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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 April 19 2014, 02:43 AM   #946
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Re: Last Classic Who Story you watched

Talons Of Weng Chiang was and still is an excellent story, I couldn't stand Henry Gordon Jago when I was younger buthe's cetainly grown on me over the years.
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Old April 20 2014, 07:57 PM   #947
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Re: Last Classic Who Story you watched

I made it an episode and a half into The Robots of Death before I had to turn it off. I've seen worse serials, but this is one of the most tedious ones I've tried to sit through. Even The Android Invasion had enough that was at least a little interesting, so I managed to watch all of it (although it was hard at times). The Robots of Death only had The Doctor and Leela as positives, they did a good job with what I saw. But the story was really boring, and the side characters were mostly irritaiting (especially the commander). Halfway through the second episode, I realised that watching grass grow would have more entertainment value, so I turned it off and just read the summary on wikipedia. Next up will be The Talons of Weng-Chiang, which seems like it will be a big step up from the last serial, at least because I don't think it will be boring, regardless of the quality of the story.
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Old April 20 2014, 09:46 PM   #948
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Re: Last Classic Who Story you watched

Good God. Never thought I'd ever run into someone who hated Robots of Death, unless they also hated SF and Doctor Who too. Oh well...
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Old April 20 2014, 10:38 PM   #949
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Re: Last Classic Who Story you watched

diankra wrote: View Post
Good God. Never thought I'd ever run into someone who hated Robots of Death, unless they also hated SF and Doctor Who too. Oh well...
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Old April 20 2014, 11:10 PM   #950
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Re: Last Classic Who Story you watched

Oh, cripes, Robots of Death has one of the best-developed societies ever visited by the Doctor and his Companion. In a very short time we learn about the kind of society the people on the mining ship come from, what their various motivations are for being there, we get some idea of the politics, what kind of clothing and social norms the people have, and there's a morality play as part of the story (consigning part of society to slavery due to fear of "otherness"). There's some examination of mental illness and post-traumatic disorders, and Leela gets several science lessons.

Honestly, this is one of the best Doctor Who stories ever. I rank it very closely with Genesis of the Daleks for how it handles questions of ethics and psychology. By not finishing it, you've deprived yourself of some really good material.
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Old April 21 2014, 04:02 AM   #951
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Re: Last Classic Who Story you watched

Well, that's all a matter of opinion. I found it to be very tedious, and the only thing I "deprived" myself of was being put to sleep. In a four episode story, not doing anything interesting in one and a half episodes is unforgivable. I can't remember being quite so bored with a Doctor Who story as I was with The Robots of Death.

The "best developed society" thing sounds like a stretch to me. Besides the fact that not one of those things that the audience supposedly learn sounds the least bit interesting, if they actually waste time on stuff like that it would only make the story feel even longer and more tedious. Its completely unnecessary for a group of lame one off aliens. I enjoy well developed alien species, but for a one off species in a poorly written 70s Doctor Who story using time to flesh them out, but not make them interesting in the process, is stupid. It also doesn't makes me want to struggle through the story. The aliens were played by fairly poor actors playing irritating, one dimensional aliens that weren't particularly deep or interesting. I had no desire to learn about their society. I couldn't even stand watching them on TV, between the boredom and lack of them doing anything worth watching. I know enough about them. They're arrogant, stupid, most likely lazy and are very self centered.

Also, who the heck wants to get a science lesson from Doctor Who? Besides the fact that they usually border on idiotic (not counting the times where they leapfrog over idiotic and are just completely wrong), I'm not watching the show to be "educated". It's Doctor Who, not Bill Nye the Science Guy.

I'm also really unconvinced about the shows ability to talk about "examinations of mental illness and Post Traumatic Stress", especially with only two good actors in the story. I read the summary for this story. The culprit behind it is a guy who should have been in a mental institution, instead of going around killing incompetent, irritating miners. I can't fault him for his choice of victims, though. If only he had gotten to them sooner, the story might have been salvaged with The Doctor matching wits with a madman. Instead, we get a nut job who was apparently raised by robots (oh god that is such a stupid back story) killing generic aliens that I honestly wanted to see killed. My only regret is missing the robots take out a few more of the annoying aliens.

You're free to disagree, like I said above its all a matter of opinion. To me, its a story I couldn't get through, and spent ever second I was watching it wanting to do something else. I'm happy to move on and forget about it, except as the most boring Doctor Who story I ever tried to watch.

Last edited by kirk55555; April 21 2014 at 04:14 AM.
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Old April 21 2014, 06:58 AM   #952
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Re: Last Classic Who Story you watched

kirk55555 wrote: View Post
Well, that's all a matter of opinion. I found it to be very tedious, and the only thing I "deprived" myself of was being put to sleep. In a four episode story, not doing anything interesting in one and a half episodes is unforgivable. I can't remember being quite so bored with a Doctor Who story as I was with The Robots of Death.

