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Author Topic: Doctor Who
GaalDornick
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I just started watching the new Doctor Who revival, having never seen the show before. I'm about halfway through the first season and I'm having mixed feelings about it.

Going into it, I knew it was a famous science fiction tv series and that it's highly regarded among sci-fi fans, but I wasn't sure what type of show it is. I didn't expect it to be so campy and, for lack of a better word, silly. I've had to pretty heavily suspend my disbelief for most of the six episodes I've seen so far.

My question is, does the series change/get better into later seasons? I haven't hated what I've seen so far, it's been somewhat entertaining, but I don't think it's worth the time commitment if it stays as ridiculous as it's been so far (i.e. giant aliens zipping themselves into human skin, the fate of the world coming down to one kid hacking into government controls to launch a missile from his computer using just one password, etc.) So what are the later seasons like? If they are more serious then I'll keep giving it a shot, but if it's all like this then I think I'm going to call it quits after finishing off this season.

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pooka
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The farting aliens was a low point for many people. If you don't like The Empty Child or Father's Day, feel free to quit. I guess it is a pretty big commitment now that there are 7 seasons out.

P.S. there will always be some handwavium and time lord ex machine, it is a science fiction TV show, but I believe what you'll get in exchange for your suspension of disbelief improves.

[ February 21, 2013, 10:19 AM: Message edited by: pooka ]

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stilesbn
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To be honest I wasn't a huge fan of the first season. The Empty Child and Father's day were exceptional episodes though. Then in the second season it took me a few episodes to get used to David Tennant.

Once David Tennant gets into his element I think things really get going. There is always a large dose of ridiculousness and silliness though. That's just the flavor of the show and perhaps a relic of it's origins being in the 60's and 70's.

So yeah, I would say the first 1.5 seasons are just something you need to get through.

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AchillesHeel
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Family of Blood and Blink in season three are what really made me a Whovian, they are everything about the series that I adore. I was just enjoying a bit of silly scifi while I was wasting time on the internet until then. I won't ruin anything but... Rose Tyler is one of my favorite characters in television, for good reason.
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Aros
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I tell new people to start with Series 5, when Matt Smith took over. The entire tone of the series changes, in line with the best of the earlier episodes. Plus, it gives a better introduction to the series.
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stilesbn
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quote:
Originally posted by Aros:
I tell new people to start with Series 5, when Matt Smith took over. The entire tone of the series changes, in line with the best of the earlier episodes. Plus, it gives a better introduction to the series.

Things got much more serious at that point I think. But David Tennant is absolutely hilarious in my opinion.
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LargeTuna
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the monsters/villains get a lot better as the show progresses for the most part.

And they do some very cool (sometimes infuriating) things with time travel and paradoxes later on.

Don't be afraid to try out an episode somewhere in the middle bit to see if you like where it progresses, and then go back to watch it in order.

I really like The Girl In The Fireplace, Blink, and The Shakespeare Code as self contained episodes.

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Stephan
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I think I am in series 4 now, the redhead that is on the office now? Struggling through it, but hearing that series 5 gets going I will keep watching.

I tried the first few episodes of Torchwood, but couldn't get into it. As much as I like the captain.

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Shanna
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If you don't fall in live with Donna...well, I just understand that.

I'd say get through Donna then give the new Doctor a try. Matt Smith, with Moffat as the new showrunner, have a huge following. Personally I hate the new Hollywood style and have quit watching.

I think some people like the silliness and the heart when Davies ran the show. Others like Moffats weird plots and big cinematography. It becomes almost like different show at Series 5.

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AchillesHeel
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Niel Gaiman wrote an episode called The Doctor's Wife, it is later on with the 11th Doctor but if you really aren't feeling the show I would still suggest getting that in.
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The Rabbit
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I hate to say it, but if the silliness bothers you, don't bother continuing to watch Doctor who. Silliness and Campiness are an integral part of the show. Fans don't love the show despite it's silliness, we love it, at least in part, because of the silliness. We love it because it's capable of being silly and campy and utterly over the top ridiculous and yet serious, poignant and even thought provoking at the same time.

I've actually been rather disappointed with the most recent incarnation of the show -- but not because its more serious. More the opposite. Matt Smith does a great job with the silly side of the Doctor. When the script requires him to be angry or grieved, he just seems like pouting child.

[ February 22, 2013, 01:01 PM: Message edited by: The Rabbit ]

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AchillesHeel
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quote:
Matt Smith does a great job with the silly side of the Doctor. When the script requires him to be angry or grieved, he just seems like pouting child.
That is why I love the end of Family of Blood, Tenent just oozed cold hatred and rage all while saying nothing at all. Smith just isn't as intimidating.
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Darth_Mauve
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My son just got into it, so I've been rewatching everything. We just finished the Christmas episode with the Titanic. As I watched I kept thinking about the Carnival Cruise Ship adventure that had just finished in real life.

Then the Russian meteor--who else is expecting alien conquest threats since that occurred, only to learn they were thwarted by a mysterious man known as "the Doctor".

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Amilia
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quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
I hate to say it, but if the silliness bothers you, don't bother continuing to watch Doctor who. Silliness and Campiness are an integral part of the show. Fans don't love the show despite it's silliness, we love it, at least in part, because of the silliness. We love it because it's capable of being silly and campy and utterly over the top ridiculous and yet serious, poignant and even thought provoking at the same time.

QFT. While the show does change when the Doctor changes, or the showrunner changes, if you can't embrace the silly, this may not be the show for you.

Personally, I prefer Moffat's brand of silly to Davies's brand of silly, and think the show has gotten much better under his reign (although I loved the show under Davies as well.) But, yeah, I'd be lying if I said you didn't still have to suspend your disbelief and just go with it.

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Stephan
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Watching the second library episodes right now. Hated the Agatha Christie one. Monsters murdering Earth's past is a little over done.

But this two parter is brilliant. I think I lost count of how many different sci fi plots I have seen in countless other show all thrown into 90 minutes.

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Dr Strangelove
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quote:
Originally posted by AchillesHeel:
quote:
Matt Smith does a great job with the silly side of the Doctor. When the script requires him to be angry or grieved, he just seems like pouting child.
That is why I love the end of Family of Blood, Tenent just oozed cold hatred and rage all while saying nothing at all. Smith just isn't as intimidating.
Amen to that. The first episodes I watched were the Impossible Planet and The Satan Pit in season two, followed by the Army of Ghosts and Doomsday. Christopher Ecclestone in the first season is ok, and I have nothing against Matt Smith, but for me its David Tennant that made me love Doctor Who.
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Chris Bridges
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Doctor Who started as a children's show in the UK. At the time kid shows were required to have some educational content, hence the history and science bits.

The sets and monsters were always silly and contrived, but the stories and dialogue were top-notch (unlike US kids' shows, where the effects improved over the years but the writing got worse). Fans of the show appreciate the silliness because it's part of the history. Bug-eyed monsters and running down endless hallways and handwavium plot devices? That's Doctor Who.

While I like the others, the intro of Matt Smith is the single best entry point for Doctor Who, I think. My favorite Doctor Who story, hands down, is "The Doctor's Wife" by Neil Gaiman (6th series, episode 4), which is a funny and tearful tribute to the whole damn series that you don't actually need to know anything about the series to appreciate.

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AchillesHeel
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quote:
Originally posted by Dr Strangelove:
quote:
Originally posted by AchillesHeel:
quote:
Matt Smith does a great job with the silly side of the Doctor. When the script requires him to be angry or grieved, he just seems like pouting child.
That is why I love the end of Family of Blood, Tenent just oozed cold hatred and rage all while saying nothing at all. Smith just isn't as intimidating.
Amen to that. The first episodes I watched were the Impossible Planet and The Satan Pit in season two, followed by the Army of Ghosts and Doomsday. Christopher Ecclestone in the first season is ok, and I have nothing against Matt Smith, but for me its David Tennant that made me love Doctor Who.
Eccleston is my Doctor, I'm not a fan for the silly bits but the nailed down scifi and harsher stories instead. Tenant is every bit The Oncoming Storm but he usually has to go into a monologue to relay the full effect. Smith has had several monologues about how he should be feared but it just isn't the same. Eccleston wore the Doctor's past like a survivor, quiet and dangerous but just behind his eyes.
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Boris
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I really liked Eccleston in Season One...When I was first watching Season One. He had a decidedly dark and angry version of the doctor that fit well with what he had to do in the (at the time) recent past.
I was worried when Tenant showed up, but after the first episode of season two I decided that Eccleston did a great Doctor Who, but Tenant *was* Doctor Who. Smith also does a great Doctor Who, but he very noticeably *isn't* Doctor Who.

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rollainm
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quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
I hate to say it, but if the silliness bothers you, don't bother continuing to watch Doctor who. Silliness and Campiness are an integral part of the show. Fans don't love the show despite it's silliness, we love it, at least in part, because of the silliness. We love it because it's capable of being silly and campy and utterly over the top ridiculous and yet serious, poignant and even thought provoking at the same time.

Absolutely.

quote:
I've actually been rather disappointed with the most recent incarnation of the show -- but not because its more serious. More the opposite. Matt Smith does a great job with the silly side of the Doctor. When the script requires him to be angry or grieved, he just seems like pouting child.
I feel like Smith gets better at this in later episodes. In fact, I thought he was absolutely brilliant in parts of the first episode of the current season.
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Magson
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I liked Eccleston a lot and how he tended to play it a bit "straighter" than Tennant and Smith. What sold me on him was "Nice to meet you Rose Tyler. Run for your life!" It struck me as just perfectly done.

I enjoyed Tennant as well and have seen all ofthe episodes he's been in.

I can't say that I don't like Smith, but I can't say that I really like him either. I've seen the 1st season with him in it, and the 1st episode or maybe 2 of the 2nd season with him, but something is different enough that I just haven't cared to keep up with the show anymore.

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GaalDornick
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I skipped from the middle of the first season where I stopped to the Doctor's Wife and loved it. I watched the first two episodes of the fifth season where Moffat takes over and thought they were great too. I'm going to continue watching from here. I don't mind the silliness of the show as long as it's backed up with good writing and an entertaining plot. That's what the first season lacked, IMO, from the episodes I saw.
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Shanna
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I'd be interested to hear what your thoughts are regarding the story arcs for Series 5 and 6 when you get to them.

The stand-alone episodes for the Eleventh Doctor run the gambit for me (there are some that I adore and some you couldn't pay me to watch again), but the overarching plots is what ruined it for me.

Oh, and if you didn't watch it, consider going back and watching "Midnight" from Series 4. Its my absolute favorite episode. It doesn't really tie into any other episodes and even the companion is absent so you don't have to know anything going in.

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Stephan
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quote:
Originally posted by Shanna:


Oh, and if you didn't watch it, consider going back and watching "Midnight" from Series 4. Its my absolute favorite episode. It doesn't really tie into any other episodes and even the companion is absent so you don't have to know anything going in.

Just watched Midnight myself last night. It was a very good episode. My mother in law watched it with me, the only Doctor Who episode she had ever seen by sheer coincidence. She really enjoyed it.
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rollainm
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quote:
Originally posted by GaalDornick:
I skipped from the middle of the first season where I stopped to the Doctor's Wife and loved it. I watched the first two episodes of the fifth season where Moffat takes over and thought they were great too. I'm going to continue watching from here. I don't mind the silliness of the show as long as it's backed up with good writing and an entertaining plot. That's what the first season lacked, IMO, from the episodes I saw.

