Discussion in 'Doctor Who' started by The Nth Doctor, Oct 20, 2022.
The Companions Support Group photo!
It occurs to me that Jodie is the first modern Doctor to return every single one of their companions alive and well right where they found them and with all their memories intact.
Oh wow you are absolutely right.. That's gotta be some kind of first. Also none of them returned home somewhat traumatized like Tegan Jovanka
Even if the last group didn't end up in Croydon?
The theory is that this was supposed to air instead of Legend of the Sea Devils but then the BBC realised they'd have no Doctor Who for the 100th so the Sea Devils was done in a rush (and it shows) and Power was reshot and ADR'd (some bits you can tell it was obviously supposed to continue the Timeless Child stuff).
Oh, excellent observation. I definitely didn't suss onto that distinction.
And good point about the memories. Not just for The Tenth Doctor, but applies for The Second Doctor, too, because he did return all of his companions alive and well...except Jamie and Zoe also lost their memories.
Given that Legend of the Sea Devils was commissioned in Summer 2020 and filmed in early 2021 (along with Eve of the Daleks), this 'theory' is completely baseless.
The Ninth Doctor didn't have any of his companions killed or memories lost. Jack Harkness was alive and made essentially immortal at the end of his tenure, and Rose was still around for the Tenth Doctor.
He did kick Adam to the curb after he had gotten his brain upgraded in the future.
He was still alive and back home when The Doctor left him.
I mean, I get it. Not everyone dislikes this era, but this special is examplary of all of Chibnall's worst insticts as a Who writer, with clear disdain toward the extended universe (and really, for DW, which the BBC even claims there is no canon and all of it counts, unlike any other franchise out there, INCLUDING Trek, means something), ignorant characterization (so Yaz was apparently never told about the Fugitive Doctor, ever?!), including the campiest, most pantomime iincarnation of the Master (WHY WAS HE POSING AS RASPUTIN?!) as Dhawan seemingly goes for broke and throws away all subtlety in the Master's stupidest plot ever: to become the Doctor (!!!!!). Like, (a)did he actually think anyone would buy into this and (b)why do it? Was he running out of regenerations? Its never explained. And frankly, I don't understand what happened there at all - he he steal her body or fuse with it? Help me out here, Chibnall!
And as you can see, I can't stress how remarkably incoherent the entire affair felt. Someone asked if the plot was any more incoherent than The Five Doctors or The Day of the Doctor, and I'd argue that yes, it was! I watched it twice and I still don't know what I just saw, whereas I never had that worry with The Five Doctors (whose plot is extremely straightforward and easy to understand, if very convoluted in how it gets its guest stars together) and The Day of the Doctor (whose most confusing aspect was the way the Zygons moved around between paintings, but still nothing compared to this).
As far as regeneration stories go, this frankly is the worst one. I can't think of another one that is so bitterly disappointing in how it treats its main star. I never once felt Chibnall ever treated Whittaker's Doctor with any respect and in fact has treated with some long, long expositions that even by this one she's never been comfortable with, and always had her been a victim of her own wonderment. As if she's a uniquely naive individual whose never travelled far in the galaxy before. And what's more, every other regeneration story in NuWho has at least the good grace of showcasing the best of the given Doctor during a moment of unique crisis. The Ninth's "coward, every time" or Tenth's "lived too long" or Eleventh's "Never, ever tell me the rules!" or Twelfth's glorious speech to the Masters in The Doctor Falls. There's nothing for Whittaker here, at all. Never does she stand out and is not even allowed to be the one who makes amends with her past companions. As amazingly fun and lovely it is to see Davison and Fielding interact on-screen after all those years, having (the appreciably better actor) Peter Davison explain to Tegan that he missed her is teriffyingly ill-judged.
Imagine, if you will, Death of the Doctor. The scene where Eleven, Sarah Jane and Jo Grant were transported to an off-world planet and try to fix the transporter to get back to wherever it was they were going to. Imagine if, when Eleven is describing what Jo Grant did after she left the Third Doctor (thus proving he kept, in fact, in-touch with her albeit in distance), his face turned into Jon Pertwee's and started saying all the same dialogue. Sure, it'd be great that Pertwee and Manning had interacted once again, and it would make sense fan-wise, BUT it would minimize and indeed take away from Matt Smith's incarnation if he was not able to sell the very idea that, indeed, he is the same man as Jon Pertwee. Having Jodie Whittaker turn into Peter Davison is, for a fan, nice, but it actually and really takes away from Whittaker's incarnation that she can't convince Tegan on her own and in fact has to turn into the Fifth Doctor for her to admit he missed him. And indeed, she misses him, the Fifth Doctor. Not the Doctor in general.
Exact same goes with McCoy and Aldred. Again, the scene feels like Chibnall simply didn't trust Whittaker to deliver that emotional punch that was needed. Indeed, by having McCoy settle his relationship with Ace (in another staunchly conservative take of the never-wrong Doctor, a take of the Doctor that is also decidedly Chibnall and one that I decidedly also hate) it means that Whittaker never has to prove she's the same person as David Bradley or any of the incarnations seen in her own psyche. And that's how the entire run has felt, like Chibnall barely made any kind of conscious effort to connect the Thirteenth with any of the previous Doctors (most of all the Twelfth, as I still believe and will always believe that Chibnall just simply never ever watched that run).
Anyway, I guess what I'm trying to say is, this is exactly the kind of thing an Ian Levine would adore, because its all surface with no substance. And indeed, it is one of only two stories Levine actually liked, and the only he's publicly adored, I wonder why. Like them or not, at least End of Time and Time of the Doctor manage to get the best out of the respective exiting Doctors by keeping them squarely in focus. For all the silliness of the Master Race, you remember and enjoy the Ten/Wilf scenes and in fact are moved by them. For all the fast pace and slow first half, you appreciate the storytelling heft of having the Eleventh Doctor, the most outrageous, outwardly and simply more travelling of the Doctor to dedicate his life to stay in one place for the sake of one village and its peoples. And to boot, Tennant and Smith respectively give some of their best performances in those episodes.
Anyway. Guess I just hate Chibnall, lol!
Yes but he had to avoid any clicky noises for the rest of his life or people would get a surprise and he'd probably end on a lab table somewhere.
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I think Dhawan is a very good actor, I think he's potentially a very good Master but much as JNT kept telling Ainley to camp it up it feels like the same was done with Dhawan.
The Master wanting to be the Doctor, or for the Doctor to be him, was stupid, but no more stupid than the Master wants everyone to have his face I guess.
It'll be interesting to see who RTD casts as the Master (assuming he even brings the Master back)
There's a bit more to it than that. I think the original plan was for Legend of the Sea Devils to be the Centenary special, and for Power of the Doctor to be a New Year's special, but BBC wanted the regeneration to happen in the Centenary special, which meant Sea Devils had to air earlier, which is what caused its production to be rushed the way it was.
I’m pretty sure Legend of the Sea Devils was part of the original planned season 13 before it got gutted and reimagined as Flux due to Covid. Then it got scrapped. Then resurrected as New Years special, to be followed by Power. Then the BBC commissioned an additional special but offered little (or no) additional budget. So Legends was moved back and retooled and part of its budget redirected to the hastily written Eve of the Daleks.
Flux, Eve of the Daleks, and Legend of the Sea Devils were all commissioned and filmed as part of the same production block that began in November 2020 and concluded in August 2021.
The Power of the Doctor was not commissioned until sometime in 2021 and was given its own separate production block that began in September 2021 following the completion of filming on Flux, EotD, and LotSD and concluded a month later in October 2021.
What isn't quite clear is what the original Series 13 would have looked like. It's easy to place Sea Devils there, with presumably the regeneration special, looking something like Power of the Doctor, airing New Year's Day 2022.
So Eve of the Daleks was probably the extra story that resulted from the changes.
^ interesting that Eve was, for me at least, the best of the final three.
Callbacks and returning characters aside in "Power," I agree. And not just for the amazing Aisling Bea.
Yes, it was easily the best. Simple story, told well and with a great cast.
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