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Doctor Who

bionicbob

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I am surprised there is no thread about the Time Lord, so I guess I will start one....


I discovered Dr. Who fairly late, I was around 16 I think, late high school.... before that I was aware of Dr. Who, read many articles, seen lots of pics, but I had never seen a tv episode until we moved (again... we move a lot...) into an urban area where the local cable company carried PBS, which ran old, out of order, Doctor Who episodes very, very late at night.

The first episodes I remember seeing was part of the Tom Baker KEY TO TIME series, which I remember greatly enjoying. In fact, it is the first Dr. Who dvd series I ever bought. It was so different from typical American sci-fi, and lets face it there was not much good sci-fi on tv in the mid-80s.

So through high school and college I watched quite a bit of the good Doctor, in his many incarnations. Though I always seemed to only catch the first or last half of his many serials, and as I said, the local channel never seemed to air the series in order... one week it was Peter Davidson, the next Jon Pertwee, then Sylvester McCoy, etc...

So while I always enjoyed the series, I was often confused and in no way consider myself well versed in the Time Lord Lore.

When Doctor Who was relaunched in 2005, I totally fell in love with the series. The series, building cleverly on its 40 plus year history, felt so EPIC and MYTHIC. I have been hooked ever since. The David Tennett series was brilliant. He may be my favorite Doctor since Tom Baker. But I am really enjoying the Matt Smith adventures. And lets face it, Amy Pond rocks!!!!

With the 50th Anniversary arriving in 2013 and the launch of series seven in September, I thought this might be a great time to discuss your favorite Doctor, companions and adventures.

Also, maybe you can help recommend which classic ESSENTIAL adventures on DVD I should buy...

BBC dvds are sooooo expensive, so I have to be pretty picky what I buy,
so far, I only have...

THE KEY TO TIME
THE THREE DOCTORS
THE FIVE DOCTORS
THE TWO DOCTORS

yeah, as I said, not very many yet, but slowly building my Must Buy List, so any suggestions are appreciated.

:)

11doctorsalfanart.jpg
 

TomH1138

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Hooray! I've been meaning to start a Doctor Who thread myself.

I first saw part of a serial in a friend's dorm room in the '90s. I thought it was brilliant, but for some reason I didn't pursue it any further. I tried to watch it again recently, and it turns out that the serial in question was part of "Trial of a Time Lord," featuring the Sixth Doctor. It's a truly terrible serial, so I don't know why I liked it at the time, other than that it was so different from anything else I had seen up to that point. A lot of American sci-fi was like ALF and Short Circuit. (Granted, there was Star Trek: TNG at the time, but even that had a different style and feel to it than Doctor Who had.)

A bunch of my friends started watching the new series when it premiered, but for some reason I was reluctant. But they kept talking about how great it was, so I started watching in '09, beginning with the '05 revival and working my way through to "The Waters of Mars." "The End of Time" was the first episode(s) I watched live as it aired.

Because of the nice short seasons, I was able to catch up on all of new Who within 2 months, which explained everything that I needed to know about the classic series when I needed to know about it, and not so much as to confuse me.

I've seen some of Torchwood, but I'm not a big fan. Much of the "adult" content seems to be there for shock value rather than what's really needed to tell a story dramatically. I've seen even less of The Sarah Jane Adventures, which has the opposite problem in that it skews a little too young for me. But there are still some episodes I want to see (and it's a shame that Sarah Jane will never get to visit the Doctor again).

No longer being able to watch a new episode every night like I did with the first four seasons, I finally delved into some classic Who. I watched "The Five Doctors" and found it enjoyable, although I didn't know or understand a lot of the interactions at the time. I think I would like it a great deal more now.

Since then, I've watched a lot of William Hartnell and John Pertwee. Despite Tom Baker's popularity among the long-term fans, it's taken me a while to warm up to him, but I think I'm liking him better now. I just saw some Patrick Troughton serials (a shame there are so few left!) and I really like him as well.

