh, I could go on and on. Favorite Doc is Davison, mostly because he managed to pull off underplaying the role and comes across as even more powerful because of it. Hell, I'm so into it that I've got EVERY book published in the New Adventures series from _Timewyrm: Genesys_ in the Virgin series through _Vanishing Point_ in the BBC series. (I do draw the line at conventions, though. Even when I was a kid, I thought the entire concept of a Doctor Who convention filled with adults dressed as these characters to be really disturbing.)

Best companions? Without a doubt, Leela, Romana I, Tegan, Sarah Jane, and Turlough. Especially Leela. (cf: fictional characters I've had a crush on)

Dan Perry, Monday, 18 June 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Classic: when William Hartnell went to sleep and Patrick Troughton woke up, and walked out onto the surface of Dalek planet, all bubbling withg liquid mercury. I watched this unprepared aged eight, and see it vividly to this day, in colour. It wz broadcast in black and white. Troughton = far and away the best Doctor + yeti on the underground; Cybermen; Ice Warriors [Iththe Warriors}

Classic: the (original) Master, played by Roger Delgado.

Dud: all the stuff with Unit (ur-notion for the Initiative in Buffy? Only rubbish instead of good, obviously), and Pertwee himself (to me = Troughton nut). But Pertwee's ENEMIES were often grate (=Devils, Sea Devils: one of the Devils was called BOD!!)

Ten-ton dud: Tom "Overract why fucking don't you" Baker. But the Gallifrey/Time Lord business was often amusing.

Three-ton dud: Peter Davidson. BUT the ing on the first season of stories (esp. CASTROVALVA, abut timewarps and paradoxes, name taken from a lithograph by ESCHER = overlooked classic)

Hundred-ton duds: subsequent Doctors /Peter Cushing movies

mark s, Monday, 18 June 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

ing = writing

mark s, Monday, 18 June 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Oh, go on! Tom Baker's total overacting was what made him so brilliant! It just went along with the melodrama of sock monsters and models exploding with firecrackers, it just added to the charm of it somehow. My fave Doctor is a toss-up between him and Pertwee, probably just because that was the era I first fell in love with. Granted, much of the time, Pertwee was annoyingly grounded with the UNIT stuff (though much of the annoying miltarism of this period was balanced by the fact that Brigadeer "fwah fwah fwah" Leftbridge-Stewart was such a loveable bumbling twit who wanted to blow everything up.)

Castrovalva! Was that the one where they were trapped in the scarily moebius strip city that Adrik (ah, archetype of all indie mathsrock nerds of my heart...) discovered that he had mistakenly created with his mathematical formulae?

Oh, and here's a question: K-9, what think you? Super-cool uber gadget who always saved the day, or annoying cutesy ploy, the Dr. Who equivalent of Ewoks?

Man, I have always wished that I had a sonic screwdriver!

masonic boom, Monday, 18 June 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

P.S. sorry, Troughton always looked to me like a puffin! Though I do have to admit, he had some of the best companions- that cute little mod girl was ace, and Jamie, that mad scotsman in the kilt... Those knees! Phwoar, etc!!!

masonic boom, Monday, 18 June 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

This is a Belle&Sebastian Wow-factor thing, tho, isn't it? Yr first, no, yr !second! is always held in specisal esteem? I always found Baker-era gadget-dom overdone. K9 was a pai9.

Castrovalva and Adrik: very possibly correct — of course, this era Who is NEVER repeated (cuz supposedly a decline on Pertwee/ Baker), plus my memory is swirling away like asteroids into a time discontinuity anyway, so I don't recall. Part of my mathrock reason for liking Adrik was that the maths was, erm, not utterly entirely bogus. (mathrock = mathmath in my case...)

Jo = my major crush-assistant, I suppose. Can't be: she always screamed and wuz scared. Who was the one who ACTUALLY DIED? Played by Jean Marsh (later of Upstairs Downstairs). Or am I tripping?

GOT IT! My major crush assistant was Zoe!! (This too is a Wow-factor thing...)

Sub-thread Q: lamest Dr Who assistant?

mark s, Monday, 18 June 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

zoe = cute little mod girl

mark s, Monday, 18 June 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Lamest assistant = Colin whassisface's backpacking American chick. Stupid, contrived and ANNOYING attempt to pander to the American market when, for fucks sake, the biggest Dr. Who APPEAL to yanks was the Anglophile factor.

masonic boom, Monday, 18 June 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

As I recall she got her brain swapped with a slug. And was then replaced by Bonnie Langford.

