Amph The OFFICIAL Doctor Who Episode Countdown - Nos. 3 & 4

Discussion in 'Community' started by halibut, Nov 1, 2011.

  1. Darth_Daver Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 23, 2005
    star 5
    Yeah, but that is the main trait. Poison curing and radiation absorption are just very much lighter variations on that, and the other things are never going to be apparent to the audience, or anyone with a Time Lord, anyway.
  2. Ulicus Lit'ari

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jul 24, 2005
    star 6
    It'll all make sense when River gives birth to Omega. [face_whistling]

    If they're going to stick to the blasting yellow energy -- and it would seem that they are, at least while Moffat's in charge -- then they should do their best to make each regeneration unique in another fashion.

    Let's see the Doctor regenerate while tied up, or drowning (I really like the underwater idea, can you tell?), or in mid-fall having been shot and defenestrated.

    That's what I'm asking for. Something more exciting than "Injured, stands up, throws arms out, regenerates". Hell, simply striking a different pose would be a step in the right direction. :p
  3. Everton Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 18, 2003
    star 10
    I don't see why the process needs to be exciting, or even happen in unusual settings. Maybe once or twice it might happen that way, but in the majority it seems far more 'realistic' to have regenerations occur in isolation. Making the scenario different and exciting each time would certainly be pandering to the audience.
  4. EBSaints Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 29, 2002
    star 6
    Well said.



    I'd love to see what everyone would have said if we had watched Logopolis live and would have been posting here. I can see it now: "I can't believe the 4th doctor regenerated after falling such a small distance." "The Watcher was the 5th doctor all along, stupid." "How is that possible. How can the 5th doctor kind of be there, but not really?" "Who writes this stuff? It's ridiculous." "I hate Adric."

    I love Doctor Who for what it is. I enjoy what is presented to me. Some episodes are better than others. Some plot points make more sense than others, but it's all the vision of the show runners and the person playing the Doctor at that time. I know as fans, we are going to nit pick and that's fine. But don't take the fun out of a show you enjoy. Sure, the RTD era had flaws (many) and the Moffat era isn't perfect, but I love them both.
  5. solojones Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 9
    [face_laugh] Completely true. Things tend to get rosier in our eyes with time. Not to mention I think people generally find more to complain about in the internet age. I'm not saying there's nothing to complain about, and as I've said many time, if something genuinely just struck you as false immediately (without the time spent picking it apart), then no one can blame you for disliking an episode. Some of the points people have may even be valid, and it isn't like I never dislike a story or episode, but I think it's much better to shrug off things you don't like because it's just inevitable.

    I do think fans are irrationally tough on showrunners a lot of the time. Particularly when it comes to plot. Yes, of course it's important. However, there isn't a sci-fi show in the history of the world that hasn't had stupid plots, continuity errors, or confusing turns of events. It's just the nature of the genre and of TV writing. And frankly it's completely impossible for the writers to keep plots totally original in a show that has 49 years of canon to reckon with. There have been some great plots in New Who, sure. A lot that I love. But honestly, the only reason the show survived and continues to survive as long as it did is because of the notion of regeneration. The chance for the Doctor to become a different man, and to get new companions. Because characters are what we're really interested in. The plot isn't the story. The characters are the story. It's what every single great show has had in common.

    Again, I'm not saying people are wrong to dislike storylines or episodes. It just makes me sad to see that people can't just enjoy the show for what it is. Quite frankly, RTD is a really good writer, and Steven Moffat is a great one. But everyone has their missteps. This is a really fantastic show, and it feels like fans sometimes loose site of that sort of thing.


  6. Everton Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 18, 2003
    star 10
    The problem is frequency. RTD was is a competent writer in genre. He had the gusto to bring a long dead show back to the air and for that deserves respect, but his gifts don't lie in sci-fi, they lie in social drama. For me his time as Doctor Who showrunner RTD made too many missteps - too many things happened that drew groans from too much of the fan base - for them to be just written off as the inevitable pitfalls of a long-running sci-fi show.


    EDIT: I appreciate that sci-fi is very big on tackling social issues, but Doctor Who doesn't often do that for itself.
  7. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    Well, since I DID see Logopolis live... and thought it was great. But what was Tristan doing in that huge scarf?

    I rewatched Trial of a Timelord 2 weeks ago. At the time I remember being kinda unimpressed by it. Especially the last 2 episodes. I think one of the things the DVD improved was to cut down on the mid80s over-saturation of colors (a distinct improvement). But watching it last week, I had the "wow, this wasn't nearly as I remember it. This is actually... pretty darn good." And since I'd been watching series6 the same week, I was even more favorably impressed by the older show and what it accomplished. (The Extras were also cute. "We should film me coming through this door again. We paid more for that door than Nichola Bryant is being paid for the entire series." "The space station flyby model shot was massively impressive, but I wish the money had been spent bringing up the rest of the production quality." And of course, the awful 1985 "Doctor in Distress" music video. Wow, was that something...)


