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Doctor Who "Bigger on the inside..."

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Old August 15 2014, 03:46 PM   #91
The Wormhole
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Re: The War Doctor Returns in a New Novel

I had no problem with the idea of a forgotten incarnation of the Doctor, and indeed when the first rumours began circulating that that's what John Hurt would be playing, I defended the concept while others were fuming "they can't do this! It screws continuity, it disrespects Eccleston, it upsets my cat." Unfortunately, the execution of the idea is lacking. I still believe the role was meant to Eccleston, since the basic story of Day of the Doctor is the Doctor contemplating genocide to end the Time War getting a look at who he becomes should he follow through with that decision. Had it been Eccleston meeting Tennant and Smith it would have made sense, Ninth Doctor meeting two of his successors and seeing how the catastrophic event he is currently considering has shaped them. Likewise, Clara's description of the War Doctor and Tenth Doctor as the "warrior and the hero" would really fit with Eccleston, since prior to DotD he was considered to be the "warrior" Doctor, or at least the soldier Doctor.

With Eccleston unavailable, Paul McGann could very easily have been inserted into Day of the Doctor as written and have worked perfectly. You'd have the exact same character arc, the Doctor meeting two of his successors, with the immediate next incarnation oddly missing, and you could even end it with the spontaneous regeneration. Also, you could have included the joke about modern Doctors holding the screwdrivers like they're weapons. Hell, the War Doctor was envisioned as something of a Doctor in-between classic Who and nu Who, but that's what McGann already was, not a nu Doctor but to recent to be considered a classic Doctor. Moffat said he didn't want the Eighth Doctor fighting the Time War, since that kind of grim situation didn't fit with the cheerful and optimistic character we saw in the 96 telemovie, but IMO that would have worked perfectly to illustrate how the horrors of war can change a person, moreso that actually turning the Doctor into a different person to fight the war.

I like John Hurt and his performance as the War Doctor, and ultimately I guess that's what matters. But every time I watch Day of the Doctor it always nags me they needlessly created a new Doctor when two of the actual ones would have worked just as well.
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Old August 15 2014, 04:25 PM   #92
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Re: The War Doctor Returns in a New Novel

And I say again, creating a new incarnation of the Doctor wasn't "needless," it was an inspired and interesting twist and very much worth doing in its own right.

The thing is, it was a surprise. It went against what we expected. Some people don't like surprises. They want things to be the way they assumed and expected, and they feel frustrated when things go in a different direction. But other people love to be surprised, and are fascinated to discover that things aren't the way they thought. I'm very much in the latter category, at least where my enjoyment of fiction is concerned. I love the idea that we "missed" a Doctor all this time. I love what that adds to the mythos, the new doors it opens. That surprise is worthwhile in its own right, regardless of the reasons behind it.
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Old August 15 2014, 06:00 PM   #93
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Re: The War Doctor Returns in a New Novel

Allyn Gibson wrote: View Post
Emperor-Tiberius wrote: View Post
Nothing against the War Doctor, but this once again proves that the sole reason he was invented was to generate an ultimately pointless speculation towards the 50th.
I'll be the first person to say that Moffat mercilessly trolls his fandoms (like just the other day when he said he wants to do a Sherlock/Who crossover but his Sherlock compatriots won't let him, damn it!), but I really, truly doubt that Moffat's "sole reason" for inventing the War Doctor was to rile Who fandom. I doubt that was even in Moffat's top five reasons.

I believe Moffat when he says that, when Eccleston passed on "Day," he saw an opportunity to do a one-off "mayfly" Doctor and cast an actor of stature and heft.

I recognize that the War Doctor doesn't work for some people, and these people have their reasons.

I admit that I have great difficultly giving credence to those whose reason for rejecting the War Doctor is because he doesn't fit with how they think the Time War went down and who fought in it because series was totally silent on what happened after the 1996 film and before "Rose." It was widely assumed that McGann led into Eccleston, but we didn't know that and there was nothing binding on the production team about that assumption.

If you don't think the character was conceived well, I have an easier time with that. The character in "Day" is a bit of a mess of characterization, and that's on Moffat. The character works for me, and that's on the strength of John Hurt. His Doctor works in spite of the material, not because of it.
Entirely agree - even though Hurt's Doctor in my least favorite incarnation by default, he still did brilliantly with what little he had. I really love the idea of a forgotten, hidden incarnation that the Doctor is just too ashamed to reveal or even talk to himself about, who did something foundamentally horrible that would scorn his psyche just aknowledging it....

... and the War Doctor, I thought, wasn't it. The writing just wasn't there. At the end of the day, it was just John Hurt playing the Doctor. Which is fine, of course - Hurt is one my favorite actors ever - but if you're gonna use that potentially great idea, better make it count.

And I've said it before - John Hurt alone sold the character of the War Doctor. Had it been almost anyone else, it just would've fallen apart.

