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Canadians Miss Out On Doctor Who Season Finale 303

Posted by timothy
from the splicing-time-never-had-such-immediacy dept.
darthcamaro writes "Canadians were among the last people in the world to get the season 4 finale of Doctor Who which already aired in the UK and Australia. The Canadian public broadcaster — CBC — decided to cut out nearly 20 minutes from the episode, leaving fans wondering what was going on. Doctor Who isn't the easiest show to follow at the best of times — but Canadians are now up in arms (or at least hockey sticks) over their taxpayer-funded broadcaster's lack of respect for SciFi hosers."
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Canadians Miss Out On Doctor Who Season Finale

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  • A new companion? (Score:2, Flamebait)

    by theaveng (1243528)

    I thought the Doctor's companion was an attractive black woman, but instead I see a redhead pictured in the article. Boy I've really fallen behind. What season is USA's Sci Fi Channel currently airing? 3?

    • Re:A new companion? (Score:5, Informative)

      by mog007 (677810) <Mog007@gmail.cERDOSom minus math_god> on Sunday December 14, 2008 @04:33PM (#26112749)

      Martha Jones was The Doctor's companion in the third season, and the redhead is his fourth season companion, yes.

    • by Kalriath (849904) *

      Apparently Season 3, the black woman left at the end of it. The redhead is Donna, who is there all through S4 (with some cameos from the others, naturally).

    • Re:A new companion? (Score:4, Informative)

      by NoodleSlayer (603762) <ryan@severe b o r e d o m . com> on Sunday December 14, 2008 @08:00PM (#26114585) Homepage
      The US's SciFi channel was no more then 2.5 weeks behind the UK airings of the fourth season. It aired quite a while back though in TV terms, April 5th - July 5th in the UK and not too far behind in the US. So the fact that the fourth season finale is only airing just now in Canada means that they're somewhat behind.
  • BitTorrent (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 14, 2008 @04:25PM (#26112689)
    The wife and I watched it months ago. The Internet is my TV station.
    • Re:BitTorrent (Score:5, Interesting)

      by causality (777677) on Sunday December 14, 2008 @04:31PM (#26112727)

      The wife and I watched it months ago. The Internet is my TV station.

      As you mention BitTorrent, I'm assuming there were no commercials in the version you received. Since you're paying a "tax" on things like blank media anyway, I'm surprised more Canadians don't do this.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Yvan256 (722131)

        The internet is also my TV station.

        Signed, another Canadian who has to bypass the CBC to watch shows shown on CBC.

        • by Tragek (772040)

          Well, I thought, hey, what's the hurry, I'll just watch on CBC.

          Not any more; Screw it. I'll do what I've historically done with Torchwood: I'll watch it a day after the brits do.

          • 3 hours. It only takes a whole day if it has to be translated (which takes the pros about 2years maybe 3)

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by timmarhy (659436)
              no kidding - i've found fan subbed versions of things are generally superior to commercial subs and done the day after it airs not years after. in fact i've found the delievery of everything on bit torrent to be better that commercial, which really says something considering it's done by guys in their spare time.
      • We pay for the CBC television station with our taxes as well. CBC has even begun hosting their own streaming and downloadable repeats on their website, like with the awesome and hilarious TV adaptation of Douglas Coupland's jPod [www.cbc.ca].
    • by symes (835608)
      As a UK license fee paying citizen (license fee pays for the BBC who produce Dr Who) I am happy that I have in some small way contributed towards your viewing pleasure. Here's hoping the BBC will make all their archives fully open to the viewing public - there's some fantastic stuff in there!
  • by iYk6 (1425255) on Sunday December 14, 2008 @04:28PM (#26112699)

    Doctor Who thwarts the Dalek invasion of Earth. Earth is not destroyed. None of the main characters die.

    • by theaveng (1243528) on Sunday December 14, 2008 @04:32PM (#26112731)

      Didn't I see that episode back in 1967?

      Or maybe I'm thinking of 1973.

      Or was it 1986?

      Ahhh..... it's so hard to keep track of all these Dalek episodes. Almost as difficult as keeping track of how many times the Borg attacked a Federation vessel (and failed; pretty pathetic for an advanced race).