    Moffat can be a brilliant writer. However, I do not like the direction he has taken the program at all. The show is Doctor Who, not Who is River Song. And series 6 was almost entirely about her, even when she wasn't in the episode, it was all about how she became the Doctor's wife (like he needed one). And left the whole cracks in time thread just as completely unresolved as the series5 finale.
  8. Everton Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 18, 2003
    star 10
    One of Moffat's weaknesses is not knowing when to let something go. He's a serial tease - even if it's not necessarily a good idea.
  9. solojones Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 9
    I would very much agree with that. I love his sense of social drama and I've loved it in his work outside of Doctor Who as well. But I do think most of the interesting sci-fi stories during his time as showrunner seemed to come from other writers (particularly Moffat). My affection for Davies has to do with me somewhat sharing his focus. Although I still prefer Moffat on the whole and think he has a good balance between drama and sci-fi plotting, I am very grateful Davies was the one to start New Who because I think that his sense of character and drama is what gave us the foundational backstory of the Time War and the deepening of the Doctor's character through that.



    Hate to say it, mate, but I think Moffat planned from the beginning to have the cracks in time, the exploding TARDIS, River, and the Silence be a complete arc for Eleven. I don't think we should have ever expected to have it all resolved until Eleven is gone. Now me I love serialized stories to the extreme. I adore things planted that don't completely pay off until multiple seasons down the road. And I admire that Moffat seems to have had the broad details in mind at the outset, if not the details (for instance, I felt he clearly knew from the outset that Amy would be River's mother). Guess it might not be to everyone's taste, but I'm extremely patient.

    -sj loves kevin spacey
  10. solojones Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 9
  11. halibut Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 27, 2000
    star 8
    37. Father's Day

    14/20

    Rose reminisces about her father, Pete Tyler, whom she describes as "the most wonderful man in the world". When Rose was a little girl, her mother Jackie told her about how Pete died on November 7 1987, the day of Stuart Hoskins and Sarah Clarke's wedding


    [image=http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20070606123156/tardis/images/b/be/Reaper_Fathers_Day.png]
    [image=http://ravereader.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/dw_fathers-day_rose-and-father.jpg]

    Lowest Score - 8
    Highest Score - 18

    This was the episode that turned the series from a good one to a great one. Engaging from start to finish, and whilst I'm not a great fan of the Reapers (Why do we never see them again?), it's good to see the effects of messing with timelines. Highly recommended for newbie viewers

    TRIVIA

    The song "Never Gonna Give You Up" plays on Pete's car radio.

    Bad Wolf is scribbled on a poster on a brick wall in 1987.





    36. Tooth and Claw

    14.09/20



    The Doctor and Rose have to protect Queen Victoria, but can anything stop the Empire of the Wolf?

    [image=http://images.wikia.com/tardis/images/9/97/Wolf.jpg]
    [image=http://www.bbc.co.uk/doctorwho/gallery/s2_02gallery/800/queen_doc_rose.jpg]

    Lowest Score - 10
    Highest Score - 16

    A fun romp that I disliked on first viewing, but it held its own on the 2nd. Love hearing Tennant's natural accent and call me childish, but the Balamory reference is fantastic. Nice to see the beginnings of Torchwood as well.

    TRIVIA

    This episode introduces a recurring joke in which the Doctor, aghast at his companions awful attempts at adopting local accents, quietly hushes them with a "Don't do that."

    Rose tries to get Queen Victoria to say "We are not amused"; however she ends up saying "I am not amused". The Doctor and Rose are still delighted, however.



    35. The Waters of Mars

    14.09/20



    Mars, 2059, Bowie Base One. Last recorded message: "Don't drink the water. Don't even touch it. Not one drop."

    [image=http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20091129171643/tardis/images/b/b9/TheWatersofMarsScreencap.png]
    [image=http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20100630234141/tardis/images/8/81/Twom.jpg]

    Lowest Score - 7
    Highest Score - 20

    Ugh, what an awful mess this is. Seen it once, and have no desire to watch it again. But it's always good to see the Doctor's dark side coming up as it did in the end. Shame we had to lose the woman at the end though. A necessary evil.

    TRIVIA

    Whilst on Earth, the Cloister Bell is audible while the Doctor stands alone in the TARDIS.

