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"Thoughts on the new Doctor Who series?", 5th Oct 2018, 12:09 AM #1
Theta Sigma
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I'm wondering if anyone here is interested in the new Doctor Who series that's coming this Sunday? Personally, I'm cautiously optimistic, I think Jodie Whittaker is a good actress, and the footage that's been shown so far doesn't look bad (they seem to be trying not to show much which I appreciate since it will let us have some surprises, though I'm not sure if it helps the hype machine.) I do think three new full-time companions being aboard the TARDIS might be a bit much, especially for a shortened series that has to introduce a brand new Doctor. The three companion set-up has been done before in the Hartnell and Davison eras (and briefly in Troughton's), though with mixed success in my opinion, it worked really well in the Hartnell run, but with Troughton and Davison, it just felt like none of the companions really got enough to do half the time.

I'm also not a fan of the new head writer, Chris Chibnall's previous work on Who, he tended to write mostly mediocre episodes in the RTD and Moffat eras (42 is one of the few episodes I can barely even remember, and Dinosaurs on a Spaceship had so much wasted potential) and even my favourite of his episodes, The Power of Three, fell really really flat in the last act. As for the Torchwood seasons he oversaw, I'd say season 1 was kind of a laughable mess, particularly the episodes he wrote, and season 2 was a fun romp that didn't leave much impact for me, it doesn't help that the season immediately after he left was by far the best to most people! He isn't a bad writer by any means, Broadchurch was a perfectly good drama (not my thing exactly, but I see why people like it) and none of his episodes were outright terrible, but it's kind of hard for me to have faith in him as the new showrunner at the moment. I'd be totally happy to be proven wrong, though!

I think the one thing I've really hated so far has been that dreadful pop song in all the trailers, I'm sure it won't be used in the show proper, but I kind of miss when the trailers had epic music that aimed to inspire awe at the Doctor and the upcoming events.
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5th Oct 2018, 12:23 AM #2
Lee M

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Reserving judgement until Sunday when the first episode airs on BBC1.
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5th Oct 2018, 1:00 AM #3
swamp
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I'm so scared and excited. I'm trying not to guess if I'll like it, but I really hope I do.
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5th Oct 2018, 4:09 AM #4
The Letter M
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I don't know if old Doctor Who was any better but the revival in the 200's seems to be completely structured around verbally masturbating the doctor. From what I've seen there's often a simple monster picking people off one by one, then a character gives a speech about "That INCREDIBLE MAN who SEES the turning of the UNIVERSE and EVERY CELL is a miracle" and then he solves the plot pretty quickly...And there was also that one who wore the fezz who was the TV equivalent of lemon juice in the eye.
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5th Oct 2018, 4:46 AM #5
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The Letter M: ...And there was also that one who wore the fezz who was the TV equivalent of lemon juice in the eye.


...and wasn't a patch on Tommy Cooper B-) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kn4kH9c0JdA
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5th Oct 2018, 6:42 AM #6
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I lost interest after David Tennant left. Tried to give Matt a chance, couldn't do it. I also liked Eccleston but David Tennant's microacting and his character's goddamn loneliness and his dynamic with Donna, and Donna's dynamic with her family, that was what I watched that show for. There's a certain fairytale style loneliness to the Doctor and Rose's arc that makes it very much more compelling than any other dynamic I saw, there was incredible relatability in Donna's family, very refreshing factors in how Martha and Donna's relationships panned out with the Doctor...And now that those characters that drew me there have closed their arcs I just ... Rory and Amy Pond just made me go "You know what. I'm out." I think the last episode I ever watched was Let's Kill Hitler or an episode reeeally close to that one since I remember the whole like, the Silence shit and the weird suit and the like "we have this invention so we can torture people without disturbing spacetime" nonsense and just

i'm out

then I found out who river song is by reading up on it and i was like

YUP

I'M GONE

GONE GONE GONE
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5th Oct 2018, 7:00 AM #7
swamp
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Teen me worshiped the ground Moffat walked on, and then when he actually started running the thing I realized

A) He's good at escalating, but can't de-escalate. I had pretty much the same experience as Elaney where I wanted to enjoy the 11th and it was endless "BUT PLOT TWISt", and eventually I realized none of the twists would ever pan out. Steven Moffat, you cad, you seduced my young heart with promised plot resolutions you never meant to keep.
B) I hated how he made the doctor the center of the universe. The companions are where the audience is supposed to connect! They're supposed to have arcs! Not just be props to orbit the doctor and talk about what a badass he is!

