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Dr. Who

Which Who?   31 members have voted

  1. 1. Which Who?

    • [IMG]http://www.wilson203.freeserve.co.uk/Doc%201.jpg[/IMG] [URL=http://www.wilson203.freeserve.co.uk/MyDoctorWhoSitepg2.html]William Hartnell 1963-66[/URL]
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    • [IMG]http://www.wilson203.freeserve.co.uk/Doc%202.jpg[/IMG] [URL=http://www.wilson203.freeserve.co.uk/MyDoctorWhoSitepg3.html]Patrick Troughton 1966-69[/URL]
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    • [IMG]http://www.wilson203.freeserve.co.uk/Doc%203.jpg[/IMG] [URL=http://www.wilson203.freeserve.co.uk/MyDoctorWhoSitepg4.html]Jon Pertwee 1970-74[/URL]
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    • [IMG]http://www.wilson203.freeserve.co.uk/Doc%204.jpg[/IMG] [URL=http://www.wilson203.freeserve.co.uk/MyDoctorWhoSitepg5.html]Tom Baker 1974-81[/URL]
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    • [IMG]http://www.wilson203.freeserve.co.uk/Doc%205.jpg[/IMG] [URL=http://www.wilson203.freeserve.co.uk/MyDoctorWhoSitepg6.html]Peter Davison 1981-84[/URL]
      1
    • [IMG]http://www.wilson203.freeserve.co.uk/Doc%206.jpg[/IMG] [URL=http://www.wilson203.freeserve.co.uk/MyDoctorWhoSitepg7.html]Colin Baker 1984-86[/URL]
      1
    • [IMG]http://www.wilson203.freeserve.co.uk/Doc%207.jpg[/IMG] [URL=http://www.wilson203.freeserve.co.uk/MyDoctorWhoSitepg8.html]Sylvester McCoy 1987-89[/URL]
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    • [IMG]http://www.wilson203.freeserve.co.uk/Doc8.jpg[/IMG] [URL=http://www.wilson203.freeserve.co.uk/MyDoctorWhoSitepg9.htm]Paul McGann 1996[/URL]
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401 posts in this topic

I guess I need to watch "The Brain of Morbius" now.

 

I was just saying that very thing to a friend of mine.

 

EDIT: Of course, the Hurt Doctor is the most blatant sort of retcon, but I think it's also an example of an area in which retcon (in spite of the negative connotations often attached to it) isn't a bad thing. This scene, for instance--already a very good scene featuring a very good Doctor--takes on a whole new significance when the minisode and the presumed events of the special are taken into account [this thought is not original to me; it was pointed out on Gallifrey Base]:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jIjUSzpYcuA

 

It's a retcon that makes a good series better, I think.

 

At this point, I've given up hemming and hawing and trying to appear objective; I do think that Moffat is the best thing to happen to Who since the return; I think his arcs etc are brilliant and I believe that the next two specials will bear out that they've not only been the most ambitious storylines in NuWho history, but also the most successful. And I don't mean this in a fanboy-squee way: I mean that, as sustained storytelling--as a sustained meditation on Who itself, its history and its tropes--as a carefully-constructed piece of work, Moffat's Who is second to none. And I'll stand by that one. [Not to say other eras haven't been brilliant. City of Death is one of my favorite stories ever, for instance, and I love most of The Green Death.]

Edited by NBooth

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On a slightly other note, I've decided to watch through Smith's tenure before Christmas, and I'm failing miserably. Just finished The Time of Angels--which hits all sorts of cyclopean horror-notes, if you want to revisit it from that angle (no pun intended). And, again, I'm struck by how very thematically coherent this first Smith series is: memory, love, etc, all returned to in slightly different ways. Amy gets to save the day in two episodes, which foreshadows her final role in the season--and in a very specific way: in both The Beast Below and Victory of the Daleks, Amy gets to the answer because she can empathize with the remembered sorrow of someone else. The Doctor, in this season, can't really; he feels sorry for the Star Whale but can't project himself into its consciousness like Amy can; he can imagine all of the robot guy's pain but he can't locate the most effective pain--the memory of a long-lost love. Both instances are odd, really, because one would think that the Doctor, of all people, would know about those (recall his speech in Tomb of the Cybermen), but Smith's Doctor does seem particularly incapable of projecting himself into the minds of others. So he needs Amy (a recurrent theme in NuWho, of course, is that the Doctor needs his companions to keep him humane). But what's interesting here is that Amy saves the day--in both episodes--by remembering, by remembering love, and by using that memory to understand others. And, of course, when The Big Bang rolls around, it's exactly this sort of loving-memory that Amy uses to resolve the episode. Again, this is more thematically unified than NuWho, at least, has ever been, and it sets up the trick of using thematic clues to foreshadow major plot twists that Moffat will push to the limit in the next series.