Christopher wrote: View Post
While I would've loved to see McGann return, I think it was a brilliant idea to reveal that there was an incarnation of the Doctor we didn't know about. After all, there was this huge gap in the Doctor's life story that we only got glimpses of, an era full of mystery, so why shouldn't it have surprises that go to the core of our understanding of the Doctor himself? And it's an inspired twist to recognize that "the Doctor" is his title, not his name, and that it's therefore possible that he could've had an incarnation in which he didn't call himself the Doctor, so that "the eleventh Doctor" wasn't necessarily his eleventh life. I love how that played with our assumptions.
And was, and is, at the end of the day, a pointless ploy. Because the revelation itself didn't bring any other surprises with it. Did it?
The Wormhole wrote: View Post
I had no problem with the idea of a forgotten incarnation of the Doctor, and indeed when the first rumours began circulating that that's what John Hurt would be playing, I defended the concept while others were fuming "they can't do this! It screws continuity, it disrespects Eccleston, it upsets my cat." Unfortunately, the execution of the idea is lacking. I still believe the role was meant to Eccleston, since the basic story of Day of the Doctor is the Doctor contemplating genocide to end the Time War getting a look at who he becomes should he follow through with that decision. Had it been Eccleston meeting Tennant and Smith it would have made sense, Ninth Doctor meeting two of his successors and seeing how the catastrophic event he is currently considering has shaped them. Likewise, Clara's description of the War Doctor and Tenth Doctor as the "warrior and the hero" would really fit with Eccleston, since prior to DotD he was considered to be the "warrior" Doctor, or at least the soldier Doctor.
Indeed.

With Eccleston unavailable, Paul McGann could very easily have been inserted into Day of the Doctor as written and have worked perfectly. You'd have the exact same character arc, the Doctor meeting two of his successors, with the immediate next incarnation oddly missing, and you could even end it with the spontaneous regeneration. Also, you could have included the joke about modern Doctors holding the screwdrivers like they're weapons. Hell, the War Doctor was envisioned as something of a Doctor in-between classic Who and nu Who, but that's what McGann already was, not a nu Doctor but to recent to be considered a classic Doctor. Moffat said he didn't want the Eighth Doctor fighting the Time War, since that kind of grim situation didn't fit with the cheerful and optimistic character we saw in the 96 telemovie, but IMO that would have worked perfectly to illustrate how the horrors of war can change a person, moreso that actually turning the Doctor into a different person to fight the war.
Precisely.

Look, almost ALL Doctors had changed over the course of their associated histories, some to lesser degrees than others.

The First left Gallifrey an angry, spoiled "brat", a rotten character who wouldn't hesitate to bring a rock on a caveman's head, and he changed to a cheerful, delightful explored who cared for his companions deeply, always keeping his stern figure.

The Third Doctor started as an pompous scientiest with a gentle side, to a real gentleman with a justified arrogance. He was also, arguably, the first of the Doctors that had genuine emotional feelings for another, in Jo Grant namely. And of course, he was the most human Doctor until Tennant's Ten, but he didn't start out that way.

The Fourth started as a cheerful, youthful adventurer, keen on taking his TARDIS to new desitnations with a smile and a gelly baby, more serious at his begginings but still a robust man, to a man riddled with the weight of his own self-importance, whose youthfulness had given way to a sombre, more gravely Fourth Doctor who, at the end of his time, contended that it was the companions' fault that they got in the way of danger (though admitedly in a rather tense moment, for sure).

The Fifth was consistent throughout, although by the time Tegan had left, he was growing increasingly restless and irritated at his own ability to contain the danger away from his companions. Finally, he was the Doctor more guilt-ridden, for Adric's death haunted him until the end of his incarnation.

The Sixth started almost as a reaction to the Fifth, an effite snob who liked the sound of his own voice more than anything. However, he did change - mostly thanks to Evelyn Smythe, admitedly - to a softer, more gentle man, who although remained arrogant throughout, was still more concerned and obviously caring of all creatures in the universe.

The Seventh, indeed, seemed to evolve from that, starting out even softer, verging outright buffoonery. However, its not long that the darkness inante in him takes hold, and envelops him to the maste rmaipulator he was at the end of the show, and the rest of the Big Finish range. His change was the most sudden, I admit, but its evident.

The Ninth visbly opened up from the reserved but reluctant Warrior to being the Doctor once more - alll thanks to Rose, in part, of course.

And the Tenth, well... Time Lord Victorious? Arguably Day of the Doctor put a stop to his rampant God-like frenzy, but the potential to seize all time and space to his liking was there.

So you see, all Doctors had gone through some periodic change from when they started to where they ended. The Eighth's journey from his upstart to his Moment-taking would've marked the most drastic, interesting, compelling arc yet, cause there was a Doctor who genuinely aspired NOT to be like his Seventh self.

I like John Hurt and his performance as the War Doctor, and ultimately I guess that's what matters. But every time I watch Day of the Doctor it always nags me they needlessly created a new Doctor when two of the actual ones would have worked just as well.
Exactly.

Hurt delivered, absolutely - to the point where I have no actual qualms about him being the Doctor. However, the character he portrayed was, at best, an amalgamation of the Ninth with elements of the First and/or Third. He doesn't really bring anything new to the table as far actual contributions to the history of the show, other than being a cheap twist that was, ultimately, not nearly as clever as it could, and shoul've been.

For thats what the War Doctor really is: A waste of a genuinely exciting idea - the Secret Doctor!

Christopher wrote: View Post
And I say again, creating a new incarnation of the Doctor wasn't "needless," it was an inspired and interesting twist and very much worth doing in its own right.
In your opinion.

The thing is, it was a surprise. It went against what we expected. Some people don't like surprises. They want things to be the way they assumed and expected, and they feel frustrated when things go in a different direction. But other people love to be surprised, and are fascinated to discover that things aren't the way they thought. I'm very much in the latter category, at least where my enjoyment of fiction is concerned. I love the idea that we "missed" a Doctor all this time. I love what that adds to the mythos, the new doors it opens. That surprise is worthwhile in its own right, regardless of the reasons behind it.
I vehemently disagree. As said, it was a waste of that idea, since what the War Doctor was neither a secret to most characters associated with the Doctor or, most importantly, the audience. We knew the Doctor undid the Daleks and the Time Lords for 9 years nearly - did it matter that he didn't consider that incarnation the Doctor?