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Almost as difficult as keeping track of how many times the Borg attacked a Federation vessel (and failed; pretty pathetic for an advanced race).

        You know what I never got? There are what, trillions of borg drones? They probably outnumber the combined population of the Federation planets (and Klingon/Romulan/Cardassian Empires), and they obviously had superior firepower, so why did they pussyfoot around? If they just would have launched a full scale invasion of the Alpha quadrant, they could have assimilated everyone and been home by lunch.

        That always really bothered me.

        • by theaveng (1243528)

          Well originally they were 70 years away in terms of warpspeed, so we were still safe from a massive invasion, other than a few multigenerational ships/cubes.

          Unfortunately the writers took-away that vast "ocean" between Borgspace and Federation space when they created transwarp capable of jumping the entire stretch in just a few months. Dummies.

        • Re:Spoiler alert! (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Hurricane78 (562437) <deleted@s[ ]hdot.org ['las' in gap]> on Sunday December 14, 2008 @05:33PM (#26113151)

          Because - oh god, this will cost me karma! - Star Trek autors are pretty pathetic themselves. (The best example is that nearly all extraterrestrial life [not just "humanoids"] is like earth, just extremely different where you can't look at.)

          If they had invaded and won, the authors would have been unable to come up with a continuation. In Star Trek, everything has to be OK at the end of a show. Only Movies are allowed to change fundamental things. They would be forced to end the show.

          If there were more creative authors around, an won invasion by the Borg would be the greatest opportunity of all!
          Think of that invasion happening in a movie.... and the movie ending with the borg winning and dominating the whole federation. People would have thought: "What the fuck? Why did it not have a happy ending?" But they would never forget it!
          The following TV show would have a continuous storyline. Starting with everybody - and I mean everybody - being Borg!
          Then the magic would happen: Somehow, a child of a Human and one of the other major Species, would be able to resist in it's innermost Soul. Like i tiny flame in a storm, struggling to survive. You would experience this feeling with that child.

          No cheap tricks about a special race, a data disguising as a Borg, or some crap. No. Just the plain spirit of Humanity and the Federation... ...fighting, and growing... ...spreading to other humans on earth too... ...until the resistance would be so big, ...that the whole Borg collective would be assimilated by it!
          Assimilated by the spirit of individuality and freedom of the mind. By what we think is right an wrong.
          And the Borg would not know how to handle such a very strange weapon / enemy within. They would traverse all kinds of strange changes in their society, to cope with it, making the Borg something far from what they originally were. All their technology would be useless.

          The Borg would be assimilated themselves. It would be a very very hard war on so many and so strange fronts as the mind itself.
          Until just a small group of some thousand Borg would be caught... the last resistance against the new resurrected Federation. (Everything would still be very temporary, unstable in the background territory, and semi-Borg, using Borg technology.)

          But the surviving Borg were changed so much, that they were no enemy anymore, but a helpless race, struggling to survive... with right so survive on its own.
          So the Federation would let their old enemies live, and make a historic agreement with them, adding them *to* the federation, as the first advanced - and now good - race.

          This would also make for some very interesting inner conflicts in the later federation! (27th-31th century?)

          As a last plus, the Federation, together with Borg technology, and the new born power of the inner spirit (explained as some electromagnetic power of the brain),
          would make humanity a new advanced race themselves.

          And just as with the first warp flight, this would call for some other advanced - elder - races, who would ask them for contact, allowing inter-galaxy flights and contacting a ton of non-humanoid species (which is possible, now that CGI is good enough).

          Oh: If anyone important reads this and wants to contact me, to work on a realization: Bring some money with you! I have much, much more ideas! :)

          • Oh, and: I know that I'm exceptionally bad at English when I'm still dead from a party last night (it lasted until 10 am today, and I slept until 7 pm).

            Luckily tough, going outside also gives me shitloads of creative output time. :)

          • Re:Spoiler alert! (Score:4, Insightful)

            by Thiez (1281866) on Sunday December 14, 2008 @05:58PM (#26113429)

            'We can win, we have the power of SOUL!'

