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* Makes TARDIS noise, dematerializes*
March 30, 2005 7:59 PM   Subscribe

Christopher Eccleston, the new Doctor Who, has tendered his resignation. Geez, his first episode wasn't that bad.
posted by PinkStainlessTail (45 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
he knew theres only one dr. who.
posted by tsarfan at 8:16 PM on March 30, 2005


he knew theres only one dr. who.

Oh, I've enjoyed them all (though I sometimes had to reach for something to enjoy during Colin Baker's series).
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 8:25 PM on March 30, 2005


Heh, good timing. I just (like, 45 minutes ago) watched the first [new] Doctor Who episode. I thought he did a pretty good job, really -- although he seems a bit young to be the Doctor.
posted by neckro23 at 8:27 PM on March 30, 2005


he seems a bit young to be the Doctor

No, the Doctor only *looks* young...
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:28 PM on March 30, 2005


Heh, good timing. I just (like, 45 minutes ago) watched the first [new] Doctor Who episode.

Me too. I was just going to another site to talk about it, when I found this story. My capsule review:

Eccleston: Quite good. Nicely eccentric.
Billie Piper: Ehh. Not horrible, but not particularly interesting yet.
Russell T. Davies: crap at pacing. The episode should've been split into a two parter or considerably streamlined. Though as a caveat, I should point out that I'm one of those old farts who's going to take awhile to adjust to a non-serial format.
Music: Bombastic. Tone it down or at least make it a little weirder to capture more of the mood of the series.
Dialogue: You're British. You can be witty. You don't have to be quippy. I don't want to watch Buffy's Adventures in Time and Space.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 8:36 PM on March 30, 2005


I watched the episode this weekend. Multiple times. It would be a real shame if they had to switch Doctors after one season, for three reasons:

1. I think Eccelston is fucking fantastic, probably in the top three out of the nine.
2. It took them 16 years to get this show back; suddenly having to fix the cast after all that groundwork is a huge setback. Here's hoping they just need to offer Eccelston more money.
3. Time Lords only have 13 lives; they're running out.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:44 PM on March 30, 2005


Let's be realistic - Richard E Grant is Doctor Who.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 8:50 PM on March 30, 2005


I thought he did a great job as well. I have a feeling he did too well, and thus the issue he quit over was his not getting paid more despite the obvious success of the program's revival.
posted by nightchrome at 8:59 PM on March 30, 2005


I've always wanted to get into the Dr. Who series due to the 'geek-cache' but whenever I've caught the odd episode (disclaimer, I'm not in the UK and I haven't watched TV [canada] for 4 years - and I've only come across DW a handful of times), I've never quite *got it* unlike random eps of Red Dwarf, which I ended up pursuing for a while before I just went < (m)eh>.

Can anyone recommend a resource that introduces/catches-me-up-on Dr. Who? If it tickles me, I'll watch the series through zip.ca...
posted by PurplePorpoise at 9:20 PM on March 30, 2005


I watched it just last night. He was fine, Billie wasn't awful, but the music was so bad it actively detracted from my enjoyment of the episode. I thought the point of good film music was for it to transparently support the on-screen action, not leave you scrabbling around for ear plugs.
posted by simonw at 9:24 PM on March 30, 2005


i thought he was excellent, but i feel let down to find he's left just after the first episode was broadcast. if he was afraid of being typecast, he shouldn't have signed up for it.
posted by quarsan at 9:24 PM on March 30, 2005


Two words: Sean Pertwee.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:40 PM on March 30, 2005


Yeah, interesting timing, I was just watching Four to Doomsday. I agree with quarsan, it is rather odd, almost unsportsmanlike, to quit so soon after starting your stint. The first episode was rather good though, so I have high hopes for the next series. I'm really wishing for the return of the multi-part format though.

Billie was annoying, but not as annoying as a washed up pop star could have been, and not half way as annoying as Ace.

Basicly, what everyone else said. Oh, apart from the fact that I want Hugh Laurie as the next doctor.

PurplePorpoise: Don't bother trying to catch up with "the story", there really isn't any need. There are a lot of episodes that haven't stood the test of time very well though, and should probably only be watched if you've already *got it*. Most of the Tom Baker stuff is excellent and very likely to suck you in, most of the Peter Davison stuff isn't bad either. Try The Keeper of Traken or Castrovalva, or if you want a slightly more backstory-linked episode, The Invasion of Time. Let me know if you can't find them and we'll find a way of getting them to you, I have them on disk somewhere.
posted by fvw at 9:42 PM on March 30, 2005


The only Doctor Who I have really watched is the series that features the Tardis' crew's adventures in Tombstone, Arizona, and the gunfight at the OK Corral (which is research material for a paper I'm presenting at the end of May) but I watched the new show with interest.

