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Author Topic: Dr. Who  (Read 431008 times)
Brolan
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Reply #2275 on: March 11, 2020, 01:31:19 PM

I see fans melting down on You Tube about the last season.  Anyone here agree with them?
Khaldun
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Reply #2276 on: March 11, 2020, 02:33:53 PM

Do they hate it?

It's been an uneven season--they clearly never figured out how to juggle three companions, there have been some odd choices on scripts, and the pacing of arc and non-arc episodes was off (and there really wasn't a consistent theme or mood across all of them either).

But I could well see some fans not liking the seemingly big shift in the show's world-building. It's kind of the return of the old Cartmel Plan in a new form.

Brolan
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Reply #2277 on: March 11, 2020, 02:56:08 PM

Yeah, some ranting about 50 years of canon being undermined and such.  And apparently viewership is way down.

Iím a sci-fi guy but Dr Who never grabbed me.  But I keep seeing the videos in my YouTube feed.
Khaldun
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Reply #2278 on: March 11, 2020, 07:27:36 PM

Viewership is only down from last season, when it went way up. It's about on par with Capaldi's seasons.
Surlyboi
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Reply #2279 on: March 15, 2020, 09:55:44 PM

I personally loved this season and the twist on the cannon. Fuck the haters.

Tuned in, immediately get to watch cringey Ubisoft talking head offering her deepest sympathies to the families impacted by the Orlando shooting while flanked by a man in a giraffe suit and some sort of "horrifically garish neon costumes through the ages" exhibit or something.  We need to stop this fucking planet right now and sort some shit out. -Kail
Khaldun
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Reply #2280 on: March 16, 2020, 09:41:11 AM

Yeah, on balance, I think it freshens up the room and creates new story possibilities. It also gave Whitaker more to work with.

Notably the highest ratings of the season were for the episodes most closely connected to the revision of the mythos.

Among other things,

slog
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Reply #2281 on: December 13, 2020, 04:37:10 PM

Yeah, some ranting about 50 years of canon being undermined and such.  And apparently viewership is way down.

Iím a sci-fi guy but Dr Who never grabbed me.  But I keep seeing the videos in my YouTube feed.

I just watched Orphan 55.  The writers threw out 15 years of canon to make an episode that wasn't very good and ended with a very boring preachy Doctor monologue of how we are destroying the planet and its the choices we make today that matters!

I'm still trying to give the new doctor a chance, and at first I was thinking it's the writing that is the problem.  Now I'm thinking it's the terrible acting combined with the writing.  This show is going to get cancelled if the rest of the season is like this.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2020, 05:06:55 PM by slog »

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Khaldun
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Reply #2282 on: December 14, 2020, 07:41:35 AM

It's relatively weak episode in the season.

I don't quite see how it threw out canon--we've seen a zillion different futures for Earth and most of them can't really be reconciled with one another or made to make coherent sense. You haven't gotten to the real canon-busting stuff of the season. Get to "Fugitive of the Judoon" and see how you feel about that.
slog
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Reply #2283 on: December 14, 2020, 02:16:27 PM

It's relatively weak episode in the season.

I don't quite see how it threw out canon--we've seen a zillion different futures for Earth and most of them can't really be reconciled with one another or made to make coherent sense. You haven't gotten to the real canon-busting stuff of the season. Get to "Fugitive of the Judoon" and see how you feel about that.


What struck me first is that there was a great episode a few seasons ago "The End of the World" that detailed how it all ends for the earth. This episode basically threw all that out the window.  I have a feeling I'm not going to like the rest of the season.

I did a quick google on Orphan 55 and I found this review.  While the reviewer is a way over the top, his fundamental point about the wooden actors, the hyperactive Doctor, and the terrible writing are all spot on.

https://youtu.be/CLYmvg-U1fA


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Khaldun
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Reply #2284 on: December 14, 2020, 03:51:43 PM

It's one of the least liked nuWho episodes, but if you remember "Fear Her" and "Love and Monsters", you know that all the nuWho Doctors have had a turd or two.

If you've watched to Orphan 55 you already saw Spyfall I and II, what'd you think of those?