 

 

Then, in ToA, things get reversed: Amy doesn't project her own consciousness into the memories of another, she gets another consciousness projected into hers, and it's an especially nice point because we've already seen her established as particularly susceptible to other people. So Amy fails, for the first time in the whole series, and it's this failure of empathy that results in her sudden move on the Doctor at the end of Flesh and Stone. Which, in turn, causes the Doctor to pick up Rory, the one character Amy hasn't been particularly empathic toward.... And that's as far as I've gotten in thinking through the season this go-round.

 
--all of which means, shockingly enough, that Amy isn't the unpleasant narcissist she's sometimes critiqued as being; she actually has a well-developed theory of other minds....

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Here's a fun quiz--if such things entertain you--on the BBC America website: Which Doctor are You?

 

No surprise: I'm Three. Must be because I wore my velvet coat today.

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So, watch An Adventure and Space and Time if you get a chance. I'd say it's worth it even if you're not into Doctor Who; it's really about aging and the tension between what you want to do and what your body can handle later in life. The Matt Smith cameo at the end was the only misstep, for me. I get what they were going for, but it really took me out of the moment.

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I sure hope this isn't the last time we see The Curator. Best cameo ever?

 

I'll also admit it took me a full minute to realize what was happening in that scene.

Edited by Tyler

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I sure hope this isn't the last time we see The Curator. Best cameo ever?

 

I'll also admit it took me a full minute to realize what was happening in that scene.

 

Great scene. Fanservice? Absolutely. The best kind.

 

I loved this episode. It's not my favorite of Moffat's tenure, but it has to be close; the retconning is especially blatant, but it does exactly what Moffat promised by setting up a whole new motivation for the Doctor. And John Hurt is marvelous--especially the way Moffat uses him to critique several of the elements that have been criticized in NuWho for--oh, seven years, now. Fun stuff.

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So, um... a certain family member of mine would love to see this episode. Is it streamable online somewhere?

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So, um... a certain family member of mine would love to see this episode. Is it streamable online somewhere?

 

It's on the BBC iPlayer, but it's region-locked. I don't think it's available stateside. [Apparently it will be available for purchase/download tomorrow]

 

EDIT: The other Doctor Who 50th special (no, not An Adventure in Space and Time--the other other special, with Davison, Baker II and McCoy) is, however, available to stream. And it's a corker.

 

EDIT EDIT: For those who have seen the episode, here's Darren Franich:

 

Doctor Who fans will have a lot to chat about between now and the Christmas Special. By radically altering the end of the Time War, Day of the Doctor seemed to affirm that — putting aside all other difference — Moffat is decidedly more optimistic as a Who showrunner than Davies was. There was nothing in the 50th Anniversary Special as bleak as the moment in Journey’s End when Davros, in his apparent death throes, called the Doctor the Destroyer of Worlds; if anything, Day of the Doctor seemed to deny that assertion by erasing that destruction from memory. Likewise, it’s interesting to compare Day of the Doctor to The End of Time, which reopens the door to the Time War just to make the Time War happen all over again.

 

Edit x3: Ok, so I'll throw some more stuff in this post, just because it isn't over-crowded enough.