Mark is right - it's your second. Peter Davison in my case. This theory probably falls down if applied to any post-Davison due to transcendental awfulness.

Tom, Monday, 18 June 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

The depths of my fandom revealed:

Jean Marsh played Sara Kingdom in "The Dalek Masterplan" and has the distinction of being the only companion to join and die in the same story. (Of course, "The Dalek Masterplan" went on for 16 episodes or something like that...)

"Castrovalva" is definitely the one where the Master uses Adric to generate a trans-dimensional mathematical construct solely to trap a confused and newly-regenerated Doctor.

Patrick Troughton rocked the house as far as I can tell. The only stories of his I've really seen are "The Mind Robber" and "The War Games", though, so I don't have enough evidence to knock Davison outof the top spot. The Yeti were SORELY underused, though.

Frasier Hines, who played Jamie, was also on "Upstairs, Downstairs".

The Doctor had three companions die during the television series; Srar Kingdom, Katarina, and Adric. The books added Liz Shaw and Roslynn Forrester to this list, plus the Brigadier is now living out the rest of his life in an alternate dimension populated by faries. (No, really.)

The misfortune of the Peri character was teaming her with the sixth Doctor. Either forceful, grating personality could have worked, but both together were a SHOCKINGLY bad idea. Interestingly enough, the new fiction line has managed to not only completely salvage Peri and the sixth Doctor, but also the hideously misconceived Melanie Bush, who has gone from being a chirpy nightmare to one of the more capable people the Doctor has travelled with.

Worst companion? Victoria Waterfield, aka the extremely wet Victorian girl whose sole function was to scream, "Help me Jamie!" at every opportunity. They replaced her with Zoe for reason, folks...

Dan Perry, Monday, 18 June 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

As a kid I enjoyed it, the Tardis was cool, and K-9 kicked ass. I doubt sincerely if I could sit through more than 5 minutes of it today, I wouldn't want to ruin my childhood memories. Therefore, I shall not be purchasing the DVD box set.

james e l, Monday, 18 June 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Dr. Who is the way to be. Today they spend money on stupid computer effects. Why didn't they realise cheap video effects are way better! Doctor who is so Add n to x! I love docotr who.

-- Mike Hanley, Monday, 18 June 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Someone's BRAIN got replaced by Bonnie Langford? Glad I missed that: I'd STILL be behind the sofa today...

mark s, Monday, 18 June 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Someone's BRAIN got replaced by Bonnie Langford?

No, but that would have been awesome! More sad fannishness:

Sixth Doctor, "Trial of a Timelord". The Doctor gets taken outof time by the Timelords and put on trial for being a general menace to the universe. As it transpires, he was pulled out of time as he was rushing to rescue Peri from having her brain sucked out and replaced with one from a slug-like dictator. Therefore, he wasn't there to save her and she was killed, becoming an evil pod person. The companion who ended up replacing her, Mel, was played by Bonnie Langford.

(At the end of the trial, it's strongly hinted that Peri was actually saved by one of the people fighting the evil slugs and ended up marrying him, which is why I didn't list her amongst the dead.)

Dan Perry, Monday, 18 June 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Speaking of BRANES... how about that Tom Baker episode where they had to go INSIDE THE DOCTOR'S BRANE!!! And it turned out to be just as pompous and overblown as Tom Baker's acting, which is what made the whole episode so brilliant. What was her name... (dammit, alcohol really does cause memory loss!) the cool Survateem warrior chick in the leather outfit... was attacked by a giant mathematical formula which came spinning out of his Left Brain as they crossed the hypothalamus. I mean... that's the sort of thing ONLY the writers of Dr. Who could come up with.

masonic boom, Monday, 18 June 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

That was LEELA, also known as My Long-Lost First Wife.

Dan Perry, Monday, 18 June 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Leela! Right, I knew it. Damn memory loss... she kicked ass, she did! I think that's another of the things that was so cool about Doctor Who. They had powerful female figures (Romana was easily as intelligent, if not moreso than the Doctor, Leela, despite her scanty atire, kicked serious ass) at a time when other science fiction was still treating women as intergalactic dolly birds for one night stands (Star Trek) or damsels in distress needing to be saved by the hero (Star Wars). As Dan points out, even the early annoying "save me" Victorian heroine types were replaced by resourceful, intelligent and strong women.

masonic boom, Monday, 18 June 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

though much of the annoying miltarism of this period was balanced by the fact that Brigadeer "fwah fwah fwah" Leftbridge-Stewart was such a loveable bumbling twit who wanted to blow everything up.

