The return of Doctor Who (SPOILERS)

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  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 3,388MI6 Agent
    just in case you cant keep your young lady companions straight, this diagram shows most all of them up til Rose Tyler.
    Sarah Jane is the one running in a dark grey pantsuit.
    47922-the-best-companion-nerdfighters_1920x1080.jpg
    I know the early ones in between Susan and Zoe I can never tell apart.
  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy Behind you !Posts: 63,706MI6 Agent
    The Pyramids of Mars, is a great classic Who story. -{
    "I've been informed that there ARE a couple of QAnon supporters who are fairly regular posters in AJB."
  • ThunderpussyThunderpussy Behind you !Posts: 63,706MI6 Agent
    https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/tv/jodie-whittaker-quit-doctor-who-19558097
    Jodie Whittaker to 'quit Doctor Who' after end of next series. Which may be of interest to the
    five or six viewers still watching :D
    "I've been informed that there ARE a couple of QAnon supporters who are fairly regular posters in AJB."
  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 1,982MI6 Agent
    https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/tv/jodie-whittaker-quit-doctor-who-19558097
    Jodie Whittaker to 'quit Doctor Who' after end of next series. Which may be of interest to the
    five or six viewers still watching :D
    :)) :)) :))
  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 3,388MI6 Agent
    edited May 2021

    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...

  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 1,982MI6 Agent
    edited May 2021

    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.

    Any thoughts?

  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 3,388MI6 Agent

    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.

  • Smithers500Smithers500 Spectre IslandPosts: 1,189MI6 Agent

    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.

    Japanese proverb say, "Bird never make nest in bare tree".
  • Shady TreeShady Tree London, UKPosts: 2,636MI6 Agent
    edited September 2021

    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...

    Critics and material I don't need. I haven't changed my act in 50 years.
  • simon78simon78 Posts: 11MI6 Agent

    Watched the animated The Macra Terror. Last night. Good fun story and I love the companion trio of Ben, Polly and Jamie

  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 1,982MI6 Agent
  • Trigger_MortisTrigger_Mortis Posts: 91MI6 Agent

    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.

  • Asp9mmAsp9mm Over the Hills and Far Away.Posts: 7,279MI6 Agent

    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.

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  • Trigger_MortisTrigger_Mortis Posts: 91MI6 Agent

    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.

  • Smithers500Smithers500 Spectre IslandPosts: 1,189MI6 Agent

    So, any thoughts on the new Dr Who announcement?

    Perhaps the absence of any comments so far shows how much this show’s stock has fallen.

    For my part I’ve not heard of or seen this actor before, but I’m happy to see Russell T Davies is back on board so I have some faith in his selection.

    Japanese proverb say, "Bird never make nest in bare tree".
  • Asp9mmAsp9mm Over the Hills and Far Away.Posts: 7,279MI6 Agent

    I have no interest at all in this show any more. And I am a massive fan and like Bond stuff collect props and costumes. But this new stuff is awful.

    The thing with RTD is odd. People couldn’t wait to see the back of him in 2010. But things have sunk so low that they’re putting him up on a pedestal and hoping he will be the saviour of the show. I reckon it’s beyond saving now. Chibbers and and Whittaker shot it dead and then continued shooting the corpse for another couple of years, then burned it and blew it up just to make sure.

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  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 3,388MI6 Agent

    @Asp9mm and @Smithers500 did you like Davies when he was making the show originally?

    I liked how his episodes were more character driven and emotional, especially some of the Donna Noble ones. His weakness was the actual sci-fi elements seemed tacked on, but once Moffat took over full time I appreciated Davies' approach more. Moffat had a lot more clever scifi content, and striking imagery, but I no longer cared about the characters and many of the stories made no sense.

