Doctor Who 2005-2017 : The RTD & Moffat Years

Started by daf, May 03, 2021, 09:09:11 AM

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Quote from: Ballad of Ballard Berkley on October 12, 2021, 09:06:58 PM
I'm pretty sure Jamie was referring to the Chibnall era.

Ah my mistake, it's just that there was a bit of talk about Capaldi before that. Sorry.

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

No need to apologise, I could be wrong! I often am.

watched dark water last night

le missy sexually assaulting le doctor who good one moffeets xD xD xD

Mister Six

A mate of mine is a proper cinephile - you know, he favours films full of French people, with hardly any explosions and that. But he bloody loved The End of the World when he saw by chance a few years back. I was baffled, remembering it from transmission mostly by its glaring flaws: why were there big fans across the button that handily resolved the plot? Why were the fans only slowed, not stopped, by a big lever that had to be manually held down? Why did it only take one button to lower the Steward's sun shield, yet he couldn't raise it again with that same button (and why did he wait so long to try)?

But my mate, snob that he is, said he expected that kind of stupid contrivance in a sci-fi series, so none of it really registered. What he notices is the stuff you don't (in his opinion) tend to get in genre television - the depths of emotion, and the moments of quiet reflection, like The Doctor and Rose holding hands as they look at the ruins of the Earth.

On rewatching it the other day, without the gnawing, adolescent fear[nb]I was twentysomething at the time, but the anxiety was pure "13-year-old on a first date" shit. [/nb] that the obvious naffness of the "action" would make the show a laughing stock, I saw what he meant - this story pivots not around any of the satellite-under-seige nonsense, but around Rose, and her reactions to being in the distant future for the first time with someone she's only just met.

And I know it's not fair to anyone to keep comparing RTD to Chibnall, but blimey, compare Rose's reactions here - excitement about the experience, discomfort at the TARDIS's translation system messing with her head uninvited, the slow realisation that she doesn't know who The Doctor is or whether he's just going to leave her on the station, her curiosity and then disgust at Lady Cassandra's bigotry, her mourning for the Earth dying unwatched - to the absolute non-responses "the fam" give to a far more obviously scary trip to space in The Ghost Monument. It's night and day. Or shite and Davies. That doesn't really work, does it? Sod it, no time to edit.

So yeah, watching it in the knowledge that RTD writes character first and actual plot second, it's a fun little yarn, and does a great job of extending the mystery of The Doctor while reinforcing both his innate goodness (saving the station, not wanting to let Jade sacrifice herself) and his harder, scarier edge ("everything dies").

Oh, and for all the complaints about kitchen sink drama that floated around at the time, RTD is great at adding detail to his sci-fi worlds, from the small character moments like The Doctor breathing on Jabe (because of course you can give the gift of carbon dioxide to a plant!) to the evocative names of the guests (what is The City-State of Binding Light?) to classifying Britney Spears' Toxic as classical music (an old joke, probably, but of course it is when you're that far in the future).

7/10; what it gets right outweighs what it gets wrong, though maybe if I were in a less cheerful mood I'd rate it 6/10.

olliebean

Quote from: Mister Six on October 25, 2021, 12:33:51 AM
7/10; what it gets right outweighs what it gets wrong, though maybe if I were in a less cheerful mood I'd rate it 6/10.

Or 10/10 if we're putting it up against a Chibnall season and grading on the curve.

H-O-W-L

The End of the World does something that all the sequential series have failed to do, except maybe Donna's: The scale of the future is fucking scary, and Rose basically spending most of the episode in a kind of sympathetic, emotive meltdown really sells the concept. RTD really excelled at this sort of shit; putting stuff in scope, and putting it down on the street. It's why his later seasons suffered IMO; he really had to up the game too much and got too immersed in the stink of Rose's plot.

Replies From View

I wonder how much work RTD needs to do in order to have written more Doctor Who than Moffat.  Funny if he did only just enough to overtake him and then stopped.

Mister Six

Quote from: H-O-W-L on October 25, 2021, 08:57:40 AM
The End of the World does something that all the sequential series have failed to do, except maybe Donna's: The scale of the future is fucking scary, and Rose basically spending most of the episode in a kind of sympathetic, emotive meltdown really sells the concept.

