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Dr. Who

Which Who?   22 votes

  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]
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    • [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]
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    • [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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398 posts in this topic

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That would be perfect. :)

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Well, that finale's gonna be a splitter. I think the last few minutes were pretty audacious, myself, and can't wait to see where next series goes from here.

EDIT: Some further thoughts:

1. Yep, too rushed, as all arc episodes have been this season. Someone on another board suggested they could have cut the terrible pirate episode and given the finale a proper two parts, and I'm inclined to agree.

2. I'm a little surprised at how much I love this little family that's formed in the TARDIS over the past two years. It's different from any other set of companions of which I'm aware--just taking the revived series, it's difficult to imagine Ten dropping in just to hang out with Martha or Donna, but Eleven would absolutely (I think) spend a relaxing evening with Amy and Rory.

3. Matt Smith and Alex Kingston's chemistry is palpable. I would watch an episode consisting entirely of them trading Moffat quips.

4. And so the Doctor is now a man of mystery again. Next season is, apparently, going to be less arc-heavy, which is fitting (one suspects that Moffat plans to bring out the big guns for the upcoming anniversary).

5. What I said earlier about Amy looking Emma Peelish? Goes double for this episode. I'm convinced: if they ever do a proper revival of The Avengers, Karen Gillian needs to be the talented amateur.

EDIT EDIT: Ok, one more:

7. My biggest beef with this series has been that it's been substantially less idea-driven than last year; that is, there was nothing as compelling as "The Beast Below" or the memory theme. Over the season that's changed, with ideas about parenthood coming to the fore, but it's still been pretty diffuse...until TWORS, where suddenly everything comes together and makes the season as a unit very talk-aboutable indeed. The family element is one very strong bit, but I really dig the idea that "time can be rewritten" constitutes some sort of rejection of life itself (since rewriting time not only results in the chaos Moffat has underlined throughout the series, but in actually collapsing all times in on themselves--resulting in a very post-modern sort of world of endless referents--and that only by re-inserting oneself in time [and specifically in a time made up of familial/familiar connections] can the true order of things be realized. At the same time, only by accepting death is the Doctor able to escape the real death that is eternal now-ness). Not, perhaps, a very original theme, but I think it's elaborated pretty well, and the eternally-now moment that introduces the episode gives a very good visual illustration of the idea.

Besides, reducing history to a set of signifiers has always been a particular issue with Nu-Who (see: the Shakespeare episode and the Christie episode, which function less as historicals than as extended meta-jokes of the "What the Chaucer?" variety). TWORS takes it one step further by actually collapsing history into a Real-ized version of the "now" and explicitly critiquing it. The Churchill who appears here is a radicalized version of the Churchill from last season--not the real man in his real historical moment, but a free-floating and contextless sign. By re-defining what is meant by a "fixed moment in time" this season has taken the radical (for Nu-Who) stance that history matters as history and that outside of that context it is little more than cultural death.

Of course, I have no idea if Moffat will follow up on this, but I kind of hope he does, by giving us some real historically-conscious episodes next season.

Edited by NBooth

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Thanks, N! There were moments in this seasons when I wavered, but then I thought about the wretched Torchwood: Miracle Day, and the comparison renewed my faith that Moffat would come through in the end. The finale was just enough spectacle and "what the--?" without going right over the top. And I'm now looking forward to whatever's next.

I'm really enjoying Amy as a companion with a life, mind, & love of her own. Rory, too, has become increasingly memorable. As hard as they tried to give Rose's boyfriend and/or his doppelganger a personality, he never really stuck. Similarly, in Torchwood, Gwen's husband never makes much of an impression, so that they have to keep telling us that she loves him (and that poor baby).

Two thoughtful reviews, both crammed with SPOILERS, from British Matt Hills and American Alan Sepinwall.

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I'm really enjoying Amy as a companion with a life, mind, & love of her own. Rory, too, has become increasingly memorable. As hard as they tried to give Rose's boyfriend and/or his doppelganger a personality, he never really stuck. Similarly, in Torchwood, Gwen's husband never makes much of an impression, so that they have to keep telling us that she loves him (and that poor baby).