And he had a soft spot for Jo. There's a scene in "The Green Death", at some point after she announces her engagement to Dr Jones, where he glances at her as if to say 'if I were ten...fifteen years younger'. Quite touching really.

David, Monday, 18 June 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Didn't Leela reappear in Tenko, in more or less the same role (Tenko = all-female Burmese deathcamp TV drama w.Burt Kwouk as honourable camp boss under orders to be bastard...)?

The VERY FIRST companion was Susan, who was the doctor's DAUGHTER? No? She was interesting, it being 1963 and therefore pre- pop, let alone pre-Kate Millett: cuz she was SUPER-CLEVER, and the earth-boys were baffled and threatened and intrigued by this. But I don't remember her to look at since (a) B/W episodes never repeated; and (b) her character/look is overlaid by things I much later read in ancient second-hand TV comic-books and by the very repeated film with Bernard fucking Cribbins in it). (BC = cool, just not appropriate to this story...)

But I do remember a scene with her in it, which is poorly revisited in the film, when the white bedford van she is in (driven by a dalek-resistance soldier) is strafed by the giant dalek ship. Cuz where I lived and where my dad worked the staff van was a white bedford van, and when I was in it, I often used to check out that there was enough foliage near enough that I could jump out of the van — as Susan had — and roll to cover into it, shd the dalek ship appear and begin strafing.

That is all. (That is enough...)

An episode of Fireball XL5 gave me the all- time nightmares-for-week spooking, though.

mark s, Monday, 18 June 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

I could be really pathetic and list all the companions in order but I think I've scared enough people for one day.

Dan Perry, Monday, 18 June 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

When I was very young, my sister's friend built a K9 out of Constructer Straws and paper which he dragged along behind him on a string pretty much everywhere he went. Accompanying his mother in a supermarket, he encountered none other than ... Tom Baker!

My memory of this is hazy, despite being told this story dozens of times in my youth, but by all accounts he was very nice, askign K9 why he wasn't in the tardis, who his friend was and so on. What a nice chap.

Magnus, Monday, 18 June 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Yes: Sylvester [DanWillSupplyName], by contrast, would have stomped the pathetic object to splinters and punched the child in the throat.

mark s, Monday, 18 June 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

McCoy is the name you're looking for.

DG, Monday, 18 June 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

BBC Online is doing some web Doctor who, although unfortunately with Sylvester McCoy.

Best series Genesis of the Daleks, but only cos a friend did it as a one man show. His interpretation of Davros was jumping around in a frying pan, tom Baker was a pan on the head.

tom Baker was the best imho.

Ace was very annoying though, and janet what's her name from Blue peter

Ed Lynch-Bell, Tuesday, 19 June 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Woah...this entire thread(is that what this is called ?I'm new to this)is a revelation to me I have never been in the closet about being a Dr Who fan ,but its just that I rarely encounter another...nayhow..Susan was the Doctor's(notice the caps!)granddaughter... I could never decide who I preferred Tom Baker or Peter Davison..but without the assistants, gadgets etc. they wouldn't have been much and perhaps thats the appeal compared to the rest of them...Romana II(the blond one ) did alot for me,but Ace has gotta be my favourite companion by far...tho I'm regenerating ahead of myself here...just cos she was so gutsy...when I was a kid at school we'd play Dr Who and I remember throwing gold coins to destroy the cybermen who were after us...and being chased by daleks etc. I'd write more but I've gotta go have a colposcopy....why can't the world be DR WHO????????????????????????????

Sara Lee, Tuesday, 19 June 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Mark S 's call on Troughton is spot-on. The best by a mile, although I suspect it's because we're of similar vintage. The Yeti on the underground had a scene where a policeman is found inside a phone box, covered in cobwebs with his face set in a mask of terror. I can still see that face. At MOMI's "Behind the Sofa" exhibition (8 or 9 years ago?) they ran a continuous loop of all the Doctors morphing into the next one. It also had bits of all the various versions of the theme tune running as the soundtrack. Mainly subtle tweaks from the Radiophonic boys and girls until a J-M Jarre-esque update in the late 1970's. Robin would no doubt know all the details.

Anyway, Jo (Katy Manning) destroyed and stomped on my pre-adolescent heart by marrying the dull Sgt. Benson in the Pertwee/Unit days. I've never ever recovered, never will and don't want to. A goddess.