Very true, but I understand why he couldn't trot this kind of thing out every time. Jodie's second episode, being the closest thing the series has had to a fresh start since 2005, would have been a great time to revisit this kind of "Oh fuck, what have we gotten ourselves into?" vibe as a story opportunity, but... Chibnall.

"What would happen if a dyspraxic lad picked up a gun for the first time, but in space?"

purlieu

Yeah, my biggest issue with the Chibnall era is the emotional coldness. I don't really hate the recent stuff as most people here, when watching it I've generally been ok to go along with the ride, but there's just no feeling, not a sense of actually feeling like you're there in the TARDIS with fun people, going on adventures. There's some kind of invisible barrier between me and the action, the TARDIS doesn't feel like a welcoming, homely place, there's no sense of awe or excitement, it's just sort of... there, presented with a shrug. Whatever my issues with RTD's run - and there are many - this is absolutely not one of them.

Quote from: purlieu on October 25, 2021, 09:20:46 PM
Yeah, my biggest issue with the Chibnall era is the emotional coldness. I don't really hate the recent stuff as most people here, when watching it I've generally been ok to go along with the ride, but there's just no feeling, not a sense of actually feeling like you're there in the TARDIS with fun people, going on adventures. There's some kind of invisible barrier between me and the action, the TARDIS doesn't feel like a welcoming, homely place, there's no sense of awe or excitement, it's just sort of... there, presented with a shrug. Whatever my issues with RTD's run - and there are many - this is absolutely not one of them.

I really get what you mean about the Tardis design, the glowing moving crystal things must be a nightmare to shoot around, or just an annoyance to remove to get a shot if they are indeed removable. The Tardis design is as ill thought out as the scripts and looks as naff as Tennant/ Ecclescakes. My favourite Tardis design of the era so far has to be Smiths disco pop design, it spelt spacious and mad and it's conversion to the grey mechanical thing was also a great way of portraying the doctors change of mindset. Ah - the days when the creator actually thought about things.

purlieu

Yeah, the set is a big part of why I never feel like I'm actually in the TARDIS with the characters, it's cramped and ugly and just unwelcoming. At no point does it feel like I'm actually joining in on the adventure.

do you know that it was ben wheatley's intervention on giving capaldi's tardis that golden glow? really loved it; just magical, whereas jodie's looks like one of elon musk's diamond mines or whatever the fuck


Replies From View

So mad that a show with a stretched budget would choose to demolish that Capaldi TARDIS set and build the Whittaker one.

Thomas

As well as disliking the current console room cave, I wish in general that they'd settle on a design and let it sit for longer. Capaldi's would have been perfect, with its Wheatleyed lighting and furnishings, warm and mechanical, erudite and homely. A library and a spaceship. Just ten years of that room, letting it become a key feature of iconography. A throughline, a central den. Got three series out of it before blowing it up.

RTD's console room (which I recall fondly) had five years to bed in and become a familiar space, but even that's nothing compared to the long-lived console rooms of old.

Jerzy Bondov

Hello I'm coming out against the RTD console room, didn't like it at all, and you never got the impression there was anything beyond it, just like the Whittaker one. Smith I and the Capaldified Smith II are the only good ones from the new series. The Capaldi one is basically the only TARDIS in Who you'd actually want to live in.


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Quote from: GoblinAhFuckScary on October 26, 2021, 04:26:12 PM


RTD has reached that level in the industry where he can shit anywhere now, and nobody raises an eyebrow.  Always in his pants, though.

JamesTC

In The Girl Who Died we had The Doctor make a big thing about saving somebody's life despite the fact that he did it using alien technology that wasn't out of time. It didn't really make sense, but this has now led to The Woman Who Lived in a pseudo two-parter.

All in all it felt a bit of a nothing episode. It wasn't bad or anything, but I just feel it was a stretched episode to justify covering 45 minutes. Everything felt sudden in the second half when the lion man is introduced and then the resolution is just as sudden. The opening half feels stretched by a conflict between Ashildr and The Doctor but I can't understand it. The justification for not letting her travel with him feels hallow yet it is the crux of the story.

I feel like this would have been better with episodes in between. The whole point is that The Doctor has left Ashildr alone but has watched from a distance and not went to visit her. Coming straight after The Girl Who Died, it feels like he has just jumped ahead in time straight away without any off-screen adventures.

