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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 September 9 2013, 01:20 PM   #1
Noddy
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Why the lack of Classic characters?

So far, everything we've seen of the anniversary special strongly indicates a distinct lack of characters from the classic series. There's no sign of any classic Doctors or companions. Any theories as to why exactly Steven Moffat has chosen to pass up so many great opportunities?
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Old September 9 2013, 01:28 PM   #2
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Re: Why the lack of Classic characters?

To be fair it might not have been Moffat's call, this is a man who wrote Time Crash after all, and the Curse of Fatal Death, and much of series 7B which contained a whole heap of references to the classic series and Doctors. You can hardly accuse him of airbrushing the classic era out of existance.
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Old September 9 2013, 01:29 PM   #3
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Re: Why the lack of Classic characters?

Because "50th anniversary special" is a brand management opportunity, not a content description. Whether Moffat (who once referred to the classic Doctors bar Davison as having "disappeared into a retirement home for lardies" because they couldn't act) wants them in is a moot point: there's a limit to how much classic series material is going to find its way into the new series, even on an occasion like this, because there's a probably-accurate perception that not enough people care about it. If you can devote x amount of screen time to Matt Smith, David Tennant, and John Hurt or to Peter Davison, Katy Manning, and Sophie Aldred, you're going to pick the former.
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Old September 9 2013, 01:32 PM   #4
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Re: Why the lack of Classic characters?

As much as I like the Tenth Doctor and Rose, they should have included one or two earlier Doctors, even if they just had small parts. Or how about Susan, Jamie, Leela, or Ace? Seeing any of them again after such a long time would have been lovely.....but no.
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Old September 9 2013, 01:37 PM   #5
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Re: Why the lack of Classic characters?

Brendan Moody wrote: View Post
Because "50th anniversary special" is a brand management opportunity, not a content description. Whether Moffat (who once referred to the classic Doctors bar Davison as having "disappeared into a retirement home for lardies" because they couldn't act) wants them in is a moot point: there's a limit to how much classic series material is going to find its way into the new series, even on an occasion like this, because there's a probably-accurate perception that not enough people care about it. If you can devote x amount of screen time to Matt Smith, David Tennant, and John Hurt or to Peter Davison, Katy Manning, and Sophie Aldred, you're going to pick the former.
It still sucks though, IMO. And did they really need John Hurt? He's a good actor, but for this, it would've been so much better if they'd had Paul McGann reprise the role of the Eighth Doctor.
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Old September 9 2013, 02:02 PM   #6
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Re: Why the lack of Classic characters?

But then if the Hurt Doctor is supposed to have done a "very bad thing" people would have been up in arms that Moffat was tainting a classic character if he'd used McGann instead.

And for all we know Moffat wanted all living docs to be in it and the BBC said "Don't be ridiculous!"

Brendan did Moffat really say that? I recall him definitely saying something along the lines of "There's a reason Davison is the only classic Doctor to have much of a career after Who" and frankly I think he had a point (I also believe he said that a long time ago--as in last century-- also)
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Old September 9 2013, 02:24 PM   #7
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Re: Why the lack of Classic characters?

Starkers wrote: View Post
But then if the Hurt Doctor is supposed to have done a "very bad thing" people would have been up in arms that Moffat was tainting a classic character if he'd used McGann instead.

And for all we know Moffat wanted all living docs to be in it and the BBC said "Don't be ridiculous!"

Brendan did Moffat really say that? I recall him definitely saying something along the lines of "There's a reason Davison is the only classic Doctor to have much of a career after Who" and frankly I think he had a point (I also believe he said that a long time ago--as in last century-- also)
It was in the In-Vision Season 19 special, in 1995/96: just found a copy, though irritatingly it's a dud one - the first page of the piece is blank, and the quote in question straddles the pages....
"[It's not a coincidence], or some kind of evil plot, that he {Davison]'s played more above the title, lead roles on the telly than the rest of the Doctors put together. It's because- get this! - he's the best actor!"
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Old September 9 2013, 02:26 PM   #8
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Re: Why the lack of Classic characters?

I knew it was a long time ago, whatever he said
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Old September 9 2013, 02:28 PM   #9
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Re: Why the lack of Classic characters?

Starkers wrote: View Post
But then if the Hurt Doctor is supposed to have done a "very bad thing" people would have been up in arms that Moffat was tainting a classic character if he'd used McGann instead.
I think that's the reason exactly for John Hurt. It lets Moffat have a "bad" Doctor without damaging any of the known Doctors. Plus, it's an opportunity to get John Hurt to play the Doctor, and that's no bad thing in itself.
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Old September 9 2013, 02:34 PM   #10
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Re: Why the lack of Classic characters?

Besides, for dramatic purposes, revealing the existence of an unknown former Doctor is a more interesting cliffhanger than pulling out one of the existing ones. Indeed, this is something which hooks everyone, while using Paul McGann would likely just set off over-excited squees from uber fanboys.

Meanwhile, it's not like the classic era is being completely ignored, since we do have An Adventure in Time and Space. Maybe it's not the same as having all live Doctors in the 50th, but it's better than nothing.
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Old September 9 2013, 02:45 PM   #11
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Re: Why the lack of Classic characters?

For the reasons mentioned, plus even though it is a show about time travel we don't really have a time machine.
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Old September 9 2013, 03:02 PM   #12
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Re: Why the lack of Classic characters?

The Moffat quote I had in mind is from this roundtable, which was indeed a long time ago and which Moffat has himself described as "I was drunk in a pub and someone was writing it down," expressing embarrassment in particular about having slagged off Robert Holmes. Whether that's a matter of evolving views or showrunner-Moffat having to be more polite than fan-Moffat... well, one can think as one likes about that. He's certainly one of your more eloquent drunks.
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Old September 9 2013, 04:21 PM   #13
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Re: Why the lack of Classic characters?

I think Moffat is a huge fan of the classic series, so I'm sure there are other reasons for the lack of classic characters. Undoubtedly the marketability is a major issue. However, it seems very doable to include a classic companion as a supporting character. There were some signs that a classic companion might appear



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Old September 9 2013, 07:11 PM   #14
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Re: Why the lack of Classic characters?

Ultimately, until it airs, we don't know what references or nods to the classic series it will show. I don't actually expect any classic Doctors to appear in new clips but before The Name of The Doctor, did anyone expect the clip at th start with all the classic Doctors? I anticipate little nods like this.
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Old September 9 2013, 07:21 PM   #15
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Re: Why the lack of Classic characters?

Captaindemotion wrote: View Post
Ultimately, until it airs, we don't know what references or nods to the classic series it will show. I don't actually expect any classic Doctors to appear in new clips but before The Name of The Doctor, did anyone expect the clip at th start with all the classic Doctors? I anticipate little nods like this.
Not only was it unexpected, but, that kind of thing has always been "pooh-poohed" around here, because of the difference in quality of the film clips, "They'll never insert older clips, or insert new actors into older clips, because it would look awful in today's HD"
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