            Seriously, your Star Trek idea totally sucks. And the borg would probably be even more dangerous to the federation when they adopted humanity's standards for what is right and what is wrong.

            In a way, the Borg have dealt with this crap already, if memory serves, there was this unimatrix zero thing in the voyager series. The borg queen found a way to detect the borg that were affected by it, and blew up their ships. Along with millions of unaffected borg, but she figured it was more important to be perfect.

            What's the fun of karma when you never lose it once you get to excellent?

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by Hurricane78 (562437)

              No. You misunderstood me. I think the whole concept of the existence of a "soul" is horsecrap, just like religion.

              My idea was more like: We have something special. A will/power to survive, that outweighs even the Borg assimilation nanites.
              Of course, in reality, such a thing does not exist too. But it can be explained on a basis of physics in the movie.

              The whole experience of seeing that struggle of humanity to survive, when it's as close to dead as it possibly could be... is the point of it. The rest only e

              • by Thiez (1281866)

                > My idea was more like: We have something special. A will/power to survive, that outweighs even the Borg assimilation nanites.

                While it's nice to think about humans as 'awesome' and 'special', I bet our will and power to survive is nothing compared to that of a klingon/hirogen/romulan.

                > But who am I arguing with. "totally sucks" is such a deep and good argument... ;)

                Hehe, it's only a deep and good argument when I'm the one saying it :p

                > The whole experience of seeing that struggle of humanity to su

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by Daimanta (1140543)

                "My idea was more like: We have something special. A will/power to survive, that outweighs even the Borg assimilation nanites."

                Welcome to Star Trek, you must be new here.

                This is essentially the idea of Star Trek. Humans somehow have something special in them so they can do what other races cannot.

                Humans have:

                -Cured the phage(thought incurable)
                -Make piece between Vulcan and Andoria(thought impossible)
                -Prevent civil war on Vulcan
                -Travelled to the center of the universe(I, NEED, MY, PAIN!)
                -Beat the borg on mul

          • Almost but Mr. Spock saved everyone in Star Trek II and died. Mr. Data died in Star Trek Nemesis. Sometimes a major character dies to save the universe or ship from destruction or being taken over.

            Star Trek ending with the enemies winning would be a Shakespearean or Opera type ending where the bad guys win. but then they'd do a "Mirror Universe" episode where the bad guys are the Empire of Planets. Like they did in "Star Trek: Enterprise" just for ratings.

          • Re:Spoiler alert! (Score:5, Insightful)

            by mgblst (80109) on Sunday December 14, 2008 @08:30PM (#26114819) Homepage

            Then the magic would happen: Somehow, a child of a Human and one of the other major Species, would be able to resist in it's innermost Soul. Like i tiny flame in a storm, struggling to survive. You would experience this feeling with that child.

            It was all going well, then you had to ruin it with this cheesey shit. Yes, humans are so advanced, that not even the borg can hold down our amazing spirit. Fuck this shit, really.

            You want good sci-fi, you don't watch Star Trek.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        and failed; pretty pathetic for an advanced race
        Actually, since they assimilate species that lost to them, they are an aggregate of failures.

    • You managed to get a laugh without revealing that the doctor regenerates -- very sporting of you.

    • But Dona Noble gets mindwiped so her brain doesn't burn out with the Timelord knowledge from Dr. Who's brain. So technically the brilliant Donna died, and the bossy and ignorant one was taking her place as if she never met Dr. Who.

  • lolwat? (Score:5, Funny)

    by gazbo (517111) on Sunday December 14, 2008 @04:33PM (#26112747)
    Doctor Who isn't the easiest show to follow at the best of times

    Do you also need to buy CliffsNotes for Teletubbies?

    • Doctor Who is difficult to follow if you actually watch a significant amount of it. There are so many continuity errors that you end up either tying your brain in a knot trying to resolve them, or sitting back and not expecting it to make sense. I'd guess the original poster falls into the first category.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        It's a program for children too, how hard is it to follow?
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by genner (694963)
        "Most people assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint, it's more like a big ball of wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey....stuff"

        That's why your not making sense of it.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 14, 2008 @04:43PM (#26112809)

    You've got to love the idiots who run TV stations. Why? Because they're simply perfect idiots. Cutting 20 minutes from an episode? Such amazing idiocy.

