NuWho Season 5 vs. Season 6

Discussion in 'Doctor Who' started by Joe Washington, Oct 9, 2011.

  1. Starkers

    Starkers Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2001
    Location:
    Behind Enemy Lines
    The cult of Moffat? Oh yeah that’s me, that’s why I specifically said series 5 was a bit bland whilst 6 was a bit over the top. That’s me, never a negative word to say about Moffat. Blind faither me…

    Is Moffat’s Who perfect? No. Was RTD’s era perfect? No. Would in fact anyone’s era be perfect. No, not even the Williams’ era.
    I was just putting forth my opinion that the second half of Series 6 was a lot of fun, and commentating on the somewhat pretentious statement that there were rifts in fandom that need healing. Rifts in fandom will never be healed. I love Davison, some people don’t. Some people love Colin, I don’t. Some people love/hate RTD, some people love/hate Billie…etc etc etc.

    Rifts (or maybe we should call them cracks ;)) are what fandom’s all about.
     
  2. Mr. Astley

    Mr. Astley Ensign Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2011
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    Can you give some examples of this behaviour? Especially the 'extremely nasty' element of your statement. Because i haven't seen anything like personal attacks or death threats in this thread.

    I am not sure which series is better. I do think that the episodes in series 5 felt more connected to each other. The quality is more even in series 5, while in series 6 the very good and the very bad episodes (and scenes) are following each other like a rollercoaster.

    For me it's to soon to say which is better. I'd rather wait till the Moffat era is over so i can compare all series.

    * I've changed my mind. I like series 5 better. Before every episode i was excited to see what was going to happen next. In series 6 that stopped after seeing The Rebel Flesh and series 6 had some really awful episodes like Night Terrors and The Curse of the Black Spot.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2011
  3. Silent_Bob

    Silent_Bob Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2001
    Personally i found the second half of series 6 to be a fair bit weaker than the first half, and to be honest i found there to be far too much focus on River Song this series.

    After a while it got a bit tiresome to be honest, i find the character works far better with occasional appearances rather than seemingly being the driving force behind every other episode.

    So i'd have to say series 5 after taking that into consideration. However both series have excellent performances from Matt Smith, some quite moving episodes ('Vincent and the Doctor', 'The Doctors Wife'), and some really stand out episodes so it's really not a massive criticism to be considered the lesser of two great series.
     
  4. Bacl

    Bacl Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2006
    Location:
    Wehnimer's Landing, Elanthia
    I did not like Season 6 one bit.
     
  5. Mark_Nguyen

    Mark_Nguyen Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2006
    Location:
    Calgary, Alberta
    Season six was great, but the fifth was greater. I don't criticize the writing, but the plot choices. Mostly, my enjoyment of the season was decreased by the needless ominous feeling concerning the Doctor's death. We humans don't LIKE thinking about death on the whole, so going a whole year as though the Doctor would die really dampened the sense of fun the series would otherwise have had. The same thing happened with the third and fourth years of the Tenth Doctor's tenure.

    Sure, death is an important part of life. But when I'm trying to enjoy a family sci-fi show, I don't want the main character's death hanging over every episode we watch.

    Mark
     
  6. Sadistro

    Sadistro Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2008
    At what point did I say this thread or the people on this thread were guilty of anything? Before you start copping such attitude, you might actually read my post and see that my example was the community at Gallifrey Base. I did accuse anyone here, let alone specific people.

    But then this kind of overreaction and overly defensive attitude is exactly what I'm driving at. It is not pretentious to say there are rifts in fandom, and Moffat's comments are an example of this 'I'm tired of getting death threats' etc etc.

    Perfectly reasonable I hear you say, and outrageous that people are doing that in the first place. I agree, but he must take his share of the blame for letting it get this way. In the same way Brannon Braga aroused ire in the Star Trek community by dropping a bridge on Kirk, Moffat's smug method of showrunning, and his now infamous use of 'Timey Wimey' nonsense, is raising hackles across fandom.

    My point is that both sides are in the wrong here. The worst stereotypes of Sci fi fan behaviour in full evidence, plus a showrunner with a vastly over-inflated ego, deliberately provoking them. This season seems to have been one long series of 'So they didn't like it when I did *that*, so I'll do it again, even more this time!'

    Hopefully, even his most blinkered fans must surely be coming to their senses now, though. A terrible finale that left people thinking 'Is that it?!!!' for the second year running, yet further evidence of him treating the classic enemies of Who with utter disdain (how can the Daleks and Cybermen show their faces anymore, when they have both becomes such whipping boys, beaten by spitfire squadrons in space... and Craig!.