Captain Jack reference. Apparently he is going to fuck Ashildr one day. A shame John Barrowman got his cock out all the time as I'm sure Big Finish would have done that. Foley artist working overtime.

have halted my rewatch at the girl who died at the moment. i find maisie williams really difficult to watch; like a precocious little sod. two episode of her followed by the zygon two parter i don't even remember has killed my buzz.

hope it's not since i was hoping season 9 wouldn't be as dull as i'd sort of remembered it being

Mister Six

The Ashildr episodes are the weakest, IIRC. She was something like 20 when she shot this season though, I think!

I really like the Zygon episodes except for them totally wasting Rebecca Front, and a single, unbelievably stupid line of dialogue at the end of The Doctor's otherwise fine speech.

JamesTC

It is surprising that considering how popular the Zygons were that they have been quite restrained so far in how many stories have featured them. Even in spin-off media we have just had a couple of comics, a couple of full-length novels, three audios and one particularly incredible appearance...



What is it that keeps them from normalising the Zygons as returning villains in the way so many other big Who villains are? Even the Autons are more prolific overall. So following the two classic appearances of the Zygons, it is a big risk. You don't want to be the people to make the first bad TV Zygon story. Well The Zygon Invasion/The Zygon Inversion isn't bad, but it isn't a classic either. It does feel like now if they brought the Zygons back it would just be another Zygon story rather than a big event now.

It is all a bit meandering until Zygon Clara is revealed. It spends time setting up the big worldwide threat and then seems to suddenly feel so much smaller once the main villain is revealed. I think it nails the landing pretty much. Capaldi acts his heart out with a nice Doctory reveal. Although they do let the murderous leader get away with thousands of deaths. The Doctor did say he forgives her, I guess.

Some of the politics hinted at feel very dodgy. It is mainly in the first part where it seems to be characterising the Zygons as people who they need to stop from being radicalised as terrorists. The second part establishes it as a more straight-laced analogy for refugees, and it works better. Still feels a little uncomfortable overall, though.

A big missile heading for The Doctor's plane is a good cliffhanger. They bring in Rebecca Front and make her the angry lady who wants to bomb things. What a waste.

Shit browser history joke. Feels like a Moffat joke. He is the co-writer of the second episode. Wish he could curb that stuff. The Doctor loves a good wank, I guess. On the other hand I did like the joke about him being old enough to be the messiah.

Oh, hi Reece!

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

Quote from: Mister Six on October 27, 2021, 06:32:34 PM
I really like the Zygon episodes except for them totally wasting Rebecca Front

They did the same thing with Jason Watkins in Gaiman's shitty Cyberman episode. What's the point of hiring actors of that calibre, then wasting them in nothingy roles? An easy payday for the actors in question, I guess, but you'd think they'd prefer to have something more substantial to play with. It's not as if they're starved for work.

Mister Six

October 27, 2021, 08:05:42 PM #953 Last Edit: October 27, 2021, 08:23:46 PM by Mister Six
My god yes, I'd forgotten about that episode (though can you blame me?).

Watkins would be fantastic as The Doctor OR The Master, or honestly in any other recurring role you care to name. Spunked away on an underused character in an overstuffed episode. What a shame! Hope he gets to come back for a more substantial role. Likewise Paul Kaye, who was pointlessly buried under a load of latex in the flood two-parter from this same season.

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

I'd completely forgotten that Paul Kaye has been in Doctor Who, for the very reason you mentioned. He's a brilliant character actor, give him a meatier role! Honestly, Doctor Who. I ask you.

Kelvin


paul kaye was fab as prentice. underused as fuck yeah

olliebean

Quote from: Mister Six on October 27, 2021, 06:32:34 PM
The Ashildr episodes are the weakest, IIRC. She was something like 20 when she shot this season though, I think!

17 at the start of the shoot, 18 by the end.

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Quote from: olliebean on October 27, 2021, 09:52:24 PM
17 at the start of the shoot, 18 by the end.

did they do the ALL GROWD UP photo of her holding her a-levels and jumping in the air


or did she not do a-levels

olliebean

Quote from: Replies From View on October 28, 2021, 09:58:20 AM
did they do the ALL GROWD UP photo of her holding her a-levels and jumping in the air


or did she not do a-levels

She quit school at 14, although presumably had some schooling at home or on set until she was 16, as required by law. But as far as Google can tell me, she never did any GCSEs, let alone A levels.