    It seems to me when Davies was in charge fans really wanted Moffat to take over because he wrote the best episodes each season, but once in charge full time Moffat's weaknesses became apparent

  • Asp9mmAsp9mm Over the Hills and Far Away.Posts: 7,279MI6 Agent

    I think his shows were very hit and miss, with a load of duds. The episodes he wrote himself were mostly misses. Ironically, Moffat wrote some crackers for RTDs tenure. And then failed to do that again when he himself took over.

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  • chrisno1chrisno1 LondonPosts: 1,982MI6 Agent

    I never liked the new shows, although I don't think the JNT years are a credit to Dr Who in the classic era either. My main gripe is they tended to be one episode stories, too rushed and too interested in building characters with excessive depth - this included the Doctor. Part of the joy of the first 10 - 15 years of Dr Who was the unknown aspects of himself and many of his enemies. As that's all been rubbed away, the mystery has died and so has the enjoyment. I did like Christopher Eccleston tho', but I stopped watching half way through the first season as everything was too chaotic for me to grasp what the hell was going on. I don't know who this new guy is either, but he looked more like a fashion model than an actor at the BAFTA's. Dare I say this is a tick-box exercise - Female Dr, Black Dr, have we had an openly gay dr ???

  • Sir MilesSir Miles The Wrong Side Of The WardrobePosts: 25,591Chief of Staff

    This. Exactly.

    Although I think Matt Smith has been the best Doctor since the reboot 🍸

    YNWA 97
  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 4,737MI6 Agent
    edited May 14

    The new guy seems great; he's sparky, energetic and funny in the role I've seen him in; and RTD is a top writer, in a different league to Chibnall. The word seems to be that this is a pretty ground-up reboot (so far it's notable that Gatwa hasn't even been referred to as the 14th Doctor, officially) so I'm hoping for big things. It should be a lot better anyway; RTD can make you engage with the characters (and write funny jokes), which Chibnall struggled with.

  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 4,737MI6 Agent
    edited May 14

    I think his shows were very hit and miss, with a load of duds. The episodes he wrote himself were mostly misses.

    No, that's not true at all. Not least because he wrote all of the episodes in his reign- the ones credited to other writers had always been heavily rewritten by Davies but he refused a credit-, apart from the Moffats and maybe the terrible Dalek two parter, which I believe he was away for.

    Something like Rose may not the best sci fi story that's ever been written, but in terms of setting up a series, making you interested in the characters and make you care for them, and make you want to see more, it's a masterclass. And as a result it was a massive hit. It's too easy to say 'everything is rubbish' but it's more impressive to be able to spot when something is done really well.

  • Sir MilesSir Miles The Wrong Side Of The WardrobePosts: 25,591Chief of Staff

    He can’t have written all the episodes himself if other writers wrote them - that’s nonsense of the highest order 🤷🏻‍♂️

    Don’t think anyone said “everything is rubbish” either 🤔

    YNWA 97
  • Smithers500Smithers500 Spectre IslandPosts: 1,189MI6 Agent

    Yes very much. I grew up with Doctor Who through the Colin Baker/Sylvester McCoy years and couldn’t get into it at all, the stories seemed self indulgent and it just looked cheap. I’m not surprised it was cancelled tbh.

    When the reboot started up in 2005 I found it a breath of fresh air and even my wife who normally dislikes sci-fi enjoyed it. I think that was RTD’s greatest strength, he opened the show up to a wider audience who wouldn’t usually watch it.

    I really rate Eccleston’s run and Tennant was superb- must see Saturday night viewing. A lot of this I put down to RTD’s writing. I’ve also enjoyed other shows he’s written like Second Coming, Queer as Folk and more recently It’s a Sin.

    Also as I enjoyed the rebook so much, I started watching the older Who and now absolutely adore the Pertwee/Tom Baker years.

    I went off the show a bit, but continued watching it, during Moffat’s run with Matt Smith/Peter Capaldi, once again finding the stories too self indulgent and overly complicated to follow. Asp9mm is right when he says Moffat's best writing was when RTD was in charge, Blink and the Silence in the Library two parter. I especially loved RTD’s Midnight a very tense well acted episode.

    As for Jodie Whittaker/Chibnall’s tenure, I watched the first few episodes but they were shockingly bad. JW was miscast, CC’s writing was poor and the whole production seemed incredibly cheap.it wasn’t long before I switched off.

    Hopefully this new guy is good - thankfully I can’t see him being worse than JW; also they put some more money behind this new series with some great guest stars, but more than anything i want the writing to measure up to RTD’s previous stint on the show.

    Japanese proverb say, "Bird never make nest in bare tree".
  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 4,737MI6 Agent
    edited May 15

    It's not nonsense at all: he rewrote all of them because he had a clear vision for the series. He left their names on the scripts out of respect for them, but as he himself said in his own book The Writer's Tale, which was his account of the writing of Dr Who: “I write the final draft of almost all scripts – except Steven Moffat’s, Matthew Graham’s, Chris Chibnall’s and Stephen Greenhorn’s”.

    (Graham wrote 1 episode, Chibnall wrote 1, Greenhorn wrote 2)

    'RTD was pressured to take a co-writer credit on Waters Of Mars because he was told that his name on scripts attracts guest stars, though he feared it would look strange as he hadn’t taken co-writer credits on all the previous scripts he’d rewritten.'

    The book is still available if you want to check whether it's nonsense of the highest order or not 😉

  • caractacus pottscaractacus potts Orbital communicator, level 10Posts: 3,388MI6 Agent

    I've heard the same thing about Buck Henry and Get Smart. I assume its the same for every headwriter/showrunner.

    its the job of head writer to make sure every script matches the rest of the series, characters speak in the same voice, characterizations and tone are consistent. and a show like 21st century Dr Who has season long plot threads that have to be kept track of. Larry David for example would send scripts back with instructions like "add this phrase into every scene like a leitmotif" basically reshaping it and making it work, but another writer would still get the credit. The head writer is already getting a credit for what he is doing

  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 4,737MI6 Agent
    edited May 15

    This is fun:


    I kind of wonder if this links into Ncuti Gatwa's announcement specifically not referring to him as the 14th Doctor. I wonder if Whittaker regenerates into Tennant first?

  • Sir MilesSir Miles The Wrong Side Of The WardrobePosts: 25,591Chief of Staff

    So that’s almost all , not all? So you just proved me right 🤣

    Cheers 👍🏻

    YNWA 97
  • emtiememtiem SurreyPosts: 4,737MI6 Agent
    edited May 15

    That's what "all... apart from" in my post meant. You didn't believe that he wrote the other episodes that were credited to other writers, I gave you the proof that you were wrong about that. His rule was that he would rewrite all scripts from other writers, apart from those who had run shows of their own (and the Dalek one as I mentioned, which I think he was ill for)- I thought it was just Moffat's, but I had forgotten those other writers who were high up enough for him not to correct; but that's not what you were disputing- you said that it was nonsense that he'd rewritten any episodes written by other writers, and you were wrong about that. I'm sure a gracious person like yourself will just accept that and move on.

    (it means he didn't write 10 out of his 60 episodes - if they were 'mostly misses' then that's as close to saying everything is rubbish as dammit, I'm sure you'll agree)

  • Sir MilesSir Miles The Wrong Side Of The WardrobePosts: 25,591Chief of Staff

    You did say “he rewrote all of them because he had a clear vision for the series.” And then you directly quote RTD as saying ““I write the final draft of almost all scripts”… 🤔

    So which is it? All of them, or not all of them? You can’t have it both ways 🤷🏻‍♂️

    What I actually said it was “He can’t have written all the episodes himself if other writers wrote them - that’s nonsense of the highest order” - which is apparently true as you rightly point out 😁

    I thought a gracious person such as yourself wouldn’t misquote to try and cover up their inaccuracies.

    YNWA 97
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