Am I the only one that felt uncomfortable about the old Hurt Serials?

Discussion in 'Doctor Who' started by Newspaper Taxi, Aug 9, 2013.

  1. Newspaper Taxi

    Newspaper Taxi Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    I don't really see a lot of people talk about the Hurt serials that ran from '01 to '05. I really felt that the show took on a much darker tone during this period and I'm really shocked at some of the things that the guy we're supposed to call "The Doctor" did. I mean -- the Time War? It made for one hell of a season finale and my favorite regeneration scene ever, but wow. I had a hard time looking at him the same way afterwards.

    I'm looking forward to seeing Hurt return in the 50th Anniversary special and I'm glad to see that Smith's Doctor doesn't even consider him to officially be a 'true' Doctor.
     
  2. Emperor-Tiberius

    Emperor-Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    Re: Am I the only one that felt uncomfortable about the old Hurt Seria

    Hurt serials?
     
  3. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Am I the only one that felt uncomfortable about the old Hurt Seria

    John Hurt was the Doctor for half the first decade of this century.

    I mean because of the controversy surrounding the, well you know, we don't talk about his tenure much, but the Beeb seems to have got it's house in order since they're finally talking to John again, so we might as well knuckle in and shine the light of day on that cluster####.

    When the Master decapitated the wrong penguin.

    The special effects were basically claymation, but still that was yucky.
     
  4. MissionFever

    MissionFever Ensign Red Shirt

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    Re: Am I the only one that felt uncomfortable about the old Hurt Seria

    The Hurt serials were definitely an odd period.

    I sort of like the idea that he somehow wasn't really The Doctor. I mean, I know that we saw the regeneration and all but it doesn't feel right.

    Also, (and I went back and checked) he never did refer to himself as The Doctor. Sure he's called that, but everyone seems to pick it up from someone else.

    It's an odd period.
     
  5. P0sitr0nic

    P0sitr0nic Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Am I the only one that felt uncomfortable about the old Hurt Seria

    I did like seeing Ace that one time again tho.
     
  6. Kestrel

    Kestrel Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Am I the only one that felt uncomfortable about the old Hurt Seria

    And the way he betrayed Romana... talk about raising the bar in shocking but well-acted decisions.
     
  7. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Am I the only one that felt uncomfortable about the old Hurt Seria

    Mary Tamm at her finest, I loved how they played with her history line like that.
     
  8. arch101

    arch101 Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: Am I the only one that felt uncomfortable about the old Hurt Seria

    The real tragedy here is that the ep where Adric died again was only aired once and can't be found anywhere, even on YouTube. :-(
     
  9. Sir Rhosis

    Sir Rhosis Commodore Commodore

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    Re: Am I the only one that felt uncomfortable about the old Hurt Seria

    ^^^I believe Peter Davison had a hand in squashing the re-airing of Adric's ep. But I notice that no one is talking about the return of "Amazing Grace." What a shock to learn her true nature after the 96 movie led us to believe... well, I still can't get my head around that scene between her and Eric Roberts... let's leave it at that, shall we.

    Sir Rhosis
     
  10. P0sitr0nic

    P0sitr0nic Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Am I the only one that felt uncomfortable about the old Hurt Seria

    Oh that was such a fanwank season, the whole thing :P
     
  11. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Am I the only one that felt uncomfortable about the old Hurt Seria

    A whole episode where Grace is trying to get away from answering the question of who is the better kisser.

    Way too Ally McBeal.
     
  12. Allyn Gibson

    Allyn Gibson Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Am I the only one that felt uncomfortable about the old Hurt Seria

    You need to look at Hurt's four years in the context of the times. When he was cast, mid 2001, things were looking pretty good. Yeah, the economy had taken a tumble after Bush's election, but it had mellowed out. It looked like things were going to be pretty steady. And the first half of Hurt's first season reflected that.

    Unfortunately, Hurt made his debut as the Doctor on September 13th. And the world had changed two days before.

    It wasn't until "The Sontaran Gambit"/"Sentinel of the Daleks" two-parter in February 2002 that we really began to see how dark Doctor Who could go. Ironically, it wasn't even Hurt's Doctor that was dark. It was what the Thals were doing in that two-parter that was so jaw-droppingly insane, and I think the Doctor was as appalled as the audience was. Clearly, it was a story written in reaction to the Afghanistan mission, but it really opened the door for where Hurt's era would go with the Daleks taking the Sontaran clone banks for themselves and the revelation about the Dalek time machines.

    I view Hurt's era as a reaction to the Bush/Blair failure in Iraq, and I see Hurt's Doctor as a tragic hero. You can see in Hurt's Doctor the arc from true believer in the righteous cause to disillusioned warrior who has lost faith in his leaders. You can see it most clearly in "The Tears of the Ten Thousand" when the Doctor confronts Romana and demands to know how many more worlds must burn because of a mistake, and Romana's chilling response -- "The mistake would be in not burning more" -- is the point where the Doctor loses all faith in his cause.

    Hurt's era is uncomfortable viewing, because they were trying so hard to make something relevant to the era. In that regard, I think they were trying to ape Star Trek and BSG a little too hard. But Hurt's era is also, in retrospect, difficult to watch simply because it hasn't aged well. The era that followed with Eccleston and Tennant also hasn't aged particularly well -- Eccleston's season in particular is grounded firmly in the 2005 present, and its references have dated badly -- but Hurt's era looks cheap and its political undercurrents are no longer meaningful.

    Hurt himself is great. His work, however, is very much of its time. It lacks timelessnes. Say what you will about Steven Moffat as writer, but as a producer he's made his tenure timeless.

    I'm glad to see John Hurt back, too. Hurt was my Doctor. :)
     
  13. TJ Sinclair

    TJ Sinclair Captain Captain

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    Re: Am I the only one that felt uncomfortable about the old Hurt Seria

    What about the lost Grant Morrison script from that era? Wouldn't it be so weird if Moffat dug that out and they actually filmed the thing?

    We can kind of get an idea of what it would be like from Morrison's Batman RIP stories, what with him using certain elements of the plot and naming the bad guy Doctor Hurt and all...
     
  14. MrPointy

    MrPointy Commander Red Shirt

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    Re: Am I the only one that felt uncomfortable about the old Hurt Seria

    I remember liking the Hurt era because of how grimdark it was. But I was only 18 when it started so I didn't really know better. It definitely was aping BSG, especially in the last two seasons.

    I don't think The Doctor really needed to flush that Sontaran out the airlock in "Ghosts of Pyrrha".

    I will say, the episode with Peri as the Queen of Rathagon VI is in my top 10 Who episodes of all time. And not because of the nip-slip.
     
  15. intrinsical

    intrinsical Commodore Commodore

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    Re: Am I the only one that felt uncomfortable about the old Hurt Seria

    Poor Hurt, what Eccleston did in the last 5 minutes of "Moment of the Time Lords" is still the most shocking thing I've ever seen on television. Undoing all of Hurt's brilliant legacy was just painful to watch.
     
  16. Emperor-Tiberius

    Emperor-Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    Re: Am I the only one that felt uncomfortable about the old Hurt Seria

    My favorite part of Hurt's last serial was his multi-Doctor story with Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker. It was rather ingenius how they weaved together unused Pertwee footage and CGI-ed his appearence there. Bloody brilliant for BBC, and of the time.

    And Tom Baker... his portrayal of the Fourth Doctor as he's so visibly disgusted by his Hurt persona, is absolutely brilliant. Some of his best work, for sure.
     
  17. Allyn Gibson

    Allyn Gibson Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Re: Am I the only one that felt uncomfortable about the old Hurt Seria

    Hurt's era was not without its charms, though.

    I loved the two-parter with Jamie McCrimmon in Revolutionary era, British occupied New York. Yes, it was clearly inspired by the New Adventures, with the Doctor and his former companion at odds with one another, but in this case I didn't mind. As an old school Doctor Who fan, I kept hoping that Jaime would remember something, anything about his travels with the Doctor. I liked that they didn't go that way, though, and that Jamie never remembered, not even as he lay dying after taking a bullet to save his daughter and the Doctor from a mob, not that he would have recognized Hurt.

    That story, of course, gave us Claire McCrimmon, one of the most delightful companions of recent memory. Yes, she could have been a Victoria redux, but instead they treated her with more psychological depth than the series was capable of pre-1980s. I liked the way her relationship with the Doctor developed, especially as she drew out the Doctor and came to understand who her father had been as a young man. And who can forget the tragic consequences when she was captured by the Daleks and brought before the Emperor? Her screams as she's led off to the conversion chamber still haunt me. That was another moment that, in my opinion, really broke this Doctor.

    The other charming moment came early in Hurt's first season, before the series changed direction in "The Sontaran Gambit." I'm still amazed that they did a Hartnell-esque pure historical. Not even RTD or Moffat have had the testicular fortitude to do that. The only word to describe "The Vinlanders" is "vintage." You look at that episode now, and you have to think they got lucky in their timing. It hit screens right before The Lord of the Rings hit, so there was already this medievalist buzz in the air, and when FOX repeated it that summer they recut the trailer to be more Lord of the Rings-esque. I won't say that "The Vinlanders" is completely successful, but it was fun in a way that Doctor Who hadn't been for a few years and wouldn't be again until "Smith & Jones."
     
  18. TJ Sinclair

    TJ Sinclair Captain Captain

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    Re: Am I the only one that felt uncomfortable about the old Hurt Seria

    Yes, the Jamie story was pure brilliance, far better than "School Reunion" in and of itself, or at least more daring by far, in how to deal with a past companion.

    But that mid-season two parter in 2004, "The Master of Time"/"The Three Masters"? Having Anthony Ainley back, even if briefly, was wonderful. Ainley, Roberts and Jacobi sharing the maniacal laugh right at the cliffhanger, bloody well chilling. And the return of Kamelion was perhaps the most surprising thing about it all.
     
  19. Nick Ryder

    Nick Ryder Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Re: Am I the only one that felt uncomfortable about the old Hurt Seria

    It was so nice to see after Hurt's run ended that the 9th Doctor retained his 'new' Sonic Screwdriver and a variant of his leather jacket, two pieces of his kit that I always thought were quite nice and shocked that we never did see later Doctors wearing such a solid and durable "Action" costume before. Even that scene when he got tossed in that Judoon prison cell, it made a lot more sense than the suits the later Doctors wore.
     
  20. TJ Sinclair

    TJ Sinclair Captain Captain

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    Re: Am I the only one that felt uncomfortable about the old Hurt Seria

    Frankly, I think we might be risking the wrath of the BBC by even talking about this era at all. Remember that whole cease & desist letter fansite purge that happened a couple of months before Hurt's regeneration? It was 1996 and Paramount all over again, only a thousand times more extreme. They really wanted RTD coming in with a "clean slate." Only a few random mentions have ever popped up online since then, and then it's like the Men in Black shut it down before it gets too far.

    Even over on Gallifrey Base, if you mention the Hurt Era, at first they'll look at you like you're nuts, or from an alternate timeline or something, and if you persist, they'll cyber-lynch and ban you. Talk about drinking the kool aid. Oh, my giddy aunt.

    Even the X-Files fans refuse to acknowledge it, and that crossover was massively important for both series, but especially in regards to actually resolving Chris Carter's so-called "plan," not to mention actually seeing how the Lone Gunmen got out of that jam with Michael McKean. God bless K-9, a Frohike's best friend if ever there was one. Even if my favorite moment was just the simple shot of Mulder reading 1984 when Hurt walks out of the TARDIS. It's the little things.
     

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