The "best developed society" thing sounds like a stretch to me. Besides the fact that not one of those things that the audience supposedly learn sounds the least bit interesting, if they actually waste time on stuff like that it would only make the story feel even longer and more tedious. Its completely unnecessary for a group of lame one off aliens. I enjoy well developed alien species, but for a one off species in a poorly written 70s Doctor Who story using time to flesh them out, but not make them interesting in the process, is stupid. It also doesn't makes me want to struggle through the story. The aliens were played by fairly poor actors playing irritating, one dimensional aliens that weren't particularly deep or interesting. I had no desire to learn about their society. I couldn't even stand watching them on TV, between the boredom and lack of them doing anything worth watching. I know enough about them. They're arrogant, stupid, most likely lazy and are very self centered.

Also, who the heck wants to get a science lesson from Doctor Who? Besides the fact that they usually border on idiotic (not counting the times where they leapfrog over idiotic and are just completely wrong), I'm not watching the show to be "educated". It's Doctor Who, not Bill Nye the Science Guy.

I'm also really unconvinced about the shows ability to talk about "examinations of mental illness and Post Traumatic Stress", especially with only two good actors in the story. I read the summary for this story. The culprit behind it is a guy who should have been in a mental institution, instead of going around killing incompetent, irritating miners. I can't fault him for his choice of victims, though. If only he had gotten to them sooner, the story might have been salvaged with The Doctor matching wits with a madman. Instead, we get a nut job who was apparently raised by robots (oh god that is such a stupid back story) killing generic aliens that I honestly wanted to see killed. My only regret is missing the robots take out a few more of the annoying aliens.

You're free to disagree, like I said above its all a matter of opinion. To me, its a story I couldn't get through, and spent ever second I was watching it wanting to do something else. I'm happy to move on and forget about it, except as the most boring Doctor Who story I ever tried to watch.
As you say, opinions differ. However, please grant that while I've seen this story at least a half-dozen times over the years and read the novelization, you never even saw it all the way through once. And it's often not until the fourth episode that some crucial story information gets revealed.

As for the science lessons - I said Leela gets them. Not the audience. The scenes where the scientific principles get explained to her are part of her character's development from the "savage" we first meet in Face of Evil to a less-savage individual who leaves the Doctor in The Invasion of Time.

You may not have noticed a well-developed society, but again, it's subjective. Most guest characters in Doctor Who stories don't inspire any fanfic or musings of what happens in their lives before/after encountering the Doctor. This story is different in that respect, at least to me.
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Old April 21 2014, 10:56 AM   #953
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Re: Last Classic Who Story you watched

The crew of the sandminer were human not aliens, that's pretty clearly stated in the story. I rather liked the red herring and the robophobia idea. I also liked it that the Doctor's voice wasn't affected by the helium, that added yet another layer of mystery to the Doctor.
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Old April 21 2014, 03:27 PM   #954
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Re: Last Classic Who Story you watched

Timewalker wrote: View Post
As you say, opinions differ. However, please grant that while I've seen this story at least a half-dozen times over the years and read the novelization, you never even saw it all the way through once. And it's often not until the fourth episode that some crucial story information gets revealed.

As for the science lessons - I said Leela gets them. Not the audience. The scenes where the scientific principles get explained to her are part of her character's development from the "savage" we first meet in Face of Evil to a less-savage individual who leaves the Doctor in The Invasion of Time.

You may not have noticed a well-developed society, but again, it's subjective. Most guest characters in Doctor Who stories don't inspire any fanfic or musings of what happens in their lives before/after encountering the Doctor. This story is different in that respect, at least to me.
Unless the critical information in Episode 4 is how to keep yourself from falling to sleep while watching the story, it doesn't matter to me. You're obviously more familiar with the story, but that has nothing to do with my lack of enjoyment, and my negative opinion of it.

Also, if someone is writing fanfic about these characters, they must be very bored

The science lesson thing sounds like its even more pointless. I couldn't care less if Leela learns anything, and using her as someone to "teach" just makes her an excuse to waste time, and not a real character. That is something I was worried would happen, that Leela's whole "point" would be to just be someone the Doctor could "teach". The Doctor always kind of does it, but Leela is the first one I've seen where I'm starting to feel like that's her whole reason to exist. I hope I'm wrong, because she seems like a decent companion so far.

Anyway, The Robots of Death is behind me. I'm already one episode into The Talons of Weng-Chiang, and while it's first episode was not super impressive its keeping my attention so far, and it has five more episodes to be really good (or, to be fair, really bad).
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Old April 22 2014, 03:56 AM   #955
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Re: Last Classic Who Story you watched

going to watch, right now with popcorn, the invisible enemy! I hope it is good!
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Old April 22 2014, 05:07 AM   #956
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Re: Last Classic Who Story you watched

The talons of Weng-Chiang turned out to be an entertaining story. The Doctor and Leela did a good job, and most of the supporting cast was good (especially Littlefoot and Jago, who were pretty entertaining). It definitely had problems, mostly the racist stuff, which was distracting at times. There really was no excuse for hiring a white guy and putting him in yellow face to play the main minion Li H'sen Chang. But, once you get past the unfortunate racist stuff (You'd thnk by 1977 stuff like yellow face would have been frowned upon) the story itself is solid and entertaining. Next up is Horror of Fang Rock.
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Old April 22 2014, 06:49 PM   #957
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Re: Last Classic Who Story you watched

