Join 3,374 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


"The maps contained herein may be approximate, made-up, or partly false."
May 22, 2010 5:58 AM   Subscribe

A Partial Map of Your TARDIS (Subject to Change) (Flickr set, PDF version)
posted by Katemonkey (216 comments total) 54 users marked this as a favorite

 
It's bigger on the inside!
posted by a.steele at 6:44 AM on May 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oops, posted too soon. I meant to also say that this is absolutely beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing!
posted by a.steele at 6:45 AM on May 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


13 Classic Doctor Who Monsters and Villains Due a Comeback - UK viewers will be seeing the return of one of these classic adversaries tonight.

Steven Moffat talking about Who as a "Dark Fairytale" and recieving a script for season 2 from a writer many people might be excited about.

Introducing the Dr. Who Media Club

(I've not been waiting for another Who thread after the last oen closed a couple of days ago, no.)
posted by Artw at 6:47 AM on May 22, 2010 [5 favorites]


TARDIS Control rooms - I'm quite partial to the wood panels and brass rails version.
posted by Artw at 6:52 AM on May 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


The Silurians (known amongst themselves as Earth Reptiles) were Earth's first known sentient species.

Whoa there's a race of sent--oh, right, Dr. Who wikia. Damn I need some coffee.
posted by graventy at 7:05 AM on May 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


I'm not going to beleive it unless it's in the Pnakotic Wiki of Yith.
posted by Artw at 7:10 AM on May 22, 2010 [4 favorites]


Shouldn't the library have a swimming pool?
posted by Mister Moofoo at 7:16 AM on May 22, 2010 [4 favorites]


Artw -- I've always liked the Seventh/Eighth Doctor's (predictable, me?) gothic steampunky console room. But I like the season 14 one as well.

Looking forward to tonight's episode! I've never seen an episode with the [SPOILERS] before, only heard about them.
posted by bettafish at 7:19 AM on May 22, 2010


And I got distracted and forgot to say that the ... fanart? multimedia fic? ... is beautiful.
posted by bettafish at 7:20 AM on May 22, 2010


The fanart violates my sense of the TARDIS, but I really want to read the other brochures in the series.

Also, Artw's Media Club link, where they talk about the Doctor and children and later romancing them in the Time Traveller's Wife way, was written before one of my favorite bits in this season dealing with exactly that problem. Which, the more I think about it, is becoming a theme later in the season and dealing with one of my larger problems with RTD's Who, and increasing my love for Moffat as showrunner.
posted by immlass at 7:30 AM on May 22, 2010


I really hope they don't run out the River Song arc in one season. However the first couple of regular epsiodes where just bad.
posted by MrLint at 7:40 AM on May 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


I quite like the idea of the TARDIS of Professor Chronotis, which is a set of rooms at St. Cledd's College.
posted by Artw at 7:41 AM on May 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


That is beautiful.
posted by grouse at 7:50 AM on May 22, 2010


Artw: "I quite like the idea of the TARDIS of Professor Chronotis, which is a set of rooms at St. Cledd's College."

Ya know I agree, its kinda too bad the time war arc made us lose some of these great side characters
posted by MrLint at 7:53 AM on May 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


The Rani's TARDIS
The Master's TARDIS
(Note that TARDISes can be recursively nested)
posted by Artw at 8:00 AM on May 22, 2010


Man I hope Moffet has the balls to bring back the Myrka... which as we all know was played by the two guys who played the pantomime horse on Rentaghost.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:23 AM on May 22, 2010


I was discussion with a friend via email on what the ultimate revelation of River Song will be (as you do) ... his best idea so far 'It's Davros in drag'
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:26 AM on May 22, 2010


The Rani's TARDIS

Jesus wept... it's a good job it's 80s season on the beeb at the moment, and I'm thus hardened up to that decade's more hideous extremes of design and fashion, or seeing 'The Rani prepares to enter her TARDIS.' could have been even more damaging than it was.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:30 AM on May 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


My wife asked me once why it looks like a police box. I started to explain that the outside is designed to camouflage with wherever it is, but it got stuck on that setting.

She just rolled her eyes and said "So, it's branding to sell toys." I do suppose that if they fixed the camouflage function then a toy that looks like anything could then be a TARDIS. Which means ALL of my toys are TARDIS's. Heh.
posted by stevis at 8:31 AM on May 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


Hff. This is the 60s BBC we are talking about. It's not branding to sell toys, it's a cheap-ass move to save money (which could later become branding to sell toys).
posted by Artw at 8:34 AM on May 22, 2010 [4 favorites]


"The Rani prepares to enter Athena and pick out some airbrushed posters of classic cars and maybe some desktoys"
posted by Artw at 8:35 AM on May 22, 2010 [4 favorites]


"So, it's branding to sell toys."

That was in the merchandising dark ages way before they thought of selling toys like that (you know, may be Pinkie and Perkie dolls or something)

I think that sort of stuff kinda actually started with Dalekmania after the film came out.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:41 AM on May 22, 2010


My wife asked me once why it looks like a police box.

In the early 1960s all the BBC's drama was made (live!) on the stages at Television Centre, and they had huge warehouses full of props. It was considerably easier (and, let's be honest cheaper) to get the prop Police Box they were using for Dixon of Dock Green and say it was a space-and-time machine rather than spending time and money designing something specifically for the show (especially as it was only supposed to run a few weeks). The easy availability of props and costumes for various time periods possibly also influenced the tendency of the early series to do "historicals".
posted by Grangousier at 8:56 AM on May 22, 2010


Fangirl gushing moment:

I saw a clip of an interview with Bernard Cribbins, the character actor who figured in David Tennant's last couple of episodes as "Wilf". As it turned out, Cribbins had also been in a 1966 Doctor Who film.

So they were filming one of the scenes for David Tennant's last episodes, with the Doctor and Wilf either getting into or getting out of the TARDIS. And between takes, after a number of takes of the two of them trying to cram themselves inside that box, at some point Bernard turned to David and mused, "I was just thinking, the last time I saw the inside of this thing was back in 1966."

And David's response was to hesitate, get an odd look on his face, and then say, "I just realized - I wasn't even born yet then."

50 years as a police box and counting. Gotta love it.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:33 AM on May 22, 2010 [6 favorites]


The easy availability of props and costumes for various time periods possibly also influenced the tendency of the early series to do "historicals".

C.f. Early Star Trek

50 years as a police box and counting.

Not quite yet, thank heavens.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 11:03 AM on May 22, 2010


Yay Doctor Who metafilter thread.

I really hope they don't run out the River Song arc in one season. However the first couple of regular epsiodes where just bad.

You really think? I would have rather watched them than, say, the adipose episode any day.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 11:07 AM on May 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


From the io9 interview: Not this time around. I've made it clear there's a lot more inside that TARDIS. But the truth about Doctor Who. When it's really working, you're out those TARDIS doors as fast as you can go and into the adventure. That's what you do. You don't want to hang around people having chats about decorating their rooms. You want them to be fighting giant electric slugs. That's what you paid your money for.

I don't know if I agree with this, but it might be because I've come rather recently to Who and am a fan of bottle episodes of SF (from Star Trek to Space Cases--I love thinking about the mechanics of living aboard a place like a space ship). Have there been any classic Who episodes that have explored this well that any Mefites can recommend? I'd love to take a look.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 11:12 AM on May 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


bottle episodes: The recent "Amy's Choice" episode is at least partly one (I don't think the USA get that until next week), but in Rusty's last proper season there was "Midnight" (although the bottle there is not the TARDIS).

Otherwise you have to go waaay back to "Edge of Destruction". Episode 1 and Episode 2 are on BBCWorldwide's YouTube channel.
posted by Electric Dragon at 11:30 AM on May 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


Christopher H Bidmead was fond of stories that mucked around with the TARDIS: his linked pair of stories "Logopolis" and "Castrovalva", while not really bottle shows per se, certainly involve a lot of business with its internal workings.
posted by Electric Dragon at 11:39 AM on May 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


bottle episodes: The recent "Amy's Choice" episode is at least partly one (I don't think the USA get that until next week), but in Rusty's last proper season there was "Midnight" (although the bottle there is not the TARDIS).

Yeah--I was watching Midnight with the husband and was like "bottle episode!" Since he's not a freaky Trekkie like me, he had no idea what I was talking about.

I'll take a look at Edge of Destruction and the Bidmead eps, though--thanks!
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 11:52 AM on May 22, 2010


(Also, am trying to be good and legally watch the new episodes in due time as they're released on iTunes. Threads like this do not make it easy!)
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 11:53 AM on May 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


As it turned out, Cribbins had also been in a 1966 Doctor Who film.

There are people who didn't know this form birth?

The easy availability of props and costumes for various time periods possibly also influenced the tendency of the early series to do "historicals".