I really hope the new doctor can just... bring back the fun universe hopping. I'd also love more straight history stories. 2nd Doctor is my fav and I loved the Scottish Highlands arc.

Guys, I was so disappointed River Song wasn't Rani.
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5th Oct 2018, 7:03 AM #8
MissElaney

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Yeessss. I fucking loved Donna Noble's family, man. You tuned into that show to just

CRY OVER GRANDDAD

ALSO

YEAH YOU WOULD THINK THAT THE CHARACTER WHO SEEMS TO BE A TIMELORD WAS
YOU KNOW

A TIMELORD

ESPECIALLY WITH THAT SUPER LONELINESS ARC THAT SPANNED DOCTORS AND SEASONS

NOT A FUCKING

DNA SPACEFUCK TARDIS BABY

ALSO IF YOU'RE MAD I DIDN'T SPOILER THAT TEXT YOU'VE HAD 7 YEARS TO WATCH IT
SNAPE KILLS DUMBLEDORE
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5th Oct 2018, 8:38 AM #9
Leafa
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swamp:Teen me worshiped the ground Moffat walked on, and then when he actually started running the thing I realized

A) He's good at escalating, but can't de-escalate. I had pretty much the same experience as Elaney where I wanted to enjoy the 11th and it was endless "BUT PLOT TWISt", and eventually I realized none of the twists would ever pan out. Steven Moffat, you cad, you seduced my young heart with promised plot resolutions you never meant to keep.
B) I hated how he made the doctor the center of the universe. The companions are where the audience is supposed to connect! They're supposed to have arcs! Not just be props to orbit the doctor and talk about what a badass he is!

I really hope the new doctor can just... bring back the fun universe hopping. I'd also love more straight history stories. 2nd Doctor is my fav and I loved the Scottish Highlands arc.

Guys, I was so disappointed River Song wasn't Rani.


This was me too, I was really looking forward to Moffat's run because I liked his previous episodes so much, and I quite liked his first season... but then more things began to frustrate me. His female characters seemed to fit into a few niche archetypes (does Moffat have a thing for domineering sexy women?) so much of the dialogue felt like "witty soundbites" rather than genuine conversations, and so much of the show became about its own mythology and the grandness of the Doctor. I'd been outright obsessed with the show for so many years, so part of me might have just grown tired, too. I got into Doctor Who when I was 13 and since then my palette for what counts as exciting and provoking science-fiction has broadened a lot.

I can't watch the new series right now because I don't have a tv licence, but when it gets to Netflix I might try to give it a go. I think Jodie Whitaker will be brilliant, but I have less faith in the writers. The UK has some stunning sci-fi writers out there who tell diverse and ambitious stories, they really need to get hired!

(Also The Letter M, I'd argue that the original series did suffer from the same mythology-creep, where the Doctor started off as a mysterious wandering stranger and ended up being THE HIGH PRESIDENT OF THE TIMELORDS and ACTUALLY MERLIN and NOT JUST ANOTHER TIME LORD etc, which is part of the reason I think the 2005 revival started with the Time Lords gone and the Doctor back as a mysterious wandering stranger. Notice that in early seasons he's more likely to inspire others in inact change than to do it himself. I like that.)
5th Oct 2018, 11:49 AM #10
Bear

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Leafa:

I can't watch the new series right now because I don't have a tv licence, but when it gets to Netflix I might try to give it a go. I think Jodie Whitaker will be brilliant, but I have less faith in the writers. The UK has some stunning sci-fi writers out there who tell diverse and ambitious stories, they really need to get hired!


Ah yes, that archaic bit of legislation...I forget about that, for long periods, until someone mentions it !
They'd dropped it, here in Oz, well before I came in '80. Too much bother to enforce and collect I suspect .

