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The Who we never knew
September 18, 2008 1:39 PM   Subscribe

The Russell T. Davis papers – As he prepares to leave the role of Doctor Who show runner (previously) he’s releasing a book of email exchanges with Doctor Who Magazine writer Benjamin Cook about his time on the longstanding British SF series, revealing the younger face of Who he’s like to see, and plans for a Doctor Who/Harry Potter crossover which never materialized.
posted by Artw (30 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
These days I actually kind of secretly prefer Primeval.
posted by Artw at 1:42 PM on September 18, 2008


Surprisingly influential for a runner :)
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:47 PM on September 18, 2008


*cough*
posted by Artw at 1:52 PM on September 18, 2008


I still think Tilda Swinton was one of the best ideas I've ever heard.
posted by Shepherd at 1:53 PM on September 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


Doctor Who/Harry Potter crossover

It's the Velveteen Rabbit of fanfic - loved so much it becomes real.

Except no one loved it so it's not real.
posted by GuyZero at 1:54 PM on September 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


I don't think that Potter and Davis' the Doctor could really exist in the same universe easily. Whenever "magic" is introduced into the current series, it always ends up being some sort of high technology, and that would really undercut the storyline to the Potter world.

I could think of ways that it could be done, but I'm glad it wasn't.

Davis' book sounds interesting; I'm always a fan of learning about the process that go into the shows that I enjoy.

I'd been hearing rumors that Eddie Izzard had expressed an interest in the role of the next Doctor, and while I ultimately think that he's too big and well known to really be an appropriate choice, I was loving the idea of having him, at some point in one of his episodes, walk out onto a planet, stick a flag into the ground, and then get back in the TARDIS and never explain why he did it.
posted by quin at 1:55 PM on September 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


I still think Tilda Swinton was one of the best ideas I've ever heard.

Me too.

Pretty much the only thing vaguely interesting about Constantine.
posted by Artw at 2:04 PM on September 18, 2008


Steven Moffat on writing

Whenever "magic" is introduced into the current series, it always ends up being some sort of high technology, and that would really undercut the storyline to the Potter world.

I dunno, sufficiently hand-wavy technology is indistinguishable from magic, and the RTD Who has always been based more on the idea that glowing lights have magical properties than any actual hard science.
posted by Artw at 2:17 PM on September 18, 2008


Yeah, sadly Primeval is what (with the possible exception of the odd Moffat ep and a few others) I really hoped new Who would have been like. Fun, half-decent effects, not taking itself too serious, 'dad companions', but actually character development and plots that aren't resolved by magic pixy dust.

That said it feels kind of weird to be heading into Autumn with no Who to watch. Merlin looks a poor substitute.

Oh the Rowling idea was clearly bonkers... they should have got

Pretty much the only thing vaguely interesting about Constantine.

Satan, wasnt bad... though year Tilda would rock in Who
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:20 PM on September 18, 2008


I didn't read the JK Rowling idea as a Harry Potter crossover as such. It was Rowling as a guest star, which is a big difference.

I can see it as a logical progression from the likes of Shakespeare, Dickens and Agatha Christie as "guest" stars, but I can also see it as being a little too clever for its own good.

The problem with Dr Who is that they keep raising the bar and every subsequent series has to top the last. A few non-starters of episodes aside, I think they're doing pretty good so far but those end-of-series spectaculars are going to really have to work for their money now.
posted by panboi at 2:43 PM on September 18, 2008


I didn't read the JK Rowling idea as a Harry Potter crossover as such. It was Rowling as a guest star, which is a big difference.

I started the article fully expecting to finish it and then open up this thread and find myself defending Davies, who seems to catch more flack than anything else. But then I read the part about J.K. fucking Rowling, and I was all like, "Jesus, fuck off, Russell Davies. What the hell." Seriously, for the first time, I think I really get the hate. I think Davies has done much more good than bad for this show, but...damn, obviously Moffat's not taking over a minute too soon.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 3:07 PM on September 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


I think I really get the hate.

Welcome, brother! Welcome!
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:20 PM on September 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


Yeah, Davies seems like one of these people that has a fuckton of ideas but can't separate the good ones from the bad. A lot of things he did right but every once in a while he'd write something incredibly stupid and I would get all cringy.
posted by Kattullus at 4:25 PM on September 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


I would love to see a Doctor who isn't white, personally.
posted by bettafish at 4:56 PM on September 18, 2008


What I'd like to see in 2010:

No romance, unrequited or otherwise! Please! Rose and Martha going pie-eyed for the Doctor was naff. Besides, it's more fun if the actors have obvious chemistry, like Tom and Lalla, and the script does absolutely nothing with it. It's like no one learns! Every TV serial writer needs to be assigned to watch the last few seasons of Moonlighting as an object lesson of what NOT to do. Yeesh. I prefer cheeky-chappie-but-I'll-kill-you-if-I-have-to Tennant to the "*sniff-sob* I'm in love with a shopgirl, but one day she'll die!" Tennant, and I'm a woman who finds him extremely attractive. Anyway, it's the Doctor, and Earth is a Level 5 planet. There's nothing for him here, if I may paraphrase another show.

