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I picked up Doctor Who Magazine on Friday and went straight to Scott Grey's comic strip. I can always rely on his writing to give this show the kind of limitless imagination and creative boost that the tv series can often lack in places.

I love also that Scott actively 'ships Graham and The Doctor Smile , glad to know I'm not the only one (in fact, I plan to re-edit the ending of 'Can You Hear Me' in a couple of months to reflect my crazy love for this pair)
(03-07-2020, 02:08 AM)Handman Wrote: [ -> ]Well, it was really just a culmination of not really liking Series 11, and not seeing much of an improvement in Series 12.  Dull characters, inconsistent Doctor morals always taken to be right or unquestionable (rather than called out for being inconsistent or outright wrong, like leaving the nonwhite Master to the Nazis or wiping Ada Lovelace's mind), just not really seeing any development of our characters, constant exposition and hamfisted, obvious lessons (as opposed to arriving at them naturally). 

All in all the show just doesn't seem to have anything to actually say thematically, and doesn't have any characters I gravitate to. 

I get that. I didn't like her erasing Ada's memories either, frankly I feel like she could have been a really cool companion for an entire season. And in season 11 I thought the companions were pretty bland, but I've grown to like them a lot more in 12.

Quote:Add on to that the rumors I heard, which were pretty much confirmed by Judoon and from what I hear only moreso in the finale, and I figured it was time to stop watching something I wasn't really enjoying anymore anyway.  The show felt more like an obligation than something I looked forward to each week.

I love, love, love the 60s era of the show.  I loved watching Hartnell's Doctor grow as a character, from a man who just ran away and willing to bash a caveman's skull in to the reluctant hero we see in The War Machines. To Troughton's embrace of the mischievous do-gooder, not quite the epic hero we see by the time we reach the new show, but on his way.  The implications of the most recent series run completely contrary to what I love about the show, about an ordinary man who ran away and became great through his actions, the thought that anybody could be like the Doctor.  And Hartnell was the one who started it all, starting off in a clearly unheroic role and growing as a character into what we would come to associate with him for the next 50+ years.

To suggest that Hartnell was not the first incarnation of the Timelord known as the Doctor, running around in a blue police box doing heroic deeds (as the Ruth Doctor insinuates), completely undermines his entire character arc.  To suggest the Doctor is a super special chosen one completely undermines the fact that the Doctor has always been the unlikely hero, doing what he does not because of some destiny but because he believes it's right.  To suggest that none of these changes actually undermine any of that calls into question why the changes were even made in the first place.  It's just a sad state of affairs and I can't wait for it to be swept under the rug like the Morbius Doctors were for over 40 years, the half-human angle for 20, and all the countless other things, and we can just ignore it and go back to having fun adventures again.

Season 11 got a lot of flack for not using classic monsters, but I think the deeper issue people had with it was a lack of overall connectivity with the show's overall continuity. To me the current season is an attempt at course correction. There are classic monsters used, but also ties to the Davies run and the additions to the lore we thought we knew everything about. To me this isn't undermining anything, but recontextualizing what's already there. Undermining in my opinion would be more like how Moffatt made the first Doctor suggest a female companion needed her butt smacked so Capaldi could correct him and look more virtuous by comparison.

I like the idea that we don't know everything about the character, and think the changes/additions are a pretty natural way to add some mystery back in. There's a big chunk of the Doctor's life that we've seen, and each new tv adventure adds on to only one end of that chunk. With many of the classic Doctor actors dead or aged out of their roles, the only way to be able to add anything to the other end of that chunk is to say there was more that came before we just never saw because it wasn't relevant at the time. That allows new, living actors to be cast and stories to play out without having to recast characters we've seen already.