And, amusingly, only in retrospect, as the book in whose thread we're discussing says he really was called that, just not by himself, admitedly.
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Old August 15 2014, 06:06 PM   #94
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Re: The War Doctor Returns in a New Novel

Emperor-Tiberius wrote: View Post
In your opinion.
Of course it's in his opinion - who else's would it be? Do you think that Christopher is under some illusion his statements are objective fact?

I never understand that response.
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Old August 15 2014, 06:55 PM   #95
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Re: The War Doctor Returns in a New Novel

Emperor-Tiberius wrote: View Post
I vehemently disagree. As said, it was a waste of that idea, since what the War Doctor was neither a secret to most characters associated with the Doctor or, most importantly, the audience. We knew the Doctor undid the Daleks and the Time Lords for 9 years nearly - did it matter that he didn't consider that incarnation the Doctor?
And that's where the concept fails. This is the forgotten Doctor, the incarnation the Doctor denies the existence, represses the memories of being him and considers his experiences to be that of another man. And yet everything we see him doing and being involved with, the Time War, the Fall of Arcadia, the supposed mutual genocide of the Time Lords and the Daleks, and so on are all things the Doctor has mentioned experiencing and doing himself anyway. So really, that line in Doomsday should have gone "I witnessed the Fall of Arcadia. Well, it wasn't really me. Well, it was but I don't consider that regeneration to be a real proper Doctor. But the Fall of Arcadia was terrible, and someday I might even come to terms with it. Probably after I resolve the identity crisis of whether or not that was me who was there."
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Old August 15 2014, 07:56 PM   #96
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Re: The War Doctor Returns in a New Novel

Emperor-Tiberius wrote: View Post
Entirely agree - even though Hurt's Doctor in my least favorite incarnation by default, he still did brilliantly with what little he had. I really love the idea of a forgotten, hidden incarnation that the Doctor is just too ashamed to reveal or even talk to himself about, who did something foundamentally horrible that would scorn his psyche just aknowledging it....

... and the War Doctor, I thought, wasn't it. The writing just wasn't there. At the end of the day, it was just John Hurt playing the Doctor. Which is fine, of course - Hurt is one my favorite actors ever - but if you're gonna use that potentially great idea, better make it count.
But that's the whole point. That the Doctor believed this part of himself was some shameful facet that deserved to be hidden away and forgotten, but came to realize that the reality was more forgivable. It was a story about the Doctor reconciling with himself, coming to terms with the guilt that's been driving him ever since the new series began and finally seeing himself more clearly. It's the same as what I said about creating a new incarnation: you're asking for a story that merely affirmed what we'd already been led to expect, but what Moffat did was to give us a story that made us -- and the Doctor -- re-examine what we thought we knew and discover we were wrong. You're saying it should've lived up to what the Doctor had said before, but the point is that the Doctor was wrong, that he'd been punishing himself for doing something horrible when the truth was that he'd never actually fallen from grace. And I thought that was a marvelous way to bring the whole Time War arc to a resolution.

Because that's what this was about: Picking up all those lingering RTD threads and finally giving them closure, ending the whole Time War/Last of the Time Lords arc once and for all in order to clear the board for something new. If they'd done a story where it turned out the Doctor really had done some horrible atrocity, then his guilt wouldn't have gone away and the story arc wouldn't have been resolved. We would've just gotten more of the same in years to come. But that storyline has had its day. It was time to wrap it up and move on.


And was, and is, at the end of the day, a pointless ploy. Because the revelation itself didn't bring any other surprises with it. Did it?
It didn't have to. The idea is fascinating enough in and of itself. Being shown a new way of looking at something I thought I knew is a gift. So no, it was not pointless. The point was the story itself, and the story worked quite well for me.


The Third Doctor started as an pompous scientiest with a gentle side, to a real gentleman with a justified arrogance. He was also, arguably, the first of the Doctors that had genuine emotional feelings for another, in Jo Grant namely.
Ahem... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZImcPwq3C1I

You really mean to suggest the First Doctor didn't have genuine emotions for his own granddaughter?


So you see, all Doctors had gone through some periodic change from when they started to where they ended. The Eighth's journey from his upstart to his Moment-taking would've marked the most drastic, interesting, compelling arc yet, cause there was a Doctor who genuinely aspired NOT to be like his Seventh self.
Maybe for people who were familiar with the character beforehand, but of course they're only one segment of the audience. There would've been no such "arc" in evidence for the many viewers unfamiliar with the '96 movie or the audios. The story had to be able to stand on its own. And in that sense, it might've been better to use a new version of the Doctor without prior baggage.


In your opinion.
Just as what you're saying is your opinion. People should try to listen to each other's opinions and be free to express their own with the expectation that they'll be listened to in turn. We shouldn't try to dismiss the worth of other people's opinions simply because they are opinions. Sharing opinions is how we converse. It's what this BBS is all about. It's why we're aboard her! (Sorry, wrong franchise.)

So we've both expressed our opinions on opposite sides of the question, and that's good, because that's what makes a conversation. Neither of us has to be proven objectively right or to change the other's mind, because the world has room for a diversity of opinions. All we're talking about is how we personally felt about the story, and there's no sense pretending either of our positions represents anything more than that.


