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Redesign of the Daleks
April 17, 2010 6:27 PM   Subscribe

With Matt Smith making his US debut as Doctor Who tonight, showrunner Steven Moffat gives an interview to Tor.com. Meanwhile in the UK viewers have just had their first sight of a controversial new Dalek redesign.
posted by Artw (270 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

 
Finally got rid of David Tennant and his freaking constantly popping out eyes.
posted by crazylegs at 6:30 PM on April 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


You know what would be funny?

Richard Hammond as Dr. Who.
posted by dunkadunc at 6:42 PM on April 17, 2010 [7 favorites]


Man, I was pretty blah on the first couple episodes of the new Doctor, but then, the last David Tennant episodes made me straight angry, so

But hey, speaking of: I kinda felt like the attempt to make Tennant's Doctor seem like he was slowly sliding into hubris was half-assed and rather tacked on toward the end of his run, but someone on metafilter directed me to this video, which actually makes it seem way more like that was the intended story-arc the whole time. I love it!
posted by Greg Nog at 6:43 PM on April 17, 2010 [21 favorites]


Also: As a small child, I would dress up as a Dalek by putting a huge trash bin over my head and scooting along the floor. "DESTROY! DESTROY!"
My parents called me "baby dalek".

(on further thought... would Jeremy Clarkson be even funnier?)
posted by dunkadunc at 6:45 PM on April 17, 2010 [4 favorites]


The first two eps are quite good. At my house, we've been watching them as they come out, with the handy help of uknova. (Looks like tomorrow's episode, for us anyway, will involve Winston Churchill and the Daleks. Looking forward to that, I can tell you.) I really enjoy Matt Smith's doctor so far; just manic enough, and he seems to have taken Patrick Troughton very much to heart.
posted by koeselitz at 6:46 PM on April 17, 2010


Doctor Who regeneration was 'modelled on LSD trips'
posted by gman at 6:48 PM on April 17, 2010


Matt Smith won me over pretty much immediately.

"Ullo."
posted by cerulgalactus at 6:59 PM on April 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


Tonight? Dude, that was weeks ago.

Oh, wait. US debut.

Lame fans who did fly to the UK to see the debut, I see!
posted by eriko at 7:01 PM on April 17, 2010


I really enjoy Matt Smith's doctor so far; just manic enough

Yeah, he's working out really great. Two fun episodes to start the season, I hope they can keep that up.
posted by graventy at 7:01 PM on April 17, 2010


The Daleks are the things that look like giant mechanized shuttlecocks, right? If so, they could certainly use a redesign; one of my Who-fan friends once pointed me toward a Youtube video in which they featured quite heavily, and while the production values of the episode otherwise seemed quite high (making me think that it was at least 1990's vintage, if not a product of this decade) I could not get past the ludicrously unmenacing design.

By the way, if one is looking to "get into" Doctor Who by watching it in a comprehensive fashion, intending to view entire seasons rather than important episodes, with what season should one start?
posted by The Confessor at 7:05 PM on April 17, 2010


This one seems quite good for that.
posted by Artw at 7:13 PM on April 17, 2010


I adore Matt Smith, he's bringing me back to Dr. Who :)
posted by lizbunny at 7:16 PM on April 17, 2010


The Confessor: "they could certainly use a redesign ... I could not get past the ludicrously unmenacing design"

I think it's the toilet plunger shaped gun sticking out of it's chest.
posted by Bonzai at 7:21 PM on April 17, 2010


Yay, Doctor Who metafilter thread!

If so, they could certainly use a redesign; one of my Who-fan friends once pointed me toward a Youtube video in which they featured quite heavily, and while the production values of the episode otherwise seemed quite high (making me think that it was at least 1990's vintage, if not a product of this decade) I could not get past the ludicrously unmenacing design.

You're going to have trouble getting into the series, then. I actually only started watching it last year (which is horrific to me, now that I've been turned-on to it; I'm such a continuity/fictional history/alien junkie and I think it would have changed my life if I'd seen it as a kid or teenager), and I've seen bits and pieces of old old stuff--a bunch of the First Doctor, and then I skipped to the Fourth, then the Fifth, and then loads of the newer stuff. Special effects are never, ever a strong suit of the series. It's not just the Daleks. It's sort of a tradition of the series overall, thanks to ridiculously low BBC budgets. You'll be happier if you let go of any expectations for stellar production values. That way, you'll be pleasantly surprised at the times when the special effects do work--which happens, just not terribly often.

But anyway, I'd start with the first season of the new series, if you want an accessible way in. Hold out at least through the beginning of the second season to get a real feeling for the show--a lot of its charm is through the immutability of the Doctor himself through regenerations, which you won't get a sense of if you just watch a small snippet.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:23 PM on April 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


Confessor, I 'got into' the show with the start of the relaunch (actually a little after, which was nice, as I had a fair bit to catch up on at once). I found that there were a pile of things that seemed like must have been references to the older shows, but they were actually just oblique bits of world-building that got filled in later. Most of the stuff about the Time War, lots of the alien species, even some of the things about 'how this world works' turned out to be new material. It can feel a little like you're missing out on what's already happened, but eventually you realise how much they're making up as they go along. (In case it's not clear, I consider this a good thing.)

Design aside, I found the fanaticism of the Daleks the menacing thing, especially when they get religion. Their shrieky-croaky voices yelling one word over and over (and it's not always just EXTERMINATE!) can be really unsettling in the way they believe they are the only species that's allowed to live.

Anyway, I'm rather enjoying Matt Smith. I hope he hangs around for a while, particularly as Tennant's arc of ultimate power -> crash -> regret had such a nice slow-burn feel to it, and it would be good to see something like that happen again. I get the feeling it won't be as grandiose this time, but I'm sure there's still a lot of good storytelling that can be done in a more contained way. Moffat's certainly good for that.
posted by Dandeson Coates, Sec'y at 7:25 PM on April 17, 2010


This is #12, right? IIRC, originally it was stated that he could only do it twelve times. Is that still canon? Is this the last? (Yeah, right.)
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 7:25 PM on April 17, 2010


I thought that it would take me some time to get over Tennant, but I was into Matt Smith right away - he is brilliant. Lots of changes, from the interior of the TARDIS to the theme tune and the logo, but I'm actually on board with all of it so far.
posted by mewithoutyou at 7:26 PM on April 17, 2010


Wait, that's a redesign? They look exactly the same as the old Daleks, only now in tangerine, lemon, strawberry and grape flavors.

Nerds get angry about really odd stuff sometimes.
posted by xthlc at 7:29 PM on April 17, 2010 [6 favorites]


And great video Greg Nog. Like I say, I think they were making up a bunch as they were going along, but there was a longer story they were aiming for too, even if they did manage to cock it up a bit sometimes. cough*end of time*cough

On preview: canon's a slippery beast in Doctor Who. Better to not get too hung up on details. :)
posted by Dandeson Coates, Sec'y at 7:29 PM on April 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


By the way, if one is looking to "get into" Doctor Who by watching it in a comprehensive fashion, intending to view entire seasons rather than important episodes, with what season should one start?

I'd start with the current season with Matt Smith. Otherwise, the one from 2005 with Christopher Eccleston (Nine) is good for starting out.

I hesitate to recommend any other season, partly because there are 31 of them counting the current one, partly because many of the early ones are partially lost forever, and partly because it would take a long, long time to watch it all.

This is #12, right? IIRC, originally it was stated that he could only do it twelve times. Is that still canon? Is this the last? (Yeah, right.)

This is #11, hence "The Eleventh Hour".
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:29 PM on April 17, 2010


This is #12, right?

This is 11, but there are bound to be loopholes in the twelve regeneration limit.
posted by mewithoutyou at 7:30 PM on April 17, 2010


Design aside, I found the fanaticism of the Daleks the menacing thing, especially when they get religion. Their shrieky-croaky voices yelling one word over and over (and it's not always just EXTERMINATE!) can be really unsettling in the way they believe they are the only species that's allowed to live.

DO NOT BLASPHEME!!!

eventually you realise how much they're making up as they go along. (In case it's not clear, I consider this a good thing.)

From everything I've read about the writing for the series generally, it's more-or-less always been a "Let's-throw-things-in-the-air-and-see-what-sticks" sort of thing. Which I think is great, particularly when you throw some nice short (single season) arcs into the mix. It feels open enough to not be oppressive, like the Star Trek canon can be, but also manages to create sustained tension and interest.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:31 PM on April 17, 2010


Apparently Rowan Atkinson doesn't count.
posted by Artw at 7:32 PM on April 17, 2010 [4 favorites]


Controversial? They look about the same to me.
posted by delmoi at 7:32 PM on April 17, 2010


DO NOT BLASPHEME!!!

Actually, that reminds me: As much as the Daleks have been ridiculously overused, it was their episodes that made me realise how invested I was in the show. Even though I knew very little about them aside from 'kill everything', I got how big a deal it was that they'd developed a concept of blasphemy, and how that made them even more freaky.

Hopefully the new (UK) episode gives them another new spin and develops them further.
posted by Dandeson Coates, Sec'y at 7:36 PM on April 17, 2010


For being the youngest doctor yet, Matt Smith seems older than Tennant at time. There have already been a few moments where he's seemed like the ancient, alien, dangerous thing I've heard him described as from the other series. For example, the way he challenges Amy right off the bat - I don't care if you're in your nighty, go find the kid or go home. I also felt that the way he got so completely pissed that she tried to hide the truth about Starship UK from him - I just can't imagine the last doctor reacting like that.

I'm really excited for the new series. Still, watching Greg's video made me nostalgic for Tennant - I wish we could have had just one more season of him and Donna.
posted by heathkit at 7:38 PM on April 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is #11, hence "The Eleventh Hour".

Richard E Grant (of Withnail & I fame) isn't in the official list of Doctors, but he did the voice for an animated Dr Who series that is (or was?) available on the web. I think at the time, he was mooted to be the next Doctor, but that unfortunately never eventuated.
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:40 PM on April 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


oppressive, like the Star Trek canon can be

PHASERS AT DAWN
posted by Greg Nog at 7:44 PM on April 17, 2010 [4 favorites]


Linkfilter:

Doctor Who primers: a good Doctor Who primer from the AV Club, and a nicely done interactive graphic primer from PBS Newshour, with links to many video clips. (I didn't expect that much from PBS Newshour, but it's much appreciated)

Producer Steven Moffat, and actors Matt Smith and Karen Gillan have been stateside for at least a week promoting the show and doing interviews ( AV Club with Moffat and Smith; Television Without Pity's interview with Matt Smith; TWoP's interview with Karen Gillan; io9 talks with all three at the Paley Center event last week, with text and video; MTV & Moffat)
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:45 PM on April 17, 2010 [7 favorites]


All that said, Matt Smith really is the Doctor. Not in the same way that Tennant or Eccleston was, but he does it very well. I've liked what I've seen of him and Gillan so far, and look forward to the rest of the season.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:51 PM on April 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


If he can regenerate 12 times then he has 13 incarnations total, which means two more actors even without loopholes. Anyway, The Master overcame his limit at least twice that we know about. Of course one of those was outright body theft which The Doctor wouldn't stoop to, but yes, the show will presumably find a way around it if it needs to. Just for example, if the limitation wasn't physical but some sort of Time Lord rule, then he wouldn't be constrained by it anymore.
posted by George_Spiggott at 7:59 PM on April 17, 2010


You forgot the iDalek tag.
posted by stavrogin at 7:59 PM on April 17, 2010 [5 favorites]


Finally a Doctor Who thread! Metafilter needs a place to discuss this series. Otherwise, we accidentally and spontaneously derail threads everywhere else across the site. After the first episode aired we took over a thread about the opening credit sequence to Fringe, and then after the second episode, a thread about friggin' sandwiches. I had my eye on that lacemaking in 19th-century Britain FPP as a place to discuss the new iDaleks.

But thankfully Artw made a Who thread. (I knew it would be Artw, of course.)
posted by painquale at 8:07 PM on April 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


PHASERS AT DAWN

Aw, you know I'm a Trekkie. But still, those Star Trek Encycolpedias (I have three) are heavy!
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:12 PM on April 17, 2010


Otherwise, we accidentally and spontaneously derail threads everywhere else across the site.

I've been working hard on resisting that temptation. It's taken a lot of effort.
posted by immlass at 8:15 PM on April 17, 2010


Encyclopedias, too. I also have those.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:20 PM on April 17, 2010


But still, those Star Trek Encycolpedias (I have three) are heavy!

Get an iPad and your books will all be assimilated into something that weights about a pound and a half.

Get an iPad
Resistance is futile.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 8:21 PM on April 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


does an iPad smell like a book? Do you get the pleasure of turning pages or pressing flowers in it?

I think not.
posted by dunkadunc at 8:29 PM on April 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


I wanted Tila Swindon as the new doctor, who then a friend told me that Dr. Who is still-marketed as an olderish-kid friendly show they couldn't have The Doctor saying "Well ..back when I was a man.."
posted by The Whelk at 8:37 PM on April 17, 2010 [5 favorites]


The first episode was brilliant, I thought the second was disappointing and the only Moffat misfire I've seen (but it looks like MeFite opinion is against me), and the third was so-so.

