Aka the Straczynski Effect?
Babylon 5 Guy? Absolutely.
Also the original writer to She-Ra.
Yes! I think that came up in that mini comic collection.
A thing; a thought.
What most bugs me about Chibnall’s era so far is what most bugged me about Moffat’s era (particularly the first half; less so, the second). They both feel so obvious. Obvious in very different ways, granted, but they both consistently choose the low-hanging concept, metaphor, solution, reference. Beat by beat, the last decade has felt like, “Yup. Yup. And that. Sure. And, right. Oh, he read that thread too, huh?” Their approaches are different. They pick on different things and carry them differently, but… it’s all rather straight, isn’t it.
Davies was hardly consistent, but his era was fucking bonkers. It was next to impossible to know what to expect from one moment to the next, never mind week to week, as his train of thought and sense of causality and the things that made him curious enough to explore are just so goddamned odd. At times this verged into the nonsensical; he commented in A Writer’s Tale that he’d caught a repeat of “Last of the Time Lords” and realized what it must be like for a casual viewer to follow his episodes. He felt like the scriptwriter must have been on drugs.
The thing is, his scripts are the direct opposite of obvious. His gonzo train sometimes crashes into a mountain, but when it heads anywhere halfway comprehensible it can be astonishing. “Gridlock” just barely keeps it together, and in the process of its reckless veering it traces a path like nothing else I’ve seen or ever could have considered. “Turn Left” is the angriest clip show ever made, and basically predicts Brexit ten years early, getting the associated social and political climate note-perfect. Every Davies episode is some level of WTF, and even when that goes horribly wrong at least my brain feels expanded in painful, unwanted ways.
Moffat plays to the crowd and preens, much like Neil Gaiman but without the judgment. “Oh, you like this idea? Why, of course I can do that. I can even get Neil Gaiman to do it, if you like!” Chibnall just… sticks to the instruction booklet, mostly.
I miss the sense of anarchy. Doctor Who needs chaos. It needs angry lefty weirdness. It needs to bomb your everyday comfortable ideas.
It’s been a long time since it’s regularly aimed for that.
this is interesting to me coz i’ve always thought that Moffat’s whole thing is that his plots have a million things going on but you know he’s gonna tie it all up, the question is how he’s gonna do that. but even that’s pretty safe in its way. also i actually watched Blink just before starting on the new series and, yeah, it was very neat conceptually, but pretty unchallenging thematically. i’m usually all for small stories, and i’m sure it was a welcome breather in that regard in the show order, but the weird romance end-note was so cringingly Moffat it kinda soured it for me
has someone here talked about how every time a new show runner comes on we’re all like ‘finally, here we go! return to form, and a bold new direction!’ and within a couple episodes we’re always like ‘actually i think i liked the last guy better’
Yeah, “Blink” is a good example. It’s like… okay, how are we going to tie this thing up without some facile nonsense like Sally just turning over her folder to the Doctor?
… Oh. Well. Okay. That was, um. Sure, whatever.
This may be a reason I actually prefer the two-parter from 2010: structurally it’s far less predictable, and it does way more with the metaphorical value of the Angels. It’s messier, but that’s… good? Messy is good.
Hate the ending with Amy coming on to the Doctor, but that’s more of a general ugh to her character on my part.
Regarding the showrunner, I think it’s been this case at least since 1980. When JNT took over from Graham Williams, it was supposed to change everything!
Speaking of which,
I’m not big on Tom Baker, but season 18 is so good.
that was a very fun ending even if it was kinda like a douglas adams bit with less jokes
that dad was really unfathomably cruel! i don’t understand the plot logic, did he find the mirror wife first and THEN go set up the speakers because why wouldn’t he just take his daughter at that point?
i felt like graham’s emotional stuff hit but this was overall a weird execution for various half-baked neat ideas
still very watchable though
EDIT: if this was still Moffat-era River definitely would have been in the mirror
I dug that it was another episode that was focused around working through a misunderstanding rather than dealing with a killer space monster.
This is interesting, in mind of what I was mumbling about earlier about the Moffat cock strut lap.
So how many people have actually listened to The Macra Terror, or watched a recon?
I regularly assert that this is the best of the remaining missing serials. It’s a fucking strange choice to animate, given that it’s in the middle of an almost totally missing season and (much like Enemy of the World, prior to its recovery and despite all my yelling about it) it doesn’t have the strongest reputation—but with its surreal, dreamlike premise it lends itself superbly to reinterpretation.
Remember that “Gridlock” is sort of a semi-sequel to this. And “Gridlock” is just fucking amazing. I loved it in 2007, and I just grow to admire it more as time passes.
One of the best parts of The Macra Terror is its odd, Phantasy Star-esque soundscape, which combined with sufficiently stylized visuals should be… well, pretty damned cool.
Seriously, I’m not as into Dudley Simpson’s music as most people, but his super early stuff is strange.
ETA: “Propaganda Sleep Machine” will be my next band name.
Forty-seven guesses what that name might be.
aww the fist bump
This is, like, the exact same story as The Pirate Planet, but 95% less interesting.
People go on about City of Death, reasonably enough, but I find that Douglas Adams’ most interesting contribution to the show. Partially because of how messy it is.
And then it’s got that “What’s it for?!” moment – probably my single favorite line delivery from Tom Baker. Can’t seem to find a clip, though.
16:23 in, if that mark doesn’t link right.
Also it seems to include an early draft of SatAM Robotnik.
Including Polyphase Avatron.
do scifi writers know that you can just say “killing changes you for the worse” instead of “that makes you just like him” also are they aware that being judge and jury and personally imprisoning people for any amount of time let alone forever also has a moral cost
i’m just curious cuz this show sure is not alone in that respect
uhh i need to catch up on this season
but The Pirate Planet rules it’s one of my favorite doctors who. it looks cheap in a fun, memorable way, like you’d expect to see an MST3K episode about it, only it’s self-aware and thus funny on purpose. i love the ridiculous cyborg pirate captain and his robot parrot and the stupid cliffhanger where tom baker gets his mind vaporized by the psychic mentos, stands up and says something, and gets his mind vaporized again as the credit thing screams
This era in particular is centrist as fuck in exactly that distressing way. This is a variation of the same weirdness from the end of the Trump vs Spiders episode, where putting the spider out of its misery was impermissible but letting it slowly, painfully suffocate was somehow right. Because, you know, can’t take any positive action, now, can we?
And in a grosser way it fits right in with KERBLAM!. Which is just… like, I don’t think this show has ever made me angrier.
And the big dramatic beat in Rosa being Graham feeling sad that he has to be the person making Rosa Parks get thrown off the bus. “No, I don’t want to be a part of this!” Poor Graham!