Author Topic: Old Doctor Who - Part 4  (Read 72587 times)

Norton Canes

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Re: Old Doctor Who - Part 4
« Reply #1050 on: September 04, 2021, 02:08:47 PM »
I always thought the Doctor Who writer John Peel was American, but you seem to have posted a photo of a farmer from Norfolk

Well he certainly gave us a few turkeys, arf

Re: Old Doctor Who - Part 4
« Reply #1051 on: September 04, 2021, 05:10:38 PM »


I last met Lawrence Miles on the really quite clever but also really quite tedious headfuck of Christmas on a Rational Planet.

You probably already know, but his blog was a wonder of, something, http://beasthouse-lm2.blogspot.com

As far as I know he's given up on the Doctor Who business now.

JamesTC

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Re: Old Doctor Who - Part 4
« Reply #1052 on: September 04, 2021, 07:13:47 PM »
Don't know whether these misguided ramblings are better in the current Who thread but I think they are best here...

I ordered Twice Upon a Time on 4K yesterday as it was only a fiver (it may get cancelled as it is a ludicrously good price). I still haven't seen vast swathes of the Moffat era. I adored Series 5 but Series 6 was a slog and I gave up on Series 7 and Series 8 was even worse when I gave it a chance. I figured that I would one day watch the whole thing in a big clump to give it the same treatment I did to the rest of Classic Who. I always hear Series 9 and 10 are an improvement, and I liked the 50th. So I figure now is the time to watch the whole Moffat era in a row.

When The Eleventh Hour originally aired, I have never been further away from being a Who fan as I was then. Back then I watched New Doctor Who out of a silly misplaced sense of obligation. The End of Time killed any hope or enthusiasm I had for Doctor Who outside of the first 8 Doctors stone dead. It wasn't just that it was a huge pile of shit but it was a high profile one. Suddenly, everybody who knows I am a Doctor Who fan thinks I enjoy that. I was embarrassed to be associated with it. Maybe I am being melodramatic, but it was like somebody was spreading a malicious rumour saying I was well into Derek and Mrs Brown's Boys.

I never particularly chimed with the first four series of New Who. Something about them always felt off, but I have little enthusiasm now to go back and get to the nub of the matter of what it was. Despite thinking Series 4 was mostly rather good, it still had whatever it was to it that was off-putting. Like how I quite like Delta and the Bannermen despite thinking Season 24 is rubbish. The music plays a part but I know it wasn't just that. There was a tacky element to it but lots of my favourite Classic Who has that. Maybe it is a bit like how your grandad being racist isn't too bad but a young co-worker is.

It was only the fact that the show was being refreshed and taking a new direction that I decided to watch Series 5. The Eleventh Hour fixes so much that I never knew was even wrong with the show. I still think the music is overly loud and garish but it is an improvement. The lighting feels more natural and less warm which removes the garish look of some of the previous four series. It wasn't that it was an amazing episode or anything, it just did exactly what it needed to in order to win viewers over.

The show feels more assured in what it can achieve. It isn't trying to tell some big budget Hollywood story and cramming in crap CGI. Doctor Who is now achieving the level of a moderately budgeted British sci-fi film and it's excelling as a result of it. They know what they can and can't achieve. They manage something the scale of Attack the Block and surpass it and an eighth of the budget.

Matt Smith's style of Doctor would never be my choice particularly after Tennant however he delivers such an earnest and enthusiastic performance that it barely took a scene to win me over. The only difficulty is separating how much of his wackiness is part of post-regenerative weirdness and how much is just his Doctor. I feel like it is toned down as the series goes on and he mellows a little bit whereas Series 6 and 7 ramp up the wackiness and it starts to grate. It will be interesting to see if this was a misplaced perception I had at the time.

JamesTC

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Re: Old Doctor Who - Part 4
« Reply #1053 on: September 04, 2021, 07:56:25 PM »
The Beast Below or Doctor Who and the Culture War of Death as it would have been if it aired 10 years later.

Just imagine if this aired today. A non-white Queen would see the show plastered on the front pages. The BBC would be forced to apologise and Doctor Who would be at the centre of a hilarious pantomime. I can just see the news with being brought in to ask if Doctor Who is "too woke" and telling the audience what the Queen would think about it. We have gone backwards as a nation. Besides that you also have Scotland splitting from the UK and also the UK leaving and being on their own. And on that note the UK also commits horrendous torture through sheer bloody thoughtless misplaced ignorance and cruelty.