The Wormhole wrote: View Post
And that's where the concept fails. This is the forgotten Doctor, the incarnation the Doctor denies the existence, represses the memories of being him and considers his experiences to be that of another man. And yet everything we see him doing and being involved with, the Time War, the Fall of Arcadia, the supposed mutual genocide of the Time Lords and the Daleks, and so on are all things the Doctor has mentioned experiencing and doing himself anyway. So really, that line in Doomsday should have gone "I witnessed the Fall of Arcadia. Well, it wasn't really me. Well, it was but I don't consider that regeneration to be a real proper Doctor. But the Fall of Arcadia was terrible, and someday I might even come to terms with it. Probably after I resolve the identity crisis of whether or not that was me who was there."
Again, I consider that a feature rather than a bug. The ambivalence of the Doctor's attitude toward that part of himself points toward the truth that it was never really a separate self in any case, that his attempt to define it that way was inconsistent and flawed and mistaken. So it's hardly a failure to show the Doctor's view of himself as flawed and contradictory when it's meant to be wrong.
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Old August 21 2014, 01:10 AM   #97
Emperor-Tiberius
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Re: The War Doctor Returns in a New Novel

Christopher wrote: View Post
But that's the whole point. That the Doctor believed this part of himself was some shameful facet that deserved to be hidden away and forgotten, but came to realize that the reality was more forgivable. It was a story about the Doctor reconciling with himself, coming to terms with the guilt that's been driving him ever since the new series began and finally seeing himself more clearly.
Thats not it at all. Such story would've ended with the Doctors pressing the Moment together. The story was about the Doctors' redemption, not just reconciliation.

It's the same as what I said about creating a new incarnation: you're asking for a story that merely affirmed what we'd already been led to expect, but what Moffat did was to give us a story that made us -- and the Doctor -- re-examine what we thought we knew and discover we were wrong. You're saying it should've lived up to what the Doctor had said before, but the point is that the Doctor was wrong, that he'd been punishing himself for doing something horrible when the truth was that he'd never actually fallen from grace. And I thought that was a marvelous way to bring the whole Time War arc to a resolution.
I wasn't saying that at all. I was pointing out that the War Doctor was a wasted concept for this story. The Warrior should've been a different Doctor from everyone else, and he simply wasn't. By comparison, the Seventh was more ruthless and amoral than the Warrior, since he blew up a whole planet, and without much regret. And made a Dalek destroy itself.

Point is, the conceit of the War Doctor is a narrative dissapointment. Its something that sounds cool - the Doctor that fought in the Time War, the one inarnation he really hates - but like most things in the Moffat era, if you think too much about it, you see the obvious, gaping flaws - which are there. Apart from the fact its an obvious retcon, obviously - but given that we never saw the Eight-Nine regeneration up to this point, I'd say thats only fair, and actually clever.

Because that's what this was about: Picking up all those lingering RTD threads and finally giving them closure, ending the whole Time War/Last of the Time Lords arc once and for all in order to clear the board for something new.
I wasn't aware the Time War was a tangling and open case? I thought it was perfectly clear that we were past it - the Matt Smith era didn't actively adress the Time War since the regeneration. References aside, the show seemed to have put that story behind, as it rightly did, especially given that the whole point of End of Time, at the time, was to close that chapter, and finally have a less gulit-ridden Doctor after Nine and Ten.

Lets not invent arguments, lets present the facts. But since you seem to think thats an important point, I'll bite.

If they'd done a story where it turned out the Doctor really had done some horrible atrocity, then his guilt wouldn't have gone away and the story arc wouldn't have been resolved.
But his arc had been resolved. End of Time effectively showed why the Doctor at the end had to destroy Gallifrey: because they'd become as ruthless, power-mad and dastardy as the Sixth Doctor had called them in his trial. As amoral and corruptible as the Fourth and Eighth frequently called them.

What Moffat did is an admirable and honorable retcon, but it is that.

We would've just gotten more of the same in years to come. But that storyline has had its day. It was time to wrap it up and move on.
I agree it had its day. And years later, Moffat decided to retcon it for the sake of the anniversary.

Again, the Time War was not at all a focal point on the show, hasn't since Ten's regeneration to Eleven. The latter's era was entirely concerned with the Silence, the River Song mystery, his impending death and the Impossible Girl.

It didn't have to. The idea is fascinating enough in and of itself. Being shown a new way of looking at something I thought I knew is a gift. So no, it was not pointless. The point was the story itself, and the story worked quite well for me.
Ideas are great, but you can't sell stories on ideas alone. You know this, damn it. For ideas to work and really marvel, they need to be fleshed out, explored and dictated with clear parameters and obvious showcases. The only time the War Doctor acts like the Warrior is when his TARDIS hits those Daleks after he writes "No More" on the wall.

Yes, the Forgotten, tacked-away-Doctor is a great idea. And with the gap between McGann-Eccleston, indeed an opportune idea. But it doesn't fly beyond that. And what if that Doctor was the Doctor that the Seventh was shy of being: A real bastard? Yes, that would've made him a villain, and not like the Doctor... but what if he was the villain, and the only way to secure him being the Doctor again was to regenerate into one? Its an idea, and not an uninteresting one (albeit quite off for this character, but still).

But to take the idea and just make a character that either a former or a later incarnation could've filled, and without any fuss (in fact, in Eight's case, you have the oft-repeated, very interesting parallel to the TV Movie)... thats just lazy. Why make the War Doctor just like one or two of the other Doctors?