But as far as Doctor Who canon goes, if you really want to form an opinion based on whether something violates canon,

1. Understand that Doctor Who's world-building is really slipshod at best--it makes Trek look consistent by comparison.
2. Understand that Doctor Who's continuity EVEN sticking to nuWho is contradictory to a profound degree.
3. Understand that Doctor Who has a continuity escape hatch based on things being rather "timey-wimey"--throughout the series, the Doctor returns regularly to the point that he/she (and other Time Lords) can in fact change the outcome of events, that time itself is in a state of flux, and only a very limited set of events are "fixed points" which cannot be changed.

Specifically on the future of Earth,

The episode you're thinking of, "The End of the World", was the 2nd episode for Christopher Eccleston's Doctor, so that's eleven seasons ago. This is after Earth had been moved light-years through space and renamed and then moved back again and rebuilt.  Earth has long since been abandoned and rebuilt as a museum, and that it is now meeting its final end because of the expansion of the Sun into a red giant. That's already a rather silly premise in the sense that the Sun's expansion as a red giant is not going to happen on a single day 5 billion years from now but over a (very long) period of time, and the Earth will not be vaporized in a single moment but will have long since been burnt into a dead cinder by that expansion--about 3 billion years from now the Sun will already have heated up by about 30-40 percent. So you have to imagine that as long as Earth's geosphere has been completely reshaped by unimaginably advanced future technologies, so too has whomever did that decided to blow up the sun for the dramatics of it.

In the episode, Rose concludes that she's the last human being alive at the time she visits the End of the World. This is clearly not right even in nuWho, since in a later nuWho episode, "Utopia", both mutated and unmutated humans appear at the *end of the universe*. (The idea that humans who look just like 21st Century humans are around many billions of years from now is already silly anyway, but ok.) The Doctor generally does not tell his companions more than they need to know to understand the particular place they're in during a given universe, so he didn't disabuse Rose of her dramatic declaration that she's the only human left in part because it let him talk about his own presumption (since corrected) that he was the last of the Time Lords.

The future history of humanity in the series, including classic and nuWho, has included an era in which Earth was completely evacuated of all human beings due to solar flares, numerous episodes in which Earth has been invaded and nearly destroyed by various enemies, implications that Earth has formed a galactic empire or republic and that most humans have left Earth and spread across the galaxy (at least four such, according to nuWho), an era where Earth was so hot (after the solar flares, but only about 15,000 years from now) that humans AGAIN left it, an era where much of Earth has been built into a giant advanced city, an era in about 500,000 years where humans on Earth are all mutant vampires,  etc.

---------------------

Generally, trying to make all of that into a consistent timeline that constitutes "canon" is impossible. And if that's your bag, you have bigger things to worry about anyway. For example, just how many Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom have there been in Who continuity in the 21st Century?  Why does the population of Earth keep forgetting that there are aliens considering that in nuWho alone, an alien ship has crashed into Big Ben, an alien ship has floated above the sky in London, Daleks and Cybermen have invaded the planet, the planet has been occupied by the floating cyborg heads of humans from the end of the universe and nearly destroyed by the Master, the planet has been transported across space in a way visible to all its inhabitants, all of humanity has been changed briefly into the Master, there have been numerous smaller but quite public episodes of alien intrusion, and if you include Torchwood (which technically does happen in nuWho continuity) an alien species that snorts human children as their version of meth has also appeared. And yet the 21st Century characters the Doctor meets are astonished to find out there are aliens and seem to have no memory whatsoever of absolutely devastating global emergencies connected to alien attacks. Only UNIT's command structure seems to possess anything like a persistent memory of these incursions, and even then less than you'd think. You can maybe wave away the Master's two major escapades with timey-wimey paradoxes, but most of the rest don't involve any time travel and the Doctor doesn't do anything timey-wimey to undo the damage.