Some spoilers....

I'm not sure what to make of the new Daleks now: not their redesign, but their place in the Who universe. I understand that Moffat wants to bring them back as a perennial threat without needing the Doctor to seemingly eradicate them forever whenever he encounters them. Every Davies Dalek episode was like this, and I think it's good to buck that trend. But a universe with the Dalek empire needs to be a universe with the Time Lords to keep them in check. If the Doctor is a wandering nomad, I think that the Daleks should be too. I liked the Cult of Skaro. Damn that stupid human-Dalek pigman episode for killing three of them off.

I dislike that Amy has saved the Doctor's ass twice now. He's supposed to be the hyper-competent one! I'm also worried that the show is skewing to a younger viewing audience than the previous series.
posted by painquale at 8:37 PM on April 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm also worried that the show is skewing to a younger viewing audience than the previous series.

What's next- a Cute Little Kid like Shortround in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom?
WHO LET THAT KID DRIVE A CAR

Every time a franchise introduces a Cute Little Kid to try to get the family demographic, I root for the little kid's gory dismemberment.
posted by dunkadunc at 8:46 PM on April 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


The Boy and I have been watching the series (the old one) in order...we just finished the 16th season tonight. I really want to watch the new series, but I have a feeling we'll get there in a decade or so.

On another note, my Master's thesis got approved yesterday. I've been going around saying "I'm going to be a Master!" Several of my friends have already warned me to watch out for an unnamed Doctor. This makes me giggle.
posted by ilana at 8:47 PM on April 17, 2010 [4 favorites]


(on further thought... would Jeremy Clarkson be even funnier?)

Only if The Master gets to regenerate with a white crash helmet.

"Some say his trousers are bigger on the inside than they are on the outside... and that he actually finds Bonnie Langford's voice to be quite soothing. All we know is..."



James May would be a great fit, but the TARDIS pre-flight checks would take up most of each episode.
posted by Spatch at 8:59 PM on April 17, 2010 [12 favorites]


I want the new Master to be Matt Berry.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 9:08 PM on April 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


What's next- a Cute Little Kid like Shortround in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom?

There's always an exception that proves the rule, and when it comes to child sidekicks, Shortround is it. Shortround would be a great companion to the Doctor.

Matt Smith's Doctor kinda reminds me of Indy when he's in his professorial garb, actually.
posted by painquale at 9:18 PM on April 17, 2010


Just a note for anyone wondering "where to start", AskMe has tackled the question for you.
posted by chaff at 9:23 PM on April 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Get an iPad and your books will all be assimilated into something that weights about a pound and a half.

If someone isn't hard at work getting a Star Trek-related iPad app (perhaps a refresh of the Omnipedia) that looks and acts like a PADD, someone doesn't know what they're doing.

I'm also worried that the show is skewing to a younger viewing audience than the previous series.

Isn't this essentially a children's show though? Eminently enjoyable by us older people, but "for" the kids.

The third episode was easily the weakest of the new lot, though it had some really nice moments. It felt like there wasn't a whole lot going on, and when something did go on it just rushed right through it. As if the restoration of the Daleks was a B story, and the A story went missing. Oh well.
posted by dumbland at 9:29 PM on April 17, 2010


Fans of the show should absolutely pick up Russell T. Davies's The Writer's Tale. The last three years of Doctor Who stories have been almost entirely written by the seat of that man's pants. He is insane and kind of amazing and the fact that so many resonant themes show up in the show anyway is a testament to his strength as a writer. And to David Tennant's strength as an actor who can make it all seem natural.

The Eleventh Doctor press blitz is seemingly everywhere. Even on Fox News, of all places.

Richard "Bleeding Cool" Johnston has some great speculation as to what might be coming this season. He caught that Amy's making rips in space and time right from the first episode.

I'm still on the fence about the 11th Doctor as a character. Matt Smith is unquestionably good, and Karen Gillan as Amy is AMAZING. But I'm so used to having Ten save the day all the time that I'm thrown by the fact that Eleven seems completely out of his depth. Considering the events of today's episode, it seems like this is an actual character trait instead of just bad writing. (I mean, him going after that Dalek with the wrench was just the saddest thing.) I'm interested in seeing where that goes.
posted by greenland at 9:54 PM on April 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Fans of the show should also read Chicks Dig Time Lords: A Celebration of Doctor Who by the Women Who Love It, a collection of essays by female authors, prominent fans, and participants in Doctor Who. It's an entertaining look at the wide diversity of fandom, and the different levels and aspects of Doctor Who that people interact with.

They should also read Torchwood Babies and The Ten Doctors, which was previously discussed, but not actually finished until May 2009.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:40 PM on April 17, 2010 [4 favorites]


Well, I must admit I wasn't very hopeful about Matt Smith, but I warmed up to both him and Karen Gillan almost immediately. I had stopped watching for a long time because I was tired of Tennant, but now I'll be watching again.
posted by homunculus at 10:50 PM on April 17, 2010


The Confessor: “The Daleks are the things that look like giant mechanized shuttlecocks, right? If so, they could certainly use a redesign; one of my Who-fan friends once pointed me toward a Youtube video in which they featured quite heavily, and while the production values of the episode otherwise seemed quite high (making me think that it was at least 1990's vintage, if not a product of this decade) I could not get past the ludicrously unmenacing design.”

First, that almost certainly was from this decade. No Doctor Who tv shows were made in the 1990s. (Well, technically one tv movie was, but we will never speak of that abomination again.) So the bits you saw were from 2005 or later, probably.

Second, yeah, the Daleks may seem a bit odd and archaic, but I think you'll find that their menacing nature comes mostly from their attitude and nature than their look, although the look kinda helps. That's supposed to be tank-like armor protecting them. And the really frightening and weird bit is that they're actually humanoids who have radiated and mutated themselves so radically that they've lost all their bones and become almost amoeba-like creatures; these frightening squid-looking things are what live inside the protective metallic shells. And that, in itself, was damned frightening and edgy when it first debuted as a concept in the first Dalek adventure in 1963; I think that kind of alien creature was way ahead of its time then, and still has some edge to it today. But maybe that's my nostalgia speaking, I don't know.

“By the way, if one is looking to "get into" Doctor Who by watching it in a comprehensive fashion, intending to view entire seasons rather than important episodes, with what season should one start?”

Ooh, that's a loaded question. We are technically on the beginning of season 31, after all, so there are many, many different favorites that people have. In the modern era, of course, there have only been four seasons so far, so you can just start with season 1 (2005) and work your way through. There are plenty of fantastic episodes in that first season, including the current director Steven Moffat's first masterpiece, "The Empty Child."

But if you wanted to actually get into the old series, you could start with what I think might be the most "classic" season, the one that sort of defines the many years of Doctor Who, at least in my mind: season 14, the 1976 season. If you start with that season, you get to see the Doctor whom many people regard as the finest, Tom Baker (he really was incredibly good) along with the woman who was probably the companion par excellence, Elizabeth Sladen (as Sarah Jane, and she reprised this role several times in the new series as well); but you get to see so much more with that series, too: Tom Baker's experiment, the sole instance of its kind, in being a Doctor without a companion for a series, in "The Deadly Assassin;" and a few series by the man whom many believe to have been the greatest writer of Doctor Who episodes ever, Robert Holmes. And, if you're interested, the last series of the season was the all-time favorite of the production chief and spearhead of the new series, Russell T Davies: an interesting little piece called "The Talons of Wang Chiang," which many fans seem to think might be the best ever. (I like "The Deadly Assassin" better, but anyhow.) Also, another great companion, Leela (after whom I believe the Futurama character was named) debuted that season.
posted by koeselitz at 11:33 PM on April 17, 2010 [4 favorites]


And since this seems as good a place as any to point this out:

My current theory of Doctor quality is that the best Doctors come one every third Doctor, starting with the first: 1, 4, 7, 10. And the greatest of these, my friends, was lucky number 7: Sylvester McCoy, the greatest Doctor the television program has ever seen. It's too bad the beeb had so soured on the show by that time. Ace is a pretty great companion, too. It's hard to express what I would give to have seen a few more series with McCoy playing the Doctor. The way he rolls his rrrs with such gusto - that masked Scottish accent just barely coming through there - and the way he talks so fast, and manages to outwit everybody - and gives the impression that he's outwitting everybody. Just a perfect, effervescent, ebullient Doctor. I love that guy.

Spatch: “... and that he actually finds Bonnie Langford's voice to be quite soothing...”

Good god - worst companion ever. Lots of people seem to have the idea that it was Colin Baker's lackluster 6th Doctor that finally sank the show, but I'm convinced that's not it. He's likable enough. What sank the show was the fact that nobody wanted to watch a show with Mel in it.
posted by koeselitz at 11:46 PM on April 17, 2010


greenland: "Fans of the show should absolutely pick up Russell T. Davies's The Writer's Tale."

Or not. Despite being a long-time fan of the original series, and extremely interested in the processes and goings-on behind the revival, this fan found it a load of unreadable fawningly-reverential bloviated tosh.

Seriously, I read voraciously and always finish a book - whether through plain ol' stubbornness, or because a week after stopping something piques my interest and drags me back into it. In my whole life, I can't recall giving up totally on a book ever. But despite fighting my way through the first dozen pages, and dipping into every other chapter looking for something to grab my interest, that one just made me throw up my hands and say "I can't read this crap…"

Apart from that? 9 was good; 10 was meh (but somewhat redeemed by a few good stories); 11 looks to be getting quite interesting (and I'm probably one of the few who think the second ep was better than the first - I'll watch the 3rd tonight). But take my opinion with your own grain of salt - when I was a kid, Tom Baker was my favourite; after re-watching all the surviving episodes a few years ago I decided that Troughton and McCoy were better (despite the latter being severely hampered by the overall decline of the series).
posted by Pinback at 11:47 PM on April 17, 2010


Yer basic Dalek concept is this: it's Hitler. The ghost of Hitler in an indestructable midget Tiger Tank. And there's thousands of him.
posted by Artw at 11:51 PM on April 17, 2010 [15 favorites]


Chocolate Pickle: “This is #12, right? IIRC, originally it was stated that he could only do it twelve times. Is that still canon? Is this the last? (Yeah, right.)”

When asked about this, Davies was characteristically nonchalant, pointing out that he could resolve such quandaries with a wave of his hand just by inventing some new Doctor Who type shit to give him an excuse to keep regenerating. Of course it wasn't a problem to the guy who thought nothing of cramming Daleks, colliding planets, the Master, Sarah Jane, every single companion of the last five years, black holes, and endless reams of other garbage into a single episode. Seriously, the fanfic criticism makes a lot of sense, and I'm kind of glad to have Davies gone.

I know they'll come up with something to allow the Doctor to keep regenerating, but I'd like it if whoever has to do it actually had to struggle to come up with a good excuse. And I'd like it to be a good excuse - not this Davies-style instant deus ex machina bullshit.
posted by koeselitz at 11:52 PM on April 17, 2010 [5 favorites]


I'd be hoping for a good long run from Smith myself, and to make it someone elses problem...
posted by Artw at 11:55 PM on April 17, 2010


Pinback: “... after re-watching all the surviving episodes a few years ago I decided that Troughton and McCoy were better (despite the latter being severely hampered by the overall decline of the series).”

They say that Matt Smith chose his whole bowtie getup in part based on his deep love of Troughton's "Tomb of the Cybermen" series. I can really respect that; honestly, that's one of the best series the show's ever seen, I think. And Troughton was damned good there. It seems like in the later Troughton years the show got a bit too actiony and wasn't quite intellectual enough for my taste, but his run was really quite good overall. Also, I really like Jamie as a companion.
posted by koeselitz at 11:59 PM on April 17, 2010


Since MF Who posts are scarce as Archimedes palimpsests, I'll just take this time to mention a delightful (multipart) Tom Baker interview. Interesting chap.

Let's see, what else can I discard share in the MeFi cloud ... how about some choccies from Wired, BBC Genesis collection, theme music story.
posted by Twang at 12:07 AM on April 18, 2010 [3 favorites]


I was all like, 'What's the connection between Tor and Doctor Who??? That sounds awesome!'
posted by kaibutsu at 12:08 AM on April 18, 2010


I loved the first ep, was meh about the second one, pretty much liked the third one. I am finding, however, that despite having loved Amy Pond in the first ep, I am increasingly annoyed by her -- and I too am concerned that she seems to save the day in every episode while the Doctor stands there. I also feel like they're burning through so much story in each episode that nothing has time to resonate, and when they try to go for an emotional moment -- like the end of episode 2 -- it absolutely does not work because it's not built on anything.

However, I wasn't won over by David Tennant until Series 3, either, so I'm definitely willing to hang around and see what happens. And River Song in episode 4 -- hurray!