I quite enjoyed the pilot, though I think it fell prey to something a lot of pilots do-- trying to fit too much into the time slot.
posted by synecdoche at 10:10 PM on March 30, 2005


A shame as I've always hated Dr Who but, out of shear intrigue, decided to watch the first episode of this series and really enjoyed it. And, yes, it does feel a bit unsportsmanlike, but there you go.
posted by TheDonF at 10:33 PM on March 30, 2005


What fvw said. There isn't really much point in "catching up" on Doctor Who, as it's seriously the longest-running sf serial in history (and in fact so long-running that most of the first several dozen episodes are lost, probably forvever). There isn't really much continuity to speak of anyways. If you are interested in checking out old-school Who, definitely seek out the Tom Baker episodes, especially the better ones like "City of Death".

Also recommended is Terry Nation's series "Blake's 7", which is like a more political version of Doctor Who with more continuity (but the same spectacularly low-budget production values and cheesy lines -- "Space Commander Travis???" "You know him?" "... I was SURE that I'd killed him!").
posted by neckro23 at 10:40 PM on March 30, 2005


I rather liked the Sylvester McCoy version of the Doctor. Seemed a nice change from the Tom Baker-ish type Doctors. Can't recall if I've seen any of the Colin Baker ones, though he looks familiar. Never liked Peter Davidson, as I always see the veterinarian instead of the Doctor...
posted by Windopaene at 10:44 PM on March 30, 2005


Eccleston is an asshat. Why didn't he just quit BEFORE making the episode? Why give us all hope and then dash it after just one show!

I second Sean Pertwee.
posted by timyang at 11:00 PM on March 30, 2005


Makes you wonder. Perhaps he was asking for too much money to do the 2nd series......
posted by kenchie at 11:05 PM on March 30, 2005


Bah.

There's only *one* real Dr. Who, and his name is William Hartnell
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:08 PM on March 30, 2005


If this is serious then I am annoyed with Eccleston. If he was only going to do the one series he should never have accepted the role in the first place.
posted by salmacis at 11:50 PM on March 30, 2005


There is no part going back to the sixties, those old Hartnell episodes are for die hard fans only (yes, I have seen most of them, including the shootout at the OK Corral one).

The best place to start, as others have said, is with a single quality standalone episode. I love Earthshock, City of Death is great, Genesis of the Daleks or Destiny of the Daleks. The Sun Makers is brilliant...

I wouldn't start with the Key to Time season, as much fun as it is, you don't want to get stuck in the middle of continuity like that...

And, I wouldn't go back in time before Pertwee. He is Doctor number three, his first episode is number 51 - Spearheads from Space, coincidentally the inspiration for the first episode of the new series.
posted by Chuckles at 11:54 PM on March 30, 2005


No point, ARGH!
posted by Chuckles at 11:59 PM on March 30, 2005


*sigh* Okay, yeah, I like Eccleston the most out of all the Doctors...and now, watching the rest of the series will just hurt, like when I was watching Firefly on DVD, and realising that there wouldn't be any more.
posted by Katemonkey at 12:07 AM on March 31, 2005


Well apparently he filmed an entire season, so it's not as though he quit after making only one episode. Just after showing only one.
Apparently this is a big deal to hardcore fans because supposedly the Doctor is only supposed to have 13 lives, so wasting one on a single season seems a ripoff.
posted by nightchrome at 12:33 AM on March 31, 2005


I second (or is that third?) the thoughts of unsporting behaviour. You don't sign up for a series that you know has die hard fans then start worrying about it, and I must say I'm surprised someone as obviously intelligent as Ecclestone didn't think about this before putting pen to paper.

Let's be realistic - Richard E Grant is Doctor Who.
posted by thatwhichfalls


I couldn't agree more. Ignornig the fact that he hasn't been anything less than embarrassing in a film since Withnail and I (Ok, so he wasn't that terrible in Gosford Park), his ability to overact with both pomposity and a sneer would oddly suit the character of the Doctor to a tee.

Bring on the Grant.
posted by ciderwoman at 12:46 AM on March 31, 2005


Rumour is, there's only one name in the hat to play the new doctor and that name is David Tennant. Looks like teh Doctor W00t is pwned by Russell T Davies.

(rumoured Doc number 10 is currently starring in a Russell T Davies comedy/drama called Cassanova and Doctor number 9 starred in "The Second Coming" written by...you guessed it...Russell T Davies)
posted by davehat at 1:17 AM on March 31, 2005


*Now* he's worried about being typecast? He must have known it was a possibility, even before he signed up it must have been obvious. All the other actors have had to face it, it's a well known problem with the role, and indeed any long running TV role. Why suddenly get cold feet now, just when things are back on track?