The episode isn't all that great but it sticks the landing in a big way. The ending is touching and gives Amy the opportunity to see something The Doctor doesn't without making her seem arrogant or unlikeable. It feels satisfying in solving a seemingly impossible problem for The Doctor. We also see Moffat come up with the idea of The Doctor removing his name when he feels he has to commit an action that not befitting of it.

It does enough to continue the enthusiasm from The Eleventh Hour. In fact there is only one story in Series 5 that zaps my enthusiasm and that is...

JamesTC

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Re: Old Doctor Who - Part 4
« Reply #1054 on: September 04, 2021, 08:39:48 PM »
...not Victory of the Daleks. It isn't anything special but it is basically fine. It doesn't actually really feel like a story in and of itself. It feels like it is setting up a story which never occurs. This is Frontier in Space without Planet of the Daleks.

It has a different feel now that I know how much of an absolute tosser that Churchill was. But I guess the Churchill in Doctor Who is the legend rather than the man himself so I should look past it. I won't be buying the fucking Big Finish though.

Much like The Beast Below it has an interesting new twist all these years on. The Daleks were a parable for the Nazis and now we see a Dalek with a Union Jack on it being proudly portrayed as our saviour and championed by an archaic myth from our past. Such a shame none of these themes are actually intentional. They actually just wanted to do The Power of the Daleks with Churchill.

The Poundland Independence Day ending is a little embarrassing, but brief enough to not impact too much. They seemingly threw enough money at the effects for this one to make it work well enough in all but the writing.

Neither like nor dislike the new Dalek design. Not sure what led to the big uproar at the time other than it did seem a bit cynical to sell toys. If I'm honest, I think the green Dalek would have sold more toys on their own as they are a lovely re-colour.

I feel like Series 5 is the opposite to Series 4 right now. Series 4 had broadly strong stories but with a style that I just didn't chime with. Series 5 has weaker stories but a style much more to my liking which means even the weaker episodes feel so much stronger.

purlieu

  • Gertrude Stein said that's enough.
Re: Old Doctor Who - Part 4
« Reply #1055 on: September 04, 2021, 09:28:26 PM »
You probably already know, but his blog was a wonder of, something, http://beasthouse-lm2.blogspot.com

As far as I know he's given up on the Doctor Who business now.
Oh lovely, ta. That looks like a lot of fun.
Don't know whether these misguided ramblings are better in the current Who thread but I think they are best here...
Nah, you'll be wanting the RTD & Moffat Years thread.
We do have rather a lot of Doctor Who threads here, don't we? How soon before we can legitimately start pestering Neil for a subforum?

I'm very much with you on the huge leap the show took with The Eleventh Hour. There are plenty of RTD-era stories I like, but overall the show felt like something I'd be slightly embarrassed to be found watching. It's still something that I've watched because it's Doctor Who rather than something I've watched because I was invested in the show - if it was a new programme I would have probably been pretty sneery about it. Whereas series 5, in particular, I love. 6 is almost as good, and 7 has grown on me over the years. 8 and 9 I find a chore, and 10 is up there with 5 and 6.

JamesTC

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Re: Old Doctor Who - Part 4
« Reply #1056 on: September 04, 2021, 09:30:28 PM »
Nah, you'll be wanting the RTD & Moffat Years thread.
We do have rather a lot of Doctor Who threads here, don't we? How soon before we can legitimately start pestering Neil for a subforum?

Ahh, cheers. Will continue in there.

purlieu

  • Gertrude Stein said that's enough.
Re: Old Doctor Who - Part 4
« Reply #1057 on: September 05, 2021, 05:12:18 PM »

War of the Daleks by John Peel

"I have no intention of killing you, Doctor. Or," he added, the eyestalk moving to take in Sam, "your companion."
The Doctor raised an eyebrow. "That's a bit of a change from your usual policy, isn't it?" he asked. "You know - shoot first, interrogate the remains later?"
"Yes," agreed the Dalek Prime. However, circumstances have changed. The next time we meet, I shall probably exterminate you."