I do wish we'd had one more 10/Donna series, though. I loved her. Sniff.
posted by OolooKitty at 1:07 AM on April 18, 2010 [3 favorites]


Yer basic Dalek concept is this: it's Hitler. The ghost of Hitler in an indestructable midget Tiger Tank. And there's thousands of him.

Some lines were taken directly from history, like that bit where von Stauffenberg crept up behind Hitler and put his hands over his eyes, and Hitler started yelling, "MY VISION IS IMPAIRED! I CANNOT SEE!" and waving his arms around.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 1:13 AM on April 18, 2010 [24 favorites]


One can accurately effect the Dalek voice by speaking robotically through a spinning pedicel fan at setting #2. I am quite good at it.

My two cents on Tennant, he was too damn cheery. The episode The Family Of Blood - or Scarecrow is a case in point. These aliens are meant to be so terrifying that the Doctor has gone into deep cover- but when he regains his mojo. He cheerily springs aboard their ship, performs a three stooges like slapstick act disabling their craft, and deftly captures and sentences them to an eternity trapped inside some sort of dimensional prison- which brings me to another point. The new "made-for-US" format where the story needs to be wrapped up in 45 minutes fails at allowing a complex plot to materialise, but maybe that's the point. The two parters with the Master have been highlights.
posted by the noob at 1:44 AM on April 18, 2010


not this Davies-style instant deus ex machina bullshit.

I spent a lot of season 2-4 screaming NOT THIS DEUS EX RTD BULLSHIT AGAIN!! at the screen, and I'm glad I'm not the only one. The man wrote a return-of-the-Time-Lords plot, in which the most memorable scene was an old man stuck in a box. Tennant is all the more remarkable because he did so much with such shitty scripts.

The one episode I deeply respect RTD for, however, is Midnight. When "knock four times" became a thing, I was so rooting for a return of whatever the hell was going on there, because it was awesome. Oh well. It's not that he is a bad writer; it's that he has conflated high drama with lots of big explosions. Yet his most successful dramatic moments are people stuck in confined spaces, just talking.
posted by mek at 1:53 AM on April 18, 2010


Also, just saying, I would also start with Tom Baker. The Tom Baker episode that is a good starting point is Genesis of The Dalek It's so dark, and really well written. Indeed Tom Baker is the Who that the other Doctors have aspired to be. Watch a John Pertwee episode then a Tom Baker episode- Tom Baker is the modern doctor. I liked John Pertwee too, he used fisticuffs when necessary. I have not seen a Doctor do that since.
posted by the noob at 1:59 AM on April 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


Finally a Doctor Who thread!

Heaven forbod we interrupt the alternation of articles outraged about priests raping kids and the ones taking Steve Jobs balls-deep. That would be a travesty.

The new "made-for-US" format where the story needs to be wrapped up in 45 minutes fails at allowing a complex plot to materialise,

That's probably the thing I miss most about the original Doctors, having space to poke around in what was a feature-film length for every story.
posted by rodgerd at 2:30 AM on April 18, 2010


(And Pertwee's first episode with the Autons is fabbo. Or perhaps that's just a very scared small boy remembering it that way...)
posted by rodgerd at 2:31 AM on April 18, 2010


I really like Matt Smith as the Doctor and Karen Gillan as Amy, his new Companion. But the plots of their first three episodes are quite weak. I'm not expecting Steven Moffat to be able to throw out Blink or The Girl in the Fireplace every week - I suspect the full season story may somewhat resemble his earlier single episodes more closely, but so far none of the episodes are ones I feel like I'll ever watch again. Maybe The Beast Below, since I liked some of the ideas in it (protest vs forget, for example) but the execution was slightly clunky.

I'll be expecting a lot from the first two-parter of the season (airing over the next two Saturday nights in the UK) since this will be Moffat's chance to really show what he's capable of.
posted by crossoverman at 3:00 AM on April 18, 2010


DESIGN CLASSIC... RU-INED! RU-INED! RUUUUU-IIIINED!!!!
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:10 AM on April 18, 2010 [3 favorites]


I want the new Master to be Matt Berry.

DAMN THESE ELECTRIC TIME PANTS!
posted by robocop is bleeding at 3:38 AM on April 18, 2010 [3 favorites]


It's interesting to read about Pond being too active in contrast to me watching the first ever series of Doctor Who last week (An Unearthly Child) where the Doctor spends about half the time being either a bastard or a coward and the companions take the lead in the plot.

I was actually really surprised just how good Mat Smith was as the new Doctor managing to hit just the right note, as I was basically expecting a disaster. And Karen Gillan is shaping up to being one the best assistants ever. There's still plenty of things I can quibble about (like most of the plots are just too rushed) but I now actually look forward to the show again instead of watching it out of sufferance as I was happening far too often in the last couple of series.

And at least, at last, I can watch Confidential, now that I don't have the constant desire to reach through the screen and slap RTD for being such a smug self-satisfied git.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:42 AM on April 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


I now actually look forward to the show again

Yeah, this is exactly it for me, too. I thought the second and third episodes didn't really live up to the promise of the first one, but they were still fun and enjoyable, and I get to be all, "yay, Doctor Who is on tonight!" and brush the dust off the freeview box once a week. With RTD, we ignored them when they were on and have only really caught up because BBC3's RTD spam earlier this year coincided with our phoneline going down.

I was made unreasonably happy by the way last night's ep seemed like a direct follow-on from Remembrance, too, and I'm hoping I can continue to completely ignore all the stupid TIME WAR stuff ("Just have the Doctor say TIME WAR and look sad every so often for the moment, guys, I've got plenty of time to work on what actually happened... oh shit, time for my last episode, you say? Just get an actor everyone loves to play Rassilon and maybe no-one will notice me handwaving aside the mystery I built my entire tenure on, that'll do."). Apparently it was one of the first ones they filmed, too, which puts Matt Smith's slightly less confident performance -- he felt like someone had cross-bred 10 and 5 -- into context.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 3:59 AM on April 18, 2010


I like the relationship between the new Doctor and his assistant, it's very Peter Pan and Wendy.
posted by cazoo at 4:20 AM on April 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


Paul Cornell: Ten Things for the Weekend: Doctor Who Special
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:47 AM on April 18, 2010


I absolutely love the new series, and the new Doctor, and I really particularly love that his companion is like a real person and doesn't appear to be madly in love with what is shaping up to be an equally complex, imperfect Time Lord. (I also love what I've seen of Peter Davison's run, so there you go.)

However.

However, am I the only person who, upon seeing the unveiling of the new Daleks, looked askance and went "Really? iDaleks? Really?" What am I missing, other than they're bigger and, uh, come in multiple colours (and, apparently, personas).
posted by kalimac at 5:00 AM on April 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


You know what would be funny?

Richard Hammond as Dr. Who.


Or Peter Cook.
posted by turgid dahlia at 5:10 AM on April 18, 2010


Ouch, I just saw spitfires in space, and new ergonomic Daleks which seem to have been given a design refresh courtesy of Suzuki.
posted by the noob at 5:17 AM on April 18, 2010


I've been catching the new Doctor eps...elsewhere...I liked the first ep, though I thought the "monster of the week" plot was pretty derivative of a lot of what they've been doing over the past many years. I liked the "not quite finished with the regeneration" Doctor in that ep, where it seemed Smith was channeling a bit of Tennant's manic character for some quite nice continuity.

The new sidekick is nice. So far.

I didn't make it too far into the second ep. It felt way too familiar.

Can't wait to watch the third episode. A Dalek ep is always ripping good fun. I'm good with a Dalek re-design, myself. They needed it.
As an aside, though, I have to say that the SFX in the new series, so far, seem to be pretty poorly integrated. I'm speaking mainly of the assorted monsters and whatnot. I know the show is traditionally done on the cheap, but the few SFX bits I've seen so far have been, well, way too obvious. Almost the digital-age versions of green screen.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:18 AM on April 18, 2010


The dalek redesign is pretty poor. The smaller headpiece and the way that it's shifted forward on the base gives the impression of an old man, hunched over and rubbing his hands. Not the most threatening image. Whereas the old design evoked a much more upright, haughty stance, with possible elements of goose-stepping thrown in for good measure.

We'd also better not see the daleks for a good wee while. They've been horribly overused for a couple of seasons and need to retreat to the shadows for a while if they're to retain their menacing punch.

I hope I'm wrong but there was a hint in the third episode that Amy might be going down the "falling for the Doctor" route. I felt that the same kind of story arc ruined Martha Jones, who started off fun and spunky and ended up moany and ineffectual.

That's my whinges out of the way - Matt Smith is an excellent, otherworldly Doctor, Amy's so far keeping pace in style and some of the one-liners have been fabulous. Fingers crossed for the rest of the series.
posted by MUD at 5:26 AM on April 18, 2010


I'm not trying to bring down the room here or anything, but seriously -- be cool, fanboys, be cool!
posted by kittens for breakfast at 6:26 AM on April 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


(Addendum to previous post: A pretty leading question's posed at the end about whether such behavior is exclusive to Doctor Who fans, and you guys, this question is posed by someone who really, really does know better. I'm not sure what's up with that. I will say that in my personal experience, Doctor Who nerds -- at least in the US, where it's a fandom that is more sci-fi specific than it seems to be in the UK, where I get the impression the show is just generally popular with everyone, a la Star Wars or something -- tend to fall on the less gross side of the spectrum, or always have previously.)
posted by kittens for breakfast at 6:39 AM on April 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


I really like a lot about the new season, especially the first episode, but something feels off. So far the episodes don't hold back information, so there's a lack of suspense... It may be because they have adopted a writing structure suitable for inserting commercials? It is also overlit. However I still really enjoy it and will continue!
posted by niccolo at 6:49 AM on April 18, 2010


in the US, where it's a fandom that is more sci-fi specific than it seems to be in the UK, where I get the impression the show is just generally popular with everyone, a la Star Wars or something

Yeah, Doctor Who is huge here. I mean, it's not like Grandma* has the boxed set of sixth Doctor episodes or anything, but it's very heavily promoted, has a prime, Saturday-evening timeslot on BBC1, and gets huge viewing figures. It's seen as a family show rather than a sci-fi or fannish thing.

*Presumably the same Grandma targeted by Nintendo, who loves waggle.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 7:00 AM on April 18, 2010


Color-coded Daleks? Where have I seen those before (and never want to again)? Did the BBC decide that since they need a new licensed toy line for Christmas, they should update the franchise with an iPod Nano-flavored product line, as though Steve Jobs, not Davros, were the evil genius responsible for their creation? Oh well, I suppose some amusement may be had with them.
posted by Doktor Zed at 7:01 AM on April 18, 2010


Please, guys... if any member of the Top Gear task were to play the doctor, it'd be James May.

Also, given the new Dalek redesign, I suspect that the Stig has been recast as Darvos.

I'd also love to see John Cleese, Stephen Fry, or Hugh Laurie play the Master. Comedians really do make the best villains.
posted by schmod at 7:01 AM on April 18, 2010


The first two episodes of this new doctor were alright, I suppose. I hope he gets away from earth for a while, this season. I am so sick of saving the earth (okay, so it wasn't really earth in the second episode, y'know, but the spacebound UK is close enough). And daleks. And cybermen.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 7:05 AM on April 18, 2010


It's not really the Earth in any of them. Look more closely.

(Sorry, I'm on an "I've guessed the big twist" kick. Where did the Doctor say he'd ended up (with the swimming pool) when the TARDIS went mad in Ep 1? Why is River Song in the next episode?)
posted by Grangousier at 7:15 AM on April 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


For anyone interested in Doctor Who, Tom Baker's autobiography is a must read. He is gloriously barking
posted by quarsan at 7:57 AM on April 18, 2010 [4 favorites]


If you start with that season, you get to see the Doctor whom many people regard as the finest, Tom Baker (he really was incredibly good) along with the woman who was probably the companion par excellence, Elizabeth Sladen (as Sarah Jane, and she reprised this role several times in the new series as well); but you get to see so much more with that series, too: Tom Baker's experiment, the sole instance of its kind, in being a Doctor without a companion for a series, in "The Deadly Assassin;" and a few series by the man whom many believe to have been the greatest writer of Doctor Who episodes ever, Robert Holmes.

Maybe I've seen the wrong Tom Baker serials--I've been limited to what I can get at the public library, so it was "The Pirate Planet" (which I was psyched about, Douglas Adams and all) and "The Image of the Fendahl"--but I've found what I've seen of him to be snooze-worthy bland. They were the first older episodes I saw, so I thought maybe it was just old Who, but then I watched "The Black Orchid" with Peter Davison and loved it. Even with the extended cricket sequence, I thought it was, well, great fun.

Then I downloaded a bunch of First Doctor episodes and loved those, too. The doctor was such a magnificent asshole back then. So I'm guessing I'm just the worst person ever and that I don't like Tom Baker. Even if my husband looks remarkably like him.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:06 AM on April 18, 2010


Grangousier: "It's not really the Earth in any of them. Look more closely.

