Watching The Doctor

Discussion in 'Doctor Who' started by DigificWriter, Nov 10, 2017.

?

To watch or not to watch?

  1. Yes

    92.3%
  2. No

    7.7%
  1. Emperor-Tiberius

    Emperor-Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    The comment was surely a meta statement for the show itself? I doubt RTD was being that nerdy. I mean, I'd love the idea that Rose was Nine's first adventure but from Rose's perspective, but if RTD says it wasn't, it wasn't. And I honestly didn't feel that way when I first watched that episode, so there.
     
  2. Professor Zoom

    Professor Zoom Admiral Admiral

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    Nope. No context required. The first series was relaunching the show for a generation that had really never watched it.
    And I would argue, the Doctor Who Movie is ultimately more confusing with out MORE context from previous shows. It was NOT a good way to launch a new series.

    Start with Eccelston or Smith, those will give you a good idea if you like the show or not to explore it more fully.
     
  3. Orac

    Orac Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Don't watch it. It's complete rubbish. It's filled with the same secular humanist themes as Star Trek.
     
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  4. Emh

    Emh The Doctor Premium Member

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    So why are you here? Forum and board? :lol:
     
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  5. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I decided to "take the plunge", as it were, and started the modern series with Eccleston... and right out of the gate am getting a very strong Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Get Smart vibe, which is an interesting combination of tonal influences.

    Eccleston makes for a fun and interesting protagonist, as he comes across as part Sylvester McCoy as Radagast the Brown, part Ryan Gage as Alfrid, and part Xander Harris, which is magnified when he's asked to handle "sight gags" like wrestling with a plastic arm (which was hilarious and perfect, I have to say).

    Billie Piper's Rose reminds me of Greer and Atlee from The CW's Reign, with some of Emily Rose's Audrey Parker, Allison Mack as Chloe Syllivan, and classic comic book Lois Lane as well, and she's got fantastic chemistry with Eccleston.

    I like the pacing of the first episode, how it just drops you in the middle of things and doesn't really bother to explain stuff until it absolutely has to, letting us figure out what's going on as Rose does.

    Speaking of Rose figuring things out, her first encounter with the TARDIS was great, from running into it, then back out of it, then back into it, to The Doctor's explanation about it and himself in one-word sentences, to her reaction when she comes out of it and they're in a totally different place than they were before.

    I'm not sure why the series deliberately chose to use VFX that looked like they came from the 1980s, but it was more than a bit strange and made the episode's climax a little hard to take seriously. Thankfully, though, Eccleston and Billie Piper's acting was strong enough to combat the wonky effects choices.

    On the whole, I liked this first episode enough to keep watching the series, and am kind of regretting that it took me this long to dive in.
     
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  6. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    They didn't deliberately choose that. The show had very troubled production during the first season with a lot of behind the scenes drama, most especially with the "first block" of episodes. The show was seriously running behind schedule and filming had gone seriously past the deadline. There are reasons the episode's director Keith Boak has never been invited back to the show.
     
  7. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^ Okay. I assumed it was deliberate because the TARDIS interior looks like it was made in the 80s too.
     
  8. Orac

    Orac Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I'm a masochist.
     
  9. Emperor-Tiberius

    Emperor-Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    Its still a Trek forum, after all. He just happened to be around the neighborhood.
     
  10. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Vice Admiral Admiral

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    My thoughts on Episode 2, The End of the World (which I watched last night):
    Having the episode open with a condensed repeat of scenes from "Rose" was a 'recap tactic' I can't really recall seeing before (usually there's a structured voiceover montage or maybe a repeat of the very last scene of the previous episode), and I liked it because it dropped you right back into the action.

    The Doctor taking Rose to witness the "end of the world" was more than a little random, but it was, I think, a nice way to show off the TARDIS' abilities without having to really explain anything, and gave the episode a little bit of a Sliders-esque vibe.

    I really liked the slow-burn setup of what was happening on Platform One, both with the destruction of Earth and with the "mystery of the spiders" because it gave us a chance to get to see both The Doctor and Rose in a fairly benign situation and get to know them a little better.

    The support characters in this one were interesting, and the 80s design and VFX actually worked in the show's favor this time because it, in a strange way, actually made the characters feel more 'real' and alien.

    I really liked the character of Jabe, especially in her interactions with The Doctor, and it was really quite sad to see her perish.

    Lady Cassandra was an interesting character as well because, at first, she doesn't seem like anything more than a stock support character whose purpose is largely to let the show feel alien and overtly Sci-Fi, only for her to turn out to be the "big bad" at the end.

    I did do some "extra credit" reading ahead, and apparently she's supposed to come back later, which I'm not sure I can buy given the way she got dispatched by The Doctor.

    Speaking of, I continue to really like Christopher Eccleston in the role; even when the character is trying to be distant and a bit standoffish, he just oozes charm and warmth. I also think his chemistry with Billie Piper continues to climb, especially in the scenes where he rejiggers her cell phone and later admits that he's the last of his kind.

    This episode had a very "classic Sci-Fi" feel to it overall, which I liked, and was a nice way to follow up the previous episode in terms of developing the characters and showcasing some of the series' core concepts that weren't really touched on there.
     
  11. diankra

    diankra Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Cassandra's stretched skin snaps, but the Doctor doesn't do anything to the brain in the tank. Hence her return (the original series often brought back old enemies with a lot less excuse).
     
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  12. Cutie McWhiskers

    Cutie McWhiskers Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Eccleston saved it, IMHO. A lot in "Rose" was awful at the time and it hasn't dated well.

    I saw Eccleston more akin to Colin Baker in terms of emotion, and similar to Davison in terms of often doing nothing to save the day.

