DR.Who


#184

One last note. Looks like we may be getting an anti-Moffat in Grown-Up Chibnall:

“A TV show isn’t a focus group. It is great that people are speculating about who the Doctor will be… but it won’t affect in any way what we do with the show.”

(Or more fairly, an anti-JNT. But, well.)


#185

Oh, cool! This all sounds really promising!


#186

I’m not going to look up what people are saying about it but I don’t like the idea of a lady Doctor for the following reason: The main good thing about Doctor Who was the way it portrayed the succession of faceless white male protagonists as a single creepy alien who’s too inhuman to maintain a lasting relationship.

It was disgusting and boring to watch the kids who grew up on the show change him from a gross weirdo to a young hot geek we’re supposed to want to blow.

Then after they couldn’t de-age him past the age of consent, they gave him tits.

Am I the only one having trouble seeing the pro-woman angle here. Maybe the stories ended up being really good? Did they? How long does it take for someone to try and fuck the Doctor


#187

That’s a really weird take! I wouldn’t describe the older Doctors as gross and inhuman at all, either in characterization or in describing the actors. Also he got cast as a cute young guy for the first time way back in the 80s so that’s not just a recent idea.

Anyway the Doctor is an iconic character beloved by children, having the role played by people who are not cis white men is a good idea all around, especially seeing as the possibility’s inherent in the concept.


#188

Yeah, Capaldi’s stories were the best in the show’s history, I think. Mostly. And he wasn’t portrayed with any kind of a romantic angle. Quite the opposite in most respects.

Were Tennant a one-off, I would have been fine with this angle. You know, why not. Smith was a fucking strange way to follow him, though, and I disagree with virtually every decision Moffat made during that era.


#189

When I accidently use the internet to go to sites that aren’t SB, and I see things like people who embrace calling the Tardis “Sexy,” I get really fucking weirded out.

The Smith era was so awful.


#190

IIRC Moffatt wanted Capaldi right away, but Capaldi wasn’t available. So he held auditions looking for another older actor to do the role, but Smith blew everyone else out of the water.
There really isn’t a consistent younger/“hotter” trend to the Doctors other than Tennant -> Smith

I need to go rewatch the Smith years sometime. I enjoyed them a lot at the time but my impression has grown more lukewarm with time. There aren’t really a lot of individual stories i can think of that i’d be hyped to return to. Wanna say it was the chemistry between the leads and the lightning-quick pacing that sold a lot of the era (and the pacing gets really out of hand by S7; i was glad that Capaldi’s stories were slowed down and given more breathing room)


#191

Neil Gaiman is a vampire who subsists off of squee.


#192

Though, as a broad pattern, until Capaldi the Doctor did tend to get younger with each incarnation. The only two exceptions to this are, to various degrees, understandable. (The Time Lords just gave him a random new face; for the first time the Doctor held back his regeneration for a couple of episodes, then as he collapsed said, “It feels different this time…”)

Even Capaldi basically fits the scheme if you consider how Moffat deliberately aged up Smith’s Doctor by a couple of thousand years in his final episode.

But, yeah. It’s never been a particularly well-underlined point of the narrative. It’s just been sort of there. Partially as a result of wanting to cast actors who are still alive.


#193

GOING NUCLEAR ON THAT BLOOD POTION.


#194

I really do not like Smith’s era. I had the creeping qualms in the moment, and those have crept far in time. Usually when there’s someone else in the TARDIS besides the Doctor and Amy, be it Rory, River, or whoever, things get a little better. But that doesn’t change the insufferable ego-driven writing. Everything is so superficial; about how cool things are, about how things look, about how (yes) sexy things are. It’s the CW era of Doctor Who.

When Clara comes in, I think things improve tremendously even if the scripts largely don’t, inasmuch as Clara – through violently under-written – becomes through Coleman’s performance a far more grown-up, confident character than Amy, who more easily sees through the Doctor’s bullshit and is totally fine to live her own life. Like so many classic companions, early Clara is defined by the actor, and Coleman is one of the best actresses the modern show has had in this role.

Later, of course, she’s given an actual character to play. And things get better!

Stories that still work well from Smith’s era, I find:

  1. Time of the Angels / Flesh and Stone
  2. Amy’s Choice (probably)
  3. Let’s Kill Hitler (If anything, far more relevant today!)
  4. The Girl Who Waited (though this now feels like a series 2 story, tonally)
  5. The Power of Three (probably? Chibnall’s most recent)
  6. The Rings of Akhaten (some of the only notable character work in the Smith era)
  7. The Day of the Doctor

Vincent and the Doctor has a lovely metaphor at its heart, and the actor who does Van Gogh is just fabulous. But the episode comes at the story from such a neoliberal vector that it makes me want to bite my thumb off.

I used to like Hide, but… the glow faded quickly. I dunno.

Honestly, I think you’re fine just sticking with the Angels two-parter (the best Angels story, on reflection) and Day of the Doctor. There’s not much else that compels me to watch it again soon. Unlike Eccles/Tennant (mostly for the RTD stories, frankly) or Capaldi, which I can just hammer at any time.

Seriously, the bulk of Capaldi’s era – a few whiffs aside – stand sup to me as one of the three pinnacles of the show to date, alongside season 7 (1970) and seasons 25-26 (1988-89). I even include series 10 in that, which I like considerably less on balance than 8 or 9, yet I still like more than nearly any non-Capaldi run.

Here’s hopin’ Chibnall has his act together. It sounds like he’s approaching the job more deliberately than Moffat ever did, so that’s a promising start.


#195

that neil gaiman one was my favorite matt smith for a long while :sweat:

It’s also responsible for getting some of my best friends into Who. Including one who watched the whole classic series like i did and has himself dressed as T-Bakes Doctor as his av on his rarely used FB.

That’s either a good thing or the worst thing ive ever done to someone, depending on your outlook


#196

Good post!! Much respect for the Clara repping. I thought Clara was great! A lot of people I know (inc. aforementioned friends) really dump on Clara but I think her whole arc is basically the most satisfying and well realized one in… like the entire shows history

That Smith list seems pretty canonical to me, too. I’d maybe personally add on The Big Bang [theory]) and Time of the Doctor. I can’t think of two more I really liked to round it out to 11, sadly :frowning_face:
i cant decide if i like the Van Gogh one enough to include it or if the incredibly sappy song part tips it too far the wrong way

everyone likes that christmas carol one but i never saw it. was it just… a christmas carol


#197

Aaand, it sounds like Chibnall’s doing a clean sweep on the writing team, which is both good and bad. Good because it means no fucking Whithouse (who has confirmed he’s done his last work with the show), Roberts (who I doubt will be invited back now, after that recent incident), or Gatiss (who was invited back, but feels he’s done, and turned it down). On the other hand, it means no Jamie Mathieson, no Sarah Dollard, Cath Tregenna, Peter Harness.

Suddenly after several years of basically reusing the same handful of hack fan writers as his back-up band, Moffat dug up a new gang for Capaldi’s stories. And they’re some of the best finds since Andrew Cartmel’s era.

One of them (Rona Munro) is actually a writer FROM Cartmel’s era!

So just as we’ve assembled this awesome team, they’re disbanded too. And we’ll probably not see Rachel Talalay again soon either. Who’s probably the single best director the show has ever had.

So blah. But, if the new people are totally fresh and have things to say besides how much they like pop culture (fucking Gatiss), I’m for it.


#198

i liked Matt Smith’s Doctor but really didn’t like the writing of most of his episodes. i really felt like he was trying to be both the oldest and the youngest iteration at the same time, waffling back and forth when the tone fit, and i really liked keeping up with his energy. didn’t really like the “romantic” style scenes with Amy though (Rory fan here, felt like he got a raw deal) (also i really liked that Christmas Special)

but ya know, i’ve been a Who fan only since the NuWho Eccleston days so i’m no die hard i guess.


#199

Yeah, I’m certain that once the current fans die off and another wave comes in to write the books in retrospect, Clara will get a huge and positive reassesment, of the “what were those earlier fans smoking” variety.

A Christmas Carol is even more infuriatingly neoliberal than Vincent and the Doctor. Of the existentially violent variety, as opposed to just the economy-based morality business.


#200

Revised, post-Christmas.


#201

I’m not going to denigrate the actor or his performance (though it definitely did go into cruise control from 2011 on – understandably, if I were in his position). He was just badly mishandled and under-fed.


#202

Medieval Spawn rules, but I cannot stand either of Gaiman’s episodes. That final act of his second one where Smith mugs as the half cyber commander is probably my least favorite part of the revived series.


#203

Clara started really poorly, the one half season she was opposite Smith felt like a manic episode

I was amazed how much better the Capaldi era treated her