(Sorry, I'm on an "I've guessed the big twist" kick. Where did the Doctor say he'd ended up (with the swimming pool) when the TARDIS went mad in Ep 1? Why is River Song in the next episode?)
"


I'm intrigued (and would like to sign up for your newsletter etc). Tell me more!
posted by Petrot at 8:13 AM on April 18, 2010


(Addendum to previous post: A pretty leading question's posed at the end about whether such behavior is exclusive to Doctor Who fans, and you guys, this question is posed by someone who really, really does know better. I'm not sure what's up with that. I will say that in my personal experience, Doctor Who nerds -- at least in the US, where it's a fandom that is more sci-fi specific than it seems to be in the UK, where I get the impression the show is just generally popular with everyone, a la Star Wars or something -- tend to fall on the less gross side of the spectrum, or always have previously.)

The irony here is that the really hard-core old-skool UK fanbase has a very large gay contingent (where RTD is the rule rather than the exception)...

The reason I really like Pond as an assistant as though she undeniably pretty she's played by a really good actress, and her and the writing have totally get the tone right in the sassy/feisty area without being too strident and annoying but able to dip into screamer when necessary. (Of course the perfect assistance would be sort of the top half of Peri and Leela from the waist down with some bits of Romana 2 in there... and... oh... yeah... no it's Sarah Jane isn't it. The feminist one. Yes, she's the best assistant. Her.)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:42 AM on April 18, 2010


(minor spoiler for ep. 3)






Okay, so it's not as much that the new design seems so unnecessary, it's the ridiculous pose they made. It's painfully obvious that making a series of colors for Daleks means A. unique personality as far as you can give to Daleks, but B. far more important, five toys to buy instead of one. But Jesus, they came out like fucking Power Rangers. I'm wondering how long before some genius starts wondering when they can form Ultra-Dalek Voltron and make me cry.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:43 AM on April 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


kittens for breakfast, I don't know whether this changes your reaction to her reaction, but D'Orazio isn't asking whether the boorishness of the guy at the mic is endemic to Who fans, but rather, the overwhelmingly negative response of the audience to his boorishness, which she was encouraged by and felt wouldn't have happened a decade ago:

Now, was the progressiveness of the crowdevidence of the growing maturity/inclusiveness of fandom in general? Or is it a trait specific of Doctor Who fans?
posted by bettafish at 8:51 AM on April 18, 2010


kittens for breakfast, I don't know whether this changes your reaction to her reaction, but D'Orazio isn't asking whether the boorishness of the guy at the mic is endemic to Who fans, but rather, the overwhelmingly negative response of the audience to his boorishness, which she was encouraged by and felt wouldn't have happened a decade ago

Ohhhhhh, okay. I guess that's what I get for reading the internet before coffee.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 9:05 AM on April 18, 2010


(Sorry, I'm on an "I've guessed the big twist" kick. Where did the Doctor say he'd ended up (with the swimming pool) when the TARDIS went mad in Ep 1? Why is River Song in the next episode?)"

Ooohhh, it just clicked. You're so right. Awesome.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:11 AM on April 18, 2010


Where did the Doctor say he'd ended up (with the swimming pool) when the TARDIS went mad in Ep 1?

Silence will fall.
posted by Servo5678 at 9:18 AM on April 18, 2010


Of course, I'm usually wrong, but the fun thing about mad conjecture is the period until I find that out.

Also, if you have pausable access to the first episode, check out the laptop and Amy's boyfriend's ID card.
posted by Grangousier at 9:23 AM on April 18, 2010


I'd also love to see John Cleese, Stephen Fry, or Hugh Laurie play the Master. Comedians really do make the best villains.
posted by schmod


I agree! I also thought Rowan Atkinson would make a good Master, too.

I'd love to see a Master who was as cunning and unorthodox and even "funny" as the Doctor, and with his own complex and possibly even justified reasons for meddling with time, space, other races, etc, instead of just "MUUHAHA I WILL RULE EVERYTHING AND LIVE FOREVAR". The last two beings with the unique Gallifreyan perspective AND their own TARDIS to play with could open up so many fascinating stories and conflicts instead of him just being another "Bad Guy Of The Week."

Or they could bring back the Rani...
posted by The otter lady at 9:23 AM on April 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


iDaleks.
posted by The Whelk at 9:34 AM on April 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


(Sorry, I'm on an "I've guessed the big twist" kick. Where did the Doctor say he'd ended up (with the swimming pool) when the TARDIS went mad in Ep 1? Why is River Song in the next episode?)

Probable mundane answers being:

1) The library rather than The Library (there are a couple of libraries in each TARDIS)
2) Because that'll be her first meeting with the Doctor. Unlike the last time which was the Doctor's first meeting with her.

It would be a cool twist in theory but in reality you end up with something like season 8 of Dallas (it was all a dream) which robs the preceding episodes of meaning and impact.
posted by MUD at 9:48 AM on April 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


Except rather than "That was all a dream" it would be "This is all a dream, how do I get out and what about the people I leave behind, which is slightly different. Though I do take your point. And, yes, 2, you're right.

But making up mad theories is part of the fun for me, as much as moaning about this new monster design or that deus ex machina ending is for other people. There are odd things afoot, though.
posted by Grangousier at 10:13 AM on April 18, 2010


Fans of the show should absolutely pick up Russell T. Davies's The Writer's Tale. The last three years of Doctor Who stories have been almost entirely written by the seat of that man's pants. He is insane and kind of amazing and the fact that so many resonant themes show up in the show anyway is a testament to his strength as a writer. And to David Tennant's strength as an actor who can make it all seem natural.

I took it rather differently. Fans of the show could read Davies' book to confirm the sense that the RTD stories were indeed so awful precisely because RTD was an uncommitted dick whose devotion to BIG BIG BIG, MORE MORE MORE, and BUGGER the series was so devout that it will take close to a miracle to recover from the damage.

The Who series had a heroin period and now it's on methadone for recovery. Let's hope it doesn't lax back into RTD like nonsense again.
posted by juiceCake at 10:21 AM on April 18, 2010


the RTD episodes turned me off the recent Whos. At the end it seemed like fanfic.

(also, the DIRECTION of those episodes seems completely schizo. Even other ones, like Mark Gatiss's second season episode had a good hook (Queen Victoria! Werewolves! The corrupt Royal line!) totally ruined by the insane direction.)

(also, if you have the time, check out Gatiss' Lucifer Box stories. It's like if Sherlock Holmes was Dorian Gray as Dr. Who.)
posted by The Whelk at 10:31 AM on April 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


I don't understand the library speculation. Do you guys think that they're in the Library from the Forest of the Dead? I don't get why you think that...?

My guess is that Emily isn't from Earth, but Mondas. Then there can be a finale with the original Cybermen.

I still want someone to explain the duck pond line from the first episode. That really was out of the blue and made no sense in the context of the episode, so I think it's important.
posted by painquale at 10:43 AM on April 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


One other piece of evidence for the Mondas theory: a Mondas day is only a few Earth seconds long. That explains why the Doctor is late in both episodes 1 and 3.
posted by painquale at 10:56 AM on April 18, 2010


2) Because that'll be her first meeting with the Doctor. Unlike the last time which was the Doctor's first meeting with her.

Can't be. In the special preceding the premier on BBCA last night, they showed a clip where she was correcting the Doctor's TARDIS landing procedure. Something like:

-"I've just landed"
-"You couldn't. It didn't make the *wheeze, sigh, wheeze, sigh (emulating the TARDIS engines)* noise"
-"It's not supposed to make that noise. You always leave the brake on."
-"But I like that sound..."

Unless she's a Time Lady, or a previous companion to another Time Lord, she couldn't possibly know that.
posted by askmeaboutLOOM at 11:30 AM on April 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


Oh, the Mondas theory is reasonable. Another possibility might be that the cracks are the space between dimensions opening up again. Obviously they're related to the situation, too, somehow.
posted by askmeaboutLOOM at 11:39 AM on April 18, 2010


I can't watch it again right now to be sure, but I think Moffat said in this interview that "The Time of Angels"/"Flesh and Stone" take place later in River Song's personal timeline, after she's known the Doctor for a while.
posted by maqsarian at 11:46 AM on April 18, 2010


Oh, he also mentions the date on Rory's ID card in that interview, and says it was a production mistake.
posted by maqsarian at 11:48 AM on April 18, 2010


Mondas fans should check out Spare Parts, set at the dawn of the Cybermen and probably the best of the Big Finish audios so far. TBH I'm so-so on spin off materials in general but this one is great.
posted by Artw at 11:51 AM on April 18, 2010


Ah, so the Moff debunks my big idea. Ho hum. I'm not that attached.

(Unless he's lying, of course. I mean, he doesn't give interviews under oath, does he?)
posted by Grangousier at 12:04 PM on April 18, 2010


Oh, the Mondas theory is reasonable. Another possibility might be that the cracks are the space between dimensions opening up again. Obviously they're related to the situation, too, somehow.

The Mondas idea, while kinda neat, really only works if Mondas is exactly like earth, down to having the same public figures, same nation states, same computer brands, same basic world history (!), etc., which I think is a bit of a stretch. There's a big difference between a planet being a twin of another and a BSG-style "all of this has happened before and all of this will happen again" deal (though I am waiting for the eventual reveal that Caprica isn't a prequel to BSG at all, but actually a sequel that takes place in our far future, because that kinda thing would fly there). Put another way, RTD might have gone there, but Moffat seems a little too concerned with logic to pull something like that.

More likely to me is that we're headed back into alternate-timeline territory. I don't think it'll be anything as radical as grown-up Amy Pond coming from an alternate 1990 or whatever, but there is an implication in "The Eleventh Hour" that the Doctor may have come back for young Amelia after all -- but since that obviously didn't happen, what to make of the scene? The new opening also implies that the Tardis is navigating through a much rougher timestream than before (which would also explain why the Doctor's having more trouble than usual arriving at the right times), and as much as Moffat seems to want his show to be a departure from RTD's, I do wonder if maybe all the fucking around with history the Doctor got up to in the last few specials hasn't somehow really warped space-time. In any case, that's my guess for the Big Twist (or at least part of it): That the Amy he picked up as an adult is a different version of the Amelia he met at the beginning of the episode.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 1:07 PM on April 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


(Oh, and Mondas also seems to work only if the Doctor had more or less the same history there that he did on earth, to judge from the end of "The Eleventh Hour." Plotholes like that would certainly never intimidate Russell Davies, but...)
posted by kittens for breakfast at 1:09 PM on April 18, 2010


Daletubbies.
posted by fleetmouse at 4:28 PM on April 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


XQUZYPHYR: I'm wondering how long before some genius starts wondering when they can form Ultra-Dalek Voltron and make me cry.
This was my first thought/fear when they all lined up. I hope and pray that we're both wrong. I also hope and pray that the long lingering looks at the end of ep3 don't imply yet another bloody Doctor/companion mooney romance bollocks.

That being said, I'm very pleasantly surprised by Matt Smith's Doctor. I was very pessimistic about whether he'd have the gravitas necessary, but he's rectified one of the biggest problems I had with Ten -- shoutytennant*.

"TELL ME WHY YOU'RE DOING THIS TELL MEEEEEEE I AM THE DOCTORRRRRRRRRR"

Smith's Doctor, like others before him, actually appears to THINK a bit, and figure out what's going on, rather than just running a lot, and shouting at things.


*NB: I love David Tennant. But he's very shouty. He even goes all shoutytennant in his recent Hamlet; I almost thought when watching this that the Tardis would appear in the back of the set.

posted by coriolisdave at 5:33 PM on April 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh, and.. (Philip Glenister's) Gene Hunt as the next Doctor. He's even got the right Jacket, and those boots! Imagine the possibilities...
posted by coriolisdave at 5:35 PM on April 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh, and.. (Philip Glenister's) Gene Hunt as the next Doctor. He's even got the right Jacket, and those boots! Imagine the possibilities...

Agreed.
posted by juiceCake at 6:10 PM on April 18, 2010


(Philip Glenister's) Gene Hunt as the next Doctor

And they keep John Simm as the Master, and cast the woman who played Annie as the Doctor's companion. Then they could do a story with the Ice Warriors, and when the companion sees them, she asks "So there's really life on Mars?", and then all three of them turn and look at the camera, smirking.
posted by maqsarian at 6:14 PM on April 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


OK, totally unrelated, but I have to admit some fandom. We once had the opportunity to pick the name of a horse for his registration. One grandsire was named Time Supreme, another was named Lord O'Shea. You can guess we had no problem naming the lucky colt Time Lord.

Unfortunately, he didn't turn out to be as astute as the good Doctor; kinda a dolt, but we always got a big smile when anyone figured out his name's origin.
posted by mightshould at 6:36 PM on April 18, 2010


The recently leaked sex scene between Rose and the Eleventh Doctor is a little worrisome, but it seems to be done tastefully.
posted by painquale at 7:49 PM on April 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


fearfulsymmetry: “It's interesting to read about Pond being too active in contrast to me watching the first ever series of Doctor Who last week (An Unearthly Child) where the Doctor spends about half the time being either a bastard or a coward and the companions take the lead in the plot.”