Dr Who was originally intended to be educational tv, with history being a key area of education. I think they still try to do a bit of this, for example, the 1930s NY episode a couple of seasons ago.
posted by biffa at 3:06 PM on May 22, 2010


Yay new Doctor Who thread. I was upset that the last one shut down before I could comment on Amy's Choice. (Lovely little episode.) These TARDIS maps are great.

The trailers for the most recent episode made me realize that the cheesy special effects of old school Doctor Who are not silently updated in New Who. Cheap and rubbery monsters are accepted by the narrative, and if a change is required because monsters like that would be unforgivably out-of-place in episodes today, a reason for the change is given.

The producers didn't need to do this: they could have gone the route that Star Trek did by changing the Klingons without having anyone in-episode notice or comment. (Yes, I know they eventually decided the flat-foreheaded TOS Klingons had to be explained. Given that they had been leaving it unmentioned for years, that was a dumb decision.)

The 9th Doctor sees an old Cyberman head in Statton's museum, but goes on to fight parallel-world Cybermen that are sleeker. The TARDIS regrows its interior, also giving the sonic screwdriver a new appearance. The Daleks and Davros get no change: Davros because his design was perfect, Daleks because they are too iconic (although RTD did try to quietly get rid of the plunger in the final episodes of series 4). Sontarans and Macra are the same, but they aged well (surprisingly, in the case of Sontarans). K-9 is also unchanged because he's iconic, but the narrative needs to explain away his old-fashionedness: Rose remarks on his looking "disco." Old-school monsters are shown by the Atraxi.

Anyway, the reason I bring this up now is because the most recent episode has a pretty funny explanation for why certain old villains used to look like guys wearing rubber masks.
posted by painquale at 3:47 PM on May 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


...and recieving a script for season 2 from a writer many people might be excited about.

An argument could be made for season six or season thirty-two, but I think you'll have trouble convincing anyone that it will be season two.
posted by bingo at 5:26 PM on May 22, 2010


Electric Dragon: “Otherwise you have to go waaay back to "Edge of Destruction".”

Those are close to my favorite episodes of Doctor Who ever.
posted by koeselitz at 7:12 PM on May 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


An argument could be made for season six or season thirty-two, but I think you'll have trouble convincing anyone that it will be season two.

Yeah, seriously. I wasn't even happy with the first renumbering of the seasons, but at least it made a modicum of sense. To start over again would be ridiculous, and I'm glad nobody really played along with that.
posted by maqsarian at 7:25 PM on May 22, 2010


Oooh, yay! Just as I was thinking, "Is this place really for me...?" I come across this thread! Yay, Doctor Who! And yay, awesome link with the fancy TARDIS guide! :D

"It's bigger on the inside!"

You know, I've always wanted someone to say, "It's smaller on the outside" instead. It would make a nice change...
posted by MaiaMadness at 8:00 PM on May 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


Anyway, the reason I bring this up now is because the most recent episode has a pretty funny explanation for why certain old villains used to look like guys wearing rubber masks.

I must have missed this. Now I need to know!
posted by Ms. Saint at 9:19 PM on May 22, 2010


These are really lovely. The only small problem I have is that after watching the Doctor run through so many endless corridors and gravel pits, I have a surprisingly difficult time imagining him sitting still long enough to ride a shuttle through his own TARDIS.
posted by colfax at 11:24 PM on May 22, 2010


Last night's Dr Who Confidential was great if you are the sort of person who knows what a Foley Artist does or what Grading is.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:05 AM on May 23, 2010


Ms. Saint: "I must have missed this. Now I need to know!"

[SPOILERS]
There is this scene where the Doctor approaches their prisoner, who looks a lot like the old-timey Silurians, with an unmoving face and unexpressive, plasticky eyes. Then he says "Let me take off your mask... you're beautiful!" as he reveals that this appearance is just that - a mask worn by someone who looks much more human and expressive underneath.
[/SPOILERS]
posted by PontifexPrimus at 2:59 AM on May 23, 2010


PontifexPrimus: I absolutely loved that bit, too! :) And I simply adore that Steven Moffat is bringing back old "enemies".
posted by MaiaMadness at 3:15 AM on May 23, 2010


It's not an explanation but an in-joke I think... there's SPOILERS! a throw away line about them being another species - so like the Sea Devils - and they do have different 'added extras' to the original Silurians
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:25 AM on May 23, 2010


Yeah, they didn't have the [mouseover for spoiler] either. Not visibly, at least. But even with the line about them being another species, the faces of the originals are cast into doubt.

I loved the line about how some think they should be called [mouseover for spoiler]. But it's ridiculous that the Doctor tries to wave away the controversy by appealing to the creatures' name under latinate binomial nomenclature: [mouseover for spoiler]. There's no way that could be right. Show at least a little respect for Linnaean taxonomy, guys. Not to mention that if the Doctor just encountered a new species, he'd need a new name entirely.

And I simply adore that Steven Moffat is bringing back old "enemies"

Every new season has brought back one old enemy so far. (Well, season 4 has both the Sontarans and Davros, so that's two.) It's a pretty good pace and I hope they keep it up, though they'll run out of iconic ones pretty soon.
posted by painquale at 3:51 AM on May 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Every new season has brought back one old enemy so far. (Well, season 4 has both the Sontarans and Davros, so that's two.) It's a pretty good pace and I hope they keep it up, though they'll run out of iconic ones pretty soon.

I never really counted Davros, because he's part of the Dalek plot-line. The Daleks and the Cybermen are very iconic, yes, but to viewers who haven't watched the old series to any greater extent, Sontarans, Autons and Silurians aren't quite so obvious. And the Ice Warriors were mentioned in Waters of Mars. While they kept bringing back the Daleks, the Cybermen and the Master, I just kept hoping that we'd get to see more of the slightly less obvious villains and creatures of the past.

I remember David saying he wanted them to bring back the Voord in the podcast for Forest of the Dead. That would be fun, even if the Voord were slightly useless... I believe it was followed up with a comment from either Russel or Steven that it must have been a long time since David last saw The Keys of Marinus. :P
posted by MaiaMadness at 6:05 AM on May 23, 2010


Has it ever been established just how large a TARDIS would be if you could see all of it from the outside? I've always imagined it as being at least the size of the Death Star, and I'm a bit disappointed at how rarely we see the other rooms. I like the idea of it taking days to hike across it, Red Dwarf-style, in the event that something goes horribly wrong down in its belly and all the lifts break.

Yesterday's episode was great, and I'm glad this new series has only had the one duff episode (*cough* Gatiss! *cough*). Given that Neil Gaiman is writing an episode for the next series I'm tempted to start mail-spamming Moffat with pleas for him to approach Warren Ellis, Grant Morrison or Alan Moore.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 7:30 AM on May 23, 2010


Morrison and Moore having done the job before, at least in comics. It'd be great to see Pat Mills and John Wagner having a crack at it as well.
posted by Artw at 7:45 AM on May 23, 2010


Given that Neil Gaiman is writing an episode for the next series I'm tempted to start mail-spamming Moffat with pleas for him to approach Warren Ellis, Grant Morrison or Alan Moore.

Oh, hell yeah! :D

Warren Ellis would totally do it. Of course, someone would have to stand breathing down his neck to make sure he doesn't make the Doctor swear.

I wonder if we're ever gonna see that swimming pool that the Doctor kept falling into in The Eleventh Hour. You know, the one in the library? Or, not anymore, apparently.
posted by MaiaMadness at 7:53 AM on May 23, 2010


Warren Ellis would totally do it. Of course, someone would have to stand breathing down his neck to make sure he doesn't make the Doctor swear.

Yeah, I think a lot of finessing would have to go into an Ellis script after the fact, as Ellis's heroes tend to be kind of soundalike ("arrghhhh! bastard! fuck! bastard!" *lights cigarette* "bastard of all bastards bastard!"...maybe if Lemmy were cast as the next Doctor, it'd work).

I'd be thrilled to see a Moore or Morrison episode, though...
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:09 AM on May 23, 2010


Ellis would need someone to rewrite it so everyonbe doesn't sound like Ellis, as well. And stop the Doctor from smoking.
posted by Artw at 8:10 AM on May 23, 2010


More Paul Cornell, on the other hand, would be welcome. Maybe some Abnett. Of courswe who I'd really liek to see do an epsiode or too would be Kim Newman.
posted by Artw at 8:13 AM on May 23, 2010


Ellis would need someone to rewrite it so everyonbe doesn't sound like Ellis, as well. And stop the Doctor from smoking.

To be fair, though, Ellis might have been a good match for Eccleston. Smoking wouldn't have been out of character for him, and really, he probably needed to headbutt more people in the face. (I don't remember whether he ever headbutted anyone in the face, but he should have.)
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:16 AM on May 23, 2010


Really Robert Carlyle should have ended up as the Doctor instead of being a crap Baltar rip-off on Stargate Universe.
posted by Artw at 8:19 AM on May 23, 2010


Really Robert Carlyle should have ended up as the Doctor instead of being a crap Baltar rip-off on Stargate Universe.