Don't you have a "BBC on demand" on the Net, like we do for ABC and SBS ? I literally just saw my first ad. for it on Faceache, about an hour ago, specifically as being on there... ( so I'm assuming it's still a week or three off, from being on 'actual, free-to-air' ABC )

It'll be ages getting to Netflix - here they've only just finished the previous lot. If you had BBC online, you wouldn't need to wait...
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5th Oct 2018, 12:11 PM #11
Lee M

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Bear:Don't you have a "BBC on demand" on the Net, like we do for ABC and SBS ?


Yes, there's BBC iPlayer, which is currently adding box sets in addition to its regular "catch up" service, but you still need a licence to watch it... on ANY device. (One time I bought a PC monitor and got an e-mail from TV Licencing asking to confirm that it was going to be used in a household that already had a licence. Which of course it was.)
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5th Oct 2018, 2:40 PM #12
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Can't blame anyone for stopping after Let's Kill Hitler, or as I like to call it, Everything Wrong With The Moffat Era In One Handy Episode. XD

I'm kinda glad Moff's out. He was much better as a writer during Davies' time. Once Moff became showrunner, he kind of got a bit too full of himself. RTD had his weaknesses (I never really cared for Rose as a character much, especially her Tennant run, and don't get me started on the way he treated Martha), but he seemed to "get" the show a bit more. And yeah, Moffat did seem to have some odd...fetishes. I mean, Amy's debut alone...

I loved Capaldi's Doctor. Probably my fave of the new series. No match for the sainted Troughton (Your God and Mine), but not bad. Jodie has a tough act to follow, but as long as the writing is at least semi-decent, she should be great. She really seems to be having a lot of fun with it, which I think will work well after Capaldi's "grumpy dad" version.
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5th Oct 2018, 3:19 PM #13
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Well iy'll be interesting to see a non-male Doctor for the first time, however I somehow feel a female Doctor could be an example of tokenism at the BBC, since I thought they were supposed to be male, whoever they were supposed to be.
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5th Oct 2018, 10:19 PM #14
MissElaney

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inb4 someone says misogynist
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5th Oct 2018, 10:56 PM #15
Leafa
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RJDG14:Well iy'll be interesting to see a non-male Doctor for the first time, however I somehow feel a female Doctor could be an example of tokenism at the BBC, since I thought they were supposed to be male, whoever they were supposed to be.


I'm sure that it's happening now partially due to the wider trend for remakes and new adaptations that use female characters where there were previously male characters, but I don't think that automatically makes it tokenism. The Doctor is a character who has been able to canonically become a new person since very early in the show, so it's not a huge stretch. I think it'll add a fun new dimension to things, for example when traveling to places and time periods where a woman taking charge in a situation or having lots of scientific knowledge would be unusual - like some of the wonderful moments we got with Martha.

When I was a young awkward teen and watching Doctor Who I thought about the possibility of a female Doctor and I wasn't sure, just because it felt like "converting" a male character was a bit lazy - in the same way that Supergirl and Batgirl no matter how well written are always in the shadow of their original male progenitor. I felt like people should be making new stories with female characters in who were as inspiring and brilliant as the Doctor. And there have been plenty of incredible female characters in the show over the years that I looked up to and wanted to be like, so I didn't see the "need."

Buuuut... I remember the instant that changed was when I got into a really nerdy in depth conversation with a friend about what we'd want our female Doctor to be like, what she'd wear, how she'd act. We got into such depth that by the end, that character felt very real to me and touched me in a way that the canonical Doctor never had. I feel like the Doctor taps into the teen nerd boy fantasy zeitgeist in a lot of ways. He dresses weird and lives by his own rules, he's an oddball and a loner but he's heroic and wise, existing in the grey area between child and adult (and he's always surrounded by pretty girls!) I identified strongly with a lot of that myself and gender wasn't a factor, but somehow it touched me even more deeply to imagine a character like that who I could one day grow into? Someone who might, like me, be short and slight with a mousy voice, but powerful. Who might wear eccentric clothes designed for a body like mine, who might be mistaken for someone like me.

