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Sci-Fi Television Entertainment

The New Series of Doctor Who: Fleeing From Format? 170

Posted by Soulskill
from the this-equals-not-that dept.
An anonymous reader sends in this thoughtful article about the format of Doctor Who: "The New Series has given itself two basic tasks. One, to put back and keep on our screens a program by the name of Doctor Who that maintains substantial visible continuity with the classic series in many ways. Two, and this is where conflicting elements start to come in, to seek to define this resurrected program against many aspects of the classic series, even fundamental aspects, in pursuit of task one. In itself this is neither good nor bad. If anything it is on balance probably a good thing to seek to redress the shortcomings of the classic series, but what matters, ultimately, is the choices involved and their execution."
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The New Series of Doctor Who: Fleeing From Format?

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  • by msauve (701917) on Friday November 16, 2012 @05:49PM (#42007199)
    So little to say, so many words to say it.
  • by dehole (1577363) on Friday November 16, 2012 @05:53PM (#42007235)

    Keep the Doctor Who series the same quality show that I have come to love, it is the very last show I can bear. You have to love a show where the main character's weapon, is his mind.

  • Reincarnation (Score:4, Insightful)

    by girlintraining (1395911) on Friday November 16, 2012 @05:55PM (#42007263)

    The nice thing about Doctor Who is if they screw up, it's just a one minute visual effect and a new actor away from being fixed. So relax people, have some custard and fish sticks.

  • Flamebait (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jerslan (1088525) on Friday November 16, 2012 @05:56PM (#42007275)
    This article is nothing more than flamebait.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 16, 2012 @06:04PM (#42007385)

    Actually, the angels are widely regarded as some of the best sci-fi monsters in recent history. You have lots of legitimate complaints, but I believe you're all wet on that item.

  • by Zombie Ryushu (803103) on Friday November 16, 2012 @06:09PM (#42007465)

    I'm probably burning Karma here, but, I've heard alot of people say Dr. Who is becoming 'Atheist Jesus'. In the Classic series the Doctor was an Alien detective/investigator who merely lived a long time with a set number of Regenerations. He didn't always save the day. (Up until the latter part of David Tennant, he didn't save the day either.

    But with Matt Smith, he's become like, a Demi-god or an Apollo type god. (River/Melody calls him 'an ageless god'. Now it's the case there are no limits on how many times he can regenerate, and he can use his regeneration abilities to heal others. The series doesn't make contiguous sense the way it did under Tennant and Eccloston. Basically, it's non-sense after non-sense plot. (The last Episode with the Angels is quite good really EXCEPT THE ENDING SUCKS.

  • Re:Reincarnation (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Lucky75 (1265142) on Friday November 16, 2012 @06:21PM (#42007645)

    It's actually a great way to prolong the series without running out of material. Unlike a show like "Lost", where if they get off the island, the show's over.

  • Re:Doctor Who XXX (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rsmith-mac (639075) on Friday November 16, 2012 @06:23PM (#42007671)

    They tried something like that. It was called the 4th season of Torchwood (Miracle Day).

    Everyone agreed it was god-awful, and that it was never to be spoken of again.

  • by Zordak (123132) on Friday November 16, 2012 @06:33PM (#42007821) Homepage Journal

    "Blink" was one of the finest DW episodes of all time. Up there with "Genesis of the Daleks," "The Deadly Assassin" or "The Caves of Androzani."

    "The Time of Angels" was an overblown crapfest. More angels + More aggressive = LESS dramatic tension than you had in Blink. It was a twice-over waste of an episode. It took a great concept (the Weeping Angels) and ruined it the way "Victory of the Daleks" ruined the Daleks.

    In "The Angles Take Manhatten," the angels were back to having a little dramatic tension. Not on the same level as "Blink," but pretty good.

    Other than that, I'm with the GP. I am so happy to be rid of Amy and Rory for good (PLEASE, for good). I keep watching New Who because there are moments of excellence, like "The Empty Child" or "The Doctor's Wife," but then you get "Love and Monsters" or "The Power of Three," and you wonder why you're wasting your time.

  • by 6031769 (829845) on Friday November 16, 2012 @06:56PM (#42008081) Homepage Journal

    I see (for all its good points) that the revival edition suffers from its episodic format. We have discrete 45-minute programmes (occasionally 2-parters) within a series which often has a loose story arc. Great for the MTV generation, perhaps, but for those of us who were brought up on classic DW, a bit of a let-down.

    Back in the day we had each series consisting of (usually) six stories spread over sets of 4 episodes many of which ended on a cliff-hanger. This was great drama, well and tightly scripted. The special effects may seem crude in hindsight but they were cutting-edge then and kitcsh now. Most importantly there was a story and key to this was the Doctor who was on the side of the moral good. The zenith of the whole canon was surely the Key to Time [wikipedia.org] series which gave a classic quest storyline over the arc with 6 quintessential plots for each part of the key and a reveal of superb quality. I doubt we'll ever see its like again, but I dearly hope the beeb will prove me wrong.

    In essence, a return to a medium-length plot within a series-long story would be best, but I fear those in control won't countenance it.

  • by fermion (181285) on Friday November 16, 2012 @06:59PM (#42008107) Homepage Journal
    Honestly each regeneration of the Doctor has lead to a new series. Hartnel was basically history for kids. When he left they didn't want to end the show, so they came up with regeneration and put Traughten in with a more action style. some time an arbitrary limit was set. That limit was broken, I believe, with the master and the Keeper of Traken.

    Pertwee was a gadget guy and no longer roamed the universe. He went around saving earth from all manner of dangers. I think this is when we really got the Doctor as the defender of earth. It goes on. Baker of course is well known, he formalized the idea that a female assistant attract the teen and older men by wearing little. Of course we did see Sarah Jane in bathing costume on one of her early appearances. Davidson got rid of the gadets and his episodes, with a unusual size of entourage, tended to be very emotional.

    Then we had the Colin Baker fiasco where instead of real episodes we got a season of clip shows and elevator episodes.

    I like daring of McCoy and ace. I think it was the best of everything that came before.

    Which is to say that the current stuff is like the old stuff, in which the show pretty much does what it wants to. No one can say the Gallifry episodes were all that good, so having the doctor be alone instead of having a country is good thing. If a series is going to last as long as the doctor, it can't get bogged down in details.

  • by f3rret (1776822) on Friday November 16, 2012 @07:02PM (#42008155)

    Don't forget the occasional bit of heavy handed handwaved deus ex machina.

  • Wow (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ischorr (657205) on Friday November 16, 2012 @08:35PM (#42008981)

    The author has, almost verbatim, described my thoughts about the new series. And why I just finally stopped watching it and moved on to other things.

The greatest productive force is human selfishness. -- Robert Heinlein

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