    This story was initially envisaged as a Christmas special, several festive references remain, such as the crew on Mars preparing for Christmas dinner, and it snowing when the Doctor arrives back on Earth as he exclaims how he likes snow.
  12. AaylaSecurOWNED Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2005
    star 6
    Yeah, I agree about the Reapers, the idea of them was cool, although not necessarily the execution. I wish they would cool it with the CGI sometimes. That episode is fun, one of my favorites of the season.

    I forgot about Tooth and Claw until it showed up just now. Honestly the only thing I remember about the episode is Rose trying to get Victoria to say "We are not amused." Not really a stand out episode in my mind.


    I loved the Waters of Mars, it was actually scary in a way not many Who episodes are (Blink and maybe Midnight excepted), and I liked that.
  13. halibut Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 27, 2000
    star 8
    I think one of my problems with WoM as that Russell tried to do a "Moffatt", but failed.

    One of Moffatt's strengths is taking something common and making it scary. Statues, shadows, and cracks in walls to name but 3. He took those and made people scared of them.

    Russell tried to do that with water, but it just didn't work.
  14. PirateofRohan Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 11, 2009
    star 3
    There are two things I remember about "Tooth and Claw": David Tennant getting to use his real accent and Rose's attempts at getting Queen Victoria to say "We are not amused."
  15. soitscometothis Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 11, 2003
    star 5
    I really like Tooth and Claw. Actually, it's probably more of a case of me not hating anything about it, which is unusual for an episode in RTD era NuWho.

    Father's Day did nothing for me the first and only time I saw it.

    Waters of Mars was disappointing - Tennant was as good as ever, and I like the base-under-siege stories as a rule... but it never really got going for me.
  16. solojones Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 9
    Every first series of a show is bumpy and every first series of a great show will have an episode that makes you go, "Wow, this is what this show can be. This is great." Father's Day is definitely that for Doctor Who. It's the episode that saved both my brother and now my mom from giving up during the first series of the show.

    I do agree that the Reapers thing doesn't really make sense in the long run considering that they never show up again (the show has always had a curious variety of consequences for altering timelines). But I don't really mind that much. This is the first episode that really deals with the dangers of time travel and at the same time is the most heartfelt episode of the first series. Plus I kind of like that the Doctor actually calls Rose out for being a selfish idiot in this one :p



    Tooth and Claw... important I suppose for introducing Torchwood. Fine enough plot-wise, but just sort of an average episode on most accounts. Though I do like the implication that the royal family are werewolves :p But let's be honest, the best thing about this episode is David Tennant using his real accent for half of it. Such a frustrating tease, though. I still really wish RTD had let him use his accent for The Doctor. But yeah, most of what I like about this episode is the stirrings of Scottish heritage pride it causes in me ;)



    Waters of Mars... wow, well... and you thought I was confused about End of Time winding up so low. A mess? Just sort of there? All I can say to this is... what. What?

    Waters of Mars is my second favorite story after the two-parter Human Nature/Family of Blood. The plot is actually reasonably simple and straightforward. If the water threat isn't quite as terrifying as something like the Weeping Angels or the Silents, it hardly matters. I think it's still frightening enough, but it's not the real threat in the episode anyhow. Because we already know everyone on the base is going to die. The real tension in the episode comes from the Doctor, and in a terrifying twist he winds up becoming the antagonist of the story in the end.

    Seeing what could happen if the Doctor used his power to do the things he really wants to do was really frightening to me. It was the scenario of Pompeii but with the Doctor making the opposite choice. Which just shows how much the Doctor loses over the course of series 4. Not only his friends, but also some of his inhibitions. This episode looks into the dark regions of the Doctor's soul better than any, I think. The struggle he goes to and the horror he has at the end when he realizes he's gone too far helps to really justify how much this version of the Doctor needs to literally become someone else to get back to the core of who he is. I thought it was a really heartbreaking struggle to see and a fantastically and unusually dark episode.

    I will say the only thing about this episode that bothers me is the way the suicide is handled. Not the fact that the Captain kills herself, which needed to happen. It's just the fact that no one appears to hide the body, cover up the death, and let her family presume she died on Mars. Obviously I'm fairly lax on plot points, but this does irk me a bit just because they spend so much time talking about how her dying heroically on Mars saving the earth inspires her granddaughter... but why would her granddaughter be inspired to go into space by a woman who committed suicide on earth? I know the surviving crew members told everyone how Adelaide saved the base, but how then explain the suicide? It seems to me they should have just had them bury her and cover it up like she'd died on Mars. That's really the only thing that annoys me in the episode. But on the whole I'll pass it over since the episode is mostly significant for the huge developments the Doctor has in it.