I know, right? William Hartnell is honestly close to my favorite Doctor for precisely this reason. He's a Doctor uncorrupted, a Doctor who doesn't give a shit about human beings yet.

You should continue watching, by the way. I really think that the best Hartnell episodes, and some of the best Who episodes of all time, are the two that comprise the third serial: The Edge of Destruction and The Brink of Disaster. Every Who fan should see those two, as they're damned incredible as drama. And the Doctor - well, again, he's almost a villain there.

PhoBWanKenobi: “Maybe I've seen the wrong Tom Baker serials--I've been limited to what I can get at the public library, so it was "The Pirate Planet" (which I was psyched about, Douglas Adams and all) and "The Image of the Fendahl"--but I've found what I've seen of him to be snooze-worthy bland.”

Well, first of all, those two aren't really the best Baker serials, you're right. You should keep in mind, for one thing, that the ones written by Robert Holmes are always going to be the best. And, second, if you're willing to take a bit of advice: the one Tom Baker serial I think everybody should see, the one that you could see to view the fantastic insanity and awesome genius-like nuttiness of Tom Baker in finest form, it's "The Deadly Assassin." I warn you that it's a bit odd, and I think Robert Holmes wrote it intentionally with some strangeness in mind - but it's wonderful. Part of the theme seems to be that the Doctor without a companion can be incredibly dangerous; I don't think it's odd to assume that RT Davies probably had "The Deadly Assassin" in mind when he wrote "The Waters of Mars" and was thinking through the story arc of Tennant's years, as it certainly seems to cover some familiar ground. It would also make sense since Robert Holmes is Russell Davies' favorite old Doctor Who writer. For this reason, I think you should also see another of the best Tom Baker serials: "The Talons of Wang Chiang." The only trouble there is you'll have to be willing to put up with very bad fake Chinese villains.
posted by koeselitz at 8:05 PM on April 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


To contribte my own theory about the cracks, I reckon we'll find out that the past four years have been the parallel time line, possibly the doctor locked away from the time war (rather than vice versa), and having switched places with the time lords at the end of s4, and now being in the 'real' world.

Of course, wanting to "it was all a dream" RTD's entire tenure may or may not be wishful thinking.
posted by coriolisdave at 9:51 PM on April 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


I still want someone to explain the duck pond line from the first episode. That really was out of the blue and made no sense in the context of the episode, so I think it's important.

The ""But there aren't any ducks on it so how do you know its a duck pond?" line?

But there aren't any Daleks in it, so how do you know its Amelia Pond?

/raises single eyebrow
posted by Sparx at 12:46 AM on April 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Saw the Daleks one... Thought it was pretty dreadful. The initial idea was morally interesting (the Doctor, for once, is being the paranoid racist) but they had nowhere to go with it and then it degenerated into yet another "daleks find a regenerating device" episode. I'm not sure I like the moral that some creatures are always and forever evil, whenever you meet them, and if they seem to be nice they are only pretending.

Can someone please stop the character from saying "I AM THE DOCTOR" over and over? The line stands out so much it should be the basis of a drinking game. It seems weirdly self-glorifying.

That said, Matt Smith is much better than David Tennant. The show seems less in love with him, he can play more than just coked up enthusiasm and his overall demeanour is a rather charming, eager-to-please "young fogey". He looks like he should be writing opinion pieces about Thucydides for the Telegraph.

(And for what it's worth, I thought the Steven Moffat episodes were very good - full of a kind of little boy enthusiasm, a kind of kids' show scariness and joy, that had been missing from the series under RTD).

BW, To anyone who wants to check out more of Moffat's work outside Doctor Who, I strongly recommend Jekyll.
posted by lucien_reeve at 1:33 AM on April 19, 2010


Agreed on Jekyll, which also features one of my favourite dream-Doctor actors in James Nesbitt. Doctor Facefullaheed? Yes pls.
posted by coriolisdave at 2:14 AM on April 19, 2010


Matt Smith seems to be doing a surprisingly good job as the Doctor. I've only seen the first episode but can't wait for the rest of the season.
posted by drezdn at 6:13 AM on April 19, 2010


Last night I kept wishing the Doctor would appear on Riverworld and use his powers to reset the fucking story to resemble the books more, but I guess even Time Lords can't be everywhere. *Sigh*
posted by homunculus at 8:28 AM on April 19, 2010


Karen Gillan = love
Matt Smith = nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

(Apparently I remain in the minority on the new Doctor, but Smith compared to Tennant? Ugh). Also? new iDaleks? Blah. No. I like the old school ones better.

Guess I'll have to keep watching in an attempt to become convinced, but so far, not really doing it for me quite yet (with the exception of Amelia Pond).
posted by bitter-girl.com at 10:12 AM on April 19, 2010


I think I'd rather have Karen Gillan be the Doctor and Matt Smith be the annoying companion.
posted by stavrogin at 1:02 PM on April 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Awesome to see this thread right when I am rediscovering the Doctor after not watching it since the Tom Baker days.

As far as where to start (asked upthread), I started with Christopher Eccleston and have gone in order from there. I'm somewhere in the David Tennant episodes right now. I really have enjoyed both of those guys so far, and both companions I've seen (Rose/Martha). Plot quality varies, but I have pretty much had a blast. Going in order is pretty important I think.

If you are in the US and have Netflix instant hooked up to your TV in some way, the first few seasons after the reboot are all available for free.

Regarding the Daleks, I'm so used to how they've always looked that I don't mind the sort of silly shape. Plus I see Dr. Who as fun, light sci-fi and I don't really expect it to have realistic effects. The characters are what keep me coming back. A nice benefit of thinking of it as "light" is that every time they throw an emotional punch related to an assistant or some other character, or every time there is a genuinely scary moment, it hits me a lot harder than if it was just relentlessly serious, gloomy, and realistic.

Once I get caught up to the new guy I think I'm going to try to go find the Tom Baker stuff.

Woo hoo!
posted by freecellwizard at 1:20 PM on April 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


...but there is an implication in "The Eleventh Hour" that the Doctor may have come back for young Amelia after all -- but since that obviously didn't happen, what to make of the scene?
posted by kittens for breakfast


Assuming you're talking about the scene about 56 minutes into the episode, I interpreted this as a dream. It cuts from young Amelia smiling at the Doctor coming back to adult Amelia waking up in bed, and the doctor actually coming back (she was dreaming the dream of the Doctor, the actual sound of the ship made him actually appear in the dream rather than not as had really happened, then she woke up and he was actually there.) Obviously I could be wrong but that's how I read the scene.
posted by haveanicesummer at 2:10 PM on April 19, 2010


A mathematical analysis of the ages of the actors who have played the Doctor.
posted by brundlefly at 2:25 PM on April 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Meanwhile, Russell T Davies hasn't left the franchise completely - of course. He's writing a special episode of his spin-off The Sarah Jane Adventures with guest star Matt Smith (as the Doctor, obviously) and sees the return of Jo Grant (Katy Manning), who was a Companion of the Third Doctor (Jon Pertwee).
posted by crossoverman at 8:21 PM on April 19, 2010


Meanwhile, Russell T Davies hasn't left the franchise completely - of course.

The Whoverse and the BBC have RTD. Canadians have Nickelback. I'm not quite sure whose worse off.
posted by juiceCake at 9:45 PM on April 19, 2010


‘New New’ Doctor Who: Brand Regeneration?
Writing in his BFI TV Classics book on Doctor Who, critic Kim Newman observes that the triumphant success of the show’s 2005 reinvention might yet cast a long shadow, with the series coming under pressure to stay the same for a long time to come. Doctor Who’s continuation under a new showrunner, Steven Moffat, along with eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith) and fresh companion Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) very much reminds me of what I’ll call Newman’s Dictum.
posted by Artw at 9:29 AM on April 20, 2010


I'm still all "Patrick Troughton 4 EVA." I think it has a lot to do with his doctor setting the standard for the doctor arriving in a situation and curiously watching humans completely fuck it up, all the while passively mumbling, "I wouldn't do that if I were you," and finally taking charge at the last moment to save those who haven't yet been killed.

Like Tomb of the Cybermen.

It was a nice direction in which to go after Hartnell's blatant unconcern for humans. I mean, he began by taking two schoolteachers hostage because they knew too much, shortly thereafter nearly getting them killed by a combination of radioactive fallout and daleks, all because he was so curious about the seemingly abandoned planet they'd found that he lied about the TARDIS malfunctioning.

Alright, so, I like Hartnell, too. Actually, I like all of them, save Colin Baker and David Tennant. The jury's still out on Matt Smith. But Troughton is my favorite.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 10:50 AM on April 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


That's a bizarre article. The author uses any thread of continuity between RTD's episodes and Moffat's episodes as evidence that the show isn't evolving. I really don't think that Matt Smith mentioning the Shadow Proclamation indicates that the show is becoming ossified. But the author cites it anyway.

That being said, there probably is more continuity being forced on us than necessary. Moffat said that he didn't really want to bring the Daleks back, but he needed to have 11 face them early on so that it would cement him as the Doctor in the audience's minds. Still, Moffat did change their role in the Who universe, and is now getting rid of them for a while. I don't think there's any indication that Who is becoming a brand that can't change (or whatever the author's thesis is). How much change in the tenor of the show was there between other regenerations? Obviously 2 to 3 was a big alteration, as was... um... 7 to 8, but I don't think other regenerations took the show in radical new directions.

I also highly doubt that The Beast Below was intentionally scheduled to fall on the first day of the general election. It clearly had to be the second episode of the season, and there's no way Moffat could have known when the second episode would be airing when he wrote it. There's way too much conspiracy-theory stuff in that article.

I do wish that we'd get a cranky Doctor who didn't want to hug humanity all the time, and I think it's pretty unlikely that we'll see that again. It's not clear if that's the fault of the new series though.
posted by painquale at 10:57 AM on April 20, 2010


Yeah that article was fairly interesting yet made essentially zero sense in its conclusions. He ascribes to branding what to me makes sense as natural writing. The RTD years are the Doctor's most recent memories, it would be bizarre and pointless if the Doctor never again mentioned the Shadow Proclamation or any of RTD's ideas. Moffat can and will surely minimize those that he doesn't feel worked well, but a radical reinvention just for its own sake doesn't make sense from a narrative perspective either. If Moffat hangs around for long enough to have another regeneration take place, things might be different enough for this article's taste I guess. Doctor Who by necessity I think, needs to cling to plot continuity and ties to previous lines because the nature of the show's plot means The Doctor is virtually the only character the audience knows at a new regeneration, and even he is played by a different actor with a different personality. No other show in existance (that I can think of) does this kind of thing. It's a tough trick to pull off, but so far it appears Moffat and Smith have stuck the landing.
posted by haveanicesummer at 11:22 AM on April 20, 2010


Fans protest at the new theme tune for Doctor Who
posted by Artw at 11:26 AM on April 20, 2010


(I'd agree with them, TBH. I want my bassline back!)
posted by Artw at 11:27 AM on April 20, 2010


The new theme really isn't that different from the previous one. It just has those horn flourishes at the beginning that are unlike anything in any of the other themes, and I think it catches people off guard the first time they hear it, so they freak out.

The one they used during the Eccleston period was good, but I didn't like the drum-heaviness of the Tennant one and I prefer the new one. I hope the next isn't as orchestral. In any event, all of them are better than the horrible one played at the end of 7's career.
posted by painquale at 11:35 AM on April 20, 2010


Honestly, I actually really like the new theme - if only because it oddly reminds me of the way the theme was back in McCoy's days.
posted by koeselitz at 12:12 PM on April 20, 2010


Heh - didn't preview...
posted by koeselitz at 12:13 PM on April 20, 2010


The 'cracks in reality' feels a lot like the 'Bad Wolf' buildup. Except, Bad Wolf seemed a bit more subtle and in the background, and the cracks are always long lingering shots of doooom. That said, I thought the Bad Wolf thing was pretty anticlimactic, when it resolved, so hopefully they end on a better note.

Doctor's gotta be figuring out he's in some alternate reality, what with Amelia not remembering the Daleks.
posted by graventy at 1:02 PM on April 20, 2010


I've always heard of Doctor Who but never seen anything, so I went ahead and saw the pilot episode. I was intrigued enough to watch the next two (Beast Below, Victory of the Daleks). I had no idea that:

1. Doctor Who has a ton of English-masturbation in it. I mean in the second episode they're saved by the Queen, and the third episode is Churchill jingoism. The whole Battle of Britain thing was dreadfully cliche. I guess I know how the rest of the world felt watching Independence Day, but come on, a little self-realization?

2. Most British television series seem to have, well, unattractive actors. Why is this? I have no idea, but one thing that I always notice while watching BBC America is that they never throw a bone and give middling but attractive talent screen time. It really helps propel a mediocre plot, so I give Doctor Who a +5 on the sexiness aspect.

3. I've always heard of Daleks but never seeing Doctor Who didn't know what to expect. When they were unveiled I felt like I was watching an iMac commercial. A friend noted that they seemed to have plungers attached to their arms.