Dammit, he's the best Doctor since Tom Baker. Watching this new episode felt like watching the show when I was a kid, I was so excited and happy. And now it's going to have to start all over again after one series. What a fucker.
posted by ralphyk at 1:20 AM on March 31, 2005


The BBC are currently talking to Chris Tennant about the role (he's currently in Casanova on BBC3).

I, for one, would like to see Wee Jimmy Krankie in the part. Then s/he'd stay young FOREVER.
posted by scaryduck at 1:31 AM on March 31, 2005


I've not yet seen the new episode, but I am sad to hear he's resigned.
I love Eccleston, he's been fantastic in every movie I've seen him in (ie: "Shallow Grave" and "Jude").
He is the sexxor!
posted by Radio7 at 1:39 AM on March 31, 2005


He was pretty good in 28 Days Later, the only half-intelligent zombie movie (and even that is a stretch) I've ever seen (barring Shaun of the Dead).
posted by randomstriker at 3:50 AM on March 31, 2005


Bring on the Grant.

I am totally with this.
posted by Wolof at 4:53 AM on March 31, 2005


the Doctor is only supposed to have 13 lives

However, it should be possible to get round this: the Doctor's arch-enemy, the Master, managed to use the Eye of Harmony to regenerate past his allotted thirteen, although he nearly destroyed Gallifrey in the process. Episode Guide.

Next Doctor? I nominate Dame Judi Dench. Heh heh.
posted by alasdair at 4:59 AM on March 31, 2005


Here's your chance to write Dr. Who! After a rather short run, it's found out that "The Doctor" was actually a clone/robot/The Master in a disguise created by The Master (we can dig him back up, right?) to keep away from that ever-approaching final iteration. Just because The Doctor has 13 lives (12 regenerations) doesn't mean we should go about using them like Kleenex.
posted by Eideteker at 5:01 AM on March 31, 2005


3. Time Lords only have 13 lives; they're running out.

And this Time Lord has one less, because the last one was already used up by The Valeyard.
posted by eustacescrubb at 6:25 AM on March 31, 2005


Well, I just finished watching it myself, and I can't see why any of the American cable networks - SciFi, FX, UPN, USA, Bravo, A&E etc. would pass on something like this, considering it's readymade cult material.

After watching 3 years' worth of Buffy-clones appear on the small screen - Dead Like Me, Tru Calling, Wonderfalls, Joan of Arcadia and Point Pleasant (even Hex) - it's rather nice to see something that's not an imitation of a far better show or some Trek nonsense that's been long run into the ground.

Even better, it was filmed non-craptastic video, and very little of the first episode seems to have been filmed on a set. Bravo BBC; Raspberries to Eccleston, if he's really quitting after one season. (Smashing debut, btw.)

So when's Ripper finally going to happen - anyone?
posted by vhsiv at 6:31 AM on March 31, 2005


i'm with kate, it's just not going to be as enjoyable watching the show, knowing eccleston's leaving at the end of it.

but i see his point obout being typecast, i've now got an image of grant lurching out of the tardis, grabbing a dalek and shouting "i demand to have some booze"
posted by quarsan at 6:38 AM on March 31, 2005


So when's Ripper finally going to happen - anyone?

Maybe if Serenity is a hit? Otherwise, I think it'll be awhile before Joss gets another show. It happens, unfortunately, and he may have to end up taking make-work: I heard recently that Joel Hodgson of MST3K fame has ended up as a writer on Jimmy Kimmel Live after all his other post-MST3K projects failed to pan out.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 6:51 AM on March 31, 2005


he knew theres only one dr. who.

Yes, and I bet you say Connery is the only Bond. Simply not the case.
posted by nthdegx at 7:11 AM on March 31, 2005


Thanks fvw! I'm sure I can get my hands on some, I'll have my taste yet...
posted by PurplePorpoise at 8:56 AM on March 31, 2005


alasdair's suggestion of judy dench is brilliant. how could it not work?
posted by andrew cooke at 10:44 AM on March 31, 2005


Thirded. I suggest we march on BBC headquarters and demand they cast her. Who's with me?
posted by fvw at 4:52 PM on March 31, 2005


David Niven's the original and only Bond (to some). (Let's not forget Peter Cushing's Doctor).

Gaiden, you scream! Outside of canon! Ha ha ha, let the ├╝bernerding one-upmanship begin!
posted by Eideteker at 7:02 PM on March 31, 2005


One more vote for Judy Dench. Can we harness the power of Mefi to make this happen? That's seriously a great suggestion, alasdair.
posted by Jim Jones at 6:27 AM on April 1, 2005


I'd much rather see Maggie Smith than Judy Dench as the Doctor.
posted by nthdegx at 9:47 AM on April 2, 2005


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