Thank God for John Hurt!

Ahem... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZImcPwq3C1I

You really mean to suggest the First Doctor didn't have genuine emotions for his own granddaughter?
I obviously meant romantic feelings? Of course he had feelings for Susan - as he did for numerous, if not all his companions - especially Ian & Barbara. But it has been an arguable point, championed by Moffat recently, that the Doctor did fency Jo. Which, while I doubt that the Letts & Dicks team had in mind, I wouldn't dimiss out of hand entirely.


Maybe for people who were familiar with the character beforehand, but of course they're only one segment of the audience. There would've been no such "arc" in evidence for the many viewers unfamiliar with the '96 movie or the audios. The story had to be able to stand on its own. And in that sense, it might've been better to use a new version of the Doctor without prior baggage.
Now you're just sounding like a biased apologist.

Of course they could've used the Eighth Doctor for a new audience. The "arc" would be visible and present to the existing fans, but I seriously contend how having the EIghth would've been "too much" for the new audiences. Especially given the uprorious excitement over his on-screen return since '96. The story is about an incarnation of the Doctor who fought in the War, who was tired after fighting in it for so long and who did so at the cost of his name, and who was willing to perish along with Gallifrey and the Daleks. His function in the story is such, and Eighth would've filled it nicely, because at the end of the day, he's still the Doctor.

The only real difference, and the point that I contend is, Paul McGann is not John Hurt.

PS: And had Eccleston returned instead, the EIghth would've been the one to have fought in the War for the most time anyway, with the distinct difference that he wouldn't have been the one pressing the Moment. Nine would've done it.

Again, I consider that a feature rather than a bug. The ambivalence of the Doctor's attitude toward that part of himself points toward the truth that it was never really a separate self in any case, that his attempt to define it that way was inconsistent and flawed and mistaken. So it's hardly a failure to show the Doctor's view of himself as flawed and contradictory when it's meant to be wrong.
The Doctor wasn't wrong. He did destroy Gallifrey and did wipe out the TIme Lords - until the Eleventh changed his mind, and they ultimately didn't. But besides that rather obvious point, thats not what Wormhole is saying. He's pointing out at the inherent flaw of Moffat's War Doctor retcon - that if he was so ashamed of this incarnation and what he did, than he should've been equally secretive about what he did - which is genocide on a planetary scale.

And yet, the Doctor at the end defends this decision, because at the sign of them coming back, he picks Wilf's gun and sends them "back in to the hell."
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"Spock...?" Kirk said, whispering.
"I am... most pleased to see again, Captain" Spock formally replied.
McCoy shook his head in disgust. "Oh, for crying out loud, Spock. Its been eighty years!"
"Seventy eight point four years, Doctor."

The Holy Three meet again, in The Return
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Old August 21 2014, 01:45 AM   #98
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Re: The War Doctor Returns in a New Novel

Emperor-Tiberius wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
But that's the whole point. That the Doctor believed this part of himself was some shameful facet that deserved to be hidden away and forgotten, but came to realize that the reality was more forgivable. It was a story about the Doctor reconciling with himself, coming to terms with the guilt that's been driving him ever since the new series began and finally seeing himself more clearly.
Thats not it at all. Such story would've ended with the Doctors pressing the Moment together.
Wow, you could not have more totally misread what I wrote there. As I said, the reality was more forgivable -- because he didn't actually do what the later Doctors thought he did. What I'm saying is that the War Doctor never really was as bad as they thought, that this image they'd built up of him was never really true.


I wasn't saying that at all. I was pointing out that the War Doctor was a wasted concept for this story. The Warrior should've been a different Doctor from everyone else, and he simply wasn't.
Yes, thank you, I know what you're saying -- I simply disagree with it. What I'm saying here is that the point of "The Day of the Doctor" is that the later Doctors were wrong to think the War Doctor was fundamentally different. That was the illusion they'd built around him, and the truth is that he was really the Doctor all along, just as much as they were.


By comparison, the Seventh was more ruthless and amoral than the Warrior, since he blew up a whole planet, and without much regret.
He blew up Skaro, which presumably was populated only by Daleks at that point. He didn't blow up his own species including billions of children. So that's kind of a spurious comparison.


Point is, the conceit of the War Doctor is a narrative dissapointment.
Depends on the observer. You found him disappointing because he didn't live up to the hype. I prefer the story as told, in which all the dark, horrible hype turns out to have been untrue after all, because it reaffirms the Doctor's true self and lets him reconcile with a part of himself he'd unfairly condemned. I would've found it much more disappointing if the Doctor actually had destroyed Gallifrey, because that would've just been more of the same old tiresome, predictable Dark And Gritty storytelling that's become a cliche by this point. I'm much happier that Moffat decided to exorcise that angst from the Doctor's past.


I wasn't aware the Time War was a tangling and open case? I thought it was perfectly clear that we were past it - the Matt Smith era didn't actively adress the Time War since the regeneration.
We thought it was a closed case, but it was still baggage that lingered over the Doctor even if it wasn't openly confronted. And indeed I love the way Moffat made that very avoidance part of the narrative: Eleven's personality was defined by his effort to run away from his guilt over Gallifrey, so it was still informing his actions after all.

I wasn't saying the story had to tie off loose ends; I was saying that Moffat chose to make TDotD a bookend to the beginning of the revival and a culmination of all of the revival's arcs, both RTD's and his own. It was nominally the anniversary for the whole franchise, but in practice it was a climax to the entire revival up to that point.