I enjoy Peter Davison, but I've only seen two of his serials, and as previously mentioned, I didn't care for the Colin Baker serial I watched; I couldn't even bring myself to finish it. I've only seen one Slyvester McCoy serial ("Remembrance of the Daleks"), and despite the low budget, I really enjoyed the Seventh Doctor and Ace a whole lot. I hope to watch more soon.

I thought the TV-movie with Paul McGann was perfectly dreadful, but perhaps someone with more - or less - knowledge than I had would enjoy it better. My knowledge of the Whoniverse is about mid-range, so I found it completely baffling in a way that I wouldn't if I had known, say, that the Master's returns were always bizarre and unexplainable in the classic series, or conversely if I had gone into the story as a blank slate.

I liked Christopher Eccleston quite a lot, so it took several episodes for me to like David Tennant, but eventually I liked him much more than Eccleston. To my own surprise, I think I now like Matt Smith even better than Tennant, but that is probably due at least in part to the fact that the quality of the scripts went way up when Steven Moffat took over as showrunner.

I adore Amy Pond to pieces. She just might be my favorite new series Companion now, edging out Martha Jones. (I know - I'm the odd one for picking Martha!) My favorite classic Companions are, of course, Sarah Jane and the Brigadier, not least because they're in so many episodes, and because we tragically lost them both last year.

It's been killing me, waiting for the new season to start! Waiting since Christmas for a new episode is far too long. Yesterday a rumor was circulating that Sep. 1 was the airdate, but that date remains unconfirmed. C'mon, BBC - how hard is it to just pick a date, already???


In case folks here haven't seen it yet, this is the preview for the upcoming season (I love it so much, I just keep watching it over and over again!):


As for which classic serials you should pick, I'm certainly no expert, as I'm seeing a lot of episodes for the first time. But I'm keeping track of the ones I've seen, along with a grade from A+ to F, on this site, if it helps spark your memory at all:

https://sites.google.com/site/tomholste/standard-2/objective-a

I agree that multi-Doctor stories are typically phenomenal. Besides that, I always gravitate towards emotional episodes - usually ones where Companions leave or Doctors regenerate. I couldn't warm up to Hartnell until he gave that moving speech to Susan at the end of "The Dalek Invasion of Earth." That and "The Chase" are two of my favorites because of the characters.

Other than that, when I get enough money to buy DVDs again, I'm going to buy Season 5 (that is, the 2010 season) first and foremost. To me, that's the most satisfying storytelling (both in individual stories and in the season arc) that Doctor Who has ever been.

What's everyone else's favorites?
 

hebrides

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Can't go wrong with The Talons of Weng-Chiang. The Doctor in a very Sherlock Holmes-like setting and story. I've had it on my shortlist for quite some time now.

Spearhead From Space is great too because of its focus on UNIT, its being the bridge between black and white and color Doctor Who (and shot all on film), and setting several precedents (how the Doctor finds his wardrobe, replicated by both Eight and Eleven; the department store scene, referenced in Ninth's first episode; the prototype of Bessie, Third and Fourth's lovely classic car; etc.).
 

bionicbob

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I've seen some of Torchwood, but I'm not a big fan. Much of the "adult" content seems to be there for shock value rather than what's really needed to tell a story dramatically. I've seen even less of The Sarah Jane Adventures, which has the opposite problem in that it skews a little too young for me.

I have yet to see an episode of the SARAH JANE ADVENTURES.

TORCHWOOD did not really agree with me either. Series One and Two are so uneven, and with the exception of Gwen, this team that is suppose to be protecting the Earth from Alien Invasion, I found very hard to like or sympathize with.

That said, Series Three was easily some of the most riveting, powerful and emotionally draining television I have ever watched. It is just brilliant story telling!

But when the series returned on STARZ, I found it barely watchable, too drawn out... perhaps too Americanized? I did not even finish the series, I have absolutely no idea how it ended and I am not even curious to find out. Such a shame too, the idea had amazing potential.

Though it made me question why did they just do a tv show about UNIT instead?

Oh and I agree with you, I loved Martha Jones way more than Doctor Donna or Rose Tyler.;-)

Spearhead From Space is great too because of its focus on UNIT, its being the bridge between black and white and color Doctor Who (and shot all on film), and setting several precedents (how the Doctor finds his wardrobe, replicated by both Eight and Eleven; the department store scene, referenced in Ninth's first episode; the prototype of Bessie, Third and Fourth's lovely classic car; etc.).