Older Doctor (at least none younger than 35)! I think the 40-ish Mark Heap, which someone suggested in the comments after the Guardian article, would be an interesting idea. Attractive, funny, but with an edge to him. No bloody Rufus Sewell!

Celebrity stunt casting in cameos only! I know she used to be an actress, but now she's KYLIE! and giving her such a big part took a lot away from Voyage of the Damned for me. John Cleese's and Eleanor Bron's brief appearances in City of Death were note-perfect. Might I suggest Bill Bailey? 15-20 seconds of him doing something would be fun.

So, Steve! Good luck! Can you get Neil Gaiman to do an episode? Thanks!
posted by droplet at 6:10 PM on September 18, 2008


droplet: Might I suggest Bill Bailey? 15-20 seconds of him doing something would be fun.

DUDE! BILL BAILEY SHOULD BE THE NEXT DOCTOR!

Or Dylan Moran. Then I might just have to switch sexualities.

OR! OMG!OMG!OMG! TAMSIN GRIEG AS THE DOCTOR!!!1111!!!oneoneoneone!!!111!

I sincerely wish that I was joking more than I actually am
posted by Kattullus at 7:51 PM on September 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


Bill Baily does Who.
posted by Artw at 8:01 PM on September 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


I love Is It Bill Bailey? so much, what a brilliant show.
posted by Kattullus at 9:02 PM on September 18, 2008


I would love to see a Doctor who isn't white, personally.

Well, for a black british actor with sci-fi cred (and gay freindly too) there's really one choice.

From the roles he's picking up these days I suspect he may have priced himself out of it though.

OMG!OMG!OMG! TAMSIN GRIEG AS THE DOCTOR!!!

That... would work. She'd be a pretty good Master too.
posted by Artw at 9:32 PM on September 18, 2008


Timey-wimey, wibbly-wobbly, wandy-wavy...

Ugh. Thank you, Stephen Moffat, for saving us from that fate. Granted, in five years' time we'll probably be shoving you out the door as well for some new runner, but right now, WELCOME ABOARD O SAVIOR OF WHO.
posted by Spatch at 7:40 AM on September 19, 2008


Am I the only person who read RTD's description of the JK Rowling episode and thought it sounded kinda awesome? Total crack, obviously, but the kind of crack that Davies could make work? Maybe I've just become addicted to RTD's particular brand of crack. I'm afraid I'm headed into withdrawals.
posted by threeturtles at 8:53 AM on September 19, 2008


Ooh, artw, he would indeed be an excellent choice.
posted by mogget at 9:21 AM on September 19, 2008


Moffat wrote BLINK and TIME CRASH, the two episodes that use the phrase "Timey-wimey, wibbly-wobbly"...
posted by johnasdf at 7:18 AM on September 20, 2008


Moffat wrote BLINK and TIME CRASH, the two episodes that use the phrase "Timey-wimey, wibbly-wobbly"...

I'm betting Davis subbed it in...
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 7:48 AM on September 20, 2008


RTD "would do movie"
posted by Artw at 10:48 PM on September 21, 2008


I'm betting Davis subbed it in...

Nope, Davies touched narry a word of Moffat's scripts. He didn't even know about River Song until he got the script through. He even admitted in a an interview that he'd happily sit around rewriting the work of every other writer, but Moffat's work is sacred and gold.

There's a discussion to be had here about what the scripts looked like before Russell made his 'final pass' but its to be had once Amazon decide to send me The Writer's Take. Incidentally, if you have a log-in, another section's been posted here. It's about the fan reaction and having to council Helen Raynor after she'd read what they thought of her Dalek story:

http://www.doctorwhoforum.com/showthread.php?t=201384
posted by feelinglistless at 3:43 PM on September 22, 2008


Interesting - would that make Captain Jack 100% a Moffat creation?
posted by Artw at 3:45 PM on September 22, 2008


Also the doctor who forum stuff is behind a sign in,and IIRC their new user process is horrible and requires the blood fo your firstborn (that could be Outpost Gallifrey I’m thinking of though) – any chance you could do a cut and paste of the relevant bits?
posted by Artw at 4:12 PM on September 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


>He didn't even know about River Song until he got the script through.

Be interesting to know if he wrote that before or after he knew he got RTD's gig as that was such a 'future developments' character
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:22 PM on September 22, 2008


Lying In The Gutters is predicting Paterson Joseph as the new Who.
posted by Artw at 10:16 PM on October 14, 2008


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