Doctor Who is not a great show for someone who needs canon consistency. Even the Doctor's personal history before this season has some serious contradictions that have never really been explained away--was Susan really his granddaughter? How old was he when he left Gallifrey? Was the First Doctor really first? Did he and the Master really grow up together or know each other as young Time Lords? and bunch of other stuff has been subject to rather contradictory treatments even before this season. In "The Deadly Assassin", the Doctor is treated more or less as a rather ordinary Time Lord in terms of status and as one of a number of renegades who operate at the margins of Time Lord society--which is somewhat consistent with the way the Second and Third Doctors were treated. Still, the Fourth Doctor and then the Fifth Doctor serve as President of Gallifrey, if under odd circumstances. But the Sixth Doctor establishes a premise that the Doctor will have a future evil regeneration called the Valeyard. The Seventh Doctor's adventures seriously imply that he is considerably more ancient, powerful and influential than we've seen to date. The Master's dealings with the Fifth and Seventh and Eighth Doctor have none of the hint of former friendship or old connection--he's pretty much just out to kill the Doctor. NuWho doesn't really untangle any of this and rightfully so--the Doctor ought to remain somewhat mysterious and contradictory, though I do like the slow drip of new elements to the mythos.

Now the end of this last season? That's got serious implications for canon, so that's worth talking about. Maybe after the Christmas special this year rather than spoil it for slog. But anybody who's going to get their knickers in a twist over different storylines for the future of Earth (or preachiness in general in the show in that regard) might as well not watch Doctor Who, because it's a hopeless case in that respect.
slog
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Reply #2285 on: December 14, 2020, 04:56:33 PM

Love and Monsters (I had to look it up to remember itso) was 10X better than Orphan 55. I think what really got me was Oprhan 55 was the preachy speech the Doctor delivers in the end.  The Doctor is supposed to be the one that saves they day and helps humanity and I miss that.

Skyfall part 1 had a few things i didn't like (it seems like they don't know what to do with all the companions) but overall i didn't hat it. Things that really stood out for me:l

I really miss Missy. This new master just seems like an insane clown.
Those guards would  have just gunned down the tap dancing idiot with the laser shoes. Instead they surrendered?
The doctor forgetting to fix the plane until they ask how she did it creates a paradox.




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Khaldun
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Reply #2286 on: December 14, 2020, 09:21:31 PM

Are you sure you've watched this show before?
slog
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Reply #2287 on: December 15, 2020, 05:18:28 AM

Are you sure you've watched this show before?


Since 1978 give or take a year

Edit: I could get over the canon stuff if the writing was good. "The Time of the Doctor" totally changed canon and was still a great episode.  I was laughing at the Wooden Cyberman and all the other ways the Doctor defended the town.  I actually cared about Clara and how she would get back to the Doctor because she had a good backstory.

These new writers give the actors almost nothing to work with.  It's hard to care about Yaz for example when the writers don't give her any kind of story to work with.  You can tell that Spyfall was an attempt by the writers to make the episodes more fun but it still fell short.  
« Last Edit: December 15, 2020, 07:15:17 AM by slog »

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Khaldun
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Reply #2288 on: December 15, 2020, 08:28:05 AM

Time of the Doctor is a fucking awful episode, utterly mawkish. Clara is also the worst of the nuWho companions, easily--she was a plot device for the first half of her existence and then had a whole different personality and arc transplanted awkwardly into her.

Could hardly care about that one changing canon simply because it was canon that was going to HAVE to get changed for the show to continue anyway.

slog
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Reply #2289 on: December 15, 2020, 09:52:05 AM

Time of the Doctor is a fucking awful episode, utterly mawkish. Clara is also the worst of the nuWho companions, easily--she was a plot device for the first half of her existence and then had a whole different personality and arc transplanted awkwardly into her.

Could hardly care about that one changing canon simply because it was canon that was going to HAVE to get changed for the show to continue anyway.



Do you like the writing this season? 

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Khaldun
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Reply #2290 on: December 15, 2020, 11:05:46 AM

It's been ok. Better than her first season--they finally recognized that she needed a bit of the Doctor's characteristic gravitas and that she needed something more than just being a motherly figure to her fam, and that there should be an arc of some kind.

