1. Welcome, Guest

    Upcoming events: Supanova: Melbourne (10th-12th April), Gold Coast (17th-19th April)

    Oz Comic Con: Perth (11th-12 April), Adelaide (18th-19th April)

FF:QLD Doctor Who

Discussion in 'Oceania Discussion Boards' started by Magnus_Darcrider, May 14, 2006.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. HappyBob Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 7, 2002
    star 4
    I finally got around to Midnight. Definitely one of RTD's finer moments as a scriptwriter. It's amazing how a few limitations in setting can really bring out the ideas. Sometimes the best sci-fi stories (say, The X-Files' Ice, Buffy's The Body, The Rubber Chicken's Podcast 202) are the ones that could easily function as a low-budget stage show. A little human tension is worth more than all the CGI explosions in the world.

    And hey, a not-overly-cheerful ending! Welcome back, Mr. Davies. You were missed.
  2. BigBossNass1138 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 13, 2002
    star 5
    Yes, if only The Stolen Earth had writing even half as good as Midnight. Sigh. Davies is so frustrating...

    I'll round up my thoughts on the schizophrenic twelfth episode when I have time. Suffice it to say that it was filled with things I would have probably liked a lot if the episode had been structured better, or indeed split up into at least two episodes, if not more. There was just too damn much going on, and any interesting plot points were robbed of significance and the chance to sink in by the next breathless jump to something else. I sure wish I'd been wrong about my premonition of this season's finale being an exercise in cramming in more STUFF till any semblance of a plot collapses under the weight of all its individual parts.

    Yeah, I'm a hard man, I know, but like I said, it frustrates me so much when good ideas are ruined by bad execution. It's worse than just a simple bad idea, much worse.



    Still, the bit at the end was pretty shocking and amazing. Pity I'm so convinced it's a fake-out and so sure of the mechanism that will reverse it. It's those damn drugs in the water supply again, Magnus, and it's more tedious than ever. :p


    On a better note, this thread's been lagging and nobody's mentioned anything about Turn Left, which was really quite a good episode. I thought the actual writing left a bit to be desired, with a lot of hammy, melodramatic woe-is-me dialogue, but the idea was a really cool one, and I really do love it when they go back and revisit events that have taken place earlier in the show from more mundane, every-day perspectives. And it was nice to see some aftermath to those events too, even if it did all get reset back to status-quo at the end. Better than the aforementioned "drugs in the water" excuse.
  3. HappyBob Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 7, 2002
    star 4
    Forgive me:
    I loved 412.

    Not apologetically, as with Love and Monsters. This episode was designed from the ground up as frantic fun, and the story was specifically written around that. And for me, it was fun, every step of the way. I can't in good conscience call that bad scriptwriting. The Doctor's Daughter went the cheesy adventure route at the expense of some promising ideas, but the overarching story in The Stolen Earth is simple enough for everything to fit. Almost. (I won't pretend Harriet Jones, Former Prime Minister fit in seemlessly. Or, for that matter, at all.). It's not every day we see six names in the opening credits. Might as well enjoy the ride.

    My biggest fear was that it would feel like the worst kind of comic book crossover. It's a fine line between gratuitous and justified (no doubt many people have already placed it in Category A), but I felt every party had a legitimate reason to be involved. Incidentally, this was the first time I genuinely believed Torchwood and Doctor Who existed in the same world. Bonus points for the interaction between Sarah-Jane and Captain Jack.

    It's all complete indulgence, of course, but the gleeful, self-aware type.
    I'll take that variety over alien fat babies any day.

    Incidentally, BBN, that's twice this season our opinion has deviated so sharply. Frankly, I'm alarmed. Does this make me a bad person? Is this a horrible sign of things to come? Is this once-happy thread destined to degenerate into a flame war of Outpost Gallifreyan proportions?

    Theories on the cliffhanger resolution, in descending order of likelihood and ascending order of preference.
    -We do indeed see an Eleventh Doctor for 40 minutes only for Martha's Forbidden Key to serve as a handy reset button.
    -Keeping with the cameo fest, he temporarily reverts back to Christopher Eccleston. "Hello!"
    -He permanently regenerates under the noses of spoiler junkies and the tabloid press. (And if they could get away with that, I would happily forgive the lack of a proper Tenth Doctor send-off. The last time I saw an unexpected regeneration, I was five and got upset that the man with the scarf was gone.)
  4. Magnus_Darcrider Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 24, 2005
    star 4
    30.12 gets a pass from me for a few reasons, John Barrowman and Lis Sladen's performances being among them.

    But the main one being that they managed to create the ultimate incarnation of Davros from a design and performance perspective. His first line to the Doctor through the static is chilling, and he's played just right.