    Reminds me of a couple of years ago when I set my VCR to tape the weekly episode of 24. Yes I said VCR. Now get off my lawn.

    There was a football game before 24. No problem right? Game will be over. I'll still be able to get all of 24 taped and watch it when I get home.

    I get home. VCR is going. Great. I'll just let it finish taping 24 and then sit down and watch it from the beginning. No problem.

    Problem. The football game was over before 24 was set to air. But someone decided that it was imperative to air commentary and discussion of the football game that was just played and this ran 15 minutes or so into 24. Was there really a need for this? I mean, come on, you just watched the fucking game so you know what happened.

    Did they decide to delay 24 so people could see all of it? Nope. Just cut right on into 24 minus the first portions that they'd blotted out with football commentary.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Opportunist (166417)

      Here's why. [wikipedia.org]

      Be honest, what would you want to face as your adversary as a program planner? An angry mob of beer filled football fans or a bunch of geeks? I mean, let's be reasonable. One group will show up at your doorstep and crush a beer can on your head, the other one might write you an angry email. IN RED.

      • by schon (31600)

        Umm, no.

        Please re-read the post you replied to. The poster said quite emphatically that the game was over. As in, they finished it, and everybody knew the final score.

        This is nothing like cutting off a game that hadn't finished yet.

        • Yeah, but imagine what if they cut off the game or even the commentary about the game you just saw.

          Imgaine, viewers might realize how utterly stupid they are if nobody told them how to interpret all the funny statistics.

    • by Cylix (55374)

      Your local television station merely serves as a redistribution point. Local affiliates have little right to tape delay or re-schedule network block programming. To do this requires paper work and authorization. (To double broadcast a show requires additional fees because the actors were only paid for one airing!).

      So yes, football seasons suck and the networks don't make it easy to work around.

      Contracts vary from production to production, but in most cases it's always been possible to drop the commentary (i

      • So it may or may not be their fault, but rather contractual obligation.

        Contracts don't just spring spontaneously out of the freshly-plowed Earth. If the contract obliges them to do something, then it's because they agreed to said contract with said obligations in place, and it is still therefore their fault.

  • by Chris Tucker (302549) on Sunday December 14, 2008 @04:44PM (#26112817) Homepage

    For the truly lazy, this article [cnet.com] describes how to use Miro, the open source media player and download app [getmiro.com] to find and download TV series from the Internet via BitTorrent.

    Be aware, in the article one VITAL step in the set up process is left out, but IS covered in the comments.

    Set it up and let it run in the background. No more compulsively checking trackers, Miro does it all for you.

  • by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Sunday December 14, 2008 @04:49PM (#26112855)

    Hmmm ... was this a 12+ hour "War and Peace," watch-until-you-drop mini-series episode? Or a normal 2 hour special, or what? 18 minutes sounds like an awfully lot of footage.

    I know that one of the "C's" in CBC stands for Canadian, but it sounds like the other one stands for circumcision: "Hell, you can cut 18 minutes off the top of *anything*."

    • It was 62 minutes, I think it depends how they edited it. I felt the episode could have been cut down a bit, maybe 18 minutes is pushing it, but if they cut off the crappy ending and some of the filler they probably got a good deal.

  • by Phoenix666 (184391) on Sunday December 14, 2008 @04:55PM (#26112891)

    Doctor Who really seems to make the most sense if you watch it in the UK in sequence with its spin-offs such as Torchwood or the Sarah Jane Adventures, because in the Season 4 finale there are tie-ins to the spin-offs as well as some earlier episodes in the season that refer to story lines happening on the spin-offs. In other words, watching Doctor Who in America on the 1 season delay sans spin-offs leads to confusion because you don't know what's going on.

    I applaud the BBC folks for thinking so creatively about spin-offs playing off against Doctor Who, and vice-versa, but it falls apart against the reality of the region-segregation that they still like to practice.

