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Jozef Brandt
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Posted: 26 August 2016 at 12:11am | IP Logged | 1  


My son, who just turned 12, has watched every existing Dr. Who episode/serial from Unearthly Child through the TV Movie.  He has been asking about watching some 9th Doctor.  He and I watched about half the first season.  I know that I'm a cynic and have a very high bar for entertainment, but his responses throughout the episodes were pretty interesting.  He kept asking questions like "Why is there farting in Dr. Who" and "Man, what kind of writer would come up with something that nasty?" (in reference to Cassandra splorching at the end of episode 2).  He said that episode 3, The Unquiet Dead was the only one that "felt" like Doctor Who.  He thought the Slitheen 2 parter was horrible.  He liked Father's Day (a sentiment I share) and he didn't care for The Long Game.  (personally I am soft on it because of Simon Pegg).  I also thought it was funny that he started disliking Rose after Dalek! 

I'm going to edit the 2 part finale into a single episode probably, then move on to a few 10th Doctor episodes.  At least I know now that it's not just me that is skeptical about the storytelling quality of nuWho.
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Andrew Saxon
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Posted: 26 August 2016 at 3:05am | IP Logged | 2  

For me, 21st century Who has been a little like The Return of Martin Guerre. It might have the same title and feature a TARDIS and Daleks, etc., but, for me, something feels 'off' somehow. I watch each new series with some interest and I even enjoy some of the episodes, but I don't love the 21st century version the same way that I do 20th century Doctor Who. It's the same way I feel as a Star Trek fan when I try to watch the later iterations...they might say Star Trek in the title but the 'magic' just isn't there.

That's not me knocking 21st century Who, btw. It is obviously more successful and popular than the version I grew up with, plus I know plenty of people who adore Eccleston to Capaldi but wouldn't touch the Hartnell to McCoy era (yes, I'm aware I'm missing out McGann*) with a barge-pole. I'm not going to begrudge anyone their fun with the new series. It's just that, as far as I'm concerned, my last sighting of the Doctor was when he was wearing his 7th face and walking into the distance with Ace at his side at the end of Survival.

* I feel the same way about the 1996 TV movie as I do about 21st century Who: I enjoyed it for what it was but it wasn't my Doctor Who.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 26 August 2016 at 6:19am | IP Logged | 3  

NuWHO is a lot like Peter Jackson's KING KONG or Jar Jar Abrams' STAR TREK. It's bigger, louder, with "better" special effects -- but as a result it doesn't feel like the real thing.
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 27 August 2016 at 3:14pm | IP Logged | 4  

Anyone can insert their own comparison, but to me, NuWHO is to the original series what TEAM KNIGHT RIDER is to KNIGHT RIDER: reasonably entertaining, but hard to believe they are part of the same universe.
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Jozef Brandt
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Posted: 29 August 2016 at 12:24pm | IP Logged | 5  


Haha Robbie.  I think the show Russell T Davies really wanted to make was something more like Torchwood ended up, that his idea of "grown-up entertainment" meant lots of swearing, omni-sexuality, and violence, and he was only allowed to push Dr. Who so far in that direction, so Dr. Who ended up with fart jokes, the kind of sexual innuendo that makes tweens giggle and Twilight-level romantic themes.

The rest of the stuff, the Deus Ex Machina finales (are any of them good?  I don't think so), the fanwank (Daleks vs Cybermen, DoctorClone/Rose romance, etc) RTDs wet dream Jack Harkness, what River Song became, the endless "I AM THE DOCTOR!" speeches, blah blah blah.

It's just infuriating that they were able to bring the show back, make it popular, and then squander the chance to make great Dr. Who once they had the freedom to do it.  There are still bright spots here and there, and they haven't lost me completely, but looking back at all these episodes and re-watching many of them with my son, it makes me mad and sad at the same time.
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Stephen Robinson
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Posted: 29 August 2016 at 12:45pm | IP Logged | 6  

ANDREW: For me, 21st century Who has been a little like The Return of
Martin Guerre. It might have the same title and feature a TARDIS and
Daleks, etc., but, for me, something feels 'off' somehow.

SER: NuWho feels, for me, like a Harry Potter* influenced series with
elements (the TARDIS, the Doctor, etc.) from the classic series. It's more
fantasy than sci-fi. Some recent examples are the "snake demon" assistant
to Davros or the "fly monster" from the last season. They are at home next
to Voldermort -- not in classic Who.

*I recall Potter being the first fantasy series that was a hit with "civilians." In
fact, I heard about it first from them. I suppose it would make sense for
WHO to follow more in those footsteps.