Despite that obvious racism thing, which is really on the side of BBC than the producers, I really think Talons of Weing Chiang is one of at least top 10 DW of all tiome. Its just simply THAT good.
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Old April 22 2014, 07:05 PM   #958
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Yeah, like I said its only real flaw was the racist stuff. Without it, I'd say it was a classic. With the racist stuff, its still a classic from a story perspective, but one that can really turn some people off (for good reason). I like the serial a lot, but the weird racist stuff is distracting and does tarnish the story. I'd still reccomend it, I'd just give a warning to anyone wanting to view it.
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Old April 22 2014, 09:46 PM   #959
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Re: Last Classic Who Story you watched

Emperor-Tiberius wrote: View Post
Despite that obvious racism thing, which is really on the side of BBC than the producers, I really think Talons of Weing Chiang is one of at least top 10 DW of all tiome. Its just simply THAT good.
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Yeah, like I said its only real flaw was the racist stuff. Without it, I'd say it was a classic. With the racist stuff, its still a classic from a story perspective, but one that can really turn some people off (for good reason). I like the serial a lot, but the weird racist stuff is distracting and does tarnish the story. I'd still reccomend it, I'd just give a warning to anyone wanting to view it.

Well I have to agree with you guys there.. However, in the context of the racism being from that time and turn of the century, would it be safe to say that it could be a commentary on the ideals and types of attitudes prevalent in that setting?? Could it be that Going for realism back then (1970s), was acceptable, whereas nowadays it would be frowned upon or with the sensitivity that is rampant these days, would it have been more prudent to have depicted that racism from the past as they did with the 10TH Doctor and what Martha jones suffered from in the Family of Blood episodes? They did their best to show racism in that episode, without being very blatant about it..which I suppose is what has to happen these days, seeing as how almost everyone is looking to play the victim, or there are just those types of people out there who are ALWAYS looking for a racist comment, and or phrase, or even "code words." I submit, if that is what one is constantly looking for, then they will always find it.

present company excluded of course.

by the by, the Invisible enemy was not a favorite of mine..It fell short on so many levels.. It started off good enough, but the hospital, and the cavalier attitude of the Main doctor from the Hospital there was kind of very off putting, though I really liked that actor. The sets were so so, and the notion of shrinking down to go through the Doctor's mind, with no oxygen?? I just couldn't buy it..they can't be wet, but what about air? Don't get me started on the laser effects. I mean the phasers from 1960's trek drawn on the film was more believable then what they did there..Plus no one could shoot straight, unless 2 feet from the target. 5 feet and you hit something behind you, instead of what you were aiming at..
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Last edited by starsuperion; April 22 2014 at 09:56 PM.
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Old April 23 2014, 12:07 AM   #960
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Re: Last Classic Who Story you watched

starsuperion wrote: View Post

Well I have to agree with you guys there.. However, in the context of the racism being from that time and turn of the century, would it be safe to say that it could be a commentary on the ideals and types of attitudes prevalent in that setting?? Could it be that Going for realism back then (1970s), was acceptable, whereas nowadays it would be frowned upon or with the sensitivity that is rampant these days, would it have been more prudent to have depicted that racism from the past as they did with the 10TH Doctor and what Martha jones suffered from in the Family of Blood episodes? They did their best to show racism in that episode, without being very blatant about it..which I suppose is what has to happen these days, seeing as how almost everyone is looking to play the victim, or there are just those types of people out there who are ALWAYS looking for a racist comment, and or phrase, or even "code words." I submit, if that is what one is constantly looking for, then they will always find it.

present company excluded of course.
I get what you mean...but no, it wasn't commentary. The BBC/Doctor who people was either unwilling, or somehow too cheap, to hire an asian actor to play the main asian villain. Instead, they dressed up a white guy in obvious yellow face. Most of the story doesn't even talk about racism, from a story perspective it doesn't seem to be a theme. If they had the exact same script but with an actual asian actor, Li H'Sen Chang's role wouldn't be something people would automatically point to and call racist, its the casting of the white guy in yellow face that's racist. Other stuff might be borderline, but with one casting change I think it would generally be considered a story you wouldn't need to put an asterix next to if you were listing it on a "Best of Doctor Who" list.

As for newer Doctor Who, its hard to comment. I HATE Human nature/Family of Blood, its one of my most hated Doctor Who stories, and probably the worst newer Doctor Who story. I couldn't get through a lot of it, but I guess I vaguely remember Martha being treated badly, which I suppose would be more of a commentary (I mostly just remember the story infuriating me from basically the second it started more than specifics like what Martha was doing). But, for The Talons of Weng-Chiang, the racism comes mostly from the casting, which based off the writing I'd say was not the intention of the author, or something planned. They just made a really, really bad decision.
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