Classic Who on BBC America

Discussion in 'Doctor Who' started by OmahaStar, Jan 21, 2013.

  1. diankra

    diankra Commodore Commodore

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    It's an interesting one: when Dad's Army and the like are repeated here now, they display as square-ish pictures in the middle of the widescreen.
     
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Well, that's the way it should look. The show was made in the more "square-ish" format of the time. I'll never understand why some people think it's better to have an image distorted to fit the frame than it is to have a little black space in order for the image to look the way it was meant to.
     
  3. diankra

    diankra Commodore Commodore

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    That's what puzzled me: if British TV can handle it in a way that the TVs latch onto automatically (it's something in the decoding, as they do look different from set to set, and particularly if you record a DVD copy on one machine and play it on another), why not do the same in the states?
     
  4. Ar-Pharazon

    Ar-Pharazon Vice Admiral Premium Member

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    ^ That's the big thing in the Star Trek TNG blu-ray discussions, "why didn't they make it 16:9?".

    I'm happy it's remastered well and looks as great as it does. I understand it wasn't meant to be widescreen.
     
  5. DWF

    DWF Admiral Admiral

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    With HDTVs you cna change the format anyway and I can't see what's lost watching older shows.
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    It's not about the TVs. It's a specific choice made by the people behind this specific set of specials. I've never seen it done with anything else in American TV. Usually, programs are broadcast in their original aspect ratio, or portions are cut off to fit the screen but the actual proportions of the image are unaltered. (Although a lot of HDTVs do stretch things out to fit the frame unless you set them to display the original aspect ratio. But that's done by the receivers, not the broadcasters.) "The Aztecs" was presented in its original aspect ratio when this retrospective began. But starting with "Tomb of the Cybermen," they decided to employ this bizarre distortion that kept the central part of the image in its original proportions but stretched out the sides of the image to fill a widescreen frame. That's something new in my experience and I profoundly hope it doesn't catch on.
     
  7. diankra

    diankra Commodore Commodore

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    I understand that; my point was that on the UK system the older productions aren't actually transmitted with black space to either side, but the sets are triggered automatically to display them like that (though if you want to override it, you can get your set to streeetch every image into widescreen if you so choose), so I wondered if there was some difference between the two transmission systems that meant that couldn't happen in the States, so the the broadcasters had to decide whether to 'sidebar' or stretch at source.
     
  8. Allyn Gibson

    Allyn Gibson Vice Admiral Admiral

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    My parents have to adjust their HDTV manually. There's something like four different settings on their television -- letterboxed all around, letterboxed on the sides, stretched, cropped. (The cropped one is weird -- it stretches the 4:3 to the 16:9 width and then lops off the top and bottom.) They usually have me fix it when I visit, because they do something like get the television stuck on the cropped setting.
     
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    US sets aren't configured to do that automatically, I think, though you can choose that setting. I think that standard-definition signals are broadcast in 4:3 and HD signals are broadcast in widescreen. The BBCA Doctors Revisited specials show up on my (old, standard-def, 4:3) TV as letterboxed (i.e. with black space above and below to fit into a 4:3 frame) and stretched out. But that's on the standard-def BBCA channel, as I understand it. I would assume that if I got the BBCA HD feed, it would be a full widescreen image with no bars (which means that the sides would be cut off on my set, and the image would fill the screen on an HDTV).

    I think this is just the modern equivalent of colorization. They decided to alter the image to make it fit what's become standard, even though that means changing it in an unauthentic and unappealing way.



    I'll never understand why HDTVs don't just default to the correct aspect ratio for any image with black space on the sides or top/bottom as needed, just like my computer monitor does when I'm watching an online video. I get so sick of seeing HDTVs in public places that are broadcasting standard-def 4:3 images stretched and flattened to fit a wide screen. Nobody but me seems bothered that the people and objects are unnaturally squashed. They'd rather see everything misshapen than tolerate some harmless black space. And HDTVs seem to be designed to cater to that bizarre set of priorities as the default.
     
  10. DWF

    DWF Admiral Admiral

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    There's so little stretching it hardly matters, but a change in resolution is always noticed. And in the terms of the classic Doctor Who there's always a difference between the film images and the videotaped portions.
     