Yeah, I like Smith a lot thus far (I like him a lot better at this point than I did Tennant at the halfway mark of his first series), but Robert Carlyle would have been awesome.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:22 AM on May 23, 2010


He'd have to headbutt people a lot, of course.
posted by Artw at 8:22 AM on May 23, 2010


(Also -- ironically, given that Robert Carlyle appears to be playing Baltar on Stargate -- I think James Callis could have been pretty great. I also totally get, now that I've watched Survivors, why so many people were disappointed that it wasn't Paterson Joseph. Of course, the best and most insane rumor was Jason Statham, which I'm torn between thinking is the worst idea I've ever heard and...the best idea? I think he's a little too busy being a movie star, however.)
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:29 AM on May 23, 2010


He'd have to headbutt people a lot, of course.

Well yeah!
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:30 AM on May 23, 2010


He's going for Baltar, but the script keeps giving him Dr. Zachary Smith.
posted by Artw at 8:31 AM on May 23, 2010


Jason Statham needs to be Dredd.
posted by Artw at 8:33 AM on May 23, 2010


He's going for Baltar, but the script keeps giving him Dr. Zachary Smith.

This sounds like a good show to start watching in about three seasons, when they've run out of ideas and Carlyle gets bored enough to start adlibbing things like, "The pain! The pain!"
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:34 AM on May 23, 2010


Jason Statham needs to be Dredd.

Dude, yes.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:34 AM on May 23, 2010


Oh man, we just watched the vampires episode, and I promptly launched into a long monologue at the husband about how much the new episodes seem to respect the viewers, mostly in the small touches--the Doctor asking questions about the places where the SF seems weak (why do we see their teeth if we're fooled into thinking the rest of them look different?), the fishy gargoyle on one of the buildings, the nods to the long-standing continuity (the library card), the acknowledgements of the inherent flaws of the characters (Rory is so right that the Doctor makes people dangerous to themselves)--not to mention how wonderfully complex and downright alien this Doctor seems.

We've been watching LOST (and this season of, ugh, V) wind down, and the differences between the writing is worlds and worlds apart. These network American series seem to think that audiences are fine with easy answers and will forgive a show gaping logic or continuity holes. Moffat might not be perfect, but I haven't felt as if I've been condescended to once this season. It's awesome.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:53 AM on May 23, 2010


Ellis would need someone to rewrite it so everyonbe doesn't sound like Ellis, as well. And stop the Doctor from smoking.

I think it would be fun if the Doctor smoked... But if ever there was one who would, it would be Nine, and he's gone, so never mind...
posted by MaiaMadness at 9:36 AM on May 23, 2010


Oh, haha, kittens for breakfast, I didn't see your comment before I posted mine. :P
posted by MaiaMadness at 9:38 AM on May 23, 2010


the acknowledgements of the inherent flaws of the characters (Rory is so right that the Doctor makes people dangerous to themselves)

Ha, if you like that, wait until you see the next one. Not to spoil anything, but suffice it to say the Doctor gets fucking eviscerated.
posted by maqsarian at 10:05 AM on May 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


...Moore having done the job before

"Bippity bop, hoppity hop, who's next for the chop?"* Oh Please please please...

*May not be Beep the Meep's exact chant as the deletionist assholes of wikipedia have edited it out.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:31 AM on May 23, 2010


This year is so spot on. As soon as I watch a new episode I'm already pining for the next one. Additionally the jump in overall special effects and makeup quality in this season is quite notable. Maybe it's just a taste thing because RTD seemed to revel in some of the awful CG and costumes, whereas Moffat seems to lean towards things the Who budget can actually afford to make look good.
posted by haveanicesummer at 2:28 PM on May 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Has it ever been established just how large a TARDIS would be if you could see all of it from the outside?

I don't think so.

I like to think that it is actually unlimited. That is, the (semi-organic, semi-conscious, magical) stuff that the TARDIS is made of can 'grow' as large as it wants/needs to be, or possibly even with age. It has its very own dimension to to this in!

That would allow for boring small TARDIS capsules for every day Time Lord use, but also for insane sprawling ancient TARDISes for renegade Time Lords.
posted by Harry at 2:42 PM on May 23, 2010


Maybe it's just a taste thing because RTD seemed to revel in some of the awful CG and costumes, whereas Moffat seems to lean towards things the Who budget can actually afford to make look good.

I think Russell likes the home-spun feel, yes. I seem to remember he's said as much, though I can't back that up.

Series four did look great as well, though (rewatching it right now; the Ood look fantastic, and Davros...!). I think it looks better every year, as the budget grows. Doctor Who has become, in a sense, the crown jewel of the BBC, one of their most watched shows, fans all around the world, making a fortune on merchendise, DVDs, concerts, events, and spin-offs, and the BBC are investing in that, by making it bigger and better, funding the Mill to hire better animators, etc.
posted by MaiaMadness at 3:06 PM on May 23, 2010


What would it take to get Grant Morrison to write an episode? A facebook petition? Polite letters? Ritual sacrifices?
posted by drezdn at 8:59 PM on May 23, 2010


We all need to pick an issue of The Invisibles, go to the same page, and look at the same image, together, as one, concentrating on the concepts of sexual well-being and transcendental joy, and then after three hours we all start whispering Moffat's phone number.

I'm sure something will happen.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 10:16 PM on May 23, 2010 [4 favorites]


Would we have to crack one off?
posted by Artw at 10:54 PM on May 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think it looks better every year, as the budget grows.

As I mentioned up thread the Dr Who Confidential this week had a feature on the post-production work. Now I'm no expert, especially as it applies to television but the amount of effort put into sound design and the digital grading of the visuals was very impressive and seemed to be up there with what would go into film production nowadays
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:17 AM on May 24, 2010


As I mentioned up thread the Dr Who Confidential this week had a feature on the post-production work. Now I'm no expert, especially as it applies to television but the amount of effort put into sound design and the digital grading of the visuals was very impressive and seemed to be up there with what would go into film production nowadays

Oh, definitely. I guess, if you think about it, the BBC aren't mass-producing shows that need bigger special effects budgets in the same way many American stations do. This way they can pool all their resources into the few they have, with the Doctor Who franchise at the top.
posted by MaiaMadness at 4:32 AM on May 24, 2010


Actually, the budget this year is much smaller:

Q: 'The Eleventh Hour' gives the impression that you have a larger budget than the previous series. Is that incorrect?
SM: That’s incorrect. [Laughs.] We certainly do not have a larger budget, no. No. [ref]

A nitpicky point, but I thought the joke about the swimming pool being in the library is that, during the crash of the TARDIS, the swimming pool's contents emptied into the library, not that the library had a swimming pool in it originally.

Welcome to Metafilter, MaiaMadness!
posted by Ian A.T. at 6:10 AM on May 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


The CGI doesn't seem better to me, but it does look... different, for monsters at least. A bit more cartoony, TBH, with this odd gloss that makes everything look like it's been shrink wrapped.
posted by Artw at 6:49 AM on May 24, 2010


Maybe I don't mean the CGI is actually better, so much as the choices made with the CGI look better to me. RTD episodes frequently had CGI or costumery that was beyond what I felt they could do with their money and/or time, whereas even in the previous Moffat episodes, he tended to lean towards writing things that actually looked good in the end result. Maybe it was even unintentional, but the only effect/makeup shot I can think of from a Moffat episode that I particularly disliked was the talking faces in the library bit. Obviously he's done less episodes, so there's less chance of a big misstep, and really I may just be holding RTD responsible for the Slitheen, and extrapolating from there.
posted by haveanicesummer at 7:43 AM on May 24, 2010


Moffat wrote bits that had human faces turning into gas masks. The end result was great, but it wasn't exactly an undaring choice for the writer. He just got lucky that it turned out well.

I don't really see any differences in the special effects this season.
posted by painquale at 7:57 AM on May 24, 2010


Neil Gaiman delivers his Doctor Who episode
posted by homunculus at 10:12 AM on May 24, 2010


Would we have to crack one off?

Not just one.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 11:56 AM on May 24, 2010


Actually, the budget this year is much smaller:

Q: 'The Eleventh Hour' gives the impression that you have a larger budget than the previous series. Is that incorrect?
SM: That’s incorrect. [Laughs.] We certainly do not have a larger budget, no. No.


Well, he didn't say it was much smaller, just that it wasn't bigger... I guess The Mill has just learned to do more with what they've got or something.
posted by MaiaMadness at 1:34 PM on May 24, 2010



Neil Gaiman delivers his Doctor Who episode


YAAAY!!!! :D
posted by MaiaMadness at 1:36 PM on May 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm watching the episode where the Doctor takes Rory and Amy to Venice. He says their wedding gift is either a trip anywhere or... What is the other thing... It sounded like "tokens" but I couldn't check the closed captioning because it's broke on our tv.
posted by drezdn at 5:11 PM on May 24, 2010


I heard 'tokens' too. I also didn't understand it. I assumed it was some British thing.

