Jodie Whittaker to 'quit Doctor Who' after end of next series. Which may be of interest to the
five or six viewers still watching
I watched An Unearthly Child again the other night.
It may seem technically primitive but the first chapter in particular is absolutely essential viewing for all Doctor Who fans. And that original BBC Radiophonic Workshop music sounds really good!
This is first ever Doctor Who storyline, introducing the concept of the doctor, the TARDIS, and the companions. With William Hartnell as the original Doctor, not quite used to human beings yet despite residing in a junkyard on a London sidestreet for at least several months. His interaction with new human companions Barbara and Ian is absolutely paranoid, and they have lots of rude things to say to each other. I know it's not until after the Daleks storyline they start to relax and trust each other.
Most of the first episode in particular (An Unearthly Child proper) is focusing on Susan the granddaughter, first showing us all the clues that she's not as human as she appears and guessing what the explanation could be. It'd be nice to be able to watch this fresh without knowing the answer. The line "oh right you haven't adapted to the decimal system yet" in particular would have been experienced differently by an audience in 1963. It is Susan who explains the concept of the TARDIS as the Doctor will barely acknowledge Ian and Barbara. Susan is actually a fascinating character in the very first episode, but in later episodes will be given fewer lines and become more of a passive character who frequently requires rescuing.
The name Doctor Who comes from Ian and Barbara assuming his name must be Doctor Foreman, since that is the name Susan gave to register at the earth school. Hartnell smiles sarcastically and mutters "Doctor Who?" as he continues to antogonise his uninvited guests.
It is in the second episode the Doctor and Susan remark the TARDIS's camouflaging unit has suddenly gotten stuck, it had always worked before. Susan lists a couple of objects the TARDIS had camouflaged as previously, though I couldn't quite make them out.
Remaining three episodes are really their own selfcontained storyline, a trip back to caveman days helping our ancestors discover fire and become slightly more civilized (introducing an unspoken time travel paradox to the origins of human civilization: it wasn't the Monolith that intervened, it was those four people in the TARDIS). Hartnell's Doctor is so paranoid at this point, he actually intends to kill an injured caveman so they can get away faster while Ian and Barbara are trying to save him. I don't think even Hartnell would ever consider doing that again. A dark moment for a children's show!
It is established right away the Doctor cannot control the TARDIS, though not stated how long it has been since he stole it. (It'd be most of a decade before we would even learn he's a TimeLord from Gallifrey). Final shot is the TARDIS arriving on Skaro...
There was another version of the first episode filmed *, an unaired pilot where Susan's backstory is different and more specific. I think she's a princess from the planet Findooclare or something like that, not related to the Doctor at all, but I gather that raised the question of what this old man was doing with such a young girl so that got rewritten. But that was never a problem with all the other young girls various Doctors would travel round with for the next sixty years...
I'd forgotten this thread existed. I am not a fan of the rebooted series but have many fond memories of the original "classic" episodes.
I have been mulling over a project for a classic review thread on here. I've rewatched all of Hartnell and Troughton including the Fan Produced cut & paste & audio transpositions. I feel a bit uncertain about posting it now. It'd be a very long review thread.
I'd love to see more classic Doctor Who discussion @chrisno1 if you've got thoughts from your recent viewings you should put them into words and let us all see.
only problem with this thread is people keep complaining about the recent series, it'd be nice to separate the two topics out and let the classic discussion develop. But I'm sure of we see a couple of those epic chrisno1 reviews here folks'll join in and talk about the good stuff everybody likes.
Some very welcome news today - Russell T Davies back at the helm for the 60th anniversary of Who and beyond.
I wasn’t really into classic Who and it was RTD’s writing that made it approachable and entertaining for me, more so than Moffat’s later self indulgence.
I can’t say I watched much of Whittaker’s incarnation, but just enough to not want to watch it frankly. I think it’s evident how badly received the series has become, that this once popular thread is barely commented on anymore…
Regardless of opinions regarding her portrayal, praise the lord that the less than useless Chibnall will be gone, he’s the real villain here. An abject lesson under his stewardship in how to take a successfully revived property and strip it of all value.
I recall that Dallas once had a whole season that was written off when Pam Ewing awoke from a dream to find her “late” husband Bobby having a shower- since considered some of the worst script writing in history.
I would forgive RTD’s second tenure starting with something similar to undo Chibnall’s time on the show: Capaldi’s Doctor wakes from a nightmare and the shock makes him regenerate into the next Doctor, erasing Chibnall’s writing from the Doctor Who canon in the process.
It's good news that Russell T Davies is returning to 'Doctor Who'. He's the best of the three showrunners to have led the show since its return to TV in 2005. While his storytelling too often depended on clunky deus ex machina (a common problem in 'Who'), his understanding of TV audiences, fannish zeal and creative aplomb made the show a huge success again. I guess there's a strong possibility, now, that Olly Alexander of Davies' 'It's A Sin' will be cast as the next Doctor, though my preference would be Seyan Sarvan, whose dramatic first scene as Lizbeth Farooqi in the same mini-series utterly channelled the classic Doctors...
As for Chris Chibnall's take on the show's mythology, it won't be necessary to ret-con this out. That's not how 'Doctor Who' rolls. I'm not someone who particularly minds the whole 'Timeless Children' thing, but even when the show takes mis-steps, these are just left alone when a new creative team takes the reins: the show simply gets on with doing the next thing...
Watched the animated The Macra Terror. Last night. Good fun story and I love the companion trio of Ben, Polly and Jamie
@simon78 You can read my review of it here https://www.ajb007.co.uk/discussion/comment/1030822#Comment_1030822
I haven't watched since the Capaldi finale - yes, I do have an issue with a certain casting choice, along with how it has been handled.
Anyone have hopes for the return of RTD?
I'm cautiously optimistic, but I have also read that the latest Chibnall episode doubles down on the worst sins of The Timeless Children.
It’s dead in the water. I don’t think anyone can resurrect it now. It’s gone to far. The only thing they can do is a workaround to make the last regeneration an alternate reality or a dream or something equally as dumb to remove it from canon.
That's what i'm hearing, which is sad.
Close to 60 years of one of England's greatest pop culture icons has been ruined.