Gallifrey Outpost: New Dr Who Discussion

Discussion in 'Archive: SF&F: Films and Television' started by AmberStarbright, Jan 3, 2006.

  1. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

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    I've only ever really watched the stuff from 2005 onwards (though I've skimmed occasional clips on youtube), and I haven't felt lost, so I'm not sure where to help you there.

    The only time it might feel like you're missing is out is when they bring back/reintroduce classic enemies (Daleks, Davros, Cybermen, Sontarans, The Master, etc) and occasional allies (Sarah Jane/K-9) but a cursory glance at a wiki entry beforehand should be sufficient for that purpose (though beware spoilers for the new series, of course).

    Though the shows themselves usually do a good job of explaining who/what they are (a few friends I've gotten into the new series have only watched the new series material, and never anything beyond that and they don't feel lost). And it tends to be more referential to the characters of the new series than anything heavily tied to the old ones (Sarah Jane being an exception, what with her spin-off and all). So it's more about the people "you meet" (or "will meet") during the course of the new series rather than people you're assumed "to have met" previously.

    And, I suppose, knowing the concept of Regeneration in the context of the actors who've played The Doctor might help, but, again, it's explained in the series. Again, a quick wiki search for info on the first 8 Doctors can give you more information than you actually need to fully understand the new shows (though, again, beware spoilers for the 9th Doctor and beyond, obviously).

    I know they have put out various DVDs of TV movies/episodes or something (several with the Daleks, for example) of the older shows, though. Maybe skimming a few of those might be a decent prep before starting with Season 1 of the new series. But, again, I can't make any specific recommendations as I haven't watched any of them and very little of the new series has compelled me to do so (though I'll probably do so eventually at some point).
  2. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

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    May 30, 2003
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    Let me start to answer that with the theme music/sequence. The basic theme has been the same since 1963. Elements have changed over time (a lot of the music effects were created by the sound workshop reversing tape/playing it backwards). In the 80s (end of the 4th doctor), the music got a major overhaul as synthesizers/keyboards became available. At this point, the explosion sound heard at the end was added to the beginning. The theme was touched up for the 6th doctor, and seriously upgraded for the 7th. The new theme, and all the background music, is heavily orchastrated, since the series is made in Wales and has the famous Welsh orchastra and choral tradition available. In the original series, the music was largely... um... cheaply made by BBC's sound effects division. Usually the music was an afterthought at best. Again, keyboards made a substantial improvement as larger music could be made more cheaply and easily. (Though the 7th doctor got a lot of music that now sounds like a casio beatbox.)
    The visuals followed a very similar pattern. Mirrored graphics, old photography tricks, and techniques now lost to time (since everything can be done so much more easily by computer now). The Opening sequence usually only changed when the Doctor did. 3rd Doctor had two different sequences (3 if you count the experiment in "Ambassadors of Death" while the 4th Doctor had 3 sequences. 7th Doctor's title sequence was the first all CGI (softimage) sequence.
    Also, with a couple of minor exceptuions, the title sequence came first, without any prelude. The only episodes I can think of that started with prelude were "The Five Doctors" and "Rememberance of the Daleks."

    As for the flavor and feel... Well, some yes, some no. The intent of the chow changed rather drastically as production went on. Originally, it was intended to be a kids educational show, as The Doctor and crew travelled to historical times and met famous people. Terry Nation changed that when he created the Daleks in the second story (creator of Dr Who was disgusted, disgruntled, and very upset that his lovely idea had been turned into "so silly sci-fi rubbish". Each story was complete and usually independant. There were only two season-long arcs: "The Key to Time" & "Trial of a TimeLord". Some episodes are campy. Some disturbing. Some suspenseful. Some awful. Some silly. Some excellent. Usually the acting was good, even if the writing wasn't necessarily. Occasionally the "science" was doubtful, or just highly dated. Hey, you're talking about a show that lasted 26 years.
    One thing I will warn you about is that pacing and staging are very different--the original show is much, much slower. And there isn't constant loud background music (not saying that the new show has bad music--I quite like most of it--just that it is frequently heavier-handed than necessary. Most stories are 4 25 minute episodes, not the current 47 min stories.

    As for the FOX TV movie you mentioned, aside from the change from 7th to 8th Doctor, that abomination of human endeavor would be best confined to the rubbish bin of all time. The best thing that could be done is a complete re-write (maybe by Big FinishProductions?) with a completely new regeneration.