    It's a pity, because many BBC shows are more cutting-edge than Hollywood fare these days and they would play really well here as-is. Except, Hollywood likes to re-produce and re-package them as watered-down, lamer versions. A couple examples are "Coupling," a Friends-like show written by Steven Moffat that was hilarious, that Hollywood tried to Americanize and which was done so poorly that it was DOA; "Top Gear," which is an entertaining auto program and which would do just great here, but which Hollywood has again felt the need to destroy by Americanizing it. "The Office" and "What Not to Wear" are two other examples.

    Accordingly, maybe Bit Torrent is the only real way to go in the end.

    • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

      by Lurker2288 (995635)
      Eh, you really didn't need to watch Torchwood or the Sarah Jane Adeventures to follow the finale. Thank God, because Torchwood was horrifically awful and Sarah Jane looks even more juvenile than some of the most childish Doctor Who.
    • I disagree, one of them was just a kids tv program and Tourchwood is not worth watching IMHO. Maybe watching one or two tourchwoods helped me no the characters but i didnt feal id missed anything by not watching more, hell id hoped that the finale was a Lone guns style ending to that.

      I applaud the BBC folks for thinking so creatively about spin-offs playing off against Doctor Who, and vice-versa,

      And I think that Lucas should never of made the original trilogy, i find the BBC are milking dr who for all they can get. They are completely stomping over old dr.who stories, I mean its had some good episodes in this last seri

      • Torchwood got a lot better after the first season (when they realised that 'adult' doesn't just mean sex). The Sarah Jane Adventures are surprisingly good, considering their intended audience. They remind me a lot of the very early Doctor Who, which aimed to be much more educational. Simplistic and often overly moralising plot lines, but quite entertaining nonetheless.
    • I'm in the UK, I'm a fan of Doctor Who and Torchwood, and have set my DVR thingy to record The Sarah Jane Adventures too, although I tend to fall behind with watching that.

      I'm really puzzled by your assertion that the three series are inter-linked, and that one needs to watch all three in order to understand Doctor Who.

      There have been thematic cross-overs between the series, but generally this has been a flowing out from Doctor Who to the other two. In the case of the Sarah Jane Adventures, this has been t

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by WeirdJohn (1170585)
      I believe you forgot to mention that "Three's Company" was a very poor copy of "Man about the House" and the terrible adaptations of "The Office" and "Kath and Kim". I suspect that the American networks have a very poor opinion of their customer's intelligence, and remake these shows to cater for the crowd that cannot tie their own shoelaces.
      • Hold on... (Score:2, Interesting)

        by CRiyl (1086791)
        The American "The Office" is terrible? Do you know what fans of "Pushing Daisies" would give to have their show last five seasons? "Three's Company" a "poor copy"; granted, Three's Company was never about being sophisticated but is a guilty favorite and almost always seems to a pillar of the Nick-at-Nite lineup. What's next, deriding "Sandford and Son"?
        • by deniable (76198)

          What's next, deriding "Sandford and Son"?

          Which is a poor ripoff of Steptoe and Son.

    • Not exactly a new thing. Sanford and Son, Three's Company / Three's a Crowd, and quite a few others come to mind. But sometimes these can be quite successful too.
    • Doctor Who really seems to make the most sense if you watch it in the UK in sequence with its spin-offs such as Torchwood or the Sarah Jane Adventures, because in the Season 4 finale there are tie-ins to the spin-offs as well as some earlier episodes in the season that refer to story lines happening on the spin-offs. In other words, watching Doctor Who in America on the 1 season delay sans spin-offs leads to confusion because you don't know what's going on.

      To which I say "Thank Xod for the interwebs." I'm watching them the day after they air and quite enjoying myself, thank you.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dangitman (862676)

      "The Office" and "What Not to Wear" are two other examples.

      The Office? WTF? It's on par with the British version. In some ways it exceeds it, because it has managed to sustain itself with many more episodes, while the British version was a very short run - it's much easier to reach heights when you can pack it all into a short series.

      The US version of The Office is also great because it doesn't just mimic the British show - it is well translated to the American paradigm. America has its own unique business culture, which The Office reflects very well.