4. The trope of every episode having a well defined arc and everything returning to normal at the end of the episode feels a bit dated.

5. I'm still not quite sure what Doctor Who is, like why is he saving humanity? Does he control the Tardis thing? Why does he choose to go way in the future, is there a Quantum Leap aspect that the Tardis brings him to moments in time he needs to be? These might be explained as the show has a huge canon, and while 95% of it I got without having to use Wikipedia, developing Doctor Who and Amy as characters seems really secondary.

I might continue to watch it as new episodes come out, but I get the feeling that Doctor Who is more of a national treasure rather than something that can really stand on its own. More like a SciFi original series from the 90s. It did have better than average writing, but always seeming like it relied on the end of the episode dues ex machina that made things like Star Trek Voyager really tedious.
posted by geoff. at 6:25 PM on April 20, 2010


5. I'm still not quite sure what Doctor Who is, like why is he saving humanity? Does he control the Tardis thing? Why does he choose to go way in the future, is there a Quantum Leap aspect that the Tardis brings him to moments in time he needs to be? These might be explained as the show has a huge canon, and while 95% of it I got without having to use Wikipedia, developing Doctor Who and Amy as characters seems really secondary.

I think the major problem is that what you saw wasn't a pilot in any sense of the word. It's a continuation of an iteration of a show that's been on for four years continuously--and for fortyish years before that. While Amy is a new character, the writers are really under no obligation to hand-hold the audience in terms of who or what the Doctor is. In fact, from what I've seen, this lack of hand-holding is pretty much a mark of the series. The Doctor's home planet and race weren't even revealed for years and years after his introduction. All you really need to know is this: the Doctor is a time traveling alien called a Time Lord. The TARDIS is his time machine/space ship. He loves humans, and usually travels with one. He seeks out adventure--trouble usually finds him in return. And he's awesome. That's pretty much enough to ground you in the series.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:27 PM on April 20, 2010


That was a really funny review. I always like seeing how newcomers react to Doctor Who... it's always different. Yeah, I noticed the British jingoism thing too. It's a really British show, but it's not normally that British. And it can definitely stand on its own... it's picked up a lot of new US viewers in the last few years.
posted by painquale at 8:34 PM on April 20, 2010


Well, it's always extremely Britain-centric, because it's a British show. Yeah the last couple eps were very jingoistic (well, ep 2 was really the opposite). The aliens are always landing in the UK, replacing the prime minister, beaming down in London, blowing up Big Ben, etc etc, in fact in the five years of the new series I can't remember a time they were anywhere on Earth outside of the UK. Oh, wait, Pompeii! And the Master doesn't discriminate so much.
posted by mek at 8:47 PM on April 20, 2010


There's also Daleks Take Manhattan.
posted by painquale at 9:07 PM on April 20, 2010


geoff.: I've always heard of Doctor Who but never seen anything, so I went ahead and saw the pilot episode...”

Well, first off, I'm sure you know this, but it's sort of odd to call the first episode of the 31st season of the show the "pilot episode." Although I can see how the changing-actors thing might lead one to think that way about it.

“Doctor Who has a ton of English-masturbation in it. I mean in the second episode they're saved by the Queen, and the third episode is Churchill jingoism. The whole Battle of Britain thing was dreadfully cliche. I guess I know how the rest of the world felt watching Independence Day, but come on, a little self-realization?”

I know - honestly, as a longtime fan, that disappointed me, too; so you shouldn't think it's typical. In fact, one of the ironic things about that last episode is that way back in the first 'new' season, in 2005, the writer and now creative director of the show, Steven Moffat, used the battle of Britain as the backdrop of his first episode for the show - and honestly, it was a much, much better episode. In fact, it won several awards for excellence in science fiction, including a Hugo; it's called "The Empty Child," and I highly recommend it. That two-part story is well worth checking out, and I think it does stand on its own, although the entire first 'new' season is worth watching.

I think a lot of us are excited about the new season not because the first few episodes have been so great - they've been middling, honestly, though not that bad - but because Steven Moffat, the writer, has written what have been not only some of the best episodes of Doctor Who but in fact the best science fiction anywhere in the last ten years. It's worth just checking out the episodes that he's written [1 2 3 4] just to see what he's capable of.

“Most British television series seem to have, well, unattractive actors. Why is this? I have no idea, but one thing that I always notice while watching BBC America is that they never throw a bone and give middling but attractive talent screen time.”

I don't think this is true at all, to be honest, as an American who has a weird liking of UK TV. I think it might be something you get from watching BBC America (which is nothing like BBC UK) but even then I wonder - don't they still show Footballers' Wives on BBCA all the time? I haven't looked in a while. Of course, I think one of the things that repels me about US television is that everybody always looks so fake - so I don't know if I'm a good judge. Still, it might be worthwhile to note that the last Doctor, David Tennant, was far from unattractive.

“I might continue to watch it as new episodes come out, but I get the feeling that Doctor Who is more of a national treasure rather than something that can really stand on its own. More like a SciFi original series from the 90s. It did have better than average writing, but always seeming like it relied on the end of the episode dues ex machina that made things like Star Trek Voyager really tedious.”

Er - I know what you mean. These last three episodes have been a bit heavy on the jingoism (honestly, "Victory of the Daleks" was awful, in my opinion) and light on the substance. However, I would keep in mind that this is, in fact, the longest-running science fiction show ever, not only in the UK but in the world. And, yes, currently there is some flatness, but the show's been groundbreaking in many ways since it first aired in 1963. It has been at least as influential and innovative as Star Trek and Star Wars were in their turn, I think, although its influence has sometimes been more subtle.

More to the point: yes, a lot of us old-school die-hard fans were a little worried when they decided to revive the series after 16 years in 2005. We thought it might end up like you're describing - a sort of Sci-Fi Channel Original MovieTM that was kind of well-produced but ultimately hokey and banal. But from the very first season, this new Doctor Who has been just as groundbreaking, and just as much a vehicle for some of the best sci-fi writing and drama in the past decade. So it's worth checking out, even if you skip over some stuff and only go for particular episodes.

If you only watch one other episode, I recommend "Blink." Honestly, Doctor Who has pretty much become what I think The X Files was in the 1990s, at least for a while: a stage for a ton of really good science fiction writers, some of the best working in television today, to produce some fantastic ideas and put them on film. It's worth giving it a chance.
posted by koeselitz at 9:11 PM on April 20, 2010


On that subject, what episodes do you guys show to newcomers to try to get them hooked? I'm gonna try to convert a few more people soon, but I'm not sure how to best expose them to the series. I need to make people want to keep watching the next episode... they could give up at any moment, so I can't toss in an episode that explains the Doctor's history but is otherwise a dud.

Blink and Midnight are both awesome, but the first hardly contains the Doctor, and in the second one he's not very Doctory. (It's the first episode since Genesis of the Daleks without the TARDIS in it!) They're just not very representative of the show---most episodes are adventure-y creature features, and I'm worried about giving the wrong impression. I'm thinking that both of Moffat's two-parters might be good. But those two parters are just so crammed full of stuff that they're probably pretty confusing to someone who doesn't know a thing about the show.

How about: Blink to whet the appetite. Then Moffat's library episodes to get some sci-fi adventure and introduce how imposing the Doctor is ("I'm the Doctor... look me up." Moffat pretty much repeated that conceit with 11's "Basically... run."). Then Midnight for some more psychological horror. Then The Empty Child and The Doctor Dances to show off 9 and Jack. And only then start with 11's episodes. Maybe throw Waters of Mars in there at the end. I really like that one.

The only problem is that every other episode seem terrible in comparison.
posted by painquale at 9:58 PM on April 20, 2010


Blink's gonna be handy for next weeks episode as well.
posted by Artw at 10:04 PM on April 20, 2010


I was watching casually through most of season 4 with my husband, painquale, but I wasn't totally hooked until I saw Silence in the Library. That did it for me. No turning back!
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:05 PM on April 20, 2010


All you really need to know is this: the Doctor is a time traveling alien called a Time Lord. The TARDIS is his time machine/space ship. He loves humans, and usually travels with one. He seeks out adventure--trouble usually finds him in return. And he's awesome.

This seems to be the central thrust of the series. Much like how the major theme in the Blade films is "don't fuck with Blade."
posted by brundlefly at 11:16 PM on April 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


Doctor's gotta be figuring out he's in some alternate reality, what with Amelia not remembering the Daleks.

I sincerely hope the reverse is true, and the nonsense of RTD is passed off as, well, delusional nonsense. Not remembering the millions of Daleks or the millions of Cyberman or the millions of electric balls or the Doctor as Jesus would be welcome.

In many ways very much iike X-Files. which has a number of fabulous episodes/stories and this horrible alien arc that went from vague idea to absolutely awful.
posted by juiceCake at 11:24 PM on April 20, 2010


There's no way Moffat is going to retcon the Russell T Davies years into an alternate world. The Doctor is either in a parallel dimension now or there's some other explanation.
posted by crossoverman at 11:59 PM on April 20, 2010


There's no way Moffat is going to retcon the Russell T Davies years into an alternate world.

Agreed. One can wish though. It would be almost a tribute to RTD, a sort of see, I can do something spectacularly, grandly contrived as well.

The Doctor is either in a parallel dimension now or there's some other explanation.


Or a combination of both...
posted by juiceCake at 4:38 AM on April 21, 2010


crossoverman:There's no way Moffat is going to retcon the Russell T Davies years into an alternate world.
What about if we wish REALLY REALLY hard?
posted by coriolisdave at 5:34 AM on April 21, 2010


RTD did send his Rose/Doctor fanfic into an alternate dimension to make out forever, so anything can happen?
posted by haveanicesummer at 6:33 AM on April 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Replace St. George with Doctor Who
posted by Artw at 11:32 AM on April 21, 2010


Fox kills US Torchwood - unsurprising, really. I hope RTD got a fat wad of cash.
posted by Artw at 5:38 PM on April 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Fox kills US Torchwood

Oh, thank god.
posted by maqsarian at 5:51 PM on April 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Replace St. George with Doctor Who

We should so do that. We could get rid of the boring St George's cross on our flag and replace it with Tom Baker's face.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 11:09 PM on April 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


I liked these SFX minute-by-minute reviews of The Beast Below and Victory of the Daleks. They have some neat observations and trivia.
posted by painquale at 1:32 AM on April 22, 2010


From that review: And the humped backs give them a really silhouette that looks slightly odd and comical.

I love the Daleks, but what part of the old silhouette was not slightly odd and comical?
posted by Gary at 10:10 AM on April 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Doctor Who: The Adventure Games – first episode, The City of the Daleks, revealed
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:13 AM on April 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


How To Make A Dalek Cake
posted by homunculus at 8:33 PM on April 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


How To Make A Dalek Cake

I like that video, but I don't get io9's headline for it: "How To Make A Dalek Cake, Explained To You 'Mad Men' Style". It's a woman calmly demonstrating how to make Daleks out of swiss rolls and stacked sandwiches. Not a thing to do with Mad Men, other than it was shot in the 1960s, and Mad Men takes place in the 1960s.

Not to call out io9, because I generally like them, but they do the same sort of thing with the word "steampunk", and it's annoying as hell.
posted by maqsarian at 12:48 AM on April 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


You guys inspired me to write a Doctor Who-themed Wallace Stevens parody.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 6:34 AM on April 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


That's Valerie Singleton making the Dalek cake on Blue Peter, by the way. Valerie Singleton is the only woman I can think of who was shockingly came out as straight.
posted by Grangousier at 6:56 AM on April 23, 2010


Io9 is pretty variable in quality. Sometimes they have good stuff, and I check it all the time because of that, and other times they just seem to throw together any old crap to make their quota or something.
posted by Artw at 7:39 AM on April 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


Episode 4, featuring the return of River Song and the Weeping Angels, is bloody good. So's you know.
posted by Grangousier at 2:04 PM on April 24, 2010


Gah. Just as I was going to go back to US schedule.
posted by Artw at 2:17 PM on April 24, 2010


Hoo boy. That was a real return to form.

It's amazing how much cool stuff Moffat manages to cram into his episodes. The Doctor Dances episodes didn't just have amazingly creepy gas mask zombies; they also introduced Captain Jack. I always remember the Forest of the Dead episodes for the creepy walking skeletons and River Song, and then when I watch them again I realize that I always forget that there's that subplot with the little girl and the brilliant cliffhanger with her psychiatrist telling her that her hallucinations are real. And then there are the square hole guns, Donna's children blipping out of existence whenever she looks away, etc. I think the reason that I thought The Beast Below didn't work is because Moffat needs a lot of space -- a two-parter or a longer episode like this season's intro -- to pack in all his ideas. His other single-episode works didn't have pretensions of being anything other than fairly simple one-offs. A single episode was too constrained for what Moffat wanted to do with TBB. (That being said, even his one-offs are chockablock with awesome ideas. The Weeping Angels would be neat enough with just their quantum locking, but their method of killing their victims by sending them into the past is a great addition. The Girl in the Fireplace has both the temporally displaced love story and the ship driven by human organs.)

