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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 27 June 2018 at 2:45pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Having rewatched a lot of Seventh Doctor adventures over the last 3-4 years, I am not as enamoured with them as I was.

They are entertaining in their own way. I love "The Greatest Show In The Galaxy"; "Survival" is a lot of fun; and despite its complex plot, I enjoy "Ghost Light" (I had to watch it twice). I'm not saying there's anything inherently bad with Sylvester McCoy's Doctor.

It's just, and this is the only way I can articulate it, there's something a bit too self-deprecating about his Doctor. I'm not really good at articulating things, but that's how I see it. 

There's nothing wrong with fun, but I think self-deprecation can be taken too far. And at times, I felt it was hard to work out whether the Seventh Doctor was simply a self-deprecating incarnation or Sylvester McCoy was too self-deprecating in the role (in a "wink at the audience" way). 

Can anyone make sense of the gibberish above?
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Ted Downum
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Posted: 28 June 2018 at 8:33am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

I think I follow you, Mr. Parry!

You've lit upon one of the major problems of the McCoy era (there were several)...the fact that the Doctor's character never quite came into focus. He started as a more clownish figure in less serious stories, and then he got darker, and the stories got better...and then the series was cancelled.

My sense was always that the less serious interpretation was more in line with McCoy's inclinations as an actor, though he was convincing enough as the "master manipulator" in some of the later stories (like The Curse of Fenric, a favorite of mine).




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Robbie Moubert
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Posted: 28 June 2018 at 5:51pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

In his MythMakers interview, Sylvester said he began with a more comedic approach because that was what he knew. He soon realised he'd like to take a more serious approach but, like a ship turning at sea, it took a while to get there.
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Andrew Saxon
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Posted: 29 June 2018 at 4:15am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Well it all got a little angsty around that time. Although he looked the part, I don't think Sylvester McCoy was a good enough actor to play the lead. He was more a variety entertainer (hammering nails up his nose and shoving ferrets down his trousers as The Amazing McCoy, or doing skits on Vision On and Tizwas). To be honest, I've always been baffled that he got through the audition. I often have to remind myself that the version of the 7th Doctor I enjoyed was the one I read about in the Virgin novels after the series was cancelled.
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 29 June 2018 at 7:09am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

I've never read a Virgin novel. Aware of them, though.

Are they canonical? 
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Andrew Saxon
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Posted: 29 June 2018 at 10:05am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Are they canonical?

Ooooooh, now there's a question. I dunno, Robbie. It used to be easy - if it appeared on screen it was canon, if it didn't it wasn't. When the Big Finish audios became canon it threw me. Big Finish have adapted some of the old Virgin novels so does that make just those books canon or all of them? Then of course there's the fact that Human Nature, which was adapted for Tennant on the telly, was originally a 7th Doctor novel. Also, Big Finish have used characters from the DWM comic strips so...

Confused? Yes, I am, very much so. Anyone else got ideas on this (or is this spinning off into a new thread?).
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 29 June 2018 at 12:28pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Thanks for the explanation, that does sound like a "can of worms being opened". 

Someone told me that the Bond novels and films were in the same canon. So, Felix Leiter lost the same leg to a shark twice, did he? :D
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Robbie Moubert
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Posted: 29 June 2018 at 1:31pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

I only count the TV series as canonical.

Edited by Robbie Moubert on 29 June 2018 at 1:31pm
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Byron Graham
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Posted: 29 June 2018 at 1:45pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

Only television is canon, as far as I'm concerned. Otherwise, we get all that nonsense about The Other and looms.
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Ted Downum
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Posted: 03 July 2018 at 9:52am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

It's a tiny bit off-topic, but I dimly recall the 8th Doctor/BBC novels somehow rendering the 7th Doctor/Virgin novels non-canonical (for the purposes of the 8th Doctor novels, anyway). Something to do with the 7th Doctor stories occurring in a Klein-bottle universe? Was Lawrence Miles involved somehow?

I'm quite possibly misremembering. I dipped into the BBC novels a few times--in general, I thought they were better-written and more interesting than most franchise tie-in novels here in the States (looking at you, Star Trek!), but not often enough to have a good grip on their continuity...which I understand had become pretty elaborate, by the time the TV series came back.


Edited by Ted Downum on 03 July 2018 at 9:55am
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