    Man, the order of this countdown would have been a bit different if I'd voted :p

    -sj loves kevin spacey
  17. Darth_Daver Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 23, 2005
    star 5
    Getting to the stage now where I'm surprised to see something as average as Tooth & Claw turn up.

    Agree with the general opinion on the Reapers.

    Disagree on the above post about plot and character. The plot's the story, and needs good characters to support it. The Doctor, a good character, can be (and has been) in bad stories. And when the stories are deliberately made quite complicated, the show gets less and less leeway to have plot holes or unresolved elements waved off (which is why I also think LOST completely blew it with the final season).
  18. PirateofRohan Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 11, 2009
    star 3
    Well, I'm an eighth Scottish if that counts for anything. Yeah, I didn't think so...:p
  19. EBSaints Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 29, 2002
    star 6
    I figured some people here did. But the message boards took a lot longer to load back then. :p
  20. Mar17swgirl Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 26, 2000
    star 7
    WoM was IMHO the best out of all 2009 specials (and I'm including here also The Next Doctor and both parts of The End Of Time).
  21. halibut Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 27, 2000
    star 8
    I've made a mistake earlier in the list (though it doesn't change the order)

    I erroneously stated that Closing Time was the first episode to get 20/20

    This was wrong.

    The Stolen Earth was the lowest episode to score 20/20 and I mistakenly wrote down 18
  22. Ulicus Lit'ari

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jul 24, 2005
    star 6
    I rather liked WoM, especially the Doctor quoting the Master, verbatim.

    "The laws of time are mine, and THEY WILL OBEY ME!"

    So? Who cares as long as it's genuinely exciting? Sure, if they tried and failed it'd suck, but exciting is, y'know, exciting.

    That being said, on reflection, I think "interesting" would have been a better choice of word. Yeah. I want the Doctor's regenerations to be more... interesting.

    I don't understand what you mean by "isolation", though. Are you referring to shooting the regeneration scene independently of whatever it is that causes him to regenerate?
  23. solojones Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 9
    Well, certainly there are different approaches to writing. Aristotle was all about the unity of the plot. But modern dramatists and dramatic theory tens to heavily favor character over plot in terms of what drives the story. And in my experience, it's the approach that most television writers strive for because television is a medium that require you to have a particular long-term investment in the characters. Certainly there will always be exceptions, but I'm just saying in my experience, television writers tend to basically have "character is story" emblazoned above their writing desks. It's not everyone's view, but it is the view of a lot of contemporary television writers and I think if you take the opposite approach to drama then it would indeed make a lot of modern shows frustrating.

    Now obviously if you have a show that sets up a complicated plot as the premise of an episode or season, you do expect them to pay that off, and you can hardly be blamed for that. Within an episode it's less excusable to have contradictions and confusions. But within a season or whole show... the reality is, showrunners and staffs simply come up with new ideas along the way and change their minds. It can be frustrating for the plot sometimes, but frankly if they didn't do that, the writing process would be unbearably rigid.


    -sj loves kevin spacey
  24. MrZAP Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 2, 2007
    star 5
    I disagree. I believe Daver is correct in that plot drives character, or rather should drive character, and not the other way around. But then I'm one who absolutely adores complex, far-reaching plots, and I have always emphasized that story (and theme!), meaning plot is everything. The character is your vehicle to tell the story.

    I mean, yes, obviously you want well-rounded, interesting characters regardless of what medium you're writing for, and it is true that certain mediums require larger commitments to characters because you stay with them longer, like television or comics, or really anything serialized or episodic. But when I go to write a story, I think first of the setting it will take place in, and the major conflict, and then, after both of those things, do I start on any of the characters (well, the antagonist might show up earlier in the creative process because they drive the conflict, but that's about it). Interesting as they might be (and I do try to make them very well-rounded) I wouldn't see the point in creating them at all if I didn't already have some story I wanted to tell and thusly needed some characters to do so.
  25. Darth_Daver Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 23, 2005
    star 5
    Agree with both posts, in that, yes, modern TV (and comics) writers are writing in a way that favours character, which is often frustrating when your preference is plot. What I'd add to that is, I think it's particularly frustrating in sci-fi and fantasy (or something set up as a mystery). Almost the whole point of sci-fi, to me, is that you can tell any kind of story you want, stories that a real-world setting won't allow. If your focus is characters you don't need that. Also, a new series tends to market itself, despite what the writers' focus may be, based on an ongoing plot, or mystery. Personally, I never decide to watch a show because I've heard, or seen in ads, that there might be some characters I'll enjoy. You find that out after you've watched it.