Great call on Roger Delgado. A scary mutha in a very English way.

Dr. C, Friday, 22 June 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Roger Delgado died in a car crash in Spain in (I think) 1971-2. I read the story in a tiny item in the Daily mail in my school library. Tho I was in that library EVERY WEEKDAY for three years and tho I always read the paper, this is the only story I recall. This and the (similarly sized) item about Ian Fleming's brother Peter dying!!

mark s, Friday, 22 June 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Dr C: the remake you're thinking of was the work of Peter Howell in 1980, as the RW gave itself what could politely be described as an "80s corporate facelift".

Mark: my school library also always had the Mail. The librarian was a self-described "true blue" Tory, hmmm, what a surprise ...

Robin Carmody, Friday, 22 June 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

To be honest, Robin, I approved: Mail = Peanuts, Express = Rupert the Bear, Mirror = The Perishers.

Taking sides: Peanuts vs The Perishers

mark s, Friday, 22 June 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

I KNEW you'd know this, Robin!

Dr.C, Sunday, 24 June 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Oh, I think the Peter Howell theme is fairly well-known among DW / RW circles (I only fit into the latter, not the former). And nothing divides opinion more: disciples of 80s mainstream production techniques *love* it, but everyone else ...

Robin Carmody, Sunday, 24 June 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Leela temporarily reappeared more recently as a phony-Italian with stroppy kids in Albert Square - Rosa DeMarco.

K-reg, Sunday, 24 June 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Isn't Leela played by Louise Jameson? Also played Jim Bergerac's estate-agent girlfriend in er, "Bergerac".

Dr. C, Monday, 25 June 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Dr C lowers the tone...

mark s, Monday, 25 June 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

I heart Louise Jameson. And Mary Tamm. And Janet Fielding. And Wendy Padbury. And Elisabeth Sladen. And *hangs head* Nicola Bryant.

Did you all see the mid-90's TV movie with Paul McGann and Daphne Ashbrook? Any comments?

Dan Perry, Monday, 25 June 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Was that the one where they invented a new enemy who moved faster than light and had no face? It was lame. The McGanns are the UK Baldwins, except that Canada has (inexplicably) failed to bomb their house yet.

mark s, Monday, 25 June 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

No, that was the Five Doctors, 1983.

Magnus, Monday, 25 June 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Doctor Who = best TV theme music and visual ever. But Blake's 7 the better show. Or maybe not: Blake's 7 was more soap opera than tech based plots (not that I recall a single plot from either, other'n Blake's 7's final: plot = "everyone dies"). Anyhoo, both shows had alien robots made from bits of cardboard. And monsters that looked like random bits from a hardware store glued together: bolts, old circuit boards, couple rubber bands, strips of sandpaper, and a lick of paint. Those rock. (Cf. budget contrast w/ US counterpart Logan's Run.)

AP, Tuesday, 26 June 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

McGanns = UK Baldwins? FEAR.

There's a great Doctor Who book floating out there called _Interference_ where the Doctor runs into an enemy who completely FUBAR's his past timeline. I love that idea and I'm kind of bummed out that the show never really exploited that aspect of time travel (ill-conceived Valeyard aside).

Dan Perry, Tuesday, 26 June 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

one year passes...
I know it's lovely weather out and all that but surely some of the people who've arrived since June 26th 2001 have an opinion on Doctor Who?

Tico Tico (Tico Tico), Wednesday, 7 May 2003 12:57 (sixteen years ago) link

Revive these threads as well, go on...

Doctor Who assistants - Search/Destroy
The Man That Ruined Doctor Who
Doctor Who Weekly/Monthly comic strips - Search/Destroy

Alan (Alan), Wednesday, 7 May 2003 13:07 (sixteen years ago) link

MIND FITE!!!

Grr! (starry), Wednesday, 7 May 2003 13:11 (sixteen years ago) link

HSA claims to *HATE* Sci-Fi. Yet, on the basis of Castrovalva, even he had to admit that Dr. Who was pretty darn cool. Hah!

kate, Wednesday, 7 May 2003 13:11 (sixteen years ago) link

I still haven't seen that. Sarah when I get a place you must come round and watch some hot Doctor action.

Castrovalva is rubbish though!

Tico Tico (Tico Tico), Wednesday, 7 May 2003 13:13 (sixteen years ago) link

The best record in my mum's record collection is probably her 7" of the original Doctor Who theme.