All of this is just to say that this last episode was once again relentless in it's cool idea quotient. Every five minutes, something brilliant happened. Even the pre-opening-credits sequence was better than most anything from the last five years.
posted by painquale at 11:56 PM on April 24, 2010


Gah. To be continued...
posted by Tenuki at 1:06 AM on April 25, 2010


Apparently the whole Whoverse is up in arms about the Beeb inserting a cartoon Graham Norton in the last few seconds of the program to try and get people to keep watching the hideous Over The Rainbow talent show/Andrew Lloyd Webber free advert-fest that followed. That's the actual program not the titles. I've seen this nonsense cropping up on ITV but I'd have thought the BBC were above that sort of thing. I guess banging previews over the credits was the thin end of the wedge. I watched on Iplayer so thankfully missed it.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:28 AM on April 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah, that was annoying.
posted by Tenuki at 3:42 AM on April 25, 2010


Christ, I wish I lived somewhere where people got up in arms about that sort of thing. American networks have been pulling that crap for years. I only watch a couple of network television shows anymore, but when I do, it's all big animated graphics taking up the entire bottom third, sometimes with loud whooshy sound effects for extra intrusiveness. It's awful.
posted by maqsarian at 9:03 AM on April 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Video of the Graham Norton promo (obviously spoilering)

So as this is the second time he's intruded on the show (due to a technical error his voice was heard in the opening few secs of the very first ep of the revived version of the show) does it mean that Norton is ... the Master?
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 9:27 AM on April 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


American networks have been pulling that crap for years.

At least Graham Norton wasn't counting down the seconds until the next episode of V.
posted by Gary at 1:04 PM on April 25, 2010


Just another chime in to say that episode was fantastic. Wish all of them were that good. All three of the main actors/characters were in top form.
posted by haveanicesummer at 9:14 PM on April 25, 2010


Yeah, this was the episode we've been waiting for ever since the beginning of the season - very, very good. And as much as I was concerned about the attempt to make apparent one-off characters stick around, I think they did it well. The River Song character was one of the developments I most disliked about the new series, despite the quality of the Library episodes; but, without spoiling anything, I can say that I think I like the way they're handling it.
posted by koeselitz at 9:17 PM on April 25, 2010


The River Song character was one of the developments I most disliked about the new series, despite the quality of the Library episodes; but, without spoiling anything, I can say that I think I like the way they're handling it.
posted by koeselitz


I completely agree with this. I was really not on board with that character from the previous episodes either. This episode definitely started to convince me, and the best thing about it was that it was intriguing. I actually want to see where they're going with it (please let Moffat actually have a plan!)
posted by haveanicesummer at 5:54 AM on April 26, 2010


I completely agree with this. I was really not on board with that character from the previous episodes either. This episode definitely started to convince me, and the best thing about it was that it was intriguing. I actually want to see where they're going with it (please let Moffat actually have a plan!)

I'm pretty confident he does, which is to completely rip-off The Time Traveler's Wife in any of his episodes with a romantic subtext.

(And, like, I liked that book. But still.)
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 6:19 AM on April 26, 2010


That was a pretty great episode, but I'm biased because I really like the Weeping Angels.
posted by graventy at 6:11 PM on April 26, 2010


I'm pretty confident he does, which is to completely rip-off The Time Traveler's Wife in any of his episodes with a romantic subtext.

I would say this comparison is valid in regards to Girl in the Fireplace, but not in regards to River Song at all.
posted by crossoverman at 7:52 PM on April 26, 2010


No? In TTW, the wife in question is given a list of dates of all of her meetings with her husband, the time traveler, which seems to act much like Song's diary. When they finally meet in his timeline, she's already well acquainted with him. I haven't seen the newest episode, though, so we'll see if the parallels bear out. But it seems similar enough that I was all like "Hey, this is just like The Time Traveler's Wife!" when I saw it, which was before I saw Girl in the Fireplace. Which was also like it.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:03 PM on April 26, 2010


There are - er - differences, PhoBWanKenobi. Maybe not distinct yet, but there is one scene in which the whole thing is cast in an entirely different light.

And that's all I can say about that.
posted by koeselitz at 8:20 PM on April 26, 2010


Since, unlike the Doctor, I love spoilers, I've already read lots of spoilers for the new angels eps. I suspect that Moffat is going someplace a little more nuanced than Niffenegger--Song might end up being a bad guy, or a Time Lady, or, like, she's the one who kills the Doctor or something. I'm curious to see how the story develops over time. But anyway, I still think the diary bit with the list of meetings is v. evocative of TTW, and I'm not the only one who thinks so--the folks over at the tardis wiki mention it, too.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:20 PM on April 26, 2010


Yeah, that's true - there are real similarities. Though one should of course note that Silence in the Library itself really has nothing to do with the Time-Traveler's Wife narrative; I have to say that those episodes were fine science fiction in their own right, and very original. In fact, that was part of why I felt so conflicted about them, I think; on the one hand, here was this apparently lifted and frankly annoying sort of 'romance' thread about the Doctor and his supposed wife (I don't know why, but that idea just irks me) - stuck in the middle of a set of really and truly fantastic episodes that were apparently unrelated to it. I do like the fact that this River Song seems to have something a bit more ominous and evil about her now.

We could note in passing, as well, that Steven Moffat really seems to like these interesting sorts of evil creatures that have some odd rule about the way they get you; the Vashta Nerada there were very similar to the Weeping Angels.
posted by koeselitz at 11:14 PM on April 26, 2010


It's interesting how Moffat keeps reusing the same tropes in his episodes. He can just nail them, so they still come across as inventive and fresh, but his reliance on them is becoming more and more apparent as more of his episodes come out. Interacting with prerecorded videos (he used this in his show Jekyll as well), speechless monsters speaking through the voice of a victim, the Doctor saving the day by simply intimidating the monster with his legend, Time Traveler's Wife romances, things that work differently when not perceived, etc. Maybe he'll turn out to be a ten-or-twenty-trick pony.
posted by painquale at 12:34 AM on April 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Though one should of course note that Silence in the Library itself really has nothing to do with the Time-Traveler's Wife narrative; I have to say that those episodes were fine science fiction in their own right, and very original.

Oh, agreed, though I actually think that TTW was also fine science fiction, and the issues that the author raised about romance with a time traveler deserve to be explored more thoroughly. Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead and The Girl in the Fireplace were actually some of my favorite episodes, though I'm a sucker for romances with the Doctor. It's just that, by the time we get to Amy Pond being visited by the Doctor sporadically as a child, it feels a little predictable.

The romance with Reinette in The Girl in the Fireplace actually bothered me more, if only because the Doctor and Rose had clearly had a budding romance by this point, and it was swiftly--and awkwardly--forgotten, which seemed out of character for both. All that bemoaning about the loss of Rose later, despite "dancing" with a French courtesan, and inviting her along with him, in the middle of his interactions with Rose. The implied romance, and slight flirtation, with River Song seems/seemed more realistic when he's traveling with companions with whom he's not romantically linked.

Another theme that Moffat explores again and again: childhood--childhood fears explicitly, but childhood generally. You can really feel how well he does this in The Eleventh Hour, whose beginning feels like an awesome children's book to me.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 5:15 AM on April 27, 2010


Does one have to subscribe to BBC America to watch new episodes of Doctor Who in the US?
posted by humannaire at 10:05 PM on April 27, 2010


Er - no. Not exactly, humannaire.
posted by koeselitz at 11:14 PM on April 27, 2010


This thread is something of a Weeping Angel in itself: it keeps moving when I'm not looking at it.

(As long as it doesn't grow out of the screen and start chasing me. Much as I like Metafilter, I think that would give a whole new meeting to NSFW...)
posted by lucien_reeve at 6:41 AM on April 29, 2010


You can also purchase the season on itunes for about $3 an episode. But we're currently three weeks behind the UK, which is excruciating. Wish the hubby and I had realized that before we bought it!
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 6:50 AM on April 29, 2010


OHMYGODITJUSTDIDITAGAIN!
posted by lucien_reeve at 7:09 AM on April 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


To get your Doctor Who name, take your full name then, towards the end of your surname, insert the name Graham Norton.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 7:30 AM on April 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


          (\  _  /)
          (`\(")/')
          (`/:v:\')
           \\/^\//
            /   \  
           /     \
           `-._.-' 
posted by lucien_reeve at 8:08 AM on April 29, 2010 [5 favorites]


Oh no, I blinked and it got bigger.
posted by drezdn at 12:29 PM on April 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


                 __
               /`__`\
           .=.| ('') |.=.
          /.-.\ _)(_ /.-.\
         |:    / ~~ \    :|
         \ :  | (__) |  : /
          | :  \_/\_/  : |
          |:  /|    |\  :|
          \_/` |    | `\_/
               |    |
               |    |
               |~~~~|
               '----' 
posted by lucien_reeve at 10:54 PM on April 29, 2010 [8 favorites]


Pshh, just take like 10 steps back every time you blink...

or bring a chisel.
posted by haveanicesummer at 7:23 AM on April 30, 2010


Seriously, you should all stop feeding this thing.

I thought my last post made that pretty clear. There's, like, five whole paragraphs explaining why encouraging this thing to pay attention to us might be a very bad idea.
posted by lucien_reeve at 10:51 AM on April 30, 2010


I want to officially admit that my Big Idea, mentioned upthread, is almost certainly wrong. I don't mind, as that's part of the fun of having Big Ideas, as I now get to have another one.

Hoping the opening of the Pandorica is in eps 12 & 13.
posted by Grangousier at 2:59 PM on May 1, 2010


Hah, looks like Moffat is selectively retconning out everything ridiculous that Davies tossed in. Thank god that the Cyberking is a thing of the past (or rather, not even a thing of the past); that was really egregious.

Amy's not from Mondas. There goes that theory. But note that being a time traveler makes it so that you can remember what used to could've been, and Amy remembered that the duck pond was called a duck pond even though the ducks had been retconned out of existence. This probably means that she's time traveled before... the Doctor did come back for her when she was seven!

Why did the angels stop after they grabbed the doctor's jacket? I didn't quite understand that part. It had something to do with the crack... was something looking at them through the crack?

It's a little ridiculous how all the protagonists kept looking at one another to speak when surrounded by angels. Plenty of angels remained still even when there was obviously no one looking at them. I was really irritated by the way Sally Sparrow and her friend loitered in the middle of the ring of angels at the end of Blink; these episodes took that irritation to another level. I kinda liked to think that they were held frozen by the gaze of us, the audience, but we saw angels moving in this episode, so I can't really think that any more. I always hoped that we wouldn't see moving angels, but the payoff was sufficiently creepy that the decision was justified. Whatever happened to the angels' power to send people into the past? I really liked that about them.

11 is a great Doctor. I love his come-up-with-a-plan-on-the-fly braggadocio.
posted by painquale at 6:02 PM on May 1, 2010


I was really irritated by the way Sally Sparrow and her friend loitered in the middle of the ring of angels at the end of Blink

Are you talking about Sally and Larry in the Wester Drumlins basement, after the TARDIS dematerialized around them? They did freak out for a second, then realized they were fine loitering there, and not looking at the Angels, because the Angels were caught looking at each other. That was the entire point.
posted by maqsarian at 8:47 PM on May 1, 2010


Yeah, but they were standing right in the middle of the angels' sightlines, blocking the angels' view of one another. Sally pushed her face right up to one of them, occluding its vision. The angel across from it should have been freed.

I forgot that the angels cover their faces so as not to see one another. I bet these last two episodes made the mistake of forgetting this too, and had a bunch of angels all in the way of one another. The Doctor didn't even think to try the same trick that he used last time!
posted by painquale at 9:28 PM on May 1, 2010


I think it's pretty hilarious Moffat is explicitly retconning RTD. The man has balls. I wonder how Davies feels about it.
posted by mek at 12:01 AM on May 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


I think it's pretty hilarious Moffat is explicitly retconning RTD. The man has balls. I wonder how Davies feels about it.

I think that Moffat pretty much has to. There have been so many huge alien invasions etc. that the Earth that the Doctor Who characters inhabited at the end of Season 4 was utterly unlike our own. It would be impossible for Moffat to set stories in a recognisable present unless he brought their timeline back into line with our own.
posted by lucien_reeve at 2:55 AM on May 2, 2010


RTD was notorious for producing the Big Red Reset Switch at the end of his showpiece episodes - it seems that Moffat is making his entire first series a big red reset switch.

During Confidential last night (how sad am I, a 45-year-old man watching Dr Who puff-pieces on BBC3?) Moffat said that he's got the whole River Song story plotted out, implicitly through Matt Smith's whole run, which definitely makes a refreshing change from RTD.
posted by Grangousier at 4:00 AM on May 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Can The Daleks Ever Really Be Awesome Again?
posted by Artw at 8:23 AM on May 2, 2010


Guys, you guys are killing me, since I promised the mister I'd watch the new eps with him as they're released on itunes.

Now I have all sorts of theories about episodes I haven't even seen. And he won't let me share them, because, you know, spoilers.

But I can share them with you, right?--mouseover for wild conjecture.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:46 AM on May 2, 2010


Oh, also, regarding the above spoiler, I think we've already seen him.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:48 AM on May 2, 2010


The Gay Daleks
posted by Artw at 10:42 AM on May 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


Well if you are going in to OH NOES HOMOPHOBIA I'll at the OH NOES RACISM one... PUT HIM IN THE CURRY!

(And it's well worth watching all the Gay Daleks... went back to it the other day and had forgotten how funny it was (though some of the refs might be a bit too British and last century... PORTILLO! MMMM GORGEOUS!)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 11:26 AM on May 2, 2010


Ooh! Ooh! Michael Portillo!
posted by Artw at 11:34 AM on May 2, 2010


2001
posted by painquale at 2:11 PM on May 2, 2010


Doctor Who Tribute by the Wollongong Doctor Who Fan Club
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:23 PM on May 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Victory!
posted by homunculus at 2:24 PM on May 2, 2010


One of the most fascinating things about this season is that subsequent episodes are actually making the previous ones more interesting. I've found myself going back to rewatch bits to see exactly how they went.

It doesn't seem a coincidence that the episodes have had multiple mentions of fairytales.
posted by haveanicesummer at 7:29 AM on May 4, 2010


WOULD.YOU.LIKE.SOME.TEA!*

*I'm a few episodes behind.
posted by drezdn at 7:55 PM on May 4, 2010


Yes please.
posted by homunculus at 8:11 PM on May 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Fuck, finally got around to watching the WWII episode last night. The new Dalek Design is BUUUUUUUTT

I watched it with a friend of mine, and he was like, "Well, that's not the WORST Dalek episode I've ever seen; it's no Daleks Take Manhattan." And then we amused ourselves for the subsequent half-hour by going, "Ey! Youse Daleks! What a buncha wise guys, eh Paulie? Get a loada dese robot men!"
posted by Greg Nog at 5:30 AM on May 6, 2010


I like the way the new Daleks look, but I hate the way they sound.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 6:32 AM on May 6, 2010


The Doctor Who Monster That Looked A Little Too Phallic
posted by homunculus at 6:10 PM on May 6, 2010


From Twitter everyone seems to be digging the Venice one, even if it's about vampires, the most overused and boring monsters ever.
posted by Artw at 10:50 AM on May 8, 2010


Except not actual vampires, obviously. Alien fish beasts, which is much better.

Very good episode, I thought, and Toby Whithouse managed the breakneck pace of exposition and necessary plot arc stuff a lot better than Mark Gatiss did with the Dalek episode.

D'you suppose he read the Swamp Thing issue with underwater vampires (who only wanted to have a normal town, but relied on the local human population for food) before writing this?
posted by Grangousier at 10:59 AM on May 8, 2010


The Doctor needs to renew his library card.
posted by Tenuki at 8:21 PM on May 8, 2010 [4 favorites]


"That's all right, Casanova doesn't get born for 145 years, don't want to run into him."
posted by Tenuki at 11:18 PM on May 8, 2010


Terry Pratchett on Doctor Who.
posted by painquale at 11:24 AM on May 9, 2010


He's not entirely wrong, but I'd like to think things are going more in the direction of the stronger episodes he mentions.
posted by Artw at 11:26 AM on May 9, 2010


I'd have to guess that article is old, as it makes no reference to season five and many references to previous seasons. He also specifically praises "Blink". As criticism of Davies, I generally agree with everything he says there.
posted by mek at 3:52 PM on May 10, 2010


Moffat's who is just as fantastical (as opposed to "science fictional") but it seems a lot surer in it's narrative logic, with endings seeming to come more from the story rather than just appearing from nowhere. Some of the Angel stuff towards the end of Flesh and Stone didn't make a lot of sense given what we know from before though.
posted by Artw at 4:00 PM on May 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


The article's not that old: it's from the next issue of SFX, which Pterry's guest-editing. I think he interviews Karen Gillan in it too. He mentions at the end of the article that he'll be watching an episode with the kissogram companion "next Saturday", but he might have written that just before The Eleventh Hour came out.
posted by painquale at 1:02 AM on May 11, 2010


Weeping Angel cosplay.
posted by Tenuki at 12:21 AM on May 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Some of the Angel stuff towards the end of Flesh and Stone didn't make a lot of sense given what we know from before though.

I agree. Although I really enjoyed these two episodes, I did think that having the Weeping Angels possess anything that contained the image of an angel started to mess with the clarity and simplicity of their initial concept. Suddenly they weren't just something that moved when you weren't looking at it - they were something that could possess your TV or possess you if you looked at them. Are you supposed to look at them or not? "Look at them, but don't look at their eyes" - well, yes, but they cover their eyes, don't they? And anyway, that's a lot less child-like and simple a notion than it used to be.

So, whilst the Angel in the television made for a great scene - and, shades of Ringu, a nice "meta-scare" - "what if this thing comes out of my TV into my safe living room at home and oh-my-God gets me?" - I thought it almost should have been an entirely new creature. The opposite of the Weeping Angel: the thing that comes and gets you if you look at it. Sort of like Raw Head and Bloody Bones in his room under the stairs, if you are familiar with that old tale.

There was a creature called The Wire, a couple of seasons ago, that took over your TV. Maybe that creature should have been the "look at it and you're dead" creature (or the look at it and it breeds in your eyes creature).

Anyway, the Angels don't exist anymore and never did, so at least this thread is now safe!
posted by lucien_reeve at 6:19 AM on May 13, 2010


My only gripe with that episode was when they showed the angels moving. I had assumed they took some other form when you weren't looking. Something scarier than animatronic presidents at least.
posted by Gary at 10:09 AM on May 13, 2010 [2 favorites]



My only gripe with that episode was when they showed the angels moving. I had assumed they took some other form when you weren't looking. Something scarier than animatronic presidents at least.

Yeah, and in fact isn't that pretty much in the script? They have their eyes open when moving en masse as well.

Anyway, the Angels don't exist anymore and never did, so at least this thread is now safe!

That's happened at least half a dozen times with the Daleks now and the buggers still keep coming back. In the NuWho version of Genesis of the Daleks Tom Baker would have said sorry a lot, connected the wires, killed the Daleks before they ever existed and then the next week they'd turn up again.

Oh, and really what the series needs is for them to say "preception filter" a few more hundred times.
posted by Artw at 10:18 AM on May 13, 2010


Well, the angels on that planet don't exist any more and aren't coming back. It's not like the soldiers walking into the crack erased all of humanity. That wasn't supposed to be all the angels, was it?

They do mention in the episode that the original angels were just scavengers, so guess it's possible to imagine that these non-scavenger ones work a little differently. I do agree that their simplistic purity has been compromised, though.
posted by painquale at 10:54 AM on May 13, 2010


And TBH these are very small gripes compared with the ludicrous leaps the RTD Who would make nearly every week.
posted by Artw at 11:08 AM on May 13, 2010


Technically the whole point of the Angels is that they have no form when they are not observed. Or no specific form, at least. Quantum waveform and all that jazz.
posted by mek at 2:34 PM on May 13, 2010


Quantum being useful both as a metaphor and massive handwaving...
posted by Artw at 2:44 PM on May 13, 2010


This thread regenerates more often than the Doctor.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:03 PM on May 13, 2010


So, my hope at this point is that River Song turns out to be Romana. That would make me happy.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 6:24 PM on May 13, 2010


If they're going to start bringing back other companions, they should bring back Leela. Leela was fucking awesome.
posted by koeselitz at 6:39 PM on May 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


I like it when she wants to stab people, which is usually.
posted by Artw at 6:48 PM on May 13, 2010


I know the different sounds of death!
posted by koeselitz at 6:50 PM on May 13, 2010


she was good in the Leela/Na'vi fanfic.
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:11 PM on May 13, 2010


Doctor Who: is Steven Moffat's Who living up to expectations?*

*The answer is of course, yes... 'not getting it?' the man's a fool.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:51 AM on May 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


My god do I nit miss all the RTD bullcrap emo crying. I got as far as the first mention of Rose and had to stop reading the article.
posted by Artw at 7:01 AM on May 14, 2010


My theory, for what it's worth, is that RTD is actually quite good as a dramatic writer. Some of his best writing was when he had people relating to each other on a more human level, rather than anything bombastic.

Doctor Who, being essentially a fun children's show*, is better served by someone clever, witty and fond of the essentially childish passions of fear, awe and laughter. Stephen Moffat strikes me as a cleverer writer than RTD, but with a rather lighter touch.

*disclaimer: this is not meant as a diss.
posted by lucien_reeve at 8:27 AM on May 14, 2010


Anyone who pines for so much RTD emotion fails to realize that emotional scenes only work when they AREN'T every scene. You can be clever every scene and it's unlikely to stop working. Doesn't work that way with BIG DRAMA (you need buildup, so important things are actually treated as important for longer then 20 seconds). The Moffat era so far has me looking forward to each episode completely. Any complaints I have are tiny and peripheral compared to how much I like it.
posted by haveanicesummer at 9:05 AM on May 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


you need buildup, so important things are actually treated as important for longer then 20 seconds

That's pretty much it in a nutshell. RTD always seemed to be telling, not showing with how dramatic and important and emotional everything was.
posted by Artw at 9:14 AM on May 14, 2010


Sounds like everyone liked tonights as well. RTD never had a run like this.
posted by Artw at 2:13 PM on May 15, 2010


Doctor Hoo
posted by Tenuki at 3:52 PM on May 15, 2010 [5 favorites]


What's Really Going On This Year On Doctor Who? - US safe (because none of you are peeking)
posted by Artw at 9:10 AM on May 16, 2010


Chicks Dig Time Lords – a Doctor Who interview with Tara O’Shea and Lynne Thomas
posted by Artw at 9:22 AM on May 16, 2010


Having just seen the most recent episode: I hope that's the Valeyard. That'd be pretty neat.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 9:38 PM on May 16, 2010


Amy's Choice was, in my mind, easily the best episode yet this year. Just fantastic stuff, thoughtful and interesting and character-developing and everything. And not even written by Moffatt. This bodes well.
posted by koeselitz at 9:49 PM on May 16, 2010


And not even written by Moffatt.

By some guy who used to write... Men Behaving Badly and assorted nothings? WTF? How'd he suddenly do this? Cos it was great!
posted by Artw at 11:14 PM on May 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


Amy's Choice...holy crap, that was amazing.
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 11:19 PM on May 16, 2010


I particularly like the fact that they worked in past details in a very nice, subtle way. Calling the Doctor "The Oncoming Storm?" Nice. And referring to his vegetarianism? Yeesh, when's the last time they mentioned that - the 80s? And most of all, the [spoiler] - which, quite elegantly, they never actually mentioned when it turned out it wasn't true!

I take this as evidence that Moffat is doing a very good job as curator of the series. This is the role the person in charge - used to be the script editor - ought to take: making sure they're well-written, subtly introducing plot points and tidbits, but doing so that doesn't get in the way of the story.
posted by koeselitz at 11:20 PM on May 16, 2010


Now that I'm recovered from the giant sucker-punch that was the entire episode, I'm wondering, when Dreamboy says to Amy "I've looked into your dreams, some of them twice," how that ties into what I'm suspecting about the overall season arc, which is speculation and not a spoiler but I won't talk about it further because I don't know how to do the mouseover thingie.
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 11:30 PM on May 16, 2010


mouseover thingie recipe:

<a title="this is my spoiler!">Spoiler</a>

produces

Spoiler

posted by koeselitz at 11:38 PM on May 16, 2010


Oh nifty, thanks! Of course now I'm too tired to cope with writing the whole thing out, but I will remember for later.
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 11:41 PM on May 16, 2010


Oh you tease.
posted by mek at 12:41 AM on May 17, 2010


By some guy who used to write... Men Behaving Badly

Yeah, I was like when watching the credits, 'hmmm Simon Nye... that rings a bell' Fire up IMDB... 'Him! What? How?'

Probably never know how much Moffatt may have re-written etc but even so...
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:42 AM on May 17, 2010


I guess when The Empty Child aired a few people were all WTF, who is this Moffat guy? Coupling???
posted by Artw at 7:25 AM on May 17, 2010


Men Behaving Badly creator Simon Nye on his Doctor Who Episode (potential spoilers if you haven't seen Amy's Choice yet).
posted by haveanicesummer at 8:03 AM on May 17, 2010


Doctor Who Live!
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:30 PM on May 17, 2010


The new Doctor, Matt Smith, and assistant Karen Gillan, will not appear in the stage show, which is being developed by Doctor Who's head writer Steven Moffat and will feature in "on-stage battles, pyrotechnics and special effects".

Oh thatls going to piss off some kids. One of my wifes abiding childhood traumas is going to some kind of Mr. Rogers event and everybody but Mr. Rogers was there. Maybe he could appear trapped in a crystal Hartnell style or something.

Mind you, Matt Smith would be ideal for adapting into puppet form.
posted by Artw at 3:40 PM on May 17, 2010


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