If the first Doctor didn't know he wasn't technically the first, didn't know he was special, etc, but chose to do what he did and chose to be who he was anyway, does that really hurt his arc? Are you what people say you are or what you choose to be? Not trying to get into philosophy but I think that's an important question if changes to pre Hartnell lore really bug you. While a chosen one/destiny narrative isn't the most original approach one could take, is there a better narrative device to add to the Doctor's story, considering their main character status and how much dumb luck seems to save them already? I almost feel like it's just connecting dots that were already there at this point, and the Morbius stuff was a clever open end to hook onto to explore the idea.

The show isn't exactly what I expect, want, or what I would do if I was in charge. But people are clearly trying to keep it alive, and I'm along for the ride. I hated when I heard that Moffatt added in a new incarnation of the Doctor in the middle of the ones we know, and counted the Metacrisis Doc as a separate regeneration entirely. But it didn't ruin the show or even the numbering, and when I actually saw the 50th anniversary I thought it was one of the best episodes I'd seen in years. A lot of people hated when Nu Who came out and Gallifrey was gone, but the show continued fine without it.

I think the nature of a show that is about changing history, which has also run for so long, with constant continuity changes, is that these sorts of changes are baked in to the premise. Look into the differing Cybermen origin stories, or multiple iterations of Atlantis, or the different usages of Shada. Or consider the repurposing of Genesis of the Daleks to be the first strike of the Time War. Anything that happened happened but also maybe didn't, and you kind of have to get on board or decide it's not for you. I understand if it's not for you, and I get if you don't like the writing or specific character actions or execution of the ideas and plots. I don't understand having a problem with what the show has always been and with it doing what it's always done to itself, having a big concept that ties the new to the old and gives some answers while asking new questions.

Another point I want to make quickly is that the Hartnell arc you like so much has the benefit of being over already, so you know how he starts and how he ends. Whittaker is still going but you seem to be judging her character are without knowing where it's actually going to end up. I don't know if they will give her a satisfying arc overall and have her grow and change as much, but we can't know for sure until her run is over.

I don't want to blindly defend the show, sure there are problems and choices and people may take issue with them. Like you said, it seems to be either thematically unclear or hamfistedly humanitarian and environmental. What I personally take issue with is the opposite of blind defense, blind hatred based on taking for granted what others say or what contextless plot descriptions include. Sorry if these are jumbled thoughts, I'm taking care of a toddler while trying to thoughtfully reply so I'm a little scattered.
Quote:If the first Doctor didn't know he wasn't technically the first, didn't know he was special, etc, but chose to do what he did and chose to be who he was anyway, does that really hurt his arc? Are you what people say you are or what you choose to be? Not trying to get into philosophy but I think that's an important question if changes to pre Hartnell lore really bug you.
Quote:To suggest that none of these changes actually undermine any of that calls into question why the changes were even made in the first place. 
Quote:Another point I want to make quickly is that the Hartnell arc you like so much has the benefit of being over already, so you know how he starts and how he ends. Whittaker is still going but you seem to be judging her character are without knowing where it's actually going to end up.
...
What I personally take issue with is the opposite of blind defense, blind hatred based on taking for granted what others say or what contextless plot descriptions include.
Why do I have to know where the story will end to know if I will like what the show is doing right now?  I never had that problem before.  And I don't have an encyclopedia knowledge of the show until I see it, I actually watched it without knowing what happens and enjoyed it while watching.  I didn't read up on Hartnell's arc before seeing it for myself.  And from what I've watched of Whittaker's run, I don't want to continue watching based on what I've seen already.  I should be able to actually enjoy what I'm watching without regard to wherever it's going, otherwise what's the point?

And blind hatred?  I've gone 15 episodes before giving up.  I don't need to actually see the entire finale to know the ideas it presents are completely contradictory to what I love about the show, based on what I've already seen.  Why would I watch something I know I won't like?  Look, if I was hearing a lot of great buzz about it, I'd check it out, but it's as divisive as I thought it'd be when I first read the leaks.  So much so the BBC has actually had to come out and address the complaints.  It's just a mess and I don't really want to subject myself to it.
Clearly there are some miscommunications happening, I'll try to clarify where I can.