    Best episodes:
    1st Doctor: An Unearthly Child (begin at the beginning!), Keys of Marinus, The Daleks, The Dalek Invasion of Earth
    2nd Doctor: Tomb of the Cybermen, The War Games
    3rd Doctor: The Mutants, Carnival of Monsters, Frontier in Space: Planet of the Daleks, The Time Warrior, The Three Doctors
    4th Doctor: City of Death, The Robot, Ark in Space, Sontaran Experiment, R
  3. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

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    Wow, that post was like, 4 years ago dude ;) - but that's a great little list (and relevant to my last post in regards to Marine's question). I think I'll make it a point to try and track those down (and a few others suggested earlier in this thread by other folk) this summer and edumacate myself.
  4. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

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    May 30, 2003
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    Oh. My mistake. :oops: was looking at my page 1 of the post (most people's page 2), not the "current" last entry.
    :oops:


    Begin at the beginning. Of either the new or the relaunch.
    You don't need to watch all 26 years of the original series (which is fortunate, as most of the first 5 years are gone forever). See the list in my last post.
    The first episode of the relaunch starts en-media-res, so if you feel lost, it's because you're supposed to. Don't worry about it. Roll along, and see how it goes.
  5. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

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    No worries- as I said, it's strangely relevant- and I still haven't watched any of the previous material ;)

    I did manage to work out the theme music thing though :D
  6. TIEPilot051999 Force Ghost

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    It should be easy, as they're all on DVD (aside from The Mutants, Revenge of the Cybermen and Paradise Towers).
  7. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

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    Of the origninal show, only the "Lost" stories are available for instant download from Netflix. So, if you only want to watch 1/4 or maybe 1/2 of a story, you can. Otherwise, you have to rent the disc. Or buy it.
  8. Jedimarine Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 13, 2001
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    You guys keep talking about different parts of the show, and I am completely lost.

    Is the series that fragmented? Is it really even a series?

    I watched probably 4-5 episodes of the relaunch back in 05-06...and I felt like it wasn't meant for a new viewer...it was intended for someone who either watched the old show or was a tireless researcher, with a laptop on as they watched the show.

    I tried doing that...it distracts me.

    What is "lost forever?" Can you start from the beginning and go right through on dvd? What about the "movies", etc? Spinoffs?
  9. RK_Striker_JK_5 Force Ghost

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    I'll try and answer some of your questions, Jedimarine.

    Is the series that fragmented? Is it really even a series?
    It is a series, but continuity... is fluid at best. There was a hiatus from 1989 to 2005, with only a US TV-movie inbetween. The thing's been going on for so long some stuff's just forgotten, brought back, ECT...

    What is "lost forever?" Can you start from the beginning and go right through on dvd? What about the "movies", etc? Spinoffs?
    Back in the 60's and 70's, the BBC used to reuse their old reels, taping right over them. About 107 Who episodes were 'lost' in such a manner. Fortunately at least some parts of all those episodes remain, even if it's just the audio track.

    So, no. You can't go back and watch it all, the way through. Don't even try. Doctor Who's not like SW or ST with their relatively solid continuity and rules and such. Just pick and choose what you like, what are 'good stories' to you.
  10. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

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    It's kinda like jumping into the 3rd season of Star Trek: you don't need to know what happened in the first two, but there are little things to reward the ones who did, side references, and such. There are also big things, but they're usually explained within the episode.
    For example, THe Autons were a token villain from two episodes of the original series in 1970 and 72, and never referenced again until the first episode of the new series. And there, they were somewhat rewritten. The Sontarans were in about 4 stories in the original series, first appearing in the early 70s, then not for another couple years, then not for another 4 years, then not for 7 years. They had a couple references, but that's it. They don't show up until season 4 of the new show, but they are completely self explained.
    In one episode there's a cyberman head from the mid 70s version of the costume in a museum. Looks nothing like the reimage that's in the new series.

    Remember, the original series never meant to have any continuity. That's why 4 conflicting civilizations evolved on Mars, and there are 3 completely different explanations for the Loch Ness Monster.

    And yes, sadly, most of the first 100 episodes were destroyed by BBC bureaucratic stupidity. Explanations vary but it boils down to Main Office saying "We nee storage space. These stories are in archives. Blank them." and Archives saying "These are just back-up copies. They have the originals in the main office. We're low on space blank all the stuff from the 60s that hasn't already been earmarked for special consideration." It wasn't just Doctor Who--most of the programs from the 60s that hadn't achieved cult status or otherwise won some special dispensation were destroyed. It never occurred to anyone that someone might want to actually watch reruns--the BBC just didn't work that way.
  11. El Kabong Force Ghost

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    Well to be fair, nobody had a faint notion that 40 years on that ANYONE would be interested in syndication rights, home video or that the programs would have any value beyond the scant handful of reruns that the contracts allotted for. We should be thankful that Who had such a world-wide audience, that there were tapes in Nigeria and Hong Kong that could be recovered 25 years later. Shows like the early seasons of the Avengers or most of Dad's Army were absolutely gutted and will never be recovered. The first three or four superbowls - gone forever. I Love Lucy would have wound up the same way if not for Desi Arnes telling the networks that he'll pay for the film stock out of his own pocket just to preserve the original broadcast masters.