Funny you should mention Spearhead, I was just reading its reviews on Amazon, it definitely sounds like a great episode to have. I really like the Jon Pertwee era. Maybe because as you pointed out it was shot on film, giving it a more "realistic" feeling. Also the scripts felt more mature and clever.
 

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I grew up in the 80's so as a child I'd catch Dr Who but it was never one of those things I loved or remembered watching.... I did see the Paul Mcgann tv film in 1996 and I thought Paul McGann was a likeable lead but it seemed a bit average... I never got why it never took off at the time, revisiting it a year ago though, I can see why its very hated.

So...I watched an episode of Eccleston's run, Dalek when it originally aired, it was written by Mark Gatiss who I loved in league of Gentlemen so I thought I'd like him here (and by now you'd know him as Mycroft in the Co-written with Steven Moffat 'Sherlock' series.) That said I never watched any more who until Matt Smith took the helm and I loved it from the first episode until the last with a few confusing plots here and there, I went back to EccleSton's run and started from there and though there was some campiness, I thought he too did a great job, my only regret is that he bowed out far too soon, then we have Tennant who I just never really gelled with, I liked him at times bu tnot all the time, his quizzical face remindd me of some kind of Gurner which is cruel also I absolutely hate Rose and RTD really pushed her onto the fans.

Right so after I was all burned uot on Nu-who's my brothers friend borrowed me many DVD's of the classics, I started with an Unearthly child for sake of clarity and it was okay, I watched I think the first 3 Hartnell stories and I liked that he wasn't heroic or dashing or anything that the doctor would later be remembered for... but rather a coward who'd run away at the first sign of trouble and act selfishly in spite of his companions.

Troughton I watched a cybermen story where they had used flash animation and recovered audio to rebuild scenes of one of this stories which was very well done, I think I borrowed a couple of his other stories, he had a different energy and I liked him as the doctor.

Pertwee: My favourite of the classics, though he was not really a time traveller, budget cuts restricted him to working on the military base with the Brigadier and he had that silly car while the tardies became a scenery prop, but there was a charm and pompousness about the doctor (especially around the ditzy Jo in the later episodes) But he gets one of the best stories. Inferno; involving (not) zombies and an alternate universe where his friends are hard as nails.

Much as I pissed off the nu-who guys by saying I liked tennant the least.... I'm going to piss off the Baker clan too, I only watched one of his stories though it was a good one with I think Sarah Jane, for some reason I couldn't be bothered so I moved on to Davison...

I watched a lot of his run, theres some good stuff but I hated his companians, Adric was too clever and far too knowing, I couldn't really say why I hated his character but it seemed like a poorly acted job, coincidentally I listened to Matthew Waterhouse' written and Narrated 'Blue box boy' book and he seemed intelligent and the book was a joy to listen to with Matthew Recalling fond memories of being on the set amongst not so fond memories like Tom Baker having a diva fit. Anyway I sort of stopped around the middle of Davison's run and I never pressed on with Colin Baker or McCoy, I might have to revisit my friends dvd shelf to finish where I was last.

Also one of the sarah Jane adventures is a two parter that features not only the 11th Doctor but Pertwee's assistant Jo, it's worth seeing for some great interactions, Smith's doctor adressing these two women with all the warmth you'd come to expect with the role.
 

bionicbob

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Also one of the sarah Jane adventures is a two parter that features not only the 11th Doctor but Pertwee's assistant Jo, it's worth seeing for some great interactions, Smith's doctor adressing these two women with all the warmth you'd come to expect with the role.

That sounds like a definite must see! Do you recall the which series it was and/or the episode title name? I might pick it up just for the cross over continuity!;-)
 

bionicbob

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Found it!

Sarah Jane series four, THE DEATH OF THE DOCTOR.

Sounds like a Whovian hoot from the wiki description!:D
 

Nic

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TomH1138

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bionicbob said:
TORCHWOOD did not really agree with me either. Series One and Two are so uneven, and with the exception of Gwen, this team that is suppose to be protecting the Earth from Alien Invasion, I found very hard to like or sympathize with.