The VERY FIRST companion was Susan, who was the doctor's DAUGHTER? No? She was interesting, it being 1963 and therefore pre- pop, let alone pre-Kate Millett: cuz she was SUPER-CLEVER, and the earth-boys were baffled and threatened and intrigued by this. But I don't remember her to look at since (a) B/W episodes never repeated

I remember the surviving B/W episodes being shown on UK Gold when UK Gold first started, in the early 90s. I think Susan told everyone that she was the doctor's granddaughter, but this might just have been a ploy to explain why he was her guardian to boring Earth people.

My favourite Doctor Who related thing is probably Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, a Douglas Adams novel put together from late-70s Doctor Who scripts that were never broadcast. (as was the third Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy book)

caitlin (caitlin), Wednesday, 7 May 2003 13:16 (sixteen years ago) link

Castrovalva has 2 fun episodes, 2 boring episodes, a rubbish disguise, Michael Sheard, and a disappointing special effect which probably sounded great in the script. perfect.

Alan (Alan), Wednesday, 7 May 2003 13:18 (sixteen years ago) link

The grebtest cameo appearance EVER is in CITY OF DEATH (this == my fave Dr Who story I think, apart from FACE OF EVIL) where John Cleese and er.. some bird pop up in the Louvre, analysing the Tardis as a GRATE ARTWORK - someone pls fetch Turner Prize stat!

Exquisite. Simply... exquisite.

Tico - The BRANE OF MORBIUS should only be attempted after a couple of cans of RELAXANT in my opinion cos it is very silly. Also you will be annoyed by the rubbish assistant who falls over a lot. The priestesses are brilliant. But yes I am up for DOCTOR ACTION.

Secret flame! Secret fire!

Sarah (starry), Wednesday, 7 May 2003 13:18 (sixteen years ago) link

xp Old-Who is good ambient television. I think when I watch stories from the 1963-89 series the enjoyment comes more from 'experiencing' them rather than from following the narrative in the way that you might do with something more tautly plotted. I watch them in a similar way to the BBC4 repeats of old episodes of Top Of The Pops, soaking up the ambiance, attention wandering between the dialogue and the sets and the outfits and period details and the style it's shot in etc.

I think this is partly because I've already seen pretty much all of the surviving original series stories before and know basically what happens in them already - in fact, in most cases I'd read about the stories in episode guides and books before seeing them for the first time

soref, Thursday, 6 September 2018 09:02 (ten months ago) link

Any old TV show takes on this stylized aspect with the passage of time, where every element of the production down to the smallest detail looks achingly 1987, or 1973 or 1965 or whatever year it was made, and this gives them an odd glamour - and at the same time Old-Who was often kind of a mess and an odd ragbag of different styles and genres thrown together - so the old stories are interesting because they're simultaneously all over the place and have this unifying aesthetic because they manifest era they were made in every aspect (and also because Dr Who was already very stylized and non-naturalistic to begin with?)

soref, Thursday, 6 September 2018 09:04 (ten months ago) link

Absolutely, in the late 70s I devoured guides and novelisations of old series knowing I could never see them. Seeing them is kind of like live footage from ancient Egypt. And the Baker and Pertwee eras - on endless rotation mid afternoon in the Australia of my youth - are the furniture of my mind.

an incoherent crustacean (MatthewK), Thursday, 6 September 2018 09:13 (ten months ago) link

Wow, last three posts are great

The Great Atomic Power Ballad (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 6 September 2018 09:48 (ten months ago) link

interesting comment soref - for me, as an american, a lot of the "alien-ness" that initially appealed to me about the show was just that it was, well, british.

milkshake duck george bernard shaw (rushomancy), Thursday, 6 September 2018 14:21 (ten months ago) link

Yeah, the slowness tends not to bother me unless I’m watching with someone less familiar with the show and thinking about how this looks to someone who didn’t watch this episode at age 12. But generally I’m happy to watch the characters wandering about and having chill conversations while locked up and waiting for the villain to return to kill them. I do find that I have less tolerance for Pertwee being a patronizing asshole these days.

JoeStork, Thursday, 6 September 2018 15:42 (ten months ago) link

Cutting the dross out of old Doctor Who is a lot like cutting the White Album down to one LP

agree, obv a lot of the enjoyment comes from the cast having fun; also agree that as a grown-up Pertwee just comes across as a prick most of the time, whereas I accepted his wafted superiority on first viewing.