Long story short I'm excited the people who might get to see themselves in the character in that way who haven't before.
5th Oct 2018, 11:22 PM #16
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Yeah, I don't really think it's tokenism. We already know Time lords changing gender can happen, because The Master did it. And another character mentioned ages before I've heard talked about maybe did, but I don't really watch doctor who myself anymore, and now I'm rambling. Anyhoo, if anything I find it odd The Doctor hasn't been a woman before. In The Sarah Jane adventures, a character outright asked him if he'd always regenerate as a white man, and he said no.

I haven't seen Doctor Who for ages, outside the odd special, but I'm looking forward to this episode. Wasn't really a fan of Capaldi's doctor, so maybe now there's a new regeneration I'll get back into it.
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6th Oct 2018, 1:41 AM #17
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I was really concerned, especially with a dude writer, that the doctor would either be New Sexy Feminist Doctor Who Talks About Girl Power or WOW NOW THAT'S I'M A GIRL I WANT TO SHOP AND CAN'T DRIVE HAHA so was really relieved when I read Jodie's comments on how she plans to play it.

What she said is it makes 0 difference to the doctor. They're an alien from outer space, and pronouns and boobs are not a major concern to them. The only thing that will change is that some people will treat the doctor differently because that's how things are. Like every regeneration, the doctor will change, but I'm glad they're making it be a new doctor who happens to be a girl, not A Girl Doctor.
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6th Oct 2018, 4:14 AM #18
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Gunna be honest with y'all I kinda lost interest in Doctor Who during the break prior to last year's Christmas Special.

I'm hoping the new series is going to be at least tolerable and not as in-your-face about what it's trying to say like it did with one of the 13th Doctor's last companions.
7th Oct 2018, 7:22 PM #19
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Having just seen the episode, I can safely say that it's the best thing Chibnall's written for the show, which bodes pretty well. Wasn't a masterpiece by any means, but considering the sheer amount of stuff they had to introduce, I can't put that against him. I appreciated the more steady pace, Moffat had a habit of rushing through some of his episodes as quickly as possible, so I liked being able to savour things a little more. I found the villains and the plot concerning them a little thin, again, this is definitely because they had to do enough as is without throwing in a fleshed out threat, but it feels like ages since we've had truly great new monsters on the show, hopefully that'll be remedied later. I didn't feel much for the companions other than Ryan, I felt like he had a nice arc, and he was acted very charmingly in my opinion. Yasmin felt kind of disposable, and Graham was a bit too broad for me outside of a few good lines. Again though, I know they'll be fleshed out more later on, and I think the personal connections each of them have will make for a good dynamic.

As for Whittaker, I thought she did a fine job, regeneration episodes are rarely great indicators for future Doctor performances, both due to new role awkwardness, and the regeneration sickness, but I enjoyed her energetic acting, and feel compelled to see where she'll go in the coming series. I still miss Peter Capaldi, who is my personal favourite New Who Doctor, but that's no insult to Whittaker, it's just insanely high standards from my POV. I liked her Troughton-like moments (not initially knowing she's the Doctor and saying she's looking for one, and her speech about her family, which is a lot like Troughtons speech in Tomb of the Cybermen) he's always a great Doctor to emulate. I also liked her making the new sonic screwdriver/swiss army sonic herself, if it's gonna be a deus ex machina, it could at least be something she created with her own intelligence and ingenuity instead of something she got from the TARDIS like some kind of sonic vending machine. I do hope it's a plot point that this version is less powerful than other New Who versions though, I'd like it to be less of a magic wand in future.

I must praise the production as well, the shots and lighting were excellent, making the whole episode feel more cinematic than usual! The effects were as ropey as ever though, I laughed a little when the main villain revealed his face!

Overall, I think I'll have a better idea of what the new version of the show will be like after seeing a few more episodes, but I'm at least interested enough for now. It seems like a good jumping on point for new viewers, which is really what the show needs in terms of ratings.
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7th Oct 2018, 10:51 PM #20
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I just watched it and had a blast.
Not deep opinions atm. I had fun, Jodie was a wonderful doctor, adorable, and a bit of a stone cold badass, the companions are fun, I'm excited.

edit: Wait, I lied. My thought is I'm glad we're back to the proud tradition of the doctor having like ten people they accidentally kidnapped on ship at any given moment.
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