  • Even worse (Score:4, Informative)

    by smartin (942) on Sunday December 14, 2008 @04:58PM (#26112907)
    If you watch the credits I believe it mentions the Canadian Film Board which has always made me believe that it is partially funded by Canadian tax payer dollars.
  • by Al Al Cool J (234559) on Sunday December 14, 2008 @05:06PM (#26112965)

    I watched the CBC broadcast version and didn't notice anything odd. It was fast-paced toward the end, but then a lot of them are like that. Am watching the full-length version on their site now to see what difference I can see.

    Maybe the CBC could get the same editor to cut the Pirates of the Caribbean movies down to a reasonable length. That would be sweet.

    • by Mashiki (184564)

      The internet. The other companion to us up here in the frozen white north. Especially in the winter where the west has blizzards, the east has freezing rain and when they meet in the middle it's a giant slushee party.

  • by rumblin'rabbit (711865) on Sunday December 14, 2008 @05:59PM (#26113437) Journal
    I watched the final episode on the "Ceeb" and thought it was disjointed and incoherent. Now I know why.

    Changing the topic a bit, I find the new Dr. Who series to be overly sentimental, even maudlin. I prefer good ol' space opera without all the tears. Give me "Annihilate them!" over "I'll miss you, Doctor." any day.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Seumas (6865)

      As a long time fan of The Doctor, I dislike some of the over-wraught sentimentality, but I the somewhat darker, desolate, lonlier tones of the doctor recently to be welcome.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Chuck Chunder (21021)

        I the somewhat darker, desolate, lonlier tones of the doctor recently to be welcome.

        I it too!

        However, I think it is perhaps over-wrought in general. any 'positive' feelings equally overblown. The Doctor (and companion) seem to transition from maudlin to flippant within a fraction of a second.

        For lack of a better term springing to mind the show seems bi-polar. Week in week out I find that a bit tiring to watch.

        I wouldn't mind the next incarnation of The Doctor being a bit more enigmatic, I don't think we nee

  • by qazwart (261667) on Sunday December 14, 2008 @06:11PM (#26113549) Homepage

    My sister had broken her arm. It was so bad, they put some sort of metal bar through her arm to hold her arm in a single position. Because of the pain, she was on some powerful medication. To put it mildly, she was not her normal self. Many hippies have spent decades attempting the mental state those drugs put my sister in.

    She was watching TV late one night and called me up and told me about this great science fiction show. It was witty, the writing was wonderful. She laughed, She cried. She was on the edge of her seat. But she couldn't remember the name. She remembered that there was a doctor or surgeon on it and they were in a phone booth...

    Dr. Who?, I suggested.

    That's it!

    Dr. Who? I replied again. Are you sure it was Dr. Who?

    Yes, she told me, it was wonderful.

    The next week, she saw the show again. This time, not enwrapped in her druggy little fog. She called me up the next day and told me she changed her mind about the show.

    I've watched the show many times since then, and as far as I am concerned, being sober doesn't help improve the coherence of the plot. Frankly, I would find it hard to tell if our local station cut out vital scenes which hurt the clarity of the overall plot.

  • by jassa (1092003)

    Given the episode in question, this is more of a blessing than a curse. The Season 4 finale is almost worse than the Season 3 finale.

    I'm looking forward to Stephen Moffat taking over from Russel T Davies in 2010. Hopefully he'll be able to bring some intelligence (or just plots that make sense) back to the show.

  • by exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) on Monday December 15, 2008 @12:08AM (#26116341) Journal
    As usual, it was a Russell T Davies campy almost-but-not-quite musical cheesefest. Just about any fact about Doctor Who that you thought was canonical was blatantly ignored. The greatest sin of all was throwing away a regeneration. For god's sake. Regenerations are probably the most precious thing in the Doctor Who universe and Davies thought he'd end his Who career (after all, he doesn't have to fix the plot holes he made) by simply throwing one away for a completely dumb plot twist. Of course it doesn't matter now that no rules are followed any more. And could anything have been more sickly that seeing all of the Doctor's wannabe lovers (and their pathetic families) fawning after him? The whole finally was nothing but laughable. The scene of the Tardis towing the Earth was beyond laughable. The faster Stephen Moffat takes over, the better.

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