What with licensing issues and all, the NAs had no Dalek stories. There were regular references to them, Benny being conscripted to fight them from a young age, the impact of them on human space, and such. There was even a Dalek Invasion of Earth-concurrent story set on Mars, in which one Dalek actually got some dialogue. And of course there was the Master nonsense in the movie. Still, War of the Daleks was the first proper Dalek story in eight years. So I can completely understand why fans at the time reacted so badly to it.
There are lots of good ideas the book - the Thals wanting Davros to make them into the equivalent of Daleks so they could win a war is worth a novel in its own right (and it might be slightly less bleak than the Cybermen version of that story in Killing Ground) - but they're almost all in the first half, set on a scavenger vessel. Once the action moves to Skaro, it's just Davros Daleks vs. Imperial Daleks with some 'friendly' Power of the Daleks surprises thrown in for good measure. The dialogue quoted above is an example of the Daleks wanting to appear less Dalekish for... reasons. It's mind-numbingly boring, with long action sequences that would probably be quite fun on screen, but are little more than "then some more Daleks killed some more Daleks" on paper. There are plenty of totally uninteresting twists and turns of the 'every time they think they're free they're actually not!' variety. And, of course, the famous retcon where John Peel makes every post-Genesis Dalek story into a long, convoluted plan by the Dalek Prime, and thus robs them all of any suspense. Peel has got more than a touch of the Chibnall about him, in that he seems to have his idea of what Doctor Who should be and is willing to erase past stories just to make it happen (the first NA, Timewyrm: Genesys, removes all Seven and Ace's character growth and then basically goes with "the Seventh Doctor is crap, I'll have the Fourth save the day" at the climax). It's not interesting, it's not logical, and it doesn't benefit the Dalek plot in the slightest.
The Doctor is pretty much written as Davison's Doctor rather than McGann's, although I can let that slide a little, what with Peel having so little McGann to go on. Sam, once again, contributes absolutely nothing to the story whatsoever, other than getting jealous of a female guest character being friendly with The Doctor. Davros dies at the end, and he's probably not dead, because... reasons. References to almost every past Dalek story are thrown in, mostly awkwardly. We even get an aside with some Mechonoids fighting Daleks for no reason whatsoever.
Contrived, convoluted, boring, throwing interesting ideas out to focus on the least interesting aspect of the book, full of fanwank, and featuring a totally unnecessary retcon. Utter crap.

Next time on Doctor Who... I'm very glad to be back with Benny again, even though I'm over a quarter of the way through her NA series already. Although as I gave Simon Bucher-Jones's last NA 1/5, I remain cautious.

Alberon

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Re: Old Doctor Who - Part 4
« Reply #1058 on: September 05, 2021, 07:23:51 PM »
Oh yeah, now I remember being pissed off at those Dalek novels. Dreadful, almost deliberately annoying crap.

Re: Old Doctor Who - Part 4
« Reply #1059 on: September 05, 2021, 07:25:09 PM »
The bits I liked were the intermissions which featured other angles of the Dalek story. Lots of references and continuity, sure, but it was quite a nice bit of support.

better than the Dalek monologue that explains The Retcon.

purlieu

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Re: Old Doctor Who - Part 4
« Reply #1060 on: September 05, 2021, 10:07:06 PM »
better than the Dalek monologue that explains The Retcon.
Not only is the retcon bollocks, but the image of the Doctor and a Dalek sitting down to have an exposition-laden conversation is just fucking terrible. Horrible book.

A couple of pages into this Benny novel and there's been a planet populated by sentient factories and a planet called They're All Nouns You Idiot. I have no fucking idea what I'm letting myself in for here.

Ron Maels Moustache

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Re: Old Doctor Who - Part 4
« Reply #1061 on: September 06, 2021, 12:18:14 AM »
It was somewhat baffling at the time how Peel was the only writer to have the blessing of the Nation Estate to write the books with Daleks in them, especially as they were so poorly regarded. He did the majority of the Target Dalek stories as well, didn't he?

Gurke and Hare

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Re: Old Doctor Who - Part 4
« Reply #1062 on: September 06, 2021, 02:08:23 AM »
It was somewhat baffling at the time how Peel was the only writer to have the blessing of the Nation Estate to write the books with Daleks in them, especially as they were so poorly regarded. He did the majority of the Target Dalek stories as well, didn't he?

He did 4, Terrance Dicks did 6. (Eric Saward did 2, Ben Aaronovitch and David Whittaker did one each.)

purlieu

  • Gertrude Stein said that's enough.
Re: Old Doctor Who - Part 4
« Reply #1063 on: September 06, 2021, 09:33:25 AM »
I believe there was a disagreement with Nation about the Target books which is why there were none for years, and Peel did all the remaining 60s ones once that was sorted out. The two Troughton ones were done for Virgin and run to about twice the length of your average Target.