Well, he didn't say it was much smaller, just that it wasn't bigger

I think I did read somewhere that the budget was smaller this year. Can't remember where though, so [citation needed].

Despite the fact that this season obviously rocks, fewer people are watching than ever. Substantially fewer. The viewer figures are actually kind of worrying. (In Britain anyway; BBC America is doing really well with the new season.) Why is this? I'm not sure what to make of it. Are people just reluctant to warm to Matt Smith because they were so enamored with David Tennant? I'm a little worried that it's actually the Moffatian content of the show that's proving less popular. Although I find it hard to imagine how someone who liked any season of Doctor Who could dislike this season, occasionally when I go off the beaten path and read internet comments by casual non-sci-fi fans, I find some by people who don't like the new season. That kinds of staggers me. Lots of people criticized RTD for fanwank episodes, romantic subplots, childish action sequences, etc., but it could be that they were crowd-pleasers among casual fans that were vital to Doctor Who's new popularity, and perhaps the BBC will demand more of that style of Who. Hopefully this isn't true.
posted by painquale at 5:29 PM on May 24, 2010


Is there any proper analysis/episode by episode breakdown of that anywhere?
posted by Artw at 5:32 PM on May 24, 2010


Artw, the Doctor Who News Page is giving episode-by-episode viewing figures for this season, and it may have the earlier figures but I haven't gone back and looked. There's also current season information in this thread at Gallifrey Base, but you have to be a member to see it.

The numbers do seem to be sliding over the course of this season but not hugely. The last episodes has really low numbers by comparison but I think that doesn't include reruns, iPlayer showings, etc. and the other episodes for this season do.
posted by immlass at 6:18 PM on May 24, 2010


haveanicesummer: “Maybe I don't mean the CGI is actually better, so much as the choices made with the CGI look better to me. RTD episodes frequently had CGI or costumery that was beyond what I felt they could do with their money and/or time, whereas even in the previous Moffat episodes, he tended to lean towards writing things that actually looked good in the end result. Maybe it was even unintentional, but the only effect/makeup shot I can think of from a Moffat episode that I particularly disliked was the talking faces in the library bit. Obviously he's done less episodes, so there's less chance of a big misstep, and really I may just be holding RTD responsible for the Slitheen, and extrapolating from there.”

Actually, I think it's true that Moffat has much less of a tendency to overreach himself, and I think this is true in ways aside from just the CGI. RTD always claimed that he wanted to give Doctor Who the CGI it could never afford, but always deserved; but I think maybe he idealized that goal, and his scripts just went to this ridiculously abstract place where you weren't really watching anything anymore. It became more of a weird drama about the interaction of increasingly vague concepts that had no grounding whatsoever, and the CGI was just fine, in my eyes (discounting the Slitheen, yes) but it became window-dressing for eventually was just a show that gave you less and less to hold on to that was worthwhile at all. At some point during The Stolen Earth / Journey's End, around the time that every incidental character from the past four years, some of whom I think maybe have traveled through alternate dimensions to be possible, I can't fucking remember, and a former prime minister and a last-resort nuclear weapon and then the Earth is teleported to the other end of the universe and... wait, what the fuck is going on again? Does it even matter? What's astounding to me about RTD is that he seems to delight in cramming the most confused, ridiculous, out-and-out silly stuff he can into the show; looking at the wiki for that episode, I'm astounded to read his production notes:
The season finale. Earth is transported halfway across the universe as part of a Dalek plot. These episodes feature Martha, Captain Jack, Sarah Jane, Elton, and Rose. Jackie and Mickey? Also, can I have the Torchwood team, just for a couple of days? Plus, a futuristic space station complex where lots of alien races are gathering for a conference. CGI: Bane, Krillitanes, Gelth, Isolus, everything we've got in the computer.
Prosthetics: Judoon, Slitheen, the Graske, the Moxx of Balhoon, Sisters of the Wicker Place Mat, plus a new female alien, a wise old counsellor, head of the space conference. Lots of gunfire and exterminations. And the biggest Dalek spaceship interior ever – more like a Dalek Temple. Christ almighty! The skies over the Earth need to be changed to weird outer space vistas. Also, visible in the sky, a huge Dalek ship interior. The size of a solar system! This will probably explode. Like they do.
And Davros.
Seriously, they let this guy run the show for five seasons? It's ridiculous.

After Tennant's departure, all I really wanted was to see an episode where the Doctor went somewhere and did something. That was all I wanted. I didn't want to see him save the earth from thirteen different alien races whilst juggling two romanticallly-inclined companions and winning four chess games. Just an episode where he goes somewhere, and he is in that place, and he does stuff. And that's why I've been so happy with this season; even the first episode, which was relatively mundane and didn't have a hell of a lot of action (although I'm probably just jaded by now) - what made me so very happy about that episode was the attention given to Amy's house, to the garden there, and the lushness of it, and the Doctor trying eating things. It's like it's been years since the show actually had any concreteness to it.

I think RTD's CGI was high-quality enough, it just wasn't visceral in any way. It was like a barrier between him and the audience; after a while, it just felt fake, because there was no smell or taste or touch to anything that was going on at all, just swirling planets and shit. I like Moffat's episodes, even his episodes from before he took over, because they're much more tactile. Also, he's got a lighter touch. RTD would've destroyed Matt Smith, because Matt Smith's Doctor is at his best when he's the swirling, calculating center of attention. RTD's scripts try to make everything the swirling center of attention, and Matt Smith in that context would've just been overwhelmed and knocked flat. It sometimes astounded me just how hard David Tennant had to shout for anybody to notice him in an RTD production.

And I have to say: I like Matt Smith a lot. And Rory. Rory is awesome. (We've been needing an actual male companion since the series restarted; hope they stick with him.)
posted by koeselitz at 6:59 PM on May 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


Also: I have to say that The Hungry Earth was by far the worst episode of this season. And I click over and discover that one of the Torchwood writers wrote it – big fuckin' surprise there. They just need to purge all of those people.
posted by koeselitz at 7:05 PM on May 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


I have to say that The Hungry Earth was by far the worst episode of this season. And I click over and discover that one of the Torchwood writers wrote it

I knew that beforehand, so was actually happy when it was a sort of paint-by-numbers Doctor Who episode. This is the guy who wrote Cyberwoman. It could have been much, much worse.
posted by Gary at 10:55 PM on May 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


I heard 'tokens' too. I also didn't understand it. I assumed it was some British thing.

= book tokens, store gift cards, etc.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 11:04 PM on May 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


Book Tokens: Essentially if a relative wants to get you a gift for, say, £20, but she would rather you had a book, you'll get a book token which you can use as if it were money, but only in book shops. It's halfway between giving money and an actual gift.

(Which came first, I wonder, book tokens or luncheon vouchers?)

And the viewing figures usually drop when the sun comes out, which it did this last weekend, especially as families won't be rushing home to catch Dr Who (which was what happened in my day), as they can always catch it on the iPlayer later. Or one of the several repeats. So the audience is getting increasingly spread out.
posted by Grangousier at 11:25 PM on May 24, 2010


koeselitz: "Also: I have to say that The Hungry Earth was by far the worst episode of this season. And I click over and discover that one of the Torchwood writers wrote it – big fuckin' surprise there. They just need to purge all of those people."

Look, just be glad that they didn't put those frigging blue LEDs all over everything. That must have been hard enough for them.
posted by PontifexPrimus at 1:37 AM on May 25, 2010


Also: I have to say that The Hungry Earth was by far the worst episode of this season.
Really? Worse than the Dalek one, with the multi-coloured Daleks with the Renault Megane backsides and the Spitfires that can be adapted to fly into space in about 3 minutes flat and Winston Churchill being a flat background character in his own story?
posted by Electric Dragon at 1:44 AM on May 25, 2010


Chibnall also wrote 'Countrycide' for Torchwood, aka The Welsh Chainsaw Massacre. One of the worse episodes of any program evah and a significant factor in me ditching the show... so it's kind of a miracle that we ended up with a pretty solid episode of Who, despite a few duff moments - I suspect a lot of Moffat red pen. (Though weirdly I rather enjoyed Cyberarse... but then I was very very drunk at the time.)

the viewing figures are lower, but they are not disastrous it's still one of the more popular shows on the BBC and has very high audience appreciation indexes.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:22 AM on May 25, 2010


Also, bear in mind that the Beeb seems to have been playing silly-buggers with the scheduling, moving it earlier and earlier. I have expect to read that it's been shifted to a lunchtime matinee -- it's like they're trying to make it fail.
posted by coriolisdave at 2:49 AM on May 25, 2010


I feel this is the proper place to make this confession:

I just spent twenty dollars of my own money and ordered an official Doctor Who Sonic Screwdriver. ...I am forty years old and I bought a television tie-in. Oh dear.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:49 AM on May 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


Are people just reluctant to warm to Matt Smith because they were so enamored with David Tennant?