But his arc had been resolved. End of Time effectively showed why the Doctor at the end had to destroy Gallifrey: because they'd become as ruthless, power-mad and dastardy as the Sixth Doctor had called them in his trial.
The plot had been resolved, but guilt and pain like that never resolve. They're always part of you. What I'm saying is that I'm glad the Doctor doesn't have that hanging over his psyche anymore, that I prefer him without it -- actually without it, not just trying to ignore it by acting like a goofball all the time. (I thought it was quite brilliant of Moffat to address the youthfulness of the past two Doctors by revealing that they were afraid of being grown up -- and that nicely paves the way for the more mature Capaldi Doctor once they get over that fear and guilt.)



Again, the Time War was not at all a focal point on the show, hasn't since Ten's regeneration to Eleven. The latter's era was entirely concerned with the Silence, the River Song mystery, his impending death and the Impossible Girl.
Obviously. But as I said, Moffat chose to tie TDotD in to all of the revival's arcs, not just his own. Making it a culmination of 50 years of episodes wouldn't have really worked, since there wasn't as much continuity in the original series and most of the audience wasn't familiar with the old show; but making it a culmination of the entire revival was more fitting for an anniversary than just making it the climax of Smith's seasons.


Ideas are great, but you can't sell stories on ideas alone. You know this, damn it.
As I said in the part you just quoted, I was satisfied by the story. You were not. That makes me different from you, not objectively wrong.


Yes, the Forgotten, tacked-away-Doctor is a great idea. And what if that Doctor was the Doctor that the Seventh was shy of being: A real bastard? Yes, that would've made him a villain, and not like the Doctor... but what if he was the villain, and the only way to secure him being the Doctor again was to regenerate into one? Its an idea, and not an uninteresting one (albeit quite off for this character, but still).
Again: I already know this is what you want. You have told me that already. I'm not unaware of your position, I simply disagree with it. So there's no need to restate it further.


I obviously meant romantic feelings?
What you said was "genuine emotional feelings for another." If you meant romantic feelings, you should've specified that. Romance is far from the only kind of genuine emotion.


But it has been an arguable point, championed by Moffat recently, that the Doctor did fency Jo. Which, while I doubt that the Letts & Dicks team had in mind, I wouldn't dimiss out of hand entirely.
No way. That was clearly a father-daughter relationship. (And I never cared for the way RTD retconned the Doctor & Sarah's relationship into a pseudo-romance. They were best friends!)


Maybe for people who were familiar with the character beforehand, but of course they're only one segment of the audience. There would've been no such "arc" in evidence for the many viewers unfamiliar with the '96 movie or the audios. The story had to be able to stand on its own. And in that sense, it might've been better to use a new version of the Doctor without prior baggage.
Now you're just sounding like a biased apologist.
What??? That's bizarrely ad hominem. I'm simply clarifying the decision-making process that goes into shaping a story with one's target audience in mind.


Of course they could've used the Eighth Doctor for a new audience. The "arc" would be visible and present to the existing fans, but I seriously contend how having the EIghth would've been "too much" for the new audiences.
I wasn't saying they couldn't have used the Eighth; I was simply disagreeing with the assertion that the "arc" thus created would in and of itself have been a sufficient reason to do so. Most of the audience would be unaware of such an arc, so it couldn't be the main reason for doing it; it would at most be a sidebar, a bonus for the old-school audience. The actual reason for going with the Eighth rather than the War Doctor would've had to be something else.


Especially given the uprorious excitement over his on-screen return since '96.
Among a certain portion of the audience. The makers of a show have to balance the interests and awareness of all the different segments of their audience.


The only real difference, and the point that I contend is, Paul McGann is not John Hurt.
Indeed he isn't; as I said, he's still fairly youthful and wouldn't have conveyed the sense of an aged, worn-down Doctor as well as Hurt, or contrasted with Tennant and Smith as well as Hurt.


The Doctor wasn't wrong. He did destroy Gallifrey and did wipe out the TIme Lords - until the Eleventh changed his mind, and they ultimately didn't.
No, that's not right. He never actually did it at all; he just thought he did, because his earlier selves' memories faded after they parted. History wasn't changed; only our understanding of it was.
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Old August 21 2014, 03:08 AM   #99
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Re: The War Doctor Returns in a New Novel

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Yes, thank you, I know what you're saying -- I simply disagree with it. What I'm saying here is that the point of "The Day of the Doctor" is that the later Doctors were wrong to think the War Doctor was fundamentally different. That was the illusion they'd built around him,
Except a ruthless warrior type like they thought he was was what the Eight Doctor seemed to be going for when picking his next incarnation, and Strax seemed convinced the War Doctor was when he mentioned how good it was the Sontarans never met him.

Instead we get the basically slightly grumpy typical older leaning Doctor.

Seriously it sounds like the Sisterhood of Karn utterly sucks at making ruthless warriors and that the whole controlling regenerations thing was a bunch of BS.

I mean Five, Six, and Seven seemed more ruthless that the War Doctor. What with Six cracking one lines when minions drop into acid, Five using biological weapons on the Daleks when he isn't pushing them out of windows at the top of buildings, and Seven tricking people into blowing themselves up.
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Old August 21 2014, 07:36 AM   #100
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Re: The War Doctor Returns in a New Novel

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Wow, you could not have more totally misread what I wrote there. As I said, the reality was more forgivable -- because he didn't actually do what the later Doctors thought he did. What I'm saying is that the War Doctor never really was as bad as they thought, that this image they'd built up of him was never really true.
But the Doctors reconciled with the War Doctor before he was about to press the Moment. What are you talking about?

Up until then, the story was about him, the Hurt Doctor. However, the story then becomes about the Doctor in general - and indeed, all the incarnations of the Doctors end up rescuing Gallifrey.

As such, the story literally fails on living up to the promise of a Doctor who was so different that the Doctor would literally pretend he didn't exist. Who was War-like NOT JUST AT THE END OF HIS LIFE.

Remember, the Eighth said to the Sisterhood of Karn, "make me into a warrior." Not "make me into a slightly less violent and not nearly a bastard as I was in my sixth regeneration."

Yes, thank you, I know what you're saying -- I simply disagree with it. What I'm saying here is that the point of "The Day of the Doctor" is that the later Doctors were wrong to think the War Doctor was fundamentally different. That was the illusion they'd built around him, and the truth is that he was really the Doctor all along, just as much as they were.
Thats not what Day of the Doctor is about at all! Its a story of redemption, not just for the War Doctor, but for all the NuWho Doctors up to this point. Its specifically about Eleven coming to terms with his past, by taking Nine and Ten's guilt and saving Gallifrey.

And thanks to no small part by Clara, who forces him to confront the essence of his name, his title. That while Nine and Ten were Doctor-like, only Eleven can become the Doctor again by undoing what he had done so long ago.

He blew up Skaro, which presumably was populated only by Daleks at that point. He didn't blow up his own species including billions of children. So that's kind of a spurious comparison.
Thats one helluva weak excuse. The Daleks were still living beings, weren't they? Evil or not, the Doctor blowing their planet up is as nasty as a character can get. Remember how the Fourth Doctor hesitated erasing their existence? And while allowing them to survive was unwise, blowing up a whole planet is still, well, nasty. Similarly, the Doctor wouldn't have even considered wiping out his own people if they weren't nasty themselves - and they have been far more often than not.

What changed things this time around is that the Moment him that, hey, there were kids on that planet, too (did someone say Lungbarrow?).
Depends on the observer. You found him disappointing because he didn't live up to the hype. I prefer the story as told, in which all the dark, horrible hype turns out to have been untrue after all, because it reaffirms the Doctor's true self and lets him reconcile with a part of himself he'd unfairly condemned. I would've found it much more disappointing if the Doctor actually had destroyed Gallifrey, because that would've just been more of the same old tiresome, predictable Dark And Gritty storytelling that's become a cliche by this point. I'm much happier that Moffat decided to exorcise that angst from the Doctor's past.
OK, what the hell are you talking about? Both 10 and 11 reconcile with the War Doctor before they decide to actually save Gallifrey. They recognize that the War Doctor was just like them that horrible day, because he took the most difficult decision possible.

What changed things was how Moffat retroactively put himself in that situation, with Eleven being his avatar. This time, there were three of them there.

And beyond that, you seemingly don't recognize that the Time War storyline was really done, by this point, and what Moffat did really was a retcon of RTD's development of that character. Seemingly, you also seem to disagree with the character's direction during those years, but I'm sorry - I thought what he did for the character was both important and necessary. Part of the charm for the Doctor, to me, has been that he's a lone wolf.

We thought it was a closed case, but it was still baggage that lingered over the Doctor even if it wasn't openly confronted. And indeed I love the way Moffat made that very avoidance part of the narrative: Eleven's personality was defined by his effort to run away from his guilt over Gallifrey, so it was still informing his actions after all.

I wasn't saying the story had to tie off loose ends; I was saying that Moffat chose to make TDotD a bookend to the beginning of the revival and a culmination of all of the revival's arcs, both RTD's and his own. It was nominally the anniversary for the whole franchise, but in practice it was a climax to the entire revival up to that point.
And thats why the anniversary, as great as it was, just wasn't an anniversary of the 50 years of the show, but rather its almost-nine years. Tom Baker-aside, it wasn't really celebratory of the show's history and overall journey, which the trailer lied that it was, btw.

Anyway, despite finding the excuse that Moffat couldn't have written a more enveloping, ancompassing storyline for the 50th laughable and simply untrue, I do think he made the right choice with this storyline.
The plot had been resolved, but guilt and pain like that never resolve. They're always part of you. What I'm saying is that I'm glad the Doctor doesn't have that hanging over his psyche anymore, that I prefer him without it -- actually without it, not just trying to ignore it by acting like a goofball all the time. (I thought it was quite brilliant of Moffat to address the youthfulness of the past two Doctors by revealing that they were afraid of being grown up -- and that nicely paves the way for the more mature Capaldi Doctor once they get over that fear and guilt.)
Yeah, we get it - you really love the fricking story.

However, the Doctor had indeed gone on with it. Whether he was running away from his guilt or not, its irrelevant, because thats all he could do with it in his own lifetime. They were gone, he was still around.





As I said in the part you just quoted, I was satisfied by the story. You were not. That makes me different from you, not objectively wrong.
I was satisfied by the story. However, I do admit to its flaws, which are there, regardless of personal preference. Simply put, Day of the Doctor good, but not truly great. Not least because the conceit of the War Doctor, who is the most pointless retcon in Moffat's run of the show, and only really served the purpose of adressing the regeneration limit in Time of the Doctor.

Again: I already know this is what you want. You have told me that already. I'm not unaware of your position, I simply disagree with it. So there's no need to restate it further.
And yet you patronize my opinion by re-iterating your own again and again. I similarly know what you mean too, and so do others, as well.

No way. That was clearly a father-daughter relationship. (And I never cared for the way RTD retconned the Doctor & Sarah's relationship into a pseudo-romance. They were best friends!)
I don't mind it at all. Its possible Sarah developed feelings for him. Its only human, and things like that are what gave the show some dimension that it lacked from the old show (though BF haven't exactly shyed away from it).

And hey, take it up with Moffat - he insists that Doctor loved Jo. Katty Manning comments on it on the Green Death Special Edition DVD's.

What??? That's bizarrely ad hominem. I'm simply clarifying the decision-making process that goes into shaping a story with one's target audience in mind.
Sure, but that doesn't stop you from defending that story foundemental flaws with passion, just because you liked the "idea" of the War Doctor. I mean, it did basically "absolve" the Doctor of RTD's dark direction, didn't it?

I wasn't saying they couldn't have used the Eighth;
Except that you very clearly did before your first reply.

I was simply disagreeing with the assertion that the "arc" thus created would in and of itself have been a sufficient reason to do so. Most of the audience would be unaware of such an arc, so it couldn't be the main reason for doing it; it would at most be a sidebar, a bonus for the old-school audience. The actual reason for going with the Eighth rather than the War Doctor would've had to be something else.
Indeed. One-time stunt casting of a much more well-known actor to the part.

Among a certain portion of the audience. The makers of a show have to balance the interests and awareness of all the different segments of their audience.
Right, because the audience that normally wouldn't watch DW is too dumb to cope with three returning Doctors? Thats rather unfair to assume, you know.

Indeed he isn't; as I said, he's still fairly youthful and wouldn't have conveyed the sense of an aged, worn-down Doctor as well as Hurt, or contrasted with Tennant and Smith as well as Hurt.
Thats not why Moffat wrote the War Doctor, though. He wrote him he could have a great actor like John Hurt portray him, not to have an old character that an actor could have played him.

It was stunt casting. Period.

No, that's not right.
That is absolutely what happened. The first time around.

He never actually did it at all; he just thought he did, because his earlier selves' memories faded after they parted. History wasn't changed; only our understanding of it was.
Not really. History was changed. Remember that 10 and 11 actually saw Gallifrey burn?

Ten: I've seen that.
Eleven: And I never want to see it again!

Besides, Eleven is pretty sure he and Ten weren't there the first time around, and if they really were, he'd remember it afterwards.

Otherwise, the story doesn't work nearly as well.
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Old August 22 2014, 06:44 PM   #101
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Re: The War Doctor Returns in a New Novel

Emperor-Tiberius wrote: View Post
But it has been an arguable point, championed by Moffat recently, that the Doctor did fency Jo. Which, while I doubt that the Letts & Dicks team had in mind, I wouldn't dimiss out of hand entirely.
That is utterly ridiculous. There is absolutely nothing in any of the Third Doctor/Jo stories that even hints of the Doctor having romantic feelings for Jo.

The closest Classic Who gets to romance between the Doctor and a Companion is in two stories: In City of Death, the Doctor and Romana II hold hands while running through the streets of Paris. They're not trying to escape from anything; they're doing that for the sheer exuberant fun of it. Later on, in State of Decay, the Doctor tells Romana, "You're wonderful." She's surprised, and shyly pleased that he would say that to her.
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Old August 25 2014, 05:05 PM   #102
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Re: The War Doctor Returns in a New Novel

Finished the novel earlier today.

Good novel, but for me the "War" Doctor wasn't distinctive enough. For a novel that has the tagline "War changes everyone - even the Doctor" on the cover he read to much like a pastiche of the following Doctors' personae for my taste.
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Old September 8 2014, 03:31 PM   #103
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Re: The War Doctor Returns in a New Novel

Just finished the book last night, really enjoyed it too. It's a really cool story which perfectly depicts the War Doctor in a way Day of the Doctor didn't. It all comes down to context, while we can compare the War Doctor to the other Doctors and notice he doesn't come off as that different in comparison, when we compare him to the other Time Lords he interacted with as this novel does, it's like day and night. Despite being embroiled in a war which they are losing, the Time Lords are still burying their heads in the sand and trying to ignore the war when convenient while still placing an idiotic amount of importance on their rituals and over-planning, while the Doctor accepts his place in the thick of things in the war and is a man of action with little use for the Time Lords pomp and protocol.

This is a really good book which offers a great look into not only the War Doctor, but the Time War itself and what it did to Gallifrey and the Time Lords. I'd recommend it even to those who weren't completely taken with the War Doctor as presented in Day of the Doctor.
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Old September 12 2014, 05:29 PM   #104
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Re: The War Doctor Returns in a New Novel

Defcon wrote: View Post
Finished the novel earlier today.

Good novel, but for me the "War" Doctor wasn't distinctive enough. For a novel that has the tagline "War changes everyone - even the Doctor" on the cover he read to much like a pastiche of the following Doctors' personae for my taste.
In case anyone is interested, my review is now online: http://unreality-sf.net/2014/09/12/d...of-war-review/
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Old September 12 2014, 06:57 PM   #105
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Re: The War Doctor Returns in a New Novel

Defcon wrote: View Post
In case anyone is interested, my review is now online: http://unreality-sf.net/2014/09/12/d...of-war-review/
I agree with all of that.
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