Agreed.

Two thoughtful reviews, both crammed with SPOILERS, from British Matt Hills and American Alan Sepinwall.

Oooh, I'm digging the Matt Hills review. Especially this bit:

The ultimate enemy here isn't the Doctor's death, though, or even the Brigadier's heartbreaking absence; it's the end of storytelling itself. Cheating a fixed point means all of time happening at once, stuck in the same day and time, over and over. It's a world which sustains surreal special effects and wonderful juxtapositions, making for some eyecatching, unusual TV drama. But it's also a world in which no more stories can be lived out: cause and effect, sequences of events – what we usually call plots and narratives – no longer seem possible. In part, this is a story-arc finale threatening a finale to all storytelling.

Only the Soothsayer can bring back the pleasures of a tale properly told.

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Here's an interesting complaint (I don't use the term pejoratively):

Let me start by saying I really liked the Doctor Who finale. But it was also emblematic of the Lady Problems the show’s been having, where otherwise good female characters keep getting turned into The Girl Who Waited or The Doctor’s Wife — people who are defined in the negative space of the central male character. We’ve found out a lot about River Song this season, which culminates in this episode as she both marries and kills the Doctor — but she does both as part of his character development, not hers.

Which, yeah. I can see that. At the same time, (1) The show is, after all, Doctor Who, and the nature of his timey-wimey relationship with River is such that they only meet...well...when they meet, and anything that happens to her in those cases is bound to be all about the Doctor, and (2) the River we meet in the middle part of "The Doctor's Wife" is not the River we meet at the end. Since we've been seeing her character arc out of order, it makes sense that she moves backwards over the course of the series from being a well-developed, self-fulfilled individual to being more or less defined by her relationship with the Doctor.

Right? Or no? I don't want to offhandedly reject the concerns raised in the piece.

Edited by NBooth

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Finished catching up with the series last night. The idea that the entire structure of the universe can be set right with a simple bait-and-switch is really unsatisfying for me.

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Finished catching up with the series last night. The idea that the entire structure of the universe can be set right with a simple bait-and-switch is really unsatisfying for me.

Fair point, although I have difficulty seeing how else the season could have been resolved without killing the Doctor for real, and so ending the series. I'm just proud they didn't use the Flesh--although, of course, that episode set up the theme of replacement etc.

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Finished catching up with the series last night. The idea that the entire structure of the universe can be set right with a simple bait-and-switch is really unsatisfying for me.

Fair point, although I have difficulty seeing how else the season could have been resolved without killing the Doctor for real, and so ending the series. I'm just proud they didn't use the Flesh--although, of course, that episode set up the theme of replacement etc.

Yeah, once they painted themselves into that corner--in the first episode of the season--I was bracing for a resolution I didn't expect to like.

My bigger issue, though, is not how it happened, but that it worked. The issue of the Doctor dying at Lake Silencio wasn't just that the Silence wanted it to happen, but that it was a fixed point in the Totality of Everything. If it were just fooling the Silence, I could accept it. But it was really fooling the universe itself, which seems like it would know if the Doctor really died or not.

Edited by Tyler

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Finished catching up with the series last night. The idea that the entire structure of the universe can be set right with a simple bait-and-switch is really unsatisfying for me.

Fair point, although I have difficulty seeing how else the season could have been resolved without killing the Doctor for real, and so ending the series. I'm just proud they didn't use the Flesh--although, of course, that episode set up the theme of replacement etc.

Yeah, once they painted themselves into that corner--in the first episode of the season--I was bracing for a resolution I didn't expect to like.

My bigger issue, though, is not how it happened, but that it worked. The issue of the Doctor dying at Lake Silencio wasn't just that the Silence wanted it to happen, but that it was a fixed point in the Totality of Everything. If it were just fooling the Silence, I could accept it. But it was really fooling the universe itself, which seems like it would know if the Doctor really died or not.

But wasn't the idea all along not that the Doctor had to die, but that he had to seem dead? That is, the finale reveals that it was the Doctor's tesselecta that died all along--not the Doctor himself--and what mattered was that everyone thought he was dead?

Yeah, that's a stretch. I admit it. I liked other stuff in the finale (as elaborated above) enough to give it a kind of pass on this score.

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The be-paywalled Variety is apparently reporting that David Yates wants to do a movie--one unconnected to the ongoing series:

Yates told Variety that the show "Needs quite a radical transformation to take it into the bigger arena," and that they won't be adapting the current series but starting "from scratch." Yates told them that he and the BBC are currently in the process of looking for writers, and "we're going to spend two to three years to get it right"-- meaning that Yates might have plenty of time to direct those smaller films after all before a Doctor Who movie takes shape.

Of course, there's talk about a movie every year or so. And I really can't imagine why the BBC would be so willing to dilute their brand this way.

And--as interesting as it would be, I really don't want to think about the continuity issues that it'll raise.

[Of course, there were two Doctor Who movies in the sixties--right at the height of Dalekmania--starring Peter Cushing. These, too, were unrelated to the TV show. So it's not like the idea's unprecedented.]

EDIT: Link to our thread on the movie.

Edited by NBooth

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Trailer for the 2011 Christmas Special. It's title? "The Doctor, The Widow, and the Wardrobe"

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What, exactly, does he think we've been doing this whole time??

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What, exactly, does he think we've been doing this whole time??

Seriously. The past two series have been pretty high on the emotion-scale--higher, for me, than during the Tennant years. Which is odd, since emotion is supposed to be Davies' strength.

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I settled into a kind of emotional numbness after 2 years of Tennant, so only Very Important Things like the return of the Master could affect me.

But when Eleven & the Ponds came round, it just started all over again. pinch.gif

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Which is odd, since emotion is supposed to be Davies' strength.

Bat-s**t crazy grandiosity is Davies's strength.

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Finished catching up with the series last night. The idea that the entire structure of the universe can be set right with a simple bait-and-switch is really unsatisfying for me.

Fair point, although I have difficulty seeing how else the season could have been resolved without killing the Doctor for real, and so ending the series. I'm just proud they didn't use the Flesh--although, of course, that episode set up the theme of replacement etc.

Yeah, once they painted themselves into that corner--in the first episode of the season--I was bracing for a resolution I didn't expect to like.

My bigger issue, though, is not how it happened, but that it worked. The issue of the Doctor dying at Lake Silencio wasn't just that the Silence wanted it to happen, but that it was a fixed point in the Totality of Everything. If it were just fooling the Silence, I could accept it. But it was really fooling the universe itself, which seems like it would know if the Doctor really died or not.

But wasn't the idea all along not that the Doctor had to die, but that he had to seem dead? That is, the finale reveals that it was the Doctor's tesselecta that died all along--not the Doctor himself--and what mattered was that everyone thought he was dead?

Yeah, that's a stretch. I admit it. I liked other stuff in the finale (as elaborated above) enough to give it a kind of pass on this score.

FWIW, I talked this over with a longtime Who buff who got me and Suz watching the series, and he argued that the correct interpretation is that since whatever happens in a fixed point always happens, what is ultimately revealed about that moment is, in fact, what always happens. So, in fact, the Doctor never dies on the beach in any continuity. It's not a matter of fooling the universe. It's just that how that moment was interpreted by eyewitnesses and remembered by history is one thing, and what really happened -- what always happens -- is something else.

In fact, this was precisely the point of this whole arc: to give the Doctor a fictitious death and force him to go into a more lowkey mode, like in earlier seasons. The Doctor had developed a bad habit of relying on his sheer notoriety in the historical record to win confrontations: He's the Doctor; he always wins. For dramatic purposes, it was necessary to take him down an order of magnitude, and within the narrative logic of the world he had become an unacceptable loose canon to which various powers and principalities would reasonably develop a resistance and upon which they would declare war. All lines converged on the ending that we actually got, which satisfies the dramatic inconveniences of a too-powerful protagonist and satisfies the narrative problems of a cosmic loose canon in one stroke.

So, once again, the Doctor always wins -- but neither the writers nor the powers and principalities are inconvenienced by the legacy of this fact.

Edited by SDG

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Yeah, that's kind of what I was getting at. I thought it was a pretty neat way to drive the Doctor back into the shadows--which was Moffat's plan all along (and not only for this series--Matt Smith's first year was based on the idea that the Doctor was getting too notorious). As I say, it's hard to imagine a better way to effectively kill the Doctor while not actually killing him.

Edited by NBooth

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In light of the recent story arc, I think it may be the case that these only appeared to be missing.

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Happy Tears.

This was the first episode of "Dr. Who" that Suz and I actually watched on BBC America. A friend has been buying us the Matt Smith seasons (series) on DVD in an effort to hook us on the Doctor, and we're now caught up (though of pre-Matt Smith stuff we've seen only a couple of isolated episodes). A few days ago we watched last year's Christmas special on DVD, "A Christmas Carol." That set a high level of expectation that was disappointed by "The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe."

First, far from being "special," I thought it was run-of-the-mill, kind of slack and uninspired actually. Nothing much happens, and there aren't many surprises or creative leaps, or any very interesting ones.

Second, by the standard set by last year's special (the only Christmas special I've seen), the new one isn't very Christmasy. Christmas is a significant theme in "A Christmas Carol." It starts with the line "Christmas is canceled" on the spaceship in jeopardy. We get a secularized explanation of Christmas as a universal phenomenon, and there are religious Christmas carols sung (including "Ding Dong Merrily on High," which I sang with my choir on Christmas Eve).

The girl's family appeals to Michael Gambon (the Scrooge figure) in the spirit of Christmas to let the girl come home for the holiday. There's a montage of wonderful Christmas Eves in Michael Gambon's revised history, with the girl waking up again and again saying "Merry Christmas, Doctor!" each time (until the Christmas Eve that she greets the young Gambon character instead). There's a parody of Santa's reindeer-drawn sleigh (with a flying shark!), and in the end the girl says to Gambon that after all her Christmas Eves, it's time she finally had a Christmas day.

In the new special, the widow is trying to keep Christmas happy for her children by not telling them that their father is dead, and there's the idea that "no one should be alone at Christmas." The Doctor hides a dimensional portal in a Christmas present (strangely; why wouldn't he just use the TARDIS like he always does?). And the trees in the forest grow natural ornaments. That's about it, I think.

Thirdly and most disappointingly, "A Christmas Carol" was very much an homage to Dickens and was very "Christmas Carol"-y. The name of "The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe" of course suggests another homage to another beloved British writer who wrote a story permeated by Christmas themes, but the episode doesn't deliver this at all.

There's the WWII setting and the fact that the kids are coming to the big old house to escape the bombings. And there's a portal into a snowy forest with trees that are alive. And that's about it, I think. Obviously I didn't expect to get Narnia itself, but I was hoping for something more Narnian than this. If we got a Scrooge figure last year, why not a White Witch figure this year? Why not "always winter and never Christmas"? And of course instead of a "Father Christmas" figure, the Doctor declares the mother to be "Mother Christmas."

Why not some clever time-bending like in the last special, when Lewis himself has the theme of "time working backwards" in connection with Aslan's sacrifice? Finally, the Doctor actually calls the TARDIS a "wardrobe"; why not use it the way the wardrobe was used in the book?

What we get instead—some Avatar-esque eco-fable about militarized humans coming to harvest the forest and acid rain and the trees' souls traveling into space—is boring, and very un-Lewisian and un-Narnian.

I understand that the perspective in "Doctor Who" is thoroughly secular, and the writers probably aren't nearly as comfortable with Lewis as with Dickens. And, to be fair, Dickens' "A Christmas Carol lends" itself to adaptation and riffing in a way that The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe doesn't — which is why the Dickens story has been so much adapted and riffed on.

Still, I was hoping that the writers would be willing to approach Lewis in purely literary terms, and try to honor the fairy tale achievement of his book on its own terms. And they didn't even try, really. Disappointing.

Do you know what would have been beyond awesome? Bringing in Tom Baker to play a Puddleglum-esque character.

Edited by SDG

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