That said, Series Three was easily some of the most riveting, powerful and emotionally draining television I have ever watched. It is just brilliant story telling!

Yeah, the characters are just far too nasty. I did like Gwen and Toshi, though.

I thought "Children of Earth" was brilliant for the first 4 1/2 episodes, but I really hated the conclusion. Jack did the exact thing that he had been fighting against for the entire miniseries. The thing that he felt guilty for doing in the 1960s was the same thing that he ultimately did again at the end.

bionicbob said:
But when the series returned on STARZ, I found it barely watchable, too drawn out... perhaps too Americanized? I did not even finish the series, I have absolutely no idea how it ended and I am not even curious to find out. Such a shame too, the idea had amazing potential.

I have yet to talk to one person who liked "Miracle Day," even among the most ardent Torchwood fans.

bionicbob said:
Though it made me question why didn't they just do a tv show about UNIT instead?

Russell T. Davies (the show runner at the time) seems to really despise the military, and therefore UNIT by extension. In the two-parter "The Sontaran Strategem" / "The Poison Sky" from 2008, the Tenth Doctor shows disrespect to the point of contempt for UNIT, and he's even mad at Martha for working for them, only forgiving her when he finds out that she's trying to subvert it from the inside. This is not the same Doctor from the 1970s.

That said, I agree with you. I would have much more enjoyed a UNIT spinoff, featuring Sarah Jane (who in a sense worked with them before), Capt. Jack, Martha Jones, and occasional appearances by the Brig! That would have had a much more classic Who feel to it than Torchwood, with other than sharing some characters has virtually nothing to do in tone or style with the Whoniverse.

bionicbob said:
Oh and I agree with you, I loved Martha Jones way more than Doctor Donna or Rose Tyler.;-)

Hooray! Another Martha fan. :) You are rewarded with these pictures of the lovely Freema Ageyman.

https://www.google.com/search?q=fre...GH5IBo&sqi=2&ved=0CAcQ_AUoAQ&biw=1024&bih=649

bionicbob said:
I have yet to see an episode of the SARAH JANE ADVENTURES.


Well, it's not easy to come by in America, certainly. The first season aired in this country but tanked in the ratings, so it's never been back on the air here. The series is available on Netflix, though.

I also highly recommend the aforementioned SJA story "The Death of the Doctor," which definitely has a classic Who feel to it. I also still need to see "The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith," which guest stars the Tenth Doctor, and "Revenge of the Bane," which guest stars the Brigadier in his only modern canon Whoniverse appearance before Nicholas Courtney's passing!
 

bionicbob

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Being not as well versed in Doctor Who history, or as passionate as some viewers (unlike I am with say... Star Trek.. LOL!) I find it interesting and confusing when I visit and read Dr. Who forums.

There seems to be a great divide between nuWhovians over the works of Davies and Moffatt. Just as there seems to be a lot of, shall be say politely, dislike from Classic Who fans towards Davies relaunched version of the good Doctor.

As I said, I don't really understand most of it, and if someone would be willing to explain it to me I would be much appreciative.

Of the modern era Whoverse, for the most part I like what Davies did with the Doctor. It seemed a logical extension to raise the Doctor to almost feared godlike status throughout the Universe. I mean he has been saving worlds and stopping the darkest, most evil forces in all of Time and Space for eons. It is natural his reputation would grow and become almost mythic among the races of the Universe. I also like the idea of being the LAST TIME LORD. Gives greater weight to the character.

Though I find your comments about Davies dislike for the Military very interesting. For I too found the Doctor's reaction to UNIT through series 1-4 to be at odds with his past history of working with them.

I thought it was very touching to have Doctor 11 attempting to call the Brigadier and learning of his passing. I hope they do some sort of tribute to Sarah Jane in series seven.

