Author Topic: Doctor Who Series 12B: The Timeless Chibnall (Xmas special & pre-Series 13 chat)  (Read 39822 times)

Small Man Big Horse

  • Member
  • **
  • Writers wanted for comedy website, pls click below
It's almost like everyone in this thread is in general agreement that the characterisation in Chibnall's era has been fucking shit.

One question - how was Chibnall's characterisation in Broadchurch?  I've not seen it, but have a vague awareness that the first series got good reviews and the second didn't.

That's pretty much it, the show itself steals a whole load of ideas from "Nordic Noir" like The Killing and The Bridge but with Olivia Colman and David Tennant's characters he did create two genuinely very likeable and well written individuals. But then the second and third seasons happened and it all went to shit.

I don't doubt your positive assessment of these strips, I haven't read them myself, but on that page Docs 10 and 13 share identical voices. That's not the writer's fault, really, as she's being faithful to the way Doctor 13 is portrayed on screen - a diluted version of Doctor 10.

I largely agree though she does make 13 feel more like her own character on other pages / issues, and writes her in a far more fun way than 95% of the tv writers do.

Mister Six

  • Golden Member
  • *****
  • Ridiculously teacakes
Because the artist's only frame of reference for other humans is this photo that they have:



Just saw this. +Karma

Johnny Yesno

  • Perfume of a critic's burning flesh
    • Lines Horizontal
It's a version of what happened to the Timeless Child, rewritten as a story about Ireland in order to get it out of the Matrix. Or something.

Thanks. Unfortunately, I have no memory of what happens in the Timeless Child.

The intermittent Ireland sequences were successfully intriguing in Ascension of the Cybermen, though ruined on the reveal that they’d actually been happening in the Doctor’s head (absolutely no indication of this until the Master told us so) and were actually a metaphor about the universe's most magical kid falling off a mountain.

Ah, right, but what was the business with Brendan being hooked up to the machine about? How does any of what happened in 'Ireland' get the story out of the matrix?

Johnny Yesno

  • Perfume of a critic's burning flesh
    • Lines Horizontal
The Master’s theme. Though others have their criticisms, I loved Murray Gold's contributions, and I think memorable, recognisable motifs are a positive thing.

That's a decent piece of music, which sounds more like the work of John Barry than Murray Gold's awful parpings. It appeared in a Bond pastiche episode, though, so we shouldn't be surprised that it works well in that context.

Segun Akinola remains a qualified success - his arrangement of the main theme is great and he excels with the quietly atmospheric stuff but he does rely on that cliched sort of mid-tempo, sparse, choppy funk motif in moments of tension. His Cyber stuff was fun.

Not all of his stuff is great but I think he's more than a qualified success. He's probably the biggest improvement in this new iteration. I sure as hell hope Chinball does lose his nerve over one of the few things he got right.

Johnny Yesno

  • Perfume of a critic's burning flesh
    • Lines Horizontal
I mean...



Cyber Warrior/The Boundary/The Ascension is Here: https://youtu.be/Y8AsJTcanaQ?t=28m09s

Yas and Graham Trapped/Gallifrey/The Master: https://youtu.be/Y8AsJTcanaQ?t=36m51s

That's some seriously heavy industrial shit. Stomp, stomp, stomp, metal, metal, metal, stomp, stomp, stomp.



Compare to this generic Hollywood action film shite:

The Cyberman: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_JfzhGMFqE



Edited to add the OST rather than the poor quality off-air upload YouTube thinks I'd rather hear.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2020, 04:29:26 PM by Johnny Yesno »

Johnny Yesno

  • Perfume of a critic's burning flesh
    • Lines Horizontal
Oh, right, it's not just me that doesn't know what the fuck the Ireland stuff was all about.