(03-07-2020, 02:35 PM)Handman Wrote: [ -> ]To suggest that none of these changes actually undermine any of that calls into question why the changes were even made in the first place. 

I explained how I felt about that. I don't disagree that the reason is called into question, I was trying to provide a possible answer. To keep the show alive and interconnected, they have to be able to add to the story, and to only do so at one end of the story means that there's no mystery left, especially when the central premise of the story involves the ability to go back in time and find out new things. So the question of why the changes were made in the first place does have an answer. Oh course you're free to reject the answer I've come up with, but the answer exists, nonetheless.

Quote:Why do I have to know where the story will end to know if I will like what the show is doing right now?  I never had that problem before.  And I don't have an encyclopedia knowledge of the show until I see it, I actually watched it without knowing what happens and enjoyed it while watching.  I didn't read up on Hartnell's arc before seeing it for myself.  And from what I've watched of Whittaker's run, I don't want to continue watching based on what I've seen already.  I should be able to actually enjoy what I'm watching without regard to wherever it's going, otherwise what's the point?

You can decide what you like when you want, no problem there, and you certainly don't have to like the show. But in this chunk of text you've quoted from me, I was referring specifically to the first doctor's character arc, not the show as a whole. It was the example you provided of what you liked about the first Doctor, his arc. I assumed you were either stating or implying that Whittaker has no arc. My counter to that is that her arc is still ongoing, and that maybe it'll be similarly well developed by the end of her run. But hey, maybe it won't. That's something we'd both only be able to genuinely judge once her run is over. Whether you like it or want to continue with it is another matter. I understand and accept that you don't.

Quote:And blind hatred?  I've gone 15 episodes before giving up.  I don't need to actually see the entire finale to know the ideas it presents are completely contradictory to what I love about the show, based on what I've already seen.  Why would I watch something I know I won't like?

I didn't say you displayed blind hatred, I was referring to Warb, whose posts sparked both of us to talk. My understanding is he quit the show before the current season but seems to want to complain about the current season without actually trying it and developing his own opinion on it. I was trying to imply that the problems you have pointed out are valid by comparison to said blind hatred. I know that you've given the show a chance and I was trying to have a discussion not only about you and I but the broad reaction the show has received lately. I'm sorry if that didn't come across, like I said I'm trying to take care of a kid, I'm not in a position to have a full-on academic debate on the matter. Also sorry if you found what I said offensive, that was never the intent. Again, I can respect your opinion and how you arrived there. We can disagree and still get along.

Hope that helps you understand where I am (and was) coming from. If not, then I'm not sure what else to say.
I'll just put it bluntly, this is not the show I grew up with and loved as a kid.  I am done with it.
We'll see what happens next year.
The only reason I'm still giving it a chance is because I consider Nu Who a seperate universe from Classic. Survival really was the natural end point for the show and the perfect ending. The Doctor and Ace I like to think are still out there righting wrongs and bringing justice to places the tea's getting cold. And they do it as a team, none of this constant falling out that goes on in Big Finish or the novels. Part of me wants to consider Ground Zero canon though, I have a theory that actually integrates it into what we learn of Ace in the series 26 trailer, but it would mean acknowledging the TV Movie.

Classic Who actually has a proper ending, it's called Death Comes To Time. It's not perfect and gets a lot of things wrong, but it brings The Doctor, Ace and the Time Lords' stories to a satisfactory close and outright ignores Paul McGann's TV Movie and everything that followed.
(03-07-2020, 03:40 PM)Warbler Wrote: [ -> ]I'll just put it bluntly, this is not the show I grew up with and loved as a kid.  I am done with it.