Mind you this only goes so far. The glacial, stagy pacing of Hartnell's stories is beyond me.

see this is tarring 30 stories (and 200 eps or w/e) with a v broad brush! good writers & directors or both get snappy, pacy stories even with the "as-live" taped set-up. An Unearthly Child (not 100,000 BC), The Aztecs, Inside The Spaceship, The Time Meddler, The Rescue, The Romans, The War Machines and even most of Dalek Invasion Of Earth from god-lord of useless padding Terry Nation rattle along in terms of plot, character and action.

love the hell out of "Enemy of the World", though, and you know that's a story where NOTHING FUCKING HAPPENS in the third episode

tsk! one of the very great things about Enemy Of The World is that Whitaker is doing something different in every episode: after establishing the fucked-up geopolitics of 2018 in episode 1, he shows more of the intra-factional divides within Salamander's administration in episode 2. Then ep 3 reduces further, showing a tight focus on different ways of dealing with life directly under occupation: loyalists vs poisoners in his cabinet lead you to the Upstairs Downstairs contrast of the kitchen, where Griffin the chef is making best by carrying on as if working a regular kitchen job - grumbling about the bosses and the customers, regardless of who those are. Meanwhile Fariah, Whitaker makes as clear as possible in a kids show, has been broken and sexually subjugated by Salamander, perhaps only as a hazing/recruitment process rather than an ongoing role, which tells us more about his sadism than we would otherwise fully know.

▫◌▫ (sic), Thursday, 6 September 2018 18:57 (ten months ago) link

Saw a panel with Pearl Mackie, Ingrid Oliver, Nicola Bryant, Katy Manning and Robert Shearman at the London Screenwriters' Festival over the weekend. Manning is very entertainingly unhinged and still seems deeply passionate about the show.

chap, Monday, 10 September 2018 10:58 (ten months ago) link

i agree that episode 3 serves an important role within the broader context of the story, but that's not the model '60s who is based on. as a standalone episode, episode 3 doesn't work very well. sometimes i think we as fans get so caught up in subtext that we give short shrift to the text of the show. i think this may be why an episode like, say, "kill the moon" is so divisive, because it's utterly brilliant on a subtextual/meta level, but on superficial viewing it's confusing and nonsensical.

milkshake duck george bernard shaw (rushomancy), Monday, 10 September 2018 14:13 (ten months ago) link

Just poking my head in to say that Sapphire & Steel is streaming on Amazon Prime now; it came out in a cheap box set a while ago, but for aaages it was only available in the US as an overpriced ($90-ish, iirc) BBC release. It's been huge (UNHEIMLICH) fun digging into it, burrowing through k-punk's archives (RIP) and catching up on Ghost Box releases I let slip by me. Going full mid-2000s over here and I love it

You guys are caterpillar (Telephone thing), Monday, 10 September 2018 16:08 (ten months ago) link

How often has the series kicked off a new Doctor's tenure with new companions as well?

Nag Reddit (Leee), Friday, 21 September 2018 17:40 (ten months ago) link

1 - doesn't count
2 - companions had joined three stories earlier
3 - new
4 - one old one new
5 - one companion had joined five stories before, two joined in the regeneration story
6 - companion had joined two stories earlier
7 - companion never actually joined but had been around for six episodes
8 - no companion
9 - new
10 - old
11 - new
12 - old
13 - new

so, 4/13 but most are pretty new

Bitty Gingham Sheet (sic), Friday, 21 September 2018 17:58 (ten months ago) link

Don’t forget 8.5!

Chuck_Tatum, Friday, 21 September 2018 18:15 (ten months ago) link

we have to wait for Nick Briggs to be made showrunner before we get to see his first adventure, with John Hurt replaced by a genial theatre student overdubbed by Ingrid Oliver doing a Hurt impression

Bitty Gingham Sheet (sic), Friday, 21 September 2018 18:56 (ten months ago) link

six months pass...