Who is Brendan? FIVE theories. | Doctor Who: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3cJFCxEmRw

6 Things You Missed in Ascension of the Cybermen | Doctor Who Series 12: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oflgs7px9mU

Alberon

  • His heart is an empty fridge
Brendan is not real. It was just some augmented reality stuff pasted over the truth of the last pre-Hartnell Doctor getting his mind zapped and regenerated into a baby.

Because obviously anyone viewing the Matrix would consider the weird shit going on in Ireland of people popping back to life to be perfectly normal and absolutely nothing at all to worry about. There are no layers to Chinball's work, that's it.

Why Ireland? Chibnall was trying to riff on an old running joke that when Gallifrey was mentioned some human would wonder if that was in Ireland.

Johnny Yesno

  • Perfume of a critic's burning flesh
    • Lines Horizontal
I've just noticed both those videos are from before the final episode. So it is just me being thick? I feel like I haven't actually seen the final episode, I'm that out of touch with what happened in it.

Johnny Yesno

  • Perfume of a critic's burning flesh
    • Lines Horizontal
Brendan is not real. It was just some augmented reality stuff pasted over the truth of the last pre-Hartnell Doctor getting his mind zapped and regenerated into a baby.

Because obviously anyone viewing the Matrix would consider the weird shit going on in Ireland of people popping back to life to be perfectly normal and absolutely nothing at all to worry about. There are no layers to Chinball's work, that's it.

I'm not saying you're wrong but that makes no sense whatsoever.

Mister Six

  • Golden Member
  • *****
  • Ridiculously teacakes
I didn't really understand the Irish stuff either, but by that point I was slumped on the sofa sighing cartoonishly at the unbelievably tedious reams of exposition, and refused to think about it.

Johnny Yesno

  • Perfume of a critic's burning flesh
    • Lines Horizontal
I think that was a good policy.

I'm starting to wonder if this era is trading on everyone assuming that it's just them that doesn't understand what's going on.

I can't remember the context, but it was as Alberon says, a skin over the real memory to hide it somehow. It wasn't just the last pre-Harnell not-Doctor[1], though, it was the lot. Brendan getting shot, falling off a cliff and getting up again, was the initial young black girl playing with a boy, falling off a cliff and regenerating. The dad was, I'm assuming, the evil Mum with the vaguely Native South American name. Don't know who the garda was. Probably Rassilon, fuck it, who cares.

For such a significant and intriguing part of the previous episode, it was tossed away in amongst the finale's deluge of exposition.
 1. Noctor? Proctor?

Johnny Yesno

  • Perfume of a critic's burning flesh
    • Lines Horizontal
Here's that bit of music for Brendan's retirement I was enthusing about:

Retirement: https://youtu.be/Y8AsJTcanaQ?t=35m12s

Fucking superb. I blame Akinola for making Chinball era Who seem more interesting than it is.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2020, 04:30:57 PM by Johnny Yesno »

Kelvin

  • The best bits of a pantomime horse
  • Silver Member
  • ****
  • With skin the colour of a freshly peeled apple
Don't know who the garda was. Probably Rassilon, fuck it, who cares.

The head of The Division that we see the a young pre-Doctor meeting with.

Kelvin

  • The best bits of a pantomime horse
  • Silver Member
  • ****
  • With skin the colour of a freshly peeled apple
Bearing in mind that the original "Timeless Child" was found by a mysterious portal by herself, do people think that's Chibnall creating a new mysterious back story to be expanded on by future writers, of a specific setup for something he's got planned for a later series?

Which one would read better on Wikipedia?

(comic stuff)

!  Thanks for the idea - I never got into any of the comic or Big Finish stuff but it seems it could be a great way to still enjoy DW, though I still kind of hope they'd never mention the Timeless Child crap again.

Should have thought of that - it's what I did when an anime series I was watching turned to shit. I just switched to the manga.

(I know that in all likelihood the comics and audiobooks will be ALL OVER this Timeless Child idea and spinning off a zillion new Doctors, but one can dream)

Thomas

  • well they do all sixteen dances.
Bearing in mind that the original "Timeless Child" was found by a mysterious portal by herself, do people think that's Chibnall creating a new mysterious back story to be expanded on by future writers, of a specific setup for something he's got planned for a later series?