 

In addition to Franich's comments above (which I really like, btw), there's a couple of things I really love about the special:

 

1. Gallifrey isn't destroyed. Not that the Lonely God stuff wasn't very good, but--as the last couple of seasons have shown--it's really difficult to maintain for long. Eventually, the Doctor starts to get much darker, and the complex of themes around which each season can revolve gets reduced a bit. Now, with Gallifrey out there somewhere--and the possibility that the Doctor might go in search of it--there's a whole new direction available. I'm not sure that--outside the 

Key to Time cycle--Doctor Who has really done a quest motif. So this is interesting.

 

2. Unlike Moffat's other "event" episodes (I mean, season finales, not Christmas Specials, which are another kind of thing altogether), this one was explicitly not about narrative collapse. All the other ones--Pandorica/Big BangThe Wedding of River Song, and even The Name of the Doctor--were about pushing Doctor Who to the point where its central motif--time travel--falls apart and threatens the show itself. Wedding is especially good in this regard: all time-periods, collapsed on top of each other, existing in an ever-present now--which I think is a central feature of narrative collapse (from what I've gleaned, anyway). Moffat's timey-wimey plots are all--and especially in the finales--about finding ways to tell stories that are, by their nature, impossible to tell, since the events don't occur in an ordered way. And there's a trace of that here. But--the threat at the end isn't that time will collapse and narrative will cease to have meaning. Instead, it's about re-ordering events so that new meaning arises. It's the ultimate retcon, to say that the past seven years of character-work was the result of a mistake: the Doctor doesn't remember saving Gallifrey, and so he suffers in the mistaken belief that he destroyed it. But it also (and this goes back to point 1, above, as well as to Franich) heads off at the pass what might be the inevitable consequence of the Doctor becoming a permanent Lonely God: the danger of him becoming a monster (and see comments earlier in this thread about the threat of destroying the franchise, which might lead to):

 

3. Perhaps The Day of the Doctor is about narrative collapse, after all. Perhaps it's about Moffat saying that the Lonely God mythology is a trap that will ultimately make it impossible to tell stories about the Doctor at all--will destroy the show--and so it has to be re-purposed before it can reach a crisis. (And the threat of actually witnessing the Doctor committing genocide--as opposed to just hearing about it--might be a minor sort of threat in itself).

 

4. Of course, the episode also functions as a dramatization of the Doctor's ability to forgive himself at last.

 

5. John Hurt, again. One episode, and he's definitively the Doctor. Marvelous.

 

Edit of Infinity: Here's the AV Club:

 

The question that Steven Moffat’s script is really concerned with is whether there’s such a thing as a scenario without choice. He clearly believes that there isn’t, although the Doctor has to break all the laws of time 13 times over in order to prove the point; in terms of what the Doctor accomplishes, this is arguably the most unabashedly optimistic episode in Doctor Who history. But it’s very much up to the individual viewer to decide whether this fatally undercuts the Doctor’s emotional journey in the new series up to this point. On balance, I would say that it doesn’t, but never before has Steven Moffat so relied on the impossible logic of time travel to drive the Doctor’s character arc.

Edited by NBooth

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I sure hope this isn't the last time we see The Curator. Best cameo ever?

 

I'll also admit it took me a full minute to realize what was happening in that scene.

 

Great scene. Fanservice? Absolutely. The best kind.

 

I'm wondering if it might be more than fanservice. If

they're going to follow through on the "search for Gallifrey" storyline, it seems like The Curator could play a part in that quest.

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I sure hope this isn't the last time we see The Curator. Best cameo ever?

 

I'll also admit it took me a full minute to realize what was happening in that scene.

 

Great scene. Fanservice? Absolutely. The best kind.

 

I'm wondering if it might be more than fanservice. If

they're going to follow through on the "search for Gallifrey" storyline, it seems like The Curator could play a part in that quest.

 

 

That could be interesting.

 

It depends on who the Curator is. I assumed, based on what I read before the episode as well as the episode itself, that the Curator was a person the Doctor had met when he was Pertwee, and that this was Moffat's way of handwaving Capaldi (and C. Baker); but if the Curator is actually a Doctor from the far-distant future.... Well, that's a different thing entirely. It does have the benefit of mirroring the River Song story, in a way.

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I guess I should spoiler all this spec.