This is the same kind of complaint Doctor Who gets with every regeneration and Star Trek get with every new series, going back all the way to Troughton and TNG. Both franchises go through drastic changes with each iteration, but that's a strength, not a weakness. A Hartnell-style Doctor Who would not be on the air 50 years later, nor would a TOS-style Star Trek. But a show going through changes doesn't mean it's not the same show any more than you going through changes means you are not the same person you were as a kid. Things grow and change through time. If the show stayed exactly the same, what would be the point of making new episodes? You may not like the show any  more, and that's fine. It's like letting a friendship lapse when you've grown apart. Most friendships last a few years, then fade away. But sometimes you get a friend that you still like hanging out with for years on end. And sometimes you just need a break from somebody for a while and then you can meet up a few years later and strike things back up. Hopefully that's what happens for you and Doctor Who.
(03-08-2020, 11:00 AM)asterixsmeagol Wrote: [ -> ]
(03-07-2020, 03:40 PM)Warbler Wrote: [ -> ]I'll just put it bluntly, this is not the show I grew up with and loved as a kid.  I am done with it.

This is the same kind of complaint Doctor Who gets with every regeneration and Star Trek get with every new series, going back all the way to Troughton and TNG. Both franchises go through drastic changes with each iteration, but that's a strength, not a weakness. A Hartnell-style Doctor Who would not be on the air 50 years later, nor would a TOS-style Star Trek. But a show going through changes doesn't mean it's not the same show any more than you going through changes means you are not the same person you were as a kid. Things grow and change through time. If the show stayed exactly the same, what would be the point of making new episodes? You may not like the show any  more, and that's fine. It's like letting a friendship lapse when you've grown apart. Most friendships last a few years, then fade away. But sometimes you get a friend that you still like hanging out with for years on end. And sometimes you just need a break from somebody for a while and then you can meet up a few years later and strike things back up. Hopefully that's what happens for you and Doctor Who.

I've a feeling Doctor Who will just be regarded now as a zombie franchise like The Simpsons...something that has changed so much it's unrecognisable, it's best years and ideas are behind it, and it really ought to take a long rest before coming back, but it makes so much damn money that the BBC will remain stubborn and keep it going, but the damage is done. The evolution of negativity-for-clicks Youtubing amongst other things means there is now an audience committed to hate-watching the programme who will remind you week by week of how 'awful' it is, and until the Timeless Child thing is fixed, I don't think any new showrunner stands a chance of revitalising the brand with their own input if they continue to let this twist stand. Those fans won't stand for anything else other than a total walkback (which is easy to do, but also makes the next few years of investing in the programme an utter waste of time of they do it...plus it would get a lot of backlash on essentially saying pre-hartnell doctors of different colours, creeds and gender suddenly 'don't count' and were 'just a lie')

Doctor Who left the air in 1989 and the absence largely helped it regain focus
Here is my review of the season, episode by episode, that nobody asked for.

What I liked, didn't like, and found memorable or cool. I'm obviously way more into Nu Who than classic, and I'm obviously generally optimistic with the show, so we're clear before I get into it, I really liked the season overall.

It's all spoilers after that.



1 - Spyfall (part 1) : The spy plot was fun, a functional season opener, and I always appreciate when the show goes back to multi part stories. Got my hopes up with what I thought the alien threat would be but that's my own fault. Cool cliffhanger.
Best part: The new Master!
Worst part: That chase scene on motorcycles while getting shot at, and every bullet hit the handlebars? Very silly.

2 - Spyfall (part 2) : I wish we saw more of the Doctor resolving the cliffhanger, but overall I liked it. I do feel like Ada Lovelace was wasted here (I mentioned earlier but I really think she would be a great companion for an extended amount of time, seeing the modern day and what computers become, seeing Cybermen as the ultimate extension of the concept, etc) and the memory wiping seemed out of character, I think the historical characters could have been trusted with their memories intact.
Best part: the Master again, or Companions finally putting their foot down for answers about the Doctor.
Worst part: After thinking about it, probably the leaving the Master to the Nazis part, but in the moment I was just really bummed about Ada.