I think it's a way of saying 'ahhh, but look, there is still mystery about the Doctor's origins'. A portal. Naff. I don't think Chibnall will explore it himself, but who knows? Might be the main arc of series 13.

A future showrunner will no doubt decide that it's a portal from Earth, and that the Timeless Child was half-human.

I think it's a way of saying 'ahhh, but look, there is still mystery about the Doctor's origins'. A portal. Naff. I don't think Chibnall will explore it himself, but who knows? Might be the main arc of series 13.

A future showrunner will no doubt decide that it's a portal from Earth, and that the Timeless Child was half-human.

I mean, whether it's a good story or not, you'd think that discovering her past was a lie and she actually came through a mysterious portal from who knows where would be a major motivation for a character to go off trying to find out who/what she really is - but Chibnall already seems to have had her assimilate the information in about 2 minutes and just carry on as if nothing has changed, and as has been noted, he doesn't seem especially interested in his own characters' points of view, so I wouldn't be surprised if it's never mentioned again.

daf

  • some weirdo taking the piss
A future showrunner will no doubt decide that it's a portal from Earth, and that the Timeless Child was half-human.

Doing the old bootstrap trick, they'd then all be the 'Mobius Doctors'.


Ballad of Ballard Berkley

  • a hopeless vanity... a stupefyingly futile conceit
That's pretty much it, the show itself steals a whole load of ideas from "Nordic Noir" like The Killing and The Bridge but with Olivia Colman and David Tennant's characters he did create two genuinely very likeable and well written individuals. But then the second and third seasons happened and it all went to shit.

I think the first series of Broadchurch is Chibs' one genuinely good piece of television. It's an involving murder mystery potboiler which captured the public's imagination for one simple reason: you invested in the characters and actually cared about the eventual outcome. The polar opposite of his work on Doctor Who and Torchwood.

I can't be bothered watching it again, it doesn't require further viewing once you find out who the killer is, but it was solidly entertaining at the time. As you say, the follow-ups were dreadful, just nothing more than brazenly cynical, desperate attempts to milk a story that neatly began and ended in series one.

Series one probably suffers from all his usual flaws as a writer, it's schematic and superficial, but he managed to gloss over those deficiencies with some decent sleight of hand.

I largely agree though she does make 13 feel more like her own character on other pages / issues, and writes her in a far more fun way than 95% of the tv writers do.

I should read these comic strips, as I do like the sound of them.

Mister Six

  • Golden Member
  • *****
  • Ridiculously teacakes
Just watched Raising Arizona for the first time in years, and the opening 10 minutes are as densely packed with voiceover exposition as The Master's Timeless Child reveal, except that they also feature constant barrage of great gags, establish at least eight great side characters (some of whom exist purely for that sequence), and sketch out the characters of Hi and Ed deftly and swiftly while still making us care for them.

I know it's unfair to compare Chibnall to the Coens of all people, but it's good to remember that even infodumps can be done well by someone with actual talent (see also: The Time of The Doctor).

Just started rewatching RTD's Who from the start, and one episode in I already feel I know Rose and Doctor 9 better than Doctor 13 (Doctor 2:13?) or any of her companions. Even Torchwood episode 1 (also written by RTD) does a better job of showing us what Gwen is like than two series of Chibnall's Who do with Yaz.

Replies From View

  • Rubbing linseed oil into the school cormorant.
  • Golden Member
  • *****
  • Gargoyles have milk bags.
It was a stupid idea to introduce three companions in one episode, where not one of them could show a moment of wonder or connection that we saw with RTD and Moffat’s companions.  We have never progressed beyond the initial sketchy outlines of “bit dyspraxic” “policewoman” and “gramps”.  We’ve never seen anything through the eyes of one of Chibnall’s companions so there’s no audience surrogate.