So, I dunno about Capaldi being The Valeyard, but maybe. Then there's the questions of regenerations, but what if Gallifrey has been searching for the Doctor this whole time, and find him just as he's about to die on Trenzalore, and "gift" him new regenerations, thus he gets to become Capaldi Doctor, and gets more regenerations, eventually ending up in a retirement where he "goes through some old favorites" including The Curator/Fourth Doctor"

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There was some confusion between me and a couple family members on the anniversary's climax. I think I've sorted it out now, but...
 

Did anyone else have trouble differentiating between the time lock in

The End of Time and what the doctors did at the end of yesterday's special? My brother-in-law was under the impression that Gallifrey was already frozen and locked away somewhere, and that the Time Lords were already still alive. But I'm thinking that the events of yesterday fall after that previous escape attempt, and that a time lock doesn't have anything to do with being frozen--it's just a moment that shouldn't be reachable through time travel.

 
Does anyone know of a place where the differences between each situation are clearly explained?

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There was some confusion between me and a couple family members on the anniversary's climax. I think I've sorted it out now, but...

 

Did anyone else have trouble differentiating between the time lock in

The End of Time and what the doctors did at the end of yesterday's special? My brother-in-law was under the impression that Gallifrey was already frozen and locked away somewhere, and that the Time Lords were already still alive. But I'm thinking that the events of yesterday fall after that previous escape attempt, and that a time lock doesn't have anything to do with being frozen--it's just a moment that shouldn't be reachable through time travel.

 

Does anyone know of a place where the differences between each situation are clearly explained?

 

A quick glance at the TARDIS Data Core suggests that you're correct in your assumption (though it's a wikia, so....). That site also has this wonderfully quixotic page trying to make the print, audio, and visual media into a coherent narrative of the Last Great Time War.

Edited by NBooth

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That Time War narrative really helps. Thanks! I'll see if that clears up some of the confusion we were all having.

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Ok, a couple more thoughts from an e-mail I just sent to a friend:

 

 

It's important not to conflate saving Gallifrey and undoing the time-lock. The one thing is possible independently of the other, so it's possible to save G while keeping the Time War sealed (and so harmless). The Doctor isn't so mad, anymore, as to think he can undo the whole war...but he can absolve himself of his greatest sin by undoing (or, more properly, doing correctly--the parallels to The Wedding of River Song are obvious enough to merit little more than a glance) the genocide of the Daleks and the Time Lords.
 
In this sense, the point of paralleling the two plots [within TDotD] isn't to make a one-to-one analogue but to reinforce the idea that there's always another way. Gallifrey was the Doctor's own Kobayashi Maru--"You were the Doctor on a day when there wasn't a right choice" (or whatever the line is)--and, having faced that ultimate test and [in his mind] failed, the Doctor is anxious to make sure that it doesn't happen again--even if it means attempting to bargain with seemingly unreasonable parties*. And then, of course, the Doctor changes the conditions of the test in what (as someone--the AV Club?--notes) is in fact the reverse image of The End of Time. That is, TEoT showed that, no, there really wasn't a way to redeem the Time Lords. TDotD, on the other hand, holds out on the side of hope: there may not be a way to redeem them now, but they are not beyond redemption. The moment of destruction can be postponed in the hope that they--like the Doctor--can be saved from their great sin. [No wonder Darrell Franich claims that Moffat is shown in this episode to be more optimistic than Davies]
 
____
*In one of those weird moments of fictional/historical confluence--like the show premiering the day after Kennedy was shot--I think it's somehow apocalyptically significant that The Day of the Doctor aired on the same day that the Western powers brokered an impossible peace treaty with Iran....

 
EDIT: By the way, my friend was generally positive--though not ecstatic--over the episode, and said one thing that I really think is a nice insight. With his permission:
 

"What is it that makes you so ashamed of being a grown-up?"  Oh my goodness.  That might be the best question ever asked on 

Doctor Who (or television at large during this time of (perceived) generational conflict) because the answer is—both in-universe and in real life—"because we know you (grown-ups) did."