Spyfall I and II were good, Fugitive of the Judoon was really excellent, and the final three episodes of the season were also very good/interesting. The rest was sort of eh, ok I guess, at best. But Graham is easily one of my favorite companions of all time, and it's too bad he's stepping out in the Christmas special.
slog
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Reply #2291 on: December 15, 2020, 06:49:18 PM

I just watched Fugitive of the Judoon.  It was pretty good, probably the best episode with Jodie Whitaker so far.  Good plot , decent dialogue, No preachy in your face bullshit either. 

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Khaldun
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Reply #2292 on: December 15, 2020, 09:13:47 PM

Yeah. It's her best to date, definitely--moves along at a good pace, unsettles her version of the character, complicates the series in good ways, and the new Doctor is super-appealing and interesting.
slog
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Reply #2293 on: December 29, 2020, 09:46:37 AM

I watched the rest of the season.  While the finale wasn't the greatest, I didn't mind what the writers did.  If anything, 

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Khaldun
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Reply #2294 on: December 29, 2020, 07:41:47 PM

All depends on what they do with it now, yeah.

I think they can pull back on the Doctor is not a Time Lord if they want--it's easy to set up something where the Master was manipulating the Doctor because he wanted her to find the real Timeless Child/the connection to the Timeless Child's universe. The Matrix has been manipulated before--at least once by the Master.

In fact, it might be brilliant to say "Susan was the Timeless Child"--that gives the Doctor a new reason to have left Gallifrey, creates new mystery about the Doctor (did he/she ever have a family?), opens a whole questline (so to speak) around Susan and her universe, etc., plus enhances the Doctor's character arc (left because he/she objected profoundly to the treatment of the Timeless Child). Maybe the Doctor could even be associated with the Time Lords who researched immortality via the Timeless Child, to reuse a bit of the Cartmel Plan.

Khaldun
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Reply #2295 on: January 01, 2021, 08:54:15 PM

Well that was fucking terrible.
slog
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Reply #2296 on: January 03, 2021, 04:12:08 PM

Well that was fucking terrible.


Yes it was.  Someone mentioned earlier in this thread about how the writers don't know how to write for a female doctor.  That type of writing is at it's worse when there is a female character and the only thing she has to overcome is her lack of self confidence. "Who am I? I'm the Doctor and I fight Darleks!"  Just terrible.

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Khaldun
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Reply #2297 on: January 03, 2021, 09:21:32 PM

Except this would have been terrible for ANY Doctor.

I mean, fuck. You just upended the continuity and you have ONE short scene of the Doctor trying to make a bit of sense of it even though she's in prison for a lengthy time.

In the meantime, you have an absolutely bog-standard Dalek plot that literally reprises 5-10 plots of the nuWho era in the dullest possible way. It was a completely standard Russell T. Davies plot structure and Davies characters. Blah blah dumb billionaire does dumb billionaire things, dumb corporate underlings who are vaguely sympathetic do innocently entrepreneurial things, hundreds of people die, a British Prime Minister is portrayed as being stupid and short-sighted (admittedly a job description, but yeah) in a way that's about two years behind the curve of current politics (oh, skewering Theresa May, how very daring, BBC! Why not go after Anthony Eden and Edward Heath, be cutting-edge!)

It's a Dalek plot we've literally seen three to four times just since the reboot. At this point, the notion that the British government just sends a destroyed Dalek off in a truck with ONE DRIVER that can be intercepted by a vaguely Russian evil agent (who turns out to be the PERSONAL AGENT of the FUTURE PRIME MINISTER) just makes you wish for the UK to be finally destroyed by Daleks once and for all.

It was two or three halfway decent character bits buried in a huge heap of narrative garbage.
Reg
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Reply #2298 on: January 04, 2021, 07:18:34 AM

So you're all telling me that it's still not worth coming back until there's new doctor?
Riggswolfe
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Reply #2299 on: January 04, 2021, 07:35:12 AM

So you're all telling me that it's still not worth coming back until there's new doctor?

Rumor today is that Jodi is out after next season. I don't think that'll fix things though. It's not the Doctor. It's the writing and the showrunner.