    And actually, you can kind of (sorta) go through the whole show from 63 to 89. Back in the day a handful of fans recorded the whole show on their reel-to-reel recorders during the first run - so every episode does exist in audio format. Many decades later another group of fans took behind the scenes production stills (shot at the same time as filming) and overlaid them to these fan-recorded soundtracks. The end result is a sideshow (with the occasional surviving clip) over the audio. It's not perfect, but its the best we'll ever get of the early years.
  12. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

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    May 30, 2003
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    Actually, I think they had the right idea with "The Invasion" where they had the audio, and a script, and animated the missing episodes and spliced in what surviving episodes they had. Not perfect, but way better than nothing. Would be nice if they did the same to more episodes (though hopefully with a better program--flash barely cuts it, and that studio is... low end).
  13. RK_Striker_JK_5 Force Ghost

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    lol, don't worry. I wasn't blaming anyone, just stating a fact for Jedimarine. [face_peace]
  14. Disciple-of-Tython Force Ghost

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    Sep 12, 2006
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    Haven't seen Silver Nemesis is a while, look forward to both Cyber releases:)
  15. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

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    I remember watching Silver Nemesis with a ho-hum feeling. The chrome-plated cybermen weren't as good looking as the previous version--not sure why they tried it. And the story, like so many of poor Sylvester McCoy's stories, was lacking and illogical. Wished for better, got that.

    As for the extra features, well, they're seldom that good. Usually just guest appearances on Blue Peter or other interviews. And the 'behind the scenes' stuff is almost never good. Only the occasional off-the-wall unexpected specials are worth looking into--like that freaky british cybernetics professor who put a chip in his hand and remote controlled a robot hand via the internet, and now wants to put chip in his brain and another in someone else's so that they can communicate without the 'tedious' burden and 'restrictive' medium of verbal speech.
  16. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

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    Maybe it's just the wording- but was there something about these stories that previously didn't clear the classification board or something?
  17. TIEPilot051999 Force Ghost

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    I think they're referring to the Director's Cut of Silver Nemesis, which included several minutes of new footage and was the only available version of it released previously.
  18. Rebel_Padawan Force Ghost

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    with the exception of the last 5 minutes of Flesh and Stone that was a very good two-parter featuring The Weeping Angels!
  19. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

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    Definitely enjoyed the two-parter (and I love that climactic music that was reused from the end of the first episode of the season).

    I couldn't make out one line through the accents at the end, though, if someone would mind clarifying what it was?

    It's the Doctor's line right after the "You've forgotten the gravity of the situation- or, to put it another way, Angels..." line.

    It cuts to River and Amy then back to the Doctor and he says something brief that sounds like "non-non" or "dun-non". What was that line?
  20. Rebel_Padawan Force Ghost

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    Apr 11, 2003
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    I can understand 2nd why you had trouble understanding what Matt was muttering as I had to listen to it a couple of times to make sure I was hearing it correctly.

    His response is simply: Nigh-Night (or night-night)... as in saying "good night"
  21. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

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  22. TIEPilot051999 Force Ghost

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    OK, I don't know if this has been brought up yet, but seeing as how "Flesh and Stone" only recently aired over here (I live in Canada), I can't help but point this out.

    The Doctor learns that the cracks in the universe are because of a temporal explosion that happened the day of Amy's wedding: June 26th, 2010. Coincidence, perhaps, that also happens to be the date the final episode of the series is set to air?
  23. RK_Striker_JK_5 Force Ghost

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    Probably not much of a coincidence, TIE. I think it was planned.

    Okay... Does anyone else find the Daleks, no matter what the new series does to them, laughable? I have never been afraid of them and actually find them to be rather pathetic adversaries, physically. Yes, their philosophy and unreasoning hate is good... if it wasn't espoused by four-foot tall salt shakers with plungers and curling irons for limbs who, before 1989, were defeated by stairs.
  24. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

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    It depends- the plungers are still silly but the eye stalks convey a certain sense of expression that, when coupled with the harsh vocals and their apparent invincibility (when not in the presence of Space Jesus ;)), makes them imposing.

    However, this will depend on the dialogue, too- they can sometimes be written with a degree of child-like naivety. Though that sometimes works because you can sometimes be lured into thinking they can be reasoned with- just before they start killing everyone in the room.

    When talking to Cybermen, though, they are badass. :D
  25. TIEPilot051999 Force Ghost

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    As I've already said previously, when it comes to the Daleks in the new series, the basic problem is that it started off with them gone. All of them. No Daleks at all. How much of this was due to the fact that they initially couldn't get an agreement with the estate of Terry Nation, I don't know. Then comes "Dalek", which was good, mostly because it was based off a awesome Big Finish audio. Then comes "Bad Wolf/Parting of the Ways" which...well, wasn't.

    And since then, every single one of their appearances has followed a basic pattern:

    1). Mysterious plot buggering out in the background is revealed to be the work of the Daleks.
    2). Daleks do Dalek things in order to bump up their scare factor.
    3). Doctor has big faceoff scene with Daleks.
    4). Dues Ex Machina is employed to get rid of them, except...
    5). ...that somehow or another, some group managed to survive, and their next appearance goes into incredibly painful detail to explain how these Daleks somehow managed to do that, despite no real evidence in the previous episode to suggest it.
    6). Go back to Step One.

    Really, the only good thing about Victory of the Daleks is that this formula is followed pretty much exactly, except that 4 and 5 aren't done, which means that we don't have to sit through tedious exposition when they come back 'round next time.