Why the lack of Classic characters?

Discussion in 'Doctor Who' started by Noddy, Sep 9, 2013.

  1. Emperor-Tiberius

    Emperor-Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    Shits and giggles.

    Really, isn't this how the 50th anniversary feels like?

    And if I see River Song one more time I think I might punch a wall.
     
  2. Noddy

    Noddy Captain

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    Right there with you, bro. I'll be sat there thinking "Urge to kill...RISING!!"
     
  3. Noddy

    Noddy Captain

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    Doesn't sound very promising.
     
  4. Emperor-Tiberius

    Emperor-Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    Sounds like everything that basically everyone has deduced for some time now: That the BBC doesn't care almost at all about the show or its immense popularity. Its baffling, really - like the late Jon Pertwee would have said, this would not have happened in America.
     
  5. Noddy

    Noddy Captain

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    With everything that's heard about the special, I have to say, I'm unpleasantly reminded of Star Trek: Nemesis. That also was hyped up, should have been a lot better than it was, but mostly turned out the way it did due to shoddy production and poor decision-making.
     
  6. Starkers

    Starkers Admiral Admiral

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    I really do wonder what people were expecting? We have a special episode, a movie length story of the shows beginnings, plus a whole heap of other programming. Fan expectation's been silly for years though. With my favourite notion being that we'd get a whole series of episodes each of which would feature a classic Doctor, or that we'd get a McGann TV movie, or maybe a whole McGann series :lol:

    The BBC are celebrating the 50th. Could they have done more, clearly, could they have done a lot less, sure as hell.

    Can anyone give me an example of another franchise that's gotten as much air time as some fans were expecting Who to get? For Trek's 30th we got 2 regular length episodes of the series that were airing at the time celebrating TOS, and only one of them was any good. It was Bond's 50th last year and we just got a Bond film, we didn't get two!

    As for suggesting The Day of the Doctor will be crap because of budget...plenty of great films and episodes of TV shows that were made on the cheap, have been fantastic. It's the story that makes it, not the effects, not whether Paul McGann turns up and regenerates into Eccleston live on screen.

    The Day of the Doctor may be great, it may be shite, but I for one won't make that determination until I see it.
     
  7. Allyn Gibson

    Allyn Gibson Vice Admiral Admiral

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    No, it's not baffling at all.

    The BBC cares deeply about Doctor Who. It's one of their bigger money makers. Not the biggest; it's not Top Gear, obviously.

    However, just because it makes them money, they can't just throw money at it. The BBC doesn't work that way. For one thing, they're a non-commercial broadcaster, and if their merchandise arm makes money on something, then it's really kind of a bonus. For another thing, the BBC has a set formula for determining a program's budget; if it's a drama on BBC1, then it gets X, if it's a drama on BBC2 it gets Y, etc., and just because it's 1) FX-heavy like Doctor Who and 2) an anniversary doesn't give it a bonus.

    It's sucks, because Doctor Who doesn't have standing sets and can't use stock costumes and has to build new worlds every episodes, but it's also the way the BBC's system works and Moffat has to work within that system.

    That's why a co-production deal would be in Doctor Who's interests. The BBC kicks in their share, the coproducer kicks in money directly, and the show has more money to work with.
     
  8. Noddy

    Noddy Captain

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    I don't think a lot of fans' expectations of the special are too high or ridiculous at all. Is it really all that stupid to want to see just one classic Doctor, or one or two classic companions in new material, even if just briefly? That would suit me fine. I never wanted all eleven Doctors and every single past companion. I do, however, feel that just having Ten, Rose, Zygons and UNIT, and possibly other just new series characters, is not the way to treat the anniversary and not the way to treat long-term fans. It would be like if VOY had just celebrated Trek's 30th with Jean-Luc Picard and Klingons turning up, or if DS9 had revisited an episode from the last few seasons of TNG.

    And I do agree that having River turning up as the "big surprise" would be a huge insult.
     
  9. Green Lantern

    Green Lantern Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    If River turns up, I think it will prove Moffat is beginning to run out of ideas.
     
  10. Allyn Gibson

    Allyn Gibson Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Beginning? Beginning? He was out of ideas in series 6, his difficult second album. :)
     
  11. Green Lantern

    Green Lantern Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Good point.
     
  12. Noddy

    Noddy Captain

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    You really think so? How? Not having a go, just wondering what your reasoning is. :)
     
  13. Noddy

    Noddy Captain

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    Not only that, but to me, it'll prove he's losing respect for the long-term fans.
     
  14. Emperor-Tiberius

    Emperor-Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    To be fair - Ian Levine loves the character, so he might appreciate her at least.

    :p
     
  15. Noddy

    Noddy Captain

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    River is okay, I admit. But in terms of being a fitting tribute to the last fifty years of the show.....no.
     
  16. Allyn Gibson

    Allyn Gibson Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Moffat has always had a reputation as a story recycler, but there's a bit more to it. I've made the "difficult second album" analogy before, but maybe not here. :)

    A band will come out with a kick-ass debut album. Acclaimed, inventive, groundbreaking. Then they come out with a second album, and it's... well, it's disappointing. Some of it feels like a retread of what worked before. Some of it is unique, but it's not as well thought out as the original album was. (Mumford & Sons is a prime example. Unless you loved Babel, in which case it's not. :) )

    There's a reason for the "difficult second album." A band has usually had years to perfect the material on the first album before it's released. They've worked on the songs as an unsigned band. They've played the songs in gigs as they're trying to make it. The music gets honed and refined so that when it comes out in the studio it works right from the start. The second album doesn't have the benefit of years. All the good material was taken for the first album. The second album either starts with ideas that were discarded for the first album because they weren't good enough, or there are new ideas that haven't had the time to be honed and refined. The difficult second album isn't the kiss of death -- bands do recover from it, if they understand why the second album was difficult and learn from the experience (Elbow is a great example there, though I love Cast of Thousands to pieces) -- but it can be difficult to recover from.

    To me, series 6 is Moffat's difficult second album.

    Moffat had his pre-Who career to develop the ideas that he would use if he ever got to produce Doctor Who. And he used them -- timey-wimey, cracks in time, exploding TARDISes, the Girl who Waited -- in series 5.

    When it came time to develop series 6, he'd already used up all of his good ideas. So he either took his old ideas and gave them a new spin (instead of a mystery about Amy, we had a mystery about River) or he came up with new ideas that fell flat and didn't go anywhere (like the Silents). And he ended his story in series 6 the same way he ended his story in series 5, with a timey-wimey didn't happen reset button story.

    Series 7.2 is the difficult third album. (7.1 is a strange beast, and I don't know how to consider it. It is a season that functions on its own? Is it a series of specials? The episodes aren't even chronological.) Instead of the mystery of Amy and the cracks, we have the mystery of Clara. (Clara is both Amy and the cracks. It's weird, but bear with me.) With one of the web-only shorts, we even have the Doctor meeting Clara as a child, just as the Doctor met Amelia Pond as a child. And the stories (series 5, series 7.2) end with the fractures throughout time closing because someone jumped inside time and closed them. ("The Name of the Doctor" owes a whole lot to "The Big Bang.")

    This is why Moffat's quote about Peter Capaldi's characters (Caecilius, Frobisher, and the Doctor) and their connections is especially irksome. Because it sounds like he's embracing again the same kind of character mystery that has been at the root of his previous three meta-stories, only this time it's the Doctor at the heart of it. I was hopeful that with a new Doctor, Moffat would use this as an opportunity to go new places narratively, but it seems like he wants to tread the old familiar ground.

    And we'll get a difficult fourth album out of it.

    Or maybe we'll reevaulate Moffat and discover that his first album wasn't all it was cracked up to be. Maybe Moffat was never Coldplay. Maybe he was only ever Keane.
     
  17. Mr Awe

    Mr Awe Vice Admiral Admiral

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    50 years is quite a milestone for a TV show. Fans aren't expecting too much. The BBC is thinking too small. And, it needn't require more money. Simply use some that was allocated for Series 7 and us it for anniversary related stories.

    A story with a classic Doctor, either with or without Smith. One with a classic companion.

    It doesn't have to be the kitchen sink. And, it doesn't have to require more money. Just more creative thinking.

    Mr Awe
     
  18. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    In a perfect world where things like budget, scheduling, production deadlines, and disgruntled actors aren't issues, the 50th should be celebrated with a massive special featuring all the surviving Doctors and a few select companions.

    Under realistic circumstances, what we're getting is more than good enough. Though I would have preferred it if they had included at least one classic Doctor, even in just a minor cameo.
     
  19. Mr Awe

    Mr Awe Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^ And, under realistic circumstances, they could've worked them in with the existing budget just as I mentioned above.

    Mr Awe
     
  20. Allyn Gibson

    Allyn Gibson Vice Admiral Admiral

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    It's a zero-sum game, though. Add a classic Doctor, and you have to make cuts elsewhere in the production. Maybe you lose a non-Doctor guest star. Maybe you lose a set. Pretty soon you have a Star Trek: The Next Generation-style bottle show where you have a bunch of Doctors squbbling in the console room for an hour because there's no budget to do anywhere else.