Ack Continuity!

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Re: Ack Continuity!

Postby Prydonian on May 1st, 2011, 2:39 am

Good point, Clara, really for me classic Who jumped the proverbial shark after Season Seventeen. I felt the combination of Doctor, Romana and K9 was an unbeatable win-win, but others did not. A pity...as change for change's sake is never good.
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Re: Ack Continuity!

Postby The Cloaked One on May 1st, 2011, 9:06 am

Tis true, both of you. XD Thanks for the comments. John Nathan Turner, the director of season 18 on until I believe the Seventh Doctor's first season, was a change too big. As we know, Tom Baker and Nathan Turner really did not get along and Turner came in with the intention of not only making the show more surreal, but also to get rid of Baker. The strength of the series was always the actors, from Hartnell to Baker, and allowing them to have control of the series. Paraphrasing what Tom Baker said, why hire me if you don't want want Tom Baker to be acting?
The new director did not want to just leave a mark, he wanted the show to be his show and in his image and that has been pretty much the same problem going to Russle Davis. Davidson showed he could be a good actor in Caves of Androzani, but I feel that his character was reduced and diminished by the director. The sixth doctor wanted to wear leather, Turner wanted him wearing a familiar bright jacket.

So yeah. For a show with a strong protagonist like the Doctor, the secret formula is to keep with seasoned actors (The first four) and to allow them control over their character, scripts, and story.

As for Matt Smith, I need to catch up on the latest season. At the end of last season, my brother and I were both saying "Get in the Tardis and leave those two. Just go." The Doctor does not need a hooker as a companion and Rori was not particularly exciting either. I mean, couldn't they have made the robot the Daleks made in Victory of the Daleks a companion? What happened to the days of k-9 the robotic dog, Romana a fellow timelady, and Leela a savage with a long knife (not all in the Tardis at the same time of course). We want not only character from the companions, but also diversity. Character foils, change. A kissogram is not what I expect or want my kids watching when I turn on Doctor Who (I don't have kids yet, but Doctor Who is still a 'family show').

Nu Who in general, I'm tired of Daleks with God complexes, Captain Jack (his only cool serial being his first), giant Dalek armies destroyed in seconds, Daleks in general, the Tardis in flames, the universe about to end, romantic tension, and the 45 minute format. Doctor Who was best as a sci-fy in parts, not as a 13 episode largely self contained seasons. Moffat hit the problem square on in an interview, he felt that Doctor Who was a fairytale and that it is a drama. What this is basically doing is Nu Who is basically a completely separate series from Old Who and the division is only strengthened with the addition of the Time War. I talked about that elsewhere.

Fairytale? Not really. The Doctor has two hearts, 13 lives (not infinite), his trouble detecting Tardis. He also had some mystic qualities such as being able to more or less stop breathing, put himself in and out of comas at will, putting Sarah Jane to sleep in Terror of the Zygons, the first Doctor's ring which was able to undue damage to the Tardis done by the Time meddler, etc. These things add mystery and presence to the Doctor specifically, but don't try and change the entire series into Alice in Wonderland or something.

Saving the universe gets old after the first time. XD In Old Who, how many times did the Doctor save the universe? There was Logopolis, the Claws of Axos, and a few other times, but mostly he stuck to saving Earth like in Tenth Planet (a bit silly the ending there), and small groups of people like in Andriods of Tara. Keep it simple. The Doctor is one person, albeit a very talented person, but he is not all purpose and he makes mistake like in the Face of Evil. The Tardis exploding does not destroy all time and companions, like Amy, should not be mcguffined into being able to change all of reality.

Lastly, season 17 I did not mind so much. Having K-9 and Romana as companions to the Doctor being almost at his level is not necessarily a bad thing. There's no Watson in the party to explain to the audience all the details, but having a team of highly competent companions could have led to some very complex plots if anyone had wanted. K-9 was the no emotion, Romana was the over emotion, and Tom Baker was the 'how did you get past all my guards and into my chamber?' The season dealt with the white and black guardian, but I felt that they should have presented more dominating and threatening villains in each serial of the season to match the crew and take the Doctor and his companions to their limit.
Si-Fy and Fantasy, that is where my heart lies. To Doctor Who and its 18 years of brilliance, still waiting on the 50 yr anniversary!
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Re: Ack Continuity!

Postby Prydonian on May 1st, 2011, 9:50 pm

TheCloakedOne, for clarification's sake: JN-T was Producer of the Classic Series from Season 18 (Tom's last in the part) to Season 26 (Sylvester McCoy's third and last as the 7th Doctor) when the series was cancelled.
Season 16 was the Black and White Guardian season, not Season 17.

But you are quite correct that the changes were already underway long before Peter Davison stepped into the role of the 5th Doctor. JN-T had a whole season before that to make his mark, ie the opening and closing theme rearrengement as well as the Doctor's new costume which debuted in The Leisure Hive. Besides that, the style of the stories had changed from the Douglas Adams humor to more 'serious' science fiction, at least in JN-T's mind.

Some argue the problems with the series did not begin until the casting and realisation of Colin Baker's 6th Doctor, but in truth things were already going downhill before that. Change for the sake of change is seldom good.

By Sylvester McCoy's last season, things were beginning to get interesting again, but much too little too late. The series was cancelled with certain storylines and ideas unresolved. Then the long wait. But we all know how that turned out.
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Re: Ack Continuity!

Postby The Cloaked One on May 2nd, 2011, 5:57 am

Sorry for my lack of fact checking. I got mixed up from things I heard and from watching Tom Baker's serials way out of order (Mistaking 16 for 17 for some reason).
I've not seen enough of McCoy to have an opinion really, but he seemed fine. I tried Davidson's first three serials and was not able to take any more (I've also seen Arc of Infinity, Five Doctors, and Caves of Androzanni with him) but in almost everyone except for the Caves of Androzanni, all I could think was "This is not the Doctor." Levitation? The world bending in on itself? Burning out a quarter of the Tardis? Being literally carried around by your companions? Why do chimes create demons inside people's minds? Why are tattoos switching bodies? You're seriously going to try and kill the Doctor with a rock?
I don't know, maybe I'm too picky, but I don't remember having this many questions with Tom Baker at any particular point.
Si-Fy and Fantasy, that is where my heart lies. To Doctor Who and its 18 years of brilliance, still waiting on the 50 yr anniversary!
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Re: Ack Continuity!

Postby Prydonian on May 4th, 2011, 1:03 am

Most would tend to agree that Davison and indeed the other Baker were poor replacements for TB after he departed. The Doctor should be as infallible as possible and exude confidence as much as feasible. Latter Doctors including those from the Eighties and those from NuWho have seldom done this. And don't get me started on the major manipulations of McCoy. I like McCoy, I dreamed I WAS his Doctor just last night. But I do not generally like the Doctor to be as he was. The companion should feel somewhat safe travelling all of time and space with this man strange though he may be, and not have to worry their best interests are not being met. This is why I like Seventies Who the most. The Doctor was charming and was someone you could believe in. Someone who would be there for right's sake and do away with the threats to mankind.
Last edited by Prydonian on May 4th, 2011, 10:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ack Continuity!

Postby Clara Listensprechen on May 4th, 2011, 2:19 am

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Last edited by Clara Listensprechen on May 30th, 2011, 12:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ack Continuity!

Postby tch on May 4th, 2011, 3:42 am

Not sure infallible is the right word.I wouldn't describe any Doctor that way. They all had their faults and fobiles. They all made mistakes.

I liked Davidson and Colin Baker, i think any faults I find with their runs comes when they were let down by the writing or got stuck in the middle of BBC politics.

Aside from his first story, I really liked Baker 2. He was basically William Hartnell in a young man's body. Grumpy, irrasciable and all too aware that he's the smartest guy in the room. Unfortunately, just as he finding his stride, there was some massive in fighting at the BBC and Doctor Who got caught in the middle and Colin's last season really had no one at the helm and then he was blamed for the show having troubles.
His stuff for Big Finnish has been brilliant and he's gotten stories and companions worthy of his Doctor.

Same with McCoy. His first season was all over the place, but i liked his manic little mad professor, and just as the show was getting back on track, the BBC pulls the plug.
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Re: Ack Continuity!