AIBU / AIBAC to start sort of seeing the point of some of the YouTubers who keep complaining about "woke" ruining various TV and movie franchises?  I have no problem with woke in and of itself and shows like Doctor Who have been progressive since day 1, it just seems that nowadays "the left" or whatever you want to call it can't write for shit.  The old guard leave, the newer "left" take over and suddenly it goes to shit.  It's not that having a diverse cast, female lead, retconned history to write in a bunch of diverse Doctors, progressive talking points and historicals etc are bad things at all, I'm all for "all of the above" if done well.  But all the people who actually DO these things seem almost determined to prove the various racists, sexists and right wing reactionaries 'right' because everything they produce is just so.... shit.  So bland, po-faced and uninteresting.  It's all lacking in depth or interest or any kind of emotional connection.  It could've even been possible to do this Timeless Child thing in a way that's interesting and engaging and makes you care in some way but it doesn't.  It seems to just serve a purpose of "there, the Doctor was BORN female AND non-white, you can all shut up now" which is an objective I can get behind but writers have forgotten how to weave that sort of message into something that people want to watch.  Why oh why does this keep happening?

It's possible to be woke and really good.  Look at Steven Universe for example.  But that is, one could say, a rare gem.  I don't get why.

Trying not to sound like an alt lite cunt and still expecting to be called all sorts but fuck it post

Trying not to sound like an alt lite cunt and still expecting to be called all sorts but fuck it post

You'd have a point if RTD hadn't already done a gay companion, two black companions, an older companion and made the Doctor and the Master's sexualities somewhat ambiguous. People were already accusing him of pushing a PC agenda back in 2005, and he was. The difference is that his writing was good, so the agenda didn't overwhelm everything, whereas Chibnall's writing is shit meaning that he has no choice but to beat you over the head with his ideas as it's the only way he can convey them.

A case in point; Moffat's Bill was a black, lesbian student, but those characteristics didn't define her character. RTD's Rose was a straight, white shop assistant, but those characteristics didn't define her character. Chibnall's Yaz is an Indian police woman and that's the entire sum of her character.

It was a stupid idea to introduce three companions in one episode, where not one of them could show a moment of wonder or connection that we saw with RTD and Moffat’s companions.  We have never progressed beyond the initial sketchy outlines of “bit dyspraxic” “policewoman” and “gramps”.  We’ve never seen anything through the eyes of one of Chibnall’s companions so there’s no audience surrogate.

Sometimes I feel a bit sorry for him, trying to bite off more than he can chew with juggling three companions, but then I remember RTD managing it with Sarah Jane Adventures (Luke, Clyde, Maria/Rani), so then I remember that Chibnall can fuck right off. And that's a CBBC show. The character arcs aren't even that deep, yet there was still more to Clyde after one introductory episode than there is to Ryan after two whole series.

Mister Six

  • Golden Member
  • *****
  • Ridiculously teacakes
AIBU / AIBAC to start sort of seeing the point of some of the YouTubers who keep complaining about "woke" ruining various TV and movie franchises?  I have no problem with woke in and of itself and shows like Doctor Who have been progressive since day 1, it just seems that nowadays "the left" or whatever you want to call it can't write for shit.  The old guard leave, the newer "left" take over and suddenly it goes to shit.  It's not that having a diverse cast, female lead, retconned history to write in a bunch of diverse Doctors, progressive talking points and historicals etc are bad things at all, I'm all for "all of the above" if done well.  But all the people who actually DO these things seem almost determined to prove the various racists, sexists and right wing reactionaries 'right' because everything they produce is just so.... shit.  So bland, po-faced and uninteresting.  It's all lacking in depth or interest or any kind of emotional connection.  It could've even been possible to do this Timeless Child thing in a way that's interesting and engaging and makes you care in some way but it doesn't.  It seems to just serve a purpose of "there, the Doctor was BORN female AND non-white, you can all shut up now" which is an objective I can get behind but writers have forgotten how to weave that sort of message into something that people want to watch.  Why oh why does this keep happening?