"We live in a country, where John Lennon takes six bullets in the chest, Yoko Ono was standing right next to him and not one fucking bullet! Explain that to me! Explain that to me, God! Explain it to me, God!" - Denis Leary summing up my feelings about the nature of the universe.
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Reply #2300 on: January 04, 2021, 07:44:59 AM

Yeah. They need someone who has as fresh a take as Russell T. Davies did when they restarted nuWho. Chibnall is an alumni of the Davies-Moffatt style and not as original as either of them (while having their defects). It really, really showed in this episode--this was a pastiche of Davies only much duller, and it made poor use of all of the recurring characters.

I think the only thing you can say against Whittaker is that she hasn't been able to fight her way into any iconic scenes the way Capaldi managed to--Capaldi grabbed any halfway decent scene that somehow escaped Moffat's clammy stranglehold and ran with it, and was able to be a memorable Doctor despite some really poor writing. Whittaker feels much more trapped inside Chibnall's basically dull adequacy. Even the best Chibnall-era scripts, and there have been a few, have been notable for work done on companions, with the Master, or with the underlying mythos, not with the Doctor, who feels like a passive bystander in her own series a lot of the time.
slog
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Reply #2301 on: January 04, 2021, 08:04:56 AM

If the writing can't be fixed I'd rather see the series go on a 5 year hiatus while they try to figure out what to do next or cancel it outright.  After all there years, there is only so much you can do before you end up repeating the same story lines over and over.

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Khaldun
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Reply #2302 on: January 04, 2021, 09:43:48 AM

You either have to actually move the Doctor's story forward--to have some kind of arc, some kind of character development--or you have to have a fresh sensibility on one-and-done episodes. Mostly I think Davies and Moffat did not do a great job with season plot arcs but there were some occasional bright spots in that respect, and both of them did a fair job at creating character arcs for the Doctor and some companions (reeling from the Time War; rediscovering his joy in life; worrying about his future death; wondering about his own morality, etc.)  I like what I think Chibnall means to do with Whittaker (have the Doctor feel more like she's part of a surrogate family, have the Doctor be less wrapped up in universal-scale conflicts and be rather less powerful or grandiose, be a cheerier and lighter figure) but so far it's working about as well as the Fifth Doctor at the level of execution, which is to say not terribly well. Part of it is that the done-in-one episodes have only occasionally been great or good, they're mostly fine but nothing compelling.

I think they could use a completely new showrunner who either is very interested in contemporary science-fiction or who has a good visual and narrative eye for some other genre--horror, thriller/adventure, mystery/detection etc., to introduce some dramatically new looks and themes.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2021, 03:07:05 PM by Khaldun »
eldaec
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Reply #2303 on: January 04, 2021, 01:02:05 PM

Well that was fucking terrible.


Yes it was.  Someone mentioned earlier in this thread about how the writers don't know how to write for a female doctor.  That type of writing is at it's worse when there is a female character and the only thing she has to overcome is her lack of self confidence. "Who am I? I'm the Doctor and I fight Darleks!"  Just terrible.

Those bits would have been bad if Peter Capaldi had read them.

Chris Chibnall has been struggling to write everyone except the human characters in my view.

In other news Jodie Whittakeris reportedly planning to leave the show this year, or whenever the next series is, on account of being understandably a bit fed up of having to be judged as the representative of her whole gender.

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slog
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Reply #2304 on: January 04, 2021, 01:25:54 PM

Well that was fucking terrible.


Yes it was.  Someone mentioned earlier in this thread about how the writers don't know how to write for a female doctor.  That type of writing is at it's worse when there is a female character and the only thing she has to overcome is her lack of self confidence. "Who am I? I'm the Doctor and I fight Darleks!"  Just terrible.

Those bits would have been bad if Peter Capaldi had read them.

Chris Chibnall has been struggling to write everyone except the human characters in my view.

In other news Jodie Whittakeris reportedly planning to leave the show this year, or whenever the next series is, on account of being understandably a bit fed up of having to be judged as the representative of her whole gender.

I don't think the writers would ever hand Capaldi a script is what I was trying to get at. Those lines would blow if John Malkovich read them, never mind Capaldi.

Wittaker got totally screwed over by the writers.  Almost no character development to speak of. I've no idea if she's a good actor because she's never been given the opportunity.     

Also, what's the point of Yaz?  Plot advancement device?

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