Of the Moffatt run, I think it has a more classic Who feel to it in style and tone. It has a more "fairy tale" quality to it. At first it took me a bit to get used to it. But now, that I rewatching series 5 and 6 again to prepare for series 7, I actually think I now enjoy the Matt Smith adventures more than the Davies helmed time journeys. Of course, Moffatt is a self confessed Uber-Who Fan, and I love all the winks and nods he slips into each episode to the past history of the Doctor.
 

lpd

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I discovered Doctor Who when I was pretty young. I remember watching Tom Baker outwitting the Daleks through my fingers over my eyes.
In my teens I was an active member of the" Doctor Who appreciation society" in the NW of England and frequented monthly meetings of a scifi club . I have met lots of the classic series' actors including John Pertwee RIP, Peter Davidson, Tom Baker, Colin Baker and many of the Doctors assistants and adversaries (yes I was a massive nerd). Then for me it all went terribly wrong when Sylvester McCoy landed the role. I just couldnt accept him as the Doctor. It felt like a parody of itself. I've still not watched a single episode of the McCoy era.
Then when the "new series'" began I was blown away. Amazing. Well done to the Beeb for breathing new life into it. I've been hooked again since the Eccleston episodes. It now feels like Doctor Who again.
 

TomH1138

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Omaru1982 said:
So...I watched an episode of Eccleston's run, Dalek when it originally aired, it was written by Mark Gatiss who I loved in league of Gentlemen so I thought I'd like him here (and by now you'd know him as Mycroft in the Co-written with Steven Moffat 'Sherlock' series.)

Actually, Rob Shearman wrote "Dalek." :) Mark Gatiss has been heavily involved in the Whoniverse, though.

Omaru1982 said:
Troughton I watched a cybermen story where they had used flash animation and recovered audio to rebuild scenes of one of this stories which was very well done, I think I borrowed a couple of his other stories, he had a different energy and I liked him as the doctor.

Sounds like you watched "The Invasion"--a serial with several parts that have missing video, but the audio remains, so the animation was used to fill the gaps.
 

TomH1138

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bionicbob said:
As I said, I don't really understand most of it, and if someone would be willing to explain it to me I would be much appreciative.


Since I joined the show so late in its run (the Davies run was essentially finished when I joined), I'm not really sure what to tell you. I think that Moffat's scripts are smarter overall, but I like Davies as well. There are some who hate Davies, I suppose, but I've also read others who are begging for Moffat to leave and for Davies to come back!

Of course, there's always going to be that contingent of fans who thinks that the show has never been any good since it stopped being in black-and-white and starring William Hartnell. To those fans, I say: Why are you even bothering to watch, then? It's never going to be that again. And frankly, I don't think it should be. I think that, for the most part, the show is better than ever.

bionicbob said:
Though I find your comments about Davies dislike for the Military very interesting. For I too found the Doctor's reaction to UNIT through series 1-4 to be at odds with his past history of working with them.

The Eleventh Doctor has shown some more ambiguity on the subject matter of armies, which I like. At any rate, it's always fascinating to see how different writers and actors interpret the character. Jon Pertwee's Doctor would have never gotten along with Tennant, and yet somehow they're both the Doctor through and through.

bionicbob said:
I thought it was very touching to have Doctor 11 attempting to call the Brigadier and learning of his passing. I hope they do some sort of tribute to Sarah Jane in series seven.

That was easily my favorite moment of the season. Profoundly moving writing. And hats off to Matt Smith's performance; he seemed absolutely devastated by the news, even though that actor has never shared any screen time with Nicholas Courtney!

I also would very much like to see some kind of tribute to Sarah Jane as well, but I know others who are strongly against it. They see Sarah Jane as a character that brings them such joy that they don't want her story forever dampened by a sudden death. Personally, I think it would be disrespectful not to acknowledge her passing in some way!

In the Doctor Who Magazine issue that paid tribute to Liz Sladen, Davies said that he and Liz had discussed if/when SJA went off the air, that Sarah Jane should go off into space to travel the stars forever, never coming back to Earth again. I would love for the Doctor to find out that this is what actually happened to her, to give her character proper closure without killing her off.