Looking at Doctor Who specifically, I think you can't really discount the abject shitness of Chris Chibnall or the brilliance of RTD and Moffat. How many scripts turned in to the latter two were rewritten, buffed and polished beyond recognition? How many decent scripts were actively enshittened by Chibnall's negative ability?

Looking at the last couple of series, the following episodes either dealt with progressive issues, or were written by POC/women, and were at least decent in my estimation: Rosa, Demons of the Punjab, The Witchfinders, Nikola Tesla's Night of Terror, Fugitive of the Judoon, Praexus, The Haunting of Villa Diodati. Maybe only Haunting could have punched its weight as a great episode during am RTD/Moffat season, but the rest aren't too shabby.

If you want to extend that to wider pop culture like Captain Marvel or Birds of Prey, I think you have two key issues:

1- The talent pool accumulated over the past, I dunno, 100 years is overwhelmingly white and male, and studios/stations are trying to counteract that by elevating female and POC directors and writers before they've really had a chance to hone their craft. The $145 million Birds of Prey was helmed by a Chinese-American woman who had previously only directed one feature film! This happened with white male directors too, of course (hello John "Elf" Favreau) but because that pool was bigger they weren't forced to choose from a small number of demographically appropriate talents that were available in the timeframe needed to make the movie and could hold out for someone with a bit more vision/ability.

2- Because of the dearth of female and POC protagonists in mainstream cinema and TV, studios and stations are reticent to allow complex or "difficult" characterisation for their heroes. That's why Star Wars' Rey and Captain Marvel are so blandly aspirational, while Han Solo and Luke got to be kind of fuckups and Marvel heroes like Iron Man and Thor are allowed to be fallible and human, Black Panther was a lot more compelling when he was out for vengeance as a supporting character in Captain America: Civil War than when he was blandly backflipping through his own movie.

Hopefully both of these will change over the coming decades. We're just at an awkward moment now due to the overwhelmingly male, white, straight, cis (etc) dominated talent pool in visual media.

You'd have a point if RTD hadn't already done a gay companion, two black companions, an older companion and made the Doctor and the Master's sexualities somewhat ambiguous.

That's the point though, RTD is one of the "oldschool" who was seemingly capable of a "PC agenda" while still being exciting and entertaining.  IOW, I agree with you and all the points you just made :)

More below in response to Six...

Looking at Doctor Who specifically, I think you can't really discount the abject shitness of Chris Chibnall or the brilliance of RTD and Moffat. How many scripts turned in to the latter two were rewritten, buffed and polished beyond recognition? How many decent scripts were actively enshittened by Chibnall's negative ability?

As above, sorry if I didn't get it across properly (I obviously failed miserably) but - maybe this is just an unfortunate pattern these days - see also Star Trek Discovery, what people say has happened to Star Wars, apparently Terminator (admittedly not seen those two but it sounds much the same) etc.  It's not that it's PC/woke/whatever in and of itself but it the way modern "woke writers" seem to be... well.... a bit shit, like Chibnall.

Maybe it's unfair to pin it on "wokeness", maybe it's just because most of what I watch falls under that category.  Trying to think of shows made by right wingers which have also gone to shit - there's Top Gear I suppose!

Quote
Looking at the last couple of series, the following episodes either dealt with progressive issues, or were written by POC/women, and were at least decent in my estimation: Rosa, Demons of the Punjab, The Witchfinders, Nikola Tesla's Night of Terror, Fugitive of the Judoon, Praexus, The Haunting of Villa Diodati. Maybe only Haunting could have punched its weight as a great episode during am RTD/Moffat season, but the rest aren't too shabby.

To be honest I thought most of those (like anything in series 11 or 12) was just kind of average,  especially when compared to anything that's come before.  Not BAD to be fair, just not something that I'm all that fussed about ever re-watching.