 
Aaand here's another blog post. This time, Adam Riggio:
 

I think the Doctor has had a problem since its revival. Materially, it’s become bigger than it’s ever been before. Never in the wildest dreams of anyone before the international export and promotional blitz that has occurred during the Moffat era, has Doctor Who ever been this big, when The Day of the Doctor is simulcast literally across the world. The Wikipedia page for the special has a map of how many countries picked up the simulcast. There are more who did than didn’t. On Earth. That’s how big we are. [...] 

Knowing that Gallifrey has been saved from the destruction of the Time War and that the lives of billions are no longer on his hands, the Doctor has been ethically redeemed. Now that Smith remembers having saved Gallifrey, he is free from the guilt of his monstrous crime. Having to live with what is impossible to live with for centuries was The Moment’s punishment for having intended to do what would be impossible to live with. From now on, the writers and actors who create Doctor Who for the next fifty years will be free, because the character of The Doctor is free from the trauma. He knows he was never a monster at all; he was only the Doctor. 

 
 
There's more at the post.
 
The more I think about this episode, the more I like it. We'll see how it holds up tomorrow, I guess, when I'm catching it on the big screen.
Edited by NBooth

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Saw DotD again last night in a movie theater--in 3D. And the 3D works, I think, very well; the Daleks, especially, look like they're made for 3D. It's the eyestalk.

 

Nothing really to add, except that on second viewing I'm convinced that Baker really is playing a Future Doctor.

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I happen to favor that interpretation, and I think it is a fun one...

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Overall I enjoyed The Day Of The Doctor, but paradoxically it was so fast-moving at times that I found myself bored. (Perhaps I've watched too many 'art' films recently, and so was attuned to nothing much happening very beautifully for long periods... I dunno.) John Hurt was so good I wished he had been the actual Doctor for these past few years rather than the lightweight Matt Smith. It just all seemed so frantic that it never had time to root itself, and hence never gained any emotional traction.

 

It must be said, I enjoyed 'An Adventure In Space And Time' - the Beeb's docu-drama of William Hartnell and the show's beginnings - a whole lot more.

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Sandifer goes timey-wimey and posts on "The Name of the Doctor"

 

It is fitting that Clara’s mystery is not even remotely solvable prior to The Name of the Doctor, because the entire point of her story arc in these eight episodes is that treating a person as a mystery is wrong. Clara never was a mystery, but rather a person who, in saving the Doctor, ascended to become one. It is, in many ways, a critique of the epic done on the most Doctor Who-like of terms, taking what appeared to be a vast mystery through time and space and making it the story of an ordinary and therefore extraordinary and impossible girl. 
 
This too reflects back on River, whose status as a mystery is steadily replaced by her status as a character, such that her appearance in this story, where she suddenly takes an almost entirely mystery-based role, is quite jarring. Note also that it is the act of reconciling with her and treating her as a person instead of as a plot function that allows the Doctor to save Clara, which he also does by treating her as a person instead of as a mystery. Because this - not the Great Intelligence’s hair-brained scheme - is what matters. Even when the Great Intelligence is threatening the entire universe, the main consequence we see is Vastra and Strax’s friendship crumbling and being undone as Strax becomes a generic Sontaran. Throughout this story the message is that it is not, in fact, big sci-fi concepts that matter, but people. A point that is hammered home in the final scene, when the Doctor explains that what matters is who he is. The Name of the Doctor refers not to the enduring mystery of his birth name, but to the question of who he is as a person. 
 

 

And so we come to understand the real nature of River’s knowing his name, and of the oldest question in the universe. What she knows is not some piece of trivia to file alongside “Theta Sigma” and the possibility that his name actually is Who. What she knows is the character of the Doctor. And this is what she has always known. Not so much "Doctor Who," as "who is the Doctor." But to fully answer that, it seems, we will have to look at who the Doctor isn’t. 
 
Apparently, he isn’t John Hurt.

 

 

[i'm officially a Sandifer addict at this point; his takes on Doctor Who are always interesting, even if I don't agree (his reading of "Planet of the Ood" leaves a bit to be desired). And he's got one of the best pools of commentators out there. I'm particularly thinking of comment threads like this, which seem like they could support a whole post in themselves]

Edited by NBooth

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I had no idea Dimensions in Time was on YouTube.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQCeMIQpFBc

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2swVic8KxY

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