This might be more true that we want to admit. I mean, you have no idea how many middle-aged women started watching Doctor Who just for the sex appeal of David Tennant. (Following his performance in Casanova, who could blame them?) Now he's gone, a lot of those women may not bother to watch anymore, sad as that is.

Unfortunately, my significant contribution doesn't show on the viewing figures as we don't get Doctor Who on the telly here. I have to go by... less legal means. Oh, well. I DO buy the DVD box sets, though. I have all of the new who ones and am slowly working my way through the classic series as well.
posted by MaiaMadness at 4:04 AM on May 25, 2010


I would have bought the U.S. dvd releases for multiple family and friends by now if they'd just lower the insanely high prices on them. 13 episodes for 50 dollars (on Amazon, more like 80 in stores)? Adjust your price/volume models BBC! Otherwise I'm just going to keep telling people to Netflix them.
posted by haveanicesummer at 7:03 AM on May 25, 2010


Chibnall also wrote 'Countrycide' for Torchwood, aka The Welsh Chainsaw Massacre. One of the worse episodes of any program evah and a significant factor in me ditching the show...

If you'd kept watching, you would have realized that that was actually one of the better episodes of Torchwood.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:25 AM on May 25, 2010


I would have bought the U.S. dvd releases for multiple family and friends by now if they'd just lower the insanely high prices on them. 13 episodes for 50 dollars (on Amazon, more like 80 in stores)? Adjust your price/volume models BBC! Otherwise I'm just going to keep telling people to Netflix them.

I live in Norway; $50 for 13 episodes is cheap to me. :P
posted by MaiaMadness at 1:50 PM on May 25, 2010


Aw, what's with all the Torchwood bashing? Sure, there were some really rough episodes in the beginning, but it was finding its feet. The second series was good, and the miniseries was genuinely great. It didn't become a good show until Chibnall took over head writing duties in series 2, and his episodes in that series are standouts (Adrift is great sci-fi), so he's obviously got some chops.
posted by painquale at 6:51 PM on May 25, 2010


I'm not up on my Torchwood to have an opinion, but Chibnall's previous Doctor Who episode from season 3, "42" wasn't bad.
posted by haveanicesummer at 6:19 AM on May 26, 2010


On the other hand: Cybertits
posted by Artw at 6:25 AM on May 26, 2010


Adrift was pretty good. I'm not completely anti-Torchwood, and I think it made some nifty choices toward the end of the main series regarding one character, but there quite a few terrible stinkers in a very short run. My biggest problem was that the Torchwood crew themselves were so massively incompetent (past the point of being just nuanced or normally flawed) that it became very difficult to cheer for them. The husband and I have a joke now any time an episode of just about any television show ends in a bloodbath--we pat one another on the back and say "Good job, Team Torchwood!"
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 6:27 AM on May 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


If there was an episode of it worse than the sex alien one I'm not sure I want to know about it.
posted by Artw at 6:29 AM on May 26, 2010


My least favorite was probably Out of Time. Awesome concept, but the writing (and the sex scene) was just incredibly cheesy and painful.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 6:37 AM on May 26, 2010


Unbelievably, I kinda liked the sex alien one. They were so blatant that they were trying to make the show SEXY by having a SEX alien come to Earth and have SEX with people to feed off their SEX that it degenerated into a self-aware farce. I laughed for a long time after the scene with Gwen running from to room to room in the sperm bank, finding in each a little pile of dust that used to be a person. At least that episode had a sense of humor. Cyberwoman and Out of Time were po-faced.
posted by painquale at 8:27 AM on May 26, 2010


There are (probably unreliable) rumors that Weevils, Blowfish, and the Hoix will be in upcoming Who episodes... if this is true then it looks like Moffat won't be abandoning continuity with Torchwood. (I guess the Hoix was on Doctor Who first, but hardly enough to count.)

I hope Captain Jack comes back to Who. Having another leading man type of character was an inventive choice for a companion, but Jack never really stuck around long enough to be cemented as a companion rather than an incidental character. Moffat wrote him well in The Empty Child, and Jack should have the opportunity to meet all of the Doctor's incarnations.

Although it's a little weird that time-hopping characters like Jack and River Song only run into later versions of the Doctor and never Doctors 1 through 8. You can probably invent some sort of dumb Time War time lock explanation for that.
posted by painquale at 8:44 AM on May 26, 2010


Unbelievably, I kinda liked the sex alien one. They were so blatant that they were trying to make the show SEXY by having a SEX alien come to Earth and have SEX with people to feed off their SEX that it degenerated into a self-aware farce. I laughed for a long time after the scene with Gwen running from to room to room in the sperm bank, finding in each a little pile of dust that used to be a person. At least that episode had a sense of humor.

Not to mention Captain Jack's cheesy comment of "He came and went" when they're watching the night-club footage. It was such a bad joke it circled back to good and I nearly laughed my arse off. I genuinely like that episode, for it's wonderful sense of irony. :)
posted by MaiaMadness at 2:57 AM on May 27, 2010


Torchwood has some bad episodes, but I would argue that "Cyberwoman" is not one. I want you guys to understand something about "Cyberwoman": In this episode, Ianto's girlfriend has gone all Deadly Friend on our heroes, trapping them inside their own base, and it looks like it's all over when Jack douses her with some kind of crazy sci-fi sauce. This goop turns out to be a pheromone that draws the hungry attention of a fucking pterodactyl. I'm not sure if you're the kind of person who can read that and say, "Wow, that sounds terrible," but if you are, I am not sure what to say.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 3:50 PM on May 27, 2010


Playing the Doctor Who theme with lightning. LIGHTNING!
posted by homunculus at 4:14 PM on May 27, 2010


That was extremely cool, but it became less cool upon learning that RTD filmed that as David Tennant's regeneration sequence before having to reshoot due to time constraints.
posted by painquale at 4:36 PM on May 27, 2010


5 Neil Gaiman "spoilers" about his Doctor Who script
posted by Artw at 7:43 PM on May 27, 2010



5 Neil Gaiman "spoilers" about his Doctor Who script


Didn't Steven Moffat say the thing about "It'll be on TV and it'll be in colour" when he was asked for spoilers about the series premier?
posted by MaiaMadness at 12:06 PM on May 28, 2010


The last 5 minutes or so of Cold Blood definitely feel like they were written by Moffat, and were very, very interesting.
posted by haveanicesummer at 1:03 AM on May 31, 2010


I hope Captain Jack comes back to Who.

I almost want to see a reboot for the character. Torchwood never rose much above okayish until Children of Earth, and after that level of trauma it'd be nice to see Jack return to his in-show roots as a confidence trickster -- Sawyer with a time machine!
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 4:08 AM on May 31, 2010


Cold Blood felt a lot like old Who, I thought. Actually, it felt quite a bit like an episode of Star Trek. It was mostly forgettable other than that it set up more foreshadowing for future Silurian events, and the final ten minutes (which felt kinda stapled on to the rest of the episode). I doubt that what happened in those final ten minutes will last.

I loved the Doctor's "Why not?" reaction as he plunged his hand into the youknowwhat... It was very 11th Doctorish. I really love the 11th Doctor's theme: whenever it starts playing I bristle a little. It's very clever and arrogant and wily, and it it only plays when the Doctor is about the do something clever and arrogant and wily. First associating it without the Doctor when he tells the Atraxi to run was a great idea; that was a fantastic, character-setting scene, and the music always hearkens back to it now.

Someone on another site pointed out that it's been established in The Beast Below that in 1000 years the Earth will be rendered uninhabitable by deadly solar flares. The Doctor either made a big mistake or his plan this episode was more Machiavellian than he let on.
posted by painquale at 8:21 AM on May 31, 2010


Someone on another site pointed out that it's been established in The Beast Below that in 1000 years the Earth will be rendered uninhabitable by deadly solar flares. The Doctor either made a big mistake or his plan this episode was more Machiavellian than he let on.

We've seen so many futures for the Earth over the course of the series that it's impossible for me to take seriously the idea that any episode's future leads to any other episode's future. I was trained in the habit by watching the old series (and I know all that stuff is probably wiped by the time lock that holds in the Time Lords yadda yadda yadda) but how does the solar flares stuff from Beast Below march with Nine and Rose watching the Earth be destroyed in S1 of the new series? Somebody needs to make a new Discontinuity Guide, stat!