3 - Orphan 55: Cheap. The writing felt cheap, the spa sets felt cheap, the monsters seemed like something recycled from something else.
Best part: I've already forgotten most of it so it didn't tarnish my experience too badly.
Worst part: They were humans all along, and btw climate change, just gonna mention that and not elaborate.

4 - Nikola Tesla's Night of Terror: Oh man this is getting good again. A portrayal of Tesla and Edison that feels really accurate and satisfying. It almost feels like the Van Gogh episode, but it doesn't reach that episode's emotional heights. I love the role Graham has settled into.
Best part: Tesla, what a cool character
Worst part: The alien queen was excessively similar to the Racnoss queen. The makeup wasn't great either.

5 - Fugitive of the Judoon: I was spoiled on the reveal that came in this episode but still had an emotional reaction to it. I really liked the episode, though the Judoon are really goofy and I'm not a huge fan of them. Like their first appearance, I don't understand why the TARDIS doesn't translate their language automatically, but they had their own translators in this episode so it was a non issue. I really thought they were going for something with the light on the lighthouse breaking, that would have maybe made a cool visual instead of the fire alarm.

Side note: After thinking about it, if Ruth-Doctor is real and is pre-Hartnell, it's a little weird that she has the police box TARDIS, since Moffatt showed us with his own tinkering that Gallifreyan Clara made sure Hartnell picked the right TARDIS, and it looked like a concrete slab, indicating that its Chameleon Circuit still worked. My current head canon is that Ruth Doctor stole it from, and eventually returned it to, a later Doctor, so from the TARDIS's perspective, Hartnell stole it first, broke the circuit, and passed it on. Or the Chameleon Circuit works fine and the Doctor is really in love with that shape and lies about it.

Anyway, I didn't think about that during the episode and was just along for the ride, and the ride was good. Captain Jack thinking Graham was the Doc was also fun.
Best part: that reveal worked really well for me
Worst part: I'm just tired of aliens that are literally an Earth animal but from space.

6 - Praxeus: just fine, the story is basic but mostly inoffensive. The environmental message is heavy handed, but is integrated into the plot much better than in Orphan 55.
Best part: Hitchcock-inspired bird attacks
Worst part: bland and predictable

7 - Can You Hear Me: I thought this was great. We get to know the companions more, the body horror was effective, the threats were creepy and twists were adequate. Felt like something Big Finish would try.
Best part: that villain guy
Worst part: Yaz's stuff felt slow and was a little confusing

8 - The Haunting of Villa Diodati: this was pretty dang good too, IMO. My biggest complaint is just that it kind of overlaps with some eighth Doctor audio adventures I really like, but I mean, it's a good episode so I'll accept it.
Best part: the Cyberman with the cracked helmet was a great idea, seeing even some of his face made him so much more memorable as a performer.

9 - Ascension of the Cybermen: better than I expected, I never think Cyberman stories are going to be genuinely good,I always find them too campy. But this lone Cyberman design is so good, and I like that he's not just a Cyberman, he's a fanatic.
Best part: character interaction was great
Worst part: drone action scenes seemed a little behind what the production could do well

10 - The Timeless Children: Appropriately big concept for the payoff of both the season plot arc but also the third of a three parter. I really thought it was going in the direction of "Gallifreyan people originally came from Earth" but instead it was "Time Lords came from the Doctor", which seems like it would anger fewer people but also seems like a pretty obvious take for the producers to do. I'm along for the ride, like I said. I do think it could be interesting if they flipped it, and the Master was the Timeless Child. But this appears to be a way to open doors for new stories and keep the show going, now for example there may be no regeneration limit, so they don't have to repeat asking for more down the line. I do like that everything we see is carefully crafted by the Master, partially because his performance is so good, but also because you don't really know he's reliable. But now I just want an episode where the Doctor finds the original Timeless People planet. I was pretty sure Graham was going to die but glad he didn't, I really like him now.
Best part: the Master killing the lone Cyberman
Worst part: leaving the other TARDIS's just anywhere seems irresponsible.