    And on a personal note, I continue to find it sad that Moffat insists on having the Doctor use violent extermination of enemies as not the last resort, but the only resort. In all his episodes, the Doctor comes across now as some vigilante punisher of evil. No attempt at compromise, just blow the enemies up and ridicule them (Colonel Runaway), in a manner ill-befitting any hero, let alone the Doctor.

    I haven't enjoyed either series all that much. But I still maintain that calling S6B 'a lot of fun' would requires the word fun to be redefined in the dictionary. But if you think differently, then that's great. At least someone's happy.

    So there you have it. I'm perfectly willing to debate points of interest with people, and I respect their right to like what they like. If you want to cop such a dismissive sarcastic attitude, then that's your deal. I prefer to stick to the issues.
     
  7. DWF

    DWF Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 19, 2001
    Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
    I've been underwhelmed by both seasons actually.
     
  8. Sindatur

    Sindatur The Gray Owl Wizard Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2011
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    Sadistro, I'm one who happens to be enjoying Moffat's Who very much, I have no problem with most of your post, Our Mileage May Differ. I have serious concerns about this, though:

    [snip] and Moffat's comments are an example of this 'I'm tired of getting death threats' etc etc.

    Perfectly reasonable I hear you say, and outrageous that people are doing that in the first place. I agree, but he must take his share of the blame for letting it get this way.
    [/snip]

    Seriously? Moffat has to share the blame himself for getting Death Threats because of the way he runs the show?

    I'm pretty certain, no TV Show Runner Contracts come with an expectation of Death Threats, and one must be seriously disturbed to issue such a threat to a Show Runner. There is absolutely no way, Death Threats for the way you run a TV show can be explained away or found acceptable.

    There is always a rift in fandom, with any long running show that changing showrunners on a regular basis. The more fans you build, the more diverse the opinions of the way the show is going will become.

    And then, you have some folks, who simply thrive on being contrarians, that will grumble about everything.

    Fact is, the ratings are growing, not shrinking, so this rift is nowhere near as bad as some like to make it it out. BBCA has more Dr. Who viewers then ever before this season
     
  9. Sadistro

    Sadistro Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2008
    Hello there, Sindatur. Nice to meet you.

    No, I absolutely do not support the issuing of death threats, and I hope I made it very clear that I have no time for such people (even if they are 'only' insulting him, its still unacceptable. Criticism should be of a person's work, not of the person themself). My comment was simply that he had to take his share of blame for the ill-feeling that large sections of fans have towards him personally. I don't condone how some are expressing that feeling, but his goading of them and his ill chosen public comments haven't helped.

    I feel he is far too cavalier in dismissing legitmate concerns - i.e he and his more zealous supporters just seem to label any and all reservations about his work as baseless hater talk, and he comes across as very mocking and self congratulatory (just read his comments on the S5 box!)

    Issues like the Villain Decay that has been afflicting the Daleks and Cybermen under his tenure, his cavalier attitude to solving everything with magic timey wimeyness, the constant barrage of fanwank and his disdain for mainstream viewers, are just some of the IMO very valid issues for debate. But to listen to him talk, the series is better than ever, there are absolutely no problems, other than from certain fans, who aren't fans at all, and who he hates... How does this kind of talk help?

    No-one is ever going to get all of what they want from any one writer or showrunner. He has his own style, and to an extent we should be willing to at least give it a fair hearing. But a bit of give from him would not be out of line - this thread is showing that whether people like the current show or not, most (practically all on here) have felt this season to be inferior to the previous one, with many citing the storyarc as a reason.

    Given that the storyarc is all Moffat, that means it is beholden on him to address these concerns. As a writer, he has to be free to do things the way he thinks is best, but I would hope that he realises that his choices are affecting a product that is held sacred to millions of people. So I don't think its unreasonable for him to pay at least some attention to the issues that are vexing fans who are trying their best to stay loyal.

    So I apologise if my earlier comments made it seem like I condoned the appalling behaviour of some fans towards him. He's given a lot to the show (regardless of how I feel about his current form), and besides, nobody deserves such treatment.

    But I contend that there is deep disquiet in the community over the choices Moffat is making, and the way he is choosing to write his episodes and sell the show.
     
  10. Sindatur

    Sindatur The Gray Owl Wizard Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2011
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    Fair enough. He's writing it through his son's eyes (and throwing in stuff for the adults), and the audience is increasing, so, how do we know that the general audience feels the same way the small percentage of viewers who are BBS posters that are disappointed feel? Obviously, if you see a rift in the fandom, all BBS Posters (Who again, are a small percentage of total audience) are not disappointed, so, that makes the disappointed BBS Posters an even smaller percentage of total Audience.

    Regarding De-fanging the Classic Villians, perhaps, that's intentional, so when he does bring them back strong, it'll really be something? RTD did his share of damaging the Cybermen and Daleks with "Over-the-top" episodes, destroying them utterly, and then bringing them back. The Doctor became too big under RTD, and Moffat put us through this 2 year long arc, apparently in order to bring The Doctor back down to Earth. So, maybe, he pulled the rug out from under it all, in order to start over again, bring the Doctor back "Don't mention it...To Anyone" again, rather than the God-like figure RTD escalated him to.

    Sure, it's awesome to see 10 Bazillion Daleks once or twice, but, a single team of Daleks can be much scarier, and watching a Bazillion of them defeated utterly, over and over again, certainly defangs them as much as Moffat has.
     
  11. Sadistro

    Sadistro Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2008
    Your comments about the audience increasing are highly controversial. The ratings are actually falling, and its only if you take Iplayer into consideration that they break even. But then, if you applied iplayer to the previous seasons, they would still be higher. I really don't support the idea that the audience is increasing at all - its a hotly *hotly* debated issues, but from what I've seen, the audience is decreasing (and there is certainly an erosion of interest in the show over here).

    And I don't subscribe to the notion that RTD dressed down the Daleks either. In the first new season, they were one of the greatest threats we've seen in any of the suceeding years. Even after Rose intervened with Bad Wolf, it still lead to Eccleston's Doctor dying (which he also would have, had she not arrived).

    Their presence also indirectly lead to his seperation from Rose, and perhaps most obviously of all, they defeated the Timelords (they may not have struck the final blow, but they were winning and pushed them to the brink of utter insanity, leading to their complete eradication by the Doctor). But I do agree that after S1 (of the new series), the Daleks were not used very well (though still much better than these days).

    The Cybermen were less well represented, but still better than the horrific humiliation they are getting these days. Blown up to make a point in 'A Good Man..' and bullied by Rory into giving the Doctor info, beaten by Craig in 'Closing Time', part of that ridiculous Alliance of Evil in 'Pandorica Opens' etc etc.

    They deserve so much more than that. And gloating comments from Moffat that the weeping angels beat the Daleks in a 'best villains' poll (one that the dubious angels 2 parter has likely reversed), and the calamity of 'Victory of the Daleks' means that its just been one hit after another to these beloved old foes.

    And now we have a dying Dalek, who has parts pinched from it from the Doctor, in a blink and you miss it moment in the finale... Sad times.
     
  12. Starkers

    Starkers Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2001
    Location:
    Behind Enemy Lines
    Doctor Who. Nobody watches it any more and nobody likes it...

    Link

    Link

    Link

    Link
     
  13. Starkers

    Starkers Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2001
    Location:
    Behind Enemy Lines
    Just to add, I’m not trying to be a smartarse about this re ratings, and I know that numbers and AI don’t necessarily tell the whole story, and sure someone will pop along and advise that Doomsday got an AI of 90 or something, but what these figures do indicate is that Dr Who is still incredibly popular, both in terms of the number of people watching it and the enjoyment they derive from it.

    Unfortunately fandom has a somewhat overinflated opinion of its importance. In the same way people (me included at times) claimed RTD was driving fans away from Who, the same applies to Moffat now. Truth of the matter is, even if all the ‘fans’ who post here, and GB etc all stopped watching, the show would still be incredibly popular, because the vast majority of viewers aren’t fans like us, and at the moment at least the wider fandom seems quite happy with the show. The ratings may have dropped a bit, but they did this in the classic series as well from time to time, and it is quite hard to really compare like with like given that iPlayer has become far more prevalent in the last year or two than it was back in RTD’s day (which makes it sound longer ago than it actually was!).

    I don’t think Moffat is perfect, and in fact pound for pound I’ve probably been quite disappointed with most of his episodes compared to how good I expected them to be, but I still like them, and whilst neither Moffat finale has been without flaws, I could argue the same for RTDs.

    As for the Daleks and Cybermen being pussified? I’m sorry but we’ve seen one proper Dalek story under Moffat. It was entitled Victory of the Daleks because (leaving aside the merits of the story-which I think is poor) the Daleks actually win. They reignite their race and get one over on the Doctor. So the spitfires (armed with Dalek tech don’t forget) stop them destroying London, so what, did you want WW2 London destroyed?

    As for the Cybermen and Closing Time, not the first time emotions have been their undoing, and we were dealing with a pretty battered bunch of Cybermen as well…
    And it isn’t like both Daleks and Cybermen haven’t been treated badly in the past, and neither of these examples is any worse than an entire Dalek race being destroyed by some knob twiddling (Journey’s End) or Cybermen being taken out by a girl with a catapult (Silver Nemesis).

    I really must do a comparison of each season listing the episodes I liked and didn’t. I have a sneaking suspicion that the ratio of good/bad has been pretty consistent for each year.
     
  14. Whofan

    Whofan Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2010
    Yeah, when one thinks about it the Cybermen haven't always been the most effective monsters anyway. Outside of Earthshock, their color stories from the orginal series aren't that great IMO. They are sort of one of those monsters that worked better in black and white (Despite the less advanced costumes).
     
  15. Anachronus

    Anachronus Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2001
    Location:
    New Orleans, La. - LGD if you must know.
    The one Dalek in the episode of that name was wonderful. Menacing and deadly.

    The new ones have under Moffat have at least been clever, if very very stupid looking.
     
  16. Anachronus

    Anachronus Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2001
    Location:
    New Orleans, La. - LGD if you must know.
    10th Planet is still one of my favorite Cyberman stories. They are really creepy in that one.
     
  17. Ubik

    Ubik Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    May 21, 2001
    Just a couple of things: number one, a television show, or a book, or a movie, or anything along those lines, is theoretically a work of art, not a product. As such, the artist has absolutely zero obligation to give the viewer what they claim they want. That's the difference between art and product: product is simply giving the audience what it asks for, while art is an attempt to do something new, from the artist's point of view, with no effort wasted on trying to cater to an audience, and all the artist can do is cross their fingers and hope that the audience "gets it." So - Moffatt must be admired, at least, for ignoring fan wishes. He clearly thinks of his show as a work of art, as any television writer should, and so he'll just keep doing what he feels he wants to do, keep giving us what he feels he wants the show to communicate, and just hope that the viewers like it, even if it's not what they thought they wanted. So, you're wrong - Moffatt should not be criticized for blatantly ignoring perfectly valid suggestions from the audience. He ought to be commended. The man, the artist, is sticking to his guns. If he's right, the audience will stay. If he's wrong, they'll jump ship. But he's taking the responsibility onto himself, as any artist should.

    Now, with that said, second - you're right, season 6 was pretty awful. Rarely have I been so disillusioned with a Doctor Who season. I'd have to go back to McCoy's first season to find a more wrong-headed interpretation of what the Doctor Who universe ought to feel like.

    Here's my problem: Doctor Who is not a kid's show. Never has been. BBC has always pretended it was, but it's always been a lie. In the pilot, Hartnell almost killed a man on the ground with a rock to the head. In Jon Pertwee, plastic men came to life and shot a whole street of innocent bystanders to death. Davison's years were not only dark in tone, but adult in conception, theme, attitude. Colin Baker's years, crap as they were, were violent and controversial. McCoy's years turned very adult. And RTD's years largely dealt with adult themes from the real world.

    So what's this condescending tone the show has suddenly taken on, about facing your fears and they will all go away? In the old Doctor Who, if you faced your fears, they would eat you. What's this impish quirky man-from-another-dimension bullshit they're pulling with the Doctor's performance and writing? He's not Peter Pan, or an imp from the 5th dimension, or the Mad Hatter. He's a scientist, and an engineer, and he's been around for a very long time. And he's not from "somewhere out there" and he's not some girl's imaginary friend, we know exactly where's he's from, and we've met his people, and we've followed his adventures for decades.

    Basically, why is Moffatt treating the whole thing like a kid's show? It's patronizing. Its self-conscious quirkiness is irritating. I don't like it.

    Sorry. Didn't intend to go on like that.

    The answer is the 5th season is better. Marginally.
     
  18. Newspaper Taxi

    Newspaper Taxi Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2004
    Location:
    Newspaper Taxi
    About ratings/viewings: Keep in mind that NuWho has had six seasons. That's a pretty long run in TV world -- or at least in the US, maybe that's less rare across the pond. Even with cast and crew replacements it's still a show that's been on the air since '05. A show can't keep up hyper-enthusiasim forever. People might also be starting to take Doctor Who forgranted; it's gone from not having any new Who in X years to having had constant Who dosages for six years in a row.
     
  19. Sadistro

    Sadistro Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2008
    Hey there all.

    I've spent much of the last year going round and round with people about the ratings and the (IMO utterly meaningless) AI figures, so I'm in no hurry to repeat that. The only thing I would mention (and Stalkers already has) is that the numbers don't the whole story. There is an awful lot of disillusionment out there, people clinging on (mainstream and hardcore), but who profess to not really care that much about the show anymore. If they do finally fall away, the numbers will suddenly look a lot starker.

    The only point I really wanted to address was 'Victory of the Daleks'. The idea of this being a serious episode was completely undermined by a number of issues. The most obvious one was the Dalek redesign, and the silly Spitfires in Space, but as Stalkers said, let's leave that aside for one moment.

    The thing is that even without that, it was just a tepid rehash of the situation the Doctor encountered in 'The Parting of the Ways'. Destroy the Daleks and sacrifice the earth, or let them go to save humanity. Given the charges of repetition that Moffat faces in his own episodes (and the idea for this episode was his), stealing so completely from such a high profile episode (with the same villains!) is hardly a good thing.

    It completely undermined their victory, because it was just them using a trick they'd tried before, but it actually worked this time. And its a shame too, because I continue to think that as awful as the last half hour or so of that episode was, the first 15 minutes are really, really good.

    This is all very difficult for me, because I love the show and I know that Moffat can do good work. But I've always had a problem with some aspects of his style. Frequent reuse of ideas, constant overuse of templates for characters (little girl/boy in danger, feisty female heroine etc), and the Timey Wimey...

    Even back when 'Blink' came out and everyone was raving about Moffat, I was sat there thinking 'Well the monsters were good, but what was all that nonsense with the DVD about - why didn't he just send a letter like that other girl did? How convenient that the Doctor, Rose and that black detective all got sent to the same point in the past, how convenient that the Angels even do something like that etc etc.

    He's someone who has great difficulty staying focused even in single episodes. Characters are introduced, then do basically nothing. Plot points are suggested and then dropped (or sped over at light speed). He comes up with extremely convoluted and overcomplicated ways for people to do things that would actually be quite simple... and yet he insists on these long running arcs.

    Which has led to 2 jaw droppingly anti-climatic finales in a row. After all the build up, and the speculation by fans, both finales were redolent with Deus Ex Machina, and failed utterly to pay off their premise in anything like a satisfying way (the get out in 'The Wedding of River Song' marking a new low).

    And it confounds me, because when I look at episodes like 'Eleventh Hour', 'Beast Below', 'Flesh and Stone' etc, I see episodes that whilst still fully exhibiting those often undesirable writing traits, were nevertheless great episodes. Because he harnessed his style well, to tell good stories and show us wonderful sights. But that seems a long, long time ago now.

    This method he now has of having the Doctor visiting dozens of locations at the start of his storyarc episodes, building up this idea of a really big story happening, the Doctor's mystique being everywhere and nowhere etc etc is becoming very tiresome. Along with the jumbled up method of storytelling in episodes like 'Day of the Moon' and of course the Timey Wimey cop outs, it just comes across as Smoke and Mirrors from a man wanting people to think he is a genius.

    Its making the episodes too hard for kids (and many adults) to understand and follow, plus its just a messy and smug way to do things anyway. When so many problems can just be solved 'by magic' (as that essentially how he does it), and so many character's death be averted by similar tricks, it makes the show seem so much less significant.

    And yes, its not like RTD never used Deus Ex Machina (far from it), but he used it because he wanted to spend most of the episodes with the characters, exploring the drama etc. This would often lead to him needing some way to wrap things up fairly quickly - hence... But Moffat blitzes us with *constant* deus ex machina, lightly drawn characters and bizarre 'what's going on - tune in next week when we *might* tell you' moments.

    I wasn't the greatest fan of RTD, and I wouldn't go so far as to say I wanted him back, because his episodes frequently included moments so cringe inducing, you broke your back in 7 places. But I still felt that overall, he hit more often than he missed. For every 'Doomsday' or 'Partners in Crime' clunker, he wrote a great 'Turn Left' or 'Parting of the Ways' stormer. And the emotion in his episodes felt so much more real and earned than in 'Magical Moffat's Tales of Terror'.

    If I had my way, Paul Cornell would be showrunner. I don't, so we're stuck with Moffat for least another year, it seems. That being the case, I implore him to look back at Series 5 and just try and capture some of that early form. Because I really don't know if the show can't withstand another dodgy season like S6.
     
  20. Trubinator

    Trubinator Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chico, Calif.
    Series five was better. That wasn't to say that series six wasn't awesome in its own right, but the overall story became too convoluted. And I also thought the individual episodes weren't as memorable as the prior season.