Having said all that though and got to your next point.  That's a very good point with the talent pool over the last 100 years or so being overwhelmingly white and male.  Maybe we're going through some growing pains.  Ignoring that Chibbers is a white male :)  But I do see your point.


Thanks for the level headed and constructive discussion.  I don't want to be a cunt, and would rather try and understand why I'm being infected with this thinking than hopping on some bandwagon of right wing tosspots.  Been close enough to that in the past and it's not what feels right at all... 
Food for thought anyway!  Cheers

It was a stupid idea to introduce three companions in one episode, where not one of them could show a moment of wonder or connection that we saw with RTD and Moffat’s companions.  We have never progressed beyond the initial sketchy outlines of “bit dyspraxic” “policewoman” and “gramps”.  We’ve never seen anything through the eyes of one of Chibnall’s companions so there’s no audience surrogate.

I disagree with this. The first bit anyway: It wasn't a stupid idea, it was fine. And it was done well. Their outlines in the first episode are good. Everyone gets a little moment, everyone has a character. There's a lot of promise.

The problem is that it not only never progressed or built on that, but actually regressed. Ryan was a wannabe YouTuber, a bit of a loner, angry at his dad and Graham and himself, frustrated and aimless. Yaz was an impetuous trainee police officer, wanting more excitement, precocious and ambitious. Graham was dealing with the fragility of his own life, the loss of his wife, was a bit spiky towards Ryan.

All of this was just lost, replaced with nothing, a three-headed nodding dog asking Doctor what's happening. But the start was solid.

AIBU / AIBAC to start sort of seeing the point of some of the YouTubers who keep complaining about "woke" ruining various TV and movie franchises?

Yes. Probably. Certainly if you use "woke" as a dismissive pejorative. Don't do that. And that aside, it's just false attribution.

What you're describing is just bad writing. Does "wokeness" cause bad writing? No. Are modern bad writers more likely to be trying to appear progressive? Doubt it. It's just that whinging cunts can gather on mass and amplify nowadays.

Every toy-shilling cartoon in the 80s and 90s had a cloying message about not doing drugs, or how actually people aren't so different after all, or save the whales. Some shit, some good. But Twitter didn't exist so everyone just lived their lives.

Complaining about "woke" is just the latest way to belittle and stamp on positive attempts to not be cunts. By cunts. PC Gone Mad 2: PC Gone Madder.

1- The talent pool accumulated over the past, I dunno, 100 years is overwhelmingly white and male, and studios/stations are trying to counteract that by elevating female and POC directors and writers before they've really had a chance to hone their craft.

This is bollocks, and comes with the implicit suggestion they should leave it to the white men. The studio model recently has been elevating directors too fast, presumably so they can control them easier, and has involved shitloads of white men. And if they are doing that, then better they include some non-white non-men.

Quote
This happened with white male directors too, of course (hello John "Elf" Favreau) but because that pool was bigger they weren't forced to choose from a small number of demographically appropriate talents that were available in the timeframe needed to make the movie and could hold out for someone with a bit more vision/ability.

No. Favreau's not an appropriate example, he'd worked his way up from Made through Elf through Zathura. Zathura's half the budget of Iron Man, but still a big effects-heavy adventure. Colin Trevorrow and Gareth Edwards are your men, catapulted from a single mico-budget film straight to megablockbuster with nothing in between, churning out dogshit. Where was the holding out there?

I doubt we hugely disagree, but I'd frame it away from NEED TO HIRE WOKE (THIN WOKE-APPROPRIATE PICKINGS) -> SHIT FILM, and more as NEED TO HIRE NAIF (DON'T NEED TO BE WHITE/MALE) -> SHIT FILM. The parenthetical bit in the latter isn't the reason for the outcome, and it's an unfair scapegoat.

Probably a separate thread, this.

Tags: