DOCTOR PUPPET!
April 7, 2013 4:22 PM   Subscribe

To celebrate Doctor Who's 50 year(!) run, our friends at Nerdist bring you a new animated web series featuring a stop-motion 11th Doctor investigating a mystery involving his previous selves. It's Doctor Puppet! (I wouldn't have though it was possible for Matt Smith to look even more like a Rankin/Bass stop-motion puppet, but these folks proved me wrong...)
posted by Ursula Hitler (32 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite

 
Dear BBC: Please sack Steven Moffat and let Alisa do the rest of the series from now on. Love, every Doctor Who fan on the planet.
posted by The Ardship of Cambry at 5:46 PM on April 7, 2013 [4 favorites]


They don't look Rankin/Bass, they look like Coraline. /puppet nerd

Not that I object. This reminded me of Puppet Harry Potter.
posted by emjaybee at 6:59 PM on April 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


Is this where I can talk about how "Rings of Akhaten" was the worst episode of Doctor Who I've ever seen?
posted by Saxon Kane at 7:18 PM on April 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


You will not find a bigger puppet nerd than I, and I see some Rankin/Bass in there. I'm thinking of that early Rudolph era, when some of the characters still had little black dots for eyes. Really, I was more just going for an (affectionate) joke at the expense of Smith's giant puppet head.

"Love, every Doctor Who fan on the planet."

Er, not every one. I think Moffat's doing fine.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 7:24 PM on April 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


That was adorable and I'm looking forward to the rest.

(And no "Rings of Akhaten" was still better than "The Beast Below". What is it with second new-companion episodes?)
posted by immlass at 7:27 PM on April 7, 2013


I liked "Rings of Akhaten" and "The Beast Below." For me the only memorably bad episode of the revived series was "The Lodger," which I found slow and just insufferably cutesy.

But I am unabashed Who nerd, and if a show only has one episode in 50 years that makes my eyeballs hurt, that's a pretty impressive track record.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 7:34 PM on April 7, 2013


For me the only memorably bad episode of the revived series was "The Lodger," which I found slow and just insufferably cutesy.

Ahem. I agree totally with your analysis; however, worse than Fear Her?
posted by orrnyereg at 7:40 PM on April 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


I didn't find Fear Her that memorable. I do remember thinking it wasn't great, but that's about it. I thought Closing Time, the sequel to The Lodger, was okay. They turned down the whimsy just enough. But The Lodger spent the whole episode kind of squee-ing itself.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 8:05 PM on April 7, 2013


I quite liked "The Lodger".
posted by jb at 8:09 PM on April 7, 2013


I have no opinion on The Lodger because I'm over in the corner feeling vaguely uneasy that I find myself still kind of attracted to the Tenth Doctor even when he is in puppet form.

I think I need help.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:32 PM on April 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


Is this where I can talk about how "Rings of Akhaten" was the worst episode of Doctor Who I've ever seen?

Were you not moved by the power of the Leaf?!
posted by homunculus at 8:45 PM on April 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Were you not moved by the power of the Leaf?!

Or the menacing giant pumpkin?
posted by juiceCake at 8:53 PM on April 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


Rings of Akhaten was one of those episodes where the show's more poetic, metaphorical side came to the fore, with the psychically-invested objects as currency and all that. It was almost more like a magical fable than sci-fi, and sometimes that's okay.

I thought Smith did a magnificent job with his screaming monologue to the angry planet thing. David Tennant was a very hard act to follow, but Smith is really quite good too. It kind of helps that he looks like an old man and a gawky 15-year-old boy at the same time. He doesn't portray the Doctor's dark side as well as Tennant or Eccleston, but he handles the giddiness and heartbreak very well indeed.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 9:20 PM on April 7, 2013


"Rings of Akhaten" was a second season episode but done in color with lots of effects but still seeming cheap, except that Matt Smith was playing insane Troughton but also trying to jam a whole alien society in 45 minutes in a JN-T 5th Doctor way. Tons of imperfections but I still enjoyed it quite a bit.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:33 PM on April 7, 2013


The rocket sled moped thing looked like K9 with a saddle. Someone has been raiding the BBC prop archive again.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 10:14 PM on April 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


The rocket sled moped thing looked like K9 with a saddle.

Oh good, I wasn't the only one who thought that.
posted by immlass at 10:51 PM on April 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm hoping that it was a Roach Motel episode, where they bunch up all the godawful mawkish, predictable and dull bilge that would normally be scattered throughout the season into a single toecurlingly bad episode, so the rest of them can be good.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:45 PM on April 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Paper beats rock. Leaf beats pumpkin.
posted by homunculus at 11:52 PM on April 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


If the BBC has any sense, it'll adopt these rather than crushing them with lawyers. Get the creators of the puppet show to sign documents confirming they don't own any of the characters or concepts involved, but give them a job (and a BBC 1 slot for their show) in return. Everyone wins!
posted by Paul Slade at 12:45 AM on April 8, 2013


I have been a life-long fan of Doctor Who but recent Dr's and storylines have left me . ., unsatisfied.

I find myself increasingly drawn towards non-canon/official fan creations which better capture the essence of what made me a Who fan in the first place.

This puppetry? This is superb.
posted by Faintdreams at 2:39 AM on April 8, 2013


Paper beats rock. Leaf beats pumpkin.

My goodness, it did look like a jack o'lantern, didn't it? Why does a giant soul eating planet even need a face? Would have been better if it was just a scary, implacable fireball.

Also, its only weakness is saccharine metaphor? That's pretty thin.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 5:34 AM on April 8, 2013


I was just surprised the wasted infinite potential of a *leaf* was more indigestible than the wasted infinite potential of the series of seven-year-old girls that thing's been eating up till now.
posted by orthicon halo at 5:59 AM on April 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


I had a dream that that Dr. Who ran a series of commercials prior to a new episode that implied that the Doctor would regenerate as a woman. Then, the episode aired, and it turned out the commercials were misleading; the Doctor actually regenerated as a dog. Then I thought "well, that was really dumb. At least Metafilter is going to be really entertaining tonight.".
posted by Jpfed at 6:33 AM on April 8, 2013 [5 favorites]


I don't think it's possible to even give a summary of that last episode. I certainly couldn't. At least we got to see some cool new cheesy aliens.

Discussion of the episodes seems to be taking place in this thread.
posted by painquale at 6:47 AM on April 8, 2013


Finally, a movie that shows the dangers of trying to give birth to a clone of Doctor Who
posted by homunculus at 4:29 PM on April 8, 2013


[..] the Doctor actually regenerated as a dog.

It has already been done.
posted by rochrobbb at 10:37 AM on April 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Finally, a movie that shows the dangers of trying to give birth to a clone of Doctor Who

The Wikipedia page, if anyone's looking for a more descriptive link.

And may I add, ew.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:02 AM on April 9, 2013


The Cybermen Return, Next Week In Doctor Who (possible spoiler)
posted by homunculus at 3:39 PM on May 4, 2013


In our tour of classic Who we've finally hit the Tom Baker years, and in fact we're currently halfway through GENESIS OF THE DALEKS, the serial that introduced Space Hitler Davros. Good stuff.

Also, Tom Baker brought an energy to the role that I had forgotten about. (goes up to a pair of guards) "Oh, hello! I wonder if you could help me. I'm a spy!" (he and Harry bang their helmets together)
posted by JHarris at 8:17 PM on May 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Would you like a jelly baby?
posted by homunculus at 8:42 PM on May 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Heee, that's great.

It was actually the second Doctor who began the stuff with jelly babies, or so I hear. Unfortunately a lot of his adventures only survive in incomplete form (although I think I've heard they do all exist as audio recordings, don't know where though). When we went through his episodes on our tour I was startled to discover none survive in which he plays his (in)famous recorder (although it does feature prominently in The Three Doctors, which does survive). We have more surviving First Doctor adventures than Second.
posted by JHarris at 10:21 AM on May 6, 2013


As for the subject of the post, to play the role of MetaSnarker --

1. The incidental music is way overplayed. Of course this is nothing out of the ordinary and happens on new Who too, but for some reason it's especially galling to me here. For the reference, the gold standard of incidental music is that of the classic Warner Bros. cartoons, Bugs Bunny and friends at their height. No twinkling triangles! No soaring horns! Music that effectively provides that edge a scene needs, even sometimes providing a humorous reaction to events, while never overwhelming a scene.

2. The ARG-style mysteries really leave me cold. Oh, a set of GPS coordinates printed on a card? Let me stop what I'm doing (watching your video!) and go look those up. I bet you, creator, think that I'll find that charming or engaging -- really, I find it to be make-work, hoops you've presented for us to jump through. The way to engage is with thoughtful content, not puzzles and make-work.

The puppets are well done though. I'll give them that.
posted by JHarris at 11:05 AM on May 6, 2013


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