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David Miller
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Posted: 29 August 2016 at 1:33pm | IP Logged | 7  

It seems like much of what drives longtime Who fans crazy about NuWho are invisible to fans who started watching episodes produced this century. Hell, a lot of what drives longtime fans crazy about individual episodes or even entire series of NuWho are invisible to fans who didn't see the episodes or series in question. I started watching Who regularly with Series 6 and 7 and am only aware of the rage towards "fan wank" and River Song from this forum. If I'd started watching with Capaldi I wouldn't even know John Hurt played a Doctor, let alone the implications it had on the regeneration limit and fan theories about Paul McGann's version. 
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Jozef Brandt
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Posted: 30 August 2016 at 12:50pm | IP Logged | 8  


I also think a big difference (and this is something my 12yr old noticed) is that the single 45 minute episodes don't lend themselves well to nuanced storytelling.  Many of the 2-parters seem to be paced a lot better and have good character arcs.  I still think that 100 minutes is the optimum Dr. Who length.  The classic Who 4-parters, which I originally viewed on PBS in "movie format" rarely seemed to drag.  Some of the six-parters did seem to have some extra "running around" but 45mins rarely seems to get the job done well in nuWHo.  (again, there are some exceptions of course)
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Stephen Robinson
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Posted: 30 August 2016 at 3:05pm | IP Logged | 9  

I agree, Jozef. I also think the four parters (often by necessity) made it
possible to have a larger TARDIS crew to carry the load. The Doctor couldn't
be in every scene.
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David Miller
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Posted: 30 August 2016 at 4:21pm | IP Logged | 10  

In the older serials I've seen, there were a lot of marvelous scenes of the Doctor walking around just talking with his companions. In NuWho even in the pleasant chats the Doctor is frantic, and practically hyperventilating. 

I'd also like to see historical episodes of the like WHO seems to have stopped doing in the Sixites. 
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Brian O'Neill
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Posted: 31 August 2016 at 2:07am | IP Logged | 11  

Robbie, almost from the moment the new series began, I found it easier to just accept that it's all taking place in an alternate universe.Considering how many times they've 'destroyed everything' and hit the reset button, it makes more sense that way...ish.;-)
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 31 August 2016 at 6:35am | IP Logged | 12  

Brian, I am more than willing to accept that. In fact, I insist... ;)
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Brian O'Neill
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Posted: 01 September 2016 at 2:10am | IP Logged | 13  

Unfortunately, any 'rebooted' concept in just about any genre of fiction in the last 20-25 years seems to require acceptance of 'other dimensions' to really work.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 01 September 2016 at 6:18am | IP Logged | 14  

When the Eccleston WHO started, I took him to be a regeneration of the McGann Doctor. Certainly there was no reason to assume otherwise. The NuWHO Doctors have met or referenced characters from the lives of previous iterations. Sara Jane appeared. The Brigadier was mentioned a few times. Etc.

Only as the series has "progressed" has constant tinkering -- especially by Moffat -- forced the characters into corners where they have become disconnected from their previous Past.

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Brian O'Neill
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Posted: 06 September 2016 at 8:57pm | IP Logged | 15  

'Amnesia' has become a convenient excuse in 'NuWho', to the point that the Capaldi Doctor might as well have selective Alzheimer's regarding his first 8 incarnations.
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Brian Hague
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Posted: 07 September 2016 at 10:08pm | IP Logged | 16  

The entire "Clara, am I a good man?" theme of recent years seems almost entirely antithetical to the otherwise confident and self-assured character we've had up to this point. Also, this weird "She cares so I don't have to" bit rings falsely. It all seems contrived to give Capaldi something different to do, and Moffat something different to write, all of which amounts to the show becoming something other than Doctor Who.

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Jozef Brandt
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Posted: 08 September 2016 at 10:59pm | IP Logged | 17  


The fan in me was hoping somewhat that the "Am I a good man" theme would have to do with him possibly becoming the Valeyard, but it never really amounted to anything.  Clara could have been used to pull him back towards the light when he started drifting the wrong way, but instead we seemed to get this bizarre post-midlife-crisis Doctor who wears Doc Martin's and shreds on an electric guitar while riding a tank, and has sonic Ray-Ban sunglasses.  The "companion-as-conscience" has been a thing from the classic show to the present, but I feel like it worked best when the show was still about the Doctor.  There has been far too much weight given to sidekicks and other characters so now the Doctor almost becomes a novelty in his own show.
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Byron Graham
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Posted: 09 September 2016 at 12:17pm | IP Logged | 18  

Even worse was that Clara answered that she did not know if he was a good man. I guess Clara just jumps into time scars in the fabric of spacetime for any old bloke.
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