Been watching the season 18 and season 19 (last season of Tom Baker/first of Peter Davison) blu-ray sets and am pretty much just watching them with the commentaries on and then watching the behind the sofa eps... the Davison/Fielding/Sutton/Waterhouse commentaries are gold. Last night I watched Kinda for the first time in like thirty years and wow it is bonkers... a much better example of what first contact would probably be like than Star Trek, everyone is going insane and nobody knows what the hell is going on. Then... giant snake! K-9 and Company was included on the season 18 set and is pretty amazing start to finish.

the girl from spirea x (f. hazel), Tuesday, 2 April 2019 16:44 (three months ago) link

you're ready for both of these then

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tza8396fY38

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ASWN1N9hteI

blokes you can't rust (sic), Tuesday, 2 April 2019 19:28 (three months ago) link

hahaha, it helps that the police in Doctor Who rarely rise above the Benny Hill level of interaction

and "yaketyvalva" is I think the most unpleasant coinage I've heard in like ten years?

the girl from spirea x (f. hazel), Tuesday, 2 April 2019 21:55 (three months ago) link

omg sic, lol

GDPR vs GAPDY (DJP), Tuesday, 2 April 2019 22:07 (three months ago) link

K9 and Company shoulda been on for years and years, the cheek of them to take a prop that everyone on Doctor Who apparently despised and then decide to make him the star of his own show set in the countryside! at least set it on a space station with only smooth floors! or have one you can fill with helium and tie to SJS's wrist

the girl from spirea x (f. hazel), Tuesday, 2 April 2019 22:22 (three months ago) link

they sorted that out when it went to series

http://news.thedoctorwhosite.co.uk/images/k91.jpg

blokes you can't rust (sic), Tuesday, 2 April 2019 23:31 (three months ago) link

you're right to be skeptical, big-budget Ace

the girl from spirea x (f. hazel), Wednesday, 3 April 2019 01:50 (three months ago) link

three months pass...

*crosses Roberts off the list of Who authors I am interested in reading*

https://unherd.com/2019/07/why-the-woke-cant-make-jokes/

brigadier pudding (DJP), Friday, 5 July 2019 17:44 (two weeks ago) link

tweeting at wokemills

the girl from spirea x (f. hazel), Friday, 5 July 2019 21:24 (two weeks ago) link

he's made a bunch of transphobic tweets too

adam the (abanana), Friday, 5 July 2019 22:25 (two weeks ago) link

I saw that and was like “…wait what”

brigadier pudding (DJP), Friday, 5 July 2019 22:27 (two weeks ago) link

Yeah that’s a fucking dreadful article but it’s a LONG way from being the worst thing he’s put his name to recently: https://medium.com/@zmangareth/statement-on-bbc-books-and-transgenderism-dd7ad0c9231a

JimD, Friday, 5 July 2019 23:05 (two weeks ago) link

I’ve got his Shada novelisation somewhere and never got around to reading it, unlikely to ever bother now.

JimD, Friday, 5 July 2019 23:06 (two weeks ago) link

(Helpful of him to out all those other terf fucks at the end of his medium piece though, already knew about most of them but a couple were news to me).

JimD, Friday, 5 July 2019 23:10 (two weeks ago) link

His Shada novelisation is great, especially in the audiobook read by Lalla Ward and John Leeson. Roberts' all-day shouting like a prick on Twitter about how everyone is wrong but especially murderous Muslims, young people, TV executives, left-wing politicians, virtue signallers, climate change campaigners, Greta Thunberg, gay men who don't spend all day chainsmoking in a flat & reading 1970s TV listings, and Steven Moffatt appears to reflect a decades-long Toryism that has never stopped him writing warm, funny Who with a humanist perspective.

(Typed four screens of stuff about his attitudes but got xposted by an hour and deleted it, typed the above instead.)

quelle sprocket damage (sic), Friday, 5 July 2019 23:28 (two weeks ago) link

Yeah I mean, I still like the books of his that I read. I just don't like him very much. (I would add "or spend money on him" but truth be told, I haven't bought a Doctor Who novel since... probably The Adventuress of Henrietta Street, which was kind of bad if I'm being honest about it, wtf Miles you were my go-to guy)

brigadier pudding (DJP), Saturday, 6 July 2019 00:54 (two weeks ago) link

Yeah: I very much wouldn’t want to endorse his personal opinions with money, but on the other hand I’d have much more problem with spending £16.99 on a book filled with other people I don’t have any curiosity in reading, than with him getting 5.3 pence in royalties from me somewhere down the line.

quelle sprocket damage (sic), Saturday, 6 July 2019 01:06 (two weeks ago) link

his Shada book was good. But now i'm not so fussed he didn't get to do the other two Adams books (which I ahve and haven't read yet)

akm, Saturday, 6 July 2019 01:16 (two weeks ago) link

Three Adams books!