Unfortunately, due to the timing of this season, a year and a half after Sladen's passing, I'm guessing it won't get mentioned after all. :(
 

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Nic Stiz said:
If your curious as to where you should look, I have two links that might help. One is a link that's supposedly the best 5 classic who episodes for new who fans.

http://thatguywiththeglasses.com/vi...1100-doctor-who-classic-best-classic-episodes

The second one is a guide about how to get into Doctor Who, best episodes of both new and classic, and an overview of every incarnation of The Doctor.

http://sfdebris.com/videos/doctorwho/101.asp

Thanks for sharing, Nic!

As for the first one, with his top 5: I haven't seen #5 and #4, although I intend to. I have seen #3 and #2, and I agree they're both excellent. But "Genesis of the Daleks" at #1 - Sorry, I just think that serial is overrated. Very silly and too long (at six parts). The really interesting questions, about whether or not the Doctor should do what he's there to do, are addressed all too briefly. But, hey, that guy is entitled to whatever list he wants. :)

As for the other one, that was a fun overview. I think that "The Eleventh Hour" also makes an excellent starting place, possibly better than any of the other episodes he mentioned. But I understood the reasoning behind all his choices.
 

bionicbob

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So how OLD is the Doctor?

http://tardis.wikia.com/wiki/The_Doctor's_age

I agree with Moffatt's opinion.

Rule One, the Doctor lies.

And two, the Doctor probably has no idea how old he really is, traveling back and forth through Time, how does one even begin to measure time passing?
 

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Right! We measure age by the number of revolutions that Earth goes around the sun. When the Doctor is endlessly traveling through time and space, how would he measure years? By the revolutions of Gallifrey? He was hardly ever there to find out even before Gallifrey, um, went away!

That was a fun article. I didn't realize that he had gotten well into his 1000's before the new series "reset" him to only 900 (for some strange, unknown reason). I guess that's why Moffat bumped the Doctor's age back up this season to the 1100's!

I have a hard time believing that his "farewell tour" really took 200 years, though. In his first incarnation, he looked like a doddering old man when he was in that one body for ninety years. How could he not have aged a day in this body if he was traveling for 200 years, even taking into account the idea that Gallifreyan bodies don't age at the same rate as ours? If he said his Gallifreyan body hadn't aged in 50-60 years, I could buy that. But 200? I think that was just Moffat's way of 1) making the distinction between his two different ages clearer in "Impossible Astronaut," and 2) making his age closer to what was said in the original series (as inconsistent as they were themselves).

Anyway, it's great fun to think about, but not anything to worry over. :) Thanks for sharing that link!
 

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lpd said:
I discovered Doctor Who when I was pretty young. I remember watching Tom Baker outwitting the Daleks through my fingers over my eyes.

Thanks for sharing, lpd!

The budgets for the sets and the effects in the McCoy era were pretty horrible, but I have to admit to liking his interpretation of the character.

This is one of my favorite videos ever: McCoy gets a chance to deliver some Moffat-era dialogue from the Doctor (specifically, the "Stonehenge" speech) at Dragon*Con. Personally, I think he does a terrific job!

 

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Thanks Tom.
As in the clip, I find McCoy's Doctor is McCoy! In the U.K. for many years before he got the part McCoy was mostly known to me for being on kids tv, funny enough him and Sophie Aldred were both in a kids programmes I think maybe even together at some point, but everything he does is him. I've never seen him be anything were he wasnt acting as himself which I'm sure is his charm for some but I've always found him annoying and now I've found out he's in the new Hobbit films. AHhhhh!
 

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^though not his fault, I hated McCoy's death in the TVM, getting casually gunned down on the streets of L.A, the doctor's smarter than this even at his previously most stupid.
 

bionicbob

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When Sylvester McCoy was first introduced as the Doctor, I did not care for him either. He seemed to clownish and bumbling. And I assume the producers realized their mistake, as McCoy's Doctor was very quickly retooled into a more darker, master manipulator type figure. They also tried to inject some mystery back into the Doctor, which I really liked and it is the element of the current series that I find thoroughly devilishly delightful.:D So while I think McCoy's intro as the Doctor was silly, I think his evolution in the role was brilliant and it is too bad the series was cancelled because I was really curious about the direction they would have taken the various story elements they were setting up?
 
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