  11. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

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    Cartoon Network does it, they show everything in widescreen including older cartoons. In the early days of HDTV, AMC was even worse as they'd stretch their already cropped pan-and-scan versions of movies. As a somewhat early adopter of HDTV it was more prevalent than it is now. Of course, now there's less and less 4:3 programming being shown, period.

    My TV has a 4:3 mode which will take those streched-out broadcasts and force them back into 4:3 which is pretty handy. I take it that isn't a common feature.

    I've also found a good number of people who are oblivious to their TV stretching out the image and a good number that aren't aware they are watching the SD channel instead of the HD one (when both are available).
     
  12. Klaus

    Klaus Vice Admiral Admiral

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    You could have just shortened it to this... :rolleyes:
     
  13. diankra

    diankra Commodore Commodore

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    As a sidenote the Doctors Revisited season starts running in the uk next Saturday on Watch. It'll be intrrrsting to see how they run Tomb... will it be stretched as in the US?
     
  14. The Borgified Corpse

    The Borgified Corpse Admiral Admiral

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    Ouch! Forgotten already? You were just down ther
    I disagree. If anything, I think Season 5 got much better as it went along. It starts out great with "The Eleventh Hour." But then you've got some half-baked ideas that never quite gel in "The Beast Below." Then you've got the shitty Dalek redesign in "Victory of the Daleks." Then you've got Smith & Gillan not quite totally in character yet in "The Time of Angels"/"Flesh & Stone."

    IMO, things got a lot better after that. "Amy's Choice" & "The Lodger" are both on my top 5 list of the best episodes of the new series. "The Vampires of Venice" is a solid if unremarkable story that immediately does a fantastic job of integrating Rory into the ensemble. "Vincent & the Doctor" is heartbreakingly poignant.

    The Silurian 2-parter is a bit of a misstep. I suspect it would work better as a 1-parter. Then they would have less time to dwell on the humans contemplating whether or not they should torture their Silurian prisoner.

    Agreed. Wholeheartedly. In particular, I think Smith has some shouty moments towards the end of part 2 that are very Tennant-esque.

    They forgot because their reason fell into the crack.:p

    I wouldn't say that the story "really started up the mystery surrounding River." They make 1 or 2 brief mentions of the fact that the Doctor doesn't really know who River is yet. But that's about it. Out of all of River's appearances, I'd say it's the one where River's presence is the most incidental and the one that spends the least time focusing on or speculating about River's backstory.
     
  15. Klaus

    Klaus Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Sunday night this time...
     
  16. Procutus

    Procutus Admiral Admiral

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    And it's The Stolen Earth/Journey's End that's being show, is that correct?
     
  17. DWF

    DWF Admiral Admiral

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    It's in that two parter that we learn that River is prison for murder for the first time.
     
  18. Alidar Jarok

    Alidar Jarok Everything in moderation but moderation Moderator

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    Yeah, it doesn't start the River mystery (the first appearance does that with the fact that she knows his name), but it really starts the "story." It shows that there's more to her than just a one-off mystery, but a building intrigue (iirc, that's when she says she killed the greatest man she ever knew).
     
  19. tomalak301

    tomalak301 Admiral Premium Member

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    Watching Journey's End and boy was that finale one big epic destruction fest. Still, it was the perfect two episodes to show because it really does cover Tennant's entire era as the Doctor. I almost forgot how great he was in the role, better than Smith I think.

    The more I watch the episode the more I think, from my perspective, this is a pretty good 8 year anniversary episode. So you don't have Smith and Eccleston, but you have the longest tenured Doctor in the 5 year span, all the companions, and plenty of Daleks, not to mention some great loud music which is a Staple of new Who. What more can you ask for. ;)
     
  20. tomalak301

    tomalak301 Admiral Premium Member

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    What happened to Donna was such a tragedy, but it is really some of the best written stuff I've seen in the entire 2005-present series. Tate and the guy who played Wilfred (Cribbons was it?) were so well written in this series that the end of this episode really was just perfect.
     

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