    Yeah, Billie's chemistry with Eccleston also saves the day should a script be pure trash. She reminds me of any generic teenager practicing what I believe is termed "hypergamy", since she has an attraction to this strange guy who looks to be as old as her father. (eww)

    The pacing exists to distract your brain from the gobs of plot holes that exist to insult the audience with. It's as clever as it is patronizing, since plot holes are inevitable in ANY show. Meanwhile, everyone else bleats "today's kids all have ADHD" and some of them even manage to put the pieces together - wow!

    The show is made a bit more subtly than TNG, which elevated the minor charatcers by dumbing down everyone else.

    At the time, everyone fawned over the modern effects. And they're a lot better than anything from the 80s or earlier, technically. Even Michael Grade, the guy who whined about DFW's effects in the 80s as a reason to cancel the show (competing against American shows that looked expensive) when he ran the place and had the ability to give DW the money it needed but chose not to.

    The first episode is such mindless offal, complete with "antiplastic"... but I always try to watch two or three episodes of a show before deciding to use time in better ways... glad I had.

    "Offal" - internal organs left over from a butchered animal, often used in pet food but not as much for hot dogs.

    Yeah, the "last time on" recaps are rather nice. Unless one watches back to back marathons. But, as the Doctor says, "there's a time and a place". The 9th Doctor is underrated as a character, I'll admit...

    Maybe season 3 Sliders, the worst of the five by far. :D

    IMHO, the story tries to feel "70s traditional" and largely succeeds. It's one of my favorites, TBH.

    Well, the "Let me wave my magic wand across your cell phone and you can call mommy despite being a long way away in time and space" bit was as putrid as it gets, but every TV show invariably has one scene per episode where the writers have to do something to fill up time with. Roll with it, it's splendidly mawksh. But it reeks "sci-fantasy" or "fantasy" rather than "sci-fi", and DW has had a history of overusing the sonic screwdriver with a record the modern series seems to gleefully want to make worse.

    But, yeah, the tension kept winding up. Cell phone BS aside, it wasn't half-bad and the episode is quick to ditch the sapping melodrama to get to the actual story.

    Not 80s. Just low budget, even in 2005 DW wasn't given a goldmine to make a lot of nothing with. The f/x team just did it very well.

    If you think about it, her death - in a sequence from the story that was lampooned in 1990s sci-fi comedy movies no less - was completely unavoidable. The Doctor could have held it down while she runs at super-magical speed to hit the magic reset button. We know little about Jabe, who would have been a far better companion than Rose ever would... but the Doctor has too much personal history and all of a sudden he has magical running speed skills, never to be used again. come on, even high schoolers do a better job at coherence than that cliche-driven slop had. (Yes, I do like the story and adore Jabe, but where the story lets viewers down is a huge slap in the audience's face. If this were 1955, such gaffes were closer to being par for the course and would be easier to forgive. But it's 2005, most audiences are more sophisticated. The writer dropped the ball, it's as simple as that.)

    She's also human, not alien at all. As a supporting character, she's interesting if arresting to look at - kudos to the f/x team, though it's amazing there's no automatic humidification machine that can fuse surrounding molecules into water. But that's not really needed, she clearly needs "body"guards either way. So between shifts she constantly gets her water bath.

    As was said, some villains/monsters in DW - classic and new - come back with no reason. Not even a line of tie-in dialogue for some cases. A fan of the classic era, it was nice to experience in the present the context people in the past complained about. Since, like back then, casual viewers aren't going to care about strict continuity. Yet all those review books that gripe about the Master and Omega returning for no reason... I stand corrected now that I understand the deeper nuances, I'll admit. :D

    It's a lovely juxtaposition. The on-screen chemistry does rescue a lot of bad material throughout the season.

    "The End of the World" did start out great, even fitting into long-term continuity the way "Frontios" (1983) and "The Ark" (1965) had, but when they brought up the "let's put the emergency rescue button down where nobody can get at the thing" trope combined with ripping off big cooling fans from "Galaxy Quest" (1996)... the story is a lot better than "Rose", but 2005 DW is not any improvement on classic Who of any season so far... and, yes, there's a story or two coming up that are legitimate all-time bests...
     
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  13. Astra

    Astra Captain Captain

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    Yay! Welcome aboard! There's only one way to find out whether you like it or not, after all.

    This episode / Doctor is how I started watching as well, and I don't regret it. They did good with introducing a newbie to all the stuff, and still put in some easter eggs for classic fans.

    Your reviews make me want to do a rewatch now. It's been so long. Keep them coming, it is always interesting how someone new sees things.
     
  14. diankra

    diankra Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    A small point, but... the colour of the Doctor's jumper changes to match the era of the episode (past/present/future), tying in with the red/blue tint of the vortex in the titles.
     
  15. Turtletrekker

    Turtletrekker Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Do not do any extra credit reading ahead on the Face of Boe.
     
  16. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    To be fair, the show never really followed up on that stuff, and RTD even backtracked on it. Even though, Tennant and the other actor in question do still support the claim.
     
  17. Emperor-Tiberius

    Emperor-Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    To re-iterate: The Hybrid never happened, and the Face of Boe was NOT WHO THEY ORIGINALLY SAID IT WAS!
     
  18. DigificWriter

    DigificWriter Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I'm gonna try to watch an episode or two today before work, so hopefully I'll have new reviews to post either tonight or to move morning.
     
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  19. Blamo

    Blamo Commodore Commodore

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    Sadly it was less to do with choice and more to do with the fact that it was done on a BBC budget. That and for about a decade prior there hadn't been any real special effect heavy British shows.

    Series 1 was a bit of a roller coaster ride. The first five stories weren't exactly that good. There was a definite improvement in the remaining episodes though. Series 2 was... Well, it had a few great stories but in my opinion series 2 was the low point of the new series.
     
  20. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    Quoted for the truth