Once you fall in love with the show (and oh you will), go back and watch the ones you missed.
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GaalDornick
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I finished season 5, it had the perfect mix of humor and serious moments for me. I enjoyed the story arc of the season, it wasn't so complex that it kept me guessing on the edge of my seat, but it kept me entertained. I'm definitely moving on to the next season and I hope it keeps the same tone as this one.
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Teshi
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This thread is fascinating. It's very interesting to see the episodes that people enjoy, and the reasons why people enjoy various Doctors. Please note that the showrunners also change and this makes a very significant difference to the content and nature of the show, and the way The Doctor

Doctor Who was born as a children's show and remains-- in so far as the BBC can manage this, the cold-hearted icemachines--a family show. This has become increasingly diluted over the years partly because the adult audience is so dominant and partly because I think there is a move to darkness, as it were.

I really quite enjoy the first season. I thought Christopher Eccleston did an excellent Doctor that combined heartbreak with silliness. I liked David Tennant for some of his tenure but skipped the end of the fourth season because it just got too silly-tragic (that is to say, after a while, tragedy is just quite boring). The Moffat takeover has been alright, but I find it much more repetative, especially recently.

Neither of these have anything to od with the Doctor. I like both David Tennant and Matt Smith equally.

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GaalDornick
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I just finished watching season 6 and I loved it. This is like a completely different show than what I saw in season 1. The plotting and writing kept me hooked, which is what turned me off in the first season.

SPOILERS FOR SEASON 6

The only thing that didn't make sense to me was how the Doctor got off from dying. How is a robotic version of himself qualify as the Doctor having to die at that moment? That was a stretch for me, but I'll let it go because I thought the rest of the climax was great.

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GaalDornick
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Also, between this and Sherlock, Steven Moffat is one of my new favorite writers/producers/creative persons. I love his style of tv shows.
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AchillesHeel
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quote:
Originally posted by GaalDornick:
I just finished watching season 6 and I loved it. This is like a completely different show than what I saw in season 1. The plotting and writing kept me hooked, which is what turned me off in the first season.

SPOILERS FOR SEASON 6

The only thing that didn't make sense to me was how the Doctor got off from dying. How is a robotic version of himself qualify as the Doctor having to die at that moment? That was a stretch for me, but I'll let it go because I thought the rest of the climax was great.

MORE SPOILERS FOR SEASON 6


It had already happened, he just figured out how he had outsmarted the whole thing. When she forcibly changed the series of events the time space wibly wobly was endangered, but when he figured out that he had his own way out it was the same as before, the timeline was exactly identical to the one witnessed by his friends and therefore no holes ripped in existence. As that instance is recreated throughout time and dimensions it will always end in the robot being shot and the Doctor skipping out, any change to such a fixed point in time would result in badness.

He knew it was a fixed point, he just had to figure out exactly what happened to make what happens happen.

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Darth_Mauve
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SPOILER SOLUTION:
The unchanging time event was "The Doctor had to be at Lake Silence when Riversong shot." It was not that the Doctor had to die. So the Doctor was at Lake Silence, just safe inside a Doctor robot.

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GaalDornick
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Then why did the little people, and the Tardis, both have on record that the Doctor dies at that time? The little people would have known that the Doctor didn't die, they specifically said it's a fixed point in time that the Doctor dies at that moment. They also arrested River for his murder, shouldn't they have known that she didn't actually kill him?

And if what his friends originally saw was the robot doctor being shot, why didn't he just tell River then that it was okay to shoot him since he wouldn't die and prevent time from going all wobbly in the first place? And for that matter, wouldn't River already know it wasn't him since he already married her? Or was the River that shot him pre-marriage?

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Goody Scrivener
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Moffat plays a looooooooooooooooong game. We probably won't get any answers for a few years.
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Shanna
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Keep in mind, Moffat recently said he's close to the end of his time as showrunner, so I give him a year or two. This is assuming he has answers. My particular theory is either that he doesn't, or they will be poor ones thrown at theaudience during his last episode ever.
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