    The great angle used as subtext here is that if the Doctor is the mythic Hero of the Time War (as shown by the reaction of the Shadow Proclamation), then Davros is the Boogeyman, the one you don't talk about, the one children are afraid of in the dark. I almost wish Davros' return had been the thread throughout the season like Saxon or Bad Wolf, but as cool as that might have been, it would have tipped the hand and we wouldn't have gotten the impact of that underplayed and sinister performance.


    As for the resolution, I've got a pretty good idea what's going to be the reset button this time around. As for the resolution to the immediate issue, I know what I'd like it to be, but I think I've beaten that dead horse enough here.

    Also, if they do go with HB's third point, then they get a free pass from me too, for managing to fool everyone.

    Be seeing you,

    Magnus Darcrider
  5. BigBossNass1138 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 13, 2002
    star 5
    I just tried to post a lengthy post, but it seems I'll have to try it again in the morning, when hopefully these stupid boards won't reject anything longer than two sentences. Stay tuned, I guess.
  6. BigBossNass1138 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 13, 2002
    star 5
  7. BigBossNass1138 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 13, 2002
    star 5
  8. BigBossNass1138 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 13, 2002
    star 5
  9. HappyBob Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 7, 2002
    star 4
    I've had similar troubles in the past, and strangely, I think the cause was an overuse of spoiler text. If you used the highlight tag in that post, try limiting it to a single block.
  10. BigBossNass1138 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 13, 2002
    star 5
    It WAS a single block. By nature, it's a rather spoiler-filled post. Anyway, let's try it again...



    Bah, now you guys are making me feel like a stick-in-the-mud and that I need to defend myself from your stern disapproval. :p But I'll give it a bash, because to me this episode is just like The Doctor's Daughter: a good idea (or in this case a great many good ideas) that is never given the opportunity to stretch its legs and actually engage as a plot.

    So let's break it down. The real problem I had with this episode is that it's just too crammed full of, well, stuff. It has the return of the good ol' Daleks. It has the returning old series staple villain, Davros. It has the returning companion, Martha. It has the second returning companion, Rose. It has UNIT. It has the crossover, Torchwood. It has the second crossover, Sarah Jane, who is also the third returning companion. It has the FOURTH returning companion, Jack. It has the reveal of the Shadow Proclamation. It has the culmination of the season arc. It has Harriet Jones. It has a god damn regeneration, for crying out loud. It's too much.

    None of those plot threads actually gets any sort of development. The Daleks lack menace and motivation. Davros is criminally underused. So are Martha and UNIT. If you haven't watched Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures you've got no idea in the slightest of who any of these people are or why you should care about them. And let's not even get started on Rose.

    Actually no, let's.

    Rose. This is The Rose Episode. This is the big, emotional Event Episode. We know that because we're basically told so, told we're supposed to be a) shocked, b) left in awe, and c) overjoyed to see Rose back. But Rose doesn't do anything. She shows up, stands around holding a big gun, shoots a Dalek, then spends the rest of her brief screen time pouting because the Doctor's talking to Martha and not her. How is the episode about her, apart from on paper? She barely qualifies for McGuffin status at this rate. We don't learn a single thing about her return. No hints as to what's been happening in the other universe, or why she's been hopping around the place. Her characterisation feels very flat, though perhaps this is just because we don't see any of her. And do you know what? By the time we get to the scene where she's running towards the Doctor, which should be the emotional climax of the episode, I frankly didn't care very much any more. The pace of the episode had exhausted me, and Rose didn't feel like Rose. She wasn't the character I loved now returning. She was some blonde girl (with a big gun, don't forget that, everyone, she's carrying a big gun, look at it...) who'd had a few minutes of screentime and whom we were sternly told we were supposed to care deeply about. And that was the whole episode to me: a dizzying bunch of Things That Happened, which lacked any sort of emotional resonance or story arc. It was a mish-mash.

    The other problem is the tone. As I've said, I didn't feel any emotion from the episode. The episode kept telling me to be emotional, again and again, but it just didn't stick. Where was the menace of the Daleks? They show up with relatively little fanfare, then proceeded to do not much more than blandly herd humans back and forth in the streets, pausing only to set up a joke where Sarah Jane gets stuck in traffic behind them. Contrast it with Dalek or The Parting of the Ways and it all feels so... well, wasteful. (Need I point out that this is exactly what happened to the Daleks in the original series? They were overused to the point that we all got sick of them and they were just comical. It wasn't until the new series that we could really be excited about them again.)

    Any moment in the episode that might possibly elicit some genuine emotion gets skimmed over in order to fit the next cameo into the 40-minute runtime. The only time the breakneck pace let up was for campy jokes. Instead of learning anything at all about t
  11. HappyBob Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 7, 2002
    star 4
    I can't disagree with any of those points. The thing is, for better or worse, I think "too much" was RTD's mission statement for this episode. And there we have the point of deviation: it pushed me past the "this is ridiculous" threshold and just became fun. (Then again, the same could be said for Dead or Alive, so take that as you will.)

    Much of the clutter in this episode is background detail. Martha/Torchwood/Sarah-Jane/UNIT all amount to the following point: "this is a global catastrophe and it's affecting everyone". (Well, that, and "hey guys, let's do a crossover!!!!!") Even a Dalek invasion is kind of routine by this point. That leaves Rose and Davros. Rose featured heavily in the last two episodes, and it still only feels like an extension of the foreshadowing phase. If we don't see any payoff, any further explanation of Rose's situation, I'll probably end up agreeing with you. Maybe it's just denial, but I'm not ready to form an opinion on the storyline until its conclusion.

    Not that I'm trying to logically talk you out of your opinion here. You've proven yourself time and time again as the sincerest class of Doctor Who fan. Just justifying my own thoughts from the opposite side, lest I sound like an RTD apologist.

    It really can be frustrating, the way the show swings so wildly between SWEET BABY JESUS awesome and just "meh", and Season Four is the most blatant example of that. Yet it's rarely, if ever, actually bad. Like you said, sometimes it's more painful to have mixed feelings on an episode than to actively dislike it.

    In conclusion, bring on 2010, and an executive producer who doesn't polarise fans with every breath.

    Postscript:
    Please, please, let there be a proper regeneration. Temporary? Sure. Temporary and resolved without a cheap and unnecessary reset? Even better. But as much as I love Tennant as The Doctor, I will feel cheated if we still see his face when that light subsides.
  12. HappyBob Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 7, 2002
    star 4
    I'm trading forum etiquette for narrative logic here. Different show = different post.

    Torchwood's third season is sounding very interesting and ambitious. It will be a five-part miniseries airing over a single week.

    Season two was good - often great, in fact - but still slightly... wrong on that fundamental level. The immature maturity, while less common, was still there, and the two central villains just didn't click for me the way they should have. But it was a step in the right direction.

    This change of format, combined with the departure of Head Writer Chris Chibnall (another frustratingly inconsistent showrunner) and [finale spoilers] the major cast cut-down in 213, could be the detox the show needs. All signs point to a massive retooling, and for once, I'm actually enthusiastic about the show's return.
  13. BigBossNass1138 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 13, 2002
    star 5
    I need to catch up on Torchwood season 2. I definitely like the sound of 3. A retool is a very good idea, in my mind. The show really felt in the first season like it was floundering about for its own particular niche, and it sounds like that continues through season 2.


    As for your response to my previous post, HB, all good points. As I've said, my comentary comes from a place not of dislike as such, but of frustration. I really love the show, and it pains me when it drops the ball and misses oportunities to do things better. I stand by my feelings that it was a poorly constructed episode, full of good ideas that didn't get their due, but it wasn't terrible. Basically, if it had been a 90 minutes special rather than a 40 minute single episode, I probably would have loved it. I just hope the finale is more coherant.


    And I totally agree with you about the regeneration. It NEEDS to be a new actor, even if it's just for 35 minutes. I wouldn't be at all surprised if this means David Tennant's leaving after next year, that they've already picked his replacement, and are trotting him out now as a tease. Certainly that's innovative and audatious enough to get me really quite excited.

    So anyway, do we want to have a get-together on Sunday? Re-watch at least Stolen Earth (possibly a few more) then dive into the finale?
  14. HappyBob Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 7, 2002
    star 4
    I said I would feel cheated if they backpedaled on the regeneration, and I did. That disappointment faded when the resolution not only had major consequences, but effectively became the pivot point for the entire episode, concluding the stories of two companions.

    The Good:
    -The ending: absolutely heartbreaking. Some of RTD's sincerest character work.
    -The extended run time. This episode had much more room to breathe than the last.
    -Rose was far (sorry) Rosier this episode. This wasn't a token cameo; it was a coda to her story.
    -The Tardis, finally with a proper crew, and the joy on everyone's faces during that scene.
    -The second Doctor. I love that he was a different man. The explanation for that - that Rose changed him - also justified the ending. She was (forty years of existing continuity aside) a "first love" of sorts, and I have no issues with the (humanised) Doctor admitting that.
    -Davros, done justice. I look forward to his inevitable return.
    -The implications for Torchwood's third season. Mickey and Martha should be far more fun than Owen and Tosh, not to mention a more solid link to the Whoniverse.

    The Bad:
    -The Osterhagen Key wasn't necessary. At no point did its use feel justified, nor was I ever convinced it was a threat. Consequently, it was bad characterisation of Martha. Universe-obliterating bomb or not, bluffing or not, she had no real reason to see this as a valid option at that point of the story. Nor would UNIT be selfless enough to think the Earth expendable. The story could have created a situation where the universe was being ripped apart, leaving no doubt that this was the only way, but all we got was foreshadowing without any payoff, logical or dramatic. A wasted opportunity.
    -Laughing at spinning Daleks. Far too silly, far too Oh, let's have a little jest!, to feel like an appropriate resolution.
    -I didn't mind the shameless crossover last episode, because it sold me on these characters being part of the same world. But Sarah-Jane's necklace just seemed silly and intrusive, coming out of nowhere like that.
    -Cybermen at Christmas? Yeah, not really feeling it. Blame the Pantomime Precedent of the two previous specials.

    The Should-I-Be-Happy-Or-Annoyed-They-Flatly-Contradicted-The-TV-Movie?
    -I think he meant to say "quarter human".


    On the balance, a solid if flawed finale. It's got nothing on The Parting of the Ways, but the final emotional payoff made up for a lot, and left me more or less satisfied.
  15. Murder_Sandwhich Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2004
    star 4
    Aside from the a scene here and there I really really really disliked this episode. Honestly, it was like the BBC accidentally financed a fan-fiction script.

    - Everything is resolved with Donna's technobable and a console with has the power to stop the Reality bomb, stop dalek weapons, make the daleks spin (my eyes almost rolled out of my head when this happened) and KILL ALL THE DALEKS. You'd think the daleks would put that console somewhere other that where they were keeping the prisoners.

    - The regenation back into into Tennant was the worst kind of fake out. "oh, I just didn't want to change my face duh." If timelords could keep their faces just by pointing some regenratation energy stuff at an old body part, wouldn't they just lop a finger off and keep it in an esky, just in case? :p

    - As good as seeing everybody back together again, it was completely unnecessary. All that time spent with the SuperFriends running about the ship could have been spent with Davros.

    - Davros was excellent in this episode. He needed to have more screen time. "You take normal people and turn them into weapons" was great.

    - At the start of the season, I wouldn't have thought I would said this, but Donna was brilliant this season. Honestly, my favourite companion of the new season. She was a great character in her own right, and not just somebody to have around for the Doctor to explain plot elements. It was really sad to see her go :( .

    - I really hated the Doctor Clone thing. It just seemed to be that RTD couldn't think of a way to save Donna in the explody Dalek core, so he just made another Doctor out of the hand.


    All in all, I'm really happy to see RTD go.
  16. Magnus_Darcrider Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 24, 2005
    star 4
    Well the season's finished, the dust has settled, and it's all over bar the shouting of disillusioned fanboys and fangirls. Let 'em scream impotently into the ether, I say :p

    Given that now I have a better frame of reference on some things in the second half of the season, lets knock over these recaps...

    Doctor Who 30.08/4.08 - Silence in the Library & 30.09/4.09 - Forest of the Dead

    I'm the Doctor, and you're in the biggest library in the Universe...Look me up!

    A little girl tells a doctor named Moon of the library she can see in her mind that goes on forever. As we follow her while she explores, we soon learn that something is wrong. There are intruders in the library, trying to break into the room the girl is in. The door flies open...

    ...and in runs the Doctor and Donna, asking if they can stop in for a bit...

    A really compelling premise opens the much-anticipated Steven Moffat two-parter as the Doctor and Donna visit the largest library in the universe at the behest of a mysterious message sent to the Doctor on his psychic paper.

    As much as this has been lauded as a great story and many fans see it as an indicator of the good times to come as Russell T. Davies leaves the programme and Steven Moffat takes over, I really didn't like it. Sadly, a lot of that is because I'm an old Doctor Who fan; I've watched an awful lot of it and read waay too much about it, and it can certainly slant your perspective. I like to think I'm not such a bad fan like 96% of the folk who hang out at Outpost: Gallifrey, but when I realised it hurt my appreciation of this story I have to wonder.

    Anyway, we have a mysteriously abandoned library, a team of archaeologists on an equally mysterious mission, the lead archaeologist; Professor River Song; and her mysterious relationship with the Doctor, the mysterious creatures that are stalking everyone, the mysterious kidnapping of Donna halfway through the story, and of course, the mystery of Doctor Moon and the little girl, inside whose mind this is apparently all happening.

    Glib summary, but it's to illustrate my first minor criticism; I felt there was actually too much going on in this story. To everyone's credit, the pacing of the story is great, and it's certainly not as cluttered as The Stolen Earth, but a couple of the plotlines could have been trimmed or cut with no adverse effect on the story as a whole.

    My major dislike was Professor River Song; unfortunate considering a lot of the story hinges on her and unusual because she's written quite well and she's played by Alex Kingston, an actress I actually like. I did like the Time Traveler's Wife stuff that was done with her as BBN predicted. However Steven Moffat is now three for three with that particular idea, and frankly, it's been done enough. I do like how TV Tropes are somewhat shocked that Moffat is putting time travel stories into a show that they regard as clearly not being about time travel :p

    What really annoyed me was that her emotional connection is practically rammed down our throats in such a way I almost hoped that she was the Doctor's stalker rather than the Doctor's future wife. It got old quick. My response to her was almost like...you know when you don't like a friend's partner, and you ask them why they're with that person? Well maybe you don't, but I'm tactless and do that sort of thing. Anyway, I'd have asked the future Doctor why he was with this woman, as I just couldn?t see why. Admittedly, she's not able to give a good accounting here, but still. The fact that she's a carbon copy of Professor Bernice Summerfield, archaeologist and former companion of the Seventh and Eighth Doctors doesn't help matters either. Actually, this whole story reeked of "New Adventures" plotting and characterisation...the bad kind... Incidentally, Alex Kingston would have made a great Benny, but anyway.

    Two things I did actually like about Professor Song though; I like that she laid the Doctor out in one punch which from
  17. HappyBob Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 7, 2002
    star 4
  18. BigBossNass1138 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 13, 2002
    star 5
    Coooooooool. :D

    Will definitely have to watch this particular SJA episode at the very least. And don't forget: this leaves the door open for more appearances in other, related shows....
  19. Magnus_Darcrider Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 24, 2005
    star 4
    Best news I've heard all day :)

    Putting him in the Sarah Jane Adventures is a great idea, Nicholas Courtney and Lis Sladen have always worked well together. An appearance in Doctor Who would be wonderful, though hopefully they wouldn't try to top the Brig's last hurrah in Battlefield. Dodgy effects and costumes aside, it was U.N.I.T's finest hour and the Brig pretty much took on the role of Earth's Champion.

    I was going to put up the remaining recaps, but I think I should actually watch the episodes again, particularly Turn Left. Something to do over the weekend.

    Be seeing you,

    Magnus Darcrider

  20. Magnus_Darcrider Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 24, 2005
    star 4
    Big Finish are releasing a box set of their first "season" of Eighth Doctor Adventures.

    These are the first audio adventures that Big Finish produced, so they're a bit rough around the edges, but did set the gold standard for which the later adventures lived up to and exceeded.

    As a side note; Charley's now traveling with the Sixth Doctor, which could be very interesting character wise.

    Be seeing you,

    Magnus Darcrider
  21. HappyBob Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 7, 2002
    star 4
    It's good to finally see these audio adventures at a (semi-)affordable price. These stories deserve a much broader audience than the current niche market.

    The first Eccleston episode picks up as if the show had been running all this time; we just never got to see the missing fifteen years of episodes. Well, here they are. The traditional Who format with maturer writing and performances. It just doesn't feel right to call these stories "spin-offs", not with the original actors involved.
  22. BigBossNass1138 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 13, 2002
    star 5
    I've only heard a few of these, but they were fun. Storm Wanring (the first 8th Doctor one) was good, and I like Charley a lot. Definitely wouldn't mind hearing some more.
  23. Magnus_Darcrider Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 24, 2005
    star 4
    Unsurprising rumour can be found here.

    However, I'm dubious of any article that posts a link to itself within the article. Then again, maybe the article is meant to be transcendental?

    Be seeing you,

    Magnus Darcrider
  24. HappyBob Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 7, 2002
    star 4
    I got my hopes up there. I wanted to see this specific Digital Spy news story cite its own exact URL as the source, creating a brain-melting trail of information irrefutable on the grounds that it never technically ends.

    It's all true, by the way. Someone said so here.
  25. BigBossNass1138 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 13, 2002
    star 5
    TOPICAL.



    I hope it's not true. That's about all I've got to add to the conversation. It would be lame and would stretch credulity. I liked both of the actors/characters in question, but the series is already straining the limit of what's enjoyable when it comes to recycling characters again and again and again. I'd really like to see a mild break from formula in the next season, see some new stuff get introduced, new planets and characters and situations, so that they can be harked back to in later episodes.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.