Postby The Cloaked One on May 4th, 2011, 6:51 am

I've said enough on Davidson. XD
Colin Baker is a tough one to talk about. His first serial everyone knows. His next two, Attack of the Cybermen and Vengeance on Varos, were also very difficult to watch. I did, however, enjoy the Mark and the Rani and the Two Doctors was perhaps the best of any of the multiple Doctor episodes. Robert Holmes struck rich again! I have not tried the two serials after that. The Trial of a Timelord I was uncertain with when I started, but I ended up really enjoying it and the ending. The actor improved so much as he went along.

Sylvester McCoy, I have a lot more I need to see. I saw most of his final season, save Ghost Light. I did like the episode Time and the Rani though I was surprised that it was so disliked. So that still leaves 8 serials of his I have not yet seen. For these two Doctor's at least, the episodes were not as surreal nor were there new powers being made up to make the Doctor 'cool.' Colin Baker briefly got the Tardis chameleon circuit working, but that was quickly thrown out again. XD That Tardis is forever the blue box. But more on 'mystic abilities,' the first four, whenever they showed a new one it fit in very well such as the Third's constant ability to go in and out of comas. I did very much enjoy in the Armageddon Factor where Tom Baker basically puts himself in and out of a coma at will, demonstrating that he had finally mastered being able to do it for which Pertwee had never quite been able to do. I love small details like that.

I've never really railed against the First Doctor, but I would not take my acting ques from his first season. He was the mischevious, possibly malevolent old man who kidnaps two teachers in the very first serial and an exceedingly grumpy man throughout Marco Polo and the Aztecs. His excellence, at least for me, started in the Sensorites on.

The Second Doctor is my favorite Doctor, though he had many 'off episodes' due to the writing staff. I know he worked hard on scripting, and he's my favorite because even in his worst episodes he always found a way to make me laugh, such as in the Dominators where he's up to his waist in wires. Unfortunately, New Who draws most of its off ideas from strings left by the Second Doctor which the Third and Fourth did not touch. For example, the Second was the first to say "This is more than just a Sonic Screwdriver" and use it to tunnel through 60 feet of solid rock (The Dominators) though in the same serial, Jamie was the first companion to use high explosives (he laughs at Ace, not literally XD). Though, thanks to his work in the War Games, having the Doctor exiled to Earth and a bunch of other work, the series was able to survive the next few years with Pertwee taking the helm. (The BBC he major budget problems coming up the Troughton's final serial)

Many actors, such as Davidson, Colin Baker, and Peri (I think Matt Smith too), said that they took their ques from the Second Doctor or tried to be like him. He seems to be the largest influence on the actors of Doctor Who. The Third was the largest influence on the Doctor Who show bringing in Sarah Jane, the Sontarons, the new logo, the tunnel opening, etc. The Fourth was the largest influence on the audience of Doctor Who. XD
Si-Fy and Fantasy, that is where my heart lies. To Doctor Who and its 18 years of brilliance, still waiting on the 50 yr anniversary!
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Re: Ack Continuity!

Postby Prydonian on May 4th, 2011, 10:47 pm

tch wrote:Not sure infallible is the right word.I wouldn't describe any Doctor that way. They all had their faults and fobiles. They all made mistakes.


Granted, although it was not neccessarily a habit until later incarnations. TB was so strong a presence that by the time new casting was to be made in the form of Peter Davison, the Doctor had changed into a younger, more fallible personality, easy to get it wrong on more occassions than before. That was a deliberate choice by JN-T to make a striking contrast to TB.
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Re: Ack Continuity!

Postby bcm77 on May 5th, 2011, 10:43 pm

I think it's a shame that JNT is no longer with us as despite having his share of bad ideas he seemed to have a better grasp of what made Doctor Who so unique than either of the modern producers.

RTD seemed to want to turn Who into a hybrid of a Joss Whedon series with all the epicness of the Star Wars saga and Steven Moffat seems to want it to be like Lost........overly complex and confusing and ultimately not fun to watch.
"I'm not a human being........I'm a Time Lord. I walk in eternity"
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