(Roberts was contracted to do Fisher, Williams and Adams’ City Of Death, but returned his advance & notes after several months’ work, deciding he couldn’t crack how to work it as a novel, vs having built Adams’ various drafts of the uncompleted Shada into a coherent story. After James Goss finished it, Goss was commissioned to do not only the full-Adams script of The Pirate Planet, but also adapt an idea that Adams had a) had rejected as a TV pitch in 1976, b) had rejected for a DW feature film in 1980, c) never actually written, and d) already turned into the third Hitch-hiker’s Guide novel 36 years before Goss turned it into a Who novel.)

quelle sprocket damage (sic), Saturday, 6 July 2019 01:51 (two weeks ago) link

you're speaking of city of death there?

akm, Saturday, 6 July 2019 01:58 (two weeks ago) link

oh, Doctor Who and the Krikkitmen , which I didn't even know had come out.

akm, Saturday, 6 July 2019 01:59 (two weeks ago) link

Wellllllll ok, fair enough, you’ve convinced me that I should read Shada anyway.

JimD, Saturday, 6 July 2019 07:18 (two weeks ago) link

Which are the good Miles books, DJP? At least, the ones that don’t depend on reading six other books with an anti-climatic conclusion…

Chuck_Tatum, Saturday, 6 July 2019 11:30 (two weeks ago) link

Highly highly recommend the Moff Target book btw

Chuck_Tatum, Saturday, 6 July 2019 11:31 (two weeks ago) link

https://twitter.com/WhoGiants

quelle sprocket damage (sic), Tuesday, 9 July 2019 21:11 (one week ago) link

Alien Bodies is the best one. Down from the Benny Books is also great.

brigadier pudding (DJP), Wednesday, 10 July 2019 00:18 (one week ago) link

Why do the actors who play companions and Doctors (i.e. regular cast) in nu-Who limit themselves to only a few seasons? If this were a US-produced property, you'd have the leads fighting to stay on for a 7-year run.

Coelacanth Green (Leee), Thursday, 18 July 2019 23:47 (three days ago) link

Tom Baker’s post-Who career possibly acting as something of a cautionary tale. Especially when contrasted with Peter Davison’s.

JimD, Thursday, 18 July 2019 23:59 (three days ago) link

Same reasons as they did in the old series, with the addition that the new series is so physically taxing that the leads keep requiring reconstructive skeletal surgery mid-contract, rather than only needing to be on their feet a couple of hours a week

quelle sprocket damage (sic), Friday, 19 July 2019 00:01 (two days ago) link

xp

Peter Davison’s an anomaly, in that he was already so busy as a headliner when he took the role, that Who had to shut down production for months mid-season while his dayjob sitcom was taping.

(In 2017 they just wrote around Bradley Walsh spending weeks at a time taping his dayjob gameshow)

quelle sprocket damage (sic), Friday, 19 July 2019 00:09 (two days ago) link

Same reasons as they did in the old series

I don't know these reasons!

with the addition that the new series is so physically taxing that the leads keep requiring reconstructive skeletal surgery mid-contract, rather than only needing to be on their feet a couple of hours a week

Wait, who? I don't think I ever heard of say Jennifer Garner needing anything as serious as surgery when she was doing her own fight scenes in for ~20 episodes over 4-5 seasons of Alias.

Coelacanth Green (Leee), Friday, 19 July 2019 00:22 (two days ago) link

iirc Tennant and Smith both had knee reconstructions and Capaldi had back surgery? I’m on zing atm

I don't know these reasons!

Because they find a variety of work more interesting to do, and they can earn a lot more money for a lot less work elsewhere, once their profile has been raised on a teatime children’s show about a space wizard.

quelle sprocket damage (sic), Friday, 19 July 2019 00:30 (two days ago) link

(Aside from the pay and catering of a Terminator movie, or the pay and comfort of going home from the West End to your own bed with your model girlfriend in it, Smith can now make his yearly Dr Who salary in two weekends’ appearance fees at American conventions.)

quelle sprocket damage (sic), Friday, 19 July 2019 00:36 (two days ago) link

a teatime children’s show about a space wizard.

look

times 牛肉麵 (Autumn Almanac), Friday, 19 July 2019 01:40 (two days ago) link

lol

Squeaky Fromage (VegemiteGrrl), Friday, 19 July 2019 03:05 (two days ago) link

completely unfair. doctor who is a teatime _family_ show about a space wizard.

Un Poco Loco Moco (rushomancy), Friday, 19 July 2019 14:04 (two days ago) link


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