Re: Old Doctor Who - Part 4
« Reply #1064 on: September 06, 2021, 03:15:26 PM »
They're not at all bad, either.

Re: Old Doctor Who - Part 4
« Reply #1065 on: September 06, 2021, 04:53:30 PM »
Sad news that Tony Selby has died.

JamesTC

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Re: Old Doctor Who - Part 4
« Reply #1066 on: September 06, 2021, 05:21:23 PM »
He beat the other Tony Selby by three months though.

Alberon

  • His heart is an empty fridge
Re: Old Doctor Who - Part 4
« Reply #1067 on: September 06, 2021, 06:11:28 PM »
Just about the best thing in that era of Doctor Who.

pigamus

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Re: Old Doctor Who - Part 4
« Reply #1068 on: September 06, 2021, 07:09:31 PM »
He beat the other Tony Selby by three months though.

The snooker one?

JamesTC

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Re: Old Doctor Who - Part 4
« Reply #1069 on: September 06, 2021, 07:11:02 PM »
The snooker one?

A Tony Selby who worked for the BBC. He died three months ago and it was initially reported to be the other one.

Jerzy Bondov

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Re: Old Doctor Who - Part 4
« Reply #1070 on: September 07, 2021, 08:13:32 AM »
I was sat around watching Four to Doomsday the other day for some reason and fuck me Adric is a nob head in that. Also there's way too much dancing. It's like Britain's Got Talent in space with even more cunts.

Norton Canes

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Re: Old Doctor Who - Part 4
« Reply #1071 on: September 07, 2021, 09:22:20 AM »
I love Four To Doomsday, it's mad as a... well, a box of frogs. In space.

Jerzy Bondov

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    • righto so ive got five minutes off work and uh yeah im gonna have a cheeky volvic
Re: Old Doctor Who - Part 4
« Reply #1072 on: September 07, 2021, 11:21:13 AM »
Science teacher: Four what to Doomsday? Four minutes? Four hours?! Four RHINOCEROSES?!!

Norton Canes

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Re: Old Doctor Who - Part 4
« Reply #1073 on: September 07, 2021, 11:48:14 AM »
Calling it 'Four Days to Doomsday' would have changed the entire vibe though. 'Four to Doomsday' sounds really cool and ambiguous. 'Four Days to Doomsday' sounds like a schlocky disaster epic. And it hardly conveys a sense of danger - four days is ages. There's a reason why Iron maiden didn't write 'Four Days to Midnight'.

Apart from the fact that it can never be more than one day to midnight of course

Norton Canes

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Re: Old Doctor Who - Part 4
« Reply #1074 on: September 07, 2021, 11:49:39 AM »
I love the bit where Persuasion gets deactivated and Paul Shelley holds that dramatic pose.

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Re: Old Doctor Who - Part 4
« Reply #1075 on: September 07, 2021, 12:09:13 PM »
Stupid cricket ball scene as well.  It makes you feel like the entire costume for the fifth Doctor was devised with that scene in mind, yet it’s a crap scene.


There’s a reason they didn’t have the fourth Doctor collecting his scarf from a melted snowman with a dog pissing on it.  “I shall take this scarf to memorialise this brilliant moment,” as the dog turns its stream of piss towards his dimensionally transcendental coat pockets.

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Re: Old Doctor Who - Part 4
« Reply #1076 on: September 07, 2021, 12:13:07 PM »
and all jelly babies and sonic screwdriver completely drenched in piss by the end


Norton Canes

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Re: Old Doctor Who - Part 4
« Reply #1077 on: September 07, 2021, 12:57:57 PM »
Stupid cricket ball scene as well.  It makes you feel like the entire costume for the fifth Doctor was devised with that scene in mind, yet it’s a crap scene

Shot with Davison sat on an office chair being pulled across the studio on wires, I think. It was the first story he filmed too. Must've wondered what he'd let himself in for. 

Re: Old Doctor Who - Part 4
« Reply #1078 on: September 07, 2021, 02:24:28 PM »
It's Four Episodes to Doomsday, surely?

Norton Canes

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Re: Old Doctor Who - Part 4
« Reply #1079 on: September 07, 2021, 04:03:33 PM »
Kinda

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