I'm hoping this was just a filler two-part episode plotwise, or at least one that won't have consequences in the season finale, which I also expect to see undo the developments of the last few minutes. (The episode I'm really hoping wasn't a plot lead-in to the season finale was Victory of the Daleks. Sure we're moving back to a more old-series approach to them as adversaries, but using them as the season finale baddies has been done.)
posted by immlass at 3:55 PM on May 31, 2010


how does the solar flares stuff from Beast Below march with Nine and Rose watching the Earth be destroyed in S1 of the new series?

The solar flares that rendered Earth uninhabitable, and made Starship UK necessary (presumably the same solar flares that made humans turn the Nerva Beacon into the Ark in The Ark in Space) started in the 29th century. The End of the World (the destruction of Earth by the expanding sun) is in 5.5/Apple/26, around the year 5,000,000,000.

posted by maqsarian at 4:44 PM on May 31, 2010


The solar flares that rendered Earth uninhabitable, and made Starship UK necessary (presumably the same solar flares that made humans turn the Nerva Beacon into the Ark in The Ark in Space) started in the 29th century.

All of which contradicts a bunch of events in the old series (including the Magnus Greel stuff in Talons of Weng-Chiang) but that's not to the point, since it may or may not be the current future after the Time War. And yes, I know the end of the world in new S1 is long after that. That's sort of my point: the world is uninhabitable and unfixable in the 29th century but not destroyed for long after that. I don't think the science of that makes sense. But that doesn't matter: the episodes weren't necessarily written to synch up to a future timeline and we don't always have to assume they do.

In particular, I don't like the idea that the Doctor is stuck on that fixed future and that his actions at the end of Cold Blood were intentionally Machiavellian. That undermines the stated characterization of Eleven in the episode in a big way. I'd be extremely disappointed in Moffat if the Doctor screwing over the Silurians because he knew the future was the expected outcome, rather than a writer blunder.
posted by immlass at 5:37 PM on May 31, 2010


I didn't really mean to imply that the Doctor was intentionally dooming the Silurians, that was being facetious. It's pretty clearly a writer's error. New Who has been pretty good at mapping out the timeline of the future expansion of humanity into space, but the writers made us abandon the Earth much too quickly. It's messed up the Silurians, Magnus Greel, etc., and limited the number of episodes that can take place on a future Earth. I thought the timeframe for the destruction of Earth they mention in The Curse of Fenric is pretty good... Earth gets poisoned by industrial waste 500,000 years in the future. (Maybe after humanity leaves Earth because of solar flares they return at some point? Or a subset of them stay behind? That would salvage the Magnus Greel storyline.)

I don't know if you care to see a bit of a spoiler about the final episodes, immlass, but if you're curious, a screencap of the finale has been leaked, and you can see it here. (If anyone wants to discuss this, make sure you hide spoilers in mouseover text.)
posted by painquale at 8:13 PM on May 31, 2010


Roger Langridge draws Doctor Who
posted by Artw at 12:11 PM on June 2, 2010


The first episode of the free Doctor Who adventure games has been released (a little early, apparently). Oh, to own a computer more powerful than a netbook....
posted by painquale at 4:48 PM on June 2, 2010


The first episode of the free Doctor Who adventure games has been released

Yay!

If you live outside the UK, the first Adventure Game will be available to purchase in early July.

Aw.
posted by maqsarian at 6:24 PM on June 2, 2010


Nice picture (possible minor spoiler for next ep if you've not seen the trailer)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:28 PM on June 3, 2010


(possible minor spoiler for next ep if you've not seen the trailer)

Or been to the website recently, or know the title of the next ep, or anything at all about it really...
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:31 PM on June 3, 2010


You'd have to cut your ears off to get away from that spoiler!
posted by Artw at 1:40 PM on June 3, 2010


spoiler: It's Eric Bana putting in a camero appearance as Chopper.
posted by Artw at 1:41 PM on June 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Blinky - Doctor Who meets Stealth Cat
posted by Artw at 12:24 AM on June 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Doctor Who: art imitates life Guest writer Richard Curtis and Doctor's assistant Karen Gillan discuss V****** V** G***, working under Stephen Moffat and the big 'teary' season finale
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 6:06 AM on June 4, 2010


The V****** v** G*** episode was really excellent. I wish he could have been a companion.
posted by painquale at 10:38 PM on June 5, 2010


I was genuinely surprised to enjoy it as much as I did, since I'm not really a fan of his movies. The end was sort of emotionally manipulative but I fell for it anyway, and cried.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 12:11 AM on June 6, 2010


I'm told last night's episode (the VvG) was very divisive but I've seen no complaints, other than mild ones like ArmyofKittens. I thought it was very good for a "filler" (i.e., did not advance the season plot in a big way) episode, although I understand the complaint about the end. I liked that it touched on serious topics without being a Very Special Episode. Also, I'm glad this has reminded me to rewatch S1 of Blackadder and watch the rest, which I've never seen.

Coincidentally I'd just seen the actor who played VvG in an episode of Primeval a couple of weeks ago. He was quite good in that too, although his turn in Who was immensely better.

And thanks for the screenshot, painquale; I'm not sure what to make of it yet because it does indicate some things that will make me grumpy, but it may not be what I fear. Since I haven't mastered the art of spoiler speculation, I will leave off saying more than that.
posted by immlass at 7:56 AM on June 6, 2010


Yeah, it was definitely divisive. The comments section at denofgeek ranged from "I was worried this series wasn't going to have a gem, but this is the gem of the series" to "sentimental pap." It was pretty manipulative at the end, so I can understand why people who hate emotional manipulation would hate it. I could have done without the song that played when they went to the exhibition the final time, but it worked nicely for what it was.

I think the reason I didn't mind the heavy-handedness is that it was in pursuit of an emotional goal that I don't think I've seen filmed before. It's something you could only pull off with time travel, and most shows with time travel don't deal with issues about depression and fulfillment in art. By all accounts Richard Curtis doesn't even really like Doctor Who; he just wanted to tell a story about Van Gogh's paintings and madness. It really worked, and I hope we see more scripts like this next series: get offbeat writers to tell whatever non-normal-Who story they want, and then trust Moffat to fill it with references to the Doctor's past, fit it into the series' continuity, and calibrate it to the Doctor's personality and wit.
posted by painquale at 10:21 AM on June 6, 2010


The monster-of-the-week subplot seemed almost entirely unnecessary though. I liked how the "evil face" in the painting looked like a completely indistinct blotch, but once you've seen the monster you can go back the blotch and it makes perfect sense.
posted by painquale at 10:25 AM on June 6, 2010


I could have done without the song that played when they went to the exhibition the final time, but it worked nicely for what it was.

*winces* It wasn't Don McLean's "Starry Starry Night", was it?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:49 AM on June 6, 2010


/cuts ears off again, just in case.
posted by Artw at 11:43 AM on June 6, 2010


These "Doctor Who meets Shakespere / Agatha Cristie / Van Gogh" episodes never feel quite right for Doctor Who. He's supposed to be fighting alien creatures and solving intergalactic crises. Instead he's gushing over how great famous humans are.

I suppose they're fine for filler episodes, and will certainly stand the test of time better than when the Rose was on "The Weakest Link". But it seems like there's a dangerously thin line between the Doctor meeting important historic figures and the Doctor meeting current celebrities. Coming in series 8: can the sonic screwdriver fix Susan Boyle's Laryngitis?
posted by Gary at 6:19 PM on June 6, 2010


list of historical figures met by Doctor Who
posted by Artw at 7:14 PM on June 6, 2010


These "Doctor Who meets Shakespere / Agatha Cristie / Van Gogh" episodes never feel quite right for Doctor Who. He's supposed to be fighting alien creatures and solving intergalactic crises.

The original series was actually commissioned back in the 1960s as an educational show. I think it's the fourth serial, which is now lost, where the Doctor gets involved with Marco Polo. The second serial is the first appearance of the Daleks. Both strands of the DNA go all the way back to the beginning of the show.

Also, was I the only one who kept thinking of the cameos in City of Death (in which the Doctor meets Leonardo da Vinci) when Bill Nighy popped up?
posted by immlass at 7:17 PM on June 6, 2010


In my defence, artw, a lot of those are either passing mentions or from novels or audio plays. But I will also admit my share of ignorance. I think this last one just bugged me because the aliens and well, plot, all seemed secondary to the "Look! It's Van Gogh! And this scene looks like one of his paintings!"
posted by Gary at 8:03 PM on June 6, 2010


I appreciated that this episode was slightly less heavyhanded than the Dickens and Shakespeare episodes with The Doctor and Companion giving them their own ideas. I'd have liked it more if they'd just gotten a good orchestral song instead of the un-Wholike pop song (which I found to be a fine song, but just didn't feel like it fit quite right). I also quite enjoyed the overall pacing of the episode, and that it dealt with small matters (I prefer the earth/universe/time-itself to not be in complete jeopardy in every episode, once a season is quite enough). Overall this could have been an amazing episode, but managed to be quite good.
posted by haveanicesummer at 10:06 PM on June 6, 2010


I appreciated that this episode was slightly less heavyhanded than the Dickens and Shakespeare episodes with The Doctor and Companion giving them their own ideas.

