Episodes that play differently in retrospect

Discussion in 'Doctor Who' started by TommyR01D, Mar 13, 2021.

  1. TommyR01D

    TommyR01D Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    Often old productions can be judged by their "rewatch value" - the willingness of fans to come back to them years later when they're not the latest installment - or even part of the latest iteration - of a franchise anymore.

    Have you found that certain serials score differently after a cooling-off period? In particular do you find that certain mysteries, twists and other suspenseful moments feel different when you already know what happens next.

    Personally I was hostile to Victory of the Daleks at the time for I strongly disliked the New Paradigm design that was being foisted on us, but as that design never properly caught on and was later quietly reverted the pain now is dulled. Indeed, the Series 5 aesthetic in general is more pleasing to me now whereas at the time it felt quite gimmicky.

    On the other hand something like A Good Man Goes To War is worse in retrospect. At the time it was an exciting hook, but I don't think it stands up to multiple watches because it's mainly there to set up (and get us hyped for) a series of complicated story arcs that wound up never having a satisfying conclusion, so in hindsight it almost looks like the root of where everything went wrong for the Moffat era.

    What about you? Are there serials that you disliked when they first aired but like now, or vice versa? You don't necessarily have to go back and watch them all again, but just remember the gist of the plot.
     
    Qonundrum likes this.
  2. Emperor-Tiberius

    Emperor-Tiberius Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2005
    Location:
    Kavala, Greece
    I really appreciate Hell Bent nowadays. I still dislike that Moffat threw away the glorious hook of the Doctor trying to return to home from Day of the Doctor onwards, but in retrospect it seems a much better story in comparison to the other contemporary Gallifrey story, The Timeless Children. In fact, I feel like Hell Bent is almost a satirical take on The Timeless Children but also an improvement upon, because it "promises" enormous lore revelation and plot resolutions and nothing occurs. Instead, it turns into the ultimate companion love story, and on that level it works beautifully.
     
    Starkers and Dr. Kravaal like this.
  3. Qonundrum

    Qonundrum Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    May 18, 2017
    Location:
    The clinic located by the Q Continuum
    As a kid, I hated "The Gunfighters". The first Doctor's era could be slow, but definitely not so inept with lame Halloween costumes mimicking poorly "the old west"... and, naturally, "that song"...

    Fast forward a few years if not decades and there's much more to like. The comedy often works, the camerawork is ahead of its time, and the actors play it dead serious. Maybe as means to fight against those parody costumes, but it was better than I'd thought. The song, which isn't all that terrible, is still overused despite it all, which could be a joke in of itself but this era of the show is not known for breaking the fourth wall and saying the joke's the viewer. And not because Lynda Baron would return 17 years later to play Captain Wrack in "Enlightenment", alongside new wave/funk/R&B recording artist Leee John (no relation to her hubby, John Lee, and was a last minute replacement for the story). Leee has done some rather impressive work outside of the entertainment industry as well, but is rather a fantastic vocalist spanning several decades and numerous styles... and still performs...

    I think I'll rewatch the Black Guardian trilogy again and see how my opinion's changed. Been about a decade and I need an 80s fix... need to get some Human League too...
     
    Starkers, Dr. Kravaal and Timewalker like this.
  4. diankra

    diankra Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    Frequently. Though it's more often that Blake's 7 episodes I disliked at the time (poor effects, obvious cso) are now favourites (witty writing).
     
    Qonundrum, Starkers and Dr. Kravaal like this.
  5. Timewalker

    Timewalker Cat-lovin', Star Trekkin' Time Lady Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2007
    Location:
    In many different universes, simultaneously.
    *cringe*

    Yikes. This is not one of the First Doctor stories that improves with time, in my opinion.

    I'll admit that I didn't like Turlough at first. I do now, though. I wish he could have stayed on after Tegan left (finally), since there could have been a friendship between him and the Doctor, similarly to how the friendship developed between the Second Doctor and Jamie.

    Of course that would have meant telling Peri 'no' to inviting herself along, but that would have been okay.
     
    Qonundrum likes this.
  6. Mr Awe

    Mr Awe Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2002
    I disliked Victory of the Daleks when it first aired and I still do! However, I agree, knowing that the "new" Daleks were quickly sidelined does dull that pain.

    When I rewatched all of Colin Baker's stories a while ago, I found that while I utterly despised him and his stories back in the 80s, I didn't now. Many aren't good still. But, I actually think much of his second season is . . . passable to ok.

    Similarly, McCoy became better by a bit. His first story is still terrible. But, some like Delta and the Bannermen and Dragonfire become ok. I still loathe Greatest Show in the Galaxy, which is my personal least favorite story of all Doctor Who.

    However, I doubt I will ever do a complete rewatch of their tenures ever again. One rewatch since the original airings (in the US) was sufficient!
     
  7. Dr. Kravaal

    Dr. Kravaal Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
    Location:
    publiusr
    Colin looked a bit like the avatar of destruction from SANDMAN...with a little Nicholas Strouse and Geraint Wyn Davies thrown in. Christopher Cross, etc.

    I’d like to see those two—played by Langella and Charles Dance
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2021
    Qonundrum likes this.
  8. Qonundrum

    Qonundrum Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    May 18, 2017
    Location:
    The clinic located by the Q Continuum
    I found it so-so as a kid (Avon and Vila were always cool), but as an older teen and moreso as an adult, the writing was definitely foremost for adults. Even if they had promo shots of the cast with kids.

    B7, as with classic Who, had a knack of knowingly designing stories needing more epic effects with broom cupboard budgets anyway. In a way that almost seems forward-thinking thanks to Star Wars being the first case of replacing special effects (with Red Dwarf lampooning the concept shortly thereafter). Star Trek TOS is (IMVHO) the only entity that got it right (and TNG where needed) in that they focused the effects to enhance and blend in with the story, to flesh it out, than to be there just for the sake of showiness. Those have dated badly already yet Trek-R still holds up, or is still easier to accept because of how they worked with the stories with deft little details such as the Botany Bay being thrown away, or rubble bouncing off the USS Constellation, proper blend of enemy ships in "The Enterprise Incident", fleshing out the asteroid belt in "Booby Trap", etc, etc. Early-level CGI it is but what it's telling, but those details just embrace and extend properly what the episode was begging to do back then. It's magnificent. A lot of the Doctor Who DVDs also are elevated, though with a few examples of being showy or unneeded - "Enlightenment" being an example of both the best and the worst as they also truncated the entire story, which then felt choppy and incomplete despite the best intentions of its original director, Fiona Cumming.
     
  9. arch101

    arch101 Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    May 3, 1999
    Location:
    Quincy, MA
    I thought, in the '80s, that The Two Doctors was a cool story. It was like a mini-anniversary show. Watched it again recently and it's pretty awful. Troughton's not really in it that much (didn't remember that). It's one saving grace- Jamie. He and Baker were great together and Frasier Hines was right back in character like he never left. I wish they could have found a way to keep Jamie with Baker for awhile. Peri is nice to look at, but she's just too irritating.
     
    Australis likes this.
  10. TommyR01D

    TommyR01D Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    The one thing that really annoyed me in that story was the Second Doctor's hair: Patrick Troughton had gone mostly grey by then and this isn't really commented upon, yet in his Androgum form his hair gets darker again (albeit punctuated by orange highlights). Then when he gets cured we see a close-up shot of his appearance reverting to normal - including his hair going grey again!*

    The Five Doctors has a more serious problem: The Master is summoned to the inner council and ordered to fetch the Doctor from the Death Zone. He is offered a pardon for his earlier crimes, and a new cycle of regenerations. I first watched that episode (or maybe just read the synopsis on Wikipedia) back in about 2006-7 having only gotten into the franchise a few months prior, and immediately that line struck me as suspect. A few other fansites have also flagged it as a plothole - the story is about Borusa wanting to find true immortality because having twelve regenerations isn't enough, but apparently the state has the power to bestow additional regenerations at a whim.

    While easy to overlook in its first instance, this bizarre assertion is later used as the precedent to justify much of the regenerative craziness that occurs in the Moffat era, where they might as well have had the Doctor using a top-up voucher.

    *To say nothing of the absurdity of dead matter changing its colour like that anyway.
     
    Emperor-Tiberius likes this.
  11. matthunter

    matthunter Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2004
    Location:
    Great Britain
    Well, Chibbers has done us a favour with that one - the High Council just released the Doctor's mental block on regenerating since he has infinite regenerations. Hence Rassilon equivocating over "how many regenerations did we give you?".

    ;)

    As for the Master, well he got conned that the Time Lords could actually do such a thing. ;)

    Or so you could argue, but they clearly gave him a new cycle prior to Yana. Likely, however, any new cycle involves a terrible price. Which the Master might not care about, but the Doctor would. And Borusa might find politically hampering. Say, having to absorb the timeline of at least one other Gallifreyan? Or the lifeforce of an entire planet (per regen)?
     
  12. TommyR01D

    TommyR01D Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    The Master is surely too wily to fall for what would, in-universe, be some kind of urban legend or conspiracy theory.

    That puts me in mind of Voldemort drinking unicorn blood - "you will live a half life, a cursed life".
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2021
  13. diankra

    diankra Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    I think... Borusa doesn't want more regeneration, he wants immortality in this incarnation.
     
  14. Chaos Descending

    Chaos Descending Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2001
    Location:
    Grand Canyon State
    The only problem with that is that they explicitly state that Borusa was seeking the secret of "perpetual bodily regeneration".
     
  15. Mr Awe

    Mr Awe Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2002
    If that's a direct quote, I think you can take that as diankra suggests. It's perpetual regeneration rather than punctuated regeneration, which is what other Time Lords have. Perpetual means that it is ongoing, uninterrupted, etc. Basically, it's always happening, allowing Borusa to keep his then current body. That's markedly different than other Time Lords who regenerate at specific moments. Even if we don't know whether there's a maximum cap on the number of times, it still means changing bodies.
     
  16. Lonemagpie

    Lonemagpie Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2007
    Location:
    Yorkshire
    The problem with *that* being it's what Mawdryn had...
     
    Chaos Descending and Mr Awe like this.
  17. diankra

    diankra Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    Arguably, Borusa wants to stay in his current incarnation forever. Earlier incarnations saw power as a means, not an end. Latham Borusa does not want to worry about the next incarnation having different views (the Doctor always prefers his current self to earlier ones, the Master tends to do the same, so probably standard for Time Lords. So Latham Borusa reckons that Sachs, Arnatt and MacKay were all bit weak about seizing the power within their grasp).
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2021
    Dr. Kravaal and Mr Awe like this.
  18. TommyR01D

    TommyR01D Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    I've thought of a more general one - Steven Moffat's four RTD-era stories were well-regarded at the time, but I don't know that they'd hold up now for someone who has already seen all of his signature tropes ground to death in series 5-10.
     
  19. Iamnotspock

    Iamnotspock Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2008
    Location:
    Bristol, England
    Well, I'd imagine that Moffat did have that "Five Doctors" line in mind when he had the Time Lords grant the Doctor a new regeneration cycle.

    I really like Part 1; there's some classic Holmes dialogue and Troughton and Hines are great value. The rest I find hard going as well. The continuity errors are egregious if you care about such things, but I quite like the Season 6B idea. Big Finish did put Jamie and the Sixth Doctor back together for a few stories and they do work very well together.
     
    Emperor-Tiberius likes this.