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Poll: Which Who? (30 member(s) have cast votes)

Which Who?

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#101 M. Leary

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Posted 26 April 2011 - 08:55 AM

Matt Smith does four or five things at once with every line he delivers, and he makes it absolutely natural.


I am, so far, really not digging this Dr. The snark dimension of his line delivery is really grating, especially when coupled with the sexual undercurrent of the otherwise well-written Dr./Song dialog. He strikes me as a Twitter-era version of the Dr.

To his credit, this Dr. is vibing on a fairly classic Harry Harrison-esque ribald space hero type. I could easily imagine this dialog and tone coming from the Stainless Steel Rat. But then, Firefly did this much better (at least so far).

#102 NBooth

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Posted 26 April 2011 - 10:01 AM


Matt Smith does four or five things at once with every line he delivers, and he makes it absolutely natural.


I am, so far, really not digging this Dr. The snark dimension of his line delivery is really grating, especially when coupled with the sexual undercurrent of the otherwise well-written Dr./Song dialog. He strikes me as a Twitter-era version of the Dr.

To his credit, this Dr. is vibing on a fairly classic Harry Harrison-esque ribald space hero type. I could easily imagine this dialog and tone coming from the Stainless Steel Rat. But then, Firefly did this much better (at least so far).


Fair enough. I, on the other hand, never warmed to Tennant as much as...well, everyone else...and am happy to see the Doctor move away from the DT "angsty nice guy" persona. But there's more than snark to be had; I think Smith does some remarkable stuff here--such as in the "repeats" scene in "The Big Bang" or in the picnic scene that opens "The Impossible Astronaut"--that captures a 900+ year old alien more effectively than any amount of crying from Tennant could. (And to be clear, I liked Tennant, but compared to Eccleston and Smith I definitely think he's the least interesting post-2005 Doctor. FTR, I'm partial to Pertwee from Classic Who).

Edited by NBooth, 26 April 2011 - 10:02 AM.


#103 Peter T Chattaway

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Posted 26 April 2011 - 10:08 AM



#104 M. Leary

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Posted 26 April 2011 - 11:20 AM

Fair enough. I, on the other hand, never warmed to Tennant as much as...well, everyone else...and am happy to see the Doctor move away from the DT "angsty nice guy" persona...


Same. Though, I once saw Tennant brilliantly play the lead in Look Back in Anger, which is a quintessential angry young man drama. I simply pretended that the characters were one and the same and everything worked out for the Tennant era.

One thing I have always appreciated about the Dr. is that he is like the weather in south-eastern Scotland. Don't like it right now? Just wait five minutes. As one that has grown up with Dr. Who and weathered so many personality changes, I like the way that Dr. Who forces its audience to be a spectator. We don't get a show with characters that are packaged like Friends for immediate appeal to the widest range. We get the Dr. in all his ramshackle glory.

#105 NBooth

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 10:58 PM

Finally saw the pirate episode and, man, was it ever lame. All the criticisms I just defended Smith from? Totally justified in this episode. Half baked plot--like a lame ripoff of a certain Eccleston two-parter. Tellingly, this was written by the guy who did "The Blind Banker" for Sherlock. The only good thing I can say about it was that the Siren gave me serious "Star Trek: TOS" vibes. Otherwise, I would say "The Curse of the Black Spot" was this series' "Victory of the Daleks" without all the cool stuff that made that episode watchable. I can't recall the last time I was this let down by the Doctor.

Still...the Gaiman episode is next. Hopefully it will redeem the sorrows of this one.

#106 BethR

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 02:59 PM

The Doctor as Christ-Figure again--or is he? Thanks to Tony Watkins for this link.

#107 M. Leary

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 04:11 PM

Do you agree with this Beth? That we can read Dr. Who as an unintentional Christ figure?

#108 opus

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 04:55 PM

Interesting article, but I don't think the premise holds a lot of water. Yeah, the fate of the entire universe is often placed on the Doctor's shoulders, but he doesn't bear it alone and he's often quite skilled at twisting and manipulating others to do his dirty work (contains some spoilers). It may all be for the greater good, but there's an awful lot of moral ambiguity, trickery, and even underhanded-ness in his heroism.

#109 M. Leary

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 05:26 PM

Interesting article, but I don't think the premise holds a lot of water. Yeah, the fate of the entire universe is often placed on the Doctor's shoulders, but he doesn't bear it alone and he's often quite skilled at twisting and manipulating others to do his dirty work (contains some spoilers). It may all be for the greater good, but there's an awful lot of moral ambiguity, trickery, and even underhanded-ness in his heroism.


Interesting comment. I am also put off by the narrative fact that the Dr. is the end of a race rather than the beginning of a new one. In light of this, his constant "resurrection" seems more related to the Hindu doctrine of reincarnation than the Christian doctrine of resurrection. If this article were about Dr. Who as a Hindu deity, I would be totally on board.

#110 NBooth

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 06:42 AM


Interesting article, but I don't think the premise holds a lot of water. Yeah, the fate of the entire universe is often placed on the Doctor's shoulders, but he doesn't bear it alone and he's often quite skilled at twisting and manipulating others to do his dirty work (contains some spoilers). It may all be for the greater good, but there's an awful lot of moral ambiguity, trickery, and even underhanded-ness in his heroism.


Interesting comment. I am also put off by the narrative fact that the Dr. is the end of a race rather than the beginning of a new one. In light of this, his constant "resurrection" seems more related to the Hindu doctrine of reincarnation than the Christian doctrine of resurrection. If this article were about Dr. Who as a Hindu deity, I would be totally on board.


Agreed and agreed. At the same time, RTD was never shy about cribbing messianic imagery if it suited him, and the picnic scene in 'The Impossible Astronaut' had a very Last Supper feel to it (more so depending on what theory of who the IA actually is). which is to say that the writers are playing with the same toys Western writers have used for centuries, so resonances are bound to pop up. But one shouldn't stress them too heavily, methinks.

EDIT: Two more thoughts. First, from what I've seen, most of the quasi-messianic imagery comes in with Tennant. And (second) the messianism isn't exactly positive (see 'The Waters of Mars' or even the Christmas special that introduces Donna). The Doctor doesn't just need help saving the universe; he needs someone to keep him in check. If anything, the show might contain an implicit critique of messianism.

Edited by NBooth, 13 May 2011 - 06:53 AM.


#111 BethR

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 08:43 AM

Interesting article, but I don't think the premise holds a lot of water. Yeah, the fate of the entire universe is often placed on the Doctor's shoulders, but he doesn't bear it alone and he's often quite skilled at twisting and manipulating others to do his dirty work (contains some spoilers). It may all be for the greater good, but there's an awful lot of moral ambiguity, trickery, and even underhanded-ness in his heroism.

If you read the entire article, it actually ends up saying something like this--that while there may be Christ-figure imagery associated with the Doctor, make of it what you will, the series as a whole is more valuable for bringing up "big ideas" or questions about who we are & why we're here. I'd agree with that.
More: Time Lord or Messiah

#112 Tyler

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Posted 11 June 2011 - 06:32 PM

[url="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XUDsDhNKiBg&feature=player_embedded"]http://www.youtube.c...player_embedded[/url]


This is a kindergartner performing the Pandorica monologue from Dr. Who.

Story from IO9.

Edited by Tyler, 11 June 2011 - 06:33 PM.


#113 opus

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 12:56 PM

One of my favorite scenes from the previous season.

#114 Tyler

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Posted 20 August 2011 - 12:18 AM

I'd watched "Blink" (possibly my favorite Doctor Who episode) before, but I didn't realize until tonight that Carey Mulligan played Sally.

Also, it amuses me greatly that the Weeping Angels and the ghosts from Super Mario games move according to the same rules (i.e. they freeze whenever someone is looking at them)

#115 BethR

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Posted 20 August 2011 - 08:45 AM

I finally caught a re-run of the last-season finale, "A Good Man Goes to War" (apparently it was on the old DVR that got zapped by lightning while I was in England). I'm pretty pleased with its resolution of at least one long-running mystery (no more about that for now--"Spoilers!"). I kind of liked the idea that
Spoiler
.

In reference to a topic raised a few posts earlier, the Doctor as messianic figure, this episode (and maybe, also, "The Pandorica Opens") seems to be pushing towards the opposite, with its insistence that the universe sees the Doctor as a "Warrior," a force to be feared, not praised or welcomed. This episode also had one of the most obvious "religion = EVIL" metaphors, with the
Spoiler
. Great.

Here's the thing, though: walking a mile in other people's shoes is a worthy thing in real life, but it can be a distastrous to a narrative. For example, Margaret Atwood's "There Was Once" (very short; link also includes another of her stories, "Unpopular Girls," three vignettes from the POVs of fairy tale "villainesses"). If Moffat continues pushing the "Doctor who destroys everyone's life he touches" line, he'll destroy the franchise. I don't think that will happen. I hope. But of course (back to the messianic trope) that does seem to be how a lot of people see God...

Edited by BethR, 20 August 2011 - 08:47 AM.


#116 NBooth

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Posted 20 August 2011 - 09:16 AM

Here's the thing, though: walking a mile in other people's shoes is a worthy thing in real life, but it can be a distastrous to a narrative. For example, Margaret Atwood's "There Was Once" (very short; link also includes another of her stories, "Unpopular Girls," three vignettes from the POVs of fairy tale "villainesses"). If Moffat continues pushing the "Doctor who destroys everyone's life he touches" line, he'll destroy the franchise. I don't think that will happen. I hope. But of course (back to the messianic trope) that does seem to be how a lot of people see God...


My impression is that Moffat is working very hard to un-do the fame the Doctor's amassed over the past five seasons; at least, there were some comments in an interview to that effect a while back. He's cranking it up (I think) in order to finally force the Doctor into a kind of hiding--into a position where he can't turn away an army just by saying his own name, etc etc etc. That certainly seems to be the arc the series has taken since "The Pandorica Opens," and "A Good Man Goes to War" seems to fall on a natural slope from that. (Relatedly, if spoilers and speculation I'm hearing are true, Moffat might have plans to cut back on the timey-wimey plots by showing how messed up things can get if you really take a firm 'time can be rewritten' POV. The upcoming episode is, after all, titled "Let's Kill Hitler")

EDIT: The funny thing is that Moffat is at least partially responsible for creating the Doctor-as-legendary-figure; after all, it's in the "Silence in the Library" two-parter that River Song gives the speech about the Doctor turning away whole armies, opening the TARDIS door with a snap of his finger, etc etc etc. So now he's busy cleaning up a mess he helped create....

Edited by NBooth, 20 August 2011 - 09:53 AM.


#117 NBooth

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 09:27 PM

Wow, "Let's Kill Hitler" doesn't just provide a few answers. It's almost entirely made up of answers--which might hurt it as a stand-alone, but helps move the arc along nicely. And Alex Kingston is better than ever here.

EDIT: It looks like my spoilered-out speculation above was off the mark. We'll have to see how the rest of the series pans out.

Edited by NBooth, 27 August 2011 - 09:30 PM.


#118 NBooth

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 09:58 AM

My impression is that Moffat is working very hard to un-do the fame the Doctor's amassed over the past five seasons


And here's the man himself (potential spoilers at link, obviously):

I think there's just some weird thing that happens with a character like the Doctor. When you bring him back in 2005, he's the lone drifter that no one's ever heard of, but gradually and inevitably, he becomes the greatest hero in the universe. He can stand up in the center of Stonehenge and say, "Come on, do you think you're hard enough?"

And what does the man who just wants to be a drifter, who just wants to just knock around a bit, think about that? And I think within the mad, mad, mad world of 'Doctor Who,' it's not an incredible development that, of course, the Daleks would be sort of wetting themselves when he turns up. Of course, he'd become a legend. Of course, all of those things would be happening.

But why would he be comfortable with that? And you know, he actually abuses this to some degree in [the mid-season finale] 'A Good Man Goes to War,' he abuses the power of it and starts calling in favors and it doesn't work out for him. So that's interesting.



#119 NBooth

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Posted 12 September 2011 - 10:32 AM

Anyone else keeping up with this half-season? I think "Night Terrors" may be the best thing Gatiss has done for Who since the Dickens episode. Wonderfully creepy with a touching (if a bit too-easy) conclusion. It brings to mind "The Empty Child" and "Fear Her" but manages to be its own thing as well.

And then there's "The Girl who Waited". Not only does it hold some potential clues for how the arc story will unravel, but it's a beautiful love story.

I'm trying not to be blind to this series' flaws--the all-that-and-the-kitchen-sink arc episodes, the way the main plots get left behind to deal with things like River Song, etc--but so far (bar the pirate episode way back in the spring), this is possibly the best run of episodes since Eccleston. I know, I said the same thing last series. Perhaps I'm just a Moffat fanboy. I do value the more cohesive arc-centric nature of the show over the half-hearted arcs attempted during the RTD years, and the intricate--almost mechanical, but in a good way--plotting that goes along with it. And the whole dark fairytale mood that seems to creep into every episode (a far cry from the scattered, sometimes anonymous feel of previous series).

Edited by NBooth, 12 September 2011 - 10:35 AM.


#120 BethR

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Posted 12 September 2011 - 07:16 PM

NBooth:

I do value the more cohesive arc-centric nature of the show over the half-hearted arcs attempted during the RTD years, and the intricate--almost mechanical, but in a good way--plotting that goes along with it. And the whole dark fairytale mood that seems to creep into every episode (a far cry from the scattered, sometimes anonymous feel of previous series).


I generally agree, and also think you've sort of summed up some ways Doctor Who has been better than Torchwood.