You probably won't like that on City of Death an alien commisions the Mona Lisa then... half a dozen of it...

oh, and the Doctor meets John Cleese.
posted by Artw at 10:18 PM on June 6, 2010


Not to jinx it, but I am happy that shouting "Geronimo!" can now be regarded as regeneration dizziness, and not a Doctor Who catch phrase.

Also, this kid is awesome.
posted by Gary at 10:28 PM on June 6, 2010


Another link from reddit: BBC wants Lady GaGa to star in 'Doctor Who'. I believe this will cause the crack in time that finally devours Metafilter.
posted by Gary at 12:47 AM on June 7, 2010


You probably won't like that on City of Death an alien commisions the Mona Lisa then... half a dozen of it...

oh, and the Doctor meets John Cleese.
posted by Artw


It strikes me that I think of this as a cliche trope, but when City of Death came out it may not have been. I looked for a tvtrope that fits this idea, but I couldn't find it, may have to make one. I haven't seen City of Death yet, but I did like the John Cleese bit, especially their non-reactions to it disappearing.
posted by haveanicesummer at 6:58 AM on June 7, 2010


I looked for a tvtrope that fits this idea, but I couldn't find it

The Gump, which already includes The Doctor inspiring Shakespeare.
posted by Gary at 10:29 AM on June 7, 2010


Torchwood Returns - And it’s set to get out of Cardiff and travel the world
Torchwood is coming back, with John Barrowman and Eve Myles still in the starring roles. BBC Cymru Wales, BBC Worldwide and US premium entertainment network Starz Entertainment have today announced a three-way co-production partnership that will develop a new series of the hit BBC sci-fi drama Torchwood. BBC Worldwide will also distribute the series to broadcasters globally.
posted by Artw at 11:03 AM on June 7, 2010


Torchwood is coming back

:D

The 10-episode instalment will be written by a team led by Torchwood creator Russell T Davies

D:

Well, it had to be him, I suppose. I swear, if he brings Rose back....

A couple of weeks ago my British roommate was streaming some trashy British show about a hotel over Netflix, and I heard who I thought was John Barrowman. "Hey, is that John Barrowman?" I called out from the kitchen. My roommate was aghast that I could recognize him by voice, let alone knew who he was at all.
posted by painquale at 6:33 PM on June 7, 2010


WTF? David Tennant and McLovin get cast in Fright Night remake
posted by Artw at 9:50 AM on June 9, 2010


I never really saw much of the Eccleston season, so I've been going back and re/watching them. I've been struck by how, for lack of a better phrase, "working class" the season is. Was that a conscious decision on the part of RTD and the BBC, to appeal to that demographic? Were they trying to bring in the, I don't know, EastEnders crowd? The "Rose tries to save her father" episode was like the TARDIS landing in an Andy Capp strip...
posted by Ian A.T. at 10:21 AM on June 9, 2010


Dunno. I think they just wanted to ground it with normal, regular, accessible people.
posted by Artw at 11:14 AM on June 9, 2010


Oh deep joy... James Corden is in the coming episode...
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:40 AM on June 10, 2010


The short story Blink was based on has been on the BBC site for a while, now they have this...

Human Nature - By Paul Cornell

"On the eve of the First World War, John Smith teaches at an English public school. But is he all that he seems?"
posted by Artw at 6:25 AM on June 12, 2010


(The one I'd really want to read is Time and Relative, but I've only ever seen it in insanely expensive print editions. Also it'd never make for an episode unless they bring William Hartnell back from the dead)
posted by Artw at 6:41 AM on June 12, 2010


Clearly they should have brought on the Doctor against USA

(Actually Corden was less awful than I feared and it ended up a fairly breezy if slight episode crammed full of Nu Doctor wackiness.... and from the preview, the big season ender can't come soon enough.)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:21 PM on June 12, 2010


The one I'd really want to read is Time and Relative,

From what I remember Time and Relative is classic Newman - cool references and injokes but the plot? What plot?
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:22 PM on June 12, 2010


Don't worry, Torchwood will still be Welsh
posted by Artw at 7:26 AM on June 13, 2010


'Doctor Who,' BBC Lead 2010 Portal Award Nominees
posted by Artw at 7:27 AM on June 13, 2010


Eccleston on quitting Doctor Who
posted by haveanicesummer at 9:21 PM on June 15, 2010


That's sort of... uninformative.
posted by Artw at 10:42 PM on June 15, 2010


The Coming of the Terraphiles - by Michael Moorcock
posted by Artw at 10:42 PM on June 15, 2010


From what I remember Time and Relative is classic Newman - cool references and injokes but the plot? What plot?

Most of the Anno Dracula books have plots!
posted by Artw at 10:43 PM on June 15, 2010


That's sort of... uninformative.
posted by Artw


True indeed, though I'm surprised that what I'd heard about him not wanting to be typecast as The Doctor turns out not to be true. Though the explanation is so vague as to border on useless.
posted by haveanicesummer at 11:01 PM on June 15, 2010


I'm disappointed to read that Eccleston didn't enjoy working on Doctor Who, because I want to see an Eight/Nine/Eleven multi-Doctor story, and that means he'd be less likely to participate. (Ten can come too, if he doesn't shout over everybody the whole time.)
posted by maqsarian at 1:57 AM on June 16, 2010


Most of the Anno Dracula books have plots!

Have you ever re-read any?.... it kinda becomes cruelly apparent then. Or a lot earlier, in the case of the Italian one.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:33 AM on June 16, 2010


Oh and it's also fairly odd that Eccleston's coming forward with this, well yeah, kinda none-info now, after all this time...
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:35 AM on June 16, 2010


He could at least have apologised for opening the way for Tennant and thus indirectly subjecting us to all that shouting.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 4:39 AM on June 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


I can't read the Eccleston article ("The article has been unable to display."), so it's especially uninformative to me. Does he say that he really disliked working on Doctor Who? I've always been curious to know his thoughts on coming back for the reason maqsarian mentions.

8 coming back would really be something. He's quite involved in the radio plays, so he'd probably be up for it. He's the only new school Doctor who could come back and naturally not ask 11 about Rose, and that would be nice.

It's too late for Eccleston.. he'll always be typecast in my mind.
posted by painquale at 9:15 AM on June 16, 2010


Incidentally, this thread is set to close between parts 1 and 2 of the finale, which is annoying.
posted by painquale at 9:18 AM on June 16, 2010


painquale, here's another link to the article.
posted by maqsarian at 9:53 AM on June 16, 2010


"I was open-minded but I decided after my experience on the first series that I didn't want to do any more.

"I didn't enjoy the environment and the culture that we, the cast and crew, had to work in.

"I wasn't comfortable. I thought 'If I stay in this job, I'm going to have to blind myself to certain things that I thought were wrong.' And I think it's more important to be your own man than be successful, so I left.

"But the most important thing is that I did it, not that I left. I really feel that, because it kind of broke the mould and it helped to reinvent it. I'm very proud of it."


So, basically he didn’t get on with it.
posted by Artw at 9:57 AM on June 16, 2010


I guess you could interpret that as that he didn’t like that it was random nonsense made up on the fly, but then he went and did Heroes…
posted by Artw at 9:59 AM on June 16, 2010


Stephen Fry: “It’s just shocking. The only dramas the BBC will shout about are Doctor Who and Merlin. They are wonderful programmes, don’t get me wrong, but they are not for adults.”
posted by Artw at 12:19 PM on June 16, 2010


Fry's got a point there... unfortunately, as one of the commenters points out, he's hardly been making Civilisation himself in the last few years.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:36 PM on June 16, 2010


Wow, that seems like a shockingly un-Fry like thing to say. I love the man dearly but Doctor Who seems the wrong program to attack here entirely. I only watched the first episode of Merlin but the problem there seemed not that it was for kids, but that it just wasn't very good.
posted by haveanicesummer at 12:37 PM on June 16, 2010


The three people from Britain I've discussed Doctor Who with have all been highly amused that I still watch it. It really is considered a show for kids over there. I think of it as a show for kids-at-heart, like Star Trek or lots of other light sci-fi... not a show for actual kiddies. Admitting to Americans that I looks forward to Doctor Who will out me as a light geek, but I try not to admit it to Brits because it's like outing myself as someone who records episodes of Pokemon or Sailor Moon.
posted by painquale at 1:37 PM on June 16, 2010


That Eccleston quote is perplexing. What did he have to blind himself to? I'd really like to learn what he's talking about, but I'm pretty sure I'll never get to know.
posted by painquale at 1:42 PM on June 16, 2010


No one here really discussed the Lodger episode, by the way. I thought it was fine but nothing special... but it's interesting that for the second time in a row, the monster of the week was really beside the point. It detracted from the episode if anything. This has been the case all throughout this season. The episodes mostly have very unconventional structures. A lot of episodes have dispatched the threat really early just so that there can be a long epilogue with Amy jumping the Doctor or the Doctor plunging his hand into the crack or whatever. I think that the story-of-the-week format is hamstringing Moffat. He wants to tell long, epic, character-driven stories. He'd do better with the serial format of yesteryear.
posted by painquale at 1:51 PM on June 16, 2010


I’ve still not caught up with the Vincent episode, TBH, but I’m fully expecting to hate it. The Silurian two parter felt like a real throwback to the RTD days to me, which is unsurprising considering who wrote it I guess. It passed the time okay I guess…
posted by Artw at 1:57 PM on June 16, 2010


Amy jumping the Doctor or the Doctor plunging his hand into the crack

Not in the same scene, I hope.
/rimshot

I'm sorry. I'm so sorry.
posted by maqsarian at 1:57 PM on June 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


The three people from Britain I've discussed Doctor Who with have all been highly amused that I still watch it. It really is considered a show for kids over there. I think of it as a show for kids-at-heart, like Star Trek or lots of other light sci-fi... not a show for actual kiddies. Admitting to Americans that I looks forward to Doctor Who will out me as a light geek, but I try not to admit it to Brits because it's like outing myself as someone who records episodes of Pokemon or Sailor Moon.

Pff... It's for kids like Star Wars is for kids.
posted by Artw at 2:02 PM on June 16, 2010


They should do a crossover: Doctor Who vs Jar-Jar.
posted by homunculus at 2:24 PM on June 16, 2010


US Mefites wanting some quality classic UK kids SF should not that the first volume of the US versions of the Judge Dredd Case Files seems to be hitting bookshelves this week.
posted by Artw at 2:39 PM on June 16, 2010


Doctor Hoo
posted by homunculus at 11:02 AM on June 17, 2010


Doctor Chu
posted by Gary at 3:00 PM on June 17, 2010


Smith: 'Who nudity wouldn't be proper'
posted by Artw at 3:03 PM on June 17, 2010


Well, that was an interesting episode.
posted by maqsarian at 7:04 PM on June 19, 2010


I'm amused that Moffat found a way to out-climax all of RTD's ridiculous series-closers, but I do hope the way out of this is actually good.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 12:14 AM on June 20, 2010


I can't even begin to imagine how to resolve all those cliffhangers. Yikes.
posted by painquale at 12:36 AM on June 20, 2010


Doctor Who is at its best when it's nasty (Spoilers for The Hungry Earth/Cold Blood).
posted by homunculus at 1:13 AM on June 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


That was prettiest much the biggest possible cliffhanger, wasn't it? I mean, LITERALLY the biggest, by definition. Also, was I imagining things, or were there more thunder and lightening sound effects in the opening credits?
posted by Ian A.T. at 1:38 AM on June 20, 2010


This thread expires in two days...anyone wanna open up a comment thread on their blog where we can decamp? (I'd do it on mine--and still will if nobody else wants to--but I don't want to be accused of craven self-linking.) Or we could start a Wave! Ha ha, just kidding.
posted by Ian A.T. at 1:38 AM on June 20, 2010


At least the magic reset button has been there all along this season. So if they need to erase stuff from history, we can't really call foul. I'm hoping Moffat goes in a different direction, though. A few loose ends to tie up next season might be nice. Or have the Christmas special lead-in be more than a completely random event that happens in the last two minutes.
posted by Gary at 2:00 AM on June 20, 2010


I can't even begin to imagine how to resolve all those cliffhangers.

I just hope there's not a left-over RTD patented Big Plot Solving Lever just out of shot or some magic pixie dust/

This thread expires in two days...

Oh what a cliff-hanger!
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:24 AM on June 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


I have no information about what happens in the second part of this finale, but I find myself hoping that the Christmas special revolves around the Doctor discovering a traumatised Amy stranded on a desert island having spent four months painstakingly constructing a coconut Rory.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 2:45 AM on June 20, 2010 [3 favorites]


I think this youtube clip that's embedded in homcunculus' link needs to be brought out... awesome television discussion program from way back in the day with ultra-nerdy Who fans* vs Pip and Jane Baker re the (I think) Colin Baker's Trail of a Timelord season. Very uncomfotable viewing (in a good way).

*Including a neophyte Chris Chibnell (with the yellow tie), writer of the recent Silurians eps and Torchwood's infamous Cyberwoman among others
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:41 AM on June 20, 2010


Stonehenge and Doctor Who

This thread expires in two days...

Something will come up.
posted by Artw at 8:20 AM on June 20, 2010


were there more thunder and lightening sound effects in the opening credits?

I did a quick side-by side comparison before I left for work. As far as I can tell, the lightning effects are the same. I didn't really hear any difference with the thunder, either, though that was a bit more difficult to compare. In The Pandorica Opens, I heard a loud thunderclap (just when the vortex turns from blue to orange) that I couldn't really hear in the other episodes, but that may just be an issue with the audio mix on the file I have.
posted by maqsarian at 9:38 AM on June 20, 2010


Something will come up.

cough cough Stonehenge cough Tory cuts cough
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 9:55 AM on June 20, 2010


Okay, team, that's the plan, then. Let's all keep an eye out for an FPP on the cuts, and then we can hijack it to talk about Doctor Who. I'm sure the rest of the site will be just fine with that.
posted by maqsarian at 10:00 AM on June 20, 2010


Look, we're not proud.
posted by Artw at 10:06 AM on June 20, 2010


Kind of tempted to FPP this, but it's all material fairly readily available on DVD, which has always seemed wrong to me.
posted by Artw at 10:23 AM on June 20, 2010


Dear Ask.Metafilter, how do I get a Pandorica open?
posted by Gary at 11:13 AM on June 20, 2010


Have you tried running it under the warm tap for a bit?
posted by Artw at 11:41 AM on June 20, 2010


This morning I remember that about two years ago I started a Blogspot site for my mom and my sister for one of their cockamamie diet & exercise regimens. Of course they never made a single post on it. So I created a post on the site where, if another option doesn't present itself, we can go to discuss the finale.

The Pandorica Opens, The Thread Closes


I don't think it counts as a self-link, since there's no other content and no connection to my other projects.
posted by Ian A.T. at 3:59 PM on June 20, 2010


Man, and I just saw the end of the Silurian episodes.

Anyone in the UK try the games yet? I actually tried installing a version here, but it somehow knew that I'm on the wrong continent.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 4:01 PM on June 20, 2010


Video game thread
posted by Artw at 4:05 PM on June 20, 2010


Yessss.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 4:06 PM on June 20, 2010


Thanks, Artw!
posted by Ian A.T. at 4:11 PM on June 20, 2010


Thanks, Artw!

Ian AT, self-linking in comments is generally fine. The prohibition is against self-links in posts.

Does anyone have any ideas for how to go about discussing spoilery stuff? ROT-13? Mouseover? This has come up in the other thread... I've skittered around saying anything crazy spoilery in the past few weeks, but it's gonna be hard to stave off all the hoards of people wanting to discuss the new episode, so it would be good to have a semi-established system in place before the finale.
posted by painquale at 7:22 PM on June 20, 2010


I like the mouseover method.
posted by maqsarian at 7:23 PM on June 20, 2010


I would go with oblique references and mouseover. There is a subset of users whO think ROT13 is the coming of the apocalypse ( due to some, IMHO pretty fucked logic about it being a barrier to the text being read) so don't do that.

SPOILER and a gap is appreciated, but in practice doesn't do anything.
posted by Artw at 7:27 PM on June 20, 2010


Ian AT, self-linking in comments is generally fine. The prohibition is against self-links in posts.

I know, but this felt a little different in that it wasn't "hey, look at this blog post I did," but rather "hey, let's leave Metafilter and go over to this site I run and spend a bunch of time there". I wanted to go out of my way to point out that I don't have any other content on the site and it doesn't link to my other projects. (Oh, and I don't have ads on the site.)

Anyway, if we decide to head over there, it's not going to be a spoiler-free territory. I guess that's obvious, since we're headed that way specifically to talk about the finale, but still. In fact, as a fair warning, I've already left a spoilerish comment over there.
posted by Ian A.T. at 9:02 PM on June 20, 2010


Portal Award Nominees:

Best Episode/Television
"Absolute Justice," Smallville
"Children of Earth," Torchwood
"The End," Lost
"End of Time," Doctor Who
"Over There," Fringe

Got to love the British sense of humour. End of Time was awful.
posted by juiceCake at 10:04 PM on June 20, 2010


So will we have a Tony Soprano cameo in the next episode?
posted by schmod at 10:43 PM on June 20, 2010


« Older Eccentric or not?...  |  Singer/songwriter Shirley Elli... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments