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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Entertainment & Interests > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Doctor Who

Doctor Who "Bigger on the inside..."

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Old March 12 2013, 04:17 PM   #16
Christopher
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Re: Ghost Light - What the hell is going on?

Oh, there are surreal ones I like a lot, such as "Ghost Light." Don't mistake the specific for the general. I'm not claiming to dislike a genre or a topic, I'm saying I don't like that specific serial. I can't honestly or accurately explain why, because I haven't seen it or tried to think about it in a couple of decades, but for whatever reason, its particular mix of ingredients just added up to something I found distasteful.

Besides -- clowns. Enough said.
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Old March 12 2013, 04:22 PM   #17
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Re: Ghost Light - What the hell is going on?

Well, you should definitely watch it again. It's a very progressive, experimental story. My favourite of Season 25 is still Remembrance of the Daleks (Masterpiece!) but Greatest Show is a close second. The only weak link is Silver Nemesis. It's still better than any of the New Who Cybermen episodes (Unless we count Pandorica Opens!), but it feels too much like a rehash of Remembrance and the Cybermen aren't handled well in it. They were far more threatening in Earthshock and Attack of the Cybermen.
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Old March 12 2013, 04:40 PM   #18
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Re: Ghost Light - What the hell is going on?

DalekJim wrote: View Post
McCoy is my main man and the only story of his I find a chore to rewatch is Time and the Rani. Though Dragonfire is kinda average.
Wait...Did you forget Delta and The Bannermen? That's the one I dislike, and in fact, I think it's one of the all time worst Doctor Who Serials
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Old March 12 2013, 04:53 PM   #19
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Re: Ghost Light - What the hell is going on?

I think it's a pretty cool, unusual story.
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Old March 12 2013, 04:54 PM   #20
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Re: Ghost Light - What the hell is going on?

I like Delta - for me it's the best of that series and not even in the bottom 50 stories of all time.
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Old March 12 2013, 05:00 PM   #21
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Re: Ghost Light - What the hell is going on?

I'd rate Bannermen as the second best story of that season... but I'd still probably put it in my all time bottom five.
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Old March 12 2013, 05:03 PM   #22
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Re: Ghost Light - What the hell is going on?

VDCNI wrote: View Post
I like Delta - for me it's the best of that series and not even in the bottom 50 stories of all time.
Paradise Towers is my fave S24 serial. An outstanding script let down by a pretty ropy production.
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Old March 12 2013, 05:07 PM   #23
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Re: Ghost Light - What the hell is going on?

Heh, I've always liked Dragonfire and Paradise Towers, and Time and The Rani, I've learned to appreciate, despite it's cheezy Rani-ness, I enjoy the aliens and their story and subjugation, the most awful part about it is 2 Mels <Shudder>

Just like The Twin Dilemma, if you strip "Wemus and Womulus" out of it, it'd be a pretty good story, IMHO.
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Old March 12 2013, 05:12 PM   #24
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Re: Ghost Light - What the hell is going on?

I like The Twin Dilemma too. The worst stories for me are Voyage of the Damned, End of Time, The Doctor's Daughter and Planet of the Dead. Absolute lowest common denominator stuff.

There's no classic serial I can think of that bugs me as much, or I find as obnoxiously anti-intellectual and stupid. Their worst crimes tend to be being boring (Hi, Galaxy 4!) or lazy (Bonjour, Timelash!). They never offend my moral sensibilities.
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Old March 12 2013, 06:55 PM   #25
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Re: Ghost Light - What the hell is going on?

"Time and the Rani" may not be particularly good, but trust me, the novelization is immeasurably worse. It was written on a very simplistic level, dumbed down for the kiddies in a way that most Doctor Who novelizations never were even though they were written for children. The most stupid thing I remember about it is that, one, it represented the Tetraps' alien language by just writing English words backward, and two, the narration actually explained to the reader that the alien language was just English words written backward!
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Old March 12 2013, 07:37 PM   #26
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Re: Ghost Light - What the hell is going on?

On the subject of terrible novelizations, I rank "The Twin Dilemma" as atrocious. Granted it seemed like the author was REALLY hard tasked to pad out the insanely thin plot, but he was adding in long and irrelevant sidebars about alcohol, teleportation, and regeneration (the only neat one in retrospect, about a time lord who forced himself to regenerate after passing on from a VERY good-looking body that had been getting him praise and power).

I really did try to like "Ghost Light", or at least to understand it (and the previous summation did help a bit). I can get how some people can like it's extreme abstractness, but I think it's a little TOO far out, or experimental for my taste. I just have a hard time relating to it.

Moving to an examination of McCoy's tenure in general, his three years show three pretty distinct portrayals of the character. The first was a (BBC-dictated, I believe), clownish impression of Patrick Troughton's incarnation. The second (and my favorite of the three) saw the Doctor as a more efficient and less goofy traveler, cleaning up a loose ends from his past (Renaissance, Nemesis) and more importantly laying the groundwork for his darker, manipulative side that we see in S26. Compared to most other Doctors, this one had a heck of a character development arc, and it was a pleasure to watch.

Just have to get through "Survival" now and I'll have finished my tour of the Seventh Doctor's stories, 1996 movie nonwithstanding. I also noticed how this final season not only has little dependence on the TARDIS (one short scene in a hastily-cobbled together set is all we get), but it's completely bound to Earth. Probably the first year since Pertwee to have adventures as such, which was oddly carried forward into the first season of the new series...

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Old March 12 2013, 08:01 PM   #27
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Re: Ghost Light - What the hell is going on?

Oh, I liked Saward's digressions in the "Twin Dilemma" novelization. It was nice to see him fleshing out the universe with those little asides rather than just describing what happened onscreen. It reminded me of the similar approach David Gerrold used in his one original Star Trek novel, The Galactic Whirlpool, which has always been one of my favorites.

And it wasn't that odd that the new series started out mostly Earthbound. It was done that way to ease new viewers into the series, let them get used to it before it headed out for more exotic realms. For some reason, there's a perception that the current generation of TV viewers isn't all that interested in space-based stories, which is part of why there are so few on US television anymore. Perhaps it's because it's been so long since humans attempted to travel beyond Earth orbit in real life.
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Old March 12 2013, 08:28 PM   #28
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Re: Ghost Light - What the hell is going on?

The Pip and Jane Baker novelisations always read to me as if they'd sat down with a video of the serial and a dictaphone and then transcribed up their 'writer's commentary' "Oh, that means Holy Grail int he Tetrap language. It's backwards, you see..." "Oh, it's the MAster, what evil plan has he got up his leeve, kiddies?"
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Old March 12 2013, 08:42 PM   #29
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Re: Ghost Light - What the hell is going on?

Doctor Who easily has the best novel range of any sci-fi franchise. The novelizations are generally mediocre with a few classics (Ben Aaronovitch's Remembrance of the Daleks is top dollar!) but the VNAs and EDAs are outstanding ranges.

If we're talking bad Doctor Who books, The Eight Doctors is utter jizz-covered shit. Terrance Dicks is a sacred cow that should be put down.
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Old March 12 2013, 08:53 PM   #30
Nagisa Furukawa
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Re: Ghost Light - What the hell is going on?

DalekJim wrote: View Post
Doctor Who easily has the best novel range of any sci-fi franchise.
Agreed. From the novelizations to PDAs to the outstanding Telos novellas, there's a seriously unfair amount of genuinely good literature published as Doctor Who stories. Okay, not on the level of, say, Dune or The Foundation series, but tie-ins that aren't just interested in filling in some gap of the show and bringing back some obscure character (mind you, there's a ton of those in DW lit too). The VNAs ARE the continuation of the show for me.

The novelizations are generally mediocre with a few classics (Ben Aaronovitch's Remembrance of the Daleks is top dollar!)
The beginning and end of the novelization range were excellent. At the beginning, writers like Malcolm Hulke (whose novelization Doctor Who and the Cave Monsters is better than his TV story Doctor Who and the Silurians) and even Dicks were genuinely trying, and then towards the end, the actual writers of the Seventh Doctor stories were doing their own novelizations and were treated seriously again.

It's only that lull in the middle years where every single novelization was written by Dicks and every single one was some 90 page leaflet summary of a TV ep that the range wanes interest.

but the VNAs and EDAs are outstanding ranges.
Indeed. To be honest, even though the VNAs were by no means perfect, I'd hesitate to call the EDAs an outstanding range due to the sheer amount of missteps, bad decisions, and useless, mediocre books, but you're right; any range that can produce Alien Bodies, The Blue Angel, Father Time, City of the Dead, and The Adventuress of Henrietta Street deserves to be called outstanding.
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